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20 hrs ago
Current Oh shit Mahz is back :O
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6 mos ago
I don't typically allow myself to be affected by celebrity deaths, but Jason David Frank was a personal hero of mine for so long. This one hurts. RIP to one of the greatest rangers of all time.
4 likes
3 yrs ago
Due to the quarantine, I'll only be telling inside jokes.
15 likes
3 yrs ago
The upside of being an introvert who goes nowhere is I don't have to worry about catching corona.
16 likes
3 yrs ago
Never underestimate the crippling paralysis of mental illness. Its staggering effects can put any attempt at a hobby to an abrupt stop without warning.
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Most Recent Posts

@metanoia 2 main partners maximum, and they have to start out as Rookies.


Oh bitchin'! This will be fun to think about which two i wanna use. I tend to put a theme of some kind on my tamers/digimon partners, so with two, i'm gonna have some fun with this.

EDIT: Another question: Are we limited to data/vaccine or can we go virus too?
Ah fuck it, I'm in! Idea seems fairly dope and I can't help myself when it comes to Digimon

How many digimon "partners" can we have? I saw @The World has 2 but is there a limit to how many we can have as "main" partners? Any specific kind of circumstances for multiple partners?

@Hedgehawk @HaleyTheRandom 1 of 2-3 sheets for your viewing pleasure


In Edenridge 11 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

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TIMESTAMP: After Woman of Many Names (Tuesday Afternoon)

The hour-long ride back to Edenridge had given Jade ample time to take everything in. It allowed her to truly digest everything that happened moments before she left Blue Hill with Anya. Initially, Jade clung to the bike and how it brought feelings of comfort. At the moment, that’s all she could fixate on. It was all such an overwhelming moment for her that the time spent clinging to Anya’s toned back (even with the jacket on), gripping her lover’s waist for dear life, and pressing her face against the leather jacket while the 60+ winds tickled her skin.

There was nothing like riding a hog.

But that indeed wasn’t the only thing Jade found herself clinging to. The ride allowed Jade some time to think deeper about certain things and the fact that her best friends in this world - her soul sister and soul brother - knew who Anya was. Knew of her, at least. Poppy knew her as Jane from the Library, which Jade would have probably known if she was a regular at it (she preferred Main Street Music with JP). Key knew her as The Basilisk, yet another name that went over Jade’s head - least, the specifics of it. Everyone and their mother knew of The Basilisk. Jade just never knew her Pancake was that person.

But a lot of things started to click for her. A lot of things she ran back in her mind. Jade began to piece it all together and that Anya was more amazing of a woman than she had ever thought her to be. To Jade, she was perfect. Maybe full of imperfections but she was still the most remarkable person she’d ever met. Someone that could make her feel alive without even intending to. Someone she could open her heart to. That month she spent away from everyone, she credits Anya for allowing her to feel comfortable enough to reach out.

And as they came into the Lost Souls apartment complex, a few serpents on watch duty today, Jade had a realization - more like an epiphany, if anything - that Anya was her person. She is her person.

When the stand was kicked up and Jade could get off the bike, she was quiet for a few seconds - long ones - before she smiled gently and sweetly at Anya. “Home sweet home.”

“It’s good to know home,” Anya took off her helmet, letting her blonde strands fall out and over her shoulders. After she latched it onto her handle, she walked beside the angelic princess to get a closer look at the apartment that she knew in great detail. Something Jade likely didn’t realize by standing next to her because of the built mask Anya wore to blend with those she considered normal.

Anya knew who resided here, what floor, what room and who each of their social groups were. Their associates, their lovers and their families, she knew it all. Edenridge was her territory, and what that meant was, every creature knew their nest. Every monster that lurked under a child’s bed knew exactly who they were scaring. Every ghost haunted someone they felt close with, never a stranger. Anya was all three.

A creature, a monster and a ghost.

Deep down, if Jade ever saw her for her, they would not last. As friends, as acquaintances, and as something more. What she was, it wasn’t easy to accept. Easy to want. Easy to love. What she was wouldn’t give Jade a normal life. What she was would only endanger them and everyone Jade held dear to her.

Similar to her little brother’s fears but so much worse, Anya knew she was not good. She was not safe. She was not meant for this fork in the road that led her to somewhere… normal. Led her somewhere she wished she could call home. What she was had nothing to do with her and everything to do with her Father. No, not the one that conceived her with her mother. She was talking about her Creator. The one that would always call the shots until the day she died. Anya would always belong to someone else and that would not be easy for Jade to commit to. Not easy for Jade to love.

Anya knew what she was but she did wonder if Jade knew how much she meant to someone as atrocious as her. Someone who was born in the dark and could not leave without permission. Jade was pure. Jade was good. Jade was light. To Anya, a creature. To Anya, a monster. To Anya, a ghost. Jade was her Angel. Her wish upon a star that she knew was out of reach… but she wanted it. She wanted to grab this girl and hold her close. She wanted Jade which wasn’t something she ever did before. Want something. Need something. For the first time in her life, she wanted something. She wanted someone. For the first time in her life, she wanted a woman. For the first time in her life, she wanted love. She wanted Jade.

If only…

The Basilisk wasn’t deserving of such a beautiful girl and yet, here she was taking a risk and exploring these budding feelings that resided in her. Her comment from earlier, that of home, clearly had a double meaning to it. Not only did the Russian woman mean it was good to know the area you live in but that it was important to know who were the people that centered you. That reminded you of your own humanity. Those you considered: your home. “Should I get leaving? You need rest? I go if this is what you want, Toast girl.”

The Angel Princess found herself lost in the beauty of her Pancake when she had removed her helmet. She found helmet hair oddly sexy and though there were clear signs of it affecting Anya’s golden locks, it didn’t take away from her radiance. Being home was bittersweet because the last time she was actually here, she had found herself in such a distraught state because of Cameron Hyde. She saw the monster that nearly killed Ley. Not all of it, she would assume, but enough to set the blonde straight in a sense. Seeking the comfort of her friends, she was put on a journey of self-discovery and eventually found an unexpected peace.

And then was rewarded again because she found out more and more about the woman standing next to her. The woman who was starting to become someone very close to her heart. A woman who, at times, had that child-like wonder that broke through every wall Jade had put up. She meant something to her and she wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. “You don’t have to go…not yet. I’m not even that tired.” A half-lie. Jade was emotionally spent, but she wanted Anya to stay and no matter how exhausted her mind was, her heart was finally waking up. “I have some pancake mix in my apartment. I can whip us up a batch if you’ve got time. It’s no Dolly’s triple stack with all your sweet toppings but I do got ready whip and some good syrup. Went shopping recently for some essentials.” In truth, Jade wanted to get better at cooking for a moment just like right now. She wanted to make the pancakes like Dolly’s main cook did. How Anya liked it.

“Pancake from Toast girl?” Anya's smile turned into a grin as she looked at the slender woman with intrigue. “No need for triple stack. You touch it, it be good. I’m certain.” With a wave of her hand, she gestured toward the entrance for Jade to lead the way. As they did walk toward the elevator, Anya found her sharp, green eyes trailing down the other blonde’s figure and lingering on Jade’s tight jean bottom. Before Jade could catch her staring, the Russian woman looked away.

When they stood in the elevator, side by side, Anya looked up at the fluorescent lights. It was humid in here so when she got to Jade’s apartment she would need to take off her jacket. “You okay?” Her gaze fell on the other woman, having caught sight of the red eyes, dark circles, and drained energy since she saw the vixen on the reservation. Jade likely thought she was hiding it well but for a trained eye, it was easy to read. “Your breathing…” Among other things like the muscle tension in her voice or the sweaty hands that Anya had felt when they were on her bike and she made sure Jade was holding tight. All signs of anxiety. Anya wondered what was the cause of it or if it was her. If she was the one to blame for making her Angel uncomfortable. Did Jade not like being this close to her? If so, she needed to know. “You tired, I understand. But you nervous too, why?”

Like every Sunday morning (early at that), Anya saw through Jade. And Anya was right. Jade was nervous, but it wasn’t for anything bad…maybe. Jade didn’t know yet. Maybe she didn’t find as much peace at Blue Hill as she thought. She thought she was holding it in, that she hid it well, but there was nothing Jade could do to hide anything from Anya. She saw everything. All the bullshit. All the walls Jade could throw up. It made her feel safe just as much as it made her feel exposed.

Not because Anya was so perceptive, but because Anya is the first person since Roddy Callahan that made her afraid to feel. Of course with the blonde that stood next to her, anxiously waiting for the elevator to reach the second to highest level (where Jade lived), she wasn’t afraid to feel but was afraid to say it out loud. The moment she did, Jade knew in her heart that she would be completely exposed and Anya would have her complete heart. Whatever she chose to do at that moment would be completely out of Jade’s control.

Just as she was going to start to explain why she was nervous, the elevator doors opened. They were finally at their destination, but there were also a couple people - Angels. Patch members - who waved to Jade as she and Anya got off and they took their spot. As they walked a few feet, Jade said, “This is us.” Jade’s apartment was close to the elevator. Reaching into her pocket, with shaking hands, Jade went to unlock her apartment door, but she couldn’t find the damn steadiness to get the key into the hole and she dropped them. “Son of a bitch…” She muttered and took in a deep breath and kneeled down to grab them. “Sorry. I don’t know why…can you do it?” She said, handing the keys to Anya.

Instead of taking Jade’s keys from her right away, Anya cupped the girl’s shaky hands, clasping them together where the keys were between both of their hands. She didn’t say anything. Instead she studied the woman’s face and fixed her green eyes with Jade’s pretty blues. They were like fire in water. Passion in ice. She could swim in those eyes for hours. Silence lingered between them for a moment longer and then effortlessly, Anya slipped the keys into her grasp, abiding her heart’s desire’s commands. Once she returned the keys to its rightful owner, Anya motioned for the bewildered girl to lead the way.

Glancing to her side at the angels that walked past them, having not entered the apartment yet, the Russian woman’s soft gaze instantaneously turned cold, like a switch turned on. Or off. It was the Basilisk’s way of saying mind your business without having to say anything. Her eyes were her signature, after all. Her eyes that separated her from the rest of her sisters, her brothers, and her biker comrades. Her eyes which could be so completely void of emotion, one would wonder if there was even a human living inside the shell of her body. The rookie angels were quick to leave her sight. Shaken and uncomfortable from Jade’s guest. When they were gone, Anya’s gaze softened again, taking a step forward into the room. She smiled, looking around in awe, “This nice place you got! Look at Toast girl, living with herself, doing what she needs to do.” Closing the door behind her and not moving any further into Jade’s place, Anya asked, “Shoes off? Where I put my jacket?”

Jade’s hands weren’t shaking anymore, but she couldn’t shake the sensation of it. The feeling of her anxiety going through the roof. Anya was her saving grace and had calmed the storm that brews in the Angel Princess periodically. It took her a delayed moment to respond to her Russian lover. “You think so? It’s not bad. My Uncle Charlie lived here before he was sent away. Been just me ever since graduating high school.” And some months she wondered if she would make rent. She may have been considered royalty to the Angels and rent was the cheapest in town for a one-bedroom apartment, but some months were harder than most.

She set her keys on the countertop, as well as her jacket. When Anya asked about her, she turned around when one arm was still inside one sleeve. “No rules about shoes on or off. You can set your jacket on the back of the chair over there--” Jade absentmindedly pointed to Anya’s immediate left where her poor excuse for a dining room set, which consisted of a small, circular table and two chairs she picked up from a swap meet a few months ago. It was then she decided to do the same, walking over to the other chair and setting her jacket on the back of it…as she always did.

As if manners were drilled into her head, Anya slipped off her boots and pushed it with her foot into Jade’s mudroom. Attentively listening, the older woman followed suit, briefly coming behind the vixen to throw her coat on top of her’s. When the coat dropped, it opened a little to show a glimpse of a patch on the inside. By how close Anya was standing behind Jade, it was almost as if what she was doing was intentional. Gravitating to the wall, Anya scanned a couple pictures of Jade’s chosen family. Angels, her quartet, and her blood. Her eyes rested on the man that her Toast girl called ‘Uncle Charlie’.

Going deeper into the living room, by a side table, there she caught sight of more photos. She bent down to stare at a picture with many people, that of the Fallen Angels table and HCC. Jade at the center. Happy as can be. Anya knew exactly where she was in this photo. To the keen eye, one would see a person outside leaning against the clubhouse’s window, facing away from the camera, looking up at the sky. There when it mattered but never in sight for others to know her face. That was how Anya had to be. A mystery even to those she cared for.

To this day, Anya wondered why her Father, her creator, allowed her to join a gang when he was hers but he did and since then, she did what she had to do to keep this piece of family. All for herself. Selfish on her part because by that choice, she was endangering all these people simply by breathing in the same vicinity as them. Still, she wanted to be selfish. She wanted to keep them to herself. She wanted her Angel to herself. She wanted Jade.

Once again, her green eyes caught sight of CT and his stupid grin. Rolling her eyes, she cursed, Pridurok. Over the years, the Basilisk understood why her mother found comfort with that man. He gave her a sense of normalcy. Similar to what Anya found with Jade. Maybe not as romantic, then again she didn’t know much about her mother’s past but he cared enough to swear an oath to her. To be there for her when she needed someone. A parental figure, more so than her own. The one she actually considered a father. Not Ivan. Not her Creator. No. Charlie Taylor. That man earned her respect and for him, she would make sure her choice wasn’t in vain. She would protect him just as much as he protected her. She would kill for him because that's what family did for each other. They fought, they loved, and they supported. He was a moron but he was her moron.

Jade kept her watchful glance on Anya as she freely explored the living room. It was strange. Jade had always thought that the reason leading to getting Anya at her place would be different. She wasn’t a romantic by any means and she still hadn’t answered Anya’s earlier question about why she was so nervous, but that seemed like a distant memory now. What she felt for Anya was obvious. Her Russian lover was perceptive. More perceptive than anyone she knew, so maybe she did know but was waiting for Jade to say it. Maybe she didn’t need to say it. Maybe it was something that was felt and proven through actions.

As Jade leaned down to pick up Anya’s coat, what she saw, even if just a small glimpse of it, nearly shattered her…in the best way possible. She saw the edge of an angel wing. The yellow tone, with the red outline. “It couldn’t be…” She murmured, looking at where Anya was and she seemed engrossed with the pictures on the side table near the couch, so Jade had to know. She had to know for sure if what she thought she saw was the truth and as she flipped the inside more, she saw more of the emblem.

The Angel that rises with the sun but blacked out so it never receives its benefits. We, the Fallen Angels of Eden, rise with the darkness.


Those words have been ingrained into her memory. Both her uncle and her grandfather, one of the Club’s founding members, would recite that so much that she would become enraged through her exhaustion of hearing those words. Seeing the full patch on Anya’s jacket, Jade was speechless. She saw the one thing that clicked with her brain and answered so many questions she never knew she had. On the left pec part of the jacket, where most Table members had their role in the club, Jade saw “Enforcer” underneath the name of the club. “Enforcer…” She repeated, slowly making sense of everything. Nobody knew who the enforcer was. Nobody ever saw them around, but it was understood by the entire club that they were someone very close to Charlie Taylor. If this was true…no it was true. This was an official patch and everything. Jade knew that much.

She smiled, keeping her emotions in check…for now and set the jacket over hers, Basilisk side out and she walked into the living room, standing next to Anya and grabbed her hand, interlocking her fingers with her Pancake’s. Jade didn’t need to bring it up. She didn’t need to ask. Finding out was enough for her. It gave her some clarity that she didn’t know she needed.

She saw the group photo of the entire club. “That was a tough day for all of us. It was the day before my uncle’s sentencing hearing. He was allowed to be at home until his hearing because of his amazing lawyer. That was his going to prison party.” She giggled, finding the name of the party so absurd. “Give you one guess who came up with the name?”

“You tell me,” Anya turned her head toward Jade, knowing the answer but playing ignorance so she could hear the other girl talk. If she could, she would listen to the Angel Princess speak her heart out all night. It was better than any music she ever listened to. Something to calm her spirits. Placing the photo down, Anya turned to Jade and brushed the back of her finger on her pale, smooth skin. Her cheek which showed a hint of pink. CT’s precious jewel. Anya couldn’t find it in her to go back in the shadows, away from it. She wanted to take the jewel and make it her’s. This was a dangerous game she was playing. She wondered if Jade would mind… “You care so much for these people,” Bassy whispered, as she waited for a response.

“I do. They’re my family…” She couldn’t look away from Anya’s gentle eyes. An ocean of comfort that had carried her out of the darkness she was under. Anya was more than just Anya. More than just Pancake. She was the Enforcer for the Fallen Angels. Someone who protected the club’s interests. Someone who regularly handled problems that most members wouldn’t be able to. She wasn’t as engrossed into the club as she wanted to be, but Jade knew one thing: Anya was someone she knew would never hurt her. She was the one person she felt safe around.

And because she felt safe, Jade leaned forward, pressing her forehead against Anya’s. Her heart wouldn’t shut up. It screamed at a rapid rate, pulsing. Beating. It would take a forward action, one thing Jade was infamously known for prior to losing that piece of herself she never thought she’d find again. Anya was the one who helped her find it. So she took a leap, pressing her lips against Anya’s soft lips. It was a short kiss. A tender kiss. One that shook everything inside Jade. It had hesitation and fear written all over it. Jade was scared shitless while simultaneously being invigorated by this feeling she felt rushing through her body. When she broke the kiss, without even realizing it before it was too late, words just started to spill out of her mouth, “Earlier, you asked if I was nervous and I never answered. I was nervous. I still am, but it wasn’t because of anything bad. It was about…this.” Jade’s hands started to shake but she persevered and continued, “But it’s not just me being nervous. I’m afraid because I thought falling in love was out of the question for someone like me. I didn’t think I would find that kind of love because I never allowed myself to be completely open with someone, but here I am. Afraid but strengthened by the one person who makes me feel safe. Makes me happy…” As she spoke in a trembling voice, she controlled her equally as trembling hands by squeezing Anya’s harder.

I warn you, moya doch'. You find this feeling, it’ll break your heart but don’t give it up. You need it to breathe.


Anya could hear her mother’s voice, whose English was far better than her’s, something she hadn’t heard in years. So close to this feeling, this feeling that her mother described as love. She could reach for it, right now, and hold her, kiss her and show her she was the reason a weapon like her could feel. In the bleak of winter, the lonely assassin saw a girl in a parking lot, with her friends. A native boy and a pale, ghost-like girl. Trying to get them to be together.

Today she met that girl who never got to the beginning of her love story. Someone Jade loved deeply. By watching this riot of a woman for years, Anya knew Jade was someone who tried her best for others and when things didn’t go the way she hoped, the consequences were something she lived with. Anya knew she blamed herself for everything. That was simply the nature of the beast that lurked over the Angel Princess’ shoulders. But what if, with this one thing, this would be everything that was right in the world for her. This one feeling, so close, was everything they needed. That Jade needed. That Anya needed.

Until the day is over, your heart will be broken but if you grab it, reach out your hand, fight, Zhizn’ moya… you could have everything.


No one was going to kill her. If anyone was going to kill Anya Kamensky, it would be herself. Human feelings. Guilt, regret and grief. She didn’t understand it but when she got lost in Jade’s sapphire eyes, she could understand why she was trained to not feel anything. These beautiful jeweled eyes. Pacific blue light. This would be her weakness.

Weakness was not something any of her sisters should have. They all had different curricula that led to their chosen paths and for Anya, her learning was limited so that she could only understand necessary information. Human emotion was not necessary. The more Anya rebelled, she discovered having a weakness could be seen as strength. It motivated Legs to get away from her pimp. It centered Mika and gave him a woman worth protecting. It led Jade to her, ready to give it all, if Anya said the word. That meant Anya had a reason to not risk everything for her Father because she had someone that wanted to be by her side. She had a reason to live and that reason said she was falling in love. Falling in love with a monster. Falling in love with her.

While Jade let her fear show on her face, Anya gave a stupid grin, similar to that of Charlie Taylor’s. It was in this action that Anya knew exactly where she was. Two elements were at play and the one inside of Anya was pure unadulterated excitement. Sliding one of her arms around Jade’s waist, drawing her closer, and having more control of where she wanted her, the Russian woman used her other hand to gently run her thumb on Jade’s bottom lip.

Tightening her grip, leaving no room between them, conveying how she felt without saying a single word, Anya joined their worlds, one where Jade was in the light, and Anya was in the dark, and let them both explode into shards of molten light. Her hungry mouth merged with Jade’s sweet tasting, lipstick painted lips, insisting on her to shut up and enjoy this moment with her. There was no room for hesitation and by kissing her repeatedly, feeling her body and claiming her jewel, Anya decided this was the point of no return. No longer holding back, the Basilisk chased this feeling. This feeling that perhaps she too was falling in love. In love with a girl that she saw as an angel. A true angel. Her angel.

Jade was completely exposed to Anya. She could completely rip her apart if she wished, but when the Angel Princess felt that hand grip her waist and pulling her closer, there was a moment where the raw emotion of feeling seen reduced her expression to literal tears. Her eyes swelled up with a waterfall that she couldn’t hold back any longer. She smiled even though her face became both cold and hot of the overwhelming outpour of emotions, validation, and something so raw, so intense that she couldn’t find the word to describe it.

She was always so helpless whenever she was with Anya. So helpless and unable to hide what was truly in her heart. It was that smile. That damn smile of hers and the eyes that broke through everything that she put up between her and the real world.

Jade’s entire life was full of moments that built her up and broke her apart time and time again, but it never bothered to handle her with care. She learned how to cope and endure through the art of either surviving or succumbing to the pain. She never had anyone just hold her and tell her it was going to be okay. Never truly felt safe. Charlie T tried as much as he could and most of the pain caused by her parents was replaced with the love her uncle gave her, but Jade kept enduring setback after setback. Losing her Aunt Zippo was just the start of it.

But this woman…this one person that came into her life out of nowhere…God, she could make up for all of what Jade had to endure. What she experienced that tested the limits of her soul. With every kiss planted on her lips, Jade also found herself craving more. Yearning for Anya. To have her in every way imaginable.

“Take me…” Jade muttered, so clearly out of breath and high on this feeling as she slowly walked back with Anya, leading them in the direction of her bedroom. “..To my room..” Jade kissed Anya once more. Deeper this time. She wasn’t afraid anymore. Jade wasn’t afraid to love and she wanted to show this to Anya.

There was no need to say that twice.

Anya would take her. Anywhere and everywhere because this girl was her light and she refused to lose sight of that.

A monster needs an angel and maybe, just maybe, an angel could learn to love a monster.

In Edenridge 13 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay


In Edenridge 17 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay


For me personally, I've been using Postimages. It's a solid hosting site with an easy-to-navigate UI.

In Edenridge 18 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
TIMESTAMP: Tuesday Afternoon || After On My Mind
Featuring: Marco Brady-Castillo, Nadine Navarro, Eloise Anderson
Introducing & Big FT: Amity Lyon

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“I called you here for an important FAMILY intervention,” Eloise stood in front of their booth, in the Hole of the Wall, staring at her gaming crew who rarely meet in person. Marco, Amity, Nadie, and herself. She couldn’t believe the audacity of Ross for making Nadie cry, yet again. While Nadine didn’t tell her the details of what happened during graduation, Lolly knew it had something to do with him because whenever his name was brought up during gaming sessions, her dear friend went quiet. Now suddenly, he was trying to come back into her Nadie’s life, causing problems for everyone.

Nadine nursed a hard cider in her hand, as she deeply stared into her glass, replaying her conversation with Ross at Beau’s. You were never nothing, Nadine. You have always been the best of the two of us. The better student. The better test-taker. And the stronger person. She sat in her sadness, realizing how silly she was for taking his struggle personally. She should’ve understood him better and tried to listen to his side.

Only recently he got out of rehab, and when she found out, she wanted to know so many things. She wanted to know how he was, if he was okay, and what he was doing. She didn’t care about where he was going in life, all she cared about was the Ross today, the Ross now, and whether or not he was thinking about her like she thought about him. All these questions left unanswered in her head, with no escape. She clearly meant something to him if all he could think about was what he said and did to her. She clearly meant something to him if he went out of his way to reach out to her. She clearly meant something to him and knowing that, knowing that small piece of information, gave her hope.

“Ross is trying to win Nadie over and I’m not okay with that! He made her cry. I saw it!” Lolly grabbed her shirley temple from the table and sucked it down so fast, that it was intense to watch. “How dare he think he has the right, the privilege, the HONOR to come back into her life like he didn’t stab her to death a million and ten times!”

Helping herself to the plate of wings, not really bothered by Lolly’s language, though she was sure Rhett Cleary was not pleased, Amity scanned her friends. Giving them all a wide smile, never letting any negative emotion creep up on her demeanor, she grabbed a spicy wing and took a bite out of it. If there was any person that knew how to hide their emotions better than anyone, who mastered the art of a poker face, it was Amity Lyon. And she learned that through her time growing up and watching her Uncle Bernie play her father like a fiddle.

Amity was a lucky girl to be surrounded by so much love. She had a colorful array of friends from the E-Girls to the Gremlins, from Hailey’s band, Of Hail & Fire, to 99.1 FM On The Block crew that hosted their own personalized shows. She was a lucky girl to be loved by many. Though she was sure Hailey would disown her soon, seeing how it was only yesterday she sent a text about dropping the band due to schedule conflict. She had committed to too much and seeing how Jade had disappeared, ghosting all her friends, this felt like the easiest choice to let go. The easiest way out.

If there was one thing Amie knew how to do well it was keep herself busy. Never one to keep still. Never one to stop and let the dark thoughts overtake her. Never one to outwardly show someone’s ruined her day. She was a chaotic creature, through and through, and she chose to live each second freely and on a whim. Even though she would never admit it, there was a reason behind that. There was always a reason behind everything she did.

While Nadie’s heart was being twisted by a boy she clearly had feelings for, and never stopped having feelings for, Amity found herself thinking back to when Samara Aviles rejected her in Eighth Grade and since then, Amie did a lot of ‘finding herself’. Her older brother, Brandon, would wonder if she had ADHD, never being diagnosed, since her parents didn’t really believe in therapy, but in all honesty, she just didn’t want to think she would never be good enough for someone. That heartbreak sat with her throughout the years and she’s come to accept that love wasn’t something meant for her anytime soon, if at all.

Amie sat there in her thoughts, looking at all her friends, and realized there was one thing they all had in common. They all had their hearts shattered into many glass pieces. All through heartbreak. Lolly may not agree but her losing her fierce leader, Quinton Wood, wrecked her and ever since then she had never been the same. Marco never talked about his lover from highschool but after junior prom, he wasn’t the same. Recent days, he’s been better and even has a bounce in his limp steps. That doesn’t change that he does carry himself differently and that’s all thanks to a moment, a moment that changed him forever.

Sadness was ingrained in her mind and imprinted in her heart when Samara was flattered but not interested. Sam, to her, then was a complete badass and a downright inspiration. For a girl like Amity, who was told to play a role for most of her childhood, Sam was a badass and a downright inspiration. Someone who was unashamed of who she was and continued to live for herself. In highschool, Amity had only started embracing her individuality and now that she's found people she loves and hobbies she can call her own, she was content but she knew she would never be ready, not really.

Just because she knew what she liked didn’t mean she could stop thinking about others and that’s where her flaws would always lie, she wanted everyone to be happy and at the end of the day, it left her exhausted. Saying no to Hailey was her first big step of doing something for her, and she was sure Bron would be proud of her but the repercussions terrified her. Hailey terrified her. Amity acknowledged awhile back she was a people pleaser and even if she was surrounded by so many people, she was so lonely and the only person who could change that feeling was her and she didn’t know where to start. As for Nadine, it was with a boy that matched her energy in every way, yet neither knew how to confess. Maybe instead of the Smile Riot Gremlins they should be called the Lonely Hearts Club.

“Like he didn’t brutalize her and murder her hopes and dreams to ever find happiness ever again!” Lolly continued to preach, a bit on the dramatic side. The crew knew she could go on and on and on if they allowed it. “There is no way we are going to let him damage her again, right?”

Marco had been through so much in the past few years and though he didn’t talk about it in great details with the girls, not all of him was repaired. Even though he was with Danny now and they knew the small bits of truth he’d give them during their sporadic gaming seshes and he was obviously in a better place mentally and emotionally, a small part of him was stuck in 2019 at prom when Danny broke him into a million pieces that Charlie Decker had then shot away and scattered him into dust and the winds of Edenridge spread it far and wide. Only because he kept having those recurring dreams, a fact that Marco admitted to the girls, he felt himself start to become whole again. Being back with Danny was part of that, but where he missed his friend dates with Lanie and watching a soccer and football game with Roddy, these three girls were his saving grace. Being his escape.

Which only pained him even more because of how much Nadine went through with Ross Takahashi and what he did to her. Of the three of them, Marco felt the closest to Nadine because they were similar enough and there was always a part of him that felt they came from the same emotionally fractured cloth. And between Lolly and Amie, Nadine was the closest to his sometimes timid nature. He loves them to death, but those two girls could be a lot in heavy doses.

Lolly was called out by the bartender to quiet her voice. Grumbling in return, she scooted in beside Marco, and continued, “We all need to remind Nadine why Ross is bad for her. Like first of all: HE MADE YOU CRY! Second of all: HE MADE HER CRY! And thirdly: HE MADE HER FUCKING CRY!!!”

“Ouch. You yelled right in my ear, Lolly.” Marco dug his pinky finger into his left ears as it felt hollow like it always did whenever he or any of the other Gremlins were attacked by Lolly's impressive superpower of sound. Marco’s blue eyes, through the already slight headache he had (thanks again for that, Eloise), fell on Nadine and he smiled slightly. In times like this, he wished he knew what to say. Wished he knew what the right thing to say was. The only thing he could think of was the most common thing, but it was Marco Brady after all. “How are you holding up, Nadie?” He asked her in a soft tone.

“What do you mean how is she—” Lolly cut in before noticing Amity’s free hand going up to silence her. The usually hyperactive e-girl was quiet, giving the floor to the person that likely needed them the most. “Let her speak, Lolly.” Amity brought her attention back to her wings, keeping herself busy as she listened along. Eloise’s response was another grumble before she crossed her arms and leaned back, waiting impatiently.

“I…” Nadie whispered, not really knowing what to say or how to articulate her conversation with Ross. This all happened so fast and seeing her friends wasn’t something she expected but one does not simply go against Eloise Anderson’s will. Biting her lip, she shook her head in clear confusion before letting her heart speak instead of her mind, “I’m unsure. Is that a bad thing?” She looked between her friends, seeking reassurance that what she was going through wasn’t odd and her not having all the answers was natural.

With Lolly coming down from her intense high, she finally took in Nadie and her demeanor, seeing how deflated she was and could hear Dallas’ voice telling her to be patient and be quiet. Sometimes people just need to speak what’s on their mind to understand how they’re feeling. Lolly started feeling bad because of how selfish she was acting. As such, she decided against speaking, choosing to let the other two take the lead.

“Not at all!” Marco said rather quickly, almost immediately after Nadine’s question. “I probably speak for us all but also for myself, there is nothing wrong with feeling unsure. We have all been there and sometimes it’s okay to not have all the answers.” And sometimes the answers never present themselves clearly for you to make sense of them. There had been nights -- too many for Marco to remember -- when he questioned himself about him and Danny and what caused their break up. He felt so unsure about himself, his ability to be who he was before and that was before the shooting when he really lost all traces of himself. “You remember how much of a wreck I was in the last couple of years. You three pulled me out of that particularly painful gutter…even if one of you did it a bit too aggressively…” Marco, in a teasing manner, shot a glance towards Lolly. “Because that’s what friends do for each other, Nadie!” He smiled a bit softer at Nadine.

“I like him,” Nadie blurted out, before immediately correcting herself, “No, I think I love him.”

Lolly was drinking her shirley temple when suddenly, she spat out all her drink. Thankfully it only hit the wings but that did cause Amity to grimace.

“I guess I’m done eating!” Amity exclaimed in irritation, throwing the bone of her current wing to the basket and reaching for a napkin to clean her fingers. “Come on, Lol’. You need to chill the fuck out.”

Ignoring Amity’s clear displeasure, Lolly slapped her hands on the table and speedily asked, “What do you mean you like him? You love him? After everything he’s done to you?!” Lolly was flabbergasted. She couldn’t believe her ears. Did Nadie even know what it meant to love someone? If Daisy were to find out, she would lose her goddamn mind.

How dare.

“I don’t know,” Nadie bashfully looked away from her friends, avoiding eye contact. “I haven’t seen him in so long and yes, I know he hurt me and he explained where his mind was at the time. I know you guys think I shouldn’t forgive him but… I don’t know. I always felt my most authentic self with him and I really worry for him and seeing him today made me want to be there for him. Take care of him. I don’t know, it’s all rather sudden and I’ve never stopped thinking about him even after he hurt me. I can’t get him out of my mind.”

“You got it bad,” Amity commented, finally entering the conversation. Still wiping her hands intensely with the napkin to get the wing sauce off, she brought her loving gaze to Nadie, “All I can say is the heart wants what it wants and no matter what we say, you’re going to find your way to him. That’s just how stupid love is.” She smiled to herself wondering if she’d ever get to that place where love took pilot of her decisions or if she was meant to be forever alone, like her siblings. “You’re both older and have been through it. I think having a serious conversation about your feelings with him would do you wonders. It may hurt if he doesn’t like you back, but at least you’re given closure to move onto the next chapter.”

“Y-you… you don’t think he likes me back?” Nadine stammered, hyperfocused on the last part of Amity’s spiel. “Maybe, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.” She coiled inwards, embarrassed. “Yeah, I probably am. Nevermind, I take it back,” she added, retreating from the situation. “I take it back,” she repeated.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Lolly hissed in annoyance. “Nadine, stop it. Stop it with this self-conscious-guilty-it’s-all-my-fault shit. If you like him, fucking commit. Don’t be wishy washy. I can’t say I like the dude, but fuck, you don’t even know how to act because you’re so dumb for him. He really did put you through it but I guess, I GUESS, he might have some good qualities. The Nadie I know doesn’t befriend just anyone. The Nadie I know sees good in everyone but if Nadie legitimately likes someone, that comes from a very real place. Just don’t be stupid, don’t do anything stupid, and don’t let him be stupid.” She gritted her teeth, adding a little grr in the end. Lolly wasn’t the most eloquent with her words but what she was trying to say was she hoped Nadine was careful and took things slow. At least until her heart was ready to take the risk. As stubborn as Eloise wanted to be, she knew when to throw in the towel.

As Marco watched the conversation take a rather interesting, albeit unexpected turn, he couldn’t help but think about how Nadine and Ross’ situation, though different, was similar to what happened between him and Danny. He couldn’t ignore the similarities. Both he and Nadine were hurt to the point they felt hopeless and just like he and Danny, Nadine had her first encounter with Ross. It seemed like it didn’t go great but not bad either. The sudden confession Nadie made was very telling.

“They’re both right, Nadine! You have the kindest heart of us all…” He could just feel the scathing glare from Lolly, so he would rephrase. “What I mean is, like Lolly said, you always manage to see the good in people even when they don’t deserve it. Ross might not deserve it, but I don’t think there’s ever been anything bad said about him to leave your lips. I think that’s something to consider.” Marco found himself thinking about the intense conversation he and Danny had shortly before they got back together, how it was so hard for him to admit what was really going through his mind. At the time, Marco had no idea that he and his first love would ever get back together. He just knew he couldn’t stand the thought of not being in his life. “Trust me I know exactly the crossroads you’re at. How much it hurts to even think about that time. It’s like a deep wound that will never heal. A never ending pain that grows the longer you leave it untreated. Those scars stay with us for as long as we allow it to.” Marco found that out the hard way. It wasn't until he was essentially backed up into a corner did his true healing begin. “And whatever happens, you won’t have to go through it alone. We’re the support to your tank, Nadie!”

Nadie responded with a smile, keeping her emotions contained but feeling grateful to have wonderful friends. Even if she wanted to say anything, Lolly would’ve talked over her, finding an in to redirect the conversation to someone else.

“When are you going to tell us your boyfriend or girlfriend’s name, hmmmmmm? Don’t think just because we’re meeting here for Nadie that I’ve forgotten you’ve replaced us and don’t need us anymore. Not even wanting to game. Like what even is that? Too much of a life for your friends.” Lolly complained, leaning herself up against Marco, giving him the crazy eyes as she interrogated for answers.

“I'm not going to lie,” Amity chimed in, grinning mischievously. “I am curious. Last time I saw you, you had such a glow. Whoever you’re with is totally fucking your brains out and I’m so jealous.” Amie’s vulgarity and pointing out an obvious, lewd fact caused Nadie to blush because unlike everyone at this table, including Lolly, she was so innocent and pure. She was a virgin. Clearing her throat, she grabbed her hard cider, chugging down more than she meant to. She didn’t drink often so she knew she was going to feel that later… well, she was already feeling it so there was no later.

Nadine hadn’t been the only one to go a little red when they brought up the someone new (or old in this case) in Marco’s life. Marco was getting better at developing his poker face. Danny could still see through it from a mile away but that was only because he was powerless whenever he was around him. Danny knew it. Marco knew it, but around his girls - the squad - he could hide it a bit better, but even with them he couldn’t keep the charade up for long.

Feeling all of this pressure was getting to Marco and he looked down, taking a sip from his Mr. Pibb, silence taking over his end and he pondered about telling them. He knew they wouldn’t not be happy for him having someone in his life, but even without knowing the name, they knew about Danny because they knew about the person who broke him into shambles. More than Charlie Decker ever did. The whole notion of telling them about Danny had, if he was completely honest with himself, absolutely scared him shitless. But he knew as long as he was happy, they’d be happy too…at least that’s what Marco hoped.

“I guess my poker face isn’t as good as I hoped it would be,” he commented, laughing as he took another quick sip. “So yes, there is someone in my life. A guy--” Marco immediately turned his gaze on Lolly for a short moment as if to put all of her suspicions to rest. “It happened about a month ago more or less. He’s uh…” As he felt a tightness in his throat, there was something blocking Marco from speaking. A fear. A tense apprehension about how they would judge him. He wouldn’t blame them because they didn’t know Danny at all. Only that he was with someone that he loved and had completely broke him. But things were different now. Marco was different. Danny was different. They all had gone through incredibly difficult trauma in their own right and and they were here, all together. Through everything that should have broke them, it didn’t.

“He’s uh, what?!” Lolly demanded Marco to speak. “Come on, don’t leave us hanging like this. What’s his name? Where does he work? Does he have a car? Do I need to visit him? Is he hot?” Now that Marco was finally speaking about his lover, Eloise wanted to get as much as she could from him. The more she knew, the better everyone would be. That was her philosophy. “Whoever it is, tell them I’ll beat their ass if he makes you cry just like I’m planning on beating Ross’ ass.”

“Lolly,” Nadine cut in, tired of her dragging Ross’ name in the dirt and her childish interrogation of who Marco was with. “Give it a rest, please.”

Amity chuckled at the immature Gremlin’s display. “Girl you’re so tiny, there’s no way you can take down Ross and whoever Marco’s screwing.”

Before Lolly’s rapidfire questionnaire, Marco was feeling tense. He couldn’t bring himself to speak. Couldn’t find the words he wanted, but in a weird way, Lolly being Lolly, it was reassuring. The crackhead energy she always had helped him feel at ease. When she wasn’t using that superpower for evil, it was one of the few things that put his mind at ease. “It’s alright, Nadie. I don’t mind. It just shows she cares,” Marco laughed, smiling at the Gremlin next to him. “He doesn’t have a job as far as I know, but he does pick me up almost every day from the Godmother. And his car is very nice. Very shiny. Very blue.” Just speaking out loud about Danny, answering almost all of Lolly’s questions, Marco felt at least comfortable in the fact that just telling them was nothing to be worried about. He was happy, so that’s all that should matter.

He took in a deep breath and as he slowly exhaled, he just said it, “His name is Danny Belmonte and…well, he’s the boy I was seeing before. From high school. The one that I was seeing up until Junior Prom before…you know.” Marco’s heart couldn’t stop beating. He understood what they might be thinking. Maybe he was stupid to get back with Danny - at least, that’s what his mind had him thinking the moment he said it out loud. In his mind, he knew they could see how happy he was but he also knew how he was with them after Danny broke his heart.

“I knew who you were talking about when you described his ride. He’s the only one driving a luxury sports car straight from Italy,” Amity reached for her whiskey sour and surveyed the area around them. “Also who the fuck doesn’t know Danny Belmonte? He’s literally the only son of Taz.” Whether you were on Scott Street or Cherry Street, Taz made himself known to many, having friends from all areas, one including Kamilla Briteson. A known and respected mother figure of the Southside serpents. “He does have a job, by the way. He waits at Palermo. He also does salsa every Tuesday.”

Nadine narrowed her eyes at Amity, thinking this was all rather suspicious. Taking another sip of her hard cider, she asked, “Why do you know all this?”

“Sister is literally best friends with Kingsnake so I get some deetz of all the people she sees. I sometimes get pasta with my girls so Danny’s served us more often than not since Palermo has a small staff. And like a couple months ago I took an intermediate salsa dancing program and Danny was there. Don’t know if he still goes there but his dance partner was Caroline Sinclair. Small world, huh?” Amity shrugged. Her eyes falling on the wings Lolly ruined with her spit. So tragic, she would’ve eaten it all.

Eloise was going crazy. Not only did Nadine and Amity act like they didn’t hear that Marco got back with his ex but they were spitting facts about this man as if he was some Edenridge icon. Finishing her Shirley temple, she glared at Marco, “so you’re back with a boy that broke your heart and you,” her sharp, offended gaze went to Nadie, “are considering bringing a boy that hurt you back in your life. I DON’T GET IT!”

“The heart wants what it wants,” Amity shrugged before looking at her phone and seeing her ethot chat was poppin’. Texting her girls back, she continued to talk, directing her words to Marco but not glancing up from her phone, “Well, you’re a big boy, Marco, and I’m sure you wouldn’t have made this decision if you didn’t trust that Danny’s changed or is actively changing. You’re happy, and that’s all that matters.”

In truth, Marco omitted his job at Palermo in the event they actually didn’t know who he was. The last thing he wanted was for the girls - though namely Lolly - showing up to his family restaurant and grilling him about the past. He appreciated Lolly and how she would go to bat for him, especially because of how long it took Marco to finally get to a good place. These three, the squad, were a big part of why he has a better mindset. They provided the therapy session almost every night for a year, allowing him to find an escape and smile when his world was at its worst. Between them and PT with Roddy, they saved him.

Marco needed Lolly to understand so his gaze shifted to her and he also shifted his position in the booth to make sure she knew this was important. “Trust me, I get where you’re coming from. Believe me, there was a point last month when I thought me and Danny were done. Like leave-it-in-the-past done, but we had a conversation that not only opened up the wound, but addressed just about everything that went on between us when we broke up and everything leading up to it. I poured my heart out to him and now we have been together for a month.” Marco faced the others again, smiling at Amie. “I’ve been also learning not to be so doormat-like and expressing myself when I need to. And like Amie said, I am happy. Truly I am.”

“In this town, that’s something you should hold tight to,” Amie smiled at her friend, acknowledging his hardships but also acknowledging everyone at this table’s struggle to survive and stay afloat. This town was a challenging place to live in but as long as they had outlets that made the pain worth enduring, then they would be okay. Together, they would be okay. “Lolly, I’m glad you brought us out to meet. You don’t leave your house often so it’s nice to see you wanting to. ‘Side for you catching Nadie and Ross talking, what made you want to go outside?”

Bleh.

Her friends were so mature in comparison to her. Lolly frowned when she listened to Marco express his decision to be with Danny and that he was happy. She had no idea if that kind of happiness would ever find her nor did she think she would see it if she did. Losing Q took a lot out of her. Made her afraid to step outside. But Shannon challenged her and told her to go on an adventure and so here she was, trying to find her next adventure. Trying not to be scared to live because of the monsters that lurked in this town. “I want to be happy. Mrs. Shannon is trying to help me get there but I can’t be happy if I’m always on the computer.”

Little did Lolly know that an adventure was just about to walk inside the Hole…


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