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In Paramount 11 hrs ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
@Hey Im Jordan@LovelyComplex@Fabricant451

Was this the year that Rico Nunez would finally curb some of those nasty habits he had picked up? Not likely but you could call or a resolution of some kind. It was the first Friday of a news school year and you know what that means; party.

Enrique's sole objective for this event was to let Freako out of his cage and get fucking messy; with a sub objective of avoiding Ellie. It wasn’t that he really wanted to, in fact there was a huge part of him that just wanted to grab her and tell her how much of an idiot he was and to plead with her to take him back. For all of his many faults, however Rico was not a fool. He loved Ellie dearly and intensely but theirs was not a love built to last. She deserved more than what he could give her. He sincerely hoped that one day she would get what she was owed because lord knows she would be owed a lot after putting up with him for six months. He wanted her to be happy but that didn’t stop a pain hitting his heart every time he saw her.

Still, onwards the mariachi must march and there was now fresh bodies to dance with at Rosefell High. The Liberties had invaded and it was time that they were introduced properly to the Stroke Daddy himself Rico Suave. This meant that he had to look good to start in spite of how bad he might end later.

¿Qué ponerse para impresionar a los muchos santos de Rosefell?

Taking a swig of tequila from the bottle on the side cabinet before opening up his wardrobe, the Latin lover was somewhat taken aback by the sheer amount of denim he had in there. Then again denim was never out of style and the boy knew how to make it work. Not tonight though, he was feeling himself in a different way. Pushing past the wrack of Levi to what he calls the party shelf; Rico began to scan for an outfit. From what he had heard this was supposed to be more of a rave than a straight up let’s get shit faced type of suare so his outfit had to reflect that. He didn’t have anything that would glow in his closet but he did have something that would shine.

Not long after, Enrique stood in front of his mirror in the party armour he had assembled; some nice plaid cords, some sleek slip ons and a very seductive white velour shirt accessorised with a simple silver chain; he looked the business...what business? Probably the porn business but still.

”Me gusta”

Polishing off what was once half a bottle of Don Nacho from his Papa’s private stash reserved solely for high society clients at the restaurant; Rico was satisfied with his appearance and had a good enough buzz on to get the night started. Descending the stairs to the kitchen of La Munica; the staff were working away; cleaning after another busy Friday night. He made his way into the dining area where the last of the customers were just leaving and his mother and father were waving them off; arms around one another, the picture of a perfect marriage. He looked dashing in his chefs jacket and she look every bit the beauty she was in a red dress; if Hunter or Colin were around they would turn into the American Pie dudes and start chanting MILF, all the boys loved Monica Nunez and all the girls loved Pedro. As the kids would say, they were goals in every sense, especially to Rico.

“Mijo, te ves impecable, diviertete y ten cuidado Enrique ok?” The beautiful Latina woman moved over to her baby boy and kissed his forehead before moving behind the counter to count the days takings.

It was a strange thing; knowing you were actively disappointing your parents and them just accepting it as truth. Monica and Pedro knew all too well their only child’s nocturnal activities and they also knew that Rico was a force that at the end of the day just could not be stopped. She was by no means proud of the boy but she was also not ashamed; he was living his life as he saw fit and that was admirable, it was just her wish that he hadn’t chosen such a particular lifestyle. Monica’s greatest worry was that her son would end up alone or drag someone else down with him.

Pedro brushed back his long flowing hair as he opened the front door for Rico. In contrast to his wife, the chef took a very different approach with his son; he knew his hijo was a rockstar and like the song says it’s better to burn out than fade away.“Después de usted joven señor” He ushered the young troubadour out of the front of the restaurant but just before closing up, the elder Nunez poked his head out one last time. “Rico; you’re mother, she’s still way too beautiful to be an make sure you’re safe tonight savvy? Have fun”

Monica heard every word and shook her head in frustration; “Ambas son idiotas”

Enrique had decided to walk to the party; it was obviously much safer than riding his skateboard plus he was sure by the end of the evening he could either swing a ride from someone or wouldn’t be coming home at all. Plus the nice breeze tempered the alcohol in his system and stretched the buzz out just a bit longer. As he walked, he began to replay a melody he had been working on in his head, his strut turned into a jive and his jive into him full blown tango with himself on the street. Suave was feeling himself tonight by God. He’d never been to this neighbourhood before considering it was on the Liberty side of the tracks. The further he got the bigger the houses and fancier the could these people not afford their own school again?

He couldn’t help but think he had arrived when he looked upon the house that looked like a Christmas grotto on acid. He stood in the doorway and peered inside; this was his type of place. With a smile on his face and tequila in his eyes, Stroke Daddy made a beeline for the nearest drinks table.

”No hay mañana esta noche”

In Paramount 4 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
Character 2!@Hey Im Jordan@LovelyComplex@Fabricant451

In Paramount 5 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
@Hey Im Jordan@LovelyComplex@Fabricant451

Featuring: Jackson (@KatKook) & Rico

“Hasta pronto preciosa”

Rico watched Giselle fly off like a sexy pixie, biting his lip as his dark eyes watched her hips sway in a certain kind of way. He had to snap from his days sometime and the sound of a honking horn did just that; shit he was still in the damn road! Grabbing his guitar case, he swung it back over his shoulder and kicked his skateboard into his underarm before getting out of the way. Interesting start to the new school year for sure.

Stopping in his tracks, Enrique suddenly realised he had no idea who his Liberty was! Slipping his phone out of his pocket, he scanned the email for a name; Jackson Park. One quick trip to Instagram later and Suave had a face for the name. Kid was a looker in a K-Pop, skin like marble, probable heart of ice kind of way. It took but a second for Rico to catch sight of Jackson heading towards the school; the guy was what about 6’2? Definitely stood out in the crowd. With his heart pumping warm blood throughout his body thanks to Gigi, the Latin lover made a beeline for his new charge. As if gliding on ice, Enrique found himself standing in front of the Ice King of K-Pop with an extended hand.

“Oye, Jackson Park? I’m your guide, brother man. Rico Nunez”

Jackson brushed his hair back his head turned left and right taking in what Rosefell really was, he just could not get it in his system that this was Rosefell and he was not a fan one bit. Rico better make his day worth the- a hand then appeared in front of him followed by a thick accent, Jackson took a step back in both surprise and disgust, he scanned the man up and down before he concluded before the man even spoke that this is Rico Nunez, no man on earth would fit description and gossip from what he has heard around the school.

"Aigoo..." he let out, "You’re my guide?" He asked, already being the condescending prick he is. "Weren’t you the guy that almost got run over moments ago?" He asked. He was ready to berate this guy but then he remembered that he is in a good mood and there should not be a reason that he should ruin it, he’ll live it. Who knows? Maybe Rico might be so bad- Ah… Juno really messed up his thought process.

”I was!” Rico responded in his usual nonchalant fashion ”And it just helped me meet one fine, fiiine young lady. There’s always a positive my friend” the lothario put his arm around the taller boy and smiled ”Now I’m not gonna lie hermano; I was a bit naughty and I didn’t stalk any of your socials so I no nothing about you...BUT that’s the joy of a first meeting am I right? So, let’s start this off right. Onwards young soldier!”

With a spring in his step, Rico essentially began to drag Jackson around the terrible looking Rosefell campus. There was nothing that anyone could say right now to harsh Enrique’s vibe at that moment….except maybe Ellie. He was back at school with the friends that he missed greatly, he had just met something divine and now he had a new friend in Jackson Park...he needed a nickname, this would be today’s challenge.

”Don’t let the look of this place fool you, JP, it may look like my Abuela’s bodega but it has heart”

"Stalking… My… Socials..." Jackson took a deep breath and calmed himself down, "That’s something you normally do but didn’t do it to me..?" Jackson closed his eyes trying his best to not get annoyed, "Thanks..." He let out, clenching his fist to his side. The joy of a first meeting? Jackson was never good at that, but this first meeting with Rico is not what he expected, but then again his first meeting with Juno- Rico’s arm then wrapped around Jackson and he already started hating it.

As he was dragged along for a little bit he just could not stand the man’s arm around him, he took Rico by the wrist and forced his arm off Jackson. Jackson’s internal thoughts flooded in his head, his mind filled with how much he hated this and how he hopes it could not get worse. The only thing that could be worse right now is if he started using a nickname- JP. Jackson gritted his teeth but the comment about Rico’s Abuela’s bodega made him chuckle a little, it was a little out of nowhere and he spoke so fast so there was no way he was not going to be able to hold that in. He immediately put on the ye’ ol’ cold Jackson vibe as soon as he let out the chuckle and carried on with Rico.

"This place has heart? If you mean bits of frog heart from biology then I believe you."

”We can’t afford frog so they give us mouse hearts instead”

As he often was, Rico was completely oblivious to the cold shoulder that Jackson was giving him. He didn’t even register the boy essentially yeeting his welcoming arm away from their embrace. As the dynamic duo found their way to the football field, the troubadour held his hands aloft in a stretch. ”So things to know here, the Knights are like this school's pride and joy. So if you’re into sports, I’m not, then this will be your future social hub. Also, if you need the good kush, this will also be your home as the best stuff can usually be found behind the storage hut just on the other side of the field”

Motioning his charge to follow him, Rico led Jackson deeper into the bowels of hell and continued to point out other rooms of torture such as the underfunded music department, the IT room, the AV club and of course, the cafeteria and Old Lady Doris’ famed mystery meat which Enrique somewhat citrusy and zesty. ”The vieja may need a face lift but you can find beauty in any thing and for Rosefell, the beauty is in its student body” He smiled at some passing girls and with a light kick of his lips he returned his attention to Jackson. ”What about you Cool JP Smooth, you got a girl or boy in your life? Or are you all about free love?”

When Rico said the school was not able to afford frogs and got mice instead, Jackson shrugged and knew he should have seen that one coming. Rico is charismatic in a way that Jackson never thought could be on a person, these were the type of people he absolutely despised but Rico? He’s a different case, he may not care too much but he does not despise him, he will tolerate him at most; Maybe acknowledge him. As he was taken through the school, they arrived at the field, it was grander than Jackson pictured it, it actually looked well maintained, too bad football or any non-skate related sport was his forte.

"Good kush? No." He let out. After that Jackson pressed on, maybe as soon as this tour was over he could catch up with Miki or Juno, hell even Emily or Christian, he just really did not want to be with a Rosefell kid all day. The tour then got to the cafeteria, he really wished he would not have to eat that mystery meat. The talk about Rosefell’s beauty coming from the ‘student’s body’ really made Jackson shake his head, especially since Rico followed that up by making some kissy faces to some girls. Another nickname then dropped along with a question and Jackson had to respond.

"Don’t call me that." He looked up to think then back at Rico, before continuing, "I’m not going to say much because I don’t know you, but I am going to say… Maybe. I don’t know yet, I kinda prefer her- them as a friend." Was Jackson really just being honest? His brain needed a reset, he was not being himself.

”Say no more JP, mi hermano. I won’t ask, you don’t need to tell. Affairs of the heart belong to those they belong, nobody else” Rico didn’t respect a lot but he did respect the sanctity of love and truth. In his many dalliances and romances, he had always been honest, truthful and devoted, sometimes indeed to a great fault which would end up costing him. He had heard Jackson’s Freudian slip of the tongue but would not pursue that line of questioning, soon his new friend would reveal his heart and who sat there, when the time was right.

Rico jumped onto a nearby wall and took a seat. He brushed his dark hair back before offering Jackson a charming smile that only he could offer. ”Listen, brother man; I won’t pretend to know you, cos I don’t and it’s up to you if I ever will but I’m just gonna throw some truth at you real quick. A lot of people were not a fan of this, how is it said, merger and I can tell you’re not that keen either. There’s only one way you’re gonna survive this thing, just accept it. There’s a hundred billion stars and we're but a speck of dust on one. Don’t let whatever you have against this place ruin your time here. Puede ser un infierno, pero también puede ser un hogar si lo dejas”

Rico was making a lot of sense. Oh no, he’s growing on Jackson, what the hell? Is this what a good mood always did? Jackson crossed his arms and leaned back a little, scrunching up his nose then shaking his head to snap him out of whatever was going through his mind. He pressed his hand to his face after realising that he had just told this guy some of his troubles which was something he never did. He then could not help but listen, this guy definitely had some wisdom stored deep down, it was mesmerising. What he says is the type of shit his coaches say and emotional moments in k-dramas, Jackson swears this guy is somehow in and out of his head. He may not have understood the last part (except the word hell) but he should respond, he is seeing Rico in a better light now.

"Surviving has always been my thing, no matter if I’m just some shitty tiny star or if I’m the sun itself, I’ll be fine. I am the king and whatever throne there is, it’s mine. So accepting it is not really my thing. But ruling it is what you’re going to expect from me. 왕국은 왕의 것입니다, 리코후배. " He let out a devious smile and immediately glared at some people who were walking by which caused them to hurry along in fear.

"But you know what," Jackson then let out a sigh, then moved his hand to place it on Rico’s shoulder, "You’re not the worst guy here." And that is Jackson’s way of saying he would be fine if Rico wanted to be buddy-buddy with him. That good mood from Juno really threw him off his game.

This surely was an interesting thing; Rico didn’t really know what to expect from the Liberty kids other than money and lots of it. Then low and behold here was Jackson, quiet man by all means but an aura of authority and power. He carried himself with regality and grace yet spoke with a force behind every word. If he was honest with himself, El Mariachi had given little thought to the influx of new blood other than thinking about how many more beautiful people he would be around to take his mind away from his tremendous fuck up with Ellie before summer. JP certainly fit into the category of beautiful; not Enrique’s type but if kings were made from the bones of God’s Jackson certainly fit the mould.

”Hail to the king, baby”

Jumping from his perch, Rico patted Jackson on the arm and smiled ”Thus concludes our tour. If you needed anything throughout the day, hit me up JP alright? Mi casa, su casa” With the final word, Suave dropped his skateboard into the floor, hopped on and began rolling down the hallway, away from Jackson and much to the chagrin of the teacher shaking his fist at that damn Rico. Fuck Rico.

Jackson shook his head after seeing him ride away on his skateboard, Jackson raised his fist in front of him, and quietly cheered him on, "화이팅..."

What the hell is wrong with him today? He crossed his arms, put his back against the wall, and hit the back of his head a few times against the wall. He beat himself up for acting like this, was this really all from the domino effect what Juno did to him?

“If he wasn’t proud then he wouldn’t be powerful”

Without realising it, DeShawn felt himself tracking his finger up and down the large scar on his left arm. The story behind it was not one he had shared with anyone during his brief time at Rosefell. Not Hunter. Not Melissa. Not even Lilith when they were off the faces on some great grass. It was the story of how he got to this place, why he had traded the mean streets of Baltimore to the somewhat less mean streets of Cleveland. When one asked, the football players answer as to why he now lived with his aunt and uncle was simple; his daddy was locked up and he needed a place to sleep. The truth to the matter was that there was much more to that particular tale and it had yet to be shared. Maybe he was too proud? Yet if he wasn’t proud he wouldn't be powerful. This place had quickly become a home to him but he had yet to truly find his place amongst the people and now with this influx of Liberty kids, Dee’s journey was either going to become a hell of a lot easier or a hell of a lot harder; only time would really tell.

He glanced down at his watch and noted the time; unlike many of his fellow Rosefell Knights, DeShawn did not like to act or play the fool. He treated people with the respect that he deserved and right now, he had a duty to one of the Liberty kids, to show them around and give them a warm welcome. Alina Zebrecky. Time to go a-hunting. Over to the left, the big man could see his boi Suave getting his flirt on with some pink haired temptress from TikTok and he nodded his head in support. ”My man” A lot of people didn’t realise because of the boys general positivity that Rico had been pining for one Ellie Roberts all summer. It was somewhat nice to see the Latin Lover get his game back.

DeShawn decided it best to begin his search by the name tag table in the school but before he did that, there was one little piece of business to attend to. Making his way through a few parked cars, number 44 of the best D-Line in High School football found himself standing behind a blonde haired bombshell barking orders at her new underlings. He brushed his large hand beneath the hem of her cheerleader skirt, resting it on Melissa’s smooth leg and dropped a whisper into her ear.

”You look fine as hell today, Queen. You get bored of ruling with an iron fist, you know where imma be at girl”

The connection with Melissa probably wouldn’t last beyond high school; hell knowing her it probably wouldn’t last past the first semester but that was fine; they both knew what it was and he wouldn’t lose any sleep if they broke it off that day. She had her goals and he had his and when they stopped being of use to each other that would probably be the end of it. It was a shame since there was something there that he got to see, probably more closely than anyone else had ever had. He got to see the Melissa underneath the cheerleading outfit, literally and figuratively. Beyond the Queen of Thorns, there was actually a good person in there.

Leaving Missy to her kingdom, Dee made further steps towards the school; giving out the usual pleasantries and greetings to friends, fans and teachers alike. That was one thing he missed about home, they didn’t talk so much. Walking through the halls, he scanned name tag after name tag in search of his new “buddy” but had yet to find her. It didn’t help that he dwarfed everyone in the school by a mile and having to look down to people constantly was a pain in the neck, literally. That being said it was very difficult to lose Big D in a crowd. Not only was he the tallest and probably pound for pound strongest kid in school, he was also one of the few kids of color and so far; he was lucky. The systemIc racism he dealt with at home had yet to rear its head at Rosefell. Yet now with these incredibly privileged Liberty kids arriving, there was all the potential in the world for that to change.

Almost as if he could hear a ticking clock in his head, DeShawn was already ready for the day to end. It’s not that he hated school, quite the opposite in fact he quite enjoyed it. It was just the first day of school that he hated. The awkward introductions and the even more awkward greetings from those known to you that you haven’t seen all summer. He had to put this out of his mind however so that he could make Alina’s first day the least amount of crazy as possible. Assuming she was a part of the sea of Liberties; Dee grabbed a name tag and quickly wrote his name on it. Surely this would be enough effort to find her? He positioned himself against a locker like it was the top of a mountain and prepared himself to receive his guest, whenever she decided to cross his path.

It had happened in some form of slow motion or bullet time or whatever you wanted to call it. Enrique in his usual blissful ignorance had rolled in front of some fancy car but luckily for him, he had snapped free from his daze with enough wearwithal to jump up off of his skateboard, allowing it to roll underneath the approaching vehicle. The lothario lost his footing and stumbled knee first onto some nearby grass but quickly popped back up to his feet, he had an image to protect after all.

This sense of self awareness lasted all but three seconds as Rico quickly pulled his guitar case from his back and laid it gently on the ground as if it were a newborn babe. He popped open the lid to check on his beloved six string; he caressed its sides searching for scratches, he tuned it thrice to make sure it was as it should be and he plucked a few strings in hopes none had snapped. Thank God everything seemed to be fine, he kissed it lightly ”Gracias a Dios, estás bien, querida” Exhaling his anxieties of a damaged guitar, his lifeblood, from his body, the romanced closed up the lid again and turned his attention to the SUV that nearly wiped him out. He didn’t recognise it and despite the amount of reality altering chemicals he normally pumped into his body after sunset, he still retained a solid memory and he definitely didn’t remember this SUV; must be a Liberty kid.

Within seconds, a young woman jumped out of the vehicle and was at his side. “Oh my God! I am so sorry! My aunt is a terrible driver-- but you already know that, clearly… Are you okay?! Did she actually hit you anywhere?! God, Uncle Warren’s gonna have a field day if he finds out...”

Enriqure looked up from his blessed guitar and caught sight of his would be assassin. Had he actually died? Was this the big show in the sky? Cos this girl looked like she just stepped off of a cloud made of miracles. Soft tanned skin, a body that was in point and that hair, like a beautiful flower lost on a snowstorm. And the dress, Lord have mercy she nearly killed him twice in sixty seconds. Here was yet another angel amongst the many of Rosefell for Rico Suave to love unconditionally. Yet there was something familiar about this girl, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. Had they met before? Surely he would recognise such a creature? Maybe she was simply a witch that had entered his dreams?

Before he could speak and question La Bruja about her hotter version of Freddie Krueger type magical abilities, the pair were soon joined by dude bro Hunter Quinn; a constant joy in the mariachi’s world. “Jesus, Rico. You okay, bro? Looks like you let your guard down. Almost met your maker there.”

The relationship that Hunter and Rico shared began as ten years olds when Enrique first arrived in Columbus from Mexico. As part of a buddy system, he wound up with the baby Quinn as his partner. It was Hunter that gave Rico the lay of the land and helped him get settled into this new world. After a while as all friendships do, it fizzled amicably and their worlds diverged as their lives drifted onto different waves. Fast forward to Rosefell High, sophomore year and a homecoming party of legendary proportions. There was a dancer, some weed and Hunter wanting to get his dick wet. Insert Rico, his guitar and the art of seduction and an hour later Hunter was in the back of the car with a naked dancer and his friendship with the Mexican loverboy had been rekindled and a bromance was born.

Enrique put his hand on his friend's shoulder as a sign of solidarity but also just steady himself somewhat. ”It’s all good, brother man. Cero miedo. I didn’t meet my maker but I did meet this vision in lavender” The smooth operator turned to face the young woman. ”Please, mi amor; don’t apologise. I was the one in the way. Though now having met you, I’m kind of glad I was. I’m Enrique; this is Hunter. You must be new here, sorry to welcome you in such an uncivilised fashion, let me fix that” With a smile bright enough to melt the polar ice caps; Rico took the strangers hand and pressed a soft kiss to the top of the dreamweavers ring finger.

”No me quitaste la vida pero ciertamente me dejaste sin aliento”

“you’re a kingmaker…” - Trey Marcus

Somewhat blind sided by Joanne’s hug, DeShawn nontheless reciprocated; wrapping his huge arms around her and pulling her in tight. He very much considered Jo to be a positive presence in his life. She was a kind hearted girl with a lot of baggage but he didn’t mind, Dee had developed a reputation for being able to carry other people's problems on his broad shoulders and Jo was no different. However on the flip side, she was a confidant of his; whenever he was struggling and needed someone to talk to, Joanne was his first port of call, usually down at the shitty ball park falling apart near her house where they would shoot hoops, shoot the shit and sometimes shoot a ball at a passing Liberty kid car which may or may not now be parking in a school as they spoke.

It was somewhat nice to have a platonic girl friend for Dee. That’s not to say he didn’t find Jo attractive, girl was fine. Especially after a few games and she got her swear on and whatnot but it wasn’t like that for them. It was a deep respect they held for one another and on that rare occasion he would not be in training, Dee would find himself at some random hole in the wall, listening to Rico try and chat up a waitress, all the while trying to support Jo at the open mic she was playing at. It was a weird old fucking world.

As they separated, the two were joined by the one and only, JayVaugn Spencer.

”Who do I gotta flirt with to get the chance to ride shotgun in one of those, let alone drive it around?"”

”Likely anyone wearing Gucci or Prada my dude”

DeShawn responded to his fellow Rosefell Knight. JayVaughn was a good kid and he was one hell of a Wide Receiver. The hands on this guy in the clutch when it’s fourth quarter and the clock is winding down; ain’t no better feeling underneath those bright Friday lights than watching Jayvo catch a touchdown...besides Dee sacking some poor QB1 or the soft sweet touches of one Melissa Elliott in her little cheerleader uniform. Regardless there was a brotherhood amongst the team and JJ was an integral part of that dynamic. Like most others, he pissed the big Linebacker off to no end but that was part of his charm. Unlike Hunter and Spike, Jay was being annoying because he was trying to understand D, he was trying to get past the Walls...wall? And get into his heart. Hunter and Spike were just annoying for annoying sake and the amount of times that DeShawn had pulled all three of them out of harm's way in the short time he had been in Columbus was ridiculous.

Without provocation, Dee suddenly felt a strong grip on his shoulder and force like non other he had felt bringing him down to almost a knee; it was Jo.

"Anyway! My best friend, who I met online, goes to Liberty and this is the first time I'm meeting her. I love this girl to death... So...if any of you even try to sleep with her, you'll know what's coming”

Immediately, his mind conjured up thoughts of castration, of being hung, drawn and quartered and then his insides being used for guitar string and his teeth as picks for said strings. The mere thought of losing his manhood caused the sensation of physical pain to run throughout his body. Shaking off the feeling of imminent death, number 44 of the Rosefell Knights followed the small blonde and his fellow football player deeper into the the parking lot and after a few false alarms it seemed like Jo found the girl she called her best friend; Sam.

"Are these your friends, Joanne? Hi, I'm Samantha! It's great to meet you guys!"

DeShawn offered out his hand to hers and shook it as gently as possible but still firm. His palm alone engulfed her tiny fingers. ”DeShawn; it’s good to meet you Sam” He could see why Joanne was afraid; shawty was fine but a promise was a promise so Dee wouldn’t put any work in, at least not for a while. Jayvo on the other hand, brother was a hound who loved to jump more than his master's leg. For Christmas he was going to buy that boy a sign that said “BEWARE OF DOG”. Catching sight of a certain Queen of Thorns down the other end of the parking lot, Dee took his leave. ”Imma love you and leave you, fam. I’ll catch you in a bit”

Making his way to the other side of the lot, 44 parked himself beneath the shade of a great big tree. Dee watched the blonde bombshell he knew as Queen as she laid down the law and asserted her dominance over her brand new Liberty subjects. Damn, he forgot how good homegirl looked in her cheerleading outfit, then again Melissa looked good in everything...and especially out of everything. Was theirs a romance for the ages? Probably not. Yet it worked for them as it was. He, a potential ticket to the big time she always dreamed of. Her, a warm and limber body for him to work out his stress and anxiety. There is a spark of something more; DeShawn felt it but his family didn’t take to Missy all that well; not that he cared. He was his own damn self and if he wanted to propose to this girl he would, ain’t no thing stopping him from doing anything he pleased; the one great lesson he learned from the Soulman.

West Baltimore - Three Years Ago

“If I teach you anything boy imma teach you this, ain’t nobody gonna tell you what to do. Beyond the street, beyond the fucking game, you’re a kingmaker, Dee. And you gonna make your own self into a damn King, ya feel me young’un?”

Trey was high on his own supply, staring down from his throne at his young son DeShawn as he made a feeble attempt at doing his homework. ”I feel you” The child responded, not looking up from his algebra papers.

“Such disrespect” Trey mumbled as he got up from his chair and made his way over to the fridge. “Can’t even look at your old man when he talking at you. Fucking…” Each passing word seemed more slurred than the one that came before. “I’m the Soulman and my son ain’t got no goddamn soul. He ain’t hard, you hear me boy you ain’t hard!” The venom continued as Dee refused to move his gaze to meet his father. “Ain’t built for the street, he soft. Doing his damn algebra when he should be out there grinding, out there ain’t made for this Dee”

Unable to bite his tongue any longer, young DeShawn raised his head from his textbook and spouted bile right back at his snake of a father”Who’d want to be this if they could be anything else, dad?”

In that moment, the room fell deathly silent for what felt like an eternity. At least until the fridge door closed and Trey launched a six pack of beer at his teenage sons head, missing by mere inches. He darts cross the room, following the trail of the cans and threw himself over the table, grabbing Dee by the collar and pulling him to his feet. DeShawn struck out at his fathers face but he simply smiled and shrugged it off, a combination of adrenaline and drugs. “You shut your dirty mouth” He hissed. “You need to keep that damn thing closed or I swear on your beautiful mothers eyes I’m gonna rip your fucking tongue out. This here is us Dee, you and me. We ain’t need and we ain’t got nobody else. You’re my blood boy but that won’t stop me from throwing you off of a balcony in Franklin Terrace if you disrespect me again”

He didn’t want to interrupt Melissa as she did her thing; so in the brief moment that their eyes met, DeShawn offered her a million dollar smile and a look in his eye that she knew all too well.

“No puedo contenerlo más
Un beso y has abierto la puerta
Mis ojos están claros y mi corazón no está hueco
Adonde lleva tu amor mi pobre alma seguirá.

Después de la mujer oscura,
Te veo en esa luz de whisky seco a medio encender.
Mírame, baila para mí
Arrastra mi alma contigo de vuelta a la oscura noche oscura”

Enrique mumbled the words to his latest masterpiece as he plucked at his guitar strings. After Dark Woman was going to be the one to propel him into the Latin Rock stratosphere, just like “Sunkissed Shore” last month or “Amor no me defraudes” the month before that. He was in no great rush to be famous but to be appreciated for the talent that he was; now that was the challenge.

Somewhat prototypically, Rico’s bedroom was like any other teenage boy. Clothes were strung across the floor, the shades on the windows were basically sealed shut leaving the room in almost complete darkness except for a small crack of sunlight and the illuminated screen of his cell phone. Every wall was plastered with vinyl records and old posters and the bin was overflowing with takeaway cups from the Yellow Rose. Sitting beside him were doggy bags from his family's restaurant La Munica; Rico had opted for a few leftover spicy Mahi Mahi tacos as his evening meal the night before; the boy did love his heat, it was a wonder he had any functioning tastebuds left.

“Hijo, ponte unos pantalones, vas a llegar tarde a la escuela” a female voice called through the door. Enrique’s mother Monica was a stunning beauty; even now in her mid fifties many of Rosefell’s young bachelors would fawn over the restaurateur. Rico didn’t mind his friends drooling over his Mom, it was quite flattering actually and both her and his father still looking good boded well for his future maturation into adulthood.

He glanced down at his phone and noted the time; she wasn’t wrong, he was behind already and it was only the first day! He jumped to his feet and began throwing clothes around the room to try and find anything that could remotely pass for clean. After what felt like an eternity of searching; Enrique pulled on a pair of jeans, a vintage Fleetwood Mac T-shirt and a denim shirt with his classic black and white converse finishing the ensemble. He sprayed himself down with deodorant and locked his precious guitar in its case before hurrying out of the door with it under his arm.

La Munica was Pedro Nunez’ baby; he had graduated from a small seaside stall in Cancun to a semi upscale restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. It wasn’t the fanciest place in the world but his was homely and the food was cooked beautifully with love and passion; two traits that all the Nunez familia share in abundance. As he prepped his latest dish, Pedro glanced up towards his wife as she made her way towards the laundry room; in that brief whisper of a moment he considered himself the luckiest man alive...then he heard the slamming around of his only son as he stumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen of the restaurant, hitting the hanging pots and pans with his guitar case. “Nosotros deberíamos haberte adoptado”.

Enrique stopped short of his fathers position by the oven and stole a slice of toast to eat on the way. It was too late for him to stop at the diner and grab his usual morning coffee so unbuttered plain toast that was undoubtedly meant for his darling mother would have to do. ”Siempre eres tan amable conmigo, papá. te quiero. Por cierto, el Chilli Mahi Mahi fue una bomba. ¡Te veo esta noche!” Suave waved like a schoolgirl, toast hanging from his mouth before grabbing his skateboard from the side where his mother had told him not to leave it for a thousand times and jumped out of the back door.

With the guitar strapped to his back, Rico kicked off from the sidewalk and set off down the hill towards Rosefell High. Riding a board with a guitar case and guitar on your back as well as your school things was not an easy feat but the Latin lover boy had it down to a science and it was why he maintained such a strong upper body. One would be surprised to find he was not an athlete of any kind.

He was extremely curious to see what new adventures and mysteries this new year would hold for him. Rico had no doubt that Rae was already hiding in a bush somewhere trying to figure out whether the new Liberty transfers were all pod people or soul sucking demons who murder by sex. If that was how Enrique was to die; tied to a bed and by the lips of the beautiful departed...he was ok with that. As Devil Town by Bright Eyes played through his earphones, he took in the changing sites around him. As he made his way further and further down the hill, the buildings became a little more decrepit and little more worse for wear. It wasn’t Hollywood and it wasn’t that well put together but it was home.

Riding towards Rosefell High’s parking lot, Rico could see little clusters of students gathering. Some he recognised, like Spike, Minty and Lilith, others he did not, like girls the other three were talking to. He had to time his next move carefully; one step too fast or one too slow would ruin the evil plan that was forming in his deviant Mexicano brain. He would use all his wit, all his wisdom and all of his lyrical genius to pull off the first opening day meme of Rosefell.

With precision timing, Enrique rolled past Spike and his Harem, turning to far them all with a radiant smile ”Ladies, you’re are all breathtaking, ignore the boy and any words that come from his mouth, he is a walking potato” Like a smooth criminal. The guitar man carried on last the group, satisfied that his job was complete. He loved Spike dearly like most but he could not resist. Satisfied with his genius, Rico let out a content sigh just in time to nearly be ran over by an arriving car

”Oh shit”
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