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rivalry

Pierce, New York

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a part of rivalry, by faceclaim.

Pierce, New York is located in the Hamptons.

faceclaim holds sovereignty over Pierce, New York, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

337 readers have been here.

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

this roleplay is heavily influenced by: https://www.roleplaygateway.com/universes/another-year-at-fulton-university, created by chanelindistress and .euphoria. while the university and groups involved in this roleplay are of my own volition, the idea of a greek life roleplay is by them

Setting

The campus is its own community, a city called Pierce, New York. It has been here for the past 125 years.
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Pierce, New York

Pierce, New York is located in the Hamptons.

Minimap

Pierce, New York is a part of rivalry.

26 Characters Here

Lillian Newhouse [2] the president of Gamma Gamma Gamma sorority
Roderick Todd III [1] omega chi president
Maya Kidd [1] what's the dealers, deal?
Maximus Kim [1] omega chi pledge
Elouise Kasem [1] gamma gamma gamma pledge
Finnegan Young [1] an anonymous source
Yanni Santos [1] Omega Chi Pledge
Matteo Villalobos [1] omega chi big brother & vp
Adonis Galante [0] "If you want a fight, you found your guy."
Romeo Lombardi [0] delta tau zeta pledge

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lillian Newhouse
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11 P.M.xx-xxWildfire, the hottest night club in the city of Piercexx-xxthe annual Gods and Goddesses party
Crazy Girls | affection | sex money feelings die | SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY | Lies | Dirty Thoughts


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TW: SUBSTANCE USE/ALCOHOL [in italics]


One of the biggest parties of the year, other than Bid Day, was the annual "Mount Pierce Party"

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▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
LILY NEWHOUSE
Gamma Gamma Gamma President
xxxhtml #FFBF00 - party outfit

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Anyone who wanted to be anyone at Pierce University was either in Greek life or found their way into a toga for one of the favored parties. The money brought in by the wealthy student body funded the open bar, while bouncers and bartenders were paid to look the other way with all the underage party-goers. Wildfire by itself was already a haven for chaos, but on a night like this, it was a college student's wet dream. The chance to dress up in bedsheets and get absolutely wasted was not a chance that many people passed up, even if they had to sneak in.

Gamma Gamma Gamma president Lillian Newhouse watched from the balcony of the Wildfire VIP room, the newest iPhone held up to her ear as her father droned in her ear about an upcoming family dinner. On a night like this - a break from the chaos of senior year - the last thing she wanted to do was talk with Felix Newhouse. "Alright, I have to go... yes, I'll let Roderick know about the dinner... you know we're both busy right now with the presidencies... thank you daddy, I have to go." Lily ended the call with a roll of her eyes, turning from the balcony and walking into the VIP room. It was a privilege of the Greek presidents and their invited guests, at least for tonight. The rest of the party would be crowding the dance floor and the oversized bar that made up the first floor of the club - or the bathrooms when they eventually had too much. This gods and goddesses party, really Greek life parties in general, were not new to Lily. She knew exactly how they worked, and exactly how to craft the kind of parties that people would talk about for weeks. This party was a group effort, and by magic, Lily, Theo, Sebastian, and Roddy managed to work together long enough for a successful recruitment earlier in the fall, and a Mount Pierce Party that would prove to be better than any in their last three years.

The music started up as already drunken students in the tiniest togas they could create started to flood through the doors. This part of the night, Lily was glad she wasn't in charge anymore - it anything went wrong at this point, the club security guards would take care of it. There was a reason that the Wildfire party wasn't officially sponsored by Pierce Greek Life organizations: something always went wrong. The less that was under the name of Greek life, the better.

Lily took advantage of her momentary solitude and ordered a vodka water from the bartender, leaning against the bar as the pretty bartender worked on her drink. She started to shuffle through the makeshift pocket of her costume with a specific item in mind, and to her dismay, the tiny bag that was hidden in her pocket only had one little pill left. That meant she would have to talk to Adonis to get more, a task she dreaded more and more each time. She had ignored Adonis' existence until she became aware of his supply, and she had to trust him to keep the secret from the rest of her friends. A task that would become infinitely harder as he decided to participate in recruitment this year and got into the same fraternity as Sebastian, her best friend. Just the thought of what she might have to do to keep this secret made her stomach turn, and she knocked back the freshly-made drink, the pill following.

Before anyone joined in in the VIP room, she made sure to send a text to Adonis before she could forget to get more from him. Do you have anything I can buy from you tomorrow? I'm out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elouise Kasem Character Portrait: Roderick Todd III Character Portrait: Lillian Newhouse Character Portrait: Maya Kidd
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#, as written by Limeaid
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xxxxxxxxxELLA KASEM
xxxxGamma Gamma Gamma Pledge - Freshman
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xxxxx#8856A8 - Outfit - 11:18pm @Wildfire
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(tw: alcohol/substance use. in italics)

Ella was sitting in the middle of her room surrounded by a sea of clothes desperately trying to find a suitable dress to pair with the accessories strewn across her bed. Arguably one of the most important nights on campus so far she needed to look perfect, heavenly, and of course desirable. The dress she was supposed to be wearing was one that was seemingly perfect for her standings in tri gamma. Eye catching but not enough to distract from the sisters or the president, was delayed and wouldn't be arriving until next Sunday. She took a deep breath to center herself, she couldn't afford showing up with puffy eyes and smudged makeup.

Ella grabbed her phone to see what time it was, 11:18. “Shit” she was now officially running late. She quickly sent a text to her chapter president Lily, “running a lil late fashion emergency will be there soon!” Then one to her boyfriend Roddy, “about to leave! dont have too much fun without me.” Ella looked around at what she had surrounding her and landed on a pink dress that she hoped would pass for cupid, then the rest of the costume. As she was about to put her phone in her purse it buzzed. She glanced at it hoping it was Roddy, but ended up just being her sister Ophelia telling her to have a good time. Shaking her head and stuffing it in her purse, Ella made her way to Wildfire.

Ella walked into Wildfire hit with the overwhelming smell of alcohol. Pushing her way through the mass students trying to talk over the music of doja cat, dancing, or already making out. She sat down at the bar and sent Roddy another text “Hey Im here! Where you at?” She slammed back two shots, already feeling behind. Getting her stuff she started to make her way up to VIP lounge, but was stopped by a tall guy, in a stained white sheet as makeshift toga grabbing her up arm. “Hey baby, seems I've gotten shot with your arrow. Let's dance.” Ella didn't have time to process before she was dragged out to the middle of the dance floor with this random man. “First Year?” he asked over the music. “Uh yeah.” Ella didn't want to be rude so she kept up the conversation. “You?” He shook his “Nah Junior.” After what felt like an hour of painfully dry back and forth he asked Ella if they wanted to go somewhere private. “Sorry but no, I'm looking for my boyfriend and should link back up with him” Ella said with a smile. The guy quickly turned sour “Fine! You’re not even one of the hottest girls here. Next time don't lead a guy on bitch.” He turned around flipping Ella off as he disappeared into the crowd.

Making her way out back for some fresh air with a new drink she looked at her phone to see if Roddy had responded, but nothing. “Please where are you?” Ella said under her breath. She downed her drink and turned to go inside when she heard the voice of someone she knew. She peered around the corner and Maya was there, laughing with some people as they shared a blunt. “Oh Ella Hey. Dude you look fucking great!” Maya said taking a drag “You look out of it, you good?” she questioned Ella.“Not really, I'm looking for Roddy. Been texting him but I don't think he's checking his phone.” Ella responded. “I haven’t sorry dude, Maybe check upstairs? I think that's where most of his bros are. If not, you're welcome to join us.” Maya said slightly waving the blunt around “Thanks Maya.” Ella smiled before leaving and making her way up to the VIP lounge to mingle with her sisters and friends.

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Tania kept a tight schedule, even her free time had to be planned two weeks in advance. Between Standards Chair, other sorority duties and Presidential affairs of the Black Student Union - she had little time to keep up with her academics let alone her hobbies. If you could call it that.

Self-care for most people would consist of your standard luxurious bath, fine products and some pampering. Tania would do all that while deep diving into others accounts from her and Yanni’s shared burner accounts. She liked to stay informed, watching everyone’s stories seeing who was hanging out with who. Often it was in what people didn’t post that she learned the most. Two people posting at the same location from the same table at opposite angles, but not tagging one another - a clear sign. It was these sort of things that made Tania a natural for figuring out other’s secrets. She felt safer when she knew no matter from which side she was attacked, she had ammunition.

After a while she had to set her phone aside so it could be in full charge by the time she left, focusing on her hair and makeup for a bit. Tania always appeared fully polished, something her parents had instilled into her. Their image was everything to them. Over time it grew to be everything to Tania as well.

She checked the time on her phone, missing a few calls from her ride and an annoyed voicemail that he was on the way. Laughing under her breath, Tania sent a text and a picture to defuse his anger and he was back on his best behavior. She’d be ready by the time he arrived and if he had to wait then so be it.

After making him wait in his car for another thirty minutes, Tania emerged donned in white silk and with white flowers tucked into her short pink curls. Usually Tania wore her natural hair but she wanted it to be clear which goddess she was tonight, the one of lust and love - and all the implications that would go behind it.

‘Im about to leave u better be there when i get there’ she shot a quick text to Yanni as she loaded in with some of the pledges into the car, straight to Wildfire. They snapped photos to post on their socials in the car, Tania making sure to approve any that included her before anyone else posted - of course all in the name of preserving their sisterhood’s image. When they arrived, the sisters were ushered past the doors. Of course they were all VIPs by association with Tania.

“Alright sisters,” Tania said in her big-sister voice, the pledges coming to attention. “Don’t forget while we’re having fun tonight, we’re still representing tri-gamma.”

Tania had taken her role as standards chair seriously. After having spent her entire life held to unrealistic standards it was nice to give everyone else a taste of that for once. There was never an abuse of her power, though she was more likely to turn a blind eye for some over others. Speaking of - her eyes ran over the crowd for her little.

“Anyone seen Star?” She asked the pledges who shook their heads no, Tania waved them off to disperse. Pulling out her phone, she sent Star a quick text, overlooking any notifications she might have had. ‘U here already ? x’

Her eyes drifted upwards, catching the light as it hit the golden figure up above. Lily looked like a true goddess among men, standing above them donning armor spun from gold wielding a bow and arrow. Tania smirked to herself. Even she had to admit that the Tri-Gamma president made a stunning Artemis.

As an homage to her own goddess, Tania ordered something floral and pink served up and topped with bubbles. A smile split across her face as the bartender served it to her, carefully bringing it to her lips as she took a sip. It was sweeter than she expected but the floral liquor balanced the palette. She savored the flavor for the moment, sipping the drink until it was low enough for her to confidently walk with it in hand towards the VIP room.

“Oh, am I the first to arrive?” Tania said with a smug smirk in Lily’s direction, all too satisfied to find it empty except for the two of them. No need for pretenses. “I would have expected you to have already tried to lure some pretty face in here by now.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yanni Santos Character Portrait: Finnegan Young
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ImageWildfire was crowded and rowdy on any normal night, but when the Greeks threw a party, it was downright chaotic. Finn picked up a bartending job the moment he turned eighteen as an easy way to pay his bills and stay in school, and he’d formed a close enough bond with the owner that he didn’t mind if Finn snuck a few shots on his shift if he did his job right and got home safe.

The job helped him with his bills for an off-campus apartment, but after the incident with the Omega brothers, it was now the best place to gather dirt for the anonymous drama account that he made on Twitter. With that, he also had two people within Greek life that were giving him dirt from the inside: Yanni Santos and Tania Nehru. Finn wasn’t close with Tania really, but Yanni had been his roommate for a while now, and though he rarely admitted it, the two were good friends. Yanni pushed him into wilder, less careful choices, and Tania was fuel to the fire. The three of them could truly wreck the Greek life system - all for their own reasons. It didn’t matter to Finn what the others wanted, so long as he was able to expose everyone that had done him dirty.

As soon as Yanni was in sight, he made sure to make the first comment. “I’m not giving you any free drinks tonight, Yanni,” Finn shouts to the other man, working on what had to be the tenth vodka cranberry of the night.

Yanni was always told college was nothing like what was seen on television. His uncle was one of the first to tell him this. Greek life was exaggerated, he claimed. The drama seen on screen was never real. If there was one thing Yanni had learned during the short period of time he’d been associated with the Greek society, it was that his uncle couldn’t be more mistaken. The fraternities and sororities alike were stacked to the brim with snobby rich kids who fully believed they were better than everyone, homophobic assholes ready to rip you intro shreds, gold diggers pretending to like you for perks, and the works. Getting into Omega Chi had been an impulsive decision on Yanni’s part. He didn’t know how being a part of the oh so famous fraternity would benefit his plans, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Little did he know, it would be his most important tool.

His eyes scanned the sea of students, most of them already waisted out of their wits. Truth be told, if there wasn’t so much at stake, Yanni would probably be among them. He’d already downed a few shots beforehand in an effort to save face. Luckily, he was exceptionally skilled at holding his liquor. Which meant he could probably afford to have a couple more. His search finally came to an end when his gaze landed on the bar, and more specifically, the bartender behind it. The mischievous smirk that so often graced Yanni’s face naturally fell into place as he grew closer to Finn. His eyes did a somersault in response to Finn’s comment, elbows resting on the counter as he leaned forward. “You really think I’d ask you to do such a thing?”

He settled into a stool, eyes scanning the bottles behind Finn as he decided on what would be worth taking his last shots for. “Besides, how am I supposed to throw away my family’s money by asking for free stuff?” At this point in their friendship, Finn knew enough about Yanni to know that anything he could do to get his revenge on his family he would, that included throwing away the money they sent him as a way to keep him quiet. “I’ll take your most expensive drink”

Finn had no idea how he’d gotten so close with Yanni to the point that the other man would be seeking him out. There were plenty of things that annoyed him when it came to Yanni, but on the same note, there were plenty of reasons to be friends with him - aside from the gossip he could provide from inside of Omega Chi. And he knew him well enough to guess the dramatic response he received after accusing Yanni of trying to get a free drink. He did have a point, Yanni preferred to spend more money than less, but it wouldn’t have surprised him if he had asked just to see if Finn would do it. “I never know what you’re going to try to make me do next, mate,” Finn grunts back, but starts grabbing at some of the top shelf liquor to make Yanni’s drink.

He’d inherited a passion for bartending from his father, mixing cocktails before he was even out of high school. Making special drinks was especially fun, when he was given leeway to make whatever drink he wanted. Finn knew what Yanni liked after practicing mixology at their apartment plenty of times, and handed over the heavy drink in a few minutes flat. He was one of four bartenders manning the huge bar in Wildfire, so he had a little time to converse with Yanni. He looked Yanni over as he passed the drink, snorting at the costume. “You really decided to dress up?” Finn asked, working on other drinks while trying to make conversation. “If you get pissed tonight, I’m not taking you home,” Finn added, knowing full well that he wouldn’t leave Yanni without a ride home if he got too drunk.

The noise of the crowd behind them only grew louder by the minute and Yanni didn’t falter from keeping his eyes open for Tania, or Clara. Truth be told, Clara was more present in his mind than anything else at the moment. Not a good sign for him in the slightest, so he’d set out to focus on gathering any and all the dirt he could and a possible intimate after-party back at his and Finn’s apartment. The drink that was slipped towards him did not come without a teasing comment, one that Yanni decided to entertain. “Oh, did you conveniently forget I’m keeping appearances up for both of us?” He takes a sip of the mixture, just enough to gauge whether he liked it or not. He nods once for approval before allowing a flirtatious smile to grace his features. “Besides, this costume is way faster to take off than my usual clothes.”

His relationship with Finn was a…strange one. Considering the only reason they met was due to Yanni’s flirtatious nature leading to Finn's curiosity. They certainly hadn’t planned to fall into a roommates with benefits situation, but that’s where they were now and Yanni wasn’t about to give up one of his only distractions from whatever feelings were forming for Clara. Their arrangement was their little secret that not even Tania knew, and if Yanni could help it, it would stay that way.

It didn’t take long for Finn to be reminded of the other side of their relationship. Finn didn’t date much, aside from his long term relationship with his best friend Astraea Davis, so he’d never really thought about his sexuality until he went to college. And, having a roommate that was hot and flirty practically all the time, it didn’t take long for his curiosity to get the best of him. That one-time curiosity turned into a casual “roommates-with-benefits”, and truthfully it wasn’t a one-sided situation. Both of the boys had continued their hooking up on various occasions, but thankfully it was clear to the both of them that it wouldn’t become more. Finn hadn’t thought about anyone romantically since Star broke up with him, and Yanni was the only person he’d been with sexually.

Still, he was glad for the low lights in the bar because his face went bright red the moment Yanni mentioned that his costume would be easy to take off. From him, that was always an invitation to do just that once they were both home. “You’re insufferable, Yanni,” Finn groaned, but he did look over Yanni’s costume once again. He did look really good, he was one of those people that could make such corny costumes work.

The smirk never left Yanni’s face. The liquid poison dancing in the cup between his fingers. He didn’t need bright lights to know that Finn’s face was redder than the bottles of premium wine behind him. “But you love me” he stated, not asked. Perhaps in another life, the two boys would have evolved past secret hook ups, but both of their attention was focused elsewhere, no matter how adamantly Yanni tried to deny it.

By this point, the drink had all but vanished. Normally, he would’ve gone for a refill, but the mix of the pregame liquor with the specialty cocktail was beginning to warm his cheeks, and he didn’t miss the incoming text from Tania. He pushed the empty glass towards Finn, a flirty grin still in place. “Actually I’ll save the next drink for tonight. See you then, roomie.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matteo Villalobos Character Portrait: Maximus Kim
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Something Maximus Kim learned quickly about Greek life - there was always a party to attend.

It was one of the more bearable things about being in Omega Chi, having unlimited parties to go to between weekly house parties and big Greek parties at Wildfire. Of course, there was also his big brother, Matteo Villalobos. While some of the older brothers had their opinions of Max tainted by his adopted brothers’ malice for him, he and Teo had connected from the start. There was something about the older man that he always wanted to be around him. Hell, he’d already earned himself a key to Max’s place off-campus since he practically lived there anyway.

Max asked Teo to ride with him to Wildfire tonight, so the two were getting ready. Max made himself comfortable in his bathroom for the last thirty minutes, perfecting his look for the night. He wasn’t going to be one of those basic guys who just threw a sheet around his midriff and called it a night. He wasn’t going to let Teo do it either; he’d bought plenty of supplies for them to share.

“You better be in your toga by the time I get out of the bathroom, Matteo Villalobos!”

Matteo was working on his Statistics homework at Max's desk when he heard his little brother, Maximus Kim, call from the restroom. He mentioned something to Teo about getting dressed for the Greek life party held at least once a year by the Greeks at Pierce University. In all honesty, Matteo had hoped Max had forgotten about the party altogether. Matteo had a lot of schoolwork to catch up on, which surprised him, given that it was just halfway through the fall semester. Despite this, Teo had fallen behind in several of his classes due to his responsibilities as Omega Chi Vice President, Orientation Leader, and owner of a video production platform. Teo was visiting Max's luxury apartment in the city for the fourth time this week. He always managed to concentrate better there, away from the chaos of the frat house. Matteo considered Max's place to be a second home. Max even gave him a key to his apartment to come over whenever he wanted, and Teo has been showing up more frequently since then.

"I'm getting dressed right now," Matteo responded. He couldn't help but smile as he proceeded to flick through the pages of his textbook, penning the formulas in his notebook. He expected Max to walk out of the restroom and chastise him for not getting ready.

Max was right in the middle of working a golden crown into his hair, but he had a feeling that Teo wasn’t getting dressed despite his reply, so he pulled himself from the mirror and stepped over to his bedroom. But, just as he suspected, Teo wasn’t even close to ready. “I didn’t invite you over to do your statistics homework,” Max scolds him, walking into the bedroom and grabbing Teo by the wrist. He thoroughly planned on trapping his older fraternity brother in the bathroom if that meant he would get ready and go to this party. “I’m happy to study with you in the morning, but you’re not missing this party,” Max huffs, dragging Teo into the bathroom behind him.

Max emerged from the restroom and stomped over to Matteo, just as he predicted. Then, as if a mother scolding her child, Max grabbed Teo's wrist and yanked him out of his chair. Matteo tried to resist, but he quickly gave up as he groaned, "Alright, fine." It was impossible to say no when Max acted this way. Teo would do almost anything to see his little fraternity brother happy, and Matteo could tell Max was looking forward to tonight's event. "I'll go to the party with you because you said you'd help me study tomorrow." He tapped Max's nose with his free hand, then leaned his back against the vanity and surveyed the mess of face paint, glitter, and other questionable items on the countertop that made Matteo scrunch his nose. Finally, he turned to Max and said, "You're really taking this whole Greek party thing seriously, aren't you?" He shook his head in disbelief and chuckled under his breath.

Max knew Teo would give into him if he were more stubborn than the older man. There wasn’t much that Max couldn’t get away with when it came to Teo. Both of them knew this, but neither had acknowledged it vocally. Max still grinned as Teo gave in, about to respond with some sassy comment when Teo playfully tapped his nose. It made his cheeks flare up, and he had to return to fixing the golden crown in his hair to make them cool back down. Recently it had been harder to keep his cool around Teo - especially when he did things like that. “Hey, I’m the freshman here. Shouldn’t I enjoy them before I’m too busy like you?” Max asks, winking at Teo once he finally stops blushing. He grabbed the extra costume he’d picked up for Teo and handed it to him. “I wouldn’t have half as much fun if you weren’t there, hyung,” Max used his puppy dog eyes and the pet name he’d picked up for Teo, hoping to persuade him further.

After making skin-to-skin contact with Max, Teo noticed his cheeks were pink. He waited there, watching as Max quickly averted his face. Teo had seen his friend blush before, but watching him seemed like the first time. Teo bent his head to the ground, his hands in his grey sweatpants' front pocket, and bit his bottom lip to hide his smile. However, it wasn't long until Max said something else that caught his attention again. He noticed Max's wink, and before he could respond, Max handed him a costume that matched the one his friend had planned to wear himself. They had talked about wearing matching outfits before, but Teo didn't think it would happen. However, he thought it was cute.

Teo’s face grew hot as he shifted his gaze between the clothing in his hands and the innocent look Max gave him, especially after knowing that Max would miss him if he didn't go to the party with him. What was he going to do with him? Of course, it didn't help that he nicknamed him 'hyung,' meaning 'elder brother' in Korean, as Max had previously explained. Max could call him that all day long, and Teo wouldn't get bored of it. "Well, that gives me even more reason to go," Teo murmured as he fidgeted with the soft material in his hands, his attention resting on Max's beautiful golden crown that crowned his head, making him appear like a god. Teo stretched his hand to straighten it. “I’ll go with you.” All jokes aside, Teo made another promise as his hand carefully slipped from Max's hair to hold his hand.

Max didn’t miss the blush that bloomed on Teo’s face when he used his puppy dog eyes. It was a foolproof way to persuade Teo into doing whatever he wanted - including getting into a matching costume for the party. Max was about to turn back to the mirror to finish getting ready, but Teo reached in to fix the crown in his hair. He couldn’t help but stare up those few inches to Teo’s eyes, a clear affection in his own eyes for the older man. Teo’s hand was warm as it tangled with Max’s own, making the promise even more sure but didn’t help to ease the blush that returned to his own face. Max chuckled nervously, squeezing Teo’s hand before pulling away and fixing his bangs that were already in the right place, needing something to distract from the way his heart skipped a beat. “Well, get dressed then. We still have lots of glitter to use before you’re a proper Greek god,” Max replies with a mischievous grin, grabbing the glitter spray and playfully spraying a tiny bit in Teo’s direction.

If there were a moment in Matteo's life when he could define happiness, it would have been with Max because it was the only time Teo felt he could be himself. He liked how Max's hand fit into his, but Matteo felt his heart drop with it as Max let go. "¡Ay, Chihuahua!" Teo exclaimed, raising his arms to shield himself from the glitter that suddenly sprayed over his face and clothes. Teo didn't see it coming, so he seized Max's can and fired back. “You’re insane, Max.” He smiled when he noticed the gold dust in Max's black hair, which looked like a million stars in the night sky. He set the can down and returned to admiring his work. “There. Now, you are a true Greek god." He told him, but Teo didn’t need a can of glitter to know that Max was beautiful.

Max started giggling as Teo shielded himself from the spray, not expecting Teo to grab the fan from him and take his revenge. Max yelped as he felt the cloud of glitter fall into his hair, trying to guard his eyes against all the glitter. His bathroom was bound to be a mess by the time they were finished, but it was worth it the moment Teo looked at him and called him a ‘true Greek god.’ Max always blushed when Teo complimented him and this time was no different; he looked down to the glitter spray as his cheeks went ablaze. It was hard to keep his composure when all he wanted to do was kiss the man in front of him. “Get dressed, Matteo. If we’re late, I’m blaming you,” Max replied in a playfully scolding tone. He couldn’t lie that he wanted to see Teo in the costume; he knew it would look good. Hell, there was hardly anything that didn’t look good on Teo.

Teo’s eyes never left Max as if he were the only person left in this world. It was poetic, like the colors of a landscape painting with Max as the muse. Then Teo opened his mouth to speak again, but Max beat him to it, breaking the silence by urging him to get dressed. He wanted to say something to Max, anything to make him smile, but he knew it would just make them later than they already were. So instead, he gave Max a faint smile and hurried out of the bathroom.

In Max's room, Matteo tossed the costume on the bed and exhaled a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding in for so long. He brushed his fingers nervously through his thick hair to distract himself from his beating heart. “Pull yourself together,” Teo said to himself as he began to get dressed. He zipped into a pair of slim white jeans and put on a gold fishnet knitted shawl, then a wrap scarf that he let dangle over his shoulder and across his midriff. Finally, he returned to Max after tying his white Vans. “Well?” He waited for Max's reaction.

Max took a deep breath as Teo left the bathroom, trying to regain his composure. It’d been a long time since someone made his heart skip like Teo does. He knew he had a crush on his big brother since they first met on a tour of the campus, and no part of him wanted to get over it. It was just difficult to admit his feelings and risk losing Teo’s friendship; that was something he made a lot of sacrifices to keep. So no matter how much his heart ached just to say something, they kept it to half flirtations and moments that never became more.

When Teo stepped back into the bathroom, Max couldn’t tear his eyes away. He knew Teo would look good in the costume he found, but it was better than he expected. “Wow,” he breathed out, walking forward and running his hands along the fishnet. “Yeah, this was a good choice,” Max says almost to himself, adjusting the shawl to make sure it sat perfectly on Teo’s chest. “What do you think of it?” Max asked, looking up, so their eyes meet, his own hoping for approval.

As Max drew closer, Matteo felt a lump form in his throat again. And the pleasant aroma of citrus fruit attracted his attention right away; it reminded him of summers coupled with spring blossoms. Matteo always liked the way Max smelled, drawing him in like a fish on a hook line. But then, he felt Max’s hands trace the fishnet on his chest, and Matteo found himself entangled in Maximus Kim. In a constant struggle over his feelings for Max, he wondered, ‘am I supposed to feel this way?’ There was no doubting how he made Teo feel, but then there was Roderick, his lightning amid a cloudy storm. Max, on the other hand, was a different story. The more time Matteo spent with him, the harder he fell, complicating everything.

Matteo’s jaw tensed, and his eyes never left Max admiring the garment. He felt like a retail display mannequin dressed in the latest fashion, and Max was a potential buyer. Although he was unaware of how he looked himself, when Max touched him, all that went over his mind, and the only thing keeping the two apart was the thin fabric. Teo was almost afraid that Max would feel his heart beating against his chest. Then, with innocent eyes, Max asked how he liked the costume. “It’s beautiful,” Matteo replied quietly, but he wasn’t talking about the outfit as his eyes never left Max.

Max’s eyes widened. Was he really talking about the costume? He distracted himself by brushing up into Teo’s hair, trying to fix his hair into the perfect waves- trying not to blush all over again. With Teo, everything felt so easy and complex at the same time. He’d spent so long on his own, keeping crushes at bay, that trying to keep his feelings from Teo while being with him alone so much was a struggle. “You can seriously pull anything off. I’m a bit jealous,” Max teased with a small chuckle. He stepped back, admiring the costume once more to make sure that everything was in place.

Then, Max moved into his room, taking the oversized dress shirt off the hanger and switching out of his clothes. Max had to plan ahead with his outfit, finding white shorts to make sure no one would see what they didn’t need to. It was more exposed than he was usually comfortable with, but the girls he’d become friends with while at Pierce had helped with giving him a boost of confidence. He appeared from the privacy of the other side of the bathroom, flattening the fabric in the mirror. “This is going to be much more fun than statistics, trust me,” Max says as he looks over at Teo with a mischievous smirk.

When Matteo saw Max in his costume for the first time, he let out a small whistle. Teo was speechless at how flawlessly each line and stitching fit Max's body. But, unfortunately, he missed what Max said to him since he focused on checking him out. "You look stunning," Teo finally said before slipping his hand in his, and the two walked out to the party together.