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Marcos Kingsley & Ellie Roberts

Fed up.

Marcos Kingsley was fed up.

This merge was nothing but hell for him and now? Now he had to go to a party he didnโ€™t want to be at to make sure no one touched his sister inappropriately. She was so lucky Christian was only a couple blocks away, which was nothing while riding his bike. If there was something Trixie would never fail at, it was being a self-serving, manipulative brat. On top of her sneaking out, which somehow heโ€™ll get blamed for, her face was on someoneโ€™s story saying sheโ€™d skinny dip if she lost in a drinking contest.

Maintaining balance and control, while still seemingly defying gravity, Marcos increased his acceleration on his Street Triple R. Keenly aware of his morality, yet enjoying embracing his surroundings of the suburban heights of Columbus and all the senses that riding a motorcycle invokes, the prideful Lion moved his body with the machine, leaning when he needed to.

There was a visceral physical pleasure whenever he took the moment to go out, just him and his bike. The wind rushing through, over, and around him, and how much he had to put his hands and feet to work was addictive. There have been many weekend days he spent just riding around all day and only thinking about his journey on the road. If he could ride his bike and leave all his issues behind, he would, but then his parents would give him grief, making him feel like he was irresponsible, aimless, and careless. A Kingsley had to keep their image, their reputation, and their future in mind always. If they didnโ€™t, they risk disgracing their family name.

Thinking about all the things that went wrong this week, like Colin starting unnecessary drama because he canโ€™t get over the fact that they grew apart or Marcos running into all the exes he hurt in middle school, wasnโ€™t worth his time and energy. He changed and whether people believe that or not was their own prerogative. The soccer player wasnโ€™t going to lose sleep because people canโ€™t get over themselves. Their grudges are their own obstacles. He was here to graduate and leave this all behind him. The prospect of him enjoying his senior year was growing more bleak by the minute.

Finally arriving and pulling up in Christianโ€™s driveway, Marcos pulled off his helmet to meet the eyes of people sitting in the front having an intimate conversation and drinking out of red cups. The guy didnโ€™t know he was, but the girlโ€™s eyes widened, โ€œMarcos?! You came!โ€

โ€œYeah,โ€ He acknowledged while securing his bike in place and fastening his helmet. Instead of striking up a conversation, he let their voices drown out in the background, as he went through the side gate to get to the party. He had never been to Christianโ€™s house because they werenโ€™t necessarily friends, especially after the whole player phase Marcos went through. The jock didnโ€™t want to assume his sister was inside or outside even if ten minutes ago she was inside. Worst case, he could ask around and try to leave as quietly as he entered.

That, of course, was hopeful thinking. The second Marcos found himself in the backyard, by the bouncy house, the flock of thirsty drunk girls were quick to make their move. Some knowing him and some just seeing a very, very hot guy.

โ€œWhoโ€™s that?โ€ Sitting on a lounge chair, by the bonfire, a strawberry blonde with kittenish eyes surveyed the new addition to the party. Taking a sip of her cranberry vodka, she leaned back in her seat and shook her head, โ€œNo one has the right to be that fucking fine.โ€

The girl beside her, with glasses and braids, rolled her eyes at her friend and unethustically commented, โ€œMarcos Kingsley. One of three golden boys. You remember Aiden? Yeah, the one over there. Theyโ€™re best friends. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know. Fucking fine as hell. Well, theyโ€™re assholes. The third golden boy was the only reason why most of us could tolerate them, but now heโ€™s gone. If you knew these two in middle school, they were trouble. Iโ€™d suggest staying away. Who knows how heโ€™ll be without Richie!โ€

How unfun. โ€œI like trouble,โ€ The Rosefell cheerleader protested, twirling her hair as she watched the man candy walk around, searching for something. โ€œIโ€™m going to say hi.โ€

โ€œDo what you want, but you canโ€™t say I warned you,โ€ the Liberty High theater kid aggressively took a bite out of her smores, watching her new friend be stupid and try to flirt with the lost cause.

Stopping in his tracks, Marcos found his path blocked with a girl with a bikini top on and a skirt. With clear intentions in her eyes, she stepped forward and introduced herself, โ€œHey handsome, my name is Paris. Where are you going in such a rush?โ€

This was his curse. Inhaling in, exhaling out, Marcos replied with a fake, yet charming smile, โ€œHey Paris, cute name,โ€ He didnโ€™t want to get a girl mad already, but he wasnโ€™t here to flirt. He was here to get his sister and leave. โ€œIโ€™d love to chat but real talk, Iโ€™m just here to find my sister, so excuse me.โ€ The stranger tried her best to put her body against his chest and coerherce him to forget his task, but Marcos was not having it. He was here for one thing and one thing only. No thot could stop him.

Pretending to give in, Marcos leaned into her body and placed his hand on her chin, bringing it up for her to look at him. This move ended up startling her, because seeing him up this close and personal was more than she could handle. Stumbling back, Paris accidentally bumped into a group behind her. The person she walked into dropped their drink on the floor. By the time she apologized and went to look back at the jock, composed and ready, pushing the itch away, in the back of her mind, he was gone.

Where the hell did he go?

Sighing, relieved he got away, Marcos walked by the pool and continued his search there. This party was more busy than the stories on social media gave credit for. After being here for a couple of minutes, he already knew he wanted to go home. The peacefulness of the living room was more welcomed than the chaos of the first party of the year. Gradually turning his head to the water, he fished around, surveying faces.

Ellie found herself propped up against the fence, shoes discarded next to her and toes digging into the plush green grass as she nursed the joint in between her thumb and index finger. Something about being under the influence heightened every other sensation and at the current moment nothing was more satisfying than her bare feet feeling the rich soil underneath her. She breathed out large puffs of smoke whilst the rest of the party moved on around her.

As her eyes grew more red and brain grew more foggy, she tried to mask out the emotions that seemed to front in her brain as a result of her interaction with Rico. Anger, sadness, frustration, longing- all unresolved feelings that came on in waves every time she saw his face. The weed could only dull so much of her grief, so she let her eyes search for a distraction, anything to brighten her mood.

This alleviation came in the form of a tall, dark, and handsome male who strutted into the party clearly attempting to find someone or something. Ellie was too oblivious to notice his intentions, and was simply excited to see Marcos arrive. With a giddy smile and laugh, she clamored to her feet and called out his name across the pool. โ€œMarcos! Marcos you made it!โ€ The brunette waved.

Before the ungodly hot son of the junior senator of Ohio could find his ex and Theo Van Cise in the pool, his attention was ripped from the turquoise water to a Sunflower beaming at him. Ellie! Probably the only good thing about Rosefell was this girl right here. Boy was he glad to see her in a crowd of strangers, enemies, and nobodies.

With not a second to waste, he strode to the otherside of the pool where she was, โ€œYeah, I guess I did.โ€ When he was inches away from her, he surveyed her mannerism, outfit, and expression, and immediately picked up the scent of weed off of her. This wasnโ€™t something he expected from her, but he didnโ€™t hate it. It was just a different take on the adorable Ellie Roberts.

Smiling at her, the hard exterior dropping in the presence of this ray of sunshine, Marco laughed, โ€œI can see youโ€™re having a good time. If thereโ€™s anyone that deserves a break, itโ€™s definitely you. Andโ€”โ€ His hand gestured to her display, โ€œโ€” you look great, El.โ€ His dark gaze did get carried away, distracted by her midriff, but he was quick to not let that linger, out of respect for his friend. โ€œTrying to impress anyone?โ€ He coolly teased.

The brunette blew a raspberry with her lips, rolling her eyes before emitting a giggle. โ€œOh please, I just threw this on because Lil told me I should.โ€ Ellie replied, not noticing the death stares and glares she was getting from the envious belles of Liberty and Rosefell. โ€œI am having a good time though!... Well, mostly.โ€ She corrected herself before motioning Marcos to come closer, whispering to him quietly โ€œThis is my first time getting high, you know. Itโ€™s weird, but I like it.โ€

It was in this moment that Marcos put the search for his sister in the back of his mind, completely engrossed in how cute Ellie was acting. Even when she brought up his ex, he didnโ€™t seem bothered by it because she was just so captivating in this light. Ellie was naturally a delight, but with the weight of the world off her shoulders and her acting so free and in the moment, the grumpy jock found himself chuckling with her. He couldnโ€™t handle her like this. She was just so goddamn cute. Her usual optimism he found so attractive and interesting was cranked up to ten. He was weak to this artsy, klutzy, and accepting dork.

Marcos Kingsley felt a burning sensation he hadnโ€™t felt for years. Actually, the last time he was this intrigued was with Lilith. Looking around at the jealous girls surrounding them, the jock devilishly smirked. Maybe it was a good idea for him to come to this party. Glancing at her, with their faces inches away, watching her pull away, Marcos smugged, โ€œIs that so? Well if you like it, then you should keep at it.โ€ Not wanting to fully enable her, he playfully poked her nose, โ€œBut in moderation, okay? Or youโ€™ll be seeing my face a lot more,โ€ he flirtatiously winked.

Heat struck Ellieโ€™s cheeks, a rosy-ness appearing across her features that complemented her freckles. It was quite common for her to get flustered in the presence of those she admired, quite possibly moreso whilst under the influence, and sheโ€™d be lying if she didnโ€™t admit that she liked Marcos just a smidge. She vividly remembered the first day he walked into the Yellow Rose Diner and knew that his chiseled face would be one that she would soon not forget. โ€œDonโ€™t worry, I will. Scoutโ€™s honor.โ€ She saluted playfully, โ€œI wouldnโ€™t mind seeing your face more though, youโ€™ve rarely showed up at the diner lately...โ€ Ellie commented, jutting out her lower lip pouting. โ€œWho else am I going to give free milkshakes to?โ€


Was Eleanor Roberts flirting back? If she was, Marcos was feeling it and if he continued thinking what he was thinking, this probably would result in something theyโ€™d both regret. Not letting his imagination get carried away too much, Marcos laughed, โ€œHey, Iโ€™m sure thereโ€™s plenty of boys out there that want a taste of your milkshake.โ€ Did he actually just say that? A genuine, sweet blush washed over him. The Golden Boy was quick to divert the girlโ€™s attention to a small group playing with a giant jenga set, โ€œOh look, drunk jenga. Want to play?โ€

Like a puppy that had just seen a squirrel, Ellieโ€™s gaze immediately followed over to their classmates huddled in the corner laughing and cheering. That looked like fun! The brunette nodded vigorously, โ€œOoh yes, letโ€™s go!โ€ quickly grabbing hold of Marcosโ€™ muscular arm and pulling him towards the game.

โ€I think you and I are going to have a grand time tonight.โ€

The corners of Tyler Janeโ€™s plump lips turned up into a gentle smile as she gazed at the enchanting boy who took a step closer to her, something magnetic about him that she couldnโ€™t place a finger on. Although his intentions were made clear by his words, it was the way in which he was admiring her that said it all without needing to explain. The alcohol in her system was making her much more susceptible to his charms, but she was positive that even if she were stone cold sober she would have felt the same way.

And then like a mid-day storm, an clearly annoyed and gloomy dark haired girl appeared out of nowhere and rained on the twoโ€™s parade, beginning to berate the boy- now with a name, Nicholas - for god knows what. Her tone indicated clear disgust and disdain and the dancer recognized quickly that the two were not merely just friends, but related, noting the identical arch in their brows and features reminiscent of each other.

โ€Youโ€™re really going to stand there and act like you arenโ€™t flirting with your Tramp of Choice?โ€

Well wasnโ€™t she lovely. A ray of sunshine, no doubt.

โ€You always do this, Nick. You find some red head, flip on the charm switch, become a complete ass and settle for someone completely beneath you. It astoundingly perplexes me every time.โ€

Heat pricked the redheadโ€™s cheeks, not expecting such choice words to come out of the girl- Billieโ€™s- mouth. Hell, she didnโ€™t even know her and she already didnโ€™t like her! She was never one to shy away from conflict and the last thing she wanted to do was let this ruin a perfectly good opportunity, so Tyler Jane raised an eyebrow and took a sip of her drink before letting her fiery nature emerge in delicate and understated fashion.

โ€œI hate to interrupt this game of Family Feud, I truly do, but - Billie Jean, was it? It seems to me like your brother is old enough to make his own decisions, and if this is how he wants to spend his evening, it should be none of your concern. Besides, donโ€™t you have better things to do?โ€ The redhead replied, more bluntly than even she was expecting, the alcohol in her system dialing up the sass meter.

โ€œI mean, weโ€™re at a party and yet the only thing that seems to be consuming you is who your brother decides to take interest inโ€ฆ a little bit sad if you ask me.โ€

Tyler Jane was consumed by the music, utterly distracted and entranced by the highs and the lows of the notes and fueled by the shots she had already taken. The night was young and she wanted to soak it up for all it was worth. She had turned to venture to the kitchen, hopefully to find another drink to sustain her.

And then like magic, there was a boy in front of her extending a red solo cup in her direction.

She gave him a once over as they both stood there, time nearly stopping in the moments that she took in his outward appearance. The redhead was sure she had never seen him before - quickly delineating that he was a Liberty kid - his dark hair and mysterious sapphire eyes making an impression without him needing to say more than a phrase. It was the way that he held himself that said it all with no words- the boy practically oozed charm and a debonair grace. He had definitely captured her attention, that was for sure.

"How'd you know?" Tyler Jane smirked, brushing hands with the boy as she took the cup from his grasp, the contact like an electric shock. She didn't bother asking questions about where the beverage came from (not exactly her brightest decision, after all she was already tipsy) and the girl simply took a sip before continuing to speak. "I could never say no to a drink."

Livโ€™s gaze had followed the redhead- now identified as Tyler Jane- to the dance floor, so she didnโ€™t notice when someone approached her and began to strike up a conversation. Spinning around to face them, the blonde tried to hide the subtle blush that had splashed across her cheeks as a result of his compliment. She had remembered JayVaughn from class before he had even brought it up- the boy had a warm smile that was not hard to recall - but she still wasnโ€™t used to getting attention from anyone, more specifically suitors.

The girl drummed her fingers on the granite countertop nervously, mustering a response after a few moments. "Yeah, I'm Olivia. Well, Liv." She looked down at the outfit she had chosen to wear before glancing back up at JJ. "Thank you, you're very sweet." Liv replied with a gentle smile, "What do you think of the party so far? I-"

"Alright, let's move it along now."

Almost as if his spider senses were tingling, Aiden spontaneously appeared next to his sister, slinking an arm over her shoulder casually. He had seen the beginnings of this exchange from across the room, and was already not enthused in the slightest of the impression that his younger sibling seemed to be making on their classmates. The blonde girl looked up at her brother with a grimace - why is it that he always had to intrude at the worst possible moments?

She offered JJ an apologetic expression- hopefully he could read on her face that she would have stayed and chatted if it weren't for her nuisance of a brother. "I guess I'll see you in class?" Liv stated, before being ushered away by Aiden and sternly glaring at her kin. "You didn't have to be rude, you know. He was just being nice."

"Yeah right, being nice is how it always starts..."

Tyler Jane Morrissey was tipsy.

Whether it was because of the few shots that she had taken at the pregame (plus the one she just took with the little blonde girl) or the lack of dinner she ate was anyoneโ€™s guess, but nonetheless the redhead was already feeling intoxicated. The evening was young, and she was clearly at the party to have a good time after a long first week of classes. As a Rosefell student, she was a little apprehensive about the entitled rich kids from across town joining their ranks, but from what it seemed like it was a pretty seamless transition. Plus, she really couldn't complain- she hadn't met many of them yet.

In anticipation of this being the first party of the school year, and more importantly the first Rosefell/Liberty mixer, Tyler Jane had chosen a slightly more revealing outfit than she mightโ€™ve normally worn- the black bodysuit cut out just below her chest and the jean shorts showed off her long legs. The dancerโ€™s lithe frame was often one that people liked to admire, and her clothing choice for this evening's party welcomed it. She wanted to make an impression - after all, half of their school was now unknown to her, and that meant opportunities.

Since arriving at the house, the redhead and her friends had barely left the makeshift dance floor, only taking reprieves for snacks or shots. Tyler Jane, as always, let the music that played move her, swinging her hips and letting her hair fly freely about as she sang along to the words she knew. This was the kind of dancing that she didn't often have the chance to do- no choereography, no mirrors, just the beat and her feet carrying her. If you looked closely, you could see the fire behind her eyes as she enjoyed herself, not a care in the world.

Suddenly thirsty, Tyler Jane decided to go and indulge in another alcoholic beverage. She could worry about her hangover tomorrow, but for now, she was having too much fun to pass up more of it. In the midst of trying to locate another drink, the redhead felt herself collide with a dark-haired girl. โ€œOh god, Iโ€™m so sorry!โ€ Tyler Jane hurriedly apologized with an embarrassed laugh and smile before continuing on her quest to the kitchen.

A collab featuring: Lilith Montgomery @HaleyTheRandom & Ellie Roberts @Melissa

As the two girls entered the party, Lilith grabbed Ellieโ€™s hand and led her through Christianโ€™s house. Stopping to grab a few glowy accessories, Lilith grabbed a decent handful of bracelets and a couple of necklaces. The glow in the dark sunglasses looked quite stupid, but Lilith was sure to grab a pair of those too.

โ€So! What do you want to do first,โ€ she asked, filled with excitement. Lilith was glad that she and Ellie had pregamed - otherwise her anxiety would have been going through the roof. She and crowds didnโ€™t mix.

Ellie trailed behind Lilith as they weaved through the masses of people that filled the house, jaw slacking as she gazed at the luxurious fixtures and furniture that filled the large space. She knew that Christian was well off, but she didnโ€™t realize how rich he actually was. This house was absolutely palatial. Realizing she was gawking, she snapped out of her daze and looked over to her friend. She was starting to feel the effects of the joint they had pregamed with, but nothing too out of the ordinary. If she was going to have fun at this party, she needed something else.

โ€œDrinks?โ€ Ellie suggested, motioning to the table filled with booze near the kitchen.

Lilith shrugged her shoulders. โ€Drinks are good,โ€ she mused. โ€The only thing about drinking and smoking though is that you can get super fucked up super fast. So just likeโ€ฆ know that. Itโ€™s super fun, and totally worth it. But yeah.โ€

The brunette nodded, understanding. โ€œNoted.โ€ Ellie replied, leading the way towards the beverages with a fire in her eyes. Her ears had been burning from the moment they stepped into the house; she could hear people whispering, about how she was there and so was Rico. But she tried not to pay attention as she poured herself some vodka and lemonade into a cheap solo cup. โ€œDo you want?โ€ The girl asked, holding out the drink to Lilith.

Eyebrows raised in surprise and Ellie led the way, Lilith took a deep breath. She was glad that her friend was opening up and trying new things - but she wasnโ€™t happy with why Ellie was being so open. People's eyes kept darting back and forth from Ellie, to beer cups, to Rico and back. Lilith wasnโ€™t here to judge - she was here to help, and she completely understood where Ellie was coming from. She just wished her friends' first time getting cross faded would have been at home.

โ€Absolutely,โ€ Lilith replied, taking the cup from her friend. Taking a gulp, she nodded her head approvingly. Pineapple juice was always her favorite mixer for vodka, but lemonade was proving to be a close second. Pulling a blunt from her bag, Lilith sat the cup drink on the table before taking a drag. โ€So what do you suggest we do first? Dance? Bouncy house? Oh! I heard thereโ€™s burgers.โ€

Ellie made herself the same mix with a heavy hand, taking a sip and looking around. The dance floor was crowded, and the brunette was not in the mood yet. She could move- but only after having a few drinks. The bouncy house sounded a little nauseating at the current moment, nothing like an empty stomach and alcohol to make your head spin. Her eyes continued on, searching for their next activity, until they fell on the person she had been avoiding.

There he was, in his usual party form. Rico looked unbothered; without a care in the world as he drank his troubles away like he always did. Ellieโ€™s face paled as she watched him laugh with his friends, chatting up some girl and acting like he owned the place. Her heart ached, and she consciously tore her eyes away, looking over at Lil for a reprieve, โ€œUp to you,โ€ The girl replied blankly, trying to not let her inner emotions show.

Taking another drink, Lilith watched Ellie close. She had to be sure that El wouldnโ€™t freak herself out once the alcohol and marijuanna collided. But instead of a freak out, what Lilith saw was how Ellieโ€™s eye fell upon Rico, and how her mood changed shortly after.

โ€Do you want to talk about it?โ€ she asked sympathetically. โ€Or do you just want to forget all about it?โ€

โ€œNo,โ€ Ellie blurted quickly, but after realizing how that must have come off, she continued, โ€œThe last thing I want tonight to be about is some stupid boy. Hell, thatโ€™s what the whole summer was about and Iโ€™m sick of dwelling on it.โ€ The brunette explained. โ€œIโ€™m here with you, my best friend, and I want to enjoy myself. And so should you.โ€

โ€Heard,โ€ she said, downing the rest of her drink. โ€In that case, hit this.โ€ Passing the blunt to Ellie, Lilith grabbed two new cups from the stack and filled them with Jungle Juice. The good thing about Jungle Juice was that it was super strong and super fruity. After all, ninety-five percent of it was alcohol. So if Ellie wanted to get fucked up, then thatโ€™s what she was going to get.

โ€I donโ€™t want to make tonight about guys either,โ€ she stated. โ€But that doesnโ€™t mean that we canโ€™t likeโ€ฆ flirt with them, right?โ€

Ellie gladly took the blunt, hitting it and exhaling a puff of smoke as she watched Lil get the two of them more drinks. She was lucky to have a best friend like her- someone who she could talk to and be honest when it was necessary, but also someone who could understand what she needed without saying anything at all. In this case, it was to focus on anything but Rico. With a laugh, the brunette exchanged the blunt for the new cup, but not before finishing up her first drink. โ€œOf course you can, Iโ€™ll be your wingwoman. I promise.โ€ Ellie smirked, โ€œAnyone in particular you have your eye on?โ€

Leaning back on the drink table as she surveyed the crowd, Lilith was only mildly interested in the people that she saw before her. No one was catching her eye. Not until --

โ€Him,โ€ she stated simply, watching as the tall figure slowly drifted away from the entrance. He was obviously from Liberty, and held himself in a way that showed off just how much better than everyone he thought he was. His clothing looked a little on the more pricey side, and his smirk screamed trouble. The girl giving him the finger served to prove that.

โ€I have no idea who he is, or where he came from - but he looks like trouble and I like that,โ€ she rambled on, a mischievous glimmer in her eye. โ€Of course Iโ€™d rather have a bid tiddy goth girl crush me with her thighs, but there appears to be none here. So were settling for rich boys.โ€

โ€œI wouldnโ€™t necessarily call that settling, Lil,โ€ Ellie chuckled to herself, following her friendโ€™s gaze to the boy in question. She was right though- he did seem like trouble. Something about the way he carried himself unmistakably screamed โ€˜Iโ€™m bad newsโ€™ but not in the same way their classmate Colin did. Turning back to Lilith, the brunette motioned in the mystery boyโ€™s direction, โ€œWell, what are you standing here with me for? Go get him.โ€

Shrugging her shoulders once again, Lilith winked at Ellie before finishing off her second drink of the night. Grabbing the blunt back from the other girl, she took a long hit before slowly exhaling and passing it back.

โ€As you wish,โ€ she replied with a smirk. โ€If things go south Iโ€™ll just scream and you can come find me or something.โ€

Taking a deep breath, Lilith set out on her journey.

Also featuring a new friend...

Narrowly escaping her brotherโ€™s watchful eye, Liv Howard placed one white Ked in front of the other and made her way towards the thumping and bumping of the party. She followed the students to the ajar front door and as soon as she walked in behind them, overwhelmed was a vast understatement as to how she began to feel. The music was blaring, there were people everywhere she looked, and the overpowering scents of weed, beer, and Axe body spray seemed to dominate and throw off the rest of her senses.

It was a high school party all right.

Anxiety was quickly replaced by excitement when the girl remembered that this was supposed to be fun! She should be thrilled to be at a gathering like this and the blonde regained her composure, maneuvering her way through the crowd to get a better sense of her surroundings. As she passed by her classmates, she could feel their eyes burning into the back of her head as well as her backside. Naively thinking that they were only looking at her because she wasnโ€™t with her brother as per usual, she continued without giving the premise much thought. They were definitely not staring at her because of how she lookedโ€ฆ or were they?

Liv meandered over to the kitchen where all of the alcohol had been set up and was taken back by the sheer amount of booze that there was in one place. How someone scored all of this whilst underage was beyond her (hell, she didnโ€™t even know fake IDโ€™s existed), but she appreciated the effort nonetheless as she stared at all of the different labels and variations laid out in front of her.

In her entranced distraction, the blonde didnโ€™t even notice that someone was trying to talk to her and only realized when the girl attempting to get her attention tapped her on the shoulder. The blonde could tell that the redheadโ€™s lips were moving in an effort to communicate, but she couldnโ€™t hear what she was saying for the life of her with everything going on around them.

โ€œIโ€™m sorry?โ€ Liv shouted over the music, hoping that the girl would repeat herself.

โ€œI said, are you okay? You look lost, hun.โ€ The friendly looking redhead asked with a laugh, holding up a bottle of vodka and motioning to the two other girls beside her. โ€œDo you want to take a shot with us?โ€

The blonde hesitated, letting her eyes drift down to the water bottle she had been gripping tightly filled with the Goose that her brother had provided her with. The angel on her left shoulder said no- she definitely shouldnโ€™t drink more than what she was given. Donโ€™t betray your brother like that! But the lesser heard and even lesser followed devil on her right shoulder spoke differently, telling her to be daring and free for once. Her brother was busy with Fi and wouldnโ€™t even notice. Right?


โ€œOkay, sure!โ€ Liv eagerly nodded making her decision which caused the redhead to beam with excitement that she accepted her offer. She poured the blonde a nearly overflowing shot of vodka before passing the glass to her carefully as to not spill.

โ€œOkay, so down, up, down, and then drink.โ€ She instructed, demonstrating to Liv that she should tap the shot glass on the table, bring it up to cheers with the group, and then tap it on the granite once more before taking the shot. The blonde looked like a deer caught in headlights, so she reassured her once more. โ€œItโ€™ll be great, I promise. Ready?โ€

The young Howard took a deep breath. โ€œReady,โ€ She replied, trying to hide any hesitation in her voice. She could do this!

Down. Liv could hear her heart thumping in her ears as the glass hit the granite. Up. She smiled at the other girls who were being so kind to her as they brought their shots together. Down. The blondeโ€™s eyebrows raised as she brought the shot glass down to the table and then back up to her lips, shutting her eyes tightly as she tipped her head back and took the drink in one fell swoop. The alcohol burned on its way down and adrenaline and nerves coursed through her veins in the aftermath. She slammed the empty glass back down on the table with a grin. If only Trixie were here to see this!

The redhead took back her shot with ease - this was clearly not her first time drinking - and glanced over to check on Liv. Seeing that she had taken the shot with no issues, she smirked at her. โ€œYou did it! That was great.โ€ Before she could say anything else though, her friends began to cart her off towards the dance floor.

โ€œWait! I didnโ€™t catch your name,โ€ Liv mustered, throat still on fire from the alcohol. She wanted to thank the girl for being so nice to her, and also semi-wanted to make sure she wouldnโ€™t rat on her to her brother...

The redhead smiled widely, calling out to the blonde as she began to disappear into the crowd, โ€œI'm Tyler Jane! Find me later, we can do another one!โ€

Liv returned the grin, the buzzing sensation that the shot left behind disappearing after a few more moments. The way that it felt energized her and if this is what partying was all about, then she was all here for it.


Topher Jones was by no means a morning person. Hell, if it werenโ€™t for the fact that his Uber driver was blasting music so loud that his ears were ringing, he would have dozed off right there in the backseat as he made his way from the airport to Marble Heights Academy.

It hadnโ€™t been a long trip to get to San Francisco- the flight was only a few hours long, but the curly haired boyโ€™s especially early wake-up call was already having a dismal effect on his focus and disposition. His eyes still had sleep in them and he was groggy with exhaustion, having stayed up into the late hours of the night writing down lyrics and playing chords that he just couldnโ€™t get out of his head. In fact, the melody Topher had recently created was also keeping him alert, the nuances of his chorus and bridge replaying in his mind as the car rolled through the gates of campus and towards the Oaklands dorm building.

The brunette was looking forward to being back at school for his Senior year. The summer months in his hometown had dragged on for far too long and his childhood home grew quite suffocating in those last few weeks before finally departing this morning. Toph had spent most of his time on break throwing himself into his craft, scooping ice cream to make some spare cash, and trying to keep himself busy while his parents were MIA. But with the negativity and emptiness of his home life far behind him, he could once again focus on things that made him happy: friends, music, and California living.

As the Uber stopped, signaling that they had reached their destination, Topher thanked the driver and gathered his things in the backseat before clamoring out of the SUV towards the trunk. He didnโ€™t have too many personal effects with him- only a large rolling suitcase and a smaller carry on bag- but his trusty six string was the most important of them all. He threw the encased guitar over his shoulder before walking through the double doors of his new home for the next year, gazing at his bright and shiny surroundings in awe.

โ€œDamn, nice place you got here.โ€ The curly haired boy spoke to no one in particular, admiring how fancy and new the building was as opposed to to the older and shoddier accommodations where he had lived in years pastโ€ฆ not that his previous dorm wasnโ€™t nice- because it was extremely nice and Marble Heights was practically made of money- but this dorm made the old ones look cheap in comparison.

Checking his email again to make sure he was heading in the right direction, he walked over to the elevator and once it arrived pressed the button that would take him up to the eighth floor. Hopefully the view would be nice! The lift dinged as it quickly ascended and opened promptly, leaving Topher to scan the nearly identical doors for room 803. His tired gaze caused him to take a few extra moments than it normally would to search, but settled on the correct suite eventually. Tapping his ID card on the keypad which swiftly unlocked the latch, he pushed the door open with his foot revealing the apartment-like layout. Nodding his head, he claimed an empty room, noting that someone had already beat him to first dibs and was settled in- heโ€™d have to meet them later.

The boy leaned his guitar gingerly against the wall before flopping down onto his mattress with a large sigh. Comfy! He let his eyes find their way to his window, revealing the lovely scenery of the campus below and the Bay in the background.

He could definitely get used to this.

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