Category Archives: Chapters

Olive’s Sunset Valley House: Part 1

With all of her children and grandchildren now residing in Sunset Valley, Olive decided to build herself a home for when she was in town, so she didn’t have to stay at what she deigned ‘any of those low rent establishments’. Five hundred builders, seven architects, multiple contractor firms, an army of plumbers, electricians, and high tech security firms, as well as sixteen interior designers were thrown onto the empty lot at 15 Summer Hill Court to erect Olive’s mammoth summer home.

The first part has detailed most of the downstairs rooms, although there are still a few more to be photographed. Bedrooms and the upstairs in part 2!

Generation 4 – Chapter 5

Electra and Ricky had rented a house in Sunset Valley where they had been staying for just a few months. After the success of the bands first album, Electra had thought that everything was falling into place, but – on the advice of her record label – the band had decided to go in a completely different direction for the next album, a huge failure. The album sales had been dismal, and Electra had fled Bridgeport and the masses of photographers who had all revelled in her downfall. Luckily she had Ricky, the only thing that was keeping her sane. She wanted her music to take off so badly, and everything had started out so well. The house they were staying in was completely protected by walls, with a thick oak door to keep the photographers and paparazzi at bay. It hadn’t had the same success with keeping away Olive, Electra’s mother. After her break up with Ryan, Electra and Ricky had flew into a shotgun wedding. Ricky hailed from ancient English family, the France-Lynches, who held a lordship, although Ricky never actually used the title. Olive, in her jealousy at her daughters new title of Lady Electra, had turned around on her promises of a new leaf and divorced her husband, The Governor of Bridgeport, and replaced him with Prince Andrew Von Derringer, allowing her to get one up on her daughter by making her a Princess. Electra could not have cared less.

“You better get ready.” Electra chided as she slipped on her maroon turtleneck and turned to her husband. “Your mom and grandma are downstairs waiting.”

“Ugh, exactly why I should stay naked and you should join me in bed.” Ricky smiled seductively at her. He loved his family, but he would rather be with her.

“Get dressed, I hardly even know them and you know your mother doesn’t like me.” Ricky’s mother, Illiana, was a ferocious English/French socialite who was beautiful in a harsh way and had mixed feelings about Electra.

“I’ll be down in ten minutes.” He kissed her long and deep as Electra laughed, trying to disentangle herself so she could get downstairs. There was a family gathering of sorts going on; two days ago Ricky’s mother, Lady Illiana, had flown over in her private plane from the France-Lynch estate in the English countryside, stopping in Paris to pick up Ricky’s grandmother Lady Olenna. They were both dying to meet Electra, but had been a little wary when they first arrived. They knew of her career in music – and were disappointed with it – but her long famous ancestry and blue blood made for a compromise. Marrying into the Belgravia family was better than Ricky marrying some common girl, they thought, but both would have preferred a nice, homely girl who would stay at home tending to the estate while giving lots of little France-Lynch heirs. The women of the France-Lynch family, however, tended not to be as mild or timid as the girls they usually hoped for, and every generation was more abrasive, cunning, and socially minded than the last.

“Well at least she’s pretty, but what else would you expect from Ricky, he always went for the beauties.” Electra heard Olenna saying as she walked through the utility room into the kitchen.

“It is fortunate that this rock career has stalled, though they should get out of this house and move into the estate back in England.” Illiana said in her clipped English accent, heavily laced with a French one.

“Sorry about the wait.” Electra embraced Illiana lightly and kissed Olenna – who never rose from her seat unless it was to dote on her grandson – on the cheek.

“I am sorry to keep you waiting also.” Olive’s thoroughbred American accent rang through the kitchen as she stepped in from the pool area. Having seen Electra through the window, she decided now was a perfect time to make her entrance – anything to upstage her daughter. She had flown in from Monte Carlo yesterday, staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York before hopping on her husbands private plane and making the short flight to Sunset Valley. She detested the little town, having grown up in a place so small she only liked the big cities of Bridgeport, New York, Paris, London etc. There were few connections in Sunset Valley worth reaching out to to network with, apart from perhaps the Landgraabs, though that family – as powerful as they thought they were – were just big fish in a little pond compared to Olive’s Bridgeport connections. They had however, reached out to her, and Mrs. Landgraab, who was the eighth wife of the ancient and ailing Aaron Landgraab, had promised to throw a gala for her that very night – anything for Princess Olivia Von Derringer.

“Have you met my husband, The Prince?” Olive asked, pointing to her husband through the glass doors, who walked in just a few moments later.

“Oh yes, we’re old friends.” Illiana smiled sweetly and both began gossiping, laughing together with as no genuine feeling beneath the surface. Olive was actually happy with her daughters marriage, she could hardly have made a better one herself, but in Illiana she recognized a rival. Illiana never had any desire to move into the American social scene, but in England she was at the top of the ladder. Illiana also came from a much older and even better bred family than the Belgravia’s, and Olive’s husband, despite his title, had little money of his own. Olive paid for everything with her billions – that was their deal – he got immeasurable wealth, and she got to become a Princess. The House of Von Derringer was an ancient German Princely House, which had slowly dwindled away its fortunes over the years through excessive amounts of extravagance. When Andrew came into the title on the death of his father all that was left of the family fortune was a crumbling estate in the middle of the German countryside, and debts totaling over 40 million euros. Olive had settled his debts with a quick cheque (she’d probably make that back in interest within a year anyway) and supplied him with a generous allowance. She had loved Charles, her ex-husband, but her daughter couldn’t be higher than her. Electra may not ever use her title, but everyone knew she had one, and Olive wanted a better one.

“So lovely to meet you child.” Prince Andrew said with a smile as he clasped Electra’s hand and gave it a long, lingering kiss. He was a handsome man in an impeccable suit Olive had paid for, but Electra felt he had a kind of doctor-who-does-creepy-experiments look to him, and had to stifle her laughter.

“Great to meet you too.” Electra gave him her best smile. She wanted the relationship with her mama to work; for a while it had, when Olive had been with Charles, but Electra’s shotgun wedding and ascension to a Lady – a title which she usually laughed at or ignored all together – had torn them apart once more.

“And here is my beautiful grandson.” Lady Olenna smiled warmly as Ricky entered the room, looking gorgeous as usual in a cherry red polo shirt and brown pants. “Richard darling come give your grandmother a kiss.” Olenna got up with surprising virility and speed, her 86-years seeming nowhere in sight. A thin wisp of a woman, Olenna had been a ferocious socialite to rival Olive in her youth, on the English-French scene. Marriage into the France-Lynches had shot her to the top, and although she had mellowed in her age – she no longer had to fight for her spot at the top now, she still insisted on wearing diamonds at all times and never left the house without £2000 in cash ‘in case of emergencies’. She usually used it to tip off various waiters, drivers, and doormen, so that she heard the best gossip  before anyone else knew it.

“Grandmama.” Ricky nodded to each person in the room cordially before embracing his grandmother. He loved his mother and grandmother as much as anybody loved their family, but he could smell the lies and deceit from a mile off. He didn’t blame them for coming to check out Electra, he loved checking her out every single day, but he wished Electra’s mother had never came with this foreign Prince on her arm. He knew of the Von Derringer family, and he and most everyone else knew they held the title only in courtesy, it didn’t actually mean anything – they had no duties, and before Andrew married Olive, no money or social standing either. Ricky had been raised on his families huge estate, spending most of his time with the grooms who tended the stables or the groundsmen who tended the many many acres of land around the house. As such he knew how to get along with both the aristocracy and the working class, and most everyone who met him liked him because of his looks – which he was totally unaware of – and his friendly, charming demeanor.

“She’s quite a beauty, isn’t she?” Olenna smiled, nodding to Electra who was still talking to a wildly smiling Andrew. Ricky smiled softly at his grandmothers remark, he knew how much she loved him and was desperate for her to love Electra, who, despite her blue blood, was very different to the hoards of desperate Parisian socialites who had been chasing Ricky for years as he passed through Deauville for polo, and Paris to visit Olenna. He had many other women chasing him in Palm Beach, London, Argentina and across the world, usually coming onto him after a grueling polo match when he was looking for the company of a woman. He had dated many girls, and even had a fiancee once, but had never met anyone like Electra.

“There’s a battle of social dominance happening across the room. Who can manage to be the frostiest bitch while keeping the biggest smile.” Olenna laughed, nodding to Olive and Illiana, who were sat having an awkward conversation, both unused to being near someone on an equal social standing. While Olive’s many friends were both rich and powerful, she was the richest and most powerful of them all, and it was the same with Illiana. Society was a hierarchy, and both of the women were the top of the pyramid in their own particular arena, unused to coming across someone from another distinct group. Olive was the head of American society, while Illiana was the head of English-French society, the two groups mingled with each other, of course, but unless one was to move to a different venue, you were very much a part of a distinct group.

“So, do you like Electra? I know you haven’t had much of a chance to get to know her, but you don’t hate her?” He looked across at his wife, and thought how beautiful she was. She was out of place in the room, in her leggings and boots, but she still looked the best by far – he thought.

“Of course I like her, I would never dislike my grandsons wife, but darling, your mother and I worry over this rock thing she does – what about children?” Ricky had to stifle a laugh, he and Electra had discussed children – both wanted them – but he couldn’t exactly say to his grandmother they had spent the last few weeks doing little else than having sex and taking long baths together; she could be with child right now, the amount of times they had consummated their marriage, it would be surprising if she wasn’t!

“Her careers stalled, you know that, I’m going to help her get it back on track eventually, but she wants to wait until next year, after she’s toured with me on the polo season.”

“Oh, well that’s wonderful!” Olenna beamed at her grandson. She had heard Electra could play polo, but no doubt she was far away from her grandsons nine-goal handicap. Polo was a huge part of the France-Lynch family, they had played for generations, Ricky and his forefathers could all swing a polo stick before they could talk properly, and were riding by five years old. Olenna was relieved to hear Electra would be taking part in her grandsons life, and that children were being discussed. Her opinion of the little blonde bombshell was boosted immediately, and at least she didn’t have to worry about Electra being a gold digger – the Belgravia’s were one of the richest families in the world, though they did not have quite the prestige of the ancient France-Lynches, nor could Olive’s innumerable jewel collection match the five separate vaults full of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies that Olenna enjoyed in her Paris townhouse.

Across the room from Ricky, Olive and Illiana sat in a frosty silence, punctuated occasionally be some vapid remark about clothes, houses, or wealth in general. The two women were not getting along well, and Olive was glad of the distraction when Olenna’s laugh punctuated the room and she began to ease herself into a comfortable chair as Electra went over to Ricky and kissed him.

“Such a beautiful couple! We should get a picture!” Andrew shouted, a huge smile on his face. He had no idea about much of anything, and went along with whatever Olive said. The only thing he was good at was spending money – and he spent even faster than his forefathers. Sliding off the chair with a cool smile down at Illiana, Olive wrapped her arm through her husbands,

“Don’t be so gauche darling, we don’t take pictures, people just take them of us.”

“You are a sweet couple, I agree with this charming Prince.” Olenna smiled a vacant smile at Andrew and Olive, thinking what a  beauty Electra was. She had heard rumors about her parentage, a bitter old tart in a tacky turquoise dress and plastic earrings had told Olenna that Olive had a brief affair with some blonde hunk years back in Miami – but fled the city soon after and never spoke to any of them again. The boy had turned up dead in mysterious circumstances just a few weeks after Olive had married her first husband Maxwell, and many whispered that Olive had some part to play in it. If it was true that she was with this blonde it could explain Electra’s parentage, though Olenna had little to worry about if the man wasn’t alive – no nasty scenes could be caused.

As Olenna waved a perfectly manicured hand adorned with a huge ruby at Andrew, Electra embraced Ricky, basking in his scent and finding herself wishing that they were back upstairs in bed – alone.

“This is so boring, I’m sorry about this.” Ricky said, running his fingers through her silky blonde hair.

“It’s my fault as much as yours, with my insufferable mother.” She replied a little too loudly, gaining a giggle from Olenna who was listening to their conversation discreetly as she chatted idly with the prince. “Olive said she’s taking your mom with her to that gala thing later, so we can be alone if your grandmother goes too.” She gazed up into his eyes, dying to have him all to herself and not have all the family around them.

“We could slip upstairs right now, continue with that baby making.” He smiled as he kissed her; she felt her knees go weak.

“Electra!” Olive’s screech threw her from the moment, grudgingly she looked up at her mother, her heels tapping on the floor as she walked towards the dining room, turning round and beckoning for Electra to follow.

“I’ll see you in a bit.” She kissed him again, following her mother into the dining room. Olive stood stock still, her face implacable as she looked at her daughter.

“Princess.” Electra curtsied  mockingly, gaining a look of scorn from her mother.

“What on earth am I doing here Electra? You leave me in the corner trapped in an awkward conversation, then mock me so loud that people actually laughed! I came to show I am a caring mother, and this is what I get in return?” The truth of why Olive had came was actually to meet the France-Lynch women and to check out Ricky – she was fooling no one.

“Oh mama, what is  it with you? Just leave it okay. You better go get ready for the gala being thrown in your honor.”

“You should have made this a dinner then perhaps it wouldn’t be so awkward, and would it kill you to put on a skirt every once in a while? Even that ancient Lady Olenna looked more respectable than you did.”

Electra replied with a dramatized yawn, she could hardly understand this conversation at all.

“What’s the point of this mom?” Electra knew everything her mother did had some sort of motive behind it, but this time it seemed like she was just bitching for no reason.

“You listen to me Electra, you will go back in here, bring us all together as a good hostess should, serve some hors d’oeuvres or some champagne, and -” Electra cut her off with a huge grunt.

“I don’t think so mom, I’m not a society hostess and this isn’t some kinda  networking party, your meeting your god damn family – don’t you get it? These people are family now. Me and Ricky are married and if you wanna get to know his family then great, but don’t come here just to snoop.”

Electra threw a a long look at her mother before turning on her heel, storming into the kitchen, grabbing Ricky by the collar, and dragging him up to the bedroom.

*            *            *

“Your mother’s not going to be happy with you.” Ricky said a few minutes later as he nuzzled into Electra’s neck.

“Who cares. We don’t have a good relationship yano.” Electra kissed him back, stripping off his shirt as she did. The two of them rolled into bed, all talk of their families forgotten.

“C’mere you.” Ricky couldn’t keep his hands off her – the newlywed stage definitely didn’t seem to be ending any time soon. High season was coming up, which meant Palm Beach for the polo, followed by Westchester, Deauville, and Argentina. He’d have Electra on the road with him – although ‘the road’ was hardly the right description, as it was more a slew of fabulous hotels and mansions of friends – and he wouldn’t be leaving her side for a second with all those handsome, lecherous polo boys swanning around shirtless in their breeches. Electra would definitely be the apple of every eye.

For the next hour all thoughts of scheming mothers, dismal album sales, and feuding relatives trapped together downstairs were forgotten as they reveled in each others bodies. Electra couldn’t believe how her life had changed – before she had a great startup career, but was trapped with Ryan’s problems. Now she had no real career to speak of since the failure of the band, but the man in her life and the endless hours they spent with each other almost made up for it.

Afterwards, they laid in each others arms, dreading the moment when they had to go downstairs. Olenna had popped her grey hair through the door a few minutes ago, completely unfazed by the her naked grandson or her grand-daughter in law – she had seen quite a few things in her time – and told them that they were all headed to the gala in a few minutes.

Electra and Ricky descended to the hallway having thrown on their clothes – all Electra could think of was how fake her mother was. She sensed a similar level of deception from Illiana, although she felt she didn’t know the woman well enough to judge her. She did however like Olenna, and Andrew was nice in a dumb, money-grabbing kind of way. It was surreal to her that those two women were now her family. She had always imagined herself to be married one day, but not to someone like Ricky. Maybe when she was younger, at prep school, she would have seen herself with an English Lord, but as she had grown up she had found most of the Trust Fund Babies were vapid and boring, with a penchant for bitching and doing nothing all day. She had thought maybe she would marry another musician, like Ryan, but she was completely grateful that Ryan had left her life and she had found Ricky. He was so unlike anyone she had met, and was as bored with the whole ‘elite’ thing as she was. She was determined that when she had kids, they would be completely unlike Olive.

“Darlings! Are you sure you do not wish to come with us? It should prove to be a most interesting night.” Illiana asked, looking over Electra with a knowing eye.

“We’re sure mama.” Ricky kissed his grandmother on the cheek and whispered a few words in her ear, before doing the same to his mother. He gave Andrew a firm handshake and stopped for a few minutes to talk to Olive as Electra said goodbye to Olenna.

“We will miss you sweetie, we don’t know each other well it is true, but you seem a sweet girl, and you obviously adore my grandson as much as he adores you. ” Her twinkling eyes gazed into Electra’s knowingly, “and from that scene upstairs, I don’t think I’ll have to wait long for grandchildren.”

Electra let out a scream of laughter, giving Olenna a rather tight hug, marveling at the body Olenna had for her age.

“I’ll be very good to him, I promise.”

“You be sure you are, or you’ll have me to deal with.” It was said in jest, but Electra had a sense that the old woman would be as good as her word if it ever came to it. The four of them rushed out into the night, piling into the waiting limousine headed for the Landgraab mansion. The last sight was of Olenna, her diamonds glittering in the moonlight streaming through the open window, lighting a cigarette and blowing a kiss to Ricky and Electra before the limousine faded from view.

“What do you say we work some more on making those heirs my grandmother wants so badly?” Ricky pulled her into his arms and began kissing her again, his hands caressing the back of her neck before sliding up her shirt. They would have at least a few hours before anyone was home, and the dining room table, unlike much of the rest of the house, was still untarnished by their lovemaking.

“Well, she did give us her blessing.”

*          *          *

I’m back! Everything in my life has been sorted out, and I had a free day in which I just really had the urge to play again. I know I’ve been gone for way too long, but I hope all my favourite bloggers are still around. God knows when I’ll get round to reading everyone’s blog, but I’ll sure attempt it, I’m missing all my favourite sims!

– Marissa x

Bridgeport Social Diary: Olive Belgravia

EXCLUSIVE: AN IN-DEPTH PROFILE OF THE WOMAN WHO SITS ON THE THRONE OF HIGH SOCIETY AND THE LEGACY OF THE GREAT FAMILY SHE DESCENDS FROM

Olive Belgravia-Elphinstone-Van Aston-Peredin Bauer. A four times married billionaire heiress, fashion muse, arts patron, and avid collector of jewels and antiques, it is a name that conjures up images of the high life, of riches and fame, and of many marital troubles. Sitting down with Olive Belgravia is an experience in itself. The queen of high society, who now goes by the name of her current husband, Charles Peredin-Bauer, smiles warmly as she settles down in the seat opposite us at The Samovar, the legendary Bridgeport restaurant. Heads turn to listen as she skips lunch (“I’ll eat when I’m dead!”), opting instead for a simple glass of champagne, crossing her stocking encased legs before adjusting the flawless Chanel suit and taking a deep breath.

“I’m ready.” She breathes with excitement in her voice.

And excited she should be – we have a lot to discuss. Notorious for her tight lipped stance on her personal life, she has always employed the air of the less available you are, the more exclusive you become. Now we will discuss all.

Born into the wealthy and prominent Belgravia family, Olive grew up in the lap of luxury, while she didn’t quite lead the lifestyle she does now (her family had a sprawling suburban home in the Redcliffe hills) it was an extremely comfortable life. Four siblings (Tommy, Kitty, Oliver, and Cora) kept her days filled, but, unlike her siblings, she never saw a clear cut future for herself, leaving her with feelings of inadequacy at her seeming lack of ambition; little did anyone know she would go on to become one of the richest Belgravia’s of them all.

For all our new readers or those less versed on the Belgravia family we feel obliged to give a little background to which you can place Olive into. Her grandmother is Lily Belgravia, the legendary actress who you have, no doubt, seen in at least a dozen movies. A three time Oscar winner who successfully broke into the business world with her line of fragrances and handbags, she created an impressive fortune for herself, most of which she bequeathed to her three daughters.

Perhaps even more impressive than the great Lily, but far less well known, is her husband, Chace Belgravia. Creating a fortune numbering in the tens of billions with Belgravia Industries International, he declined to leave his mammoth fortune to his daughters – they hardly needed it with the money they received from their mother – instead setting up ‘The Belgravia Trust’ a stack of money so large it has been surrounded in mystery and rumour for the hundred-or-so years that it has sat in the bank; some say the fortune is 20 billion, some say 100 billion dollars sits there, however much it is one thing is sure – it is always growing, the trustees who protect it number among the brightest business minds of the age, and continual investments keep the dollars flowing in. Protected and administered by a board of twelve trustees, every member of the family will receive a large chunk of money on their thirty fifth birthdays – the idea being that by that time they should have established themselves in a legitimate career, and the money will only exist to help them better said career. It just so happens Olive has received her own portion of the trust just last year – turning 36 a few weeks ago – but she declined to comment on the amount, tilting her head shyly and calling it ‘personal’.

Despite the trouble that can come with wealth, the family lived a happy life, after the birth of Arielle (Olive’s mother) the couple went on to have twins Oriana and Alexandra, before Lily had a hysterectomy, telling the press at the time she had no desire to ever have more children. A wild streak existed for Arielle when she inherited $30 million on her 18th birthday, proceeding to by the biggest apartment in Bridgeport, the famed Belgravia Triplex at Breach House (a property which she still owns, although she does not live there) and a constant streak of clubbing. Marriage to French painter Leonardo tamed Arielle, and (to the chagrin of the world press) she proceeded to fade quietly from the limelight into a suburban life in Redcliffe. Divorce followed the couple after the birth of their first child Tommy, and her second marriage (which she is still in after many, many years) to musician and world-renowned maestro Noah Belgravia followed, going on to have four more children. Child number three for this couple was non other than Olive. With her aunt Oriana a famous rocker married to the musician of the century (both known for their wild drug antics as well as their music), and the famed fiction writer Alexandra Belgravia-King as her other aunt she was sure to lead an interesting life from the get go.

“I recall my aunt Oriana visiting the house a few times, my mother later told me it was to ask for money,” Olive explains as we mention her aunt, “but she always seemed quite fun to me, always letting us play on her guitars and such, though that dreadful Jasper had the most frightening vacant eyes, and would light up his cigarettes in the house… to my mothers fury!” She recalls with a laugh.

Growing up Olive felt in the shadow of her siblings, all of whom had very clear career goals. Tommy dreamt of superstar athleticism, a goal which he soon achieved and now, along with his husband Austin, is a star of the Recliffe tigers. Kitty had journalistic aims, and also achieved them – she is now editor in chief of DIALOGUE, a prominent New York magazine. Oliver – who probably needs no explanation – spent his days painting, and now has art hanging in every prominent gallery and every household wealthy enough to afford his exquisite work. Cora, her youngest sibling, had dreams of musical stardom, and aided by her aunt Oriana she soon achieved that goal, and now enjoys a relatively successful career in the indie music scene. Meanwhile Olive would flick aimlessly through fashion magazines and gossip continuously with her friends via the internet and phone – both talents which would come in useful later in life,  when she started to be critiqued by the fashion world for everything she wore, and when one bitchy word from her could send a would-be socialite straight to the bottom. Leaving home at 16 Olive headed for Miami with friends, where she began partying and drinking.

“It’s a time in my life I do not like to think about. I was so irresponsible, it’s embarrassing to look back on. And why on earth did I choose Miami? It’s the epitome of tacky.”

While she may look back on Miami as ‘tacky’ now, back then Olive Belgravia was a well known party girl and budding socialite on the Miami scene, a city which she would soon change for the much more desirable land of Europe.

After a brief relationship at the tender age of 17 which she ‘does not wish to discuss’ which produced her only daughter Electra, Olive met Maxwell Elphinstone.

“I was in a bar one night and there he was. The attraction was instant, and while he was many years older than me I never thought the relationship was odd, we were just right for each other at that time.”

After a lavish wedding which included a moment of panic for the bride when she ran from the ceremony after the vows had taken place in Westchester, NY, Olive boarded the private Elphinstone jet and headed for a new life in Europe.

While the Elphinstone family maintains a large estate in Westchester, they are originally from Europe, and own many estates in the French Riviera. It seems unlikely that Olive could meet such a man in a bar – but meet him she did, and a very lucky meeting it was, for the Elphinstone name would help Olive forge a path through the bounds of European socialites to the top of the ladder.

While the Belgravia name is known across America, in Europe at that time they were just whispers of Lily’s name from the few who had shipped her films over and could speak English to watch them; the Elphinstones were much more prominent. At the time of Olive’s marriage to Maxwell they were headed by Elizabeth Elphinstone, the famously pearl-draped and pink-clad matriarch of the family, who has donated millions of euros to charity over her years, and who has friendships with Windsors and Rothschilds.

“Me and Elizabeth never really saw eye to eye, to be frank she didn’t like me, and I didn’t like her.”

The animosity between the two may have added to the eventual split between the couple, but, after the birth of Sebastian, Olive says the two fell into an uneasy truce.

“Maxwell had no heir at the time of our marriage, he was getting on, and Elizabeth was desperate for a little boy to continue the family. I’d have never got so much in the divorce if little Sebastian had been a little Sarah.” She laughs dryly as she explains the archaic attitude of the Elphinstones.

Olive continued her ascent up the social ladder with all seeming well, with her and Maxwell even being dubbed ‘the happiest couple in France’ at one point; but unbeknownst to everyone the marriage was suffering extreme difficulties.

“We had simply fallen out of love – I don’t know what it was, but we weren’t close to each other any more.”

Rumours have abounded about the marriage for years, with multiple women coming forward claiming to have slept with Maxwell at the time of his marriage to Olive, although they have all faded away after alleged meetings with Elphinstone family lawyers. The influence of Elizabeth is all over them. Divorce soon followed, and although no official amount has been disclosed, it is rumoured Olive received around $80 million in the settlement, as well as $400 thousand yearly alimony, although she refuses to comment. Returning to America with her two children and four nannies, Olive bought a sprawling penthouse with views over Redcliffe and set about lamenting her position as the queen of American high society.

“It wasn’t a conscious decision, [to get to the top of society] those were just the circles I moved in, parents from Electra and Sebastian’s school were prominent, and we soon became friends. I began my charity work, and suddenly I was ‘the’ socialite. Rather amusing really.”

While it may not have been an active decision it was definitely a swift move. At the tender age of 25 Olive had done the impossible – pushed past the rows of grey haired doyennes who guard society like the crown jewels and usurped them – placing herself in their position.

A few years back in Redcliffe and Olive had built an impressive reputation for herself. She donated generously to charity (to date she has gifted over $400 million), she gave dinner parties for the rich and famous, and had begun building her impressive collection of jewels, antiques, and artwork. An interest in everything the high life had to offer such as the ballet, theater, art openings and constant travel, led her to husband number two – Dimitri Stanislopolous III.

Like Maxwell Elphinstone before him, Dimitri came from a prominent European family – the Stanislopolous name is eponymous with shipping, often mentioned in the same sentence as Onassis and Niarchos. A billionaire from his involvement in his families shipping company, Dimitri was a well known aging party boy who was just beginning to settle down and take care of his investments.

“We met on Princess Charlotte’s yacht, I was enjoying some champagne and gazing at the view, and suddenly this handsome man was by my side. He swept me off my feet.”

A whirlwind romance followed, a prominent American socialite and an infamous Greek shipping heir seen together – it was tabloid gold. Splashed across the front page of every magazine from here to Australia as they toured the world at various parties in London, New York, Bridgeport, Paris, Athens, Rome, and Sydney, the couple were soon hounded by the press, everyone wondering if they would marry.

Dimitri shocked everyone by doing just that; fending off marriage for years, the world watched with baited breath as the big day came, and hundreds of photographers crowded the gates of Redcliffe Botanical Garden when the couple married on the 18th of June.

“It was a wonderful wedding, definitely my best.” Olive comments as she flicks through a few photographs she has brought with her, “he was an amazing man.”

While Olive and Dimitri tore their way through the world on The Sky King, a jet which she would receive in the impending divorce settlement, Olive’s two children began to dabble in all of lifes pursuits.

Both enrolled at St. Rudolphs, the notoriously expensive school in Redcliffe, the two children – who are very close, they share an apartment in the city now – began changing from their navy blue school uniforms, slipping out of white tights and beige pants and into black leather and daringly short skirts.

“Of course I had trouble with the children – I wouldn’t have needed the botox if they’d been angels.”

Angels they were not. Electra was frequently pictured leaving different clubs highly intoxicated, always with a new man on her side. All of her activities remained unknown to Olive, who was fighting her second divorce.

“It was all so fast, I think Dimitri and I rushed into it. The thrill of the travel, the luxury, the parties, it all shrouded my vision. He was a serial workaholic, always on the phone to some company or another, always planning a takeover. Once the dust had settled and the initial attraction of his charm had wore off it was obvious we weren’t made for each other.”

The world waited for the divorce to be finalized, all desperate for details of Olive’s second divorce settlement. Again, with that tight lipped scrutiny about money that so many of the wealthy employ, Olive refused to comment. Speculation is all over the place about the amount she received; the aforementioned Gulfstream 650 jet will have set Dimitri back around $50 million, and Olive also received a yacht – appropriately named The Golden – which has been cited as costing somewhere between $200 and $250 million, as well as a sprawling estate on the Greek coast with a cool $30.4 million price tag, an Athens penthouse, two heavily customized and bulletproof Maybach 62 limousines worth around $1.2 million, a six story townhouse on the Upper East Side in New York, and a reported lump sum settlement of $1.2 billion, with additional alimony payments. The lack of a pre-nup made Dimitri rethink his next marriage, and his second wife reportedly signed an iron clad document.

“Oh goodness, the money thing again? It’s all anyone ever asks me – ‘how much?!’ they all shout, it’s so tedious. I’m not going to talk about how much I received, it’s private.”

With nothing coming from Olive we’re all free to speculate, but we do know it was definitely a hefty sum. With the help of Dimitri’s money Olive continued her extensive charity work, appearing at benefits and galas across the globe, often as the guest of honour. Scrutiny over her increased, with the world wanting to know what she wore, how thin she was, how much money she had, who she was dating, where she was going.

“I would be stalked day and night by the press, it was ridiculous. I never spoke to any of them, they would criticise my weight and my wealth. It didn’t bother me, one can never be too rich or too thin.”

With the money from her divorce settlements Olive purchased a sprawling ranch, Belgrave Ranch, where she started breeding horses, and used it as a weekend getaway. She also became more interested in art, purchasing master after master, solidifying her position in the art world forever when she famously purchased the stolen Vermeer painting The Concert back from the thieves in an amazing exchange, before donating the piece back to the Isabella Stewart Gardener museum in Boston from which it was stolen. With two divorces under her belt the socialite now had a new man in her sights – wealthy New York financier Marcus Van Aston.

“Marcus and I met the opening night of the opera, and while he wasn’t as charming as Dimitri he was definitely something, and definitely thought of me as a catch. That was the problem – I was just a trophy wife.”

Romance quickly caught up Olive once more, and before long another marriage was taking place. During this time other members of the Belgravia family, who had remained distant, began to come into their own across the world. After the death of the matriarch of the family, Lily Belgravia, a few years ago, the family were under the spotlight more than ever. Oriana and Jasper’s children Freddy and Maria found their careers soaring as everyone was interested in what they did. Marquis and Andrew Belgravia-King, the children of Alexandra and Jeremy, were the only ones who stayed away from the spotlight; both doctors, people could only speculate on what they were like, although that is changing recently as Marquis’ son Isiah is often seen at the Buenos Aries clubs with a number of different girls on his arm.

On the 1st of July Olive and Marcus were married at the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid. It was a lavish wedding with members of the European jet set converging on Madrid for the ceremony.

The couple took off on Olive’s yacht The Golden from her divorce settlement to Dimitri, and set about on a world tour. During this time Olive’s children, who had now left school – both without any grades – moved in together in a tiny apartment in Brdigeport.

“It pains me to talk about it now, but I had Electra and Sebastian cut out of my will. I didn’t want to see my daughter with someone so beneath her – I told her if she would not leave that boy then I would not be supporting her financially. Of course my mother found a way around it.”

Olive will not elaborate further on the subject, but property records show Electra Belgravia purchased a modest $1.2 million loft in downtown Bridgeport, with money presumably from her grandmother. With property prices dropping across the globe Olive took this chance to purchase several luxury properties, adding yet more desirable real estate to her portfolio.

“I had so much furniture, I had six warehouses downtown just full of my antiques and my art, they were so expensive to keep – people kept trying to steal them. So I bought some more houses to fill up.”

The six warehouses are in fact, famous in themselves. While Olive will not go into detail about what was kept there, it is said at least three Rembrandts, five Monets, a few Gainsboroughs and even another Vermeer which she purchased from the MET were stored there, all under twenty four hour security at a cost of $45 thousand a month. As well as the impressive art stored in the temperature controlled warehouses there were also a number of priceless antiques, which included a red lacquered desk commissioned by Louis XV for his study at Versailles, which has been said to be the most important piece of French furniture ever to touch North American soil.

“Oh I had a lot of antiques, there was a Savonnerie carpet, which had been installed at the Fifth Avenue apartment, and we were having lunch one day and someone – I can’t remember who – dropped a cigarette on it. Peter Wilson [then head of Sotheby’s] was alarmed and said, ‘That’s a $2 million carpet!’ I had it brought to the Met the next day.”

The galleries devoted to French decorative arts – named for Olive Belgravia – were begun in during her marriage to Dimitri and continually honed during the following years. As well as her extensive work for the art world, and her continuing entry into the world of horse racing and polo, Olive also donated generously to charity, although, as a friend recalls, “Mrs. Peredin-Bauer does not have anything to do with unpleasant things,” says an observer, “aids, for instance, or cancer.” (One source, though, says that Peredin-Bauer gives anonymously to many causes – especially medical research and libraries.)

During this time Olive also became highly prominent in the fashion world. Always seen at Fashion Week in New York, London, Paris, and Milan, she began to garner the atention of prominent designers, and cultivated friendships with Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, and Phillip Treacy. Her thin frame, which has been scrutinised over the years for not offering a healthy body image to young women, allowed her to fit effortlessly into the sample sizes of the designer wares she is often seen in.

“I don’t see the fuss about my frame – I work hard to stay thin, I’ve been existing on red bull and nutrition shakes all week, and I in no way encourage young girls to do the same, this is just what I want.”

While her weight may have came under scrutiny over the years, it definitely acted as a catalyst for her growing wardrobe. It is estimated that her couture wardrobe comprises 2,500 garments in total, as well as 450 pairs of shoes, 70 hats, and 200 handbags. Real estate blogs reported her addiction to haute coture led her to the conversion of two bedrooms adjacent to her master suite simply for room to store all her clothes.

While she may be renowned in the worlds of art, fashion, and high society, the great unwashed masses who were not lucky enough to be invited to any number of the parties she attended could still only watch with envy as Olive jetted around the world, never granting interviews, never sitting down for photoshoots that focused on her, although she often did pieces for Architectural Digest and House & Garden. The press was then free to scrutinize the socialite and her stiff-lipped group of friends, who say she is ‘friendly, funny, and vivacious’, yet many beyond her inner sphere view her as cold and even ‘excluding.’ (‘Cozy’ is a word that will never be associated with her,’ says an art-world expert wryly.)

“It’s ridiculous the things people come out with about me. They call me a bitch, they call me cold and stiff, yet those people have never taken the chance to know me. While I may not be like the smiling hoards of feeble celebrities that people seem so enamored with, I am a loyal friend, and the cold demeanor is just an intense desire for privacy, and perhaps even a certain shyness.”

Whatever Olive says to the contrary, shyness does not seem to be one of her attributes. As we sit together during lunch no less than seven people approach the table to greet her, all engaged in the same polite conversation, with a lot of smiles and laughs, before Olive gently moves them on – it’s an art honed by years of practice. Olive and Marcus continued their never ending round of socializing over the next few years; summers spent in Palm Beach at her impressive Mar-A-Lago estate which she purchased from Donald Trump (“a close friend”) for an eye popping $56 million; winters spent in the Seychelles; christmas in St. Barts (where she was recently a guest at Roman Abramovich’s famous New Years party) and St. Tropez; and a never ending round of jet setting in between.

“The plane was a godsend. It allowed me to bring anything I wanted home with me, I could keep plants,  art, and antiques on it and not have to endure the horror of worrying about them being shuttled across the globe on some dowdy commercial airliner with workers who would not understand that their cargo was worth more than the plane itself.”

While her position at the top of society had been lamented for years, and continued to solidify with her endless rounds of parties (dinner parties for the Churchill’s were hosted in Palm Beach, cocktail parties in honour of Barons and Earls at her Mayfair townhouse, and continued sightings of her in the front row of every fashion show from New York to Milan) her love life was, again, suffering problems.

“I had begun to suspect Marcus’ infidelity a few years after our marriage. He couldn’t handle my difficult children, it pushed him over the edge. He took up with someone, and we grew further apart.”

The woman of whom Olive speaks was none other than her long time friend Niya St. Alderton, whom she met at a party in China before her marriage to Dimtri. As was hashed out in the gossip columns, Niya had taken up with Marcus after the death of her ailing husband (pharmaceuticals billionaire Alan St. Alderton), eventually driving Marcus to divorce Olive.

“It was a hard time. I hadn’t wanted to divorce Marcus, I had hoped we could work it out, that if I just left it long enough his affair would sizzle out, but it did not happen that way at all.”

In fact, in his hurry for a divorce from Olive, he sidestepped the pre nuptual agreement they had both signed to protect their considerable wealth and settled the divorce with an undisclosed sum, which has been speculated to be around $500 million.

“I know it’s awful, but money was the only way I could get back at him. If I stopped the divorce going ahead, he would be forced to pay more in his desire to remarry. It was the only way I could get revenge.”

While Olive’s fortune (and her number of ex husbands) grew, her children began dabbling in the music world. As members of the Belgravia family, pictures often appeared of Electra and Sebastian performing gig after gig in Recliffe, and eventually Bridgeport. The music never really took off, and a rumoured recent split in the band has left the fans wondering if ‘Revolutionis’ will return.

“I met Charles at a Belgravia Industires board meeting. He is a member, as well as I [of the board] and we had engaged in a mild flirtation for years, but it came to fruition once my divorce from Marcus was finalised.”

Charles Peredin-Bauer. You will most likely know him as the recently elected governor of the Bridgeport district, but before his prominent political position Charles engaged in a multitude of businesses. Building up a publishing company from nothing, Charles had made his first million by the time he was 22. Twenty years later that million would have multiplied into over 7 billion dollars, giving him enough cash to fund his ascent into politics. Divorced from two supermodels on his way to the top, Olive was his third wife, and he her fourth husband.

“I really feel Charles is the one.” Olive gushes as we begin discussing her current husband, “he understands me completely. Unlike my other husbands we just seem to click very well, I can’t put my finger on it. There’s just something about him.”

Recent years have seemed to turn Olive’s fortunes around for the better. With the relationship with her children on the up after many years of animosity (she was spotted boarding her daughter onto The Sky King just a few weeks ago, exchanging tender smiles with her in the pictures) and a relationship which she assures us is ‘the one’ the woman seems to have finally gotten everything together. We all hope it will last.

*      *      *

I hope you enjoyed this, I’m having a few problems with my game so I decided to write a little something to keep you guys interested.

Remember that this is an interview, and as such Olive would never discuss the darker aspects of her life (rape at the hands of Riley, using Maxwell for his money etc.)

What do you guys reckon to Olive’s life? 🙂

Marissa x

Generation 4 – Chapter 4

Peeling herself off the closet floor the next morning Electra thought back on the events of last night and almost wept. As she roamed through the loft she noticed Ryan still hadn’t returned, the only people around were Ricky, Noah, Sebastian, and Liberty. Sammy had left with Marc, and no one had heard from them. Electra didn’t even bother to get dressed for the rest of the day, she just sat on the chest at the end of her bed until night fell.

Watching the lights of the skyscrapers bring Bridgeport to life she decided that she had to do something, Ryan had turned her into a nervous wreck over the past few weeks and it was time to get back to doing what she loved: partying. Rooting through the wardrobe she pulled off the breeches, boots, and polo shirt she had been wearing for the past two days and, after a quick shower, slipped into a clinging black turtleneck and vertically striped black and white trousers. Applying a fresh makeup in the bathroom mirror she decided that she looked pretty good under the circumstances.

As she strolled through Bridgeport’s hottest new nightclub – Black – she noted that it definitely lived up its name. The walls were black, the floors were black, and only a few lights made it possible for her to see anyone. Shadowy figures hung around metallic tables, finished with a black sheen, chatting to each other and smiling, she kind of wished she had took Ricky up on his offer to accompany her, but she was worried what Ryan and Marc might think if they heard about it, she didn’t want to upset anyone, but still felt guilty as she thought had probably upset Ricky by declining his offer.

Ordering a neat Whiskey, her favourite drink, she took in her surroundings a little more. The club was compromised of three rooms: the bar, the dancefloor, and the blue room. The bar and dance floor were self explanatory, and the blue room was, as the bartender told her, the room where people would slip off too for a necking session, or in the case of some of the steamier patrons, particularly the famous rock stars and actors who frequented the club and were, due to their celebrity status, above the law, for a quiet place to have sex.

At first she was miserable, hanging her head as groups of glamorous friends passed her on their way to dance, their perfect bodies shimmying past her in a display of tight leathers and shockingly risque body stockings which showed off alarmingly extended nipples and a lot of smooth, taut flesh. She felt lonely and conspicuous, a social outcast forced to drink alone, but then she remembered her teenage days in Recliffe. She had always gone out alone then, and had always had an amazing time; she had an ability to get along with anyone, occasionally coming out of a club with a new best friend or, as she often did in her old days, a hard bodied, long haired rocker who she took home. Since Ryan’s introduction to her life she had been lagging a little in her social activities, finding it perfectly easy to give up the parade of male flesh for the exclusivity of Ryan. Although she loved him, she regretted that it seemed to have slowed her down somewhat, and tonight she had no desire to slow down. Downing two shots of vodka she headed for the dancefloor, and threw herself into the pounding music.

She didn’t care if she looked a fool as she twirled around the dancefloor with a huge grin on her face, she was having the most fun she’d had in weeks, ever since the arrival of Maud really. Polo had been an amazing reminder of a life she had left behind for a while, but it was a very different sort of fun, with a very different set of people. This was more her real idea of a good time, all she needed to make it perfect was Ryan. Dancing was lightening her spirits, it was helping her to believe that everything really could be okay. Once Ryan calmed down she would sit down and work it out with him, give him all the time he needed, anything.

She had been in the club for almost three hours now, and just as she was about to leave she saw, through the gap in the crowd, Ryan. He was talking to Sammy and seemed to be having a great time. She didn’t blame him for being in a club, after all she was in one too, they were very similar – partying was a rid of ridding themselves of their fears. She thought that perhaps it was fate, what were the chances of running into each other, whilst not speaking, in one of Bridgeport’s hundreds of club? Now was the time for her to go and make things better with him – all he had to do was forgive her for being too pushy, she still felt incredibly guilty over it. She never even thought about Ryan’s fault in all of it – she had a knack of always blaming things on herself.

A smile played on her lips as she pushed her way through the crowd, brushing against a series of unbelievably beautiful men and women; she felt fingers pinching her taut bottom a few times and smiled, she had missed the atmosphere of a club. All of a sudden the smile vanished from her face as she watched Sammy, still pretentiously wearing her sunglasses and clutching her permanent cigarette, wrap her chiffon-encased arms around Ryan, cigarette smoke churning with the smoke of the clubs machines, and then they were together, lips pressing insistently against one another, his hand crawling under her shirt to feel her breasts,  her hand snaking down Ryan’s skin tight jeans to his crotch, her shiny red talons squeezing a part of the jeans which had became much tighter.

“How could you?!” The scream rent the air as Electra crossed the club in one swift movement. Ryan and Sammy turned to her in shock.

“Slim! I thought you two were broken up, I swear it!” Sammy said truthfully, backing away from the two of them, her eyes wide with the horror of what she’d just done.

“It’s not what you think…” Ryan said sheepishly as Electra threw her hands up in anger.

“I’ve been wondering how to make things better with you, killing myself over pushing you away, and you’re here kissing Sammy! I think it’s exactly what it looks like!” Electra screamed, thankful that the anger was keeping the tears at bay. Just as she felt her lip trembling she turned and ran from the club, she would never give Ryan the satisfaction of seeing her cry over him. After pushing through crowds of bemused clubbers who laughed at her tear stained face she emerged onto the sidewalk, shielding her face from the photographers who always snapped pictures of the famous and glamorous patrons leaving.

“Electra Belgravia! Why the tears?!” One photographer shouted, recognising her from an article which detailed Olive, the new wife of Governor Charles Peredin-Bauer, and her family, with a huge spread on Electra.

“My boyfriend cheated on me! We’re over!” Electra screamed back at him, and winced as a flash went off in her face. “Leave me alone!” She shouted, running down the street as fast as she could. She would never forgive Ryan for this.

*      *      *

Electra turned into a shadow of her former self. After running all the way home she had collapsed onto the sofa in sobs and cried all night. Ricky, who had to skip the polo game which Sebastian and Nate were playing in that night because he had yelled at the umpire in an earlier game, stayed with her all night, stroking her hair as she told him what had happened. Afterwards it seemed she had no more tears left. She scrubbed off her makeup and changed into a baggy, unflattering sweater and curled up in the guest bedroom, she couldn’t stay in the bed in which she had shared so many amazing nights with Ryan.

Ricky and Sebastian were her saviors, although they couldn’t see it they were helping her by just being there, even if she didn’t respond to them whatsoever. They stayed in the room at all times, just talking either to her or each other about anything, it was what she needed to get through it. She didn’t sleep or eat, she just laid there, her open eyes unseeing. Sebastian had tired to track Ryan down, with the intention of smashing his fist into Ryan’s face, but he had vanished. Marc came by to see her, apologising for overreacting when he saw her in the closet with Ricky, admitting that he had blown it out of proportion. He sat on the floor next to her bed, head resting on his knees, trying to get her to speak, but no words had passed her lips for days. He was feeling guilty for his outburst, he knew Electra had felt awful over it and fretted whether it was contributing to her sadness now. The last thing he wanted was to see her sad, he loved her for christs sake.

Ricky and Sebastian tried to think of ways to get her to talk to them, they played music, told her of the polo games she could join in, offered to take her on a trip, but she merely shook her head and readjusted her position on the bed. She felt if she opened her mouth she would throw up, unable to comprehend how Ryan could have been kissing Sammy without even breaking up with her first. She blamed herself infinitely, thinking that if she hadn’t pushed him so hard over Maud and flaunted her wealth in his face by offering to pay for her rehab that he would have never stormed out and ended up with Sammy.

Ricky was perhaps the most conflicted of them all. Electra felt numb, Sebastian felt pure hatred, and Ricky battled with fury and delirious happiness. She was available, she was finally free from Ryan and ready for a new boyfriend, but she wasn’t. Being there for her every day but not being able to kiss her, hold her, make love to her as he wanted to, all things he knew would make her feel better, was awful for Ricky. But he sucked it up, he had to for Electra’s sake.

“Look, nothing we do is working!” Ricky said to Sebastian in hushed tones after he had finished feeding Electra her daily meal of soup. It had been two weeks and she had hardly moved from the bed, and never spoken once.

“I know, I know, I dunno what to do though, maybe she’ll just pull through.” Sebastian grumbled, just as worried as Ricky but with just as little many ideas for how to make it better.

“You’re sure there’s nothing we can do?” Ricky implored with a glance back at the huddled figure of Electra.

“Well maybe one thing…” Sebastian said quietly, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. He could think of one person who may be able to get through to her. She wasn’t her favourite person, but she was irreplaceable in Electra’s life.

Looking at the huddled figure of his sister he decided there was nothing else for it, and went off to make the call. Sixteen hours later, after instantly jumping on the jet after receiving the call from Sebastian and racing back to the city from Australia, Olive arrived at the apartment. Sebastian didn’t know if it was the worst move he could have made, or would be the best, but she was Electra’s mother, and sometime a girl just needs her mom.

Standing in the doorway of the bedroom, which was done in a chinese style, Olive toyed with her diamond and ruby ring nervously. She hadn’t seen her daughter since she had cut off her trust fund, but she had seen the awful picture of her in The Post, with mascara running down her cheeks as she screamed at the photographer. the headline had read ‘Heiress breaks down after break-up’.

“E-Electra…?” Olive’s voice cracked a little as she spoke, she had never seen her daughter like this. Olive was used to the wild, abrasive girl who would give as good as she got, not this creature in front of her, a mere shadow of her former self. Very slowly Electra took in her mother, her eyes showing emotion for the first time in in weeks, their dead gaze finally changing. Olive held out her perfectly manicured hand and eased Electra off the bed. The girl who stared back at Olive looked worse than a drug addict. Her eyes had huge black bags underneath, her skin drawn and pale, her hair lank and greasy from weeks of not washing it.

“Darling… I’m so sorry.” Olive said, gasping as Electra threw herself into her mothers arms. Those words meant more than any outsider would think, by the look n Olive’s eyes Electra had known exactly what her mother meant; she was sorry for lording it over Electra for all these years, sorry for not being there for her, and sorry for the situation she was now in. Electra clung fervently to her mother, breathing in the wafts of her scent and rejoicing in the comfort of her mothers embrace. They were hardly typically mothering things; she was wafting Chanel no.5 and Electra could feel ribs digging into her, but it was still her mother.

“I’m so sorry, I never wanted this to happen to you.” Olive said sadly, looking at her frail daughter. “I know what you’re going through… being cheated on is an awful experience, but you should know I’m here for you now.” Olive said, determined to actually be there. Two of Olive’s four husbands had cheated on her, one leaving her for a nineteen year old Icelandic supermodel and one leaving her to pursue his passion for prostitutes without Olive to hinder him, so she knew how Electra was feeling, although her daughters feelings may have been more poignant than Olive’s as Electra had felt real love for Ryan.

“Thank you.” Electra whispered, her voice croaky from being underused.

“You have to get away, it really does help. I go through so many houses because I can’t bare to stay in the same one after a divorce. Take the jet, I have a wonderful house where you can hold up with Sebastian to get over all of this.” Olive, determined not to boss around her daughter, had to add, “and whoever you want for that matter.”

Electra gave her a weak smile, the presence of her mother had jolted her from her depression. If Olive, basically Electra’s worst enemy, could come to her aid, then she should be able to pull it together.

“You don’t have to mom, really.” Electra said, not wanting to push her mother too far when they had only just started speaking once more. Olive threw her hands open in protest.

“Please! It’s the least I can do. I know I haven’t been the best mother, truly I know that, but I always wanted the best for you.” Olive thought back on the way he had raised her children with regret, although her motives had been, at their core, good, she now realised the way she had executed it was beyond awful. “With Charles… I think I may be beginning to experience love.” Olive said, a little shyly but truthfully, thinking warmly of her husband the governor, the first man who had truly made her smile and laugh.

“Oh mama, I love you!” Electra burst into tears, letting Olive guide her onto the bed. She laid Electra across the bed, her head resting in Olive’s lap, and let her cry, stroking her hair as she listened to everything that had happened. The tears ruined Olive’s priceless vintage Valentino skirt and she didn’t even care.

*      *      *

The Sky King, the private jet belonging to Olive, touched down in the Côte d’Azur the following day, bringing with it Electra, Sebastian, Ricky, Liberty, and Marc. After reading all about the breakup of their cousin in various papers around the world the rest of  the Belgravia clan rallied. Olive sent the jet around the world, picking up relatives and friends from Argentina, Scotland, Paris, and other various exotic locations where family members were sunning themselves during the first week of the summer season. After numerous trips through the skies Le Maple Chambre, Olive’s gargantuan estate on the coast, was home to 24 guests. They are as follows: Electra Belgravia, Sebastian Belgravia and girlfriend Liberty Valentine, Ricky France-Lynch, Marc Butty, Arabella Belgravia, Landon Belgravia and girlfriend Claudette Simmons, Isiah Belgravia-King, Edward Belgravia and his wife Belzise Belgravia, Adam and Peter Whitley, Alexander and Julian Belgravia, Rupert Donahue and his twin brother Samuel, Billy Lloyd-Foxe, Nate Campbell, Mick Belgravia, James Jermaine, Jessie Fortesque, Maria van der Morago, and Francesca Killburn.

While still drawn and pale at first, Electra was glad to be away from Bridgeport, away from Ryan and Sammy, and to be surrounded by her family and closest friends. She had had sporadic correspondance with some of her more distant relatives over the years, the trip would be an excellent chance to get to know everyone better. Among the most distant members of her family were Isiah Belgravia-King, the son of Marquis Belgravia-King, son of Alexandra and Jeremy, and his wife Cambola. The family moved to Argentina, Cambola’s birthplace, before Isiah’s birth and he had hardly seen any of his cousins apart from at the major family gatherings. While he dabbed in polo from time to time and was a naturally gifted player (helped in no small part by the infamous Argentinian horses), his real passion was being The Don Giovanni of Buenos Aries; Isiah had an insatiable sexual appetite and a reputation for complete debauchery and hedonism and was determined to sleep with as many non-relatives as he could on the trip.

Also distant were her Scottish cousins Adam and Peter Whitley, the children of Maria and Charlie. Maria, the daughter of Oriana Belgravia, Arielle’s sister, was a noted environmentalist and film maker who had made a huge name – as well as a huge fortune – for herself in Britain. Adam and Peter had just finished stints at St. Andrews and Cambridge respectively, both dedicated students who had skipped the wild student nights to revise for their exams. Now freed from the restraints of their ancient universities they were thrilled to be invited on the trip, both ready to let loose after three years of opression.

Mick Belgravia, the child of Oriana’s son Freddy and his wife Cassandra, was a closer cousin despite his equal distance from Electra in the family tree. A bad boy who slept all day and lived through the night, his all black leather outfits and penchant for heavy rock music were closer to Electra’s comfort zone, and the two of them had often spent many a memorable night dancing on table tops in the Redcliffe clubs.

Kitty, Olive’s sister, and Laurence’s miracle-child Alexis Williamson was also joining in on the trip. A socialite who had been spoiled rotten by her parents she didn’t do much of anything, preferring to take trips around the world where she participated in a few show-jumping competitions before whiling the night away on one or another billionaires yachts.

Edward Belgravia, the adopted son of Tommy, Electra’s uncle, and his husband Austin, was also flown in from Paris with his French wife Belzise. Both infinitely kind and deeply in love, they had no intention of going wild, but were curious as to what a huge Belgravia gathering would be like, and relished the opportunity to get out of the oppressive Paris heat.

Cora, Olive’s younger sister, and her husband James’ children Julian and Alexander were also staying at Maple House. Despite two musicians who couldn’t have been more removed from the upper class world for parents, they had both turned out rather the opposite of their rock star mother and father. Preferring the world of polo they had became close friends with Sebastian, and were currently on the polo circuit trying to increase their handicaps. Constantly decked out in their navy blue polo shirts and with a fondness for mischief and an insatiable desire for fun they were sure to bring something interesting to the vacation.

Landon and Arabella Belgravia, the children of world famous artist Oliver Belgravia and his wife Celeste, who inhabited the same stratosphere of the social world as Olive did, were also flown in from Redcliffe aboard The Sky King. Landon was currently being shown eligable lady after eligable lady, his other desperate for him to make a sucessful marriage. To appease Celeste he had brough Claudette Simmons, a petite blond tobacco heiress who never had anything of substance to say, and whose main aim in life was to adopt a unicorn.

Arabella, despite her wide eyed innocence and favourite pink shirts, was a business whiz, and was currently working at Belgravia Industries International, the multi-billion dollar corporation which her great-grandfather Chace Belgravia had built up from nothing. Despite her business savvy she was still, at a mere 18 years old, shy and naive, and had relished the opportunity of a trip with her family to experience new things. Of course, she made sure the place had WiFi so she could conference call with the office.

On the non-relative side were Rupert and Sebastian Donahue, twin brothers and close friends with Sebastian and Ricky from the polo circuit. Completely identical, the only way to tell them apart was by the black and white shirts they wore: Rupert in black, Samuel in white. Despite their youth the two brothers were fiercely ambitious, determined to reach ten goal handicaps and win the Gold Cup back in their homeland of England. The allure of the trip, for them, had been the ability to play polo all day on the pitch built behind Olive’s massive stables, and the fact that they had both harbored a huge crush on Electra since school, and now had bets of which one of them would get her into bed first.

On the plane from London with Rupert and Samuel was Billy Lloyd-Foxe, another polo friend of Sebastian’s who also relished the opportunity to play on Olive’s wildly expensive thoroughbreds, said by some to be the best in the Europe. After a breakup with his long time girlfriend Jane he was also looking for a girl to blot out the pain, and hoped one of the girls on the trip would be willing to do it for him.

James Jermaine, a flamboyant socialite and notorious bisexual playboy, was also flown in from the Hotel Baglioni in Venice. Never one to miss a free trip, he had been a friend of Electra’s for years, always entertaining her with his stories of the rich and famous and regaling her with snippets of the scandalous exploits they got up to.

The Sky King also stopped off in New York to pick up Jessie Fortesque, a railroad heiress with a fierce, angry face and a personality to match. She and Sebastian had been friends since school, where he and she had many sexual dalliances in forbidden places and who was invited due to her call to Electra, who had been splashed across the front page of a New York gossip column, to offer her condolences for the break up. Electra, who had always got along with Jessie despite her cynical manner and quick temper, quickly invited her along.

The last member of the household, who had shared the plane with Jessie, was another heiress who couldn’t have been more different from her in-flight companion. Francesa ‘Fran’ Killburn was the sole heiress to the fruits of the Killburn Corporation, a multi-national business which raked in tens of billions of dollars every year. Despite her lavish wealth Fran had been raised lovingly by her parents, and was a shining example of how an heiress should turn out. Fiercely shy and as rich as an arab sheikh, Fran still found it hard to talk to strangers and blushed even when she spoke to the maid. She would never have took a trip with so many strangers had it not been for the desperate call Electra had placed to her, begging her to come so Electra would have someone who wasn’t a total narcissist to chat with her.

*       *       *

The house in which the assortment of relatives and friends were staying in was one of Olive’s favourites; in a prime position on the French Riviera it was the envy of the enclave of millionaires and billionaires. Up a driveway lined with Maple trees – which is where the house derives its name from – lies the main house; a motor court with a fountain adorn the front, with the yellow stucco house rising behind it.

Featuring ten bedrooms and eleven bathrooms, with six servants bedrooms on the attic floor and numerous living rooms as well as a games room, ballroom, and many other extravagances of the super rich, the place was loaded with Old Masters by Vermeer, Rembrant, Monet and Da Vinci, and featured priceless antique furniture Olive had acquired from all the four corners of the world.

On the west side of the house a large terrace with an awning of overgrown plants,  shielding the guests from the unwavering sun, leads to a set of marble steps which descend to to the olympic sized swimming pool, perched on a bluff with glorious sea views. Beyond the high shrubbery glimpses of the tennis courts and various yellow pavilions are visible through the trees, to the north of the tennis courts a formal garden with a glittering fountain for a centerpiece sits before an avenue of Cyprus trees, with the Octagnox, an eight sided pavilion full of wicker chairs and wild jungle plants, sitting on the very edge of the coast.

The formal gardens at the back of the house offer views of the east, where, beyond the garage, above which four drivers live permanently ready to cart the various guests of the house wherever they wish to go, lay the stables which house Olive’s famed horses. A paddock sits behind the stables for the horses to graze in, and beside the paddock lay the polo fields complete with stands for spectators. Just visible behind the paddock is  Cyprus Cottage, a six bedroom, five bathroom guest house where visitors can be removed from the hustle and bustle of the main house, avoiding the unpleasant situation of everyone being on top of each other.

*       *       *

Waking from a slumber in the master suite which had became her bedroom Electra stretched languorously in the huge four poster, reveling in the 1000 thread count sheets. A slight breeze blew through the room from a few open sash windows, and the endless blue sea was visible through the already drawn drapes. Electra couldn’t help but smile. Her mother may be a lot of things, which Electra didn’t want to think about anymore, but she certainly knew how to live.

Padding across the heated flooring into the suites personal foyer she woke herself up under the high pressure shower and selected an outfit of a pastel green polo shirt and floral shorts from behind the sliding glass doors in the walk in wardrobe. Walking barefoot to the terrace she passed the 18th century chairs upholstered in Missoni fabric which stood beneath an unobtrusive Da Vinci on the wall.

As she gazed out past the forest (which was also part of Olive’s land) to the sea, which glinted duck egg blue in the distance, she thought about how much had changed in the last two years. Her first great love was over, Revolutionis were gone without ever recording a single original song, and the most unlikely of all – Electra and Olive were actually beginning to patch things up. It was definitely the end of an era.

*      *      *

So how did you like this chapter guys?! I’m loving writing Electra’s storyline, thank you so much for voting her in, and thank you for your continued support of this legacy!

The summer should be an interesting few chapters to write, it’s going to be fun to explore the other members of the family – I hate leaving them behind! Who do you reckon will be your fvourite?

Thanks again for your support, you guys are the best! 😀

Marissa x

Generation 4 – Chapter 3

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

Generation 4 – Chapter 2

The show started off slowly, just two white beams of light illuminating Ryan and Electra. A somber laser show was projecting from behind a speaker where Ryan’s bass was pumping from. Electra soon began to sing, her pure voice belting out a cover of Bjork’s ‘Hyperballad’. The audience loved it, they watched Electra with wonder as she sung, sometimes closing her eyes, sometimes staring directly into the crowd. “We live on a mountain, right at the top.” Electra crooned, getting more and more into the music as the song progressed. As she finished the last line and the lights dimmed the auidence began to cheer wildly, then the room burst into an amazing array of colours, confetti effects erupted into the life as they launched into their version of The Runaways ‘Hollywood’.

Hollywood, it feels so good!” Electra and Ryan sang into the same microphone, throwing a smile at each other. This was the first show for the new band, Revolutionis, and the reception couldn’t have been better.

Hoping to come off the success of Electra & The Wild Ones show back in Redcliffe had been a mistake, no one in Bridgeport had ever even heard of them, so instead Sebastian had reinvented them with a new name, turned the orange in Electra’s hair purple, and signed up two amazing new members – Sammy, a fresh find and an amazing keyboard player (Ryan had wanted to switch back to his original bass) and Marc, an extremely talented drummer who was quite well known in Bridgeport.

Time seemed to stand still as they played, listening to the screaming cheers of pleasure from the audience in the tiny gaps before they launched into the next song was one of the things Electra, and the rest of the band, loved most. To know that people enjoyed seeing them was the greatest pleasure; they better like them, there were 17 more shows in Bridgeport and the surrounding areas left to go in the next few weeks.

The band were all getting into it, but no one more than Electra, to wild cheers of applause she raised her guitar in the air as they performed a cover of Interpol’s ‘Evil’.

After an extremely eclectic mix of covers they came to their last song, a rock and roll version of Martha and the Vandella’s ‘Heatwave.’ “Thank you guys so much for coming, we’ve been Revolutionis!” Electra shouted into the microphone before the band burst into their last song. Both Ryan and Electra couldn’t help themselves from looking at each other and smiling, they had never expected such an amazing first show.

Running off stage to cheers and whoops of joy they all hugged each other behind the curtain that cut them off from the stage. “That was so great!” Ryan exclaimed, grabbing everyone and forcing them into a group hug. The place may have been a dive bar but it was getting their band out there. Liberty had thought they were crazy for using so many crazy effects on such small shows, but the bar had been packed to capacity and their other dates were selling out fast. Sebastian wanted them to become a cult hit before they burst through to the big time. Standing in the dressing room Electra lit up a cigarette, watching everyone who lolled around the room in various states of undress.

Every member of the band seemed to hate clothes. Ryan had already thrown his top off and kicked his shoes to the side and was sat talking to Sammy, an ardent feminist who insisted that if the boys were taking of their tops she would too, and was now sat with her favourite pleather trousers on, sunglasses perched on her nose, and her breasts free for everyone to see.

Ryan, who had seen her breasts many, many times during their weeks of practice, wasn’t phased at all. Opposite Ryan and Sammy, across the coffee table which groaned with every drink imaginable, glasses of wine, pints of beer, music sheets, ashtrays, and other nick nacks, Sebastian was sat with Marc, who had stripped down to his boxers after throwing his sweaty clothes into a bag.

A few strands of the thick smoke which covered the room escaped as  the door opened and Ryan’s mother, Maud, entered the room.

“Hey mom!” Ryan shouted, throwing a packet of cigarettes to her. She turned immediately to Liberty, who had been stood by the door texting furiously on her phone.

“Got a light sweetie?” Maud asked, Liberty was shocked by her appearance. Maud was 40 but looked 10 years older, a once relatively famous stage actress she had fallen into alcoholism after her career had failed ten years ago.

“I don’t smoke, sorry.” Liberty said, feeling a little awkward. Ryan’s mother proceeded to get well and truly drunk, downing one straight vodka after another, and chain smoking so much the entire pack had ran out within half an hour.

“She should slow down.” Sammy said to Ryan as she looked over at Maud, stumbling around and laughing as she joked with Liberty.

“She’s fine.” He snapped back, knowing that she wasn’t fine but not knowing what to do about it, his mother had been like this for as long as he could remember. He chose instead to follow by example and get bombed himself.

“Did we do okay then?” Marc asked Sebastian as they  sat together opposite Ryan and Sammy, who had instantly brushed off the little animosity over his mother and were now arguing about the best guitar players of all time.

“Yeah you were great.” Sebastian replied, his eyes fixed firmly on Liberty to make sure she was ok over there, stuck with Maud who was telling her about her own career. “We can really get some hype going with this I think, you had fun, right?” Sebastian asked, turning back to Marc.

“Yeah, it was the best. You’re a really good manager.” Marc said with a tiny trace of his French accent, being serious for once. Unfortunately Sebastian just laughed, he wasn’t at all put off by Marc’s almost nakedness but he still found it pretty funny, it was hard to take someone seriously when they were wearing nothing but plaid boxer shorts.

“Move over Marc, I wanna talk to my brother.” Electra said, nudging him out of the chair. She gave Marc a friendly hug, not noticing that Marc kept it going a little more than is normal for friends, before flopping down onto the seat next to Sebastian.

“Hey bro, how you doing?” She asked, noticing him staring over at Liberty. “Sebastian?!” She shouted after a few minutes of getting no response from him

“Huh? Oh yeah, sorry. I’m just worried about Liberty, acting isn’t really going as well as she would have liked.”

“How come? She’s a great actress.” Electra said, not entirely truthfully as she’d never seen Liberty act, but she wanted to make Sebastian feel better.

“Just not getting any parts, you know…” He said, trailing off. Liberty had gotten zero parts out of the hundreds of auditions she had went to. She couldn’t see what the problem was, she was pretty, she was friendly, and she could actually act. Why couldn’t she get a break? Now she was infuriated by having to stand and talk to this washed up stage actress.

“I could have been one of the greats you know!” Maud shouted, slurring her words a little.

“Maybe you should slow down…” Liberty said gently, trying to take the cup of gin out of her hands.

“Get off you thief!” Maud shouted back, grabbing the drink from Liberty and downing it before she could take it away. Ryan looked on in sadness. He poured himself another drink to help him forget.

“Excuse me? Hi!” The girl who had edged her way into the room could barely be heard over the chatter and music, but Electra noticed her and asked her what she wanted.

“I work for Azari -” She stumbled a little as Maud bumped into her, “we – um – just want to know if you’re interested in modelling for us.” The young girl was terribly nervous about having to walk into a room full of semi-naked musicians, now she was being shoved around by an old red head with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

“Um, what?” Electra asked, trying to listen to what Sebastian was saying while this nervous girl edged her way around the room.

“Modelling!” She shouted back. “You were great by the way!” Electra couldn’t tell if this girl was serious – Electra had heard of Azari, it was one of the most prestigious fashion houses, but this girl didn’t seem at all like their usual employees; she didn’t have the self confidence they possessed.

“Just leave the card on the table. Thanks.” Electra shouted over the din, “stick around for a while if you want.” She said as an afterthought, feeling bad for her.

“Come dance!” Marc shouted, “you can stick with me any day.” He added with a grin. He was incorrigible. The girl simply stood awkwardly in the corner of the room as people talked around her, she had admired Marc when she had watched the show, but now was nervous. “Come on, I won’t bite.” He said again, throwing her another smile. He would definitely take her home later.

The party continued in the same way for a while, everyone was having a great time until Maud collapsed to the floor in fits of laughter, clearly drunk out of her mind. Ryan got up from the sofa, feeling awkward. His mother hated it when she was helped up, the room went dead silent as everyone looked on in shock.

“Mom, come on.” He said, pulling her up, receiving screams of ‘get off!’ from Maud before she started to laugh.

“What you lookin’ at?!” Maud yelled at Electra, who had been looking on as if someone had been shot. Liberty fled away from the disaster, across the room to talk to Marc, who was temporarily dancing alone while the girl went to the toilet.

“Mom, you really do have to slow down. Or better yet stop right now before you hurt yourself.” Ryan told her as people started to relax again, lighting another cigarette to calm him down.

Maud only had the chance to take one drag before she fell down again, this time completely unconscious. Electra looked at Sebastian in horror, she felt so sorry for Ryan, while Sebastian clapped his hands together and exclaimed,

“Party’s over kids!” with a wry laugh.

*           *            *

Two weeks later, with only a few dates left on the dive bar tour, as it had came to be called, Electra decided to throw a dinner party. The moment the actual day came around she wished she hadn’t, she couldn’t cook so Ryan would have to do everything, which made her feel guilty as he had been worrying himself sick lately over Maud, who had dropped off the radar for a week without a single word. Electra had used some of her trust fund on a private investigator who had found her living with a transvestite go-go dancer in a run down apartment downtown. Electra had insisted Maud move into the loft, which she had thought would be a good idea but just turned into hell. Despite her guilt at putting more pressure on Ryan (it was only a dinner but he was determined to do it well, just as he did with everything in his life) she was glad to have guests over, Liberty was back from a movie (she was a maid who appeared in a three second segment which was still under threat of being cut) and Marc was coming to join them. Hearing the doorbell she ran for it, she needed new company.

Marc embraced her in a hug as he waltzed in, dumping a christmas bag full of wine on the floor so he had a better hold on her.

“Good to see you, Slim.” He said, smiling. Ryan’s nickname had caught on within the band, but Electra wasn’t bothered by it, it was a compliment, how could she complain?

By the time they had finished catching up on what had happened since she last saw him (only two days ago, but still…) Maud had swanned into the room wearing one of Electra’s dresses, as well as her heels, and Sebastian and Liberty were sat together on the sofa, Liberty was telling him all about her movie while he smiled on, he was glad she had finally gotten a part, however small it may have been.

Electra joined Maud at the breakfast bar as Marc had excused himself to take a phone call, and was now prowling around the other side of the room, shouting loudly in fluent French. She watched Ryan’s broad back as he slaved away making the meal, and found herself aching for some time alone with him, apart from the gigs they had never really spent any time together over the last two weeks, he was always making sure his mother was okay. Maud resented Electra for taking away her son, and reveled in the hours she spent with him, forcing him to get drunk and smoke weed way into the early hours with her.

“You looking forward to dinner then Maud?” Electra asked after cleaning up three of Maud’s empty wine glasses and sitting back down.

“Of course,” Maud replied, giving Electra an icy stare, “anything my son cooks will be amazing.” She paused for a moment, “speaking of family, I saw your mother in the paper today, apparently shes donated 300 million dollars worth of art to the BMOA.” She said, looking at Electra’s old burger t shirt with mockery, conveniently forgetting she was wearing one of Electra’s $800 dresses. Maud always wondered what a girl from the Belgravia family was doing with her son, and resented Electra’s family for the fabulous wealth they possessed, Electra didn’t begrudge her the second point, a lot of people were jealous, but she was infuriated that Maud couldn’t seem to understand that she was with her son because she loved him, not because he was some sort of rough trade.

“I hope you two are getting on!” Ryan chided from his position over the cooker, never really understanding his mothers snide remarks, in his eyes she could do no wrong. He hated that she got so drunk, and worried about her constantly, but to him that was normal; it had been that way since he was nine years old.

“Of course.” Electra said, with a tight smile on her face, just managing to resist turning to Maud and giving her one of the cold stares she had learnt from Olive.

“Dinner ready yet, I’m starving man!” Marc shouted from across the room, hanging up the phone on his father, Pierre, who had been calling from France.

“Just about… done!” Ryan shouted, beginning to move the food from the bowl to several plates Electra had laid out.

“I’ll do that!” Electra jumped up from the barstool and took the bowl from Ryan, feeling guilty once more that she had made him cook when he was so stressed. He gave her a weak smile, he realised that Electra was aware of how tired he was, and loved her for it. Giving her a quick kiss he linked Maud’s arm through his and walked with her to the table where Sebastian, Liberty and Marc were already sat. Electra had panicked yesterday she realised she didn’t even have a table, and had quickly ran over to her grandmothers huge triplex apartment (where she spent on average three weeks a year) and, with Arielle’s consent, taken a set of antique Egyptian chairs which had been gathering dust in Leonardo’s old studio.

“Looks great Slim!” Marc exclaimed as Electra started placing the food on the dining table, “I can tell you worked really hard on it, hours slaving away in the kitchen and all.” He joked, throwing her a huge grin. She laughed back, giving him a playful shove as she set his plate in front of him.

“Ooh, it looks gorgeous! My son, the chef.” Maud said, rubbing her hands in theatrical joy before shooting a look at Electra that no one else noticed.

They all proceeded to tuck into the delicious carbonara, conversation turning to music and art. They were all artistic people, three musicians (Electra, Ryan, and Marc), two actresses (Liberty and Maud), and Sebastian, an amalgamation of them all, knowing a little about everything, especially the classic art his mother loved; that was one of the things he missed most about living with Olive, the constant access to famed works of art and fabulous sculptures.

“You going to that modelling shoot tomorrow then? They asked me to do it too, you know.” Marc said without a hint of narcissism as he shoveled the food into his mouth, holding his plate in his hand, the closer it was the quicker he got it in.

“Really? Yeah, I’m glad you’re going, at least I won’t be alone.” Electra replied. “How was the movie Liberty?” she said, quickly changing the subject in case Ryan felt dejected by the fact that he hadn’t been asked.

“Oh, okay thanks. Pretty annoying though, I was on location for ages and I’m only in it for three seconds, delivering some tea to the star actor. He tried to hit on me you know!” Liberty replied with a laugh, “of course I turned him down.” She gave Sebastian a kiss on the cheek, Ryan looked on happily, thinking how good they were together.

She knew that everyone thought they were the perfect couple, and she had to admit that they kind of were, the only problem was her past, which she hadn’t been exactly truthful about. She stared ahead, ignoring her dinner for a few minutes as she thought about her parents. It was only last year that she had told Sebastian about going away with them, then to a cousins wedding, but that wasn’t entirely true. She had been visiting her parents, but not in the happy scenario she had portrayed for him.

As the dinner progressed Maud became more and more out of it. She had already been drunk when she sat down, but now the many drinks from earlier were kicking in, and combined with her running to the toilet every five minutes for a shot of the gin she kept hidden in her medicine cabinet, she was getting bombed.

“Careful.” Electra quickly held Maud steady as she threatened to fall off the chair. All she got in return was a fierce glare, before Maud started pointedly ahead, refusing to look at Electra.

“You okay?” Electra asked, trying desperately to diffuse the tension that had engulfed the room. She hated Maud for doing this, then felt guilty for it, Maud was Ryan’s mother after all.

“I’m fine! Just leave me alone!!” Maud slurred, knocking half of her mostly uneaten plate of carbonara flying all over Marc, who just brushed it off with a laugh.

“She’s out of it.” He whispered to Sebastian with a wave of his hand in Maud’s direction.

Unfortunately Maud herd him, and proceeded to ram her fork into his bare arm. He jumped up with a scream of pain, dragging it out as Maud leaned back in her chair with an amused grin.

“You’re crazy!” Electra screamed in shock. Fortunately the fork had only just broken the skin and wasn’t serious, but there was still a little blood, and Marc was cradling his wound while looking at Maud with a mixture of confusion and, if he was honest, a little fear; he completely agreed with Electra.

“Oh shut up you stupid girl! I hate you, I hate your money and your loft and your stupid pink lipstick! Stay away from me and my son!” Maud shouted back, jumping up from the table, sending her plate flying and her chair crashing to the floor. Glasses could be heard bouncing around in the kitchen cabinets from the force Maud slammed the door with as she ran off to her bedroom.

“Dinner’s over guys.” Sebastian, who had been frozen in shock and embarrassment since the beginning of Maud’s outburst, said, once again the one to bring an end to the soap opera.

Bridgeport Loft

Home of Electra, Ryan, Sebastian, and Liberty. Let me know what you think. 🙂