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bittersweet forever > la marzocco café > I was doing just fine before I met you

Posted by: ARIA DUNN Sep 7 2016, 06:36 PM
To say that this wasn't something that Aria often did would have been an understatement of epic proportions. She had never really been the ballsy twin in comparison to her older sister Ayla, who had come between two very much in love people and ruined a relationship for the sake of having a first boyfriend. If you asked anyone, Ayla had always been the one of the two that had been reckless whereas Aria had always seemed to have her head firmly on her shoulders, even in her earlier years.

That wasn't to say that Aria hadn't made mistakes of her own, of course. She had found herself in a relationship at a very early stage and had given everything to that man - the same man that she still longed to have a future with, at that. So perhaps it wasn't much of a mistake for her to find herself in a relationship that early in life if it was still going strong.

Well, strong might not have been a word that she would have used more recently; Andrew had problems of his own that he needed to deal with in the form of a drug addiction. He didn't talk about it very much - least of all to Aria - but he was dealing with it in his own way and, for now, it seemed as though it might have been working. In the meantime, Andrew and Aria were on a bit of a break but as far as she knew, that wasn't exactly giving each other the 'go-ahead' to date other people.

That didn't mean that she wasn't lonely, however. There was only so much comfort that she could get from her family before she began seeing for herself that maybe she needed more relationships aside from the one she had with her boyfriend. She needed people in her life to support her through things - much like this - that she could depend on. Granted, seeking that out on the internet likely wasn't the best way to go about it, but Aria, as busy as she often was, didn't quite have the time to mingle much of anywhere else.

Her time was (more or less) consumed by her home life or by her job which was acting as the personal assistant to a local small business owner who was frequently scheduled for photo shoots, weddings and so on and so forth whereas her home life consisted of spending time with everyone she loved dearly. That, of course, now included Xavier and Ben, her mother's two boyfriends both of whom Aria had grown rather fond of over the months.

The male that she had been speaking to online wasn't someone she had ever met face-to-face before. All she had known was a first name and that they - like her - were from New Orleans. They had spoken a handful of times online and both seemed to be able to get along with the other without incident; it was no wonder that Aria was wanting to have that engraved into her life in person rather than continuing some little online friendship. It felt too much like a dirty little secret that way.

Having ordered herself an iced coffee before finding herself a seat nearest the big picture window that overlooked the main street of the Marina, Aria sipped on her cold beverage as she wanted for the stranger in question to meet her at the place of their choosing, hoping to God he wasn't some creep that was planning on selling her Kidneys over the black market...

Posted by: LEVI KOMINE Sep 9 2016, 11:03 PM
Levi was very knew to the idea of online romance, or really online anything. Other than the work for his job, a police officer on the new 5-0 task force of the NOLA PD, and searching for his sister, Levi hadn’t had time for Facebook, let alone making new friends.

Somehow, though, he had managed to do just that. He had met Aria online and after a few casual conversations, agreed to meet. Levi was sick of throwing himself into work to avoid the miserable existence his life had become. It would be a sad eternity if he didn’t make a change, and he found himself actually looking forward to seeing Aria today.

Not that he had extensively discussed any sort of relationship with her, but the possibility changed Levi’s mindset enough. Every since the day Mackayla had died, Levi had been battling a very dark depression. He couldn’t find Carolina, and he had no idea how to bring back his little sister from the dead, although he knew it had actually been done quite frequently in this city. Levi didn’t have those sorts of connections, and he wasn’t about to ask favors from his team.

Levi’s mood today had been better than it had been in a while. He didn’t wanna give the stranger too much credit, after all, if it didn’t work out for whatever reason, he wouldn’t want to go crashing back to that black hole again, but the proof that he could actually have a normal conversation with someone who didn’t know about his history, that wouldn’t give him those sad eyes and ask if he was ok every other day…that was hope.

Walking into the coffee shop, he had prepared for plenty of outcomes to this meeting. What he hadn’t prepared for was the following two thoughts to run together: Hey, there’s CJ’s daughter…Aria, I think……oh, shit. Levi faltered, only for a moment, before being forced to choose a path. He could either point out what a horrible situation this could possibly turn into, or he could see where this could go. How much would Claire actually freak out? They weren’t technically doing anything yet, so no harm, no foul, right? No need to shoot himself in the foot before he even said hello…

Speaking of which, ”Aria?” He asked, offering out his hand. ”Levi.”


Posted by: ARIA DUNN Dec 17 2016, 09:26 PM
Aria fully understood the risks that came with meeting someone online. She had seen dozens of television shows that centered on the murders and disappearances of people who were doing exactly what she was doing right now. Sure, she had left a note at home to let her mother know where she had gone and she was meeting said person in a very public place, but that didn't necessarily prevent all evils.

She wasn't going to take this first meeting as anything more than it was, meaning she sure as hell wasn't going to go anywhere less public with whoever walked in through those doors claiming to be her online companion. Just because that first meeting went well didn't mean that whoever was meeting her wasn't putting on an act. Isn't that what the most successfully horrendous serial killers had done, after all? Played nice until they got someone exactly where they wanted them...

Hearing a male voice speaking her name had Aria's blue eyes glancing up from the cold drink she had ordered for herself. A small smile on her lips that faded - briefly - before turning into a bit of a stumped smirk. She had been excited for that first second or two to see that her online connection had actually shown up but seeing that it was one of her mother's co-workers had been a bit of a shock immediately after. Not one she couldn't move past, but one that would surely make things interesting.

Her mother likely wouldn't be overly impressed that Aria had met yet another man in her life; Andrew had once been her mother's best friend prior to Aria developing a bit of a crush on him. This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back, but Aria couldn't deny a sort of excitement at seeing her mother's surely powerful reaction to all of this.

As he offered her his hand, Aria's much smaller one offered it a strong-gripped shake in greeting. Really, they hadn't ever been formally introduced but Aria had seen photos of Levi - mainly in the newspaper - when he had been listed as a member of the same law enforcement team that her mother and Vince were both active parts of.

"Hey there! It's nice to formally meet you!" She couldn't help but to wonder if he recognized her as Claire's daughter; if he didn't, it'd be interesting to see how he'd react upon learning that small - but important - piece of information. He could easily spook, of course, and she hoped he wouldn't, but maybe he'd take it in stride much as she was trying to. "I already ordered a drink; it's a thousand degrees outside and I didn't think I'd survive the wait otherwise..."

Posted by: LEVI KOMINE Dec 26 2016, 03:32 PM
Yeah, she definitely knew who he was. "You, too." It felt really good to finally be in a situation where he could genuinely smile. "No problem, I'm sorry I'm late, by the way, that's my fault." This was a pleasant distraction from the cases he had been working lately.

Working on the new task force had an added pressure that he hadn't expected from the beat cop position he had originally taken. Working as an officer had made a lot of sense to Levi, being able to do some good to brighten up the horrible dark spot his family had left in the world. With the added perk of immortality, he could do his job and not worry about the things most cops worried about.

Add in the fact that his connections could possibly help find his younger sister, Caroline, and it became the best option of them all. He was still a young vampire, he hadn't even had to move to protect his secret yet, so he had no desire to live the life of a lot of older vampires, living in foreclosed houses, manipulating others through life to get what you want. None of that interested him. He wanted to be as honest as he possibly could for as long as he could.

He hadn't chosen this life. Someone else had done this to save him. He was thankful for Alyssa and her husband for not letting them die in that blood bath, he still wasn't quite sure about all of it. He had never wanted the world his parents were involved in, either. So at the least, this life gave him an opportunity to do something different. He'd never be able to work in film again, not with the chance of fame so high, and police work hadn't been anywhere on his list of options, in hindsight it was the next best thing.

He actually loved his work, now that he was more involved, and he loved the people he worked with. Which would make this new...well, whatever it was, even more important to him. He wouldn't do anything to hurt or offend Claire, but he knew that he was a respectable guy. There couldn't be too many problems involved, could there?

He was never good at small talk, him and his sisters had always lived pretty shelter lives, given what their parents had secretly been involved in. Knowing everyone you've ever really spoken to since at least pre-school really did a number on your social skills.

He took a long look at the gorgeous girl he had managed to connect with and shook his head, laughing a little. "Work should be so much fun tomorrow." Worth it, but definitely interesting.


Posted by: ARIA DUNN Jun 10 2017, 06:13 PM
No matter how big the city of New Orleans seemed to be, it always struck Aria as strange that the world could be so damn small as to keep running her into people that her family already knew rather than introducing her her to new lives that she could take home to introduce to the lives she already knew and loved at home. Andrew - Aria's ex-boyfriend - had been her mother's close friend at one point in time and now Levi - her mother's co-worker - was someone she was meeting up with in hopes of branching out a bit and finding herself some form of happiness, however big or small.

"Oh, don't worry about it! I have a few family members that work at the police department..." Like her mother, but she wasn't wanting to bring that up; that'd definitely me a mood and conversation killer, if ever there was one... "Vince is a family friend; he's always late to everything because of work; it's sort of a regular thing these days." Her mother, too, was late nine times out of ten; Aria knew firsthand just how difficult and chaotic their jobs could be so she never held it against any of them, especially knowing that they were all working their asses off to make the world a better place.

Despite the fact that Aria was hoping there would be an easy way around the awkward topic of the fact she was Claire's daughter (and, in turn, Levi was Claire's co-worker), there didn't seem to be an easy fix. They could dance around the elephant in the room all they wanted but that didn't conceal it or make it go away. Maybe addressing it and getting it out of the way would be the best option.

She had been wondering if Levi was on the same page as she was when he made a little joke about how fun work was going to be for him tomorrow. A bright smile finding her lips as she shook her head in slight amusement. She didn't imagine that her mother would give him that much grief right off the bat; it wasn't like she was sleeping with the guy, after all...

"Well, at least you'll both hopefully get a few laughs out of it?" She knew that Vince surely would if someone chose to fill in those blanks for him. He'd likely be the instigator of the situation, poking fun at both Claire and Levi all day long if he had his own way...

Posted by: LEVI KOMINE Jun 12 2017, 03:52 PM
This was a weird occurrence for Levi: sitting in a cafe laughing with a pretty girl. He was definitely happy about it, but it was something his mind was going to take some time to wrap around. He had gone from fiercely protecting his youngest sister to fiercely fighting with his youngest sister to not having anyone to protect or fight with at all.

The guilt he had faced losing both of his sisters nearly killed him and the only reason he had moved on even a little bit was with the help of his team. It was because of this that Levi finally settled on the idea that he didn't quite mind Arias connections to his work relationships. He owed a lot to those people, and he was pretty sure they knew that even with it going unsaid.

"It'll be fine." He assured her, hoping like hell he was right. It wasn't like he was afraid they would step in and of course, there wasn't much to step in for just yet, but Levi had spent so much of his life with the big decisions being made for him. He wanted to decide with Aria whatever this was going to be, with no one else getting in the way.

He shook his head, "I definitely didn't come here to talk about work, though. So how have you been?" He refused to discuss his work relationships when he could be getting to know the gorgeous blonde in front of him.

Her smile was beautiful, definitely contagious, and he was glad they had agreed to finally meet. Their previous conversations had been borderline flirty, but he was pretty sure neither of them wanted to rush into anything. If there was one thing Levi had learned over the years, it was patience. In his family, rushing into just about anything without all of the answers pretty much ended in death or worse.

Now that he was the only one of his family members standing that he knew of, he was hoping things would calm down. Levi had never been involved with the business his parents had built and his main concern had been protecting his siblings. With no one to worry about but himself, he had taken a new outlook on life. The goal wasn't to throw himself in front of the hailstorm of bullets that seemed to always come his way, but to avoid the drama altogether.

He had completely reevaluated his life since Mackayla was killed and while he was still 100% dedicated to finding the truth behind his other sister's disappearance (and possible death), he was determined to do everything the right way. This was his chance to have a real life and he had to take it or he didn't think he'd survive.


Posted by: ARIA DUNN Jan 2 2018, 03:21 PM
Truth be told? It was hard getting to know someone when your family was as well known as Aria's just so happened to be. She adored seeing just how successful they were as both a family and a pack, and just how many people looked up to them as a whole... but it sure as hell made things a little awkward when everyone Aria met just happened to know at least one person in her extensive family.

Nine times out of ten, it was her mother, Claire. She was an American socialite after she had been introduced to New York's most elite and had been taken in under their wing. Now, she was a S.W.A.T. Unit agent who just so happened to be an active member of some elite little group the New Orleans Police Department had founded - or had it been the government? - that specialized in cases most other officers would never be able to explain...

Levi was part of that little group, as far as Aria knew, so he worked hand-in-hand with her mother. Granted, that could be a touch awkward should things ever progress romantically between the two of them - bringing someone home that her mother personally knew wasn't entirely a first for Aria - but it was something that could easily be overcome.

Aria's smile grew all the more as Levi stated he wasn't there to talk about work, something that was a bit of a first for Aria. Everyone was always so damn eager to gush about their days on the job that it almost seemed like a mundane custom; it was a little refreshing to be conversing with someone who, like Aria, felt that work should be left at work at the end of the day.

"How have I been? I've been good!" Thankfully, the blonde's life was never overly-dramatic which was something she had always been grateful for. "I've been spending a bit of time with my sister while she's between jobs; she's trying to dip into modelling..." Something Aria couldn't fathom for herself, but was ever-proud of her twin sister for doing. "Other than that, the most exciting thing my week's seen - aside from you - was me breaking into my own house..."

Aria knew that that story would need to be elaborated on a touch more; the last thing she wanted, after all, was a police officer thinking that breaking and entering was something she did for fun in her spare time.

"I locked myself out of the house and decided to try and get in via the basement. Great in theory, chaotic in practice. I tripped half-way down the stairs and landed on my step-father's table of plants, shattering just about everything... He thought it was pretty amusing, but I look like I've been hit with a car with my clothes off."

Thankfully, neither of the men her mother found herself in relationships with ever really got upset with Aria; she knew it was always a handful stepping into a family and trying to create one of your own with said family members... but they were doing an amazing job, one way or another.

"What about you? What all have you been up to?"

Posted by: LEVI KOMINE Jan 15 2018, 07:19 PM
Levi never had anything going on in his life. Considering he was on one of the most infamous task force and he was a supernatural being and his backstory was as crazy as it was, his life was honestly the most boring thing he could imagine.

Of course, he didn't want to tell her that. She made him laugh with her wild story of breaking into her own house. Naturally, the comment about what she looked like with her clothes off had Levi thinking it couldn't honestly be that bad.

He laughed, "Wow, my life is so much more boring than yours." Granted, he used to not be able to say that. His younger sister had kept him very busy when she was alive. Mackayla was a firecracker, 15 going on 25, and way more than Levi was ever able to handle.

At the end, they had struggled so much and he had tried to help her but she just wouldn't listen to reason. That mixed with their family history had been what got her killed. That was probably what made Levi pull back from a social life the way he had been. If there wasn't anyone there, they couldn't get hurt.

"I'm gonna make myself sound really appealing right now and say I basically just go to work and then go home. My hobbies include really great Chinese takeout from a place down the street and lots of Netflix..sometimes that's broken up with surfing or snowboarding trips on the weekend, but I haven't been in a while."

It was just so much easier to keep to himself. He knew his co-workers noticed, but they also knew some about what he had been through, so they didn't push him too hard. He could trust his boss, Vince, with the real story, and he had from the beginning. But the cover story was simple: Mackayla had been kidnapped for ransom and the explosion was an accident.

He wasn't sure how much Aria's mom knew, but he was certain Aria didn't know any of those details. Of course, that might change once Claire figured out they had coffee, but as Levi sat there across from her, he decided that would be ok. Even if nothing serious came of this, Aria seemed sweet, like someone he could actually talk to.


Posted by: ARIA DUNN Jun 7 2018, 05:54 PM
A small smile cracked across Aria's face as Levi decided that her life seemed far less boring than his allegedly was, shaking her head gently in refusal of that statement. "Trust me; that's about as entertaining as my life gets these days! My brother and sister are a bit more social and a bit more outgoing than I am; I'm mostly just at work or at home binge-watching The Office on Netflix..."

To some, it might have been a little sad that Aria didn't find much pleasure in putting herself as "out there" as possible for a young woman her age, but it just wasn't something she found herself overly dedicated to doing. Ayla was so much more social and had a knack for showing off her beauty in ways that benefited her bank account. She was stunning, and while the two were identical twins, it was Ayla's personality that intensified her physical beauty by far.

Aiden was a bit more socially awkward, but he still put himself out there, at the very least. He just tried a little too hard sometimes and was definitely struggling to find his footing in the world. Maybe it was harder for him to see one of his younger sisters paving her way in such a driven career before he, their older sibling, had done so for himself... but Aria preferred supporting Ayla rather than feeling inferior to her success.

"At least we have that in common, right?! Not that I had ever surfed or snowboarded a day in her life, but I've always wanted to try!" Okay, maybe part of that "wanting to" was because both skiing and surfing made amazing and aesthetically pleasing Instagram pictures, but a few hobbies wouldn't kill her, especially if they got her out on the water or playing in the snow.

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