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.......Friday, March 2nd, 2018.......----......Sunday, March 4th, 2018......----........Friday, March 9th, 2018.......-----...........To Be Announced.............----.......|....To Be Announced
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by McHaggis
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Two days ago...

Standing on the balcony of the SPECTRUM Boston HQ, Lucas Forrestal was overlooking the city with a cup of coffee in his hand, sipping away at it. It was cold, but of course it was fucking cold; they were in Boston. Usually, Lucas liked to attend the SPECTRUM seasonal event during the colder months in warmer climates, but this time? Something about Boston had been calling out to him… and here he was. As one of the many SPECTRUM members, Lucas liked to watch the cities where they hosted their events. He liked to experience them, from the time they started preparations, to the first weekend and the last.

SPECTRUM liked to help people find their Entwined, and every five years they had a year packed with events to help with that goal. This was one of those years, and the spring event was to be celebrated soon, starting in March and ending in May, the first one of the year. Of course, there was more to it than the weekend-long festivals that served as book-ends to the season’s theme. Business partnerships, big-name discounts and sponsored clubs and venues across the city meant that the people of Boston would be out and about, making the search all the easier.

The sound of heels clicking against the antique oak floors in the hall outside signalled the arrival of his assistant, Leah, who pushed open the door unceremoniously. “Mr. Forrestal?” she inquired, stepping forward with a few thin manilla folders in her arms. “The rep from Fenway Park just called up to reschedule their appointment. They didn’t sound too enthusiastic about the whole thing––it’s just a hunch, but we might not have them as a venue for the summer, so Ann wondered if you might want to ‘deal with it’. I said I’d ask.”

The heavy door swung shut behind her. “Also, the Boston Globe sent an email about a possible print interview in advance of the festival…”

Ah, there it was. The work part of his position. Lucas took another sip from his cup of coffee, and nodded as Leah spoke. He listened closely to the different things she said, and only when she finished did he respond. “I don’t like rescheduling. That’s why we have calendars… I’ll handle it.” If nothing else, Mr. Forrestal sounded confident in his ability to ‘deal with it.’ He gestured with his hand, and led her back into the actual building, where they could talk without seeing the fog form around their breath, “Tell the Globe I’ll do it. Bring them here, if you can? I like to do print interviews on home turf.”

Leah nodded, making a mental note as she stepped around the desk and placed down the folders. “Itineraries for the festival. Nothing that needs looking at right this second,” she explained, and after a pregnant pause, continued, “You know, your schedule’s clear until three o’clock this afternoon.”

Oh, that was somewhat unexpected. Have free time was not something he was used to, especially not during the festivals, but if Leah said he had time, then he definitely did. “That's… different. Why don't we go walk the floor and see how construction is coming along?” He suggested, taking another sip of his drink. “Though it usually goes off without a hitch.”

As if that was the answer she had been hoping for in the first place, her eyes lit up at his suggestion. “That’s a great idea, actually –– let me just grab my coat on the way out.” She surreptitiously smoothed down the front of her skirt as she turned back towards the door, making idle conversation all the while. “I’ve been dying to see it. The festival, that is. It’s one thing reading about everything that’s planned and another thing being there, in person, to see the stages and tents getting set-up.”

Lucas nodded and led her to the sweeping staircase and down into the main hall, then out into the streets of Boston, “I forget; this is your first time as part of the ‘office’ for the big event, isn’t it? It’s… got a good feeling to it.” He explained, giving her a smile. Personally, this was one of Lucas’s favorite things. The festivals were full of energy and happiness, and he loved it. If you asked him, what SPECTRUM did; celebrating the strings, and throwing the festivals to help people find the other end… it was a good thing. It was a necessary thing.

“I’ve never even been to one,” Leah confessed, having donned a grey woollen trenchcoat and a thick scarf appropriate for the tail end of a Boston winter. “Rust Belt represent; there’s just not enough people out where I grew up to make running an event like that worth it, so SPECTRUM comes in, does their analysis on your Strings––” she hid a minute frown behind the scarf, “––and charters buses to the appropriate cities. Not a lot of takers, though.

Still, it couldn’t dampen her excitement for too long, especially when faced with a brisk wind upon leaving the building. “Some of the events are going to be so good. I mean, any festival’s good, of course, what with the games and the food and the music and such, but I’ve seen the plans for the masquerade and they are stunning.”

Lucas smiled as she talked about how excited she was about the event, and he nodded his agreement. She was right, after all. “Well, thank you. I came up with all of the aesthetics myself. The masquerade is going to be an event, certainly. Have you seen the interior of the ballroom? Maybe we can stop by there. If we have time. We do have to get to work when we can, though. I feel like you put a hole in my schedule on purpose…”

“I did no such thing. Sometimes, that’s just the way things work out,” Leah said dismissively. The park that was directly across from the SPECTRUM branch, with large swathes of it closed off to public access in advance of the festival starting on Friday. The security guard nodded them through. “It’s going to be held on the other side of the Common, isn’t it?” She peered off into the distance to catch a glimpse of the grand dance hall renovated three years ago for this exact purpose. Granted, she didn’t know that Forrestal himself directly intervened in Boston’s preparations at the time.

While the historic structures and statues of the park were still intact, and all but the hardiest of flowers lay dormant in their beds, already the year to come was taking shape before their very eyes. White tents hid construction work, and harried interns rushed by with clipboards and coffee.

“Correct. We’ve been working on the ballroom for a while now; it was kind of… not great when we… acquired it. It’s better now. SPECTRUM does good work.” Forrestal explained, leading their way through the park and toward the dance hall, “of course, we contracted a few of the local companies. That certainly hopes when we’re buying our way toward renting a giant city park. Money talks, I suppose.” A lot of people weren’t huge SPECTRUM supporters, for reasons that Forrestal didn’t fully understand, but they were typically able to quell most dissenters with large donations toward city councils throughout the hub cities they operated their festival out of.

“What’s one more expense on top of everything else?” And to think that the spring events were only a taster of things to come. While the opening events were always designed to put SPECTRUM’s best foot forward, it only ramped up in the following seasons. The New Year’s Eve event that closed the festivities for another five years was often unforgettable –– or so Leah had heard.

She pulled her coat closer to herself to keep out the chill, but they were already at the grand building that would house the masquerade. While there were no men in hard-hats coming and going as there had been all month, the finishing touches were still underway, given the smell of wet paint on the wind and the warning sign hanging from a grey, wrought-iron fence. “Just three more days. I think there’s still some tickets on sale, too.” Leah sighed wistfully. “I hope everyone who needs one, gets one. For the open bar if nothing else.”

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by McHaggis
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Every five years, SPECTRUM organises large-scale, year-round events with the supposed intention of helping people find their matches. In Boston, the first of these starts tomorrow on Friday, March 2nd, when the Spring Festival (held in Boston Common over the weekend) opens its doors to the public. While tomorrow morning will be taken up by festival games and live music in the park, at midnight, a masquerade is being held. Tickets have been on-sale for months and have very recently sold out; however, for those on the fence, there's always a chance to snap one up from someone who can't make it or bluster one's way through security, if paying isn't quite one's style.

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by TootsiePop
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Sitting in a café, looking at her laptop screen, the assistant to Theodore Wallace reviewed her video one more time before uploading it on her blog. It was Thursday, so a blog post was due. The comments had requested her to show her face more and to consider vlogging because they loved listening to her. The previous night, rather than sleep, she recorded herself talking instead of writing. Operation Beautiful, her creative outlet that reminds her that she isn't completely wasting her time. The café was tiny and huddled between large city buildings, right in the heart of downtown Boston. It was still extremely early so the hustle and bustle of the morning, where the streets got undoubtedly crowded by people, had yet to start. With earbuds in and her black coffee in a mug waiting for her to suck it down, she pressed play and listened to herself in silence.






“Good morning, good morning! Sun beams will soon smile through. Good morning, good morning to you." Jamie sat on her bed singing one line of Singing in the Rain 'Good Morning' with her mediocre can't-hit-high-notes voice. In reality, it was almost 3 AM, but as far as her viewers were concerned it would be Thursday when the sun was out and everyone was getting breakfast sandwiches. She made herself somewhat decent for her video, which really just required her to straighten up her bed and brush her unruly hair.

“So yesterday was a long day for me. I don't think any of you guys know this about me, but I'm super accident prone. That really got to me and that evil voice, my self doubt, kept yelling, saying all you do is mess up! An example of something that happened yesterday. My boss and I went to an auction and the item he bid A LOT of money on, I... ruined. How did that happen? I didn't drop it. I didn't throw anything on it. I, uh, it's a painting. I tore it. On accident. Because I lost balance. I thought I could carry it but it was heavier than I expected. Heh."

Briefly she looked away from the camera, as her fingers absentmindedly ran through her hair, before she went back to talking. Her attention returning on what mattered. Her viewer. “Well, I still have my job! No need to worry about that, but I did get an idea for this video." She beamed her infectious smile, obviously not too bent up about the events that had transpired that day, “Lesson number 1. Self-doubt affects us all. Even the most confidant people have self doubt. I can't say I don't still fight the beast, I do, but it isn't as bad as when I was going through puberty." She giggled at the thought of her high school years. What a mess she was. Truthfully, nothing has changed that much.

“The second lesson, though? It's a myth to think certain people possess certain qualities to be confident. No. No one is innately confidant. It's a skill, not a trait. Everyone can develop self-confidence. It just takes time. I've spent many years practicing and training my mind to adjust. Life can throw some serious stuff at you. I get it."

Pulling out her Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, she showcased it to the camera, “I have a reminder on my phone that tells me to never stop believing in myself and my abilities. That is an essential step in conquering self-doubt. I refuse to let my mistakes and that evil voice in my head hold me down. But, I still had to practice. I use to tell myself in the mirror everyday something positive. You're beautiful. You have good grades. You're not homeless. You're going to go far, kid. The key to being satisfied with your own abilities is knowing that you gave it your all. You're doing your best." With her phone no longer on screen, she pulled yellow pom poms out of no where. “Rah rah fight the powah!" The cheerleader trope really suited her.

After shaking the pom poms and rooting the audience on for a couple of seconds, she continued, deciding it was time to wrap things up, “I know what other people say can really put gray skies in your sunny day, but here me out when I say. What's important is what you think, not what he said, she said, they say. So stop being so hard on yourself and know that everyday you make someone out there smile and everyday you guys visit my blog, you make me very happy. I thank you. For being here for me and I hope this gives you the motivation you need to live your best life. Thanks for listening to me! Feel free to message me or comment down below. And as always, I have pictures for you!"

Tossing the poms poms behind her, she waved at the camera.“Bye-bye now." Her video ended with her blowing a kiss and bidding an adieu to her viewer.

Short. Simple. Straight to the point.

Jamie smiled at her laptop screen. Her coffee cup nearly empty of the black substance that would keep her going through out her day. Perfect. “I think it's ready."

Posted.
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Introducing: Theodore Wallace
Collab with @Hey Im Jordan
Around 8 AM




Wallace Realty.

The place that her life revolved around. Actually, rephrase that. Her life didn’t revolve around the company. It revolved around a man. “OH MY GOD, HE’S GOING TO KILL ME.” Jamie Mueller, up bright and early, as per usual, ran out of Impresso Espresso with a tray in hand, her purse dangling at her side, and a need for speed. She spent too much time on her blog post! She lost track of time! The new barista was also super cute… but that’s beside the point!

It didn’t help she had to get another set of drinks because she DROPPED it. Okay, it was more like she realized the time, this was twenty minutes ago, and she turned so fast that she got three drinks on one customer. Her life, amiright? Luckily the baristas knew her face and pitied her, and even the customer laughed about it, so they just gave her the new set for free. At least it didn’t get on her outfit! Wait, what was she thinking? She wasn’t rude. She apologized profusely to the customer and gave him cash for his ruined shirt. It was all HER FAULT. The guilt would eat at her all day.

Anyways, here she was speed walking on the sidewalk to a building she would never forget. Her car was already there, because she thought it was smart to walk. Jokes on her. If she wasn’t at his office in eight minutes with his juice, she was done. Yes juice, not coffee. The coffee was for her (it was just black coffee, nothing exciting). He had a large My Main Squeeze for now, and 50 Shades of Green for later. But none of this would matter if she wasn’t in front of him soon! How was she ever going to convince him to let her go to the festival if she was tardy?!

Rest in peace, Jamie.

Luckily (or perhaps unluckily) for Jamie, Mr. Wallace was asleep with his face on his desk, the place he had been for about… an amount of time now. Sleepless nights caught up with you eventually, and he was due a nap. Music played through the speakers of his office, with the Spotify playlist he’d left on overnight being played on repeat while he rested. Theo was dressed in a three piece suit, and was almost put together from head to toe.

It was the toe part that wasn’t put together. While someone may have been expecting him to wear black loafers or dress shoes with his current getup… Theo was wearing a pair of slippers (no socks on, of course). The nice, expensive kind, with memory foam soles and thick wool keeping his toesies warm.

In his sleepiness, Theo shifted his weight a bit, and his head dropped off of his arms and down onto the wood of the oak desk, knocking him awake. Groggily, he looked up, rubbing his eyes. He reached a hand out for a cup, and lifted it up… it was empty. He reached for the second cup. Also empty. “Jamie? I’m thirsty! Where the hell’s Jamie!?” What time was it? Why wasn’t Jamie here? She was always here! “My throat’s dry,” he croaked miserably.

Jamie’s phone started going off like crazy. SHE WAS ALMOST THERE, OKAY. Throwing the glass door open, she rushed past everyone, miraculously not tripping, past her desk, where her second camera rested, past the water machine where everyone gathered to chat, to the ‘big door’.

Stopping in front of the big door, she paused for a moment, staring at his name plate, while gaining her breath. Breathe in, breathe out. You got this. Letting herself in, she kept a wide smile on, acting like she wasn’t perfectly on time and not early. “Heyyyyyy, I got your juice.” She needed to act like she didn’t make a mistake and lose track of time. Maybe, he hadn’t noticed. Maybe, she would be forgiven. But for now, she was not at fault. She was on time. With a bounce in her step, she made her way to his desk and replaced his empty cups with the filled ones. His want for different flavors changed everyday and today these flavors were new.

Straight to business. “Your 2 o’clock had to be moved to 11 because your clients forgot they had another engagement. As for your 11 o’clock meeting, that got moved to 10. It’s for the same house, so it’ll just be back to back.” She threw away the tray, while taking out her coffee. Before giving him anymore information, she waited for him to digest her words and took a sip. Finally. Her second cup of coffee.

Theo made a noise somewhere between a hiss and a groan, running a hand through his hair and grabbing one of the cups and putting it to his lips. He took a sip of the juice and then put it back down on the table, smacking his lips. “That’s not bad.” He muttered, before he grabbed the other cup and took a sip from it, “but that’s better.” He slid back a bit in his chair, and it was like the juice had breathed fresh life into him, as he put his feet (slippers and all) up on the desk. People were rescheduling on him? Bastards. Didn’t they know that calendars were written in stone? At least Jamie was able to make sense of all this.

“Great.” Theo gave a nod of his approval as he continued to sip at the drink in his hand. With the knowledge about his daily meetings being changed (bastards) on him, there was only one thing left to do — the real business, so to speak. “I don’t suppose you have my house key? I lost it. So I’ve been here for longer than I usually am.”

“Yes! Of course. You forgot it…” She placed her cup down on his desk and rummaged through her massive purse for it. “...at my place.” She pulled it out and slid it in front of him. “I should’ve told you, but I didn’t realize until 3am.” And she was preoccupied recording herself talking in front of a camera.

There was something else she wanted to tell him, sure more work-related things, but there was something more important than that. What was it again? There was a second where Jamie stared into space as she tried to recall this important thing.

Suddenly, she snapped her fingers remembering, “Oh! Another thing.” Once again the noise of her rummaging through that endless void of a bag of her’s was heard throughout his office, before she pulled out an envelope. Her cheeks turned a faint scarlet as she laid out her hand for him to take the surprise from her. In it there were tickets to the Ball tomorrow night and tickets for the whole spring festival. She’d gauge the situation before chattering away. She learned early on talking too much could get overwhelming. And she knew she was a person who could talk for hours. There was a time and place for everything. With her boss, she always had to analyze the situation before going off on tangents.

Ah, that made sense. Forgetting things at Jamie’s place was a more common occurrence than Theo would have liked to admit, but at least she didn’t throw his crap out. Theo grabbed the house key and dropped it into its proper place, the top right drawer of his desk. When she handed him an envelope, he accepted it, but he didn’t really understand what it was. He stared at the envelope, then at her, then at the envelope again… Before finally gazing at her as he tore it open. He dumped the contents out on the desk and glanced at them, then up at her. “...is this your way of asking me for time off to do the festival thing? I’m pretty sure there’s a mandate saying I’m required to give you time off for that…”

“No! Uh. Maybe. I mean. Not quite.” Sometimes, Jamie wanted to just slap herself. What a blubbering fool she was. “I can still work, but what if… we cut things down so we both, you and me, had a little break. I can keep production going! And then we go to an event! And then we work! And then we have more fun!” The more she talked the more excited she got. This was an opportunity for her to take pictures for her blog. And eat nummy food! People would love to see Boston locals, and probably non-locals too, enjoying one of the biggest events of the year. She could take pictures of the food, the dancers, and whatever else they’ll have. Twirling a piece of hair, she looked at him with desperateness and her naughty plum coated lips went into a little pout, “Pleaseeeeeeeeeeee.”

Oh. She was asking him to the event. That was a little bit different of a situation… Theo had never been to one of SPECTRUM’s events. They only happened every five years! Theo could hardly even remember what he was doing five years ago… It was supposed to be the event of a lifetime. Hell, Theo’s parents has met there… “I guess we can take a vacation… or… several for the different festivals and events…. But only if you do that thing I like tonight.” What? Give and take. Push and pull. Theo’s feet finally came down from the desk and he smirked at her, sipping from the cup of juice before he winked at her.

There was the heat again in her cheeks. That ‘thing’ involved a little… roleplaying, but that was for her and him to know and for no one else to find out. In response to that, she simply made a cute face, put paws in front of her in a pose, and softly purred, “Meow.” How could she say no?! She wanted to go. This was all Dani’s fault! She convinced her to give in. Give in to fate. Honestly, this was a win-win situation for her. Time off, long festival, some… night stuff. Win-win.

“I can’t say no to that.” Theo’s mind was made up. They were going to the festival of the strings, enjoying the food and the show… and doing other stuff throughout the night tonight. And the next night. Theo took the final drink from his cup, and grabbed the other one, lifting it to his lips as well. “Probably just go ahead and cancel everything starting at seven tonight.” Theo suggested, nodding his head. “We can get dinner first.”

His words were like a bomb and she felt all her insides burst with anticipation. Their relationship was volcanic and his eyes, those eyes that she looked into when she first was interviewed, and those eyes she still looks into, made her feel closer to him than with any other man she’s ever met. There was nothing golden and pure about them. At night, they were two very different people and the more their relationship escalated, the more she felt captivated. Trapped in this dream where all modesty was thrown out the door. “...should I make a reservation at your favorite place?” Somehow, she was still able to muster words. Her heartbeat was echoing in her ears and she couldn’t look away from him. Always when she was alone with him, she couldn’t think straight.

“Why don’t you make them at your favorite place?” Theo suggested instead, smiling slyly at her. If they had dinner there, he was gonna have an even better night! It was a simple calculus, after all.

Focus, Jamie. “Takeout it is.” Biting her bottom lip, she tried to get out of this daze. Think of something else. Anything else. Clothes! Outfits! For the ball! “We need to go shopping!” Avoiding looking into his bewitching gaze, she urgently reached for her coffee, only to freeze from the sound of his voice.

“Jamie.” His voice was firmer than before, as if he wanted her to focus on him.

“Hmmm…” Her eyes went up, bashfully, to look at him. Her hands getting a little closer to her coffee…

“Lock the door.”

In the office?! Her hand swiped fast at her coffee, causing it to get not only all over his desk, but on him. Ah fuck! “Ow!” He swore as the still hot coffee sloshed onto his lap. He damn near dropped his juice, but he was able to keep a hold on it — after all, it was the second tastiest thing in the room.

Covering her face, she apologized, her voice muffled with her hands, “I’ll clean that up.” And turned to retrieve cleaning products.

Before she could escape, Theo reached out and grabbed Jamie by the wrist, pulling her just a bit toward him. “Come here.” Okay, so they wouldn’t lock the door.

Her lips agape, her face like a beet, and her eyes once again deeply staring into his. Breathlessly, she answered, “Yes, Sir.”
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by cerozer0
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cerozer0 Starboy

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Place: Jamie's Apartment -> Ashley's Apartment
Interacting With: Jamie




It was about two in the morning when Jamie left Ashley to shower down. As always, he locked the door behind him. The clicking of the mechanisms, the casualness of the action-- it was all fire in Ashley's sex-addled head, burning away the hours of pleasure and leaving behind only the heady scent of sweat and the knowledge that they were all alone once again.

This is how the game always ended, and in fifteen minutes it would start up again. This was routine. Natural.

Don't take it personally, kid.

Ash found themself staring silently up at the glossy white ceilings, full of thoughts and, at the same time, truly empty. The running shower one room over is enough white noise to not drive them completely mad from the thick, uncomfortable nothingness that was Jamie's bedroom. Slowly, Ashley shifted onto their side and stared down at their hand, eyes focusing in on the taunt purple string that curled around their middle finger. Following it with their eyes, Ash watched it lay a complicated pattern over the hard-wood floors, vanish under strewn clothes and papers, and finally completely disappear beneath the white door that led to the master bathroom. Each time Jamie moved inside of that room the thread tugged, rippled. They could feel him whisper-singing songs from the last show he had directed. It was annoying. It was attractive.

Ashley wished they cared less.

Their eyes wander upward again, focusing in on an open binder that seemed to have a new, marked up script in it. Ash sat up slightly and squinted through the dark to catch a few character names, and when some of the dialogue looked familiar they flipped to the first page. A Chorus Line stood out in bright red letters against a coffee-stained printer sheet. Butterflies formed in their stomach, small, fickle things that beat against their ribcage, and they couldn’t help but smile. A Chorus Line was Ash’s favorite show growing up. Nonna often complained about seeing Broadway shows, but when it came to A Chorus Line she would always take the lines over whatever the film adaptation offer. Both of them, enraptured by the show’s rawness, saw the revival at least five times before it went on tour. It was absolutely beautiful, and absolutely everything Ashley wanted to be.

They were tracing over Sheila’s lines with a pointed finger when Jamie emerged from the bathroom. His smile was about as sharp as his cheekbones, which were to say— too sharp. Ash was always afraid of cutting themself on either.

“What are you looking at, kid?” He asked, sauntering over like a panther or a lion.

“Nothing really.” Ash said, pushing the binder to the edge of the nightstand. In the same, smooth second, Jamie snatched it from the corner and leafed through the inked pages with trained confidence.

“You were talking about this show before.” He said. The string around Ash’s finger tightened, pulsed. They felt seen in all the worst and best ways– a cocktail of unsettling emotions formed in the pit of their stomach.

“Was I?”

“You was.” He laughed, “You said you wanted to be Sheila a month ago.”

“I… Didn’t think you’d remember, honestly.” Ashley said, voice just barely holding back the edge of their usual scathing sarcasm. Jamie wasn't really the type to remember valuable things, especially when they weren’t directly aiding him.

“Well, I did, kid, and I want you to audition.”

“You want me to audition?”

“Yes. It’ll be great– you’re already assured a spot on account of—“

“I don't want a role because I sleep with you, Jamie.” Ash said, the words catching uncomfortably in their throat. Jamie’s eyebrows furrowed, formed dark mountains, and then he laughed like Ash had uttered a gut-wrenching joke.

“I’m casting you because you’re talented, Ash. Remember–“ He lifted his hand, tugging hard at the purple string connecting their middle fingers. “No strings attached, right? Audition, Ash. We need you in this show.”

“If-if other people found out–” Ash was silenced with a finger thrust against their lips, and Jamie leaned in with all the subtle danger of praying mantis readying to strike. He smiled, and Ash shook with anticipation.

“No. Strings. Attached. Audition.” It wasn’t a question this time. Ash leaned back and pouted, holding back a scowl and a sigh and a slap to the face. It was a small price to pay— giving up power in order to play your favorite role in your favorite show. It was small. It was still against their principles.

But who could find out?

It was a small price to pay for fame.

The nod was almost involuntary (almost), but it still felt like it knocked the wind right out of their chest. Jamie grinned and ran his shiny fingers through Ash’s tousled hair, tangling the pretty curls into nests. The bed dipped as he settled down next to them, and Jamie’s kisses were superheated and enough to chase away the storming anxiety in their gut.

“You’ll be a star.” Jamie said and pushed Ash down into the sheets for round two.




Somehow, Ashley made it to their own bed last night, and somehow, they managed to beat their alarm by five minutes. Mid-morning sunshine cut through their dirty window, burning holes into their eyelids until Ashley could barely stand it. Dust fluttered peacefully through the beams, coming to rest on their bohemian-style bedspread and their scuffed tile floor. The lacing and silks they had hung in front of the window weeks before had, once again, collected in a heap below the windowsill, leaving the room bare to the blistering light of the sun. They’d have to get to that some other time.

Ashley's apartment was the epitome of a "shoebox". The kitchen was only about six paces away from their bed, and the bathroom door was half-blocked by the single loveseat Ash had managed to shove in despite the lack of any real living room. The tiled floors were covered with countless cheap rugs and silks, but the ugly green poked through in spots much too complicated to cover. Their bed took up most of the space, and for good reason. It was big enough for guests and covered in enough pillows and blankets and stuffed animals to bed a small army.

Most of everything in the room were gifts, from family or friends or past lovers, but the few things that were fundamentally Ashley's had their own corner. Dance shoes, playbills, candles, crystals; they all sat on their corner dresser in a neat manner, starkly contrasting the cluttered messiness that was the rest of the room.

A voice in Ash's head whispered 'home' and it was more right than it probably meant to be. This was home; being alone and warm and comfortable with their thoughts and their actions. Being completely in control of their environment. Yes, this was home.

Sitting up was more of a struggle than it should have been. The ache in their lower back was still nothing compared to the ache of their head, though, so they fought through the overbearing pulsation and managed to stand and shuffle towards the bathroom.

Minutes of daily routine later, they returned to their bed and dreamed briefly of skipping work and just going straight to the dance studio. Alas, the bills on the nightstand blared like a ticking time bomb, threatening to blow Ashley’s entire plan out of the water. Money first, and then pleasure.

Pleasure.

Next to the pile of bills was a purple and lipstick stained ticket to some masquerade event that was going on in the city. Jamie had pressed it against their lips last night at the bar and had whispered: “We’ll be the hottest ones there. Wear something nice, something real nice.” They didn’t have a chance to say no. Jamie probably wouldn’t have paid attention to such a dismissal anyway.

Ash plucked up the ticket with pressurized grace and examined the flimsy thing. Something something SPECTRUM something SPRING FUCKING FLING… It would have been more interesting if it read like that. Ash slammed the ticket down and stood again, moving to settle in front of their DIYed vanity. Edison light bulbs lit up as they flicked the switch in the side, and they leaned in to closely examine their unpainted face.

Eyebags hung down to their cheekbones, dark purple, almost like bruises. Their lips were cracked and dry from the constantly running electric fan that hangs on their headboard, and bright red hickeys led a fantastical and wild trail down to their chest and further. They looked positively exhausted, and absolutely like some college-aged slut.

Ash covered most of their imperfections with concealer and foundation and layers of contour powder. Their eyes turned from sleepy and purple to lazy and red and glossy– and their eyelashes reached up to brush girlishly against their eyebrows. It was always a treat to dress up after a long night of pleasing pretentious director-types, so they did their hair in a neat updo and layered up on reds and oranges and yellows in an effort to better portray the spring mood outside their creaking and dust-coated apartment.

With each layer of makeup and fabric they added, the little, anxious parts of them began to be sealed away. Like armor, they were protected from the rawness of the outside world by the glittering items they spent most of their paycheck on, and that itself was performance in a way.

By the time they were fully clothed they were already twenty minutes late for their retail job, so with all the effort of a sloth they slinked down their grubby walk upstairs and started out into the garbage-filled streets of downtown Boston.



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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by eclecticwitch
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eclecticwitch The Effervescent

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Mateo had taken the time to lovingly place log after log into the fireplace. Each one was positioned so the flames may eat them but to also give air flow. He had the experience from the last ten years of building fires into the same hearth to help him. Beneath the logs were old newspapers and important documents which could only be destroyed by an incinerator to keep things safe. Atop the mantle sat a large box of long matches. Picking them up he crouched once again before the logs, struck the match, and lit the papers aflame.

He watched as the fire consumed paper and sensually licked at the logs before finding purchase there. Closing the grate, so as to not burn down his quite expensive penthouse, he went around to the wall of books. His personal study was a sanctuary of knowledge. It held a large mahogany desk littered with law tomes and case papers. His walls were made of bookcases holding all sorts of the written word from smutty romances to geographical maps. Nothing was beyond his interest.

His fingers skimmed over hardback covers, some of them ancient first prints worth more than the penthouse itself. At last his thin, piano fingers found a tome that appeared far older than it was. Animal Farm. He had read this book so many times that the spine was cracked and some of the pages were beginning to fall away from the glue. Someday he would have to replace it. For now, his beloved childhood book was just perfect the way it was. When he had first read it, he had simply enjoyed the animals being in charge of their own farm. In his adulthood, he began to understand the themes.

He settled into his large, leather, winged armchair near the flames. Beside him was a decanter of scotch which he poured over ice. Mateo lay his book down upon his lap and removed a metal case of cigarettes from his inner jacket pocket. Smoothly he lit one up, sipped the liquor, and opened his novel in the anticipation of an uninterrupted read on a rare Thursday off.

All was going well for about an hour and a half until his door opened and then slammed shut. He jumped slightly, causing the last of his second cigarette’s ash to fall to the floor. He quickly stuffed it out in a nearby ashtray before bookmarking his page.

“Mateo!” a feminine voiced called from the hall. The middle-aged man could not help but groan. With a sigh and in preparation for a headache, he lifted himself from his comfortable chair. He opened his study door and as he made his way down the hall the perfume of her hit him before the sight of the woman did. She was slender and frail looking but with a good build that complimented all her assets. She had always worn her hair in blonde, beachy curls and only the slightest hint of makeup to accentuate immaculately curated features. Her dress was bright red, her coat real fox fur, and her smile as fake as Barbie’s.

The lawyer returned the smile to the best of his abilities while his mother threw her arms about his neck. She kissed both of his cheeks with her obligatory statement of “Kiss, kiss,” before standing back and holding the taller man’s shoulders.

“How did you get in?” he asked kindly. His heart and his head were seriously annoyed.

“I made a copy, but never mind that! Oh, my darling son! You won’t believe the news!” The woman was full of fervor and ecstasy so there was no helping his mandated reply.

“Yes, what is it mother?” She wanted him to ask. She so obviously needed him to ask.

“I will, I will, but do give your dear mother a drink. It is frightfully cold outside.” The woman took off her coat and scarf only to drop them on the floor. Mateo led her to the immediate left, a sitting room designed for meeting clients. It was comfortable and quite bland. Soft blue, white, and brown colors adorned fabrics and walls alike. To the small bar at the side of the room he went and poured his mother her usual vodka and soda.

Once this life reviving drink was in her hands and she had taken a sip, she began her tale. “Well, at the office there was a giveaway. You put in more money and the more you spent the more tickets you would get. Obviously, I couldn’t let Carol or Bridget (‘the alcoholic,’ she muttered beneath her breath) win.” She went on to spout some very nasty things of both women before continuing, “So I put in a grand for this raffle. Oh! Your father will shoot me, but it’s worth it. And what would you know I won the grand prize! And Ooooooh,” she sighed in a far too sexual manner, “The looks on their faces when I walked up to receive it. You know I made sure to wear…” Mateo was beginning to drown her out despite his best efforts to listen. After some time he heard the words, “And would you have it, I won tickets to the masquerade! I am, of course, attached most devotedly to your father. But I thought you could use them to find a good woman to keep your house.”

His mother began to dig through her tiny purse. There was no way she hadn’t come upon the ticket by now but she took her time. “Aha!” The blonde pulled the ticket out and offered it to her only son. “You had better use this,” she said in a dark and commanding tone. Even her face showed him that she meant business or he would wind up with the woman in his house, complaining, for a month. “Or I shall be quite disappointed.”

“Yes, of course mother. I wouldn’t dream of anything but your happiness. You worked so hard to get this.” He would reserve the eye rolling and annoyance for after she had left.

“Good boy. You must… no… You WILL call me directly after in the morning to let me know how it went.”

“Of course mother.”

“Now I must be off, or I’ll be late to my hair appointment. Take care of yourself love. Kiss kiss.” With that she was out the door without another word or sentiment. Mateo stared at the ticket and groaned while his eyes moved toward the ceiling. He didn’t need this foolishness right now. He couldn’t even come close to wanting it.

The lawyer walked back to his office, sat in that winged chair, and pulled out his cell phone to call his secretary. The line rang for a few moments before the answer of “Black and Bidwell, how may I help you?” came clear across the line.

“Tell me, Abigail, there must be some urgent matter that needs my attention.”

“Let me look sir.” He could hear the shufflings of papers and the clacks of the computer as she looked through the notes. The long silence while this happened made his heart fall as doubts of relief crept in. “No, nothing sir.”

“Not even anything I could do pro-bono?”

“I’m afraid not sir.” Her tone was sympathetic, and she dared to whisper, “Delilah?”

“Fucking Delilah,” he responded. “Remind me to change my locks tomorrow.”

“Yes of course sir.”

“Enjoy your day.”

“You too, sir.”

He hung up the phone, took a long drag of scotch, and then poured himself another glass.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BeastofDestiny
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BeastofDestiny Truly a noble and majestic Beast

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Walking through the brisk morning air, a young man stifles a yawn, having stayed up a little later than normal. Only 2am of course, how bad could that be? Pretty awful if you have to work nearly 6 hours later, with little to no time to get ready for work the following morning. “Damn Fortnite is going to be the death of me…” the optician spoke, stifling yet another yawn, trudging through the streets of Boston to the nearest transit station. The walk from his condo wasn’t too far from his work, but on days where he got barely five and half hours of sleep, dragging his feet from his bed to his job was never a fun one, so the T was the only option.

It was cold out, cold enough that anyone smart enough would have worn a jacket. It’s not to say Kyle isn’t smart enough, he just really hates warm weather, so the cold provided him a necessary balance from his usual furnace level body temperature. That being said, he was at least smart enough to put on some gloves and wear a hat, as well as wear his Maui Jim sunglasses to combat the glaring fury of the sun; even then it was pretty bright.

Eventually making it to the stop, he pulled out his phone to check on any notifications either his boss or social media wanted to inform him of. As if on cue, Jamie’s blog sent a notification as soon as he pulled it out of his pocket, the screen suddenly turning on and showing a banner of bright cheeriness.

You've received 1 post on Muellerphotos/operationbeautiful Blog "Everyone has self-doubt, even me"

Jamie...Kyle pinched his brows a little, currently in his lack of sleep manner he was as bright as a ray of pitch black, coffee wouldn’t fix it but...maybe a little of reading would. Begrudgingly he turned on the blogging app to only realize that at full volume with strangers around him that this was a vlog, ”Jesus!” as he tried to pause the vlog. He had to pause a moment as people were staring at him, but he chuckled shyly, apologizing before putting in a ear bud and plugging it to the phone.

Turning on the app again he listened to his friend go on her rant, listing ‘positivity’ and ‘fighting her inner demons’, it was rather gushy. Then again, this was Jamie, the spirit of sunshine, puppycats and rainbows, a little much for Kyle at times, but then again a little nice and comprehensible. It was good knowing there was a friend out there who exuded such a brilliant and shining aura. It wasn’t to say he had any bad juju by far, but his aura was more on the calming and ‘think this through’ kind of side, one to help dampen emotion just enough to not let it run like a wild and raging horse in a river. Jamie was an exception, sometimes an annoying one, but an exception as he admired the green string that bonded to his finger, invisible to the naked eye, but not the soul.

Ending the vlog he sighed somewhat happily to himself, knowing this week would probably be a rough one, including the weeks ahead of him. The bus had arrived and he boarded it, taking care to swipe his transit card through before seating himself near the back. It was going to be a rather tedious time of the year, Insurance weeks had passed him a little over a month ago, but now a new beast had presented itself; Spectrum. While not necessarily a manager at ‘An Eye for Fashion’ optical boutique, he was more involved in the store than most anyone else, which left him the designated role of, how was it described again... “Director of Event Logistics”

So...COEL was his role in this division, that essentially meant calling every frame rep across the board to see if they’re willing to provide eyewear to display for Spectrum’s event. This also included, raffles, giveaways and who knows what else to appease the crowd and hopefully bring them into the boutique. It wasn’t like Kyle wasn’t up for a challenge, but it was tedious work, work that his boss should be doing. It’s not to say that his boss was lazy, but he definitely had a habit of dropping tedious workloads onto his employees. Well..another day, another dollar, the life of an Optician was certainly never a boring one. Brainstorming, he awaited for the inevitable signal that his stop for work was nearby, listlessly browsing the internet from his phone.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by TootsiePop
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TootsiePop

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Collab with @Moon Child
Around lunchtime
At IMPULSE




▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃
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Inspired by the after-dark entertainment of Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps, IMPULSE was one of the bigger venues in Boston, not too far from Common and Chinatown, right by Bliss Salon & Spa and across the street from The Rabbit Hole, a good old fashioned bar with a lot of history, and Genesis, an electrifying nightclub directed to the young and beautiful. The strip joint was at the corner, so it wasn’t hard to miss. What can Tate say? He liked the attention and the controversy.

There was a blue neon sign of a girl on a pole (located to the left of the door), next to the vertical words ‘OPEN’. On the other side of the door, there was a gold plate with IMPULSE engraved on it and on the privacy window near it was the words ‘BABYDOLLS’. All signs were off, which signaled it was closed. Specifically approaching 11:30 am. Lunch time.

Tate Paxton leaned in his office chair, his office located in the basement, staring at one of his workers seeking a promotion, now that the house mom had taken her leave to pursue her dreams. Her name was Lena Berry, a cute, little thing, nicknamed Strawberry, who was originally a barback. “You do know how much I’ll expect of you, Berry, right? Being a house mom isn’t easy.” He used his professional voice, not his boston slang one - which he was known for.

“I know! And I’m positively ready. I can be whatever the girls need. I’ll make sure the reality tv show that is the dressing room is kept to a minimum, and if they need a therapist, or a cheerleader, or just someone to keep them in line, I’m the girl! I know I’m nothing like Marjorie, she was definitely way more… uptight, but I have the spunk to be the leader you and Josh need. I promise I won’t fail you. Failure isn’t an option! The girls need someone that gets them and isn’t like ‘the man’. There’s some things they’ll tell me that they won’t tell you.”

“Is that so…” Strawberry was always way too enthusiastic about this scene, but hey, it showed she was passionate. Though, he never thought someone as pretty as her would actually want to make this a career. “How about the stress? You can handle that? Your priority is the entertainers, but sometimes, customers get too carried away. You don’t have to directly deal with them, but if there isn’t a bouncer or someone that can defuse the situation near by, you might have to.”

“Oh please.” The model before him sassily rolled her eyes, while crossing her legs. “I’m sure I can handle it. I’ve dealt with bar fights with your cousin. I might be cute, but I know how to put men in their place.” Hot. Lena smirked at her handsome, brown haired boss, waiting for the next question.

Glancing up from her resume and his notes to her green gaze, Tate carefully watched her in contemplative silence. His expression blank and hard to read. She didn’t seem unnerved at all. He liked that. A girl who had her emotions in check. “Tell me something you’d tell the girls. Advice and what not. You’ve primarily worked at the bar, so moving from that to entertainment, could be a challenge.”

Running her hand through her gorgeous, long strawberry blonde hair, Lena chuckled, “That’s an easy one. The obvious tip would be don’t drink because you’re bored, you might drink one too many and when it’s time to make money, you stumble and fall. That wouldn’t look good for the Paxton duo, now would it?” Tate placed his pen down, nodding and resting his chin on his palm. He wanted to hear more, so she kept going. “Another one is if you’re with a customer for ten minutes and he hasn’t gotten you a drink or paid for a dance, he’s not worth your time and effort because he just isn’t THAT into you. So, sweetie. Move on. There’s other customers that want to give you money.”

She leaned in forward, her stare deadly serious. Her skin looked soft. “Trust me, boss. I’ve been watching everyone for like two years now. I can do it. I know I can.” To think this girl was three years older than him; she was the embodiment of a ‘babydoll’.

Out of nowhere, the sound of the sliding door being brusquely opened echoed loudly across the room, the panels wobbling dangerously at the same time the conversation between Lena and Tate was effectively interrupted. Before any of them had time to even question what was going on, a short, petite young woman stormed inside, raven hair flying behind her and a glare full of such red-hot anger it could probably be compared to the flames of Hell.

“I’m so- Honestly? I’m really not sorry for interrupting. Whatever this is, it’s over. I need to speak to our charming boss here now.”

Dully, Tate gazed at Spice with nothing but ‘amusement’. By that, he simply met her eyes with frost. There was no anger, no sadness, no joy. There was nothing but a wall in between them. Distance. “Lena, we’ll continue our conversation later.”

The beautiful specimen before him, not the raging fury, the calmer one, gave him a perplexed look before saying one last thing, “...so yes, or no?” Honestly, Lena could care less about what Stephanie wanted. Her own advancement was top priority. Tate simply smiled and gave her a nod. With that, she childishly grinned happily at him. She got the job! Standing up, she turned on her heel and walked past the fiery stripper, “I’ll see you at six.” The only reply she got back from the other girl was an eye roll.

When the glass door slid closed and the two were left alone, Spice and Tate, the macho man of IMPULSE gestured for his employee to sit down, “What brings you here, Miss Spice?”

The young woman ignored his gesture to take a seat, choosing to remain standing with her hands on her hips. When she heard the way and tone of voice he was using with her, Stephanie couldn’t help but roll her eyes and scoff in disbelief. ‘Miss Spice’?” she repeated, moving her hands away from her hips long enough to use her fingers to make air quotes. “Since when the fuck am I ‘Miss Spice’ to you?!”

This is why you don’t fuck someone before you hire them. Intentionally, he decided to play this game with the young feline he was connected to by a purple thread. “Are you on your period? Do you need some chocolate? I have some.” He opened his desk drawer to take some out.

“I don’t need your fucking chocolate!” Spice shouted at the top of her lungs, stomping her way until she was close enough to the desk to violently slam the desk drawer close. She would never understand how a man who’d worked with women for so many years could be so stupid when the time came to deal with them. “All I really need to know why the hell are you still ignoring me!”

“Oh Kitten.” Tate said her nickname, but in a condescending tone. That’s what she wanted. “If I was ignoring you, would you be here right now? Would you still have access to my playground?” He’d be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy this. It was easy to get Spice’s panties in a bunch. He nonchalantly leaned back, a devilish smirk rising on his face. She denied the chocolate. That’s too bad.

“Don’t you play those stupid games with me, Tate Paxton!” she spat, now effectively stung by the way he said her pet name. “I am not in the mood, and you know exactly what I mean when I say you’ve been ignoring me! But you know what? Let me refresh that selective memory of yours. You have been-” Spice began, counting down the offenses with her fingers. “Let’s see… One, sending my calls to voicemail. Two, leaving my texts on read. Three, sending Josh to talk to me about business when it’s things that YOU usually handle.. Four, treating me just like all the other girls here when you had promised to me things wouldn’t change. And five, refusing to have the balls to fucking admit it to my face!”

Oh boy. She used your almost full name. Tate silently scoffed. “Interesting theory you have in that little head of yours.” Standing up, exceptionally taller than his lustful lover, Tate kept his brown eyes locked in on her face, “I’m a busy man, Steph.” His voice softened, but his words were as sharp as a razorblade. “I have a business to carry and with the spring festival just a day away, and IMPULSE having a business relationship with SPECTRUM. I’m trying to see if we can have one of the events here. I can’t be distracted. Like I’ve told you in the beginning, I will tell you again. I will call you. Not the other way around.” Rather than approach her and give her intimate comfort, he made his way to his door, giving her the cold shoulder, and smoothly slid it open, “Now, if you’ll excuse yourself. I have work to do.”

To say that Spice was shocked was an understatement. The pale-skinned girl remained motionless on the spot, staring at Tate with wide, sad eyes. His words and the tone he was using with her pierced her the same way broken glass would, causing her a stinging pain similar to the one Ethan made her feel. She could feel the purple string of fate that connected them start to fray in the most minuscule of ways, but enough to be noticed. It was in moments like this that Stephanie Cross wondered to herself what could she have possibly done to the Universe to always end up tangled with the same type of men: arrogant, selfish assholes who saw her as nothing more than another toy in their shelves. No matter how hard she tried or how much she gave, the result was always the same: it was never enough.

Feeling absolutely defeated, Spice took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and began her trek out of the office, not even bothering to look at Tate as she walked past him and out the door. The last thing she wanted was for him to notice the tears glazing up her brown eyes.

After the door was closed and he was left to his own devices, Tate leaned his head on the door and closed his eyes. This was harder than he thought.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by McHaggis
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McHaggis Spectrumized

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PLACE // Noah's Apartment
TIME // 8AM




And, if you don't mind me asking, there are rumours that you're Entwined to co-star Renata Cordeiro, who plays Lillian on The Pack––is there any truth to them?

NOAH: I know that there's all the stories, you know, actors showing up on the first day of filming and realising they're tied up to a co-star or even, like, the director, but that isn't the case with me and Renata. We're co-workers, we're close friends outside the show, and we don't have a String between us. Honestly? I prefer it that way.



Three missed calls later at eight in the morning, Noah rolled over in his king-sized bed and snatched his phone from the bedside table, rubbing at bleary eyes. One from Renata, followed up with a text message: "x)". The other two were from his publicist, who took it upon herself to call again, immediately. He couldn't even say for sure whether it was some crisis he had to deal with immediately or not, because she had a bad habit of calling him up for the most frivolous of things. At least, he thought they were frivolous.

After a few moments of hestitation, wondering whether it was socially acceptable to just mute his phone and pretend to be asleep, he accepted the call. "Y'llow?"

"You're a dumbass." A wonderful way to greet talent, but certainly not out of character for Debra. "A huge one who seems to want to tank his career, but keeps side-stepping disaster thanks to, yep, yours truly."

"If I 'side-stepped' the disaster, why are you even calling me?"

A huffed sigh on the other side followed, and Noah knew that he was in for the long-haul, a lecture from someone who had effectively instated herself as his second mother. "Firstly, because I wanted you to know that you fucked up," she said, "And secondly, because cleaning up the mess requires you to do something about it this time."

Noah pushed himself up into a sitting position and scooted back to lean against the wall, blankets wrapped around him like a Egyptian cotton cocoon to protect him from the cold March air. "Fine. Assuming that it is my fault this time, what did I do?" Noah ran a hand through his hair as he listed out all the possibilities. An encounter with the paparazzi? A jilted lover? Flubbed audition? He picked the most likely of them: "Pictures leaked to TMZ?"

"You revealled yourself to the world to be a skeptic, Simonson. You don't believe in the Strings."

Ah. So it was about the print interview that went live yesterday evening. Noah's face fell into a blank mask. "So? Something like thirty percent of the population don't. It's 2018."

"Yeah, well, thirty percent aren't in the public eye. Need I remind you that your damn TV show uses that plot device all the time?" He was reminded that Debra had confided in him–– no, confided was the wrong word–– informed him at the very beginning of their working relationship that she had half a dozen rivalries and no friends, so if he wanted to hire someone to be all buddy-buddy with, he could find somebody else.

"I didn't know you watched The Pack," Noah replied glibly. Words were not necessary: the ensuing silence on the other end was scathing in and of itself.

"Anyway, to make sure they don't get the wrong idea about you," Debra continued, "we're going to have to put on a bit of a show. And by 'we', I mean 'you'. You're back in Boston, so make an appearance at SPECTRUM's damn masquerade. Tweet about it––or better yet, Instagram it, you narcissistic prick. Whatever, just pretend like you're holding out for red."

He scowled at that, an expression that would surely last all day now that his morning had been ruined. "Just because I'm an actor doesn't mean that everything about me has to be fake."

A cackle echoed down the line. Debra's last words were just, "Oh, honey, no," before she cut the call. Noah kicked off the blankets and rubbed at his forehead wearily, feeling like a chastised child. Why did it matter to a thousand strangers if he believed in soulmates or not? Why did it matter to anyone? He would be all too happy to become the poster-boy for skeptics everywhere if management would let him, though a traitorous voice whispered in his ear, 'Not if it would sabotage your career...'

An errant thought struck him, one that might throw a wrench in her plan to save his skin. With renewed stubbornness, he looked back down at his phone and tapped out a message to Debra.

tickets sold out yesterday...

It was met by an almost instantaneous response:

Not a problem - check your email for once xxx



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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by murdoc
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murdoc

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LOCATION: The Minotaur
INTERACTING WITH: Nico



Jonas Haynes liked to think of himself as a man of simple pleasures. He enjoyed coming into the restaurant early in the morning, enjoyed the soft hum of the lowboy coolers, enjoyed the ritual of sharpening his knives; but most of all, he enjoyed the mundane tranquility of early morning Boston. The feeling of being one of the only people awake in the entire city was one he relished.

Growing up in such a large family, Jonas learnt early on to cherish whatever moments of peace he could find between the wrestling matches and hair-tear arguments he and his siblings often had. Most of the time, it was over something useless, like when his brother took the last popsicle in the freezer. One could say that there was never a dull moment in the Haynes household, though that was the nice way of putting it. To others, it would no doubt have fit the textbook definition of a madhouse.

Another thing that having eight older siblings taught him was grit. His siblings were never the type to take pity on him simply because he was younger and smaller than they were. In some strange, roundabout way, Jonas was actually thankful for it. If he’d always had everything handed to him on a silver platter, would he ever have gotten this far?

Here in Boston, the culmination of his efforts took physical form. The Minotaur was a bistro-slash-restaurant-slash-hashery that specialised in homestyle Greek cuisine with a modern twist. Or at least that’s what it said on Yelp, anyway. Much of its clientele consisted of normal, everyday folk with an appreciation for good food, good service, and good atmosphere. Lately, however, the heirs and heiresses of the Boston elite have been flocking to the place like bees to honey. Perhaps they just thought Greek food was ‘in vogue’ – as one customer had confided to him over a dish of strapatsada – but hey, business was business, and he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Of course, running your own restaurant came with its fair share of difficulties. Anyone who has worked with Jonas knows him as a man who could be truly terrifying when he wanted to be. The first and second time his supplier shorted him a case of oranges, he was happy to overlook it. Now, the third time, he could no longer abide. So, when the delivery guy showed up the next morning, Jonas had just smiled, slung an arm around his shoulders, leaned in real close, and whispered something to him that made all the color drain from his face.

He stopped having trouble with missing boxes after that.

Intimidation was a skill that often came in handy when dealing with his coworkers here at The Minotaur, but it almost always came from a place of love. He wanted to see his people succeed, and no one succeeded through half-hearted, slapdash work. Unfortunately, there was one person who seemed annoyingly immune to his scare tactics — Nico Kaminsky.

Nico was Jonas’ sous chef, his second-in-command, but most importantly, his friend. He also shouldered the requisite duty of calling Jonas out on his bullshit whenever he got a little too big for his britches. The two met back when they were working at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. All that time spent standing elbow-to-elbow, chopping celery together laid the foundation for what would prove to be a long, prosperous friendship — one symbolised by the green thread that connected each of their pinkies.

Jonas knew that Nico was a hard worker, and had a sense for what separated a good restaurant from a great one; that was why he’d offered him the job when he first opened The Minotaur. The unsolicited romantic advice, on the other hand, was something that Jonas could do without. Unlike him, Nico was an ardent believer of Strings, and had somehow managed to procure a pair of invites to the annual Spring Festival. Like every past year, Jonas had no intention of attending, but this time, Nico seemed intent on dragging him along with or without his consent.

“You’re fucking joking, right? This is kids’ stuff.” Jonas lets out a laugh, one that sounded more mocking than amused, then takes a long pull from his cigarette. The twirling smoke that spills from his nostrils gives him the appearance of an angry dragon, which was rather fitting, given his current state of mind. They were out in an alleyway behind the restaurant, taking advantage of the lull before lunch service officially commenced, and all hell broke loose.

“Jo, listen,” Nico begins, with all the gravity of a doctor delivering news of her husband’s death to a newly-made widow. Perhaps in another life, he would have a flourishing career as an actor. Tall, dark, and handsome with a roguish way about him that swept ladies off their feet, he certainly had the basic requisites. But instead, what he’d chosen to do was sweat and slave away at a restaurant kitchen in downtown Boston. “You’re thirty-seven. That’s, what, three years away from the big 4-0?”

“Yes, congratulations. You know basic math.”

“Thank you, I try. But the point is,” Nico presses on, holding up a finger to silence any further interruptions. Jonas just narrows his eyes in response, a wordless gesture for him to continue. “You’re getting kind of, uh — how do I put it?”

“…Old?”

“You said it, not me.” Nico shrugs, a mischievous smirk gracing his features as he brings his own cigarette up to his lips. But a few moments later, he grows serious again, brow furrowing in a look that Jonas knew meant trouble. “Look, I’m just worried for you, man. Don’t you ever think about how it must feel to finally meet that special someone for the first time?”

“Nope, can’t say that I do.” Jonas says easily, without a second’s hesitation. Indeed, romance has always been something of an afterthought. Most of his time was spent poring over logistics, perfecting his craft, and keeping an eye on the kitchen crew so that they didn’t burn the whole place down. Such endeavours left him little time for much else, and as much as Nico tried to convince him otherwise, he was completely fine with that. Besides, he wasn’t the only one facing relationship woes, a fact that he suddenly felt the need to point out. “Hey, how long has it been since Shelby, anyway?”

“Wow. That really hurts.” Nico presses a hand to his chest, to where his heart would be, mouth agape in an expression of mock hurt. “And I’ll have you know that she didn’t dump me. I dumped her.”

Jonas only snorts.

“Look, just treat it as a guys’ night out. There’s gonna be an open bar, we’ll have some drinks, chill — it’ll be fun. And if you fucking hate it, I promise I won’t bother you about it again.”

For a long moment, Jonas is silent, weighing his options. When he finally relents, it’s with as non-committal an answer as he could get away with. “I’ll think about it.”

At that, Nico’s face lights up like a kid on Christmas morning. “Okay! So tomorrow night after the dinner rush, we’ll clean up, and head on over. Sound good?”

Uh, no. I said I’ll think about it.” Jonas tries to retort, but Nico just grins and gives him a chummy slap on the shoulder before slinking back inside.

Well, that certainly didn’t go the way that he was hoping. Shaking his head in disbelief, Jonas finishes the last of his cigarette, flicks it in the trash, then steps back into the building as well.



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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BeastofDestiny
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BeastofDestiny Truly a noble and majestic Beast

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A collab with @Moon Child



On the far side of the nightclub, tucked away in his own little corner with a wall separating him from the dance floor, was Joshua Paxton. The man was sitting in his office, elegantly built in both function and form and sporting the dark, yet curiously inviting interior befitting of a nightclub owner. A wooden desk, leather armchairs, leather couch and a drink station adorned the setting along with a few other amenities. The walls that blocked him from the dance floor were made from thick frosted glass, and sound proofed so that only the dull thumping of the bass broke through. The intent of this office being on the opposite side from Tate was to give the ambience that the two young co-owners despised each other. This wasn’t entirely far from the truth, but it more-so enhanced their ongoing rivalry. Like a game of chess, strategically countering one another: white king vs black. Which one was who, was up for the patrons to decide.

For all intents and purposes though, it was not just his office, but his second home… Which had become more true given his co-owner’s decision to form a partnership with Spectrum, had left Joshua running a little more ragged than usual.

“What the hell do you mean, it’s going to be late?!” For example: this shipment of high end liquor and kegs that Tate desperately wanted, but chose to go against his advice on waiting until the partnership had actually fallen through. “Oh! The roads are that bad, yeah?!” A freak blizzard came out of nowhere in the midwest, causing the trucks to be delayed, “I’m well fucking aware that weather happens! Take a step outside once in a while and maybe a fucking rock will come flying at your face! You prick!”

Oooh boy, he was definitely feeling it: little to no sleep, wrinkled clothes and a five o’clock shadow will do that to you. He was already his third whiskey in and it wasn’t even noon. “Frankly, Princess, I don’t give a damn! If you don’t get me this shipment by the end of the week, it's your ass! You get that, right?!” Pawns almost gone, pieces are dwindling, and to top the icing on the cake, he stole his queen: Lena, the best damn bartender on this side of Boston. She had the idea of becoming a house mom and giving up the bar as her primary form of income. She was the damn reason the bar made as much money at night as it did! From his perspective, Tate was aiming for a ‘Check’ in this match.

As if to dampen his mood more, his door started being knocked on rather hard. “OH, FOR FUCK’S SAKE! I’m busy, FUCK OFF, TATE!!!” Tate could go pump sand for all he cared at this point, he had work to do. ”No, not you dipshit! This conversation ain’t over yet!” he shouted into the phone.

For the second time in the day, Stephanie showed her lack of manners by shamelessly barging into Joshua’s office without being invited to do so. “It’s me, babe, not your dumbass cousin,” she declared as she shut and locked the door behind her, marched into the room and plopped herself in one of the armchairs facing the desk. “I need attention.”

Huh...unexpected, his brows went from shock back into just slightly pissed, “Don’t matter. I’m busy. Piss off.” He was acting about as good as he looked right now, practically a mess as he tore into the phone again, swivelling his chair away from his employee, “Look, just throw some fuckin’ chains on those bad boys and run the goddamn booze up here! How hard is it to drive a fuckin’ truck!” Noticing she hadn’t moved yet, he waved his hand to the door, brushing her off, “You want attention. Sweetheart? Go talk to one of the other girls. That’s what I literally pay them for. Better yet: go stare into a mirror. At least that way it’s free.”

“What the fuck is up with you Paxton men this morning?!” she cried out, crossing her arms in front of her chest. Stephanie was not leaving the room until she got what she wanted from at least one of her bosses, and most certainly didn’t care if the person who Josh was speaking to heard her. “I wish I knew what stick crawled up both your asses this morning, or is it just ‘let’s be assholes to Spice’ day? Because I wish I would have gotten the fucking memo!”

“Christ almighty! Listen, bub, it's your lucky day! I have an in-house problem right now, but you better believe I’m calling back!” he swung around rapidly in his chair, ’Cause right now, your ass is grass, AND I’M THE FUCKIN’ MOWER!!!” He slammed the phone, before turning all his attention at the female across his desk, “What. In the FUCK. Do you want?!” he shouted through gritted teeth, “Do you know how much of a fuckin’ mess my cousin has gotten me into?! I’m trying to run a business, plan an event, coordinate with entertainment, logistic-stchicking booze halfway from across the country, to something that I’m not even sure is actually happening yet.” The whole time, he’s smacking the back of his hand into his open palm, as if to accentuate each verse. Tearing away from his desk, he’s pacing back and forth. “My ‘stick’, if you will, is a log named Tate Fuckin’ Paxton, who’s really bustin’ my balls. And to top it off, stealing one of my girls!” he emphasised, pointing at himself before pointing at her. “to be your emotional hand-holder. So, forgive me, dear, if I’m a little fuckin’ livid!”

Instead of lashing out right back at her boss, Spice could feel her eyes start to tear up again. As much as she tried, she couldn’t understand why the hell were both Josh and Tate in such bad moods, or why they were choosing to take it out on her of all people. She decided that maybe the best idea was to simply call it a day and leave things be.

“Whatever. It’s fine. I’ll just get out of your way then. I’m sorry I’m being such a bother today,” Stephanie finally muttered before getting up and heading towards the door.

Breathing heavily, his tirade over, he felt a small pang of guilt at just letting loose on his employee, but the stress had been building up. Taking a deep breath and downing his whiskey, he sighed, before pouring another glass and downing that one too. Slowly he placed the glass upside down on the table before smoothing out his hair and walking towards her, a gentle hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry... My cousin’s a prick and I haven’t gotten any real sleep in four days, so I’m a little on edge. Stay a minute, won’t you?” Releasing his grip on her, letting her decide to stay or go, he made his way back to his chair and sat in it, sighing in discomfort. “Look, I’ll give you the time of day. What did he do now, and what sense do I have to talk him into?” His gaze was somewhat calculating, but one of concern. To lose out on two employees in one morning would be a disaster, lest he hear shit from his cousin for running out one of their dancers.

Letting out a sigh, Spice turned on her heel and trudged back to the seat she’d just been in less than a minute ago. It didn’t take long for her to pour out her heart to Josh, words coming up in a stream of emotions that were begging to be released. “It’s just… Tate and I had a really good thing going on before you guys hired me here. I’m not saying we were talking a relationship or anything serious like that - God knows you can never tie down a man like that - , but we messed around a lot and we both liked the silent agreement that was going on. So when I got the job, my first obvious question for him was if this meant things would change between us, and he fucking promised me that they wouldn't. And now, fast forward to a few weeks, he’s suddenly acting as if nothing ever happened and I’m just another one of the bunch!” she stated, using hand gestures to gesticulate as her voice was steadily rising along with her annoyance and anger about the whole thing. “And that’s not all, of course: the asshole has the nerve to fucking blow me off everytime I try to confront him about it! How do you even deal with shit like that?! It pisses me the fuck off!”

A brow raised, he answered rather shortly, “Honestly? Whiskey…” And with that he raised his form up, trudged over to the bar and poured his buzzed self another glass, making sure to pour one for the poor girl before him. Then, as he resumed his position in front of her, making sure to shove the clean glass in front of her, he recounted her position. “I’m not sure what you’re expecting here… You want me to tell my cousin that his gonads need a fine polish in the one machine willing to clean them? Taking a strong sip of the brown liquid, he breathed heavily. “Frankly, darling, once my cousin has his mind set on something, there’s no turning back or going around it. All I can do is follow along his railroad tracked mind. Something you might have to get used to.” Another sip, “My advice: find yourself another train to ride. ‘Cause if this one’s full up of guff, you might be out of luck.” Tate could be harsh, sure, but like he said: once he had his mind set on something, it was hard to fall out of line. You just had to make sure you didn’t burn in the sun behind his caravan.

As Stephanie took the whiskey glass that was offered to her from the desk, she mulled over what Josh had just said. If there was somebody in this world who knew Tate inside and out, it would most certainly be his cousin. So, obviously, she had to trust what he was saying. In other circumstances, Spice would have ignored all advice given to her and, like the stubborn girl that she was, would have continued to fight a long-lost battle. But with Tate, it was easy to see that the fight was not worth it. It didn’t mean that she would be giving up completely, of course. Instead, she would find other ways to achieve her goals, while getting extra benefits for herself in the process.

Just like that, a lightbulb went off in her head. It was an idea that would be considered incredibly scummy by most, but would it really be that bad if they were never serious in the first place? Spice thought not.

Smirking now, Stephanie downed the whiskey in the glass in one shot and stood up from her chair, a gleam of determination in her brown eyes. “So if you’re saying that Tate’s a lost cause, do you have any idea of what other trains I can be riding off into the sunset?” she asked in a kittenish voice, walking over around the desk to Josh’s side and taking a seat on it.

His eyebrow further raised, he couldn’t help but wonder… No… She couldn’t be… But maybe…

A light bulb settled in his own head. He and Tate had their differences, sure, but even this could be crossing of the line of their rivalry. Even so, his cousin had been fucking him in the ass for the past week. Wouldn’t it be so poetic if he could do the same to one of his baggages?

‘Perhaps the white queen could be of some benefit here’

A small smile creeped up Josh’s lips, almost Grinch-like, as he reached for a remote. “I don’t even know what you could possibly mean, Kitten,” he said, a homage to his cousin’s belittling of the dancer, while a button pressed and a bed suddenly unfurled itself from the wall. “I suppose the Amtrak is always an option.”. As he stood, just tall enough above her, his dark eyes were piercing every fiber of her being. “But I know of one caboose just raring to let their steam out, maybe even two.” Eyes locked onto hers, he lifted a finger just below her chin, raising it to meet his own. “I don’t suppose you’ll be needing a ticket?” Sure it was getting a little corny, but both she and Tate had this coming: their purple thread, nearly centimeters apart from one another.

Well, fuck. This was going a hell of a lot better than what she had anticipated.

Not only was Josh interested in the thinly-veiled proposition Spice had just made him, but he seemed to be absolutely willing to be an active participant of it. As if his words weren’t enough, he backed them up with actions: summoning the bed from the wall with the push of a button and making her temporarily breathless when their eyes met. Stephanie didn’t dare say a word, afraid that if she did she would somehow disrupt the sexual tension that was suddenly filling the room. The single finger gently raising her chin up to face him sent feelings of wanting, desire and lust down her body, all of them enhanced by the purple string that bind them together.

Instead of saying anything, Spice offered Joshua her most sultry, irresistible smile, slowly licking her top lip with the tip of her tongue. She knew that would be enough for him to know exactly where her mind was at.

His eyes traced her lips before looking back at her. ”I’ll take that as a yes, then,” he said before sweeping the broad off her feet and gently tossing her onto the now fully extended bed. Josh wasted no time in climbing atop her, lustful eyes staring at her every curve before he gave Stephanie the attention she needed. “Don’t worry, my darling: all your worries will soon come to an end. After all, I’m very good at what I do.”

The Spice in front of him may feel she had won this match. But the truth was that the early bird gets the worm, and he was the hawk to her caterpillar. She played right into him; right into Tate’s dopey and delicate heart. He’d bed the queen of white only to strike a deafening blow to his cousin the king. ”Counter-check and subsequently...Mate….
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Moon Child
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Moon Child

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In the halls of Harvard Law School, the talk of the town seemed to be the upcoming masquerade party thrown by SPECTRUM to assist in the search and possible encounters of strings. The vast majority of the young adult population seemed to be excited for the event; be it for the chance to dress up, have fun with friends, enjoy a wild night out, or even find their soulmate. But in the case of Sabrina Von Seymour, the atmosphere was completely different.

Whereas most people her age looked forward to and counted down the days to these events, Sabrina was not part of the hype train. Finding her strings had never been something that interested her, much less something she actively sought out. In Brie’s mind, she had a lot more things to worry about than strings. At the age of twenty-three, her priorities were on graduating Law School, taking some time off to travel, and coming back strong to take on the Boston courthouses

While everyone else busied themselves with last minute preparations for the masquerade, Sabrina was at her usual table in the Law library. Sheets of papers and heavy books were neatly stacked around her, giving off the vibe of a cluttered yet organized mess. Brie sat at the only available chair by the table, her Mac laptop sitting in front of her, while her dainty fingers gently tapped on the delicate keys. The faint sound of music could be heard from her earphones: her attempt to shut the rest of the world off while she worked on her thesis. With how focused she was, it wasn’t until she felt a soft tap on her shoulder that Brie removed one earphone and looked away from her laptop screen.

“Hey, Sabrina!” the sugary voice of Meena Patel greeted her enthusiastically. Meena was the student employee at the Law library, and a common occurrence in Brie’s life given the sheer amount of hours she spent at this place.

“Good morning, Meena,” Sabrina replied, offering the brunette a close-lipped smile.

“You excited about the masquerade tomorrow?” Meena asked her, softly poking the blonde’s side.

“Oh, that… Actually, I’m not going,” Brie said simply, nonchalantly shrugging her shoulders.

Meena gasped, wide-eyed at the unexpected answer she’d gotten. “No? You’re really not curious to see if you find that red string of yours?”

Sabrina shook her head. “Not really, no. I’ve spent twenty-three years of my life not knowing who this person is. I can definitely wait another few more,” she said with a small laugh.

Meena nodded, giving Brie an understanding smile. “Fair enough! But in case you change your mind, I have a cousin who can get you a last-minute ticket even though they’re supposedly sold out, so just hit me up, okay?”

Brie said nothing, opting instead to smile and nod politely, to which Meena responded with a parting wave before heading off. As soon as the brunette was out of sight, Sabrina placed her earbud back on her ear and turned her attention to her thesis once more. This was more important than a million red strings would ever be.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by reiko
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reiko

Member Seen 13 hrs ago


Location: Her Apartment//Work//Morning
Interacting with: Mentions of Jaime @Lovely Complex



The date shone back at Dani's tired face from her phone, informing her that it was the first of March. With a scowl and a groan, the waking woman tossed the device to the side and rubbed her face. It was technically March now so why was it still so damn cold? The fact that Boston was going to continue to get snow in random bouts irked her since all she wanted to do was go back to sleep in warmer temperatures rather than getting ready while it was still dark out to brace the cold.

Dani gave herself a few more minutes of staying within her sufficient enough cocoon of blankets before peeling them away with much reluctance. However, after the obligatory shock of static that had something to do with the science of the blanket's material and the heater that she didn't understand, she officially gave up and got out of bed. As soon as her bare feet hit the ground, she cursed her stupidity for picking the apartment she had like she'd been doing for the last couple of months.

Her apartment was a 1B1B unit with sufficient living space located in East Boston. (Although she had been living there for a while, she still wasn't accustomed to calling it Eastie despite referring to the area she was from Southie. Huh.) While some people from other areas of the city might have figured the neighborhood was the reason for her regret, she didn't think there was anything wrong with it. The price of the rent was reasonable and affordable, it was close to the Blue Line, which allowed her to get into work in a mere fifteen minutes.

She had taken all of this into account when signing the lease – after all it was only logical to – and thought there was nothing wrong. Unfortunately, she had a small oversight in that the floor was fucking tile. And now she had to deal with the consequences of jolting and getting frostbite on her feet every morning for the past few months as she wobbled with haste to her bathroom to stand on her fuzzy, purple bath rug.

After taking a hot shower to wake and warm herself up, Dani checked the notifications on her phone. There were a few emails in regards to business and her responsibilities that she decided to address once in the office. The rest were social media alerts that she gave herself a few minutes to browse through. Seeing that one of her closest friends, Jaime, had posted a vlog a few hours prior, Dani decided to watch it while getting ready.

Apparently this morning's topic was going to be about positivity and self belief. While it might not have been a subject Dani thought she needed advice on for herself or cared much for if she were being honest, it was nice to have Jaime's cheery presence around since the two only saw each other so often with how busy their professional careers were despite being so close. Plus, she knew Jaime would ask her if she watched it soon enough, and she might as well have done it when she could.

"Rah rah fight the powah!" Dani snorted with an affectionate roll of her eyes at Jaime's adorableness as she was coming to the end of the video. Sometimes it was crazy to think how the two women were entwined by a green string when the differences between them were so vast. Pausing the video, Dani commented: ur a k(lu)t(z) Switching her phone to play music into the headphones she plugged in, she pocketed it and put on some thin gloves, heading out to the transit station.

The weather wasn't snowing today and thankfully it wasn't too windy either so the ten minute walk was bearable. Once boarded on the line, Dani took a look outside of the window as it passed the Inner Harbor. She considered visiting her parents in Southie soon before her thoughts trailed off to how strange the names and division of the city was. For a moment, she was reminded of the irksome Great Gatsby with its East Egg, West Egg nonsense. In addition to that annoyance, it had a terrible plot and the dumbest characters, making it an all round shitty book in Dani's opinion.

When she was obligated to read it in her junior year, her class had a discussion on whether Gatsby and Daisy were entwined soulmates and that's why he was going so far to be with her despite her potential fraying of their string. Even back then, Dani had shook her head at the ridiculousness, both at the fictional characters and the readers who became so passionate about the romanticism of it all. She honestly couldn't imagine being so taken with someone that'd she go through even half of the trouble others did. That's why soulmates were stupid.

As if a desperate attempt to convince her otherwise, Dani's eyes shifted as the transit entered into Downtown. Taking a brief look around, she noticed the fanfare of the Spring Festival sponsored by SPECTRUM a little ways further. It was honestly just a matter of time before they held their huge event in Boston, and Dani knew that. She only figured that she would have the free will to not attend when it did. However, her last meeting with Jaime effectively had her caving in to the other girl and agreeing to attend if only to make her good friend happy and sate her curiosity on the man who was tied to said friend.

The next day she had submitted a request to be on the committee that would attend the festival to do data collection. Although the higher ups had been surprised by the choice coming from her, she had pointed out that she would be the most objective to the job since she didn't care to be distracted by finding her soulmate. Since employees who took on additional projects got compensated with extra pay, Dani figured she might as well get something concrete out of having to attend the dumb circus.

Now though, looking at the evidence that this was actually going to happen and she would be attending just the next day, the young professional scowled in disdain. As she got off at her stop, she contemplated the pros and cons of terrible weather rolling in tomorrow. Sure, she'd have to brace it but maybe less people would come. As soon as that idea had come to her, she dismissed it. All the irrational romantics coming to the festival would stop at nothing short of death to meet their Fated, their True Love, the One, and whatever other cheesy names they were given.

Having arrived at the office, Dani pushed away the distracting thoughts she shouldn't concern herself with. It was time to work; doing something that was productive and would provide actual substance.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by MesuOkami
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MesuOkami Graffiti Gremlin

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Location: Apartment - Street Walkin' | Interaction: N/a

Entering her third cup of coffee, Scout decided that it wouldn't suffice for lunch. Considering she skipped breakfast, her stomach was begining to rumble at her - begging for some kind of nourishment. "Thank you anyways..." She removed the phone from her ear and haphazardly dropped it on the counter next to her magic bean juice that was now begining to cool. "Thanks for fucking nothing..." A follow up that couldn't be heard by the other end of her line. Scouts morning adventures dealt with calling every small local garage to see if they had what she needed or see if they'd even be gracious enough to let her work on her bike there. So far? All were duds. Northerners were a bit more brutal as well, and every attitude she had received so far was making her want to gouge her own eyes out. She truly was begining to miss the South, mainly because of its hospitality at this point. Boston had caught her attention, and it was a bit nicer and smaller than New York. Not too polluted, or clogged with other beings. But dealing with the locals was a challenge within itself.

Her air bnb she had rented out for the month was currently home, fully furnished and no bills to pay. It was a good little setup, and perfect for her unknown amount of time here. All she needed for now. What really caught her attention was it had a garage built underneath the whole complex, so she felt a bit more secure in storing her bike there. Her trusty steed was currently acting up and everywhere around here was chargining insane prices for parts and cost of labor. She knew what needed to be done, and as stated prior - all her phone calls were duds. It was making her time here less enjoyable than she wanted it to be. Of course she had already called her amazing father who was now urging her to just find a garage so he could send the parts there and she fix it there. But again, that was the challenge. Everyone wanted to do the work and get paid. Which was starting to seem like her only choice.

Her stomach gurgled again, another call for actual nutrition. Guess it was time to get some food. A hasty change into a pair of high-waisted black jeans, a white tank covered by a gray sweater and of course her favorite pieces of jewelry adorned her body. Scout placed her ID, and Credit Card into her boots along with some cash, a usual routine. Patting herself down, lacing up her boots - she gave herself one peer in the mirror before waltzing out the door and into a brisk Boston day.

It wasn't very long after that the wind had slapped her in the face that life would too. Scout had recently began to talk to the owner of the building about possibly renting out the space for another month, but he had to think on the idea of giving up an Air BnB space. "Hello? Yes...Hi Mr. Wallace....mhm...yeah...I'm free all day today. I'd love to meet up whenever you're free. Mhm, thank you. Goodbye." She stared at the phone as the call went offline, and sighed. Alright. So, perhaps a liquid lunch would be the highlight of her day. Assuming if he was willing to let her rent the place out again for the price of mortgage - he would've just said so. But a slight inkling of doubt settled into her stomach, he wouldn't want to meet if there wasn't more than just a 'yes'. Swiping to her maps, Scout looked around for entertainment in the city - of course a dozen spots popped up, but she decided to look into the ones closer to her.

Her wandering would bring her across a stripclub that was currently closed - she kept this in mind for a later time. Many rally's usually ended in the boys themselves rallying to the nearest Strip joint. She had saw no stigma's or taboo's to the business, and actually usually enjoyed herself in the joints. But for now? Hard pass. She continued scrolling and finally a place came across her radar with great reviews on food, and one comment in particular about a delicious old fashioned, was what truly caught her attention."Minotaur..." Interesting name, but the reviews made it more interesting to want to indulge in. It wasn't that far away from her current location, and well off she went down the bustling Boston streets.

Upon walking in the establishment, Scout took a seat promptly at the bar. Ordered the old fashioned. Then exhaled a refreshed sigh upon taking the first sip of her drink. It was delicious. Settling back into the chair, her eyes scanned the area. The place was fairly busy, tapping her phone it showed it was just a little after lunch time. Running alongside this thought, her stomach grumbled again. "Well, would you like something to eat ma'am?" the bartender inquired with a pleasant smile, obviously hearing her stomach. Scout chuckled and looked down to the menu, sucking in her lips and letting them go with a satisfying pop her head shook. "I'm not entirely picky, how about....today's special". She slid the menu back, and the bartender nodded his head before turning away and inputing her order into the system.

Looking around and observing the business, Scout drummed her fingers against the wood grain of the bar. Her hand found the muddled bourbon drink and reached her lips again. The large circular ice cube smacked her lip and took her by surprise, setting it down and wiping her lip she slid the glass forward. Embaressement slightly crept up on her, but maybe the drink was just that good. "Another one?" the bartender asked, holding the glass up in her direction. Looking to him, she began nodding "Yes. But. Uhm, hey...so what are the chances you guys are hiring? Front of house...back of house..? Is the owner in to speak to?" She smiled at him, knowing it probably wasn't the best way to get a job while you were already one drink down. But maybe luck would be on her side today. The bartender looked to her as he muddled another drink for her and nodded, "I'll ask and see for you...wouldn't you rather have an application?" Scout smirked, and shrugged her shoulders "Just kinda taking a chance". Living a nomadic life really made one more adventurous.




Location - Bus | Interaction - Kyle


Ella was a creature of habit, as is most everyone else in this vast world. Her mornings started around 8:30am every day, woken up to her old fashion alarm clock with the bells. coffee began brewing 5 minutes prior to this alarm so entering the kitchen was always a delight. Her routine was the same this day as every other day, she spent her time making sure her face was prepared for the day at the store, outfit was always free of any unneeded creases. Her hair was a pretty simple task in the mornings, thankfully. It had a natural curl to it, but a bit of heat and taming had finally created the perfect waterfall curls. Today was of course another day selling makeup, "beating" faces, and inspiring confidence in others. She really enjoyed makeup and the way it could make anyone feel about themselves, there was some kind of electric feeling behind helping boost someone's confidence.

Of course though, routines are meant to be broken and changed up a bit. Keep a small dash of spice in life, yanno? Sitting in her car and pulling down the visor for one last lookover, she'd place the key in the ignition and boom. The engine wouldn't start. Further investigation would find that she had left the light on in the top of the car, groaning and hitting her forehead on the steering wheel she inhaled deeply. Raising her head and wiping away the foundation residue, she exhaled and looked at her clock. "Ah! Ay dios mios" Grabbing her giant designer bag full of things for work and who knows what else till she cleaned it out again, Ella found herself racing to the bus stop just outside of her apartment. Running in her cheetah print low heels, Ella could feel today may not be her day. The only thing so far that would prevent her from feeling that way, was making it to the bus stop with only a few moments to spare before it pulled up.

Hopping on board, she paid the fee and tried to hold her composure. She really just wanted to lay on the floor and die in that moment from the quick sprint. Instead she walked the aisle, looking for a seat before her eyes finally landed on a good thing. Kyle Parker. The two had met when she went into his store looking for a pair of sunglasses. She was rather picky and wanted to spend money on a pair she really liked. It was a treat yourself day as she told him in compliance with reinforcing her idea to spend the money on a pair. The two chatted briefly before eventually running into each other almost every day the outside mall they worked at. Kyle became a friendly face, and soon a good friend to her. The first friendly face outside of her own job she met, enjoying his company for lunch occasionally. The two had gotten rather close actually, she knew some of his past and he knew some of hers. It was a bond she'd hope would never break, he was like a little brother to her but from the totally opposite spectrum of her own childhood.

Strutting past the rest, she plopped down in the seat next time and huffed. "You would not believe today, it's already starting out so messy. My car wont start and....okay well actually that's it. I'm just really out of breath, and thought I wasn't gonna even make this." She pulled out a sponge from her purse, and blotted at her face before replacing it. She plopped her bag in Kyle's lap disrupting his phone flow, and adjusted her white sheer shirt tucking it back into her pants. Flipping her hair back over her shoulders, she let out one last over exaggerated breath and smiled at Kyle. "Thanks!" Taking her bag back she continued to ramble, "Today I have to go get fitted by a stylist for a dress...yanno, since Sephora came on for that ball? I got picked as one of the representatives...ambassador...whatever. You know what I mean. But I got picked out of all the Make Up Artists, pretty cool huh? They're paying money to make all the girls stand out. Are you going to it? I wonder what its gonna be like...anyways. If you go we should most definitely hang out....oh, sorry. How is your morning going?" Ella was looking forward this whole time, slightly staring off into space before recollecting herself and looking to Kyle. "Havent seen you in what...two days? Anything interesting going on? How's work?" Ella was a bit invasive at times, but her friends mattered to her. The few that she did have, at least. Ella held onto good things when they came her way, it was a bit greedy of her in her some sense. But it was the good moment in life, especially the smallest ones, that motivated her these days.

Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Feature
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Feature

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Adam Huang

That morning Adam was careful to keep on schedule, not because he was eager but because the company he worked for valued punctuality highly. He was equally methodical in seeing how many pages of reading he could fit in without jeopardizing his timing. Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader was not the sort of book that induced excitement, but it did trigger his mind, and that was enough to keep him reading it in the cold weather and fleeting moments. As thick as the book was, few pages were wasted, and that was something that he valued highly.

The book wasn’t the only thing he had to think about. At work there was a project refreshing some old approaches to estimating risk factors in small subsets of the population that was due to present it’s findings, and he was also mulling over some of what he had learned over the weekend, such as that the greek church had good food afterwards but a service that confused newcomers like him a great deal. However, all of these concerns were overshadowed today because of the masquerade. He had never been the sort to go these under ordinary circumstances, and it was sure to be awkward, but the promise this one held was so great that he did not hesitate to purchase his ticket. Thirty Five years was a long time to be at a search like this with nothing to show for it, so when an opportunity like this arose he had to take advantage of it.

At first he had hoped to convince a friend to go along with him. Ireneo, the eccentric shut-in that never seemed to forget, would have nothing to do with even if he hadn’t been involved in some trip to a ski resort where the details were vague. After the last dozen texts complaining about some nebulous teenagers and an unpleasant New Yorker Adam stopped asking him when he would be back from the trip. Finding a friend to go with was a source of anxiety about this outing, but there was still time to do something. He had resigned himself to the fact that his mask would probably look boring and his fashion sense was dated, while this was something he could at least look into. Before the work day began he sent a quick text to Noemi, simply stating “Hey, are you going to the Spectrum masquerade?” After that, he took a brief look at his ticket in his pocket and turned his mind to the workday ahead.

Simone Agarwal

There was a time in Simone’s morning routine that was not scheduled precisely as the rest, and this was when the small talk was most likely to occur. Previous experience had taught her that her coworkers did not like to talk about work at this hour, but they were mildly interested when she talked about her hobby of running. This time, everyone had their mind on the Masquerade scheduled for later, and Simone reluctantly joined the conversation.

She tried to keep a healthy bit of skepticism about the whole matter of strings, but with the mounting scientific evidence in favor of it she had to believe there was at least something underlying the idea. That did not mean discussing the topic excited her. While it would be desirable to find an ideal mate without having to bear the large burden of searching for one, the stories about odd matches gave her concern. Simone was careful not to share the full extent of these thoughts as they were dissimilar to the prevailing opinions of her coworkers, most of whom had a far more romantic and enthusiastic view of finding a red string.

Taking a passive approach would lead Simone down a road she would not have chosen at the start. As the conversation grew it turned out that Julie had already purchased a ticket but could not attend, and was looking for a way to give away her ticket. Simone said

“It’s intriguing, but I am worried about the cost.” Julie said
“Don’t worry about that. It would be a headache trying to find someone to buy it, so I just want to make sure it’s in good hands. You said you haven’t done something like this before, and it’s much easier to try it if you go as part of a group. There’ll be more events like this for me to go to, but if you’re interested in this one I’d love to hear how it is for you”

The social pressure was enough that Simone said yes, even though she was still reluctant. At least this provided another bonding experience.

Hidden 5 mos ago Post by GhostMami
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GhostMami Local Specter

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Location: Black Sunrise
Mentions: Tate@Lovely Complex




It was a good day. A bright, sunny day, especially by Boston’s springtime standards. Tish had opened up Black Sunrise this morning, as she did most days of the week, and she was now on lunch break. She had just finished eating at her favorite vegan restaurant downtown and was walking back to work with a bit of a surprise in her bag. Tish turned off of the main street and headed towards the block where her shop was located.

Black Sunrise looked small from the outside, it wasn’t until you stepped in that you saw it in all of its glory. The front door opened to an immediate set of stairs, going up. At the top of the steps, there was a beaded curtain tied off to the left, and a coat rack. The tattoo shop itself had a pleasant, homey atmosphere, at least in Patricia’s opinion. The comforting sound of buzzing needles greeted you at the door, and the air was painted with the smoked spicy aroma of incense, which was gently burning at the front desk. At the front desk sat a heavily pierced art school grad named Mary, who was studying as an intern for the year in addition to managing the front desk duties. At their respective tattoo stations were Jessie, who specialized in colorwork and shading, and Victoria, whose strongest talent was portraits. Both were currently working on clients.

“Afternoon, my lovelies.” Tish greeted her employees in a chipper tone. Before making her big reveal, she walked over to check out the pieces that Jessie and Victoria were working on. Jessie was inking a beautiful watercolor cherry blossom branch on a young woman’s foot, and Victoria was tattooing a little girl’s face onto a middle aged man’s shoulder blade. “Awwe, how precious. Is that your daughter?” She asked amiably, to which he replied with a positive confirmation. “She’s gorgeous, you’re in good hands with Victoria, I can’t wait for you to see it!” Tish praised the work and then looked to Victoria. “Great job, Vi, as always.”

Tish then walked back to the front desk, where she had set her purse down. As she began to rifle through the bag for the white envelope she’d had hidden away in her apartment for a few weeks, she explained: “Now, let it never be said that I am anything less than the best, most caring boss EVER!” Tish pulled out the envelope and retrieved four tickets to tomorrow night’s masquerade. “The first surprise is that tomorrow’s walk-in hours are cancelled, and the shop is closed for the Spring Festival. The second surprise is that I’ve gotten each of you tickets to SPECTRUM’s Masquerade tomorrow night. Even if you aren’t interested in finding your soulmates quite yet, it’s bound to be a banging party, so I expect to see you all there having a good time.”

After a few moments of sharing thanks and talking about what they might expect at the masquerade, including Victoria’s client’s touching story on how he met his entwined wife, Tish headed back to the back room with her own ticket. She set her bag and her spring coat down at her desk and retrieved her cellphone. Tish snapped a selfie of herself wearing a pouty face and holding her ticket to the masquerade below her chin, before writing up a text caption to send to her best friend.

To: Tate the Great
I know the club is working with SPECTRUM for this
so I assume you’re going
pls don’t make me go alone? :)

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Bee i can't get you off my mind

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Kaitlyn Holliday. Yeah, Kate was short for something, can you believe it? Anyway, right now she was sitting in front of a computer. For whatever reason, someone was asking her to do a complete overhaul of the suspension system on their car. It was a hefty task, but for the price that was offered to her, it was something that she was more than willing to undertake. After all, that was what she sank herself into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to learn how to do. She was putting that Engineering degree to good use. Typing in some numbers on the computer, various numbers and graphs were being spat out to her on the program. To the average eye, they didn’t really mean much, but to Kate, they were exactly what she needed right now.

Camber, toe, rebound rate, ride height. Those were just some of the things that she needed to figure out soon if she wanted to get it done on time. Taking a sip from the cup of black liquid, she sighed out of boredom as graphs and more numbers were spat back out at her. The goal was to maintain perfect balance and make sure the car could handle as well as it could. Being that the customer’s car was a fat Nissan 370Z, the task proved to be more difficult than she previously anticipated with the sheer nature of the car and how it was built. She was rolling her eyes so hard that she could practically see the back of her skull. She would've given anything in the world to have an excuse to stop doing this. This was frustrating her so hard she could feel her brain dissolving with every number she inputted and every adjustment she made.

Then, her phone lit up, rumbling the entire desk as it flashed the homescreen. Who would text her at this very hour? Kate was perplexed. Picking it up, it turned out to be none other than Jamie, also known as one of her besties. The other, was of course, her tattoo artist. Opening up the text, it was something that she hadn't really expected. She was expecting a meme of some sort, some car trouble, or just some random bullshit that Kate was more than happy to indulge herself with. Nope, it was something that was entirely out of Kate's realm. An invite to a party? A masquerade, nonetheless? What the hell even was SPECTRUM? Whatever the case was, Jamie had just sent Kate a ticket to the party a few nights from now.

Kate looked up above to the corner for a second. Truthfully, the mechanic didn't have anything planned on that day, but she liked to act as if she did. Shrugging, she texted Jamie back, indicating that she was going to accept. It sounded fancy, so why not? She had some dresses she wanted to bust out and slay in. Might as well use the party as an excuse to wear it. Hopefully Jamie was going to be there. Otherwise it would've made for a rather awkward time, and Kate was awkward enough as it was already. She could already anticipate that she might have had to retreat to the bar, provided there was one, if there was nobody she knew there. It might've been a waste right off the bat, but that was an issue that Kate was going to deal with if she got there.

For the time being, Kate looked around to see if her boss or any coworkers were around to see what she was doing. Not like it mattered, anyway. She knew her boss was busy watching whatever reality TV show there was on her computer. Minimizing the tuning program, she pulled up the browser. Google was her best asset right now. The first thing on the agenda right now was to figure out just what exactly a 'masquerade' was. She had some idea but she never really had a concrete idea as to what it was. The sooner she got to the bottom of this, the better off she would've been later down the line.

"Now what the fuck... I have to wear a mask...?" Kate's eyebrows furrowed, "These masks are ugly..."










Anna was spinning in her chair in her little cubicle as she was at yet another day at her 9-5 job. Honestly, Anna hadn't anticipated on being stuffed into a cubicle all day when she was slaving away at those late nights and grinding away in front of those textbooks. Anna thought she'd spend a lot of her days in a laboratory doing cool shit. But nope, there she was, sitting in a cubicle and watching her inbox get fuller and fuller by the minute as emails were flying all over the company about various questions. There was the occasional Taco Tuesday email from Debra in QA, or the one-off email in IT that told people to stop watching porn on the employee network. But for the most part, Anna could afford to ignore most of them, since by the time she would get to it, the question would either be resolved or the sender would've made their way to Anna's cubicle.

Right now, Anna was staring up at the ceiling. She waited for the clock to strike 5:00 PM so that she could get up and out of her cubicle and haul ass back home. She was so done with this place... but then again the paychecks were so good. It was just another day in the life of Anastasia Ivanova. If Anna had a gun right now, she honestly would've shot herself. She was sooo bored that goofing off on the internet and shopping virtually didn't interest her either. All that was on the screen of her work computer was her inbox, which just had messages keep coming in and in and in. How many questions needed to be asked about a small component that went into a prosthetic arm? It had been answered countless times, but yet people just kept fucking coming.

To save her from her woes, her manager came to her cubicle, an envelope in hand. Uh-oh, was Anna in trouble? She didn't do anything to be fired. Reprimanded? Yes, but to be fair it wasn't her fault that her coworkers were so god damn stupid and brain-dead. Sometimes people could use a good chewing out, even though she was one of the newer employees here. But, her manager was one of those people who took NO SHIT, and had his way with Anna. Not the good way either.

"Hey Anna... I just got word from upstairs about something the company held earlier."

"What are you talking about?"

"Didn't you enter the raffle the company had earlier this year?"

"Oh yeah, I did. Why?"

"Well, you won." The manager handed her the envelope, which felt strangely a little heavy. "Have fun."

With that, Anna's manager walked off, leaving Anna to her vices yet again. The Ukranian looked at the envelope, before taking a pair of scissors and running it across the top to open it. Inside? A ticket to SPECTRUM'S party a couple of days from now. Anna gasped. She knew the implications of going to a party like this. She had heard of SPECTRUM's festivals before, but she had never been able to attend. The last time they had one of these, she was a broke ass motherfucker in university. She had forgotten that it was happening again this year, which made the whole ordeal so much sweeter.

"Shit... this means I gotta find a dress!" Anna murmured to herself, before wheeling over to her computer. It was time to hit the websites, and see which one had the best dress she could wear. Nothing in her closet right now was up to par for a party like this. It was going to cost her a lot of money, but she figured it was going to be worth it if she were to find something to definitely stun people and make impressions. She hoped that the party would open up some opportunities for her.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by eclecticwitch
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eclecticwitch The Effervescent

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The morning started out for her as most mornings did. A gentle paw with just a hint of claw scratched lightly at her cheek. When she opened her eyes she found a magnificent pair of gold eye peering down at her through the deep grey of dawn. “Good morning Fezzik,” she said in sleep slurred speech. The giant Maine Coon chirrped at her and she patted the fluffy beast. Noemi allowed herself a few more minutes to wake while curled up beneath her warm comforter.

After the morning routine of showering and dressing, the young woman moved into her living room to find both of her cats sitting patiently beside the cabinet in the kitchen. It was only when she popped open the can of wet food that they danced, wove, and sang around her legs. It only quieted somewhat when she placed their bowls down from them. Fizzgig was a happy eater and talked while he ate.

Avocado toast and a cup of coffee was brought to the windows which led to the fire escape. She sat on the window seat there and watched the world begin to come to life. It was slow at first. A person leaving here or there and lights coming on in apartments and homes. Fezzik came to join her but was much more interested in the birds that alighted on the fire escape rails for a brief respite.

Breakfast done, the young woman bid her cats goodbye, pulled on her thick winter overcoat, knitted hat with matching scarf, and furred boots. Off she went out into the morning. The cloudy grey sky was typical of an early spring day in Boston. Snow still clung to the sidewalks, dirtied by the streets. Noemi watched her breath come out as steam and thick as dragon’s smoke. She was lucky enough to live a fifteen minute walk from her work and it even included crossing through a small park.

As she made her way down to the end of her street, a car rolled backward out of an auto mechanic’s shop and was immediately hit by another car. There was yelling and swearing and all sorts of to do. Noemi watched with curiosity for only a few moments, wondering if she could get by the usual way. It seemed today the universe was telling her to go a different path.

With a shrug, she headed off down a side street only to find a group of teenage boys of the thugerous persuasion. Noemi tried not to judge people by the clothes they wore but there had been reports of purse snatching in the area lately. She didn’t carry a purse but a mugging was never out of the question. As she approached them it became apparent they were having a heated argument. One of them was gesticulating wildly while another pointed a finger at him. Their voices rose to a shout and she stopped a few feet from them, preparing to turn and walk away.

“Hey, yo, Miss,” one of the boys called out before she could move.

“Y-yes?”

“What is the plural of moose?” She stared at the boy, stunned. Was this all the arguing as about?

“It is also moose, I believe.”

“See, told you Reg. Momma didn’t raise no idiot.” The sour, angry faces turned to smiles. Laughter and teasing ensued while Noemi felt more at ease passing by them. How silly to have gotten so caught up in her own thoughts. To think she would have thought they meant to harm her. They were just boys.

Turning down the next street she heard the shout of, “Thanks Miss!” Noemi giggled to herself. It was moments later that she entered the park she normally went through. Checking her watch she found she was going to be late if she didn't hurry. She speed walked down the brick path all while attempting to avoid patches of ice. Her mind was so concentrated on where she was to place her feet that she barely got out of the way in time for a tiny, yapping dachshund to bite at a much larger rottweiler. The big dog seemed confused at first and backed away. The dachshund continued its onslaught as its panicked owner ran after with the leash the small dog had slipped.

The big dog’s owner was trying to pull away from the fight but the dachshund managed to get teeth into the big dog’s ear. The rottie yelped then growled, now invested in harming that which harmed him. Noemi rushed forward and pulled the tiny dog off the larger one who proceeded to close its mouth around her arm. It was brief and left no more than slobber on her thick coat jacket.

The woman pulled her dachshund out of Noemi’s grasp and cooed and cuddled it. She then began yelling at the man about his menace of a dog. He had even bit that nice lady there. The rottie owner yelled back about her little savage dog. Yelling, screaming, and Noemi was late. She sighed and backed away from the pair. There were threats of police involvement and the big dog’s ear was bleeding. Noemi only got a few paces away when the rottie owner caught her upper arm.

“Please, a moment. Can I get your info as a witness?”

“Oh. Um, of course.” She dug through her pocket and pulled out a little notebook. Once her name and number were on the paper she pulled it from the book and handed it to the man.

“I’m sorry my dog got you. Are you hurt at all?”

“Nope, just fine, see?” She showed him the coat was merely a bit wet. “I don’t think he meant any real damage.” Noemi smiled brightly and the man relaxed and smiled back.

“Well, as a token of apology…” He pulled an envelope from his pocket and handed one of the tickets from within to her. “I work there so I get extra tickets to hand out. Thanks and so sorry again.”

“Oh gosh, wow. Thank you this is awful kind.”

“Not at all.” He bid her goodbye and went off to deal with cranky dachshund lady. Noemi skipped off to work, marveling in the mysterious way the universe worked.
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Ejected Pretty Killer

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"Oh no, ma'am, that won't be a problem. I'll get in contact with housekeeping and have that handled for you right away."

As soon as the phone had been placed back on its hook, Genessy Henderson unclenched her jaw and let out a breath she wasn't aware she'd been holding since she first answered the call; this was something she often found herself doing when having to deal with a particularly difficult hotel guest. "Tina, I swear I'm going to lose my shit if this lady calls down here again," Gen said to the young woman who'd also been working the front desk that afternoon, "The last few times she called to request a room change because of some mysterious odor that only she seemed to be able to smell, and now she's upset because there are only two towels in her bathroom. She's only booked for two nights, so what the fuck does she need four extra towels for, Tina?" In the beginning, working at the hotel had proved to be a decent job for Genessy; she did not need a lot of experience or any college degrees, and she had just the right amount of people skills necessary to hold on to the position for a couple of years. What she didn't realize upon first applying for the job, however, was that she'd soon have to deal with a hell of a lot of people who were nothing short of exasperating.

"Girl, I don't know what to tell you," Tina Baker, one of Genessy's long-time coworkers, said from her seat at the other end of the desk, "Just call housekeeping, get everything straight, and pray that she doesn't call again." So, with one last sigh of frustration, Genessy picked up the phone once more and gave a quick heads-up to the housekeeping department; she made sure to tell them to give the woman five extra towels rather than four, just as a precaution. By the time she was finished, it was nearly time for her lunch break, and Genessy didn't hesitate to clock out and grab her car keys.

"Same place as usual?" Genessy said to Tina, who simply nodded her head as she followed suit.

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Not too far away from Genessy's place of work was a cute little coffee shop; Gen and Tina were frequent customers, visiting the establishment nearly every day for a quick lunch. The two young women sat at a table next to the window, people-watching as they sipped from their mugs and waited for the waitress to bring their bagels. "So," Tina began after taking a large gulp of her coffee, "do you remember that whole masquerade thing I was telling you about a couple of months ago?" Raising her eyebrow, Genessy nodded her head and motioned for the girl to continue. "Well, the chick that I bought the second ticket for decided to flake on me at the last minute, and I really don't want to have to go to this thing alone-"

"I'm gonna stop you right there," Genessy said suddenly, cutting the other woman off. "I told you before that I wasn't gonna go to that thing. If I were, then I would've bought a ticket... you know, before they sold out."

"But Gennnn," Tina whined, "If you don't go, then I won't go. And that would've just been a huge waste of money! Besides, don't you want to have a shot at meeting your soulmate?" As soon as those words left the girl's mouth, Genessy couldn't help but scoff and look down at the bright red string that was attached to her finger. While Tina had always been in love with the idea of, well, falling in love, Genessy believed that there were far more important things that demanded her attention. After all, the young woman was desperately trying to get her modelling career started; she didn't have time to believe in silly things like fate and soulmates. But before she could tell Tina this for what seemed like the thousandth time, the young woman opened her mouth to speak once again. "And this could give us the chance to doll ourselves up!" Tina exclaimed. "You know, we could throw on these extravagant, over-priced gowns that we'll keep the tags attached to and return the next morning. Oh, and we can find the flashiest masks that the Boston outlets have to offer. I know how much you like to dress up and take pictures, so maybe you could think of this as a way to... expand your modelling portfolio! I'm sure I could get Rogelio to bring his camera over to my place and-"

"Okay Tina," Genessy interjected once more to stop the young woman from rambling, "You had me at over-priced gowns."


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