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Realistic or Modern Empire City: The Irish Mob - IC (Closed)

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Mystery, Realistic, Romance
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Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin

Aliana Cartwright-Sullivan
"I love you too." Ali heard herself say, with more meaning in than she had ever heard in her own voice. It wasn't that whenever she said it she didn't mean it, it just felt different now. Their relationship was back on track, the love they had for each other was more prominent then it had ever been, and now they were trying for their second child. In the past, the amount of love she felt for her husband would have scared her away. But now? Now, she was used to it and openly welcomed it more everyday. Not only for her own sake, but for Leo's as well. It was important for him to grow up in a household where he knew what positive love with. If he could get that, than maybe their crazy life and the crazy family he was being brought up in wouldn't have too much of a negative effect on him later. Looking from Conor to Leo, she couldn't help but kiss the top of his head, much to his protest. "Mom!" He frowned and all she did was chuckle before returning to her meal.

A short moment later she found herself turning her attention to the other end of the table, where Finn was proposing to George. The smile on her face grew as she soon realized what it was he was doing. Babies and weddings seemed to be the theme of the family coming up for the next year or so and it was a better theme than bullets and bombs. "Congratulations, you two!" She said loudly, raising her glass once more to the newly engaged couple. The two of them had been through a lot back in Dublin, just like the rest of them, so they deserved this happy ending too. Even though she had been paying more attention to Finn, the look on Conor's face when Dublin was mentioned didn't escape her. She made a mental note to check on him later in regards to his happiness. For now she would recognize this happy moment and figure out what sort of gift she was going to get them. Matching cuff-links? A puppy? Or maybe a cat since there were already so many dogs in the family.

Refilling her glass, she turned to Blake as she asked her what she thought their husbands were up to. With a slight chuckle she took a sip of her glass. "They haven't seen in each other in a long time, love. You know they've always been more in love with each other than us, so perhaps they're thinking of running away together. Again." She joked, glancing at their husbands clearly whispering about. "How have you been though? With all the craziness going about, we haven't had the chance to catch up. I miss you around here."

Leo was growing tired of hearing all of the adults talking about things that didn't interest him. At one point, he was going to try and reach for his mother's glass just to do something exciting but his parents kept staring at each other making it near impossible. Then there was the kiss on the forehead, to which he replied to in disgust and annoyance. She was always doing sweet stuff to him and it was gross. Turning to Thomas as he spoke to him, he couldn't help but let out a chuckle to his comment. "I agree. Although I wish I only had to deal with the dogs. They're way better." Watching as Thomas picked up the biscuit, he knew his cousin was up to no good and he was all for it. Today's shenanigans included a biscuit and their poor unsuspecting target was Syd. He was distracted, which would prove to be his downfall and their prime moment to strike. Seeing as his mom was distracted talking to his aunt Blake, his father was busy talking to uncle Jackson, aunt Lucy and uncle James were also engaged in other matters, this was perfect. Leo gave a nod to his partner in crime. "Do it."
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Emery and Savannah Callahan

Savannah looked to Roxie as her friend took her hand whilst addressing her. The blonde sent her a soft smile as she invited her to stay at her house. "Oh yeah, I know all about that. Try sharing with Brady!" she remarked, nudging her brother as the subject of living with 'boys' came up. "Hmm. I can certainly call you and it would be nice if you managed to come see me. Since all the bad stuff that's been happening, I'm having to stay with my parents until things die down. I've not been back to my apartment for a few weeks," she admitted. She then returned to her food as Roxie and Syd had a moment with each other.

Emery looked to Braden when he told her to let Natasha work her way up to talking. Being as outgoing as she was, it was always a little trickier toning things down when in the company of introverts. As it happened, she was surrounded by four of them. Savannah, Braden, Natasha and Olivia were all pretty quiet. Lorelei was not only a fellow redhead but also apparently a fellow talkative extrovert. Braden kept his speech short and sweet before he discreetly slid his beer towards her. "Legend," Emery quietly told him, flashing him a cheeky smile. It turned out their parents did see, but on this occasion it seemed like neither Sinead nor Peter were concerned. Emery could only assume it was a Thanksgiving treat and she wasn't about to be ungrateful about it, so she soon took a drink from the glass.

When Natasha finally spoke up, Emery turned to the girl with an encouraging smile on her face. "Oh yeah, it's pretty neat here, right?" she enthused when Natasha said she liked being at the Porter house. There was then mention of a Mr. Snuggles, which caused Emery to raise an eyebrow as she figured it was a teddy bear or something. When it was confirmed it was indeed a stuffed animal - a cat, in fact, Emery's eyes lit up. "Mr. Snuggles sounds great," she said, quickly nodding her head. Her mind was cast back to when she was around Natasha's age and she had a soft toy of a rainbow-coloured cat. It had been a gift from Syd and Skye when they all lived back in Dublin. She briefly glanced to Syd before turning back to Natasha. "I used to have a stuffed animal like that when I was younger. Rainbow fur, mind you, because I was obsessed with rainbows!" she commented. She decided against mentioning where she got it, not wanting to change the mood around the table by mentioning Skye.

Taking another drink of beer, Emery tilted her head to the side as she looked towards her parents again. "Mum, what's that you're drinking? What happened to fancy cocktails on Thanksgiving?!" she loudly asked. Sinead didn't respond to Emery and instead looked down to her food as she apparently focused on what little was left on her place. Emery did, however, notice Savannah give her the eye and subtly shake her head. "Whaat?!" Emery asked, unsure why her sister was telling her not to question their mother.

Bella:D Bella:D (Natasha, Braden, Roxie, Peter) Pyroclast Pyroclast (Syd)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
James Porter, Sinead Callahan
George Sanderson

James hadn't been expecting Finn to propose to George, but when it happened he couldn't feel anything but happy for the couple. He'd known Finn for two decades and knew all too well how much the man deserved to be happy. He'd also got to know George over recent months, having not had much time to do so back in Dublin. He seemed like a good man, certainly not the kind of character he'd expect to have served a 10-year prison sentence. The man had also proved himself as a capable and trustworthy tutor the the kids, managing to make a lot of progress with Thomas. James wouldn't have a clue with some of the things his son had to learn, so George was a lifesaver on that front. All in all, the wedding engagement was a much needed piece of good news after recent weeks.

James noticed Thomas and Leo whispering to each other, followed by Conor apparently saying something discreetly to Jackson. "It's like a mothers' meeting with all this whispering going on," he mumbled to Lucy. "Wonder what the big secrets are." This was soon followed by Emery drawing attention to Sinead's non-alcoholic drink - a rarity where the redhead was concerned. "What's up, Pete? Is Sinead the designated driver tonight..." James trailed off, his voice suddenly getting quieter as the penny suddenly dropped. James reached out for his drink and knocked back the whisky, lightly nudging Lucy's leg with his knee under the table, hoping for her to help him out of the hole he'd started to dig.

Sinead rolled her eyes as Emery and then James spoke up about her drinking lemonade. "Jeez. Finn and George just got engaged but you're obsessing over my drink? Maybe I want to taste this wonderful food without the alcohol getting in the way," she sarcastically suggested.

Seeing Sinead turning red in the cheeks, George looked to Finn, wondering if there was a way they could help her out of an apparently uncomfortable conversation. He then cleared his throat and began to address the table. "Well, it goes without saying that I'm thankful to have this amazing, handsome man in my life," he said, looking to Finn with deep admiration. He then motioned to Peter. "And to have been lucky enough to have met Peter when I did. I'm also glad James and Lucy gave me a change to work for them," he said, nodding towards the couple. "You've all got a smart bunch of kids in this family and I enjoy teaching them." He smiled as he looked around the table. "It means a lot to have you all accept me into this wonderful family," he concluded. There had been someone in the family who had been far from accepting of him and Finn's relationship, but he hadn't heard from Shannon in some time. He wasn't sure how they woman felt after all of those years.

Sinead still felt the awkwardness, convinced people were suspicious of her not drinking alcohol. She leaned to Peter and caught his attention. "Shall we just tell them now? It feels like bad luck not to say anything now. I think James and Luce already know," she quietly told him. "I feel nervous. Can you say it?" she asking, awkwardly biting her lip. She had a feeling she'd just burst into some mess of happy tears if she tried to do it.

Bella:D Bella:D Enzyme Enzyme Pyroclast Pyroclast Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Syd Porter and Jason Costello

1588707539853.png Syd looked up from his meal in alarm when he heard Jason say he hadn’t seen his family for 27 years. The awkward silence that fell between the four of them prevented him from asking any more probing questions and decided to leave the conversation to rest. It was such an unexpected thing to hear that Syd’s mind instantly attempted to make sense of it. To live in the same city as the family he hadn’t seen for more than half his lifetime seemed extraordinarily daring and yet tempting at the same time. Although it was impossible to put himself in Jason’s shoes as he didn’t know the context, Syd didn’t think he would have made that decision. Either he would live there with the intention of meeting them again, or he wouldn’t live anywhere near them.

Roxie chimed in then, reverting back to what he had said about his first Thanksgiving. Her words drew a sweet smile from Syd and he had to wait to swallow his mouthful before saying to her, “Now you can associate it with me and this crazy bunch!” He kissed her lightly on the lips then let go of her hand so that they could both carry on eating. Jason smiled too, though he could sense the tension radiating from the woman beside him. “Aye, it’s fantastic so far,” he politely enthused, purposefully not bringing up the Lorelei incident again.

tumblr_ol6ij9BOOh1vujk9vo2_250.gif Just as he was searching desperately for something lighter to talk about, the table’s attention was drawn to the couple seated beside him as Finn professed his love for George and proposed. Despite the tension between him and Gwen, the smile that formed on Jason’s face was not at all forced. It was the first time he had ever witnessed a proposal and was surely made even more unforgettable by the fact that it was between two men. Syd’s jaw dropped open and he squeezed Roxie’s thigh under the table in his excitement. “Oh my GOD!” he exclaimed, slamming his fork down on the table to free his hand, which he then placed over his heart. “Well, it’s about damn time!” He raised his glass of wine up high above his head. “To Finn and George!” he cheered, and proceeded to drain his glass. The couple had shown Syd a great example of how to have a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship and he always looked to them with admiration and respect, even if he couldn’t quite get his head around the idea of being attracted to a man. While he himself had never felt it, Finn and George’s love for each other was unquestionable.

The first plate of food that Syd had packed away wasn’t enough to prevent the alcohol from softening his vision. However, he still managed to catch the serious expression on Gwen’s face from across the table. She seemed a bit down, but the surprise engagement had for him overridden the shock of Jason’s dismal confession and so he couldn’t think of why she might not be as happy as everyone else. “Here, Aunt Gwen, have some more,” he offered, beginning to pile more stuffing, turkey and casserole onto her plate without waiting for an answer. He then did the same for Roxie and Jason, and finally himself, including a generous top up of wine. “How do you like Thanksgiving so far, babe?” he asked Roxie, with a bright smile that practically eradicated her opportunity to express anything other than positive feedback. “Came for a meal, and ended up with a wedding invitation! And we’ll get to bring the little ones, too, all dressed up…” He looked down to her belly with a fondness in his eyes and moved his hand beneath the table to gently hold it.

Leaning in towards the new fiancés, Jason laid a hand on George’s back. “Hey, congratulations to both of youse,” he said with a warm smile. They had been the first of Gwen’s family to ever make him feel welcome and so, especially after Finn had helped to save Gwen’s life, Jason would always like them. When he turned back to Gwen, Syd and Roxie, he found that Syd had refilled everyone’s plates. It was clear that the holiday meant a lot to the younger man and it wasn’t hard to see why. He knew the tension between himself and Gwen wouldn’t be broken until after they had had a conversation - which he hoped wouldn’t devolve into a fight - so, on the off chance that she was willing to put it to the back of her mind until after dinner, he draped an arm around the back of her chair and began to lightly caress her shoulder in attempt to make peace. “So is there a marriage proposal at every Thanksgiving, or am I just lucky? Your family’s settin’ my standards high, let me tell ye.”

Interactions
Misty Gray Misty Gray George
Bella:D Bella:D Roxie, Gwen, Finn
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin

Theodore "Teddy" Wycliff
Tatiana had made an interesting point about his plan, things that he had overlooked. "That's... True." Taking a pause, he had to rethink some things. Based off the relationship Anton had told him, they definitely suspected it had been the Moretti's. But to Teddy, that meant there was an opportunity to fix that. "However, that gives us the opportunity to show them where to Porter's lack. We hit their safe house, sure. But, it can be used as a message that they should be working with people their enemies dare not hit." When Gabriel asked him for more information, his eyes shifted from daughter to father as he prepared himself to give an answer. "We've only being talking about the future of their partnerships. Anton, the second in command, has his own plans he'd like to give to his boss. I'm not privy to those details, however, I am privy to the obstacles they face. Like the police and getting their shipments, for one." He took a sip from his cup, finishing the information that he had in his head. When asked for more of the information he had gathered, he nodded his head. "I'll gather the info up in a more... Tasteful sight for you." He stated, the mess he has hiding in his apartment coming to mind. Teddy could only hope that this was more than enough to help him work his way back into Gabe's good gracious. For the most part, he seemed to have no issues with his plan and even wanted to look into it. The way he saw it, if he didn't want anything to do with it he wouldn't have asked for more details.

The next thing he knew, his boss was sending him off to Miami; a second chance he called it. There was business that Gabriel needed done and he trusted Teddy to get it done. Teddy took this to heart as his true redeeming moment. The relationship the Moretti's had with their people back in Miami was important and Gabe trusted him to do it. But he was also excited to be going back to Miami and seeing people he had to leave behind. Not so much the women he was happy about never seeing, but the business associates he did enjoy seeing and talking to. He only had a couple of days to get his affairs in order before he left for home. Hearing that he would be gone for the next three months or so, he was slightly worried about his boss but he didn't dare say or show that much. He was already on thin ice and he wasn't going to do anything to make matters worse for himself. "Yes sir, I look forward to it."
 

Bella:D

Yes, I put pineapple on pizza. Sue me.
Gwen Bryant
Thomas Porter
7848DE0A-B448-4D95-9F89-849610D406DF.gif
Gwen listened passively to the conversation between the other three as she thought about why exactly Jason would keep the fact that his family was in New York a secret from her. Before she could even attempt to excuse herself and Jason from the table, Finn sweetly proposed to George which prompted a small smile from Gwen. Everyone was so excited around her yet Gwen couldn’t match the current energy. Once everyone was settled down, Syd proceeded to pile some more food on her plate. ”Thanks, Syd.” Gwen murmured to her nephew before he turned to his girlfriend. The redhead turned to look at Jason from the corner of her eye before her attention was turned to Lorelei right beside her as she complained about not being able to cut her ham. ”Let me see, love.” Gwen said to her daughter as she began to cut the ham for her. Occupied with Lorelei for a moment, she didn’t realize that Jason had draped his arm over her chair, only turning to him after he touched her shoulder gently. ”Hmm?” She asked as her attention turned back to him. ”Oh...I think you just got lucky.” Gwen said simply before turning to her glass that was currently empty. ”I’m gonna finish the bottle off for you, Syd.” She said to him as she grabbed the wine bottle from his side across the table. She had made an effort not to drink around Jason as a courtesy to him but right now, she didn’t feel like being so courteous given the fact that he had been lying to her.

Suddenly, something came flying across the table, hitting Syd right in the face as Gwen was pouring her glass of wine. Gwen’s jaw dropped and a laugh escaped her as she set the bottle down and raised both of her hands. ”That wasn’t me!” Gwen told her nephew just as Thomas’ name was called by Lucy. ”No throwing food at this dinner table, young man! If you are done eating dinner, go find something else to do! Or I will make you clean up this whole table by yourself!” She scolded to which the youngest Porter only snickered. ”Okay, okay...I’m done.” Thomas looked to Leo before nodding his head in the direction of the stairs. ”I got these new action figures upstairs...maybe we can chuck them at Syd later too.” He said before pushing out his chair with a loud screech, running towards the stairs after pushing his chair in.

Gwen shook her head as her giggles subsided, taking 3 major gulps of her very full glass of wine before turning to Jason and leaning in. ”I want to talk to you. Outside. Now.” Turning to Roxie and Syd, she smiled at the pair. ”We’ll be right back. Make sure Syd doesn’t drown himself, okay?” She teased to which Roxie only snickered. Pushing her chair out gently, Gwen moved and kissed Lorelei on the cheek, insisting that she finish her food before heading towards the front door. Leaving it open for Jason, she walked directly into the rain to distance herself from the house before turning to him, she didn’t want anyone hearing them argue...not when Jason had to make a good impression on them.

”So when the fuck were you going to tell me your family is here?” She ask as the rain began to soak her entirely. Frustrated, she moved hair away from her face as she glared at him. ”I thought we were done with this shit! No more lies remember?! What game are you trying to play, Jason? How do you expect me to trust you when you can’t even tell me about your past and present?”
with: Syd +Jason Pyroclast Pyroclast
mentions: Leo Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Jason Costello

1589908222830.png On reflection, Jason realised it had been a long time since he had seen Gwen with a drink in her hand. He supposed it was due to his history of alcohol dependency that the two never went out drinking anymore, as well as her own battle with heroin addiction. It was unusual, then, to see her take up the bottle of wine - a simple gesture, packed with meaning that only Jason would understand. Syd, on the other hand, was totally clueless and happily passed it to her, saying, “Knock yourself out! There’s enough here for us all to get completely rat-arsed!”

No sooner had he finished his sentence than a biscuit came flying through the air, smacking into Syd’s nose with an eruption of crumbs. He caught it before it fell into his lap and raised it, ready to throw it back. “Who -” he began, but when Lucy called out his brother’s name, Syd only threw him a playful glare. “I’ll get you for that later, you little tyke!”

Despite the tension that came before a fight, Jason couldn’t help but enjoy the scene. For all the parties he had been to in his life, there had been few with so many children present. It felt like a real family, the kind he knew he had missed out on in his life. Gwen turned to him then, almost as if reading his mind, and demanded to talk to him outside. Jason didn’t hesitate to stand, only glancing over to Lucy briefly as it felt rude of him to be the among the first to leave the table. But as much as he didn’t want a fight, he knew he owed Gwen an explanation and wanted to get it out of the way. The sooner they sorted it out, the sooner Gwen could go back to enjoying her holiday - he would just have to be careful not to make everything worse.

Watching Gwen march through the pelting rain away from the house made Jason sigh, and he found himself hunching against the cold as he followed her. “Jaysus, it’s really lashing it down out here,” he called after her, looking back and squinting at the warm house. “Sure ye wouldn’t rather -” Of course, Gwen didn’t care what he was saying and interrupted him, letting her anger fly. Placing his hands on his hips, Jason managed to keep up the eye contact until she was done, and then he let his gaze drop to the ground and shook his head. A moment passed as he gathered himself, leaving only the storm to fill the silence between them.

“I’m sorry,” he eventually spoke up, having to raise his voice to be heard above the rustling trees and the rain hammering onto the ground. “Gwen, look, I really am. I never wanted to lie to ye, it’s just...complicated.” Her words rang through his head and an unsettling thought came to mind that he may have finally damaged her trust beyond repair. “They’re not a part of my life, Gwen, and I want to keep it that way for good. Gone, buried, never spoken of. But I’ll tell ye now, because...I love you. And that means letting you see every part of me, baggage and all. So will ye hear it now?”

There was a weight forming in his chest that grew heavier by the second. The words he wanted to say to her were racing through his mind, yet when he tried to speak they got caught in his throat, leaving him with a hesitant, anxious expression on his face. He kept clearing his throat as though readying himself to speak, but he couldn’t get started. “Uh, just...Look, I’ve never...I’ve never talked about them to anyone, so…” Jason dragged a hand down his face and swept back his sopping hair. He was divided between wanting to tell her everything and wanting to tell her nothing. "Just to be clear, I'm not looking for pity when I tell ye this. I know how it sounds, but it's just the way it is now. This is the last thing I'd ever tell anyone - I swear to Mother Mary there does be nothin' left after this."

He knew he was stalling, but he couldn't help it - it took some pacing and a couple of deep breaths before he finally made up his mind to speak. "My ma was a critical, selfish, manipulative bitch," he candidly told her. "When my father joined the British army, she put the shame of it on me and my two older sisters and wouldn't ever let us see him again. When he was killed in the war, so 27 years ago now, she took my sisters to America with all the inheritance money and left me to fend for myself. I had my Nana, on my da's side, but she was too sick to work." A chill went down his spine then, but he simply put it to the rain that soaked his shirt through to his skin. He was trying to reel it all off like a news bulletin, leaving out all the emotion to make it easier to recount. "My ma never liked me, I was always her least favourite kid, and ever since she left I've heard nothing from her. I don't know what happened to Róisín and Neasa- she probably convinced them never to look back on their old life, their brother included - but I know my ma made it. And she made it big. When I go to auditions, people say, ‘Costello? Not related to Dana, are ye?’ and I have to always pretend not to be her son. That's not hard - especially since they're always jokin’, like. But what is hard..." Despite his efforts, he couldn't completely keep his composure and let out a small chuckle to try to balance it out. "What's hard is hearing her fuckin’ voice on the radio, readin’ her name in all the papers, seein' her face on movie posters and all."

Talking about his mother was so new and uncomfortable that even in the pouring rain, Jason could feel his temperature rise and his heart beat heavily in his chest. Their names tasted bitter on his tongue, and the briefest of temptations to wash it away with alcohol came over him. He had always felt ashamed of being Dana's unwanted son, and had even changed his name to Jason so he wouldn’t always hear Iasan in his mother’s critical voice. "I know they're in New York," he slowly drew out, getting to the point that had angered Gwen in the first place. "My ma, at least - because she wrote to me when I was in London. Invited me to spend Christmas with her...I never wrote her back or went to see her. And I don't intend to, ever. It'd mean a load of publicity that I just don't want...I just don't think I could handle it. The only reason I came to this city was to see if…" His voice fell and he hung his head, having to take a moment to steady himself as an unexpected wave of emotion threatened to tip him over the edge. "If I could make it on Broadway. But I'd rather not make it at all than make it because of a connection to her."

The irony of it drew another disheartened chuckle from him, which was quickly replaced by a solemn expression. After a few seconds had passed, he cleared his throat and looked back over to Gwen. "And that's it," he concluded. "I swear to ye, on my Nana's grave, that's the lot of it. I don't want to lose you, Gwen - you're the love of my life, for God's sake. You always will be, even if ye don't want to be wit' me anymore. I'm sorry I went and damaged your trust again, after everything that's happened, everything I promised. I guess I've got some shite to work through, sure. But I just want to put it behind me. You understand what that's like…"

Interactions
Bella:D Bella:D Gwen (Roxie, Thomas)
 

Enzyme

The All-Powerful Enzyme!
Jackson McCarthy

giphy2.gif
The appreciation speeches snaked around the table until it ended with a big bang, an unexpected proposal. Jackson was totally oblivious to the concept of a same-sex relationship, but due to his carefree philosophies, he had no issue with the idea. Even with such a controversial topic, homosexual marriage, he still had nothing but admiration for Finn and George, knowing the cousin for the better part of two decades. With the announcement, he shared an enthusiastic cheer with the rest of the family members, before shaking Finn's shoulder in encouragement. "He'll make an honest wife outta' you," he joked, looking to Blake across the table with an expectation for an unapproving glare.

With the dinner commencing, the senseless chatter began, along with the bottomless bourbon. Before Jackson had finished his second entree, the rigged tumbler had been drained more than a few times. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and from an outsider's perspective, it wouldn't seem like anyone there had a care in the world. At their most basic form, the Porters were just an extended family, with endless taps of love and support for one another. Even with only being in New York for a brief period, with a scan around the table, there wasn't one unwelcomed, uncelebrated face in his mind.

The dinner had been going so delightfully, that Jackson had almost forgotten about the gift he had promised. With his arm around the back of his best friend's chair, he looked to Conor when he was reminded about the surprise. Blake's telling eye warned off his sly smile, instead he jabbed Conor with his elbow. "Easy, mate, easy," Jackson chuckled softly. As Blake's gaze broke from him to Ali, Jackson turned into Conor's ear. "I was down by the docks last night, sayin' hi to the blokes from the Dublin route. There were a few Colombians hangin' around and we got to playin' cards." He looked around briefly, making sure no one was eavesdropping. With the coast clear, Jackson parched himself with a drink from his glass, before turning back to Conor with a cheeky grin. "I won four hands, and on the fifth, I won somethin' big. Come take a look."

Jackson knocked back his drink before standing out of his chair. He clumsily leaned over the table to Blake - the wobble in his legs made it evident that the liquor had already set in. "Conor and I are will be around, right Luv'?" He nodded to her with a mischievous grin, his eyes finding Ali's as well. As he stepped back, he tugged Conor on the arm.

Before they disappeared from the table entirely, Jackson stopped abruptly. "Hm... Who else..." He trailed, looking to the family. "Ah, Pete'!" Jackson slapped his hand down on Peter's shoulder, smiling down to him. "Come along, lad," his eyes drew a line to the children strung along their side of the table. "We got some grown-up business to address."

Jackson led the men to the isolated study room, pushing open the tall glass doors. "Right, lads. I got a little festive surprise," Jackson began, tipsily slipping his finger into his coat. "I ain't neva' done it before, but the boys down on the pier made it look like a right buncha' fun." He produced a bag of white powder, wrapped in gray duct tape. "I won this in a game and its supposed to be worth more than the watch on my wrist, so I figure it's gotta' be somethin' we try at least once." Jackson looked to Peter and Conor with his tongue poking out, an eager expression on his face. "You boys in or what?"

Misty Gray Misty Gray (Conor) Bella:D Bella:D (Peter/Blake/Finn) Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Ali)
 
Last edited:

RayPurchase

Senior Member
Mitchell Van Gerwen
Mitch could have felt the daggers coming from Syd. Roxie had of course taken the compliment for what it was, but he could almost hear Syd’s mind working trying to find the hidden barbs contained within his words. It wasn’t that surprising to be honest, he hadn’t exactly expected Syd to welcome him with open arms, not after how their last encounter had gone. It would take time to repair the bridges that had been so unceremoniously burnt. Thankfully Syd was quickly banished from his mind, whoever had organised the seating plan had done well to put a fair bit of distance between them, reconciliation wasn’t going to be found in such a public place as the dinner table. He grinned at Rachel as Syd and Roxie moved away.

“An organised bombsite I like to call it. It may be a mess to the untrained eye, but I know what lies underneath every pile,”

Thankfully seats were being taken now, and he was able to be swept away from Syd and Roxie, perhaps he could even forget about them entirely for the next few hours. Unlikely, but it had perhaps a very slight probability of occuring. He slid Rachel’s chair out, sliding it back under her before taking his seat next to her. Here he was surrounded by the hustle and bustle of various close family members and relations, work colleagues, friends… and not so close friends. It was a veritable who's who, and for that moment it all felt so normal. That despite everything that they all did, it was just a normal celebration of people coming together. He gently squeezed Rachel’s hand. It was made all the better for her being there. Perhaps a small part of him wished that he had been able to take her to his own family’s celebrations, but he was kidding himself, the people he currently found himself surrounded by were already closer to family to him than his own blood. The speeches were beginning now, back slapping, smiles and laughs filling the room. His cheeks reddened a little as James focused on him. Mitch attempted to wave away the praise, scoffing at the words.

“Well you pay me enough boss, pretty sure it’s the very least I could have done,”

Even that wasn’t true. Conor had started as little more than a massive chore and just another job. But he considered him a true friend now, straight talking and still very much a look before you leap kind of guy. But one with good intentions all the way, and who wanted nothing more than to do good by his family. Mitch raised his glass quietly between the speeches in Conor’s direction, just a catching of the eye more than anything, nothing really had to be said, it was all quite clear enough.

(Interactions: Pyroclast Pyroclast Misty Gray Misty Gray )
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Sinead Callahan

Sinead could feel her heartbeat thumping in her chest as she anticipated Peter telling the family their happy news. It was the kind of nervous excitement she felt before getting up on stage. She had already started her day by releasing a heavy burden she'd been carrying with her for years and the relief she had felt since had felt good. Knowing her husband understood and still loved her had meant the world. Now, the secret she was carrying was a much happier one and she was sure it would only help lift her family's spirits even more during their merry evening. Before Peter could address the family, a piece of food flew across the table before hitting Syd in the face. Sinead stifled her laughter and turned to the direction she figured the flying food had originated, leaning forward a little to look to Thomas and Leo, expecting one of the boys was behind it. Lucy confirmed it was Thomas by calling the boy's name. "You're in for it now, mister," Sinead teased her nephew.

With the boys, Gwen and Jason departing the table, it appeared the moment had passed and so Sinead realised her news would wait. Her next focus was across the table to Conor and Jackson, who it appeared were going to be the next to leave the dining room. Their invitation was extended to Peter, leading Sinead to turn to look to her husband. For the children's sake, Jackson said it was grown-up business and given Conor's new role in the family, it was certainly plausible. However, Sinead figured they were more likely to be getting drunk and celebrating Thanksgiving in their often 'messy' manner. Sinead smiled at her husband before leaning in to kiss him on the cheek. "Have fun, Petey. I'll be the sober one tonight," she playfully told him.

Once the three men had left the table, Sinead scooted into Peter's vacated seat beside Syd. She nudged his arm before resting her elbow on the table and leaning forward to look to him. Catching Roxie's attention, she sent the young woman a warm smile, feeling excited for the couple as they were expecting twins. She turned back to Syd and smiled brightly to him. Where mental health was concerned, she shared enough in common with him to understand the kind of hell he'd been through, so it felt great to know both she and Syd were both going through happier times at present. "How's it going?" she sweetly asked him. "Have you started buying things for the nursery yet? Oh my God! I should give you the names of some amazing stores in town that sell the most adorable little outfits," she beamed. "I've always looked into the store windows when passing by and wanted to just go on a shopping spree," she admitted, though the fact all of her kids were grown up was a good enough argument against shopping for baby clothes. Now she realised she would have a good reason to, but she told herself she should wait a little while longer before shopping for her own baby, given the heartache she had previously suffered.

Pyroclast Pyroclast (Syd)
Bella:D Bella:D (Peter)
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Chase Zegarra

1590247034756.png In the four years since Chase had joined the Irish Mob, the kind of jobs he took on had got steadily more extreme. Back when he worked as a drug mule, the crimes he committed were so easy that after a while it barely felt like a crime at all to fly a cargo of illicit cigars across the sea. Now, he found himself growing accustomed to gunfights and having enemies to watch out for. Nothing had yet come within the same league as Roxie’s rescue mission, however - gathering up the dead bodies of his colleagues; having to abandon another who had been thrust into the water from the force of gunfire; creeping through the darkness, shooting down enemies; sitting in a mess of blood and brains on the journey back to base. It was a far cry from the work he had been doing in Cuba, but Chase was a keen learner and so found his place in the mob faster than he could have expected. Sometimes he wondered if he ought to be more affected by the things that he did.

Still, since that night, all of his jobs were a breeze in comparison. Having never celebrated Thanksgiving, Chase was happy to be tasked with collecting a large shipment of cocaine. This particular occasion had turned out to be especially pleasant, as he had been greeted at the dock by his father’s old friend, Jerón, whom he tended to see only when he travelled to Havana. Since there was a job to do, they kept to the task of signing papers and unloading the cargo. It was always wise to get the job done as quickly as possible to avoid arousing suspicion, but as the job came to a close, the two gravitated towards each other for a short catch up.

Seeing his partner approach, Chase stepped back from their conversation to introduce her. “This is Jasmine,” he said, reverting back to English. “Jasmine, this is Jerón. He’s an old friend.”

The man closed his hands around hers for a friendly handshake. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Jerón smiled, before turning back to Chase. “Very beautiful lady. I know why you like to work in Yuma, gordo!” With a suggestive wink, he gave Chase a firm slap on the arm.

“Ay, Jerón, ya basta…’’ he mumbled, his cheeks reddening slightly. The rain was getting heavier, and he could see the ship rocking in the storm. “I’ll let you go before this storm gets worse. Di hola a los demás por mí, ¿vale? Hasta la próxima, cuídate.” They hugged briefly, but Chase didn’t stick around to see the man off.


The slamming of the truck door muted the storm, and soon he and Jasmine were alone again. After their interaction with Jerón, Chase felt a little tense around her and let out a sigh. “Right, are we going to The Lomax first?” he asked Jasmine. “I think their inventory is pretty low already.” He wanted to concentrate on the job, but he was still embarrassed from the way Jerón had behaved and didn’t feel like he should just breeze past it. “Sorry about him, by the way,” he sheepishly added. “Please forget everything he said...He just likes to tease me.”

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Misty Gray Misty Gray Jasmine
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Conor Sullivan

a47f9bbfa87724aa1ae26c42ab31de5b.jpgConor caught Thomas throw the food down the table. This was quickly followed by Lucy calling the boy's name. If anything, he was amused it wasn't Leo getting in trouble for a change, though he didn't doubt his own son had egged him on. This was soon followed by Thomas suggesting they headed upstairs to play with some new toys. "Leo! If you break anything, it's coming out of your Christmas loot," he warned his son. Though his tone remained light, Conor's face showed he was being serious. Little by little, he was determined to bring more discipline to his son's life. Before he could say anything else, the screeching of Thomas' chair cut him off long enough for the two boys to run out of the dining room.

Conor instead looked to Jackson out of the corners of his eyes as he felt the man jab him with his elbow. Keeping his eyes focused on the empty plate ahead of him, he listened to his friend's quiet words. He then turned to look to Jackson as he spoke of winning a big prize from playing cards with some Colombians. He nodded his head when invited to go take a look. Conor necked the rest of his beer before standing up and in time to have Jackson tug at his arm. Conor looked to Aliana, pursing his lips together to blow her a kiss. "We won't be long, Ali," he told his wife. He then pointed between Aliana and Blake. "You two ladies had better be pissed up by the time we get back," he joked.

When Peter joined them, Conor firmly patted the man's shoulder and Jackson led them out and towards the private study room. It wasn't long before Jackson drug out the bag of white powder and explained how it was his prize from the game of cards. "You mad bastard," Conor said, letting out a humoured chuckle. When asked if he was in or not, Conor shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know, mate. You know me, I'm all about clean living and sobriety," he sarcastically remarked. Whilst he'd be lying if he said he hadn't indulged in smoking cannabis, it was alcohol that had always been his go-to mind-altering substance. What Jackson had presented before them was a whole new experience. Given how the pressure and increase in responsibility were likely to consume him moving forward, Conor decided one more night of fun was perfectly reasonable. "Aye, I'm in, alright," Conor firmly assured Jackson. He looked to Peter to see if his brother-in-law was up for it. It wasn't exactly a night doing shots in the pub, so Conor had no desire to urge Peter to join in or to make him feel bad if he refused.

Enzyme Enzyme (Jackson) Bella:D Bella:D (Peter)
Mentioned: Melanin-Gxdess Melanin-Gxdess (Aliana, Leo)
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Syd Porter

tumblr_ol6ij9BOOh1vujk9vo2_250.gif In such a merry atmosphere, Syd’s attention was all over the place - most of it was on his food, but his eyes kept flitting over to wherever there was laughter and his cheeks had begun to ache from smiling so much. He was also trying to watch Lorelei to make sure that she was eating as Gwen has told her to. All of the children, but especially the youngest ones, inspired a strong paternal instinct in him. He had begun to watch their behaviour more closely and observe how each of their parents treated them and disciplined them. One day, he would be the one telling his children to finish their meals, and it would be them running around the dining table, no doubt causing mischief like their Uncle Thomas. The thought of his baby brother becoming an uncle was hilarious to him, and Syd still had an amused grin on his face when he felt someone nudge his arm.

“Aunt Sinead!” he exclaimed, as though he hadn’t seen her for a long time. “Oh, it’s going great! Isn’t the food incredible? I swear, there is no one out there that can throw a party like us!” Sinead matched his excitement by bringing up the twins’ nursery, and was soon gushing about baby clothes. Syd listened intently - it was his favourite thing to talk about, and seeing his aunt get on his level of excitement only amplified his own. “You’ve been browsing baby clothes for them already?!” Of course, not knowing a thing about her own pregnancy, he had to assume she had been window shopping for the twins. “Sinead, we should go shopping, like right now -” Forgetting where he was in his drunken excitement, Syd checked his watch. “- or tomorrow!”

The alcohol was hitting him as quickly as if he had been drinking on an empty stomach. It had only taken one large glass to do the damage, but he seemed to have drunk so much wine that his vision was already swimming. Still, he kept his eager eyes fixed on his aunt until she agreed to go shopping with him. “It’ll be great. They are gonna be the most loved, beautiful, perfect baby girls…” He had picked up his glass of wine and trailed off as he looked for Sinead’s. It was apparent that she didn’t have any alcohol and Syd couldn’t understand why. “Who took your drink away? Here, take mine. I’ll borrow Gwen’s while she’s gone."

Syd slid his glass over to Sinead, almost tipping it over in the process as he leaned clumsily across the table to steal his aunt’s drink. “Sláinte! Or, as Roxie says...cento di...questi giorni!” Spoken in a slurred Irish accent, the Italian was barely identifiable - but he gave her a wink all the same, proud to at least have finally remembered the words. He took his eyes off Sinead completely as he drank, but had no reason to believe that she wouldn’t have drunk along with him.

After setting his glass down, already forgetting that it wasn’t his, he took Sinead’s hand. “You’re a painter, right? Do you still paint?” he asked. “I’ve been thinking about a mural for the nursery. Something pretty, like...I don’t know, woodland? Magical sky creatures? Sparkly stuff, Sinead stuff. I thought, who knows sparkly and pretty better than Aunt Sinead?” His request was punctuated with a small hiccup and he leaned his elbow against the table to steady himself, a dreamy smile plastered on his face that always came from talking about his daughters. “Are you up for it?”

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Misty Gray Misty Gray Sinead

Bella:D Bella:D Gwen (sorry, your drink is gone) Roxie (mentioned)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
James Porter and Rachel Harris

As soon as the food hit Syd, James' focus shot to Thomas, but Lucy saved him from having to tell the kid off for his antics. Still, seeing how Syd seemed amused by it himself, James decided not to follow up on it and lecture the kid about wasting the food they'd been treated to. Thanksgiving now was certainly a far cry from the ones James had as a kid. He'd have been lucky if Ronan had acknowledged it at all with his head so far into his work for Emmet. At best, James and Elijah would have had their own little party, being thankful that James had managed to get away with stealing the money they'd used to spend on treats. At mention of throwing the new action figures, James shook his head. "If you want to throw something, you go outside and throw a ball!" he called out after the boys, but shook his head in exasperation as they both ran out of the room. "I think we spoil him too much," James quietly spoke into Lucy's ear before placing a kiss on her cheek.

James rested his arm across the back of Lucy's chair, softly stroking her shoulder as he observed the others around the table. He'd seen Gwen lean into to discreetly say something to Jason, which was followed by the couple getting up and leaving the table. James averted his eyes elsewhere, deciding to give his sister space until it looked like she needed otherwise. Now his attention was focused on Jackson and Conor who excused themselves from the table and invited Peter to join them. Given that Sinead clearly had something she was keeping quiet about, James couldn't help but feel out of the loop. Though it was unnatural to do so, James told himself he was now able to ignore it and just enjoy his evening. He knew when he stepped down that he'd find it difficult to take a backseat and try not to concern himself with everyone else's problems, but it didn't mean it would be easy.

Shrugging off his thoughts, James turned to Mitch who was seated next to him. He recalled the lawyer still referring to him as his boss when pointing out he was paid to help the family out. "Well, let's hope your new boss still pays you well," he said, grinning as he pointed to the empty seat Conor had been occupying. "Y'know, if he turns out to be a real nasty slave-driver, you've only got yourself to blame, Mitch. You helped get that madman out of jail," he joked. He glanced to Lucy, in case she was disapproving about him ribbing her brother. "What do you reckon, Rachel?"

Rachel grinned as she caught Mitch's eyes. "The guy's a dictator. He had me working my fingers to the bone in that pub. I mean, you made my life harder getting him out of prison!" she sarcastically remarked. "But in seriousness, I'm sure he'll do good by us. Just like you did, Mr. Porter, and Liam before you," she assured the men.

RayPurchase RayPurchase (Mitch) Bella:D Bella:D (Lucy)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Jasmine Carpenter

14f4060e754823170e1ef71c48a0d96e.pngHaving worked on security in Upper East Side into the early hours of the morning, Jasmine hadn't woken up until the afternoon. It had been a calm shift without anything to report or break a sweat about. Still, she'd managed to get a good sleep and had honestly found it difficult wake up that afternoon. It hadn't been exhaustion, but the thought of spending another Thanksgiving alone. Fortunately, she soon after received instructions for a job that evening and she was grateful to be going out on a job for the evening. After taking her father's scheduled phonecall from his home that was the prison, Jasmine found herself craving work more than anything. Although she hated the process of being searched and stared out by the prison staff, she much preferred speaking to her father in person rather than merely over the telephone. Still, she had a spring in her step following the call and was soon dressed, ready to head out on her evening's jobs.

Jasmine was working alongside Chase that night, collecting and distributing the latest shipment of drugs. Whilst her colleague had a quick catch up with Jerón, Jasmine kept distance and focused on their surroundings, checking for anything suspicious or any unwanted company. The weather was wet and gloomy, but it did nothing to distract her from her duties. She knew they couldn't hang around for too much longer and risk raising suspicions, so she approached Chase and Jerón, with her colleague taking the opportunity to introduce them. "It's good to meet you, Jerón," she replied, returning his handshake and smiling in an amiable manner.

Jerón then turned back to Chase to make a comment about her, which was followed by Chase berating him in Spanish. She didn't need to speak the language to understand what he's said. Jasmine could have responded to Jerón, but she found it was easier to let it slide rather than pick some kind of argument that didn't need to exist. Though perhaps patronising or belittling, it wasn't like his words were intended to be explicitly offensive. After mentioning the storm, Chase's next Spanish words weren't ones Jasmine could decipher but it didn't seem like it was something she needed to be privy to.

Once back in the passenger seat of the truck, Jasmine ran her hand over the top of her head, brushing away any loose droplets from the heavy rain. Chase seemed awkward, the hunch backed up by his sigh. Jasmine nodded her head. "Yeah, The Lomax seems to shift it quicker than the others. Besides, once we get that one out of the way, the rest of the evening with be a breeze," she reasoned. Chase's sheepish apology caught Jasmine by surprise. She turned to him and smiled in a mixture of amusement and confusion. "Ohhh. You don't need to apologise on his behalf. I won't hold him against you," she remarked, with a crooked smirk. "Oh, so you want me to forget that he called me a 'beautiful lady'? I've certainly been called much worse!" Being a female in her line of work meant she was often grouped with men on jobs and she'd being on the receiving end of derogatory comments quite often. Jerón's was still patronising, but the wording was sort of a compliment in comparison.

"So, do you and Jerón go back a long time?" she curiously asked, hoping to steer away from making Chase feel awkward. "I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'm going to guess you knew each other in Cuba? Adam sometimes reminisces on about Havana, if we get time for talking. He's got me kinda of curious, to be honest," she admitted.

Pyroclast Pyroclast (Chase)
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Sinead Callahan

The way Syd enthusiastically greeted Sinead caused her to practically beam. It was always a treat for someone to react as excitably to her presence as she often did to theirs. She suspected the alcohol was partly to blame for his greeting, but it didn't make much difference either way. She smiled brightly as she hung onto his every word appreciating the food and the party. "Syd, I'm always browsing cute little clothes and toys. I'm glad I can finally start buying some of it again!" she told him. Whilst she was confirming she'd be buying gifts for the twins, she was on the inside also imagining how much she would soon be able to bring home to decorate her own nursery and buying clothes ready for her baby. "Syd, we totally should go shopping right now!" she said, quickly nodding her head. She started to laugh though, knowing already that wasn't exactly possible. "Tomorrow sounds like a better idea. When the stores are actually open."

Sinead smiled fondly as Syd gushed about how loved his daughters were going to be. "Of course they will be. I expect no less, Syd!" she firmly agreed with him. "My drink? Oh, nobody took it--" she began to assure Syd. She was silenced when he gave his drink to her. Sinead rested her delicate hand on the base of the wine glass, briefly tapping the glass stem with her long, painted fingernails. Thankfully, Syd was drunk and a little too excitable to await any explanation. He set about taking Gwen's abandoned drink and Sinead was grateful any focus on whether she was or wasn't drinking alcohol was nicely tucked away.

Sinead nodded when asked if she was a painter. "I don't get to do it so much these days," she sadly admitted. With the club being busy and so much else going on, she hadn't really taken much time to sit and do creative things just for the fun of it. When her nephew suggested she painted a mural for the twins' nursery, Sinead's eyes practically lit up. "Oh my... yes! That would be amazing, Syd. I would love to do that!" she accepted his offer. "So, like. It could be a cute little woodland scene, with a beautiful blue sky, fluffy white clouds, and you can have unicorns or fairies or even bunnies... Anything you want!" She paused as she imagined it in her head. "It could be a big, colourful feature wall. Every colour you can get. And maybe silver paint or even glitter. As much sparkle as you desire!"

Syd had hiccuped and was clearly intoxicated, causing Sinead to calm her enthusiasm and take on a more serious stance. "We can talk about it in detail tomorrow though. Let you and Roxie sleep on it, to decide exactly what you want for the nursery." She didn't want to take over any ideas Roxie might have and she also didn't want to hold Syd over a decision he might think differently about when sober. "Don't you think it's time we got some music going in the main room? See who can do the most embarrassing dancing?" she suggested. It was always interesting being sober at her family gatherings, especially as it never stopped her from encouraging the drunk ones to act silly.


Pyroclast Pyroclast (Syd)
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Chase Zegarra

1590370104081.png The streets were less congested than unusual, with so many people already settled indoors to celebrate Thanksgiving. When Chase turned on the windscreen wipers, they refused to work at full speed; he mashed the button a few times, but in the end had to accept that they would have to drive through the storm with caution. Still, since Jasmine seemed happy to laugh off Jerón’s behaviour, the journey was unlikely to be too awkward.

Even though he had his eyes on the road, Jasmine’s smirk could be heard on her tone when she playfully pointed out that she had been called worse things than ‘beautiful’. Chase cleared his throat, mildly affected by her teasing tone of voice, and said, “Well, you won’t hear anything like that from me.” His words echoed in his head and he frowned, wondering if his response could have sounded offensive. “Anything worse than beautiful, I mean. Anything disrespective.”

Keeping his eyes on the road ahead, Chase cringed inwardly as he wondered if he had just accidentally called her beautiful to her face. The part that he had wanted her to forget wasn’t even that, but rather Jerón’s insinuating that Chase was working in New York so that he could be around her. Of course, he wasn’t blind to her beauty - he didn’t see how anyone could miss it - but he never let it distract him from his work. Dating wasn’t something that crossed his mind often and he couldn’t remember the last time he had put his charms to the test. He had a career to keep him occupied, and plenty of hobbies to help pass the time between jobs.

The change of subject came as a relief, and he glanced at her with a small smile when they paused at a traffic light. “A long, long time...since 15 years, maybe. We worked in the same cigar factory in Havana, but we ended up going down the same path after that. He was a good friend of my father, so he still sees me like a kid sometimes. If you meet him again, just ignore everything he says...” Pulling away at the green light, Chase focused on the traffic for a moment before returning to Jasmine’s mention of Havana. “I think even the Cubans reminisce about Cuba,” he lightly joked. “Have you ever been? Do you wanna go someday?” Chase glanced to her with another smile before realising that his question had sounded like an invitation, and quickly looked ahead again. “I just mean - there are probably lots of opportunities for you to go there on business, if you wanted to. But if I was you, I wouldn’t get too curious. It’s not the paradise it used to be…I think the mob saved me from an impossible life there, and I’m very grateful that they let me continue to work for them here in New York. I don’t think I’ll ever live in Cuba again.”

Thinking of the repression and poverty that his home now faced depressed him deeply. Every time he spoke to an old friend he heard more horror stories that made him yearn for the past. In Jasmine’s company, however, Chase wasn’t going to let himself dwell on it - they were on a job, and he didn’t feel like he knew her well enough to dive into such a tender subject. “Anyway, not even communism can stop the sun from shining. The weather is great, the beaches, the late nights...I’m sure that’s the stuff Adam misses!” He was trying to paint a brighter picture of Cuba to elevate the mood of the conversation. “You’re a New Yorker, right? Have you ever been anywhere else before, outside of New York?”

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Misty Gray Misty Gray Jasmine
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Jasmine Carpenter

As Chase drove the truck and replied to her, Jasmine glanced to him as she sensed a kind of awkwardness coming from him. At first he said he wouldn't say anything like calling her beautiful, but then he clarified that he meant he wouldn't call her anything disrespectful - or worse than beautiful. Jasmine smiled to herself, deciding not to say anything more teasing and make the poor man any more uncomfortable. There was something endearing about him stumbling over his words and accidentally complimenting her. In her line of work, most of the people she worked with were male and a large amount of them came across as tough guys. For many of them, they had to be that way. Brave, strong and intimidating. Jasmine was sure Chase was no exception to those requirements. However, all of that didn't impress her if it meant a tough guy always had a wall of bravado built up around him. Although Chase might not think it, Jasmine liked seeing the awkward side of him - it made him more interesting and three-dimensional than some of his colleagues.

Regardless of his apologies for Jerón's words, he explained he'd known the man for quite some time and it sounded like the two were good friends. "Ignore what he says? I bet he has some embarrassing stories about you, huh?" she remarked, letting out a small laugh to show she was only joking. She fixed her eyes on the road as Chase spoke about Cuba. "No, I've never been there, but it sounds like a place I'd quite like to see," she answered him. "I'm not sure what Mr. Porter... Mr. Sullivan," she began, correcting herself as she remembered the change of management. "I'm not sure what kind of use they'd have for me in Cuba. I can mimic accents, but I don't really speak any of the language. You'd have to be my interpreter," she drily remarked. Spying and taking on false identities were tasks she'd been given in the past, but she doubted she'd get far in Cuba without speaking Spanish. "Maybe it's just a vacation that interests me. The beaches and parties sound amazing. Though I believe Adam misses the women most of all," she added, whilst rolling her eyes.

Jasmine observed the people out on the streets as they passed by in the truck. Though it was still active, she could see things were quieter than usual with many people at home celebrating Thanksgiving. She figured her night would continue to run smoothly in light of that so she didn't feel bad about having a personal conversation. "I've been to Connecticut on jobs a few times. I also visit my mother in Boston once in a while. Other than that, I've been firmly placed in New York for all of my life. Pretty dull, huh?" she told him. "How about your family? Are your parents still in Cuba?" she curiously asked.

Pyroclast Pyroclast (Chase)
 

Pyroclast

Add alcohol and stir!
Chase Zegarra

1590871011656.png It wasn’t often that Chase found himself having such personal conversations whilst out on a job. If anything, the subject usually stayed related to the task at hand or, when less concentration was required, was something light and forgettable that served little more than to strengthen camaraderie between two soldiers. But Chase liked listening to Jasmine speak. He wasn’t sure why, but he found himself wanting to remember everything that she told him. It wasn’t often that the two were partnered up, but with the whole family together for Thanksgiving they had less need for bodyguards. Her chatty personality made her easy to talk to and Chase had a feeling that he would end up learning a lot about who she was in their time alone together.

When she rolled her eyes at Adam’s weakness for the Havana women, he had to smile. "How about I fly you out on my next trip and leave you behind for a vacation?” he casually suggested. “Adam goes on about the women, but there are plenty of men that he doesn’t talk so much about. I’ll teach you how to flirt in Spanish before you go, if you want.”

He listened as she briefly recounted her experience with travelling. It wasn't much, but to him it wasn't any less impressive than his experience. Most of his travel was done to deliver cigars and cocaine and didn't allow for much cultural intake. Still, when she called herself dull, Chase found it hard to believe. “Oh, I don’t know about that,” he softly argued, slowing to turn the last corner. “Is it even possible to have a dull life in New York? Just look around us. I bet I could live the rest of my life here and still never see it all…”

Although he knew Jasmine to be friendly, her next question still came as a surprise to him. The nightclub was coming into view now, and Chase thought about that extra minute that having to drive through the rain had probably given them. Had it been a dry day, they might have already arrived and the conversation would have stopped before she could ask. “Uh, well...” he stalled, suddenly finding it harder to pay attention to the traffic as he pulled onto the club’s premises. With most of his closest colleagues already knowing about his father's murder - some having witnessed it first-hand - he wasn’t used to having to tell somebody for the first time. It wasn’t a question he was often faced with. “Both of my parents are dead,” he told her, trying to keep his tone light so as not to make her feel bad. “My mom when she gave birth to me, and my dad…” Chase looked over his shoulder to park, using the distraction to avoid thinking about that day. “My dad, when he stood up to Gabriel Moretti.”

With the windscreen wipers now switched off, the force of the rain formed heavy streams that flowed down the glass, obscuring their view completely. “Did we park under a cascade?” he softly muttered as he squinted through the window, not realising he had forgotten the correct word for waterfall. After exhaling a small, pensive sigh, Chase reset his mood and threw an eager smile at Jasmine. “Ready to get soaked?”


As soon as they stepped out into the rain, Chase spotted Tanya, one of the bartenders, huddled beneath the doorway on a cigarette break and called for her to find Adam. Since most of the containers would be kept together in storage, there was only one they needed to drop off at the club. But Chase liked to check in with Adam when he got a chance. He also wanted to give Jasmine a chance to forget what he had just told her. Spoiling the mood always made him feel guilty, even if it was for an important reason or for one that he couldn’t avoid. It wasn't that he didn't like Jasmine - he just wasn’t used to talking about such personal things with somebody he didn’t know well. Especially a woman.

It wasn't long before Adam joined them in the storage room. "¿Asere, qué bolá?" he smiled, giving the man a friendly slap on the arm. "Delivery for you. We're not hanging about - just wanted to check in and uh..." He glanced at Jasmine, smiling at how sodden they both must look, and raised a hand to sweep the raindrops from his face. "Shelter from this lovely weather we're having. Everything going alright with you, asere?"

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Misty Gray Misty Gray Jasmine, Adam
 

Misty Gray

Things and Stuff
Jasmine Carpenter
Adam Harper

Jasmine let out a small laugh as Chase suggested dropping her off for a vacation in Havana the next time he flew out there. "Oh really? I guess we'd best make a start on those Spanish lessons soon, then. All of those Cuban men will be getting snapped up before I get a look in," she joked. She observed the city through the passenger side window as Chase suggested there was a lot to do in New York. When she thought about it, she hadn't seen most of the city herself, despite living there her whole life. Things had always been so focused and limited to specific areas, both when growing up under her father's wing and since her employment with the Irish Mob. She had no issue with her commitment to the mob, but it did mean she tended to only go wherever she was assigned and didn't find much room to explore the city on her own accord.

Shortly after asking about Chase's parents, Jasmine mentally kicked herself for it. She knew her colleagues didn't usually like to get personal - herself included - yet she'd ended up getting a little carried away with the friendly chatter. She had to assume Thanksgiving was the blame. Even though she was working, the day brought with it a different atmosphere. She supposed that knowing many people were celebrating with friends and family had made her feel more relaxed herself. When Chase told her both of his parents were dead, Jasmine bit down lightly on her bottom lip as she secretly cringed. She was about to apologise and tell him he didn't need to answer, but no words came out as he told her his mother had died during childbirth. Seeing Chase concentrating on parking up the truck, Jasmine looked straight ahead as the rain pelted the windscreen. Chase continued on to reveal Gabriel Moretti was to blame for his father's death. "Damn. I'm sorry. That'll teach me to ask personal questions..." she softly told him.

She cleared her throat, about to make a remark about Moretti being a dickhead and expressing her hopes they'd get to play a part in taking him down. Instead, Chase pointed out the pouring rain, though in an endearing manner, he used the word "cascade" to describe a waterfall. When asked if she was ready to get soaked, Jasmine reached into the glove compartment in front of her and retrieved a baseball cap she assumed one of the guys had left in there during a previous job. She placed the hat on her head, pulling the end of her ponytail out through the hole in the back of the cap before looking to Chase. "Now I'm ready," she said, flashing a grin. Although she wished she could have shown more respect and understanding for Chase's revelation about his parents' deaths, it seemed like moving on was more preferable to him, so Jasmine didn't feel the need to dwell on any previous awkwardness. "Let's go!" she said, climbing out of the truck and into the heavy rain shower.

d4270f76de57690d3526ed379e1350c5.jpgOnce they were in the storage room at the back of The Lomax, it wasn't long before Jasmine and Chase were joined by Adam. When his friend greeted him along with a slap on the arm, Adam flinched at the discomfort it caused his freshly stitched wound. He grinned at Chase but seeing as Jasmine was present, he decided to answer him in English. "Evening, my friend," he replied to him, paying him back with a slap on the arm in return. "How's it going, Jasmine? New hat? It looks an awful lot like Micky's," he knowingly remarked.

"It's going pretty well. And you tell Micky: you snooze, you lose," she remarked, reaching up to adjust the baseball cap but showed no intent of removing it.

Adam chuckled as he took in how soaked the pair were from the wet weather. "Ah, you disrespect me. Like I'm going to snitch on you for it?" Adam turned his attention back to the matter at hand, looking to Chase as he spoke of the delivery. "Excellent. Were there any problems getting it here? No Italian wankers causing trouble this time?" he enquired. He pushed a couple of storage boxes aside to make room for the latest delivery. He then turned back to Chase and nodded his head when asked if everything was going alright for him. "It is now," he said, briefly pushing his sleeve up to show the bandage around his arm. "On the subject of our Italian friends, I had some guys trying to cause a fuss down at the garage in Hell's Kitchen. Fucking prick slashed my arm, but that's nothing compared to a broken leg. He won't be walking for a while." Adam shrugged it off before allowing a smirk to cross his face. "Have you two got much more to do tonight? I think I'll be sticking around here until the early hours. No rest for the wicked, ain't that right, my friend?" he remarked to Chase.

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Syd Porter

FarawayBrightKite-size_restricted.gif Seeing the way Sinead’s face lit up at his commission request made Syd's keen smile evolve into laughter that echoed into the glass around his lips. She seemed thrilled and instantly began to reel off a myriad of ideas. Syd’s imagination struggled to keep up with her but everything she was coming up with sounded good to him, so he trusted her judgement. “Yes!” he enthused, slamming a hand down on the table. “Colour, sparkle, bunny rabbits. You know what I’m talking about.”

Just as his excitement had risen with his aunt’s, so did it abate, and soon he was left with a calm smile on his face. “Alright,” he agreed. “Tomorrow, we’ll all head over to my house so you can see what we’re working with. And then, you show me those baby shops! Sound good?” Stifling another hiccup, Syd knocked back the last of Gwen’s wine. The alcohol was summoning the drowsy effects of his medication and he found himself thinking about his bed, tempting him to have a lie down. Eating and drinking so much had left him almost uncomfortably full and he began to regret that tuxedos were not elasticated, for there was so much left on the table that he wanted to finish off and he was sure he could have found room for it if he was wearing something more forgiving. Instead, he laced his hands over his stomach and leaned back in his seat with a contented smile on his face as his thoughts returned to the nursery and the two cribs that it would soon hold.

Before he could slip into a stupor, Syd caught the words ‘music’ and ‘dancing’ and instantly perked up. “Oh my God, Sinead!” he suddenly exclaimed, sitting up and looking around the room in astonishment. “We don’t have any music on! We’ve gotta fix this, Sinead. We’ve gotta do -” Pulling his chair back a little too enthusiastically almost caused him to fall to the ground, but he just about managed to catch himself. “We gotta do something about this!”

Syd leaned down to kiss Roxie, only daring to go as far as her ear in case he lost his balance. “I’ll just be one second, baby,” he assured her, his words all slurring together. “Just got something important I gotta do and then I’ll be back, okay?” Syd planted a kiss on her head and squeezed her shoulder before tottering out of the room.


Moments later, the low, muted chugging of T-Rex’s Bang A Gong started to pulse through the walls. Syd backed away from the record player into the centre of the room, instantly forgetting his promise to go back to Roxie. The music stole all his attention and so instead of returning to the dining room, he began to shuffle to the bass line, feeling the rhythm spread to every muscle in his body. His dancing was restricted by many things - the drowsiness, the alcohol, the healing rib that had been broken during the Statue of Liberty shoot out - but he couldn’t disobey the music. It commanded him to move, however sluggishly that may be.

"You're slim and you're weak, got the teeth of the hydra upon you,
You're dirty sweet and you're my girl..."


A wave of wild excitement suddenly rushed through him and, raising his arms up into the air, he shouted at the top of his lungs, "GET IT ON! BANG A GONG! GET IT ON!"

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Chase Zegarra

1591452334233.png “No Italian wankers,” he grinned, amused by the slang they picked up from their Irish comrades. “They’re probably at home with their families, most of them. No, it’s been smooth so far - you’ve got everything you want in that box.” The many years that Chase had spent producing, packing and exporting goods had refined his judgement when it came to quantity and weight. He could tell just from picking up the box that there was nothing missing.

Chase was just settling in for their quick break, folding his arms and leaning against the counter, when Adam suddenly lifted his sleeve to reveal a freshly bandaged arm. “Oh, shit,” he murmured. He couldn't see the severity of the wound, but he didn't need to. Adam wasn’t one to make a fuss so the fact that he had had to bandage it up gave him an idea of how bad it must be. “Well, I can't say I'm surprised - you always know how to handle yourself. Did you report it to the boss already? I mean, imagine if that had happened to Callahan’s kid...”

There was nothing in Adam's story that concerned Chase beside the safety of the less militant members of the family. Not everyone was in a position to cope in a situation like that, either due to lack of training, immaturity, disposition or strength. Savannah had recently saved herself at the expense of her attacker, but Chase didn't trust all the family members to be able to do that. Adam, however, was somebody he didn't worry about, and tonight's event only supported his confidence in the man. “Rest? What is that?” he joked. “Must be an English word I never needed to learn.” Still leaning against the counter, Chase gave the box they had delivered a small kick. “Remember you’ve got a big brick of llello in there if you need a boost. And I may not be a snitch but if I catch you sleeping on the job you’ll wake up to a bucket of ice water on your face!”

Just the mention of falling asleep drew a yawn out of him and he dragged his hands over his face. “Alright, you’re wearing me out already…” he teased, pushing himself away from the counter. Even over the loud rock music pounding through the walls, Chase could hear the heavy rain on the other side of the door. "Might come back for a drink later, but first we gotta get the rest of this locked up safe. We left it out in the car which is pretty unresponsible. If anyone takes it, Sullivan will have my head. Jasmine’s too.” He turned to look at his partner and couldn't help but smile at her. “Which would be a shame, because you really suit that hat.”

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