Darling Daughters

Chapter Ten

 

Summer and Elizabeth stepped onto the porch in front of Caroline and Thomas. Reluctant in their approval of the girls being presentable at last. Summer and Elizabeth found themselves blindfolded being guided by Thomas and Caroline.

Stumbling a few times on the pavement they took slower steps reaching softer ground. Being guided across grass they were directed up some steps. Removing the blindfolds music began to play. As the smells of food finally made sense from the centre of the town gazebo.

Thomas began to speak, declaring today to be “British Day” he finally agreed, declaring the day open after explaining that Summer seemed so homesick and they couldn’t resist an opportunity to celebrate the new Darling’s in town. Summer swallowed back tears.

They were both handed T-shirts, one said “I love England” and the other “I love London” printed across the chest. The girls smiled and giggled as Thomas insisted he be the one to give the tour, after all it was a celebration for Elizabeth and Summer and he wanted to be the one to show them how happy they were that they had Darlings.

Summer tried to supress a smile with a deep breath, but she couldn’t manage it. She felt welcome and more at home in this quirky little town than she thought she would in that moment. She felt a part of the town, she felt a part of this strange, unusual family that was formed from the town. It was a little sanctuary.

Finally, Thomas left them and Caroline escorted Summer and Elizabeth to the bakeries stand. There were cupcakes decorated in the Union Jack, the English flag, little Paddington bear figures, Beatrix Potter characters, and Harry Potter designs. It was amazing.

Summer laughed at the joy of the effort, it was wonderful, even though she felt ever so slightly awkward. She was handed something in a box, she opened it to find a cake covered in stripes of all kinds of colours, a half mask made of sugar and a red rose. It took a few moments examining all the little smaller details of the cake before she beamed. “Is this a Lloyd Webber cake?” to which Caroline broke into a massive grin.

The cake was wrapped back up and handed to Summer to keep and eat. Summer was guided from stall to stall before she reached Simon. Who stood proudly, yet sheepishly behind his table, a stand filled with all kinds of English tea’s. Summer smiled from ear to ear before giving Simon a hug.

Elizabeth talked with Simon while Summer wondered off with a cup of tea. Looking through all the stands she bumped into Zach, who took the cake bag and the souvenirs she had been given and had begun to struggle with the juggling of them. His hair seemed to catch in the breeze blowing from his face.

“I don’t mind carrying it, honestly. Elizabeth looks happy.” He pointed over his shoulder towards Elizabeth smiling and chatting with Simon; Summer nodded. Zach and Summer began to walk again. He carried the cake carefully. After a while Summer found herself with an ache in her feet, “mind if we steal that bench?”

“Not at all.” His smile seemed to blow Summer away every time.

Summer laughed watching the town having around them. They watched as Simon and Elizabeth brought out a new station. “Can we go and have a look? I’m sorry I know we’ve not long sat down?”

“Of course, it’s your day after all.” Standing Summer suddenly felt a little braver, she took Zach by the hand and walked a step ahead. Her heart raced, he didn’t let go or pull away. She felt a bit relieved but so incredibly excited. Even with aching cheeks from all the smiling.

Summer found herself amused at what the town had thought of Britain. Summer relaxed passing the stalls for fish and chips. She made her way to Simon and Elizabeth who had opened the Diner serving full English roast dinners including Yorkshire puddings.

After eating dinner with Zach, Simon, and Elizabeth; Summer felt relaxed, and very full. Elizabeth stayed behind to help Simon clean up and ordered Summer to go and enjoy the town after dropping the cake off and little odd souvenirs.

Summer and Zach had spent a fair amount of time wondering about as the atmosphere began to change wind down in evening, still holding hands whenever they could. In a moment of sadness Summer remembered school tomorrow. But in this moment she had to ignore that looming misery.

Zach walked Summer home. They stood rather awkwardly on the porch. She inched a little closer to him, still holding his hand. In a moment of bravery, she rose up on to her tip toes, and lightly kissed Zach on the cheek. Returning her feet to the floor, feeling slightly red and embarrassed, she looked up at him. He leaned in and let his lips brush hers as he kissed her. He wished her goodnight.

She opened the door, he let go of her hand and wished her good night again with that brilliant smile.

 

 

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Nine

 

It’s finally the weekend. That’s the sentiment they shared.

Summer had completed her homework and extra credit work by lunchtime. She had a short afternoon shift at the Diner to look forward to then some time with Elizabeth once she finished her shift.

While still home sick, Summer struggled to consider the manner home, although she was beginning to adjust to the decoration and the over-the-top-ness of the house. Neither Elizabeth or Summer had the heart to change it, even the bowl of keys on the dresser remained on the to do list pinned to the wall.

Tapping the to do list she walked out of the house towards the Diner.

For a Saturday the town seemed eerily quiet even McGuire wasn’t his usual self. He seemed to be running around giving whispered orders to groups of people nearby, but as soon as Summer approached he went silent. They exchanged a “good morning” or two and “what a lovely day” before returning to the huddle awkwardly.

Summer didn’t bother to mask her curiosity or her suspicion. She walked a little slower past each small crowd suddenly silent on seeing her.

“Ignore them, they are crazy” wise words from Simon as she got through the door. She still eyed him with equal suspicion. The Diner was quiet for a Saturday afternoon, and the distinct lack of explanation infuriated Summer with every quiet conversation hushed in her presence. On her occasional glance across the square she could see the kiosks being set up with carts and stands; but still no explanation, no matter how much she asked.

Struggling not to take it personally Summer eventually gave up asking.

At the end of her shift Summer met up with Elizabeth on her way out of Oaks, discussing dinner plans. They had their mission, cook dinner, see if they can find homes for some of those keys and watch some bad TV or food channels.

***

Exhausted the girls were still tucked up in bed at eleven thirty on Sunday morning. It was a loud knocking on the door that reverberated throughout the whole of the house to wake them up. Elizabeth was just as unhappy at the infernal racket as Summer as they opened at the door still bleary eyed from sleep in their pyjamas.

Dismayed at the door at the state of Elizabeth and Summer stood Caroline and Thomas. They ordered both girls to go get themselves presentable.

With the door closed both girls muttered and shuffled to their rooms pulling on jeans and t-shirts and raking their hair with a brush.

“Do we have to go with them?”

“Yup, no where we can hide in this damn town?”

“Great.”

Darling Daughters

Chapter Eight

 

It was towards the end of the week and both Elizabeth and Summer felt thoroughly exhausted. Elizabeth had been part of the marathon for the wedding order. Finally, her first day off this week had arrived, it was also Friday, much to her relief. However, that didn’t exempt her from waking up early to take Summer to school. But with that kerfuffle over Elizabeth now found herself at a loss of things to do, even with a to do list as long as her arm.

Elizabeth managed to get the food shopping done in the market with relative ease, a little nagging from Thomas had her rather grumpy. Elizabeth got the groceries home and put away, standing in the kitchen a little at a loss of what she wanted to do next. Her eyes fell onto the speakers and put music on, itching the volume a little higher at a time. She began to clean the house, in no time at all she was singing and dancing as she swept the floor occasionally pausing to use the handle as a microphone.

Elizabeth didn’t notice the door opening, or the figure of a man stifling laughter as Elizabeth continued to dance about with her back to him. A spin with the broom, she caught sight of him and screamed in surprise catching her feet below her she fell back on herself. Coming into the room to catch her, rescuing the damsel on the floor, Simon pulled her to her feet in hysterics.

Standing on her feet Elizabeth glared at him, picked up the broom and caught him on the shoulder telling him off. Finally, he had stopped laughing and apologised to her. Elizabeth was already red in the face from exertion and embarrassment.

“I’m sorry I swear I would have walked away, but it was such a show, a wonderful concert.” Elizabeth clipped his shoulder again with the broom at his sarcasm. Her eyes narrowed as he picked up the can of polish and the duster and began singing. Not sure if he was trying to offend her she glared, until her expression softened as he swayed and got into the song. Finally, Elizabeth caved and continued cleaning and breaking into laughter.

After a long while the living room and kitchen looked brighter and tidier. Reaching the final encore. Elizabeth smiled as she pulled a soda out of the fridge and handed it towards Simon, slumping on the sofa next to him, both a hot sweaty mess.

Simon pulled a small rusting key with a tag hanging off of it, “Archie” was scrawled across the label.

“Great another key, anyone would think Archie had a key fetish.” Continue reading

Darling Daughters

Chapter Seven

 

Summer rejected the alarm on her phone and rolled over burying her head in her pillows refusing to get up. Elizabeth burst into the room singing loudly and badly in an attempt to make Summer leap from her bed. Summer threw a cushion at Elizabeth’s head and missed. Determined Elizabeth kept singing until Summer rose from the sheets in a tangled mess.

Elizabeth passed Summer her school uniform and walked into the kitchen. Having spent most of the summer holidays trying to tidy the house the girls just wanted to relax this morning.

Hitting the shuffle on the speakers the girls got dressed and ready, eating breakfast singing and dancing along to cheesy pop.  By the time the fun was over they had to move swiftly to drop Summer off at Darling Honor before Elizabeth could make her way back to town for work.

The building before the girls stood tall and forbidding. Summer took a deep breath entering the cast iron gates. Teenagers swarmed through the hallways, Summer felt disorientated until she heard her name as she was tapped on the shoulder and lead towards headmaster Maiden’s office.

Summer’s heart raced as the door opened as she was called inside. By the desk sitting down was a tall, grey, stern looking portly man scanning a folder as he asked her to sit. Summer obeyed the icy grey eyes that met hers.

He waited a moment before he introduced himself, “I am your headmaster Alexander Maiden, the headmaster of one of the very few elite schools. Here you have the potential to become anything you want, if you apply yourself. However, it is not possible to cruise your way through this school doing the bare minimum.” Summer felt the knot in her chest tighten as she was handed a behaviour code to sign and the other school codes. She couldn’t escape the feeling she was signing her life away. Continue reading

Coryburn Girls Secrets (4)

All girls have their secrets, here’s some just for you.

 

Who did I most enjoy writing character wise?

Although I would love to say my alter ego Annabella, who I had originally intended to name Annabellarose, but found the name incredibly frustrating to write every single time, I have to say, it’s Kayetelynn even if the spelling induces that red squiggly line from hell that brands you an idiot for not being able to spell.

Kayetelynn was a reflective alter ego of a very cherished friends, their own dark side alter ego. Kayetelynn pronounced like the average Caitlynn has her own brand of questionable morals. She had the happy go lucky cushion of innocence  tainted with that dark fog of being obviously pretty. I found it fun interacting with the character, testing her because I couldn’t always tell what was the truth or the lie with her. Kayetelynn is the fun flip side of a coin that is along for the ride. She is absolutely brilliant.

Coryburn Girls Secrets (3)

All girls have their secrets, here’s some just for you.

 

What about the best friend?

 

Ah! Tarron! He is so sweet and nice. I feel so bad for him having friends like them. But he is such a good guy its unfortunate he has fallen in with a bad crowd. But it happens to the best and the worst.

Tarron is actually based on a few of my friends, they seemed to all get combined in a giant mixer with their goodness and it came out as it is one guy. It is such a huge shame. Tarron has been friends with the girls for years he has watched them grow up into beautifully unique women. He has seen the glimpses of goodness in them, and as it can be easy to do when you are lonely, he has ignored the bad in them.

Tarron is such a darling, he is plain, not in a bad way. But if he was a candy he would be a marshmallow; ok on his own but better served with naughty extras. That’s fine by him, because all he wants is a very normal, very ordinary life, it suits him because it’s what he has always known growing up.

Writing Exercise- The Darker Path (3)

Chapter Four

Its strange but the more time I spend with Seb and Eddy the more convinced I am the more convinced I am that they are hiding something. Although whats stranger is as I spend more time with Seb the less frequent that nightmare has become. I suspect its been replaced with the sensation of being watched, whether that is down to paranoia, delusions or this curiosity I have no idea, and Seb clearly has no intention of sedating the subject.

Mind you the elephant in the room is Lilly and her ridiculous tantrums lately. Possibly because she hasn’t been getting attention for a while, I’ve been too busy house hunting on the quiet, not involving her in what I’m doing. Or perhaps not being exclusively around her at the moment has certainly put her nose out of joint.

It possibly didn’t help matters when Seb and Eddy came over while Lilly was at work. “It may just be the sofa for now, simply because I am house hunting but you two are more then welcome to come to the new place. You know if you had any special features I could consider keeping an eye out for them?”

“If it has a basement I’m in for sure” Eddy grinned. Seb nodded.

Nipping to the bar for a spot of dinner after the boys had moved their stuff in to the house was a great idea. Slightly less great when Lilly came in and sat down with us.

Eddy raised a glass without thinking and toasted “to the new house” Seb caught my eye as we sipped our drinks praying that Lilly hadn’t noticed. Unfortunately I wasn’t as lucky as I had hoped. An interrogation later and she knew I planned to move. There was a few seconds of quiet after she asked when I planned on letting her know, she was on the edge of another one of her tantrums and I really didn’t  have the patience to put up with her crap this evening. “Well you can either rent the house or move out.” She took a second before she said, “you know, I think I will move in with you, you can’t get rid of me if you tried”

“You don’t say” Seb mouthed under his breath, he’s right, I’ve been trying for years, some how  couldn’t respond.

Back at the house Seb, Eddy and I were sat at the table while Lilly lounged on the sofa making a list of requirements for the new house. I sat talking with the boys as we made a practical list. “So Eddy you want the basement? Seb you prefer the kitchen to be simple open plan? I think that is doable.” Lilly sauntered over and handed me a list, “you want a paved garden, massive bedroom, walk in wardrobe, en suite, office, pink bathroom and a jacuzzi. Right.” I scrunched up the list and threw it from my chair into the bin. “What did you do that for?”

“Hmm let me see, its unreasonable, and oh yeah its not going to happen.”

“But they got what they wanted on the list!”

Chapter Five

I over heard Seb and Eddy discussing a nearby woods on y way to go and make a cup of tea, and to be honest this wasn’t the first hushed conversation I had stumbled upon today.  I had heard some talk of a full moon, but at that tie of the morning, I didn’t think anything of it. That was, of course, until Eddy told Lilly he had to go on a work retreat over night. Lilly suspected nothing, but Eddy is a bad liar. Of course I kept it quiet, with Seb watching like a hawk now wasn’t the tie to discuss lies or suspicions.

When Lilly and I were finally alone she declared we had to follow Eddy having decided he was cheating on her, her intention was to catch him in the act. We followed Eddy at a distance into the woods he had talked about earlier.

Being dragged forwards by Lilly I had that sinking feeling as we went further and further into the trees, not paying enough attention to a car parking up. Slowly we found ourselves standing at a small unlocked gate that lead into the mouth of a small cave that Eddy had disappeared into without hesitation.

I felt a cold tight hand grasping my free wrist as Lilly made to drag us further towards Eddy. Looking behind for the first time since Lilly started the pursuit I came face to face with Seb. Like a child caught in the act of wrong doing I couldn’t reach his gaze. Lilly quickly began to protest to resume the pursuit loudly as we heard footsteps approaching in the cave behind us, as Eddy quickly shut the gate, locking it and demanding that we leave, as he let out an agonizing, blood curdling scream.

I felt Seb’s grip on my wrist tighten as he pulled Lilly and I back to stop us getting any closer. For the first tie I watched Lilly at a loss for words. Breaking free she went straight to the gate trying to see where Eddy had disappeared to.  Before Seb could pull her back Eddy had lunged at her, with bright amber eyes he swiped his growing claws at her out stretched hand, his skin splitting. Seb sprung into action dragging us away. Pausing finally to lead Lilly by the  hand, I could see blood dripping from her. I pulled Lilly to face me, took her left hand  mine and lifted the torn sleeve, her wrist was scratched.

When we got to the hospital we had to tell them she had caught it on some nails, although I don’t know if the tetanus jab could really do any good. For the first time I watched Lilly at a loss for real words, she just remained silent. Even walking into the house seemed different, the quiet seemed to echo. I told Seb in no uncertain terms to wait there and make some tea while I put Lilly to bed.

Now he couldn’t deny answers, I took the tea waiting for him to finally speak. “I’m sorry, Lilly was never meant to, you were never meant to, you deserve the truth, he’s a werewolf.” I waited to feel something, anything; fear, surprise, shock, disbelief but none came. “I kind of guessed that. So if the monsters that hide under the bed are real, what’s your deal? Because I know that isn’t your secret, what’s your excuse? I heard you follow us, you could have stopped this, stopped us at any time, why not?” The silence dragged, “I was selfish. I wanted to tell you, but you would never have believed without proof, you would run for miles and miles, and you still might. If you wanted to you could,  I am sorry Lilly got hurt, but Demi, you have to know I love you.” I couldn’t reply, he had more explaining to do, and quite frankly now was not the time for the first “I love you” in the relationship. “You have to know I love you and would never hurt you, yes I am filled with hunger, just like you said. I have done terrible things, I am cursed, I have hurt and killed so any people than I ever want to count.”

I know I should feel scared but I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t feel real. His eyes turned as black as coal and he revealed fangs sprouting in his mouth, as quickly as it had come, his demonic face returned to the kind features I had come to know. “With you I a safer, the hunger is gone, I don’t need blood, I need you.” His head dropped, I took his hand and sat him on the sofa.

We sat and talked, everything from his past, his blood lust, his memories. I looked into his eyes and reminded him of the night we met. Finally I explained about the ring, the psychotic ex, the feeling of being watched. He told me about how he became this thing, this vampire, what he remembered about his victims, my own curiosity surprised him, when I asked what he remembered he replied with one word, “everything”. I stopped asking questions, now I asked for a promise, “should there be no other choice, no other way, will you trust me? Can you turn me? There is only a  matter of time until Mark makes good on his promise, please.” He was reluctant to agree, when he did a new feeling spread over me, relief. Relief that now I had an option. Even in the darkness I felt safer as we fell asleep on the sofa.

 

Writing Exercise- The Darker Path (2)

Chapter Two

I can’t put my finger on what it is I’m missing. I know Eddy and Turner were hiding something. I just want to know what. A while after I finally manage to fall asleep I am woken up by some stupid idiot trying to call me, of course in the early hours of the morning who bothers to look at the caller I.D? I couldn’t recognize the voice “I’m tired, I’m so tired of hiding, you’re tired of hiding too. I could see it in your eyes.” Finally the fog lifted “Turner? What the hell? Do you even know what the time is?” He apologized for waking me and asked if we could meet to talk properly. Too tired to pay attention I told him to call me when I was awake and he was sober.

Here is the thing, every night for almost a year now, I have tossed and turned throughout the night, for one reason; the reoccurring nightmare. Every night he is standing in the hall; hurt and angry standing next  to the last box of his stuff. Lilly stood beside me, her arm around my shoulder as I tell him to leave, again, that I was never a possession, I was never his possession, that  never will be. I can see the hurt transform into rage. Cold, callous, angry screeching rage blaming Lilly for poisoning me, calling me a weak, spineless prude. Berating my values, for putting everyone, family and friends before him. For not sleeping with him. He stood vowing that the next man in my life will be the last, the moment that ring is off my finger; either on the dresser or another mans hand he will be coming back for me.

But that’s not just a dream or a nightmare. Its a memory of my last relationship with Mark. It is what made me get the courage to leave, to leave this house, the past and memories behind.

At about lunch time my phone started to leap into action. True to his word Turner had called back. “Talk damn it” it was Eddy’s voice hissing words at Turner, “whats the worst that could happen” he hissed. Had they actually forgotten I could hear them? “Oh, I don’t know I could go nuts and bite her.” Taking my cue I cleared my throat. “Sorry I got distracted, I just wondered, well, would you like to go for a drink tonight?”

“I’m meeting Lilly at the bar tonight, she’s dragging me to complain, I mean she wants to whinge, I mean sh wants to talk about her lunch date.”
“Oh, no worries maybe another-”
“That wasn’t a no, I mean, I couldn’t stop any knights in shining armour wishing to save me from Lilly’s dating woes, I would be eternally grateful.”
“An eternity is a long time.”
“I know”
“I am sure I could arrange that. Is the armour compulsory?” I couldn’t help but smile, even while the estate agent showed a weird looking couple around. “Depends if your brave enough?”

Chapter Three

By the time I arrived at the bar Lilly had snagged us a booth and a couple of menus. I just counted my blessings that I didn’t have to cook. Lilly is an absolute pain in the ass to cook for, only roasts and very plain, very simple, very dull cooking gets eaten other then that its tantrums and refusing to eat it. Lilly started on a monologue about how frustrating her boss was. Mainly because she wasn’t in his pants yet. Mean while I had begun singing soundtracks to myself, I just sat there nodding as she went on about the boy on front desk flirting with her and she dived into the ever so dull story of her date. Thankfully seconds later I sensed someone standing beside me, “mind if we join you?” Not waiting for an answer he told me to “budge up” I slid over as Turner sat beside me. Lilly reluctantly followed suit for Eddy while she pouted again. “What happened to the armour?”

“It was all tarnished”

“What a shame.” Eddy didn’t seem to be happy sat next to Lilly as she resumed dominating conversation as she complained continuously about her lunch date. Even after food arrived we suffered through the constant drama with no interlude, no break, no pause. Eddy rather foolishly decided to join a side, he was team “poor guy who dated her”, had he been wiser he would have kept it a secret thought. He was never going to be the firs to try shining a light on a different angle causing more frustration. Turner smiled “I see your ring is on the right, you haven’t touched it once. So, what is it you are hiding from?”

“Why are you so curious hmm? It’s just living on the right today, so what is it you are hiding from then?” I held my gaze until he spoke, “you have beautiful eyes” unimpressed I rolled my eyes, “flattery will get you no where.” He took a sip of his drink before we spoke again. “I’m not hiding anymore, I have learned that I can control myself. You surprise me, you see right through me, you call me on it, not many have the guts to do that. I am afraid, of you, that you will see the darkness in me and run away, I don’t want you to run, even though you should, I don’t deserve forgiveness, or reprieve, but I some how just want some kind of acceptance. I have done some truly terrible things, mistakes, but I have changed.” Momentarily petrified yet some how relaxed, I look over at Eddy and Lilly bickering about dating to busy to pay attention. Struggling to read Turner I finally speak, “we all have our demons you know. And hiding behind your mask won’t save you in the end.” He nodded and lent in slowly before kissing me gently. “you do realize I won’t keep calling you Turner?” He smiled, “really?”

“Really, I much prefer Sebastian” I saw him flinch, “at least shorten it to Seb.”

“well I suppose thats better then calling you Bass?” The conversation between Lilly and Eddy had fizzled out as they now started pulling kissing faces at us. After a while I turned to face Seb and spoke quietly. “I suppose, I should be afraid of you, but I’m not. I’m tired of being afraid of shadows. Whatever the secret is, keep it, we all have secrets. At some point we have to face our fears, whatever they are.”
“Hey Demi, their twat of a landlords selling the place out from under them, do you know any flats or anything?”
“I’ll keep an eye out, Lilly you have gravy down your top.” I laughed as she started a whole new drama on gravy.