Boreal Springs

August 16, 2008

Anderson 2 – Round 18: ‘Moving On, Pt. 2′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 3:47 pm

Newly divorced, Kate isn’t quite sure how to handle being alone and Hugh’s recent decision not to attend University has her doubting her decision.

It would be a lie to say that Hugh wasn’t upset about his parents’ divorce, but what could he do? It wasn’t his fault or anyone’s, really. He had a brain enough (thanks to Florence) to see that, it was just a bad situation that went too far.

Most of all, he missed his grandma Florence. She had taught him so much and it was because of her that he was able to handle this all in stride. At least he still had Iorek.

He still saw his father–he would visit when Kate was at work. She preferred not to see him and that was fine. Hugh wasn’t angry at Shang, he understood better than anyone you couldn’t deny who you were. He was just certain he wouldn’t be the same.

“Are you happier now, with Katarina?” Hugh asked, surprising him.

“I know it’s kind of weird and hard for you to understand, but yeah,” Shang confided, shrugging. “I’m not the marriage type, I’m not even the monogamy type. We understand each other, we’re the same.”

Hugh sighed, “you’re right, I really don’t get it. I couldn’t imagine sharing someone I loved with anyone.”

“That’s probably a good thing,” Shang laughed. “Your mother would have a heart attack if you turned out like me!”

Kate meanwhile, wasn’t dealing with the transition as easily as her son. She was worried and more than ever, she missed her parents. She had isolated herself from her siblings in her mad attempt to get and keep Shang and now she was alone. It was a crappy feeling. Hugh would leave her soon, too. She was depressing to be around.

She was surprised when Lilith stopped over. She wasn’t quite sure what to say, all she could do was apologize.

“Don’t apologize to me,” Lilith said, rolling her eyes. “You didn’t do anything to me, you did it to yourself, Kate. Did you honestly think the lamp would make everything right forever? Doesn’t work that way.”

“I know, I was stupid,” Kate frowned, ashamed. “I’m just sorry for using you and not listening to you.”

“Eh, it happens, you know? But don’t think you’ll be getting anymore lamps from me!”

Kate laughed, “no, I don’t think I ever want to see another lamp again…”

After her talk with Lilith, Kate was convinced she needed to stop wallowing and confront the issues facing her. She couldn’t let Hugh throw his life away, not with the amount of work he and Florence had put into his education.

“I’m sorry, mom,” Hugh said, looking her straight in the eye. “It just isn’t an option, I know I could go, easily… but I don’t want to.”

“Why?” Kate demanded. “This is your future, Hugh! Not going to college could hurt you for the rest of your life.”

Hugh shook his head, “you just don’t understand, mom. It’s my choice and I’ve made it. You can kick me out if you’d like, but I won’t go. No matter what.”

Kate frowned, “I would never kick you out, Hugh. I just want what’s best for you…”

“Then let me make my own decisions.” He said, leaving to catch the bus. He couldn’t tell her he didn’t want to go because then she would be alone and he knew that was what she feared most. She was his mom, through better or worse, and he couldn’t put her through that.

——————

Note from Mao: Hugh actually has no interest in college. The want stopped popping up after Florence died. And Shang stops by constantly, he doesn’t even ring the bell, just drops in and makes himself at home, lol.

August 3, 2008

Anderson 2 – Round 17: ‘Polyamorous, Pt. 6′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 7:40 pm

Florence Anderson has tried hard to keep her family together, but Shaniqua Saunders, their daughter Kate, and her cheating filth of a son-in-law, Shang, hasn’t made it easy. At least Hugh is a shining star amidst all the crap Florence has had to deal with.

“Are you looking for your lamp?” Florence said, confronting her daughter. “It’s gone. I’ve thrown it out.”

Kate was too stunned to speak, “y-you threw it out?!”

“Yes, I did. And I don’t want to see it in this house again. What were you thinking, Kate? What have you used that vile thing to gain?”

Florence didn’t wait for a reply. She simply sighed and said, “even that lamp won’t change who and what Shang is, Kate. And it won’t make you any happier and sure won’t make Hugh turn out all right. He needs a mother, Kate… and you need to fix this mess you’ve made.”

“But I can’t,” Kate frowned, suddenly saddened. No more lamp? What was real without it? “If I don’t have the lamp, I can’t–”

“I shouldn’t have pushed this marriage,” Florence admitted slowly. “It was wrong, but so were you, so is Shang everytime he does something stupid… which is like breathing for that idiot. Oh, Kate, of all the men… why him? He’s no good.”

“I don’t know, but I can’t help it,” Kate sniffed, allowing Florence to hug her. “It’s just not fair, mom. Katarina has the baby… it was supposed to be mine.”

“Don’t worry about her, Kate. Take care of the son you have and for goodness sakes, get that bafoon out of this house before he ruins Hugh.”

Florence wasn’t about to let it pass that Shang had somehow been stupid enough to knock someone else up. She lit into him the moment she saw him downstairs. Poor Shang was so caught offguard he nearly fell backwards. She had interrupted him admiring himself in the mirror. He was a Rock God now and he definitely looked good.

“You selfish little bastard!” Florence roared, backing him into a corner. “I swear, one of these days, I’m going to knock that smirk right off your face!”

“Geeze, chill out,” Shang replied, trying to evade his mother-in-law’s rage. “I don’t even know what you’re talking about, you crazy old bag!”

Before Shaniqua could say, “that really wasn’t wise” Florence pounced on Shang and took him to the ground. Shang was a little more than shocked by Florence’s ability to sweep the floor with him. Truth be told, he spent so much time just looking good that he really didn’t bother much with actual physical strength. Florence beat him up one side of the room and down the other and by the time they were through, Shang thought he needed to be rushed to the ER for possible damage to his face. That bag would pay if he had to cancel the tour.

Ignoring his dysfunctional family completely, Hugh continued his progression towards adulthood. He met and befriended his cousin, Fou-Lu. Hugh wasn’t particularly fond of his girlfriend, though. Elena was a bit too pushy for Shang’s taste. She reminded him way too much of his Aunt Lilith and Aunt Lilith was terrifying to poor little Hugh.

Unfortunately for Hugh, Florence died only a week later. It was heart failure and there was nothing they could do, it was simply her time. As if that weren’t bad enough, Shaniqua fell ill and soon died as well. It was two collective blows the strained family could have done without. Shang was glad that Florence was six feet under, but he didn’t like how upset it had made Hugh.

That wasn’t to be the end of it, though. Since Florence’s death, Kate had made a decision. She and Shang had begun talking about possibly separating or even divorcing. It would be rough on Hugh, especially with the loss of his grandparents, but it was necessary.

“So does that mean I won’t see you anymore?” Hugh asked sadly.

“No, I’ll just be down in Aperture. You can see me anytime you like, even stay, if you want. But your mom needs you here and you need her, too, more than me. We both know that, Hugh, I’m not winning any dad of the year awards.”

Hugh sighed, “it’s gonna be hard… without grandma Florence…”

“You’re stronger than you think, kid. Don’t sell yourself short.”

Kate didn’t like the fact that she had to give up her ‘rights’ to Shang, but what choice did she have? It was like trying to keep a wild animal caged. No matter what she did, Shang would never be faithful to just her. It was a harsh reality that made Kate feel completely and wholly sad.

“Don’t look so broken up, babe. Doesn’t mean we can’t still fool around. Shang is in demand and you can’t expect to keep that demand at bay with a ring.”

Kate frowned, “no, Shang. I’m just not that kind of person… and I’d rather you not be so open about it with Hugh.”

He shrugged, “Hugh will be who he is meant to be… and I doubt it is anything like me.”

And with that, Shang left his home in Boreal Springs and headed off to his swank pad in Aperture. Of course, before arriving, he’d have to stop by the original Anderson house…

—————-

Note from Mao: And so it ends. Poor Kate! She was really tired of catching him cheating. She kept slapping him and fighting with him, almost as bad as Florence! Let us hope Hugh can brave the difficulties and be the grandson Florence hoped he’d be.

July 25, 2008

Anderson 2 – Round 16: ‘Polyamorous, Pt. 5′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 10:04 am

Florence and Shaniqua have an unsteady relationship while Kate and Shang’s makes theirs look like couple of the year material.  Poor little Hugh is still oblivious to the strangeness of his family, but how long will it last.  (pardon the outdated picture of Hugh, woops.)

As was usual for this particular household, Florence and Shang were in the middle of a rather loud row.  Florence had lit into him for his indiscretion with Alyssa while Shang had shot back with the implication that Kate had been dabbling in unseen forces.  Florence balked at this claim.

“A golden lamp?  Honestly, Shang, do you take me for that much of a fool?”

“Hey, I’m being real.  That girl of yours is sneaky.  You think I was really so careless as to knock ‘er up at college?”

Florence scowled, “you’re foul, Shang Yu, foul and disgusting.  I can hardly stand the sight of you.”  She stormed off.

Despite her initial anger at her son-in-law’s claim, Florence decided to seek out further counsel.  She spoke to her son, Nathaniel, who had been passing by one morning.  Of course, he was clueless.  Poor Nathaniel got the looks, but he certainly wasn’t the brightest of bulbs.

“A lamp?  Are you kidding?  I don’t know anything about that stuff, ask Lilith.”

Finding nothing on the lamp front and too proud to contact her daughter Lilith to inquire further, Florence relented.  She instead shared with Shaniqua what Alyssa had told her.  Shaniqua’s response was quite warranted.

“They what?” She gaped, completely aghast.  Shaniqua had screwed up in the past, but never with family.  What the hell were they thinking?  “That’s insane.”

“Isn’t it?  And I don’t know what to do.  If Kate were to ever know…”

“Alyssa should know better, too.  No wonder her marriage is over.  Sheesh.”

Meanwhile, Shang had been feeling the weight of married life.  Sure he had some fun with some ladies, but it wasn’t enough.  The stifling atmosphere he suffered at home was enough to kill a man.  He sought comfort outside, in the one person who could always provide it in endless quantities.

“This married life is killing me, babe.  I’m not sure how much longer I can take it.”

Katarina smiled and moved towards him, “poor baby, I know just what you need…”

Unfortunately for the both of them, Florence had been home at the time.  Busted was truly an understatement.  Shang hardly wanted to crawl out of the bed, knowing what awaited him when he did.  Goodness only knew what Florence would do to Katarina.

Florence lit into Katarina like a vengeful flame, only to be snuffed out before she began, “how could you do this–”

“You, shut up!  No one tells me what I can and what I can’t do,” Katarina hissed in response, giving Florence a sharp jab.  “You wanna blame someone, blame Kate.  She’s the idiot in this mess, not us.”

“Ladies, ladies, can’t we resolve this with kindness?”

“Shut up, Shang,” they said in unison, the Anderson tones in their voice quieting him instantly.

“Get out, Katarina.  If I ever see you in my house again, I swear…”

“I’m leaving,” Katarina said, rolling her eyes.  “Don’t bother with threats.”

“As for you,” Florence said, whirling around to face Shang, who had found his clothes on the floor and put them on.  “You are shameless!  In this bed, in my house!  I regret ever bringing you into this family.”

“It was a forced thing, I would’ve been happier has a bachelor,” Shang admitted, crossing his arms over his chest.  “Find the lamp yet, Florence?  Might want to, before Kate screws us all over.”

“There is no lamp, that’s just an excuse for your carelessness!”

“Is that so?  Then what is this?” Shang said, pulling the lamp from beneath the bed.  “Go ahead, look at it.  I’m outta here.”

Florence could scarcely believe her eyes.  The thing was huge and unmistakable, its golden sheen catching in the bright daylight.  How had Kate kept this so carefully hidden?  Florence didn’t want to venture a guess as to where it came from, she already knew.  It had to have been Lilith, but why?  Lilith was a lot of things, but she wasn’t stupid.  Didn’t she know what Kate had done with this vile thing?

With great effort, Florence hefted the lamp out of Kate and Shang’s room and hid it away in her own.

Meanwhile, Hugh had somehow managed to become a teen.  It was likely thanks to his grandma Florence’s tireless efforts.  While he hadn’t understood at first, he know knew that she was guiding him down the right path.  He was old enough to see how crazy his family was.  No one could say he wasn’t Shang’s son, though, as he was a remarkable likeness, though with softer features.

He desperately wanted a family, despite the nature of his father dwelling within him.  He would strive to fight it and he would succeed.

Hugh was happy to announce his first scholarship to Florence.  She was the one who had started him on the path towards college.

“I’m so proud of you,” Florence said, hugging him tightly.  Her time was short, she knew she’d never see him actually go, but the pride she felt knowing he would was enough.  “And so early, too.”

“It’s all thanks to you, grandma.  I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Don’t say that, sweetie.  You’re a good kid, you’ll always do fine, as long as you try and keep your wits.  Don’t be like your dad.”

He laughed, “but I like music!”

“Well, that’s fine, but you know what I mean.”

——–

Note from Mao: Phew, long update.  Katarina and Shang got buuuusted.  Woo!  And the lamp is revealed, ohnoes.  Hugh is, well, yeah.  Wow.  Where did he come from?  He’s a family sim with a LTW of golden anniversary, but a randomized roll of the dice has designated him to have a secondary as Romance.  Dun, dun, dun… Florence is on her last day.  She’ll die next round. :’(

July 15, 2008

Anderson 2 – Round 15: ‘Polyamorous, Pt. 4′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 7:04 pm

Kate and Shang are now legally wed, which should please Florence, but she just can’t get over Shang’s inherent stupidity and lack of commitment.  Shaniqua is trying to protect Hugh from the possible trauma that a feuding father and grandmother could cause.

Florence loved Hugh dearly and that was why she couldn’t stand Shang.  Hugh had so many opportunities, but with Shang’s influence, it was possible he’d end up an ignorant, womanizing fool like his father.  Florence wasn’t about to sit idly by and let that happen.  She made sure to impress the importance of education on her young grandson, hoping to build the cornerstone of what would hopefully become a long, academic career leading to a fantastic job.

Hugh, while not completely dumb, was hardly any academic scholar.  He tried hard to please his grandma, but he really didn’t care all that much about school.

Seeing Hugh growing so fast made Kate long for another child.  When she voiced her desire to Shang, she was met with a rather unenthusiastic response.

“You’re kidding, right?” Shang replied.  He tried to smile but it came out as more of a nervous twitch at the edge of his lip.  Inside, he was screaming.

“No, why would I?  We’re both doing fine at work and Hugh could benefit from it–”

Shang shook his head, “you’re talking crazy and you know how I feel about crazy chicks, Kate.  Just be content and happy with Hugh.  He’s a good kid.”

Shaniqua knew that she had messed up a few times in her life, but she planned to do right by Hugh.  She didn’t want to see him scarred by her transgressions.  That was the only reason Florence was in such a horrible mood and why she refused to tolerate Shang’s ways.  Shaniqua knew he would never change and she wished that Kate would see that… but Kate was in love and love is blind.

So she made it her purpose to ensure that Hugh was loved and unable to see the tension that surrounded him.  She especially wanted to protect him from Shang’s nature.  Shaniqua knew how hard of an urge it was to fight… she wished only for Hugh not to suffer the same torment.

Being married didn’t slow Shang down any.  When he was home everyone else was usually at work and Hugh was off at school.  Shang didn’t waste any time welcoming Katarina back from college.  She’d grown a bit, but she hadn’t outgrown him.  Maybe if they weren’t so promiscuous, perhaps if they weren’t so caught up in the fleeting moments, they’d be good together.

But they were and so they were only happy with one another until the deed was done.  Then it was a quick kiss, a sly wink, and a closing door.

One evening, Hugh brought home in report card and stunned both his parents with all the A’s.  It seemed that Florence’s stalwart dedication was paying off.  Of course, Shang had to ruin the moment.

“That’s good, you little genius,” Shang’s face skewed up as he leaned down closer to his son, “but remember, chicks don’t dig nerds until they’re rich.”

“Shang!” Kate yelled angrily from over her book, brows set in a hard line.  “Don’t say things like that to him!”

“I’m only speaking the truth, babe.”

Hugh was growing like a weed everyday.  The years seemed to be slipping away and while Kate knew she was much younger than other mothers with children Hugh’s age, she couldn’t stop herself from feeling depressed.  She had promised Lilith that she’d leave the lamp alone, but desperate times called for desperate measures.  She tried the conventional way and it hadn’t worked… it was time to go back to unconventional methods.  At least that had proved itself before.

“Do you understand the repercussions of your request?” The genie asked, as he had before.

Kate waved him off.  She hadn’t seen any repercussions yet and she wasn’t like to anytime soon.  “Yes, yes, now can you do it or not?”

“We shall see… it is a troublesome task you ask.  It will take… time.”

“As long as it happens, I don’t care.”

“As you wish it, so then it shall be.”

Meanwhile, unaware of her daughter’s dabbling into the paranormal, Florence met with her younger sister Alyssa outside.  Alyssa was acting weird, even for her.  She insisted they go around the back to talk.  Florence was baffled.

“I did something stupid,” Alyssa said suddenly, her voice wavering.  “Really, really stupid… and I have to tell someone.  You’re the only one, Florence.  Dad is gone and you’re all I’ve got left.  So you have to listen, all right?  And you can’t get angry… not until I’ve said what I need to say.”

At this, Florence was instantly on edge.  She tried to play it off, but her tension was evident in her face, “well, say it then.”

“I slept with Shang.  It was a mistake, it was before the wedding, and it was–it was stupid.  I don’t know what happened.  I know it was wrong, and I wish I could go back and undo.  Thank everything that there wasn’t a child…”

“You what?!” Florence shouted, fists balling at her sides.  Had she ever been so angry?  Yes, and it was the same thing, over and over again.  Was it human nature to be promiscuous?  “Not only did you do something to wrong your family, your own damned niece, but you… you have children, Alyssa.  You have have a husband!  What were you thinking?  Of all the people… that idiot, that jabbering fool!  What could have possessed you to do something so stupid?”

Alyssa crossed her arms defensively, “I… I don’t know!  I was just so angry and he kept pressing and he was there… and I thought, I mean I was completely convinced Ryu was having an affair… with Tracey Saunders.  I know that sounds stupid, but at the time, it was completely reasonable.  I just… I needed to tell someone… you can’t tell Kate, though.  You can’t, Florence.  I couldn’t bear it!”

“You should be telling Ryu, not me!  I swear, am I the only one with a working brain around here?  Sleeping with Shang Yu!  Of all people!  Nevermind he’s Kate’s husband… I thought you had a better opinion of yourself, Alyssa.  I guess I was wrong.”

Thankfully, the next evening, Nathaniel dropped by with Sara and Patrick for a visit.  Hugh wasn’t quite sure what to make of his cousin Patrick.  They really didn’t have too much in common.  Patrick seemed a little too self-involved to bother talking about anything that he wasn’t particularly interested in.

Hugh had always thought his aunt and uncle were extremely strange and this was only solidified during their visit.  They were always hugging and being affectionate.  It was creepy.

———

Note from Mao: And after so long… Boreal Springs is back, yay!  Unfortunately, in the transition from my PC to my fiance’s… some things were lost.  Don’t ask me how, I don’t know, but a few hairstyles and clothing options went AWOL.  So, until I recover them, please ignore slight changes in well-known looks and styles of certain characters.  Thanks!

May 26, 2008

Anderson 2 – Round 14: ‘Polyamorous, Pt. 3′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:52 am

Florence Anderson forced Kate to leave University and finish out her pregnancy at home.  She also threatened Shang Yu with incredible violence if he didn’t make her daughter an honest woman.  Shaniqua stands in the background, not wanting to face Florence’s wrath while Hugh is completely oblivious to the family turmoil that surrounds him.

Kate spent a lot of time trying to teach Hugh the necessary skills to function in the world.  It wasn’t easy, as she was working long and daunting hours at the hospital, but it was certainly worth it.  There was nothing she enjoyed more than spending time with Hugh.  Hugh didn’t seem to mind one bit, either.  He even let Kate teach him how to walk.

Shaniqua was less than impressed with Florence’s treatment of Shang.  She decided to confront her, fearing that it may result in a backlash, but what else could she do?  This couldn’t go on, not when Hugh was getting old enough to see it.

“You really need to calm down on Shang, Florence.”

Florence became immediately defensive, “I’m not doing anything wrong.  He got Kate into this situation, he can damn well stick around and deal with it.”

“It wasn’t just him, Florence.  Kate had a part in it, too.  Besides, you’re going to chase him off anyway if he keep acting like the harpy from hell.”

“What would you know about any of it?  You’re just like him.” Florence shot back, only to finish with: “I’ll lay off when he marries Kate.”

Lilith dropped by for a surprise visit, but Kate was luckily heading out to work.  She knew she was going to get lectured about the lamp again.  She refused to give it up–what if she needed it?  So she waved politely and hurried out the door at the honking ambulance waiting for her.

Florence cornered Lilith and was not pleased with what she had heard.  Lilith’s job was questionable, to be sure, but to be helping Ryu Anderson condemn Janine?  Florence wasn’t happy at all and she let Lilith know it.

“Look, I don’t care about these family politics,” Lilith retorted, a mirror of her mother with her angry face and crossed arms.  “I did it for my own gain.  If Janine’s a criminal, who cares?  She’s dead.  And Katy is back so the murder is irrelevant.  So just drop it.”

Florence shook her head, “are my children trying to kill me early?  You’re all going to drive me to a heart attack!”

“Why don’t you just deal with the real problem–Shaniqua cheating.  Yeah, you found out, but I knew, too.  Stop putting it on us and just deal with it already.”

Shang avoided the two arguing females as he came through the door and headed straight to Hugh’s room.  Florence was suitably distracted, so he was able to spend some quiet time with his son.  He didn’t dislike Hugh, not in the least.  Shang wasn’t the marrying type, but he wasn’t the type to make his children feel like crap, either.

How could he ignore Hugh when it was like looking into a mirror?  He was a tiny version of him!

Unfortunately for Shang, he did end up having to tie the knot.  It wasn’t that he disliked Kate, not at all, it was just being married was like putting a noose around his neck and hanging him out to dry.  It was stifling and constricting.  Who knew how long it would last.  Now he actually had to be somewhat concerned that his advances towards other woman couldn’t be seen by others, lest they pull the whole “but he’s married” deal.

Not to mention the wedding band–what the heck was he going to do about that?!

Hugh’s birthday came shortly after the wedding.  He turned into quite the talkative little child and he shared his father’s love of music and drums.  He still looked like Shang, there didn’t seem to be a tiny bit of Anderson or Saunders in him.

———-

Note from Mao: Kate spun the ‘Get Married’ want and Florence has had the ‘Relative Gets Married’ want locked awhile, so they are married, bahaha.  Hugh is a tiny Shang.  I’m scared.

May 9, 2008

Anderson 2 – Round 13: ‘Polyamorous, Pt. 2′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mao @ 10:32 am

Florence Anderson still hasn’t confronted Shaniqua Saunders about her infidelity.  She’s too busy worrying about her daughter, Kate, and her good-for-nothing fiance, Shang Yu.  Kate dropped out her senior year at B.S.U. when she got pregnant and Shang joined the house after he graduated.

Shang wasn’t thrilled at the idea of being stuck in a house with two old biddies and a very pregnant Kate.  He was quite open about it, too.  He expressed his desire to travel and be famous to Shaniqua, who was surprisingly receptive to the idea.

Florence shut him down quickly, though.  She was going to be the mother-in-law from hell.

“Travel? Don’t be stupid!” Florence growled, cornering the unsuspecting Shang.  “You’ve got a child to raise!”

Nathaniel, who had been visiting, witnessed the entire confrontation.  He wasn’t quite happy about what Shang had done to his little sister, but he didn’t envy anyone forced to take on his mother’s wrath, either.  Shaniqua remained quiet as well, knowing better than to step into the fray.

“You’ll learn a thing or two about being an irresponsible adult.” Florence finished, storming off.

Despite Florence saying otherwise, Shang wasn’t completely awful.  He was just promiscuous.  He made sure that Kate didn’t feel too badly about leaving University.

“I don’t care, Shang,” Kate smiled.  “I can still be a nurse.  I’ll just have to take some classes, that’s all.  Mom just makes a big deal out of everything.”

Despite being forced into fatherhood and servitude to a crazy mother-in-law, Shang didn’t give up his dreams of music and fame.  He practiced often and was even working as a roadie for a local band.  Soon he’d have to go out and travel.  He knew Florence wouldn’t be keen on the idea, but she’d deal.  He wasn’t about to give up his life’s ambition!  Kate likely wouldn’t be happy, either, but she’d be preoccupied with the baby when it came.

Kate gave birth to a single baby boy named Hugh.  He had all of Shang’s coloring, much to Florence’s chagrin.  Kate was over the moon and she coddled and cared for the infant constantly.  Shang had more than enough time on his hands with his wife-to-be distracted!

It helped that Florence wouldn’t let him near Hugh alone.  Anytime he had a random paternal instinct, Florence was there to sweep Hugh away.  He wasn’t going to complain.  It took the burden off of him and just made her look bad.  He wouldn’t have any issue traveling on the road now, and it was a good thing.  They didn’t just want him as a roadie, they needed a guitarist!

Kate barely noticed Shang’s absence.  She was too busy caring for Hugh.  He made everything all right and she quickly forgot about how easily Shang was swayed by the female gender.  She had even forgotten all about the lamp she had.  Hugh was her world now.

Of course, Florence was beginning to ask when they planned on getting married, as she wouldn’t let the baby be raised in a broken home.  Not a willingly broken one, that is.

When Shang was home, he took advantage of Katarina Anderson’s recent move to University.  They usually tried to meet up there, but sometimes she stopped by while she was visiting home.  Nathaniel caught them going at it on the sidewalk, for everyone to see!  He wasn’t pleased.

He broke them up and read Shang the riot act.  It was better than Florence or Kate finding out.  He warned Shang to watch his steps, he was treading on thin ice.  Florence wasn’t kidding when she said she’d make his life hell!

Hugh’s birthday came quickly and soon he was a capable toddler.  Kate was thrilled, now she could teach him things!  They were both completely oblivious to the fact that Shang was making regular visits to Katarina Anderson while also trying to wear down her mother, Alyssa.

——–

Note from Mao:  Shang will never change and it amuses me greatly.  Katarina strolled by the lot often, so it was only a matter of time before their side-project was rekindled!  I was greatly amused when Nathaniel was walking by and caught them.

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