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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/19/2021 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    "Maya, you can't take them back!" "Fucking watch me. And get your hands off me, Jesus!" "No! I need them!" The strident sound of angry feminine voices continued to ring throughout the fashionable Tribeca brownstone, echoing off the gleaming faux-Carrara tile and the pristine vaulted ceilings, disrupting the previously inviolate serenity of the well-appointed urban castle. "And, a-anyway, they don't give refunds!" Tisha's tone was, by turns, pleading and defiant as she circled around the enormous granite-topped kitchen island to confront her sister, the box of crepes in Maya's hand dangling by a slim blue ribbon and swaying threateningly as she stormed away. This was her house, after all, her domain, and family or not- "You need them?" the taller woman hissed through clenched teeth as she wheeled around and reached out suddenly, a length of her sister's beautiful milk-white scarf bunching inelegantly in her fist. It was so soft, so plush and insubstantial, she might as well have been strangling a cloud- which was marginally better than strangling the petite, well-coiffured diva in front of her. Marginally. "What you need, Leticia Meyer-Flynn, is your narrow ass whipped. I, on the other hand, need my hundred and three fucking dollars and forty-three cents!" It was important, the still-rational part of her brain reminded her, to be specific. Details mattered, after all: the exact amount of change due; the precise spelling of an author's name; the positions of the decimals on your income tax forms; the difference between a latte and a flat white; the time-stamp of a text from your mother; the realization that simple assault charges usually only get you a misdemeanor. The rest of her brain, the part that was currently uninterested in such trivialities, suggested she just forget the petty details and go straight for the felony. Why do something halfway, right? "I told you I don't have it! Maya, I swear, we don't-" A sharp tug at the ends of the scarf cut off her denial, but Leticia stood firm, the hard onyx of her eyes glittering with fury at being accosted in her own home. "Don't you dare-!" "You don't what? Hm? Don't have the money ready to pay me back for doing you a favor? For going out of my way to help you? You expect me to believe you can't afford to pay for the fucking pancakes you sent me to-" "They're crepes!" The indignant, immaculate beauty retorted almost instinctively, her whole body quivering with nerves and suppressed anger. "I don't give a rat's ass what they are to you, Tisha!" Maya was furious now, near tears at the bitter injustice. Leticia had everything, had always had everything, and she still wanted more, couldn't conceive of a world in which she didn't always get everything. "They're my utilities! They're my groceries! They're my fucking phone bill! If you, way up here on top of Mount Gold-Digger, don't have the money to pay for your own overpriced pancakes then how the fuck do you think I'm gonna just have it lying around, huh?!" "I just- I didn't-" Leticia stammered, inadvertently taking a step back; they'd argued before, but never like this. "We don't keep cash, Maya, you know that! I thought you could borrow it, and I could just pay you back later!" "That was a rhetorical question! I swear to-" With an audible growl of frustration, Maya yanked the airy, almost insubstantial wrap from where it lay draped elegantly over her sister's shoulders; bereft of queenly elegance, it drooped limply from between her fingers as she studied it pointedly, eyes narrowing at the impossibly luxe texture of the lightweight fabric. "How much did you pay for this?" she demanded. "What?" Tisha blinked, obviously caught off-guard by the sudden change of subject. "What does that have to do with anything?" "This scarf," her sister repeated tersely, hands trembling as they tightened amid the folds of delicate cloth. "How. Much." Again Leticia blinked, and then, as if it might explain the value of the scarf, added, "It's cashmere." Sororicide is a crime, Maya, a tiny voice reminded her. Only if you get caught. "I didn't ask what it was made of. How much did you pay for it, Tisha?" "...Three hundred." There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence following the querulous admission "Three hundred. For a scarf." The word wasn't so much uttered as fired contemptuously, a venomous missile of targeted derision for her sister's covetousness. "A hundred for pancakes. Un-fucking-believable.” She almost laughed then, struck by the complete and total absurdity of the situation. “You know what? Fine. Keep 'em." Casually, Maya tossed the white box onto the gleaming countertop where it slid perilously close to the edge. Leticia squeaked softly in relief. "You have a good time at your dinner party with your friends and your fancy-ass breakfast for dessert. I've got better things to do." "Okay," the petite, dark-eyed woman agreed, exhaling and composing herself once more now that the drama had apparently passed. Maybe now, she could get on with her preparations for dinner. "Then give me back my pashmina, it goes with the pantsuit I'm wearing tonight." "You can have it back when you pay me what's owed." Maya paused, head tilted as Tisha opened her mouth to protest. "Oh, I'm sorry," she crooned. "Did you suddenly remember where you had some cash?" Her eyes widened mockingly, cruelly, as she absorbed the stricken expression on her sister's flawless features. "Stuffed inside a naughty first-edition of Lolita in the office, maybe? Behind that ugly little Rothko in the living room?" Her sister's miserable silence was answer enough, and she clucked her tongue softly. "Uh-huh. Thought not. Call me when you have my money, Leticia, or I swear, I will never help you again as long as we live." "'I could borrow it', she said. What the actual shit is that?" Maya demanded of the evening air as she stalked out of the upscale townhouse, cashmere cloud firmly in hand.
  2. 1 point
    "Oookay." Carolyn Cassidy's voice cut across the somewhat awkward silence following Jason's small rant. The teens and parents looked around to see the Cassidy clan standing in the doorway to the infirmary, arms laden with hampers, bundles of clothes, towels, blankets and assorted necessaries - or at least, items which the family had determined might conceivably be needed. "I'm not sure what we walked into here, and it's nice to see Jase riled up and defending his friends - so long as he's not bitten anyone-" "Not yet. Night is still young." Jason said around a mouthful of MRE pizza. Carolyn smiled tightly, then pursed her lips and looked at the tattered, bloodied Fellowship, her gaze finally settling on her son with a mixture of relief and anger. She swept into the room, Laurie and Jack following her over to Sean's bed and setting their bundles down on convenient surfaces. "However," she went on "I have a few questions for my boy, here." She watched as a slice of plastic-wrapped pizza floated past her and landed in Sean's hands. "Starting with: what enemy? Why are you all covered in blood? Why did I find out about this from Misti Jauntsen- Hi, Carl - of all people?" She crouched down and peered at her son, trying to see past the muck to determine whether any of the blood was his as Sean squirmed slightly under the maternal scrutiny. "Yeah-" Laurie started hotly, obviously wanting to add her own ire, but Carolyn shot her a look over one shoulder and Sean's younger sister subsided, giving first her brother, then Devin, then the apparently uncaring Jason (still eating his slice of pizza) a hard glare. Her mom returned her gaze to Sean, one eyebrow raised expectantly. "Well..." Sean looked at her uncomfortably, then at his friends in mute appeal. Jason was staring at him as realisation dawned. "You didn't tell them." he stated rather than asked, his brilliant emerald gaze unwavering from his friend. "Oh man..." Devin shook his head. It was his turn to smirk now that Sean was the focus of maternal ill-will. "Dude, we agreed to tell the 'rents. You are boned." "Gentlemen, please." Carolyn said in a tone that hinted that, whilst she wasn't angry at them, she really wanted to get on with being angry at her son. Over at the entrance to the infirmary, Autumn and Marissa came back in and, immediately picking up on the atmosphere, moved over to where Jason and Devin were observing with a certain level of schadenfreude. "Sean?" Carolyn's enquiry contained a whole library of subtext. "What's going on?" Autumn murmured to Jason, smiling faintly in thanks as he passed her a slice of admittedly strange-looking pizza. She hopped up to sit beside him on the bed and tore open the package. "Sean didn't tell his folks what was going on." Jase murmured back. Marissa's eyes widened even as she accepted a floating slice of wrapped MRE. "He didn''t? Oh man. He is so boned." she commented in unconscious mimicry of her twin, who nodded, still smirking. The peanut- well, pizza gallery went back to observing. "Well, I was trying to protect you." Sean said earnestly, clasping his fingers together and trying not to fidget. "I didn't want you to worry, or freak out, or try and do something that'd get the enemy to notice you- I was going to tell you after we made it back, only it didn't work out that way..." "And you didn't think we'd worry about you after we found out you had snuck off to fight god-knows-what? You didn't think that would lead to me having a fit every time you were home late from school and calling round all your friends?" Carolyn's voice raised a couple of decibels. "And what if you didn't make it back, hmm? Who was going to tell us you had d-" She broke off then, looking down and away from her son, reaching up to squeeze the reassuring hand Jack had placed on her shoulder. After a moment, she composed herself. "Was it going to be Jason's job? Devin's? What if none of you made it back and I had to find out from one of the parents who did know?" She shook her head, disappointment, sorrow and anger in equal measure in her tear-filled eyes. "How could you, Sean?" "I did not know either." Miyako spoke up, her dark eyes glancing around the room then at her son. "Your friend says you were brave and that I am wrong to treat you like a kid, but you did not tell me what you were doing, Cade. You tried to, but..." "I messed it up." Cade admitted, nodding. "I kinda wanted to try again, but I wasn't sure how to, and then things started happening fast and-" "We will talk about it later." his mother said quietly, but there was an echo of the same hurt in her eyes as was more evident in Carolyn's, who was less easily appeased. "I asked you a question." she pressed, looking hard at Sean. "How could you keep something so important from us?" "I wanted to tell you." Sean tried not to sound like a kid caught playing hooky, he really did. But there was no disguising the gut-punch of guilt as he looked from his tearful mother to his stern father to his angry sister. "I really did. But every time I started to try... the words just wouldn't come out." He gestured expansively. "'Hey, guys, I'm off to fight a demon of death and terror in a hell-dimension mirror of our world. We have to do it, otherwise it will hunt us all down one by one like it did to Charlie.'" The effeminate teen's mouth twisted in a frown, tears in his own eyes. "I was scared shitless, mom! Of what we had to do, of telling you, of how you guys would react... Pick one." "Oh, honey..." His mother hugged him, heedless of the blood and dirt, and after a moment he hugged her back, trying not to bawl his eyes out in front of the others - especially the Jauntsens. "I'm still mad as hell at you." Carolyn murmured to her son. "Don't think you've heard the last of this. But I'm glad you're okay too." "I wondered if something was up earlier." Laurie said quietly, her anger dissipating somewhat in the face of Sean's obvious guilt as Jack reached over and ruffled his son's hair. She looked from Sean over to Devin. "You guys were being a little shifty at the picnic." "Mmmffmmfff." Devin shrugged, his mouth conveniently full so he wouldn't have answer, his smile guilelessly innocent (and utterly full of shit) as he met Laurie's stare. She switched targets to Jason, who merely shrugged in much the same way. "Wasn't our place to tell." was all the laconic genius stated, his logic utterly reasonable and irrefutable. "We told our parents. Well, most of us." "That's enough." Carolyn admonished the closest thing she had to a second son as she stood up, looking over at him. "Are you okay?" she asked then, noting the blood-stained rent in his combat pants. "I'm fine." Jase replied calmly, looking at the thermos flasks Jack was unpacking from one of the bags. "Coffee in those?" "Yes." sighed Carolyn as Jack, smiling and shaking his head slightly, watched a thermos float over to Jason's outstretched hand. There were always constants in life - Jason and coffee was one of them. "Where's Gar?" "Right here." Jason's dad said as he came in, a shopping bag containing a change of clothing in one hand. Jase looked at him askance. "What?" his father asked, coming to a stop by the bed and placing the bag on the end of it. He smiled at the redhead sitting next to Jase. "Hey Autumn." "You're here." Jason stated, a little puzzled, setting the thermos of coffee aside for the moment. "Sure am. Brought a change of clothes." "But I said you didn't need to come down-" "Shut up and c'mere." Gar pulled the sitting teen into a hug. "You might not have needed me to, but I needed to." he said to the nonplussed young man, his voice a murmur. "Glad you're okay." After a moment, the slender youth's arms went around his father's shoulders, patting once or twice. It was a curious sight, for sure, when one considered that in this case, it was the child doing the comforting to the parent.
  3. 1 point
    "No, it's fine, I get it," Marissa smiled. "Sorry, I'm kina coming down from whatever we lived through and I could probably talk your ear off. That's not a bad idea, though. I'd love to help you out. God, I'm pretty sure I was born in heels, so this will be a snap. Just text me and I'll come by," her face winced every time she sipped the coffee, announcing that it was offensive to her palate. "Okay, this is some gross coffee." The two laughed for a moment, "Right?" Autumn snickered. "I didn't want to say anything, it's free, I would've felt bad, but... wow." "Ugh," she waved off Autumn's attempt at politeness. "Don't worry, I'll say it if you don't. I'll be me so you don't have to," she smirked. "Besides, I need to see this dress of yours so I can select a makeup palette for you. Something light so as to not hide those beautiful freckles of yours but still make your eyes pop. Trust me, with my help, Jason's heart is going to get up to at least six, maybe seven beats per minute, easily." She smirked, poking fun at Autumn's stoic boyfriend. "I uh, guess we should head back, and... thanks." Without warning Marissa wrapped her arms around Autumn and held her tightly before finally letting her go. "Friends are nice, I like this." Marissa chuckled. The redhead at her side scoffed bemusedly. "Eh, it's new to you. The novelty will fade in a few weeks." "That's fine, just as long as you remember that I'm in charge," her bestie said in a mirthful tone. "Oh no." Autumn chuckled. "No, no, no." "Yup, totally am. I make the rules." They stepped into the hallway and made their way back to the infirmary, both hearts a little lighter than they were a moment ago.
  4. 1 point
    She turned, facing the red-haired man and narrowing her eyes at him judgmental appraisal. She didn't seem startled so much as bothered, perhaps because he'd managed to sneak up on her silently. Her lack of being startled told Mel that she knew he was there, but is she didn't hear him, how'd she know? She took a drag from her cigarette, shrugging her shoulders as her demeanor shifted to one less caring or was it bravado? Mel didn't have time either, so when she nodded off to the alleyway, he followed her cautiously. There were enough people around that he knew a gunfight, or a street brawl were not likely, but still, he was cautious. Finally, the attractive young woman completed her appraisal and spoke. "You must be Mel." "Kestrel," she nodded in greeting. "I'm in Mourne's..." she paused, catching herself. "I'm one of his People. The hell are you doing here? This can't be random." "Probably not." Mel simply said. He wasn't going to leak Jack or Seth's involvement or warnings. "Mourne, huh?" Yes, it had seemed something was going on between the art-involved businessman and Ravenna D'Sombra, but to have ties to someone like Kestrel? There was something going on beyond the 'good man' surface. Mel cocked his head. And since she recognized him, it looked like Mourne might also have eyes on him. Or was it simply because he was technically within D'Sombra's employ now? Damn, he needed to review if someone had gotten - or would try - into his apartment. "Can I ask what's his interest in her?" She kept looking over her shoulder, checking to make sure she hadn't let Maya slip away unnoticed. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you," she chuckled, taking another hit from her cigarette. "Try me," Mel replied flatly, reminding himself that a obese troll and a bipedal talking rabbit were raiding his refrigerator several days not long ago. "Wait one," she sighed, letting the smoke trail off mingled with her breath in the chilly air. Mel recognized the military reference. She sent a quick text no her phone, enjoying her nicotine while she waited the few seconds it took for her phone to 'boop' a reply. She looked down and then looked at Mel. "Mourne says you check out, okay, ready? Poofy head over there is been plagued by bad luck. Unnaturally so. The sort that leads people to be consumed with depression and... well, suicide. Our friend Ms. Flynn, aside from having an amazing set of glutes with what appears to be absolutely zero effort, has caught herself a case of goblins. It's not the sort of thing there's a Plan-B or penicillin shot for. I'm following her to see if one of the little fuckers shows itself." She folded her arms and narrowed her eyes. "Now," she cocked her head to one side. "Why are you here? I know people who bullshit coincidence like parents tricking their kids into taking medicine. This isn't chance. C'mon, spill." Mel considered what Kestrel said. It sounded like magic, the way she suggested someone could - and was in this case - imposing bad luck on people. Well, considering his willingness to listen to bipedal rabbits and trolls, he could hardly call it outlandish. Should he tell Kestrel or not? Well, the ex-ranger figured, since she was expecting literal goblins, she'd hardly think him crazy. And right now, she had more knowledge about whatever was going on than he did. Give info to get more intel, then. "I wouldn't call them goblins." Mel told her conversationally. "At least the ones I've met. They told me she's in danger." "They who?" She crossed one arm, resting her elbow evenly so she could finish her smoke. "Mel, it's okay, I'm in the know on this stuff, been doing a lot longer than you have. You got a visit huh? Horatio said the Others were making their rounds, so... you're one of them, huh? A Chosen?" She shook her head and chuckled. "Wow, what a mindfuck you must be going through. Look, no bullshit, old man, there's nothing you could tell me that I haven't already seen, except Avengers: Endgame. So, no spoilers, and trust me, you'd know a goblin if you saw one." Mel raised an eyebrow. "Jack and Seth. Now, what the hell is a Chosen?" The nightmare, the long-eared words of doom, this game that everyone involved seemed to be in on except him and the girls... The lines on Mel's face tightened. About time for some fucking answers. "Mmm," she shook her head, exhaling smoke while dropping her cigarette and taping it out with a twist of her boot. "Don't know 'em. They're not with us. Unless you mean ol' Jackie, who works out of O'Malley's, the pub in Hell's Kitchen? No?" She shrugged, looking back again to get another bead on Maya's location. "Look, I've no idea what a 'Chosen' is. I just know that Enclaves, Orders, Clans, Courts and Tribes are losing their fucking minds over you guys. The Central Park pack has a serious hard-on for you 'special kids'." She spoke like he knew what all of the things she was saying meant. She narrowed her eyes and leaned into him. "They really haven't told you anything? So, like, what are you? A warlock, shifter, a faerie? I mean," she looked up at the sky then back at him. "Obviously you're not a leech. Sorry, I know it's rude to ask, but, I feel like I'm popping a cherry here. Who's your mentor? When did you awaken?" Never mind. Back down the fucking rabbit hole, hippity hop we go. Evidently there were faeries, magicians, shapeshifters - did leech mean vampire? - in the world, apparently unknown to society. A whole variety of sides, and former Sergeant Mel Grimson was right in the crosshairs. Two options then. Tell the truth, or bullshit. Mel wasn't much of a bullshitter, but if Kestrel was running on the age old 'assumptions'... "D'Sombra. When the dream happened, she knew somehow. And she knew I had to know how she did once she said it." Mel grimaced hard while saying it. Technically all painfully true, if not quite in the way Kestrel probably would take it. Mel turned his gaze also to keep track of Maya. "D'Sombra?!" Kestrel said it louder than she intended, looked around with a touch of paranoia, and went back to speaking softly. "Fuck, you're in bed with that bitch? I mean, no judgments, but the Shadow Court isn't exactly doing many favors this city. How the hell she became a Seeker, I have no clue. It's unprecedented from what I hear." She fumed, shaking her head in disgust. "It's not fair." "Anyway, let's focus. It's nice to meet you Mel, and it looks like maybe we can help each other out. Maya Flynn is in it deep and I need to help her, that's my job. Looks like others asked you to help her, so, why don't we give this a go and I fill you in on shit at O'Malley's sometime, over a beer or six. You game?" Mel extended a hand. His instincts were telling him Kestrel seemed to be on the up and up. "Ooorah."
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