Rosie’s Emails – 4

Dearest sister,

I am so glad to hear you got your own place! There is a certain charm in living alone, is it not? Sure you miss Bran and even mum but it is good living life the way you want it. I am so sad to hear you broke it off with Mikha’il but if you weren’t ready for marriage and commitment then it is for the best. Believe me. And I know our mother isn’t setting the best example in what monogamous life is supposed the be but I hope you find happiness, once you are ready for it. 

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As for my love life… You know I went out with Big Hartley a few times and I thought things were going good but it turns out I was wrong. We have fun, talk about everything but it hasn’t been going in the right direction… We haven’t even kissed yet! So I decided to switch things up a bit. Don’t laugh… I tried online dating! I found it is the perfect thing for me, I don’t have to go out a lot, I could do it all on my laptop, wearing nothing but underwear! 

And I met a really cute guy, he is also new to Bridgeport. His name is Wayne and he came here to be a celebrity, he works at a local restaurant but his goal is to get on TV. We haven’t met in person but I hope we soon will! Keep me posted with everything new in your life! 

Lots of love

Rose


Dear Latrica,

I didn’t want to leave the impression I am not leaving the house! I am, truly. I go to the gym at least three times a week. I also go fishing, as riddiculos as that may be I find it really therapeutic (I don’t eat what I catch of course, this is the big city we are talking about).

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I still haven’t met Wayne in person but we chat and email often. Maybe one day soon… I did see a cute guy in my gym, he is a bit older but he is attractive in a rough sort of way! I saw him checking me out and I hoped he would ask for my number or something but he didn’t. Well maybe next time…

I am sad to hear that there is nothing new on the love front for you… You need to get out there more! I hope I don’t sound too much like mum or your manager.

As always lots of love

Rosie

Hoves (Jesse) – 7.1: Budgets and Boyfriends

Table of contents

Intro

Lucky Hoves blinked hard looking at her computer screen, all those numbers on the yearly budget report were kind of blending in together after a whole morning of staring at it. She took a deep breath letting all the negative energy flow out of her, pushed a lock of her unruly hair out of her eyes getting herself ready to start over. On most days city council work was a lot more boring than she thought it would be and there were days, days like this one when she wanted nothing more then to throw herself unceremoniously on a couch and yell I give up.

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But there was no giving up for Lucky, daughter of Jesse. She knew she was doing good, no matter how hard it got on some days, she managed to increase the town’s emergency budget and the pay of policeman and fireman and many other small things. People will always complain though and blame everything on the politicians, even the weirdest of things, like that meteor hit that took three lives, four if you count the little dog which Lucky always did.

But this would not stop Lucky, oh no. She was learning every day and she was surer than ever that this would not be her final post, no Lucky wanted more, she had always wanted more. She would make the whole world a better place as soon as the people choose her for its leader. And to get there she would go by step, that was how those things go she learned, you don’t just wake up to be Dina Caliente. Her next goal was to run for mayor next fall for which she knew she should better start campaigning immediately.

She sighed loudly willing herself to go back to work.  She didn’t get a chance to go far however interrupted by the wail of the sirens she heard even trough her earphones. Being a cop’s daughter she recognized that it was a police car moving fast towards the town center. She held her breath as the sound came closer and closer…. Theirs was a peaceful town, real crime was rare yet her own father had been murdered, taken from the world by some criminal’s bullet, a harsh reminder that evil can hide behind even the most peaceful facade.

And now the evil might be back… Lucky thought as the sirens came so close she was sure she could see them trough the window. She rushed to it just as the police car parked behind the town hall and a lanky young man in civilian clothes stepped out. Lucky sighed as she recognised the man and returned to her seat waiting for him to come up.

She turned off her music and impatiently listened as he bartered with her assistant before the door of her office opened and he strolled in. He smiled widely, not taking his black hat off.

” Hey Lucky.” Her boyfriend greeted her taking a seat directly across of her.

“Hi Ahmed.” She replied holding back her irritation. Still his smile dropped.

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“Not happy to see me?” He asked.

“It is the middle of the day, I am working.” Lucky said calmly.

“Well I am here to take you to lunch!” Ahmed exclaimed grinning again.

“In a police car? With the sirens on?” Lucky asked making her boyfriend laugh.

“I was in a rush.”

” You are a civilian.” She said harshly and Ahmed sighed.

“You’re a good girl Lucky but some things you just take so seriously… It is Mika’il’s car, he is off today so he is sleeping in and I had to get away love… That brat is driving me crazy… You know I once thought if only he learned to talk he would be more bearable…” He let out a long sigh. “So I wasted time teaching him to form words and now he is more annoying than ever. Ahmed what is that? Ahmed why is that? Who is that?” He concluded the rant in a mock child’s voice. “I hate kids!”

Lucky felt her smile melt and get replaced with a frown. “Don’t say that…” She said softly.

“Why? They are the worst believe me….” Lucky didn’t like the way the conversation was going. She and Ahmed were serious, she loved him, they were together since school. They were going to get married, everyone knew that, and kids were part of that deal, not right now of course, Lucky’s career still had a way to go but someday… She bit her lip to hold the brewing argument back. Ahmed will come around, there was still time…

“Is your mother still having a party this Friday?” She changed the subject abruptly.

“I guess.” Ahmed said with a shrug.

“Am I welcome?” She asked. Years back Lucky used to work for Posie Kerry, Ahmed’s mother but they had a falling out when Posie gave birth to Kenny, Ahmed’s little brother, the annoying brat Ahmed mentioned earlier. She refused to name the father creating a big scandal and her career was spiraling downwards when Lucky decided to jump ship and run for City Council herself.

“Of course you are welcome.” Ahmed said. “You are still my girlfriend.” Lucky smiled.  There was no better place to start a political campaign than a party.

Ahmed was planning on taking her to the local diner for lunch. Lucky insisted they walk, she could not in clear conscience ride in a ‘borrowed’ police car. They hadn’t even gotten through the diner door when her phone rang.

Screenshot_7Ahmed was not very happy when she told him she has to go back. “It is work…” She said trying to sound apologetic.

“Yeah? And that is more important than me?” He said annoyed. “You have your lunch break – take it.”

“I am really not sure…” Lucky said biting her lip. “We have this meeting and we have to prepare, I have gotten nowhere with the budget report…” Ahmed just glared at her and she had to sigh. “Fine. We’ll eat. Fast!” He smiled and took her hand leading her towards the diner door.

It wasn’t till much later, when Lucky headed home after a long day of meetings and budget proposals that she had time to think the state of her relationship. She did love Ahmed, she really did but things just weren’t as they used to be… It was different when they were both in school but now since she had started work, serious work, things had changed, she had changed and in a way he had not. He was not any different from the boy he was in high school… It was because he didn’t have a job, Lucky concluded. Not a real one at least, he was a poet and a photographer but he barely made any money from it… He could do so much more, he was smart, Lucky knew it, smarter than her even. So walking home she decided she was to do something about it…

/* I know it has been a while since I posted. AGAIN. I had this written and planned to take a few more screenshots and publish it last weekend but I was sick and then had a busy week at work… But here it is, the start of this rounds story line for the Hoves sisters, with very little screenshots. */

Hoves – 7.1: Teenage love

Table of contents

Kerry Hoves was in love. Well maybe that had been an understatement. He was trapped by a powerful force that sucked him and held him hostage. A force so gripping it could be called by no other name than pure, teenage infatuation. The force had sucked his mind of all coherent thoughts living just the thoughts of her, her lovely smile, her dark hair, her lovely round face.

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It made him content to do nothing at all but lay on his bed, with a smile on his face and think of her. Because what could be nicer.

He had no idea how long it had lasted, that maddening love of his, it could have started the day they met, the chubby red haired boy with big round glasses and the new, shy girl. He knew when he had realized it. It was the weekend they went camping, the two of them and Bran, his best friend.  They had stared at the moon together and she told him one of her adoptive mothers was dying. There were tears in her eyes and he knew, from the bottom of his heart he knew, that he was ready to do anything, truly anything to stop her from being hurt, to make her smile, just a little. He knew he loved her.

A week later he broke up with his girlfriend Tami. It was as bad as he imagined it would be, a lot of shouting and screaming and a cold look in the girl’s eyes. A cold look that made him wonder what she might do to Persephone if she found out the real reason Kerry was breaking up with her… But he put it behind him, he knew he would do whatever he could to protect his Persephone, from anything, even his psychotic ex-girlfriend.

When the new school year started he even stopped his long running flirtation with Marcia Milton and focused all his thoughts on expressing his ever growing love to Persephone Santoro. The later proved harder than he had expected it to be. For one he, Kerry Hoves, found himself suddenly afraid and self-conscious around a girl he knew, and was friend since they were kids. He was sure he would somehow screw everything up and lose her forever. And he couldn’t allow that. Not ever.

She of course knew something was wrong. Perse was not a stupid girl.  “Why are you calling me Persephone all the sudden?” She asked him one afternoon when they headed home from school. Kerry shrugged.

“That is your name.” She smiled.

“I know. But you always called me Santoro, Hoves.” She said accenting his last name.

“I don’t know. It just seems nicer to call you by your name.”

“As you wish.” She said. “Maybe I’ll try calling you Kerry.” She smiled at this. It was a beautiful sight, but very rare in those days. That was the other reason Kerry found it so hard to confess his love. It turned out that Elaine Buford Santoro, Persephone’s adoptive mother was indeed very sick and dying. And that fell very hard on Perse, as hard as one might expect but Kerry was determined to make it easier to her, as easy as he could so he tried to cheer her up as much as possible.

As winter steadily approached Persephone skipped school more often, to be with her mum Kerry guessed. And so every day he didn’t see her there he would anxiously wait for the last bell of the day to ring and head to her house. By that time Elaine was pretty much bedridden already and when he turned up Perse’s other mother Phaena would go out to walk their dog leaving them alone at home.

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He wouldn’t stay long, just long enough to share what Perse might have missed at school, give her his notes to copy and try to make her laugh, at least once, it would make his heart jump and he knew she needed it as well, whenever he saw her those days she had a look of someone who had just stopped crying. It was heartbreaking really. But he could nothing more.

As the Winder Dance approached no one in school seemed to be able to talk about anything else, even Kerry’s big sister Freddie who hated those things seemed excited about it now that she had a boyfriend. And so one evening after they had helped Perse’s younger sister Phania with her homework Kerry gathering all his courage, asked the big question:

“Would you come to the dance with me?” Persephone lifted her head and focused her eyes on his.

“The dance? I don’t think I’ll go.” Kerry felt like he had been punched in the guts with an iron fist.

“Why not?” He asked in a whiny voice that reminded him of his little sister Haley when she wanted something badly. Persephone didn’t even smile.

“I am just not in the mood for all that… Thank you Kerry. For everything you are doing for me.  You are a better friend than I deserve.” She sighed deeply. “You truly are. I wish I will get a chance to repay you…” She made a slight pause. “But I can’t go to the dance, I am sorry, I appreciate the gesture though.” Kerry couldn’t say a thing. His gut felt like it was full of lead now and his mouth was dry, unable to produce a single sound. “There is still time though.” Persephone said forcing a small smile. “You could still find a date. Marcia would never say no to you.” Kerry knew he would never go with another girl. He would rather be actually punched in the gut but he couldn’t find the strength to say it. All he could say was:

“I  wish you would go with me.” Before Persephone could reply however another voice spoke from the door.

“You should go.” Persephone’s mother Elaine looked like a ghost. She was thin, and pale, her long hair white instead of her normal light blond. But she was still on her feet, her eyes fixed on her daughter.

“Mum! You should be in bed.” Persephone said getting up from the couch she and Kerry had been sitting on to go to the older women.

“I woke up and overheard you two. I had to get up to tell you this. You should go Persephone. I am dying. I will be dying on Friday when you go to the dance. And I will still be dying when you come back home. But you love, you are alive, and should go, and live, have fun, for a little while at least. For me.” Tears spilled down her pallid cheeks and tears spilled from Perse’s eyes as well. Even Kerry himself felt like crying but when half an hour later Persephone followed him out she said:

“I’ll go.” And the whole world lightened up at once.

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When the day of the dance finally came and Kerry found himself  waiting outside the Santoro family home he couldn’t help being nervous. Usually he knew his way around girls but this… This was important, maybe the most important night of his life, everything hinged on this. He could not blow it.

It didn’t help that Persephone looked exquisitely beautiful when she came out to see him. She wore a long dark dress and had her silken hair down. She smiled nervously when she saw him but her eyes were once again filled with tears. Kerry suddenly wanted nothing more than to pull her in a tight embrace and hold her whispering that all would be okay. He didn’t do. He smiled instead, telling her how beautiful she looked. He didn’t own a car, so they walked together to the school. They talked all the way and he did his best to make Persephone forget about everything else in her life.

That had been the last dance her mother Elaine saw he go to and that time in the Santoro’s living room was the last time Kerry saw the older woman. She died a few weeks later, in her bed with her wife Phaena holding her hand. But that night neither of them thought of that. They danced, and Persephone actually laughed. Kerry brought her drinks and told her jokes. And when the dance was over neither of them was really ready to go home.

They sat on the cold grass in the park and watched the stars together. The evening was not so cold, and the sky unusually bright. But Kerry didn’t care about any of that. All he cared was the lovely woman next to him. He wished he was brave enough to tell her how he felt. How much he loved her, now and any other day. But he wasn’t. And so they were both silent, both trapped in their own thoughts. And then Kerry felt a warm touch on one of his outstretched hands and he looked down and saw Persphone had taken his hand in hers. He turned to her and she just smiled and he smiled back. His hear was beating like crazy but he was happy.

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And that is how it had begun. With a single touch of hands. The greatest romance of all times. Or so Kerry saw it. And he saw little else.

He didn’t see how much more his father was drinking now that he was retired. He didn’t see his mother’s efforts to get fit. He didn’t see his older sister Freddie hide a box of cash underneath their bunk bed, right next to her box of stolen trinkets Kerry also didn’t see. He didn’t see how tall his brother Ty was getting as he neared his teenage years. He barely saw his sister Haley when she spoke to him.

He didn’t miss out in school, he still got on honor roll but that was simply because he never needed to put much effort into school anyway, some of his IQ test scores labeled him a genius, he never saw himself that way but Persephone loved to remind of him that pretty often, even back when they were just friends and he called her Santoro and he called him Hoves.

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Everything else was irrelevant. All he ever saw was Perse. And he loved her so. And she loved him back. And everything in the world was alright.

/* We have moved on to the Hoves! Their story will be a little shorter than the Prentiss was. I have less story for them but I hope you’ll enjoy it. I have also made their family tree, you can see it here.  Thanks for reading!*/

Prentiss – 7.2: The Scarred Sister

Table of contents

(Previous post: The Broken Scientist)

Delores Prentiss was alone in the school’s library. There was a time when she wouldn’t even notice it, she would loose herself in her work until her phone rang and it was her mother or one of her sisters calling saying she would miss dinner if she doesn’t hurry back home. But now her mother would never call again.

That was the worst part of being alone. Her thoughts would stray away towards the dark memories that made her wish she could jump out of her skin and runaway as far as her legs would go. Run away from her life, from everything she had become.

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Prentiss – 7.1: The Broken Scientist

Table of contents

Tomas Prentiss willed himself to concentrate on the numbers before him. He needed to finish this report today, he should have finished it earlier but it was so hard to have anything done with her so close, with her smell all around him, around his lab, with the way he would catch her looking at him… He had hoped she would leave, that is why he had stayed late but alas she was still here.

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He tried his best not to turn, feeling her gaze on his back. Eventually however curiosity got the better of him. He saw her propped against one of the lab counters, despite all the lab regulations she had taken of her white coat and was showing off her long legs her short skirt barely covered. When she had seen him turn she threw him a smile that made him wish he had just continued writing the damn report.

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Brown – 7.4: The Painting

Table of Contents

(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

Table of Contents

(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.