Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chapter 31: A little R and R

  "This place looks boring."  Rhys said as they approached the Toadstool.

  Reilly was right behind him.  "It does." he agreed.  "But my Dad thinks we need something to occupy ourselves with, so that we don't get into trouble.  Somehow helping Aunt Layla and Uncle Bryce out at the Toadstool was his solution."

  "Us?  Get into trouble?"  Rhys snickered.  He went inside, and sure enough,there were only three people inside.  "It's Aunt Layla, Uncle Bryce, and some creepy guy with a gun, how does that keep us out of trouble?"

  Reilly glanced at the man who was holding a gun.  Had they just walked into a robbery in progress?

  The man waved the gun at them.  "Go stand over there, with them!  And no funny business!  I won't hesitate to shoot, and I shoot to kill."  Confident that Rhys and Reilly would easily comply, the man turned his attention back to Bryce.  "Now, then, we have some unfinished business..."

  "Frank, I'm not the one in charge of the hiring or the firing."  Bryce was trying to talk sensibly to Frank Weatherby.

 Both boys slowly headed towards their Aunt.   "We can totally take him."  Rhys whispered.

  Your father owns it!"  Frank sneered.  "I was unfairly fired!"

  Reilly spared a quick glance at Frank.  "You think so?"

  "Frank, you kept showing up drunk.  My dad gave you several chances, we tried to help you..." Bryce explained patiently.  "You don't want to do this Frank, just put the gun down and we'll get you some help..."

  "Definitely.  His mind is so easy to read, a toddler could do it.  The guy is a whack job."  Rhys said.  "He doesn't plan on leaving any witnesses though."  The boys had reached Layla.  They turned around to face the gunman, whose attention was momentarily on Bryce.

  "What's our plan Rhys?"

  "Help!?" Frank shouted angrily.  "You think I need help?  You think this is some big joke?  That you didn't just ruin my life and my marriage?  I'll show you what a joke this is!"

  "Frank!  No!" Bryce yelled.

  Frank Weatherby pointed his gun at Rhys and pulled the trigger.  Reilly watched in amazement as time slowed way down.  He could think and partially move, but everyone else seemed to be held in some kind of animated suspension. Reilly could feel an energy building up within him.  With the barest of thoughts, he shifted the bullet's trajectory to pass by Rhys without hitting him, and time quickly sped back to normal.  The bullet hit the wall behind Rhys, and before the next blink, Rhys had shot off and kicked the gun out of Frank's hand.

  Reilly and Bryce ran over to help Rhys tackle Frank to the ground, while Layla called the Police.  Reilly could still feel the magic pulsing in him, he concentrated his energy on Frank.  Frank immediately stopped struggling, and passed out, unconscious.

  Bryce waved them back, he picked up the gun and pointed it at Frank.  "I'll feel better with you boys far away from this man."

  They shrugged, and moved closer to the front door.  Adrenaline still pumping, they grinned at each other.  "That was awesome!"  Rhys whipered excitedly.  "What did you do?  I saw a flash of light, that's it, but that bullet should have hit me!"

  "I don't know exactly.  There was this time warp, I was able to change where the bullet was headed, but it was all unconscious like. It didn't last very long, and then poof!  Everything was back to normal and you!  You were like lightning!"

  Rhys frowned slightly.  "A pity I am not faster than a bullet though.  He would have shot me."

  "You should have kept track of his thoughts."

  "I did.  But humans can be unpredictable in their thinking, spur of the moment thoughts don't give me as much time to react to as the more planned out ones."

  Reilly lightly punched Rhys on the shoulder.  "You act like you don't have any human in you, but you do."

  Rhys nodded.  "Not much, but I do have a little.  That is why I am capable of spur of the moment thoughts."  Rhys grinned.  "That is a vampire's downfall, most of us are so logical we plan our thoughts for the next decade!  How exceedingly boring! Spontaneity is not encouraged, or so Grandfather Van Gould keeps telling me!  I think I vex him."

  "He has been alive for forever."  Reilly commented.  "I think everything vexes him!"

  Rhys grinned at Reilly.  "That's true!  Wow!  What a day!  This place turned out to be more fun than I thought it would be.  We should help out more often.  Did you see those shoes that guy was wearing?  Pink loafers!  What a doof!"

  Reilly laughed.  "They were really ugly shoes!" he agreed.

  Much later that night, Rhys flopped onto the bottom bunk bed and groaned. "I didn't think they would ever shut up!"

  Reilly climbed up onto the top bunk.  "Me neither.  All that carrying on, you'd think we caused all that trouble."

  "Exactly!  Trouble magnets indeed!  Like it's our fault that some crazy guy decided to show up to shoot Uncle Bryce.  Sheesh."  Rhys complained.

  The next morning, Kit tracked down Chaine.  He found him outside, working on one of his projects.

  "I'm leaving for Sunlit Tides."  Kit said quietly.

  Chaine slowly turned around to look at Kit.  "I'm coming with you then."

  Kit shook his head.  "I need you to stay here Chaine."

  "I have heard those words before."

  "I have some questions, which can only be answered by my Uncle."  Chaine started to protest, but Kit cut him off.  "I know he's dangerous, but he has answers.  I'll be fine, I am not a helpless child anymore.  But I don't want to leave the family unprotected, which is why you must stay.  If anything does go wrong..."  Kit hesitated. "Well, "

  Chaine sighed.  "I understand."

  "I already said my goodbyes to Reilly.  He and Rhys are going on some two week camp out with the Scouts, so they will be occupied for at least two weeks.  How those two manage to attract trouble, I'll never understand.  But at least they will be surrounded by several Eagle Scout Leaders, so I will worry less about them."  Kit sighed.

  Chaine nodded.  "That is a relief.  I will find things for them to do here, when they return.  They are leaving today, as well?"

  Kit nodded.  "Yes, they are getting picked up from school, that is what Reilly said anyway.  I don't know how long I'll be, but I just want to thank you Chaine, for everything."

  "It is my pleasure.  Stay safe Kit, and return to your family."

  "I plan on it."

  Rhys finally heard the sound he had been waiting on all day.  "I thought that bell would never ring.  Is it just me, or is school tediously long?"  Rhys asked Reilly, as he gathered up his books.

  "It's just you."  Reilly told him cheerfully.

  "You're so full of it. You find it boring too."

  "Maybe."  Reilly shrugged.  "Not quite as tedious as you find it.  It would be better if the stuff they taught was more challenging.  It's like they're feeding us baby food."

  "Totally too easy."  Rhys agreed.

  "While in computer lab, I was able to do some more research.  I found my Mom's business address."  Reilly handed Rhys a piece of paper.

  "Dude, you are so good at this research thing.  You should do it for a living."

  "She wasn't exactly hiding."

  "Wrong answer.  You're supposed to say, "  Rhys changed to a falsetto voice, "Thank you Rhys for the lovely compliment."  Reilly slugged Rhys on the arm.  "Ouch!  Careful man, I almost dropped my books."

  Reilly rolled his eyes.  "As if you care about those books.  Come on, we're wasting time, we need to get you into the Computer Lab before it closes.  I'll keep Mr. Westerly busy."

  They walked into the Computer Lab, and Rhys set his books down on a desk, and sat behind the computer.  He started typing, while Rhys walked up to Mr. Westerly, a portly middle aged fellow.  "Mr. Westerly!  Am I glad that you are still here.  I need your opinion on this Research paper I am going to write for my Political class.  Being that you are the foremost expert in Green technology, I thought you would be the perfect person to interview.  Can I bother you for a few minutes?"

   If there was anything Mr. Westerly liked more than Green Technology, it was being asked his opinion on Green Technology.  "Of course!  Ask away!"  he beamed.

  Thirty minutes later and they were headed out of the Computer Lab.  They stopped by their locker to drop off their books, and pick up their packs.  "Did you send those phony Scout letters to the Principal and our teachers?"

  "I did."  Rhys confirmed.  "They won't be looking for us for two weeks.  I also made sure that everyone passed that last math test with flying colors!"

  Reilly groaned.  "Rhys!  You're not supposed to be messing with the grades."

  "What?  I'll be everyone's hero!"

  "No one is supposed to know you were hacking into the school computer system."

  "I'm aware of that, but I will be the unsung hero of Moonlit High.  And every time someone mentions the awesome grade they received on their last math test, I will smile, because I will know."

  "I know you're a fruit cake."  Reilly retorted.  "Come on, let's go to the abandoned warehouse, I want to show you something I figured out how to do before we leave for Bridgeport."

  Once at the abandoned warehouse, Reilly started to move his hands, and a greenish glow appeared.  "It takes a bit of concentration, and a lot of focus, someday I hope to be able to do this a lot more efficiently."

  "Pretty lights."  Rhys teased him.

  "Stop making me laugh!  You're ruining my concentration."

  Rhys looked around.  "What exactly are you trying to do again?"

  "Well, I've been thinking a lot about it, and I think I've figured out exactly what it was I did that summoned a..."

  Rhys interrupted.  "A meteor?"  He looked warily up at the sky.

  "Exactly!"  Reilly closed his eyes, "This is the tricky part." he murmured.

  "Uh, Reilly?"  Rhys said urgently.  "Reilly!"

  Reilly wasn't paying attention, so Rhys grabbed his cousin and half dragged him across the grass, running as quickly as he could without hurting Reilly.  "Hey!"  Reilly complained.  "Rhys!  What are you doing?"

  When Rhys figured they were far enough away, he stopped.  "Getting us away from THAT."  They both watched as a fireball fell from the sky and hit the spot where they had been standing a few minutes before.  They cheered at the impressive explosion that happened immediately on impact.

  "It's a good thing you moved us when you did."  Reilly commented.

  "You think?"  Rhys stared at the flames that were now engulfing the old warehouse.  "That was super awesome!" he whispered.  "Now if you could just do that without almost killing us!"

  Reilly nodded thoughtfully.  "My aim is still a little off."

  "A little?  I also think we'd better get out of here, before the Firemen show up.  With any luck, everyone will think we are already gone, camping with the Scouts, and thus could have had nothing to do with this."

  "Yeah, let's go.  Surely Bridgeport has some wooded areas around, so we could practice there."  They  heard the distant wail of fire engines.  They looked at each other, and then ran.


  "My Liege."   Kadar knelt before the High King, his head bowed low.

  "Why do you bother me in my personal quarters?  Speak." the King commanded.

  "We are reading a faint trace of Old Camulodean magic in the Backwoods When."

  "Impossible!" the King hissed.  "Only one knows that Power, and he has been here with me."  Kadar remained kneeling, and spoke not a word, but waited for further instructions.  "Check out this faint trace, and snuff it out."

  "I understand and I obey."  Kadar rose to leave, but paused at the High King's voice.

  "Take two of the Nephilium with you, and Raven."

  Kadar bowed low.  "Yes Sire."

  After Kadar left, the King dismissed his servants, until only he remained in his room.  Then he snarled and hurled anything he could get his hands on against the walls. 



  Notes:  I am pleased with how Constantine turned out.  :)

  I am having so much fun with Rhys and Reilly.  They crack me up, they are always joking around and getting into trouble.  Rhys really did alter the test scores, and he got away with it!  Reilly was a scout as a child.

  It will probably be a little while before I update next.  My next few chapters are going to take a lot of set up, and I keep getting distracted by fixing up Townie sims.  lol  That and my hubby will be home Monday nite, he drives truck and is gone a lot, but when he is home, I am spending time with him and not my sims.  :)  He was last home the end of August, which was a LONG time ago---I am so excited for Monday to get here.  Is it Monday yet?  lol

  So I'll see, it depends on how my scenes are coming along.  Some of them I am going to use poses for, it'll be a mix.  The nice thing with the poses is that the sims stay put, so annoying when they wander off or into a shot I am trying to take!

  I am looking forward to the next several chapters, as I attempt to weave multiple stories together, that take place in several different worlds---

Next: Chapter 32: It Begins

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chapter 30: Aloha Kona

  Kona jumped out of bed, a big grin on his face, and a spring in his step.  Today was the day.  After so many years of working, he was officially retiring.


  Kona was looking forward to his retirement years.  Life was good, and it was only going to get better.

   Crissy had talked him into retiring.  She had wanted him to slow down and enjoy their baby that was due to arrive soon.  Kona could hardly believe it, he had great grandchildren, but he was about to become a father again, all these great years later.

   His family had been a bit shocked at his announcement.  Kona chuckled, well, a lot shocked!  Kit though had come up and been the first to hug him and congratulate him.  He had also said, "Way to go Gramps!"  to which Kona had blushed.  He hadn't intended to have any more children at all, but all children were a blessing, and he found he was excited at the prospect of another child. 

  Kona had been thinking of Kanani a lot lately, and of his good friend, Tragic.  He still talked to Kanani, but not as much as he used to.  The day before he asked Crissy to marry him, he had gone for a long walk, and talked to Kanani for hours.  He had wept, crying for all the years that he missed with her, and all the things she had missed.  And after that walk, he told her he was getting married again, and that he had to let her go.  He would soon have a new wife.

  He thought of his friend Tragic, and all the stories they had shared while Kona was growing up.  Of how Tragic had taught Kona how to be a Magician.  How Tragic had believed in him, and encouraged him, and given him the props and training that had begun Kona's career.

  His musings were interrupted by a phone call.  Crissy was in labor.  Kona let his family know, and he rushed out the door.  He barely made it to her house in time to welcome his son, Makaio.

  Crissy rushed past Kona and headed for outside, Makaio in her arms.  "Crissy, where are you going?"  Kona spun on his heels and followed her.  She put Makaio on the ground and clutched her belly and moaned.  "Crissy?"  Kona said fearfully.

  Crissy let out another moan and delivered his daughter, Kiana, outside on the sidewalk.

  Kona rushed over and picked up his son, who had started fussing.  "Crissy, " he admonished her, "The ground is not a proper place for a baby!  We need cribs!"  Kona fretted.  He thought he had more time to get prepared before the baby was born.  And twins!  He would need to buy two of everything!

    Crissy rolled her eyes at Kona.   "I was trying to get to the hospital."  Crissy complained.  "But I didn't quite make it before Kaio decided to make his appearance."

  Kona sat in the rocking chair on the front porch and began to sing softly to his newborn son.  He sung an old lullaby, one that he and Kanani used to sing to their girls when they were babies.  Kona took a deep breath.  He could smell the lilacs in the air, and he felt the warm summer breeze on his cheek.  He could never in a thousand lifetimes, count all of his blessings.

   The nights and days slipped by, with joys that he had once forgotten but now remembered.  The three am feedings, the bartering over who changes the diapers, the tender moments spent with a beloved, and the stolen kisses between baby cries.  Before too long, his twins were already toddlers, and pulling at his pant legs to demand his attention.


and Kiana:

  Kona came up from behind Crissy and wrapped his arms around her.  She smiled at him, and leaned into him.  "I've been thinking." he said quietly.


  "After your birthday today, I'd like us to take a trip to Sunset Valley, without the kids."  When Crissy started to say something, Kona said gently, "Let me finish.  Kaio and Kiana will be fine with my family for a few days, and I'd like us to travel just once, before we are too old to go anywhere.  It is our last chance, and I want to say goodbye to an old friend."

  "Your wife?" Crissy guessed.

  "No, I've already said my goodbyes to her.  I'd like to say goodbye to Tragic; he was like a father to me."

  After some more bargaining, Kona finally got Crissy to agree to a short 3 day trip.  Crissy fretted over her appearance, she was not used to so much grey!  Kona let her know though, that he still thought she was beautiful.

  "But your Kanani will be forever young in your mind." she said lightly, trying to keep the jealousy out of her voice.

  "Kanani will always hold a part of my heart, this is true.  She was the mother of my children, my first love, and had she lived, my only love.  But she did not.  You hold a piece of my heart as well, Crissy.  Forever until death.  Love does not contract, but expands the more it is given."

  "I am being a silly old fool."

  Kona smiled.  He knew better than to say anything to that statement.

  The trip to Sunset Valley did not take very long, but Kona was glad to have his feet on the ground again.  He did not like flying.

  He took Crissy's hand and together they walked to the Cemetery.  A rush of memories and images flowed through Kona's mind.  He had grown up here, fallen in love here, gotten married, this was the birthplace of Keiki, Poulani, and Keilani.   He had dreamed big dreams when he lived here.  Now he only had quiet dreams.  Dreams of seeing his children grow up, graduate, maybe even get married.  Dreams of sitting with Crissy on the front porch in the Summer twilight,  watching for the twinkling of fireflies.  He squeezed her hand, and smiled at her.  She smiled back.

  His smile faded, and he let go of her hand, as he stared down at the grave of his friend, Tragic.  Tragic had really liked Kanani, and told Kona she was a keeper.  Kona knew that Tragic would think Crissy was a keeper too.

  The sound of his quiet mourning must have awakened some magic, for before Kona's very startled, red rimmed eyes, Tragic appeared.

  Kona rubbed his eyes, but the apparition stayed.  Crissy's squeak assured him that she saw Tragic too.  "Tragic is that you?" he asked.

  "I think I must ask you a similar question!  Kona?  Is that you?  I see some old man with a resemblance to the youth I once knew."

  Kona laughed.  "I cannot believe it!  Yes, it's me, Kona.  Many years have passed, and I am all withered and grey!"

  "And your wife, Kanani?  I bet she looks beautiful in grey."

  Kona had to tell Tragic the sad tale of his wife, but Tragic himself was no stranger to sad tales.

  Tragic nodded his head in sorrow.  "This is grave news indeed.  I am so sorry to hear that!"

   Kona groaned inwardly at Tragic's use of the pun grave.  He had forgotten that little fact about Tragic, he loved bad puns.   "My journey here is not one of sorrow Tragic, but of  joy.  I am getting married again, to Crissy."

  Kona introduced his soon to be wife.  Crissy wasn't so sure about talking to this blue wavering ghost that seemed to have an endless stream of water dripping from him.  She did her best though, and managed not to scream at the feel of the cold, wet, clammy dead hand that she shook.

  Kona gasped, and Crissy looked over at him worriedly.  "I just had a brilliant idea!"

  "What's that?" she asked him.

  "We could get married here, right now, so that my friend could see us get married.  He was at my first wedding as well, it is, like a circle!"  Kona's eyes shone with his excitement.

  Crissy wasn't quite as enthusiastic as him.  "Here?  Are you sure?"

  Kona nodded vigorously.  "It's perfect."  He held her hands.  "Marry me, please?  On this beautiful day with my best friend as our witness."

  Crissy closed her eyes for a moment, indecisive, but in the end gave in to Kona's request.  She still felt bad for how she had treated him the first time they got together, maybe this would help assuage her conscience.  Only for love would she get married in a foreign town in a graveyard, with only a ghost for a witness.  Kona's quirkiness always had made her life more interesting.

  They spent the rest of their vacation days either lounging in their sleepwear, taking walks together, or eating pizza while Kona beat the old stove into submission.

   When they arrived back home, Kona stopped to pick up his kids.  Kei met him at the door, tears streaming down her face.

  "Daddy!" she sobbed.  "I don't know how to let you go!  I am glad for your happiness but my heart is breaking because I feel like I am losing you."

  Kona hugged Kei tightly, and in a voice husky with his own tears, he told her, "Keiki, daughter of my heart, I will always be here with you.  That is the beauty of Love, it never dies, it only transforms.  Now, you take care of those grandkids of mine, and tell them to come visit their old Gramps, y'hear?"

   Once her father had left, Kei cried on her husband's shoulder.  "Kei." he said her name softly.

  "My name is Keiki." she said tearfully.

  Challenge notes---Kona is living on borrowed time.  He really could die at any time, he could still live for a while since he completed the marathon challenge.  I decided I couldn't bear to watch him die though,  so I gave him his happy ending and moved him in with Crissy.  The twins were a surprise all around!  Sneaky Kona!  He slipped those last 2 kids in, right after Crissy had them, the next day she aged to an elder.

  When Kona ended up with the Tragic Clown moodlet (courtesy of the Portal), I knew I had to have him visit Tragic before Kona moved out.  Just tying up a few loose strings!

  Aloha in Hawaiian can mean hello, or goodbye, sometimes it can even mean love, it just depends on how you say it.  :)


 Next: Chapter 31: A Little R and R

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chapter 29: Best of Friends

     Rhys glanced behind him to see how Reilly was doing with his sandcastle.  "Yours looks like a big pile of sand, just like Maya's and mine."

  "Maybe it does now.  "Reilly said, looking at his pile of sand critically.  "But I have a plan."

  Kei stared at herself in the mirror.  She sighed.  Her youthful beauty was gone, and what was left?  Some wrinkly worn out unhappy woman.

    She really needed a haircut.  She looked at the mirror again, then she grabbed her scissors, a curling iron, and some purple dye.  Enough was enough, she needed a change.

  When she was finished, she smiled at herself in the mirror.  The dark purple dye was subtle enough and yet different enough that she loved it.  She had worn her hair in the same old hairstyle for years, and if felt good to finally mix it up a little.  It wasn't a radical change, but it was enough for her. 

   Kona wanted to make sure the new washers and dryers that he bought would never break down, even long after he was gone.

     As he was finishing up, he got a phone call.  It was Crissy, asking him to come over to her house.  Kona told her he'd be over as soon as he was done with clean up and hung up the phone.  He'd had no idea when he first dated her, that Crissy was into old guys.

  After they had broken up, she had dated several elderly guys, even married one and had two children with him.  Kona had tried to be happy for her, but he was also a little hurt that she could never commit to him, and yet she married another guy, an old one at that!   Her husband had died shortly after the birth of their second child.  A few months later, Kona had accidentally run into Crissy at the grocery store.

  She had been shopping, her two children had been with her, and Kona had stood there and talked to her for twenty minutes in the frozen food aisle.  He had been stunned when she asked if he'd like to come over to her house for lunch.  Crissy wanting to actually meet with him outside of the Rodeo Go Go?  Unheard of!  She had followed her invitation with an uncertain smile, almost as if she knew he would refuse her.

  But Kona had surprised himself and her, by agreeing to lunch.  He still had feelings for her, no matter how hard he had tried to bury them.  This time around though, Crissy was fully involved in his life, and he in hers.  They had taken it slow at first, just hanging out as friends. Now they were more, and he hoped they would soon be a lot more.

  He wanted to ask her to marry him.  When he was with Crissy, he felt like he still had it, that he was Superman.

  It was with a great deal of trepidation when he finally he got down on his knees and asked her to be his wife.  He knew he loved her, and wanted to spend what was left of his life with her.  But did she feel the same?

   He nervously waited her answer, and he was greatly relieved and overcome with joy, when she threw her arms around him and said yes, she'd love to marry him.

    The next morning, Kit swung his legs out of bed and stretched while yawning.  He was getting up extra early so that he could spend some time with Reilly.  Reilly had expressed an interest in what Kit did for a living, and somehow that conversation had ended with him promising Reilly to play ball with him before school started.

  He grabbed his football, and headed for the kitchen.  Reilly was already up, and waiting for him.  Reilly's eyes lit up.  "You remembered!" 

  Kit ruffled his son's hair.  "Of course I did.  I always do what I promise."

  Reilly grinned at him as he ran outside.  Kit followed his son, at a more leisurely pace.  He stayed up late at night, every night, to study the book with his Projected father.  It was disconcerting in many ways, to stare at an image of the man that had sired him.  If Kit had thought Chaine was a hard taskmaster, his father was worse.  A lot of things were becoming clear to Kit though, and the beginnings of a plan was starting to form in his head.

  Kit threw the ball, and Reilly caught it.  "Good catch!" he praised his son.


  Reilly's smile was blinding.  "I caught it!" he said excitedly.

  "You sure did.  You're a natural."

  "I get my athletic ability from you, right Dad?"

  Reilly tossed the ball back to Kit.  Kit caught it easily, and tossed it back.  "Sure, I suppose so."

  "Well,"  Reilly hesitated, he held the football loosely in his right hand.

  "What do I get from my mother?"

  Kit stared at his son for a few seconds.  "Well, uh, your coloring is a lot like hers."

  Reilly frowned.  "That's it?"

  Kit sighed.  "Reilly, you are the best of both of us."

  "But I don't know where my Mom is.  No one talks about her, I don't even know what her name is!"  Reilly dropped the football and flopped on the grass.  "She must hate me."

  Kit groaned inside.  He really didn't want to have this conversation with Reilly.  He didn't know what to say or how much to say.  Kit stared at his son sitting dejectedly on the grass.  Ready or not, he told himself grimly, today appeared to be the day.  He sat beside his son.  "What bring this up Buddy?"

  "Other kids have Moms that bring cupcakes to school, or help out in the school room, or participate in the school festivals, I'm the only one that doesn't have a Mom to do that.  Aunt Nira is always busy writing, and her cooking is terrible anyway!"  Reilly confessed to his Dad.  "Don't tell her I said so, I don't want to hurt her feelings.  Gramma, "Reilly rolled his eyes, "She scares everyone.  They all start running and screaming whenever she comes by.  I want to know Dad, I want to know about my Mom."

  Reilly chose his words carefully.  "Her name was Mina Wolff.  We grew up together, we were teenage sweethearts.  Went to Prom together, the whole bit.  When we graduated, we got married.  Pretty quickly after being married we found out you were coming.  Your Mom, she's pretty ambitious, and she didn't want to live in this backwater town, as she called it.  She wanted to live in Bridgeport.  We wanted opposite things, and so we went our separate ways.  I was in a better position to take care of you, and so you stayed here with me."

  Reilly thought about his Dad's words for a moment.  "So why doesn't she visit or call?"

  Kit sighed heavily.  "Ah, Reilly, some people are just not cut out to be parents."  Kit was saved from further conversation when he heard the school bus honk.  "Bus is here, we'll have to finish this talk later."  Kit hoped between now and then, he would have a better idea on what to tell his son.

  Reilly hugged his Dad.  "I love you Dad."

  Kit hugged Reilly back.  "I love you too."

  Rhys hated getting up early in the morning.  He much preferred the night, and the dark coolness.  The morning was way too bright.  He dragged himself out of bed though, once he heard the bus honk.  He was looking forward to the field trip to the Firestation today.  Rhys loved fire.


  He found fire, death, and destruction endlessly fascinating.  The only thing more fascinating than that, was blood.

  Maya swung her legs impatiently while she sat next to Reilly on the bus seat.  "Why are we always waiting on Rhys?" she complained.

  "He'll be here."  Reilly said.

  "See, there he is now."

  "He's certainly not in a hurry." she grumbled.  "I've seen how fast he can run, he's moving slower than a snail right now!"

  "It just takes him a little longer to wake up, that's all."


  Rhys sat behind Reilly and Maya.  "I'm looking forward to seeing the Firehouse."  Rhys told his cousins.

  "You're not going to set anything on fire are you?"  Maya asked Rhys worriedly.

  "Me?  Nah, as long as Reilly doesn't bring a meteor upon our heads."

  Maya turned around to look at Rhys just as Reilly turned around and lightly punched Rhys in the shoulder.  "What are you talking about Rhys?"

  "Nothing." Both boys answered at the same time.  Maya frowned at them, but dropped the subject, since they were already at the Firestation.

    Rhys grumbled.  Teachers, they had no sense of humor.

  Later that night, after getting yelled at by his mom, and preached at by his Grandpa Chaine, Rhys snuck out of the house and joined Reilly at the sandbox.  He plopped down at in the sand and started to dig in.

  "I can't believe you almost gave me away."

  Rhys looked at his cousin.  "I'm sorry Rei, I wasn't thinking.  I promise I won't do it again."  He regarded his cousin curiously.  "Have you been practicing?"

  Reilly shook his head.  "Not too much.  It tires me out.  And that day when I called that meteor down with my mind, and then my hands did this glowy thing..." he paused, "I'm just glad we were out in the woods so no one got hurt."

  Rhys smiled.  "Yeah, but that was so cool!  I wish I could do...magic."

  "I don't know why I can."  Reilly whispered.  "My Dad doesn't have it, the grandparents don't have it.  It must somehow come from my mother.  When I get older, I'm going to have to find her."

  Rhys nodded.  "I'll go with you."

  Their conversation was cut short because it was Rhys birthday.  Reilly wished his cousin a Happy Birthday, and tried not to be to jealous that Rhys was now a teen.  Reilly didn't have much longer before he would be one as well.


  Rhys was going to go back into the house, but changed his mind when he heard the shouting from inside.  He shook his head, they sure did a lot of fighting lately.  He tried not to listen to the words, but overheard some of them anyway.

  "I can't believe he got arrested!  For stealing!  This is why you should have quit Kei, a long time ago!  Rylan actually thinks it's okay to steal jewelery and priceless paintings and.."

  Kei cut in.  "Chaine, Rylan only does it because he gets positive attention from women!  They love the fact that he is a bad boy that lives on the edge!  I've seen it with my own eyes, women calling him night and day.  Women showing up on our doorstep!  He loves the attention and every girl loves a bad boy!"

  "Every girl?  Even you Kei?"

  He walked back to the sandbox, their voices faded as he got closer to the sandbox.  "I've always wondered,"  Reilly said suddenly, "Are you able to read my thoughts?" 

  "Only when you let me.  I can't read your Dad very well either.  He has some sort of block that prevents me.   Everyone else, I can read, just like a book.  Though I try not to, there are some things I just don't want to know."

  "Ahh," Reilly commented, "like stuff between your Mom and Dad.  Kissing stuff."

    "Something like that."  Rhys muttered.

  Kit was called away unexpectedly one morning, so Reilly spent his free time that morning, before school,  by working on another sandcastle.  Maya sat beside him in the sandbox, and studied the pile of sand that Rhys had been working on.  "Rhys is terrible at making sandcastles.  I'll fix this one for him."

  "Rhys doesn't care about making the sandcastles Maya.  He just liked to smash them once they were built."

  "Rhys is disturbed."  Maya said primly.

  Reilly rolled his eyes.  Girls.

   Rhys thought he had made a very clever case in his favor on why his mother should teach him how to drive a car after school today.  When she didn't look fully convinced, he added the little extra oomph that would push her decision in his favor.  He flet slightly bad about it, but not too bad.  Especially when it worked.

  "After your homework is finished of course."  Nira said as an after thought.

  "Of course."

  The school day went mind numbing slow for Rhys.  He couldn't wait until Reilly was his age, they could actually do something useful and productive with their time.  It was hard to be a genius, Rhys thought to himself.

  He finished his homework in record time, and he grabbed the car keys and went to his mother.  "I don't know how you talked me into this."  Nira said as she climbed into the car.  "Your Dad was supposed to teach you how to drive."

  "Dad's not here."  Rhys reminded her.  "This way, when I join the Boy Scouts, and the Chess Club, you won't have to take me, I'll be able to drive myself, and you can stay at home and finish your writing."

  Nira looked at her son skeptically.  "You're going to join the Boy Scouts and the Chess Club?"

  Rhys looked at her innocently.  "Why wouldn't I?"

     A couple of hours later, license in hand, Rhys showed it off to everyone.  "I can legally drive!" he bragged to anyone who would listen.  Rhys day was just that much better when a girl from school stopped by to say hi.  Her name was Olga Younan, cousin to his Younan cousins, but not directly blood related to him.

  Rhys didn't let Olga distract him from Reilly's birthday however.  He rushed upstairs, leaving Olga in the downstairs hallway, just so he could wish his cousin a Happy Birthday.  Reilly was more like a brother and best friend all rolled into one.



    "Happy Birthday Coz!  Are you any wiser yet?"  Rhys joked.

  Reilly laughed.  "No, but my magic feels stronger.  I feel stronger."  Reilly said in amazement.

  "Really?"  Rhys was intrigued.  "Test it out!"

  Reilly shook his head.  "Not with other people around.  Later." he whispered.

  "In the woods?"

  "In the woods."

  "Sweet!  We are going to make one ass kicking team.  You and me, the world won't know what hit it!  When are we going to Bridgeport?"

  "We'll have to wait until my Dad leaves on a trip or something.  We'd never be able to get away with him here.  Your mind tricks won't work on him, and he watches me too closely."

  Rhys sighed sadly.  "Bummer.  We'll be adults by then.  Your Dad never goes anywhere!"

  Reilly shook his head.  "He's leaving in a week.  I overheard him talking on the phone to someone.  His manager, I think.  He said he's going to Sunlit Tides, and won't be able to make some promotional stop that the manager wanted him to do.  It didn't sound like the conversation went well, but he said he is definitely going."

  "So, we leave in a week."

  "Yep, a week.  In the meantime, we need some answers.  I've got a plan."

  "Do tell."

  "It involves you, a computer, hacking, and that speed you are so famous for."

  Rhys laughed in delight.  "Sounds like fun!"

  Downstairs, Maya had her birthday.


  Challenge Notes---Generation 4---they are all teens, finally!  That was the hair I originally picked for Maya, but I found/downloaded a better one tonight, so I have changed it.  I think it flatters her a little more:

  Here's a CAS picture of what Rhys looks like, since he had his birthday in the dark!


       And Reilly, just because.  :P

  I'm happy with how Generation 4 has turned out.  Thank you to Cali and Reya for such lovely genetics to work with!  :D

  I am so happy for Kona---he and Crissy just really hit it off this time around.  SP really did have her dating all the old guys, and she actually married 2 different old guys.  The first one she had 2 kids with, then he died.  The second one, after about a week of being married, he died.  But  for an old guy, Kona still has a few surprises up his Magician's sleeve!

  One final note---can I just say that Rhys scares me.  lol  He thinks about fire a lot, I get little notes about knives and stuff from him---hmmm.  He and Reilly scheming together, scares me even more.  lol  :P

Next: Chapter 30: Aloha Kona