Monday, February 10, 2014

Chapter 6-11: Act On Impulse

          With Flynn and Gemma both teens now, Evangeline and Renata had decided that the two older kids could handle watching the twins for a few hours. They dressed themselves up and made their way downtown to one of St. Claire’s prominent nightclubs.

          “A round of your best mixed drinks, over here,” Evangeline shouted at the bartender. He smirked at her before reaching under the bar for whatever ingredients he needed. The smirk made her feel old, like she didn’t belong out past nine. I’ll show him.

          She watched him mix and shake the drinks with ease; behind his back, over his shoulder, not spilling a drop. He was cute, and he knew it.

          “I heard what Sarah did to you, in front of everyone.” Flynn waited for his cousin to laugh at him but Gemma surprised him. “She shouldn’t have done that. It’s not right, using people.”

          “Um, thanks. You wanna sit with us tomorrow at lunch?” Maybe Gemma wasn’t so bad after all. She had every reason to be on Sarah’s side or at least appreciate his humiliation, but here she was, taking his side after all.

          “Alright squirts. Time for bed,” Flynn announced. Gemma and Hanley headed to their room, book in hand, while Flynn and Hal did the same. They’d each been promised ice cream and stories before bed and it was time to cash in on the second half.

          “Evangeline, where are you?” Renata had run to the restroom and, when she got back to the main bar, Evangeline had disappeared. The bar was packed, maybe she just wasn’t seeing her. She decided to try the side VIP rooms.

          “Oh! Evangeline, oh my Watcher! Seriously, this again?” Renata found her, pressed up against the wall in a secluded corner of a back room, her dress unzipped and bunched around her waist. She looked up at Renata, not even bothering to look ashamed.

          “I should probably get back to bar. Come find me when my shift is over,” the bartender winked at her and groped her ass before sauntering out the door.
          “Are you kidding me,” Renata hissed. “You have three kids at home and you’re out here acting like a wild, barely legal girl.”
          “For fuck’s sake Ren, lighten up.” Evangeline pulled her dress back up and found her jacket lying across a nearby chair. Finally dressed again, she headed back to the bar, Renata hot on her heels.

          “I don’t get it.”
          “I’ve not really dated since Miles. I can’t remember the last time I got laid. You might be content to be mommy and aunt and clean the house but I want more than that! And I’m getting OLD! I wanted to feel desirable and do something crazy, just because it felt good.”
          Renata thought back to her, still secret, rendezvous with Emerson. “I guess I can get that. You’re not really going to go home with him though, are you?”
          “No,” Evangeline sighed. She smiled at him as they left, conveniently forgetting to add her phone number to his tip jar. She’d gotten what she wanted but she didn’t feel any better than she had before the two had begun the night.

          With Spooky Day coming up and the weather turning colder, Renata made up her mind to take the kids to the local pumpkin patch one weekend. The weather was gary and cloudy but, bundled up warmly, no one seemed to mind. Renata made her way into the barn to look over the farmer’s market stalls while the 4 kids went to find their perfect pumpkin.

          Later, they gathered around the fire pit to get warm and roast some marshmallows that Renata had bought from a vendor.
          “Flynn, stop it!” Every time Hanley stuck her marshmallow on a stick, Flynn would poke at the flames, making them jump and catch her treat on fire. “Next time you do that, I’m gonna fling the flaming marshmallow at you.”
          “I dare you to try!”
          “Stop being a butt Flynn.”

          “Why does Spooky Day have to be on a Wednesday,” Hal asked as they sat in the front lawn, carving pumpkins after school.
          “It just happened that way this time.”
          “But now we can’t go trick or treating,” he pouted.
          “Sure we can! Mom said we could, as long as we came home in enough time to do our homework.” Hanley was excited about Spooky Day. She’d had her costume picked out for ages.
          “Yeah, that’s right Hal. Gemma and I will take you and we’ll just stick to the houses in the neighborhood.”

          When the pumpkins were carved, the jack-o-lanterns were carefully displayed on the steps for any of the trick or treaters who might be coming by to get candy. Everyone ran inside to hurry and get ready.

          “Lemme get your picture,” Renata shouted, trying to get everyone lined up and still enough to get a shot. “Wait, Hal, your eyes were closed. One more. Ah, there we go! Okay, be safe and listen to Flynn and Gemma.”

          “Hey you, how have you been,” Kieran greeted Evangeline with a hug.
          “Me? Let’s talk about you! I got the wedding invitation in the mail. You finally got the girl.”
          He grinned. “I did. Of course, Story helps. She’s old enough now to want to know why mommy and daddy don’t live together.”
          “Oh, so…this is just for Story?”
          “No, no! She just helped Delilah see there was no reason mommy and daddy weren’t married. That daughter of mine; she’s a master manipulator and doesn’t even know it.” He laughed.

          “Now, tell me what’s really going on,” Kieran demanded.
          “What do you mean?”
          “Evangeline Avendale, I know you well enough to know that something is bothering you.” Sighing and knowing he’d eventually get it out of her anyway, she launched into the story about the nameless bartender. He stayed quiet, waiting, so she tacked on the few waste-of-time dates she’d had.
          “You know what this is.”
          “Yeah, you’re the last good guy and you’re taken.”
          “Nope. You’re still in love with…”
          “Don’t say it!” She interrupted him, not wanting to hear the name. “How could I ever love someone who treated me like that?”
          “You’re talking to the guy that got to watch the girl he’d loved, all his life, shack up with your brother. It was only a stroke of luck for me that Emerson had knocked up your best friend beforehand, leaving his fling with Delilah a very short lived affair.”
          “But she didn’t cheat,” Evangeline protested. “It’s different.”

          “Says the cheater.” Evangeline’s jaw dropped, her outrage at his words immediate.
          “How dare you!”
          “It’s not an insult, just a fact. You cheated on your husband Evangeline. Don’t interrupt me,” he scolded, noticing she’d been about to defend herself. He continued. “Cheating isn’t black and white and you know it, even though that doesn’t make it right. The fact that you’ve been unable to have a meaningful relationship since Miles indicates that you have unresolved feelings. You should at least talk to him; find out what happened once and for all.”
          Evangeline stood, her blood boiling but she limited herself to just saying goodbye. “Tell Delilah I’ll see her at the bachelorette party.”

          “Gemma! You’re not going to the dance in that, are you,” Flynn met his cousin in the hall as they got ready for their first high school dance.
          “What’s wrong with it,” she looked down at her ensemble while he scrunched his nose at her.

          “There honey, that’s a little more dressy, but still you.”
          “I don’t know, I never wear dresses.”
          “You look beautiful. Of course, you always do. Let’s go get a picture with Flynn and Rose.”

          Flynn had decided to take his friend, Rose, up on her offer to be his date to the dance since she and Danika had been right about Sarah. “She looks pretty, but very…pink” he thought to himself. The trio made a colorful group.

          “Why can’t we go to a dance,” Hanley pouted at her dinner plate, feeling left out.
          “You’ll have plenty of dances to go to when you get older.”

          “Mommy, mommy, you’re home!” The twins ran out and met her at the door when they heard her car pull into the drive.
          “I am home! Aunt Renata said you guys were upset that you didn’t get to go to the dance?”
          “It’s not fair,” Hanley stomped her little foot. “We’re almost in high school.”
          “Not for a few more months yet. I’ll tell you what though. Let’s all go put our pajamas on and we’ll stay up and watch movies until your brother and Gemma get home.”

          Despite their protestations about being old enough for dances, halfway through the first movie, Hanley was sound asleep on her mother’s lap and Hal kept nodding off, just to jerk himself awake again. Finally Evangeline flipped the tv off and carried her daughter up to her bed, Hal practically sleep walking behind her.

          Then, just like that, those few months left crept up on them and it was the twins’ birthday. True Avendale style, the party would be held at the house and friends and family both were invited. Miles was in his off season and was able to make it and Evangeline, despite her lingering anger at Kieran, had invited him and his family as well.

          “Can I give you a hand?”
          “Thanks Miles, I think I’ve got it.”
          “I would have helped you plan everything, if you’d just let me in.”
          “I let you in and you broke my heart. So, thanks but no thanks, I got it.”
          He scoffed. “I broke your heart? You broke up with me, out of the blue. I still don’t know why even though you claim it was all my fault. It’s been years and I still don’t know.”

          Evangeline looked out to the living room, filled with people. “Now is not the time for this.”
          “It never is, is it?” She could hear the bitterness in his voice. She heard Kieran’s voice, in her head ‘find out what happened once and for all’ and sighed. “After, okay? After the kids blow their candles out, we’ll talk.”

          Hanley, being the older twin by twelve minutes, blew out her candles first. “Mommy, I’m wishing for a horse, okay?”
          “Stupid,” Flynn laughed. “You’re not supposed to tell, otherwise it won’t come true.”

          Halden, hearing his brother, kept his wish a secret.

          Evangeline pushed them together, snapping the first picture of her two babies, all grown up. She took another as they grabbed a slice of cake, and more as a food fight threatened to erupt when Hanley smeared icing on Flynn’s nose. She knew she had put it off long enough and looked at Miles, silently asking him to slip outside with her.

          Unable to stand still, she grabbed a basketball and tossed it at Miles, grabbing another for herself.
          “So, are you going to finally come clean,” he asked, launching his ball towards the hoop.
          “Me come clean. That’s funny.” She sighed. “Miles, I know about the affair.”
          “Okay, maybe it was a one-time thing, I don’t really know.”

          “Evangeline, I fought hard for you. I gave you space when you needed space, I was there for you when you needed me. When we graduated, I took a spot on the team here to be close to you instead of better teams like Bridgeport and Los Aniegos. Why in SimNation would you think I cheated on you?”

          “I found the underwear in your bed Miles. Like you said earlier, it’s been years. Don’t bother lying about it now.”
          “There was never underwear in my bed Evey. I promise. I’ve never cheated on you. There’s been no one else.”
          “Forget it. You don’t believe me. I’m heading home.” He turned and walked away, leaving her standing there more confused than before. I was so sure he’d confess once I finally confronted him about it.

          “Let’s get a picture before we get so trashed people are missing shoes and falling down!” The girls gathered around Delilah while the bartender snapped their picture. It had been Renata’s idea for everyone to dress in black and hot pink, the bride’s favorite color.

          After she had opened a tab for the night, Evangeline and the girls broke into teams and swarmed over the pool tables.

          “A bottle of champagne please,” Evangeline ordered from the bartender.
          “How many glasses?”
          “Just the bottle, no glasses.”
          “Um sure…”
          “No, no, no! Evangeline!” Delilah squealed as Evangeline shook the champagne, spraying it all over her friends.

          The open tab kept the drinks flowing and anytime a tray ran out, the bartender was there to make another. After three sorrow annihilators, two party drinks, and who knows how many of those pink drinks, Evangeline climbed up on a table to dance. The bartender certainly seemed to appreciate it. Too bad. I’m done with bartenders.

          “Evangeline, I think it’s time we head home. We told Emerson we’d be home by midnight and it’s getting pretty close.”
          “You go ahead. I gotta stay to pay the tab.”

          “Are you sure? You can get home okay?”
          “Duu-uuh. I know our address. The taxi’ll do the rest.”
          “Alright. Be safe, okay?”

          Besides Renata, no one was ready to leave until closing time. Evangeline dug out her information and paid the tab before stepping outside to hail a ride home. Yet when she climbed in the taxi, she said something completely different.
          “3 Kensington Road.” The taxi deposited her on the sidewalk in the dark, windy pre-dawn morning. She climbed up the stairs and rung the buzzer, leaning against the wall as she waited.

          “Evey?” His voice was thick with sleep, his hair tousled. “What are you doing here?”

Chapter 6.10                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.12

Yay! Finally, finally done! With all my glitches and lags and stuff, I'm really surprised I've managed to keep going. But I have! And, as promised, the Heir Vote is also up. I have it open right now until the 1st of March. I figure I'll close a couple of days after I post the next chapter. However, we all know how slow I am, hence the long deadline. You're welcome to wait to learn more or if you're already decided, you can vote now.

As most of you know, whoever wins the vote will be moving to Moonlight Falls. Which has also been part of why I've been going so slow. I've been editing and building (and making lists of all of Buckley's lots which I will kidnap) to make Moonlight Falls just the way I like it. Maybe, just maybe, the next couple of generations can stay there. Possibly even to the end?