As a new year kicks off at Ivyrose, most of the students will attend the annual Back To School Bonfire on the beach across from the campus. It is around 8 pm mid-August. This is the last Saturday before classes are set to begin. Weather is still warm during the but does cool down a little bit at night. While the bonfire/party is hosted by the school that doesn't mean things can't get a bit wild. Here at Ivyrose, you're always at risk of being xposed.
Welcome to the first step towards a beautiful future! Ivyrose Institue of The Arts is a prestigious college nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, California. They take pride in shaping some of the most successful and brilliant minds and they won't accept anything less. Don't be fooled by the name though, this university has a lot more to offer than one might think. Business, Acting, Music, Art, Fashion, Film Studies, Film Production, Modeling, Public Relations/Image Management, Photography, Screenwriting, Journalism, and Creative Writing are only some of the available studies they provide to their students. The fact that they have such a variety of studies makes them unique and they are able to accomplish this due to being heavily funded by some of the biggest names and wealthiest people in the state of California and even a few non-locals.
Originally there was no way of getting into Ivyrose without having some sort of connections or money but in the more recent years, they have taken to handing out scholarships. Those who get in on such terms should consider themselves lucky as they only accept a limited number of scholarship students a year. Don't get too comfortable though, things aren't always what they seem and Ivyrose isn't all rainbows and butterflies. There is a gossip blog spilling secrets and stirring up drama at Ivyrose and chances are that even if it's your first year at the college you've still heard of Xposed. It seems the blog has been being passed down from year to year, helping to keep the writer's identity a secret. You may not know who they are but they certainly know who you are and they won't hesitate to air out all your dirty laundry. So, are you ready to be Xposed?
Cameron Hunter - 18 - Freshman - Music Major
Cade Hunter - 21 - Junior - Acting Major
Mariana Romano - 21 - Junior - Fashion Major
Ezekiel Monroe - 20 - Sophomore - Business Major
Xander Esposito - 20 - Junior - Business Major & Writing Major
Magnolia Darrington - 20 - Junior - Marketing Major
Jared Darrington - 21- Senior - Criminal Justice Major
Victoria Hanson - 21 - Junior - Acting Major
Thomas Porter - 22- Senior - Screenwriting Major
August Lovell - 22 - Senior - Film Major
Jackson Ward - 23 - Senior - Photography Major
Beatrix Banks - 21 - Junior - Music Composition & Sound Engineering Major
From within the safety of her four walls, Beatrix Banks could hear the music begin to play. The bass gently vibrated the building, the only signs of its presence being the rippling of amber liquid in a high ball glass on her desk. That same room had been her home for the past two years, and she was at the beginning of the third. It had taken on bits and pieces of her personality, what she could show of it anyway. She had learned over the years that revealing too much to the wrong people could put everyone in danger or, at the very least, lead to another move to somewhere even more remote. And for the first time in a long time, Trixie wanted to stay.
The walls of her room were skillfully arranged in a gallery of music inspired art and floating bookshelves. A perfectly spaced array of flea market seven- and twelve-inch vinyl records were hung above her bed. They had been scratched enough over time to no longer play, but still had a use. The accents such as the bedding, a winged armchair in one corner, and a round rug were a muted mauve purple. An electric baby grand piano accompanied by an acoustic and an electric guitar were pushed into one corner, the perfect space to work and write. Too the unassuming eye, the room appeared normal. But upon closer inspection, they would come to the realization that there were no pictures there, no sense of life before university or aside from music.
Trixie stared at herself in the mirror just after finishing her make up with waterproof mascara. She certainly had no plans of swimming that night. But if there was anything she had learned over the years, it was better to be prepared than sorry. Why she had agreed to go to this party to begin with was beyond her. She hadn't gone the previous years, didn't really see a reason to. But a friend had talked her into it, and it had been approved by her guardians. So at that point, she couldn't really make up some excuse and stay in her room for the night. Letting out a sigh, Beatrix paced through her room and picked up the glass, throwing back the brandy with relative ease.
A long row of cars had been parked at the edge of the sand, blocking from campus the view of the gilttering water as well as the party that was just beginning. About halfway in between the ocean and the parking lot stood a conical pyre, flames just beginning to lick up its sides. The sun slowly set over the horizon, creating a watercolor painting of warm pastel tones across the sky. Everyone who had visited Ivyrose Institute of the Arts knew that it was one of the most beautiful universities in the United States, and this just proved it further. Trixie didn't see anyone she immediately recognized, so she decided to approach the drinks table. If there was one thing that would get her through the night, it was alcohol. Here goes nothing.
“Yes, Papi. I promise I’m okay. No one has figured out who I am yet, I doubt they will anytime soon. I swear, I’m fine! If know how to defend myself, remember? Okay, okay. I gotta go. I love you too,” Mariana quickly hung up the phone, which she’d been holding up to her ear for almost an hour now. Her father had been worried about her after some ambush on his import business by a rival where Diego was a target. Luckily her brother was alright but it was enough to make their dad want Mari to come straight home. With Diego’s help, she was able to convince him that she was safer where she was since no one here knew her link to the Romano family. Here she was just Mariana Flores and no one knew better. Well, almost no one. Jared wasn’t a threat though, she trusted him with her life as their families had been intertwined for years. She considered him one of her best friends and knew that he had her back just as well as she would have his.
After slipping her phone into her purse, Mariana parked her white Range Rover, which she’d cleverly named Casper, and pulled off her seatbelt. How lucky was she to go to a school that sat so close to the beach? It was like something out of a movie. Of course, much of her life seemed like something of a movie if you asked her. She left her sandals in her car before she stepped out and walked towards the beach. Mari wasted no time in making her way to the water while the cool sand squished beneath her bare feet. The smell of burning wood and sea salt filled her nose and the music mixed with chatter and laughter hit her ears. The bonfire has just kicked off but it was only a matter of time before things got…wild. They always did at these welcome parties which made you wonder why the school kept throwing it. Not that it mattered. If they didn't host it, the students would throw their own and that might be a worse idea.
Mariana scanned the beach, realizing she probably should've asked one of her friends to meet her so she hadn't arrived alone but whatever. She just hoped she didn't run into Xander before she got a decent buzz going. They had broken up over the summer and while she didn't hate him, things hadn't ended on great terms so she hadn't spoken to him since. Instead, she'd focused on herself and while the break up was kinda hard for her she'd found ways to...get over it...for the most part. She pulled out her phone and sent a message to the group text she had with Vicky and Jared. You guys going to the bonfire tonight? I just got here and I look like a total loner! Once it was sent she traded the cellphone for a bedazzled flask which was filled to the top. Her face said it all as she took a swig the liquid immediately burning her throat. Somehow tequila managed to be her favorite party drink despite the disgusting taste of it.
To say that Cameron was nervous would be an understatement. Clutching the flyer to her chest as she stepped onto the beach, her wide and bright eyes drank in the scene before her. There were more people than she thought would be there, and the fire itself was huge. The flames reflected in her eyes as she stood there, just watching.
She couldn't believe she was here. She'd been looking at Ivyrose for a long time, and even though her brother somehow managed to get in an attend as well, she figured he could be easily avoided. He was an acting major and a junior, she a music major and a freshman; hopefully they wouldn't intertwine that much. She wasn't sure what to expect here at Ivyrose, but it would be a new adventure and for that she was excited. And also nervous.
Moving further onto the sand, she quickly realized that no one else had brought a flyer. Frowning, she looked down at the yellow sheet of paper, rereading the print at the bottom that stated the flyer was a ticket for entrance. But there wasn't anyone collecting them, or any form of anything to step onto the beach. Looking back up, she folded the flyer and tucked it into the back pocket of her shorts.
Squinting at the faces, she looked for someone approachable. Unfortunately for her, someone she would not have approached found her first.
"Did you actually bring the flyer, little sister?"
Recognizing the voice instantly, she scowled, turning to face her brother. "Leave me alone, Cade."
The tattooed man shrugged, though it was obvious he was amused. "Just checking in, seeing how you're settling in."
"I was better before you got here." Cam muttered, turning her back on him. "Go find someone else to annoy."
Cade never showed up on time for school functions, especially ones where he could make an entrance. He'd spent the day throwing his shit in the room that would be his for the third year in a row. Aside from that, he'd perfected the posters and whatnot around the room, and had wandered the school, looking for familiar faces. He'd also spent some time in the field area in front of the school, watching newbies arrive.
That's how he knew that Cam had gotten here and found her room, though she hadn't seen him. They didn't have the best relationship, and that was mostly Cade's fault. He figured it was easier for her to hate him then for her to learn the truth now. She probably wouldn't even believe it now.
When the time for the bonfire arrived, he slowly made his way towards the beach. To his luck, he spotted his sister almost right away, tucking a yellow piece of paper into her pocket. He grinned and came up behind her. "Did you actually bring the flyer, little sister?" He teased, a grin appearing on his lips.
"Leave me alone, Cade."
He shrugged. "Just checking in, seeing how you're settling in."
"I was better before you got here." Cam muttered, turning her back on him. "Go find someone else to annoy."
"Why, when annoying you is so much fun?" He moved to stand beside her, reaching out to mess with her hair. She smacked his hand away, just as he spotted a familiar face down the beach a ways. She followed his gaze and scoffed, muttering something about not getting involved in that. He waved her off, then decided to approach the girl he'd been hooking up with.
Sneaking up behind her, too, he poked Mariana in the sides and then popped up in front of her. "Well, hello there. Enjoying the beach, sunshine?"
When Vicky slipped out of the house and got in her Porsche convertible, no one noticed her. It was not unusual but if her dad saw her, he would investigate. Her plans for the night were not secret but Vicky was really not in the mood to explain herself to anyone. Let alone her overprotective father who was only overprotective when he saw her. Any other times, Vicky was on her own. Which was not really the worst. She thrived on her own, she didn’t need a parent behind her back and wanted to feel her freedom and independence. Only then she could prove to all those losers she was the real deal.
Once in her car, she checked her face in the rear mirror and refreshed her lipstick. With a self-confident smirk, she ruffled her hair to give it a bit wilder look and sighed. “Smokin’.” she mumbled and only then she was ready to actually leave. Getting ready for tonight didn’t really took her long but she still made sure to shine. It wouldn’t do for her otherwise.
Her phone beeped on the way and not checking it out never occurred to her. Keeping the car steady, Vicky’s eyes flashed aside as she grabbed her phone and read the text from Mari, texting back right away. “OMW.” was all it said and Vicky looked back at the road. The drive wouldn’t take long but still, looking around, she made sure the roads were empty enough and her leg on a gas pedal went lower. And lower. And then again, way too low. Vicky was speeding, exceeding the speed actually way too much. Just as usual.
It didn’t take long for her to stop at the beach and park her baby among other, less flashy cars (as she liked to say). Vicky grabbed her small cross-body purse, checked whether she got all the necessities there, including a bottle of bourbon she had stolen from dad’s bar and got out of the car.
The beach was slowly filling with people but her eyes were set on a person. Vicky never failed to see her friends and Mari was unmistakable. In the best possible way. “Hey! Missed me?” she called out and strutted towards her friend. Only then she noticed Mari wasn’t alone. “Cade.” she nodded, lips pursed and eyes slightly narrowed. She pulled a pack of cigarettes from her purse and her ruby-painted lips embraced the filter. After on swift flick over the zippo lighter, the flame appeared and licked the cigarette, bringing it to life. “Fine, what are we doing? I’m in a mood for some trouble.” Vicky grinned and took a deep drag from her smoke.
IF IT DOESN'T BRING YOU INCOME, INSPIRATION OR ORGASMS, IT DOESN'T BELONG IN YOUR LIFE...
Tommy had no idea how much time passed while he was sitting on his bed with face in his hands. But it got positively darker outside. He had spent a significant amount of time on the phone with his mom who was practically begging him to come home. As all those weekends before for almost a year now. And as all those weekends before for almost a year now, Thomas refused. He was absolutely not interested to come home and deal with that fucking Stephen. Tommy and his stepfather never saw eye to eye and if they happened to be in the same room, even the foundations shook. Nah, Thomas could easily do without that shit.
It was the bonfire night and something was telling him he should go. But the mood was not there. Not really. Or rather, not tonight. Tommy hadn’t seen his mom for a really long time now. And he hadn’t been home for even longer. If he and mom managed to meet, it was when Tommy secretly came home and the good woman ran to the store to pick up some groceries she didn’t really need. Tommy helped and they had their precious half an hour or something. He usually briefed her about school, ensured her everything was in order and lied about his grades. Mom would be more than concerned if he told her he was not the straight A student he used to be. It was easier this way.
With a heavy sigh, Thomas reached for a drawer on his bed side table and pulled out a small pouch. If he was going to the party, he was not going to do it sober. Not tonight. His little miracle pouch contained all kinds of snacks every healthy stoner needed. Call it the college essentials if you will. Opening a small box where mints had been some really long time ago, he discovered it empty. Fuck. He was all out. And there was only one solution to that problem. Tommy texted Cade within seconds. “Hey, dude. You coming tonight? Can you fix me up?”
While waiting for the reply, he rolled two neat blunts. He really got damn good at it at this point. His first attempts were sloppy and didn’t hold the shape. Now, these were almost a work of art. He tucked them in his cigarette pack, grabbed his endless leather jacket and left his dorm room, heading straight for the beach.
The crowd was already gathering, yet Thomas didn’t feel like fake socializing. He could do that, all those fake smiles, nods, pretending he was interested, even invested in the conversation. But not now. Tonight was not the night. He simply headed towards the drink station and grabbed the first bottle there, not even looking what it was, and poured himself almost full cup. Only after taking the first generous sip, he looked around and spotted a familiar face. Someone, who he might be willing to talk to.
“Hey, Trix.” he grinned and approached the girl. One of those blunts magically appeared in his hand and he presented it as the greatest, most precious treasure. “Was just going for a smoke. Wanna come with me?” he suggested and his eyes were already glinting with joy, he knew this little piece would bring him.
MY SUPERPOWER? I CAN LOOK YOU DEAD IN THE FACE WHILE YOU'RE TALKING AND NOT HEAR A DAMN THING YOU SAID.
"Well it's as done as it's going to get." Magnolia looked around her dorm room feeling pretty accomplished that for the first time in three years she actually finished unpacking for the most part on day one instead of living out of her suitcases for a month as if she was afraid she'd get kicked out, and would need to make a hasty get away. She did move into a different set of dorms this year rather then the more common ones she'd been in. These offered a little more space, and a little more privacy. Rather than basically living with four other girls, she now only lived with one. She'd known the girl since freshman year, and the two vibed well with one another, but also knew to let the other have their space. Luckily she was an architecture major so Magnolia would have the dorm to herself 90% of the time anyways. Her clothes were put away decently neatly in her closet and drawers. She had a wide array of her hobbies showing from posters of singers, actors, and cars to figurines of her favorite DC and Marvel characters, motorcycle models, and stack of video games for her switch and Xbox. Sure most games are bought online, but she was old school and liked to have physical copies as well if she could find them.
Magnolia smiled and walked over to her closest to decide what she wanted to wear. This was the start of her third year here, and she wanted to start working even harder on her brand. She wanted to go hard on the talent hunting aspect of it starting with networking tonight. No she wouldn't spend the whole night working, but she wanted to look a little more...approachable? Her usual style wasn't typically warm and welcoming. She didn't have the same magnetic charm her brother did. Just the thought of him made chills run down her spine. In her eyes he was basically the devil from every new aged T.V. drama except worse because he was real. He was more dangerous than most people believe because of that damn smile of his. She hated and kinda envied him for it. He could lure anyone in, and she had to fight to not look like the bitch who'd kick them in the balls just to see the look on their face as they squirmed. That's not something beneath her, but only to those who've earned it! She didn't ever hurt or try to do wrong to innocent people. She'd have to work on her resting bitch face later, something she could tweak now was her clothes...well she would've if she'd went shopping before this for a different kind of wardrobe. It'd totally slipped her mind to go shopping for some new clothes.
She'd spent the better half of her summer distracted by...extra curricular activities and making new connections outside of school. So much for a new brand image. Oh well she could make it work! She texted her roommate who'd already left earlier in the day to catch up with some friends before going to the bonfire and asked if she could raid her wardrobe. Within a few minuets the answer was yes, she just had to be sure to wash it before returning it within a couple days. She walked over to the other girls room and was glad it was left unlocked and looked around for things she could pair with her own stuff. She didn't want to totally change who she was, just give it a softer feel.
She immediately came across a sheer type white and black checkered skirt and instantly knew what she'd pair it with. White was an inviting color right? She grabbed the skirt and took it back to her room to finish getting dressed. She put her braids in two big low twists, did light water proof make-up, and grabbed a couple mini bottle shots to slide into her chain tiny purse because what else would she need? She looked around the room one last time then headed out the door. She already knew she wasn't going to be in the mood to drive back tonight. If things went right she'd be too drunk to, so she ordered a lyft and with ease made her way to the beach.
She walked up to the crowds already growing swiftly and noticed a few familiar faces. There was Cade who she wouldn't have minded saying hi too but he was surrounded by Jared's vixens and didn't want her night to start with that kinda drama. As she kept walking she noticed two people she actually could see herself spending the evening with. She walked over to the drinks table with a grin curled onto her lips. "Hey Trix, hey Tommy. I miss anything good yet?" she hummed before grabbing a cup and filling it half full before pouring out one of her bottles from her purse inside to give it a kick. After all Vodka makes everything better.
Jared splashed the crisp refreshing cold water onto his face to revitalize himself. He'd spent the better part of the day with his father making sure things were lined up for his last year here at Ivyrose. After this year he would go to Harvard for their law program so he could take the bar and then finally join his father and his associates in the court room. He had been in meetings all summer off and on with all his fathers biggest clients. Most of them knew him already since they were long standing partnerships, but this was the first time he'd been introduced on a business level and not just a family tie. It was discussed that once he passes the bar and can practice law he'd be responsible for a lot of the underlings cases at first to prove himself then could move up until he takes the mantel from his father. A big part of keeping relations is the networking and the charming the clients. This was something that thankfully came naturally for him, however that didn't mean he did still get tired from time to time.
Being the oldest all the pressure has always been on him. Something he never felt his sister gave him enough credit for since she was too busy judging them for doing what it took to give her the lifestyle she so enjoys. He'll never understand her. He sighed a moment thinking about her. This would be the last year they were in school together. Knowing her it would be the last time she's around him except for maybe the holidays if he's lucky and she's feeling generous enough to visit the family. The though pulled on his heart strings...just a tug wishing things could be different, that he could make amends. But they fundamentally would never see eye to eye, so what was the point? Instead without even realizing it he'd given himself a new sister. Cameron. He couldn't stand Cade most of the time, but Cameron was different, like the little sister he always wished Magnolia was. He made a mental note to check on her once he got to the bonfire. She was a Freshman this year so it'd be her first time.
Deciding he'd spent enough time in his own head he quickly got dressed in some sweats, brown sandals, and a blue v-neck shirt. Nothing too flashy since they were just on the beach. Under his sweats were a pair of black trunks just in case he did find a reason to get wet. While most had probably spent the day unpacking he'd never left his on-campus apartment, so everything was already still perfectly furnished. He was a bit of a neat freak when it came to his place so it was spotless even when he wasn't expecting guest. Like clockwork he heard his phone buzz and noticed it was from Mari. He chuckled a bit at her message and typed back, 'That's what you get for showing up early. Be right there '. With a smug smirk attached he grabbed his keys and headed out the door. Like a smooth criminal he slid into is sleek black corvette he'd just bought over the summer edger to show it off. He wouldn't be caught dead in anything that wasn't the latest model of car, it'd ruin his image as well as leave a bad taste in his mouth. He had expensive taste and that would never change.
Once he arrived he parked noticing just how many people where already there. Fashionably late was more his style, so it didn't bother him. before scanning the crowd he sent a quick text to Cameron, 'Hey, if you're going to the bonfire tonight let me know if you need anything. Hope to see you there.' He wasn't sure if she'd check her phone since chances are if she was coming she was already here, but it was worth a shot. He quickly scanned the crowd looking for his friends, but couldn't ignore his peers who where trying to get his attention. Most just saying hey, long time no see, the ordinary pleasantries. A few girls were already trying to flirt and ask for drinks, but he wasn't in the mood to entertain nobodies right now. After a few more moment he noticed Vicky and of course Mari right beside her. He rolled his eyes at the sight of Cade being there. Of course he'd run into him. It was like life just had to always throw them into one another like it was some rival destiny you see in movies. He walked up and gave him a quick nod before giving his attention to Vicky and Mari with a bright grin, "Hello ladies, now I know you missed me." He chimed before hearing Vicky's request, "Trouble? What better way to kick things off. We could have some fun with the fishes." He shot her a playful wink.
"Just a little bit longer," Jackson Ward murmured to himself, tilting the tray pack and forth to let the liquid slide across the surface of the print. An eerie red hue filled the room with just enough light so that Jack could see what he was doing, but not to much as to ruin the photographs. The photography student had decided to stay on campus late in hopes of being the last one in the dark room for the day. After spending the entire previous week working on shots for his summer project, Jax was eager to see what he had to work with. The results would either inspire him to keep going with his current idea or push him into another direction. Either way, unfortunately, more work would have to be done. Jackson gently pulled the print from the tray of liquid, carefully hanging it to dry among the others he had already exposed and fixed. Glancing around the room at the rows of drying prints, the brunette grinned, hopeful that at least some of the prints would turn out well.
Pulling him from his daze, Jack's phone began to vibrate in his pocket. He jumped, realizing that up until that point, the room had been entirely silent. Glancing at his phone, the photography student realized he needed to head out lest he wanted to be late to the back-to-school bonfire. For a school-sanctioned function, that party always became one of the wildest of the year. There were no chaperones, no rules, and everything was put on the school's bill. What could possibly go wrong? Slipping through the door into the secondary room before the actual classroom, Jackson had to pause a moment at the sudden brightness that assaulted his senses. He blinked rapidly to allow his eyes to adjust to the light, but it still hurt just a bit. Such was the struggle of being a photography major who developed his own film in a dark room.
With a few minutes left to make it to the beach where he had promised he would meet his buddy Zeke, Jack shoved his navy blue backpack along with a portfolio of prints into his locker and locked it behind him. As much as he loved photography, a party like the back-to-school bonfire was far too good to pass up. He walked towards the beach, happy that it was finally his last year of college, that soon he would be a degree-holding real adult who could go out in the world and get a real job. Well, whatever real job a guy with a photography degree could get anyway. stopping just at the edge of the sand, Jackson paused, pulling first a cigarette from his pocket and lighting it between his lips before following up with his phone to send a quick text.
Kelly stared at the mirror in her room trying to decide how she would wear her hair. Though she hated to admit it she was little bit nervous. She was really hoping to make new friends at the bonfire and she had stupidly forgot to ask her roommate if she was going. Kelly had arrived kind of late and by the time she was arriving her roommate was heading out. They manage to exchange names but that was it. "Well hopefully she'll be there and at least I'll sort of know someone....ugh" After she finally got her hair done she grabbed her phone, and the flyer and headed out. Kelly was pretty sure she didn't need it but it wouldn't hurt to have it just in case.
When she made it to the beach she stopped to and looked around seeing a lot of people. She wasn't quite sure where to start. She walked closer trying to decide what she should do next but stopped when she noticed Cameron, her roommate. "Yes! Perfect maybe I could hang out with her.....I wonder who the guy is." She mumbled to herself as she noticed Cameron was talking to someone. By the time she made way over the guy had already left. "Hey!" She said energetically. "I was hoping you'd be here. I met ask earlier if your were coming." Kelly glanced over at the bonfire and then took out her phone deciding to take a picture of it."Oh that's a nice shot." She said to herself as she posted it. Goldieloxx
Alexander Esposito sat on a bench near the beach with the towering bonfire insight. With the cool air brushing up against his exposed arms and the simmering summer heat starting to die down, he more or less sat alone, staring at his phone, which in itself had a recent series of exchanges from him and his father.
For the most part, their exchanges had been about how nice it was to have Xander interning for Esposito Imports over the summer and how proud his father was of him.
“Proud, huh?” He muttered, reading over the messages from this afternoon.
Feeling not only that he had his fill of the masochistic torture he often put himself through, he went to some slightly more positive messages from Mariana, the same Mariana whom he dated almost exclusively during most of his stay at Ivyrose, the same Mariana who was as likely to be the best person he had ever met as she was the reason he did dumb shit with Zeke.
Yeah, the same Mariana who, up until last summer’s end of the semester bash, had been someone he thought he might be able to fool around in the summer.
Xander never thought they would ever be exclusive or even that their relationship was anything more than being semi-casual. He understood that she was who she was and needed to have options available. On some level, Xander was similar to her in that way. He liked having freedom, especially since they were in college. The early 20s was the time to find yourself and explore what you might not be able to later in life, but then there was the part of him that could have used her as a distraction, especially since he was Giovanni’s main priority this past summer. The stress alone of that was enough to stir up past issues Xander thought had been buried.
“Oh, whatever. Onto better things.” At least, Vicky was there for him. He could always count on her when things got tough.
There was a moment of hesitation before he lifted himself up from the seaside bench. Like a switch going off in his head, all of the counterproductive thinking he did up until this point immediately shut off when the bottom of Xander’s open-toed sandals hit the sandy beach, some grains of sand crawling on his skin. It was warm and comforting. The heat from the day replaced itself with the heat emanating from the bonfire. Xander inhaled a deep breath, almost coughing from the smoke in the air, and when he exhaled, a new person emerged.
Xander Espositio, center of attention and hype boy extraordinaire had arrived.
With an almost primal cry, Xander’s lungs gave him the air to yell out his best “Yahoo!” as he would definitely announce himself to everyone within earshot. It was a metamorphosis that might be best compared to Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and boy was it a daunting transformation. Those who knew Xander knew about his self-doubting ways but only those who knew of the entertainer could only watch as he made his way further into the party and closer to those who he called his friends.
“Vickyyy!” His arm came from behind her, roping her into a forced hug. “Gotta say, your outfit is doing everything it should for your hot bod! Ten out of ten, girl!” He shot her a playful wink. Their relationship allowed for such playful banter.
He smiled at Mari, ignoring Cade altogether. “And, yeah you look good too, Ri-Ri. Hope ya had a good summer!” He almost convinced himself that he meant that but he knew he was just trying to keep up an unbothered front. For the most part, he felt it was working.
He also just noticed Jared. “Oh shit wassup, Jay?”
Why wear a crown when you can drink till you blank?
home sweet home >> party interactions?
lol no mood?
wallflower mode acivate
Was it seriously already the last weekend before classes started? Time certainly did fly by, didn’t it? It was always so bitter sweet to watch summer come to a close and make room for the school year to move in, and the added fact that this would be August’s final year at Ivyrose only made it moreso. He didn’t get too worked up over it though, it wasn’t like finishing school was an uncommon thing, and he still had a ways to go before graduation. Who knows, maybe he’d fail and be able to do it all over again one more time.
August had arrived earlier that day and had spent most of his time putting his dorm together. Hours were spent meticulously arranging his desk and making sure every film poster and other decoration was in the perfect spot, a few breaks here and there were taken to listen to music or watch videos on the internet too. It wasn’t because he was actually that picky about what his surroundings looked like though. taking his sweet time was all a part of August’s plan. The school bonfire was tonight, and he was excited, more excited than he cared to admit. So excited that he absolutely had to make it seem like he wasn’t excited at all. If August kept himself busy with different tasks he could keep himself busy until around eight, just late enough that he could make his way down to the beach in time to be ‘fashionably late’. he was in the middle of moving his ‘Donnie Darko’ poster from one wall to the other for about the sixth time when the alarm he had set on his phone had gone off. “Oh, time to go already?” he hummed to himself and hopped off of his bed, picking up his phone to turn off the alarm. There was really nothing he needed to do first before leaving the room, he was already dressed in something suitable for a party, but he did quickly fix his hair in the mirror just to be safe before scooping up his keys and leaving.
August had a car, but he wasn’t going to be driving. The beach was so close to his dorm building already, and walking was good exercise anyway. Besides, the time it took him to walk only helped him with his whole late on purpose schtick. When he finally arrived he was greeted by the sight of the party already going. Everyone seemed to be there, though it was still in the early mellow stages. Nothing crazy yet. Perfect, he had got there just at the right time.
Now what to do first? Go socialize? Ew, no. Go stand around and pretend to be miserable until you see someone you actually like? That’s more like it.
"Come on, man! You guys are a bunch of lightweights," Zeke chuckled as he downed another glass of whiskey and stood up from the leather recliner he'd been sitting in. He'd decided to pre-game with some of the guys he'd run into on campus since his usual friends were all to busy to do so. Of course, Jackson had come through when Zeke suggested they meet later but looking at the time on his phone he was already running late. "Well, I have places to be boys. Let me know when you wanna get your ass kicked in beer pong again...Brady? Brandon? Whatever your name is," he pointed at one of them as he made his way out of the room which was slowly filling with smoke from a joint they'd just lit. He normally wouldn't have left without taking a hit or two but tonight he had better people to hang out with some lads who couldn't handle their liquor. He needed to blow off some real steam after spending the second half of his summer back home with his brother and father.
Zeke's relationship with his family wasn't the best. He didn't enjoy being home but his mother had insisted and he couldn't say no to her. He and his father hardly talked aside from the man lecturing him every now and then to stop ruining their good name and to be more like his "golden child" of a brother. Hadn't it been enough that he'd practically kicked the Zeke out and paid his way into Ivyrose just to get him distant from the family's reputation? Of course, he'd claimed it was a great opportunity to attend one of the top schools in the country and while it was true, Zeke knew his real reasons. He'd never been good enough for dear old dad. But hey, at least here his reckless and wild behavior got him attention and friends. Having money probably helped too but he didn't care if all his friends hung out with him for the luxury and the trouble, it was good enough for him. At least here at Ivyrose he didn't always feel like second best...for now anyway.
Upon arriving at the beach he saw Jackson almost right away and walked over, stumbling just a little in the sand as he did. "If you're going to smoke, at least choose something better than a menthol," he rolled his eyes jokingly. He held a sloppily rolled joint up in the air as if it were a prize, the grin still on his face. "Stole this from one of those frat boys I pregamed with. They can't roll for shit but they do spend all their money on the best bud in LA," he shrugged, holding a hand out for the lighter. Scanning the beach for some trouble he spotted a few good crowds that had already formed. "Looks like Xander and Cade are flirting with the girls. That's a recipe for disaster," he shook his head. "What do you wanna get into tonight?" he asked nonchalantly as he took a long drag of his now lit joint.
Mariana tightened the lid on the flask just as she felt someone poke at her sides and before she could spin around the culprit popped up in front of her. Normally a secret fuck buddy was the last person you'd want to be seen with publicly but Mari and Cade had been friends first so it was different. "Sunshine, huh? We giving each other nicknames now? Seems a little relationship-y," she smirked, nudging him. She and Cade had spent a considerable amount of time together, much more recently it had been in an intimate setting. After the break up with Xander, she'd been at a party with Cade when one thing led to another. It would be easy to call it a drunk mistake if it had ended there but they both enjoyed the company of one another and the whole no strings attached thing was a bonus. No rules, no jealousy, and no heartbreak. "I will admit though, the view is a little bit better now," she said as she gave him a once over.
Soon enough another familiar face joined them and Mari's grin only grew. "When do you not wanna stir up some trouble?" she laughed a little, directing the comment at one of her close friends, Vicky. The two girls honestly had clashing personalities so how they had managed to click was a mystery. She was grateful though, it was nice having a close girlfriend to gossip with. Her attention was pulled in the other direction when someone new walked up and she realized who it was. "Jared! Why does it feel like I haven't seen you in years?!" she questioned as she pulled him into a quick hug. Her eyes searched the beach but soon fell on Xander as he was suddenly approached the group. Nope. She was not buzzed enough for this right now.
A ping of jealousy surged through her when he began to compliment Vicky. It wasn't that she hadn't gotten used to their friendship and honestly she didn't even care but it felt different though now that the couple had officially broken up. His half-assed appreciation thrown her way as if for pity only annoyed her further especially when he added his playful name for her onto the end of it. They hadn't talked all summer and that's what she got? Whatever. "Yeah, thanks," she rolled her eyes. "My summer has been great actually. Very well spent," she added, her eyes traveling over to Cade for a moment. "Want a sip? It's tequila. You know what they say," she winked, holding the flask out to Cade. They might've agreed to keep their actually rendezvous on the down-low but that didn't mean they didn't openly flirt especially in the presence of her ex.
Red plastic cups were a staple at college parties, regardless of the time of year or location. They were a sign of a good time, of mistakes that were probably made, of fun that won't be remembered the following morning. In fact, usually the only remnants of the night before were the crumpled up red plastic cups scattered on the ground. So, as Bellatrix picked up one of those cups, she briefly wondered where it would end up the following day. Deciding that she didn't truly care anyway, Trix grabbed a bottle of gin and nearly filled her cup, topping it with a splash of tonic water so it wouldn't be entirely unpalatable. She returned it to its position on the folding card table before turning to face the party once again.
Exponentially more people had arrived at the party by them, some dancing to the music from a makeshift DJ stand, others crowding around the edge of the beach, near the water, or by the bonfire. She recognized a few faces, but didn't really have the urge to approach any of them. Parties had never been her thing to begin with, especially with her history. They were hardly a place to stay out of the limelight. But, as her guardians frequently said, 'when in Rome.' Letting out a sigh, Bellatrix took a sip from her cup, finding that she was getting more and more bored by the second. She certainly wasn't a dancer, and swimming by herself didn't really seem like the best idea. Maybe it would be another party where she went home early to mix some random sounds for a song that no one would ever hear.
Those thoughts weren't sent to the wayside when a familiar voice sounded from nearby. Her icy blues turned towards it, finding the friendly grin of none other than Thomas Porter standing there. "Hey Tommy," she greeted with a small smile of her own, assessing him before teasingly added, "That hardly looks like a beach outfit, but you look good." Taking another long drink from her plastic cup, her eyes fell upon the blunt in his hands, and her smile grew. While they weren't the closest of friends, Trixie did enjoy his presence. They had met at a party some years ago, and had somehow bonded over the sharing of addictions. It was an easy friendship for her, and she enjoyed it for that. With a smirk playing on her lips, the brunette nodded and easily replied to his question with, "Yeah, I'd love to." Over Tommy's shoulder another familiar face approached, and Beatrix knew then that she would not end up leaving the party early now, not with these two in attendance. "What's up, Mags? No, not much. Tommy and I were about to light up. Want to join?"
Cameron scoffed as her eyes landed on Mari, the girl her brother had not so secretly been hooking up with for the last month or so. Truthfully, Cam wasn't sure how long it had been, nor did she care. It wasn't like Mari was there to be Cam's friend, after all. Just her brothers fling. Cam sincerely hoped that the girl didn't expect anything more from her brother; he wasn't about that life. The relationship life.
As he went off to talk to her, Cameron moved further onto the beach herself. Somehow she just wasn't as good at her brother at being a social butterfly, and that fact pissed her off. How was he better at talking to people than her? He was such a dick. Feeling her phone vibrate, she sighed and pulled it out of her pocket. The message from Jared made her smile and forget about her brother entirely.
I'm here, actually! Just ran into Cade-- kill me now. I'd love to see you!
She quickly type out her message and hit send, just as a voice reached her ears. Looking up from her phone, she saw Kelly, her roommate. "Hey!" Though they hadn't had much time to interact yet, Cam had already decided that she liked her. "Glad you could make it." Tucking her phone back into her pocket, she leaned in to look at the picture Kelly took of the fire. "Ooh, that pic is great. And I love your hair. Think you could do mine like that sometime?"
Looking around the beach, she could tell that more people had showed up, and she could feel excitement rising in her belly. This was her chance to reinvent herself, to become someone more than the wallflower she used to be. "Come on. Let's go mingle." Looping her arm through Kelly's, she led her towards a male standing by himself. "Hi there! I'm Cameron, and this is my roomie. What's your name?"
How kindergarten, she thought to herself. But it was better than nothing.
Cade had already forgotten about his sister, much more interested in his entanglement with the beautiful Mariana. "Don't threaten me like that." He teased her about her relationship comment, giving her a return onceover. Unfortunately for him, they were joined by Vicky just then, followed by Jared not long after. Damn, was this going to turn into a group of everyone who he didn't get along with?
His phone went off then, distracting him for the moment. Pulling it out to check the message, he read it quickly and texted back. You got it. Find me when you get here. Locking the device, he slid it back into his pocket, glancing back up. He'd missed Jared's eye roll at seeing him, but ended up doing the same thing in regards to Jared's presence. Another annoying presence joined them, and Cade inwardly groaned, wishing he could pull Mari away from them and have her to himself.
But then she responded back to Xander, saying that her summer had been great. Very well spent, she'd said. By the time her eyes reached him, he was smirking. Anything to wipe that look from Xander's face, hopefully. "Of course. You know me and tequila." He winked in her direction as he took the flask, downing a hefty portion of it. The liquid burned, and he held it back out to Mari, withdrawing his hand at the last moment.
"Might hold onto this." He grinned down at her, holding the flask up tauntingly. "Can't let you get too wasted. Never know what kind of bad decisions you might make." Though he was still grinning, his eyes darted over to Xander and then back to Mari. Though he didn't like a majority of the people surrounding him, he could hang as long as Mari was there.
"So what first?" He ventured, looking around at everyone. "I'm down for just about anything."
Mariana asked a fair question really. When did Vicky not want to stir up some trouble? Then again, calm was boring. Vicky lived the life which was not easily followed. Mostly because she never really cared about consequences. Ina selfish world, the selfish succeed. She remembered those words and recited them as her creed. It was something her daddy dearest bestowed upon her in one of those very few times he actually cared he had a daughter. And since Vicky would take what she got, this became her life motto.
“As if you didn’t know me.” she grinned at Mari but before she managed to go on, a familiar voice cut through the air. “Jared! Great to see you.” Vicky exclaimed and pulled him into a long hug. She and Jared had a nice long relationship. Something that couldn’t have been told about her and his sister Magnolia. Well, some people are just sore losers, aren’t they? But Jared was different. He and Vicky were those kinds of friends that didn’t have to pretend and he might just be one of the very few people who actually knew the real Vicky Hanson. “I’m all ears if you have any ideas.”
But there was still one person missing from her night to have all the right people. Vicky kept looking around but it was only when she heard a long howl that she realized Xander made his appearance. If Vicky and Jared went a way back, then she and Xander…well, it surely felt like there was not time those two didn’t know each other. His bear hug drew a fit of giggles from her and she turned to return his hug, making sure she didn’t burn him with her still lit cigarette. “You’re a fucking flirt but I’ll take it because I love you.” Vicky grinned over his compliment and held that hug for a second too long. The two could afford it. Xander was possibly her oldest friend, they had their own thing before college, before everything and Vicky would say that until today, he was one of the best relationships she had. Now? Now they were amazing friends. He did date her best friend as well but…yeah, okay. So what?
But that relationship was visible colder and conversation between Mari and Xander felt like an icy breeze, even brought some goosebumps on Vicky’s bare shoulders. And what was this easy banter between Mari and Cade? Now, Vicky was many things but stupid wasn’t one of them. They had something going on, something secret. Well, it surely seemed that Vicky was going to pick Mari’s brain about this at some point. She hated not knowing, uncertainty, being left in the dark. So what that it was not her business? She wanted to know either way.
Tossing the half-finished cigarette on the sand and stepping on it, Vicky took a deep breath. “Are we just going to stand around like a pack of virgins or are we finally going to do something?” she dragged and pulled a bottle of bourbon from her bag. Without hesitation, she took a long swig and looked around. “Anyone?”
IF IT DOESN'T BRING YOU INCOME, INSPIRATION OR ORGASMS, IT DOESN'T BELONG IN YOUR LIFE...
The text Tommy got back from Cade was haunting him. In the best possible way. His need was telling him to run and find his party favor friend but Tommy didn’t want to look like a desperate puppy, no matter how much he wanted (or needed?) his fix. And he sure as hell wasn’t going to show it to Cade Hunter. After all, his addiction was not even addiction just yet, right? Well, at least that was what Tommy kept telling himself all the time to sleep well at night.
Seeing Trix was nice. He still remembered that party where they met and was amazed how easy it was talking to her. Tommy was no ladies man. He also didn’t freeze and stutter like a complete idiot around them but he also didn’t chase them around. That was too low in his book. And the girls didn’t really appreciate a stalker, did they? But with Trixie, that was different. No social pressure or any kind of bullshit, simply two people, talking, smoking, ending up high. Full stop.
“Thanks.” Tommy grinned over her compliment. “I’m not really a beach type anyway. So why pretend?” he shrugged and looked her over as well. “You look nice yourself. Going for a swim later?”
When Magnolia joined them, Tommy flashed her a subtle smile. She was another friendly face in the crowd and Tommy would never say no to those. “You didn’t really miss anything. But you can always join us.” he grinned and handed the blunt over to Trixie. “Listen, why don’t you hold onto this for a second? I’ll be right back, need to see someone.” Tommy’s voice became a bit quiet as the need he felt inside grew. He was getting a slight headache and a few drops of sweat covered his forehead. “I’ll be back before you know it.” he flashed at the girls with a confused smile and decided it was time to go find Cade.
Looking around, Tommy walked across the beach. Finding Cade wasn’t that hard. Another thing was that the guy couldn’t be missed. As usual, he was in the company of girls and possibly his friend? Tommy wouldn’t know. And he didn’t even care enough to ponder over it for longer than three seconds. He tucked his hands in the jeans pockets and bit her lip for a while. Was he supposed to approach him right there? This was unusual. Every time they talked or whatever, it was just the two of them.
Tommy knew he was overthinking again and something was telling him he was not too keen on entering the crowd of popular people. He pulled out his phone again and sent another text. “I’m here, on your left.” was all he typed and hoped that this idiotic idea of his would somehow catch Cade’s attention enough so he’s come over. After all, he had some business to attend to, the one he had left with Trixie and Magnolia.
MY SUPERPOWER? I CAN LOOK YOU DEAD IN THE FACE WHILE YOU'RE TALKING AND NOT HEAR A DAMN THING YOU SAID.