"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.
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."
"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