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Topics - TEDDY.

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1
The Badlands / boy with the broken halo — punishment, open.
« on: March 24, 2022, 07:21:47 PM »
tw. violence is likely to occur later in the thread... what's new for teddy's dramatics

Foot tapped impatiently on the stamped concrete ground. The sun was glaring down like a spotlight and the curtains were drawn back. It seemed like everyone but God was watching, and so Teddy intended to give them all a good show.

Stumbling over quaking legs, debilitated by his exhaustion, the thief was dragged into the town centre by two burly made men before he was tossed to the ground. The growing crowd circled the circumference around Teddy and the petty criminal, unwittingly forging the confines of the thief's worst nightmare. A public punishment organised by a man nobody wished to cross. From the outset, Théodore Knope appeared to be an epicurean at best, indulging in his carefree yet extravagant ways of life — truly an alluring and extroverted social butterfly at heart — but oftentimes his darker reputation preceded him. One would marvel at the Knope's beautiful lives, barely stopping to think of how many lives they had to destroy in order to get to where they were today. When people were to begin questioning the Knope family, it was often a thought that came too late.

This thief had come to underestimate the brutality of The Badlands. The image of luxury that the Knope's had branded themselves with often brought about a false sense of security along with it. What could go wrong if one were to sneak into the lion's den and bring home with them a souvenir from their travels? They were just a family of rich socialites, right?

Teddy's lip twitched with disdain as he looked down upon the thief. ❝ Ya come into my suite for a drink with me, and think I can't tell when my favourite rings then go missin'? ❞ He scoffed, lifting his head to peer around the onlookers to try and spot anyone particularly good at giving a good beating. The thief stared up with parted lips, brows bunched together with worry as he awaited Teddy's volatile response. ❝ Oh dat signet ring, ❞ Teddy gestured with a nonchalant huff, pointing towards the man's fifth digit adorned with a a golden ring, ❝ it's my favourite. ❞ The irony was that nearly a decade ago Teddy had stolen that very emerald ring from a lover in Boston. It appeared they both had sticky fingers.

❝ Should we find Laurent and Juliette for this? ❞ Oh God, no. Teddy barely wished to be in the same room as his older brother let alone hand the reins over to him for this beating, and Juliette probably had so many better things to do with her time than to stultify herself with all of the imminent blood and bruises. Teddy scoffed, clearly uninterested in the sincere offer before waving them off with a dismissive hand. ❝ For what? Supervision?! ❞ He pointed out with a curl of his lip. ❝ Think we can handle dis just fine, don't be stupid. ❞

Teddy turned his attention back to the thief, brows quirking with amusement as the thief tried to put up a fight. ❝ It's probably not even yours, I know what you people are like! You're bad people! ❞ Well, props to him. If he was going down, then he'd go down fighting. That was more than Teddy could ever do — honestly, he was more the slimy, ass-kissing type when cornered and forced to concede defeat. To entertain the man's fear, Teddy slowly leaned in, condescending eyes gazing down at the thief before he murmured softly, ❝ Ya know what? Maybe I am. But I suggest ya look at yourself for a minute because you won't find a saint there. ❞

Nowadays, there were no good people in this new world; just bad people or people willing to do whatever it took to survive.

Straightening up, Teddy began to wander a few steps back, then turning his attention towards one of the made men. ❝ Ya did find the pruning shears, yeah? ❞ He enquired, glancing back towards the thief momentarily as he noted the fear growing in his eyes, his chest rising and falling more rapidly as his lungs began to react to his panic. The made man handed the shears over, Teddy crinkling his nose up with satisfaction as he waved it around for today's audience. ❝ So who wants to retrieve my signet ring for me, 'ey? ❞ He enquired, ❝ If no one offers then I'll be choosing one of yous at random! ❞ Teddy wasn't going to do it himself. Oh, no, no — he never fought his own fights nowadays. In fact, blood and gore made him somewhat squeamish.

Besides, this blazer was designer!

❝ Please, no. No, you can have it! Here! ❞ The thief tried to rip the ring off of his finger, only for Teddy to whip his head around and snap, ❝ No! Y'ain't gettin' off dat easy! You tried ta screw me over, and I ain't having dat! So c'mon; who wants to do me the fuckin' honours?! Before I get impatient... ❞

2
The Badlands / angel eyes — open.
« on: December 10, 2021, 01:49:27 PM »
This was a thoroughly welcomed surprise.

Each hand held a kitten. Two Siamese boys, the merchant would offer at a heavily reduced price — a silent plea to get into Theodore’s good books. And it worked, it had appeared. With a smug smile bearing his lips, Teddy wagged his brows as he stepped into the casino, relishing the attention he received as onlookers cooed over the two new arrivals. ❝ Ain’t they the sweetest things?! ❞ Teddy exclaimed, grinning with delight as he placed them on the ground to explore. ❝ They were an offer I just couldn’t refuse; what’ta surprise though. Weren’t expecting to end up with three cats today. ❞

Baby blues followed the inquisitive kittens as they ventured around the casino, weaving in between chairs and tables before amusing themselves with a loose thread hanging from the loosened stitching at a booth. ❝ Hope Maia’s willin’ to share her suite with ‘em. They still need names, food bowls, toys… ❞ In Teddy’s voice, it was clear to see the love he had for cats. The smallest of soft spots. But who could blame him? Ever since he first came across Auguste, it became difficult to imagine a life without a feline. Sometimes they were better than human interaction, kinder, more forgiving. With a cat, it was hard to feel disappointment because they never sought to disappoint.

3
The Badlands / SHADES OF COOL — OPEN.
« on: November 16, 2021, 12:05:17 PM »
Suddenly, it felt as if the world was caving in.

All of this was an act. It always had been an act, riding solely on circumstance. But, if circumstances changed, then what would that make Teddy? Tatiana shared the news that she was expecting, and the realisation that his life would change forever suddenly felt daunting. An understatement at best, but something in his eyes went cold the moment he learned that she was with child. The word ❛ father ❜ rotted in his mouth — whilst he placed Papa on a pedestal, Teddy resented him in so many ways. Was it love or the fear of losing him forever? The desperation to finally please Papa in the hopes that maybe this time he would stay. Was that naïve of him, allowing for Papa to live off of Teddy’s success when he’d only given Teddy as much as a mechanical, sneering grin to confess his ❛ gratitude ❜ in vain? He milked Teddy’s success for all that he had, attempting to live the life that he could never achieve himself.

Teddy feared Papa because he knew exactly what he was like; self-serving and hollow-hearted. Years of neglect had taught Teddy that much. But, what Teddy feared more than anything was that he would be the same to his own children some day. Perhaps this was the underlying concern that he was too afraid to admit to anyone. In fact, Teddy adored his nephews and couldn’t wait for Juliette to give him a new niece or nephew in the upcoming weeks. He was good with children, but refused to bear his own. The word ❛ father ❜ was too terrifying to cope with. He wanted so desperately to insist that he and Papa were not the same, but sometimes it felt as if he was staring straight into the mirror whenever he saw Papa’s face. The apple never fell far from the tree; a cold and harsh realisation.

On the beach, Teddy stood barefooted as he watched the waves rolling back and forth. The warmth of the sun’s parting hues glistened across the water, sighing with the current gently. Soon the moon would rise and the stars would sprawl across the sky. They were beautiful but, in the end, even the stars chose destruction over life. Perhaps Teddy was the same in that way. He could claim that he had everything he could ever wish for — God he had so mercilessly slain and devastated innocent lives in this dog-eat-dog world in order to find any semblance of success — but how had he survived for this long when he was so self-destructive? So self-sabotaging? He would turn his nose up to any change of circumstance, not because he didn’t want it but because he was afraid of change. This mask he wore was not transitional; it could not morph as he grew. He could blame anyone else for his hesitancy to become a father, but it was his own insecurity and reluctance to change for fear of people truly seeing him in the same way he saw himself.

Teddy had not told anyone of the news just yet. Not Papa. Not Juliette. Not Micah... Luckily, Tatiana was still in the early ages of her pregnancy and it was hard to really notice any change to her body as of yet. Good. It gave Teddy some time to come to terms with his new life of his. Pinching the bridge of his nose, Teddy released a stressed sigh before he turned to begin walking along the shoreline towards the casino hotel. The water was cold as it splashed at his ankles, his free hand sliding into the pockets of his trousers whilst the other hand held onto his shoes loosely. He had avoided Tatiana all day, not that she had done anything to deserve the treatment. But every time he looked at her, the gnawing anxiety only seemed to grow. Badlanders passed by, greeting Teddy with the hope of getting any sort of recognition and acknowledgement, Teddy instinctively settling his grievance with his mask as his lips twisted into a baring smile and greeting. But, once they passed by, Teddy’s face fell again, clearly deep in sombre thought.

4
The Badlands / the blue wrath — competition, open.
« on: September 24, 2021, 05:08:44 PM »
tw. the competition is a little dark in nature... capturing or killing a runaway badlander.

Perhaps slightly contentious and inhumane, Theodore Knope’s intentions were to amass a group of callous scourges to get a tricky job done for him before one could say knife. Sometimes, the prospect alone of hunting down one’s own species seemed barbaric, dehumanising even. But, it was a policy that all members of The Badlands were well aware of, so they willingly agreed to such treatment if they were to ever betray the group and try to flee. A bounty was on the head of several renegades, one in particular especially ruffling Teddy’s feathers after leaving with a bag of stolen Bones.

So, Teddy would incite feelings of resentment within the crowd, hoping that the injustices towards their patriotic group would disgust them as much as it disgusted Teddy. He wanted them ruthless. Next, he would attempt to bring out a fierce competitive streak within all willing competitors as he stood outside of the fighting ring, arms folded across his chest sternly. ❝ So, y’all heard about Harley and want to do somethin’ about it. ❞ He announced to the group of volunteers, features scrunching up with displeasure. ❝ He made off property of The Badlands. He fled, like a fucking coward, and I want him back. Whether it be alive or in a body bag, I don’t care; I want y’all to use ya tracking skills and bring him back ‘ere, okay? ❞ 

The proposition was simple, but not enticing enough. So Teddy had a plan. ❝ Either pair up with another person or fly solo and the person — or people — who brings him back to me gets to keep the Bones he stole. A gift from me. He shouldn’t be too far away so ya best get going! ❞ Using his hand to nonchalantly shoo the competitors away, he watched as Badlanders began to pick out their hunting partners in preparation for this bounty hunting competition Teddy had organised. A competition, more like a glorified search party. Whatever brought Harley back to The Badlands, Teddy supposed. He wasn’t finished with him, yet.

5
The Badlands / what's the price i've got to pay? — trespassers, open.
« on: September 16, 2021, 03:34:45 PM »
Teddy prophesied his imminent downfall. It broke him to contemplate that it had probably been caused by Giovanni, as well as Teddy’s reluctance to remove his rose-tinted glasses, but there would come a time where he’d confess to Micah and Juliette and, more importantly, himself that his older brother had been right all along.

He had been standing in the hotel lobby when he noticed the upheaval outside. Initially, Teddy gave the commotion an insouciant quirk of his brow as it disturbed the conversation he was invested in. It was likely a tête-à-tête between a couple of Made Men, probably putting on whatever belligerent bravado made them feel like the men they wanted to be. That was until Teddy distinctly heard a man raise his voice, ❝ Nah, we’re here to see the Knopes, and we’re not leaving until we’ve spoken to them! ❞ It was easier to remain composed right in the heart of his own empire, but a twisting sensation in the gut was inevitable following the tone of the man’s voice.

If they wanted to ❛ talk ❜, it weren’t for nothing nice.

Teddy silenced the person he had been speaking with by wordlessly raising his pointer finger towards them as his attention remained focused on the disturbance outside. ❝ Yeah, well our Boss wants us to let them know that our deal with the father is off. ❞ On the other side of the hotel’s glass doors, three unfamiliar men were becoming increasingly confrontational as several Badlanders blocked them from walking up the brick road to the front of the hotel. Whilst it was usually policy to bring hostile trespassers to The Administration, Teddy was rigid as he listened carefully to their words. These weren’t people that Teddy wanted to face.

Teddy clicked his tongue, releasing a short sigh of stress before looking over to the person he had initially silenced. ❝ Go tell ‘em that the Knopes are busy and make sure ya see ‘em outta our fucking city. Make sure nobody kills ‘em though. They need’a stay alive. ❞ Killing or harming them would only ignite the explosive vendetta against them even more, and Teddy knew better than to play with fire as wild as these people. These were the big fish in the world; whilst the Knopes were steadily rising, they still had opposition that could crush them if they played a reckless game. Teddy was smarter than to tempt their aggression, especially after the misguided stunt Giovanni had pulled way back when he and Teddy worked together in New Orleans. The stunt that had gotten them into this mess in the first place.

❝ What’s all da ruckus? ❞ Giovanni wandered into the lobby from the casino with a shit-eating grin on his lips. As if he would dare to laugh once Teddy enlightened him. Turning his head to stare over towards Papa, Teddy’s lips parted with disbelief before brows pinched together tightly. ❝ It’s you, Papa. Fuckin’ us over, time after time again, that’s what all da ruckus is! ❞ Teddy hissed viciously, nostrils flaring with a look which could kill Papa if he ever had the heart to truly stand up to him. Teddy would complain, he’d hiss and spit and snarl, but he’d never cut Papa out of his life in the way Micah had. They were family, and so they’d inevitably face the storm together. Teddy would always be there for Papa, because maybe one day Papa would learn to be there for Teddy in return.

Giovanni's face fell with vexation. He clearly wanted to snap back, his face turning red with anger towards Teddy’s insolence, but instead he eventually broke the glare he sent Teddy’s way so that he could listen into the conversation outside. As father and son stood rigidly beside each other, they watched as the three men were ushered away, armed Badlanders following them to ensure they left The Badlands. ❝ We need’a figure out what we gonna do with ‘em… No, you need’a figure out what we gonna do with ‘em. ❞ Teddy jabbed a finger Papa’s way before turning to walk into the casino, sliding down to sit at the bar.

With a sigh, he cradled his head in his hands before glancing towards whoever was closest to him. ❝ I need a drink. ❞ He pointed out bluntly with the expectation that they’d provide.

6
The Badlands / the good, the bad and the dirty — fighting ring, open.
« on: August 04, 2021, 04:19:02 PM »
A twisted grin sat on his lips as Teddy sat right at the front in a place he dubbed the booth. Although it barely resembled any appearance of a booth, the only seating area in the fighting club was cordoned off with a red velvet rope fence so that the seats were reserved solely for whoever Teddy wished to have sit beside him. Within the stir of the excitable yet overcrowded underground fight club, the only area that wasn’t busy with drunken crowds all shoulder-to-shoulder was where Teddy sat comfortably at his own leisure, sipping at a drink with content.

His soft honey locks curled impeccably as he left his hair in its most natural state, and instead today he sported a more casual chino and crisp white dress shirt outfit, paired with a simple tie and his favourite black mules. Twisting his head, he curled his lips into an impish grin as he observed the way Giovanni stared over towards the fighting ring ahead with wonderment. ❝ Ya like what ya see? ❞ Teddy urged for Papa’s approval, his old man leaning back in the seat beside Teddy before he nodded his head towards the ring.  ❝ The crowd’s pretty fired up for today’s events, yeah? ❞ ❝ Mmm, yeah. Just hope it don’t start before Anya gets here. Now where’s she at? ❞

Leaning forward in his seat, Teddy’s eyes wandered the crowds until eventually he spotted Anya wandering over to their cordoned off area, as beautiful as always. ❝ Save some awe for da fighting ring, Cher! Nobody’s gonna be focussing on the fight when all their eyes are on you. ❞ Teddy hummed with approval, holding his hand out for her before pulling her onto his knee. ❝ As always, stunning. ❞ Eyes gazed up towards her, lips tugging into a softer smile before he wrapped his arms around her. Whilst he wouldn’t call them an item, they were certainly something. Not that Teddy was ever one to get into the nitty gritty of labels and any other suffocating terms which could restrain him in any way. Perhaps he cared more for her appearance than the bond they shared  — it wouldn’t have been the first time he’d done that to a beautiful woman — but there was something there. There ought to be in the way he looked at her.

Eyes turned to linger on Papa, watching the way he avoided looking over towards the couple as he rested his chin on his clenched fist. Teddy hesitated for a moment, allowing for one hand to fall to his side before pulling a chair closer for Anya to take a seat. ❝ Hey, Papa. Here’s da fighters coming on now… Comme on dit en français… Bonne continuation 1. ❞ His smile faltered somewhat at Papa’s dismissive hum before Teddy straightened up to watch the fighters step into the ring. The crowd ignited with lairy cheers and hollers, pushing each other around as they eagerly tried to catch a glimpse of the fighters preparing for the fight. Teddy lounged back comfortably, hands resting on his lap as he soon heard the bell ring to signify the beginning of the fight.

1 As we say in French, enjoy.

7
Flintlock Lodge / hangout at the gallows — invitation.
« on: July 31, 2021, 04:58:58 PM »
A man dressed in black approached the humble ski village, handwritten letter in hand as he awaited whoever would approach to take the letter back to the lodge. ❝ It’s a letter from The Administration. They’d like to invite you to a casino night in The Badlands. ❞ He announced firmly.

Thread.

8
The Badlands / drop the game — casino party, open.
« on: July 31, 2021, 04:53:25 PM »
tw. mention of alcohol

They had piqued his interest, and that was a very dangerous position for them to be in.

When Papa warned him of their rising competition, Teddy was acrimonious. He had not fought tooth and nail to get to this point, only for the Knope’s attempts to crumble at the first sign of competition. And, to add insult to injury, Teddy soon heard through the grapevine of the Stirling’s dirty secret. They were well-esteemed in the criminal world, raised with a silver spoon in their mouth as they made their dirty fortune from a whiskey distillery with ease. This only frustrated Teddy even more. These people knew what they were doing in this alcohol-fuelled rat race which left the Knopes at a clear disadvantage. All because the Stirlings always had it all in their fine opulence and snotty upbringing.

Perhaps Teddy was envious to some degree; they always had what he wanted in life and they could do so that effortlessly, all whilst wiping out Teddy’s vigorous and determined efforts with little more than an insouciant nod of the head. From then on, the Stirling's would be so blasé in the way they’d dismantle Teddy’s work with little effort on Eddie’s part. Whilst Teddy had the nightlife down to perfection, the nightlife was no nightlife without the alcohol. Teddy had to ensure they monopolised it before it was too late.

Inviting Flintlock Lodge to a casino night seemed to be the most useless idea but Teddy had a plan. This one was going to be good. Lure the seemingly humble mountain folk in and show them exactly what they were meddling with. Perhaps a scare was all that was needed for them to realise that interfering with The Badlands was not a good idea. Whilst his people could do a good job at socialising with Flintlock’s people, Teddy, Micah and Juliette could find the opportunity for a one to one talk with the Captain himself, Edmund Stirling. Teddy had a lot that he could say to deter Edmund.

After all, it would be a damn shame if his people found out about the monster they looked up to. Because Edmund kept that part of his story very much a secret, right? The part where he was not the virtuous, steadfast leader he made himself out to be, as much as he was the cold blooded killer who was willing to tear down enterprises and end the lives of the innocent for his own benefit.

Teddy sat at the bar as he observed Flintlockers arriving in the casino. He did not act like the usual social butterfly he was, instead somewhat more closed off as he watched them with slightly narrowed eyes. He’d leave the socialising to the other Badlanders. After all, Teddy was looking out for one person in particular.

Slowly taking a sip of his cocktail — vodka distilled right here in The Badlands, might he add — Teddy waited several moments more before a mechanical, toothy grin soon curled at his lips at the sight of Edmund. Perhaps he should show his face for some time — keeping a close eye on the leader before making his approach — standing up before he began to approach the crowd of Flintlockers with a drink in hand, finding anyone that he could talk to.

9
The Badlands / only one not smiling — open.
« on: July 22, 2021, 10:41:59 AM »
❝ Ya know, you’ll try this and never wanna drink anything but this ever again! ❞ Teddy was ever-so-poised as he schmoozed with a group of Badlanders in the late afternoon. It had been his idea to hang out behind the bar in the casino so that he could prepare a couple of espresso martinis to whoever was interested. Teddy wasn’t a man who liked to get his hands dirty, but he could confidently claim that he was one of the best cocktail makers in this whole beachside town. ❝ Listen to dis: vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, and sugar syrup, with a little garnish as a lagniappe. How dat sound? ❞

As he began to pour prepared drinks into martini glasses, Teddy took notice of Papa who wandered into the casino solemnly, hands in his pockets as he approached the bar. ❝ Papa! Ya gonna like what I made ya. ❞ Teddy exclaimed, sliding over one of the glasses so that Papa could receive a drink first before handing drinks out to others with a grin on his lips. ❝ Mmm, yeah… So I heard that people are runnin’ riot back home. Last week it sounds like Leandro Aguillard was shot ‘n’ killed in his own home. ❞ Well that was a name that Teddy didn’t think he’d hear again. Brows raised, lips parted slightly with a mild look of surprise before he murmured to himself, ❝ Aw, pauvre t-bête1. ❞

❝ I don’t think you're gettin' it. ❞ Giovanni returned in his gravelly voice, lowering his words to a hushed sound as if to not create a scene in the otherwise quiet casino. ❝ Aguillard and I had a deal. Ya know what dat means. ❞ With a curled lip, Teddy stared across at Giovanni with puzzlement before Giovanni lifted the martini glass and dismissed louder, ❝ We’ll talk later. ❞ With that, Giovanni turned to leave the casino again, this time with the martini in hand. Brows slowly bunched together before Teddy eventually turned to look back towards the Badlanders he was trying to entertain.

❝ How’s da martinis? ❞ He tried to appear as eager as before, but this most recent interaction with Papa left a sense of unease lingering within. He forced a smile, leaning on the counter before he stated, ❝ I say we spend the afternoon making each other cocktails. What about cha? ❞ His pointer finger landed on someone, quirking a brow, ❝ What’s your speciality? Come up and make us something. ❞ He lifted up his martini, taking a sip as he tried to put his worries about Papa’s ominous words behind him.

1 aw, poor thing

10
The Badlands / confidence — dress rehearsals, open.
« on: July 06, 2021, 05:30:06 PM »
The piano in the casino played the sweetest of melodies. It sounded nowhere near the mellow yet somewhat sleazy tune that his favourite jazz music would make, stirring a degree of fervour within Teddy. But that didn’t drive him away. In fact, as Teddy stood in front of the stage, he seemed to appreciate the melodic music that a Badlander played nearby whilst he looked upon a sight that he could only describe as breath-taking.

Graceful movements sent Tatiana travelling across the stage as she danced to the piano piece. She was so unassuming and gentle in nature, and yet her presence on the stage felt as if each movement demanded the utmost admiration from all those who laid their eyes upon her. She whirled around, so light on her feet, as she danced with a practiced ease. Foot forward. Back. An elegant, perfected twirl. Teddy’s eyes followed as he casually smoked a cigarette. A silent look of admiration lingered in his gaze — Teddy was proud.

This beautiful dancer was his.

Not an official declaration — dare Teddy ever claim to commit to anyone ever — but he enjoyed the times that he could freely spend in her company. She seemed to like him a lot, or she at least made him assume that was fact, and in return he felt confident in being able to support her and share a romance so casually enjoyable that it fit perfectly with Teddy’s expectations. No strings attached, but an opportunity to fulfil needs without having to search too far. She made him feel content and she treated him well.

Some would say that Teddy would move from one woman to the next so quickly, simply because he could. But this one seemed to stick. Teddy would claim it was solely because she hadn’t given him reason to cut off ties yet, but usually at this point he would have grown bored and have moved on. Not this time. This time, she was less another notch on his bedpost and more a lingering thought whenever he was not with her. He had never given a woman any second thought whilst they were not near but, with Tatiana, she was a lasting thought.

He enjoyed spoiling her with lavish gifts whenever he could, and it drove him mad when she would try to decline with a humble laugh. Teddy had to resort to begging Juliette to give Tatiana the gift on Teddy’s behalf because perhaps she’d more openly accept the gift if it was from a friend rather than a lover. Teddy was undoubtedly a biased man who’d only give back to the people that he benefited from, and that much was clear in the way he would encourage the best from Tatiana when she would perform at casino nights, providing all that she may need to give the best performance that she could offer.

Maybe this was just another woman that Teddy would enjoy for the time being until he’d inevitably grow bored, but maybe this was more. Maybe he liked her a little more than he was willing to admit. As far as anyone else was aware — in Teddy’s humble opinion — she was no more than his sweet exemplar of the perfect casino performer.

Stubbing out his cigarette in a nearby ashtray, the quiet casino echoed with a singular clap of the hands as Teddy applauded Tatiana when her performance came to an end, slowly wandering over once she hopped off the stage towards him. ❝ Mais! Ya poise and finesse never fails to amaze me. ❞ He admired as he snaked an arm around her waist, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear before he grinned. ❝ Absolutely beautiful. No wonder ya such a beloved dancer at events. ❞ With all the public displays of affection that he was so invested in, he nearly forgot to take notice of the fact that the next act had not yet stood up to begin their dress rehearsal. 

❝ Who’s next?! ❞ He exclaimed, waving his free hand towards the stage whilst his other hand rested on the small of Tatiana’s back. ❝ Y’all ain’t taking part in tonight’s party if ya haven’t practiced beforehand! Y’all know dis. ❞ He warned. After all, Teddy wanted his performers to put on the most perfect of performances. They were the entertainment that wowed the guests after all.

// i had permission to write tatiana beforehand! also, feel free to have your character perform something on stage, watch as performers go through rehearsals, or even be the badlander playing the piano!

11
Private Threads / et moi, envoutée de ténèbres — micah.
« on: July 06, 2021, 11:39:43 AM »
Love was close to hate when it came to a bond between two brothers. Oftentimes, it was difficult to tell one from another when brothers were as close as two people could be. After all, they both came from the very same womb, grew up in the very same home, looked up to the very same people. Even if in character they were two worlds apart, they were the same. That was why it hurt Theodore as much as it did to see that grudge-bearing resentment in Micah’s eyes, that unfamiliar look of betrayal whenever the brothers met each other’s gazes. It felt as if a part of Teddy had turned against himself with trepidation.

Papa had been a sore subject for the two brothers for most of their lives. In fact, there had only been a fleeting spate of instances in Teddy’s youth where his relationship between his parents was one to marvel at until Papa found himself increasingly invested in a new, frightening shadow of a lover. One which nobody could see or anticipate, yet it lingered in the darkness over their ramshackle family home all the same. His ambition of grandiosity had reached new dangerous heights that had left him with a decision he so easily took; success over a functioning family life. What hurt more than having no father was a father who would pay him no attention in favour of his work life — to earn a fraction of Papa’s time, Teddy would have to bend over backwards for him.

Micah had always been far less willing.

This had been a reality that had laid dormant in their youth whilst Micah focused on taking on Papa’s role as Teddy’s primary caregiver following Mama’s untimely passing. But over years this once unnoticed realisation erupted into fruition the moment the catalyst had returned to test the brothers’ seemingly unwavering relationship. Papa’s arrival had ignited a fraternal hostility which appeared so unassuming and quiet but, to Teddy, felt so loud. Never had the brothers been so cold towards one another until they disagreed fiercely about what to do with Papa. Teddy wanted him to stay — he was desperate to repair their fractured relationship — whilst Micah would be pleased to never see his father’s shrunken face again.

The brothers both loved each other, but they’d keep an eye on each other.

There were plenty of other eyes on them too. People began to whisper about how the well-esteemed Knope brothers had landed in hot water following the arrival of Giovanni Knope. Teddy wondered how long he could stay afloat this way without his brother’s guidance; after all, Micah had always been by his side until their recent divide, and this was clearly unfamiliar territory for the younger of the two. And maybe Teddy was bitter that Micah seemed so full of gall towards Teddy when Teddy was just doing what any person should do for their family. Whilst Papa barely acted like it, he was still their father and so Teddy would treat him with such respect. He would go to the ends of the world for him if it meant he could finally receive the praise that he had waited nearly three decades for.

And so he’d go into things blindly at Giovanni’s request because maybe his boldness would surely be enough to impress Papa. ❝ So, Micah… ❞ Teddy introduced his proposition with a vaguely confident hum. If he was being entirely truthful to himself, Teddy would admit that he was scared as hell because he knew Micah would not react well to this. In fact, Teddy would not have even brought up this proposal in the first place if it wasn’t for the fact that Micah deserved to be made aware of any changes Teddy wished to make in their empire. Teddy leaned against the balustrade of the upstairs lobby, outside of the hotel conference room and hallway to nearby suites. It had initially been his intention to make full use of the conference room, but the formality of it left a bitter taste in his mouth.

Instead, he cracked his knuckles as he stalled for a moment until eventually straightening up to look towards his older brother. ❝ I’m letting Papa be in charge of our tobacco sales. He knows what he’s doing and — well — I think it’s time for him to be a part of da family again. ❞ With the smallest of sneers, Teddy sent Micah a small shrug before he pointed out matter-of-factly, ❝ He’s different now, ya know? He just wants to be there for us, for Jules, for the boys. Ya just need to give the old man a chance. ❞ Teddy was too afraid to acknowledge that Micah may have been right all along, and so he’d push his version of reality until it eventually became true. Maybe a part of Teddy knew that Papa would only tear him apart until there was nothing left but grief and anguish in his heart. But, he’d rather pretend than ever side with Micah’s version of events.

Sometimes his own ignorance was bliss.

12
The Badlands / unconditional — open .
« on: June 24, 2021, 04:57:27 PM »
❝ Oh, I like this one. ❞ Giovanni’s gravelly voice rattled as he spoke, puffing at the end of a cigar whilst he lounged back on his chair. The father and son duo sat at a bistro table on the terrace which looked out across the ocean. Whilst Giovanni twisted the cigar between two pinched fingers, scrutinizing the item for any faults, Teddy sat at the other end of the table compliantly, watching his father with an expectant gaze. Usually, those somewhat narrowed eyes meant that he was searching for something to criticize, as if the pleasure of being able to take full advantage of his sons’ empire would never be enough for him.

Giovanni smacked his lips together, blowing a thick plume of smoke towards his youngest son before he remarked, ❝ Much better than the last one. You should stop manufacturing dem other ones; won’t be good for business ‘round here if we keep selling them off to our guests. ❞ Teddy’s lips parted slightly, nodding his head thoughtfully as he observed his father. We. Our. Words which would send Micah into a frenzy if he ever heard them pass Giovanni’s lips. And so Giovanni would not dare mention his intentions in front of Micah — those were words he’d use to manipulate Teddy instead.

Sometimes, Teddy could see right through his father. He knew that Papa only decided to show up upon hearing about the Knope’s success in this neck of the woods, but Teddy couldn’t help but automatically yield to Papa regardless. He had spent his entire life desperate for just an inkling that Papa was proud of him, but instead he would be met with those cold, indifferent, judging eyes that always brought about a feeling of unease whenever he was around him. Teddy would never admit that his relationship with Papa was fractured in its very own way; Teddy so desperately wanted to hate Papa, but even more so wanted to hate the way that he loved him all the same. Yearned for a connection, one which he had never been fortunate enough to experience in his youth.

Everything felt tangled as Teddy gazed across at Papa. He hated that look on Papa’s face — despised it — and yet his tongue felt as if it were in knots as he fumbled uselessly for the right words he could use to impress him. It was the greatest oxymoron, his love and hate for Papa. But, when Papa sat, live in the flesh, in front of Teddy, he felt nothing but the desire to please and the intense fear of angering the beast in repose. ❝ Yeah, you right. ❞ Teddy chose to agree, even whilst he quite enjoyed the last cigar that Giovanni had tasted. Teddy was intrigued by the types of cigars that they could manufacture right here in The Badlands, but Giovanni had especially taken an interest in the commodity. It was almost as if he knew that it was one way of sneaking into the business. His honest opinion and his own presumed expertise could be enticing for any businessman.

Not Teddy, though. He just feared how Giovanni would respond if he told him no. Would he abandon the brothers again if Teddy were to stand up against his father? Would he break Teddy’s heart all over again, fracture all trust that Teddy already struggled to form with people? He hated the way Papa made him feel, as if nothing he said would ever be enough. As if he was trapped upon a tightrope, balancing between maintaining or destroying this fragile relationship he and Papa had. ❝ Ya like this one though? It’s da smoothness that I like. ❞ ❝ Toasty, almost. ❞ Teddy nodded his head, leaning back in his seat as he looked out across the sea. ❝ Toasty, yeah. ❞ Compliance would hold Papa's attention; it often did in times like these, Teddy had learned through experience.

13
The Badlands / puppet loosely strung — meeting [ 05/22 ]
« on: May 22, 2021, 10:05:02 AM »
Today’s meeting was different.

As powerful as Teddy could appear when he stood on the stage in the casino, this time there appeared to be a crack in his armour. A space between where he stood apart from Micah and Juliette. He folded his arms across his chest as he began his wordless search, peering around the growing crowd to find where Giovanni sat at one of the tables, a smirk of pride lingering on his lips whilst he drummed fingertips on the table. Teddy pulled his head back slightly, clearing his throat before looking down at someone in the crowd, then starting a casual conversation with his ever-so-alluring charm and falseness.

Look, Papa — Teddy was adored now.

After several minutes, Teddy ended his short conversation with a laugh and a short crinkle of his nose before lifting his head to see that the room was nearly full. Teddy hummed to himself in thought before lazily gesturing his pointer finger towards the door, ❝ Make sure nobody’s out dere wasting our time. Meetings about’a start. ❞

14
The Badlands / bad — boutique , open .
« on: May 16, 2021, 12:53:03 PM »
He was a lesson in fluidity. A beast in repose, tangled up in silk and all things glamorous and beautiful. He was beautiful when people would stand and watch him in awe; whether it was his power and glory that made him so prepossessing or the silver tongue as charming as a snake’s as he weaved the most alluring of words to fool any person, he barely knew himself. It was his natural warmth like the comfort of sun rays, and that metallic, hollow laugh with those toothy, fake grins of his that lead many to underestimate his potential. The danger of a man so unassuming that no one would ever expect to find him to be as volatile as he really was.

The only thing more terrifying than a violent man was a violent man without the warning signs.

It was easy to see his appeal in the way he walked, the way he warped the minds of those who’d bend over backwards to please him because they always assumed that their relationship would go both ways, the way that people would turn to watch the man who barely understood the kind of monster he had slowly evolved to become. It was the danger of ambition; it always looked ugly in its extreme, but Teddy made it look so good with his stylish flair and beautiful slicked back blond locks.

And as he stood in the boutique, gussying himself up in the mirror before taking a couple of steps back to admire his clothing, from the outside no one would ever be able to predict the sort of terror he could instill in those who knew what he was capable of. Like a ticking time bomb that they’d hold close to their chest, nurture and cherish as if that would prevent the inevitable from happening. One day they’d step out of line, leave Teddy feeling unhappy, and they’d regret it when he’d erupt. But they still treated him like royalty all the same as if they were attached to him under duress. As if they not only idolised him, but feared him just as much.

❝ It looks so good on you, Teddy. ❞ A woman stood in the boutique nearby Teddy, watching the way he looked intently at the blazer they were fitting on him. It was exactly his style, the muted navy blazer left unbuttoned to reveal an off-white dress shirt with two or three buttons left undone. His beige trousers were fitted precisely, leg length just perfect to reveal his favourite leather loafers. Lip twitched, Teddy’s face quickly falling as he gazed at himself dully in the mirror before he mumbled, ❝ Don’t stand there and lie to me. ❞ With an exaggerated frown twisting at his features, Teddy turned his head to look across at her, the woman’s lips parted as she tried to form the right words with her mouth.

As if she believed that those words would be her last.

❝ I can hear it in your voice. So fucking monotonous. Ya don’t even know what you’re talking ‘bout. ❞ ❝ No, the blazer. It’s nice on you, Teddy! ❞ She tried to correct her tone, Teddy releasing a stressed sigh before looking back at himself in the mirror. ❝ It doesn’t fit me right. The sleeves are too long. Much too long, I can’t wear this out. ❞ In the reflection of the mirror, Teddy watched the way the woman cautiously walked behind him before nearing the side of his shoulder to peer over into the mirror. She rested her cheek on his shoulder, eyes darting across his frame, before peering up to him.

❝ It’s nothing that can’t be tailored to fit you better. ❞ She reasoned gently, soon looking over her shoulder as she heard people entering the boutique. ❝ Don’t you think Teddy looks good in this blazer? Just need to fix the length of the sleeves, but that’s an easy job. ❞ Teddy didn’t move from his position, instead flitting his gaze up into the reflection to look at whoever had just walked into the boutique behind him. As if he was awaiting reassurance that he truly did look as good as the woman beside him so desperately insisted.

15
The Badlands / no church in the wild — tasks , open .
« on: May 15, 2021, 07:57:26 AM »
❝ Okay, get over ‘ere! ❞ Teddy exclaimed as he gathered members of The Badlands around in the hotel lobby. Once he was pleased with the size of the group being formed, he raised his brows and revealed a notebook. ❝ Gotta list ‘a’ chores here for y’all. I need these things done in the next few weeks so... ❞ With pursed lips, Teddy placed the opened notebook down on a nearby table for people to look through, then resigning to sit on the nearby couch so that he could take a sip of his herbal tea.

Spoiler: show
∙ Gather a group of people to scavenge in a nearby mall for any clothes, jewelry or fabrics for the boutique.
∙ Set up a new target practice and practice shooting a gun.
∙ Look after the horses in the city’s stables.
∙ Perform an act in the casino one evening, whether that be music, singing, dance, comedy etc.
∙ Make and serve dinner for the inmates in the prison.
∙ Renovate an abandoned house for new recruits.
∙ Serve a brunch for The Badlanders to eat one afternoon.
∙ Punish an imprudent Prospective.
∙ Spend the day taking care of an injured member of the group.
∙ Sell drugs, alcohol or cigarettes/cigars to a visitor.
∙ Host a water sports competition.

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