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Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five:  Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part One)
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Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five: Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part One)



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  • 1. Welcome back to Familiar Faces! Chapter Thirty-Five: Can I Trust You With My Heart (Part One) Chapter thirty five heralds in the reign of Frankie Familiar as legacy heir and banner holder. Frankie is a seventh generation Familiar and the sixth heir to spend time at Familiar State University, temporary home of the Familiar families young adults. FSU is currently housing over fifty students from the extended Familiar family. The University recently experienced an influx of new students, including Frankie. If you haven't read the previous chapters, I would recommend doing so. Or you could just turn the page and jump right in.
  • 2. Just few mornings ago Frankie had awoken in the same bed that he had slept in since he was a child. He'd performed his morning ablutions; preparing for the day ahead and the major changes that would be occurring just a few hours later. While Frankie brushed his teeth; his younger brother, Ferdie, had joined him the bathroom that they shared. Ferdie, anxious about his first day of high school, kept up a running conversation asking about teachers and classes. Frankie answered him half mindlessly, he was distracted by his own questions and concerns.
  • 3. “You don't have much to worry about, Ferd. The only difference between Grade school and High school is that you have to change rooms for your classes. As long as you don't get Ms Watchley – Witchley, it'll be a breeze.” “Yeah, but what about. . .” “Ask Elm or Vetty. Don't ask Elan any questions he'll just give you some BS and you'll end up at the shop classroom rather than the gym.” Frankie gave his brother a playful punch on the arm. “You can call me; you know if you want to talk, or ask me any questions.”
  • 4. During the previous few days Frakie had been getting plenty of advice himself. Everyone, seemed to have some anecdote to pass along, a story about their own college experience. Frankie had been reminded to have fun, but not to much fun. To be nice, but to not be so nice as to be seen as a pushover for term paper influencing. To remember to change his underwear, and speaking of underwear, to please remember to at least drag on some sweats before heading to class. His grandmother advised him to drink responsibly, while his grandfather gave him a sure fire hang over remedy for when he wasn't as responsible as he should have been. His Mom cried over her baby growing up and his father admonished him to remember to call his mother from time to time, and his father too, they'd like to hear from him.
  • 5. In the midst of all the good cheer Frankie was continually reminded of his responsibilities as the heir. While he was expected to enjoy himself at University he was also expected to make choices that would effect him for the rest of his life. He was advised to choose well, to take his time, to get to know the options. While he was expected to marry appropriately he was also expected to marry for love. His ancestors had all managed to do both and everyone was certain that he would as well. Frankie had a feeling that he would never be old enough to avoid lectures.
  • 6. Frankie's favorite cousin Elisha was also getting her fill of parental advice and anecdotes prior to departure for University. Having already experienced sending a child to college Elle and Dov were less anxious for their daughter's well being, her brother would be there to watch over her. But, Elisha was very different from brother and the advice given to her was of a different ilk. Where Elijah had been encouraged to work hard, Elisha was encouraged to not study too hard. Dov wasn't able to even imagine discussing Elisha's love life with her, as he had done with Elijah. Any thought he had on the subject started with 'don't' and ended with 'I'll kill him'; daughters were entirely another matter, than sons. Away from her father's hearing 'Lisha and her Mom had discussed what Elle felt her daughter needed to know. Elle knew, that beneath her daughter's soft manner, was a very solid layer of common sense and good deal of determination.
  • 7. Elisha spent quite a bit of time chatting with her Uncle Dryas about the management needs for the flower shop. As a graduation present, Dryas had signed the deed over to his niece. She'd been running the store for most of her teen years and had done an excellent job. As a part of the agreement Dryas would continue to handle the day to day management of the shop until 'Lisha was home from college and able to take it over again. In addition to discussions regarding the current shop, the two also chatted about properties currently available near campus. The proceeds from the flower shop could be used as a down payment if Elisha desired a new venture while still in school.
  • 8. Before long the only thing left to do, was to hop in their taxis and head towards campus. Once on campus, Frankie and Elisha were each greeted by the Greek House welcome committee. Having been given the token once over each had been admitted to membership.
  • 9. They would be living in the dorms for at least a year, before they would be eligible to move into the house. Frankie and Elisha would still spend quite a bit of time at the Greek House during Freshman year. Familiar Greek was one of the more active spots on campus and almost everyone stopped by on a regular basis. It was the perfect place to hang if you wanted to meet someone new or touch base with an old friend. ~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 10. But it wasn't as if the kids that lived in the Greek House never left it. They were in and out of various dorms on a regular basis. There were plenty of things to draw Greek residents to the dorms. Parties, friends, study groups, dates...
  • 11. Checking up on little sisters and making sure that they weren't able to have any type of a social life unchaperoned. During the first few weeks of Elisha's University experience, Elijah just happened to stop by her dorm almost every night.
  • 12. It seemed as if, any time Elisha had even the most casual of conversations with a male; there would come a point in the exchange when the guy would get an uncomfortable look on his face, glance over Elisha's shoulder and quickly excuse himself.
  • 13. Big brother was always watching and it was getting irritating. While Elijah had dropped most of his bully tendencies since being at University, there was enough of a collective memory of his teen activities to warn off most prospective males from hitting on his sister. How was she ever going to build any type of relationship with a guy if Elijah was constantly standing over her shoulder? ~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 14. “No Vonny, no way am I going to call Grandma and tell her that Enrique London is my plus one for the wedding. She looks at me weirdly enough already, besides I already have a date.' Zeke listened to his younger sisters barrage of questions for a short while before breaking back in. 'Yeah, I know I said I wasn't bringing anyone extra. Corey's already on the list, sister of the groom. Ezra's bringing Elsie, and I know, it's not fair that we can have dates and you can't. You can go dateless for one day Vonny, it's not a big deal.” He held the phone away from his ear for a short while. “Mom and Dad are being unfair, I know. But, there were plenty of times that Ez and I had to cancel plans to watch out for Vetty and you. Now it's your turn. If Aunt Di hadn't suddenly decided that she just had to have the twins in the wedding; Mom and Dad would have hired a Nanny for the day, and left them at home. Dad's not going to say no to his little sister on her wedding day. When you get married I'll do whatever you ask me to do.”
  • 15. Zeke listened to Vonny sputter, then started laughing. “Stranger things have happened Von. Don't count it out yet. Look sis, I know that it's a hassle but it's not like Aunt Di's is the last wedding you'll go to. You can bring Enrique to the next one. There will be plenty of people for you to hang out with at this one. 'Reka's cousin is going to be in the wedding, he's a teenage. What's his name? Rett?” “He's a jerkface huh? Well, you can get along with him for a few hours can't you?” “No? Then just ignore him Vonny. Don't start anything at Di's wedding, Grandma would never forgive you. And there'll be tons of other people there, you won't have to talk to him if you don't want to. You can shove his smug smile down his throat some other time.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 16. “Don't wear him out too much, your father is going to be here soon, he wants to spend some time with these two.” Deanna Capp reminded her husband. “I know, but if we don't get them up and walking by this weekend, we'll never hear the end of it from Mom.” “We can't put them on a time table. They'll walk when they're ready to walk. Ethan and Ethel are too young to even go to the wedding, let alone to be in it.”
  • 17. “Di has her heart set on it, she wants all six of the kids to be a part of her wedding. And you're ready to walk, aren't you big guy?” Elliot asked his son as he tossed him in the air. Ethan giggled in response. He was the most mellow child that Elliot and Deanna had experienced. His twin Ethel was less so. “Want to walk!” Ethel demanded, tugging her mother's pants as she pulled herself up right. “Oh you do do you?” Deanna replied setting the toddler a short distance back from her legs, “ Well let's see you do so then miss.”
  • 18. By the time David arrived, Ethan had lost interest in practicing his walking skills and had taken up coloring. Being a bit more determined than her twin, Ethel wasn't yet ready to quit. Dave joined in the coloring with Ethan while Ethel and Deanna finished up.
  • 19. “That's a mighty pretty picture Miss Ethel. Have you decided what it's going to be?” “I can do it myself!” “Of course you can honey, I just wanted to see what you're drawing. Is it okay for me to watch?” “Guess so. See it's a birdie!” “I see, and it's a very nice birdie too. Ethan don't eat the crayon.” “Tis green, Nummy!”
  • 20. David and the twins spent a good part of an hour working on the masterpieces that he promised he would find room for on the refrigerator at his house. They were almost done when a call came from the front door. “Where are those darling grand-babies of mine?” Without pausing for her daughter in law's response, Juliet Capp McAuley was quickly up the stairs, and in the nursery. Hearing her grandmother, Ethel dropped her crayon. “Ganma!” she squealed and lifted her arms.
  • 21. Patting Ethan, David stood up. “Hello, Jules.” “I didn't know you were here. Everything's been so hectic with Diana's wedding, haven't seen these two nearly as much as I would want. I had a few minutes so I thought I'd stop by for a tickle and kiss break. Does wonders you know?” Dave nodded, he might have responded but Deanna had caught up with Juliet and had rushed in.
  • 22. Giving her father in law a pained smile Deanna scooped up Ethan. “Sorry, I was in the kitchen getting supper ready for the girls. They'll be home soon if you'd like to wait. You're welcome to stay for dinner. Both of you.” Talk about feeling uncomfortable, Elliot was at work and Deanna was stuck. David and Juliet normally managed to remain polite to each other. But, usually when were thrown together for family functions, they were buffered by their spouses. “These two look about ready to go down for awhile.” As if on cue Ethan yawned and stuck his thumb in his mouth. “I'll put Ethel down for you dear.” Juliet had a way of sneering the word dear that made it sound like a slur. “Dave's had them to himself long enough, it's my turn.” “It's fine De, I'll go down and wait for the girls.” David said giving each of the toddlers a wistful stroke, as he left the nursery. ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 23. Hey Frankie - Just checking in from Sim State. I don't have much time to natter, I'm already soo busy it's crazy! I spent all weekend in cheer camp sessions. Tryouts are tomorrow, wish me luck, I think I have stage fright. :) I'll just die if I don't make the team, some of the other girls are so good it's scary. I think I have a good chance as long as I don't mess up my timing or fumble up a flip. I really have to make the squad, Moms would be so insanely disappointed if I didn't. I would too, of course, but I think it matters more to her than to me. Wicked Weird right? Sometimes I think she's trying to relive her life through me, but without all the bad stuff. You know? I mean the night before I came here she pounced on me 'cause I'd been with you all day. Said you reminded her of a boy she dated and how he was bad news and ruined her life. I'm not supposed to talk to you any more. Whoops sorry Moms :D But, like get real. I'm nothing like her, and she's never met you so how can she even think you're anything like that Almeric dude?
  • 24. But anyway, classes have started, and man I thought my high school teachers were bad. My history professor is so dry he should be in Strangetown. The drama coach is the worst though, I can already tell that the only A's are going to go to the guys in the class. She's such a ho! She kept pulling this one guy up to run lines with her. She looked so dumb trying be Juliet at her age, she's ancient, at least thirty. The only class I really like is my Global Econ class. Did you know that right nows the time to invest in Far Eastern Science and Technology companies? There's some institute in Takemizu that's spawning a boom over there. Wish I had money to invest. Someday :) How are you?!?! Do you like your dorm? When do you move into the Greek House? What's your schedule like, any 8 am classes? HaHa! Okay gotta run, need to sign up for rush. Write back soon. Miss You! Ann (I'm an adult now I should be called Ann right? But it's boring) ANNIE
  • 25. Dear Ann(ie), I don't think I can picture you as an Ann, you'll always be Annie to me. I hope that's OK :) Greetings from FSU! I think I'm finally settling into dorm living. I can already tell that I'm going to get sick of Mac and Cheese very quickly. Especially since the cook here can't even seem to make that without burning it. Luckily I can pretty much get pizza anytime, just by going over to the Greek House. I won't be able to move in there until next year sometime, but I'm already a full member so I can eat all the pizza I want. Dorm living is a bit weird though, I wonder if some of the people here ever sleep. I'm going to have to learn to sleep through other people's stereos, they're on constantly. So far my classes haven't been too bad, way more homework than I expected though. I think my reading list is a mile long! Thanks for the tip on Far East markets, I'll tell my Grandpa. I've heard about that institute, my cousin Emilia is hoping to do a study abroad there.
  • 26. Don't worry about try-outs I know you're gonna rock it. How could you not? You being as awesome as you are? :D Let me know how they turn out as soon as you hear okay? I'll keep my fingers crossed. What Greek House are you Rushing, have you met any of the girls yet? Hey, about what your Mom said. Did she tell you the last name of that guy she dated? Was it Davis? 'Cause my Uncle's name was Almeric. You know the Uncle I told you about, the one that took me to Three Lakes? Wouldn't that be weird if she knew him? I do look like him, but I'm nothing like him. At least, I don't think I am. And I'm not going to ruin your life, you already know I'm bad news ;D Gotta head to class, talk to you later! Take care, Frank (If you're Ann I must be Frank) ~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 27. “Ethan fell asleep as soon as he hit the mattress, Ethel wanted to stay up and play with Grandma. That girl insisted that I leave the child with her.” “That girl has a name Jules. When are you going to let up on Deanna?” “Whatever do you mean? I'm perfectly polite to her.” “No, you're as rude as you can be; without being outwardly insulting. It's been twenty years Jules, why can't you accept that Elliot made a good choice?”
  • 28. “Oh, I accepted that a long time ago David. But, when I did I also realized something else. One of the reasons that Elliot and Deanna are so in tune with each other is due to their shared belief that they have to prove themselves to me. Any faltering would have been an admission that I was right. By continuing to oppose me they've remained strongly united.” “So you continue to snip at Deanna in an effort to preserve their marriage? Jules, their marriage has never been in need of outside assistance. You only need to look at them in order to see how happy they make each other.” “Perhaps, but it's ingrained at this point, I don't believe I'd be able to stop if I wanted to. Besides, my snipping at Deanna has very little bite these days, it's a habit for both of us. We get along well enough.”
  • 29. “I'm sure you think you do. But Jules, don't you think you should make your peace with them before it's too late? I don't know about you, but I don't have the will to hold many grudges at this point. Those things that seemed so huge when I was younger no longer seem to be important. Everything that happened in my life has added to the balance, and looking back it was a very good life. How I can regret or begrudge the low points? They only made the heights better.” “David” “I never thanked you for Elliot. You did a spectacular job of raising my son, and I'm very proud of the man he's become. He and his family are a part of those heights. Thank you for them.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 30. It was to be the event of the season. The only child of Robert and Juliet McAuley, was getting married. Diana and Eureka would have been happy with a quick vow exchange in front of their immediate families. However, bowing to parental pressure they'd endured the months of planning, the mile long guest list and the wedding party that pulled almost every known relative into service. ----------------------- Diana McAuley is the daughter of Juliet Capp and her husband Robert. Diana is Elliot Capp's half sister and Aunt to the six Capp children (Zeke, Ezra, Evette, Evonne, Ethan and Ethel), all of whom were a part of the wedding party. Eureka Familiar is the son of Dryas and Talin Familiar. Included in the wedding party were his sister Encore, his first cousins Elijah and Elisha Familiar (children of Dov and Elle), Electra and Eden Dreamer (daughters of Draco and Danya) and Everett Familiar (son of Delilah Familiar and Donovan London). Also included in the ceremony was Eureka's best friend Blade Familiar-Tricou, son of Bob and Sierra, who had recently married Gvaudoin Tricou.
  • 31. The wedding was held at the Lost in Love wedding venue in downtown SimCity. The ceremony went smoothly, no rings were dropped no names mispronounced No babies cried and no fights broke out in the back row. The bride was lovely and the groom was nervous just as they were supposed to be.
  • 32. Once the ceremony itself was done with and everyone was allowed to relax, the real fun could begin. The reception, as Egeus had assured 'Zeke was really just a big party. There was dancing, and food, and cake and lots of catching up with friends and family.
  • 33. But really a party, just isn't a party, unless there's at least one argument. Evonne Capp just didn't like Everett Familiar. There were no ifs ands or buts about it. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Rett was paying more attention to her sister than to her. Not at all. What did Vonny need with a boy like him? She had Enrique and multiple others. Of course, none of them were at her Aunt's wedding. Evonne and Evette had expected to spend most of the reception with their younger siblings.
  • 34. However, the youngest Capp twins didn't need attention from their sisters. They were perfectly entertained by Juliet and Robert. Elliot and his wife could dance the day away without a concern for their youngest. Not that Evonne would ever admit that she would prefer babysitting over anything.
  • 35. But, if it came to being a toss up between babysitting and watching her sister PDA with a jerkface; Evonne would choose babysitting. The only reason Evette gave him the time of day was because he looked almost exactly like Ewan, the two boys were first cousins. To bad Rett was nothing like his cousin, not that Ewan had been worth Vetty mooning over, but he'd basically been a nice guy for all his being blind to Vetty's languish. Evonne didn't think Rett really like Vetty, he was just bored and wanted a distraction. Evonne wished she hadn't promised not to cause a scene. Well, Vetty would figure it out sooner or later. Evonne hoped it would be sooner, so that she could show Rett just why you shouldn't mess with a Capp. Especially not with her twin. Never had Evonne been so eager and willing to leave a party, as soon as the toddlers got fussy she was pulling Evette to the car and loading everyone in. Their parents were staying in town for dinner with Aunt Elle, they'd be at the reception for a bit longer. ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 36. “Well sure, since we're already in the city we might as well stay and party. I've heard about the Factory but I've never been what's it like Elijah?” “It's a pretty interesting place, they turned an run down building on the South Side into a huge club. Too bad there's no band tonight, it really gets hopping when there's a band on stage.” “Uh hmm, don't you want to ask me if I want to clubbing?” asked Encore Familiar, Zeke Capp's date. “You don't want to go?” Zeke looked devastated “She wants to be asked.” Elijah answered, “Way to keep him on his toes Corey. That way when he goes on a real date he'll know what to expect.”
  • 37. Confusion crossed Encore's face as she narrowed her eyes. “We'll let you know Elijah, come on Zeke, we need to talk.” “What's this I hear about a club? Where are we going?” Elisha asked the gathered group. “We're going to The Factory, you're going home with Mom and Dad.” Replied her brother.
  • 38. “Mom and Dad are going out to dinner with Uncle Eli and Aunt De.” “Well then I'll just put you in a cab so you can get home to the dorm.” “Why would I want to spend money on a cab when you have a car here and will have to drive right by my dorm to get to the Greek House? “Because I don't want to spend the evening watching out for you, I want to have fun.”
  • 39. “Watch out for me? I can take care of myself Elijah. I don't need a guardian.” “Then you can take care of yourself right back to the dorm.” “But, I want to go clubbing with you guys. I've never been to a night club before.” “And if it's up to me you never will.” “It's not up to you Elijah, I can make my own decisions. I'll just ask Ezra where we're going and I'll find it myself.” Elisha stomped off, with Elijah hot on her heels.
  • 40. “If you don't want to drive me fine, I'll take a cab to the club. It's a free world Elijah, you don't rule it.” “What's that I hear? Oh it's the sound of our children arguing, I thought we'd never hear such joyous noise again.” Dov laughed as he and Elle danced by. “Dad, Elijah's being mean.” “That doesn't work anymore 'Lisha, we're adults, Dad can't force me to drag you along.” “Exactly Elijah! WE'RE adults, we can do what we want. You don't have to drag me along, and I don't have to listen to you.”
  • 41. “Elijah wanted to know if we wanted to go out to this club after the reception. It sounds like it'd be fun, if you wanna go. It's a bar though, we don't have to go, we can go get coffee or something.” “Contrary to popular belief, I don't normally have a problem with drinking or bars. And I like to dance, a club sounds like fun.” “Are you sure.” “Your shoes are safe Ezra.” “Okay great! Before we leave, Grandma wants to meet you.” “Can I have a drink first?”
  • 42. “What did Elijah mean back there?” “I think he wanted us to go dancing at a club. It sounds like a blast, you want to go don't you.” “Yeah I guess so,, but I meant what did he mean by 'real date'. Why wouldn't this be a real date 'Zeke?” “Oh, well I told Elijah I'd never been on a real date before and he told me I should ask out a friend. That going out with a friend first would make it easier.” “So I'm a friend?”
  • 43. “Well sure, we're friends right? Aren't we?” “Yeah we're friends 'Zeke. I just thought maybe you wanted to be more than friends, sorry if I misunderstood.” A light went on in 'Zeke's brain. “Oh, hey you didn't misunderstand. Elijah was right it was easier asking you out because you are my friend. Corey, there's plenty of people I might have asked out if I just wanted hang with a friend. But I wanted a date, so I asked you. 'Cause you're the friend I most wanted to date.”
  • 44. “I said yes for the same reason, so that's good I guess.” “Yeah, that's good.” “The Factory sounds like fun. You still wanna go?” “I don't know, I'd like to but I'm trying to figure out the rules.” “What rules?” “The dating rules, like how I'm supposed to ask you if you want to go clubbing. And how since it's our first date, I'm supposed to wait till the end of the date before I try to kiss you.”
  • 45. “I don't want to break any rules, but if we go clubbing then I'll have to wait even longer.” “Rules are made to be broken. Be a rebel Zeke.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 46. “Absolutely lovely wedding Diana, it must have taken ages to set everything up.” “You wouldn't believe it if I told you. The worst thing about it was all the travel time. We kept having to come into the city to make our selections, have fittings, pick out patterns. And it wasn't as if you can just go to one place, there was the bridal shop, the bakery, the florists, jewelers, and that's just for the wedding and reception. I'm so glad it's over and all that's left is the honeymoon. Just don't get me started on travel agents.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 47. It's always a bit nerve wracking to meet the family of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Ezra and Elsie hadn't been dating very long. They hadn't even defined for themselves where their relationship was heading, though they each had thoughts on the matter. It wasn't very fair of Ezra to put her through the scrutiny of a family event, at this point. It wasn't as she were a stranger. Having grown up together, Elsie had been a guest at the Capp house quite often. However, as a child and later as a teen, Elsie had just been one more face in the pack that overflowed Elliot and Deanna's home on any given afternoon. This was the first time they were viewing her as someone special in life of one of their children.
  • 48. Elliot and Deanna, having experienced parental pressure over their own relationship, were determined to be accepting of anyone that their children showed interest in. Not that Elsie would have caused them any reason to complain, she was a wonderful young lady. Just the type of girl Ezra needed to keep him focused and looking forward. Ezra could be a dreamer, and Elsie would keep him planted in reality. However, in addition to meeting his parents, Elsie had to experience an interview with his prickly Grandmother. Juliet barraged the young woman with a round of questions about her family, her friends, her college studies and her career plans for the future. It didn't matter that Juliet had known the girl since she was an infant, that she played bridge several times a month with Elsie's grandmother, or that she'd entertained Elsie's parents numerous times when Robert and Dirk had worked together at the lab. Her Grandson's future was at stake.
  • 49. “Did you have to give her the third degree Momma?” Elliot asked his mother exasperatedly, as Ezra led a stunned Elsie away from his parents and grandparents. “I merely asked the child a few questions. For my own peace of mind I needed to be certain of her strength of character. Ezra's a dear boy but tends to be flighty, like his mother, and like his mother he needs someone with fortitude to keep him in line.” “Deanna's not flighty, Mother.” Elliot began preparing himself to defend his wife yet again to his mother.
  • 50. “Not now she's not, she settled in nicely once she found her backbone. But, the Indies have always had a capricious streak. Why, just look at her father; since his wife died he's been tom catting around spending time with all the widows. Laura kept him in line just like you do Deanna. It's like I've always said the two of you balance each other out, that's why you're perfect for each other.” For the rest of the reception, Elliot Capp sat in stunned silence. ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 51. Darling Daughter, I was thrilled to get your email with the picture of you in uniform. You look so cute in your black and reds. I'm so excited for you, Annie! You're going to have the time of your life being a cheerleader. You'll get to see so many exciting places and meet so many interesting people! I hope that you take advantage of every opportunity and revel in every new experience. Your classes sound exciting as well. I know that you're worried about keeping up with the classwork while being on the squad and traveling with the team but I have every faith in your ability. You've always been a hard worker, and I know that you'll excel in whatever you set your mind to do. The Greek House sounds like fun! Back in my day Urele-Oresha-Cham was a guys Frat. Times sure do change. The girls sound so nice, I'm sure that you'll soon be best of friends with them all.
  • 52. In your email you asked me about Almeric. Yes, his last name was Davis, and he had a brother named Aldric. While I was saddened when I learned of Almeric's death, it seemed fitting that he'd follow his mother to the grave. She always had too much influence over him, she was the reason. Well anyway, she wasn't a very nice person. It's nice to hear that Aldric and his family are doing well. I always liked him. I know her family by reputation; they are fairly prominent, as legacy families tend to be. I'm sure that Ricky resented his brother for getting what he wanted, the legacy heiress. As the eldest son and heir to the legacy, your friend Frankie has a lot to live up to. Can I say that I'm relieved to know he's a legacy heir? When I saw the two of you together I admit to being worried that history was repeating itself. But, if he is the heir then you must know his future is planned. Has he confided to you which townie has been arranged for him to marry? Listen to me asking for gossip and rambling on. I can see you rolling your eyes and thinking 'I wish she would shut up.' So I will. Remember always how proud I am of you. Moms ~-~-~-~
  • 53. When Elani danced at the studio Erasmus often found himself making up excuses to watch. He loved to see her dance, had for as long as he could remember. When they were kids, 'Ras would drag Egeus to Elani's recitals. They'd sit in the back and sneak out before the lights came up cause boys weren't supposed to want to watch ballet. Recitals were something you were forced to watch cause a little sister or a cousin was dancing. 'Ras had even tried to convince Aunt Dorme to enroll Emilia in lessons so he'd have an excuse to be there. Emilia hadn't been willing to play along, performing in public was never her thing.
  • 54. When Erasmus began sporadically dating Elani in high school, he began picking her up from lessons; getting there early and sitting in a corner. By then it had been more acceptable to be interested in dancers, if not dancing. The tight fitting leotards that showed off every muscle and curve was enough of an excuse. “Dance with me 'Ras?” “You know I can't dance like that.”
  • 55. “With all the time you've spent hanging out in dance studios, one might think you would have learned to dance.” “I dance.” “You sway, occasionally you swing an arm or pick up a foot. That's not dancing. You need to learn some new moves.”
  • 56. “Oh, I know plenty of moves. Should I show them to you?” “I've seen your moves 'Ras.” “And I never heard any complaints. If you think I'm getting stale, maybe you could give me lessons.”
  • 57. “Dance with me Elani” “Not here.” “Why not?” “'Ras there are people right outside. And there are windows.” “Then let's leave.” “Wait for me, I'll get dressed.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 58. Emilia had been curious about Stella Terrano since their first encounter at the lab. Since that initial, perplexing, meeting Emilia had attempted to initiate numerous conversations. Conversations she hoped would be held in Similish. But, while Stella was rarely downright rude, she perpetuated an air of disinterest in any conversation Emilia tried to start. The only time she'd gotten close to drawing Stella out was when she asked a question regarding a shared lab assignment. That time Stella had patiently explained her method of observation and the results drawn from them. So patiently, that Emilia knew Stella believed her lacking in intelligence for asking. Emilia wanted to find out more about the other girl, but she wasn't willing to have her intellect questioned in the process. When Emilia had seen Stella at the quad drinking coffee she felt it would be the perfect opportunity to have a casual conversation.
  • 59. It was exceedingly difficult to have a one sided conversation. Emilia wasn't much of a talker, she preferred to listen and observe. Much like Stella seemed to do. Did she come across to others the way Stella came across to her? Emilia hoped not, but it was something to consider in the future. Emilia sighed, she'd exhausted all the normal small talk topics with little to no response. Stella didn't seem interested in the unseasonably warm weather, the football teams lack of wins, or the basketball teams upcoming season. Maybe she was taking the wrong approach. Maybe she should forget the small talk and just dive right in. “You're a full alien aren't you? At first I thought you were a partial, like the rest of us but I don't think you are. I've read everything I can get my hands on regarding our kind, records of the documented abductions and conceptions. You have too many traits to be anything less than a half and if there had been an abduction it would have been documented. They've always been careful to document abductions and since the discovery of CIGAM they are more so. ”
  • 60. “Your people are aware of CIGAM? I had not been informed that the enclave had been penetrated.” For the first time in their acquaintance Stella was animated. “How would you be informed of something like that?” “The beacons that were left at the enclave would have notified the mothership. The knowledge should have been assimilated. It is something we have long hoped for, the first sign of the return.” “The return?” Suddenly Emilia was apprehensive, maybe she shouldn't have mentioned CIGAM so casually. “The return of the power, the return of our people to the surface.” “Why can't you return now?”
  • 61. “Until the power has been restored it is not advantageous to do so. Without access to a power source many would not survive the transfer.” “But you're here, you survived.” “I am not yet matured. The transfer was;” Stella shivered with the memory, “difficult. It was not certain I would survive.” “Then why were you sent?” “I was volunteered by my elder to test the process. It was a part of my punishment.” “Punishment? What did you do?” “I have survived, the incident is forgotten. It is not to be spoken of.”
  • 62. What could Stella have done that would have warranted a punishment of death? What type of people were the aliens if they treated their young that way? For the first time that Emilia could remember she was apprehensive about her heritage. Emilia wanted to find out more but was afraid that she'd already said too much. She needed to talk to her Great-Great-Grandfather, Bob, before she revealed anything else about CIGAM. But maybe she could induce Stella to talk without having to reveal anything. “You should stop by the house sometime, I know the guys would love to meet you. You could come over and hang out if wanted to, it'd be . . .fun.” Stella tilted her head, “Fun? Perhaps.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 63. “So I was just thinking, like why haven't we hooked up?” Roxie Sharpe grinned wolfishly at Erasmus. “We should have been burning up the sheets a long time ago.” “That's a very good question, perhaps we should look into rectifying the situation.” “I have some time now.” “I'm occupied tonight, but you should give me a call.” “That sounds like a brush off. If you're not interested. . .”
  • 64. “Oh I'm interested, I just have a prior engagement. You understand, I wouldn't want to disappoint.” “I've heard that about you. In fact I've heard.” “Hang on okay. Lani?!?”
  • 65. “Hey Lani! What's up, where are you going?” “Home 'Ras, I'm going home.” “Sounds good.” “Alone.” “What, 'Lani what's wrong?” Erasmus reached for Elani's arm to stop her.
  • 66. Elani turned around. “Don't touch me 'Ras. I don't want you to touch me. I don't ever want you to touch me again. ” “What the hell? Elani what's going on? What happened? Why are you acting like this? I don't understand, what did I do?.”
  • 67. “I don't understand either Erasmus, I don't understand how you can switch gears in a blink. Five minutes 'Ras. It took me five minutes to change clothes and you'd already forgotten about me and moved on.” “I didn't forget anything, I was waiting for you.” “And you just got distracted? Can't resist a shiny can you, not even for five minutes.”
  • 68. “What? You mean Roxie? She hit, I hit back. Reflex. It doesn't mean anything, you know that.” “Do I? How do I know that? How do I know that I'm not just the shiny that's distracting you for a moment?” “You're jealous.” Erasmus was inordinately pleased by that thought. “Jealous? Hell 'Ras, I got past being jealous in high school! I'm not delusional, we aren't ever going to be exclusive. Neither of us are built that way.”
  • 69. “Then what is it? What do you want 'Lani? I'll give you anything you want.” Elani shook her head. “I need to know that when I'm with you it's because you want me. That it's not just because I'm handy.” “I always want you, Elani.” “Not my body 'Ras, ME.” “I love you Elani.”
  • 70. “That doesn't make me special Erasmus.” Elani shook her head. “You love everyone.” 'Ras felt as if he'd been punched in the gut. That Elani didn't understand the distinction was more painful than anything Erasmus had ever experienced. As Elani turned to walk away he sputtered “But . . . Elani.” “Don't say it 'Ras, don't say anything. Just leave me alone.”
  • 71. “It looks like your plans fell through. So are we on?” “Sorry, not tonight. I'm not in the mood.” Shockingly it was true, Erasmus Goth just wasn't interested. ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 72. The night was not going the way Elijah had imagined. He wasn't sure what he'd expected, but this wasn't it. It wasn't that anything had gone wrong. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, except him. He'd blame it on his sister if he could, she shouldn't even be here, but she'd run into friends from school soon after they got to the club and had spent most of the night with them. The one guy she'd danced with hadn't been much of a problem to warn off, one scowl and he'd run. Somehow Elisha had known he was responsible for the desertion. She'd been pointedly ignoring him all night. Sometimes it wasn't worth helping people. They were never grateful.
  • 73. The evening had started out well enough. Hanging out at the main bar with the twins, watching the scene, listening to the pick up band. Then Corey and Elsie had come back from powdering their noses and the guys had deserted him to dance with their dates.
  • 74. Why hadn't he brought a date? Oh yeah, because he didn't currently have any particular girl he was interested enough in to invest the time and money on an actual date. He could have invited any number of girls to the wedding and to hang out afterward; just for fun, no strings attached. Like 'Zeke and Corey, they'd survived the family scrutiny at the wedding and seemed to be having a great time now. Elijah scanned the crowd below maybe there was someone down there he could dance with, exchange inanities with and salvage the evening. “You owe me dinner.” Came a voice from beside him.
  • 75. Great just what he needed tonight. “And you owe me an apology I'm guessing neither of us are going to get what we think we're due. Such is life.” “Generally I enjoy goading a cynic into full fledged depression, however tonight I feel like proving one wrong so I will apologize. Do you want the explanation of the horrible day I'd had that led me to bitchiness or will a general apology do?”
  • 76. “Well that would depend on how good the explanation story is. If it's just a matter of a bad hair day and a chipped nail, then no thanks.” “Not quite that mundane, but overall not very exciting. Primarily a case of office politics, the promotion I was expected was handed to the new girl in the office with family connections.” “Nepotism of the worst kind? Don't tell me she's the bosses daughter, never worked a day in her life, spends all day on personal phone calls that is when she shows up at all?”
  • 77. “See if that was the case, I'd be justified in being upset. Unfortunately Gvaudion was eminently qualified, worked overtime on a regular basis, and is danged nice to boot. She just happens to be married to the son of a major client.” “You work for Uncle Bob?” “Uncle Bob?” “Gvaudion isn't a very common name, and the only one I know recently married Bob's son Blade.” “So I'm complaining about the wife of a cousin of yours? Great.”
  • 78. “She's not a close relative, it's a complicated. How much do you know about your client? About Bob?” “Never met him, never even talked to him on the phone. All communication goes through Gvaudion. Is he a recluse or something?” “He's something. Not a recluse, he just keeps odd hours. Not surprising you've never seen him during regular business hours. What do you do? Do you work for his accountants or something?” “Not quite. I work for FactFinders Investigations. Most of what we do is as boring as accounting, doing computer searches for information and compiling reports. Occasionally we get something interesting, such as your Uncle.”
  • 79. “You're a private investigator? Like Holmes and Marlowe? Cloak and dagger whodunnits? That's incredibly sexy.” “I prefer Nancy Drew, and it's actually not very sexy at all. Very few whodunnits, deadbeat dads and occasionally warrant serving. I got into it because I thought it would be good background for investigative reporting. But like I said ninety percent of what I do is sit behind my computer doing web searches. This thing your Uncle has us doing is at least interesting. Forcing me to be a lot more sociable than normal. Even though we keep running into each other in clubs, I generally don't spend much time in them. That other time I was, I don't know, drowning my sorrows hoping for a distraction. Tonight I'm working.” “Working?”
  • 80. Patrica turned around and scanned the crowd on the lower levels. “See that guy over there playing pool? The one with the really pale skin? He's the one I'm watching.” “The Vamp? Uncle Bob has you following Vampires? Why the hell would he have you do that? Vampires can be dangerous. No one knows that better than he.” “I can handle myself, and I'm not following him. At this point, we're just scouting locations trying to get a feel for the vampire activity in the city. We don't have any contact, we just hang in public and notate any vampires we happen to see out and about. Gvaudion is adamant about not making contact. That one doesn't look dangerous, but she says you can't tell.” “Most aren't, but better safe. I wonder why Bob's interested in the Rogues.” “Rogues?”
  • 81. “Yeah, well Bob's definition of a Rogue would be any vampire that has joined the UA. Who knows if that guy even knows what the UA is. That's probably what this is about, Bob's looking for recruits. I'm just surprised he's not doing it himself.” “Why would he want vampires as recruits?” “Cause he's a vampire. He's pretty normal for a vampire I guess,” Elijah shrugged “he's just Uncle Bob. Oh hell, what's she doing?” “What? Who?” “My sister, dammit 'Lisha don't talk to the vampire! THIS! THIS is why I didn't want to bring her here.”
  • 82. “Heh, he just looked at his arm, I think she asked him for the time.” “Doesn't matter, he's male. Any contact is an indication of interest. Now, I gotta go warn him off. Tangling with vampires,” Elijah shook his head. “The things I do to protect my sister's virtue.” “Why does it need protecting? She looks like she can handle herself.” “You don't know 'Lisha, she's.. she's way too nice for her own good. Rescues frogs from the science lab, helps old ladies across the street and slips money to sleeping homeless. She's also an annoying brat that's always in getting into my business, and couldn't keep a secret if you stapled her lips together.” “Well she's heading downstairs now, and the vamp seems more interested in his pool game than ripping her bodice. I think she's safe.”
  • 83. “Looks like my group's getting ready to leave. I'd better go join them, make sure she gets back to the dorm safe.” Elijah turned back around, stealing a look at Patricia while he did. “I still owe you dinner. How about giving me your number so we can set that up? Some night when you're not working.” “We could go get coffee, clear up that debt.” “Is that a euphemism?” “In your dreams. It's coffee and conversation, you can tell me more about my client. Your Uncle Bob sounds like an interesting individual.” “He's eminently interesting. I suppose I could trust Elisha to our cousins.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 84. “Are you going to leave this room anytime in the near future?” “Eventually.” “Wanna tell me what's going on sis? You've been in here all day.” Emily tried to smile, “Normally that wouldn't worry me but you've been in here alone.” “I really don't want to talk about it.”
  • 85. “If you and 'Ras had a fight.” “Why does it have to have anything to do with Erasmus?” “I dunno maybe because he's been calling every fifteen minutes? Or because he spent over an hour tonight pounding on your door and that when you wouldn't open it he completely ignored Erika's offer to pinch hit for you?” When her sister didn't respond, Emily continued quietly. “Maybe because Euclid's as worried about 'Ras as I am about you? Euc says Ege poured Erasmus into bed an hour ago, they found him in the park across from the Greek House laying in the grass stargazing. Said he'd name a star 'Lani.” “Typical Erasmus, seeking a grand gesture.”
  • 86. “What's going on Sis?” “You wouldn't understand. Family and romance are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to relationship views.” “Just because we have different views doesn't mean that we can't understand each other. We're sisters, I understand you.” “Have you ever cheated on Euclid?” Elani glanced at Emily from the corner of her eye. Instead of the quick denial she'd expected she saw Emily duck her head. “Define cheating.” Emily bit her lip, she'd finally managed to shock her sister. “If you participate in an action physically, but remain detached emotionally is it really cheating?” Elani closed her book. “Who did you bang?”
  • 87. Emily winced. “It didn't get that far. You know how Euc gets during the season, he's all focused on improving his game. He's always practicing with the guys or working out in the gym.” “Ignoring you.” “Not really, it's just that well,” Emily blushed. “He's always trying to find things that will give him the edge he wants. Power drinks, isometric workouts, yoga, ballet, anything. Well, he read where some of the superstars claim abstinence keeps them at the top of their game. So, he swore off sex for the season.” “The whole season? How long is the basketball season?” “Too long.” Emily rolled over giggling, “It's not that I'm a maniac or anything. But well, you get used to regular tune ups. I broke down before he did, decided maybe I should go see a different mechanic. It didn't work, I couldn't go through with it.”
  • 88. “Proves once again how different Euclid and his brother are. I doubt 'Ras could go a week, let alone a whole basketball season.” “Only half a season. By mid-season he was so frustrated and grumpy, that he couldn't stay focused on playing. That's when the team went through that loosing streak. I decided that as a cheerleader, I should give my best in support of the team.” Emily laughed, “So I jumped him. His game performance improved dramatically after that.” “I'll bet it did. And I bet that even thinking about finding a different mechanic made you feel as if you cheated on Euclid, didn't it? And that's the reason why you wouldn't understand. I don't know if I even understand.” “Sometimes if you talk something through with someone, you understand it better yourself.”
  • 89. “Okay, see for you there's only one mechanic that will do. Me well, let's just say, I like to shop around. Every mechanic provides a little bit different service, and there's nothing like having a new pair of hands under the hood.” “You're going to milk that analogy for as long as possible aren't you?” “You started it, I'm just trying to preserve your delicate sensibilities.” “At the risk of my sensibilities I'll put an end to it. You sleep around and you're okay with admitting it. But, what does that have to do with Erasmus? Other than the fact that he does the same thing, and for some unfathomable reason, it doesn't seem to bother either of you.” Looking at her sister, Emily questioned her own statement. “Or does it?”
  • 90. “That's the one hundred thousand simoleon question isn't it? With the majority of guys, it's short term. We go a couple of rounds and then it's over. Most of the time it's friendly, everyone knows that it won't last so we make the most of it.” Elani sighed. “Occasionally, there's a guy that's out to conquer, that thinks he's going to be the one to make me take the fall. When it doesn't work out the way they planned they aren't always nice about having been dismissed.' Elani continued 'With 'Ras it's different. There's nothing short term about us. I was the first person he kissed, and mine was the first heart he bruised. Bruised, not broke. Maybe it would have been better if he'd broken it. I would have gotten over him and moved on. Instead he's still able to leave bruises.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 91. “How's the hangover?” “Don't yell.” Erasmus winced and lowered his own voice to a horse whisper. “And please stop walking so loudly. The reverberations are playing a tango on my brain.” “Ahh apparently it's still lethal. I guess telling you it's your own fault would be unsympathetic, but man what were you thinking?” “I was trying not to think.” “Didn't work did it? You were thinking pretty hard when we scooped you up last night. Why do you want to name a star after Elani?”
  • 92. “Did I say that? I don't remember,” 'Ras lifted his head, “hey maybe it would work. Gotta do something. Gotta fix it. I can't have Elani mad at me.” “Why's she mad?” “Man, I wish I knew.” “Did you ask her?” “Sure, and she sucker punched me. She doesn't understand, she just doesn't get it. She's not like the rest of 'em she's special. She should know that right? Why doesn't she know it?” “Have you told her?” “Sure I have, haven't I?”
  • 93. “See personally, when I want to go for the grand gesture I go all the way.” Egeus tossed a box at Erasmus. “What do you think? Does it get the point across?” “I don't know what to say Ege. You know I love you man, but this is completely unexpected.” Erasmus gave a smile, “kidding. It's a great ring. You're really gonna do it?” “'Course I am. I love him, he loves me. Giving ostentatious finger adornments is a time honored way of displaying our commitment to each other and our planned future together.” Egeus grinned, “and with the way it shines, it's almost like a star in a box.” Erasmus handed the box back to Egeus, “Don't start with that Ege, Elani's not looking for marriage any more than I am.”
  • 94. “You're probably right about that” Egeus sat down next to his friend. He was in an tough position; between two friends, each of who had confided in him at various times. “What's the best thing about your relationship with Elani?” “She's great in bed.” Egeus rolled his eyes. “If that's the only thing that matters to you. You deserve to lose her.” “You said best, it's not the only thing it's just what popped into my mind first. Give me a break Ege I have a hangover from hell. It's hard to think quickly in my condition.” “I wouldn't have thought that you'd have to think about it. If someone were to ask you why you're friends with me would you have to think about it?”
  • 95. “Well no, but that's. . .” Erasmus stopped. “Cause you've known me for so long and we've been friends forever?” Egeus finished the thought for Erasmus. “Just like you and Elani? I think that you've forgotten that you and 'Lani are friends. When was the last time you spent time with her and didn't end up in bed?” “Well . . .” Erasmus thought about it. “Don't answer that, it was rhetorical and I really don't want to know. 'Ras, 'Lani's special to you because you know each other so well and because you're so much alike. Treat her like a friend rather than just another conquest.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 96. “Isn't it a bit early in the day to be tapping away at that thing? You surely aren't working on your term paper.” “Just sending Annie an email, I haven't heard from her for awhile. Kinda worried about her, I hope everything's okay.” “Oh.” Elisha sat her plate down. “I guess I should have figured it had something to do with her. Well, I hope she answers you. You shouldn't have to be worried about her. But I had hoped you'd be over her by now.” ”Lish, I keep telling you there's nothing for me to get over. I'm concerned because a friend has been out of contact. If you were out of contact I'd be worried about you.”
  • 97. “And so you should. But Frank, you haven't dated anyone since we got here. I would have thought you'd be more anxious to date. Especially, if you aren't hung up over some girl, at a different school, that you can't have a future with no matter what.” “Yeah well, it's not as easy as all that. I have looked around, and I have met a few potentials, once I've gotten to know them a little better, I'll ask someone out.” Frankie shot her a sly grin. “It's not as if the girls I have to choose from are the ones I've known all my life. Not like somebody else at this table that hasn't been on a date since she got to Uni either. What's your excuse?” Elisha growled, “My brother. Grr he must have some freaky radar that alerts him any time some guy is about to ask me out. Elijah shows up cracks his knuckles and glares and they take off.”
  • 98. “Maybe that's not such a bad thing.” “How can you say that! Dear Wright Frankie! How would you like it if someone kept interfering in your love life?” “What I mean is, if some guy doesn't want you enough to stand up to Elijah. Well then, he doesn't deserve you. Elijah's doing you a favor.” “Doesn't feel like much of a favor.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 99. “Thanks for the meal, it's amazing how good real food tastes after a being on a diet of spaghetti and chili for awhile. “ “Or pizza, never thought I'd get sick of pizza. The steak was amazing though, hey wanna get some coffee? There's a barista on the deck.” “On the deck? You may not have noticed but it started snowing while we were eating.” “They say the views amazing, snow will just add to the effect. I'm sure we can figure out some way to keep warm, if the coffee isn't enough.”
  • 100. “I think you need to check your sources Ege, the beautiful view you were told about is an alley. Although, the wino urinating on the dumpster does add to the ambiance.” Putting his arm around Frances' shoulder to turn him the proper direction, Egeus replied “Is the view in this direction more pleasing?” Frances sucked in his breath, “Egeus, that's the most extravagantly silly thing you've ever done. Never again do I want you to spend money on an ostentatious display of affection that can't be translated into a future heirloom for our family.”
  • 101. “You said our family. Does that mean yes?” “Of course it means yes. I love you and all the extravagantly silly things you do.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 102. “You bought a billboard? You didn't tell me you were buying a billboard, you just showed me the ring.” Erasmus razzed his buddy the next evening, when Egeus replayed the scenario for his friends. “He deserved to know about it before anyone else did. It was a surprise, and a very good surprise if I do say so myself.” “Is the billboard still up? Hey Euc, maybe we can drive by there when we out to dinner with Mom and Dad tomorrow Take some pictures for Grandma's scrapbook and future blackmail diary. We'll tell her to put it right next to the ones of Elijah naked on the rug.” “I was an baby.” Elijah said as he got up from the table. “You were naked. On a rug.”
  • 103. “I think it was sweet,” said Ezra. “Kinda steals your thunder though, don't it Euc? Proposing at dinner in front of both families tomorrow, won't be quite as showy. Do you think Emily will be let down?” Euclid winced and prepared for what he knew was about to come. “What?!?!” There were exclamations from around the table. Euclid sighed, he shoulda known. You could never tell Ezra anything you want kept secret. After the that's great's and why didn't you say anything had been said Euclid replied, “Thanks Ezra. Emily won't be let down, she knows already. We didn't tell anyone cause we wanted to surprise people, everyone knows we're gonna get married. We're just making it official. Only reason why big mouth here knew is that he saw the ring.”
  • 104. “Wait he said both families? Emily's folks are going to be there too? Elani too?” “Yeah, look I know you two are having issues, but please don't make a scene tomorrow. It's not Emily's fault that you two aren't getting along. Don't ruin it for her 'Ras.” “Hey, I'm not the one avoiding me. I think it's great! Elani can't refuse to talk to me if we're being forced together at dinner. Thanks Euc.” “I'm just trying to help you out, bro.” Euclid said as he rolled his eyes.
  • 105. “So what did I miss?” asked Emilia as she slipped into a chair. Night classes had kept she and Zeke from the confab. “Not much, just engagement announcements, secrets being spilled, drama unfolding. The usual,” replied Elijah. “Euclid and Emily are getting engaged too? That's great.” She already knew about her brother, she'd been up when he and Frances had slipped into the house late the night before. “What's the drama?” “Just Euclid praying his engagement dinner doesn't become a 'Ras and 'Lani show down of massive proportions. One that will outshine the special memory of the evening. But then again, you know 'Ras if you want to make sure everyone remembers it that would do it.” “There won't be a show down, I just want to talk to her. No scenes, I promise.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
  • 106. It was the most uncomfortable meal Elani had ever experienced. Unlike Erasmus she hadn't been pre-warned that they would be dining together. When she got her sister alone she was going to kill her. Elani spent the first half of the evening feeling as if everyone was staring at her. She knew Erasmus was, every time she looked his way he was watching her. He kept trying to talk to her, but there was no way she could do so here. Not with everyone watching.
  • 107. Not with her father sitting there glaring daggers into Erasmus. It didn't help things that every five minutes her father kept asking her if everything was alright, if she was okay. Somehow her parents always seemed to know when something was wrong in her world. Elani figured that it was his right to worry about her. It was nice to know that he always would. Not that she could confide in him over this. Her father hadn't ever been happy with her attachment to Erasmus. Not that any father is ever happy to know that their daughter is sleeping with any male. But when it's widely know that the two involved aren't considering a permanent attachment it's worse.
  • 108. It was different for Emily. Euclid was so obviously in love with her that their father couldn't have any objections. Or at least none that he voiced. Elani knew that Euclid had stopped by the house over break to talk to her father. The two of them had sat out on the patio and drank beer and had a very long conversation. She was pretty sure that Euclid had asked permission to marry Emily. It was such an old fashioned thing to do, but it was just the type of thing Euclid would do.
  • 109. Just like proposing at a family dinner was something he would do. Both sets of parents were thrilled by it. Being included like that. Even Elani was excited, seeing it played out like was. Just because they had all known that it would happen eventually didn't make it any less special. The Mom's had cried and the Dad's had smiled and ordered champagne.
  • 110. Elani almost envied Emily, to have Bo and Alex as in-laws. If you had to have in-laws, it was lucky to get good ones. That Emily and Euclid's relationship was so accepted by both families was wonderful. ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 111. Was there anything worse than being scrutinized by an angry father? Erasmus couldn't think of anything worse, and he had a pretty vivid imagination. He'd always felt as if he got along fairly well with Dannon Familiar, or at least as well as he could expect to get along with with father of a girl he was sleeping with. Erasmus figured it was a given that Dannon would dislike him on principle, but he'd never said anything or tried to bar Erasmus from seeing 'Lani. But then, 'Ras and 'Lani had rarely had a problem before now. How Mr. Familiar knew was beyond 'Ras, some kind of parental radar. 'Ras's Mom had asked him if everything was okay with 'Lani, so it must be obvious to everyone. “And why should I allow you to drive her back to school when it's apparent to everyone that she doesn't want to be within ten feet of you?”
  • 112. “I just need a chance to talk to her. There's no need for you and Mrs. Familiar to drive all the way to campus and then turn around and drive back home. I can save you some trouble and time by driving her.” “When you have children it's never a trouble to see them home safely. There no amount of time worth saving to keep them from harm.” “I'd never harm Elani, Mr. Familiar, you know that.” “No, I don't know that. She's upset and you seem to be the cause of it. You've hurt her already. And if she opens up on the drive back to campus with her mother and me, then I'll know how much I need to hurt you in return.”
  • 113. “If I've hurt her it's been unintentionally. I don't like that Elani's upset any more you do sir. I want to do whatever I can to make things right. But I can't do that if she won't talk to me. Look just give me ten minute to try and talk to her. If she still wants you to drive her home, then there's nothing I can do about it.” Erasmus sighed, it was time to grovel. “Look Sir, haven't you ever done anything stupid and made Mrs. Familiar mad at you? Wouldn't you want a chance to fix it? I love Elani, she's my best friend. I just want a chance to remind her of that.” “Ten minutes that's the only chance you'll get.” “Thank you sir.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 114. Frank, I'm sorry I worried you. I shouldn't have stopped communicating with you the way I did. Moms always said that the worst thing a person could do was to stop talking without telling you why they did. Communication of feelings is necessary, Moms is big on communication. She's also big disclosure, on being fully open about a situation. I guess I'm more like my Moms than I thought I was. So here goes. I know you never promised me anything. It's not even like we were ever really dating, right? I mean a couple of dates doesn't make a future, does it? But, I had kinda gotten used to thinking about you as someone I could see myself with. You should have told me that there was no possibility of that ever happening. You told me that you were the heir to your family, but you never said your family was a Legacy family.
  • 115. It's not as if you never had the opportunity to let me know. When I think about the number of times that we chatted on IM, the emails that we exchanged all last year. I thought we had talked about everything. I thought you'd told me everything about your family. I mean I know the names of all your cousins, I know how Elisha's your favorite, and how you look up to Egeus, and how Elan's pranks drive you batty. You told me that, but you didn't tell me that all those cousins are relying on you to marry a townie and carry on a legacy family that's been in existence for seven generations. Well now I know. I know because my Moms told me. You should have told me Frankie, if you had it wouldn't have mattered. But, because you didn't, it does. Ann ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  • 116. Dannon had said that Erasmus would be allowed to talk to Elani, he hadn't promised that they'd have any privacy. By the time he'd gotten permission from Mr. Familiar, everyone had begun to gather on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. When 'Ras had pulled Elani away from the group everyone else suddenly got very involved in their own conversations. They seemed to only be inclined to give enough privacy that stilted whispers would allow. “What do you want Erasmus?” Elani hissed, “I don't appreciate being manhandled.”
  • 117. He only had ten minutes, he had to make it good. “I just want to talk to you 'Lani. I've been trying for days and you won't listen. I want to apologize, I understand why you're mad at me, at least I think I do.” “And?” “And I can't promise that you'll never have reason to be mad at me again. And I won't promise that you'll never see me in a compromising position with someone else. But, I will promise that I'll never again give you reason to doubt how special you are to me. You see, you're so special to me that in order to prove it I'm willing to give up the thing I enjoy most in my life.”
  • 118. “If you think I'll believe you when you say that you're willing to give up sex, you're insane Erasmus. If I'm supposed to be shocked by your proposed declaration of abstinence it won't work. I'm not shocked. I'm disgusted that you'd consider me to be so naive. I know you too well 'Ras, even if there's some small portion of your brain believes you could do it, I don't. And if I did believe you, how would you propose to go about it? Would you expect me to go along with it beside you? Two born again virgins? Sorry no dice, I know you and I know me.” “But” “Comedy time is over Erasmus, softening me up with a joke didn't work. I'm done listening.”
  • 119. “Now wait just a minute Elani, I never said that I was going to give up sex. I said I'd give up the thing I enjoy most in my life. Now I'll grant you I love sex, but you're thinking too broadly if you think that's the thing. You're right I'd never last a week, I might not last a day. And even if you wanted to believe me, you'd always wonder. You'd start doing all those things that women do when they think a man's going behind their back. You'd hate yourself for doing them but you wouldn't be able to help yourself. You'd get jealous whenever you saw me even talk to another woman. You'd think that any time I was away from you that I was with someone else. You'd end up doing exactly what you said you wouldn't do, you give up sex. You wouldn't want to leave me alone long enough to have an assassination with some other guy. You'd become clingy and needy and we'd both be miserable.” “You got that right. So what are you going to give up?”
  • 120. “You said that you don't have any reason to believe that you're special to me. And you're right I haven't been. I've let what we do in bed get in the way of what really matters. At some point over the past couple of years I stopped thinking about you as 'Lani my best friend, and started thinking of you as 'Lani my best bed partner.” Erasmus saw that he'd hit home so he continued. “I remember when we were friends, when we'd lay around on the grass and talk for hours. We talked about everything, we talked about the big stuff and the about stupid stuff and about crazy things and important things. We talked about what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be and why we wanted what we did. We talked about who we liked and who we hated and why we did both. Do you remember the way we used to talk?” “Yeah, I remember. Why did we stop talking?”
  • 121. “Cause our mouths were too busy kissing to talk, our hands got too busy groping to play red hands, and our bodies were bumping together so much that just laying on the grass was a waste of time. I thought it was worth it, I thought we'd just moved forward. But you shouldn't move forward if it means you forget the past. I want to be your friend again Elani. Will you be my friend?” “What are you saying?” “I'm saying that you're so special to me, that your friendship is so important to me, that I'm not going to sleep with you any longer.”
  • 122. “Are you insane?” “Certifiable, how about you? Are you up for the challenge?” “Elani, everyone's ready to leave. Do you need us to drive you home?” It had been more than ten minutes but Della had kept holding her husband back. She said that they seemed to be working things out and he should leave well enough alone. It was getting late though, if they were going to drive to campus and back they should get started. “It's okay Daddy, I think I'll go with 'Ras.”
  • 123. “Are you sure sweetheart? We'd love to spend a bit of time with you.” “I'm sure Daddy, and I'll see you at Grandma's next week. No need to add hours to your drive.” “Is everything okay?” “Yeah Daddy, it's okay. Everything's fine and I think it's about to get very interesting.” “As long as interesting is a good thing then I'm glad. Erasmus,” “Sir?” “Drive safe, you've got precious cargo.” “I know that, Mr. Familiar.” _________________________________________________
  • 124. Euclid and Emily along with the world's worst waiter would like to thank you for reading. Familiar Faces will be back soon. Until then, Happy Simming!