Generation 1- Chapter 5.5

A/N: I’m so sorry this was late; real life/writer block problems got in the way. I know it is now Christmas Eve where I am but this chapter is far from Christmassy. Also, it is only really a half chapter and I probably should mention that it is a really crappy attempt at third person. Now that’s out of the way, have a merry Christmas and happy new year!

“Hey Mo, how’s life treating you?” Cameron called out as the Hungry Wolf’s usual barkeep, Mohammad Ziyad, ascended the stairs to the upper floor.

“Can’t complain” Mohammad replied in his usual gruff tone. Cameron had been a regular patron of this bar for the past few years so he was pretty comfortable with all the people who usually worked there. He liked it because this was probably the only place where people treated him like his own person and not just his father’s son. In fact, the people here were probably the only people that saw him for who he really was, except, of course, for Raven-Jay Marone. She was the reason he was here tonight instead of being up at the hospital with his terminally ill mother. She’d been ill for months now but she had been admitted to the hospital 2 weeks ago and now the doctors were saying that she only had a few months left at most. That news had devastated both Cameron and his father but they were managing to deal with it, Mr Connors by throwing himself into work and visiting his dying wife in hospital every day and Cameron by spending every moment that he could with Raven-Jay. Somehow she was able to make him feel better about himself, even if she was feeling down herself. He needed some liquid courage because tomorrow was finally going to be the day that he asked her out. He had felt an immediate connection with her when he’d first met her which had only grown stronger the longer they spent together. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration. He had wanted to ask her to go on a date with him the day they met but felt that would be too fast for her so he kept putting it off. The truth of the matter was that he, Cameron Connor’s Junior; one of the most eligible bachelors in Redcliff’s, was scared of asking her out because he really liked her and was scared, terrified in fact, that she would turn him down flat without even giving them a chance.

“What can I get ya, Cam?” Mohammad asked for where he now stood on the other side of the upstairs bar. The bar up here was normally locked when there was only one bartender on which was the case tonight but Mohammad knew that Cameron liked to be up there on his own occasionally, especially now with his mother’s deteriorating health. Cameron had sort of come to terms with the fact that his mother was going to die soon but that didn’t mean that he was particularly happy about it. It still hurt like hell every time he thought about it because his mother had always been his rock and he just couldn’t imagine her not being there anymore, so he tried not to think about it.

“Just get me a beer” Cameron replied absent-mindedly. For the past few days he had been trying to come up with the perfect way to ask Raven-Jay out on a date but he was still struggling immensely which was one of many first for him that he had experienced since meeting Miss Marone.

Hey RJ I was…uh…I was wondering if you’re doing anything later no that line would never work on her in a million years Cameron decided almost as soon as it popped into his head. He had to do better than that; she deserved better than that. The cold glass currently being pushed into his hand snapped him out of his thoughts after a few slow seconds.

“Hey, did you see the chick that came in about 10 minutes ago. She looks so young and naïve no matter what her blue hair is trying to say but, damn is she hot!” Mohammad all but growled at Cameron once he’d taken the glass that had been offered to him, his voice full of lust for this unknown girl. Cameron was still mostly in his thoughts so Mo’s words were slow to trickle into his otherwise preoccupied mind.

“Nah, I didn’t see her; I’ve been up here all night …wait, did you say blue hair?” in his haze Cameron had almost missed that vital piece of information. It looked like fate was rushing him into asking her out if she was here, right under his nose. Why else would she be out here in the middle of nowhere, especially with her anxiety problems?

“Yeah man. She looks posh as hell but she’s got some weird ass behaviour going on there.” He took a brief pause almost as if he was trying to remember this mystery girl in perfect detail before he spoke again “She’s got spunk though, I’ll give her that. I think I’m going to take her home with me tonight” The bartender was smirking by the time he finished speaking. His body may have been in the room with Cameron but his mind was downstairs with the blue haired girl whom he hoped to go home with. Cameron caught that part of what he said easily which instinctively made his fist clench on the countertop. It was with some serious self-control that he was able to hold himself back from taking a swing at the mouthy bartender. Well, self-control and that fact that he wasn’t stupid; there was no way he could win a fight against the bigger, brawnier, bartender in front of him. Instead he got up and walked over to the glass half-wall that overlooked the downstairs part of the bar. He could hear Mohammad getting back to work behind him but Cameron didn’t really pay that much attention to it as he was scanning the ground floor for any traces of the blue haired beauty whom he was sure he was beginning to fall for. At first he couldn’t spot her because her hair was well camouflaged with the red lights but when he did spot her he was more than sure that his heart broke. She was over near the corner but she wasn’t alone; she was kissing another girl whilst 2 other girls watched on. It didn’t seem like the type of thing she would do but there was no mistaking that perfect shade of blue. Cameron stumbled backwards clutching his chest. He knew that it wasn’t physically possible but it felt like his heart was beginning to splinter into a thousand tiny pieces.

“You okay” Cameron was sure he heard Mohammad ask from behind the bar but Cameron couldn’t even muster a response. With his mother near death in hospital and now this it slowly felt like Cameron’s life was crumbling around him. Sure, he and Raven-Jay had never been together in the first place but Cameron had really begun to think that Raven-Jay was the one.

“Get me your strongest drink!” Cameron panted as he fell back into a sofa in the corner. Why did it have to hurt so much! He had been in relationships and broken up with before but it had never hurt as much as this. In that moment Cameron truly wanted to hate Raven-Jay but in his heart he knew that he would never be capable of that. No matter what, in his heart he would always care for her.

“1 Cerebral Destroyer coming up” Mohammad said sympathetically as he began mixing the ingredients together for the drink he’d invented specifically for events like this. The original drink was already strong but seeing the pure and utter despair written all over Cameron’s face Mohammad made it even stronger. He had been in Cameron’s position before and it had near destroyed him too so he could sympathise deeply with Cameron. He just hoped that Cameron could bounce back much quicker than he ever had.

“Here you go, bud” Mohammad said quietly as he handed the drink down to a distraught Cameron. He looked like he would crumble at any second. Mohammad retreated back behind the bar as soon as the drink was placed in Cameron’s hand; just because he could sympathise with Cameron didn’t mean that he felt comfortable around him when he was like this.

Cameron reached towards his drink slowly, his head still down, but as soon as his hand grabbed the glass he felt like a man possessed. He grabbed the drink and pulled it to his lips, downing it as quickly as humanly possible. As soon as he’d finished he shouted out to Mohammad to make him another. His voice was already beginning to slur a little but he didn’t care anymore. His only goal now was to get completely and utterly wasted.

*

It was only mere seconds after being spotted that Raven-Jay broke away from Rue and ran from the bar in despair; almost as if she’d known she had been watched. It was far too late for her to put right the mistakes she had made with her best friend though, because by the time she had run Cameron was steadily heading towards blissful oblivion at the back of the upstairs bar with the help of several extra strong Cerebral Destroyers the bartender had mixed specifically for people who just wanted to forget everything for a while.

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Generation 1- Chapter 5

I drove until it was almost pitch black outside my windows before I stopped at a bar so far outside of town that I had no doubt that I wouldn’t bump into anyone I knew. It was the perfect place for me to hide out from everyone. There was also a sense of freedom and rebellion to the fact that I was doing something I knew my parents detested. I probably wouldn’t have even thought about going in to the bar if it wasn’t for those feelings; I probably would’ve kept driving until I got so tired that I had no choice but to go home. Instead I stopped my car and got out with steely determination. The bar was very dimly lit outside but from what I could see of it the bar looked a little grungy and unkempt. That made my sudden confidence and determination waver slightly, all the bad things my parents had told me over the years that happened in places like this came flooding to the forefront of my mind, but I made myself keep going. I had to do this! I had to prove to myself that my parents didn’t rule my life anymore! Mentally pushing myself, I began to run.

I probably looked completely stupid and weird as I burst through the bar door but I didn’t care. I immediately felt several pairs of eyes burning into me which made me look down to the floor and begin to panic inside. Silently I prayed for them to stop looking, to find something of more interest than me. I stood in utter silence for what felt like a lifetime but was probably only a couple of minutes until, one by one, I felt their eyes lift from me. Those few minutes whilst I was the focus of their attentions were probably the most excruciating few moments of my life. My heart pounded so loud that I swear I could hear it and my palms had begun to sweat profusely which is probably why, when their eyes turned away from me, I couldn’t help the heavy sigh of relief that escaped me.

Not wanting their eyes to turn back to me for standing in the one place for so long I forced myself to walk up to the bar and take a seat on one of the barstools. My legs shook the entire way. Getting to the bar was easier said than done though because the bar was at the other side of the room, past all those people who had been staring at me when I first came in. The bar was very dimly lit and from what I could tell the lights were red or at least had a reddish tint to them which was actually a little unnerving when you’d watched as many horror movies and TV shows as I have. In that moment I mentally cursed Mark for making me sit through all those movies with him. My parents would’ve killed me if they knew some of the movies Mark had taken me to. Most of the movies were actually pretty tame and watchable but there was this one movie he took me to which was about ghost hauntings that made me have nightmares for weeks afterwards.

“You gonna order something or you just gonna sit there all night” a voice asked from almost straight in front of me. I quickly lifted my eyes and found a slightly burly male bartender standing in front of me on the other side of the bar. His hair was brightly streaked with shades of red and orange which quickly caught my attention when I looked at him. His hair combined with his piercings and tattoo/s (I wasn’t sure is it was just the one big tattoo or several smaller ones that made up what I could see) made him look like the typical stereotype of bartenders that were always portrayed in movies or on the TV.

“Listen, you seem like a nice kid but if you do not order something I will have to ask you to leave. This bar is for paying customers only and I cannot have you taking up a seat that actual customers could be using.” The longer the bartender spoke the more pronounced his slight accent became. I couldn’t quite pinpoint where it could’ve originated from but from what limited knowledge I did have I couldn’t help but think that he maybe came from India or somewhere similar accent wise to there.

“B…but there’s only about 5 or 6 people in the bar right now and that’s including us” I heard myself say out loud. I had only meant to say that in my head. The fact that I hadn’t meant to say it out loud did nothing to change that it was still true. From what I could see when I had entered the bar was that there were 3 girls that looked around my age or a little older sitting at one of the tables at the back of the room plus me and the bartender. There had been another couple when I came in but I had heard them leaving as I took my seat at the bar.

“Listen kid are you gonna order something or not?” the bartender all but growled at me which made me jump slightly and point to the nearest thing I could see which in this case just happened to be a cocktail of some sort. I have to admit, it looked sort of pretty but I had no idea what was in it.

“I…I’ll have one of t…those please” I said quietly as I pointed at the cocktail. The bartender gave me a look that seemed to ask me if I was sure, which I wasn’t really, but I just nodded my head anyway. If I was going to do this I was going to do this right. I drummed my fingers nervously against the countertop of the bar whilst I waited for the bartender to come back with my drink. A part of me wanted to watch how he made the drink but another part of me, the daredevil part, wanted to be surprised. In the end the daredevil part won out and I ended up watching my fingers dance across the countertop instead of watching the bartender.

The bartender came back within mere minutes with my freshly prepared drink in hand. My hand shook something terribly when I reached out to take it from him but I forced it to cooperate and hold steady. I could do this. I was already a disappointment to my parents so what was one more screw up? That thought made me somewhat stronger and allowed me to grab the drink and take the first sip. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the overall taste of it. It was mostly sort of fruity but I could still taste the alcohol behind the fruitiness which made me more than a little hesitant to drink anymore of it. It probably would have been perfectly fine if I couldn’t taste the alcohol because then I could just pretend that it was soda or something but with the slight alcoholic taste I knew that the little voice in the back of my head, that sounded suspiciously like my mother, would nag at me. I held the glass in my hand just staring at the clear liquid inside, trying to decide what to do for several minutes. Drinking alcohol of any sort was a sin or so my parents had always drummed into me since I was small but I needed a way to escape and from most of the things I’d seen in movies or on the internet alcohol would enable me to do that, at least for a little while which was really all I needed. I just needed a break, from my parents, from the terrible things that their church, and probably them too, were doing. I was kind of terrible that I had to sit this long to try and decide something that most girls my age wouldn’t have thought twice about. I could wholly blame my parents for that one at least. I put the glass to my lips but before the alcohol had a chance to pass my lips I heard a couple of giggling girls beginning to speak.

“Hey, is that the girl you told us about?” I heard one of the girls that I’d seen earlier exclaim loudly and since I was the only other girl that wasn’t part of their group I felt inclined to listen in because they were most likely talking about me.

“Yes it is now drop it” a familiar but somehow foreign at the same time voice spoke softly. I also heard that same voice trying to hush the other 2 girls as they continued speaking loudly.

“What did you say her name was again? Robin? Rachel? Reagan? I know you said it was something beginning with an R anyway” the only girl who hadn’t previously spoken spoke up for the first time. Okay, this time I definitely knew they were talking about me. Could I really not go anywhere to get a break where people didn’t know who I was? Was that really too much to ask for?

“Her name is Raven-Jay. Now shut up because she’s right over there” the second girl who had sounded somewhat familiar to me earlier spoke again. Again I could hear how desperate she was to quiet her friends.

“Invite her over and we promise to be quiet” the first and third girls finally spoke after a long pause between them. Oh please no. I came out here to escape not to get pulled into something like this. It was like high school all over again where the bullies would call me over just so they could pick on me and I’d be stupid enough to go over. It was not happening again. I didn’t think I could handle it if it did. My life was bad enough, I did not need this.

“Fine I’ll ask her if she wants to join us but you two better be silent” the familiar girl whispered to the other two girls before she raised her voice to speak again. I was beginning to panic in my seat at what I knew was going to happen next. “Um…Raven…Raven-Jay?” the girl shouted over at me. Her voice shook a little and shy sounded nervous. I still didn’t want to turn around to face her but finally I had to because that small voice wouldn’t stop nagging at me about how rude I was being.

“Um…yes can I…can I help you?” I asked as I turned around to face the group who were still seated at their table. My jaw almost hit the floor when my eyes landed on the three girls who were currently waving me over to their table. There, sitting in directly in between the two giggling girls was Rue Melrose; a girl I had not seen since high school. We were sort of friends. Well, not friends really but we tended to cling together when we were hiding from the bullies. Rue was probably the only person who got bullied worse than I did because she was a little different. Everyone had been dead set against Rue ever since she came out in freshman year. I hadn’t turned away from her at the time because I genuinely liked her but I also hadn’t told me parents that I spoke to her either. At the time they and several other church going parents had tried to petition for Rue to be kicked out of the school because of her preferences. If there was one thing that the church, and my parents, hated more than Mr Connors and his family; it was homosexuals.

“Hey Raven, get over here, would ya?” the pink headed girl sitting to Rue’s left shouted loudly at me which made the other girl giggle even more and made Rue shake her head and glare at them both. Abandoning my drink, I made myself get up from the barstool and make the short walk to Rue’s table. I don’t know why but I felt really nervous about seeing Rue again after all this time, especially with everything else that was going on in my life right now.

“Um…H…hi Rue” I spoke softly once I’d approached the table. I felt oddly uncomfortable but I think that was more to do with the two unknown girls sitting at either side of Rue than actually Rue herself.

“It’s so good to see you again Raven” Rue jumped up from her seat wedged between the giggling girls and looked for a moment like she wanted to hug me but she must have changed her mind at the last moment because instead she placed a hand awkwardly on my arm.

“Uh…yeah…it’s…uh…good to see you too Rue” I mumbled quietly, my eyes flicking nervously between the other two girls and Rue. Rue seemed to notice because she promptly introduced the two girls.

“Before I forget Raven this is Amber Terrey” Rue said as she motioned to the girl with the obviously dyed pink hair on her left “and this is Megan Terrey” she said as she motioned to the brunette on her right. It took me a second to realize that both girls, Amber and Megan, had the same surname. I wondered if they were sisters or something. There was enough familiar resemblance for me to make that assumption so I didn’t really feel bad about jumping to conclusions. I had no idea what look came over my face but Rue quickly jumped in. “They’re cousins”. I nodded my head to let Rue know that I understood but I kind of wished that I could just disappear. Rue’s presence had always been comforting but I was way out of my depth here. As if on cue when Rue turned to look around at Amber and Megan they both burst into a fit of giggles and started nudging each other. I saw Rue shake her head slightly before she turned around again and began walking away from them towards me. I subconsciously took a step backwards but I was able to regain control of my legs to stop myself from going any further.

“I’m sorry about them.” Rue motioned to the giggling girls behind her once she was safely out of earshot of them. “They just don’t know how to behave themselves” she raised her voice slightly so that Amber and Megan could hear her as she said that which, of course, just made them laugh harder. I was starting to get the feeling that they were laughing at some private joke that I was missing out from the way they kept sneaking glances over and me and Rue.

“So…what have you been up to since graduation?” Rue asked once Megan and Amber’s laughter had died down a little. I was a little surprised that she no longer sounded awkward like she had when I’d last saw her. Even listening to her for a few seconds I realized that she was no longer that fragile person I had known; she seemed less scared and more far confident. It was good to see that she’d gotten over, or at least moved past, the bullying she’d faced throughout high school. I kind of wished I could be more like her in that respect. My bullying still haunted me every time I was around or had to talk to people.

“I…um…I’m interning at CC Business Centre. I just started a couple of weeks ago actually” I answered after a brief pause on my part. Rue nodded her head and a small smile crossed her lips.

“What do…uh…what have you been up to?” my manners chose that moment to kick in which made me ask her the obvious polite follow up question. She didn’t seem to mind though; in fact she actually seemed glad I’d asked her.

“My dad thought it would be best if I got away for a while so he sent me to France to stay with my mom, my step-dad and my little brother. My little brother was a massive pain but I think it did me some good being out there. I mean, I definitely feel like I came home feeling stronger than I’ve ever felt before” The corners of her mouth turned up in a small smile which grew larger as she kept speaking. Her eyes were far away though; as if she was maybe remembering some happy memory from her time in France. I couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped me when I remember how much Rue used to complain about her little brother after visiting him and her mother during the holidays when we were in school together. If I remember correctly Rue’s little brother Yves was 7 or 8 years younger than Rue and Rue had only ever gotten to see him over the holidays because when Rue was 4 or 5 her French mother had moved back there whilst Rue had stayed with her dad.

“I stayed there over the summer and when I came home my cousin had gotten me a job at the salon. I’ve been working there ever since and I really enjoy it” Rue’s smile grew larger and she lit up as she spoke about her new job. She kept looking at me with that smile on her face which was making me feel ever so slightly uncomfortable.

“Did you ever…um…sort things out with that…um…um…girl you liked” I asked the first question that came to mind. I wasn’t very good with small talk so I was really struggling.

“I don’t really know. I haven’t really seen her in a while.” Rue answered after a long pause on her part. She looked all shy and bashful as she answered but there was this fire in her eyes that told a completely different story altogether. I wondered what was up with her; this wasn’t her normal behaviour at all or, at least it hadn’t been when I’d known her. I couldn’t really think of anything else to say to her. My normal conversations didn’t normally last this long.

“So…um…uh…um?” I tried to wrack my brains for any random topic to talk about but I was coming up empty. I was also beginning to feel slightly suffocated because I’d noticed that Rue had moved closer to me. There was barely any space left between us whatsoever.

“Uh…Rue?” I whispered as my eyes flicked from side to side, desperately trying to find an escape route for me.

“Raven” she whispered. Her voice sounded different, almost like she was flirting with me but that couldn’t be; she knew I was straight, didn’t she?

“Rue I don’t…” I started to say in a panic but it was too late because before I could finish her lips were against mine. There was a hint of desperation and frustration to the kiss but mostly it was just full of lust and passion. The small voice in the back of my head that sounded like my mother was screaming at me that this was wrong and that I should pull away immediately in disgust but despite that I found myself kissing Rue back as passionately as she was kissing me. More surprisingly than that, was that I was actually enjoying the kiss. As the kiss went on the voice kept getting quieter until, eventually, it disappeared altogether. As she felt me respond to her Rue moved her hands from around my neck down to around my waist, pulling me closer to her as she did so. She seemed to get braver as the kiss went on uninterrupted because not long after wrapping her arms around my waist she slid one of her hands under my shirt and rested it gently on the bare skin on the small of my back. I felt a soft sort of groan escape me. I didn’t really have that much experience when it came to this kind of thing because I’d only ever kissed Mark but even I could tell that this kiss was so much different from the kisses he and I had shared. This kiss was far more passionate but it was also soft and sweet too. I kind of preferred this kiss if I was being completely honest with myself. Wait! What was I thinking! This was wrong; completely and utterly wrong! I wrenched myself away from Rue’s embrace in disgust and revulsion; disgust with Rue for kissing me in the first place and pure and utter revulsion at myself for allowing myself to kiss her back.

“Raven I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…I’m sorry” Rue said softly. Her face was nothing but apologetic but her overly expressive eyes gave away how she was really feeling inside; they were filled with tears and they looked as if I’d killed her puppy or something. Normally that would have made me feel bad for causing a person I’d cared about pain but I was currently too freaked out to care at all.

“Raven, please can we just…” Rue murmured softly. She was trying to get eye contact with me but I could not bring myself to meet her eyes because I was scared that if I did I would end up thinking about the kiss again and how much I enjoyed it. I had to get out of here! I had to get somewhere where she couldn’t affect me again; somewhere where I could be normal again!

Without really thinking about what I was doing I spun around and began running towards the exit. I felt Rue’s eyes on me as I fled but I didn’t care. I kept running and didn’t stop until I reached my car. I was extremely grateful I’d only had a tiny sip of the cocktail I’d ordered in the bar right now. I’d stumbled a little when the cold air had first hit me but thankfully I was fully stable within a few seconds but that had been the only side effect of my drinking so far. As soon as I could stop my hands from shaking I grabbed my keys from my trouser pocket and unlocked the door. I know that it was silly but as soon as I was in the car I locked the doors again. I was scared that Rue would follow me and tempt me again. One time and there was a slight chance that my parents would forgive me and an even slimmer chance that they would just agree to forget it happened altogether but if it happened more than once then there was no chance at all. They would put me into one of those straight camps that the church used to talk about for Rue when we were in school together and if that didn’t work they would throw me out and disown me forever. I don’t think I could handle that. My parents may be over controlling and real pains to live with but they were the only family I had; I couldn’t lose them. I wanted to cry so badly but I stopped myself whenever I felt tears pooling in my eyes because I knew that I didn’t deserve to cry. A single tear slipped past my control as I started up the car and began the long drive home. The streets were silent as I drove through them. I‘d rolled my window down when I’d begun driving so that the chilly night air would stop me from crying. As I drove there was not one person in sight. It was like the world was mocking me for my horrendous mistake, like I didn’t deserve to be around people.

My parent’s room light was still on when I eventually got home. I couldn’t face them and I knew that if I went in now my mother would no doubt be ready to confront me about why I’d been out so late. So instead I switched my engine off and curled up on my seat in the darkness. Thoughts, about Rue and about everything else I’d ever done wrong, started swirling around in my head as soon as the car went dark. I tried my hardest to make myself think about all the random useless things I knew about but the other thoughts kept attacking until I had no choice but to let them flood my mind. They were overwhelming and the urge to cry was stronger than ever but I still fought against it. It was 2 ½ hours before my parents’ bedroom light eventually went off. Even then, I still didn’t feel safe enough to go into the house in case my mother had laid a trap for me and was sitting patiently in the dark so I sat for another hour or so in my car with the constant ticking of the clock on my dashboard as my only company. The constant tick, tick, ticking of the dashboard clock was enough to drive anyone a crazy let alone someone who had as much going through their head as I did. Amazingly somehow I was able to make it through the whole hour without breaking although I was pretty darn close by the end.

I just about threw myself out of the car when the hour was up. There was a slight chill in the air as I stepped out of my car and the sky was beginning to lighten a little bit on the horizon. It was sort of refreshing and served to clear my head after being stuck in my car for 3 hours. I stood outside my car for a few short moments just trying to get the cool air to clear my head of what I’d done earlier but all too soon I found myself choking up. The need to cry and let out my feelings was becoming near unbearable but I still refused to let myself.

My hands shook somewhat when I opened the front door but thankfully it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t open it. The house was in complete darkness which was to be expected, I guess, when I went inside. It was so dark in fact that I was afraid that I would trip over something and alert my sleeping parents to my presence. Fortunately I knew the rooms in this house like the back of my hand so I was easily able to manoeuvre my way safely through the room. The stairs on the other hand were a different matter altogether because no matter how long you spent going up and down them you never really knew which one was going to creak. It had been like that for as long as I could remember and my parents had never bothered to fix it because they didn’t see a problem with it. I slid my shoes of at the foot of the stairs and began tiptoeing in an effort to stop the creaking altogether. I got to about the fourth stair from the top without so much as a hint of creaking then as soon as I placed my foot on that stair a loud creak echoed throughout the silent house. My natural reaction was to freeze but instead of going with that I jumped up the last few steps and sprinted for my room as quietly as possibly in case the creak had woken my parents.

Once inside my room I jammed my door shut then collapsed on my bed, completely breathless. It wasn’t long after I fell on my bed that the tears that I’d been trying so hard to hold back earlier broke free and began to stream mercilessly down my face. I felt like a completely terrible person. Why had I allowed myself to do what I’d done? I was straight! I did not like that kiss! I was not going to think about it ever again, it was always going to be my dirty little secret! I kept repeating to myself over and over again in my head. I so wanted what I was saying to be the truth but it wasn’t. I did enjoy the kiss and I was thinking about it which was only making me cry harder.

*****

A/N: I forgot to say when I originally published this that Megan and Amber Terrey aren’t my sims. They are from this legacy here written by the amazing Jax.

Generation 1- Chapter 4

I didn’t even give Cameron enough time to text me back before I jumped back into my car and began driving like a mad woman. I had only one thought running through my mind as I drove; I had to get this sorted today. I arrived back home a lot quicker than I had expected to, most probably because of how fast I had been driving on the way over here. I quickly switched the ignition off and jumped out of my car as quickly as I could manage without falling flat on my face. I began jogging up to my front door and for a second I almost forgot to lock my car. Clicking the button on my keys to lock my car, I pushed open my front door and stormed in.

It had only just gone one so I knew my dad would still be out at work but that was fine because he wasn’t the one I needed to talk to.

“Mother! Mother! Mother get down here now, I need to speak with you!” I shouted as I began to search the different room for her. She was nowhere downstairs so I automatically assumed that she was upstairs doing god knows what, probably snooping through my room or something just as incriminating.

“What is with all the noise Raven-Jay?” my mother appeared at the top of the staircase just as I was about to go up them. She had her normal smug look about her which probably wouldn’t have bothered me in a normal situation but given the circumstances it made me hate her more than I ever had before which made me feel terrible inside. Weren’t kids meant to love their parents, not hate them? Was I a terrible person for feeling the way I did?

“It was you, wasn’t it?” the words came out in no more than a whisper. I was almost afraid to ask them for fear of what my mother’s answer would be. What would I do if she admitted it? Could I really keep living with someone like that?

“Speak up! I have told you about that stupid mumbling before, I do not want to have to tell you again” her words were calm and concise on the surface but barely concealed underneath she was fuming. I must’ve really hit a nerve. Normally that would’ve made me stop and retreat to my room to avoid an argument with her but today I felt brave.

“You are the one responsible for the attacks on Mr Connors, aren’t you? Was I clear enough for you mother or did I mumble?” I found that I was seething too. All my earlier guilt had turned to anger which piled on top of the anger I already felt with my mother.

“I have no clue what you are talking about. I told you that that company, that family, would fill your head with ridiculous stories when you started there but you refused to listen to me” she sneered at me.

She walked down the stairs and stopped in front of where I stood, her eyes shooting daggers into me. How could someone her size make me feel so small? Seriously, I had been taller than her since I was about 14 and now she had to look up if she wanted to look me in the eyes but she still managed to make me feel tiny.

“Yes you do. You may not have actually been directly involved in the attacks but you were one of the people behind it!” It was just a gut feeling that drove me to this assumption but the sudden gleam in my mother’s eyes told me that if this wasn’t the exact case then I was close enough to the truth that it scared her.

“If that is what you choose to believe then so be it” my mother’s voice or facial expression didn’t change one bit during the entire conversation but her voice spoke legions. She was still angry with me but she was desperately trying to hide that fact from me. She didn’t give me any chance to reply (not that I could really think of anything to say anyway) before she turned and disappeared into her bedroom. I heard her go on her phone but I didn’t stick around to find out what she was going to say.

I went upstairs to my own room and stayed there for the rest of the night, not daring to come out in case I bumped into my mother. I had no idea what my reaction to her would be if I saw her again this soon. It was boring being alone in my bedroom but the only person I really wanted to call and speak with was off limits for the moment. I couldn’t call Cameron until I had definite answers for him which I hadn’t managed to get today. I ended up napping on and off for the rest of the night because there was really nothing else to do in my room.

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I didn’t go into work the next morning. Instead I hung around the house hoping to bump into my mother so that I could finally get answers from her but apparently today was the one day that she decided to leave the house at the crack of dawn with my father. I waited around in boredom for several hours but when she didn’t turn up I just decided to go into work. I speed washed and dressed in my work clothes before I jumped in my car and headed for the office.

I’d texted Cameron before I left the house to let him know that I was coming in to work today so when I arrived it wasn’t really a surprise to find him waiting on me outside the building.

“Hey Blue, you feeling better?” was the first words to leave Cam’s mouth as soon as I came into hearing distance. A small smile crossed my lips more from my friend’s sake than my own.

“Um…not really but I’ll manage. I just couldn’t deal with being at home anymore” I briefly thought about telling him a white lie to cover up how I was really feeling but I decided that honesty was the best policy in this situation. The small smile I had been trying so hard to hold in place disappeared instantly the second the words left me.

“What’s wrong?” his words were cautious, as if he was trying not to upset me, but still had that same caring undertone that they had always had. I couldn’t help but shake my head a little at that. If only he knew that it could possibly be my parent’s (mainly my mother) that were at least partially involved with what was happening to his dad. He would never be able to look at me the same way again if he knew.

“Let’s just say my mother is the most horrendous person I have ever met in my life” I muttered cryptically. I probably shouldn’t have even given him this much information but I really couldn’t help myself. I needed someone to vent to or I would explode.

“Oh, your mom huh?” he seemed puzzled for a moment by what I had just said “She’s that small, bossy woman who was at that church protest against my father and his companies last year?” there was a gleam in Cameron’s eyes that I didn’t like. If he thought anymore surely he would put together all the pieces and come up with the same conclusion as I had. I took an audible gulp. If he put this puzzle together not only would I be fired but I would also lose my only friend. I didn’t really know if the woman he was talking about was my mom or not because I had been at school when that protest happened last year but it sure did sound like her from the description Cameron had given me.

“I don’t…I really don’t know” I whispered almost silently. My eyes were on the ground again. I couldn’t look up at him; if I did he would be able to spot the half-truth I had just told him. I could feel tears beginning to build up in my eyes as I continued staring at the ground. I really could do with the ground opening up to swallow me whole right now. Cameron must’ve seen the pooling tears because he quickly stepped forward and gently grabbed hold of my shoulders, angling my body so that I had to look up at him.

“Hey, hey, what’s wrong RJ?” he asked softly. His eyes were as soft and comforting as his voice. It was the expression in his eyes that finally broke me.

“I…I…it was the church” I finally spat out. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. I did however have the sense to not mention my parents directly but I think that was more for self-preservation than anything else.

“Can you run that by me again ‘cause I’m kind of confused here?” Cameron tried to make a joke out of what I just said, even going so far as to tack a half-hearted laugh on he end but both of us knew that it was much more serious than that which is probably what cut Cameron off mid-laugh.

“I…I have reason to b…believe it was the church that has been behind t…the attacks on your f…father” I whispered softly, trying desperately to divert my eyes anywhere but his face which didn’t really work because of how he currently held me.

“Oh RJ, why didn’t you tell me sooner. Is that why you left work early yesterday?” His voice didn’t change one bit to my relief as he spoke to me. He actually sounded somewhat relieved. I was so choked up with emotion that I couldn’t speak so instead I settled for glumly nodding my head in reply.

“I wish you’d told me sooner. If you ever need someone to talk to I’m always here. You can talk to me about anything” he whispered as he pulled me closer. His arms wrapped around me in a tight hug. This may have very well been my first hug ever; at least I couldn’t remember ever having received a hug before. It was kind of strange but nice and comforting at the same time. I thought I would have felt awkward but as was becoming the usual with Cameron; he made me feel less anxious and he made it seem as if hugging me was normal and natural.

After my first ever (maybe?) hug Cameron took me upstairs in his office but instead of staying out in the main office with Ronald and Corrin he let me sit in his own private office for the rest of the day. He brought some paperwork in for me to do but mostly we just talked about a bunch of random stuff that didn’t really matter but made us both feel better. Both Corrin and Ronald knocked on Cameron’s door during the afternoon to ask how I was. Out of the two of them I was mostly surprised by Corrin’s sudden interest, especially since I’d been thinking about her earlier. When I was waiting for my mother to turn up this morning before I came into work I couldn’t help but think about all the questions that had piled up in my mind about Corrin. I had this desperate need inside of me to find out the answers to my many questions about her. I didn’t understand why I felt that need, especially as I had literally run out of a room yesterday to avoid being in the same room as her.

“Hello Cameron” Corrin spoke, her voice still carrying that formal tone she’d had in the whole time I’d known her, after Cameron had shouted her into his office. She seemed uptight and very uncomfortable in Cameron’s presence which didn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. How anyone could be uncomfortable in Cam’s presence was beyond me. I guess that was just another question for my ever growing list about Corrin. Cam nodded his head at her before quickly returning his gaze to me.

“Is there something that you needed Miss Liem?” Cameron snapped at her when she did not speak for several seconds. It sounded like Cameron was deliberately being mean to her which was very unlike him. I wondered what was up with him but I was also sort of glad for his directness. I too wondered why Corrin was here. It wasn’t as if she had ever taken the time to visit Cameron in his office before so what was different now? The simple, most egotistical, answer was that she was here because of me but I did not really believe that.

“I…uh…I just wanted to see how Raven-Jay was and tell her that if I offended her in anyway during our conversation yesterday then I was sorry” Corrin’s voice got lower the longer she spoke until she was speaking so low that I could scarcely hear her. It was as if she had started out her sentence with all the confidence in the world but gradually as she spoke it had begun disappearing.

“Well tell her then” Cam snapped again before gesturing over to where I sat at his desk. I couldn’t believe how unbelievably rude he was being to her. Why? Why was it only Corrin that he was like this with? Had something gone on with them before that I was missing? Had they been a couple and then broken up? Had they both liked the same person once upon a time and that person had chosen one of them over the other? Yet more questions. Gah was this frustrating! Corrin took her time turning the couple inches to face me which struck me as odd but at this point what wasn’t odd about this woman?

“Well…um…uh…that” she stuttered like crazy before being able to get out some semblance of a sentence that was very un-her.

“Very eloquent” Cameron sneered to no one in particular. I chose to ignore him on that because it was all too confusing to deal with this right now.

“I’m…better I guess, but it wasn’t your fault about yesterday; I just had some problems that I had to deal with” I answered as honestly as I dared. Corrin seemed relieved to find out my skipping work wasn’t her fault. I gave her a small smile which, to my surprise, she returned. I turned back to my paperwork as something to keep me occupied after that. I wasn’t sure why but I felt weird when Corrin smiled at me.

“If that is all Corrin then I must ask you to get back to work” Cameron snapped rather menacingly. What the heck was with him in the past 10 minutes? It was like he wasn’t himself anymore.

“Yes sir” Corrin replied promptly before she made a sharp exit from his office. I heard Cameron sigh when she left but I didn’t ask why. I had a feeling that if I did it would open up a whole debate that I was wholly unprepared for so I chose to ignore it. Cameron returned back to his usual sunny self mere moments after Corrin’s departure. He tried several times the rest of the day to get me to talk to him as I had been before but a small part of me that was scared he’d snap at me like he had with Corrin held me back from making anything more than a few clipped comments.

I also didn’t wait around for him after work like usual but instead drove around town for the rest of the night. I drove around feeling lost inside; I couldn’t go home and face my parents because of how angry I was with my mother and I couldn’t go see Cameron because at this moment he was a massive confusion that I couldn’t quite understand. Instead I kept driving, feeling more lost the longer I drove.

 

Generation 1- Chapter 3

Note: Before I start this chapter just let me say that I’ve had this chapter written for a while but haven’t been able to get the pictures because of my depression. I finally pushed myself to getting the pictures (although they aren’t that good because I couldn’t really stage anything; I mostly just used the in game animations).

*

My mother did see me about what I had done to my body when I returned home from work. I had only been through the door for about 3 seconds when she pounced. She tried to remain calm as she spoke with me even though I could tell that inside she was desperate to scream at me but eventually her usual composure snapped and she was screaming at me. It wasn’t long after that we ended up in one of our usual arguments. It drifted from my hair and tattoos to my new job to how I dressed without so much as a pause on my mother’s part.

She did her best to provoke me into properly getting into it with her but after arguing about a couple of separate issues I got tired and made my escape to my bedroom where I spent the night on the internet on my phone.

The sky outside was just beginning to darken when my dad came home. A part of me wanted to go downstairs and thank him for what he’d done for me with Cameron but I knew that I shouldn’t because it would no doubt land him in a heap of trouble with my mother and that was the last thing I wanted. I was shouted down for dinner not much later but I was still so annoyed with my mother that I decided to skip it altogether and get an early night.

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The rest of my week went along in much the same way; I’d get up, go to work, have lunch with Cameron, come home again, end up in yet another argument with my mother, then go to bed. Surprisingly the hardest and most tiring thing about that whole routine was the constant arguments with my mother. They were getting worse as the days passed which made me wonder how much I was really willing to take from her before I just called it quits and moved out for good. The only problem I had with that is that I had nowhere to go if I did move out. That, I think, is the only thing that kept me under my parents roof. The thing that annoyed me most about me possibly moving out was that they probably wouldn’t even realize I was gone. My father stayed out of mine and my mother’s arguments like he always had but for some reason that infuriated me more than it ever had before. I really wished that I had someone I could talk to about it but the lessons my parents had taught me when I was younger about keeping my personal business to myself stopped me whenever I felt that need to unburden myself.

It wasn’t so bad all the time, mostly because of Cameron’s constant joking around when we were at work. He even gave me his phone number so whenever I was holed up in my room I’d text him and he’d text back something completely random that would make me laugh and forget my problems for at least a little while. We never really spoke about anything serious which was just fine with me. It was a actually a relief to have someone in my life who was full of fun and never made me go into the tough subjects that I always tried so hard to avoid, even with myself. By the end of my first week I could tell that my constant calls and texts with Cameron were really starting to grate on my mother’s last nerve and that feeling only intensified when she found out who it was that I was actually speaking to. She actually went as far as to try and ban me from using my phone altogether which didn’t really pan out because I knew exactly where to hide it so that she would never find it. Suffice to say, that caused even more arguments between us. I was actually a little surprised that our house didn’t turn into an actual war zone because it felt like that a lot of the time.

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My second week was better than the week before but not by much. The only good thing about my second week was that instead of going straight home from work I’d wait for Cameron to finish with the little chores his dad had assigned him and then we’d hang out until it was late enough that I knew my parents would be asleep. Sometimes Cam and I would go to the movies if there was anything good on or sometimes we would just hang out at his apartment playing his various games consoles. Up until then I had never so much as seen a real games console never mind having actually played one so I was at a massive disadvantage, which of course Cameron took advantage of. He beat me mercilessly time and time again but I was a fast learner and soon I was the one beating him. To say he was shocked when I bet him the first time would be an understatement but at least he was a gentleman enough not to try and justify it by saying it was beginners luck like I knew a lot of people would have. After my first victory against him the games were pretty much even with him winning a few and them me winning a few. The whole time Cam kept an easy going smile on his face and he kept the conversation flowing between us with ease. I never once found myself feeling awkward or nervous around Cam which is probably one of the biggest reasons that I enjoyed spending so much time with him.

Work was a completely different story now that the other woman Cam had told me about on my first day was finally back down from the upper levels. Her name was Corrin Liem and I had thought Ronald had a very serious work ethic but Corrin completely blew him away. Even Cam wasn’t as talkative and jokey now that Corrin was back in the office. She took up the end desk on the other side of Ronald. Whereas mine and Ronald’s desks were littered with random files and clutter little miss work ethic’s desk was sparkling clean apart from the occasion file that she was working on and a small pot that held a handful of pens. She tended to stay at her desk at all times, I don’t even think I can recall her leaving for lunch or if she did she didn’t go down to the cafeteria like the rest of us, and she never spoke to any of us, not even Cameron but that was not for lack of trying on his part. I took an instant dislike to Corrin, mainly because she reminded me too closely of my mother. I hated that I felt that way about someone I didn’t even know and I hated that I wasn’t even really giving her a chance to prove who she really was but I couldn’t help how I felt.

“…I think that’s actually the third time this month that he’s had to replace the windows in his car. It’s a shit move on their part, especially right now, but they keep justifying it by saying they’re doing God’s work. Tell me this though, what kind of God would allow that? People should be free to do or feel how they want to” Cameron ranted one day at work just before lunch. He was telling me and Ronald about the trouble his dad was having with a couple of church-nuts who refused to leave his dad alone. Cameron still refused to go into what was actually wrong with his dad although I think I was the only one who didn’t know because both Ronald and Corrin went still when Cam mentioned it. I had no idea that Corrin had actually been listening up until that point actually. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Mr Connors for having to go through all that as well as whatever else it was that he was dealing with but I also couldn’t help the guilt that flooded me even thought I knew that I had done nothing wrong. I may not have done anything directly against Mr Connors but I could guarantee that my mother would have had something to do with what was happening to Mr Connors because I was still working for him and being friendly with his son. I thought about just quitting my job altogether which would probably stop the attacks on Mr Connors but I just couldn’t do that because if I did then that would be my mother getting her own way and I refused point blank to let that happen. It was rather selfish of me, I know, but I couldn’t find it inside myself to care.

“You coming for lunch Blue?” Cam’s voice broke me out of my daze only for me to realize that I was staring at the blank white wall in front of me and must’ve been doing that for several minutes because my sight had started to get a little fuzzy.

“Um…Yeah I will be…just…uh…you go on ahead of me. I’ve just gotta finish up here first” I mumbled quietly. I refused to move my eyes from the blank wall as I answered him because I was afraid he’d see the guilt tattooed across my face. My dad had always said I was an open book.

“You sure?” he asked softly, his voice radiating concern for me. I had never been this quiet with him since out my first day at the office so I understood how he would instantly jump to there being something wrong. I couldn’t answer him so instead I nodded my head vigorously. Seemingly giving up he turned and walked out with Ronald.

I breathed an audible sigh of relief which I quickly tried to cover up when I realised Corrin was still in the office. In an unusual display of slacking off for her she was over at the little kitchen area. I wasn’t sure what she was doing at first until she turned around holding one of those make-shift salads you buy from the supermarket on a disposable plate. I guess that finally answered my question of why she was never in the cafeteria at lunch times but it also raised more questions in my mind about her. Corrin began walking back over to where our desks were with her salad in hand. I thought that she was just going to go back to her own desk and that we would sit in silence for the rest of lunch but that was not the case. After a brief second indecision which fled her face almost as soon as it appeared Corrin changed direction and, instead of going to her own desk like I’d thought she would, she came over and stood beside me.

“Hi I’m Corrin and you’re the new girl, Raven-Jay, right?” Corrin asked after she’d stopped in front of me. I was honestly speechless. Why would Corrin be talking to me now after almost a whole week of basically ignoring me? That was just another question that I had to add to the growing list of things I didn’t understand about this woman standing in front of me. Realising that Corrin was still waiting for an answer from me but also knowing that I still couldn’t find anything to say because I was still getting over my initial shock I nodded my head in answer to her question.

“Well Raven-Jay I’m sorry I haven’t spoken to you yet since I have been back but there are still some things that I have been helping Mr Connors with and that has kept me sufficiently occupied. I wasn’t deliberately ignoring you, I promise” she sounded completely sincere as she spoke but I still couldn’t help but picture my mother in her place. Don’t get me wrong, Corrin seemed like a perfectly nice person but all I could think about whenever I seen her was my mother. I’m not sure why that is exactly but I think it has a lot to do with the way she came across; like everything needed to be perfect or something.

“Well it’s…uh…nice to meet you Corrin but I…uh…need to go meet Cameron and Ronald so I…um…guess I’ll see you later” I finally managed to mumble when I found my voice. I hated how much I wanted to escape from this situation. I hated how much my mother was able to poison me against someone I didn’t even know just because they reminded me of her. For once why couldn’t I just be normal? Was that really too much to ask? Was I being selfish for thinking like that? I certainly didn’t think so but…was I wrong too? Corrin didn’t say another word to me; she just walked over to her own desk. I thought I had maybe hurt her feelings but her face remained blank and impassive so I wasn’t sure. I still felt terrible though as I made my swift exit. I didn’t even stay long enough to log off my computer. My earlier guilt was still eating me up inside so I knew that I couldn’t face Cameron like I’d told Corrin I would. Instead I walked straight through the building until I reached my car.

I jumped in and drove without any particular destination in mind, all I knew was that I couldn’t go back to work today but I also couldn’t go home. I ended up at a small park where I settled down and texted Cameron.

Cam so sorry, not well had to go home. Be back tomorrow I felt terrible for even having to text him that and for a split second I almost considered going back to the office but I knew if I did that today I would end up letting the guilt get on top of me and I would end up telling Cameron everything I knew which wouldn’t be good for me.

Don’t sweat it; take as much time off as you need. You okay? You need me to come and cheer you up? Cameron’s reply came almost immediately. It made me feel so much worse to see how quickly he offered to cheer me up just because I was unwell. What did I ever do to deserve a friend like him?

Nah, just gonna lie down for a while and see if that helps. Thanks though. Lying to him even through a text made me feel horrible and wrong but I knew that I couldn’t tell him the truth about what I was going to do. He would probably understand if I told him that I needed to clear my head but that wasn’t the only thing I was going to do with the rest of my day. I had decided after reading his text to me that his family didn’t deserve the treatment they were currently receiving. I decided that I was going to stop it once and for all and that started today!

Generation 1- Chapter 2

Cameron may have been being sarcastic when he’d told me to have fun before he’d had to leave but ironically I did have fun in my new office. For one thing it was only me and another employee, Ronald Walker, working away on this floor until Cameron came back and for another, the work load was surprisingly light for a company the size of CC Business Centre. I had no idea if that was by design because of this floor being the one that the boss’ son worked on or what but I definitely wasn’t going to complain. For the most part I sifted through some files on the computer and sorted them how I’d been told when I’d first accepted the internship. When I wasn’t doing that I was running errands for Ronald who seemed like a pretty sweet, albeit a tad bit grumpy, older man. He looked to be in his late sixties but I had learned when I was younger that looks could be deceiving. He was very welcoming to me, even going so far as to show me some of the things that I haven’t yet learned about the filing system that the company used and a few other little things that I would’ve easily overlooked if it wasn’t for his assistance.

After helping me Ronald got straight back to business and told me not to distract him whilst he was working. He said it with a smile on his face so I’m still unsure where we stand on that matter. The four hours it took for Cameron to come back for lunch past by in a blur with Ronald and I working in companionable silence. Ronald did ask me to fetch him a coffee once every hour, which I was only too glad to get him, but that was the only interaction I got out of him after our initial greetings/impromptu training session.

At exactly 12:30 Ronald got up and announced that he was heading down to the cafeteria for lunch and that I was more than welcome to join him if I wanted. I was more than tempted to accept his generous offer but I knew that I couldn’t because if I did I would feel like I’d let Cameron down. So Ronald left and I was left alone in the empty office by myself for so long that I began to wonder if Cameron was ever going to come back.

When the clock struck quarter past one I began to feel really annoyed with myself for waiting around on a guy who wasn’t even going to show up so I logged of my computer and started to head out of the office. My plan had been to find the cafeteria that Ronald had invited me to earlier but my plan quickly changed when I bumped into Cameron on the stairs; he was coming down the top set as I was going down the bottom set and he must’ve seen me because he shouted out to me. I’d frozen when I’d heard my name being called which gave him enough time to run down the last of his steps and catch up with me. He apologized immediately for being so late but, he said, his father was late getting back from wherever he’d been. I got the feeling that Cameron knew more about where his father had been than he was letting on but I didn’t want to push my luck by asking him.

To make up for almost standing me up Cameron insisted that instead of just going down to the cafeteria that we should go out to the little restaurant that was straight across the road. I didn’t really want to go because I really didn’t feel that hungry anymore but after some persuading from Cameron I finally agreed. The restaurant was more like a diner than an actual restaurant but on the inside it was a welcoming, family friendly, home cooking sort of place which I absolutely loved. My parents had never brought me to any places like this when I was growing up so all this was completely new for me. Cameron seemed to have lots of experience with this kind of restaurant though. He especially seemed to have lots of experience with the staff. I don’t think we ran into a single person in that place who didn’t know Cameron on a first name basis. I had a small bowl of fries and a soda for lunch whilst Cameron had a burger with fries and a milkshake. During lunch we talked about a whole load of random subjects about ourselves which landed us into some very weird but funny subjects. Like how I used to burn everything that I ever tried to cook whether I was being careful or not and like how he liked to dip his fries in his milkshake which he gladly demonstrated for me. By the time we’d finished our lunches I was thinking that maybe he was right about us getting on great. Already he was the closest friend I’d ever had, which is really quite sad if you think about it but whatever.

After lunch was done and paid for I began making my way back to the office but to my surprise Cameron didn’t follow.

“Hey Blue! Where you going?” he shouted over to me from across at the restaurant when I reached the front doors of the office. I couldn’t help the small smile that crossed my face from his new silly little nickname for me.

“I’m going back to work, like you should be slacker” I shouted back at him over my shoulder. There wasn’t an answer on his part but his light footsteps quickly followed my words.

“C’mon RJ, live a little will ya? Have some fun while you’re young” finally came his answer once he’d managed to cross the street that separated us and was now at my side.

“Yeah, how about no. I really don’t feel like getting fired on my first day thank you very much” I could feel my snarky side coming back out but this time I wasn’t as a defence mechanism. Cameron seemed to be bringing that side of me out a lot. A small part of me wondered if this is what I would’ve been like if I’d been allowed to be me more often and if I didn’t have parents that were on my case about the tiniest little thing that they thought I did wrong.

Cameron rounded me until he was standing directly in front of me.

“You’re not gonna get fired! My dad will understand that you’re out running ‘errands’ with me.” Cameron answered rapidly. He didn’t even leave 5 seconds before he answered my question which made me wonder if he had an answered readily prepared for anything I had to throw at him.

“Do I really have an option in this?” I asked softly, my eyes automatically lowering to the ground in preparation of the usual scolding that I had come to expect from my parents whenever I questioned them. My question seemed to stump him because it took him several long moments to finally come up with an answer.

“Of course you have a choice, I would never take anyone’s free will away from them, but I just thought that maybe…maybe you and I could be friends and just hang out for the rest of the day” now it was his turn to get all shy. It almost sounded like he was questioning himself when he answered me which made me feel terrible almost immediately.

“I can’t come out with you today…” I began to say. Cameron instantly looked as if I’d just killed his puppy so I quickly amended my statement “but maybe we can hang out another day” I felt horrible having to tell him no but at the same time I also felt horrible at the idea of skipping work. What would my parents say if they ever found out? They would most likely blame the Connors and make me quit my job which just wasn’t an option because I was really starting to love it.

“I…I guess so” he still sounded a little sad but at least he didn’t look as hurt as a few moments before.

“Well, I best be going because I’m already late as it is” I finally managed to say. It wasn’t what I had meant to come out at all but I was the truth all the same; I was currently 10 minutes late as it was and that was only getting later with every seconds that went by. Instead of walking away to wherever he had planned on going this afternoon Cameron instead turned around and began walking back towards the office with me.

“There is no point in skipping work if I’m gonna be by myself all afternoon and I don’t have anything better to do so I guess I’ll just come back with you” Cameron answered the unspoken question that I could feel burning in the air between us. Well that was sweet of him and all but it just made me feel worse than ever. Why was I always ruining other people’s lives?

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We got back into the office almost 20 minutes later than we should’ve but no one said a thing to me because of who I was with. I felt really strange to be breaking all of these rules without getting told off by at least one person. In fact it felt odd going for any extended amount of time without getting told off no matter if I’d done something wrong or not. When we got back to the office Ronald was already there on his computer but he did find the time to give both Cameron and myself a smile before he asked me to bring him another coffee. I grabbed his mug as I passed his desk and walked over to the small kitchen area to fill it up. I had my back to them as I set about making Ronald’s coffee so I don’t know if they thought I couldn’t hear them but from what I heard of their conversation they didn’t think anyone was listening in on them. I suppose that could’ve come from it only being them on this floor for so long though.

“How’s your father coping?” I heard Ronald ask Cameron as soon as my back was turned. He sounded sort of sad which made me wonder what was wrong with Mr Connors.

“He’s doing the best he can Ronny but it’s not been easy on him. He barely sleeps anymore and every free minutes he has he’s up at that damn hospital” Cameron sighed sadly.

“That poor man. When you next see him tell him he’s in my thoughts will you?” Ronald said softly. There was a soft, muffled sort of tapping sound after that but I can’t say for sure what it was. It sounded like one of them was giving the other a reassuring pat. I’d finished making the coffee (well the machine had) so I carefully picked it up and turned around with it.

“Will do” Cameron answered in a false cheerful voice when I turned around. It was like he was trying to pretend that the whole conversation never happened even though we’d all heard it.

“Here’s your coffee Ronald” I said to get his attention before I handed the steaming mug over to his waiting hands. He lifted the mug to his lips and began drinking the foul tasting liquid so quickly you would’ve thought he was a dying man. I didn’t understand how he could drink it at all; it tasted absolutely revolting and the smell was even worse.

Cameron made a hasty retreat into his office after his conversation with Ronald had ended where he spent all his time on his phone. I know he was on his phone because his office doors had large glass panels at the top half of the actual doors. Cameron was in his office for whole hour and a half before he even dared to venture out and even then he did his best to avoid being alone with me.

I hated to think like this but I couldn’t help thinking that Cameron was deliberately avoiding me because he hadn’t wanted me to overhear what he and Ronald had spoken about earlier and now he didn’t want me to find out the rest of the story. That really burned me up inside, even though I know it shouldn’t, because I knew that if I didn’t find out it would drive me crazy. That was the biggest part of my personality that I could not stand because I knew that it wasn’t right to go snooping through others private business just to satisfy my stupid curiosity, my crippling shyness was nothing in comparison to this. The atmosphere in the office was a whole lot lighter after Cameron came out of his private office. Not a whole lot of work got done whilst Cameron was out amongst us but no one really seemed to care. This had to be the easiest job ever!

Generation 1- Chapter 1

“Raven-Jay get down here now!” my mother’s voice floated up to me where I stood in my bedroom, rifling through the pile of clothes my mother had left out for me for my first day as an intern at the local CC business centre. I couldn’t help from rolling my eyes as my mother kept shouting up at me from the bottom of the stairs. Seriously, it wasn’t as if the world would end if I took 5 more minutes piecing together a suitable outfit from the horrendous shirts, pants and skirts my mother had thought appropriate. I really wanted to make a good impression on my boss. Maybe if he seen that I was eager and willing he would give me a full term job. Wouldn’t that show all the people I went to school with that I wasn’t the loser that they claimed I was for so long? Maybe if I made a success of myself Mark would regret dumping me in front of our entire class and humiliating me completely the week before graduation 5 months ago. I somehow doubted it very much but hey, a girl can dream. I found myself reaching back and touching the small blue heart on the back of my neck. I had gotten it the week after Mark broke up with me to remind myself how damaging love could be. Okay, so I was never really in love with him, I’d tried to convince myself I was on a number of occasions, but I did like him and I had thought that we were going to last. I guess I was stupid and naïve but who can really blame me; he was my first ever boyfriend for crying out loud and we had been dating for almost 3 years.

“Rave-“my mother’s voice came from so much closer this time. It was obvious that she had been in mid-rant when she entered my room but when her eyes fell upon my scantily clad form her words froze. My back was to her so I have no idea what froze her first, it could have been the fact that I was only wearing my underwear while I searched for some work clothes or more likely the fact that my body now had 3 permanent tattoos that my parents had no clue about up until now. My parents really had no idea what happened in my life since they’d stopped using me to try and make a good impression at their church when I was 12. Don’t get me wrong my parents had never been overly involved in my life but at least up until I became too snarky to be of any use to them I still got to see them for at least 3 hours a week. That had been a guarantee that I had always looked forward to when I was younger. I had always thought that there was something wrong with me when they refused to be actively involved in my life but looking back now I’ve realized that there was never anything wrong with me; they were just negligent.

“Can I help you, Mother?” I sneered, deliberately calling her mother instead of mom because I knew that it annoyed her. I was rewarded with an annoyed sigh escaping her lips as I spun around and tried to cover myself and my tattoos at the same time.

The shirt, pants and sweater combination that I had picked out just before my mom walked into my room lay slightly aside on my bed so I made a grab for them. I began trying to pull them on as quickly as I possibly could which was kind of hard because the shirt had lost of tiny little buttons as I waited on my mother’s usual haughty reply. Instead, she surprised me by staying silent until I had fully dressed myself and was straitening my clothes in my tall standing mirror.

“You look very pretty today Raven-Jay” my mother said calmly, her voice sounding almost bored. I was so surprised by her turnaround that I couldn’t make any words come out which was probably a good thing because the next words out of my mother’s mouth completely ruined the good mood she had just put me in.

“Now hurry yourself up or you will be late. It was bad enough that you took that internship against mine and your father’s wishes but I will be damned if I let you this waste this ungodly opportunity” My mother’s voice het up as she spoke as it always did whenever I did something that she viewed that went against her precious church ‘rules’. Suffice to say I had heard that tone from her more times than I cared to remember in my 19 years on this earth.

“It is hardly ungodly” I whispered under my breath hoping that she wouldn’t hear me because I knew if she did it would end up in an argument between us and our arguments could last for several hours which I really didn’t have the time for today.

“Everything that man touches is ungodly, including that business” my mother sneered at me. ‘That man’ as she’d called him was my new boss Cameron Conner, the CC from the name of my new office. As well as being a very successful business tycoon Mr Connors was also a very well-known atheist which was why my parents were so against me taking this internship in the first place; I think they were afraid of me being touched by the ‘evil’ that apparently surrounded Mr Connors. I had only met Mr Connors once when he came to my school when I was a kid but he seemed like a very nice man although I couldn’t really tell because I didn’t know him personally. One thing I did know though is that if he was indeed evil like my parents said he was it certainly wasn’t because he didn’t have god.

“Whatever you say mother” I sighed because I knew that I had no time to get into an argument with her about something as trivial as this. It was only a job! I wasn’t going to change because of it. I could see the wheels turning in my mother’s head as she tried to come up with a suitable retort that would no doubt entice me into an argument with her which would make me late for work which, despite what she had said earlier, was exactly what my mother wanted. She would really do anything to stop me from doing something she didn’t approve of. I rolled my eyes again before I skirted around my mother’s small, but intimidating, frame to get into the hall. I didn’t look back as I walked down the hallway and then down the stairs even though I could hear her following me. The front door was open and I was half out, thinking I had made it through this encounter relatively unscaved when my mother opened her mouth again.

“We will speak about what you have done to your body later” my mother’s voice floated straight into my ear even thought she had spoken so quietly that I shouldn’t have been able to hear her.

I flinched as the full depth of her words hit me but I made myself keep walking until I reached the car my parents had given me as a graduation present. I wasn’t even fair to call this piece of junk a car. It was second hand when my parents bought it for me and it was in a terribly state but I guess that is all they thought I deserved. At least it got me where I wanted to go and offered me an escape if I needed one, although I doubted it would go very far.

Even as I opened the door and slid inside I could hear it beginning to creak like it always had for as long as I’d had it. The drive to my new work place was not a long one and I found myself wishing that it could’ve last a little longer so I had more time to prepare myself for what was to come. Regardless of how I was with my parents I was really, painfully, shy to the point that I could barely even look up at people I didn’t know. I had always been shy but it gotten so much worse when I started getting bullied in school. The bullying was actually so bad that I spent my lunch time hidden in the bathroom where I knew none of the bullies would look for me. It was only when Mark asked me out that I was able to put in place the tough girl persona that I was still, to this very day, hiding behind. That was the real reason I had agreed to go out with Mark in the first place; because he was popular and I knew that if I was with him the bullying would stop. I had never expected to actually start liking Mark as a person rather than a means to an end but it had happened and then he had dumped me like yesterday’s trash. I glanced down quickly at the clock on my dash and found that I still had a whole 20 minutes before I had to be in the office for the first time. My whole body was shaking I was so nervous. Could I really do this? What if I went in there and made a complete fool of myself? All my fears were beginning to pile up inside my head. It was getting so bad that it was almost crippling which I knew would eventually happen if I did not make myself calm down. I had gotten like this when I had gone to speak with the boss’ son after I had gotten the letter offering me the internship in the first place and my dad had been forced to go in with me. I had chosen my dad because he was far less judgemental than my mother and he was better at keeping his thoughts to himself whereas my mother wouldn’t have stopped from going on about how much she hated the Connors family and their whole empire. My dad may have hated them just as much as my mother did but he sat in silence during the whole process and held my hand when I needed him to for extra support. Just thinking about my dad eased the tension in my body enough that I was able to move again.

I could do this! I could so this! I repeated to myself in a repetitive rhythm whilst I began to walk around the block. Walking always calmed me. I wasn’t really sure why it had that effect on me but it just always had. I set a brisk pace for myself and planned my route in minute detail. With every step I took I felt the layers of tension just melt away. It couldn’t be as scary as I was making it out to be! Nothing could! With that in mind I sped up and walked the last couple of feet until I was back in front of the doors of CC Business Centre. I braced myself for a couple of seconds outside of the door. I could do this! I had to be brave and prove everyone wrong about me!

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes briefly in an effort to reassure myself that I could indeed do this but I must have had my eyes closed for too long because I heard light footsteps approaching me followed by a smooth male voice asking if I was okay. My eyes flew open despite myself and I found myself staring directly into the deep brown eyes of Mr Cameron Connor Junior, the owner’s son. I guess the name thing was a tradition or something because Mr Connors Senior had apparently inherited his name from his father too and so on and so forth. My head automatically dropped so that I was staring so hard into the ground that there should have been holes there.

“M…M…Mr Connors sir, I am so sorry” I whispered to the ground. I was unable to lift my head to stare at him but that did not stop me from trying. Years of my parent’s lessons on politeness and manners were instilled within me and I felt horrible to be going against them.

“That’s quite alright. Oh, and please, call me Cameron. Mr Connors is my father” Mr Connors Junior Cameron spoke softly, quietly laughing at his own joke as he finished. A part of me, probably the part that my parents had drilled into me, urged me to laugh with him so that he didn’t feel awkward but when I did it just came out as a sort of coughing sound because of how nervous I was.

“I just…It’s my first day today and…” I began between coughs. I had planned on saying so much more but Cameron cut me off. I was actually quite glad that he cut in when he did because I had no doubt that I would end up rambling and embarrassed myself further.

“Oh, your first day is it? And what, may I ask, is your name?” Cameron asked softly. His voice was so kind and made me feel slightly more comfortable in his presence than I had been before. He really wasn’t as intimidating as I had always thought him to be; he was just a normal guy.

“I…I’m R…Raven-Jay M…Marone. I’m the new Intern on floor 1” I managed to look up at him as I spoke which surprised me greatly. I had never been able to get this comfortable around a new person as quickly as this before.

“Oh…M…Miss Marone I didn’t…I didn’t recognise you. You look…different than you did last time I saw you” now it was Cameron’s turn to stutter and act all shy which confused me. What did he have to be shy about? He was one of the most eligible bachelors in Redcliff’s. Unless… was he suddenly so shy because he had been caught forgetting an employee’s entire identity, especially one who was going to be working on the same floor as him for at least the next year or so? I really wanted to ask him but I knew that it would be extremely rude to do so instead what slipped out of my mouth was “Yeah, I…um…dyed my hair since then”. It was pathetic and completely stupid but unfortunately that was what I was reduced too when I was out of my comfort zone.

“Shall we head up then?” Cameron’s answer to my stupidity came several long moments later. By this time he sounded back to how he did when this slightly odd conversation first began with no sign of his earlier shyness. For that I was thankful; it was bad enough with my crippling shyness, I didn’t need anyone else having to experience that too because of me.

“I…I…I guess” I tried to say clearly but between the fact that my voice was shaking so badly and that my stutter that stemmed from my shyness had returned it was really hard to make out what I was saying. I really needed to get a handle on this shyness before it destroyed my life even more than it already had but my parents refused to let me go and get professional help. They said that there was nothing wrong with me because if there were God would have fixed it. I was seriously cursed to live like this because my stupid parents were too idiotic to realize that I actually did need professional help and not just help from God.

“It’s okay RJ you don’t have to be nervous about it. There are only 3 people, 4 including yourself, working on our floor. Your dad spoke with me about how shy you were so I made sure my dad put you to work on the quietest floor there is. It also doesn’t hurt that I coincidently happen to be placed on that floor too” Cameron smirked down at me, his eyes alive with humour. I didn’t know what I was more surprised with, the fact that he’d called me RJ without any prompting or the fact that my dad had went against his beliefs (and my mother’s wishes) and spoke to one of the Connors for me. At that moment I wanted to call my dad up and tell him I loved him. He may have been negligent and distant most of the time but he certainly did pull through in situations where he figured I wouldn’t be able to cope. In that respect my dad was a much better parent than my mother.

“You called me RJ?” I finally asked.

“Yeah, I hope that’s okay? It’s just that your full name is kind of a mouthful and shortening it to just Raven or Jay didn’t feel right” Cameron gave me a sheepish smile that I just couldn’t resist. I felt slightly giddy from his new nickname for me. I had never had a nick-name before; I’d always been just Raven-Jay. I was sort of refreshing and nice.

“I’ll make you a deal, you can call me RJ if I can call you Cam” my voice came out sounding stronger and more like how it had sounded with my mother this morning. That would have shocked me normally but so many things had already shocked me so much today that I was in a constant state of disbelief now.

“Deal” Cameron replied happily. He stuck his hand out so that we could shake on it. Without hesitation I grabbed his outstretched hand and shook it firmly. I really like this guy already. There was just something really likeable and trustworthy about him.

Still holding onto my hand, Cameron began pulling me towards the office and I found that I didn’t resist. He started talking as we walked along the hallway but I didn’t hear a single word that came out if his mouth. The hallway was a fairly normal one with beige walls and carpeted floors in a dark shade of blue-grey.

“-that’s old Ronny for you, although you should probably call him Ronald to his face, and last but not least is Corrin. I would suggest not pushing any of her buttons because she is very dedicated to her job and I’ve heard she has a real bad temper” Cameron laughed to himself at some private joke that only he knew. I had finally tuned into what he was saying as we approached the door leading into our new office but I wish I hadn’t because now I was feeling more confused than I had been before.

“Um…what? Sorry I wasn’t really paying attention” I mumbled as quietly as I could possibly be. I felt myself beginning to blush at my own stupidity so I lowered my head again in hopes that he wouldn’t see.

“Oh, I was just saying that on this floor is me, who you have already met of course, old Ronald who has been working for my dad since the very beginning and Corrin. Unfortunately you’ll only get to meet Ronny today because dad’s got Corrie upstairs working on his floor this week. She’s the best so she gets moved around quite a lot” Cameron replied steadily without missing a beat. He was using that same soothing tone that he’d used on me earlier which made me wonder how much my dad had actually told him about me. How much did my dad actually see that I didn’t know about?

“Corrie and Ronny?” I asked in disbelief. I’d never pegged this as a place where people gave their co-workers nicknames. Maybe I was wrong.

“I give everyone I work with a nickname- even if they don’t like it or want me too” Cameron’s answer was accompanied by a school boyish grin. How could be completely serious and soothing in one second and the next be joking around? I had never been around someone who could switch emotions so quickly before.

“You are such a kid” I found myself giggling. It wasn’t long before my normal senses kicked in reminded me that this was my boss’ son and I shouldn’t be making fun of him whether he wanted me too or not. I mentally chastised myself whilst I waited for Cameron to tell me off out loud. Instead he feigned a hurt look before he too burst into laughter.

“You and I are gonna get on great RJ, I can just tell” he spoke as his laughter finally died off. His voice was still filled with humour though.

He gave me a huge grin and it looked like he was going to same something else but before he could his phone began ringing. He answered it after a split second hesitation. I couldn’t really tell what the conversation was about but from Cameron’s tone it sounded very formal. Finally Cameron was finished but he still had the serious look that he’d had whilst he was on the phone.

“I’m really sorry RJ but I’ve been called upstairs. My dad has to step out for a few hours so I have to fill in for him. I’ll be back at lunch so just wait here and I’ll come and get you.” His voice was rushed and I could tell how desperate he was to get going so I just nodded my head and pretended I was okay with being left on my own down here. Cameron made it to the office door before he turned back around and spoke to me a final time.

“Have fun” he said, and then he was gone. Yeah, have fun. I very much doubted that was a serious possibility but I would try.