Tag Archives: belgravia legacy

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 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.

Generation 2 – Chapter 8

Okay I’ll admit it – I had no idea how to cook. I had been trying to make a decent plate of waffles for lets see… 6 hours now? It was just impossible, no wonder Lily had always hired a chef, ordered take out, or asked the maid to cook, it was a nightmare! But I was determined to be a real mom – those TV shows where the mom cooks a huge dinner and all the family eat around the table with wine, great conversation, and lots of laughter. The house I had bought was simply perfect for the life I envision, apart from the obvious things tearing it apart – the husband, yes husband, we went down to city hall and found out it was official, the look on Leo’s face when he realised we were married was just… awful, he looked distraught, as if it was the biggest mistake of his life. The fact that I worked more than I was home (which I was beginning to think maybe wasn’t the best idea I ever had) and the fact that I had no idea how to raise a child!

Things with Leo had gone from bad to worse. In some far corner of my mind that was unlocked by copious amounts of alcohol I must have believed that marriage was the key to happiness, but it actually wasn’t, it had only made things worse. And to add to my misfortune I couldn’t stop thinking about Noah. I still owned the city Triplex, and Consuela had phoned me every week with my messages, always, always there were at least 6 from Noah, begging me to talk to him, to at least tell him it’s over, but I couldn’t – because in my heart, it wasn’t over. It may have been years ago, and nothing actually ever happened between us, but we both knew there was a spark there, one that we couldn’t ignore, but I had to for now. I couldn’t kick Leo out, not with his child on the way. The pregnancy wasn’t half as bad as I expected, yes I had those bouts of sickness, which could come at any time of the day (I even had to jump out of the pool and run to the toilet once) but I was expecting much worse, this is what happens when you watch too much TV as a child!

It had been a difficult choice deciding to move out of the apartment, but that was another thing that I thought may fix the marriage. In a smaller place, maybe I’d feel closer to Leo as I’d actually be closer to him, he was always in the little den behind the kitchen, I’d see him hard at work on his easels, never turning round and acknowledging me, or even smiling. I went to a few parties while I still had my figure (the baby wasn’t showing yet) but they usually turned out to be pretty much a drag. The people were my age but acted 45. Like this one party thrown by the woman who lived on the cliff above us, Helen Dorenson. I was totally late to the party and had stupidly decided to walk (she only lived on the cliff above us after all) but the road was much longer than I thought, and I was 2 hours late by the time the house came into my sights.

I walked in expecting a party in full swing, with drinks and dancing and music, but I got like a 40 year old party populated by 25 year olds. They were all so serious with their glasses of champagne and their talks of politics, I went and said hello to the hostess (who looked scarily like me – a more glamorous version) and then quickly excused myself and went out onto the terrace.

I wasn’t sure if I missed living in the city as I looked over the water to the beauty of it’s lights, it was amazing being able to appreciate it from here. Ultimately I thought moving out would help mine and Leo’s marriage, and I wanted to raise our child away from the city, in a real family environment, where going into the city would be something to look forward to or something, I didn’t really know, but I was happy I did it. The house I bought was fabulous, I had never had any outside space and I may have overdone it with tree-houses and a huge pool and outside seating and barbecue areas and 4 cars parked on the drive when there were only 2 of us, I think I just got a little overexcited.

I quietly slipped away from the party through the back and began the walk home. Maybe I should become a writer or something, I really wasn’t happy at Belgravia Industries International, people didn’t treat me with respect because they thought (ok they knew) that I only had the job because of who my father was. I was asked to do the mundane tasks, and I didn’t dare accept Chace’s offer of a higher position in case they hated me even more. Walking into the house I had to stop and admire the art, I really did love Leo’s idea of just covering the house in pictures, it made it feel really homey compared to what I had grown up in (blank walls with signature pieces) although we had decided to keep the bedroom pretty much a copy of the bedroom in the triplex, but I was thinking of changing that soon.

I was dreading loosing my figure – it had always been one of my greatest assets, but it did eventually begin to deteriorate, and that’s when I discovered the joy of proper pyjamas! I couldn’t believe I had skipped out on wearing something so comfortable for the whole sexy/cute thing, these were a revelation! I only had one pair (and I wasn’t going shopping looking this fat, ew) so I’d just wash them every few days, and then put them straight back on, I loved it! Waffles were still an art I was attempting to master, but I was definitely getting better at it (I’d found a few cookbooks on the shelf which helped a lot).

When the day finally came for my child to come into the world I panicked for a second. I felt my water break and I started running around the house screaming in panic, but in fact I wasn’t even in pain. I had seen way to many movies! I was perfectly calm, and the doctor soon arrived to deliver the baby at home like we had planned. I couldn’t wait to be a mother, it was such a strange thought, I had just created a human inside me. How? It was so interesting, so… I don’t know, it was just amazing.

Thomas Belgravia was born in the kitchen (of course, I was never out of there) at 11PM, and he was absolutely beautiful. I had a child. I was a mother. It was really just sinking in. I had all these thoughts about the house and what it would be like having a family here, but now I actually had a family of my own.

Okay – I had some problems here. I wanted to actually show him being a baby for a while (although I don’t know why because they’re boring at that stage) but little Thomas had… other ideas.

Anyone else get these ridiculous problems with babies?! I believe its the custom content, but never mind.

It seemed like only a few days before he became a little toddler, and an absolutely adorable one at that. I loved the nursery we (I use the term loosely – Leo bought a few toys then went back to his art) created for him, and I’m pretty sure he loved it too. Oriana sent him a totally cute toy to play with which he loved. A room full of designer toys and he wants to play with the rag doll my sister sent him, typical.

He was so gorgeous, I couldn’t believe he was my son! Everyone was dying to meet him, after all he was the first male to be born into the family. I started getting back into the books that I had purchased in France and never really took the time to read. I was always in the room with him, although I did leave him alone from time to time (I didn’t want to baby him too much) but never for more than 10 minutes… and yes I usually hid behind the door listening to make sure he was okay. He’d sit at my feet playing with that doll while I read aloud, trying to immerse him in the French language, I wanted him to understand other cultures.

Going out to collect the mail one morning I was excited to find a little package inside, a present! I had no idea who it could be from, but I wished I had never opened it when I did. A note from Noah – We still need to talk. – With two little diamond earrings to go with it. It was so tempting to meet with him, maybe I should speak to him. I was going to have to at one point, but I was afraid. I just couldn’t handle divorcing Leo. What about little Tommy, he would grow up in a broken family, not that Leo spent much time with him, he had recently been featured in one of the local galleries and spent all his time there readjusting where his paintings hung, changing the lighting and God knows what else.

As I moved into the hall towards the ringing doorbell later in the day I had to hide behind the wall in shock, he was here! Was he like some sort of crazy stalker?! Maybe he wasn’t genuine at all and just wanted to chop me up into a million pieces. I knew I had to answer, I couldn’t let this go on any longer, we had to talk.

Opening the door was a huge step in itself, I had never been willing to talk to him before, leaving him locked outside the grille gates, ignoring him (and getting married!) to escape him at the wedding, ignoring all his calls… but it was time to deal with it. We moved through to the kitchen, where some inane conversation about my house came up before we really got down to it.

“I still have feelings for you Arielle. I want to explore those feelings. I know your life is complicated right now with a husband and a child, but I’m willing to fight through it if you are… Arielle? Will you look at me?!”

“I feel the same way Noah. But you have to give me time, things are happening at an alarming rate in my life, I have my son to think about. Yes, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that me and Leo don’t work, and marriage was stupid, but I can’t just cut him loose, I have to tell him and we have to work out plans for Tommy and the the division of assets, the art, the money he’s made while we’ve been together… its complicated.”

“I’m willing to wait if you’ll be there at the end of it all.” Gosh he was so understanding, even better than I remembered him from years ago, but still just as hot. We looked at each other for a long while, the conversation had been much easier than I imagined, I thought his persistence would translate to wanting to be with me ASAP (which he clearly still wanted) but I was glad he was willing to wait for me. After all, I was hot.

“I’ll call you. I promise.” We hugged before he went about his business, which I realised I actually didn’t know what that was. I really had no idea about his life, was he still living with his room-mates in that huge modern house with the courtyard? Well when we did get together he’d obviously move here.

It was nerve racking, thinking about talking with Leo. I was waiting for him to come home, settling little Tommy down in bed in the nursery. He was such a joy, it was as if he never wanted me to leave, he totally loved me, and the feeling was mutual.

Pulling a book from the shelf I settled down in the den and waited for him to arrive. It was a great book, but I wasn’t paying any attention to it, I may as well have been reading it upside down. I had no idea how the conversation would go, would there be shouting and screaming? Maybe he’d hit me in anger, although if he did I’d smack him right back. It was another 3 hours before he finally came home, dumping a huge pile of easels in the corner and mumbling hello.

“Leo, we need to talk.” I gritted my teeth in nervousness, this was it, the moment my marriage would end, soon I would officially be a divorcee. Gosh, a 23 year old divorcee, it was a strange thought.

He let out a long sigh, “I know.”

“This just isn’t working out Leo, I’m sorry, truly, I really wanted it to work out, but I can’t stay in this sort of marriage.”

“Things were just… crazy between us Arielle. It was all a bit of a whirlwind, and to be honest, there’s a girl at the art gallery who I’m interested -”

“-Woah woah woah,” I cut across him, “I don’t wanna hear about anything like that right now, this is hard enough.” At least we both had people waiting at the other end for us, but I couldn’t help but feel a little upset that he was interested in somebody else.

“And what about little Tommy? He’s staying here by the way.” I told him firmly, if he wanted to battle for custody he better be prepared for a very long battle. The mayor was a good friend of Chace’s, and Lily had worked with the district attorney doing research for one of her movies, if he thought he was taking Tommy he had another thing coming.

“I know I’d never be able to fight you for custody, and I wouldn’t want to. I of course still want to visit, we’ll have to work something out properly, who has him on what days and such.” It was real. We were officially broken up, this was it. We eventually decided to go down to the court the next day and apply for a divorce.

“And what about the houses, the money, the art?”

“You can keep it all, it’s all your money Arielle. And you can keep the paintings of mine that we’ve hung, I actually think they might be worth a lot in a few years, there’s a lot of interest in them at the gallery.”

It was weird that  we could talk so… normally. There was none of the kicking and screaming I expected, plates being smashed, the house being trashed, punches flying at each other. We hadn’t talked for weeks, and I actually thought we could be friends now that we were getting out of the marriage, it would be best for Tommy if we were friends. It seemed like we both knew that it would be better off for everyone if we were divorced. I didn’t really know how to explain it to Tommy, we would have to do it later in life, he couldn’t even talk yet, never mind understand something like this. I knew Lily had kept secrets from us growing up, and I didn’t want to be like that with my children, I was going to tell them everything, I wanted to be both a mother and a friend, not just an authority figure. He decided to end it now, not to stay the night. I insisted that he should stay, but he just wanted to get away, and said he was sleeping at the gallery, although I had a feeling he was going to see that girl – and I kind of felt happy for him. Standing in the kitchen the finality of it all sunk in, we were finished, the house felt… different, emptier.

It was pretty amazing when Noah moved in a few days after Leo’s departure. I wasn’t used to sleeping alone, so I was definitely glad he was here. I knew our relationship was going to work, it just felt so different. He was so thoughtful too, like when he first arrived at the door with his bags, after letting him in he pulled out a beautiful bouquet of roses, Leo had never done something like that for me!

We shared our first kiss that very day in the kitchen, and then things just began to take off at an alarming rate. We had been talking for a while, it wasn’t at all awkward, we had so much to catch up on, so many years apart, we barely knew anything about each other, but that’s what made it so exciting. After finding out that he was in the music business (orchestra line) he moved towards me and just for a second I looked away shyly, then we looked at each other and kissed. It was like a spark exploded inside my head, he was so great!

Another thing I wasn’t expecting about him was that he was really family oriented. He seemed so polished and perfect on the surface, with his shiny suits and his perfectly tousled hair, but he loved starting up the barbecue and we’d sit outside for hours with a few bottles of red, getting to know each other more and more. Tommy took to him straight away, I suppose he had never really known Leo (which was beginning to change – isn’t it odd how as soon as me and Leo were no longer a couple he became a better father than he had been when we were together?) and Noah really took on the role of a father, teaching him to talk and telling him all about his favourite football team – The Llamas.

It was pretty much a miracle how perfect things were turning out, I had the most beautiful son in the world, a perfect boyfriend who was also an amazing father to another mans son (it wasn’t even an issue – he said he would raise Tommy as if he was his own) and an amazing home. The only wobbly part was my career. After my maternity leave I never returned to Belgravia Industries International, it just wasn’t a good fit for me, the corporate world didn’t interest me one bit, so with Alex’s help I started to write down the ideas in my head, mainly it was extracts of my life but with less drama (it wouldn’t even be realistic to write my own life – who would believe it!?) mainly revolving around a character I tactfully (ha) named Ariel. Of course I never let Tommy out of my sights as I worked, gently closing the den door and always watching him out of the corner of my eye through the glass.

It was all a whirlwind – my book was almost finished, which Alex was extremely proud of – she actually said it was good! Noah was now a permanent part of my life, I suppose you could say we were boyfriend and girlfriend but that seemed an odd title as I was a mother! I was kind of hoping he’d pop the question soon… okay I know I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Tommy was growing up faster than I ever anticipated, he was already running up and down the house, throwing his toys off the walls (ruining several pieces of art but so what – it’s just money) and generally just being a boisterous little man, I loved him so much.

In the back of my mind I had been worried about leaving my job and raising Tommy at home, I thought it could just be a routine, maybe I’d have to turn to the vodka to pass the days and become one of those awful alcoholic mothers. But it was so different. Every day was an adventure, I never knew what new word Tommy was going to spout, or what mischief he’d get up to. His laugh was the greatest thing to hear, it was totally the best laugh I had ever heard. Genuine happiness. It felt so different from my childhood. I had vague memories, but I wanted Tommy’s to be full of happy memories. I definitely needed to buy a camera, I wanted something to look back on and smile at when I was old and grey.

“Arielle,” Noah began one day as he came home from work, “We should go away. What do you think of China?” China?! Wow, I had been desperate to travel since my trip to France, and this was great news!

“I’ll miss Tommy but it could be nice to have some time away from him, maybe Lily will babysit him, it’s going to be amazing Noah!”  I didn’t know what to expect from China, what was I supposed to pack? I wanted to immerse myself in the culture and really fit in there. As the plane touched down in China 2 weeks later I stared out the window just as I had done when we touched down in France years ago. It was so different to France, and amazing in so many different ways.

The hotel we were staying in had a great suite, and we wasted no time in christening the bed, and finally cementing our position as a couple. It was strange, I was about to have sex with the person I had tried to use to take my virginity, it was totally strange. I was glad that we hadn’t done it all those years ago. What was I thinking trying to lose my virginity to him just so I could say I wasn’t a virgin any longer. High school didn’t even cross my mind any more, it felt like a whole other life, I hadn’t spoken to Michael or Emily in years, or that weird guy who put even more pressure on me to lose my virginity. He was probably stoned in the local park.

The trip may not have lived up to my France trip with regards to drama but that was exactly why I loved it. We just did things normal people do, I wasn’t flying to Paris to hide from a crazy teacher who was bribing me, I was just living. Long days spent in the Scholars Garden, trips to The Temple of Heaven to take in the view of the city, learning the basics of martial arts with Noah at the Academy, it was all so… peaceful. And exactly how a holiday should be.

We both missed Tommy, it was wonderful how quickly Noah had settled into the role of a father, Tommy actually asked to talk to him when Lily called us and put him on the phone every morning and evening. I was actually excited to get home and see him, which I never thought would be me. I didn’t used to be this person, I was never nurturing, for a while I wasn’t even sure that I wanted children, but once I had one it was the best decision I ever made. On our last day Noah convinced me to take an early morning hike up to one of the highest points in the city (which I will NEVER do again, my shoes were ruined!) and as we stood there taking in the view I felt his tension, what was he nervous about?

“Arielle,” he began, getting down on one knee. Oh boy, this was it. “I love you. I know we have only officially been together for a few weeks, but we’ve had a connection for years, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

“Arielle – say something…” I didn’t realise that I had been stood in silence, thinking about the last time this happened, with Howland.

“Yes, yes, of course!” I screamed as I snapped out of my little daze and threw myself into his warm embrace.

We spent the rest of the day in the hotel bedroom, just doing what engaged couples do, if you know what I mean, and as I woke up the next morning I had that very same feeling I had when I realised I was pregnant with Tommy, and I knew another baby was on the way.

The Queen Of The City Moves To The Suburbs

THIS IS AN OLD VERSION OF THE HOME. FOR THE LATEST VERSION CLICK HERE

Residents (Past and Present) – Leo Belgravia (past), Arielle Belgravia, Noah Belgravia, Tommy Belgravia, Kitty Belgravia, Olive Belgravia, Oliver Belgravia, Cora Belgravia.

Can anyone guess what house on a popular TV show I based this on?! I hope you like it – Marissa x

Generation 2 – Chapter 7

“Gosh that was exhausting wasn’t it.” I remarked as me and Leo stepped into the hallway, just arriving back from Chace’s brunch fundraiser.

“Sure.” He replied moodily. Sure? He had barely spoke 2 words to anyone at the fundraiser, scribbling into his notepad instead, but I suppose that was one of the main reasons I was attracted to him, he was so detached from my regular world. Throwing down my purse and sitting down I expected him to join me, maybe we could watch a movie, or just talk… but no, he was straight off to the studio, as usual.

“Where the hell are you going?!” I shouted over to him as I jumped up. He slowly turned around and stared at me, I didn’t know what he was thinking, which infuriated me, especially as it was pretty obvious I was pissed.

“What’s the problem? Do you not want me to work on my art, do you want me to force you to pay for everything all the time?” Stupid money! Why wasn’t I just born poor? Okay forget that, I would rather be dead than poor… But come on! I didn’t care about paying, I had the money.

“I have more than enough money, why is it so emasculating for you?! I like you exactly how you are, I even let you wear a grey pullover, jeans and converse to a charity brunch where you should have worn a suit, but I don’t care!”

“Oh wow Arielle that’s such a big concession, thanks a lot. This just shows how you think own me, you ‘let’ me wear this?” Why on earth was he getting so worked up?! The brunch was full of businessmen in 3 thousand simolean suits, and he turned up looking like my difficult teenager, but that’s exactly why I loved him. Loved him? Was I in love with Leo… I didn’t know, I felt like I could be.

“This isn’t working Arielle.”

“That’s because you don’t put any effort in! Get out of the studio and go and work for my father, you’re smart, I’m sure he’ll give you a decent position!”

“I will not work for your father Arielle. I’m not used to just having things handed to me, and I don’t like it, I won’t exploit your connections for my own gain.”

“WHY?! That’s how the world works Leo, it’s now what you know, it’s who you know, and you better catch on soon!!”

“I’m going downstairs to let you cool off. I want this to work, but I think we’re going to have to have a serious talk.” A serious talk? No! I had seen too many movies to not associate those words with something bad, was he going to break up with me? I’d just realised that I was in love with him… did he not love me back? I didn’t dare ask. Moving out to the study terrace I looked over the beautiful view of the ocean. Leo was, of course, right. I didn’t earn any of this, my parents did. I had a job because of Chace, I was invited to parties because of Lily. I was living in one of the most expensive buildings in the city and wearing rubies at 1 in the afternoon because of the wealth my parents had left me. But I wouldn’t change it. Why would I choose to be poor? Ew.

*      *      *

I was running so late! Alex was coming over, she said she had really big news, what it could be I didn’t have a clue, she’d probably broke some record with her book sales, right now I didn’t really care, I had just got home from work (2 hours later than anticipated) and now I had to email next months projections to the director of the department who was holidaying on his yacht in Bermuda and had been M.I.A for the past 2 weeks.

“Anyone home?!” I heard Alex shout from the hallway as I furiously typed away on the computer. Consuela (the maid I had recently hired) had been instructed to let her in. Damn, I wish I wasn’t running so late, I hadn’t even had the chance to change from my work clothes. I could hear her walking up and down the main hallway, probably checking out each room. She had only visited the apartment once or twice and I think she was still astounded by it’s size.

“Just a second!” I shouted back as I typed the last few lines and pressed send. Phew! I strolled into the living room where Alex was already enjoying the view.

“I still can not believe all this is yours Arielle. You really don’t need such a big place you know.” Let’s not get onto that conversation, Leo might overhear and it will bring up even more tension than there already is.

“So what’s the big news sis?”

“Well… You know how I’ve been dating Jeremy for the past few years.” She paused, turning shyly away from me, had he broke up with her? “Well… we decided to get married!” She said, holding out her ring finger for me to look.

“Oh my God! That’s amazing!!” I pulled her up of the sofa and embraced her, I couldn’t believe she was marrying him, she had followed him around for all those months when she was still a teenager, finally plucking up the courage to talk to him after Oriana laced her morning latte with vodka. Seems like it was a fairytale ending!

“Here is the thing Ari… I want you to plan the wedding. We want to get married… soon.”

“How soon? 2 months? I may be able to whip something up.”

“Well… we were thinking more like… a week.” A week?! She wanted me to plan a wedding in a week?! My face dropped in horror, how on earth would I be able to pull that off?

“I know it’s sudden but please, we have to get married soon because…” Because what? Because they were so in love, please, she had to wait a few weeks! I needed time to plan a God damn wedding! “… because I’m pregnant! Now it’s very early, but I am!” Wow – Alex’s life was definitely taking off fast, I mean, best-selling author, now wife-to-be and mother-t0-be… it seemed like she had everything she ever wanted, then there was me… No! I couldn’t be jealous, this was her moment.

“Okay. I’m sure I can rustle something together, but it may not be as good as it could be if I had more time.”

“No, no, I’m sure you’ll do fine, we only want something small and tasteful, we thought we could do it here, the place is big enough, plus you have that huge studio.” Alex remarked slyly, she had definitely been thinking about this. Not a bad idea actually… Ideas were whizzing around in my mind as I scanned the living room. If I took the furniture out, put in a few rows of chairs, maybe a few columns…

“Right I have to go, I have a meeting with my publisher. Please keep me updated sis. I love you.” She looked at me with genuine emotion, this was probably the first real ‘moment’ we had ever shared together… and it was nice.

Okay, I had 6 days to plan a wedding, 4 company reports I had to proof read for my boss, and a very hostile, brooding boyfriend who would probably hate the whole thing. Not to mention Noah still on my mind, I hadn’t even let him in the apartment the first time, but he had told me through the grille gate that he missed me and would be back soon, just what I needed. Please God, let everything come together, and keep Noah away for the next week.

*      *      *

“Oriana get out now, I bet you look amazing.” I shouted as I typed an email on my phone. Oriana had been in the dressing room for 35 minutes, insisting she hated the dress I had chosen for her.

“I look like an idiot.” I heard her mumble back.

“Get out now!” That was enough, I marched over to the dressing room and threw open the door, dragging her out in front of the mirrors in the bridal stores dressing room.

“You look amazing!” Not as good as I looked in the dress, but she did look pretty good. “But you can not wear these boots with it, we’re at a wedding, not one of your concerts.”

“One of my concerts? I wear these boots every day! I hate this dress!”

“Why are you acting like a child you bitch, this is for Alex, we have to be supportive.” She was being an idiot! I felt like her mother, just like I had all week. “Mom what about you?!” Lily was in another dressing room, but I had given her a little more time, after all she was getting old.

“I’m not that old Arielle. I’m coming.” She shouted back, coming out and approaching the now available mirror a few minutes later. She looked great, she wasn’t a bridesmaid, so she didn’t have to wear the same dress as me and Oriana, that would have just been weird. “Girls what do you think of these shoes?” Lily asked as me and Oriana bickered behind her.

“Get me out of this! Where’s my leather jacket?” Oriana asked as she tugged on the back of her dress, trying to escape.

“Stop!” I clicked my fingers at her, a few salesgirls were hovering around and I didn’t want to embarrass us, but she persisted with the tugging.

“How the hell do you get out of these things, the zip is impossible!”

“YOU’RE GOING TO RIP IT!” I couldn’t help it, she was being a little baby, she was going to, like, totally ruin the entire wedding!

“Chill out Arielle! It’s only a stupid dress.” She snapped back at me,

“It is not just a dress, its the bridesmaids dress you’re going to be wearing to your twin sisters wedding! Now stop fidgeting!”

“Girls, calm down.” Mom said calmly as she checked herself out in the mirror. How could she be so calm at a time like this? The wedding was in 3 days and I still had a list as long as my arm left to complete. And where the hell was Alex?

“Alex come on! I thought Oriana took a long time but this is ridiculous!” I screamed, eliciting stares from several salesgirls who were hovering around the room. It was definitely worth the wait to see Alex, she looked amazing in her dress as she came out of the dressing room. The three of us were stood together in front of the mirror, I could see mom behind us, a faint tear running down her cheek. We had never really been that close, the three of us, so this must have been a real moment for her. We just stood for a while, looking at each other in the mirror, and it was actually nice.

Unfortunately the peace didn’t last, as over the next few days I ran errand upon errand, calling in the decorators to install pillars along the living room, the movers who were transporting my furniture to a storehouse for a night, the catering company who were completely unreliable, the cake maker (who did not understand what I was asking for) and still trying to juggle my job, which although a low grade position turned out to be a lot of work. It was a relief when the 3 days passed and the wedding was finally upon us. The family had arrived and we were waiting for the guests, Alex was upstairs getting ready with mom and I was just putting the food into the oven to keep warm when I heard a cough behind me.

No! Could my prayers have not came true? Seeing him at the doorway made me realise I still had feelings for him, but I had to keep him away until I could sort things out with Leo. I loved Leo, at least I thought I did… but I didn’t feel love for Noah, just… feelings.

“Arielle, why haven’t you been returning my calls? We have to talk… I want to see you again.”

“What do you think you’re doing showing up at my house, at my sisters wedding!” I whispered furiously with my back to him, so no one realised we were speaking.

“But Arielle, I thought that we had something all those years ago, yes I thought it was over for a while when you went away, but seeing you again has lit up those feelings…”

“No! Don’t do this now Noah, I’m in a relationship, please just leave.”

“I’m not leaving until you talk to me Arielle.” Why was he persisting so much? I had too many things to deal with right now to add Noah on top of the list! Stupid Consuela must have thought he was an invited guest and let him in, she better watch it or she’d be out of a job soon.

“Fine then, stay. But stay the hell out of my way, we’ll talk later.” I said with a scowl as I stormed off towards the living room, where the ceremony was taking place, leaving him staring at me just as he had all those years ago when I was trying to seduce him.

Standing in the living room counting chairs I was extremely happy with how the space had came together, it looked pretty great for 6 days work. It had cost me to get everything out of here, including the art, but it was worth it, and the petals had turned out great. Those would certainly be a nightmare to clean up, I better call a cleaning service, Consuela already said she wasn’t cleaning them. Who did she think she was?

The actual ceremony was pretty quick, with only the family and a few close friends in attendance, all my work over the past week was definitely worth it as I saw how happy they were when the rings were finally exchanged.

The after party was where everyone really appreciated my work. It had taken a lot of convincing to get Leo to allow me to move his paintings out of the studio and into storage, and he’d insisted on travelling with them the entire way to the storehouse, ew. Everyone was totally letting loose on the dance floor, it felt like we were in a real club, but better!

Of course the better the evening got the harder Noah tried to ruin it! I could see him staring at me and gesturing me from the side of the dance floor, people were going to notice! If dad saw him his life would be over, he still hated him from the run in we had at the club all those years back.

“Noah I told you to get out of here!” I fumed as we stood in the shaded doorway, away from the party.

“You said we could talk Arielle. I can’t think of a better time than the present.” No, no, no! I had things to think about, I really did love Leo, but then Noah was just so attractive, and there was definitely something there… I didn’t know if I could trust myself.

“Noah stop…”

“Just come outside, talk to me, tell me that you don’t want to be with me and I’ll leave you alone forever.”

“I…” I couldn’t say it – I couldn’t risk never seeing him again, but Leo… “I have to go.” I stormed back to the dance floor and threw myself into Leo’s arms, I wish our relationship would work out perfectly, but maybe we could work through the problems.

As the evening began to wind down me and Leo were still on a complete buzz – the bartender was weaving through the dance floor with trays of champagne and we did not want the evening to end. So we didn’t let it. We headed out of the apartment and hit a few local clubs.

Dancing followed drinks…

Followed by more drinks…

And more dancing…

I could barely remember the evening, except that it was a lot of fun, an I’m pretty sure we got up to some crazy stuff. I had vague memories of this old man smiling at us and laughing… I didn’t really have any idea what it was though, probably one of those trendy clubs. When I woke up I realised we weren’t even in our bedroom, we were sleeping in the red room, why I didn’t know, we probably thought it was a good idea at the time. My entire body whacked onto the floor as I got out of bed – I had never had a hangover like this, I couldn’t even see straight!

Stumbling into the kitchen to make coffee I looked down and realised that I was even drunker than I thought last night – what on earth? How, how could I have done something like this… the old man, banging on a church door at 4AM, a cheap ring from a Chinese immigrant selling her wares to the drunkards on the darkened streets…

I was married! Oh my God… I was married… What the hell had we done? Did we think this would save our relationship?! We definitely had sex last night too… did we use a condom?

Generation 2 – Chapter 6

“You’re gonna love the apartment, it’s fabulous. It may be a little more than you were expecting to pay but… it’s to die for.” It better be, Deborah Mendelson had taken me and Leo around like, at least 15 other apartments, and none of them were what we were looking for. They were all either too small, or just had awful views. It had been tough getting Leo to understand that city apartments cost a lot more than an even bigger house in the country, but you had to pay a price for city living. I was trying to keep price off the conversation, it was still strange to him that I had millions of simoleans while he struggled to get by in a one bedroom studio. I grazed my hand against his, I wanted to make sure he knew that money didn’t matter to our relationship, but I just didn’t know how to make that happen.

“I sure hope so Deborah.” I replied, walking two steps behind her. I grazed my hand gently against his, I needed to reassure him that this was our decision, I so did not want him to be thinking about the money, he seemed to hate it.

It was beautiful if that was what you were into. The entire place had been stripped bare, obviously, with only a few chandeliers remaining. Deborah told me the previous owners had lived here for over 40 years, and were a very traditional couple, hence the wood panelling everywhere.

“You can definitely pull all this panelling up, though I think the original arches have to be kept, it’s part of the contract, but whatever. I think the lay out works, but you could always hire an architect… this view is fabulous isn’t it? Sweetie, just imagine sitting out on that terrace on a morning with a cup of coffee and the papers, ah, fabulous. There’s nothing like this on the market right now, and I don’t think it’s going to stay on for long… oh I should  show you upstairs, 5 bedrooms honey, you’re not gonna find that anywhere else… the kitchen too. I think this room would be a great living area, with the study just through here. Isn’t the hallway window just fabulous. Hon, take a look around.” I could hear Deborah going at it in my ear, but nothing she said would sway me, if I thought I could do something with the place than that was that, and this one definitely had prospects. I ignored Deborah, her voice was totally grinding on me, but my mom recommended her, so I had to stick with her.

I was definitely considering this… She’d shown me both floors now, and although covered head to toe in wood panelling, which totally reminded me of being back at The Howland School, the bedrooms were huge, and would in no way be a squeeze. I could probably knock two together to make a master suite, the other three for guests… or perhaps children? I hoped me and Leo were on the same page about kids, I definitely wanted a few of my own, and would raise them way better than Lily raised me.

“Come on you two love birds, I have one final surprise to show you.” Surprise? She took us through to the area which would probably become a study, off the main living area, and that’s when we noticed more stairs, this time going down.

“Its a triplex?” I asked in shock. I had to make an offer. This must be the only triplex in the city, and in such a prestigious building…

“Now this was used as a little art gallery by the previous owners, for all their modern art that would look well, out of place in the upstairs rooms.” It was a huge room, and the white walls and floor made it seem even bigger than it actually was. The light in here was so great, it even had its own terrace. Most of the entire apartment actually had terraces, which was another odd thing for the centre of the city. I could see Noah getting excited as he walked around, it would be a perfect studio for him… a place where he could work in peace, away from the main floors.

“Honey, I know you want this place. There can’t be a single person out there who wouldn’t want this place. This building is extremely prestigious, full of old money, you can shake it up girl, hire a fabulous decorator for the apartment, pull out all that wood. Come on, do I even need to persuade you? Three floors of heaven, its a mansion in the sky.” She was right of course, we would never find something like this again.

I was desperate to make an offer, but I could see Leo staring out of the window, I couldn’t tell if he was excited or not, he was quite good at concealing his emotions.

“What am I going to be paying?” I leaned closer as I asked her, I hated talking about money around Leo, like, in my mind it didn’t matter to our relationship at all, but clearly it did.

“Well it’s on the market for 8.5 but I could probably get them down to about 8.1, at a push. I know, I know its a lot, but come on, look at this place, it’s beautiful, so spacious, so bright, so-“

“-Look can you just stop with this line of persuasion, I don’t need swaying by you, I can make this decision for myself. Sweetie.”

“Hey I didn’t mean any offence, it’s my job.”

Okay so it was her job, whatever, I didn’t need it. Leo was the one that needed convincing, not me

“What do you think about this place Leo?” I asked as we moved out onto the terrace, to be away from Deborah. “The studios great, right? You could work down here in total privacy.”

“I suppose.”

“You suppose? Don’t you like the place, it’s amazing if you ask me.”

“Arielle, I can go into a room and shut the door, I don’t need a whole extra floor. This place is huge, and it’s just me and you. From what I overheard  the price seems ridiculous…”

“Well maybe we could talk about making this house… less empty?” I hoped we were on the same page, I really did want children. It might seem pretty soon, just out of school, but to tell the truth I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t bear to become one of the ladies who lunch, maybe I should just become a housewife. I’d started painting a little, setting the old cogs from my childhood back in motion, but I really wanted to do something more, like being a lawyer, but that would mean more school, which I hated the thought of since Howland.

“Kids? I wasn’t aware it was an option… yes I want kids, but aren’t we going a little fast? An apartment together is one thing, but children? We’re not even married.” Um- well this was like, totally new. Who thought we were moving to fast? I didn’t know anything about relationships…

“Okay well we can talk about that later. I’m going to buy the apartment. It’s my money, and I want to live here, you’re welcome to live in it with me, and I really want you to, but you have to get over these money issues. Focus on becoming an amazing painter in this great studio and then you can sell all your masterpieces and have millions more than me, okay.”

We stood side by side for a long time, in a totally awkward silence…

“Okay, we should buy it.” We? At least we were making progress.

*       *       *

“Hi daddy… yeah, um- listen I need a favour.”

“Anything? Aw you’re so sweet. Can we meet? It might be a long conversation. Okay I’ll see you in an hour.” An hour was too long, I had to talk to him now, I was so bored, there was nothing for me to do. I’d read the Architectural Digest interview like 100 times and cringed the whole way through. Who was this Caroline bitch, I only met her for like, a second. ‘Miss Belgravia’? Please, she made me sound like a 45 year old spinster. Ew! I had to burn some time, there were dishes to be cleaned so I got to that.

Stopping for a second to think about what I was doing I almost threw up! I was cleaning dishes! I smashed one on the floor, argh! I was becoming domesticated, next I’d be sat in a cardigan knitting jumpers for my niece! I had to get out of this house, the move had kept me busy, the long months renovating and decorating, but now we were all settled, Leo was always in the studio, where he insisted on not being disturbed. A few of his paintings were actually quitegood, I’d snuck down there one night and checked them out. Pouring a cup of coffee (my new addiction) I went to settle down and wait for dad, I just hoped he could help me find something to do.

He was, of course, 35 minutes late, as I headed to the door to let him in I realised that it’s kind of became his ‘thing’ for everything now, he told me when I was younger that it’s always better to make your opponents wait, that way they’re caught off guard when you burst in with a new offer or something, whatever- I just wanted him to be on time.

The grille gate mom insisted on having installed was actually kind of cool. She said she always wanted me to be able to see who was at the door without having to open it, she must have like, an irrational fear of kidnapping or something, it’s not even like she’s ever been through something like that, but whatever. We embraced for a few seconds in the doorway before he headed off to the living room, they’d only be round a few times, but I think he was a little wary of my apartment, it wasn’t really to his taste. I mean, my parents liked modern, but they liked it homey at the same time, not like this, although their apartment was floor to ceiling glass all the way round… maybe I should think about changing a few of my rooms to glass.

“Arielle, you said you wanted to talk. Come.” I was totally dawdling, I always forgot how brusque he was, always on the go. Probably why he had so much money. “So what did you want to talk to me about?” We were stood on the terrace overlooking the city, and I could tell he was interested, but I didn’t really know how to broach the subject.

“Well…” I began tentatively,

“You know how… I got quite good grades at school,” (4 A’s, 3 B’s and 1 C – don’t ask how, I guess I was just really smart inside or something) “Well I’m sick of being in this apartment, I think I need to go back to school, or get a job…”

“Oh Arielle” He began laughing softly, “Don’t worry about money, we have plenty, we don’t expect you to work sweetheart.” Don’t expect me to work?!

“But Alex is doing really well with her novels, and Oriana has just joined that band as a back up singer… why wouldn’t I get a job? They have just as much money as me.” Did he think I was dumb or something?

“Well- yes, but we know that you have… other interests.”

“Are you saying I couldn’t get a job? I want to do something dad. I asked you here to get your opinion, on like, colleges or on some sort of intern-ship were I could work my way up.”

“If that’s really what you want then of course me and your mother will support you, but we thought you might be thinking of having children… you know how much we want grandchildren.”

“Um- excuse me? I’m not a conveyor belt spewing out kids for your pleasure. I do want some, one day, but I want to work, or how can I set a good example for them?” What I was saying made perfect sense, why was he looking so awkward? I needed to get a job, I couldn’t bear by in this apartment all day, Leo was great but well… I think he needed to make a few sales before he could really feel comfortable around me. It would probably be wiser not to even get a job, if I wanted to keep our relationship, but I was like, not going to not get a job because of him. “I know you can get me a job at the company.”

“That’s probably true, listen I’ll get you a low grade position, but you’re going to have to work your own way up the ladder. There’s a secret about business, you don’t really need any particular skills to be good at it, just a lot of drive and determination.”

“So what that makes it perfect for me? You’re saying I’m dumb aren’t you.” I couldn’t believe him, who did he think he was? Okay so he was my father and could sort of get away with it, but… no!

“Sweetie I have to go, I have a 12 o’clock lunch with a new client.” He pecked me on the cheek and was away, in and out, quick as can be. Did I want to end up like my father? Always working, always busy, with barely any time for a family? I didn’t know yet.

*     *     *

“Leo, come to bed.” I asked Leo’s back as he continued to work on his paintings.  It was 2 in the morning, and Leo was still hard at work in his studio, geez. I couldn’t sleep, I had fears of Howland coming back for his revenge, and I felt much safer with someone else in the bed with me, I needed Leo.

“Yeah. I’ll be up in a minute.” He didn’t turn around, maybe this was some sort of ‘artists trance’ where he had to work. whatever. We needed to become closer, and the only way I could think of doing so was sex. I couldn’t get him to talk to me about anything, so when he came upstairs 45 minutes later we just did what we knew how to.

Things were still strained between us, but at least the attraction hadn’t left the relationship, oh no, no, no, that was totally still there. The next day I got ready to head to the local stores, I had to go shopping for my new work clothes, I couldn’t wear my usual clothes, however much I wished I could. I had to go all business like and serious, but I was determined to try and make it look hot. I was about to open the grille gate when I noticed someone stood behind it, about to press the bell. This was just what I needed. Noah.

Generation 2 – Chapter 3

The school was definitely big, that was for sure. I’d overheard some girls in the lower grade saying it used to be the family home of some hugely rich family, The Howland Family, and that was it’s namesake. I’d often creep around the hallways after dark, when I was supposed to be asleep. Lights out was at 10, I mean seriously, I wasn’t 5.

I could hear something from a distant part of the school… a tapping, like shoes. I’d never seen anyone else around this time, the teachers like, totally trusted us. Crap! It was totally Miss Brewster, and she’d definitely saw me. This was probably my worst nightmare, if she caught me out after dark mom and dad would have to be informed, and they’d recently emailed me telling me ‘how proud’ they were that I was doing well. I must be like, a genius or something, because I barely even try in the lessons yet I still get all A’s. No time to brood, I had to run before she caught me.

I was running through endless passages, all wood panelled, all looking the same. I thought I was on the second or third floor when I heard her behind me, how was she so fast?!

“Arielle Belgravia get here this instant! I do not have time for games of hide and seek! You are in big trouble young lady!!”

It was like something out of a horror film, the pilgrim witch reincarnated chases the gorgeous leading lady, probably some prom princess whose car broke down. Save me! I turned the corner of the hallway and was confronted with like, tonnes of doors. I darted inside the nearest one, which was a classroom, and locked it, hopefully she wouldn’t find me. Ew. It was totally dusty in here, and there were creepy old spiders crawling the ceiling, any minute I was going to be eaten alive. I had to get out of this place. Not just the room, the school. I needed a break!

Moving over to the window I had a look at my prospects. The window was tightly sealed, so climbing down the façade wasn’t an option, not that I’d ever risk damaging my beautiful body, no way!

The only option seemed to be like, going back the way I came and finding another exit route, God, was I just insanely beautiful girl trapped in a disgusting school or in a James Bond movie?! I quietly unlocked the heavy door and opened it just an inch, pressing my face close to the ground and peering around into the hallway. The first thing I saw was her! Her legs were totally on my eye level, I couldn’t look at that pilgrim dress!

At least she was facing away from me. Who knew how long she’d stay there, and I had to escape like yesterday. Slowly pushing open the door, I crept down the hallways before bursting into a full sprint.

After trying the front door, which was locked (why this was when we have huge gates I do not know!) I moved to the back of the house, and finally emerged into the garden after crawling through a small sash window. I better not have like, snagged my clothes on it. The garden was pretty much the same, all green, with some trees, the pool, and a small sitting area. But what really caught my attention was this like, totally overgrown area right in-between the huge walls and the east wing of the building.

The area was totally cute, and obviously unused, maybe I could like, hide out here during class and stuff.  OK scratch that. The area had an awful patch, Natasha. What the hell was she doing here?

Although I didn’t like her, she obviously wasn’t that bad if she was out after dark, it made her like, cool. And she was quite pretty, that was a plus. I still went and sat beside her, I wasn’t about to go back into the school straight from hell.

It was a little awkward at first, as we both mumbled ‘hey’ and just sat, staring ahead. I definitely had to get a conversation going, just to pass some time.

“So what are you doing like, here?” I was genuinely interested, I wanted to know how she even knew about this place.

“I always come here, to get away from the other girls in the dorm and have some alone time.” She didn’t look at me as she replied, maybe she had been fuelled by a bit to much juice that night we argued.

“I like, didn’t even know it was here, I just stumbled across it, it’s totally weird, but cute!” The conversation was basically going nowhere…

“Listen Arielle, there’s something I have to tell you. The reason I was so angry that night was because, well…”

“- You were drunk? I guessed as much.” I told her with a toss of my beautifully conditioned hair.

“No, no, nothing like that. Well, I was a little drunk and I was wanted an excuse to see you in your underwear because well, I saw you up there and I totally liked you straight away.”

“So you didn’t even care about the bed?” She was so dumb, it wasn’t as if I would care about her being a lesbian, she could look all she wanted. I might even let her touch, who knew. This was the twentieth century, and I was up for all experiences.

“Yeah…” I could see her hand coming towards me, she was getting closer. Woah woah woah, I might be up for it at one point, but that’s not to say right now, or with her. She wasn’t gonna live some lesbian boarding school fantasy through me. No way. Ew!

“Look Natasha, I don’t like you like that. We just became friends 5 seconds ago.” God, things definitely moved quickly around here. “I’ll tell you what, lets just like, erase this from our memory and go on. Shall we sneak out?” I didn’t wait for her answer, and ran through another gate which turned out to lead to the huge green expanse that was the front lawn. She turned out to be totally faster then me, and was waiting at the gates before I even got there!

We were about to haul ourselves over the top when…

“GIRLS! GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!” That was definitely not Miss Brewster, it was totally Mr Howland, yes! I was going to be let off the hook, I felt bad for Natasha but hey, I deserved it, after everything I did for Mr Howland the least he could do was write this one off. I could feel Natasha’s nerves as we headed back up the driveway, what a wimp.

“Arielle, go and wait in my office! I’ll deal with you after I deal with you after I deal with Miss Farington.” He seemed livid, but I didn’t miss the slight wink he shot me, before his face turned back to anger as he faced Natasha. Farington? What kind of bullshit name was that anyway.

He was laying into Natasha when I glanced back, I hoped she was getting it pretty bad, she totally deserved it, if she hadn’t been there I probably would have gotten out. Maybe a few hours with Sir would be more fun anyway.

A very nice sight had to be waiting when he got back if he was going to let me off the hook. He hadn’t actually shown me any professional favours yet, as I barely saw him in anything to do with official school business. Stripping off my uniform I laid down on the floor, ready for him. His face dropped as he walked in, clearly happy with what I had done. He should be, I was pretty cold down here.

“Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.” He leaned against the wall and let out a low whistle as he took in the full scene. Probably memorising it, after all I did look great.

“You have caused a lot of trouble tonight.” His trousers fell to the floor along with his shirt as he spoke. “The reputation of this school is of the highest calibre, and if anyone were to jeopardize that, well, lets just say there would be very serious consequences.” his underwear joined the rest of his clothes on the floor as he moved towards me. Definitely better than sneaking out for a few hours.

*  *  *

Overall I guess the school was… disappointing. I seriously didn’t know how I was passing the class, never mind getting A’s in every lesson. I’d opened my report card expecting to be mortified and planning my speech for mom and dad about how I was going to work harder, but it was all A’s! Usually during lessons I just caught up on the sleep that I was missing out on on the nights, if you know what I mean.

The girls were total trolls, I mean they’d sit around and discuss ‘boys’ when they should be looking for real men. My virginity was a completely fictitious subject, I told them I lost it at 14 with a boy back in Bridgeport when in actuality the man I lost it to was never more than a few rooms away, Howland.

I’ll always remember the night though, like how could I forget… After we’d had that first kiss in his office we moved through to his bedroom, and by now my heart was fluttering wildly. I knew I was about to lose my virginity, this relationship was definitely taboo, so why beat around the bush?!

It was actually kind of sweet, he pulled out some like, cute little pink flowers, a little too cutesy for me, but they were still a sweet gesture, flowers for my virginity huh.

His kisses were soft and tender, but they definitely had a harder edge, I’d kissed a few boys in school and stuff, but Howland put those to total shame! I felt like I was in a bad romance novel, things like this must never happen… I guess it was just because I was so beautiful, I was irresistible, obviously.

I loved how he took control of the situation, I was so used to being in control, always on top, always doing everything for my self ever since mom’s depression period when dad like, went missing (I still didn’t know what had been up with them then) and it was nice to just relax and let someone else do the work, even if it was just in the bedroom.

Geez, the people who said sex wasn’t important to a relationship were total liars, it had to be the best part! Noah didn’t know what he was missing… thinking back on it I had to laugh, I was obviously amazing in bed. His loss. I suppose I hadn’t really thought of him since I’d arrived, I mean he was definitely cute, and was my first choice to take my virginity. But out in the middle of the country, Howland was definitely a better option, he was experienced, and at least he wouldn’t go around telling everyone, he couldn’t – his career was on the line.

*   *   *

“How’s it going with that little slut?”  I narrowed my eyes, staring right at him, he better not be going off the plan.

“You really shouldn’t call her that, she’s just a lonely girl. Quite sweet actually.” Quite sweet? I don’t think so. She was a devil child, always messing up my lessons, falling asleep in the middle of Russian history and still managing to get decent marks.

“You’re not falling for her are you, it’s supposed to be purely sexual Howland.” He was squirming uncomfortably at my question. Men! They were all useless louts, I wish I could do the job myself.

“Do I need to find someone else?!”

“No, no, of course not. The plan is still going ahead, I actually think we’re a little ahead of schedule.”

“Of course we are. How on earth could she resist you…”