Boreal Springs

September 1, 2008

Saunders 2 – Round 19: ‘Blood Money, Pt. 5′

Filed under: Saunders — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 9:34 am

Gordon is trying to keep his children out of the crime business, but the business might have plans he hasn’t quite seen.  Lauren is struggling with the fact that she’s growing old and Gordon is still young.  Claude is too busy dating to notice anything else.

Claude wasn’t like Patrick O’Hanlon… he didn’t use women.  No, what he did was hardly using.  He fulfilled their hopes and dreams of dating him and he got the prestige that came with landing so many girls.  So when he flirted and another girl got upset, well, that was her own fault.  She set herself up for it.  Claude was not the type to settle down.

Perhaps worst of all was the fact that even when he was wooing one girl, he’d quickly leave her and start wooing another.  If he called the first girl later, she’d answer.  The slight in public was humiliating, sure, but Claude Saunders was Claude Saunders.  He came from good stock.  All anyone ever said in rebuke was, “but his dad is weird.”  And the girls all replied with, “but his dad is hot and so is Claude!”

Ahh, teen girls don’t require much in the way of anything else but looks, usually.

One night, Claude was approached by a mysterious woman.  She was older and so her approach startled him.  He’d only been messing with teen girls and wasn’t quite sure if he wanted to ‘tackle’ a fully grown woman.  But she didn’t solicit him.  Instead, with a strange accent, she said, “are you Claude Saunders?”

He couldn’t see her face for it was cloaked in darkness, but she sounded hot, so he replied, “I am.  What of it?”

“You… are of interest to u–I mean, me.  But your youth… it a problem.”  She laughed, looking him over.  There was a strange sheen to her eyes, even in the darkness.  “Perhaps another time, Claude.”

He watched her slink off and blinked.

That evening, when he came home at 2am and found his mother waiting up for him, Claude knew he was in for a lecture.  Lauren had been hassling him endlessly about his late nights.

“What about school, Claude?” She said, sighing.  “Don’t you want to go to University?”

“I do, but it’s not like it is that hard, mum,” Claude said, rolling his eyes.  “Dad will get me in.”

“No, he won’t, Claude.  I’m talking to you because I didn’t want him doing it.  Settle down, Claude.  Please.  For your own sake.  I know it’s fun to be able to be free and date… but it’s more trouble than it’s worth.  At least do some of your homework for me.”

Claude groaned, “fine, some homework.  But I’m not standing to any curfews.”

Lauren gave him a look, “you can have that discussion with your father.”

Claude blanched.  “Fine, 12 o’clock, but no earler!”

A few nights later, Lauren confronted her husband.  He had wandered up from the basement to catch the news and was completely blindsided by Lauren’s hysterical nature.

“Are you done with this yet, Gordon?” Lauren yelled, gesturing wildly.  “I’m old, if you haven’t noticed and you’re still as young as the day I met you!  This is ridiculous–the sleeping all day and out all hours of the night!  Do you know what Claude’s doing?  He’s turning into Shang!”

Gordon remained stoic, “I know what he’s doing, Lauren.  I have eyes everywhere.  And I’m not stopping now.  Michael is nearly free of this and Claude will be, too.  I don’t think you’ve gotten old, but you’ve certainly gone mad if you think you can tell me what to do.”

Without another word, he embraced her and took advantage of the fact she was startled, “stop worrying about stupid things.  I’ll take care of Claude.  But no more yelling or talk of what I may or may not be.  It isn’t going to change, Lauren.”

She allowed her shock to subside and gave a small, sad smile, “I know, but it was worth a shot.  What will you do when we’re all dead?”

“Be thankful you all lead happy lives and got there as you should–that your end wasn’t early because of this painful business.”

After dealing with Lauren, it was back to business as usual.  He got on his computer and accessed the most frequently used device of inter-PC crime communications:

vampirechairmanDC: I swear to everything, I am going to stake you for sending me this horrible woman.
necessaryevilsBS: What?  She reminds you of yourself?  I figured as much.  What’s the status of that, btw?  This’ll be the last we mention it.
vampirechairmanDC: well hooray to that!  Status?  Heh, let me show you.
vampirechairmanDC sent celia.jpg
necessaryevilsBS: Very nice.  We’ll keep in touch.
vampirechairmanDC: remember…  I’m not your garbage dump.  I’m trying to work on something here and I sure as hell am not the miracle wish foundation.  You should have just killed her.
necessaryevilsBS has logged off.

Meanwhile, Claude continued his late-night dating.  But no matter who he met, he couldn’t get the thoughts of that mysterious woman out of his mind.  Who was she anyway?  She knew his name.  A lot of people knew his name, but the way she had said it… it was almost as if she identified him not by his name, but his appearance.  Was it someone his dad knew?

————-

Note from Mao: Hehe, lots of fun in this round!  If you’re confused about what’s happened to Miss. Lacie Anderson, check here. ;)

August 26, 2008

Anderson – Round 19: ‘Blood Money, Pt. 4′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:21 am

Alyssa is trying to keep her family afloat, but Nevio married the wrong woman when he chose Lacie. At least little Isolde is cute and normal.

Lacie spent the last part of her pregnancy eating everything in sight, and not very demurely, at that. Alyssa had been talking about remodeling the house to better suit the growing family, but Lacie would always avoid the conversation. Nevio was too busy at work. As long as Lacie kept preoccupied, she wouldn’t have to deal with any of that.

Who gave that old woman the idea that she had control here, anyway?

Meanwhile, Isolde enjoyed talking about the paranormal with her cousin James. He often accompanied his mom, Katarina, when she visited. He was a little startled by his cousin’s odd conversation topics; ghosts, crystal balls, vampires? Yeah right.

Lacie finally gave birth to a baby girl named Adora. She had the Anderson skin and eyes. Alyssa couldn’t have been happier–another girl! Sure, a boy would be better for carrying the name, but the Anderson clan would do well to have another female heir. Nevio had sure screwed it up for the males.

Lacie was just glad to have the squirming demon out of her. She left the baby’s care to Alyssa.

A few nights later, Lacie got an unexpected visit from a mysterious stranger. She was the only one awake, with everyone else fast asleep. It was the wee hours of the morning and when she saw him outside, she hurried out, not sure why. That was dangerous behavior.

She had heard Gordon Saunders mentioned in some conversations, but she had never really seen him. Had he been at the wedding? She couldn’t remember, but she knew he was related to the Anderson family.

“I have an offer for you,” he said simply.

After hearing him out, Lacie grimaced and shook her head, “are you kidding? I’m not leaving all of this! I’ve got money and plenty of it!”

“You don’t have a choice,” Gordon said firmly, motioning with his hands. “This was your last evening at this house, I hope you enjoyed it.

“Oh, right! Like I’m going to listen to you. I’m going back inside.” She moved to leave, only for him to grab her arm.

“You’re not going back in there, Lacie. Your time at Boreal Springs has come to an end.”

Alyssa woke early in the morning to care for little Adora only to find that Lacie was missing. She decided to wait until morning to rouse Nevio, but she had the worst sort of suspicion she had fled. Had she stolen anything? No, everything was here, all the money, cards, everything. It didn’t make sense, but Alyssa didn’t have time to question it… she was going to have upset children to deal with and her son, as well.

Isolde seemed to have the same intuition as her grandma Alyssa and got out of bed only to cry at the loss of her mother. She wasn’t dead, but she was very much gone. No one knew where, but they called the police and reported it. No one expected they’d find her, nor did they expect her to return.

Despite the loss of her mother, Adora grew into a lovely and happy toddler. Nevio made sure to spend more time with both girls and pushed the loss of Lacie out of his mind. He was actually a bit happier without her around, surprisingly. But he wasn’t quite ready to date seriously again, much to Alyssa’s chagrin.

Meanwhile, Isolde was still talking about her favorite topic to all her new little friends. Maggie O`Hanlon wasn’t nearly as taken back. They both talked animatedly about ghosts and graveyards, saying they needed to visit the one down the road when they were teenagers. Their parents would never let them, but surely they could sneak out…

—————-

Note from Mao: Do we have a new Lilith? I swear, all Isolde talks about to anyone is paranormal. It’s hilarious and crazy. Yes, Lacie is gone. No, Gordon didn’t kill her… but he did send her away. Where? Well, that’s the question.

August 22, 2008

Yu 3 – Round 18: ‘Polyamorous, Pt. 7′

Filed under: Anderson,Yu — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 8:57 am

Shang Yu is happily divorced and has drug his long-time-lover Katarina Anderson and his 2nd son, James, along with him to his new home in Downtown.

Despite their difference in age, Shang and Katarina had always gotten along famously. They even understood one another to the point of neither so much as blinking an eye at the other’s indiscretions. Granted, Shang took the cake when it came to things like that, but Katarina was no angel herself.

Now they were together in an ‘open’ relationship. Shang was home from his tour for awhile and Katarina spent a lot of time helping him tweak certain songs.

“Tweak that one a bit, babe,” he said, strumming lightly, listening. “A little more, that should do it.”

Shang was well-known for his exploits with women and while most men of his ilk were horrible fathers, Shang was not. He cared deeply for both of his sons and made sure that they were taken care of. Hugh knew of his father’s ways and wasn’t dismayed when he saw him out with women, but James had quite awhile to go before he’d be able to understand.

Of course, with Hugh, it was easy. It was only his father, not both of his parents. Poor little James…

Cara Anderson came by to interview him for one of her columns–she was working her way up in the media–and he had to admit, that prim-and-proper bit was hot. He knew she was very married to Roman Anderson, but what could he say? Those Anderson women, he had a weakness!

He made a few little jokes and did his usual bit with the charm. He was surprised when she almost seemed responsive, but then suddenly, she drew away. Oh, this would be fun… even Kat would get a kick out of this!

James became a child and looked quite a bit like his father, though he certainly looked more like a Yu than anything. He had his father’s charm and seemed to be rather easy-going. Only time would tell if he turned out anything like his parents or not…

Shang and Lacie had a bit of an affair in the hottub and even while she was pregnant, Shang continued to charm her. He didn’t much like to hear her talk, but she couldn’t deny that she was smokin’ hot. He kind of pitied Nevio, though. He was Kat’s brother and well, he wasn’t a bad guy… just not too bright.

No one in their right mind would mess around with Lacie on a serious level. That woman should have been born with green eyes!

Being Downtown had definitely helped Katarina’s career. She was at the top of the party scene now–there wasn’t a huge event that she wasn’t invited to. Of course, she made sure she still had time for James. She was usually gone while he was asleep, anyway. She spent a better part of the day with him, helping him with his homework, and trying to embrace her maternal instincts.

James brought his Uncle Marcus home from school one day. He was quite surprised to find out that his friend was technically his uncle.

“It’s true, you know,” Marcus said in a sagely tone. “I’m technically your mother’s half-brother.”

“That’s… just weird.” James remarked, making a face.

Marcus laughed, “have you met your older brother yet? He’s technically my cousin!”

————–

Note from Mao: Man, talk about twisted family trees! Poor James, I worry for his future. This house needs revolving doors. One scene I laughed too hard at to get a picture of was Katarina teaching James to do his homework near the stairs and front door. Two women came up in their underwear and immediately went to leave. Seconds later, Shang comes walking up the stairs in his underwear and makes a whistle motion at Katarina while walking by.

August 21, 2008

Anderson 4 – Round 18: ‘Blood Money, Pt. 3′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 9:10 am

Roman Anderson is becoming quite a powerful man, can Cara keep up?

With the success of his last business and the deeds to lots in both Aperture and Boreal Springs in his hands, Roman opened another business. It was a simple grocery store nestled in Boreal Springs. It was a success and Roman hired on a young woman who desperately wanted to be close to Boreal Springs. Why he didn’t know or care, but she proved to be a good worker, albiet unskilled.

One evening, during dinner, Cara decided to question her husband. She had seen him acting oddly and skulking about, she even had others tell her about it. She didn’t think he was the type to have an affair, but what else could he be doing?

“It’s business,” Roman said sternly, “that’s it. Who is filling your head with this garbage?”

Cara shrugged meekly, “I… I wasn’t trying to imply anything, Roman, I was just worried.”

“Well don’t,” he snapped, angry that others had been talking and not quite pleased as his wife’s distrust. “Why would I sully the name I’m trying to restore? Honestly, Cara, sometimes I wonder where your brain is.”

Cara frowned and stared down at her plate, ashamed. She should have known better. Perhaps she was projecting her own thoughts onto Roman…

Katarina stopped by one day to thank her younger brother for the awesome pad he had hooked her and Shang up with in the heart of downtown. Roman wasn’t fond of his sister’s ways, but she was his sister, and despite herself, she had a brain.

“You shouldn’t thank me, Katarina,” Roman replied, showing a rare bout of humility. “It was Tsung Yu’s design and Gordon Saunders that made it truly possible.”

“Well, whatever, you had a hand in it someway, so thanks. I know how you feel about Shang, and with Nevio marrying Lacie–”

Roman laughed, “it’s fine, don’t worry about it…”

Roman’s luck wasn’t all good, one night, while they were asleep in their lavish bedroom… a burglar broke in. Fortunately, Roman had the foresight to install an extensive security system. The police were called to the scene before the striped fiend could make off with anything. Unfortunately for that burglar, that particular cop was also in Gordon Saunders’ pocket… and well, you don’t mess with someone under his protection.

There were definitely perks to working with criminals…

Cara enjoyed throwing parties, epsecially those that involved the other ladies from Boreal Springs. Alyssa frequented these and Roman pulled her aside one afternoon to tell her of his plan.

“Lacie won’t be a problem for much longer,” he confided.

Alyssa gave him a look, “what are you saying, Roman? She’s pregnant!”

“The baby will be fine, mother. Just trust me–I’ve taken care of it.”

Alyssa shuddered, remembering the propaganda involving her mother all those years ago… something in the back of her mind shouted for her to take notice, but she ignored it.

Cara, meanwhile, was having lunch with one of her guests. River Saunders was an interesting type of girl, not particularly feminine, but incredibly keen. Cara grilled her on sciences and her studies at university.

While she enjoyed all the guests she invited, Cara had to admit, she didn’t get along very well with Lacie. She really didn’t like Lacie’s blatant flirting with her husband or her attitude.

—————–

Note from Mao: The blonde in the first picture is important for a reason you will find out later. ;) Katarina is like Shang, she constantly drops by uninvited. It’s insane.

August 12, 2008

Anderson – Round 18: ‘Gold Digger, Pt. 2′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:00 am

With Katarina gone, Alyssa is left with Nevio, Lacie, and little Isolde. Poor little Isolde, if it weren’t for Alyssa, she’d be neglected.. can her romance-oriented parents get their act together?

Lacie had mentioned several times how nice it would be to have a hottub, but Nevio was incredibly surprised when he came home one day to see contractors setting up a deck and hauling a huge jacuzzi. Alyssa said nothing, she just shook her head. Nevio was too shocked to speak.

He came around, though. The hottub was an extremely nice addition, even if it did mean he saw way more of Shang Yu than he ever wanted to. Shang had dropped by one day and told Katarina to pack her and James’ things, she was coming downtown with him. They saw more of Shang than they did of Katarina… and Nevio wasn’t quite sure he liked the looks that passed between him and Lacie.

Meanwhile, Alyssa was stuck caring for poor Isolde. She had become an adorable toddler and though she still resembled Jun Yu, Alyssa could now see that she looked quite a bit like Nevio, too. Alyssa loved spending time with Isolde, but worried that her parents had no part in her life. She’d have to kick Nevio into shape, she hadn’t raised her son to be a negligent father!

Of course, she’d have to fish both Nevio and Lacie out of the hottub, first. They spent the majority of their time out there, doing goodness only knows what. Alyssa was really sick of Lacie lazing around the house, doing absolutely nothing. She refused to get a job and she didn’t care for Isolde at all, except to complain to Alyssa that most rich people had nursemaids or nannies to care for their offspring.

Roman had planned on opening his real estate venture in Boreal Springs, but after some advice, decided to put it in Aperture. He gave the lot to Alyssa, suggesting she open a store and save up some funds so Lacie didn’t bleed them dry. Alyssa did more than that, she drug Lacie with her, putting her to work at the register. She was going to earn her keep if she wanted to stay and Alyssa would hear no more of this “don’t you want to move out” business!

(Shoppers viewed here are Aiyana Saunders and Tsung Yu)

Alyssa was happy when she finally got it through Nevio’s thick skull that his daughter needed him and that being an athletic didn’t mean he had to be a complete jerk. He didn’t dislike Isolde, quite the opposite, he just wasn’t sure what to do. Thanks to Alyssa and some help from Katarina, Nevio was slowly spending more and more time with his daughter.

Lacie eventually got out of working for Alyssa by claiming to be pregnant again. Alyssa had to hide her fury when she realized it was true. This woman having another child was just wrong. Alyssa wished her son could see what a little harpy he married, but he was oblivious. Anything she asked for, she got. Lacie had Nevio wrapped around her finger like one of the many platinum diamond bands she owned.

In fact, she even went as far as to suggest that perhaps a bigger ring would be better suited for her finger, given all the pain and tribulation she had to go through.

While Lacie was a vacuum of money and wealth, Isolde was the opposite. She was a happy and smiling child and being around her made Nevio feel considerably better about his life. He knew that perhaps Lacie was not the best choice, but even so, he loved her and that emotion often rendered even the most intelligent of beings foolish.

He just hoped Isolde didn’t take her mother’s bad example and act the same way.

——–

Note from Mao: Poor Nevio, he’s such a patsy. And Shang really did refuse to leave when they got the hottub. He came over once with Katarina and Lacie started swooing over him. He kept trying to put the moves on Alyssa, but she’s over that now. Lacie and him are good friends now, though… and Isolde is ADORABLE. Srsly.

August 8, 2008

Anderson 4 – Round 17: ‘Blood Money, Pt. 1′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 12:55 am

Roman Anderson is determined to make his family rue the day he wasn’t chosen as Heir. Cara is just happy to be rid of grass skirts and steel drum music.

Roman and Cara had quite a large wedding, one of the larger ones that’s occurred in all of Boreal Springs. Regardless, Lacie Anderson wasn’t impressed. She was beginning to realize that perhaps she had chosen the wrong sibling to seduce. Roman may think himself impenetrable to her charms, but only time would tell.

Roman’s parents, meanwhile, were more than pleased with the union. At least one of their son’s had the foresight to pick a suitable wife and not manage to knock her up prior to getting her to the altar. Despite the tensions swirling around the hood, the wedding went off without a hitch. The newlyweds decided to postpone their honeymoon until it was more appropriate. Right now, they had jobs to get to.

Roman was more than pleased with his choice. Cara cleaned up very well, just as he knew she would. She was humble, too, and dressed appropriately. She had a keen mind and seemingly no desire to overindulge herself in the wealth that was to be theirs. This was all very well. He wouldn’t have to worry about her interfering at all.

In fact, she helped him achieve his goals and was more than supportive. She did her best to aid him with his business endeavors and was a quick study. Soon she was bossing employees around like a natural and keeping track of every little green and red mark on the books. She had her own desires, though. She wanted desperately to take Gina Saunders’ position as the face of Boreal Spring’s media. Only, Cara wanted to be a news anchor. She certainly had the looks, she just needed to work on her charisma.

This gave Roman plenty of freedom to build up his… other contacts. He was related to Gordon Saunders, but it wasn’t a relation that was really recognized by either side. Janine Saunders was Roman’s grandmother, but she was Gordon’s mother. Roman was an Anderson and therefore, Gordon didn’t really care much to talk to him. So Roman had to go through the lower echelons. He was surprised when one of the contacts turned out to be a very pale woman prone to dramatic, sweeping gesticulations and a bit of a lisp.

She wasn’t very helpful, but Roman wasn’t about to give up. Gordon was the answer to his biggest problem and he was determined to reach him.

Cara took no notice to her husband’s odd habits and instead enjoyed the friendship of another islander turned resident, Tracey Yu. While Tracey kept the part about being married to a criminal, she couldn’t hide the fact that she was married to Cara’s technical father-in-law. They didn’t bother acknowledging the legal relation, though, instead becoming jogging buddies and just casual friends.

It was nice to have another islander, but Cara was a little too serious for Tracey.

Roman wasted no time reaching his goal. He was keen to take over Boreal Spring’s real estate matters. The government had been handling it, but now with Aperture and Boreal Springs growing in size, it required a more closely invested handler. Roman was more than happy to take the responsibility. He was also working on getting his second business off the ground.

He continued looking for Gordon, but he figured that with all the wealth he was amassing, he was sure to run into him somehow. He had heard Gordon didn’t like it when people not under his thumb started getting filthy rich…

———–

Note from Mao: Okay, Cara is gorgeous. Wow. I had no idea she was that pretty. She is like, the perfect trophy wife LOL. Roman is insane. He reached his LTW faster than anyone else in Boreal Springs ever has. Sheesh! Also, Roman wanting to talk to Gordon comes from him stalking him on a community lot. I saw him doing this while I was playing another family. Makes sense, given Roman’s ambitions…

Also, Cara’s formalwear was messed up for some reason. She couldn’t choose any of the dresses I bought for her. Weird.

August 1, 2008

Anderson – Round 17: ‘Gold Digger, Pt. 1′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 8:24 am

Alyssa Anderson is newly divorced and has a lot on her plate. Her eldest daughter, Katarina, has returned home very pregnant with the same man Alyssa herself has slept with. Nevio managed to knock-up his girlfriend, Lacie, in University. With a wedding to plan and babies to prepare for, things at the Anderson residence are hectic.

Alyssa wasn’t completely sure how to react to Katarina’s news. The fact that Katarina was pregnant was enough of a surprise, but that it was Shang’s baby? Alyssa felt a little sick inside. Messing around with Shang had been very, very wrong. She could never let Katarina know now.

“Of course you can stay here,” Alyssa said, trying to reassure her daughter. “Just know that Lacie is here, too, until Nevio returns home from University.”

Katarina smirked, “why am I not surprised?”

Nevio came back to the house a few months later to find his sister very pregnant and his soon-to-be-wife just barely showing. Being surrounded by hormonal women wasn’t exactly something he looked forward to, nor did he enjoy the conversations at the dinner table.

“So, am I going to get that big?” Lacie asked, eyes wide. “I hope not, I’ll never get my figure back.”

Katarina ignored the dig and simply said, “it all depends on how big the baby is. I’m actually quite small for how far along I am.”

“It would have been nice if you had told us all sooner, Katarina,” Alyssa interrupted giving her daughter a look.

That night, Lacie took it upon herself to have a talk with Nevio. She was concerned about Katarina being there and was hoping that the eldest child would leave and find her own place to live. It was bad enough Nevio’s mother was still present, but Katarina there threatened her place as head of the house even worse.

“I don’t know when Kat’s leaving,” Nevio replied easily. “She can stay as long as she likes, as far as I am concerned.”

“It isn’t good for us all to be here at once, Nevio. You’re the heir, this is technically now your house. Shouldn’t your sister and mother leave?”

Nevio laughed as if she was joking, “don’t be stupid, Laci. Mom helped build this house, this is her home. She isn’t going anywhere and I don’t want her to.”

Katarina wasn’t quite sure what she thought about her room remaining the same as when she had left it. She had tolerate the uncomfortably small bed and overly pink room for long enough. With the baby coming any day now, it was more than time for a remodel.

She’d have to speak with her mother about it in the morning. Katarina hadn’t planned to stay as long as she had, but she didn’t exactly look forward to being a single mom, either. She hadn’t even told Shang yet.

Of course, Katarina didn’t have to. Alyssa had enough, she knew that it was messy business, but Shang had to know. She phoned him up without Katarina knowing.

“You need to come over, Shang. There’s something you need to… see.”

‘Well, that’s an interesting way of saying it, babe.’

Alyssa sighed heavily, “no, Shang. I told you, that’s over. I’m talking about Katarina.”

‘Kat? Is she okay?’

“Just come over and you’ll see for yourself.”

Katarina was hardly impressed by her mother’s little stunt. She met Shang in her very pink room and let him know that this was not her idea at all.

“I can’t believe she did this,” Katarina sighed, unable to hide her anger.

“I’m glad she did, why didn’t you tell me?” Shang replied, humor gone from his voice. “How long, Kat?”

“It was during the tour, at the island. I came back and well, there it was.”

“Were you ever going to tell me?”

“…I don’t know. I figured it was best you didn’t know and I really didn’t want you seeing me like this. I feel like a beached whale.”

“For being a beached whale, you look pretty hot to me, babe.” Shang replied jokingly, pulling her into his arms and kissing her. “You know I can’t help you out directly… but I wanna be involved, all right?”

“Fine, but don’t get all serious on me about this. It doesn’t change things.”

He laughed, kissing her again, “and that’s why I love you, Kat.”

Katarina gave birth to little James Anderson a few days later. He looked everybit like Shang, only his eyes were big and brown like Shang’s brother’s and his father’s. There was no mistaking it, that much was sure. Katarina idly wondered if he had any of her in him at all. He definitely didn’t look a bit like his namesake would have you believe.

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