Tag Archives: sims

Generation 3 – Chapter 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I love you too.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*     *      *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Generation 3 – Chapter 5

Admiring my body in the dressing room mirror I wailed that it would soon be bloated out with another child growing inside of me. Since the night me and Max had sex I had felt a little better about myself, he actually wanted to be with me, he liked the way I looked. He didn’t want to rape me and defile my body, he wanted to be with me. I was throwing up less and less lately, preparing myself for another pregnancy, I was also happier with my weight, I couldn’t really get much skinnier.

“Olivia?! What on earth are you doing in there?” I heard the shrill, clipped tones of Elizabeth from outside the dressing room and groaned. She was so infuriating, insisting on coming with me on my first major shopping trip, probably to make sure I didn’t buy anything too brash which would taint the ultra-conservative Elphinstone name. Tucking the $400 Calvin Klien t-shirt into the white Halston skirt and finishing it off with a $2500 Chanel jacket I went outside to see what she thought.

“Perfect darling. It seems I’ve still, as so many people say, ‘got it’.” She pursed her lips in a grotesque smile, clearly pleased with her modern terminology.

“It’s very conservative Elizabeth, isn’t it a little old for me?” I asked, tugging on the jacket and smoothing down the skirt.

“No, no, no. Now I know you’re young but you must understand this is the perfect outfit for a woman of the class which you now are. You cannot be seen in hot pants and an electric blue vest top, or something of that sort. Quelle horror!” I stared at her for a long while, trying to figure out if she was genuinely being kind or if she was just making sure I didn’t embarrass the family, probably the latter.

I felt older than my years through many of the outfits I chose over the next 3 hours. I flew through the stores buying everything from tights to sunglasses, from jackets to shoes, with a trip to Bulgari to finish it off, picking out several exquisite diamond pieces. The joy of credit cards eh? Elizabeth had looked disapproving as I bought so much, but surely she knew the price of looking good, she may not look like it now, but one day she must have spent money on decent clothes, and judging by the rocks on her ears she certainly still knew how to spend.

Max and I had fallen into an uneasy routine, still finding our feet, not 100% sure of the way the other worked yet, which was fine by me. We lived our lives pretty much separately. I spent the day at the spa, in the limousine taking in the sights, or out shopping. Max spent the morning in the home office, the afternoon in the work office (Elphinstone Diamond spanned much farther than I originally thought) and the two of us would meet up for dinner or a party in the evenings.

“You okay?” I asked as I padded into the bathroom one day, as we both got ready to go to a party at the cliffside mansion of one of his close friends.

Are you okay.” He said. What? Seeing the confused expression on my face he elaborated, “It’s are you okay. Not ‘you okay’. I don’t mean to criticize….” He continued rambling but I’d stopped listening to him, hurrying over to the small radio I cranked the dial up. ’23 year old Riley Sampson was found dead in suspicious circumstances yesterday at his uncles home in Miami, the family are asking to be left alone during this sad time.”

“Max! That’s him, he’s the one!” I shouted across the room.

“I know. If you ask me he deserves it. Good riddance.” He continued brushing his teeth as if nothing had happened. Riley was dead! What had happened to him, could it have been…? No!

“Max? Did you… did you do this?” I asked slowly, wrapping my arms around myself.

“Olivia! Don’t be stupid, I would never do such a thing and for you to even think that is… well frankly it is both ridiculous and offensive!” He glared at me, willing me to argue back.

“Okay, I’m sorry.” I said, extending a hand of apology.

“Come. We shouldn’t keep the driver waiting.” He hurried me along out into the passageway and into the waiting car. I vowed then and there to stop thinking of Riley. It was over now.

*    *    *

The year of my pregnancy was a whirlwind introduction to the European social scene. Max and I jetted from Saint-Sébastien to Paris, from Rome to Berlin, London to Vienna, Amsterdam to Prague. The private jet that I managed to persuade Max to buy was a godsend, I couldn’t have bared all those trips mixing with the commoners in first class, they let in anyone these days. Max’s friends were an eclectic bunch of socialites, celebrities, businessmen, artists and club hoppers, and they fascinated me. I loved being part of their scene, being photographed for major European magazines and being on the front page of the tabloids, having artists asking to photograph me for galleries or paint me for an upcoming show. For 6 months I was introduced to everyone that mattered. I kept off the drink for the sake of the child, as well as trying to stop my bulimia. I slipped up once, after a roast dinner at a traditional pub in London where we were dining with a new business associate, but otherwise I was doing well. The pregnancy slowed me down a little, in the last few months I went back to the house in Saint-Sébastien alone, Max had flown back home for business, but France had basically became our permanent residence. I couldn’t go back home, not yet. (N.B – There are no pictures of the pregnancy apart from this one due to my games strange choice of attire for her during pregnancy – naked from the waist down and a vest top with bright red heels.)

Another difficult birth produced Sebastian Belgravia, (who definitely inherited the family cheekbones – have you ever seen a child with such a defined face?!) named after his birthplace. The heir to the Elpinstone fortune, and a sure means of me getting as much money as I want if we ever divorce.

*   *   *

“Marie, keep up.” I barked at the au pair carrying Sebastian as I entered the house. “I definitely need a spa break, flying so much is taking it’s toll on me.” I remarked to her as we walked into main living area.

“Just set Sebastian down here if you will, and then go and check on Electra. I told Renee to have her in her crib by the time we got here, but you know what part time nannies are like, they don’t care about the children as long as they get their pay check. I trust you much more.” Marie now worked for me full time, with her own quarters in the house, and I couldn’t have done without her. Quite a cushy job I would say, jet setting around Europe with me. I sometimes even took her out to restraunts and such if I wanted people to meet the children. As she put him down I noticed how he grabbed for her, as if begging her not to leave. He’d never done that to me.

“Come to Mommy!” I scooped him into my arms and swung him round the room, at first he screamed in fright, Marie wasn’t allowed to do such things in case she dropped the children, so he wasn’t used to it, but he soon the screams became screams of joy. I loved both of my children, but I had to keep up a particular schedule now that I was a fixture on the European social scene, and I didn’t have as much time with them as I would have liked.

“Do you want to do some reading? We haven’t done that for a while.” I said as I set him down on the rug and pulled a childrens book from the shelf before joining him.

“Wead. Mama wead!” He shouted, slamming his little hands on the floor.

“Okay, okay, I’ll read and you can tell me about the pictures, okay? Come here, sit closer to me.” I smiled down at my little son, reaching my arm across his shoulders so he could see the book.

“..and the whale swam faster and faster, looking for his friend.” I watched him smile as I read him the story, which was about whales looking for friendship, as well as doubling up as a maths book, helping with counting. “How many whales can you see on this page Sebastian?” He looked at the page, clearly confused.

“Mama?”

“How many whales?” I asked, pointing to one of the pictures.

“No! Next!” He yelled, trying to turn the page and giggling.

“Mrs. Elphinstone?” I heard from behind me as I giggled along with Sebastian.

“Yes?” I asked, turning around to face the two women who were framed in the doorway, cameras and notepads at the ready.

“We’re here for the photoshoot. So nice to see you here with your son, such a candid moment.” She smiled down at us, she would probably write about how she found me reading with my son, still making time for my children even with such a busy schedule, which would increase public opinion of me. The photographer behind her snapped a few pictures before I stood up, might as well put a face to the story.

“It’s so kind of you to travel all the way to the house for me.” I said graciously as I stood up and a team of makeup artists and hairstylists made me camera ready. A quick fluff piece followed, questions about my fashion, children, and my charity. I evaded all questions about my childhood and the family wealth, which Elizabeth had told me I was to under no means discuss.

“Thank you for the interview. Can you just turn your head, we want to get a few shots of you. We’re putting you on the cover you’ll be pleased to know. Oh that’s perfect!” She clapped her hands in delight as I turned my head and stared at the camera, showing off my profile.

“Well that’s a wrap. Thanks for your time. Magazine should be out next month.” She slipped me a card as she left, telling me how much she hoped for another interview someday. I probably wouldn’t give another one, there were many more magazines to be conquered. As the day began to wind down, the sun not yet casting its orange glow across the world I settled down to enjoy a book I had just recently purchased when Max came barging into the house.

“Olivia!” He exclaimed, clearly surprised to see me. “What are you doing here, I thought you were in Geneva until Tuesday?”

“I had a photoshoot.” I mumbled, barely looking up from the book. He didn’t approve of all the publicity I was doing, he preferred to keep a low profile, only being known to the elite of Europe, not the commoners who devoured the magazines his friends owned. I knew he was glaring at me, he did every time I did publicity.

“Olivia.” His voice was so commanding I put the book down. “You know I don’t approve of all your publicity, and neither does mother.” I didn’t give a rats ass what his mother thought of me, I had secured my place in the family by having Sebastian, there was nothing she could do now. “And frankly you’re spending too much money. The bank showed me a bill for three hundred thousand euros a few weeks back. How did you spend all that in one weekend?”

“Oh Max just leave it, it’s only money.” Why he was so angry I didn’t know, it was only three hundred thousand.

“I know how you can make it up to me.” He whispered as he came over to the sofa and attempted to put his arm around me.

“Max!” I shouted, shrugging his arm off of my shoulders.

“Why Olivia?! We are man and wife, and sex is part of it!”

“You know why!” I shouted, giving him my sad eyes. I would have been quite happy to go to bed with him in reality, but that wasn’t part of the plan. “Just stop.”

“Okay, okay.” He replied, throwing his arm up in defeat.

“Can’t you understand that I can’t do it?”

“Olivia, we haven’t had sex since the night we conceived Sebastian. You have to break down those walls of defense again. Or,” He added, raising his voice, “I’ll find it somewhere else.”

I knew he had meant to hurt me with those words, but what he didn’t know is the exact thing that I wanted was for him to find someone else.

*   *   *

“Olive Belgravia?” The raspy voice asked as I picked up my cell a few weeks later.

“This is she.”

“I have some information, will you come in?” The voice was impassive, showing no emotion, giving nothing away. Ten minutes later I raced from the house in my car, speeding much to fast to the shabby offices downtown. Entering his office gave me the feeling of being in an old movie, the smell of smoke was overpowering, the dark blinds filtered out the light, making the never ending dust which floated around glint in the strips of sunlight that managed to get inside the room. Books and folders were crammed on every available surface, and a side table groaned with half empty bottles of various spirits.

The investigator stood up and moved to the window, strips of sunlight falling on his lackluster skin as he lit up his forty fifth cigarette of the day. “Take a look at that.” He took a drag on his cigarette and nodded to a pile of tightly bound dossiers.

“It seems your suspicions were right.” He said blankly, taking another drag. “You might wanna have a listen to the tape too. More evidence.” He looked out of the window again, turning his back on me. As I opened the dossier a sly smile spread across my face. These files contained everything I needed to finally be free, to finally be independent. And I intended to use them for just that purpose.

Generation 3 – Chapter 4

My heart ached as I typed ‘Belgravia’ into the search bar on Redcliffe’s leading gossip website, the host of entries that popped up made me want to break down and weep. The first one detailed the wedding of Kitty to someone named Laurence Williamson, whoever that was. I wish I could have been there for her, she must think I was the worst sister in the world. The next one told of the death of grandfather Chace, who died peacefully at the Chace Belgravia Wing of Redcliffe Memorial Hospital last Tuesday.

He joins his wife, celebrated actress Lily, who died 2 years ago.’ Lily and Chace were both dead?! Why wasn’t I there, I should have been there to comfort mom, who must have been crying her heart out. Ugh, I hated myself so much. More entries told me of the marriage of Oliver and Celeste, as well as the births of their children (I was an aunt now, what was I missing?!) and many posts showing Cora tearing up the Bridgeport nightlife scene after performing shows with her band. As bad as I felt, looking down at little Electra playing by my feet brought me back to reality.

I had to marry Max, it was the only way to ensure our financial security. And I would marry him, tomorrow. But first I had to get to Elphinstone Manor, where Elizabeth had set up a room for me, ready for the big day, such a hassle, but clearly a necessity with a pushy, traditional mother like Elizabeth. Throwing Electra into the baby seat of my new car (a gift from Max) I raced well over the speed limit through the winding streets until I saw the house looming over us in the distance, as imposing and overbearing as Max’s mother.

“Anyone home?” I shouted as my heels tapped on the marble floor.

“Darling, finally. You know how I simply hate to be kept waiting, get up here at once.” Elizabeth chided from her position on the upstairs landing, “and for goodness sake get rid of the child. Why do you think God invented nannies?” She said with a sigh, looking distastefully at Electra.

Hurriedly I handed Electra to one of the nannies and made my way upstairs, I thought I heard a little cry of ‘mommy’ from downstairs, but it was probably just my imagination.

After a restless nights sleep I sat in front of the mirror, trying to apply my makeup, but I was shaking so much it wasn’t going very well. Was I really doing the right thing, marrying this man? I barely knew anything about him, except that he was rich. We hadn’t even kissed yet, except for the peck I gave him when he proposed. Oh well, it was too late now.

He stood alone by the wooden arch decorated with flowers under which we were to married. Most of his friends lived in Europe, and he had told me he didn’t want to hassle them by asking them to fly out. So our wedding was a hassle was it? I didn’t mind, I had no one of my own to invite apart from Darcy, whom Elizabeth had promptly crossed off of the list for ‘being too common’. ‘She’d feel silly at such a formal wedding darling, better not to embarrass her.’ Elizabeth had told me. What a bitch, sat there in her white, didn’t she know only the bride was supposed to wear white?

I made my way nervously through the small crowd, feeling myself blushing as everyone stared at me. I felt fat and disgusting, I had thrown up last nights dinner but it hadn’t made a difference, I still felt ugly. Max smiled at me as I stood in front of him. I forced myself to smile back. As  he slipped the ring on my finger it became official, I was now part of the Elphinstone family, the biggest exporter of diamonds in the country.

Grabbing each others hands we smiled, and then he moved in for the kill. The big finish, the kiss. I felt sick as he moved towards me, as if the world itself was closing in on me, crushing my body. My breath was coming in short gasps, I wanted to push him away but I couldn’t make a scene. Then his lips were on mine, the gentle touch felt amplified fifty times over, it was Riley all over again, on top of me, ripping the dress of my body, forcing himself onto me. Hurriedly I backed off, and forgetting the crowd I ran to the wall, hoisted myself over, and ran.

The world seemed to melt away as I ran, I was back in Miami, running from that house, away from him. I ran and ran, right to the edge of the cliff, which overlooked a beautiful waterfall. This was all mine now, I was an Elphinstone, and as they owned all the land around here, it was mine. But not if I kept this up. I had to sleep with Max, or he’d be allowed to annul our marriage by law. But I couldn’t do it, it was too painful.

Surely Max would look after Electra if something happened to me? If I just happened to slip now, and crash onto the rocks below, she’d be well cared for, wouldn’t she? I didn’t want to leave her with no mother, but I’d rather have money than a dysfunctional mother like me. It was always an option. I must have sat by the cliffside for hours before I made my way back to the house. Sneaking into the bedroom, expecting Max to be fast asleep I was shocked to find him awake, laid on the bed, no doubt waiting for me.

“Thank God you’re alright.” He said as I came in, heaving himself up a little.

“I just couldn’t Max, it was too many memories, too much pressure.” I stuttered, looking down.

“Well you bloody well could have tried to make less a scene, people actually laughed you know!”

“I’m sorry.” Was all I could say. I looked down at the floor in shame, why was I such a screw up?

“It’s okay, I’m sorry.” He stood up, coming towards me as if to comfort me, but thinking against it he moved to the fireplace instead, poking the flames which were threatening to go out. “Why don’t we get away? We can take Electra, show her some culture, get a bit of relaxation. This could be our honeymoon.” He looked at me hopefully, god it was hard seeing him like this, he clearly liked me a lot more than I liked him.

“Okay.” I mumbled, still extremely embarrassed. A few hours later we were on the Elphinstone jet on our way to France.

*   *   *

After 10 hours in first class Max, Electra and I emerged into the heat of Saint-Sébastien in the Côte D’azur, or the French Rivera. I was awestruck by the beauty of the place as the limousine drove through the dense forest that kept the house secluded and down the huge tree lined driveway that led to the house. Electra loved the place, I’d sit outside, gazing out across the lake, occasionally catching glances of Electra screaming with joy as she ran around with her French au pair Marie.

The place was so peaceful, totally cut off from the outside world. Unlike Elphinstone Manor it was not grand and imposing, it was more of a farmhouse, although it was still huge. Smiling to myself I thought about how I could really get used to it here, it was much better than being back home, plagued with memories of Riley and of my wedding antics.

“Olivia? Olivia!” I could hear Max’s voice ringing through the house, he had started calling me Olivia recently, which infuriated me. My name was Olive. Okay so my given name was Olivia, but everyone called me Olive. “There you are.” He said as he came out onto the terrace.

“Aren’t you a little hot in that?” He asked as he sat down next to me.

“Aren’t you a little hot in that?” I chided back, fingering his thick jumper.

“Point taken.” the corners of his mouth raised fractionally. “Olivia, we need to talk about it you know.” I knew what he meant, the sex. I had been preparing myself for it since we had arrived 2 weeks ago, but  I was still weary, what if I couldn’t do it?

“I’m ready.” I smiled at him, trying to reassure him. He was sure to divorce me if we couldn’t have sex, it was always part of the equation for men.

“I really think I can do it Max. You know I love you.” We hadn’t said those words to each other yet, which was kind of odd I suppose, weren’t you supposed to be in love before you married? I didn’t know what love felt like, but I loved that Max could protect me and Electra with his millions, so I suppose that was a kind of love. The only kind that mattered was the monetary kind.

“I love you too sweetheart.” He said it with such conviction, his voice lowering and his hand touching his heart, I felt kind of bad that I didn’t love him back. Maybe I did love him, how was I supposed to know what love felt like?

“I’m ready Max, I swear.” I didn’t take my eyes off his as I spoke, when I read a murder mystery while pregnant with Electra it said the first sign of a liar was that they didn’t keep eye contact, so I forced myself to.

“Hmm.” He sighed, looking out to the gardens.

“Max what’s wrong?” I said, staring at his stoic profile.

“If you’re sure, I’ll be waiting upstairs.” With that he stood up and left, heading up to the bedroom. I waited a few minutes before I got up, it was too late to turn back now. We were man and wife, we had to have sex, it just wasn’t logical for us to not. He was fluffing up the pillows when I arrived, he hadn’t noticed me pad silently into the bedroom in my bare feet. He was handsome I suppose, at least I hadn’t had to marry someone ugly.

“I’ll take things slowly, I promise.” He told me as I joined him on the bed. I just tried to breath, I had been doing some research online, and it seemed like you just needed to relax. A lot of the websites I visited told me to call ‘Rape Victim Hotlines’, no thanks, I could barely think about the experience myself, never mind pour my heart out to a bunch of strangers. As his lips came towards mine I shut my eyes and tried to remind myself that this wasn’t Riley, it was my husband.

After a few minutes of kissing he broke away, waiting for my hysterics. They never came. The kissing was actually quite enjoyable, goodness why had I only just caught on?

“Are you okay?” He asked, his mouth agape a little.

“Max, I told you I’m fine. Let’s do this.” I said with a smile, throwing off my jumper and darting under the covers where our child was to be conceived. Part 1 of my plan: complete.


Generation 3 – Chapter 1

The subway was so disgusting. How anyone could take it every day I didn’t know, it was so hot I thought I might explode, I mean I know this is Miami but please, it was like a volcano down there! Scarlet faced tourists in Hawaiian shirts with ill fitting Bermuda shorts dominated the cold, hard, steel benches, overly muscled men mingled with overweight losers jostling for a space on the hand rail, ugh, kill me!

Why Reena had insisted I take the subway was beyond me, I’d rather have waited in traffic for three hours than be down here, at least the limo had air conditioning. It better be worth it for my tattoo, which now that I was 18 I could have! I’d wanted one for years, ever since I saw celebrities looking hot with tattoos all over them in the tabloids, I was starting small though, just planning on a small skull on my arm. Thank god the subway ride didn’t take too long, and a few minutes after I got on I was walking into the shabby looking studio.

Coming out and examining my arm I jumped with joy, I loved it! I gave me that rock edge back that I’d lost when Reena dyed my hair blonde. Heading back to the house I was a little nervous, Riley had just got back from two weeks in Fiji, I hope he didn’t expect me to have sex with him again, if he asked the answer was gonna be a firm no. 

I’d been staying in his room while he was away, it wasn’t anything weird like I wanted to be closer to him, it was just that my room was tiny compared to this one, and this one had the best view. Quickly running upstairs I began throwing clothes and makeup into a huge black bag, I didn’t want to be here when he got home. Oh God someone was coming in, I could hear a car pulling up outside, and a few minutes later he was here, in the room, coming right towards me! Argh!

“Olive, how you doin’?” He slurred as he spoke, clearly the in flight bar had been doing a roaring trade.

“Fine, just getting my stuff out of here.” I kept shotting things into the bag, I didn’t want to have sex with him again, it hurt too much the first time, he was too rough.

“Don’t bother. you can stay here babe.”

“No thanks.” I rolled my eyes and shot him a filthy look.

“You don’t wanna stay with me?!” He said, moving over to me. I would have been a little frightened if a drunk hiccup hadn’t escaped his mouth after he spoke.

“We had a good time in here didn’t we? Little Riley’s lonely babe…” He grabbed his crotch, thrusting his pelvis at me. Little Riley? I had to stop myself laughing, why was this guy such a tool?

“I’m really busy, and you’re drunk.”

“Makes no differences to my skills in the bed baby, c’mon I know you wanna.” He was too persistent, couldn’t he get it into his head that I didn’t want to?

“Riley, I really don’t, come on, get off.” I slapped his big hand off my shoulder and pulled the straps of my dress back up.

I was starting to get nervous, everyone else had gone to the club, it was just me and Riley in the huge house, anything could happen.

“I’ve really gotta go now Riley, I’ll see you okay.” I began moving to the door, hoping he’d just give it up.

“Don’t walk away from me!” Shouted Riley, running towards me and discarding his t shirt, oh god what was he doing?!

“I know you want me babe, don’t fight it.” He said, pushing his tongue into my mouth, ew! I tried to slap him away but he was too strong, my petite frame was no match for his muscular body.

“Stop it! HELP! SOMEONE HELP!” I screamed as loud as I could as he grabbed me from behind, an evil grimace on his face.

“RILEY!” I screamed, becoming more panicked by the second, my dress was riding up as his hands groped in my skirt, I tired to pull it down but he simply ripped it off in one fell swoop. “That’s Gucci!” I screamed, forgetting what was happening for a second. As his hardness was freed from the tight Calvin Klein boxers I passed out, images of Rileys face swirled around in my head as I floated through the blackness. I didn’t know how long I was out for, but I woke up naked, cold, and sticky. Memories flashed through my head, tiny snippets of images, Riley on top of me, ramming into me, I blinked rapidly, my head throbbing. I felt like I was going to throw up, I could barely think straight, what on earth had I gotten myself into?

Profile: Celeste Clarence-Veloria

Celeste Clarence-Veloria was born The Honourable Celeste Spencer in Mayfair, London on the 11th June 1987 (age 24) the only child of Charles Spencer, 1st Baron Eliot, a British peer and art collector, and Constance Spencer (nee Brille) a philanthropist and former fashion model. Her early life was spent at the families ancestral home in Hampshire where she grew up with the best money could buy.

An inquisitive toddler, her parents soon grew tired of her erratic behavior, sick of her always exploring the house grounds and getting into places she shouldn’t. They couldn’t wait till she grew up so her parents could go on with their own lives, her mother a famed society hostess, and her father an introverted art collector who rarely left the Hampshire home.

By the time she was 11 she had developed an unnatural curiosity for the arts, sneaking into her fathers private gallery and devouring everything she could. She was also fascinated by the eccentric characters her mother entertained at her parties, and set her mind on entering a world that combined the two. At 13 she was shipped off to L’Evier, a hideously expensive all girls private boarding school in the Swiss mountains, where she was quickly introduced to the world of boys, drugs, and alcohol by some of her more rebellious classmates. She graduated at 16 with an impeccable record, despite her penchant for debauchery she never failed a class while at school, partly due to her superior intellect and partly due to the sexual favours she bestowed on several of her professors. On her 17th birthday her mother informed her she was to be married to George Nassau Clarence-Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper, which she fought vehemently, but eventually gave up once she saw the lifestyle she would be given. For three years Lady Celeste Clarence-Cowper and her new husband lived a relatively happy life. The young Earl, much like Celeste’s father, was a very introverted, shy man, which infuriated Celeste to no end. She had desires for grand balls and extravagant galas, which her husband would never allow her to host. She entertained herself by taking a series of lovers to distract from her husbands paltry love making abilities, moving from the poolboy to the footman to the gardener. While she may have took lovers she was prepared to try and make the marriage work, inside of her was a small spark of respect for the institution of marriage, and she didn’t want to give up on it.

The final straw came when Celeste returned home early to the London townhouse from a trip to China to find her husband on all fours being roughly serviced by the butler. She was no prude, but there was such a thing as decorum. She fled to Paris to ride out the scandal after the rumours began to spread around the London social scene. Buying a magnificent mansion on the Avenue Foch with the money from her divorce settlement she finally set about using her art knowledge. She had a knack for finding an unknown artist, usually a male but she was not adverse to female company, ensnaring them with her sexuality and sending their prices flying through the roof with the glamour of the celebrity she had learnt from her mother. Soon the artists pieces would be selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and she became the central player of the European art world, jet setting across the continent in search of exciting, attractive artists.

While she had no desire to ever see her ex-husband again, she retained the title and kept on using his name, soon learning that being a Lady, and one from the Clarence-Cowper family, got her anything she wanted. For a year her collection continued to grow, and the collection of artists who owed their careers to Celeste became bigger and bigger. She went through men fast.  Most of them bored her after she had sampled their bodies. She needed more than sex, she needed an added thrill, which she found when she met Italian business tycoon (or at least that’s what he said he was) Roberto Veloria at a party she was hosting at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, a man of forty-five with charm, smooth lines, a reputation as a womanizer, and a great wardrobe. He courted her through the discotheques of Europe and married her on her twenty first birthday in the grounds of her parents Hampshire house.

They stayed together a year. She endured a still born child while he spent as much of her money as he could. His indiscretions hit the newspapers and magazines once to often. Celeste was furious to discover he had been dancing the night away while she was screaming the night away delivering their still born child. She settled two Ferraris and three million euros on her second mistake. He never had time to enjoy it, three months after the divorce he stepped out of a car in Paris and was blown to pieces by a terrorist bomb. Celeste had no time to mourn, she was too busy clamoring her way up the social scene in New York. Both of the names she had married were recognized world wide, so she restyled herself The Hon. Celeste Clarence-Veloria, quickly moving to the top of the American social world, establishing herself as one of the best dressed women in America as well as an unmatched hostess and fantastic patron of the arts. Frequently on the cover of Womens Wear Daily she was soon a favorite target of the American paparazzi. Immersing herself in American culture she soon found that one name stood out above all the others – Belgravia. Redirecting her focus to the city of Redcliffe she settled down in a Colonial mansion in the hills of the city and set about getting what she wanted, a Belgravia.

Styles and Titles

– The Honourable Celeste Spencer (1987-2004)                                                                   – The Lady Celeste Clarence-Cowper (2004-2008)                                                               – The Hon. Mrs. Veloria (2008-2009)                                                                                         – The Hon. Celeste Clarence-Veloria (2009- )

*         *        *

Something to entertain you with until the heir vote is complete.

Generation 2 HEIR VOTE (CLOSED)

Who will you choose to continue the Belgravia name into the next generation?

And the winner is…

OLIVE BELGRAVIA

Generation 2 – Chapter 16 Part 2

Arielle 

Seeing my children growing up was so emotional, I never thought I’d feel like this. Letting Oliver stay here at the Veloria Gallery for the past few months had been so hard, I almost called him to order him back home several times but I knew I shouldn’t. The things I was doing at his age, Howland… ugh I didn’t even want to think of it. ‘Ew!’ as the old me would have said. Thankfully I’ve grown up since then, but now is the hardest part, watching them go their own way, without me. There was Oliver, looking so much like his father, weaving his way through the room to chat with various buyers.

Such an artistic boy from a young age it’s no surprise that he’s doing so well now that he’s a fully grown man, the only thing I worried about was him and that Celeste woman, my PI hadn’t found anything on her really, apart from the fact she had been married twice before, both to rich men with famous family names, I’d have to keep my eye on her. Ah! There was Cora, she had grown up so much recently, she was so beautiful, just like all of my children. Piano was her specialty, that as well as playing tricks on everyone and anyone around her. So different from the others, probably because she grew up apart from them.

And there was Tommy, the eldest of the children. He was the strong one, always working hard on his sports, keeping a stiff upper lip and being a respectable man, I knew there was something else going on, I could just tell by looking at him. I felt a deep anger at Leo for not staying by his son all these years, I hadn’t heard from him since we broke up, but it just wasn’t right, it was hard on Tommy.

I wasn’t sure about his girlfriend, I hadn’t really had a chance to get to know her yet, but she seemed a little too fancy for him. And Kitty, my eldest daughter, how I loved her. So smart, a real intellectual with a quick wit she never failed to amaze me with all the achievements she racked up. She told me she’d invited a boy here tonight, which I was very happy about, I wanted her to experience all aspects of life, Jake hadn’t really been a true boyfriend for her.

The only one who was missing was Olive, I had to turn away from the crowded room so no one could see my sobs, it was so hard to think about her, I didn’t even know if she was okay. For all I know she could be lying dead in a ditch somewhere, I don’t even understand why she ran away! One day she was here, the next she was gone. It was so sad, but my PI was working on. I needed answers, needed to make sure she was okay.

And there was Noah, my rock, the love of my life, with the lines of age beginning to etch his face and grey flecked through his hair and beard he was still the most attractive man I had ever met. It still amazed me how in love we were after all these years. We may not have been able to spend every minute of every day together like we would have wanted, but amongst the chaos of the children we had managed to stick together, something I never thought I would have. I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Tommy

It was kind of odd seeing myself up on the wall again, it wasn’t as bad as last time because I wasn’t the only family member up, actually every family member was up, with Lily right at the top of the gallery, the founder of the family. It was her 75th birthday in three days so Oliver had thrown this special event showcasing all her descendants so far, a really cool idea actually, I just got her a card and some flowers.

I was also weird becuase I was so young in this photo. I was a man now, I had left school and was officially an adult, which was a scary thought. I had my first day of training on Monday, the start my athletic career. Thinking about that brought memories of Austin rushing to my head, I had heard that he was starting on Monday too, oh God seeing him in the changing rooms would be nerve racking, what if I got… happy. No, no, I had to think of Jennifer now, thought I didn’t really want to, she had started to change, started to get more… I don’t know, arrogant?

“Hi sweet cheeks.” Oh no, here she was now. She pulled me into a deep kiss before I could even get a word in, I wished she would stop, I really wasn’t into PDA.

“Jenny, stop.” I said, pushing her away lightly, I didn’t want people looking at pictures of us making out or anything.

“Tommy, kiss the girl again I wanna get a picture, page six here!” A photographer shouted from nearby. I quickly looked away from the camera, I wasn’t into that publicity stuff.

“Ill be right back.” Jenny said, fluffing out her hair and strutting off towards the photographer, probably to make sure he spelt her name right, argh she’d changed so much. AS I watched her walk across the room someone caught my eye. someone familiar, stood in the entrance.

Shit! What the hell was Austin doing here, how did he know about it?! I quickly moved to the back of the gallery, in front of the central picture of grandma, hoping he wouldn’t spot me.

“Tommy.” His deep voice reminded me of the time we used to spend together, jeez we were best friends before that night in the maze, that night though… I still thought about it, but I really did like Jenny, the fame of the Belgravia’s was going to her head, but if she could come back down to earth I could see a real furture there.

We stood staring at each other uneasily, it had been years since we had last been so close, passing in the hallways at school we’d just ignore each other.

“So, how’ve you been…” I asked  wearily.

“Come here man!” And before I knew it we were embracing in a friendly hug, slapping each other on the back and laughing, it was as if all the antagonism of the  last few years had just disappeared. To anyone looking over it would have just looked like two guys greeting each other, but I could feel the sexual tension, the hairs on the back of my neck rising and my cheeks blushing.

“It’s really good to see you again dude, I heard you were here and I just had to see you. I mean, we’re gonna be on the team together every day come monday, so we might as well get to how we used to be again huh?” Austins smiled, his lips turning up at the corners in a suggestive smirk, he was definitely remembering the night in the maze.

“We definitely have to get back to how we were before.” Before I could even think about what I was doing I grabbed his waist and pulled him into the empty supply closet, pushing him against the wall and making out with him as if another force had taken over my body that had only one aim; to get hot and heavy with Austin.

The only thing on my mind was having Austin with me, it just felt so right. I didn’t know how to explain it, Jenny felt really amazing, she was a great girl (or she was) but it was as if I’d finally found where my piece of the puzzle fit, and it was with Austin. He was just as into it as me, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, our hands trailing under each others shirts, barely coming up for breath. We never heard the door open until the heavy metal slammed shut,.

“TOMMY?!”

Kitty

I guess the party was a success, I mean the Redcliffe art crowd wasn’t really my scene, they were all so pretentious. Don’t get me wrong the majority of intellectuals are pretentious know it alls, but at least I was interested in the same things as them. I personally cringed every time I saw my painting, I mean Oliver was an amazing artist but just showcasing myself that much really wasn’t my scene. Laurence still hadn’t arrived, I was beginning to think he wouldn’t show. I had to go out onto the street before people saw how upset I was, all my siblings seemed to have some sort of love drama going on, except me!

Come on Kitty, pull yourself together! Maybe he was just late, he’d called me and found out where it was and the time and everything, why would he bother if he didn’t plan on showing? I forced a smile and began to make my way inside, maybe he would show.

“Hey Kitty. Whats up?” Cora asked as I sat down at the bar. I wished I knew her a little better, we hadn’t really spent much time together growing up. It was odd that she had no siblings who were her age where I had Tommy and Olive at that age, always doing things together, always talking, poor Cora.

“Nothing Cora I’m fine. You enjoying the party?”

“Yeah, I hate the picture of me though! Couldn’t he have waited till I grew up a little before painting me? No one will even know it’s me!” She sighed dramatically, she was quite the drama queen.

“It has your name under it…”

“Whatever.” Flicking her hair she got up and went to talk with her music teacher, who she seemed to have a closer relationship with than was normal… hmm.

Moving out into the other room I got quite the shock, there he was! Admiring a painting of Oliver, oh I knew he’d come!

“Hi!” I smiled as I walked over to him. “So glad you came, I was beginning to think you wouldn’t make it.”

“Oh I know, sorry I’m so late. Great paintings by the way, your brother’s really talented.” He was so handsome, and kind. I was glad he’d made it.

“He really is, you should go tell him, I think secretly he loves getting the praise.”

“I will later, for now  I want to spend time with you.” Wow. So the right thing to say. After talking for a while I learnt that he had recently graduated, like me, and was moving towards a career in politics, um- perfect much?

“Well I’m glad you came. I should go say hi to my mom.” As I made to move off he grabbed my hand, and seeming to think for a second he gave me a very soft, very sweet kiss. A perfect kiss. Things had moved a lot slower with Jake but maybe I should just go for it, maybe I’ve been good little Kitty for too long.

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And that’s it! Generation 2 has came to a close, with a lot of cliffhangers for each child, just to make it that much harder for you to vote!

Click – HERE – to vote!

Generation 2 – Chapter 16 Part 1

Oliver

Celeste had suggested I move on with another show as quickly as possible. My art was getting rave reviews from the critics and the buyers were clamoring for more work. The  most popular were the paintings I did of Celeste and of Tommy, in such a short space of time they had been dubbed the new necessity for social acceptance in the art world, if I’d painted you, then you’d apparently ‘made it’. I’d already started more portraits for a show I wanted to do in the future with one of Kitty.

The portrait show that I saw for the future would be a mix of ordinary people I’d just ask to pose, combined with a scattering of models and celebrities to bring the crowds in. I hoped I could get Ingrid Cale to pose for me, she would definitely bring a lot of attention to the work, as well as grandma. I hadn’t actually asked her to pose for me, I presumed she’d be down for it but I wasn’t really sure how she felt about being painted, definitely need to check that one out. Although the portrait gallery was my focus at the moment it was still a long way off. It would take time to sit down with a host of different people, especially with the schedules of the celebrities I was interested in painting. My current show was all about the human form, a series of paintings of both men and women in just their underwear. At first I’d ran into problems because it had been done so many times before, I didn’t want to copy anyone or anything so I’d decided to spice things up a little by giving the main paintings a homo-erotic feel.

The guys clearly thought  I was gay, and the girls obviously thought I was a pervert but I didn’t mind, I was paying them to pose, not to think. The paintings came out great in the end, at lease Celeste thought they’d do well.

Ah Celeste, after she’d kissed me on the night of the show she’d just walked off as if it was the most normal thing in the world, I wish! I didn’t know what she was doing, if it was just some kind of game rolling around in her posh English head or if she was actually interested in me (which I sure as hell hoped!) but I didn’t care as long as I got to make out with her again. Ah, that kiss…

The show came around faster than I expected, before I knew it muscle men in tighty whiteys and svelte girls in their panties weren’t hanging around my studio any more, the paintings were all set up, and Celeste was popping in to sort out the lighting and last minute details in between endless calls to her party planner. I was excited to see my family at the show, Celeste owned a gallery right on Grand Street in the centre of town, the Veloria Gallery, which had a studio and living space above it, so I’d been staying there. It was easier to ask my models to get to Grand Street than trek up into the country so I could draw them at home, besides I didn’t think mom and dad would have appreciated a bunch of guys and girls making out for hours on end in the sunroom while I painted them.

People were definitely shocked when they walked in the door. Not exactly by the homosexual nature of the paintings, this was the art crowd after all, more that it was a 16 year old who had painted them. I didn’t care about things like that, sex wasn’t something that made me squeam or get embarrassed or anything, I don’t really know why, maybe it was because I’d been looking at nudes from a young age, ever since I was interested in art, but whatever.

“My son! I’m so proud of you!” Mom gushed as I went over to talk to her. She had let me stay at the Veloria gallery for the past few weeks without any problems at all, I thought she might have tried to keep me at home, as I was still in school and stuff, but she’d just mumbled somethings about ‘her at my age..’ and walked off, whatever that was supposed to mean.

“Now I know I don’t know that much about art, but I do know these are amazing son. I really love them.” She looked around the room, taking in all the work before she looked at me once more, smiling broadly. I was so happy that she liked it, it was fantastic to see her up and about after the awful ordeal with the cancer. You wouldn’t have even known she was wearing a wig while she grew her hair back.

“Thanks mom, I’m glad you like them. Is dad coming?” I looked around nervously for Noah, he was definitely happy that I was out making something of myself but he would probably have been a bit put off that his son was drawing men making out with each other.

“He said he’d try to stop by later. Listen,” she leaned in close to me, “do we need to have a conversation about your sexuality?” I couldn’t tell if she was joking or not, was she being serious?!

“Mom!” I shouted back at her, outraged. How could she even ask? “Don’t you think I would have told you?!” I couldn’t care less that she was asking if I was gay, it was the fact that she thought I’d keep something so big from her!

“Okay, okay, sorry!” She said, throwing her hands up.

After pecking mom on the cheek I went around and said hi to everyone, I had to make sure my presence was noticeable, Celeste said buyers loved it if the artist came and spoke to them, it wasn’t as if it was any trouble, so why not. Heading into the second, much smaller room with a few more pieces in I came face to face with Ingrid. I hadn’t seen her since the last opening, although I had gotten a call from her secretary, a Miss Suzie Sandor who invited me to an upcoming gala being hosted at her Grand Circle mansion.

“Well, well. Mr Belgravia himself. I’d take my hat off to you if I ever wore one.” Ingrid smiled at me, waving her arm around the room to indicate the art. “Who are these fabulously beautiful models? It’s a wonder bodies like these even exist.”

“That’s the first one I got, James.” I told her, pointing to him on  a painting of all of the five models I used for the show. “He basically hooked me up with the rest.”

“And then you hooked them up with each other.” She joked, her hand resting on my arm for a few seconds. Looking into her face I was captivated. She wasn’t the most beautiful woman I’d seen, but there was just something about her…

“Do you think anyone will be joining us in this room?” She was definitely flirting with me.

“I dunno. I hope not.” I was trying to make it clear that I wanted to be in here with her, this was so surreal.

I’d had a poster of this woman on my wall just a few years ago, now she was flirting with me!!

“Who’s that one? With the grey hair.” She nodded back to the painting.

“Andreas.” I didn’t have to look at the painting, I knew the models by heart, my eyes never left hers. I didn’t know if it was the confidence I was feeling from everyone praising me all night, or the adrenaline rush of being so close to Ingrid Cale but I felt myself moving closer and closer to her, she stooped a little to be at my level, I didn’t feel emasculated or anything, who would if Ingrid Cale was stooping down to kiss them?! For a second I thought about Celeste, what would she think? But how could I resist a star of the silver screen?

*      *      *

Kitty

The sense of elation I felt as I walked out of the journalism workshop was one I hadn’t felt for a long time. I hadn’t realised how behind I’d gotten on current affairs, how sloppy my writing had became, or, most importantly, just how much I missed writing. I’d finally caved and called grandfather, after all, what were family for if not to help each other? He’d gotten me onto the best course in the city within an hour of my call, and the next day I was there! I’d been hoping for some hot guys in the class, but they were total duds. Oh well, the writing was enough to occupy me anyway. I felt like I could do anything, thinking about the Nature vs Nurture debate we’d just had, thinking how the teacher had praised my work, it had been such a good day! I was so busy thinking about the class that I never noticed the loose curb…

Hitting the pavement hard I had the wind knocked out of me, ouch! I hadn’t taken such a bad fall in quite a while, thank God my spine wasn’t broken or something, jesus. I was definitely complaining to the local council about this one. Sitting up and nursing my head I got another shock, a total stranger leaning down right in front of me! He looked concerned, and was offering his hand.

“You okay there? Do you need me to take you to the hospital or anything?” He asked as he pulled me up. I was so embarrassed!

“Oh no, no, I’m fine, just silly old me, too wrapped up in my own little world to notice a god damn paving stone.” I laughed half heatedly, I really didn’t feel like talking, I just wanted to get home.

“You sure there’s nothing I can do?”

“Completely. Thanks for your help.” It was then that I really looked at him, he was actually really cute, and he was kind to boot! I had to take my chance now while I had it. “Um, I don’t know if you’re into it or anything but my brother Oliver is having an art show soon all these different portraits he’s done, I wondered if you’d like to come… you know, as a thank you.” I rung my hands nervously, it wasn’t often I was nervous about boys, but I wanted this guy not to think of me as a total freak.

He tilted his head to the side, smiling slightly. Damn I wished I had mind reading powers, I hated not knowing what he was going to say! It felt like hours before he smiled at me and nodded his head.

“I’d love to come, thanks…?”

“Kitty.” I smiled back, did I just pick up a guy on the street? Go me!

“Cool. I’m Laurence.” Laurence, hmm, the name didn’t really seem to fit the whole persona he had going on with the scruffy hair, denim jacket and converse, but whatever. After all, what kind of a name was Kitty?!

“Um, here, call me and I’ll tell you all about it.” I quickly scrawled my note on a scrap of paper from class and thrust it into his hand, and with that I ran off  to my car, smiling to myself all the way home.

*     *     *

Olive

For a second I didn’t know where I was, then I remembered, Riley’s bed. I’d just lost my virginity, kind of a big deal I guess, but at least it wasn’t hanging on my shoulders any more. Moving to the window I looked out over the dark ocean.

What was I doing? I should just go home, where I was meant to be, I didn’t belong here. But I didn’t belong at home either, everyone was so perfect apart from me, the wreck of the family. They’d be better off without me.

“Morning honey bun!” Reena squealed from the terrace as I moved out into the bright morning sun after a few hours in my own bed. When I wasn’t drunk I realised how annoying she was, ugh.

“Morning.” I replied, sitting down and playing with my hair, I didn’t really know what to do with myself, hopefully there was some drink in the house.

“How was last night? Was Riley just amazing?! I think about having sex with him myself sometimes, but like, he’s my cousin! Like, ew?!”

“Uh, yeah, it was great!” I threw her a big smile, to be honest it wasn’t all that. I was uncomfortable with it, and it hurt a lot, but at least my stupid virginity was gone, I guess it made me a real woman. I sat staring at the ocean for a few more minutes, jeez it made me feel small. Looking over at Reena I noticed a strange look on her face as she stared at me, what the hell was she doing?

“What?!” I snapped after a few minutes.

“Babes, calm down! It must be your icky black hair that’s making you so angry. You totes need a Miami makeover, oh em gee! Isn’t that the best idea ever?!”

“You think I need a makeover?!” I accused angrily. Was she saying I looked bad or something, at least I wasn’t a walking barbie!

“Oh hun calm down, I know what I’m doing. Trust me.” Before I could object she’d grabbed my arm and was leading me through the endless glass house down to ‘the makeover room’ as she called it. Standing in front of the full length mirror I thought I looked fine, why should I change?

“Sweetie you’re more goth glam!” Goth?! I wasn’t a goth at all, just because I had black hair?! “You need to lighten the hair a bit, get some color on your cheeks, and a cute dress! Listen put this on,” She handed me a hot pink blindfold, “I swear I won’t go far! You’ll really fit in more with the Miami vibe.” She gave me her famous puppy dog eyes, well why not? If she wasn’t gonna go over the top I might as well let her make me look a little more Miami.

Stepping down once she was done a few hours later I didn’t know what she would have done, hopefully I’d just look a little more ‘fun’. We made our way back to the terrace where Carlie was waiting for us, she still wouldn’t let me look in the mirror though!

“Where the hell have you guys been I wanna go- OH MY GOD! You look so different Olive, I swear you don’t even look like the same person!” Um, was that good?! What had she done?

“Isn’t it sooo fun?!” Reena gushed, fixing my hair at the back, I still hadn’t seen it! I quickly ran into the house and looked in the bathroom mirror. Was that me? I looked completely different!

“WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?!” I screamed, marching back onto the terrace in a fury.

“Hun just calm down, you look totally hot. Goth chic’s out sweetie, you wanna be glam, right?” I was about to scream at her again when I realised there was nothing I could do. I could go back to my original look but what was the point? I might as well give this ‘Miami look’ a try, maybe they were right, maybe I really did look better.

“So cute.” Carlie agreed as Reena linked her arm through mine.

“So girls, we ready to hit the clubs?” Carlie asked, pouring herself a shot and downing it.

“Clubs? Can we get in?” I asked nervously, if I was drunk I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but I’d been in that stupid makeover room all day, I felt like I was going crazy.

“Of course!” Carlie and Reena both laughed at my obvious naivety. “In this town all you gotta do is look hot, flirt with the bouncer and you’re in. Lets have a dance before we go!” Reena ran and switched the music on while I quickly went to the bar and had a few mouthfuls of vodka. Much better.

We danced on the terrace for a few hours, I loved dancing, I just felt so free! I must admit the new look was making me feel a little more confident, I felt like I fitted in with the others more, who needed family when I had friends like this? It was as if Reena actually cared about me, wow, I loved them so much! The club we ended up going to was apparantly the best in the city, ‘only the best for us!’ Carlie had shouted as we rode up in the elevator, I must admit I didn’t think we’d get in, but after a lot of drinks I was feeling pretty sure of myself, and a quick flirt with the burly bouncer got us straight in.

“Don’t look now girls but we’re totally getting the eye.” Carlie commented as she enjoyed her Bubblegum Bubbles. The eye?

“Of course we are. Where are they?” Reena flicked her long blonde hair and looked around the club, quickly spotting the three guys across from us, smiling and nodding appreciatively.

“Um, they’re total duds. Why are there no hot guys here?” I asked the girls, I wanted to find someone cute to have fun with, not those idiots who only looked about our age. I’d had Riley now, I was worth more than that.

“Can’t you see the guy on the left?” I looked over at the foreign looking guy with the shaved head, um- ew much?

“What about him? He’s ugly.” I said.

“Who cares about his looks, he’s worth like 400 million, I met him last summer.” Reena said, seeming very interested.

“Sorry Reena babes, you know moms cut me off. He’s gotta be for me.” Carlie stood up, and smoothing down her tight leather dress sashayed across the room to where the boys were stood. Me and Reena followed a strategic 5 minutes later.

After a few minutes of shouting to each other over the pumping music we ended up downstairs on the dance floor. I got the best out of a bad bunch, I didn’t know his name, but he was a decent dancer so whatever. He definitely liked me, I knew that much. He kept putting his arms around my neck, which I’d strategically wiggle out of by pretending to be dancing, like I was better than him, I deserved someone better. At least I didn’t get Reenas guy, who I could see eyeing her up and down, a mini Barbie in her pink playsuit, impossibly long blonde hair and hot pink lipstick. He even grabbed her boob at one point!

I noticed Carlie was busy ensnaring her guy, they were over in a quieter part of the club, and I could see her hand grazing his crotch from time to time, I suppose a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Her mom was cutting her off, I mean I don’t have a clue what I’d do without money. Thank god mom didn’t lock my account when I ran off.

I guess the night was a success, we got guys, we had drinks, and we had fun. I just wished I’d met a better guy. Rolling out of the club at 3AM we were quickly picked up by the police, when we couldn’t give them any ID it was straight into the back of a cop car, for a second I was nervous but I just ended up laughing about it, after all what would they do to Lily Belgravia’s granddaughter?

*     *     *

Part 2 – the final installment of this generation – should be up tomorrow.

Also the family tree has been updated with Oriana and Alexandra’s families; can you believe that Lily is now a great-grandmother?! 

– Marissa x

Generation 2 – Chapter 14

Tommy –

How could she have done this?! I couldn’t believe mom hadn’t told us she had cancer! Noah had quickly filled us all in as he raced the Range Rover down the twisting streets behind the blaring lights of the ambulance. It was definitely not the way any of us had wanted to find out, and Noah had seemed completely uncomfortable telling us so hastily, especially with all of us completely shaken up, and Olive’s constant sobs didn’t help at all. I paced up and down as we waited for mom to come out of surgery, I couldn’t even consider sleep like Kitty, Olive and Oliver had.

I continued pacing, mumbling under my breath and kicking the walls, she had to be okay! What if the doctor came out and said she hadn’t made it, no! I couldn’t think like that.

“Hey, you okay?” At first I considered not answering, but I needed something to distract me. “Sit down?” She asked kindly, she was looking up at me, full of concern.

“Who are you waiting for?” She asked as I sat down warily beside her. I didn’t know why, but I felt like I could talk to her.

“Uh – my mom, she’s in surgery.”

“That sucks. I hope she pulls through.” The conversation was clearly going to be a little awkward from the get go, but we kept talking.

“I just hope she can make it, I mean, I dunno what I’d do without her, I can’t even think of anything different than having my mom around.” She listened patiently as I told her the story of the night, the party, my moms announcement, her collapse, everything.

“I know how you feel, honestly. My moms here for her chemotherapy right now, I have to wait out here till she’s done though. They won’t let me into the room.” Her mom had cancer too?! No wonder I felt like I could relate to her.

“What’s it like? The chemo?”

“I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard on her. She vomits, she’s always tired, her hair fell out long ago, but it’ll all be worth it when she pulls through.” I took note of her use of when she pulls through instead of if she pulls through. That’s how I should be thinking. Mom will pull through!

“Thanks so much for talking to me, you really calmed me down.”

“Yeah, you seemed pretty upset – understandably. I’m glad I could help.” This girl was so great.

Kitty –

I didn’t know how long I had been asleep, me, Olive, and Oliver had all dropped off as soon as we sat down, we were all worried but we just couldn’t stay awake any longer. At least this would pass some time too. Olive was still asleep, her head almost touching my legs. I needed her to wake up so we could talk about everything, not her bullimea, just mom. I needed to talk.

“Kitty, you okay?” Oliver had woken up.

“Um – no, not really no.”

“Wanna go for a walk?” He was so kind, but I couldn’t go for a walk, mom could be out of surgery any second.

“Come on, I just spoke to the nurse, she said mom won’t be out of surgery for at least another hour, we should get something to eat.” He didn’t give me time to tell him no, grabbing my hand and leading me down the hallway, out into the night. We walked for a while in silence, across the street, down to the boardwalk. It was so beautiful here, it was unimaginable that such tragedy was happening at the same time.

“Kitty, you think she’ll be okay?” He asked nervously, staring out to sea. I always forgot how young Oliver was, he had filled out quickly, and combined with his mature, caring nature (at times!) he could probably pass as my age, even though he was barely 14.

“Of course she will be.” I felt a lot less confident than I sounded as I reassured my little brother, I didn’t actually know myself. All I knew was that she had to be, we couldn’t lose her, she was our rock.

“Kitty…” He stared down at the ground, clearly (and understandably) upset, “what if she dies?” the words came out in a choked whisper, I had been thinking them too, but I hadn’t wanted to say them out loud, it all just felt so real. If we didn’t say it she could just be in hospital for a check up, oh damn, I knew I was kidding myself, it was obviously real… I just couldn’t face it. I still hadn’t answered him, I looked down at the ground as he stared at mine, I knew what he wanted, for me to say she wouldn’t die, but now that I’d thought about it I realised it was a very real possibility – she may not even make it out of surgery, and that wasn’t even to do with the cancer!

Olive –

I paced up and down the hallway, my nerves going out of control. I knew mom was okay, they had brought her out of surgery and she was resting with Noah keeping up a bedside vigil. I bit my nails and tapped my feet as I walked past the mostly deserted rooms, I couldn’t go in there. Not on my own, I didn’t want to see mom like this, she couldn’t be ill, it just wasn’t right, she was the heart of the family, who would hold us all together?

I needed my siblings to come back, where the hell where they?! I had woke up to find everyone gone, Tommy, Kitty, Oliver, all of them, all gone. I had not a single idea where they could be, I’d asked dad when he came out to convince me to come in and see mom but he didn’t know either. I just needed someone to talk to, I needed Kitty to be here and convince me to go inside that little room where mom was laying in the bed, with cancer. I stood in the hallway, staring into the room through the glass. She didn’t look ill, just as if she was napping, but I knew she had just had major surgery to remove a blood clot and she was obviously in a bad condition, it was such a frightening thought.

“Olive!” I heard a voice shout to me from down the hallway, it was Tommy! And some girl who I had never seen before in my life. Was Tommy picking up girls at the hospital?!

“Where have you been?!” I was pretty angry with him, mom was in surgery and he was off with some girl, probably looking for a date or something, what an idiot.

“Just to the vending machines downstairs, why aren’t you in there?” He seemed a little upset that he wasn’t in the room, but the girl whispered something into his ear and I noticed him calm down.

“Um -” I knew I had to go in, and now was as good a time as any, “I’m going in now, come on.” He walked ahead of me into the room, I didn’t know if the girl was going to try and follow him in, but I was still going to stop her. “Look sweetie,” I said, spinning around and blocking the door, even though she hadn’t moved yet. “This is a family issue, so why don’t you go somewhere else.” It wasn’t a question and she knew it. Her face set into a hard line of anger, but for whatever reason she just turned on her heel and strutted off down the hallway, whatever.

It wasn’t long until Olive and Kitty came back from wherever they had been – thank God! I knew that Kitty was upset with me right now, but my… issues were nothing compared to this. Our mom could die! Noah told us that they had gotten the clot out, it was lucky that we were throwing a party causing mom not to be wrapped up in bed, or we may never have known anything was wrong until the next morning, and by then it would have been too late. You could have cut the tension in the air with a knife, mom was heavily sedated, resting. Noah had his position next to her, barely speaking to us aside from telling us hard facts, I knew he didn’t dare to hope out loud, after all, she may have gotten through this, but there was still cancer to deal with! We all stood around her bed, an odd sight in our formal clothes from the party, inwardly praying for her survival; I had never been one for God, but now I felt that if He was real I needed Him more than ever.

Arielle –

I was looking down upon myself, it was like an out of body experience, I could see them; my family, my loves, my life, all stood around my bed. The looks on their faces pained me so deeply I thought I may have exploded. Kitty was stoic, staring straight at me, but I could see the fear in her eyes. Olive was outwardly nervous, tapping her Louboutins on the hard tile floor over and over again, picking at her nails and messing with her clothes. Oliver was clearly angry, I knew what he was thinking, this anger at the world was consuming him. Noah, my love, was trying to hold himself together, he was always such a man, never losing control, always proud, but I could see the worry on his face. Tommy was also stoic like his sister Kitty, looking down at the floor with a look of deep sadness on his handsome face.

I needed to wake up from the drug induced sleep, I had to be there for my family but it was impossible. What could I possibly do to comfort them when I was in shreds myself. It sounds selfish but I really didn’t want to die, I wasn’t ready, I hadn’t done everything in my life that I could have. What about poor Cora, still at home with a babysitter, without a care in the world. No doubt she would grow up with problems if she went through life without a mother to be there for her. Noah was a good father but he wasn’t very hands on with the kids, he was working all the time, when he came home he was the stern but cheerful father, the one the kids loved unconditionally. I had to be strong, for their sakes.

Oliver –

Why was no one doing anything?! We were all just stood around like half wits staring at moms sleeping figure. We should have been calling doctors, flying the best specialists in from around the world, anything but this standing around waiting for something to happen! I scowled at the rest of my family, who didn’t notice as they were still too busy staring at mom. I couldn’t be here!

I had to leave, I couldn’t be there anymore. So I ran. I ran straight out of the depressing, unthinkable situation. I could here Noah shouting me as I ran from the room but I didn’t turn around, I ran straight through the twisting blank white hallways of the hospital out into the night, being anywhere else would be better than being in there.

I didn’t know where I was going, there was no destination in my mind, but it had to be somewhere far away. This new town was huge, much bigger than Bridgeport, it felt amazing to be able to run from the built up city center, straight through the quaint suburbs, and out into the country. After a while I realised I was at the city limits, if I just kept running I could leave all of this behind, run to a new city, ignore my moms problems and start over. But I couldn’t. I just needed some peace. Running into the National Park on the edge of the city I wished I had my easel with me, this place was so beautiful. Damn, how could I be thinking of art when my mom was dying?!

A small cluster of benches were inviting me, I had been running for what felt like hours without stopping, I needed to rest, and this seemed like the perfect place. Sat among the nature I tried to clear my head, that’s what people always seemed to do, just get rid of their thoughts for a while, just to calm down. I took deep breaths, in, and out, in, and out. I wished I had a pack of cigarettes right now, I’d tried one at school a few weeks ago after a tough test and it had calmed me right down.

I tried not to think about mom, if I let myself think of the possibilities I wouldn’t be able to stop, I knew I’d end up breaking down, I mean it wasn’t like anyone was around, but I didn’t want to be weak, dad had taught me that men always have to be strong. The silence was so complete that it was a shock when I heard twigs snapping, and a rustling behind the bushes ahead. I stared ahead, ready for some sort of monster to come out of the bushes and eat me, or a tramp to come and mug me, but what came out was even odder.

It was the most unlikely type of person to emerge that I could have imagined, this perfectly manicured woman, an unnatural sight for a National Park, where was her hiking gear? She had noticed me, I knew that. She was walking towards me purposely, I quickly composed myself, it wouldn’t be cool to let her know I was upset, whoever she was.

“Hello! What a shock to see someone else out here so early, or late, depending on what you’ve been up too.” She said in a clipped English accent, extending a manicured hand to me, which I shook wearily. “What are you doing out here?” She asked, staring at me curiously.

“Um- I was just, walking around and I ended up here. If you don’t mind me saying, you don’t seem like, dressed properly for this place.” I smiled weakly at her, I couldn’t really be bothered with a conversation with this woman, but she was intriguing me.

“Well if you don’t mind me saying, neither of us seem to be be dressed appropriately for such a place, but I always find the appropriate way is usually the most tedious. Don’t you agree?” I had completely forgotten I was still in my extremely formal suit from the party. “I was actually at a rather fabulous party at the McLaughlins, if you must know. Now you must tell me where you where. How old are you by the way.” She peered at me as if she couldn’t quite work it out. She was taller than me, and I guessed she was probably somewhere in her late 20’s, I didn’t really know.

“17.” I said quickly, adding 3 years onto my age. She would probably just laugh if she knew I was only 14, I had to quickly move the conversation on. “Do you mean the MacLaughlins as in Mayor MacLaughlin?” I must admit that I was impressed, she clearly knew the high players of the city, I’d wanted to get a meeting with Mayor MacLaughlin for months to ask about getting my art around the city, but I never got past his secretary. I knew if I asked grandpa the Mayor would probably come straight over to the house, but I didn’t want help, I wanted to do it on my own. “I was actually at a party myself, but it got to be kind of a drag.” I didn’t want to tell her about mom , I don’t really think she would want to hear my sob story, she was just being polite.

“It seems like we think alike. I love to come to this park after a good party, it really clears my head. Gives me good ideas for the artists I endorse also.” She looked away from me for a second, at the wonderful scenery around her.

“You endorse artists? I’m an artist.” I blurted out before I could stop myself. I had been looking for someone like this for ages. She turned back to me with a half smile on her lips.

“You are? Well you should show me your work, I love to find up and coming artists.” Before I knew it we were engaged in a conversation about art, debating the best artists, telling each other our favourite works, and generally just having a good conversation. I’d never met someone who knew so much about art, she knew much, much more than I did, she even knew more than my teacher. It was such a great conversation that I found myself not consumed with worry over mom, which in a way I felt guilty about, but on the other hand it was so good to just have a real conversation without the dreaded C word hanging on my every thought.

“Goodness is that the time.” She glanced at her watch and then at the sky, the sun was slowly rising, casting a pink glow over everything in sight, it was beautiful. “I simply must go, a girl has to get her beauty sleep. Take my card.” She slipped a fancy white card into my hand before turning on her heel and heading back to the path, not looking back once. I looked down at the card, Celeste Clarence-Veloria. Maybe this was just the person I had been looking for.

*      *      *

Sorry it’s been so long guys! I know this chapter isn’t great, but I’m just extending some of the story lines and figuring out how to go about the whole cancer business. I hope you enjoy it, hopefully there will be a new chapter very soon. I also wanted to know what you thought of the way the last chapter was wrote. Do you prefer it to be written in the third person or first person? Please tell me, it would really help me out!

– Marissa x

P.S. Doesn’t Oliver look the spitting image of his father?! 

Architectural Digest Profile: The Belgravia Triplex (Gen 2)

Residents (Past) – Arielle Belgravia, Leo Belgravia,

ARIELLE BELGRAVIA PURCHASES A PALACE IN THE SKY

The triplex penthouse that came on the market 6 months ago in the prestigious ‘Breach House’ was one that interested many of you architectural buffs. The said penthouse was snatched up by one of the most unlikely of buyers; Miss Arielle Belgravia, daughter of world famous actress Lily Belgravia and top Bridgeport financier and CEO of Belgravia Industries International Chace Belgravia. Miss Belgravia has been off the Bridgeport scene for some months now, having held a position at one of the countries elite private schools, The Howland School for Girls.

We were all interested to see if Miss Belgravia would follow the previous owners in the traditional style of the apartment, with oak floors, oak panelling, and (before the owners removed them; see Article 64, June 1997) the classic furniture which brought it all together. We were lucky enough to be granted what we have been promised will be the only photo spread of the newly furnished apartment. Arriving at the towering apartment block on 1101 Bayshore Highway I felt a little intimidated, the building has been home to some of Bridgeport’s top monetary elite, and I counted no less than 1 million dollars worth of jewels on the several mink clad women that passed by me as I crossed the lobby. Riding the elevator to the 25th floor I must admit I was a little nervous, would she have done the apartment justice? That’s what we’re here to find out.

The entrance of her apartment is stunning in itself. After passing through a large grille gate (which, according to local gossip her mother insisted upon for her daughters security) I entered the classic, simple white door that led me into a shocking hallway. The colours alone are enough to make your mind spin, with a harsh black and white floor, which I noticed followed through to both the kitchen and the living area.

The built in book cases help to fill the room while cancelling the need for pictures on the very busy walls. On closer inspection of these bookcases it seems Miss Belgravia has exceptional taste, with a penchant for novels of the French variety. A rare Socratic bust is framed in the beautiful post-war window which floods the hallway with light during the day.

The kitchen is definitely a first in a building of this sort, the original kitchen was ripped out when Miss Belgravia took residence, and replaced with a startling modern version. The original stone walls, revealed when the kitchen panelling (a lighter shade than used throughout the rest of the house) allows the modern counters and cabinets to really stand out, and a central glass island breaks up the large space and allows for those friendly chats with a hot chocolate that we all love.

Through an original archway, which Miss Belgravia was required to keep (but claims she likes anyway, and would not have had them pulled out) is the utilities area, yes not the most exciting of areas but, as always, we over at Architectural Digest cover every aspect (that the owners allow us to) of an apartment. Obviously, this area is home to the washer and dryer of the house (a rare commodity for city dwellers, no laundromat needed here!), but in the true party girl style that we all know and love her for, Miss Belgravia opted not only to rent a wine cellar on the basement level like most of the residents of the building, she also opted for 3 wine racks on this level, so if she ever needs a drink one isn’t more than a few feet away.

The living room is another huge change from the Bartlett apartment (Article 64, June 1997). The oak panelling has been stripped bare, revealing the stone walls which have been left unpainted on two main walls, and the other two painted a neutral cream/white, giving the space much more of a loft feel. Miss Belgravia loves to settle down in here with a good book or a movie, with a cup of her favourite coffee.

The eclectic furniture gives us a real insight into her personality and taste, with purposely mismatched furniture, fur rugs on the cold checker board floor that follows through from the hallway, and select paintings lit professionally to maximise their effect. Issues of Vogue battle for space against the complete works of Keats and Shakespeare on the central coffee table, which appears to be the base for everything Miss Belgravia loves. A beautiful grand piano is available for use next to the door leading to the terrace, which has both city and sea views. An original, signed guitar from popular rock band ‘Talbot’ lays at the foot of a 200 year old sculpture, based on Botticelli.

A 1950’s pin up girl vys for wall space with a classical religious painting, rumoured to have been painted by a student of Da Vinci. The contrast portrayed throughout the main room of the house (what Miss Belgravia calls ‘the hub’) is a huge part of the integrity of the apartment, symbolising how young Miss Belgravia hopes to live comfortably with her other more traditional, usually older neighbours, and how the old and the new can come together in an effective way.

Contrasting with the light walls, black bookcases (built in) frame the original oak archway which leads to the simple, modern study.

A bright red desk adds a splash of colour to the plain white room, along with another colourful feature, the huge mural behind two ornate glass bookcases featuring another 1950’s girl: Marilyn Monroe. Large windows frame stunning sea views and another terrace offers an even better view.

Stairs (the old wood rails were replaced with sleek glass) in this room lead down to another floor, which is currently being used as Miss Belgravia’s significant others (‘Leo’ a painter whom she met in France) studio, where she tells us he spends most of the day, painting. The studio is a truly cavernous room, made even more so by the lack of any significant furniture or use of colour, and the huge windows letting in more light than most of you city dwellers ever see in your entire apartment.

As you know, however much we would have liked to detail every bedroom of Miss Belgravia’s triplex penthouse, there are only so many pages in the magazine, and of course, the master suite took precedence over 4 (you heard right) other guest rooms. Plain white walls and floor are the backdrop for this eclectic room, which is almost a botanical garden in the seating area.

One of her seemingly favourite features, the built in bookcase, continues in this room, framing the white heart shaped bed and also containing many rare books of the French variety.

The seating area is yet another homage to the eclectic tastes of Miss Belgravia, with soft, comfortable chairs alongside sharp, seemingly self supporting end tables, under which more classic novels fight for space with the novel of today: the magazine (this time it’s GQ), a classic red rose sits over the way from a huge orchid (possibly the largest we’ve ever photographed) and a Chanel purse is guarded by an ancient Chinese dragon. She say’s this is the place she likes to read most, and who can blame her with those stunning views of the sea (slightly obstructed by construction work, but that’s a price you pay to live in the city).

Overall, in my opinion, Miss Belgravia’s triplex penthouse is one of the most unique and beautiful in the city. The overwhelmingly eclectic, and perhaps you may even allow me to call it eccentric taste just reveals how bold she really is. One of the oldest and most elite buildings of the city, with names straight from The Social Register has been rocked by the arrival of this new celebrity. With her man in tow (who has done some amazing paintings while in residence here) she seemingly has everything she wants. A ridiculous price tag was attached to the apartment, which Miss Belgravia is not willing to disclose, but if you had the money would you not want to live here? Although we personally love the apartment, what makes this magazine is you. What do you think of her apartment? Thanks for reading, and remember, if you’re born into an extremely rich and privileged family, you can have all this too.

Caroline Garons