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.
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,.
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!
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