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Characters  •   Devereux Jaden Marchant  •  Thea Marchant  •  Lucas Marchant  •  Desdemona Marchant  •
Location  •  Marchant Poolside
Date  •  2019-08-22
Summary  •  The first night back to school after Spring Break is hard on the Marchant triplets, from reasons varying from personal dramas to local murders. Mona wanders off to bemoan a future as the town bitch no matter what she does, and Lucas swings by to fill in the gaps and catch up on plans.

Mona? Has been sulking in her room since the party. Sulking for Mona means the sewing machine is running more hours of the day and into the night than is normal, and Alyssa is around a bit more often for bitch bonding time. She isn't avoiding anyone, or openly lamenting the universe at large, but the 'quiet one' is more quiet than normal. Nose to the grindstone, a plausible enough excuse.

But she's subtly grumpy about something, and there's no hiding that entirely from her siblings. It's why finding her alone in the hot tub may not be much of a surprise on Monday evening, once the first day back to school is done with. There's cloves, espresso, and the scent of something spiking that beverage in the air already, mingling with the steam. She's in her usual swimwear: bathing suit with a giant oversized tee thrown over it. This one is a black bleach-out tie dye experiment from over the summer that just did not work out right at all, and is covered in splotches of green and purple as a result. It's like goth camo - which would be great, if that's what she'd intended to do!

Jade has been spending an awful lot of time at the Thistle place, and Spear has been over here 'staying over' due to there being no school. They're not trying to be obvious, but one would have to be pretty blind not to notice the way Jade lights up every time Spear is mentioned.

He pads out to the hot tub in skimpy black swim trunks. Body shyness has never been Jade's cross to bear. He has two glasses of lemonade, and he sits them on the edge of the tub as he hops in. Then he offers one to Mona. "Hey, beautiful," he says. "Are you going to tell little brother what's up?"

Ooooh, that looks incredibly good and crisp and sweet compared to the steam-clove-spiked espresso combination, and there's something to be said for the perfect counterpoint. "Thank you," she says as she reaches for the cup and takes a long gulp, a look of relief washing briefly over her face. Mona has certainly noticed the change of schedule and intermittent shifts in who is sleeping where, but has generally kept mum, aside from a tiny smile sneaking out here and there at the general sneaking bits of it all. "Oh, just... stuff. People being... people?" Her nose wrinkles, and she sinks back into the water almost up to her neck.

"Heather was so fucking out of line I kinda wanted to tear her throat out with my teeth, not gonna lie. If she'd messed up that makeup? I think I might have swaddled her in that horrible fake pink fur and thrown her into the pool to drown." But the quick and absurd method of execution suggests that while it bothers her, it's not what's really bothering her at all. "I mean, who does that? Who goes to someone's house to start shit with somebody?"

"Especially somebody that may as well be a member of the family? I mean, god. So fucking tacky."

"Given the Lesters, I'd say plenty of people," Jade says without rancor. He didn't even get all that upset when Jonny started in at the party. Lesters gonna Lest, whatever that means. He takes a swallow of lemonade (it isn't even spiked!) and says, "Heather's got her panties in a twist over Zane because she had a thing for him and it went badly. Trust me, that brings out the ugly in people." He wasn't exactly a model citizen after Hector and Cash got back together.

"The way I figure, Heather's already lost," he says. "She lost any chance she might've ever had with Zane, she committed social suicide at the party, and ultimately no harm was done. Great job, by the way, asserting exactly whose house this is. Sometimes people need to be reminded."

"I won't even pretend to know what happened, and he didn't even tell me, so... " Mona says with a tiny shrug before dropping her head back to rest against the rim of the hot tub. "I mean, I kinda expect it from the Lesters, not gonna lie. It's kinda like their contribution to the social ecosystem: the carousing part. It's actually healthy and weirdly vital, if irreverent as fuck-all. Also, sometimes pretty funny."

She breathes a sigh, slowly shaking her head. "You realize I'm not actually going to do anything, right? And I should probably talk to Luc and make sure he doesn't do anything crazy, either, though I'm not the boss of him. He was pretty pissed, too -- she was supposed to apologize to me for kicking up shit, but... " Everyone could see that didn't happen.

"I figure, if we actually do nothing... when it seems like we're so absolutely going to fuck her shit up, and just smile knowingly every so often?" Her brows loft in unison. "She'll be so fucking paranoid that she doesn't know yet what the horrible thing was we did for years to come, and will live in dread of finding out. Nothing keeps someone in line like a healthy dose of paranoia." She takes another sip from the lemonade, and sits up a fraction. "Bonus, since we won't actually, you know, be doing anything, there's nothing to get in trouble over." She really is evil when she's mad. It's just a very laissez-faire sort of evil.

"Darling, that's diabolical. I was going to suggest we not invite her to the next party." Considering everyone is invited to Marchant parties, it is the worst form of shunning. To be the one name on the list that says no. "I honestly feel sorry for her. No one's going to talk to her now. Everyone loves Zane."

He lets ihs eyes drift closed briefly as he soaks in bubbly hot water. "Hector's moving out of the Thistle place," he says. "Star got really mad at Cash and Hector won't stay where Cash isn't welcome." His eyes open to slits, "Are you and Zane going to get romantic? I'm trying to keep up to date here."

Dragging herself out of bed and going back to school was hard, damn it. Oh, she absolutely did it, because.. er. Well, there was someone at school she was pretty invested in seeing. Ahem. But her siblings, more than almost anyone else, would've seen how she struggled. That was earlier, though. Now, as she sweeps out of the house and makes a beeline for the hot tub, she looks positively vibrant. Alive.

It's like night and day.


Flinging her robe onto the nearest chaise, she sends a beaming smile to Mona and Jade, thus far oblivious to whatever angst might've seeped into their moods. And thus, immune to it. For now. "Evening, my loves."

"I think Mother would be horrified and Father would approve," Mona agrees as regards the plan. "Heya, sweetheart! Water's perfect, though you may wanna crank the bubbles up for more time by now." She even manages a grin for her much-more-like-herself sister. "We need to go over the sketches for your outfits later on. I wanna see which ones you like before asking what to actually pitch."

"Everyone loving him is... well, that's just normal. It's like... you can't not love puppies, or Prince Prance. There's no not loving some people just the same way." Which is definitely a good general overview, but the way she warbles through it speaks volumes about how uncertain she is regarding her own take on things.

There is just a noise from Mona at the question. "Have they ever?" is her immediate answer. (Read: total dodge, evading with the truth!) "I mean, how many years have we slept curled up on the couch on movie night and made our parental collective despair of the lot of us?" It's fair, but it's still a dodge.

Jade smiles warmly at Thea and says, "Hello, lovely. Do you want my lemonade?" He's only had a sip or two from it. It's not even spiked. Just good old refreshing lemonade, probably fresh squeezed by servants. He glances sidelong at Mona. The dodge his noted, and that look lets her know he's on to her, but he's far too polite to pursue it.

"I'm getting worried, though," he says. "Hector's biting off more than he can chew. Someone's going to get killed, and I feel like there's nothing I can do about it except inform you girls of what I've heard. Telling him and Cash to back off it is like arguing with a wall. They're going to do what they're going to do."

"We don't have anything harder?" Thea asks, with a mischievous half-smirk, in response to the offer of lemonade. Setting the hot tub to extend the bubbly bliss for another cycle, she slips out of her sandals and eases herself down into the steaming, frothing water with a groan of satisfaction. "Nnnhh, you have no idea how I needed this." Beat. "Okay, what's Hector and Cash getting themselves killed over now? I feel like I keep missing drama. Which can be good, you know? I don't wanna be in drama, I just want to know one-hundred-and-four percent of what happened."

The look gets a look; it's not that she's necessarily averse to the subject, but the look in reply reeks of 'oh god I have no idea don't even ask me to know the answer to that things are weird OK weird!' on every level. She may not be an actress, but that's partly because Mona is far too expressive as regards her actual mind, in spite of her best efforts to the contrary.

"Cash seems to have a habit of charging into things, from the sound of it. I... can't honestly say I blame the Thistles for being concerned. Star's got a temper, that much is truth, but she'd never go all hardcore on somebody with no reason." Her brows furrow, and she asks, "Any word on the why there? I mean. I'm guessing it's not just the typical brands of hard-headed dude drama."

"I would be pretty pissed if anything happened to any of our companion trinity in town, even if right now I could do without crossing paths with Silver for a while." With that, she nods to Thea and glances back to Jade, picking up her clove to relight, and shoving the ashtray, lighter, and cigarette case to within reach of all three along the side of the hot tub. "I spiked the shit out of the espresso, take however much you want." There's even a carafe of it. Oooh, something's really not right in Monatown.

Jade grins at Thea and says, "Next time, dear." He stretches his arms out on the sides of the tub and sighs as he relaxes further. Not that he was very tense to begin with. "Cash doesn't think. Even he admits he doesn't think." He is, to all outward appearances, lackadaisical. The sisters know him though, and there's a glint in his eyes. There's gossip, and he has it. Time to dish.

"Okay, so there was that party on the beach I didn't go to because I had a headache. Thea, you and the twins went, remember? There was a drink passed around. Cash was there, he drank it, and he says it fucked him up pretty badly. Silver, too." He says nothing of how he's noticed Thea and the twins struggling. He's not here to out implicate his blood.

"Anyway, apparent this woman Francine, who runs with the Painkillers, comes back around and gives out more of the drink, and she makes all these threats. Cash says no thanks, but that he won't tell anyone -- fun fact: he's told people." Sitting up, he lowers his voice and continues, "Here's where it gets weird. He and Hector told me that there was that missing woman, Brenda Lang, and they brought her out and murdered her." He glances between his sisters. See? Murder. This is getting in deep.

"It gets weirder, though. They're trying to tell me Francine and her gang are vampires." He sighs quietly. Like he's expected to believe this? Vampires? "I think they're being serious. But bad enough it's gang members, right? So I agreed I'm not going to go out after dark alone; I never really feel like it these days anyway after Tasha. Cash wanted to stay at Hector's for safety, and Star was like wait, if gang members are after you, why do you think I want you putting my family in danger? Turns out Cash was doing crank, too, but he stopped. But that pissed her off, too.

"So!" Jade takes a deep breath, "Hector's leaving the Thistle place so he can be with Cash. These gang members may or may not be pissed at them, and vampires."

"Yeah, so.." Thea, comin' in hard with the shifty-eyes, here. "Not going to lie to you two, I was there both times. And I drank from the bottle, both times." She reaches over to snag Mona's pack of cloves, tapping one out enough to grab hold and tug it the rest of the way free. Thea doesn't smoke, not even cloves, save on exceedingly rare occasions. "The woman in question, Brenda Lang.. we know her. Or knew her," she amends, glancing between the two of them before turning her gaze to the lighter, and reaching for that as well. "Theodore's assistant. Missing and now potentially dead."

The flame licks the tip of her clove, and she draws at its other end with her lips, ensuring it's well lit before speaking again. "I'm pretty sure she's definitely dead, actually. I don't remember a whole lot of what happened that night real clearly, but the fuzzy bits and hazy pieces most of us do remember involve seeing her being ripped to pieces by this 'Francine' and her cronies."

Mona listens, slowly straightening up more and more as the story begins to unfold. Throughout, there's this long drag off of the clove in slow motion that never actually stops until she sputters on it, and flicks the tail of ash off away from the water. Thea does get a marginally worried look from her sister, even if it's pure concern rather than accusation.

"Is this town really interesting enough for vampires?" she asks, the question painfully honest, if peculiar. "If this was Hollywood, New York City, Paris, sure... " Her brow creases all the same through the next drag on the clove. "Murder and bikers with weird drugged booze is bad enough. That's like, human trafficking shit, organized crime at least, which... I mean, we know that shit's real as hell and everywhere."

"So they killed his beard?" Fuck, if it's open season on beards, Mona's days are surely numbered, considering the people her folks try to set her up with regularly. "Shit, Brenda was actually pretty nice."

"Yeah, that Brenda," Jade says. "Holy shit, you saw that? Are you okay, Thea?" He actually pales a little, which is quite the task considering how pale he usually is to begin with. "Holy shit. You gotta stay away from those people. Silver's really sick, and if they murdered someone... I won't tell Dad, but think about it, okay? He can make all of this go away." Because Dad can do anything. But he's not going to rat out his sister.

He reaches for the pack of cloves. "Fuck," he says again. "Cash is going to get himself killed, and Hector, too. They're trying to fight this. Apparently there were anonymous tips to the cops, but look what's come of that. It's like they don't even care."

"Honey. I haven't been really 'okay' in a long time," Thea points out, sliding a Look over toward Jade. "This latest thing with Brenda is just.. the crap frosting on a gore-filled cake of horror and bad, you know? And I'm not gonna lie." She leans back against the side of the hot tub, lowering her gaze to the roiling surface of the water, glaring at it. "As fucked up as it all seems, I wonder if there isn't some truth to it. The vampires thing. I mean, I can't seem to function during the day anymore, and haven't in months. I'm dragging, all day every day. When the sun goes down, I'm fine. Better than fine, really. I feel flippin' amazing. And.." She swallows lightly, looking up and back and forth between them. "When I really focus, and think back to that night and how I felt when they dumped Brenda out of the trunk they were holding her in? All I remember is hunger. I mean it didn't last long, it was only a few seconds before we were all running for our fucking lives, but guys.. I could smell her. All those cuts, all over her body, and I wanted it. Her blood."

"Isn't Zane and Art's older brother a cop?" Mona asks, sipping at the espresso again -- somebody needs to nurse that vodka. "...and Silver's sick? She seemed all right at the party, but... " Not wanting to cross her path is one thing; there's still concern written all over Mona's face. "...it's been a few days, and it sounds like big shit keeps happening in almost no time at all."

"I mean, I don't do mornings, but you've been worse than me, which is saying something," Mona murmurs as she glances over to Thea. "Yeah, we kinda noticed." She nudges at Thea's knee with her own. "You gotta tell us this shit, sis?"

"I... if you say it was vampires, I'm gonna believe you." Drugs or not. "Because that's not the kind of thing you'd fuck with us about."

"Yeah, but the party was at night," Jade tells Mona. She's fine at night." He studies Thea for a moment, pursing his lips, and then he says, "If you say vampires, then okay." He'll believe his sister. "Thea, this is a big deal. You can't go back to that Francine woman. You or the twins. We gotta fix this, reverse it somehow. Maybe we should get a priest, fuck, I don't know. I'm not going to just let her turn you into something like that."

"I.. I don't know," Thea admits, when the question of whether or not she believes Fran and her cohorts really are vampires is raised. "Like, both times, our memories were all hazy and fractured afterward, and it's only by piecing together bits from different people who were there that we get a sense of the bigger picture. This time has been a little easier, because the twins were there too -- they weren't, the first time I met her." Her, obviously, being Fran. "And I don't think you get it," she adds, looking to Jade. "We didn't really have a choice about going. It was like this sudden, undeniable need to go to this specific place swept over me, and over all the others too, and we didn't even have any idea where we were going, or why, we just knew we had to go. And once we all arrived, there she was."

"Then... if it happens again," Mona says quietly, "you tell us, and we'll keep you here if we have to." The look to solicit agreement from Jade doesn't come until after the words are out of her mouth, she's so certain of them. "Is that why people were wandering off in weird pairs at the party?" she asks, head canting to one side. More espresso, and another drag from her clove. Suddenly, her problems really aren't so mighty.

"So this is the stuff Cash is spreading all over town?" she asks. "What that cryptic flyer thing was about that everyone was all 'what the fuck' about from a ways back?" Her brow furrows, and she exhales a stream of smoke quickly before leaning in. "I mean, that doesn't sound like it's nothing. If we all have one thing going for us, it's that we don't just... fall in line like that. We're stubborn like that."

Jade says, "People were pairing off at the party to get laid." He takes a drag off his cigarette and ashes it away from the water. "So here's what we're going to do. We don't go alone, ever. Be with someone at all times, so that if you get the sudden urge to go off somewhere else, they can stop you. Even when you're here at home, just be hanging around one of us, or Mom and Dad, or Theo. Just don't be alone."

With a shake of his head, he says, "The Cryptids Club Flyer is just Spear doing his thing. The one about being sensitive to the sun and such? Yeah, that's Cash. I didn't know what he was talking about at the time, but it's this. It has to be. He's gonna get killed."

Thea's nose crinkles with sudden, sharp distaste. "That flyer from before was Cash, yeah. He admitted it, that night we all wound up with Fran again. And she fucking warned him that bad things would happen if he didn't keep his mouth shut, yet.." Her free hand waves at the air in an exasperated gesture, "Here he is, yapping his mouth all over town. Again. He's absolutely gonna get himself killed." It's.. odd, perhaps, how unconcerned she seems about that. "Hopefully, he won't be so huge an asshole that he takes other people down with him." Leaning, she reaches out to tug the vodka-laced espresso from Mona's hands, and takes a swallow herself. "I'm not going under house arrest, Jade. That's just.... no."

"Why do other people have more sex in our house than we do?" Mona just comes right out and asks, more than marginally exasperated by this on some fundamental level. Certainly, almost everyone is more romantically involved than Mona, but the general principle stands. Shaking her head with a sudden snap, she huffs out a quiet sigh before chasing it with another drag from her clove. "Gotta agree, the flyer he sent around sounds like it's describing this. And I mean it's probably a good thing we know and we're talking about it -- but throwing the information around out in the open air is just not smart."

"But, like... 'not smart' seems to be going around lately, on more fronts than I'm ready to reckon with. I can't say I blame Star for not wanting to plant a giant lightning rod in the middle of their family dinner table." She rubs lightly at her face, and slowly shakes her head. "I only met Hector the once, briefly. Saw him in passing at the party, with Cash. But... I dunno. He didn't seem to be the stubbornly headstrong type, but I apparently can't read guys for shit."

Jade's brows creep up. "Who said anything about house arrest? You can do whatever you want, go wherever you want. Just don't go alone. And if that idea sucks, come up with a better one. This is life and death shit, and I already buried Tasha. I'm not burying my sister and cousins, too. Find a solution if you don't like mine. Because next time this happens, we may not get you back."

Glancing at Mona, he admits, "I met Hector when we were in San Francisco last summer. I was kinda hanging around with a guy I liked, and he kissed me, and I didn't want to go any further, and he threatened to out me. Hector beat him up. So, you know, Hector's okay. And he is stubborn. He's just stupid in love."

"No house arrest -- that would be suspicious in itself, if we're being honest with ourselves. That'd also make it real obvious that we know. While it's probably a good idea to talk to the Thistles and Zane and Art to be sure they know we're considering this is a good idea, I'm not keen on the idea of advertising like Cash."

"I think 'stupid in love' is one of those things that kinda goes hand in hand. I mean, if there's a reason to be stupid, that's probably the most common, and most understandable." Mona sinks into the water up to her neck again, abandoning her spiked coffee, and flicking the remains of the clove off to the tiles to sputter out in a footprint puddle. "There's a difference between taking calculated risks and being completely reckless, and I think we'd do best to get a better idea of where, exactly, that line is."

Jade nods to Mona. "Exactly. We don't want to make it look funny or broadcast we know. I think Cash is starting to figure it out, that putting it all out there is going to get people around him hurt." He sighs, frowning with genuine worry. He and Cash have always had a weird friendship, sometimes aggravating and sometimes close. Plus, it's Jade. He's squishy. He never wants anyone to get hurt.

Quietly, he admits, "I'm paying Hector's rent for the time being. I owe him for San Francisco. Plus, I like the guy. I'm dating his brother." There, he finally says it. "I'm giving him cash, so there's no paper trail. He takes a deep breath and says, "Doing something is non-optional. We can't just let whatever's going to happen happen. But we have to be careful."

"I'm not saying I don't want to do anything," Thea reassures her siblings, passing the vodkespresso back to Mona. "I just.. I don't know. Maybe it's part of this whole mess, but lately the idea of being restricted, being anything but free and wild, drives me up a wall." Not that she's ever been terribly keen on living a subdued life. Just more so, now. "I'll be careful. And if it's feasible for someone to be with me, fine." Her gaze slides over to Jade, then. "So you and Spear are official, huh? I.. I think me and James are now, too." Marchant/Thistle lurrve is in the air, apparently.

Slowly, Mona begins to get to her feet. "I should... maybe call Alyssa and Zane and check in with them about things a little. Since, hate to say it, but I think that 'safety in numbers' principle should probably apply to all of us, and one or the other of them will likely be stuck with me when we're not all together here, at rehearsal, or at school." Stretching, shoulders rolling under the drenched tee, she lets the water drain off of her a bit before stepping over the rim of the tub.

"And, uh." Pausing, she leans down to pick up the cigarette case and the lighter, though she leaves the boozed-up coffee handy. "I don't know. I don't know how I feel about things." Pause. "With Zane, I mean." She clears her throat, and shakes off a little more of the water, skin steaming in the evening air. "All I know is that it's obvious that Silver has a thing for him, which I didn't know until recently, and no matter what happens?" Her lips twist uncomfortably. "Would be hard to even contemplate it while any time I so much as... do the same shit we've done for most of our lives now cranks the misery dial up to eleven, and everybody is sending the 'poor Silver' vibes around."

Her upper lip wrinkles, and she snags a towel from the handy stack near the hot tub. "Makes me feel like fucking Satan and I haven't even done anything, I don't even know if I... " She sighs. "...should even consider considering it."

"I'm willing to be the bitch, you know? It's the hand I've been dealt, and somebody's gotta." She wraps the towel around herself, and glances back to her siblings with a small sigh. "But it's a little painful seeing the prettiest girl in school, who sings with him -- which, I mean, you know I can't sing to save my life -- and spends almost as much time with him as I do and has a zillion people who care about her feelings at all times as such a fucking underdog."

"But, you know, I get it. Nobody out there feels bad for the snarky rich girl." She stabs a fingertip in the air, and insists, "Tropes suck, and not in a kinky fun way," before stalking toward the house. "Tell people to suck less!" Under her breath, she's muttering, 'screw the mermaid costume, I should probably work on an Ursula' as she heads out.

Jade relaxes when Thea agrees she'll tkae measures. He smiles at her, then ducks his head. "We're keeping it on the downlow," he says. "For now. I saw you and James at the party. I was hoping you'd patch things up." To Mona, he says, "They're only sending those vibes because they know no one can compete with Mona Marchant. It's not like you've done anything wrong. It's just who we are, darling. People who don't want to be with us want to be us. Even our enemies. Especially our enemies. It's as much a curse as it is a blessing."

Thea breathes out a quiet sigh as Mona makes her way off to the house. Only once their sister is out of earshot does she look toward Jade with ever so slightly widened eyes. "Silver's the prettiest girl in school? When was this decided? I mean, not that I think she's unpretty, but.." Letting out a quiet 'mmph,' she taps the ash off the end of her clove, and puffs at it again. "Speaking of singing, though, gah. I may have to put myself in the line of fire and hit Cash up for some more lessons. I'm determined not to make a fool of myself in Spiderwoman." She considers for a few seconds, then adds at the tail-end with a grin, "You and Spear are an adorable match. I approve, baby brother."

"I don't know about the prettiest," Jade says. "I know that, if I were straight, I'd probably totally be into her." He grins, then. "Thank you. I've always liked Spear, and after watching Hector pick Cash, I started to really think about what I wanted. Spear hit all those bullet points. He's sweet, he's good-looking, he's fun to be around. I'm happy when I'm around him. We can hang out and just be people." He flicks his cigarette away, watching it sputter out in a puddle of water from a splash from the hot tub. "Cash means well," he says. "Just be careful. Don't let him get you wound up in the craziness. He and Hector are acting like there's something they're going to do about it, but God knows what."

"They need to be careful. I don't think Fran and the Painkillers -- man, that sounds like a band name, doesn't it? -- would even think twice about killing both of them, just like they killed Bren..." She trails off there, not really wanting to say the name in full. It makes it real. She's already struggling with the real of it all. "Honestly, till they get their heads on straight, I'd feel a whole lot more comfortable if you would avoid them."

"I can't just abandon Hector after what he did for me," Jade says, "but I'm careful. I mostly see them at the Thistle place when I'm over there with Spear, at least I did until Hector moved out." He smiles as he adds, "I'm good at playing stupid, dear. It's the role I was born to play." He does hide a lot behind that frippy, flamboyant facade. "I won't draw attention to myself, and I'll be careful. Besides, I intend to spend most of my time with Spear when I'm not with you guys. Poor guy has had to watch his ex and his brother cozying up like they do. It's about time he was put on a pedestal."

"Well, could you put him up on a pedestal here, instead of wherever Cash is? I mean, I'll knock one of the ancestral busts off of theirs to free up space, if that's what it takes," Thea half-jokes, her lips playing at a smirk that contrasts with the concern lingering in her soft green eyes. "You weren't there, love. You didn't see how Fran and them.. what they turned into..." Again, she trails off, and goes for the vodka again with a shudder.

Jade grins and says, "Here, sometimes. Listen, Cash and Hector aren't at the Thistles anymore, so if I visit Spear at home, they're not going to be there. And I like having Spear over here." The levity fades, and he swallows before he says, "I know how serious this is. Cash is my friend. I'm not keen on abandoning my friends, but I don't plan on following him on this course that's going to get him hurt. Besides, we're trying not to draw attention to ourselves, right? If I just abandoned him, that's going to look like unusual behavior."

"Not saying abandon him. Just.. only when there's a group present, yeah? Too many witnesses for those who'd think about hurting him to want to bother, those kinds of situations are safe." Thea scowls at him. It's pretty much the opposite of intimidating. She can be ferocious as hell when she needs to be, but never where her siblings are concerned. "Hey, if you can put caution signs up all over my life, I can do the same to yours, baby brother."

Lucas arrives from Lake Havasu - Marchant House.

Jade nods quickly and says, "Oh yeah, totally. No, I'm not going anywhere alone with Cash or Hector. I wish them the very best, but my priorities right now are my family and Spear. To an extent, Spear's family. Silver's a friend, and I don't know Star very well, but she's his sister so she means something to me. James, too. But it goes my blood, my boyfriend, everyone else."

Lucas stops lurking inside and sleeping near all damn day. Really he went from being up at 6 to going to bed at 6. Feeling sick in the middle of the day has not helped matters, but either way out wades the savvy, silver-tongued sonuvabitch that is known as Cousin #1...or maybe #2. No one's really asked or cared about chronology there.

Trunks on and towel overhead the athlete wades over, bounces one eyebrow up and hones in on part of the conversation after lurking like a bat for a moment. "Why we talking about Silver and who are we getting rid of besides that human desaster that has zero survival instinct?" He glances to Mona clearly referring to 'Heather'. Yes. Even apparently busy //ahem// else where he heard.

Thea nods, crushing out what's left of the clove she'd been smoking in the ash tray Mona left behind when she stalked off to the house. She looks just on the verge of replying to her brother when Lucas strolls forth from the shadows, and she smirks faintly. "Not getting rid of anybody, I was just.. cautioning Jade against spending any time with Cash in dark and deserted places, since he seems determined to ignore the warnings he was given about keeping his mouth shut about certain things."

Jade smimles at Lucas and says, "You'll have to narrow down who you mean. We're surrounded by disasters, some more glorious than others." He moves a little closer to Thea to make room in the hot tub. It's a silent invitation. "I was just saying that Silver's a friend, and, uh... well, I'm kind of dating her brother?" He looks sheepish at Lucas, because surely Lucas has no idea he's gay. "But yeah, I'm not going to follow Cash anywhere remote and unlit."

Lucas watches Thea for a moment before a derisive expression brings him to look away; ot her, the topic. With family he's far more, one might say, frank. Looking to Jade as his feet slide into the hot tub and his ass sits on teh coping, "Heather burned her second chance and now? Now i'm going to bury her for what she did to us. She'll cry but I laid it out for her aaaand she choose, very poorly." There's feigned disappointment but he'll fire and forget in a month's time after the damage is done. He eases himself into the water with a faint wince and relief. "Cash is damaging to your rep man. I know you're pissed because your father comes down on you and that but you get treated like dogmeat and he's got enough legal trouble on the horizon to be more hazard than what he's worth." Looking back to Thea with that smile of loving to be teh bearer of new information into the room he asks, "How are //you// feeling." As an aside he compliments Jade with a serious expression, "You killed that party by the way. In teh best way."

"Right now? Never better," Thea replies, flashing a wry smile toward Lucas. He'd understand, particularly as she adds, "Sun's down." A glance between the two young men is spared, as she takes another clove out of the pack Mona had left behind. Her sister can grumble at her for helping herself later, if she feels so inclined. "On the one hand, I feel like I missed all the fun at the party. All I know is what others have told me about what went down with Heather. On the other hand.." Her lips curve into a positively cheshire smile. "I was getting the bejeezus kissed out of me, so it's really kinda hard to care."

Jade tells Lucas, "I couldn't have done it without Mona and Thea." Credit where it's due, to the lovely sisters. He considers the Cash situation, and he says, "Oh, I don't get mad about Dad being hard on us. He works hard to give us this life, and he sets high expectations because he knows we're capable of doing more. Nah, I hang out with Cash because we've always had this weird kind of relationship where he drives me nuts sometimes, but then he's genuinely there for me. I know he cares. But he's going down a dangerous road, and I was just telling Thea my priorities are blood, boyfriend, everyone else."

He considers another clove, then decides against it. He'll help himself to the vodka'd espresso, though. "I saw Heather come at Zane and Mona put her in her place, and I saw her out by the pool later, but I don't really know what went down except that Heather's mad at Zane and maybe underestimated how much backup he had."

Lucas dimples a wry grin and nudges Thea's knee with a toe poke. "Thiiis Bejesus have a name?" He pauses and isn't one to kiss and tell to account for his disappearances but declares, "Better have been worth it. The Heather situation is that she tore into Zane while we were all chillin' and having a good time, and frankly I don't care if he set her on fire. He's our guest and she's...what? A +1 at best if she didn't crash but starts shrieking at him right in the middle of teh party." He draws a deep breath and slouches lower in the water to hit his shoulders murmuring, "So Mona, jsuty," His fingers flick water above the surface in theatrical commiseration and tithe due the the triple threat thespians, "And I took her outside and told her she's going to go apologize to Mona or I'm using my powers as editor to remove every last mention of her in the senior yearbook except the mandatory directory." He pauses and arches an eyebrow to Jade as the Heather gaps are filled and adds to them finding no fault with that assessment, "History won't remember her. Good luck on prom now, Heather."

Now's the part Lucas' attention is curious on Jaden. "Who?" Seems to be the only question. As for Jade declaring there is some beau? He comments not though him saying that out lout is new news. Deadpan he says, "Amanda in Paris must be quite put out." There's the slight shark-grin that follows as his eyes slide shut, "I should console her. Damn shame." Cracking one eye open he asks curious, "What's this to do with Silver?" Sure he's going back to his other bestie. Back to that. Both eyes open to slits and look to the space where Mona was and close again. "She's going to be put out when Mona gets what Mona wants." He knows how these things go, but he's just a spectator.

"That's the only issue that involves Silver, I guess," Thea replies, leaning back and stretching a leg out to reciprocate Lucas's toe-poke in kind. "Apparently Silver wants Zane, but Mona and Zane are... well, Mona and Zane, whatever that ultimately means, so Mona's frustrated because Silver made sad puppy eyes and everybody feels oh-so-bad for poor Silver. Sounds like a whole lotta drama, you ask me. As for the rest.." She grins. "Well, Silver's also a Thistle. And both Jade and I are dating Thistles, now. So she's sorta extended family, or something."

Lucas doesn't open his eyes but arches his eyebrows considering, "Yeah, I honetly can't tell if Silver and I ever dated but that I like her and don't want to have to deal with a period of not-talking to her." He's got a system! One cleverly designed in a very mirror-Theodore way of remaining unattached. "Ooooh James then aaaaaaaaand..." He snap-points to Jaden with a wolfish grin. Spear then. He lets Jade say it out loud. Oh he just like's being right nad is not at all shy about it, and why should he be. "So this mean you are out of the closet and whatis Uncle Robert going to say, or are you not telling him?" It's more a rhetorical question than one he expects an answer to. He has no horse in that race, nor is Jade answerable to him. "Well, good for you. You're succeeding where others cannot." Who those people are he's not quick to name. "Seriously, I'd rather deal with your drama than my own right now. So for that I thank you."

"Spear," Jade confirms, and his stupid grin double confirms it. He takes a drink of espresso, then says, "Amanda had I have parted amicably and she wishes me the best." He glances toward the house and exhales sharply. "I hope he'll be okay with it. I'm pretty sure mom will be. I just don't want to let him down, you know? It's hard to tell what he's thinking, like, most of the time. I'm going to tell them tonight, before bed. Maybe if they have time to sleep on it, they won't be too upset." He leans back in the tub, relaxing again. "We could do with a good scandal about now. Does Heather count? I like other people's drama. Especially when I can close the door on it."

"And James, yes," Thea confirms, with only the slightest flush of color creeping across her cheeks as she does. Her grin isn't quite as wide as Jade's, but she can't help a tremulous little smile, at the very least. "That whole mess was my own fault. I pushed him away 'cause I thought there'd be.. issues, with me dating someone like him. First off, I don't actually think there would be, now that I'm looking at things with a clearer head. And second.." She fixes her gaze on Lucas, then shrugs, as smile shifts more towards a grin. Small one, but nonetheless. "Recent events have opened my eyes, you know? Made me realize that when you want something in life, fuck it, you should take it. And I think James feels the same way." She looks to Jade then, and tips her head. "You want backup with you, when you tell the folks?"

Lucas looks to Jade witht he bullet of truth, but he's not going to lie to his cousin either. He kept his word to family. "Pretty much crossed the Rubicon on that one a while ago. On a good note I think he will not be surprised." No one will be he offers as a solace, "You're an actor, so you ahve that going for you. Still...saying that out loud? I couldn't do it so-" His hand comes out of the water and gives Jaden's shoulder a squeeze, "I respect you for that. Be you. Anyone else trying will only fail at it." His eyes go to Thea and weigh that which has not been spoken out lout out and smiles. "It also taught me you have to give up a lot to get a lot."

Jade's lips twitch at a wry smile, and he says, "I know I'm not Theodore by any stretch, and you two are more the mold he prefers, but I'm every bit a Marchant in my own way." With a laugh, he adds, "Maybe I should've been a daughter." He smiles at Lucas when he squeezes his shoulder. "Thank you." To Thea, he says, "Yeah, I want all the backup I can get, but at the same time, I think I should do this alone. I want him to see I'm not afraid. I might come by your room later to either celebrate or freak out, though."

"So I'll have a bottle of Dom chilling, and a bottle of whiskey ready, so we're prepped for whichever way things go," Thea teases, her eyes sparking with mischief. "I have a feeling all we'll need is the Dom, though. I mean, it's the nineties. Daddy's all serious when it comes to business and the family and all, but even he's not so old-fashioned and stodgy as to freak out because his boy likes boys." As for what Lucas said about giving up a lot, she lets that one slide by. Perhaps it's not something she wants to think too hard on, just yet.

ROLL: Lucas rolls spirit+1 for: [1]: x1 [2]: x2 (Pair) [3]: x1 [6]: x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 2 1 2 6 3 -- d6)

Lucas watches Thea but loos back to Jade silent. There's a nod when the thanks comes. Maybe this is the part of his silence where somewhere Landon would normally be filling in the blanks, but he's not present. In earnest he adds, "Keep me posted when you do, and..." He pauses calculating things in his head bringing up the unsolicited advice, "Let the Brenda situation cool off before you tell him. They're pretty keyed up about that and you only invite him taking that out on you instead of realizing its not that big of a deal, Jade. I know you like rushing into shit but I don't like seeing people making you their target for other things soooo... take that as you will." He shrugs and looks back at the water for a long moment, "Either way you'll get no shit from me about it. I'm happy for ya." Pushing himself from the edge of the hot tub he stretches and "I'm gonna go...see what Landon's stressing out about." They get it. He's not explaining what's known.

"I'll read the room," Jade says. "I just don't want him to find out because someone says hey I saw your kid holding hands with that Thistle boy. We're being discreet, just..." He nods slowly. "Point taken. Tell Landon I said hey." His solemnity lifts a little as he tells Thea, "It's just important that he hears it from me, and that it's... there's just a way it's got to be. It's weird. It's different when it's father-son. But I'll get it right. I'll show him I won't let the family down." At least not about this, anyway.

Thea arches a brow towards Lucas, tensing visibly where she sits. "So they know, then? About Brenda? I mean.. I thought we were keeping all that quiet, till we had a better sense of what the hell's going on." Of course, having kept to herself for the past few days, save for the return to school and the party, it's no wonder that she hadn't heard about things.

Lucas arches an eyebrow listening, surious, and interested by all appearances in Jade's reasoning but in the end shrugs, "Wouldn't know." And really he wouldn't having been disowned outright and still, really, with no actual father. "I think you're right, just when you pick your fight? That's where you'll be at disadvantage. G'luck, cuz." He freezes though, dripping at the edge of the hot tub, lookign back to her, "Huh? The police have been lookigng into her disappearance for like five days and still haven't found her. She's important to Theo and the bank. Let's be real, that bank and the security breech and loss of valuable asset is kinda top on Uncle Robert's concerns right now I'm sure. It' profit facing. Not to mention the damage control now that her absense has been reported in teh paper. No ransom either, so if she was fine there'd be a price tag on that. Yeah. I'd say they're aware." That is to say on the sly in the most mundane of ways. Oh yeah, he'll do fine i this family long run.

Jade listens to Lucas, and he nods his agreement. He may not scan as business savvy, but he pays attention, and what Lucas is saying makes total sense. "He's going to have it out for whoever did this," he mentions. "I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for Brenda's disappearance." He takes a drink of boozy coffee, then says, "Take care, cousin." He murmurs to Thea, "I'm gonna go head in and take a shower. I'll let you know before I do or say anything to the 'rents, okay?"

Thea nods to both, though Lucas is the recipient of a longer, more meaningful look, and the nod he gets is slower. Thoughtful. "I'll be in, in a bit. I want to soak my muscles a little longer," she declares, stretching those dancers legs out in the water in front of herself. "Hopefully fend off the aches I'll be feeling tomorrow, after having my first real practice at the studio in over a week, this afternoon." And the sun wasn't down yet, then, so Lucas would know full well that that sucked for her. Hard.

Lucas returns Thea's gaze long enough to faintly wince. Ugh! The hand goes out to Jadeand then fwings a towel at him. "It'll be your heroic moment man. either way it'll be done, and good for you." There's an edge to his words there, but his war isn't with his cousin, and thus, takes it back inside and keeps whatever it is to himself. "Kinda nice out. MIght still get a run in. Night you two." And with that he is off to go find the other half of his sentances.

ROLL: Jade rolls finesse for: [2]: x1 [4]: x1 [5]: x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 2 5 4 5 -- d6)

Jade catches the towel and grins. He hops out of the tub and wraps the towel around his black swimsuited hips. "Night, Lucas." He leans over to give Thea a kiss on the cheek. "I'll give you a massage later, if you want." Some wags might comment about how close the triplets are, a little too close, but there's a guileless innocence to the offer. "I'll take care of you, okay? Always."