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Wendy Collins

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."

0 · 716 views · located in New York

a character in “She's Gone”, originally authored by partially-stars, as played by RolePlayGateway

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"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow.""




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N A M E
Wendy Elizabeth Collins.

N I C K N A M E
Dee

G E N D E R
Female

A G E
24

N A T I O N A L I T Y
Raised in England until she was 10, then moved to America.

S E X U A L I T Y
Bisexual

"Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world."




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H E I G H T
5'6"

W E I G H T
125 pounds

H A I R C O L O U R
Blonde

E Y E C O L O U R
Blue

S K I N T O N E
White, pale

G E N E R A L__A P P E A R A N C E
Wendy has a straight body shape, one that's almost verging on boyish. She's slim, but is still a healthy weight for her frame and her body shape. Her face is heart shaped, framed by wavy blonde hair. Her eyes are bright blue, and she's usually seen to be smiling. She's not particularly muscular- her lines are soft and gentle, but it's not hard to tell she looks after herself. Her skin is clear and bright, and even when she's hungover, she still looks great.

β€œThe most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud."




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P E R S O N A L I T Y
Wendy is perhaps the loveliest person one could ever hope to meet. Even the tabloids and gossip magazines are unable to find anything bad about her. Her relationships have all ended on good terms, and she's never spoken bad about anyone else in the media. Even her workout clothes are practical and stylish, so post-gym photos aren't much good to them. Fame never has been a problem for Wendy- she knows exactly how to act with the media. She knows that she can't run down to the local supermarket for milk without makeup on, so she makes a point of looking effortlessly stylish every time she leaves the house. She knows that if she is rude, they'll only be even more determined to take her down- so she always smiles and says hello, and has been known to bring them coffee and soup at red carpet events, knowing that they've been camped outside for hours. She frequently visits children's hospitals to talk to the children in character- and never for the media. There has only been one occasion where the media was at the hospital when she was, and that was for an event where the hospital themselves invited the press. It's all genuine, never forced. Even as a teenager, before her lucky break, she volunteered as much as her free time allowed her. Now that she has plenty of money, she buys lavish gifts for her friends and family, even those who aren't as well known as she is. She's generous and patient, kind and gentle. She'd dedicated, attending hundreds of auditions before she started getting decent roles. From taking a role in a TV show that was cancelled after half a season to performing in pantomimes, nobody can say she didn't work to get that Disney role that shot her to stardom.

Like every human being, however, Wendy has her faults. She can let herself be walked over for the sake of keeping the peace- she doesn't like confrontation and will avoid it as much as possible. She doesn't always know when to say no, and that often resulted in her overworking herself. The fact that she has an agent now, though, means that isn't as much of a problem anymore. She trusts too easily, and that can result in people using her for their own gains. She never stands her ground and will always facilitate other people, even if that makes things more complicated for her. Again, her agent now controls her schedule, so it's only a problem in her personal life. When she gets hurt, her first instinct is to shut herself away, even when faking confidence would be a better step.


β€œIn order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”




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L I K E S
Starbucks | Musicals | Princess movies | Romance movies | Going to the gym | Premieres | 80's rock | Modern rock | Superhero movies | Autumn | Acting | Spicy food | Sour sweets | The 1920s

D I S L I K E S
Being sick | The media starting rumours | Country music | Supremacy | Racism | Sexism | All male action movies | Being spoken down to | Cheap coffee | Sickly sweet food | Angry dogs | White chocolate | Rap music | Red apples

Q U I R K S
-Playing with her hair or clothes when she's anxious
-Her accent strengthens when she's tired
-She likes to wipe the foam from the inside of her coffee cup with her finger
-Usually has some form of sweets on her person, even if it's just breath mints


β€œSimplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”




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D I A L O G U E__C O L O U R
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F A C E__C L A I M
Natalie Dormer

So begins...

Wendy Collins'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

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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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"Wendy, you need to be back at the hotel for half six tonight. Sugar, the teen magazine, is coming to do a photoshoot and interview with you, Winona and Lana. If you're late, I'm not letting you leave my sight until we've finished the press events for this film. Understood?" Her agent ordered. Wendy nodded, belting her jacket on over her dress. It was always nice to be able to choose her own outfit- she'd had to do so many photoshoots where her hair and makeup was done for her and her outfit was picked out by somebody else.

"Alright, go, have a nice time, but don't be late." Her agent said, practically pushing her out the door. Not that Wendy needed much encouragement- she was dying to see Ashleigh again. Ashleigh had randomly gotten back in contact with her a few weeks ago. She didn't quite know how it had happened- after all, once Wendy had started getting more and more acting jobs, and Ashleigh's music had taken off, they'd gradually lost touch. But now, here they were, both on their way to stardom.

The interview had ran later than it was supposed to, and now she was late for their coffee date. She felt her phone vibrate in her pocket as she walked. She pulled it out and read Ashleigh's text, before typing out a quick reply.

So sorry! I'm almost there, promise. Will explain when I see you.

The coffee shop was new, but felt like it had been there forever. The bell on the door rang as she stepped inside, glancing around for Ashleigh. Once she spotted her, a huge grin took over her face, and she went down to the table.

Setting

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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

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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! )

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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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Wendy didn't say anything as Ashleigh asked if she was trying to get noticed as well. Wendy had been noticed long ago- less than a year after she'd left school, she'd gotten a leading role in an indie movie. Nobody had expected it to be the success it was- but it had been big enough to gain the attention of the big studios. And when Disney had been looking for their new princess, they'd invited her to audition. And then she'd gotten it. And now, here she was. If Ashleigh hadn't seen Wendy's face staring out of a magazine at her yet, she would before long.

They talked for hours about everything and anything- about their relationships and Ashleigh's success and so on. But eventually, Ashleigh had to go check on the band. It was only as Wendy glanced at her phone that she realised the time. She swore under her breath, grabbing her bag and her jacket. She made her way back up to the counter.

"Hi, could you get a message to Ashleigh? She's the lead singer in the band playing tonight. Tell her that Wendy says she had to go, urgently, and ask her to call after her show. Thanks," she said, smiling at the guy behind the counter. He jotted down the message and grinned back at her. Realisation flickered on his face.

"Do I know you?" He asked. She shook her head. "I don't think so. Thanks!" She said, hurrying out the door and back to the hotel. She made it with a minute to spare. Winona, who played the fairy godmother and Wendy's character's trusted sidekick, and Lana, the evil queen, were already there.

"Excellent timing, Wendy, hair and makeup and wardrobe just arrived," her agent announced. "Right, so, girls, I think you're wanted in wardrobe first, okay? They're stationed in my room, next to Wendy's," she said as she hurried the three up the stairs. Wendy managed to keep her phone on her person as she was changed into a floor-length dress. The others teased her about a boy, but it was all in good humour. They'd worked together for so long, they were all good friends.

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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: Wendy Collins
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The photoshoot was rather enjoyable- they were allowed to just act naturally. In some interviews or photoshoots, they were expected to stay in character, which meant that there were very few pictures of the three of them together. But the interview wasn't focusing on the movie- rather on the three girls themselves. Most of the pictures were of the three of them, with a few individual portraits and pairings. The interview itself was more like a chat, and the interviewer didn't seem to mind when they went off topic or started chatting among themselves.

As the crews were packing up, and the agent was thanking everybody, Wendy's phone rang. Her dress packed away into a suit bag and her other dress on, she answered it, barely getting to answer before Ashleigh screamed something about a record deal in her ear.

"WHAT?" Wendy yelled back, nearly dropping her phone with surprise and pleasure. "Ashleigh, that's amazing! I'm bringing you out for dinner to celebrate. My treat. Meet me at the Plaza in fifteen minutes, I need to get changed," she said, starting up the stairs. She needed something a bit fancier for this dinner. "Call Le Marc's for me," she whispered to the agent, who nodded.

"Tell me everything. I'll just put you on speaker while I get changed," she instructed, almost jogging down the halls. At least her makeup was already done. "Oh, by the way, are you bringing anyone with you? Just need to know for getting a table," she said. Her agent knew somebody at Le Marc's, and she could always get a table at short notice.

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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.

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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

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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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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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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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Character Portrait: Ashleigh Kennedy Carey Character Portrait: Jean-Louis Gage Character Portrait: Wendy Collins
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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."