Tag Archives: relationships

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 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What did she want?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

*     *     *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*      *      *

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

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

Generation 2 – Chapter 15

TWO YEARS LATER…

Celeste walked around the gallery making sure everything was perfect, she wanted Oliver’s show to be amazing and it wouldn’t do to have a broken light or an off centre picture.

She was a little weary that he had chosen so many paintings of her to be in the show, but she had to admit that they were amazing pieces of art; and she did look exceptional in them. She wasn’t aware that when she met Oliver 2 years ago at the National Park that he would have turned out to be her best discovery yet. The paintings were incredible, there were at least a few Masterpieces in this gallery and even more Brilliant paintings. The Redcliffe Review had declared one of his paintings, showing his brother Tommy, as his first ‘Masterpiece’. She still smiled when she remembered telling him the amazing news, Oliver had been trying and trying to get recognition for his work but he couldn’t do it alone. Luckily Celeste Clarence-Veloria had connections in all the right places, and quickly the Belgravia house was being visited by some of the cities most powerful people, all willing to pay exorbitant prices for his art.

Extracting her phone Celeste dialed the number of her party planner, she had told her to have the champagne here by 7, it was now 7.15 and there was no champagne in sight. Celeste was a stickler for timing, except when it came to herself.

“Cara darling, would you mind telling me why the champagne isn’t here?” Her voice was icy, her eyes slits of disproval as she listened to the party planners excuses. “Cara I don’t have time for this. I pay you for a service, I expect that service to be completed, get the champagne here now or I’ll make sure you never work in this town again.”

She knew she was harsh, but that was, in her opinion, the only way to keep people in check. They had to realise that there would be consequences if they didn’t do as they were told, her father had taught her that many years ago. The scene was all set, all it needed now was the elite of society to fill the room, and hopefully make both her and Oliver a lot of money, not that either of them needed it.

*    *    *

Cora ran through the house laughing joyously, she loved playing games and having fun, and was encouraged to do just that by her mother and father. Delving into her dressing up box she looked for the perfect outfit for todays game, even though she didn’t have anyone to play with at the moment she still had as much fun as she could, she was by no means a loner, but her own company didn’t bother her.

“Gather round and listen to me, for I am your ruler!” She shouted, stood atop a chair in the dining room pretending to address her loyal followers.

“To the treetop castle we go!” Jumping from the chair with a huge bang she ran as fast as she could through the kitchen, out of the back door and into the play area. Climbing up into the tree house that had been passed down through all of the family children she wondered what to do next.

“Cora! Come on we’re ordering dinner, get down!” Kitty shouted from beneath the tree house.

“Wait! Kitty, stay there!” A smile spread across Cora’s face as she moved to the corner of the room where she always kept a few things to play tricks on her brothers and sisters.

“What is it Cora, come on I’m starving!” Kitty tapped her heels on the floor, waiting for Cora to come down the slide, she wasn’t looking where she should have been.

“Cora!” Kitty screamed up to the tree house, wringing out her hair as she stormed off into the house, leaving Cora howling with laughter.

*    *    *

“I’m so glad you’re here, it’s been too long since I saw you.” Tommy told Jennifer as they settled down on the sofa in Tommy’s room.

The two had been inseparable since they met in the hospital two years ago, on the night of the ordeal with Arielle. Jennifer had really helped him through the entire process, comforting him when he couldn’t deal with his mothers illness, going with him to the support sessions and telling him all about her own experiences with her mothers cancer. Once the amazing news that Arielle was in remission had came through a few months ago Tommy had finally asked her to go steady with him, he had wanted to do it for months but he was with Arielle a lot of the time, just talking to her and spending time with her, he didn’t want to leave Jennifer feeling like a spare part, but now he could give her his full attention.

Neither of them were really paying attention to the movie Tommy had thrown on when she had first arrived, they were more interested in giving each other the full attention they hadn’t been able to give before.

Although Tommy was liking Jennifer more and more, and she was his girlfriend, he couldn’t shake the memories of Austin from his mind, and he didn’t really want to. He was starting to realise that it didn’t matter if it was boys or girls that society said you were supposed to be attracted to, you could kiss anyone you wanted, it wasn’t about their sex, it was just about your feelings. Tommy could feel Jennifers hand on his thigh, and felt his face flush as he stirred down below. He didn’t know how far Jennifer wanted to go, he knew she wasn’t a virgin, but he was.

“Do you want to do it Tommy?” She whispered into his ear.

“I – um-…” Tommy stuttered, lost for words. Of course he wanted to have sex with Jennifer, he was a man wasn’t he?! He knew his virginity was supposed to be special, and he couldn’t think of anyone more special to him than Jennifer. The two teenagers moved to the bed, cautiously exploring each others bodies before disappearing under the sheets.

Afterwards they laid in each others arms, totally relaxed and comfortable with one another.

*    *    *

Kitty was bored. During Arielles cancer she had dropped out of most of her after school activities, and had not pursued the internship in journalism in order to be there for her mother. Now that school had broken for summer she had nothing to do with herself all day, so used to being incredibly academically busy before her mothers cancer, and being incredibly busy taking care of Arielle during the cancer, now she was stuck. Roaming the house looking for something to do she decided to go and see her brother, maybe he’d want to go to a movie or something. She never had learnt to knock.

She was shocked when she saw what was going on in the room. Tommy and Jennifer making out wouldn’t have been that shocking, but on the bed in their underwear! Sex was clearly on the agenda for them, she was so embarrassed that she ran out as fast as she could, knocking over a huge pile of DVD’s on her way.

“Kitty! Hey, Kitty!” she could hear Tommy shouting from the bedroom, she wished she had just knocked! Walking as fast as possible down the hallway she hoped Tommy wouldn’t follow her.

“Kitty wait!” She turned on her heel and faced him, both of their faces blushing with embarrassment.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” She said, throwing her hands in the air.

“It’s fine, just knock next time okay? And don’t tell anyone.” Tommy wasn’t sure how his parents felt about sex, after all he was getting old now, most of the people he knew had lost their virginity so it couldn’t be that shocking to them, but it wasn’t really the sort of thing you sat and discussed with your parents.

“Of course I won’t.” Kitty squirmed awkwardly as she spoke. She wasn’t that disturbed by her brother stood in front of her in his underwear, more the fact that she herself was still a virgin. She had wanted it to be special, and Jake just hadn’t been that person. Their relationship had been put under a lot of strain because of her mothers illness, and the two of them had broken up a year ago.

“Go and, I guess enjoy yourself.” Kitty laughed, pushing him back towards the bedroom. She still remembered how angry he was on the night of the party, before everything happened. She knew there was something behind it, probably to do with a girl (or so she thought) but she was glad he’d found Jennifer and seemingly gotten over it all. She just wished she had someone of her own, she was lonely, especially without Olive.

*     *     *

“Come on you pussy down it! I can drink more vodka than you!” Olive laughed as she stood on the terrace of her friend Reena’s parents beach house in Miami, a glass of pure vodka in her hand.

“No way! I can definitely drink more than a girl.” Marc, one of Reena’s Miami friends shouted back, throwing back the vodka in one swift gulp, causing him to choke and splutter as everyone laughed.

“Can you?” She looked around at her friends before she also threw her vodka back, standing perfectly composed.

The vodka barely affected her, she had drank so much of it over the past 2 years that she couldn’t get through the day without a few glasses. She always carried a silver hip flask in her bag, using it to spike her coffee or pouring it into a glass and pretending it was water. Arielle’s cancer had hit her worst out of everyone, she just wasn’t able to think positively, and had turned to alcohol to get rid of the thoughts of her mother dying that had consumed her daily. Her bulimia had escalated to the point where she was making herself sick after a single mouthful of food, and although Kitty had tried to help her, Olive just wouldn’t listen.

“Lets dance!” Reena shouted, dragging people over the dance floor on the corner of the terrace, Olive loved being around these people, they didn’t care what she did, drinking vodka daily and making yourself sick was just a normal occurrence to them, cocaine was also a daily habit, although Olive hadn’t joined in that one yet.

“Come on Olive, do that dance with me!” Reena screamed over the music, her high pitched girly voice ringing over the ocean. Olive hardly knew the girl, she had been in a few of her classes at school and had a reputation as something of a party girl, so one day Olive had just started talking to her. As long as Olive drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney and was as skinny as she could possibly be her and Reena got  on perfectly, hence the invite to Reena’s step-fathers Miami beach house for the summer.

“What the hell are you guys doing?! Turn the music down!” Reena’s cousin Riley shouted as he emerged onto the terrace. He was staying with them at the house, supposedly ‘keeping them in check’, little did the parents know Riley threw more parties than Reena did, and did a lot harder drugs.

“Oh no, no, no, no, Ri-leeey! Please let us keep it on.” Reena mock-begged, sticking out her bottom lip and giving him her infamous puppy dog eyes.

“Hmm…” He mused, staring at his cousins friends on the dance floor. He had never really paid them much attention over the few weeks they had been here, he was too busy with his string of girlfriends. But he was bored and horny… “I’ll let you keep your crap little party going if you do something for me.” He leaned over and whispered into Reenas ear.

Standing on the corner of the deck overlooking the ocean Olive yearned for home, this wasn’t her place, not really. But she knew she couldn’t go back. She had caused to much trouble to just go back with her tail between her legs, she was too proud to admit that she had been a wreck for the past two years, she simply couldn’t cave so easily.

“Hey Olive. Thought I’d come see ya’.” Riley said, flexing his muscles and leaning against the stereo.

“Yeah cool, haven’t spoke to you much while we’ve been here.” Olive replied, checking him out. He was definitely attractive in a very brash, muscled, beach boy kind of way.

“C’mere.” He grabbed her shoulder, pulling him close to her and began whispering into her ear. “My cus’ told me you’re down for a bit of fun.” Olive looked at him with a confused expression on her face, her experience with men was exactly none. “You know, you help me out, I help you out, that kinda’ thing.”

“What the hell! No way, I don’t even know you!” She shouted back.

“Woah, woah! My cousin said you were cool, what’s the big problem?!”

She couldn’t believe what he was asking her, he had only met her a few weeks ago and he wanted them to have sex! Moving away from him and standing over at the edge of the terrace with her vodka she mused about her love life, no one had ever shown any attention to her, sure guys had wolf whistled at her in the street but every girl got that from time to time, maybe she should go with Riley, just to get it out of the way, she’d only need a little more vodka. She downed the glass.

“Olive! I can’t believe you! Riley’s gonna shut of the music, just because you won’t have sex with him!!” Reena shouted, her eyes emitting rays of anger.

“I’m not having sex with your cousin, I don’t even know him.” Olive replied blankly, staring straight through Reena.

“Why not?! He’s obviously great in bed, he must have had sex with like 30 girls in the two weeks we’ve been here, it’ll be fun, stop being so boring!” The words boring snapped Olive out of her daze, boring was one thing she always prided herself on not being. She may not have been the smartest or the prettiest girl, but she certainly wasn’t boring. Looking down at the floor she thought for a few seconds.

“I’ll do it, should be fun.” She faked a smile at her ‘friend’, looking around for Riley.

“I knew you’d come around! I told him you’d do it, so he’s gone to wait in the bedroom. Enjoy it sweetie, oh can you pass me my bag?” Olive leaned over and passed the hot pink clutch to Reena, who proceeded to fish out a small bag of white powder, which she laid out on the table and snorted with a rolled up hundred. It didn’t faze Olive, she was used to it. Heading up to the master bedroom where Riley she stayed she didn’t feel nervous at all, a little excited maybe, but really she just felt numb. She had been drinking none stop since she woke up, drink didn’t give her that elated sense of joy it gave so many people, it just made her unthinking, as if her sense was snatched away from her.

“Hey kido. Glad you came.” Riley watched from his position on the side of the blank white bed as she sashayed across the room in her spangled swimsuit.

*    *    *

“You can do this..” Oliver muttered to himself as he adjusted his shirt and checked himself out in front of the bathroom mirror. Tonight was his first show, and although he usually favored jeans and an old t shirt he wanted to look respectable for tonight, after all the photos would probably be on page six.

The party was the only social event going on. Well, the only one worth going to. It was an amalgamation of the Redcliffe glitterati, who had turned out in force to support who was soon to become one of their own. The star power was brought by Oliver’s grandmother Lily, the famous movie star, as well as a host of other actors and actresses, models, journalists, musicians, and business moguls who would pay exorbitant prices for a good piece of art. Oriana, Oliver’s aunt, was there with her rock star boyfriend Jasper (still going – well, is strong really the word for those two?) as well as his other aunt Alexandra, the international best selling author.

“The work is so great, I’ll definitely be buying a few pieces for the new studio Jasper and I are building in our backyard.” Oriana slurred, already drunk before she arrived. Oliver had never had much of a relationship with her, but he thanked her nonetheless.

“Isn’t it just divine?” Celeste’s clipped English voice could be heard shmoozing clients from the back of the gallery, where she basked in the attention that she was getting; people turned to stare at her once they noticed the woman in a lot of the paintings was among them. She was currently persuading a first time buyer to purchase, her specialty. “A Belgravia piece will just go so well in any setting, wonderful for a hallway or a dining room to really make a statement, you know sweetie,” she leaned in and whispered, “this is the young mans first show, and as you can see by all the red stickers around here he is very popular.” She stood up straight once more, her voice rising, “Why I imagine his paintings will be selling for ten times the amount I’m selling them for now in ten years!”

“There he is over there, isn’t he just a darling?” She pointed behind her to where Oliver was stood, still in conversation with Oriana.

“Is that Oriana Belgravia he’s talking to? She was on the cover of Rolling Stone a few weeks ago with Jasper.” The woman said, clearly impressed. Celeste knew she’d got her.

“Oh yes, his aunt you know. This family has a lot of star power.” Celeste had learnt long ago that for the majority of the people willing to spend thousands, or even millions on a piece of art the artist was as every bit important as the work itself. Coming from a family like the Belgravia’s Oliver had a massive amount of star power, she knew that people would be interested in the art just because of the name he had been born into.

“I can’t  believe he did a painting of me!” Tommy was shouting from behind the partition in the middle of the room, staring at the painting of himself up on the wall, which had already been marked with a red sticker to show it had been sold, probably due to the glowing review it was given in The Redcliffe Review. “And who the hell bought it? Why would someone want a painting of me on their wall?!”

“Because it’s a good painting man!” Oliver said as he came around the corner. Tommy smiled at his brother, he was insanely flattered that his brother had painted him, never mind put him in the gallery. The two brothers hugged and stared at the painting, Tommy trying his hardest to look like he was interested. They caught each others eye and burst out laughing.

“My grandson!” Lily boomed, embraced Oliver in a light hug. “I simply love the work, it’s incredible, I’m so proud of you.” Lily was genuinely impressed, she was glad her grandson had some talent, she would have hated to see him end up like a lot of other rich, off the rails children.

“I must ask though, who is the woman in all of the paintings? I heard people saying she’s here tonight. I have to say she looks a little old for you.”

“Grandma!” Oliver laughed, he couldn’t think of his grandmother in a sexual scene, he preferred to believe she had never had sex in her life. “It’s my agent, she’s the one who made all this happen, and I just love painting her.” He smiled at his grandmother. It was true, apart from the part about being completely infatuated with Celeste being missed out.

“Well as long as she makes you happy, that’s what I always say.” Lily replied, thinking to herself that it was her who had made all of this happen, half the people here wouldn’t have turned up if rumors of her attendance hadn’t ‘leaked’ onto the internet, no doubt spread by Celeste. ‘I must get my Private Investigator onto her…” She mused as she walked off to chat with the co-star in her latest blockbuster.

“Am I brilliant or am I brilliant?” Celeste beamed as she quickly walked across the room to Oliver. “I just sold Starburst for three times it’s worth, people are willing to pay anything for these!”

“That’s great, I hope it doesn’t cause problems but I gave two of these to aunt Alex, so I marked them.” His aunt had expressed an interest in buying the paintings, but he never saw her, and knew she had a growing brood to support, with Celestes insane prices she might have left with nothing, besides, it took nothing for him to paint, it was easy. Celeste pressed her fingers to her temple to stop herself yelling in the middle of the packed room.

Slowly opening her eyes she spoke in an unnaturally even manner, her eyes never leaving Olivers.

“Are you being serious? That’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard, I could have made thousands off two paintings, and you’re just giving them away?”

“Hey it’s no big deal, it’s not like I care about the money, I just want some recognition for my work.”

“You don’t care about the money? Well you bloody well should because that’s what the recognition is. The more a painting is worth the more recognition it gets. We can steadily rise your prices with each show, but giving them away isn’t doing you any favors.” If there was one thing Celeste knew it was art, she needed Oliver to listen to her if their working relationship was going to work.

“Fine, it’s no biggie. I’ll paint two more and you can sell them privately.”

Celeste leaned back, glaring at Oliver. He was her best client, but his laid back attitude really got to her sometimes. She knew she couldn’t win this one, and it annoyed her. She was a woman who always won. But she had to give in before they caused a scene.

“Fine. Ingrid Cale is in the other room, she wants to speak with you.” and with that she turned on her heel and stalked out of the room.

Ingrid Cale was one of Olivers favourite actresses. He never really got star struck, having a famous actress for a grandmother you got used to seeing famous people daily, but Ingrid Cale was better than any of them, she was basically the Lily Belgravia of her generation, and for her to want to talk to him was amazing.

“Ah! Oliver! I have been wanting to speak  with you all night, the art is fabulous darling, simply fabulous! And for one so young it is fantastic! I’ve already bought three pieces. You must come to my next party you know, I’ll make sure Suzie puts you on the list. Come, let us smile for this photographer!” She  put her arm around his waist, smile fixed firmly in place as she stared at the camera in front of her. Oliver managed to smile just in time.

“I- wow, thank you, it’s amazing to hear you say that. I love your movies by the way.” He didn’t care if he sounded like a dumb star struck fan, he had to tell her how much he loved her work.

“Ah thank you! Now where is that waiter with the champagne, have you had much dear?” She craned her neck looking for the waiter, before her eyes rested on Olivers face, and she peered at him intently.

“You are old enough for champagne aren’t you? You’re what… 19?” She was a woman renowned for being able to guess an age perfectly, but Oliver stumped her. He looked youthful, yet there was an attractiveness and a confidence there she usually associated with older men, he was also a great talent, which she rarely saw in those younger than 18.

“I’m old enough, besides it’s my party.” Oliver replied slyly, grabbing two glasses from the waiter and handing one to Ingrid, letting his fingers rest on hers for a moment.

“My, my, aren’t you something. Definitely coming to one of my parties.” She narrowed her eyes and smiled at him coyly, she always did like them young.

“Amazing turn out wasn’t it?” Celeste said as she roamed up and down the gallery with Oliver. The party had wound down about an hour ago, the trail of limousines had looked like the Presidential cavalcade as they wound their way through the country lanes back into the centre of the city, many with a Belgravia piece wrapped tightly in the back.

“It was amazing, thanks Celeste.”

“Oh it’s no problem darling. Of course I’ll work out my commission, but that isn’t important right now.” Celeste needed Oliver. Although her place in the tabloids and her standing as one of the reat socialittes of Redcliffe was firmly in place her career as an art dealer was on the down. Unknown artists didn’t sell anymore. Oliver himself may have been unknown, but the Belgravia name was renowned world wide, and as such sold buckets worth of art. She wanted to show her appreciation for him in the best way she knew. Before Oliver could react she’d grabbed him around the waist, turning him towards her and looked into his eyes for only a second before she plunged her crimson lips onto his. He didn’t resist, she knew he wouldn’t. Just a second before she had kissed him Oliver thought he saw her face soften, her steely glare turn into one of kindness, or joy, but he lost it as he immersed himself in the kiss, his first kiss to be precise. He had gotten complete recognition for his art and his first kiss with a woman so far out of his league he thought she might be gone in an instant. All in all a a very successful night for Oliver.

*    *    *

Sorry if anyone is a little dissapointed that I sort of skipped over the whole cancer situation, I really wanted to do it justice, and I think I kind of rushed into the storyline without thinking about how I would do it properly. We’re on chapter 15 now (can you believe it!?) and I really wanted to give the kids my full focus. Also being an issue that is so close to my heart (and many others) I just felt it would be easier to move on with the story, and get back into happier times – I hope everyone’s okay with that!

What do you think of the new characters? Any ideas for how the story should proceed, I love to know what you think!

– Marissa x

Generation 2 – Chapter 13

The Dinner

“Come on Olive, get off that phone and grab me some rosemary from the spice rack will you” Arielle asked as she prepared the evenings dinner.

“Mom I don’t get why you’re going to all this trouble just for stupid Jake!” Olive whined as she searched trough the various spices and herbs on the opposite counter.

“You’re only saying that because you don’t like salmon and you know it.” Arielle laughed, “Don’t worry, I’ll do you something else for you, but for now help me with this. You know come here, I’ll teach you how to cut it just right.”

“Why, you do it perfectly.” Olive plonked herself down one of the stools, pulling out her laptop and logging onto Facebook.

“Well you need to know how to cut sweetie.” She busied herself with the salmon as she spoke, “you know, for the day when I’m not around any more…” Olive didn’t detect the anguish that flitted across her mothers face.

“Oh mom! I’m not moving out just yet, you’ve got a few more years of me yet. Oh my god! Milly Orkenfor just changed her relationship status from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘it’s complicated’!”

“They have relationship status’ on there?” Arielle asked, still preparing the salmon.

“O.M.G! I have to call her this instant, oh she’s online, I need to find out what happened!” Arielle smiled at her daughter as she typed away furiously, she couldn’t help but think what would happen if the cancer took her life from her, how would her daughter cope without her here to listen to the the snippets of her life that were so important right now?

“Oh Kitty you’re here! And you look lovely by the way.” Arielle smiled at her oldest daughter as she walked into the room, dressed for dinner. She was so proud of everything she was achieving, both in her personal life and her school life. Class president, and now she had a boyfriend! Arielle wondered if her own life would have turned out differently if she had experienced everything her children were experiencing, the childhood memories of sibling rivalry, boyfriends and girlfriends, teenage parties while the parents were away… It didn’t matter, she was extremely grateful for the way she had grown up, after all if it wasn’t for that she may never have been at the club on that fateful night that Noah walked in the door.

“Kitty can you go and put the washer on? I want everything to be done before dinner so I don’t have to do it afterwards.” Arielle asked as she rushed around the kitchen. Kitty smiled and sighed theatrically,

“Ah, if I must!” Trudging off to the pantry/laundry room Kitty tried to keep her nerves at bay. What if her parents didn’t like Jake? She liked him so much, and just wanted everyone else to feel the same. Olive was okay with him, they had talked about it as they laid in Olive’s bed watching The Notebook and eating Ben and Jerrys from the box, she loved having her sister to talk to about the relationship stuff, it’s not like Tommy would have been interested!

“Hey mom!” Oliver yelled as he walked into the kitchen, dumping a stack of easels in the sun room, which had became his domain ever since he started painting there as a child.

“Hi son, how was the art class?” Arielle asked as she poured herself a cup of coffee. She was so proud of her youngest son, he was so unlike his brother, which she loved. All her children were different, and she loved that about them.

“Meh,” he shrugged his shoulders, “it’s okay, the kids in there are total crap though. Today someone painted a house! I swear I painted a similar thing when I was 8.”

“Well not everyone is as good at art as you Oliver, that’s why they’re in the class!” Arielle said.

“I suppose. Can I have a sandwich?” He bounded over to the fridge, about to make his favourite turkey sandwiches.

“No you can’t have a sandwich! We’re having dinner soon. Close the fridge.” Arielle chided from her position on the island. Oliver was still searching the fridge, obviously still about to make his sandwich. “Oliver! Close it.” His mothers warning finally got through, and with a sigh he slammed the fridge door closed. If she was no longer around who would stop Oliver from gauging on his favourite foods? Who would instil the importance of family meals into him? They were slight, and in some ways silly things that she was fretting over, but she couldn’t help think about every aspect of their lives, and all the ways in which they needed her. She looked downwards, her children couldn’t know that she was ill, at least not yet, not with Noah’s big party coming up, and Kitty’s dinner to introduce them to Jake, Tommy’s football game this weekend, Oliver’s art show at the school next Wednesday, the shopping spree Olive had planned for the both of them coming up, and little Cora’s birthday on the horizon.

“Tommy!” Arielle exclaimed as she heard the back door open. “How was practice?” She kissed him on the cheek before she took his dirty gym clothes out of the backpack he had dumped on the floor.

“Fine.” He went and looked over Olive’s shoulder at her laptop.

“What the hell are you doing?” He asked.

“Connor cheated on Milly! But she still wants to be with him!” Olive got into her element, “Okay so I called Stacy who told me that she had seen Connor at the movies with – you’ll never guess who -” She paused for a few seconds as Tommy stood scowling at her “-Mindy! The girl you brought to the party!”

“Tommy brought a girl to that party you guys threw!?” Arielle exclaimed as she washed her now empty coffee mug.

“He totally kissed her too,” Olive continued, “because Stacey wasn’t in the same theatre as them so I called Michelle who works there, and she was doing that thing you know where they come in with the glasses and spy on you, and she was just looking then she got to Connor, and he was kissing Mindy!! Oh my God, biggest news ever right?!”

“Yeah biggest news ever.” Tommy said sarcastically, scowling.

“Come on, it is big news! They were like the perfect couple! Kitty don’t you think that’s big?” Olive asked when she saw Kitty walking out of the laundry room.

“Definitely. I mean, especially seen as she wants to stay with him. What woman would do that to herself? She needs to get some pride and leave him.” Kitty replied as she dried the mug Arielle had just washed.

“I knoooow right! She needs to get a grip! This is so exciting I have to call Clara right now, mom can I?” Olive pleaded.

“No you can’t, dinner will be ready in a few minutes. Tommy will you go get Cora from the den and put her in the high chair?” Arielle asked as she peered through the glass door of the oven to check her salmon.

“No!” Tommy said as he stormed out of the kitchen.”

“Who put a stick up his ass?” Oliver joked.

“Oliver, don’t swear! Although you’re right…” Arielle craned her neck to see if she could see Tommy in any of the rooms that were visible through the large glass doors in the den. “Go get Cora would you Oliver.” She said as she brought the huge plate of salmon out of the oven. She was thankful for Oliver as he came back into the room with Cora on his arm, but she worried about Tommy, maybe was just in one of those moods but what if it was something serious? If she wasn’t here who would he talk to?! None of the children would talk to Noah about their problems, they always came to her. It would be even worse for Tommy, as Noah wasn’t his biological father, and she hadn’t heard from Leo in years.

The whole family was seated for dinner, as well as Jake, who Arielle insisted on seating at the head of the table, which made it even worse for him as everyone could gawk at him freely. Kitty sat next to her father, who was next to Jake, and spent the entire dinner wishing she could swap places with her father, the stern looks he was giving Jake were beginning to make her nervous! Everyone else stayed mainly silent as they ate, it was always polite conversation during the beginning of dinner (and Arielle had sternly told them to be extra polite due to Jakes presence), school work, football, that sort of thing. Olive played with her BlackBerry under the table as she ignored the salad her mother had made for her. Oliver tried to talk to Tommy, who was having none of it, and furiously wolfed down his dinner before he asked to be excused, which Noah stopped with a few stern words about having guests and being polite, which instantly shut Tommy up. Cora was, in Kitty’s opinion, the saviour of the dinner. Every time she felt a little awkward she could talk about how big Cora was getting, or how sweet she was in her high chair, which would always result in huge giggles from Cora, making the entire table smile.

“So Jake, what are you interested in?” Noah asked as he took a sip of water.

“Um – Sports mainly…” Jake smiled lightly, he was understandably nervous, and Noah’s stern gaze wasn’t helping calm those. “Oh and your daughter, very interested in your daughter!” The corners of Noah’s mouth turned up in a half smile as he watched this kid squirm with nerves in front of him.

“Jake, Jake, it’s fine.” Kitty whispered, smiling at Jake as she reached across the table and squeezed his hand whilst Noah complimented Arielle on how wonderful the salmon was.

“Kitty, hows the class presidency going?” Noah turned to his eldest daughter whom he loved so much.

“Great actually, I’ve got a committee together and we’re planning a lot of positive changes around the school, do you know they don’t even recycle!”

“Well neither did we until you practically held mom at knife point until she got a recycle bin!” Oliver said, his mouth full of food.

“You know I think this is just a test run for you – if you know what I mean.” Noah looked proudly upon his daughter, he could definitely see big things for her future.

“I wanna talk to you guys about that actually!” Kitty said excitedly, looking at both her parents. “I’ve decided I’m going to apply for an internship in jounalism! Oh and don’t tell grandpa, I don’t want to get it just because he owns the company.”

“That’s amazing sweetie!” Arielle exclaimed as she smiled at her daughter, she always knew exactly what she wanted to do, so unlike her at the same age. Noah was oddly silent at this point, Kitty looked at him with a confused expression while Arielle tilted her head to the side, willing him to say what was on his mind.

“Well Kitty wouldn’t it be better for you to apply for a political internship at city hall? I thought that’s what you wanted.”

“No, I want to write about politics, not be in it, not yet anyway. Class presidents one thing but I don’t know if I want to do it on a grander scale, writing about it would be more fun, then I wouldn’t have to tread on egg shells like I would if I was a politician.” She had clearly thought over her reasons to apply for a journalism internship, but Noah still didn’t seem happy.

“I just don’t see why you’d want to write about politics when you could be in the middle of it.”

“It’s a snake pit daddy, I don’t want to be in there.”

“It’s not like you couldn’t hold your own though sis.” Olive said, finally looking up from her BlackBerry.

“Yeah Kitty, why aim so low?” Oliver chimed in, still chewing with his mouth full. Kitty turned and glared at him, her lips set in a thin line of disapproval , she didn’t like her family always getting their own views in.

“Olive turn your stupid phone off the beeping’s annoying me!” Tommy shouted from the opposite end of the table.

“Tommy’s got his panties in a twist.” Oliver whispered to Kitty across the table, causing her to burst out in laughter.

“Shut up Oliver!” yelled Tommy, punching Oliver on the arm.

“Woah, woah, what the hell is your problem Tommy?! Did you miss a throw at practice?! Are you on your period or something, God what is your problem today?!” Olive screamed, defending both herself and Oliver.

“Stop it!” Arielle stood up, immediately shutting everyone up. “We have a guest who has came here to get to know us and you kids can do nothing but bicker?!” She glared individually at everyone on the table, excluding Jake. Olive put that phone away!” She turned on her daughter with fury in her eyes.

“But mom -”

Now.” The phone went into Olive’s pocket with a lot of huffing and puffing. “Tommy, obviously something’s bothering you, but please try and get through it, we can talk about it later.”

“I don’t want to talk about!”

“Okay, fine. And apologise to your brother for punching him. And Oliver, you apologise for mocking your brother! And Kitty move your hand from your mouth, I know you’re sniggering behind there!” The two boys exchanged a grumpy apology, Arielle usually would have made them give a proper one but she realised she was going to get nowhere with Tommy tonight, and she didn’t want to make any more of a scene than had already taken place. They took to staring each other out in anger instead. Tommy planned ways to ruin Olivers easels while Oliver thought of places he could hide Tommy’s gym clothes and the best instruments to puncture his footballs with.

“Now let’s just finish dinner shall we?” The conversation slowed down after that, with none of the children wanting to talk due to their anger at being upstaged by their mother it all fell on the nervous Jake, who ended up telling much more about his life than he had thought would be necessary when he first arrived for dinner.

“Oh my God mom I feel sick!” Olive yelled, pushing over her chair as she jumped up from the table, standing there with her hands over her mouth.

“Oh jeez shes gonna spew!!” Oliver yelled holding his empty plate in front of him as a mock shield. Beofre anyone could ask what was the matter she was gone, flying out of the room leaving everyone confused. Why was she ill?

“I guess dinners over.” Arielle said as she stood up and began clearing the plates. “Nice having you Jake.”

The Party

“How shall I sit for my interview? I don’t want to seem nervous, but I don’t want to look like I know I’m going to get it. Does this look arrogant?” Kitty asked as she sat on the comfortable chair in the corner of her bathroom, testing out poses for her upcoming interview at the local paper, which fell under the Belgravia Industries umbrella.

“Hmm.” Olive turned to her sister and gave her a once over. “I think it looks fine, just pick a way to sit and stick to it, or better yet don’t think about it at all, you don’t want to over think it.” She turned back to the mirror and began examining her pores. “After all,” She covered the beginnings of a spot with some of Kitty’s expensive concealer, “they’re looking at your journalistic talents, not the way you sit.”

“I know but I don’t want to leave anything to chance!” Kitty said as she tested having her arms folded.

“They’re not gonna hire you because you look so demure you know Kit.”

“Oh I know, I know.” She stood up and shook her arms and legs, as if to get them out of the poses they had been stuck in for the last half hour. “Do you think I should try out a new lipgloss?”

“No, I think you suit that one, which one should I wear?” Olive asked as she sat down, looking through the extensive collection which was all held in a large box. “Have you ever even worn this?” She said, holding up a stick of hot pink.

“I’ve never worn most of them, they’re just good to have, for times like now when you need one!” Kitty replied, applying some mascara and checking herself out.

The two sisters moved from the bedroom, after Olive decided to not wear any lipstick after all.

“You have such beautiful jewellery sis, can I borrow this?” Olive asked as she sat on the floor pouring over Kittys antique jewellery box while Kitty slipped into the dress she had finally chosen.

“Is that guy from school coming tonight?” Kitty asked.

“James? I guess so, I didn’t dare invite him though. His parents work with dad so I guess he’ll come with them. I’m so nervous!” Olive distracted herself with her outfit for the night, she liked James, she really thought he could be her boyfriend, if only he would talk to her.

“Why? You have to talk to him, he’s so cute, and you would be so beautiful together!” Kitty wanted her sister to have as good a relationship as she had with Jake.

“Yeah okay, maybe I will.” She had no intention of actually doing so. She’d been admiring Tommy’s friend Austin for years, she’d even tried to flirt with him once but came up against a brick wall, she felt like she must be so ugly!

“I know that means you won’t! Come on what’s the problem?!” Kitty persisted.

“Kitty just drop it! It’s okay for you, boys love you with your little stick thin body and your blonde hair and your glossy lips! Who would want me?” She was on the verge of tears as she yelled at Kitty.

“Olive! How can you even say that, you know it took me ages to talk to Jake but I finally did it and look how it all turned out! You’re absolutely beautiful sis, you have such pretty hair and your body is amazing!”

“You think so? You’re sweet..”

“.. but I have to work for it. You’re so lucky that you don’t.” Olive blinked a few times, she could feels tears threatening to spill out, she couldn’t ruin her make up and get a blotchy face a few minutes before the party.

“Hey girls is everything okay, you ready?” Arielle asked, walking into the room in her long, flowing red dress.

“Oh my gosh mom you look amazing!” Olive yelled, staring at her mother.

“You don’t think I overdid it? I know this is so important to your father, I wanted to make a good impression.” She asked as she fumbled with her dress. “Oh!” She exclaimed as she let go of the dress and took in her two daughters properly, “You two look so beautiful.” Arielle smiled down at them, she loved them so much, loved that they could have these girly experiences of getting ready together before parties, talk about boys and whatever else they did. She put her arms around their shoulders and the three of them walked to the famous mirror that was always used for posing in before heading out to a party.

The party was a formal affair. Champagne was flowing freely around the room as waiters held their trays aloft darting in and out of the impeccably manicured guests. Noah was hoping to land a master maestro for his orchestra, and the party was an attempt to schmooze him into the deal. An avid celebrity worshipper, the presence of Noah’s famous wife and her family, especially the legend herself Lily Belgravia, would go a long way to sealing the deal. The den, which had been set up with a dance floor and gobos, had became the epicentre of the youth of the party, with all the teens grinding and dancing any way they wanted.

“Oh my gosh don’t look now – Mindy is here!” Kitty stage whispered to Olive as they stood in the centre of the dancefloor.

“She’s a little cow! Why would she come here after what she did to Milly?!” Olive fumed, staring across the room at Mindy.

“Oh my God – don’t freak out, she’s headed towards Oliver.” Kitty tried to be inconspicuous, dancing in circles around her sister as her gaze followed Mindy across the room to her little brother. “They’re dancing together!”

“Is she determined to get every Belgravia male going? She’ll be jumping on grandpa next!”

“At least Oliver doesn’t look very interested…” Kitty mused as she checked out the situation in the rest of the room.

“Hey what’s up with Tommy?” Olive asked, staring across the room to where Tommy was stood scowling, the date he had brought hanging behind him.

“Oh Rosy! I forgot he was bringing her – I feel bad for her, she’s totally in love with him and he’s just ignoring her!” Kitty fretted, wondering whether to go over and save Rosy from her clearly terrible date.

“Oh. My. God. Who is that weirdo?! She came in a swimsuit…?” Olive laughed as she pointed across the room to a girl who had clearly arrived expecting a pool party. Kitty laughed along with her sister. “The swimsuits so last season too.”

“I know right!” Olive and Kitty burst into laughter as they continued to stare at her.

“Sushi ladies” Offered a waiter, holding his tray in front of them.

“Ooh definitely!” Kitty said excitedly, grabbing a few pieces while Olive stood staring at the tray. “Olive, take some!” Kitty said, her mouth full of food. Olive reluctantly took a piece.

“Isn’t it strange, seeing our girls so grown up?” Arielle commented as she danced slowly with Noah, the odd couple amongst the throngs of teenagers. “God I wish I could still dance like them.” Arielle laughed as she watched Kitty hitting the dancefloor like she herself did in her youth.

“Arielle. You have to tell them.” Noah had been pushing her to tell the family about her cancer for weeks now, but he realised how hard it must be for her, and was there every step of the way, just waiting for the day when she was ready to tell the children.

“Yes, soon. For now, lets dance.”

“Where’s Olive?” Oliver asked, joining Kitty in her wild dancing.

“I dunno actually. Stay here, I better go find her.” Kitty was worried that she was upset about James, who had been talking to Kirsty in the corner of the room all night, and hadn’t so much as glanced in Olive’s direction.

“Olive?! Olive!!” Kitty went from room to room, searching the entire first floor, which was packed full of people, the second floor, which had a couple of people hanging around on the sofas in the hallway and a few waiting for the bathroom, and finally ended up on the deserted third floor. Every room was empty, and finally she came to her own. This was the only place she could be, the furthest room in the house. As she entered she was a little scared, it was pretty much silent way up here, the light sounds of laughter and clinking glasses drifting in through one of the windows she had left open, the curtains blowing in the breeze. Olive was nowhere in sight. Marching into the bathroom she slammed the lights on, but she couldn’t see Olive anywhere. Then she heard it, the light sobs, but she still didn’t know where they were coming from.

“Who’s there!?” Kitty shouted, becoming more freaked out by the second. She looked around, her eyes becoming drawn to the open toilet. She was sure she had shut it when she left. Looking down she saw it was filled with vomit, she had no idea what was going on. Then she saw her sisters thin figure huddled under the sink, sobbing into her knees.

“Olive! Are you okay, come out of there!” Kitty leaned down, tugging on her sisters hand, begging her to come out and talk to her. “You’re scaring me Olive, did you make yourself sick?” She had thought about Olive’s behaviour that night, she could have been drunk, but she hadn’t had a drink. She either must be genuinely ill or had made herself sick. Kitty’s instincts took her to the latter. After much coaxing Olive finally crawled out from under the sink, resting her head in her sisters lap as they laid on the ground.

“I’m sorry Kitty, I didn’t want you to see me like this.” Olive said, finally standing up and wiping away the tears from her face.

“Why would you do this to yourself?” Kitty questioned sternly. She felt bad for her sister, but she knew that this was no way for her to live her life. Kitty was expecting a heartfelt confession, maybe a few more tears, but what she got instead was Olive’s fury.

“Oh Kitty you have it so easy don’t you!” She screamed, throwing her arms wide.

“What?” Kitty was too shocked to argue back, and she didn’t want to upset her sister any more.

“Everyone in this family has something! Tommy’s the sporty one, Oliver’s the painter, even Cora is a little musical genius already – and you, the star of the family with a job at that pathetic grocery store, debate and newspaper club, published writer, political extrordinare, ‘destined for great things’ as Noah said! Well what about me?! I don’t know what I want to do – I’m not interested in things the same way you guys are! I wish I was, I really do, but it seems all I can do is shop and gossip, nothing else!”

“Olive, what – where is this coming from?” Kitty stuttered, Olive’s fury seemed to know no bounds, her arms were flying everywhere, threatening to whack Kitty in the face.

“All of you have it together, you’re all perfect!” She knew little of Kitty’s underlying insecurities, her fear of failure, of Tommy’s battle with his sexuality and his academic struggles, or of Oliver’s loneliness. “My body is what I can control! Something goes in, I can get it out, if I’m thin at least I can look pretty, I may not have my life planned out but I’ll look good figuring it out!”

With those words she stormed out of the room, bringing down several shelves on the opposite wall from the force with which she slammed the door. Kitty was speechless, still cowering in the corner. How could her sister be doing this, bulimic? Eating disorders were dangerous, people died from them! She had to find her mother and get her help.

“Mom I need your-” Kitty cut her sentence short as she ran into the kitchen and was faced with her entire family facing her mother and father, who clearly had an announcement. She joined the children in line, standing as far as possible from Olive, who had been planning on escaping into the hedge maze but had been dragged into the kitchen for a family meeting.

“Can we hurry this up?!” Tommy yelled. Austin was on his way to the party and he couldn’t decide if he wanted to run away from him in shame or run straight into his arms. He was about to complain again before Noah put him down with a stern glance, standing behind his wife, her protector.

“Kids I have something to tell you, now I don’t want you to be upset…” She wondered if she was making the right decision, about to tell her children about her cancer in the middle of a party. She had decided to do it, and she knew she had to do it now or she never would, but the words were just so hard to say. Once she did it, everything would change. The kids would be worried about her, they wouldn’t be able to lead such full lives as the weight of their mothers life would be hanging over their heads until she got better, or, God forbid, died.

“Mom?!” Oliver urged his mother on with a scowl, there was a girl he wanted to talk to in the next room, he thought she would be perfect to paint.

“Well the thing is, I’m ill kids. I have been for, a while now.” They all stared back at her with shock, exchanging worried glances between themselves.

“That’s why your mother and I went to Sunset Valley, to explore treatment options.” Noah explained as Arielle gathered her composure.

“It’s bad kids, I don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s -” She felt strange, her heart was pounding in her chest, her throat felt like it was constricting. Her eyes widened as she turned to Noah in panic. The children exchanged more worried glances, they still didn’t know the extent of her illness. Time seemed to slow down as the family watched their mothers eyes flutter shut and her body go limp as she began falling, her red dress cascading around her as her body hit the floor.

Generation 2 – Chapter 2

Was in at a school or a concentration camp? It was miles and miles of walls before the limo dropped me off outside these like, huge gates and a like, 106 year old man let me onto this long driveway. The school at the end was definitely not a concentration camp, but didn’t look like much of a school either. More like Louis XI’s country retreat.

I was actually quite impressed with it, though of course I’d never voice it, I’d tell mom and dad it was the fugliest place going. I knew the way I was at home was not quite what my parents had hoped for, and for a second thoughts of me winning honours from my school, graduating as the class valedictorian, and being one of those girls who buys their teachers presents when they leave flashed across my mind. But like I said, it was just for a second. I deserved a good life, full of parties, friends, men, money, clothes and fun! Maybe I should just turn away from this school and run away, I could probably get an advance on my trust-fund…

The entrance was a little more old money penthouse than prep school, but this school didn’t seem to fit any of the stereotypes of boarding school… at least not yet. Hopefully all the girls inside would be pretty, skinny, and perky with manicures, Paris coture for their uniform and perfectly styled hair. But I was barely hopeful, they were probably going to be total trolls. The first taste of the school did not impress. The woman who was their to greet me was actually quite pretty, but the drab bun (which can, when done right, look extremely chic) and the harsh expression just made me dread meeting her.

As she came closer I critiqued. She could definitely do with a nose job, how would she get a boyfriend with that beast? She was wearing quite a bit of eye make up for a teacher though… maybe she wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Oh. The dress! Who was this woman? She was in a freaking pilgrim dress, hunny this is 2011 not 1620. Had she just sailed here on The Mayflower? Please. 

“Welcome to Howland, Arielle Belgravia. It is a pleasure to finally meet you.” Um, was this the débutante ball or something? What was with the formality? I hated her already.

“Yeah, it’s real sweet to meet you.” I threw her a weak smile.

“Well I am Miss. Brewster, the acting head mistresses of this fine school. Would you like the full tour?”

She turned around, clearly not waiting for an answer. I’d have been totally happy with a tour of the school but like, not now that this assuming bitch thought she could control me.

“Oh- Miss B. I’m actually like, totally tired from the really long journey and I’m just gonna crash out.” She seemed a little like, well, shocked at what I said. Good. Maybe it would slap some expression onto her face. Either this woman had been overdoing the botox or she was the most miserable person going, I thought the latter.

“Oh. I see. Are you completely sure?” Her eyebrows raised just a fraction of an inch as she asked me. I was not backing down. If this woman was looking for a subordinate she had another thing coming.

“Ohh totally Miss. I feel like I might just pass out right here, and I wouldn’t want to risk snagging your beautiful dress.”

“Now we have a few rules here which you don’t exactly adhere to in your current state,” She lifted her eyebrows as she looked over my tiny shorts hat showed off my amazing legs and my make-up which totally accentuated my beauty, ” but I’m sure your dorm-mates will fill you in on all of that. Your room is West Wing, top floor, I simply must go now.” Before I knew it she was off down the hallway. Who did she think she was? I’d probably get lost in an instant, oh well, maybe I’d explore the place on my own.

The hallways were nothing like the amazing façade of the building. OK, I suppose they were quite rich with the deep oak panelling, but it was so dark. I might as well have been in a 95 year old perverted lawyers office, there were probably two way mirrors that weirdo Miss. Brewster would spy on me through. After like, 15 years of roaming hallways I saw a toilet, might as well take a break and check I’m looking my best to meet these ‘dorm-mates’. Ew.

The toilet was totally harsh with awful florescent lighting and dirty white tiles covering every wall and floor, this was supposed to be an elite private school, not McDonald’s. I looked like 40 times worse than normal in this lighting, but of course I still looked beautiful.

I totally thought the place was empty, and then what do you now, some total creeper comes out of the stall directly behind me, ew, who was this tramp?

She came over and started talking to me, God knows why. But I did need some friends here, or at least some minions. I put on my biggest smile and started talking. After a while we got onto the subject of Miss Brewster.

“Don’t you think she’s like, a total tramp?” I asked the girl, who was starting to get overexcited, probably because I was talking to someone like her. She leaned close and whispered in my ear as if she was about to reveal some detrimental information about the tramp teacher…

“I don’t like her very much either!!”

OK. I was officially talking to the biggest dork ever. More inane conversation followed, and I learned she was in my dorm. Score! (not!).

“Come on, I’ll take you up there!” She squealed excitedly.

“Lets do it!!” I screamed back, both of us leaning over and laughing (fake on my part). God, this was the worst conversation of my life, I felt like I was in hell. If Lucifer himself walked past right now I wouldn’t have been surprised.

After a whole lot of twisting hallways full of black and white pictures of head girls from the bygone days and butch lesbians holding up lacrosse sticks with the butchest one of all holding the trophy in the middle we came to the last passage of the third floor, which led to ours of the fourth.

Oh. My. God. Now I literally was in hell. Why was our door straight from Dracula’s Castle and had a steel caged peep hole? Some nonce teachers would definitely be spying on us. I was totally going to either cover it up, or sue.

The place was my nightmare. 3 bunks in a drab old wooden room with a window also straight out of Dracula’s Castle. The girls had clearly tried to jazz it up with a stripy sofa and a few posters, but it still just looked like an awful space. I had no idea how many girls were in here, God I hoped the beds weren’t full. For now the room was empty except for the annoying girl who’d brought me in and a frumpy looking girl laid on her bunk reading, who barely even acknowledged me. Rude much?

I was totally bored after 5 minutes so I stripped off to my underwear and after glancing over my cases and deciding I was no way packing them away just yet, I grabbed a boring looking book and flung myself on the sofa.

One word. Ew. The two girls who walked in next definitely took the prize for the biggest trolls. Also for the biggest bitches. One was totally sick, with this disgusting mole thing, which the dorks call a ‘beauty spot’, please. The other had like, this awful straw hair, with a totally bland face which was in some sort of sneer, please, I might as well have shot myself there and then, the look she was giving me was something like ‘fresh-meat’ who did she think she was dealing with?

The looks they were giving me were awful, and I had no idea why they were doing it, I’d totally acted nice to the freaky happy girl, she probably thought we were B.F.F’s. So why would these girls hate me? They didn’t even say anything to me, and quickly all the girls were in bed, leaving me sat there like an idiot. It was 9PM for God sake. Climbing up to the bunk next to my stuff I relaxed on top of the sheet. I could feel my eyes closing…

…when a scream ran through the room.

“Get off my bed new girl!”

Who was this? Definitely my competition. Quite pretty I suppose, showing off an average body in her underwear, not an inch on me though. I jumped down from the bed, she wasn’t scaring me off.

“There’s a couple of empty ones, be nice to the new girl and give it to me.” I totally wasn’t backing down to this bitch, if she wanted this bed she should have claimed it, or she could blame the other girls for not telling me it was already taken.

“Did I just hear you right?! You’re the new girl, that means you’re basically our bitch. Now get out of my bed!” God she was dramatic. She was slurring her words a little, maybe she’d been drinking, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t allowed.

“Don’t tell me what to do! I can have whatever bed I like, blame these dorks for not telling me it was yours, and don’t you dare call me your bitch!” A few of the girls had gotten out of their beds now and were watching from the sidelines, they probably only had this much fun when they got an A on a test. Geeks.

“You are a little freak! Get out of my bed you white trash whore!” OK, even I had to admit this girl was a little over the top, ‘white trash whore’? That one couldn’t even offend me because it was so far from the truth. Still, I wasn’t above physical violence, though I had never actually come to blows with another girl, maybe this was my way of asserting my ascendancy over the school.

Baring my fists I prepared to go for her, but as she looked down and realised I might actually hit her she turned away.

“Fine!”

I could see her angry face out of the corner of my eye as I climbed gleefully back onto the bed. First victory, check.

The next couple of weeks passed much the same, the girls barely spoke two words to me. The overly happy girl from my first day seemed to want to, but Natasha (bed-incident) must have told her not to or something, I didn’t really care anyway. Classes were pretty easy, and I was always late. Every day I’d wake up to the same rush, half the girls already left, a few on their way out, and one or two still rushing to get dressed.

The shrieks of ‘Arielle, you’re late!’ used to ring through the dingy room for the first few days, but now they expected it of me. My choice of uniform was what Miss Brewster called a ’cause for discussion’ because it was not the regular uniform, I’d totally got a cuter version, though I’d had to stick with the same blazer. I told her a replacement was being made and it would be here in a few weeks (yeah right). The entire boarding school experience was pretty much awful, apart from one thing.

Mr Howland was the deputy head, and after I was roaming the hallways lost on the first day he took me into his office and showed me a map of the place. Well, I’d had to get out of my lesson so I kept him talking for a few hours, with a little flirting thrown in. Perhaps he could like, make this place a little more fun for me.

He was the total opposite of Noah, old, bearded, intellectual, cultured. This was around my eighth trip to his office in the past two weeks, I could tell he was getting a little hot under the collar when I crossed my legs and my skirt rose up a few inches. I’d always give him a sultry side glance, or a little wink when I came and left, and I flirted, but it was hidden, although I thought he got my drift.

This particular day things had… progressed from where it first started. It wasn’t as if he was my teacher, so I suppose what we were doing was harmless, OK so maybe it wasn’t, but at least it wasn’t illegal. We were in his office, and I was stood up so I could show off my toned legs, while he leaned on the desk. He was talking about Romeo and Juliet, (I had mom FedEx the DVD over so I could watch it in the common room last night) and I was pretending I knew what he was talking about when I decided to make things more interesting. It was so boring round here. I moved close to him. Closer than we’d ever been before, and definitely closer than was healthy.

“Sir, I was just wondering what was your favourite thing about Romeo and Juliet?” I whispered, he was so close I could feel his breath against my cheek.

“Um- Arielle, I-“

“My favourite thing about it is that its a forbidden love.” I said, smiling up at him. God it was so cheesy but it had better work, how could it not? He smiled back, clearly taken with me. Well duh.

“Arielle- You realise that I could lose my job, you could be expelled…” He was clearly uneasy about what was obviously about to come.

“Oh… I understand the consequences perfectly.”

*  *  *

Sorry for the long absence, which was explained in my last update. I realise this chapter may seem a little rushed, but as I have had such a long break I really wanted to get things moving and get people involved in Arielle’s story once more. Hope you enjoyed it!

P.S. The character ‘Mr Howland’ is based on Mort from The Sterling Legacy. (Though he is not done as well as Alexandra’s x)