Tag Archives: france

Generation 3 – Chapter 6

“Let me start off by saying how sorry I am, it must be really hard for you, going through this divorce. If there’s anything -” I cut off my high priced lawyer mid sentence. I wasn’t interested in the niceties.

“You can drop the concerned lawyer act. You want to make money, I want to make money. Lets just work together and take my husband for every penny he’s got.” She stared at me for a long while after I spoke, probably trying to figure me out.

It was when the smile spread across her face and she said, “Lets take the bastard down.” That I knew I had picked the right person for the job. I proceeded to tell her all about the marriage, leaving out the parts about me withholding sex of course. “How much are you looking for? Ballpoint.”

“I want 100 million.” I said with conviction. I didn’t actually know how much the Elphinstones had, but I knew that they were loaded. 100 million would be fine, I deserved it.

“What?!” She threw her arms up in the air, “100 mil? You really think he’s gonna pay you that amount of money?”

“He will once I show him these.” Fishing around in my Mulberry I pulled out the dossier I had taken from the investigators house, and watched the realisation dawn on her face as she flicked through the pages. “Still don’t think I can get it?” I asked, smiling at her and rubbing my hands together in anticipation of how rich I would soon be.

“Olive, this is a question I don’t usually ask,” She began, pulling her chair around so she was next to me, “but what do you really want out of this divorce? Is it purely for financial gain, as I first thought, or is it something else. I’m happy to help you either way,” I should think so, that’s what I was paying her for! “but I’m just curious.”

It was an understandable question for sure, and one I had held the answer to since I first spoke to Max when I was working at the bar. “I just want what any girl wants,” I gave her a long, penetrating look; I had to get her on my side. “to be free.”

“Anyway I must go.” I said as I stood up and glanced at my new Cartier watch (a parting gift on Maxs credit card – as were the Harry Winston diamonds at my ears) “I have an appointment at Nicky Clarke.”

“Yes, of course. I’ll call you when I’ve set up a meeting with his lawyers.” She began leafing through a huge folder covered in stick-notes before she looked up at me, “He does know, doesn’t he?”

*   *   *

Emerging from Nicky Clarke 3 hours later I felt like my old self again.

Now that I was free of Max I could shed the past – including Reena’s makeover. I had finally washed all the reminders of Miami off of me, well, except for the obvious one. As much as I tried not to think about it, I knew it would never leave me. I had booked myself into a spa for the rest of the day, but making my way down the street my plans were washed away by a phonecall.

‘Ellis’, read the screen, my lawyer.

“What is it?” I asked, still making my way down the busy street.

“Olive? Thank god you answered, I’ve been ringing you for the past hour. Everyone’s waiting, I just contacted Max’s lawyers and they came in for an immediate sit down. Get back to my office, now!” Quickly I called my driver, and safely enclosed in the limo I wondered why they wanted the meeting so soon, maybe they just wanted to get it out of the way. Max must have been shocked when he found out, I hadn’t even told him I was divorcing him, he must have thought everything was fine, and that I didn’t know all about his little extra curricular activities.

“So sorry I’m late.” I said as I quickly sat down next to Ellis in the conference room, across from Max and his obscenely overpaid lawyer, Randal Fairclough.

“Okay, we can begin.” Randal said, straightening the cuffs of his whiter than white shirt beneath the pinstripe suit. “In the case of Maxwell Elphinstone vs Olivia Elphinstone we are prepared to go with an opening offer of 1 million dollars. Quite a fair settlement for such a short marriage, with no probable cause for divorce.”

“Ridiculous!” Ellis exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air. “With the wealth of the Elphinstone family, and the fact that my client will be a single mother supporting two children once this divorce is finalised, we are pushing for a considerably higher settlement.”

As the two lawyers went at it me and Max resorted to staring at each other across the table. His face was impassive, I didn’t know what he was thinking, but I wasn’t going to be the first to look away.

“I like your hair.” He said suddenly, interrupting the staring match we had been going at for 10 minutes. I didn’t reply, just smiled weakly, tilting my head slightly and gazing across the expanse of glass at him.

He was handsome, but it was his money that was his appeal. He had no force to him, no driving ambition behind his millions, it had all just fallen into his lap. Elphinstone Diamond had been passed through the family for generations, and was overseen by a board of directors who never let things get out of control. Even his mother had more force in her than him, at least she had fire inside of her. She was probably the one who put Max’s out.

“No probable cause for divorce? Take a look at these.” I heard Ellis shout, sliding the dossier across the table. Max with his secretary. Max with his masseuse. Max with his favourite waitress at the local restaurant. Men were such pigs, I was going to take every penny off him. Although I was only 23 I had learnt that men couldn’t be trusted, ever. They could take care of you financially, entertain you sexually, but you should never trust them, they would always hurt you. Granted I had driven Max to other women purposely, but if he had really loved me he wouldn’t have done it at all.

“100 million?!” Randal shouted in shock, “that’s preposterous, extra marital affairs are nothing knew, and certainly not worth 100 million!”

“Does your client really want a scandal like this getting out?” Ellis asked smoothly, leaving Randal fuming. “Olive? Are you okay?” She asked, looking over her shoulder at me as she noticed the locked eyes of me and Max. I was still looking at him, why couldn’t men just be good?

I didn’t answer, and she was quickly distracted by more bullshit from Randal’s mouth.

“Why are you doing this Olivia?” Max whispered slowly, his face a mixture of anger and sadness. Why was I doing this?! Was he being serious, could he not see the photos?

“They’re offering 50. Olive!” Ellis said, snapping me out of my daze. I wasn’t going to answer Max, he knew fine well why I was doing this.

“100.” I told Randal with conviction. I wasn’t taking 50, it would hardly get me anywhere.

“Pah!” He threw his hands up in the air in frustration, “we are not prepared to offer that. If we can’t settle this here we’ll have to take it to court.”

“Fine by us.” Ellis told him as she gathered her things together. “Don’t worry, the judge will side with you, you’re the cheated woman with two children to support whose done nothing wrong.” She whispered into my ear, patting my shoulder and clicking her heels off down the hallway, followed quickly by Randal and Max, leaving me alone to muse over the situation. Would I really win if this case went to court? I’d make a few calls, try and make sure I had a sympathetic judge, dress myself demurely in a pastel colour, take off all my makeup, maybe pull my hair back into braids…

“Hello Olivia.” said a voice from behind me, jolting me out of my plan.

“Randal just filled me in on your demands. 100 million? Ambitious to say the least.” Elizabeth said cooly, moving across the room to gaze out of the windows of the high rise building to the city beneath. “I’ll give you 60 million, and you won’t need to go to the press about my sons… indiscretions.”

“100 million Elizabeth. A judge would give me that for sure.” I said bluntly. Her being here just proved how much more fire she had than Max, he would never have dared to negotiate with me without the aid of a lawyer.

“Don’t be so sure, you may walk out of the court with even less than 50 million, depending what mood the judge is in. Think about it, are you willing to risk millions of dollars on the hope that the judge will side with you?” She still faced the window, giving her a sinister twist not suited to the pink suit which she was wearing.

What she was saying made sense, if Max’s lawyer was so well paid he was sure to be a skilled negotiator in court, and if he could make the case that I had purposely withheld sex in order to catch Max in a compromising position… it didn’t bare thinking about. The only way out of that situation would be to bring up my past, and that was something I wasn’t willing to do.

“Make it 90.” I told her, suddenly deciding that she was right; this was the best way.

“I’m glad to see you’ve come to your senses.” She finally turned around and faced me as she spoke.

“Ill give you 70. I hope you realise how much money this is Olivia, I’m not going up from 1000 to 2000 here, I’m adding 10 million dollars. Take it.” She was smooth as she spoke, her voice never raising even an inch, only dripping with venom.

“Make it 75 and we have a deal. And I hope you realise I’m knocking 25 million,” I repeated her words, “off my original total.”

“Ah Olivia, you drive a hard bargain, I always knew you were a little money grabbing tart.” She gave me a half smile and tapped her drummed her fingers on the table as she thought about my offer.

“You have a deal. You know,” she said as she fished around in her bag, “you’re lucky you had a boy, if it was a girl I’d be offering you about half of this. And I wouldn’t budge.” She put two contracts down in front of me, one was a confidentiality agreement, that basically said I couldn’t mention the fact that I’d caught Max with several other women, and I couldn’t disclose the amount of money I received in the settlement. The other was the actual divorce paper, all I had to do was sign.

“If that money isn’t transferred to my bank in the next 48 hours,” I said before I signed, “then I’ll call every newspaper in Europe and tell them all about Max, I’ll give interviews on every show that will take me and I’ll drive your families name into the ground. Understood?” My pen flew across the page in a blur. I was officially a divorcée.

*     *     *

Pacing up and down the private lounge of the airport waiting for my flight was driving me nuts. This is what you get when you fly commercial!

“How much longer do I have to wait?!” I barked to a passing receptionist, who quickly went into apologetic mode.

“I’m terribly sorry ma’am, the plane is being refueled. Shouldn’t be much longer now.” She threw me a fake smile which really set me off.

“Get the plane here now. I have been forced to fly commercial after a tumultuous divorce and this is how you treat me? I’ve never seen anything like it, if the plane isn’t here soon I’ll be having words with your manager.”

“Um – I’m sorry. I’ll try and see whats going on. Can I get you anything while you wait?” She squirmed uncomfortably in front of me, so pathetic.

“Just go.” I said, pursing my lips and narrowing my eyes, sending her practically running into the next room. Fortunately for her the announcement that flight 246 was ready to board ran through the airport, and shortly afterwards I was ensconced in the air conditioned comfort of first class. It could never beat the Elphinstone jet, but it would have to do; the use of the jet was (unfortunately) not available to ex-wives.

*     *     *

Driving through the winding streets I kept my eyes closed. I had such nostalgia it was unbearable. Why didn’t I just fly to London or Paris?

Electra, now 7 years old sat beside me, and Marie held little Sebastian. After the divorce a judge had granted me full custody due to the ‘unsatisfactory role model Maxwell Elphinstone would provide for his son, with his hurtful treatment of his wife by indulging in affairs with several different women’ with Max having supervised custody rights for a week every other month. I didn’t really know what to do about it, it would be important for Sebastian to have a father figure; I knew that much. But was Max a good father figure? Maybe I’d have to find someone to fill Max’s shoes, at least for Sebastian and Electra’s sakes.

“Ma’am, we’re here.” The drivers voice came through the car speakers. Getting out of the car I made my way nervously to the front door, I didn’t know what to expect. Time seemed to slow down after I pressed the bell, standing there in front of the door, bracing myself. I took a sharp intake of breath as the door opened a a figure appeared in the doorway, her passive face quickly turning to one of shock.

“Hi Mom. I’m home.”

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 2 – Chapter 4

“Oh my God! I know, we were both total bitches when we first met, right?!”

“Definitely, I don’t know why I snapped so much, I’m usually really nice to girls I like. Not like… well not like how I was, I’m so sorry!”

I don’t know how it happened, but Natasha and I had become like… friends. It made me cringe when I thought about it, I guess I  hadn’t had a friend since Emily. I guess people were just intimidated by me or something… although maybe it was something I was doing…. no, impossible.

“I’m really glad we’ve became friends Ari. I’ve been here for about 2 years and friendships just never seem to happen.” I was totally touched by what she was saying, and it actually seemed genuine!

“Anyway I gotta get to class, but I’ll see you later, I have a totally great plan for how to bust us out of this place”

“Really? That sounds great, I’ll see you later!” I wondered  if Natasha ever left here, I’d never seen the gates open once since I arrived… It started to hit me that I was basically in a prison, I’d been saying it for the past two months, but I just realised I hadn’t left this place in 2 months! That had to be like, borderline child cruelty or something. I hadn’t even gotten a single message from Emily, Michael, not even Noah.

The tears were falling thick and fast, ew ew ew! Who the hell was I? Some sad ugly public school bitch?! Thank God no one was here to witness my downfall. Except someone was witnessing it, the ginger bitch from my dorm! Who did she think she was, stood over there watching me?!

I was livid, if she knew what was good for her she’d like, totally turn away and run like right now. I couldn’t believe someone was seeing me cry, I hadn’t cried in years and years, and the only time I do it, the only time, someone is there watching me!

“Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing watching me, you little creep!”

“Oh- I’m sorry, I didn’t know anyone was here, and .. I don’t know- I’ve literally just arrived, please Arielle, calm down.” Calm down?! Who did she think she was, an agony aunt? Next she’d be telling me how to fix my life.

“I don’t appreciate being like, watched! If you want to look, do it when I’m not an absolute mess!”

“I didn’t mean to- I- well, I haven’t seen someone cry here… I didn’t know if anyone… If anyone felt the same way that I do.” Her face changed from fear at my outburst to complete sadness, geez I felt sorry for her, what was this school? Everyone here was suicidal.

Before I knew it she’d burst into tears and was crying on my shoulder. Erm? How the hell did this little situation come about, like, 2 seconds ago I was crying alone, then screaming at her, now she was crying on my shoulder. This was definitely awkward.

“Oh- Geez, erm, shhhh- shhhh-” I patted her on the back over and over, I’d seen it in the movies, hopefully it worked.

“Wow. I’m really embarrassed now.” She let out a little laugh as she moved away from me, wiping away her last tears. I didn’t really know what to do… I didn’t even know what was really wrong with her. Clearly an emotional wreck.

“So like, what’s actually up with you?”

“Oh- I guess my behaviour is a little strange, it’s just that I hate it here so much, the teachers are so awful and the girls are so mean. It’s okay for you because you’re beautiful, but look at me! I’m a fat whale!” She let out another sob, Jesus, this girl was totally overreacting. She was dead right about me being hot, but looking at her she was actually quite pretty, if she could lose some weight and get rid of the boring hair.

I knew we had to get out of this school, I hoped Natasha was serious when she said she had a plan to get away. Poppy could be like a little project for me, pass some time away. Graduation wasn’t too far away, mom and dad didn’t really time my entry into this school well, I’d be here less than a year at the end of it.

“Listen-”

“- Poppy…”

“-Yeah, I knew that, if you’d give me a chance to get to it.” Okay so I didn’t know her name, but it would probably hurt her feelings. “I totally want to get out of here, we’ll just sneak away for a few hours or so, Natasha said she had a plan…oh my God its gonna be so much fun!”

“Leave the school?! No- I can’t, we have exams and-”

“- Shut up. You’re in no state to do exams! We’ll just have a little R&R, maybe get some of that weight off you, make you more confident and stuff.” She looked a little taken aback at my weight comment, but hey, I’d rather be a bitch to someone’s face than behind their back, and besides, I was being constructive, I wanted to help her.

*   *   *

Someone was talking, and prodding me as well… what the?

“Ari, wake up!”

Why the hell was she waking me up, someone better be dead, or kidnapped, or terrorists better be attacking the school.

“We’re leaving, come on, get up, we only have about half an hour!” Leaving now, under the cover of darkness? Yes! This was my scene, I like, totally loved little expeditions in the middle of the night, I could probably be a super spy if I wanted to, everyone would be dazzled by my beauty and I’d like, steal all the secrets or whatever. Okay I had to get these fantasies out of my head and get ready, which proved to be harder than I thought, because all my normal clothes had been thrown to the bottom of the wardrobe.

20 minutes later, after dragging Poppy out of her bed (which we barely managed to do) we were on our way, to where I didn’t exactly know. Natasha better have planned something great, if she thought I was some white trash Twinbrook bitch who would be pleased with a trip to the diner she had another thing coming. We all had to stop for a second and take a breath of the outside air. None of us had been out of the school for months, finally, we were like, back in the real world!

Stepping out of the taxi I didn’t realise where we where until I looked up. International, read the sign above a small building. International?

“Natasha, where the hell are we?”

“Don’t be put off by its size, it’s an airport.” An airport? I’d never actually left the country, but I’d seen plenty of adverts on like, TV and stuff, and this certainly didn’t fit my picture of one. “Private planes, private airport…” Natasha continued, “Girls, we’re going to France!!” We all jumped up and down, screaming and hugging, France! This was gonna be the best trip ever! We didn’t have to go through any customs or security screenings, which was amazing, although Natasha told me we had to on the other end, as this was an international flight.

“Cute plane! Who else will be on it?” Poppy asked, talking for practically the first time.

“No one silly, it’s my fathers, but he let me borrow it.” Natasha replied, walking ahead to the small plane.

As the plane descended into France 6 hours later I couldn’t help but stare out of the window in awe. I knew I should be trying to maintain my cool reputation, but it was just so amazing. I was in another country! The school would probably be freaking out about our absence… whatever, I didn’t want to think about that totally awful place, just enjoy myself in France!

The place was definitely cute, I loved it here. I never wanted to go back to that school, and I was definitely going to make it my mission not too, but for now I wasn’t thinking about that, I was more interested in having fun! Natasha and Poppy turned out to actually be like, really cool. Natasha’s dad owned a record company, so that’s how she had access to a plane (cool or what?!) and Poppy parents were both Doctors, and we all know how much they make. With money not being an issue there was no jealousy between us, though Poppy was probably jealous of mine and Natasha’s amazing bodies. The poor thing, I’d wake up and see her jogging down the street. I felt sort of bad for her, but she would be totally like, 10 times happier if she was as hot as us.

There wasn’t much of a party scene here, but we made our own parties! We would stay up talking way into the night, and we became really close friends. It was so weird, I never though I’d be able to get along with them, but they were totally cool. We could have like, deep conversations about our childhood then totally let loose and party into the night.

Although they were great girls who were probably my best friends (as they were my only ones… I still hadn’t heard from anyone back home except from the occasional email from mom or dad) I still wanted time alone to enjoy France. I’d grown up mostly alone, so I had no problem with having the driver drop me in the centre of the town then taking the day from there.

The stores here were totally cute, they were all small and overflowing with antiques, rare books, and relics. I bought everything I saw, sending it to a depo at the airport where it could be shipped back home. I had no idea where I would put any of it, after all it wasn’t like I had my own place or anything, but I just couldn’t resist the beautiful chests, interesting relics, and rare pieces of art. I was browsing one of the local stores one day, just having a look at these funny little gnomes in the window, when I heard someone talking to me,

“You like them?” The voice asked. I turned around and looked at the guy behind the till, wow, he was hot!

“Um- I guess so, but they’re not really my style.” I smiled at him as I replied, letting him know I wanted to continue the conversation.

“Yeah, I have to agree. I don’t even know if they’re for sale, I’ve only been working here a few weeks.” He had left his position behind the desk now, “They are kind of funny though, right?” He asked, running his hand over the gnomes little yellow hat. “So, what are you doing here? No- let me guess…”

“You’re a famous relic hunter searching for a rare find in this amazing establishment?” The sarcasm was thick on his voice, he clearly didn’t enjoy working here.

“You got me! I just think I could really find a gem amongst…” I moved my hand, indicating the entire store, “…this.”

He smiled at me. “I’m Leo.”

Leo turned out to be a revelation. We spent all day together, he took me round the little areas any normal tourist would overlook, the beautiful fountains concealed by rows of trees, the secret little stores hidden away in back alleys, and the places to get the best view of the town. After our adventures, we stopped at the square outside his store, and just took it in. We’d become close extremely fast, there was never an awkward silence, it was amazing. I had to put my hand to my heart, I couldn’t believe how amazing this vacation was turning out to be, and I thought we’d have been going for 1 night of boozing at a local hot spot back in the small town near our school. France. I loved it.

I had learned he was extremely intelligent, and it seemed like inane conversations about fashion and the latest gossip didn’t interest him one bit. I managed to keep up by calling on like, little snippets of information I’d gathered over the years. Besides, it wasn’t like I was stupid. Back at home (I couldn’t stop calling it that!) I picked up a book for the first time in years. Yes, I wanted to impress Leo, but I was starting to realise that maybe I hadn’t been living the best way, cruising through life, learning nothing along the way. The book I chose was actually interesting as well. I was enjoying myself! Geez, maybe Alexandra had been onto something with all those books she had.

Long lunches at the local bistro were our ritual, we spent hours (and a few bottles of wine) discussing anything and everything. I learned that he had just graduated high school last year, and still lived with his parents, who had a small house nearby. He was trying to save some money to get his own place while painting and writing (as well as seeing me, of course) in any spare time he found. I totally wanted to see his paintings, but he was adamant that I couldn’t, ‘one day, when they’re ready’ was his only answer. I was definitely falling for him, he was gorgeous, but that wasn’t it. Both Noah and Howland had been purely sexual, that’s the only reason I had approached them, and it was probably the same of them for me. But with Leo it was different, our hands had grazed for longer than is necessary, but he didn’t seem to be in any rush to get me into bed, he actually enjoyed spending time with me.

I realised that if I wanted this to progress any further, I was going to have to be the one to make the first move. We were laid under the stars one night, taking in the beautiful night sky, when I began to move closer. I didn’t want to have sex with him straight away, I think I was over that whole approach to men, although Howland had been great…. No! I had decided that I wanted to change. I just couldn’t be in a relationship with a teacher, mom and dad would be like, furious if they found out, and when I thought about it… it was a little creepy (but still kinda hot).

“Leo,” I began as I jumped up off the ground, waiting for him to do the same. “These past few days have been, amazing. Honestly they’ve probably been some of the best of my life. Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds totally corny but I really haven’t had many days like these, with someone being so honest with me for no reason other than they like me.” I still hadn’t told him about my families money… I didn’t want it to prejudice our friendship, and possibly (hopefully) our relationship.

“I’ve had a great time too, Arielle. I really, really, like you. And I mean that sincerely.” It had changed. He knew that I wanted to be more than friends, and he obviously felt the same, because all of a sudden he was kissing me. Hello amazing! Howland eat your heart out, wow!

He smiled at me shyly as he drew away, I liked him more and more!

“It’s just so great to be spending time with a normal girl.” He said offhandedly as we began walking back towards the town. A normal girl? Oh S*#! I should have told him about my life from the start… It’s not like I was with the girls, telling them about my neglected childhood. I had left out the movie star mom, the businessman father who owned companies across the globe, the elite boarding school where I was having an affair with a teacher, the private plane that took me here, or the thousands of simoleans worth of French purchases that were currently waiting for me back at the airport.

“Uh- Yeah, totally…” I smiled nervously, letting me hand rest in his. This was definitely bad.

I avoided him the next day, he called me twice, both times I ignored him, finally sending him a text telling him I was feeling ill and would call him tomorrow. I spent all day in my room, wondering what on earth I could do. I was about to settle down to sleep when I heard a racket on my balcony. I was not in the mood to be stolen from at this time of all times. I slammed the doors open, livid, ready to scream that they had picked the wrong house, when I was confronted by the last person I expected to see, Howland.

“Howland? What the hell are you doing here? Coming to take us back to school? Look, we were totally coming back and-“

“-Sh Arielle. I have something to ask you.” Ask me? I thought we were going to be in the biggest trouble ever. How the hell did he even find us? Of course I wouldn’t have gotten into as much trouble as Natasha and Poppy, though I would have like, convinced him to lower their punishment.

“Arielle…” Oh no. What was this?

“Will you marry me?”

*    *    *

What do you guys think of Leo? I have to thank Sarah from The Starr Legacy for making Howie, who served as a base for Leo, available for download. I hope you enjoyed the chapter! x