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Carson Koch

0 · 1,976 views · located in Beverly Hills, California

a character in “Summer Reunited”, as played by BurningBridges

Description

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"At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can."
- Frida Kahlo



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Name:
Carson James Koch

Preferred Name:
Carson or CJ

Age:
23

Birthday:
March 2nd

Sexuality:
Heterosexual

Occupation:
Actor (childhood film/television actor, currently only doing voice)
Co-founder of The Koch House



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History:
Carson's parents, David and Jeanine, were married for less than two years before divorcing. He showed up at the end of the marriage and if it hadn't already been on the brink of defeat, the stress of having a child brought it there. Having children is a stress for most new parents but David and Jeanine weren't your typical parents, living in a suburban town and trying to live the American Dream. They were billionaires. David co-owns Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-owned companies in the country, and Jeanine is a board member for one Delta Airlines, which her father owned. While Jeanine was eager to start a family, David wanted to focus on his growing empire. He wanted a trophy wife and someone to pass his legacy onto one day, but he didn't want to put the work into keeping his marriage alive and didn't seem to bat an eye when Jeanine walked out on him.

Luckily, they managed to be civil enough to co-parent Carson. He spent most of his childhood at his mother's house in Pasadena, CA and visited his father in Manhattan whenever he had the chance. When he was in elementary school, his mother started dating a director who encouraged Carson to get involved in acting. What started off as a few commercials and minor roles on television ended with him landing major roles in television and film. He received a Golden Globe award at age fourteen and was expected to land many major roles following that. However, at age sixteen, he took a step away from his career in acting to focus on school. His father was becoming more active in his life and was putting pressure on him to follow in his footsteps so that one day, he would be able to take over the family business. After years of intensive homeschooling, he graduated high school two years early and spent five years at Columbia where he earned a bachelors and masters degree in business. It definitely delighted his father but after years of hard work and little time to play, he decided to spend a year relaxing before starting to work for his father's company. That one year turned into two, and Carson still hasn't officially accepted a position with his father yet. He moved back to California, bought an apartment on the beach and is slowly stepping back into his acting career with a few voice acting roles here and there. However, in an effort to appease his father, this spring he co-founded The Koch House, a homeless shelter for runaway youth, in Manhattan with him. He doesn't necessarily have a passion for social work but as his father always said, "a good image is everything".

Secret(s):
He slept with Alexandra Collins on the night of her eighteenth birthday. It's sounds bad and Carson knows it, but he honestly isn't attracted to her like that. He was beyond wasted when he got a call from her asking if she could spend the night at his apartment. She had snuck out to go to some club in LA with her friends and claimed that she was too drunk to go home without being killed by her father. He had no reservations in letting her stay the night and even if he wasn't intoxicated, he probably would have said yes to. He nearly grew up at her house, being best friends with Owen, so of course he wanted to look out for her. He has no recollection of what went on that night but woke up with her next to him naked and tangled in his bed sheets. What choice did he have but to ask her to promise to never speak of that night again? If Owen found out, their friendship would unquestionably be finished, and besides that, he didn't want Alexandra to think that there was anything to what had happened. Just two people, far too drunk, who made a mistake. It's a secret that Carson wishes he didn't have to hide but since he can't go back in time, he's going to do everything in his power to make sure that it remains a secret.


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Positive Traits:
Personable, Lively, Charming

Character Flaws:
Indecisive, Over thinking, Hot-tempered

Personality:
In a world of guys just looking for the next girl to bang, Carson is a pretty decent guy. He's thoughtful and it surprises people how he takes things to heart and is actually a pretty sensitive and deep guy. He's not an open book though, so not everyone sees this side to him, but he still isn't the type to just screw people over just because he doesn't know them. He has too much of a conscious to knowingly do wrong to people, which is probably why he's felt so guilty about sleeping with Owen's little sister. Most people know him as someone who's always willing to have fun and who seems to be able to talk to anyone, a stranger or best friend, without things every being awkward. He's personable and easily to converse with, mostly because he never takes things too seriously and likes to keep his relationships easy and light.

One of his major flaws is how he over thinks things. He doesn't usually have problems with people but when he does, or when he thinks that he's done something wrong, it can take him days to get over it. He's always suffering from internal conflicts over whether he's making the right choice for not only himself, but the people around him. This often leads him to be indecisive. He struggles to make up his mind on decisions big or small because he tends to weigh to pros and cons of each more than necessary. Both of these are flaws that he keeps on the inside, so most people don't know that he's struggling. His most obvious flaw to others is how hot-tempered he can get, especially when drunk.

Likes:
Going to baseball games | Working out | Surfing | Discovering new music | People with passion (for anything) | Crisp, clean bed sheets | Xbox | Vanilla Coke | Girls in lace underwear

Dislikes:
Motels | Rodents | Veal | Confined spaces | Christmas shopping | Rumors | Paparazzi | Divorce, even though his parents' wasn't horrible | Jigsaw puzzles | Horror movies | Sleeping past noon

Fears:
He doesn't have any exceptionally unusual fears. They're really just the expected ones: becoming friendless, disappointing his father, his mother dying/being abused, growing old, becoming sick to a point where he can't care for himself, Michael Meyers.

Aspirations:
He's destined to take over his father's share in Koch Industries, and he's accepted that. He wouldn't want the spot going to some distant cousin or overzealous unrelated Harvard graduate, so he plans on stepping up to the plate when the time comes. In line with more of his own dreams, he and Owen have always talked about opening up a big night club in New York one day, so that's definitely on his list. He wants to meet Mila Kunis (his guilty pleasure celebrity crush), one of the few celebrities he hasn't been acquainted yet with, visit Tahiti and hopefully settle down with a beautiful girl and start a family.



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Height:
6'3 - He has an athletic build and takes pride in being fit and muscular.

Weight:
200 lbs

Hair color:
Dirty blonde when in the sun frequently, light brown otherwise

Eye color:
Light blue

Other:
None

So begins...

Carson Koch's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller
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Wednesday, July 1st | 6:00 PM | Beverly Hills, CA

Owen and Ariana had spent the past week in London, where she had a slew of business meetings, and had just returned to LA this morning. Between jet lag and just the exhaustion from running around all week, Owen hadn't been in the mood to wake up at all today, let alone at eight in the morning, but he did so without a complaint. His father and Aimee were attending the private screening of one of Patrick White's new films and out of courtesy, Owen agreed to go as well. After a plate of bacon and some cold orange juice, he was ready to face the day, especially after seeing the elegant yet form-fitting dress that Ariana was wearing. It almost made him forget the amount of stress that had been building up inside of him about what the next few weeks would include. Tomorrow morning, his parents, as well as many of their friends, were scheduled to board a private jet to Europe to reconnect for a few weeks. All of their children would be spending the summer at Pierce and Aimee Collins house which would have been more than exciting, if they were all friends. Besides Alexandra, Owen felt like he was on good terms with everyone else, but he oculdn't say the same for the others. Most specifically, he was worried about Tinashé and Ariana. No matter how hard he tried to remind himself that the girls' problems had ended almost ten years ago, there was a part of him that knew that neither of them would be happy residing together.

When Owen had returned home from the movie screening, the house was not only filled with friends, but with staff members scrambling to make sure that the house looked flawless. Pierce and Aimee had offered to host a dinner party for the cast and crew, wanting to take advantage of the huge entertaining spaces that the estate offered one last time before their trip. There were tens of people in the kitchen preparing appetizers, entrees and desserts, people dusting, vacuuming and mopping floors, lights being hung in the backyard, lawns being mowed and boxes of alcoholic beverages being carried into the home.

By the time cars started to pull down their long driveway, the home looked like something out of a dream, and Owen was sure that Aimee was to thank for that. While Pierce relished in the estate's built-in vineyards, he wasn't too particular on the rest of the home's details and gave his design-savvy wife free reign to decorate and arrange it however she pleased. Clearly, she never failed to impress, especially when company was coming over. However fancy that house was dressed up to be, the mood of the party was going to much more casual than many of the soirees they usually hosted. After showering and changing out of his suit, he slipped on the outfit that Ariana had suggested he wear the day before. Admittedly, he felt like he looked like he was more likely to go bowling than socialize with his father's friends, but he put it on anyway. He'd modelled far worse outfits in the past and more importantly, he didn't want to offend Ariana.

Since he barely seen any of his friends yet this summer, he was anxious to find them, though the large house would prove that to be fairly difficult. Most of them had moved in the previous day, but Ariana had went to her family's home after the movie screening to get her bags and was supposed to be returning shortly. He hoped that everyone besides her was home and dressed, but had a feeling that most of them wouldn't have taken the initiative to go downstairs and socialize with the guests yet. Always wanting to make a good impression, Owen decided to wait on seeking them out and go downstairs himself, but not before sending a couple of text messages.

To: Shay
Tell me you're already down here mingling? I don't wanna rep our family alone.

To: Carson
Where are you? They just put the filet mignon out. Surprised you're not over here already lol.

To: Alexandra
Dad wanted you ready by 6. Where are you? And let's lay off the makeup tonight.

To: Ariana
Tell me when you get here :).

To: Colette
Ik Ari isn't here yet, but are you? I'm heading downstairs now so if you are, come find me.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Tinashé was not ready for the day.

Her turmoil in regards to the evening and the upcoming portion of her summer began when she, Chris, and Rose had finally made their way back to Beverly Hills. In truth, Tinashé had made plans to use the luxury coach Pierre had bought for her years ago, allow it to pick the trio up on the East Coast, and then cruise back to their home. However, after one phone call with an insistent Aimee (she refused to regard the woman as her mother at the moment) and a stern yet pleading Pierre, she and her friends were aboard the private Collins jet and had set down in Los Angeles by three o'clock in the morning. Tinashé was a lot of things. Sure, she might seem to have endless amount of energy. She might throw down on a stage despite being up for more than twenty four hours. She might even still make time to party despite the aforementioned work load. But if there was one thing she wasn't, it was a morning person. And it showed for while Rose may or may not have went home - she honestly could not remember, she was so beat - and Chris might have very well stayed over, Tinashé had locked herself in her bedroom and dropped dead on her queen sized mattress without a glance in any other direction. By the time she awoke again, it was past noon and Aimee had given up on trying to get her to attend the premiere.

Feeling boneless and lazy after her descent into the land of the dead, Tinashé had trudged out of bed and settled herself for a nice, long and hot soak in her bathtub complete with her Cynthia Erivo station blasting through the surround system of her bedroom on Pandora, a champagne flute filled with strawberry mimosa and a plate of hummus with softly-baked pita bread and apple slices. Even the bubbles were meant for comfort for they smelled of warm vanilla and sandalwood. She had text both Owen and Alexandra to let them know she was home, even though they probably already knew that, and then allowed herself to relax for at least thirty minutes in the tub while munching and sipping on the mimosa. Satisfied with her soak, she had thrown on a crop top and sweatpants and stayed holed up in her bedroom. Not like she needed to help with setting up or anything. It was around five in the evening when Aimee came barging into her bedroom, sighing and staring at her daughter expectantly.

"Tinashé, I thought I told you to get ready an hour ago," Aimee nagged and Tinashé rolled her eyes, glancing back at her phone where she was in an ongoing conversation with her manager, Nick. He wanted her to hurry up and release her new mixtape, Amethyst, and she wanted to give herself at least a month. Besides, it wasn't like this was the label's decision at the end of the day. This was her work without them over her shoulder and she could release it next year if she wanted. "I'm up, aren't I?" She griped back and tossed the phone back on the plush mattress, settling herself among the various pillows that lined her bed. Aimee's somewhat thin yet kissable lips, a shade paler than that of raspberries, were pressed tightly before she let out an exasperated sound. "I'm not going to ask you again. Owen has already started getting ready and is probably already talking to the guests that came. You know how important this is to Pierre and - " Tinashé interjected. "I'm here, aren't I? If I weren't gonna be there, I would have stayed in Europe with or without the others, now wouldn't I have?" Mother and daughter exchanged looks, one with annoyance and the other with hurt resignation. Aimee, seeing that she wasn't going to get anything more out of the conversation, turned away but not without snapping over her shoulder, "Tinashé, apfeka yava ne mukati tevedza awa. Guma kuchachavadza." She closed the door, not getting to see the twenty-one year old singer cringe.She hated when her mother used her father's native language. It just did something to her.

Once about ten minutes passed, Tinashé - and this was out of her volition and not because she felt like her mother would call her father who would call her and guilt her into complying - climbed out of her bed and traipsed around her spacious bedroom in search of an outfit for the evening. Before that, she had sent out several texts.

To: CJ
Please tell me you're here already.

To: Chris
Stop trying to get into my sister's pants and get downstairs. Your parents are on their way.

To: Rose
Did you go home or stay here?

After finding an appropriate outfit for the very much casual (and thankfully so) soiree, Tinashé changed into the outfit, which consisted of black skinny pants from Bebe, a simple black cami that hugged her girls snugly beneath a lightweight tribal chiffon cardigan she bought from Free People, and a pair of nude leather gladiator sandals. To compliment her attire, she pulled on a triple chain feather and skull bone necklace with turquoise accents, a rustic genuine stone ring on her middle finger with a turquoise gem in the center, and a pair of gold studs from Melody Ehsani. The look still retained some of that urban yet cool and easy look she could be seen in, and was tasteful and casual which was always a plus. Tinashé had managed to keep her newly raven hair, which was long, somewhat sleek during the last night away from America and with the very loose waves that formed in her naturally curly locks over the night, a quick brush and spritz of oil sheen left her locks sheened and flowing. After a very light application of makeup to obtain a more natural look and a spritz of her warm vanilla body spray, Tinashé scooped up her phone and stepped out of her bedroom closing the door behind her and texting two more people, including Owen after receiving his message. She had taken a bit longer than she actually intended.

To: Colette
I'm not trying to go in there w/ just Owen. Text me when you get here.

To: Owen
Of course I am, bro. Can't you see me? I'm wearing my invisibility cloak.

To: Alexandra
Owen's being annoying. You still mad at me? D:

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Car | Outfit


Since Owen hadn't been home all week and Tinashé for the past two months, Carson had waited to bring his things over until this morning. Not only did he have his own apartment an hour away in Malibu, but he also had no intentions of spending a night at the Collins' house alone with Alexandra. The regretted night had happened almost a month ago and he had seen Lexi a few times since then, but he had always made sure that they were never alone. He didn't want to give her the idea that he still - or had ever - wanted her in any way besides as a friend. Alcohol was solely responsible for what had occurred that night, whether she believed it or not.

"You brought your bags over earlier, right?" Carson turned his head towards his step-brother Oliver, who sat in the passenger seat of his car. His mother and Oliver's father weren't attending tonight's party since they were already in France and were going to meet the other parents there tomorrow. Although Carson's father was good friends with Pierce, he was in Texas on business and wasn't going to be able to attend tonight's affairs either. He preferred his parents' absence, however. It wasn't like he planned on doing anything out of character anyway, but there was always less pressure to be anything but himself when he was away from them.

After leaving his luggage in his temporary room at the Collins' house, he returned to his mother's house and spent most of the day relaxing before driving with Oliver to the party. Neither of them had attended the movie premiere, which surprised Carson, since he knew that Oliver was good friends with Mr. White's youngest daughter, Jamie. Besides that, he (like everyone else) also knew that Oliver had been in love with Lexi for years, which probably meant that he had spent the day trying to talk himself into finally making a move on her. He and Oliver didn't really see each other as brothers as much as they did friends, but they were close enough that his night with Lexi definitely made him feel guiltier than he already did when it came to Oliver.

Like most Beverly Hills estates, the Collins house was heavily protected with numerous gates and a security booth. If the property wasn't big enough on its own, the driveway leading up to it added another five-minute-drive worth of distance to it. After parking the car, he waited a minute inside to text back Shay, who had messaged him during the drive. He had seen Owen numerous times over the summer so his week-long absence was barely noteworthy compared to Tinashé disappearing for a few months.

To: Shay
Just got here. Are you gonna come to the door or am I going to have to search for you?

As he and Oliver stepped inside, it was apparent that they wouldn't have to look too hard for Tinashé. She was standing in the foyer with Colette, Christopher and Alexandra. He instantly pulled Tinashé into a bear hug. "Wow, after two months of only seeing you on Skype, I forgot how short you actually are," he joked as he released her. He offered Chris a friendly handshake, "And I'm glad to see you got back in one piece too, man. Your snapchats of all of those parties looked crazy." He made an effort to make his smile and wave to Lexi seem as natural and un-awkward as possible. He didn't want to seem too friendly but at the same time, completely ignoring her would have been more alerting. He hugged Colette too, although not as long and tightly as Shay. He was in New York only a few weeks back for a public event for his homeless shelter, and had stayed at Colette's place that night. "And aren't you looking... bright today," he smirked, eyeing her bright outfit. She was probably the most fashion-savvy of the group though, so his jab held little value, especially when he had put together his outfit in less than five minutes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Before Tinashé and Colette could get very far, she halted their steps at the double ping of her phone and released Colette in favor of answering her phone. She had to give herself pause at the obvious brattiness of her step-sister, rolling her eyes at the girl's audacity. Alexandra could play whatever game she wanted to at the moment, Shay could care less. Not like she had presents for the demon or something. Whatever. She found a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth at seeing Carson texting her back and would have promptly said something to Colette if Chris hadn't text her as well. She couldn't fathom would put it in Chris' mind to think they had ever slept together on the tour and was about to send a response when the guy in question and her step-sister appeared.

Tinashé rolled her eyes, opting not to say anything to Chris in regards to his demon of a sister. Instead, she focused her attention on her own smart-mouthed one, a kinked eyebrow and a light smirk on her face the only indication that she was somewhat peeved with Alexandra. She still didn't get why Alexandra was upset with her over not being able to come on tour. Shay had planned for her to come, honest and true. However, Pierce had let her know that he forbid his daughter from going and well, Alexandra was still a dependent under his roof. Tinashé was not going to get coverage over kidnapping someone's child, least of all from the man whose house she lived in. "Oh, you've got a new phone, huh?" She inquired flatly, placing a hand on her hip and taking a sip of her Mai Tai. "Guess I'll just have to lose the number in my phone, not to mention these new skirts, bags and Nick Jonas' number. Don't wanna give him the wrong number or anything." She said the last part with a flippant toss of her head, turning just in time to see Carson walk into the door.

If anyone asked her why she had changed her mind about touring with an artist she had once admitted to despising due to the crassness and overall lack of talent she saw in them, Tinashé would have simply said that she did it for the publicity. Plus, she loved performing at any chance that she got and Nick had been there. They had performed their duet and he hung out with her and Chris and Rose a good number of times after shows. However, even she knew that her disappearing the way she had with barely a world to anyone other than her family and close friends said something to her nightlife crew and to those who knew her best. She still won't admit to running. No, Shay was too brave to run from anything or anyone and that included whatever feelings she may or may not have about the guy who immediately pulled her into his arms. Even in her heels (they were more kitten than anything else), she was still shorter than him and settled for wrapping her arms around his waist tightly in their embrace, savoring the warmth more than she let alone.

Upon hearing Carson's remark about her height, Shay pouted and slapped his arm and griping, "Shut up, jerk!" The smile was still playful and definitely a bit softer, and once Carson turned to greet everyone else, Shay settled back beside Colette, not trying to seem in any way obvious about anything. She probably didn't, but still. After a few minutes of everyone greeting one another, she glanced back down the still bustling hallway before looking back at their group. "Well, considering the fact that I'm not here to give you-know-who a welcoming, we should probably start heading in. I'd rather get this over with sooner than later."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang
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{ Outfit || Hair & Makeup || Car }

After touching down in LA, Ariana left Owen, citing business meetings in Burbank as the reason for why she wasn't heading directly back to his house with him. In truth, she did have to stop by the office for a few minutes, but it definitely wasn't for as long as she had suggested it was to Owen. She didn't feel bad for doing so. She had spent the last week and most of the past two months side-by-side with him and honestly needed some space. That was especially true since she agreed to spend the next eight weeks at his home. It would have been a much easier decision had her parents not scheduled construction work on their own Beverly Hills home. Then, at least she would have been able to spend a few nights a week at her own house. She supposed that she could always come up with some emergency that called her to the New York apartment or Miami house, maybe even their chateau in the south of France. At the same time, a part of her was excited for the summer. Her attraction to Owen had been growing, and even if she wasn't as committed to a long term relationship with him as he was to her, he was fun to pass the time with. He was a trophy boyfriend in the very least.

"Babe? I'm waiting outside, come get me," Ariana said to Owen through the blue tooth speaker in her car. She had opted to drive herself to Owen's house for no reason besides that she wanted to have access to her car over the next few days. Rather than park it with the rows of guest cars, Ariana pulled past that area and down the driveway to the Collins' garage. She typed in the pass code that Owen had shared with her months ago and one of the doors pulled upwards, revealing an empty space inside. She left the white car inside and as she waited for Owen to meet her on the front walkway, she slipped her phone out of her clutch to text Aiden and Carson.

To: Aiden Chang
Hey Aiden! Are you at Owen's already? I just showed up, hope I see you :)!!

She was nicer to Aiden than she was to most people, but in her defensive, it was hard to not be nice to him. He was always friendly and caring and sometimes even brought out a softer side in her.

To: Carson
Where's my favorite philanthropist?

To: Alexandra
Your favorite sister is here ;)

When she spotted Owen headed towards her in the outfit she had recommended, she squealed and stepped towards him. "I missed you," she whispered into his ear before pulling him in for a gentle kiss. She held the position for a moment, running her hand through his tussled hair before stepping back. Her eyes met his and she was satisfied with how captivated he seemed. It almost made her feel bad about sleeping with one of her coworkers/exes last week when they were in London. Almost.

As they headed towards the house, she slipped her hand into his. "Is everyone here already?" she inquired. She had spotted her parents' BMW among the sea of cars so she knew that they were there, but was more interested in the kids their age. Her brother and sister were probably at the top of that list, but she was also prepared to see Tinashé too.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Tinashé's response and Alexandra's lack of one made it apparent that neither of his sisters had plans to follow their parents' request for them to actually be present at the party. He tried not to let it bother him. The guests would probably be here for another three or four hour and he reminded himself that it wasn't his job to police his sisters, now matter how necessary it seemed. Not only did he genuinely have their best interests at heart when he pestered them about things, but he also felt like he needed to help Pierce and Aimee. Both were good parents, but both had equally been through hell and back raising two teenage daughters. Sometimes he thought that it was nice to give them a break by taking care of some of the petty issues on his own.

Instead of texting the girls again like he wanted to, he put his phone into his pocket and opted to make up for their absences in extra mingling. He allowed his father to introduce him to men that he was sure he had met before, and agreed to show some actor's wife to the nearest restroom. He laughed at jokes that he didn't find remotely funny, accepted a glass of Pauillac from a passing server and explained several times when asked about his sisters' whereabouts that they were still upstairs getting ready.

"That's women for ya," Mr. Craig Sanders chuckled after hearing the explanation. He was an older gentleman at maybe seventy or seventy-five years of age and had been a writer on Mr. White's film. Owen had met him a couple of times before but only considered the man to be an acquaintance. He wasn't sure if the man was just getting old or if he genuinely didn't care, but he was always calling Owen by the wrong name. Regardless, Owen laughed along out of courtesy and as he spotted Alexandra and Chris quickly passing by the doorway, he attempted to excuse himself from the conversation. Before he could, however, Craig pulled two cigars out of his pant pocket.

"You ever smoke a 'King of Denmark', Warren? Here, show me out back and you can try one."

"I appreciate it, Sir, but I don't smo-" Owen tried to politely reject the offer. Smoking was a bit of a guilty pleasure, secret habit for him. He knew his parents would murder him for picking up some an unhealthy habit, and only did it when he was very stressed, or away from home. It was hard for him to decline tonight, though, since he was quickly interrupted.

"Nonsense! I won't take no for an answer, son. You won't know what you're missing 'til you try one."

It seemed useless to argue, so with a forced smile and nod, Owen led Warren out of the room, down one of the long hallways and out to the side of the house. Thankfully, only a few minutes after they stepped out into the cool summer eve air, Craig's phone went off. He motioned to Owen that he would only be a minute but after five minutes, the man's pacing and ranting to whoever was on the other end of the line didn't seem to be ending any time soon. Soon after, his own phone began to ring and as he answered it, he heard Ariana on the other line telling him that she was here.

"Of course. I'll be out there in a second," he replied with clear relief as he hung up. He caught Craig's glance for a moment but the older gentleman shooed him away- a rejection that Owen happily accepted. Rather than walk through the house and possibly be caught in conversation with someone else, he opted to walk to the front of the house outside. Their property was large enough that it took him at least seven or eight minutes to reach Ariana but when he did, he couldn't have been happier. They had been apart for less than twelve hours but it felt like forever. Even if she wasn't the most beloved girl in their friend group, he couldn't get enough of her. "I missed you too," he smiled, reluctantly allowing her to pull away from their kiss.

When they reached the door of the house, he waited to open it until after answering her question. "I'm honestly not sure. Most of the adults are here, but I haven't spoken to any of our friends yet today. Shay is around somewhere, and I know I saw Alexandra and your brother in the hallway earlier, but besides them, I'm not sure." The answer to her question was better answered when they opened the door and he led her inside. Feet away from the door stood both of his sisters, both of her siblings, Carson and Oliver. Rose, Jamie and Aiden were missing, but besides that, it seemed like the whole gang was there.

Some of his favorite people were all in one room together, but Owen wasn't sure if that was a good thing. He almost immediately doubted that it was going to be possible for everyone to live in one house together, no matter how big it was. "Hey guys," was all that he could come up with as he gave a slightly awkward wave to the group that he was beginning to feel like they had intruded on. He wanted to chastise Tinashé for leaving him hanging with a bunch of old and boring people, and Alexandra for blatantly disregarding their father's request that she not dress that way, but decided that it wasn't a good time. Even the presence of Carson, his best friend and a guy who always seemed to lighten the mood, didn't alleviate the stress that he expected would soon be coming on.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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How her expression lighted up at the sight of her friend. A sudden change, with not a trace of her earlier look of distaste at having seen Owen’s message. ”Casual dress code? What are we, cavemen?” There was no doubt that Colette had received the memo for the dress code. The pompous comment was hardly an exaggeration for her.

Instantly, the two friends were acting as if they have not seen each other for ages, when in fact it was mere weeks before Colette had visited Shay in Paris. Shay’s arm looped around hers, and the sound of Colette’s laughter rang through the estate. ”I would not mind hide-and-seek at the spa.” The brunette raised her hand as to pluck a pink macaron off of a silver platter. ”So long you have something fruity. The New Yorkers do not know how to make a Sangria to save their life. As she complained, for about the fifth time since her arrival the day before, about the Upper East Side’s incompetence in making beach cocktails, the faint vibration in her purse reminded her of the phone’s presence.

From: Chris
HEY the green mushroom shirt is a classic. Don't hate coco

”Oh my God, he’s going to do it.” The fearful prediction was soon proven to be reality as she raised her gaze from her phone, toward the familiar figure that was making his way toward them. In that instant, she even forgave him for using the name “Coco”. Her brother calls her by a stripper name, her sister a dog breed, tells a lot about each of their characters. ”One of these days, I will sue you for your criminal sense of fashion.” The accusing tone was hardly serious, but at the comment about her twin, the sudden drop in her smile was blatantly obvious. Two months. ”I’ll get the candles, you get the holy water.” If only she could play everything off as a joke in front of her sister. And if only a banishing spell or something of the like can repel evil spirits like her.

”And aren't you looking... bright today,” Amazing how quickly a smile can be plastered onto the bitter expression that was there merely a second earlier. Though of all, she had seen him most recently. ”And you look as scrubby as always.” The returned hug was complete with an expressive raise of her brow toward Shay. The look of ‘I know something that you don’t’ was always there in the presence of those two, but the second she released him, the playful look was gone.

”Hey guys,” The voice sent chills down her back. What was that Shay was saying earlier about heading in? The smile on her lips was strained, refusing to even turn to acknowledge the one that had was closing in on the distance between him and the group. The pair of high-heeled steps that followed was also far too familiar. Speak of the devil. ”What was that about hide-and-seek?” She had lowered her voice to a level that only the girl beside her should hear. The other faint ”Hi guys” was hardly acknowledged as Colette turned her head to greet the incoming trio. Of course the first time she had to see them was for them to be together. ”That’s adorable.” The brunette nearly hissed through her smile. ”I’m going to go vomit now.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Alexa followed Chris through her house and smiled at his dramatic detour from the room his parents were in. She didn't want to see her's either, so she didn't complain when they circled the room and ended up at the grand stairwell in the front foyer. They weren't the only people present in the entrance room, however. Her sister Tinashé and his sister Colette were present as well. Alexandra wasn't in the mood to socialize with her sister. She knew she was being a drama queen about the whole thing, but especially since Chris hadn't denied the claim that they were sleeping together, she was still annoyed. Tinashé had some nerve to agree with her dad that she not go to Europe just because she wanted to sleep with Chris uninterrupted. Presents were probably the best way to win Alexa over though, so even as she rolled her eyes at her sister's remark, she couldn't stop herself from smiling faintly. "Nick Jonas doesn't compare to the boys I got to hang out with while you were gone anyway." Or more accurately, boy, and as if on cue, he walked in. Carson Koch. The most perfect creature to ever walk the Earth and best first-time she could have imagined. She didn't even notice Oliver walking beside him as the twenty-three year old came in, hugged Colette and Shay, and greeted her and Chris. Her 'hello' wasn't as enthusiastic as she would have wanted but she knew it was just Carson trying to keep their relationship on the down-low.

"Let me have some?" she had stepped towards Tinashé, gently pulling the glass from her sister's hand before waiting for any approval. Suddenly, she didn't feel the need to wait to indulge in alcohol anymore. If she wanted to get enough courage to talk to Carson seriously tonight, she was going to need some liquid courage. She was ready to turn around and follow the group to wherever they were going with drink in hand when the front door open again, this time by Owen and Ariana. She quickly thrust the drink back into her sister's hands out of instinct more than actual fear. She didn't really care if Owen saw her drinking since she disregarded his wishes all of the time without a second thought.

"Too late," she smirked at Shay, who she knew was trying to avoid confronting Ariana for as long as possible. Unlike maybe everyone else in the room, Alexa wasn't on bad terms with Ariana. In fact, with her own sister's disappearance, she had gotten fairly close with Owen's girlfriend. She knew that she and Tinashé had a rough past but if it was okay for Owen to sleep with the girl, she didn't see how it could be that bad for her to just hang out with her. Besides, Tinashé had ditched her. It wasn't like she was getting the "sister of the year" award either. Still, her relationship with Ariana wasn't as strong as her's could be with Shay and regardless of how buddy-buddy she could act with Ari, she had no real alliance with her. "Hi Ari," she smiled as she pranced over to hug the girl. "Oooh, I love your shoes. Where did you get them?"Okay, so maybe she didn't care that much about Ariana as she did about bothering Tinashé still. But at least Owen couldn't complain about her having a bad attitude when, according to the cold air that had come in with the pair, few of the others were pleased to see them.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Owen was little help in preparing her for who she would be dealing with upon arrival. Although she appeared to be cool and collected, she was caught off guard when she stepped inside to find Colette, Chris, Alexandra, Tinashé, Carson and Oliver standing right in the foyer. She had expected to at least have a few minutes to prepare herself before speaking with them and she definitely hadn't thought that she would be dealing with all of them at once. 'There's no time like the present,' she reminded herself as she pasted on a smile and studied each of them. She didn't spend much time looking over Carson, Oliver or Chris. They were all easy to deal with. "It's so nice to see you, Carson!" she exclaimed, her smile turning a bit more flirtatious as she wrapped her arms around him. When she pulled away, she offered a wave to Oliver and then embraced her younger brother, who was taller than her even with heels on, in a hug. "Christopher, I thought Mom threw that shirt out," she said disapprovingly once she had released him and studied his attire. If there was one thing that she and Colette could agree on, it was that Christopher needed a wardrobe makeover.

Her eyes lingered longer on her twin sister who she had to admit, looked nice. Like Ariana, Colette knew that one could never be overdressed for an event and her fashion-obsessed sister never failed to impress clothing-wise. It wasn't much of an enviable talent, as they could all afford to hire stylists to do that for them, but since it was the only talent she thought her sister had, she would let her think it was important. The girl needed something to live for. "You look cute, Collie," she said sweetly, although she was sure her sister would be able to hear the condescending undertone that she possessed. Despite them only being minutes apart in age, Ariana always treated Colette like she was younger and less able than she was. Even if she wasn't that much younger, she definitely did feel wiser that Colette in every other aspect.

Her gaze turned to Tinashé and she genuinely did have the intentions of saying hi to the girl when Alexandra spoke up. Her attention was redirected to the younger girl and her smile became more genuine when she complimented her shoes. "These old things? I actually found them in Collie's closet." She glanced over at her sister again, "Hope you don't mind that I'm borrowing them." The fact that they generally wore the same clothing sizes was one of the perks of being a twin. Even if her sister did object to her wearing them, it wasn't like she was actually going to take them off. She made a mental note to tell Alexa that she needed to lose the heavy makeup later on, but for now, she kept quiet.

Now that Ariana had sufficiently interrupted her introductions, she didn't think it was necessary to go back to Tinashé. She was sure that the girl was still offended over the things she had done to her when they were children and Ariana certainly wasn't going to apologize. It was probably better that there first interactions weren't in front of the rest of the group, especially with Owen standing next to her. She had done a good job of keeping up her good girl reputation around him and if anyone could send that crashing down, it was Tinashé.

After Aiden slipped inside behind them, she waved at him too but didn't want to stick around to chat right now. She needed a martini ASAP and since she felt like her entrance was sufficient, there was no better time to leave than now. "Come, let's get something to drink," she said, tugging Owen's hand.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Jamie White Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Tinashé couldn't even allow herself to giggle at Colette and Chris' greetings to one another, nor could she really give Alexandra's ever present attitude much attention like the girl typically wanted. As soon as Owen called to the group and the sound of heels accompanying him filled her ears, she knew they had not moved fast enough and mentally cursed the entire group. She even pressed herself a bit closer to Colette, remaining as discreet as possible because Lexi had given her a look that had Shay two seconds from slapping her like one of her parents should have done five years ago. Taking a sip of her Mai Tai, she finally allowed her eyes to drift towards the one person she didn't want to see: Ariana Rockefeller.

In the past, that name sent chills to her spine and cold, hard fear to her chest and made it hard for her to breathe. She had always felt frozen in the hallways of Buckley when Ariana and her followers would call to her in the halls, the tiny hairs at the back of her neck standing upright as if they could somehow catch the jabs and harsh criticism from girls who probably still wet their bed if some of the rumors had said anything. Tinashé started with Ariana's shoes. Or, Colette's shoes now that she remembered them. "You wore them better, btw," she whispered very quietly to her best friend. Her eyes drifted further upwards, to the tasteful attire Ariana was sporting. While Shay had never been frumpy in her appearance growing up, the constant and sickening admiration Buckley kids showered Ariana with always made her feel bland and unattractive in the former Queen Bee's presence. Ariana's hair and jewelry? On point, as always. Other than Chris, it seemed the Rockefellers were always going to be attuned to the latest trends and fashions. Finally, Tinashé's gaze finally met Ariana after the girl acknowledged Alexandra.

And all she could do was smile, even when Ariana could say nothing.

Now, when looking upon her worst tormentor and the one person who doubted her the most, Tinashé couldn't - for the life of her - remember why she cared so much about Ariana Rockefeller. She couldn't remember why it was that Ariana had been so sought after and looked at like some sort of goddess - some symbol of perfection that could never be attained or even allowed to be close to. She couldn't remember how she could have possibly stood for so long against the biting words and hits, even if Ariana herself had never raised a hand but allowed her posse to do so. Instead of the fear and the anxiety, all she could feel was a chill that had not been present before. It tightened and coiled deep within her, squeezing at something inside of her in such a painful grip that she ended up having to drink some more of the alcohol in her hand in an attempt to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling. It wasn't the hurt from the many nights she came home crying only for her mother to turn the other cheek. It wasn't the many lyrics she had written out on papers that would never see the light of day because if they did, it could tarnish the Rockefeller name and she could never do that to two people who made her Buckley years bearable. And it wasn't the fear that clawed its way up her throat every time she had once wanted to say something at Ariana that could hurt - that could make her feel something other than the unwanted and truly unfounded resentment she seemed to have had for Tinashé.

It was rage.

Unadulterated and unchecked rage that was slowly eating away at the carefully constructed layer of her sanity, forcing her to link back up with Colette in fear that if she did not have someone who could ground her, she'd finally do the one thing she had been wanting to do since she was thirteen and acquired her black belt in taekwondo: whoop Ariana's ass. The smile she gave Ariana was not welcoming. It was not warm and kind like the one she would give Jamie, Aiden, Oliver, and anyone who wasn't Ariana. It wasn't the truly endearing smile reserved for her family and best friends. No, it was cold and seemed to spread over her heart-shaped face with an ease reminiscent to the bitches of Buckley and every mean girl that ever existed. It spoke volumes and try as she might, the only change she could make was when it slipped into a small smirk just as a familiar face popped behind Ariana.

"Hey, Aiden," she said smoothly, the lilt in her naturally soft voice edgier than normal. She wasn't composed like Colette and the others. Years of shoving down her hurt left her not as skilled in that department and she needed to be as far from Ariana as possible. She pulled at Colette, muttering to her, "Project hide-and-seek starting now," she said and unlike Ariana, she didn't' feel like announcing that she was leaving. She pulled her best friend with her further into the house and away from their group of friends and blended in with the various guests until they were near some models and a few actors from the film. "Sorry...I-I-I just..." It was rare for Tinashé to show that she was affected by one person, a sort of shield she had managed to put up between herself and the outside world so that they could never see that vulnerability again. However, Colette was one of the few people she allowed such a privilege and she downed the rest of her alcohol. That action shouldn't have given her as much relief as it did. "It's been so long since I saw her face to face. I wasn't exactly...ready." She shot her bestie an apologetic look before pulling out her phone.

To: Jamie, Rosie
Pleaze tell me ur on ur way?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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"Hey Aiden, nice to see you." Aiden's arrival was a good opportunity for Owen to pretend he wasn't paying attention to the way that Ariana was interacting with everyone else. He shook his friend's hand and gave him a friendly smile but was soon forced to return his attention to the others.

Owen knew that there was no way that Shay and Ariana being back in the same room together after so long was going to go seamlessly, but for the circumstances, he didn't think it went that poorly. Neither had verbally acknowledged her which was probably better than them trying to sort their problems out right now, or pretending like they had no issues and acting like friends. He had picked up on his sister's peculiar facial expression, mostly because he was watching her closely in case she came up with some nasty comment or tried to shred Ari to pieces right in front of them. Ariana had probably purposely left Tinashé out of her greetings though, so he guessed that the look was justified. No, he knew the look was justified. Even if he hadn't known Tinashé during most of the bullying, the stories had been relayed back to him by her mother and his father. Ariana had made her life a living hell and it was not only wrong, but ignorant, for her to think that she could just suddenly let go of those feelings. Owen knew that, and he was a good enough brother to not expect Tinashé to do so. At the same time, he needed her to be open to at least talking with Ariana about it. If she gave his girlfriend a chance to apologize, maybe they could start over, or just be on civil terms while they all lived together. There may not have been much benefit in a friendship for either of the girls but it took less than five minutes for him to realize that there was no way that he could spend a summer with the two of them hating each other. Their house was big, but not big enough for the two to ignore each other forever.

As Ariana tugged him inside, Tinashé and Colette had turned to walk down the opposite side of the hallway. He wanted to call out to them and tell them that Ariana would join and he'd meet them with drinks in a few minutes, but he refrained. It was too much of a dream, of wishful thinking. Besides, he wasn't sure if Colette and her sister were on decent terms either. The girls fought often, but he had never seen it in more than a sisterly-bickering manner. The way she had ignored his text earlier hinted that maybe she even had a problem with him. Owen had no idea what he could have done to a girl that he considered to be a close friend, but imagined that maybe she was siding with Tinashé in him being wrong for dating her mortal enemy.

He followed Ariana into the most populated room in the house. The servers were beginning to fill banquet-sized tables with different steaming dishes and since today's party was on the casual-side, it was a buffet-styled meal rather than a sit-down one. A passing cocktail waitress offered the pair martinis and although Owen declined the offer for himself, he did take a Manhattan off of the tray for Ariana, and swiftly handed it to her. He hoped having a drink in-hand would put her in a better mood for his next question. "Hey, do you think you can try talking to Shay tonight? I know whatever happened between you two was years ago, but I think she might still be upset about it." He tried to tread carefully, not because he was scared of Ari, but because he didn't want to give her the wrong idea. He didn't want her to go to Tinashé and act like he had given some sob story about how she was still a broken little girl because of the years of bullying. At the same time, he wanted her to realize that Tinashé was his sister and even if he had never brought it up, he hadn't forgotten how poorly she treated her either.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Outfit




Rose was very late.

She was almost never late for anything, but after going on the tour with her best friend Shay, she was dead-tired. When she had returned to her house in the early morning hours, Rose could only remember crashing in her room. As she drove to the Collins' house, no, mansion, Rose was only now fully awake. She was about 10 minutes from the actual house, but its looming presence could already be felt, and the top was poking through the trees and buildings surrounding it.

Her car was the only flashy thing she owned. Rose hated driving, since her parents had died in a crash, but Shay had insisted on her learning- right after she'd gotten her own license. She only drove herself because she couldn't trust a chauffeur. At least she had a cool car. The only reason Rose was even bringing it was because she might need to get away from the madness. And madness there would be. She knew that some of the girls hated each other with a passion, especially Shay and Ari. While Rose didn't know what it was to have enemies, she could always sense the high tensions between the two. Pulling out her phone when she felt it vibrate, Rose read quick texts from both Aiden and Shay.

From: Shay
Did you go home or stay here?

From: Aiden
Hey Rosie, Aiden's here. Have you been there yet? See you there, kay? <3

The little text heart at the end of Aiden's message made her heart do a little dance. She had had a crush on Aiden for... well, for as long as she could remember. She knew that he only thought of her as a sister, and tried to keep her feelings down. After all, she did have all of her friends to look out for. Even though Rose constantly had problems with putting everyone before herself, she was always supportive of anything her friends did or needed, sacrificing her own time in a heartbeat. She was too nice to say no.

Pulling into the driveway of the Collins' mansion, Rose checked her phone again. Another text from Shay had popped up.

From: Shay
Rosie: Pleaze tell me ur on ur way?

Rose sighed. If she could guess, Shay was probably trying not to claw out Ari's throat. Being on the tour with Owen had been fun, but she could feel the complicated emotions for Ari's boyfriend stewing in her best friend. Noticing that the text was also to Jamie, Rose's eyebrow rose. Her sister was usually on time, but her wallflower tendencies might have held her back from the huge party. Shrugging, she texted back Aiden and Shay.

To: Shay
Sorry Shay. I went home after the tour because I was tired, but I'm back now.

To: Aiden
Hey Aiden! I'm here too. I was there last night, but I went home after.

Rose smiled as she sent the texts. Her meticulous grammar was apparent even in her texts. Walking up the steep driveway, she was glad she'd worn flats. High heels would be torture to walk with up this driveway. A valet took the car after Rose got her bags out. Carrying the two suitcases into the house, she spotted tons of people she didn't know. Her father's movie, of course. Handing her suitcases to one of the staff, Rose maneuvered the long hallways down into the game room. She assumed that was where everyone was gathered, and she found herself correct as she entered the packed room.

"Hello everyone." Rose's soft voice didn't usually make a dent in the conversation, but with the charged emotions she could feel, at least a few of her friends would be grateful for her appearance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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"Uh, no, I forgot. They're in the trunk now." Oliver was caught off guard by Carson breaking the silence in the car. He had been lost in his own thoughts, mostly worrying himself over how the summer would go. Even though Carson lived in his own apartment now, Oliver had spent a few years living in the same house as his stepbrother and wasn't worried about doing so again this summer. He saw Jamie, his best friend, almost every day too, so there were no reservations with her. He and Rose were friendly, mostly due to his connection with Jamie, and he was friends with Shay, Aiden and Owen as well. His relationship with Colette was definitely weaker since no matter how many times they had seen each other, she was always calling him by the wrong name and clearly didn't find him to be of much use to her. They were different, and Oliver was okay with where they stood. At least he preferred it to how he interacted with Ariana, who found out about his blog almost a year ago, and since then, he's tried to avoid her like the plague.

Lastly was Alexandra, Owen and Tinashé's sister. When he moved to LA and started attending Buckley, Alexa was the first girl he ever developed a real crush on. She was popular, came from a world-renowned family, and had the rebellious attitude that he could never muster in himself. She was cool, and he began to idolize her. It probably didn't come across as a big deal to most people since Oliver has made it clear that he's more than willing to get with any girl in the friend group, thanks to his futile yet relentless attempts of seducing the girls. However, his crush on Alexa is more than just corny pickup lines. Her presence makes his heart race and his sentences become jumbled messes. She's totally out of his league and nearly everyone's told him that, but he hasn't given up. What better opportunity to woo her than this summer when he's literally going to be living a few doors down from her?

As exciting as it was, it also put Oliver into a panic. He had spent all morning attempting to work out in the gym in his family's home. He wasn't very physically fit, something that he readily admitted, and after only a few minutes of weight training, he realized that he was probably a permanent lost cause in that department. Instead, he opted to use an exercise bike and swam a few laps in their pool. Following a long shower, he spent the rest of the day packing and over thinking every possible scenario that could go down over the summer. In the midst of it all, he forgot to bring his bags over to the Collins and by the time he remembered, Carson was already calling him down to the car.

Oliver made no attempt to keep up with Carson after he got out of the car as he had to haul his two suitcases inside with him. When he made it through the doors, he found the foyer to be more occupied than he would have guessed. After a few minutes, everyone besides Jamie had showed up, but just as quickly as it filled, it began to empty out. He didn't have time to greet Tinashé or Colette before they separated and disappeared down the hall, or Owen and Ariana who entered the dining area. That left him with Carson, Alexandra, Chris, Aiden and Rose, all of whom he was sure would be going off to do their own thing soon anyway. If Alexa hadn't been so focused on Carson, Oliver would have said hello, but he used that as an excuse for himself to not have to approach her yet. "I'm going to go put my stuff upstairs," he said to no one in particular as he picked up the bags again. He was sure that some of the house staff would have taken care of it, but it was another excuse for him to avoid interaction with Alexa yet, and one that he would gladly take. Besides, his best friend wasn't here yet and if anyone was worse with socializing than him, it was her.

To: Jamie
What's your excuse for missing another party this time???

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Between Shay's physical jab and Colette's verbal one, Carson was grinning by the time that Owen and Ariana walked in the door. Unlike both girls, he was happy to see the pair. Owen was his best friend, and while being in the same room as him and Lexi made the guilt churn in his stomach, he tried to ignore it. What happened, happened and as long since Lexi had managed to keep quiet about it up until now, he hoped she could do the same for the rest of eternity. What Owen didn't know wouldn't hurt him and just as likely, wouldn't hurt Carson. He was friends with Ari too, and probably one of the few people who was happy to see the pair unite a year ago. Although he was homeschooled and didn't attend Buckley with the rest of the crew, everyone knew that Ariana was the girl that every guy wanted to not only sleep with, but date. She was that untouchable prize that you dreamed about throughout your awkward teen years so he couldn't blame Owen for seizing the fantasy now that he had the chance.

He stepped forward and returned Ari's hug but was somewhat relieved when she and Owen left the room. Besides Alexandra, it was clear that he really was one of the few people happy to see them together. Since he knew Shay so well, the way that she kept her mouth shut and pulled Colette away from the group spoke volumes to him. He knew that Ariana had caught her off guard, even if she hadn't spoken directly to her. Colette was clearly put off by her presence too, but he guessed that after literally growing up with the former queen bee, Colette was more used to Ari than anyone else. If anyone could combat the girl's poor vibes, it would be the one who shared her DNA.

In the moment after Owen, Ariana, Colette and Tinashé disappeared, Carson lingered in the foyer. Should he chase after the two girls, or follow his best friend and girlfriend into the dining room to socialize? Aiden and Rose had walked in amid the chaos, so as he considered the options, he gave them both a distracted half-wave. Oliver struggled to pull his bags upstairs and in hesitant decision, Carson turned to follow the path that Colette and Shay had taken. "I'm going to go see what the girls are doing," he explained mostly to Aiden and Rose, although Alexa and Chris were still present. He could hang out with Chris any day without things being awkward, but even though no one knew about his night with Alexa, he was going to make an effort to limit his time with her.

The two girls had done a good job at distancing themselves from the group, since it took a few minutes and a few minor conversations with acquaintances before he caught up to them. "Really? You two are going to try to ditch me this early on in the summer? Not cool, not cool." Shay's expression alone showed that she wasn't in a great mood anymore but he hoped he could lighten the mood.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan
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How she could feel that condescending tone even before her twin parted her lips to speak. You would think that after years spent with your mirror image, it would become easier to deal with yourself talking back to you. In Colette’s case, the twenty-two years were spent with that chilling tone that always made herself feel worse than ever. Though she adapted. There was no choice but to adapt. And at the greeting that only she knew was implicitly condescending, Colette’s smile was blatantly strained. Of all the nicknames, it was almost destined that her sister uses the one that was a dog breed. Not even a bitter thank you was heard. If anyone could take these jabs, it was her.

Another bite was taken into the macaron in her hand as Colette forced herself to remain silent. A tantrum at the moment would not do much to make the sisters’ reunion anymore pleasant. The smile she had plastered on her expressions did not reach her eyes and looked more mocking than anything. At Ari’s mention toward her shoes, Colette’s eyes drifted down in recognition of the heels. Sharing became a requirement for someone that had a twin, but when they reached eighteen, it no longer became necessary - and for Colette, no longer desired. One would imagine her surprise at seeing her shoes as well as the faint narrowing of her eyes at Ari’s comment of it. ”No, you go right ahead.” Any bystander could almost taste the tension in her words that were laced with bitter sarcasm. ”It goes well with your outfit.” And yet that was all that they shared: Looks and fashion sense. She refused to associate anything else of hers with Ari.

Shay’s quiet whisper was acknowledge with a faint bitter smile. It was a moment of sincerity that she only gave her friend in the presence of her twin. The tragic fact was that she did not agree. Those shoes fit perfectly with Ari’s style - as perfect as the way she composed herself. Though she was proud. The aura of rage that Shay was radiating was almost material. Any longer they stay in her twin’s presence and the less likely the silence was going to last.

Thus she did not resist when Shay initiated “Project Hide-and-seek”. A small wave was given to those that remained, including those that just joined the group. What was that guy’s name again? She was rather sure it started with a “C”. She could be wrong.

”Breathe.” She watched her friend down the rest of her drink. That was not a good sign. ”Spit out the poison that girl emits just by being present.” She was always better at handling it. DNA goes a long way in adapting to someone’s presence. Then again, it was simply Colette’s way of dealing - pushing it down until it explodes in a ball of raging fire. That has been happening more and more frequently in the presence of the pair of lovers. ”I know.” And truly, she knew how Shay felt. It was what drew the two together in a bond of friendship. ”If there’s anyone that needs to apologize, it’s her.” In heels, Colette was taller than her friend, but even so, she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around the girl. There are times when words no longer became comforting. Not around Ari, who was the master of turning and morphing words and comments in her favor.

Though the moment of peace did not last long. The sound of the steps followed by the casual comment, she released her friend as she turned in the direction of Carson. A faint smile was seen at the fact that he had followed them. Perhaps this was what Shay needed. The look that she gave her friend, away from the sight of the blonde, was playful. ”Get used to it, Carson. Your presence is simply too much for us to handle.” Even though it took much effort to return to the same casual and friendly mood as she was earlier, Colette played it off perfectly. It was no doubt that her composure was earlier broken in the presence of her twin. Now was the time to gain it back.

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Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller
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Like Colette instructed her, Tinashé inhaled slowly and then exhaled. By the time she had done this several times, her body felt perhaps a bit lighter. That uncomfortable feeling in the pit of her stomach was still there, a distant reminder that all was not alright and wouldn't be for probably the remainder of the summer. For now, however, she felt just a bit lighter and smiled appreciatively. "Still, you looked way better in those shoes than she did," Shay said quietly into the hug Colette offered, pulling back a bit to grin a bit more. While Colette was in fact better at being the composed one, Shay recognized the designer's ability to shove down her feelings. Their friendship strengthened because of the recognition of that habit in one another. "Like you said, spit out that evil 'cause if I had a choice between you and her, I'd let you dress me any day of the week." She added a small wink for good measure and gave Colette a small squeeze just as her phone alerted her to another text. Looking down, Shay felt a mix of her earlier discontent and a bit of relief knowing that Rose was there.

Colette and Rose had become two of the best friends she could ever ask for. With Colette, Shay recognized the same pain and maybe even a slab of bitchiness that just worked. She had found someone to banter with and have fun with. With Rose, Shay found an older sister she had never realized that she needed. While Shay had had Owen all these years, they had not been close before and Shay would have never admitted that she needed anyone for anything. Rose's sweetness and support, coming without question, were both like a breath of fresh air. And she had clung - almost instantly - to both girls and did not see herself giving them up any time soon.

To: Rose
Thank GAWD!!! Come into the first dining hall. Standing with Colette

Message sent, Shay looked up to see a few trays of interesting appetizers pass by them. She was about to call to one of the staff members when a voice that could always bring a smile to her face sounded. Smirking, Shay pretended to roll her eyes as Carson walked over to them and chose to ignore the look Colette tossed her way. Pushing at the silky hair on her head so that the locks brushed over her shoulder, she gave Carson a playful look and exclaimed, "Please, CJ! By the time I kick your ass at the bowling alley - AGAIN - YOU will be the ditching me." This was good. She had the people she cared about. She could be playful and maybe, if she was trying to press things without looking obvious, flirt with Carson. She could have her best friends by her side and enjoy the dinner party she could give a rat's ass about. This could be good.

Hopefully.

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Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller
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Carson found both Colette and Shay to be some of the easiest people to hang out with. He liked Shay in more ways than he would admit, but her playful and flirtatious side made it hard not to like her. Plus, she was amazingly talented, intelligent and outspoken. Even now, after Ariana's presence had clearly bothered her, she was able to at least act like she was moving on and returning to her own self. He wasn't aware of the full extent of the bullying she ensued at Ariana's hands, but even from what he did know, her reaction was respectable. And then there was Colette. She was definitely the more underestimated one of the twins but her personality was probably more vibrant than her sister's. While Ari's bitchiness was usually hidden in backhanded compliments or remarks like her earlier reference to Colette's borrowed shoes being old, Colette was more brazen. She had guts and didn't seem to mind coming off like a bitch. Even if it didn't seem like it when compared to her sister, she was powerful, bold and witty - all traits that Carson found to be admirable.

When Shay tried to act like she had beaten him in bowling before, he shook his head in an adamant manner but returned her playful smile. "You know I let you win that night! I wasn't going to embarrass you in your own home, but I guess I'll have to put chivalry to rest tonight when we have a rematch." It was hard for him to get rid of the wide grin on his face as he looked away from her and scanned the crowd. After going a few months without seeing her face to face, it was almost surreal to be back in her presence. What was more strange was that the lingering crush that he thought he had for her months ago had stuck around and was probably even stronger now. "Hmm... should I say hello to your parents, eat, or kick your ass in bowling first?" He glanced between the girls, willing to take the first recommendation before a tray of food passed them. He had no idea what the dish was called, but it smelled good enough to make his mouth water. "You two hungry?" He had already chosen the option to eat and if they were hungry too, it would but be an added bonus. Either way, he planned on having a plate full of food in front of him in thirty seconds.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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His warning of Ariana's arrival couldn't have come sooner, because moments later, the devil herself was walking through the front door behind Owen. Chris couldn't imagine a pair of people who could bring the mood of a room down more quickly. They were like real life Dementors and he knew that his feelings towards them weren't even as bad as some of the others. Alexa wouldn't be happy to see her controlling, fun police brother, and he and Colette had similar feelings towards their sister. Tinashé didn't seem to hate Owen as much as Alexa did, but her resentment for Ariana probably rivaled Colette's. It was strong and noticeable. Maybe not to most people since she didn't verbally object to being near Ari in that moment, but he caught a glimpse of her frozen smile and knew that she wasn't happy. He didn't blame her, either, but even with Ariana's snide remark about his shirt, he didn't hate her as much as the others. She was his mother in a twenty-year-younger form. They had the same condescending tone, the same judgmental look and the same belief that if things weren't done in their traditional and favored way, that they were being done incorrectly.

"Nope, she hasn't gotten her hands on this one yet," he replied casually to her insult on his shirt. Colette had nagged him about it once today - and tens of times in the past - so it didn't bother him slightly. His sister had already moved on to greeting the others by the time he responded, so he gladly shifted backwards. Luckily for him and all of them, she didn't stay in the room too long and just as quickly as she came in, she was leading Owen out to get drinks. As he glanced around to examine the damage, it was apparent that Colette's lifetime exposure to Ariana didn't do much to ever prepare her for their sister's high and mighty persona. She probably fared better than Shay though, who was pulling Colette away before he had a chance to join them.

That left him with Carson, who almost immediately fled after the girls, Oliver, who was walking upstairs and who Chris honestly couldn't have cared less about, Alexandra, Aiden, and now Rose. "Hey Rose," he said once he heard her voice. He honestly wasn't sure how long she had been standing there. The girl could be so quiet that her presence sometimes went unnoticed. At the sight of her, he realized that Jamie was the only person he hadn't seen so far today. "Where's Jamie?" He wasn't very close with the blonde but after seeing her recently, had found something about her to be attractive. To this day, he still had no idea what that was. She was nearly the opposite of the type of girl he usually went for, and their personalities were strikingly different. So much so that he rarely had anything to talk about with her, but when she was around, he always found her unadorned commentary to be amusing. For someone who seemed to lack interest in conversations and socializing, she seemed to pick up on a lot of things that he, someone so involved in the conversations, never would notice.

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Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller
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Tinashé attempted to stifle the laughter bubbling up within her, but the sound seemed unable to stay within the confines of her slim body for it expelled unabashedly. The laugh seemed to move her as she bent over slightly to hug her abdomen before rising again, pulling a hand to her mouth to keep the laughs at bay. This was definitely good. She almost forgot about Ariana entirely at Carson's refusing to accept defeat. The grin on her face was wide and teasing. "Oh wow! You think you beat me?" She inquired as if she were actually flabbergasted by his accounts of the event. Snorting derisively, Shay shook her head in the same adamant manner Carson had. "That's so hilarious 'cause I remember how it all went down and I am pretty sure we both know who won fair and square last time. I know they say that ignorance is bliss, but denial is a whole other world, CJ" She shrugged then. "But I mean, if you need a repeat of last time, be my guest. I'm sure you're strong enough to take this ass whoopin' again, scruffy." Shay added the last little dig with a small wink, allowing her eyes to quickly rove over the group of people.

The soiree seemed to be going well, not that she ever doubted it would. Tinashé could say a lot of things about her mother, but if it was one thing Aimee succeeded in other than designing, it was parties. Her mother had a knack for events and allowing her creative side to run rampant. Granted, that included trying to overstuff Shay's already stuffed closet with some of her latest designs or clothes that weren't even in stores yet. However, her mother was gifted and Shay was grateful for having acquired at least that one aspect of her character. She refused to acknowledge other shared qualities. Coincidently, her gaze found her mother's from across the room and Aimee, unaware of her daughter's musings, discreetly toasted Tinashé with her flute of champagne. Shay offered her a small smile in return just in time for one of the staff to come over, thinking that she was staring at them. "Good evening, Miss Kachingwe. Miss Rockefeller. Mr. Koch." The young blonde greeted, a show of having practiced learning who would be guests at the estate for the evening. Aimee had all of the staff go through this. Most, if they could not remember, would refer to the guests as Mister or Miss, at least until a married woman corrected them or was actually nice enough to want to be referred to as their names. The worker pulled her two trays forward with an inquisitive smile. "Peppercorn steak crostini with black berry sauce or toasted brioche rounds with crème fraiche and caviar?" Tinashé hummed thoughtfully before deciding upon the crostini, plucking one from the left tray. Still a bit in thought, she glanced around at all the drinks in hand before settling her gaze on the woman before her.

"Have they opened the Château Lafite-Rothschild 1982?" Shay inquired. It wasn't that much of a surprise that she was ready for a glass of red wine. It was actually her favorite alcohol. Literally, if she had only one option for the alcohol to live with for the rest of her life, red wine would do. Sure, not many would believe her. Shay's party girl history was renowned. However, red wine could be pretty darn relaxing. The worker hummed in remembrance before nodding. "Oh, yes. They were preparing the glasses some time ago. Should I have someone send some your way?" Shay smiled appreciatively. "Yes, please. Thank you." The woman stayed long enough for both Colette and Carson to take their fill from the trays before running off to fall through with Shay's request. Satisfied with the thought of wine and Rose's eventual venture into the formal room, Shay took a bite of her crostini, enjoying the sensation of the toasted bread and juicy meat blended with a sweet yet smoky sauce.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Owen Collins Character Portrait: Ariana Rockefeller Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Aiden Chang Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan Character Portrait: Christopher Rockefeller
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Rose made her way through her friends, a few waving or saying hello. "Hello, Chris!" She grinned as he greeted her. She was about to stick around for friendly conversation when her phone pinged again. She read the relieved message from her best friend, and quickly apologized before dashing off. "Jamie? I don't know. Gotta run, though. Sorry! See ya later, Chris! Duty calls- well, Shay calls, that is."

She made her way to the first dining hall, passing through a few others on the way and occasionally taking a small appetizer. When she reached the first dining hall, she waved and hurried over. Carson had made his appearance while she was coming, and the three of them were hanging out. She heard Shay and Carson bickering good-naturedly over bowling, and as he took some food as well, Rose was relieved to see she wasn't the only hungry one. "I'm here. Is the world ending?" She smiled, nudging Shay. "Long time no see. Like, fifteen whole hours."

Rose had left pretty early in the morning, around three, and had been sleeping until recently. She'd loved being on tour, with the exception of the crowded, screaming stadiums. However, there was no way on heaven and earth that she wouldn't support Shay on tour. Sometimes, her obsession with supporting people definitely got in the way of her health.

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Character Portrait: Alexandra Collins Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan
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As he trudged up the seemingly endless staircase, Oliver was beginning to think that maybe his minute workout session had resulted in him pulling a muscle. That, or he was just a lot weaker than he thought he was. His two bags of luggage felt like they were filled with bricks as he lugged them behind him, but maybe the pressure of knowing that the others could see him struggling made it seem worse. When he reached the top of the stairs, he was faced with a new dilemma: which room was his. As he made his way down the hall, he noticed that there were at least ten bedrooms on the floor alone. The first few doors he opened appeared to be occupied by the other guests' things. The master bedroom, as well as Owen and Shay's rooms were distinguishable by memory, so he didn't bother to push open their doors. Maybe it was a lapse in memory, or maybe he really just didn't remember that it was her room, but as he passed, he gently pushed open Alexandra's door. In his defense, when he realized that it was her room, he quickly pulled the door back shut, and not a moment too soon.

Not more than five seconds after the door clicked shut, a voice appeared from behind him. "Hey Ollie." He immediately recognized it as Alexandra's and didn't even mind that she had used the nickname he had grown to despise. In fact, he liked the way it sounded coming from her mouth. "Oh, uh, h-hey Alexa," he replied, a crooked and nervous smile appearing on his face.

Did she see me looking in her room? Oh God, she's going to think I'm some psycho stalker... No, it's fine. Just be cool. Be cool.

"Would you text your brother for me and ask him to come upstairs? I needed him to help me with something on my computer but my phone just died. Just tell him to come upstairs though. Don't say it's for me or else Owen or Shay will come up instead, and you know how annoying they can be." Had he not been so awestruck, he probably would have realized how odd her request was. Carson was smart, but he had majored in business, not computer science. If anyone was good with technology, it was Oliver. "Yeah, yeah, totally, no problem," He was rambling but managed to shut up as he pulled out his phone and send Carson a quick text.

To: CJ
Hey could u come upstairs for a second? Need help with something.

As he looked back up, he struggled to think of something to say. His attention was caught on her - her long eyelashes, bright smile, the way she twirled her hair... He only shifted his gaze when he realized he was gawking and her heard giggling. In attempt to redeem himself, he stood up a bit straighter and dropped the bag of luggage he had in his occupied hand to the floor. "Did you want me to take a look at whatever's wrong with your computer? Maybe I can help." It was a pretty bold move for him, considering he could barely get a 'hello' out minutes before, but it was a leap he had to take at some point. However, in the seconds he spent waiting for her response, it was a leap he regretted taking.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller Character Portrait: Oliver McKagan
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Carson smiled and nodded his head in a polite acknowledgement of the server who approached them. He studied the dishes that she offered them, having to base his judgement solely off of look and smell rather than actual knowledge of what each dish was. After twenty-three years, it was apparent that no amount of money could sophisticate his taste in food. He was the type of person to visit a five-star restaurant in Paris and ask if they served cheeseburgers. He would eat most of the fancy dishes served at dinner parties, but in those cases, nine out of ten times he wouldn't be able to tell you what he was actually eating. As long as it tasted good, he didn't care if it was made by Wolfgang Puck or some teenager being paid minimum wage in a fast food joint.

"For someone who's basically two feet tall and still can't kill a spider on her own, I think it's a little early for you to be embracing wine mom culture," he commented in a playful manner. However, before the server ran off to fulfill Shay's request, Carson addressed her. "I'll have a glass as well, thanks." There was a part of him that wouldn't have been surprised if Colette didn't request a glass, but only because he was sure she would be going for something much stronger tonight. He wouldn't blame her, either. If Shay hadn't been started the sophisticated trend, he would probably be sipping a Jack and Coke by now.

"Hey Rose," Carson smiled as their friend approached. With a plate of food in one hand, he managed to give her a half-hug before returning his attention to the hot food. He was mid-bite when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, but he reluctantly pulled it out and read Oliver's text message. He didn't have the slightest idea of what his stepbrother could need help with. He had went upstairs to unpack. How could it be that difficult and what the hell was his presence going to do to help?

To: Oliver
I'm eating

As if it needed no further explanation, Carson sent a response for why he couldn't come help. Few things could pull Carson away from a plate of food and his stepfather's gawky son surely wasn't one of them. "I'm pretty sure Oliver broke one of your priceless vases or something upstairs," he said, rolling his eyes as he tossed Shay the phone to read the unusual message so he could resume eating. A moment later, he glanced over at Colette. "Did your parents come tonight?" As the night slowly progressed, he was more glad than ever that his couldn't attend. He felt less of a need to mingle with strangers and was more than content just hanging out with her, Rose and Shay.

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Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller
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It was far easier to smile with genuine pleasure away from the shadow of her twin. "I will take you up on that offer." In the presence of Chris and Carson, Shay's taste in fashion would have been on a royal level, but even so, it gave the designer pleasure in changing her wardrobe every now and then. She still held the rule of never being seen in the same outfit twice. "And that offer is extended toward Carson and my little brother too," A meaningful look was given to the blonde that could care less for his cringe-worthy sense of fashion, "One of these days. I will kidnap you if I have to." The tension was fading from her posture as her two friends bickered before them, rousing a look of amusement.

When the waiter addressed her formally, her attention was deviated only momentarily toward the tray held toward them. What the household lacked in fashion they made up with their taste of food. If Europe taught Shay anything, it was probably that exquisite selection of dining, represented on the tray. "Oh that looks amazing." She very well could have taken one from the tray, but instead she chose to take her best friend's crostini from her hand before taking a bite from it. A playful wink meant far more than what it let on. It appeared that Carson was paying Shay far more attention that that was necessary of a simple friendship. Perhaps this summer was not going to be complete hell after all.

With the arrival of Rose, she could see that the day was getting better for Shay. So long as Ari stayed away, the day would get better. Except she was not too sure that her twin would. After all, nothing attracts the girl more than drama. Drama and pain.

Leave it to Carson to remind her of her other blood-related family members that were in the large estate. A faint roll of her eyes that was familiar to the one that Chris makes was seen upon her expressions. "Did they?" The sarcastic repetition of Carson's question was dragged out as to make a point. From her pocket she pulled out the phone before displaying the multiple unanswered messages from both her mother and her father. "One condescending voice in my life is enough, thank you. If I'm going to have to face them, I'm not doing it sober."

She had not ordered any wine from the staff before the blonde wandered away. It was simply that she did not have a liking for wine, and the sound of cocktails near the pool held a much better ring to her ears than wine. Even the thought of shooting herself right now sounded better than having to put up with her parents. Surely, her perfect twin can keep them off her back until she was intoxicated enough to forget that she even had a family.

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Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller
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Shay felt the heat rush to her cheeks at the reminder of an instance where she had positively screamed when she saw a spider. She couldn't remember the correct details, but she was pretty sure they had been watching a movie or something along those lines, she had see this black creepy crawly-thing and had leapt onto the couch, demanding that either Owen or Carson kill it. She glared at Carson for even bringing it up as it was an embarrassing memory and one that immediately crashed with the tough-girl persona she was known for, but the look was only half-hearted and still playful. "I. Told. You. Not. To. Bring. That. Up." She complained, emphasizing each word with a small hit to Carson's arm. She then pouted childishly while adding indignantly, "And screw you! I make wine mom culture look good."

Shay didn't argue or even react much when Colette stole her crostini. Well, scratch that - she did stick her tongue out at the brunette, but let her have it. If there was one thing her tour had opened her eyes to, it was the fact that Shay was a foodie. She had felt the need to try a good number of delicacies at every restaurant in every country they came across. She didn't go to many of the famous restaurants that most celebrities frequented on their own trips. In fact, the only reason she had even went to the ones she did were simply because of publicity and everyone wanted to see her with Iggy and Nick. She had no problems with the latter, but the former was too full of herself and was still upset at the prospects of a good number of the people attending the concert weren't even in it for her - they just wanted to see Nick and Shay. The artist had felt like the world owed her something and so, whenever Shay got the time, she would drag Nick out with herself, Rose and Chris, and they would all go explore underground lounges and various small corner restaurants. She had come home with a list of things she wanted the cooks to try and was completely ready to try them all.

"Rosie!!" Shay exclaimed brightly and immediately brought the older woman in despite having seen her for a good few months and a couple of hours ago. "Fifteen hours is too long for me not to see your lovely face." She said, grinning at Rose's face. Shay could still see a bit of fatigue in Rose's countenance and felt a bit guilty. It was her fault Rose was probably still tired. Granted, they both had been up and Chris and Shay were probably just as exhausted. At the same time, Shay was used to this lifestyle. To the long nights in her recording and dance studios, to the interviews and sessions with various radios and magazines - she was always fully equipped for events like these even when she really wanted to snuggle under a thick, warm blanket. Rose wasn't. "Not the end of the world yet, but the antichrist definitely made her appearance," she told Rose, the mere mention of Ariana leaving a bitter taste in her mouth. But Shay shook her head, as if expelling herself of thoughts of Ariana. "No matter, I've already decided on our plans tomorrow. After I kick somebody's ass tonight in bowling," she stared pointedly at Carson before returning her gaze to Rose and Colette, "tomorrow, we're gonna abandon the guys and hit up Caudalie. My mom already made us reservations, so we can stay as long as we want and just be pampered and hang out there. I could care less what the fellas do, and since Lex has an attitude and Ariana could jump off a bridge, it might just be us and Jamie. Anyway, after that, we can either shop around Abbot Kinney for tomorrow night outfits, hit up Providence or Spago, and then meet the guys at Greystone Manor for a night of fun. What do you guys think?" No plan of Shay's would ever be incomplete without at least one party. And she was more than ready for a girls' day with just her girls. Alexa could keep her attitude if she wanted and the devil's advocate could suck on molten lava, for all she cared. As long as she had her girls tomorrow and a chance at fun later, Shay was more than satisfied.

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Character Portrait: Tinashé Kachingwe Character Portrait: Carson Koch Character Portrait: Rose Kensington Character Portrait: Colette Rockefeller
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He should have known that Colette wouldn't take well to her parents being brought up, but he figured that the response was probably better than bringing up her sister. After scarfing down the rest of his crostinis, he put his hands up in the "hands up, don't shoot" style. "Alright, alright, just asking." At the mention of not wanting to face her parents sober, he glanced in the direction that the blonde server had run off in. He planned on having some of the wine with Shay, but it couldn't hurt to have a mixed drink before then. He preferred drinking wine with his meals and although he could eat for days, wine probably wasn't going to cut it if he wanted to feel the alcohol tonight.

"I'm going to go make a drink. Save me a glass of wine," he looked towards Shay, catching her commenting on their bowling plans for later. "If only your bowling skills were half as good as your trash talking ones, you might have a chance to beat me tonight, Tiny," he said, trying to keep his expression serious but failing towards the end, as a toothy smile appeared. He turned back to Colette once the girls resumed their talk of the next day's plans. What are you drinking tonight?" If the few times he had went out with Colette over the past year told him anything, it was that she almost always ordered fruity cocktails. They seemed to be her thing. He saw it as being a typical girl thing, but he never understood why girls would spend so much money on drinks watered down with sugary mixers. Unless he was drinking an expensive wine, he was either going for a cold beer, straight liquor or a Jack & Coke. Not only did cocktails usually leave him with headaches and nasty hangovers, but he was a heavyweight drinker, so if he wanted to get drunk, he had to go for the hard stuff. It was one of the reasons why he actually enjoyed making his own drinks. He spent a few years of his college career rooming with a bartender and through their friendship, he had become pretty fluent in most drink recipes too. If he wouldn't be shunned by his family for it, he probably would have enjoyed getting his bar tending license just for the hell of it.

"Do you want anything to drink too, Rose?" Rose was so gentle and innocent-like that Carson couldn't think of a time when he had seen her drinking. Then again, the two hadn't hung out very much at all lately, and he supposed that was probably just the reason. Still, he felt it better to ask than to just assume she either wasn't drinking, or that she would want whatever Colette was drinking.