Caliente – 7.3: Late might meetings

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(Previous post: Mother and son)

Nina decides to stay in and spend some time with her son. They have dinner and she even agrees to discuss her daughter’s impending wedding, one she is not so happy about…

It was already nighttime when Nina finished her conversation with Krystal Hoves. She could see the sky was dark outside the classroom window.

“I just can’t thank you enough, for all you did Mrs. Caliente….” The teacher started before Nina interrupted.

“Please, if you insist to be so formal than it is Miss Caliente. And as I said you are welcome… I had been excited for this project as well. And I have enjoyed working with you. I hope work with the kids would be as fulfilling.” She smiled in hopes to make the other woman relax. It seemed to work because she had responded with a smile of her own. Nina spoke the truth, she had been having fun working with the Similish teacher on this musical adoption of an old classic. The teacher was young but professional even though she had been a bit starstruck at first, but Nina had been used to it. She wrote all the music for the musical and the plan was to work with the high-school kids who would be performing the said music. But that was still ways down the road… Right now Nina’s thoughts strayed to the meeting she was having right after this. She checked the clock on the wall. She still had some time left.

Krystal was collecting her things scattered all around her desk, books and folders of notes from their meetings. Nina decided to give her a hand.

“Oh really, Miss you don’t have to bother…” She said flustered picking up the entire stack of books.

“Nonsense, I still have a bit of time…” Nina went on still attempting to help. A flyer fell off from between the books the young teacher held. Nina bent down and picked it up from the floor. The picture showed a young girl with a slightly familiar face.

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LAQUITA HOVES FOR MAYOR was printed on the top of the flyer. “Elections are still a way off.” Nina said handing the flyer over to the flustered teacher. “Your sister?” She asked looking at the name again. The woman nodded.

“Yes. She wanted me to look at a few samples…” Nina smiled.

“I remembered when my sister ran for mayor. It seems like a lifetime ago…” She said still looking the flyer over.

“Lucky looks up to your sister a lot…” Krystal said taking the flyer from her hand.

“Really? That is so interesting. I would surely mention her to Dina next time I see her.”

“Oh please no, you don’t have to bother… You have already done enough…” The teacher went on. It was at that moment that Nina’s phone rang.

“It is my date.” She told her companion. “I usually like to make my men wait a bit but this one really hates waiting.” She sighed. “I should get going. The two women said goodbye and Nina left the classroom making sure to stop by the bathroom to put on some perfume. For this next meeting she needed to smell just dazzling.

The neon lights in the hallways were dimmed and there was no sound but the clicking of her heels as she closed the distance to the school’s front door. Someone else might be scared but not Nina. She walked the school’s halls as if she owned them.

She saw him the moment she exited the door opened to her by the nigh guard, even more starstruck than the teacher had been. His back were turned to her and he was looking into the distance, to the park that was empty at this late hour, not a soul in sight.

“Odd choice for a meeting stop.” He spoke without turning. He must have smelled her coming. She smiled without a word. He had a sleeveless shirt on exposing his muscled arms. It was there that Nina’s gaze went. Of all the men she had dated none had a body like that. She was so entranced she didn’t even notice when he turned around to face her. “Did our sons get into a fight again?” He asked and Nina laughed.

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“Nothing like that this time. I had some business to attend.”

“At the school?”

“Yes, believe it or not. It is a secret.” She added with a wink. He almost smiled. Almost. That was the thing with Aegon. He always had that strict, serious face and those dark blue eyes that always seemed cold, almost dangerous. None of it diminished his attractiveness, quite the opposite Nina felt as she looked him over once more.

They had started seeing each other last summer, they actually met at the school, when their teenage sons had really gotten into a fight during the summer dance. It wasn’t like Bran to cause such problems so Nina had been deeply shocked when it happened. Aegon managed to calm her down. They had coffee and talked and as the saying goes, one thing lead to another…

He had been married once but was now divorced and yet still living with his ex in some bizarre agreement. His current fiancee was a doctor, another redhead, she worked long hours and was almost always busy which lead to the wedding being indefinitely postponed. None of it meant nothing to Nina. She didn’t want a husband, she just wanted those strong arms to hold her. She wanted it that first day they met and she wanted it now.

She stepped closer to him smiling all the way. He stepped closer as well. He placed those big hands on her hips and pulled her forward to him. She let him. His touch radiated warmth all through her body. She closed her eyes feeling his lips touch her own.

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His kisses always melted her fast. They barely made it to her car parked just a few feet away. It was always the greatest challenge when they had been together, keeping their hands away from each other long enough to get into a private place. Their kisses were even more passionate when they got inside her house. They kissed passionately, undressing each other as they climbed the stairs that lead to the second floor and her bedroom.

In the back of her mind she had an information that Bran was out this evening, with his girlfriend, or some of his friends, she couldn’t remember. She could only hope he wasn’t home yet…

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Caliente (Latricia) – 7.4: The Show

(Previous post: Regret)

There was only a mild applause coming from the gathered crowd of teenagers. Latricia didn’t expect more, not with the song she picked to end her performance with. It was a piano ballad she wrote days ago, thinking heavily of her failed relationship with her high school boyfriend Mika. She did step away from the piano and bowed to the audience avoiding to look at either her mother or her manager who were both seated in the school’s auditorium where she had performed.

She knew they had expected her to play only the songs they picked, songs that would help sell her potential future album better and imprint her image into the minds of impressionable teenager listening to her today but she wanted to play this song. For her. That is what music was supposed to be about, the soul of the performer, not the pocket of the listener.

She knew her mother would say it was too early for her to do that, that would come later once she had gathered a following. Hazel, her manager, would as usually agree. Latricia was sick of that. Sick of being the good obedient daughter who did nothing for herself.

She told her friend Chiquita as much the other day while they were at the stylist’s. Latricia had to see Luther Prentiss to help her pick an outfit for today’s performance and she was happier to go with her friend than with her mother.

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“I wish my mother was more like yours…”

“Oh please.” Chiquita cut her off rolling her eyes. “You think my parents approve of all my decisions and the life I chose for myself?” When Latricia said nothing she went on. “My dear father often reminds me how I gave birth to a bastard, forgetting how I was a bastard myself because he was so busy chasing his stupid fencing, leaving me and mum to fend for ourselves… And don’t get me even started on mum and how she feels I am wasting my life working at the cash register at the supermarket when I could be so much more…” She sighed. “They were like that even as I lay in the hospital after that stupid meteor hit… Trust me Latricia, your life is a dream compared to what other people have.” Latricia knew that. Yet she still admired her friend how she bore all this and always appeared as she didn’t even care. So she told her that.

“Well it is all in the attitude my dear friend, if you let people stomp on you they will. You must learn to stand up for yourself, to go after what you want. Look at me I listen to all that and yet I still work at the supermarket, I raise my Jilly alone, for now at least and don’t give a fuck at what my parents or anyone else ever says. And I know people talk, this is a small town.”

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Latricia took all this to heart. That is why she played the song she did. And that is why she called Mikha’il right before the show. Her hands were shaking and she felt like she was about to be pushed from a cliff to a raging sea. But this was her life. She had it in her hands and she alone had the power over it. Not her mother and not her fears.

Mikha’il didn’t answer after four rings. She was about to give up, take it as a sign when he finally did. “Officer Kerry speaking.” He said in a businesslike voice. It was hard to picture him in a police station, surrounded by other cops, fighting crime, but that is who he was now. That was the life he choose. She introduced herself quickly before her voice failed and at once the formalities were dropped. “Well that is a surprise.” He said. “Unless this is work related, in which case you should have called the station instead of my cell.”

“It is not work related.” There was a brief pause after that. “I actually wanted to ask you… Well I am playing at our old school later today and I wanted to know if you would come. I am not sure I can have guests but screw it… I want you to be there.” She felt better as she blurted it all out. Also a little swearing helped as well. She was feeling more like Chiqy already, bold and rebellious.

“I don’t think I could make it, not today. I have got afternoon patrols…” Mika said sounding sorry. Or so it seemed to Latricia, she couldn’t really tell anymore. Maybe it was just her hope and desperation making her see something that was not there in a blatant rejection. At least he didn’t outright laugh at me… She tried to comfort herself as they ended the conversation in the usual pleasantries.

All that however was just a little too much rebellion for Latricia so when the show ended she sneaked out to the female locker rooms, changing quickly and sneaking out of the school’s back door instead of going to face her mother and Hazel. She planned to run home before they even notice her gone, she knew she would have to face them eventually, but she had no strength left, not today.

She had barely made two steps when she notice a man watching her. He was wearing a dark police uniform and his hat partly hid his face but she knew him in a instant.

“Mika?” She said surprised as he came closer smiling weakly.

“Hi Tricia.”

“You came after all.”

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“Not in time for it all… I heard just the last song. It was… Beautiful… And very powerful. It has been a while I guess, since I last heard you play the piano.” He added and she smiled.

“I wrote it for you.” She said softly. It was not a time or a place for holding anything back. He was there, Mika was actually there, he heard her song. And that should have been enough. The song was her heart laid bare. It was regret and sorrow, and it was love.

“For me?” He asked trying to smile but failing. He must have been afraid she thought, afraid of her breaking his heart again, like she did last time. But then the roles were reversed, he was the one giving out his heart and she was the one afraid.

“Well yes. Who else would it be for? You were always the one who made my hear sing…” She stepped closer to him. When he did this he got on his knee. He also had a ring. She had only her intent, and it was a strong one. She would not falter. “I made mistakes in the past, we all do, I have been stupid, and selfish, and I hurt you. I can’t promise I won’t make any more mistakes, but I promise to try to be a little less stupid, and a little less selfish.” Another step closer. “I know now that I love you, I know that I made a mistake, and that you have every right to hate me for that.” Another step brought her so close that they were almost touching, oh how she yearned for that. But she was not done yet. “I want to promise that I won’t ever stop making up for what I did. I want to spend my life doing just that. If you say yes, if you say you’ll marry me.”

His eyes widened and he opened his mouth as to say something but failed. The sun was setting in the background, the sky was a lovely shade of pink. Yet Latricia hadn’t seen it. She was on edge waiting for just one word. Whatever it was, she just wanted to hear it. Mika however seemed speechless. He closed his eyes and leaned closer to her. She didn’t waste a single moment.

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She leaned in as well and they kissed. It was a sweet kiss. Sweeter than any they had ever shared. And Latricia wanted it to last forever. They eventually parted however and when she looked at him he appeared to have tears in his eyes.

“Was that a yes?” She asked quietly.

“You know I loath to admit it… But you did the whole proposal thing slightly better.” He said breaking into a smile. Latricia did too. “And yes. This was a definite yes.”

Brown – 7.4: The Painting

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(Previous post: Ballerina)

The sun was already setting when Hazel got to work in the garden. He didn’t mind the night, he preferred it all his life. The garden was situated in the back yard of the home he had shared with his older brother Harry. The garden was originally planted by their mother but Hazel had been the one in charge of it ever since he finished school. It was relaxing for him to be out with the plants, it helped his creative juices flowing, and helped him make new music. He didn’t even mind that tonight he wasn’t alone, his brother was out in the garden as well, working on a painting.

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It was the moment that Hazel glanced at that painting that his evening was ruined. Harry seemed completely emerged in putting the finishing touches to notice his brother staring at it behind his back gaping. Hazel wanted to say something to get him out of his trance but he just couldn’t find the words while he watched his brother’s hand move swiftly over the canvas. Harry had painted a dark skinned woman with long black hair, wearing a white wedding dress holding her head in white gloved hands and obviously crying.

Even if it was a free interpretation Hazel knew what his brother was hinting at with that damned painting and he felt his hands clench into fists as he thought about it. Years ago, before his brother married his beautiful Rhaenys Hazel had planned his own wedding, it was to be a great deal, he had planned it into minute details with his godmother Dina, he wasn’t wearing white, nor did he have long hair, or been a woman, bu the evening had ended with him in tears. Why? Because Donovan Alto, the man he was to marry did not show up…

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It had been so long ago, and yes Donnie had broken Hazel’s heart but they had found peace afterwards, peace and much more. They got married in the end, signing a paper in the City Hall, without much fuss, they were happy now, yet Harry just didn’t seem to accept it. Even though Donnie had been living with them for years now, and even though Hazel was obviously happy he would often catch his brother casting Donnie dirty looks or even saying nasty, plain offensive things to the man.

It bothered Hazel, it bothered him a great deal, he wanted his brother and his husband to get along. But he could not get angry at Harry, Harry was his big brother, he always had his back while they were growing up and Hazel knew it was the same now. Harry was making sure he doesn’t get hurt again, that’s all… He just didn’t know how to make him see that this time he wouldn’t… He knew deep down inside that Donnie would never hurt him again….

He confided his worries to their oldest sister Cocoa when he went with her to her doctor’s appointment.

“I just want him to see that Donnie is the light of my life, he is my everything… My soulmate, my best friend…”

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Cocoa tried to speak back but she was too out of breath running at the treadmill for her cardio exam. Hazel sighed.

“He is just so supportive in everything you know…. You know my client, Latricia?” He asked. Latricia was the young girl he was managing, daughter of Nina Caliente and the late Riam Gradle, formally educated in music she was a star in the making and he was there to help her get to the top. The only problem was that the girl was too quiet and timid for a young aspiring musician, Hazel had learned, on his own skin, that the part of making it big in that cruel world was clawing your own way to the top, making sure it was your voice, your music that got heard… Latricia had none of that spirit. She was pretty content to keeping to the sidelines and letting her angelic voice, and mesmerizing guitar skill speak to herself. Hazel was afraid that would not be enough.

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And so he dragged her to parties, all kinds of parties, events, wherever he could… And while he was wooing the crowd in her name Latricia still hung back and Hazel didn’t know how to bring her up to the front… That is where Donnie stepped in. He would be the one who would sit with her, talk to her, make her feel comfortable, and make her get off the damn couch. Hazel would be nowhere without his Donnie.

The reason he wanted Harry to see it now more then ever, the reason the damned painting hit him so hard was that he and Donnie had started talking about some big changes, changes that would affect not only the two of them but the whole household. He and Donnie were talking adoption.

Hazel had always wanted kids. He loved the little ones, he had played the part in raising Harry’s kids, and enjoyed every second of it, Aenar and Vaela were adorable. And Donnie had his own experiences, he had been running his daycare that had been growing more and more every year, he had three regular kids now, three toddlers he had to take care off at the same time, little Earl Hoves, Jillian Fegel and another little one whose name eluded Hazel. He knew the two of them would make great parents, and wanted Harry to know it.

“But why is it so important Harry knows it?” His sister asked stepping out of the treadmill at least. The sentence came out it short bursts as she fought for breath. He handed her a towel to wipe her sweat but he said nothing. Why was it important? “Maybe you are the one insecure in the whole deal and you are just using Harry as an excuse. I mean it is your life, it will be your kid, not Harry’s. I don’t see why your brother would be an obstacle there, maybe it is something else after all?”

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Could it really be something else? Hazel wondered looking at the man he had loved for most of his life. Was something standing between the two of them? Between them and children? The only answer he could come up with was work.

He was just so busy lately, he had taken on so many side projects that he barely had time for anything… Working with Latricia Caliente had opened up his mind as too how much advice he had to offer young, aspiring musicians so while Donnie slept he would get on his computer, log into SimTube and look for promising young stars that he mentored online, there was also Latrica of course, his day job, and Nina had gotten him a spot at the Sunset Valley Symphony, he was to perform with them for the New Year Concert, it was a great deal and he had to practice for it, which took time of course… He barely had any time left to plan his nephew’s birthday party and he promised he would… What would happen when he had his own children? Would he brake promises to them as well?

Was he really ready to be a parent?

Hazel barely slept that night tossing and turning. He still blamed that stupid painting.

Brown – 7.3: Ballerina

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(Previous post: Piggy)

Like Harry predicted both of kids loved the puppy he got Aenar as an early present for his thirteenth birthday. Piggy was adorable, she was warm and cuddly, she had the energy to keep up with the kids always running around on those little black and white legs of her. And she never peed inside the house! She was a perfect little thing.

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Vaela would spend every morning with her, playing until she was almost late for school and she had to run so she wouldn’t miss the bus. Aenar was more responsible, he would wait until after school, and after he had finished his homework to go and play and often he would invite his friend Melissa Gradle over as well so they can both spend time with the puppy. Harry was very pleased with himself for bringing Piggy into the family.

Now that his kids were grown, and could entertain themselves he found more time to go back to painting, he had been putting his job aside in order to spend time with the little ones but he was eager to back to what he loved, and how he brought food to the table.

He was in the garden, coloring the sketch he had been working on one evening when Vaela interrupted him.

“Hey daddy, can we talk?” She asked softly.

“Sure princess.” He said smiling and turning towards her a brush still in his hand.

“I wanted to sign up for these ballet dances in my school… Do you think that would be okay?” She asked nervously.

“And why wouldn’t it be?” Harry asked smiling. Vaela just shrugged.

“Could you take me there tomorrow after school?”

“Of course princess!” Vaela smiled brightly.

“Thank you daddy!” She exclaimed and ran inside to get ready for bed, hopefully. Harry let Rhae his wife deal with that tonight as he got back to his painting.

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The next day Harry found himself at the nearly empty corridor of his children’s school. He used to go to school here as well, there was only one school in all of Sunset Valley, and the same building hosted both the elementary and the high school. He looked around unsure if he should be happy or sad that so little had changed in the years that had passed between him and his school days. He got so lost in his nostalgia that he had almost forgotten the little hand squeezing his own.

He had gone and spoken to the school’s ballet teacher and Vaela was officially enrolled and in fifteen minutes her actual class was starting. He looked down at her and noticed she was nervously biting her lip her light green eyes glued to the door to the girl’s changing room.

“Is something wrong princess?” He asked curiously and his daughter turned to him.

“Do you think I’ll be horrible at it?” She asked in a faint voice. Harry smiled.

“Of course I don’t.”

“Melissa is very good.” Vaela continued. “She had a great recital at the beginning of the school year. She was very good, everyone clapped.”

“Well Melissa is older than you, she is in Aenar’s class right?” Vaela nodded. “Well there you go, she had more time to practice. I am sure you’ll catch up with her in no time if you work as hard.” Harry told her. “And you will have your own recital and me and mom would come to watch, and uncle Haze, and uncle Donnie…”

“And Aenar?” Vaela asked quietly.

“Even Aenar. In less then a week he might become a grumpy teenager but he will always be your big brother.” Vaela smiled.

“If he gets too grumpy I will need my own room…” Harry smiled back at her.

“We’ll see about that. Now go dazzle everyone, my brave princess.”

“I will, thank you daddy.” His daughter said and pushed open the door leaving Harry alone in an empty hallway.


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When he got home Harry found his son in his room, doing his homework.

“Need any help?” Harry asked and the boy shook his head.

“I am good. There is just a lot of work, nothing hard…”

“Good to hear.” Harry said smiling.  It would surprise him if he had answered any other way, both his children had As in school.  “Are you excited about your birthday?” He asked and Aenar nodded.

“Uncle Hazel is throwing me a party. I helped him with the guest list.” Harry smiled. His little brother sure did love parties.

“Who did you invite?”

“Melissa and Silvester.” Aenar said. “They are the only kids from school I would like there, except for Vae of course. And I told him to make sure to invite uncle Tomas and Luther and Jerod. Because you know… They might need some cheering up…”

Harry just nodded unsure as to what to say. He was often amazed at just how good and caring his little boy was., he must have gotten it from his mother, Rhaenys was the kind of person that wanted to save the world, from everything that was bad… And Aenar was like that sometimes, when he had the chicken pox awhile ago and they went to the hospital for a check up he saw some other sick kids and begged Harry to let him donate his allowance to the pediatric ward. And now at the time of his birthday party he was thinking about the less fortunate… Harry just hoped his son would never change, he hoped he would always stay so innocent and sweet.