"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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((Min-jae Parker continued from Black Kingdom, Red Kingdom))

Jae had run out of cigarettes yesterday.

This was something of an issue, because he couldn't buy them himself, and he hadn't been able to catch anyone he knew who could reasonably be expected to lend him any, so it was pretty much a toss-up between whether he'd be able to get his hands on some before or after he started getting really cranky. There was a little bit of worry in the back of his mind too, the thought that he probably shouldn't be smoking so much that withdrawal was even an issue since he didn't have a guaranteed steady supply. He'd been smoking more frequently throughout the school year, telling himself he'd be able to cut down again when it was all over with and he could really relax. Sometimes he thought his parents definitely smelled the smoke on him, even though he was careful about it, but they hadn't said anything yet.

He wanted one right now, honestly, but the want hadn't turned into a full-blown nicotine craving just yet. He tried to distract himself by fiddling with his phone, scrolling through his contact list and debating sending a text to the newest addition to it. His finger hovered over the name Hazel Jung as he glanced up for probably the tenth time at the sign of the restaurant he was standing outside. Seemed like half the restaurants in Kingman were run by or employed people that Jae knew in some way. He had to wonder how they all stayed in business.

This one at least looked decent from the outside, if unassuming other than the elaborately-painted sign that proclaimed it was the Treehouse Restaurant and Bar. Another Cheryl's knockoff, most likely, but eh. He thought that he'd heard good things about the dessert at one point or another, so he was willing to give that a chance at least.

Jae finally tapped Hazel's name and wrote out a quick text, clinking his tongue stud against his teeth to try and take his mind off the fact that there wasn't a cigarette in his mouth.

Hey it's Jae.
You said to come to the Treehouse restaurant right?
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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