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Old 12-26-2015, 07:30 PM
  #91
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OOC: I've added the lovely family headers Dingo has posted over in the fan art thread to our OP. I've also added Piper to the OP and resized her picture as well.

Matthew Gallagher
"Not again, Mia." California had desensitized Matt to the life he had once been so familiar with. His apartment near Stanford had been a modest two bedroom with few amenities. He didn't even have a washer or dryer, electing instead to use the laundromat down the street where he often studied to pass the time as his clothes went through various spin cycles. The one luxury he found he could not part with had been his Oracle espresso machine, but beyond that his apartment, like the rest of his life, was fairly unremarkable. Having returned home for the holidays after being absent any luxuries for nearly three years had almost been a culture shock to him. Perhaps that was why he stood staring after the crushed crystal soap dispenser in one of the guest bathrooms in the Donahue mansion for so long. Matt had been reluctant to even touch it, terrified that it might shatter if he so much as breathed the wrong way around it. When he finally emerged a few minutes later and ventured to where he had left his twin sister, she was conveniently missing.

Matt inwardly groaned. One never knew what kind of Mia they were going to get on any given day. Would they get capricious, fun-loving Mia Gallagher who would stop to make friends with a hipster bum on the street? Would they get the daredevil Mia Gallagher who might get it in her head that she was a gymnast who could balance precariously on the balls of her feet atop the balcony wall as if it were a balance beam? Or would they get the aggressive, volatile Mia that often called Matt from drunk tanks and jail cells after deliberately getting in a wreck with another car or person's face? Honestly, it was a coin toss, and Matt hadn't had the time to properly assess her mood before she had up and disappeared on him.

His own discomfort forgotten, Matt bumbled through the Donahue mansion with the boldness of someone who had once been familiar with the expansive hallways and cavernous sitting rooms. He moved from room to room with blind determination, searching for his sister under a large ornate red oak desk in a cozy study and behind bookshelves stretching all the way to the ceiling in the library. He searched the kitchen, the dining room and several upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. Genuine apologies were made when he managed to interrupt an intimate moment between a young couple looking to pass the time behind a set of tailored pleated drapes and Matt was embarrassed a second time when he managed to walk in on a private conversation between Elizabeth Delongpre and Phillip Sinclaire. Matt tiptoed his way around another set of awkward apologies, backing away slowly before either could spot him only to find himself staring at the retreating backsides of Cadence and Adrienne Delongpre. He stood awkwardly at the top of the stairwell, relieved if only for the fact that both women seemed to be in reasonably good spirits which meant that Mia had managed to keep her distance from them so far.

Yet there was still no Mia.

It was by pure coincidence he managed to find her, having nearly given up the search out of pure frustration and exhaustion. Two panes of glass were all the separated them, a large aquarium taking up the center of a vacant hallway far away from the activity at the back of the house. Her form was distorted by glass and water both but she remained unmistakably Mia Gallagher. Matt let out a sigh of relief and began to circle his way around to her when he noticed her shoes conspicuously abandoned on the floor. Oh no, he thought as he glanced over to where Mia now stood balancing precariously atop an ornate side table she had dragged close to the five foot tall aquarium. Ho don't do it. Matt shook his head vigorously the moment her eyes locked with his. Mia smiled at him, a large, toothy smile, and he knew it was too late. There was a loud splash as she hoisted herself over the top of the tank and into the water. Matt stood staring at her, slack-jawed and eyes wide with disbelief.

Oh my God.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:11 PM
  #92
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Mia Gallagher
You haven't already fallen into a fish tank or anything, have you? She dipped her eyes down to peek at her iPhone’s screen as it lit up in her loose, bored hands, a glimpse of the sender’s ID (‘BAE ’) sending a warm tingle of frisson down her spine more than the actual message itself. Eagerly, Mia’s fingers swiped away at her cell’s lock screen, launching into a frenzy of emojis and text as the idea of Prescott arriving to the boring Donahue’s boring charity ball at Chez Boring and Pretentious filled her with excitement and fervor and maybe the littlest bit of lust, as anything even tangentially Prescott-related was wont to do. ARE YOU HERE YET??? COME FIND ME!! She waited a breath staring at the screen, then two. When no response was immediately forthcoming Mia’s gaze rose sulkily from her phone and darted around, idle, hesitating for a long moment on the washroom door through which Matt had disappeared mere moments ago after bidding Mia to ‘stay there, please.’ Her terribly put upon protector had followed doggedly at her heels since the moment they’d arrived at the Donahue estate, remaining at a proper distance but only just, hands once pressing and tugging at the line of her waist when she thought to linger contemplatively in front of a chocolate fondue fountain before fluttering away again. But Mia could still feel Matt’s warm grip through the thin fabric of her Saab gown, familiar but not altogether welcome, a reminder that her sullen guard dog would do all that he could do to keep her leashed and behaved tonight, regardless of whatever humiliations she was sure to visit upon him in return. That Matt had even permitted her out of the Gallagher house in the first place had been a pleasant surprise, given that Mia had only just returned from an overnight trip in the local drunk tank after starting a row at some up and coming fashion designer’s loft party, but then her twin was usually powerless to resist Mia’s dewy doe eyes and pouty lower lip when unleashed upon him at near-to-full intensity.

She stayed put, as he’d requested. She stayed put a whole three minutes, playing with the hem of her gown, checking her phone obsessively for Prescott’s response, shifting from foot to foot and picking mullishly at a corner of wallpaper she’d managed to unstick and dig up. Three minutes and her attention span would suffer no further insult, prompting her into a hasty shuffle for the nearest closed door and beguiling corridor, an elaborate game of hide ’n seek on the forefront of her mind and an impish smile twisting at her perfectly painted, deceptively cherubic lips.

Soon enough, the cacophony of sounds belonging to the party and its guests faded into the distance and became overshadowed by the opening and closing of doors, the unintentional jostling of furniture, the clicking sounds of her kitten heels on expensive hardwood and tile floors. Once or twice she paused, crawling under a desk, ducking behind a set of (already occupied) curtains in pursuit of the perfect hiding spot, but Matt’s ensuing frenzied chase ushered her into fleeing for yet another door, another set of stairs, once even an open window and a private terrace followed by a second window, locked, though her pointy elbow made short work of that problem right quick. Thirty minutes flew by in a whirlwind, and just as Mia grew overconfident in her superior hiding skills and considered putting Matt out of his misery, she spotted it: a massive aquarium set into the hallway wall, full of exotic fish and decorative coral and plant life and lit up in an appealing rotation of neon colors. Mia stared at it, transfixed, eyes growing large and dreamy and before she knew it she was ducking through yet another door in search of access. Shoes abandoned, clutch tossed to the wayside she labored at dragging a table over from its proper place and nearly missed Matt’s horrified distorted face reflected in the glass until she was climbing atop said table and meeting his gaze with a manic, elated grin. His eyes pleaded with her, please no, and Mia’s body telegraphed back, try and stop me before she hefted herself up and over the lip of the aquarium and splashing noisily, inelegantly into the water.

The fish had immediately darted for cover behind elaborate towers of coral upon her rather sudden invasion but Mia paid them no mind, the excess fabric of her gown billowing around her body like a mermaid tail, and she gave her legs an experimental kick and then another, delighting in the theatricality of it. Once she tired of that she turned her attention to Matt, now bug-eyed with his mouth agape, staring at her through the glass and she pressed her face to the aquarium wall that separated them, giving it a lewd, messy kiss.
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Last edited by winter soldier; 12-26-2015 at 09:27 PM
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:33 PM
  #93
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Elizabeth
The hazy blue eyes before her betrayed very little. Elizabeth continued to peer into those eyes, looking for the slightest hint of what might be going on behind them. A twitch of the skin above the eyelid could be as much of a tell as a person's inability to maintain eye contact after having been posed a direct question. Christian neither flinched nor looked away when answering her question and she supposed she could credit herself for the fact that his expression remained as inscrutable as it did. She had taught him everything she knew after all, and taught him well she certainly did. It was entirely possible that the truth was what he claimed it to be: that he simply hadn't given the auction much thought. Yet her skepticism remained if only because he had been around long enough to know that what was expected of him was not so very different from what was expected of her own kin. In fact she had come to expect even more of him than some of her grandchildren, given he had always been most receptive to previous efforts made in the past whereas with the likes of Eden and Whitney and to some extent even Lynette had generally posed an ongoing struggle.

Whatever her suspicions, they would go unanswered and unacknowledged rendering them null and void. In the end Elizabeth merely smiled, pleased with his easy compliance as she spent the greater part of the evening cajoling and threatening the rest of her brood with disinheritance in order to secure their participation. "If you feel your time would better serve the Fischer Foundation with the use of your checkbook, then by all means, bid instead of enter yourself. Just see that whatever you do does a sufficient dent in the goal we have set to raise for the evening." Sensing she wasn't like to get any more than she already had out of Christian regarding his bachelor status, Elizabeth was prepared to let the subject die though not before deftly adding, "Perhaps we will even find you a nice girl for yourself in the process."

The crowd around them was steadily growing, people gradually finding their assigned seats or otherwise congregating in small groups. Sprinkled amongst the crowd were more of her grandchildren -- Ford emerged on the patio alone with a champagne flute in hand. Her Eloise's youngest daughter, Cadence, briskly made her way through the crowd while waving in Elizabeth's direction, the huge diamond on her ring finger gleaming as it caught the light. Her eldest granddaughter emerged shortly thereafter. Back at the bar Elizabeth noticed Lynette and Sydney were now joined by the eldest Gallagher son whose unremarkability had her almost confused by his appearance as so little had been said of him over the past couple of years. Anticipating Lynette would make short work of him, Elizabeth turned her head just as he leaned in to whisper something in her other granddaughter's ear in search of a more pleasant topic of conversation.

She spotted Cadence again, talking to Jonathon Finch. A long time friend of both Cadence and the family, Elizabeth had anticipated at one point that something might have developed between the two of them in place of her queer attachment to the younger Sinclaire boy. Instead it had been another of her granddaughters that had caught his eye not long ago. "I wish my grandchildren were as open minded and cooperative as you have blessedly been. You'd think I was asking them to sacrifice a limb by the way some of them react to the prospect of a little charity work." Elizabeth tilted her head in Christian's direction, though her gaze never left Cadence and Jonathon. "Sydney tried to spin some tale about having a beau in the city in order to get out of the auction. I thought she might have been referring to Jonathon. They seemed to hit it off so well the last time they were both in town, but things have been curiously quiet on that front as of late." Smiling, she glanced back over at Christian, her expression as casual and blasé as his had been earlier. "You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?"
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Old 12-27-2015, 02:57 PM
  #94
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Matt
For several long, long seconds, Matt could only stare incredulously after his sister, wondering if what he was seeing was true to the fabric of reality. A little voice at the back of his head said, Have you really been away for so long? Of course this is actually happening. Through the haze of watery foam, bubbles and expensive tropical fish sent into a terrified frenzy around the tank Matt was able to make out his sister, an unwanted giant aquatic intruder in their otherwise perfectly controlled and temperate environment. The utter absurdity of it all had been enough to temporarily freeze him where he stood. Mia's beautiful gown hugged her shapely form, the skirt of her dress turning her two legs into one giant fin and Matt was briefly reminded of a time when the two of them were kids on a cold night late in October where she played at Ariel, and he, her grudging prince, as they went door to door in search of candy. Mia always wanted to be a mermaid. And now she got to be one.

As soon as the initial shock wore off, panic and paranoia soon took its place as Matt glanced around frantically to see if anyone else was around to witness his sister's fanciful idiocy. His father would kill him if he ever found out and Matt didn't even want to think about what would happen if one of the Donahues or Delongpre's or god forbid Elizabeth Donahue herself happened upon them at this exact moment. That family didn't exactly need any more cause to despise them.

"Mia, what the hell do you think you're doing? Get out of there!" He whispered desperately at the glass. She could neither hear nor see him of course with her body submerged in the water and her lips pressed in a lewd, sloppy kiss against the glass. Panic and fear quickly turned to irritation and exasperation the moment he saw tongue slide across the glass. Matt could feel the heat of his anger rising in his cheeks. His response had been the soft heel of his palm against the glass, banging several times in order to create the necessary vibration to get her attention. Get. Out. Now. his lips mimicked the moment their eyes locked, Mia's wide with both delight and amusement, Matt's narrowed to two unamused slits. Matt didn't know who looked more ludicrous in that moment: his sister in the fish tank or him, gesticulating wildly with his right arm to get the fuck out of there.
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:23 PM
  #95
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Lynette Donahue
Always able to combat a dig with a smirk, Rory spouted off some merry Christmas nonsense. How very merry, indeed. Lynette could feel the bile rising. She swallowed her displeasure quickly. Of course Gallaghers enjoyed this time of year. Their alcoholic tendencies were masked by holiday boozing. They actually appeared normal for a week or two. Lynette’s trained eyes saw differently. There wasn’t enough spiked eggnog on this planet to paint Rory in an appealing light. Her cousin hadn’t grown up with him. Sydney thought Lynette rude, and she was, but with good reason. Rory turned away from her following Rebecca’s death. She was a friend one day and a stick in the mud the next. Granted, they were children, but he’d failed every test in understanding. Then puberty hit. The rumor mill whispered about Rory fathering a child. Lynette gathered he was a deadbeat dad. She’d never seen the kid at social events. Sydney’s Mother Theresa act was clearly non-deserved.

“Don’t apologize for me. I meant every word." If anyone frequented a barn, Rory was the culprit. He stank of patchouli and wasted potential. His not-so-veiled insults hardly registered with Lynette. That’s how far off her radar he’d fallen. “You’re right. How stupid of me not to bask in your presence. Heaven knows I couldn’t press on in life without male validation.” He was about as astute as a fireplace log, though he did pay notice to Vera. Sydney failed to manage that. Lynette toyed with a cease fire until heavy schmoozing commenced. Sydney was far from an ogre but a beauty? Plain Jane suited her best. “It’s called owning a brush. That Jewish mop of yours could use one. And it just so happens, my sweet cousin is up first for auction…” Leaning closer, the regal brunette’s hand gripped Rory’s tie tightly. “Call me Lenny again, and I’ll have you escorted off the premises,” she whispered in his ear. “Are we clear?” Lynette pulled back and patted his tie for show (the walls had eyes). “There you go, straight as an arrow once more. You’re welcome.”
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Last edited by Captivating; 12-28-2015 at 12:29 PM
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:30 PM
  #96
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Adrienne
Adrienne had taken the lead after she and her sister parted, game face suddenly on. She had been away from the party for too long as it was and did not relish the idea of having to answer for her absence with her grandmother. Adrienne had the skirt of floor length dress in hand, the heels of her Jimmy Choos clicking away hurriedly down the grand stairwell, a blur of bright red silks billowing behind her in her wake. Play nice! her sister had called out behind her to which Adrienne could only reply with a wolfish grin, her sea foam eyes gleaming with mischief. Not a chance they teased back before she was ducking out onto the terrace and scoping out the scene before her.

Saffron and cardamom aromas wafted in from the kitchens, helping to disguise the overwhelming smell of cinnamon that permeated the outdoor patio space from decorative pine cones that had been sprinkled amongst the decor. While the cooks toiled away at the main entrees to be served that evening, several appetizers weaved their way through the crowd on floating platters of glossy stainless steel. Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese, tomato and basil bruschetta, mozzarella topped with sliced tomatoes and gourmet olives -- and when a tray full of blue cheese and pear tartletts passed by she snatched one up to sample for herself. Her knees weekend as the flaky crust melted in her mouth, warmth flooding her veins as a satisfaction akin to climaxing sent a flush up her cheeks. Adrienne made a mental note to visit her appreciation upon the cooks later that evening.

Adrienne resumed making her rounds as soon as the last pastry flake had been cleared from the corner of her lips. Suffering several of her fellow DAR members in conversation secured three more participants for the auction, as had two of her father's biggest PAC contributers. All entrees were mostly young twenty-somethings, children and grandchildren of silvering CEOs and bored, already married socialites, though one had been a recently widowed middle-aged fashion magazine editor and journalist and the only one genuinely excited to participate. Adrienne continued to flit about the crowd, briefly making eye contact and offering a perfunctory smile at the eldest Moretti daughter before spotting her brother looking lonely in one of the many canopied pergolas that outlined the expansive outdoor patio.

"Someone looks very handsome this evening," Adrienne said while gently teasing her younger brother's hair with manicured fingernails. "Have you signed up for the auction with Lynette yet? Our father seemed particularly insistent where you were concerned the last time we spoke for whatever reason," she added while glancing out obliviously over the crowd. "Perhaps he has someone specific in mind to bid on you."
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:02 PM
  #97
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Phillip Sinclaire
Liz’s confidence was not misplaced. She was a worthy companion. A bachelor’s degree in government and the wit to match placed her strides ahead of her peers. Most socialites did well to write their names legibly on checks. Delongpre daughters were not most women. Adrienne was a lawyer, for Christ’s sake. Little Cadence (little in his eyes, at least) was bound to become a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Phillip could only laugh at his mistake. ”No, I don’t imagine you’ll have any trouble.” Liz extended her leg jokingly. She’d tread carefully ‘round any pig’s blood. Following her lead, Phil ohhh’d and ahhh’d at the displayed footwear. He couldn’t distinguish designer brands from off brands, but common sense told him to fake astonishment.

“It’s a damn mystery how women walk in those. I don’t envy you.” Phil could deck a boxer with his eyes closed, but balance in heels? His neck was as good as broken. Piper tried and failed to have him attempt such a venture. He’d do almost anything for his sister, but there was a limit. Phil cracked his knuckles uncomfortably as talk turned to Elizabeth. The stuffy matriarch was not his biggest fan, but her displeasure rolled off his back. It was the anticipation of Adrienne’s state of mind that plagued him. Liz wouldn’t twist the knife on purpose. Had she misunderstood so fully? No, she had not. From what the reformed Delongpre gathered, her older sister’s feelings mirrored their grandmothers. “I’m still a boil on humanity’s back, good to know.” Phil forced a crooked smile. His plight was deserved but unaccepted. His determination was akin to Reagan urging Mr. Gorbachev to tear down his wall. “I hurt Adrienne, and she wants to hurt me, but you aren’t rushing to burn me at the stake. Why's that?”
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Last edited by Captivating; 12-28-2015 at 03:51 PM
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:42 PM
  #98
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Sydney
That Rory had come to view Lynette's pretension as the norm was a crime in and of itself, yet perhaps it was proof that he was made of better stuff than her sour cousin for she could think of no other reason for why he was willing to endure her insults without blood tying him to her. As Rory leaned in to whisper a counter quip, she craned her neck ever so slightly to the side in order to offer an ear up to him more easily. Some of us just learn a little slower. Sydney could feel the upper left corner of her lip twitch, itching to reward Rory's jape with a smirk. Yet she resisted all the same, never one to delight much in the condescension of others, even when it might have been deserved. Even when that person was Lynette.

"Thank you." Demure lashes fluttered shyly at the compliment that shortly followed which she was quick to pay forward. "You clean up rather nicely, yourse--" Don't apologize for me, I meant every word. Sydney spared but the briefest of glances in her cousin's direction and it was only by the grace of her wine that she did not roll her eyes right then and there as she took a preemptive sip from her glass in anticipation of a new string of insults. As if on cue, Lynette made some sort of churlish barb about Rory not owning a brush followed in quick succession by a comment made about the unruly nature of his hair. Sydney briefly contemplated the juvenile nature of the insult, thinking them all a little too old to be sensitive enough to take a comment about physical appearances to heart, before remembering that had been not one but two insults. And you know what that means. It meant she had to drink again. Yet when Sydney brought the wine back up to her lips she was disappointed to find she had already drained it of its contents but for the dregs that remained at the bottom of the glass.

Ignoring Lynette, Sydney turned back to Rory. "I've been seeing someone for the past couple of months but I'm afraid that means little where my grandmother is concerned without a glittery shield on my ring finger to absolve me of the responsibility like my fairer cousin, Cad--" She stopped abruptly, staring incredulously after her cousin, wondering if physically putting her hands on Rory was truly necessary for getting her point across not to mention how she could possibly think her actions were even remotely appropriate. All Sydney could do was glance back at Rory and shake her head, eyes wide and apologetic if not even a little exasperated. I don't know how the two of us are even related, I swear. I'm pretty sure she was adopted. Sydney tipped the bottle of Moscato once more, what little remained of the wine now filling a third of her glass. She eyed Rory's double whiskey enviously, suddenly thinking he'd had the right idea all along. "Lynette, should I leave the two of you alone? I feel like I'm intruding on something intimate and private here." Shaming Lynette into behaving nicely didn't seem to be working but maybe insinuating there was some sort of unresolved sexual tension between her and Rory would bring out the humility in her. If not, there was always more alcohol to be had.
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:44 PM
  #99
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OOC: I'm waiting on a Rory post before doing Lynette.

Rick Gallagher Moretti
Rick’s eyes fixated on his wife’s nether region as she glided past, linking arms with Luca. Daniela hadn’t wanted to come tonight. The promise of after party ‘activities’ swayed her. Rick would thoroughly enjoy said activities himself, but it was business first. As was the case with every step taken and decision made. Elizabeth Donahue’s gathering would serve as a catalyst, propelling Rick into the Moretti limelight. A million dollars should do it. He’d showcase his loyalty further by shaking hands with prominent families not named Gallagher. The Moretti matriarch ate this shit up.

He’d put in time with Angelo and Prescott too. Daniela did not approve of the men stirring up trouble, but her annoyance paled in comparison to Angelos. Brother dearest constantly smelled rats. Rick’s mole status could not be compromised. Shooting the breeze with dumb (Angelo) and dumber (Prescott) was his cross to bear. “Drinks are always a good idea. I don’t care what’s in them, as long as they’re strong and sans umbrellas.” Smirking, Alex nodded in agreement. “We’re on the same page then. Do it for charity.” Rick rubbed his wife’s back affectionately and downed a scotch. “Another.” The closest adorner of a penguin suit filled his glass. He spotted Rory in the distance and faked disgust. Their suppose rivalry was entertaining to play.

“The drinks will have to make their way to me if he stays there all night.” Daniela supplied an understanding nod. “You and Luca are fortunate to still share a bond.” His time as Daniela’s bodyguard often involved watching Luca. He quickly learned how close the sisters were. There was a moment Rick considered targeting the younger Moretti daughter, but she was too unpredictable. And Daniela was more of a challenge. “Tell me, Luca, did your attendance require cajoling too?”
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Old 12-31-2015, 04:26 PM
  #100
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Liz
"If our positions were reversed, I wouldn't want you to burn me at the stake for something I've done. I like it better when it's 'judge not lest ye be judged' not 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,'" Liz, always honest with her feelings, had no qualms about telling people what she thought of them, good or bad. Phillip Sinclaire deserved what he got, or so the thought at one point in time, remembering vividly how Adrienne hoped for something bad to befall him. His actions had wounded her sister deeply, changing Adrienne completely, and that had been a difficult thing to watch. Liz had no love lost for him on that account but she wasn't about to stand in front of him like her father would, Ford would, Adrienne herself would and tear him limb for limb when it was clear he was trying to make a difference in his life. In Liz's estimation, there was nothing wrong with that, it was just a terrible thing that he had to hurt her sister in order to get there.

"People make mistakes -- it's that whole "being people" thing. And they can learn from them, provided they try to," Liz trailed off, looking away as she remembered her initial intent in leaving the conversation, and started moving in that direction once more. God only knows I've tried to, she almost wanted to add, but stopped short, as her attempts at walking the straight and narrow were laughable at best compared to Matthew Gallagher - newly reformed bad boy of yore whose response to their misadventures paled in comparison to her own - or Phillip Sinclaire's himself, doing two tours in Iraq and earning a Purple Heart. Somehow, not getting high or drinking to her heart's content before any and all family functions didn't even seem to be in the same realm as their attempts at righting their wrongs ... and Elizabeth was hardly the smartest Delongpre by far but it didn't take a genius to figure out that the Delongpres would not be keen on either Matt or Phil anytime soon, no matter what they tried to accomplish as penance for their sins.

"But the bigger mystery here tonight is not how I am going to walk in these, or if Grandmother will make good on some good old-fashioned revenge a'la Carrie ... it's what kind of trouble your brother is going to get up to," her eyes were alight with mischief, a throwback to the Liz of old who was always up to something and it was never, ever good. This time, that look was reserved for the other wrong-doers in their circle, not Liz Delongpre in her last year of law school, who drank water only at events, and hadn't been on a date her father did not somehow broker in over five years. "It will be a wonder if Elizabeth-the-older doesn't banish you all from her home for it if he does. Only time will tell."
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:29 AM
  #101
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Alex
So it was to be like this all evening. Alex hadn't even noticed Daniela and Rick Moretti come in behind them, figuring they would have ventured off to find their own entertainment. It appeared that entertaining themselves involved ganging up on him unrepentantly. Inwardly, Alex groaned exasperatingly but on the outside he remained as emotionless as a droid in an Isaac Asimov short story. His gaze flitted amongst the three Moretti's, lingering only briefly over Luca's eyes sparkling with mischief and glee and briefer still over Rick's roguish smirk before settling on Danielle Moretti, arguably the more reasonable and empathetic of the trio.

The eldest Moretti daughter was in many ways the antithesis of the younger sister, grounded where Luca was ambitious, kind where Luca was petty and superficial. In her shop one might find her in tattered jeans and a grease stained tank-top whereas Luca insisted on wearing her Sunday's best even when traveling to the grocery store but tonight she looked every bit the daughter and heiress of a wealthy casino mogul. The color of her dress stood out in a sea of blacks, whites and reds, the blue of the fabric bringing out specs of color in her dark brown eyes. Alex had a compliment readied on his lips upon seeing her, but it died the moment she echoed her younger sister's sentiment. It's for charity would be the bane of his evening, he could already tell.

"I would call it less of a bond and more of a leash," Alex quipped as he glanced back at Rick, eying the already emptied whiskey in his hand enviously. Someone had to remain sober at these events so as to keep an eye on the rest of the Moretti clan. It was unlikely trouble would seek them out in a stuffy and pretentious outing such as this but the senior Moretti had enemies everywhere and so one could never be too careful. Unfortunately the responsibility often fell to Alex almost by default. "Luca is more likely to be the cajoler than the cajoled." What was that? A tinge of bitterness in his tone? Perhaps because he was speaking from experience? Alex glanced back at Daniella, trying hard not to scowl as he switched gears. "Seeing as the three of you decided to so graciously gang up on me I see no other option but to concede, however, seeing as how Luca is every bit as unattached as I am, should she not also be volunteering for the auction?" Misery loved company, after all. "You know ... in the name of charity." Alex glanced back at Luca, allowing for a smug smile. If she was every bit the champion of charity she claimed, she would have no choice but to sign up along side him.
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:29 AM
  #102
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:44 PM
  #103
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Ford Delongpre
As much as Ford enjoyed the amazing opportunities his family’s success has given him, he spent a lot of time wondering what it would be like to be in a normal family. Regular 9-5. Quiet neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. No extreme familial pressures to live up to. He’d be free. They would all be free. Would Adrienne be happy? A mother? Someone that didn’t have a cold bone in her body? Would Liz never have had her issues with alcohol and drugs? Maybe Cadence would be actually excited about her wedding instead of marrying for the betterment of the Delongpre name. And him? Maybe he’d have come out and would have been embraced by his family, instead of shamed by his father. Maybe they would have accepted him for all that he was. Ford mentally shrugged. It was a nice thought. One that with his family’s busy schedule, he was unable to entertain this fantasy as much as he’d like.

“Someone looks very handsome this evening,” Speak of one of the devils. Ford playfully batted his eldest sister’s hand away. “What do you expect? I’ve got the three most stylish sisters to make sure I look my best. Can’t have you messing that up, can I?” He said as he attempted to fix his hair. “Have you signed up for the auction with Lynette yet? Our father seemed particularly insistent where you were concerned the last time we spoke for whatever reason,” Ford’s playful expression drained from his face and it was replaced by a defeated chuckle. Downing the contents of his glass, he momentarily shuts his eyes and regained his composure. No use in playing victim. These were the choices he made. “Of course. Lynette sniffed me out the moment I crossed the threshold. Our cousin seems to be taking her namesake a little too seriously.” Ford stated trying to be nonchalant and wishy-washy about the whole thing. Someone specific in mind? “I’m sure as long as she is a warm-hearted woman of high breeding and impeccable social grace, then he will be happy.” Ford noticed Ephram in the distance and stiffened and turned his attention back to Adrienne. “What about you? How’s your evening so far? Need me to kick anyone’s ass yet?” He said as he gently nudged her. His eldest sister had been through so much. He often wondered and was envious of how she carried herself the way she did. So strong. Like nothing mattered. He knew it was an act, but she did it so well.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:55 AM
  #104
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Adrienne
What do you expect? I've got the three most stylish sisters to make sure I look my best. Can't have you messing that up, can I? Adrienne almost smiled. Almost. She seemed to recall a time when she and her younger sisters delighted in nothing more than to experiment with any number of makeovers as if Ford Delongpre were their very own life sized doll to play with. Such was the hazard of being the only boy in a family of mostly girls. Adrienne said nothing of this however, doubting her brother had even been old enough to recall one of her more fonder memories as a teenager. She also had the grace to pretend she didn't notice the way his expression ebbed at the mention of the auction, turning her gaze instead upon the merry crowd around them and putting on the perfunctory smile whenever making eye contact with someone she knew.

Only when Ford spoke again did she look back at him.

"She got to me early as well, tactfully observing the fact that my ring finger was once again vacant of any ornament." As if on cue she managed to pick Lynette Donahue out of the crowd, cheeks flushed pink and almond colored eyes narrowed to slits as she appeared to be engaged in heated conversation with their youngest Jordan cousin and Rory Gallagher. Her gaze lingered just long enough to contemplate the subject of their no doubt thrilling discussion before losing interest altogether and turning back in time to see her brother visibly tense up. Though admittedly curious as to what might have cause to alarm Ford in such a manner, he swiftly changed the subject before she had a chance to voice her concern. What about her? Adrienne narrowed her eyes, somehow already knowing where this conversation was going.

"My evening has been fabulous so far." And why shouldn't it be? Adrienne detected the smallest hint of concern in his tone, but Ford at least had the grace to not outright ask her if she was doing okay the way Cadence had earlier. Almost as if there was someone lurking about who might have once been a great subject of distress for her. Hmm, wonder who that could have been? "Your offer is generous, but unnecessary. I see no reason why I can't go one evening of grudgingly coexisting with the likes of Phillip Sinclaire," from a distance anyway, "without it resorting to bloodshed." Adrienne turned a bemused, inquisitive expression back on her brother. "Though out of curiosity, would you have taken on the task of besting a supposed purple heart yourself? Or would you have contracted out for it?"
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:03 AM
  #105
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Rory Gallagher
The fact that Lynette meant every word she spewed from her mouth didn’t catch Rory by surprise at all. Though, he wasn’t aware of anything he did directly to her, but then again, it didn’t matter. He was on Lynette’s list and oh what a long list it must be given the fact that most social circles were afraid of her. It was a fact that Rory was sure would make Lynette proud, but she hadn’t learned that fear didn’t always equate to power and respect and that was something she was going to have to learn all on her own and part of him hoped he could be there to see it. Rory turned his attention back to Sydney who was trying feverishly to cover up her cousin’s rude behavior. It was funny how different relatives can be. Even his family, same upbringing, but other then their remarkable similarity in looks, you’d never believe they were related. Though, he was aware that Sydney grew up with little of the Elder Donahue’s involvement, which was probably why he found her so tolerable.

“Elizabeth was always one for the rules.” He smiled, but was quickly brought back to Lynette when she grabbed his tie. A wide, devilish smirk spread across his face and only got wider when the threat came out. Oh, the tantrums she used to throw when he’d call her Lenny when they were kids. For such a tomboy, she had always felt very strongly about being called by her full name. Escorted off the premises? She could try, but Gallagher’s were resourceful and Rory had a mission. “Easy, Donahue. People might get the wrong idea about us?” And as if they had planned it, Sydney piped in about leaving the two of them alone and Lynette’s smug expression wiped clean off her face. “See, you’re confusing your guests.” A small wink left his face as he brought his hand to his tie. “Don’t want the fine, eligible bachelors to think you’re off the market and with a Gallagher no less.” He faked a scoff. “What would Elizabeth say?” He said sarcastically as he loosened his tie slightly. “Thank you. It’s a little tighter than I’d prefer. I pity the poor lad that gets on the wrong side of your death grip.” Rory straightened himself out and took a small swig of his drink.

“I apologize, Sydney. I forgot how much fun it used to be to torment Ms. Donahue, but I assure you, any romantic notions died when we were kids. To tussle around with the likes of a Gallagher would be too beneath her…what with her all the way up there on her pedestal.” He said beginning to allow his true feelings about the situation to come out. Lynette ditched him because her family felt they were better than his family…better than him. This was the world they lived in. Rory learned that long ago.

“Can I get you a refill?” Rory asked Sydney, but mostly as a formality as he had already motioned to the bartender to pour her another. “These parties are absolutely excruciating without a little something to ease the…” Eyeing Lynette. “…festivities, but it’s for a good cause, right?”
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