Waking up the morning after the disastrous dinner party Electra let out a loud groan. She had hoped the entire thing was a dream, but unfortunately she was back to reality. The modelling shoot she had been so apprehensive over now seemed like a blessing, it gave her an excuse to get out of the house for a few hours. Jumping out of bed she jogged to the bathroom, hoping not to wake Ryan. After brushing her hair, which she was thinking of dying once more soon, she padded into her walk-in-wardrobe and put on a tiny pair of denim shorts and a plain black vest. After slipping into a pair of cowboy boots she had picked up at a vintage store on Baywood she was ready to go.
Riding in the elevator up the huge monolith of glass after the short subway ride Electra felt excitement more than nerves, sure she she had been a little apprehensive over the shoot, she was a 19 year old being photographed by a famous fashion house. Despite her reservations she was still more than willing to give it her all now that she was there, and throwing open the double doors in front of her she stepped into the studio. A rail of clothes flew past her carried by an ematicated helper in four inch stilettos, a random photographer took a candid shot of her, and three makeup girls rushed past into the next room, where a much more famous rock star was also having a photoshoot.
Looking around the room she spotted Marc, stood in the shooting area on the huge white sheets which covered the walls and floor, engaged in conversation with the photographer. He was evidently telling some sort of joke because the man kept bursting out in laughter.
“Slim!” Marc shouted, noticing her bright purple hair from a mile off, and admiring her legs in the tiny shorts as she crossed the room. After introducing himself with a peck on each cheek the photographer went to prep his cameras, giving Marc the room to embrace her in a tight hug.
“Still recovering from last night?” He asked with a laugh as he thought about the dinner party.
“You’re the one who should be recovering!” She replied, grabbing his arm to look for the mark, fortunately Maud’s violence had only left four tiny dots.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ma big boy, I’ll be fine. You excited to be a model!?” He said with a theatrical gasp, causing her to break out in laughter, he never took anything seriously, which was one of the reasons they got along so well.
“Yeah, totally.” She joked back, “I’m just doing it to get out the word on the band.”
“Come on lovebirds, let’s get started!” The photographer, Lorenzo, shouted, now in position. Electra wasn’t phased by the lack of hair and makeup, this was her and she was happy with it. “This is a natural shoot honeys, don’t worry you both look divine, love suits you!” Lorenzo said, not really noticing that neither of them cared. “So you’re the two who are dating, right?” He asked as he began snapping away.
“No!” Electra said at the same time as Marc’s “Yes!” She looked at him in shock, but he only grinned back.
“Get into it, pose for me!” Lorenzo shouted, shooting away. “Fabulous!” He said as they struck pose after pose. He eventually came up with quite a few shots he liked, they were both naturals. After a rather slow start the two of them had gotten right into it, posing without any embarrassment. Neither of them took themselves too seriously, Electra had grown up with the pompous air which Olive employed all around her – and hated it. Unfortunately Lorenzo had skipped the shots of them sticking their tongues out and dancing, he was a more serious guy.
It was over before it had even begun, and Electra was surprised to learn she loved it! It had been the easiest thing in the world to fall into a few poses, it wasn’t as if they were high fashion models being exposed to the world, the fashion house had simply thought they had style and were going places, and that it would be good to give them a photoshoot so their name could get out there a little more – hopefully they would remember it when they made it.
“So, what’s your story – who are you – where’d ya come from – all that jazz.” The photographer said, whipping out a pad as Electra looked at Marc with an amused glance, he knew she hated interviews, she had seen her mother be misconstrued so badly in the press and didn’t want her opinions being twisted to suit the needs of the interviewer.
“I’m Marc, this is Slim, and the other members of the band are Ryan and Sammy. Newly formed and trying to make it on the Bridgeport scene. That’s about it.” Marc said, taking the edge of the tiny interview with a big grin. They didn’t want to ride off the Belgravia name, and referring to Electra by her nickname helped to cover who she was – it wasn’t exactly a secret, she just didn’t talk about it.
“Hmph. Well – good luck, I better go see to the star next door.” He said with an imperious tone, and left the room. The two of them were alone now, and for some reason Electra felt a sexual tension in the room, she had no idea where it was coming from, Marc was purely a friend.
“So, you enjoyed it then? You looked hot.” Marc said, knowing that she had liked the experience as much as he had. He was close to her now, closer than what her mother said ‘was appropriate’ and she found herself a little put out, although she’d never let Marc know that.
“Loved it, how about you?.” Electra asked, moving back a few steps trying to get out of range from his glinting, flirting eyes. As much as he enjoyed flirting with her Marc also felt he could relate to her – got the problems with Maud, having a rather troubled mother himself. Luckily his father was still around to take care of her, so he didn’t have as much responsibility as Ryan, but he knew sometimes you just needed to get away, and that’s what he wanted to do for Electra.
“Wanna hit the clubs?” He became flirtatious again as he spoke, causing Electra to look down a little shyly. She and Ryan had been monogamous since they started dating, but she had flirted (and more) a lot before she met him, it was kind of a kick to do it again.
“C’mon, as friends.” Marc could sense that she was enjoying the slight flirting, but knew it would upset her if she thought this was some sort of date – she really did love Ryan, just couldn’t deal with his dysfunctional mother right now.
“I can’t, Sebastian’s friends from school have flown in and are staying at the loft, we’re having a little party tomorrow, I’ll see you there about 8.” She gave him a friendly peck on the cheek before dashing out of the door. Oddly she felt wildly excited by the attention Marc had shown her, Ryan had been so caught up with his mother lately she had felt a little neglected. The arrival of Sebastian’s friends was a welcome one, lately it had been show after show after show, where they didn’t really get a chance to experience the night properly, followed by hours fretting over Ryan and Maud. She was desperately excited for the house to be full of people, things had became awkward between her and Ryan lately and she just couldn’t bare another night with him and Maud. Coming out of the building her mood was ruined by the sight of her mother – locked in embrace with a man who definitely wasn’t Marcus – across the street.
Even from such a far distance Electra was blinded by the huge diamond on Olive’s finger which caught the light in a dazzling show, the ruby in the centre seeming to cast its own aura. This was probably Olive’s new husband, how could Electra be surprised?
* * *
Electra, Sebastian, Ricky, and Nate all walked into the apartment in an amazing mood after a few hours down at The Polo Club. While not great friends with the two boys Electra had known them socially from school back in Redcliffe, they were fun, carefree and glamorous, with six-goal handicaps and deep suntans from spending the past 12 months jetting around the world playing polo on the fields of Argentina, Palm Beach, Deauville, and England. Electra was glad that before she had met up with her brother and the boys she had booked herself an appointment to strip the purple from her hair, everything that wasn’t black had clashed horribly with it and it would have made her look so out of place. While she liked doing her hair crazy for the shows, it just wasn’t for her to have it like that at all times.
“Great flat Electra – oh it’s Slim now, right?” Ricky said with a smile as he looked around the loft.
“Call me whatever!” Electra replied as she poured them all massive vodka and oranges in the kitchen, simultaneously looking around for any sign of Ryan – or more pressingly, Maud.
“You need a dog in here, mans best friend you know.” Nate informed the group as he flopped onto the sofa after depositing their polo sticks in Electra’s bedroom, rubbing a bruise under his breeches were Electra had rapped him with her mallet during their match.
“We were thinking of getting one, weren’t we sis?” Sebastian shouted to Electra as leafed idly through a book on thoroughbreds.
While Electra had no difficulty in leaving life with Olive behind, Sebastian, who had always been far more attuned to that lifestyle than his sister, still missed it. He still wore his Ralph Lauren shirts, visited art galleries full of Old Masters (which he could have seen much closer up if he had visited one of Olive’s many homes, which were loaded with them), and went to the Polo Club a few times a week to play on a horse he rented, as all of his own had been left at Belgrave Ranch. He had an ability to get on with anybody, but it was good for him to have Ricky and Nate around, his two best friends from school; they were similar to Sebastian, he felt he could be himself more around them.
“Need any help?” Ricky asked in his English accent as he approached Electra at the bar. He had always admired Sebastian’s sister, and thought she was looking better than ever lately.
“Sure, take these over will you?” Ricky took the two drinks Electra had already made and delivered them to Nate and Sebastian, who were discussing the first chukka.
“How’s your music going anyway?” Ricky asked Electra, only half heatedly listening as she replied, all Ricky listened to were the evening racing results and occasionally The Beatles. He was more interested in looking at her.
“Where’s that boyfriend you mentioned?” He continued, hoping that Ryan, who Electra had mentioned briefly during their game earlier, wouldn’t make an appearance so he would have a shot at Electra.
“Oh – I dunno.” Electra replied, a little sadness in her voice. She had joined Ricky on the bar-stools now, and listened as he told her a little about his year, it sounded so fun and interesting, all she had done was a few gigs which hadn’t gotten them any recognition from a recording company.
“Look – I’m positive you’ll get recognition soon enough. Anyway, if you don’t you could always come join us on the field, my patrons always looking for great looking, really good girl players to sponsor, they add such a higher level to the games.” Ricky lingered for a while over the words ‘great looking’, his disarming eyes staring at her with lust – she looked away.
“How the hell did you manage to get to six so soon?” Sebastian asked Nate as they sat together on the sofa. While he may have missed some parts of his old life, he still enjoyed the one he was living – he loved the loft, and being Revolutionis’ manager, he just wished more was happening. No matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t get record companies interested in the band, making him feel like a failure.
“Jesus! Have I walked into a prep school?” They all looked up from their positions on the various sofas as Sammy walked unannounced into the loft, looking the polar opposite of the four of them, who hadn’t bothered to change from their polo clothes, in her all black outfit, with her sunglasses on and a cigarette between her fingers.
“Hey Sam!” Electra threw Sammy a smile, remembering not to jump up and hug her – Sammy hated physical contact.
“Whatsup?” Sammy replied as she flopped onto the sofa next Nate, in Sebastian’s old seat. “Saw your mom in the paper today,” she said to Sebastian and Electra, “got herself married again.” Sammy flipped through a pile of CD’s which were piled up on the end table as she spoke, looking for something more to her liking as Sebastian and Electra exchanged amused glances – so the man Olive had been with was a husband number four.
“Who the heck is she?” Ricky asked Electra, a little put out by Sammy’s appearance.
“Our keyboard player.” She replied with a laugh, in a way his reaction reminded her of the night she took Sebastian to his first bar, he had acted so conservative before then, out of the bedroom that is.
“Why are you guys dressed like idiots anyway?” Sammy asked as she took a drag on her cigarette, opening the pack up to Nate who took one for himself.
“Polo.” Nate replied as he lit the cigarette, passing the box back to Sammy.
“Ugh! I should have known. I always forget you two,” she waved airily at Electra and Sebastian, “are thoroughbred blue bloods. Must have got it from your mom, have you heard who she’s marrying?” She asked, pausing dramatically, “Charles freakin’ Peredin-Bauer, governor of Bridgeport.” Sammy shook her head in amazement.
“Really?” Ricky asked casually, “he plays polo with my father sometimes when we’re over here, quite a nice man.”
“You gotta be kidding me.” Sammy said, laughing. “Anyway, where’s Marc? Oh and Ryan?” She said, just noticing that Ryan wasn’t here as she had expected him to be.
“Marc just text me, he’s on his way.” Sebastian said, hardly looking up from the book which he had quickly became engrossed in.
“And I’m right here.” Ryan said as he walked into the room. Electra jumped up and ran over to him, she was thrilled that Maud was nowhere in sight.
“How was your day?” She asked, moving in for a kiss. He turned his head to the side so it landed not on his lips as she had planned, but his cheek.
“Moms not doing so good, I better go call her.” He spoke softly, hardly looking at Electra.
“Whats wrong?” Electra was hardly Maud’s biggest fan – but she was Ryan’s biggest fan. “You can tell me.” She stared at him, hoping for answers. He merely looked away, taking in the guests.
“That’s her boyfriend?” Ricky asked Nate, who had moved to sit next to him, “I was expecting a lot more, I mean, why’s he being so blunt? She’s gorgeous…” He looked at Electra, with the same lust in his eyes as he had shown earlier.
“Where’s he going?” Nate asked as they watched Ryan move behind the rooms partition, where he pulled out his phone and immediately called Maud. Ricky quickly looked over at Electra, it had been the first time she had really smiled in hours when she embraced Ryan, only Ricky saw her features fall into dismay before she took a deep breath and pulled herself together.
“Arsehole.” Ricky muttered.
“Don’t hang up!” Ryan could be heard shouting from the dining area. Maud, who wouldn’t tell him where she was or who she was with, had slammed the phone down on him. He could feel the emotions churning inside of him, he felt desperately guilty for not giving Electra more attention recently, she had been so patient and understanding, but it must be getting frustrating. He simply didn’t want to upset her with all of Maud’s troubles, he would deal with them – it had always been that way. With a resolute sigh he began dialing her number again, he would call her all night if it would keep her away from drugs.
“Hey guys!” Marc’s unrelenting cheer raised Electra’s spirits a little as he walked into the loft. Giving him a friendly peck on the cheek she crossed the loft and went to the bedroom, locking the door firmly behind her.
“I see it’s polo season.” Marc continued, shaking hands with Ricky and Nate, who instantly liked him far better than Ryan.
“Nice to meet you all. Where’s Liberty?” He asked as he looked around the room, which now contained Sebastian, who was sat on a chair still engrossed in his book, Ricky and Noah, who were having an in depth conversation about ways to get their sponsor to give them more money, and Sammy, who, having been left alone on the sofa, was chain smoking while talking animatedly into her cell phone.
“You asshole! I’ll tell everyone how you like to dress up in my panties!” Sammy screamed in to the phone as she jumped up from the sofa, “you think I won’t? Watch me!” She kept him on the line as she turned to the group and burst out laughing. “Everyone, you should know my now ex-boyfriend really loves dressing up in my panties!”
“Interesting!” Laughed a voice which rose above the other whoops of laughter. “How is everyone?” Liberty smiled as she crossed the room, the expansive and intimate smile that had today won her a three-part guest role on a medical drama.
“Hel-lo! And who are you?” Nate said, jumping up from the sofa and kissing her hand, causing her to break out in giggles.
“She’s my girlfriend, so hands off.” Sebastian said with a grin as he enveloped Liberty in a huge hug before planting a long, lingering kiss on her lips.
“You always did get the pretty ones.” Nate said, sitting back down. Now that Sammy had broken up with her boyfriend he decided to have a try with her.
“Oh Liberty, nice to see you!” Electra said as she came back from the bedroom, no one clocked onto the fact that her makeup was completely fresh, having washed it all away with her tears. Liberty grabbed Electra’s hand and dragged her onto the sofa next to Sammy, where she started to fill the group in on her audition. Marc grabbed Sebastian while the rest of the group were preoccupied and pulled him to the side.
“Listen man, I gotta ask you something.” Marc spoke quickly, nervous that the conversations going on across the room would lull and everyone would hear him.
“What is it?” Sebastian replied, worried that something was seriously wrong.
“Well – it’s Slim.” Marc blurted out as Sebastian looked at him in shock, “I can’t stop thinking about her, I haven’t ate, I haven’t slept, I mean I haven’t even had a smoke since we finished the photo shoot yesterday!” Sebastian laughed, as if breaks from cigarettes made it so serious.
“Look – she loves Ryan.” Sebastian replied evenly, resisting an urge to punch Marc in the face, I mean this was his sister he was talking about.
“I know, I know, but they haven’t been getting on recently, we’ve all noticed it you must have too. Ryan’s just so preoccupied, it’s that god-damn bitch of a mother of his, I could make her happy!” Marc was getting excited now, thinking how much of a better boyfriend he’d be to Electra.
“Just leave it, okay? If Electra,” – Sebastian never did get into the habit of using his sisters nickname – “and Ryan aren’t meant to be then yeah, maybe you’ll have a chance. But don’t break their relationship apart, its not fair to Ryan.” Marc and Sammy were sick of Ryan’s mood lately, but Sebastian saw past it – he knew he was going through a rough patch and tried to be understanding about it.
From his position on the chesterfield Ricky had heard most of what Marc was saying – Nate had been staring at Liberty the entire time, oblivious to everything. If Marc was making a play for Electra he had to beat him too it, he had planned on waiting until their relationship had broken apart – it was clear it was about to, then moving in on her, but if Marc was playing dirty, he would too.
“And then they told me I had the part!” Liberty exclaimed happily, finishing her audition story, only slightly put out that Ryan was pacing up and down behind her waiting for Maud to call back.
As the night wore on the small party got wilder, the drinks on empty stomachs had made everyone quite giddy, and when Marc suggested dancing they all – well, most of them – were more than up for it.
Sammy, who had found Nate far to upper class and far too full of himself earlier in the day, was now very susceptible to his considerable charms, and had even allowed him to dance with her. Granted he was doing more of a ‘dad dance’ than her wild moves, but the way he was looking at her made her forget all about it.
Sebastian, who loved to get lose at the Revolutionis gigs, was showing off some of his dance moves, causing everyone to burst out laughing as he went from move to move, laughing his handsome head off.
Even Ricky, usually appearing very macho by refusing to dance, got up and shook his lean hips a little, he couldn’t help himself, hanging around with Sebastian and Electra’s friends had loosened him up considerably, he felt he could relax more than he could with the trust fund babies who he usually hung around with.
The only two people who weren’t having fun were Ryan and Electra. Hidden from the group by the rooms partition, their voices blocked by the extra loud music, no one knew what was going on.
“Just tell me what’s wrong Ryan, please. All I want to do is help!” Electra said, her sympathy breaking a little as she became more and more annoyed at his guarded nature.
“Leave it Electra!” He shouted back, resisting the urge to strike her, his mother had done it to him growing up and it had always worked, but he had vowed never to hit a woman.
“Oh for god sake!” Electra screamed back, finally losing her temper, “its all Maud’s fault! Why can’t you just check her into a clinic or something?! If you’re worried about the money I can pay for it! She needs help!”
“You’re so fucking selfish! She’s my mother and I’m gonna be there for her, we don’t need your charity!”
“Ryan, please!” She shouted back, becoming more frustrated by the second. Was Arielle right when she said the money would drive them apart? All she wanted to do was help!
“JUST LEAVE IT! Don’t ask me to chose between you and my mother because guess what – you’ll lose!”
“I – I wasn’t…” Electra muttered, shocked at how angry he was getting. What was it about his damn mother?!
“I’m out of here, I’ll be out searching for my mother – enjoy your damn party!” He shouted back, beginning to storm out of the loft.
“Ryan…” She reached out her hand, hoping he would just turn around and take it, but he didn’t. He stormed out of the loft, slamming the door behind him. Feeling utterly selfish and guilty Electra sloped off to her bedroom, she felt like it was all her fault, if she could have just kept sucking it up everything would have been okay, she knew all about bad relationships from Olive, she should have been an expert at having one of her own.
A few minutes after Ryan had stormed out of the apartment Ricky noticed Electra’s absence. He had seen her stood with Ryan earlier, although he couldn’t hear anything they were saying over the music. Sauntering towards the dining area, a little tipsy, he started shouting her name, ready to get her to join in.
“Eee-leeeect-raaa?!” He said with a grin as he walked around, illogically checking if she was hiding under the table or behind plants – he was drunker than he thought.
“Where is she hiding?” He mumbled to himself with a laugh as he made his way into her bedroom. Taking a quick look around he was about to leave when he heard a muffled sob from the closet. Taking a closer look he saw the huddled figure of Electra, she had pulled the privacy curtain across and was sobbing into her arms. Suddenly he felt completely sober.
“Electra… are you okay?” He asked, keeping beyond the curtain.
After a few minutes of her sobbing he decided something had to be done.
“I’m coming in, okay?” Hearing no response from her he took it as a yes, and entered the closet. With a groan he eased his aching limbs onto the ground next to her, polo season took it out of him. Then he began to talk. He just spoke about what he knew – polo. He told her of the glamorous girls who tried to bag him in Palm Beach, of playing with the Prince of Wales in England, and how difficult it was sometimes – he refused to take his billionaire fathers money, insisting on paying for everything for himself, which made it extremely difficult, but made him feel a thousand times prouder.
Very slowly, after talking to her for an hour or so, Electra came around. Looking up into Ricky’s eyes she smiled – a weak smile, but a smile nonetheless – she was so grateful, he had been so nice to her.
“It’ll be okay.” Ricky said with a slightly stronger smile. He didn’t let on that he had never wanted to kiss someone so much, she was so radiantly beautiful, even in her vulnerability.
“Thanks for staying with me, you didn’t have to.” Electra said, wiping away the smudged mascara on her face as they both hauled themselves up off the floor. Looking into Ricky’s eyes after almost stumbling on the way up she felt she was safe, he was so nice.
They embraced in a totally natural hug, both feeling as if it was right, and as they pulled away Electra didn’t back off, and neither did he. She closed her eyes and moved in to kiss him, he was just showing too much kindness for her not too. Watching the tantalizingly full lips moving towards him Ricky had to exert every ounce of self control to pull away. He wanted her more than he had ever wanted a woman, and despite his thoughts about playing dirty to beat Marc to her he just couldn’t do it like this – if it was going to happen he wanted it to be real.
“Electra, I can’t, not like this. You’re upset, I don’t want you to do anything you might regret.” He was churning inside, how was this possible?! It was as if he was falling in love with her, they hardly knew each other!
“What the hell’s going on here?!” they both jumped at the sound of Marc’s voice. He was framed in the doorway, seething.
“Marc! Don’t be upset!” Electra said quickly, she knew that he liked her and couldn’t bring herself to hurt someone else.
“Save it! You knew that I liked you, or haven’t I made myself clear?! And you get with him?! Well you can forget about it, and you can forget about the stupid band too!” With that he turned on the heel of his brown leather boots and stormed out of the room.
“Please, go after him!” Electra begged Ricky, who quickly complied, running after Marc. Alone in the closet again Electra slid to the floor once more, the sobs that Ricky had worked so hard to subside coming back worse than ever. She had drove Ryan away, Ricky didn’t want her, and now Marc hated her. It had been the worst party she could have possibly imagined.
* * *
So – how are you enjoying this generation?! I’m loving writing it, I’m so glad you guys voted in Electra. Who would you like to see Electra end up with? As you can see she’s pretty conflicted at the moment.
– Marissa x