Cole Anderson feels overwhelmed and unappreciated by his career-oriented wife and his two very active daughters. Will Shelly’s recent campaign win give her an attitude adjustment?
“This is a very important day for me,” Shelly began, checking her appearance for the fiftieth time in the mirror. “Try not to ruin it.”
Cole wasn’t really sure how to respond to that. As far as he knew, he hadn’t ruined anything yet. Shelly was on such a tear lately, even winning the election hadn’t calmed her down any. In fact, it made her worse, the pressure and spotlight pointed solely on her now.
“I’m not a child.”
She rolled her eyes, still watching her reflection, “really? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.”
Shelly’s campaign manager, Jared, was the first one to arrive. Shelly was surprised when he hadn’t come alone. As the guests filtered in, she cornered Jared and decided to get to the bottom of this ‘mystery girl’. She looked terribly familiar.
“Oh, that’s Sage,” he said, turning to watch as she walked towards them. “We met awhile back.”
“You’re dating her? Really, Jared, don’t you have any love for my campaign at all?”
He laughed, “plenty of love, Shelly… but Sage is nice. Don’t be mean.”
Shelly and nice weren’t exactly something that went hand-in-hand, but she plastered on her fake smile and approached Sage Saunders with a cool, in control attitude.
“Sage Saunders? My campaign manager speaks highly of you.”
“Really? There’s a surprise,” she replied easily, laughing. “Congratulations on your win.”
“Thank you,” she said, sizing her up. “Enjoy the party.”
“Sure,” Sage said, watching her walk away and move into the crowd.
Jared watched the exchange with keen interest, thankful when Sage made it out alive. She rejoined him and they moved to mingle.
“You know, Kit, if Shelly were me and she had my Awesome Tan, there’d be no reason to campaign at all,” Sade began, her perfectly bronzed skin out for all to see in her tight, but somewhat modest dress. “She’d win by default.”
Kit sighed,” good thing you didn’t go into politics then, Sade.”
“I know! Just think of it! There’d be no competition, just me as mayor… year after year…” She looked past Kit and towards the door. “Oh, hey, that’s James… and Maggie… and she’s pregnant. Wow.”
“Keep ‘em coming,” Cole said, fetching a glass from the serving man’s tray. “It’s going to be a long day…”
The man watched him walk away, “dude…”
Of course, his second drink didn’t go unnoticed by Shelly. She quickly cornered him.
“Getting drunk, Cole? That’s your answer to making me look good?”
Cole gave an exasperated sigh, “me? I’m the one making you look bad? Give me a break, Shelly. Your campaign manager has had so many already that he’s behind you acting like FAME is casting. Get off my back.”
“W-what?” she spun around, horrified to see Jared dancing drunkenly amongst a crowd. “Damn him!”
Cole watched as she stormed off, grabbing another glass from the tray.
“How are you doing?” Isolde asked, on her second drink. She only came because she wanted to check in on them and Timothy liked parties. “You don’t look so good.”
“I’m fine, really,” he replied, emptying his glass and setting it down on the counter nearby. “Everything is just great.”
Isolde frowned, “it’ll get better, Cole. It’s just all the stress.”
“Yeah, sure. I’m gonna go get another drink.”
“So… nice party,” Kit said, also on her fourth drink and starting to feel a little tipsy. James and Maggie were here and James had made it a point to glare at her everytime they were in the same room.
“Not really,” Cole said flatly. “At least there’s an open bar.”
Kit nodded, taking a sip, “yeah, open bars are good.”
“What’s taking so long?” Viola demanded, literally breathing down Valerie’s neck. “There are people in need of a drink!”
“Yeah, really, come on,” Emma said, sidling up to the bar. “I’m not buzzed enough to deal with all of this yet…”
“Hold on, ladies, hold on! I’m preparing my specialty… guaranteed to knock you out of your heels and make you forget all about your philandering husband, your morally ambiguous lover, and my smokin hot, way older vampire boss!”
“What?” Viola and Emma said simultaneously.
“Huh? I didn’t say anything…”
The party went on well into the evening, Catelyn and Renee tucked in bed and Cole drunkenly stuck cleaning up the mess. Shelly glanced into her hand mirror, pleased with how the evening went. Everyone was pretty hammered, but it was a good time.
“That went well, but maybe we shouldn’t have an open bar next time.”
Cole tried to focus on balancing all the dishes despite his lack of equilibrium, “yeah, wonderful…”
Cole awoke in the morning with a hangover that could kill. Of course, to make matters worse, Shelly was hovering over him before he was even able to brush the sleep out of his eyes.
“Look, you lush, the headmaster for the Academy is coming and I need you to clean up and look respectable. I’ll be late, but I should be here in time to schmooze him a bit. I need you to do the rest.”
He groaned, “…that’s today?”
“Yes, it’s today. Don’t mess it up.”
Cole didn’t mess it up, he never messed anything up. He was the perfect husband, father, and host. That went unnoticed, of course, and Shelly jumped in just in time to grab all the glory. The girls were accepted and the headmaster even mentioned that he was ‘honored’ to have the newly elected mayor’s children in his institution.
Cole felt like putting his head in the microwave and pushing ‘start’. Shame it wouldn’t close with his neck in the way.
Despite his lingering depression and temptation to just give up entirely, Cole decided to give it one more try. He thought that maybe a night out on their own would loosen Shelly up and she’d return to being her normal, pushy self instead of the super wench she’d been lately.
“We need to figure something out, Shelly,” Cole began earnestly. “The girls are getting older, they’re going to start noticing something is up. We’re getting older, too…”
“What’s that supposed to mean? Now you want a divorce?”
“That’s not what I said at all. I’m trying to build a bridge, here.”
“Go build it off a cliff, Cole. I’m really sick of dealing with your sniveling. Why can’t you just accept that I’m an empowered woman? Why do you have to be so jealous of my achievements?” Shelly said, staring at her menu, unwilling to face him. “It isn’t my fault you lost your job.”
He sighed, this was going nowhere. “It’s not about that at all! It’s about you being a huge, mega bitch. At first, I thought maybe you and your campaign manager were hooking up on the side, but now I know that’s ridiculous. There’s no way someone having illicit sex could possibly have a bigger stick up their–”
“Cole!” Shelly snapped, cutting him off. “What’s wrong with you? Keep your voice down, we’re in a public place.”
“You can just funnel more of my money into making your image better,” he shot back. “You know, like you did your campaign.”
“Yes, my money. Did you forget about that? It didn’t magically appear because of your job… in fact, your job has cost us way more than it’s earned. But, you knew that, didn’t you? It’s the only reason you wanted this.”
Shelly fell silent, looking at him, “I…”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. You should have just told me. I would’ve just given you the money instead of wasting my time all these years.”
The night ended on that note, tense silence falling between them. They both went home, unsure of where things were headed. Whatever lied ahead certainly wasn’t going to be pretty.
Note from Mao: The next time I decide that it would be “cool” to throw a party and invite almost all of BS, slap me. Please. As soon as I hit ‘play’… all hell broke loose! Seriously. I have a ton of pictures, but I’m only going to show the ones I particularly liked.
Also, Shelly and Cole refuse to get along. All they want to do is argue and woohoo, which is pretty hilarious. Cole drinks quite a bit, too… probably shouldn’t have installed that bar.
Anyway, onto the pictures!