"Lia..." Reilly warned his daughter.
Lia looked up, "Yes, Daddy?"
"You want me to allow a teen boy, one not even related to us, to move in here, here with my teen daughter?"
Lia nodded her head yes. "It's not like he's going to sleep in the same room as me Daddy! Really!" She huffed. "He could bunk in with one of the boys." She paused briefly before saying, "Claudio's not like his father, Daddy. He wants to get away from his father's influence, and he just needs a safe place to go." She stood up, and with great dramatic effect, motioned with her hands. "What better place than here?"
Reilly shook his head. "Lia, what were you thinking?" Claudio's heart sank, it seemed that Lia's father wasn't going to take a chance on him. Not that he could blame him. He was a Monty, and, some would argue, the worst of the lot, since he was always into trouble.
Frustrated, Lia threw her hands up. "I don't know Daddy."
"Maybe, " she continued, ignoring Claudio's muffled groan, "maybe I was thinking about all the different times you told us how we should help people out. That the problem with this town is that no one will step forward, no one will step out of their comfort zone long enough to see all the hurting people. And that if we just stepped outside of ourselves for just a little bit, we could make a big difference in people's lives. We could radically change their lives for the better! Well, Daddy, here's our chance. Our chance to show this town what it means to step out in faith, and give someone a helping hand."
Reilly sighed. "You were listening?" Lia vigorously nodded her head yes. "It figures that out of all my children, you were the only one that paid attention to that." He sighed again, this time heavily. "There are conditions..." Lia squealed, and hugged her father tightly, then went to kiss him on the cheek, he stopped her with his words. "You haven't heard the conditions yet!" he cautioned her.
She kissed his cheek. "No worries Daddy!" she smiled at him. "You'll do what's right, you always do." Reilly grumbled under his breath, but before he could get into his list of conditions, his father stepped into the room.
"Sorry to interrupt Reilly, but we need to talk."
Lia hugged her Grandpa, before pulling Claudio to his feet. "Come on Claudio, I'll show you where you can sleep."
"Rule number one, you two are not to be left alone, unchaperoned!" Reilly called out after his daughter.
Reilly turned to his father, who was smiling at him. "What?" Kit just shook his head, and gestured for him to sit down. Reilly sat down, and waited for his father to speak.
Kit stared at the floor for several moments, before looking up at his son. "I have some bad news." He paused to fight back his emotions before continuing, "My parents, your grandparents, they were betrayed." Kit swallowed, then forced the words out, "they were betrayed, and while they slept, they were murdered."
Reilly stared at his father in shock. "Murdered?" he parroted back.
"It was done by a Sleeper, one who is given a command while under hypnosis or a spell, and with the right phrase or word, turns into an assassin. As soon as the deed was done, the Sleeper killed himself."
"I wish I had been there, I could have saved them."
Kit smiled sadly. "Or been killed yourself. Camulodunum is in turmoil, and rightfully so." He waited for his words to sink in, then said softly, "It seems the responsibility of ruling Camulodunum has fallen to me, as I am the heir. I was thinking of taking Puck and Drake with me, they have come quite far in their training, and both have expressed a desire to go to Camulodunum."
"Elly will not like that at all. She favors the plan where our children decide to live in her homeland, and carry on with the Fairy ways, not march off to war in Camulodunum, where they face potential death or worse." Reilly shook his head. "I cannot say I am entirely in disagreement with her. I do not want my children harmed either."
"Indeed. Your children are nearly grown though, in fact, Puck and Drake will be graduating in just a few days. You know their hearts, their spirits, do you honestly see them content to just sit complacently in this town, and live a quote, "normal life", unquote? Their Fae blood has given them a longer life, then either you nor I can conceive of. Will they, with their thirst for adventure be content to twiddle their thumbs here for a couple hundred years or more? We cannot keep our children hidden, Reilly, or tucked away safely in our houses, you, more than anyone, should know that."
Reilly slowly nodded, as he remembered how his father had tried to keep him safe, and wouldn't let him go anywhere or do anything. And that had almost ended in disaster. "That is true enough." Reilly agreed. "You are right Dad, I don't like it, but you are right. Puck and Drake would not be content here. My wife may never speak to me again." Reilly sighed glumly. "But if they want to go with you, I will not stop them." Reilly brightened up. "Perhaps having Claudio underfoot will be enough to distract her."
"You're definitely letting him stay here then? Even knowing who his father is?"
"Considering my daughter used my own words against me, words she knows I said in response to this town not wanting to speak up against Patrizio Monty; no matter how many people were hurt, just to prove her point, yes, I am letting him stay, with reservations."
"I am glad I never had daughters." Kit commented. Reilly just sighed, and let his head drop down into his hands.
The next day, Claudio found himself dragged into starring in yet another one of Lia's films. He found that he couldn't tell her no, for he hated to see the look of disappointment in her eyes. "Okay guys, you remember your lines right?"
Alder stared dubiously at the scraps of paper in his hand, and the squiggly lines written all over it. "You want me to say that?"
"Yes Alder, there will be no ad libbing, like you did last time! Just say your lines the way I wrote them."
"How did I get sucked into this again?" Alder complained. Claudio chuckled, and Alder glared at him.
"You're the lucky one that got Chaperon duty, remember?" she said sweetly.
Alder frowned. "Yeah, how did that happen anyway? I don't see why Puck or Drake or..."
Lia interrupted him, "Because the others are interested in training to fight, while all you are interested in, is playing your guitar. Now quit your whining, and say your lines."
Claudio smirked at Alder. "Yeah, suck it up like a man Kahekili, and say your lines."
Alder frowned at Claudio. "Shut up Monty."
"Action!" Lia yelled.
Alder sighed, and stuffed the papers in his back pocket. He couldn't believe he was doing this. Someday when he was a big Rock Star, he just knew this film would come back to haunt him. How embarrassing. He might as well get this over, so he could get back to practicing his guitar. He cleared his throat. "Hey, Johnny! Angel sent me out here to bring you back home. She didn't mean it, what she said."
"Why didn't she come herself, then, if she didn't mean it?"
"Aw, you know Angel, she's got a lot of pride. But she really doesn't want to see you get hurt." Alder/Joey glanced to the left, and then the right. "This place, it isn't safe. She never should have goaded you to come here."
Claudio pretended to be angry. "What's that supposed to mean Joey? She doesn't want to see me get hurt? Like I'm some kind of wuss? A pansy? Tell her, thanks, but no thanks. I'm no coward!"
Alder/Joey glanced around him, faking intense nervousness. "Johnny, there's something you gotta know about Angel..." he whispered.
"What?" Johnny/Claudio snapped.
"She's no angel!" Alder tried to say the line with a straight face, but he couldn't help it. He cracked up, which caused Claudio to start laughing.
"Cut!" Lia yelled. "What are you two doing? You're messing up the scene, and Alder, I saw that! Stop mocking me!" She glared at Alder, he grinned back and shrugged.
"This stuff is cheesy and lame!" Alder complained loudly. "How am I supposed to say this with a straight face?"
"Well, you're the Actor!"
"I don't want to be the Actor!"
"You are such a baby Alder. Now help me finish this scene, or I'll make sure that Dad knows you are the best Chaperon ever, you wouldn't even let me cross the street unless I held your hand."
"Fine, threaten me." Alder said sourly. He turned back to Claudio.
"Action!" Lia hollered.
"She's no angel." Alder managed to say it with a straight face this time.
Claudio/Johnny shrugged. "That's no secret."
"No seriously, she pretends she is, but in reality, she's a Mutant Shapeshifting Llama from planet Venus. She eats males like you for breakfast, you really don't want to upset her."
Claudio/Johnny scoffed. "Are you crazy or something? You expect me to believe that hunk of pooey?" Claudio almost smiled as he said the last word, but managed at the last moment to keep a scowl on his face.
"Dude! I'm trying to help you out here. You have no idea how many guys I've seen die by her Killer Pink Sparkles!" Claudio/Johnny shook his head and rolled his eyes in disbelief. "Oh no!" Alder/Joey said dramatically. "It's too late, look!"
Claudio/Johnny gasped. "It's so, " he paused, "hideous!"
Alder/Joey clutched his head and howled. "Ow! She's in my head! I'm sorry Angel! I'm so sorry! Please don't kill me!"
"Noooo!" Alder/Joey moaned. "Not the Killer Pink Sparkles!"
"Don't kill me Angel!" Claudio/Johnny whimpered. "I promise I'll do whatever you say. Just don't kill me like you did Joey!" The pink sparkles tickled Claudio's nose, but he did his best to ignore it.
"Cut! And that's a wrap!" Lia said happily.
"Thank Heaven!" Alder groaned. "That was the lamest one yet, Lia."
"It was not Alder! It's pure genius on paper, and now on film! You just wait until I post it on the web, I already have a cult following, this project will make me even more famous!"
Alder stared at his sister in horror. "You post them on the Internet? Where other people can see them?"
"Of course, I cannot keep my genius contained Alder. The world needs to see it. I'll have you know, I have half a million followers. They love me." She said simply.
Alder stared at his hands. "I'm gonna be sick!"
"I don't see why you're whining Alder, I'm making you a household name! That'll be good for your Rock Star status. Just you wait until you read my next script! It's even better than this one!"
Claudio patted Alder on the shoulder. "That's right, Alder. Director Lia here, she'll help you out real good."
"Dictator Lia, you mean." Alder grumbled. "Now I know why everyone at school was giving me those weird looks. I'll never be able to show my face in public again!" He felt horrified all over again at just the thought of it.
Lia grabbed both of them by their jackets, and started pulling them towards the car. "Okay guys, enough funnin around. Now, I have this vision," she ignored Alder's loud groaning, "of an abandoned beach, that gets attacked by these Rabid Purple Oysters..."
Since Claudio was the only one of the three that had his license, Lia declared him the Official Driver. "Claudio, I need you to drive us to Venice Beach, it's perfect for what I have in mind."
"Now?" He kept his voice neutral.
Lia looked up at him, and batted her eyelashes at him. "Yes please!"
"You are such a sucker Dude." Alder commented from the back seat. He crossed his arms. "I refuse to do another scene, I'm staying in the car."
"Suit yourself, Alder." Lia said. "I just need Claudio for this scene." Twenty minutes later Claudio pulled into the parking lot for Venice Beach. He jumped out of the car, and ran over to open the door for Lia. She smiled at him, and grabbed his hand. They started for the beach.
"Hey, no funny business!" Alder told them.
"As if!" Lia said. "Do you not see all this snow?" She rolled her eyes. Alder sat back in the seat with a thump, and shut his eyes. Lia and Claudio walked along the path to the beach in companionable silence. Ten minutes later, Claudio tugged Lia behind some bushes. "What..." she started to ask him, but he covered her mouth, and shook his head. Lia got the message, and stood there quietly, and then she heard it too. Voices.
"Isn't that your brother?" Lia whispered.
"Yeah, that's Antonio." Claudio whispered back. "Come on, it isn't safe, I've got to get you out of here."
Lia resisted. "I've got my camera, shouldn't we see what he's up to, and tape it?"
Claudio shook his head no. "It's too dangerous Lia." The voices stopped, and Claudio pushed Lia down into the snow. "Your wings," he hissed, "You stand out like a pink beacon. Hold still." He pulled his jacket off.
"I thought I heard something." growled one of the men.
Antonio smirked. "You always think you hear something GilsCarbo. It's nothing, now stop sniveling and get back to work loading the merchandise."
Claudio pulled Lia back down. "Would you stay down!" he hissed.
"I can't hear them down here."
"They can't see you down here either, which is what I prefer." He threw his jacket over her wings. "We need to get out of here, quickly and quietly. Yes, Lia, " Claudio said firmly, when he noticed the stubborn tilt to her chin and the fire in her eyes. "Antonio is a younger version of my father, and I would never forgive myself if something happened to you. We're going home." Claudio grabbed her hand, and with a soft sigh, Lia acquiesced, and followed him back to the car. They found Alder snoring in the backseat.
"What were they doing?" Lia asked.
"Shipping Sweetbriar, more than likely." Claudio answered her.
"Your family is involved in the Drug trade?"
"Does Bianca know?"
"Bianca turns a blind eye to the darker side of our family."
"We have to tell my Dad."
"Only if you want to get him killed."
"Tell Dad what?" Alder asked sleepily from the backseat.
"Nothing." Lia said.
Challenge Notes: So yes, sad news indeed, Ethan and Kei, and even Chaine, are gone. I'm not even sure when it happened, because I was obviously too busy doing something else and I missed the SP notice. I was just looking at the family tree, and I noticed they were all greyed out! This time, yes, they are dead, not coming back, lol. It gave me a good reason for why Kit will be moving out soon, which breaks my heart. But I cannot bear to see him *die*. So in my mind, he'll be off ruling Camulodunum, his grandsons by his side. So, it's not too much of a spoiler I suppose, to say that Puck and Drake, neither one is the heir, lol. That still leaves 6 others---
Reilly has almost reached the top of his career, Elly has been faithfully tending to her plants, Rhys has almost reached the top of his career as well. So Generation 4 is winding down, and Generation 5 is picking up. I'm almost half way there! Hopefully next chapter, maybe the one after, will have Gen 5 in charge, and the heir will be revealed. :)
Also---my lame little film plot was a little nod to B movies, I have some favorites. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes---classic. The Mad Max series (especially Beyond Thunderdome w/Tina Turner)---loved it. Attack of the Killer Clowns from Outerspace---gave me nightmares, lol
Thanks for reading!