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Bastiaan Vos

"Fame is the penalty of success"

0 · 1,064 views · located in Budapest, Hungary

a character in “Luna Brilla”, as played by Ivisbo




"Have you heard the story of Icarus, how he flew too close to the sun and fell? We should always be wary when inconceivable ideas are successful, those are the heights that you fall from the hardest"

Blue Moon- Beck | Going Nowhere- Elliot Smith | Shape of My Heart- Noah and the Whale | Nina- Ed Sheeran


Bastiaan Vos

Bass | An abbreviated nickname he is used to
Vos | Often his last name is used in business and formal interactions

32 | November 8th



Author | Dirt and Opulence by Bastiaan Vos, international best seller and winner of the 2015 Edgar Award.
Currently working on the sequel.

High and Dry Bestseller


French, English, Dutch, and German


Dark Brown

Chilly Light Blue

150 lbs

Bastiaan's most notable feature are his icy blue eyes. Cold and harsh when cast down upon you, the blue depths do little to make you feel welcome. His prominent cheek bones, straight nose, and angled jawline give him a very sharp and intense appearance. Hollowed and bright eyes are intriguing at first, but also create a void that make his gaze seem like a depthless gorge. Generally his eyes are vacant- as vacant as an open blue sky. Bastiaan's resting face reveals very little about his emotions- he carries all his thoughts in his posture and attitude.
Though not overly tall, Bastiaan stands at the same height as most of the crowd. He isn't muscular, though his body is lean and strong from general healthy lifestyle. Bastion has always held his head high and shoulders back, which makes him stand out as more refined then most.
It has always been his abnormally blue eyes that draw people in and also turn people away- though he can never anticipate who will be able to handle his gaze.


Cold // Honest // Intelligent // Calculating // Passionate // Artistic

ImageImageImageImageImageLIKES | LOVES
    | Coffee
    | Whiskey
    | Cigars and Cigarettes
    | Working in loud places
    | Reading, old classics specifically
    | Mythology
    | Traveling

    | Family
    | Overbearing fans
    | Tabloids and Paparazzi
    | Cameras
    | Being absolutely alone

Just like his eyes, Bastiaan is rigid like a frozen over sea. He seldom associates himself with other, prefers to keep to his own thoughts, and has a hard time faking a smile in the face of someone he cares little for. He is about as welcoming as the Arctic- seldom does he allow another person into his own heart or reciprocate feelings. Not even to his own loved ones, though he will show his admiration in other ways. Because despite his chilly exterior, Bastiaan is a true romantic at heart. He adores those he cares about and would go to great length for any of them, but he is shy with his affection and would rather anonymously save the day then have his name up in flashing lights. But when he cares, he cares and would do anything for you.

When others look at him, they see an intelligent person and looks down on the people around him, but actually he just never knows what to say in a crowd of people and has issues connecting one-on-one. Thats not to say Bastiaan isn't eloquent- he has release an internationally bestselling novel. No, Bastiaan is just terrible at human connection and struggles with it greatly. But that does not mean he shuts himself away from others- he actually hates to be alone in his room and usually chooses to work, read, think, and drink in public. He will stay out till the crack of dawn as long as he can find a bar thats open with inhabitants. He likes stories...he likes getting people to talk to him and reveal things. Its the writer in him that latches on to interesting characters and likes to dig deep- though he tends to offend people by wanting to know too much. Bastion hates to share things about himself, but he is more then willing to lie about his past in order to connect with someone. He knows how to make amazing characters, and despite his inability to communicate as himself, Bastiaan is a surprisingly good actor.

Bastion likes to drink, like most of the great writers before him. His addiction to whiskey and poor people skills have gotten him into more trouble then he can count- he also greatly dislikes tabloids and photographers, which tend to follow him where ever he goes after his recent book success. Usually writers can hind behind their work and stay out of the spotlight, but Bastiaans good looks and penchant for trouble has earn him an angry drunk face on the front of magazines more times then he can count. He grew up hard, so he knows how to fight. Although he will never admit it, Bastiaan does enjoy the thrill of beating the shit out of someone and winning...he even enjoys the thrill of getting decked in the face. He likes experiences- traveling, meeting people, drinking, getting the shit beat out of him, convincing woman that he's more loving then he is; playing the part of the characters that he loves to create.


Bastiaan was married once. Charlotte Vos, the girl that he fell in love with as a teenager. When he met her, he was a scrappy kid constant bruises and bloody lips- nothing compared to her. He was enamored by her beautiful blonde hair, light green eyes, freckles, skin, laugh....she was all the good things he could never find in himself. She enjoyed people and was absolutely amazing at getting others to love her. She wanted to be a nurse from the day he met her and he had no idea where he was going in life. Bastiaan never had much in the beginning- his parents were poor and lived in a shared family home with other down-and-out recovery addicts. He didn't get clean clothes, scrounged for food when his mother forgot to cook, and had to duck tape his shoes closed because he only ever owned a single pair. His father was a drunk and continued to loose job after job, never allowing the family to move out of the shit-hole they were stuck in. He beat Bastiaan and his mom, although never enough to break anything and only when he was drunk. He hated his parents as soon as he was old enough to realize that the life they lived and forced upon him was completely their own choice. So, he joined a gang early on- found family on the streets- and learned how to fight and sell and take care of himself in order to never rely on anyone ever again.

When he met Charlotte, he finally had someone that cared about him. She was sweet and amazing and proper- her family had a nice townhouse and welcomed him for dinner even when showed up with a black eye. She was the first person he showed his writing too- he kept a journal ever since he knew how to spell and had tons of full, shitty 1 euro notebooks hidden in a box in his room. He filled them full of everything- what happened that day, emotions, moments he witnesses on the street, characters he finds in the people around him, characters he creates himself- but never any concrete stories. Charlotte was the one that showed him he had a gift and helped him learn how to turn his scattered moments into concrete, heart wrenching literature. And he was good, really good. He excelled at writing class and earned the highest marks in the school- but everything else he barely pulled through. The only reason he was able to make it was because Charlotte would kick his ass if he didn't graduate with her.

When they graduated secondary school, Bastiaan left his life in the grit of Belgium to follow Charlotte to England for her nursing degree. She begged him to come and leave the shit hole of a life that would end up killing him to join her, even though it meant leaving behind his life to follow hers. She promised to support him if he wrote a novel, although he had no idea how to begin something of that magnitude. So they moved, found little studio flat, filled it with plants and books and shitty furniture- Charlotte bought him the tiniest desk and a typewriter, because "all the best writers use one". It was easy in the beginning- they are young and excited about their new life together. Bastion got a job bartending nights and wrote in his spare time, Charlotte attended school and waitressed on her time off.

It took Bastiaan almost five years to finish his manuscript. What the couple did not anticipate was how difficult it is to get a publisher to take on a book- especially form a no-name writer that insisted on writing about violence, sex, and the underbelly of the city. It took another three years and hundreds of meetings to find a publisher that would take the story and then another two years to actually finish editing and finishing the book.

He was 29 when 'Dirt & Opulence' came out and never expected the fame that would follow. It took less the three months for his face to be plastered over every book store in the UK- which quickly spread across Europe, Asia, and America. It was translated in over 20 languages and sold world wide, Bastiaan was forced to go on a publishing tour less then a year after it came out. The tour lasted six months- but Bastiaan and Charlotte it was a life time. They had never been apart since they met and this distance did little to make their hearts grow fonder. Maybe it was inevitable- young love seldom lasts through all of life changes, or maybe they would have survived in the book tour had been shorter. Because of her job and the shifting time zones, they had issues finding time to talk. Charlotte couldn't settle on a time to visit and nearly every phone call ended in some sort of fight. In the past she loved his calculating personality and the way he said everything so straight forward- but now she found him cold and unnerving. He also started drinking heavily on the tour, something that he had never done before because of his father. After one terrifyingly loud and drunk screaming match at the end of the tour, Charlotte stopped answering his calls.

So when Bastiaan returned home and found their flat empty- everything except the typewriter and desk- he should have been less surprised.

She filled for a divorce and he moved to Hollywood- all London did now was remind him of her and he needed a way to separate himself from that heartbreak. He moved into pristine white beach front apartment LA, drank heavily, got into fights, landed on the front cover of trash magazines for dating celebrities, avoided paparazzi, and basically lived out his fame in bitter anger and resentment. Bastiaan hate the attention he has received from the book- although he loves the fame the book has gotten. He wants to be remembered by the words he wrote and not the face he has, but the world is enamored on his appearance and actions like he is some sort of reality show. So, when he was asked to write the sequel by his publisher, he couldn't fucking do it. So they shipped him off to Budapest to allow the world to forget about him and hopefully get a book out of him as well.

Luna Brilla has allowed him a place to hideout, drink, and relax away from the public eye- though not much actual writing is happening, he has reverted back to his old form of journaling. He spends most of his time at the nearby bar, whiskey in hand and far off look in his eyes, occasionally interrogating a guest or employee for a good story when he gets drunk enough and they dare to get near enough.

So begins...

Bastiaan Vos's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Tati Laurido Character Portrait: Max Evans Character Portrait: Deacon Beauchene Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Ivisbo

Head thick with fog, mouth tasting like old milk and whiskey, clothes half removed and body sprawled across his ruffled bed, Bastiaan awoke only because the sun decided to make her presence known through his eyelids. Usually, he was coherent enough to remember to shut his black-out curtains after depositing himself in his bed- but last night had been open mic night and Bastiaan had not made it back to his room till the sun had already began to rise.

The grogginess of a night spent under the influence of cigars and whiskey made movement feel like the tipping of a ship, but Bastiaan forced his body off the sweaty sheets in order to remove his half unbuttoned shirt. It looked as if he tried to take care of himself last night- his shoes were off, pants discarded by the door, but one sock and shirt had been too much of a hassle for his whiskey-melted brain. A quick check to his phone revealed that it was nearing two in the afternoon, generally Bass's wake-up time in his new routine at Luna Brilla.

He arrived her three months ago, dark suit and sunglasses making him stick out like a sore thumb in the crazy colors and patchwork furniture of the hostel. Bastiaan had no idea why this was where his publisher had stuck him- all he received was an email with tickets and directions to the prepaid hostel. He was meant to stay here until he finished his second book- which he had not even begin to think about writing, as he was enjoying living off the publishers dime and getting away from the hectic life he lived back in the city. Luna Brilla allowed him to live his life on his own time- he woke hours past noon, stayed up till the sun rose, drank enough whiskey that forced the bar to keep a stock just for him, and payed no attention to his editors emails and letters. It was a wonder that hadn't kick him to the curb and let him dwindle away- Bastiaan figured it had something to do with the massive following that had not let up since his book release. Some how his fame out surpassed the success of his book, creating a following of deranged fans, paparazzi, and general assholes of the celebrity world. Bastiaans ability to consume massive amounts of whiskey and tendency to find a fight wherever he went meant that he was constantly being plastered across celebrity shit-magazines and websites. All these things made life miserable for him, but the fame brought enough book sales that left his publishers salivating for more.

Here in Budapest, Bastiaan flew under the radar. There were fans here and there, but generally people did not approach him nearly as much as back home. It was a relief to finally be somewhere where the success of his book was more popular then his personal fame. He was content to live out the rest of his life here- he could keep up this second-book-limbo for years without even contemplating sitting down to write. Bastiaan loved that he had gone back to his original form of writing, back before he knew how to string together sentences properly. The people that came and went from Luna Brilla had already allowed him to fill up six journals since he arrived. But writing, actually bringing together all these jumbled thoughts in a cohesive structured story, was something Bastiaan had not attempted since the big book release. He would say he had a severe case of writers block, but that was just an excuse writers used in order to get away with not doing their job. No, Bastiaan's choice to not write was purely his own- maybe it had to do with his divorce, maybe it had to do with the shock of fame he reluctantly had to accept. Either way, Bastiaan had no interest in releasing another book anytime soon. But his publisher insisted, so here he was, basking in the afternoon sunlight of Budapest, wearing boxers, one sock, a half buttoned shirt, and a nasty hang over.

The warm water of the shower did wonders for his muddled mind- he was able to actually move about without tripping on all the shit lying around his room. Thankfully, his publisher had nabbed him one of the larger suits in Luna Brilla. Seeing as he was staying an inevitably long time, the larger space was something he greatly appareciated. Bastion had never been good at keeping himself tidy, so most of the contents of his suitcase were discarded in piles across the room or hanging out of the small dresser. He nabbed a clean black polo from his laundry pile, pulled on a pair of khaki colored slacks, and dug about for his brown leather loafers he had been wearing last night. He stopped back into the bathroom quickly to brush his teeth and run his usual product in his wet hair before grabbing his journal and keys and exiting the room.

Luna Brilla was usually in an afternoon lull when he finally roused himself, employees either on break or busy with work other then customers, so he quickly exited the hostel in order to find himself some lunch. He tracked down his usual cafe, ordered an espresso, sandwich, and salad, and settled in a small table on their street side seating area. Bastion spent the next few hours lost in his writing- recording the tourists, native Hungarians, conversations, and antics of the busy street. At around 4 he switched over to whiskey and settled back in his seat, still watching but more interested in his thoughts then words. He knew that Luna Brilla would be warming up soon- most of the employees would be moving to the bar, which was exactly where Bastiaan planned to spend his evening yet again.

So he packed up and headed from one bar to the next.

Usually Bastiaan arrived early enough that he could settled into the same seat on the far side of the bar, a place that allowed him easy access to the bartenders and a good view of the room. Perched on the barstool, Bastiaan waved down one of the bartenders and signaled for a drink- they knew that he lived on a straight diet of pure whiskey by now. While he waited he let his eyes graze over the gathered travelers, his mind conjuring up where each of them might have come from and what there story could be. Generally, Bastiaan played this game with everyone he met- he actually had a difficult time separating his made up versions with the real people. But why actually know someone when you could create a far more interesting character for them in your own head? Charlotte used to tell him that was why he never had any friends other then her, but Bastiaan couldn't help his minds natural fixations.

Light blue eyes flickered back to the bartender as he returned with his drink, a nod of thanks his only acknowledgement to the boy. Bastiaan knew most the bartenders- Max, the lively blue eyed brat, was one of those people Bastiaan could only handle with a drink in hand. He found his loud brashness annoying, though oddly charming. While Bastiaan had a tendency to ignore those that made his jaw twitch with irritation, he found that Max's ability to talk none stop about himself was actually the kind of person that he enjoyed sitting across the bar from. He had dozens of pages filled with notes about to overzealous dog-like personality, though Bastiaan had no idea what he would ever do with a character like that. Perhaps kill him off, something heart wrenching and pathetic that made people cry out of pity. Max looked like someone that had a more interesting story then the average young hostel worker, though Bastiaan had yet to pry more then surface deep.

"Max, I don't think you ever told me where you are from" He in his crisp dutch accented english, before taking a healthy gulp of the spicy brown liquid, critical eyes hungry in their appraisal of the other.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Antonio Redding Character Portrait: Cameron R. Character Portrait: Tati Laurido Character Portrait: Max Evans Character Portrait: Deacon Beauchene
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Image"I was just worried my time was up, and I
didn’t want to live in fear of my throw of the dice being dictated anymore."

Warm daybreak put her silhouette on the map of the living by curves wrapped in traditional art and titian luster. It matched her hair. Thanks mama. From her cot she seemingly sat on an arched acclivity of the world. A secret space, though known to dozens or hundreds before her. She remained under a wing she’d preferred for the past two years of her life. It was better this way, the dangling charms of sacrificed high tops swaying from clipped lines rather than stark city scapes. The same ones that reminded her that her husband was no longer her husband. Peering out a window and waiting for something to carry his body home, whole, for once. But no. Just a shell lost among the inches he crawled between the home and heart’s desire. Cameron had stopped being the latter shortly after the honeymoon. How the hell could one person expect another to compete with what was already in their blood?

That war was lost before it even started. Cam went down swinging, that much is true. You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can’t take the fight out of the dog. When nomadic mania had her in and out of regions, she lodged herself in Europe for a time. Spent one too many nights getting over somebody by getting under another. Then came Luna. One night there, and you knew you’d never get over her.

But feel free to stack your body count here, mis amores, el mejor lugar en el mundo.

What was Hotel California to Americans, was LB to Cam. The bewitching allure of something unknown yet familiar all at once. It was still working on saving her, even in the utmost intoxicating way. Almost 13,000 kilometers apart from the ghosts of her past and somehow still dreaming them up in a nightly fever, Cameron found herself at the edge of a bed, bare bodied and illuminated generously by foliage-filtered sunlight. This was how 5AM felt alone or at the pace of a stranger’s body heat and their rising and falling chest. She’d given up on needing to meet someone in the morning, it was never the same. Between her and the next living space was a washed out sheet, unintentionally tie-dyed by housekeeping mistakes. It instilled little privacy. But even if it wasn’t there, she was gonna’ sleep naked, because really - who hadn’t seen naked people in the hostel before? It was almost Luna’s MO by now.

Tati’s voice was a welcome notion to the daily disruption of Cameron’s workflow span. It shook her from her slant and allowed her to dip into reality, eyes over a tattooed shoulder, dermals beneath glittering weakly against dawn. It was time to work. A slow blink and smile only seen in amber observation, she murmured, “Ya voy, Tati. Gracias mamita.” Unlike the maternal symbol of LB, Cameron was much less versed in speaking English. She’d gathered enough knowledge to run a bar where Americans could communicate with her easily enough, but rarely did she speak anything but Spanish outside of work. Or at all. Those close to her, which were few and far between, had picked up on her mother tongue in order to keep up.

ImageMorning routines would have her bouncing amid the walls of Luna in a sort of cleaning and chore hysteria where she sidled up to Antonio for a brief rundown of hourly tasks, then trickled her way down alongside Max in her silent state of AM obstinacy. These parts of her day were typically the ones less likely to just glide by. Swinging trash bags over her shoulders, trying not to get decorated in used rubbers in the process and collecting emptied bottles of cheap foreign liquor. It varied, really. Didn’t it all feel the same, though? Dishes. Sweeping. Condom wrappers. Alcohol, lots of alcohol. And guests. What made this place so much better than any sleazy American quality branch? Ask Cameron and she’d purse her lips, suck her teeth for a second just to explain in thick patois, “It is easy to get lost here.” She’d roll her tongue against the ceiling of her mouth, doe eyes glancing toward the waterway, “Like a dream. Si, esa es la palabra. Dream. The days bleed into each other and how you say... Festivities...? The festivities are almost as beautiful as this place. It sings me to sleep, I stayed once. I never left. Tati makes it home. Everything feels the same, but it is always different. No silly tourist tricks.” Or maybe she just liked the way that the perpetual setting, rising of stars and moon always seemed to be coral colored to her. Just like the wavy locks that encircled her somehow pale countenance.

Cameron was known for the tendency to only come truly alive once the skies had turned to purple obscurity. It’s what made her good at her job, more than likely. Night life was far more stimulating than the mundane grind. She became a symbol of LB mostly because of her chittering in vernacular while dancing behind the bar with bottle necks only grasped by two of her tiny fingers [one of which still wore a wedding band]. Grin plastered on her painted lips, hands always in short order of a shot request. In the space separating sporadic hip swinging, Max would hang from her side on occasion, to which she’d plant kisses all over his head and mockingly chide, “Vete! Do some work.”

When a kiss was returned warmly on one of her cheeks, it was from Tati, not Max. Cameron wriggled in approval, popped the top off another beer for when she was finished with the one delivered by sweet lil’ Max and tied her black tee in a knot above her belly button for a moment of fresh air. “Hace mucha calor hoy,” she breathed as she polished crystal ware, faint muscular lines in her abdomen collecting just enough sweat to glimmer, “Sólo soy yo...? No? Hot.” She scanned her audience for reassurance and found no potential, not even in the suit with his hollow cheeks and thoughtful gaze. Shouldn't a writer be more curious? Casting a mirthful look at Deacon, she nudged his ribs with hers and threatened to dampen his ensemble with her precipitation. Not that he hadn’t experienced it before tenfold, her leg wrapped around his hip in a slow grind that blatantly was not wanted. He tolerated her for reasons unknown, but she adored him for it. Now if only he’d let her put his hair into pig tails...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Cameron R. Character Portrait: Tati Laurido Character Portrait: Violette Elise Beaulieu Character Portrait: Max Evans Character Portrait: Deacon Beauchene
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Sunrise, sunset, and midday again. This time, she woke up at one in the afternoon with her little black dress still zipped to her back and a mysterious bruise located on her right elbow. She could hear the screams of children playing on the streets outside, as well as laughter coming from the floor below her.

She had almost forgotten about the crumpled pieces of notebook paper, which were scattered all across the floor and spiraled on top of her linen sheets. The girl had planned on attending the open mic night being held in the hostel bar the night before, but after changing into formal wear and the necklace her grandmother had given her many years ago, she had decided against performing due to a spontaneous moment of inspiration and a lack of extroversion. Getting a song out of her head was far more important than socializing, that was for sure.

Underneath the warm covers, she shifted her body towards the night stand and grabbed her phone. She entered her password and sighed. No emails, no texts, no missed calls.

With all her strength, she touched her bare feet to the carpet and reluctantly started her day. She changed into a striped shirt, a navy blue cardigan and her faded jean shorts that had holes in the back pockets, where pebbles and stolen bank pens used to be hidden. She had worn those shorts on so many occasions; she knew it was only a matter of time before they fell apart, which was disappointing because she didn't have enough money to afford a new pair. A shower was unnecessary, as her hair was still dry and there was a tiny bit of floral perfume still lingering upon her skin. Violette decided she would clean up the mess in her room later, and grabbed her phone, purse, headphones, room key, a pen, and notepad. No shoes; she wouldn't need them where she was going.

Invisible to most of the guests she had observed, there was a dusty grand piano located in one of the many foyers at the Luna Brilla hostel. It sat in an open space where the walls spread apart, the crisp sunlight shined through an open window, and multicolored seats were scattered all around, just waiting to be sat in. The hostel was small and quaint, but it had enough awareness and artistic energy to include a simple place like this. A safe place for Violette. A work space. While all the others considered the esteemed bar their temple, the piano was hers. After all, she was more of a ghost than a guest anyways.

The musician sat down at the bench and decided to check her phone again. No emails, no texts, no missed calls. She chomped on her lips in apprehension, and placed the device upon the top of the piano. After setting the black headphones upon her neck and placing her purse on the ground, she began to lightly tap the keys. She started with one of her own songs, then a piece she had learned in primary school. After that, her fingers improvised a melody until she finally wrote it down in her notepad. She added a few halfhearted lyrics on top of the notes and checked her phone again. No emails, no texts, no missed calls.

She started on another song. Tiny beads of sweat began to drip down her forehead, so her fingers played a slower song. Then a faster song. Back to the song she had learned in primary school. Up the scale, down the scale. She stared into space for a while. Then ten Nina Simone songs. Half of "La Vie en rose". Twenty songs that reminded her of home. Two hours had passed. No emails, no texts, no missed calls.

Now she banged on the keys. Beethoven songs. Grimaud songs. Chopin, Gershwin, even Billy Joel. Her back was aching. Her sanity was slipping. Just one more. And then another. And another. Now two more hours were gone. She checked her phone.

No emails, no texts, no missed calls.

She let out a furious scream, and threw it against the wall, where it made a loud bang that echoed all throughout the hallway for everyone to hear. When it hit the floor, she noticed that there was a crack across the side of the screen. It was a rather large crack, and she couldn't get it fixed because she knew she didn't have the money. She stared at it for a while. The silence vibrated throughout her head, and her cheeks went florid. A gasp. A blink of the eyes. Shaky fingers. An impossible future.

When she finally caught her breath, Violette Beaulieu stared back at the eighty-eight keys and began to play Mozart's Sonata in C. Her stomach was grumbling and her mouth went dry, but she didn't notice. She didn't make any plans for the day, so perhaps she'd spend it starving herself. No one would notice if she just fainted onto the floor right there. After all, she was a more of a ghost than a guest anyways.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Elise Solomon Character Portrait: Cameron R. Character Portrait: Tati Laurido Character Portrait: Violette Elise Beaulieu Character Portrait: Max Evans
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As soon as daylight kissed the windowsill, Keon had already slipped out of bed and smoothed out the wrinkles from his sheets, crisply tucked in and folded two hands-down, like Tati had first showed him when he stumbled into Luna Brilla. Surprisingly broad shoulders dipped low, forefinger and thumb rubbing at his stubbled chin to admire his handiwork. Across the room was a softly snoring Max, face pressed into his pillow, as if he were embracing a lover. No doubt dreaming that he was. Even though he knew no amount of noise would wake him before those telltale alarms: one, two, three, four, five, six, Keon was still careful to tiptoe around the room, determined not to wake him until Tati drew in, momma-bear mode on, calling them all beaches in a way that sounded far more affectionate, than how his own mom had managed to snarl it.

Only moments before Tati had shoved their door open, narrow-eyes sweeping across the room like lamplight’s, demanding that they get their asses in gear with languid words curling around her native tongue, words he'd come to understand from being here so long. He might've still domiciled that deer-in-the-headlights look, but he made a damn mean bed. Equipped with nimble fingers, he fought meticulous battles in whatever room he was sent to clean up after, though it wasn't his central function. He dollyed luggage up the stairwells, through the elevator and into whichever room they belonged to; swept jackets off of shoulders, blubbered etiquette and politeness, and shuffled off to do whatever else Tati needed him to do, as quickly as possible.

Hush hush, this world is quiet.

Besides, getting up earlier than the others had its own set of perks. First dibs in the bathroom, and the shower, before anyone else could stumble in, snatching towels and shirts and pants, like Max had the habit of doing. One time, he'd been holed up in LB's indoor pool when Cameron convinced him that this right here, this was the prime time to take a dip, naked, because no one else would wander down at this time, and he'd listened, because he'd never done it before, and why the hell not? Or else, that was what he understood. With his limited Spanish vocabulary, he took shots in the dark. He'd been wrong before. Keon bundled himself up in the shower and washed his hair, with spear-mint and cantaloupe scented what-have you, before exiting just as quickly. Casual clothes. He slipped on a fitted shirt, long sleeves rolled up to his elbows, two top buttons undone, because that was risque, and Tati said he didn't live life on the edge. Not nearly enough to sashay with LB's high lifestyle. Nice slacks, Converse shoes. Brown hair tousled.

He checked the mirror, tested out a cheesy grin, and dropped it into a hard line, swallowing around the thick lump in his throat. It wasn't that working around LB made him inherently nervous, but... he'd opened up last night when they had karaoke. Drank way too much wine, or whiskey, or whatever drinks they were pushing into his sweaty palms. It'd been a hell of a party. Ties bound around heads, maybe even underwear. He wasn't sure he remembered. But he'd bumbled onto the stage, guitar in hand and sung embarrassing songs. Requests taken from the intoxicated, swilling crowd. I'm Too Sexy and That's Amore and I Want To Break Free. They came in hazy flashes, humiliating waves of things he didn't want to remember. He hoped everyone else forgot. Fortunately, only a thrumming headache teased at his temples, easily remedied with a good cup of coffee. Luna Brilla had the unfortunate habit of never letting you live down the things you did, even if it came at the expense of heartening back-slaps, cheek kisses and butt pinches.

Just as the sixth alarm sounded, Keon ghosted out of the room and into the hallways, delivering papers to their designated areas and picking up wayward trays left in the hallways, before delivering them back to the kitchen area. As soon as he was finished pacing down the hallways, picking up any trash as he went, he spotted Max lounging outside, sheets fashioned around his body—a toga, though he was wearing clothes. He jerked to a halt and scuttled way, shaky hands combing through his hair. He swore, if Max could traipse around Luna Brilla completely naked, around all of the clients, and get away with it, he probably would. A treat, he'd say, for everyone else. Wasn't that kind of shin-dig anyway.

It was the cloying smell of coffee wafting through the air that pulled him into the room, seduced him over to the coffee machine, and the french press, and hefted a content sigh from his lips, giddy as a kitten with a saucy of milk. This was the best time of day, in his opinion, even if his neighbors were cap-eyed boozers, late-night carousers, dragging their limbs like zombies rising from the dead. At least, they liked coffee. And they were too tired to throw him knowing winks, or make any saucy remarks about what happened last night on stage. Anyhow, if he remembered right, he hadn't been the only one singing. Though, Max always sang into the mic as if he were sweeping someone off to bed. Sometimes, he didn't doubt it. Eyes bright like two fevers, lidded invitations.

And he walked past one of Elise' rooms. He knew it was her, because he heard the ariose tones, silky hums, drifting from inside. Door propped open. Practically begging someone to overhear, as far as he was concerned. Sometimes, he idled beside them, though he'd never admit it. Other times, he shuffled past like he'd caught her coming out of the shower, face down-cast and hands shoved in his pockets, escaping like a thief in the night. Scrape at the bottom of Luna Brilla's barrels, and you found kind souls like hers under all that guff, all the parties, and wild stories, colors too bright for him.

Work day complete, it'd gone off without a hitch. Just like he liked it to go, and besides, Tati hadn't chuffed him for messing anything up, and he hadn't stepped on anyone's toes. Keon joined the others at the bar, a little more quietly than they had, slipping into a seat of his own, dropping his elbows across the freshly-wiped counter, a few feet away from Max and Elise. He offered a lopsided grin, “Hey guys.” A soft greeting accompanied by fingers scritch-scratching across his chin. Beer. Celebratory beer, always. He waggled his fingers and snatched it up, took a mouthful. Enough to appease. Besides, it was Deacon who'd pushed it across to him, feline-smile and expressive brows a sure-fire greeting in the heart of Luna Brilla, before he turned back towards the more stalwart of clients, already nursing fabulously crafted drinks. The bartender was a master at his craft, flipping up shakers, twirling them across his forearms, and tossing them in the air. Poured them into distinct glasses, coupled with quips. It seemed like he could guess at drinks before the orders left their lips: an ability that was mesmerizing, as it was impressive.

There was Cameron, too. A wildfire with a flare for confusing him at the best of times. She was nice, like the rest of them. Patted him on the head, coddled words in quick-fire succession, too fast to rearrange in his head, but he still liked the sound of it. She'd taught him a few words, told him they were loving ones. Suggested that he could whisper them against someone's collar bones. Not likely, he'd say, but she might be able to help him write a song, at least. He watched as she sidled up beside Deacon and offered a small wave, and a sheepish grin, before surveying the rest of the area.

There were clients he actually recognized. Those who didn't ghost in and out of Luna Brilla as if it was a stop-in depot. To these people, it was more of a home away from home. It was the way he looked at it too. Busying himself in his work, and his thoughts, was Bastiaan Vos. An icy-eyed author, absorbing his surroundings as if he could gather everyone up and shepherd them onto his pages. He'd been kind enough to let him peek over his shoulders, ever curious to what he was writing. Never quite shooing him away, as if he were a wet-nosed pup, too curious for his own good. It was appreciated. He never lingered for too long anyway. His eyes raked across the room of casual chatters, towards the more intimate ones, leaning across tables and chairs, lips pursed and mused over earlobes, just long enough for him to get hot under the collar, and focus further away, to the lonely, dusty piano. Occupied for once, which was surprising... someone was playing music surprisingly well, slender fingers plucking across ivory keys.

It was the clattering of an object smashing against the wall, and a frantic scream, that almost made Keon jerk out of his skin, hands cupping his beer before he accidentally swatted it off the counter. He knew where it'd come from and he'd seen many things before, but this was different. And he wasn't sure what he should do, in this case. His breath hitched, “Oi. She threw the phone. Against the wall. Should I—” An invitation for someone to step up to the plate, because he wasn't so good with smoothing out ruffled feathers. Leave that to those with silver-tongues, and speak-easies. He wore his emotions like a blanket snipped up to his chin. Not quite right for random outbursts.

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Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Cameron R. Character Portrait: Max Evans Character Portrait: Keon Kingsley Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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ImageMax loved his job, he really did. He knew some people had a tendency to feel stuck, to look back and question their life decisions, to wonder if where they were would ever take them farther. Max didn't have that problem. He was...happy, stated, and fuck he never thought about his future. Today mattered, that was all. Tomorrow might not even exist, so why worry about it?

He hadn't expected to stay. For Luna Brilla to sink her teeth into him and refuse to let go. But...he fit. She ran through his veins, at this point. She was home. His vibrant personality matched the colors on the walls, and all that eccentric washed all over the building. And the constant turnover of guests meant no one stayed long enough to get annoyed with him.

Well, save the staff. Dare he say it, but Max actually thought they liked him. Especially those who spent their nights next to him behind the bar. Cameron, without a doubt, was the love of his life, so he knew he had that nailed down for a fact. There were others, too, of course. Deacon dealt with him, Tati too, Elise was a sweetheart, and Keon...

Max smirked to himself and got back to work, making his rounds over the tables and replacing drinks,, dumping bottles, the usual. It didn't take long to work up a sweat, not with the warm summer sun, and he sighed as he wiped his arm over his forehead before picking up his tank, waving it over his stomach.

A few tables over, a group of girls giggled. Three of them, university age, probably on vacation. Max arched an eyebrow their way, yet another smirk sliding onto his face. "'Lo, laides," he greeted, setting off another round of giggles from the accent that fell off his lips. His grin widened as he lifted his shirt a little more, wiggling his eyebrows; his shorts always sat low on his hips, so the tattoo just below his naval was clearly visible. "Do you like my diamond?"

One of the girls eyes went wide, the other barked out surprised laughter, and the third knocked two of the drinks over. Max was pretty sure he heard his name, in a voice that sounded a lot like Tati's disapproving 'put your clothes back on' tone, but he couldn't say if it was real or in his head for sure. Either way, Max threw his head back and laughed before he got back to work, cleaning up the mess and replacing the drinks, promising the girls the new ones were free since it'd been an accident.

He was throwing out the broken bottles when he caught sight of the newest addition at the bar, Bastiaan Vos; just in time to get waved at for a drink. Max grinned and circled around to pull down the good stuff. At this point, they were all used to Bas being at the bar, and normally had his drink ready to go. He was late, tonight, but Max didn't mind as long as he showed.

Of all the guests, Vos was his favorite. Mostly because Max was an avid reader of Dirt & Opulence, which meant he'd recognized the author, and been about ten times more annoying upon his arrival than he was on any other day. On the down low though. Because Max was a selfish bitch, and if no one else recognized Bastiaan Vos, then he wasn't going to give himself any competition.

Max waved at Elise as he crossed the bar for Bas, usual grin in place, planning on just handing the drink over and moving on for once. Mostly because he was in a flirty mood, and Bastiaan was a waste of time on that front. Besides, Keon had just joined the party, and Max was dying to tease/talk to him about last night and a few entertaining song choices.

"Max, I don't think you ever told me where you are from"

Max froze from taking a step away. In all the months Bastiaan had been a guest, he wasn't sure the man had ever spoken to him first, or asked a personal question. Not that he ever really had to, everyone knew Max loved to talk about himself. Still, his eyes went wide, and yet another grin broke across his face.

"London, mate. Born there, grew up there. Don't miss it much. Beautiful place, yeah. But cold. So bloody cold." He shivered, despite the heat, just from the memory. He hadn't been back in years...didn't know if he ever would return, really. Maybe, if someone gave him a good enough reason, he'd consider it. But otherwise, probably not.. "Why?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Elise Solomon Character Portrait: Cameron R. Character Portrait: Tati Laurido Character Portrait: Violette Elise Beaulieu Character Portrait: Max Evans
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Slowly people began to filter into the bar, as expected. From sunrise to sunset the hostel workers had been running around the place, it was no surprise when they came to settle in the bar. The sun was almost down, and while it’s light was no longer beating down on the masses, a humid heat still hung in the air. Tati could feel the fabric of her stool stick to the back of her legs, the jean shorts she wore hardly covered her legs. Her dark hair weighed down heavily, matting with sweat at the base of her neck, she did her best to wrap up the messy locks but she had very little luck.

The staff behind the bar had their usual charm, Tati expected nothing less. The tight skin across Cam’s abdomen beaded with sweat, the girl fanned herself, mentioning the heat. Tati grinned, it was strange to hear an Argentine complain about the heat. Half of the year the northern part of the country was as pleasant as wading through a murky New Orlean swamp, although Budapest summers were intense, their longevity was nothing compared to their home country. ”Re calor, claro.” She affirmed Cam’s statement, ”Pero por cuanto años vivé en Argentina, chabon? Eso es nadaa.”

Speaking with Cam was like a slice of home, she already was like family. Tati had grown up with Cam’s ex husband, their families would vacation together and spend every birthday and holiday together. When Tati heard of their divorce it broke her heart, she had always been fond of Cameron. The peliroja was a breath of fresh air for Tati, when her family would meet for birthdays Tati and Cam would be on the sidelines drinking beer and sharing spliffs. Tati had heard from relatives that Cam had plans to travel, so naturally Tati offered her a position at the hostel. It wasn’t long until the tattooed vixen found her way to Tati’s home and made it her own.

Max was serving the tables, Tati watched him out of the corner of her eye. While she hated to constantly be breathing over his shoulder, the free spirit had the tendency to piss around and leave the rest of the staff picking up his slack. His good nature made it difficult to yell at him, but when she saw him lifting the hem of his shirt she called out his name sharply. Either he heard her or lost interest because he laughed and carried on with his work, ending up in front of Bass, their longest guest at the moment. He was possibly the longest staying guest that didn’t become staff, but as a famous author he had no reason to work at the hostel. Tati never even offered because she couldn’t imagine the man folding sheets or making small talk with guests, it seemed surreal just to imagine it.

Tati finished the last of her beer when Elise and Keon joined the group. Keon had the same look of a lost puppy he always maintained, Elise just looked happy to be ending the day. Tati hopped to her feet, kissing them each on the cheek as a greeting - ruffling Keon’s hair. ”Good job today guys,” she said cheerily. Two beers in thirty minutes, she felt like she could do better. She motioned to Cameron to give her another to take off the edge, it was a very stressful week for her.

A loud crash was heard behind her, she looked to where one of their guests was hunched over the piano. “Oi. She threw the phone. Against the wall. Should I—” Keon started, letting his sentence trail off. It took everything in Tati not to laugh, dealing with a woman in a crisis was perhaps not his strong suit. ”Appreciate your initiative bebito, but I’ve got this one.” She said, patting his cheek affectionately.

Before she walked away, Tati wagged her finger at the rest of the bar staff, “Don’t over serve tonight, remember we have to walk them to the boat from here.” She warned, turning on her heel to approach the guest she recognized as Violette, the singer who was performing at the festival this weekend. She set down her half gone beer on a table and picked up Violette’s phone gingerly, setting it beside the girl on the bench. The music continued, and Tati didn’t dare interrupt it. She had her own love for piano, it’s notes were filled with so much melancholy, eliciting goosebumps along her entire arms.

”Impressive.” She said when the girl finally finished, Tati motioned to the phone. ”Hate to be this person, but probably not the safest thing to be throwing your phone at the wall. Tanto fuerza.” She teased, making herself comfortable at the edge of the bench. ”Nervous about performing?” Tati asked, glancing at her staff at the bar, with Max she always felt on edge to try and catch any shenanigans before they became a potential lawsuit. Reaching for her beer, Tati finished the rest and lit her cigarette, finally she felt like she would be able to handle the night.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Elise Solomon Character Portrait: Cameron R. Character Portrait: Tati Laurido Character Portrait: Violette Elise Beaulieu Character Portrait: Max Evans
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“Nada para ti. Hell for me! No estoy hecho para esto. You’re just a sweet talker. So I stay.” Cameron reached over the bar to a beloved piece of home. The home she used to know, and the newer version. Sometimes it was hard not to get caught up in it. Every day with an ex-inlaw. But what Tati had given her was more than her husband ever could, and with no hard feelings amongst them and only understanding, native love... Cameron considered herself very lucky. A porcelain finger pushed some hair from Tati’s tawny face. “Mujer malvada.” They laughed, but only for seconds before an outburst interruption created silence among the happy affair. Keon’s eyes went a bit wide with surprise, the desire to fix the situation [surely not by himself, judging by the iron clad non-existence of reaction]. Tati was by no means surprised and well, Max - he was off doing a belly dance or some shit.

Cameron threw her hands up and raised eyebrows, “Loca blanca. Manejarlo. Not my ‘forte’.” She’d recognized the dark-haired fury from around the hostel, but Cameron was not an asylum to anyone. Not even herself. This particular pixie had a bone to pick and answers to find. She’d wandered around, half wonder, half woe. Sort of like a lost dog. Cameron did wonder what she was all about. What locks she was picking in her life, what demons were on the run to place her at Luna.

A watering hole for sin and salvation. It was all right as rain with Tati nearby, conducting the circus in a fashion that would never cause second guessing, but LB was just as much beauty as it was pain. An oasis that housed the excess that the rest of the world could not handle, all the elegance and agony of life’s abandonment. Runaways. Wives. Husbands. Rookies. Politicians. Orphans. Addicts. Saints. Aliases. Strays. Celebrities. What they all had in common was this sort of intact hope, however dingy, dangling from the end of their rope. And they weren’t all sad. But they were all here. And that had to say something about them, especially when they never left.

To prepare for an evening on some vessel, overloaded with champagne-wielding bottle poppers whose shouts echoed against rivulet walls, one had to have a certain tenacity about them. She sure had it, but sometimes it had to be developed by Jose Cuervo. Cameron’s cinnamon hair came into her hands to be tied into a messy pile atop her head as she breathed deeply, “Tomalo con soda,” Argentinian reel wrapped around her tongue, “But you sleep so much.” More than you fuck or fare. Her body pressed itself into a corner of the bar for a private minute. Eyes rolled toward the sky. It was criss-crossed with lamp wires, branches like broken wings shielding sloped hostel balconies. Sometimes it was better to talk to herself than seek the refuge of other people. This was home, and so was everyone there.

A twist of the ring on her finger had set her apart from conversation. The laughter and the slur of an evening underway, climbing steadily into Luna Brilla oblivion. The best kind of oblivion there is. Bats in the belfry, bewitching and glowing even more fierce than the river light that guided party boats through exotic euphoria. She basked in it. This is why she never left.

ImageThough she had heeded the warning of not over-drinking the guests, Cameron poured a few more before cleaning up the bar. Pushed the envelope of hip swiveling and smiles for tips. For the damage dealt against strict orders, she'd counter with a deal. Yep, you get your drink. But you have to drink eight ounces of water before you even think of getting your ass off that barstool. Perhaps Cameron had stayed mostly out of trouble because she'd handled a home before. Taken care of garbling messes, as well as cleaned up after them. Nobody left the bar on her watch in a dangerous state, whether to themselves or others.

Small talk amongst the suit and Max yanked her attention away from the tip jar. Had her closing it up and pondering curiously the quiver ripping through Max when he mentioned his former home, as well as Bastiaan's rather sudden intrigue. Cameron cocked a brow. Oh I just have to see where this goes.

But that blond haired baby boy just grinned goofy, same as always. Deflected in a way that most people couldn't detect. Carried on without a tick or falter in composure, though broken bones of burdens pricked under his skin. He was a GI of jacked up efforts. History and turmoil - he understood it. She'd picked up on it long ago, thanks to one too many secrets shared on the same row of bodies. "Isn't he gay?" They'd ask.

Well, yeah. Until I need him and this ring on my finger starts burning into my knuckles and I'm more adrift than the discarded plastic of Danube.

Locking up the register, Cameron poured herself an adios shot, as well as for Keon who was eyeing the chalky keys barely touched by agile fingers. His bright eyes needed a little more glaze. "Salud," she took it straight back, nodded to Tati, and then him, "Going to be a hell of a night."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Elise Solomon Character Portrait: Cameron R. Character Portrait: Tati Laurido Character Portrait: Violette Elise Beaulieu Character Portrait: Max Evans
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#, as written by Ivisbo

Bastiaan watched his subject’s movements with a critical blue gaze, his eyes focused on Max’s hesitant retreat to the excited grin that broke across his roguishly young face as he turned back around. Bass knew from the minute he met Max that the boy has an insistent need to verbalize all thoughts- even those others might deem too private to share with a drunk stranger- an over sharer, a trait most people might find incredibly irritating. But Bass was one of those beings that hated to share himself with others, socializing and reveals of any kind was about as appealing as bullet to the face- so he was glad for the people in this world that felt the need to express every detail about themselves to whomever asked. Maybe his insistent curiosity did not meld well with his cold, aloof demeanor. Maybe he seemed to be dissecting rather then learning, and perhaps his ulterior motives painted him as an untrustworthy confidante. But whatever others thought of him, he always had a knack for leeching their dirty little secrets out and tucking them away in his mind and journals for later use.

"London, mate. Born there, grew up there. Don't miss it much. Beautiful place, yeah. But cold. So bloody cold." Bass's gaze flicked to the quivering of shoulders, the look of discomfort, and a the revolving memories passing through Max's eyes like a film reel, "Why?"

A non-committal shrug, the slight movement of his shoulders being his only reply for a moment as he took a long sip of whiskey, "I lived in London mate, there’s no hiding where you grew up". Icy blue rolled up to meet sky blue, eyebrows raised, hands crossing in front of his mouth. Max’s deep drawling Londoner slang had pricked his ears when he first arrived- it took a lot for the dwellers of the grey north to abandon their precious city- a city that Bass himself equally adored and dreaded. Maybe that little slice of a past life in Max’s ever excited accent conjured memories of a life that could have been- another component into why Bastiaan often found himself following Max’s echoing jubilance through the bar.

Bastiaan could make up stories for the lives he saw in others footsteps. Max had been hurt as a child- that much he could tell. His insistent charisma and joy was a cover for something, and while Bastiaan could create his own series of events that left this young Londoner working in this strange little hostel so far away from home, he found himself interested in knowing exactly why Max was able to pretend to be so damn happy.

"Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough… I wanted to know where you are from" The corners of his lips switched into a small smirk, "Tell me something interesting. I know you’ve read my work, maybe you can wow me enough to be the next Simon"

Usually, Bastiaan wouldn’t push. Usually he’d avoid talking too much, seldom did he bring up his book, but with Max he knew what he needed to say to get the other male to talk. He required looseness, a slap of humor, maybe a bit of flirtatious sarcasm- traits Bastiaan knew well enough to copy for himself. Writing was acting, you needed to be able to flip between personality’s and mimic things that you would never do yourself. Bastiaan excelled at this to a point that he sometimes forgot where his personality started and the ones he created began.

Other then this excited puppy of a man, the others at the hostel all shared a communal aura of lost- a feeling that Bastiaan himself covered up with alcohol, anger, and blackout nights.

The leader of this strange little oasis, the beautiful Argentinian that Bas found himself opening up to in more ways then one, was an individual who’s warmth smothered you into a sense of compliance. Her abusive caring nature is infectious- her warm tan skin and long, exotic dark hair made a drunk Bastiaan loose his reservations and melted icy blue. Of all the workers and guests at Luna, Tati seemed the most grounded to him, but he knew that people that ordered their lives and those around them so meticulously had to have developed that need for a reason.

Other then Tati, the bartenders were the only other hostel workers that Bastiaan payed much attention to. The faces that kept his glass filled, the ones he silently watched and recorded, the ones that had to deal with his drunk mess when he went a little too far. Cameron, a woman who you’d have to be blind to not rake your eyes over, though Bastiaan continued to remind himself that those were the kind of women you avoided. Too at ease, too comfortable with themselves- a girl ripe and ready to wrap depraved men around her little finger. Keon and Deacon, the two males that had to manage guests and that flurry of red hair and Spanish, stroked Bastiaans need for reserved and quite when he needed. Their presence always paled in comparison to the two other bartenders, but Bastiaan would often purposefully place himself in either of the boys section if he wanted to avoid the rambunctiousness wake that fallowed Max and Cameron.

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Character Portrait: Bastiaan Vos Character Portrait: Max Evans Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Image"I lived in London mate, there's no hiding where you grew up." Max supposed that was true. London was a big city, and it was always difficult to find someone who not only lived there, but happened to be from there as well. Max was a rare being of born and bred. Budapest may have claimed him, but London would never truly let him go. He'd cried and bled on those streets. It was woven into his bones. And the accent that fell off his tongue gave no room for lies about exactly where he came from. But Bastiaan surprised him, offering up a little of his own past. Bass didn't talk about himself. No matter how much time Max spent trying to make him, it just didn't happen.

"Perhaps I wasn't clear enough...I wanted to know where you are from. Tell me something interesting. I know you've read my work, maybe you can wow me enough to be the next Simon."

Max had half the mind to pinch himself, make sure he wasn't dreaming. He shot a curious glance behind him at the bar...but no, Cameron was wearing clothes. Usually when he was dreaming she wasn't. But Max found himself in the ever so odd position of being thrown off. Bass was willingly talking to him, asking about him, endearingly small smirk on his face, and claiming that he...Maxwell fucking Evans could be anything compared to Simon Bates.

If Max didn't know any better, he'd almost accuse Vos of flirting with him. Because it sure felt like he was being buttered up.

But then again...who wouldn't take the chance to have a conversation with their favorite author? Even if Max was suddenly feeling particularly uninteresting. Sure, he had stories to tell, tons of them. He loved to talk about himself, of course. And every night that he worked behind that bar, he had one arguably interesting tale or another to share. Sometimes he had to say he was 'just kidding' to keep the patrons from having a heart attack, even. But Bastiaan Vos wasn't just any guest. He was a writer. He was an icon. He was someone Max respected, even if he didn't always show it in the right way.

And Max was...just a boy. Definitely not the next Simon Bates.

"Interesting..." he repeated, fingers twisting almost nervously around the whiskey bottle he'd used to pour Bass' drink. He wasn't entirely sure what the difference between 'where you are from' and 'where you are from' was, but he supposed he could give it a shot. He licked his dry lips, then shrugged a little. "I dunno. Don't think I'm nearly as interesting as I pretend to be," a guilty smile tugged at the edges of Max's lips before his eyes rolled to the left, obviously thinking. "Um...I was an orphan by the time I was eight, homeless by fourteen. Well, I believe the term is actually 'runaway' but, details. And know, technically, I was a prostitute for a little while..." Max winced slightly, not because he was in the least bit ashamed, but because...well, he'd never been fond of that word. "And now I'm 'ere. So...I guess that's where I'm from. If that...ya know, answers your question?"

Max had stories upon stories. Antics he got into while he was in this foster home or the next, colorful stints spent on the street, drugs and violence and sex and rock and roll. Things he should have been arrested for more than once, and things no one would dare bring up to his face. People and places. Near death experiences and a love for life few others seemed to have. But this was Bastiaan...and never had he been interested before. Max was, for once, out of his element on what to say.