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Jean-Louis Gage

"How do you go on knowing that you will never again - not ever, ever - see the person you have loved?"

0 · 884 views · located in New York

a character in “She's Gone”, as played by Scarlet Loup

Description



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β€œHow do you go on knowing that you will never again - not ever, ever - see the person you have loved? How do you survive a single hour, a single minute, a single second of that knowledge? How do you hold yourself together?”




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N A M E
Jean-Louis Timothe Gage

N I C K N A M E
He very rarely goes by his full first name. Instead, he is often referred to simply as Louis (pronounced Louie).

G E N D E R
Male

A G E
Twenty-eight

N A T I O N A L I T Y
French

S E X U A L I T Y
Bisexual

β€œI love you every day. And now I will miss you every day.”
~ Mitch Albom


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H E I G H T
An impressive six feet

W E I G H T
A lanky yet toned one hundred, sixty-eight pounds

H A I R C O L O U R
A dark, mousy sort of brown sometimes and a deep black other times

E Y E C O L O U R
A very bright, clear sky blue

S K I N T O N E
A light, slightly weathered peachy color

G E N E R A L__A P P E A R A N C E
Louis is hardly physically intimidating. Instead, he has the look of an attractive foreigner that many can only aspire to achieve. His hair seems to change in the certain lighting. Sunshine brings out a light, oakish color while the lights on a stage seem to make his hair a dark ebony. Either way, both shades, as well as his piercing blue eyes, stand out against his light skin. The prominence of his brow makes his eyes appear to be set more deeply in his face than they are, making him look more mysterious. One rarely finds Louis without some form of facial hair. Usually, it's in the form of a light beard and mustache combination, but sometimes he elected for a more simple, rugged or unshaven look. His soft French accent only further adds to his general appearance of a foreigner.

"Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realize that nothing really belongs to them."
~ Paulo Coelho


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ImageP E R S O N A L I T Y
The thing about Louis is that hardly anyone truly knows the true him. Certainly, everyone has an idea of what kind of person he is, but even Louis does not know his true self. Having spent his childhood in Paris as a socially awkward young boy, he has made it his personal mission to stand out in America. And stand out he has. Extensive, personal "research" has molded him into someone even his parents, whom he ran away from ten years ago, would be unable to identify. He plays the part of the suave foreigner well. On stage, he carries the aura of a mysterious stranger. He has carried on with this facade for so long that he worries he'll lose his fame if he were to forgo it.

The only person who ever knew the true him was Ashleigh. Around her, he let himself loose and allowed himself to revert back into his more socially awkward self. Louis could even sense himself, at some points, speaking without the accent that characterizes his exterior personality. Without Ashleigh, he has become a wreck, more or less. He speaks less often to people, and when he is not giving interviews to the press, he is locked in a hotel room with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a syringe in the other. He finds little point in carrying on without her, the only person who ever truly understood him, in his life. No one else has managed to make him feel as comfortable. He's slowly beginning to realize just how foreign he is in America. Sure, he could find more work as a guitarist, but as time goes on, he's slowly growing weary of his facade and wishes to move on. The problem is, of course, that he's practically as addicted to it as he is to liquor and cocaine.


"It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away."
~ Elizabeth Gilbert


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L I K E S
β™‘ His Guitar β™‘ Ashleigh β™‘ Foreign Food β™‘ Abstract Art β™‘ Classic Literature β™‘ Folk Music β™‘ Cocaine β™‘ Hard Liquor β™‘ Attention β™‘ Cranberries β™‘ Winter β™‘ Rain β™‘ Swimming β™‘

D I S L I K E S
βœ— Conformity βœ— Organized Religion βœ— Processed Food βœ— Politics βœ— Wasabi βœ— Oranges βœ— Gambling βœ— Authority βœ— Summer βœ— Romantic Comedies βœ— Mathematics βœ— Cooking βœ— Confrontation βœ—

Q U I R K S
๏ Has grown dependent on alcohol & cocaine following Ashleigh's death ๏ Toys with a guitar pick whenever he's anxious ๏ Hasn't managed to shake his French accent ๏ Obsessed with being a highly interesting person ๏


β€œWhen Death laughs, no one else does.”
~ Amy Neftzger


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Dialogue Colour
#821122

Face Claim
Colin O'Donoghue

Writer
Scarlet Loup


So begins...

Jean-Louis Gage's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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T H EXB E G I N N I N G
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She couldn't believe her wildest dreams were finally starting to come true.

As she walked along the rugged, way too narrow sidewalks in the heart of New York City, she took a moment to look back on just how far she's come. How far they've all come, really. There's Wendy Collins, that girl used to be her best friend, but now they're reestablishing their best friendship from a time of separation and no contact. Then... there was her new guitarist. What was his name? Her heart pounded, and she bit her lip, trying to remember. Anyways, he had that accent, and she knew he was a good musician just by looking at him. Everything about him screamed that his musical abilities were at the very least decent.

Then, there was her. And she.. well, she was just the singer of this little band, who'd found her best friend again, and didn't think she'd amount to much just a few months ago. Now, they have their first gig soon, and she couldn't be more excited. Speaking of the band, shouldn't they have beat her here?

She slid into a little wooden chair with the iron backs, and the matching table inside the quaint, yet new coffee shop right by one of the busiest intersections she's seen since moving to New York. She pulled out her phone, and bit her lip.

To: Wendy
"I thought you knew where this was? Where are you?"


She frowned as she didn't have guitar boy's number. "Oh well.. I guess now I have a reason to get it." She smiled slyly to herself, then tapped her fingertips on the wood surface.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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The band most certainly should have beaten Ashleigh to the coffee shop, but a technical snafu had resulted in an extra fifteen minutes of New York City traffic to sit through as their only roadie directed the van haphazardly. They parked behind the building, and Louis wordlessly left the van to begin unloading his guitars. His wordlessness, which probably came off as snobby or obnoxious, was merely him not knowing what to say. He often didn't. Louis had come to realize, however, that there were others who saw it as something good, something that added to his persona. Others in the band had come to view him as the stereotypical foreigner -- suave and laconic

Louis had not exactly intended for it to go that way, but he most certainly had no intention of complaining. It was the first time he had ever been completely fine with standing out among others.

Carefully, he lifted his acoustic guitar and pushed through the back door, following hallways until he reached the main room where the stage stood off to the side, occupied only by a few stools. Gingerly, he set the instrument's case well on the stage, taking the proper precautions. It wasn't that he was overly careful as a person -- he wasn't. He simply didn't have the money to keep on top of his rent, let alone repair a broken guitar.

That was why this gig and the band as a whole had been a God sent. It had been eight years since he had arrived in America. Eight years of broken English and playing on street corners. The former had improved, but he still found himself spending nights in the subway to make ends meet. But it was going to change now.

It had to change.

He turned back towards the shop now, scanning the audience for their performance. Louis caught a glimpse of Ashleigh, and he started towards her, a faint smile on his lips until another woman began to move towards her, eventually sitting across from her. Like a deer in headlights, he waited for a moment, struggling to decide whether or not to continue moving towards her or to help unload, but he slowly started back towards the back of the shop. If she needed something, she'd tell him, but until then, he'd keep to himself. After all, she was the reason he finally had some money to his name. He had no want to ruin his chances now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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Ashleigh was a little nervous as she recognized the blonde hair that walked into the shop, and the smile that spread across Wendy's face. As she was walking, Ashleigh stood up and held out her arms for Wendy to hug, and she smiled, breathing in her scent as they hugged.

"You still smell ultra girly." She seethed playfully, and had a huge grin on her face, matching hers. "I can't believe you're trying to get noticed too. The paparazzi are hard to please, aren't they? But, if tonight goes as planned, we might just make it." She grinned, and chuckled heartily.

She looked up, tucking her hair behind her ear, when she noticed him, and she kept her huge grin, and she opened her mouth to call him, as she'd finally remembered his name. "Jean...Um, Jean is the guitarist, he's walking back.." She politely smirked towards Wendy. "Um, we have a gig here in a bit if you want to stay around for that, perhaps?" She offered excitedly, and nodded towards Wendy at her answer.

They sat and talked for what felt like hours just catching up, and then Ashleigh looked at her watch. "Oh, it's already 6! 'Scuse me Wends, I've got to make sure the guys are ready." She smiled, and stood, going back to where she'd find the guys. Jean looking just like himself made her smile. He never seemed to cave in to the pressure of fitting in, he was just comfortable with sticking out. She kinda... loved that about him.

"Nervous?" She had a cheeky smile, resembling a small child as she stood in front of the foreigner, and took a permanent note of how bright his eyes seemed. He seemed a little nervous, but she wasn't the best reader of people either. She'd have to play with that later though. "Say, since you're pretty much ready to go, would you mind giving me your number? I think I lost mine back inside." She grinned slyly.

At the time, she was just kidding. But, soon enough, she'd want to mean it with every breath she took. She stared a little too long at his jawline, and waited for him to key in the digits of the most important number she'd have. How come she hadn't actually taken the time to look at him while they were interviewing for the guitarist? He didn't phase her then, so.. why now?



( I went ahead and wrote out the part where they perform, for schedule purposes, but if there's a problem, just lemme know! )

Outfit

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage
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As Ashleigh continued her reunion with Wendy, Louis continued preparing himself for the gig. Eventually, he found that there wasn't much else to do with a gig this small. Months from now, perhaps, he would be grateful for the slowness of his life in that moment. He unlatched the case for his guitar and began to practice songs quietly, hoping to kill some time and soothe his nerves, which were far too on edge for his liking.

The others milled about, exchanging jokes or well-wishes, while he delved into his music. That was where Ashleigh found him -- partially hunched over his guitar, foot tapping in time against the stool's leg. When she spoke, he skipped a note, worried for just a moment that he had missed a cue. His fingers took up the tune quite quickly again, though, and he smiled back at her, matching her grin, as he brought the song to a close.

"Am I allowed to be?" he countered, attempting to mask his gnawing anxiety from her with a brief laugh. Louis stood up slowly, holding his acoustic guitar by the neck as he rested it in the case. He was standing back up once more when she oh-so-subtly asked for his number. Before him, she looked shocked or overwhelmed...or something of that nature, and it brought a smile back to his lips, causing one corner of his mouth to turn upward slightly.

"You ought to go find it at some point then," he teased, going along with her. Louis reached out for her phone, taking it gently. His fingers brushed against hers in a a way that seemed more like a scene from a rom-com. He put his number in and then handed it back. "But I hope that will do for now. You will let me know how the search goes, yes?" Hos grin expanded into a broader, cheekier smile as he continued to speak, slowly feeling more comfortable around her and allowing himself to step outside of the small comfort zone he had allotted himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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"But I hope that will do for now. You will let me know how the search goes, yes?"

Ashleigh had slight pink to her cheeks as she pocketed her smartphone in her back jeans pocket, her mind lingering on the feeling of his fingers grazing hers. "Aye, of course I will." She smiled sheepishly. "You ready? I think it's about time to get out there." She smirked, and patted his shoulder as she went to go see where exactly they'd put her microphones. She then looked behind her and didn't see Wendy, and became disheartened. She's probably really busy now.. Her mind lingered on the thought until they were 'announced' by a waiter, and they walked onto the barely taller than the floor little stage, and Ashleigh sat on a barstool, while holding a cordless microphone in her hands.

She did her performance, her eyes squeezed shut, and her knuckles white from her pressure. She sang rhythmically with the guitar, and it went wonderfully, rewarding in a few celebratory claps in the smaller audience. She didn't know however, that after an awkward encounter with the cashier to acquire Wendy's number, a man dressed in a casual windbreaker got her attention as well as Jean's.

"Excuse me, can I talk to the both of you outside? It take but a minute." He smiled a sly grin. Ashleigh looked to Jean, before nodding, and stepping out to the sidewalk to listen to him. The man cleared his throat, looking between them and continuing. "My name is Joe Terrari. I'm the talent agent for New Sounds Records. We'd love to make a deal." He stuck out his hand, and Ashleigh's eyes were huge, and she looked to Jean.

"I uh- yeah. Yeah, we'd love to make a deal." She cracked a smile, and shook his hand. After Joe shook Jean's he gave them his card, and went about his way, with a quick sentence. "We'll be in touch soon." He waved slightly, and disappeared into a limo, which drove off.



Ashleigh turned to Jean, and squealed. "Am I dreaming right now?" She laughed, and couldn't stop smiling. Then, on a whim of a thought, she hugged Jean tight, and breathed in his scent. He smelled like the ocean, and she savored it, before letting go. "I better tell Wendy." She pulled out her phone, and rapidly dialed her number.

"C'mon.. pick up." She sighed, and grinned as she heard it click. "We just signed for a deal!" She smiled, looking back at Jean, and held p a finger, motioning for him to wait just a minute. She wanted him to stay, just for a minute.


Burning Gold || Christina Perri

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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage
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Louis smirked back at her and gave a slight shrug. "As I will ever be," he replied, following after her. His heart threatened to burst from his chest as they awaited their cue. While she readied herself before the microphone, Louis picked up his electric guitar and slipped the strap over his head. His feet planted themselves in a place a bit behind Ashleigh and to the right.

Though Ashleigh began nervously, Louis was more relaxed. In that moment, he could escape in his music and pretend that he was alone. There was no need to pretend because he felt so utterly peaceful here on this cafe's stage. Nothing those precious minutes. Certainly, the illusion was sure to dissipate once the song ended, but for just now, just this moment, he didn't have to worry about that. His body moved with the song, and he tapped a foot against the floor gently to kept time. Louis's fingers slid up and down the neck of his guitar, fingering chords while his other hand plucked the strings in their appropriate order. Occasionally, he sang a harmony or two to make up for their lack of back-up singers, but these too flowed with the music and kept with his peaceful illusion.

When the song ended and the applause came, he was quite violently ripped out of his day dream, and his fingers tightened nervously around his guitar. It was his turn to be anxious. They seemed to like it, however, and that managed to give him some sense of accomplishment. Louis had just begun to place his guitar back in its case when the man approached them. At first, he did not seem to process that they were being addressed. The fact that someone had taken interest in them was shocking enough.

He remained in a state of uncertainty for a moment, the sly grin of the man causing him to frown slightly. When Ashleigh looked back at him, though, he found a new level of solace and shrugged slightly to convey his opinion. What was the worst that could happen after all? He'd already been mugged before.

Standing on the sidewalk, Louis crossed his arms over his chest, making an effort to draw himself up slightly, appear more menacing than he felt in that moment. Anything to have the upper hand. He lost that quickly though when Joe began to speak. His jaw quite literally dropped open as the agent stuck a hand out. Ashleigh met his gaze with one that seemed to mimic his own before replying quickly to his offer.

As Louis shook the man's hand, his legs quivering, feeling as though they would give out beneath him. He was at a loss for words, unable to comprehend the fact that they had a deal. Dear God, we have a record deal. He whispered French exclamations to himself as the man handed off a card to Ashleigh. He was still following the limo with his gaze when she hugged him suddenly. He allowed himself to break out into a broad, exuberant grin as he held her, mind still reeling. Louis laughed with her, a breathy sort of laugh that is the result of disbelief. He could feel her heart racing alongside his own.

He was numb, and so he hardly noticed when Ashleigh pulled away and started calling Wendy. He did, however, hold his hands to his head as he continued to grin, pacing back and forth. By the time she turned back to him, he was simply shaking his head, still grinning of course, with his fingers gripping the ends of his hair. He nodded back silently, holding a thumb up to tell her he wouldn't leave. How could he leave? She had changed his life.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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"Oh, by the way, are you bringing anyone with you? Just need to know for getting a table,"

Ashleigh had a big grin on her face as she watched Jean pace back and forth, his hands tangled in his hair. "Um, yes. I'm bringing someone." She chuckled. "Alright, well, We'll explain everything once we get there, I promise. See you in a little bit!" She said farewell for now, and slid the phone into her back pocket.

"We have a record deal, people are going to know us finally." She said once out loud, but a million times inside her head. She walked to Jean, and smiled. "I'm so happy, I could just ki-" Her cheeks blushed a brilliant red, and she took a step back. Looking at the sidewalk, she crossed her arms. "Sorry." She mumbled under her breath, and ran a hand through her dark hair.

"C'mon, we shouldn't keep her waiting." She hailed a cab and slunk into the back, followed by him. They got there just a minute overdue, and she felt a little shameful. The place was more fancy than casual and she felt slightly out of place, but at least Jean wasn't dressed up either.

She looked around until she spotted Wendy's charming figure.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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"Awesome! Table for three, then," she replied, raising her voice so her agent, who was undoubtedly hovering in the hall, could hear. "It's Le Marc's on 51st, I'll see you there!" She said, before saying her goodbyes and hanging up. Her life meant that frequent outfit changes were nothing new, and she had it down to an art. She was able to change into her outfit without as much as smudging her makeup, and the hair team's talents meant that her hair was still perfect as she got into the car.

She really wished that she and Ashleigh had still been in touch when Wendy had gotten the call for her audition. The release of the indie world war 2 movie she'd been in had really been her big break- but it had only hit her when she'd gotten the call from her agent, telling her that Disney of all people wanted her to audition. But they'd fallen out of touch by that point.

The staff at Le Marc's knew her by now, and she was whisked straight to one of their best tables, flawlessly set out for the three of them. Wendy thanked her waiter and sat down, watching the door for Ashleigh. As soon as she saw he come in, she got to her feet, waving so they'd see her. She caught a glimpse of the guy coming with her and had to make a conscious effort not to stare. He looked vaguely familiar, but no name was coming to mind.

As they reached the table, Wendy approached Ashleigh for a hug. "Well done!" She said, grinning. The whole thing felt vaguely surreal, but she didn't mind. She smiled at the handsome stranger. "I don't believe we've been introduced," she said.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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Louis finally looked up and back at Ashleigh as her conversation came to an end. His fingers slowly found their way out of his hair, which was now a bit rumpled looking and pushed back, as he listened.

"Finally," he echoed, his voice breathy with disbelief and absolute shock. His eyes stayed fixed on her even as she stepped closer and almost came in for a...

His face flushed as hers did, but he didn't look away even as she did. Louis gave a soft laugh, rubbing the back of his neck gently as the color rose to his cheeks. "No, no, it is...okay," he assured her, smiling back reassuringly. And it was, he knew, because for a just a moment there, he too had felt the urge to take her in his arms. His hesitation had only stemmed from his surprise at how willing he was, in the heat of the moment, to kiss this woman he hardly knew. A woman he could hardly speak to. He couldn't admit it now, though, and so he didn't.

Instead, Louis simply nodded in agreement as he hailed them a cab. He watched her get in and then followed close behind, realizing he had no idea where they were going only once they had begun to drive away. They drove in silence, Louis tapping his feet lightly against the floor of the taxi. When they finally arrived, he was quick to get out and escape the awkward atmosphere they had created. Louis stopped short, however, as his eyes locked on the "Le Marc's" sign.

It didn't take someone with connections to know that Le Marc's was a bit hoity-toity and extremely difficult to get into. Louis looked down at his outfit, realizing he was still dressed in flannel and jeans -- certainly not the proper dress code for somewhere the Cooking Channel had done a segment on. He ran a hand through his hair quickly, attempting to fix what he had rumpled earlier.

He walked in slightly behind Ashleigh, looking downward slightly as they moved through the rooms towards her friend. He couldn't decide if being let in in their street clothes was better or worse than simply being denied. It felt somewhere along the lines of showing up to a funeral in sweatpants, but of course, he was merely exaggerating in the moment. Regardless, he certainly felt out of place when they approached the woman waving frantically at their table.

Louis could recognized her face in almost an instant, knowing he had seen it on various magazines in the kiosks that littered New York's streets. He failed to place a name to her face despite how hard he thought about it. He let the two friends have their moment as he continued to rack his brains, stopping suddenly when the woman turned to address him. He met her gaze and smiled slightly, attempting to match the look she gave him as well as he could.

"We have not," he affirmed, stepping forward slightly. Louis played up his accent slightly, hoping it would give him an edge that would counter his inappropriate attire. He was most certainly aware of America's fascination with anything foreign, and he would most certainly be lying if he said he hadn't used it to his advantage before. "Je m'appelle Jean-Louis. Call me Louis though." He paused to quirk his smile slightly so that the right side turned upward a bit more. "And you are...?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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That accent, though. She was and always had been a sucker for French accents, and she suddenly remembered her and Ashleigh fangirling over the cute French students in their schooldays. She smiled at him. "I'm Wendy, Wendy Davis," she said. His slightly quirked smile only made her smile even wider. He was really beautiful.

"C'mon, take a seat. The food here is fantastic, and you can quote me on that," she said, sitting down and opening her menu. The restaurant was a favourite of hers- sure, it was expensive, but the food was fabulous and it was away from the press's peering eyes. That was always a plus for her.

She scanned the menu. With the press tour, she hadn't been here in a while, and they'd changed the menu since then. But, to her delight, her beloved ravioli was still there. Having a decent idea of what she was going to order, she put down the menu and leaned in a little.

"So, a record deal? That's fantastic! Who's it with? How did it happen, exactly? Have you signed it yet, or...?" She asked, still beaming. It had been such an incredible day- first, she'd been reunited with Ashleigh, and now here they were, at dinner again, celebrating a huge event. She leaned her head on one hand, looking between them. She knew that her attention kept being drawn to Louis, but it didn't seem fair to just stare at him. So she made sure that she spent the same amount of time looking at Ashleigh, not wanting to give herself away.

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Ashleigh had a friendly grin on her lips as Wendy greeted them inside. "I feel so out of touch here." She whispered to Jean, and ran her hands into her pockets even as they sat down. For some reason, she just felt horribly out of touch with the others. Maybe it was just her allergies or something. She became consumed in her own thoughts as she let Wendy 'introduce' herself.

Ashleigh wasn't a jealous type. Not at all. She just didn't want people to fall in love because of their looks, or foreign accents. She wanted someone to be loved for their intellect, how he can pull from his inner passion and sing away the world. In all honesty, she wouldn't have gotten that record deal if she'd been solo.

Her hands danced along the sewn edges of the menu, as she sat in her seat, and stared blankly as Wendy talked on. "So, a record deal? That's fantastic! Who's it with? How did it happen, exactly? Have you signed it yet, or..?" Ashleigh sighed, and closed her menu setting it down slowly. She wasn't hungry anyway, maybe just some wine to go or something. She needed to get back and start writing new songs, something to pull in those companies even more.

"Well.. um, Mr. Terrari from New Sounds Records pulled Jean and myself outside, and one thing led to another, and we're signed. I have his card, and he'll be in touch with us soon about the deal." She said, a glaze over her eyes, and she broke off her stare, and licked her lips unconsciously.

When the waiter came to take everyone's order, Ashleigh denied, and simply ordered a glass of red wine. "I'm not hungry, I ate before the performance, and I honestly shouldn't eat this food anyhow. It's wicked expensive, and I would like to have light to write to. " She pursed her lips, and raised an eyebrow as she grasped the glass, and drank a little too fast. Her eyes watched the scene before her, and she could feel her heart racing.

She was still drinking her wine, and swallowed, then coughed, and had to set down her glass, before spitting out her wine all over the table. She swears it went all over the two of them, no matter what they say. "Oh.. Oh my god." Her eyes turned red, and they watered almost instantly. "I.. I am so sorry, both of you. " She looked at Wendy, and then turned towards a red-faced Jean, and she had a lingering apologetic look. "I really am so so sorry. I need.. I need to go home anyway, so um, just uh.." She felt her pockets, and threw all her money on the table. "If that doesn't cover the uh, dry cleaners then let me know. I'm so sorry." Ashleigh bit her lip hard, her cheeks bright red from embarrassment and her coughing.

You really screwed that up. She grimaced as she walked out of the restaurant, and took a sharp left to start walking back to her apartments which, thankfully, weren't too damn far. Her head flooded with rhythms, and she hummed all the way to her writing desk, which was a flimsy thing in front of the window to the fire escape in her apartment building. She scribbled away her words, her door locked tight, and a candle on her desk emitting a faint glow you couldn't see from the street below. "Where there once was love... Now there's only me..."




- One Week Later -

Ashleigh was dressed in her new outfit she'd had the courtesy to go get yesterday by herself, since she didn't want to bother Wendy with her needs. She rolled her navy sleeves to her elbows, and buttoned her tight skinny jeans, before sliding on her loose grey shirt. Maybe he'd notice. Maybe he'd notice and compliment her looks and how she was an amazing individual, and then they'd talk about music for hours, falling in love with the other's intellect.

She felt on top of the world, exiting her apartment, and going to the requested area for her and Jean only to meet with Mr. Ferrari, whom would also be their manager of sorts. He wanted to hear the two main vocals alone first, so they met at a rehearsal hall in the building where Ferrari worked.

"So, you guys got any songs since last time we've spoken?" Ashleigh didn't even look at Jean, nodding and handing him a folder of the two songs she'd written since that night. "Alright, well, let's hear'em then." He scoffed, and sat in his chair, and Ashleigh handed Jean all his needed sheets, and then tapped her foot as he started strumming the cords.

Song 1:The Lonely
Song 2:be my forever

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Ashleigh wasn't herself. Wendy chose not to say anything, but concern fluttered in the back of her mind when Ashleigh didn't even order anything to eat. "It's fine, seriously, I'll pay for it. You can pay me back when you're superstars," she said, looking between the two and forcing a smile. But her persuasion didn't work, so she turned her attention to Louis. "So, how long have you been in America?" She asked. But before she could get her answer, Ashleigh's red wine went everywhere. Wendy shoved herself away from the table on instinct, but it was too late. The wine had stained the front of her dress. It was Ashleigh's reaction, however, that upset Wendy. She didn't even get to refuse the other girl's money before she was gone, leaving Wendy and Louis alone. Wendy stood for a minute, staring after her friend and blinking away tears. It had to be her fault. Maybe if she'd brought them somewhere less fancy, somewhere where they would have felt more comfortable, this wouldn't have happened.

"Well, we've ordered now, we may as well stay and eat it," She forced herself to joke, sitting back down.





A week later


"Thank you very much, Miss Collins, we'll be in touch," the casting director said. Wendy smiled and thanked him, heading back out to the street. They weren't even finished the press for one movie and she was already going for auditions for the next. She knew she was lucky- her male co-star was filming already. But her agent thought that it was better for an up-and-coming actress like herself to take it easy. She didn't want to appear to be trying too hard, and she also didn't want to overwork herself.

As she reached the street, she pulled out her phone and texted Louis. Despite the disaster of their first meeting, they'd been getting on extremely well ever since. Wendy really, really liked him. He was passionate as well as physically attractive, and he had that artsy, mysterious personality that she'd always loved. She needed a date for a charity ball in a few weeks, and knew that she wanted to bring him. But first, he needed a suit, and she had it all worked out. She knew one of the finest tailors in New York, and she was fully intending on buying him a nice suit. He could pay her back if he insisted, but she wanted him to have something really, really nice.

"I've got a surprise for you. :) Where are you rehearsing? I'll come meet you once you're ready."

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Wendy. Wendy Davis. He knew that name. It took a while, but he recalled her from some magazine he'd passed by at a kiosk or somewhere else insignificant. Louis looked to Ashleigh for a just a moment as she spoke, flashing a quick smile. He couldn't voice it, but he was terrified to be in a place that was so ritzy when he was so...drab. As Wendy spoke again though, he turned his attention back to the blonde. With a slight nod, he took his seat and popped open the menu.

In the moment of silence as the other two looked in the menu, he too looked about for something that was simultaneously inexpensive and appeasing. Though the latter seemed quite easy to achieve, he struggled to find anything he would be able to afford without selling at least one kidney. He was still wondering which body part would be least necessary for survival when Wendy spoke up again. As Ashleigh answered the flurry of questions, Louis looked over his menu at Wendy, finding that his attention was drawn to her just as her attention was drawn to him.

He couldn't place a finger on the reason why he felt compelled to smile back at her again. Like Wendy, he would try to look to Ashleigh occasionally only to find himself drifting back towards Wendy. Was it her charm? Appearance? Her fame?

The waiter broke him out of his musing and reminded him that he hadn't thought of something to order. The two women ordered such drastically different meals that he felt torn for a moment, panicking mentally as Ashleigh justified her choice. It was expensive, but was he going to pass this up? Besides, he didn't want Wendy to think he wasn't grateful, right?

"I'll have the gnocchi in the -- er -- rosa sauce," he said, choosing the first pasta dish that caught his eye. It was roughly the same price as Wendy's anyway. Again, he looked back at Wendy, his smile one of gratitude now. "We appreciate it." He spoke for the two of them this time, beginning to notice that Ashleigh certainly wasn't herself. Not that he knew her well enough to gauge her moods. Regardless, it wasn't normal for any person.

Louis had opened his mouth to answer Wendy's inquiry when red wine splashed at him. A few droplets caught on his flannel shirt, but that was hardly a concern of his at the moment. His face flushed for a moment simply out of shock, not anger, and looked at Ashleigh, mouth parted as if to still speak to Wendy. It wasn't until she started throwing money on to the table that he started to stand, hoping to catch her before she walked off, but she was three tables away before he'd even gotten to his feet.

When Louis looked back, Wendy had also stood, but he noticed that while he simply looked shocked, she looked ready to cry. "Sure," he replied to her, deciding it was safe to just agree with her, unsure if she was the type that wanted comforting or not. He decided upon the latter and decided it was best to simply continue their previous conversation. "Eight years." He decided it was best to leave out how he had run away two years before that and spent the time between scrounging enough money to buy a plane ticket and have enough money to survive. Short and sweet always seemed to work for him, but he decided to go a bit further, opening up just a bit more than he had to just about anyone else in those eight years. "It is a beautiful place, really. I miss it, you know." It was an insignificant comment that was easily lost in their overall conversation, but it marked his steady opening up to Wendy.




One week later...




It hadn't ended there, of course. He had opened up to Wendy, told her more about himself in one week than he had ever planned to tell anyone in a lifetime. He felt relaxed in her presence, and that was something he had not experienced in years. Louis walked confidently to their meeting spot, acoustic guitar in his hand. He had dressed a bit more nicely for this, a navy dress shirt rolled to his elbows with khakis beneath.

He arrived slightly after Ashleigh, knuckles white from clutching the handle of his case so tightly. They stood side by side, Louis looking between Mr. Terrari and Ashleigh, while she simply looked at the producer. He had practiced the songs constantly since Ashleigh had first sent them his way, making sure he wouldn't mess anything up. Still, he set the sheets up on a music stand as they prepped. He took a slow breath in and let it out as his pick met the guitar, strumming out the first chord.

Their voices harmonized fluidly with the guitar as the two slipped into the music. Notes melded into something that filled the room with a beautiful tune. Louis's foot tapped with hers, keeping beat as she did. As one, they moved into the second tune, and that just about surpassed the first one before it came to a graceful end. Louis let the final cord ring before gently placing his guitar back in its case.

He couldn't help but grin happily, thoroughly proud of and impressed with their performance. Mr. Terrari spoke again, providing his input on the song, as Louis's phone vibrated in his pocket. While their manager left the room for a moment, he sent back a text with the address as well as a quick --

"Can't wait ;)"

Louis turned to Ashleigh then, smiling from a mixture of the text and the performance. "We killed it," he said softly, as if speaking too loudly would ruin something.

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Ashleigh sang with her heart in her hands, making eye contact with Jean several times for just a second longer than a moment. She felt amazing, and when she placed the microphone back in it's stand, she felt her nervousness was away. "We killed it." He almost whispered, and her face lit up in a bright smile. She slowly touched his arm with her fingertips. "I couldn't have done it without you." She whispered back, and was still smiling as Mr. Terrari came back.

"Great songs, guys. Um, bring me about three more next week, and we'll be halfway there." He smiled, and shook each of their hands. "Awesome, thank you so much." Ashleigh nodded, speaking for both of them. "We're in your debt." She grinned, and was starting to leave with her partner. "I would ask what you're doing after.. but.. looks like you already have plans." She noted the way his grin was still too apparent, and the big spoiler, Wendy at the entrance.

"Have fun, I guess." She muttered, running her hand through her hair, and exiting, not saying a word more to either of them. She couldn't believe it. She was so close, Jean was right there, she thought she'd at least have some sort of chance with the man. She practically gave him his life here in the States. Without her, and his role in the band, he wouldn't have money to live off of. But.. I guess the pretty blondes always get the guy. She shook her head as she opened her car door, and threw in one leg, and stood, lingering her eyes on the couple for just a moment too long, before frowning and getting in her car. "I guess those beautiful babies we'd make aren't gonna happen." She rolled her eyes, chuckling to herself. As if he'd go that far anyway.

With her mischevious ways, Ashleigh signed up for an audition as a soloist for another band. Maybe, just maybe, it'd keep her busy enough to keep her mind off her two... what were they now? Friends? Acquaintances? She wasn't sure of anything anymore. So, she drove across town to an official looking building, and walked in, immediately singing one of her songs to audition in the biggest band of the city: The Rockin' Rollers.

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Wendy grinned at Jean's reply. If she walked, she'd be there just as he finished. And she always liked a walk to clear her head after auditions- that was something that never changed. She'd arranged her outfit in such a way that she had been in all black for auditions, but was still chic enough to be seen in town in. Then again, she'd always been an expert at that, even when she was simply auditioning for parts in small, underfunded local plays. Her drama coach had told her to always dress simply for auditions- that way, the only thing the directors were paying attention to was you, not your clothes.

She only had one delay- a teenage girl, only a few years younger than Wendy herself, recognised her from her previous movie and had shyly asked for a photo. Wendy gladly agreed, making sure that the girl was happy with the photo before leaving. She was expecting to be a little late as a result, but she arrived in plenty of time. Louis and Ashleigh were talking as they left the rehearsal space. Ashleigh spotted Wendy almost as soon as they left the room- but the reaction wasn't what she was expecting. Ashleigh simply brushed past her without a word, or even a smile. Wendy internally raised an eyebrow, but then turned to Louis, grinning at him.

"So, are you ready for your surprise?" She asked, grinning at him. She'd been surprised by how quickly they'd connected. They'd been talking more and more since the dinner, and there was just something about him that kept bringing her back. Perhaps it was the realisation that he was everything she'd ever daydreamed about- but not a daydream. He was real and tangible and she could touch him or even kiss him whenever she wanted to- which seemed a little surreal.

"So, how did your rehearsal go?" She asked as they left, pulling her coat a little tighter around her as they did so.

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Their eyes caught each other as she responded, blue meeting brown as music filled the room and enveloped them. The skin of his arm seemed to prickle beneath her touch, similar almost to electricity coursing through him, as cheesy as he realized that seemed. "Believe me," he said softly. "You bring the power to this duo." That was when Terrari walked back into the room, leaving Ashleigh hardly any time to respond, thankfully. It was something he had said extemporaneously, and he blushed slightly in embarrassment.

He shook the man's hand as per custom and followed Ashleigh out, one hand holding his phone and his other buried in his pocket. His blush had dissipated by now, but it appeared again at her comment, flushing as guilt seemed to rise in his throat, still grinning like an idiot. He had to reason to feel guilt -- certainly, he could have his relationships -- but he did, nevertheless, and he failed to shake the feeling."I...ah...yeah," he said slowly, looking over at Wendy to wave and then back at Ashleigh.

"See you..." he started to say as she walked off, cutting himself off when he realized she wasn't listening. Louis watched her for a moment longer, perplexed just slightly, before turning his full attention to Wendy. He would be lying if he said she was not stunning even in her simple outfit. He thought to do some sort of affectionate gesture, but he worried a kiss was too forward -- something he knew Americans took far too seriously. He gave her a quick hug of sorts with one arm, drawing her in for a moment to his body before releasing her.

"Ready as I will ever be," Louis replied, smiling back at her as he buried both hands back into his pockets. They walked side by side, brushing up against each other occasionally as others barged past or simply because walking in a completely straight line in New York City was practically impossible. "It was nice. Mr. Terrari seems to like what we had." He knew not if he ought to tell Wendy about Ashleigh's comment before leaving, for she certainly must have noticed something awry in the situation. He decided changing the subject was the safest route. "And how were auditions...?"

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Even if the hug was a tad on the awkward side, she didn't mind. They were still at that awkward stage where they didn't know how much physical contact was appropriate and what to do when- but she just liked being around him. The brief moments of physical contact as they walked were nice, and never awkward. It was almost comforting. She nodded as he told her about the rehearsal. "That's good. Yeah, the audition went well! Well, I think it did. He was one of those casting directors who are practically impossible to read, though. It was only a script reading, as well, and I feel like they aren't always the best opportunity for an actor to showcase their talent, though," she said, before stopping herself.

"Sorry, I'm talking too much. I usually do after auditions," she said, laughing a little. "Ashleigh never used to be able to keep up with me when I first started doing auditions, I'd be talking at fifty miles an hour and hardly taking any breaths at all," she remarked. "You'd think after all of these auditions, I'd be used to it. But I think it's something you never really get used to. Oh, we're here!" She said, opening the door and holding it open for Louis. The excitement was starting to get to her, and she knew that it wasn't helping the post-audition giddiness.

"Ah, Miss Davis, good afternoon! Is this the gentleman?" The owner asked. She nodded. "Louis, this is Mr. Boerio. He's one of the finest tailors in New York, if not the country," she said. The tailor nodded, already looking Louis up and down, sizing him up. He hurried the two of them into the back, where rows and rows of fine suits awaited them. Wendy took a spot on a stool, watching and grinning as Boerio started measuring Louis with a tape measure.

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He smiled at her exuberance, nodding along as she spoke to show he truly was listening. Louis's feet scuffed the concrete slightly as they walked along casually. "It is alright," he assured her. In a way, he was grateful that she spoke so much because it kept his mind off of Ashleigh's peculiar behavior. "It is interesting." He felt bad about being so soft-spoken, but it was merely his nature. Louis had never been one for many words -- they often tied his tongue and ended in disaster.

Louis laughed with her for a moment as they entered the building, but that chuckle caught in his throat when he processed where exactly they were. As Wendy seemed ready to burst with excitement, he felt ready to crawl into a hole. He was thankful he'd bothered to dress in a slightly more fashionable manner, but they were still low-quality, and these suits looked expensive enough to pay his rent for a few months at least. His mouth hung open for a moment in disbelief, still trying to pretend she had stepped in here by accident. How the hell was he supposed to tell her that buying a suit here would likely render him homeless?

Words didn't manage to come to him until they were already in the back, Boerio pressing a tape measure to his armpit. "A tailor...?" he finally half-stated, half-asked. Louis gave a short-lived laugh, not sure how else to convey his emotions. "And for -- ah -- what occasion am I purchasing a suit?" He flushed as Boerio measured his inseam with no reservations.

For a moment, the man left him alone as he began to pull suits, and Louis buried his hands into his pockets, toying with a guitar pick in one hand. "Do you subject all of your dates to a thorough patting down?" He stood there awkwardly until Mr. Boerio finally called him over, directing him into a dressing room loaded with suits of various grays and blues and, of course, black.

It took him a while to figure out the correct way to button the first suit, a dark charcoal one, but eventually, it was done correctly, and he sloppily tied a light blue tie Boerio had placed in the room. Finally, he left the dressing room, only to be suddenly intercepted as the man scrambled to fix the tie. "Does it look...alright?" he asked her, arching an eyebrow as he turned in a circle for her, slowing beginning to smile despite his apprehension.

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There was something thoroughly endearing about his awkwardness, and Wendy found herself completely unable to wipe her smile from her face. In response to his questions, she just kept grinning at him, not giving him any answers. When he asked if she treated all of her dates like that, however, she couldn't resist answering. "Only the ones I really like," she responded, winking at him before laughing a little.

As he stepped into the dressing room to get changed, Wendy sat back in her chair a little. She couldn't remember the last time a date had made her feel so good. She felt like a giggly teenager again, but in the best way possible. There was just something about him, something she couldn't quite put her finger on. Maybe it was because they were so different- she talked too much, he didn't say much at all. She was perfectly put together, prim and proper, while he had that adorable scruffiness about him. But no, it wasn't even that. She'd gone on dates with people like that before and they had never felt like this.

When he stepped out of the dressing room, even before the tailor had fixed his tie, all Wendy could do was stare. When the tailor stepped away and he turned for her, she found herself speechless. Even when his adorable scruffiness was taken away, she still felt the same way about him. The suit fitted him perfectly and the colour was gorgeous on him. But as he smiled, that was what her attention was drawn to. She got to her feet, taking a step closer and looking him up and down once again.

"Well," she said, her grin returning. "You certainly clean up well," she remarked. "You look... amazing, Louis," she said, shrugging a little.

"I suppose I should probably tell you why you need a suit," she said, stepping a little closer to smooth out his collar. "I'm attending a charity dinner dance next week, and... I wanted to bring you as my date," she said, not quite able to meet his eyes for fear of how he would react. "Don't worry about paying for the suit- think of it as a gift. I want you to have something really nice, something that you'll be able to wear without having to worry about how you look when you're around everyone else. Even if you don't want to come to the dance. It's a gift."

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She couldn't remember the last time her hands were shaking down at her sides and the microphone in her small hand was suddenly so heavy, and if she didn't move she might've just toppled over, and ruined her only chance. She'd gotten out of her car, which she drove from the audition with Jean, and then arrived here, at the Music Hall downtown. This was it. Her one chance to be a Rockin' Roller. She swallowed the huge lump in her small throat, and slowly walked out onto the bare stage, with only a spotlight shining where she was supposed to stand.

"When you're ready." Breathed a huskier male voice that she could tell was the drummer, just from her experience. She stared into the darkness, hoping to make out the bodies of the members, but had no luck and her music was somehow qued. It was the longest moment as the piano notes pierced the silent air. She sang the rhythms smoothly, but not like when she sang along with Jean. It was different then, but now it was just a solo. When she finished a man in a nice suit nodded to her, and she was going off-stage when the man in the mic spoke up. "Where do you think you're going, Rockin' Roller?" She smiled brightly, and thus began their audition, where she began collaborating with the other lead singer, his name was Michael.

Michael furrowed his eyebrows in concern. "These lyrics don't feel like they're telling a story. They're like... thoughts of a lonely girl." She chuckled. "Exactly! That's what I've been trying to tell you for the past half an hour!" She laughed, and they both went back to collaborating. "I think you'll do great tonight, Ash. You're a great vocalist. Just don't let whoever made you write those lyrics get in your head." He winked, knowing all to well the meaning of the words on that sheet of paper. Her pupils dialated as she blushed at the realization of the one thing that's been haunting her since she'd met it's existence.

Jean-Louis Gage.

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He was extremely aware of her gaze burning into him. It caused a subtle blush to begin on his cheeks once more, but Louis forced himself to repress it once more, deciding only to smile back at her. A feigned aura of confidence seemed to be given off by him as he watched her fight for words.

Wendy came closer, her eyes scanning his body in the suit. "Thank you, love," he said softly. His breath wavered for a moment as she closed the space between them to adjust his shirt's collar. As she avoided his eyes, it became his turn to look her over, taking in the smaller details of her appearance he had not been able to before -- the slight curl of her hair, the way the blonde tones in it reflected the lights of the back room. His skin would prickle each time her fingers inadvertently managed to brush against his neck.

"I am flattered," he breathed, watching her hand now against the crisp collar of the blue shirt. "I would be delighted to attend." Louis could have kissed her then simply because they were so physically close or because he was genuinely elated to be invited to something he imagined only the rich and famous attended. He, at that point, was neither of those things.

Louis savored the moment, allowing a few more moments of silence to pass before he finally spoke up again. "Do you suppose this is the one then?" he queried, looking down once more at the suit before looking to her, his eyes looking a bit confused and lost by the whole process of buying a suit -- something he hadn't genuinely put this much effort into at any point in his life.

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Every time her fingers brushed his skin, it felt like electricity tingling beneath her fingers. She smiled at his response, but didn't say anything, just enjoying the physical closeness. Despite how talkative she usually was, for once, she enjoyed the quiet. Just for those few moments. It was only when he asked if she thought it was the one that she stepped back, surveying him yet again. "Yes, I think so," she said. She looked over to the tailor. "Mr. Boerio, you've done it again. I knew I could rely on you," She said, flashing a smile to him. "Come on, we'll let Louis get changed," she said, grinning at her date before heading back out to the main room.

It was a little surreal how the cost of the suit was almost irrelevant to her. She could remember having to seriously consider paying for a bus ticket when she'd first moved out and had been working shit jobs that couldn't pay her that well. And now she didn't even have to think twice about something far, far more expensive. Thankfully, she'd started getting better jobs and had moved to a bank that gave her better interest.

She was so excited for the event, now. She knew that the media would be taking plenty of interest- but there was a chance that it could give their band a bit of a boost. She didn't know if they would want that, but knowing the media, they'd be getting it anyway. But they would have the evening to themselves, once they were inside. He could see a bit of her world- and if she was honest, she was a little afraid that he wouldn't like what he saw. But still, she wanted him to see the glamour and the glitz that was her life.

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They were setting up. Ashleigh didn't know, wasn't' certain how she was feeling right now. She wouldn't be singing with Jean... and it kinda broke her heart. His low voice and her high were in harmony, most of the time, and they'd made some beautiful songs. Not that she's throwing that away, it's just, she needs something more than a duet with a guy who'll never love her like she loves him. She was almost certain of it.

She started to regret even meeting the man. All the little things he did were clouding her head, and damn it, she needed a clear head for tonight. Why the fuck did he have the right to just control her emotions and all of her, when she would bet that he didn't even know she felt this.. lingering emotion for him. It had to be lust. It couldn't be anything more, she was sure he didn't even know.

And she hated him for it.

So, now as a Rockin' Roller, she was going to be 'showcased'. As Michael was explaining right before the concert would start, she pursed her lips, jaw locking in place. What if they came to this? There was a one in a hundred chance, but something just felt off. Michael furrowed his eyebrows, and rested a strong hand on her small shoulder. "Love, just close your eyes. It's a duet, so I'll be sitting, strumming on the guitar right by your side. Just close your eyes, and lose yourself in the music tonight. I promise the stage fright will cease soon." He smiled, and gave her a small nod before disappearing behind the stage to get some more wires for the amps.

Ashleigh took a deep breath, and she flowing onto the stage in her pure white dress, her hair moving just a little as she could feel a breeze pet her skin. Her eyes scanned the crowd, she didn't see them. Thank heavens.

The Rockin' Rollers rocked the house with one of their originals, with Ashleigh included. Next, they set up for the duet between Michael and Ashleigh, them sitting on barstools, and Michael quickly tuning his guitar as she spoke. "I want to thank everyone for being so enthusiastic tonight, um, I'm a bit of a nervous Netty, so this next song will be my blosoming, so to speak." She chuckled humbly, and looked to Michael to see if he was ready.

But, when she looked back out, her heart sank into her throat, and she swallowed hard.

Jean and Wendy were here. Fuck her.

Song: A Thousand Years feat. Steve Kazee

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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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Louis laughed softly as she looked him over, and he struck a few poses jokingly until she gave her verdict. As if to agree with Wendy, he nodded to Mr. Boerio and held a hand out to shake his once more, clasping it with his other hand to convey his thanks. Louis watched them walk out, leaving him by himself.

A glance to the side revealed himself in the wall-length mirror. He was taken aback for a moment, surprised to see himself in a suit of such high quality. He hadn't worn a suit that wasn't from a thrift store since his days in France as a boy. Louis hardly looked like himself, he swore. The suit against his still-scruffy face and rumpled hair was almost comical. After only a few heartbeats, he could not bear the bizarre image before him, and he changed almost hastily before carrying the suit out front to where Wendy paid. He still couldn't believe she would do this for him, a man she had met a week ago. Louis could only pray he had money like that one day.

"So, any more surprises that I will never be able to repay?" he teased, taking the bag as they began to leave the shop. "I need to know how many part time jobs I will have to take on to come close to matching this." Louis gestured towards the suit bag, his grin broadening in amusement only to falter for just a moment. "Thank you, though. It is stunning."


She laughed at his question, shrugging a little. β€œNo, I don’t have any other surprises planned. But I’m sure you’ll be able to return the favour when you’re a rich and famous rockstar,” she teased gently, grinning at him. She noticed his grin faltering, and was suddenly afraid that she’d done something wrong. But his gratitude was genuine, and so she assumed that he was just slightly overwhelmed. But she liked doing things like this- after all, it was better that he had a really nice suit than her spending it on something trivial.

β€œIt looks great on you,” she said honestly, shrugging a little. ”And besides, I firmly believe that everyone should have a suit made by a clever Italian man. That suit will last you many a party,” she told him.

”So, do you have any other obligations, or do you just wanna hang out for a bit?” She asked.


Louis smiled to himself, looking down at the sidewalk for a moment as they walked along. Rich and famous rockstar. He laughed softly to himself. Oh, he could only hope. Louis was overwhelmed, to say the least, by her gesture. Not that it was bad, for it certainly was one of the most caring things he had received, but it was, nonetheless, a bit shocking to receive such an expensive suit from a woman he hardly knew.

"Well, thank you," he said again, hoping that his gratitude was being effectively conveyed. He let his hand fall from his pocket and brush against hers lightly as if to further prove his appreciation without, he hoped, making anything awkward. He looked up now, a smile still lingering in his eyes as he shrugged. "No obligations. Hanging out would be nice." He thought for a minute and then spoke up again. "There is this band playing tonight, and I was thinking of going to watch them, learn a bit about what Ashleigh and I are up against." He frowned slightly, hoping he wasn't guilting her into something. He'd hate to do that after everything so far. "Don't feel obligated. Only if you want to, of course."

She shook her head. "No, I'd love to go. I haven't been to a concert in years!" She looked down at her outfit and laughed a little. "I think I'd better go home first and get changed into something a little more suitable for concerts. C'mon, I'll change as quickly as possible." Half without thinking, she grabbed his hand and started pulling him down the street.

The longest part of getting changed was actually picking out something that wouldn't make her stand out like a sore thumb, but wouldn't give the press anything to use against her. Eventually, she went traditional rocker and pulled her hair up into a ponytail. "Okay, I'm good to go!" She called, running out of her bedroom and grinning at him.

It felt good to be hanging out with him, and it also felt good to be seeing part of his world. He'd seen hers, and now he was bringing her into his. She couldn't remember the last time she'd been as excited to hang out with somebody that she'd only met a week ago.

The concert had started by the time they got to it, but they still managed to get somewhere near the front. She frowned as she saw the female singer. She looked incredibly familiar. It was only as the girl started to speak that Wendy realised who it was.

Ashleigh.

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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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It felt good to finally be holding hands with her after their hands had spent so long just brushing against each other. Even if the "holding" was more like "dragging", it still made him feel cared for. Noticed, at the very least. He waited ever so patiently for her to change, certainly not in the position to complain. Really, he still couldn't think of a way to pay her back, and it nagged at him ever so slightly. In fact, he dwelt upon it so much that he didn't even notice how much time had passed until Wendy ran back out to him.

Her outfit was spot-on, as if it had come straight off of a movie set. It also, however, reminded him ever-so-slightly of Ashleigh. Thinking of her now, he wondered if perhaps he ought to have invited her instead seeing as they were sort of in this whole music thing together now. But looking back at Wendy now, he realized he almost just as equally wanted to spend the evening with her.

Ashleigh would understand.

Louis replaced the smile on his face, making himself out to be exuberant. If fate had been different, maybe he would have been an excellent actor. They arrived at the venue a little late, but he led her up to the front with ease, weaving in and out of crowds as he had learned to do from years of living in the city.

The singer emerged in a flash of white, and Jean looked about, trying to drink in the scene. That would be him and Ashleigh one day, wouldn't it? The music started up in the first song, one he had heard quite a few times before. The Rockin' Rollers had been causing quite a stir already. Perhaps that was why he did not listen too closely to it, enough to realize who he was listening to. But then the rest of the band left and there was the girl and the guitarist.

He frowned to himself, feeling as though this was the universe's way of putting him through guilt. And now she even looked like -- no, no that was Ashleigh. It was a look of betrayal that crossed his face next, perhaps not exactly justifiable, but to him, it was. He was supposed to be up there with her, and this was their moment. How long had she been planning this, and what the hell did it mean for their band? They had just signed a deal, damn it!

By the time she made eye contact with him, his expression had begun to harden, his jaw clenching slightly as he looked right back at her. Louis should have gotten over himself, offered an encouraging smile or a thumbs-up, but he couldn't bring himself to do that just now. Instead, his gaze seemed to grow icier.

And why did he feel so betrayed? He hadn't even known her that long, after all. Their relationship was work-related and really nothing more than that...wasn't it? His expression seemed to soften then as he repeated those words to himself, glancing occasionally between Wendy and Ashleigh. Wasn't it?