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Hunter Devlin

"Dude, I swear to God, if you don't chug that beer right now..."

0 · 841 views · located in New York

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

Description

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Full Name:
Hunter John Devlin

Nickname:
N/A

Birthday:
March 12th

Age:
17

Sexual Orientation:
Heterosexual

Grade Level:
12

Hometown:
Greenwich, CT (0-7)
Manhattan, NY (7-17)

Character Role:
The Party Animal
Personal Life
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Family:
Hunter's immediate family consists of his mother (Jane Devlin, age 44), his father (Brian Devlin, age 45), and his fraternal brother (Cody Devlin, age 17). His relationships are stable, and pretty good, with all of his family members. He was always his father's favorite out of the twins, though his father would never admit it, but he's close with his mother as well.

Academic Life:
Hunter is an average student according to Saint Jude's standards, and a good one compared to the normal 17 year old. His parents foot the bill for his tuition since he isn't extraordinary compared to his classmates and was not offered a scholarship. He participates in the Student Government Association and plays on the lacrosse team during the spring season.

Future Plans:
Hunter's top choice for college is Cornell University. Due to his father's legacy, the Saint Jude's name, and his good academic record and extracurricular list, he most likely will be admitted. If for some reason he isn't, his fallback options are Pratt Institute in Brooklyn or Syracuse University. Regardless of the school he attends, he will be majoring in architectural design.

Home Life:
Hunter's father Brian is the CEO and founder of Devlin Investment Firm, a financial investment company based in New York. He's a self-made millionaire, who came from a working class family, and his goal had always been to give his own kids a better and easier life than his own. He did just that, but even though Hunter and his brother were brought into a world where they would always be financially set, Brian didn't want them to just settle for being trust fund babies. He wanted his boys to know the value of a dollar, and what hard work meant. That didn't mean that he and his wife, Jane, didn't allow the boys to live lavishly, but they both instilled the importance of an education and a good work ethic in the boys. Both of the twins spent much of their youth in school, studying with tutors, or participating in various extracurricular activities. This definitely contributed to Hunter's great socialization skills, because he was always active and meeting new people. As a child, he was encouraged to try various different activities. He participated in acting and theater, dance, art, and foreign language classes. At one point in his life or another, he played on nearly every sort of mainstream sport team. He tried out different musical instruments, and spent a few summers interning at his father's company. The Devlins definitely kept their boys busy, and although Hunter dropped a lot of those activities that didn't interest him, he will always appreciate how his parents were able to allow him such options and choices.

His childhood was something that he could never complain about, and even to this day, he thinks that his parents are a lot cooler than most. They're never too restrictive or controlling, which allows Hunter a lot of leeway, especially in terms of how he loves throwing house parties and doing not-so-PG things in their home. At the same time, they aren't like many of his peers' parents, who are nearly absent in their children's lives. If there was one thing that Hunter could change about his current situation, it would be having his brother, Cody, attend St. Jude's, too. It's not a huge deal, or anything that depresses him, because Cody is only away from the family and New York because he received an amazing scholarship to a boarding school in California that has a great theater program, which is something Cody is incredibly interested in. Hunter definitely misses having his partner in crime around, but he also doesn't hate having the house to himself sometimes.
Disposition
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Hobbies:
Hunter enjoys going to the gym. He isn't crazy into fitness, but likes to stay active. He's always up for a recreational game of basketball, soccer, lacrosse or hockey. During the summer, he enjoys water sports, especially surfing and boating. He wouldn't claim it to be a hobby anywhere other than on his college applications, but he volunteers at least once a month with his family at a local soup kitchen. What he really loves, is New York's night life. He loves partying and frequents the big name clubs often, but his sweet spot is, and always will be, house parties.

Bad Habits:
He curses quite frequently, and always manages to forget to filter himself in front of parents or teachers. He's almost always on time to school, but somehow finds himself late to almost all of his classes, due to hallway socializing. He can indulge in guilty pleasures more than he should, and that almost always results in bad hangovers.

Likes:
Pizza | Beer | Sports | Being active | Socializing | Competition | Arcades and video games | Warm weather | Rain | Road trips | Nature | Fast food | His brother | Learning about different places and cultures | Hands-on activities and building things | Clubs | Parties | Loud music

Dislikes:
Snow (after the first snowfall of the season) | Waking up early | Pickles | Salad | Country music | Snakes | Clowns | Green apple flavored things | Having to wear a tux | Sensitive people who can't take a joke | Clothes shopping

Personality:
Hunter's friends would describe him as being spontaneous, fun, and energetic. He's the guy who's always willing to do something, be it taking a train out to Long Island for a day on the beach during the summer, or hitting up the hottest night club at three in the morning. He lives in the moment, focuses on the positive, and enjoys having a good time, with good people. He's pretty simple in that regard, and is easy to get along with, so long as you aren't a downer or someone who's trying to put restraints on the plans. Sure, it sometimes translates into being impulsive, reckless and irresponsible, but Hunter dislikes thinking of it that way. In fact, he hates overthinking things in general and is often the person telling others to lighten up and just go with the flow, when he suspects that they're "catching feelings" or getting too emotional about something.

His parents would tell you that he's a boy with a big heart, who is just relishing in his youth. They would tell you that he's charismatic and possesses good leadership skills. His mother might share that he definitely needs to learn how to be more organized and contain his messiness, but she would make sure that you knew that his heart is always in the right place. His father might comment on how past all of the craziness, Hunter has a mind for business, and he just needs to learn how to focus his energy on the important and healthy things, but that he isn't a bad kid, and is just doing what teenagers do.

Hunter's teachers would tell you that he has the potential to be a lot more than he is... that he shouldn't just settle for average grades. They would comment on how he needs to prioritize his education over fun, and how being a class clown gets tiresome for everyone. Even, they, though, would admit that he does have a good sense of humor, even if its timing or content is inappropriate at times.
Appearance
ImageHeight:
5'11

Weight:
168 lbs

Hair Color:
Dirty Blond

Eye Color:
Green

Face Claim:
Dylan Sprouse

So begins...

Hunter Devlin'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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#, as written by royals
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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: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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Mood: Contemplative ღ Outfit ღ Location: Adeline Arnault's Home



"Wow..." Lauren - and yes, who else but Lauren Kyles, an esteemed private chef from none other than Ultimate Champions on Chopped, to cook for the Arnault family in New York - muttered, the silver spoon she had used to taste just a bit of the crème anglaise Lani was going to drizzle over the lemon ricotta pancake souffle slices once she had actually pulled it out of the oven. While Lani could have either stayed in bed complaining to herself about how she really didn't want to go to school or thinking about things she didn't want to think about, the best course of action was in getting her girls something to eat. Once Orientation had ended yesterday, Lani and Sydney hadn't decidedly collectively to jump Adeline last night since some people decided to ditch their best friends over the summer. It had consisted of more laughing and selfies than actual talking, but it was a relaxing night and it wasn't too much of a surprise for Lani to take over the kitchen whenever she was at someone's house. It was always better with Lauren or her own private chef, though. They actually had critiques, as opposed to Lani just being told that the food was great.

"Wow, yay? Nay? Maybe?" Lani curiously wondered, swiping back the stray strands of her honey blonde hair, which was tied back into a high bun. Lani bit her lip at the very serious expression on Lauren's face before the dark-skinned woman grinned. "I-it's really good. Anglaise is usually really easy, but you added a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, which will compliment the lemon and the berries." Lani sighed in relief, a triumphant grin of her own forming on her own lips. "Good. That's...that's good. We should get the rest of the food together and then I'll make sure the girls are up." With that finished, Lani hurried to cut the simmering pan off and turned to plating the rest of the food. Lani was already dressed for the day with barely a lick of makeup - and that was mostly because it was established that the heavier pounds of it that others were known for sharpened Lani's face. Combined with her fresh-faced look was a simple look. For one, it was way too early for her brain to catch up to being okay with uniforms. Two, it was never that Lani particularly liked them anyway; she was the one, for all her leadership positions at Constance, to threaten the rules since she had a deep love for wearing pants or shorts instead of the typical skirts. And three, she just really didn't care. If she could, she would honestly cook the girls breakfast, have them watch a few good movies and then go get their nails done or something. It was always assumed that the esteemed Madam President enjoyed school and no one hated it more than Lani. Or if they did, they only assumed that she didn't. Which she did - with a passion. She just did school well enough to not have to worry about it later when she wanted to have fun.

Or be given a speech.

With Lauren focusing on the berry mimosas - and virgin, for the girls, including a certain Cassidy Knox whom Lani had been making the executive decision to not think about - and veggie Eggs Benedict - Lani focused on the butternut squash hash. Or at least, she was semi-focused on that and also her latent thoughts of Jamie. While she was excited to see everyone and have more time with them, Jamie was becoming a different case. It was a difficult thing to process but Lani was pretty sure Jamie was...avoiding her. She just didn't understand the why. Before New York, they had practically lived in each other's back pockets. Wherever you saw one, you saw the other. Even when they adjusted better to the New York Upper East Side life, the two had still managed to remain as inseparable as before, and Lani...depended on him. She depended on all of her best friends to some degree, but Jamie was special. He had always been there - here - and not so...far away. And Lani didn't think she was being dramatic either. At the same time, it wasn't as serious, or at least serious enough for her to corner him like she normally would. Not yet, anyway.

"That's almost done. How about you go make sure the girls are half ready? Little Miss Arnault has a habit of ignoring the breakfast call," Lauren said, the last bit coming out with a peculiar tone that had Lani tilting her head curiously, but acquiescing anyway. She grabbed her phone off the corner and headed towards the stairs, checking her messages and sending out two. The first was to Hunter. She liked when he made plans because they usually entailed parties and again, she wasn't a squeaky clean president. Not when she could spend a nice night at the Melting Pot with bottles of beer, fondue and watching sports. The second was to Jamie. Lani didn't care if he was beginning to be upset with her or whatever this thing was. He was her best friend. Lani didn't just relinquish people without a fight. Besides, she wouldn't be letting anyone go because this wasn't that serious. Just something...to think about. Focused again, she could have checked in Sydney's usual room, but Lauren was right. Adeline was the main one who ran late and Lani was not about to be late on the first day because certain brunettes wanted to hide under her thick duvet. As soon as she was at the door, Lani was knocking. "Adds! Addy! You better be up or I swear to God, I'll snatch you outta that bed."

To: Hunter
Sure thing

To: Jamie
MORNING!!!!!!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anissa Savage Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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Mood: Contemplative ღ Outfit ღ Location: Adeline Arnault's Home



Of course, when Lani didn't want to see someone, that was when every other deity in existence decided that she obviously was asking for those people. Those people, in particular, being Cassidy Knox. Lani, thankfully, already had her forehead leaning against the door, partly in frustration due to Adeline's asinine excuse as to why she wasn't coming. Even if Lani believed for a second that Addy didn't know where her uniforms were, it wasn't like there weren't a bunch of items in Adeline's closet that, if put together, couldn't comprise of the girl's mock outfit for the day. It wasn't like they didn't get away with doing what they will with their uniform any other day of the week. Adeline was just making an excuse. of course, Lani didn't need Cassidy to point that out.

Or be near her.

Yeah, she could have done without the last thing.

It never failed, though, for Lani to have to come to terms with - yet again - that her attraction to Cassidy. Perhaps the person she had become was still a concept Lani had to learn to adapt to - she was one who did not like change, after all - or the fact that they were far more distant than four years ago, but the point was that her visceral attraction to the brunette in question had not abated. It wasn't like anyone - Sydney probably would, and maybe Addy - could actually blame her because Cassidy Knox may have become a bit of a bitch, but she was a pretty bitch. And she knew it. So, when Lani finally allowed herself to meet the
girl's taunting gaze, Cassidy's tongue had swiped over her full lower lip and Lani was transported back to four years ago when she was the one doing that. Her pulse quickened and Lani felt like a twelve year old with how much she felt like her skin was heating. Luckily, the only thing her face gave away was an unimpressed glance and tight press of her own lips. Attractive or not, Cassidy was not about to make Lani any more frustrated on the first day of school than her internal musings from earlier already made her and luckily, the girl had moved on with countering Adeline's statement and making a suggestive statement about Addy that made Lani grit her teeth.

And no, she was not going to acknowledge that minuscule spark of irrational jealousy. Nope, not in the slightest.

"Syd," she greeted, a bit more breathlessly relieved than she had any business to be. It hadn't even occured to Lani that she had not responded to Cassidy at all until her blonde friend had arrived and that just didn't do. all Lani had done was hum noncommittally and willed her pulse to get its shit together. That might have been the competitive I-can-give-as-good-as-I-get side of her speaking a bit more, but she also wasn't typically that responsive towards Cassidy. She was good at brushing her and anyone, really, off when she wanted to. At the same time, she also wasn't one to for silence as her only rebuttal. While Sydney helped herself into Adeline's bedroom, Lani glanced back at Cassidy as she was walking away only to call to the brunette, even while a voice in her head said to leave it alone. But Lani never said she wasn't stubborn, after all. "Oh, and Knox? If you want someone to get a little hot and heavy for you, sweetie, all you've gotta do is ask." Because you'd jump right on that, her traitorous brain taunted her unnecessarily and Lani only raised an eyebrow and smirked at Cassidy, as if daring her to say something else, before she was summoned in the room by Sydney's frustrated plea. Which was great because she sincerely did not have anything in her system to be an actual combatant against Cassidy this early in the morning. So, without sparing the brunette another glance, Lani was entering Adeline's bedroom and closing the door behind her, and not at all feeling like a coward.

As soon as Lani allowed herself to focus, her eyes fell immediately onto the folded clothes in the corner that looked a little similar to Adeline's uniform. Addy," she grumbled with barely a hint of real frustration, but she tossed the insufferable brunette an unimpressed glare as she stormed into the direction of the clothes. With them in hand, she arrived back by Adeline's bed and dumped them there in their still folded glory, placing her hands on her hips. "Shower, and then clothes, and then come downstairs for this breakfast that I did not wake up early to make for you." Lani plopped herself down on Adeline's bed, raising a daring eyebrow at the brunette. "Not leaving until you get moving, babe. Chop chop!"



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Mood: Sneaky ☸ Outfit ☸ Location: Constance Billard's Front Steps



If there was one thing Liam hated having to deal with first thing in the morning, it was his father's deep baritone referring to him as "William" in that disapproving tone that set his pulse racing far faster than any quick morning work out could ever accomplish. It was frustrating. It was painful and Liam Koch didn't do painful, not for himself anyway. David was apparently disappointed - and if there was one word in his father's dictionary that Liam hated the most, it was definitely that one - that Liam hadn't spent the entire summer conditioning, but hiding away in California. Particularly, with Anissa, but that wasn't something Liam had exactly been upfront about. He had told his parents they didn't need to worry about him this summer, that he was actually going to behave for the duration of the break. Which he did. But somehow, he had managed to disappoint his father - nothing new - and had even been referred to as William. It had been enough to make Liam snatch on the first collection of clothes he could find, his messenger bag and wallet, and then jet off before his father could offer to allow him to ride with him to school. He did not need that this early in the semester, no fucking thank you.

Liam didn't receive Hunter's text until he was already at the front of the line at the Starbucks closest to Constance Billard's entrance, ordering his bacon and Gouda sandwich and iced caramel machiatto. Chuckling to himself, he pulled out his phone before giving the cashier his credit card, typing out a quick response to Hunter.

To: Hunter
Already at Starbucks, dude. Want me 2 grab u sumthing?

As Liam waited for his order, he noticed a few of the guys from the soccer team and they all waited at the counter, joking about the upcoming season. Liam was the only one, despite being captain, to miss the two-week conditioning session that had demanded that all of the boys return to New York. It was always threatened that any current member would no longer be a member if they missed conditioning. Liam didn't fall into the category of any regular player on the team. He was captain and there was no argument that he was the best player on the team. Sure, there might be some diamonds in the rough - there always would be, after all - but he was too valuable of a player to kick off out of pride. Besides, the most coach would do, as he had told the boys, would be make him run an extra five miles instead of being on the field in the first practice scrimmage. Which didn't hurt Liam. It just made him hungry, which was an excuse for bomb ass food after school, and kept him fit. After a laugh about that Parata kid who honestly flitted behind Ellison like a lovestruck idiot, Liam's order was called and the boys headed out, kicking the ball Davie faithfully carried as they walked on the sidewalk. Liam bounced the ball on the top of his head in another of the boys' directions when his eyes fell on a familiar brunette on Constance's steps. It was daring, he knew, to do anything that would put attention on himself and Anissa. Especially since Sydney could show up at any point - and he really did need to learn to not think of Sydney Persson without that underlying guilt or any feeling really - but Liam had already thought it through. It was bound to get out fully that he and Sydney were over. There was no point in pretending and if she happened to get hurt by hearing about him and Anissa together at her own school, then that was a personal problem, right?

With a small wave in the others' direction, Liam hurried so that he could remain behind Anissa and wrapped an arm around her waist, kissing the side of her head. "Morning," he greeted with a bright grin, releasing her so that they could face each other. "Fancy seeing you here this early. Sleep okay?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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xxxxEver a bundle of energy, Ness has been up for an hour and a half by the time she is standing outside of Jamie Parata's bedroom, rapping her knuckle against the door with an enthusiasm that seems entirely inappropriate at any hour before 10am. Earbuds are draped over her shoulder, and you can just catch "Moving Too Fast" drifting out from them. She's probably been listening to her ever growing morning playlist, a staple of the Ness Oberlin morning. With all of her almost sickeningly sunny energy, she's been on a run, showered, sketched, dressed, and went on an idle walk (with many stops to take photos of interesting things on her phone so that she can sketch them later), before arriving at Parata residence, which neighbors her own. Mr. Parata let her in with a smile and an offer of coffee-declined because she's never been one for coffee. It makes her sort of jittery, and she can never quite find the right amount of sugar and cream to put in it. Well- perhaps she hasn't given it enough tries to hit that sweet spot.

xxxx"Five more minutes," the drowsy teen on the other side mutters at a just audible level. His voice is thick with sleep- Ness still remembers when his voice had been at the same pitch as hers. He could have sung soprano with the middle school choir, if he'd wanted to. Jamie would never put himself anywhere near a stage, of course.

xxxx"In five more minutes you'll want five more minutes. C'mon Billy Buddy, rise and shine," she swings open the door and wrinkles her nose as that classic musty morning smell slams into her. Jamie is by all accounts, or at least by her own, a wonderful person. But boy, does he not know how to take care of himself or his own living area. Photographs are scattered on the ground, his trash bin needs to be emptied, and she nearly steps on a book when she steps in. A small girl with dark brown hair and clear green eyes seems to materialize behind Ness.

xxxx"Jay! You have to walk me to school don't forget that you promised. I'm not gonna be late!" and with all the dignity of a queen knowing she'll be obeyed, the girl walks off. Jamie sighs and sits up in his bed, hair a dark cloud over sleepy brown eyes. He's never been much of a morning person- it's something that won't go away as he ages. Jamie will have bags under his eyes for the rest of his days.

xxxx"The princess has spoken- get dressed Billy Buddy,"
Ness grins before stepping out and shutting the door behind her. She sits at the kitchen table, where Elia is making her own lunch- stubbornly refusing offers of help from her mother and father. The Parata family doesn't employ the staff that many of their peers do- probably because Mr. and Mrs. Parata think it unnecessary. Elia seems to do well enough at making her lunch without the help of a personal chef- although her lunch may be a bit unbalanced by the number of goldfish and Ritz crackers stuffed into her little Batgirl lunch box.

xxxxA laser noise draws her attention down to a text from Hunter, resident party king, and twin brother to an old friend of Ness's. She's mildly surprised at the direct invitation. One is always extended one way or another, but she usually doesn't receive a text from Hunter, likely due to the understanding that she doesn't often partake in the party scene. And when she thinks of his end of the year party in June- well, it certainly makes her very confused on whether she'd want to go to another one. It had been fun, sure, but a certain interaction left her with very confused opinions of house parties.

To: Hunter
I'm pretty creative- surely I can think of a few. Thanks for the invite!



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xxxxOf course Jamie would never break a promise made to Elia- he absolutely dotes on his younger sister. So her works wake him up where Ness's fail, and after a little while he resurfaces, hair sort of smoothed, face washed, and clothing changed to a soft sweater and jean duo that fits enough within the parameters to work for the first day of school, if nothing else.

xxxx"What, you didn't make me any Breakfast El?" he says in mock offense, pouring himself a tall glass of orange juice and sitting beside Ness. He looks down at his phone, lit up with a text that must have come while he was getting dressed. He shifts away from Ness, who side glances at the screen curiously, and sends a quick response.

To: Lani
Good Morning

xxxxFar more to the point than he'd normally be with Lani, his best childhood friend, cousin, and. . .well. A plate clatters against marble countertop in front of him as El places a toast sloppily smeared with raspberry jelly on the counter for him, an almost smug and certainly proud smile on her face. Pocketing his phone, Jamie laughs and ruffs her hair. "Just the way I like it. You'll be a 5 star chef yet, princess."

xxxxPerhaps used to such flattery, Elia is more focused on making sure he scarfs down the toast and brushes his teeth quickly so that the trio can head out the door already. Luckily they live rather close to the elementary school, which traditional feeds into the private schools just a block or so away from it. They drop the little princess off, with a little hug from Ness and a big, spinning hug from Elia's elder brother. Just walking, he can pretend that he isn't going to have to deal with seeing Lani again after his little evasion act. Even he's kind of embarrassed of resorting to avoidance, but the kid is at a loss for what else to do.

xxxx"C'mon, Billy Buddy. Want to grab a smoothie on the way to school? Unless that toast was more filling than it looked, of course," Ness nudges Jamie and smiles, but she does seem slightly concerned for her friend, who seems more distracted than he normally is. Jamie smiles. This is why he's glad to have Ness around. Lani is amazing and beautiful, but it's nice to be close to someone who he isn't increasingly nervous around. Ness will never be anything more than a friend to him, and that provides more safety.

They pick up smoothies and arrive at the school a bit sooner than most familiar faces would have. Jamie raises his hand in greeting to Avan, and says hello to a few members of the soccer team while Ness is already speaking to a member of the Theatre department, curious about her plans for the set of the fall play. The discussion reminds her of Nova.

To: Nova
Hey! Have you chosen your side for play auditions yet? They're weirdly early this year, huh?


The school is putting on August: Osage county, which Ness is over the moon about. She loves house sets, and her plans for it are a bit ambitious. Luckily this school has the money to fund such ambition.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison
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If Hunter wasn't nearing the deli that made the BLTs that he swore were the best in the city, he might have taken Liam up on his offer to pick him up something at Starbucks. Hunter wasn't a coffee drinker, and he wasn't into their frilly non-coffee drinks either, but he wasn't all too picky about the food he ate. He always thought of Starbucks food as being prepackaged and hyped up, whereas he was more into local hot spots and "underdog" type places, but when it came down to it, he would really eat anything. The deli he preferred had a long line, as it always seemed to have, but it moved fast enough that he was out the door with his orange juice and BLT within five minutes, and nearing St. Jude's School in another ten. He texted Liam on his way, saying, Nah I'm good I'll see you there, before pocketing his phone in favor of using his hands to eat and drink while he walked. He appreciated the responses of Lani and Ness as well, with the former bringing a grin to his face. He didn't answer, but her creativity was going to be no match for his insistence, if she really opted not to come.

When Hunter arrived at St. Jude's, he didn't see Liam though. It was surprising, only because he would have suspected that Liam would have beat him to campus, considering that he had apparently left earlier than Hunter did. It wasn't like Hunter was searching for him in depth, however, but when he didn't see Liam with the rest of his soccer posse, he just assumed that he wasn't there. It didn't bother Hunter much. He and Liam were close, but Hunter had other friends, just like Liam did, so it wasn't like he was desperate for that one person, and felt alone without him there. Hunter was actually friendly with most of his class, and some of the younger students as well. His personality made it easy to generate small talk with people, and since he was so social, most people enjoyed his company. That made it easy for him to drift from group to group, throughout the courtyard, until he made it up to the school building, where Avan Harrison was standing alone. It wasn't an unusual sight, and it appeared like Avan was comfortable in his solitude, rather than acting as a loner who was desperately seeking out company, but Hunter approached him anyway. "Avan...hey, man," he said upon nearing, a half-wave concluding the greeting.

Avan Harrison was weird, though it wasn't in a weird weird way. He was normal in the sense that he was easy to talk to, easy to hang out with, and easy to party with. What was weird about him, was what he was known for. He was the biggest drug dealer for youth in the Upper East Side, and to Hunter and many others, it was a strange role, considering that he came from a pretty normal family. As far as Hunter knew, he Harrisons had enough money to support themselves, and when one thought of someone thought of a drug dealer, they typically thought of someone who was forced into the profession due to insufficient funds. Avan seemed to do it...well, just for the fun of it. The money likely played a role, because how could it not, but Hunter doubted he needed the money like so many drug dealers did. Being relatable, though, financially, probably helped Avan, if anything. While pretentious Upper East Side kids probably feared, or felt themselves to be too good, to deal with your typical seedy drug dealers, Avan was familiar. He was normal enough, that no one thought he would jump you for your money, during a deal, or would sell you bad drugs. That was how Hunter felt, at least, and it played a big factor into him frequently using Avan to supply him with drugs to amp up his party's energy. Hunter rarely ever purchased anything stronger than weed, but occasionally ecstasy or cocaine were needed, depending on the crowd he was hosting. This Friday's party wouldn't require anything more than weed, Hunter thought, but inviting Avan meant that if one of his party guests happened to want something different, it wouldn't be too difficult to obtain it on the spot. "I'm probably having some people over tomorrow night, if you wanna stop by," he began, once Avan acknowledged him. "If you could bring some weed too, that'd be cool. Just let me know how much I owe you for it, but there's probably gonna be a bunch of people there, so just hook me up with however much you think'll work, if you can."

Setting

Characters Present

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?

Setting

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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: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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By the time that Hunter's history class was over, his stomach was audibly growling. He was almost always hungry, so this wasn't an unfamiliar feeling, but he would have suspected that the BLT from earlier would have kept him going for a little bit longer than it had. He blamed it on the fact that he wasn't used to waking up this early, though. His summer had been really relaxed, so sleeping in until noon, or even later, wasn't abnormal. When you had breakfast at noon, it was no wonder that you weren't as hungry by twelve-thirty as you were at twelve-thirty on a day when you had eaten breakfast at eight in the morning. When his class finally came to a close, Hunter was one of the first kids out of the class. Due to the school's policy of "we see it, we take it" with cell phones, Hunter waited until he was out the front doors of the building to pull out his phone. It had been tradition for a few years that he and the rest of their friend group would typically meet up outside and head out to get lunch together. Surprisingly, the majority of their group were ahead of schedule today, and were already waiting in their usual spot by the time that Hunter reached them. Liam was the only one who he didn't see, so he didn't hesitate to send the rest of the group off to get them a table at the restaurant, while he would wait for Liam.

The typical spot that the seniors of St. Jude's and Constance Billard would eat lunch at, was a little Restaurant just a five minute's walk away, called Three Guys Restaurant. Compared to typical Upper East Side restaurants, it was a little on the dingy side, but they couldn't really complain, considering that it was quick food that was actually shockingly good. It was one of those little hidden gems, locals liked to say, so most didn't mind passing up chandeliers and highly attentive waiters for good food. His favorite and most common order last year had to have been a tri-color grilled cheese, which consisted of swiss, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, as well as bacon and tomatoes, with an order of fries on the side. If he had longer than a forty-five minute lunch break, which was already cut short by ten minutes due to the five minute commute to and from school each way, than he definitely would have went with one of the more extensive meals, like the sauteed chicken dijon, or the lobster bisque penne. Though his usual order was a classic one, and one that he could definitely go for today, as Hunter waited on the edge of St. Jude's campus for Liam, he browsed the online menu. Senior year deserved a new go-to order, he thought, as he decided that he would try the Santa Fe gourmet sandwich with an order of mozzarella sticks on the side. Three Guys Restaurant was a good go-to place for high school students in the area, since the restaurant had notably quick service that made the meal comfortably fit into their forty-five minute lunch period, and because it was casual enough by Upper East Side standards, that a bunch of sometimes rowdy high school kids didn't disrupt the atmosphere.

With how hungry Hunter was, he considered just texting Liam and telling him to meet them all there, before catching up with the rest of the guys, but Hunter actually wanted to talk to Liam. They had hung out a few times over the summer, and Hunter had shared a class with him earlier in the day, so it wasn't like they had any major catching up to do, but in his history class, one of his friends had mentioned how he had broken up with Sydney, and was apparently now seeing Anissa. That was news to Hunter, all right. He and Liam weren't the kind of friends who shared their inner most feelings, so Hunter didn't feel betrayed or anything like that, for not being informed of news that was definitely important, but he was just a bit thrown off by it. He figured that it would have at least been important enough to mention that he and Sydney were through, knowing Hunter's past feelings for the blonde, and it definitely would have at least been bro-ish, to catch him up on this new fling he was having with Anissa. Finding out only now, and not from Liam himself, made Hunter curious, that was all, so he felt like having a couple of minutes to talk without the rest of the guys around might make it easier to get the full story.

He was tempted to text Liam to tell him to hurry up as his stomach growled once more, but he decided to give it at least another minute. Their last class before lunch had only ended two minutes ago and Liam was just as social as Hunter was, so Hunter wouldn't have been surprised if he was just trying up loose ends to some conversation and would stroll out any minute now.

Setting

Characters Present

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: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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Mood: Hungry ღ Outfit ღ Location: En Route to Three Guys



"You know what," Lani practically growled in a low tone as she typed out a message to Sydney in response. Sydney's impatience could take a backseat at the moment. Lani was trying to be a good friend and she understood Sydney's ire (anyone with a heart would), she really did, but Lani was too hungry and already too done with school to be done - already - with one of her own best friends. Besides, there was a Cajun chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries calling her name, damnit. To distract herself from the texts she had to delete so as not to send to Sydney her actual displeasure, Lani also took the time to text her friends.

To: Ness, Kat, Jamie
Where r my peoples? Haven't seen anyone

To: Syd
Walking now babe. B there soon

Lani had been waiting on Adeline, who had been lagging for some inexplicable reason, when Sydney had left on her own volition. Lani had, for once (it really wasn't for once considering she did a lot of things Sydney asked her to do; see Winter Gala 2014 for proof), done as the blonde had asked. As she knew it would earlier, it wouldn't be hard to ignore Liam. She tried doing that on a regular basis and by the time the trio made it to Constance, he was already gone from his perch. It didn't help that girls were quick to inform them of who he had been there with, but the point was that Lani had made it her principal move of the day to avoid the bastard. It was less because of Sydney's order and more for Liam's own benefit if he didn't want his so-called pretty face to get bruised. Lani could do the bruising; bruising was easy. Anissa had been another situation altogether, and that was because this time around, much like last year, their schedules had been pretty much the same. She only had three classes with Sydney, one of those being the only one she had with Adeline, and then everything else consisted of Anissa and a few other good friends. She had been able to chalk her mood up, earlier, to just not wanting to be bothered for the day and a continued jet-lag, which wasn't a hard thing to believe. The flight back from Spain had been exhausting and Lani had been nothing, if not on the move since she landed. So, when Sydney texts them back with her impatience (and attitude for the day) on full display, Lani was quickly ready to add her to the list of people she wanted to strangle for the day.

"Your friend," she told Adeline as they began their brisk walk to the familiar lunch spot that both Constance and St. Jude's students went to if they didn't have a driver bring their lunch. Or didn't just go home since that was actually an option. Lani liked going home some days to get fried plantains from her kui fefine, but that wasn't an option today. Lani pointed directly at Adeline. "As of right now, she is your friend and your friend is gonna catch these hands if she rushes me more time before I have food in my stomach. I mean it, I will hilifaki that child, and not in the good way." (Lay hands on). Lani had never actually done a thing to Sydney before other than throw a pillow at her face during a sleepover and Adeline had heard her toss way too many idle threats Syd's way to actually take them seriously, but still. As much as she understood her friend's plight, the way Sydney was going about it - snapping at them - wasn't helping. It made Lani snappy, which was why she turned back to Adeline a second later to demand, "And what the hell were you doing that took you so long anyway? You're usually the first one out of class."


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Mood: Indifferent ☸ Outfit ☸ Location: St. Jude's School for Boys



"Yooooo, Hunter," Liam called from the double door entrance of St. Jude's main building. Of course, he wasn't surprised that before he could get anywhere, Coach had stopped him in the middle of the hall. Liam had debated just walking as if he hadn't heard the older man; it would be easy. All Liam would have had to do was grab the nearest classmate by the shoulder, continue to talk to them without warning since most turned their faces towards the person - even in their confusion - that was speaking to decipher who they were and why they were speaking to them, and then head towards the exit. However, that action would serve to make practice time a lecture time and then a lesson time, and it was bad enough that Liam was going to have to sprint laps just to get the coach off his back. So, like the good little boy Liam could be because he was nothing if not indulgent to those who at least did something for him, Liam endured the tiny lecture about sportsmanship, team togetherness and fairness. It all went over his head, but with a promising smile and nod to Coach, he was on his way, laughing with a few guys from the team once he was far enough away to go on about his day. He really didn't care about a thing Coach said other than when he acknowledged that Liam was "one of the best players on the time. Liam had already surmised in his head that he was the best and the coach just didn't want to be caught in the middle of the hallway admitting that lest some poor, emotional sucker got in his feelings over Liam being praised. It wasn't Liam's fault that he was great and others were...well, just not.

"Sorry about that, man," he exclaimed, clapped a friendly hand on Hunter's soldier before starting to jog down the steps lightly. "Coach stopped me to give me the infamous "there's no I in team speech" since I missed boot camp. Not like it's the first time a captain's missed practice, but whatever." Liam shrugged to further exemplify his overall nonchalance towards anything that this random authority figure in his life had to say, grinning a bit at the prospects of eating food since his stomach had been throwing too much of a bitch fit in his last class for Liam to not know that he was hungry, but also because he was in the presence of someone he genuinely thought of as a friend. Sentimental or not, Liam may have liked to have it in his head that he didn't need emotional connections, but it was nice to hang out with people he genuinely liked for a change. Plus, Hunter was cool people and one of the most fun he hung out with. "Leave it to you to try to throw a bomb ass party just before Syd's. What, you competing with the queen now, bro?"

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Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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Hunter (and mostly his stomach) was glad that he didn't have to wait long for Liam, who greeted Hunter enthusiastically, which was enough for Hunter to forgive him for taking a little longer than usual. "That's not a competition I'd ever enter myself in, man. I'm not stupid or suicidal," Hunter laughed. "And don't think that I didn't get her permission before planning it. It's just gonna be a chill night... or at least chill by the standards of how crazy last year's got. Speaking of it though, did you want me to ask Avan for anything specific for you? I told him to bring a ton of bud, but if you think anyone else will want any other shit, I'll tell him to bring that, too." Especially with the start of the soccer season, Hunter was doubtful that Liam would want anything stronger, but between Liam bringing up the party, and Hunter seeing Avan walking with Cassidy, a few yards ahead of them, the question had popped into his head, and seemed worth asking. Plus, as Liam answered, it bought Hunter some time to figure out how he wanted to bring up his own question involving the Queen Bee. Hunter wasn't nervous, and he didn't think he had to tip toe around it, really, but he still wanted to be as sensitive as possible, regarding the subject. Though he had heard that Liam had broken up with Sydney, there was still a chance that it had actually happened the other way around, and Liam had just done a good enough job at spinning the story and getting the word to spread, to protect his own image. Maybe Hunter just considered that to be a possibility, though, because of his own relentless feelings for Sydney, and his confusion on how anyone could actually break up with her.

He kept pace with Liam as they headed down the front stairs, and then began the short trek to 3 Guys, where their friends likely already were. "Back to Sydney for a minute, though... what's up with you two? I heard that you split with her, and are messing around with Anissa Savage now? What's that about? Judge me for being able to quote 'Orange is the New Black' if you want, but 'you don't go Jessica Simpson when you got Rhianna', man. Are people just making shit up, or did you really dump her?" Maybe it was a little obvious that Hunter's own feelings were shining through as he spoke, but dramatic or not, this situation was perplexing, and he wanted some clarification before they got to the restaurant. It wasn't like Anissa wasn't hot in her own right, and had this been before Sydney, Hunter wouldn't have blamed Liam in the slightest for hopping on that train. His own friendship with Sydney definitely left him biased, but he liked to think that he was friendly with Anissa too. Still, he couldn't see how Liam didn't think he was compatible with Sydney. Even if Hunter wanted to believe that he was better for the blonde, there was no denying that Liam and Sydney could both keep up with each other, in more ways than one.


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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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Mood: Hungry ღ Outfit ღ Location: En Route to Three Guys



Both of Lani's eyebrows rose at Sydney's harsh statement to Adeline and while Lani did not say a word, she did shift on her feet so that she was still standing closer to Adeline as opposed to Sydney, brushing shoulders with the brunette as a sign of solidarity. On most days, Lani defended Adeline verbally and she had half the mind to do so. However, she also knew that today wasn't just any other day. Again, and it seemed she had to consistently remind herself of this for the sake of not losing her own patience, Sydney was hurting. Or at least, Lani believed that she was. Her friend could be cold and as primitive or unintelligent the word was, Sydney was also a savage. Lani had always been sure that if she looked the word up, considering the fact that she had not touched an actual dictionary in years thanks to the technological advancement of the modern age, a sketch of Sydney Persson's face would be right there beside the word. So, this display of casual frigidity and hostile indifference? Not particularly new. That revelation did not make Sydney's attitude any less grating.

Luckily, as a temporary distraction, Cassidy had appeared with Avan right on her tail. Lani wasn't much of a judgemental person, or at least, she tried not to be. Which is why she chose not to vocalize her displeasure with Cassidy's character change as the years have gone by. They've clashed, and that honestly should not turn her on as much as it does, but she knew she barely had room to honestly and truly judge anyone. Avan was an entirely different story as Lani didn't have a past with him nor had any other reason than his chosen occupation to actually dislike him. She just did. If you chose to feed someone's addiction to drugs simply to put money in your pocket, even when everyone around you buzzed with the whispered knowledge of said addiction, Lani couldn't respect you. And if you could honestly call yourself an entrepreneur when most of your transactions were probably enough to get your ass sent to detention or even juvie, then Lani damn sure didn't respect you. Luckily, he had nothing to say with Cassidy having spoken enough for the both of them, so Lani didn't have to have any voice in her head telling her that her self-righteousness was uncalled for. Cassidy didn't acknowledge her and Lani made it a priority to not look at her or say a word, though the other brunette's obvious jabs at Adeline did make her edge closer to the point that she had subtly shifted so that she was only slightly in front of Adeline, arms folded over her chest, by the time Cassidy admitted to not sitting with them. Not that she was, in the first place. Especially not with Sydney's mood. Then she and her buddy were gone, and the girls were alone once more.

"Just share with me," she told Adeline conspiratorially as they headed inside after Sydney, pretending to whisper even though she was loud enough for the blonde to hear her. "I could honestly eat for the both of us at this point." Sydney had made it a point to not be as frigid by the time they made it to their usual table, which made Lani's face soften just enough. "Monday. We've gotta start planning for the charity event for this semester and the Winter Gala so we can get the location that I want. Also, we're in charge of senior class trip, so there's planning for that and getting a survey out to the rest of you so we can narrow down our locations before the spring semester." Lani had made it a point to schedule their first meeting next week. She wasn't in the mood to sit after school to discuss a thing with anyone if it didn't include getting their nails done or going for a swim. She also knew that everyone else wasn't either, so it worked in everyone's favor. A bit more relaxed now that they were seated and food was going to be a sure thing, Lani glanced around before her eyes fell on Ness and Jamie at a table away. Frowning slightly, Lani pulled out her phone, glanced at Jamie again, before texting him.

To: Ness
Here w/ da girls.

To: Jamie
U can't read texts now lol?


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Mood: Indifferent ☸ Outfit ☸ Location: St. Jude's School for Boys



Liam couldn't help but laugh at Hunter's answer about not being suicidal as it pertained to competing with Sydney Persson. Even if you acknowledged the fact taht Hunter did, in fact, host the best parties on the Upper East Side, you wouldn't be foolish enough to say that in front of Sydney or any of Sydney's followers really. That was literally you on the cusp of social suicide and just asking for her to deliver you that one final blow. Even Liam didn't even think to do that, and he had his impulsive moments. Then again, his intelligence was probably being questioned by the majority of the student population at both St. Jude's and Constance Billiard for ditching their queen. The truth of the matter was that he didn't owe not a single one of them an actual answer. Not really, anyway. Maybe Sydney, but that was just being optimistic that Liam would actually want to discuss his reasoning with her. Or be near her, to be honest. At least, for right now. Again, he wasn't stupid. "Nah, man, I'm good. First boys' soccer match is in two weeks, I've gotta pretend to catch up on conditioning and I'm staying away from some stuff for awhile. As long as you got a good brew, though. I'm down for that."

Knowing Liam, he probably wouldn't go tomorrow night without at least getting his hands on a little marijuana. He couldn't deny that it really chilled him out and along with the mood stabilizers he had gotten from Avan before, he had less outbursts, less total loss of control. It was a heady feeling, going on as if nothing could stop you. It was how Liam's year had gone so damn great and part of the reason why he had been so ready to get with Sydney, if he were being honest. He didn't feel weak. By the end of last semester, however, David had given one of his infamous speeches lambasting the idea that so many people had mental disorders. He questioned the validity of Upper East Side children having actual mental disorders as opposed to just simply being victims of bad parenting and before Liam had known it, he was flushing his mood stabilizers down the toilet. He still contacted Avan for marijuana since the Upper East Side's infamous Hookup seemed to find some of the best strains of the stuff, but the more expensive and honestly more needed drug that his former therapist would have rather had him gotten years ago? Liam was going to ween himself off of it and fast. That was part of his reasoning for getting Anissa to California. His worst episodes were on the Upper East Side and Avan was here. Too much temptation for one guy to handle.

It took Liam a bit longer than he would have liked to answer Hunter when he started questioning him about Sydney and Anissa. As he still was telling himself, Liam didn't feel like he owed anyone, not even his best friend, an explanation. But he also understood that not providing some kind of Liam-like answer wasn't going fly either, so he smirked. "What can I say? The grass isn't always greener and there's an honest to God reason why they call her Elsa with a tan." He stated with a shrug, knowing damn well that mostly anyone else who uttered such a statement to absolutely anyone else worth mentioning would probably be tumbling down the ladder so fast, it wouldn't even be funny. But it wouldn't be Liam without cockily upholding an unfathomably sure comfort in the thought that he was untouchable. Then his smirk transformed into a grin as he stared at Hunter knowing and added, "'Sides, perfect opening for you, right? Loses me as a catch and you swoop in like Captain-Save-A-Hoe. Everything works out for everybody." It wouldn't work out and Liam couldn't even promise himself that he would be necessarily happy with Sydney being with anyone who wasn't him, but he wasn't going to be the one to say that.

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Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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The way that Liam worded that line, calling Sydney "Elsa with a tan", had Hunter genuinely laughing. The monicker wasn't completely unknown by Hunter, but hearing it from Liam felt new and unusual, and had caught him off guard. As funny as it was, it wasn't all that untrue or exaggerated. Sydney could be cold...very cold, and that said something, coming from Hunter, who was someone who genuinely liked Sydney. Well, as Liam pointed out, it was probably more than a like, but that didn't matter now and as far as Hunter's realistic side of the brain told him, it never would. He wanted to claim that it was because he was a good friend, and that even with Liam's blessing, he wasn't going to go for his best friend's ex. However, it was far more likely that the real reason was that he knew Sydney didn't want him like that. He had tried to make a move on her the year before, before Liam and her had started hooking up, and it didn't take long for her to completely shut him down when she learned what his intentions were. It wasn't like his intentions were to just hookup with her or anything either, which made the rejection all the most sombering. He had actually had feelings for her, and wanted to date her, and maybe he still did, but he had done good at pushing all of those thoughts to the back of his mind after the rejection, and then definitely after Liam started dating her. Besides, when it really came down to it, Hunter had always been smart enough to know that Sydney wouldn't go for him. Sure, he had held out that little bit of hope that maybe she would downgrade, but he wasn't dumb or oblivious, and that mindset made it easier for him to settle with being just a friend to his long time crush.

"Nah, I'm not itching to get rejected again anytime soon, bro," Hunter said, his grin diminshing just a bit as he shook his head. "But I wouldn't be so sure that things are gonna work out for all of us. I mean, if word got around to me that you're already moving in on Anissa Savage, we'd be stupid to think that she hasn't heard either. And I don't know man, I don't think any amount of practice sprinting during soccer is gonna be good enough for you to be run away from her when she does decide to go 'Elsa with a tan' on you." It wouldn't have been right to say that Liam was no match for Sudney, because they both knew how to play mind games. However, in this situation, it didn't seem like Liam had any reason to come for her, but she had enough to come for him. Even with his mild explanation for what happened between them to cause the breakup, he seemed to admit that he had moved on and was over it. An unexpected breakup was one thing, but moving on to another girl so quickly seemed cold, even for Liam. If Sydney was seeking retribution just yet, Hunter was sure that her friends were, and as they crossed the street and approached 3 Guys, he could see the infamous trio sitting at a table through the glass window. It was their usual table, so Hunter shouldn't have been surprised to see them, but with what he had just learned, his stomach did feel a bit jumpy. "Dude, don't rule them up once we get in there. I want my food served with no drama on the side," he said as he headed inside.

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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Adeline was so lucky that Lani jumped in with her own complaint, which seemed to come with its own serving of genuine annoyance, but whether it was intended to do so or not, also told Sydney that she needed to simmer down. Lani was there, and just because Adeline was getting on every last one of her nerves (even though really, the girl was doing nothing abnormal and Sydney was just having a bad day...), she couldn't ruin their lunch. The sharpness that accompanied Lani's words to their waitress strangely forced Sydney to relax a bit too, because someone else being edgy made her feel more comfortable, through the thought process that revolved around "at least I'm not the only bitch at the table". It was probably that thought process that actually made she and Lani's friendship work. Rather than being blatantly competitive with each other, the two seemed to have formed a bit of an unspoken alliance around both being very strong presences in the school, and just having that edge to their personalities in general. Unlike Adeline, Lani seemed to be a bit more understanding of where Sydney came from with the attitude and harshness, when the time called for it. Maybe that couldn't always be applied to situations like the one that they were in in the present, when Addy, a common friend, was the victim of the anger, but in other situations where Sydney was lashing out at other peers, or Lani was plotting to destroy someone, the girls seemed to think on a similar wavelength. Maybe it was a bit sick that it brought Sydney comfort that Lani was also dishing out an attitude to someone else, who probably didn't deserve it, but it did, and she let Adeline's very unnecessary comment about Liam slide, with only a very long glare being sent her way.

"Yeah, I'm going to get the mango salad, and also just an order of mozzarella sticks, and as she said, we don't have all day here, so would you make sure to expedite our order to the front of the list?" It was more of an order than a demand, and though it might have seemed strange, considering that Sydney knew that the entire world did not revolve around her, she didn't doubt that it could be done, because it had been done before. While Sydney's social power was mainly focused over the youth of Manhattan, she knew that there was a way to gain power in the "real world" too, and that power came in the form of money. Money talked, and as the girls' experience over the last few years proved, it only took a couple of nicely endowed tips to their usual waiters and waitresses to make their regular lunch spots very easy and quick places to eat at. She didn't even look at Adeline, before glancing down at the menu, and then back at the waitress. "Actually, swap out the mozzarella sticks for the Appetizer Sampler plate. She'll have that." The order of mozzarella sticks had originally been for Sydney, since with how today was going, she figured that she deserved a little bit of junk food to pick at with her salad, just to give her a little bit of joy today. However, with what Cassidy had said minutes ago still irking Sydney, in the back of her mind, coupled with the low blow that Addy had just shot her way, Sydney decided that she could just take the mozzarella sticks off of this combo tray of mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings and chicken wings, that she had ordered for Addy, and force the girl to eat the rest of the food. Sydney didn't even want to humor Cassidy's claim that Adeline was addicted to cocaine and had been in rehab for that, but wasn't actually better, hence the suppressed appetite that was common in cocaine users, but she was also just feeling petty towards Adeline today.

"I'm not saying that we can't go Friday," Sydney said, once the waitress was gone. She had caught Liam and Hunter entering out of the corner of her eye, but refused to look at them as they came in. They weren't important...or at least, Liam wasn't. Repeating that in her head definitely played into her deciding that he shouldn't stop her from socializing at a party she knew he would be at. "I'm sure that Hunter would appreciate us coming, and then you guys can sleep over my house, and we'll do some shopping on Saturday morning and then take the seaplane out to the Hamptons midday, so you can help me prep for the party on Sunday." Even if she hadn't been distracted by the people waving at Lani from a few tables away, Sydney wouldn't have considered that her friends might have had other plans for Saturday. As her best friends, it seemed like a requirement that they would clear their schedules if she needed them, but at least in her defense, she would do the same for them. As she allowed her eyes to fall upon the two people who had been acknowledging Lani, a small smile formed on her lips. It was Jamie and Ness. Sydney wasn't particularly close with either of them, but she didn't have any major problems with them either. Ness was too much of a goody two shoes for her, but another one of Cassidy's probably-completely-made-up comments had made her seem a tad more interesting today. Additionally, Jamie wasn't someone who would ever really catch Sydney's attention, but she would have been a fool not to note that he seemed to have a lot of friendly connections around school, with possibly the most major one being with Lani. And simply because Lani liked them, Sydney would be friendly... and again, she was feeling petty and in the mood to make people other than herself feel uncomfortable, because she had experienced enough feelings in the past few days alone to last her a lifetime. "Why don't you tell your friends to eat with us? We can make space for them. I feel like you've never given me a chance to get to know them, and I can only imagine that they're more alluring than they seem on the surface level that I know them on, if you like them. Especially since we heard that Adeline's given her own stamp of approval on Ness' character. Wasn't that what Cassidy was saying earlier?"

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison
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"Pretty sure she comes in right behind 'Elsa with a tan' in who wouldn't fuck you in a million years, dude," Hunter laughed, after offering Lani a wave in response to her greeting. Though she didn't directly diss Liam, and he clearly wasn't bothered by the indirect dismissal, it was pretty obvious that she was one of the few girls who Liam would never get into his bed. On one hand, "never say never" seemed to be something that applied to Liam in situations like this, but Hunter knew Lani well enough to know that she was a loyal friend and smart. He couldn't fathom that any of Liam's tricks and charms would work on someone like her, especially given her ties to Sydney. When Lani had passed them and was far enough that it seemed safe to continue, he added, "And I'd be lying if I said that I wouldn't tap that if I had the chance, but I've come to terms with how 'aiming for the stars' isn't gonna get me laid this year." At least, aiming for the social "stars" wasn't going to get him anywhere, because he was pretty sure that if Sydney was so far out of his league that she had basically laughed at his attempts to get with her, than Lani and Adeline would dismiss him just as quickly. That wasn't saying that he wasn't bummed about that, because as Liam had put it, Lani was hot as fuck. She had that whole confident thing working for her, and Hunter was definitely down for a girl who knew who she was and what she wanted in life, and wasn't afraid to take it without asking. Adeline was attractive in a different sense on a mental level, but just as hot physically, so if the chance presented itself for either girl, the downplaying that he was doing now would definitely fly out the window faster than he could unzip his pants. For now, though, it seemed safer to make light of how minimal his chances with any of those girls were, and it didn't even sting that badly, because he knew that he had other options.

Speaking of stars, as he and Liam got situated at their table and Liam acknowledged Cassidy and Avan, who were sitting t the table beside them, Hunter found himself looking beyond them to the group of theater kids who were left at a table, once Lani and Jamie left it. One of the girls there was Nova, who certainly fell into that category of being a star in her own right. She wasn't famous yet, and Hunter had honestly only seen her in one or two of the school's productions, but that was all it took to know that she was talented. One of the other people at the table was Ness, and Hunter wanted to punch himself for the weird feeling he got in his stomach as he watched her. He wasn't a bad boy, especially not when sitting next to Avan Harrison, but in his own right, Hunter was a bit rebellious. He liked to do what he wanted and have a good time, and though he didn't push boundaries too far... like far enough where he could be sent to prison, he was still aware that Ness was pretty different than him. Maybe it was that innocent and sweet and pure thing that she had going, that captivated him more than anything. He wasn't really sure, but after seeing her in an element that he was familiar with, his own party last spring, he had developed a bit of a crush on her. He thought that it would have simmered down over the summer, but clearly not, and it took a bit of effort for him to drag his eyes off of her in order to nod his head as a greeting to both Cassidy and Avan, as Liam asked about their summer.

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Character Portrait: Cassidy Knox Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison
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"Not 'getting into trouble', just having a little bit of fun, that's all," Cassidy explained devilishly, as she and Avan entered the restaurant. As Avan had pointed out earlier, Cassidy normally wouldn't have been so insistent on this place, if she wasn't so amused with manipulating Adeline today. The food was delicious, and the service was usually good, but she didn't need diner food, especially when it came with the price tag of being surrounded by her annoying peers for longer than necessary. She could have just as easily eaten in the school's cafeteria, or gotten food from there or another place in the area, and eaten it outside somewhere with Avan. New York's fall weather, though a bit hotter than normal this year, was usually quite pleasant, and made being outside more bearable than other seasons did.

Cassidy's version of "having fun" was basically synonymous with getting herself into trouble, and coupled with the look she gave him as she said that, Avan knew that she knew that just as well as he did. "Just don't piss too many people off, all right? You burning bridges is gonna end up costing me money." Avan had never actually spoken to Cassidy about selling anything to Adeline, but it was only really because she had never asked. Cassidy was probably the only person who was exempt to his confidentiality agreements with his customers. It came with the trust he had in her though, because he knew that despite how bitchy she was, she wouldn't use the information he shared with her against anyone. At the same time, he had never seen her interact with Adeline before today, so it was probably for the best that his dealings with her had never come up in conversation, because Avan now wouldn't have been surprised if Cassidy would have used the information to exploit her step-sister.

Cassidy rolled her eyes at Avan and his dramatics. "Oh boohoo, Avan. Cry me a river, so I can drown you in it. Did I not make you a sale today? If anything, I'm building you bridges. Bridges built on cocaine and dollar signs." Their waitress approached just after Cassidy had said that, and by her perky and unphased expression, Cassidy assumed that she hadn't heard the comment, which was probably a good thing. As she filled up their glasses with water, she asked if they needed more time with the menus, and though they had only just sat down a minute or so ago, Cassidy said that they were ready. She didn't want to have to wait for the girl to go through other tables before coming back to them, because while they still had time, they were on a schedule, and this food wasn't that great, where she was willing to show up late for her next class because of it. "Just a Caesar salad with chicken," she ordered for herself, handing the girl her menu with an appreciative smile.

"And I'm gonna get the Santa Fe sandwich," Avan said, once Cassidy had ordered. "Thanks." When the girl left the table, he opted against chiding Cassidy for being so careless about talking about drugs for two reasons. The main one was that he didn't really care. Avan was far from uptight, and though he was intelligent, and had to be careful if he wanted to be successful, he also wasn't so paranoid where he thought that every person he encountered was an under cover cop who was looking for the perfect opportunity to nab him for some crime. Beyond that, once the waitress had headed in a different direction, Hunter Devlin and Liam Koch were seated at the table besides them, and soon after, Liam greeted them. It had been a while since Avan had actually seen the guy, outside of a class that they had shared earlier this morning, that didn't offer any time for actual socialization. As someone who had always been a pretty steady client of his, it had been a bit perturbing that Liam had somewhat fallen off the radar this summer, but at the same time, it wasn't all that surprising, given how everyone seemed to be all over the map when school was on break. "Hey, man," Avan responded, before glancing at Hunter and returning the friendly nod he had sent his way. "Chill, my summer was chill. What about you? You away all summer, or something?" he asked. Many of the people who he sold drugs to liked to keep it on the low, which made sense, but with Liam, considering who he was and more importantly, what it was that he would buy from Avan, that seemed especially true. With that in mind, it seemed safer to be indirect about Avan's curiosity as to why he hadn't hit him up for drugs, by suggesting that it seemed like he was curious about his lack of presence in a more casual way.

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Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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xxxxIn a possessive motion that Jamie can't recall having seen since they were kids, Lani loops her arm through his as she leads him off. To an outside viewer it may simply look like two friends walking arm in arm to navigate though the incredibly busy establishment, but Jamie knows much better. Lani has that miffed look on her face that tells him he's going to have to answer for the entirety of the summer in a few short moments. The fact that they are clearly taking the long way to get to the table where her friends, who he doubts will genuinely welcome him though they will of course put on smiles out of respect for Lani, are sitting. Even with the knowledge of the upcoming reprimanding he cannot formulate an acceptable reason for his absence, because it is twenty years to soon for him to tell Lani that he's been avoiding her because he's in love with her and doesn't want to risk royally fucking everything up. Not that spending two months avoiding her is the best way to keep everything just the way it always was, clearly. He feels like a child caught with a hand elbow deep in the cookie jar- if the cookies were cough syrup flavored and honestly too unpleasant to be worth risking being busted for in the first place.

xxxxAnd here it comes. Her arms cross and her mouth twists ever so slightly in that way that he's known all of his life. Jamie could write a thesis on Lani at this point- he knows every little expression, every change in tone. He knows her better than she knows him, without a doubt. Of course, he's always been looking more closely than she has. "Am I missing something here?"

xxxxJamie drops his eyes to the floor. He deserves the third degree right now, of course. That makes it not a shred less nerve-wracking for him. Being right next to the kitchen, boiling heat while it churns out meal after meal, hardly helps. He manages a sheepish smile and rubs the back of his neck, half ashamed half frustrated. He wants to be mad at Lani, angry that she won't let him branch out. Angry that she thinks she can pull him away at the drop of a dime and have that be okay. Angry that she feels the right to be so possessive over him, friend or not. But instead he just feels embarrassed. Plenty of guys would kill to have Lani Ellison lead them by the arm to a more secluded part of a restaurant- a more secluded part of anywhere. But at the moment, he just wants to hide from her eyes that dare him to try and feed her another bullshit excuse.

xxxx"I'm sorry. I don't know, I just thought I needed to branch out I guess. I don't know. You've always been there, but in a year that won't be the case- I guess I was having a hard time coming to terms with that, and I just kinda didn't deal with it well. Sorry, I suck," it comes out all as a flood, all technically true. Everything he says has flashed through his mind at some point or another. Knowing they can't always be attached at the hip, that she'll go to some Ivy League while he, if his father will come to terms with the fact that he doesn't want to go to Stanford, will go somewhere to study education or nursing. They just don't match up. They haven't since they were kids. The future separation may not be the reason, but without a doubt it's a reason.


xxxxIt doesn't even occur to Ness to be offended or hurt that she hadn't been invited over to eat with Lani and her power duo friends. For one thing, she had actually maintained in contact with Lani throughout the summer while Jamie pretended that every text from her didn't exist. Besides, Ness tends to have difficulty realizing when she's been slighted in any way unless it is painfully obvious. It goes with her tendency to believe the best of people, and makes her very difficult to anger when it comes to insults towards her own person. So she is happy to continue chatting with her theatre peeps. It's only when the subject of Adeline comes up that she feels a bit clammier.

xxxxShe looks away from the table, as though fascinated by the other people crowding tables at the restaurant. After all, why would she care where Adeline went? Why would she mind that the girl had disappeared without a trace, had completely vanished right after- well. There's not really a reason to care at all, right? Ness figures something came up. She figures that it was just a stupid drunk moment on Adeline's part, and doesn't blame the girl for vanishing afterwards- she probably doesn't even remember. Still, her head feels a bit funny for a moment thinking of it. Not one to frequent parties, she'd never been in that situation before. Truth be told, she's not even kissed very many people, despite the reputation her school has for their shenanigans.

xxxxIn her attempt to keep herself out of the conversation, her eyes find Cassidy Knox and Avan Harrison. Cassidy is Adeline's new step-sister- surely she would know. But Ness could never ask Cassidy. When the bullying had embittered Cassidy towards the world, the two of them had quite the falling out. She quickly moves her gaze over and catches Hunter looking over at her table. There is a very brief moment of eye contact, so of course Ness smiles and waves, a tiny motion, before Jenny asks her what she thinks about the subject.

xxxxThe girl whips around, thanking god that her complexion means that she doesn't turn completely red when blushing. Lord knows her skin is heating up from the question alone, though it ought not be. "Huh? Um. I don't know. I've never really spoken with her before, so I don't know. Maybe she was on a family vacation? Or some sort of spa retreat- I think going off the map for vacations are actually kind of a good idea. More relaxing. But yeah, I wouldn't know," she is far too flustered for someone who genuinely has no interest in the situation, and rambles on a bit more than necessary. An actor, Ness is not. Her every thought is written across her face, as per usual.

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Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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Hunter was too used to the crazy things that tended to happen at his parties to really be fazed by what was going on tonight, but he wasn't an idiot. When Trevor McNamara accidentally dropped a bottle of beer, sending alcohol and glass shattering all over his kitchen floor, he threatened that he was going to kick the guy out if he didn't clean that shit up that minute. When Kelsey Taylor, a girl from another private girls school in the city, got drunk on two shots of tequila, and became so careless that her cup of cranberry vodka spilled all over one of his couch cushions, that he knew his mother had just had reupholstered, he warned her friends that if they didn't take better care of her, and she didn't stop drinking, she was going to have to leave. He was a chill guy, and being relaxed and all about the fun was basically what he was known for, but at the same time, he wasn't stupid. His parents weren't going to be back home until Monday night, but he was leaving Sunday morning to go out to the Hamptons, so that meant that he only had tomorrow to clean up his entire house. And considering that he was already more than a few beers in, it was likely that he would end up sleeping into the late afternoon tomorrow, and therefore cut back even further on the time he had to redo his house if his friends left it in shambles. Luckily, most of the people here were classy enough to know not to trash his house, and he (possibly stupidly) trusted them enough to really give the guests a lot of freedom. Although the majority of his guests were currently located on the rooftop terrace, and in the room right below that, which had originally been a large bedroom space, but had since been converted into a "man cave", there were some floaters on all five floors of the house. Hunter didn't mind, since he was content with the "ignorance is bliss" motto, and knew that as long as he couldn't see anyone causing trouble, he couldn't blame himself for not stopping it. Besides, once he had realized that Ness had arrived, he became even more comfortable with remaining on the rooftop.

Even when he and Liam had crushed it in the game of beer pong that they had been playing, and were supposed to verse their next set of future-losers, Hunter couldn't focus on the game. "Man, count me out for this round. Gotta do some mingling. Y'know, fulfill my host duties," he reasoned, slapping the guy on the shoulder in a friendly see-you-in-a-bit sort of way, before departing from the guy. It seemed like a safe move to make, considering that there were bound to be a bunch of guys ready to jump into Hunter's spot, seeing as being Liam's partner basically automatically meant that you were going to win the game, and therefore be able to gloat in other people's faces. Plus, Hunter hadn't noticed Sydney around yet, and he knew that given how he was, he definitely would have noticed if she was here, so it seemed safe to leave his friend. It wasn't that Hunter felt like he couldn't trust the two of them in the same space... but more so, he didn't know what to expect from the two of them being in the same space. He had seen Sydney only a couple of times over the past few days, and none of those times had involved direct person to person contact between Sydney and Liam, and, well... given how little he knew about what had really went down between them, thanks to Liam being so damn casually dismissive about it all, Hunter just felt like he wanted to be there to simmer down anything that could possibly happen. If he thought a stained couch cushion was a night-ruiner, having one of them push the other off his roof would be in a league of its own, and given those two, you could never be too surprised.

"Hey Ness!" Hunter greeted, a tad more excitedly than he had originally planned on it sounding, before looking to Jamie and offering him a more casual, yet still friendly nod of his head. "What's up, man?" He continued just a second later, looking more at Ness now. "I'm glad to see you two here. I didn't see you around at any of my little get togethers over the summer. Thought that party last spring scared you off for good," he laughed. "But what've you been up to all summer? I'm gonna head downstairs to grab a drink. We've got the keg up here, but all of the bottled beers and the liquor and stuff are down there, so we can keep it cold. You two want anything?"

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Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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xxxxEven with an express invitation and a close friend at her side, Ness feels somewhat nervous about being here. It's not necessarily a problem with the drinking or the chaos of some of her peers, but the butterflies flitting about her stomach as the scene reminds her of a few months prior. A girl stumbles past clearly having pregamed before coming, and for a second Ness nearly mistakes her for Adeline, though of course it isn't. Lani and her friends would never arrive a moment sooner than fashionably late. Without a doubt they are finishing up putting the perfect touches on their outfits. Ness, meanwhile, had given up trying to run her fingers through her hair before Jamie forced her out of her room, and had worn one of her self-made dresses- a free flowing slip of a thing.

xxxxHolding an empty red cup in her hand (drained of it's non-alcoholic pepsi-brand contents), she can't help but let her eyes flicker about from group to group. Clearly she's being less than subtle about it, as Jamie grows impatient with her fidgeting within fifteen minutes of them arriving. "Who are you looking for Ness? I'm feeling antsy just watching you," he says, his own cup in hand. His drink, however, is not non-alcoholic. Ness turns bright red at his words and spins to look at him, light on her feet.

xxxx"Lani! She's definitely coming," Ness lies poorly, but Jamie elects to overlook it. Instead, he smiles at his friend and decides to try and help her relax at least a little bit, as this on edge look is sort of unsettling in the normally bright and somewhat unaware girl.

xxxx"She'll get here when she gets here. Now come on, Ness, I know you want to dance," he's not wrong, of course. Ness has always loved dancing, especially when it is the type that requires no particular synchronization or extreme flexibility. She smiles, breaking through the stiffness of her previous expression with a far more sparkling, more familiar Ness. Without a word she has grabbed Jamie by the hand and dragging him towards the music, making the young man slightly regret his choice. He isn't actually much of a dancer.

xxxxIt's a little while longer, with a time lapse in which drinks were spilled and glass broken, when Ness and Jamie have found themselves on Hunter's rooftop. By this point, Ness has taken the chance on a drink, and is clearly far more at ease than she had been at the beginning of the party. She's just enjoying the fresh air against her face, somewhat heated from moving around and being in a crowded space.

To: Nova
Already here! I'm on the roof, when you get here!


xxxxShe's just sending the text when a familiar face walks up to them to say hello. "Nice to see ya," Jamie responds, eyebrow slightly raised in that way it quirks when he's somewhat curious about something. "Ah, sorry- I'm not really used to this scene I guess," Ness confesses, but pauses when he mentions worrying that they may have been frightened away. There's no way for him to know what happened, and even if he did it's probably incredibly normal at his parties so Hunter wouldn't blink an eye at it. Still, it was strange for Ness and thinking about it again reintroduces butterflies to her internal organs.

xxxxThis sudden feeling of nervousness makes Hunter's offer of a drink far more tempting than it might typically be for Ness. "Yes, actually! Um. What do you recommend?" unversed in most drinks beyond the occasional wine or champagne, she doesn't have a specific request to give. Jamie gives her a somewhat surprised look, but he recalls a conversation during the summer in which she had mentioned wanting to branch out and experience more new things. Perhaps this is one of those things. Still, he makes a note to keep an eye on Ness just in case. She's exactly the sort to get into trouble when she has had a few drinks, he can already tell.

xxxx"How about we walk down with you?" he suggests, wanting to make sure Hunter doesn't pick out something too strong for Ness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Liam Koch Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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Mood: Amused ღ Outfit



"I was the one who told you hanging out with Hill was a bad idea. You didn't listen," Lani pointed out to Sydney with raised eyebrows, smirking at the thought of Sydney dealing with the girl and her merry band of followers. Luckily, they were at Hunter's place where a decent rum and coke was calling her name, or a beer. Lani had not planned on getting smashed out drunk and it usually took a lot to get her there, but a few good drinks never hurt anyone. It was Adeline, she reasoned, they really needed to worry about. She was the one who usually wound up black out drunk and needing to be carried out of the venue lest someone start snapping pics and posting them on social media. Lani had a bit more control and getting drunk like that was a rarity she only allowed in the safety of one of their homes, particularly her own. Besides, if she was going to hook up with someone, she wanted to be quite sober. Lani didn't exactly jump head-first into sex, though a good makeout session here and there never hurt anyone. And if her mind briefly flashed to Cassidy's face, well, then shit, Lani needed that drink like, yesterday.

"Yeah, I could be down for some kickboxing," she answered mildly, stretching a bit and feeling the smooth material of her cut-out bralette lift only slightly before settling back down. Her muscles would probably argue later, after a few sessions, but she'd probably need it once soccer was over. "I should probably get back to fighting anyway." Granted, her form of fighting had always been more along the lines of street fighting, something she picked up from her brothers. Being their only sister and the only girl, they had all reasoned Lani needed to defend herself. So, when she was able to square up with one of the local Lanai boys some years back, she couldn't really fault them with getting her all ready to take down anyone. She hadn't really sparred with anyone in awhile due their busy schedules and kickboxing just seemed like a fun way to get back into a really old habit. Plus, if the girls were doing it, she was bound to have some kind of fun watching Adeline after their second session whine about being too sore and wanting to stick to yoga or something. When the vehicle finally stopped, Adeline was the first one out and already giving Lani those demanding eyes that made her chuckle as she waited for Sydney to get out next so Lani could slide on out behind her without having to exit on the side closest to the busy streets.

"Of course, you'd think anyone who could recite Les Mis by heart weird, Addy," she lamented teasingly, running a hand through her just-then windswept hair as a hot summer breeze shot past them. "Honestly, I didn't even think Ness could be dragged to one of these, even if it's the first of the year. If we see them, we see them, but..." She could have pointed out that the girls not having had any time to party with one another was nowhere near Lani's fault as they had all known she had an internship and had scheduled it so that they could have time. Adeline was the one who ditched. But Lani did not speak on that. She turned to Adeline a firm stare, but her smirk was still present. "I'm not the one who ditches a bitch the second she catches a glimpse of vodka."


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Mood: Jovial ☸ Outfit



"Awww, dude, you suck!" Liam mock-whined, accepting the slap on the shoulder with an ever-present grin as he took a shot of whiskey to the head with a few of the guys. Considering Liam hadn't missed too many of his shots during their beer pong matches to be at fault for mixing certain alcoholic beverages, the shot wasn't going to do nothing much to him. It burned in that familiar way that it always had, a lick of sweetness chasing the bitter heat that suffused his esophagus. With the glass back on the counter, Liam allowed his gaze to scan the "mancave" of the Devlin home, not at all surprised that he didn't see Sydney and her girls just yet. It wouldn't particularly be Sydney Persson to not make some kind of dramatic entrance at the exact crux of either being fashionably late or just plain late, and Liam was trying to tell himself that he gave absolutely no fucks in the world about whether or not she showed up. Which was a lie, if he was being honest, but since he never really liked honesty much, another shot of whiskey and another round of beer pong before making his own kind of rounds around the townhome would surely be enough to dispel the bullshit.

"Dave," he called without even looking at the guy, extending a pointed finger in the guy's way. "Since Devlin ain't loyal, welcome to the winning team. Who wants to get their ass kicked next?" The challenge hung in the air for only a second before a guy from another school - Evan, if he was remembering correctly - stepped up. "You've been talkin' a lot of shit, city boy. What we wagerin?" The thick Southern accent came out strong and, with the thrill of competition in the air and a wallet just ready to be plucked considering it would be refilled by tomorrow, Liam grinned. "Whatever you can afford, country boy."

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Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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"Yeah, yeah, come down with me," Hunter nodded, quickly agreeing with Jamie's suggestion that they come down with him. "I know you've got tastes that are higher than the keg beer up here, Ness, so hmm... what do I recommend...?" He pondered the thought for a moment, knowing that he wanted to pick something out that would be well suited for Ness. He wasn't the kind of guy who would purposely load her up with some drink that was just fruity enough to hide the strong kick of the alcohol hiding behind it, because he wasn't looking to get Ness plastered. Though he wasn't sure if she had drank at his last party or not, he knew that in general, she was an innocent kind of girl. He doubted that even if she had drank, she had went overboard, so he knew that it was best to start her off with something simple, yet something that was decent enough that it wouldn't look like he had bad tastes, since she was trusting him with the suggestion. Hunter knew that he was overthinking things, and purposely slowed his pace just a bit, when he realized that maybe that nervousness in him was causing him to walk faster than he needed to be. After holding the door to the stairwell open for Avan, who headed down before them, he walked down with Ness and Jamie. It only took a few seconds for them to get to the next floor, and with people coming up right beside them, there was no awkward silence, for which Hunter was grateful for. Though lots of familiar faces passed them, Hunter was surprised that he hadn't seen any of Sydney's crew members yet. Seeing Sydney would have excited Hunter in his own right, but he was also good friends with Lani, and Adeline was always a fun person to have around too, so he hoped that they would show up. He was tempted to just text them and find out, especially since knowing one way or the other meant that he could either prepare for a confrontation between Sydney and Liam, or relax and not have to worry about it for the night, but he was too preoccupied now, and also didn't want to seem like a nuisance to the girls.

Once they got to the fifth floor, Hunter led them towards the bar. No one was actually manning the bar, and it was more of a free for all, with bottles of liquor lining the counter top, and mixers on a table besides them. [color=#A36D00]"So, I actually suck with suggestions, since I usually just stick to beer or Jack & Coke, and I don't know if that's what you'd be into,"
he admitted, somewhat sheepishly with a smile as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Lots of the girls seem to go for cranberry juice or orange juice, with a splash of vodka, and we've got a ton of bottled beers and some of that fruity Mike's Hard stuff in the fridge of there," he said, pointing to a fridge at the back of the bar area. "Any of that sound like it would be up your ally?" He didn't offer anything to Jamie, simply because Hunter assumed that he was more capable of piking something out on his own, and he didn't want to insult him by suggesting otherwise.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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xxxxJamie slowed his pace to walk besides Ness as they head downstairs for the drinks, knowing that she has to work a bit to keep up with people who have longer legs such as himself. Hunter doesn't seem to have noticed this as he walks quickly ahead of them, prompting a bit of curiosity from Jamie. Hunter, from what Jamie has known of him, isn't the sort who would feel the need to rush around- especially not at his own house party. After all, this is his kingdom and hear Hunter is king. Why should a king hurry? Still, he seems to relax a bit and slip into his typical persona as others join them at the stairs and start small conversation on the way down. Ness engages a girl who is apparently in one of her classes. Jamie is content enough to walk quietly and listen to the little conversations around him, picking up things here or there but nothing particularly interesting. Of course, by the end of the night there will have to be something of note. For one thing, there is no way Liam and Sydney won't both make appearances- and he doubts that the two of them would do well in the same room at the moment.

xxxxAnd if Sydney stops by, Lani will without a doubt be with her. It's for the best that she confronted him at lunch the other day, as it to some degree released some of the tension that had formed between them over the summer. However, it means for certain that he can no longer get away with avoiding her and slipping out of notice at his convenience. His perhaps cowardly plan of avoiding the issue has failed, meaning that Jamie will simply have to stiffen his upper lip and suffer in silence. Genuinely talking to Lani about his feelings isn't even remotely an option to him, leaving grinning and bearing it the only possibility the young man can see. Perhaps a few drinks will make him feel more at ease with the situation. Jamie knows for a fact that he isn't a talkative drunk, so that shouldn't be a problem. He's fairly certain that he's just a sleepy, sort of cuddly one. Not too much room for trouble, which is fortunate for someone who prefers to fly just under the radar for the most part.

xxxxWhile Hunter makes his suggestions to Ness, who honestly has no idea what she wants, Jamie grabs a bottle of beer from the fridge. He spots Lani and her crew stepping out of the elevator and heading over towards the bar where they stand. "Hey, D-Mac, Did you just get here?" he uses her affectionate nickname, reserved for close friends. He can't remember where the nickname came from- was it one of her brothers, or did he himself originate it? Either way, he speaks it easily, knowing that he, if anyone, is permitted to use it. Jamie sort of nods at Adeline and Sydney, but doesn't know them well enough to say hello really. If anything, Sydney in particular makes him feel a tad uncomfortable. Lunch had been a bit rough for him partially for the reason.

xxxxNess is leaning more towards something light, which she figures Mike's Hard Lemonade would be, when she spots Adeline standing with Sydney and Lani. Jamie seems to have stopped them to say hello to Lani (which she's glad for), keeping them an arm's length away for the moment. Still, seeing Adeline makes her feel rather anxious yet again, and prompts a change of course in her drink selection.

xxxx"Um. Vodka and with a bit of cranberry juice sounds good, actually," she says, trying and failing to act casual as though she knows precisely what she's asking for and has done it a million times. As if she's had vodka before. "I can pour it myself if you need to help Sydney and them though!" she adds quickly. Though truth be told, letting her decide the proportions would perhaps not be the best of ideas.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin
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"How about cranberry juice with a bit of vodka?" Hunter proposed, reversing her order with a smirk. It was probably what she meant to begin with, but it felt necessary to make a playful point out of him questioning just how much vodka she could really handle. He doubted it would be much, which wasn't necessarily saying anything bad about her, but spoke to Hunter's perception of her tolerance level. Ness definitely didn't seem like the kind of girl who had a tolerance built to take a bottle of Absolut to the body in a night, and he actually respected that. Though he wanted her to loosen up, so he could see what that version of Ness was like, he didn't need her blacking out at his house. He would save that job for Adeline, who had just entered the room with Lani and Sydney at her side. Hunter was glad to see the three of them. While anyone would feel honored to have the royal trio showing up at their party, Hunter was actually well enough acquainted with the three to like them for reasons beyond their reputations, so he was glad to see them for more personal reasons. He shook his head when Ness insisted that she could pour her own drink if he needed to help Sydney and them. While Hunter definitely planned on greeting the trio, he wasn't in that much of a rush to do so. "They can wait," he insisted. "It's not every day that I see Ness Oberlin at one of my parties. The least I can do is pour her a drink," he said teasingly, as he grabbed a red cup from the stack and filled it with cranberry juice, before pouring two shots worth of vodka into it. "I hope that's not too much of a kick for you," he said as he slid the drink towards her, wondering if he should have started her off with just a shot's worth.

Jamie had walked over to talk to the girls, but Hunter figured that even if they planned on going up to the roof immediately, they would stop by the bar that he and Ness stood by first, to make drinks. There was a keg upstairs, but he assumed that given their tastes, they would at least want to start off with something more "top shelf" quality. Adeline was easy, because Hunter knew that she would likely drink anything made for her, and just based off of their prior partying experiences together, he took a good guess and decided she would probably want a Red Bull vodka. If he was being smart, he would have known that that wasn't a good drink to give someone like Adeline, considering that she usually had enough energy to not need an energy drink on top of that, and that the vodka plus all of that caffeine right off the bat, usually led to her thinking she could handle more drinks later on than her body would really be able to tolerate. Hunter wasn't in the business of being anyone's parent though, and all that he knew was that Adeline was fun to party with, regardless of having a tendency to go overboard. "Adeline usually starts her night off with a Vodka Red Bull," Hunter said, explaining why he was grabbing a can of Red Bull from the fridge and pouring it into a cup before topping it off with a considerable amount of vodka. He moved quickly, doubting that Jamie would be able to keep the trio's attention and now feeling a more urgent need to get them drinks, when he remembered that Liam was upstairs. Stalling them down here seemed like a good move, even if he knew that Sydney and his best friend would have to face each other at some point. "And Sydney's usually a margarita drinker, but I don't have any margarita mix..." he bit his lip at that realization, before grabbing the cranberry juice that he had used for Ness, and tossing some of that into a cup with seltzer and vodka, as he recalled Sydney's preference for mixed drinks that were carbonated. "So hopefully she's cool with a vodka cranberry too... and Lani's a little bit more tricky, since I feel like she's not too specific with what she drinks... so she's getting one of those too." He didn't even realize that Ness and Lani were good friends, and therefore, he could have asked her for a drink selection, but he looked back to her with a smile when the three drinks were finished. "Mind grabbing Adeline's for me? I don't wanna drop these," he said, his hands already full with Lani and Sydney's drinks, as he nodded for Ness to follow him over to the group talking with Jamie.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lani Amasio-Ellison Character Portrait: Jamie Parata Character Portrait: Adeline Arnault Character Portrait: Ness Oberlin Character Portrait: Sydney Persson Character Portrait: Hunter Devlin Character Portrait: Avan Harrison Character Portrait: Nova Blanchett
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In the elevator, Adeline sent out a text message to Nova that read, "Was that you who pulled up right after me and Lani and Syd? I hope so!!!! Find me tonight, we need to catch up!". She and Nova didn't necessarily run in the same friend group, but Adeline definitely considered Nova to be a friend. She was an exception from Adeline's perception of the theater kids being weird, because... well, Adeline just didn't think she was weird. She had gotten to know Nova, and had she given all of the other kids the same chance, she likely would have found that they were all far more normal and relatable than she pinned them as being. Adeline had no need to give any of them a chance though, given that she was content with her circle of friends as it was. Throw in the fact that she had gotten more than she had bargained for with her drunken encounter with another theater kid, who she was doing her best not to worry about as the elevator moved closer and closer to the fifth floor, and she was all the more content with Nova being a rare exception to her friend rule. Though she had seen Nova in a few of her classes over the past two days, they hadn't had enough time to actually catch up, and given that they hadn't actually hung out since last spring, seeing Nova tonight was definitely one of her priorities.

As she followed the girls out of the elevator, she didn't initially see anyone too interesting. Liam wasn't in her immediate line of sight, which was a relief, and Anissa wasn't either, though Adeline was pretty convinced that the girl wouldn't be showing her face around any social events for a good while. When Jamie approached, however, Adeline's energy level sunk for a moment. She felt like that meant that Ness had to be here, even if it realistically didn't mean that she was for sure. Her initial thought was proven right, however, when she looked further into the room, by Hunter's bar, and found the girl standing besides Hunter. Adeline was impulsive, and given that nature, she didn't let herself think the situation through fully and weigh the pros and cons. Instead, she took a split second to decide between turning around, getting back into the elevator and leaving the party immediately, before Ness could see her, or the other option, which was pretending like she wasn't bothered at all. With Sydney asking what they wanted to drink, and Lani already haven given her permission to, in Adeline's mind, get her obliterated, she felt like she had to go with the second option, if for nothing else than to start senior year off on the right note.

Though Lani's question wasn't directed to her, Adeline didn't mind chiming in with, "Doesn't matter if it's any good because you're not drinking beer tonight! We're having fun tonight, and fun requires something with more than a five percent alcohol content!" If she really wanted to be a pain, she would have grabbed Lani's arm right then and there and yanked her away from Jamie in search of some "real" alcohol, but she knew better than that. For one, she knew that just because she didn't understand Lani's closeness with Jamie didn't mean that there friendship was non-existent. It was quite existent, and Lani interacting with him before anyone else, given that she likely knew every single person at this party (or at least, they knew her), spoke to that. She didn't have to understand the friendship on a real level to respect it, and besides that, Adeline considered that leaving Lani here while she made their drinks could be fun. She was no mixologist but she knew the most basic drink recipes, and a few extras that were the ones that could get anyone obliterated. It wasn't a necessary talent, given that Adeline was the kind of girl who was quite content with other people making her fancy cocktails for her, or just taking enough shots of alcohol that the fruity mixers in drinks were no longer necessary to give her a buzz, but it was fun to make drinks occasionally. With Sydney by her side, she knew that she wouldn't be able to get away with going too crazy, but that didn't mean that she wasn't going to attempt it anyway.

On that note, she hurried away from the girls and Jamie, only verbalizing a "B-R-B!" as she darted towards the bar. There were a few kids standing by it, but the only ones who Adeline really cared about were Hunter, Ness, and Avan, who she noticed last, and only as she got closer. She was already being risky by acknowledging Ness, so she did her best to act like she hadn't seen Avan on the far side of the bar. "Hunter!" Adeline greeted cheerfully as she approached the pair, who were both holding two drinks each. That seemed more natural for Hunter than Ness, and in a move that felt daring to Adeline, but could only seem friendly to anyone who didn't know the girls' situation, she looked to Ness with a grin. Her words were directed at Hunter despite her eyes playfully remaining on (and possibly roving over) Ness, as she spoke. "It's not even nine o'clock and you already have someone like her double fisting? God, Hunter, you're a bad influence...but I don't hate it." Even though she had done a good job at convincing herself that Ness had been just as drunk as she had been that night last spring, the common sense side of Adeline knew that that probably wasn't the case. She didn't think that Ness had been as sober as she had been, but she also doubted that she was drunk. Therefore, seeing the girl with two drinks in her hand made her feel a little bit better, like maybe it hadn't been all her fault and doing that they had ended up in that bedroom together. "But I'm over here because I need something strong for me, stronger for Lani, and even stronger for Syd. You know that we need to get Syd trashed tonight if you-know-who is here, and I need Lani to add 'President of Alcoholics Anonymous' to her extracurricular activity resume for college by the end of this semester, aannnddd, I was just kidding when I said that I wanted the least strong of the drinks. You know that's not happening tonight. So, what am I drinking? And what are you two drinking?" This side of Adeline, the one that was overflowing with energy was the one that she liked, and even if it had taken a little bit of pregaming with drinks at Sydney's to get her back into embracing her fun side, she wasn't complaining.