Generation 10 – “Tribute”

Warning: Mild language

Brandt Mason stood in front of the Elmira City Public Services Building and grinned. Even seeing the building itself made him feel suddenly excited about the prospects of his new life. He had been sad to leave behind his family, but he knew there was always e-mails, phone calls or text messages. He also knew that they were just a short trip by car away. This was his time, his moment. He found his calling. How many people can truly say that about their lives?

His stomach was twisted in knots and his throat felt dry. He could barely contain that nervous quiver of excitement in his limbs. He forced his legs to move, though walking felt as though he was wading through drying cement.

He pushed open the door to the police station and tried to calm his hammering heart. He strode into the building and over to the front desk. Sitting behind it, he saw a woman. He didn’t notice her appearance at first, but as she looked up and smiled at him Brandt’s tension suddenly left him. Her smile was so warm and inviting, Brandt could hardly help but smiling back at her.

“Are you Officer Mason?” she chirped.

Brandt nodded, and smoothed down his rookie’s uniform. The woman smiled brighter and rose from her desk. Brandt noticed that she wasn’t wearing a uniform. She walked out from behind the desk and held out her hand for Brandt to shake.

“Welcome to Elmira, Officer Mason. I’m Mina.”

Brandt took her hand in his and was surprised at how firm her grip was.

“Are you a cop too?”

She smiled and chuckled as she shook her head.

“No, no. I’m a civilian. We’re a bit understaffed here in this precinct. I usually work for the 911 dispatch, but I volunteered to man the front desk a couple days a week.”

Brandt nodded, though his confusion remained. “Why so understaffed?”

Mina crossed her arms over he chest and looked away. She chewed on her lip for a moment before turning her gaze back to Brandt and smiled as confidently as ever.

“Elmira isn’t…the safest place in the world. Most cops don’t last here for very long…the good ones anyway.”

She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and exhaled a little, as if she was trying soothe her nerves. She chuckled a little before speaking again, “if you’ll follow me, Officer Mason, I’ll take you to the Captain.”

Mina led him through the station, pointing out all of the important landmarks on the way. She showed him the water cooler, the desks for the detectives, the door to the locker room and the way to the cells. She stopped in front of a frosted glass door emblazoned: Captain Fredrick L. Jones.

“Here we are. Don’t let the Captain and the other guys be too hard on you. They like to give the new guys a tough time. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.”

Mina turned on her heel and started to walk away from Brandt. Before she completely cleared his sight, she turned over her shoulder and gave him one last smile. Once again, Brandt couldn’t help but return her infectious smile. Mina was certainly nice enough. Brandt hoped that perhaps he had already made his first friend in Elmira.

He forced himself to focus. He faced the frosted glass door, turned the knob and went inside. Behind the desk he saw an older man. His face was lined and his reddish-brown hair tinged with silver.

“You Mason?” he asked.

“Brandt Mason, Captain Jones, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Brandt said as he extended his hand to the Captain.

“Yeah we’ll see how much of a pleasure it is by tomorrow. Sit down, Mason,” the Captain waited for Brandt to take his seat before continuing, “has anyone ever told you about the crime situation in this city?”

“Well, Mina hinted that this wasn’t the nicest city in the world. Other than that, sir, I haven’t a clue.”

The Captain frowned, “I’ll have to speak to Minnie about that. Can’t have her scaring off my rookie cops before they even start working here.”

“Oh she didn’t scare me, Captain.”

The Captain’s frown melted into a dark scowl. The lines on his face deepened and he looked ten years older.

“That’s even worse. Look here, Rookie, that gal is off-limits. You got that? I will not have you bothering my sister.”

“Oh no, I-I didn’t…I mean, I wouldn’t,” Brandt stammered.

“Good. You keep that barn door closed, or else I’m going to use your balls for target practice. I’m going to assign you to Clark, he’s one of our senior officers, he’ll show you the ropes and get you acquainted here.”

Brandt smiled at the Captain as he rose and held out his hand. The Captain hesitated for just a moment but shook Brandt’s hand before letting it drop. He didn’t meet Brandt’s eyes, but just told him that Clark was probably still in the locker room. His Captain’s hesitancy to shake his hand troubled Brandt. He had always been taught that a man’s handshake was tantamount to his character. A weak or hesitant handshake usually meant that the person was of a weak character or moral fiber. Brandt didn’t want to imagine that his new boss was that sort of person. So, he convinced himself that the Captain just was unsure of himself. Perhaps Brandt had been the first officer to come along and shake his hand. Perhaps it wasn’t that the Captain was of a weak character, but his fellow officers had never given the Captain the opportunity before.

He felt firm in his new convictions as he turned and left his boss’s office. Brandt remembered where the locker room was, thanks to the mini tour Mina had given him. He felt his eyes slide over to the front desk. Mina was filling out some sort of a form and Brandt felt the corners of his mouth tug upward at the memory of her infectious smile. He tore his gaze from her and pushed the door to the locker room open.

Inside the room he saw several of his fellow policemen in varying states of dress. They were chatting happily with each other until they caught sight of Brandt. They stopped what they were doing and eyed the young officer.

“I’m Brandt Mason, I’m looking for Officer Clark.”

A gruff, older looking man stood up from a bench in front of a row of lockers.

“I’m Clark,” he said, staring Brandt down.

Brandt smiled and held out his hand for the man to shake.

“Nice to meet you. The Captain assigned me to you today. He said that you’d show me the ropes and help me get acquainted here.”

Clark smirked and chuckled, “you hear that guys? I’m assigned to the fresh meat today.”

Clark ignored Brandt’s outstretched hand. It hung in the air awkwardly until Brandt pulled it back in. He felt his heart sink a little. It wasn’t the sort of first day he had imagined when he took the job in Elmira.

“Go wait outside,” Clark finally said to Brandt.

Brandt hesitated, but ultimately did what the older officer told him. He waited just outside the door of the locker room, running over the previous events in his head.

“Are they giving you a hard time?”

He jumped and turned his head to see Mina’s concerned face.

“Oh no, I’m sure that what they’re doing is perfectly normal for all the new guys.”

Her small hand came to rest on his forearm. He noticed that her young face was twisted up in concern.

“That bad? Look, my brother tells me he’s put you with Clark. Just…don’t let him get to you, okay? He’s an asshole of the highest order, just…don’t let him get you. If he tries to take you into the city, please, don’t go with him.”

Brandt’s brow furrowed in confusion. He had no time to question Mina’s meaning as the door opened. Brandt straightened himself up a little bit as Officer Clark stepped into view.

“Hey Baby,” Clark sneered as he caught sight of Mina, “when are you going to let me take you out for a night on the town?”

Brandt’s head whipped over to Mina to gauge her reaction. A sneer of contempt had replaced the concern she had held for Brandt. She glared at him, her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.

“When Hell freezes over and the woman who wrote Twilight is appointed Poet Laureate!”

She huffed, turned on her heel and stormed away. Across the police station, Brandt could see her slamming down her paperwork. Whatever Clark had done to offend Mina, it was clear that it wasn’t something she was going to forgive any time soon. Brandt turned back to Clark to see how the man had taken the rejection. To his credit, Clark didn’t seem the least bit phased by Mina’s behavior. Instead he just smirked to Mason before jutting his thumb in the direction of the garage.

“Let’s go, I’m gonna introduce you to the city.”

Brandt turned back around towards Mina and saw her pleading face. She shook her head at Brandt, urging him not to go with his new partner. Clark just gave Brandt a little shove.

“C’mon Mason, do you want to be an Elmira Cop or what?”

Despite what Mina had warned him about, Brandt knew the answer to that question. More than anything, Brandt wanted to be a cop. So he shot Mina a sad smile, turned and walked out of the precinct. He got into the passenger side of a police cruiser with Clark. As the older man turned the key, he spoke to Brandt:

“You know, I don’t know what sort of cow town you come from, but here in the city…we gotta different way of doing stuff. If you’re going to be a cop in this town, you gotta pay tribute to the one running the show.”

Confusion mingled with worry as the weight of Clark’s words hit Brandt. He wondered what sort of tribute the man was talking about…was he referring to the Mayor of Elmira? Surely not every cop in Elmira met the Mayor? Clark shifted the gear stick into drive and pushed the pedal. The old car lurched forward, and Brandt knew there was no turning back.

**************************

I’m suddenly aware that there’s a mistake in the song list, it should be Charley and Sue. Apologies, here is the complete, correct song list:

Song List

Orchard House (Main Title) – Thomas Newman
Charley And Sue – Michael Kamen
Card Game – Michael Kamen
TLJ, The Tower – Bjorn Arve Lagim
Control Room – Andrew Lockington
I’ll Never See Him Again – Alan Meken & Stephen Schwartz
TLJ, Jacob MacAllen – Bjorn Arve Lagim
Gunfight – Michael Kamen

I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who has given me feedback on this generation. I haven’t had a moment to reply to comments yet, but I do read every single comment I get (and usually squee). Thank you all so much, and I’m happy that everyone is enjoying this Gen so far. I’ve already got chapter four written, I just need to shoot it and make a video. 🙂

Toast (Also, meant to publish this earlier but I slept through my alarm clock today, all of my activities are like 2 hours later than usual XD)

Quick Announcement

I have to go out of town tomorrow to Virginia and I’ll be without cell service and internet. I tried to get another chapter out before i left for you guys but I don’t think its going to happen. I’m sorry about that. On the plus side, I should be able to get some writing done while I’m away so I may be able to crank out a couple chapters when I return.

Thanks for being patient.

Generation 10 – “Doubt”

Warning: This chapter contains discussion of people killing each other. The word rape is mentioned. Talk of Guns. 

The story of Brandt Mason is a story that I think you’ll like hearing. However, there’s a second story that I think I need to tell. You need to hear it, regardless. In many ways it’s a cautionary tale. It should deter anyone who hears it. That’s what I’m supposed to say, anyway. Really though, what control do I have over people? You may not like this story…you may not agree with it but everything in it happened.

Our story begins with a gunshot. I know, most stories end with a gunshot. This isn’t that sort of story though. This story tells you what happens after the shot is fired. The muzzle is still smoking and red-hot. The hand that is holding it shakes just a little bit from the recoil.

This story starts in that little moment of doubt after the gun is fired. Was the shot clean? Did it hit the target? Is the victim still alive? In this doubt is when our resolve is tested. It’s when we learn who we really are…and what we’re made of. In this moment, a decision is made.

* * *

Billie was not your every day sort of girl. While the rest of the people in her age bracket were out clubbing or dating, Billie sat in her squalid little squat and cleaned her gun. As she unlocked the slide and let the round in the chamber fall out, she recited to herself the rules of gun ownership that her father had taught her:

“Rule number one, keep your finger off of the trigger until your sight is on the target and you’re willing to shoot.”

She pulled the magazine from her gun, picked up the loose round and put it behind her. She held her gun in front of her face, the muzzle pointed off to the side as she slid her fingers over the black finish. She looked into the chamber and felt around with her finger to make sure that it was empty.

“Rule number two, never let the muzzle of your gun cross anything you’re not willing to destroy.”

Billie held the gun and pointed it at a target she kept across the room. She lined up her sights and pressed the trigger for a dry-fire practice. She pulled the slide off of her gun and pulled out the recoil spring and the barrel.

“Rule number three, treat all guns as if they are always loaded.”

She ran a dry brush over the parts of her gun. Her father had taught her the importance of having well-maintained instruments. A gun was only as good as the person holding it. If the person holding it didn’t care for the gun properly, then the gun wouldn’t take care of them.

“Rule number four, be sure of your target and what’s behind it.”

Billie’s cellphone began to jingle as she set down her dry brush. She picked up the phone that was sitting next to her and put it to her ear and rested her shoulder against the phone to hold it in place.

“Billie speaking”

She began to slowly put the parts of her gun back together.

“Billie, I have that information you wanted.”

She held up her gun and gave it another dry-fire test. “Shoot,” she said as she pulled the trigger. She heard the sounds of papers rustling over the line.

Victor is coming back to Elmira to meet with his local connections…and to visit his sick mother.”

Billie put her gun down and took the phone in her hands.

“His mother? Are you telling me the man responsible for over two-hundred deaths in his lifetime was actually born? I thought evil like that just congealed one day.”

The man on the other line laughed but turned serious as he spoke again:

“The meeting, he’ll have about two-dozen guards on him. When he’s with his mother he’ll only have his usual entourage of five, but he’ll be in a nursing home with a lot old folks and witnesses. If you take him out at the meeting, you’ll be pumped full of lead before you even make it to the door. However, going after him at the nursing home can lead to accidents. I know you, Billie, you don’t want any innocent blood on your hands.”

She scoffed, “there’s already innocent blood on my hands, Clem. Thanks for the advice, I’ll take it into consideration.”

She hit the hang up button on her phone and turned over her shoulder. She picked up her ammunition and replaced it with her phone. She pushed the mag back in and turned the safety on the gun. She put the gun on the shelf behind her and rose. Billie walked over to the bathroom in her squat and ran the cold tap. She cupped her hands underneath the stream and splashed cold water on her face. She looked up at her reflection, pulled her glasses off and rubbed her eyes. Her contact lenses slid away from her eyes for just a moment. As she blinked they settled back into place.

“Rule number five,” she began, her voice thick, “say it, Billie. Rule number five, never show your gun unless you’re willing to shoot the person you showed it to.”

She lifted her hands to her hair and pulled it behind her head. She fastened it in place with a ponytail band. She stared at her reflection in the mirror before she spoke again, reciting the rules that she had chosen to live her life by:

“Rule number one, never let them see you.”

She opened up the cabinet beneath the sink and pulled out a brown package. She lifted the lid and pulled out a wig.

“Rule number two, bad guys and good guys wear the same masks. Know who is who.”

She lifted the wig and pulled it down over her head. She smoothed down the edges and studied her reflection in the mirror. Even with just a different hair color and style, Billie looked different. It was her trademark on the street, no one knew exactly what Billie looked like. She usually wore glasses, and always changed her hair and eye color.

“Rule number three, strike quick and strike fast.”

She leaned forward on the edges of the sink and drew heavy black eyeliner around her lids.

“Rule number four, leave one witness to tell the story.”

Billie took her pinky and smudged the liner with the tip of her finger. She dropped her hand to the sink and braced herself as she leaned forward towards the mirror.

“Rule number five, better to kill than to be killed,” she paused and smirked before continuing, “finally…rule six: always leave one bullet for yourself.”

* * *

Billie emerged from the filthy little house she was squatting in. She was dressed all in black, complete with a black jacket that barely hid the gun holster on her hip. As she moved the bottom of the holster would peek out. The sun was beginning to set. It was her favorite time of day, because it was the calm just before the storm that night brought. During the day, the spit-shine gloss of Elmira gleamed like a diamond behind a store case. Once the sun set and the moon began to glow a very different world would wake. The glimmer of the city by day would fade, and beneath its veneer a dark, awful world would emerge.

It was during this dark world that Billie would do her life’s work. She would hunt, not just any normal prey…she would hunt the people who went bump in the night. The monsters that, without her, would rage and maim and kill and rape anything that came near them. Billie, who had once been a victim…would never, ever be a victim again.

Night after night she went out under the cover of darkness. She would shoot first and ask questions never. She was tired of the lies, tired of the bureaucracy that only served to protect those cockroaches. The cops, she once believed in them, but no more…not after they failed to protect her and the ones she loved. No, the only cop who had ever tried to help her was dead. She’d had enough with the promise of protecting and serving. She knew the only way to get anything done was by doing it herself. So, she stole the gun and practiced with it daily. She taught herself everything there was to know about it. She honed her body and practiced daily all the skills she needed. She turned herself into a vigilante for justice, but never ever lost the true sight of her goal:

“I will get my revenge on those who have harmed me,” she recited to herself as she strode the down the alleyway from her makeshift home, “I will get my revenge on those who have harmed the people I love.”

She hung a left and pressed herself up against a wall. Night fell around her and she waited until she heard the crash of a bottle thrown against something solid to pull away from the wall. She heard a scream and rounded a corner. As she cleared the corner, her gun was raised and ready to fire. She pointed her gun at a man who was holding a screaming woman.

“Let her go.”

***********************

Generation 10 – “Courageous Stupidity”

Author’s Note, please read:

Hello! Welcome to Generation 10. As I have mentioned before this generation is going to be very different from previous generations. It will be different in both storytelling content and in the manner in which the story is told. If you scroll down you will see that I have embedded a Youtube video. I am telling the story as if a person is literally saying the story…which is what is happening in the story itself. You will see in the first few sentences that this generation is NOT being told in journal format. It’s being told as an Oral story and therefore I decided to do it that way as well.

Now, the video is me telling the story so it is me acting out the story. You can watch the video by itself as I have included the pictures from the update in the video and you can even just read the update if you don’t want to bother as it is below the video. However, my recommendation is to play the audio on the video and follow the text of the story along as I say it. This is because I have added some ambient effects and music to the video and various little things like that. Here is my warning:

This particular generation is going to be “grimdark”. It is a lot darker and more disturbing than my previous Gens. Someone said to me that there was no way anyone could ever top Vincent in the villain department, and I decided to rise to the occasion. As these updates include -audio- I will give everyone a specific warning before each chapter as I know some of you have little ones and I’m sure you wouldn’t want them to hear me saying naughty words.

I am doing the Gen this way, as I have said a few times in an effort to be different. Plus, I just think it’d be fun to do things a little differently this time around. Especially given that the story itself is rather different. So with that being said, please sit back and enjoy the story. 🙂

~ Toast

Warning: This chapter contains scenes of homophobic bullying. Both ‘F’ words are used. 

***************************

I’ve been told that talking is supposed to help…that I’m supposed to stand here and jabber on while you just sit there and listen to me. They tell me it’s supposed to help you, to hear me. Maybe it’ll make you rethink your situation. Maybe it will change things. I think they just tell people like me that…I think it helps me a lot more than it helps you.  I’m not so good at small talk, I’m sure you remember that much. I’m better at stories. So, I’m going to tell you a story.

This story is…well, it’s very near and dear to me. It’s the story of someone I admire, someone I love and someone who changed my life. This is the story of the life and the murder of Brandt Mason.

* * *

The beginning of this story isn’t at the beginning of Brandt Mason’s life. His childhood was like any other, he was born…he grew up and he grew older. The story I want to tell you about began the day that he turned 16 years old. It was a birthday that had begun typically, he woke up to his Mom cooking him breakfast. He went to school where his friends gave him a hard time about turning 16 and being able to drive them places. His day was perfectly normal until the final bell rang, announcing that school was finished for the day.

Brandt gathered his things and began to walk outside, just like any normal day. Except on this day, a classmate bumped into Brandt and sent his books flying.

“I’m sorry, Brandt!” the classmate called, “I’d stop but I gotta catch the bus. See you tomorrow!”

Brandt sighed and shook his head as he bent down to pick up his books. He gathered them back into his hand and decided to stuff as many as he could in his backpack to avoid another incident. Even in just the couple of minutes since the bell rang the school had suddenly quieted. It made sense, Brandt thought to himself as his ears began to hum white noise. How many times had he run out of the building at full speed to get home just a half second faster? He walked out of the classroom and started down the hall, imagining to himself what sort of Birthday treats awaited him at home.

It was as he was walking down the hall that he heard an odd sound coming from the boys’ bathroom. It sounded like someone crying. Suddenly, the cries grew louder as the sound of muffled shuffling started. Curious, Brandt pushed the door open just a crack and saw a group of guys. There were about five of them, two of them were from Brandt’s class though he didn’t know their names off hand. The other three he recognized as a grade above his. One of them was an athlete, his letterman’s jacket looked perfectly pressed and clean. They were moving strangely, and Brandt realized with a start that they were circled around something and they were hitting it as hard as they could. Suddenly the biggest one, the athlete, stopped and stepped away. Through the gap of people Brandt could see a broken, bleeding boy. Even through the blood and swelling Brandt could recognize the boy. It was a classmate of his, someone who he’d been partnered up with in biology a few times. Brandt wracked his brain for the boy’s name, his nerves betraying him. Royce or Roy, that was the boy’s name. Without even hazarding a guess, Brandt knew exactly why they were beating this boy up.

“Fucking queer!” the athlete cried as he delivered a kick to Roy’s ribs, “you think you can look at me? Hit on me? You sick fuck.”

One of the boys from Brandt’s grade circled around Roy before leaning down and hitting him repeatedly in the back. Brandt could see the attacker’s snarl, his teeth gritted together and the spit flying from his mouth from the force of each blow.

“We don’t want your kind around here, faggot!”

Brandt felt nauseous. He could feel the bile rising in his throat and he wanted nothing more than to run away. He wanted to flee from this scene, forget he had ever seen it and pretend that it wasn’t real. This sort of thing only happened in movies. Brandt knew there was bullying in schools, and that kids who were different were picked on…but they weren’t beaten savagely. They weren’t targeted for violence on this scale. If he ran now, he could make it home in time without his Mom knowing that he had seen anything. Yet, something kept Brandt from moving. In his mind’s eye, Brandt suddenly saw the thing he had feared the most but had never let himself truly think about:

His brother’s face, broken and bleeding on the bathroom floor while boys just like the ones in front of him, savagely beat him. His brother Kenneth had come out to him and his family two years ago. Brandt had been worried about his fate in high school, but he had never let himself truly think about the dangers his younger brother faced. He tried to shut his eyes, but the images only continued to flash and suddenly he saw the sad, and disappointed face of his parents…his mothers.

You see, Brandt Mason was a child of a homosexual couple. The beatings and bashings rang especially true with him. He wondered how he had escaped ridicule at school and he imagined his Momo’s face when she heard that he had stood by while another kid was being beaten up for being gay. She would be disappointed, sad and most importantly…angry and Madison Mason was not the sort of woman you wanted to be angry. Brandt also knew, deep in his heart…that it was the right thing to do and THAT was why he couldn’t step away.

Brandt dropped his books and slammed the door open. The boys whirled around and glared at him menacingly.

“This doesn’t concern you, Mason,” the athlete snarled.

“Get away from him,” Brandt replied, surprised that the older boy knew his name.

“Or what? We’re just exercising our right to freedom of expression. Free speech means we can hate who ever we want to hate…and we hate fags.”

“Wait wait, Danny…Mason here has two Mommies!” one of the boys from Brandt’s grade exclaimed.

Brandt shot his classmate a hateful look. The older boy’s eyebrows lifted slightly. Brandt had thought that the fact that his mothers were lesbians was well known throughout the school. Apparently he was wrong, but now that he had come to the defense of this boy…he would be targeted.

“Oh really?” the ringleader, Danny, said with a growing smirk, “maybe we should pay them a visit. You know a lesbian’s just a woman who hasn’t had a good dick.”

Fury ripped through Brandt’s heart. He launched himself at the ringleader and tackled him into a locker. He sat back and got two punches into the bully’s face before his friends lifted him off. Brandt was pushed down to the floor and the other boys  began to kick him. His ribs, face, back and even his testicles burned with pain. He had no breath, no feeling and he truly believed in that moment…he was going to die.

Suddenly, as the white numbness of overwhelming pain surrounded him Brandt heard a voice:

“Get up,” was all the voice said.

Brandt felt his sense return to him and he reached up and grabbed one of the boys’ feet. He had been throwing so much of his weight into his kicks that the bully immediately fell off balance and hit the floor. The other boys, shocked into stillness had stopped kicking. Brandt forced his body to roll. He rolled into the feet of two of his attackers, causing them to lose their balance and fall as well. Brandt scrambled to his feet while the other boys tried to help each other. Brandt couldn’t make it to his feet, but opted to crawl towards Roy. He was determined to help the boy out of the bathroom. Suddenly, just as Brandt had reached Roy, the door opened.

“What the hell?”

Everyone in the bathroom looked up to see the astonished face of one of the Vice Principals looking around at them. The adult pulled his cell phone out of his tweed pocket and dialed 911 and shouted for the school nurse.

* * *

“So, the other boy here tells me that you came into the bathroom in his defense. You attacked the boys who were attacking him…five against one. I gotta tell you, kid, that was both really brave and really stupid.”

“Anyone else would have done it,” Brandt replied.

He looked up into the aged face of the police officer, one of the first responders on the scene. They had arrested the attackers and an ambulance had come for Roy. The paramedics had rushed for Brandt, but he waved them off and told them to help Roy first. While he waited for his turn, the officer had come over to talk with him.

“No, kid, they wouldn’t have. Your father would be proud of you.”

Brandt chuckled, “Madison Mason is my mother.”

The officer guffawed, and gave him a light punch in the arm before shaking his head.

“Well, I see where you get your courageous stupidity from. So, planning on following in her footsteps? Become a hero firefighter and run into burning buildings? That’s like running into a fight outnumbered. I think you’re just as likely to get killed.”

Brandt wrapped his arms around himself as best he could. His body was aching and he felt so exhausted. He just wanted to sleep, the aching pain in his head worried him. He didn’t want a concussion.

“Fires aren’t for me. I’ve seen her come home with too many burns too many times.”

“Well we could always use someone brave for Riverview PD. Think about it, and when you’re old enough come down to the station if you’re interested. I think the paramedics are ready for you. Your mother and your grandfather’ll be proud of you, kid. You did good today.”

Brandt stood and turned towards the ambulance and saw Roy being wheeled into the back. Roy lifted his hand towards Brandt. He knew it was more movement than the boy could really manage. Even though he had a tube in his nose and his face was bloody and swollen…Brandt could see the gratitude in the boy’s face. It filled Brandt’s heart with more emotion than he had felt in a long time. He turned towards the cop who had been talking to him and looked him over. Courageous stupidity aside, Brandt knew then what he wanted to do with his life.

He wanted to join the boys in blue at the Riverview Police Department. He wanted to help people like Roy and protect them from harm. His eyes drifted over to the police car.

To Protect and Serve.

Brandt took the message to heart.

Two years later, when Brandt turned 18 and graduated he enrolled in the police academy. He graduated, but he didn’t get a job at the Riverview Police department. Instead, he got a very promising offer from the Elmira City Police Force. So the rookie cop packed up his things and moved to the big city.

********************

Song List

Akira Yamaoka – Reflections
Carter Burwell – Father’s Gun
Bjorn Arve Lagim – TLJ, Main Titles
Akira Yamaoka – Devil’s Lyric
Bjorn Arve Lagim – TLJ, The Deep & Old God
Bjorn Arve Lagim – TLJ, The Tower
Bjorn Arve Lagim – TLJ, Danger
Bjorn Arve Lagim – TLJ, Desolation and Well
Carter Burwell – Taken Hostage
Carter Burwell – One Against Four
Bjorn Arve Lagim – TLJ, Epilogue
Andrew Lockington – One Last Message

Generation 9, Madison – Chapter Fourteen

“Good Afternoon and thank you for calling the Riverview Department of Family and Children’s services. How may I direct your call today?”

I called up the department and told them that Ember had come over to my house. They asked me if I wanted her removed and instead I politely asked to speak to the person in charge of her case. After a long talk with the woman who had been trying to get Ember adopted for the whole of her life, I told the woman that I was Ember’s birth mother and that I wanted her back. The woman had been very hesitant, but once I dropped my name and my father’s name I found that the wheels of bureaucracy managed to turn just a little bit better than they had been.

By the time I got off the phone with the woman, I had started the process to officially adopt Ember. I had the chance to do some good with her. I had he opportunity to fix the mistakes that I made and by God I was going to do it it. I was smiling to myself when I hung up the phone and immediately headed off to find my daughter. I wanted to tell her the good news myself. I found her sitting outside watching the boys playing. She had an unreadable expression on her face. It was one of longing, but at the same time one of anger and envy.

“Hey, I just spoke to DFACS,” I said as I sat down next to her.

She rounded on me, her eyes were wide with fear. Her upper lip was half curled and her eyes were wild, feral.

“You’re sending me back.”

It wasn’t a question. Her eyes were accusatory, but the rest of her face was entirely impassive. As though she had experienced this very thing before.

“No…no, I’m going to adopt you. You’re home now, Ember. You’ll never have to go anywhere again.”

I reached to brush a lock of hair behind her ear. Ember’s eyes flashed and she jumped away from me and to her feet. Her face was cold, her lips curled into a snarl.

“You think you can just come along and adopt me like I’m some kind of God Damn stray puppy? You didn’t even think of asking me if I wanted to be adopted by you? I hate you! You may have given birth to me, but you’re no mother of mine. As far as I’m concerned you’re the worst thing that ever happened to me. If you adopt me, I’ll run away. I swear to God I will.”

Without stopping she turned on her feet and ran back into the house, leaving me in shock in the backyard. I gasped for air and felt a tremendous pain in my chest. My eyes felt warm and wet. Suddenly I felt something warm trickle down my cheeks. I realized with a start that I had started to cry even before it had registered with me. I gulped air again as it seemed my body had forgotten how to breathe. Savannah heard me and came running out of the house.

“Maddy? Baby, what’s wrong? Honey are you sick, talk to me, what’s happening?” she asked me, her eyes and hands frantically checking me over.

“Sh-sh-sh-she d-d-d-doesn’t w-want me to ah-ah-ah-adopt her-r-r,” I managed to gasp out in between sobs, “she s-said she’d r-r-run away f-from me.”

“Oh God,” Savannah whispered as she sat down next to me. She wrapped her arms around me and pulled me firmly against her body. My head collided with her shoulder and I felt huge sobs rack my body. She stroked my head and whispered soothing things into my ear as I calmed down. The pain in my chest felt as though it was going to rip me apart. I could barely form conscious thought beyond the pain. It felt like the ultimate rejection.

This had been the moment I had been dreaming of since I was seventeen years old. The moment when I’d finally do the right thing and adopt my daughter. When I’d finally get to be her mother…and she had completely and totally rejected me. She didn’t want me. She hated me, she even said so.

“She hates me,” I whimpered against Savannah’s throat.

“No she doesn’t.”

“She told me so.”

She scoffed, “honey, all kids say that. How many times did you tell your parents you hated them.”

“We’re not talking about me,” I huffed.

Though I couldn’t see her face, I knew Savannah was narrowing her eyes at me. She pressed her cheek against the side of my face and rocked me a little more.

“Things are going to be hard with her, Maddy. They’re going to be harder with her than they ever will be with any of our other kids.”

I sat back a little bit and looked up into her concerned face.

“But Jessica-” I began.

Savannah held up her hand, “don’t start down that path, Maddy Mason. Jessica may have lost her mother young but she’s grown up with her father and ‘Uncle’ telling wonderful stories about her. She had parents and a family. Ember didn’t have any of that. Circumstances may be similar, honey, but they’re not the same. It’s going to take time with Ember. I hate to say it, but its going to take more than just a three days at home a week.”

She leaned in and kissed the top of my head before rising and seeing to the boys. I watched her go. The overwhelming pain in my heart had lessened just a bit. Savannah was right of course. It was going to take a lot more than me adopting Ember to make things right between us. I wiped my eyes and rubbed the moisture on my hands on my jeans. I rose and headed into the house to try again with Ember.

As I entered the living room I saw a peculiar sight. It was Ember…rebellious, angry and hateful Ember and she was being held by my father. The oddest part about the whole thing was the expression on her face. Gone was all the anger, all the hate and in its place was the face of a scared, but…softer girl. Her cheeks were tear-stained and her eyes shut. However, she was hugging my father so hard I could hardly believe it. They pulled a little apart from each other.

“Okay, I’ll stay. I’ll try,” she murmured.

I knocked on the wall where I was standing. Ember looked up, stepped away from my father and eyed me.

“I’ve decided to stay,” she announced.

“I’m glad.”

She hesitated, opening and closing her mouth before steeling herself and asking me:

“Do I have to call you ‘Mom’?”

I tried to smile encouragingly, though i was sure it didn’t meet my eyes.

“Only if you want to,” I replied.

* * *

I tried to make things work with Ember and with work at the same time, but nothing worked right. Every time we’d make progress on my days off, I’d go to work and Ember would shut down again.

I had even been promoted to the top spot, passing both Trevor and Scout in the hierarchy. I was now the Fire Chief, and everything seemed to be going my way except….

I felt empty.

I only felt a little bit more when I came home from work. I was conflicted. I had always thought that the purpose of my life was to fight fires and save people. I had done it too. I had saved more than I had ever wished for…more than thirty at least, but I wasn’t really counting anymore. Yet now, it didn’t seem to matter. So, I decided to take time off from work to spend at home with my kids. I had plenty of vacation time built up, due to the fact that I had never taken a single vacation day or sick day in all of my years at the department. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get buy without someone earning some money. So, Savannah decided to come out of retirement at long last.

She was thrilled. Apparently she had been wanting to go back to work for a long time. She had never dropped her workout schedule, though she hadn’t joined me at the station in a long time.

Ember had been with us for just a few months before I realized that we had actually missed her birthday. She hadn’t said anything to me about it nor had she acted like we had done something to her. It occurred to me that Ember didn’t know her real birthday. She had never been told. That was a thought that just made me want to cry all over again.

I cornered her one day and asked her about it. She told me that she’d never really had a birthday and that no one knew when it was exactly. The date on all of her paperwork was a guess, and it was off by at least a week. Apparently who ever had ever taken her when she was a baby outside of the police station hadn’t bothered to consult a calendar when they wrote down her date of birth.

So I told her the real day, and as I did there was a look on her face like none I’d ever seen. I expected her to be angry with me, for forgetting. I expected that she’d fly off the handle at me, but instead she smiled up at me through glassy eyes and thanked me.

After that day things between my daughter and I improved. We had a birthday party for her, and it seemed that becoming a teenager had really calmed her. I expected things to be worse. She was a beautiful girl, and I could see a lot of her father in her. Every time I looked at her I couldn’t help but wonder where he was. What happened to him? Did he know that he had a daughter out in the world?

As we were all celebrating Ember’s birthday, the phone rang. Dad went to go answer it, and as he listened to the caller on the other end he went ghostly white. He dropped the phone and clutched at his sweater.

“Dad?” I cried, rushing over to him.

His eyes were glassy and his face was still a horrible shade of white. I thought he was dying.

“They…” he began, his voice choking with emotion, “they found your sister. They found Kennedy.”

* * *

Having Kennedy back was like recovering a long memory. It was as if we had simply misplaced her and she was back again. Ember had babysat the kids for us, and promised to call Trevor if she had any trouble. Dad, Savannah and myself spent two days in Bridgeport, catching up with my sister.

It was easy to be around her again. All of the ill feelings between us had simply vanished. I wasn’t sure what my sister had been through, but I could tell that it had affected her deeply. With Kennedy, one could gauge her state of mind from her wardrobe. Before all of this, when she first moved away, she wore nothing but pinks or stylish clothing. Her hair was long and braided conservatively. As she progressed, her clothing changed until now she was wearing the dark and muted outfit before me. Her hair was loose and shorter. Her makeup was heavy. Still, I was happier than anything to have her home. I just wondered about the things she had seen and where she had been. What had kept her away from all of us, even her child?

I didn’t buy her story for a moment. I had been around enough victims to recognize that little gleam in their eye. It was a shine that their eyes took on, it said that something had happened to them. Something had come along into their lives and ripped out a piece of their soul. Their eyes said that if they were cornered again…they wouldn’t let themselves be victimized. Kennedy didn’t have amnesia, I knew that, but I figured the lie had been easier for her than the truth. If that was the case then I’d let her keep on lying, because she’s my sister and I love her. If I’m supposed to know what happened to her, she’d tell me. Maybe one day, when we’re old and grey, she will.

* * *

When we got back to Riverview, I was happy to come home to a changed household. While we were gone, Ember and Brandt had bonded. While my daughter still had her moments of anger and times where she couldn’t stand to be touched, she had come a long way. She had blossomed under our love and was a welcome member of our family from the beginning. The boys loved their big sister, and I know that she loved them back. It was innate with siblings, I realized. No matter how much time passed or how many miles were between you, you shared an unshakeable bond. You could fall into place with each other as if nothing had ever happened. Despite the fact that not all of our children were actually related to each other, it seemed as if that explanation was true.

Life seemed like it was finally working my way and I realized that I finally had everything I had ever wanted…everything I had ever dreamed of. My whole family was flourishing and every one of my wishes had been granted. Life was good. Life was complete. All that was left to do was watch my children grow up and live happily ever after with my insanely beautiful wife.

So, I’ve decided that this is the end of the line for me. Things with my daughter continue to improve every day and they will continue to improve. She’s learning to trust again, and she’s learning to open her heart to all of us. I couldn’t be happier. I sit down and think of the course of my life and I am truly amazed.

I overcame so much. When it happened, I thought that Kaia’s death would be the end of me. Then, going to Bridgeport and meeting Micah. I had a baby by him, and I gave her up. She suffered at the hands of me and for what I will never forgive myself. I joined the fire department when I found my true calling. I saved my wife’s life. How many people can say that they have done that? We fell in love and today, including Ember have five children together. Life couldn’t be better, except….

One day, as we were celebrating Brandt’s birthday, Ember came to me. We were sitting down outside, on the back porch, as we always seemed to be when someone big happened in our family.

“Mom, can I talk to you?”

I looked up and smiled at her. She had only just recently started to call me ‘mom’, I hadn’t made a big deal out of it for fear of scaring her and making her stop. Still, hearing the sentiment made me smile every time.

“Of course, sweetie,” I replied.

She smiled and sat down. She was a couple steps below me and she didn’t look at me, which was fine. I had learned early on with Ember that she was always more open and willing to talk when she didn’t have to actually look at me.“I was wondering…the person who found me named me Ember. But, you had a different name for me, right? You called me Elizabeth?”

“Yeah,” I acknowledged, a little confused by her questions. I picked at the lint on my jeans as I continued, “I didn’t get a chance to name you myself, unfortunately. However, every day that I thought of you I called you Elizabeth in my head and in my heart.”

I stole a glance at her and saw her lick her lips. It was a habit I noticed she did when she was feeling anxious.

“I was wondering, Mom…do you think you call me Elizabeth from now on?”

I couldn’t stop the sudden tear that slid out of my eye. I exhaled harshly, somewhere between a chuckle and a snort. I reached across the gap between us and gripped her hand in mine.

“Of course, honey. If that’s what you want. You’re my daughter, no matter what and I love you more than anything in the world.”

She smiled and looked down at the grass before lifting her eyes to the horizon. She didn’t cry, and she didn’t hug me but that was okay. We were taking everything one step at a time and man, was this a big step. Our lives weren’t going to be easy all the time, I knew that much. However, no matter what troubles we encountered we’d see our way through. After all, we’re a family and that’s what families do. We love each other, and we protect each other. Every day for the rest of our lives.

It was because of my love for her that Kennedy and I sat down and had a talk with each other. We decided together that our generation was going to be the last in the line of the legacy our ancestors had started. It’s just too much pressure to put on to our kids. Kennedy and I are both testament to that. I’ll put my journal in the deposit box tomorrow, but I’m not going to ask one of my kids to continue the line. I couldn’t do that to them. So, I guess this could be goodbye…who knows when someone will read these words again?

I’m not unhappy about it, trust me. I just want to spend every day of the rest of my life with my family.

I vowed I’d never ever waste those precious days again.

***********************

*sniffle*

So, here we are…after long last. This, my dear dear readers and friends…was the last chapter of Generation 9. I can hardly believe that it’s finally here. I think I might truly cry. And of course, despite what Madison says, the story isn’t over yet. Just setting up the next gen. 😉

I’m not 100% satisfied with the chapter, but I believe its good enough. I plan on expanding on Ember’s story more later. I plan on telling her story, or at least parts of her story on my tumblr. 🙂

Well, as per tradition, here we have the generation objectives. I don’t play for points, but I like to see how I stacked up.

    • Become a firefighter √
    • Get the key to the city√
    • Max Handieness skill√
    • Max athletic skill√
    • Marry serves sim (all of them are able to be used)
    • Have a baby (as many as you’d like)√ Five of them, haha.

Optional:

  • Rescue 5 sims from the blaze √ (She saved at least 30, enough to satisfy her LTW)
  • Put out 10 fires√
  • Get hidden trait (this I do not know and forgot to check!)

Well, I think I did pretty good this time around. 🙂

Oh, before I forget. The naming theme for Maddy’s babies was very subtle, and to my knowledge only one person was able to guess. They’re all fire names. Ember, of course being obvious. Brandt means fire brand. Aiden means little fire. Conley means purifying fire. Kenneth means born of fire. 🙂

I forgot to say this when I finished Kennedy’s chapter, but of course as you may have noticed I had some vampire-y themes. First of course being the names of the children. They are all named for vampires in the TV show True Blood. The twins middle names were also names for vampires in True Blood. Jessica (to my knowledge) has no canon middle name as of right now. All of the other characters in this gen (with the exception of Jimmy) are named from various vampires movies, books…etc. So, in the band we have Selene (Underworld) and Deacon (Deacon Frost, Blade). Marcus is, contrary to popular belief not named for Twilight but rather for Underworld. Claude is for Jean-Claude from the Anita Blake series. I think that’s all the named characters. Soo yep. 🙂

Oh and of course, the pets are also named for True Blood. Sam the dog, being of course Sam Merlotte and if you know about the character you get the little joke. 😉 The cat is named Sookie after Sookie Stackhouse. 😉

I’m a True Blood/Southern Vampire Mysteries fan…can you tell? ;

Anyway, thank you all so much for being patient with me while I took forever and a half to finish this gen. I’m so happy and excited to be done. I already have the first chapter of Gen 10 written and part of the second. All that’s left is to take pictures and finish up the special thing that goes with it. Oh, and by a long shot:

Pam is the winner of the poll. So it is her GENES that will continue the family line. 🙂

Much love to all of you. ❤

Heir Poll – PLEASE READ BEFORE VOTING

Hello, hello!! I’m so happy to be at this point, aren’t you guys? Well, after Gen 8 and Gen 9 being sorta…blaah. I’ve decided to do something really exciting and different for Generation 10. Now, this is one of those generations where I’m just going to have to ask you guys to trust me. I have faith that its going to be a good story…if a little weird.

You see, there are so many DITFTs out there, that I feel the need to be really radically different. I want this Gen to stand out compared to the others. So, my story is planned 100%. NOW, I need you guys to vote on the GENETIC heir. That is, the person whose GENES will be continuing the line. Of course, there are so many kids this gen, I just can’t tell everyone’s story. However, I will be telling a couple of stories on here and on my tumblr. Which you will be able to read even if you’re not a member. So, again…just trust me. I’m calling this the genetic poll mostly so you guys won’t kill me when you see my shenanigans 😀 The Genetic heir WILL have their story told, no matter what. It just may or may not be in the manner you are thinking. Unless of course the genetic heir winds up being someone…and yeah it’s confusing. I know. I can’t say more or else it’d give everything away.

So…whose Genes would you like to carry on the story? Again, you will hear their story, but it’s going to be weird. XD

Ember (Elizabeth) Mason

Ember has Micah’s coloring. A few of her facial features are her mother’s, but some I don’t quite recognize.

Jessica Mason

Jessica has Kennedy’s face and eye color and she has Jimmy’s hair.

Brandt Mason

Brandt has Madison’s eyes and Lincoln’s hair, but his face has a mixture of both Savannah and Maddy, IMO.

Aiden Mason

Aiden is all Savannah. 🙂

Kenneth Mason

Kenneth has Maddy’s face but Lincoln’s brown hair.

Conley Mason

Conley has Savannah’s skin and hair but Madison’s face and eyes.

Pamela Honor

Pamela has Avery’s face with Kennedy’s coloring.

Eric Honor

Eric has Kennedy’s face with Avery’s coloring.

((You’re allowed to pick THREE (3) Choices because there are so many kids.))

Generation 9, Kennedy – Chapter Fourteen

Once the news media had respected my father’s wishes for as long as they felt comfortable…the phone calls began. Every major media outlet wanted something from me. All of them were willing to pay top dollar just for an interview with me. At first I didn’t want anything to do with these guys. I didn’t want my story or my family put on display anymore than we already were. Yet, i looked around my little pink house and realized that if I wanted any kind of a life with my family – my whole family – I needed a better place to live. I asked Aunt Monica to help me and with her shrewd negotiation skills, she managed to get me a nice deal for an exclusive interview with an internationally distributed magazine.

So, I did my interview. I had my fifteen minutes of fame and glory outside of the world of just being the President’s daughter. People called me a hero, for surviving my terrible ordeal. I suppose in some ways they were right…I did survive a terrible ordeal. However, I was absolutely no hero. I had committed adultery and murder. The real hero in this family was my sister. How horrid would this generation in this legacy been if it wasn’t for her? I never wanted my life to be like this…I never imagined in a million years it would be. Yet, I realize now that life never turns out the way you hope. Sometimes it can come close…and sometimes it can miss by millions of miles. It isn’t so much the product of your life that matters…but what you did to get to that point. As some great philosopher said…it’s not the destination but the journey that matters. I was determined to make the most of my life after the detour.

So, with all the money paid into my account…I bought a large house in the suburbs of Bridgeport.

The great thing about this house was that it’s size allowed us to come to an ideal situation for our family. All of us, including Jimmy, were able to live under one roof. It was large enough for Jimmy to have his own living space away from us.

It also allowed us to give Jessica her own room.

The only awkward part of our situation came when it was time for me and Avery to decide where we were going to sleep. Though we had kissed and held each other and said ‘I love you’, we weren’t exactly together again. Avery didn’t trust me one-hundred percent and I knew that part of him would probably always distrust me a little. He was still hurting too, especially after Marcus. I knew he wanted to be with me…and I wanted to be with him. Yet, he couldn’t seem to make the first step. So, he gave me the master bedroom and slept on a couch in the living room. Honestly, I was grateful that Avery was keeping his distance. It seemed like no matter what I did I hurt him. It was better that he stayed away from me…I just couldn’t trust myself with him.

Still, Avery and I had to go on hold while Jimmy and I figured out what we were going to do with Jessica. Now that I was here, I would finally get to be a real parent to her. When we sat down together to talk about our daughter I felt like I was coming into a movie halfway through. Jimmy explained what activities Jessica did after school and on what days. He told me about her play dates and her sports on the weekends. I felt so lost. It really drove home exactly how long I had been out of her life.

Jimmy took pity on me and did most of the talking while I nodded silently and tried not to cry. In the end, we (Jimmy) decided that all major decisions would be discussed between the two of us, but any small decisions would be handled as they arose. When Jessica came bounding in asking for a bedtime story, I let Jimmy take her. I chose to sit on the couch and burst into tears.

I sat with my elbows on my thighs and let sobs rack my body. I had imagined that when I had a child I would be there for her. I would hold her hand and walk her to her first day at Kindergarten. I’d learn how to sew and make her first Halloween costume. I thought that I’d see all her dance recitals. Yet, I’d barely had a year with her before I missed the next six. How could I possibly ever make it up to my daughter? No matter what I did, Jimmy would always be her ‘primary’ parent.

“Kennedy?”

I looked up to see Avery’s concerned face staring down at me. I scoffed and wiped my eyes quickly.

“I thought you’d be at work,” I said softly, continuing to wipe my eyes. He was staring at me. I felt annoyance bloom within me, “what?” I demanded.

I wanted him away from me. I wanted his concerned, adorable, handsome face away from me. Didn’t he see that I didn’t deserve him? Why hadn’t he just moved on with his life? Why did someone so wonderful and perfect have to fall in love with me? Instead of obeying my silent demand he came towards me and sat down so close to me I could practically feel the heat off of his body.

“Would it be a stupid question to ask you what’s wrong?”

I let out some sort of a noise halfway between a laugh and a scoff without meaning to. Avery nudged me with his shoulder and managed to coax a small smile on to my face.

“I just missed so much of her life…of my life. I don’t know how I’ll ever make it up.”

Avery sighed and slipped an arm around my shoulders.

“I think you’re looking at it the wrong way. You’ll never get the time back that you lost. It was stolen from you by that…monster. But, you have the rest of your life to make things right. Jimmy and I raised her with stories about you. She already loves you, Kennedy, you don’t have to work towards that…you just have to let her in to your heart.”

I narrowed my eyes at him, “she is in my heart, I love her more than anything.”

Avery shook his head and let his arm around my shoulders drop. Instead he took my chin between his thumb and index finger and gently tilted my head towards him.

“You love her, yes…but you’re not opening your heart to anyone.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said, pouting a little more than I meant to.

“You never initiate contact with her…or with me. When she does hug you, you get stiff and robotic. Just like when I kiss you,” he paused and tilted his head to brush his lips against mine quickly, “you don’t kiss me back.”

I felt more tears slip out of my eyes. I looked into his eyes and I saw in him the hurt, the love and the desire to be with me that I had only earlier been so worried about. I knew then, that in order to be with Avery again he wouldn’t have to change…I would.

I turned towards him on the couch and took his head in my hands. I pulled his face down towards mine and claimed his lips for my own. This time, I was really kissing him. He sighed and pressed himself against me as I tilted my head to deepen our kiss. I slipped my tongue into his mouth and explored the familiar place. His buried one hand in my hair while the other slid around my body, followed by his arm which encircled me and pulled me closer to him. Warmth pooled in my belly while my knees felt weak. My heart was hammering in my chest, and I loved every single second of every human sensation.

We broke apart and I brought lips to his ear, “are you sure you want to sleep on the couch tonight?”

Avery growled a little bit as he slid one arm under my knees and the other under my back. He lifted me in his arms and carried me up the stairs. He nudged open the door with his foot and deposited me on the bed before turning around to close the door behind him. He clicked the lock into place and turned around to face me. He climbed on to the bed with me and wrapped his arms around me. We kissed again and again and again. Well…I think you can guess what happened after we finished kissing.

After that night, Avery stopped sleeping on the couch.

* * *

Life quickly became a quick blur of routine. We settled into a nice, easy life. I spent as much time as I could being as open and warm and loving to my daughter. I realized that Avery was right. I think I had been so worried about the pain I may have caused her I was actually causing all sorts of new pains and rejection in her. The only downside to my odd family’s newly found happiness was that I seemed ot have a stomach bug.

I was constantly waking up in the middle of the night, completely sick to my stomach. Once i had finally had enough of the symptoms, I decided that if I still felt sick after another week that I’d go to the doctor to have it checked out.

Our little family began to change though, when much to Jessica’s supreme happiness…we got a kitten.

We adopted Sookie the cat from a local shelter and brought her home to live with us. She was a lively cat, and very curious about our new home. We had hinted to Jessica that we were getting a kitten and every day she ran into the house after school and asked if we had finally gotten one.

The day Sookie came into our lives was no exception.

“Did we get a cat?” she cried as she came running through the door. As her little face looked around the room she stopped dead in her tracks and looked down at the gray striped kitten standing in front of her.

She squealed and happily swooped down on the kitten. Much to little Sookie’s credit, she didn’t try to paw at Jessica and just let the little girl pick her up and coo at her.

The two became instant friends. Sookie even slept in Jessica’s room. The next addition to our family came entirely by accident.

Late one night we heard  a dog howling in our drive way. Avery, Jimmy and I poked our heads outside and saw that the dog was just sitting in our driveway, staring at our house and howling.

Jimmy went outside to the shoo the dog away. Avery and I went back to bed, secure in our belief that Jimmy would take care of the dog. Little did we know then, when we woke up the next morning Sam the bloodhound mix would be joining our family.

Sam was a stray, and Jimmy couldn’t bear to send him away. Jimmy had been worried that we’d be mad, but I found myself falling in love with the lovable guy just as much as Jimmy had. We had a big house and enough money and love to go around. Besides, I was happy that Jimmy would have some form of companionship.

What a companion Jimmy had. Whenever Jimmy was playing an instrument, be it guitar or piano or even bass Sam would be howling right along with the music. It grated on my nerves sometimes, especially given this terrible stomach bug. I finally decided that it was time to go to the doctor.

* * *

Well…I learned something interesting at the Doctor’s office. Somehow…by some sheer miracle….

I’m pregnant….

I’m pregnant with twins….

I still can’t believe it. I never even imagined at this was possible. I had been dead for six years, how could I be pregnant? I was overjoyed at the news, but I couldn’t deny the edge of fear that had started to slice into my happiness. What if there was something wrong with the babies because of my vampirism? Could I even carry these babies?

Avery was, of course, completely overjoyed with the prospect of being a father. I was thrilled that I could finally give him that. I was just scared to death that I would fail him…again.

* * *

Just checking in, I’m about halfway through my pregnancy now. Keeping up with all of Jessica’s activities are running me ragged…well of course being pregnant with twins isn’t helping anything either. My pregnancy seems to be going along nicely, it’s just tiring. Everyone’s favorite activity is  rubbing my belly. Oh well.

* * *

I went into labor early, but that wasn’t uncommon for twins. I could honestly hardly believe that I was even going to be giving birth. it seemed like at every moment in my pregnancy I waited for some problem to occur. Now the final hurdle of doubt came…would my children be vampires? I was scared to death that they would be.

I wished I could have had a home birth, just in case there was a problem like that…but I felt that it was just too dangerous with twins and going into labor early…so Avery whisked me off to the hospital. I don’t remember much of my labor, this time I opted for an epidural, remembering the pain of Jessica all too well. My labor was quick, I know that much and I gave birth to two healthy, beautiful babies.

Pamela “Pam” Sophie Honor was born first, and 4 minutes later Eric William Honor came into our lives. I was so happy, so unbelievably…deliriously…deliciously…unimaginably happy. I didn’t even realize that happiness could exist on this level. I finally felt like my family was complete. My heart was so full of love that it felt like it was bursting. With the birth of these babies and the completion of our family…I really felt as though the scars from the vampire incident was finally fading.

* * *

Well, I think its time for my final entry. The first birthday for the twins has come and gone and I’ve only just now remembered to pick up this old diary. I’m so busy being a mother that I just don’t have time to continue my story…and after a lot of thought and soul searching I realized that my story is over…my life is complete. I’ve accomplished what I wanted out of my life and I’m truly, finally content.

Jessica, Jimmy and I are happy and getting along well. Jessica just loves her little brother and sister. She’s so happy to be the “Big Sister”. She says that she can’t wait to do things with them when they get bigger.

Speaking of bigger. They’ve really grown so much in the time since I’ve last written.

Pam was the very image of Avery, though her hair and eyes were mine.

Eric, however, had all of Avery’s coloring but his face was just like mine. It was amazing that these two little ones could be complete opposites of each other. Still, they were mine and I loved them more than anything in the world. So, I’m going to put down this diary and devote the rest of my life to them.

I don’t know what the future holds for my family…nor do I know who will inherit this legacy of ours. All I know is that this diary is going into a different safety deposit box here in Bridgeport. It won’t be included in my family’s box until well after I’m dead as part of the terms of my will. I just couldn’t bear my children reading this account…the things that I did and were done to me…how could they ever understand?

So now, I’m closing this diary and saying goodbye. If anyone is reading this, please don’t judge me too harshly. I know its hard to believe…but everything that happened is true.

Goodbye

Kennedy Mason Honor.

*****************

I’ve had a couple questions about Gen 15 and what I’m going to do as the objectives for that Gen are also dual heirs. I’ll be doing that gen in a very different way. You’ll just have to wait and see. 😉

Also, there’s some confusion. i know that it says Mason Family Legacy, but this is actually a DITFT, so Gen 10 is not the end of the Masons, I still have (give or take, depending) 5 more gens after that. 🙂

So now that this chapter is done I’ll be posting the heir poll in a few minutes. Well the modified heir poll. BUT FIRST…we haven’t done this in over a year…the Generation objectives!

  • Get Turned Into A Vampire √
  • Get Feed On by A Vampire √
  • Feed On A donor √
  • Master all skills (You got the time/WA is opitional -or use BuyDebug-) √
  • Have A love Or Two (depending if you make them a vampire) I wasn’t sure about this one. Technically speaking Kennedy had four “loves”. Avery, Jimmy, Marcus and King. So not sure if I should give this a check or not. XD

But but…YAY! I’m so excited. I’m going to get started on Maddy immediately and we’ll finally get to gen 10!!

And of course, thanks to Cait for helping me get Avery and Kennedy back together. XD

Generation 9, Kennedy – Chapter Thirteen (Part Two)

Dear God… I was human again.

I looked over at Avery. His eyes were shining with tears. I felt a smile tug at the corners of my mouth. It was my first, true smile in as long as I could remember.

“Avery,” I whispered, my eyes searching his.

It was all the needed to be said. He closed the gap between us in two great strides and wrapped his arms around me so tightly I could scarcely draw a breath. I felt tears rolling down my cheeks and for the first time, I was so happy to gasp for air as I sobbed. Avery and I held each other for what seemed like days. Neither of us could bear to let the other go. When we broke away his hands came to my face and cupped my cheeks. I could feel the warmth of his skin, and I was sure he could feel mine. I looked up into his beautiful face and saw that his cheeks were glistening with tears.

“I love you,” we said at the same time.

I laughed and reached up to kiss him. Our lips met, and while our last kiss had been magical…kissing him as a human was easily three time as good. Warmth spread from my toes up my legs and pooled in my belly. My heart went pitter-patter and I loved every second of every sensation. It was like being on a long vacation and coming back to your home…where you knew you always belonged.

Avery dropped one of his hands from my face and clasped my hand in his. He held it up against his body and rested his forehead against me.

“I always knew,” he said softly, “that you weren’t gone forever. I always knew I’d find you.”

I pulled back a little bit from him, “what are we going to say when I show up in everyone’s lives again? What if they hate me?”

“Oh no, Sweetheart, never. Everyone is just going to be so happy to have you back again. You have no idea how long everyone’s been looking for you…even Madison.”

“I know. I saw an article in the newspaper,” I said, trying to quiet the sudden memories of King that popped up, “they called her a hero. Is she really a hero?”

He smiled softly at me and nodded, “she’s pulled over twenty people from burning buildings. As I understand it, her boss hates all of her risk taking, but….”

“You know Maddy,” we said at the same time, smiling.

“She went on Youtube, actually, and made a plea for people out there to find you. Here’s the crazy part though…she had a daughter when she was sixteen.”

I sighed as the last conversation I had with my sister drifted through my head, “I know…that’s why I was so angry with her. She took what she had, and at the time I was still so upset over my miscarriage that I overreacted. I said some unspeakable things to her…and to you.”

“Well, the video on Youtube didn’t help to find you…but it did help to find someone else: her daughter.”

“I’m an Aunt?” I asked, smiling.

Avery nodded, “about five times over. She and her wife Savannah had four boys. One single named Brandt and triplets: Aiden, Kenneth and Conley. Her daughter is named Ember now.”

“I can’t believe it. She was never the type. So is she the…” I trailed off.

Avery laughed and wrapped his arm around me. He led me to the couch. I sat on the seat next to him and curled up against his body. I could hear his heart beating through his chest. He was warm and safe. I couldn’t believe I had let this man slip through my fingers once already. I would never, ever make the same mistake again.

“I didn’t ask for a lot of details, but Savannah carried the babies. Apparently they both had eggs fertilized or something…I don’t know. But, Savannah is ‘Mommy’ to Madison’s ‘Momo’. Your father…is Ging-ging.”

I laughed, “Ging-ging, where on Earth did that come from?”

“Apparently when Brandt was little he couldn’t say ‘Grandpa’ and the name just stuck.”

My smile fell and I looked away, “how is my Dad?”

“He’s good, real good.”

I sighed, “oh Avery…what are we going to tell them? We can’t say that I was gone for over six years because I got turned into a vampire but now I’m okay. They’ll lock me up.”

Avery sighed and ran a hand through his thick hair. He slid his arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him. As he kissed the top of my head he finally spoke:

“We’ll lie.”

* * *

Early sources have confirmed that Kennedy Honor, daughter of former-President Nines Mason has been found.

The young woman, who has been missing for nearly seven years, contacted her family just this morning. Honor was found by her estranged husband Avery outside of her former home in Bridgeport.

Reports are unconfirmed, but our sources reveal that Honor claims to have been kidnapped on her way to a Doctor’s appointment in Bridgeport, driven outside of city limits, robbed and hit over the head. The resulting blow causing Honor to lose her memory. She has been living in nearby Neverglade ever since. Honor claims her memories have been coming back slowly, prompting her to find her Jimmy Smitz’s home. Smitz is the father of Honor’s six year old daughter.

Again these reports are unconfirmed. However, a statement released by Nines Mason’s publicist, Monica Chambliss-Mason, says that the former-President is “overjoyed at the news of his daughter’s safe return” and asks that the press allow the family “time to get reacquainted with each other and help Kennedy adjust back to her life at home.”

Everything was surreal from the moment Avery picked up the phone to call my family. Jimmy and Jessica came over immediately. Jimmy flew at me and threw his arms around my neck and pulled me close. Despite everything that had happened, I felt like I could still call him my best friend. Standing in front of Avery I saw a sweet girl with a shy smile. I was so happy to see that the glamor I had put on her was still working. She had no memory of Marcus or that awful day. She was just as much in awe of me as the day we first met.

She kept her head down, but looked at me up through her lashes. As I approached her, I could see a smile breaking out on to her face. I knelt down in front of her and smiled.

“Hi Jessica, you probably don’t remember me but…I’m your mother.”

Her beautiful little face lit up in a bright grin and she ran towards me. Her arms flew around my neck as she buried her face in my hair.

“I always knew you’d find me.”

It echoed the day she was in the cell. I wondered if she remembered it at all. Was it like a distant dream to her? I pulled away from her hug and looked her in the eye.

“When I was sick, and I couldn’t remember who I was…I always felt like a piece of me was missing. Now that I’m looking at you, and holding you I know that the missing piece was you.”

She grinned even wider and hugged me again. As we released she slid her hand into mine. I felt warm and whole. It was a bit of a lie, for me to tell her that I was sick and didn’t know who I was. However, it wasn’t a lie to tell her that she was the missing piece of my heart.

Avery’s cell phone rang as Jessica was pulling me into the house. I watched him answer the phone, and his face break out into a wide grin.

“Your dad and sister are coming.”

“Grandpa Nines and Aunt Madison?” Jessica asked happily, “when can we see them?”

“Sorry kiddo, they’re just leaving now. They won’t be here until after dark,” Avery replied.

“And you have homework,” Jimmy added.

“I know,” she huffed.

“Hey, Jessie, why don’t you go talk to your Uncle Avery for a few minutes. I need to talk to your Mom,” Jimmy said.

Avery took Jessica’s hand while Jimmy gestured for me to go inside. Once in, I saw his eyes drift around the room. I wondered if no one had come inside the house after I had vanished. I perched on the couch and waited for him to follow suit. Instead of sitting he turned his back to me.

“I need to say some things to you, Kennedy, but I can’t bear to look at you when I do. Just let me say what I need to say.”

“Okay,” I whispered.

“I’m sorry about that night…after the show…when Jessica was conceived. It was wrong of me. We both had had a lot to drink and let’s be honest, I’ve been in love with you since I first saw you playing ‘Dust in the Wind’. I should have had more self-control, but I didn’t and I’m sorry. I’ve realized in the years that you’ve been gone that I’d rather have you in my life as my best friend, then estranged from me as an ex-lover.”

He finally turned and sat down next to me.

“However,” he continued, “I do not want to give up what happened between us for anything. That little girl is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I don’t want to live in a world where she doesn’t exist. If you and Avery are going to get back together – which you should, by the way – then I want us to come to an arrangement where we can parent together. Avery’s been the biggest help with Jessica, more than you can imagine…more than he should be. By all accounts, he should hate my guts.”

“You two worked things out?”

“Yeah, we did. You looked like hell when you dropped Jessica off with me. Then, you just vanished. She was still a baby, I didn’t know what I was doing. My mother lives all the way off in Meadow Glen and let me tell you she was not happy about me being involved with someone whose last name was ‘Mason’. Something about some criminal named Vincent Valentine when she was little girl. Anyway, when I didn’t hear from you I took a chance and called Avery to see if he had. He came here and found you gone. The lights were still on, the television going like you had just vanished off the face of the Earth.”

I flushed as I remembered. I had just left the house after I had turned. I didn’t make sure the lights were off or that the TV was off.

“Yeah, I must have just-”

“That’s why I don’t buy your story, Kenn. You weren’t mugged…something removed you from the house, didn’t it?”

“I…uhm, I-”

“It’s okay,” he finished for me, “I get it if you don’t want to talk about it but, just I’m here for you, okay? To help you get adjusted back into life. You’re my best friend, Kennedy, and the mother of my daughter. I don’t want to lose you again.”

“You won’t, Jimmy,” I said, putting my hand on his arm, “not for a long time anyway.”

He smiled at me before speaking again, “you know Jessica is a great kid. I never imagined that I’d love her as much as I do.”

“She’s so smart. She must have gotten it from you because she’s a hell of a lot smaller than I am.”

I laughed and swatted Jimmy, “she’s only seven, Jimmy!”

“I know! Imagine when she’s grown up. I think she was just born a genius. She’s also athletic as all get out. All I want to do on the weekends is sit in my pajamas and eat Doritos and she’s always begging me to take her to the park or to dance classes.”

“She’s a dancer?”

“Oh yeah, she takes ballet after school every day. I took tons and tons of pictures of her growing up…just in case you ever came back.”

I sniffled as tears immediately filled my eyes, “I’d really love to see them. It seems like you did a great job, Jimmy. I mean it, she was in good hands while I was gone. You’re a good father.”

He grinned and playfully socked me on the arm, “I’ll go tell Avery he can come in now.”

I nodded and watched him walk to the door to stick his head outside. I could hardly believe that this was happening. Part of me still believed that this was all just a dream. I’d wake up in Marcus’ cell, and he’d be back. I quickly pushed those thoughts out of my head and wiped my eyes as Jessica came bounding in. She ran to the couch and threw herself on top of it and in turn, on top of me. I was lucky that Jimmy and Avery had told her about me. It hardly seemed normal that she would immediately want to bond with me. Perhaps, this was just a miracle. Maybe I was just being smiled upon. I wasn’t going to question it further. I just wanted to enjoy my time with my daughter.

The four of us spent the rest of the afternoon catching up. It turned out that Jimmy quit Crush soon after I disappeared. He said that it was a good decision and that he wanted to be a full time dad. Jimmy and Avery bought their house and agreed to raise Jessica together. Their neighbors thought that they were lovers much to Jimmy’s chagrin. Avery thought it was funny and did what he could to goad the nosy onlookers.

Selene and Deacon were still happily married and Jimmy stayed in contact with them regularly. They had joined in the search for me initially, but when Selene got pregnant they both decided to move closer to their families. Apparently they’re still performing, even way out in Appaloosa Plains. I was happy for them, but sad that I would probably never see them again.

Once evening fell, Jimmy began the long process of prying Jessica off of me and trying to convince her that she needed to go home to do her homework. I finally convinced her by promising her that I wasn’t going anywhere. After they left Avery and I snuggled up on the couch together to wait for the true test…my father and sister.

* * *

After an hour of psyching myself up, I saw a car pull into our little driveway. My heart hammered in my chest as I heard three car doors open and then close. There was a hesitant knock before Avery gave me an encouraging smile and yelled at the door was open.

The door slowly swung open and I first saw the face of a beautiful woman wearing lilac. She smiled brightly at me and stepped aside. After her was my sister, with her arms around my father. They both looked scared at first, but as their eyes hit my face they immediately morphed into looks of shock. The five of us stood staring at each other for a moment before my dad crossed the space between us and threw his arms around me.

My dad smiled at me and stroked my hair as we pulled away. His eyes were shining with tears as he regarded me.

“I never thought I’d see you again,” he said, his voice cracking.

I felt my eyes fill with tears again. I shut them to stop the flow, but a few slid out and down my cheeks. “I’m here now, Daddy, and I’m not leaving again.”

I turned to my sister whose face was shining with tears as well. The pretty brunette had her arm around my sister’s shoulders and was rubbing her arm comfortingly.

“Maddy,” I said with small smile.

“Kennedy,” my sister began before tearing her eyes off of me. She gestured towards the woman next to her, “this is Savannah-Paige Mason, my wife.”

I smiled at her and held out my hand, “hi, it’s nice to meet you finally.”

She smiled, “Maddy’s told me a lot about you, I’m so happy you’re home now.”

Her gaze shifted between me and my sister before speaking again:

“I think I’m going to give you two some privacy.”

As she left to find my father and Avery in the kitchen, I sighed and turned back to my little sister. I chewed on my bottom lip, trying to find the right words to say. Finally, I decided to just say them and not worry about how eloquent they were. I reached out and took Maddy softly by the shoulders and looked her in the eye.

“I said some awful things to you, last time I saw you. I feel terrible for my awful words. I feel even worse that that was the last time I saw you. Oh Maddy, I’m so sorry.”

She wrapped her arms around me and held me close. She leaned her head against mine and said:

“I’m so happy you’re home again.”

“I hear I’m an aunt.”

She grinned, “yeah, never would have imagined I’d have five kids. It helps when there’s a set of triplets though.”

“And you’re a hero, Avery showed me the video you made. It was wonderful.”

“Thanks,” she said, “I just do what I can to keep people safe.”

“That’s how we met, you know,” Savannah called from the kitchen, “she pulled me from a burning building.”

I smiled as I realized this girl was the one Maddy had been telling me about before our fight. She had married her and had a family, I could hardly believe it.

“I feel like I’ve missed out on so much.”

Maddy slid her arm around my shoulder and steered me towards the kitchen, “we have the rest of our lives to make it up.”

****************************

😀

We’re a step closer!! YAY! So, I know there’s definitely another chapter after this one for Kennedy, I may actually make it in 14 chapters. Which I can hardly believe! 😀

I think my favorite shot this Gen might be the one above where Nines is hugging Kennedy. It makes my heart melt. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading everyone! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. 🙂

Generation 9, Kennedy – Chapter Thirteen (Part One)

Just let me go, Marcus.”

“No! You are mine. I made you. You belong to me.”

“I swear by everything that you see before me I will never, ever stop trying to leave you. Every single moment of every single hour, every day, every week, every month, every year for as long as I live…I will try to get free.”

“Every time you run, I’ll find you. I will bring you back and I will hurt you. Or, better yet…I’ll just kill your family. I will kill every person you have ever met. Anyone who has ever laid their eyes on you will die by my hand.”

“You leave me with no choice then, Marcus. I’m just going to have to kill you.

“Kennedy, no, please,” Avery begged.

I turned back around to my husband, the man that I had been dreaming of for so long and gave him a sad smile. I kept one eye on Marcus as I took a step towards Avery. I brought my hand up to his cheek and smiled.

“I have to. He’ll never stop, he’ll never let me be free. I can’t and I won’t take that beautiful girl on the run with me. She deserves better than that. That’s what I’m going to give her…better than that. My gift to her will be the freedom I was never given,” I stopped and brushed away a tear that had fallen down his cheek, “how does that saying go? One person dies, so others may live?”

“If he kills you, he’ll just hunt us down anyway. If we run we have a chance!” he cried, his hand grasping my elbow and giving it a firm squeeze.

I shook my head, “I won’t die until I stop him from finding you. Go now, take Jessica and run.”

He hesitated, but finally he grabbed Jessica by the arm and hauled her out of the door. As it opened I could see the first streaks of sunlight glowing on the metal floor. Dawn had come. I suppose it was for the best. If I died, which I was fairly certain would happen, Marcus would have to wait until sundown to hunt down Avery and Jessica. By that point, they would be long gone.

I smiled sadly to myself as I turned to face Marcus. He was smirking arrogantly.

“Answer me one thing before we do this, Marcus.”

He bowed in mock chivalry, “anything.”

“Why me? Of all the girls in all the world, let alone just in that Bridgeport club…why did you do this to me?”

He laughed wickedly, “what do you want me to say? That it was because it was love at first sight? Perhaps it was some kind of ancient prophecy. Did you ever think that it would have been any girl I had seen on stage that night? You really think you’re that special? After this is done…I’ll just find another one.”

“You’re lying,” I whispered, “you forget, Marcus, you created me. I feel you inside of me. I can tell when you’re lying…and I can tell when you’re scared.”

Fear flashed through his eyes as his shoulder’s tightened. A low growl escaped his throat as his eyes began to glimmer with rage. I smirked, feeling satisfied to have discovered a chink in his armor. If I was to go out, I was happy to have gotten one last little dig in. To me, it proved that I wasn’t just one of his toys. I was my own person, to the end I remained Kennedy.

Marcus snarled at me and before I had time to prepare myself, he lunged at me. It was intended to catch me off my guard, and sadly it worked. His shoulder collided into my waist. Had I any breath in my body and I would have been gasping. instead, all I felt was pain. When his shoulder hit me, it felt as if I had been slammed in the stomach with a heavy steel pylon. The force of his body pushed me back several inches. My body kicked in and I pushed back. I wedged my foot between us and kicked him backward. He let go of me slid away.

He smirked as I clutched at my waist. The pain was intense, I was certain he had broken something inside my abdomen.

“Too much for you?” he asked.

I thought of my daughter and how the sun hadn’t fully risen yet. I shook my head, but couldn’t bring myself to say anything. I was ready now. I stood and watched him carefully, waiting for any signs for him to attack me. Instead, he spoke again:

“I think I’m not going to kill your daughter. I think I’m going to turn her. Then, I think I’m going to turn her over to Claude and let him make a real vampire out of her.”

Rage erupted inside of me. It started with heat in my toes and worked its way up my body until it gripped my heart in a white-hot vice. I had never felt such anger and hatred in my entire life. He planned on turning my daughter and giving her over to that disgusting monster.

“I swear by everything I know and hold dear that you will never touch my daughter.”

He laughed, “what do the dead and buried care for the actions of those still left on Earth?”

“You tell me, Marcus, when I kill you.”

Had I stalled him long enough? I stole a glance towards the door. It’s had a glass panel, but it was covered with something black to shield the light. Was I imagining that tiny little crack of sunlight streaming in? Marcus took the opportunity while I was distracted and flew towards me. He took my chin in his hand and shoved me back against the wall. My head collided with the stone, causing my vision to blur.

I pushed him off me again, but he slid around behind me and locked me in some kind of hold. The room swam and I couldn’t make out anything but shapes. I found myself flailing frantically, trying to get him off of me.

I couldn’t free myself from his arms, I felt them squeezing me and squeezing me. It felt like my bones were being crushed. The pain was excruciating and I knew that it was all over for me. I could only pray that I had been fast enough and that Avery and Jessica were safe. I took a step closer to the door and found that with great effort, I could drag Marcus with me. Suddenly, my mind cleared and I knew what I had to do. I reached for the door and managed to grasp it in my hands. I pulled Marcus with me, and summoned the last bit of my strength.

“Come on, Marcus, let’s see what Hell has waiting for us monsters.”

Before he could react I flung open the door and pulled him out with me into the sunlight. The pain was immediate. It felt like I had just jumped into a pool of liquid fire. Every single part of my body began to throb, sting and burn. Marcus let go of me and I fell to the ground. I was immediately afraid he could make it back inside and my entire plan would be for naught. Suddenly, my world darkened as someone flung a blanket over me. I felt hands rubbing my body soothingly and all of the pain vanished.

“It’s okay, Mommy.”

My heart sunk when I heard Jessica’s voice. They hadn’t gotten away, Avery hadn’t even left the area. I could see out of my blanket through one tiny hole. We were somewhere remote. It looked to in the hills of Bridgeport, which figured as that was where Claude and his cronies lived.

“I see you are still here,” I heard Marcus’ voice call out.

“Of course, I’m not leaving my wife behind,” Avery said coolly.

“Ah, so you’re the husband. I’m the Maker…I own her. You couldn’t even begin to imagine the things we did. Do you know how many times over the course of the past six years I’ve had sex with your wife? We used to do crazy things, I’d take her legs and I’d put them-”

To his credit, Avery stood still and watched Marcus as he talk of sleeping with me. Only his fists balled at his sides were testament to any anger.

Marcus stopped speaking and held out his hands in front of him.

“What…is…happening to me?” he croaked.

“You forgot about one thing, you bastard,” Avery said, anger seeping in to his voice. As Marcus looked up at him, his eyes wide with alarm, Avery spoke again:

sunlight.”

I watched as Marcus burned in the sunlight. I was overcome with the strangest sensation. It felt as though someone had lifted a great weight from my body. I felt suddenly lighter, freer and even happier than I had felt in a long time. Had Marcus’ influence been so strong that it had even weighted my very spirit down?

His screams echoed off of the hills and I wondered if any other vampires were able to hear them. Would they know that we had killed one of their lesser masters? A realization hit me, now that Marcus was dead I was the one to take his place. I was his only childe and I was technically his mate. Could I use this new position to ensure that Avery, Jessica and Jimmy would remain unharmed. Of course, it wasn’t as if I wanted to go back into vampire society. What if the required some sort of sadistic initiation ritual? That was even if they took me back. My refusal of Claude was no doubt still a topic of gossip. I still had no definite answer as to why I didn’t give up my freewill as a vampire.

“Are you okay, Mommy?”

Jessica’s soothing voice broke me from my reverie. I could still feel her little hands running over the thick blanket. I wondered briefly where they had gotten such a material and how Avery had known to put it on me. I lifted up a small corner of the blanket and winced as the brightness of the light hit me. It seemed that direct sunlight was the danger, not indirect. I smiled weakly up at the face of my little girl and I realized I had the answer to my question right in front of my face. It was her. Little Jessica with her flaming hair and piercing blue eyes, she was the reason why I could never fully fall into this world. She was my anchor on the other side and it was because of her that I was able to stay me. My father was right about me after all, I was a girl who knew her duty and my duty was to my daughter.

“I’m fine, baby.”

I peered back towards Avery and saw him standing watch over a sizzling, scorched piece of Earth. A pile of ash now stood where my once mighty Maker had been. A breeze coursed through the air, picked up the delicate ash and caused it to swirl on the wind. It flew away from us, and with it all remains of Marcus von Strauss, Lesser Master of Bridgeport and my Maker. Avery turned back to me finally, his face a mask of strength and silent resolve. Only his amethyst eyes betrayed his true feelings. They were gleaming with emotion. Anger, hurt and betrayal shone at first – no doubt the result of Marcus confessing our sexual relationship – then fear, doubt and finally relief.

He came to me, wrapped the blanket more tightly around my body and lifted me in his arms. He carried me, I couldn’t see where. Still, I was finally back where I knew I belonged: in Avery’s arms. In spite of myself, the feeling of warmth and security and that inevitable release of tension and fear after the death of my Maker became too much for me and I feel asleep.

* * *

I awoke several hours later in my little pink house. I was lying down on our old blue couch, with every sitting in the little space between my middle and the edge of the couch. He looked down at me, his eyes and face unreadable. He stroked my hair softly, but said nothing to me as my eyes fluttered open. I tried so hard not to stare him down, to try to figure out what he was thinking of me. I couldn’t…I wouldn’t use my gifts on him. He reached into his pocket and pulled out something gold and shining.

“I found this in the house when you disappeared.”

He held up his hand to show a small, gold heart.

“My mother’s necklace!” I cried. I reached for it and pulled it from his hand, “thank you, I thought it was lost.”

I reached behind me and fastened the clasp behind my neck. The cool metal hit my skin and I felt as though I had regained just a little part of myself.

“Where’s Jessica?” I whispered.

He brushed an errant lock of hair behind my ear, “she’s sleeping in our- the bedroom.”

I sat up a little bit and eyed him carefully.

“About what Marcus said-”

Avery held up his hand to silence me, “I know, we weren’t together…you weren’t yourself, and all that.”

“No, listen, I need you to understand. Marcus had such a power over me. I couldn’t not do what he said at first. Yes, I did sleep with him…I did things I don’t even want to think about, but not because I wanted to. It was because I had to. Even with Jimmy, I didn’t and don’t love him that way. It was a result of excessive alcohol and even more excessive stupidity. I can’t ask you to forgive me, though. You need to hate me, you need to forget about me and move on with your life.”

His eyebrows shot upward and his mouth fell open, “why? I just found you, do you honestly think I’m going to forget about you or let you go?”

“Avery, I’m a vampire. This isn’t a game. This isn’t some paltry romance novel, this is real and it is dangerous. They may kill me for Marcus’ death, I won’t have you hanging around. Who knows what would happen to you, or Jessica? Best thing for you is to forget me all together.”

“You don’t remember what I said to you in that awful place, do you?” I shook my head to show him that I didn’t. He continued, “I’ve been working on a special project for a long time…Project Cure.”

“Project Cure? Like you’ve somehow managed to cure vampirism? That’s insane, Avery. I’m dead.”

He ran a hand through his hair and couldn’t quite meet my eyes. Finally, he spoke, “not…entirely. We were contacted by someone claiming to be a vampire, in exchange for putting a new wing on the science facility, we kept our silence and studied him. I’ve been working on it for years, but we finally made a breakthrough. He’s human now. You see, the brain maintains electrical activity for a time after death. This virus – which is what vampirism actually is – causes the heart to shut down and utilizes the electric signal to reanimate the brain. It causes new cell growth in surprising ways, for example-”

“Avery, I love you but in English please.”

“That’s how I knew what you were when I saw you. I’ve spent so long staring at this guy, I’d recognize it anywhere. The eyes are illuminated, the skin is dull and every vampire has that strange mark on their neck. I can cure you…all you have to do is trust me.”

* * *

“All you have to do is trust me.”

Against my better judgement, I did. I had nothing to lose at this point, so I took a chance and went with Avery to his lab. Just in case the process actually worked – though I certainly had my doubts – I decided to use my powers one last time. I entranced my daughter and made her forget about meeting me and the entire incident with Marcus. Only Avery and I will ever know what happened that day, and this diary will serve as the only recollection. I’ve already decided to not let my children read this account…at least…not until after I am dead…for good. No need for Jessica to be traumatized when I can fix it.

Avery and I stood outside the science center. The sky above was thick with clouds and I found I could stand outside for a little while, just long enough to get inside the building.

“Don’t be too disappointed when this doesn’t work, okay?”

He smiled at me, “I know this will work…. This is what you want, right? You want to be human again?”

“More than anything,” I replied, smiling.

“Then, go…I’ll wait for you out here.”

* * *

“Are you ready?” Avery asked me.

The scientists at the lab had ushered me from the lobby quickly. They told me that they had isolated the cure and bottled it. They said it normally cost three-thousand dollars to obtain a bottle, but because I was Avery’s wife (ex-wife?) I could get the cure for free. They pushed the bottle in my hand and sent me on my way. The sun was starting to stream through the clouds and being outside was more painful than I could stand, so Avery threw the blanket over me and carried me home.

I waited until the following day to drink the cure. We were in our little pink house, and no one, except for Avery knew that I had been found.

“I’m ready.”

I still didn’t believe that the cure would work. It seemed like it was too good to be true. But, I would drink the concoction because Avery believed. I had to try for him. I picked up the bottle from where I had placed it last night. Avery was standing around like a nervous father. He was pacing and wringing his hands together. I held the bottle under my nose and took a whiff. It actually smelled faintly metallic, like blood. I held up the bottle to Avery and smiled bravely.

“Bottoms up.”

The thick, almost congealed liquid slid out of the bottle and into my mouth. As it slid down my throat – almost on its own accord – my throat began to burn. When it hit my stomach, it felt like fire had erupted inside of me. My stomach began to churn, a sensation that had become unknown to me. I felt it flow through me, down my arms and legs. It swept through my lungs and up my neck to my head. I even felt it in my eyes.

Chills ran up my spine. The spot on my chest where my lungs were began to burn and ache.

I felt like the world around me changing. Everything seemed hazy and unreal. The burning in my chest grew and grew. I began to feel dizzy as Avery suddenly cried:

“Breathe, Kennedy!”

I opened my mouth and took in a giant gulp of air. I felt it fill my lungs and the burning sensation faded. My head began to clear. Suddenly I felt the strangest sensation in my chest. I realized with a start…my heart was pounding. I continued to breathe heavily. The bottle fell from my hands and clattered against the wooden floor.

I looked up at Avery and realized how much more dull and different the world looked. I couldn’t smell him, couldn’t feel the blood in his veins moving. Dear God…

I was human again.

*****************

Part two is coming right around the corner! 🙂

Generation 9, Madison – Chapter Thirteen

“A daughter, Madison?” my father cried, “you had a daughter that I didn’t know about this whole time?”

I sighed and nodded, not able to look my father in the eye. I felt horrible for the deception. I had intended to tell him, but I had imagined a vastly different scenario. I had been waiting for the perfect moment, but that moment was cut short when Elizabeth…I mean, Ember showed up at the door. It was still so hard to believe. I had been searching and waiting and hoping to find her and suddenly, here she was right in front of me. The worst part of it all was the worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep her now that I had her. I had no parental rights, legally speaking, when it came to her. What if she had already been adopted by someone else? Could I really be strong enough to let her go again?

My father sighed and held up his hands in frustration. The movement gave me pause from my thoughts. I felt terrible.

“You…you…I’m hurt that you lied to me. All these years, Madison…you lied to me. You could have come to me. You could have told me.”

“I’m sorry, Dad. Our relationship was different then, you know that. Plus, I was just a child myself. I was worried about your career, how it would look to your supporters if you had a daughter who had had a child as a teenager.”

My dad threw up his hands in exasperation, “Forget my supporters, Maddy. You’re my daughter and a lot more important to me than any election or any campaign I could have ever run. Now I don’t know which is the bigger barb, the fact that you lied or that I needed to tell you that.”

“I’m sorry,” I repeated, “but…what’s done is done. The important thing is that she’s here now. I need your help now, Dad. I’ve wanted find her for so long…I can’t imagine having to give her up again.”

Dad crossed his arms over his chest and looked away from me. His spine was stick straight, though the emotional toll of my betrayal was evident by the droop of his shoulders. Finally, after what felt like hours but must have been mere minutes, Dad turned to me.

“You may have to give her up again, Maddy. If someone else has legally adopted her, you can’t exactly challenge that. Especially given that you never even signed her birth certificate,” he paused and I saw his jaw tighten ever so slightly before he spoke, “what about the father?”

My gaze had shifted to the floor while he was reminding me of the chance of losing Ember. My eyes darted back up to him as memories of Micah invaded my thoughts. I sighed before crossing my arms over myself and burying my head in my hand. The memories of my husband fell over me in waves. I felt suddenly nauseous, like I was on a ship that was being rocked from side to side.

“Maddy?”

I looked up through my hand, “I’m sorry, Dad. I’m fine. The man who fathered her was my…husband.”

Husband? You…you were married?”

“I was married with an assumed name while I was underage.”

“Jesus, Madison!” my father cursed. He began to pace back and forward as if the amount of stewing her had to do kept him from being still. He stopped and continued, “where did this happen?”

“Twinbrook.”

“Pfft, that backwater town. I still can’t believe-”

He stopped suddenly in the middle of his sentence. I followed his gaze and was surprised to see Eliza- I mean, Ember standing a little ways away from us. She was watching out exchange with mild interest.

She wasn’t paying me as much interest as she was paying Dad. I took the opportunity to stare at her. I wanted to take in the way she looked in case I never saw her again. I was amazed at how strong the urge was to just…touch her. I wanted to pull her into my arms and hug her as tight as she could stand. I wanted to kiss her skin and caress her hair. I wanted to make up for all the lost time between us. I knew she wouldn’t respond well to that. She wouldn’t want me, a stranger, to touch her. So, instead I took an inventory on her looks. Her coloring was distinctly Michah’s, though I was pretty sure her facial features were closer to mine. Still, I thought she was much prettier than I was at her age…though she certainly acted a lot more ‘adult’ than I did.

“You’re that President guy, right?” she said finally.

“I was President, if that’s what you mean.”

“Holy shit, who ever would have thought I’d wind up related to someone famous.”

“Hey, you watch your language, young lady,” my dad chastised.

Her eyes narrowed and she crossed her arms over her chest. She glared up at him, defiant.

“What’re you gonna do about it, huh? You’re not the boss of me.”

He stared her down, not backing down a single inch. That was my dad for you. He was always steadfast and resolute when it came to his beliefs and discipline. Granted, it wasn’t entirely unnatural for children to curse. It was, however, rather odd that my twelve year old was already using ‘shit’. I wondered where she had heard that language from. I didn’t know if I should step in. She was, after all, my daughter and yet…was I really in a place to offer discipline?

“I was President of the United States, technically I’m the boss of everyone.”

I stifled a giggle as her eyes widened. She looked thoughtful, as if she was trying to figure out if what he was saying was correct. Finally she relaxed and she fixed Dad with a look that said, ‘you win this time, old man’. She finally turned to me and stared. She looked like she was trying to figure out a puzzle. I couldn’t blame her. I felt like she was a puzzle too. I gathered my courage and suggested that we go and sit down in the living room.

She obliged and followed me to the couch. I gestured for her to sit. She looked around the room, studying it, before she finally sat.

“So, when’s my father coming home? Is he at work?”

“I-I…what, I don’t-” I stammered, completely thrown off by her question. I collapsed on the couch next to her. I shook my head and changed the subject, “how did you find me?”

She reached into her pocket and unfolded a piece of paper. I saw my own teenage face staring back at me. It was well-worn and cracked in the places where it had folded.

“I’ve had this for as long as I can remember. It’s the only possession of mine I’ve been able to keep with me through all the foster homes.”

My chest constricted. Had I really done the right thing after all? Was foster home a better fate than what I could have given her? Oh God, had I royally screwed up her life without even being in it?

“You were…in foster care?”

“Yeah, I was in about four different homes. Then I was in Mac when I wasn’t in a home.”

“You were never…adopted?”

She scofffed, “Almost was. When I was a seven. A couple who had been trying forever to have a baby fostered me until they got pregnant and gave me back.”

My heart ached in my chest. I longed to throw my arms around her and stroke her hair. I wanted to tell her that it would be okay. I wished my little girl hadn’t gone through all that grief. Yet, there was nothing I could do. My fingers twitched as I fought the urge to just stroke her cheek.

“I was in foster care with one family from the time I was born to my fourth birthday. They were convicted of defrauding the government. Something about not using the stipend properly, I don’t know. I was put in Mac-”

“What’s Mac?” I asked softly, interrupting her.

She smirked, “it’s the newspaper they put under the cage. It stands for The Mackenzie-Prescott Home. It’s where they put all the unwanted children.”

“Oh, I never – I mean, I…”

She narrowed her eyes and fixed me with a look that could have melted paint. It was so heartbreaking to see my daughter like this. Why had I always imagined her to still be sweet and perfect? I had always convinced myself she was taken care of properly and that her innocence was still intact.

“Yeah, yeah,” she began, “you never meant to give me up. You never thought it’d be like this for me. Ha! More like, you never thought I’d see you again. That’s why I found you. I saw you on You Tube. The moment I laid eyes on you, I realized that you were the girl in this picture. My mother, look how well you’ve turned out. I wanted to see you for myself. I wanted to look you in the eye and show you the face of your abandonment. I don’t know why you didn’t just abort me.”

Her words cut through me. I felt as though my insides were on fire. Her eyes were so full of anger and hatred. She hated me so much. I couldn’t blame her. I hated me too. My heart ached more than it ever had in its life. Even considering the death of Kaia, Kennedy’s disappearance…everything, it all paled in comparison to this pain. She was right of course, well about some things. How could this have looked to her? She was a girl in pain and I had been the cause of it. Despite the fact that I had never been in her life, just because I was her mother…I had had this profound effect on her. Why couldn’t I have been stronger? Why didn’t I try to take the baby home with me? I shook myself.

I did the best I could at the time. I was only sixteen. At 28, of course I was more equipped to handle her and the rest of my children. Why was I suddenly so spineless? I had worked hard to become the person that I was today…the person I had once dreamed would make my daughter proud.

“I was sixteen when I had you,” I finally said, “I was scared. I had run away from home, and was estranged from my family. It was because of you that I decided to go home. I always wanted you, Ember. You were never an unwanted child, ever. I’m sorry that you had such a rough childhood…I truly believe that I was doing the right thing.”

I paused and registered the look on her face. Her mouth was still set in a tiny line and her arms were crossed over her chest, but her eyes had softened considerably. I continued without waiting for her to answer:

“I spent the majority of my adult life doing penance for you. I’ve saved over twenty people from infernos just so that I might take a step closer in deserving you. For what it’s worth…I am sorry.”

Without saying a word, Ember got up off the couch and walked out of the room. I didn’t follow her. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. Instead I rested my elbows on my knees, buried my face in my hands and cried.

* * *

I’m not sure how much time passed before I felt soft hands on my shoulders. I looked up into the caring face of my wife. She sat next to me and wrapped her arms around me. Pulling me close to her, I buried my head in her shoulder. I was out of tears, but I still yearned for the closeness and comfort of her embrace. She said nothing as she stroked my hair. I lifted my head from her shoulder and she smiled softly at me. Her hand came to my cheek where she stroked it tenderly with her thumb. Slowly, her head descended to mine and our lips met. Her soft kiss warmed my spirits. As always, I felt my body instantly respond to her. Even after four – five now – children, I still wanted her as much as the day I met her.

There was a small gasp and we broke apart. Ember was standing in front of us. Her mouth was agape and her eyes wide. Immediately, she looked disgusted.

“This is a ‘Timmy has two mommies’ kind of shit, isn’t it?”

“Watch your mouth!” Savannah said.

“You watch yours, you dy-”

“That’s enough!” I cried, “Savannah is my wife, Ember. I will not allow you to speak that way to her.”

She pouted and crossed her arms over her chest. She glowered at me, but didn’t leave the room.

“Your mom and I have four boys together. Would you like to meet your brothers?”

“Half-brothers” she corrected, her harsh stare directed at Savannah. Her gaze slid back to me, “and she’s not my mom. She’s my biological mother.”

Savannah stood and gently led Ember out of the room. I ran my hands through my hair and sighed. This was nothing like how I had always envisioned my first meeting with my daughter to go. I stood and walked out to the kitchen. Leaning against the counter top, I decided to do the second hardest thing I would ever have to do. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and called down at the station. With a lot of promising that everything was okay and that I’d feel the details in later, I finally got Scout to give me the number of the Department of Family and Children Services. I hesitantly dialed in the number and waited for someone to answer.

*********************

Almost doooooone! 😀

So tell me, why do you guys think Maddy is calling D-FaCS? Is she calling to give Ember back? To report her as trespasing or unwelcome? What do you think?

What do you think of her behavior and language? :O

Glad to finally have this out. I’ll be working on more soon!