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Asher Costello

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a character in “More Sinned Against Than Sinning”, as played by LivyGrey

Description

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ASHER COSTELLO

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β€œAm I more than you bargained for yet?”

― Sugar, We're Going Down, Fall Out Boy.



[ Never XGrow UpXB YXTaylor Swift ]

[ I'm Still XHere XB YXJohn Resnick ]

[ The XPoisonXB YXAll-American Rejects ]

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F U L LXN A M E

      Asher Jackson Grey Costello

N I C KXN A M E S

      Ash | AJ

A G E

      19

S E X U A L I T Y

      Bisexual

T I T L E

      Bad Boy || Jock

H O M EXT O W N

      Mountain Brook



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"Lose your dreams, you may lose your mind,”

― Mick Jagger


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H E I G H T

      6’1”

W E I G H T

      158 lbs

H A I RXC O L O R

      Dark Brown

E Y EXC O L O R

      Blue

S K I NXC O L O R

      Pale

G E N E R A LXA P P E A R A N C E

      Asher has got tall, dark and handsome down to a 'T'. With a muscular figure from boxing but with a scruffy exterior which helps show the sweetheart he really is more so than his mysterious aura would do. He's got a rugged appearance, deliberate stubble, chiselled jaw, slightly overgrown hair and has a tendency to wear leather jackets and a lot of denim but he's attractive in a slightly less conventional way then most. He likes to dress smart from time to time but rarely has the occasion or opportunity and though he's known for his messy hair it's also a recognised look of his to have it cut short but long enough to sweep the front to one side but currently with recent events considered he looks slightly thinner than usual but not noticeably and his hair is overgrown and due a cut.


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β€œI don't know where I'm going but I know it won't be boring.”

― David Bowie,


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P E R S O N A L I T YXT R A I T S

      ✦ Real ✧ Playful ✦ Thoughtful ✧ Intelligent ✦

      ✦ Curious ✧ Courageous ✦ Attractive ✧ Decisive ✦

      ✦ Blunt ✧ Private ✦ Introverted ✧ Quiet ✦

      ✦ Abrasive ✧ Aggressive ✦ Resentful ✧ Disobedient ✦


      PERSONALITY HERE


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β€œThere's not only one voice.”

― Tom Delonge


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L I K E S

      ✦ Feminists ✧ Girls With Attitude ✦ Late Nights ✧ Stars ✦ Dusk ✧ Theatre ✦

D I S L I K E S

      ✦ Bullying/Prejudice ✧ Possessiveness ✦ Russian Accents ✧ Being Alone ✦ Hospitals ✧ Ducks ✦

H O B B I E S

      ✦ Boxing

      ✧ He's a trainee teacher, locally educating kids on business.

      ✦ Theatre


T A L E N T S

      ✦ Light Weight Boxing

      ✧ Theatre

      ✦ Charisma

F L A W S

      ✦ Naïve

      ✧ Narrow Minded

      ✦ Stubborn

S E C R E T S

      Asher is from the lower class side of town and is unfortunate in the fact he doesn't come from the same background of great finance like the majority of the town's residents- his father is a man of great wealth but he ran away years ago. Recently, Asher was diagnosed with a form of depression after he was informed he had Tuberculosis. During the weeks after the party he was off school due to being isolated in hospital until he was under treatment, now on medication he's been allowed out of isolation and has to stick to a strict medical routine but his weird behaviour, anti-social behaviour and sudden disappearance could have made him a prime suspect since he hasn't been seen since the party and won't admit he's ill, she has no alibi for his where about in the previous weeks.

F E A R S

      ✦ Failing Skye

      ✧ Not beating TB and leaving his family alone

      ✦ Heights

G O A L S

      ✦ To become a professional light weight boxer

      ✧ See Skye grew up, graduate, get married etc

      ✦ Beat TB


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β€œI'm a question to the world,"

―John Bezinck


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F A M I L YX&XS I G N I F I C A N TXF I G U R E S

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      Jonathan Craig Costello | 45 | Father | Alive

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      Adelaide Jane Costello | 44 | Mother | Alive

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      Skye Rosaline Costello | 14 | Sister | Alive

H I S T O R Y

      Asher's Father, Jonathan grew up in Los Angeles and inherited a property estate from his parents, he took on his Father's portfolio and adapted it into being a living by the age of 32 he was earning big money- the family owned two homes, both completed with swimming pools and luxury one of these homes being built especially for the family in Mountain Brook when Adelaide Jane Costello fell pregnant with her first child- Asher. The house though built, designed and decorated simplistically in comparison to their home in LA was impeccable and a gem within the town and was complete shortly after Asher's birth and the family promptly moved in, relocating in order to achieve a quieter life to raise their children in. Jonathan worked from his home office and occasionally commuted back to Los Angeles if anything of high importance arose that needed direct attention. It appeared they had it pretty picture perfect because five years later the couple announced at a business function that Adelaide would be bearing a second child, this time a girl who was named Skye.

      Things took a turn for the worst when Jonathan suddenly packed up in the night and left, legal documents signed the house over to his Mother were left on the table and a few weeks later divorce papers arrived at the house in an envelope with a pen. The couple never met again and Adelaide's happiness never recovered after this- a scorned, heart broken women with a three week old baby and 5 year old son to care for. Adelaide remained in Mountain Brook and found a nanny so she could work to support the family needs. She asked Jonathan for child maintenance but lost the case in court.

      So Asher grew up with no paternal figure and many problems with anger and aggression, though always very affectionate, loyal and caring he was getting into trouble a lot at school for fighting or misbehaving, truanting was also a common occurrence. When Asher was 16 he got arrested for punching someone on the streets after they hollered abuse at his Mother. He was walking with his Mother to pick up groceries when an old friend of his Father's scoffed at Adelaide and called her a 'skank', instantaneously Asher tackled him and punched him twice in the face and unfortunately that was only the first time he got arrested although no charges were pressed.

      The second time Asher got arrested was whilst he was under the influence of alcohol at 18 and for proceeding to fight for someone for joking about sleeping with his sister. This time Asher was retained in a cell over night and fined, he was also assigned to a counsellor and forced to attend group and private therapy since this was his second violent crime as a youth offender. Asher attended therapy to keep his Mother happy and started boxing- a recommendation his therapist gave him in order to outlet some of his retained anger and energy. No one can deny this was probably the best thing Asher ever did for himself because although he was still trying to care for his family full time he was letting them down by getting involved in fights for ill behaviour. He began training and quickly rose to be a local celebrity for his impressive ability within the sport. He's a hopeful to become a professional light weight boxer and has been offered sponsorships from a variety of groups.

      A few months after his second arrest and the birth of his boxing career, Asher was diagnosed with tuberculosis and retained in hospital for two weeks this was happening the night after the party where the boy died. Being 18 there were no conditions about him having to inform his family, so his condition has become a secret and though it'll become harder to hide as he begins treatment. Asher has now just turned 19 and been released from hospital with a strict drug routine and he isn't supposed to box either but boys will be boys at the end of the day. The future of his health is uncertain because his treatment is experimental- he couldn't afford the safer treatment and has been reaching out to his Father in hope he'll help provide the care Asher so dearly needs. Being away for so long recently whilst the investigation was going on has made a lot of people fairly suspicious of him and Asher isn't sure why everyone is ignoring him now he's back- he doesn't know about the death or the investigation because he was taken to hospital at the party.




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O T H E R

      Fᴀᴄᴇ CΚŸα΄€Ιͺᴍ| Daniel Racliffe

      Pᴏʀᴛʀᴀʏᴇᴅ Bʏ| LivyGrey


So begins...

Asher Costello's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alby Johnson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Two weeks later


Sam stared at himself in the mirror across from him. Even though this was nothing more than a witness statement, he'd been brought to the interrogation room, due to his own request of somewhere private to talk. And despite the associations this room came with, he was somewhat glad for it. They wouldn't be interrupted unless it was important. There was no chance of them being overheard by someone who didn't need to hear what he was saying.

Even with his jacket buttoned up as far as it would go, and a scarf wrapped around his neck under that, he could still see the edges of the bruising on his neck. He didn't need to see it to be able to vividly visualize it- the edges, green and yellow from where they were almost healed, slowly fading into dark purples and blues in the centre- almost right on his windpipe. He'd been having nightmares lately- awful, awful nightmares where he woke up with the feeling of hands around his throat and being unable to breathe. He wasn't sleeping half as well as he used to, and he knew that it was showing.

"Thank you for coming in today, Mr Hawkins. We understand the past few weeks have been difficult for you, but we need to know everything that happened on that night. Anyone and everyone you spoke to, everything you did..."

Anxiety had almost been a constant in his life since the attack, but that didn't stop him from feeling it's effects as he ran his hands along his trousers.

"I turned up just as the event started, so around... seven, I guess? I did some networking, spoke to a man about the artwork, then went and chatted with... uh, Scarlet, Declan and Beatrice, I think? I then went and spoke to Arthur Marin and the principal, before I..."

His throat and mouth was suddenly dry, and his heart was pounding. He knew that Alby had been arrested- he hadn't missed that. And he didn't know whether telling would help or make things worse. He felt sick. It didn't help that he knew that one of the police officers was friends with his dad.

"I went to the janitor's closet with Alby. I'd had an argument with a friend that we needed to talk about, but we, uh... we ended up kissing as well."

And now it was out there. He wished that some of the weight would lift from his shoulders, but it only seemed to get heavier.

"Was this the first time you'd... been with Mr. Johnson, Mr. Hawkins?" The officer, the one who knew his father, asked. Sam shook his head.

"No. We've been... dating in secret for a while now. My parents don't want me in a relationship," he admitted.

"What happened then?" The other officer asked.

"We... We argued for a bit, and he left. I waited for a minute or two before leaving, then went back to the main event where I networked for a bit, then went looking for Alby to apologise. That was when I was attacked- the hall was in darkness, and I was using my phone as a torch. Then someone hit me from behind, I went to apologise or just say something and then..." he stopped, unable to say anything else. He loosened the scarf around his neck a bit.

"What did you and Mr. Johnson argue about?"

"We've both just been really stressed lately- he's got some personal shit going on and I've been under so much pressure with running, that we both just blew up over nothing really. He was afraid that I was going to leave him behind without a thought, and I was angry about that. It was barely even an argument- he just admitted that and left."

"Sam, I know this is hard, but did you fight back when you were attacked?"

"Yeah- I scratched at their hands and kicked, but it didn't work. They were... way too strong, though," he said. The two officers looked at each other, then back at Sam.

"Thank you very much, Mr. Hawkins. You've given us some good evidence here," one said, getting to his feet.

"Did I just get Alby in more trouble?" He blurted, twisting his hands together under the table. They looked at each other, then the one who knew his father shook his head.

"No. If anything, you've just proven the evidence to be circumstantial. We'll have to see how things work out, but... You might have just gotten him released."

Sam felt like he was going to cry with relief. He got to his feet, shoving his hands in his pocket, and headed out to the front lobby, where he got his phone and keys back. As soon as he left, he sent a text to Alby. He knew that Alby wouldn't have his phone with him, but... with luck, he'd be seeing it before long.

"I need to see you. We also kinda need to talk"


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Charlie pulled down her sleeves over her hands and wrapped her arms around her body as she left her consultant's office. Her own doctor had transferred the notes to him once her mom had notified them that she'd be staying in the area for a while. But a new doctor meant more blood tests. Goddamn doctors and not trusting each other and wanting their own results. Okay, the doctor had told her it was to examine the progression of the illness, but she wasn't so sure. After all, the news had been the same as ever. Things were getting worse. Her kidney function was starting to be affected. If they couldn't find a match for this goddamn bone marrow transfer, her days were numbered.

And she still had yet to find out anything about her fucking father. She'd asked around, and had found nothing. Typing his name into Google had only brought up news articles about him- not as much as an office address. And nobody knew where to find him. Somebody had to know where he was.

She kinda had to stick around now that her mom had transferred the notes, but she didn't want to. She'd heard about the murder, and then the string of attacks, which the police didn't even know if they were related. Admittedly, the people were interesting. One in particular.

And almost as if she had conjured him up, she caught a glimpse of him across the lobby. Old anger flushed through her veins. The bastard. But instead of slapping him like she wanted to, she smiled and made her way over to him. "Remember me?" She asked. "I'm just wondering where you've been- you ran off in such a hurry, so you better have a goddamn good excuse," she said, her nice act fading.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alby Johnson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      To put things simply, Asher was not in the best place on this particular morning. He was in the process of signing his discharge forms there was still a wrist band hanging off of him, the tag with his initials and surname giving himself away. The annoying thing was that this wasn't even the end, he had to carry his jacket because it wouldn't fit in his bag after he had to ram it full with medication. He sighed and pulled his signature leather jacket over his shoulders and covered the tag before looking up at his consultant. She smiled at him optimistically and scribbled across the paper and Asher exhaled in relief. Part of him was still terrified of dying, even though he'd been told he had a good chance of surviving it was all statistics, maths and predictions based on other people- not him, based on all those for him so how could they be accurate to him? Nothing about his body would be the same as another person, so he just didn't understand how he was suppose to put his faith in what you could call a poorly made guess or estimate. He scrawled his name across the paper, his signature to large to fit on the line and covered practically a whole quarter of the page but he couldn't have cared less about how pretty his paper work looked. He just wanted to go home, skip group therapy and catch up on some missed sleep.

      And Charlie.

      He needed to call Charlie, he didn't even know if he had her number but he had to explain somehow. He was supposed to have gotten drinks and gone back to her and he'd got outside to smoke quickly whilst he waited for the kitchen to die down and he collapsed, woke up breathless in hospital with tuberculosis written on everything he owned.

      He felt terrible, there wasn't a guy in the world who had more respect for women then Ash and thinking he'd stood up Charlie made his stomach twist with guilt and self loathing. What would he tell her though? He genuinely had really taken to her at the party and liked her- to him, that hadn't been about fooling around or trying to get a quick fuck and it'd all gone so wrong. He couldn't tell her the truth though because his Mother couldn't know anything was wrong that he was sick- he needed to care for them and track down his Father so he could pay for the treatment that was guaranteed to cure him. He'd never been afraid of death but realising he could die and leave his Mother and Skye behind had become his worse fear over the last weeks and not only that but disappointing them and he'd already done so to Charlie.

      She must think I'm such a dick...

      The Nurse was talking but he wasn't listening because he turned his head and saw tousled brown locks and he could remember how soft they'd felt all those weeks ago now. He'd been in hospital a month now, told his Mother he was at a training camp for his boxing on the phone so she wouldn't worry and he'd used a Nurse's phone to transfer some money over to Skye's account so they'd be one hundred percent okay if there was any kind of emergency.

      A month.

      A month since he met Charlie and let her down.

      He'd been staring at her but he hadn't quite been able to help himself, he wanted to look away and go hide because her presence reminded him of what he'd done and afflicted him with guilt but a warmer part of him was just desperate to go apologise try and explain himself, ask her out or something but before he could contemplate any of these things she was suddenly there looking up at him with energetic eyes.

      "Charlie, hear me out I'm sorry. I went to get our drinks- two Coronas and lime but the kitchen was rammed, so I went to wait outside for it to chill out a bit and I was having a smoke and I guess the drink caught up with me cause I collapsed and got dragged up to hospital- dehydration or something I suppose but I'm sorry Charlie, I wanted to talk to you but I never got your number and you hate me so it was a hard thing to motivate at times," He worked his story on the sport and in fairness, very little of it was false.

      He had gone to get drinks.
      He had gone for a smoke.
      He had collapsed.
      He had gone to hospital.
      He had been dehydrated.

      He just missed out the fact he had tuberculosis.

      The nurse passed him some paper but Asher folded it quickly because it had all kinds of information about his case on- his tuberculosis, his therapy, medication requirements, there was no way in hell Charlie could know about any of those things.

      "Look I'm sorry- there was no excuse for it and it was a really shitty thing to do but if you ever want to see me again, I'd love the opportunity to try and make it up to you but I understand if you'd rather punch me instead which by the way- this would be the best place to do it, considering they could fix me up here pretty quick, so I suppose I'm saying make it a good one?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Scarlet Richardson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Sam had just started his walk home when his phone buzzed in his pocket. It was, rather surprisingly, from Scarlet. She sounded a little desperate, and he wondered why exactly she was texting him. Did she know something about them? He knew that Bea knew about them, but he highly doubted that either Bea or Ellie had told Scarlet of all people. Unless Alby had let something slip between the attack and his arrest? Sam didn't know when exactly Alby had been arrested, but he had a feeling it hadn't been right after the attack.

He sighed and texted her back.

To: Scarlet
I can't come- I'm not allowed to visit, not when he's suspected of attacking me. Meet me at the coffee shop in 10?


He started walking back in the direction of the coffee shop. He was a little bothered by Scarlet's panic- he knew that she and Alby were good friends. But Alby and Bea were even better friends, and Sam had hardly heard from her. He pulled out his phone and texted bea.

To: Bea
Just had one interrogation from the cops and am about to have another from Scarlet. Half expecting her to full-on start saying the rosary at the table for me. How you holding up?


The more he thought about it, the more unsettled he was becoming. Why the hell was Scarlet so concerned about him? Like, Sam was dealing with not being able to see Alby. Admittedly, not that well, but he was dealing. Scarlet appeared to be freaking out big time. Was there something he didn't know? Had something happened to one of the kids at the shelter? Perhaps it was just that. Perhaps it was just Scarlet getting wound up over nothing.


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Charlie listened to him talk, raising an eyebrow. His story seemed somewhat genuine- it was around that time when things got a little crazy, so it was understandable that she could have missed him. And he did seem genuinely sorry. She stared at him, genuinely considering punching or slapping him. But instead, she looped her arm through his.

"You can buy me a milkshake instead," she said, grinning at him. "And a brownie. As tempting as punching you is, getting food out of you is much better," she teased. She did honestly like him, and she appreciated how apologetic he'd been. If he'd been sick, then she couldn't hold it against him. God knows, she'd had to cancel her own plans enough due to illness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      Relief flooded into his expression, although he had initially cringed when she moved her arm thinking she was going to hit him but he relaxed as she looped her arm with his and he smiled at her kindly. He looked at her with a honest smile and nodded compliantly;

      "Thank you," He replied to her, more for giving him a second chance more than anything because he'd been wallowing in the guilt for what felt like infinity and she'd really caught his attention at the party, she was so smart and funny and he couldn't even begin to explain how pretty he thought she was but he didn't voice any of these things, he was just grateful she was still on his side because even he was disgusted by what it looked like he'd done at the party- if someone did that to Skye, he'd beat the shit out of them and he wasn't going to make it just in his head just because he was the one who did it.

      "You can do both if you want, I box- I can take a punch," He joked softly, leading the way out of the hospital because although he had no idea why she was here and it was the most obscure place to run into someone in the world, he knew them well enough to know it wasn't a place somebody wanted to be and plus- it'd hardly somewhere to go for what he was going to call; 'make-up drinks'.

      "So, the best place I've ever found in this dump for a milkshake is the coffee shop, a lot of my friends used to hang out there and I've never been disappointed so you up for it?" He asked her gently. He was serious about making it up to her and he was desperate to know that she realised that so he looked at her for a moment as they walked and bit his lip nervously before saying; "The party, disappearing like that- it's really not like me. I know it looks bad because obviously, that's how we met but I mean; I'm a feminist for a start and I raised by my Mum so y'know I've grown up having massive issues about having to respect women, so I know I've apologised but I'm doing it again because quite frankly, I'm disappointed in myself for it because if someone did the same thing to my little sister- I think I'd actually beat the shit out of them..." He stopped talking because he'd ran out of things to say but he smiled hopefully at her and ran a hand through his hair with a slightly nervous twitch to the action.







      Scrawled across her bed almost like she'd fallen down some stairs and landed there, she groaned upon hearing her phone but she groaned because she hadn't properly clocked what was happening. Her phone was ringing, she dived at her mobile hoping it'd be Alby texting to say he was out and wanted to meet for a beer so they could laugh it off and go see Sam and the two could have a really cute romantic reunion and Bea would take the piss out of them and...and try not to think about Ellie.

      She knew her hopes were unrealistic and reading any name on her phone that wasn't Alby's or Ellie's kind of left her sighing but she was genuinely glad to hear from Sam; she'd been worrying about him from a distance, hadn't wanted to speak up too much because she knew the kind of pressure he must be under at the minute but she'd been right in thinking he'd come to her if he needed because he'd text her now and though it wasn't anything huge; he was reaching out so she was happy to hear from him.

      She read the text and inwardly groaned; "Poor sod, Scar's probably worst than the bloody police," She mumbled to herself, considering what she could write back that didn't completely slag off Scarlet Her instinctive hatred for the girl was incredibly unlikely to burn out anytime soon- it was very public too, no body had ever made the mistake of thinking they liked each other but Beatrice certainly didn't help that in the slightest.

      To: Sam
      Scarlet? Fuck me, I'd rather have two police interrogations. You'll be alright as long as she's not PMSing though- I'm OK, should probably get out of my bedroom soon though. Want to meet for a drink later? Think we're overdue a catch up considering all the beef at the minute. It's cool if not though- I know you're busy but if you need to offload I'm not likely to magically get a life soon, so just text me


      Her and Sam though friends weren't the closest but they did have a common interest in Alby and looking out for him, so she figured if anybody could understand the guy now it'd be her; plus they had sexualities in common. Although she wasn't lesbian, she was bisexual and she leaned towards women more any but her thought track was that she'd probably be able to help out a bit if he needed the support- that's the only reason she offered. Well, that and she was lonely without Alby around but she wasn't going to admit that anytime soon. She'd sooner go around and tell everyone about Ellie.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Scarlet Richardson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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As Sam walked, his phone buzzed with a reply from Bea. He grinned as he read it, quickly typing out a reply.

To: Bea
I'm dying for a drink, sounds great. We're talking alcohol, right? I'll give you the low down on what happens with Scar then as well. My place or yours? ;)


It was nice having Bea, he had to admit. Now that she knew about him and Alby, things were so much easier. They could just hang out and chill- and while they hadn't really had a chance to do that since the attack, it was still nice to have that option. He glanced at the time on his phone and grimaced a little, pulling his coat tighter around him and fixing his scarf to cover as much of the bruising on his neck.

It took him a little longer than anticipated to get to the cafe, and he grinned apologetically at Scarlet as he went up to the counter and ordered his coffee. Everyone in there knew him from when he and Alby had first met. He'd spent far too long in there chatting to Alby and insulting him. As far as any of the staff knew, nothing had ever come of it- it had just been a teasing flirtation, nothing more.

His coffee in hand, he slid into the seat across from Scarlet with an apologetic grin. "Sorry," he said, glancing down at the paper all over the table. He resisted the temptation to raise an eyebrow. "So, here's what I know about visiting. They've gotten pretty tight on it, but they are still letting visitors in. But you have to be over 18 or else accompanied by a parent, and they're ridiculously strict as regards to time. I don't know the time limit, though. So, if you need to tell him something, you need to make it fast." He took a mouthful out of his coffee. He did need to get a message to Alby, but there was no way in hell that he was telling Scarlet everything.

"If you do go see him, tell him that I say to tell the truth about everything that night. He'll know what it means," he said.


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She shrugged at his suggestion. "I'm still new in town, I'll have to trust your recommendation," she said, grinning at him. The continued apologies were both endearing and a little irritating, but she knew that he meant well.

"Ash, it's fine. Seriously. If it was a health thing, then I won't hold grudges, okay? And like I said, all will be forgiven if you buy me food," she said, laughing a little. "So, you were raised by a single mom as well? Well, my mom wasn't that single- she remarried when I was five. But my biological father wasn't around," she said, shrugging a little. She was glad that today was a good day- she'd be able to manage the walk to the coffee shop, and would even be able to manage hanging out all day. She'd probably pay for it tomorrow, but she'd deal with that when it came to it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      "Well, I hope it's not disappointing then," He told her with a small smile. "Okay, thank your Charlie and I will- so I guess I'm in the clear then," He laughed gently but he still felt terrible about it all really but it'd pass with time.

      When she explained about her family, he listened closely and nodded gently. "Yeah, pretty much the same. My little sister- Skye, she's 14 now but my Dad disappeared when she was born. It's cool though- I'm pretty happy with it just being us three y'know, it's easier like this," He explained with a small shrug. "It's cool your Mum found someone new though, I'm still trying to talk my Mum into dating again, she hates the idea though, says it's for kids," He chuckled softly, a fond smile passing his expression as he talked about his family. It was obvious they were incredibly important to him and that he loved them but maybe that's because he didn't try to act cool or hide it, Ash was the town's clichΓ© bad boy type but that didn't mean he was vain enough to act like people would judge him for loving his family.

      "Anyway, I feel like though other than that what we talked about at the party we still don't know each other that well, so go on tell me about the world of Charlie Reynolds, hobbies, pets- whatever," He encouraged warmly, he wasn't quite sure why but she made him kind of nervous but not in a horrible intimidated way, in the way that made him a lot more conscious and thoughtful about his actions. He genuinely wanted to know all about her though and get to know her properly because he'd really taken a shine to her at the party and even though he didn't know her properly yet, he really wanted to which is why he was so happy she'd been generous enough to give him the chance to put things right again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Richardson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Sam was initially planning on replying to Scarlet, but she just... didn't stop talking. He avoided making eye contact and took a mouthful of his coffee, completely unsure how to react. When Alby started rambling, Sam could just kiss him to shut him up. That wasn't exactly an option here.

What the hell was she even on about? Why would Saint Scarlet be kicked out of her own home? And why the hell was she stressing about getting fat? Was this what girls did? It wasn't like he'd fucking know. Wow, Bea was going to take the piss out of him later.

Once she stopped, he stayed silent for a second, waiting for her to start into babbling again. It was only when she stayed silent for a bit more that he felt safe enough to talk.

"Scarlet... what is it you have to talk to him so urgently about? Why... why are your parents going to kick you out? Scarlet, what's going on between you and Alby?" He asked, frowning. Did this have to do with how Alby had been acting in the weeks before the party? He wanted answers, and he felt like Scarlet had some of them.


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"The world of Charlie Reynolds? Well, it's nothing too riveting," she said, shrugging a little. "At home, we currently have two cats, Tom and Jerry. Yeah, I know, but my brother named them. They're both rescues, but are the biggest sweethearts I've ever met. I... adore musicals, and I've even been trained by a former West End star. My favourite musical is either Chicago or Les Mis, which, I know, are two very different musicals. I can't swim and absolutely hate huge, open bodies of water. Swimming pools are bearable, but just about."

She looked up at him, raising an eyebrow. "What about you? Tell me about the world of Asher Costello," she said, pulling herself in a little closer on his arm. They'd just clicked at the party and had basically spent the whole night together. She hadn't been long in Mountain Brook at that point, but had still managed to find out about the party and turn up. Now that her mom wasn't constantly hovering, making sure she didn't push herself too hard, she could actually let loose a little.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      He listened to her closely and with a clear interest, determined not to miss a single word of what she was saying and he grinned humorously when she explained the name of her cats and chuckled a little; "Know what? I think it's awesome, he knows Jerry was a mouse though right?" He joked gently, before letting her continue immediately afterwards. He'd expected her to be the musical type- he could remember talking about music taste a lot when they were at the party, he'd brought it up because music was such a general thing it was easy to talk about but he genuinely thought she was insanely interesting and he didn't think she was trying to be either. "They're both pretty great to be honest," He agreed with her calmly. "But I'd be swinging towards Le Mis I think," He offered with a small shrug. "Really? I hate the sea, I don't mind like lakes or anything but I can't handle the sea..." He admitted thoughtfully.

      "Well, I'm a light weight boxer- I got into last year because I kept getting into trouble at school; you know the clichΓ© and the stereotype I won't bore you, so I spend a lot of time training for that. Massive fan of rock, punk and older music. I'm not going to lie; my family mean the world to me, if I'm not training I'm usually spending time with them. I've lived in Mountain Brook most of my life, have a crippling fear of heights and that's pretty much it honestly," He told openly with small shrug.

      As they reached the cafΓ©, he held the door for her to let her go in first and smiled warmly at her. "And here we are," He announced casually.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Richardson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Most of the things about sinning went over his head- he honestly didn't give a shit about sinning. According to the bible, he was sinning by just freaking breathing, so that wasn't much of a biggie to him. It was the "there's something between me and Alby" thing that was bothering him. What freaking secret could the two of them have? He knew that they were friends, but hell, they were two completely different people. How bad of a secret could it be when Scarlet was involved?

He was about to demand more details, when he noticed how upset she seemed to be getting. She'd been frantic at first, but this was... this was new. Was she crying? Oh shit. Oh shit, she was crying.

What the hell was he supposed to do? He reached across awkwardly and put a hand on her arm. "Hey, Scarlet, it's fine, seriously. I'm sorry if I upset you, okay? Seriously, there's no need to cry." He knew that he should be better with this kind of thing, but his sister hardly ever cried- or at least, never in a situation where he was required to comfort her. Most of the time he just handed her ice cream and a spoon and left the room again. But he couldn't exactly do that in this situation.

"Alby will probably be out before long- like, I'm pretty sure that they're not even supposed to have kept him in this long. So, some angry, hotshot lawyer will probably just storm in before long and Alby will be free to go. So, uh, just don't freak out, okay?"

Why the hell was she even so worried about Alby anyway? Like, her reaction had bypassed normal friendship levels. It was starting to verge on bypassing normal hormonal. Was she just being a drama queen? Or was there something that Sam didn't know about?


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"A boxer, huh? Easy to know I'll be safe with you," she said, grinning up at him. She had already forgiven him for ditching her- she was just glad that they could hang out like this. She smiled at him as he held the door open for her, and stepped inside. It was surprisingly warm inside, considering that it wasn't that busy. It had the same feel as every other coffee shop in the world- or at least everyone she'd been in. She scanned the menu. Everything sounded amazing, and it wasn't that expensive. She'd been in a few that charged ridiculous prices for coffee that was only okay.

Once she'd decided, she leaned against Ash a little. "I'm going to have a strawberry milkshake and a brownie," she declared, grinning up at him. He was a good bit taller than her, but she really didn't mind that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      He chuckle d a bit at her comment and shrugged his shoulders; "I'm not the toughest but I try," He chuckled gently. "But I think we'll be okay regardless here," He joked light heartedly. He sat down with her and did all the gentlemanly things like pull back a chair for her and wait till she was seated to sit himself, let her make a decision in her own time and before he made his own. It was clear he was well brought up and well mannered but also incredibly caring.

      "Awesome," He told her with a smile. "I can't decide between banana milkshake or strawberry but I'm really tempted to say screw it about the whole athletes diet thing and get a cake," He laughed with a small grin. He beckoned politely to a waiter who immediately came over to take an order.

      "Charlie?" He offered gently, allowing her to order first.









      Bea could have evenly been mistaken for dead as she laid numb across her body as she nestled into her bed sheets, it'd been a while since Sam text her and she'd only just noticed the message on her phone so she quickly picked up her phone to text him back;

      To: Sam
      That's sound, come to mine I don't really wanna leave the house today so just come round whenever, if I don't answer the door cuz I'm in the attic, just let yourself in


      She only said that because from her room, she could never hear people knock and she didn't want him to feel ignored, so she tried to avoid that by prempting the problem.

      Her whole body shook and then suddenly froze when she saw Ellie's message, it felt like hell had frozen over as though the sky had fallen. Without prompt, request or encouragement she'd texted B. She'd texted her, herself from her own phone, her own way- Bea had to reign herself in to stop herself from getting her hopes up but the more she thought about it the less hopeful it was; talking was bad. Wanting to talk was even worse.

      To: Ellie
      Yeah I guess. I don't really feel up to leaving the house though- you're welcome to come here though if it's important


      She didn't want to outright invite Ellie over but she didn't want to go out either, so she tried to invite her as casually as possible. It was hard because B really couldn't be doing with going out tonight; she'd need to clean though make sure there was no evidence anywhere about anything being wrong or out of place. Her cigarettes, weed, needles, lighters, Librium, drink- she needed to get rid of it all and that suddenly hit her like a tonne of bricks and she jumped up to begin clearing her whole attic to move everything out of sight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Scarlet Richardson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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He shook his head at the offer of some cookies. As she asked him if she could help with anything, he hesitated for a second. There were so many things he wanted to say to Alby- but he didn't trust Scarlet to relay them to him without giving away the real nature of their relationship. He sighed a little, taking a mouthful out of his coffee.

"Tell Alby I don't think it was him, okay? That I don't blame him," he said. His phone buzzed in his pocket, making his heart pound. He scrambled for it, praying that it was a text from Alby saying that he was out and at home. But instead, three texts awaited him. One from Bea, confirming the details about going over to hers. One from Ellie, wanting to talk. And one from his father, telling him to get his ass home.

His stomach twisted uncomfortably, but he drained the rest of his coffee. "I gotta go, Scarlet. Good luck with getting in to see Alby. Text me and let me know how you get on, 'kay?" He said, getting to his feet and adjusting his scarf. All he could think about was the cop that was friends with his father.

As he started on the way home, he typed out a few replies.

To: Bea
Chat with Scarlet was surprisingly painless- but now Ellie wants to talk and father may or may not be pissed off. Ugh.


To: Ellie
I'll get back to you on that.


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Every little thing he did just made her like him more than more- from holding out her seat to letting her order first. He was such a gentleman without even trying, and she loved that about him. When the waiter approached, she smiled up at him. "Hi, can I get a strawberry milkshake and a brownie, please?" She asked. Once Ash had replied, she leaned her chin on her hand and looked over at him.

"So, what have you been up to since the party?" She asked. "Apparently there's been a lot of drama since then, I do hope you haven't been tied up in any of it," she joked, indicating a newspaper on a neighbouring table.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      "Damn, could I have a banana milkshake and...urgh to hell with it, could I have a lemon cake please?" He ordered with a sigh,He grinned at her across the table and shrugged a little, chuckling at her joke. "Oh of course I wasn't- I haven't seen a lot of anyone actually since," He was raking his brain for some kind of excuse for his absence and managed to some how with an answer without too much delay. "Training stuff y'know," As she gestured though he looked over at the newspaper but upon seeing the headline his eyes widened a little;

      "Oh shit- sorry, my language- I hadn't heard about it. I assumed you meant like post party gossip but I didn't know about that lad," He mumbled thoughtfully as he turned to look back at her again. He had no idea a guy had died at the party that night or that it was murderer- seeing the newspaper was the first he'd heard of it but he didn't understand how he'd missed it living in such a small town.








      Realising, that it was late afternoon and she was still sprawled across her bed sheets undressed and when she felt her hair with one hand it dawned on her it wouldn't hurt to quickly wash either. She climbed onto her feet and sighed heavily, she climbed downstairs out of the attic and to her dismay almost walked straight into her Father in the hallway, a light dressing gown clinging to her figure she looked incredibly small and to hide her weight she swiftly wrapped it around herself. properly.

      "B, barely seen you all week and it's almost the afternoon; you alright?" He asked awkwardly and B just simply nodded.

      "I thought you were at work," She replied.

      "Going now, I'll see you later kid- don't forget to have Lunch and you're supposed to see Dr Schmidt at 4, you're going to go this time right? You promised us B..." He bartered and Bea looked away from him turning her gaze to the floor, watching the wooden boards like they were the most interesting thing in the world. "Come on B, please for me?" He asked. "For your Mother," He reasoned but Bea didn't move or speak. "I can't make you but please B, think about it. I'll walk to work so you can take the car later,"

      "Thanks Dad...bye," She mumbled calmly, trying not to give into her feeling guilty but he did just have that effect on her when he did things like this. She did love her parents but they were by no means close- she was almost tempted to actually go to her appointment- almost.

      Once he'd left, she went into the bathroom and got into the shower and although she saw her phone glow on the side as a message came through, she didn't open it though- she just got straight into the shower to wash her hair. She was quick, purely because she hated water and being wet, she'd never go swimming or in the sea; it'd be her own personal idea of hell. Once she was clean, she got out and dried off before returning to her loft to get changed.

      She dressed in leather look leggings and a drop sleeve Ramones shirt, she checked her arms and to her own relief noticed the scars were light enough to cover with make-up so she brushed over them with powder because if she started covering up all the time people would notice, it'd always been a joke to point out how Bea may as well be a nudist most of the time. She blow dried her hair but didn't curl it like usual, she didn't feel up to making any more of an effort.

      It was this point she finally checked her phone and saw the text from Sam, so she replied kind of relieved to have a distraction from moping around alone. Her face however kind of crumbled when she considered his message properly. So, Ellie hadn't wanted to talk to Bea- she was just one of many. She sighed and clasped her phone, trying to convince herself she didn't give a toss and she grit her teeth a little, trying to fake a smile at herself in the mirror and look confident but it was easier said than done.

      To: Sam
      Ah that's good then I guess. And oh shit- just come hide out at mine or something or runaway to Mexico- it's a clichΓ© but could work. And oh she text you too? I guess we got the same message then, I told her to come over so I guess if you stick around you could talk to her then?





Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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He smirked a little at Bea's reply, and texted her back as he neared the house.

To: Bea
"Mexico is sounding increasingly appealing right now. And thanks, that sounds ideal"


To: Ellie
"I'll meet you at Bea's in a while."


He hesitated before opening the door. He was sure that it had nothing to do with Alby, that it was something way smaller than that, that there had to be a better explanation for it all. But that didn't stop the awful knotting in his stomach as he opened the door and let himself in.

Both of his parents were sitting at the table, waiting for him. He could see them from the moment he stepped into the hall, and they were staring at him. He forced himself to act normal, unravelling the scarf from around his neck and hanging his coat up.

"Is everything okay?" He asked as he headed into the kitchen. For the first time, Allie crossed his mind. There was no sign of his sister, and he suddenly felt guilty for assuming this was about him. Had something happened to her?

"We just got a call from William- you know, who works in the police station?" His father said. Sam suddenly felt like he was going to hurl.

"Is everything okay?" He asked as casually as he could- but that didn't come across as that casual at all.

"How long has this been going on?" His father asked, his tone suddenly changing to one of barely concealed anger.

"What?"

"You and this... boy," he spat, and Sam was suddenly sure that he was going to throw up. His chest was starting to get constricted, and that didn't help anything. He made his way over to the sink ad filled a glass with water, suddenly aware of how much his hands were shaking.

"Samuel Hawkins, you answer me right now," his father demanded.

"A few months," Sam forced out, and he could hear both of his parents exhale heavily.

"So not only did you go ahead and directly disobey our wishes, you then proceeded to lie about it for a few months?" His mother asked. Sam didn't reply, taking a shaky mouthful out of the water.

"Sam," his mother said, more forcefully this time. Sam whirled around to face them.

"Well, I didn't exactly have much choice, now, did I? I got my grades up to the level you wanted, I kept performing at my best, and you still weren't happy. And yet both Allie and David can date as many people as they want- but not me. It wasn't fair!" He protested. He really fucking wished that this could have happened differently- ideally with Alby by his side to back him up. But that wasn't happening.

"You didn't even try and talk to us about it!" His mother replied.

"I did! You didn't want to listen!" He retorted.

"We want you out of this house," his father said, suddenly calm. Sam stared at him, feeling like the floor had just given way from underneath him.

"What?"

"You heard your father," his mother said. "We tolerated this... lifestyle of yours, and gave you only one condition- that you wouldn't date in this household. And then, not only did you break that condition, you lied to us about it, and we only found out because you told the police in your statement," she said.

"So you're just kicking me out?"

"If you won't follow these rules, then you're not living in this house," his father said. "Pack your bags and get out," He added, and they both turned away. Conversation over.

Sam stormed up to his room, pulling a backpack and a duffel bag from under his bed. His hands still hadn't stopped shaking, and the feeling of pressure on his chest hadn't dissipated either. He emptied his closet into the duffel bag and backpack, throwing the few pairs of shoes he actually wore into the top of them, followed by the few possessions he truly cared about.

"Sam?" His sister asked, standing in his doorway. "You don't... They're not... You don't really have to leave, do you?" She asked. He nodded without really looking at her, pulling the backpack onto his back. "That's not fair... Can they do that?" She asked. He shrugged.

"I'm eighteen, Allie, they can do whatever the hell they like. But hey, you'll come visit me, wherever I end up, right?" He said, and she nodded defiantly.

"Even if they won't let me. Especially if they won't let me."

"And you'll still come to all my races?"

"Wouldn't miss them for the world," she said. He swung his duffel bag onto his shoulder and stepped over to her to give her a hug. She clung on to him like she never had before for a few seconds, before letting him go.

"I'll text you, okay?" He promised, before heading downstairs. He didn't even glance into the kitchen, slamming the door behind him as a goodbye. As he walked, he texted Bea again.

To: Bea
"definitely need those drinks now. will explain later."


As he walked, he tucked his scarf back into his coat. He had no clue where he was going to stay- would Alby be mad if he hung out in his place until he got things sorted out?


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She reached over and swiped the paper from the empty table. "Since that murder, there's been a string of attacks as well. They reckon they're kind of related, but can't be sure." She'd read the paper the whole way through while waiting to see her doctor this morning, as well as googling her father. She'd found something about something he'd done for a charity or something- sponsored an orphan or some shit like that- a few years ago, but still nothing concrete. And it was a pain in the ass.

"Here, I won't mind if you want to skim through it while we wait," she said, shrugging a little. "As long as you don't mind me watching you," she said, leaning her head on her hand.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      "Shit, that's awful. It's nothing to do with anyone we know is it?" He asked anxiously, suddenly concerned for his peers. Although he wasn't a main attribute to the circle, he got on with everybody and he certainly didn't wish this kind of thing anybody either.

      The waiter returned with their orders and he smiled gratefully; "Thank you," He said politely as their drinks and cakes were laid on the table. The waitress smiled and after checking on them soon left and Ash looked to Charlie, a slight chill in his spine since hearing about the investigation.

      He couldn't believe he hadn't heard anything about it in the hospital. Everyone was always gossiping there but he hadn't heard a single thing, he didn't even know the poor guy had died that night. He felt kind of bad about it now- the victim had probably only been looking for a good night out before exams came around, Ash winced a bit at the thought. He felt even worse now though about the Charlie thing, leaving her at a party was bad enough but leaving her at a party where some kid got murdered, that was terrible but he didn't want to apologise again in case he irritated her.









      To: Sam
      You okay honey? I've got drink (obvs it’s me) so just pop round when you want to talk. Hope things are okay, let me know if I can do anything


      She very quickly began to worry about Sam after his last text, purely because of how much he had going on she couldn't even begin to theorise how it could have got any worse and she dread to think about it really but she barely dbven have time to coΓ±sider her fears because the door knocked and it was too soon to be Sam so it had to be Ellie and a pit grew in her stomach.

      She walked to the door and hesitated. She wasn't sure if she could handle this, whatever Ellie wanted to talk about couldn't be good and every time Bea saw her it was a sickening rush of nausea that Ellie always left her with- every single time.

      She eventually opened the door and there she was; the angel from her nightmares.

      "Hi," She mumbled simply wishing she was a bit less of a state but the week alone hadn't been at all kind to her but thankfully you couldn't smell alcohol or smoke in her but only would have been because she showered.

      She avoided looking at Ellie for a long time because her beautiful brown locks, her unwavering strong eyes and determined expression were just too tempting but she wasn't even allowed to suggest she liked Ellie as a friend forget to act upon something deeper.

      She stepped away from the door leaving it open so Ellie could let herself in and she hugged the material of her drop sleeve T-shirt around her petite waist and sighed gently. "Do you want a drink or something?" She asked a little awkwardly. As she moved around the hall, she stole an unwanted glance at herself in the mirror and noticed the darkness under her eyes where shadows clung to her skin and the paleness of her skin- she didn't look great but she's have to live with it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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No matter how much he tried, he just couldn't come up with a concrete solution. The best thing he could come up with was hanging out at Alby's until he got a job and somewhere to stay- but even that wasn't great. What if they imposed some sort of barring order on Alby if and when he got out, meaning that staying with him was completely out of the question?

To distract himself from all that thinking, he checked his phone again, reading the text from Bea and grimacing a little.

To: Bea
On my way over now- is Ellie there?


The walk from his house to Bea's wasn't exactly far- but he was taking himself with the walk. He didn't particularly want to have to spill the beans, but at the same time, he wanted some support. If it was just Bea, he'd probably tell the full truth. If Ellie was there, they'd have to put up with him being vague. He wasn't telling a thing to Ellie, not after the way she'd acted towards him.

Eventually, he reached Bea's house and knocked the door a few times, suddenly realising that he needed to come up with a feasible excuse as to why he had two bags of his belongings with him.


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She thanked the waited as he put down her food, before turning her attention back to Asher. She shrugged a little in response to his question. "I don't know- I'm still new to town, remember? These names don't really mean anything to me," she said, shrugging a little as she took her mouthful of her milkshake. She only really looked for one name when she read the paper- or, at least, one surname.

"Seriously, have a read of the article. I don't mind, and it probably means more to you than it does to me. You might spot a name you know," she said, cutting a piece off of her brownie and taking a bite.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      "It's okay, I'll check it out when I get home, there's no one I should worry about; my friends wouldn't get involved in that anyway, it's cool. But oh yeah of course, I never got to ask you what brought you to town- I mean come on, it's hardly the scenery pretty ugly town if you ask me," He asked gfently, his tone always welcoming and friendly, with a relaxed smile upon his expression.

      Although he was incredibly shjpcked and slightly distressed by the news about te murder and the investigation, he didn't want to dwell on it whilst he was hanging out with Charlie- it was hardly fair to sit her and talk about someone dying for a while and that definitely wouldn't make up for the events at the party.

      He couldn't believe it thpugh, some young kid dying like this was insane. Mountain Brook was so quiet he couldn't get his head around the idea of such a thing happening to one of them but it was there written in the headlines, printed in black and white crystal clear.

      "But since you're new, I should do the nice cheesy thing and offer to show you around some time and I could introduce you to a couple mof people if you wsnt," He offered honestly, kind of hoping she'd be up for it just so he could have more time to spend getting to know her because he couldn't pretend he wasnt slightly mesmirised by the whole nature of her character. She was different and indivodual, she didn't remind him of anybody else and he kind of nliked hat about her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Sam forced a smile as Bea opened the door. She really didn't look herself, and Sam felt a sudden pang of guilt for wanting to unload his problems onto her. He shrugged as she asked if he was okay, hesitating for a second. She hadn't even curled her hair, and the dark circles under her eyes made those under his look like mere shadows. Was it fair to tell her everything?

"Not really. One of the fucking pigs down the police station told my parents about me and Alby, which resulted in a huge fight, and I stormed out," he explained. It wasn't a complete lie- he just was leaving out the part where they kicked him out. "So I think I'm gonna hide out in Alby's for tonight, just let things die down a bit," he said. Also not a lie.

"You okay? You look like you haven't slept since the gala," he said as he started up the stairs.


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She shrugged a little as he asked why she was in town. "I'm just... doing some travelling, living my life and all that. But I will most certainly take up your offer of being shown around, I haven't a clue about the people or the places around here. I just found somewhere where I could afford to eat and somewhere I could afford to stay and go between the two. Luckily both have free wifi," she joked. "Oh, by the way, I don't suppose you know anyone called Caldwall? My mom mentioned that she knew someone who she thought lived around here, I just thought it would be nice to meet up with them and get all the embarrassing stories about my mom when she was in school," she said, shrugging a little.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      He listened to her with a nod, he found it hard to imagine she was a time wasting kind of person, which part of him thought travelling might be but maybe she was on a discovery route or something. He didn't blame her, if he didn't have so many responsibilities he'd want to do the same. "Ah well I couldn't leave you on that, you might not believe me but there's more to this town than a coffee joint and an affordable restaurant," He told her with a grin. "I'll show you around, no way can you visit our humble town and only see two places- my Mother would kill me if I allowed that," He joked gently, speaking of his Mother in a noticeable respectful and admiring way.

      "Caldwall? Sorry I can't say I do but I could ask my Mom if you want; she does a lot of community work, she might know the name," He offered gently as ever always trying to be helpful and sweet.








      It struck Bea immediately he didn't look that much better than she did and she felt bad for him but it was nothing in comparison to how she felt when he told her and her heart sunk into her stomach to think how hard that must have been for him. She knew the kind of family Sam came from and could only begin to imagine how they'd reacted to this kind of thing.

      "Sam honey I'm so sorry man, if you don't want to be alone my parents would let you stay here no questions asked, they'd be relieved to see me talking to someone," She offered honestly and coming from Bea you could be assured t was anything but an empty gesture. She was many things but Bea would never lie or be deceitful or misleading to anybody. She wore her heart on her sleeve just like any other good person, the only thing she'd ever been even remotely false about was her drug habits. She had to lie about that though- no one could ever find out, so she had little choice.

      When asked if she was okay, part of her wanted to break down- sink against the wall, cry a bit and express all her crazy conflicts and fears but she just couldn't. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't have it didn't feel right to confide in someone that wasn't Alby- especially without telling him.

      "Well, I think we've all been better really haven't we? There's a couple of things I could do with some advice on but it's okay to wait and besides I think Ellie's got some pretty important shit to explain. She probably won't stay long, she more or less hates me anyway so we can talk properly when she goes," She mumbled quietly before they were close enough to the stairs Ellie would over hear them, then she led the way up and sat down on her bed with a sigh.

      "Sorry Ellie, just had to let him in. What were you saying about trouble?" She asked gently, genuinely sympathetic and concerned because as much she wished she didn't and she'd pray for it all to go away; she cared. She cared a lot about this girl, so she couldn't help but get swept up in protectiveness and concern.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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He smiled at her offer. "Thanks, Bea, it means a lot. But unless I get stupid drunk, I think I'd prefer to be alone for a bit. Time to think and all that," he replied.

At her explanation, he just nodded. Nobody seemed to be having an easy time of it lately, and he figured that they should just go and deal with Ellie now. As he got upstairs, he went straight for the vodka, pouring himself a double shot and downing it in one. It was only then he sat down, staring at Ellie. He didn't say anything in response to her apology- not that he needed to. She just kept talking- and as she did so, he slowly forgot his dislike for her.

"Well," he said as he finished. "That's some crazy shit right there. Tyler's been acting weird as fuck lately anyway, though- even I've heard about his little... episode at the gala," he said, shrugging a little as he undid his jacket. As weird as he now felt exposing his neck, he didn't want to be sitting there in a jacket and scarf until he got drunk enough to not care. He zipped up his hoodie as far as it would go and adjusted the hood to cover as much of the bruising as possible.

"I dunno what to say, Ellie, that's a hell of a story. Have the police come to talk to you? Wait, that's a stupid question, they've spoken to everyone."


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She nodded in response to his question. "Yeah, that'd be great, thanks. I mean, they could have moved away- my mom just said she knew that they were here for a while."

She grinned at him, popping a piece of brownie into her mouth. "How about this afternoon for that tour? I mean, if you're not doing anything. I was just planning on binge-watching Netflix in my room for a few hours," she said. She knew that going to the hospital and doing a tour of the town was probably pushing her limits a bit- but that was a problem for future Charlie.

"But like I said, if you're busy, we can do it some other time."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Asher Costello
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      "Well, I'll check it out for you- you never know hey?" He told her with a friendly smile, looking over at her calmly. He couldn't lie to himself, he was kind of concerned about why Charlie had been at the hospital today and also if she'd ask him why he was there but he just tried to push it out of mind. He wouldn't ever ask her, it'd be brash, bold, improper and impolite amongst over things. So he kept his wanderings to himself and just retained that casual grin of his the whole while.

      He sat picking at his own food but found himself increasing reluctant to eat the cake; his Coach was constantly telling him about how diet was equally important to his skill, persistence, fitness and training. He wasn't even sure how much he wanted it by this point, so he picked at it dopily whilst he attentively listened to her speak. "This afternoon? Why that works for me; I'd only end up training or something stupid anyway, it'd be nice to break the habit. I'm not busy at all, I'd be honoured," He told her with bright eyes and a consistently daring and confident smile.








      "Well if you need anything cooked meal, company, an ear, a shoulder to cry on or a pot buddy you know I'm around," She told him gently leaving it all at that before they returned upstairs.

      She listened to Ellie and struggled to keep shock, fear and concern stained her expression with every word that passed her lips, the images only ever became more vivid. She tried to think about it, it was terrible but the true tragedy was that it made so much sense. She couldn't stand the thought, she really couldn't but when everything added like it did there was no way Bea could try and brush this away or pull the wool over Ellie's eyes by saying she was over reacting or anything.

      "Shit Ellie, when you said trouble I thought you meant teen pregnancy or some shit- not anything like this. And I'm not saying I don't believe you but you've gotta see this is a huge, huge conspiracy theory you've got going on here right? And I really hope you're wrong but if you're right- you need to do something big and fast. Well not seriously a big reaction but something to protect yourself," She mumbled anxiously, baling her sleeve up in her hand and holding it to her mouth, chewing a little on her thumb nail out of anxiety.

      She held the key to her drawers in her hands, holding it softly between her fingers of her free hand and fiddling with it absent minded, not even aware of performing the action but somehow the feeling of that familiar cold metal was assuring and comforting whilst she tried to take on board everything Ellie was saying. It was so hard to comprehend and believe- then there was also the fact that she couldn't relax with people in her house, especially up here there could be clues anywhere in her bedroom about her life style, syringes, pills, joints, lighters, faux prescriptions- most of the things were kept in her locked drawer but despite this, she still feared something would make her issues known. Whether it be her environment or the scars on her flesh, it was too hard to keep quiet and she was praying they wouldn't think anything of the collection of bottles behind the trap door, when the door was up you couldn't see the empty bottles stacked up behind it but she was still spooked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Alby Johnson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Ellie Holland Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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"I'd say go to the police, but yeah... that mightn't be the best idea, not if you want to keep it a secret," he replied cuttingly. "And besides, they're corrupt as fuck here," he added. Bea's anxiety hadn't gone unnoticed, and he couldn't help but think that it wasn't just because of Ellie's story. Something was going on in her life, just like in all of their lives.

"Tell you what- I'm going to order some pizza, because drinking straight vodka on an empty stomach isn't good for any of us, and you're both like skeletons. I'll be back in a minute," he said, standing up and heading for the trap door. Something caught the light and his attention as he ducked down onto the steps, but he didn't pay too much attention to it.

As he unlocked his phone, a new message caught his attention. His heart missed a few beats as he saw who it was from. Alby. He typed out a reply as fast as he could.

To: Alby
"I'm over at Bea's, but I can get over to yours if you need me to."


His hands were still shaking as he called his preferred pizza place, and even almost messed up the order. Was Alby finally out? Was he okay?


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His smile was incredibly endearing, and Charlie found herself smiling back at him without even thinking about it. "Awesome," she said, popping another bit of brownie into her mouth. She raised an eyebrow at him picking at his cake. "Changed your mind? Seriously, one bit of cake won't completely disrupt your schedule. Especially not with having to put up with me for the whole afternoon," she teased. It was only as she went to take a mouthful out of her shake that she realised she was getting a nosebleed. "Fuck," she muttered to herself, before flashing a grin at Ash and standing up. "Excuse me for a bit," she said, pressing a napkin to her nose as she headed for the bathroom. Typical- all morning in the hospital without anything, and now it was all starting to kick off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Two weeks later

Sam grinned as he got out of the car, pulling on his sunglasses. Summer was fast approaching, and you could feel it in the weather. It was beautifully sunny and warm- the perfect weather for a bit of a beach party. After the stress of the past few weeks, they'd all pitched in and had rented a house by the beach for a night and a party. It felt so good. Things had been... weird. Not a bad weird, just... weird. Like staying in Alby's. He'd spent so much time there that he'd started to consider it his second home- but now it was basically his first home, and that was weird. And actually being able to hang out with Alby in public as more than just friends. After all, his parents had kicked him out- he wasn't going to keep it a secret any more if he didn't have to.

He hauled his bag out of the backseat of the car and headed for the house, digging in his pocket for the keys. He appeared to be the first there- and regardless, he was the first into the house, seeing as he'd been the one to pick up the keys. He let himself in, and dumped his bags in the first room he found. He severely doubted that they'd end up actually sleeping in their own rooms tonight- there'd probably be a pile of them on the middle of the sitting room floor in varying states of intoxication.

As he waited for the other, he started piling what alcohol he'd been able to afford into the fridge. He'd focused mostly on food, but had of course brought alcohol as well.


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Charlie had barely recovered from a string of bad days, and yet here she was, going to a party where the only person she really knew was Ash. She was pretty sure that it wasn't the best idea- but she also hadn't wanted to turn down Ash's invitation. Not only because she didn't want to appear rude, but also because, she had actually wanted to go. Parties had been few and far between back home.

She'd had to get a lift from Ash- while she could drive, the money that would have otherwise gone on her first car had to go on her treatment. And while she did have her own savings, it seemed a bit of a waste to buy a car that she mightn't be even able to drive in a few weeks.

"So, tell me a little about these people that I'm shortly going to be partying with," she asked as they started to near their destination.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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      Bea ended up driving down to the beach alone, she'd been very close to cancelling because she wasn't sure she was going to be able to manage a night or so away without...without it. Even now just sat in her car she was scared, her knuckles white as she gripped the wheel staring distractedly at the road, the Green Day album 'Kerplunk' was playing casually in the background and it was one of her favourites but she was far from into it, she simply sat in her seat hearing it but not really listening to it all. That's what everything had felt like lately, like it was all going straight over head without her interacting with anything or ever being involved in life going on around her. She'd missed art college a few days back because she woke up in the morning too drunk to drive and she'd hated herself for it. Art was the only thing she had going for herself and she was pissing it down the drain just like everything else and she was so lonely. Since Alby came back it had almost been worse and bordering on unbearable because his presence all the time, even when she just wanted to go see Sam was a reminder of their love and relationship; something she loved for the two of them but sourly envied at the same time. It sometimes felt like they were rubbing it in her face a bit but they didn't know, she wasn't mad because it wasn't their fault- there was just too much going on in her head and it made her stress the little things and even more sensitive to everything else.

      Living though, for Bea it'd started to feel like an outer body experience as though she was watching herself waver through life from the side lines; observing and wishing desperately to stop herself from doing things, change herself, turn back time- stop herself from messing up but she just couldn't because she wasn't really there and the whole world just kept rotating without her and she was left behind with the dust. She wished she could put that into words to someone, to her a friend, to her therapist- to her Dad. She wished she could open up to somebody about her afflictions but she just didn't have the courage or the will to try.

      Last time she'd weighed herself she was almost 8 stone and hollow like pipe. Her bras didn't fit properly anymore, her favourite sweater hung off her shoulders like it belonged to her boyfriend or her father but it wasn't and a month ago it fit perfectly. She was a bag of bones and if it wasn't for the dark and shimmering eyeshadow surrounding her heavy eyes, you'd notice the shadow of many sleepless nights clinging onto her eyelids. Her skin and eyes were kind of paled, veins almost luminescent with an eerie blue glow-there was the fact her hair was slightly over grown also maybe not for most people but when you consider Beatrice's style of cropped locks, it was unusual but the effort had been made today to curl it ever so slightly and the scent of her forgotten favourite perfume lingered on her chest.

      Her eyes flashed a little when she realised her car as though driving itself was rolling up onto the drive way of their holiday house and she took a deep breath.

      It'd be fine.

      "It'll be fun," She told herself quietly. She removed the keys from her dashboard and put her hand on the door handle and though it opened, she struggled to gather the strength to push it far away enough for her to slip out but with few inches of space she just about managed and then made her way to the boot to bring in her bags and possessions. She recognised the car as Alby's and as ecstatic as she was to see her best friend, part of her wished she didn't have to because the reality was she wouldn't be able to lie to him and she was far worse then she had been two week ago when they reunited after his release.

      She locked the car and then walked out the house finding the door unlocked, she stepped inside.

      "Hello?" She called softly.






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"I might be a boxer but by now means am I a fighter,"

Gum | Moose Blood || We Had A Pact | Creeper || Figuring It Out | SWMRS





      Asher was feeling very fortunate to having been on a high note in terms of health for the past couple of days, he had some positive feedback from the hospital- he was still sick but he'd received Doctor's permission and advise that he'd be okay to go away for the trip with the others. He had to admit he'd been surprised when Bea text him asking him to come along simply because he'd expected the group to be angry after he'd gone ghost on them since the party, he'd spread the word about collapsing at the party and he figured he'd just have to brush them off with boxing training for the mean tie if anybody asked when they got there an the other thing Ash felt incredibly fortunate for was Charlie.

      It'd been a built of a whirlwind meeting her, since they met he'd spent more time with her than anybody else and was shamelessly becoming quite attached to the girl- she had spirit, good humour and was just kind of cool in the true nature of the world

      As he parked the car he chuckled a little at her question and thought about it for a moment. "Well. Scarlet's in god squad, basically a nun- she's the blonde girl, you'll know as soon as she opens her mouth. Alby is Bea's best friend, he's cool- they've both got pot problems an cynical tendencies but Bea's the tough exterior but actually a proper sappy sweetheart kind of type. She'll probably give you some verbal abuse but she means well. Then there's Sam; he's the sport's type, really chill and other t that I don't know who could be there but they're all really nice people and they'll love you so, so it'll be fun I promise and thanks for coming with me- I didn't know if you'd want to but I'm glad you did, it wouldn't have been the same if you hadn't," He told her honestly with a gentle, boyish grin on his lips.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Alby Johnson Character Portrait: Scarlet Richardson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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      It might have been unfair but Bea instantly blamed Scarlet when everything unravelled. Why the hell had she brought some random with her to a party? They hadn't seen Ash for months but even he'd had the courtesy to inform them he was bringing a girl with him and asked if it was okay and then Scarlet just rocked up with some guy on her arms who'd straight away thrown himself at Sam.

      "What the fuck are you on? Sam hasn't knocked up anyone he's gay for fuck sake, get off of him you arsehole," Bea snapped instantly rushing to Sam's defence and despite herself, her size, her fragility and her weakness, moving to his side and trying to grab the guy's arm to pull his hand off of Sam.

      "Who even are you? And Scarlet what the fuck are you playing at? Bringing some raging testosterone pumped weirdo up here," She snapped bitterly unable to comprehend why this was even happening. This guy's accusations were ridiculous. Sam getting Scarlet pregnant? For one he was gay and she could have sworn Scarlet was some kind of nun sworn to chastity or something. There was jut so many things wrong with this.

      Bea looked at Alby with a pained expression as he walked in, an expression that in itself pleaded for help because there was clearly nothing she could really do here other than shout at people. She didn't have the power to get this guy to leave or even the strength to stop himself from hitting Sam.







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"I might be a boxer but by now means am I a fighter,"

Gum | Moose Blood || We Had A Pact | Creeper || Figuring It Out | SWMRS





      "For instance, that guy. Who the fuck is that guy? Shit, sorry for the language," He rambled climbing out his car to go see what was going on. He hadn't even got a chance to change his gear to park before something was going wrong. Some guy who he figured most have come with Scarlet was going for Sam.

      "Hey, what the fuck man, get off him," Ash called jogging over, not really wanting to get involved in the fight himself because of his need for a clean reputation and not being able to risk injury for the sake of his career but at the same time not prepared to watch this guy throw shots at Sam. His lip curled awkwardly and noticed Bea instantly blew her top and he looked at her shaking his head, trying to get her to chill out before her words made everything escalate. He agreed with what she said but she'd only spark the guy up.

      "Beatrice, chill dude. Let's just work out why this dude things has happened. Maybe he's got his reasons muddled up or something," He sighed looking over at Charlie feeling terrible this was the first impression she was going to get off of the group. He walked back to the car and opened her car door for her, he figured she was capable but he was old fashioned and charming like that and he leaned down to mumble; "I'm really sorry, I don't know who this guy is or what he's playing at but we'll sort it out. You ok?" He asked gently clearly feeling quite bad about the conditions she was going to meet everybody under. "However, I guess when I said about Beatrice being a bit of a verbal abuser you'll know now exactly who I'm talking about," He tried to joke but clearly wasn't at all comfortable with the situation with Sam and this guy, but more importantly with bringing Charlie into it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Beatrice Candor Character Portrait: Alby Johnson Character Portrait: Scarlet Richardson Character Portrait: Sam Hawkins Character Portrait: Charlie Reynolds Character Portrait: Asher Costello

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Sam had just called out to Bea that he was in the kitchen when somebody who was most definitely not Bea stormed in and grabbed him. He heard what they both said- but the sudden crushing sensation in his chest, coupled with his inability to breathe were a little distracting. He could swear that he felt hands around his neck again, even though he was aware that he was being held by his shirt. He seemed to have lost all control of his body- he couldn't move, he could hardly breathe, and he certainly couldn't speak. It was all going to end badly again, it was happening again, he was going to actually die this time-

It was only as Bea appeared and started trying to forcibly remove the other guy that he snapped back to reality. His control of his body regained, he was able to shove the other guy away easily. But the crushing feeling in his chest hadn't entirely lessened, so instead of fighting back, he just went straight to Alby, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend and burying his face in Alby's neck. He was fine, he was fine, he was fine.

He wished it was the first time that he'd had an episode like this- but there had been a few nightmares that had caused similar episodes, ones where he'd struggled to tell reality and his dreams apart. And of course, they'd mostly happened when Alby had been gone doing whatever he'd been doing, which had only made them all the worse.

He knew that acting normal, that being his usual smart-ass self would have been the best idea and that it would have meant none of the others worrying about him, but right now, that wasn't what he wanted, needed, or even could really do. Calming himself down and stopping his heart from pounding were his priorities, and he could barely do them.


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Charlie had nodded at their descriptions. She was, thankfully, good with meeting new people, but she would have been lying if she said that she wasn't a little nervous. They all sounded like they had quite big personalities, and she just hoped she'd be able to hold up beside them.

The drama, however, started before she even got out of the car. She decided to stay exactly where she was, not wanting to get involved with whatever drama was happening inside the house. Even from inside the car, she could hear some people yelling, which made her wonder if she was doing the right thing, coming here. But before she could run away, Asher was back and opening her door for her. She grinned at him and his comments. "Yeah, I'm fine. I love a bit of drama, you know that," she said, swallowing her fears and making her way into the house. By the time she'd done so, things had calmed down, but everyone still looked a little on edge. She hung back a little, waiting for Asher to come back and introduce her and so on.