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Emilia Torres

BAU Rookie Agent

0 · 209 views · located in Life

a character in “Save Me From My Past”, as played by Cota

Description

⌈NameβŒ‹
Emilia Torres
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⌈AgeβŒ‹
27
⌈GenderβŒ‹
Female
⌈SexualityβŒ‹
Closet homosexual. Facing enough discrimination as is for both her gender and her ethnicity, Torres has decided to keep her sexuality a closely guarded secret.
⌈OccupationβŒ‹
Former NYPD Police Officer, BAU Rookie Field Agent
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⌈AppearanceβŒ‹
Hair: Black, Straight, Shoulder length. Worn in tight bun or pony tail while on duty.
Eyes: Brown, like dirt, not chocolate.
Build: Athletic, compact, lean
Skin Tone: Medium-light tan
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 125
Handed: Right
Scar Tissue: Knife wound on back of left bicep, bullet wound on right upper breast, knife wound between right thumb and index finger. Various smaller scars.
Description:
Torres is somewhere between intimidating tomboy and lovable, bumbling girl next door. She's been in more than a few fights, that much is obvious from the scars, and the way she caries herself suggests police training and experience. Her attitude, however, is far from that. Outside of work, she's loud, awkward, and just a little ditzy. Her face, matching the rest of her body, is small, and her jawline is slim and almost angular. Her nose is small and pointed, and only slightly upturned, and her ears, while relatively small, are bigger than she would have liked. Her brown eyes are the color of fresh dirt, gleaming with excitement any time she gets to discuss a topic she loves, and her small, thin lips are more often than not twisted into a goofy smile. When it gets down to it, she has a certain hardness to her, but more often than not she's lighthearted, approachable, and eager to make you laugh.
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⌈PersonalityβŒ‹
Torres grew up in a strict household where, if you didn't work, you didn't eat, and as much as she now dislikes her parents, that ethic has stuck with her. She's a firm believer in putting in the effort to get the job right the first time, and that has made her somewhat of a perfectionist. She graduated top of her class in police academy not because of raw talent, but because of hard work and effort. Her parents were also a very strict pair of Catholics, and when she came to terms with her own sexuality at a relatively young age, she decided it was best keep it to herself. Having hidden it for so many years, she's apprehensive about sharing that secret with anyone, despite the fact that it's far more widely accepted now. All that secret keeping had another adverse affect as well; Torres has trouble conveying her emotions, and prefers to keep them bottled up than let them out and deal with them.

This introverted personality has made it difficult for Torres to make friends, but not impossible. She was never popular in high school, but she played several sports and spent a lot of time in the library, so she became friends with more than a few colorful individuals. Her police training in dealing with people has boosted her confidence enormously, and now she will even go out of her way to make friends with someone.
Habits:
-Rubbing the scar on her hand when thinking.
-Cracking her fingers/other joints loudly, often without realizing it.
Hobbies:
-Reading bad sci-fi
-Corny romance movies
-Sport shooting
Positive Traits:
Intelligent + Hardworking + Friendly
Negative Traits:
Romantically Awkward - Workaholic - Trouble voicing her feelings
⌈LikesβŒ‹
-Reading
-Sport shooting
-Taller girls
-Cats and small dogs
-Messy food, particularly chili cheese dogs and sloppy burritos
⌈DislikesβŒ‹
-Criminals
-Extremely political or religious people
-Her parents
-ice cream and cakes
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⌈HistoryβŒ‹

Emilia Torres was born in Brooklyn, New York to David Torres and Michelle Torres, an electrician and a bank teller, respectively, and was the fourth child of four. Growing up with three older brothers was a pain in and of itself and Torres, while no expert on the field of human sexuality, has a nagging feeling that it had at least something to do with her attraction to women.

Her parents were the strictest sort of Catholic, and in fact her first memory was of a church service. Though, she admits, she believed as much as any child of religious parents did while she was young, her faith began to waver in her early teens. That she was discovering her sexuality at the same time as she finally began to comprehend the nuanced aspects of the bible must have simply been coincidence. Despite a growing lack of faith, however, she was forced to keep up appearances for fear of her parents, who were as hardcore as the come, and every time she heard her father growl an anti-gay pejorative whenever they passed anyone even remotely flamboyant, she felt a little seed of resentment inside her grow a little bigger.

She had no interest in hearing the same things at school than she did at home, so she d decided to just stay quiet about it all together. That ended up working for her, in the short term at least, and she managed to make more than a few close friends. In fact, as she dove into sports and academics, and did well, she began to prefer school to home. By the time she graduated high school, she was more than ready to move out and go to college, but unfortunately, although she had the grades to get into most schools, she qualified for a surprisingly small amount of scholarships, and her parents, taxed from raising four children, were in no position to help her out, so she was forced to enter the working world with no college experience.

Her father, pushing her to get a respectable career after working three years as a waitress, she eventually found herself enrolled in police academy. The academy was a lot like school, and it was there that she truly excelled. She graduated top of her class, and rather than get assigned to a precinct out in the boonies, Torres was assigned to the 6th precinct, located in Greenwich Village.

She spent six years there, taking classes part time until she earned first her associate's degree and later her bachelor's, in criminal psychology. It was a rather common degree for police officers to obtain, but it was helpful, and at 26, she was promoted to detective. Her rise was, for lack of a better word, meteoric, and virtually everyone said she'd be Lieutenant by 35. As much as she wanted that, there was an opening in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. She tried for it, got in, and moved to Virginia, incidentally glad to be somewhere far away from her parents. [/center]

So begins...

Emilia Torres's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Agent Gomez sat in her office, mulling over SSA Torres' file for the tenth time. She wanted to make sure she knew everything that might be a liability for Ella. Her team had been working on the same case for almost 10 years, protecting Ella Murphy as they tracked and chased Jason Cromwell around the globe. Gomez's hopes were low and she was desperate for a solution. She just prayed that the new recruit would be able to help Ella in some way - any way. "Boss." Brand walked in, balancing laptop computers on both his forearms. "I just got messaged by both Ella and Torres, the new agent's almost here and Ella's waiting for you on the video cam." Agent Gomez nodded to him and he left.

Ella had never been big on electronics, and she could barely use any modern technology. She sat in the corner of her bedroom as she stared into the web camera on her computer, which was the only Internet device in her home, waiting impatiently for Gomez to answer her video message. "Ella, what's wrong? You never use the video cam unless something's upsetting you." The older woman's voice was loud and clear coming through the computer speakers. "]W-When is the b-bodyguard going to g-get here..." Ella stuttered, and even though her voice was hushed, Gomez easily understood what she was calling for. Her response was short. "Soon, Brand says she's on her way now. We'll be over shortly. Now get some rest."

Gomez ended the video call and picked up her files, slipping them into her bag before grabbing her coat and walking to the door. It wasn't long before she noticed the young woman standing patiently in the doorway of the BAU.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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#, as written by Cota
Late

Punctuality was something Torres took very seriously. Almost as much as a healthy diet and proper physical fitness, which was why she was now behind her meticulously planned schedule. She'd been a little slower on her run than she anticipated, and that left her exactly three minutes late.

On the first day, too. She berated herself as she sped through intersection after intersection on her way to the BAU office building. Supposed to be making a good first impression. Stupid! Stupid!

She pulled into the parking lot and sent the message she'd been typing up on her smartphone to Max, the team's techie, letting him know she was almost there. She locked her door, only realize she'd left both her service weapon and the files she had on the assignment in the car. She let out an audible, "Ughh," as she clicked the doors unlocked again and retrieved her effects. You're never late, idiot! Never! Fifty extra push ups tonight.

She entered the elevator from the parking garage to the main office, frowning as she beheld herself in the mirror. Her hair had become ruffled, and she realized she'd forgotten to remove the tag from her new jacket. "Better make it a hundred," she muttered to herself as she tidied herself up and practiced her smiles in the mirror, ranging mostly from creepy cat lady to overly attached girlfriend, none seemed suitably warm and friendly.

Torres made her way into the waiting room outside of Gomez's office, and let out a sigh of relief when she didn't find her there waiting for her with a grumpy look on her face. She liked Gomez, really, but the lady could make even the most hardened criminal wet their pants with her angry glare. She took a moment to catch her breath, and was about to sit down when Gomez stepped out of the office, files in hand. Torres offered what she hoped was a normal, regular, friendly smile, and not any of the other sort.

"Ahem, uh. Morning, boss.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Agent Gomez took a few seconds to scan Torres from head to toe. She'd already seen this woman in pictures, but she was still different in person. "Good morning. And you really don't have to call me boss, I'm not really that in charge of anything." Gomez thought about how James had said this morning to smile, but backed down on the request. "Ella is freaking out a bit right now, so I'll brief you in the car. Follow me please." Gomez almost strutted out to the elevators, with all the other employees either flinching or staring at her. But that was normal. An everyday happening.

In the van, Gomez went over a list of basic things Torres should know, then moving on to finer print. "You can meet the team later on this week, but I figure you'll need to know a bit about Ella. She's a very paranoid person and rarely leaves her bedroom, but there are security cameras located in every room in the house except the bathrooms. There are some computers set up in your room so you'll be able to keep an eye on her until she's willing to see you in person more. Ella has Asthma, Epilepsy, and PTSD, but the Epilepsy is rare and she hasn't had a seizure in years, so you shouldn't have to worry about that."

Gomez pulled the car to a stop and stepped out, looking up at the huge apartment building above. "Shall we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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#, as written by Cota
Torres followed Agent Gomez to the car, thankful she didn't mention the fact that she was late. Unless it's what she didn't say that should be worrying me.

Gomez briefed Torres in the car, giving her the basic rundown of the case as they made their way towards the apartment building. It was all mostly stuff that she had already read, so she kept her mouth shut and asked no questions, nodding her head in affirmation. Luckily, Torres likely wouldn't need to worry about Ella having an epileptic seizure, as that was probably the one problem the girl had that she didn't have experience with. Two of her brothers had suffered from Asthma, and she'd had plenty of experience with other cops dealing with PTSD, including her former partner.

The car pulled into the parking lot of the apartment building, and Torres and Gomez stepped out. The apartment building towered over them, hardly even a building, by New York City standards, but in Quantico it seemed like a behemoth. Torres still wasn't sure if she preferred it here to the city, but she supposed it didn't really matter. At least the people here are friendlier.

Torres followed Gomez inside. She knew that the girl lived in the penthouse suite, and even clumsy Torres knew how to get there, but she had a feeling that it'd be a good idea to let Gomez go first. Ella was, after all, paranoid.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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The heavy, metal door of the penthouse seemed more intimidating than usual as the two agents reached the tip floor. Agent Gomez rang the bell without a word. Loud crashes could be heard from inside, along with the slamming of doors and a yell signifying Ella had fallen over at some point. "Oh boy..." Gomez facepalmed lightly, sighing like a mother with too many kids. The door opened just enough for a pair of blue eyes to peer out. "..." Ella slammed the door loudly. Inside, the sound of locks could be heard, too many locks to be rational. The door opened again, this time just enough for the two agents to enter. Gomez walked in slowly and closed the door behind Torres.

Sitting in the corner of the room, seemingly in hiding from the door, was a tiny young woman with what seemed to be disheveled blonde hair. It would've been hard to tell in this darkness. "Uh...Ella, this is SSA Emilia Torres. She's going to be taking care of you for a while. Remember? You video messaged me about 20 minutes ago." Gomez hoped Ella's memory of the call was still intact, the girl seemed more paranoid than usual so she may have forgotten. "I-I remember..." A small voice came from the corner, sweet but fearful. Gomez nodded and proceeded to lock up the door.

"Well, I'd like you to come meet her. Is that alright?" Ella perked up at the woman's words, slowly inching her way over to one of the plush chairs in the room.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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#, as written by Cota
Torres gave Gomez a quizzical look when she started hearing the crashes and yelling, but the older woman didn't look all that concerned, so she didn't say anything, and followed Gomez into the dark room when the door was opened for them. Before her, sat Ella, curled up in the corner of the room, seemingly hiding from the sun. Torres was careful to stay partly behind Gomez and let her do the talking, unsure of exactly how to proceed. Ella was still in the corner, obscured mostly by the shadows, and she'd barely spoken two words. After some coaxing, she finally began to move forward and into the light. For the first time, Torres got a good look at her.

Tall, at least from Torres' perspective, but extremely thin and lanky. She was pale, almost like snow, and had a mop of messy, light blonde hair. Torres knew she was twenty-three from her files, but here she looked at least a couple years older, and if not for her, faint voice, Torres would have sworn they were at least the same age. She moved forward a bit, more towards the center of the room, slowly, but steadily, with a warm, here-to-help smile on her face.

"Hello Ella, Torres began, in the same voice she used to talk scared kids when she was a cop. "You can call me Em, if you like. My friends call me that. It's going to be my job to look after you and make sure nothing bad happens, and you can trust me to do that. I'm very good at my job." She looked around, taking in more of her surroundings. "Is there anything I can maybe do for you right now? Anything you need, I'm available twenty-four seven."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella took her seat in the chair, looking Emilia over from head to toe, much in the same way Agent Gomez had back at headquarters. She waited a minute, then whispered a quiet "...h-hello..." to her new bodyguard. "I-I don't need anything...t-thanks." Suddenly, a loud ringing buzzed into the room and Ella shrieked, curling back into the fetal position. Gomez slammed off her cell and turned back to Ella, calming her down with practiced ease. "Ella, I'm sorry, I forgot to turn off my cell. There's nothing wrong. Okay?" Ella nodded slowly.

Gomez called back whoever had set Ella off, leaving to scold the person in the quiet of the kitchen. Ella stared straight into Emilia's eyes, almost creepily, had it not been for her fascinated expression. "...y-your eyes...they're p-pretty..." Ella had never really seen anyone's eyes up close. And even though they weren't very near each other, the tiny bit of sunlight shining through a crack in the curtains seemed to light up Emilia's entire face, showing off her brown eyes.

"I'm afraid I have to get back to the office, we've got some new information and I need to check it out. I'll have someone bring your car over later today." Gomez explained, making her way to Ella. "Ella, are you going to be alright here? I can stay longer if you want." Gomez seemed genuinely worried. Ella shook her head, muttering "Go..." to her friend. Gomez nodded and patted Emilia's shoulder before leaving.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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#, as written by Cota
"Thank you?" She didn't mean it as a question, but she was so surprised by what Ella said that the upward inflection was sort of involuntary. She never thought her eyes were her best feature, anyway. Some people were blessed with eyes like chocolate or caramel, but hers, she thought, were mostly like dirt, or occasionally mud, if she was lucky.

Gomez had returned from her call and indicated she had some work to do. If Torres had to admit it, she was a little apprehensive at the thought of being left alone with Emilia right off the bat, but she didn't say anything. Gomez was, technically, her superior, and she trusted her judgement. Also, it seemed like Ella was at least somewhat comfortable with her, and the odds of anything serious happening were pretty low. Just as a precaution, however, she locked the door's innumerable locks after Gomez had left and turned back to Ella, smiling and visibly more relaxed now that it was just them. Gomez was nice, but her Captain at the NYPD had been a real hard-ass, and she'd made a habit of straightening up around her superiors.

"So, Ella, care to show me around?" Her voice was nonchalant now, a technique taught at the academy to help build trust and alleviate anxiety. If you're rel axed, it's easier for them to relax. Calm breeds calm, and all that. "Agent Gomez told me you liked to paint. That's cool. I can barely draw a stick figure, myself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella nodded slowly, standing and starting to walk towards the hallway. "Y-Yeah...I-I paint..." She said. She was speaking louder than before, but not by much, and her voice was still shaky. Ella walked around the house for a minute before snapping back to reality and scurrying over Emilia. The tiny blonde girl took her bodyguard's hand, gently pulling her over to the guest room. "Um...G-Gomez set this up...f-for you..." Ella smiled slightly and walked over to the desk, motioning to the multitude of computer monitors, each with a different room displayed on the screen. "T-That's for protection...f-for me, I think."

After a somewhat lengthy tour of the apartment, the only room left unseen was Ella's bedroom. The young girl swung open the door silently and wobbled inside. The room was very dark, with only the tiniest ray of light forcing it's way through the boards and curtains on the window, and the clutter on the floor made one wonder if there was any floor at all. Books, everywhere. Every surface, every wall, every inch of the floor, everywhere. The only place not covered with literature was the small desk, which was instead cluttered with paints and art. "...t-this is my room...it's...messy."

"Yeah...m-messy..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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#, as written by Cota
Torres took Ella's hand, marveling to herself how soft it felt in comparison to her own, which were rough from scarring and years of police wear and tear, and followed her about the apartment. She was relieved to see that Gomez had set up all the cameras and displays for her, as she would have been lost in a tangle of wires if she had to do it. Ella led her around the rest of the dark, but primarily spotless apartment, and Torres had to hold back a laugh when she saw the girl's room, resulting in an embarrassing chortle-snort-giggle and turned her cheeks a burning red.

"Sorry!" She breathed out, regaining her composure, "It's just that, well, the rest of the place is so spotless, it's kinda surprising." She glanced around the room, in awe over the number of books. It made her collection seem pitiful by comparison, and her eyes grew wide as she looked over it like a kid in a candy shop. She held herself back from gushing over some of the titles she could see and turned back to Ella, nervously scratching the back of her head, a bit embarrassed with herself. "I, uh, kinda like books. Like, alot."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella shook her head slightly. "D-Don't be sorry..." At Emilia's comment about books, she almost smiled, glad that her new friend was interested in something she was. "I-If you want...you can b-borrow some." The small blonde hurried around the room, pulling books off shelves and from the middle of stacks, scattering several across the already cluttered bedroom floor. She seemed almost content. After she had collected a sizable stack of books, Ella lugged them over to Emilia and smiled slightly, starting to call them off by name in her small, shrill voice.

Anyone else would've been surprised at seeing Ella act so social, since she rarely talked at all, even to Agent Gomez. It was also true that none of the people she knew were very interested in books. And as soon as Ella had finished piling books into Emilia's arms, she slunk back to her corner and started reading, without a word.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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#, as written by Cota
Torres didn't have time to protest before Ella started pilling books from around the room, seemingly haphazardly. She smiled as Ella scurried around the room, collecting books. Now that her eyes had adjusted better to the dark, she could better make out Ella's features, and she blushed a little when she realized that she found her attractive. Torres had never been with anyone, first out of fear and then because she got older and had no experience, but she had a number of crushes on other girls throughout the years, and though she'd deny it under oath, she had a type. Ella fit that type to a tee. Taller than Torres herself, but not by much, and more feminine. Beautiful, not like a movie star or a model, but like a flower. Something delicate and in need of protecting. She blushed even more when she realized what she was thinking.

The hell are you doing Torres? She's your ward. Your job! She scolded herself and glanced away from Ella, eager to take her mind off of her. At last, Ella dumped a veritable mountain of books in Torres' arms and then, without a word, retreated to her corner and began reading her own book.

"Thanks, Ella. I'll take good care of them. If you need anything, I'll just be in the guest room getting situated." Her phone vibrated in her pocket, once to indicate she had received a text. She breathed a sigh of relief as she walked to the guest room that she always kept her phone on vibrate, lest it send Ella into another panic. She set the books on one of the desks and retrieved her phone, reading the message from her mother. It read:
How is it in Virginia honey? Meet any cute guys yet? When can we visit? xoxoxo
She let out a frustrated sigh, set her phone down on the desk, sat on the edge of the bed and then laid back and stared at the ceiling. Her mother had been getting pushier and pushier about her finding a future husband. The woman had sat through the weddings of her three son's waiting patiently for the day she got to see her daughter walk down the aisle in a wedding dress.

"Hate to disappoint, mom, but I'll be wearing a tux."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella sat in her corner, reading Hamlet, when she finished the book. She tossed it onto a nearby stack and went to pick up another one, but decided instead to do some painting. She fished through her room for supplies. After knocking over a tall stack of books in order to get to the supply box underneath, she cleared an easel and pulled out her supplies, starting to paint. Her fluid brush strokes flew across the canvas, leaving behind streaks of blue. In a few minutes she had a blue background, backed by wisps of green and touches of purple here and there.

She spent hours in front of that easel, painting through lunchtime. And, as the work of art progressed, Ella began to notice as it slowly turned into Emilia's face. Her brown eyes shining, her hair slightly unruly. And her smile. The calm, caring, motherly smile she'd given Ella when they first spoke. Ella blushed, working in solace as she finally added the finishing touches.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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#, as written by Cota
Torres spent some time making getting acquainted with the room and the layout of the apartment. She timed how long it would take her to get from her room to the front door, Ella's room, and the living room. She called her mother and assured her that Virginia was great and that they could visit soon, tactfully avoiding all of her mother's questions. Gomez and Brand brought her car over and she retrieved her bags and spent some time unpacking. When she was finally settled in, she sauntered over to the pile of books Ella had lent her, and picked up the book on top. Of Mice and Men.

A couple of hours passed while she read, until a growl emanating from her stomach reminded her that humans need food to survive. She recalled from Ella's file that she was anorexic and not likely to eat unless prompted, so Torres put her book down and made her way to the apartment's kitchen to prepare a meal for the two of them.

Torres' cooking talent was limited to sandwiches, quesadillas, scrambled eggs, ramen, and burritos, so she was relieved to find all the necessary ingredients to make her favorite beef burritos. She took her time, and though she'd never be as talented as her mother was at making delicious monster burritos, she was fairly proud of herself. She set them on two plates and departed for Ella's room.

"Ella, I know it's kind of late but-" She stopped mid-sentence as she entered the room to find her own face staring back at her, a painting on Ella's canvas. She continued after a pause, a bit unsure of what to make of it. "I, uh, made some lunch." She looked at Ella, trying and failing to hold back a blush. "I, uh, I-is that me?" She found herself stammering just like Ella, and the thought only made face burn hotter. Fuck. Awkward. "Right. Uhm, here's this. I'll uh, just be in my room, if you need me." She hurriedly set down Ella's plate on what most closely resembled a clear spot on her desk and left the room, eager to hide in her room and eat away her embarrassment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella sat in front of her painting. It was as if here was a photograph in front of her. Emilia's features were so realistic, the color vivid and flowing, even Ella's best work wasn't like this. Then again, she'd never painted a person before either. Her art was of material things. Places she'd been, places she'd seen in books and on TV, scenes from movies and video clips. It was of other artwork, foods she actually liked and objects she treasured. It was of her home and her life, boring as it was. But never people. She was too scared, too afraid that if she painted people then they would come to life, restoring the horror of her past and throwing her deeper into the darkness.

Ella was about to start painting another, when her door creaked open slowly and Emilia - at the most awkward moment - decided to walk in. Ella turned to face her guard. The woman was holding was appeared to be burritos, and her face turned an inevitable shade of pink when she caught sight of the her own face plastered on a canvas. Ella blushed even darker than Emilia and froze in time, barely hearing the woman stutter. Before Ella could even say anything, the woman was gone, leaving the plate on a table and hurrying out in an embarrassed manner.

The petite blonde girl had no idea how to react. 'So much for first impressions' would have been the perfect description of the situation, if Ella actually knew what first impressions were. And if she did, she'd definitely be scolding herself for ruining it and more so for blushing. Ella only knew of blushing from books, books of romance and love, where the damsel in distress was saved from harm by a mighty knight in shining silver armor. Perhaps this was her story.

And perhaps Emilia Torres was her knight in shining armor...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

0.00 INK

#, as written by Cota
Torres was a stress eater. She knew it wasn't healthy, but she really loved food, and there was something about stuffing her face with delicious food that made her feel better. Most of the time. That was why, after discovering a portrait of herself that was in her opinion, better than actual photographs of her, she found herself sitting on the edge of the bed in her room, crying into a burrito.

She didn't know why she was crying, exactly. It wasn't the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to her. Not like the incident in high school with the banana. You didn't cry then, so why cry now? So she painted a picture of you. That's a normal thing people who just met do for each other, right? So what that it's kind of the best painting you've ever seen? Who cares that she saw you blush and stutter like some middle schooler talking to her crush for the first time and then run away, tail between your legs? We're both adults.

She finished her soggy burrito and then crawled under the blankets, covering her head with a pillow.It doesn't help that she's exactly the type you always fall for. Admit it. You always fall for the ones with issues because they let you feel strong. It's kind of creepy, if you think about it.

"Ughh, what am I thinking?" She groaned into her pillow, the fabric muffling her voice and making her sound like she had all her teeth knocked out. That's how she felt.

You can't fall for this girl, you idiot. That's a huge breach of protocol. Gomez would kill you. Besides, she probably doesn't...probably can't feel the same way, considering all the fucked up shit in her past. She was probably just excited to make a friend, and here you are reading way into it. Way to go, Emilia. Way to make everything about you. This is why you've never even kissed a girl. You over think everything and suddenly, it's all gone. She rolled over on her back and looked at the ceiling, taking a deep breath.

"I am a real winner."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella ate a little less than half of the food Emilia had brought her. She knew it was delicious, but her body had become unable to consume more than a sandwich's worth of sustinance. She sat in her room for what seemed like hours, pondering over what had happened earlier. By the time she snapped out of her lovesick trance the painting had already dried. Ella almost wanted to wrap it and give it to Emilia for Christmas, but she knew that if it stayed in her room she'd probably go nuts from the pressure of seeing the face of the woman who made her feel odd. Odd was the only word she could use to describe the feeling, she had no real concept of love or attraction.

After a while, Ella gave up and stood, picking up her newest painting with delicate hands. She slowly made her way out of the room, careful not to bump into anything that might scrape the paint off or rip into the canvas. Her silent footsteps made their way to Emilia's closed door. She stood in front of it for minutes at a time, not at all knowing what to do. After a while, she leaned the painting against the wall next to the door, knocking almost inaudibly before silently pattering her way back to her room before anyone could answer the door. Taped onto the frame of the painting was a tiny note, with a single sentence written in tiny, neat cursive: Sorry for blushing.

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Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Torres jolted awake and sat up straight in her bed, silently berating herself for dozing off. Her mother's burritos always made her sleepy for some reason. She glanced at the clock on the wall, noting that she had been out for at least an hour.You're seriously the best bodyguard ever. After this, you'll probably get a job guarding the president!

As much as she wanted to pretend that everything that happened earlier was just a dream, she knew it wasn't, and she knew that she should be checking in on Ella soon. Well shit. This could either be really awkward or it could be nothing. She couldn't decide which option she liked the least. She smoothed out her clothes as best she could and put her messy bedhead hair into a ponytail, trying to give herself some semblance of professionalism, took a deep breath, and opened her door.

Torres jumped a bit as she opened the door to see Ella's painted version of her staring back up at her. She felt her cheeks go warm just seeing it. Well aren't you just the coolest Emilia. Cute girl paints one picture for you and suddenly your weak in the knees every time you see it. Upon taking a second look at it, she noticed a small addition, a note taped to the frame with the words in a tiny, almost mechanically neat cursive. She couldn't hold back a cheesy grin when she read it.

Sorry for blushing? That's what she says? Like she did something wrong? She scratched her head and brought the painting back into her room, taking extreme caution not to hit it against anything, and set it down against the far wall. She couldn't help but feel a little vain as she admired it, but it was outweighed by her sense of awe at Ella's talent. She thought about how it would look hanging on a wall in her home, and the thought of being the type of person who has a portrait of themselves on their wall made her snort-laugh. Her mother's reaction, in particular, would be priceless. She shook her head, smiled, let out a sigh, and went to look for Ella.

Torres made her way to Ella's room. The door was once again closed, and this time, she gave it a soft knock that she hoped was not too loud or surprising.

"Ella?"

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Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella barely noticed the soft knock that echoed at her door. She had, unfortunately, finished another painting of Emilia and was now working on a third. Talk about a bad time to show up. Ella quickly and carefully turned the easel around and hid the other painting in a corner, dragging another easel over as quietly as possible and tossing a painting in progress onto it before replying. "Come in..." Her voice didn't waver for the first time in a while. It was as if something about knowing Emilia was there seemed to make her feel less...shy. Definitely no less awkward, though.

The tiny blonde tried not to blush at the sight of her attractive bodyguard. She didn't want to make things any more awkward than they already were, and she definitely didn't want the older woman to feel cornered or pressured in any way, even though Ella didn't know how she was cornering or pressuring Emilia. It didn't really seem to matter. Ella felt as if she was being cornered and pressured by herself, and she couldn't seem to understand why exactly, but she had a feeling it was something to do with the beautiful woman standing in her doorway.

But, of course she didn't say anything about it.

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Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Torres waited for Ella to invite her in, definitely not eager to step into a situation potentially even more embarrassing than the last. She heard some shuffling around before Ella allowed her to enter. Even with permission, she did so cautiously. She glanced at the easel, taking note that although the painting wasn't of her, the paint was already dry and the colors were different than the ones she had open. It was clear that wasn't the painting Ella had most recently done. Her lips curled into an amused smirk at thought of what that implied. Maybe I'm not reading too much into it after all.

"Hey." Torres' casual, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary voice was, frankly, terrible. She took a few more steps into the room, completely unsure of what body language to use in this situation. The result was an awkward, bumbling Emilia Torres that reminded herself way too much of when her mother had forced her to go to Junior Prom with a dress despite not having a date. Smooth, Em. You're like the female Fonzie. "Uhm. Thank you very much for the painting, it's very beautiful. Not to sound vain or anything, I just meant that, uh, you're very talented." She tried to look Ella in the eyes as she spoke but found that she couldn't. She felt very small in that moment, like she was back in eighth grade, daydreaming about the cute blond two seats in front of her.

She didn't know what was going on between them. Was there even a "them"? She clasped her hands together nervously and began rubbing the scar on her right hand, trying to think of something to say, to no avail. Emilia Torres was the undisputed queen of awkward silences, and a few painful seconds passed by like hours. After what seemed like an eternity she finally snapped back to reality and continued, still rubbing her scar, now with a little more intensity. "Your note. On the painting. It's-I didn't even notice it, I-what I mean is, uhm, is that I should the one apologizing." She straightened up a little and tried her hardest to pull off her solemn cop voice. "I have not been acting very professional. You've done nothing wrong, it's all me, saying all the wrong things. You don't need to apologize to me. You're beautiful, Ella-" Shit, did you just say that? Out loud? "Uh, I mean, you're...I am...you..."She felt her cheeks burning now. So much for setting things straight. Just shut your mouth and go hide again, like you always do.

"I'm sorry. This won't happen again."

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Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Ella didn't really know what to say. She'd never been complimented on her appearance before, and frankly, everything about this situation was new to her. The blushing. The awkwardness. The obvious discomfort. She'd never really experienced these feelings before. Sure, her personality would force her to feel these things on a daily basis, but the few people who ever came to see her tiptoed on eggshells to avoid triggering them. Ella hadn't ever taken this much interest in another person before. Not since grade school, not since her kindergarten crush, and even that wasn't quite the same. What was happening? Her heart seemed to crash and bang. She could feel her cheeks heating up with the rose tinge of embarrassment and she saw that Emilia's were doing the same.

The first thing that came to Ella's mind was "Don't be sorry." The rest of her mind was overflowing with confusion, she didn't know how to react and had no idea how she was supposed to make the situation any better. She just wanted Emilia to stop feeling so embarrassed and awkward. It was making her embarrassed and awkward too, and two awkward, blushing women wasn't really the recipe for a smooth conversation. In the two hours they had known each other, they'd managed to do nothing but make fools of themselves over and over again.

What now?

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Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Did you even stop to think that maybe she has no idea why you're acting the way you are? You always make everything about yourself. The whole reason you came in here was to check on her. Why don't you do that?

"Right. I'm, uh, just being a spaz. I do that sometimes. Sorry...again." Torres took a few more steps into the room, careful not to trip over the clutter on the floor. In police academy, one of the things she learned was how to face a scary situation, how to conquer it by looking at it objectively and realizing that there's nothing out of the ordinary, that a criminal with a gun is just a man. Looking at problems that way helps people to get over them, and that's what she told herself she was doing now. Ella was just a girl. Sure, she happened to be fairly pretty but there have been girls like that before, and Torres reminded herself that she hadn't lost her composure then. Still, no one had ever made her feel like this before, at least not this quickly. She was getting a good look at the girl now, telling herself it was to get over these silly feelings, but deep down she knew she just wanted to look at Ella. She didn't know what exactly was going on in her head, and she didn't like what she didn't know, but she was sure of one thing. She didn't want it to stop.

For the sake of her job, however, she needed it to.
I...just came to check on you. See if you needed anything?

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Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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"No...but thanks." Ella didn't really need anything whatsoever and she felt bad, since Emilia came in here and embarrassed herself just to help. It was new to her. No one ever came to check up on her really, except for Gomez's visits to pick up artwork and drop off groceries, but even then the woman didn't usually come inside. Ella had never had friend per say, considering she was the shy kid in school and spent the years after Junior High in hiding without social interaction of any kind.

She was interested and fascinated by the woman who had just moved in. She wanted to get closer to her, odd as it was for a complete hermit. She got the feeling Emilia wanted to be friends as well. But why? Ella wasn't social, nor interesting or unique, she didn't even have much of a story to tell or memories to talk about. She had no experience with friendships or relationships, she knew nothing of love. Why would anyone be interested in a recluse like her?

Yes, that indeed was the question.

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Character Portrait: Ella Murphy Character Portrait: Emilia Torres

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Torres got the feeling that Ella was the type of person who would come to her if she wanted anything, so rather than stay and risk contributing to the growing awkward, she simply nodded and departed from the room.

Returning to her room, she let out a sigh of relief, and then hit herself in the forehead twice, muttering under her breath, "Stupid...stupid." She paced back and forth in her room, rubbing the scar on her hand and every few seconds nervously glancing at the monitors displaying the camera feeds around the house. After a few moments, she picked up the copy of Of Mice and Men and sat down at the desk, flipping through it until she found the line she was looking for.

β€œMaybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” She read the line quietly, almost in a whisper. She remembered it from junior high, from around the time when she first started to notice other girls. She was scared of her feelings then, of what her dad might say, what other kids might say. But when she read that line in eighth grade advanced literature, it helped her deal with that fear. She smiled, flipped back to where she left off, and dove back into the book.