Log:Graduation

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Graduation
Characters  •   Spear Thistle  •  Esme Reed  •  Landon Marchant  •  Theodore Marchant  •  Lucas Marchant  •  Zane Bloomquist  •  Silver Luna Thistle  •  Devereux Jaden Marchant  •  Desdemona Marchant  •  Star Thistle  •  Felicity Bloomquist  •
Location  •  Lake Havasu - English Village
Date  •  2019-09-30
Summary  •  Graduation is a time for celebration, and yet, the celebration in the English Village goes horribly wrong when The Painkillers make an appearance, claiming they've captured one of the new graduates.

Earlier in the evening, they donned their caps and gowns and walked across the stage to get their diplomas from Principal Ruth. Now they're officially graduate, free of high school, and from 10pm to 3am the entire English Village is theirs. Some stores are open an offering truly imprssive discounts, all the food stalls and restaurants are open as well. A DJ plays music with a massive lighting rig borrowed from Kokomo on a stage beneath an arch at the end of the bridge, and the Junior High art teacher is draing caricatures for free (tips welcome!). Adults from all walks of life volunteer to run free games and other booths.

Once you enter, you can't leave and return. That's the only major rule.

It's a beautiful, faintly breezy night and everyone is ready to have fun and let go of all the high school stress.


Silver looked prim and pretty in her special robes as valedictorian. Gave a rousing speech that most everyone will likely forget within a few days. The normal sort of thing. Now she is here at the grad party dressed in a light weight t-shirt and floral leggings. Sensible shoes for walking around all night and a sweatshirt tied around her waste. Oh. And her camera. She is taking pictures of everything glammed up and fancied for the graduates as well as her fellow students.


Spear graduated! A surprise to everyone, including himself, but it turns out actually turning up for exams and handing in essays works? Who would have thought. He is here tonight in black skinny leather jeans and a black ringer neck t-shirt with a pastel unicorn on it and text underneath that says: I Love Death Metal. He also has a black top hat with a huge sunflower on it and a stuffed rat, because yes. Right now, he is moving towards the art teacher in an ominous way carrying a fiver. Please draw my freakiness. Undoubtably Jade will be somewhere close, possibly able to be dragged in for his own picture.


After all the pomp and circumstance, it's a party. If the Marchant triplets know how to do anything, it's dress to the nines for a party and cluster up. It still might be something of a surprise when typically modest Mona abandons the cap and gown for the clingy little silver bandage dress beneath it. ( https://cache.net-a-porter.com/images/products/503028/503028_fr_pp.jpg ) Barely there diamond jewelry and nude pumps complete the look, and her hair's worn long and loose, still in the gleaming jet black shade she adopted for prom. "Kept telling you we'd make it," she insists to Zane, her grin long since gone crooked. She's not far from Jade and Spear, either; the triplet magnet system seems to be working as expected for the time being.


Prom was for Jade, but graduation is for his parents. He rocked his cap and gown without getting too 'out there' with his style, cutting the very image of a sharp young man, just for Mom and Dad. Now he's back to himself again, in this case tight black jeans, a black mesh shirt, and Doc Martens. His eyes are lined, making them pop, and he's got cherry gloss on his lips. He's got an arm slung around Spear's shoulders. Yes, let's get pictorial evidence of this night. "Did you see me, Mona?" he says, "Looking all respectable?"


Justin is more than happy to show up at the English Village to celebrate release from high school with the rest of his classmates. He may have been avoiding parties all year to keep his nose clean and his scholarships in tact, but prom and the post grad party are school sanctioned fun which makes it appropriate for him to actually show his face. He's not a stick in the mud, there's just a reputation to keep clean. He stands near one of the snack stands, corndogs to be precise looking like he's waiting for someone. Dressed in slightly baggy jean shorts and his basketball tank, the last time he might be able to at a school function, he looks pretty much how he always does wandering the school halls.


The Marchant twins, despite some setbacks due to poor life choices, never had any doubt in their minds that they would graduate. They worked so hard, juggling school work with the Paper with crazy vampire stuff... If anything, Landon was proud to beside his twin, Lucas, dressed in their graduation cap and gown.

Now that it was party night, while he's not wearing a blazer, he has that dressy look to him, wearing a deep navy-turquoise hued buttoned down, his sleeves rolled up to the elbow, and a gray checkered waistcoat and black slacks and Oxfords. What he is missing, however, is a tie and he's left his collar unbuttoned. How casual. As always, he can be found in the company of Lucas, visiting friends and hitting up the restaurants along their walk. One of his arms is draped around the waist of Esme Reed, sharing a joke with the little group, before his eyes flicker over in the direction of some familiar faces, namely Silver and Jade.


Lucas graduated, with honours in English and Journalism. It seems a few months of unneeded extra credit, hard work, and a ritalin habit paid off. Oh the requisite stop with Landon and Beth... well their 'mother', and the cousins, and their extended brothers and sisters on the Lester side and the world can wait a moment. He and Landon, in spite of all negative expectations of them not only survived but thrived. That said he spends no more time with his mom than he has to.

Arm around Landon's neck he rolls up like Jr. Miami Vice over here with the button up shortsleeve shirt and the sunglasses on his head from earlier. "Hard part done." There's a calm confidence that's returned to him and maybe it was prom or really just graduation, but he's actually enjoying himself. "Now we find our people." Spotting his target he holds up a finger to Ladon to wait. Is he- yes. Sneaking up on Justin by casually staying in his blind spot. "Hey!" There's that wry grin that's too proud of himself, "There you are. Please tell me hey have something not made of sugar."


That diploma in his hand meant everything to Cash. The end of a rollercoaster of a school year and the start of new beginnings. He went home right after to change out of the niceties under his gown and into a Nirvana t-shirt and long jean cutoff shorts. His Converse are black with glow in the dark laces. And his braces glow too, as if his beaming silly grin isn't enough to light up a quarter mile radius. His guitar is slung on his back and the strap has his name 'Cash' glowing as well. In case anyone didn't know who it belonged to. He's been lingering near Big Ben's. Both to help out his aunt a little and to try and weasel what his graduation gift is out of his uncle.

Nearby, Hector is being fully glomp attacked by Ms. Hellenbrand. She cheered loud for him as he crossed the stage for his diploma and now, she finally has a chance to hug and even kiss his cheeks. "We /did/ it, Hector. We got him out. You kept your word."


Esme likes the little black slip dress she had on under her graduation gown earlier in the day, so she's kept it on. Unlike her ritzy princess prom dress, it's comfortable and dressy casual enough to pull off for hanging out later that night. All she does is lose the hose and change out of formal black heels into some snazzy fun red ones and change the jewelry and hair to brushed out curls and waves and tousles. But Esme always tends to be dressed and then some anyway, despite what others have on or the occasion. She's just like that.

Anyway, it matches Landon too, standing there against him with the arm looped around her waist as they socialize with others. But at some point, she starts looking around at all the amenities, booths, and shops open to them for special Grad night in the Village. While Lana is off with James, perhaps, and Lucas sneaks off to poke on Justin, the brunette teen looks up at Landon to wonder with a flash of a smile, "... so. Do you feel like a bonified adult now? It's crazy to think that school is done. Like. Donedone!"


Felicity didn't actually walk with everyone else. Apparently she's getting sent a diploma from her other school. So here, she got to sit out in the audience and cheer everyone on. Her parents were nowhere in evidence anyway.

At the moment she's watching Hector and Mrs. Hellenbrand and laughing as she sips a shake. She's in a knee-length floaty green dress with a cardigan over it and a purse instead of her usual backpack. Her hair is braided up in a crown with daisies tucked in.


Zane didn't stop being at least 23 percent sure he was going to tank finals badly enough not to graduate until not only were they over, but they'd actually handed him the diploma, so that was a definite moment of triumph there. Principal Ruth probably didn't expect to get hugged, but eh, someone always ends up doing that, right? The exuberance is still there, if a little bit toned down at this point, but the insistence from Mona still makes the grin brilliant. "Yeah, but you didn't see that math final!" he protests without too much force behind it. It worked out!

He's gone with black jeans and his usual favourite Docs, but dressed it up a bit with a very nice grey silk shirt. Which is not tucked in, but hey, party, right? Like Spear, he's rocking a hat tonight, though his is more of a trilby, really. Also black, though. And there are so many people around! Hello, people!


Hector is wearing a black leather vest over a black mesh long sleeved shirt with the black skinny jeans stragegically patched in purple. He is wearing his top hat from prom with the black ibbon, taxidermy bat and bird skull in a bed of feathers. He has webbed a water pistol with holy water inside it. For graduation, of course, he was dooing his best polite young man, but not tonight. He has eyeliner and black lipstick. He hugs Ms. Hellenbrand, "Was there any doubt with us pulling for him?"

The Art teacher smiles at Spear and gets ready to draw the Thistle in his Gothic finery.


"So respectable!" says Spear, who along with his sisters - and brothers - was cheered on by parents. Thistles are strange as all heck, but they also support one another. He ups the cash to get a cartoon of both him and Jade together, and asks that it have their degrees pictured in it as well. Now he glances up, and waves towards Justin. Spear probably graded lower than just about anyone else - his sisters are the brilliant ones. Spear just...wants to be around people and talk to them. "Marchants!" he calls out to said people, and then he is posing for the art teacher "I don't have a good side, so don't bother," he grins at them "Thanks for this!"


"Was not entirely sure if you didn't get pod-personed by Dad's tailor after prom," Mona replies to Jade's question, trying suddenly to avoid a laugh. It's not like it was outside the realm of possibility. "I went for 'dance in it'. Though there's the very real possibility no one will recognize me. I should have brought dark glasses or something, pulled a Garbo." She doesn't appear to have been concerned for her own sake, but there have been glimmers of it for Jade and Zane, as pertains to the outcome of this particular day. That weight gone from her shoulders, she's far more at ease after the ceremony as well: New York is a go! Looking to Spear and Jade, she asks, "You gonna sit for a pic? I'm starting to get a little hungry. Want me to grab us all something?"


Justin jumps a little, very little, as Lucas comes up in his blind spot. But it doesn't seem to have bothered him as his face breaks into a smile the instant he sees him, one arm going around his shoulder. The question causes him to jerk his thumb towards the food stall closest to them. "Corndogs." He wrinnkles his nose in thought. "I'm also pretty sure I saw a nacho stand around here somewhere, and pretzels." If Justin might remember them, they're actually around somewhere. The guy hasn't met a plate of food he doesn't like. He shoots a wave to Landon and Esme as he finally spots them, as well.


Jade waves to his cousins. "Hey! Looking good, boys." Then he wraps his arms around Spear and poses for the artist, cheek to cheek. "They're all good," he says. He flashes a grin at Mona. "He's been a good sport, I wanted to throw him a bone. If you want to grab us something, I could eat after this." Then he settles down for the artist.

Meanwhile, sweet, shy Anna Wilkins wanders the street. Her family was there for the graduation, her father and older brothers cheered her on as she got her diploma. Now she's got meager spending money and permission to stay out until past midnight! Her blonde hair is pulled back in a braid, and she's wearing a pretty white sundress. She waves a little when she sees Cash and company. "Hey, Cash. Looks like we made it, huh?"


There was never any doubt that Sean was going to graduate. He wasn't the best student, but he was pretty average as far as academics went, and he muddled his way on through like everyone else. Despite the festive air, he's a little bit subdued. He's dressed in his usual jeans and a t-shirt since that's what almost the entirety of his wardrobe consists of. Idly, he wanders the area looking at the various shops with their discounts, though he only seems to be window shopping. He has his hands in his pockets and seems more lost in thought than anything else. Eventually, the rumbling in his stomach will likely draw him toward the food. His mother had been there at graduation. As usual, they'd gotten into a fight immediately afterward and he'd walked to the English Village on his own afterward.


It might be hard to spot Silver. She is doing her level best to stick to the shadows and keep out of the way. Getting as many candid shots of the fun as she can. There is enough lighting here that she doesn't need her flash much. But if someone wanted to find her, they could follow it. At the moment she has found the pizza and is scarfing down a mega-meat new york style slice with a ton of parmesan dumped on top.


Yeah, Landon'd spotted Justin the crowd of celebrating adults as well, so he's not surprised when Lucas creeps up on their teammate, though he is compelled to observe to see whether Justin catches sight of Lucas before his twin is ready to let his presence be known. He even asides to Esme, his dark gaze drifting very briefly to survey the area and take note of which other happy graduates there are to be seen, "Do you think that he'll notice?" It doesn't give Esme that much time to make a decision because Lucas's playful endeavors actually come into fruition.

"I've always felt like an adult." Landon responds to the Reed with a laugh, "Despite everyone else," The actual adults, "Not treating us like one." In recent months, there was probably good reason for that, but even adults make mistakes! When Justin spots them, he lifts a hand to wave to the other in greeting. "What about yourself? Ready to make those hard life-choices and have them actually count for something?" His eyes flicker in Esme's direction when he asks this.


Sheena Sheedy is here. Sheena never graduated, because fuck that and fuck the rest of you. But the rock chick is present because she has a tent up with her alternative fashions on display - second hand, upcycled, ripped, torn. You want thigh high boots that they Fuck Grandma in bright red on the sides? Manic Panic hair dye? Sheena is chewing gum and streeettccching it out around her finger as she sits on her own counter, eyeing the graduates thoughtfully "Whoooo wants a momento to say school totally sucked?" she calls out.


Ms. Hellenbrand winks at Hector. "Not with the both of us, no. But damn it if I didn't need some help. So glad you came. And Miss Felicity too. Go, have fun. You earned it."

Meanwhile Anna Wilkins finally distracts Cash from his pleading and her turns and hugs her. It's all quite sudden. "Congrats to you! We fucking made it, man! I...it's such a huge relief, you know? I know college is a challenge but it'll be a new one and I'm so ready. So ready." Another hug of joy.

Jolene, the homeschool O2 girl came out too. She's helping at one of the stands and making forlorn eyes at Cash.


Star would hve given Sean a ride had she known, but the Thistles were very much swarming their triplets on the big night, and Hector as well. By the time Star had extricated herself from the whole thing, Sean was already gone. He hadn't walked back to her place like she thought he might, so grad night was her best bet. And there he is!

Having parked the pink deathmobile, she takes her hand-stamp at the gate and heads his way.


Amy's here now, wandering this way and that in her jeans and her t-shirt combo again. She didn't really disappear for long to get changed after the whole graduation ceremony thing. She makes her way towards Cash and Hector. "Sup!" She greets all chipper casual, glancing around. "Fuckin' highschool huh? You seen your sister recently, Freeland?"


Esme opens her mouth after a little 'psh' of noise, starting to make some comment about how Lucas is only a ninja HALF the time, but it only gets halfway out before he gets to Justin, "You know. He //can// be sneaky, but also exciteable like a puppy, so it's about fif-- ah-hah! Glad we didn't bet on that." The brunette teen returns the wave to Justin cast their way, then flashes a smile over at the other Marchants nearby in the crowd when they pass by.

Landon's answer, though, gives her a moment of clicking her tongue before she lets out a laugh and says, "You probably came out in a sweater vest and tie. I like the imagery of that." The question about readiness on what to //do// with the rest of her life, though, brings out a lackadaisical shrug, "Sociology or psychology, unsure which still. But mom says exploring your options when you're there is the real deal, and that there's very little that can replace life experiences, so I'll do the figuring at college. Both Berkeley and USC sent letters."


Lucas is getting better at this skill, Landon, he told you! Be proud. This is how we'll get food from the caf in college. He eyes the corndogs which have... promise. Hearing the rest of the options he says with a serious consideration to Justin, "If you wnat a pretzel I will absolutely buy you...a free pretzel. My treat. Don't gush about my generosity. I know. I know." Maybe the triplets aren't the only actors in the family. Looping an arm around his back he steeeeers Justin over towards his twin and says to Esme, "Esme, You look amazing. Your sister is I'm assumign conspiring with her partner in crime. Which..." Where is his parked. It's like playing tag with a squirrel some days. "Esme are you kidding? Landon came out locking me in the face fighting me for the door. not a lot has changed."


Hector grins at Jade and Spear, "We did!" He waves at Anna and Sean, then looks to Cash and Felicity, "Are you hugry?" He winks at Silver, but otherwise doesn't draw attention to her. He eyes sheena witth curiousity, having never seen her before. He flashes Amy a genuine smile, "I haven't. I'm glad you'r here." He gives Mrs, hellenbrand a last hug, "Thanks! for everything!" He goes over to Jolene and offers her a hug. "I'm glad you could make it."

Mrs. Mogadam widens her smile and starts drawing the boys, arms around each other's shoulders, cheek to cheek, with their degrees proudly displayed, imortalizing their outfits.


"I'll accept your offer of a free pretzel, and enjoy it mightily." Just says with a mild tone of amusement. He allows himself to be steered in the direction of Landon and Esme, though he does cast a forlorn look at the corndogs. Is that his stomach rumbling? Surely not. Though he catches the last bit of Esme's words as they get close. "Are you going to join us at USC? It'll be great having a bunch of people I actually know there instead of, you know, having to go through all the hassle of meeting new people."


Felicity grins at Ms. Hellenbrand and then laughs as Cash is suddenly hugging people. She holds up her shake to Hector, because she has cleverly attained calories for herself. "I mean, I could eat, but I'm not starving." She's beaming and giving little waves to people as she spots them. Spear and Jade and Lucas and Amy and... well, honestly, a lot of the people going by. "I think Ashley was changing and got caught up with the parents, but should be here, soon."


Landon does have that preppy look going on, especially once he became an official Marchant, because Karl sure as hell wasn't going to dish out money for fancy clothes. They just graduated and college still seemed like a long ways away even though it was creeping up closer and closer on them with each passing minute. "Do you have a preference?" He asks, his dark eyes studying the Reed girl for a moment before he notices Lucas and Justin's approach. His free arm pats Justin on the shoulder in greeting, before piping up, "Heard something about food. You all can have your pretzels, I was thinking something along the lines of a hot dog or even a hamburger." That's when he spots Amy chilling in the crowd, raising a hand up to get her attention, "Ames, Congrats."


Sean gives an up-nod in Hector's direction when he catches the wave and smiles a bit. But for the most part, he seems to be content remaining on the periphery. He notices Star when she heads in his direction and comes to a stop, letting her catch up rather than continuing to roam. "Hey," he says to her in greeting. "Didn't know you were coming." He offers her a smile, and then glances around. "Hungry?" His stomach growls again for emphasis, and he puts a hand over it, as though it might somehow make it quieter.


Anna hugs Cash. She's just a little thing compared to him, barely a wisp. "I'm going to work for a year," she says, "then maybe go to community college. I like my job at the station, though." She tucks a stray few strands of hair behind her ear and offers Hector and Felicity both a small smile. "Hi, I'm Anna. I work with Cash."

Jade holds a stunning smile for the artist. He might make a decent model some day, if, for no other reason, than his ability to stay still for periods of time.


Spear flicks his fingers up to greet Sean "Dude!" he says. There is a bit of a pause, because he _knows_ what Sean's family is like. And for a fractured moment, there is an odd expression on his face. Pity? Maybe. Something like that. He slaps Jade's shoulder, and once the sketch is underway, he tries to hold still. But his eyes are darting here and there, and he is practically vibrating he is so glad to be here. He has an extra flower from somewhere for Mrs. Mogadam. Spear has a long career in hospitality and getting totally lost in Central Park in front of him.

Sheena just eyes Hector right back, and she settles in for waving others down "Come and get your totally eco whatever bullshit recycled goth and punk gear here," she says, starting to roll a cigarette on her knee "I gotcha all a copy of that Sex Pistols cowboy's shirt - y'all gonna want that in New...Jersey."


"You just took off," Star says, mildly annoyed. She usually doesn't give a shit, and in fact comes and goes on a whim, herself, so this is new.

A shrug at the question of food. "I guess I could eat," she allows. "Something happen with your mom again?"


Time to party! Ashley has changed into something ultra-casual for the evening - very casual for her: sneakers (no socks), gold hot pants, and a t-shirt advertising (gasp) 'Nirvana'. It's like the end of Grease - she's dressed up to fit in with Amy's tastes. Though she does still have her tiny backpack because where else can you hide holy water flasks?

Still aglow with the aura of royalty, Ashley makes sure to greet and hug her posse members while looking around for more premanent friends of the future.


The hugging thing is going around, apparently; Zane has enthusiastic hugs for basically everybody, when he runs into them, which are returned with varying but mostly reasonable spirit by the recipients, along with brief conversation. He looks torn and slightly disappointed when he reaches Jade and Spear: you can't hug people while they're sitting for a picture, right? Damn. "You guys look really cute together." Glancing at Mona, he adds, "Food does sound pretty good though." So, probably still not a pod person here then.


Sean raises both brows a little at Star pointing out that he took off. "Uh, well yeah. Everyone was doing the pictures with family thing and... mine drove off, may be dead, or is a vampire.. so there's that. So I just walked over." He's not entirely sure what happened to his father but he's half-convinced that he might be dead at this point. He hasn't gotten the courage to ask. He does start walking in the direction of food and catches Spear's greeting. He smiles at him and gives him a double thumbs-up, "Lookin' good." Then he nods to Star and says, "Yeah, just the usual shit."


"Thank you, Lucas-Looloo, you're pretty too." Esme's call over comes with a grin for Lucas before she takes to looking around automatically just to see where Lana is. Then she nods some to Justin, "I'm thinking I'm leaned toward USC. Obviously, like you say, just knowing people while in a new place and school entirely, it's a nice crutch to lean on while we no doubt adjust. And maybe I'm secretly a little bit rebel about the hippie choice at Berkeley. My own version of sticking it to the parents..." Yeah, lame way to do that Esme, what a rebel, responsibly making college choices instead of opting to backpack and find herself or whatever. Berkeley was probably the mom option suggestion given what it is, though.

Then she draws in a breath and loops her arm around the back of Landon's button up in tandem hold while eyeing him a beat, then Justin and Lucas again, "Also, not that I'm stalking this one here and saying we're going to be a big piece of happily ever after like a teenage girl moron, buuuut... I'm currently very into the idea of being close to him without house arrest for a while and play adult-ish." Seriously, making out in varied places with them on watch from Morrison has made it hard to do much more than making out in the end, what a teenage woe. For now. Or maybe not anymore if things are fine!

Either way, she pops out with one decision, then one question to the ones near, "Landon, you want a burger, I'll get a hot dog, we'll switch off midway, best of both worlds, see." Pause, "Also we should plan a city trip now that things are in a place to look forward. We have alllll summer."


"Same, Landon!" Amy calls back to Landon with a beaming kind of smile. She actually didn't even call him princess. She deserves a fucking medal for that if you ask her. She grins a moment as she looks around, inclining her head at Hector briefly before -- ahah! There's that Ashley. "I feel like we should burst into song or something," she mutters awkwardly, laughing a second before waving and making her presence known for the Freeland woman.


One Alyssa Laine sidles up behind Mona and Zane, notably shorter than either. She is not, however, a ninja about anything. It puts her right in line for a hug, and she gets it from both sides. "Oof, hey there."

Mona flashes a grin over Alyssa's shoulder to Sean and Star, fingers wriggling in a tiny wave before she peels off of the shorter brunette, peeling away to loop an arm around Zane's back. "We were just going to grab something to eat," she confirms, though a glance over the selections has her gnawing at her lower lip in a mix of contemplation and hunger. "Is it wrong I want something really bad for me? Principle of the thing."


Cash nudges Anna gently. "If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have my set up. She helped me get a hold of spare parts and old equipment that would have been thrown out. In another life, I'd probably be at the station too. That was plan B for a long time. I'll miss you, Anna, but I'll be visiting. I won't be that far away." He kisses her cheek. "Good luck." He cruises towards Jolene but pauses to double-take at Ashley. "God damn. I wouldn't recognize you. Ashley? When are you going to thank me for actually making your entire social and romantic life possible? Did I not convince you to go public? Did you not take home the crown with your lover? I mean...I've been patient." Cash is in high spirits and is clearly just teasing his sister. He doesn't wait for her response. He just hugs her, kisses her cheek. "I love you, sis. We did it."

And returns to meet up with Jolene nearby. "I saw you talking to Hector." Pause. Pauuuse. "//Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Joooleeene...//" The girl smacks his arm a few times. "How long have you been waiting to sing that?" Cash snorts. "Since he started talking about you in his sleep."


Strolling breezily into the heart of the festivities with ever so slightly tousled hair and a dreamy smile across her lips, Thea looks as though she hasn't got a care in the world, just now. And why should she? She just graduated, all the people who mean the very most to her graduated right along with her, and she's nestled into the curve of James's arm. Which is precisely where she most wants to be. Young lurrrve. There isn't enough toothpaste in the world to fend off the cavities. Like most everyone else, she's dressed a fair bit more casually for the evening, and a fair bit more comfortably, as well. Long, flowy 'gypsy' style skirt, lightweight white camisole with lace accents and one strap just slightly askew.


Star's expression is neutral. Unreadable. "Want to talk about it?" she asks lightly. Her runty legs manage to keep up with him as they go.


Silver isn't one for big speeches or big parties. So is it any wonder that as things get going she has tapered off on taking pictures to eat? Or that she has brought a book with her to read. It looks like a Russian language text of all things. She is sitting at one of the outdoor eating areas munching away, a big paper to-go cup with a straw sitting next to her. There has been at least one slice of pizza consumed already.


Lucas grins to Esme, ego appeased, not that it's particularly fragile (it is. Watch him go sometimes). He promises Justin, "We do the lap then food." As Esme answers Justin about USC his seed of idea taking root and yes he's all about taking he credit for that. "And we'll be there to support you while you study philanthropy or whatever." He remembers it starts with a P at least, okay.

Listning to Esme go on about all her future plans and things shes planning on doing with, for, and likely to his twin he grins and says in all earnest sincerity, "You know I endorse this plan." He considers the whole city trip thing and that gets a furrowed brow of thought looking to Justin and then longer on Landon. "We should... make sure all loose ends are tied up before, um... Let's consider that. Come up with places that sound good. Lemme know if we're talking US trip or Euro trip or whatever."

Lucas looks up following Landon's shoutout to Amy giving her a wink, "Looked great out there,. Amy. Damn proud of you." One eye squints and his weight shifts to one side conferring to Justin, "Food now? Let's go find that army of tiny meats."


Sketch done, Spear is now leading Jade away. He has an arm around his shoulders, and he has a bag at his hip, which is stuffed full of various flowers to be handed out to people. He patpats Silver on the shoulder as he goes past her, but mostly? Mostly Spear is just very hail fellow, well met "Hiiii!" he wanders past "Your future president loves you all! I will be gracious in my rule!"


"Do you really think I'm going to admit you were smarter than me?" Ashley smirks at her brother as they hug. "But, yeah, okay, you were right." A little quieter she adds, "I may have raided your wardrobe. How the heck do you fit in these shorts?" Releasing him to the wild, she spots Amy and grins with unrestrained joy. She bounces over and does a little twirl. "Like the look?" A flutter of eyelashes before there is hugging and smooching. After quite a few long moments, Ashely pulls away to find Felicity. That girl has info to spill.


"A whole lap?" Justin sort of drapes himself on Lucas' shoulders. "You'll need to carry me." He smirks and gets back on his own two feet after only a moment of forcing Lucas to deal with his weight. "Fine, but I hope you know that I'm totally going to get payback later, somehow." He looks to Landon. "Did Lucas tell you my idea about the dorms? Since we're all going to the same school?"


Sean shakes his head when Star asks if he wants to talk about it. "Trying to forget about it, really, and see if I can warm up to having some fun tonight." He offers her a little smile, and then his expression turns a bit puzzled. "What's wrong?" He can tell something is wrong. But it's obvious he's either too dense to know what it is, or too oblivious. Maybe both. He notices the finger wiggling greeting from Mona and smiles, giving her a wave in return. Then he goes back to studying Star's expression.


Felicity slips into a seat while everyone's busy greeting everyone else. She sets her shake down next to herself and starts fidgeting first with hte leather bracelet on her wrist and then with the ring. Which of course means that she's easy for Ashley to find. The fidgeting pauses for a moment as she gives Ashley a smile. "Hey." She looks like she's about to add something else, but decides it would be unwise.


Hector kisses Felicity's cheek, "The brightest of us." He shakes Anna's hand, "I Hector, Cash's husband." He gives sean aworried look. He gives Zane and Mona upnods. He double takes at Ashley, "You really look like twins today.... Congradulations to you and Amy on your crowns." He laughs softly at the Jolene joke. He is quietly enjoying his husband's shorts.

Mrs.Moghaddam sketches quickly eyes flicking up and down. In her husky baratone she says, "There you go boys and good luck for your future careers." She sticks the flower behind her ear, "Thank you, Spear."


At once mirroring and contrasting with the Marchant on his arm, James joins the jubilations with the blissful look of young love, but shadowed with the hints of worry tugging at his brows which serves to keep him from being rendered wholly unrecognizable by the uncharacteristic happiness; whether it's being eaten by vampires or going to college, he's got no shortage of questions about the future to fuel that engine of uncertainty and worry once it gets running.

The Thistle's neglected his usual hoodie, at least, but has still opted for all black in a pair of slacks and a button-up. His dark brown hair is a mussed mess, and while he makes little effort to tame his own, he turns briefly towards Thea to futilely endeavor at tidying her own bedraggled locks. Pausing, he waves over to Esme with a smile before peering curiously over towards Silver and then the pair of Spear and Jade to see what his siblings have gotten up to.


"There's enough twins around this town," Amy says with a laugh, shaking her head. "Fucking hell Ashley what's it like, dressing like a sensible person for a change?" She teases with bit of a grin there, reaching out to put an arm around the woman. "I like it." She murmurs, before eventually letting Ashley go to get information from the Felicity.


Jade walks with Spear, holding the sketch with care. "Where do you want to go now?" he asks. "Should we find food? I kind of want to shop, but I don't have to do that right now." He gives Ashley and Amy a wave in passing. "As your future first lady, I promise to institute high fashion at all levels of government. I'll make Jackie O. look like a 19th Century street urchin."

Anna shakes Hector's hand. "I heard about your wedding. Congratulations, Hector. Take good care of him, okay?" Then the social eddies carry her to the edge of the gathering and alone. She indulges in a bit of window shopping, her spending money burning a hole in her little clutch purse.


Star inclines her chin to Mona in greeting as they pass in search of food. Sean gets another shrug at his question. "Nothing," she says. "Just thought we'd come together. It's no big deal, we're both here now."


"USC is a good school with a lot of different programs. And c'mon, it's in a great city with tons of shit for all of us to do." Landon says with approval for Esme's most likely choice of school. "And an education is an education, despite this rebelliousness, I'm sure your parents will support you no matter what route you decide to take." Because USC, Berkley, both are prestigious enough schools.

Esme mentioning wanting to spend more time with him now that they are adults and they'll be far away from here, no need to be concerned about vampires or anything right? "This whole mess," Vampires... "Really put a damper on the school year, for the most part. But now, we'll be able to do whatever the hell we want." However, when Justin brings up their dorm situation at USC, Landon's dark eyes shift over to Lucas, when he asks, "It may have slipped his mind." They were both busy, "But do tell."

While Landon could probably eat two hotdogs or two hamburgers being an athletic type and a teenager with probably a decent metabolism, he seems content enough to agree with the sharing and splitting up of various foods for now.


It spreads slowly through the crowds, but only those of the five families can hear it, especially those who have tasted the blood. Laughter. Musical and slightly maddening. It seems to be coming from everywhere, and yet there is no source to be seen.


"It's...different" Ashley laughs about dressing 'sensibly'. The blush to her cheeks suggests she is more than happy that Amy approves. "Though if these shorts ride up any higher, I may get a nickname of 'Cheeky'." She will make sure Amy is present for the interrogation of Felicity. "You looked gorgeous at Prom, Flick" she smiles warmly, luring her into ease before striking! "So, tell me about the ring." Her brow furrows as she looks around for whoever is laughing so annoyingly.


"Oh," Sean says, suddenly looking a little bit embarrassed. "If I knew you wanted to.. I would have stuck around and waited." He adds a genuine, "Sorry about that." He is not of the blood and thus he doesn't hear anything. Instead, he orders a soft pretzel and whatever Star might want, grabbing them both drinks as well. "Well, I'm glad you're here, and we're here, and I won't leave without you. How about that?" he offers.


Silver's head comes up from her book. Her brow furrows and she looks around for the source of the odd laughter. The book is closed and set aside. A last bite of pizza chomped before it too is set on her plate. Her eyes continue to scan the area, trying to track the source in the crowd and becoming a little more uneasy as the minutes draw on. Finally as Landon and Lucas pass near, "Do you hear that?" She asks, reaching out to catch at the later's hand to get their attention.


Lucas leans...under the weight of Justin's theatrics. Nope! He doesn't let Squid win this game and he's not letting Justin make him make the face either. "Yeah I'll fireman carry you and put you in the pool again." Looking to Landon and back to Jusint he admits, "We got caught up in family shit. Fell off my radar. Yeah, um, was thinking the dorms fit four and there's three of us. We were thinking find us a Ringo and lock a room down. This way we know who we go." Looking to Esme his hand splays on his chest, "Look I'd invite you but the dead is kinda of a stickler for rules. Rope ladders I don't think have any rules ageist them so long as we don't puncture the drywall." He may have checked.


"James, my man," Spear says to him "Congratulations on your graduation." He adds "So, we need to totally swap email addies so we can keep in contact and -" He rolls up the picture and tucks it into his bag "- make sure that we like, see each other a lot." He adds to Jade "Definitely food, I saw some fresh cheesy pretzels over there..." His voice trails off "Aww, shit, ghosts again?" mutters Spear "I thought I gave them plenty of juicy details to not be jerky the other night. Sorry, Jade, I can kinda hear somethin' weird."

Sheena is not one of the Family members. She still hawks her wares, yelling over the crowd "Come on, don't be a Normal. Get somethin' cool on your skin!"


Star orders nachos, because NACHOS, and a drink, and is starting to walk away from the food stall with Sean when she hears it and freezes. Big, dark eyes outlined in lots of kohl flicker around, searching. "You're fuckin' kidding me. Here? With all these witnesses?"


That laughter. Cash can hear it, clear as a bell. His eyes go wide and he looks utterly terrified. He leaves Jolene behind, saying, "Find somewhere to lay low." He passes Silver on his way to Hector. "I heard that! I heard it, Silver." He hipchecks and shoulderblocks his way to Hector and takes a hold of his arm. "She's /laughing./"


Justin bobs his head a few times as Lucas shares his idea. "I checked it out. There's dorms that have four bedrooms with a shared living room. I'd rather have my first roommates not be some weirdos that.. I dunno.. chew their own toenails or whatever weird crap they might do. You never know. Dorms can be a complete gamble." He falls into step besides Lucas, looking around at the other student, or maybe staring at the various food carts, who can tell.


Esme nods her probably settled agreement on the subject of school to Landon after flashing a smile at Lucas, "What, you can't even hardware store me a sturdy collapsible ladder, you're going to make me scuttle up the ropes like a pirate? I thought you //approved//!" After seeing James, Esme pats on Landon and starts to disengage with a wander and claim of, "I'll go get the food, going to hug James and make him uncomfortable..."

But after getting only a few steps with James seeing he's a hug target no doubt and giving him time to dodge if he's clever and quick before Esme gets there... she pauses. She tilts her head and looks back at Landon and the other two guys. Then she looks back around at all the people and backpedals some, especially when the rumble of others hearing hits her too, "Um."


Anna tells Sheena meekly, "I'd like something cool on my skin, please."

Jade gives Spear a kiss on the cheek, then tells James, "Congrats. He smiles warmly at Thea. The smile fades though as he looks around the street. "I hear it, too," he tells Spear. Then, "Wait, what are you telling ghosts about us?"


Hector gives James an upnod. He laughs along with Amy. "Jade, you are way more fabuloous than Jackie O." He grins at anna, "I plan to. He deserves the best and happiest of lives." He steals a sip of felicity's shake, "Sounds like a bunch of people are going to USC." Hi eyes flick between Star, Silver, and Spear. He carefully removes his hat and frees his water pistol from the interior.


Felicity's eyes go wide as Ashley asks about the ring... the one she's been fidgeting with. On her hand. Right there. "Oh. Um. Here? Now? I..." There's a look towards Cash and Hector and the laughter and Cash's reaction are just in time to save her. "What's? Cash?! Are you okay?" There's a worried look back towards Ashley. "Later? We'll talk later." And she's standing to shift a little more behind Hector and look around worriedly.


One would think that the sound of laughter and music would heighten the mood of all those present -- this is a celebration, after all, so what's more fitting? But the sound of it this time.. it has Thea's smile immediately faltering and falling away. She presses closer to James, casting a worried look at Jade when he indicates that he heard it, too. "No.. God, we were so close to being home free..."


"Here what?" Sean asks Star, looking confused, mumbled around a big bite of soft pretzel dipped in cheeeeese because cheeeeese. He finishes off the bite and looks around as others seem to begin to show signs of alarms. "What's going on?" There's a slight edge of apprehension in his voice. And yet he still keeps eating that pretzel for the time being since he doesn't /see/ anything.


All of those plans Mona had for the evening seem to dissolve in the very instant that sound begins to peal out over the English Village. Her grip on Zane tightens, and she looks to Alyssa with sudden seriousness. "A, get somewhere inside. Like... now. Please?" She looks to Zane, then Jade and Thea, her eyes slowly widening. That the sound is apparently registering with them as well is not lost on her. "Can we get to Chen's from here?" she asks, eyes darting along the street, in search of something that might resemble cover.


"I have one of yours," whispers Fran in a sing-song from right behind them, but there's no one there. "Come find me. Come find them!" And she laughs again.


"A shared dorm huh?" Landon asks with a slow nod, "Sure, sounds like a plan. Otherwise, we probably would've just gotten an apartment for ourselves somewhere off campus." A pretty swank apartment most likely. When Esme disengaging from him, he flashes her a smile as she wanders off to mingle with her other friends. If James is there, he figures Lana'd be there as well. Then he hears something and at first, he just thought a group nearby were telling jokes, probably at other people's expense. Then the laughter sounds louder, seeming to come from everywhere around them. Careful eyes search their surroundings, "Lucas...?" His voice sounds tense when he asks this. Then Fran's familiar voice enters his mind and he just shakes his head, "Shit. Who do they have?" And where are they?


Zane tenses at the laughter as well, looking around -- for someone in particular, it would seem -- and turns quickly at the voice, but... no one there. "Mona, I haven't found Art yet," he says quietly, but with clear worry, still looking. For him, or for cover, or both.


Silver's eyes go wide at that voice. There is no hesitation on the part of the oldest Thistle triplet. She is on her feet and searching the crowd. "Does it matter who they have?" She asks Landon in a cool voice. "You guys should stay here," Her eyes sweep over Lucas and Landon. "This could only be bad for you guys...I don't want that. I'll grab any others willing and go..." She finally spies Amy and begins waving her hand high in the air. "AMY!" She calls across the crowd.


"She has one..." Cash says, turning a little circle. "Who? Who?! Someone do a roll call! Is someone missing?!" Cash is at the very edge of full panic but he hasn't crossed the line yet.


"Yeah, I'm sure we can figure something out," James replies agreeably to Spear, even managing another smile -- two in one day? -- which is no doubt aided by his hand slipping around Thea's waist as the pair walk. While clever and quick may just be applicable, paying attention has never been his strong suit, and any effort Esme makes towards assailing him with the affront of a hug goes unimpeded save for the Thistle's coming to an abrupt halt alongside Thea as the Marchant clings to his side. The shadowed expression on his face dampens the brightness and gives way to a haunted grimace, and he shudders for a second, turning to peer over his shoulder and then turning about in search of the voice's origin. "We should -- why's she still doing this? -- we should go somewhere. Somewhere safe," he opines.


"What - " says Spear, looking at Jade - but then he is seeing everyone else freak out as well, and he says "...arugh?" He pauses, and he says "Welll...that sounds like. A good way to round up a whole bunch of people in one spot."


Lucas grins to Esme, "I said a rope //ladder//. It has rungs and shit. And I //do// approve or I've have told you we were going to UNLV." his expression shifts to Landon and Justin with a shrug, "If we can afford the apartment I'm so good with a cool apartment, but maybe sophomore year after we know where shit is. Networking is important." The half grin warms to Justin, "See, I told you he'd be down for the idea. Now we just need to find... someone that isn't going to make me want to push them out of... the..." His words trail off and try as he may that look is disquieted. His eyes find Silver and he narrows them at her. His hand reaches down and squeezes Justin's hard. He murmurs, "I swear to god if Cash asks if you're missing speak up I'm going to throw something..." He doesn't though and worse yet the words he hears from Silver His eyes flash up to her ina battle of wills he's not going to win. "Sil..."


Jade mutters, "Fuck." He looks around. "Shit, Zane's right. Where's Art?" He draws Spear with him, toward Mona as he overhears her saying something about Chen's place. "Might need to hold off on those pretzels, babe," he says. "James, Thea? Chen's place." He's keeping pretty calm, all things considered. For now. Spear can feel the tension in him, though, and his voice is strained. "Maybe a little late night tea would hit the spot."


Hector opens the arm holding the water pistol to Felicity, and gently strokes Cash's arm with the other hand. He looks to Amy, "Think Morrison would come on a rescue mission?" To Zane he says, "You aren't going alone." He turns to Silver, "Hotel or the place they did the drinking?"


"I.. I don't want to sound like a coward," Thea says, glancing among those family members and friends closest to her, though her voice may well carry to others as well, "But I feel like.. maybe those of us who're at highest risk should stay somewhere out of her reach, you know? Like.. the ones who've drunk from that bottle twice, since she said the third time, there'd be no going back from."


After blowing off the graduation ceremony, George did at least make her way to the after-party -- the important part, of course. She's been off in the shadows, finding her own brand of trouble, but at the sound of the laughter, she materializes amongst the throng, eyebrows arched. "Am I the only-" No, other people are talking about it too. "Well, fuck me sideways, this is not good." Thanks for the observation, George.


Since it is obvious that bad things are happening, Ashely heads for her brother, dragging Amy with her and gesturing for Silver to join them. "We can't leave here, remember" she says to Zane. "I think //they'd// know that too. It might be Chen... We should see if he's okay, if he is, he might be able to help. It's not as if the bitch is being very helpful with where to look. George!!" She waves over another Lester with fighting skills.


"Fran," Star says quietly to Sean. "She's here somewhere. Shee can make people hear and see things, and right now a bunch of us are hearing her. She's taunting us, saying she has someone." She stops her pointless searching and looks up at Sean. "Your sister might be here, too."


Justin blinks at the hand-squeeze, looking over at Lucas with concern, then noticing the faces Landon and Esme are making. "Is something wrong?" He's suddenly on high alert, looking like a too-tall meerkat trying to see in all directions at once. His grip on Lucas' hand tightens however, as if he needs to hold on tight and make sure he stays put.


Felicity jumps and starts doing her own head count, but of course, she has a harder time with it than people who've been here, so after a few seconds she just nods. "Chen's place sounds good to me, yeah. Let's go check in on him. And then we can figure out who should stay and who should go and who's missing." She's not getting more than a few steps from Hector and Cash, though.


Silver turns around at Hector's words, having been about to dig into Lucas and his objection, and stares. "What?" She seems about to decline and her nose wrinkles. "I'm guessing...we'll know. Probably out by where...things happened," And then her eyes narrow as she begins looking at the adults. Scanning for the best possible place to slip out and to a vehicle. "I agree about most going to Chen's...but someone has to go and see if something can be done. At least delay while the rest talk to Chen." She glances worriedly at Zane and she pales a bit.


"Yeah, I'm here," Amy says quietly as Silver is calling her name out. She shrugs a little to Hector. "I dunno. More likely he'd suggest we call the police, y'know?" She says quietly. There's a brief glance to Ashley as she tilts her head slightly and then she's just quiet, glancing this way and that. Smarter people than her will figure out a plan, but she's quite clearly in, for whatever happens.


"Chen's place sounds like a good idea," says Spear, who is, it has to be said, not a fighter. He is already trying to round up anyone he can spot - like an anxious sheep dog. As Star speaks, Spear hesitates, glancing at her "It'd be good if. Sean's sister heard about the whole. Bubba thing and all the, er, betrayal and - stuff - but." He clears his throat, and then he says "I don't know, the police aren't gonna be useful here."

Sheena is staring at everyone, puzzled, but then she says to Anna "Hey chick, you need some decent threads?!"


"Always liked me a good hedge maze," Fran note etherally. "One of the few things you lot got right with this kitchy twaddle. Come find me, doves!"


James lucks out in the hug department, because there's a moment there when Esme pauses between him and the guys she just left in a trio. She stands in the gathering and crowd and starts visibly looking around, not so much for the source of the voice while visibly spooked, but for the location of where certain people //are// for her own mental count and security. She looks toward Ashley and Amy by extension, then Cash and his, her sister off with others, then back where Landon and Justin and Lucas are.

After a clear of her throat, she makes a little few quicksteps to return back to the pack of guys, head drifting in small shake of bother and uncertainty in quiet, watching and listening to see what the others have to say about mazes and otherwise.


"I haven't seen him since Mom and Dad let us go and we went to change," Zane says, looking from Mona to Jade to Hector, and bites his bottom lip. "We *can* leave, we just can't come back," he says to Ashley, "which I kinda. Can live with?" Brother > parties. He catches Silver's look, and it doesn't make him look the slightest bit less worried about things. "...okay, we can-- start at Chen's? If he's there maybe he-- knows a thing."


"Thea's right, and... yeah. Chen's. Best for anyone who's..." is Mona's initial consideration, and she takes in a quick breath, ready to say something more when she hears Zane. All the color drains from her features in an instant. "We'll find him." She sounds so sure of that, even if she isn't entirely. She nods once to Hector, gravely serious. "I'm coming, too."


"So we all recognize this is a trap and we'd be walking right into it, right? Just so we're all agreed..." George says to the group at large and no one in particular. She glances around at the others, and then towards the sky. "Yeah, I'm down for Chen's."


When Star mentions Fran's name, Sean stops mid-chew and the color starts to drain from his face, only moreso when she mentions that Nora might be there, too. "Shit," he says around a mouth full of pretzel, then manages to remember to chew and swallow it. He starts looking around, nervously, but of course doesn't see anything and can't hear anything. "I can't hear anything, or see anything. You're going to have to tell me what's going on." Then he blinks over at Spear when Spear comes over to herd them. "What betrayal? She mentioned a Bubba.. or her girlfriend did.. and that he got upset whenever Fran's plan was brought up."


"I don't think it's cowardly at all," James assures Thea, still grimacing with that haunted look as he -- accustomed to hearing voices already -- jerks his head around as if he honestly expects to find Fran. After a worried glance towards Spear, then Silver -- especially Silver -- he nods. "Yeah, we should... That," he agrees with the suggestion of going to Chen's that seems to circulate.


Silver nods to Amy as she comes over. "Think you can pull off the death stare on her lackies again?" She says, sounding fairly confident in the Lester. The next sentence has her frowning. "Hedge maze..." She sighs and shakes her head before looking at Mona in surprise. "You sure?" Mona never struck her as the dangerous hands-on sort, but she isn't about to deny her either. "My plan is to stall for time while you guys hopefully can get some sort of help from Chen..." She says with a look at Thea. "I know the risk, but I also know when and where I can be of best use." She sighs and turns to look off in the direction of the maze, lips a thin line.


"Whoever she has, she wants us to go look for them in the hedge maze," Star says. "Chen's is the opposite direction. Fran also doesn't kno much about him, so we might be flagging him by going there."


"They're here." Landon explains to Justin, in case the other was oblivious. Talking aloud is also an attempt at keeping calm, "She said that they got one of our own and want us to find them." Obviously, Landon doesn't like the sound of any of this, turning to shoot a hard look over at Lucas, before Silver shows up. "Stay here and do what? We don't know who she's got and whether she's bluffing. Whether she's bluffing or not it's still a trap." Looks like George has the same idea. Seeing Esme and a whole bunch of other relatives all scattered throughout the many faces here. When Silver brings up the hedge maze, after Fran points it out, he shoots another look over at Lucas.


Lucas brings a hand to his face and holds his hand over his mouth to tamp down as much expression as he can. That's his responsibility as a Marchant right!? Never show your hand or... something. Yup looks casual. Sure. he drops the hand and gives his brother that hard look and looks back to Silver taking a deep breath, "Aw, hell, Zane, why you..." For as casual as eh tries to make the look his hand does. not. let. go of Justin's as if to keep him from being 'Brenda'd'. Looking to Justin, tongue chasing his lower lip thoughtfully he spills it. "She's here. And they took someone, aaaand... yeah her people we think are with her like tehy...usually are." Meaning Justin's brother. Sean and Heather's sisters. That." His eyes find Silver and he asks her with that soulfelt concern, "Be. careful." His eyes find Landon and then the maze clearly trying to factor his cleverness vs. remembering that thing...


"Ahh, crapcookies, we totally can't dump Chen in it," says Spear, trying to congregate with the others, the group is being formed already "Yeah, it's a trap," says Spear, and he takes out a gothy spiked collar and puts it on his throat "No, I think Star's right. Chen knows stuff, which is great, which also menas we can't go there and he has to be protected. Should we...uh. Oh! Maybe we can - see if a ghost knows what's going on in the middle of the maze?" He glances around at the others, and his hand finds Jade's, suddenly, squeezing it "Maybe if we all go together it'll be...I don't know."


Silver glances at Jade, "Did you happen to bring your fancy cell phone?" She asks him. "Call Chen maybe? Sense one of the sneakier of our member maybe?" Her eyes do flick to Lucas and then away when she says that. "I'm almost always careful," She says cheerfully.


Star is right, maybe they should not draw attention to Chen. It's not as if anyone has put Ashley in charge anyway. "Maybe the blood-drinkers go to Chen's...discretely. The rest of us hit the maze and find whoever is there...if anyone. Anyone have a map to it? And who has weapons?"


Anna looks around at everyone, puzzled herself, but Sheena captures her attention, and she says, "I think so? My dad gave me some spending money, and I don't think I've ever looked cool before." She tugs on her braid and twirls the end of it around a fingertip.

Jade steers Spear toward Chen's. Then he stops. "Or we go to the hedge maze and we all get killed," he says. He eyes Silver. "My what? I have this..." He pulls a butterfly knife out of his pocket and flips it open. What. He buys drugs in dangerous parts of town.


Hector nods, "I'sd really rather have Morrison and Seb here if there's goig to be a fight..." He is thinking, thinking, "Is there a phone booth near here? The more Lesters the better. It might be time to call Bubba too. It's definately a trap, but we can't leave anyone to Fran." He meets Mona's eyes, then Zane's, "We'll find him." He flashes Spear a smile, "Good idea!" He waggles his water pistol at Star.


"It's not a full moon," Star notes, looking up at the sky. "So she can't turn anyone tonight. Though if she grabs a few and books it..."


"You're not going." Justin says firmly to Lucas, with another look for Landon. "If someone has to go, I will. Maybe they'll leave me alone since.. Sly.." Justin trails off since he's not sure just how much good will he has with his brother anymore. In fact he takes a moment to chew his lower lip. All he's heard so far is second hand stories, he's never seen this crew in action. "There's gotta be somewhere safe for you guys."


"Silver, you're just as much at risk as the rest of us who've.. y'know," Thea points out, frowning. "You should stay clear, let the others go in. You don't always have to lead the charge." She's James's sister, so it's not as if it's out of the question for Thea to want to see her safe.


George reaches out to give Amy a quick squeeze as she sidles closer to the group. "Yeah, I'm not thinking jumping into the trap is sounding too great right now." She sighs as the others point out about not dragging Chen into things. "Who the fuck even is this guy." But she's not going to choose that battle to fight. "But I still think the maze is a bad idea. And this is _me_ talking."


"Um, should we be going into that maze? I mean, shouldn't we try to figure out if she /actually/ has anyone first? It's such an obvious trap.." Sean says, looking decidedly uncertain about how good an idea that is.


"Why I what?" Zane asks Lucas, but there are more worrying things going on, and he blinks at Star's remark. "Oh. She has a point. And. Maybe Thea does too? What if she can do something like that-- calling thing, to the people who drank? Even if it isn't full moon." A flicker of a glance upward, he wasn't just distracted, right? Okay... And Star has another point, too. He takes a breath. "I'm-- gonna call home." Yes. That's a good plan. Maybe he's there!


Esme apparently aims to be where Landon and Lucas are as other drinkers, definitely not trusting herself around Lana as a non-drinker for the moment with a bout of paranoia. She stays quiet and also eyes Silver like she's crazy, "Silver, she might be able to influence you and turn you on others too if..." She draws in a breath and tries to figure out a plan of action with listening to others nearby.


"We don't need a map, do we?" says Spear suddenly "Doin' the maze the normal way is for fun. I can climb those walls whenever I want." Or rather, with his sense of direction? He HAS to. Spear gets lost super easy "Nothin' says we need to play by the rules. The thing is. Yeah, it's a trap. But like. Being picked off one by one doesn't sound like much fun either." He glances at Jade, and then down at his knife "Gahhh gah gah!" Spear does not normally dither "Let's just call in everyone," he mutters "I dunno, I dunno."


Amy's quiet, glancing back and forth. "We could just ignore it, if we just leave whoever -- Art probably -- to whatever the fuck Fran's gonna do. But she won't stop, I reckon. And yeah," she inclines her head to Silver, "Maybe. I don't have the moon on my side this time though, so I dunno." She stares at George a second, inclining her head. "Yeah but you don't have a fucking sibling or cousin stuck in there now do ya. It might be a bad idea. But." She glances at Zane, and then nods a little. That's a good idea.


"I think we're missing Art," Star tells Sean. "So yeah, could be legit."


Silver turns and looks at Thea in surprise. "Lead the charge?" The echo of what is on her face is there. "I...look, it isn't a good idea. But leaving it alone is not an option," She says and shakes her head. "And I'm good at this. I'll be careful and safe. I've got a bunch of sharpened stakes in my bag," And she pats the bag. "I'm strong. I can do this, okay?" And she quickly packs her camera away and holds it out to Lucas. "Watch this for me, okay?"


"Silver, we're not going to let you just waltz into their trap." Landon is quick to say, brows furrowed. Looking around him though, he sees that they have numbers on their side, but then again, they are going against vampires. "We don't even know who they--" He starts before hearing Star bring up that rockstar's name, making him do a quick and probably useless scan of the area to see if he can find the pale gothic one. "Whatever we do, I think it's best to stick together. Strength in numbers, since it's not like we can run into any of these buildings and tell them they aren't invited."


"I'm not saying we don't help, but rushing in is just gonna get more people dead," George replies with a shrug. And yet some folk still seem determined to do that. "Glad you guys worked so hard for your bright futures," she mutters. "Jesus fuck, a few people going is probably even worse than us ALL going."


"It doesn't matter how strong, or fast, or smart you are," James informs Silver after having stared in quiet worry at her for the past several seconds. "Even Amy couldn't hurt her, and she's... strong," he would know. "It's a bad idea for any of us who drank to go anywhere near that," he sighs with a worried glance over towards the maze. "And I don't think it'll help anybody."


"Look, don't let that get you down, Thistle." Amy pipes up when James mentions her. "I can take her. I mean sure, she got the better of me last time but I know now." A pause. "Don't get me wrong, I don't want to ... have to fight her if we can help it, but I won't back down if it comes to it, and I've got more information now than last time. There are ways to fight people who are stronger than you."


"Which of us showed up in leather with a sack of problem-solving gear and flare guns for the night at the Reed's?" is Mona's straightforward reply. There's no time to bother getting offended; her eyes are on Zane, tracking his expression with no small measure of concern. "I'm right here with you. We've got this," she says in a voice that's calm and steady. "We're going to find him, love." The hand at his back skims to catch his hand and squeeze it steadily. Only then does her voice raise clearly as she says, "Hey, anybody see Arthur? Keep an eye out! Let us know if you spot him!" in that Marchant bitchcraft sort of way.


Lucas looks to Justin and blinks, "Uhhh youtold me he was kinda a shit brother then, what's to say he's somehow had a spiritual revelation after he's gone cuckoo for cocoa puffs?" He really hates how blunt he is sometimes but he can't help it. "Not sending you out into the wilds like some sort of Biblical litmus sheep." It doesn't make sense but to him, but it makes sense to him. To Zane that worried look stays put, "Call your house. You're... fine. I'm sure it's fine buddy. Just... get the okay." Looking to Esme he says, "Let's get a headcount on Lana too.


Silver turns to look from Landon to James and she is dead serious. "I know she is strong and fast and smart. But we also know she doesn't want to kill us. Like I said...this is a stalling tactic," She says and then swallows. There's a hint a nerves before she snatches up her drink and slurps loudly. Rolling her neck there is a subtle pop and crackle. "Cash, you got any extra weaponry on you or is it in your truck?"


"No," James replies to Silver dryly, still staring her down while his hand tightens around Thea. "She just wants to feed you some blood so that you can kill us."


"I don't like the idea of sitting on the sidelines when someone who's important to people I care about is in danger, either," Thea says, lifting her chin slightly. Regal. Stubborn as fuck. "But anyone who's tasted the blood who goes into that maze is putting the entire town at risk, by willingly walking right into Fran's arms. And I, personally, don't want that on my conscience. If you guys do.." She lifts her shoulders in a small shrug. "Okay then."


"James, we need to free Arthur, and I don't..." Spear hesitates "I love you!" he adds perkily to him, and then he says "I haven't had any blood. I'm fast. And I'm wearin' leather." He zips his leather jacket up too "OK. I'm sure people would rescue me. You all would, right?"


Jade smiles at Spear and offers him the knife, handle-first. "It won't bite, but if anyone tries to mess with you, stick it in their eye, baby." He then looks to Mona. "You got something fun for me, sis? I don't want Spear going anywhere unarmed, so..." So he gave him his knife, and now he's unarmed.


"I.." Justin stalls out for a moment. "He's still my brother." It's a bit of a lame sounding excuse but after a moment he nods. "Fine, but I'm staying with you guys." BEcause he also has it in his mind that Lucas might try to send him off and now that he finally has that one pinned down, he's not about to let go that easily.


"That's because I'm stronger, faster, and smarter than any of you," an irritating voice announces as Jonny Lester, star graduate of Lake Havasu, descends on the gathering. "I'm naked under this robe," he declares, still draped in the colors of that prestigious establishment. "Don't worry though, I got my sticks with me so I can whip up some /sick beats/ later." Where are the sticks? He's not carrying them: his hands are full of a plastic cup and a can of Jolt cola. "I'll just need some trash cans to turn over. What're you nerds arguing about anyway, we just fuckin' graduated high school. We're all unemployed. I'm moving into a van down by the river next week." Dark eyes glance towards the maze from behind the thick walls of his horn-rimmed glasses. "Oh shit yeah, a fuckin' maze. I'm gonna be the first one through that shit."


"I'd rescue you, Spear," Amy says quietly. "Or any of you lot, really. Despite uh. Despite a lot of things." She says kind of awkwardly, rubbing at the back of her neck for a second. "Anyway are we doing this or what. I've got everything I need." That is, her fists.


Silver gives Thea this -look- that isn't quite a glare. "Let's be a little bit more of a drama queen?" She asks in a deadpan voice. "Stay here and do nothing. But that isn't what I intend to do. We can't call the police, so it is up to us. Call Chen. Do your part so this -isn't- as bad as it seems. If it looks hopeless, we'll pull out." And with that she turns her back and begins to walk, purposefully, towards the maze. Hands balled into fists at her side.


"Ugh, if you're going in, you're going to need Lesters," George decides, heaving a sigh and rolling her eyes. "But I'm going on record that this is a stupid idea. You know, before we're all dead." She shrugs her shoulders. "Not like I was doing anything after grad anyway."


Cash has been quiet, listening and taking deep breaths to hold back panic. Then he is addressed directly and and looks up. He thinks. "I...no. My parents didn't drive the work truck. I don't keep anything really in my car. I mean...I probably have a tire iron and some jumper cables. But that's out there...in my car. Hell, my uncle and aunt don't even have anything sharp tonight."

Jolene walks up at this moment, oxygen tank beside her. "Cash. This is heavy." She nods to the tank. "Before you ask...I keep a spare. I'd be fine either way so..." Cash looks torn.


Standing beside his brother, Landon listens to Silver's stubbornness and watches as she moves out with balled fists to the maze. "That is a bad idea." He'll state the obvious, before turning over his shoulder to look towards Thea, seeing whether she is going to make that call. "On one hand, they need us. And it's stupid to walk into their trap. On the other, they've got someone and if it's Arthur Bloomquist, he's already drank twice." Like most of them. Peering up at the night sky, it's more than clear that it's not a full moon, so when he hears some of his Lester relatives volunteer to go on the hunt, he tosses out a, "Be careful. It's not a full moon." Which is an odd thing to say normally!


Spear kisses Jade on the cheek, and he takes the knife, and then he gives him another kiss suddenly. And one more "We're gonna all be fine," says the Optimist "Let's go and save the day. We're amazing, and it's going to be fine." He still keeps that knife though "We'll stay low and stay sneaky. My hearing's great, and I climb and I'm a sneaky bastard when I wanna be. So we can do this. We can do this. We can do this. Whoo whoo whoo." Yep. Heavy breathing.


Hector is gone for a bot making calls, but returns looking determined, "Bubba's out. I told Morrison to meet us by the hedge maze." He looks at James, "If it were Spear, would you go? I know I would. It's Zane's brother. Do what you need to do, but I can't not try." He smiles at Spear, "I would come for you without hesitation. He shakes his head at Silver, "If he goes, he can't bring the weapons back." He yells, "Silver! wait up!" He studies Jolene, "If you're sure. It's really dangerous." He doesn't try to stop her, just warn her." He starts stalking towards the maze entrance.


Jade's question doesn't actually give Mona the pause it perhaps should. She may have brought flare guns and all the rest along with her to the Reed's, but that doesn't coordinate well with skin-tight minidresses. "I have heels. I will stiletto shiv a motherfucker if I have to," is all she says to that. "You can have one of them if you want."

It's when Silver makes a crack at Thea that she is simply done. "Shut. Your. Fucking. Mouth, Silver Thistle. You are not helping with that shade-throwing, because she's right, it's a risk, and it's not a risk to take lightly," she says through clenched teeth, wheeling in place with a look cold as glacial ice. She doesn't, however, have time for this. Not now. "I am going with Zane. We're supposedly adults now, so start acting like it."


"Think she's with mom over there, or close to, saw her a few minutes ago, but if we're going... I don't want her to go. She didn't make the decision I did and I don't want to hurt her on accident, I had no right dragging her into any of this by proxy, and if..." Esme murmurs to Lucas, then as Silver stalks off, she starts to make a few automatic steps as if to talk her out of it, "Silver, I know you're tough and brave and all that jazz, but if she got a hold of you and made you hurt others, you... wouldn't..." She blows a puff of anxious breath over her lips and looks at Justin with a bit of sympathy when he talks about his brother, briefly uneasy double fold now before she looks at the twins, "What should we..." She seems torn between moving after Silver, moving toward the Cafe in the village, and hanging there by Landon to see what him and Lucas are going to end up doing.


Zane's expression is moving from worried to scared, and he just nods to what people have to say. "I'm gonna call home," he repeats, with an extra nod to Lucas, and goes to do just that. All other arguments are not his arguments right now.

It doesn't take a very long time. Probably takes longer than it might otherwise, since he does his best to get whoever answers to please actually check around and make sure, with the best not-worrying-people he can muster. It may not be his best performance. When he comes back, it's not really necessary to ask what he learned: he's already shaking his head, and not looking even a little bit happier about... anything. He still says, "He's not there," when he gets close enough that he doesn't have to yell, glancing from one friend to another. "So what are we going to do? I don't... look, some of you are really smart, how do we get him back and not just be doing what she wants?"


Jade's brows lift. "You don't keep a switchblade in your clutch? What are they even for?" Behold one of the few differences between Jade and Mona's mindsets. The youngest Marchant is a fan of sharp things. He kisses Spear, and he says, "Okay, we're going to be fine. Remember, babe, right in the eye. Or throat. Jam, twist, yank." He glances between his sisters and Silver, and he says, "Don't be an asshole to my sister. Please?"


Sean hovers around Star, unable to hear what the others are hearing. And since he has nothing else to contribute for the moment, continues to eat his pretzel. He was really hungry, okay? The boy probably hadn't eaten all day. He's now watching the arguments going around with a kind of wide-eyed uncertainty.


Ashely takes out her flasks of holy water from her backpack, handing one to Amy, another to George. She considers handing one to Jonny but decides to keep the last two for herself. "Let's go" she nods to Amy. "We can't leave Silver to do it herself." As she heads for the maze she looks at any that remain. "We might need reinforcements. Come when you can." A wink before she is off.


Silver shoots Mona a narrow-eyed look over one shoulder. But she doesn't say anything for a moment. The words did have her stop stalking off. "Try and get the ghosts to help. Keep Fran talking while you guys get backup and maybe info from Chen," And then she resumes walking, especially when Jonny starts jogging ahead. That makes her curse and speed up.


Jolene was just going to hand Cash her tank and move on but she pauses and thinks. "Fuck it. I got like, five years maybe? Let's do this. Let's get the brother back." Cash isn't about to argue with her. He follows Hector and Jolene trails behind. Cash says, quietly. "If they want us dead or turned...they'd have found a way..."


As Zane returns, Thea draws away from James just long enough to reach out and take both of his hands into her own, squeezing reassuringly. Silver is, apparently, already forgotten. "I'm going to go and call Mr. Chen. When I get back.. you make the call. If you want me to go in there and help find your brother, you know I have your back." And with that, she turns and goes off to make the aforementioned call.


Lucas looks to Landon and then to Justin with a deep sigh. Looking over his shoulder he watches not Thea and Silver but Zane. "Zane... we'll get this fixed man." He doenst' know how but there's things they can do. "Silver, THea //is// right. just... pLEASE be careful. We care that you... come back too. I mean we need someone to tell us how boring Virginia is." His attention goes back to Landon and then to Amy and nods. No sentance to finish. It's all there implied in bold and underlined. Looking back to Justin and says, "Cowboys don't win games." Meaning like they say on the court, it's a teamwork thing. Precicely, no, neither one of them are going anywhere. "We need to call our brothers man and someone to go talk to Chen. We might have someone that can go on foot that's not us as an obvious target."


"Thea's already calling Chen. Or London Arms." Landon informs Lucas, "Since drawing attention to him might be a bad idea. Not sure if they're too busy laying in wait or if we're still being watched." It felt odd to observe the small group of kids enter the hedge maze, many of them his relatives even if not by blood. "Right, call Morrison," By now he's lost his appetite, being ever vigilant, keeping watch as some of their own disappear through the hedges. "Let's find a phone." Noting Esme's presence, he asks, "Found Lana?" And while Lana hadn't drank any blood, he knows that Esme is worried about her still. There was no heading somewhere to pretend that this wasn't happening. At any moment, something could happen and while he doesn't say so right now, he's expecting to hear some sort of commotion coming from the maze.


Zane manages a flicker of a small smile for Thea's squeeze and words, and the glance he gives Lucas suggests he really hopes so, on that fixing front. But so many people are going already, and he still doesn't really know if they have more of a plan than... that. Probably they do. They're smart people. "I... don't think I have anything to, like... hit them with, if I gotta. Or stab?" He takes a look around; the question of not going isn't one, but people *were* talking about weapons... "Anyone see anything?"


Mona followed Zane to the phone, and she follows him back, fretting over him in that forced calm she's put on like armor. That Thea and James aren't charging into the maze, and are still waiting when they return, calms her by a barely visible margin. "Thank you, Thea." She watches Thea head toward the tea and heraldry shop before her attention swings back toward the hedge maze, and Jade and Spear heading in with the others. "We're going to find him, Zane. We are." She sucks in a slow, careful breath. "Even if he decides to... go with them, there's some good news. Swear it. Star met some of them. The other night. I talked to her about it at prom, when I was out on the balcony for a while. Not just mindless drones or anything. Even if... " But drinking isn't necessarily the worst that could happen, and she's trying to not think about that. "Lucas, Landon... do we know where our folks are? Theo? Uncle Vi--your dad? We should check on them, if we can. They're blood, too."


Justin watches a large crowd of his former classmates go running off and shakes his head. Lucas' words pull a small nod from him. "Right, stick together and work as a team." He gives Lucas' shoulder a squeeze, before draping his arm protectively over him. Not being a target or having anyone who is a target, he stands silent, letting the others work out the plan as he remains a pillar of tacit moral support.


Overhearing that Esme hasn't heard from Lana brings a palpable wince from James, who tries and fails to stare Silver down and dissuade her from a hasty and likely dangerous course. "Whatever you need," he agrees with Thea and Mona, distracting himself from newfound worries by turning his attention towards Zane. "I think it just makes things more dangerous if those of us that drank go, but it's a little bit too late for that now. So if you want to go, we'll go." A flick of his eyes in the direction of Silver's quickening pace is coupled with a disapproving shake of the Thistle's head.


Lucas brings his fingers to his forehead and murmurs thinkthinkthinkthinkthink "Landon, Thea's... right. we have... our strengths adn that's leadershipa nd facilitating things right?" He squints to Justin, "No jokes on that. Hear me out." Taking a deep breath he offers, "If that doesn't work we can call Tai and have him go to Chen's on foot? He's got a pager. We jsut have to give him the umber to call the phone aaaaaand we can tell him to go and hope he's not totally stoned off his ass." Looking up to Mona he blinks at her. His jaw tightens as she mentions vincent, a.k.a. Dad. He says "We left mom not too long ago. Could be at Kokomo." he boggles with a shake of his head, "Why would I know where Vincent is? Probably at his club or under a waitress somewhere." He leans into the half hug and shakes his head, "I hope no one gets fucking hurt. If what Star says holds? A lot of them are press ganged into this and I mean what? It's not like we were any good at telling her no and where do they have to go? Maybe we can figure out the Fran situation and ...help everyone out." Ht looks to Mona and Landon, and then back to Justin because it's his brother all the same and then to James. "You're not wrong man. We're planners not hay bale maze brawlers or some shit. Let's come up with a usable plan to get support. This is a great start."


Thea returns to the group at an outright sprint, panting for a few moments once she skids to a halt just shy of colliding with James. Once she gets a wisp of breath back in her, she says, "I got.. Chen." Pause, breathe, swallow, continue. "He says go save Arthur, and he'll join us shortly. So we should go." She looks to Zane, her eyes a wash of mingled anxiety and determination. "We should go catch up with the others, and save your brother."


The near collision of the Marchant into James gives him yet another excuse to place his hands on her hips and steady her when she skids to a halt. "Okay," he repeats after her revelation, glancing back over to Zane and then nodding. "Okay," he repeats, as though not entirely convinced and so requiring some self-convincing that this is, in fact, not a completely awful plan. "Let's go."


Landon's brow arches a little at Lucas' plan, though just suspects this whole leadership thing is something /they/ are good at doing. Nothing to really do with their bloodline. Something that they are used to, even as Lesters. "To be honest, I didn't expect that any of us would win against debating with Silver. She's always known to do what she wants to no matter how crazy everyone else says it is."

However, there's some discomfort in his features, this tension in his jaw when Mona brings up Vincent of all people. There are a few adults who doesn't trust, okay, a lot of people who he doesn't trust, and his biological father is one of them. "I'll try to get a hold of Morrison, you page Tai." It's around that time that Thea returns, knowing that she ran off to call Chen, herself. "You got ahold of him? Good. But how the hell does he expect /us/ to save Arthur from... vampires." Look, that last part is spoken in quieter tones in case other students not from the five families are nearby to hear. Looks like one task is done, "I guess we just call Morrison then. And Theodore. He knows people."


Esme nods a little and keeps a tracking eye on where she saw Lana last while listening to the others and waiting on calls. Then suddenly, she tells the three boys, "Don't leave if you're going until I get back? Okay? Okay." That's pretty goddamn Freeland of her, because she doesn't even explain what she's DOING. Maybe checking on sis? Well, yes, but also... she heads in the direction of the cafe through the Square when the others are making calls, a spry little thing when compelled with an idea to do or be damned.

Eventually, she comes back around the time others are finishing calls with three knives from the cafe kitchen tucked in her purse, two of which go to the Marchants. She starts to give one to Justin too, then looks back with squint around the others because his brother might be where they end up and maybe they should share the pointy wealth with space in the crowd. The third, she ends up bringing over to Zane, who she's maybe seen fake fencing? That or she trusts he's gung ho enough to take a shot and it is ART that's missing, his brother. Seems right. It comes with a little hopeful smile on delivery.


Zane has already been looking like not running mazeward was an effort, so Thea's words get a nod. "Right," he says, glancing at the others, and then nods again. He actually *does* look slightly more settled by the fact that 'go save Arthur' has been approved as a valid plan, even if it doesn't actually have a 'how' attached yet. And then Esme's there with a knife, and it may not be an actual sword, but it's a blade! "Thanks," he says, and gives her a sudden grateful one-armed hug -- thankfully, with enough blade-awareness to keep that other hand away from anyone. "'kay then," he says, and reaches for Mona's hand, heading for the maze.


Lucas nods absently taking stock of their surroundings and says "Zane's got the right of it. I'm not going anywhere unarmed." He asks Landon "Corn dogs have skewers buuuut I someohow think they lack the gusto that Fran requires." Looking to Landon he says "Call MOrrison and Theodore. I'll... scavenge up something." To Justin and James he asks, "Gimme a hand in case. And something... flamable Ihtinking. It's going to be dry in there and if we have to make a good wall between us and them? Eh, I'm ot beyond burning the damn village down to deal with her." (He is, he really is) and takes off to see what he can come up with in the span of Landon's phonecall.


There's plenty of stuff laying around to be used as makeshift weapons as well, like a broom that he very unsubtly snaps the head off of by bracing it on the ground and giving it a heavy kick. Not to mention a splintered and of wood on the broom handle makes for some good stabbing. He looks at his makeshift spear and then over to Lucas with a brow waggle.


Mona takes Zane's hand firmly, and takes a long, slow breath. "Into the breach, dear friends," she murmurs, and there's another light squeeze to Zane's fingers. "We've got this. We're bringing Arthur home safe."


Sliding her fingers through James's, Thea just nods to the others, lips set to a somewhat grim line as they all start toward the maze.


Getting separated from the group is a dangerous thing at this point, but Landon heads off to one of the phone booths, waiting for the person using it to get the hell off the phone! In truth, not even four minutes passed before the payphone is free and he slips in a few coins. He was out here alone and as he'd drank the blood twice already, he knows that he's a good candidate to be attacked. So he remains vigilant, looking around him so that no one gets the jump on him due to his guard being lowered. The first number, he tries to call a few times, but there's no answer. Morrison's. However, he does get Theodore on the line.

Eventually, he rejoins the others only to be handed a knife by Esme, "Where did..." He starts, before just nodding, not feeling incredibly comfortable with it in his hands. "Couldn't get ahold of Morrison. Theodore said that we should get home. Bring as many friends as we need."


Esme pats on Zane's back with a silent be careful before he's off, then just kind of shrugs at Landon like she doesn't know what to do with it either beyond cutting lemons for tea at work, but putting something sharp in people's hands when she's doing nothing but waiting to see what comes next obviously made her feel better. But the longer she looks toward where the maze is, the more her bothered frown comes back and she cross swings her little purse chain across her body to secure it to herself in case she has to run or have hands and shoulder free. It's a nice purse, okay.


Lucas is back flipping that knife underhand along the back of his arm like he's seen in movies. It's times like this he really wishes he watched more Stallone and less Guttenberg but they'll manage. Theodore said get home. Everyone's going that way and he says, "Well shit. Let's go get them then and do... what we can." There's a pause and he adds, "Also Morrison has our car so that's a good trick."