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Erin Hill

"Engineers turn dreams into reality. That's my magic."

0 · 1,026 views · located in Laurea, New York

a character in “Laurel”, as played by Mac n Cheese

Description


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{ "We have to be continually jumping off cliffs and inventing our wings on the way down." }

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Name
Sybil Erin Hill

Age & Grade
17 & Rising Senior

Number of Years at Laurel
11 (She's been here since kindergarten)

Sexual Orientation
Pansexual

Group?
Gifted

Talent
Technology/Robotics
{ Growing up, Erin always had a curiosity for how things worked, and would have more fun taking apart her mom's phone than playing with toys. She showed enough aptitude early on, through toddler lego competitions, that her mom submitted an application to Laurel. These days, Erin is the resident techie, often recruited to help fix computers and help work out special effects for the theater department. }




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ImageStrengths
|| Computer Programming || Using Tools || Building Things || Trial and Error || Persistent/Determined || Curious || Clever || Courageous || Thrifty || Optimistic || Resourceful || Springs Back Well From Hardship/Pain || Decisive || Good At Figuring Out How Things Work (The Gifted Kids Annoy Her to No End Because She Can't Explain Them Easily) || Math || Science || Chess || Strategy Games ||

Weaknesses
|| Public Speaking (She does well in small groups, but on a stage in front of hundreds? Forget about it.) || Impulsive || Opens Herself Up Too Readily (Both Emotionally and in terms of honesty) || Terrible Liar "Apparently my facial expressions give it away." || English Classes || Rats/Rodents || Tends To Get So Wrapped Up In a Project She Forgets to Eat or Sleep || Rarely Prepares for The Worst (Except in her little inventions) || Massive Appetite || Disorganized || Somewhat Oblivious/Can't Read Facial Expressions || Considers Rules to Be Optional || Nervous Around The More Uppity Wealthy ||

Fears
Going Blind, Parkinsons, Arthritis || Anything that may bring about some obstacle in her career aspirations. Losing her sight or her steady hand is something that Erin has always feared, and she takes special measures to take care of her eyes and hands. Well, when she remembers.
Rats || At their lowest point, Erin and her mother lived on the streets for a few months, and her sharpest memory is waking up with a rat inches away from her face. They are enough to make the normally courageous girl descend into tears. It's a pitiful sight she hates to let people see.
Failing Outside of Laurel || Had she remained on the track of growing up inner city with her mother, Erin may be more confident in the real world. She was given the opportunity to attend Laurel, but fears that despite that she will be part of the trend of the poor staying poor, and she'll never give her mom a better life.

Secrets
NASA || In middle school she hacked into NASA because she wanted to see some of their files. The school covered the issue up, luckily. This is a secret because she was told to keep it so, but without a doubt there are even brighter students here who could do it without being caught.
Worthless || Those who know Erin see a lively, cheerful girl, and that isn't wrong. Her personality is genuine, as is her fear of being considered worthless or unnecessary. In America, the poor are often thought of as useless, extra, wastes of space. She grew up being thought of that way, even in Laurel. Her greatest fear is that they're right.




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Personality

{ Curious, Impulsive, Flirtatious, Hardworking, Vulnerable }
From the very beginning, Erin was the sort of child who was constantly asking How? and Why?, and generally pestering her mother to no end. Almost as soon as she had her hands on something, she wanted to pull it apart. She wanted to see how the arms turned on the doll donated to her by Toys for tots, and look at the pretty inside of a broken old CPU in a dumpster she and her mother slept by one night. This is one aspect of the young woman that never changed. She is still pestering people with the Whys and Hows, though she has figured out how to solve things on her own, as well. The young woman's interest is rather easily piqued, and she is more than willing to follow an ant trail for an hour, enchanted by their order and the structure of the colony. Erin is still a child in the wonder with which she looks at the world, as if every aspect is an oyster waiting for her to crack it open. More than once she has annoyed the hell out of people asking questions, even teachers, but she refuses to stop because she sees no harm in asking why- asking why is how she came to know the "How."

Mix curious with impulsive, and Erin's love for exploration, adventure, and mischief is easily explained. The young woman is of a mindset which has her making decisions first, figuring everything out second. She tends to build her wings on the way down, that is to say. With her impulsive nature, she is often the first pick of friends who want to make last minute plans or do something incredibly stupid, because she is nearly always on board. She's spent much of her life in the safe environment of Laurel, and that certainly helps, but she's certainly still gotten herself in trouble more than a few times. She's been here so long that the faculty tend to let it slide, though. And she's known many of the people here for so long that most don't even notice her tendency to flirt and cuddle at will anymore. It's just part of her speech pattern. Erin loves to cuddle up to people, hold hands, tease and flirt, etc, and there isn't really any sort of deep meaning to it. She likes people, that's all that really needs saying. People don't really take her seriously any more, even in those situations where she is sincerely flirting.

Playfulness aside, Erin has a strong work ethic, so long as it is in a certain area. When it comes to her projects, she will become so wrapped up in them that friends won't see her for days, and she'll skip classes to keep working. She becomes absorbed in the work, and if it goes on for too long this has actually been hazardous to her health in the past, with such fainting from exhaustion or lack of food. Her English and History teachers only wish her work ethic was a little more all encompassing. When she commits to something, the girl doesn't half ass it. She's generally a rather sincere person, after all. She tends towards honesty and openness, which may leave her vulnerable at times. She doesn't know how to guard herself well, and while she can retaliate to pranks and such, genuine insults and deception always catch her off guard. The girl isn't completely naive, but enough so to have had problems in the past because of it.




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Likes
|| Smash Up (Card Game) || Video Games || Robots || Computers || Math || Science || Building Things || Experimenting || Adventures || Harmless Pranks || Mischief Wars || Climbing Trees || Stargazing || The Subway || Chess || Bets/Wagers || Spicy Foods || Sunglasses || Large Dogs || Laurel Academy || Competitions || Camping || Being Outside || Projects || Successful Trials || Weird Foods || Working W/ Her Hands || Flirting || People Touching/Playing With Her Hair || Cuddling, Kissing, Sex || Cheesy Horror Movies ||


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Dislikes
|| Rats || Mice || Snobbish Wealth || Being Looked Down On || Overly Luxurious Foods || Slurping Noises || When Pranks Go Too Far || Being Easily Read || English Class || Public Speaking || Being Told She Can't || When People Can't Take a Joke || Forgetting Her Sunglasses || Humidity || Timers || Presenting Non-Inventions In Front of The Class || Being Told to "Chill" When She's Excited About Something || Nerd Snobs ("Unless you've read the third expansion's companion guide you aren't a real fan" types) ||




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ImageOne-third of American children are raised by a single mother, and Sybil Erin Hill is one of those children. Her father died of overdose while she was still in her mother's womb, and so she has never really had to mourn the loss of him; she never had him in the first place. And with a mother like hers, she never needed him. Her mother may not have always been able to provide for the base needs of her child, but in terms of love and affection she never ran out of things to give. Even during those times when she would sleep with her mother in alleyways, not going to shelters because her mother was paranoid that Erin would be taken away from her, Erin was warm in her mother's embrace. She adored her mother, and this is how her talent was discovered. It started out with her building little things from trash, as children play with legos, when she was around 18 or so months old. They were gifts for her mother, with little moving parts that she would explain her babbling nonsense language. By the age of four she was taking apart anything she could get her hands on, spending her mother's work shifts in the library trying to comprehend whichever words she had been taught to read, but for the most part just staring at instructions for crafts, model planes, etc. At five she entered a lego competition for children, and despite being at the bottom of the age bracket took first. This was when she received a letter from Laurel, acknowledging her mix of talent and financial need. Her mother cried from happiness, Erin cried at learning she would be taken away, not realizing that it was not child services that contacted them. Soon, her mother had enchanted her with stories of what she could become with the education Laurel provides. For the first few years she was not a yearlie, and would come back to visit her mom at a shelter or dirty apartment.

By third grade, Erin's mother insisted she stay for summer semesters, partially out of shame, partially because it was easier on their meager budget. Since then she has been a year long student, joining a host of others under the title of "Yearlies." At the school, she learned to hone her talents, learned that people exist who go beyond her capabilities (including a current middle schooler whose technopathy she finds wildly unfair), and learned that not all of the upper class are too bad. Of course, from years of watching judgmental or pitying expressions, from watching her mother be spit on by customers, she still has the tendency to become antsy around the wealthier students, as if squirming under a magnifying glass she assumes they place above her. Now that she comes to her final year at Laurel, Erin questions what the future holds for her. First MIT, but then what? She's only ever known Laurel as her permanent, after all.





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Played By: Mac N Cheese

Dialogue Color: #4EA376

Face Claim: Imogen Poots

So begins...

Erin Hill's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Holden Cunningham Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Christine Garner Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Guadalupe Solorzano-Cifuentes Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay Character Portrait: Kai Rainwalker Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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{ Monday, June 22nd || Laurel Summer Academy || Partly Cloudy }

Before the Summer semester there is always a long weekend for non yearlies to move out, and for students to move over to the summer dorms for the semester. The weekend starts on Wednesday and ends Tuesday the next week. The night before there is traditionally a bonfire dance, which is non-mandatory but popular, mostly because the food provided is delicious and staff are extremely willing to turn a blind eye during it. It is also common for students to ask dates to the bonfire dance, it being the common beginning of summer romances, both of the lasting and fling variety.

At the moment, it is quarter to noon. Most students have been awake since breakfast, although there are always those willing to forgo the meal in favor of sleeping past noon. Students are settled into their dorms, for the most part, and have picked the classes they will begin taking the next day.

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In celebration of the beginning of Erin's final Summer Semester as a student of Laurel (as technically next year she will have graduated from the school come Summer Semester), the young woman is nowhere to be found. She was not in her room when her roommate woke up, was not at breakfast, and most certainly was not anywhere at all in the dorms. Of course, those who could not find her did not really know the young woman particularly well. Anyone who knows Erin knows precisely where she ought to be, and would have been surprised to find her in her room this morning. This is because every year (the celebration thing is merely a dumb excuse) she camps out the night before the bonfire. That is to say the young woman finds a nice spot in a thicket of trees just a bit off from the beach around the lake, pitches a modest little tent, and roasts smores and watches the stars. All of her friends have an open invitation to take part in this little tradition, though most come for the smores and leave back for their dorms around midnight or so to sleep in a comfortable bed. While there they might also set of sparklers with her and laugh and tell horror stories, for Erin loves nothing better than a cheesy, stereotypical fireside horror story. The midnight society is very much her ideal.

But that was last night, and now it is afternoon, and the young woman is only just waking up. She has a little set up over a little fire to try and cook eggs, which every single year are always runny and underdone but she claims are the most delicious and perfectly made eggs the world has ever seen. No one who has tasted them as denied this, at least not out loud, for the sake of playing along with her little annual game. Thus it will go this year as well, as the young woman stretches out her legs and arms, yawns in a particularly cat-like manner with her eyes scrunching shut and her nose wrinkling. She pokes her head out from the tent flap, as this is a very traditional sort of triangle little tent, to see that light is already dancing across the ground, filtered by the trees into generously illuminated patches. Erin smiles- she couldn't keep a straight face if she tried at the moment. This is always one of her very favorite times of the year, and has been since she started the tradition in seventh grade. Of course, back then she was often joined by- well, it hardly matters anymore. What matters is that she shrugs on her bathing suit and go off into the lake to wash off the night's sleep. It is going to be frigid, of course, it always seems to be. Glad with the thought, Erin darts out of her little cluster of trees and towards the lake.



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Daniel Ahn has been awake since a little past dawn. Of course, he has been, because the boy often seems slightly more robot than man with his stoic expression and vague sense of distance from everyone else. Oh, he's something of an asshole, most everyone knows that by now, but in a way which seems more programmed than pathological, with his judgmental glances and calculating little smirk. His opinions seem like protocols, patterns inserted into his psyche, with how cleanly he sorts people. Friend, foe, or irrelevant: there is little space for compromise among these two categories in the eyes of Daniel Ahn.

That aside, there is of course a reason for him rising with the sun on a day in which oversleeping is an option many are more than happy to take. Every morning Daniel goes for a run. He does not strike anyone as the most athletic of individuals, and would never be caught at the gym pumping iron or on the basketball court playing 1v1. However, part of his criticalness must be pointed towards himself, and he expects some semblance of fitness of himself. Thus, the young man jogs nearly every morning, come rain and snow, more reliable than the US Postal Service. Daniel has always been inclined towards pattern and routine, after all. This is perhaps why he becomes so attached to a select group of people: they simply become part of his routine, albeit a part he becomes fiercely loyal to.

After his run, Daniel had naturally taken a shower and then eaten breakfast with a few other Influentials. Since then he has been quite content to sit on the back porch of one of the dorms (which are honestly just two large cabins) and read a book. It is Anna Karenina, which he has taken a disliking to but resolved to finish due to the principle of the thing. It is far too soap opera in his view, though he may not know enough of soap operas to fairly judge this. Daniel glances at his watch and flicks the page in the same clean movement. He'll likely be going to lunch soon enough.


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For his part, Keevan is still dead to the world. He's never been much for early rising, and will likely sleep straight through lunch if no one intervenes and interrupts his nearly comatose state.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Aimee sat by herself in the courtyard, per her usual routine in the mornings. It was easier this way, not having to be around people. Sometimes, those who knew her anyway, would come and say hello. She'd smile and wave like any decent person would, and then they would move on their way and she would continue to sit. Sometimes it would only be for a few minutes, sometimes it would be for a few hours. It gave her time to think, to process, without having to worry about accidentally bumping into someone and getting their entire life story.

Winter was the best. In winter, she could bundle up and wear gloves and not have to worry about it seeming off. At least with fabric, the rush of information wouldn't be as pure. With clothes, she maybe got a blurry memory, but never anything concrete. This was what she appreciated. In summer, however, not so much. It was true, she knew almost everything about each one of the Yearlies, but she didn't flaunt it. There were certainly some people she was worried about, and maybe would confront at some point, but other than that she stuffed it down where all the other things were that she didn't want to process.

Like that night.

Aimee cringed. That night with Lane was definitely something she did not want to process. And yet, it kept bubbling back to the surface. Her and Lane hadn't spoken since it happened, not even occasional small talk in the hallways. But, Lane had kept the secret. No one knew that they had sex. And as far as Aimee was concerned, no one was going to know. Ever.

Looking at her phone, she saw a missed call from Tyler. She groaned. He found it very hard to leave her alone, even after she begged and pleaded to give her one day to herself. She knew her brother loved her and just wanted her to be safe and careful, but God he could be so annoying! She deleted the voicemail he left her and put her phone back in her pocket, standing up and facing a little clearing outside the break of trees that had a lake in it.

Suddenly, a girl burst from the trees. Aimee sputtered, recognizing Erin. She laughed to herself as she saw the pure joy cover the girl's face. She had such a quirky personality that if Aimee didn't have a natural talent for distancing herself, they might have been friends. But, Aimee considered herself a nice person, and didn't want to besmirch the girl that was hosting the traditional kick-off to summer bonfire that night. So, she waved. "Hi, Erin! Nice to see you!" And with that, Aimee walked back towards campus with the hopes of seeing yet another familiar face. It was about time she made herself some friends.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov

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#, as written by Layla
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      XXXIt's the same dream.
      XXXShe sees herself walking. She's humongous. Clumsy. Clouds congregate around her, smearing her vision and burrowing into her ears. She's blind, and deaf.
      XXXNina screams for her to stop, but she has no mouth. No body beyond the creature grappling blindly for escape.
      XXXShe can only watch as her body stumbles onwards, swallowing time and distance as it pitches into the unknown. Faster, it seems to cry. Faster. It doesn't see the city stretched out just ten steps away. Nine. Eight.
      XXXNina turns to the people winding through the streets of the city that seems so small in comparison. She tries to warn them. They cannot hear her either.
      XXXThree. Two.
      XXXA smear of white sends a spike of alarm through her. Sterling is laughing, grinning in that lopsided way of his at a girl with soft blonde hair that curls around her face like a halo. Erin touches his shoulder. Smiles. She's stunning.
      XXXIf Nina had a heart, it would twist. Plummet.
      XXXOne.
      XXXHer body takes a step and the buildings crumble under her feet. People scream, their little legs thrusting, arms pumping. It's no use, because her body arches and falls. Collides against the ground and the people racing across it.
      XXXShe shrinks until she is no longer a giant, until Nina is just as insignificant as the rest of them.
      XXXSparks of discomfort ignite into flames of excruciating pain and she watches herself cry out for help. Not for Nina, but for the people around her. The corpses that decorate the roads like fallen leaves. She cradles her friends in her arms.
      XXXLane. Erin. Sterling.
      XXXThey do not move. She's ruined them all and now it's too late..
      XXXMurderer.
      XXXShe begs for someone, anyone, somebody to help. She's needed it for a long time now.

      XXXNina jerks upright, her heart rattling against her ribcage. Sweat rolls down her neck. Her eyes dart around the room, but all she sees is her roommate.
      XXXAnna's back is turned to her, strands of chestnut brown curling at the nape of her neck. Her breathing is slow, a paradox to the short gasps Nina drags into her lungs.
      XXXRelief soothes some of the anxiety coiled in her stomach at the sight of Anna's sleeping frame. At the very least, she didn't awaken her roommate. She's safe. For today, she's safe.
      XXXNina runs her hands up and down the goosebumps on her arms. Roommates see a lot. They see weaknesses that can be exploited in a fragile system that could crumble at any moment. Nina might be the Queen of Laurel, but she sits on a throne of glass.
      XXXShe ignores Anna for the most part and does not provoke her as she does most others. It is dangerous to make an enemy of the person you live with.
      XXXNina pulls back the blankets, tugs on a pair of sneakers and slips out the door.

      XXXHours later, when she's forced the dream from her mind with strikes at a punching bag and endless drills in the gymnasium, Nina walks onto the back porch where Daniel is lounging, as she knew he would be.
      XXXShe showered and dressed in an expensive cream blouse tucked into a pair of black waist-high shorts that reveal smooth legs that stretch on for days. Deep brown hair falls in artfully styles waves that settle below her shoulders. Her lips are stained a deep wine red that compliments the winged liner framing her eyes. Concealer hides the dark circles under them.
      XXX"If you look for perfection, you'll never be content," Nina reads over Daniel's shoulder. A lazy smile plays on her lips. She lowers her thick lashes. "Wise words for a dead man. Peasants shouldn't strive to be Kings. Perfection is solely reserved for the already perfect."
      XXXNina grazes Daniel's cheek with a soft kiss. Half the school thinks they're dating, though they certainly do not think he is Nina's sole source of sexual pleasure, what with her reputation. The other half thinks the possibility of Daniel dating anyone utterly ludicrous. Frankly, Nina thinks so too. There can never be someone worthy of him, in his eyes and hers.
      XXXWhile she does not know if they are friends, they are certainly allies. Friend sounds too intimate and archaic. It sounds like pain.


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      XXXWhat Sterling enjoys most about Keevan's company is his lack thereof. They both remain unconscious late into the day, which means neither of them jostle the other awake at ungodly hours. However, today is different.
      XXXWater surrounds him. Cool and clear. Smooth rocks press against his feet as he sinks into the riverbed. He's decided on a much needed swim today, and perhaps he wants to infuriate a pretty girl from his past, knowing that she will be in the area this day. Sterling has never been one for prolonged human interaction - after all, they are somewhat idiotic the majority of the time - but he has a fondness for Erin's displeasure. He knows after their moment that she has no desire to see him, but life has become drab since his return to Laurel Academy.
      XXXSterling is a strong swimmer and though the currents push him, he swims against them easily. He pushes his feet against the bottom of the river and propels himself up. He breaks the surface, tossing water like fingerprints of light from his white-blonde hair when he shakes it.
      XXXHe runs his fingers through wet locks of hair, biceps clenching, muscles flexing in his abdomen. Shorts hang low on his hips, revealing two indentations that dip beneath the waistband. He smirks, hearing Erin's voice and her footsteps. The girl runs like an elephant.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Daniel continues to lazily flick through the pages. Of course, while his flick may be lazy and his eyes half-lidded, the young man is never anything less than completely alert. The occasional passing cluster of students earn a scowling little glance, and the brief interruption of a buzzing fly is ended as he smacks it against the table in a single movement. Daniel is not one to waste his energy or time if he can help it, and this shows in the cold sort of efficiency with which he works. Of course there are brief moments of warmth, a genuine smile, an act of loyalty, but only a precious few may routinely witness these minor miracles. For the rest, his only smile is a smug sort of smirk, eyebrow raised and criticisms written across his bone structure. This is Daniel, after all, not some strange patron saint of idiots who is happy to tolerate people simply for the sake of 'politeness.' He does things only where they benefit him, directly or indirectly, and this calculating tendency is something that most of his classmates have come to understand by now. Still, those moments in which he attempts to be charming often come as such a surprise that they dazzle a classmate into going with what he wants, confused of what is going on the entire time. He much prefers it this way.

There are those friendly exceptions, of course. One of them walks softly up to him. Daniel has a talent for remembering footsteps of those who matter, and she happens to fit among the group, with quiet steps. Thus it comes of little surprise when the voice of Nina Romanov chimes in behind him, reading a line that he had been lingering on before the distraction of her entrance. And there is one of those smiles- small, but sincerely amused. The young man turns his head just enough so that she is visible in his peripheral. "Good morning, your highness," he greets her with fondness. Daniel has taken to teasing her with that nickname, for many of the school have come to see her as the Queen Bee, and him the one constantly whispering in her ear. They aren't entirely incorrect. Her lips graze his cheek and, naturally, Daniel is unfazed. This is their usual routine, after all.

He marks his book with a red piece of yarn that had been wrapped between his fingers and shuts it with a somewhat satisfying little thud. "Oh my, you'll have people talking about us Miss Romanov. Now no one will ever wed me," his humor has a peculiar degree of deadpan to it, with the very slightest fluctuations in pitch and tone here and there. The execution is flawless within his own little group, but to others might be considered somewhat dry. Luckily he gives very few damns as to what anyone outside of his ring thinks of him- and he knows all of those thoughts. There is a reason many falsely believe him to be the editor of the Breadbowl, and the fact that he seems to hear every whisper is certainly part of it. Not that he would ever publish the trash thrown at his own clique that is often seen on the blog.

"I suppose the very least you can do now is take me to lunch," he adds, standing up and placing the book into a small messenger bag. "Shall we?"


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A voice, seemingly out of nowhere, practically has Erin five feet up in the air from the sudden shock of it. She twists around to see the source of it and smiles brightly. It's Aimee Hart, a classmate whose face she's known for a few years now but whom she has never been particularly close with. A few shared courses here and there, maybe one or two partner projects, these are the extent of their interactions. Still, she seems like a nice enough girl, and isn't one of the Influentials, so Erin shoots up a hand and waves back right before the girl turns and walks off. Her greeting had led Erin to believe that she was about to start a conversation, but apparently not. Perhaps this is for the best, as Erin wants to go on her swim before lunch hour is over, and thus has a somewhat limited window of time for anyone who isn't going to join her in the lake. The young woman gladly turns back around and runs into the lake, water splashing loudly on either side of her. Erin may be pretty, but grace has never been her strongsuit. The closest thing to it is the movement of her hands with tools and wiring, and not many agree with her in thinking building to be beautiful.

Before she gets very far at all, Erin notices a shadow is rushing towards the surface. She begins to move away a little, but perhaps not with the speed she ought to be using. Curiosity has always been a weakness of Erin's; she can't help but follow crumb trails, even when they lead down less than safe paths. She soon wishes she had moved away earlier though, as the shadowy figure turns out to be a person just as shady has his silhouette had been. Before her stands Sterling Walker, muscles flexing in the most show-boaty way possible. In an incredibly childish move, Erin wrinkles her nose slightly as if she has just smelt something foul. "Sorry, I didn't realize this spot was taken," she says, clearly not sorry. Sterling was once one of those who shared this tradition with her, he knew very well that this was her spot. All of the water, and he chose to bother her- Erin is certain of it.

He is an asshole, after all. One she made a huge mistake with last semester- one she'd rather not be reminded of by seeing him standing their shirtless, smirking. To think they had once been friends. Much had changed since he'd left and fucked everyone else over in the process.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Holden Cunningham Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway

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#, as written by Saerith
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As Anthony sat up on his bed, he wondered how, even on the worse day of summer, could he have had such a bad time already before the bonfire. He had slept for about 4 hours before being awaken by a nauseating, horrific dream which now he could barely remember. The night before, he had sent about... Two minutes or so at Erin's little celebration outside. He arrived, said hello to Erin and ate a smore before he could actually look around and notice the people talking, laughing, holding hands. Then his stomach felt cold, his heart started to race and he left without a word. It was not only hurtful how alone he was, amongst all those people who were close friends, it was somehow very agitating. Now, he had been up for two hours, tossing and turning, trying to relax or just close his eyes, which had remained fixated on the celling.

Once seated he tiredly ran one hand through his hair while reaching for his phone with the other. He quickly typed Erin a text. Hey girl scout. You gonna go to breakfast or just stay in the woods and live off of berries?
She probably wouldn't be awake just yet, he thought looking over to Holden's bed. He was actually really lucky to have him as a roommate. Carr felt safer, like this, Holden didn't ever bother him or really seem to mind his silence and the fact he had so little money. For example, he thanked God he didn't end up with someone like Daniel Ahn, cause something told him that guy being disgusted by the idea of breathing the same air as Anthony was a possibility. Plus, he genuinely liked Holden. He was never mean, not once. Honestly, that seemed rare. Silently standing up, Carr put on an old t-shirt and walked towards his desk. There was very little light coming in from the window, but it was enough for him to just spend sometime drawing, nothing specific, really. He wasn't particularly hungry, so unless Holden woke up or Erin answered his text, he would be skipping breakfast to stay in.

He let the pencil unconsciously run through the paper, creating circular, indistinct shape. As time went by, they took the form of flames, and under them, branches and grass. The bonfire. Anthony had spent almost all of his summers since he joined at Laurel. His mother preferred it like this, least expenses and he would be safer, really. Besides, he liked to have time to study, and didn't really want to give her any more work. So the bonfire was something he had always had the opportunity to attend, and he actually did the first three times. Once, when he was small, it had been relatively fun. He didn't know anyone really well, so it was normal for him to be a little bit lonely, but still, he enjoyed it. The seconds time around, he and most people had already realized him not having many friends wasn't something temporary. A year latter, he came on the hope that this time things would be different, but they really weren't. As much as the atmosphere really did change when all the others students were gone and only the Yearly stayed, one thing didn't: Carr was still a wallflower. To him, the bonfire had became something really uncomfortable and dreaded. People got together and laughed, talked, singed songs, reminding him he wasn't part of their world. It was something he had already accepted, it didn't even make him so sad anymore, but still he felt uncomfortable having it rubbed on his face. Nevertheless, as he drew the bonfire, and the shadowy silhouette of people around it, he couldn't help but smile. Maybe this year would be different. Maybe this year, when Erin once again started restlessly insisting he attended, he actually would. You never know, he told himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Aimee smiled when Erin waved back before leaping towards the lake. Shaking her head in amusement, she continued walking back towards campus, pulling out her phone and texting Anthony. She knew he was awake, and probably was just sitting on his bed drawing, so she figured he could use a little fresh air. He was by far her closest friend, and someone she deeply cared about at Laurel. Even though he was two years younger than her, they had inevitably bonded. The fact that they both had abilities certainly didn't hurt matters.

Hey wanna grab something to eat? I know you're hungry by now,she texted, knowing he wouldn't have thought about it and was usually content to sit by himself. She walked towards his dorm building, meaning to sit in the common room and wait for him until he showed his face. She had finished moving her stuff to the summer building yesterday, but she hadn't gotten a chance to say hi to either of her roommates. She hadn't really thought about making friends with them, but she supposed it was probably expected.

Sitting on the couch waiting for Anthony, Aimee got a sudden rush of images about it and she cringed. Furniture was always difficult, especially at a boarding school, because teenagers had a tendency to use them for interesting purposes when no one was around. Focusing to herself, she put up her mental wall and the images stopped. She had to pace herself, or else she could be overloaded and her brain would short-circuit. This had only happened once before when she was first coming in to her powers, and she didn't want a repeat.

Whistling softly, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes, waiting for her best friend and thinking of the waffles in her future.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov

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      XXXHe doesn't turn to look at Erin when she speaks. Sterling pulls himself out of the water and snatches his towel resting on a large rock. He ruffles his platinum blonde hair, peaking at Erin through thick lashes. A lazy smile plays on his lips.
      XXX"I'm willing to share," he murmurs. It takes him only a few strides to reach Erin. Her nose is level with his chest, making him grin some more. Beads of fresh water trail along his torso only to disappear beneath the waistband of his shorts.
      XXXHe takes a strand of Erin's hair between his fingers. His eyes wander to where sunlight hits the narrow strands, painting it gold. His fingers trail along the shaft of long blonde hair until he is no longer touching it, but still it floats. His lips quirk in a mischievous smile. Sterling lifts his eyes to meet Erin's.
      XXX"If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were avoiding me," he says. "But your self-control isn't that great." A low chuckle rumbles from his chest. His accent is thick, thicker than before he returned to England. Before he left and disappeared without so much as a post card.



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      XXXDaniel is one of the few who is still able to incite from Nina genuine laughter. His execution of dry humour and blunt sarcasm is flawless, his manner unassuming. She laughs and smiles at his comments, forgetting in that instance her nightmares and the faulty heart lodged in her chest. No water rushes into her lungs when she inhales, no sickening vertigo that makes her think she might be drowning or falling. She breathes air.
      XXX"Only if you're paying, Mr Ahn," she teases, imitating Daniel's odd formality. Nina tucks her arm into the groove of his elbow places a hand on his forearm.

      XXXA muted anticipation descends upon the bustling cafeteria when the Queen and her Advisor sweep in through the thick mahogany doors. They hold a collective breath when Nina pauses at the doors, sweeping an assessing gaze over the room. She seems to stare at each person in turn and perhaps that is her gift, the ability to influence the many through a few.
      XXXHer eyes linger on a dark head bent over a guitar and sprawls of paper. Like Erin, Lane has always been talented. Kind. Loveable and forgiving and everything Nina did not know how to be. Because Lane, above all else, was a good friend, something Nina has not been for a long time now. Her ribcage seems to shrink, pressing into her heart. Despite the years that've been and gone, and her knowledge of power and strength, still she cannot help an inkling of regret. Of sorrow.
      XXXIt enrages her.
      XXXThe heel of her black leather knee-high boots click against the tiles of the dining space as she strides with long legs to wear Lane sits alone. Her elbow grazes the edge of Lane's filled cup and like the straw that broke the camel's back, the glass tips.
      XXXWords coalesce into thick clouds of black ink as the water bleeds into the paper. Pools titter and spill over the edge of the dining table. Liquid hits Lane's lap and the metal strings of her guitar.
      XXXA thrill rises in Nina, but her stomach seems to dip. Pain bursts from where her painted nails dig into her palm and she welcomes it. Deserves it. She wants to do some more. She wants to ruin her old friend where she sits, more than she already has for the past three years. She wants to stop. She wants to hold still, disappear, fall to her knees and beg for forgiveness.
      XXXWeak, growls the devil perched on her shoulder, sitting on her chest, pushing her forward. If you can't be happy, no one can.
      XXX"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she croons. An apologetic smile slips onto her face of its own accord. Nina watches her body move and listens to the words slip from her mouth. Disconnected.
      XXXShe rights the cup, smearing any remnants of music in the process, until the sheets of paper are simply blobs of dark colour and disintegrated efforts.
      XXX"I'll get you another drink," she purrs. "I know much that must've cost you." Nina stares directly into Lane's eyes as she mocks her, marks her as poor. Insignificant. Nina lifts a slim, manicured hand. A slight red-haired girl rushes to her side and sets a glass of water and a carton of orange juice on Lane's table. For a fleeting moment, Nina's smile falters but the look of steel is back and she flashes another one of her devastating smiles as she pulls away.
      XXXTheir table of Elites, capable of influencing the Influentials themselves, sit a distance away. They're watching the scene with amusement, some chuckling and smirking. The less significant ones bustle around them like the servants to dukes and duchesses. They're eager, hopeful for the chance to be elevated.
      XXXHope made fools of everyone.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Christine Garner Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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By the time that Keevan's mind finally decides it is time to greet the day, he has already wasted most of it. Even his Summer roommate, who has tendencies very similar to his own in terms of start times, has left by now. This is almost embarrassing to Keevan, rising later than Sterling. Almost is the key word of course, for Keevan is the sort of lad who seems to have very little in the way of shame and nearly as small a dose of self preservation. After all, no one properly worried about themselves would willingly lead a technically illegal online newspaper, one that has plenty of enemies among those who frequently find themselves in it's articles. That being said, Keevan suspects that many of the faculty know he is the source of the Breadbowl (which he plans of course to pass down to some lucky, gossip-loving yearly come the end of next year), and let it carry on because they find it a) amusing, and b) a harmless aspect of high school life. The gossip is going to happen anyway, after all, it might as well be reliable. And the Breadbowl is nothing if not that- Keevan is very keen on fact checking. It would be a discredit to himself were he to publish false rumors. He is an investigator as well as an editor. Of course, he can post unverified rumors if he reminds everyone that rumors are all they are confirmed to be.

It is this little project of his that he immediately turns to when he wakes up, opening up his laptop and checking any recent submissions. Of course it will be slow, as people are busy settling in, but without a doubt the Summer blog posts will be far more interesting than the normal semester ones. During the Summer, yearlies are let out to play, with significantly less supervision and significantly more little secret nooks to hide in their spare time, which they may spend however they please. A bunch of gifted, powerful, and wealthy teenagers lodging together for an entire Summer, many of them having long histories? Oh, Keevan simply adores Summer entries. Something about the heat works up people's emotions, and that makes for excellent stories.

He scans through the two or three he has, all just little tidbits of suspicious action, one with a photo as evidence. Unsurprisingly, they mostly speak about the Influentials. The Influentials who stay here for the Summer tend to be the ones with a bit more on their plates, after all; the happy ones are by now off on their private jets to vacation with mummy in Paris. This leaves behind the bastard children, black sheep, shady wealth sources, etc. It's beautiful, really. A writer could ask for no better source of character ideas than one of the most prestigious schools in the Northern Hemisphere.

The lunch options aren't too shabby either. Keevan is soon on his way to the lunchroom, laptop safely in his backpack. He is never without it, naturally.
To: Rebecca Sayre
How's Nina doing? Always a pleasure, love. Don't forget to keep in touch this summer.


He grins at his phone as the screen returns to black. Rebecca may be among the top of the social ladder, but he likes to think she is in his back pocket. Daniel Ahn isn't the only one with his ear to the floor at Laurel- far from it.


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This isn't the time to start something, I should just go. Carr and Lane are probably at lunch anyway- Erin begins to realize the contradictory nature of choosing to confront Sterling in such a way, when what she really wants to do is avoid him, but too late. He is already moving towards her, and it feels as though turning to run away, which she is half inclined to do, would be admitting defeat. Stupid, stubborn Erin would never concede to the asshole who stole her first love, one of her best friends. She would never give him that satisfaction. Unfortunately, Erin doesn't realize that playing his game is doing just that. She is a clever girl, with hands that read blue prints like the palm lines of future generations, with a mind wiring for electricity and light and machines. When it comes to people, however, her programming tends to miss a few spots. It's a bit of error in the coding, and leaves her to often play right into the hands of others. Thus, like an indignant child, she scowls at the nearing boy.

His hands move towards her face, and by instinct of a dance played before she steps back. Her footwork is faulty, however, and lacks the necessary speed. Normally speaking, Erin loves to have her hair touched and play with. She is quite the adamant believer that most people do. Sterling is not a normal classmate, however, and his fingers fiddling with her hair gives her a shiver rather than a feeling of warmth. He radiates cold. Even as he releases her hair, it floats in the air as though pulled forward by a magnet. He is toying with his abilities, she knows. Abilities which have always infuriated her with their inability to be explained.

But of course Sterling knows this.

"I'd need to be drunk and stupid to want to seek out someone like you," she shoots back, reaching up to pull her hair back down. The sight of it makes her vaguely uncomfortable. His chuckle is all the worse. The foolishness of what she has said dawns on her too late. In an attempt for recovery, she attempts to play his game. The failure is likely pitiful.

"If only there were someone worth knowing behind that face of yours. Then our time wouldn't have been such a waste," The reference is clear, and perhaps dirty as well, but Erin has worked hard to avoid Sterling, and owes him no kindnesses for ruining the effort. I need to go.


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"Oh, I wouldn't dream otherwise."

When people automatically look at Nina and Him, Daniel nearly smirks. However, the expression only half succeeds, giving him a somewhat menacing look with his mouth one fifth curled and his eyes glinting like a knife. There is good reason to believe someone may fall on him and cut themselves against the sharpened edge of his being. Luckily, most of his close friends wear gilded armor that protects them from such tragedy. Perhaps this is why her far prefers the company of the high, mighty, and guarded. They suit him much better, and he them, than anyone else possibly could.

To put on a show for the normal students, as he views them, Daniel leans over and whispers into Nina's ear, expression twisting into that smirk which had been denied entry by the gates of his mind earlier. "I don't suppose you're suddenly aching for dear old times," he murmurs, following her gaze. His words may have fell upon deaf ears, but as her walk directs itself towards Lane soon afterwards, there are those who look on with an anticipatory sort of horror. It seems that the sort who cover their eyes before a creature pops out in horror movies make up a fair percentage of the current diners in the hall. And with rather few people left, everybody is seated such that they may watch the scene unfold, from the seven year olds sitting in the corner with a monitor to the seniors who will be off come Summer's end.

Daniel does not follow her, but walks over to the Elite table, distinction made by the lack of diners at the three tables nearest to it, and the choice position near the large windows of the cafeteria. At this time of day, it is lit up by the sun, which glints against the diamond bracelets and platinum watches of those who sit there. It shines like power, reflecting in Daniel's eyes. The young man turns when he has reached the table to watch Nina. Just in time to see that flash of inconsistency across the face of the Queen. It is no surprise to him, but Daniel hopes no one else sees it- a Queen that wavers is one that falls to a mere Duchess, and Nina ought to know that. After all, someone had to be bumped back in line for the throne in order for her to ascend. Daniel has always edged the shadow beside the gilded chair, but her seating was more of a hot topic semesters ago.

She is the better for it. Daniel could not ask for a better woman to stand by. He has even briefly considered the lucrative option of, in some years time, making the partnership more permanent. But that would be a deal to be made another day, should no one more fitting be arranged.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov

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As Lane sits she taps her pencil against the table creating a light beat to go along with the lyrics scribbled on the pages below her. She's trying to remember what the beat she created yesterday was, but memory has chosen to fail her. The tapping continues until it is suddenly beaten out by the crisp loud sound of heels approaching her.

Nina

Who else but Nina would choose a pair of heels as her go to shoes for one of the first days of summer, Lane much rather preferred a worn in pair of Keds. Lane keeps her head down in this moment, focusing on her music. Sure if Erin was there sitting with her, Lane may have scowled at the influential, but she wasn't up for it.

It didn't take long however for Nina to reach the table. Her expensive perfume filling the air around them.
Lane glances up just in time to see Nina's elbow make contact with her glass of water. The glass falls with a loud thud, water overtaking everything it its path, Lane's eyes widened and her mouth falls open.

"Shit..." She speaks under her breath, her eyes dart from paper to paper but there is no hope. The water flows over the table reaching her guitar and then her shorts. Lane feels completely paralyzed, unable to save her songs, her guitar, or herself. It feels impossible to take in all at once.

originals...these were original songs...weeks of writing...

A lump forms in the back of her throat as she stares blankly at the papers and she scrunches her nose, holding back tears. Why was Nina doing this, why had she gone completely out of her way to ruin everything important Lane. All Lane could run through her mind was why. Everything came rushing back to her. From their friendship over 3 years ago and then Sterling leaving... Nina's depression, Nina turning on everything she used to be to become this stone cold influential. The memory's were suddenly interrupted by Nina's air piercing voice.

"Oh I'm so sorry!" She says in an unrealistic apologetic voice. Nina's hand moves to the glass, she sets it up right, smearing the papers even further. Lane bites her lip. She wants to scream, to yell out, to grab Nina's arm and yank it away from her papers, as though Nina is tampering with the dead bodies of her children. But Lane can't do anything except watch in absolute horror.
"I'll get you another drink, I know how much that must have cost you" Nina says practically spitting venom. She stares into Lane's eyes, and Lane sees nothing but a shallow cold hearted influential. She sees no regret across Nina's face, in fact, she sees pleasure. Lane's heart is broken, completely shattered there on the spot. The tears in her eyes are so close to falling over the edge and streaming down her cheeks, she can barely hold them back. Lane was almost completely unaware of the people around them watching until a younger girl, quite possibly a freshman dying to rise up, sets a new cup of water and a carton of orange juice on the table.

Lane doesn't say a word to Nina. Instead she pushes back her chair hastily and throws her wet guitar into the case. She runs for the nearest exit, her face burning up. Lane shoves open the door, she's outside.

Where's Erin....I need Erin

Unable to keep the tears held up anymore Lane cries, hurt stomach aching as she walks down towards the lake where she had left Erin last night. She cries for not only her music but for Nina and is angered that she had ever considered her a friend. Lane can see a blurry Erin and she runs towards her.

"Erin...Nina ruined everything...my entire notepad..." She feels like a child running to her mother after being bullied on the playground. Lane covers her mouth in an attempt to keep from crying.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov

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      XXXLane's eyes wobble as tears threaten to overflow. The dark haired girl turns away, her hands shaking as she shoves her damp guitar in its case. She stands and marches quickly out the door. Nina stands there for a long moment, still and silent. She should feel relieved, powerful, that she can make or break anybody she chooses.
      XXXInstead she feels nothing except a profound emptiness. The words she said, the things she did, they echo over and over again in her head, and then even those disappear. Nothing, she feels nothing.
      XXXBecause Hell is a gaping red cavern in the devil's chest, an emptiness she is simply trying to fill.
      XXX"Keep it," she whispers, barely loud enough for anybody to hear. But someone does and the freshman who brought the drinks is carefully tucking ruined sheets of paper in her book bag.
      XXXNina tosses her hair over her shoulder, turning to her empire. The Influentials laugh, but everybody else is silent. Staring.
      XXXSuffocating.
      XXXShe sees her new roommate seated several tables away. Anna-Marie Beckett. Senior. Power - Transmutation. Born to Olivia Beckett and Alec Winters, an entrepreneur, who interestingly, was not listed as Anna's father at birth. Orphaned at age five. Found again, now. As per usual, Daniel was there to inform Nina of every student who enrolled in Orion, even more so her new roommate. After all, the best time to kill a person is when they're asleep, and Nina Romanov will not be brought down by a rich man's charity case.
      XXXA smile that doesn't reach her eyes spreads slowly across Nina's face as she catches Anna's eye. It's a devastating smile, revealing two rows of straight porcelain white teeth. Nina waves.
      This is a warning, her grin seems to say. Do not cross me.



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      XXX"I'd need to be drunk and stupid to want to seek out someone like you," comes Erin's snarky response. Sterling beams. Oh, but you did, he thinks, remembering that fateful night not too long ago. "If only there were someone worth knowing behind that face of yours. Then our time wouldn't have been such a waste."
      XXX"Been checking out my face, Rin?" he says. "Man, I feel like man candy."
      XXXBefore Erin can respond, a figure bursts through the trees, hands pressed to her mouth. Lane. Sterling doesn't think much of it at first, because even when they were children, Lane always seemed the softest of the three, although it was prudent to note the other corners of the triangle consisted of Erin Hill and Nina Romanov.
      Nina. Sterling's chest squeezes at the onslaught of memory and he shoves it aside. But not for long.
      XXX"Erin, Nina ruined everything." Lane's voice breaks. "My entire notepad."
      XXXAlarm shoots through Sterling's veins and his hand jerks instinctively. He clenches his fist before the energy coiled in his palm escapes. Emotions flit across his gaze - disappointment, pain, guilt, worry and finally, rage. Not for Nina, but for himself.
      XXXYou never should've left.

      XXXSterling waves the heavy mahogany doors open. He strolls in calmly, moving with an uncanny grace. His expression does not betray the red that smears his vision, blood boiling and pushing at his skin for release. He does not betray the power simmering and overflowing in him. Sterling sees Nina.
      XXXEven now, he recognises the warm brown of her hair, the streaks of light chestnut coiled from where the sun has trailed its fingers down the shafts of wavy hair. She's taller now, her body unrecognisable. She's not the scrawny young girl he left. She's a woman with power and hatred in her veins.
      XXXShe's beautiful.
      XXX"Nina," he says carefully as he nears her.
      XXXShe lifts her gaze to meet his. Cold and devastatingly calm. Her eyes were once the shade of summer rain, now they look at him like orbs of shattered glass. She shows no expression, not memory of their past. Nothing, and that's the worst part perhaps. She doesn't say anything to him, merely lifts a perfectly sculpted brow in question.
      XXX"You look..." He's staring at the mess beside them. Where Lane was, he's sure. "Frustrated," he lies, returning his gaze to Nina. "What's bothering you?"
      XXX"I'm looking at him," she says drily.
      XXX"There’re a lot of people who would be flattered that I should grace them with my presence, but I chose you.” His lips quirk in a sly smile but his eyes burn into her. Screaming at her. What are you doing, Nina? What happened to you to make you so cruel? So unrecognisable?
      XXX"What do you want?" Nina crosses her arms, rests her hip on the table. Sterling doesn't miss the way she presses into Daniel. He hadn't even noticed he was there, but now he sees him and it's unfortunate that he can't unsee him. The big brute. Sterling pretends to ignore him, even as he hovers and listens to their conversation.
      XXX"The truth," Sterling says quietly.
      XXX"Pluto isn't actually a planet."
      XXX"Stop it, Nina. Stop this." Sterling lowers his brows. Glares.
      XXX"You have no authority over me." Nina straightens, lifts her chin, and glares back. "You." She takes a step forward, until their chests nearly brush. "Are nothing." Her voice is low, soft enough that only he can hear.
      XXXSterling's rage sparks. His fists shake. The overhead lights flicker.
      XXX"You are a traitor to your friends," she says. Sterling wonders if the irony is lost on her. "You left, without so much as a postcard. You had no right to come back. You have no right to speak to me like you know me. You could never begin to fathom me when you can barely comprehend a 14 year old child. So wave your magic wand, Sterling." She gestures around them, at the tables ratting and the few that have risen from the ground. Sterling clenches his fists. "Because if you're God, I'm an atheist, and your magic will never save you from me."
      XXX"Sterling Walker! Cease your power this instant!" A voice barks as teachers rush into the dining hall. "Principal's office. Now." The teacher strides towards the two of them. She glances at Nina, opens her mouth. Closes it as Nina levels her with a stare. She returns her gaze to Sterling, a stern warning furrowing her brow.
      XXXNina leans forward to whisper in Sterling's ear.
      XXX"You think because you can wave a few pieces of wood around and replicate some science experiments that you have power?" Nina's voice is quiet and vicious. A quick rapid fire rattle. "Wake up, Sterling." She spits his name like poison from her lips. "This is power." She gestures at the school around them. A school she controls. At the teacher who is too afraid of the Romanov family to reprimand her.
      XXXNina leans back, the flame in her eyes replaced by cold. Sterling's gaze darts to where she takes Daniel's hand.
      XXX"I hope you know she loved you," Sterling says quietly. "We all did." The rage leaves him in a rush, and the tables settle to the floor, the lights stilling. He lifts his eyes to Nina's.
      XXX"And perhaps the greatest power you wield isn't your wealth or your status, but your capacity to destroy everyone you touch." He casts one last glance at Daniel, his gaze seeming to say, you're next.
      XXXThe door swings shut behind him, and slams into her heart.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Holden Cunningham Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Christine Garner Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Guadalupe Solorzano-Cifuentes Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay Character Portrait: Kai Rainwalker Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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The grin when he catches her trip up is infuriating because she herself had realized it entirely too late. At least she had the excuse of complete intoxication- his part in the affair she is convinced was motivated by general assholery .

"Man, I feel like man candy." Erin's eyebrows shoot up at the comment. He is every bit the same as he had been before leaving. The fact that he can go so unscathed by everything, at least to her eyes, is the sharpest of the pains. He floats above the difficulties of the mere mortals, it seems, sometimes literally. Erin has friends among the powerful, cherished friends, but people like Sterling, so cocky on top with their abilities, acting as if they are gods descended to earth, bother the girl. She may be confident, stubborn, impulsive, and careless at times, but at least she doesn't look down on people. Even in the case of Sterling, the wretch, she sees him eye to eye. She doubts this is mutual.

There is no time for a response before the sound of splashing interrupts Erin's less than sunny trail of thought. There is a flicker of something strained in Sterling's normally calm expression. Naturally, Erin's first thought goes to the queen of the school. She whips her head around, body tense, only to find that it is Lane who is running up to her. What little relief this gives her is tossed aside by a closer look at the state of her best friend.

"Erin. . .Nina ruined everything. . .my entire notepad. . ." Instantly Sterling is forgotten. Erin moves forward and shelters Lane in a hug. Before, Erin was somewhat irritated, somewhat bothered. Now, she is angry. This day has gotten off to a less than fantastic start, and Erin is less than pleased about it. She turns to glare at Sterling, newly recalled, but he is already leaving them. Good. Go face your damn creation, Victor, Erin returns her attention to the crumpled and hurting Lane.

"Fuck Nina. Come on, Lane. I feel like eating popcorn and watching a movie. Wanna waste the day with me?" She smiles, mostly genuinely, down at Lane. At least this, Sterling had not taken from her.

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Briefly, Daniel is distracted from Nina's situation by someone who he has always despised: Colin. Most everyone knows that Daniel had been the best friend to his brother, and that he was probably the person that Daniel had been the closest to throughout his entire life. It was also a well known fact that Colin is not in Daniel's good graces. Many people assume it is just the fickle nature of his opinions, not realizing how incredibly possessive and jealous the young man becomes over those few who he befriends. Jealous enough to hate the brother of his best friend for having that privilege of brotherhood.

It is the face beside Colin, however, that hits him like a brick. Sam? even his internal voice is winded. Colin's brother may have been Julian to most everyone else, but Daniel knew him as Sam. And a face mirroring his sits at that table. In a few seconds he regroups, realizing that it can't be Sam, and it is more feminine besides. Still, it is only with the entrance of Sterling that Daniel fully returns to the situation at hand.

Automatically he moves closer to Nina, protective. His expression is little more than dark ice, coolly observing Sterling. Throughout the beginning of the exchange he is silent, calm. When Nina moves toward him, he instinctively presses back, his eyes never leaving Sterling. This is two parts a game: make Sterling feel pain such that he will never try to take Nina away, and genuine protective instinct towards one of those few whom he trusts.

He stands taller, looming like the grim reaper, death itself with fine bone structure and black eyes, as Sterling gives his final attack. Who can fall when darkness itself seems to side with them? So it may seem to the student body, unaware that anything but ice dwells behind Daniel's gaze. Sterling looks at him, warningly. Daniel merely smirks, as if confident it could never happen. He is useful, valuable, and more than anything, willing to sink far lower to keep his friends with him.

"I do believe I've lost my appetite."

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While the gods spit acid at one another, the rest can only watch and hope that none of it trickles down into their eyes. They look away when appropriate but are always watching. People never really stop watching. And among those people, sits one young man looking positively awestruck. But his eyes glisten in a way that is just a bit strange, fitting in with a few other who have the same enraptured expression. There's is not the intrigue of watching, but rather the excitement of telling, of showing.

two hours later

The Breadbowl
The Summer will apparently carry on as it usually does- much more interestingly than the fall semester. Many have left but the power players, the screwed up, and the hopelessly confused remain in play. A beautiful beginning, titan vs. titan as the well known Miss Romanov faced Mr Walker in a confrontation that, to be honest, came as something of a relief to some of us. Better the time bomb go off than hold us in suspense forever.

Romanov held her own, with of course the support of her loyal "are-they-or-aren't-they" dog. I'm sure they'll be perfectly happy together in the future. Walker, on the other hand, stormed out. Both are rising seniors, so we only have so long to watch as this plays out. Of course the big question is, are molecules a match for money?

Speaking of matches, for the rest of us mere mortals the bonfire is tonight- I'm really more interested in seeing who dances with whom than dancing with someone myself. No doubt, I'll be there watching for you rascals to sneak off. I seem to remember that Romanov and Walker used to haunt the dance together. This is the first one since he's returned, and you know neither will be sitting out on round two of worldstar Orion. Let's set the tone to a dramatic summer, shall we?

xoxo,
The Breadbowl Staff




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Every year on the day before Summer classes begin, a bonfire is held. Now, thanks to a pyrokinetic staff member the bonfire is able to be massive, without much risk of it toppling over and harming students (usually). It is held a little ways off from the dorms on the beach by the lake, and the main bonfire is often surrounded by smaller firepits with different food options at each one. There is always, without exception, some form of alcohol and some form of drugs available, and the teachers tend to turn a blind eye to it. After all, many of the students have families too powerful to persecute them, and the school grants a good amount of freedom besides.

Music is played throughout the night, sometime alternating between speakers and student run bands if they request to perform. Dancing around the bonfire is common, and usually the bonfire is kicked off by a partner dance that by now all of the Yearlies have learned, even if they don't ask or get asked to dance. There has been drama started over the dance before, but it really just depends on how seriously one takes it- often times friends will dance together, after all. But everyone looks forward to Breadbowl posts afterwards about which dances meant something, who made what mistake, who snuck away with whom, etc. Nothing is kept secret for long at Orion.

It is already dark out, with a full moon above and bright stars, the nearest city being too far away to outshine the night sky. Later on fireworks will be set off, and sparklers are resting all over the place for the amusement of students.

It is now about ten or so minutes before the bonfire "officially" kicks off with the first dance, but most students have already arrived and are sitting about the fires. Predictably, some are already stumbling over their own tongues thanks to the weight alcohol puts on them. Thus, the best and brightest of their age group prove themselves to still be young after all.

"Let's set the tone to a dramatic summer, shall we?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell

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The day had turned to night on the campus of Laurel, something Lane was glad to see happen. She has spend her afternoon with Erin of course. The two had sat down and watched all of Lane's favorite 80s films. She had talked the whole way through, quoting as much as she could, until Erin had clicked the TV of, declaring it was time for the bon fire.

Now the 2 girls stand together, with Lane's clean and dry guitar of to the side for later. Lane is happy as can be again, holding a lighter, having a laughing fit, and trying to light Erins sparkler. She's dressed herself in a black and white patterned romper, something many students find childish, but Lane finds comfortable and easy to run around in. Many students have already made there way down to the lake, they sit drinking or stand conversing. There is a buzz of excitement hovering in the air that Lane takes note of. Everyone is smiling, for now... When the stick is finally lit, Lane quickly lights her own, the light flickers and sparks fly.

Sparklers are the best thing about summer. Next to the air conditioning...

She waves the stick around, giggling and careless. Lane's short hair flies with her spinning movement until the sparks desend down the stick. She pauses, holds it with the tips of her fingers. Lane brings the stick closer to her face and the glow warms her skin. When the flame goes out Lane tosses her stick into the bon fire and turns to Erin.

"Hey, what do you want to drink?" She asked searching the nearby tables for more sparklers. "They've got a bunch of diffent flavors of Seagrams! And the got Twisted Lemonade!" Lane exclaims. She had always enjoyed a good lemonade, and as she had grown up Lane had adopted Twisted Lemonade as her favorite alcholic drink. Lane hasn't though twice about drinking that night. She'd much rather prefer to be drunk the next time she saw Nina... or Aimee for that matter considering there history. Now that summer was here the two had a 50% higher change of running into each other. Although she did have to remind herself that she couldn't go to over board because she still had a song to play that night.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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Daniel does not particularly enjoy the bonfires, but never misses a year. There is some enjoyment to be had in watching fools become greater imbeciles under the influence of the night sky and alcohol. To some degree he admires the amount of freedom the faculty are willing to give when it comes to Summer festivities such as this one, but on the other hand fears they merely reveal the truth of the institution: even those considered impossibly gifted, impossibly bright, or impossibly important, can make asses of themselves without little thought in regards to it.

Still, he is more inclined to get in just a bit more reading before leaving to attend the annual event, and for this reason arrives a bit late. It is the time he takes to press a ribbon into the page, to straighten his cuffs, to make sure the novel is placed in exactly the correct spot on his alphabetized shelf, which prevents him from being their to loom over Nina when she first arrives. These are the little details he regrets when he finally does arrive at the bonfire to see the flame hungrily licking the sky, mirroring the sudden cold fury in his eyes when he watches as Cameron, hardly worth his time and certainly not worth Nina's, wrenches her away from one of the duchesses. But he holds himself back- the queen must be given a chance to flex her muscles before a knight is justified in jumping in. Thus, he remains still, entire body tightened like a shadow waiting to expand and swallow the bonfire whole. His face is an unbreachable wall, but a single clench fist.

Cameron's arm springs forward. Daniel takes a quick step, still somewhat restrained.

Nina is forcefully pulled through the air. Daniel frowns. Cameron moves to finish his slur, and everything seems to go black.

Daniel is moving. His fist is hitting Cameron's nose. Cameron returns in kind, but Daniel seems unfazed, robotic. He has his arm around Cameron's throat, forcing him to the ground. Daniel may be a sleek darkness, but beneath his sleek exterior is a sort of carnal rage released in only these unique sorts of situations. The young man is already known to be feared for his ability to destroy with a handful of whispers in the right ear, but many do not realize the force he normally keeps locked and heavily guarded.

There are no teachers in sight. Cameron is only able to splutter, his ability to fight back weakened by a cocktail of air loss and alcohol. Many of the students started out cheering, but have since faded to grim silence, staring. Daniel does not notice them, instead seeing only Nina. He looks at her, waiting some indication that she is okay. It is the thumb of the emperor decideing a gladiator's fate. Whether Daniel would actually kill the man is difficult to say.

Without a doubt, there is dark rage in his eyes.

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A few minutes prior to the Influentials' ordeal, Keevan sits at one of the smaller fires, jesting with friends about who is the most likely to end up with whom at the end of the night. Some of his friends beside him discussing asking people to dance in just a little bit when a few fireworks are shot up to indicate the first dance. They toss in bets and comments about the bigger players among the Yearlies, guessing some things will remain the same: year long couples, close friends, etc, who tend to dance with one another every year. "Think there will be any surprises this year?" Louis, a boy with curly red hair and freckles asks Keevan. He is known among friends to have a wicked instinct for these sort of things.

"Huh? Oh. Well, you never know," his response is vague and distracted, more important things being at hand. Literally in hand is his cell phone, a message already typed out to be sent. He seems to be pondering his decision to write it, but does not do so for long. With a lopsided sort of smile, half amused and half strangely hopeful, in his optimistically manipulative kind of way, he finally presses send. By the time he does this, all hell seems to have broken loose at the bigger bonfire.

Naturally, Keevan must excuse himself from the group in order to rush over and sneak a peak of what's going down around the bonfire dominated at least half by Influentials. They also manage to find the best spots long before the night begins, and save all of them such that every Influential has a choice seat. Luckily, most everyone else is content to sit around one of the smaller bonfires for the majority of the night.

Even Keevan cannot help but be shocked at the dark shadow that is Daniel Ahn as the young man darts forward to intervene in a situation clearly going south. The fact that no one else had acted by now is nearly sickening but unsurprising, given Nina's thumbtack reputation. Even Rebecca is off to the side, perhaps still somewhat surprised by the sudden cutting into her dance. Keevan moves to grab her attention, and eventually is able to make eye contact. He gestures for her to check her cell phone, and grins.

To: Rebecca
Ask me to dance with you during the bonfire dance. Take your mind off of the Influentials- and what you say behind their back.


Undeniable their is a tinge of blackmail in the text, though Keevan writes it off as being more of a friendly encouragement. How else would he ever get Rebecca to dance with him, after all? He may be an asshole, but he's one with some sort of affection, it seems. Not that she'd ever be clued in on that.

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Erin is smiling, beaming really, and at least half of this is because Lane is smiling again. It is so heartbreaking to see Lane upset that when she becomes happy again, it sends her best friend over the moon. Erin would bend over backwards for her friend, after all. For now, it is enough to laugh and attempt to keep her hand steady at the same time, no small feat, as Lane holds a lighter up to her sparkler and attempts to light it. These are the little things which make Erin forget about Nina and Sterling and all of that drama, and just want to look at stars and build beautiful machines. These are the nights she adores most of all, fire illuminated the sky, still overshadowed by the radiance of the people around her.

Side by side with Lane, she rushes to draw out shapes that disappear as quickly as she can imagine them. She draws until the sparkler reaches its end, a faithful tool breathing its last breath. And they are off to find the successors of these noble weapons now retired, searching out the nearest table for more sparklers. Impulsive, perhaps a bit stupid, and given renewed optimism by the light of the fire and the stars, Erin takes a twisted Lemonade and lifts it in toast with Lane.

"C'mon, Lane- be my date to the dance? Unless you have someone in mind?" Erin is leading her friend to the main bonfire, eyebrows waggling, goofy smile in full swing. "I can play cupid, if so," unfortunately the offer is rather useless, because Erin, thanks likely to the fact that she isn't always the best at reading people, isn't the greatest of wingwomen.

"And we need to find Carr-" finally, Erin fades to silence as she reaches the bonfire, realizing that nothing is being spoken above a whisper. She dances along the edge of the crowd trying to get a peak of what's going on, but instead can only hear- Nina's name, along with Daniel and Cameron. What now? Erin wonders, suddenly very much thirsty for a few more swigs of her drink.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Lane reaches into a nearby cooler and pulls a Twisted Lemonade out of the ice. She pops the top off and holds in up. Her glass clinks agains Erin's, Lane shouts.
"Cheers! Here's to summer, sparklers, air conditioning, senior year, and to us!" She pressed the glass to her lips, downing half the drink instantly. Lane promises herself that she will keep her limit to 3 drinks tonight, it was only smart thinking.

Soon enough Erin is dragging her along. They walk towards the main bonfire and Erin brings up the question of who Lane might like to dance with that night. In that moment, at almost perfect timing, Lane spots Aimee at rest on one of the metal benches. The two had not spoken in over 2 months and it made Lane so antsy thinking about it. She wanted to badly for Aimee to come to her and dance with her, and act as though they had no history together what so ever. But this was a fantasy, a mere scene played out in Lane's head and soon her attention was turned back to Erin.
"Uh nope! No one! I'm all yours! How's my hair?" She questions linking her arm around Erin's, they near the bonfire. "Oh and there's Anthony by the way... or Carr or whatever..." Lane points across the way to where Carr sits down next to Aimee on the bench. The two girls have approached the center bonfire though at the site of a large crowd forming.

Erin and Lane are not the tallest of the bunch at Laurel. Lane at a solid 5'3 and Erin, barely an inch taller. This makes it rather hard to see into the center at what it going on. Lane hears Nina's name being whispered and grabs Erin's hand instinctively. She does not want to face Nina with out Erin beside her ever again in her life.
"Erin lets just go by Carr..." Lane trails off disinterested in what ever may be the center of attention. Her current one track mind still thinking of Aimee.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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Anthony was never the most observant of people, but even he could tell something very strange was going on, by the expression on the boy's face, by the strange silence that hovered over them while Aimee and Lucas stared meaningfully at each other. Still confused, he felt Aimee's arm wrap around his, pulling his gaze to her as she spoke. The weak sound of her voice and her paleness surprised and concerne him, she, who before was cheerful and bright, now seemed shaken and... Scared? Anthony awkwardly looked at Lucas, offering him a confused, discrete smile, with the intention of being friendly or excusing himself and Aimee before walking along said girl to one of the metal benches placed close to the fire. He helped her sit down and carefully placed his arm around her shoulders, checking again on her odd expression. He felt like he was missing something, but honestly, this wasn't very unusual when he was around Aimee. Although he himself possessed powers that affected his own mind and that of the subject, he could never understand how she felt or how the power worked, so he could only assume that it was better to just go along and let her rest. "Aimee, Jesus. You look awful. What happened back there? Did you hurt yourself?"

As much as he wished to hold her quietly until she felt better, the peace was clearly disrupted sooner than anyone expected. Carr noticed the cheering and haunting silence before the actual fight. He stared at all the blood-thirsty, excited faces before his gaze landed on the dark figure of Daniel Ahn, his face calm and ethereal against the light produced by the flames, going at Cameron. A few steps away from him, Rebecca Sayre and Nina Romanov stood quietly, staring at the fight from the best seats in the house without any sign they meant to interfere in anyway. Anthony watched in awe, forgetting for a moment that Aimee rested under his arm. As Daniel held Cameron to the ground and tension increased all around, Carr spotted Erin and Lane, moving amongst the frozen crowd like a fish swimming through a still stream. Although a little bothered by Lane's presence - again, nothing personal, but Carr felt like there were already enough strangers around - he gestured widely while still holding on to Aimee in an attempt to catch they're attention which, strangely, wasn't focused on what appeared to be the event of the night. As they approached, he thirstily sipped at his drink, anxious and impatient.

"Erin, hey!" he shouted when they came closer, than lowered his voice to a kind of loud whisper "Did you see it? What's going on?" Staring back at Aimee, he felt a little guilty for not paying more attention, so he turned to her with a soft smile "You feeling any better, cookie?"





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Sitting on the soft grass, staring at the sky, Becky had been lost in thought. A few Influentials sat around her, chatting cheerfully and singing, even whispering into each other's ears, but when asked a question, she would simply nod and concur with a soft "sure". In her mind, she counted the stars, one by one, and gave them the names of people she had known. Nina was the brightest, biggest one, of course, although her favorite was reserved for her own name. That stare was surely the first one people would look at, always, but it was far away from all others. Around it, a large pitch black piece of sky. Maybe, she would overshine all other stars if they came any closer. A little to the left, there was a smaller one that looked like a hole poked through the sky. That was Daniel, stiff and distinguished, she thought with a smile. Still further away from all the stars than he was to star Nina. The seconds most bright, which was kind of irregular, her roommate Erin. And that pinkish flick of light in the corner was Keevan. It was different from all the stars, but you could only tell if you looked hard, cause it was so close to all of them.

She was staring at it when she felt Nina’s soft lips brush against her skin. ”Hey girl. I’ve been waiting for you for ages. Come here.” She got up gracefully and accompanied Nina’s sensual movements. She heard the commotion around them and felt the stares, but they were almost like a soft blow to her ear as she allowed her right hand to snake around Nina’s hip, caressing her skin with the tips of her fingers. Becky wasn’t one to ever feel sexuality attracted to anyone, really, but Nina’s voice sent a chill down her spine and made her stomach turn. She opened her mouth to say a few words but, before she could, Nina was suddenly yanked away. As Cameron held her instead, she had a sinking feeling in her chest and stood there a bit confused, but when his hand grabbed Nina’s wrist, her eyes widened and she took a step forward. This… This isn’t suppose to happen. Daniel should be here. Someone do something. Disgusting. God everyone’s looking let her go het thoughts were confusing and she felt a mixture of fear for Nina, shame for Cameron and pity for herself This… this is bad. In that exact moment, Daniel showed up she launched forward, holding Nina by the shoulders as Cameron was pushed away from her. ”Fucking asshole. Look at how pathetic he is. Gosh, so gross. her words were honest, to her eyes, no matter how she felt about Nina or Daniel, Cameron was a vermin and honestly, maybe he should die. It made her sick.

While she watched the fight, her eye caught Keevan on the other side of the circle that formed around the four of them. She stared at him blankly for a moment before realizing what he was signalizing. She wrapped only one arm to Nina’s, looking at her to make sure she wasn’t looking, and checked her phone discretely with her free hand. The text made her heart stop. She had completely forgotten about the dance, and was astonished by the fact Keevan - or anyone, for that matter - hadn’t. It should start in about five minutes and, as Becky did every year, she had secretly hoped to be invited to dance by someone completely new and exciting who would sweep her off her feet. Apparently, she had Keevan. Didn’t he realize how indiscrete this would be? How she simply couldn’t go ahead and ask him to dance, in the position they were in? But the message was clear. She had no choice. And honestly, it didn’t really seem… That bad. She kept her head down and lifted his eyes at him. A smile that was a mixture of sarcasm and tease crossed her lips, one that anyone would mistake for sadism upon watching Daniel wait for Nina’s orders. This was what Becky did. The face she wore should, at all times, fit all purposes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Aimee smiled gratefully at Anthony as he helped her sit down on the metal bench. She had tried not to show her weakness so much, but she knew Carr would have seen it immediately. That was just how they worked. She shook her head when he asked if she had hurt herself, "No, just a little bit of an overload." She had never been able to come up with any other word for the ordeal, since that was the most accurate. It literally was just several buckets of information coursing through her. She knew it would go away soon and she would recharge, but she also didn't like the fact that she was being like this surrounded by all of her schoolmates. It would have been different had her and Anthony been alone, but there was nothing she could really do about that. She closed her eyes and focused on centering herself, not choosing to process the fact that there was basically an altered version of herself on the campus. From what she could tell, however, he only could get bursts of thought instead of entire years like Aimee could. "Hey, do you know if--" she'd started to ask Carr, but was quickly interrupted by the approach of Erin and...Lane. Mustering up her strength which was slowly but surely returning to her, she nodded a greeting.

Her and Lane had completely avoided each other since the ominous night two months ago. In fact, this was the first time they had been this close since then. Aimee looked up at Lane worriedly. She was really not in the mental position to assess her feelings, and from the looks of Lane, the girl in front of her was thinking of her. Aimee had already...made contact...with Lane so there was nothing hidden between them. Of course, a lot had to have happened in the past two months that Aimee didn't know. If she weren't already reeling from the Lucas discovery, she might have thought about casually laying her hand on the other girl, just to get a read on her thoughts. Lane knew of her ability, so of course she would know what Aimee was trying to do. In the end, however, it was a moot point since it would be suicide for Aimee to try and use her power now.

Anthony addressed her again and she smiled, a bit of color returning to her face. "I'd probably be a lot better if you stopped addressing me on an empty stomach," she joked with him in her usual sarcastic manner. Hopefully that would instill some sign in him that she was okay.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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His fist connects against skin, Cameron incapable of putting up a decent fight for very long at all. When the man before him finally gives up on defense, allowing his arms to hang limp and his face to be used as an object, a punching bag. Any reasonable person would have stopped at that point, seeing that there was no struggle. Daniel is normally a very reasonable man, cold and rational, but this does not appear to be the normal Daniel. This is the Hyde to his Jekyl, the blurred vision and red hot feeling that he normally is able to smother until not even embers remain. Perhaps Sam had been the only one to ever know how incredibly deeply Daniel is capable of feeling. His emotions are so repressed that then why are finally released, it is the starved lion let out of it's cage, desperate and unrestrained. It is perhaps for the best that he plans never to fall in love, for the depth of such an emotion would likely rip him out from the inside until he is reduced to a terribly jealous, overbearing person who covets and monopolizes all time and attention. He may be tall, sleek, and elegant, but Daniel is in this way very much a desperate child.

A desperate child in the body of a young man with strong hands and fast reflexes is a dangerous thing indeed. People around him whisper, half frightened half amused, but Daniel is incapable of processing it. At this moment, he is not thinking in words, but in actions and movements. This classmate of his had crossed a dangerous line in threatening one of the few people Daniel cared for. It is a sin the young man cannot forgive. So he attempts to tear the feeling of Nina's skin out of Cameron's mouth, blacken his eyes until they cannot look so hungrily at his Queen. No one should be allowed to so much as eat scraps from her table without her say so, let alone mentally consume the girl herself. It is disgusting. Filthy.

The movement of emotion returns him back to the violence, forgetting briefly his waiting for Nina's words. Strangely enough, it is not her voice which pauses him next. No, rather than the tinted-glass tones of Nina's public voice, it is someone from the crowd. The voice is male, shouted in such a way which seems to convey someone accustomed to far lower volumes. This alone is interesting, though Daniel is only barely beginning to process more complex aspects to the people around him once more. Instead, the stand out is something which hits him with a slight delay. The words were spoken in Korean, his native tongue, standing out among the English he has become accustomed to. His head tilts up slightly, allowing his eyes to search the crowd for the voice. In this brief passage of time, Nina puts her hand around his still curled fist, putting a more definite end to the display.

Her hands are warm, unexpectedly. Usually they are cooler, though it is perhaps a mix of the flame near them and the situation which causes this. Her lips brush past his forehead, a familiar meeting of skin, and he understands the message better than anyone else here might. There is a strange sort of expression across his face, irritation at his own lack of control, contentment that Nina is alright. He needs only to breathe, and then relaxes, returning to his feet with Nina's hand firmly grasped in his own, fingers intertwined as he breathes and regains his flawless composure. Her hand is shaking in his, prompting him to tighten his grip.

The Queen needs to be steel before all else, but a knight can provide some support. It is a role which he takes great pride in, above all but the Royal herself. It is in this more normalized state that he is finally brought to meet eyes with the young man who had shouted to him in Korean- an introvert based on appearance. Nina speaks, while Daniel merely surveys the unfamiliar face. Behind them, the fireworks shoot into the air and explode, crackling brightly against the night sky. The crowd disperses to take part in the tradition, some finding partners while others go off to sit in groups or alone. Daniel glances sideways at Nina- the Queen must attend such ceremonies, after all. The center spot will likely be left for us- her, all the same, he muses, correcting his mistake. The spot is there for the head of the school, he just happens to be her companion- it could be any one of her choosing, after all. No one her is worthy, of course- not even myself.


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Erin hesitates briefly over the pause before Lane's response that she is perfectly free, but quickly dismisses it as her imagination. Little signs such as that may come across as blaring warning sign of something wrong to other people, but Erin is too quick to overlook them. This is perhaps because she herself is so inclined towards honesty, and is so blatant in her facial expressions, that she assumes others will be as well if they have something they want to tell her. Thus Erin is never the person to first discover secrets unless they are told to her- often she gets her information third hand, when it is known to most people and already slightly warped. It is a very good thing she does not hold a position requiring political skill, for she has zero.

Normally Lane tells her everything, making her all the more unsuspecting that her best friend is harboring any secrets or intense crushes that Erin doesn't know about. Why worry over something of that sort where there has been no precedent? Thus she grins and joins the linking of arms, not realizing that in reserving her friend as a dance party she is making all the more unlikely a much desired pairing. So much for a modern day cupid.

Another long drink of her twisted lemonade, and Erin looks over at Lane. The suggestion that they leave the situation and go to Carr and Aimee is incredibly reasonable. Still, as they walk over she can't help peeking back for glimpses of Nina's hair between people, of Daniel's hand in hers. Feeling sick, thanks in no part to the drink, Erin ducks her head slightly and follows with more focus. When they reach the pairing, she is smiling once more, recovered from the wave of discomfort. It is in no small part thanks to seeing Carr, whom she hasn't seen since the previous evening. And based on the smell and his loud whispering, the young man had been drinking. She grins and gives him a quick hug in greeting."Carr, my love. A fight, I guess? I don't know, not my business I guess," her expression gives away this untruth, her curiosity betraying her in a twist of her mouth. With slightly more force than necessary, she takes another drink. The world is gradually beginning to soften because of it, allowing her to think less. For this, Erin is grateful. She wants light and warmth from this evening, not discomfort or pain. Another drink. The world is softer still.

The fireworks in the air are a vision of color, flowers exploding into fantastical shapes, aided by a mix of powers and inventiveness. Their forms ought to be impossible, and normally this would frustrate Erin to some degree. Instead, she merely smiles at the sight, then looks to Lane. The music is beginning, heard over the chatter and booming pyrotechnic display.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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After offering Aimee a wide smile, showing how glad he was she could still be her normal, sarcastic self, he quickly finished his second drink and got up with the intention of getting her whatever food he could find and properly greeting Erin. However, as soon as he was off his chair, blue, red, green beautiful light bursted into the sky violently like ravenous dragons. Anthony’s smile became even broader and he let out a small sigh. He had always found fireworks absolutely magical, and watching them from the actual fire, instead of his dorm window, was even more fascinating than he could have ever thought. They filled his mind with happy, warm thoughts about home and his mother, and he suddenly felt a need to hold his few, loving friends. His arm wrapped around Erin’s and he turned to Lane, trying to get the words in his mind to come out properly.

“Actually, Lane, uhm ah… Would you… I wanted to dance a little, so… I mean, would you mind terribly grabbing something for… Aimee still doesn’t feel very well. I can come back in a second.” Carr felt like his tongue felt weird inside his mouth as he spoke, and just hoped desperately that Lane would somehow get the message out of his incoherent mumbling. Then, he looked at Erin like a small boy looks at a shiny new toy. “Can we dance? I’m kinda nervous, but I think it’ll be fun. Can we?”

He didn’t really wait for a confirmation and simply dragged Erin closer and closer to the fire, waving at the other two girls, until they stoop right in the concentration of couples swaying gently to the music. Carr awkwardly held Erin like he supposed people did when they danced and looked around, trying to mimic other people’s movements as they spun around them. He modestly sticked to basic steps, putting all his effort into not stepping in Erin’s feet. “So, tell me. Am I suppose to believe you, missy, of all people, isn’t the least bit curious about that fight? It was a really bad fight, I saw it. Daniel Ahn was about to bash that guy’s head in.” His voice had a mixture of fright and anxiety. He just knew that, even if Erin didn’t know a thing about it, she’d wanna find out.





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Becky looked around, almost as to ensure safe territory for her to approach Keevan. It didn’t take much for her, or anyone really, to notice Daniel’s meaningful gaze towards Nina as the crowd slowly disperses, and Rebecca smiles at the sight. There was a ironic humor about approaching her lips to the Queen’s right ear as Daniel would do as she whispered ”Your savior awaits, Your Highness.” She gave one last squeeze to the girl’s shoulder and walked away slowly, following both her so called friends with her eyes until they no longer seemed to notice her presence, distracted by one another. She finds Keevan again, and this time, she doesn’t smiles. He stands on the other side holding a grin to his lips, and she stares back with an eyebrow raised before walking in his direction, swaying her hips and adjusting a strand of hair, which partially covered her face, behind her right ear. Pausing one step away from him, she raised her hand in a rather snobbish gesture, offering him her hand as if she was gifting him with a precious, delicate diamond.

“Would you do yourself the honor of accompanying me to the dance, Mister Brennan?” She asked in a tone that was nothing but gentle. Once their hands touch, Becky tries to hold back a smile and keep her expression of debauchery. His hand was warm and there were calluses in his fingers. She had always pictured him with his laptop, typing furiously the lines that could destroy the finest of reputations within minutes, but sometimes actually forgot he was an actual writer, and a new image of Keevan, laying in bed with paper, pen, and a entire world of his own creation replaced the other one she had in mind. ”You really are like that one tiny pinkish star. Except you’re kind of crazy, or stupid. Did you really think me asking you to dance is the type of thing that wouldn’t end up in the Breadbowl?” She didn’t take her eyes off of him for one seconds while leading him determinedly further away from the fire, at the very darkest stop where people were still dancing. It was a bit cold, and with the short dress she wore, Becky could feel the summer breeze caress her skin, but at least it was harder to be seen away from the light. At that moment, the fireworks went off above them, causing Rebecca to look up. How beautiful she thought, as a thousand colors filled her eyes and how useless. I’ll never be like that. Then, after the loud cracking sounds ceased, she noticed the music also sounded softer and more clear without all the talking, so they could easily understand each other.

”You intrigue me, sugar. I hope you really are expecting to take my mind off things, because I haven’t seen Nina all day, so I’ve got nothing.” She spoke a bit harshly while sliding both her hands along Keevan’s shoulders until she reached the base of his nape. It was hard to tell if she was mad or content about his attitude, but truth is even she was torn between wanting to please the man who held all secrets that could destroy her in one hand and actually being concerned by being seen with him. She knew, however, it was better to be gentle while with him. Honestly, it was easier too.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Lane and Erin walk in step down to the bench where Aimee and Carr sit quietly. The closer they get the more Lane starts to realize she doesn't have anything planned out for what she will say to Aimee, her heart beat quickens and she makes a second worths of eye contact with the girl sitting before her. The two don't speak right away upon seeing each other. Instead they exchange awkward looks and Aimee seems to avoid looking at both girls.

Erin instantly engages in conversation with Carr, unaware of the tension between the other girls. She'd never been to keen on picking up signals and for that Lane was grateful. Lane never quite understood what Erin saw in Carr. To Lane he was young and stand-of-ish, usually very quiet. He had powers though, which she knew only a bit about from Erin's mentions. Carr and Lane were extremely mutual to each other, and only exchanged words when Erin was there as well, similar to this moment now. Carr stands up, he turns to Lane trying to explain he wants to dance with Erin. Each sentence he spouts it cut off by the next and he mumbles his words. Lane opens her mouth to protest but nothing comes out. With that Carr whisks Erin away leaving before anything else can be said and Aimee and Lane are left alone. She probably would have been more upset Carr stole her date if it hadn't been that Aimee was the one she was left with. All Lane's attention it turned to Aimee now.

"Hi." Lane spoke letting out her breath, which she didn't realize she'd been holding quite a while. She sits down on the bench next to Aimee, keeping about a foot and a halves distance. "How are you? I mean like tonight....not about us.... Are you hungry? What do you need? We don't have to talk about anything if you don't want too..." Lane pauses and presses her hands again her thighs. "I want too..." She adds quietly looking into Aimee's soft green eyes. Lane bites her lip during the silence that follows. Her heart pounds in her chest wondering how long it will take for Aimee and her to at least be friends again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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Anthony is definitely tipsy at the very least. Erin had seen that he had a drink in his hand, and had guessed he might be buzzed, but the clumsiness of his tongue and a slight unevenness of foot when he stood to greet her makes it clear that her supposings were well-founded. Perhaps he felt it necessary in order to get through the night- Erin is pleasantly surprised he had elected to come at all, given how he rejected her urgings last year and the year before. So long as she is there to make sure he doesn't do anything too stupid -the irony of this thought lost on her warmed mind- Carr deserves a night of letting loose. So when he wraps his arm around hers and asks Lane if he can dance with Erin, the young woman easily joins in with an apologetic smile and a returned wrapping her arm around Anthony's, such that they are now linked. This close now, she can smell the alcohol on his breath. She is rather certain that he will be a warm fuzzy sort of drunk.

Erin finds Anthony adorable, in the way that she finds most of her friends to be absolutely delightful. The bashfulness as he asks to dance with her only adds to this. Her face lights up, matching the fire for luminescence with her beam. "It would be my very greatest honor," she responds, the last part of the sentence breaking with laughter as she follows Anthony towards the bonfire. She turns back and waves at Lane, mouthing a promise to dance with her later. Naturally, the girl is completely oblivious to the rather awkward situation she and Carr have left behind them.

His steps are careful, somewhat endearingly so, though Erin can't really criticize them- she herself is not exactly a graceful gazelle. Certainly, the girl has nimble hands, but her best dancing is that which is random, goofy, and certainly not meant to be taken seriously or mistaken as an attempt at elegance. Nina had always been the graceful one, while Erin jokingly twirled and spent hours trying to master the moonwalk. She is happy to just sway with her friend, making goofy faces and resisting the urge to bump into other couples like a bumper car.

"So, tell me. Am I suppose to believe you, missy, of all people, isn’t the least bit curious about that fight? It was a really bad fight, I saw it. Daniel Ahn was about to bash that guy’s head in." She ignores the question at first, leading Carr into a spin as the lead usually does the follow. It gives her time to assemble any proper response on the matter. That being said, factory made responses have never been the young woman's specialty. She makes the prototype, flawed and personal. Erin is easily hurt not because she is overly sensitive, but because she is easily taken hold of.

"Why should I care what Daniel and Nin- what Daniel and his kind are doing? Probably tormenting some poor innocent chap for scuffing his Prada shoes or something," She is beginning to become dizzy, despite the fact that they haven't really spun at all. Maybe it isn't the dancing doing it- the girl can normally twirl for days without getting sick. Her feigned apathy is transparent, almost pathetically so.

"Anyway, have anyone cute you want to talk to tonight? Now that you have the liquid confidence and an expert wingman?" It seems Erin has taken it into her mind tonight, probably due in some part to her drink, to help at least one friend have a summer romance. Too many 80s movies today might also have a portion of the blame.

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Keevan struggles to keep his expression neutral as Rebecca nears him. This would be incredibly dangerous territory for anyone less gifted at keeping up a farce than the novelist himself. After all, to a writer the truth is more easily stated between lines. And she is not close enough to read the truths between the way his eyes crinkle when he grins. She won't be for a while- not according to his estimations, anyway. Still, when she offers him her hand, every bit a duchess, and offers him the honor of it, the young man cannot help but to let a peek of a smile out of the corner of his mouth. He takes it, and in play with the bit, brushes his lips past her knuckles, every bit the gentleman with his arm crossed over his torso accordingly. "Oh, the honor is all yours, good madam," he murmurs, before looking up at her and winking.

He hardly even minds as she leads him away from the light, to dance in some shady secluded corner. In fact, the gutsiness of it amuses him, though perhaps the fact that stealing away to a shadowed area is more scandalous than dancing in a lit one is lost on her. He's not certain what she's speaking on, in regards to stars and whatnot, but does not move his eyes from hers throughout the conversation. When she has paused once more, he laughs, "And you and I running off to a nice dark corner isn't? My my, miss Sayre, this goes beyond my modest hope of dancing with you," he says this jokingly, of course, but still is intensely aware of the warmth in her hands as she wraps them around his neck for the dance.

He doesn't know how much of what she does is for fear of him releasing her secrets, but suspects it is all of it. The young woman apparently has very little indication that she holds far more sway over him than he, with all of his secrets, does over her. Perhaps it is best that way- should she realize, she might not stand so close to him. It is through his manipulation and deception that he may stand here with her, after all. Perhaps she will not dance with him in the light, but all things considered it is most appropriate for them to remain obscured by the dark. It suits their relationship painfully well, a parallel not lost on a boy who has made his name in language and literature.

He does not make any movements towards her, content to banter and sway in the shadows, to be a chore she must get done in order to keep everything running smoothly.

What a sad little writer.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Aimee tried to point a panicked look at Anthony, but he was already engrossed with Erin and dancing. Which, under any other circumstance, would have been really nice. Aimee always wants Carr to really get out there, and maybe with a little help from the booze now he can. Sighing, she looked at Lane, who was seated next to her. They hadn't been this close since, well, since they were this close, and her heart had immediately started to beat rapid time. Her mental guard was down, and since Lane was so close Aimee could almost feel something from her. Aimee had honestly shoved every ounce of thought about Lane to the very back of her memory and had yet to deal with it. But now, with Lane sitting in front of her, all of it was coming back.

There is no way to really think about this without sounding completely homophobic...she thought sadly. She wished Tyler were here. As much as she hated her older brother's constant vigilance, his secure presence often made her feel a lot more comfortable. It took her a minute to realize that Lane had asked her something. "No, I'm...I'm not hungry..." She said lamely. Figures in the moment she needed it most her sarcasm failed her and all she could muster was awkwardness. "What do you...want?" Aimee asked, cursing herself inwardly.

Looking at Lane, all of the memories she had tried to push away just kept coming forward. But she wasn't...she wasn't really into her, was she? Booze and sexuality crises do not mix, she groaned to herself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Christine Garner Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway

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XXX
XXX
      XXX
      XXX"If I may have the honor, Miss Romanov?" Daniel asks. He keeps his distance despite being pressed against Nina's body. Somehow he manages to disregard the proximity and seem like he's poised in the other room, layers of mortar and brick wedged between them. It frustrates Nina in a way it hasn't before. Or perhaps it has always aggravated her.
      XXXNever has a man been so immune to her charms. It doesn't make sense. She'd wondered for a time if he might be gay, although it was always out of curiosity rather than for her own peace of mind. She'd never seen him in that way. She'd never seen anyone that way. Not since... Not since that night.
      XXXWhy would he want you? the voice hisses.
      XXXHer hand tightens involuntarily against Daniel's shoulder. She flinches at the way he seems to retreat from her advances - albeit subtlety - and his deadpan expression no matter how erotically she moves to the music. She feels the eyes on them, on her, roving along the curves and lines of her body like hungry vultures. Still Daniel looks at her as he might a necklace or a watch.
      XXXNina lifts her chin and stares at Daniel head on. She studies the dark brown of his eyes and something in them riles in her a fierce determination. Shut up, she tells the voice mocking her. The corners of her lips lift in a smile and her lashes drop in a deceptively timid gesture.
      XXX"Daniel," she murmurs against his neck. His name rolls from her tongue like smoke from a cigarette, heady with something rich but wispy in the way smoke is. Untouchable. Fleeting. Hidden beneath her normally minty breath - from an excessively obsessive grooming routine - is the muted warmth of alcohol, the musty hint of smoke and the sharp tang of something that is difficult to place, though certainly illegal.
      XXXHer fingers trail along the curve of Daniel's ear to follow the hard line of his jaw. They're manicured and painted a deep maroon. "For the bodies I have buried them in," she'd told Daniel once.
      XXXHer pupils are dilated as she looks into Daniel's eyes. They chase away the pale aqua of her irises. They are a shade so light, they almost seem colourless. In contrast, Daniel's are so dark, they could be black. Instead of being windows to his soul, they reflect only the person who sees into them. Always turning his enemies against themselves. It's a gift Nina appreciates when he's the General of her army. Not so much when what she needs is a friend a confidant.
      XXX"Daniel," she whispers, a tinge of desperation in the faint Russian lilt of her voice. As if saying his name again and again might make the man himself easier to understand. Her lips are inches from his. "See me."
      XXXThe whirl of a familiar blonde head jerks Nina's head. She stares at Erin's twirling form as a boy with light, messy hair spins her around. Anthony Carraway. 16. Powerful. The information comes to her mind automatically and already her mind whirls with plots and plans to destroy, destroy, destroy.
      XXXShe kept the Queen at bay for all of two minutes.
      XXXNina clenches her teeth and forces her gaze away from Erin. But in the other direction, she sees Sterling. His lips are pressed to a girl's shoulder. Christine Garner. 16. Powerful. One of his own kind. A strand of platinum blonde hair falls into his eyes in a way she used to love. The world swims. Tilts. She wrenches her eyes away, fuming, shaking, eyes wild and throat dry. Desperate for the burn of alcohol and the sting of a rolled joint. But most of all, her skin itches. Tingles. She buries her nails in her palms.
      XXXSomething else. Anything else.
      XXX"He knew my name," she says, her voice cold and devoid of inflection. She jerks her head in the direction of the way they left. "The boy who spoke Korean." She doesn't mention that he also spoke Russian. She only looks over Daniel's shoulder, not meeting his gaze. "Suppose it isn't unusual." Nina smiles, but it doesn't reach her eyes. "Should I be flattered?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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#, as written by Saerith
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As Erin spins him around, Carr laughs and his laugh drags, more high pitched than his usual timid chuckle. He hadn’t drank so much, but also wasn’t very used to the effects of alcohol, so while he could still - kind of - lead Erin in a modest dance, his feet actually felt quite heavy and lowering his head in Erin’s direction actually felt a lot easier than lifting it to look ahead. But most of all, he felt calmer. He couldn’t place what had changed, but his nervousness and anxiety had almost completely vanished, so know he was nothing but contempt to spin around with his friend.

Erin wasn’t a good liar, never had been. Having her face so close to his, and knowing her like he did, it didn’t take a seconds for Anthony to realize, once more, the girl was hiding something from him. Maybe she actually had no idea what happened, but certainly the thought disturbed her more than she let it show. Then again, Anthony could not be the smartest guy around, but even he could tell it wouldn’t do any good to keep pushing her to say something. He smiled brightly “Yeah, you’re right. Forget it.” It would be better, he decided, to just get her mind off of it, and if she felt like it, she would say something whenever. Hearing her seconds question, his smile diminished into one of discomfort and his cheeks blushed slightly, a barely noticeable shade darker than the one alcohol had painted them. “Nah, not really. Plus, I don’t think there’s enough liquid confidence that’ll get me talking to these people. Teenagers are scary, Erin” He said quite seriously, before pouting, and laughing once again while jokingly spinning Erin multiple times. Becoming a bit dizzy himself, he proceeded to hold on to Erin a little closer in something that resembled a really uncomfortable, swaying, clumsy hug. “You're not. You're small and… silly.”

However, the question resounded quietly in his head, as if Erin had said it in song. His gaze, lingering behind Erin’s head, examined some couples whose forehead’s touched as they embraced each other, accompanying the soft music. Some laughed and some stared lovingly into each other’s eyes. It made him happy to look at them, and how close they seemed to each other, but he couldn’t help but wonder how that must feel. He wondered if Erin or Aimee knew, and if it was in anyway possible to explain. He thought, and somehow hoped, it wasn’t. The couple who attracted most attention, and therefore Anthony’s as well, was Daniel Ahn and Nina Romanov, who after the enormous scene, now seemed to mind nothing, to be surrounded by tranquility and indifference.

Than, suddenly, a pair of blue, almost transparent eyes catch his own. Almost instantly Anthony shifts his gaze, directing it at the fire. It felt as if her gaze could physically harm him, pierce through him, shred him to pieces. No, that was not it. Frostbite. That’s what it felt like. His breathing turned faster as he struggled to not look again and check if Nina still had his gaze on him. There was nothing he wanted more than to actually run and hide at that instant. Of all people he could have attracted attention from, this was the worse possible option imaginable. He looked at Erin’s face again in an attempt to distract his thoughts. “You… How about you? You shouldn’t waste your good looks on me and Lane, you know?”





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At his question, she can’t help but smile a bit. Perhaps he was right and this was more risky than actually dancing in the light, but if she would be the one to have to catch the curious glares and hear the intrigued whispers the next day, she wanted the words whispered to be, at the very least, enticing. They could call her all the profanities they thought suited, but she wouldn’t let herself be called uninteresting for once, that’s for sure. And anyway, they had left right when everyone was way to distracted by Nina’s scandal. Being out of the spotlight, losing it to Nina, she must admit, did have it’s advantages. “Well” She laughed close to his ear, letting her sweet breath reach his skin. “If there are going to be rumors about us, let them be juicy, right?”

This type of rumor wasn’t one that Becky minded at all. She had no reason to. She had always cared a lot about what her people had to say about her looks, about her future and her family. About they’re money or they’re business. This were all things she had masterfully made sure she had under control and could very easily convince otherwise whoever criticized them. But in the sexual reputation department, as long as there wasn’t gossip that could affect her position as part of Laurel’s royalty, there were no concerns. Rebecca was a virgin, and had absolutely no intention of changing this for a long time, not before she could find her prince charming. She distanced herself a little from Keevan and examined him discretely. And this she thought is definitely not it.

From there, she gently let her head rest on his shoulder. If this was something she had to do, at least she could get some rest out of it. He felt warm and the slow swaying and gentle darkness made her eyelids heavy and her breath, calmer. Her mind was fixated on the fight a few minutes before. The harsh movement Cameron had made in Nina’s direction and Daniel’s strength seemed like an odd fantasy, everything had went down so fast, and it was such an improbable situation that she had a hard time wrapping her mind around it. And although she didn’t exactly feel bad for Nina - she had a feeling this would soon be forgotten and never talked about again within her circle - this was probably the first time she had not been jealous of all the attention Nina received. The way that guy touched her, her lips in her neck… It made her sick in every way. But Daniel had been rather sweet, she thought, with a sleepy smile forming over her pinkish, sparkling lips. Lifting her head from where it rested for just one moment, she looked into Keevan’s eyes, but really seemed to look thought him, at something far more distant.

“Cameron Hillcock is a disgusting brat. Whatever you wright tonight, remember that.” By making her voice a bit more severe than it usually were, although not completely serious, her intention was to leave clear her feeling was not that of sympathy, but of repulse.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Aimee waited for Lane to answer her, wishing that she had said anything but that. What do you want? Really, Aimee? You couldn't do anything better than that? She sighed, also wishing for the night to end. What was the point of sitting there awkwardly? It wasn't like Lane was making the situation any better. It was mean for her to think that, since it was mainly Aimee's fault that there was any awkwardness at all, but she had a miraculous ability to place blame on anyone but herself. Taking responsibility was never her strong suit. She looked around for Carr, slightly miffed that he was having a great time dancing with Erin, when she corrected herself. Stop sulking, grow up, she thought.

"Uhm...dance? I..." she trailed off. The buzz had warn off, meaning there wasn't nearly enough in her to cause her to make a fool of herself like dancing surely would. Aimee was too heavy in the steps and wiggly in the shoulders to make anything impressive of dancing. You know, I'm actually not...feeling too well...I'm just gonna...tell Anthony I'll catch up with him later, okay?" She said lamely. She stood, glad when the trees didn't blur around her, and started walking away. She stopped mid-step and half turned back to Lane, tucking her hair behind her ear. "I'm...I'm sorry, Lane..." For what, well, that was up to interpretation. Aimee didn't really know herself, whether it be leaving her that morning, ignoring her, or just for leaving her again now. She just knew it needed to be said.

Walking away from the party, she headed towards the summer dorms. No one would be around, almost everyone was at the bonfire, so it was eerily quiet. She thought about all of her interactions from the night. Anthony, Lane, Lucas...now there was a troubling thought. She had literally reeled from everything she learned about him tonight. Of course, she would never do anything with that information, but it was still boggling to think about. And just to touch on the real kicker, he could read minds. He didn't get life stories, but he got a decent amount. And he didn't have a wall like her. He couldn't block it out. She thought about it as she walked, and decided to try something. Hey, Lucas, can you hear me? she thought, and immediately felt like an idiot. So you think in the mass of thoughts on campus he'd pick your head out of everyone? Right... she sighed, entering the summer dorm and curling up on the couch. Tonight was definitely not what she was expecting.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Holden Cunningham Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Christine Garner Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Throughout the dance, the Queen continues to press herself against the knight, a sort of chess in which pieces are clung to rather than taken. Daniel has always been rather good at chess, with his unending patience and levelheaded intelligence. It is a matter of strategy, of foresight, of never taking too long or too short of a time to play just a little glimmer of one's hand. This dance is, to put it bluntly, nothing like any game of chess that Daniel has played before. His jaw tightens, his eyes shift slightly away, looking into Nina's eyes only when they are completely composed. To say that he is beginning to feel confused by her flirtation, escalating beyond the normal banter he so enjoys, is an an understatement. The normal back and forth has become so routine, so reflexive, that a divergence threatens to disturb his balance. Of course, this is Daniel, one must remembers, and no amount of vertigo will knock him off of his feet after the little mishap earlier. He has bound the doors will every tool in his arsenal, and checked the bolts twice simply for some peace of mind. Daniel takes Nina's new game as a test, and is determined not to fail it by becoming one of those idiots who surround the two. He is calm, collected, and apparently unfazed by the way her hips graze against his.

Her breath is against his neck. She plays a timid hand, Monroe in her innocent seduction. By no means a Kennedy, Daniel will not allow himself to be taken in. He will not fail this test, for he is above such things. How else could he properly be her right arm in all things? Besides, this feigned look of timidity is one which Daniel dismisses readily, it not corresponding with the Nina that he has come to be so devoted to. The new Sam. So he studies her shoulder, face now against his neck, and keeps his hands an appropriate distance above her hips. Daniel Ahn, after all, is every bit the gentleman, a knight whose battles are fought under the rules of court etiquette. Forward two, left one. He guides her around the light, reflected in her eyes as she now looks at him once more. There is a strange, unnerving desperation in the Queen's voice when she speaks. Daniel does not understand it. He is so clever, so insightful, and yet so painfully unobservant. Preset boundaries can be so difficult to break, and he has always been one to play within the rules.

"See me."

Only as you are, Nina, he thinks, the words cryptic in meaning even to the young man himself. Ironic, as he knows nowhere near as much about the depth of her mind as he believes. But at least Daniel is aware of something swimming leagues beneath the surface, occasionally sending ripples across the water like a fault line prepared to separate and consume all in its path. He is concerned of the day on which the earthquakes will begin, but is confident that he will be able to hold onto the cracks until his fingers are bloody from it. "I want to."

The meanings are tragically misconstrued between the Queen and her dog.

"Are the stars flattered when astronomers try to claim them with names? I should think not, Miss Romanov," he is now looking directly at her- while she looks beyond his shoulder. The two are incapable of looking at the same time, it should seem. Perhaps there lies part of the problem. The song ends. He takes her hand and bows languidly, lips brushing against her knuckles.

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Erin is glad for Carr's compliance in dropping the subject, knowing that he does it not out of lack of personal curiosity but in the interest of her comfort. Carr has sensitivity in bounds where Erin often seems to lack it completely, and it is for this reason that she depends so greatly on his friendship. Erin depends rather greatly on all of her friends, in fact, though she does manage some level of independence. She is too open to them, someone more cynical might say, too vulnerable to any secret blades hidden between their pages. Luckily, Erin refuses to listen to such cynicism, even when it has proven true in the past. She grins and twirls, deciding that the lightheadedness is entirely the good kind, and that any inclinations that it might be nausea or discomfort are pure rubbish. Right now, her desire is simply to dance and have fun with the friend before her, who so rarely comes out to things like this with her.

A friend who is apparently made uncomfortable by her prodding question. Perhaps it is partially the alcohol or proximity to the fire, but Carr's face flushes quickly upon her offer to help out as a wingwoman. The question was half in jest, but there is some thought that perhaps if he is willing to come to the bonfire and dance and laugh, he will be willing to take a step forward towards someone as well. More than anything, Erin would like for Carr to expand his horizons and befriend new people. She sincerely worries about him, as one would a younger brother, wondering how he will fare when separated from the people whom he has been around for the entirety of his life. She worries the same thing in regards to herself.

Distracted by the spins, Erin laughs and practically topples on top of him thanks to a mix of dizziness and alcohol. Having fun with Carr is far to easy, the young woman dreads being without him once she goes off to college. How will she succeed without her curly-haired and dimpled-cheeked teddy bear? Not very well, she fears. So she must enjoy his presence while she can. "Not you. You're small. . .and silly." Erin is struck by the impulse to trap Carr in a bear hug when he says this, but is prevented by the fact that he has already wrapped his arms around her in the sort of position that is reminiscent of a middle school dance. Erin smiles and nuzzles into his shoulder. With Carr, she is safe. No drama, no fear, no tension. He may seem to be the more anxious one, may seem to require more care, but much of the time it is in fact the reverse that is true. There is a brief lapse of silence, but Erin doesn't notice it. She is content in the arms of a friend.

As Carr does speak once more, the song comes to an end. "You… How about you? You shouldn’t waste your good looks on me and Lane, you know?" Erin frowns slightly at the thought that anything she does should be 'wasted' on Carr and Lane, two of her favorite people in the world. That they are willing to be around her is a gift. Still, the frown curves up in a smile of sorts.

"Oh, you know me. I only ever want to use people for their cuddling abilities," not entirely untrue, as Erin is known for her love of cuddling. Still, she has been one to enjoy a few flings, though nothing ever seems to last for one reason or another. "I'm starved. Let's grab a snack."


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The proximity of Becca's lips to his skin is not lost on Keevan as she laughs and encourages that rumors be interesting if they are going to exist. Of course, she is not immune to the tendency of rumors about the Influential girls to be somewhat more slanted in a sexual direction. As far as the other two groups are concerned, the members of the Influential are constantly messing around with each other, probably using protection made from silk and hand stitched in Italy. Keevan certainly knows this- as the master of whispers to the common people, there is not a rumor, true or false, that has not passed by his ear at least several times over. It is to him to determine which ones hold grains of truth within them. He doesn't know about Nina, but is rather certain that those spread about Becca's are false. If they were true, he would have noticed some sort of hints indicating it, her sneaking off with people, something.

Not to say that he is constantly watching her, of course. But Keevan would probably have noticed eventually.

She pulls away from his neck to study Keevan, briefly, making him feel squeamish and inferior under her scrutinizing gaze. It does not show, of course. He raises an eyebrow in response, a lazy sort of half smile across his frightfully pale face. "If you take a picture it'll last longer," he quips, disappointed with his own lack of originality. Perhaps she had been too distracted to respond, or too uninterested, for soon Becca's head is resting warm against his neck. The space between their bodies is lessening, and it is a good thing her eyes are closed because his neck is beginning to flush slightly. Even if they were open, hopefully the shadows would have hidden the visible reaction to her presence from view. He likes the feeling of her resting in the curve of his neck. It feels natural. Unfortunately, it is over too soon that she raises her head and speaks, with some severity, on the topic of the fight, which will naturally be in the Onion tomorrow morning.

"Even my saint-like heart is not so forgiving, Rebecca. He brings shame to me and all the other teenage dirtbags out there. Now, I believe my five minutes are up- you can return to your perch, love. I hope to see some more stories by the end of the night," he gives her hand a quick squeeze, but is the first to walk away.


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Time Skip- it is now 11pm, around an hour and a half after the first dance. Any faculty who may have been there to supervise have returned to their own homes in the nearby town or on campus, leaving the party to rage on. Collab posts are encouraged, and ideally we will have a mention of each character unless the writer states otherwise in the ooc. Thank you!