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Julian Davies

"It's supposed to be over when you get out..."

0 · 114 views · located in New York

a character in “the last of the real ones”, as played by TushoKa

Description



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When those gates open, the air is fresher, the sun is brighter, but the people are the same.
No cigar - Millencolin
Hard Times - Paramore
Crawling - Linking Park



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F U L LXN A M E
Julian Martin Davies


N I C K N A M E (S)
Some call him Ju for short, or call him by his last name. Most just call him Julian.


B I R T H D A Y
6 August


A G E
25


S E X U A L I T Y
Straight


E T H N I C I T Y
African American


H O M E T O W N
Brooklyn, New York


H E X
#8744ab



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S T Y L E
Julian has always been a big fan of dressing for comfort. Big sweaters, baggy jeans and sneakers were most common. Not growing up anywhere near being rich, his clothes were usually neighbours hand-me-downs or off brand clothing. He was happier when he made his own money and at least was able to afford some decent shoes.
In order to keep up with the other boys in his area he also got interested in wearing a necklace, although his level of accessorising never got anywhere near his sisters.


H E I G H T  & W E I G H T
5’10’’ & 164 lbs


A P P E A R A N C E
Average build is a pretty accurate description. Although previously he was not considered fat, he was able to lose a bit of a stomach while in prison. With 4 walls surrounding him most of the time, working out was one of the best past times. He can now actually rock some abs, and his arms also surely got more muscular.

His hair is shaved on the sides, leaving a thin fade only. On top he lets it grow a bit longer and he is happy to let it run it’s curly way. Not shaving every day, he sometimes shows a 1 or 2 day beard. Although soon it becomes too itchy and he’ll shave it clean again.
Now that he lost his stomach a bit, he wear more t-shirts than sweaters. He wears caps when it rains and he has one pierced ear.
In his teenage years he also had an eyebrow piercing. Although he no longer wears it, the hole is still visibly there. Whenever it’s cold he’ll wear a sweater, but he hates wearing coats, and as of now actually doesn’t own one.



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L I K E S
Basketball • dogs • weed • company • city life • drumming • working out • painting • graffiti wall art • making people smile • his sister • dance music • playing darts • helping out those less fortunate • motorcycles • shoes •




D I S L I K E S
Selfish people • too much quiet around him • closed spaces • speaking about himself • apples or anything with apple taste • coffee (as it puts him on edge) • dolphins • spicy food •


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ImageP E R S O N A
Julian is kind of a softie, having a big mouth as well as a big heart. He is very loyal to his friends, but was quite sad when he saw many of those friends never visited him once while he was away.
Julian feels very protective of those he loves. As he never really knew his father, he was the man of the house. And any one trying to hurt his mom or his sister had to deal with him first. As he grew older this feeling of protecting others only grew. Whenever going out with friends, he is the guy that makes sure everybody gets home safe.

He has a hard time concentrating and often stares into the distance day dreaming. The only thing he really loses himself in is art. When he is busy with a painting or any other artwork, the rest of the world passes him by like it’s not even there.

Julian is easy to talk to, and always has a nice word back. He loves to talk about you, but hates to talk about himself. He is not very open about his own feelings and as he was never allowed to express himself much, he has a hard time letting people in.

He enjoys working out and meeting new people. He has a hard time being alone, so he’ll always look to join the crowd.



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H I S T O R I A
Although his mom said they used to live somewhere else, Julian cannot remember anything before his old hood in Brooklyn. He was still young when he had to learn to take care of himself and his sister. His mom had a lot of night shifts and although the aunties watched him and Jade when they were outside, they would never get into the apartment where they lived. Julian had quite a lot of friends as there were plenty other boys in the neighbourhood.
His mom was always quite harsh to him, although he never saw it that way. He was always being compared to his no-good father. There are no pictures in the house, but his mom always told him if he wanted to see his useless father, he should just look in the mirror. Whatever he did in the house it was never really enough and the older he got the more he would be outside.
Keeping an eye on Jade, he would be playing basketball outside. He hung out with the older kids and they used to send him to do little errands. Get this at the store, go and deliver a package there. He was being used as an errand boy, but he didn’t mind much.
He was part of the group, or indeed the gang. They did not do any worse than the average mischief. One of the things they used to do was spraying graffiti around the neighbourhood, and Julian had quite a talent for it.
He got into trouble with the police quite a lot. Between graffiti and smoking weed with his friends he had been taken home by a police officer more than once. And there his mom would be waiting, disappointed and complaining why he wasn’t like his sister. A one way ticket to abandoning your future family, just like your dad.
In school people seemed to appreciate him a lot more. He didn’t have to live up the the perfect little sister as she went to a different school. He was even able to impress his teachers with his art, musical talent and by being part of the drama club. The more praise he received at school, the less amount of time he would spend at home. He felt really accepted when he was invited to join on of the bands they had at school.
He had always liked to entertain others and he had a great time going to different places to play music for people. It was exciting to be invited to bars where he was too young to drink, but old enough to play. He had great respect for his bandmates and he would always back them up when needed. For more than a few occasions Julian was right beside Soren, when the latter had been looking for another fight.
After some time Julian had found enough confidence to suggest some of his own ideas for their songs. The other band mates, Soren first, had not really appreciated whatever he tried to bring in. He kept trying and trying, but he kept being pushed off. Two weeks before Soren’s accident, Julian had taken off and told the band he couldn’t do it anymore. Although he had half hoped that they would ask him again, they had not reached out to them once. Still he went to see Soren in hospital, but Lauren had told him that Soren specifically asked that Julian would not be allowed in.
From that point Julian got estranged from his group of friends. He still saw them at times, but more because they hang out with Jade than with him. He decided to enrol into community college, hoping to learn more about art and maybe even teach art if he could. Things were going well. He kept living with and taking care of his sister and he almost completed his degree. Giving his sister a ride while on the way to an interview he was waiting and practising for the questions in the car when all of a sudden he was arrested.
When they checked Jade’s bag on the bag seat, they found cocaine and they arrested him.
He took the blame to protect his sister and in such earned even more disscontempt from his mom. In the 2 years behind bars he did not have many visitors except for his sister and a few others.
He has now been out for 6 months. He feels he is a burden on his sister by staying in her new apartment. He has looked for other jobs, but most of the time wasn’t successful. Where he originally wanted to teach art, with his record he is not allowed to teach. Desperately, he asked one of his old friends for a job and he’s now been bartending for about a month in Erin’s place.
Now working during the night, during the day he makes paintings and drawings for tourists in Manhattan to make a bit more money. He feels ashamed he can’t support his little sister with the rent.



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R E L A T I O N S H I PXS T A T U S
He has a hard time believing anyone would be ready to date him now.


T A L E N T S
He is very artistic and has a creative mind. His creations are usually very colourful and gives a very 70s feeling.


S T R E N G T H S
Listening ear. He’s a great talker, as long as it’s about you.
He always tries to help. He’s been volunteering at a dog shelter program for prisoners. They bring the dogs to the prison in order to provide a sort of therapy. He benefited from it when he was in prison, so he wants to continue for those still behind bars.


W E A K N E S S E S
Very trusting.


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So begins...

Julian Davies's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Damien Wolfe Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Jade Davies Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Evie Addams Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Dean Sun Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Declan Sun Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo
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soren bowers.
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outfit. #4d5676.
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xxx I've been staying up all night
xxx Shaking needles out my spine
xxx But the doctor says I'm fine
xxx Feels good to be alive, but I hate my life

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The concept of the party had started as yet another one of their deep, meaningful conversations on the balcony. They got talking about all the people they’d been friends with once upon a time and where they’d all ended up. Some, Soren had managed to stay in contact with over the years. Others, not so much. He and Erin had begun talking about the parties they’d found themselves at and the ones they’d thrown in high school. Quite often, it had ended in everyone screaming at each other, with the same few members of the group sometimes even throwing punches, before they’d all stormed off home. They wouldn’t talk for maybe a day, and then it would be like nothing ever happened. Rinse and repeat, over and over again. But oh, when things were good, they were really good.

Erin and Soren had looked at each other, and it seemed they’d had the same idea at the same time. A party, just like the good old days, but with everyone in a slightly better place, and without the ringmistress that could spark a fight in seconds with just a smirk and a well-timed comment. Almost immediately, they began digging through their contacts to find people.

More or less everyone that had been invited had agreed to attend. Camilla’s reply had been rather blunt; an ambiguous “k” in response to his Instagram message, and then leaving the follow up messages entirely on read. Ever since the whole debacle where an unreleased Beautiful Strangers demo had somehow ended up being sampled on a Sophie’s valentine track, the relationship between the two bands had been… frosty. Beautiful Strangers had made the PR decision to attempt to end rumours of a feud, with band members tweeting about Sophie’s Valentine whenever they released new music, and Soren covering one of their songs on an Instagram live. The efforts weren’t reciprocated, but Beautiful Strangers’ management and the band themselves were at least content that Beautiful Strangers didn’t look like the asshole in this situation, which is all they really needed from it. So, to be honest, Soren would have been more surprised had she replied positively to his message but he still had no idea whether or not she was going to show up. He and Erin had a bet running; him betting that Cam would, Erin betting that she wouldn’t.

The thought of seeing everyone again was a little bit strange. They hadn’t been in a room together in years, and they had no idea how they were all going to interact. Perhaps they were being a little naive in hoping they’d all be able to have a good time and forget everything that had gone down between them; but it was worth trying. They were hoping that the copious amounts of alcohol would help and not make things any worse, but they knew that they were also possibly taking a risk and that things might go to hell. They told themselves that the important thing was, that they’d acknowledged that things might go to shit and that there was nothing they could do about it.

Despite that acceptance, the pre-party nerves were worse than ever. He’d taken as many painkillers as he could without risking getting drowsy or overly spacey to make sure he wouldn’t be sore and grouchy at the party. He told himself that was fine, that it was a one time thing for a special event, that it didn’t count, and tried to put everything out of his mind. But the reality of what exactly was involved was starting to kick in, and he was beginning to question if this was a good idea at all. He never would have admitted this to Erin (because saying it out loud might just result in her materialising in front of them like Voldemort), but at the back of his mind, he was afraid that Lauren would show up. He had no reason to believe she would; but she always had a way of knowing about things she shouldn’t. She always found out about these things, and she would seize any opportunity to start drama. In some strange ways, it was reassuring to know that she really hadn’t changed in the slightest. When she’d shown up backstage in Vancouver, of all places, it was like stepping back six years into a conversation in high school. She was sickly sweet, charming, flattering, pretending to have changed. And then when it had become apparent that she wasn’t going to get what she wanted by being nice… the claws had come out. She’d been somewhat shocked when he’d still told her that he didn’t care, he didn’t want her in his life; and that had been one of the most satisfying moments of his life. But he still didn’t want her showing up and starting shit; and he knew that if she heard it was him and Erin throwing it, she’d be even more determined to wreak havoc.

He spent most of that day in his room, working on music in an attempt to try and distract himself. It was all rough, demos of demos, just playing around on his old keyboard and the guitar to try and get melodies in his head, but it was enough to serve as a distraction. When he realised that he needed to start to get ready, he instinctively saved everything he’d recorded and backed it all up to an external hard drive. As an afterthought, he hid the hard drive in a drawer, made sure his laptop was shut down entirely, and then locked his bedroom door as he headed out to the kitchen. Paranoia? Perhaps, but he wasn’t risking having anyone getting their hands on something they shouldn’t. He didn’t trust anyone not to go snooping around their rooms; and, well, if Cam showed up, he definitely didn’t want to risk leaving any Beautiful Strangers material lying around. Just in case. He didn’t think that any of Sophie’s Valentine had been directly involved the first time, but he wasn’t going to risk it happening again.

Once out in the kitchen, he and Erin had a few drinks and scrolled through instagram together, liking everyone’s pre-party posts and gossiping about everyone. The things they’d heard people had been up to since they last saw them, how they thought people must have changed… it was exactly what they both needed to try and chill some of the pre-party apprehension. They were both nervous. How could they not be? But neither of them wanted to acknowledge that, and so, they settled for just distracting themselves for a while.

He was almost surprised at how happy everyone seemed to be to see each other. The bad blood seemed to have vanished, or at least be put to the side while everyone was still sober. Camilla even showed up (Soren had shot Erin a triumphant grin at that point) and was somewhat civil to the both of them. The party was beginning to really kick off now, with a few people dancing and chatting in the living room, a few chatting out on the balcony, and others grabbing drinks and snacks in the kitchen. Soren excused himself from the group he had been talking to and headed towards the kitchen to get another drin




evie addams.
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outfit. #b59eab.
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xxx I don't feel sorry for you
xxx Cause now the tables turning
xxx And now the bridge is burning
xxx It's coming crashing down

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The thought of seeing everyone again after this long was strange. Evie had only spoken to most of them through DMs and texts over the past few months, and she knew there were a few people likely to be there that she hadn’t spoken to at all since she’d graduated. But everyone she longed to see and longed to have fun with were going to be there, and that was what mattered to her at the end of the day. She was determined to focus on the good things of this party and not worry about the bad. This would be different, she told herself. She was different now, everyone else had changed, and things would be better. She kept repeating that reassurance to herself as she got ready for the party. It would be fine. She was going to have fun

Once upon a time, getting dressed for these types of events had been an absolute nightmare for her. Everything she’d worn had always felt wrong, especially when she was standing beside people like Lauren, Camilla, and Jade, who always seemed to be so effortlessly stylish and who could pull off anything… and who wouldn’t hesitate to make derogatory comments on what people were wearing and whether or not they thought they looked good. Lauren had usually helped with planning her outfit, and Evie had been so grateful for that. It guaranteed the group’s approval and her exemption from those harsh, mean comments that they would make about everyone else. But now, she could see that for what it had been; another opportunity to manipulate and control her, usually to make sure that she didn’t look as good as Lauren. Those comments had probably still been made behind her back instead of to her face. Now, she didn’t need to impress anyone. She could dress for herself and wore what made her happy; not what she thought would get the approval she needed.

Now, Evie’s only dilemma as to what to wear was because she had no idea how dressy this party was supposed to be, if she should show up dolled up to the nines, or if she should show up in something a bit more casual. Erin hadn’t really helped when Evie had asked her, saying she should just wear whatever she liked, they didn’t mind too much. Soren’s answer of “i mean i guess similar to the parties we had in high school?” had been slightly more helpful, but she was still stuck between two choices. She’d texted Gabriella for help, and the decision they’d come to was something along the lines of “fuck it, being overdressed is better than being underdressed.”

The dress was something she never would have dared wear around Lauren. Lauren would have made some comment about how she really just didn’t have the figure for it, that black made her look pale, that she was too short to pull off a leg split, and then just claimed she was trying to help and be supportive. But Evie had fallen in love with it the minute she saw it, and had been dying for an opportunity to wear it. Was it possibly still a little dressy for this type of party? Probably. Did she care? Absolutely not.

She had been shocked when her taxi had dropped outside Erin’s apartment. She knew that The Golden Owl was doing well, but she hadn’t expected the apartment to be quite so grand. Clearly, Erin was doing well for herself. Evie was glad for that. Erin had been somewhat troubled in high school (hadn’t they all?), but she’d still tried to be a good friend to Evie, even as Evie had stuck close to Erin’s sworn enemy. She was excited to see everyone again; but for some reason, she was especially excited to see Erin.

She’d greeted both Erin and Soren with hugs. They’d both changed so much, and yet somehow not all. Truth be told, she’d only ever really known Soren through Lauren, which meant she hadn’t really known him at all, and after the breakup, it wasn’t like she could have been friends with him. At first, Lauren had played the heartbroken girlfriend who just hadn’t been able to cope with the thoughts of her boyfriend being in pain, so it was easier to just not to have to look at that. And then, as time gone on, her story changed, and Lauren confided the truth to Evie. How she’d only ever really liked him because he was fun and for the whole tormented artist thing he had going for him, and how she’d cheated on him multiple times during the relationship, including while Soren was recovering from surgery. At the time, Evie had sided with Lauren entirely, believing that Lauren’s reasons were justified. Now she knew the truth and had gotten to know Soren a little better over the past couple of months, it just further drove home the point of how terrible a person Lauren truly was.

She found herself wandering around the party, constantly finding and losing people as she tried to say hi to everyone. But now, her gaze was set firmly on the dance floor, as she searched the room for someone to grab and drag to come dance with her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Evie Addams Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Julian Davies
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Erin Monaghan
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Bartender | Song | attire | #800000
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what do you want?
how do you feel?
what do you think about me?
my thoughts are convincing me
I am the villain
I never thought i’d be
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Erin and Soren had spent the past few weeks planning this party, and as far as she was concerned, it had to be perfect. Everything from the location, setup, the guest list, the food, everything. She wanted to be able to throw at least one where things didn't go to complete shit. Which is where the idea of it being held at their place came in. It was plenty big enough for a party. The living room alone could hold more than fifty people comfortably, the kitchen could also hold at least thirty, and then there was the balcony if people wanted to hang out there and not be stuffed in the apartment. It was perfect.

Deciding who was invited though, that was probably the hardest part if she was going to be honest with herself. Sure, she knew the people who were on the top of her list on who she wanted to invite. Like Livvy, Evie, and even Julian was one she wanted to at least send an invite out to. She knew Liv was always traveling and was living her own life wherever she was in that moment. But Erin had sent the text anyway, and was glad to see that Liv would be coming too. She did miss her after all. Evie, she was one that, not that she had to invite. But more so because she wanted to. Evie was always somewhat of an outcast in their friend group, never exactly close but not a stranger either. Plus, Erin had always been nice to her back then, even when she was friends with She Who Would Not Be Named. Erin couldn't judge who someone was friends with, seeing as she was no saint either back then. Plus, it'd be good for Evie, Erin thought. Help get out of the house, and be able to know she was still a friend. Not that the two haven't seen each other since high school. They would catch up and go for coffee or run into each other occasionally while out. And it was nice. Knowing that neither one held any malice or anger. Besides, it was after Evie was admitted into the hospital, that Erin lost it at Lauren. Showing up to the woman's apartment and berated her even.

So, the fact she had considered Evie basically right away, wasn't surprising. It'd not only give the two of them time to catch up, but also maybe give them the chance to reconnect and try over again. A part of Erin did want to properly be her friend, and maybe this was it. And then there was Julian. Dear God. He was one of the people on her list for a multitude of reasons. The top one being that she felt bad how she entirely ruined his life. Sure, it wasn't meant to happen. Julian having been there was by pure chance. She could have vouched for his innocent, but she didn't. And that always ate her. She knew he wasn't a part of it, and she let it still happen. The guilt never once left, and it was really the main reason she even gave him the job. Whether he knew that or not, Erin felt like she at the very least owed him that much for fucking his whole life up. Besides, in the past month, Julian did prove himself as a hard worker, and Erin was admittedly proud of how far he came. She was glad to see him doing better. She just hoped he could keep it.

As for the others, she and Soren had debated on who else was to be invited. If Erin didn't have an opinion, Soren was allowed to send the invite. And of course, there was a handful that Erin not only doubted would show, like Cam, but also wanted to avoid at all costs like Lauren. That was a no brainer to avoid inviting. They'd both have to be absolute idiots to even entertain that idea for a second. Lauren just always had a way of ruining things, with a mere snap of her finger, and Erin would be fucking damned if she left Queen Bitch Tits herself come along.

So, when people began to arrive, Erin did what she did best, which was knowing how to throw a party. As well as acting like she was the best host that Brooklyn had to offer, which, may or may not have been true. As part of being the host, Erin did welcome each one in with a smile and hug, some more forced than others. Some she just gave a small nod, smile and wave to. It's not that she was being a stuck up and arrogant asshole, just that she knew she was never so close with others. And there was no reason to fake it. Least not yet anyway.

Erin was in the kitchen helping with some drinks when she saw Soren making his way in. She gave him a small smile and wink as she looked up for a moment. Then back at the two people she was speaking with, "If you two will excuse me, I got some people to check up on." she smiled at the two guests, handing them their drinks and swiftly walked away from them. "They're all your's, bud." Erin said softly in Soren's ear as she quickly shuffled passed him and into the living room. Erin took a moment to compose herself, fixing her jacket for a moment as she slowly scanned over the room, trying to see if she could see any faces she felt like actually talking to, and engaging with. Erin did see Dylan, simply giving them a small nod and wave in their direction, next she saw Declan, also giving them a small wave. She got along fine enough with the both of them, but she wasn't exactly in the mood to talk with them just yet.

It was then that Erin managed to scout her out. Off to the wayside, drink in hand as she seemed to nervously look around. Erin smirked a bit, of course Evie would be an awkward wallflower. Some things never changed. Erin combed her fingers through her dark locks and made her way over to Evie. "Not much of a party-girl, are ya?" Erin smirked at Evie as she approached the other woman. Putting an arm around her for a moment as Erin gave her a side hug. "Ya know, as I've gotten older, I've realized I'm not as much of one myself lately." she attempted a joke, clearing her throat not too long after. Erin looked around the room a bit, before looking at Evie, "Yeah alright, you're coming with me. C'mon, bound to happen sooner or later-" she suddenly spoke up, taking the drink out of Evie's hand, placing it on the table that was beside her, and gently took Evie's hand with one of her own. "You do sorta owe the host a dance, at least one, right?" Erin asked with a small, playful smile as she finally looked at Evie as the two got settled on the dance floor.





Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Damien Wolfe Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Jade Davies Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Evie Addams Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Dean Sun Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Declan Sun Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo Character Portrait: Jeremy Williams
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Olivia Eriksen
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Art Conservator/Starving Artist | outfit. | Song |#8B8000.
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xxx I wanna paint your face
xxx Like you're my Mona Lisa
xxx I wanna be a champion
xxx I wanna be a loser

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Livvy was shooting a wedding in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts when she received a text from one of her favorite people. Erin. Apparently, her gorgeous bar-owner friend and her rock star bestie decided it was time to get the gang back together. And, since Livvy had a job waiting for her at the Institute in New York anyway, she was more than happy to attend. And, of course, so did Simon.

She hadn't seen much of her best friend these days outside of the various video chats they tended to use. It'll be nice to get back to their roots, so to speak. In fact, she hadn't seen many of her friends since she left New York in her bus outside of video chat and social media. She's stopped in every now and then. Grab a cup of coffee and peruse the photography and art books in the reference section of the Cozy Book Nook, knockback shots at The Golden Owl, bump fuzzies with ye old fuck buddies in various homes. But it had been at least a year and she couldn't stop thinking about what faces she might see again.

It was Erin's party so of course, she would be seeing her. And obviously Simon. A few messages revealed Gabriella was going to be there too, much to Livvy's delight. She wasn't sure who else was going to be there, but she knew who wasn't going to be there. Lauren. Livvy hoped her henchmen wouldn't be there either. Though, from what she heard, they had renounced the fire-breathing bitch queen and found their own lives without her.

Good for them.

Then again. Maybe Lauren should come. It would give her a chance to finally shoot her shot and check her off her fuck list she had made in high school on a dare.

Speaking of fuck lists... her fingers began to tingle, her pulse keeping time against her ribcage. Would Dean be there? They hadn't spoken much since high school. Their breakup was... tough. Livvy was just as addicted to him as she was the high and staying away after they split was easier said than done. She saw that he was starting to clean himself up a bit, much like herself. Maybe... it would be time to start again?

She found a place to park her bus--the secure parking garage of the Institute--and tore through her closet. After a few failed attempts and a near panic attack, she had decided on a black strapless crop top and a flowing high-low black skirt with a pair of nude pumps. She knew she'd be kicking them off as soon as she got in the door but it was part of the look and wearing flats with this length of skirt in New York was just asking for trouble.

While she waited for the taxi to pull up, she stood outside the Institute and scrolled through social media. She paused a photo of Adonis slid into view. She rubbed at the strange weight in her chest at the sight of him. She had been meaning to text him. Ask him how Flur was. To just... talk like they once had, but, obviously, she hadn't. She double tapped his photo, wondering if he would be there tonight. Which made her wonder about someone else. Her mentor, Julian. She figured he'd be in attendance as last she heard he was working for Erin. She hadn't seen him since before he was locked up. They sent a few letters, but it hurt too much. It was like losing a brother. Or she guessed that's how it would feel. She was--thankfully--an only child. She couldn't imaging sharing her past with other children. Her's was rough enough.

There was a splash as the taxi rounded the corner. She waved it over and waited for it to come to a complete stop before climbing in and giving the driver the address to Erin's apartment.

--

No matter how many times she saw it, she was impressed by the size of Erin's apartment. It was much bigger than her bus, that was for sure. She watched the taxi drive away before she stared up at the door, a mix of anticipation and dread churning through her. Maybe she should go home. She hadn't thought this through. What if the goon squad was in attendance? What if she lost the control she had been working so hard to maintain? And maybe so what if she did? One night wouldn't hurt anyone. She squared her shoulders, lifted her chin, and strolled inside.

The first person she nearly tackled to the ground was, in fact, Julian. When she saw him, she couldn't help it. It had been so long since she saw the man that inspired a great deal of her art. Who taught her nearly everything she knew about color theory and lighting. Who was just as much a part of her little family she made as Simon. After him, she wandered through the crowd, spying a few faces that were familiar, but she couldn't guess their names.

She spotted Erin and Evie dancing together and rubbed at the weird feeling in her chest.

Maybe she should see a cardiologist.

At a momentary loss at what to do, she did what she usually did.

She pulled out her small pouch of pencils from her satchel she brought with her everywhere and her travel-size sketchbook. She poured herself a drink, stood at the island in the kitchen, and sketched.







Simon Rizzo
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Barista | outfit | Song |#489A4A.
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xxx I'm always screaming my lungs out
xxx till my head starts spinning
xxx Playing my songs is the way I cope with life
xxx Won't keep my voice down
xxx Know the words I speak are the thoughts I think out loud

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Simon checked his watch every few minutes as he pretended to flip through a magazine while he stood behind the counter of The Cozy Book Nook. When Livvy texted about Erin's party he was, hesitant to say the least. While there were certain people in their circle that he enjoyed spending time with like Erin and Julian, there were others he wasn't super fond of. Like Dean. And Adonis. and Jade. And, he shuddered to think about her, Lauren. Or the "fire-breathing bitch queen" as Livvy calls her.

But, hopefully, given the history, she wouldn't be there tonight.

He was waiting for Jennifer and Shaundra to get there to switch shifts so he could make it back to his apartment in time to change and meet Robyn at her place so they could go to Erin's together. Being Livvy's best friend meant knowing where Erin's apartment was. Plus... It was Robyn. He was honestly surprised she said yes. I mean... it's Robyn.

Anyway, he was reading the same article for the fifth time when he was literally saved by the bell on the door as the night crew came to take over. He nearly darted out the door with a salute and well wishes for a good night before he practically jogged to his home. He was definitely going to need a shower.

--

Pomade in his hair, a light cologne misting around him, and a clean shaved face. He was dressed in his bootcut jeans, a pair of polished black boots, a skeleton t-shirt, and his favorite jean jacket. On his way out the door, he made sure he had his wallet and his keys and grabbed his guitar.

The taxi was already waiting by the time the soles of his boots hit the concrete of the sidewalk. He dove inside and provided the address for Robyn's home which she had written on a piece of a napkin the last time she was in the Nook. Being a man of music, he had memorized it. He had done the same for Erin's apartment, Livvy's license plate (just in case something happened to her bus), and his Mom's, Livvy's, and Julian's cell numbers.

He stood outside the door as he waited for her to join him. And when she did, all words let his mind. All he could hear was music as she smiled shyly at him. "Wow, Robyn," He breathed, "You look amazing." He held the door open for her before climbing inside behind her.

Once they had arrived at Erin's, he exited with his guitar and gently placed it on the ground before offering a hand to her to assist in her own exit. He could've sworn he felt a zinging in his hands where she held onto his. Once she was safely on the sidewalk, he laughed self-consciously and rubbed at the back of his neck, letting go of her hand. "Sorry." He gestured for her to go up the stairs first saying, "After you."

He could feel the music in his chest as soon as the door opened and only intensified as he got closer to the sound system in the living room. Erin and Evie were dancing to some EDM song pumping through the speakers. Others were just joining conversations. He spotted Livvy sketching at the island but decided against going right up to her for now. They were close as siblings, but one conversation they had was giving each other space. They tended to crowd each other in... well... crowded situations and often times it overwhelmed them.

She gave him a smile and raised her glass to him and that was a greeting enough for him. They would talk later. He noticed her fingers were already smudged with graphite. You can take the artist out of her studio, but you can't take the art out of the artist.

Instead, he turned to Robyn, held his hand out to her, palm up, and asked, "May I have this dance, M'Lady?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Jade Davies Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Evie Addams Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Dean Sun Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Declan Sun Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo
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#, as written by TushoKa
Julian Davies.
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outfit. #8744ab.song.
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xxx And I'm a million different people
xxx From one day to the next
xxx I can't change my mold
xxx No, no, no, no, no

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Julian had been nervous all day. He was looking forward to the party, but at the same time it freaked him out. The last time he saw most of these people had been way before he ever went to prison. And although they might not say it to his face, he knew he was now known as ‘that guy that went to prison’. Whatever reason there had been for him going, he still had a hard time dealing with the stereotype that came with it.

Thankfully there had been his host for this evening. He wished there were more people like Erin, putting some faith in people that did their time. He had been working his ass off for months now in order to prove her right. And although he had never seen himself as a barman, it suited him well enough. He always made sure to split his tip with his colleagues and kept an eye on the regulars. Most of the people he had seen after his sentence was because of the Golden Owl. It was the new leaf he had been waiting to turn over for quite some time. And he had no interest in going back into any unsavoury business.

”So what time will you be ready?” he shouted at the bathroom door. His sister didn’t respond. Julian had been quick and efficient. In all honesty, he did not have a huge wardrobe to choose from. So he had settled on a simple polo and just prayed it would be anywhere near what the others would be wearing.

Julian had aimlessly walked through the living room, glancing at his phone, browsing through pictures he saw of people gearing up for the party. He always hated being late, and it wasn’t the first time his sister had been delaying him.

”Come on, Jay-jay. We’re gonna be late. I don’t want to get there when the party is basically over…” He was talking while leaning and knocking on the door. He almost dropped in when the door was suddenly opened.

”Julian, if you can’t wait, just go already.” The look on her face was one of anger. He recognised it easily as she looked at him with the same frown more than once a day. ”It’s only a short cab ride, so I can make my own way, and I don’t need you to take care of me. As you can see, I’m busy.”

He could see how she’d been busy with her hair. Just like it did with their mom, hair always took forever. Jade had started as soon as she got home and had kicked him off the couch in the process. ”Well…, you might be faster if you wouldn’t be listening to music while getting ready…” he said, grasping at straws.

”This music is a medical report podcast about anesthesiology in paediatrics and is a whole lot more interesting than your whining. So go the party, and I’ll meet you there.” With that she slammed the door in his face, barely leaving him the second it took to make sure it didn’t actually hit his face.




Julian paid with the change in his pocket. He already felt guilty on how he had been to his little sister. She’s trying so hard to better her life, and others as well by studying medicine, it was not right for him to give her a hard time. As he got out of the cab, he stared at the huge apartment. Jade’s apartment was surely good enough, and he could only thank her for letting him sleep on the couch on such a regular basis. But this apartment was something else all together.

As he got in he spotted the familiar faces quickly. He saw Erin first, in the middle of the dance floor with Evie. He made his way over to them first.
”Hey boss, thanks again for the invite. Nice to have one of our old school parties.” He smiled at her genuinely.
”Hey Evie, nice to see you again. She’s not here yet, but my sister should be here soon, I’m sure she’ll be happy to see you again.”
With that he let them be and walked on. He almost had the feeling like he walked in on something he shouldn’t have.

Before he made his way over to the next group, he was attacked. Livvy gave him a big hug.
”Hey Liv, it’s good to see you. I’ve missed you.” Missing her was an understatement. It was always nice to find someone who can speak your language, and Livvy was one of the few in the group who did. He didn’t know what else to say. Of all people he had expected Livvy to visit him, but she had been very distant. Of course her work didn’t give her the chance, but he couldn’t fully rationalise she had not even sought contact through phone or letter.
They let go of each other, as they were each still making their way through the room.

His next stop was the kitchen, where he picked up three beers, before he made his way over to the billiards. He had already spotted Dylan and Adonis. ”Good evening, people of the good life. Dylan, how are you?” As he asked Dylan, he gave a quick hug to Adonis.
”You guys looked like you could use some refreshments.” He handed each of them a fresh beer, before he clinked his bottle against theirs. ”Well, this is all a bit overwhelming. Cheers!”

As he looked up, he saw Simon and Robyn on the dance floor. Not sure if Simon could see it, he just held up his beer as a greeting. From his face he could see his friend was enjoying himself.






Jade Davies.
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outfit. #cb0e36.song.
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xxx No one on the corner has swagger like us
xxx Hit me on my burner prepaid wireless
xxx We pack and deliver like UPS trucks
xxx Already going hell, just pumping that gas

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Jade was tired the moment her shift was over. But she had been looking forward to this evening ever since Julian told her about it. So she had already picked out her outfit, but after a week of eleven hour shifts, she needed to do her hair first. With part of her hair tightened to the side, she was fighting with the straightener to iron out the other. She was listening to a podcast her senior physician had recommended. They hadn’t said it in those specific words, but Jade didn’t need a lot to get the hint.

That unlike her brother who annoyed the living daylights out of her. She had said it was okay for him to sleep on the couch, but he took that suggestion with more liberty than she liked. With the comb between her teeth and the straightener on the side of the sink, she changed sides to tackle the other part of her hair. The process had been going on for hours, but usually she would last a while before she had to do this again. She would rather kill herself than to appear at this party looking disheveled.

After talking of her brother she heard the door slam, indicating he’d finally left. She wouldn’t give him much credit, but at least she knew about the party through him. Jade doubted she would have received her own invitation. She had posted some pics throughout the week, already referencing the party. She knew Lauren would at least see those. Jade wanted to see her, wanted to confront her with her accomplishments. She wanted to show Lauren, she had outgrown her. This party was the perfect opportunity for that.

Finally ready with her hair she could see the absolute mess she had made. The whole floor was wet, as if there had been a flood. With her feet she wiped a towel over the floor to fix the worst of it. Then she put on her make up and got dressed. She wondered if Gabriella would be there too. She hoped so, her ex might be able to dodge her calls, but that would be a lot harder to do in person. She missed her, there was no doubt about that. But things weren’t lost, she just needed to get in contact with her again.

Lastly Jade put on the skirt and top she had already prepared. The top matched her bright red lipstick and looking into the mirror she was happy. This will be a night to remember. She grabbed her bag and 3 small bottles from her dresser. They were all filled with a selection of pills, pretty much a party mix.
She left the apartment for the cab stand. With a wink and a smile she said hi to the driver, who had been expecting her. Getting into the back, she leaned forward and handed the driver one of the bottles. ”All there. Now, do me a favour and drop me off at this address.”
She showed the address on her phone to the driver who just thanked her and started driving.




Jade left the cab and got to the apartment she had been looking for. Okay…just gonna assume most of this is Soren’s money…
As she climbed the stairs, she could feel a tingling in her stomach. She had been looking forward to this.

Inside it was already rather busy. But fashionably late was kind of her style in any case. She walked across the dance floor towards the kitchen. She saw her brother and some others near the billiards. She waved quickly and gave a small, almost non-perceivable wink to Adonis. Something about the look on his face told her that he’d seen her post. She had been out to lunch with Adonis’ mother 2 weeks ago, and she had learned the baby that was there was in fact Adonis’.
With her aim towards paediatrics she certainly had a professional interest, but even she had to admit that she posted the selfie of Adonis’ child with herself purely to rile him up.

The kitchen had been her best guess, and when she got in, she wasn’t disappointed. She gulped when she saw Gabriella, after a whole year. The last time she had seen her had been at the hospital. Jade had come by later, some time after the overdose. Ella had been asleep when she entered. Jade had looked at the chart and had figured out quickly that Ella was going to be fine. The relief she had felt then was overwhelming, and she had left before Gabriella would have had the chance of waking up.
She looked relaxed, full on in party mode.

Doing her best not to look at Gabriella or ‘homewrecker Declan’ for that matter, she walked over to Dean. She very nearly pushed Robyn out of the way in order to get to Dean. ”Hey babez, sorry for being late.” loud enough for all of them to hear.
She leaned forward to plant her lips on his, even just for a bit. Then she leaned back and looked at Robyn. ”Oh, hi sweetie. How are you holding up? I heard about Nate. I was so sorry to hear about his accident.” she put her hand on Robyn’s upper arm in an effort to show some empathy. With her smile and friendly eyes some people might even be convinced of her concern.
”If we can do anything to help, you just need to shout, all right?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Damien Wolfe Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Jade Davies Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Evie Addams Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Dean Sun Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Declan Sun Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo
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evie addams.
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outfit. #b59eab.
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xxx I don't feel sorry for you
xxx Cause now the tables turning
xxx And now the bridge is burning
xxx It's coming crashing down

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In some ways, Evie didn’t realise that she was searching for someone in particular until that someone materialised beside her, with a wry comment and that charming smirk. Evie grinned and returned Erin’s side hug. She laughed and shrugged a little at the comment. “Never really know what to do with myself,” she admitted with an honest laugh. For years, she’d just followed Lauren around and followed her example. Figuring out what to do with her own agency, as her own person, took a little bit of time. Erin’s comment about not being a party animal herself made her chuckle a little. Evie wasn’t quite sure that she believed Erin on that, but she appreciated the comfort nonetheless.

Evie wasn’t quite sure how to react when Erin declared that she had to go with her, gently taking Evie’s drink from her and setting it down. She had to fight back a blush as Erin took her hand, but felt that her huge, cheesy smile had to give her away, as she nodded at Erin’s request for a dance. “Sure,” she managed to get out, before tugging Erin towards the dance floor.

Evie had never really gotten to spend much time with Erin before. Erin and Lauren had hated each other, and Evie had always just stuck with Lauren, no matter the horrible things that she was saying. But now, Evie wanted to make up for that, and get to know the real Erin, not the version that Lauren painted of her. And if that started with dancing and having fun together, well, who was she to turn it down?

For once, Evie wasn’t worried about how she looked or what people thought of her. As a teenager, her mind had always been on whether or not she looked “hot”, how she compared to Lauren and Jade and Camilla, what they thought of her, what everyone else thought of her. But no more. Now, she was focused on the moment and on having fun. Because that’s what she was doing; having fun. She was laughing and dancing with Erin, not worrying about whether people were staring or what they could possibly be thinking. She spotted Gabriella and gave an excited, albeit brief wave, that she wasn’t sure whether or not the other girl saw.

She grinned as Julian approached them, almost a little awkwardly, to say hello to Erin. The once or twice that Evie had swung by the Golden Owl, she’d seen Julian behind the bar, and while they hadn’t necessarily talked much, it was good to see him doing well. Her smile faltered a little bit at the mention of Jade, but she nodded. “Good to see you, mate.”

They got back to dancing and enjoying themselves for another little while. And then, as Evie turned, she caught a glimpse of a familiar figure, one that sent chills down her spine, and she froze.




lauren clark.
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outfit. #540000.
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xxx Honey, I rose up from the dead,
xxx I do it all the time
xxx I've got a list of names
xxx and yours is in red, underlined

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Getting back in contact with Camilla might just have been the best decision Lauren had made. If she hadn’t, she probably wouldn’t have heard about this little party. Jade had been making vague posts about it all week on instagram as well, probably with the intention of catching Lauren’s interest. It was a cute attempt, really, but Camilla had already spoiled that surprise for Jade. Lauren had liked the posts, of course, but hadn’t particularly engaged with them beyond that. She knew that Jade was likely to try and impress her, or show her that she had somehow surpassed Lauren in terms of being the Queen Bee, a thought that made Lauren genuinely laugh.

She already knew all of her old favourite toys would be there. Lauren smiled at the thought as she leaned in to add the finishing touches to her eyeliner. It was Erin’s apartment, which meant that Soren was also guaranteed to be there. He thought he’d called her bluff when she’d threatened to tell the world about all of his little secrets. And truth be told, she’d been tempted to post the pictures she had, just to spite him. But when she’d heard about the party, she figured that she’d have the opportunity to get even more dirt on him. Being with a rockstar was exactly the angle her reputation needed right now, even one that was known to be the opposite of the stereotype. The aesthetics were all that mattered. She had her ways of getting everything else she wanted. She always had; her relationship with him had always been about the aesthetics and the fun of it all.

And then, of course, there was Erin herself. Oh, the things that Lauren had on Erin. Erin had gotten bold around the time that Evie had gotten herself sent to hospital and had blamed it all on Lauren. But a twisted smile and a reminder of the information that Lauren had, and Erin had dropped it. That sort of power over one of her most notorious critics was the most intoxicating kind.

She’d also heard through a reliable source that Dean was going to be there, which meant that his shadow of a brother was also likely to be there. At least she knew that there was likely to be a bit of fun if Dean was there. Declan was a little bit of a complication, having taken the sides of those such as Evie and Gabriella over the years, but as far as she was concerned, he wasn’t likely to be a problem or a barrier to her being able to have a little bit of fun.

Showing up to a party on time was overrated, and not her style. She wanted to make sure that all eyes would be on her when she arrived. And so, she waited, booking her taxi for an hour after the time that Camilla had told her. Camilla had been oh so generous in telling Lauren all of the details, acting as the perfect little minion. She’d fallen right back into Lauren’s clutches and all it had taken was a few friendly texts, comments hyping her up on instagram, and some juicy gossip, and it was like nothing had ever happened between them. Of course, it had, and Lauren wasn’t going to forget their little conversation in the hospital any time soon. But being friends with Camilla was in Lauren’s interests at the minute, and so, she’d make sure to stay on her good side for as long as was required.

She stepped out of the taxi and scanned the building in front of her. She shook her head, smiling to herself as she imagined how the hell Erin explained how she could afford this apartment to people. Everyone knew that the Golden Owl couldn’t be making that much money to be able to afford a nice place like this. There were one or two stragglers outside, who saw her and froze. She didn’t recognise them; which meant they either feared her by reputation, or her appearance was enough to strike fear into them. Lauren’s wicked smile grew a little. Either of those things were good. She took her time making her way into the apartment. If anyone recognised her, she wanted them to be sure that it was her. She wanted everyone to know that she was there, and that she meant business.

The dance floor was right in front of her as she finally stepped into the apartment itself. She could already see a few familiar faces. Those familiar faces began to do double takes as they noticed her. Evie and Erin were out dancing on the floor together, laughing and apparently oblivious to the looks and the comments that were being made about them. It was cute, really, but Lauren knew that with a few well placed revelations, she could change the way they looked at each other forever.

But it was probably a bit early in the party to begin plotting anyone’s downfall just yet.

As Evie twirled, she spotted Lauren and froze, the smile falling from her face in an instant and her expression turning to one of horror. That was Lauren’s cue, it seemed. She spotted Camilla and strode towards her. As she walked, all conversation seemed to die, save for whispers that were barely heard over the music; some emo shit that Soren had presumably chosen.

“Hello, darling,” Lauren called, leaning in to kiss Camilla on the cheek. “Thank you so much for inviting me to this… wonderful little party,” she said. “I’m so psyched to be able to see all my old… friends again,” she said, turning and scanning the room. Her smile widened as she realised that practically all of their old group was there. All of her favourite toys. All of the people whose secrets she still knew, who she still held in the palm of her hand.

All of the people she could, and would ruin.




soren bowers.
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outfit. #4d5676.
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xxx I've been staying up all night
xxx Shaking needles out my spine
xxx But the doctor says I'm fine
xxx Feels good to be alive, but I hate my life

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Soren grinned at Erin as she passed. As he got into the kitchen, he heard a familiar voice calling out to him, offering him a beer. He grinned and held out his hand. “You’re a mind reader, Gabriella,” he called, accepting the drink. But before he could properly greet Gabriella, she turned to Declan (who Soren only realised was there as she did so), said something he couldn’t quite hear and left. Soren recovered, taking a mouthful of his beer, and took a moment to compose his thoughts.

And then Declan also left, apparently having not noticed Soren’s arrival either. Soren just took another drink, sighing a little. He felt vaguely deflated by the fact that the only person that seemed to have really paid any heed to him was Camilla and her comment about his shirt. But he didn’t have time to dwell on it. Because as he looked back out towards the dance floor, he saw something that sent shivers down his spine.

Lauren was there. She kissed Cam on the cheek, before turning to scan the room. Lauren’s eyes landed on Soren, and her smile became even more wicked. He made his way towards her, unsmiling as he approached.

“Soren, darling, how wonderful to see you as well. You look fantastic, and what a wonderful party,” she said. He didn’t smile, and that just seemed to make hers widen.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” He asked.
“My darling friend Camilla here invited me,” she said. Soren instinctively shot a glare at Cam, before turning his attention back to Lauren. She bet him to the punch however.

“Come on then, Sor, darling, be the gracious host we all know you are,” she said, taking a step towards him and cupping his face. He froze for a second, conscious of everyone watching them. He pushed her hand away, as calmly but as insistently as he could.
“Leave,” he said, loudly enough for everyone to hear. Her eyes shone with a dangerous energy, a warning, her whole demeanour like a trickster goddess, waiting for someone to fall in her trap. And it seemed like somebody just had.
“Are you going to make me?” She asked. There was nothing playful in her tone, even if it was light. He braced himself, knowing that the sting was coming. “Do you really think you’d be able to do that? What with your bad hip and all of your… other problems?” She asked, her tone cold and harsh, and somehow still light. She made sure that everyone would hear, and that they’d be hanging on to her every word. She really hadn’t changed. And then she smiled, her demeanour changing back to friendly and open. “I really can’t wait to catch up with all of you again,” she said, turning to address the party, and choosing another target to go talk to. Soren went to follow her or to say something, but somebody grabbed his arm to hold him back.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Damien Wolfe Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Jade Davies Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Evie Addams Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Dean Sun Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Declan Sun Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo Character Portrait: Jeremy Williams
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Olivia Eriksen
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Art Conservator/Starving Artist | outfit. | Song |#8B8000.
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xxx I wanna paint your face
xxx Like you're my Mona Lisa
xxx I wanna be a champion
xxx I wanna be a loser

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Livvy should've picked a better place to sketch she decided. Part of her was scolding herself for not interacting more, but her travel had made it hard to keep in touch with a lot of people. Many reconnected with old friends and some... made new friends. She always had Simon, of course, but they couldn't cling to one another like Rose and Jack in the Titanic. The scene with the door still upset her. There was plenty of room on that damn door for Jack! She shook her head sharply, getting lost in her thoughts. She took another sip as someone grabbed her in a hug from behind and she squeaked--actually squeaked--as Gabriella embraced her. "Hello to you too," she said with a laugh. Gabriella, one of those new friends/old friends who found new friends with old friends (she should make a mind map to follow all the friendships around here), turned her attention to Soren. Livvy gave him a small nod and went back to sketching. She saw Soren every now and then, but he was more Simon's kind of guy. They shared a love of music.

Only Julian shared Livvy's love of art.

She had half a thought to go find him when more faces filled the kitchen and she started to feel a bit crowded. With a grunt, she tossed her things in her little bag and moved around the island to try to find a different space to exist in. She heard a familiar voice--Robyn's--greet someone that made Livvy stop in her tracks. Dean.

There he was. Just as attractive as he was in high school. More so with that swagger and his hair. She felt her palms get sweaty and realized she was staring. Thankfully he didn't seem to notice. In fact, he didn't seem t see her at all. She moved to join in the conversation with Simon's new love interest and her old flame with she walked in. Livvy was never a fan of Jade. She never liked the way she treated her brother. She wouldn't be surprised if she had anything to do with Julian getting locked up. It wasn't long before Dean made his relationship clear.

And just like that, Livvy found herself leaving the room altogether... and snagging a bottle of strawberry liqueur and made her way into another room. She low-key hoped Simon didn't see. She knew she'd get an ear full of it later.

While she found Julian, much to her dismay, she had also run into someone else she wasn't entirely sure how to respond to. Adonis. Guilt swept through her again as she hadn't reached out lately. She had been busy with paintings and weddings. And he had been busy with Fleur and... if she was reading the room right, Dylan maybe? Livvy didn't know much about Dylan. She was a gorgeous woman with the kind of curves Livvy would kill for. She subconsciously ran a hand over her chest, bound in her black tube top. She took a swig from the bottle and walked over.

"Hey, guys! What's uh... what's up?" She lifted a hand to run her fingers through her hair like she usually did when she was nervous, but she spent a good amount of product trying to keep the volume in her hair so she let it drop. "Are we playing pool? Could do guys vs. ladies?"

Livvy, she thought, Shut the hell up.







Simon Rizzo
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Barista | outfit | Song |#489A4A.
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xxx I'm always screaming my lungs out
xxx till my head starts spinning
xxx Playing my songs is the way I cope with life
xxx Won't keep my voice down
xxx Know the words I speak are the thoughts I think out loud

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As Simon danced with Robyn, he noticed movement behind her and glanced over to find Julian. He gave a small wave with the promise to catch up with him later. They haven't talked as much as they used with their work schedules but they found time where they could. Robyn was gorgeous tonight, with her curls and her adorable smile. He wanted to tell her what, exactly, he felt for her, but he still wasn't sure if she was ready after Nate. They hadn't ever talked about it.

So instead, he just enjoyed the time he had with her.

Once they finished dancing, she went to get a drink, and he moved off to the side to give others room to dance. He noticed Livvy slink off, but missed the bottle she had snatched. He did however notice Declan in the kitchen with Gabriella. It had been a while since they connected and while things ended fine between them, he did miss the friendship that had at one time. He made a move to join them...And that's when Cam walked up. He barely recognized her with the way her hair was styled, her lack of bright red lipstick. It was like, she dropped the Camilla she was on stage and became a different Camilla. Interesting.

Sputtering like a high school boy, he replied, "H-Hey, Cam-Camilla-Cam." He cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck. "It has, in fact, been a while. You look great. Did you do something with your hair?" She asked him about his "comic shop" and he instantly knew she hadn't changed a ton since high school. It helped him mellow a bit. "Just a book store. And a coffee shop. And it's not mine I just work there. Well, I manage it." He gave an uncomfortable chuckle.

Then, he could almost hear a record scratch. Could almost feel the ice that filled the room (or was it heat?) as the fire-breathing bitch queen appeared. All sly smiles and cocky attitude. She kissed Cam on the cheek, thanking her for inviting her. His eyes snapped to his ex, filled with what he could only describe as betrayal. Not that he could say he was entirely surprised. He was just thankful Livvy wasn't in the room. She wasn't sure if she'd try to claw the woman's eyes out or jump her to complete her stupid list.

Lauren's eyes roved the room and landed on poor Soren. The energy in the room turned electric, crackling with aggression as he confronted her. She revealed something about a bad hip of his, but Simon dismissed it. The woman liked to play games. And even if she wasn't playing, it was none of Simon's business. She breezed by him, a wraith with no real substance, and he moved to go after her, but Simon reached out to grab his arm. "Let her go, man. It's not worth it." He watched her go and continued, "She likes a chase."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies
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location: the den
time: 10 mins prior to Ultimate Bitch’s arrival
vibes: complicated


A prouder man might have claimed to have let the pretty little thing win but the truth was that Dylan dragged Adonis across the green felt table. To be fair, the dress she was wearing was very distracting. He counted out some bills from his previous earnings, giving Dylan a familiar look. Usually he was handing them money under much more appealing circumstances. He stepped in towards Dylan once again, careful to leave just enough space to allow room to cast doubt between them at a glance.

“I guess technically we didn’t decide on how much to bet - but after that ass whooping I think just outright half my winnings is appropriate.” Adonis glanced downward as he slid the money into Dylan’s hand. “Though, if I’m being honest - wouldn't mind a consolation prize.”

He saw Julian heading their direction, giving him a nod as he took a step back from Dylan. Adonis and Dylan both had a way about them that made it seem like they were flirting with everyone they spoke to, so no one ever really suspected much between them - at least not anymore than they did with them and anyone else. Truthfully, the secret added to the fun.

“Hey man, what’s up.” Adonis said to Julian as he joined them, the two giving one another a hug before Julian handed him a beer. Clinking their bottles against one another and mumbling a vague thanks, Adonis took a swig of his beer giving Dylan a knowing look. Looks like the rest of their fun would have to wait.

“To be honest I’m surprised so many people are showing up. Someone said even Camilla’s coming.” Adonis shrugged in response to Julian, looking in the direction of the living room where Simon and Robyn were dancing. He wasn’t sure when they arrived but if Simon was here, that meant Livvy had to be around here too.

As if summoned by his thoughts, Livvy’s small voice breaking through the cacophony around them. She ran her hands through her hair nervously when she spoke. Adonis could tell that Livvy was ill at ease. No specific reason, just a gut feeling. Even her voice was off, strained like she was trying to force herself to sound okay. He gave her a look as if to ask her if she was alright, noticing the bottle in her hand and quirking an eyebrow.

"Are we playing pool? Could do guys vs. ladies?" She challenged them.

“Please, Dylan already whooped my ass once. Even my pride has a limit.” Adonis joked, walking around to wrap an arm across Livvy’s shoulders. “Come on though, help me set it up. I bet Julian has a game in him.”

Guiding Livvy just a few steps away from Julian and Dylan, he spoke in a low voice. “Hey - you okay?”

Livvy considered, for only a moment, denying her discomfort. However, if Adonis knew her well enough to know that something was off about her, he’s likely going to know if she wasn’t being entirely truthful. Again, she lifted her hand to run her fingers through her hair, but instead tucked a stray lock of her bangs behind her ear. “That obvious, huh?”

She took a sip from the bottle before putting it down on the table and grabbed the rack to start setting up the next game. She had to reach to retrieve one of the billiard balls from the center of the table. It was a little bit of a struggle. Curse my short torso, she thought just as her fingers skimmed the ball and it went rolling further down the table. Adonis smirked as he watched her squirm trying to reach, scooping it up as it rolled away.

She sighed. Turning to him again she said, “I guess I’m just… out of my element these days. Back in high school I would’ve gotten--do the kids still say ‘turnt’?--as soon as I walked through the door. Today I grabbed a drink and started sketching.” She grabbed the bottle and shook its contents lightly. “I came to party though, and that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Placing his hand over the bottle with one hand and offering the pool ball with the other, Adonis stepped in towards Livvy. He looked down with a half-smirk. The way she fumbled through her words, her movements they were all so subtle yet it was so easy for him to read. He liked that about her.

“Look,” Adonis took the bottle from her, taking a long swig. “Lord knows I’m not going to be the one to preach moderation. Personally, I love this energy - you know I do. I just . . . don’t want you to fall into my kind of bullshit. You’re better than that.”

At his close proximity, she felt heat slowly climbing up her face. She knew he could probably see it. She was pale as a cloud and the lighting in here was bright enough. She sputtered and reached for the bottle, practically snatching it from him. “You’re right,” She agreed, “You’re not one to preach moderation.” She took another sip, though a much smaller one while he was watching her. “I’m a grown ass adult and I can make my own dumb decisons, thank you very much.”

Adonis rolled his eyes, running a hand through his hair as he exhaled roughly. She had a point but he still couldn’t help but to feel responsible now. She paused. After placing the bottle on the table again, she reached for the ball he was holding and dropped it into the rack. With the other hand, she smoothed down the collar of his dress shirt, her finger brushing against the warm skin of his neck as she did so. “The fraternity look doesn’t suit you.”

“It’s a work uniform,” He said gruffly. To anyone else he might have sounded annoyed but it was just his default demeanor.

"I meant your collar, you dingus." She reached up and touched his collar, now fixed. "It popped." She pantomimed a popped collar to emphasize her point. As she pulled her hand away he gently grabbed her wrist, holding her in place.

“Come on, this isn’t you.” Adonis pleaded.

Frustrated, she blew her bangs from her face and pulled her wrist from his grasp completely ignoring the lingering heat that tingled on her skin. “Maybe it is who I am. I never have the time to just… be anymore. Since high school it’s been a lot of traveling. A lot of being alone. Maybe I don’t want to feel alone anymore.” She grabbed the bottle from the table and took a swig. With her other hand, she passed a cue. “And maybe, this is the first step in me getting back to that person I was.”

She dropped the remaining balls into the rack and shook it a bit. “Try not to hit the white ball in the hole.”

Adonis took the cue stick, looking over to Julian with a look of resignation. If Livvy wanted to make bad decisions tonight that would be fine. Regardless Adonis would make damn sure he would be around to make sure she didn’t get too deep into trouble. That was the problem with these kinds of friends, they brought out the worst in you. Adonis had long just accepted that’s who he was but Livvy had gotten out of their drama. Maybe she just needed a reminder why she stopped hanging around with the rest of them as much.

Over Julian’s shoulder he could see Dylan walking back through the living room towards the main entrance, seemingly on her phone. He wasn’t sure if she just wanted a breath of fresh air or needed to make a call or maybe just was annoyed with him, either way he felt like he should follow. Passing the cue off to Julian, leaning in when he spoke so that Livvy couldn’t hear him.

“Hey, keep an eye on her. I don’t know what’s up but . . .” Adonis left it at that, looking back to Livvy who had been waiting for him to join the game. “Julian’s going to take this round but I’ll be right back.”

Adonis came around the table, acting like he was about to pull Livvy into a one armed hug before faking her out and grabbing the bottle from her hand. Holding it out at arms length he wrapped his free arm around her looking back at Julian. “Don’t whoop my man’s ass too bad, I already got my ego bruised enough tonight to pay reparations at least through the weekend.”

Irritated, she reached for the bottle, but of course it was beyond her reach. She pushed out from his embrace and managed to grab it. She held it behind her back and stepped away from him. “Your rabbit’s getting away, Nis.” She purred.

His expression softened, almost pleading. A part of him wanted to say it wasn’t like that, it was just business but Livvy could see through his bullshit. At the end of the day though he was out of line. Livvy could do as she pleased and Adonis was in not place to tell her otherwise. Huffing with defeat he gave a semi-shrug, indicating that he was no longer going to try to pry the bottle from her.

“I’ll be back.” He repeated, this time more forcefully. Flashing a look to Julian again to reinforce what he had earlier said to the man, Adonis then turned on his heel working through the crowd towards where he saw Dylan last.

Livvy waited for Adonis to be out of earshot before she snorted. “Yeah. Sure. You’ll be back.” She took a drink from the bottle before placing it, capped, on the floor besides the table and grinned at Julian. “Lets see if these old hands still have it in them to whoop your butt in pool.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies
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#, as written by TushoKa
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xLivvy EriksenJulian Daviesx
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"Artists Unite"

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xx#8B8000#8744abxx
xxoutfit.outfit.xx



Julian looked on at the discussion between Livvy and Adonis with some surprise. Either I am seeing things… or I missed more than I thought. Upon Livvy’s comment about his ass-whooping he handed her the cue.
”Well, let’s see this then. If I remember correctly you beat my butt in pool once. And I don’t intend to double your win-percentage tonight.”
He stood to the side to see her break.


While he waited he thought of Adonis trying to take the bottle away from her. The party had just started, so it wouldn’t be to stop her from doing something stupid. And as dysfunctional as their gang might be, Julian always tried his best to make sure everyone was safe and sound at the end of the night. He took a sip from his beer.
”So… what was that with Adonis? I know he’s a dad now, I just didn’t realise you were the child.”

She scratched. She hadn’t been expecting him to ask her about Adonis. She was focused on lining up the shot to break… and she scratched. ”Wait, no that doesn’t count!” A blush crept up her face, but she took a drink from the bottle on the ground in attempt to hide the cause. Totally the alcohol right? She placed the bottle back on the ground and bent in a second attempt to break. ”Yeah, apparently.” She managed in reply.

”Fine, go again Miss Scratchy.” He smiled and hoped it wasn’t actually the alcohol putting her off.
Julian raised his eyebrows, but kept his sight on the table. ”Apparently? You don’t have to tell me if it’s none of my business.” He watched Livvy concentrate enough to not mess up twice.

She gently nudged the cue forward, balancing the tip in the dip between her pointer and middle finger. It whacked the ball right where she needed it to, sending it flying into the rest and scattering them around the table. One of the solids slid into the corner pocket, marking them as hers. ”He’s always kind of been like that though. Around me anyway.” She moved around the table, eyeing the other solids and making a plan for her moves. Then she realized, ”Shit. I don’t remember if I hit again, or if it’s your turn since I sunk one.”

Julian walked around the table, smiling, feeling a bit more comfortable now he had something to do. He watched as Livvy’s second attempt actually put him at a disadvantage.
”You go again, and I’d go for orange if I were you.”
He walked in the exact opposite direction as Livvy, trying to find the best angles for his turn.
”Don’t get me wrong, I think all of us like to make sure you’re alright, of course.” He took another sip of beer, not really knowing where he was going.
”But of all people I wasn’t afraid you would do something stupid while I was … away.” he swallowed the last word, and wished he hadn’t said it at all.

Livvy stuck out her tongue, biting the tip in concentration. The alcohol was taking affect, her face numbing and the room moving softly. She eyed the orange...and then spotted the blue. She stared, nearly missing his comment as she contemplated her next move. Deciding the blue was not in a good enough spot, she moved around until she could line up the shot. She laughed a little. "No. I've been good since you… left."

She struck, sending the orange into the pocket at the side of the pool. "I'm sorry-by the way-for not… reaching out." She thumped the cue on the ground. "It was a rough time for me." She ran a hand across her bare abdomen. Brushing the phantom fingers from her skin. "But that's unfair. No one was having a worse time than you. I imagine." She lifted her eyes to meet his. "So. I’m sorry. I should've been there for you."

”Thanks.” Julian replied weakly. He didn’t want her to feel sorry. It was his own stupid fault he had been in prison in any case. He should have never brought Jade there, he should have known something wasn’t right.
”Don’t give yourself a hard time over me. That place drains the color out of a person, so it’s not for you.” He pointed at the table.
”Speaking of color, I think you should go for green next. And that’s the last hint I’m giving.” he laughed, trying to lighten the mood.

She smiled, but found she couldn't laugh. They had been close. Simon had gone to visit but she had stayed behind.

Seeing his own beer was finished he put it to the side. He reached for the ground and picked up the bottle Livvy had brought. ”You don’t mind if I help you with this, do you?” he opened the bottle and took a gulp, wiping his mouth on his arm before putting the bottle back on the ground.

She hadn't had time to object or approve the request as he had already taking a gulp of it. She smiled, wrinkling her nose. "I don't mind as long as you don't mind strawberry liquor. I've always been one for fruity drinks."

”Fruity drinks suit you. Colorful and sweet…., and too much sugar.” As she bend over to take the next shot Julian could see her swaying a bit. ”And the fruity drinks always get you faster than you expect them to.”

While he wiped his mouth, she lined up her shot of the green ball. She had to take a steady breath before she struck otherwise her vision swam, making it difficult to judge the right spot to hit. "Other than working for Erin," She asked, taking her shot and sent the ball spinning into the pocket, narrowly missing. "What have you been up to?"

Julian walked around the table to take the white ball out of the pocket. ”That’s two turns for me, thank you very much.” Livvy just stuck out her tongue at him. He put the ball back on the table and got into position. ”A few different things to be honest. You might be interested in some of them. One thing I’m trying to do lately is help out this dog shelter where puppies receive obedience training from inmates. I got to do that while I was there,and...” Julian stopped talking.
He had been lining up to take the shot when he got a glimpse of her…, Lauren.
”Who the hell invited her?” He leaned back up and didn’t take his eyes off of her. He nodded his head in Lauren’s direction.

Livvy straightened. She had been leaning against the table, watching his moves. Without looking, she knew to whom he was referring without having to look. But, she found herself turning, and finding Lauren in the middle of Erin's crowded living room. All eyes on her. Just how she liked it. "So the fire breathing bitch queen makes her appearance. Why am I not surprised?" Hovering nearby was Camilla.

Livvy snorted. "Of course, it was Cam. Some things never change."

He saw how Erin made her way over to them, no doubt putting a small break in between Lauren stepping in and Erin kicking her ass. Erin nodded to him, but addressed Livvy personally. ”We’ll have to catch up at some point, yeah? For now….I have to go talk to someone. Cya guys, later-”

"Yeah, sure." Livvy replied but Erin was already out of earshot and heading into the fray.

Erin walked off just as quickly as she had come around. ”I can’t decide if I want to hide away, or if I want front row seats to that conversation.”

Livvy's mind was a war of color. On the one hand, Lauren was a vicious bitch and was likely only here because she was bored and wanted to start some chaos. On the other, the side motivated by strawberry flavored liquor, she could shoot her shot. People hooked up at parties all the time and she'd finish the "Fuck" list that she was dared to make in high school. What's the worst she could do? Say no?

She smiled slyly. "Hey. I'll catch up with you later, ok?" She said as she started to walk from the room.

Julian called after her. ”Hey.. You gonna leave a guy hanging like that?” He couldn’t recognize if she heard him or not. He had to admit, Livvy seemed more excited for those front row seats than he was. He grabbed the bottle she left behind and took another jug, before bending back over the table to finally make the shot he’d been planning.

As the stick plunged forward Julian quickly saw he hit it too low. The ball went up and made two bounces on the floor before Julian could catch it, avoiding a third bounce. He checked the floor quickly for dents or cracks, but couldn’t see any. Then he looked around to see if someone had spotted his embarrassment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Damien Wolfe Character Portrait: Erin Monaghan Character Portrait: Jade Davies Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Dylan Knight Character Portrait: Evie Addams Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Dean Sun Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Declan Sun Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo Character Portrait: Jeremy Williams
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Lauren Clark
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Chaos | Attire | hex: #540000
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Olivia Eriksen
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Starving Artist | Attire | hex:#8B8000
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It was a good thing that Livvy had kicked her heels off when she had arrived. Otherwise, she might’ve tripped over her own feet. She wasn’t drunk but she definitely wasn’t sober anymore. I took a lot to get her to the slur-your-words-and-lose-all-sense phase, but she was definitely in the unsteady-flushed-cheeks-overly-confident phase She padded out of the den, walking tall with her shoulders back and head high. Lauren was a predator, any sign of weakness would have her pouncing. If Livvy was going to pull this off, she couldn’t be a lamb. She had to be a wolf.

As she made her way towards Lauren, she spotted Adonis coming in from the front of the house. His clothes were more ruffled than when he had been in the den with her. Jumping to conclusions, she narrowed her eyes, flipped her blonde hair over a shoulder, and pretended she didn’t see him. Half of it was an act in case Lauren was watching. The other half… she rubbed at her chest absently.

She strode up to Lauren and ran a finger up her arm. ”Well, Well,” Livvy purred, ”Miss Lauren Clark. I would ask what brings you here, but I think it’s safe to assume the lemming invited you.” Her blue eyes snapped to Camilla a moment before returning to Lauren. She gave a sultry smile. ”I take it not much has changed. Still like causing chaos?”

Lauren was pleased to see Livvy making her way over to her. She’d missed seeing Livvy around; another one of her beloved toys, even though she hadn’t played with her quite as much as some of the others. And, well, it seemed like Livvy hadn’t changed much, if at all. Her demeanor as she made her way up to Lauren, followed by her opening gesture, confirmed that one thing had at least hadn’t changed. Which, of course, meant that Lauren could play her games.

She smiled, laughing a little at Livvy’s comment about Camilla. “Livvy, darling, don’t be so mean,” she said, in a tone that indicated that she actually loved Livvy being so mean. At her question about whether or not she was still causing chaos, she feigned shock and hurt. “I am shocked at that accusation,” she said, before laughing. “Of course I do. That’s why I’m here,” she said. “So come on, tell me, sweetheart, tell me everything that’s going on with you. I want to know all of the gossip and the scandal of your life.”

Livvy shrugged her pale shoulders. ”Not much to tell, I’m afraid. Just been traveling the country.” She feigned a sigh of disappointment. ”Sadly high school was the most exciting time of my life.” She linked arms with her, ignoring Camilla altogether, all a part of the act--though she still wasn’t a fan of Camilla after her break up with Simon. ”What about you?” She cooed, ”What has the great Lauren Clark been doing in her spare time since the whirlwind of high school?”

She started to tug her into a walk, heading in the direction of the hallway.

Lauren wasn’t sure that she believed Livvy’s act of disappointment, but she played along anyway. She let Livvy link her arm, even resting a hand on Livvy’s arm as she did so. She had to hold back a laugh as Livvy almost began to drag her towards the hall, out of sight of everyone else. She was curious to see how she was going to play it, though, and so Lauren let her.

“Oh, you know. Working. Mom and Dad gave me a job in marketing. It’s mundane from time to time, and I work with some of the dumbest and most boring people I have ever met, but they do what I tell them, and the money isn’t bad either. And of course, I do a little bit of influencing on the side. I was posting all of those pictures anyway, so why not get paid for including one teensy little brand in them?” She asked with a laugh. “I should get you on my Instagram. Everyone would fall in love with you right away,” she said, raising an eyebrow at Livvy.

"I'll definitely think about it", She replied, and it wasn’t a lie. It’s the kind of exposure people kill for. However, knowing who Lauren was, she was sure it was too good to be true.”It would be a great opportunity.”

She stopped at the bar, plucking a bottle of rose and pouring them each a glass. She tucked the bottle beneath her arm and held a glass out to Lauren. ”Why don’t you tell me more about it?” She offered, leading them back towards the hallway. ”Or, you could share some gossip with me. Sadly, my travels keep me fairly isolated so I don’t hear much.” Or not anything I’d share with you, she thought. For a moment, she thought about sharing Adonis’s attraction to Dylan but ultimately decided against it. He might’ve deserved some trouble, but getting Lauren involved was asking for catastrophe and she could never do that to him.

”Although, She paused, taking a sip of her wine. ”The best I’ve got is that apparently Dean and Jade are a thing!” She tried to sound surprised and a little disappointed. He was her hot ex after all. And… she did miss him every now and then. She still followed him on social media, but they didn’t talk often. At least his relationship with Jade was less scandalous but just as juicy of a story.

Lauren accepted the glass of rose and took a small sip from it. She loved a party as much as the next person and was no stranger to getting wasted; but she felt that, at least for this one, it was probably better to stay sober and in control. She raised an eyebrow at Livvy’s request for gossip. It seemed like the girl’s motives were somewhat mixed here, or else she was trying to play into everything she knew that Lauren enjoyed in the hope of impressing her. Lauren decided to give Livvy the benefit of the doubt and play along.

As Livvy mentioned that she had gossip, Lauren gasped, before grinning in vicious delight and leaning in. Her act almost shattered as Livvy told her what it was, having to resist the temptation to laugh. “Oh, I’m sure that won’t end badly at all,” she said, the only outward indication of her reaction as she took another sip of her wine. “I give them a month,” she said.

“So, you’ve given me some good gossip. Let me see if I can share anything… do you want to know something about someone we went to school with… or about someone here at the party?” She asked, her grin sharp with the realization that she could cause a little bit of chaos here, with either a well-placed truth or an even better-placed lie.

Livvy tipped her head back in a laugh. ”I’ll bet $20 it’ll be two weeks.” She took another sip of her wine. She hummed in thought and replied, with a giggle, ”From the looks of it, I don’t think those are as different as one would think.” She nibbled a little at the tip of her tongue as she thought. There were two things influencing her decision: the first--and her original reason for asking--was to see what Lauren knew compared to the things she knew and the second was that she was curious about the people she used to go to school with.

However… if she allowed herself to open that door, she could potentially find out something about someone she wasn’t supposed to know. So, in the end, she chose to play it safe. ”About someone here at the party,” she replied. There were plenty of people here who hadn't gone to school with them with that the odds were in her favor. Unless Lauren knew just where to strike.

Lauren had known that Livvy wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to find out some gossip about the people they’d gone to school with. And now, of course, she needed to decide what exactly she wanted to spill. She could begin her campaign to ruin Soren’s life here and now; but from memory, Soren and Livvy had only ever been passing friends, so she wasn’t quite sure that that would have enough of an effect. Lauren took a moment to evaluate the situation. As far as she was concerned, she had three options for the highest amount of drama.

Number one. Erin. Lauren was aware of their past together and got the impression that there was still some unfinished business there. Some of Erin’s secrets could completely change Livvy’s impression of her, and might just touch a sore spot.

Number two. Evie. Would Livvy sink to Lauren’s level and use that information against Evie though, to win back Erin? Probably not, but she loved the idea of dangling that temptation in front of Livvy.

Number three. Adonis. Adonis and Livvy had some strange little dynamic going for them. Admittedly, Lauren didn’t know the details of what was going on, but she knew that she could cause some true mayhem there. And so she took a long sip of her wine and rifled through her mental list of secrets, looking for the juiciest of them all.

“Well. I heard that Adonis has gotten himself into some trouble. Working with some… dangerous people, on what is very definitely the wrong side of the law, if you catch my drift,” she said, raising an eyebrow suggestively and taking a step closer to Livvy, lowering her voice to a low murmur.

That wasn't what Livvy was expecting. "Adonis?" She frowned. Her mask, the entire act, shattered. She couldn’t pretend she didn’t care. Not if it was about Erin, Julian, or Simon. Not when it was about Adonis.

Not your business, she thought to herself. She led them down the hall, testing doorknobs as she went. If they were going to talk about this, they needed a more private space. Besides, that was her original plan anyway. She wondered if it had to do with Dylan. She knew the young woman was married now, though, she had to admit, she didn’t know to whom. Dylan didn’t really run in her circle in high school so she didn’t know much about her now. Besides, what did it matter who her friend slept with anyway?

She knew she had just been thinking he deserved some trouble, but the way Lauren was describing it… it was more trouble than she would’ve liked. The words were out of her mouth before she could think. ”What kind of trouble?”

The words had the desired effect, as Livvy’s cute little act shattered before Lauren’s eyes, and Lauren smiled, raising her glass to her lips as she did so. But if Livvy’s mask was shattered, that only made her intentions even clearer as she began trying doors. It was as they reached the last one that Livvy stopped again, to ask her what kind of trouble. “Well,” Lauren started, before reaching past Livvy and opening the door. This one opened. Lauren grabbed Livvy’s free hand and pulled her into the room, closing it behind them. By the looks of it, it was Erin’s bedroom. Lauren sat down on the bed, pulling Livvy along to sit beside her.

[color=#540000]“I don’t know the *exact* details,”
she said. “But I heard that he’s involved with some very dangerous people. Involving drugs, and possibly weapons,” she said, managing to feign some level of horror at it as if she also didn’t have her ties to some of the people involved. “God only knows what kind of trouble he’s gotten himself into now.”

Livvy knew she was in deep shit as Lauren dragged her into the final room. She was too intoxicated and curious to realize just what she was doing. Being here often enough she knew who's room it was. Erin. They were going into Erin's room.

She wanted to backpedal, to pull Lauren from the room before she found anything that would cause more trouble for her friend. More trouble than apparently what she was already causing just by walking this path.

It was too late. She could tell by the hungry look in Lauren's eye. She opened the wrong door and found herself tumbling into trouble. The room spun as Lauren whirled her around to sit beside her on the bed. Erin's bed.

This was a mistake, She thought. She couldn't handle the girl in high school. What made her think she could handle things now? Before she could find a way out of the situation, Lauren was spilling Adonis's secrets.

And it was worse than she feared. She squeezed her eyes shut a moment. What did you get yourself into, Nis? She thought. She took a deep breath and pushed it all down, down, down. She knew Lauren likely saw through her act now, but she had to change the subject. If she was sharing this with Livvy who else knew?

Then, she realized, she should stop acting. "Well that's not what I was expecting," she said with an awkward chuckle. "That's a lot to process." She waved a hand dismissively, tucking her hair behind her ear. "But I can always process later."

She downed the rest of the wine and placed it on a nearby surface. When she looked back at Lauren, the room shifted with her. She gave a startled laugh. "Whoops. Too much."

Then she reached up to trace Lauren's cheekbone and said, "I just realized. I've never drawn you before." She felt herself shift into artist mode, noticing the many colors that make up a person. She curled a lock of Lauren's hair around her finger. And said something she knew she'd likely regret later. "You're beautiful."

Lauren smiled with satisfaction that her words had had the intended effect as Livvy attempted to recover from the news, but managed to make it look something like a sympathetic smile instead. As Livvy downed the rest of her glass of wine, Lauren just took a delicate sip from hers, putting her still mostly full glass down beside Livvy’s empty one.

Livvy being that drunk made it so much easier. She finally had the guts to actually reach out to Lauren, revealing the real intentions she’d had all along. Lauren played along, leaning in towards Livvy a little.

“I know,” she said as Livvy said that she’d never drawn her. “You know, I’ve always hoped you’d ask. Any excuse to be around you,” she said softly. At Livvy’s compliment, Lauren just smiled, reaching out to tuck some of Livvy’s hair behind her ear, her hand lingering by Livvy’s face a little longer than it needed to.

Livvy’s blue eyes widened with surprise. She searched Lauren’s eyes for a lie, but couldn’t see through the alcohol-induced fog in her brain. Instead, she saw the light reflecting off Lauren’s irises, painting them gold. She admired the flawlessness of her skin, without a scar, mark, or pore. She studied the lighter strands among the dark of her hair. Then found herself leaning forward, investigating the red of her lips.

Her heart hammered in her chest. Her cheek was warm where Lauren’s hand lingered a little too long. Was this actually happening? Or was she passed out on the couch imagining the whole thing? Was she actually about to cross Lauren Clark off her high school “Fuck” list. The “coolest girl” in school?

She was close enough now that their noses were touching. She could smell the wine on Lauren’s breath, light and lingering. She released the strand of Lauren’s hair and lifted it until it rested against the warm curve of her neck. She swept a thumb across Lauren’s jawline. ”I’ve been wanting to ask since high school.” She finally said. Then, when she couldn’t take the tension anymore, she closed the distance between them, brushing her lips softly against Lauren’s.

Lauren smiled, right up until the moment that Livvy leaned in and pressed her lips against Lauren’s. Lauren let the kiss linger for a second or two, before she pulled away, her smile becoming wicked. “Oh, that’s adorable,” she said, her tone dripping in venom. “Did you really think that I would want you? Someone as… plain as you? Your stepfather may have had a point, you know. Who could want someone so plain?” She asked, cruelly tracing a finger along Livvy’s face.

It was at that point that her phone buzzed, and she very deliberately swiveled away from Livvy to pick up her bag and fish out her phone. And then she smiled, a smile that said whoever was on the other side of the text was far more interesting than Livvy. She kept her attention on the phone as she replied to the text, an unspoken dismissal.

Livvy blinked. First in confusion. And then in disbelief. She sat back, tilting a little further than she meant to. ”You literally said-” and then she stopped. Lauren had never actually said ”I want you”. She had only said she had been waiting for her to ask.

No one would want you,” her stepfather’s voice murmured in her mind. ”No one, but me.” And then she could feel him. Where Lauren’s hands had been. Where her exposed skin was at her waist.

She was going to be sick.

She rose and hurried from the room. There was a line for the bathroom, of course. Where else? The balcony. Air. Air would help.

She padded through the kitchen, not noticing anyone she passed, though she heard Dean’s distinct tenor. She could see the light on the ground though she wasn’t looking up. At least, not until she opened the door to step out… and Evie and Adonis were standing there. He looked like he was ready to unleash hell on her at first. She knew he hadn’t known it was her. Adonis has gotten himself into some trouble. Lauren’s voice purred.

”Sorry to interrupt” She found herself mumbling before she quickly shut the doors, whirling around and heading back in the direction she came. She ran her fingers through her long hair repeatedly. No doubt making it look wilder. No air. That only left… distraction. And she knew just who would be able to help. She stepped back towards the kitchen area in search of Dean.




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Jade Davies Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Olivia Eriksen Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo
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xSimon RizzoJulian Daviesx
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"Best of Bros"

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Once Simon was sure Soren wasn’t going to go after Lauren (at least for now), Simon headed to a different room. Cam, Robyn, and Livvy had all vanished into the crowd of the party. So, it was time for him to go in search of his other best friend. Julian.

He found him in a den of sorts, a pool table in front of him. It seemed a game had already been started though there was no one else in the room with him. ”I heard playing with yourself could make you go blind.” He said jokingly as he walked up to his friend. He saw a strawberry liquor bottle on the side of the table and he picked it up, quivering an eyebrow. ”Dude, since when do you drink strawberry liquor?”

Julian lifted his shoulders. ”First of all.., don’t knock it till you try it. Second, desperate times…” he pointed out the empty beer bottles on the side.

Simon shook his head and picked up a cue stick. ”If you want, we can finish this game out. I could hit solids. Or we could just start over.”

Julian threw the white ball he had picked from the floor up and caught it again, just playing with it. ”Fine you can be solids. The wonder twin picking up where the other left off.” Julian put the white ball back on the table and lined up his shot again, making sure not to make it bounce like before. ”But since you have a head start, I’ll make the first move.”
He made his attempt, but it didn’t hit right, and he was left with the same amount as when he started. ”Are these damned cues skew or something?”

Simon paused at the “wonder twin” comment. ”Livvy was here? Where’d she go?” He smirked slightly when Julian didn’t quite make the shot he was hoping for. ”Sure, Sure, Sure,” he said, ”It’s the cue. Not the buzzed guy holding it.” He bent over the table, aiming for the solid red to the left, hoping he could hit it just right that it would slide into the corner pocket.

It did not. He swore under his breath and examined his own cue. ”Though… you may be onto something.”

”I tell you, it’s these cues, man” Julian used his own to point in the direction in which Livvy had disappeared, chasing Lauren. Then he finally made his first successful hit of the night, smiling with pride.
”Don’t blame me for letting her go, but she was looking at Lauren with hazy eyes.” He missed the next one, but actually knocked in one of the solids.
”Jeez, I’m on the wrong team here. So yeah, Livvy.. Lauren… I guess steering into the skid can be a tactic too?”

Simon frowned. ”Livvy and Lauren?” He lined up another shot, nearly knocking in a striped, but totally missed the hole. Concern started to rise in him and he thought about going after Livvy, but he promised her space. Besides, she was a grown woman. She could take care of herself… right? He did add, ”You didn’t stop her? Anything involving Lauren is likely to end in chaos.”

”Look, don’t give me that. Livvy is as grown as you and me, probably more now I think of it. If she wants to go looking for trouble, she can find it in more ways than one at this party.”

”Good point.” Simon rubbed some chalk on the end of the cue, waiting for his next turn. Changing the subject a little he said, ”Robyn and I came together.” He wanted to know what his friend thought. He wasn’t sure how to broach the subject. He’s been with other girls since high school but they never lasted and he wasn’t with Robyn. They were just friends. And he’d never put her in a position she wasn’t ready for after Nate.

Julian smiled at his friend as he had this unsure look in his eyes. ”So, am I supposed to read something into this?” To be honest, Julian was not sure what answer he was hoping for. Robyn was someone he always liked, and one of the people in his life that was a little bit more together than most, even with the passing away of Nate. He had to be an asshole though, to be anything less than happy for both if Simon and Robyn would end up together.

Simon rubbed the back of his neck. ”I don’t know, man. I guess… I like her a lot. She’s smart, funny, gorgeous… but since Nate passed so recently, I’m giving her the space to process it all, you know?” He glanced at the table. ”Your turn by the way.” He placed the chalk on the side of the table before continuing. ”But I do want to tell her I like her.” He laughed uncomfortably. ”Yikes. I sound like I’m in high school again talking about Cam.” He ran a hand through his hair. All fidgets. A quirk he picked up from hanging around with Livvy too much.

Julian looked at Simon, sizing him up on his plans with Robyn. ”Maybe you can ask her to hold hands with you on the cab ride home.” a big smile on Julian’s face, happily teasing his friend. He walked around the table looking for his next shot, finally finding one that seemed doable. He bent over in concentration, hit the ball and missed it by a hair. ”Oh crap..”

Simon let out a laugh. ”Tough luck, man.”

Julian went to stand next to his friend and poked him in the ribs. ”Look man, if you’re going to wait for her to get over Nate before making a move you can prepare for a dry spell of a decade. I tell you, not everyone is going to wait for that, not in Robyn’s case.” He waited for Simon to make his next move. There were a few options, so Julian did not expect to get to his turn again soon.

”Don’t just tell her you like her. She will say it’s too early, and you’re going to be friend-zoned for life. You already have Livvy, you don’t need a second.” Julian loved his friend, but a little more action would not be the worst idea.

Simon puzzled over the table for a minute, noting the remaining balls in play. There was one that would be a straight shot to the corner, but only if he hit it from the right angle. He made his way around the table, lining up the shot. He took a deep breath, nudged the cue forward into the ball, and watched as the ball slowly rolled forward…and landed in the pocket.

He let out a Whoop! before turning to his friend with a big grin. And responded to his earlier comment now that he sunk his shot. He pointed a finger at him. ”Livvy doesn’t count. She’s practically my sister.” He had once thought of her that way back when he was just starting to like girls, but then he realized she could be quite the brat when she wanted to be and decided they weren’t the right fit for one another. Besides… he didn’t want to lose his best friend.

“Finally, I was beginning to lose hope for us in this game.” Julian actually sighed with relief. “I’m not saying you want anything more from Livvy, but no action would put Robyn in the same position.”

His eye was caught by Gabriella who apparently dropped her bag. He noticed Lauren walking away from her and by the look in Gabriella’s eyes, she had gotten the full load. However, he had a difficult time to feel sorry for the girl. She had always been a bad influence on Jade and it’s because of her he was busted with drugs in his car. He saw the anger and shock in her eyes, but broke eye contact. If she used her stare to reach out for help, she was barking up the wrong tree. His friend pulled his attention back to the game.

Simon looked around the table for his next shot. ”You make a good point though,” He saw another that could work, but he’d run the risk of sinking the 8 ball. ”So you’re saying I shouldn’t just tell her I like her, but put some action behind it.” It wasn’t a question. He just wanted to make sure he understood what his friend was saying. There was this party hosted by the shop’s book club that was supposed to happen in a few weeks. Maybe he’d ask her to go with him. It wouldn’t be as wild as this, but he was told it would be a good time.

Julian shook his head. His friend needed some pressure otherwise he would still wait months before doing something. ”I tell you what, let me give you a goal post. If you don’t ask out Robyn on a date to actually happen in the next 2 weeks, I will.” Julian was surprised at how serious his suggestion was. He had always liked Robyn and the thought of asking her out had crossed his mind before. But he did not want to cockblock his best friend intentionally.
”Do we have a deal?”

Simon raised his eyebrows in surprise. He hadn’t expected Julian to give up such an ultimatum. If his friend liked Robyn, it would be fair to give him a shot, too. But… He didn’t want to miss his chance. He reached out a hand to his friend for a shake. ”Deal.”
Julian had a big smile on his face, as he definitely enjoyed a bit of competition. Especially if it would help out his friend.

He found his next move and went to strike. That’s when he noticed Lauren leaving a stunned and pained looking Gabriella. He missed. He frowned, but couldn’t bring himself to say anything other than a soft swear at scratching.
Gabriella and Simon had always been like passing ships. She was friends with Livvy, he was friends with Livvy, but neither really interacted. Though he did have some short, choice words for her once he found out she helped Livvy down a darker path in high school. Even if Livvy said it was more Jade’s fault Gabriella was on the path. Or… is that what she said? He shook his head, going back to the game. Lauren was on a warpath tonight and it seemed Gabriella had somehow stepped on a landmine. He didn’t want to be in the blast zone unless he had to.

”Your turn,” He muttered, eyes following Lauren. Livvy wasn’t with her which wasn’t a good sign. He’d have to find his friend later… or confront Lauren about it. Right now, he wanted to finish a game with his friend that he’s been missing. ”I’d go for the green one.”

Julian looked around the table. There were some options, but since his skill was so deplorable this particular evening he was unsure about any of it.
”Really? You don’t think that one is in the way?” Julian pointed out the orange one in the middle.
”Oh..okay, I see. So via the long rail. You have that faith in me, to make that shot?”
Julia walked around to where Simon was standing and put the cue over his thumb and index finger. He took his shot and the cue ball bounced off the long rail, past the green ball, bounced off the short rail and hit the striped red into the pocket.
Julian raised his eyebrows, stunned by what happened. ”Well… Would you look at that.”

With a triumphant step he got ready for the next shot. His short moment of luck made him cocky. ”Okay, here we go. Green ball, right corner pocket.” He concentrated, planning his shot to hit one rail before knocking in the green ball easily. He pulled back and knocked the cue ball hard. Being the expert he was, he did hit the rail he planned on. And he did hit the green ball perfectly. However, the green ball then hit the 8-ball, tilting it into the side pocket.
”Wait..shit! No, no,no, that doesn’t count!”

Simon let out a laugh. ”Man, isn’t that game?” He thought a moment. ”I could give you the out but I…” he trailed off, looking back towards Lauren. ”I should probably find out what happened to Livvy.” He placed the cue onto the table and gave his friend a quick hug. ”We need to hang out more, man. You should come by the shop. Or I guess maybe I should come by the bar.”

Julian looked a bit defeated, still looking at the corner pocket. ”I...yeah, I guess that’s game.” When Simon mentioned Livvy, Julian finally looked up at him. ”Uhm.. Yeah, sure. You go find Livvy, I’m just gonna go and get some air. It’s really hot in here.”
He put the cue on the table. ”Hey, if you want to take Robyn home later, just let me know, I’ll make sure Livvy gets home safe.” Then he leaned in closer and whispered to his friend. ”And if things get ehm… frisky, safety first. Let me know if you need the talk.

Simon watched his friend, concern wrinkling his brow. He opened his mouth to ask if his friend was alright when he spoke again. Simon found himself laughing again. ”I think I’m good on the talk, but thanks.” He gave his friend a pat on the shoulder, then gave it a good squeeze. ”I’m here if you need anything ok?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Julian Davies Character Portrait: Simon Rizzo
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xlauren clark
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Julian watched Simon wander off to the kitchen. He looked around the room and saw some people staring back at him. It was 6 months ago, but still whenever he was in a group he would see them looking and whispering to each other. It would make him mad and sad at the same time. He generally felt better than he had in a long time, but unless people spoke to him, they’d only see the convict.

He was starting to feel the heat inside and went out to get some fresh air. As soon as he opened the balcony door he felt the fresh air on his face. Damn, that’s better.
Some peace and quiet to gather your thoughts was never a bad thing.

He walked to two people talking and smoking. ”Hey both, can I sneak a cig of you?” After being offered a menthol (you take what you can get), he walked a few metres away from them and lit it up.

As he blows out the smoke, he feels himself relax a little, the tightness in his chest receding.

Lauren was taking a brief reprieve from causing havoc. It wasn’t a deliberate break, but she was enjoying seeing all the dirty looks that people were sending her way, a sign that they were all just too afraid to actually do anything. It was more that she was searching for her next target. She took a sip from her drink, before spotting Julian making his way towards the balcony. Perfect.

She sauntered over towards him, not saying anything until she was standing beside him, too close for him to attempt to escape and claim he hadn’t seen her. “Hello, Julian, sweetheart,” she said. “So wonderful to see you.”

She had definitely startled him and he hoped he didn’t jump too high in the air upon hearing her voice. He turned to face her. Her dress; perfect, her make up; well done, her smile; unnerving, and her tone; venomous. Yes, there was no mistake this was Lauren.
He hated keeping up pretences, even more so since Lauren would strike regardless of what he said.
”If it isn’t the wicked witch of the Upper West Side. I would say it was nice to see you too, but who would believe that?” He looked back in front of him, at the street below and took another puff from his cigarette. Although when releasing it this time he noticed he did not find the same relief as before.

She laughed at his comment. “Original, Julian, really,” she retorted, her tone dry. “So, you finally got out of prison, then. Is it true that you’re now working for Erin of all people?” She asked, knowing that the disdain that coloured her voice would help to rile him up even more.

“I got out of prison almost 6 months ago now. And yes, I am working for Erin.” He rolled his eyes at her fake interest. “You see, that is something actual friends would do, help out when a friend is in need.” He looked her dead in the eyes. “You can maybe take some lessons from that.”
The next puff of his cigarette is coming quicker and quicker. This always happened when he was nervous. He knows he should be walking away, nothing good can come from entertaining Lauren.

Lauren raised an eyebrow, her smile widening at how easily he’d walked into her trap. “It’s interesting that you mention ‘good friends’, you know, Julian,” she said. “Because I heard something really interesting about you the other day,” she said, as if she was just talking about some casual gossip and not his time in prison.
“I heard that you made some really interesting friends,” she said, her eyes alight. “God, what were their names?” She asked, pretending to think for a few moments, but mostly waiting to see his reaction.

What the hell is she getting at? It actually felt like she was digging in his brain. It felt so real he felt the need to scratch his head, in the same way you start to itch when someone keeps mentioning how itchy they are.
“You meet a lot of interesting people in prison, a real colorful cast of characters. Who knows, maybe you get to find out one day. Although, orange is really not a color for you, is it?”
Run, jump, close your ears and shout LALALA
. He knew he had to avoid what came next. He knew it was Lauren about to strike, venom ready at the go. And there was nothing he would be able to do to stop it.

Lauren chuckled to herself and shook her head a little as Julian seemed to imply that she would somehow end up in prison. “What exactly are you implying, Julian? I’d never be so foolish as to get caught,” she said with a laugh, even if it was true. She wouldn’t get caught, and besides, if she did, she’d never actually end up in prison. She’d made sure of that.

“And besides, these people were particularly interesting. Does the name ‘Luke Hoffman’ mean anything to you?” She asked, smirking.

Julian felt like all the air was punched out of him, his cigarette fell from his hand over the balcony railing. He turned around to face Lauren. He was not extremely tall, but his presence still towered over her. Facing her, he grabbed her right wrist with his right hand and pulled her close to him, their faces just inches away from each other.
“If you know what’s good for you, you will forget that name.” He spoke it soft, just clear enough for her to hear it. He had the feeling he was foaming at the mouth and he had half a mind to push her straight off the balcony.

She’d never seen Julian quite that bad, and for a moment, Lauren was genuinely afraid of Julian, his hand gripping hers so tight that she could feel the bruises already beginning to form. Her back was against the balcony, in a position that was far more vulnerable than she would have liked. But she didn’t dare show that fear. She kept his gaze, holding it steady, even as he threatened her, looking like a madman. She spotted her escape when she spotted others staring at them.

“You ought to be careful, Julian,” she said. “People are staring, and this won’t look quite so good for you.” She didn’t move, careful to make sure that she would still look like the victim of this scenario.

If his mind hadn’t been working overtime and he hadn’t been seeing red at the moment he might have noticed the small flinch in her eyes. She mentioned other people, but at the moment he just knew of her and him.
His voice, still intense and audible only to her. “Forget. That. Name. Lauren.”
He released her hand by pushing it away, hard enough to push her back into the railing, but not to make her fly over it.

He turned on his heels and walked to the balcony door to go back inside, not giving her another look. The sounds of the party were still going on, but he didn’t want to hear it. The beat of the song that was playing seemed to give him an instant migraine, even though he knew that was Lauren’s doing.

In the shortest time possible he made his way to the other side of the room, got out of the apartment and took a big breath. He tried to concentrate on his breathing in order to calm down, and slowly he started to see more clearly again. He couldn’t believe what he just heard. It made him stress out and a cigarette was not going to cut it this time.

Julian exited the apartment and took a left. He just needed to be alone for a bit. A few blocks over he felt like he was going to hyperventilate. He took his phone out of his pocket. The person he was looking for was number 3 on the speed dial and he paced back and forth as the phone rang.
”Julian, are you all right?”
The voice sounded concerned, but had a quick calming effect on him.
“I just…, I don’t know man, I’m at this party and I am just stressed out. I don’t know what to do.”
”I’ll be right over, just drop me your location. It will be fine Julian, remember the breathing exercises.”

Julian sent his location over and hung up the phone. He waited for a few minutes, but he found it hard to keep his legs still. He couldn’t just stand here, he had to go. He looked around one more time, but didn’t see anyone coming, so he took a right and just kept walking.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robyn Miller Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Gabriella Montez Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Camilla Rhodes Character Portrait: Julian Davies
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ImageCamilla had insisted that Adonis leave Erin’s room first, though he doubted anyone would even notice them. He wasn’t in that pristine a state before him and Camilla hooked up, so he didn’t appear any more roughed up than before - though the same couldn’t be said for Camilla. Giving her a once over as he slipped out the door, Adonis gave her a wink.

It had been a blast from the plast, that much was sure. Though he and Camilla never dated, they always got along. Unfortunately Adonis was drawn to the types others labelled as bitches. It was what got him in this situation in the first place. He closed the door, forgetting to lock it behind him. Looking around to see if anyone noticed him, as if summoned by the smell of a clandestine affair Lauren was staring right back at him with a wicked smile.

He did his best not to react but Lauren could read him better than most, all he did was dull his reaction. Resisting to take the bait and engage with her, he let her walk right past him and into Erin’s bedroom where Camilla was. He considered following but stayed put. Camilla was more than capable of handling Lauren on her own, and honestly Adonis would just be a liability. There wasn’t much else he could do except walk away. He went to turn into the living room when a pretty figure stepped in his path.

“Adonis, hey.” Robyn said, obviously annoyed - though seemingly not at him. “Have you seen Lauren?”

Adonis furrowed his brow in thought, considering at first just telling Robyn but deciding against it. Robyn was sweet but soft. If she were to be around while Camilla was tearing Lauren a new one, Lauren would somehow manage a way to manipulate Robyn to come to her aid. It was her savior complex, always having to tend to the victim something that Lauren would surely play to her favor.

“I think I just saw her on the balcony.” Adonis lied, pointing in the opposite direction. “I dunno though, I’m trying to avoid her.”

“Okay, thanks.” Robyn huffed off in the direction of the balcony, leaving Adonis scratching the back of his neck with a sheepish expression of guilt.

He wasn’t really sure what he should do at this point, it seemed he was out of options. As much as he’d enjoyed his time with Cam, now that the moment was over he was still left in the same situation. Even if it was out of his hands, he couldn’t help but to feel like he should be doing something about it. There had to be another way, and it had to be tonight. Who knew when he’d see Lauren in person with witnesses who’d believe his side of the story?

As he walked to the main entrance, a rogue hand grabbed ahold of him pulling him back. Expecting the worst Adonis turned with a hostile expression, softening when Gabriella’s face was staring back. She put up her hands defensively, laughing under her breath.

“Woah there, was calling your name you didn’t hear me.” Gabriella joked, playfully punching his arm.

“My bad,” Adonis shook his head, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “What’s up?”

“You seen Evie?” Gabriella asked, knowing Adonis was bound to be keeping tabs on her.

Adonis looked around, Evie nowhere in sight. It had been a while since he last seen her. Hopefully she had managed to avoid Lauren but he should probably check in on her soon. He shook his head, turning back to Gabriella.

“Not for a while, I bet she’s in the kitchen or the bathroom or something. . .” He said absently, his mind still on the call he needed to make. “Do you mind finding her? I gotta step out.”

Gabriella nodded, motioning for Adonis to go ahead and turning back into the house as Adonis stepped out. He took a few paces from the door, dialing his lawyer as he lit a cigarette. Surely he had smoked nearly half a pack tonight alone. The shots he took before his encounter with Lauren were already wearing off, and his high was definitely starting to crash. He was scarily sober, adrenaline continuing to burn up any substance he consumed.

“Hello?” Said the gruff voice from the other end of the line.

“Hey, it’s Nis.” Adonis mumbled, looking around to see if anyone was watching him.

“What’s up kid? It’s the middle of the night.”

“I spoke to the mom,” Adonis answered quickly, taking a long drag from his cigarette. He could hear his lawyer move on the other end of the phone, presumably somewhere she could talk to Adonis in private.

“What happened? We need to send a clean up crew?” She asked.

“Nah, nah - nothing like that.” Adonis almost laughed, ashing his cigarette onto the sidewalk. “Though maybe, night’s still young.”

“Well don’t hold out, tell me what happened. Strike that, tell me only what I need to know about what happened.”

“I mean, long story short - she’s not talking.” Adonis looked back to the party, as if he could still see Lauren. “She said she’s got some relationship with the boss.”

There was a loud silence for a beat, he could hear his lawyer thinking what to say next. The thing that made them such a great lawyer is that they knew what questions not to ask, better to have deniability. If Adonis’ was dealing with one of the bosses’ play things, they’d need to tread carefully.

“Here’s what you’re going to do - you’ve already shown your hand so we’ll have to do some damage control.” She started, Adonis nodding along. “Stick around, maybe you can get her to let her guard down. A few drinks, maybe she finds something like a pill or something that gets her feeling loose. Not too much, we need her to appear lucid. Get her on video admitting everything, maybe then we can make it work.”

Adonis sighed, running a hand through his hair. He didn’t like the idea of having to hang around Lauren any longer but he was desperate at this point. To be honest, he rarely saw Lauren drunk enough to lose control like that - but maybe he could help with that.

“I might have to slip something in her drink, but I can make it happen.” Adonis said, his lawyer immediately talking over him.

“Woah, woah - I don’t need to know the details. I just need the video.”

“Got it - video.” Adonis said, noticing that Julian was standing nearby. Unsure how long his friend had been there and what he’d heard, he gave a nod of acknowledgement doing his best to play it off. He added to his lawyer, turning from Julian momentarily. “I gotta go, I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Turning back to Julian, Adonis slipped his phone back into his pocket pretending that he hadn’t just talked about slipping something in someone’s drink. Even with context, it didn’t make Adonis look all that good. He offered Julian a cigarette, taking a hit of his own.

“What you doing out here?” Adonis asked. “Only the fuck ups and exiles hang out by the stoop.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Adonis Galante Character Portrait: Julian Davies
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#, as written by TushoKa
Julian Davies.
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outfit. #8744ab.song.
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The neon lights of the shops went by in flashes. Julian was half walking, half running. He felt like someone was sitting on his chest. How the hell can she know that name… there should only be one person knowing, and that was one too many.

He felt his hands itching. The more he scratched them, the rougher they felt. He felt his phone buzzing in his pocket, but he wasn’t in the right mind to answer. He buried his hands in his jeans pockets, not having a jacket on him. He didn’t really know where he was going, but he felt like he had eyes on his back the entire time. Like officers would jump him again to arrest him and take him back to prison.

Although he did not discuss this with any of his friends, he had been having panic attacks for a long time. He felt scared he would cross the line, scared he would do something that would make him have to go back. The police jumping from out of nowhere the night he was arrested had definitely left a mark, and it made him feel like he was never safe.

He had a hard time adjusting back to normal life, and if he would tell his friends, they would likely assume he should be in the looney bin instead. He just got a job and his life back together, he couldn’t lose that, not because of Lauren fucking Clark. He had handled her exactly the way he shouldn’t have. He needed to go back to her. Talk to her again. Maybe he could offer her something, maybe he could convince her to drop the subject. He would just have to make her see his side of the story, there was no other way.

He almost jumped when he felt his phone vibrating again. He saw the name of his parole officer, Jason, appearing on the screen, along with the message he missed 5 calls already. He answered and heard how his voice was more high-pitched than usual.
”H-hey, man, I’m sorry… about that.”
He heard a relieved sigh on the other end.

”Julian, jeez, you had me worried. I haven’t received a call from you like that in a while. Where are you? I am here but I can’t see you.”
Julian looked around him, for the first time seeing the street sign. He was quite a bit away from the location he had given earlier.
”I just had to walk it off. I’m so sorry man, I didn’t know what to do, but I know now. I shouldn’t have called you.”

”Dude, you can always call me, we went over this. Just let me know where you are, we can talk.”
Julian looked around, his paranoia getting the better of him.
”No, man, it’s fine. I just had to think.” He cleared his throat, trying to sound a bit more like himself. ”The fresh air helped, I feel much better.” he lied.
He knew if he talked to Jason face to face, he would be distracted. Right now he needed to talk with Lauren and figure this thing out. Why did I have to react so violently, that’s not gonna help against Lauren.

”Then do me a favor, Julian. Make me feel better by seeing you are okay.” There were a few seconds of silence. ”You know what, let me pick you up and drop you off at the party again, that’s all I ask.”
Julian softly punched the brick wall he was leaning against while he contemplated the offer.
”No man, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” He put up a smile, hoping it made him sound more convincing. ”I’ll see you next week, you promised to come to the bar, right?”

Julian didn’t wait for an answer. ”Anyway, thanks again. You’re always there for me, I won’t forget it. Have a good night, I won’t disturb you again” He could hear another stammer on the other end, but he didn’t wait and clicked away the call.
It was only a few seconds before it rang again, but he clicked the call away and turned off his phone.

Julian still needed to calm his nerves. He couldn’t lose it again in front of Lauren. He saw a shop across the street. He walked inside, past the cat that was lying lazily on the doorstep.
He walked up to the counter. ”One square.”
He threw some money on the counter from his pockets, letting the cashier count what he needed.
”The bathroom is closed!” the guy told him rather passive aggressively.

Julian gave him a confused look. ”Did I ask?”
”Not yet, I’m just letting you know, this isn’t a public toilet.”
Julian scooped the money that was left back in his hand and shoved it down his back pocket without counting it.
”Dude, you can do with the toilet whatever the fuck you want, can I have my smokes now?”
The man gave the packet and Julian removed the plastic right away, leaving it on the counter as he removed one cigarette. He already lit it on his way out, and took a deep drag the moment he was standing outside.

It was helping, but he was still freaking out. He still had no idea what he would say, but he probably had to go through the dust pretty deep after his last stunt. He noticed his step became slower and slower, the closer he came to the party. He lit the next cigarette as the last reached the filter. Almost finding more comfort in having it in his mouth than from the nicotine he dragged out of it. He could hear the music from the apartment a while away. It was busier here with people still coming and going from the party, and a steady amount of smokers haunting the front door.

To the side he saw Adonis smoking, and still finishing his own, Julian went over to him. He kept to the side, since he saw his friend was still on the phone. He only picked up parts of the conversation.

“I might have to slip something in her drink, but I can make it happen.”
Julians ears pricked up, not expecting that. Julian scraped his throat, not feeling comfortable knowing his friend had no idea he was there. He threw his cigarette on the ground and squashed the burning ash with his shoe. As soon as he did he saw Adonis turn to him. His eyes definitely turned larger for a moment, before turning away from Julian.
“I gotta go, I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Julian watched as Adonis stopped the call. Whatever that was about, it was nothing good. And knowing his friend didn’t always stick to the rules, it actually made him worry a bit. Adonis walked over to Julian, holding out another cigarette, which Julian gladly took. I’m smoking as much tonight as I did in the past 2 months combined.

“What you doing out here?” Adonis asked. ““Only the fuck ups and exiles hang out by the stoop.”

Julian laughed as he lit Adonis' cigarette first, and his own second. He slipped the lighter back in his pocket together with his cold, turned off phone.
”I qualified under both categories for years, is my fuck up card revoked or something?”

He looked Adonis dead in the eyes next, feeling calmer himself if he could worry about someone else. ”I’m not going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”
He felt little enthusiasm for lying to his friend.
”Just gonna say, it sounds like an awful idea, and if it’s meant for anyone in here, I still know how to knock your teeth out.”

He put his left hand on Adonis’ right shoulder. With a soft smile on his face: ”Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Now, I need to see a dog about a bone. Do you know where I can find Lauren?”

Adonis just smiled as Julian referred to what he’d just said, shaking his head as he hit his cigarette. Though the threat sounded tempting, Adonis laughed at the prospect of Julian ‘knocking his teeth out’. Julian might have been able to beef up in lock up, but Adonis was in those pits throwing and dodging licks. He’d let Julian find that out the fun way, though.

“Didn’t figure you for a masochist.” Adonis answered Julian, unsure why people kept seeking out Lauren, subjecting themselves to her manipulations. “No idea, follow the smell of sulfur - that’s bound to lead you to her.”