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Nathan Miller

Can people really change?

0 · 464 views · located in New York

a character in “the way we were”, originally authored by phosphene, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description



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[color=thought hex]quote or something if you'd like[/color]x[color=thought hex] here[/color]



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F U L LXN A M E
Nathan James Miller

N I C K N A M E (S)
Nate

B I R T H D A Y
June 10

A G E
26

S E X U A L I T Y
Bisexual

E T H N I C I T Y
Caucasian American

H O M E T O W N
Staten Island, New York

H E X
#D6CF13



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S T Y L E
Nate's style is nothing to write home about. He dresses in a classic all-american way. Mostly tee-shirts, jeans, maybe a jacket or a coat. He'll throw a nice sweater into the mix on occasion, mostly when he's trying to dress up; collared shirts are the ultimate enemy, as far as he's concerned. He doesn't experiment much, aside from maybe throwing in a new color to the mix on occasion. He does, however, adore sneakers, and he probably owns more pairs of sneakers than the rest of his wardrobe put together.

H E I G H T & W E I G H T
6'3" 89 kg/196 lbs

A P P E A R A N C E
One word to describe Nate is large: he is tall, muscular, and generally intimidating. Or, he would be, if he didn't have the general countenance of a golden retriever. His face is nothing if not friendly; even aggressively so. He can't seem to make a stern face if he tries, he just always seems to come across as friendly and approachable. His hair is kept short, and often looks fairly messy. Whether this in intentional or from laziness is anyone's guess. Nate often sports some form of facial hair, though he's been known to shave it all off on a whim. He spends his fair share of time in the gym, trying to keep up the physique he formed playing sports in high school.



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L I K E S
Football, baseball, beer, cold nights, autumn breeze, poetry, soft music, art galleries, museums, pancakes, neon signs, sunshine, laughter, hugs, the gentle roar of a room filled with conversation, sneakers, libraries, blueberry pie, strawberry milkshakes, comfortable silence.

D I S L I K E S
Harsh weather, yelling, angry voices, waiting, boredom, domestic tasks, difficult conversations, secrets, feeling unsure, dating, tight clothing, exercise (that necessary evil), cooking, loneliness, making decisions, pressure, bodies of water


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Image]P E R S O N A
Nathan has been described as a gentle giant: with his kind heart and his warm smile, it’s not hard to see why. Many who know him have shared the sentiment that they aren’t sure he’d be capable of hurting a fly, others wonder if he has a temper at all. If he does, he never seems to lose it, even when you’re intentionally trying to push his buttons. He always seems to be a happy, kind, patient guy- and it doesn’t seem to be an act, either, he seems to just genuinely have a heart of gold and a non-existent mean streak.

He is loud, however; from his voice to his laugh, he is boisterous through and through. He’s always happy to engage in some sort of shenanigans to make someone smile, and therefore very seldom turns down a dare. He prefers not to do anything dangerous, or anything that might hurt someone else’s feelings, but he’s desperate for acceptance and companionship, so there isn’t much he won’t do. He does seem a bit stunted, however; like he never fully grew up. He doesn’t seem to be capable of really behaving like an adult, and one may wonder if that’s because he’s never tried.

There is another side to him, however seldom seen, that’s thoughtful, and perhaps even somewhat poetic. Nostalgic and afraid, he carries on with his life as if nothing has changed, even though it’s more accurate to say that nothing is the same. This is the part of him that knows he is ultimately responsible for his failures, his inability to function. And yet, he refuses to let go of the past and grow.


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H I S T O R I A
Nathan is the only child to two overbearing parents; his mother, who never wanted him to grow up; and his father, who wanted him to grow up far too quickly. His mother doted on him in his younger years, and at first he didn’t mind it. Never having to lift a finger was nice, he would admit. But as he grew older, she was like a shadow behind him; never letting him do a thing, constantly treating him like a helpless child, even well into his adult years.

His father, in contrast, was like an ever-present antagonist. Always yelling, nit-picking, pulling Nathan apart. Nothing he did was good enough, nothing was done well enough, neat enough. His mother would refuse to let him lift a finger, then his father would yell and scream in his face that he was spoiled, a rotten child, that he would never be self-sufficient. The yelling was occasionally punctuated with something more violent, but that only lasted until Nathan grew taller and stronger than his father.

Nathan got into partying to get away from his mother, and from the ever-present scowls and raised voices he was so used to at home. It wasn’t a healthy coping mechanism, but he treasured the friends he made, and he wanted them to love him. He sort of made a family out of them, since his own family was so dysfunctional. It was only natural that he’d want to please them, so he did whatever it took to make them happy- to make them love him. The group growing apart gutted him, and he didn’t know what to do with his life without them. He’d squandered his grades, and ruined any chance at getting into college.

Now, he’s living in a tiny apartment with 3 roommates, and even with their combined efforts they’re barely making ends meet. Every romantic partner has left him, citing having no desire to be his parent, and Nate generally feels like a total loser. His life, it seems, is going nowhere, and he is completely miserable. Still, he goes through life with a smile on his face, at least as often as he is able. After all, he wouldn’t be himself without a smile.


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R E L A T I O N S H I PXS T A T U S
Single?

T A L E N T S
Nathan is, at a glance, not good at much beyond having a good time. However, he is very physically fit; he’s a fast runner, and packs a hell of a punch. It’s pretty rare to get him riled up enough to get into a fight, but if you do, you’re likely in for a bad time. Alternatively, he is surprisingly eloquent with the written word, though not so much spoken word. He played football in high school, and though it’s been a while, he can still throw a ball like nobody’s business.

S T R E N G T H S
ate is friendly and approachable, which is a good thing when making new friends. He’s also just physically imposing enough to make most anything think twice before crossing him. He’s surprisingly determined if he wants something to work out, and isn’t one to give up quickly. He stays fairly true to himself, no matter the circumstances; you won’t find him losing himself in a job or a hobby, or a new relationship.

W E A K N E S S E S
Nathan tends to not take himself seriously enough, and he also tends to act like a giant man-child. He often has no idea what he wants, and so he has no drive to achieve his goals. He hates uncomfortable feelings, and will go out of his way to avoid them, even to his own detriment.


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So begins...

Nathan Miller's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxremember the words you told me
xxxlove me till the day i die
xxxsurrender my everything cause
xxxyou made me believe you're mine

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Soren’s day had been going pretty good right up until that moment. Beautiful Strangers had played an acoustic set on local radio, done a Skype interview or two, and arrived at the apartment in loads of time to get set up and warmed up. They hadn’t played a private show in a while, but Richard, their manager, had said the girl organizing it had seemed really eager to book them and had paid handsomely for it.

None of them had asked too many questions. They were too tired, still jet-lagged from flying back from Europe and exhausted from playing six shows in six countries in seven days. Soren wished he could say it felt good being back in New York, but since his parents had moved back to Camden and had been renting out the apartment while he’d been touring, he was waking up to an empty apartment in a city where his memories weren’t exactly the fondest. But it was worth it all to get to do this. He’d do it all over again for that feeling of stepping out on stage.

He hadn't recognized the building at first. They went in a back entrance so they could use the service elevator, which was big enough that they could get all of their gear up to the right floor in just two runs instead of four or five. But there was something strangely familiar about the hall, something Soren couldn't quite put his finger on. It was only when the door to the apartment opened and an all too familiar face stepped out that things finally fell into place.

"Hi guys! Oh my god, it's so good to see you all, it's been too long!" Lauren gushed. Soren couldn't say anything. His stomach had plummeted through the floor and apparently taken his power of speech with it. This had to be some kind of sick joke. It had to be. By the time he came to his senses, Richard was chatting away to Lauren, having propelled them all into the apartment. "You know the guys already?" Richard asked. "Oh yeah, I knew them all the way back when Soren was still mopping floors and making frappés to fund it!" She laughed. Soren's jaw clenched even as he forced a smile.

"We'd better get set up, right?" He said, taking the opportunity to go over to where a small stage had been set up for them. Richard kept Lauren occupied for a few minutes, but eventually, he heard those heels tapping over, caught a whiff of her signature perfume.

"Hello, stranger," she purred, and his jaw clenched again. He didn't look at her, continuing to tune his guitar. "Look at you all. Big stars now, even bigger than the last time I saw you," she added, placing a hand on his shoulder. He wrenched his arm away and took a few steps away.

"Are you enjoying yourself, Lauren?" He asked. "Sneaking backstage isn't good enough for you now, you have to book my goddamn band behind my back?"
"Well, it was the only way I’d get you to talk to me. And besides, you didn't seem to mind me sneaking backstage so much last time," she said. Her tone was teasing but he knew her well enough to see the venom in those eyes and in that smile.
"Because you practically force-feeding me drinks had nothing to do with it," he retorted. Her smile widened, practically dripping with venom.
"You don't have to play the show, you know. If you're really uncomfortable," she said. He shot a glance back to the rest of the band. They had to have known what was going down, but they were making an exceptional show of pretending they didn't.

Soren knew two things. First of all, she had done this to torment him. This had nothing to do with loving their music or wanting to support the band. This had everything to do with him and their history.

And second of all, walking out would be letting her win. If he walked out, she could play the pity card and drag their name through the mud. And he wouldn’t, couldn’t, do that to the others. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to let her win that easily.

"Well, you've paid half upfront. Wouldn't want to waste your money now, would we?" He replied, matching that dangerous smile. Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly, enough for him to count it as a win. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to finish getting set up.”

They got their gear set up and tuned, and Lauren pointed them in the direction of a spare bedroom they could use to warm up and finish getting ready. Soren was glad that he usually took his time warming up, because every minute he was doing so was a minute that Lauren would leave him alone. He hadn’t even gotten a chance to talk to Rebecca yet, because she seemed to always be in too close of a proximity to Lauren to risk it. As they went out to start the show, he spotted Erin pouring drinks at the bar. Well. At least he had that much. Erin would back him up if Lauren tried anything, and she’d slap some sense into him if needed. Catching her eye, he mouthed “What the fuck?” before grinning.

The show went well. It was a smaller crowd than their last few shows, but the atmosphere was still good enough that for just over an hour, Soren completely forgot about Lauren. He always put his all into the show, always had. So much so that when he came off stage, some of the crowd chanting for another song, despite everybody wanting to congratulate him, he had to go back into that spare bedroom to recover for a few moments. It was a mistake. He heard somebody by the door, and knew exactly who it was without having to look up, even before she spoke.

“How is it you’re even better than you were the last time I saw you guys play?” Lauren asked, leaning against the door.
“That’s how this works. You play enough shows, you get practice, you get better. Simple process really," he said, leaning in to the mirror to fix his eyeliner.
“You’ve grown up so much,” she mused, and he could see her making her way towards him. His heart was pounding in his throat, but he felt rooted to the spot. “I’m so proud of you.” And then she was right in front of him, a hand on his cheek. He pulled away from her.
“Get the fuck away from me, Lauren. I don’t want anything to do with you.” He warned, and she laughed.
“Oh, but Soren, darling, I’ve heard you say that before,” she purred, running a hand along his arm and going to take his hand. He snatched it away, taking another step away from her.
“You’re pathetic, you know that? It’s so obvious what you’re doing. I wasn’t good enough for you when I was mopping floors and making frappes, but now that people are taking notice? You’re all over me again. It’s sad, Lauren. I’m done with you. No amount of alcohol or drugs in this world could make me want to get with you again.” Lauren hadn’t changed. He knew now she never would.

Almost an hour later, Soren was still on edge after the argument. He didn’t trust himself to drink, didn’t trust that he wouldn’t do something stupid. Staying was a bad idea. He needed to go. He headed back to the spare room to grab his coat and his gear. He opened the door, running a hand down his face- and froze.

Lauren was slumped on the floor. Soren sighed, thinking that she’d had too much to drink or had taken something, and crossed over the room to her. “Lauren?” He called, kneeling down beside her and shaking her shoulder. Something felt wrong. He went to shake her again- and it was then he saw the small pool of blood. “Lauren? Lauren?” He kept calling, panicking. Soren went to feel for Lauren’s pulse, confirmation of something he already knew. Nothing. Lauren was dead. In the doorway, a woman screamed.

He didn’t know what happened then. He didn’t know how he reacted, if he yelled out for somebody, if he just froze. But suddenly it seemed that everybody else knew. He was numb, hardly able to move, hardly able to think. He was just kneeling numbly beside her. Someone said something about calling the police. And as he heard the sirens, something awful occurred to him.

Pretty much everyone at the party knew about their history. They'd been arguing earlier. If the police started asking questions... fingers were going to be pointed his way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
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Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #D02090
xxxYoung hearts, out our minds
xxxRunnin' 'til we outta time
xxxWild child's, lookin' good
xxxLiving hard just like we should

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Today was the day, the first day in years since she would be back in America, back in New York. Since leaving she likes to think she’s grown and matured a little bit, but occasionally the wild side of her would come out while out traveling and her friends would be surprised with how she acted, since she mostly kept a professional and quiet life at work, there wasn’t much room to goof around when you’re the secretary and personal assistance of the CEO of one of the largest property development and investment companies in England, Telereal Trillium.

Over the years she didn’t keep in contact with many people from the states, only talking to her parents roughly once or twice a month. And maybe a message from Soren here and or to check in and update about his band, she felt bad when she couldn’t make it to one of their shows when they did their small European tour. But when Lauren messaged her on Instagram talking about one last party to relive the glory days, one that they would never forget, Rebecca quickly talked to her work and got the time off to head back to the States and have some fun.

Rebecca had only been back in New York just under a day, but it felt like it was just yesterday she was here and not many years ago, and she was hoping it would be just like the good of days of being an immature and crazy teenager. Sure she was still having fun in England and traveling around Europe, but it was here she became who she was and always able to let go and be free. Especially since Lauren was throwing a party for the good old times. Rebecca had tried to convince Soren to just tag along for a little bit just to relive the golden years but besides saying he didn’t want to have to deal with Lauren him and his band already had plans. But the two promised to meet up and get some drinks, maybe even play some music together, though it has been years since Rebecca had picked up an instrument.

After checking in at her hotel, Rebecca quickly went out to the shops to find an outfit for tonight, while she did bring enough clothes to last here while she was here, but of her clothes fixed the English atmosphere and their trends, not the American ones. Throughout the day she would be texting and trading pictures with Lauren, feeling like they were in high school again trying to figure out what to buy and wear. Over the years Becca had gotten a new phone a couple times and over time lost most of her American contacts as she didn’t need them, Lauren and Soren mostly talked to her over social media, so there weren't many people she could text right now, and knew Soren would be busy with his band to prep for their gig, wherever it was at.

Rebecca was out shopping for a couple of hours, a little longer than she planned but also buying more than she planned, though she wasn’t surprised by that. And when she got back to the hotel she started getting ready for the night, knowing it would take her a bit to do her hair and make up.

The phone to Rebecca’s hotel room rang and she quickly answered it to find out her taxi for the party had finally arrived. She grabbed her purse sprayed her perfume while talking down the stairs, it was one of her favorite senses she got as a tester back in London and quickly got refills of, made with siracusa lemon, an orange bigarade and support with a dark tenderness smell of juniper berries. The clicking of her heels on the lobby floor followed Rebecca as she walked through the rotary doors and quickly climbed into the taxi waiting for her on the street. It was already approaching the evening hours and Rebecca spent most of the time just staring out the window, gazing at the beauty of the city that made her who she was.

When the taxi pulled up, Rebecca immediately knew it was the right apartment for a party that Lauren would throw. While walking up the short staircase a very familiar voice caught her attention. “Wild!” Rebecca looked up and saw Lauren, stunning as ever. “Laur!” Rebecca shouted as the two open arms and hugged each other at the top of the stairs and giving a cheek-kiss. It’s been too long! Come in, I got a surprise.” Lauren said turning around and going in. Rebecca laughed and nodded some hellos to some people she knew roughly from high school. She wasn’t sure what the surprise was, but knew Lauren and knew it would be interesting. As the walked through she saw some more people she recognized but was basically dragged by the hand by Lauren to the main room, and upon entering her mouth taped open in surprised. Beautiful Strangers. “What? How did you get Soren to agree to this? I thought y’all werent on good terms.” Rebecca did a light wave to Soren before Lauren responded. “Didn’t ask him, talked to their manager and threw enough money. You should’ve seen his face, I’m hoping to rekindle some things.” The girl said with a wink. Lauren then showed Rebecca around some more, Rebecca felt bad for not staying and talking to Soren, but knew she had to entertain Lauren for a little before peeling off. The two continued to talk and Lauren showed her around.

“And I got the best bartender in New York.” Lauren said as she showed her where the bow was, showing Rebecca that Erin was also here serving drinks, which brought a smile and blush to her face. “Anyways, I need to go hunt my prey, Enjoy yourself!” Lauren said as she turned down the hallway. Erin hadn’t seen Rebecca yet since she was serving some people. Rebecca walked up to her blind spot on her right side. “Damn shouldn’t someone with buns like that be a baker not a bartender?” She said loud enough to catch Erin’s attention, and quickly hugging her from behind. She did a little giggle as Erin retorted her compliment. “Sorry if I startled you.” She said as she watched Erin give out drinks talking about work.

A smile came across her face as Erin poured her an old favorite drink of hers, something Rebecca nicknamed as a Wild Ride. Becca has tried to remake it numerous times on her own, and even asking bartenders for the custom drink to be made, but never came close to Erin’s, even thought every time she made it Erin would say she could make it better. Becca held up the cup that Erin had filled up for her. “I’ll be back for a refill, and then we can catch up!” As she turned a corner drinking the freshly made drink, which tasted perfect, she almost spilt her it when she bumped into someone, someone big. “Oh! I’m so sorr-“ she quickly cut off seeing it was her old partner in crime. Nathan. “Nathan!” She threw her arms around the gentle giant. “Wow it’s good to see you! Looking great. Are things gotten better? Been awhile and when I left…” Rebecca trailed off, not exactly wanting to say what Nathan was going through before she left, she knew he had an unfortunate run of bad luck.

The two talked for a little bit before Rebecca saw Lauren walk through a hallway and into a spare room. “Excuse me hun, but I gotta go talk to Lauren. We will finish this conversation I promise.” Rebecca gave him a kiss on the cheek and quickly went through the party crowd looking for Lauren.

After quickly spotted Lauren, Rebecca caught her attention and asked to talk to her in the spare room. “Everything okay wild child?” Lauren asked closing the door behind her. Rebecca put her drink down on the dresser before turning around to Lauren. “You really tricked Beautiful Strangers into playing here? I can’t believe you did this. You know how Soren is, he doesn’t want to be with you You need to let him go Laur.” She said to her, trying to be sympathetic. But the message wasn’t being understood the way she wanted it to be. “How. Dare. You. This is my party, and he’s my ex. I will get him back, and you aren’t gonna steal him from me, bitch.” She shouted into Rebecca’s face, probably could be heard from outside the room. This struck a chord with Rebecca, and she quickly reacted. “Are you fucking kidding me? Me, a bitch? No, fuck you Lauren. You shoved him away and cheated on him. You’re the one being a bitch, I’m trying to help you.” She said back to her. The two continued a little bit more before Rebecca stormed out, slamming the door behind her. And heading to the bathroom to cool off and get control of herself. After rinsing her face Rebecca decided she should go back and apologize to Lauren about how she acted.

Rebecca hung around a bit to catch up some more with some people and was getting ready to leave when a scream caught Rebecca’s attention and she quickly went to investigate. As she got to the door way she finally saw the thing that caused someone to scream. “Lauren!” Becca quickly shoved someone that was in the doorway aside and went to the side of the body, barely avoiding the blood on the floor. “Someone get help! Please! Call someone or something!” She yelled to the doorway where a group had started to form. Rebecca turned back to the body and held Lauren’s hand “It’ll be okay Lauren. Help is coming.” Rebecca barely got out of her mouth as tears started down her face.

Lauren said this would be a night they wouldn’t forget, little did she mean it like this.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
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ALEXANDER YANG
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Ethical Hacker | Outfit | Hex: #4E3475
There is only one way to avoid criticism:
do nothing, say nothing, be nothing...

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"Hey Lex, how is it going? I know it has been a while since we've seen each other but... I was just wondering if you would like to meet up sometime? This is Jessica... just in case you forgot. Well, I'll be looking forward to your response. Don't be a stranger now, hun. Kisses!" The voicemail playing from Alexander's smart phone in his right hand had finally ended. He was massaging his his temple with his other hand as he tried, to little effect, alleviate the headache he felt growing from listening to the voicemail.

"You sure do have a number of admirers, don't you boss? Not worried that one of them is going to act drastically after you slight them?" Christina, also known as Tina, Lex's secretary, asked him jokingly while giving him a cup of coffee.

"It doesn't matter. Whether or not I return their affection, none of them really care or know about me, at least the true me." Lex said as he thanked Tina for the drink. As he slowly sipped he continued, "There are few who do... even less now."

While walking towards the door to exit Lex's office, Tina said, "I don't seem to remember you doing anything to change that sir. You should probably address that, the sooner the better. Everyone needs a few good friends." She giggled a little as she opened the door. Turning around and looking towards Lex she continued, asking, "Aren't you suppose to meet up with some old friends tonight?"Alexander casually looked down at his phone, looking at the date and time.

Earlier in the week Lex had received a message out of the blue from his old friend Lauren, taking about getting their old group back together again after the fallout years prior. He had blamed himself for what had happened and had distanced himself from them all of them afterwards. Now after years had passed he was slowly trying to repair his past relationships with those he could find in New York City. He was steadily making progress and this event provided him with the opportunity to try and patch up things with those he was unable to meet with earlier, due to the lack of free time Lex had to do so.

"Seems like it." Alexander got up from his desk, walking towards the exit where Tina was now located. As he walked past her and towards the coat rack to put on his coat, he said, "Cancel any unnecessary meetings and postpone anything deemed important. I don't want to be disturbed by anyone til tomorrow at noon. Knowing my old friends I probably won't be available until then." As he was about to leave he turned back towards Tina and said, "You can take the rest of the day off, if you like... Paid of course."

Tina blew a teasing kiss towards Lex as he left his office. He then messaged the front desk with his phone to have a car prepared for him to leave for Lauren's party, giving them its location. As he exited the elevator in the main lobby Lex was greeted by a number of employees. He waved towards them all nonchalantly as he left the building and entered the car waiting for him outside.

As the car left towards its destination Lex looked down towards his watch, thinking, "Looks like I'll be a little bit late... Just like old times." He laughed to himself quietly as he waited until he arrived at Lauren's party.

After a fair bit of time Alexander arrived at the party. Looking around he saw a number of familiar faces, those being: Erin, Nathan, and Lauren. Lex approached Erin and exchanged pleasantries with her while he ordered an Irish Buck. Thanking her, Lex said, "Thanks. Hopefully everything ends uneventfully tonight... unlike last time." Sighing Lex game Erin a short farewell as he looked for Lauren, to greet her.

While walking towards Lauren, Lex nodded and smiled towards Nathan, one of the few people Lex has spent time trying to connect to after the group's fallout years ago. When he reached Lauren he greeted her with a hug. Despite everything that went down between the group Lex had kept a mutually beneficial relationship with her. They were both affluent and influential people, within their own right, and used their abilities in order to assist each other whenever they needed the other.

Looking towards the stage Lex noted that Sorin's band would be performing for their party tonight. Looking towards Lauren he said, "I'm guessing he wasn't told that you were the one hiring him tonight, right?" After receiving an affirmation for his thoughts Lex laughed a little to himself. "Well... I hope whatever you're planning goes as well as you think it will. Me and Sor haven't been in the best terms since we... Just don't expect much out of me tonight. I'm planning on trying to reestablish the relationships I lost." Before leaving her Lex gave Lauren a kiss on her cheek before saying, "Happy Hunting."

Some time and a few drinks later Lex was quietly observing the crowd while Beutiful Strangers was playing their set. While looking over the crowd Lex had spotted Rebecca, his past crush while they were in high school. After knowing her for so long and from their first interaction Lex had slowly developed romantic feelings towards her. When she left New York City he was having a hard time, missing just having her in his life as a support. This was the time when he had his major slip up with Lauren and caused the rift between the group members. Lex's greatest hope for coming tonight was to rekindle the relationship he once had with Rebecca and possibly even more.

Alexander waited patiently as he watched Rebecca talk to a couple of the members of their group at the party. Smiling to himself as he thought, "I'm glad she can still make those expressions. Maybe moving away before everything went down was best for her." Not wanting to disturb her while she was enjoying herself Lex decides to mingle among the other attendants who catch his interest. Engaging in small talk with a few people until he grows tired of talking to them, bidding farewell as he walks to a nearby balcony to have a smoke.

While lighting his cigarette and taking the first drag Lex notices Lauren standing nearby. Looking towards her Lex smiles and offers her a cigarette. After inhaling a considerable amount he lets the smoke lazily exit his mouth as leans on the railing turning to Lauren, saying, "So what's with this party anyway? You can't tell me that this is all just to get us all together... If that were the case we could've done this earlier... What's the motivation?" Waiting to hear her answer Lex sees an all familiar cold glint in her eyes, one that tells him he may not want to hear the answer. While listening to Lauren talk an even colder glint could be seen in his eyes as he stared daggers towards Lauren...

After having talked to Lauren, Lex walked towards the bar to get another refill as a headache seemed to creep into his head. He didn't see Erin anywhere near the bar so he decided to mix himself a drink. Just after he finished preparing his drink Lex heard a scream over all the festivities going on around him. He wasn't really concerned about what happened until he heard Rebecca shouting for help. Hearing her triggered Lex to run towards the scene, pushing onlookers aside until he was behind Rebecca, Sorin, and Erin. The sight of Lauren laying in a pool of blood made Lex instinctively hold back some of his emotions, in order to better help in the situation and remained focused.

Alexander looked around, assessing as much as he could about the situation before leaning on a nearby wall to Rebecca. He stroked her hair gently, attempting to comfort her while calling his secretary Tina. "Sorry for calling but a friend of mine was... killed. I'm sure someone has already informed the authorities about this so I'm sure they will be on their way here soon." Just as he said this he could hear a number of faint sirens in the background. "Tina, this is going to be very important... Get a number of our experts to try and gather as much information as they can about the party that I am at now, anything that may prove useful no matter how minute. You know how we do things." After hearing Tina agree to everything with a serious tone, Lex returned his focus to those around him.

As law enforcement came by he saw Erin questioning Sor, preparing him for the investigation that would surely start sometime soon. Looking down at Rebecca holding Lauren's hand Lex promptly squatted down next to her, attempting to comfort her by wrapping his arm around her shoulder, patting her. He leaned towards Rebecca's ear, whispering,"Erin is right, the cops soon start questioning everyone here... and Sorin will most likely be their main suspect."

Looking around Lex noticed that their wasn't any law enforcement within eyesight. While still comforting Rebecca and with the cops currently distracted, Lex removed the hands she was holding Lauren with, wiping the hand Rebecca had just been holding. He turned to look at her in the eyes with the most caring look he could muster while maintaining his composure. "Your fingerprints would only lead to more complications for you... I know how much Lauren means to you but you being put in a holding cell for holding her hand doesn't sit well with me."

Looking at Rebecca's eyes he couldn't help but break down the emotional wall he had just built a little bit. He then held her even tighter as he said, "I'm sorry... I'm not exactly the greatest at comforting others. If you want to stay here with Lauren... we can do that. If you need some fresh air, we can do that... " As he looked down at Lauren while holding Rebecca he couldn't help but feel regret that he was incapable of keeping this event from happening and deciding that he would do everything within his ability to get to the bottom of what happened here, while protecting himself and those he cared about.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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Nate had always loved parties, that was no secret. Something about going out, being with his friends, it made him feel alive. As a teenager, it had been some form of escapism; the less he was at home, the less time he spent dealing with his parents. But as his father started leaving him alone, he didn't slow down any. His group of friends was kind of like a second family- one that understood him, or, at least, they did. Nate had lost friends after everything that happened, but he'd ended up closer than ever to others. He had the day off, but wanted to make sure there would be plenty of people at the party before he arrived- he wanted to avoid Lauren if he could. The thought that he would be avoiding her in her own home crossed his mind, but he honestly didn't care if that hurt her feelings.

The party was a blur of people he didn't recognize, a few he did, and music that shouldn't have surprised him. He should have known there would be drama, there always was when Lauren was around. He didn't give himself time to start regretting his decision to come to the party, instead he got a drink and went off in search of someone he knew- one he was willing to talk to, anyway. Nate had always been good at small talk, so he knew he would be just fine mingling around until he spotted someone he knew. It didn't take long until he ran into Rebecca, and a bright smile lit up his face, "Rebecca?" He returned her hug, squeezing her gently. He smiled as she spoke, and shrugged in a nonchalant gesture when she halfway brought up the mess Nate's life was in when she moved, "I'm doing alright, now," His voice was even and calm, as if he were speaking a universal truth, and not just his own opinion, "I actually work for Erin now. She's a good boss." He paused, but only for a moment before he continued, "Very patient." They caught up for a few minutes, but it wasn't long before Rebecca excused herself to go find Lauren, and Nate found himself alone yet again.

He tried to enjoy himself, but everyone seemed so wrapped up in Lauren and whatever she was scheming that he felt like there was going to be a repeat of the last time they were all in one space together. Combined with how Lauren seemed to be everywhere, and how difficult it seemed to be to avoid her spotting him, he started to contemplate leaving. He decided to say goodbye to everyone who still cared, or at least Erin, but his plans were quickly changed by the sounds of shouting and crying from one of the rooms. He took a moment to take it all in; his brain trying to understand what had happened. His face was set in an expression of indifference, but as he heard sirens approaching, he moved into action. He moved to Soren's side and squatted down to lift him to his feet, "Come on, buddy," He spoke, voice barely above a whisper, "Let's go sit down."

Arms wrapped firmly around Soren's shoulders, Nate led the man out of the room and sat him down on a couch. He looked around, briefly, before settling down next to his old friend, not wanting to leave him alone. He and Soren had never been close, but Nathan knew this moment was devastating, so he was more than happy to wait in silence, at least for the moment.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark
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xxxxxxxxxxxxthe perfectionistx|xoutfitx|x#8BA3A6

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72 hours and counting. Khepri has been up for a total of 72 hours, a majority of which she spent at the desk in her hotel room just typing away on her computer, trying to come up with a story that wasn't shitty. She spent close to 3 days staring at her computer, not including the four-hour nap she took while sitting at the desk in her hotel room while she was on the phone with Christopher who was persisting that her pain medication mixed with her lack of sleep was only going to cause her to crash. Again. Or at least asked her to step out of her room to get some fresh air. Not that she listened. She promised both him, Lex, and Lauren that she would go to the party which gave her a ton of time to finish her draft, she'd get some fresh air then. But until then she had to focus that was before she saw the blinds of her room open and let in streams of light causing the reporter to cover her eyes and groan. "Ugh! You could at least open the windows so it's not completely depressing in here." Khepri groaned before hitting save on her document because she knew, whatever Lauren had planned would leave it unfinished. She raised her eyes for the first time to see none other than Lauren Clark with her hands on her hips. "How'd you even get into my room? I told them no disruptions."

"It's not a disruption if you tell them you're worried about your friend's mental well being and think she might hurt herself." Khrepi raised her eyebrows as she removed her glasses. "Lauren!" The black hair beauty chuckled. "What? You weren't answering your phone and I need help." The Indian woman raised her eyebrows once more before returning to her word doc. "I'm busy. Some of us actually have careers that never stop." Lauren rolled her eyes. "The world won't fall apart just because Khepri Mahajan stops working." Khepri took a deep breath. "No, but my career might." Anyone else would think she's being dramatic and okay, maybe she was but, as far as she was concerned. If she was ever going to get back in the field, broadcasting these exciting stories from all over the globe, she had to show her bosses that she was healed in every possible way; physically, mentally and that she was better than ever. And instead of taking anyone's advice and taking time off, she's spent her time 'off' thinking of stories that she would get started the moment she was back in front of the camera as opposed to just publishing them in some newspaper. Laur scoffed as she slowly started to close the girl's computer. "And people think I'm dramatic." Pri looked in disbelief as Lauren quickly grab the computer and tossed it on the bed. "Your career will be fine for a night. Now, how long have you been cooped up in here?"

"Two days." Three, but who's counting. "Have you eaten anything." Khepri didn't even look as she gave a signature snide remark as she rubbed her eyes to help them adjust to the world. "Whatever answer gets you to leave me alone quicker." Lauren smiled as she scurried towards the walk-closet, not saying a word until she started to toss out an outfit for her friend to change into. "Great, so that's a no. So, here's the plan: you shower, we get lunch, we get some sexy outfits for tonight, and then start scheming." Pri whined like a child as she caught to pair of booties Lauren tossed towards her. "Why me?" Khepri whined. "Why not Becca or just anyone but me?" Lauren threw her a pair of booties. "Because you're the brains and I need a plan." At this point Lauren was holding Khepri's hand with big eyes. Khepri groaned with annoyance as she ripped her hand away to head towards her bathroom to get ready for the day.

The pair spent the rest of the day getting ready for the party before heading to Lauren's to put on the finishing touches. Honestly, with Khepri, everything was going to look perfect even if it wasn't her party. At this point, the two were made up with their hair and makeup and, at least Khepri was a little more relaxed than usual after partaking in more than enough drinking since Lauren started to tell her how she wanted Soren back and her whole idea. She nodded and gave her advice but was a lot less vocal about how bad of an idea this was. And could you blame her? She had still never told the girl about their little run-in after the breakup and before he left town and honestly, she didn't plan on it. As far as Lauren knew, Soren was just a raging pain in her ass (which he was) and she just didn't like the idea which was why she was reluctant to agree with it. How was she supposed to even bring that up? "Hey you want your ex back? Great. By the way, I slept with him. We good?" She was a terrible person and to null that feeling of guilt, she kept drinking and nitpicking things with the setup of the party. Lauren pulled her aside and smirked. "They're on their way up." Pri smirked back, hiding her anxiety before chuckling. "Great, then I'm going to go get dressed before everyone shows up and give you some space to enact that twisted and very fucked up plan of yours."

"And go get another drink, Jesus Christ." It wasn't that she was worried about it coming out at any point in the night, god no. She knew neither her or Soren would 1, ever bring it up and 2, would rather die than tell Lauren. It was just the fact that it happened and this was the first time in years Khepri was around Lauren in person and now it was starting to weigh on her. The polished woman took her time getting ready, not only to stop from facing any awkwardness but because she had to make sure she looked absolutely perfect. This was the first time she was seeing the whole group together and, yes, she had to show off her hair that was down and framing her face just right, her makeup, her emerald green silk dress that stopped right above her knees and strappy black heels, down to even the shine on her engagement ring. She looked herself in the mirror for what felt like the 30th time, fixing her flyaways before taking a step back to take in her entire appearance. Turning to the side, she smirked. "Still got it." It had felt like forever since the last time she had gone out and had a good time, but that didn't stop her from looking down at her phone every time it went off. Constantly remembering the work she was putting off... for a party. She took a deep breath, reached into her clutch and pulled out a baggie of blue pills, throwing two into her mouth and washing them down with some water, Lauren had given her after noticing how much Khepri was drinking before the party even started. Yes, she was aware that mixing alcohol with her Adderall wasn't the best idea but, she needed to work after this. She didn't plan on being at the party too long, only long enough to see her friends, please Lauren with her social skills, and sneak out the back to talk to Christopher and finish editing her article. She'd out in like two hours, easy. "Stop be an antisocial narcissist and come out here!" Lauren yelled through the door.

Most of the party went off without a hitch, she saw some old friends, danced with Lauren as she made sex eyes towards Soren as his band played even after telling Khepri how her plan went and slung her arms around Khepri's shoulders. She'd never admit but, he was talented. She swayed as Lauren spun her around just the band's set ended. "Okay! I will be back until then," Lauren kissed her on the cheek. "Try to get some dick or pussy, whatever your little bicon heart desires. I'll be back!" The black hair beauty winked before disappearing into the crowd before Pri could say a word. "I don't need pussy because I'm not a bicon." She scoffed and threw her hands up before turning around to make her way to the bar to pass time until Lauren came back as she definitely didn't plan on sleeping with anyone tonight especially since she shouldn't at least act like she's engaged.

Khepri past the time, talking to a woman who walked up to the bar, not really picking up on the flirting as she looked at the time and all of her notifications, she knew it was time to bow out. But, not before thanking Lauren for actually getting her out of her shell for a night even if it was against her will. She excused herself from the conversation and hurried off but not before the girl handed her a piece of paper. Khepri didn't even look at it before slipping it in her pocket and starting to look around for the host. She had seen her go into the hallway away from the party and started to push her way through, saying the occasional excuse me but, mostly just shuffling through. She peeked in her bedroom, nothing. She groaned before walking into the spare room, seeing Lauren bleeding and Soren kneeling by her. She couldn't even stop herself from letting out a blood-curdling scream as she leaned against the doorframe. She covered her mouth and started shaking as she held the wall for balance to help her toppling over. The room soon filled with people; screaming, crying, and being escorted out by others. It was as if Khepri wasn't even there, she was frozen to the world around her and she couldn't hear anything but muffled sobs. The rest of the group came in and she didn't even say a word, she just stood there, softly shaking. No tears, no sobs, just completely numb, letting out the occasional shaking breath. She didn't even move as Becca held onto Lauren before being moved by Lex and Nate grabbing Soren.

Khepri couldn't even explain why she had frozen up, she had seen battlefields, crime scenes, you name it and Khepri had seen it before in her career but, this. This hit differently, this wasn't some unnamed victim, this was Lauren. Someone she had just danced with an hour ago and now, she was just gone, like that. Through the muffled voices running through her head, she heard someone saying that the police was coming and saw flashes of red and blue fill the room. Most of the guests had left the room before being police made their way into the apartment but, Khepri at this point had slid to the ground clinging on for dear life to her position on the doorframe. Only letting go when two uniformed officers softly removed her and escorted her out of the room. When leaving, Khepri turned to see the body of her friend just as they covered her with a sheet. She gasped for air as if she was suffocating and finally let out a tear that made its way down her face. The officers sat her down near the others when she finally completely snapped back. "Ma'am, again, are you okay?" Khepri rapidly blinked before turning her eyes to the officers. "What? Yea--... Yea, I'm okay." She turned her eyes to the room around her. "You're in shock, stay here until we can check you out. You may have hit your head on your way down." She just nodded, not even making eye contact with them. Just finally taking in the sight of distraught party goers as the wheels in her head began to turn.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Arisa Winston
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Arisa Winston
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outfit : herex|xhex: #0D5C91
xxxThe search is so very long
xxxWe let it fade away
xxxThere's a ray of hope beyond despair
xxxMove on, look for the truth in this world

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New York City, the city that never slept. It was a city that Arisa had never been to, despite living close to it for a number of years before becoming a cop. For one, she had no desire to see it and secondly, she simply liked where she had been. But a job was a job and Arisa loved her job. So NYC bound she was, along with her partner Kyle. To say their assignment transition and trip to New York was memorable was true, but for all the wrong reasons. Arisa handled the trip much better then Kyle. If there was one thing she learned over the years, it was patience was a virtue. Still the travel experience did push her buttons. At least their luggage hadn't been sent somewhere else. She had tried telling Kyle these things but it had been pretty obvious there was no helping him. For her own experiences, Arisa felt she had no right to complain when she had been in worse situations, not to mention she had seen the worst in humanity too. And it was those moments that Arisa's 'dark side' showed up and it was then Kyle's turn to try to keep her calm. It was a relief when they finally reached their hotel. The place itself was more expensive then Arisa's last place, and smaller too. Still it would do until she got her own flat. As much as Arisa wanted to live in the suburbs, she knew she had to stay in the main urban area because of her job.

Arisa had been busy putting her own stuff away when she heard a knock at the door. Checking through the peep hole in the door, she saw it was her commanding officer.

"Yes sir?"

This couldn't be good. She wasn't expecting to meet her commanding officer until tomorrow. Other officers had been with him.

"Agent Winston, come with me please. There's something I need to tell you and Agent Monohan."

Nodding and making sure she had her hotel key and officer's badge, the detective followed him into her partner's room, along with her other 'tools' she took with her in case something happened, which included her gun. She stood close to Kyle as they both were told about a homicide. Well that was just great, but this was New York after all. The crime rate was bound to be through the roof here. Her ears picked up the conversation of the other officers who asked Kyle if he knew a Lauren when he was younger.

"My sister did, but I doubt it's the same person. Plenty of people with that name. Let's get going, shall we?"

For her partner's sake, Arisa hoped it wasn't the Lauren he knew. Cases could easily get messy if an officer had deep connections with those directly involved. Arisa didn't know a lot about Kyle's personal life but she did know he had a sister. Didn't he mention she was a bar tender? She didn't know much and didn't bother trying to ask because she was pretty tight lip about her own personal life. They basically only told each other where they originally came from and a little about their families. All that Kyle knew about her was she was from Allentown and grew up with her aunt and uncle, which was technically true since she was still a child when she moved in with them.

NYC traffic was horrible downtown. Even Arisa was tempted to get out of the vehicle they were in to walk to the crime scene, so it was a huge relief when the cops they were with decided to turn on their alarms. This was one thing Arisa loved about being a cop, the right to get to a place ASAP. Once there Arisa became on high alert. Doubtful they would have found a suspect, much less the culprit, but the blonde never took any chances, after facing death herself a number of times throughout her life. They took an elevator up and entered a scene Arisa was all too familiar with, confusion and distraught. People weren't used to bad thing happening to them. Looks like their had been a party, at least based on the attire of the people in the hallway. Yeah, a party was the last thing one would expect a murder, but they were more common place then one would think, crime wise at least. And this was a high class party by all appearances too. Arisa may not wear anything 'expensive', but she knew a designer gown when she saw one. Great, high class meant probably more news coverage, especially if anyone famous was connected. Arisa did not like the press. She was the one who dealt with them between her and Kyle. Thank goodness for the term "Pleading the 5th". She took that tactic a lot. Still news reporters could be like fleas, they never stopped pestering you. Arisa stopped thinking about though and focused on the task at hand when they entered a room.

Putting on a neutral face, Arisa started scanning the room and the people within it. Still, she wanted to keep an eye on Kyle too and followed him as they were led to another hallway where the crime took place. Markers were already up and a sheet was covering the body. Hopefully the coroner would arrive soon and take the body back to the station so they can do an autopsy and move from there. Arisa looked at her partner and saw his gaze linger on a few people, especially the one with tats on her. It looked like Kyle knew these people. Seeing how they were all near the crime scene, Arisa figured they were all connected to the victim in some way for that was normally the case in these kinds of situations. That or had been the first to see the body. Arisa made a note to interview each and every one of them.

Soon another officer addressed them and Kyle took a look at the body after putting his gloves on. Her confirmed the identity as Lauren Clark and that she was a friend of his sister's. Arisa felt bad for her partner and placed a hand on his shoulder for comfort. Sure, they might not have been friends, but she was still someone her partner knew and no one would expect something like this to happen. She was about to suggest he leave the room when he took it upon himself to do so. Letting her partner do what he felt was best for now. Lucky for them, she was not connected and would do her best to remain as unbiased as possible. Deciding to start interview people first, she approached two men, one with dark hair and pale skin and another who was muscular with brown hair.

"Good evening gentlemen. Apologies for intruding, but I have a few questions for you. I am Detective Arisa Winston with the New York City Police Department. We'll try to get through this as quickly as possible so you can go about your business. First, I am going to need your names, ages, connection to the victim if you have one, and what you were doing here at the time of the incident."

Arisa had on a gentle smile in order to help keep these witnesses calm. She had her trusty notepad out and was already taking down notes of their appearances. The dark hair was clearly distraught and it looked like the other one was merely comforting him. Arisa knew this was all circumstantial and not hard evidence, but she believed in writing down her own personal thoughts for it helped her in investigating. Her gut feeling was telling her that the dark haired one was deeply connected to the victim or was the first to discover her or both.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #D02090
xxxYoung hearts, out our minds
xxxRunnin' 'til we outta time
xxxWild child's, lookin' good
xxxLiving hard just like we should

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Rebecca had tunnel vision just focusing on Lauren as tears came down her face. She felt someone per her shoulder and say something to her but her attention was full on Lauren, hoping she would sit up, say something, or do anything. It wasn’t until someone separates her hand from Lauren she broke out of her trance. She looked up with watery eyes make up that was starting to get runny to see Alexander. He talked about not wanting her to get in trouble for touching Lauren and that it could point fingers at her, she nodded when he spoke about staying or heading out to get some fresh air and try to calm down until the cops arrive. Rebecca saw Erin ask Soren what happened, and then say she had to call someone and stepped out. Erin was probably calling the cops. Rebecca knew now that Lauren wasn’t coming back and that police will be coming to investigate everything. Becca was helped up by Lex and lead out of the room and towards the window for some fresh air. “Th-thank you Lex… sorry you have to see me like this.” She barely whispered out to him. “Just… Lauren. She’s dead and the last thing between us was an arguement, I feel like a terrible friend… who would do this to her…” she said as some more tears rolled her eyes.

The two head back in the hallway as the cops were called and waited. Rebecca day on the floor against the wall and had her arms wrapped around her legs as she leaned into Lex who was holding her and comforting her. She had finally stopped tearing up and crying and was mostly sniffling. She looked up at Lex for a second and gave a slight smile through her runny/ruined make up, she was happy to have someone there as she was freaking out. She might have seemed more calmed down than when she saw Lauren’s dead body laying there with Soren next to her, but internally she was still freaking out and not sure what to think. Who could’ve done this, and why? Rebecca thought to herself as she was leaning her head against Lex, him just rubbing her shoulder and saying she would be okay. While thinking all of this to herself, Rebecca had be scratching and pinching her arms as a reaction to her anxiety, nerves, and emotions taken over, it wasn’t until Lex said something that she stopped, but had already marked herself up a little.

The two sat there when the first wave of cops showed up and taped up the room, well now what was the crime scene. The cops had started questing some people but left Rebecca alone as she just continued to stare into the ground and Lex letting people know she was okay and needed a minute. But once the detectives got there she knew she would have to talk to them at some point. She lightly nudged Lex and signalled she wanted to stand up, and used him to stand up and try to get ahold of herself. Becca took a look around and saw Erin talking to Soren but couldn’t make out what they were saying, and then Erin came over to her and Lex asking if they were okay.

“Y-yeah. Just, Lauren… she’s…” Rebecca was able to get through her sniffles and recovering from crying, and not wanting to say it out loud, as if not saying it will make it not true. She heard Lex say something to Erin. She saw the two detectives come out of the room and the female went up to Nate and Soren and started asking them things. Rebecca looked back at Lex and Erin when the other detective came over to talk to the three of them, asking for some basic information, small statements. “Rebecca Wilde Cruze, 24. Friend of Lauren’s… really close friend.” She said before sniffly and tearing up a little thinking about her best friend from high school being dead. Lex and Erin gave their information while Rebecca just stared at the male detective, she felt like she knew him from somewhere but wasn’t sure. She was broken from her trance when he said asked for anything else. “Oh! Soren was in the room when I saw L-Lauren. I got emotional and started to freak out so I wasn’t sure what he was doing, sorry.” She said pausing for a second before stepping forward grabbing the detectives hand. “But Soren wouldn’t hurt Lauren. He’s not that type of guy.” She said before realizing what she did and backed up, back into Lex’s embrace. The detective thanked them and left, a little awkwardly so.

Rebecca looked over at Erin. “Ri-rght? He wouldn’t kill Lauren would he?” She asked before noticing Lex looking at Khepri. Lex quietly excused himself and asked if Rebecca would like to stay with him tonight, so she wouldn’t be alone. Becca gave a small smile and nodded before Lex walked away to check on Pri, and watched him walk away before Erin got her attention. She warned Rebecca and told her to be careful. “I’ll be fine… I just don’t want to spend the night alone. You know?” Rebecca said grabbing Erin’s hand it’s both of hers. “I promise.” She said before smiling and walking over to Pri and Lex, staying quiet to let them finish talking. “I’m ready to go when you are.” She whispered to Lex, taking his arm.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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Erin Monahan
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outfit : herex|xhex: #80000
xxxForget the horror here
xxxForget the horror here
xxxLeave it all down here
xxxIt's future rust and it's future dust


Erin nodded as Soren simply just nodded in reply to her offer for coming back to her place after. It wouldn't be much, but it was all she could really offer anyone in the moment. They were all so broken and confused, and tired. None of them knew what had happened, or why. Why was it Lauren? Why did someone have the motive to kill her out of everyone there? What would have been so bad that someone had to take another's life? She knew Lauren, and as manipulative and toxic as she was at times, she didn't deserve this. No one deserved this. Before she left she gave Soren's shoulder a gentle squeeze and then turned and left for Rebecca and Alexander. She didn't know exactly what they had been saying due to everyone talking as quietly as they could, but she figured it was about what had just transpired. No matter how strong someone was, something like this, no one was ever prepared. Things had gone so well. Aside from the small argument between Soren and Lauren earlier, everything was fine, well, as fine as it could have been. She'd make sure to talk to Soren later about it, probably tomorrow when he was in a better mindset. "Are you guys okay...?" she asked, rather rhetorical in nature, but it was the only thing she could think of to say. All she knew was that they all needed someone, and she was trying her best to keep herself together. Erin gave a sorrowful look when Rebecca began to talk, her voice low and shallow, it was obvious that she had just been crying. From either the tear-stained make-up, to the reddened eyes. She sighed softly as she sat down next to them, gently rubbing Rebecca's back as the same man from earlier slowly walked up to them.

It was obvious from the way he dressed to the badge by his hip that he was no normal cop. Police usually dress in their police uniforms, not a suit and tie. She guessed the FEDS had been called in, but why? It's not like Lauren was any person of real importance, but maybe they were needed more so than the regular officers? She didn't know, all she knew was that she'd need to give her statement, and that was it. As she looked up at him as she was finally able to get a proper look at him, something seemed familiar, yet foreign. It was weird. She couldn't exactly put her finger on it, but she saw countless people every day. She figured she had just seen him in passing and thought nothing of it in the moment. "Erin Monahan. Twenty-five. Lauren was...A good friend...She hired me as the bartender for the night." she said as she looked down for a moment, and then looked back up, "You-You don't think I poisoned her, right? You can check all of the alcohol at the bar, nothing was messed with. Besides, I have my own bar...I don't think poisoning someone would be the best way to get business, right?" she said with an awkward chuckle as she tucked some loose hair behind her ear. She cleared her throat with a simple cough as she tried to relax, and not let her anxiety take over. She looked back up as Alexander gave his information and statement, and left the two of them to do whatever he was leaving for. She gave him an annoyed look and roll of her eyes before looking back at the detective. "Anything else? I don't really remember much. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary or hear anything. All I know is that uh, Khepri had been talking to her earlier, and that they danced. That was all that I remember under I heard people scream...I was also the one that called it in..If that helps any?" she questioned, her hands were sweaty and her heart was racing. The last thing she wanted to do was lie to a cop, but she wasn't completely lying. She didn't need to tell him that she had passed out in the bathroom, and didn't remember some things in that time-frame, not like it mattered much/

The detective thanked her for their time and their statements and quickly walked away after taking some notes. He didn't say much aside from the normal routine questions, obvious that he was rather new. Erin looked back at Rebecca when they were finally alone, and offered her if she needed a place to stay, but slightly frowned when she explained that she'd be going home with Alex. She rolled her eyes, of course, he would have offered. He had a crush on Rebecca since day one, and he wasn't very subtle about it. Not like she was one to talk exactly. She simply nodded as she spoke, "Just...be careful, alright? I can't afford to lose someone else tonight..." she said as she gave Rebecca a small smile, but her eyes portrayed something else. Worry, concern, and a bit of sadness at the news of going back with someone else. But if anything happened, Erin would have a reason to lose her shit at Alex finally. She simply just gave Rebecca's hand a gentle squeeze, but not before slipping a small paper into her hand after Rebecca had clasped her hand between her's. She figured Rebecca would look at the paper later, it was simply just her phone number and a small reminder to call/text her when she wanted to talk next time. Erin silently watched as Rebecca stood up and returned to Alex and Khepri, letting them know she was ready when they were to leave. A small tinge of annoyance and possibly even jealousy slithered its way into her head as she found herself clenching her jaw in an annoyed manner. She simply just sighed and stood up and walked back over to Soren, seeing how he had also given his statement, as well as Nathan. They had been talking to the female officer that came in with the male that had asked her and the others a few questions. Erin waited for them to finish their statements, giving the blonde-haired woman a small smile and nod as she thanked them for their time and gave another small bow and apology for what had happened before she left.

Erin looked at Soren and Nathan as they sat there and gave them a small and reassuring smile, "Alright, you sad saps. Soren, you said you're coming back with me, Nate, you in or did you already decide on going with someone else? You know my offer always stands." she gave him a small smile and ruffled his hair before she helped Soren to his feet. She grabbed her jacket and put it on, feeling the pack and lighter in her pockets, she'd wait until she got outside of the complex to have another one. She needed something to calm her nerves, and if smoking didn't do it, possibly drinking until she passed out sounded like a good plan. And that would most likely be how she ended up dealing with it when they got back to her place. "Let's get the fuck out of here, shall we?" she asked as she turned and left with Soren and whoever else decided to head out with her. But before they left, she stopped by Alex, Khepri, and Rebecca. She gave them all a small nod as they passed by, "You guys know where to find us. I'll see some of you tomorrow...Hopefully." she said with another nod of her head and then proceeded to leave. That apartment was too stuffy and she needed to escape from that place. When they finally reached the bottom floor and walked out of those glass frame doors, she immediately dug into her pocket, retrieving her pack of cigarettes and lighter. Immediately, she put one between her lips as she lit it and took a very long and slow drag before she gave out a slow puff of smoke into the crisp night air. There were few things that helped her calm down, and sadly, as bad of a habit as this was, it was one of her most relied upon remedies. "Don't judge me...I've been cutting back...Sort of. Anyway, to the bar or back to the apartment? Either way, some of the good shit and drinks await us." she said as they continued down those same damn city streets that they once walked down together. Once happy and full of life and mistakes, and bad decisions. Now..Now they walked these streets with nothing but regret and brokeness...Hoping tomorrow would be a better day. That's all Erin could do, was hope. Hope that this was either all some sort of sick joke, or was all just some nightmare.








Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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ALEXANDER YANG
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Ethical Hacker | Outfit | Hex: #4E3475
There is only one way to avoid criticism:
do nothing, say nothing, be nothing...

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Alexander was quietly thinking about the various things he could do in order to address the predicament Lauren's death had caused himself and the rest of the group who had gathered tonight. Lauren was guaranteed to cause drama whenever the group was together but this was something completely different from the usual, she wouldn't be here to enjoy the chaos. Sighing to himself Lex couldn't help but think Lauren is somehow a little delighted at the trouble she was causing all of them. A wistful smile began to form on his face thinking about her.

While sitting down in the hallway Lex continued to comfort Rebecca, knowing just how hurt she was after losing her best friend. He wanted to remove the pain she was feeling but he knew how much work he would have to burden himself in order to accomplish it. His secretary was already accumulating whatever they could, working with experts at Lex's company, in order to uncover what exactly happened tonight and depending on what they discover, to act accordingly. If the answer was simple enough then that would be the end of it but Lex had a feeling that whatever went down tonight was far from simple.

A number of guests had asked about his and Becca's condition. While exchanging pleasantries and noting that him and Becca were fine he noticed Erin walking towards them. Becca had nudged him to stand up, complying Lex stood up while supporting Becca making sure that she was fine. When Erin had asked them if they were okay Lex smiled slightly before looking towards her and saying, "Things could be better... Lauren always knew how liven up a party..." Lex tried to alleviate their situation with levity but he knew that nothing could really be said at this moment to ease any of their minds.

Becca was having a hard time speaking about Lauren, fumbling with her words as she was overcome with emotions. Lex would stroke her shoulder whenever she seemed to struggle, hoping that his actions were of some help to her. Looking up he saw the look in Erin's eyes which he found oddly sorrowful. It wasn't out of the question for her to have that expression, since Lauren just murdered, but there was something different there, something familiar to Lex, longing.

Not long afterwards a police officer has walked over to take their statements. Lex patiently waited as Becca and Erin gave their accounts. He noted everything they said into his mind, both Becca and Erin's accounts. Erin saying that she hadn't poisoned Lauren made Lex mentally facepalm, wondering why she would say something so unnecessary, especially while giving their official statement. When she implied the possibility of Khepri having something to do with Lauren's death, Lex couldn't help but stare daggers towards her.

When it was Lex's time to make his statement he calmed himself totally, as if he was completely removed from the situation. Turning towards the officer he said, "Name, Alexander Yang, legally documented as Yang Guowang. Age, 26. Relationship to the deceased... friend." After noting the essentials he then continued describing his account of what he had seen happen at the party, saying, "When I had arrived I had introduced myself to the hostess, Lauren, we had exchanged pleasantries before separating. During the band's performance I was in the crowd, drinking and exchanging small talk. Afterwards I went outside onto the balcony to have a cigarette, where I met Lauren again and we conversed about the party. I spent the remainder of the time talking to others in the crowd before getting a drink at the bar and hearing someone scream. When I had heard Rebecca I went towards the scene and had seen the my friend Lauren laying in a pool of blood. That's my account of the events of tonight."

Lex had left somethings out of his account: the fact that Erin had not been at the bar when the murder may have taken place, what exactly him and Lauren had talked about. Becca than talked about seeing Soren being in the room with Lauren, before shortly saying she doubted that Sor had killed Lauren, a belief they both shared. Lex and Sor's relationship hadn't been great after what had happened when the group split up years ago but he didn't believe that Sor would've murdered Lauren.

"If you need to reach me about anything concerning this case you should be able to get either in touch with me or my secretary by calling this number." Lex had given his business card to the officer after he said that. Continuing, Lex said, "I would like to extend my and my companies capabilities to assist in this investigation. As Lauren's friends we would like to find out what had happened to her... and a number of us no longer live in the country. If we will be kept from traveling out of the city it would inconvenience a lot of us, so the sooner everything is sorted out the better." The officer received the business card before walking away from them.

He heard Becca asking about whether or not Sor had murdered Lauren, before noticing Khepri. "I doubt it but until this investigation is completed... anything is possible." He turned towards Becca and said, "Your welcome to stay at my place during the investigation. I doubt that any of us will be able to leave the country before our names are cleared..." Lex smiled a little mischievously before saying, "My place is better than most hotels you'll find around here... and the room service will be exceedingly better."

Lex patted Becca on the shoulder before he turned and walked towards Khepri, saying, "Excuse me, I have something to talk to Pri about. We can do whatever you like once you've come to a decision." While walked towards Pri, Lex received a message from his secretary Tina, stating that they had gotten almost everything they could. He returned a message thanking them for their work, promising them a bonus once they obtain everything, before telling them his friend Pri would contact them soon.

Once Lex was in front of Pri he asked her, "Are you alright? You look a little shaken up." Lex listened to her response with concern visible on his face. "You need to take care of yourself... we don't need anyone else leaving us soon, especially you... We're gonna need your skills in order to get to the bottom of this, right Miss Journalist." Lex tried to keep things light but he needed to address everything he needed to, before any law enforcement overheard them. Lex slipped Pri a number before saying, "This is my secretaries number, her name is Tina. Tell her Wang sent you and she'll send you what information we had gathered about what went down tonight. I'm not going to force you into anything but... I think you and I both know we need to figure this out. Besides, breaking something like this would be great for work, right?"

Lex listened to everything Pri said before he said, "All of my resources will be available to you, you just need to say the word." He then walked up and gave Pri a hug, holding her close to him. "I don't want to lose you." Lex was about to offer Pri to stay at his place but when he thought of Becca possibly going with him tonight he was at odds with himself. He wanted to support Pri but this was one of the few chances Lex had to become closer to Becca. "I would offer my place tonight but... Becca's probably going to spend the night and I... You know how I feel about her, right? I hope you understand... After tonight you can come over, I just want to have one night."

He knew Pri was a strong and highly capable person, he saw a lot of himself in her. Lex believed that Pri would be fine but after what happened with Lauren he wasn't quite sure where she was mentally. Concerned but being driven by his desires, Lex chose Becca. Bidding Pri a goodnight he walked back towards Becca, seeing her talking with Erin. When he heard her say that she would be leaving with him, he couldn't help but genuinely smile.

Looking around the room Lex grabbed a nearby bottle of whiskey, pouring himself a drink before offering ones to both Erin and Becca. "My driver should be downstairs, we can leave now." Lex downed the remainder of his drink before he offered his hand towards Becca, holding it as they traveled down to their ride bellow. The driver was waiting outside for them, opening the door for them as they entered the limousine. When they had entered the vehicle a small gasp escaped Lex's mouth, he felt like he could finally relax after leaving that apartment. As the driver started to drive towards Lex's penthouse apartment Lex turned towards Becca and asked, "Is there anything I can do for you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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Everything- and everyone- was just a blur of emotions, movement, noise. If you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine it was just the natural end to a party, with people lazily making their exit. Nate almost wished he could convince himself of that. There was a natural unease that came with close proximity to the dead, and an unease of law enforcement that came from experience. Nathan was uncomfortable, and he wanted to leave, but he had to stick around to give statements, and whatever else might be needed. He silently cursed himself for not leaving sooner, if he would have left when he first wanted to, instead of trying to look for his friends, he wouldn't be stuck in a suddenly stuffy apartment with a mixture of emotionally distraught and emotionally distant people. There really wasn't a more uncomfortable combination.

He always tried his best to stay out of his friend's drama (for better or worse, really), but he couldn't help but overhear pieces of conversations, and parts of the statements being taken around him. Lauren had changed everything forever. Again. While this wasn’t her fault, because Nate highly doubted she’d sat down and asked to be killed, he couldn’t help but feel a little annoyance towards her. Of course; when things weren’t going the way she wanted, she was murdered. Now nobody would be able to stop thinking, or talking, about her. It was unfair, and Nathan knew it, so he tried to shake the thoughts from his head. No matter how he’d disliked her, he didn’t want to continue to be bitter through her death, and he certainly didn’t want to blame her for her own death. Still, it was an inconvenience.

When it was time for him to give his statement, he did so with a heavy sigh and a shrug. “I’m, uh-” He licked his lips. The questions were easy enough, but he wasn't sure of how to answer them. “Nathan Miller. Twenty-six. I was,” He paused briefly, trying to collect his thoughts. What was he to Lauren? They weren’t friends. Not anymore. He didn’t seem to acknowledge the grief rising in his throat, even if it was, in that moment, evident on his face. He cleared his throat to continue, “We were… We were friends. Well, we used to be friends. It’s a long story: we were friends in, like, high school. We got along pretty well back then, but as time went on, we both changed and, well, I haven’t really spoken to her at all in… a few years, and then she invited me to this party, and I almost didn’t even come.” He shrugged, “Anyway, I was just trying to enjoy the party, and it was nice. Live band, lots of friendly people, some old friends I haven’t seen in ages, but the whole thing was a little too... “ He made a sort of vague circular gesture with his hands, “It was just a little bit classier than I guess I’m used to. But, um, I was just getting ready to leave when I heard the commotion. Was trying to track down a few friends to say goodbye to, and I sort of just walked into…” He exhaled forcefully, shaking his head almost as a way to signify that he still wasn’t sure how to process the events of the night, “A real mess, honestly.”

Nathan realized, a bit too late, that he’d probably given much more information than anyone needed, or even wanted. He nodded when Erin told him he was welcome at her place, then he sighed, “I don’t,” He interrupted himself, shrugging, “I’ll be fine. Thanks, though.” He didn’t want to tell the truth- that he didn’t think he could handle Soren right now, nor did he particularly want to. It was going to be a hell of night with those two, and all Nathan really wanted to do was go home and get some sleep. Maybe he could make sense of what had happened in the morning. Besides, none of them needed him, they all had someone to look after them, and even if they didn’t, he was pretty sure he wasn’t anyone’s first choice to of emotional support. Or, he thought so, until he saw Lex leaving with Rebecca. He sighed, silently cursing Alexander isn't he supposed to be her best friend? and walked to Khepri’s side.

“Hey,” He said, words as gentle as the hand he placed on her shoulder, “Where are you staying?” He smiled, gently, “You’ve had a rough night, I just want to make sure you get back okay.” Then, almost as a defense he held his hands up in front of his chest, as if already conceding defeat, “I know you don’t need my help, but it would make me feel better, you know.” He didn’t know what to expect from Khepri, honestly. She was normally the one trying to insist on helping him, a point that had caused just a small amount of contention between the two of them. Still, Nate had always considered Pri a friend, and she had always only been trying to help. While he knew she would probably be just fine on her own, Nate felt that she shouldn’t be going through all of this alone.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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the perfectionistx|xoutfitx|x#B76A81

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"Khepri Mahajan, twenty six. Lauren was one of close friends and colleagues. She cleared the lump in her throat as she felt her hands start to shake. The officers asked her about the night, telling them how they knew she was with her a lot throughout the evening and this made the lump plummet to her stomach. All of a sudden she felt like she was going to be sick as if this one tidbit of information somehow made her suspect number one. "I mean, I guess I was around a lot. I helped her set up earlier for everything, we talked, we danced, which isn't a crime, and then she excused herself and disappeared. I didn't see her after that." They asked how long Lauren was gone.

"Maybe, half an hour? forty-five minutes?" The officers asked her if she was concerned about her friend's presence during this time. Khepri shrugged, not letting the now blaring voices of anxiety show. "Not really. It's her party, she has tons of guests and I just assumed she was... occupied or something." They asked her one last question about where she was when they discovered the body. She took a deep and shaky breath but clearing her throat once again. "I was right there... I, um, walked in, looking for her. Saw Soren, her ex, by her. I looked down and saw... blood and then I screamed and then I froze." She looked down as if she was ashamed of her reaction before returning her eyes to the detectives. "I don't remember anything after that, I don't even remember being moved here." She didn't even remember what was said after that, she zoned out thinking about all the potentially bad moves she made that night or the things that could make her seem more suspicious if they came out. She only caught the last bit of the detective's little speel where they told her if she found any information to call them and, of course, told her how this should stay out of the public eye until they concluded the case, ahhhhh. So they had known who she was and they knew what she did, which made this all the more complicated. But, she hid it as she grabbed their card with a scoff. "Right, well, I'd hate to break it to you but, it's my job."

She put the card in her purse before continuing. "Yea, so, if you have an issue with it. You can take it up with my producers, my editors, the station, the paper, and, oh, my lawyers. Not me. Have a great night, officers." She offered a fake, but bright smile as they walked about before letting it fall and softly cursing as she covered her face with her hands. She moved her hands so she could look down at them she fidgeted with the ring on her finger. As she did so, again, the world around her started to tune out and the wheels went back into motion and she replayed the night's events in her head. She had been around Lauren the most, at least from what she knew. They danced, caught up, bitched about the men in their lives (with Khepri keeping a few things out of the conversation) and of course, God for-fucking-bid, Khepri Mahajan let her guard down and try to relax for a change. This is what happens and now, this was her punishment for trying to go with the flow for once, being probably marked as a 'person of interest' in the murder case of her friend, great. Just great. And why? All because she didn't really know who she could and couldn't go up to at this party. She hadn't really left on the best of terms with some of the guests before leaving the country. She hadn't seen Lex all night, Becca was busying roaming around, socializing and Khepri didn't need a repeat of the last time they were together with copious amounts of alcohol in their systems. With the two of them out of the equation. What was she supposed to do? Sit in a corner like some wallflower or better yet sit down for a drink with Erin and Soren to reminisce about all the great times they had?

And just like that, Khepri started to do what her forced therapist has said she does a lot of; she started to spiral. Her breathing started to quicken as if she was stuck inside a plastic bag but quiet enough where no one around her thought anything was wrong. She could feel everything she's worked for, everything she planned, everything she's ever dreamed of just slipping away: her career, her credibility, all of it gone because someone had seen her spending, apparently, too much time with the victim. The only thing that snapped her out of her snowball moment was Lex, thank God.

"W-... Yea, yea, I'm fine. I'm... just thinking."

"Thinking of all the ways I could have flushed $200,000 down the goddamn toilet as opposed using it on my, now, soon to useless journalism degree from Princeton. She cleared throat as she tried to reassure him with a smile that she was okay. She didn't know if it'd work, Lex could read her like a book. "You need to take care of yourself... we don't need anyone else leaving us soon, especially you..." She scoffed as she shook her head. Everyone was acting like she was about to dive headfirst off the building, she was upset but, she wasn't fragile. "We're gonna need your skills in order to get to the bottom of this, right Miss Journalist." She chuckled before nodding. Her eyes connected with Lex's hand as it reached towards her, as to not make it suspicious to the officers around them, she held his hand for a minute and cast a small smile. To anyone else they just looked like friends with one trying to comfort the other when in actuality, she realized he was handing her a small piece of paper. She didn't know what was on it but, whatever it was she knew it was important. She and Lex didn't need secrecy useless it was for a purpose. She tried the limit how much her hand was shaking as she squeezed before letting going moving the paper into her trench coat pocket. As Lex went on, Khepri was taking in every word and when he said: "Besides, breaking something like this would be great for work, right?" For the first time, her eyes locked with his as her rational thinking (or obsession with compartmentalizing, you decide) starting to slowly return. This was what she needed; a distraction to take her mind off the anxiety and guilt racing through her head or at least something that allowed her to shove it right back down to deal with at a later time. "A great for the reporter and company who did it." She took a deep, shaky breath as she shook her head. "You don't have to force me to do anything. I got it." She forced a small smile before he pulled her into his arms. She took a deep breath and tried to control how much her body was shaking. She rested her head in the crook of her neck, just trying to hold on to the one piece of stable ground she had in her life right now. "I don't want to lose you." She took a deep, shaky breath and quickly wiped away the few tears trying to escape down her cheeks. She shook her head as tightened her arms around him.

"I'm not going anywhere." She moved to look him in the eyes with a smirk. "Besides, I have a new story to start." She chuckled softly before he started to explain why she couldn't come over, which she didn't assume he'd say she could but, she'd be lying if she said she didn't expect it. Anytime something happened to either of them, the other stayed by their side until they were okay. And just the way he said, that he just needed one night. As if she was constantly pestering him to be her support animal. But, it's fine. He wanted one night to get the girl and she understood it. She did know how he felt for Becca and if he felt like this was his moment then he should go for it. Even if it meant leaving the girl who was like a second sister to him in the dust for the time being. However, she'd bitch about it tomorrow to Chris but, for now, she just hid it behind a coy smirk as she laid her hands on his shoulders. "No, I totally get it." She moved her hands to his jaw with an evergrowing smirk and a wink. "Go get her."

She let him turn before grabbing his arm to turn him back around to face her as she pointed a finger towards him. "And enjoy it because tomorrow we have work to do, Yang. Now go, I'll call you in the morning." She told him goodnight and watched as he left with Becca, who she gave a small and kind of awkward wave before they disappeared out of sight when she sat back down. She ran her fingers through her hair as she took yet another deep breath. "Fuck." She placed her elbows on her knees as she rubbed her face and tried to think about what to do now. She could call her fiancee, tell him everything that happened but, she didn't need him worrying and she definitely didn't need him thinking he had to fly in just to be by her side through this. She was fine, everything was fine, everything was just... complicated right now. And then, the snowballing continued as those tiny little voices started to tell her everything that was going to go wrong; she'd lose her job, her friends, she'd fall out of her family's good graces, she'd go to jail, any possible worst-case scenario was going through her head and she had no one to help her stop it.

That was until Nate Miller, of a people, came up and put his hand on her shoulder. "Hey," She looked at him with a smile. "Hey." As he inquired where she was staying, she shrugged. "Probably my hotel room, I don't really have anywhere else to go." She let out a small joyless chuckle. Unbelievable, the friend she hadn't seen in a while was the one worrying about her. But, she appreciated it even if it was unexpected. "I know you don’t need my help, but it would make me feel better, you know.” She scoffed as she looked offended, in a joking way. "No fair."

She jokingly swatted his hand away as she got up and pointed a finger in his chest. "I'm supposed to worry about you but, yea, I get it and I... kind of really appreciate it." She tightened her coat before letting her eyes linger on the floor before looking back at Nate. "Besides, it might nice to walk it off, get fresh air, and talk about... all of this. If you don't mind." Plus it'd keep the negative thoughts at bay even if it was just for a little bit until she was able to get home and take whatever she needed to get to work. She put her hands in her pocket as she started her way towards the exit with Nate in tow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxremember the words you told me
xxxlove me till the day i die
xxxsurrender my everything cause
xxxyou made me believe you're mine

Soren couldn’t remember most of what he and Erin got up to that night. In fact, the couldn’t remember much after the shot, and had no memory of their conversation about missing each other. But given the state they woke up in, and the stinging of a new tattoo on his right wrist told him that he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to remember.

He couldn’t quite remember what came first- the text about the memorial service or the police interview. Everything felt like a dream; except for the moments when everything suddenly felt like it was going to crush him, like he was drowning in the air around him. He’d been going to Erin’s when he couldn’t bear to be alone or when he needed to drown his sorrows, but she didn’t know about the panic attacks. They only came when he was alone. And besides, she was finding it hard too. She didn’t need him to worry about too. But both of those incidents had brought on an attack, one that had left him sobbing alone in his apartment. He’d agreed to attend the memorial service. And when Lauren’s parents had asked him to read one of her favourite poems, he didn’t have it in him to say no. As far as they knew, they’d broken up on relatively okay terms, and he wasn’t going to break it to them now.

The police interview had gone about as well as could be expected. He’d been honest, but they didn’t seem too convinced. But they didn’t have anything concrete, so they’d just warned him to stick around in case they needed to ask any more questions. The band didn’t have any commitments for a few weeks because they needed a break after their Europe tour. He was assured he had management on his side, but he wondered how long that would last.

He’d arrived to the hotel early to help Lauren’s parents get set up. It was Lauren’s favourite hotel in NYC, and they had some drinks and canapés out for people to graze on as they arrived. He’d had to escape to the bathroom for a breather twice already, and he’d only been here forty minutes. He’d spent the past ten minutes avoiding conversation and trying to steel himself for small talk. The reminder on his wrist wasn’t doing all that much to help. He had a vague memory of just yelling “I want an MCR tattoo” at Erin when he really dwelt on it, which explained the three short words. “We’ll Carry On.” It felt oddly poignant, all things considered. He tugged at his sleeve, his new nervous habit since he couldn’t bite his nails any more, because it was painful to do so and he kept drawing blood. He couldn’t ignore the guests anymore. He picked up a glass of something and took a deep breath.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Ashleigh Myerson
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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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The days between the party and the funeral blurred together in Nate's mind. There was always something to do, always seemed to be someone who needed him (he would always be there for his friends, of course, all they had to do was ask), and he had- for some reason- offered to pick up the some of the slack at the bar for Erin. Once things calmed down, he would have to ask her to never let him take on any extra responsibilities again. He felt overwhelmingly stressed, and desperately wished for his life to return to some sort of normal. His police interview had gone fine, he thought, but the whole thing made him nervous. He didn't have much faith in the police: his experiences were of them not believing him, and ignoring most of what he said. He didn't care about not being able to go far: he'd never left the city, anyway.

When he got the text about the funeral, he had honestly considered blowing it off. He and Lauren hadn't been close enough to be considered friends in a couple of years, and he knew it would feel strange to be there. He'd feel like someone showing up, pretending to be upset over something that, had he not been there the night she died, wouldn't have bothered him enough to take more than a moment out of his day. Your friends will need you there. He told himself, knowing that should have been enough to get him to agree to go without hesitation. He wondered, though, how much they really needed him. Every last one of them seemed to be doing just fine, and he felt like he was stuck in the past.

He knew he needed to go, though, and he even dressed up as much as he could. There was no way he was wearing a tie, or even a collared shirt (not that he even owned one), but he did his best to be appropriately dressed for the occasion. Everyone might have even been impressed, had he showed up on time.

But there he was, notification on his phone, barely readable through the cracked screen, Lauren's funeral starting in now. He was still a few minutes away. He started walking a little faster, and tried to take in his appearance as he did so. He had dirt all over his clothes, and a brand new rip in his pants, right on the left knee. He sighed, angrily, having really wishing his day had gone more like he'd planned it. He stopped, right outside the hotel, and tried to brush himself off; clean up a little. But he felt like he'd only made it worse. He caught a glimpse of himself in the reflection of the doors: his hair was a mess, he was sweaty, he looked like he'd gotten in a fight.

He tried to sneak in quietly, as he could hear that the service was begging, but he felt eyes on him as he slipped into the back row. He quickly found a seat and slouched down, as if trying to appear small. He tried to avoid making eye contact with anyone and briefly wondered if it would have been better if he hadn't come at all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Arisa Winston Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
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Agent Cassandra Heiks
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outfit : herex|xhex: #085721
xxxGot a jail on my heart from the pessimists
xxxGot those nails in my mouth for impressionists
xxxSpent too much money on a therapist
xxxCouldn't fix me, I accepted it

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The third agent had landed in New York only a couple days ago but quickly got to work to catch up on the case, Agent Cassandra Heiks. Her previous precinct had sent her along to help Agent Winston and Agent Monahan, but also to get her out of their hair, a couple days after they reported back about the quick murder, Cass was interested and asked to go, hasnt been anything fun for awhile for her to work with, plus she just got done being undercover. In her mind this would be an interesting and fun assignment, and she thought easy. Well that was until she got to there and saw what they were working with.

Cass had checked out all the evidence tagged by the first team, read over the statements that were taken, as well as pictures of the crime scene. She wanted to talk to the other two that she would be working miss but somehow always missed them, so she decided to dig through all the current suspect’s files and histories. Soren, the ex, who most people thought did it, but that’s too cliche. Rebecca, the best friend, first time back in the country and had a bad car accident awhile back, but she was ruled not at fault. Erin, the bartender, has am unofficial criminal record only some know about, and told the cops she didn’t do it, smart. Nathan, the deadbeat, nothing to gain, but also nothing to lose. Alexander, the rich boy, seemed to have an affair with the victim at the same time, caused the break up with the ex, maybe some sort of jealousy or fight happened. Khepri, the reporter, small fly on the publicity scene and could use the story to make herself big, and Cass doesn’t like reporters.

Cassandra tried investigating a little bit off the record, but didn’t find much so she decided to try to hunt down her fellow Agents and see what they know that isn’t written down, luckily Agent Monahan was easy to track down and assumed he would maybe stop by the service. It was mentioned in the paper the location and time so wasn’t hard to find. She decided to not show up a little late after getting herself a coffee, and sticking towards the back before noticing Kyle towards the back and trying to stay out of sight, though Cass didn’t care.

“Well, well, Look who it is.” Cassandra said as she came up from the side of Kyle and giving him a light slap on the ass. “Been awhile since we worked together. Interesting bunch of suspects we have don’t you think. Especially your sister…” She said with a smirk before leaning against the wall and starting a scan of the room. “Well, the killer always shows up at these things, come on Ky. Plus wanted to see if there’s anything else you can tell me that’s not on paper.” She replied to Kyle’s question and taking a sip of her coffee, before something caught her eye. A female had some markings on her neck, but right as Cass was going to point them out to Kyle, not sure if he saw them, the girl put her scarf back on. “That’s Rebecca Cruze, right? Next to your sister. She has some markings on her neck beneath her scarf. Your reports didn’t mention any type of injuries like that…” She mentioned to her fellow Agent. Wanting to question Rebecca, but knew this wasn’t the place or the time, maybe later. Cassandra then scanned and took note of their other suspects and the states they were in.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxremember the words you told me
xxxlove me till the day i die
xxxsurrender my everything cause
xxxyou made me believe you're mine

xxx

As soon as Soren turned around and spotted Khepri, he nearly turned around and walked back out again. He couldn’t stand the thought of an argument with her right now. Even if they hadn't spoken yet, he just knew today would be one of those days where if they spoke, it would end in a blazing row. So instead, he just drained his glass and turned his back, striking up a combination with somebody else instead. He’d just gotten the beckon from Lauren’s parents to say it was nearly time to begin when Rebecca burst in, running straight to Erin. At first, Soren just thought she was upset, given the event they were attending. And then he looked at how disheveled she was and the look of panic on her face. Something had happened. He went to follow them out of the room, but instead, another one of Lauren’s old friends or co-workers or somebody who knew him well enough to know that he was her ex, but not well enough to know how bad things had been.

By the time he escaped, there were too many people for him to slip out and check on Becca. He glanced back for a moment to see her and Erin coming back in, and shot them a forced smile. He dug out his phone and texted Erin.

To: Erin
“Everything okay with Becca?”

Then the service started, with the minister introducing them with a prayer. This wasn’t a funeral. The body hadn’t been released yet for them to bury. But people had to travel home, had commitments, just wanted to move on. And so it still felt like a funeral, a lump rising in Soren’s throat. This had been a mistake. Agreeing to any of this had been a mistake. Coming back to New York had been a mistake.

He somehow managed to keep his composure until he was called to read the poem. He managed to stand to the lectern, his hands shaking as he put the poem on it in front of him. He shouldn’t have been doing this. This wasn’t his to do. Everybody thought they’d remained on good terms and he was lying to everyone, he was lying to everyone in the room. He couldn’t do this.

He somehow made it through the poem. He had no idea how he did, and he had no idea how he did it so well, somehow managing not to stammer or stumble over the words. But as he finished, he couldn’t just go back to his seat and sit there politely and hear everyone talk about her. So he stayed walking, stayed walking until he was out of the room, stayed walking until the familiar feeling of the wave crashed over him and he sank to the floor in heaving, choking sobs. Lauren was dead. Had somebody attacked Becca? Nate looked like he’d been in a fight when he came in. Had somebody gone for him too? Was it a matter of time before people were attending their memorial service? Or would Soren be hearing about it from jail after they pinned the murder on him? He pressed his fist to his mouth in an attempt to stop the sobs or at least muffle them. He didn’t know if he wanted to be found or not. He didn’t know if he wanted a hug or to be left alone to drown in the isolation and the fear and the panic.

He needed to go back before people started to worry. Would anyone worry? Should he wait, just to know for sure? Know if anybody cared for the man they were convinced had killed their beloved Lauren? Should he find out for sure?

No, that wasn’t right either. They didn’t need to worry about him, they all had too much to deal with. They’d lost her, and they had loved her, and they were in enough pain without him to deal with.

The weight of his own indecision, his own fear, kept him pinned to the ground where he was sitting, still sobbing, still gasping for air.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Lauren Clark Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
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Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #D02090
xxxYoung hearts, out our minds
xxxRunnin' 'til we outta time
xxxWild child's, lookin' good
xxxLiving hard just like we should

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Rebecca stayed cuddled up next to Erin as the service continued, putting her scarf back on to try to cover up any bruising she might have, not exactly wanted people to ask too many questions at the time. She stayed quiet and had a couple sniffles in between everyone’s speeches and talks. Becca had closed her eyes a little after Soren had read his poem and started to zone out as more people continued to talk about who Lauren was and what type of person she was, all of it positive and most of it ignoring the bad part about Lauren.

It wasn’t until Erin nudged Becca that she came back to what was going on. Rebecca was being called to come up and say some things. People knew Lauren and her were close during her time in New York and she had forgotten she had told Lauren’s parents she would say some things. Her mother and father knew about Lauren’s lifestyle and how she would party and her attitude, but they still loved her and were taking this whole situation. Rebecca took a deep breathe and stood up with some help from Erin and slowly walked up to the podium, adjusting her jacket and scarf and wiping her eyes a little.

Rebecca stood infront of the podium and looked at all that were here and smiling to see a her friends faces, Nate, Pri, as well as other friends and family of Lauren. She took a deep breath before talking. “Hello, as most of you I’m Rebecca Cruze, and at one time Lauren’s best friend.We all knew Lauren in our own ways, while she wasn’t perfect, she was who she was and many of us bonded over her. I remember first meeting her when I got to high school as a freshman and met Lauren and took me under her wing, giving me the best years of high school I could ask for. She’s the reason I changed my middle name to Wilde to remember the good times. Some people couldn’t handle who Lauren was, but she knew this and accepted it. I regret not keeping in contact with her more, but she was never forgotten while I was away and will continue to never be forgotten even though she is gone…” Rebecca trailed off, in between wiping her tears before walking down the stage.

As Rebecca walked back to her seat a familiar figure caught her eye, the same detective that had questioned her, Erin, and Lex was here, though in more casual wear. Though he wasn’t alone, he had another woman with him, different than the one at the crime scene, and she had more of the cop look to her, both were eyeing the crowd and had eyes on Becca as she took her seat next to Erin. “The cops are here…” She whispered to Erin, not sure if she had noticed. “I don’t know why they won’t just leave us alone.” She continued, laying her head on Erin’s shoulder.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan Character Portrait: Cassandra Heiks
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxsomewhere in between
xxxwho i used to be
xxxand who i'll be tomorrow
xxxwhen the champagne blows my mind

xxx
The days after the memorial service were hard. The panic attacks kept coming, and they were getting harder and harder to hide. He wasn't sleeping, was hardly eating unless someone reminded him to, had even stopped going around to Erin's to drink. Everybody thought he had done it. He knew it. He could see it in their eyes when they looked at him. Their expressions had shifted from one of pity to one of vague disgust. They knew it but there was no proof. Everything they had on him was circumstantial. But everything clearing him was also circumstantial. It was only a matter of time and he could feel the imposing threat looming over him.

Eventually, one of his bandmates came round to check in on him. Having found Soren on hour 39 of no sleep, he physically drove Soren to his doctor's office. Soren emerged from the doctor's office with a cocktail of sleeping tablets and anti-anxiety medication and an order to come back in a few days for therapy sessions. Soren didn't want to do any of the above, but the medication at least made him feel human enough to get through the therapy session. He'd had two sessions by the time the dinner party came around. The dinner party was less his idea and more of a "suggestion" from his therapist that felt more like an order. But having other people around made him feel a little less terrible, so he agreed.

But when the morning finally rolled around, things didn't play out exactly as he'd hoped. Because he woke up to a call from the cops, asking him to go back into the station for an interview. He begrudgingly agreed and went in as soon as he was dressed. He hoped it was a technicality, something they just needed to clear up.

He was sorely mistaken. They’d gone through Lauren’s phone, and they’d found… well. He had no idea how she’d gotten them. Lauren was smart, but she wasn’t exactly a hacker. But it didn’t matter. The police had thought they had him. They thought they’d found a motive. But two things put doubt in their mind. First of all, they’d crossmatched his DNA with DNA found under Lauren’s fingernails, and it wasn’t a match. Other witness statements aligned with his in that Lauren had been seen alive after he’d left the room. And their behavioural expert had confirmed that his reaction to seeing the photos was that of somebody discovering that for the first time.

But he couldn’t get the photos out of his head. Lauren had had those for weeks. She could have done anything she liked with them. So why had she kept them? What had she planned to do with them? He shouldn’t have kept the photos. They gave too much away, gave too much, but… it was a reminder that he had been happy. That good things could still happen.

He got home and wanted to do nothing more than just… try and deal with the aftermath of this. But instead, he was faced with an afternoon of cooking and prep. He tried to carry on as normal, but quickly found himself getting overwhelmed. So he rang Rebecca, who agreed to come over. The minute she saw his face, she sat him down, told him to relax, and took over some of the prep as he talked. He told her everything. How could he not? He told her about his morning, about the photos, about everything that had happened. And it didn’t make it go away, but it made it feel a little more manageable, calm enough to help her with the prep.

It was only when he looked at his watch to discover that everyone else was arriving soon and realised he was still a bit of a mess, physically and mentally. “Shit, Rebecca. I need to get changed, I need to… I need to tidy up the place… Shit, I need to take my meds…” he said, jumping to his feet and running a hand through his hair.

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller
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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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The days after the memorial service weren’t that different from Nate’s every day life. While he would have been more than happy to be there for anyone and everyone in the group, is mostly seemed like no one really needed him. Sure, he was decent enough to have around if you didn’t want to be alone, but he knew his personality didn’t have enough substance to really be the kind of person you wanted around when everything in your life was going to shit. He’d never really grown up, and Lauren’s death had started to make him evaluate his life. For the first time in ages, he wasn’t happy just to have a roof above his head.

It was funny, how death could motivate someone. Nate hadn’t even particularly cared for Lauren (or so he said. They had been close enough before, and he’d cared about her as much as any of his other friends), but something about the untimely death of someone you once considered a friend was jarring, and made him really consider that, perhaps, he wasn’t getting everything he’d wanted out of life. He tried not to think about it too deeply, though. That was generally his strategy when confronted with uncomfortable thoughts and situations; ignore it, and maybe it will all go away.

He wasn’t sure this problem would go away on its own. He didn’t know what to do, though, and he sure as hell wasn’t talking to Khepri about it. He had no illusions that her solution would be any different than what she always suggested and-as much as he loved her-he had no desire to go through with her ideas. Or, at least, not the ones that involved moving in with her.

When he’d received the invitation to the dinner party, Nate had considered turning it down. He didn’t feel like he fit in with his old friends anymore, and thought it might be best if he stayed back and let them do their own thing. They’d all gone on and done something with their lives, found themselves, done something that mattered, even if just to themselves. What had Nate done? Fought with his parents? Slept on benches? Certainly nothing to be proud of. But in the end he so desperately didn’t want to end up alone, and so deeply wished to connect with them-or anyone, really-on the level he used to, that he decided to go.

He wrestled, at first, with the logistics of showing up, or if he should bring anything, and in the end decided that the likelihood of anyone expecting much of him was pretty low. Still, he didn’t want to be late, especially after arriving late to Lauren’s memorial service.

When he arrived, he wasn’t entirely sure what to think. Soren didn’t look the greatest, though Nate didn’t really expect him to be looking vibrant and happy. Rebecca’s new look was more surprising. Nate knew that Lauren’s death would affect everyone differently, and that it would likely hit Becca pretty hard, but she didn’t even look like herself anymore. Seeing her like that had him feeling worried, and a little guilty. His mind drifted back to the memorial, and how the two had barely kept it together, but he wasn't sure what help he could have been then, or what help he could be there in that moment.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxsomewhere in between
xxxwho i used to be
xxxand who i'll be tomorrow
xxxwhen the champagne blows my mind

xxx
When he got back into his bedroom, he just flopped on to the bed and ran his hands down his face, exhaling slowly. This would be fine, he told himself. He was just stressed from this morning, that was all. Everything was fine. He was safe. Nothing bad had happened. He took a few deep breaths and got back to his feet. He changed his shirt into something a little less crumpled, ran his fingers through his hair to tidy it up a little, and put on the best smile he could manage. He still looked like shit, but he looked a little better than he had done a few minutes prior, and he looked better than he had a day or two ago. That was something, he told himself. That was a start. He smiled at Becca as he emerged from the room and she handed him a drink. “Thank you, Becca. Not just for the drink, but for this afternoon. I really needed it, and you really helped. So thank you,” he said, holding up his drink in a slight toast to her. “And loving the new look, by the way.” He added with a smirk and a raised eyebrow, before draining his drink. The burn felt good, and he left the glass beside the sink.

It didn’t take long for people to start arriving. At first, he was just aware of how tired he had to look, how people’s eyes seemed to linger on him for a little longer than he was entirely comfortable with. But then having people around him, complimenting him on how good everything smelled, people telling him how much he loved the album, people smiling back at him… it felt good. Erin clapped him on the shoulder and pressed a beer into his hand, told him she needed to talk to him later. He found himself wondering what it was about, but just drank the beer as he mingled, making his way back to the kitchen every so often to check on the food.

The alcohol seemed to be hitting him harder than usual. All he’d had to drink was the drink Rebecca had made him and the beer that Erin had given him, and he felt… odd. Like being drunk but… not. His doctor had said something about avoiding alcohol while on these medications, but… he hadn’t expected it to hit that hard and that quick. He just needed to sober up. No more drinks, he promised himself.

He spotted Nate as he came in and grinned, making his way over to him. “Nate, you came! I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages!” He gushed, wrapping the other man in a hug. “It’s so good to see you!” He said as he let go. He was sure there was something he meant to say, but it disappeared as soon as it came, and he frowned. What had he meant to say? Why were all his thoughts flying around like that?

But it didn’t last long, as his eyes landed on someone across the room. He seemed to be about Soren’s height, with short, neat dark hair, and a focused, intelligent expression. He looked strong- not like a bodybuilder, but lean and powerful. He looked vaguely familiar, but Soren couldn’t place it. “Holy shit. Nate, be my wingman,” he said, grabbing Nate’s arm and starting to pull him across the room. He stumbled a little over his own feet and had to clutch on to Nate as he regained his balance. “Woah, that’s not good,” he mumbled, mostly to himself.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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ALEXANDER YANG
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Ethical Hacker | Outfit | Hex: #4E3475
There is only one way to avoid criticism:
do nothing, say nothing, be nothing...

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|| Day of Lauren's Memorial ||

A week had passed since Lauren's unfortunate passing, her memorial would be held later today. During this time Alexander had spent his time going over all of the evidence that he and Khepri had accumulated. Despite the vast amount of information they were able to gather they weren't any closer to discovering any hints to who had committed the crime. There was very little Lex could do to further their investigation, there just wasn't anything there. Resigned to that fact Lex chose instead to get back into his usual routine, addressing the investigation if anything else came up.

While preparing to go to Lauren's memorial, while taking a shower, Lex heard his phone ringing on the sink. He ignored it and let the call go til it would leave a message but the phone would ring again right afterwards. Thinking it must've been important, considering not many people had his personal number, Lex exited the shower and answered the call. "Who is it and why are you bothering me?"

The voice on the other end was hurried and sounded out of breath, "Boss... You're not going to like this but..." They were hesitant to continue, not wanting to be the one to deliver the message. Lex silently waited for them to finish, feeling slightly perturbed. "...You know the lady you told us to take care of... Well she was attacked but she managed to get away... I think she ran to the memorial service for your... Friend."

Fury and anger erupted in Lex's psyche, impacting even his physical appearance. Before being overcome by these emotions Lex calmed himself down enough to talk, saying with an oddly cool but unmistakably furious voice, "Weren't you suppose to take care of it? ...Tell me exactly how she could be attacked if you were doing your job?" They replied that they were preoccupied. "Preoccupied? ...That would mean you were busy, correct? What exactly is more important than a direct mission given by me ...your Boss?" Between the silence and unintelligible mumbles from the other end Lex began to lose his patience. He knew that they wouldn't overlook any direction he gave them without a good reason, it was then that the answer was obvious. "Which branch was it? Who had overridden my order? Seconds passed until a single word escaped from the voice on the other end of the phone, the word Deputy.

Still fuming Lex ended the call with his subordinate, he knew that they didn't have a choice so he didn't question them further. While getting dressed Lex began calling his secretary. She answered the call cheerily asking, "What do you need boss?" While buttoning up his shirt Lex began to list a number of things he wanted his secretary to take care of. This list consisted of: delivering a gift to the Clarks after the memorial; expressing Lex's apology for not being able to attend due to company related issues; look into who had attacked Rebecca, as they were likely to be connected to, if not, Lauren's killer; to have a 'meeting' with his subordinate arranged; have one of his firearms placed in his car. His secretary could tell that there was something off due to the tone of his voice. She asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you? ...Have some drinks prepared perchance?"

Now fully dressed and prepared Lex laughed at his secretaries attempt at humor. Walking out into the elevator and pressing the button for the bottom floor Lex answered her, saying, "Yeah, I'll probably need it..." Lex pulled his lighter from his coat, lighting up a cigarette as the elevator started to go down. "Don't wait up for me Tina. I need to have a 'little chat' with someone..."

It took a while for his driver to arrive since there were some late minute 'arrangements' which needed to be made. Lex continued to chain smoke waiting for his car to arrive. He pulled out his phone, pondering whether or not to contact Becca or any of his 'friends'. Looking down at the new wallpaper on his phone, a picture he took while Becca was eating breakfast, a number of emotions swirling around his mind til he saw his driver park in front of the residential building.

When he reached his car and got inside he checked underneath his seat to find his Glock 45, fully loaded with four more magazines prepared. He fastened the gun into his appendix holster and clipped the magazines on the back of his belt. After he was done preparing that his driver asked him where they were going exactly. Opening up the window, Lex flicked out the remainder of his cigarette before answering the driver, saying, "Where does anyone in this city go with a gun? ...We are of course going to the 'shooting range'." The driver chuckled at this response before he started to drive to where he knew they needed to go.

Muffled sounds being emitted from the limousines trunk. Clicking his fingers Lex acted like he just remembered something. "Ah, that's right. Before we go to the 'range' we need to throw out some trash... Know any good places to do that?" The driver shook his head, knowing where they needed to go and his boss's preferred order. As the driver looked back towards he saw the cold glint in his bosses eyes, glad that he wouldn't be on the receiving end of whatever he was planning.

|| Day of Soren's Dinner Party ||

Days had passed since Becca's assault and there was no signs or information he could gather about the culprit. This frustrated Lex but he couldn't do anything about it, despite his skills and resources, just like in Lauren's case. Lex sent several messages to Pri, seeing if she was able to find out anything about the incident either. He hadn't received an affirmation yet but considering the difficulties he was having he doubted that she would've caught on to anything either.

"Boss, we'll stay nearby in case you need us... and as per your instruction we'll pay better attention than last time." Lex's eyes scanned over the subordinates he had gathered today. There was four of them, not including the driver, they were Chinese American like himself and were dressed in common New York street-wear to better blend in to their surroundings. It was a completely different group from the people who were first tasked to watch over Becca. Lex didn't want a repeat of what happened last time.

"Just stay outside near the building. Two of you have eyes on the car and each other, the driver will maintain surveillance on the main entrance. The others will patrol around the building and see if anyone goes in any other way, stay together and watch each others back." Lex had carried his gun with him since Becca's assault, not wanting to be without an answer to an unexpected incident like that again.

Lex and Soren weren't particularly the greatest of friends, especially after the incident between himself and Lauren, but he wanted to see everyone after what happened. Opening the door of the car, Lex slowly walked towards the entrance to Soren's residential building. As he was about to go inside he saw his men go into action and start following his instructions. He looked at them indifferently before the entrance closed and his view of them was obscured.

Arriving at Soren's apartment Lex knocked on the door, waiting for someone to open the door for him. A minute passed before anyone came to the door, whoever was inside must've been to busy to welcome Lex in. He began to think about whether or not he should open the door himself or wait outside for someone to answer the door. Not wanting to be rude and not being really interested in engaging in the majority of his 'friends' drama, Lex patiently waited across from Soren's door. Taking out a cigarette and lighting it up, taking a drag as he waited for someone to either open the door or arrive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang
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Rebecca Cruze
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outfit : herex|xhex: #696969
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxLike they ain’t even there,
xxxI act like I don’t fuckin care,
xxxCuz I’m so fuckin scared,

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Rebecca barely acknowledged the sort of compliment she recieved from Soren with a nod before walking away and trying to look busy so people wouldn’t bother her, most of this was just being on her phone and avoiding eye contact. Though when people did try to come up and talk to her, either to question her new look or try to comfort and make sure she was okay, she would just blow them off. Becca did make eye contact with Nate when he arrived, but quickly turned around and turned her attention elsewhere, gazing out the window and into the streets of New York, taking a few more sips of her cup of straight gin.

Becca sighed as someone tapped her shoulder and was ready to give a snide remark about not wanting to be bothered, but when she turned around and saw Erin, she just went quiet and agreed to talk to her as Erin led her to a room for a little bit more privacy Rebecca would be lying if she said she felt bad for how she left Erin’s apartment, but it was the spur of the moment and she had been impulsive and wanted to leave. She quietly listened as the other woman talked, hearing the sincerity in her voice and the words she was saying, she knew there was truth behind them but didn’t know how to respond, especially to the apology that wasn’t needed. Even though being rejected by Erin happened before Rebecca dyed her hair, it wasn’t her fault for how she was acting, how she looked. Erin went to turn away from her but Becca grabbed her hand.

“Erin. It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re fine. Nothing is ruined. It’s just complicated okay? With how eve-” Rebecca could hear a knock at the front door since it was next to the small office they were having their conversation. Becca peaked through the window and saw the build of a familiar person waiting for the door to be answered. “We will talk later. Promise” She said with an expressionless face before she excused herself from the room and went to answer the door.

When Rebecca opened it and her assumption of it being Lex was confirmed, she wanted to smile to see him again, but then remember she hadn’t really spoken to him since the few times she visited him before the memorial. “Hey Lex. Honestly surprised to see you here.” She said as she brushed her now black hair out of her face, the look Lex hadn’t seen yet. “Come on in.” Becca said as she grabbed his hand and pulled him inside, giving him a rough rundown of the set up, even seeing Soren and just making a remark about him being drunk. But when Becca saw what direction her drunk friend was going, she stopped dead in her tracks. The cop. The same cop, detective, agent, or whoever or whatever he was from Lauren's crime scene, her memorial service was now here at the dinner party.

Rebecca walked away from Lex and straight towards the cop, accidentally bumping into a few of the other patrons before getting to her destination. Usually she wouldn’t had been this so confrontational, but the liquid courage was getting to her, as well as a lot of the stress was affecting her mind. “Why are you here?” Becca said in a loud tone, a couple people turning to see what the commotion was about. “Seriously, can’t you just leave us alone for one minute without showing up and monitoring us when we’re just trying to relax? We are trying to mourn our dead friend, but you keep insisting on questioning us.” She had lightly shoved the cop, not much power behind it. Becca wasn't exactly happy with being at this party, but she definitely didn't appreciate it being crashed. She took a look around and saw now she had accidentally grabbed the attention of most people in the room, ending her gaze on Lex, almost as if to ask for help.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: The New Rebecca
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N a t h a n Miller
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outfit - #D6CF13
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When Soren hugged him, Nate was taken aback slightly. They had been friends, sure, but he hadn’t ever thought of them as particularly close. Not that he minded, of course. He returned the hug without hesitation, though anyone that saw his face would have noticed the mild confusion. Still, he smiled as Soren let him go and said a simple, “Of course I came.” As if it hadn’t ever been a debate in his mind, and as if Soren never should have questioned it. His tone was gentle, though, and not at all meant to make Soren feel bad if he doubted it. When Soren mentioned being his wingman, Nate tried to see who his friend had eyes on, but he couldn’t pick out who Soren had them walking towards. He’d never really played wingman for Soren before, and started making a mental list of his strengths as they started walking.

When Soren stumbled, Nate reached out to help him regain balance, and concern crossed his face for a moment, “Hey, maybe you should sit down for a minute.” He placed a hand on Soren’s shoulder, hoping it came off as a friendly gesture, despite how it was meant to keep the man from walking away, “Just to get your head clear. Maybe we can catch up a little?”

He was just about to lead Soren to somewhere a little calmer to sit and hopefully clear his head, when he spotted some purposeful moment out of the corner of his eye. He turned to see Becca walking towards who he now recognized as one of the detectives on Lauren’s case. She looked upset, and he knew that this had the potential to not end well. He wanted to be over there, mostly because he didn’t want anyone getting into any more trouble than they were already in, but he wasn’t willing to leave Soren alone in the state he was in. He sighed and wrapped an arm around Soren’s shoulders, a gesture that would indicate a closer friendship than they had ever had. He started leading them in the direction Rebecca was quickly moving, and he spoke quickly, but quietly, to Soren as they walked. “We’re going to try to keep things as civil as we can over here. Stay calm. Keep your hands to yourself. Try to stay quiet. If things go south I don’t want it to come back to you, okay?”

They didn’t get there until after Becca shoved the cop, and Nate shot a glance at Lex, as if to ask why the hell he didn’t stop that. Thankfully enough, Erin showed up around the same time, and Nate figured she could do more to calm Rebecca than he could. But when Becca shrugged Erin’s hand off her shoulder, he stepped beside Rebecca, saying, “You know I have your back,” His voice was low, and it he was partially speaking so as not to alarm her as he gently grabbed her hand, trying to get her to take a step back, “But we really don’t need to start anything tonight.”

What Erin said surprised him, though, and he found himself letting Rebecca’s hand slip through his. He more heard the slap than saw it, but the words that were spoked afterwards, and Becca’s reaction to them, are what really made him spring into action. He shouted, “Hey!” As he scooped Becca up by the waist, holding her up against his torso, “Stop it!” He swore as Becca kicked and flailed, “You had better have a hell of an explanation!” That was, of course, directed at Erin. He took several steps back before turning around and setting Becca down, spinning her around and grabbing her harshly by the shoulders to force her to look at him. He’d never been rough with her before, but he wanted to end this nonsense, “I need you to stop. Do you wanna hear her out, or do you wanna take a walk with me?”

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Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang
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SOREN BOWERS
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outfit : herex|xhex: #575772
xxxsomewhere in between
xxxwho i used to be
xxxand who i'll be tomorrow
xxxwhen the champagne blows my mind

xxx
Soren wanted to protest when Nate said they should sit down. He was fine. The drink that Becca had made for him was probably just a little stronger than he'd realised and it was hitting him hard, that was all. But before he could communicate any of this, a distraction came in the form of Rebecca shoving somebody and yelling at them. At first, Soren only recognised the man as the stranger that had captured his attention, and he thought his plan to use Nate as his wingman might still be an option. But then it clicked why he looked so familiar. The man had been in Lauren's apartment that night. Soren could have sworn that he'd seen him around the station one of the times he'd been brought in for interview. Soren's mood changed instantly. Why the fuck was there a cop in his apartment?

As if Nate had read his mind, or maybe just his facial expression, he warned Soren not to say or do anything he'd regret. That didn't change the fact that one of the freaking cops had showed up to his apartment, hours after they'd ruined his day and had more or less confirmed his innocence. Had they been lying? Had they just come around to interrogate his friends?

But before he could say anything, Erin stepped between Rebecca and the cop. Soren just stared at Erin in confusion as she said she'd brought him. Why would she have brought a cop to his dinner party?

And then Soren looked between them again, and the penny dropped. Kyle. Damn, he hadn't realised Kyle was still in New York. Erin hadn't mentioned him at any stage. Or even mentioned that she was bringing him.

And then something else hit him. If Kyle was investigating Lauren's case... he knew about the photos. He knew far too many of Soren's secrets. He knew far too many of their own secrets. He couldn't risk that getting out. He couldn't. Soren didn't care if he was Erin's brother. It was only the slap that brought him back to reality and he watched the aftermath of Nate grabbing Rebecca and practically lifting her from her feet.

"I don't give a damn what the explanation is. You've made our lives hell with investigating this case. I... Erin, I'm sorry. But I can't- he can't stay. He just- He knows-" Why weren't the words coming out right? Soren felt like his heart was pounding and yet was still too slow, his thoughts racing and yet too slow to form coherent sentences.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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the perfectionistx|xoutfitx|x#B76A81

xxxImage
During it, the funeral, Khepri seemed weirdly okay. Having a wide pair of black sunglasses covering her eyes almost the entire time and flask slightly peeking out of the pocket of her black coat while keeping a stone face demeanor and wiping away the occasional tear. She had to keep it together in order to be there for everyone else; Lauren's parents, her friends, co-workers, anyone who felt like the only way to get over the fact that Lauren was murdered and her killer was still just walking around was by talking about their favorite moments with her, how she changed their lives, and how they could barely sleep because of it all. As if any of this would change anything. It was bullshit. It was all bullshit. One of her closest and oldest friends was gone and everything was worse now. Her killer was walking free, her friends were people of interest, and Lauren went to her grave without Khepri having the chance to even come clean, and now she felt like a bigger piece of shit than she usually did. But, despite what she thought. She couldn't bring herself to break the facade for anyone else. They needed this. So, she indulged them. She smiled and laughed, shared her own stories about her and Lauren, all to make those around her more comfortable with coming to terms with it all.

But, it wasn't until she finally went up the casket when she felt her body start to panic and everything began to really sink it. When she ran her hand against the hardwood surface, it felt like someone was sitting on her chest, the room began to spin, and she could feel herself getting nauseous. It felt like she hit by a bus. What was she supposed to do at this moment? What could she do? Run out of the room? Bust into tears and make a scene? Draw attention and make it about her? No, not a chance. She didn't even want anyone to see her like this. She tried to take deep breaths or get some air outside but, nothing helped and the feeling stayed until later that night when she was finally alone in her room. She let it out for bit before realizing that she had a show to put on and throwing herself a pity party and talking about her feelings wasn't going to get that done.

The days following the funeral were... chaotic and isolating for Khepri, to say the least. The day after the funeral, Khepri thought it was for the best to completely lock herself away, turn off her personal phone, and just basically vanish off the face of the Earth. Primarily because she had work to do with her list of theories and slight mental breakdown growing but also because when she wasn't glued to her computer or the notes all over her walls, she didn't even know what to say to the others. She wasn't good with grief and guilt or talking about it. And she really wasn't in the mood to try and process any of it with anyone. Not Nate, Not Chris, and definitely not Lex. She didn't need him, of all people, to think she was teetering off the deep end, again. Not that he'd notice with other things occupying his main attention, but that was fine. She wasn't angry or jealous. Why would she be? She was at her best alone. Right? At least that's what everyone else said so they could rationalize bettering their lives whether it be through throwing a tantrum towards her and just disappearing to go to LA with their band, or chasing after a girl they hadn't seen in years, or just willingly choosing to do whatever they want while throwing a certain someone to the wolves of her shitty life. All under the excuse; "Oh, she's Khepri. She can handle anything" or "She'll get over it, she's Pri."

Okay, maybe it was more than a small mental breakdown mounting but, she'd deal with that at a later time. When she wasn't supposed to be already left to go to some dinner party. But, that small fact didn't make her look away from her computer screen. She was less than 24 hours away from her report (that none of her friends still knew about but, they'd find out soon enough) and she was so close to finishing up her report to send to the teleprompters that she could taste it. She was in a rhythm about this story, something that hasn't happened in a really long time, and she wasn't going to break that for some stupid party with her high school friends who all probably secretly couldn't stand her; Lex and Becca excluded. She wouldn't even be going if it wasn't for the fact that Miss. 'Put Together' felt like she had had to in order to make everything look like she was perfectly fine. She didn't break routine, not once, no matter how much her body wanted to rest.

She went to the gym, researched, kept notes on the case, went to her therapist, kept up appearances, and acted as if nothing was wrong. And from the outside looking in, she seemed... oddly fine but, by those closest to her she knew they'd start seeing the cracks if she didn't get smarter about it. And going to this goddamn dinner, party, whatever you wanted to call it seemed like a good place to start. She'd show face, have a drink, have an actual conversation with Lex, and slip out. Easy. It was a chance to show them she was fine, no need to check-in, and another reason for them to leave her alone. Plus, who knows maybe someone would let something slip that she could use. And all she had to do to do that was get up! "You antisocial, workaholic, lazy piece of shit, get up! You have been in the room for days! You're dressed and look like a bad bitch. We have to go!" Even her nagging thought fell on deaf ears as she was finishing the last paragraph. Five minutes turned into half an hour before she finally read it over for what felt like the tenth time and finally smiled in triumph. It finally didn't sound like hot garbage. She could relax, for now. She hit send and took a deep breath. Finally getting up from her desk to slid on her knee-high black boots. She texted her driver that she was finally ready which gave her about ten minutes before he was at the front door waiting for her. And in that timespan, she caught her eyes darting back to her computer. [color#B76A81]"You know that draft was hot garbage, right? Somehow you found a way to fill twenty minutes of screentime while not saying anything of substance. Good job."[/color] No, no. It was fine. She was going to let that little voice in her head make her think otherwise. Even though fine wasn't going to get her out of this hellhole of a city...

She had ten minutes, she'd just fix a few things. What would that hurt? She'd tweak a little of the language, use a few more hard-hitting words, and then she'd be done. Then she'd go. Ten turned into thirty more minutes and now she was almost an hour later. Great. She was rereading, again and again, her acrylic fingernails tapping rapidly against the wood desk while her phone was vibrating next to her. She snapped out of it to realize the time. "Shit!" She saved the final, final draft and sent it to the editors to savage in any way they could before snatching her little baggie and tossing it in her purse and grabbing the bottle of aged bourbon she had gotten as a peace offering party gift for Soren. She hurried down to the main lobby and smiled as she silently huffed. She apologized to her driver and slid in the back before turning her attention to her phone sending out two texts to the two most important people in her life right now; Lex and her editor.

To: Lex
Sorry I've been MIA, busy w/ work. I'm on my way to Soren's now, save me a drink.

To: Rick
My notes are shit, I know. I'll fix them when I get home.

The rest of the ride was filled with wine and just trying to get herself to relax. The script would be okay, she'd stay up tonight and fix it. This was going to be a time to stop thinking about the report and Lauren and finally fucking relax. By the time, she made it to Soren's, she had some much to drink she was actually smiling. When the door opened, she grabbed her belongings and thanked her driver before walking up to the stairs. She was going to knock but, when twisting the knob she found that whoever came in last forgot to lock it. So, she just let herself in. She smiled towards Lex but was not in any way prepared for the sight that was unfolding in front of her: Nate holding onto Becca, Soren kicking the-- the detective (?!) out, Erin between everyone, and well, overall a pretty interestingly chaotic scene she had walked in on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rebecca Cruze Character Portrait: Erin Monahan Character Portrait: Kyle Monahan Character Portrait: Soren Bowers Character Portrait: Nathan Miller Character Portrait: Alexander Yang Character Portrait: Khepri Mahajan
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0000Erin0Monahan 00000000000000000|00000000000000000000|Kyle0 Monahan

outfit : herex|xhex: #80000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000outfit : herexxhex: #063A67

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Everything that could have gone bad, was going bad. From the mistake of bringing Kyle to the party, to the events that took place before and during the week that led up to this, and then the fact that Erin had never told them until now. She hadn't told anyone that she knew that Kyle was back. She had been so busy and by herself in the days that followed that she never once thought to tell them. Let them know what was going on and that Kyle was here, and that he was the agent that had to question a vast majority of them, or had some part in the entire investigation. One simple mistake. One simple, god damn mishap had ended in the result of this. Kyle being pushed back and harrassed by Rebecca, who was then taken to the side by Nate as he told her to calm down. She was now literally in the middle of this, and she had to play her cards right. She couldn't make any more mistakes, she had to make sure that nothing escalated further. Her eyes darted between them all, knowing full well what and how they'd react. They'd be angry, they'd have every right to be. But they had to listen, right? They'd understand, they'd have to. It was Kyle. Not only a childhood friend, but her brother. They knew him well and knew how he was, they'd have to know he wouldn't be any trouble. That they could simply listen and just let him stay. Erin cleared her throat and began to speak with as calm of a voice as she could, "It'll all make sense, but Rebecca. You have no right to just fucking push someone around like that, alright? You don't need to be such a fucking bit-" she started to speak, somewhat loudly and oddly defensively. But she wasn't expecting what came next. Whether it was Rebecca wriggling out of Nate's grasp, or the slap that came next. She almost didn't even realize what happened initially as her face paled, eyes growing wide at the initial impact of the slap. She simply stood there, mouth slightly agape as she finally recollected her thoughts. The words that had come out of her mouth before Rebecca had lashed out, came out faster than she could process them. She was just surprised about what she said as the others were. She knew full well that when she gets even the slightest bit heated, she has a tendency to say things she shouldn't, but having called Rebecca a bitch over this whole mess was one huge mistake. All of this was.

Erin rubbed her cheek silently as Nate quickly grabbed Rebecca from behind and pulled her backward. All while yelling at Erin that she better have one hell of an explanation for all of this. Her eyes darted around the room as she tried to think. Her eyes darted from Rebecca, to Nate, and then the others. Sighing for a moment as she took another moment to recollect herself, as everything that transpired happened in just a few short seconds. "First, you hit like a very small child." she rattled off, which was more or less under her breath, but loud enough for Rebecca to hear at the small distance between them. Erin took a short pause to compose herself, looking at Nate as she spoke next, "I do, if you just let me speak-" she was cut off yet again, but this time it was Soren. She quickly turned her head to look at him as he spoke. Her eyes narrowed as he said he didn't care what the explanation was, and that he had to leave. That it wasn't okay for him to stay there and that he needed to leave. He knew too much and he made their lives hell.

Her mind was a whirlwind of things as she was processing everything that happened. She took a short moment to look at Kyle, seeing how he was just blankly staring at the flood gave her enough of a notion to know what kind of mindset he was in. "Are you okay, Kyle?" she asked softly, he simply nodded his head, his voice coming out in a soft whisper, "I-I'm fine..." Kyle said, his eyes never leaving the floor as he was stuck in one of his episodes. Erin turned her head to look back at Soren. Her jaw was locked in place for a moment as her eyes closed, trying to remain calm and collected. But she had been calm for far too long, and she could feel the anger slowly rising and it was only a matter of time until it all bubbled over, and now it was just starting to show. "You know what, Soren? Fuck you." she said suddenly and coldly. The words dripping out of her mouth like poison as she approached him, keeping a small distance from them as she continued to speak, "I have been so calm and easy-going through everything. Everything." she put an emphasis on the second part, making sure Soren knew exactly what she was hinting at. "From the bullshit and break up with Lauren, to the thing with Pri and Lex, and especially when you fucking left without a word. I was there, through it all. I listened. I never once questioned anything. I was there through it all for you, and I never once left you. I never once left anyone to question what they did to deserve being walked out on." her voice and presence was growing colder and colder the longer she spoke, every word sounding more pained than the last. She could feel the all too familiar burn start behind her eyes as tears slowly trickled down her cheek, wiping them off with her sleeve. Her eyes focused on Soren for a moment before she pushed him back slightly, "I never once asked for anything in return, ever. And what did I get? You leaving without a god damn word. Just like everyone else. I never once left you or anyone else alone and I am not going to do the same to him." Erin said with an ice-cold tone, her eyes never once leaving Soren's. "So go fuck yourself, Soren."