Tag Archives: legacy

Olive’s Sunset Valley House: Part 1

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

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

Generation 4 – Chapter 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*            *            *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Well, she did give us her blessing.”

*          *          *

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

– Marissa x

Bridgeport Social Diary: Olive Belgravia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*      *      *

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

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

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

Marissa x

Generation 4 – Chapter 3

Waking up the morning after the disastrous dinner party Electra let out a loud groan. She had hoped the entire thing was a dream, but unfortunately she was back to reality. The modelling shoot she had been so apprehensive over now seemed like a blessing, it gave her an excuse to get out of the house for a few hours. Jumping out of bed she jogged to the bathroom, hoping not to wake Ryan. After brushing her hair, which she was thinking of dying once more soon, she padded into her walk-in-wardrobe and put on a tiny pair of denim shorts and a plain black vest. After slipping into a pair of cowboy boots she had picked up at a vintage store on Baywood she was ready to go.

Riding in the elevator up the huge monolith of glass after the short subway ride Electra felt excitement more than nerves, sure she she had been a little apprehensive over the shoot, she was a 19 year old being photographed by a famous fashion house. Despite her reservations she was still more than willing to give it her all now that she was there, and throwing open the double doors in front of her she stepped into the studio. A rail of clothes flew past her carried by an ematicated helper in four inch stilettos, a random photographer took a candid shot of her, and three makeup girls rushed past into the next room, where a much more famous rock star was also having a photoshoot.

Looking around the room she spotted Marc, stood in the shooting area on the huge white sheets which covered the walls and floor, engaged in conversation with the photographer. He was evidently telling some sort of joke because the man kept bursting out in laughter.

“Slim!” Marc shouted, noticing her bright purple hair from a mile off, and admiring her legs in the tiny shorts as she crossed the room. After introducing himself with a peck on each cheek the photographer went to prep his cameras, giving Marc the room to embrace her in a tight hug.

“Still recovering from last night?” He asked with a laugh as he thought about the dinner party.

“You’re the one who should be recovering!” She replied, grabbing his arm to look for the mark, fortunately Maud’s violence had only left four tiny dots.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ma  big boy, I’ll be fine. You excited to be a model!?” He said with a theatrical gasp, causing her to break out in laughter, he never took anything seriously, which was one of the reasons they got along so well.

“Yeah, totally.” She joked back, “I’m just doing it to get out the word on the band.”

“Come on lovebirds, let’s get started!” The photographer, Lorenzo, shouted, now in position. Electra wasn’t phased by the lack of hair and makeup, this was her and she was happy with it. “This is a natural shoot honeys, don’t worry you both look divine, love suits you!” Lorenzo said, not really noticing that neither of them cared. “So you’re the two who are dating, right?” He asked as he began snapping away.

“No!” Electra said at the same time as Marc’s “Yes!” She looked at him in shock, but he only grinned back.

“Get into it, pose for me!” Lorenzo shouted, shooting away. “Fabulous!” He said as they struck pose after pose. He eventually came up with quite a few shots he liked, they were both naturals. After a rather slow start the two of them had gotten right into it, posing without any embarrassment. Neither of them took themselves too seriously, Electra had grown up with the pompous air which Olive employed all around her – and hated it. Unfortunately Lorenzo had skipped the shots of them sticking their tongues out and dancing, he was a more serious guy.

It was over before it had even begun, and Electra was surprised to learn she loved it! It had been the easiest thing in the world to fall into a few poses, it wasn’t as if they were high fashion models being exposed to the world, the fashion house had simply thought they had style and were going places, and that it would be good to give them a photoshoot so their name could get out there a little more – hopefully they would remember it when they made it.

“So, what’s your story – who are you – where’d ya come from – all that jazz.” The photographer said, whipping out a pad as Electra looked at Marc with an amused glance, he knew she hated interviews, she had seen her mother be misconstrued so badly in the press and didn’t want her opinions being twisted to suit the needs of the interviewer.

“I’m Marc, this is Slim, and the other members of the band are Ryan and Sammy. Newly formed and trying to make it on the Bridgeport scene. That’s about it.” Marc said, taking the edge of the tiny interview with a big grin. They didn’t want to ride off the Belgravia name, and referring to Electra by her nickname helped to cover who she was – it wasn’t exactly a secret, she just didn’t talk about it.

“Hmph. Well – good luck, I better go see to the star next door.” He said with an imperious tone, and left the room. The two of them were alone now, and for some reason Electra felt a sexual tension in the room, she had no idea where it was coming from, Marc was purely a friend.

“So, you enjoyed it then? You looked hot.” Marc said, knowing that she had liked the experience as much as he had. He was close to her now, closer than what her mother said ‘was appropriate’ and she found herself a little put out, although she’d never let Marc know that.

“Loved it, how about you?.” Electra asked, moving back a few steps trying to get out of range from his glinting, flirting eyes. As much as he enjoyed flirting with her Marc also felt he could relate to her – got the problems with Maud, having a rather troubled mother himself. Luckily his father was still around to take care of her, so he didn’t have as much responsibility as Ryan, but he knew sometimes you just needed to get away, and that’s what he wanted to do for Electra.

“Wanna hit the clubs?” He became flirtatious again as he spoke, causing Electra to look down a little shyly. She and Ryan had been monogamous since they started dating, but she had flirted (and more) a lot before she met him, it was kind of a kick to do it again.

“C’mon, as friends.” Marc could sense that she was enjoying the slight flirting, but knew it would upset her if she thought this was some sort of date – she really did love Ryan, just couldn’t deal with his dysfunctional mother right now.

“I can’t, Sebastian’s friends from school have flown in and are staying at the loft, we’re having a little party tomorrow, I’ll see you there about 8.” She gave him a friendly peck on the cheek before dashing out of the door. Oddly she felt wildly excited by the attention Marc had shown her, Ryan had been so caught up with his mother lately she had felt a little neglected. The arrival of Sebastian’s friends was a welcome one, lately it had been show after show after show, where they didn’t really get a chance to experience the night properly, followed by hours fretting over Ryan and Maud. She was desperately excited for the house to be full of people, things had became awkward between her and Ryan lately and she just couldn’t bare another night with him and Maud. Coming out of the building her mood was ruined by the sight of her mother – locked in embrace with a man who definitely wasn’t Marcus – across the street.

Even from such a far distance Electra was blinded by the huge diamond on Olive’s finger which caught the light in a dazzling show, the ruby in the centre seeming to cast its own aura. This was probably Olive’s new husband, how could Electra be surprised?

*      *      *

Electra, Sebastian, Ricky, and Nate all walked into the apartment in an amazing mood after a few hours down at The Polo Club. While not great friends with the two boys Electra had known them socially from school back in Redcliffe, they were fun, carefree and glamorous, with six-goal handicaps and deep suntans from spending the past 12 months jetting around the world playing polo on the fields of Argentina, Palm Beach, Deauville, and England. Electra was glad that before she had met up with her brother and the boys she had booked herself an appointment to strip the purple from her hair, everything that wasn’t black had clashed horribly with it and it would have made her look so out of place. While she liked doing her hair crazy for the shows, it just wasn’t for her to have it like that at all times.

“Great flat Electra – oh it’s Slim now, right?” Ricky said with a smile as he looked around the loft.

“Call me whatever!” Electra replied as she poured them all massive vodka and oranges in the kitchen, simultaneously looking around for any sign of Ryan – or more pressingly, Maud.

“You need a dog in here, mans best friend you know.” Nate informed the group as he flopped onto the sofa after depositing their polo sticks in Electra’s bedroom, rubbing a bruise under his breeches were Electra had rapped him with her mallet during their match.

“We were thinking of getting one, weren’t we sis?” Sebastian shouted to Electra as leafed idly through a book on thoroughbreds.

While Electra had no difficulty in leaving life with Olive behind, Sebastian, who had always been far more attuned to that lifestyle than his sister, still missed it. He still wore his Ralph Lauren shirts, visited art galleries full of Old Masters (which he could have seen much closer up if he had visited one of Olive’s many homes, which were loaded with them), and went to the Polo Club a few times a week to play on a horse he rented, as all of his own had been left at Belgrave Ranch. He had an ability to get on with anybody, but it was good for him to have Ricky and Nate around, his two best friends from school; they were similar to Sebastian, he felt he could be himself more around them.

“Need any help?” Ricky asked in his English accent as he approached Electra at the bar. He had always admired Sebastian’s sister, and thought she was looking better than ever lately.

“Sure, take these over will you?” Ricky took the two drinks Electra had already made and delivered them to Nate and Sebastian, who were discussing the first chukka.

“How’s your music going anyway?” Ricky asked Electra, only half heatedly listening as she replied, all Ricky listened to were the evening racing results and occasionally The Beatles. He was more interested in looking at her.

“Where’s that boyfriend you mentioned?” He continued, hoping that Ryan, who Electra had mentioned briefly during their game earlier, wouldn’t make an appearance so he would have a shot at Electra.

“Oh – I dunno.” Electra replied, a little sadness in her voice. She had joined Ricky  on the bar-stools now, and listened as he told her a little about his year, it sounded so fun and interesting, all she had done was a few gigs which hadn’t gotten them any recognition from a recording company.

“Look – I’m positive you’ll get recognition soon enough. Anyway, if you don’t you could always come join us on the field, my patrons always looking for great looking, really good girl players to sponsor,  they add such a higher level to the games.” Ricky lingered for a while over the words ‘great looking’, his disarming eyes staring at her with lust – she looked away.

“How the hell did you manage to get to six so soon?” Sebastian asked Nate as they sat together on the sofa. While he may have missed some parts of his old life, he still enjoyed the one he was living – he loved the loft, and being Revolutionis’ manager, he just wished more was happening. No matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t get record companies interested in the band, making him feel like a failure.

“Jesus! Have I walked into a prep school?” They all looked up from their positions on the various sofas as Sammy walked unannounced into the loft, looking the polar opposite of the four of them, who hadn’t bothered to change from their polo clothes, in her all black outfit, with her sunglasses on and a cigarette between her fingers.

“Hey Sam!” Electra threw Sammy a smile, remembering not to jump up and hug her – Sammy hated physical contact.

“Whatsup?” Sammy replied as she flopped onto the sofa next Nate, in Sebastian’s old seat. “Saw your mom in the paper today,” she said to Sebastian and Electra, “got herself married again.” Sammy flipped through a pile of CD’s which were piled up on the end table as she spoke, looking for something more to her liking as Sebastian and Electra exchanged amused glances – so the man Olive had been with was a husband number four.

“Who the heck is she?” Ricky asked Electra, a little put out by Sammy’s appearance.

“Our keyboard player.” She replied with a laugh, in a way his reaction reminded her of the night she took Sebastian to his first bar, he had acted so conservative before then, out of the bedroom that is.

“Why are you guys dressed like idiots anyway?” Sammy asked as she took a drag on her cigarette, opening the pack up to Nate who took one for himself.

“Polo.” Nate replied as he lit the cigarette, passing the box back to Sammy.

“Ugh! I should have known. I always forget you two,” she waved airily at Electra and Sebastian, “are thoroughbred blue bloods. Must have got it from your mom, have you heard who she’s marrying?” She asked, pausing dramatically, “Charles freakin’ Peredin-Bauer, governor of Bridgeport.” Sammy shook her head in amazement.

“Really?” Ricky asked casually, “he plays polo with my father sometimes when we’re over here, quite a nice man.”

“You gotta be kidding me.” Sammy said, laughing. “Anyway, where’s Marc? Oh and Ryan?” She said, just noticing that Ryan wasn’t here as she had expected him to be.

“Marc just text me, he’s on his way.” Sebastian said, hardly looking up from the book which he had quickly became engrossed in.

“And I’m right here.” Ryan said as he walked into the room. Electra jumped up and ran over to him, she was thrilled that Maud was nowhere in sight.

“How was your day?” She asked, moving in for a kiss. He turned his head to the side so it landed not on his lips as she had planned, but his cheek.

“Moms not doing so good, I better go call her.” He spoke softly, hardly looking at Electra.

“Whats wrong?” Electra was hardly Maud’s biggest fan – but she was Ryan’s biggest fan. “You can tell me.” She stared at him, hoping for answers. He merely looked away, taking in the guests.

That’s her boyfriend?” Ricky asked Nate, who had moved to sit next to him, “I was expecting a lot more, I mean, why’s he being so blunt? She’s gorgeous…” He looked at Electra, with the same lust in his eyes as he had shown earlier.

“Where’s he going?” Nate asked as they watched Ryan move behind the rooms partition, where he pulled out his phone and immediately called Maud. Ricky quickly looked over at Electra, it had been the first time she had really smiled in hours when she embraced Ryan, only Ricky saw her features fall into dismay before she took a deep breath and pulled herself together.

“Arsehole.” Ricky muttered.

“Don’t hang up!” Ryan could be heard shouting from the dining area. Maud, who wouldn’t tell him where she was or who she was with, had slammed the phone down on him. He could feel the emotions churning inside of him, he felt desperately guilty for not giving Electra more attention recently, she had been so patient and understanding, but it must be getting frustrating. He simply didn’t want to upset her with all of Maud’s troubles, he would deal with them – it had always been that way. With a resolute sigh he began dialing her number again, he would call her all night if it would keep her away from drugs.

“Hey guys!” Marc’s unrelenting cheer raised Electra’s spirits a little as he walked into the loft. Giving him a friendly peck on the cheek she crossed the loft and went to the bedroom, locking the door firmly behind her.

“I see it’s polo season.” Marc continued, shaking hands with Ricky and Nate, who instantly liked him far better than Ryan.

“Nice to meet you all. Where’s Liberty?” He asked as he looked around the room, which now contained Sebastian, who was sat on a chair still engrossed in his book, Ricky and Noah, who were having an in depth conversation about ways to get their sponsor to give them more money, and Sammy, who, having been left alone on the sofa, was chain smoking while talking animatedly into her cell phone.

“You asshole! I’ll tell everyone how you like to dress up in my panties!” Sammy screamed in to the phone as she jumped up from the sofa, “you think I won’t? Watch me!” She kept him on the line as she turned to the group and burst out laughing. “Everyone, you should know my now ex-boyfriend really loves dressing up in my panties!”

“Interesting!” Laughed a voice which rose above the other whoops of laughter. “How is everyone?” Liberty smiled as she crossed the room, the expansive and intimate smile that had today won her a three-part guest role on a medical drama.

“Hel-lo! And who are you?” Nate said, jumping up from the sofa and kissing her hand, causing her to break out in giggles.

“She’s my girlfriend, so hands off.” Sebastian said with a grin as he enveloped Liberty in a huge hug before planting a long, lingering kiss on her lips.

“You always did get the pretty ones.” Nate said, sitting back down. Now that Sammy had broken up with her boyfriend he decided to have a try with her.

“Oh Liberty, nice to see you!” Electra said as she came back from the bedroom, no one clocked onto the fact that her makeup was completely fresh, having washed it all away with her tears. Liberty grabbed Electra’s hand and dragged her onto the sofa next to Sammy, where she started to fill the group in on her audition. Marc grabbed Sebastian while the rest of the group were preoccupied and pulled him to the side.

“Listen man, I gotta ask you something.” Marc spoke quickly, nervous that the conversations going on across the room would lull and everyone would hear him.

“What is it?” Sebastian replied, worried that something was seriously wrong.

“Well – it’s Slim.” Marc blurted out as Sebastian looked at him in shock, “I can’t stop thinking about her, I haven’t ate, I haven’t slept, I mean I haven’t even had a smoke since we finished the photo shoot yesterday!” Sebastian laughed, as if breaks from cigarettes made it so serious.

“Look – she loves Ryan.” Sebastian replied evenly, resisting an urge to punch Marc in the face, I mean this was his sister he was talking about.

“I know, I know, but they haven’t been getting on recently, we’ve all noticed it  you must have too. Ryan’s just so preoccupied, it’s that god-damn bitch of a mother of his, I could make her happy!” Marc was getting excited now, thinking how much of a better boyfriend he’d be to Electra.

“Just leave it, okay? If Electra,” – Sebastian never did get into the habit of using his sisters nickname – “and Ryan aren’t meant to be then yeah, maybe you’ll have a chance. But don’t break their relationship apart, its not fair to Ryan.” Marc and Sammy were sick of Ryan’s mood lately, but Sebastian saw past it – he knew he was going through a rough patch and tried to be understanding about it.

From his position on the chesterfield Ricky had heard most of what Marc was saying – Nate had been staring at Liberty the entire time, oblivious to everything.  If Marc was making a play for Electra he had to beat him too it, he had planned on waiting until their relationship had broken apart – it was clear it was about to, then moving in on her, but if Marc was playing dirty, he would too.

“And then they told me I had the part!” Liberty exclaimed happily, finishing her audition story, only slightly put out that Ryan was pacing up and down behind her waiting for Maud to call back.

As the night wore on the small party got wilder, the drinks on empty stomachs had made everyone quite giddy, and when Marc suggested dancing they all – well, most of them – were more than up for it.

Sammy, who had found Nate far to upper class and far too full of himself earlier in the day, was now very susceptible to his considerable charms, and had even allowed him to dance with her. Granted he was doing more of a ‘dad dance’ than her wild moves, but the way he was looking at her made her forget all about it.

Sebastian, who loved to get lose at the Revolutionis gigs, was showing off some of his dance moves, causing everyone to burst out laughing as he went from move to move, laughing his handsome head off.

Even Ricky, usually appearing very macho by refusing to dance, got up and shook his lean hips a little, he couldn’t help himself, hanging around with Sebastian and Electra’s friends had loosened him up considerably, he felt he could relax more than he could with the trust fund babies who he usually hung around with.

The only two people who weren’t having fun were Ryan and Electra. Hidden from the group by the rooms partition, their voices blocked by the extra loud music, no one knew what was going on.

“Just tell me what’s wrong Ryan, please. All I want to do is help!” Electra said, her sympathy breaking a little as she became more and more annoyed at his guarded nature.

“Leave it Electra!” He shouted back, resisting the urge to strike her, his mother had done it to him growing up and it had always worked, but he had vowed never to hit a woman.

“Oh for god sake!” Electra screamed back, finally losing her temper, “its all Maud’s fault! Why can’t you just check her into a clinic or something?! If you’re worried about the money I can pay for it! She needs help!”

“You’re so fucking selfish! She’s my mother and I’m gonna be there for her, we don’t need your charity!”

“Ryan, please!” She shouted back, becoming more frustrated by the second. Was Arielle right when she said the money would drive them apart? All she wanted to do was help!

“JUST LEAVE IT! Don’t ask me to chose between you and my mother because guess what – you’ll lose!”

“I – I wasn’t…” Electra muttered, shocked at how angry he was getting. What was it about his damn mother?!

“I’m out of here, I’ll be out searching for my mother – enjoy your damn party!” He shouted back, beginning to storm out of the loft.

“Ryan…” She reached out her hand, hoping he would just turn around and take it, but he didn’t. He stormed out of the loft, slamming the door behind him. Feeling utterly selfish and guilty Electra sloped off to her bedroom, she felt like it was all her fault, if she could have just kept sucking it up everything would have been okay, she knew all about bad relationships from Olive, she should have been an expert at having one of her own.

A few minutes after Ryan had stormed out of the apartment Ricky noticed Electra’s absence. He had seen her stood with Ryan earlier, although he couldn’t hear anything they were saying over the music. Sauntering towards the dining area, a little tipsy, he started shouting her name, ready to get her to join in.

“Eee-leeeect-raaa?!” He said with a grin as he walked around, illogically checking if she was hiding under the table or behind plants – he was drunker than he thought.

“Where is she hiding?” He mumbled to himself with a laugh as he made his way into her bedroom. Taking a quick look around he was about to leave when he heard a muffled sob from the closet. Taking a closer look he saw the huddled figure of Electra, she had pulled the privacy curtain across and was sobbing into her arms. Suddenly he felt completely sober.

“Electra… are you okay?” He asked, keeping beyond the curtain.

After a few minutes of her sobbing he decided something had to be done.

“I’m coming in, okay?” Hearing no response from her he took it as a yes, and entered the closet. With a groan he eased his aching limbs onto the ground next to her, polo season took it out of him. Then he began to talk. He just spoke about what he knew – polo. He told her of the glamorous girls who tried to bag him in Palm Beach, of playing with the Prince of Wales in England, and how difficult it was sometimes – he refused to take his billionaire fathers money, insisting on paying for everything for himself, which made it extremely difficult, but made him feel a thousand times prouder.

Very slowly, after talking to her for an hour or so, Electra came around. Looking up into Ricky’s eyes she smiled – a weak smile, but a smile nonetheless – she was so grateful, he had been so nice to her.

“It’ll be okay.” Ricky said with a slightly stronger smile. He didn’t let on that he had never wanted to kiss someone so much, she was so radiantly beautiful, even in her vulnerability.

“Thanks for staying with me, you didn’t have to.” Electra said, wiping away the smudged mascara on her face as they both hauled themselves up off the floor. Looking into Ricky’s eyes after almost stumbling on the way up she felt she was safe, he was so nice.

They embraced in a totally natural hug, both feeling as if it was right, and as they pulled away Electra didn’t back off, and neither did he. She closed her eyes and moved in to kiss him, he was just showing too much kindness for her not too. Watching the tantalizingly full lips moving towards him Ricky had to exert every ounce of self control to pull away. He wanted her more than he had ever wanted a woman, and despite his thoughts about playing dirty to beat Marc to her he just couldn’t do it like this – if it was going to happen he wanted it to be real.

“Electra, I can’t, not like this. You’re upset, I don’t want you to do anything you might regret.” He was churning inside, how was this possible?! It was as if he was falling in love with her, they hardly knew each other!

“What the hell’s going on here?!” they both jumped at the sound of Marc’s voice. He was framed in the doorway, seething.

“Marc! Don’t be upset!” Electra said quickly, she knew that he liked her and couldn’t bring herself to hurt someone else.

“Save it! You knew that I liked you, or haven’t I made myself clear?! And you get with him?! Well you can forget about it, and you can forget about the stupid band too!” With that he turned on the heel of his brown leather boots and stormed out of the room.

“Please, go after him!” Electra begged Ricky, who quickly complied, running after Marc. Alone in the closet again Electra slid to the floor once more, the sobs that Ricky had worked so hard to subside coming back worse than ever. She had drove Ryan away, Ricky didn’t want her, and now Marc hated her. It had been the worst party she could have possibly imagined.

*      *      *

So – how are you enjoying this generation?! I’m loving writing it, I’m so glad you guys voted in Electra. Who would you like to see Electra end up with? As you can see she’s pretty conflicted at the moment.

– Marissa x

Generation 4 – Chapter 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*           *            *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generation 4 – Chapter 1

“Argh! Why won’t this thing work?!” Electra screamed, shooting a kick at the rusty old oven as she threw her hands up in frustration. The apartment was the bane of her life, never having done anything domestic in all her eighteen years she was struggling with the day to day basics, leaving clothes all over the apartment; blobs of toothpaste and makeup all over the bathroom; wet towels on the beds; (another irritation – the only accommodation they could afford was a tiny one bedroom apartment which they had managed to squeeze two bunk beds into) and any other sort of day to day mess which would have usually been cleaned up by an army of maids.

“Sebastian! Can you help?!” She demanded, glaring at her brother who was sat on the very uncomfortable sofa looking for job vacancies in the Bridgeport Tribune.

“Mmhm.” He mumbled back, not really listening. He had learned to block out his sisters outbursts after they had moved into the apartment a few weeks ago.

“Sebastian!!” She screamed again, the hunger pains in her stomach becoming worse as the minutes ticked by.

“Dunno, sometimes a good kick works, or maybe its finally gave up the ghost and broke, order pizza or something. Hey look, here’s a job I can do – cashier at Crustys Big Burger.” He threw down the paper in irritation at the lack of job prospects. He wasn’t the most academically inclined at school, and as they had left without graduating they had no formal education to speak of – not in an employers eyes.

“Someone strike me down! Please, kill me now!” Electra screamed dramatically, throwing her hands to the sky. “What are we going to do?” She asked, hanging her head, sufficiently deflated. When they had ran from Belgrave Ranch they had all thought they would have the time of their lives, but money, or the lack of it, came between the four of them and the good times. Ryan and Liberty, both street smart kids who had been in and out of school over the years, had found jobs easily – after growing a five o’clock shadow and lying about his age Ryan had managed to get a job bar-tending, and Liberty was working at the local theater, although her wages didn’t help much as she spent them all on her weekly acting classes.

“We’re useless.” Electra whispered quietly, hanging her head.

“Hey, hey, it’ll all be okay.” Sebastian comforted as he jumped up from the sofa and headed towards his sister. Privately he thought she might at least try to find a job instead of insisting no one would hire her, but he didn’t want to make a bad situation worse.

“How will it be okay?! We’re going to starve to death in this tiny apartment and be found half eaten by cats three weeks later!” She screamed as Sebastian tried not to laugh.

“Shh. It’ll work out.” Sebastian held his sister gently, trying to calm her down.

“You know,” She tried to get her words out through the tears which were about to brim over, “that mama called me, right?” Her confession took Sebastian by surprise, he had heard nothing from his mother apart from the brusque message from the bank saying that all his and Electra’s cards and cheques had been terminated.

“What did she want?”

“She wants to meet. She’s in Bridgeport, at the Breach House apartment. I wasn’t going to go.” Electra told him, beginning to think more about the meeting with her mother – what harm would it do to just go and check it out? It might be interesting.

“Hey – come on, what’s up now?” Electra’s tears had subsided for a second, but now she hung her head once more.

“It’s just – well…” Electra was embarrassed by how she felt, she had thought she was so different. “I hate having to rely on money, but I don’t know any other way. I need money Sebastian.” She blushed red as she confessed, feeling like her mother. She had hated that world when she was in it, but now she realised what her mother always told her about money bringing security and freedom was true.

“You should go meet her.” Sebastian said after taking a big sigh. He found having money much easier too, who wouldn’t? But he didn’t think Olive was going to give their trusts back so easily.

“Really? You don’t think I’m selling out?” She asked, smiling at her brother. She was glad he understood.

“Just don’t agree to anything you might regret.” He said, embracing her in a hug before he watched her leave, he just hoped she would return – he knew his mother could be very persuasive.

*     *     *

As she came out of the subway she smiled, she had always enjoyed it down there; no matter how hot and stuffy it was she found it amazing to watch all the people, all the different cultures mixing together on one long metal tube. Electra just loved Bridgeport in general, she had never thought the East Coast would be for her, but once she arrived she found it a relief to be away from the heat of the California sun which beamed down on Redcliffe every day, and the family ties with Bridgeport (her great-great grandmother, Lily Belgravia, had lived here all her life) made it a fitting choice for her and Sebastian. She could see Breach House ahead now, and dreaded what would happen once she arrived.

The doorman had her name on a list and held open the doors for her as he thought what a beautiful girl she was, he didn’t see too many California blondes out here on the East Coast; he hoped she was moving in, although she didn’t look like the usual inhabitants of the building. Walking into the lobby of the very exclusive building she could tell Olive would feel at home here, the building was so her – old money, WASPish, and completely pretentious. The elevator took her to the thirty-fifth floor and before she knew it she was being ushered into Olive’s overstuffed apartment by a Hispanic housemaid.

She craned her neck to see of she could spot Olive anywhere, but she was nowhere in sight. Probably waiting to make her grand entrance. The maid deposited her in a horribly (to Electra’s eye) chintzy and traditional living room, the hoards of jewels in an antique case glittered in the light streaming through the windows, her feet sunk into two priceless Persian rugs, and the Picasso on the wall taunted her with its ridiculous price tag. Olive lived in a world of very visible money – this wasn’t what Electra wanted. She just wanted to be able to live comfortably, maybe then she could get her music going again – perhaps they could even start booking some gigs. A life doing nothing was not for Electra, her mother lived off her multiple divorce settlements and would never dream of lifting a finger. Electra wanted to do what she loved – music. She just needed a little help.

It wasn’t long before Olive appeared in the doorway, dressed – as always – to the nines, her hair perfectly coiffed and groomed, diamond pin holding it together at the back, her makeup done, as it was every day, by a professional who stopped by the apartment in the morning after Olive returned from her daily tennis match – she was looking more like she was ready for a cocktail party than ready to sit down and have a private talk with her daughter.

She said nothing, just standing and staring at her. Electra found herself wishing she had never came, unnerved by the cold stare of her mother. Finally taking her eyes off Electra she came around and sat on the plush chair opposite her.

“So, you finally realised you couldn’t hack it?” She asked with obvious mirth.

Electra said nothing, wishing more than ever that she hadn’t came, her mother obviously just wanted to gloat about her daughters failings.

“I’ll take that as a yes then. You know, it doesn’t have to be like this -” Electra interrupted her mother, who was getting ready for a long speech.

“I’m doing fine on my own. I came here because you asked me too, now just tell me what you want.” She said, wishing she could teleport back to the tiny apartment, she didn’t want anything from Olive.

“Fine. I’ll open your trust once again if you cease any contact with that awful boy.” The cards were laid out, but Electra wasn’t taking it, she had came here hoping that her mother would give her some money, now she would rather die than submit to her blackmailing ways.

“Well if that’s all you have to say then I’ll leave, I’m not going to stop seeing Ryan.”

“Come now, we both know that you won’t last much longer in that tiny apartment; Sebastian may fare better, but before long he’ll come running back to me for money.” Electra hung her head as her mother spoke. If she took her money she knew she would turn out just like her, bitter and shallow.

“By the way darling, that skirt is far too short. A hem should never come more than a few inches up from the knee.” She smoothed down her own dress as she spoke, thinking that Electra should put on something more respectable than that tiny little thing, and those boots were a mess.

“I don’t need to be taking tips from you.” Electra spat back, “in fact, I don’t need anything from you.”

“I can keep that money from you forever, I can keep it from Sebastian too! Don’t you realise that I’m trying to help you?! You think you’re so different from me, but money is clearly what drives you – just own it. Cut that boy out of your life and you can have it all once more.”

“Why would I want this?” She gestured around the ornate room with disdain, “You have nothing really – you may be the darling of high society but in the real world that counts for nothing. You may be praised for your philanthropy but you don’t care about the causes you donate to, not really. You have no real friends, and both your children have ran away from you. And guess what? We don’t even want your money.” Electra took a deep breath, the words may have been harsh but they were true, and Olive had to realise it before life passed her by.

“I’ll ruin you.” Olive said quietly, perfectly composed. “I could make a few phone calls and make sure no one ever, and I mean ever books you for a gig. I’ll ruin Ryan too.” Olive was about to continue with all the awful things she could do with her huge net of influence when they heard a voice from the hallway, and watched as Arielle Belgravia, Olive’s mother and Electra’s grandmother, strolled into the room.

“You will do nothing of the sort.” Arielle announced grandly, standing over the two of them. Arielle had been informed by her good friend Thomas, the doorman, who always kept her up on the gossip of the building, that a beautiful blonde with orange streaks in her hair had arrived a short while before Arielle got back from her shopping trip. She had known instantly that it would be her granddaughter, who she didn’t see as much as she would have liked but still loved very dearly. She had headed straight for her daughters apartment, which was much smaller than the Triplex Penthouse Arielle had owned since she was in her twenties and never ended up selling because of some sentimental attachment to her ‘young and foolish days’ as she often described them to her grandchildren. Slipping in just as Olive had sat down she had heard the entire conversation, and knew that something finally had to be done with her wayward daughter.

“Mother! What are you doing here?!” Olive said in shock, feeling like a nervous teenager again.

“Something I should have done a long time ago. Electra, you can have the money, but know right now that once you spend the trust that it’s gone. You won’t get any more from me, and as you can see you won’t get any from your mother either.” Electra was in shock, the last person she had expected to come to her rescue was her grandmother, a rather eccentric woman who had lived her life out of the public eye in a huge, family orientated house in the Redcliffe hills and still resided there with Electra’s grandfather, Noah, and their six cocker spaniels.

“Grandma, I don’t know what to say – I really can’t take the money from mama.” Electra said, feeling slightly guilty, but unwilling to take the money from Olive as if she  would catch her greed.

“And it’s no right of yours to give away my money.” Olive interjected, regaining her composure.

“Actually darling –” Arielle mocked, mimicking Olive’s voice, she had always thought the high society world her daughter lived in was beyond silly, “- the trusts for Electra and Sebastian are operated by me and you have no right to close them. You may have your own money that they would inherit but their trusts from me are considerable.” Electra felt her body relax as she listened to Arielle, knowing that the money wasn’t Olive’s was a huge relief.

“How dare you do this?!” Olive screamed, jumping up and coming towards her mother. “And in my own house – get out!” Arielle merely gave a small laugh.

“I’m not one of your society friends you can boss around. I won’t be thrown from your home, I am your mother. I had always hoped that you grow out of this phase, I was in it myself once, it was in that phase that I bought that ridiculously large penthouse upstairs.” Arielle sighed, feeling guilty as she wished that Olive could have turned out more like her siblings.

“Oh well I’m so sorry to disappoint you but I’m not a child and will not be treated like one.”

“Well you’re certainly acting like one!” Arille snapped back as her daughter backed away, her cool exterior once again shattered.

Giving Electra one last withering look Olive turned on her heel and marched out of the room as Arielle made her way over to the fire, sadness in her eyes.

“I never wanted this for her.” She said, more to herself than to Electra.

Electra didn’t know what to say to Arielle – she had a sense that her grandmother wasn’t up to talking about Olive, so she just sat for a few moments in silence, letting Arielle have her own private moment. Crossing the room Arielle lowered herself onto one of Olive’s overstuffed sofas.

“I’m not as young as I once was.” Arielle smiled. “Anyway, you better get yourself back to this Ryan. He sounds a little like my first husband…” She trailed off, staring into nothingness. Electra had never heard much about her Uncle Tommy’s father, all she knew was that he had never wanted to see his child again after his and Arielle’s marriage had fallen apart. “He was a good man, poor as dirt but exceptionally talented, and we loved each other.” Electra listened with deep enthrallment as her grandmother spoke, she loved stories of the old days, “But in the end the money was too much for him, it always is. Who would have ever thought that lavish wealth would cause so much trouble? Luckily I found Noah, rich in his own right, but still… Leonardo was quite something. We lived upstairs you know.”

“It must have been hard.” Electra said, respecting her grandmother even more than she had a few hours ago; she was much deeper and wiser than the gregarious woman she presented to her grandchildren.

“Yes, yes. Anyway, life is for living – so you better get back to it.” Getting up from the sofa with surprising vigor for her age she embraced her granddaughter in a tight hug. “Live life the way you too sweetheart, or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”

“Thank you for everything grandma. Without you I don’t know what I would have done!” Electra still couldn’t quite believe the help her grandmother had given her, she had been more of a mother in the past half hour than Olive had ever been, not just by helping her with the money but with the sentimental stories, the advice, and the love.

After giving Arielle another hug Electra raced from the apartment, hoping Olive wasn’t waiting in the lift ready to stab her to death; she wouldn’t put it past her. Resisting the urge to throw up as she ran past a huge pile of trash outside her apartment building she ran through the dark hallways to their apartment, located in the centre of the building, giving them no natural light whatsoever, there wasn’t a window in the place. Entering the apartment after struggling to open the door she saw Ryan cooking – the only one of them that could.

He had grown his hair out since the summer, choosing to dye it back to its original black, and was wearing some of Sebastian’s clothes – because all of his own were dirty and they could neither afford a washing machine or to have their clothes washed at a laundromat right now.

“Hey Slim.” He said, calling her by a new nickname he had coined when he had admired her slim figure in her favourite cotton dress. Leaving the food for a second he came over to her, he was a surprisingly good chef, having cooked most of the meals for him and his mother growing up he had learned fast – it was a blessing they had him in the apartment, they would have starved without him.

“What’re you so happy about?” He asked with a grin as he took in the glee on Electra’s face. Glee that she soon felt bad about, she knew Ryan wasn’t into the money side of her family, and the words of her grandmother were ringing in her ears, ‘the money was too much for him, it always is.’

“Here’s the thing…” Electra began, proceeding to tell him everything that had happened with Olive and her grandmother, watching his unmovable face very carefully for any sign from him. After she had finished he just stood there, taking it all in.

“Aren’t you happy?” Electra asked, wishing he would just give her something. He looked down uncomfortably as she waited for an answer.

“You know me,” Ryan said, “I don’t really care about that kinda stuff.”

In her moment she felt like blurting out that he didn’t seem to mind living in the comfort of Belgrave Ranch for a summer, but she held her tongue, it would only make things worse.

“Listen, this isn’t going to change us.” Electra said, holding his shoulders, “Like my grandma said, once this money is gone that’s it – and compared to all the money Olive has this is nothing, but it can buy us a great place, and give us a base to set up our music, we need new instruments,” she gestured over to the keyboard and guitar which were stacked in the corner and were in desperate need of replacing, “and we need to get our name out there again, the hype of that first show is fading fast, with Rasta and Josh still in California we need to either convince them to come out or find some new members, it isn’t gonna be easy.” She continued in this fashion for a while, and slowly Ryan came to understand what she was saying, the money would make things easier, he had just really wanted to succeed without it.

“Listen to me, I love you – that’s the main thing. I know you think moneys dangerous to relationships but you know I’m not like that – nothing can tear us apart.” Electra said, begging Ryan to understand her.

“I get it Slim. I guess I was hoping for too much, just expecting you to go from the life you lived to this one – I suppose this is a kind of compromise. I love you too.” Ryan replied, embracing her in a hug before kissing her over and over; they fell onto the sofa and spent the rest of the day there, just enjoying each other.

*      *      *

A week after Arielle had called and told her the trust was open Electra, Ryan, Sebastian, and Liberty set about finding a place to live. They wanted it to be perfect, as their group was made up of two couples it didn’t have to be huge, but they wanted a good living space with room to practice, even if it meant having to push furniture aside, good light, and an office space for Sebastian, who had taken up his role of managing the band once more, this time officially. They found a big, beautiful loft on the edge of the city and fell in love, and moved straight in.

“We’re home!” Sebastian had exclaimed when the move in date finally came. With the new found security of Electra and Sebastians trusts from Arielle they could set about doing what they wanted without the pressure of scraping enough money to get by hanging over their heads. Sebastian got straight to work trying to find Electra and Ryan gigs, but they both knew they needed more members before anything serious would come of it. Liberty continued with her acting classes, dropping her job at the theater and working full time on going on auditions. And Electra and Ryan worked on what was most important to them: the music. They were all determined to succeed, and with each others support they knew it was possible.

Generation 3 – HEIR VOTE (CLOSED)

The time has come for you to chose who will lead the next generation of the Belgravia family. As there were only two children in this generation its made it a lot easier for me to intertwine their stories, so you can expect to see a lot of them both – regardless of who wins.

So who will it be?

ELECTRA? 

OR SEBASTIAN?

Vote wisely!

AND THE WINNER IS… ELECTRA BELGRAVIA!!