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PenguinFox

The one an' only

Sierra listened to Nova's words, a comforting smile on her lips. She sighed and nodded in understanding. "People are always getting themselves involved when they aren't wanted. I'd like to say that that stops after high school, but that sadly isn't true. Don't get me wrong, it gets better, but it's still the same drama. It's like that Bowling for Soup song; High School Never Ends." she gave a small chuckle. "It really doesn't. Now, while I can't really offer any advice on that breakup situation, I mean let's be honest, that's pretty unique." she offered the younger girl a joking smile to try and lighten the mood. "But I can say this. You wouldn't need my advice even if I had any. The way you handled things back there-" Sierra gave a nod to the sliding doors from which they exited. "-That was pretty dope. Not easy to keep calm like that, so you know, good on you." The elder Evans sibling shivered a little as she smiled up at Nova. The purple hoodie she was wearing wasn't really meant to be worn in this weather for extended periods.

Sierra happily accepted the other girl's invitation to sit next to her on the couch. Shoving her hands into her hoodie's pockets she curled her legs underneath her and faced the brunette next to her. She calmly examined her face before responding. "He likes to help where he can. It can be both a blessing and a curse. But I should be the one thanking you. He can be quite the handful, yet you've seemed to keep him alive at this crazy cabin party despite that. Give yourself some credit, you've got a good heart in your chest."

Brown eyes drifted down as Sierra debated on whether to ask what she was about to ask. "I'm kinda curious though, and don't feel the need to answer, I totally understand if you don't want to tell me. I mean after all we just met today, you've no reason to trust me. I do promise I won't tell a soul what was said out here though. Really I'm more looking for you to be honest with yourself, rather than me. At the end of the day the only person you have to answer to is you." She met Nova's hazel gaze, her own brown eyes curious but not demanding. She couldn't help but somewhat see herself in this younger girl. Just needed the right boost of confidence and she could do anything she wanted. "Is there maybe any bit of truth to what they were saying back there? Are you and Ian just friends? Is it possible that maybe they were seeing something you can't quite see yet? No one can tell you what to feel or what you're thinking, but they can make observations." she shrugged casually before looking off into the distance. "Again, you don't have to answer that now, it's just something to think about."

Sierra pulled a hand from her pocket and reached for the bottle between them. She unscrewed the cap and took a swig before resealing it and setting it back down. "I think it's pretty badass that you're still standing after all the shit you've been through, especially over the last couple of days." she said purposely changing the subject. She gave the hazel eyed girl a warm smile. "You can take that as a fact if it's coming from me." she added with a chuckle. @txlos
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
574497
Sierra truly was a genuinely kind individual, this much Nova had gathered over the past few minutes. She seemed level headed, and honestly worried for those she held close. Not only that, but the way she spoke of the petite brunette holding her own helped hazel eyes calm a bit, a sigh filling and fleeing from her chest. Standing up to people was one thing that Nova had never had a particular talent for. There wasn't a confrontational bone in her body, and yet when it came to the questioning of her character her blood boiled in their vein casings. Not enough to blow up of course, but enough for Nova to politely excuse herself and flee from the situation without seeming like a total coward. So with a nod, the brunette thanked Sierra for recognizing her minor feat before tucking her legs in, setting her chin on her chest.

It wasn't until the Evans' sister's question that Nova's hazel gaze ventured out into the wooded scenery before them, the blanket of snow bringing light to an otherwise dark night. Was there truth to anything that Tristan and Carter were saying? Was it possible that she had gotten so entirely worked up due to a truth that she hadn't yet accepted? Was it possible that she felt more for Ian, someone she hardly knew, than she was allowing herself to feel? The rush of questions threatened to come in like a flood but the brunette refused to give herself that much anxiety. Not with someone else sitting right here, more so not with Ian's sister sitting right here. Because what good would panicking due? And though Nova was able to keep her demeanor calm and collected, it didn't mean that her flickering eyes weren't searching for an answer out in plain sight.

She had known Ian for approximately forty-eight hours, at most. He had been incredibly kind in listening to her breakup sob story, offering much needed advice (and alcohol). Moving down the timeline, he had been quick to open up to Nova, which didn't seem surprising to the younger girl since plenty of people seemed to view her as a journal, but something about Ian's venting felt more... needed? It didn't seem like the blonde was one to express his problems or feelings very often, and yet he had done just that with an almost stranger. Flash forward and not ten minutes ago they were sitting in the kitchen of Nova's ex-boyfriend's cabin, singing together, singing for one another, as if they had known each other for years. A smile flashed on rose lips at the thought of Ian's voice, how wonderfully smooth and collected it had been, and said grin only grew at the thought of Ian in general. God, he was just... kind. The blonde seemed like someone who just wanted the world to smile. He was slightly cocky, as his little display with Kanen had shown, and something about that was attractive and daring. Ian wasn't shy, he seemed sure of himself and his actions, even if they were dumb. Like giving a sad girl a bottle of vodka, or tempting a potential gang member to get some song writing inspiration.

After what seemed like hours in a thoughtful silence, a chuckle from Nova's lips filled the chilled air. "Y'know," Words were barely whisper as the brunette let her cheek fall on her folded arms, gaze still outward. "Your brother is... a lot. He's thoughtful and talented beyond belief, he's nice and understanding and easy to talk to and-" A small groan cut off the brunette as she buried her face in her hands, filing fingers through thick hair before meeting eyes with the boy's sister. "That's crazy though, right? I just get out of a relationship and start liking a guy after barely knowing him? Doesn't that make me like a hoe or something? And it's not that I didn't care about Jace I did, but Ian just seems like someone who would actually stick up for what he believes in and protect the people he trusts and GOD I sound like an idiot don't I?" Red blush made home on the girl's cheeks as she pressed her lips into a line. Not only was she venting an almost stranger for the second time in two days, but she was talking about a guy to that very guy's sister. The thought of going insane swept through Nova's mind for only a minute before it was replaced by the image of Ian, an image that seemed to have an ever evolving meaning.

@PenguinFox
 

Deacon

Westbrook Wolf
🎄 Neck Tie 🎄


Neck Tie didn’t know what gifts Alice had in mind, and for some reason she didn’t tell him what they were straight away. But anyway, even if the gifts were excellent, he couldn’t let her do it. It wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t choose and buy the gifts himself, out of his own money. Actually it would feel like cheating a bit. Plus, it was already too late to send anything overseas. The gifts would have to be sitting under the tree by tomorrow and not even Santa himself could cover such a distance in so short a time.

‘Thanks, Alice, but it wouldn’t be right,’ he said. ‘I mean. . . I think I can just get them twice as much for their birthdays.’

He’d have to put those dates down in the calendar, though. If he forgot their birthdays too, he would never forgive himself.

Neck Tie sighed. Then his heart stopped when Alice bumped into the tree, all his hard work nearly coming undone. But she regained her footing quickly enough, that he decided not to say anything about it. Instead he rubbed the back of his neck which was sweating up a bit under the collar. The fire was getting too warm and it was making him feel uncomfortable. He supposed it was true what people say: too much of a good thing wasn’t always a good thing.

Talking to new people was great and all, but he was starting to wonder what Casper was up to. Last he checked, Casper had gone into the party with Aaron. Neck Tie figured it was best if he stayed away from Aaron for now, and gave the brothers some space, since their last meeting didn’t go down so well. He kept telling himself that Christmas was the time to be with family, so that it was perfectly normal that Casper was spending some time with Aaron right now. He knew he didn’t have any right to feel jealous, yet this didn’t make him feel any less lonely. Neck Tie sighed once more. The tree and all the work he put into it really meant nothing if his own family and his best friend weren’t there to appreciate it.

@Littletiger56 @Dazzle
 
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PenguinFox

The one an' only

Sierra sat in silence with Nova for while, letting her think things over. It was a lot she just told the other girl to think about, a lot to mull over and process. When the younger girl did finally speak up the Evans sister listened quietly without judgement. "I think-" she began thoughtfully. "I think that you can be attracted to people no matter when. Emotions don't pick times to be convenient, they just happen. It might seem fast, but maybe that's just because that's what we've been led to believe by societal norms. People will definitely judge, but they always will, with everything. But they don't get to have a say in your life unless you let them." she carefully reached out and rested a hand on the brunette's shoulder, the warmth of her body heat contrasting against the frigid air.

"You sound like someone who has a lot to consider and is understandably confused. Emotions aren't easy, and they often take time to sort out, and accept, and deal with in healthy ways. The good news is that you have the time to figure things out. It seems at the very least you think of Ian as a friend, so my advice is to keep doing what you've been doing. Be regular friends while you figure things out for sure, then pursue whatever kind of relationship makes you happy." Sierra paused for a moment before laughing lightly. "Be warned though if you do decide that you want to be more than friends, he is a complete idiot with that kind of thing. Hinting at it will go right over his head; be direct." a small grin grew on to the older brunette's lips.

Nova was a kind girl and there was something familiar about her. Almost as if Sierra had known her for much longer than she actually had. That combined with their shared musical interest she could be a very good thing for her brother. He liked to pretend that his past was behind him, but after what she had seen, it wasn't. His demons still followed him whether or not he pretended they weren't still there. His sister couldn't always be there for him, nor could she be the only part of his support. He needed good friends he could count on, and this petite girl could be exactly that. She let out a sigh and ran a hand through her hair. "There is something you need to be...I guess aware of. Ian's happy-go-lucky attitude..." the older sister stole a glance at the doors to make sure no one would interrupt or overhear something they shouldn't. Another sigh escaped her lips as she struggled to find the right words. "Well, that's not the only thing he is. He won't ever admit it, which is why I'm telling you, but...sometimes that care-free Ian is a facade. I mean obviously no one is happy twenty-four-seven, but....just don't assume that's all there is to his character. He tends to put up walls and pretend to be okay when he's not." Brown, almost pleading eyes flicked between Nova and the snowy woods, almost as if searching for answer. Her eyebrows furrowed in frustration. Sierra felt like she was trying to request something of the girl but didn't know what. It was rare for her to not know herself and it was incredibly aggravating. "Sorry, I don't really know what my point is, or why I'm telling you this anymore. I guess it's just something to know about him." she rubbed her temples clearly upset with herself and her loss of words. @txlos
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
575355
Nova listened with attentive ears, soaking it in and taking time to fully process everything that the brunette beside her was saying, brows furrowed in concentration. The cold was beginning to nip at her fingertips, biting a bit and reddening her nose, though it didn't take up too much room in the shivering girl's mind. Sierra was being completely open and honest about her brother, sharing a piece of him with her, and it meant more than Nova could say. Because above all, Sierra was right. Her emotions weren't going to wait for what seemed like a good time to feel something for someone else, and the truth of the matter was, they had chosen to latch onto the idea of Ian. And Ian came with truths of his own. He wasn't this carefree individual twenty-four seven, he wasn't all smiles and happy-go-lucky, and that was okay with Nova. She hadn't expected that of him, no one was impervious to the effects of life. With a knowing and somewhat understanding grin, the brunette reached out to place her hand atop Sierra's forearm, giving it a soft squeeze. "I don't expect him to have a smile on his face all the time," Her words were a delicate whisper, hazel eyes full of sincerity. "And I won't push him to say what he doesn't want to in the moment, but I'll do my best to be around when he decides he does."

With that, Nova pushed herself up from her place on the couch, the cold air whirling up her body and causing a big shiver to flush through her petite figure. "Speaking of talking, I think I owe him an explanation before Tristan and Carter feed him some bullshit lies," Small hands rubbed over a reddened face and into auburn hair as Nova's gaze fixated on the sliding glass door. Through there was a whole new conversation to open up, one she wanted to finish tonight, one she didn't want to wake up with on her chest. Tomorrow was Christmas morning, and no matter how things turned out she wanted nothing more than to spend her Christmas without drama or unsaid feelings looming overhead. Ian deserved to know the truth about her breakup with Jace, and if nothing else, the brunette hoped this would be the last time she would have to talk about her previous relationship. So with a weary smile, she set the blanket around her shoulders beside Sierra and headed in.

Bee-lining to Ian, Nova dodged many a drunk teenager and a few random drinking games, slipping through bodies to the kitchen where she found the boy exactly where she had left him. Her eyes moved to scan both Tristan and Carter before giving a weak smile, her hand reaching down to grab Ian's. "I'm gonna have to borrow him, I'm sorry," The apology was weak, said more as a formality, and with it said the brunette tugged the blonde boy beside her out of the kitchen and down the hall. It didn't go unnoticed, the electricity and warmth that radiated from Ian's palm into hers, but Nova did her absolute best to ignore it for the time being. It wasn't until she had successfully dragged the boy upstairs into her current room that Ian was released, Nova shutting the door behind him before walking over to her bed, lowering herself gently to a seated position.

Hands rubbed slowly together, anxious and unsure silence filling the space before she was able to speak up. "I should've told you that Jace was my ex," The words were blatant, hazel eyes slowly traveling from the floor to the blue's before her. "And it's crap that I didn't, and I'm sorry. I was just really enjoying your company and didn't think of it right then. And I know that's not an excuse, but I just-" Cutting off her own rambling and wiping damp palms against her jeans, Nova took a deep breath, eyes averting to the floor in front of her. "You're a really good guy, Ian," She cooed, just barely audible. "I'm not used to good guys. I thought I was, and then I was wrong, and you just seem like a genuinely good guy. I didn't mean to keep anything from you, it honestly slipped my mind. And I'm sorry." Nova's lips pressed into a thin line then. She wasn't sure how much was appropriate to say. What would happen if she just spilled her guts like she had done to Sierra? Or worse, what if she kept her emotions completely hidden? Neither seemed like the right answer, so for now, Nova allowed her eyes to shift back to Ian's, awaiting his voice to break the thick of the stillness that was beginning to coat the room.

@PenguinFox
 

PenguinFox

The one an' only
575456

Sierra smiled softly at Nova's response. That was exactly the kind of thing she had hoped she would say. She nodded as the other girl excused herself. "Do what you got to do." she said with a smile, gratefully taking up the blanket and placing it on her lap. She didn't intend to stay out much longer but she wanted a moment to collect her own thoughts. Her gaze wandered to the night sky as she let her mind wander, mostly thinking of the good influences in her and her brother's life. The neighborhood kids, their small group of friends from their old school. It was then a realization came on why Nova felt familiar even if she wasn't. She reminded Sierra of someone, and that someone was the last person Ian had fallen for. The elder sister wondered if Ian had noticed this as well, and whether he was drawn to Nova because of that fact, or because of the girls own personality. Perhaps both.

With a sigh Sierra pulled herself from the couch and made her way back inside. She heard something about a game of spin the bottle and while she didn't know anyone there, besides the few she met and her brother, she she loved watching those games. Secrets were inevitably spilled and relationships were made and broken. A great time if you weren't part of the latter group. She decided to stand sort of close to where this game would be, but against the wall to show she wasn't playing. Her eyes then scanned the crowd. She caught a glimpse of Nova pulling Ian by the hand, which would almost guarantee gossip later, but she made no move to stop it. She couldn't be the guardian angel for these kids forever, as much as her instincts told her too. The Evans sister crossed her arms over her chest as she realized she didn't have a drink, but definitely wasn't going back to that kitchen, so she stood there leaning against the wall, slight pout on her face. @txlos Mentions: @TheAwesomeSoph @Winona


The look on the pairs faces said enough. Ian leaned back against the counter and scratched the back of his neck. This was a lot to process. He blocked out all sound so he could think and focus on his feelings for a moment. His green gaze moved up when he noticed motion at the entrance again. Nova had returned and before he could say anything had taken his hand and began to pull him away. He grabbed his guitar by the neck because he definitely didn't trust it being unattended at a party of intoxicated teens, and let himself be taken away.

The Evans brother felt stares at himself and Nova, and they didn't feel like the good kind. Based on everything he'd learned over the past few days, he could understand why. There were going to be rumors about this. He didn't mind personally, after all people involved in the gossip knew the truth, the gossipers did not. Talking about him behind his back also wasn't a new thing to Ian. He was kind of a weird guy sometimes and teenagers loved to mock people, but the he would always shrug them off. The real reason Ian was feeling uncomfortable with the stares was for Nova's sake. Most people didn't shake those kinds of things off.

When the pair finally got into a secluded room and Nova closed the door Ian felt some heat rising in his body in embarrassment. It was sort of an awkward thing for a girl at a party to drag him away without explanation in order to bring him to an empty room and close the door behind them. Green eyes dropped to the floor as Ian collected himself. He had only know the girl for a few days, but he was pretty sure that that wasn't where this was going. When he looked back up, no longer feeling any awkward tension, he raised his eyebrow to ask what this was about. When she spoke up she revealed it was because she felt guilty that she didn't tell him her ex was Jace. He remained silent for a moment before chuckling a little. "What do you have to be sorry for? Sure I probably wouldn't have said some of the things I said about him if I knew it was Jace, I might owe him an apology, but really it was none of my business. In fact the whole thing was none of my business, but I butted in anyway because I can't stand to see someone crying." he gave her a soft, reassuring grin. "Hell if anything, maybe I should be the one to apologize." he made his way over and sat next to her, keeping a few feet between them so as to not make things uncomfortable. "I offered to help, you vented what you were comfortable with, which just so happened not include a name. I didn't need to know names, because it doesn't matter. " his tone was gentle again, just like when the two first met. Ian gave the girl next to him a casual shrug. "I wanted to see you smile so I tried to be a distraction." Green eyes met hazel as the male smiled wide. "How'd I do in that?" @txlos Mentions: @Dazzle @Maree @Winona
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
575468
Why did he have to be so wholesome? So genuine, so kind and understanding. It was both infuriating yet ridiculously reassuring all at once. Ian seemed like the type of guy that people just swarmed to, someone that you wanted to be around because if nothing else, he could bring a smile to your lips and a bit of peace to your mind. Or maybe that was just her own projection of the guy seeping into her overall view.

It wasn't until the mention of the blonde apologizing to Jace that Nova's fingers tightened, nails giving slight pressure into her palms. It was exactly what she hoped wouldn't happen, the niceness of Ian penetrating through to involve her previous relationship. Obviously she wasn't going to be one to tell Ian that he didn't have to do such a thing, that beanie boy was doing just fine in the way of how he was feeling, considering this Theo character he had found, and what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him, but still. How good could the guy get? For now, the idea was pushed back, the idea of her ex and the guy she was currently crushing on having a conversation was uncomfortable, and not one that she wanted at the current moment.

"You have absolutely nothing to apologize for," Nova huffed, pulling her knees in to sit cross legged on the bed. Her eyes drifted to Ian's as he continued explaining himself, something he didn't need to do but she wasn't going to interrupt. He was just so aware of his actions, aware of how others felt, and how on earth was a guy like this going to survive in a town like Westbrook? If anything, maybe he could bring some sanity to the drama-filled halls of the seemingly perfect town. Ian's grin broke her from this state of wonder, as it was tending to do often now, and the brunette could feel her shoulders sink slower into her back, tension whisking away like leaves in the winter wind.

"I'd say you got an A minus," Her tone was playful, bumping her knee against Ian's thigh, though she couldn't help but linger on what the boy's sister had said outside just moments ago. 'Hinting will go right over his head, be direct'. Direct wasn't something that the hazel eyed girl prided herself in, but at the same time she knew that the blonde wasn't going to take a hint. With a breath, her head tilted to the side, eyes still glued to the boy before her. "Hey Ian," Nova quipped with pursed lips, eyes squinting inquisitively, "The other night, in the living room, when you were talking about the band," Each word was thought out, careful to only convey exactly what she meant and not add in the fluffy words. "I think that's the first time I haven't seen you trying to make someone else smile this entire trip," And it was true. The brunette hadn't seen Ian without a smile plastered on his lips since that moment, and it was eating at her. Sierra's words ate at her, the situation ate at her, and she ached to simply know more.

"We just met," Nova stated as she stood up a little straighter, shaking off a bit of nerves. Her new posture brought her a little closer to Ian, but the close proximity didn't intimidate her too much. If anything, the detail she was now able to see in his eyes was somehow comforting to her. "So why open up to me? I didn't mind, I don't mind still, you can always talk to me if you want to I just... am curious."

@PenguinFox
 
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PenguinFox

The one an' only

Ian laughed at his grade. "An A minus? I'll have to try harder than. I will only accept perfection!" he declared dramatically, a wide grin on his face. He leaned back somewhat, arms supporting his weight. His left hand resting between himself and Nova, any tensions about being too close to her beginning to fade. It was almost as if he were slowly being magnetically drawn to her, not that he noticed this happening. His gaze locked with hers when she said his name. She was questioning why he was always trying to make people smile, and why he opened up to her. A bit of panic rose in his chest. People weren't supposed to see behind the curtain. The only Ian people were ever supposed to see was the care-free version. Part of him wanted to run from this, to put up more walls and fake even bigger smiles. But another part compelled him to let someone in for once. The few times he had before people had left him in some form or another, and Ian feared the same thing happening yet again, but for some reason he remained. Nova wouldn't do that right? Getting to know more facets of his personality, then deciding he wasn't worth the effort and ditching him didn't seem like something this girl would do. At least that was what the small voice of hope in the boys head told him.

"That's uh-" Ian's gaze broke from the girl next to him and fell down to the floor. "That's a good question. I uh- don't really know to be honest." he shook his head and chuckled at his terrible answer. "It'd be easy to say that it was purely convenient but that'd be a lie, and it would completely disregard the fact that you did actually help me out." Green eyes slowly returned to match Nova's hazels. "It was probably a combination of things. First: you seemed kind and genuine, and even if you didn't care about any problem I may have had, you had this vibe that said you would at least let me vent. Turns out I was right, you were exactly that kind of nice, genuine person that seems to be something of a rarity. Everyone seems to have at least one fake thing about them, but not you. Which leads me to the second reason." he paused looking for the words, mouth opening and closing again. He bit the side of his lip before continuing. He was clearly unsure of himself and what he was saying but this was something that deep down the Evans sibling knew he needed to get out. "I can't explain why, but you remind me of someone I knew back in California. They were there for me during a really rough patch in my life. For a time at least. They helped me be the best I could, and like I just said I don't know why, but you very much reminded- still do remind me- of them."

Ian wasn't being entirely honest with her, but that was all she needed to know for now. Bringing up the fact that that person was his ex would be weird as that would be saying 'Hey, you remind me of someone I used to be in love with.' Not to say that Nova wasn't attractive, because she was, but Ian wasn't attracted to her. Definitely was not developing feelings for her. Even if he was, which he wasn't, but if he was it would be fruitless. She just got out of a relationship, and there's no way she would like him. Ian cleared his throat as he continued. "Third thing is you're really easy to talk to. I feel like we could talk for hours about nothing at all and still have a ball. I mean I could talk at someone for hours, but that's different from talking with someone. It's like we've been friends for far longer than a few days." he shrugged a joking smile making it's way to his lips. "I don't know, that's just a guess as to why. Who knows what the real reasons are." What? Ian couldn't be expected to be serious for too long now could he? He purposely avoided the other statement about him always trying to make others smile. He wasn't sure he was ready to delve that deep into his own mind just yet. @txlos
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
575589
Nova mindlessly fiddled with a frayed string that had strayed from it's seams, her eyes not daring to leave the greens in front of her as she listened to Ian speak. His words were staggered, a little nervous, and all in all she could tell he was speaking freely from his mind. And something about that washed a wave of comfort over the brunette's figure. A not-so-subtle blush found it's way to her cheeks as he complimented her character, the feeling burning at her skin but in the most pleasant way. It had been some time since a boy had said such nice things to her, had taken some time to figure her out a little. And while it was a fuzzy feeling in her stomach, she couldn't help but sigh. There was so much that Ian didn't know, so much that Jace didn't know, so much that Westbrook in general just had no idea of. Nova hadn't found the courage to tell her beanie boy about her past, what life was like in Seattle and part of the reason for her moving, but something about Ian made her want to start breaking walls and just spill every secret she had ever once felt she would be judged on. Because while yes, Nova did her best to be as genuine and honest as possible, that hadn't always been the case. But here Ian was, saying that he could talk with the brunette for hours and not get bored, saying that he felt like they've known each other for longer than the days they had, and it all felt so nice and warm to hear from a voice that was smooth as glass and inviting as spring.

Releasing the poor thread on her pants, Nova let her body fall back into the bed, laying her back flat against the mattress as her eyes found home on the ceiling. "For the record, I did care. I do care," She began with a release of breath, wetting her lips before moving her hands to rest on her stomach. "And I feel that too, the knowing you for longer than a few days. I hope you know I don't just sing for any stranger that asks," Tone more playful, Nova still couldn't peel her eyes away from the ceiling. Her body was getting hot, the sweater over her torso seeming to just radiate heat against her skin. Sitting up only barely, the petite brunette slipped the baggy sweater off, a plain white tank-top underneath that hugged her body. Slowly resting her body back against the mattress, Nova continued. "And I feel like that's why I should tell you that I really hope you know that I think you're a really wonderful guy whose insanely talented and admittedly really attractive and I just feel like being super upfront with you."

There was no laid out reason as to why the hazel eyed girl felt the need to talk about herself, it wasn't something that she felt the want to do too often, but Ian was different. And how cliche of her to think such a thing, but he just was. Nova couldn't explain the level of ease she felt around the blonde boy, the level of peace that his presence seemed to bring. Though even in this state of comfort, her heart still pounded in her chest, her mouth continuing to speak as fast as the thoughts popped into her head and her eyes not daring to look towards the boy on the bed beside her.

"Because you have no idea how nice it is to know that you see me as genuine and real because I try my very hardest to be both of those things. I wasn't always. Before I moved to Westbrook I wasn't that type of person, I was a bad type of person. Or maybe I wasn't a bad person but I got involved with bad people, bad guys specifically, who had no idea how to protect or keep a girl safe and believe me, it wasn't exactly at the top of their priority list. I was used to distract people while some dumb boyfriend stole, or one time a guy left me stranded in Canda because there was a warrant out for his arrest and it slipped his mind to tell me and I had to get a bus home to Seattle," The words flowed like water from a broken damn, her eyes squinting as they began to burn with the possibility of tears. It had been a long while since Nova had talked about her past, but the door was open now with little chance of closing. "I used to use people for information, and it's not like it was something I wanted to but it's something I thought I had to do. People told me all the time that if I didn't listen to them then I was the type of girl to end up dead in the woods, and my god, that gets to you as a person. I was fifteen or sixteen dating guys in their twenties, I had no idea what the hell I was doing, I was just following orders because if I didn't follow orders then-" A sharp breath cut off the brunette, her lips slowly pressing into a thin line. Flashes of awful memories began to sink into her brain, pushing the cup of water sitting at the edge of her eyes. One tear managed it's escape, and though it felt like it was screaming as it trickled down her face, Nova continued, "Then they did bad things."

"So I got to Westbrook and decided I didn't want to be that person anymore," It almost sounded final, her deep breath solidifying her statement. "I didn't want to be mean, I didn't want to date mean guys, I didn't want to be involved in that. I wanted to focus on my music, I wanted to focus on my Netflix binging. I still see guys like the ones I dated back in Seattle and it freaks me out. It reminds me of how disgusted I am at the person I used to be," After what seemed like days, hazels drifted to match green's, her expression almost nervous. The last thing she wanted was so scare Ian away with her burst of information. It had been a while since Nova was the one venting though, and she couldn't help but feel a little lighter.

"I guess," The words were a soft start, her gaze softening into Ian's, "I guess this is just all a long winded way of saying that I think I really like you, and want to be totally honest with you. And I wish I could tell you why, but I don't think I can. I just think you're really, really great."

@PenguinFox

 

PenguinFox

The one an' only

Ian couldn't help but to smile as Nova agreed with his sentiment of feeling like they'd been friends longer. "I'm honored that you trusted me enough to do that, and for the record, your voice is incredible." his tone was playful but his words were honest. When the brunette on the bed took of her sweater Ian looked away, half out of courtesy and half to hide the shade coming to his cheeks. As she began to speak again he started to looked back, but his gaze dropped to the floor when she called him attractive. He felt like it was starting to really warm up in there and began to wonder if someone cranked up the furnace.

After a moment the girl began to open up about her life. When she did so, green eyes locked with hazels, listening intently to every word. This was her story, and she was brave enough to share it. The least the Evans brother could do was pay attention. It was a lot to take in, but more to live through. When she finished recounting her story Ian slid himself off the bed and crouched down next to the headboard so he could be eye level with her. "Listen to me; you want to be a better person, and that alone already means you're better than before. Being as kind and genuine to people, including a stranger like me? Well that just confirms you've succeeded. You're not that person. Don't ever beat yourself up like that, because from where I'm-" he looked down at his feet before looking back to her hazel eyes with a grin. "Well not standing, but from where I am, you're really great. Anyone would be lucky to have you in their life, and everyone who does, is. You're sweet and fun to be around, and I wish I had better words, but I'm only really good with words in lyrics." The teenager paused for a moment to think of something better than what he had already said. "I really hope that one day you can see yourself as I see you." He slowly nodded to himself deciding those were sufficient words.

Ian place his hand on the bed and then his other hand on top of it. He then rested his chin on his hands before continuing to speak. "I think that was incredibly courageous of you to make yourself vulnerable and tell me that. Thank you for trusting me enough." a soft smile appeared as the boy let himself get lost in Nova's eyes for a moment. He could feel something in the back of his mind pushing it's way to the front, but he held it back for the moment. "I suppose a little quid pro quo is fair." he sighed deeply before relaying his own story. "I-" he cut himself off as quickly as he started. "Wow, this is hard to do." a dry chuckled rolled from his throat at his inability to speak. He could feel the lump in his throat tightening, making even breathing start to be challenging. "The time in my life that was incredibly challenging. The one I mentioned earlier. That was-" Ian could feel the pressure at the back of his eyes as he tried to hold back his emotions. Even as he was spilling the truth to someone he still wanted to be seen as 'regular, happy Ian'. He bit his lip hard as he debated whether he should really reveal this to Nova at all, but something compelled him to continue, so with closed eyes and bated breath he finally said it. "-That was when I was diagnosed with depression. Severe." He lifted his head some as his hand unconsciously reached for his shoulder. There was a slight wince before he continued.

Green eyes opened, now sparkling with small droplets, but no actual tears forming. "Not many people know. Most of who I've told...most of them leave, or stop talking to me. I guess it's easier than dealing with me? I don't know." Ian shrugged as if it didn't bother him, but guilt filled his eyes. He blinked a couple of times before turning his head and drying his eyes with his sleeve. As he turned back, a smile had reappeared on his face. "Anyway-" the boy focused his gaze back onto the brunette laying on the bed, but this time they trailed down to her lips for a moment before returning to hazel orbs. "That's why I am the way I am. I'd be surprised if you still felt the same way about me now." a small laugh came from the Evans siblings' lips. "I suppose I know what you mean when you say you want to be honest with me, because it feels like I can't wait to tell you all the secrets I've been keeping to myself." he averted his gaze for a moment as an uncharacteristically shy smile lit up his face.

Song lyrics began to permeate Ian's brain as feelings began to push their way forward again. "I gotta say, I wasn't expecting you to come my way and make everything so-" he paused to think of the right words as a slight blush rose to his face. "Easy and complicated at the same time. Like you're amazing and easy to be around, but like...I don't understand why? That doesn't really make sense does it?" He sighed as the lyrics continued to swirl and become clear; Now I know, I can't deny this feeling any longer. He truly couldn't, and with that it was like a dam had burst. A flood of thoughts, realizations, and emotions washed over him. He had developed feelings for Nova, and as much as he wanted to try and deny it, he couldn't. His gaze flicked to the brunette's lips once more as an almost sick feeling filled his stomach. Without thinking of if she liked him, Ian impulsively leaned in and kissed Nova. It was gentle and over in a second. He pulled away slowly, green eyes once again downcast. "I'm so sorry." he said softly, face bright red. "I really should not have done that. I don't know- I uh-...I should...Should I leave?" he started to back away some, preparing to be chewed out for taking advantage of this girl he had practically just met. He knew his emotions and impulsiveness would get him in trouble some day, and it seemed it was today. The whole school was going to hear about this and he was assuredly going to be labeled as some kind of villain. He didn't even have the courage to look at the girl whom he just kissed, and who's trust was probably irreversibly broken. @txlos
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
575655
Depression wasn't something that was going to drive Nova away, because in the grand scheme of things, no one was without their demons. Ian's demons came in the form of sadness, and maybe sometimes isolation. But the brunette wasn't a stranger to said symptoms, and if the blonde wanted to stay in and watch a marathon of TV in complete silence well, that wasn't something that Nova was incredibly opposed to. Not even knowing if the guy had similar feelings and here she was, already making plans to help in any way she could. That was the type of person Ian was helping her turn into already, the type of person that she had been fighting to be since she arrived here in Westbrook, the type of person that he was assuring her she already was. How could someone infiltrate your life so quickly? Invade areas that most couldn't? A hopeless romantic at heart, the brunette wanted to believe that love-at-first-sight was a possibility, but the ever so present skeptic in her quickly hushed the thought of such a fairy-tale.

Though she knew what he meant by both easing and complicating the other's life. Fresh out of a relationship and here she was, all googly eyed and invested in this wonderful stranger who didn't feel like much of a stranger at all. It almost made her laugh as he questioned her feelings of him after the confession, because if anything, it made Ian seem more human. As Nova scooted closer to the edge of the bed where the musician was knelt, about to make her speech of reassurance that she wasn't going to be going anywhere, she was promptly cut off. It took a moment to realize what was happening, the warm sensation of electricity coursing through her lips and down into her stomach, and just as quickly as it came it was over. Having no recollection of them closing, hazel eyes opened into wide greens, Ian's face flushed tomato red and his lips stammering apologies that weren't needed. The only thing that Nova needed in that second was the feeling back, a feeling she didn't know she wanted until the blonde had made the first move.

Without a word, a small smile planted on her features, Nova slipped off of the bed to stand. Ian's six foot figure towered over her barely-five-foot posture, the height difference forcing the brunette to look up to him. He looked mortified, absolutely bewildered in himself, and maybe he was. But he had no reason to be. A ring-clad hand moved to rest on the blonde's chest as hazel eyes locked to greens, her gaze soft and reassuring as if to directly tell him to calm down. "Don't be sorry," Nova chuckled low, a small breath escaping from her mouth as she pressed up on her toes to plant a soft kiss to Ian's lips. It held the same feeling as the first fleeting peck, that same electricity, something that she didn't know if she had ever felt before. Kissing Ian didn't feel messy or awkward, as most first kisses were, this just felt organic and wonderful, like something she needed to do on an hourly basis to stay sane. It baffled her, how this unmatched man, someone who had seen her ugly crying on the steps of her ex-boyfriend's cabin, was kissing her. And for once, her skeptic had been proven wrong. If this wasn't what fairy-tales and rom-coms were made of then Nova hadn't a clue what was.

It took a few slow moments for Nova to pull away, lowering herself back onto her heels. Hazel eyes were soft and almost dreamy, cheeks stained red as she allowed her hand to fall back down beside her. Two almost strangers, standing barely a foot away, and yet, it couldn't feel anymore opposite. "So," She cooed, the smallest of smirks gracing her lips, eyes not daring to leave Ian's. "Still think you shouldn't have done that?"

@PenguinFox
 

Winona

Senior Member
Drake
Big LAUGH.gif

For a moment, Drake may have felt a bit apprehensive as he watched nervously while Casper stared down at the shot, at first refusing it. He almost felt bad, like he was pushing someone into drinking. Had he turned into that kind of person? Well, either way, Casper took the shot, and all of his worries melted away with a laugh when he saw the full body shake.

"Here -- the more you drink, the better it tastes." Drake promised him, eagerly filling up both Casper and Aaron's shot glasses once more. Drinking with friends was way better than drinking at home alone.

Straight vodka did taste horrible, though, and Drake struggled to keep the burning down as he took another drink from the bottle, his face twisting into a look of distaste before being replaced with that bright smile once again. The alcohol was already working through his body, making him warm and feeling like a loose goose.

"Here," he said again, clumsily filling up the shot glasses every time that they ran dry.

@mikaluvkitties

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Ava
Little Lip Quirk.gif

Wow. Wow. This was why Ava didn't apologize to people for the things that she said, and the reason that Ava hated people. Obviously, because they liked to come in with these kinds of horrible ideas.

"Are you suggesting... oh no..." she grumbled as JJ loudly announced the game they were playing, and Ava found herself shuffling unwillingly after her friend. In Ava's many years of existence, she had kissed exactly zero people, and that was the way she wanted to keep it -- the way she liked it. The idea of swapping spit or pressing face holes against someone else's made her sick to her stomach. Even thinking about it now had left her with a disgusted expression.

But Ava was stuck, and she was going to have to suck it up, and also try and remember everything she had learned from the many TV shows and movies that her mother had forced her to watch. Grease. Uh.... Smoochy Smoochy. Okay, so that wasn't an actual movie, but now that she thought of it, Ava had managed to close her eyes every single time there was a kissing scene, and had diverted her gaze every time that two people had become far too intimate.

How did one kiss?

Now distressed about that, too, Ava followed Jules over to a table, huffing and sitting down in the sit beside her with her arms crossed over her chest, a decisive pout on her face.

@TheAwesomeSoph

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Mason
Hair Flip.gif

Maybe he had been the smallest bit surprised that Raven had taken his hand, after watching her hesitate for the briefest of seconds. But he was glad that she had since, well, the other people at this party weren't the kind he was in the mood to talk with right now. None of them were good for a little bit of fun, hence why he'd somehow ended up back with Raven. Somehow, it seemed like no matter where he went, he always ended up back with Raven. Strange how that worked.

JJ's voice was loud, high-pitched, and annoying over the rest of the students as she announced spin the bottle. Spinning for kisses had always felt childish and pointless to Mason, but he still turned towards Raven with a teasing smile. "Wanna play spin the bottle? Or just dance?" Or get wasted, but Mason decided to keep that one to himself.

He had been pulling her out onto the dance floor, although Mason wasn't much of a dancer himself. He preferred... well, just not dancing in the least bit. It always made him feel ridiculous. But still, he tried to dance a bit, and with his hand holding Raven's, he twirled in a circle, a playful grin on his face. Girls liked that, right? Spinning?

@TheAwesomeSoph
 

PenguinFox

The one an' only

As Nova got off the bed and approached him Ian visibly winced away, preparing to be berated, but it didn't come. Instead a hand gently rested on his chest, draining away all fear and tension. His shoulders loosened and his jaw unclenched. He looked down and locked with her hazel eyes. She told him not to be sorry, which slightly confused him. He had just violated her trust and very much overstepped some boundaries and- his thoughts and confusion were cut off as the girl before him stood up on her toes and planted a kiss on his lips this time. There was no doubt about it, the electricity he felt was addicting. He wished this tingling sensation could last forever, it felt natural to him.

When the brunette pulled away she left the Evans sibling's mind and heart racing. Green eyes scanned over Nova; it seemed she was almost as unsure of this as him. It was strange how perfect this all seemed, almost destined, yet how fast it had all happened too. Her comment, coupled with that small smirk, got Ian even more flustered. "I-uh...that was-I mean..." he stammered trying to find the words. A nervous chuckle rose from his chest. "Soak this moment in, it's rare that Ian Evans is speechless, let alone the least level-headed person in the room." While he joked his mind finally began to switch from tv static to tangible thoughts. Several questions loomed over him. Was this right? It sure felt good, but that didn't mean it was right. What was there relationship now? What would people say.

Ian reached out and carefully pushed a stray auburn-brown lock of hair out of Nova's face. A small smile crept on his face as he looked down to the floor before looking back to match her gaze. "So..." he began hoping she might have more answers than he did. At the very least she seemed more confident than he did. "What does this mean? Are we....?" he didn't want to actually say the word dating in case that's not what she wanted. "-And if we are, people are definitely going to talk. Are you okay with that?" Ian could understand if Nova changed her mind and backed out. Sure there would be those that supported them, but with teenagers there was also going to be those that gossiped. Those who, for whatever reason, didn't like the thought of them together and did everything in their power to break them down. He kinda hoped that after this moment they were more than friends moving forward, but he left the decision up to her. "Where do we go from here?" he asked softly, green eyes fixed with hazels that he could stare into for hours. @txlos
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi

This was most definitely something that Nova could get used to. A tall confident musician, stammering to find his words all because of a kiss placed by the petite brunette. It wasn't often that the hazel-eyed girl was able to render anyone speechless, but this? This was adorable. With a quirked brow Nova nodded at his words claiming that this current shell-shocked state of his wasn't normal, a content smile slipping onto tingling lips. The feel of Ian's fingers grazing her cheek as he moved the stray strand of hair only amplified the fluttering that was erupting in her stomach, the goosebumps that covered bare arms, and this was most definitely what the hopeless romantic in her always wanted. This spontaneous bout of feelings, mutually acted upon by both involved, this was wonderful.

But no fairy-tale lasted forever, and with Ian's row of stringed questions came the descent of the high that Nova had been soaring on. They were good questions, ones that needed an answer before the two left the room, but for some reason, they all seemed so weighted. A huff of air pushed through her nostrils before allowed herself to back up only slightly, feeling the backs of her knees hit the bed before sitting down. The first question was fine, it was welcomed even, but she hadn't a clue how to answer it. That wasn't what bothered her though, it was the questions involving others. It sucked, it really sucked, how every action the brunette made had to involve the opinions of others. She had experienced it with Jace at the beginning of their relationship, and now it was made clear that similar events would unfold once again. So as to not completely sour her mood, Nova decided to begin with looming questions first.

"I don't think I care," Nova's words were short, her voice thoughtful and as sorted out the possible dramas and rumors that would begin to fly. "People are gonna talk no matter what goes on. Something about high school makes everyone really interested in everyone's life but their own, and honestly, it's crap," Eyes fell to her right hand as it crinkled and smoothed the duvet she was resting on, lips pursed as she considered her words. She believed what she had said, yes. And with Ian there, she was ninety-eight percent positive that the impending gossip was going to be just that; gossip. Besides, no one knew what was actually going on behind (literal) closed doors.

So what was exactly going on behind said doors? Well, Ian seemed to have an idea, but it was obvious that the gentleman in him hushed the word before he was able to vocalize it.

"Dating?" She countered his bare question with the one word he so carefully had left out. Another grin rose to her lips, her fawn eyes crinkling at the corners. Sierra had been right, he was naive when it came to all this. But something about that was comforting, allowing Nova to breath a little easier. Ian wasn't going to be the pushy type, wasn't going to rush her into anything, and that on it's own was so, so welcomed. She had known him for less than a week, barely three days, and not once had she felt cornered or pushed into any part of their quickly formed closeness. "I don't know Evans," Her tone was playful as she spoke up again, meeting his gaze with a risen brow. "If you think you can deal with the emotional wreck that you now know I am, then yeah. I wouldn't mind kissing you more often." Nova couldn't help but laugh a little at the end of her sentence. This was so new to her, being playful and fun, but how could you not be around Ian Evans?

@PenguinFox
 

PenguinFox

The one an' only

When Nova moved to sit on the bed Ian took a few steps so he could stand in front of her. His fingers slipped into his pockets and his thumbs hooked into his belt-loops. A wide grin spread on his face as she admitted she didn't care. It was nobodies business but their own as Ian saw it, so gossip wasn't something he really cared about. Hearing that Nova also didn't care what people would say sent a wave of relief over him. That seemed to be the number one setback for them. "Glad you feel that way. I never though I'd live to see the day when everybody's words got in the way, but everybody talks." a smirk tugged at the corner of the boy's lips at the song reference. Even though he was mostly joking, the lyrics still held some truth.

The brunette then filled in the blanks of his question and said it out loud. He nodded slowly to confirm that was what he was referring to. An eyebrow raised apprehensively as he awaited her response. Once again relief washed over him as she seemed to confirm they were in fact dating, a feeling that he still wasn't used to. Normally Ian was quite confident and sure of himself, but this girl made him so unsure. It was a weird feeling to him, but he had to admit slightly intoxicating. Despite how awkward she seemed to make him, he couldn't get enough.

The green eyed teenager sat down next to Nova on the bed once more, wide smile glowing on his face. "If I can handle you huh?" he paused for a moment before he started to sing. "I like that you're broken, broken like me, maybe that makes me a fool. I like that you're lonely, lonely like me, I could be lonely with you." he whistled the first musical divide softly and looked around the room they were in. "I guess this is close enough to 'some trust fund baby's Brooklyn loft.'" he looked back to the girl who he supposed could now call his girlfriend. He slowly reached out, still a little unsure of himself, and wrapped an arm around her waist. Very gently he pulled her a little closer and then returned his arm to his side. His gaze softened as a warm smile drew across his face. "Does this count as a Christmas miracle? It certainly feels like at least one of the best gifts I've ever gotten." Ian's gaze flicked downwards and he cautiously reached out and took Nova's hand in his own. Every tiny movement he made, his eyes flitted back to hazel as if he were asking permission every step of the way. When their fingers fully interlocked he let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. "Like puzzle pieces." he said softly staring down at the new couples hands. @txlos
 

Dazzle

QT π
Carter
575994
She didn’t even known that Jace and Nova had broken up, shocking since carter was usually up to date on most things. She just had guessed they were doing the long distance shit. But high school relationships never last, so she should have figured they were over. Carter looked over at Tristan, furrowed eyebrows when he mentioned you don’t bring up ex’s. 'Well she is a bitch' Carter thought to herself as Sierra left. Carter didn't see how her and Tristan were the assholes here, they had just been playing around the people Carter hung around with weren’t such sensitive assholes. "Yea, Jace West, but I honestly didn’t even know they broke up."

She shrugged her shoulders as Tristan’s arm fell to her shoulder she sunk in leaning against him. God why did she let herself feel so comfortable, why was it so easy to fall back into old ways. It was short lasted as he made a joke about finding Nova passed out in the snow, she punched him in the chest with some force. "Now that wasn’t funny." She pushed herself away from him. "You don't joke about shit like that."

Nova came rushing back in like Ian had been speaking to the devil and her assistant. "Don’t worry Nova we didn’t say anything bad about you." Carter rolled her eyes, turning back to Tristan. "You two have fun now." She winked as the two of them left the room. It really wasn’t a big deal if another set of people hated her, Ash even hated her at one point, and look at where she was. Still invited to the winter house, and they were sort of friends she guessed. Part of the time at least.

As Ian and Nova left again Carter over heard the starting of spin the bottle.
"Now that sounds like fun," She stood up and reached out her hand to Tristan. "Are you coming?" A wicked smirk crossed her lips as she dragged the two of them out of the kitchen.
@PenguinFox @Maree @txlos

Rae
575995
Rae linked her fingers together pressing her palms together rather anxiously. "No it’s my fault, I came around the corner too fast." She smiled nervously at her, Grace was nice that’s what everyone always said. “So..uh.. how has you’re trip been here?" Ugh why was she so awkward, she should of just stayed in her room, she was the worst at socializing.

Rae noticed that Grace looked distracted, she seemed like she was looking for someone. Rae wasn’t even sure why she was asking. She was probably not going to be able to help anyways.
“Are you like okay? You look distracted.." Rae bit her lip and looked down at her feet, she wasn’t good with people. This just proved it.

@TheAwesomeSoph
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
575988
Nova supposed she would have to get used to this now, this warmth that seemed to circulate on her skin whenever the blonde boy touched her. The feeling of his arm slipping around her torso, effortlessly sliding her along the duvet to be closer, his fingers slotting into her pixie-sized hands. It all seemed to send shockwaves to the butterfly garden that had made home in her stomach. Being away from any affectionate touch was definitely something that now needed to be caught up on, it had been months since Nova had even hugged someone before she got here. The court case involving her father, the move up to Seattle then back to Westbrook, it was all incredibly isolating. And whether he liked it or not, Ian would now be the subject of many a spontaneous cuddle, or perhaps a pillow for a mid-afternoon nap. But what made the brunette melt into the sheets, made her body go slack and her eyes drift closed, was the boy's voice. Ian's voice was like a lullaby, one that the brunette could have on repeat for eternity. It was smooth and effortless, carrying throughout the room as he sang the small snipped of the song. The blonde had talent, one that even Nova hoped the world would get to experience and cherish, just like she did. But in the mean time, private concerts were just fine with her.

Giving a squeeze to the boy's hand, petite girl rolled slightly to her side to face Ian, examining his face as if to memorize every feature it held. This was all happening insanely fast, this progression of stranger to boyfriend, and for a moment hazel eyes faltered back to the sheets. Was she rushing into this? Was this something that needed more time, more space, more information more- thoughts were promptly cut off as the sound of her boyfriend's voice sliced through her rising anxiety. Like puzzle pieces. For once since she arrived in Westbrook, and with a deep sigh, Nova decided that worrying about doing the right thing. Maybe, just maybe, her happiness could come before that.

"If this isn't a Christmas miracle then I don't know what is," She replied with a wide smile, allowing her gaze to find Ian's before lifting their interlocked grip to kiss the back of his hand. This was too easy, too instinctive to not just allow it to be. "Y'know," A giggle suppressed itself in Nova's throat before she could continue, pursing her lips as she examined the boy before her in the dim amber lighting of the desk lamp that seemed to illuminate the room in a nice haze. "The other day when we were sitting out on the porch I was embarrassed as all hell that a hot guy was seeing me ugly sob. It was more than a little surprising when you seemed to actually want to hang out and keep me company... I was pretty sure you were going to want nothing to do with me from that first impression," And god, that couldn't have been farther from the truth. This handsome gentleman, talented beyond belief and sweet as could be, had seen her ugly sobbing just days before. Hazel eyes
fluttered for just a moment as Nova used her free hand to comb through feathery blonde hair. "I have a feeling you're going to keep surprising me."

@PenguinFox
 

PenguinFox

The one an' only

Ian felt the warmth from being so close to Nova and couldn't help but to smile, almost as if basking in the sun. There was a calm contentment to him and everywhere his skin touched his girlfriends the was a tingling electricity. That was something that would take some time to get used to; knowing the brunette not as a stranger, not as a friend, but as his girlfriend. He had only been in a few relationships in the past, and most of them ended fairly quickly, so everything he did he was unsure about. Was there even a right way to do this? His worries began to melt away however when a kiss was planted on the back of his hand. What he said earlier came back to his mind; this girl really did make everything easy yet complicated at the same time. A grin spread across his face followed by a laugh. "They'll make a Christmas special about us!" he said dramatically spreading his hands in the air over an imaginary marquee. "Personally I hope they get Dave Franco to play me. That is if they don't allow me to play myself."

When Nova told Ian about her thoughts about when they first met Ian chuckled. "A hot guy eh? Well then for the record I was surprised someone so clearly out of my league even let me speak to them, let alone hang around." he replied playfully, adding a small nudge with his shoulder. "If you would like to continue to be surprised say the word, and it will be as you wish." he did his best bow before royalty as he could from this position. His green eyes met her hazels and he felt himself being pulled in. He leaned in towards her and gently rested his head against hers, letting her lean her weight against him. He sat like that for a long time in silence, just enjoying being with her for the moment.

After several minutes of contentedly staring out the window at the falling snow, enjoying his company Ian spoke up. "Y'know, I don't think you ever saw the fruits of my labor. By why I mean the only good thing that came from this." he pointed to his stomach with his free hand, referencing the purple bruise that spanned his entire abdomen. His eyes scanned the room, searching for something that wasn't there, but hoping to try and remember where it was. The Evans sibling hesitantly sat up straighter, not wanting to separate himself from his newfound source of both literal and metaphorical warmth. He pulled out his phone and pulled up the notepad app. "Thankfully I did a backup on this." he scrolled through dozens of notes looking for the one he had done the day before. When he found it he tapped it and handed the device to Nova so she could see what his inspiration had brought him. "Keep in mind it's not even close to done, it's just one verse." he said softly, hoping she wouldn't hate it. It read:

I feel the shadows closing in
Wrapping their spider claws around my mind
Judging my every sin
I'm running out of time.

So don't knock down my door
I've given you all the signs
Could anyone have done any more
I'm running out of time


Ian gave the hazel eyed girl time to read it over and process it before speaking again. "It's supposed to be more of a alternative rock sound. I have some chord notes in my actual journal, but that's downstairs somewhere..." he paused for a long moment before arching a brow. "So...was it worth it? Again, it's a very rough draft, so I know it's not really great." @txlos
 
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txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
576049
Tawny eyes rolled as Ian claimed that the brunette was out of his league, because to Nova, it couldn't have been farther from the truth. She knew she wasn't hideous but Westbrook was full of pretty girls with pretty words. Ash, Carter, Alaska, all outgoing girls who knew how to hone their looks and use them to their advantage. If anything, Nova saw herself as painfully average, and to an extent, she was okay with it.

Thoughts were pushed aside as Ian sat up on the bed, a cool gust of air rushing to take his place and causing goosebumps to litter Nova's arms and chest. The temperature outside was dropping by the second as the snow continued to fall faster and faster, the cabin covered in a pool of white. Though the blissful images of nature didn't last too long. A pout found it's way to her face as she sat up as well, eyebrows furrowing as she remembered the blows that the blonde had taken from Kanen. It was dumb, really and truly idiotic of the guy to walk up to a defensive tatted man and challenge him, but hey, maybe (hopefully) it would never have to happen again. From now on if Ian wanted inspiration for a song, Nova would gladly throw a snowball at him or something.

Shaking the playback of Kanen pounding a fist against Ian's stomach, the brunette perked up with wide, excited eyes as it clicked in her head. His song, the entire reason he had offered to be a punching bag in the first place, the first piece of original work she would see of Ian's and it was right there in his hands. Nova tossed her legs over the boy's lap as the phone was set into her hands, his words fading as she read the verse closely, as if she was examining ancient hieroglyphs that needed her full and undivided attention. And as she read the words on the screen, hazels scanning the screen back and forth and back again, she couldn't help but feel her heart sink back in her chest.

The words, though they were few, said so much. Nova wondered for a moment if Ian had maybe written them for their poetic value or if they were truly coming from a deeper place, though it didn't take long to figure out the answer. The blonde boy didn't seem like the type to write or create anything that didn't hold some sort of personal connection. A slightly forced, small smile graced her lips as the brunette lowered the phone into her lap after reading the first verse several times, sitting up a little straighter to plant a kiss to Ian's forehead. She assumed this was an outlet for Ian, a place for him to vent without having to vocalize anything, without having to speak his feelings into existence, and that was something that Nova could both understand and admire. But it wasn't something she was going to question. Ian would open up more and more as he got comfortable, and she wasn't about to push him to hurry it along. After all, tortured minds made the best artists, right? Or something like that...

"I never think putting yourself in danger is worth anything," She whispered after a lingering silence, afraid anymore volume would break the dream-like state that seemed to be encasing the couple. "But this is incredible, Ian. And you have to promise to let me read more when it's written." With that, Nova planted a slow, gentle kiss to the boy's lips, head full of mild worry swirled with a need to talk with Sierra a little more. But she wasn't going to dare be the first to suggest they leave this little sanctuary of a room.

@PenguinFox
 

PenguinFox

The one an' only

Green eyes flitted between phone and Nova as Ian held his breath in anticipation. Every passing second made him more and more nervous, but when she finally looked up and placed a kiss on his forehead all tension immediately left his body. The smile on his face couldn't be wider. "You have no idea how much that means. I'm so glad you you like it, even as bare-bones as it is, and I promise the second it's done you'll be the first to know." Once again the electricity was brought to his lips as the brunette kissed him, and once more he wish he could live in the feeling forever. A playful smirk drew across his lips. "Well, if you're not a fan of the danger, I suppose this could always work as inspiration." he tried to stifle his laughter but was unsuccessful. "I'm sorry that sounded so much cooler and not at all lame or cheesy in my head. It's not a false statement though. My heart beats to the limit around you and if that's not adrenaline I don't know what is."

The conversation was then interrupted by Ian's phone buzzing in Nova's hand. It was a video call and the name on the screen said Liam. The Evans sibling's eyebrow arched as he stared at the screen. "That's our bassist..." he said softly. He bit the corner of his lip as his gaze rose to hazel eyes, then back down to the screen. On the one hand he wasn't sure he wanted to hear more disappointing news, but on the other hand he knew his bassist. He would keep calling until Ian picked up. The blonde teenager sighed and gave his girlfriend an apologetic look. "He's so obnoxious, but in a strangely endearing way." With that he moved in close to the brunette and pressed the answer button.

The face that appeared on the screen was shocked for a moment to see Ian and another face but was quick to shrug it off. "Ian, buddy! Merry Christmas my dude!" the guy on the other side said. "Who's your friend?" The bassist looked between the pair, clearly taking note of how close the two were. "Liam, this is Nova-" Ian paused and looked at the girl next to him. He hadn't imagined that the first person to find out about the couple would be his bandmate, but it's not like they had to worry about him spreading gossip or anything. At least not anywhere on this side of the country. "-she's my girlfriend. Nova, this is Liam. He's our eccentric bassist." Liam did a little bow and grinned wide. "At your service madam. Congrats you two. Adorable couple. Happy for you, et cetera, et cetera. Sorry about the bad news on Christmas Eve earlier. Dude said he would get back to us with a full letter of confirmation or denial or whatever after the holiday, but at this moment he said it didn't seem likely he would take us on. So that's whats going on with that." Liam spoke fairly quickly and seemed to almost bounce as he spoke. He was clearly the type of guy who was full of energy and could be considered draining to be around for extended periods. His face was highly expressive and did nothing to hide any thoughts or emotions he may have.

Ian's shoulders dropped at the news he received, his whole posture seeming to sink somewhat. "Where's Grant and Derek?" he asked trying to change the subject. Grant and Derek were the two other members of Ian's band, Grant their guitarist, and Derek their drummer. "They send their love, but can't talk right now. They're still setting up for the caroling thing. We decided to do it Christmas Eve this year since we had that whole producer thing to deal with." Liam's eyes shifted to Nova. "Every year we do this sort of block-party thing, and every year we play rock versions of Christmas Carols. It's pretty dope. Hey, how's your sister? She talk about me ever?" The eye roll that came from the band's singer was almost audible. "Nope, surprisingly enough she still doesn't talk about you. It's never going to happen Liam. Let it go." he said with a small laugh. "Why is it that all the hot chicks are either your sister, or your girlfriend Ian? How do you manage to do that? Is it because you're the frontman?" Liam joked, throwing a playful and friendly wink in Nova's direction. "Or is it just that you're so talented? Have you heard him sing yet Nova? My man's got some serious skill. Whole other level." @txlos
576398
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
576450
Girlfriend.

It had a nice ring to it when it was Ian's voice. The words slipped off his tongue so effortlessly, as if they had been dating much longer than they actually had. He held no hesitation in the word, nothing seemed to pull him back from using the label and it felt so good. In a weak attempt to hide the beaming smile threatening to break onto her face, Nova leaned her weight against the blonde, resting her head on his shoulder and moving the phone a bit so that he was more in frame than her. She did however offer a small wave to the bassist now known as Liam before continuing to hide in the neck of her boyfriend.

Boyfriend.

Ian brought a very different definition to the word than her previous one had. It now felt somewhat... protective. Safe could describe it too. Having Ian as a boyfriend felt easy and carefree, supportive and definitely a little informal, but not in a bad way. The blonde was probably the most spontaneous thing that Nova had indulged in in a long time, and while it was a little scary, the view was worth the height. Never before had Nova thought that a relationship could lack the fear of rejection or crippling uncertainty, and yet here she was, burrowed against this fit, extraordinarily gifted and gentle individual who genuinely seemed to enjoy her company. Sure, she felt lucky, of course she felt lucky, but above all the brunette held this extremely simple yet adrenaline-ridden knowledge that she was just as captivated by this man as he was her.

Deep thoughts slowly faded out as tawny eyes blinked back to focus, lifting her head only slightly from Ian's shoulder as Liam's voice trickled clearly through the speaker. She couldn't help but try (and fail) to stifle the laugh that made it's escape at the bassist's remark. All the hot chicks, flocking to the lead singer. How typical. Though jealously wasn't something that filled her at the thought, it was more pride in the fact that Ian was her boyfriend. "I have indeed heard him sing," Nova perked up as she was spoken to, smiling brightly at the tatted guy on the other end. She nudged Ian's shoulder a bit, giving him a playful wink before continuing. "Might've been part of my reason for snaggin' him. He'll just be forced to sing to me whenever I please," Of course it was a joke... partly. "And hey, I'm sorry about the producer thing, but I don't think you guys should give up. From what Ian tells me you guys are pretty kick-ass. Maybe Ian can fly out and record some new stuff to put out. I have a hard time seeing this guy going anywhere but onto big stages."

It was true. Ian had the personality, the charm, everything needed for a young teen heartthrob. And if he chose to pursue that, well, Nova would do her best to be with him every step of the way.

@PenguinFox
 

TheAwesomeSoph

🇺🇸President Soap🧼
Grace

Grace was going to insist that it wasn't her fault, but when she asked about her trip she immediately deflated. No, it hasn't been the best. But... she didn't even know Rae, she wasn't going to get into all that right now anyway. "It's uh... It's well." She opened her mouth and closed it, unsure of how to describe her trip here.

"It's okay." Yeah, totally okay. Nothing to worry about.

Glancing around for a last time, turning back to Rae when she'd asked if she was okay. Raising a surprised brow, and she realized it was probably rude to not give her full attention to her. "Sorry, I'm sorry. I'm... okay. Just looking for my... uh, for Ash. But that can wait." Grace decided to throw her worries away for a second and focused on making up for her actions.

"How about you? Are you enjoying it here? Do you snowboard or... ski? Or..." She let out a chuckle and shook her head.

"I don't know what else the other 'or' would be..." Grace smiled sheepishly and looked away from the girl, deeply aware of the blush forming on her face. Quickly recovering her awkwardness with a question looked back towards her. "Oh. How are you and Chase? I think you two make a cute couple."

@Dazzle

Juliette

JJ clapped her hands together to gather attention of partygoers, grinning at Ava for a second before her gaze fell on people individually. "Quick game of spin the bottle everyone." Her gaze caught a familiar sight of brown hair and she rolled her eyes. "Chad, you're not playing." Taking a seat and extremely glad that Ava actually decided to listen to her, after all. This was the only way she'd forgive her, duh.

Okay, maybe she'd forgive her anyway. But Ava don't know that. Shush. Placing the empty beer bottle in the center of the coffee table.

"Okay. Who wants to go first?" She scanned the people around the table, tapping her nails against the wood of it. Juliette got hit with an idea, she feigned surprise. "Oh! Ava? You said you wanted to go first? Perfect." Of course, Juliette had the biggest smirk on her face as she scooted a bit away from her to give her room.

"Go on. Spin the bottle and let's see where those lips land, hmm?"

@Winona

Raven

Raven rolled her eyes. Spin the bottle with Mason Rivera didn't sound like a good idea, but it was rather amusing he suggested it. And... it was also... a feeling she couldn't place, but she didn't feel like placing that right now. Following him onto the dance floor with a sigh, believe it or not. Raven was not in a mood to dance, or... well, enjoy herself in the slightest bit.

But that didn't stop Mason from being a complete nerd.

Raven eyed him curiously and laughed at his twirling, doing a small spin to indulge him. "What is that?" She laughed slightly and shook her head. So, Mason Rivera 'Lady killer' was a complete dork, and... probably a terrible dancer by the looks of it. yes, it wasn't a surprise. To her at least... What? The small perks of liking the same girl, Raven always thought the worst of Mason. Even if most of those things weren't true, and all the things she used to believe faded the more time she spent time with him.

Raven put both her hands in a V sign, and crossed them against her eyes. Yes, she could be dorky too. Why not? They weren't judging each other this time, and despite not being in a mood to enjoy herself... Raven was enjoying herself. Small laughs, and much to her dismay, snorts. It happened when she laughed too hard, okay? Not the big of a deal... to everyone else maybe.

After the song came to an end, she grabbed him by his hand. "I wanna smoke, C'mon." Raven pulled him towards the front door and walked out. Taking a seat on the stairs outside, she pulled out a cigarette and placed it between her lips.

"You have a lighter?"

@Winona
 

PenguinFox

The one an' only

As Nova nestled into his form Ian's beaming smile could not be contained. Everything about it just felt natural. Unconsciously an arm wrapped around the girl's shoulder, keeping her close indefinitely, not that either party would mind that. "Well, if I'm going to sing, I think it's only fair your do too." Ian said returning the playful nudge. "After what I heard downstairs I gotta hear more. That beautiful resonance you hear when you rub the top of a glass? That's what your voice is like." green eyes showed that the boy genuinely meant his words as he gave his girlfriend's shoulder a small squeeze.

Liam shrugged casually on his end. "Eh, don't stress about it too much, I'm not. We'll get 'em next time. We've been waiting a long time as it is, what's a little more?" After his girlfriend's suggestion Ian looked back to his phone with an arched brow. That was something he hadn't really considered before, and based off of the look on Liam's face, neither had he. "That's...why didn't we think of that dude?" Ian chuckled as his bassist's eyes lit up. "Brother, that woman is a keeper. You hold on to her tight and never let go. Even when we're big stars, with hordes of people throwing themselves at us. You remember her." Green eyes flicked back to Nova accompanied by a wide grin. "I definitely count myself lucky trust me."

Liam looked somewhere out of view for a few seconds clearly trying to focus on both the conversation and whatever was off camera, and not doing a very good job of it. "Sorry buddy, looks like Grant and Derek are just about done, so I gotta go. I'll keep you updated on the goings on of the band and we'll definitely have to talk more about you getting out here. Maybe bring this magical voiced girlfriend too, I bet you've got a sick duet. Merry Christmas to you both, do a couple shots for me! Nova, it was a pleasure to meet you, keep an eye on our frontman for me yeah? Peace!" with a flash of two fingers the screen went dark as Liam hung up. A small chuckle rose up from Ian's chest. "So- that's Liam. He's...kinda much right? Fantastic musician and a great guy but don't get him started on anything. I don't think I've ever seen him sit still for more than a few seconds." His eyes drifted to the floor for a moment before returning to the hazel orbs he could easily be lost in. "Did you...did you really mean what you said? About only picturing me on stages?" he asked tentatively. The Evans boy felt he knew her answer already but he wanted to hear the confirmation from Nova's lips. Even if she didn't mean it, it was likely she would say yes. That seemed to be the kind of person she was; kind, patient, and supportive, all things Ian desperately needed. His eyes scanned her up and down, just admiring her and the fact that this was all real. It happened so fast but felt so right. It wasn't just him that fell for her, but she had fallen for him and that made everything all the more unbelievable. A soft smile of contentment drew across his face.

The blonde cleared his throat nervously as he realized he was staring and looked to the door. "Should we uh- should we head back out there? We've been gone for a while now." Nova was one of the few people Ian felt comfortable with, even in complete silence, and because of that he wanted nothing more than to just stay in this room with her all night. However he knew that was probably not a good idea. He didn't care if people talked about him, but that didn't mean he was going to give them reason to. The longer they were alone together the worse the rumors would be, especially when people found out they were a couple. @txlos
 

txlos

Soft Veloci Boi
577157
There was something extremely comforting in knowing that Ian's friend viewed the brunette as a keeper, her smile brightening just a bit with tawny eyes matching. More than anything she was happy she could help bring new ideas to the table and maybe get her blonde boyfriend back out to California to make music with the people he seemed to truly love. The way he spoke to Liam, the way his shoulders rested at this uncanny ease, it just made it more and more clear to Nova how much he truly missed that version of his life, the version that involved being apart of this band. And though she would never admit it, the brunette wasn't so sure about singing in front of the rest of Ian's ensemble. Being apart of a band was a pipe dream, something that she had fantasized about as a kid but it never seemed to be in reach. Then again, all artists were their own worst critics.

Waving goodbye to Liam, Nova tossed the phone aside and listened to the blonde's question. Her brows knit together as he said it, head tilting to the side before hazel eyes refocused on her boyfriend. "Of course I meant it," Her tone was gentle, almost dazed as the vision of Ian Evans on a big stage. He just had... it. Ian was the type of guy that had the charisma, the people skills, the kind heart, everything needed for a rock star all wrapped up with good looks and a killer smile. Even as Liam had said, people just seemed to flock to him. And while yes, the majority of a young, handsome singer's fan base would be women, the notion didn't exactly phase her. It was obvious that Nova was getting lost in the excitement of the mental image, of her boyfriend and their band going big, but who wouldn't?

However such thoughts scattered as Ian mentioned going back out, and for some reason it put a knot in the brunette's stomach. Rumors she could handle, the talk she could handle, but handling something and being okay with something were different. Above all, she had a lot of hope that the people outside of this room would, at the very least, respect their space for the night. It was Christmas Eve after all. "We should, yeah," A sigh accompanied the words as she pushed herself up from the bed, making her way to the backpack full of clothes she had brought and digging out a navy blue and grey flannel to drape over her bare arms before turning back to Ian. Nothing anyone outside of this room could say was going to erase how blissful the hazel eyed girl was feeling, and if they attempted, she knew that she could count on Ian to shut up any ignorant mouths.

Making her way back to the bed, she stood just in front of the blonde, outstretching a hand. Eyes flicked to the door then back to him, a deep breath relaxing her shoulders down into her back. "Let's do this thing."

@PenguinFox
 

Dazzle

QT π
Mads
577234

Madison noticed Alice's slight tone towards the holidays, he sometimes would forget that not everyone had a good home life and that he wasn't the only one struggling around the holidays. "I've always wanted a dog, but my dad is allergic, so I won't ever have one." There were other reasons besides Lucas being allergic to dogs, their dad could barely care for himself and his kids let alone adding a dog to the family.

"I wouldn't ever want to go back home, North Carolina sucked." Mads smiled with a small chuckle following it. North Carolina was amazing three years ago. Then everything changed, he had a hard time letting go of everything that happened before the move. "I'm sure your brothers will forgive you Neck-Tie, you could just send late gifts too if you wanted. Say they just got lost in the mail!" Mads shrugged, he hadn't ever thought of getting his sister a gift, it just never crossed his mind. Maybe it was something he should consider.

@Deacon @Littletiger56

Zach
577235

Alright maybe coming down and playing the protective friend card hadn't been his best idea. Belle had made it seem like this guy was some stalker ex who showed up to torture her. Well that was the way Zach had taken it at least, she hadn't exactly phrased it that way. Belle was having a break down and this guy was pretty close to one himself.

Moving his body the rest of the way through the door and closing it behind him. He cleared his throat when the guy had asked if he was Drake.
"Uh no." He sighed running a hand through his hair. "Not the boyfriend." Zach hadn't even known that Drake and Belle were serious yet, the kid deserved some good in his life. Both of them. "Just-just a good friend." He thought about it for a moment. Feeling extremely uncomfortable in the situation he was in.

"How about we go get you a drink." He nodded towards the door, he wasn't sure who he was talking to but he felt it was best he got these two separated. "It's Zach by the way." He leaned against the door, he felt like he needed a drink himself, so much awkward in one room. And he himself hadn't been black out drunk for a long time. He might as well make it a fun night, and try to turn it around for these two ex-lovebirds.

@Chappezi @Maree



Rae
577236

Rae raised an eyebrow at Grace, and Rae thought that she was awkward. Granted, she was that awkward. At the mention of Ash Rae went through her thoughts trying to remember if she had met Ash... But she couldn't remember who she was and however she was horrible with names, nodding slowly as she listened intently.

Rae broke a small smile when Grace continued to stammer on about Or.
"I guess you could also tube? Do they have a tubing hill here? I haven't seen one yet." Well she guessed it was her turn to stammer on, she swallowed, refocusing her attention on Grace's question. "I do a bit of snowboarding, but I kinda suck at it." wrapping her arms around her back and holding onto her elbows she stretched her back briefly. "But I've had fun hanging around the lodge too."

At the mention of Chase it was Rae's turn to blush. She bit the corner of her lip as her face grew hot, tucking her hair behind her ear. "Uh.. thanks." She smiled, she was never was good with compliments. She really enjoyed her time with Chase, he kept her calm and made her feel normal and not so awkward. He was the only part of moving to Westbrook that she actually enjoyed.

@TheAwesomeSoph

 

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