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Cassidy Knox

0 · 1,396 views · located in New York

a character in “Uptown Living”, as played by M95

Description

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Name:
Cassidy Taylor Knox

Nickname(s):
Cass, Cassie (she prefers just Cassidy)

Age:
17

Birthday:
December 12th

Hometown:
Westchester, NY (0-10)
New York, NY--Midtown (10-17)
New York, NY--Upper East Side (17-Current)

Sexuality:
Bisexual

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Cassidy's most positive traits come in the form of intelligence, wit, loyalty, responsibility and confidence. She's a very smart girl, book-wise and street-wise. She definitely isn't someone who would ever be described as an airhead and she has a way about her that makes it seem like all of her actions are planned and calculated well. That's not too far fetched, really, because Cassidy does put a lot of thought into the things that she says and does. She has her impulsive moments like everyone, but she definitely lives in her mind enough that she can overthink things more than under think them.

Growing up, she was a lot more insecure than she is now. She had kids teasing her constantly and relentlessly, even before her sexuality came into the picture, and rather than back down, she grew to be stronger from it. It all still hurts, and on a personal level, she is extremely sensitive, but she grew a thick armor that she still holds on to. In fact, in addition to the armor, she developed her own stash of weapons. Instead of sitting back and taking the bullying, Cassidy allowed herself to not only become confident in herself, but a bully towards others, too. To her, it's not only payback, but a method of self-preservation. She's grown to believe that if she doesn't assert her dominance and strength, people will continue to try and target her. The only good thing that she thinks came out of her years of being bullied is that she is pretty confident now and has no problem with embracing her sexuality or "weirdness". If you're going to be weird, you need to own it, and that's exactly what Cassidy does.

That "weirdness" is definitely a big part of her though, and it translates into another side of Cassidy that is cynical, dark, and sarcastic. She possesses a level of wit to her that actually allows this side to be likable to some people, and allows her to maintain friendships, but it doesn't take away from how dark she can be sometimes. After years of being stepped on and oppressed, she's developed a need for power and control. It's the only thing that makes her feel secure of her position, and putting down other people somehow allows her to feel like she's making up for all of those years of being tormented, even if she's picking on people who had no part in that, years ago. Her bullying usually doesn't come in the stereotypical bullying form that you see on TV, with a kid shoving underclassmen into lockers and demanding their lunch money. Cassidy's is more verbal than that, and more twisted, too. She finds it easy to read people and likes to pick on kids who seem weaker and insecure. If she knows that you're a bad math student, she's going to volunteer you to the teacher, suggesting that you know the answer to the problem that the teacher wants someone to write out on the board. She'll frame you for cheating on exams, or blackmail you into doing assignments for her. If she knows that you're insecure about your weight, she'll be sure to comment on it, especially in a backhanded complimentary manner, whenever she gets the chance. She likes being inside of people's heads, and holding power over them in a way that might not be apparent on an obvious, surface level, sense.

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Upbringing:
Cassidy was born in Westchester County, NY, an upscale suburban community outside of Manhattan. Her father, Adam, was an insurance executive and her mother, Nicole an interior designer. While Adam was the breadwinner of the family, Nicole did very well for herself too, especially during Cassidy's childhood, when she began to take on clients who were extremely wealthy, and in many cases, even celebrities. She began to design their homes in Manhattan, which meant that like Adam, Cassidy began to see her mother less and less. It wasn't something that bothered her very much in the beginning, but a year or so into her mother's increase in work-life responsibilities, the bullying began to start for Cassidy. It began for no good reason, really. Cassidy was just as wealthy as her peers, had nice clothes and all of the newest toys. She really just got unlucky, when one of the popular girls at her elementary school decided that she only wanted to be friends with girls with blonde hair. It was incredibly childish, which wasn't exactly surprising given their age at the time, it didn't end there when the girls decided that they were over being an exclusively blonde clique. No matter what she did or how badly she tried to conform to their standards, no one would accept her. Or, at least, the girls that she wanted to be friends with wouldn't accept her. Having little support at home didn't help in her stage of feeling rejected and uncared for, and to make matters even worse, when she was nine years old, her parents got a divorce. This resulted in her mother taking her from Westchester and bringing her to the Manhattan penthouse she had recently purchased. Cassidy still maintained a relationship with her father, since the divorce wasn't bitter and really just a long time coming, and so she would spend every other weekend with him.

Her social life in Manhattan didn't improve dramatically, but really, she only had herself to blame for this. She had a chance at a new start, in a new city with new people, but after experiencing years of torment from her peers back at home, she decided that she would never give anyone else a chance to outcast herself like that. She would do that part herself, by embracing her weirdness, but she would also eliminate any chance of them thinking that they had any strong opinion over her. She would become the bully, the one who ridiculed them and made them feel like they were worthless. She mainly targeted the popular girls, the ones who she felt had too much of an inflated ego and needed to be knocked down to reality, so she did allow herself friendships with other students who were often deemed weird, and that allowed her to maintain fairly content socially. She had friends, even if they weren't the type of friends that she always grew up wanting. And even though she told herself she needed to suppress her feelings, she slipped in ninth grade, when she began to come to terms with her sexuality more, and developed an infatuation with one of the more popular girls in school. She had a one time fling with the girl, but she thought it meant a lot more than the other girl did. The rejection led to Cassidy growing even colder and darker, and more consumed with the idea that she needed to shut off her feelings and ability to care for anyone else.

About a year ago, her mother began dating Bernard Arnault, the father of one of her classmates. They got engaged only a few months after dating, and married over the summer. It coincidentally lined up fairly well with Adeline being in treatment, but Cassidy has since moved into her home and has been living with her mother and Bernard there ever since Adeline went into treatment.

So begins...

Cassidy Knox's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anissa Savage Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Kateri Eshkan Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Liam Brooks Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett Character Portrait: Ellis Vargas Character Portrait: Tyler Owen
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It was September 3rd, a Thursday, and the first official day of school at St. Jude's, and its sister school, Constance Billard. The day before had been orientation day, a day that was mostly scheduled for freshman, but technically required for all students. Most juniors and seniors were finished with orientation day by noon, or so, after sitting through short introductions to each of their classes, while following that, the freshman had to sit through a presentation about their school, that always seemed to drag on. Hunter could still remember how he had nearly fallen asleep during his freshman year presentation. Not even the jitters and excitement of attending a new school could keep him from quickly growing uninterested when the dean of students took the stage and began to lecture on and on about St. Jude's history. It got to a point where most kids actually preferred the real first day of school, even though that entailed doing actual work and assignments, over orientation day. It was easier to appreciate the first day of school though, when the week started on a Thursday, and after that day of classes, and Friday's, the students were treated to a long holiday weekend, thanks to Labor Day. Even if you weren't one of the students invited to Sydney Persson's annual Labor Day white party in the Hamptons, Labor Day was likely something you looked forward to. If you didn't have an event to attend, at least it was like you were given one extra day to finish up any missed summer plans. Hunter was one of those students who did have Sydney's party to look forward to on Sunday, but additionally, he was planning to throw a big, impromptu party on Friday night. Like most of Hunter's parties, it wouldn't be anything official, like what Sydney would be hosting over the weekend. There wouldn't be any fancy decorations or little finger sandwiches, or wait staff there to keep guests happy. Hunter would simply wait until his parents left for their own Hamptons weekend, have his friends haul the kegs up to his apartment, bring in the bottles, and maybe some weed or party drugs, if anyone wanted, and then in would come all of his friends and guests. It wouldn't be anything fancy, but in a world where everything had to be fancy to be socially acceptable, sometimes it was nice to act like normal high school kids, just trying to get away with a house party... even if that "house" the party was being thrown in wasn't some shabby house in the suburbs, but a penthouse apartment in the Upper East Side.

Right now, Hunter knew that he needed to put the focus of his party on the back burner, for the time being. He had an hour, or so, until he needed to leave for school, and he had only just rolled out of bed. Before hopping into the shower, he sent out a few text messages to some friends. Though he had seen most of his guy friends the day before at orientation, he hadn't stuck around for long enough to socialize with any of the Constance Billard girls, so he texted a few of them, as well as Liam Koch.

To: Liam
Gonna stop for a BLT on the way. Want me to bring u anything or you good?

To: Lani, Adeline, Sydney
Keep your schedule clear for Friday, ladies

To: Ness
So... since you came to my final party of last year, I expect to see you at my first of this year, on Friday. No excuses ;)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Had Cassidy come from a low-income, average-income, or even upper-average-income home, before her mother married Bernard Arnault, she definitely would have experienced culture shock, upon moving into Bernard's grand townhouse in the Upper East Side. And maybe she still did, a little bit, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been, considering that Cassidy and her mother had lived quite comfortably in a nice apartment just a few blocks away, before the marriage led to her mother selling the place, and moving in here. Needless to say, though, it didn't take long for Cassidy to warm up to the idea of calling this new place her home. Like many step family situations, that you see in movies or read about in the books, Cassidy didn't struggle with accepting Bernard as her step-father. The man seemed to treat her mother very well, both financially and emotionally, and was always quite cordial and endearing when he interacted with Cassidy. It didn't seem like he was trying to become her second father, which was completely fine by her, and wasn't exactly surprising, considering that it didn't seem like he played a pivotal role in his own biological daughter's life, anyway. Said biological daughter's absence from the family's home over the summer, probably made adjusting all the more easier, anyway.

It was no secret that Adeline Arnault was a spoiled little brat... or at least it wasn't to Cassidy, who had overheard far too many conversations between her mother and stepfather, about how Adeline needed to mature and become more responsible. Knowing that she spent the summer in a treatment facility for an eating disorder did force Cassidy to have some level of pity for her, but at the same time, it seemed like her mother and Adeline's father both felt that at least some part of the disorder tied into Adeline having no respect for the word no, or authority in itself. Whether it was true, or was just the adults attempting to downplay the situation and vilify Adeline for an illness she had no control over, Cassidy wasn't sure. Normally, she would have wanted to be intelligent enough to recognize that no one would really go to such an extent, as to destroy their physical and mental health, just to prove a point that they could do whatever they wanted to do, and didn't have to follow their parents' rules, but Adeline was a drama queen. Even if Cassidy didn't know her incredibly well, she knew her enough to know that the girl's position as being a whiny little trust fund baby was basically untouchable. And that said a lot, considering the neighborhood that they were being raised in.

Cassidy was prepared to not only deal with Adeline when she woke up on the morning of the first day of senior year, but her two friends, Lani and Sydney, as well. Cassidy knew both girls very well... or as well as she wanted to know them. Lani was more familiar to her than Sydney, in a personal sense, since the two of them had maintained a semblance of friendship in their younger years, but all it took was one night of Cassidy acting on feelings inside of her that told her she wanted more than a friendship, for that friendship to crumble, and for Cassidy to grow to despise Lani. Sydney played a major role in that too, teasing Cassidy for her sexuality, so who she disliked the most was still a tight race. Right now, Lani probably topped Sydney just a bit, but that was only because she was the first of the girls that Cassidy crossed paths with, after getting herself ready for the school day. "I should turn the heat up and get you unbuttoning that shirt a little more, Miss President. It is a little chilly in here, isn't it? Even considering that the Queen Bee with the ice cold heart is just a few doors down, it still seems unnecessarily cool," Cassidy provoked, a tauntingly sensual lick of her lips following it. She had approached just as Lani finished rapping on Adeline's door, and was just close enough to hear Adeline's response. "But on a more important note," she continued, just a moment later, "Would you be a doll and let my little sister know that her clothes are right where she asked me to leave them yesterday, and remind her that Lauren's going to report right back to her dear, old Daddy, if she doesn't follow doctor's orders and stick to her meal plan, so she better speed it up and save time for breakfast!" Her tone was mockingly cheerful, as if she wasn't purposely trying to instigate some sort of reaction from the girl. She knew she was supposed to go along with the story that Adeline was gone all summer from New York simply because she was with her mother in California, but Cassidy knew the real story, and knowledge was power. Cass' favorite kind of power was power that she could hold over people's heads. "Oh!" Cassidy said, after taking a step away and then turning back around. "And if she comes out with her shirt buttoned all the way up too, just let me know. I'd totally turn the heat up to make her more comfortable, too!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Spending the first morning before classes outside of her own home wasn't something that Sydney originally planned on doing. It left her feeling discombobulated for only a few minutes in the morning though, because for the most part, she had prepared herself for this the night before. She and Lani had come to terms with the fact that them being at Adeline's house bright and early was probably the only way to ensure that their friend didn't skip out on the first day, like she had done to orientation. Because of that, a sleepover was scheduled, or more correctly, forced by Sydney and Lani, and now, here they were. It wasn't all that bad for Sydney anyway, considering that her mother had spent the evening home alone the night before, while her father revived his youth at some "work party" downtown. She knew very well that if her father didn't come home last night, which wouldn't have been all to surprising, than by now, her mother was either passed out drunk, or awake with a horrible hangover, and likely still drunk enough that any encounter she would have with her would be unpleasant. Sydney would never use the term "abusive" to describe her mother, because she associated that with physical violence, and her mother was never verbally abusive. Her abuse of alcohol, however, definitely led her to being verbally aggressive, and it wouldn't have been abnormal for Sydney to come downstairs in a perfectly modest version of her school uniform, only to have her mother mutter some comment about how she looks like a whore. If it wasn't a comment on her attire, than maybe the woman would snap at Sydney for being a pig, just for looking through the fridge for a snack, or for no reason at all, go off on a rant about how ungrateful she was. It was a side of her mother that was very different than how the woman was sober, but Sydney had reached a point where she would no longer excuse her mother's actions as being understandable. Normal people, people without drinking problems, didn't curse out their children when they were drunk, and she was tired of her mother just acting like nothing had happened a day later, when she was finally sober again.

Sydney's morning routine was pretty strict, and though it wasn't too intensive, she woke up early enough to ensure that she had time to shower, and blow dry her hair, before getting dressed and doing her makeup and hair. She took her school bag, while leaving the rest of her belongings in the spare bedroom, before heading into the hallway. She had a few text messages on her phone that she hadn't opened up, but right now, she wasn't focusing on that. Even if she hadn't spotted Lani standing outside of Adeline's door, that would have been her first stop anyway. The entire reason that they were here this morning, was because everyone knew that Adeline was late to just about everything, and that, coupled with her dislike for school, made it believable that the Arnault might actually attempt to skip out on classes. Throw in the fact that she had went MIA all summer, still without a very believable excuse for doing so, and Sydney wasn't going to let her get away with making any sort of excuses. She was just a moment too late to hear Adeline trying to do just that, so she focused on the two girls on her side of the door. "Cassidy," she acknowledged, a curt smile falling in place, and only happening at all, because Sydney had manners. Honestly, she still felt like Adeline's home was more her own than Cassidy's, just because Sydney had spent much of her childhood there, but she recognized that now, this place was technically Cassidy's as well, so Sydney would force herself to be polite. The fact that she had just walked over the pair, so she hadn't had the time to overhear what Cassidy and Lani were saying, made being polite possible. Had she heard how suggestive Cassidy was being, her expression certainly would have held more emotional than the relaxed smile that arose when she looked back towards Lani. "Breakfast time?" she proposed, knowing that Lani had mentioned something the night before about wanting to play a role in the meal. That wasn't surprising, and even if the girl hadn't mentioned it, Sydney would have suspected that she would have been up a little earlier, to give herself time to wander down to the kitchen before anyone else. The Arnault's personal chef was superb on her own, but adding in Lani's touch never hurt any meal, that was for sure.

She turned back to the door, seemingly only then remembering that she couldn't run downstairs with Lani just yet, and without bothering to knock, she opened Adeline's door. "Ready, Addy?" she inquired, but by the time that the door was completely open, her question was already answered. The bed head, pajama clad girl definitely didn't look ready, but today, Sydney couldn't be amused by it. She had been gentler to Adeline than she normally would have been yesterday, and that was just because she truly was thrilled to see her after a two month Adeline-drought, but there was no way that Sydney would be okay with running late to school today. Not on the first day of senior year. Not when she needed to make an entrance, and most importantly, make a statement that she was still very strong, and very unbothered, even though she had gotten a couple of texts over the last few days that suggested more people than just herself were aware of Liam breaking up with her. Whether she really was "strong and unbothered" was up for debate, but it wasn't a debate that Sydney would ever allow herself to have. She had to be okay, because she couldn't let anyone, even Liam Koch, hold any sort of emotional power over her. "Really? Did I not specifically set your alarm for you last night, to make sure that you would have enough time to be up and ready by now, so that we could have time to eat together and prepare for the day?" Sydney felt herself growing too tense, too lecture-y, so she pushed the bedroom door open farther, and glanced towards Lani with a distressed expression. "Help me here, Dee. I cannot deal with a tension headache before this day even starts."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Cassidy truly did her best to allow the smile that she offered Sydney to come out genuine looking, but it ended up as nothing more than a sneer. She didn't have the energy yet, this early, to offer any sort of comment to the blonde one, especially when she was already engaging with the other blonde in a risky manner. However, she was pleased that she had chosen Lani to play with, out of the two of them, because the comment that the girl left her with, before disappearing into Adeline's room, instantly brought a smirk to her face. "Noted, baby girl!" she sang, not minding the door already being closed by the time that the words got out. If all it took was saying the word, than Lani was going to make things easier than Cassidy expected. Though she was well aware that the girl was only joining in on the same game that Cassidy was playing, and likely wasn't being serious, Cassidy would take the words for what they were. She wouldn't act on them now, simply because it was far too early, and she was ready for breakfast, but later on in the week, maybe. Maybe at Sydney Persson's Labor Day party, that Cassidy had indirectly been invited to, through the Arnault family connections. Maybe at Hunter's party on Friday. The time and the place didn't matter, so long as Cassidy was sure that she had the upper hand. Previous interactions likely wouldn't have suggested that she held that position, since it had been her who had apparently caught feelings after the one and only time she and Lani had made out, but Cassidy had shut that side of herself off, ever since that day. The colder, the better.

"She's trying to get out of breakfast, again," Cassidy announced, upon entering the kitchen and finding Lauren there. While bringing Adeline's wrong to light was the first thing on her mind, it was difficult to focus on that when she caught a whiff of just how decadent the room smelled. "Butternut squash hash? Pancakes... of some sort? Are these mimosas? Wow, Lauren, you really went hard today," Cassidy commented, truly impressed. Her smile widened into more of an amused grin, when Lauren refused to take full credit for the meal, and insisted that Lani had been the mastermind behind a lot of it. A pretty face, a flawless body, a sharp tongue, and a good hand in the kitchen. I always attract the talented ones, don't I? she thought, only half-seriously as she helped herself to a portion of the Eggs Benedict, and a pancake, once they were ready, before taking a seat at the table.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Originally, Sydney had only called Lani in to allow them to share the responsibility of pushing Adeline into getting ready. However, after a glance at her phone allowed her to notice the time, coupled with that whiny voice Adeline liked to use when she would insist that she wasn't in the wrong for whatever offense she had clearly committed, Sydney was more than willing to pass off that responsibility to Lani, completely. The other blonde had already located Adeline's clothes and had her looking through the pile already, so when Adeline requested only one of them to help her put her school bag together, a playful smirk found its way to Sydney's face, as she looked to Lani with a "sorry, not sorry" expression. "Have fun with that, Lani! I'll be downstairs when you two are finished." As she escaped the bedroom, she insisted to herself that it wasn't wrong of her to leave Lani there. For one, it wasn't like she was actually abandoning them, by heading a few flights down to the kitchen. If Lani really needed her, she could call her back up. Besides, Sydney really did need the time to prepare herself. She would indulge in whatever gourmet food Lani and the chef had put together, sure, but she also needed some time to mentally prepare herself for senior year. She was already worrying that some dumb group of ignorant freshman would be standing in her spot in the courtyard, if they actually ended up getting to school later than planned, and dealing with Adeline at this hour was destined to give her gray hair before they even left the house. Feeling this way was a stark contrast to how Sydney had felt days ago, about her MIA best friend, but that was just how Sydney was. She could be sensitive and compassionate and caring, but more frequently than not, she had to be selfish and focus on herself and her reputation. It was confirmed that Adeline was alive, and though she was still concerned about her friend lying to her - and yes, Sydney was convinced that the excuse that Adeline had spent the summer with her mother was a lie - she tried not to focus on that right now. There was absolutely no way that any sane person would choose to believe that Adeline Arnault would willingly take a summer off from technology, as if it were somehow going to renew her, but Sydney would let Addy believe that she and Lani believed that until this school day was over, and she had time to approach that. Right now, breakfast was her main concern.

...Or at least that was what she told herself, until she actually reached the kitchen, and found Cassidy already seated there, with a full plate in front of her, and a berry mimosa not far from reach. With a quick, yet sincere greeting to Lauren, Sydney made herself a plate as well, unable to resist putting a little bit of everything on it. A mere sniff of the beverage indicated that it was a virgin mimosa, which wasn't all that surprising, but at Adeline's house, you could never be quite sure. Sydney's nerves indicated that a non-virgin mimosa would have been pretty nice anyway, but she would never do that to herself. While Sydney enjoyed drinking at parties and the likes, she was never the type to go overboard with drinking, and she certainly would never do it before school. She hated the thought of losing her inhibitions and control over her emotions, and that was exactly what too much alcohol did to her.

Although Sydney had no desire to socialize with Cassidy Knox, she also wasn't going to ignore her, especially with Lauren nearby. Staff or not, being rude for what would appear to be no reason, wouldn't do Sydney's reputation any good. She chose a seat across from Cassidy, and the curt smile from earlier, reappeared. After a sip of the mimosa, she addressed the girl. "I heard that your mother and Bernard's wedding was small. So small that Adeline didn't even feel the need to return from California to attend it. Were you there?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Cassidy and Lauren weren't alone in the kitchen for long, because only a few minutes after she started eating, Sydney appeared. The girl didn't acknowledge her at first, and Cassidy assumed that it was going to remain that way. She wouldn't have minded it, since she had already had her fun with Lani this morning, and was okay with things going back to the way they were "supposed to be"... AKA anyone who wasn't in Sydney and Lani and Adeline's inner circle, being ignored as if they didn't even exist. It was easier to fight that in her own home, but considering it was early, and she really was savoring every bite of the meal in front of her, she probably wouldn't have tried provoking Sydney. However, the girl sitting down directly across from her, and starting a conversation all on her own, opened the opportunity right up for Cassidy. "If a reception of one hundred people is small, than sure, "small" is the word," she send, sending a curiously perplexed expression across the table. She knew how Sydney worked, at least on a vague level, so it was unlikely that she was just bringing up the wedding to make small talk. "Look, Blondie; if you're dumb enough to believe that Princess spent her summer with mommy on the west coast, then bask in your ignorance. If this is you indirectly suggesting that you know she's been lying to you, then bravo; I was right that you were more than just a pretty face." With that comment, Cassidy took a long few seconds to allow her eyes to drift below the seated girl's face, and though her conservative school uniform showed very little, it was an act that was meant to be more obnoxious than beneficial to Cassidy, anyway. It was an attempt at signaling that Sydney could be as uptight and condescending as she wanted, but that wasn't going to scare her. Not anymore. If anyone was going to be the one doing the intimidating now, Cassidy wanted it to be her, and if it had to be done in an inappropriate way, than so be it.

She held the pancake on her plate down with her fork, and used a knife to saw a fragment of it off, before popping it into her mouth. When it was fully chewed and the sweet food, that tasted more like a dessert than a breakfast meal, slid down her throat, she met Sydney's gaze once more, and her smile returned. "I swore to keep my mouth shut, so all that I'm going to say is that she was away getting help for a... problem." As soon as the words left her mouth, she brought up a finger to one side of her nose, pressing the nostril shut, as she pretended to do a line of cocaine off of the table surface. Insinuating that Adeline had been in treatment for a cocaine addiction was a blatant lie, but that was what made it amusing. "I heard that you and Madam President were the ones who got her hooked on it, anyway, so I'm surprised you didn't know that that was where she was," she said, adding in a shrug and a look of serious surprise, to play into the lie. She wasn't sure if Sydney would buy it, but incriminating the two pretentious blondes in the process only added to the amusement that Cassidy got out of it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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Avan really couldn't complain about having to attend classes this week, because they were starting on a Thursday. Thursdays in general, were usually good business days, because people were getting ready for the weekend, and that preparation frequently involved stocking up on drugs, or requesting a spot on club VIP lists, and that translated into dollar signs for Avan. In addition to it being a good day for his wallet overall, this Thursday was the first day that he would have enough time to thoroughly interact with many of his classmates who he hadn't seen over the summer. Again, that meant dollar signs, as his clientele base would expand once again. Beyond that, and on a normal teenage-mind scale, having a short school week was always a nice thing. He had to get through two days of classes this week, before having a long weekend to relax, and that was something that Avan would never complain about. All of this made rolling out of bed all the more easier come seven AM, when his alarm went off. After showering, he put on his school uniform, which was a simple combination of a pale yellow button up shirt, khakis, black dress shoes, and a crimson and yellow striped tie. Thankfully, it was still warm enough that the school blazer wasn't a necessary staple. The coat always made Avan feel cramped and restricted, and though he didn't necessarily mind the uniform overall, he wasn't a big fan of having to go all out with it.

When he was dressed and physically prepared for the day, he double checked the loot that filled the outside pocket of his backpack. It wasn't stuffed fully enough where there was a huge physical bulge to make it obviously detectable to the naked eye, so Avan wasn't worried about walking down to his kitchen with the bag slung over one shoulder. Just because it wasn't packed, didn't mean that it wasn't worth good money, though. That was one of the benefits of dealing with an array of drugs, because a half of cocaine, or a couple of prescription pills took up a fraction of a space of a bag of weed, and yet frequently, could be sold for double or triple its price. Luckily for Avan, his clients tended to have deep pockets, so he was able to flip the higher end drugs fairly quickly. Before he even left his house, he already had a couple of texts from classmates who he was scheduled to make transactions with before classes started. He met Mark, a junior basketball player, in the lobby of their apartment building, to hand off the only two bags of marijuana that he was carrying with him today. A block away, he found Louis, a quiet kid who he had shared a math class with the year before, in the greeting card aisle of CVS to trade a gram of cocaine for a crisp one hundred dollar bill. Next door, in a family-owned coffee shop, Emily, a senior from Constance Billard, who he had hooked up with as a sophomore, was waiting to exchange fifty dollars for a handful of Xanax. His mother, as always, had packed him a to-go breakfast, consisting of a bottle of Gatorade, a Pop-Tart, and a blueberry muffin, so considering that he didn't have to stop to eat, he made a clean profit of $170 in the twenty minutes it took him to walk to school. It didn't beat his record, but it was a pretty solid start to the day, especially considering that he wasn't finished. Just outside the gates of St. Jude's, he was able to pass off a few more bags of various drugs, and a fake ID to his classmates, and rake in another two-hundred dollars. Although he wasn't against doing deals discretely in school, Avan preferred having all of his business taken care of before walking into the building. He would take orders inside, that was no problem, but it was less risky to do the dealing outside.

Because of this, though he seemed very popular outside of the school's gates, once he was on campus, and resting against the side of the building, waiting for it to get closer to the start of first period, when kids would begin to enter, he wasn't approached by many people. Avan wasn't a loner, and he definitely wasn't a loser, but he also didn't fit in with the jocks or the preps or the popular kids. He knew them, and a lot of them, very well, at least in terms of their guilty pleasures, but they weren't friends. At least, not unless they were all smoking a bowl that Avan was hooking them up with. He didn't mind the way that people seemed to ghost him when they were in public. It was safer that way for him, too, but now that he did have some down time, he found himself shooting out a couple of text messages, with the last one being very sarcastic.

To: Adeline
Woooooooow look who it is finally hitting me up. Thought you died, Arnault! You've got it, though. Just got a fresh stock of 30 mg in... $15 a pill to most, but I'll get it to you for $10 as a welcome back gif. How many do you want?

To: Nova
Taking orders for your usual. Only have 30 mg if you're up for the challenge, and I can get it to you by tonight but I can get you the usual 15 mg by Saturday. How many do you want?

To: Cassidy
Good morning, you beautiful ray of sunshine. Sleep well, princess?

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Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Sydney would admit (to herself) that Cassidy deserved credit for making her feel uncomfortable, because as she kept a steady gaze on the girl's face, she watched as her eyes roved over the half of Sydney's body that was visible above the table. Even just saying that she had a "pretty face" made Sydney's skin crawl, and though it was dramatic, it wasn't so, to her, considering that she really did think that Cassidy was a creep. After a long sip of her mimosa, that she was beginning to wish, more seriously, actually had alcohol in it, she set it back down on the table and smiled at Cassidy coldly. "It's funny - I always thought the most despicable thing about you was your disgusting sexual tendencies, and how you preyed upon my friend when she was beyond intoxicated, but the fact that you're clearly a pathological liar ranks right up there, too." Sydney was referring to the one time, years ago, when she had walked in on Cassidy and Lani making out at a party. It had caught Sydney so off guard, mostly because she had no idea that Lani swung that way, that it had led to Sydney outcasting Cassidy farther than she had already been pushed away socially. She did what she could to make her the "Janis Ian" of Constance Billard, and though Sydney had relented the taunting much since the original encounter, it didn't change how she felt. She thought that all of these years, she had done a good job at treating Cassidy fairly, given how deplorable she truly was, but if she wasn't going to know her place, than Sydney wasn't going to refrain from reminding her of it.

This was the kind of banter that Cassidy enjoyed. Sydney was just as good as Lani, and though Lani was a bit more fun, in the sense that Cassidy knew (or at least had enough of an ego to think she knew) that she could get under Lani's skin, even just slightly, after a little bit of pushing, knowing that her taunts didn't rile up any emotions other than anger and annoyance in Sydney was reassuring enough in itself. Cassidy wasn't so egotistical to actually believe that every person on the planet wanted to get into bed with her, and she didn't want that for every person either, but with certain people like Sydney, it was fun to act that way towards. She would insinuate it, just because she felt like Sydney was homophobic, at least to an extent where it made her more uncomfortable than it should, and seeing the girl who was so good at being stone-faced feel forced to even entertain an argument with her made Cassidy feel like she had won, in one way or another. "If you're calling her my prey, than she must have a kink for hunters, because she was just as into me as I was into her. She still is, if we're being honest, but I guess that's a conversation for another day." She left it at that for a moment, allowing herself to take another bite of her food, and wash it down with her drink, before mimicking Sydney's cold smile. "I guess I should warn you though," she then continued, picking up her mimosa glass now and swirling it around just slightly, as she focused on watching the drink move around the glass. "Before senior year ends, both of your little bitches are going to be calling me their Queen."

"Are you sure that it wasn't you, who had the drug addiction? You must either be high on drugs, or in desperate need of drugs for whatever mental illnesses you clearly have, to be speaking to me this way. You're lucky that you get to breathe the same air as royalty for a little while, today. Don't let that get to your head, sweetheart." It was too early in the morning and the year, but if it had to be done, Sydney could be the one to send Cassidy back to reality. She didn't want to do it, but Cassidy had pissed her off. She did her best not to show it, with the smiles and quick retorts, but that probably said as much as needed to be said. She had crossed a line, in the beginning, by even attempting to challenge Sydney, but then to insinuate that Adeline had a cocaine addiction? Cocaine was prevalent in New York, so though Sydney knew that it was an addictive and horrible drug, she didn't see it in the same light as heroin or meth. She would never do it, but then again, Sydney didn't use any drugs other than alcohol, and no one actually considered that to be a drug. Still, regardless of all of that, she refused to believe that Adeline would use it, and more-so, that Adeline would use it to an extent where it was a problem, and somehow manage to hide it from both her and Lani. The fact that Cassidy tried to claim that she and Lani did it as well, only enforced that it was probably a completely fabricated lie on Cassidy's part, but at the same time, just negating that as a possible place where Adeline had been all summer didn't answer where se had been, if Cassidy had confirmed that they were dumb for believing the "stayed with my mom in California" story. All of this was definitely set to give Sydney a headache ten times faster than she would have gotten one, if she had just been a patient friend and remained upstairs with Lani and Adeline, so maybe she was getting what she deserved.

Cassidy's only response to that was laughter. It was done partly in an attempt to seem condescending, as if the line had been pathetic, but also because Sydney was being blatantly condescending now, and her comment had Cassidy tempted to be the one to take their verbal exchanges over the line that separated them from physical ones. When the laughter subsided, she shook her head, her smirk still present, and had a little bit more food. As she stood up to exchange her now empty mimosa glass for a full glass of water, she looked at Sydney again and with a straight face, said, "Just don't ever say that no one warned you, darling. About both things."

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Avan Harrison
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Adeline knew that she had no option other than to oblige to Lani's demand, and grab her bag and head downstairs with her. If she thought that there was even a 1% chance that she could get away with not going down, she would have taken it, but trying to avoid this would be futile. It would probably only make Lani angry with her, and no one needed that, when they were already dealing with too many emotions today. As they headed into the hallway in silence, Adeline cursed herself for even bringing this up. She knew that she had to say something at some point, and there was no question in her mind that she would have still told Lani before Sydney, in hopes that Lani would deliver the bad news herself, but why did she have to do it today? She was already stressed out about being back in New York after two months away, the twenty pounds she had gained during treatment, and whether she wanted to be good and maintain her new weight, or succumb to her New York habits and recklessly drop them as quickly as possible. She was stressed about Sydney being annoyed with her, about how she was taking courses this year that she was sure she wasn't going to do well in, and how Avan's response, that she was just seeing now, from her earlier text, was answered faster than she knew it should have been, with a "10 for this week is good. I can meet you somewhere after school". She had enough on her mind, and the last thing she needed was Sydney crumbling at the revelation that she had been cheated on, but something had possessed her into thinking that now was a great time to clear her conscience.

As they made their way down from the fourth floor to the first, where the kitchen was located, Adeline found herself constantly tilting her head to the side, trying to read Lani's expression. It was as if she thought that looking at the girl's face would somehow signal how this encounter would go, and what Lani would say. She had said that she would figure it out, and Adeline guessed that that meant that she would figure out just how, exactly, to word the news to Sydney, but it didn't make her feel any less anxious. Adeline couldn't see this turning out in any way that was short of horrible, and that alone made her appetite that was already non-existent, disappear by the time that they got to the kitchen. That said a lot too, considering just how wonderful the room smelled. Instead of heading to the counters lined with food, though, Adeline found herself gravitating toward the table...even though Cassidy was sitting there, too. She was too wrapped up in her own anxiety to notice the chilly and tense air that seemed to seep off of the two girls sitting there, and surprisingly, she chose a seat next to Cassidy, rather than sitting on Sydney's side of the table. She disliked Cassidy strongly, but she also didn't want to be within an arm's length of Sydney, if Lani was planning on saying what she needed to say right then...which Adeline wasn't even sure would happen, now that Cassidy was there. "See, I can get ready quick," Adeline said, a weak smile and a nervous hint in her voice as she looked at Sydney. Though she was pitying herself, in her head too, she couldn't help but to feel bad for Sydney. Dealing with a breakup was enough of a difficulty, especially when you were the one being broken up with. Finding out that the breakup was caused because of another woman being in the picture could only make it that much worse, and it had Adeline looking back towards Lani, to see what her next move would be.

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Sydney wouldn't answer Cassidy. She didn't need to be "warned" about Adeline's made-up cocaine problem, or that Cassidy had disgusting fantasies about Lani and Addy worshiping her. Neither of those issues would be concerns in reality, and after Cassidy had somehow managed to find her way under Sydney's skin, she refused to acknowledge her any further. Though she probably appeared more tense, Sydney wasn't actually frazzled or bothered looking. Maybe her friends would be able to pick up on her seeming more forced-composed than usual, but that could also just be attributed to the stress of today, so she wasn't worried about it. While Cassidy left the table to do whatever she was doing, Sydney focused on the plate in front of her, and calming her nerves. 'Stop freaking out over some atrocious loser. She's irrelevant, and obviously a pathological liar. Today's going to be fine. Lani's taking care of Addy, this food is amazing, and you're in every single one of the classes that you wanted to be in. Today's going to go so smoothly, and as long as you focus on keeping out the negative thoughts, you'll be fine. Nothing to worry about.' Some would probably be surprised that the all-powerful, and always-in-control Sydney Persson would actually lose that control sometimes, but then again, she was human. Even when she was tearing people down, banishing them from the social scene, and destroying their social lives, she was human. She dealt with intrusive negative thoughts just like everyone else, and frequently had to talk herself back up to keep from losing her cool. She was surprised at herself for even letting Cassidy bother her slightly, but she would acknowledge that maybe she had underestimated Cassidy's wit. She could come back at Sydney almost as fast as Sydney came for her, and though Sydney didn't appreciate it right now, it was an admirable trait overall.

When Lani and Adeline finally entered the kitchen, a glance at the time made Sydney want to criticize them, even though, without a doubt, it would have taken Adeline double that time to have gotten ready without Lani up there. After Cassidy had thrown off her vibes, though, she refused to allow herself to be any more of a negative energy. Instead, she pushed away the worries of being late (and "late" for Sydney, meant getting to school any later than ten minutes before homeroom began), and smiled at her friends. She relaxed herself as Adeline sought adoration for getting ready so quickly, and nodded slightly. "I'm impressed, and you look cute too," she said, raising her eyebrows slightly as she looked over a pretty traditional version of the Constance Billard uniform. A girl like Adeline could wear a garbage bag and still somehow manage to make it look good. When she turned to Lani, her smile widened just a bit. "You and Lauren seriously did good with this meal, Dee. I'm not surprised, considering it's you, but this is totally first-day-of-school worthy," she praised, before a forkful of pancakes found its way into her mouth. There was no insincerity involved there, and that was probably obvious, considering that Sydney didn't just dish out compliments for no reason. There was no use in inflating people's egos, if it wasn't true, she always insisted to herself, but when there were events that truly impressed her, it was always necessary to let the achiever know. Adeline getting ready by now was impressive considering Adeline's tendencies, and this breakfast was impressive, probably by anyone's standards. She refused to acknowledge Cassidy's presence in the kitchen still, and reminded herself that she was irrelevant. No need to focus on the negative. "These mimosas were the perfect touch too," she said, raising her glass slightly after taking another sip of it. She held herself back, again, from being snappy and telling the two to hurry up and make plates, so they could get on with things. They had time, and she knew it. She didn't want to be so early that they were standing around the courtyard forever, especially if there was a chance that she would have to see Liam across the street going into St. Jude's, but she also didn't want to miss anything that might happen, in the early time before classes began. With that in mind though, she did remind herself that nothing noteworthy would really happen if she and her girls weren't there. No one else in the student body was quite as important, Sydney thought.

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Though Cassidy saw Avan's text as she headed towards the refrigerator, she didn't have time to react to it with anything more than a sneer, before footsteps and voices signaled that the other two girls were down now, too. "Wow, the other two Powerpuff Girls finally made it. Just in time too, since I was about to help myself to one of your mimosas." She wasn't really, but suggesting that she was more than comfortable doing so seemed like a necessary addition to the conversation. Looking at the situation from afar, one would probably wonder whether Cassidy actually thought that she was welcome here, having breakfast with three girls who were arguably the most popular girls in school, and each of whom, disliked her for various reasons. She wasn't dumb, and she was very aware of the fact that the girls probably wanted to eat as a trio, rather than a quad. She was playing dumb to that...but in a way where it was probably clear that she was purposely playing dumb. She was sticking around not because she wanted to seem like she thought that they liked her, but because she wanted them to know that she could be aware of them disliking her, but that didn't change the fact that she could be there if she wanted to be there.

That was just how Cassidy worked in general, though. She was smart. She knew how to play her cards, and she knew how to pick and choose when she wanted to be the Cassidy that provoked and instigated and goaded people into giving her the reaction to looking for. She liked seeing people get bothered by her, whether it was in that "hot and bothered" way that Lani had referenced earlier, or just plain and obvious "bothered", where they were nothing short of angry and annoyed at her. That side of Cassidy was the one that people liked to deem a bully; the one that was unnecessarily mean and liked to hit below the belt. At the same time, she knew when she would be fighting a losing battle. Would she ever make a snide comment to Lani Ellison when she was surrounded by her student government peers? When they were in the middle of a debate in their United States government class? Absolutely not. Cassidy liked having the upper hand--no, she loved it, and if she felt, even for a second, like there was a chance that that was going to backfire on her, that she would be transported back into her younger years, where she was being the one ganged up on and tormented, than she wouldn't test it. The only reason that she felt like continuing on now, when it was technically a three versus one situation, was because this was a safe zone for her. Lani and Sydney were smart, and the two of them, outside of her house, would be a pair that no one would want to set themselves up against, Cassidy included. Adeline was an easy target for anyone, Cassidy thought, even though socially, she was untouchable compared to most people. In her own home though, no one was out of reach, especially when she had more leverage than just being able to claim that she wasn't out of line, because it was her own space. She had enough dirt on her stepsister to keep the other two girls at bay, if she played her cards right. Sydney tried to put her down a bit too harshly? Lani wanted to shove her position of power in Cassidy's face? That was no problem, because Cassidy had the knowledge to force Adeline to quiet them down. If she wasn't going to use the eating disorder against her (which honestly, wasn't above Cassidy), then she could press the pretend cocaine issue and actually frame Adeline for being a druggie, or she could even reopen that fun little hookup between Addy and Ness, that Cassidy hadn't actually seen happen, but had enough evidence to piece together. What else was she to expect, after almost being run over by a frazzled looking Ness, leaving a bedroom that she then discovered Adeline in, drunkenly insisting that she hadn't kissed Ness, before Cassidy had even had a second to insinuate it.

"Blossom's right," Cassidy said, continuing her Powerpuff Girls reference. Deciding whether Sydney or Lani would receive the head character's name had actually been a bit of a struggle, and she had only gifted it to Sydney because if Sydney hadn't been Blossom, she would have had to have been Buttercup. Out of the three girls, Lani was likely the one who Cassidy felt she could get to be the most aggressive, verbally or physically, and that seemed more fitting to Buttercup. "The food's delicious. Total wifey goals," she said, only somewhat mockingly, as she smirked at Lani. With her glass of water, she now returned towards the table, and her eyes fell upon Adeline, who sat one beside her space at the table. "Should I make you a plate, Bubbles, or do you think you're ready to do all of that scary stuff on your own?" It was said with a coy smile, one that couldn't even be played off with the feigned sweet innocence in her voice as she offered to help. It wasn't a sincere and kind offer, but rather, a reminder for Adeline to watch herself, even though she hadn't done anything wrong yet.

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Mood: Contemplative Outfit Location: Adeline Arnault's Home



Adeline was tense when they arrived into the kitchen area and Lani fought the urge to roll her eyes at the girl's weak attempt to not look like she was in her own funeral march. She loved Adeline dearly, but there were moments when her dramatics were a bit much, even for Lani. It probably was more of irritation at the fact that Cassidy was still there or even just what she had learned, but there was no denying that she was really wishing that she had champagne and white wine before Lauren had caught up with her when she had first begun cooking. "Thanks babe," Lani greeted, not even attempting to specify whom she was speaking, even as she flushed at Cassidy's untrustworthy compliment. Not when she had this snide little smirk on her face. Of course, it didn't stop the swell of pride in her chest to stop making her smile just slightly. She wasn't that immune or detached from showing the girl emotion that she couldn't be driven to gratitude by someone acknowledging her burgeoning cooking schools. At the same time, at least with Sydney, she trusted that there was no backwards fuckery going on. So, the only thing she said that was specifically to Cassidy was her shutting down the girl getting Adeline anything to eat, "You don't need to worry about her. I've got it."


Without waiting for Adeline to attempt to answer Cassidy and hoping that she didn't because Lani honestly wouldn't have been surprised if she ended up spilling the contents of their conversation in front of an unwanted listener, Lani headed over to the counter and grabbed the plates. She briefly pouted at the fact that the pancake souffle slices were not on separate plates. Either way, however, they looked fluffy and delicious, so she didn't hesitate to drizzle them with crème anglaise before bringing them to the table. She set one in front of Adeline and the other in front of the chair beside Sydney, locking eyes with Adeline for just a second, a hopeful note in her gaze for the other girl to loosen up. "Hunter's having a party tomorrow night or do we have fancier plans than keggers and beer pong," she decided to go with since out of the three of them, Adeline loved a good party. She could be the life of one, if she didn't black out or something first. It wasn't like Sydney usually skipped out on Hunter's parties since they usually were awesome and while Lani could be classy, she could appreciate a good beer every now and then. Plus, it always felt better partying in a pair of shorts or something, as opposed to some hundred dollar attire Lani had to be classy for. A small smile on her face again, Lani turned a teasing glance Cassidy's way, deciding to sass her since she wanted to continue this taunting PowerPuff Girls routine. "What about you, Princess Morbucks? Or is it Mojo Jojo? There's so many secondary characters to choose from, let me know when one just speaks to your soul, okay babe? We can make this a thing." Lani filled up two flutes with mimosas, along with two separate ones of water - which made Lauren, who had re-entered the kitchen, eye her skeptically - and carefully carried them to the table. After she had set a water and mimosa down for Adeline, Lani was seating herself and digging into her food. They'd have to leave soon anyway.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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Though she wanted to push it, Cassidy relented, and allowed Lani to take the reigns on making Adeline's plate, as she sat back down in her own seat and finished up her meal. She and Sydney had gotten a solid few minutes of a head start, so it didn't take long for Cassidy's plate to be clean. If that first serving hadn't been hefty enough, she, without a doubt, would have went back for seconds, based on the quality of the meal alone. "Oooh, Princess Morbucks," Cassidy mused, nodding her head thoughtfully. "Good thinking, I almost forgot about her. Thank God I have you here, keeping me on my toes. If anything, though, I think I'd be Professor. You know, the one who had enough power to create the girls, and shut 'em down too." Cassidy wasn't out of touch with reality to think that she had any part in "creating" the social power that this trio had in real life, and she didn't even truly think that she had the power to shut them down either, but it was fun to provoke them with the insinuation.It was silly to She was oh so tempted to throw in that they could be more casual than the real Powerpuff Girls were, and Lani could call her Daddy if she wanted to, but she bit her tongue, only allowing herself to smirk at the thought. With what she had said to Sydney, combined with her mere presence, Cassidy knew that she had probably already proven her point this morning, that things were going to be different this year. She didn't like to give her mother credit for much, but this marriage to Bernard was having more perks than just a gorgeous home.

She finished her glass of water quickly, and lifted that, as well as he empty plate from the table. She walked away from the table to leave them in the sink, and once she returned to the table, she only hovered beside it for a moment, rather than sitting again. "But don't you worry that pretty little head of yours, Buttercup. I'll be at Hunter's party and I'll make sure to carve out a slice of time in my schedule to see you. Hell, maybe if we're lucky, Bubbles will give us the VIP treatment that she gave to Little Miss Oberlin at his end of the year party, last June." She raised her eyebrows, expressing excitement and enthusiasm at the idea, but also just at the fact that she was being a snide little bitch, and she knew it, before turning away from the table. There was no need to wait for their responses, because she could already envision them in her head. Adeline's cute little cheeks would flush red, as she looked between her friends and put on her best "I have no idea what she's talking about!" face. Sydney would narrow her eyes, maybe tell Cassidy that she was disgusting again, or tell her that she was dismissed from their conversation. Lani's response was a little bit harder to pinpoint, just because she seemed to be more willing to play into Cassidy's games, which in itself, made her a little bit more predictable. Lani was witty, but that wasn't enough to explain it, because so was Sydney. It was possible that Lani was playing along just to be a tease, but Cassidy, with the little bit of ignorant hope that she still had left in her, hoped that maybe, even a little bit of Lani's energy was genuine. She wasn't going to bet on it, since she was done being that girl who got hurt over other people, but there was a little bit of hope, somewhere in her, holding out. That was undeniable.

Once upstairs, she booked an Uber, that was on its way to pick her up in five minutes time. That gave her just enough time to gather her belongings, fix her hair once more, and head downstairs. She didn't bother stopping in the kitchen to tell the girls that she was leaving on her own. She had had her fun for the morning, and that was enough for her. Things had ended on her terms, and now she was ready to return to reality, where fun like that was harder to come by. Once she got into her Uber, she finally answered Avan, and sent out another few messages.

To: Avan
Ha ha, you're funny. On a serious note, your services are needed. I want cocaine for tomorrow's party at Hunter's house. And I want it delivered to my pretty little stepsister, mid party, once I get enough vodka in her.

To: Adeline
If I'm in the mood, I'll find you during lunch and you'll treat me to pizza from the place around the corner. If you're going to be too busy with your friends, then that's fine. Just let me know so I can send them your cute little recovery assignment, that I was kind enough to untape from the fridge this morning, even though I'm pretty sure your doctors and father would have wanted it there to motivate you, friends around or not ;). If I'm not going to be there to motivate you to be a good girl, someone has to!

To: Nova
Maybe I won't blame you anymore for pretending to be friends with those "popular" girls. Spent the morning with them, and they were definitely...fun.

To: Hunter
What time am I coming over tomorrow?

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Though, arguably, Sydney had done the same exact thing just minutes before, she couldn't understand why Lani was even humoring Cassidy. It was only egging her on, she thought, and every word that came out of Cassidy's mouth made Sydney's eyes grow narrower. If the girl had returned to the table to sit down, Sydney would have actually told her to get up, just because she had reached her limit with Cassidy, but luckily, she didn't. She didn't leave them without offering one last flirtatious remark to Lani, and referencing some sort of "VIP treatment" involving Adeline and Ness Oberlin, which only intensified the confusion that Sydney was feeling. The mere fact that Cassidy seemed to be a supplier of rumors today, first with the Adeline-cocaine-addiction, then with her and Lani somehow playing a role in that, and now some sort of connection between Adeline and the very random Ness Oberlin, at a party that Sydney and Lani had both been at, too. Sydney still held very little doubt in her mind that everything that Cassidy said was fictitious, and just a ploy at getting them riled up over nothing, but it didn't stop her from allowing her eyes to rest on Adeline, as the unwanted girl left the kitchen. Did she want to go there? Did she want to press what Cassidy had just said? Did she want to comment on how she actually felt bad for Adeline for once, that she had to live with that monster? Did she want to tell Lani that she was dumb for playing along with Cassidy, and that it disgusted her? On a normal day, Sydney would have touched upon each and every one of those topics in one sitting, but she refrained herself for now. Positive thoughts! Positive thoughts! she rehearsed, over and over in her head, as she took a few more bites of the food on her plate.

"She, alone, makes me want to find better plans," Sydney eventually answered the question that Lani had left off with a minute before. Hunter's parties were usually fun. They didn't align with the typical fun that Sydney liked having, but every now and then she could let loose. They were in high school, after all, so it seemed necessary to indulge in a few "typical" house parties, like the ones you would see in movies that starred kids who lived in the suburbs. With her party on Sunday, and her own plans to take a seaplane out to her Hamptons home on Saturday (possibly with her girls, too), left her weekend booked, she really didn't have any plans for Friday. She had envisioned that she would spend the afternoon preparing for the weekend, and maybe doing some light shopping, as well. Her schedule was definitely flexible enough to allow for a couple of hours at the Devlin residence, but after this morning, and the promise that Cassidy left Lani with, Sydney didn't know if it would be worth it. She had thought that Lani was just as sickened with Cassidy as she was, after that time when she caught the two of them getting more comfortable than Sydney liked seeing, because Sydney had made it very clear that she thought that Lani was the "innocent" party in the two. She didn't go so far as to claim that Cassidy was assaulting Lani, because even Sydney knew not to be that dramatic, but she gave Lani the benefit of the doubt for being intoxicated, and didn't give that to Cassidy, just because of who she was. She still trusted that Lani wouldn't be so stupid as to ever do anything again with the girl, but the way that their back-and-forths had somehow seemed more teasing than Sydney's to Cassidy, left her feeling a bit thrown off. "If you text him back before I get a chance to, tell him we'll come, though. I'm not against bailing on one of his parties, if we decide to do something more upscale," she then added, with a light shrug. It was likely that Sydney would look for better plans, anyway, considering that she knew that Liam would likely be there, given his friendship with Hunter, and with their breakup being so fresh and unexpected, she didn't want to see his face so soon. Definitely not when there would be alcohol involved, too.

When she felt like she wasn't acting as upbeat and positive as she was really striving to be, despite all that this morning had offered, she forced a wider smile on her face, pointing a forkful of pancakes in Lani's direction. "Sucks that you're stuck being Buttercup. She was always my least favorite one," she claimed, teasingly, before popping the food into her mouth.

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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It took just a few words out of Cassidy's mouth to have Adeline wanting to crawl back into bed faster than the speed of light. She was being so brazen with what she was saying, right in front of the girls when she knew, good and well, that Adeline didn't want them to know about anything. She was almost grateful that Lani had jumped in and rejected the idea of Cassidy making Adeline a plate, in favor of her doing so herself. Then, Lani came over with the pancakes that looked so good and God, did they smell good too... but the calories! Pancakes weren't one of her "safe foods" and ones delicately topped with that sweet looking crème anglaise definitely weren't! But Lani had made them... And she seemed insistent on them all eating it... Sydney and Cassidy both claimed that they tasted really good... She hadn't eaten in nearly eighteen hours... And she didn't want to seem suspicious... While debating back and forth over whether she should eat them or not, she used her fork and knife to saw away at the souffle pancake, cutting it into tiny pieces. She was grateful when Cassidy left, because not only did she not want her watching her while she ate... or didn't... but the things that were coming out of her mouth were giving more anxiety than the food in front of her. The comment about Ness Oberlin nearly made Adeline's jaw drop, but she caught herself before giving away an obviously caught reaction. Adeline had made out with the girl for just a few quick seconds the spring before, and though she had been beyond drunk that night, she had been convinced that no one knew about it. Cassidy bringing it up, and then going so far as to suggest that she would do the same thing to herself and Lani, made Adeline's face heat up. She scoffed in forced disgust at the entire idea, hoping to leave it at that since Cassidy was then gone, and went back to cutting away at her food.

"I'm up for a party," Adeline agreed, as her eyes met Lani's as she reached for her water. Cassidy was gone, which was a relief on one hand, but Adeline feared that that meant that Lani was going to bring up Liam now, and that definitely made her nervous. Thankfully, Sydney took the bait for the lighter conversation topic too. "I didn't like her either, she was always the mean one," Adeline agreed with a quick nod, as she finished sipping her water and placed it down in time to crack a real smile. "So...she probably should have called you that, Syd." Well, to Adeline, everyone was mean. Today, Sydney was mean for yelling at her about not being ready, and though Lani was also mean for not forgetting about the Liam-cheating-on-Sydney thing, and insisting that they bring it up, Sydney would have to go down as the one out of the two who was meaner, overall. Lani was easier to crack than Sydney, as shown with her actually helping her get her bag ready, and if anyone had a real, true inherent leadership vibe to her, like Blossom did, it would have to be Lani. Adeline wouldn't object to her being called Bubbles, but only because she thought it was being used because of course, she was the sweetest and nicest of the bunch-- the one who could do no wrong. Not because Bubbles was probably the most weakest one out of the group, emotionally. Although there was a part of her that told her it was wrong to even be teasingly fresh with Sydney, because of the bomb Lani would be dropping on her soon enough, she felt like being playful would hopefully delay that for as long as possible. And with the look that Lani had given her while bringing up Hunter's party, Adeline just felt like she was doing what she was supposed to do. "But let's go! I've been alcohol free all summer, I totally need to get drunk," she sighed, as if being without alcohol for that long was a travesty in itself. Again, though, she didn't realize in the moment that that probably didn't fit the description of her mother's house that she was used to giving the girls. "And I need to find something to wear on Sunday. White is totally not flattering on me, so it might be a struggle."

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Mood: Contemplative Outfit Location: Adeline Arnault's Home



Lani did nothing more than raise an eyebrow at Cassidy's response about being the professor, chuckling under her breath as her fork slid through the pancake slice. As much as she enjoyed not being at odds with Cassidy, which had been where their relationship fell once the incident that shall not be actually called what it is had occurred, there were more important things. One of those things happened to be the moist piece of cake that was coated in the sweet sauce she had made to go with it. The other was the Liam-is-a-cheating-dog-that-needs-to-get-neutered. However, Lani wasn't particularly captivated enough by the spots of berries of the dessert-like breakfast item to not catch on to Cassidy's reference to Adeline and Ness. It wrung out of Lani a quick head turn in Adeline's direction just in time to see the girl's face heat up just before the girl scrunched up her nose in disgust. Lani honestly wanted to believe that Addy had blushed simply because it was an embarrassing thing - whatever the implication actually meant - to bring up. Whatever the "treatment" was was probably a bit more deviant than what Adeline was known for and Lani had always stood by the fact that Adeline was the more innocent one of the group. However, the mention of Ness as well with the hint of an accusation in Cassidy's purposeful verbal spill had Lani narrowing her eyes around a mouthful of pancake. She ignored the voice in her head that pointed out how easier it was to focus on trying to listen for clues while simultaneously not acknowledging the faux flirtationship she may or may not have been engaging Cassidy in.

Despite appreciating their current standing with one another, Lani released a relieved sigh once Cassidy left, picking up her flute to drink a bit of her mimosa. Once the glass was down, she tossed Sydney an amused grin at her insistence that Cassidy was a reason why she wouldn't attend Hunter's party. She didn't say anything about texting Hunter, mostly because she had already decided that she might go. Unless Syd said she had plans that Lani was going to be a part of, why not? She was used to more casual events. Lani's favorites had always been beach parties or house parties, and her childhood home resided on the beach of Lanai, so she had always had the best of both worlds. "Don't be dramatic," Lani chide quickly, grin still present as she glanced at Adeline to signal her light teasing. The brunette had relaxed insurmountably, for which Lani was grateful. "Besides, I always loved Buttercup. She was the badass one and green's my favorite color." It was the truth. Buttercup was the coolest one in the group and Blossom may had been the self-proclaimed leader, but Buttercup had always been heard. She just needed a little guidance from time to time, much like what Lani was currently feeling now that the trio were alone and without eavesdroppers intent on meddling.

Lani had opened her mouth to start - with what she honestly didn't know - when Adeline's comment about not having alcohol all summer had her reaching for her mimosa again so that she could have something to occupy her mind. If there was one trait of hers that she both hated and appreciated, it was her ability to occasionally overthink and maybe Lani had been reading into too many people's statements these last few days, but Adeline (and Cassidy) were formulating questions in her head with no sign of a solution. It wasn't too strange if Adeline was not able to drink a few times during her time with her mother; Laura was seemingly the more lenient of the parents, but Lani had been present when the woman did decide to be strict or enforce some kind of authority. It wasn't inconceivable. But much like earlier, Adeline's commentary about what her summer had been like didn't add up to what Lani was used to. It wasn't enough, yet, to make her fully suspicious and flat-out demand that the truth - whatever that was - be told. It was just enough to make her sip on her water quietly. And consider talking to Sydney alone later.

"And ssshhhhh, Addy. We all know you look great in every color. You probably have, like, five different white dresses in that close that you've never worn," Lani ended up finally saying, turning her fork's attention to the Eggs Benedict. As confident as Lani liked being and as much as she appreciated the thickness she inherited from her mother's side of the family, it wasn't uncommon for her to feel uneasy at her shapeliness when standing beside her friends. Sydney was just plain gorgeous, which was downright unfair. Adeline was super pretty and while Lani had always occasionally wanted to feed her a bit more than Syd, the girl had the model thin figure that most girls aspired to. Coming to New York hadn't just been a culture shock in terms of the luxury Lani had been less familiar with. Girls actually wanting diets when she was used to large family meals and an appreciation of all body shapes was disconcerting. She had always been active, so she knew that her body was more muscle and just natural curves. But there was enough underlying self-doubting to make her feel like she had love handles where she did not...and then her love for food reemerged and Lani would decidedly throw her worries away in favor of a crop top and pizza. "The colors I'm more interested in, though, are shades of black and blue, much like I wanna paint a certain less than favored fuck boy you call an ex." She decided on after a minute, gaze returning to Sydney's solemnly. She knew Adeline's face was probably going to be telling, so her eyes flitted to the brunette swiftly, almost apologetically as she added, "We might as well get this conversation over with now. The last thing we need is all three of us winding up in the principal's office because I decided to chop his dick off and Syd being the only one unaware."

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Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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Avan slowly removed his eyes from his phone as he felt someone gravitating towards his side, and when he saw it was Hunter, he was less bothered than he could have been. He suspected it was either some underclassmen, who had been egged on by his friends to be the brave one and ask Avan if they could supply him with something, since "word on campus" was that he was the one to go to, or it was one of his friends, looking to make small talk. Avan didn't have many best friends, and Cassidy was probably his closest one. The kids that he did call friends were either on the debate team with him, or worked with him on theater productions behind the scenes as part of the stage crew. He got along with them and could hang out with them outside of school, yeah, but Avan also wasn't the type who really liked being bothered with useless conversation. Knowing that Hunter had probably come over to talk business relaxed him a bit, but only because he trusted that he could talk with Hunter about stuff like that on campus, without feeling anxious. "Tomorrow night?" Avan repeated, racking his brain for any other commitments he may have placed himself in. He had a few regular clients who he always supplied to on Friday nights, but they were usually done in the early evening. Other than that, he had just envisioned himself hanging out with Cassidy, or maybe some of the kids from the stage crew team. None of those plans were set in stone, and Avan was fine with tossing them to the side in favor of making some money at Hunter's party, and having a good time himself. Besides, he was sure out of those kids who he would have hung out with, at least Cassidy would be busy at the party anyway. The stage crew kids... maybe not. It wasn't like Hunter's parties were extremely exclusive or anything, but they still weren't open parties or free for alls. Avan couldn't be considered a popular kid, and neither could Cassidy, but they were both friendly enough with Hunter and some of the other socially-accepted kids, to fit in well enough at Hunter's big parties.

"All right, that sounds good. I should be free, and yeah, I'll bring over some stuff. That's all you need?" He had been the one who had provided much of their class with fake IDs, so Avan knew he likely wouldn't be needed to supply the kegs or bottles of liquor, but if there was a chance that he could push other drugs, he would. Hunter would occasionally take the bait and request cocaine or molly, and even though he usually wasn't buying it in large sums, every sale helped. He was currently saving up for a summer vacation, since he wanted to make next summer count before he went off to college. His parents had money, and they financed any family vacations that they took, but Avan was planning on spending a few weeks backpacking across Europe with some of his cousins. If he begged and pleaded, his parents probably would have helped him out, at least partially, with financing the trip, but Avan didn't actually mind earning the money on his own. He liked working for what he wanted, even if it wasn't necessary.

As he glanced back down at his phone, he noticed responses from Cassidy, Adeline and Nova, and each of them made him smile, though if the smile could be related to an emoji, the last two would have been more similar to the emoji with dollar signs for eyes.

To: Cassidy
She's not gonna buy coke from me. Trust me, I've tried pushing it lol. I'd tell you that you should try some, but coke's not a drug you wanna fuck with and I'd feel guilty getting a friend hooked on shit like that

To: Nova
I feel ya on that. Lmk what time is good for you, and where you wanna meet later and I'll be there

To: Adeline
Sounds like a plan. I'll hit you up later to work out the details. Glad to have you back :P

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Adeline wasn't sure what alternative she would have preferred, but the way that Sydney was reacting to this was definitely making her feel uneasy. She allowed her gaze to fall to her plate as Sydney got up to put her plate in the sink, and remained quiet throughout the rest of the words, until her final question. With that, her eyes shot up to Lani with a look of desperation, as she silently requested that the blonde make up some story as to how they found out. Lani was smart. She could think of something on the spot, Adeline initially thought, but then she recalled Lani's verbal reaction to her admitting that it was Anissa, and she decided that it was probably obvious that she had known the most out of the two of them. Impulsively again, she explained herself. She wasn't going to go so far as to say that she had spoken to Liam personally about it, but she felt like she was giving enough information. "They were at the airport on Monday and I saw them kissing..." she admitted. "They probably didn't even sleep together and I'm sure it's like, a recent thing...?" she added, as if that would somehow make Sydney feel better. Adeline really wasn't sure how true that was, though, since she had been absent from New York for the entirety of the summer. Even during her treatment, she wasn't allowed to use her cellphone. She had the ability to use the center's phone, but because she wished to keep her location a secret from her friends, she only used it to speak to her parents. She also had access to a computer for a little while every day, but the majority of the social media sites were blocked from being accessible, so she couldn't even follow anything on there. On her way home, she spent the majority of her flight catching herself up as she stalked her friends social media pages, and looking at Sydney's, she saw that her friend had also been quite busy over the summer. She seemed to have been all over the map, and few of her posts included any sign that Liam was with her, so maybe it was possible that he had found someone else to occupy him for much longer than anyone knew. Adeline didn't think she needed to be the one vocalizing that, though.

If she wasn't positive that it would have been inappropriate for her to be the one crying in this situation, she probably already would have been because of how anxious she felt. The Adeline that liked drama and gossip existed, but disappeared immediately when that drama and confrontation included her. She hated the idea of anyone that she liked being angry with her, and it definitely had something to do with her resistance to taking responsibility for anything, too. In this situation, she just felt uncomfortable and as if she were being pulled in multiple directions. She didn't want Sydney to be upset, and yet she knew that she had every right to be. She didn't want Anissa to be socially destroyed, and yet she knew, at least by the rules that the girls of the Upper East Side played by, that she was most likely going to be. Sydney hadn't seemed angry that they told her, but Adeline was well aware that Sydney didn't show all of her emotions immediately, and sometimes, even at all. They'd frequently appear in other ways, usually more passive aggressive ways, once she was ready to face them, and that made Adeline all the more jittery. It was similar to how Sydney had went from laughing about Anissa being the other woman, to coldly demanding that she be completely cut off from any sort of acknowledgement, unless they wanted to lose Sydney as a friend. Adeline definitely didn't want that, and she could easily acknowledge that she was closer to Sydney than Anissa, but it wasn't going to be easy to completely ghost someone, and pretend that they didn't exist, when you were friends with them. Especially when there was a small part of Adeline that still felt like she should have asked Anissa if all of this was true before telling Lani or Sydney, even though she had seen it all herself.


While Sydney's back was still to them, Adeline caught Lani's eyes and mouthed "can we just leave now? I'm scared". Her plate was still full, only now the once intact pancake had been cut up into a bunch of tinier pieces. Adeline insisted to herself though, that even if she wasn't being bad recovery wise, this conversation that they had just had would have made her lose her appetite anyway. Besides, with a glance down at her phone screen, it looked like she was going to be forced to have pizza for lunch, anyway. Adeline had no other words for what she felt for Cassidy today besides hatred, but it didn't stop her from knowing that she would likely succumb to Cassidy's request to get lunch, if for nothing else, than to force her to keep her mouth shut. That didn't stop her from typing back a response of "You don't have anything better to do during lunch? Did all of your weird friends realize that even they were too cool for you too?"

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Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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Cassidy arrived to school about ten minutes after her Uber left, and she found that the front courtyard was already pretty crowded. It wasn't surprising, given that it was the first day of school, so most people made the extra effort to be early. Though usually, Cassidy would either walk across the street to St. Jude's campus and hang out with Avan for a little while, she decided against it today. His response to her text had made her roll his eyes, and she sent him a response reading, "I don't care if she wants it or not. I'll pay you for it, and you're going to give it to her when she's too drunk to say no". She knew that Adeline didn't use cocaine, or at least she had known that what she had told Sydney was a lie, but that didn't stop her from wanting to push her rumor a little. Make it a tad bit more believable, considering that Adeline did have a tendency to get overly wasted, and Cassidy assumed she could get to a point where she would at least accept the drug, regardless of whether she knew what it was or not. And that was all that she would need to send Sydney the "I told you so look", before she began on her next quest of stealing Lani and Adeline right out from under her palm. Cassidy wanted the two followers for a different reason than Sydney did, but that wasn't the point. Adeline had also answered her text by now, and hers had Cassidy shaking her head, though a small smirk couldn't be shaken from her face as she responded with, "Now, now, don't get fresh with me for looking out for you! I'll see you at lunch. Bring Lani in case I get hungry for dessert, too."

As she began to head into the courtyard, with the front steps being her destination, as they tended to be a good place to sit and wait for the day to begin, she spotted a familiar face heading in from the opposite side of the sidewalk. It was Nova Blanchett, a girl who was an unlikely friend, of sorts. "Look who it is," Cassidy said, sporting a smile that transformed from a smirk into a real smile in a matter of seconds, once she had caught Nova's attention. "Do you have time to chat with little old me before you have to run off to make yourself look cooler? I just spent the morning with Sydney's little posse, so rest assured, they're not here to see you associating with a commoner like me," she teased. She and Nova were friends, Cassidy could definitely say that, but she was also well aware of how Nova associated with the more popular girls on campus... like the ones that Cassidy had just spent the past hour toying with. She understood that Nova was one of those girls who liked how the social world worked and based off of Nova's character, appearance and reputation, Cassidy didn't see why she couldn't fit in up there. It wasn't like she didn't, but at the same time, she also didn't seem to be completely integrated into that elite little group of girls. Cassidy supposed that it had to have been Sydney who was resistant on letting her in, or maybe even Lani, but she didn't think it could bother Nova that much. The girl had her own audience in terms of how many people respected her acting skills, and she had to have been the most popular girl in the theater department. Cassidy couldn't really blame her for wanting more than that, but it didn't stop her from poking fun about how they seemed to have a silent agreement that Cassidy wouldn't push any interaction with Nova when she was around those girls. It was easy for Cassidy to acknowledge that she wasn't someone who those girls accepted, so in that sense, she would weigh Nova down. It didn't bother her, at least not like it would have years ago, and more than anything, she found it to be amusing.

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Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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As Nova enters the school grounds her phone bleeps with an incoming text responses from both Ness and Avan, scanning them quickly Nova shoots off a quick reply, sipping on her latte as she tries to wake herself up a little more.

To: Ness
Ahhhh I'm still not sure, there's so many kickass women in it - think I could pull off Violet?

To: Avan
After school? wherever's best for you


Thinking about the play, Nova tries to envision herself as each character, and although she knew they were putting on the play - not the film - she still couldn't help but feel a need to play Meryl Streep's character, just to see if she could pull it off. Violet was definitely gonna be difficult, but there was something about her character that drew Nova toward her. She'd have to discuss it with Ness and see what she thought, but Nova figured playing such a complex character would make her stand out against some other applicants to Juilliard.

Nova receives Cassidy's text and just as she's about to send a reply, a familiar voice calls out to her and a small smile forms at the corners of Nova's lips. She needn't reply to the text as there Cassidy stood, right in front of her. "Make myself look cooler?" Nova questions with a raise of her right eyebrow, "Come on Cass, you know I'm already the coolest there is," She teases flicking a piece of blonde hair off her shoulder, before glancing around to see if the others were around just as Cassidy reassures her they aren't, "It's not my fault you had to insult what seems like, the entire student body." Nova jokes. She actually very much so enjoys Cassidy's honesty and refusal to be anyone but unapologetically herself. Nova couldn't even say that about herself, she'd do anything to fit it. That's what was so different about the pair, otherwise they were both very similar and got along incredibly well, so long as the 'popular' girls weren't around. Nova definitely felt she could be far more authentic with the girl, and didn't need to pretend to be the sweet, slightly ditzy character she played around Sydney and the others - because she honestly couldn't be further from that.

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Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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|| OUTFIT ||



Nova had been so absorbed in the script for the new fall play that she almost missed lunch. Not hearing the bell ring, it took one of her drama buddies nudging her for Nova to actually come back to the real world, "Oh shoot," She huffs, bouncing up from her seat on the schools stage where she had been sitting with her legs dangling over the edge, absentmindedly swinging. Brushing down her white skirt and shoving the script into her schoolbag, Nova smiles at her friend and thanks them for reminding her before walking over to their drama teacher. "Hey Richard, I'm gonna head to lunch now - I could not be more excited for this play though," Nova beams, cheekily calling Mr. Williams by his first name - Something he would usually get mad about, but he harboured a soft spot for Nova and so let her off - "You know I'm gonna kill it at the auditions for Violet, I honestly don't even know why you're holding them." She teases with a wry smile, blowing on her nails and rubbing them on her lapel. "While I do envy your cockiness Miss Blanchett," Mr. Williams laughs from his seat on one of the many chairs arranged around the auditorium, "You'll just have to prove at the auditions that you can live up to the standard of acting you hold yourself at." Nova rolls her eyes, enjoying the back and fourth she got with Mr. Williams, he was certainly her favourite of all the teachers and actually treated her as another human being instead of a child. "Oh you will, Richie, and you'll wish you never doubted me." Nova finishes with a wink before waltzing out of the auditorium in true diva fashion. One role, if nothing else, she was certainly born to play. On her way to lunch, Nova decides to send Ness another text, concerned about not having seem her in the auditorium where the two, usually, practically lived.

To : Ness
You around? Still need to chat about this play, missed you at the auditorium today! :-(


Walking out of the school gates, Nova looks around for someone she may know, hoping to possibly run into Cassidy or even Anissa but couldn't find either so decided to join her theatre friends, Jenny and Cole as they walked over to 3 guys. The one good thing about living in the upper east side - among a long, long list of good things - was the food. Even in a fast-food joint like 3 guys everything looked delicious, and Nova had a hard time choosing. As she pondered over what to eat, Nova's roped into a conversation with two of her friends about Hunter's upcoming party, "Yeah should be good," She smiles, far more interested in the food than the excited chatter from the two people next to her, where Jenny had now turned the topic on what clothes she was planning on wearing "I'll probably just throw something together last minute." Nova lies, attempting to keep her cool composure always at school, when she had actually already planned the outfit in her head. Not even because she was that excited for it, but because that's what Nova always did - plan ahead. She couldn't stand the thought of not being prepared, that kind of uncertainty gave Nova insane anxiety and that wasn't something she needed right now. Finally reaching the front of the queue Nova decides upon a caesar salad and vanilla milkshake - with a side of fries because really, how could she resist? Especially when in 3 guys who make pretty much the greatest fries on the upper east side. As the small group grabs a seat, Nova decides to send Cassidy a text asking her to join them as she couldn't see Sydney or Adeline around.

To: Cassidy
You coming to 3 guys? I'm already there :-)


Then, turning her attention back to the friends directly in front of her, Nova sips on a milkshakes and joins in on their conversation which had now, thankfully, switched to the play. Something Nova couldn't be more excited for. "You know I've just gotta play Violet," She says, thinking about how amazing it would be to play her. "Honestly I won't let Mr. Williams cast anyone else." Nova laughs before launching into what was pretty much a speech she had about why exactly she thought she should play Violet.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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After his class was dismissed, Avan headed outside, to St. Jude's courtyard. Normally, he didn't like leaving campus for lunch unless he was going home. Sometimes that was more than necessary, if he had made some sort of deal during one of his earlier classes that required him to stop home to pick up the product. Other than that, though, he didn't mind the cafeteria food. When the majority of your student body was paying a tremendous amount of money to attend the school, the administration tended to be smart enough to provide good and wholesome school lunches. Besides, Avan wasn't picky, and he liked having time to relax. If he didn't want to eat in the loud cafeteria, he would take his food outside and sit in the courtyard or walk up the block to Central Park and people watch while he ate. To him, that was more enjoyable than hitting up one of the local food joints that catered to students from their school, and Constance Billard. However, Cassidy had texted him earlier that she wouldn't forgive him if he wasn't waiting outside the gates of Constance by the time he got there, so he obliged. As they walked towards the restaurant of her choice, though, he couldn't help but to plead his case. "Trust me, I like 3 Guys too, but do we really have to go there on the first day? You know everyone's gonna be there, and I actually like what they're serving in St. Jude's cafeteria today."

"I would've thought that by now, you would have realized that I don't care what you like, Avan. We're going to 3 Guys." Her tone wasn't bitter or sharp with him, and if anything was emotionless. Did they have to waste their breath on this conversation, that they seemed to always have? Avan wanted something one way, and Cassidy wanted the other way. No matter what that "something" was, it was going to end up being done how Cassidy wanted it done, so she didn't think it was even worth it for him to voice his opinion. Besides, if Cassidy didn't have a reason to want to go to 3 Guys today, she would have been just as content, too, with staying on Constance Billard's campus. Call it obsessive, if you will, but Adeline just saw it as amusement, as she insisted to herself that she couldn't let Adeline off that easily.

"I didn't think it was possible, but this summer definitely made you bossier," he shook his head playfully.

"Don't act like you don't like it," she bit back quickly, her eyes looking up from her phone screen briefly as she smiled for just a second, before sticking her tongue out at him. With how frequently she hung out with Avan, it wasn't surprising that people frequently mistook them for being a couple. Cassidy would pretend to gag if anyone said it to her face, but truth be told, she did have strong feelings for Avan. They just weren't romantic. She liked him a lot, but in a platonic way, considering that he was her best, and sometimes only, friend. She looked away from him soon after though, and turned her attention to her phone for long enough to type, "Heading there now with Avan," back to Nova, before putting her phone in her purse.

Avan only laughed in response. He liked Cassidy's attitude sometimes. There was no denying that she was a really attractive girl, and that edgy side to her definitely played into the twisted charm she possessed, but he and Cassidy were too close for Avan to actually get turned on by her, or want to make a move. He didn't mind playing into her ego sometimes, and he was relaxed enough that he didn't mind allowing her to take the reigns and be bossy, but she did take it too far sometimes. Avan wasn't really set on eating at school, so he didn't mind leaving campus today, though. He just thought that it was peculiar that Cassidy would be so pushy about leaving, especially to go to a place that was usually filled with people she claimed to despise, at this time of day. Then again, Avan wouldn't have been surprised if she only wanted to go there so that she had something to complain about. That seemed to be her most beloved hobby, after all. "3 Guys' it is, then," he finally agreed, as they headed down the street. The restaurant was barely a five minute's walk away, so it wasn't long before

"There's my beautiful Addy-kins!" Cassidy exclaimed with menacing cheeriness, as if Adeline was an adorable puppy or her her two-year-old cousin. "And looking hungry as ever, too!" she couldn't resist throwing in, with a wink. She knew that she was doing nothing short of emotionally bullying Adeline, but Cassidy was quite content with that revalation. Adeline was a brat, to begin with, so if she could dish it, she should have been ready to take it, too. Beyond that, it wasn't her fault that she had dirt on Adeline, and it wasn't her fault that it was just in her nature to use it against her. Besides, as Cassidy would remind herself, it wasn't like her mother or Adeline's father treated Adeline's issues very sensitively. At least, in Cassidy's opinion they didn't. It had clearly taken Bernard far too long to get Adeline the help that she needed, and as far as she knew, it was almost immediately after the problem became so obvious that he couldn't ignore it, that he shipped her off to a treatment center halfway across the country. So much for hands-on parenting, and giving any sort of TLC to his own kid... "I'd sit with you and your little friends, but I'm actually in the mood for intellectual conversation right. Don't worry, though, I'll make sure that I'm sitting close enough, in case you do need me," she insisted, despite knowing very well that no one was begging for her presence. In fact, judging by the look she was getting from the girls, it was probably quite the opposite. That didn't make Cassidy relent there, though. Just after a few steps towards the door, that Avan was already holding open for her with a tired expression on his face, she spun back around and pointed to Adeline. "And, I think you should order the Tex Mex nachos, babe. Everyone raves about those. It'd take like... someone addicted to coke to not have an appetite for those." She was oh so tempted to offer Sydney a wink at that comment, but she wasn't going to push it. Not in public, and not when she had Avan waiting on her.

Avan had been standing close enough that he probably could have heard what Cassidy had been saying to the trio, but he wasn't tuned in. Instead, his eyes scanned over the menu that was taped to the glass window beside him. He was well acquainted with 3 Guys, but he hadn't actually eaten there since the end of school last spring, so refreshing his memory didn't hurt. Before Cassidy had finished pestering the girls, he had already decided that he was going to order the Pepper Jack Burger with a side of onion rings. "Getting yourself into trouble with the Queen Bee and her posse?" Avan questioned, as he and Cassidy finally headed inside and were seated at a table for two in the middle of the restaurant. After walking past the girls, Avan hadn't done any more than raise his eyebrows as a very meager greeting to Adeline. He knew that Lani and Sydney both weren't fond of him, which was fine because in his book, they were both stuck up bitches. However, he wasn't going to be too friendly towards Adeline either, because it would probably make her uncomfortable, and it would blow his cover, too. He didn't want her friends knowing about his relationship with her, and he didn't even want Cassidy knowing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Lani and Adeline's texts didn't make her feel any better, and as students continue to pass her as they headed into the restaurant, she felt her body grow more and more tense. She maintained a calm enough outward appearance to smile graciously at the students who greeted her enthusiastically as they passed into the restaurant, and with each invitation to join their tables, she had to maintain the story that her friends were on her way. Which seemed more and more unlikely as the seconds passed by, but that was just her highly impatient tendencies shining through. It reflected on how her mood had steadily increase all day, because even when Lani and Adeline appeared from around the corner, Sydney only felt herself relax slightly. She knew that Adeline's text was more justified than she wanted to believe, and that she had no reason to act so bitterly towards her own friends, but she couldn't help it. Sydney's emotions were all out of whack, ever since finding out that Liam had cheated on her with Anissa, and that in itself left her angry. She couldn't stand the idea of actually caring and being affected by this. That wasn't who she was! She was supposed to be the girl whose presence, or lack thereof, made other people upset or angry. Liam wasn't supposed to have that power over her, but he did. Maybe it wasn't necessarily only his opinion of her that she valued, but the idea that someone out there was better than her. It wasn't an idea that Sydney had ever accepted. She was intelligent enough to know that there were people who were smarter than her, and faster than her, more artistic than her, and more qualified than her for particular things. She wasn't that cocky to not believe that, but at the same time, she knew that Anissa wasn't better than her. In any way that the word could be applied to. Regardless, it would have been impossible for some self-doubt to not set in, as she got lost in her own mind, and again, realizing that she was human and vulnerable only angered her further.

"If you can't keep up with us this year, Adeline, then you should arrange to spend your lunch period with other people," Sydney said coldly, using that as enough of an answer to Lani's question about not missing them too much. Again, Sydney was well aware that she was being unnecessarily petty, because normally, she was very content with accepting Adeline's quirks as just being who she was. She was in a petty mood though, and she was smart enough to not lash out against Lani, so Adeline was the only target she had in the immediate area. On that note, she wished that Cassidy hadn't said what she had said, and then hurried inside without giving them a moment to respond, because Sydney would have very willingly turned to blast her, and release a bit of her tension. Instead, though, she allowed Cassidy's words to crawl under her skin, and maintained her stoic expression as she headed into the restaurant, and looked to Adeline. "She's right. Order something substantial while we're here," she demanded, again, being unnecessarily cutting. Knowing that it wasn't right, however, she tried to lighten up, but still, that was easier to do when she was addressing Lani, someone who she would need more of a reason than "feeling petty" to cross. "When's the first SGA meeting?" she inquired, making an effort to sound curious and lighter than before, as the hostess led the to one of the booths by the window, that the girls normally sat at. As they followed her to the booth, Sydney did a quick lookover of who was already there. There were lots of familiar faces, including Nova, and Ness Oberlin, who only seemed important today because of Cassidy's earlier comment, Jamie, Cassidy and Avan... lots of people in school uniforms, but so far, no sight of the two who her mood made her actually want to see now: Liam and Anissa.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Avan Harrison
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She smiled brightly as they approached Sydney, trying to mirror the same positivity that Lani showed in her words, despite the way she had reacted to Sydney's text just minutes before. They were just being good friends, and since she and Lani were both pretty familiar with how Sydney could get, it didn't feel too abnormal. Plus, while Lani had the tendency to react in a manner that was sometimes as equally fiery and sharp as Sydney, Adeline tended to back down in the face of confrontation. She would very, very rarely shoot back at Sydney, especially when she was in one of these moods. Claiming that Sydney was being mean to her wasn't atypical, but Adeline wouldn't actually return any of the shots that Sydney would sometimes unjustly fire her way, when she was angry about something else, and needed someone to take her anger out on. Regardless of being used to it, after so many years of friendship with Sydney, it didn't fail to wipe the smile off of her face when Sydney's only form of a greeting to them was informing Adeline that if she was going to be late again, they were going to leave her. As if that hadn't dampened Adeline's mood enough, Cassidy appeared only a beat later, with Avan Harrison in tow. The latter acknowledged her in the most proper form out of the two of them, with a mere raise of his eyebrows as an acknowledgment of her presence. Since Adeline was content with them knowing each other beyond an acquaintance level being a secret, it didn't offend her, and was actually what she preferred. However, for the many ways that Avan didn't overstep his boundaries, Cassidy did, and the words that she left them with had Adeline very tempted to just call it a day and go home, and not return to school at all. For someone who could easily be called emotionally fragile on a normal day, after being snapped at by Lani, and then Sydney, and now dealing with Cassidy, her ability to handle things was definitely being pushed right now. And Sydney pushing the idea that she order something didn't help.

Normally, Adeline would have flashed Lani some sort of a pleading look, but she was too thrown off to even do that. Cassidy's outlandish reference to cocaine wasn't even what was really bothering her, since because it wasn't true, Adeline didn't even pay attention to it. It was the way that her two friends both seemed bothered by her, coupled with her feeling uncomfortable in a restaurant, on top of Cassidy's other comments, that had her head suddenly pounding. And then there was Ness Oberlin... the absolute last person that Adeline needed to see, once they got into the restaurant. Her head was spinning but if she already felt like the victim of a verbal assault now, she knew that getting up and leaving would only make things worse. So, she slid into the side of the booth opposite of Sydney, and remained silent as she turned to her backpack, skipping past the brown paper bag containing her lunch, as she searched for Advil.

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Character Portrait: Anissa Savage Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox
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Thought Color: #25FDD4
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Anissa made her way to her classes throughout the duration of the day. Each and every class becoming more and more boring. In her second class of the day she felt herself beginning to fall asleep during the lecture. A couple times she was woken up by the teacher, himself and later laughed at by her peers. But she could honestly care less about the situation. Finally she was relieved from the class when the bell rang, signaling that it was time for lunch. She stood to her feet and headed into the busy halls where all the other girls of Constance began chattering and forming huge crowds in the middle of the hallways.

The brunette sighed as she pushed through the crowds, causing a few of the other girls to yell at her for pushing past them but what else would she be expected to do if they were in her way and they wouldn't move. She just continued through the halls without a word to any of them until she reached the cafeteria. Anissa pulled out her phone to text Cassidy.

To Cassidy
"Hey girl! Where you at?"

Anissa hoped that Cassidy would be going to Hunter's party though. She knew that Adeline was going to show up and most likely would end up being right there at Sydney's side. But as of right now, she was in no mood or position to be anywhere around Satan in heels. It would be best if she were to stay as far away from the blonde as possible. Word was going to get around the school and town even and she wasn't sure if she would be able to handle whatever revenge Sydney had up her sleeve.

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