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Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin



Ailyn Sheppard
Listening to all the ideas going around the room, Ailyn turned to a blank page in he notebook to start writing down some of the ideas that was going around the room. Saruh's idea about performing before the fashion show gave her an idea. She wrote it down first, but before she could even voice it out loud, she seemed to notice her fiance looking at Imani. Now, Ailyn had never been a jealous person to begin with. If someone else caught your attention, then that meant she never had it to begin with. However, the fact he was paying more attention to this other woman as if she didn't just say something to him pissed her off even more than she already was with him. Ailyn was in no way an insecure woman. She was secure in everything she was and the way she looked, however, when she was being disrespected that's when she had a problem. She raised her eyebrows at him and just nodded her head, having a hard time biting her lip. Causing a scene in front of all these strange and familiar people was not something she was into. Instead, she took a deep breath and took out her phone, texting him, 'Keep staring and I will definitely stab you.' She placed her phone face down on the table before clearing her throat, adding in her piece. "A performance would definitetly be nice... I was thinking of playing actual music and none of that techno shit anyway." Everyone started to volunteer for the auction and she stayed quiet. There was too much for her to be doing while the event took place that she couldn't possibly make the time for that. She looked at Manaia and nodded her head as Kortia suggested they worked together. If Ailyn was being honest, she wasn't exactly sure how much help she could be while also trying to finish the pieces and routines and such. But then again, she was just worrying herself, right? Jordan leaned over to her, whispering. "You know, I wonder how many people would try and take the Ice Queen out on a date and try and see if it's a front." Ailyn gave a dry chuckle, but no response. The rest of the meeting seemed to go well, actual plans in place and finalized. She made a mental note to get everyone's numbers for some sort of group chat, seeing as they should have some form of communicating.





 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
GM Post - Justin Ha

Justin listened to everyone speak, taking in all of the suggestions. Everyone seemed to slide in right where they would fit best and that was a good thing. The egos didn't seem to be clashing as much as he thought, which meant his job as de facto leader would be a lot easier. When Imani addressed him directly, he managed to nod, "I think on a high level we have everything we need today, so everyone can leave when they're ready. For those who want to hang around a bit, you can eat as much and drink as much as you please. I think Ailyn mentioned to me earlier about a little get together at her place?"

He shrugged his shoulders and closing the laptop and disconnecting it from the projector, " Next meeting we will start putting formal actions together."

@ Everyone
 

copacetic

un cœur tranquille
Julien Campbell
Julien finished her water and stretched as she stood from her chair. She recorded all of the necessary information into her phone so she could keep track of what she was supposed to do and who she was working with. She gathered her things and waited to get the details for the get together Ailyn was having. She mentioned that she would be bringing a guest, rather than asking. After all the information was scribbled down and stuck into her purse, she finally departed the building. Even bracing for the cold didn't make it any more bearable. She pulled her jacket tight around her and quickened her pace towards the subway entrance. She waited impatiently for her train to arrive. It was already two minutes late, but that wasn't much of a surprise.

Once it arrived and she hopped on, she let her mind wander as her journey continued. It had been forever since she had seen Nicolai. Sure, she didn't exactly say she was coming over, but they never did. One of them would just show up and if they weren't there, they would just call each other. Back when she was in recovery in France, he would stop by and help pass the time for her. She couldn't do much back then as she was restricted from too much exercise, which included walking more than necessary. He kept her sane when she felt like she was losing her mind being trapped in the same place for weeks and even months at a time.

Unfortunately, she wasn't stuck in recovery once, but she was in recovery three times in France and her final stint was in America. Nico was the only person outside her family who knew what was going on, even now. She didn't talk about it now, so it was likely he was still the only friend who knew. Fortunately, she was much healthier now than the last time she had seen him in person. Since she has been so busy with work and then moving, she hadn't had the time to see him now that they live in the same city. Fortunately, with her joining the committee, she had significantly cut down on the amount of work she is doing until the charity gala is over. Once she was off the subway, she had to make the freezing four block walk to Nico's apartment building.

She let out a sigh of relief as she made it into the lobby. She was lucky that another resident was entering the building at the same time she was, so she didn't have to buzz his apartment. She felt that it always ruined the surprise. Before she knew it, she was standing at his door. Every time she came to see him, she would always knock incessantly until he answered the door. Was it annoying? You bet. Was she going to change? Nope. Was she doing that right now? Of course.

@lonecoyote
 
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lonecoyote

Always Confused
Nicolai Mascolo
The sound of music always radiated from Nicolai's apartment, which always got him a noise complaint but he didn't care too much about those. He spent the day working on his latest piece, ordering chinese food for himself (the woman from the other night left after waking up because her boyfriend called), and answering calls from his "friends". Currently, the italian tattoo clad artist was sitting on the floor with a joint hanging loosely from his lips and painting small small detailed strokes of gold onto the canvas. His eyes followed the strokes of the brush, his mind going blank as smoke filled his body and music filled the empty space around him. He hummed along to the music as he continued to paint, his focus hard at work on this new piece because he could tell that this one was going to sell for a lot of money.

At the end of the song Nicolai stood up slowly, rubbing his back and letting out a soft groan. He walked back to the couch and slumped back against it, his head slouching back as he took another drag of the joint and felt the smoke travel from his throat down to his lungs, and enter his blood stream. The feeling of the weed out weighed the way he was feeling and the thoughts that began to run rampant through his head. His eyes closed slowly and he felt at peace right in this moment.

Of course, that didn't last long. The sound of his phone forced him to open his eyes and reach down into his pocket and opened it, putting the device to his ear. Soon instead of music, a rough voice filled his head and Nicolai ran a hand through his brown hair. "Look, I don't wanna hear your excuses. Get my shit or I'll be at your dinner table fucking that daughter and wife of yours before I shoot you in the throat." He hung up and slid his phone back into his pocket and closed his eyes yet again. He was out again but the sound of pounding at his door caused him to let out a loud groan and stand up quickly. "Can't get some fucking peace around here....shit" he yelled out and opened the door, brows furrowed as he opened the door with an arm on the door frame and one on his waist.

"You know, Jules, there's a different way to knock on my door. Like knock once or some shit." he sighed out and rubbed his left eye and looked at her taking what was left of the joint from his mouth and placing it between his fingers and moving to the side to allow her space to come inside. "Come on, get your model ass in here." he said with a grin before walking away to his pantry and grabbing some snacks for them. "You eating still?" he asked as he opened a bag of chips and popped some into his mouth.

@copacetic
 

copacetic

un cœur tranquille
Julien Campbell
Julien laughed when he opened the door for her, clearly not appreciating how she announced her arrival. "But how else would you know it was me? Can you honestly say that you wouldn't ignore the person at the door if you didn't know it was me?" she questioned with a grin as she slipped into his apartment. "Hello to you too, Nico," she said sarcastically as she took off her jacket and dropped it with her purse on a chair. She rolled her eyes at his question. If anyone else asked her that, she would immediately punch them in the face. But, she knew Nico wasn't being an asshole, so she just sighed. "Fuck you, of course I am. Can't you tell?" she asked, taking some chips for herself and going to flop onto his couch. She kicked off her shoes and got comfortable leaning back on a pillow and tucking her legs to her side. She really did look different from the last time they saw each other. Her face was less gaunt, her hands were no longer cold and skeletal, her hair was thicker and shinier, her eyes were brighter, and her skin actually had some color to it. Overall, she just looked healthier and happier.

"What was with the yelling about not getting any peace when I was at the door? Do you have other friends who knock like I do? Because if you do, I'm going to have to fight them to show that I'm a better friend," she joked. She looked at the painting that was sitting in the room. She always admired his artwork and his talent. She had no artistic skill, which he would make fun of her for. Back when she was in France and stuck at home, they had their own fun. Sometimes they would try and draw the same thing, but obviously Julien had no artistic talent, so it would turn into Nico laughing at her about it. "So, aren't you wondering why I decided to grace you with my presence? I hope you don't have plans tonight," she told him. She was taking him to Ailyn's get together whether he wanted to go or not. She felt like she had to go and she didn't want to go to the party alone and she had planned on coming to see him after the meeting anyway because she missed him. It was killing two birds with one stone. She made a grabbing motion with her hand to ask for more chips because he had the bag.

@lonecoyote
 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
LTJG Kortia Deneka Velentino

Everyone seemed to be gelling together, better than Kortia expected. That was good news. People were amenable to each other's suggestions and that provided an interesting dynamic and bouncing of good ideas. Everything seemed to be perfect- even Brice's suggestion that he could host parts of the night. It wasn't much longer before the meeting wrapped up and there was a mentioning of a party later.

A party? For Kortia that could open a lot of doors and opportunities, though they were all personal. She reached out to her glass again while taking the bottle from in front of Odi and pouring the last bit in. Her mind jumped over a few ideas as her hand swirled the brown liquid around the glass. A party would give her an excuse to drink, perhaps even excessively, and no one would question it. It also sounded like it was a private affair, so she could crash there if need be and there wouldn't be images of her trashed floating around the internet. There was also the matter of the men. Well in particular the two who were in this room. Jordan, who sat closest to her, was a lot of eye candy for her and she liked to see if the taste matched the look. On the other hand, there was Brice who seemed to understand every inch of her body and her soul. She didn't quite understand the grip he had over her, which made it all the more confusing for everyone around on why Kortia could never commit to anything.

She glanced over to the commissioner before downing the last bit of the warm beverage and set the glass on the table. Her eyes fell on Brice and she swallowed air. Right, he'd probably a little bit upset that she didn't tell him that she was on Leave. She wasn't sure why. She could guess and come up with a million reasons why. Maybe she didn't want to talk about what happened? Maybe she didn't want to admit she was virtually suspended for the time being and they were just calling it an extended leave. Maybe she didn't want to admit that she had a drinking problem. Maybe she didn't want to admit she just didn't want him to see her vulnerable.

It didn't matter, she'd get a jump on this and nip it in the bud before it could bloom into something terrible. She raised her hand in the air and waved Brice over. It was best that she didn't get to her feet as there was no guarantee she'd be able to keep her balance. She cleared her throat, "Come here and let's catch up..." she spoke gently in Mandarin, her pronunciation flawless. Russian, German, Korean, Mandarin (not cantanese), English, and Spanish were the languages she spoke, which helped her with life as a Navy SEAL.

Direct Interactions: Justin Ha (Aku) Brice Tang @Aato
Mentions: Everyone in the room
 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
Odi Beckham Jr.

His eyes continue to lie on Imani, observing every characteristic that he could. She was gorgeous and not in the way that he was used to seeing of the instagram models that seemed to be in his comments. His attention was broken when he felt his phone vibrate, and he slid it out and read the text he had received. Seems that he had caught the ire of his fiancee and that was not a good thing for the moment. He, after all, did live with her.

He took a breath as he finished the last of his glass and sat it down. He got to his feet and yawned a bit looking to Ailyn, and sighed gently. As much as he wanted to avoid conflict with her he still cared deeply for her and would prefer her be safe and frankly she had too much to drink at this point. He glanced to Justin, "Say wo', ya mind if Ailyn leave her car overnight, she's had a little too much to drink and I want her to get home safe...so i'll take her home."

He picked his book bag off the flood and slid it back over his shoulders before Justin nodded to him. He nodded back and held his hand out to her, "Ok, let's go gorgeous."





interactions: Ailyn @Melanin-Gxdess Justin Ha
 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
Just Saruh

It seemed that her idea for the project runway concept had gone over well with everyone. This was a good thing as it allowed for her to gain some confidence and relieved some of her anxiety. The rest of the meeting didn't even matter because she was able to speak aloud and there was nothing that bad came from it, only good to be truthful. She took a slow breath as she looked around and smiled listening to Imani mentioning wrapping up. She knew the woman was tired and was ready to get back to her family, so it was good when Justin seemed to have wrapped it up. She would leave with Imani and head home with her, as the apartment should have been aired out by the time they got back. It had been long enough.

When they mentioned a party at Ailyn's, her head perked up. She was getting a little excited and she glanced to Imani. She felt bad for a little bit, but at the same time between Isaiah and his here sometimeishness and her job, she needed a bit of relax.

"Ok love, hear me out," she started as she turned to Imani and grabbed her hands with a bright mischievous smile, " I know you worked all night and you're tired, but that was your choice...you're a commissioner. ANYWAYS, mister Tennessee has been causing you a lot of stress, job is stressful, and you hadn't a good night out. Let Anthony watch the boys tonight, let's have a girl's night. You can go home take a nap, spend a little time with Nadir and boom we head out....come on pleaseeeeeeeee..."

Mentions: imani @lonecoyote everyone there already
 

lonecoyote

Always Confused
Nicolai Mascolo
Nicolai watched as Julien entered and took some of the chips, eating them and he smirked. "Hey, last time I saw you you looked......different." he said between bites and looked her over. She did indeed look much healthier than the last time they saw each other. The last time Nicolai had seen her she was much slimmer and her skin was paler and looked like it was clinging onto the last bit of health and life that it could. Now Julien looked like a new person in his eyes. As beautiful as ever but with this glow and new aura about her. He was happy to see her doing better now and openly eating and him not having to sit there and watch her to make sure she ate.

His eyes followed her as she sat on his couch and he followed in beside her, taking a seat beside her and rummaging through the bag to find one of those folded chips that somehow tasted better than the others in the bag. "Nah, nah, you know no one comes to my door but Angie and some others here and there. No one knocks on it like you do. Probably why there's small dents in the door, have you been working out?" he joked with a smile and nudged her side. He listened to her talk and shook his head. "Not really, you come over whenever you want to so I just thought you wanted to chill." his eyes went over to her and he tilted his head. "Unless you wanted to come over and take up that offer in my bed. Always on the table, Jules." he grinned and bit down on a chip. She'd probably hit him or something for saying that, but hey he never missed an opportunity. "Plans? Nah, I was just gonna watch that new season of Stranger Things and get high off my ass. Why?" he raised a brow and angled the bag towards her and extended her arm.

"Are you making me be social?" he groaned out and tilted his head back letting his hair fall back. His eyes landed on his guitar and he stood up, grabbing it and hopping back onto the couch and he began to strum the strings hoping to block out what she was going to say next. He cleared his throat and looked at her, a grin playing on his pierced lips. "Watch me, take a good thing and fuck it all up in one night. Catch me, I'm the one on the run away from the headlights."


@copacetic
 

Aato

Not Perfect
Manaia Tamati
The make-up artist had a thing about using her hands, so preferring written notes, Manaia had pulled a small notepad from her purse and jotted down everything important that was discussed throughout the meeting and the final determinations of who was filling each role. In between writing and while the others spoke, she took the time to taste the various samples of food that had been put out on the table, even taking a few extra of those she particularly enjoyed. Her stomach thanked her with its silence and she was sure to make note of the foods too.

Just as soon as it seemed everyone was finally there and the conversation was really getting underway, the meeting was ending. Though, she supposed she couldn't be disappointed; everyone would be doing their part in some way and there was nothing left to discuss. She watched for a moment, while snacking on another sample and putting her notepad away, as the other committee members seemed to get up to disperse or mingle, the sound of chatter rising in the room. There was mention of a party hosted by Ailyn and she had to admit she was apprehensive about her attendance. On one hand, it would give her more of an opportunity to socialize and get to know people, especially those on the committee. On the other hand, she couldn't help imagining how annoyed she'd eventually be by all the people intentionally drunk out of their minds. However, there was time to think about this.

Her chair pushed out from under her as she stood. She haphazardly maneuvered her way around it and toward the entrance while looking at her phone. Just as she had been getting ready to pull up the rideshare app, the alert of a missed call from "Egg" popped up on her screen. A smirkish smile crossed her lips; she'd be sure to call him back soon.
Interactions: --
 
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Aato

Not Perfect
Brice Tang
Brice took slow sips of the whiskey-laced drink, the contents warming his throat in more ways than one and primarily intending to avoid a whipped cream mustache. Such a look would be unbecoming on a man of his caliber... But, then again, if he stopped kidding himself, it would actually be kind of funny. Now he imagined himself talking to people and going to meetings with the foamy, white faux-stache resting on his upper lip. Would that be how he'd look as an old man? Perhaps he should consider growing a mustache...

Once again, his attention was suddenly pulled back to the meeting, though just in time to find it ending. Most everyone seemed to get up immediately, ready to get out of there or casually connect with their acquaintances. Finally dropping the little piece of paper he'd been toying with on the table, he pulled out his phone and tapped a couple of things before speaking softly to it. "Make a note. Hosting for the charity ball. Set weekly reminder for..." He continued spelling out the details to his phone, setting a reminder so that he would practice what he would say and also making a point to follow-up with Justin in case anything else needed to get done behind the scenes. He then tucked his phone back into his pocket, but before he could decide on his next course of action, a gesture across the table caught his eye followed by smooth words in a familiar tongue. A smirkish smile crossed his lips, pleased with the new attention and more pleased that it was her attention. Low glass in hand, he got to his feet in a fluid motion and made his way to the woman who had beckoned him.

"Ahhh, Lieutenant." He stated firmly yet warmly and proceeded to give her a salute. He gave her a light pat on the shoulder, meant as somewhat of a comforting gesture, then pulled out an empty chair beside her, leaving it to face her direction before taking a seat. "You finally decided to grace me with your presence, albeit inadvertently, but let's bypass semantics... How's my boss lady been holding up? Y'know, being without me and all..." He added playfully, the latter half of his speech lightening in tone. He could have delved right into his observations, but he thought it smart to feel her out and see just what she would say. Besides, everything was always so serious in her world; there was no need to reconnect with that same energy.
Interactions: Kortia [ @AkuTheWolfOkami ]
 

copacetic

un cœur tranquille
Julien Campbell

Julien laughed. "No, I don't work out. I'm just desperate to see my favorite Italian popstar," she responded. "I am a dainty lady, I don't think I'd ever do something so aggressive as dent a door," she added. That was definitely a lie. Nico has seen her lose her shit and break things before. "I mean I originally-" she started before he realized she wasn't here to just hang out. "Nico!" she groaned, flicking him on the forehead and rolling her eyes at his comment. She knew he was joking, or at least she thought he was, so she didn't get too angry at him. She's seen the girls he's taken home before (sometimes too much of them if she was being honest, but she figured that was always a risk of showing up unannounced) and she didn't think she looked like them, so he couldn't be serious. He'd seen her when she was quite literally dying and while she is at a healthy weight now, she is still quite slim and not blessed in the curves department.

Before she could repeat what she had meant to say, Nico decided to drown her out. She gave him a look before grabbing the neck of his guitar in one hand and covering his mouth with another. "You know it is rude to interrupt people and as much as I love to hear you sing, let me finish talking ,you hermit," she stated firmly. "As I was saying, I originally planned to come here to hang out today because, for some reason, I missed hanging out with you. But, I was at this committee meeting for the charity ball I go to and they are having a get together later. I felt obligated to go, but I didn't want to not hang out with you. Plus, I didn't want to go alone, so I decided that you are coming with me. Now, before you argue, I promise that after the party we can hang out. We can come back here or back to my place and watch the new season of Stranger Things or something," she rambled, trying to get everything out before he pulled away or licked her hand or something.

If he really had a problem with going, she wouldn't force him to go and she'd hang back with him. However, she did hope that he agreed. She felt like he needed to get out of his apartment more and this was something that could get him out. "So, do you sing to girls often? Or is it something you only do when they are annoying you?" she asked jokingly. She knew his music career is behind him, but she couldn't help but like his old music. Though, she probably would never admit how much she actually enjoyed it, despite not really knowing any Italian. She liked to play his old music when he was around just to bother him. His ringtone on her phone was also one of his old songs. She didn't want to cover his mouth and stop him from singing, but she had to ask if he was okay with going to the party because they needed time to get ready and get there if they were going to go. He'd have to at least wash his face and change his clothes because there was paint on his face and he smelled strongly of weed. Julien wouldn't care, but she wasn't sure how well that would go over with the police commissioner. She wasn’t sure if she was going to be there, but everyone was invited, so she just assumed she would be. Julien had never met her before, so she didn't know her stance on weed and if she would make a big deal about it. She knew New York was relatively lenient, but she didn't want to take any risks with Nico.

@lonecoyote
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin


Somewhere along in the meeting, she had lost track of how many drinks she had. Trying to destress herself and not stab her fiance was proving to be tough work that she needed alcohol for. When the meeting came to a halt, Justin let everyone know about the small get together she was having at her home. She shook her head, mouth full of champagne, and shook her finger. After the swallowed she cleared her throat, "No no, not a party. Get together with the people in this room. Parties mean other people are coming and as most of you know, I don't like people." Downing the rest of her champagne chute, she set the glass down and looked at Odi, hearing him call for her. She raised her eyebrows at him, giving him a slight look before taking his hand. "I'm not at all drunk, thanks." It was a lie of course, since she couldn't feel her face and that was her indication she was lit. When she stood up, she had to hold on to the chair to regain her balance. Because she was pissed, she damn sure wasn't about to take his hand. Throwing on her jacket she said her goodbyes and gave Jordan a pat on his shoulder before leaving the building.

Once the two of them got into the car, that's when she started to explode. "If I didn't know any better, Odilon, I'd think you want me to either break up with you or kill you." She took a pause before she leaned against the passenger side window, looking over at him. It didn't help that they were already arguing the past few days, but her being drunk and witnessing the way he looked at Imani made it all worse. At the moment, she was feeling less than and anytime he made her feel like that she would get pissed. A lot of it stemmed from her past and she was taking it out on him like she always did. The girl had unresolved issues that she never got over; Odi had dealt with it for so long she never tried to correct it. Either he loved her enough to look past it or their child being born when he was made sure it was never made right. Whatever the case my be, she was broken on the inside and currently hurting. "You know how doing that shit makes me feel, yet you continuously do it! Keep fucking around, and I won't hesitate to end your shit." She was referring to the Imani situation first, it being the one that was heavy on her mind. In no way was she threatened by the woman, but to have your fiancee looking at her as if he wanted to be with her instead of someone so broken? Yeah, that would make anyone feel some type of way. "Second, not answering your goddamn phone and acting like you didn't hear me talk to you is some middle school bullshit and last time I checked, we're motherfucking adults so act like it." Her eyes were narrowed at him and she was breathing kind of hard. She sat back in her seat, arms crossed as she started rubbing her temples. "Let's go. We have to pick up Aidan and get shit ready for the part- get together."


 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
Odi Beckham Jr.


Part of him hadn't expected her to grab his hand, because he knew how petty she could be. Yet there was a part of him that hoped she had some sense of civility or tact to at least do it for show. Perhaps that was too much to ask, perhaps it was wrong to expect. Either way he closed his hand as she walked away and looked over to the rest of the people who had remained, "I'll see y'all..." he mentioned before stuffing his hands into his pockets and slowly walking out with Ailyn. Moving to the valet he watched as his car roared as it pulled up. He slid the door open for her as she moved in, and closed it behind her.

There was a brief pause as he checked his phone and nodded once he saw what he needed. He slid his phone in his pocket before moving to his side of the car and slid in. The valet closed the door behind him as he moved his bag somewhere between them in the two-seater vehicle. There wasn't a second wasted before Ailyn began to rip into him as she usually did. It would seem rather vicious for anyone on the outside, but Odi knew this was one of her more tamed sessions. Not that the fact provided any more comfort to him about it, but it did allow him to navigate through the conversation without stepping on any landmines.

So he sat there as she spoke, making sure that he didn't interrupt her to talk over and cause it to be worse. Through all of their yelling and fighting, he truly did love her, but sometimes he just hated being around her. That's when the ignored calls and words come. That's why a day like today- well a morning like this morning, was so important to him. He was able to enjoy their home to himself and it actually felt like a sanctuary. There was something Ailyn hadn't gotten a handle on and neither of them could nip it in the bud before their child was born. Their lives had been changed. He had his own anger issues to try and handle, but today he was in a more empathetic mood and didn't want to be angry.

So when she finished he took a deep breath, "You're right, I'm sorry. I'd kill a man if you looked at him that way- so I'm sorry. As far as ignoring your call goes, I just needed some time to myself. Time I never get....But I should answer because it could be an emergency. So I'm sorry...it is what it is, can't change it happen. I love you though." He started to pull the car off and take them home, "Aidan is already home...I arranged for my mom to get him. I figured you'd be drinking and we didn't need you to be like that in front of our child."






interactions: Ailyn @Melanin-Gxdess
 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
LTJG Kortia Deneka Velentino


She watched Brice's every move observing his body language. It was a habit she had developed particularly with undercover missions that required her to move through a region of people without standing out. Her skin color plus her eye color usually had her stand out on its own, so she tended to do her best to pay attention to how the people around them were. She started to notice people moved differently when they were hostile, when they were paranoid, suspicious, or relaxed. It had saved her and her team's lives in a lot of situations, so much so that she had adopted that and a few other things to her everyday life.

She took a deep breath again as he saluted and called her lieutenant and raised a brow. It was one of the usual ways that he greeted her, but she never got used to it. "Mister Tang," she stated curtly with a slightly mischievous smile. The smile vanished a bit when he placed his hand on her shoulder and she glanced over to her empty bottle and glass. There was no alcohol to retreat to, she'd have to handle this sober. Well- that was incorrect. She was drunk already and there was no changing that anytime soon. Perhaps drinking would have been a catch-22 to which there would be no progression.

"As easy as I can grace you with my presence, I can also banish you from it," she stated gently picking up some chopsticks and running the black utensils across some of the food, a mandu (Korean Dumpling.) She was weary of it for a second, as she had loved the actual mandu on the menu here, but figured there would be something special about it because it was to sample for the charity ball. So she lifted one off the plate, a plate specially made to keep food hot while retaining an upper echelon look, and brought it to her mouth blowing on it. She put in her mouth gently and bit and her eyes opened, "Oh. Wow." she stated as she continued to chew, using her free hand to cover her mouth. It was a vegetable Mandu but there seemed to be something familiar about it.

She couldn't put her finger on it but then it hit her, "Cuban spices..." she stated gently. And what she meant by that was that it was spices common to Cuban cuisine, a cuisine she of course was familiar with. She took a deep breath as she finished swallowing. " I'm alright, on an extended leave." She brushed over that statement as she picked up another one with the chopsticks. "It's been up and down without my little Tang..." she joked holding the mandu up towards his face with a hand under it in case it dropped, "Here taste this....."


Direct Interactions: (Aku) Brice Tang @Aato
 

lonecoyote

Always Confused
Imani Everest
Imani was glad when she saw that Justin wrapped up the meeting after her question. She sat up straight in her seat and stretched, letting out a small yawn before the pain in her arm forced it back down and for her to rub around the bullet wound. 'Oh yeah, that happened.' she thought to herself and moved the baggy jacket to see a small amount of blood forming where her bandage was. She scrunched her nose and put the jacket back over the bandage before looking around the room and hearing of Ailyn's party later that night. The sound of a party did sound appealing, but right now all Imani wanted to do was crawl into bed with Nadir and Kodi and maybe Ronan if his ass would take a nap with them.

She could feel eyes on her and she looked over at Saruh beside her and saw the puppy dog eyes that she was being given. "Look, Saruh I'm reallly-" but before she could finish Saruh began talking. Imani listened to her best friend explain and she ran a hand through her hair as she listened. She was right, Imani needed a girl's night that wasn't spent on the couch with a bottle of wine and the cast of Mom.

Then she had to go and throw Zay in there and Imani glanced at her phone and the stream of blue text messages and single gray message. She sighed and slid her phone into her pocket and nodded. "Okay, first of all I always go to work early because if I don't my work piles up." she stated and stood up, grabbing her phone again and sending a text to Vanna for a car to take them home. "But you are right. I need a girl's night and I got tomorrow off cus I got shot today so the mayor said I can take the day to heal. Let's go home so I can get a good nap in." she smiled and held out her hand and grabbed Saruh's hand, intertwining their fingers and heading to the exit. "I could literally fall asleep standing up like a flamingo. Plus, I felt someone staring at me throughout the meeting. Did you see it?" she whispered softly giggling and looking back at the room like they were back in college. A buzzing went off in her pocket and Imani reached into it and saw the message, reading it and smiling. "Car's here. Let's go home." Imani grabbed her take out for the kids and let out another yawn.

@AkuTheWolfOkami
 

lonecoyote

Always Confused
Nicolai Mascolo
Right when Nico was about to reach the chorus, he felt Julien's warm hand over his mouth and pulling his guitar slightly to stop him from strumming it. His eyes went from her hand to her face, raising a brow and listening to her now because he had to. He could easily lick her hand or bite it to make her let go, but honestly it wasn't that big of a deal so for now he was just going to sit there and listen to her like she wanted. Yes, he did know he shouldn't interrupt her the way that he did, but he tended to do that when he didn't want to hear what the person had to say next. He slumped back against the couch and watched the way she talked. The way she would look at him as she talked, the small mannerisms she had as she talked, and before long he was memorizing every detail of her face. Sure, he had it memorized already from all the times they hung our in the past. He even did a portrait of her as the sun with a beautiful white gown and golden accents. That's when he really knew that painting and being an artist was for him. The look on her face when he showed her the final piece made him smile and his heart swell with pride that he could make another human being happy with something he had created himself.

When she finally finished talking and removed her hand, he licked his lips and sighed softly. "Remember you promised. After the party or whatever it is we hang out and watch Stranger Things." he said and leaned back, placing his guitar onto the chair beside the couch. "Oh that committee. I'm supposed to go to those things. They want me to make custom artwork and bring some originals to sell." he said nonchalantly and grabbed the bag of chips, propping his legs up onto the table and popping a chip into his mouth. He kept his eyes forward to the tv that was playing some random monster movie with Jason Statham as the lead character. He knew Julien wasn't going to like that he missed the meeting or that he hadn't told her that he was on the movie but to be fair he didn't know that she was on the committee. "Was Imani there?" he asked, knowing that a ball of that magnitude needed the security the city had to offer and Imani just so happened to have the NYPD wrapped around her pinky finger. He also knew the commissioner because she was always on his case and when her roommate Saruh would come over to chill and get more weed and the sort, she would let it slip sometimes. He wasn't fond of the commissioner but the two had an understanding between the both of them.

"Hmm?" he turned to look at her when she asked about him singing to other people. "Nah, I only sing to people I like. Singing to girls all the time is too cliché. I'm not the loser that needs to sing Wonderwall to get a girl's attention." a smirk graced his lips at his own joke. Honestly, Nicolai enjoyed anytime that he spent with Julien because time spent with her was time well spent in his opinion and since he didn't like many people or being too social, having her come over randomly was always fun for him even though he'd never tell her that. It wasn't like Nicolai had always been this way staying inside all the time. When he was younger and more successful he loved going out all the time. But many years of doing so and traveling the world, things started to slowly become dull and boring for him. Suddenly going out didn't appeal to him or interest him, but being alone with himself, his craft, and his thoughts found to be a better use of his time. Now, don't get him wrong he did go outside of his four walls but it was to get food, go shopping, drop off paintings, or go out on occasion. What Julien was asking of him now meant that he needed time to get ready and shower and style his hair and put in his piercings. So much work to be in front of a group of people for a couple of hours talking about boring things and eating mediocre snacks.

"What time is this thing at? I assume you want me to not pull up smelling like weed." he put the bag of chips between them and placing a hand on his bare stomach and one behind his head. His eyes went back to the tv awaiting her response.

@copacetic
 

copacetic

un cœur tranquille
Julien Campbell

Julien was relieved he agreed. She moved back to her spot next to him. “Yes, I pinky promise. Do you want to watch it at my place or do you want to come back here. If we come back here, I’m staying over. It’ll be too late to walk back home myself and too cold,” she stated, holding her pinky out. When he mentioned he was also on the committee, she snapped her head towards him. “What? Why didn’t you tell me? Why weren’t you there today?” she questioned. Why was he being so casual about this? She wasn’t surprised his artwork was being sought after for the ball. He was good. She didn’t just think that because she was his friend. He had incredible talent. She may or may not have cried a bit when he had showed her the painting he did of her. It wasn’t just because it was a painting of her, but it was such a beautiful piece. She made her seem so beautiful in a time where she felt anything but. She was snapped out of her thinking when he asked another question. “Yeah, she was at the meeting, which you would know if you went. I don’t know if she is going to the party, I didn’t really stick around and ask who was going,” she answered. She couldn’t help but bust his chops a bit about skipping out on the meeting.

Julien placed a hand over her heart. “Well, I’m glad I’m one of the special few that gets to hear you sing. But, you should know that my favorite song is Wonderwall and it’s all I want you to play,” she joked. She would actually love to hear Nico play the Oasis song, just to tease him about being “That Guy With a Guitar”. “Maybe you should pull out your guitar at the party and do just that. I think I could die happy if you did that,” she suggested. She pulled out her phone to check the details of the party. “It’s at 7, so we have some time, but we do need to stop by my place real quick so I can change. It’s literally right on the way, so we just have to leave a little early. I don’t care if you smell like weed, but I’m not sure Imani would feel the same way if she is there. You do have some paint on your face that you should probably wash off though,” she stated, poking his face where the dried paint was. She really didn’t feel like changing, but she did want to impress the committee and the fact was, as a model, she was definitely judged on how she looked and presented herself.

She was glad she actually put effort into her hair this morning, so she wouldn’t have to redo it for the party. She did want to redo her makeup though, so it was fresh for the party. She carried her makeup bag in her purse because of work, so she would just do that before they left. She dipped her hand into the bag of chips and popped them in her mouth as she tried to figure out what movie was on. She gave up after a minute because she knew she’s never seen it before. She was definitely looking forward to hanging with Nico after the party because she just wanted to relax. She was also excited for the new season of Stranger Things, so she was definitely happy to agree to watching it with Nico. “What paintings are you gonna give the committee? Or are you just going to make new ones for it?” she asked.

@lonecoyote
 

Aato

Not Perfect
Brice Tang
Brice always had a mixture of emotions when with Kortia. Though unsettling at times, he appreciated the dose of unpredictability. Their relationship-of-sorts had always been fickle, so her choice of words upon greeting came as no surprise to him. If anything, she simply reaffirmed what he already thought to be true to her: he was an expendable asset. However, he still had fun with this statement, not taking it too seriously, and a smirk crossed his lips. "Banished, eh?" There was a bit of chuckle in his tone. He then took another long sip from his glass, the beverage having cooled considerably at this point to his dismay. Meanwhile, he watched her peculiarly poised hand maneuver chopsticks over portions of food in array on the table, somewhat hovering as though indecisive and leaving the hand itself to make the right decision. Finally, she picked up a dumpling and gracefully carried it to her mouth, chewing and seemingly pleased, her commentary soon confirming such. It was an oddly attractive gesture and, similarly to hearing her volunteer for the date auction, this caused him to stir although with a very different emotion. Even in her intoxicated state, she seemed to exude a sense of control.

Though he wouldn't admit it aloud, even to her, Kortia had him wrapped around her finger and was one of the few women who could probably make him bend to her whims. So, when she mentioned being on "extended leave," he was excited. However, he didn't linger on the topic any longer than she had and soon found her holding a dumpling up for him to try. Leaning forward, he carefully took the entire dumpling into his mouth and chewed, face contorting in response to what he was tasting. Although she had already filled him in on the "secret ingredients," it still caught him off-guard as his palate was accustomed to this type of food being associated with certain flavors. However, upon finishing, he took a moment to contemplate his opinion before nodding. "Mmm... It's different, but good. I think it's hard to find something bad at this place."

His eyes glanced around the further emptying room and even past her as the others exited. He turned to pick up his drink, intending to finally finish it off, only to find that, well, it was already empty. Unbeknownst to him, he shared in the sentiments of the woman in front of him, a brief feeling of disappointment washing over him at his discovery. He casually settled the glass back down to the table then focused his attentions on her once more. "Everyone's leaving..." He began before leaning to her ear, curls lightly tickling his face, and crooning in Mandarin, "Come home. We can speak freely, catch up more privately..."
Interactions: Kortia [ @AkuTheWolfOkami ]
 

Melanin-Gxdess

Queen of Melanin



Ailyn Sheppard
In all honesty, she wasn't expecting the argument to be over as soon as it had started. Usually he would try and retaliate against her, say something else back but it looked like that was not the case. He had even apologized to her for everything he did that day with explanations behind them. To say it caught her off guard would be the understatent of the century as she sat in her seat, arms crossed. Hearing that Aidan would be taken care of made her heart warm, but she was upset at what he said. How did he know she was going to be drunk at this meeting? Was it because he figured she would be stressed with work and want to unwind with bottomless mimosas? Whatever the case may be, he was showing her every reason why she loved him in the first place. It also made her feel like shit since she had just cussed him out and basically threatened his life. Because of who she was, she wasn't going to apologize in the traditional sense of saying "I apologize.." but instead she took a deep sigh and tried to get her bearings. Pinching the bridge of her nose, she sighed and turned to him, gently grabbing his chin to face her. "Hey," she started softly, quickly pressing her lips to his, "I love you too." There was a lot more she wanted to say and do but she was just too tired for it. She said her bit, he said his and it was time to move on... For now at least, until she brought it up in a future argument as she often did.

/***\

Once the two of them got home, Ailyn immediately went upstairs to not only shower and change her clothes, but to see her child. Being around him somehow changed her mood from anything negative to sheer positivity. That was probably that magically mommy thing people seemed to talk about. But, as Odi had said, her son didn't need to see her the way she was. A shower and a huge cup of water helped her for the moment as well as some coffee before she started to feel somewhat sober enough to play with Aidan while she got the house together. Once she made the call for everything she was going to have for the fashion show over, it was go time. Bottles of wine and liquor were dropped off, along with some food for her guests. Waiting for her clothes to arrive, she fed Aidan and gave him a bath. She was moving in over-time, wanting to make sure everything was covered. Why she even thought to do this in the first place she didn't know but a part of her was beginning to regret it. Not because she was going to have all these damn people in her house, but because she could've taken this time to get some much needed rest. Alas, she couldn't change her mind now.

The doorbell ringing scared her, as she was trying to give her son a bath. She left him for two seconds to answer the door, seeing that it was Jordan. He had also changed his clothes, party ready. "Come in here! I'm giving Aidan a bath." By the time she had said it, she was actually screaming it from the bathroom. "Ahhh, the cute years of baby Aidan in the tub... No thanks." He told her, placing the red bottle of wine he brought with him on the counter. Instead, he started looking through the covers that housed Ailyn's freshly made clothes. With her new super mom hearing, she could hear the crinkling. "Jordan, leave them alone if you wanna live! Now, did you talk to Tia before you left?" Taking a step away from the clothes towards the bottle he brought, he chuckled to himself. The girl was always going to be in his business, even if she couldn't help it. She was the other little sister he didn't know he had nor that he needed. "Stay out of my love life, and no." Ever since his divorce, Jordan hadn't really been in the mood for another relationship. At least, not at the moment. He thought their relationship was going to last forever but he was wrong. He realized he was wrong the moment he signed that little dotted line. It would definitely change how he viewed relationships for a while but that's okay.

"I want to help!" She said, the noise of splashing and her saying shush to Aidan was all he could really hear. "Don't need any of that." He informed her, having poured himself a drink before going upstairs. "Shit, sorry. Hey Odi, what's up?" He asked, suddenly remembering he didn't speak to him. He didn't do it on purpose, just so used to him not being around. Turning his attention back to his friend turned mom, he spoke in a very stern voice. "Do not help me; I don't want a relationship right now, okay? Now hurry up before people start showing up and see you all wet and in mommy mode."






 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
LTJG Kortia Deneka Velentino

"Extremely hard to find anything bad here...Justin is so particular about everything," she managed to chuckle as she looked him in the eyes as he spoke. She temporarily got lost in her thoughts before her ears perked up at the mention that everyone was leaving. She glanced around and noticed that everyone seemed to be leaving in droves, but that was to be expected, the meeting had concluded. What she hadn't expected was the mandarin that bounced through her ear drums shortly after and she wasn't sure if it was the content, the crooning, or the proximity that sent chills down her spine and into her..well.

She couldn't help but smirk, moving in such a way that her temple (softened by her hair) leaned against his forehead. She made sure she angled it so that the glasses weren't an obstacle. "Sounds like a plan to me," she finally responded right back in the same language, turning her head so her forehead was on his and their lips were no more than a centimeter apart. She let their lips linger there for a second before she got to her feet, but paused a bit as she noticed the room had begun to spin. She closed her eyes as she got her bearings together inhaling deeply before opening her eyes and leaving with Brice.

Though it felt like an eternity to the inebriated SEAL, it was only a few minutes before they were in Brice's home. Intimacy seemed to be more abundant than usual as Kortia diverted from her animal like behavior that she usually showcased when dealing with Brice. She needed it every bit of it and he seemed to know just where to kiss and touch to make her go from feeling like shattered glass, to a beautiful stained window. Even if it was only for a couple of hours.

It was minutes after their final dance where she felt herself cuddled up with her male counterpart, though she did everything in her power to avoid any form of conversation and eventually used her stealth skills to sneak out on one of his trips to the bathroom. When she moved outside the cold hit her and it seemed more noticeable in contrast to the warmth she felt in the young man's hands a few minutes ago.

She sighed gently moving towards the black SUV where her driver waited for her. It was a short ride home and what felt like the longest walk to her bedroom. She moved to her large closet looking over what she could wear. She landed on a black top and bottom set, that she knew was far too cold for the weather outside, but they were going to be inside so that wasn't necessarily an issue. Besides, her winter missions over seas were a lot harsher. She'd complete her make up, her hair, and add a green jacket to match before finally heading back down to the car and heading over to Ailyn and Odilon's.

She grabbed a black book bag and slung over her shoulder after she exited the car. There were a few clanks as a mixture of different glass bottled spirits and wines bounced off each other. She forgot she hadn't even bothered to ask Brice was he coming, but here she was, ringing the door bell to this get-together.




Direct Interactions: Brice Tang @Aato Ailyn @Melanin-Gxdess Odilon @AkuTheWolfOkami
 

copacetic

un cœur tranquille
"7,huh." he repeated after Julien and patted his thighs, looking at her with a smile. "Guess I should shower then so you have time to get ready yadda yadda yadda.." he waved his hands to her and turned to look at her as he stood, offering her his hand. "Unless you wanna kill two birds with one stone and shower together." he grinned at his offer to her knowing full well that she would deny his request. She always did, but that didn't mean that he still wasn't going to give it a shot. He knew the lines to not cross and never crossed them, because when it came down to it Julien was his best friend and he never wanted any bad vibes between the two no matter what happened. "I dunno though, what do you think? Maybe I'll have some new pieces depending on the theme of the ball and put some of my old ones in there. But you know I hate making the same piece more than once."

He would laugh at her response and shrug his shoulders, going off to his room to shower and get ready for the party. It took him 20 minutes to shower and even less time to put on his clothes. He came out dressed in a plain white t shirt and black jeans with holes in the knees and a black leather jacket on top of it. He wore a dog tag necklace and black earrings as well as two black lip rings and semi dressy black shoes. To tie his look together he accessorized with rings, bracelets, and a watch. His hair was combed to the left side and he was wearing his favorite cologne from Italy. But then again, everything he owned was basically from Italy. No matter what, he always had to represent his home country. "Ready?" he asked her as he grabbed his keys and a pack of gum and slid it into his pocket.


Julien took his hand and pulled herself up to a standing position. "Aww, too bad I showered this morning. Plus, I wouldn't have time to redo my hair and do my makeup," she teased. She walked over and looked at the pieces that he had in the living room. "I mean people will buy whatever you put out there. You are and incredible artist and if nobody buys anything, I'll buy it all. But only originals, no repeats, gotta keep my gallery fresh and interesting," she said, joking toward the end, walking to grab her purse to get her makeup bag. She always carried it with her, something she learned to do since she began modeling. Once Nico got out of the shower, she slipped into the bathroom and quickly got herself together. Once she was finished, Nico was ready and she threw on her coat and grabbed her purse while sliding on her shoes.

Julien led the way back to her place with her hands buried deep in her pockets in an attempt not to freeze to death. Once they were inside, she tossed her purse and coat on the bench by her front door. "Make yourself comfortable, I'll be out in a second," she called as she rushed to her closet. Once she was inside she quickly searched through the racks of clothes, choosing a silky white shirt and dark gray pants. She chose a pair of heels and rushed out of her bedroom. "Okay, okay, almost ready," she said a bit out of breath as she grabbed a bottle of whiskey. It was a gift that she never touched, not her taste. But, it'd be perfect for the party. Someone had to drink it, or she could leave it there if nobody touches it. She put the bottle in her purse and slipped on her coat. "Let's go," she said with a sigh of relief, grabbing Nico by the arm and dragging him out the door and to the party.
 

AkuTheWolfOkami

The Shape-shifting Master of Goatees and Darkness
Odi Beckham Jr.


He hadn't expected her to grab his chin, kiss him, and tell him she loved him. Though it wasn't necessarily out of character for her, he just had started to tune out because he didn't feel like arguing. He smiled though and nodded, the ride being mostly quiet the rest of the way home. When he entered their house he pulled his phone out to text Maui, one to see if she was still coming to the get-together, and two to see if she could come a little early to try and work out a nagging tightness he was feeling in his leg. He was hoping it was just some light crampings and not a pulled muscle or anything.

When he finished the text, while Ailyn went to shower he went to check on his son entertaining him for a few seconds before heading to the pool. He was going do his best to stay out of her way there as she prepared for the get together. He spent some time in the hot tub too, and in the ice bath he had down there to try and stave off the cramping. He took a deep breath as he finally left the pool area and headed to shower,before putting his clothes on before heading back towards the floor where everything was being set up.

He yawned a bit before texting Kinni and Vinh in their group chat, "y'all still coming, right?" he texted them before hearing Jordan and blinked giving him a head nod, "Yo..." he stated before looking to the bottle of wine Jordan had brought making a plan to throw it out as soon as Jordan wasn't paying attention...mean while.

Kinni had just gotten in from a trip to Oregon to meet with some NIKE execs about what would be next for Kinni and their partnership. With the large success of her personal line, becoming a household name for luxury designers much like Alexander and Vera Wang, there were becoming less reasons for her to continue to stay partnered with NIKE. So this meeting was about giving her a reason to stay. They were dangling the idea of her getting a shoe deal for sneakers, but Kinni had already had shoes for sale under her own line that were doing really well. So they took it up a notch and offered her an entire line of NIKE branded apparel, from shoes to shirts geared towards athletics but not limited to it. It would be her more urban line to her luxury line, a more affordable line and that was enough to sell her.

She was in an uber, leaving the airport when she got a text in her group messages from Odi and smirked,"Yeah, I'm still coming gotta annoy that ex of mine..." she responded back before looking out of the window of the vehicle and opening up the thread with Jordan. She thought for a moment, before taking a deep breath and leaving the thread and calling up Vinh hoping she'd pick up. She wanted to ask if she wanted her to pick her up while she was on her way.








interactions: Ailyn , Jordan@Melanin-Gxdess
Vinh, @Aato by Odi Vinh @Aato by Kinni
 

lonecoyote

Always Confused
Maui Valenzuela
Maui was fast asleep in bed, her form covered in blankets and cuddled right beside her boyfriend Justin Ha. She had wanted to go to the meeting that was held at his restaurant, but she had new clients today and she always made a promise that their first workout and training would be with her personally. She was having a good dream about being on the beach back home in the Philippines with Justin and a small dog. They were outside of her childhood hut, that's how she knew it was a dream because Justin wouldn't have them staying in the hut but somewhere massive and beautiful. She had planned to sleep and get ready at six and popping into a store and grabbing something for the get together.

She could hear her phone vibrating on the nightstand and she ignored it the first time. Until it vibrated again. And again. And again. A groan escaped her lips as her eyes opened, her hand reaching over and finding her phone. She brought it to her face and furrowed her brows until her vision cleared. It was a text from Odi and she read it multiple time until it finally clicked what he was asking her. 'Yeah, I'm coming and I told you not to overwork that leg. I'll be there as soon as I get ready and get Justin up.' she sent the reply text and laid in bed for a couple more minutes before forcing herself up. She hadn't realized just how much she pushed herself today until her body had time to relax from the days events.

Maui sat at the edge of the bed with sheets wrapped around her as she carefully massaged the spots where she felt tightness and sighing happily when she was feeling much better. She made her way to the large bathroom where she walked into the large walk in closet and picked out a dress she had bought when she was in California visiting one of her four No Limit Training gyms. It was a beautiful dress that showed all of her curves and how hard she had worked for them. She paired them with a pair of black heels and the million dollar necklace her boyfriend had given to her when they arrived home. She picked out a couple of rings as well and kept her promise ring on her left ring finger that he also have her a couple months after they started dating in college.

Maui began to get ready and by the time she was done, it was an hour and forty-five minutes to put herself together and make sure that she looked absolutely flawless. She smiled at herself and took a quick selfie before making her way to the bedroom, heels clicking against the floor as she bent over and began to tap and shake Justin. "Babe? Babe, wake up. Odi wants us over a little earlier so wake up." she said softly, placing her hair behind her ear and smiling softly. "Juuuusssttttiiinnnn."

Justin was fast asleep, not having dreamed of anything that he could remember at least, just needed the mental rest. He had a lot playing on his mind that he needed to address but couldn’t really figure out where to start first.

His sleep cycle was interrupted when he heard his name sang and already a light sleeper, stirred a bit more than he when he heard her heels. His eyes slowly opened as he looked to the white pillow he was squeezing tightly before his vision finally cleared. He turned over on his back and sat up slow rubbing his eyes,”Is it dinner time.”

Maui laughed softly and sat on the bed, looking at him and shaking her head. “Not yet, but Odi wants me to come over early to look at his leg where he hurt it. I’d rather not drive two different vehicles, so get ready, ok? You can sleep on the way over there and I’ll drive.” she looked at her phone and sent Ailyn a text asking if they needed to pick anything up and that they were coming over early.

He huffed a bit rubbing his eyes and getting to his feet and slugging to the bathroom. He took a quick shower before sliding on an Armani button up and adding some expensive diamond cufflinks. He unbuttoned the top button of his shirt and added some expensive jeans and some nice brown shoes. He picked up a cologne bottle of dolce gabana and added it on before glancing to her, before disappearing for a few seconds and returning, “Ok. I guess we can go..”

Maui waited on the bed for a few moments before grabbing one of her many purses from the wardrobe. She selected one of her older chain strapped guess bags and filled it with things that she may need and also grabbed her purse. She then went to her bottle of pills and put two into the purse, but not before popping a mix into her mouth and swallowing them down. A hand went to her stomach and she rubbed a small circle on it, a soft smile on her face as she closed the wardrobe and made the bed, catching his eye before grabbing her keys. “Then let’s go.” she said softly and walked beside him to her Acura NSX and getting into the driver’s seat.

The drive to Ailyn and Odi’s wasn’t too long, possibly a good twenty minutes or so, and they were pulling into the driveway. Maui had a designated parking spot that she claimed when she made home visits for Odi and since she was there almost every other day to keep Ailyn from pulling her hair out from her job and mommy duty. She parked in her spot and placed her keys into her purse, walking with Justin to the front door. Instead of knocking Maui opened the door and looked around. “We’re here!” she called out and stepped inside, closing the door behind justin and setting hanging her purse up. “Odi Lion! Ailyn!” she called out to the house, her heels clicking against the floors.
 

Aato

Not Perfect
Brice Tang
What had been intended to be a pee break ended up becoming a quick shower. Brice imagined he should have ran that by Kortia first, maybe even invited her to join, but it was a spur of the moment decision and he thought she might enjoy the brief time alone. Underneath the warmth of the running water, a number of thoughts went through his mind, momentarily reliving the events of the past few hours and feeling another bout of that childish excitement re-surge. Really, he couldn't help laughing at himself in a scornful fashion for the eagerness he felt to return to the woman in his bed. The feeling was far from perverse and only what he could describe as... "fluffy," and its existence was dangerous.

Stepping out, Brice performed his after-shower routine then secured the towel he had used to dry around his waist. He had probably spent all of ten minutes in the bathroom before emerging, the cooler air of the room contrasting to the sauna-like bathroom and causing him to bristle. "Kor--" he began, yet stopped short when he turned to see the empty bed. A smirk crossed his lips and he sighed, "Typical... I mean, you coulda at least left me a couple of bucks on the nightstand..." he grumbled with a shrug. Although it would seem "angry" would be the most appropriate emotion, Brice only found himself to be mildly annoyed. This hadn't been the first time and surely wouldn't be the last. ...Perhaps "mad" was more fitting.

His course of action changed, now going for his closet as he figured he might as well get ready for the party. With all of those "fluffy" feelings now out of the way, more pertinent thoughts could fill his mind and the memory that he had meant to have a serious discussion with the Navy SEAL re-entered his mind. It became evident to him that something was wrong while at the meeting, the changes he noticed not done by a single day of throwing back liquor. Now that he thought about it, she had been unusually quiet since getting to his place. He'd passed it off as tiredness, but maybe he was wrong... He shook his head and muttered a curse to himself for not being more focused.

Standing in the mirror, he adjusted the collar of his shirt, tacked on a few accessories, and did what he could to his hair in its damp state, ultimately deciding he'd have to let it do as it pleased. After ensuring that most things were in order, he pulled on his black peacoat from earlier then went to observe his liquor cabinet. His eyes scanned over the various bottles of differing sizes, colors, types, and origins. He was drawn to a rather peculiar bottle with a playful smirk, yet bypassed it, finally grabbing a pretty bottle of kaoliang - a clear liquor made of sorghum that some would say tastes exactly like the antiseptic itself. Visually, the bottle was one of his favorites, but it was more easily replaceable than some other options and he didn't believe in showing up to a party with anything shabby.

Before leaving, the brief thought to text Kortia crossed his mind, but he shrugged it off. He decided it could stand to be done later, especially since he hadn't quite figured out just what he would say. Besides, now was the time to focus on letting loose after a long day of meetings.
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