Tag Archives: children

Generation 3 – Chapter 9

“So nice to meet you.” I said as I shook the strangers hand. We had been in China for a few days, and this was the fourth party Dimitri had taken me to. It was nice to be introduced to his friends, but I was being thrust around the room being introduced to everyone and anyone, and it was getting old.

“You too. Dimitri didn’t lie when he spoke of your beauty.” He looked at me lewdly, staring at my cleavage. Thank god I had a thin layer of chiffon covering it or he may have had a coronary. “Ah and here comes my beautiful wife. Alexia, come here sweetie.” He gestured to the buxom blonde who had been approaching us from behind.

“Hi.” She said lazily as she joined our conversation, not seeming to be interested.

“I um- love your dress.” I lied as I gave her a once over, how slutty did she need to dress? This was meant to be an elegant event.

“Henry bought it for me. Shows off my assets.” She grabbed a drink from a passing waiter, quickly downing it and throwing the glass over the terrace. What was she doing?! How embarrassing. “I didn’t know people still wore black. Are you in mourning?” Her face showed no emotion as she spoke, her ghostly eyes seeming to stare right through me. I noticed a scattering of white power on her nose and was reminded of Miami and Reena, definitely a coke addict.

“I was going for classic.” I said laughing and leaning back in exaggerated joy. “I should go and mingle, so nice to meet you both.” These people were so dull, but I had to be friendly with them if I ever hoped to get along in Dimitri’s world. Well, I suppose it was now my world too, it had been ever since I’d been with Max.

“Oh thank god you got away from them.” A very pretty oriental woman said, gently grabbing my arm as I crossed the room and looking across the room to Alexia with a mocking in her eyes.

“I’m Niya by the way.”

“I’m Olive, nice to meet you. I love your outfit.” I admired the classic Chinese robe, clearly a designer version with the exquisite stitching and the wonderful pattern.

“Well it’s not my usual choice, I’d probably be in something closer to your outfit. Chanel?” I smiled and nodded my confirmation as she admired my dress. “Have you seen Alexia’s dress? You know she’s 20 years younger than her husbands daughter? What a pig. They deserve each other”

“I noticed a little white power on her nose! I don’t remember seeing coke whore on the runway at Bryant Park this season.” I laughed, pointing to Alexia.

“Tell me about it!” Niya tried to stifle her laughter as we looked over at Alexia, her ample assets threatening to burst free from the barely-there dress. “Last week she came in a leather mini and a luminous pink crop top, please!” We both laughed at Alexia, in the back of my mind I felt a little bad, but she was doing it to herself.

“Now who is that decidedly attractive man talking to my husband?” Niya asked as she looked across the room to where Dimtri was engrossed in a conversation with a man who was evidently Niya’s husband.

“Well that’s who I’m here with. I suppose he’s my ‘boyfriend’, god I feel 17 again.” I’d never actually had a teenage boyfriend, those years were plagued with bulimia, alcoholism, and partying in Miami, but she didn’t know that.

“Good catch! Although boyfriend is such an unbecoming term for women like us, you should nail him down in marriage.”

“Well to tell you the truth I’ve only recently escaped from a marriage, going for another may be pushing it.” I hadn’t even thought about marrying Dimitri, but we had only been seeing each other for a few months… but husband sounded much better than boyfriend.

“Nothing wrong with that. Alan’s my fourth. At least I can pawn the rings to pay the divorce lawyer.” She joked with a loud, expressive laugh that made people turn around and stare.

“I should go say hello to him. We should have lunch some time, here, take my card.” I fished a card out of the discreet pocket of my dress and gave it to her. Dimitri had made them for me, saying it would be useful for the people I’d meet at all the parties he had been taking me to. Crossing the room to Dimitri I saw him exchange a goodbye with his friend as he saw me coming. He was so good to me, always making time for me.

“Hello beautiful.” He kissed me before I could say anything back, letting everyone know we were definitely together. Niya was right, he was definitely a catch.

*      *      *

I yawned. I stretched. I opened my eyes. Ugh, time to wake up. I loved my bed so much, it felt like I was laid in heaven… wrapped my wonderful duvet covered in a princess pattern. Mama said it was the best money could buy, Marie said it suited me because I was a princess. Hehe.

Mama! She would be back from her date by now, I wished she’d been able to spend more time with us last night but it’s okay, parents have to have lives too. At least she had wanted to do something with us before Dimitri came and picked her up. Stupid Dimitri, I’d have to do something about him if I wanted mama to spend more time with us… the princess dress up hadn’t been the best plan, but I had time to think of another.

Running into the kitchen I flicked the kettle on and started rooting around for mugs, the tray, the book mama had recently been reading, and her newly prescribed glasses, which she was too vain to wear but wore them when no one was around and she had to read or something. Now what? Milk for the tea, yeah.

Arghhh! How did anyone see anything in this fridge? The light was blinding, I could barely see the milk in here! Pouring two cups of Earl Grey, one for her and one for me, I looked over my work. Pretty good, mama would definitely want to spend the day with me now.

I put the tray on the coffee table to cool down and admired the city for a second. It was so beautiful, mama said that we practically owned this city, and I could have whatever I wanted. But what about everyone else?? Oh, the tea, I almost forgot. Bursting into her bedroom I felt bad for a second, what if I’d woken her up? But that soon vanished, and was replaced with a sinking feeling in my stomach.

Why wasn’t she in her bed? It looked like it hadn’t been slept in, I mean I know we had maids that came in every day and cleaned the house but they usually came in really early to do the living area and kitchen, then later in the day to do the bedrooms. Maybe she was in her bathroom. I threw open the door in hope, but no.

I stared out of the window at the beautiful view she had, facing the ocean. I had known she wouldn’t be here, in the back of my mind. I guess that’s goodbye to the tea and a day with her.

“Miss Electra? What are you doing?” Marie asked as she came into the room. At least she was always here for me.

“Where’s mama?” Where could she really have gone, she had to be back later, she was always coming home to get changed after different lunches and parties, she said it was ‘gauche’ to be seen in the same outfit at different events. I guess I needed more clothes then.

“Your um- mother has gone for a little trip, to China.” China?! Why hadn’t she at least said goodbye, I loved her so much and all I wanted was to spend time with her. Marie might as well be my mama. I suppose I better make other plans, mama was obviously not interested.

“Lets go to the park then! We can have lots of fun Marie!”

“Marie!” I said as I moved towards the door, with her lagging behind, “chop chop, when I say you do. Come on!” That’s what mama always said to her, I suppose that’s what I should do to.

*      *      *

“Olive, are you ready?” Dimitri shouted as I strategically placed the magazine where he would definitely see it and applied a final layer of lipstick in the bathroom mirror.

“Oh finally.” He said, hopping up and down on the spot, clearly desperate to relieve himself. Why we only had one bathroom in the suite was beyond me, how common did this hotel think we were? “Oli-ii-ve…?” I heard from the bathroom before the chain flushed. He must have seen the magazine.

“What is it?” I said as I came in from the balcony to see him clutching the magazine in his hand.

“You left this in the bathroom.” He put the bridal issue of Vogue down on the table before he stood staring at me, absently stroking his chin. “Do we need to talk about this?”

“What?” I feigned ignorance, my plan was definitely working. “I was just looking, this is such a good season for bridal couture.”

“Do you want to get married?” He asked, his brow furrowing as he spoke.

“Do you?” I snapped back, the two of us staring at each other across the coffee table uneasily.

“I hadn’t thought about it.”

“Me neither. I have to go and meet Niya for lunch anyway, I’ll see you later. Where are we going tonight?” Adjusting my earrings in the mirror I acted as if I’d forgotten all about the conversation. A woman couldn’t be the one to propose, what a terrible story to tell your friends.

Rushing into the dressing room after lunch I was aware how painfully late I was. The lunch had been such a good one, although Niya was just as rich and glamorous as I was, and had been married to men with even more power, she was fun and knew how to tell a great story, we had chatted for hours before I realised the how late I was. I’d usually take my time regardless of where I was going but Dimitri had text me telling me tonight it was important, so I was determined to be ready.

Throwing my clothes into the dresser I quickly freshened up in the bathroom; having a quick shower; applying a fresh layer of makeup; redoing my hair. Moving back into the dressing room I threw open the drawers and rooted around for a dress. After slipping into the pink silk and tying a row of pearls (a gift from Dimitri) around my neck I was ready. I checked my reflection in the mirror… perfection.

“Ah Olive, you exceed even my high expectations.” Dimitri said as he came into the room straightening his tie.

“You look rather handsome yourself.” The two of us embraced in front of the traditional Chinese windows as the sun set in the distance. I think I really did love him.

“Come, the car’s waiting downstairs. Tonight’s really going to be special.” Well he’d never told me something was going to be ‘special’ before, what could he have planned? Perhaps we were going to a ball, or a party full of important people.

“What the hell?” I asked in shock as I stepped out of the car. Well this wasn’t what I’d been expecting, where was the building, or at least the outdoor party? We were at the highest point in the city, where there was nothing but air. Um… amazing surprise…

“Come on!” He laughed at the confused expression on my face, dragging across the small square of land that made up this ‘viewing area’. “Sit down.” He patted the ground next to him as he settled himself on the damp grass.

“Dimitri…” I laughed, “this is a lovely spot but can’t we take in the view from the car? This is silk.” However much I wished he would just let us sit in the comfort of the limousine he wasn’t taking no for an answer, and I soon had to force myself to sit down next to him.

“Come on Olive, relax.” How could I relax when I was sat on wet grass ruining my dress? I felt Dimitri’s arm linking with mine as we got closer. The dress was ruined, oh well I’d just buy another. The stars were beautiful after all.

“I hope you know that I love you Olive. We’ve only said it to each other once, but I meant it, and I want you to know that.” It was lovely what he was saying, but did he really have to drag me all the way up here just to tell me he loved me?

“I love you too Dimitri.” I wanted to make a big speech like he had, but I didn’t know how to follow from that. I just lapsed into a comfortable silence, occasionally resting my head on his shoulder or giving him a quick kiss.

“And there’s Orion, or The Hunter. And if you look closely you can see Jupiter, just there.” He gestured to a thousand stars that all looked the same. It was still, however, quite romantic.

“Dimitri I have to say…” I leaned in close to him in mock seriousness, “I don’t know anything about the solar system.”

Thankfully he wasn’t offended, choosing instead to laugh. I may have thought this was all very romantic, but it was very serious too, I wanted to lighten the situation. Unfortunately (or not…) Dimitri was about to make it a whole lot more serious.

“Olive, I hadn’t been thinking of marriage until today when I saw that magazine you left in the bathroom and realised how stupid I’d been. It’s so undignified for people to be unmarried, and I don’t wish to spend another day not being married to you. So,” From his position on one knee he pulled a box out, and popping it open revealed an exquisite diamond that sparkled even without the glare of the sun. “Will you marry me?”

“Oh Dimitri, of course I will.” I smiled at him warmly as he slipped the diamond onto my finger. It had actually taken me by surprise, his proposal. I had thought it would have at least taken a little more scheming to get him to propose, maybe I was better at this than I thought.

“You,” I began as I clasped my arms around him; my fiancee, “are a fabulous man. And I cannot wait to be your wife. I love you, Dimitri.” Did I really mean it? I didn’t know; but I wasn’t going to let the opportunity to find out pass me by.
*      *      *
Olive bags herself a new husband 😉 hope you enjoyed the chapter. Two quick questions: What do you think of Olives new hair?
What do you think of the apartment? (from what you’ve seen in the last few chapters)
– Marissa x

Generation 3 – Chapter 7

“Oh. My. GOD!” Arielle screamed as she realised that it was me, her daughter, back after all these years. “What the – Olive!” She said as she threw herself into my arms.

“Mom, I’ve missed you so much…” The words came out in a choked whisper, I just wanted to hold onto her forever but she’d already dashed inside and was screaming for Noah to come down.

“NOAH! YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!” She shouted up the stairs before turning back to me. “I can’t believe you’re back…” She said in a whisper.

“Olive! Where on earth have you been!” Noah said in anger. Uh oh, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

“Um – Hi daddy.”

He stared at me for a long while, the stern expression seeming to gaze right into my soul. I was about to turn and run before he broke into a huge smile and ran into my arms, just like mom had. Now that I was back I couldn’t think for the life of me why I stayed away for so many years.

“Mom, dad,” I began as the two of them hugged in the hallway, both beaming with happiness. “MOM!” I shouted, snapping them out of their joy, god they were like two teenagers. “There’s some people I’d like you to meet…”

“Are you a lesbian?” Arielle blurted out as she looked at Marie holding the kids, and before I could stop her she was on a roll. “Ohmigod this must be why you ran away, were you ashamed? It’s fine sweetie, you shouldn’t be embarrassed. Tommy’s gay you know, he’s been with his boyfriend for years, oh dar-“

“What?! The last time I was here Tommy had a girlfriend, what happened?!” Tommy was gay?! I’d missed out on so much, I didn’t even know what was happening in my siblings lives. “And I’m not a lesbian mom, this is Marie, she’s Sebastian,” I squeezed Sebastian’s little leg, “and Electra’s,” I placed my hands on Electra’s shoulders, “au pair, and has been with me for years now.”

“What? ‘Been with you for years’? Who are you and what have you done with my daughter who was only interested in gossip and fashion?” Mom said, staring at me in shock. “Are these my grandchildren?” She gazed at Electra and Sebastian as if she couldn’t quite believe it.

“I think that makes it 8 grandchildren we have now.” Noah remarked as he came over and took little Sebastian into his arms. “Hello little man, I’m your grandfather, yes that’s right.”

“You have to tell us everything! Come on.” Arielle said, grabbing my arm and pulling me through the house into the kitchen. I had expected everything to look exactly the same but it had of course changed over the years I had been gone, rooms decorated differently, new pictures, different appliances… it was so odd being back here.

“So, what have you been doing?” Dad asked as he pulled one of the highchairs from when we were young out of the cupboard and put Sebastian into it.

“Well, after I ran away I went to Miami…” I said as I began my tale, the rising sun streaming in through the windows. I proceeded to tell them everything that had happened. It was difficult to tell them about the rape, Noah’s reaction was even harder to deal with, ‘I’ll kill him!’ He had screamed; too bad he was already dead, probably at the hand of Max although I was still unsure on that one, I didn’t want to delve into it, there were too many memories. I had planned on not telling them at all but my life had consisted of so many lies, lying about my bulimia, calling myself Mary, telling Max I loved him. It had all been a whirlwind, but it was over now.

“So you’ll be staying here for now, yes?” Mom asked as she busied herself cleaning the teacups after I’d finished my tale.

“Of course. Just until I find my own place though.”

“So you’re staying for good?! We never went over that, we’re so glad to have you home.” Noah beamed at me as he spoke, it was so touching to be back, it was nothing like I’d thought it would have been, no screaming, no shouting, no one blaming me, just open arms and love. Now all I needed was my own place.

*    *    *

“Come on Sebastian, that’s right come to mommy, you can do it.” I encouraged as Sebastian took a few tentative steps towards me. Now that I was home, free of Max, and in my new apartment I could finally spend more time with the kids. Marie was still around of course, I couldn’t be here all the time and it was good for the children to have the same nanny instead of a whole range of different babysitters.

“Hello-oo!” I heard over the ping of the elevator as the doors closed.

“Cora! You’re here, finally!” I ran to my sister and kissed her on both cheeks. I hadn’t seen her since I’d been back as she’d been on a tour of Asia with her husband and children. I’d seen Tommy and his boyfriend Austin over dinner a few weeks ago, and Kitty, Laurence, and their daughter Alexis had came over too. I just hadn’t seen Oliver, he was in London with Celeste and their kids. “And who’s this little man?”

“This,” Cora said as she snuggled into her son, “Is Julian. Meet your Aunt Olive.” She passed him into my arms with a lot of ooh-ing and ahh-ing.

“Do you want to meet your cousin, huh Julian? Your cousin Sebastian is over here, come on.” I took him to where Sebastian was playing on the block table and put him down beside him. The two were wary of each other at first, but they were soon giggling and playing with the blocks as me and Cora sat down and caught up.

“Sis, what happened?” Cora asked after we’d been talking about her marriage, her sons, and her music for a while.

“It’s… complicated.” I didn’t know how to tell such a tale, couldn’t she just ask mom and dad like all my other siblings had? “Well the jist of it is I went to Miami, had Electra with… a guy I met,” I couldn’t tell her the rape story with our sons playing at our feet, I’d made Electra take Sebastian out to the garden when I had told mom and dad, “then I met Sebastian’s father Max, we got married, moved to France, he cheated on me,” again, I didn’t tell her about my darker motives, I hadn’t told anyone that, “we got divorced, and now I’m back!”

“Okay well now that’s cleared up!” Cora laughed as she took in the condensed version of my life. “Are you okay?” She said staring at me with concern.

“Yeah…” I said uneasily. I was happy, I had two wonderful children, more than enough money to do whatever I wanted with, and an amazing family, but I was starting to feel lonely.

“Anyway, onto happier things. I’ve been doing photography lately, I got into it in China, here stand up. I’ll get a picture of you and Sebastian.” She said, picking up Sebastian and putting him into my arms before whipping out her camera. “Aaa-nd done!” she smiled at me, propping up the sweet little picture she’d taken on the table behind the sofa.

“Aw thank you sis, I really have missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too. It’ll be nice having all my sisters in town, we should have a girly night soon.”

“Definitely.” I agreed, a smile plastered on my face as I gazed at her. She was so pretty, all I had memories of was a good girl teenager, we’d never really spent much time together growing up, same with Oliver. It was always me, Tommy, and Kitty, and then we all grew apart. I looked down at our kids playing on the ground, and promised myself to make the cousins close friends – family was a bond that should never be broken.

“So when do I get to meet your gorgeous husband, I googled him to take a peek!” I laughed, “and Julian’s twin Alexander?” I so wanted to get to know all of the family.

“Well James took Alex with him to California for a meeting but they’ll be back on Friday and I suppose you can meet them then.” It was then that an idea struck me.

“Why don’t we have a party?! It’s been a while since I’ve been to one and it can be a sort of catch up session as well as being a housewarming party for this place. No kids of course, I’ll have to come and meet Alex before the party.”

“That sounds amazing! And you know we may be in the gritty music business but we know a lot of nice guys, CEO’s, managers, rock stars, company executives. I’ll invite a few to the party. We all have significant others now, you deserve someone.” Cora said, already pulling out her BlackBerry and making a reminder for herself. We spent the rest of the afternoon outlining details for the party, and the list of guys she said she was inviting wasn’t bad either. Maybe, just maybe, I’d find someone that could make me happy.

*    *    *

“Okay, ready.” I muttered to myself as I slipped on a diamond tennis bracelet and admired myself in the mirror that nestled among the plants and Louis Vuitton wallpaper. The party had to be a success, this was my debut into Redcliffe society, and it simply had to be perfect. I couldn’t afford any mistakes tonight.

“What on earth are you kids doing?!” I said in shock as I came down the stairs and took in the kids playing peek-a-boo in the middle of the living area.

“Mama!” Shouted little Sebastian as he looked up at me and smiled before turning back to his sister.

“We’re just playing mama. Sebastian likes me, look!” Electra turned to Sebastian and began their game again, eliciting screams of joy from both of them.

“Yes well that’s lovely but Electra you should be dressed, I want you to come out and meet the family when they arrive, and where the hell is Marie? She was meant to be taking care of Sebastian away from the party.” What was the point of me paying for a live in nanny if she wasn’t going to be around when I needed her?! Tonight was so important, if my party was a failure I’d be a laughing stock. Screaming children was so gauche.

“Mrs Elphinstone, I so sorry, I take Sebastian right away. Come little boy.” Marie said as she ran into the room and scooped Sebastian into her arms before running off down the hall to the bedrooms.

“Electra! Go and get ready. Everyone will be here soon, you’ll finally get to meet your family.” I hissed as I plumped up a few pillows, getting a scowl from my daughter. “Electra, come on!” I said, standing and staring at her.

“But who are they? Why can’t we go back to France? Where’s daddy?” She said with a confused expression on her face, her lower lip trembling. Oh no, I had forgotten all about Max and how she thought he was her father, I just didn’t know how to broach the subject to a seven year old.

“Come now, please just get ready OK?” I said as I took her hand and led her down to her bedroom. Being a mother was so hard, how on earth did people do it without staff?

“Mom I hate this dress, I look like an idiot!” Complained my troublesome daughter, tugging at the cardigan I had made her put on over her dress.

“You look wonderful sweetie.” I mumbled disinterestedly, primping my face in the mirror over her dresser.

*   *   *

“And this is Dimitri, a friend of your aunt Cora’s.” I said, pulling her towards Dimitri after I’d dragged her around the party saying hello to all of her family as she gazed around, looking bored. “Say hello!” I whispered furiously as I leaned over under the pretext of fixing her hair.

“Dimitri’s a stupid name.” She said with a look of scorn from under her lashes as she looked at the handsome man in front of her, why must she do this to me?! For the most part the people who could hear Electra laughed at her greeting, but I heard a few tuts and hisses of disapproval.

“Electra! Don’t children just say the funniest things?” I laughed, smiling at Dimitri while putting my hand on Electra’s shoulder and pinching her just a little harder than I should have. She had to learn the social graces. Cora had told me Dimitri was a shipping magnate, definitely a powerful man. Power turned me on, and money, I had to make a good impression.

“It’s fine.” A thin smile spread across his face, emphasising his strong features. The thick, Greek eyebrows, the strong aquiline nose and sharp cheekbones. Thick black hair that showed no signs of graying even though he was well into his forties, the impeccably cut suit showcasing his lean, toned body.

“Do you want to kiss my mama?” Electra blurted out, still staring at him with a cold look as he looked down at her awkwardly. Where on earth did she get that from?!

“Electra!” I feigned a laugh as I clenched my teeth, “why don’t you go to your room now, it’s getting late.” I shooed her off towards the bedrooms. Why did she have to be such a hassle? “I’m so sorry about that, my daughter doesn’t seem to have a filter.”

“Ah no worries, she’s quite the feisty young lady.” He stared at me for a while, the deep green eyes looking straight into mine. “She’s right you know, I want to kiss you very much, you’re easily the most beautiful woman in the room.”

“Dimitri you flatter me.” I blushed lightly as he spoke, the most beautiful woman in the room? Wow! “Just so you know I’m recently divorced.” I didn’t know if that would be a deal breaker, what did men think of divorced women?

“As am I. It makes no difference to me.” His hand lightly brushed my waist as he moved closer to me. “We should have lunch some time. Take my card.” He said, gently placing his gold engraved card in my hand. “I must go now but please give me a call. I’ll be in back in town next week.” And with a ping of the elevator doors he was gone. Maybe I didn’t have to be so lonely after all.

*    *    *

Sorry about the outfit change at the beginning from the last chapter – I had some issues with the game, resulting in having to delete some custom content, including that outfit.

Also a big thank you to everyone for getting me to 15,000 views! 😀 You guys are so amazing.

– Marissa

Generation 3 – Chapter 5

Admiring my body in the dressing room mirror I wailed that it would soon be bloated out with another child growing inside of me. Since the night me and Max had sex I had felt a little better about myself, he actually wanted to be with me, he liked the way I looked. He didn’t want to rape me and defile my body, he wanted to be with me. I was throwing up less and less lately, preparing myself for another pregnancy, I was also happier with my weight, I couldn’t really get much skinnier.

“Olivia?! What on earth are you doing in there?” I heard the shrill, clipped tones of Elizabeth from outside the dressing room and groaned. She was so infuriating, insisting on coming with me on my first major shopping trip, probably to make sure I didn’t buy anything too brash which would taint the ultra-conservative Elphinstone name. Tucking the $400 Calvin Klien t-shirt into the white Halston skirt and finishing it off with a $2500 Chanel jacket I went outside to see what she thought.

“Perfect darling. It seems I’ve still, as so many people say, ‘got it’.” She pursed her lips in a grotesque smile, clearly pleased with her modern terminology.

“It’s very conservative Elizabeth, isn’t it a little old for me?” I asked, tugging on the jacket and smoothing down the skirt.

“No, no, no. Now I know you’re young but you must understand this is the perfect outfit for a woman of the class which you now are. You cannot be seen in hot pants and an electric blue vest top, or something of that sort. Quelle horror!” I stared at her for a long while, trying to figure out if she was genuinely being kind or if she was just making sure I didn’t embarrass the family, probably the latter.

I felt older than my years through many of the outfits I chose over the next 3 hours. I flew through the stores buying everything from tights to sunglasses, from jackets to shoes, with a trip to Bulgari to finish it off, picking out several exquisite diamond pieces. The joy of credit cards eh? Elizabeth had looked disapproving as I bought so much, but surely she knew the price of looking good, she may not look like it now, but one day she must have spent money on decent clothes, and judging by the rocks on her ears she certainly still knew how to spend.

Max and I had fallen into an uneasy routine, still finding our feet, not 100% sure of the way the other worked yet, which was fine by me. We lived our lives pretty much separately. I spent the day at the spa, in the limousine taking in the sights, or out shopping. Max spent the morning in the home office, the afternoon in the work office (Elphinstone Diamond spanned much farther than I originally thought) and the two of us would meet up for dinner or a party in the evenings.

“You okay?” I asked as I padded into the bathroom one day, as we both got ready to go to a party at the cliffside mansion of one of his close friends.

Are you okay.” He said. What? Seeing the confused expression on my face he elaborated, “It’s are you okay. Not ‘you okay’. I don’t mean to criticize….” He continued rambling but I’d stopped listening to him, hurrying over to the small radio I cranked the dial up. ’23 year old Riley Sampson was found dead in suspicious circumstances yesterday at his uncles home in Miami, the family are asking to be left alone during this sad time.”

“Max! That’s him, he’s the one!” I shouted across the room.

“I know. If you ask me he deserves it. Good riddance.” He continued brushing his teeth as if nothing had happened. Riley was dead! What had happened to him, could it have been…? No!

“Max? Did you… did you do this?” I asked slowly, wrapping my arms around myself.

“Olivia! Don’t be stupid, I would never do such a thing and for you to even think that is… well frankly it is both ridiculous and offensive!” He glared at me, willing me to argue back.

“Okay, I’m sorry.” I said, extending a hand of apology.

“Come. We shouldn’t keep the driver waiting.” He hurried me along out into the passageway and into the waiting car. I vowed then and there to stop thinking of Riley. It was over now.

*    *    *

The year of my pregnancy was a whirlwind introduction to the European social scene. Max and I jetted from Saint-Sébastien to Paris, from Rome to Berlin, London to Vienna, Amsterdam to Prague. The private jet that I managed to persuade Max to buy was a godsend, I couldn’t have bared all those trips mixing with the commoners in first class, they let in anyone these days. Max’s friends were an eclectic bunch of socialites, celebrities, businessmen, artists and club hoppers, and they fascinated me. I loved being part of their scene, being photographed for major European magazines and being on the front page of the tabloids, having artists asking to photograph me for galleries or paint me for an upcoming show. For 6 months I was introduced to everyone that mattered. I kept off the drink for the sake of the child, as well as trying to stop my bulimia. I slipped up once, after a roast dinner at a traditional pub in London where we were dining with a new business associate, but otherwise I was doing well. The pregnancy slowed me down a little, in the last few months I went back to the house in Saint-Sébastien alone, Max had flown back home for business, but France had basically became our permanent residence. I couldn’t go back home, not yet. (N.B – There are no pictures of the pregnancy apart from this one due to my games strange choice of attire for her during pregnancy – naked from the waist down and a vest top with bright red heels.)

Another difficult birth produced Sebastian Belgravia, (who definitely inherited the family cheekbones – have you ever seen a child with such a defined face?!) named after his birthplace. The heir to the Elpinstone fortune, and a sure means of me getting as much money as I want if we ever divorce.

*   *   *

“Marie, keep up.” I barked at the au pair carrying Sebastian as I entered the house. “I definitely need a spa break, flying so much is taking it’s toll on me.” I remarked to her as we walked into main living area.

“Just set Sebastian down here if you will, and then go and check on Electra. I told Renee to have her in her crib by the time we got here, but you know what part time nannies are like, they don’t care about the children as long as they get their pay check. I trust you much more.” Marie now worked for me full time, with her own quarters in the house, and I couldn’t have done without her. Quite a cushy job I would say, jet setting around Europe with me. I sometimes even took her out to restraunts and such if I wanted people to meet the children. As she put him down I noticed how he grabbed for her, as if begging her not to leave. He’d never done that to me.

“Come to Mommy!” I scooped him into my arms and swung him round the room, at first he screamed in fright, Marie wasn’t allowed to do such things in case she dropped the children, so he wasn’t used to it, but he soon the screams became screams of joy. I loved both of my children, but I had to keep up a particular schedule now that I was a fixture on the European social scene, and I didn’t have as much time with them as I would have liked.

“Do you want to do some reading? We haven’t done that for a while.” I said as I set him down on the rug and pulled a childrens book from the shelf before joining him.

“Wead. Mama wead!” He shouted, slamming his little hands on the floor.

“Okay, okay, I’ll read and you can tell me about the pictures, okay? Come here, sit closer to me.” I smiled down at my little son, reaching my arm across his shoulders so he could see the book.

“..and the whale swam faster and faster, looking for his friend.” I watched him smile as I read him the story, which was about whales looking for friendship, as well as doubling up as a maths book, helping with counting. “How many whales can you see on this page Sebastian?” He looked at the page, clearly confused.

“Mama?”

“How many whales?” I asked, pointing to one of the pictures.

“No! Next!” He yelled, trying to turn the page and giggling.

“Mrs. Elphinstone?” I heard from behind me as I giggled along with Sebastian.

“Yes?” I asked, turning around to face the two women who were framed in the doorway, cameras and notepads at the ready.

“We’re here for the photoshoot. So nice to see you here with your son, such a candid moment.” She smiled down at us, she would probably write about how she found me reading with my son, still making time for my children even with such a busy schedule, which would increase public opinion of me. The photographer behind her snapped a few pictures before I stood up, might as well put a face to the story.

“It’s so kind of you to travel all the way to the house for me.” I said graciously as I stood up and a team of makeup artists and hairstylists made me camera ready. A quick fluff piece followed, questions about my fashion, children, and my charity. I evaded all questions about my childhood and the family wealth, which Elizabeth had told me I was to under no means discuss.

“Thank you for the interview. Can you just turn your head, we want to get a few shots of you. We’re putting you on the cover you’ll be pleased to know. Oh that’s perfect!” She clapped her hands in delight as I turned my head and stared at the camera, showing off my profile.

“Well that’s a wrap. Thanks for your time. Magazine should be out next month.” She slipped me a card as she left, telling me how much she hoped for another interview someday. I probably wouldn’t give another one, there were many more magazines to be conquered. As the day began to wind down, the sun not yet casting its orange glow across the world I settled down to enjoy a book I had just recently purchased when Max came barging into the house.

“Olivia!” He exclaimed, clearly surprised to see me. “What are you doing here, I thought you were in Geneva until Tuesday?”

“I had a photoshoot.” I mumbled, barely looking up from the book. He didn’t approve of all the publicity I was doing, he preferred to keep a low profile, only being known to the elite of Europe, not the commoners who devoured the magazines his friends owned. I knew he was glaring at me, he did every time I did publicity.

“Olivia.” His voice was so commanding I put the book down. “You know I don’t approve of all your publicity, and neither does mother.” I didn’t give a rats ass what his mother thought of me, I had secured my place in the family by having Sebastian, there was nothing she could do now. “And frankly you’re spending too much money. The bank showed me a bill for three hundred thousand euros a few weeks back. How did you spend all that in one weekend?”

“Oh Max just leave it, it’s only money.” Why he was so angry I didn’t know, it was only three hundred thousand.

“I know how you can make it up to me.” He whispered as he came over to the sofa and attempted to put his arm around me.

“Max!” I shouted, shrugging his arm off of my shoulders.

“Why Olivia?! We are man and wife, and sex is part of it!”

“You know why!” I shouted, giving him my sad eyes. I would have been quite happy to go to bed with him in reality, but that wasn’t part of the plan. “Just stop.”

“Okay, okay.” He replied, throwing his arm up in defeat.

“Can’t you understand that I can’t do it?”

“Olivia, we haven’t had sex since the night we conceived Sebastian. You have to break down those walls of defense again. Or,” He added, raising his voice, “I’ll find it somewhere else.”

I knew he had meant to hurt me with those words, but what he didn’t know is the exact thing that I wanted was for him to find someone else.

*   *   *

“Olive Belgravia?” The raspy voice asked as I picked up my cell a few weeks later.

“This is she.”

“I have some information, will you come in?” The voice was impassive, showing no emotion, giving nothing away. Ten minutes later I raced from the house in my car, speeding much to fast to the shabby offices downtown. Entering his office gave me the feeling of being in an old movie, the smell of smoke was overpowering, the dark blinds filtered out the light, making the never ending dust which floated around glint in the strips of sunlight that managed to get inside the room. Books and folders were crammed on every available surface, and a side table groaned with half empty bottles of various spirits.

The investigator stood up and moved to the window, strips of sunlight falling on his lackluster skin as he lit up his forty fifth cigarette of the day. “Take a look at that.” He took a drag on his cigarette and nodded to a pile of tightly bound dossiers.

“It seems your suspicions were right.” He said blankly, taking another drag. “You might wanna have a listen to the tape too. More evidence.” He looked out of the window again, turning his back on me. As I opened the dossier a sly smile spread across my face. These files contained everything I needed to finally be free, to finally be independent. And I intended to use them for just that purpose.

Generation 3 – Chapter 4

My heart ached as I typed ‘Belgravia’ into the search bar on Redcliffe’s leading gossip website, the host of entries that popped up made me want to break down and weep. The first one detailed the wedding of Kitty to someone named Laurence Williamson, whoever that was. I wish I could have been there for her, she must think I was the worst sister in the world. The next one told of the death of grandfather Chace, who died peacefully at the Chace Belgravia Wing of Redcliffe Memorial Hospital last Tuesday.

He joins his wife, celebrated actress Lily, who died 2 years ago.’ Lily and Chace were both dead?! Why wasn’t I there, I should have been there to comfort mom, who must have been crying her heart out. Ugh, I hated myself so much. More entries told me of the marriage of Oliver and Celeste, as well as the births of their children (I was an aunt now, what was I missing?!) and many posts showing Cora tearing up the Bridgeport nightlife scene after performing shows with her band. As bad as I felt, looking down at little Electra playing by my feet brought me back to reality.

I had to marry Max, it was the only way to ensure our financial security. And I would marry him, tomorrow. But first I had to get to Elphinstone Manor, where Elizabeth had set up a room for me, ready for the big day, such a hassle, but clearly a necessity with a pushy, traditional mother like Elizabeth. Throwing Electra into the baby seat of my new car (a gift from Max) I raced well over the speed limit through the winding streets until I saw the house looming over us in the distance, as imposing and overbearing as Max’s mother.

“Anyone home?” I shouted as my heels tapped on the marble floor.

“Darling, finally. You know how I simply hate to be kept waiting, get up here at once.” Elizabeth chided from her position on the upstairs landing, “and for goodness sake get rid of the child. Why do you think God invented nannies?” She said with a sigh, looking distastefully at Electra.

Hurriedly I handed Electra to one of the nannies and made my way upstairs, I thought I heard a little cry of ‘mommy’ from downstairs, but it was probably just my imagination.

After a restless nights sleep I sat in front of the mirror, trying to apply my makeup, but I was shaking so much it wasn’t going very well. Was I really doing the right thing, marrying this man? I barely knew anything about him, except that he was rich. We hadn’t even kissed yet, except for the peck I gave him when he proposed. Oh well, it was too late now.

He stood alone by the wooden arch decorated with flowers under which we were to married. Most of his friends lived in Europe, and he had told me he didn’t want to hassle them by asking them to fly out. So our wedding was a hassle was it? I didn’t mind, I had no one of my own to invite apart from Darcy, whom Elizabeth had promptly crossed off of the list for ‘being too common’. ‘She’d feel silly at such a formal wedding darling, better not to embarrass her.’ Elizabeth had told me. What a bitch, sat there in her white, didn’t she know only the bride was supposed to wear white?

I made my way nervously through the small crowd, feeling myself blushing as everyone stared at me. I felt fat and disgusting, I had thrown up last nights dinner but it hadn’t made a difference, I still felt ugly. Max smiled at me as I stood in front of him. I forced myself to smile back. As  he slipped the ring on my finger it became official, I was now part of the Elphinstone family, the biggest exporter of diamonds in the country.

Grabbing each others hands we smiled, and then he moved in for the kill. The big finish, the kiss. I felt sick as he moved towards me, as if the world itself was closing in on me, crushing my body. My breath was coming in short gasps, I wanted to push him away but I couldn’t make a scene. Then his lips were on mine, the gentle touch felt amplified fifty times over, it was Riley all over again, on top of me, ripping the dress of my body, forcing himself onto me. Hurriedly I backed off, and forgetting the crowd I ran to the wall, hoisted myself over, and ran.

The world seemed to melt away as I ran, I was back in Miami, running from that house, away from him. I ran and ran, right to the edge of the cliff, which overlooked a beautiful waterfall. This was all mine now, I was an Elphinstone, and as they owned all the land around here, it was mine. But not if I kept this up. I had to sleep with Max, or he’d be allowed to annul our marriage by law. But I couldn’t do it, it was too painful.

Surely Max would look after Electra if something happened to me? If I just happened to slip now, and crash onto the rocks below, she’d be well cared for, wouldn’t she? I didn’t want to leave her with no mother, but I’d rather have money than a dysfunctional mother like me. It was always an option. I must have sat by the cliffside for hours before I made my way back to the house. Sneaking into the bedroom, expecting Max to be fast asleep I was shocked to find him awake, laid on the bed, no doubt waiting for me.

“Thank God you’re alright.” He said as I came in, heaving himself up a little.

“I just couldn’t Max, it was too many memories, too much pressure.” I stuttered, looking down.

“Well you bloody well could have tried to make less a scene, people actually laughed you know!”

“I’m sorry.” Was all I could say. I looked down at the floor in shame, why was I such a screw up?

“It’s okay, I’m sorry.” He stood up, coming towards me as if to comfort me, but thinking against it he moved to the fireplace instead, poking the flames which were threatening to go out. “Why don’t we get away? We can take Electra, show her some culture, get a bit of relaxation. This could be our honeymoon.” He looked at me hopefully, god it was hard seeing him like this, he clearly liked me a lot more than I liked him.

“Okay.” I mumbled, still extremely embarrassed. A few hours later we were on the Elphinstone jet on our way to France.

*   *   *

After 10 hours in first class Max, Electra and I emerged into the heat of Saint-Sébastien in the Côte D’azur, or the French Rivera. I was awestruck by the beauty of the place as the limousine drove through the dense forest that kept the house secluded and down the huge tree lined driveway that led to the house. Electra loved the place, I’d sit outside, gazing out across the lake, occasionally catching glances of Electra screaming with joy as she ran around with her French au pair Marie.

The place was so peaceful, totally cut off from the outside world. Unlike Elphinstone Manor it was not grand and imposing, it was more of a farmhouse, although it was still huge. Smiling to myself I thought about how I could really get used to it here, it was much better than being back home, plagued with memories of Riley and of my wedding antics.

“Olivia? Olivia!” I could hear Max’s voice ringing through the house, he had started calling me Olivia recently, which infuriated me. My name was Olive. Okay so my given name was Olivia, but everyone called me Olive. “There you are.” He said as he came out onto the terrace.

“Aren’t you a little hot in that?” He asked as he sat down next to me.

“Aren’t you a little hot in that?” I chided back, fingering his thick jumper.

“Point taken.” the corners of his mouth raised fractionally. “Olivia, we need to talk about it you know.” I knew what he meant, the sex. I had been preparing myself for it since we had arrived 2 weeks ago, but  I was still weary, what if I couldn’t do it?

“I’m ready.” I smiled at him, trying to reassure him. He was sure to divorce me if we couldn’t have sex, it was always part of the equation for men.

“I really think I can do it Max. You know I love you.” We hadn’t said those words to each other yet, which was kind of odd I suppose, weren’t you supposed to be in love before you married? I didn’t know what love felt like, but I loved that Max could protect me and Electra with his millions, so I suppose that was a kind of love. The only kind that mattered was the monetary kind.

“I love you too sweetheart.” He said it with such conviction, his voice lowering and his hand touching his heart, I felt kind of bad that I didn’t love him back. Maybe I did love him, how was I supposed to know what love felt like?

“I’m ready Max, I swear.” I didn’t take my eyes off his as I spoke, when I read a murder mystery while pregnant with Electra it said the first sign of a liar was that they didn’t keep eye contact, so I forced myself to.

“Hmm.” He sighed, looking out to the gardens.

“Max what’s wrong?” I said, staring at his stoic profile.

“If you’re sure, I’ll be waiting upstairs.” With that he stood up and left, heading up to the bedroom. I waited a few minutes before I got up, it was too late to turn back now. We were man and wife, we had to have sex, it just wasn’t logical for us to not. He was fluffing up the pillows when I arrived, he hadn’t noticed me pad silently into the bedroom in my bare feet. He was handsome I suppose, at least I hadn’t had to marry someone ugly.

“I’ll take things slowly, I promise.” He told me as I joined him on the bed. I just tried to breath, I had been doing some research online, and it seemed like you just needed to relax. A lot of the websites I visited told me to call ‘Rape Victim Hotlines’, no thanks, I could barely think about the experience myself, never mind pour my heart out to a bunch of strangers. As his lips came towards mine I shut my eyes and tried to remind myself that this wasn’t Riley, it was my husband.

After a few minutes of kissing he broke away, waiting for my hysterics. They never came. The kissing was actually quite enjoyable, goodness why had I only just caught on?

“Are you okay?” He asked, his mouth agape a little.

“Max, I told you I’m fine. Let’s do this.” I said with a smile, throwing off my jumper and darting under the covers where our child was to be conceived. Part 1 of my plan: complete.


Generation 3 – Chapter 3

Giving birth was the worst thing I had ever done in my life. I never imagined it would be so painful, the nurses had thought I was dying the screams were so loud. Electra Belgravia came out of the womb with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, which the doctors had thankfully fixed. I hadn’t chosen her name until the moment I saw her, when I thought of the tumultuous circumstances of her conception, and of her delivery, Electra had came straight to mind.

She was the most incredible thing, with her sweet smiling face, bright blue eyes, and lovely blonde hair. Strangers would remark how alike we were ‘she has definitely inherited her mommys hair!’ they would skquark as they leaned over the stroller to inspect her. If only they knew it was Riley’s hair, not mine.

She soon became adapt in everything a toddler needed, learning to walk, talk, and poop in quick succession. Watching her making those first tentative steps towards me was one of the proudest moments of my life, and from that moment on I knew I’d never sleep safe again unless she was safe.

Money brought safety. Being a Belgravia had taught me that much at least, which was why I had been on several dates with Maxwell ‘Max’ Elphinstone. He was actually rather interesting, totally not my style, but he had money, and I had to make sure Electra was cared for. Tonights date would be our 8th since I had first met him at the bar, which I was still doing shifts at. I knew I had to look great for this one, although it was kind of hard to make sure I looked good when the only mirror in the house was in the bathroom, which had a blown light. Trying to achieve beauty by the moon light was not for me.

When I arrived at Perdrix D’Or an hour later, after putting Electra in her crib and making sure Darcy (who I had bribed into babysitting by offering to cover one of her shifts) had my phone number, I was thrilled to find we had a private room, just my style. After downing three bottles of wine between us my tounge began to loosen, if I was going to marry this man I should at least tell him the truth, shouldn’t I?

“Max, I know you want to know about Electra’s father, yes?” I couldn’t seem to stop myself telling him, I hadn’t told anyone about my brutal rape, I just had to get it off my chest.

“If you’re ready to talk about it yes.”

“Well the truth is…” Could I really say it out loud, it all began to feel so real, it felt like a distant memory if I just focused on the good that came out of it, the birth of little Electra, but now that I was about to say it I wasn’t so sure, “…I was raped Max. Sorry to just blurt it out, but I had to tell someone. I’m so ashamed.” I was tripping over my words in nerves, my hands shaking so much that my glass fell out of my hand and shattered to the floor, staining the Persian Rug with red wine.

His mouth dropped in horror for a few seconds before he regained his composure, oh god he was going to run out on me, then Electra would grow up with nothing. “Mary, don’t be ashamed. It should be the despicable thing that did that to you that should be ashamed.” He looked down gravely for a few seconds, “I assume this man is Electra’s father?” I nodded back slowly, wiping away a tear that threatened to spill onto the dress I had stolen from Carlie’s wardrobe before I left Miami.

“Max while I’m telling the truth I have another confession,” he was going to think I was a nutcase, with all my lies, “my name isn’t Mary, it’s Olive. I changed it when I ran away, I didn’t want anyone to find me, I was just so embarrassed and ashamed…” what had I gotten myself into? Saying things out loud made me realise the severity of my situation. I was a single mother, working in a bar, trying to raise a child who was the result of a rape in a one bedroom cottage while living under a false name. How had this happened?!

“I know.” he said, throwing his arms up. He knew? What?!

“What do you mean you know?” I asked, deeply confused.

“I know that you’re Olive Belgravia. You’re far too beautiful and cultured to be common Olive. I had my PI do some research on you, and now that you’ve told me the truth…” He jumped out of his chair and got down on one knee. Was this really happening?!

“Olive. You told me the truth, about everything. You are a beautiful woman that I now know I can trust, I can give you the life you left behind back. Will you marry me?” He opened the box, flashing the huge diamond in my face. I hesitated for only a second.

“Of course I will!” I screamed as he slipped the diamond onto my hand, my plan had come together even better than I expected.

Returning home in a daze I found Darcy asleep on the sofa. Quickly shooing her out and running upstairs I grabbed Electra out of her bed and swung her around the room in joy. “Mommy’s getting married sweetie, you hear me, we’re moving out of here!” As happy I was that I could now buy my own Chanel, I was happier that Electra had some security, Max would take care of her, I knew he would. Besides, I had a plan to make sure he couldn’t leave us with nothing.

*   *   *

Three weeks later I went to meet Max’s parents, which I was actually nervous about. I’d never even had a boyfriend before, and now I was engaged to be married, it was surreal. As the taxi pulled up outside the gates of the ancestral Elphinstone manor I felt the nerves getting worse. What if they hated me, what if they refused to allow Max to marry me? What on earth was I saying, he was 52 years old for god sake, he could do what he wanted.

In the foyer I was met by Elizabeth Elphinstone, an overly made up woman in her eighties in a pink Chanel suit who reeked of old money, supposedly a great beauty in her day although I didn’t see it, and Albert Elphinstone, Max’s ruthless father, who had clawed his way to the top of the business, destroying anyone who got in his way.

“It’s so nice to meet you.” I said, extending a hand, which Elizabeth ignored and Albert shook so hard I thought my fingers may break.

“Come dear, lets leave the boys to talk. I want to show you the grounds.” Elizabeth hurried off ahead of me. I was impressed by the gardens, especially the pond, but I had to admit the house was a little daunting. It was a true manor, grand and imposing, whereas my childhood house was really a home, cosy and friendly.

“Now dear I hope you will agree to be married here, just I as was, and my mother before me, and her mother before her. This house has been in my family for generations.” It was becoming clear that this was the woman who ran the show. Her husband had taken her ancient family name when they married, Mrs. Rom wasn’t a name that had appealed to stuck up Elizabeth.

“Yes of course, I couldn’t think of a better setting. I was thinking of doing it over there by the pond.”

“Yes, I think that’s doable…” She mused, looking around her perfectly manicured gardens.

“Maybe have a band over there, and a whole bunch of doves released when we exchange the rings.” I hadn’t really thought about the wedding, I just wanted to get it over with.

Darling! Doves? You simply cannot, now I know you’re relatively new money but you must have some class.” New money? I was a third generation heiress, or I would be if I hadn’t ran away. Now why don’t you just leave everything in my very capable hands, I’ll make sure it’s the perfect wedding.” She spread her arms wide in what I guessed was supposed to be a caring gesture, god she was definitely going to make things hard for me.

“Oh and darling, I took the initiative and booked you a dress fitting, it’s at 5.” She began to walk back to the house before spinning around with a last thought, “Oh, and I do hope you’re not hiding any post-baby weight under that black jumper. A fat bride is most unbecoming.” Yep. Definitely trouble.

Interlude: Tommy & Oliver

Being caught by Jenny while kissing Austin was not what Tommy had wanted to happen. He had wanted to ignore it forever, to just keep going the way things were going, but after Jenny’s discovery she had taken his life down a course he couldn’t change. Running off into the night she had reappeared a week later at the Belgravia house, proceeding to awkwardly tell Arielle and Noah everything.

They were understandably shocked by Jennys revelations, and confronted Tommy as soon as Jenny left, destined to board a plane to Australia for some ‘me-time’ as she put it. Tommy had fled the house when they confronted him, mistaking their concern for anger that he was gay. He fled straight into the arms of Austin.

The two boys proceeded to demolish their way through the town, hitting club after club, getting wasted, and falling into bed together at the end of the night.

Still ignoring Arielle and Noah’s phone calls, and refusing to tell them where he was staying (Austins small apartment in the center of the city) both of the boys concentrated on their careers in Sports, and each other. They didn’t fall so easily into domesticity, neither seeming to care about the tip they left the apartment in, and finally decided on hiring a maid, after all they were making big bucks. Tommy had been promoted to MVP, and Austin was a shoo-in for a promotion too. After a particularly vigorous practice game Tommy finally spoke to his parents when they cornered him after work. He had thought they were going to say how disgusted they were with him, but in reality all they wanted to know was if he was happy, which he assured them he was.

Problems with his sexuality were however, still around. He and Austin hadn’t told the team, who although they knew the boys were living together didn’t know they were ‘together-together’. They had decided to put it off for now, they had no real need or desire to flaunt their relationship to the world, both were intensely private and intended to remain so. Children was another factor Tommy and Austin hadn’t yet discussed. They were more interested in ‘living in the moment’ and for now and the foreseeable future they had no plans for children, the hassle involved with surrogacy or adoption was something neither of them wanted to deal with, besides, they were young, beautiful, successful, and having a good time, who needed responsibilities?

*      *      *

It wasn’t long after kissing her that Oliver and Celeste went to bed. Instantly Celeste announced that a little Belgravia was on his or her way into the world, and the two wedded immediately. Celeste had finally gotten what she wanted, but something inside of her told her it was more than that. Constance Belgravia, named after Celestes mother, was born on April 26th at New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, where Oliver and Celeste were vacationing. The budding family soon packed up their base at the Veloria Gallery and relocated to Celestes colonial mansion on the outskirts of town, close to the Belgravia house.

Constance became the darling of the Belgravia’s, the first grandchild of Arielle and Noah, and the first great-grandchild of Lily and Chace.

Sitting in the sunroom at the back of the house all day, watching her mother sculpt and her father paint, she soon became immersed in the arts, and developing a keen interest in music as she was exposed to the sounds of The Velvet Underground and The Beatles from her fathers collection, as well as Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky from her mothers collection.

Oliver continued to paint, even being granted a medal from the town Mayor for ‘extensive services to the arts’. The sunroom was the perfect setting for, with the huge windows framing an unmatched view of the town, and exquisite natural light.

Constance’s birthday party was a grand affair, with a life size sculpture of her nestling among two tables loaded with gourmet food, and a bartender on sight ready to cater to the needs of the guests. Most of her family came to the party, as well as many of Celeste and Oliver’s respective friends.

She particularly enjoyed getting to know her extended family, spending a lot of time with Cassandra, the wife of Freddy, who was the son of Oriana.

Even Celeste showed a rare streak of kindness, bringing the geriatric Chace his drinks throughout the night.

Her parents continued to lead a lavish lifestyle, out clubbing most nights and being seen by the world press, with articles about their wild antics appearing daily, and Oliver becoming something of a cult figure.  They often pushed the limits of what their celebrity would allow, sex in club hot tubs was one of their favourite activities. They did however devote as much of their time as possible to Constance, who was the apple of their eye.

Constance loved to watch her families artistic abilities, reveling in her fathers magnificent paintings, her mothers exquisite sculptures, and the beautiful sound of her father playing the piano.

She filled her days painting, trying to copy her fathers work – never seeming to (understandably) get it quite right. The two were inseparable, going on trips to the botanical gardens, the local art galleries, and the National Parks, as well as trips to France, where they soaked up the local culture from the comfort of the air conditioned limousine.

Despite her own plans, Celeste found herself very happy in marriage to Oliver, he checked the boxes for her, and for the time being at least she had no desire to leave and move onto her next man. The two became closer and closer, both sexually and emotionally, and it wasn’t long before Celeste announced she was pregnant once again.

As much as he loved her he never got the likeness quite right when he took to her sculpting station…

It wasn’t long after Constance had gone away to LeFromage Art School, more due to her own pleas than the wishes of her mother, that on the 1st of January, while Oliver and Celeste were attending a gallery opening in Paris, Landon Belgravia was born. As much as he loved his daughter a son sent Oliver over the moon with joy, and he was soon taking his son through the first, tentative stages of life, teaching him to walk on the cliffside patio, helping him with the potty, and teaching him to talk by the graveside of Mysterious Mr. Gnome.

It wasn’t long before Landon was given a similarly extravagant party for his birthday, with the Belgravia clan rallying round to welcome another one of their own to the next stage of life.

Landon especially enjoyed hearing tales of his great-grandfathers past as they sat eating cake, hearing stories of his now deceased great-grandmother and beginning his first tentative steps on the guitar that Chace had bought him for his birthday.

To everyones surprise another Belgravia was born the night of Landons party, people had thought Celeste had been cultivating the ‘hippy look’ to fit in with the other mothers at Constance’s school, but she had in fact been carrying another Belgravia. Arabella Belgravia was born on the 1st of January, ensuing birthday-party conflict with her brother forever more.

*    *    *

In other news…

Freddy Belgravia, musician, the son of Oriana Belgravia and Jasper Merridon (never married) married Cassandra Velci, a fellow musician, who gave birth to a son, Mick Belgravia, who is also an aspiring musician.

Maria Whitley (nee Belgravia), the environmentalist and documentary film-maker, daughter of Oriana Belgravia and Jasper Merridon, married Charlie Whitney, the acclaimed musician, at a ceremony in the Belgravia Penthouse. The couple plan to move to Charlie’s native Scotland.

Andrew Belgravia-King, currently a surgical resident, son of Alexandra Belgravia and Jeremy King, married Jenny Killmon, who he met while in residency (she is also a resident).

Marquis Belgravia-King, world-renowned surgeon, married Argentinian Opera star Cambola Mizichi in the grounds of her parents house in Argentina. Like his cousin Maria, he plans to emigrate to his spouses native country.

– CLICK HERE FOR THE FAMILY TREE –

*   *   *

Condensed versions of what would have happened in Tommy and Olivers lives so far, as well as a little information about the rest of the family.

N.B. The time frame of this goes beyond where we are so far with Olive.

Generation 2 – Chapter 16 Part 2

Arielle 

Seeing my children growing up was so emotional, I never thought I’d feel like this. Letting Oliver stay here at the Veloria Gallery for the past few months had been so hard, I almost called him to order him back home several times but I knew I shouldn’t. The things I was doing at his age, Howland… ugh I didn’t even want to think of it. ‘Ew!’ as the old me would have said. Thankfully I’ve grown up since then, but now is the hardest part, watching them go their own way, without me. There was Oliver, looking so much like his father, weaving his way through the room to chat with various buyers.

Such an artistic boy from a young age it’s no surprise that he’s doing so well now that he’s a fully grown man, the only thing I worried about was him and that Celeste woman, my PI hadn’t found anything on her really, apart from the fact she had been married twice before, both to rich men with famous family names, I’d have to keep my eye on her. Ah! There was Cora, she had grown up so much recently, she was so beautiful, just like all of my children. Piano was her specialty, that as well as playing tricks on everyone and anyone around her. So different from the others, probably because she grew up apart from them.

And there was Tommy, the eldest of the children. He was the strong one, always working hard on his sports, keeping a stiff upper lip and being a respectable man, I knew there was something else going on, I could just tell by looking at him. I felt a deep anger at Leo for not staying by his son all these years, I hadn’t heard from him since we broke up, but it just wasn’t right, it was hard on Tommy.

I wasn’t sure about his girlfriend, I hadn’t really had a chance to get to know her yet, but she seemed a little too fancy for him. And Kitty, my eldest daughter, how I loved her. So smart, a real intellectual with a quick wit she never failed to amaze me with all the achievements she racked up. She told me she’d invited a boy here tonight, which I was very happy about, I wanted her to experience all aspects of life, Jake hadn’t really been a true boyfriend for her.

The only one who was missing was Olive, I had to turn away from the crowded room so no one could see my sobs, it was so hard to think about her, I didn’t even know if she was okay. For all I know she could be lying dead in a ditch somewhere, I don’t even understand why she ran away! One day she was here, the next she was gone. It was so sad, but my PI was working on. I needed answers, needed to make sure she was okay.

And there was Noah, my rock, the love of my life, with the lines of age beginning to etch his face and grey flecked through his hair and beard he was still the most attractive man I had ever met. It still amazed me how in love we were after all these years. We may not have been able to spend every minute of every day together like we would have wanted, but amongst the chaos of the children we had managed to stick together, something I never thought I would have. I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Tommy

It was kind of odd seeing myself up on the wall again, it wasn’t as bad as last time because I wasn’t the only family member up, actually every family member was up, with Lily right at the top of the gallery, the founder of the family. It was her 75th birthday in three days so Oliver had thrown this special event showcasing all her descendants so far, a really cool idea actually, I just got her a card and some flowers.

I was also weird becuase I was so young in this photo. I was a man now, I had left school and was officially an adult, which was a scary thought. I had my first day of training on Monday, the start my athletic career. Thinking about that brought memories of Austin rushing to my head, I had heard that he was starting on Monday too, oh God seeing him in the changing rooms would be nerve racking, what if I got… happy. No, no, I had to think of Jennifer now, thought I didn’t really want to, she had started to change, started to get more… I don’t know, arrogant?

“Hi sweet cheeks.” Oh no, here she was now. She pulled me into a deep kiss before I could even get a word in, I wished she would stop, I really wasn’t into PDA.

“Jenny, stop.” I said, pushing her away lightly, I didn’t want people looking at pictures of us making out or anything.

“Tommy, kiss the girl again I wanna get a picture, page six here!” A photographer shouted from nearby. I quickly looked away from the camera, I wasn’t into that publicity stuff.

“Ill be right back.” Jenny said, fluffing out her hair and strutting off towards the photographer, probably to make sure he spelt her name right, argh she’d changed so much. AS I watched her walk across the room someone caught my eye. someone familiar, stood in the entrance.

Shit! What the hell was Austin doing here, how did he know about it?! I quickly moved to the back of the gallery, in front of the central picture of grandma, hoping he wouldn’t spot me.

“Tommy.” His deep voice reminded me of the time we used to spend together, jeez we were best friends before that night in the maze, that night though… I still thought about it, but I really did like Jenny, the fame of the Belgravia’s was going to her head, but if she could come back down to earth I could see a real furture there.

We stood staring at each other uneasily, it had been years since we had last been so close, passing in the hallways at school we’d just ignore each other.

“So, how’ve you been…” I asked  wearily.

“Come here man!” And before I knew it we were embracing in a friendly hug, slapping each other on the back and laughing, it was as if all the antagonism of the  last few years had just disappeared. To anyone looking over it would have just looked like two guys greeting each other, but I could feel the sexual tension, the hairs on the back of my neck rising and my cheeks blushing.

“It’s really good to see you again dude, I heard you were here and I just had to see you. I mean, we’re gonna be on the team together every day come monday, so we might as well get to how we used to be again huh?” Austins smiled, his lips turning up at the corners in a suggestive smirk, he was definitely remembering the night in the maze.

“We definitely have to get back to how we were before.” Before I could even think about what I was doing I grabbed his waist and pulled him into the empty supply closet, pushing him against the wall and making out with him as if another force had taken over my body that had only one aim; to get hot and heavy with Austin.

The only thing on my mind was having Austin with me, it just felt so right. I didn’t know how to explain it, Jenny felt really amazing, she was a great girl (or she was) but it was as if I’d finally found where my piece of the puzzle fit, and it was with Austin. He was just as into it as me, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, our hands trailing under each others shirts, barely coming up for breath. We never heard the door open until the heavy metal slammed shut,.

“TOMMY?!”

Kitty

I guess the party was a success, I mean the Redcliffe art crowd wasn’t really my scene, they were all so pretentious. Don’t get me wrong the majority of intellectuals are pretentious know it alls, but at least I was interested in the same things as them. I personally cringed every time I saw my painting, I mean Oliver was an amazing artist but just showcasing myself that much really wasn’t my scene. Laurence still hadn’t arrived, I was beginning to think he wouldn’t show. I had to go out onto the street before people saw how upset I was, all my siblings seemed to have some sort of love drama going on, except me!

Come on Kitty, pull yourself together! Maybe he was just late, he’d called me and found out where it was and the time and everything, why would he bother if he didn’t plan on showing? I forced a smile and began to make my way inside, maybe he would show.

“Hey Kitty. Whats up?” Cora asked as I sat down at the bar. I wished I knew her a little better, we hadn’t really spent much time together growing up. It was odd that she had no siblings who were her age where I had Tommy and Olive at that age, always doing things together, always talking, poor Cora.

“Nothing Cora I’m fine. You enjoying the party?”

“Yeah, I hate the picture of me though! Couldn’t he have waited till I grew up a little before painting me? No one will even know it’s me!” She sighed dramatically, she was quite the drama queen.

“It has your name under it…”

“Whatever.” Flicking her hair she got up and went to talk with her music teacher, who she seemed to have a closer relationship with than was normal… hmm.

Moving out into the other room I got quite the shock, there he was! Admiring a painting of Oliver, oh I knew he’d come!

“Hi!” I smiled as I walked over to him. “So glad you came, I was beginning to think you wouldn’t make it.”

“Oh I know, sorry I’m so late. Great paintings by the way, your brother’s really talented.” He was so handsome, and kind. I was glad he’d made it.

“He really is, you should go tell him, I think secretly he loves getting the praise.”

“I will later, for now  I want to spend time with you.” Wow. So the right thing to say. After talking for a while I learnt that he had recently graduated, like me, and was moving towards a career in politics, um- perfect much?

“Well I’m glad you came. I should go say hi to my mom.” As I made to move off he grabbed my hand, and seeming to think for a second he gave me a very soft, very sweet kiss. A perfect kiss. Things had moved a lot slower with Jake but maybe I should just go for it, maybe I’ve been good little Kitty for too long.

*      *      *

And that’s it! Generation 2 has came to a close, with a lot of cliffhangers for each child, just to make it that much harder for you to vote!

Click – HERE – to vote!

Generation 2 – Chapter 9

“Tommy will you get back here?!” I shouted as I ran after Tommy through the house, “and where on earth is your sister? Tommy!” He was turning into a real handful, Oriana’s doll didn’t seem to entertain him as much these days.

“There you go sit here. Yes, yes you can play with my necklace, I’ll be right back.” I settled him down in the high chair, where on earth was Kitty?

“Oh my God Kitty get away from the pool!” What on earth was she doing?! Thank God I had found her, she could have fallen in. “There there, come here.”

“Mommy I want water! Water water splash splash! Mommy I want claw! CLAW! CLAW!”

“Okay, okay, raaarrghhh!”

“Phew.” I exclaimed as I set her down in the kitchen and took Tommy out of the high chair to play with her, wiping the loose strands of hair out of my face. I had to get dinner started, Noah should be back from work soon.

“Mommy juice! Juice now!”

“Tommy what did you forget?”

“Umm- NOW NOW NOW!”

“No, the word is please!” God I hoped I was doing this right, I needed them to have some manners.

“PLEASE! He screamed, throwing his hands in the air and sending my necklace flying across the room.

“Okay okay, here. Now why don’t you and your sister both play a game while Mommy makes dinner?” Please let them play for an hour while I got dinner ready.

“With Kitty? She stinks! I no play with girl!” Kitty carried on with her doll, oblivious.

“Your sister does not stink, play, now!” He huffed reluctantly as I handed him his doll, he thought they were for girls lately, against my many attempts to explain that this was a unisex doll.

I started preparing the hamburgers warily, I had only made them a few times and I wanted everything to be perfect for Noah’s dinner, not that he would ever complain but still. After all, I guess I was a housewife now… wow, a housewife. I had those fleeting moments of doubt where I wondered what it would be like to have a different life, if I had stayed in the past, a party girl… but then I looked around at the children playing with their toys and that all washed away, I loved them so much.

After the gruelling process of trying desperately not to burn the burgers I ran the children up to bed, for now they slept in the same room (much to Tommy’s annoyance) but I was working on rooms of their own, interior design was a big thing of mine lately (I redid most of the house due to my post-natal depression after Kitty’s birth). I could barely keep my eyes open as I sat in the living room reading The Art of Feng Shui after brushing my teeth and changing into a comfortable tracksuit, I seemed to be getting fatter lately… it wouldn’t matter if I just closed my eyes for 5 seconds would it?

“Arielle? Ari…” Someone was shaking me, God it was Noah, how long had I been asleep?!

“Sorry Noah, I fell asleep for longer than I thought.” I said as he pecked me on the cheek. I snuggled into his arm as he sat down in his dirty overalls on the sofa. What on earth was he wearing? Who cared, I was too tired to ask. “Your burgers are in the kitchen by the way.” I told him as I relaxed in the groove of his arm, it was so great having him around, we were living a proper life, so different from my old one, and actually better. I couldn’t wait to get him up to the bedroom.

The next few weeks were spent preparing for Tommy’s birthday, he was growing up so fast! I continued working on my book, although I couldn’t really get much done! The only time I could get a decent portion of work done was when Tommy was out with Noah and there was only Kitty to watch, who was no where near as loud and voracious as her older brother, and (for now) was perfectly content to play with her doll, although she did make the occasional trip to the pool, so I installed a gate outside.

Tommy’s birthday was a huge success, it was just the four of us, and it was the moments like this that I loved the most about being a mother. The look on his face as he tried his hardest to blow out the candles was so sweet, with all of us around cheering him on. I could tell that he loved the attention, this was his day, and he definitely knew it. Noah had gotten time off work for the day so Noah was, naturally, lavishing his attention on the kids, which they loved. They definitely looked up to him, he was that scary father figure who was at work all day and came home with huge hugs and presents at the end of the day, they would never act out in front of him.

“Tommy will you stop eating that cake, it’s been there for days.” I shouted as I rushed around the kitchen preparing dinner.

“But mom it’s tasty, and you said it needs eating” Tommy replied through mouthfuls of his birthday cake, now going stale because no one had bothered to finish it.

“You’re going to spoil your dinner, now stop eating it!” He had a huge appetite, probably from all the running around he did. No matter how many toys and games he had he loved playing more than anything, I couldn’t wait for Kitty to grow up so they could play together, although he may not want to, he had even enforced a ‘No Girls Allowed’ rule on his treehouse.

“Neeeeeeeeeerrrr!!” I heard him scream as he ran off to the TV room, leaving cake all over the floor. What on earth was he playing now? “Mom, mom, mom, I’m playing cars! Look I’m going to run this old lady over, BAAANG!!”

“Tommy! You are not running an old lady over, that’s terrible” I laughed under my breath as I watched him playing, he was such a happy child, I couldn’t help but let him off for the far fetched games he played, running over an old lady, I never!

“Mom me found rabbit! Pink rabbit!” Kitty shouted as she stumbled through the den (she was running everywhere lately after almost mastering the art of walking) and into the kitchen behind me as I ran to the oven to take out the chicken.

“That’s great sweetie, why don’t you go and play with your brother?” I wish they would just play together, I had too many things to do, and I had recently found out I had another child on the way! How ever would I cope? “Oh and Kitty watch the piles of clothes I don’t want you to fall over!” The house was a complete mess, everyone threw their clothes on the floor without a thought for me, who was always left to clean them up!

Oh thank God, it seemed Tommy had taken Kitty into his game with him, they were astronauts now, although Kitty couldn’t use the dress up box as her brother could. It was wonderful when they played together, I wanted them to all have a strong bond, unlike me, Alex, and Oriana, who barely ever saw each other. They had only came to see the new house once, pshh. The memory of Kitty and Tommy playing together as children was a fond one, and it was one of the only times they actually had played together, maybe I should pull that old tool set thing out of storage, I’d had it moved when I redid the den, they could maybe bond over it again.

“Captain Tommy to the base, alien creature chasing me, repeat alien creature chasing me, I am under attack! Creature has blonde hair and a pink top, repeat, destroy the target!” Kitty ran after Tommy through the den, laughing hysterically as he described her as the alien, God they were so cute. Ouch! That was a hard kick, I had to stop chopping up the rosemary for a few seconds and nurse my stomach, maybe I was going a little too fast for this baby, or maybe it would be just as boisterous as Tommy, and this was just a taste of things to come! I needed a break.

“Yes?” I asked as I opened the door extremely early a few mornings later.

Your son has been very bad!” Excuse me? Who was this uptight woman, I’d never seen her in my life. “I looked out of the window last night to see him running away, leaving a trail of eggs in his wake! He has been throwing eggs at my house!” I almost laughed, it was so like him, he was always looking for fun, there wasn’t many kids in the neighbourhood so this was obviously how he was entertaining himself.

“Oh I’m so sorry- I’ll definitely have a word with him.” I went to close the door before I laughed in her face but she stopped me with her words,

“I’ll sue if he doesn’t stop! This is a disgrace, my Michelle would never be so naughty.” She was livid.

“You’ll sue? He’s just a child, I’ll pay for a window cleaner to come over, it’s not a big deal, again I’m sorry, now goodbye.” I slammed the door firmly in her face, leaving her steaming . Who did she think she was, she’ll sue? Let her try. This new neighbourhood was becoming a real pain, I was beginning to regret ever leaving the triplex. No, I wanted a suburban house, and I suppose this was just one of the prices I had to pay for that. Oh well, I had no time to deal with Tommy right now, I’d just tell him not to do it again when I saw him later, for now I had to get his things ready for his first day of school, I couldn’t believe he was finally starting! I didn’t even remember my first day of school, but it did remember school being the centre of my universe at the time, God it’s strange how school is such a distant memory once you’ve left.

“Mom mom when can we leave, I want to go to school!” Tommy asked as he tied his shoes.

“We’re leaving in a minute sweetie, I’ll be right there.” It took me more than a minute to get up the stairs, especially as I had to cart around the baby inside of me, which was getting heavier by the day.

“Come ooooooooooooon!! Mission school commencing in 5 seconds mommy!” he shouted as he ran out of the front door and I waddled behind him.

“Did you remember your backpack?”

“Yes mom, you’ve already asked, I put it in the car earlier, now GO GO GO!” Geez, he was excited, I hoped he actually liked school. I had went to look at the school he was going to and I wasn’t impressed. It was right in the middle of the dense city centre with an apartment block overlooking it! I was trying to convince Noah to let me send them to the local private school (which thank God wasn’t a boarding school) but he was adamant that his children should grow up with everybody else, even if they lived a more privileged life at home.

“And you remembered your lunch?” I asked as we drove up the hill to the school, I had to take a detour and pick up some groceries.

“Yes! Now come on, can’t you move this thing any faster, you drive like a woman!” I couldn’t help but laugh, he was on the edge of his seat, desperate to get to school.

“I drive fine thank you very much! Just because I’m not a speed freak like your father!” We both laughed, and settled into silence as he watched the roads go by, getting closer and closer to the school.

I was definitely more nervous than him as we pulled up outside the school, which I still hated. They had tried to make the front acceptable, but all you had to do was look around and you’d know that some of the kids at this school would be rough, it was definitely not a desirable area.

“Now are you ready?” I lowered myself down so we were face to face. “I want to hear all about it when you get home, give me a kiss.” I moved in to kiss him when he heard a few children giggling behind him.

“Ew mom no!” He jumped back quickly and ran off,

“See you… later” I trailed off as he disappeared into the school, I knew it was just a part of growing up, and I could bet in a few weeks he’d want to take the bus so he didn’t look like he relied on his mother, but I couldn’t help but be a little upset that he hadn’t wanted to kiss me in front of the other kids, ah well, he had to start growing up at some point.

When I picked him up he was raving about his day, telling me how brilliant the kids in his class were, he even complimented one (only one – he hated the rest) of his teachers, saying she was ‘cool’! Success! I was so glad he was enjoying it, he had made a couple of friends, and even asked me to let him join scouts, could it get more perfect?! I was sure the time would come when one of my children began to hate school, a few days would be skipped, teachers calling the house, but for now he loved it, and I was so grateful. Mine and Noah’s third child was born just after Tommy had told me about his great day at scouts and rushed off to play in the treehouse, Kitty’s birthday was upcoming and I was about to start baking the cake when I felt my waters break.

Olivia was born a few hours later, after a long and painful labour, the worst one I’d had yet, I wouldn’t have been surprised if twins had came out! She’d inherited her fathers black hair as well as my pale skin and was absolutely beautiful! Kitty called her Olive instead of Olivia one day and it sort of stuck, just like Kitty for Katherine. Tommy, Kitty, and Olive. Was no one called by their full names around here!?

The childhood stage was so much easier with Tommy and Kitty both being in school now, finally becoming a little more independant and starting to make friends. Tommy was barely home, well, he was barely ever in the house. His friends thought our little playground was so cool, they told me it was even better than the one at the school. Whatever, I’d just bought one of everything in the store and had some workers fit it, it was a small price to pay for something that kept the kids occupied for hours. Kitty was still banned from the treehouse under the ‘No Girls Allowed’ rule and would moan to me for hours about getting her own. No way was she getting her own, she’d just have to find a way of getting into Tommy’s, I’d let them work it out between themselves. For now my attention was all on Olive. She learned to walk, talk, and everything else fairly easy, much quicker than my other children. Her main passion was the peg box. She’d sit there for hours on end, easily slipping the shapes into the respective holes, this was a smart one.

I still didn’t see Noah as much as I would have liked, and every time I did we fell straight into bed. I could sense another pregnancy would be on the horizon if we didn’t start using protection, but neither us cared, we both wanted more children, after all we had more than enough space, and more than enough love to give to them. Of course we had problems with the kids, but that didn’t put us off, on the contrary, it was quite exciting, this was the real nitty gritty of being a parent, and I was glad I was finally experiencing it. Kitty’s problems with school were one of those ‘nitty gritty’ moments. However much Tommy loved Public School, that’s how much Kitty hated it. She begged me to move her to the local private where most of the neighbourhood girls went.

“But mother! I hate it there! The area is so dirty, a girl called me a posh freak the other day because you insist on picking us up in that huge Range Rover, which probably cost more than the house she lives in! I want to go with my friends! PLEASE!” She fumed as we argued over it yet again. I would have been happy to send her to the private, I had no idea why Noah was so against it!

“We’ve talked about this before Kitty, the answers no. You can go to Public School with your brother.” I finished the argument, getting back to work on my book and ignoring her fiercely antagonistic expression.

“You’re the worst mom in the world! I hate you!!” She stormed out of the den in another one of her moods, she had changed so much from that placid little child who was happy to play with her doll and enthused over a pink bunny. I walked into the TV room to tell Noah about this latest outburst from our very angry daughter when I heard a few snippets of his conversation.

“…I know – no I can’t get away right now, I’ll call you…” He laughed at whatever the person on the other line was saying, “You know I feel the same, okay bye.” What was that all about?

“What was that about?” I asked as we embraced,

“Nothing – just work stuff, I don’t want to worry you with it.”

“But I want to know, maybe I can -” He made me lose my train of thought by crushing his lips against mine, I forgot all about wanting to help him with work, I only wanted him in bed with me.

“Let’s go upstairs you gorgeous woman.”

It was probably just me being paranoid – after all I was starting to turn into the proverbial housewife, but then again I was still gorgeous, he could never cheat on me. He better not be, because a few weeks later I felt those familiar stirrings once more – our family was still expanding.

*      *       *

Sorry for such a long wait! I moved the Belgravia’s to a new town in order to have a 60×60 lot and so the family could exist in a suburban neighbourhood – not the celebrity filled hills of Bridgeport. The new town is not particularly important to the story, and I completely rebuilt the house as I was a little unhappy with the layout – with rebuilding comes decorating (which I never think is right so I change it over and over) landscaping etc.

I know this chapters a little slow but don’t worry – drama for the children as they grow up I’m sure – for now I’m enjoying living my idyllic childhood through my sims – hope you enjoy.

– Marissa x

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.