Boreal Springs

December 31, 2009

Davis-Knight – Round 27: ‘Telephone’

Filed under: Davis,Knight — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 3:33 pm

Jennifer Knight and Emma Davis are new graduates of Boreal Summit University, on their own in Aperture City.

Normally, the idea of Jennifer and Emma sharing an apartment would be so far-fetched it would be almost unbelievable.  Thanks to Daisy, however, it was a much different story.  They both needed help paying the rent and needed a roommate.  Daisy convinced Jennifer that Emma had changed and would make a decent roommate.  Jennifer was dubious.

“I like things clean,” Jennifer said, looking Emma over.  “I work evenings.”

“Me, too,” Emma replied.  “And I work during the day, so you’ll have plenty of time to yourself.”

“Try to keep the men to a minimum.”

“Only if you promise the same for the girls!”

The arrangement worked out and the two managed to find a nice routine.  They were complete opposites, but they didn’t have to be best friends to be roommates.  The apartment was plenty big enough for them to have their space when necessary and the companionship was nice.  It was preferable to being all alone.

It was only a matter of time before Francis stopped by.  He and Emma hadn’t really talked much since the whole blow-up with Rosa and then Shelly’s party.  It was mostly Emma keeping her distance.  Francis had enough of the gameplaying and decided to just ‘stop by’.

“Nice and I hear your roommate likes girls,” Francis commented, looking around.

She rolled her eyes, “she’s not the kind of lesbian you’d like, Francis.”

“She wears plaid?”

“Why are you here?”

He moved closer, his hand gently touching her face, “you can’t avoid me forever, you know.”

“I wasn’t avoiding you,” Emma replied, finding it hard to keep her resolve.  “I just… I’ve messed up enough.  I didn’t want to hurt Rosa anymore.”

“I’ve spoken to Rosa, we’re friends.  That’s all it is.”

“And that makes us what?”

He shrugged, “why does it have to make us anything?  Why can’t we just be two people who enjoy each others company?”

His logic was questionable, but Emma couldn’t deny that she did enjoy his company… quite a bit, in fact.  As long as she didn’t try to imagine the future, she was always happy to be with Francis.  Maybe her mind got a little fuzzy and she confused the things he said for commitments, but it didn’t matter, did it?  She was still young, she had plenty of time.

Jennifer arrived home late that evening to find Francis there.  She was surprised, to say the least.  He walked out of the bathroom like he owned the place, Emma nowhere to be found.  She was a bit startled when she came out a few seconds later, seeing Jennifer and feeling suddenly embarassed.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Jennifer said, trying not to sound awkward.  “I came home early, wasn’t feeling well.”

Jennifer made it to the counter before she collapsed without another word.  Emma was so shocked she could barely move, it was Francis that called emergency services.  They arrived and took Jennifer out on a stretcher.  Emma made a sound of pure horror as they pulled out the defibrillator–her heart had stopped beating.

Unfortunately, Jennifer didn’t make it.  The doctors were stumped and her family would have to wait for the complete coroner’s report to find out the true reason of death.

Emma returned to the apartment with Francis.  It had all happened Friday evening and now it was early Saturday morning.  Francis didn’t have classes until late Monday, so he stayed with Emma.  She was a bit of a wreck, having seen someone die right in front of her.

He studied while she slept.  It was a long weekend.  Anytime he left the room, she’d wake up or start freaking out.  By Sunday night and after a visit from her parents, she seemed to be doing better.  Francis left her in their care while he went back to University.

It took Emma some time, but she recovered.  She came home from work one day to find Daisy waiting.  She’d nearly forgotten that Jennifer and Daisy had some sort of weird friends, but maybe more thing going on.  She hugged her friend tightly, trying to comfort her.  Daisy didn’t look distressed so much as lost.

“Do you want to come in?”

“Thanks,” Daisy said, breathing slowly.  “It was a long drive.”

“How are you doing?” Emma asked tenatively.

“I’m okay, I just… it’s hard to believe, you know?  I don’t think I do, yet.  I won’t, not until I’m there and I… well, I see her go in the ground.  I just feel so terrible.”

“Why?  You didn’t do it, Daisy.  We have no idea what did.”

Daisy frowned, “I feel like maybe I should have come around earlier, you know?  Now I’m just lost.  I don’t know what to do.  I guess I just need some time…”

Daisy left a few hours later after looking around at the apartment.  Emma settled in for the evening.  She began making herself some dinner when she heard the door open and close.  She knew she locked it, so she wasn’t surprised when she looked up and saw Gordon.  He always had a way with locked doors.

“It’s so weird, mom and dad are gray and here you are… not.  What do you want?”

“I heard about your roommate,” Gordon said walking towards her.  “Life is unfortunate with its coincidence.  Are you all right?”

“I will be.”

He blocked her from the stove, “you’re still angry.”

“Not angry, just annoyed. What do you want?  Are you going to lecture me again?”  Emma sighed, pushing past him and placing the pot on the stove.  “I’m a big girl, I’ve learned my lesson.”

“That remains to be seen.  I know Claude’s slipped you money.”

She sat down with a sigh, “only a little, only because I really needed it.  It was that or live on the streets.”

“He doesn’t know that I know, I only thought you should.  You should know it’s impossible to get anything past me, Emma.”

“Consider me warned.”

“Which is why I am going to say this–Francis O`Hanlon… do you really think that’s wise?”

She made a face, “now you’re going to tell me who to date?”

“That’s not what I’m saying at all,” Gordon said quickly, looking exasperated.  “Michael worked with Viola.  She’s a basket case.  Francis is very similar to his father.  Do you really want to end up like Viola?  I hear she’s in therapy, that she’s taking some sort of pills… quite the future you’re staring down.  If this is a play for money, you might want to find someone else.”

Over the next few days, Gordon’s words continually ran through Emma’s head.  Everyone knew Viola’s tragic story.  She certainly didn’t want to end up like that.  She liked Francis, she liked him a lot and not just because he was rich.  She genuinely cared about it.  Unfortunately, he really didn’t seem to feel the same way, seeing her more as a friend and a casual ‘fun buddy’.

Her boss came home with her, they were supposed to work on a speech for one of the congressmen going before the public tomorrow.  She’d seen him several times around the office, they’d spoken a few times, but she’d always been so consumed by Francis she hadn’t done anything more than talk to him.

That changed very quickly.  Emma knew it was a bad idea to just… sleep with someone you barely know, but she wasn’t exactly thinking straight.  She was still reeling from what she’d witnessed and her own insecurities involving Francis.  To say the workplace was going to be a bit awkward would be an understatement.  Sleeping with a random person, not so wise, but your boss?  Dangerous.

————————

Note from Mao: OMG JENNIFER!  I have no idea what happened.  I was so shocked, my husband heard me and was like, “what’s wrong?!” and then rolled his eyes when I told him, lol.  All I can guess is that she was sick and I didn’t know.  Poor Jennifer.  This is why I don’t need ROS… my freakin’ sims kill themselves!

I tried to have Emma plead for her life, but they were barely friends, so she picked the wrong hand.

As for Emma jumping her coworker, she did that on her own!  No sooner did they walk into the apartment… BAM!  Couch action, OMG.  And then she was hitting on her other coworker, too.  This whole situation has her on the fritz.  I can’t wait to see Francis’ reaction, LOL!  Emma is the only person he’s gotten busy with.  He’s not 100% Patrick.  I’m also amused that they have three bolts.

December 14, 2009

Saunders 2 – Round 27: ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 3:08 pm

Gordon Saunders has had everything under control for a long time.  Can he continue or will everything that’s happening around him get the best of him?  Claude and Emily Saunders didn’t really plan on kids, but now they’re waiting on number 2.  Gordon certainly isn’t pleased about the new addition…

“Did you think you could hide it forever?”

Emily shook her head, “we weren’t trying to hide, Gordon.  We were just waiting for the right time to tell you…”

“Where is my son, anyway?”

“Um…”

Claude walked in, his timing as impeccable as ever.  He looked as if he had just rolled out of his coffin, taking a seat lazily next to Emily, who was showing through her dress.

Gordon sighed, hand on his temples, “Claude, can’t you be punctual for anything?”

“I’m here, aren’t I?  Besides, who is on time for a lecture…”

“Neither of you have jobs, you’re living off my goodwill, despite the foolish mistakes and ridiculous games you’ve played.  Do not think my mercy is endless.  You know what happened to Emma.”

Claude shuddered.

“He’s right, you know,” Emily said, turning to him.  “You could show a little effort.”

“What?  Babe, come on, I’m way too pretty for work.”

Gordon cleared his throat, drawing both of their attention back to him, “this won’t happen again, will it?”

“No,” they both said simultaneously.  It wasn’t said, but implied that if it did, they’d both be in hot water.

After he was done scolding her parents, Gordon went to see little Selene.  He had been fine with her, just one child was hard to mess up, especially with him around to ensure that it doesn’t happen.  Two, however, with his schedule and the knowledge of Claude’s other two children out there… well, that made things complicated.

He looked into Selene’s eyes, brushing her curly hair away from her face, “promise me you won’t grow up to be an idiot like your father.  An old vampire can only handle so much…”

She grabbed his nose and he took it as a hopeful indication that she would, indeed, be smarter than her careless father.

To make matters worse, Elena phoned in response to Emma’s punishment.  She had been all for it at first, but now that Emma had graduated and was out on her own, her apprehension was growing.

“Emma is fine, she can take care of herself.  I’m not taking it back, not until she can show she’s changed.  Elena, please, I know what I’m doing.  Don’t you dare go back on what I’ve said, either… you’re just as vulnerable as Emma.  Just focus on Emily and leave Emma to me.”

Since Gordon’s cutting off of Emma, he had warned Claude against aiding her or talking to her.  Claude wasn’t always so great at following Gordon’s directions, however, and spoke to her often.  Unfortunately, she happened to call while Gordon was in the room.

“Hey, Em,” Claude whispered into the phone, trying not to look suspicious.  “You should probably call back later…”

“Claude, is that Emma?”

“Uh, no,” he said, hastily hanging up the phone.  “Wrong number.”

Gordon gave him a look of warning, but said nothing and exited the room.  Claude shuddered, that was close.

“I want to see grandpa,” Grace Saunders said, storming into the house and nearly pushing Emily down on her laurels.

“He’s busy,” Emily called uselessly after her.  Grace, of course, ignored her and went into the basement in search of her nocturnal grandfather.

“You have to let me move in with you,” Grace pleaded, trying to don her best ‘pouty face’.  “The house is just insane with the twins.  You don’t understand, I’m suffocating… and mom’s preening… I can’t take it!”

Gordon sighed, “you’re too young, Grace.  You can’t move here, you have a family and you have your parents.  Things will get better, I promise.  You’re just… well, it isn’t easy being the ‘odd one’ out.”

“No, it won’t get better it’ll just get worse.  My tan is fading and when it’s gone, everything will just get horrible!”

“Grace, listen to me, you’re not moving anywhere.  You’re going to stay with your family and tough it out.  Do you want me to call your father and tell him what you’ve said to me?”

Grace looked sheepish suddenly, her determination faltering, “uh… you won’t, right?  I mean, you can’t, you can’t tell dad… they, he doesn’t even know I’m here!”

“Of course he doesn’t, he’d never allow you to come.  You’re too young, Grace, I’m sorry.  How did you even get here?  Wait, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.  Come on, I’ll drive you home… it’s getting late.”

Selene was growing like a weed and before they knew it, she was a little girl.  She was talented, especially with the piano, plucking the ivories while her parents danced and laughed behind her.  Emily was at the end of her pregnancy and it showed, she couldn’t wait to get back down to a regular size.

Being the daughter to vampires and the only human in the house meant Selene got a lot of freedom.  She could jump on the couch, each pizza for breakfast, and even run laps around the house and no would yell at her.  Sure, she had Jeeves to look after her needs, but he rarely ever scolded her.  Instead, he joined in her games.

Her favorite game was to dress up in formal wear and dance on Jeeves’ large, metal feet in the upstairs hallway.  She still had to go to school, of course, but the weekends were hers to do with as she pleased.  Most children would feel lonely having so much time to themselves, but Selene relished in it.

She wouldn’t be an only child for long, as Emily soon gave birth to a baby boy they named Nicholai.  He had his mother’s fair complexion but his father’s hair and eyes.  Selene was passive about the new addition, she’d probably care more when he was old enough to do things other than cry, poop, and sleep.

Meanwhile, Gordon himself was feeling incredibly overwhelmed.  In his long history of juggling his criminal activities and his personal ones, he had never been so inundated with both as he was now.  They threatened to collide violently, pieces of one sneaking into the other.  It was a constant juggling act just to keep them from meeting and his personal duties were suffering for it.  He had yet to even make contact with Claude’s estranged children and they would soon be teenagers.

It was just too much, he needed a break.  There was no chance of that.  He’d never leave his empire in the hands of someone else for an hour, much less a day.  He would just have to shoulder the burden and try to balance everything as best as possible until everything calmed down.

He was mixing himself a little edge softener when Valerie walked into the room.  He really needed to get a guard or something for the front door.

“If I learned anything from Shelly Anderson’s party, it’s that drinking doesn’t solve anything.”

“It doesn’t, but it makes things a little easier sometimes,” he abandoned the mixer and looked up.  “What are you doing here?  You’re on vacation.”

She shrugged, “didn’t need one… you, on the other hand, look like you need five.”

“A lifetime would be nice but we can’t all be so lucky,” he said, walking from around the bar.  “What do you want?  I’m not giving you any work, not until you’re back on the level.”

“Well, I guess that means I’m unemployed,” Valerie replied hesitantly, feeling a little uneasy.  “I can’t stop this and I can’t control it, either.”

He shook his head, “Valerie, you’re not the first one to get caught up in the mystery.  It will pass.  It’s not serious.”

“Then why haven’t you had your fun and left it at that?  What do you care about anyone I’m connected to?” She moved closer, eyes never leaving his.  “I have to do this, it’s not going to leave my mind until I do… and I know you feel the same way.”

“Val–”

“You talk too much, Gordon.”

——————————

Note from Mao: Buuhhuuuuh, long update is LONG.  Gordon is involved in so much crap it makes my head spin, I can only imagine how his poor sim feels!  Emily has been put on birth control and as far as I’m concerned, will NEVER be popping out another spawn, ever.  Ever.  No moar babies for Claude, four is enough!

Selene is adorable.  She and Jeeves are best friends and anytime she has a free moment, she’s harassing him.  It’s cute.  She has a fondness for the robot that her mother lacks, LOL!

Elena actually called Gordon and Emma actually called Claude.  I thought it was odd, but I guess it makes sense.  Claude better not be squirreling her money or his butt is in trouble.

Valerie popping up was inopportune but the wants could not be denied.  Valerie has had consistent wants to kiss and do dirty things with Gordon that REFUSED TO LEAVE.  When she visited (ON HER OWN, BTW), I checked and they were still there.  Imagine my surprise when Gordon rolled up similar wants, though I will say one wasn’t specific.  He wanted to kiss Valerie and woohoo in bed.  I took it for face value.

Let’s just hope ‘casual woohoo’ did not result in any unnecessary surprises, hm?  And let us hope this cools the fires a bit.  Marcus is still listed as Valerie’s One True Love, so… yeah.

December 8, 2009

Yu 2 – Round 27: ‘Self Control’

Filed under: Alioto,Yu — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 10:42 pm

Marcus Yu and Valerie Alioto have no plans to get married and are quite settled into their life as it is.  Megan Alioto is a happy and fulfilled child.  Can Valerie maintain her cover while working for Gordon?

Valerie’s job with Gordon usually had her out at all hours of the night.  He didn’t have her doing anything illicit, but their meetings had to be during the night and they always had Valerie returning late into the night.  He had tasked her with keeping tabs on his grandchildren by Kit, Dominic and Nadia Knight.  It was an easy job but when Gordon said he wanted to know everything, he wasn’t kidding.  It took all of Valerie’s skills and tact to keep her cover while she kept an eye on her daughter’s new friends.

She also felt guilty.  Spending so much time with Gordon, she had developed an unfortunate crush, one that hampered her ability to think clearly.  She found herself drifting off in conversation, somewhere else entirely.  It was beginning to haunt her and make her uncomfortable.  She cared about Marcus and she certainly didn’t want to disrupt her daughter, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that overcame her when she saw Gordon.  Maybe it was because he knew what she did and she didn’t have any secrets.

Megan became good friends with Nadia, much to Valerie’s delight.  Everytime she saw Megan smile, she was reminded why her infatuation with her criminal, vampire boss was ridiculous.

Besides, it wasn’t like her life was so bad, it was great, especially compared to the majority of the neighborhood.  Most were caught up in crazy dramas and scandal, but Valerie and Marcus, despite not being married, always managed to keep their heads above water.  They were happy with their relationship, feeling no need to push it further.  They had Megan and that’s all they needed to bind them together.

Still, there was Gordon and meeting him in crowded, dark bars certainly didn’t help damper the thrill or excitement she felt near him.  It wasn’t the vampire thing, she’d never been much into that, but simply his personality.  He revealed so little, yet she knew all the textbook stuff, the marriages, the scandals, what he’d done, what he didn’t do but was accused of anyway.  She knew it was wrong, but anytime she was near him she forgot about her obligations as a mother and girlfriend, throwing them to wind as carelessly as a whimisical teenager might.

“Could you be anymore obvious?”  Gordon scolded, glancing at her.  “Stop staring, you’ll draw attention.”

“Sorry,” she whispered, turning her eyes away and focusing ahead.  She watched the red, neon light of one of the beer signs flicker on and off.  “Can we talk outside?”

He sighed, taking the disc she discreetly passed him beneath the bar, “I’ll leave first, follow after a few minutes.”

“What’s going on with you lately?  You’re slipping,” Gordon said once she joined him outside, his tone denoting his displeasure.  “If you’re going to be sloppy, I’m going to pull you out of the action.”

“No, no, don’t, I’m fine, I promise… it’s just… well, I need to ask you something.”

“This had better be about business, Valerie.”

“It’s not…”

He raised his hand to stop her, but instead of falling silent, she took it into her own.  His skin wasn’t icicle cold like she had anticipated, warmth danced beneath the surface, not as plentiful as her own, but there, nonetheless.  Some semblance of life behind the marble complexion.

“There’s something here, right?  It’s not just me?”

He shook her off like one might a child tugging at their pant leg, wanting attention, “Valerie, I do not mix work with pleasure.  Ever.  You are treading dangerous ground.”

“But…”

“While I have no love for my ex-wife’s memory, I bear her children no ill-will.  You are her son’s girlfriend, you have a child together… if my time has taught me anything, it’s the importance of family.  You would do well to remember what they mean to you and what you mean to them,” he turned away, walking towards the street.  Before crossing, he paused, glancing back at her, “no more talk of this, do you understand?  I will not say it again.”

Valerie had no chance to reply, Gordon disappearing across the street and into the shadows.  She felt an overwhelming guilt, his words ringing true in her ears.  Even so, she couldn’t push it out of her mind.  It was there, a thread hanging between them, vibrating with tension.  It wasn’t going to just go away.

Gordon refused to see her for several days, telling her instead to take a couple of days off and remember what’s important.  His intentions were good, but Valerie had no mind for it.  She spent time with Megan and Marcus, but always, lingering in the back of her mind was that single, brief touch.  It was a direct contrast to the hot water surrounding her and Marcus’ warm hands working the knots out of her shoulders.

“You feeling okay?” He asked, trying not to sound too worried.

She nodded, “yeah, just… overworked.  Glad to have some time off.”

“You’d tell me if something was wrong, right?  I mean, we’re open like that,” he said, putting his arm around her and pulling her close.  “Well, not open, but you know…”

“I know,” she said, trying to hide her guilt.  “Everything’s fine, Marcus, I promise.  We can’t all be nice and laid-back like you… some of us fall victim to stress now and again.”

He leaned back, looking up at the sky, “you think I don’t know stress?  Have you even met my sister?  Were we even at the same party?”

Valerie laughed, “oh, yeah… it’s definitely good we don’t all have people like Shelly in our life.  Poor Cole, did you see how much he was drinking?”

“Forget Cole, did you see my sister’s campaign manager?  Now there’s a man who knows how to party.”

————————

Note from Mao: Poor Valerie is so conflicted.  She bounces between wants for Marcus and wants to see Gordon.  Gordon is staying neutral, but ACR has them flirting whenever they’re near.  Despite this, I can’t see Gordon diving headlong into anything, especially not this.  Which is why I’m going by wants that make sense and not ACR’s constant need for flirting.  ;)

I’m just hoping that she doesn’t drop in while I’m playing Gordon’s house, because there’s waaay too many beds and I’m never quick enough to stop WooHoo’s that totally should not be happening, lol.

October 28, 2009

O`Hanlon – Round 27: ‘Time After Time’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 12:18 pm

Julie O`Hanlon still mourns the loss of her love, Asia.  Timothy and Isolde do their best to raise their rapidly growing twin sons, Gavin and Tommy.

Tommy and Gavin made the most of the last days of fall.  Julie was always happy to walk with them down to the playground, which was always full of activity.  Boreal Springs was definitely home to a lot of children, all within the same age range.

Spending time with her young grandchildren helped her forget the untimely loss of Asia.  Being in the military and a qualified space technician, Julie still wasn’t sure where the satellite had come from.

The boys seemed to move on for the loss, they were young when they lost their other grandmother and a child’s mind isn’t one for grief.  Gavin wasn’t as outgoing as his brother, but he was definitely more of the athlete.  He spent most of his time on the monkey bars.  They were his domain… until Catelyn Anderson stepped into the picture.  She was snappy for a little girl.

“Hey, this isn’t a girl’s toy,” Gavin warned, watch the young girl hop onto a bar, somehow able to maintain her flip flops as she swung.

“I don’t see any signs,” she shot back, eyes narrowed.

“Fine,” Gavin said, moving out to the middle, staring her down.  “But you can’t hang as long as I can.”

“Yeah, I can,” Catelyn replied, determination in her eyes.  “Watch me.”

It ended in a tie, because Catelyn’s dad came calling–the girls had run off to the playground by themselves…again–and Julie was collecting her grandsons.  A rematch was promised and the two parted ways.

Isolde came home from a trip downtown to her husband digging up the backyard.  She wasn’t exactly pleased about it.  It was bad enough they had a big obstacle coarse taking up the side yard, now this eyesore in the back.

“Timothy, what are you doing?

“Gardening, babe.  It’s relaxing.”

“You don’t know the first thing about gardening.”

He laughed, “that’s why I’m learning!  It’s fun.  See?  Stuff grows and then you pick it.”

Isolde sighed, trying to remember that Timothy had a very simple nature about most things, “try not to dig up the whole backyard.  The boys need somewhere to play.”

One evening, while Julie, Isolde, and Timothy were a the table discussing the very burnt porkchops Isolde had made, the phone rang.  Julie quickly rose to answer it, wanting to avoid the charred texture of overdone pork.  She was surprised to hear Maggie on the other line.  It’d been so long since she’d called!

“Maggie!  How are you doing?”

‘I’m fine, how is everyone there?’

“We’re all great, but we’d be better if you’d visit.”

‘Um, that’s kind of what I called about… there’s something I need to tell you, mom.’

“Is everything all right?  Are you hurt?”

‘No, no, I’m okay, it’s just… um… I’m,’ Maggie hesitated, taking a deep breath. ‘I’m pregnant.’

“What??  How is that possible?  Wait, James?  Oh, Maggie!”

‘I need to go.  I’ll… call you later.’

Before Julie could say anything, Maggie hung up.  She sighed.

Julie waited until she thought Timothy was preoccupied to visit Isolde out in her witchery hut.  She had to tell someone about Maggie and she knew Isolde would keep quiet.

“Did you know, have any indication?  You saw her last month!”

“I had suspicions, but I wasn’t sure,” Isolde replied sadly.  “This isn’t going to be good.  Timothy is going to go nuts.”

Julie shook her head, “I’m trying not to go nuts!  My poor baby is pregnant… and not in the ‘oh yay, marriage and everything and now there’s babies’… no in the Scarlet Letter variety of pregnant!  And to Timothy’s best friend, no less.”

Timothy had been coming to see Isolde, but he had heard it all.  He stormed through the door, shocking them both.

“Maggie is what?!

“Timothy, calm down, please,” Julie said, trying to placate her son.  “There’s nothing we can do about it now.  We have to be calm–”

Timothy balled his fists at his sides, “I am going to KILL him!”

“Stop!  You’re not going to do anything,” Isolde snapped, pulling out her wand.  “Don’t make me use this on you, Timothy.  You can’t let Maggie know that you know and you most certainly cannot kill the baby’s father.  She will come to us and to you, when she feels comfortable.  She’s scared.  We don’t need to scare her further.”

Timothy grumbled unintelligbly, but did nothing else.  He turned and left, followed by Julie.  Isolde took a deep breath.  What next?

Almost immediately, as if on cue, Gordon appeared at her door.  Where had he come from?  This was not the time.

“That sounded fun,” he said by way of greeting, stepping inside and closing the door.

“This is a really bad time.”

“So I heard.  Unfortunately, our problems have a similar vibe to them–unwanted attention.  It’s just a quick fix, something you can easily brew up in minutes.  So, let’s get started, shall we?  Once I’m gone, you can go play mediator once more.”

Isolde nodded, knowing that there was no way to say “no” to Gordon Saunders.  She’d agreed to the work and it didn’t matter what time it was, she had to do it.

Timothy, meanwhile, had a hard time adjusting to the news.  He tried to take his mind off of it, but it was impossible.  His little sister was knocked up by his best friend, who was still reeling from his bad relationship with Kit.  Poor Maggie.  He wasn’t mad at her, but he did want to lay James out in the ER, for sure.  He had trusted him!

If the boys noticed anything was up, they didn’t say a word.

——————-

Note from Mao: Timothy walking in on Julie and Isolde talking was the game.  I had Julie go back and talk to Isolde and Timothy came in not long after, an action queued up with Isolde.  So, it just seemed to fit that it’d be how he found out.  Maggie also called Julie earlier in the day, which I thought was a hint as to her fessing up.

Timothy needs something to do while the boys are at school, so he gardens.  The playground is a pretty active place, too.  The thing with Catelyn and Gavin happened autonomously.  They both got on the monkeybars and stared one another down, LOL!

October 23, 2009

B.S.U. Campus – Round 26: ‘Love Song’

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus,Davis,O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 3:37 pm

Emma Davis is completing her final two years at University while Francis O`Hanlon is just starting his four year venture.

Emma smiled, greeting Francis as he walked in.  She knew him, but they were never very close.  The most she knew about him came from her friend, Rosa Anderson, who had dated him in high school.  He certainly grew up well.  He looked almost exactly like his father, only blond and with dark, foreign eyes.

“So, it’s just us.  Hope that’s okay.”

“That’s fine,” Francis said, looking around.  “This place shaped up nicely.”

“Yeah, it turned out great.”

When she had initially found out that she would be spending her last two years with Francis, Emma hadn’t thought anything of it.  Unfortunately, she had underestimated the tension that can grow when two attractive people are stuck in a house together.  She didn’t like him like that, that’s impossible.  He was like his father, a womanizer.  Emma wasn’t one of those girls.  She didn’t go for guys like that.

She liked to be the one in control.

Emma was surprised when her adoptive grandfather, Gordon, stopped by one night for a visit.  She let him in, feeling suddenly nervous.  This wasn’t a pleasure call, she could tell by the way he was standing.  He was tense.  He had come to yell at her.  She tried to let on as if she were clueless.

“Hey, I didn’t know you were coming over.”

“Hello, Emma.  I hear you’re falling behind with your scholarship.”

“My parents sent you, didn’t they?  Why can’t everyone just leave me alone, it isn’t like I’ve done anything wrong…”

“Messing with people’s lives is wrong, Emma.  You can’t just hurt someone because they’re ‘in the way’, especially when the person you’re after… doesn’t feel the same.”

Emma rolled her eyes, “Lydia has no business!  She’s not like us.”

At this, Gordon’s eyebrows quirked upward, “What is this us you speak of, Emma?”

“What?  You’re going to deny me now?  I’m not your biological granddaughter, whatever… but I might as well be!”

“I wasn’t saying that at all,” Gordon snapped back, angered.  “I’m simply wondering where you get off considering yourself of higher worth than anyone else.  You’re not a special snowflake, Emma.  You’re with the rest of us.”

Her brows furrowed, “I am not on the same level as Lydia Anderson!  She’s trash!  She comes from some kind of weird… experiment.  I mean, her great grandparents were lesbians!

What happened next shocked Emma to her core.  Gordon’s hand shot out and struck her, right on the cheek.  She recoiled, the pain stinging.  She tried not to cry, but it was fruitless.  Tears formed in her eyes and fell down her cheeks unchecked.

“You are out of control!”  Gordon roared, drawing his hand back.  He didn’t usually resort to violence, but Emma was beyond talking.  “You’re in for a very hard lesson in life.  If you keep this up, you’ll find yourself in more trouble than you are now.  Remember who you’re talking to, Emma Davis.  I am not your parents and I will not tolerate your belligerent attitude!”

“I–”

“Be silent!  I suppose this is my fault, you were spoiled… and look what it’s done to you.  You were such a sweet girl, but money has turned you sour.  I can fix that real quick.”

“W-what are you saying?” She sniffed.

“I am cutting you off, Emma.  I’ve given you every chance I could think of and still, you act this way.  Your money is going to be locked down and I swear, if you so much as even try to touch it, I will take it… all of it.”

“You can’t!” She wailed, hands on her hips.  The tears streaming from her eyes and the defeat written all over her face did little to help her stance.  “You can’t do that!  How will I finish college?”

“I suppose it’d be wise to keep up with your scholarship, wouldn’t it?  And don’t go to your parents, they have no control over my assets.”

“You can’t do this…”

“It’s done, Emma,” Gordon said, turning and heading out the door.  “I’ve given you enough chances.”

She fell silent, watching him walk away.  What else could she say?  There was nothing to do.  It was his, it had always been his.  Her mother and father had good jobs, true, but it was Gordon’s kindness and money that kept them comfortable.  She couldn’t run to them for help.

“And stay away from Gregory and Lydia.  If I find out you so much as look at either one, I’ll be back.”

Emma sat in her room, trying to swallow down her sorrow.  She’d brought this all on herself, but she certainly hadn’t expected this kind of reaction.  Her fingers tensed on the bed and she sucked in a big breath.  Everytime she assumed there were no more tears to cry, more came.

Suddenly, her door opened.  She didn’t bother looking, she didn’t care.  Francis stepped in, regarding her with curiosity.

“You cry really loud, you know, for a girl.”

“Leave me alone, Francis.”

“What’s wrong?”

He sat down next to her as she explained a little bit about what had happened.  He listened quietly, absorbing all the details.  He had heard some of it from Rosa, especially the bit about catching Gregory and Emma in a supposed romantic situation, which turned out to have been staged by Emma.

“So, let me get this straight, you thought this guy was perfect because you’re both rich?”

She sniffed, “well, yeah, and we’ve known one another since we were little.  Plus, our families kind of hate each other.”

“Because that makes total sense.”

“Shut up,” Emma bristled, lips pursing.  “Don’t make fun of me.”

August 4, 2009

Anderson 4 – Round 26: ‘Once in a Lifetime’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 10:25 am

Roman Anderson has fulfilled his goal of making a name for himself besides simply being an ‘Anderson’; now he simply needs to ensure that Gregory can fill his shoes and carry on what he started.  Cara is a bit more of a ‘feeler’ than her husband and knows there’s more on Gregory’s mind than businesses and family expectations.

Gregory is barely home a day before the grilling begins.  Roman doesn’t waste any time asking his son what’s going on with this Lydia business.

“If you’re not getting married, why does she still have the ring?”

Cara knows better than to jump to Gregory’s defense, so she sits quietly, waiting.  Gregory is silent for a moment.

“Well,” Roman insists.  “What’s going on, then?”

“It’s complicated, but I’m working on it.”

“Sweetie, you can’t force someone to marry you.  That’s not how it works,” Cara says, not quite understanding the issue.

Gregory shook his head, “I just need to talk to Lydia.  That’s all.  I’ll take care of it, just… give me some time.”

“Ha, time!  If only we all had such a luxury.” Roman sighed.  “Just make sure this mess is taken care of.  I don’t need our good family name drug through the mud because of Emma Davis.”

Despite Roman’s claims that he would be patient, Gregory knew better.  He was forced to go to all his father’s businesses and help him ‘clear his mind’.  While there, several high-society women around his own age just happened to be there, too.  Gregory was uninterested.  He would politely excuse himself and then get back to his duties.

One day, Roman left him alone at one of his newer businesses.  The employees were good and knew what to do, so Gregory was bored.  He wandered upstairs and started shooting some pool when he was joined by another.

Gordon Saunders hadn’t expected to find Gregory here.  He’d been looking for Roman.  The two had never actually met before, so Gordon was pretty sure that Gregory had no idea who he was.  He decided to play this to his advantage.

“Do you mind if I join you?”

“No,” Gregory said, not bothering to look back.  He was racking up the balls.  “But I warn you, I’m a bit good at this.”

Gordon chuckled, “so am I.  Years of practice.”

“You first, then.  Let’s see what you’ve got.”

When it was finally Gregory’s turn again, he was beginning to regret letting the mysterious stranger go first.  He’d sunk nearly half of his stripes in mere moments’ time.  A tiny slip-up allowed Gregory an opening, thankfully.  He leaned against the table, sucking in a breath, checking his possible moves.

“You seem troubled.”

“A bit,” Gregory replied, distracted.  He had one good shot, but it was going to take all of his skill to execute it.  “The usual ‘young love goes bust due to a misunderstanding and an overly amorous friend’ scenario that literature and movies seem to favor so much now.”

“It isn’t always a misunderstanding.  Sometimes, the man is just trying to have his cake and eat it, too.”

Gregory laughed, “Emma will always just be a friend, that’s it.  Just a friend.  But… Lydia…”

“Not so good at talking while you shoot, are you?  Perhaps you should concentrate more,” Gordon offered, grinning behind him.  This was turning out more informative than he’d planned.

“I’m just getting frustrated thinking about it.  She knew about Lydia, I confided in her, and she used it against me.  I don’t even think I can consider her a friend anymore, especially if she’s turned Lydia against me for good.”

“Maybe you should try talking to her… Lydia, that is.  Perhaps she’ll listen.  It’s been enough time now, hasn’t it?”

“I suppose… and I’ve tried.  I mean, I’ve gone over, but never been able to actually knock.  I always leave.  I’m a coward, I know, but it’s complicated.”

“Of course it is,” Gordon said, propping himself up with his pool stick.  “It’s always complicated.  That’s the simple way of ending it, isn’t it?  It’s complicated, so I can’t be bothered.”

“Th-that’s not what I meant at all!”

“Then why haven’t you done anything about it?”

Gregory lost his shot, the cue ball smacking violently against the edge of the table and rolling useless by the ball he had intended to sink.  He sighed, closing his eyes.

“Look, kid, if you want to get through life with even a scrap of your soul left, you’ve got to be a fighter.”

“You’re not, and that’s why you’re going to lose this game,” he continued, calling his shot confidently.  He aimed it up and nailed it.  “Consider this a new beginning.  From now on, you fight to win.  You want something?  You get it.  You want this girl–this Lydia?  Then you go after her.  If she didn’t love you, she wouldn’t still be waiting, would she?  Forget about Emma.  She’s my problem.”

Gregory blinked, “what?  I didn’t mean–”

“She’s my granddaughter, Gregory.  I’ll take care of her.  She’s been running a bit too wild for my tastes, anyway,” Gordon said, putting his stick back on the rack.

“B-buh…” Gregory felt like a sudden weight had fallen on his head, “G-Gordon Saunders?”

“Have a good night,” he said, turning to leave.  “And good luck.”

Despite the fact that the pep talk came from his father’s worst enemy, Gregory found himself suddenly filled with new-found determination.  He called Lydia and lucky for him, Rosa answered.  She wasted no time putting her sister on the phone.

“Lydia, wait, before you hang up… just listen to me,” Gregory pleaded, hoping she hadn’t already thrown the phone at its cradle.

There was silence on the other end, but no dial tone.

“I just want to talk to you.  If you don’t agree and hang up on me, I’ll just come over to your house and everything will be awkward.”

She hesitated before saying, “we can meet in Aperture.”

They met at a small, scenic park in downtown Aperture.  The city was growing and had recently begun a revitalization project that involved beautifying and improving on parks and scenery.  Apartment buildings were going up all over the place as people scrambled to move into the newly renovated city center.

Lydia’s apprehension was written all over her face, but beneath it there was something else, too.  They hadn’t seen one another since University.  It was ridiculous the amount of time that had passed since then.

“I was surprised when you suggest Aperture.”

Lydia gave a small shrug, “I can’t live with my parents forever.”

Gregory tried not to let that remark sting too deeply, “are you hungry?  We can get lunch, there’s a cafe nearby…”

Lydia was hungry, so she followed Gregory to the small cafe just beside the park.  It was just as scenic, with a little deck and pond behind it.  Odd to see in the middle of downtown, but pretty all the same.

“Lydia, I’m sorry about University–”

“I’m over that,” Lydia confessed, facing him for the first time since they sat down.  “I mean, it was stupid.  I know it was Emma.  I feel bad for thinking otherwise, but, well… it’s Emma.”

Gregory felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.  He tried not to smile too much, “so, then, what’s the problem?”

“I’ve had a lot of time to think.  I care about you, a lot, but… is it enough?  I mean, if the Emma thing threw us into such a tailspin, then what next?  We’re from two different worlds.”

“Like you said, it was Emma.  Everyone knows your history with her isn’t that great.  That’s over and done with, though.  I’ll never go around her again.  I just… I don’t want to do this anymore, Lydia.  We were doing great and then, suddenly, I don’t know.  I just know that I don’t want to go through having you gone again.”

She sighed, “your father hates me, Roman.  You know he’s against us being together.  He probably thinks I want your money or something.”

“He thinks everyone wants his money.  He’s difficult, but he’s not a bad person.  Everything is just kind of crazy right now.  Once my parents are sure everything is fine, they’ll accept you.”

“I just don’t know, I don’t think I’m cut out to deal with all that… that stuff.  I wasn’t raised into it like you were.”

Gregory, taking a chance, pulled her closer and took her hand.  She was still wearing the ring.  He wasn’t necessarily surprised, but made a show of it anyway, “you’re still wearing the ring.”

“I… I didn’t want to lose it,” Lydia replied quickly, feeling a little embarassed suddenly.

“Stop making excuses, Lydia.  If you’re afraid, that’s fine… I am, too.  We’re been friends forever.  I don’t want anything to ruin that, but I love you.  I want you to be more than my friend.  At least give it… give me a chance to prove to you that it isn’t such a bad thing.”

Lydia paused, closing her eyes.  She gave his hand a squeeze and nodded firmly, “all right.  One chance, though, that’s all you get.  I’ll tell you right now, though, that I have no idea what all those forks are for.”

“Me, either,” he laughed, unable to help himself.  “I just go from the outside in.  Don’t tell my parents, though.  They’d be horrified at my lack of culture and refined learning.”

—————————–

Note from Mao: Yay, finally, these two have come together… AGAIN.  Let’s hope Gordon makes good on his promise to keep Emma otherwise engaged.  Speaking of that, Roman WAS watching one of Roman’s businesses.  He got bored, went upstairs.  Lo and behold, who should come onto the lot in the night but Gordon Saunders… who immediately joined him at pool.  Gordon has been practicing, apparently.  He kicked Gregory’s poor butt.

Given Gordon’s experience, general mindset, and overall nature, I figured it was only proper that he was telling Gregory to get off his butt and DO something.

July 29, 2009

Saunders 2 – Round 26: ‘Is There Something I Should Know’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 9:57 pm

Gordon Saunders has been a vampire for awhile now, but can he really hold it together as generations pass him by?  Claude and Emily are married, but can their commitment withstand parenthood to little Selene?

Claude had never been good with babies.  They were bald, wrinkly, and they pooped a lot.  That was the extent of his baby knowledge.  Selene seemed different somehow, probably because she was his own.  He spent time with her, something that shocked Gordon to his core.  He really hadn’t anticipated that Claude would be a suitable father.  He still wasn’t sure he was ready to be the father of three children, thus the need to keep the twins’ identities and existence a secret.

Gordon, however, had plenty of practice when it came to raising kids.  He was Selene’s saving grace.  Emily was there for her when she could be and Claude played with her like he would some kind of grown-up toy, but Gordon was the true nurturing force behind her rearing.  She seemed to know this almost instinctively, clutching him the tightest and crying when someone took her away from his arms.

It wasn’t the best solution, but Gordon knew as long as he kept Claude under his careful watch, hopefully he could keep his son out of further trouble.  He was beginning to wish Claude had never discovered vampirism and that Roman hadn’t saw fit to interfere.

Jeeves was a big help during the day, when everyone was asleep.  Unfortunately, one day he malfunctioned and spent the majority of the day running around emitting sparks and gibberish.  Emily was not pleased.  She may not win any mother of the year awards anytime soon, but she loved her daughter and did not trust that chunk of metal for all its worth.  Gordon assured her everything would be fine and spent the next evening fixing Jeeves and getting him back into tip-top working condition.

Emily was still unconvinced.  She thought it would be a much better idea to bring a human into the fold.  They could care for Selene and she wouldn’t have to worry about some mechanical brute hurting her baby.  Claude wasn’t near as apprehensive.  He trusted his father and Jeeves was pretty amusing.  He liked ghosts for some reason, despite never having been to a graveyard.

When Emily suggested that Gordon just bring that girl–what’s her name–Valerie in to do it, Gordon gave her a look that could kill.  It didn’t quite kill her, but it certainly silenced her.  Valerie was not a topic he enjoyed discussing, at all.

Gordon had told Valerie to not make any impromptu visits to the house unless it was absolutely necessary.  Of course, Valerie was a bit of a free-spirit and was prone to doing as she pleased.  She strolled up to the house a little after twelve am.  No matter how many times she saw the house, it never failed to intimidate her.  It definitely looked like a vampire’s lair, especially from the outside with its iron wrought fences and dead trees.

Jeeves let her in and she was greeted by the sound of Gordon working the piano keys.  She hadn’t known he was a pianist, but he certainly had plenty of time to perfect his skills.  He hadn’t been expecting company and so he was not pleased when Jeeves let him know he had a visitor.

Valerie was a bit surprised when he wasn’t dressed, “I didn’t mean to just barge in but–”

“You’d better have a good reason,” Gordon said tersely, moving from the piano bench.  “However, it will have to wait.  Let me get dressed.”

He disappeared down into the basement for a few moments before emerging, fully dressed.  Valerie was thankful for this.  She wasn’t sure if she could deal with the half-naked vampire.  She had to keep reminding herself of Megan and Marcus.

There was also the fact that Gordon still wore his wedding ring.  Lauren had died some time ago and yet there it was, on his finger, an ever-present reminder of his age and truly, how little she knew of what he was.  He stared her down, waiting for an explanation.  It took her a moment to gather her thoughts.

“Megan brought home Nadia… and then Nadia introduced her to Dominic.  Both children have been to my house several times now,” Valerie began, confident.  “I figured that if you wanted to see them directly, or maybe observe them, you could come over when they are there.  You wouldn’t have to tell them who you are.”

Gordon looked thoughtful for a moment, “I can’t say that warrants a visit, but I will admit, I’m impressed.  I trust Megan has no idea what she’s done?”

“No, it was an accident that she happened to meet Nadia and bring her home.  Everything went from there.  I’m just being the supportive mother.”

“I’ll let you know, about coming over.  Until then, no more surprise visits.”

Selene seemed to be growing faster than the rest of her family could handle.  Emily found herself becoming more and more attached to the tiny life she had spawned.  She’d been a vampire for a long time and never once had she thought to become a mother.  Now she couldn’t imagine being anything else.  Claude, perhaps, was not the ideal father figure, but she loved him for all his eccentricities.  And even if she didn’t always agree with Gordon’s methods, Selene couldn’t have possibly had a better grandfather.

Emily was happy that she’d done what she done, even if she felt guilty about it.  Were it not for Roman’s little plan, she’d never have ended up here, watching her daughter sleeping peacefully, protected and safe.

Unfortunately, not all of Gordon’s grandchildren were little angels.  Emma Davis wasn’t Gordon’s actual granddaughter, in fact, they shared absolutely no blood relation, but he had adopted her mother and that made him grandpa enough for the both of them.  It seemed Emma had been a little too spoiled in her youth, for she was acting recklessly and without caution now.  Gordon was more than well aware of what she’d been doing at college.

“I would really prefer it if you left Gregory Davis alone, Emma,” Gordon warned her.  Not only was Gregory Roman’s son, but he was engaged to Lydia Anderson.  Gordon didn’t need anymore conflict with either branch of the family.  “It’s for the best.”

Of course, Emma would hear none of his reasoning.  What did he know about love, anyway?

As if Emma’s behavior wasn’t enough to cause him worry, there was another surprise waiting around the corner.  Emily was pregnant again.  Claude was suitably shocked.  One child was more than enough for him.

“I thought we had been careful,” Claude said after some moments of shocked silence.  “How did this happen?”

Emily was a little taken back by his lack of enthusiasm, “preventative measures are never one-hundred-precent, Claude.  It just happened.”

He sighed, shoulders slumped, “don’t you think one is enough?”

“We’ll figure something out afterward,” Emily said, trying not to be upset at her husband’s reaction.  “But there’s nothing we can do about this one.  We’re having a second, whether you’re ready for it or not.”

Claude watched as Selena clumsily walked past them, oblivious to the tension hovering between her parents.  He sighed and simply said, “you’re right, but dad is not going to be happy.  At all.”

—————————————–

Note from Mao: Forget about Gordon being happy, MAO IS NOT HAPPY.  Why must every descendant of Henry Saunders insist on having A MILLION KIDS?  Do I have to whip out the family tree to illustrate this for you?  I probably can’t because it’s so huge.  Arhghghg, Emily is going on birth control after this.

Also, on a super-disturbing note, Emma?  Three bolts.  Gordon has THREE BOLTS for his adopted granddaughter.  HOMG.  And here I thought Valerie was a problem.  GAH!  This is a Woody Allen situation here, totally messed up.

This was also my first servo malfunction.  Very strange.

July 26, 2009

Yu 2 – Round 26: ‘Private Eyes’

Filed under: Alioto,Yu — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 4:18 pm

Marcus Yu and Valerie Alioto never really expected to be parents, but they’re easy relationship has survived so far and Megan has both her parents under one roof.  Will Valerie’s criminal activities put a strain on her family life?

Megan was growing like a weed.  Marcus had been considerably shocked when he found out Valerie was pregnant, he’d never really thought of himself as much of a ‘dad figure’.  Fortunately, he’d adjusted to the role well and was teaching Megan the basics of walking.  She looked a lot like him, but Valerie’s personality and facial expressions were evident, especially when she threw tantrums.

Valerie, of course, did not see the resemblance at all in those cases.

Valerie was busy trying to dig up as much dirt on her new employer, Gordon Saunders, as she possibly good.  It had been her task, something to test her mettle.  Gordon had told her that if she passed the test, she could consider herself one of his eyes and ears about the neighborhood.  She was a good neutral source for information.  She’d be expected to report on her friends and make friends with people he considered worthy of keeping an eye on.

Luckily for Valerie, this sort of thing suited her perfectly.  She was secretive, sneaky, and quite good when it came to being charming and manipulative.  She was a little surprised by what she found on Gordon, though.  She had gone back quite a ways, back to Janine Anderson-Saunders… where it all began.

She met up with Gordon at the downtown cemetery late at night to report on her findings.  It was a bit creepy, meeting up in a cemetary, but Valerie would have to get used to it.  They needed to be discrete.

“You’ve been married twice, first to Tracey Yu and the Lauren Davis, or should I say, Katy Saunders?  You have two biological children, Michael Saunders and Claude Saunders.  Claude has an illegitimate set of twins with his former lover, Kit Knight.  You accepted your mother’s criminal mantle and then tricked Thomas Anderson into aiding you, only to cross him, which led to his… untimely death that was reported as simply old age taking its toll.  You made a deal with Roman Anderson and ‘removed’ Lacie Anderson, having a contact in another city take her in, give her a new name, and then claimed she was missing and presumed dead here.”  She paused, taking a breath.  “Do I need to continue?”

“You found this all out using a computer?  I need to be more careful…”

She laughed, “no, not the computer.  I have my ways.  See?  I’m good at this.  But really, if you talk to the right people… you can find anything out, about anyone.  Even the most discrete of criminals always leave some sort of opening.”

“Hm, is that so?  I guess I should find those openings and close them,” he responded, watching her reaction pointedly.

“I don’t think you can ‘take care’ of yourself, Gordon.  That’d be counter intuitive to your overall plans.”

He was amused, “I suppose I had you pegged wrongly, then.  You’re more than capable of handling this.”

“Quite,” Valerie replied confidently.  “So, what am I doing?”

“My son, in his infinite idiocy, has twins… as you know already.  What you may not know is he is completely clueless about it.  Perhaps it is for the best, but I am a not one to let my family wander around in ignorance.  I want my grandchildren monitored.  I want to make sure their loose mother is caring for them.  When the time comes, I will approach them, but until then… I need people like you to be my eyes and ears.”

“Watching some kids, keeping tabs, should be easy enough.”

“You can’t let anyone know what you’re doing.  Your cover cannot be compromised.”

“It won’t.”

“If anyone, for even a brief second, thinks you are associated with me?  It’s over,” Gordon said, turning and walking away.

Valerie took a breath, trying to calm her nerves.  She was plenty confident in her abilities, but Gordon unnerved her in numerous ways.  If she messed up, it was over all right, in more ways than one.  She could read between the lines.  She’d heard about the other things, the things people didn’t really talk about.  Gordon wasn’t a bad guy, but crossing him was not usually a smart thing to do.

Valerie had no intention of crossing him.  She was more worried about her strange attraction to him.

Marcus was pretty laid-back about her late-night meetings and usual busy schedule.  He didn’t ask questions, he simply shrugged it off and jotted it down to Valerie being Valerie.  She’d never been an open book.  She spent as much time as she could with Megan, so he wasn’t about to raise any alarms.

“Are you ever going to tell me what you do?” he asked as she joined him in the hot tub.

“I already have,” Valerie replied, sinking down into the hot water.  “I’m am entrepreneur.”

He laughed, “that’s right… I had nearly forgotten.”

“See?  I knew I told you.”

Megan became a child and while she still looked primarily like her father, her mother’s traits were sneaking in there as she got older.  She was a lovely young lady who was polite, though a little sneaky.  If she was told to clean up her room, she’d simply shove it all under her bed and consider it done.  Of course, Marcus and Valerie were ignorant to this fact until they checked under there and found all the items she claimed had gone “missing”.

Despite Megan’s faults, she was a good kid.  Valerie wanted to give her a medal for making her job easier and bringing home Nadia Knight from school.  She happily introduced her new friend to her mother over dinner.

“I’m so glad you’re making friends, sweetie,” Valerie said, her eyes moving to the young Saunders child.  “Nice to meet you, Nadia.”

Valerie wasn’t sure how anyone could be ignorant of Nadia’s parentage.  She looked so much like Claude is was a little alarming.

——————————–

Note from Mao: Oh geeze, Valerie’s wants for Gordon have spread to Gordon.  Bad vampire, no messing around with your minions!  Sheesh.  He’s going to try and populate the entire hood.  I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do about them yet.  Valerie is pretty casual about it, but Gordon, well, he does nothing casually.  I’m hoping ACR keeps from deciding for me, lol.  So far, everything has been purely platonic.

Marcus, as usual, is blithely unaware.  It’s better that way, really.

June 6, 2009

Saunders 3 – Round 25: ‘Night Visitor’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 1:18 pm

Michael Saunders is quite happy with his life.  His wife, Sade, wasn’t expecting to be a mother of three but seems to be adjusting all right.  Grace seems to mirror her father when it comes to personality.  Will the twins prove to be a little more than everyone bargained for?

Saying that Grace Saunders was close to her father was like saying rain is wet.  She greeted him everyday when he came home from work and would beg him to help with her homework.  Of course, when the secondary option is Sade, it’s no wonder.  Sade was smart, but a bit… flaky.

Grace mirrored her father in looks, too, and Sade would often say they had the same ‘brooding’ face.

The twins grew into toddlers a little faster than anyone anticipated.  Charity had her mother’s fiery hair and the pointed ears denoting her alien heritage.

Alexander, too, had those same pointed ears, but definitely mirrored his father when it came to his appearance.

Taking care of the twins was tough, but with Michael’s now-relaxed work schedule, it all worked out.  Sade kept her job and was able to keep going in her career.  They took turns handling the twins and teaching them the necessary skills.  It was a rather strange thing, to see the normally fickle and selfish Sade invest so much time and effort into her offspring.

She also made it a point to spend time with Grace, even though Grace preferred the company of her father.  Still, Sade was more silly and Grace could express her humorous side with her.  They made angry snowmen and threw snowballs at one another.  Michael was not very amused when they laid in wait for him to come home and then sprang out and pelted him with cold balls of packed snow.  He groused the rest of the night, causing both girls much laughter.

For the most part, they had fallen into a good, familial routine.  Until, one night, they had an unexpected visitor…

Sade approached the archway to the kitchen, watching as Michael wrestled with the trash compactor.  Like his father, Michael had a natural skill for tinkering and all things mechanical.  Unfortunately, no one told the trash compactor this.  She heard him muttering under his breath and cleared her throat, trying to get his attention.

“Michael?”

More grumbling, followed by the clink-clink of something metal.  She sighed.

“Michael…”

Still nothing.

She took a deep breath and shouted, “MICHAEL!”

He jumped suddenly, his hand crashing against the top of the trash compactor, the wrench falling in a clattering mess.  He looked up at Sade, quiet anger and pain evident on his face.

“Your father is here.”

His face drained of color.  Gordon rarely visited, he didn’t want to endanger his family outside of the syndicate.  The pain in his hand was quickly forgotten.

Meanwhile, in the living room, Grace was keeping her grandpa company.

“You didn’t just come to see the babies, did you?”

Gordon hadn’t seen Grace since she was just a baby.  He was startled by how closely she resembled Michael.  He smiled at her, “no, Gracie.  You know I’m always happy to see you.”

“Dad won’t let me come over, he says it’s too far away.”

“And it is… but when you’re older, you can visit anytime, okay?  But for now, you listen to your father.”

Grace wasn’t listening.  She continued to ramble on, “I bet it’s because you’re a vampire and uncle Claude, too, and his wife.  But I’ve got alien in me, right?  So what’s it matter?”

Michael interrupted their conversation and Sade herded her upstairs and to bed, as it was well past bedtime.  While they were away, Gordon greeted his son.

“You’re doing well.  Are you happy?”

“Yes,” Michael replied stiffly.  He loved his father and bore him no ill will, but his sudden appearance was cause for concern.  “What’s wrong?  Why didn’t you call first?”

Gordon sighed, “I didn’t want to put you in the middle of this, but it seems I don’t have a choice.  It’s about your brother.”

Michael made a sound of exasperation, “what did Claude do this time?”

“It’s more what he didn’t do,” Gordon took a breath and faced his son again.  “I need to speak with Sade.”

“What?  Why?  I don’t think–”

Sade appeared at the stairs, causing both men to pause.  “What’s going on?”

Gordon ignored his son’s protests and addressed Sade, “it’s about Kit, Sade.  Kit and her children… my grandchildren.”

——————————-

Note from Mao: The twins are actually children now, but you’ll have to wait and see them. ;)   I was surprised when they both got Sade’s ears, wow!

May 22, 2009

Saunders 2 – Round 25: ‘Carpe Diem, Baby, End’

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 4:28 pm

Gordon Saunders is still mourning the loss of his late wife, Lauren Saunders.  Claude and Emily still haven’t completely tied the knot, but seem to be heading in that direction.

Claude wasn’t sure why his father was so moody these days.  As far as Claude was concerned, being immortal was awesome.  Sure, he missed his mom, but he knew she had enjoyed her life and she was happy to have experienced death.  It didn’t help any that Tsung recently passed, too.  Gordon and Tsung had been close for a long while.

Despite seeing his father’s long face, Claude wasn’t sure he would ever be sad about not dying.  Not aging and constantly looking hot was pretty awesome to him.

Of course, marrying someone equally as immortal and hot was quite a bonus, too.  Claude never really saw himself as the marriage type, but to Emily?  Well, sure.  She was the second part to his equation.  They just seemed to fit so nicely together, like two puzzle pieces.  It was only suitable that they spontaneously decided to make it official at the graveyard where Lauren was buried.

Claude was too busy with his new wife to notice that his father had been cornered by one of the locals.  They didn’t come to Boreal Springs often.  Valerie Alioto had just been walking by on a chance for a late-night walk when she saw Gordon.  At least, she thought it might be Gordon.  She only had other people’s descriptions of him to match, but when she approached him, she was certain.

He was a bit scarier than she anticipated.  Then again, he was also a vampire.  She stuck it out, though, and made her intention of joining his criminal empire obvious.

“You could definitely use someone like me,” Valerie began, confident.  “I’m smart, savvy, and I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.”

Gordon wasn’t really sure what to say.  He wasn’t really in the right mindset to be thinking about this now.  He gave her the address and told her to come by and they’d talk.

Of course, if Valerie did come over, she’d be faced with three scary vampires.  Gordon assumed she’d be frightened off and go get some normal job.  Didn’t she have a child to worry about, anyway?  Meanwhile, Claude never considered consequences.  He thought of the now and right now, he’d never see a downside to being a vampire!

Of course, someone forgot to tell him that vampires still get pregnant.  Claude was a little shocked, but eventually warmed up to the idea.  Babies couldn’t be that bad, right?  He was completely oblivious to the fact that he already had two children to Kit Knight, which had resulted in the anullment of her marriage to James Anderson.

Gordon, upon hearing about the impending baby, decided that they needed someone who could be up during the day.  He’d been working hard in his little lab and finally, had come up with a solution.  A robot.  He was a little hesitant when it came time to activate it, but closed his eyes and pressed the sequence of buttons, listening as it rumbled to life.  It stood before him, the very picture of a subserviant being imbued with his own personality.  It was a bit strange to get used to.

Emily wasn’t sure how she felt about a robot caring for her child.  Sure, he was a great house servant, but could he really give a baby the tender loving care it needed and deserved?  Gordon assured her that the baby would be in safe hands with Jeeves, but Emily wasn’t so sure.  She trusted Gordon’s intellect, but no so much the robotic thing hovering over her, communicating in a mechanical monotone.

Much to Gordon’s surprise, Valerie came over later in the week.  She was determined to join his criminal underground, though unprepared to enter the actual lair of a bunch of vampires.  Emily played the piano, as she often did in the night, lost in the rapture of the notes.  It was full-disclosure in this house, Gordon didn’t need to hide his comings and goings from these two.  Even so, they were advised not to listen and mind their own business.  Emily did just that.  She didn’t hear Gordon give Valerie a task to test her mettle.

Selene Saunders was born not much later, looking very much like her father and grandfather.

—————————————-

Note from Mao: Valerie seriously did just walk by while Gordon, Claude, and Emily were at the graveyard!  I was quite shocked.  So she’s friends with Gordon, but I’m a little worried.  I don’t think she anticipated her future employer to be so… well, dreamy.

Hold fast, Valerie!  Remember, you have a boyfriend and a daughter at home!

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