Laurel

Laurea, New York

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a part of Laurel, by Mac n Cheese.

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Mac n Cheese holds sovereignty over Laurea, New York, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
1,258 readers have been here.
2,977 readers have visited Laurel since Mac n Cheese created it.

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

influenced by the charlie bone series and the alphas series

Setting

Default Location for Laurus
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Minimap

Laurea, New York is a part of Laurel.

17 Characters Here

Aimee Hart [68] "I never do things the easy way."
Lane Blackwell [62] "Music completes me in a way that nothing else ever will."
Erin Hill [57] "Engineers turn dreams into reality. That's my magic."
Lucas Long [56] "It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane."-- Valis
Nina Nikolayevna Romanov [55] "A closed mouth gathers no foot."
Anthony Carraway [46] "I'd rather be loved than feared, actually."
Daniel Ahn [38] "If you have to use force to get what you want, you are a moron."
Sterling Walker [35] "There are many people I could bless with my presence, but I chose you."
Rebecca Sayre [26] "Money is such a funny thing, don't you think?"
Keevan Brennan [22] "Books are a uniquely portable magic."

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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: Lane Blackwell

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As of noon June 22nd 2015, Lane Blackwell was in a state of complete bliss.

In Lanes opinion the last month of her junior year had dragged on longer than any other month of her entire life. The moment students were given permission to begin moving to the summer dorms Lane was hauling her 3 jam packed suitcases out the door. She had unpacked everything she had rather quickly and then officially declared herself summer semester ready.

Right now Lane was sitting indian style on her bed, in her dorm, with a guitar in her lap. With one hand on the strings and the other rested across the bass she was working on piece to be preformed at the bonfire that night. Usually an upperclassman would take care of it but now she was the upperclassman and she had taken it upon herself perform something that would excite everyone for the summer. Lane glanced out the open window, a warm breeze rushing over her. A few students had begun their day by exercising, and some were reading in the lawn, but aside from that it seemed to be quiet out. Lane returned her focus to the strings of the guitar, she squinted at the page, yawning.

Last night Erin kept her down by the lake till around 12 ish. It was Erin's own little tradition to camp out, and enjoy one last fling with some of their non yearly friends while at the same time kick off the summer. Lane had been there up until the ghost and horror stories began, at which point she headed back to the safety of her room with a s'more in each hand. Having woken up early this morning due to her unbridled excitement for the bonfire tonight, she was now fairly tired. Lane grabbed a pencil off her desk and began making corrections on the sheet of music below her. The title across the top read 'Shut Up and Dance', a song Lane had been weary to choose but figured that since most people probably knew it, they'd be more likely to feel comfortable singing along. Lane stuck the pencil behind her ear, slowly strumming out the notes.

"We were victims of the night... a chemical.... physical kryptonite...." She sang along softly, concentrating more on the guitar. Regardless of how the song came out, Lane was prepared to have the best summer of her life and she was 100% positive nothing could ruin it.

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 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: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay

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Monday, June 22nd | Laurel Summer Academy
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Anna had awoke to the sun filtering through her curtains, her eyes flickering open and a small smile touching her lips. She wasn't all that sure what she was smiling about, for, back in England, the idea of school had accumulated feelings of dread and disdain, not curiosity and excitement. But from what she'd heard, Laurel wasn't really like any regular school, or at least not any school she'd had the displeasure of attending. For one thing, this school was private... which, apparently was a pretty big thing. Anna wasn't all that sure why, since private usually equaled a lot of posh, upper-class snobs...

But there was no need to make assumptions, right?

Shortly afterwards, Anna had gone off to find her mildly reluctant tour guide, Colin, eager to get something to eat, and as they sat opposite each other, -Anna chowing down on four pancakes laden with syrup, and Colin nibbling on a far more nutritious meal of fruit salad- Anna found her initial excitement wavering, as she drifted off into a daydream, recalling her arrival at 'home', after being in another country the good part of seventeen years. She hadn't been sure what to expect. Perhaps an awkward hug, an uncomfortable apology, a reluctant 'hello'... But she certainly hadn't expected the expressions of shock and horror that met her. The looks that met her softened after the first ten or so minutes, although she could still sense her step-mother's flickering gaze, and her father's nervous furrows.
When she'd asked Colin what the big deal was, she'd almost expected him to be all mysterious and evasive about it, but instead, he'd said with almost painful bluntness, "You look a lot like my brother. He died, so... Yeah." Naturally, Anna was perplexed, not to mention a little creeped out, but she'd managed to keep the fact at the back of her mind, for the most part.

Forcing it away once more, Anna finished the food on her plate, before leaning over the table and shooting Colin a wily grin, "So. I hear there was XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXa party... tomorrow? We're going, right?





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Monday, June 22nd | Laurel Summer Academy
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Colin wrinkled his nose slightly as Anna wolfed down her meal with unrefined vigor, pressing his fork into the cube of pineapple in how own bowl and popping it deftly into his mouth. As she ate, he watched her, almost relieved by the realization that came upon him as he did, Nothing like Julian.

He'd been just as shocked as his mother when Anna showed up with an appearance so similar to his ill-fated half-brother, but he'd also recovered from such a lot faster, although it still resurfaced painful memories for the first couple of days that Anna was in their company. But her mannerisms and behavior naturally twisted his views on her into a more positive light, and both he and his family stopped seeing Anne as some creepy reincarnation, and as a sister who simply happens to look alike to someone else.

When Anna mentioned the party, Colin's expression turned neutral, a hint of boredom glazing eyes, and he replied with obvious disinterest, "You can, but I'm not going." Of course, he knew better than to think that Anna would simply leave it at that, and looked to her to see that her expression had formed one of surprise, annoyance, and desperation, "What?! But you have to come with me!" "Actually, I don't." "But- but I don't know anyone!" "No, you won't" Colin agreed in a matter-of-fact tone. "I need to know someone there, or I'll just be the weird loner in the corner..." "That's usually my job, so I'm pretty sure my presence won't help either way. I'm not sure whether you've noticed, but I'm not exactly a socialite." "Aw, come on, Col! Please? It's just one party, and we don't have to stay there the whole time. It'll be fun." Colin sighed, meeting his half-sister's eyes with a defeated and exasperated gaze, ".... Fine. Anna's face broke into a grin, and she offered her hand for a high five, "Yeah!" Colin stared, and she hesitantly lowered her hand, "No? Next time, then." "Don't count on it."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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When Lucas first arrived at the gates of Laurel, looking at the stone architecture and almost castle-like spires that rose from its towers, his first thought was "I don't belong here". Glancing at the students walking around, most of them in nice clothes and some of them in full out three-piece suits, his second thought was "I definitely don't belong here."

Nonetheless, the school had accepted him due to his power, which meant he probably belonged there more than any other place. He still couldn't believe there was a place like this, actively seeking-- and apparently, allegedly containing people like him.
He had been loathe to merely write his power on his application, much less prove he had it in front of a panel of people as they had requested (felt embarrassingly like one of those con-artist magicians in the subway stations, "is this your card" and all); however, it got him room and board and tuition all free which was the whole point of this endeavor anyway (even if the panel couldn't seem to decide whether he was a 'Gifted' mind-reader or just a 'Talented' magician/cold-reader/bullshitter), so here he was.

He spent Sunday moving into his dorm room, which didn't take too long considering the only stuff he really owned was three cardboard boxes containing books, pants and underwear, and a shitton of hoodies, respectively--not counting the clothes on his back and shoes on his feet at that moment. He was extremely unhappy with the fact that he had a roommate for various reasons, but luckily he didn't see the guy at all that day and come nighttime their introductions were blessedly short before they headed to bed. Real impressions would wait for the morning.

Or they would've had Colin been around when Lucas woke up on Monday around 10am. He supposed Colin was off to see his half-sister, who had been on his thoughts a lot in the little time Lucas and he had interacted.

His stomach growled and he thought about breakfast, "which is free for me," he reminded himself in amazement. He headed over to the dining hall to grab himself a meal (pancakes, eggs, and a variety of meat-things).

As he ate he became aware of a certain topic on the students' minds and in their conversations: a bonfire dance party that night. His initial reaction was "hell if I'm going to that" but he reminded himself that this was a different school, with different people, and maybe that meant things wouldn't be so bad; maybe he'd even find a friend (he ignored the mental scoff he made at that thought). As long as he didn't fuck things up like the last time he went to a party and tried to fit in. And the time before that. And the time b...he'd have to think about this more.

He went back to the dorm room. Since the dorm floor had mostly cleared out by this point so there weren't many outside thoughts to distract him, he took the opportunity to go back to sleep.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell

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As the music she played on her guitar became more fluid and put together Lane decided that a lunch break sounded about right right now. She had gone down for breakfast extremely early that morning and could feel her stomach growling in need of more food. Pushing herself off her bed Lane stuck her guitar back in its case, zipped it up, and strung it over her shoulder. She shoved the sheet music in as well, figuring that maybe after lunch she could find a place outside to sit and practice. Lane quickly snatched her room key off the desk before heading out of her dorm. Dressed in some worn out jean shorts and a vintage Rolling Stones t-shirt of which the sleeves had been cut off, Lane made her way down the hallway, happy as can be. The air conditioning was blasting, something Lane took pride in when telling people about the school, …air conditioning in the summer is the best thing about Laurel…okay maybe not the best, but it’s high up there in my favorite things about summer… and as she neared the cafeteria, the mixed noises of silverware and chatter became more clear.

Lane headed straight for the food line upon entering the cafe. She was quick to grab a sandwich, water bottle, and apple, and make her way to the check out. At Laurel, there was mainly 2 separate ways to pay for a meal, depending on your circumstance. If your family had money then you were given a green card to which your family could add money on as needed. If your family had no money or you had no family then you were given an orange card to which the school would put a certain amount of credit on for you to use through out the year. Lane pulled out her orange card, handing it to the lunch lady.

“Thanks Janet, happy summer!” Lane smiled enthusiastically, waving as she walked away.

Lane sat down at one of the long narrow tables. She pulled her black guitar case off and say it down on the chair next to her. Lane was sitting alone, although she didn’t really mind. When she had been younger Lane had always felt awkward eating alone but right now it was all good. She pulled out her notepad and proceeded to scribble down some lyrics as she ate.

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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#, as written by Layla
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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: Aimee Hart

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Truth is, when his cellphone buzzed silently, Anthony was about to fall asleep again. Although his hands still moved the pencil around lazily, his eyelids started becoming just a bit too heavy, and going back to sleep felt like a great ideia. The discrete sound, however, made him lift his head rapidly, a bit stunned and confused. At first, he thought it would Erin, but the screen is his old phone showed Aimee’s name blinking. It didn’t much come as a surprise, however, it made him smile anyway. Not only was his stomach starting to rumble a bit, a text from Aimee was always badly received. They had been close friends for years, and honestly, it was sometimes hard to believe he had a friend such as her. She was two years older and had powers Carr considered amazing and fascinating, so for her to pay any attention at all to a guy like him was, in his eyes, an incredible strike of luck. When he hang out with her, he always felt like, somehow, he belonged, and this was something quite rare.

Where are you? I’ll come eet you and we can stuff our faces. he texted back. For a year now his cellphone couldn’t type the letter “m”, but he couldn’t really afford a new one.

As he waited for a reply, he quickly got dressed in light ripped blue jeans and a grey, light t-shirt. He was always so happy when summer came around, but he had to get out of the confort zone of his habitual plaid shirt and leather jacket. For a few minutes, he tried to fix his hair, but really it was no use, so he eventually allowed the blond strands to go whichever way they wanted - which was one in each possible direction. He grabbed his phone, not even checking if Aimee had answered before rushing through the door, eager to get something in his stomach, which, in Anthony’s case, seemed like a huge black hole; there was no limits known for what it can consume. However, as soon as he reached the common room, he knew there was no need for the text, Aimee was sitting on the couch right there, eyes closed, her lips moving ever so slightly to whistle a delicate melody. As soon as he saw her, she approached her very careful and silently, trying to get close unnoticed. A overly cheerful and nervous smile crossed his lips as he suddenly stretched both his arms, grabbing her by the shoulder swiftly.

“Good morning!” he yelled goofily, not actually expecting her to be surprised at all. ”Don't you look lovely this fine morning, Mee!” he continued jokingly.

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: Christine Garner

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She was rather happy to be returning to the halls of Laurel, especially since there was a sense of no one dying, yet anyway. She hated going back home after a semester ended because there was a death sense almost everywhere around her. Christine hated the ability that she has but feels like it was more of a curse placed upon her than anything else. She sighed softly while parking her vehicle and slowly getting out, staring upon the building of Laurel. "I'm home." She said with a smile while closing her car door and popping her trunk open with a simple click of a button. Christine grabbed her luggage then closed the trunk and went towards her door.

She had her room assignment and class schedule before school had started back. Her eyes glanced around trying to find the girl's dormitory but saw that guy's and girl's were sharing a hall. 'This should be fun.' She thought to herself while walking towards her room, turning the knob and pushing the door open, seeing three beds displayed there. With a slight eye roll, she picked the last and remaining bed, tossing her luggage on top of the bed. Christine knew that it was lunch time so she decided to prance her way towards the cafeteria, though bumping into some guy upon leaving her room. "Oh, sorry about that." She said softly with a nod of her head before walking off.

Christine had made to the cafeteria within a matter of minutes, seeing it filled up with some people she knew, which she offered smiles and waves to but the others she just heard of. She went through the line and just grabbed herself a salad then proceeded to walk towards a nearby table and sit alone. She was often deemed as the weird one because when she would sit down by herself to eat, her raven colored locks of hair naturally fell and covered one side of her face and she would never sit with her friends. With a sigh, she picked up her fork and played around with her salad, occasionally glancing up to see if anyone was going to come over and sit with her or not.

Characters Present

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(apologize for the lack of finesse, my computer is out of commission)

Aimee felt Anthony approach more than heard him. He had a natural gift at staying quiet when he didn't want to make any noise, but she could still sense him. She kept whistling, allowed him to shake her and she met his eyes with a kind smile. His face showed boy-ish enjoyment and it was something that brightened her day infinitively. "Stop calling me that, would you? You sound like you're talking to yourself," she teased. She was quite sarcastic all of the time, but when speaking to Anthony it was always said with an echo of kindness.The wind was blowing steadily, and she used her free hand to brush the loose strands of hair behind her ear. She'd always thought about cutting it, but Tyler would probably skin her.

Aimee looped her arm through Anthony's, walking towards the student cafeteria with a relaxing stride. It was easy to make physical contact with him, not only because her wall was up but also because she knew he trusted her enough that it didn't matter what she saw. He would have already told her about it, anyway. She trusted him just as much, almost to a fault. Besides Lane, Anthony was the only one who knew the truth about her family, and her current state of orphan-hood. It didn't define his image of her, and she cherished that greatly. "What did the creative mastermind grace us with this morning? Anything he's proud enough to put in the gallery?" Anthony rarely shared his work, even with her, but she was still intrigued by anyone with a creative talent since all was lost on her. You'd think that someone who could absorb all knowledge would have picked up the skill, but for some reason it didn't really work like that, much to her chagrin.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay

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Monday, June 22nd | Laurel Summer Academy
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As she finished her meal, Anna took to looking around the cafeteria, examining the people that were soon to becomes her friends. Or her enemies. Although the former was naturally the more preferable option. She noted the different tables with a raised eyebrow. "Wow. It's like Mean Girls. Colin's eyes rose, a confused knot between his brows, "What?" Anna shrugged, "Oh, you know," Before quoting the famous chick flick in a clichéd 'rich bitch' tone, "'You got your freshmen, ROTC guys, preps, J.V. jocks, Asian nerds, Cool Asians, Varsity...'." At Colin's blank expression, her voice trailed off, and her girlish tone was replaced with a dumbfounded one, "Seriously? You haven't seen...? I guess rom-coms aren't your thing." "Am I that transparent?" Anna sighed, shrugging off her step-brother's sarcasm before explaining, "What I mean is there's a different clique at every table. Only in this case it's..." She glanced around the cafeteria again, pointing a finger at each table, "Geeks. Musicians. Basket cases. Drowning-in-cash-ies..." Colin's tone was laden with snark, "Wow. You've got us sussed." Anna ignored the falseness of his tone, instead smiling with pride and stretching in an arrogant, aren't-I-great? manner. "I know."

She flickered her eyes over to wear one of the 'drowning-in-cash-ies' had approached one of the 'musicians', and a frown crossed her face as the former spilled water over the latter's notes, malice clearly intended. "Hey. What the hell? Did you see that?" Colin gazed slid to the scene, his expression saying little, "Oh. Nina Romanov strikes again." "'Romanov'? Like, as in 'Anastasia'?" Anna replied, her curious tone joking, "Yeah." Anna's expression froze, and she looked back to the girl in disbelief, "No! Seriously?" "Seriously." "Woah..." For a second, Anna was spellbound, but then she shook away her amazement, and her frown returned, "But still. What a bitch." "Mmhm." Once again, Colin's interest was waning, and Anna peered over at him once more, "So... who are these other guys?" Colin sighed, and pointed lazily to the students as he named them. "The girl by Nina, that's Lane Blackwell. She's a 'Gifted'. Musical. Pleasant, I suppose. " As he ran through the students in monotone, Anna tried her best to keep the names tucked away for future reference, although Colin's personal style of narration wasn't making it any easier. "And that... is Daniel Ahn." Anna followed his gesture, and allowed her eyes to fall on the slender figure standing not so far away from Nina. "... Try to avoid getting on his bad side." "Hm? Why?" "Because he's the type to make you regret it." Colin's tone had shifted to something Anne couldn't quite put her finger on, and as she glanced to Colin, his expression had darkened. "Did... you get on his 'bad side'?" Colin's trance shattered, and his gaze broke away from the darkly dressed individual. As though a spell had broken, he returned to his calm and blunt state, "Yeah. I guess I did." "How?" Colin sighed, although his dispel of breath seemed weary rather than annoyed, "He just... never liked me." His gaze flickered, as if he'd fallen into a daydream, and murmured as an afterthought, "He was friends with Julian." Anna was taken aback by this new information, as well as the change in mood, and bit her lip. "Oh." She fell silent for a moment, before 'ahem'-ing awkwardly, and rising from her seat. "Well, I'll keep that advice in mind." She smiled nervously in an attempt to break the tension, "Come on, let's go." Colin sat in his chair, and nodded slightly, "Fine." Anna waited for him to get up, looking around the room with a curiosity now dredged by concern.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay

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Mimi woke up late, as per usual, and stretched her dainty slender arms. Lazily, she climbed out of bed and leaned over to touch her toes. On the way up she released her large curls from the constraints of a ponytail. She was glad her roommates were gone because it gave her an excuse to walk around in her panties. She got along with her roommates but they had to get used to Mimi's antics.

After a nice shower she changed into a white flowing maxi dress that seemed to flow and move as she walked. The dress was semi sheer to she wore a skin tone strapless leotard under it. On her feet she wore white lace up sandals. Her hair flowed down her back almost to her butt completing the fairy look. Her face stayed fresh, only adding a bit of mascara to her giraffe like lashes, and lip balm to her naturally plump pink lips. Mimi didn't bother looking in the mirror because she never really worried about her personal experience. In fact, in most cases she went to fashion shows and picked things straight off the runway. Also brands who wanted to suck up to her dad sent her new releases.

Once she was done she headed to the cafeteria. As she walked she noticed peoples sort of parted the walkway. Many people whispered, a few brave souls dared to wave. She smiled and waved back. Mimi almost seemed like she was skipping or maybe even floating. She passed by a patch of rose bushes and plucked one. The thorn pricked her finger and a red bead of blood dripped down her finger and landed on her gown. She watched with fascination as the fabric absorbed it. With a pout and a sigh she tucked the tip of her bleeding finger into her mouth. The gardeners eyes widened with shock and lust and she cocked her head at him. " Can I have a rose? Maybe one that won't ruin my pretty dress? " She grinned, more at herself than at him. He nodded excitedly and plucked her one, which he de-thorned. She smiled and blew a kiss at him.

Now satisfied with her rose she continued walking until she wade it to the cafeteria. She frowned at the obvious separation of the social classes. She never understood why people bothered doing that. She spotted Collin and smiled brightly. Mimi had always had a bit of a crush on Collin. Most people found him cold and brash but she knew it as just a defense mechanism. Along with that, Collin was one of the few people who understood the pain of losing someone so close to them. She saw them getting up and realized everybody was probably leaving. She had woken up pretty late. " Are you leaving already? " She asked as she walked up to them. She didn't bother with the formalities of "hello's". " What time is it? " She leaned over and stole a leftover fruit from Colin's plate. Before she leaned up she sweetly kissed him on the corner of his mouth.

Standing up straight, she turned to the girl and cocked her head " Hello, I'm Mimi. Who are you?" She had a straight look but playfulness danced behind her eyes. Almost like she was teasing the world. Mimi already knew who she was and she knew about her and Collin, however she chose to pretend she didn't. It was more fun that way. " I got blood on my dress. I don't know how to get it out" She said with a frown. She offered no explanation because she felt no need to. " I might just leave it until I get changed for the party. "

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: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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#, as written by Saerith
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Talking to yourself? It took a second for Anthony to realize what she meant, but after he did he laughed sheepishly, more at himself than anything else. He was happy to take Aimee’s arm in his, but shrugged a little and turned his eyes to the floor, not because he was worried about her powers but because the touch of another person was quite unfamiliar. No matter how close they were and how much Carr trusted Aimee, he was still really timid, thought so much more open and relaxed around her. The commentary on his drawings only made him further concentrate his gaze on his feet, kicking the nothing in front of him as if it was a small rock, and blush very slightly. As his friend of many years, it was obvious Aimee should know Carr spent most of his time writing or drawing in his room, which were things he absolutely adored, but really wasn’t - or at least so he thought - very good at. “Nah, not really. Just some doodles. I was trying to…” he paused for a moment, uncertain of how to say it. “I was trying to draw the bonfire, but I haven’t gone to that since I was a kid. It’s tonight.”

He didn’t really know what he meant by that obvious statement, but of course if he did decide to go through with attending, he couldn’t go alone. Now that he thought about it, Erin would probably be going with Lane, so it was best if Aimee was there to stick with him. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Lane, really, but she was basically a stranger and… Anthony does not do well with strangers. At all.

As they entered the cafeteria, both him and Aimee came to a stop, observing the ongoing commotion. Although they did not make it in time for the actual spectacle, they walked in just as Lane left, passing by them like a bullet on her way out. Nina and Sterling, discussing mysteriously at the Influentials table, a tense aura of enmity and challenge hovering around the two. A shiver runs down the boy’s spine as he tenses up his arm, walking a little closer to Aimee, almost like she could shield him from some invisible evil. This were the only times he felt a certain kind of bitter happiness for being invisible. At least, this way they couldn’t hurt him like that.

“Poor Lane” his voice was almost a whisper, as if Nina, who he had been staring at for quite a while now, could hear his words. “I hope she isn’t hurt or anything."




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Becky feared mornings like some people fear illness, so whenever she could, she decided do skip them all together. During summer, breakfast wasn’t even an option in her eyes. As most people entered the cafeteria and checked the lunch menu, Becky lazily opened her eyeliner adorned eyes and stretched gracefully under the white covers of her bed. She had been awoken by the discrete, cheerful ding of her iphone, but she didn’t feel like checking on that right away. It didn’t take her too long to stand up, raising her arms high above her head with a peaceful sigh and head directly to the nearest mirror, which she did every morning. Her makeup from the previous day was still semi intact on her face, and she winced a bit before putting her hair back on a loose ponytail. She proceeded to calmly perform her daily ritual, which consisting of washing her face with expensive, imported soap, exfoliate lightly the skin, hydrate it, along with her lips and, at last, apply a thin layer of peachy gloss and brown mascara. Brushing her light gold strands of hair was the last step; she loved running her hands through it while she checked her appearance in the mirror. This was as close to perfection as she could get, and everything about her just seems to glow. Dresses in medium dusty rose heels, a high waisted black skirt and baby pink blouse that contoured her slender figure, she was the vision of a classic barbie doll, impossibly polished and baring a soft, bright beauty that contrasted with the strangely disconnected gleam in her eyes. After she had made sure everything was on place, she turned to her phone at last.

How’s Nina doing? Always a pleasure, love. Don’t forget to keep in touch this summer

Torn between amused and frustrated, she read the text again and again. Nina, Nina, Nina. It was always anyone wanted to know or talk about. Honestly, she was fond of Nina. She admired her charisma, talent and beauty, of course, as everyone did, and didn’t really disapprove much of her treatment of others, although she found her a little conceited. All in all, Rebecca probably liked Nina more than most people did. But this wasn’t personal. The thing is, anyone in Nina’s place would hold a bit of Rebecca’s annoyance. As a selected servant, Becky had no complains towards her Queen’s reign, except that she could do it so much better. It was common for Becky to just sit and imagine how much better off everyone would be if it was the other way around. Becky ruling, and everyone else, including Nina, obeying. With a deep sigh of deception - on everyone else, really - she read the text once more. Keevan amused her. Silly little man.

Not even a good morning, sugar? Stay tuned, bet you I’ll have something delicious by the end of the day.

Becky left the room. For whatever reason, she felt good today. She felt powerful.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay

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Monday, June 22nd | Laurel Summer Academy
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Colin mentally tried to shake the thick gloom that had begun to settle on his psyche, although even when he tried his hardest to act as per his usual, snarky self, he felt dappled by something grim. Perhaps thinking of Daniel just had that effect on him. No, actually it was more Daniel's friendship with Julian that he hated to be reminded of. The two had been close. Probably the closest thing Daniel had to a legitimate, healthy, platonic relationship. Daniel, with his dark grace, and his sharp expressions, had always made Colin feel wary. It didn't help that Daniel had never liked him. In fact, Daniel had rather strongly disliked him. Something about being Julian's sibling made Daniel opposed to him, be it out of jealousy or something else entirely, Colin hadn't a clue.

And it wasn't like he'd ever dare ask.

As he rose to pick up his plate, he saw Anna freeze slightly, before hearing a soft, "Shit. That's where I remember her from. "Hm? Who? Lane?" "Nina." "Oh? How?" "She's my bloody room mate." Colin's eyebrows rose, and although his mind fought with two emotions, the first being concern for his step-sister's welfare and the latter being amusement at her rotten luck, the latter wore out. "Well. Shall I call the undertaker now, or...?" "She smiled." Anna turned to him, her face contorted into a wince of dread, "I'm going to fucking die." "I don't suppose you have any funny stories, do you? I haven't known you all that long so your eulogy is going to be pretty emp-"

"Are you leaving already?" A bell-like voice interrupted him mid-taunt, and he glanced up. He didn't need to. He'd have recognised that voice, anywhere. "What time is it?" "Time to get a watch." Colin replied in distracted monotone, only for him to blink a couple of times as Mimi's lips pressed to the edge of his own. The brief moment of fluster was quickly smothered, and he turned to face the curly-haired girl. "Hello, I'm Mimi. Who are you?"Colin's eyes met Anna's, and with a heart-skipping moment, he noticed that she'd caught his second of weakness. However, she instead looked to Mimi, and smiled in her typically friendly manner. "Hi, I'm Anna. Colin's sister." "Step."Colin explained, shooting Anna a brief glance that she pretended not to notice. "I got blood on my dress. I don't know how to get it out. I might just leave it until I get changed for the party." "Why not?" Colin shrugged, before adding with a touch of sarcasm, "Gore is very 'in' this year."

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: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Aimee noticed by Anthony's sudden withdrawal that she had struck a nerve, which she should have known she would but instead she just plowed on with the question about his art. He kept looking at his feet and she instantly felt bad for asking him about it, knowing that he was insecure on the subject. "Hey, sorry kid, I didn't mean to cause anything. You know I love your stuff," she said fondly. Carr was very much like a younger brother to her, she loved him dearly, and she hated it when he got down.

As they approached the cafeteria, Aimee stiffened slightly as Lane ran out. "I wonder what happened...?" Aimee asked absently. While her and Lane weren't exactly on speaking terms, it was always difficult for her to see someone in trouble, especially someone with whom she'd shared such an intimacy with. Regardless of her and Lane's past, she really did hope that she was okay.

Changing the subject, she smiled at Anthony. "Well, let's fix that, shall we? Give you some inspiration? Come to the bonfire with me! It'll be fun!" She said, uncharacteristically exuberant. Not to say that she was usually morose, she just didn't exclaim all too often. It was more sarcasm and witty jokes with her. When she was excited, though, you could easily tell.

--bonfire time--

Aimee pulled Anthony by the arm with a laugh. They had hung out together all day, helping each other move the last of their things. It'd been a nice way to pass the time until tonight. The ominous bonfire. Aimee was incredibly excited, it meant a chance for her to let loose and finally have some fun. She'd been so bogged down lately with finishing school and dealing with her family drama that she hadn't had a chance to relax in quite awhile. She was desperate enough that she didn't even care if the alcohol numbed her mental wall. So what if she found out a few dark secrets about her classmates? It wasn't like she would remember them in the morning anyway. "Oh, come on, Anthony, speed up a little!" she laughed, still dragging him to where all of their classmates sat around the huge bonfire, drinks in their hands. She came to a sudden stop with a cheerful smile. "This, my friend, is the peak of your teenage years," she announced, making her way over to the drink table.

Pouring some beer, she gave a cup to Anthony. "You don't have to drink it if you don't want to, but I highly suggest you do. It'll make tonight go a whole lot easier on you," she said, downing hers easily. She was one of those people that got buzzed pretty fast without getting drunk, so she was pleased to feel it coming on steadily as she poured a second glass. Looking around at who was here, she saw a bunch of familiar faces, including that of Lucas Long, who was making his way over to the drink table as well. She pulled Anthony to the side so they wouldn't get in his way, and faced him so her back was to the table.

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: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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#, as written by piearty
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Lucas woke up around 5 pm feeling refreshed and happy in a way he hadn't felt in a long time. He got...what...7 hours of sleep last night and today combined? Hell, that was almost a normal amount of time! He couldn't remember the last time he slept more than 4. His mouth quirked into a vaguely confused smile (because rarely, if ever, were his smiles not unsure-looking) and he headed out to get a quick bite before the bonfire.

In the dining hall, there was a tenseness in the air, and on people's minds. He couldn't quite piece together what it was, because the event that people were thinking about seemed to have happened hours ago and they weren't thinking of it explicitly, but there was a subtle undercurrent of fear of some--he couldn't get a name--some princess in the school. Damn, there's royalty living here...? He decided it was probably euphemistic, because why would actual royalty be staying at a freaking high school over the summer, no matter how fancy the school? Despite that, he did wonder why people seemed to think of this person as a literal princess. Good old high school drama, I suppose...never get tired of that, he thought derisively.

Ugh, this bonfire..., he thought as he walked around campus, hearing the topic on most people's minds, will probably be full of that crap. Part of him insisted he'd be better off lying in his dorm room and avoiding the whole thing. Still, it'd be a chance to meet new people. Maybe fit in--ok, maybe not be so excluded. And if I just lay low, don't make any waves, don't drink, do not try to dance, (he remembered last time and shivered) everything should be a-ok...

-----Bonfire-----

When Lucas arrived at the bonfire-- fairly early because he had nothing else to do-- things were relatively calm. There was a thumping bass that he could feel in his bones and hear, distorted, through people's ears; otherwise there weren't many people dancing and more importantly, not much drama. He looked around and supposed the 'princess' had not arrived yet.

The acrid smell of smoke was sort of pleasant, but it still scratched his throat a bit so he headed over to the drinks table. Some girl, Aimee,--who was, wow, already buzzed, moved aside for him. As he looked over the drinks, his mouth twisted into a frown. They never have anything but alcohol at these damn parties. Isn't this a high school?! He grumbled and took a cup of just ice to bring back to the log he had been sitting at.

And then he tripped.

What he tripped on he couldn't be damned to say, and a more accurate description would've been that his legs just gave out on him as the body of a severely sleep-deprived person is wont to do, just buckled suddenly under the burden of fatigue, but he wasn't thinking of that at the moment. He wasn't really thinking of anything other than shit, not again,. His hand shot out in the darkness and instinctively grabbed the closest thing to him, which unfortunately was the buzzed girl's arm, and the momentum wrenched them both downwards until they hit the ground, him with a face full of dirt and her crumpled on top of him.

Shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit "Shit, I'm so sorry," he said, scrambling back to a sitting position. His face burned with shame. Shit. Fuck. Fuck! "I'm sorry, I-I just, I don't know what happened..."

You fucked up, that's what happened,
his inner voice helpfully explained. Every time you do something, you fuck up. Good job, Lucas. He squeezed his eyes shut to push down the tears pricking at his eyes, which he told himself were from the smoke, from the pain of the fall, and shook his head to try and silence the malicious voice in his head that was whispering, Good job. Good fucking job. He also tried to ignore the growing voices, outside thoughts, that were turning toward him, stares that were turning toward the scene. None of these things was especially working.

He hastily stood back up again, glancing alternately down at the girl and up at the guy she was talking to, who was, fuck, now splashed with the remains of her drink.

"Shit, I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry... he mumbled, and stuck out his hand to try and help up the girl.
So much for making friends, right?