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The Wrongway Legacy
Generation Five, Part Three:
In the Shadows
Ripp was unable to fix Maddie’s car, leaving her unable to get to Belladonna Cover – until
Tank showed up and offered her a ride. Lee confessed to Hex and Lavender that Maddie
wasn’t at uni, and he was on his way to meet up with her in the city, leaving Hex furious.
Leda began to question the purpose of her existence, concluding that Maddie being heir
rendered her useless. Fiona made friends with Garrett Newson. Tank tried greasy truck
stop food. Hex continued to be mad with Lee over the secrets he’d been keeping – what
other secrets might he have? Maddie almost bumped into her Mum, but ran away at the
last minute, leaving Tank confused in the hallway. Grace and Orlando passed away.
Maddie explained herself to Tank, and Leda argued with her mother before tracking down
the family villains…
If it’s not familiar, I recommend looking back! :D
“I don’t know why you’re so pleased,” Ralph said, bitterly. Ariel grinned at him.
“Isn’t it obvious? We can pick up right where we left off, Ralph.”
Ralph shook his head.
“Did you learn anything from banishment, Ariel?” Ralph asked, quietly, “Didn’t the
long silences and pure darkness do anything? I want to avoid that again.”
“So you’ve gone soft.” Ariel stated.
“No,” Ralph replied, “I’ve learnt. Jim was a good brother to me, I was the one who
caused all of these problems. I don’t want any part in it.”
“People don’t change, Ralph. That lust for revenge is still inside you somewhere.”
“No. People learn and grow, and I’ve grown up enough to realise my mistakes. It’s
time to do something about it.”
“What about what that family did to us?” Ariel asked, suddenly. Ralph looked
confused, “They broke into our house and took one of our babies. Raised him so
he didn’t know who he was. Changed him from the man he was supposed to be.”
“Perhaps it was for the best,” Ralph offered, “We weren’t the best parents to
“We never even had the chance to try with Hercules.”
“It’s over, Ariel. They’re all grown up.”
“It’s not over until they’ve paid for destroying our family,” Ariel insisted.
“Then I will do my best to stop you.” Ralph informed her.
Ariel just laughed.
* * *
It was a bright Tuesday morning in Belladonna Cove, and Maddie was sitting in a
coffee shop round the corner from the hotel. Tank was still in the room,
presumably sleeping, while Maddie met up with her old friend.
“I’m sorry your mother is here,” Lee said, trying to smile, “They sort of invited
“Do they know I’m here?” Maddie asked, fidgeting.
Lee avoided looking in her eyes, “Yeah. I had to tell them.”
“Well. Maybe it’s time I put in an appearance,” Maddie murmured, “Can’t pretend
I’m a student forever, can we?”
“That’s not how I expected you to react,” Lee admitted, frowning.
“What did you expect?” Maddie questioned, curiously, “Kicking, screaming and
disappearing to Sim City?”
“I’d have stood by your decision, but I’m glad you’re not running away this time.”
Lee smiled, encouragingly.
Maddie took a deep breath, “I don’t think I’m coming home yet, though.”
“No,” Lee said, “But this is a start.”
“I guess we’re going to dinner with the family tonight, then!” Maddie tried to laugh,
but her insides were tying themselves into knots.
“Sounds like a good idea to me,” Lee smiled, before noticing Maddie wasn’t
drinking anything, “Do you want a coffee or something?”
“Nah, can’t stand the stuff. You’d feel the same if you’d seen Dina. She’s hooked
“Do you think anyone would mind if I brought my friend to dinner with us?” Maddie
Lee looked surprised, “You’re travelling with someone?”
“Yeah, he gave me a ride when my car broke down,” Maddie smiled at the thought
of Tank, “I can’t keep leaving him in the room with the window cracked open.”
Lee laughed, “Sure, bring him along. Prepare for the questioning, though. Your
mother will want to know EVERYTHING.”
“Well, honestly, there’s not much to tell,” Maddie insisted, “He’s a pretty good guy,
“I look forward to meeting him,” Lee took a sip of his coffee, “It’s so good to see
you again! I can’t quite believe you’re actually here.”
* * *
At Sim City Station, Lance and Leda were waiting for the next train to Belladonna
“Isn’t this exciting? I’ve never really left Mirage before!” Lance was delighted.
Leda rolled her eyes.
“Mum gave us those tickets as a lame gift for missing our birthday, Lance.”
Lance frowned, “I think it was a really good thing for her to do, if you ask me. The
whole family will be together for awhile, in a place that isn’t here!”
“You sound just like her.” Leda insisted.
“And you sound pretty ungrateful,” Lance stated, “What happened to you? You
used to be a wonderful and nice person. Not like this.”
Leda shook her head, “I grew up.”
“That’s not it, Leda.” Lance sighed, “I just wish I could understand what you’re
thinking. We’re twins, Leda, if you can’t tell me, who can you tell?”
“I told you. I hold no importance.”
“It’s worse than that, Leda. You’ve been acting really weird since the night
Granma and Granddad died. What’s going on?”
“Yes. Please be honest with me Leda.”
“I did something I probably shouldn’t have done,” Leda admitted. Lance waited,
patiently, for her to continue.
Only she never got the chance, because someone else on the platform
“Leda! Lance! Hi!”
“Gold!” Lance grinned, heading straight to his girlfriend, “You were able to get
“Just,” Gold admitted, “I’ve been struggling to get a job.”
“It’ll be fine. I’ll pay for whatever you need.”
“You know I can’t have that.”
As the couple continued their playful argument, Leda put a hand up to her
forehead, the confession still lingering in her mouth.
There was no way Lance would pay her any attention now.
By midday, the bright sky over Belladonna had disappeared into rain clouds, but
despite this, Maddie and Tank were still walking down the promenade.
“Remind me why we went out in the rain again?” Maddie said, sourly.
“Because you were grumpy as anything when you came back from coffee this
morning. Fresh air will do you good.”
“Why do you even own an umbrella, you’re from the desert!”
“Maddie, there’s these things called seasons, and yes, they effect us, too. Now
get back under the umbrella.”
Maddie sighed, “I’m sorry I’ve been really moody today.”
Tank shrugged, “You probably have your reasons.”
“Everything I wanted to avoid has followed me here. My adventure is over.”
Tank was silent for a moment, thinking, “I don’t think so. There has to be more out
“Like what?” Maddie asked, “I won’t be able to travel anymore. Or just disappear.”
“No, but there’s things like romance, and family. Ripp and I pretty much raised
Buck, and there’s nothing quite like that feeling of pride when he does well. It’s
like, I did that. I was part of something.”
“You may have a point there,” Maddie smiled, “I just don’t think I’d be any good.
They want so much from one person. They want a leader for a generation.”
“You can do that, Maddie. You’re not perfect, but no one is. I’m sure your mother
made her mistakes, Wright knows my parents did.”
“This past week with you has been the most fun I’ve had in years. This whole
adventure is the best thing I’ve ever done,” Tank smiled, “And you know what
Maddie? You did that.”
Maddie looked at him, confused, “How did I?”
“Because if it wasn’t for you interrupting my training that day, I would still be in the
desert, living my father’s life.”
“And in return, I got to hear your beautiful singing voice, and a free ride to
Belladonna, and all of this great advice.”
“I don’t have any friends in Strangetown.”
“I don’t find that hard to believe. You were a jerk when I first met you.”
“How did we get back on the subject of me, Maddie? This is supposed to be about
“I’m tired of everything being about me.”
“I think you’re right, Tank. I think I want to be part of something, rather than on my
Tank continued to smile at her, warmly, “You’ll be a great heiress. Believe me.”
“I do.” Maddie told him, a smile forming on her lips, “I believe you.”
“We’re going to dinner with my family tonight, and they’re going to be thrilled to
know I’m ready for whatever life has to throw at me.”
“We?” Tank repeated, raising an eyebrow.
Maddie nodded, “Don’t think you’re escaping me that easily. You’re part of this
“Is that the price of your friendship?” Tank chuckled.
Maddie leaned in and planted a soft kiss on his lips. Despite the short time they’d
known each other, it felt right.
They were miles away from home, and yet somehow, everything was coming
“Okay, you’ve convinced me,” Tank murmured, “I’m part of this madness. Let’s go
to dinner with your parents.”
Maddie just grinned at him, and the pair continued to walk down the promenade
* * *
Evening was fast approaching when Lavender and Hex entered the train station.
The table in the hotel’s restaurant was booked for an hour’s time, but Lance and
Leda had yet to arrive.
“Are you excited? We’re going to have the family all in once place for the first time
in awhile.” Hex smiled.
“I’m delighted, but nervous,” Lavender glanced at Hex, “Leda has got me worried.
It took some convincing for her to come, according to Lance.”
“We’ll sort something out,” Hex promised her, “Now that everyone’s together, it’ll be
Hex hadn’t taken his eyes off of Lavender, but she was much more focused on the
passengers entering the station.
“Mum!” Lance called, grinning. Lavender waved.
“You’re all so grown up! Lance, is that an earring?”
“Mum, it looks great!”
“You’re a grown man now, sweetheart, I can’t tell you to take it out!”
Leda felt like she hadn’t spoken for hours, and wasn’t about to begin now.
Especially not when the pleasantries were exchanged about Lance and Gold, and
how good they were together.
How grown up everyone is.
Ugh. Why had she bothered to come?
“Leda!” Lavender cried as she hugged Lance, “I swear you get more beautiful
every time I see you!”
Leda gave a half-hearted smile.
“I’m so happy I could get everyone together,” Lavender said. She was glowing
with happiness, “Come on, let’s go. We don’t want to keep the others waiting. “
The family turned towards the exit, where a cab was waiting.
“So tell me, you two, any plans for engagement?”
Leda was lonelier than ever.
* * *
The large table was full, food had been ordered, and the family gathering was
finally beginning. The conversation had yet to move past Maddie’s travelling
“So where did you two meet?” Lavender asked, gesturing to Tank. She couldn’t
control her curiosity any longer.
Who was this man her daughter had brought with her?
Maddie smiled. So far, to her surprise, she was enjoying seeing everyone again.
There were so many little things she had forgotten about them, like Lance’s laugh
and the way Lavender’s eyes crinkled up when she laughed.
“Well, I was on my way here, actually, when I broke down,” Maddie explained, “I
ended up in Strangetown, which is too small to have any sort of garage
apparently. I ended up looking for someone who was supposedly quite good with
“Tank?” Lavender assumed, with a warm smile.
“No, my brother. Maddie mistook me for Ripp, and interrupted me exercising-”
“How was I to know you weren’t Ripp?” Maddie grinned.
“You said you knew the minute I opened my mouth,” Tank replied, looking at her,
“Yeah! I guess they don’t get tourists much in Strangetown.” Maddie told him, with
“I can’t say I’ve heard about the place in any great detail.” Lee interjected, “Is it
anything more than a desert?”
At the same time as each other, Maddie answered “No” and Tank answered “Yes.”
“I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree,” Maddie laughed. Lavender nodded,
observing how happy and full of life her daughter seemed.
“So what about heirship, then?” Hex asked, suddenly. The conversation died, and
Maddie took a deep breath.
“I can do it,” She stated, “I’m not perfect, but I’ll do my best.”
“That’s very mature of you, Maddie,” Lavender said, warmly, “I’m so proud of you.”
“Well,” Maddie said, “Have the right people around you and everything just works
She took Tank’s hand, and the pair exchanged glances for a moment.
Lance took the lull in the conversation as an opportunity, “Maddie, have you ever
met my girlfriend, Gold?”
“When did my little brother get old enough to have girlfriends?” Maddie grinned,
“I’ve met Gold, but never as your girlfriend.”
Lance beamed, “We got together shortly after you left town, actually.”
“I’m happy for you, Lance.”
“Any thoughts on your future together?” Hex asked.
Lavender winced. Hex was still tense from his disagreements with Lee, and
somehow, everything had turned into business to be dealt with, rather than the
laid back catch up it actually was.
Luckily, no one but Lavender seemed to notice Hex being uptight.
“Of course,” Lance grinned, “I’m going to keep her forever and ever.”
Gold gazed at him, affectionately, “We’ve pretty much decided that we want to
spend our lives together.”
“Good,” Leda said, suddenly. She’d sat in a miserable silence up until now, “You’ll
need to pop out a baby in case Maddie screws up again.”
The whole table went silent and stared at her.
“What? That’s what Lance and I are for. Maddie’s back-ups.”
“Where the hell did you get an idea like that?” Maddie demanded, clenching her
“Are you so far up your own ass you can’t see what’s right in front of you,
Maddie?” Leda stared at her sister, “You’re the only one people worry about.
You’re the only one people talk about. You have everything anyone could possibly
want, but you’re a brat about it.”
Maddie stayed silent.
Lavender broke the tension, “Leda, I know you’ve been feeling down lately, but I
promise you, you’re wrong. I love you all equally, and you are all important.”
Leda shook her head, a bitter expression on her face.
“You all keep insisting that. You’re all as blind as she is,” Leda stabbed a finger
accusingly at Maddie, “Lance and I exist to be insurance and that is all.”
Hex cleared his throat, “Leda-”
“No! You all travelled miles out of you way for Maddie! You wouldn’t have done it if
I was the one who ran away!”
Leda got out of her seat.
“I’ve had enough of this stupid family,” Leda stated, coldly, “No one’s perfect, but
this is ridiculous.”
“Leda, please sit down. We’re not doing anything on purpose,” Lavender replied,
“Tell me what I’m doing wrong and I can change it.”
Leda shook her head, “It’s too late.”
“It’s never too-”
There was a light breeze dragging itself through the city, easing itself over Maddie
as she sat alone on a bench. She watched the world go by, although it was eerily
quiet for a large town like this one.
“I thought you were going out with the others to look for Leda,” Tank called,
breaking the silence. He’d watched her sit there from the hotel window, before
stepping out to join her.
“That’s the last thing she’d want,” Maddie sighed, “I’m the problem, remember?”
Tank bit his lip, and took a seat next to Maddie.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Tank asked, quietly. Maddie gave a half-hearted
“I’ve never been very good at that,” Maddie admitted.
“Me neither,” Tank replied, “My father doesn’t do feelings.”
“It’s not just feelings, though is it?” Maddie told him, “It’s the fears and the
anxieties. The way this family makes me feel tense. I just can’t seem to do things
“Maddie, no one is perfect.”
“That’s a clichéd form of advice,” Maddie insisted, “You can’t help it, so do nothing
Tank sighed, “I told you I wasn’t good at this.”
“I’m sorry,” Maddie said, softly, “It just feels like everything goes wrong when I get
near the family. Like, the last year was perfect, I was everywhere and nothing
seemed to go disastrously wrong.”
“But I return, Leda runs off, and it all begins again. I can’t be in charge of a family I
can’t keep together.”
“It’s not perfect because it’s real, Maddie,” Tank told her, “Travelling was your
dream, but this is the real stuff, the important bit. It’s never going to be easy.”
“I don’t know how to do reality, Tank.”
“Me neither. We’ll work it out, though.”
Maddie risked a small smile.
“What about Leda?” Maddie asked in a small voice.
“She’ll be fine,” Tank told her, reassuringly, “People fall apart in different ways.”
Maddie bit her lip, “This is the first time I’ve fallen apart without getting angry, or
Tank smiled, “Come here.”
“Everything will be fine. Wait and see,” Tank murmured, “My mother taught me
* * *
Elsewhere in the city, Hex and Lavender were searching for Leda, and had found
themselves among nightclubs and bars.
“I don’t think she’s down here,” Lavender murmured, more to herself than to Hex.
“Why are we looking?” Hex asked. Lavender stared at him.
“You told me yourself that we need to give them room to make their own
mistakes.” Hex said, sarcastically, and fixed a grin on his face.
Lavender continued to stare at him in disbelief.
Hex’s grin faded the moment Lavender started to speak, “I said that about
Maddie, Hex. This is Leda we’re talking about, who is upset somewhere in a city
she doesn’t know! It’s different!”
Hex said nothing, and Lavender’s anger rose even further.
“Hex, I know you’re having problems with Lee, and everything, but this isn’t about
you tonight. It’s not about me, either, and how I’ve raised the kids, okay?”
“No. This is about Leda, and nothing else. So stop making things difficult!”
“Sorry…I didn’t mean…stress is an odd thing, okay?” Hex said, “What with Lee
keeping Maddie’s whereabouts a secret, you being so relaxed about her rebellion
and the fact I’m still not ageing, I have a lot on my plate!”
“Then go back to the hotel,” Lavender told him, drily, “I’ll find Leda.”
“I’ll talk to you later, Hex.”
* * *
Ariel arrived in Belladonna Cove alone, choosing to sneak out of the apartment
she shared with Ralph while he slept. If he’d seen her go, he would of followed.
This should give her enough of a head start.
Now she just needed to find the Wrongways.
There was a lone person sitting in the coffee shop, a familiar figure.
Ariel’s lips twisted into a smile.
Leda was hollow on the inside, and a dark pit of misery and sadness sat where
her brain used to be. Only another hour until the train for Sim City arrived.
She could take a taxi from there. There was no point being here anymore.
A voice broke through her thoughts.
“Mind if I join you?”
“What are you doing here?” Leda asked, curiously, eyebrows raised.
“Saving you from yourself, by the looks of things,” Ariel sat down, “Want to talk
“I just walked out of a family meal because everyone is obsessed with Maddie.
They’re obsessed with the heir. But they can’t even see that they have a problem.”
Ariel shook her head, “Families are hard work.”
“You’re telling me,” Leda sighed.
“Why are you doing this?” Leda asked, suddenly, “Aren’t you supposed to be a
“Is that what they call me now?” Ariel raised an eyebrow. Inside, she was thrilled.
“Well. Among other things.”
“They always tell us not to trust you. Or Ralph,” Leda furrowed her brow, “And yet,
you’re the nicest person in the city right now.”
“It’s because I know exactly what you need.”
“And what’s that?” Leda asked.
“Well, it seems to me that one person is causing all of your problems,” Ariel
explained, “So the solution is very simple.”
“All we have to do is kill Maddie!”
That’s it for this chapter!
See you next time!