Tag Archives: love

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

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 3 – Chapter 14

Electra looked up at the ranch with a nervous shudder as she emerged from the limousine her mother had hired for her to drive from the Redcliffe penthouse to Belgrave Ranch. She usually felt waves of happiness when she saw her favourite home, but the summons she had received from Olive made her nervous, clearly she had something to gripe about.

“Anyone home?” Electra shouted as she walked into the main hall.

Looking around the double story room she felt a smile forming on her face as she remembered when she first brought Ryan here, and Olive’s look of horror at seeing such an uncouth boy. Hearing voices in the direction of the kitchen she set off to find her mother, still quailing inside as she thought about what she was going to say.

“Yes Matthew – well transfer 300 million to the secondary account and I’ll have my accountant have a little play around on the stock market. Okay,” She ushered Electra into the breakfast room with a hand gesture as she finished off her call, “thank you. You too, goodnight.”

“There you are.” Olive said as she hung up. Electra stood her ground, looking at her mother as if she hadn’t been sneaking around playing gigs when she was supposed to be at school; as if she hadn’t dyed her hair orange; as if everything was as it always was. “What on earth have you done to your hair?” She came over and twirled a strand of Electra’s hair between her fingers with a sour expression.

“It’s my hair, I can do what I want with it.” Electra slapped her hand away and moved back a few steps. As much as she hated to admit it she was scared of her mother, she had seen what she could be like in a bad mood.

“I saw something very interesting in the paper today.” She paused for effect as Electra continued to stare at her, neither one was willing to drop their eyes first. “It was the most interesting thing. You and a ragtag group of boys, playing a concert.” She spat the words out as if they were poison.

“So what?”

“So what? The ‘so what’ is that you will never see those boys again. We’re going to London to get away, we can stay for a month or two, and by the time you come home this will have all blown over; while we’re there we can go to Nicky Clarke and get that awful orange out of your hair.”

“What?! I don’t think so. You never understand me, why can’t we just talk about it?! I want to be a singer okay, why is that so bad?!” Electra screamed, losing her temper, Olive’s cool demeanor had caught her off guard, she wanted her to scream and shout, it was as if she didn’t even care about her.

“Because that’s not what people like us do. You marry well, you have a few homes, you have children to continue the legacy, and you give generously to charity. You don’t go wild and join a rock band.” Electra was furious, her mother wanted to have the same life as her – but she didn’t want that. Pinching the bridge of her nose in a gesture horribly alike to her mother Electra gave a loud sigh.

“You really don’t understand me at all do you mama?” For a second she felt like a child again, then she snapped. She didn’t want to be here anymore, she realised that however much she loved her mother she couldn’t stand being in her company.

“No I really don’t. Now go and pack, or we can just buy you things in London, god knows you need them.” She looked up and down at Electra’s all black outfit with her favourite cowboy boots and sighed. “What did I do to deserve a daughter like you?” She mumbled to herself.

“I’ll leave then!” Electra screamed, “if I’m such a bad daughter I’ll just go! You’ll never have to see me again!”

“And where would you go? To your little boyfriends, Ryan, isn’t it?” Electra was shocked that she knew about Ryan, as far as Electra knew Olive thought that Ryan was Winthorpe IIII, one of Sebastian’s friends. “Yes, I know all about him, I hired someone to tell me everything I need to know. Apparently he lives in a one bedroom apartment on the wrong side of town. You’re staying right where you are.”

“I am not! I’ll find somewhere to live, anywhere would be better than with you!”

“Be quiet! You don’t know what it’s like out there, you think you’re so different, joining a band and dying your hair orange, you couldn’t begin to imagine what living in poverty is like, how would you survive? I don’t think you could hold down a job.” Olive said, silencing Electra with her hand.

“And how would you know? You’ve lived in mansions since you were born and never worked a day in your life!” Electra screamed back at her, getting angrier by the second that Olive was hardly raising her voice.

“I’ve done more than you know.” Olive replied, looking down as she remembered the years where she lived in the tiny cottage with the newborn Electra after her escape from Miami and Riley; hardly able to pay the bills whilst working in a bar making pennies. She didn’t hear a word Electra said as she felt the memories coming back to her, Riley on top of her, grabbing her, blacking out…

“Mama!” Electra shouted, realising her mother wasn’t listening to a word she was saying. She didn’t even care enough to listen when she was threatening to move out. With tears welling up in her eyes she turned on her heel and ran from the room, she couldn’t let Olive know she cared.

She ran straight through the house and up to her bedroom, as she slammed the heavy wooden door shut she slid to the ground, tears flowing from her eyes. It was a few minutes before she could think straight; picking herself up she headed into her bathroom and locked the door behind her. She had to get out of here. She dialed the one person she knew would care – Ryan.

“Ryan?!” She mumbled, sniffing and wiping away tears as she spoke, “I need you to come and get me from the ranch, I’m leaving but I’m trapped and I can’t drive because mother says that’s what drivers are for – I just need you to come,” She was cut of from her hysterics as Ryan told her he was on his way and to keep calm.

“Get here quick.” She sobbed as she sunk to the ground. Ryan wouldn’t be here for an hour or so, she had to get herself together. She couldn’t let him see her like this; she couldn’t let herself get like this over her mother. Wiping away the tears with the sleeve of her turtleneck she stood up and headed to the mirror, washing her face before applying fresh makeup. She wasn’t going to let Olive see her sweat.

Once she thought she looked ready she settled down on the sofa and waited, checking out of the window for any sign of Ryan’s truck every few minutes as she simultaneously thought what clothes she would need to take with her when she left.

As the minutes ticked by Electra began to panic. How would Ryan get in? If Olive had her way he’d never make it up the drive, it was a good job that the house didn’t have gates, if they were in the house in France he’d never get over the high walls or through the electric gates which were watched at all times by two heavy set french-men with rottweilers. Pulling out her phone she sent him a quick text telling him to just run up, the doors were usually left open – the house was too far from anywhere to be worried about robbers. When he arrived an hour later, out of breath from running through the house with Olive’s shrieks behind him, he locked the door behind him and joined Electra on the sofa, letting her nestle into him; she was safe.

As she finished telling him what had happened with her mother they heard a rap on the door and exasperated sounds as someone tried to open the locked door.

“Electra! Open this door right now!” It was Olive.

“Go away!” Electra screamed back, snuggling further into Ryan. “I have to get out of here, I can’t stay with her any longer.” She told him as they faced each other.

“Lets go then, we can make it work.” Ryan replied, sounding a lot more confident than he felt.

“I love you. Now we just have to get rid of my mother.” Electra gave Ryan a quick kiss and jumped up from the sofa, pacing the bathroom as she thought about what to do. There was a lock on her bedroom door, if she could get rid of Olive they could hole themselves up in there until she left.

“Open the door Electra, I’m not joking!” She heard from the other side as Olive paced up and down her daughters bedroom.

Taking a deep breath she went to the heavy oak door and turned the key, throwing it open with far too much dramatic effect.

“Get out!!” Electra screamed, running at her mother who backed off quickly, her cool exterior shattered for a moment as she was caught off-guard. “Just leave me alone!” Ryan stood in the bathroom doorway as Electra let rip, telling her mother everything that she hated about her; how she never paid her any attention; how she only cared what other people thought; how she had never gave any thought to what she was feeling.

“Electra, calm down!” Olive said, finally realising that her daughter was serious. “We can work this out, come to London and we can spend time together, the jet’s waiting for us.”

“Argh! Stop with your stupid jets and trips, I want to stay here with Ryan and Sebastian, with my friends, where I can play my music!” Olive visibly paled as she spoke about the music; she didn’t want her only daughter wasting her life playing in scum infested bars never getting anywhere.

“Electra please!” Olive threw up her hands in despair, genuinely scared that Electra may lash out and strike her.

“JUST GET OUT OF MY LIFE!” Electra screamed, her face contorting in anger. Looking at the eyes blazing with fury, the mouth twisted in an ugly expression of rage Olive was reminded of Riley, Electra’s father, and the night he had attacked her. She backed away from her daughter, who wasn’t herself anymore, it was Riley all over again and she had to escape.

Turning on her heel she fled from the room, jumping into the waiting limousine which had been meant for her and Electra. An hour later she was on her way to London.

*      *      *

“I’m so glad you’re here, I’ve missed you.” Sebastian told his girlfriend Liberty as they embraced in front of the ranch. He hadn’t seen her for almost a week as she had been away with her parents, then had to attend her cousins wedding on the day she got back. She had drove through the night to reach the ranch and was looking ridiculously overdressed as she hadn’t had time to change since the wedding.

“Lets go inside.” Liberty said, shivering a little in the autumn breeze.

Sebastian was glad his mother had left for London the night before, he didn’t want to deal with her questioning who Liberty was; although dressed like this she could pass for a Redcliffe socialite any day. Standing in front of the blazing fire to ward off the draft they held each other and caught up on everything that had happened in the past week; they had never not spoke for so long. Sebastian found himself thanking god (even though he didn’t believe in him) that he had persuaded Electra to take him out that night; the night he met Liberty.

“Wanna dance?” She asked, turning on the stereo and beginning to groove around him as he laughed at her spontaneity. These were the moments he loved, just dancing, talking, laughing.

“We should go out.” Sebastian said as he danced to The Rolling Stones. “I think you might be a little overdressed though.” He continued, laughing.

“I’m not going out in this dress, lets just stay in.” Liberty replied, switching to Björk and coming closer to Sebastian.

“I’m sure my sister can lend you something…” He trailed off, not really interested in going out anymore, wanting to spend the day with her all alone.

“I’m not even sure if she’s here.” He said, trying to think if he had seen her last night or this morning. He had arrived at the house just after Olive had left for London, passing her in his car as her limousine flew past him. Electra’s door had been locked when he arrived but she usually locked in when she wasn’t here, he could have sworn she said she was coming to talk to Olive though.

“What are you thinking about?” Liberty asked, noticing the expression on his face.

“Just wondering about my sister. Come upstairs? She’ll give you some clothes while we’re there, I suppose you don’t want to chill around the house in this?” He said, fingering the chiffon material of part of the dress before holding her hands.

The two of them headed upstairs, walking along the wood paneled hallway to Electra’s bedroom. The door was still locked, but he could hear voices inside.

“Hey, sis? Open up!” He shouted, thumping the door with his fist. He heard her shout back and a few seconds later the door was thrown open for him to find Electra staring at them and Ryan in the background furiously packing suitcases.

“What’re you doing?” Sebastian asked as he stepped into the room.

“We’re leaving.” Ryan replied, throwing some of Electra’s jerseys into a suitcase which was full to bursting and zipping it up.

“What do you mean? Where’re you going?” Sebastian asked, confused. He thought they might have been going on a trip, not leaving home forever.

“I’m leaving Sebastian. Me and Ryan are gonna find a place. I’ve had enough of mom.”

“You can’t! I mean I know she’s not the best mother -” Electra gave a snort of laughter as he spoke, “-but she’s still our mama, you can’t just go…” He said, looking down at the floor nervously, he was worried for Electra.

“Me and Ryan were thinking-” Electra gave Ryan a look, who nodded back, “-that you could come with us? I know you love mother and everything but think how fun it would be, you should come too Liberty.” She added, giving Liberty, who had stepped out of her dress totally un-self consciously and was putting on some clothes Electra had given her, a smile. The two girls weren’t best friends but they were getting closer.

“I – I can’t, what about school and um -” Sebastian trailed off as he thought about it. What really was keeping him at home? They were almost 18, maybe it was time to fly the nest.

“Come on, we can all get jobs and with four of us pooling cash we could get a really cool apartment nearby, I don’t think we’re going back to Redcliffe. Too close to mom.” Electra was getting really into the idea now, grabbing Sebastian by the shoulders and  throwing her hands around animatedly as she tried to convince him

“Well I guess… yeah… yeah! I mean I can’t speak for Liberty -” He threw her a smile, “- I hope she’ll come though.” He said in an undertone, thinking that if Liberty wasn’t willing to come he probably wouldn’t come either. Now that he was on board he was all for it and ran to his bedroom where Liberty helped him gather a few things into a suitcase and carried his favourite signed football down to his car for him, which they were taking because it had four seats, Ryan would pick his truck up later. They were soon joined by Electra, who looked around as if Olive would spring out from behind the shrubbery and catch them, and Ryan, who struggled to carry all of Electra’s many many bags and trunks. The four of them looked at each other nervously before turning for another look at the house, a place which had given them all so much joy.

The four of them got into the car in silence; they were leaving this life behind, and none of them knew what was going to happen next.

*      *      *

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Generation 3 – Chapter 13

Electra threw her cigarette out of the open window of Ryan’s pick up truck and turned to him as they drove through the winding country streets. She still didn’t really believe he was here with her, as her boyfriend. They had never officially labelled themselves as ‘dating’ but everyone knew they were, the two of them were inseparable.

“How much longer?” He asked as he shoved a different CD into the portable car radio and lit up a cigarette of his own.

“Not far,” Electra replied, “hey – look, just follow that limo.” She settled back into the seat and took a deep breath, she knew it would be her mother in the car ahead. At least she wouldn’t have to direct Ryan anymore…

She could see the house ahead, the summer home of her family. Thankfully she knew enough about her mother to know that she would never dare make a scene in front of a guest, however low on the social scale that guest was.

This is your weekend house?” Ryan asked in shock as they emerged from the truck at the bottom of the drive and began walking up to the house. He had expected something a lot smaller, he knew Electra’s family had money, but not this kind of money.

“My mom has to go over the top, I told her we didn’t need something so big but she only wants the best. It’s really nice though.” Electra replied, snatching the still lit cigarette out of Ryan’s hand and throwing it away so her mother didn’t see.

Electra was glad she had brought Ryan here, it would be better to spend time away from the city so they could really get to know each other, and she loved this house much more than the penthouse. The city was an amazing part of her life which she loved, but the country was where her heart lay. Riding on her horses, playing with the dogs, taking long walks in the woods behind her house, sitting by the fire with a book and a cup of hot chocolate, she loved it. Walking into the double story entrance of the ranch-style house Electra kept her eyes peeled for Olive while Ryan looked around in wonder at the size of the place.

“So you’re spending the weekend here then?” Electra jumped in shock as she heard the clipped tones of her mother. Olive stood staring at the two of them, her face giving nothing away.

Decked out in her full country attire Olive stared at the two teenagers in front of her. She had never seen Ryan before, but she could sense he was bad news by the way he looked at her, by the arrogance in his face.

“Yep, I didn’t expect to see you or I would have told you.” Electra said lightly. “William!” She shouted with joy as the family dog came running towards her, picking up a brush from a side table she began to groom him as Olive continued to look at them with scorn.

“Well I’m going shooting with the Duke.” Olive informed them grandly as she opened a hidden panel on the wall and pulled out her gun. “I’ll probably be spending the night there, but Marcia is around somewhere.” Marcia was the live-in for the ranch house, and had quite a cushy job living in the huge house as if it was her own, only having to cook and clean for her employers an odd weekend here and there, it was a summer house but the real summer was usually spent in France or Italy at one of Olive’s other properties there.

“Cya.” Electra didn’t look up as Olive left, but she could hear her saying hello to the group that had just rolled up outside the house in their mud coated landrovers, with dogs barking all around as they prepared for a day of pheasant shooting. Grabbing Ryan’s hand Electra took him on a quick tour of the ranch before they settled in a small reading room in front of the fire.

“Your mom seems nice…” Ryan lied, feeling awkward and out of place.

“Shut up, she’s a witch!” Electra laughed, leaning back in the comfortable chair. Now that she was here she wasn’t sure what to do with herself, she had envisioned them having non stop fun, but the conversation had became stilted, the only sounds the crackling of the fire and the light footsteps of the dog, William, as he roamed around in the adjacent kitchen. Finding nothing to do with herself Electra began to sing to herself idly, as she always did. Ryan was taken aback as he listened to her singing PJ Harvey’s ‘The Last Living Rose’.

“You didn’t tell me you could sing!” He said as soon as she was finished. “You’re really good you know.”

“I’m just being dumb.” Electra replied, blushing. She had never thought much to her singing, she had been in the choir in school but was mainly a classic shower singer.

“I’m serious, you could really get somewhere with that voice, you just need to learn to use it better.” Having been singing with his band for two years Ryan considered himself pretty well versed on the music industry, and although his band ‘The Wild Ones’ hadn’t got a recording contract yet there was one company interested. “Can you play anything?” He asked, genuinely interested now, getting excited as ideas began to form in his head.

“I can do a bit on guitar I guess.” She replied shyly, flattered that he thought she was a good singer.

“Jesus, why didn’t you tell me?! This is perfect. Come on!” He grabbed her hand, yanking her off the sofa, running through to the main room of the house which Electra had showed him briefly. He had noticed the guitar and the piano and was determined to get her singing. Sitting down at the grand piano he got used to it for a few minutes while Electra plugged the guitar in, protesting that she was no good the entire time.

“OK, I guess I’m ready. I’m really no good though – this is embarrassing!” Electra protested, getting redder by the second.

“Just try it, ok?” The piano was heaven under his fingers, he had never played something so beautiful, but it was clearly never used.

Her voice was quiet at first as she tried to get into the swing of the music. It was one of The Wild Ones songs that she had heard the first night she had seen them. After seeing a half a dozen shows she knew all the words, and the two of them easily fell into a new rendition of the song. Ryan was in awe, the boys music was loud and raunchy, with the deep, throbbing voices of Ryan and Kris mixed with the booming drums of Rasta. Electra brought a much needed tenderness to the music without being overtly feminine. It was perfect. As she sung the last line of the song she broke out in a huge smile, she had surprised even herself with her ability.

“Bravo!” The two of them spun around in shock as they heard the clapping and cheering, and were greeted by Sebastian. “That was really great. Hi, I’m Sebastian.” He said, extending a hand to Ryan, who he had seen play at a show he went to with Liberty, but never met. Sebastian was quite shocked by Ryan’s bright blonde mohawk and his beard, he thought he looked frightfully old and much too rough for his sister, but he was determined to give him a chance. Ryan was less shocked than Sebastian, but still cast his critical eye over his girlfriends brother in his Adidas gym clothes, his black hair coming down over his forehead a little since he had started to grow it, and his muscular arms and sculpted chest on show through the clinging shirt.

“You really liked it?” Electra asked, her tough exterior vanishing for a second, hoping he wasn’t being sarcastic.

“Of course I did, you two are brilliant together. You had better get to work.” A big grin spread across his face as Ryan and Electra looked at each other, both thinking the same thing.

Olive never did come back from shooting at the Dukes. She left a message on the machine saying she had gone to the Klosters with Marcus for a few weeks of skiing and didn’t contact them again all summer apart from telling Marcia to FedEx her mink coat and white fox stole over, PETA wouldn’t be asking her to pose any time soon. Ryan, Electra, and Sebastian became a team, working together on the music. Sebastian would sit on the floor with the lyrics of the songs Ryan and Electra had been working on and read them out, correcting here and there, trying to make them better as Electra strummed away on the guitar, her confidence growing by the day, and Ryan used his magic fingers on the piano. Even William would join in, laying at their feet, and inspiring the song ‘Golden Mane’ which was all about him, written by Electra.

When Sebastian, who seemed to be more vested in their practice than they were themselves, took Olive’s dark green Aston Martin, which she had never drove in her life as she preferred the limousine, for the hours drive back to Redcliffe to see Liberty once or twice a week the two of them would curl up on the sofa in front of the fire, usually with William at their feet, getting to know each other more and more. Electra opened up about the resentment she felt towards her mother for showing no interest in her and her sadness about not knowing who her father was, a mystery which infuriated her and which Sebastian didn’t understand as he usually spent a few weeks here and there in France with his father, Maxwell, and his formidable grandmother, Alice, who had once almost came to blows with Olive. Ryan told her of his about his own mother, who had once been a stunning (albeit little known) stage actress, who had now fell into depression and alcoholism and his father, an Army veteran who now lived in California with a new wife and seven beautiful blonde haired blue eyed children who took up all of his time, leaving none for Ryan. Their own tragedy brought them closer together emotionally, they had no problems on the physical side; having hijacked Olive’s master bedroom they took full advantage of it, spending every night together.

Every day they would work on their music, occasionally taking a break to go and visit the horses in the stables out the back of the house, or to take William for a walk. Electra’s favourite times were the ones spent down by the pond at the back of the house with Ryan on the hot summer days, she never wanted summer to end in case the bubble of happiness that surrounded them popped. After weeks of practice, when Ryan finally began to think Electra was ready, he gently started persuading her into doing a show. She had already met the bandmates, who had came over for a long weekend of partying earlier in the summer, leaving masses of overflowing ashtrays, empty beer bottles and discarded clothes for Marcia to clean up. They were more than willing to give Electra a go with the band, although Kris was more against it than Rasta, thinking that a girl would mess up the vibe of the band. Ryan would bring the idea up as they walked through the gardens with William, gently persuading her into it, trying to make her suggest it rather than have him ask outright and scare her off.

He felt he was making progress, but summer was coming to a close soon, it would be back to the hustle and bustle of the city, back to school, back to the crummy bars playing for disinterested crowds. He was certain that if Electra was with them they could generate a lot more interest, and, crucially, be a better band. Coming into the great room one afternoon he was enchanted by the sight of Electra, wearing  a yellow polo shirt with a white collar, and beige jodhpurs tucked into shiny black boots; just back from a riding lesson at the local equestrian center. Her blonde hair was shining in the light, her face devoid of makeup apart from some glossy pink on her lips, the yellow top clinging to her slender body. He thought she looked fragile, beautiful, and ridiculously preppy.

“Hey beautiful.” He said as he joined her on the sofa, smiling as she slid easily into his arms. “What you up too?” He admired her smooth, creamy skin as she spoke, completely blemish free without the help of makeup, the pink lips, the long blonde hair. Everything about her turned him on.

“Just thinking. Listen, I’ve got an idea, you don’t need to say yes or whatever, just hear me out.” Ryan felt like a lightbulb had gone off in his head as she outlined her idea for a collaboration of her and The Wild Ones, his plan had actually worked! He knew that if he’d pushed her into it she would have backed off, it was a blessing that she’d finally brought it up.

“It sounds amazing, I’m totally up for it.” He said as Electra smiled up at him. She found it funny that he didn’t realise she knew what he had been doing all summer, telling her how great she was, how people would love to see her, etc. It made her like him all the more that he hadn’t pushed her.

“You know what Electra?” Ryan looked into her eyes as he spoke, he had known how he felt for a long time, but the only person he had ever said the same words to were his mother, and that was completely different.

“What?” She replied, flicking hair off her face and looking back into his eyes.

“I love you. I really do – I mean, sorry for just saying it but -” Electra cut him off as he began to ramble, one of his nervous tendencies.

“You do?” She asked, beaming up at him. She felt ridiculously happy.

“Course I do. I love you!” Ryan floundered for a second as Electra didn’t say anything back. He hadn’t presumed she would, he just wanted her to know how he felt. He was stumped, what was he supposed to say next?! You can’t really talk about the weather after dropping the L word. For lack of anything to do he began to kiss her, his favourite activity after music.

They made out for a few minutes, and as their lips parted Electra whispered the words Ryan had wanted to hear; the words she had been wanting to say for weeks.

“I love you too.”

They could hardly contain themselves any longer, the longing between them had amplified by a thousand after those words. Ryan’s shirt was about to come over his head when they heard the crunch of wheels on gravel and drew apart in shock. Looking out of the window Electra saw a sleek black limousine and turned to Ryan in horror.

“It’s my mom!” Electra screamed, fixing her hair with her compact and smoothing down her shirt which he been hitched up beneath her breasts as Ryan had caressed her stomach. “You’re not supposed to be here, shit!”

At that moment Olive entered the house, swanning into the great room looking ludicrously glamorous and very unsuitably dressed for a ranch house in a belted Burberry trench with a mink stole thrown over her shoulders, red soled Louboutin’s tapping on the wooden floor.

“Marcia! My bags are in the car, can you get them for me?!” She shouted before turning and looking over at Electra and Ryan, now drawn apart as if they were sat talking. “And who is this?!” She asked in shock, quickly jumping to the conclusion that Electra was having a liaison with this boy, who she thought looked very rough trade.

“Mom – this is -” Electra never had to finish the sentence for at that moment Sebastian, who had been listening at the top of the stairs, came running into the great room.

“This is my friend.” He waved over at Ryan with what he hoped was a vague gesture. “How are you?! How was skiing? We’ve missed you so much! You must be so tired, you should get a bath and rest.” If he had any desire to Sebastian could have made an excellent actor.

“Oh, thank you darling.” Olive gushed, happy to see her favourite child. “But really, you shouldn’t have guests without telling me.” She said, not really meaning it as she didn’t mind Sebastian having guests, casting a critical eye up and down Ryan, completely forgetting that she had met him at the beginning of summer. He wasn’t important enough to store in her memory.

“This is Winthorpe Faberge IIII, one of my friends from school.” He said, trying not to laugh as he pointed towards Ryan. Olive instantly relaxed, she guessed he must have just been going through a difficult stage, and prayed to god she never had that with Sebastian, putting Ryan out of her mind.

“I’m going to take your advice and have a nice bath, I hope Marcia has my room ready, you have to keep the help on their toes at all times.” Olive said, looking around for her trusty maid.

“Oh mom, I’m so sorry -” Sebastian began as Electra and Ryan widened their eyes and stared at him, hoping he got the hint that they had been using her room and if she went in she would find it covered with overflowing ashtrays, whiskey bottles, old clothes, and music sheets, all coated with a fine layer of Williams golden fur. “- but I’ve been staying in there, I hope you don’t mind. I’ll get Marcia to clean it right away, why don’t you use my bath?” It was lucky that Marcia had just cleaned Sebastian’s room this morning to the point where it looked more like a showroom than a bedroom.

“Okay that’s fine. I might just read for a while.” Electra narrowed her eyes, shooting signals of ‘get her out!’ to Sebastian.

“Mom, I wanna catch up, come on.” He grabbed her hand and guided her away from the great room, looking over his shoulder and finding Electra and Ryan smiling at him in thanks. They would never have gotten away with it without him.

Sebastian guided his mother into the breakfast room, where he sat down with her and they caught up. He thought his mother was a ridiculous social climber who cared more about money than emotions and who prided herself on always being perfect, but he still loved her.

*     *      *

Three weeks later Electra, Ryan, Kris, Rasta and Sebastian stood in the backroom of a Redcliffe bar. They were about to play their first show and Electra had never been so nervous in her life. Sebastian had been the real mastermind behind it, going out and sparking interest in the band with some glossy publicity shots taken by their uncle Oliver who owned a very successful gallery in Redcliffe. They had received this booking as soon as he’d showed them the picture, with the three boys stood in the background, staring at the camera with unsmiling faces, while Electra stood in front, blonde hair glossier than ever, but taken far away from her preppy look with an all black outfit and some dark makeup. They looked amazing, and they knew it.

Electra, pretending to be checking out her makeup, stood in front of the mirror, her stomach doing somersaults. She didn’t know if this was going to work – if they would gel as well live as they did in their practice sessions, and her look wasn’t exactly calming her nerves either. Sebastian had insisted that she, as front-woman of the band, had to stand out, and had persuaded her to dye part of her hair a shocking orange, and had watched approvingly as she applied far too much black eye shadow and mascara, as well as dark blush to her usually fresh cheeks. Opting to go without a t shirt underneath she had slipped on a tiny black waistcoat and skin tight black jeans, as well as her favourite cowboy boots and the strawberry necklace made up of rubies and emeralds, with a diamond chain, which Olive’s ex-husband Dimitri had given her for her birthday. She thought she looked a mess, but Sebastian had done them well so far, and he had said she could begin to tone it down as they got more attention, they just needed a fan base.

“You ok sis?” He asked, turning away from Kris for a second and looking over at Electra.

“Fine.” She lied, not trusting herself to speak in case she threw up. Sebastian knew she was nervous, why wouldn’t she be?!

“Listen,” he said, his voice dropping so the others didn’t overhear, “you’re gonna be great. You know these songs backwards, you’re amazing. You can do this.” Her face lifted as he spoke, instilling her with confidence.

“Thanks.” She turned to him and smiled before embracing him in a hug, she was glad he was here, she would never have been able to get on the stage without him.

“You better get out there!” He said, hugging her again. “Good luck, I know you’ll be great.”

As The Wild Ones walked onto the stage a cheer traveled through the room. People had seen The Wild Ones before, but now that they had this ravishing front woman with the wild hair and the perfect body they were much more interested. Electra thought she was going to faint, and was only steadied by Ryan slipping his fingers through hers for a second as he passed her on the way to his keyboard; a far cry from Belgrave Ranch’s grand piano, but it would do. The lights dimmed as they got themselves ready, she was about to run off the stage in terror when she found herself forgetting everything as the purple lights popped on, lighting up the band in a blaze of colour, Rasta’s drums, Kris’ guitar, and Ryan’s keyboard kicked in as the music started and she found herself swept along for the ride, hardly thinking about what she was doing, just playing as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

She began singing in time with Kris, whose doubts about Electra had faded away once he saw the huge crowd who were getting into the music like never before, bouncing around the room as they played their heavier songs, keeping in the spirit of the original Wild Ones. Gradually the songs began to meld into the new style, which, while still loud and booming, was given a softer edge by Electra’s exquisite voice, which sounded much better than when Ryan had first noticed she could sing all those months ago.

Apart from occasionally glancing down at the set list which showed the order of the songs they were playing Electra either kept her eyes on the crowd (which she could hardly see for the lights) for the entire performance, or tightly closed as she let the music overcome her, letting her voice soar freely during the slower songs. After what felt like only a few minutes the lights, which had been alternating between purple and red for the entire show, suddenly turned a bright white and she knew they were on the last song. This was her moment, it was ‘Golden Mane’, her song. It started off slow, with just the beat of Rasta’s drums being heard before they were joined by Ryan’s keyboard for  a few more notes before Electra began to sing, closing her eyes tight as the words poured out. The audience were mesmerised, swaying slowly to the music before she began playing the electric guitar around her neck and Kris joined in on his guitar, taking the song on a roller coaster of sounds, her magic voice joining it all together in perfect harmony. Kris and Ryan’s low voices offered the perfect backing vocals as the song picked up, sending the audience into ecstasy as they threw themselves around in time to the music.

Running off the stage to screams of approval, coated in sweat, the four of them hugged each other, slapping backs and beaming. Sebastian soon joined them, equally as euphoric. Electra looked back to the stage where she could see the crowd, still cheering and screaming for more. She knew this was her destiny.

Interlude: Constance Belgravia

Celeste had high hopes for her eldest daughter from the moment she was born. She wanted her to experience the finer things in live, just as she had in her youth, minus the multiple divorces and heartache. All Celeste wanted was the happiness of her children, and she would do anything to ensure their happiness. For Celeste happiness came in one form and one form alone: power. Whether that be power of the monetary kind, power of the career kind, or power granted through a name. She had to secure such power for her daughter Constance, and then she could worry about her other children. Constance knew nothing of her mothers meetings with foreign dignitaries, English aristocrats, or the old American families with names that stretched back to the Mayflower.

Constance had led a sheltered life, summers spent in the South of France, winters in New York, and the rest of the year in the gated, idyllic house in the Redcliffe hills, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city where her cousins Electra and Sebastian lived. She wasn’t interested in social climbing or name dropping – just her horses. For her eleventh birthday she was given a white foal, Blossom. For her thirteenth birthday she was given another brown and white spotted foal, Prairie. And for her sixteenth birthday she was given a fully grown adult, Delilah. The three horses were her main interest. She’d run home from school, change into comfortable leggings and her riding coat and go out to the houses expansive grounds to groom and talk to her three companions.

Although she loved all the horses there was a special place in her heart reserved for Blossom, her first horse, her big love. She trained the horse vigorously for years until she felt she was ready to enter some of the competitions at the International Equestrian Center, conveniently located just a short ride form her house. She could be there in 10 minutes if she sped Blossom up to a trot, and often did just that. She soon became well known on the equestrian circuit, blazing a trail from Redcliffe to Monte Carlo as she won competition after competition. Boys didn’t particularly grab her attention, she’d talk about them with her friends but she never pursued anyone, and never let any boys get close to her. There was a certain fear of them in her mind, she much preferred her horses.

As she matured and reached her seventeenth birthday she felt that she should find someone to be her boyfriend. She didn’t want to, but all her friends had boyfriends – immature brats who wanted to have sex with their girlfriends, and that was it – the problem was she couldn’t find anyone who she would ever consider dating. It didn’t matter. Her mother had found someone for her. His Grace William Cavendish, Duke of Gloucestershire was 37 and lonely. He hadn’t found a wife yet, beating away all advances from the ladies in his social circle, until finally his mother, a friend of Celeste’s, had taken over and looked around herself. It just happened that she bumped into Celeste on her little quest for a suitable wife for her son, and the two soon formed a plan. On Sunday the 24th of August William arrived at the colonial style Belgravia mansion, haughty and full of his own importance.

Constance wasn’t informed of what her mother was planning, she thought he was just a visitor, and as such was polite and charming. that is until it came time for her to feed the horses, upon which she’d leave without a backwards glance. For two months life went on as normal for Constance. She went to the same private school that her cousins Electra and Sebastian attended every day, fed her horses, participated in show jumping and racing competitions, and kept her eye out for a suitable boyfriend.

She even started thinking of her career. Of course horses were her first love, but she revelled in learning new skills and trying things out, such as playing the guiat at her cousin (the descendant of Oriana Belgravia) Mick’s house, or being taught the human anatomy by one of her doctor cousins (the descendants of Alexandra Belgravia).

Returning home from a particularly tough show jumping competition one night she was caught off guard by the huge party which was going on at her house. Her arm was grabbed firmly by Celeste, who informed her that this was her engagement party. The rest, for Constance, was a blur. The future Duchess was thrust through the London social scene in three months. Three months without a day of respite, or even a moment with her horses. She could barely contemplate what was happening, she was about to be married to a man she hardly knew. A man who was more interested in his collection of exotic animals than his wife-to-be.

She tried to get out of it, but once the cogs had been set in motion by her mother it proved harder than she had thought. Celeste assured her this was the best thing for her daughter, it would give her social standing, wealth, and power. Constance couldn’t see why she needed any of those things, but if her mother said it was the best thing for her then it must be the best thing for her, right? Before she knew it she was standing in a private suite at William’s Kensington house in London, fully dressed up, the train of her dress stretching along the ground, a row of pearls in her hair, diamonds glinting at her neck and ears, and the famous Cavendish emerald on her finger.

After the wedding things didn’t go as she expected. She had thought that she’d be forced to move to England to stand by her husbands side, but it turned out that William did have a streak of good in him. He told Constance that, if she wanted to, she could return to Redcliffe to finish her education. She had never been a particularly studious girl, but she jumped at the chance to go back to her horses and her friends. She returned to school a Duchess, wearing the Cavendish emerald on her hand at all times. Suddenly she was followed by Royal Protection agents at all times, the school bus turned into a limousine, and the horse pens had to be checked for bombs before she went in them. But at least she was home.

Her mother seemed unfazed by the fact that Constance was living at home while her husband was back in England, unlike Oliver, who found the whole situation ridiculous and demanded that William fly to see Constance immediately. Celeste had to delicately work out the situation, and tried to explain her motives to Oliver. He left things as they were because he loved his wife, but he felt trouble was stirring for his daughter, and he didn’t know how to stop it. Still in love with her horses and spending more time with them than ever Constance asked her mother about a career on the equestrian circuit as she brushed Prairie in the stables one morning before school.

Celeste felt for her daughter, there was so much she didn’t understand. But she let Constance down gently, telling her that there would be plenty of time to ride horses when she was older, but as soon as she finished school she had to fly to William’s side and begin her one and only job – to produce heirs. Constance was horrified, she had never had sex before, and was definitely not ready to be pregnant. She knew she had to do something about it. That very night she packed a small bag and woke Landon, her brother, at four am. He was always up for something dangerous, and although he was afraid of horses he was always up for an adventure, and together the two of them set off on their horses. They didn’t know where they were headed, but Constance wasn’t ready for the life her mother had laid out for her. And she was going to change it.

*      *      *

Hope you guys enjoyed this, I’m experiencing a few technical problems with Olive & the rest of the family but I want to give you guys something to read. 🙂

Generation 3 – Chapter 8

“I’m so bored, aren’t you?” I asked my cousins Alexis and Arabella as we sat on my bed after doing our homework.

“Why can’t we play in the living room?” Alexis asked as she played with her hair.

“I’ll go and ask mama. She has a friend round and said we shouldn’t disturb her.” I didn’t even know these friends she had were, she always had women around having lunch and gossiping.

“Mom?” I shouted as I walked into the living room. Oh! What was this? Who was the man? Was that Dimitri, what a stupid name. I hid behind a column and watched them as they moved closer together, staring into each others eyes. His arm was on her shoulder and she was playing with his hair, gross!

I quickly snuck back to my bedroom, how could she do this to daddy? I hadn’t seen him in months and she wouldn’t tell me why, she just kept saying he was staying in France. But why?! I wanted to go back to France and see him, he’d never spent that much time with me but he was still my daddy! I had to get them to stop it, and luckily I had an idea.

Running back to my room I threw open the dressing up box and pulled a few costumes out. I was the Proper Periwinkle, and Alexis was the Lavish Lavender, it was just Arabella who wouldn’t dress up.

“You guys look dumb! I’m not wearing a princess costume, they don’t even dress like that! I went to dinner at Princess Anne’s house last week in London with mum, they wear normal clothes!” She shouted as me and Alexis paraded up and down acting like princesses. What did she know, she was the dumb one!

“Scaredy cat!” That always got people to do things on TV, maybe it would work.

“Ugh, fine!” She said, rooting around in the box and transforming herself into the Regal Rose princess.

“Let’s go show mama!” Hopefully they would be so distracted by how royal and cool we looked that they’d stop talking and mom would spend time with me instead.

“Look Mrs. Belgravia, we’re princesses!” Arabella told her proudly, taking center stage of course.

“It’s Ms. Elphinstone now Arabella.” Mama said as she finally pulled herself away from stupid Dimitri and looked at us. “You girls look great, but why don’t you go and play in the bedroom? I have a guest.” Her eyes widened a little as she looked at me before her face set into a hard line, it definitely meant ‘get out!’ ugh!

“Why does she have to be like that?!” I slammed the door as I went into my bedroom with Alexis and Arabella, who were looking down awkwardly at the ground.

“Um… What’s up with your mom?” Alexis muttered, she definitely felt weird about the situation. Mama spoiled everything! Luckily the awkward silence was broken by Marie coming through the door.

“Oh les filles! Vous l’air fantastique! Beautiful girls, you look so regal.” Marie gushed as she looked down on us.

“Merci Marie.” I smiled up at my nanny, she was so pretty. And so kind.

“Come girls. We go for a walk in park, yes?” Marie said as we quickly took off our princess costumes and followed her to the elevator, leaving mom and Dimitri behind, ugh!

*        *        *

“Oh they’re gone.” I said as I heard the ping of the elevator doors which signaled Marie, Electra and her cousins exit. “This has been lovely, really Dimitri. But you should go, I have a friend coming over for lunch soon.”

“Ah, you don’t know how sad that makes me. I wish to spend all day with you.” He smiled at me as he spoke, clearly meaning what he said.

“Well I’d like that too but I want to see my friend.” I didn’t really want to see my ‘friend’, to be honest I had never met the woman. But now that I was establishing myself on the social scene she had invited herself over for lunch, and if I wanted in I had to oblige.

“Come, you must have a few minutes before she arrives.” Before I could get up he’d draped his arm over me, I was about to move away but he was so invitingly warm and comfortable, I just couldn’t resist closing my eyes and feeling secure in his arms.

Although Dimitri was a rich and powerful man he gave me more than a feeling of financial security, he had such presence, which made him infinitely more attractive. I definitely wanted to see more of him. After a couple of minutes of laying together we were disturbed by his phone, why was something always bothering us?! It was either Electra, who couldn’t keep her nose out of my business, new social acquaintances, or cell phones!

“Yes, I understand. I’ll be on the next flight.” He said into his phone as he paced the room. “Olive, it is now me that had to cut this wonderful meeting short. Business problems in Athens, I’ll be flying out straight away.” He came and kissed my hand before pushing the elevator button, and with a final wave he was gone. I sighed loudly and put my head into my hands. Why couldn’t he just be here all the time?

Oh well, time to serve the tea. I definitely needed Marie here, she made the best tea, but I had to get Electra out of my hair for the timebeing, and with Sebastian staying with Arielle for a few days I could have a civillised meeting with my new friend, instead of screaming children running around.

“So nice to finally meet you Evelyn. I must say your picture in the style section last week did you no justice.” I poured her tea and joined her on the comfortable chairs which faced the fireplace. Now what on earth was I meant to talk about?

“Oh thank you, you’re a dear. I have to say what a beautiful apartment you have, and I love the work your mothers doing for cancer, such a good cause. I’m actually doing some charity work myself, save the whales it is.” She seemed a little fake and full of herself but I needed her on my side if I ever even hoped to throw another party.

“Oh how nice. I’m looking for a cause to support myself, charities so important.” I said as I took a sip before replacing my cup on the tray.

“I’m on a wonderful board at the Diamond Museum, I’ll see what I can do about getting you a seat. We don’t usually accept one so young and new to the scene, but for you I think an exception could be made.”

“Oh thank you!” Putting down my cup I clapped my hands together, getting quite a dirty look from Evelyn, clearly clapping with joy was a no-no.

“It’s my pleasure. I hear your party was quite the occasion, people have been talking about it all over town. You simply must throw another, I’ll invite a few of the girls and you can meet my husband.”

“You’re too kind, I actually have one planned. My brother’s daughter Constance just got engaged. I was thinking a family affair but my sister-in-law insisted on a big party, and of course you’re invited.” In the back of my mind I couldn’t help thinking Constance was a little young to be getting married, but it was her life.

“That’s so lovely of you.” She finished her tea before dabbing her lips with the napkin I’d provided. “I should go anyway, I have to interview new housekeepers. It’s so hard to find good help these days.” I showed her to the elevator with the required kiss on each cheek as she left, quite a good first meeting I thought, I was definitely getting myself on the radar, now I just had to plan a party.

*      *      *

“And make sure it’s baccarat, I can’t have the Countess drinking from a cheap glass. Yes, thank you.” Mama’s voice reached my ears as I stepped out of the elevator, back from my first day of my new school.

“Hi.” I said as she hung up the phone and started typing on her laptop.

“How was school?” She mumbled as she typed something and began making notes on a pad next to her.

“Well it was okay, my teachers are actually really nice and I made some friends. But I have homework already, look, its maths. So hard!” I hopped onto the big Missoni chair and pulled the footstool closer so I could lay out my work on it.

“Mom what’s 7×12?” I asked, scratching my head with the pencil. “Mom!” I shouted after she didn’t respond.

“What?! Electra what are you doing? Do that later, go and get your brother for now, and bring something for you two to play with, I’m going to get ready. Go, go.” Do my work later? Fine by me. And she wanted to spend time with us! I quickly ran to Sebastian’s nursery.

“Seba-aa-stian!”

“What you up too?” I asked as I saw him playing with the blocks, well more chewing the blocks than playing with them

“Bwocks!” He giggled, drooling all over one.

“You’re so cute aren’t you. Mama wants to see us, would you like that?” I leaned down at the block table and looked at him. He seemed as shocked as me that mama wanted to play, but he soon forgot and put a block back in his mouth.

Taking Sebastians hand and picking up the light plastic block table with the other we settled down in the living room and began playing together. Soon mama joined us looking very glamorous, she’d even changed her hair. She looked so pretty, she was even prettier than Marie, and she was playing with us! She did love us after all.

*      *      *

Where was he? Hopefully I wasn’t being stood up, his secretary had told me he would be here at 6, he was in New York for a meeting on his way back from Athens and hadn’t been able to contact me but his secretary had told me his plans to take me to the opera. So exciting!

“Mama, bwocks! Pway mama!” Sebastian threw a block across the room, narrowly missing my face.

“Sebastian! Watch it!” I checked my face, thank god he had never hit me, I couldn’t look a mess for Dimitri.

“Anyone home?” I heard as the elevator doors opened and the deep voice of Dimitri echoed around the apartment.

“Oh Electra that’s a wonderful tower!” I yelled as he came around the corner. “Dimitri, you’re here. I was just spending some time with the kids.” I jumped up and hugged him as he came towards us.

“You’re such a caring mother, you never fail to impress me.” He smiled at me, looking down at the kids. “Let me look at you.” He stepped away from me looked me up and down. “Stunning Olive, perfection.” I should hope so, the dress and diamonds had cost me enough.

“You flatter me. Goodbye kids, I’ll see you later.” Waving to Electra and Sebastian I made my way to the elevator, I was so excited for the opera, and I planned on inviting Dimitri back afterwards. We had been seeing each other for a couple of months now, it was time to seal the deal.

“That was a wonderful evening.” I said as we walked back into the apartment a few hours later after the opera, it had been an amazing show, people had told me I’d fall asleep but I thought it was wonderful.

“It was. Thank you so much for coming with me.” He was such a gentleman, it was only the money that made him similar to Max. He was so different in every other respect, so confident, so sure of himself, so powerful, with influence and connections spanning continents.

“Why don’t you go and… wait upstairs?” I looked at him from under my lashes as I spoke, trying to seduce him.

“Are you sure?” He asked, I was sure. This is what I wanted, Dimitri could really make me happy.

“Definitely.” I moved in and planted my lips on his, the first kiss. It wasn’t like a movie, I had learnt long ago that the world didn’t melt away when you kissed someone, but it was nice.

As we held hands and walked upstairs to my bedroom I wondered if I was making a mistake, getting together with someone so soon after Max, it hadn’t even been a year. There could be a scandal, people talking… but then again he was so powerful it probably wouldn’t matter.

“I’ll see you in a minute, I’m just going to the bathroom.” I planted another kiss on his lips before walking into my en suite. Standing in front of the mirror I took a deep breath. It had been a long time since I’d had sex, what if I wasn’t good enough for him?

What was I thinking?! Of course I’d be good enough for him. I looked amazing, I was beautiful, thin, rich, and he’d seen me spending time with the kids, so in his eyes I was a caring mother. How could anyone resist?

“You are so beautiful.” He said from his position on the bed as I came into the room in my underwear, my hair let lose from it’s constraints. The lust in his eyes was almost tangible, I knew he wouldn’t have been able to resist me. It made me feel so good to be wanted, my insecurities melted away when he looked at me like he was now.

“You know Olive,” he took a deep breath as he wrapped his arms around me and closed his eyes, “we haven’t spent as much time together is as socially acceptable, and I don’t expect you to feel the same way, though I hope you d0…” he laughed sheepishly, “but I just want you to know… that I love you.”

“I -” this must be love, a feeling of being wanted, being secure in his arms, it had to be. “- I love you too.” It felt good to say it again, it felt more real than when I said it to Max. This had to be the real thing.

“Olive, I have to go to China for a meeting in a few hours, why don’t you come with me?” He said as we laid on the bed together in each others arms, his question jolting me out of the semi-nap I had fallen into. China? Could I really just pack everything up and go with him? The kids… but I’d never been before, and they’d be fine with Marie.

“Okay.” I told him. And a few hours later we were ensconced in his private jet en route to China.