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Note Plus Heir Vote

First off!

I changed Crux’s name to Mithos. :3

Hello Everyone and welcome to the first heir vote of Chasing Rainbows!

This may spoil Chapter Fifteen of my rainbowcy if you have not already read it so proceed with caution.

It is not required for you to read the rainbowcy in order to vote.

Pandora and Estellise have similar life plots and different romantic plots.

Mithos varies slightly from the girls in both sections.

Mithos Aurion Spring


Current stage: Toddler

Traits: Brave, Loves the Outdoors

Traits to be added: Rebellious

Story: Mithos is the oldest of the Triplets. His father has instilled in him a deep sense of justice and morality and he tries to protects those that he loves even if it goes against what the world might deem correct. After an event that changes not only his life but his whole families, Mithos’ struggles with finding his place in the world that doesn’t want him in it.

Pandora Ezreal Spring


Current stage: Toddler

Traits: Perceptive and Athletic

Traits to be added: Charismatic

Story: Pandora is the middle of the triplets. She is way more perceptive than her twins and was the first to notice that something was off about the life they were living. After an event that changes her perception on the world occurs, Pandora finds herself as the spokes person for a generation.

Estellise ‘Estelle’ Spring

Current stage: Toddler

Traits: Easily Impressed, Friendly

Traits to be added: Charismatic, Shy

Story: Estelle is the baby of the triplets. She tends to be shy and soft spoken, though has a way with words that takes most by surprise. After an event rattles everything she once believed to be true occurs, Estelle is soon pushed into the position of a poster child for a rebellious political group.

You can cast your votes in a comment below :]

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Generation One

Chapter Fifteen: Triple the Trouble


The months flew past in a blur – I often had my nose stuffed into a pregnancy book, trying my best to prepare for this baby. Miss Storm had been kind enough to let us the old office as a nursery, though Cream had been sort of reluctant to change the space. The office had been her father’s and it retained the only photographs of Mister Storm. When I had gone inside the office in order to begin taking out the furniture Cream had already been sprawled on the wooden floors, her belly bloated with an eight month old fetus.

“Love, baby, what are you doing sleeping on the floor?” I whispered, kneeling down beside her sleeping form. She mumbled something incoherent as her eyes flickered open. She slowly sat up, though she needed my help to do so. She was slightly bigger than a normal eight-month pregnant woman – or so Ivy said. We all chalked it up to the fact that Cream ate everything she managed to get her hands on.

“I wanted to spend one more night with my father’s things before they’re all gone…” She yawned, looking around the room slowly.

I frowned, never having really known what happened to Mister Storm. Miss Storm had implied that he had left them because Miss Storm did not return his feelings of love for her, even after being married for years. No one had ever told me how my angel fit into it all, “Do you want to talk about him?” I asked, pulling her into my lap.

She curled up, resting her head against my shoulder as my hands wrapped around her stomach, waiting to feel a kick, “There’s nothing to really tell. My daddy was in the military and he loved us both very much, or I always thought he did. My mom never felt the same about him. I can vaguely remember him pulling her in for kisses and her always turning away. One night he came into my room and said he had been stationed somewhere far away and that he did not want to move my mom and me. So he left, leaving me with nothing more than a kiss on the forehead.”

“I’m so sorry, Cream,” I whispered as I rocked her back and forth, “What happened to him?”

“I’m not sure. He never wrote or called.” She said, remorse flooding her voice, “I think he left because he couldn’t stand knowing my mom always had and always would love that man.”

I flinched, knowing that ‘that man’ was my father. I had to tell her at some point, I knew I did. It wasn’t like I could raise my children without them at least having proper phone conversations with their grandfather. And hopefully, somehow, we could manage to visit them at least once, “I’m so sorry, Cream.” I whispered again, burying my face in her hair. It smelt vaguely like the Moonflowers my own mother use to grow.

“It’s ok,” She replied, stretching as she climbed to her feet with a more little effort than normal.

I followed her lead, stretching my limbs out as I glanced around the dusty office. There wasn’t much in here, just a desk, a computer and a few chairs. We had decided to leave the bookshelves alone, since much of the literature abandoned inside was Cream’s own bedtime stories. We figured we could just use the same books for our own children.

It didn’t take me long to empty the office of the desk and to set up the computer in Cream’s room – this way we could both start taking our online classes as soon as possible. We had decided to keep the love seat and plush chair and all the nicknacks as well, placing them in the empty room at the back that had, at one point, been a second living room. Cream told me that when her father left he had left everything he had brought with him, including all the furniture in that room. Miss Storm hadn’t been fond of the reminder and soon after his departure had thrown all of it out.

Setting up the nursery was not nearly as easy as removing the old furniture had been. I wasn’t exactly fond of using directions, either, so that didn’t help the situation. After a few mistakes and flimsy tries, I had erected what would eventually be our child’s crib. Miss Storm had purchased toys for the child to use when it got older – more toys than any child could ever need, really.

The little guy hadn’t even been born yet and he was already spoiled rotten.

Since we weren’t sure if it our little bundle of joy was going to be yellow, white or purple that also meant we bought everything, and I mean everything, in two different colors.  Clothes, stuffed animals, crib bedding, diapers, toys – all in girly pinks and manly blues. I didn’t understand why our son couldn’t wear pink for the first few days of its life or our daughter blue. It wasn’t like they would remember it, anyways. Whenever I brought up this argument, however, Miss Storm and Cream both took to quarreling with me.

It was their money; I guess I shouldn’t have been complaining.

Speaking of money, I was practically broke. I had tried on numerous occasions to get a part-time job somewhere – since I no longer was going to school – and had been shot down every time. I was infamous for beating up the popular Royal Endive, who was the son of a local politician. This didn’t go over well with most of the small shops and businesses’ that were hiring for help. The good news was that this gave me plenty of spare time to do what I loved most.

Sculpting.

It had always been my passion, since I had been little. I hadn’t touched clay, wood or metal since I had arrived in Sugar Valley – mostly because I did not have a space to sculpt in. It wasn’t until I had been talking to Miss Storm one night she had been feeling particularly bad that I realized the Storm’s had an art room. I had been excited at the news, since I was fairly good at drawing and painting as well.

However when I walked inside and saw the huge sculpting platform, my mind was blown. It turned out that Miss Storm dabbled in all kinds of artistic mediums – painting, music, sculpting. She did it all. It wasn’t long before I had obtained permission to use the room for myself. Miss Storm often came to watch me work and gave me various tips to help improve my technique.

I had actually been in the middle of sculpting a new piece when Cream went into labor.

She was only eight and a half months pregnant when a gut wrenching scream sliced through night, causing me to drop my scalpel in shock. Heart in my throat, I raced down the short hallway into the bedroom Cream had been resting in, eyes wide with panic as I looked around the room for some sort of intruder. She seemed to be breathing heavy but when nothing seemed out of the ordinary I couldn’t help but ask, “What? Is there a bug or something?”

The glare she shot at me could have killed a man. Luckily, she only managed to hold the expression for a few seconds before she went cross eyed from pain, “No, I think my water just broke!” She shouted, exasperated.

“You’re in what?!” I shouted, louder than intended. I guess all the reading in the world couldn’t really prepare you for this moment.

Cream was taking deep breaths, trying to keep calm. She did manage to shoot met another dirty look, though, “Call. Ivy. NOW!”

I danced from foot to foot, not really sure what to do even though I had been given rather clear instructions. Finally my hands left my face and went searching in my pocket for my cell phone. I managed to dial her number before I went back to my nervous dance, listening to my phone ring once. Twice. Three times, “IVY! I need… you have to… CREAM IN LABOR!”  I finally exclaimed.

Ivy’s voice seemed as panicked as mine but she managed to get a coherent statement out, “I’ll be there in ten. Get towels and hot water and some Berrynol.”

The phone went dead and I found myself still doing a little dance, “Cream, stay there. Just, just relax. Ivy’s on her way!” I stuttered, running out of the room in a flash. By the time I had gathered up some towels, water and Berrynol and deposited it all in the bedroom, Miss Storm had already found herself next to her daughter. She was holding her hand as Cream kept doing the breathing techniques Ivy had taught her.

“Where. Is. Ivy.” She managed out in between exhales.

“She’s on her –“ I didn’t even bother finishing my sentence as there was a loud knock on the front door, instead rushing back out of the room and flinging open the front door.

Standing outside in her green pajamas was Ivy, who stormed inside looking very nervous despite the words that came out of her mouth, “Is she still in the latent phase of labor? How dilated is her cervix? How far apart are her contractions?”

“What? How am I even supposed to know how dilated her cervix is?” I asked, following closely behind Ivy as she headed towards the bedroom with a look that declared she was on a mission.

“Never mind. I’ll find out right now.” She stated as she stopped at the foot of the bed.

The next few hours were filled with orders, screams of pain, and examinations I only realized were happening because Ivy filled me in on every single detail that passed. Ivy announced every time Cream’s cervix had dilated another inch – she was currently on her sixth centimeter.

I was sitting on the floor, watching helplessly as Cream screamed at me for knocking her up. I vaguely heard her declare she was never having sex with me again and that this was entirely my fault. Not that I blamed my poor angel. Most women gave birth with an epidermal or pain medication. Cream only had two measly tablets of Berrynol – which I’m sure barely helped minimize the excruciating pain she was currently experiencing as her contractions became more intense and longer with each passing minute.

“Cream, it’s time to push.” Ivy interrupted my train of thought and Cream’s ranting. The few hours had transformed the green pre-med student from a nervous wreck into a near tranquil state of professionalism.

I stood up, scooping Cream’s hand in my own as she began to push in time with Ivy’s coaxing. Numerous times during the ordeal I was certain that Cream was going to re-break my right hand. When I complained of the pain she was causing me I only got three very angry women shouting at me to be quite.

“I see the head! You’re crowning!” Ivy screamed enthusiastically, “Keep pushing!”

Cream’s screams reached its apex just as a small whiney shriek joined in, “Maize, grab me one of the towels!”

I rushed from Cream’s side, snatching up one of the cloths I had gathered earlier and handing it over to Ivy. I caught the look of disbelief in Ivy’s eyes as she look upon my son, whose skin bore the same yellow hue as my own.

Despite how beautiful the creature in front of me was, I heard Cream scream again and looked up at her from my spot next to Ivy. It gave me the perfect view of the birthing canal which, at that very moment, had a bloody looking bulge pushing through it. I felt faint, nauseous and amazed all at once but none of those terms described the words that flew out of my mouth, “What the hell is that!”

Ivy looked up from my first born child and at the disgusting yet captivating sight that I was currently gawking at. Without a seconds hesitation Ivy had handed my first born off to Miss Storm and shouted at Cream to keep pushing.

The birth of my second child was much faster than the first. I had been prepared with the towel this time around, waiting anxiously as Ivy cleaned off my new born delicately. When I finally was able to hold the fragile life in my arms, I felt my heart burst. I had never felt so blissful, exhausted and full of love before.

We didn’t have much time to celebrate, though. Just as Cream was reaching for her first born that Ivy had examined and cleared as healthy, another scream pierced the night. Ivy eyes went wide in shock, unsure of what was happening. As we both scrambled to get to Cream’s side we were hit with the reality of the situation.

Cream was giving birth to triplets.

“I can’t do this! I can’t! I’m too tired!” Cream cried, tears sliding down her cheeks as Ivy tried to coax her into pushing.

“You have to, Cream! If you don’t this child will die!”

I was by angel’s side again, both arms carefully cradling my second born child. I bent down, allowing Cream to get an eye full of the beautiful life she had just brought into the world, “Just one more, Cream. Look at what you did. Look at what we made. You can do it.” I encouraged, allowing her to use my bicep as her new squeezing post since my hands were currently preoccupied.

Cream inched open an eye to look down at the baby girl in my arms before squeezing them shut again. I watched with pride as Cream managed to give birth to our third child and second daughter, sobbing every second of the way. As I handed Cream the baby I had been holding, I took my youngest into my arms with a smile to mask my worry.

How on Earth were we going to take care of three babies?

————-

AN: I do not pretend to be well versed in medical terminology nor in the birthing process. Please forgive me if I described anything incorrectly.

Their sons name is Mithos Aurion Spring followed by Pandora Ezreal Spring and finally Estellese Spring.

The heir vote will start tomorrow and will run until about chapter 17 of this generation, simply because the story of this generation changes depending on whom becomes heir.

Generation One

Chapter Fourteen: Risks

I could not, for the life of me, get my leg to sit still. I had been bouncing the limb up and down over and over again in all my classes, glancing at the clock every few seconds to see how much longer I had to wait. Now that I was outside, neglecting the sandwich that I was supposed to be consuming, the habit has not ceased. I would not have cared, as the nervous twitch transpired without any cognitive effort on my part, if it had not been for Ivy and Cephei. They had both commented on my jittery leg, asking if anything was wrong.

I had replied with a curt no, which wasn’t a lie. Nothing was wrong. Today was a day I should have been celebrating in private for today was the day Cream finally broke up with Royal. I just couldn’t shake the butterflies in my stomach or the sweat on my palms. It was like my body was reacting to a problem that didn’t exist. The young women around me were chatting calmly about the upcoming midterms; which ones they feared and which they anticipated to be a breeze. I was hardly participating, too busy scanning the courtyard for the familiar white and purple faces.

I must have said an absentminded ‘yeah’ at the wrong time because soon Cephei and Ivy were both staring at me with raised brows.

“Ok, out with it, Maize.” Ivy demanded, waving a fork in my face.

“There’s nothing to come out with,” I sighed, allowing my gaze to fall from the crowd behind us to the green face in front of me.

Cephei nodded in agreement, looking around the courtyard herself, “So, what’s so interesting out there?” She questioned. I frowned in response, not knowing how to retort without being deceitful to my two best friends. I couldn’t tell them I was waiting for Cream to appear, as neither of them was aware of Cream and I’s relationship – let alone of the current situation. Cream hadn’t deemed either of them trustworthy yet and I wasn’t about to go behind her back.

I finally settled on the vaguest possible answer I could give, “I just have a really bad feeling.”

They frowned, silent for the moment before Cephei smiled brightly at me, “Well, my women instincts aren’t picking up –“

Despite how close the yellow girl was to me, her words were drowned out by a nearby shout. The anger dripping from every word unnerved me to no end but I only managed to catch the end of the sentence, “-BREAK UP WITH ME!”

I turned around to face the scene unfolding behind me, a scowl etched onto my face. Cream and I had known Royal was not going to take the dumping lightly but had not known exactly how he was going to react. From his recent outburst, I suddenly assumed the worse.

It wasn’t just me either, as the whole courtyard had been silenced. Cephei and Ivy sat with wide eyes, mouths slightly ajar. The birds in the trees fled from the sound and only hushed whispers were uttered from anyone’s lips.

Cream’s voice was soft, wavering slightly at the rage burning in Royal eyes, “Yes, I can Royal. I don’t want to date you anymore.”

“You, breaking up with me?” Though the anger still resonated from Royal in waves he had turned to his little gathering, chuckling softly, “Did you hear, she thinks she can break up with me!” A few laughs flooded the open area as they followed Scarlett’s example.

Cream’s face burned bright red as the laughter rose in volume but she didn’t back away from him, she stood her ground, “I don’t think I can break up with you Royal,” She hissed, “I know I can. It’s over. Goodbye.” She spun on her heels, her hair smacking her now ex-boyfriend in the face.

Royal seemed to be in shock for a second, the courtyard once again deadly silent. Before Cream had gotten three steps away, his hand whipped out and spun her back around. If it had been anger burning in his eyes before, it was now a full blown inferno, “You do not speak to me like that,” his voice was practically a growl, “You are nothing more than a mistake, an accident. Do not pretend you are anything more than scum on my shoe, freak. You cannot break up with me because this was never anything more than a game, mutant. You really thought I liked you? That I might actually want to be with you?” His laughter was harsh as it erupted from his throat, “I’d rather rot alone than call you mine.”

I was already on my feet by now, ready to plow into the berry-hole at any given second. The only thing that held me back was Ivy’s hand on my shoulder as she slowly shook her head. Cream’s face had turned to an almost purplish red as the words were thrown at her but it not break her spirit. I watched as she spat on his face, ripping her wrist out of his grasp, “Then have fun rotting.”

The sound of skin on skin echoed bitterly and a unanimous bellow of gasps followed suit to Royal’s actions.

That was the last straw for me, of course. I’m not really sure what happened next, only that I tackled the purple-pain without a second thought and began pounding anything that I could hit. I felt hands on my back, fists on my jaw and chest but nothing could separate me from Royal at that moment.



It could have been 5 seconds or 5 hours before I was finally heaved off of him, hand throbbing and face burning. I imagined an out of body experience might feel similar to what I had just experienced and for a moment I felt sick – unsure of whether or not I had gone too far. I shrugged the hands off of me, vaguely realizing it was one of my classmates who had still been touching me, and glanced over to where Royal had been dragged. His face was a bloody mess – broken nose and blackened eyes. His chest was rising and falling as Ivy attended to his wounded face, Scarlett sobbing from her place beside him. I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I had been holding when his eyes fluttered opened and Ivy began asking him questions: What was his name, what year was it. After he answered them correctly, Ivy stood up and gave Scarlett permission to bring him home but to not let him fall asleep for at least 5 hours.

Cephei had gone to aid Cream, who suffered nothing more than a reddened cheek and they were both by my side now. I reached out to Cream with my bloodied hand, attempting to caress the abused skin. Instead of touching cool skin a lighting bold of pain shot through my hand and up my arm, causing me to flinch.

“Let me see that,” Ivy moaned, gently touching my palm. I flinched again and she sighed, “You broke it. Maize, what were you thinking…”

I nodded, figuring as much. My face was also starting to throb from where Royal had managed to land a few blows. Cream was the next one to speak, “Maize, thank you for protecting me but…”

“I know,” I whispered, biting my lower lip, “I don’t know what came over me.”

She sighed, rubbing her cheek as Ivy began leading us away from the scene. Most of the students that usually filled the courtyard were had scattered and, lucky for me, no personnel had noticed or responded to the commotion that had just ensued. The rest of my afternoon was spent with the four of us in the hospital, waiting for my hand to be set.

When Ivy and Cream left to go buy drinks for all of us, Cephei leaned over to me and whispered, “I don’t know about them but I thought you were pretty cool, jumping in there like a knight protecting an innocent maiden.”

I laughed; glad that someone thought I had look dashing in my attempt to save Cream, “Thank you. Secretly I’m really glad that I got to beat the snot out of him. He’s had it coming for some time now.”

*

A few weeks passed, marking what we believed was Cream’s fourth month of being pregnant. Word of the fight between Royal and me had spread and I had been suspended from classes for the rest of the semester – and the little scholarship money I had been receiving had been revoked. The rumor around campus, according to Ivy, was that Royal had received a similar punishment. Apparently the only reason he hadn’t press charges against me was because his parents didn’t want the fact that he had hit a women to get out to the press.

Despite all the bad news, some good did come out of it. Cream finally began to trust Ivy and I had been able to tell her all about Cream and I’s relationship – including the pregnancy. At first she had been skeptical about the whole thing. She tried to talk me out of dating Cream, saying no girl was worth the trouble. I told her that wasn’t true, that Cream was and she knew if it had been her with Fern she would be doing the exact same thing. Eventually she caved on that issue but she would not budge on the pregnancy.

“There is no way it’s your child, Maize.”

“She hasn’t had sex with anyone but me, so tell me, whose child is it?”

“What’s more likely – a few thousand books having the same lie published in them, with a whole society raised and taught that lie for generations or that Cream got a little frisky with Royal.” She stated simply, rolling her eyes at me.

I had to admit, she had a point. It was obviously much more likely that Cream had engaged in a sexual encounter with another purple berry, but that didn’t mean it was true. I just knew it was my child in her womb, something in my gut just knew. I didn’t try to explain that to Ivy though, I decided to just let her believe what she wanted too. As long as she accepted my next request regardless of what she thought of Cream.

“Will you help us deliver the baby?”

“W-what?” She was obviously bewildered by my statement, “Aren’t you going to the hospital?”

“No, we can’t.”

“Oh, because it’s ‘your’ baby, right?” She said, realizing that was the train of thought Cream and I were using to make this decision; “You do realize I haven’t even graduated yet, right? And that my training isn’t even in maternity or infant care?”

I did know both of those facts but it wasn’t like Cream and I had a lot of options in this matter. Ivy was the only person either of us knew, besides my mother, that had any medical background. If she didn’t help us then it would just be the two of us giving birth to this bundle of joy and who knew what kind of complications could arise.

“Ok, I’ll help you but I don’t have access to any of the equipment for prenatal care,” She warned, “I can only check on Cream’s vitals and tell you how her body is coping.”

“I understand. Anything you can provide us with will be more help than I could offer by myself.” I couldn’t have been more relieved at the idea of having Ivy there, someone with a medical background to make sure that the baby was healthy when it was born and that Cream herself was having the normal symptoms of pregnancy. That very same day Ivy came over to assess Cream, checking on all of her vital signs. She tested fine for the time being and Ivy said she would be back every two weeks to conduct the short examination.

I walked Ivy to the front door by myself, since Cream had recently been complaining of swollen ankles and back pains, “Thank you for doing this, Ivy.”

She frowned deeply as I opened the door for her, putting a gentle hand on my shoulder, “Maize, I can’t promise you anything. This can go wrong very easily and if it does Cream and the child could be at risk.”

“If it goes wrong than we can just bring her to the hospital, right?”

She shook her head, walking out onto the front porch. I followed closely behind her, “If something happens during labor it may be take too long to reach the hospital, Maize. This is very risky. Her life and the babies, I can’t promise that either will make it. We can only pray to Berry that nothing bad happens, and I’ll do my best to ensure that everything goes smoothly,” She descended down the steps slowly, heading to her car, “Just make sure you and Cream are aware of this.”

That night those words echoed in my head.

I could go to the hospital and risk exposing our romance and the mixed berry that was thriving inside of Cream or have a home birth and potentialyl lose my love. My child.

What would I do if I lost one of them? Both of them? That was a silly question, really.

I would lose myself, too.

Generation One

Chapter Thirteen: Expecting the Unexpected

Spending the night over the Storm residence had become a normal occurrence. However, holding Cream’s hair back as she threw up in the morning for the second Saturday in a row was not something I wanted to become accustomed too.

“Are you sure you’re ok?” I couldn’t stop the worry from lacing my voice. It wasn’t normal to be puking for almost two weeks straight. She nodded, hands grasping the lavender toilet seat as another round of heaving shook her small frame.

“You are not okay.” I chided, handing her a glass of water as she finally peeled herself off of the toilet.

She took a few gulps before replying, “I feel fine… it’s only in the morning.” She croaked.

“It is not fine to be throwing up every morning for almost fourteen days straight.”

She shrugged, going over to the mirror. Cream took a few seconds to look over her appearance before splashing water on her face and heading out into the hallway where Miss Storm was patiently waiting for us. I wasn’t the only one fretting over these recent turn of events – Miss Storm looked ten years older with worry lining her brow.

“Is she ok?” The question was directed at me and not Cream, simply because we both knew that Cream would lie and say she was just peachy.

“No.” I stated, ignoring the swat Cream gave me, “She’s throwing up still.”

Her nasal line deepened at the same rate her frown did, “Cream, we need to go to the hospital.”

“I’m fine, Mom.” The annoyance oozing from Cream was almost palpable as she pushed her way past her mother, both of tailing after her. We kept quiet as she walked into the kitchen and grabbed another bowl of cereal. She had, after all, just emptied her stomach. Miss Storm took a seat next to her daughter and watched her with same exact worried expression.

“Cream, we really need to have someone examine you.”

She shook her head, stuffing her mouth full of milk and fiber, “No.”

“What if you die from this? What if it causes permanent damage or paralysis?”

I sighed, taking the other seat next to Cream. I watched in silence as the two of them bickered -Cream venomously denying her mother’s requests. Miss Storm seemed convinced that Cream had caught some foreign, deadly virus that was sure to result in the untimely demise of her daughter. Cream was confident that nothing at all was wrong – and if she was sick, she was certain it was nothing more than the common flu. I, on the other hand, had another suspicions; suspicions that had to do with a certain Valentine’s Day that had passed a little over two months ago.

I knew that it was impossible –that this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that demanded I was right had to be wrong. Cream was genetically purple. I was yellow. It went against everything Cream was taught. Everything I had read up on. Anyone I told would surely think I was crazy – even Miss Storm and Cream herself.

Even so, as Cream disagreed her mother one last time, I interjected with my thoughts on the matter, “Maybe she’s pregnant.”

Purple and white heads spun to face me, shock clearly written on their features as they unanimously exclaimed, “What?!”

I smiled nervously at the two of them, unsure how to proceed, “Well, I mean-“

“How could you even think such a thing,” Cream spat angrily, “I haven’t had sex with Royal. I would never do that to you!”

I held my hands up in my defense, shaking my head at her accusations, “I didn’t mean it like that. I meant… what if … you know…” I’m pretty sure my face had never been so red in my entire life. I was basically admitting to stealing Cream’s innocence right in front of her mother.

“That’s impossible.” Cream said, brushing my idea off completely.

Miss Storm seemed slightly off-put by this revelation but, slowly, seemed to grasp what I was implying, “I think we all need to have a talk a little later about what is and is not allowed in my house-“

“Mom!” Cream groaned, hiding her red face behind her hands, “Maize, why did you even say anything.”

I felt the flames of embarrassment licking at my neck and cheeks, “I, I just think we should look into it.”

“It’s not even possible!” She screeched; face still hiding behind her hands.

“Will you just take a test for me?” I pleaded.

She sighed, peaking through her fingers to look at me, “Maize, it’s a waste of money.”

“It is not,” I countered, “Not only will it be a relief for me but I already purchased them last night on my way over.”

Both women blinked a few times before gazing at each other and shrugging.

“Alright, Maize. For you.” Cream conceded.

I was exceedingly happy that she complied. I was not, however, thrilled with waiting outside the bathroom door for an eternity. Mother and daughter had both locked themselves into the bathroom, leaving me outside to wait in suspense by myself. I could faintly hear their conversation drift through the wooden door – both of their voices were calm and it seemed like Miss Storm was, once again, trying to convince Cream to go to a doctor. My pacing was interrupted only when a scream erupted from the bathroom followed closely by Miss Storm insisting Cream take another.

“Take another what!” I shouted, wiggling the brass knob to no avail. They had locked themselves inside.

“But I don’t have to pee!” She cried out, ignoring my inquiry.

“Then go drink some orange juice!” Her mother’s voiced sounded just as flabbergasted as Cream’s.

The door swung open and the disgruntled duo passed me without even a second glance. I faintly heard the refrigerator open and then slam shut again but I was too busy exploring the bathroom they had just abandoned to care. My eyes swept over the familiar lilac titles and lavender shower in search of an answer my stomach already had. I found the evidence on the sink, innocently proclaiming the conception of a child with a little blue plus sign.

*

“You know you aren’t supposed to do that.” I chuckled, watching my angel chug down her second carton of orange juice. She held up a finger as she gulped away, obviously too busy trying to fill her bladder to comment.

She was getting ready to take her third pregnancy test of the morning – the first two had both read positive. Cream’s mother had offered to go run and grab another patch of tests – and some more liquids – because the both of them were certain the two that came in the package I had purchased had been faulty. I thought their denial was quite comical.

Cream slammed the carton down and marched off, out of sight.

When I found the first positive test less than an hour ago I had experienced a flood of relief – mainly because I knew the love of my life was no longer in immediate danger from some deadly disease. Once that had dissolved, fear had taken its toll. I was doing my best to keep it together while Cream and Miss Storm freaked but I was finding it harder as the minute hands on the clock turned.

“We need to talk.” Cream stated after a third test had been taken. I assumed that, even completely disobeying the instructions on the tests, Cream’s results had been positive.

She took a deep breath, tears welling up in her eyes as she touched her stomach tenderly, “If these tests are right… and I’m pregnant… I swear Maize; I never have and never will have sex with Royal. Plea-please believe me.” She was in full blown sobs by the end of her sentence, tears streaming down her face as her body shook uncontrollably.

I had her wrapped in my arms tightly, fearing she would collapse to the floor. One of my hands slowly rubbed her back as my robe was dampened by tears, “I know. I know,” I repeated over and over again until her weeping had turned into small whimpers, “I believe you.”

“You do?” She sniffled.

“Yes, I do.”

“but, I’m pregnant….” She began shaking again as the hopelessness of the situation settled onto her shoulders.

“I know,” I whispered into her hair, “you’re pregnant with my child.”

Her posture tensed in my arms, “That’s impossible, Maize.”

“Well, unless the all mighty Berry came down and gifted us with this child, it’s mine.” I teased, wiping tears off of her cheeks.

“I guess your right…” She conceded, pulling out of my embrace, “as impossible as this is.”

I planted a swift kiss on her lips as Miss Storm joined us in the living room.

“If you two are going to raise this baby-“

“Of course we are.” Cream interjected, eyebrows furrowed, “Right Maize?”

I nodded in agreement, suddenly reassured that I wouldn’t be fighting for this child by myself. Cream was clearly on my side – I would not be talking her out of an abortion.

“I don’t think,” Cream’s mother started again, “that this should be hidden from Royal. He deserves to know his own child -”

“Mom!” Cream wailed, “It’s not Royal’s! I never even did … that… with him!”

Miss Storm looked surprised momentarily before a doubt flashed in her eyes, “Cream, we all know that it can’t be Maize’s. If it’s not Royal’s then surely you met some other purple Berry?”

Cream’s face burned red as she stood next to me, pain written in her eyes. I held my tongue but was well aware that I must have looked as upset as the seraph next to me, “Is that what you really think, Mom? That I’m some sort of whore?” Miss Storm opened her mouth to deny the accusations but Cream wouldn’t let her get a word in, “It is not some random Berry’s child. It is not Royal’s child. I have only been with one man, mother! So as inconceivable as it may seem, it’s Maize’s!” She had stormed offed into her room, slamming the door shut behind her.

“You should have more faith in your own daughter, Ma’am.” I said softly as I went after Cream.

It only took one knock for the door to be flung open, Cream’s tear stained face staring back at me. She stepped aside, letting me in, before slamming the door with all the force her small frame could muster up. Heart wrenching sobs escaped from Cream as she flung herself onto her bed.

“Your Mom will come around,” I said softly, taking a seat next to her.

“I’m more afraid of how everyone is going to react to a Mixed Berry than anything…” Cream whispered, worry flooding her eyes as she felt her belly experimentally. I could only imagine how it must feel to know that there was a child in there. Her child.

My child.

“Cream,” I began, suddenly very serious, “I will do absolutely anything I can to protect you Cream – both you and this baby. Just tell me what you want to do. We could leave –”

“We can’t leave,” Cream whimpered pathetically, “I can’t leave my Mom by herself. No matter how mad I am, she’s still my mother, Maize. She’s sick. She can’t even get out of bed some days.”

Those words hung in the air as we all contemplated them, knowing that the best option for our child was also the worst for their grandmother. Eventually, I broke the silence that had enveloped us.

“What if we hid it?” I asked cautiously.

“Maize, a baby is not like a romance. You cannot expect –”

“Wait, just hear me out,” I interrupted, “you will have to leave school soon, before you start showing. you’ll have to isolate yourself, maybe sign up for online classes” I frowned as the words left my lips, knowing it sounded harsh, “you’ll also have to break up with Royal.” I was not frowning at that thought, however.

“What about when the child is born?” She asked skeptically.

“When the baby is born, we can raise it here,” I was getting excited now, imaging our little family playing together, “No one visits, anyway. We’ll homeschool him and and-“

“And when it becomes a teenager, Maize? An adult?” She pointed out, annoyed, “We can’t hide the poor thing for its entire life!”

“We’ll deal with that when we get there…” I said, suddenly feeling quite dejected.

Cream sighed, obviously not happy with my rash conclusion. She must have known I was not going to be convinced into splitting up out family because she did not bother to waste her breath trying to persuade me out of this idea any further. After a minute a small, sad smile spread over her lips and she stood, wrapping her arms around her occupied waist.

“I can’t believe I’m going to be a mother!”

Slowly the gloomy mood in the room lifted and was replaced with a much jollier topic of conversation – baby clothing. She began gushing about how and when she was going to begin shopping for socks, dresses and tights. Cream was obviously convinced our child was going to be a girl.

I kept quiet, allowing her to chatter on as the fear that had gripped me earlier returned.

This child – my child – was something unheard of. An offspring of two different colored Berries. A child who broke all the rules and demolished all of society’s connotations before it was even born. Even having only known about this little spark of life for an hour, I had an undeniable urge to protect it. It was my son or daughter.

Even so, I knew there was little I could do to save it from the vicious words and prying eyes of this world. And that scared me. It scared me more than I had ever been afraid in my entire life. I had failed as a parent – as a protector – and my child hadn’t even been born yet.

—————————-

AN: I could not get Cream to throw up. 0_0 She kept getting nauseous but never threw up. fml.

Generation One

Chapter Twelve: Closer

AN: This gets sorta racy towards the end of the chapter. If non-explicit sexual encounters make you uncomfortable… proceed with caution.

Also, I lost Anzac and Marigold’s house. So, yea. x[
_____________________________________________________________
Christmas at my house was awkward.

I wasn’t very good at keeping secrets; I was actually quite terrible at it. There were numerous times when I would glance over at my mother and die a little inside knowing that she wouldn’t understand or approve of my relationship.  Sometimes, when my mother was cooking or cleaning, I would have this urge to confess everything to her. However, as soon as I would gather the resolve to do so, my father would appear with this stern look upon his face. It was the only deterrent I needed.

During my week stay there, my father and I had quite a few hushed conversations. I wanted to know why he was so certain my mother should be kept in the dark. Sure, she wanted grandchildren. I understood that notion and I realized that, according to every science article ever published on Berry genetics, interbreeding colors could not produce offspring. What I did not understand was why my father acted as if something bad was going to happen if I told Mom. He always brushed me off, squirming his way out of the conversation at the last second. It was on the drive to the airport that I finally managed to squeeze it out of him.

My mom hadn’t been able to drive me because of an emergency at the hospital. That left just me and my father alone, with no way for him to escape my question.

“Pops?”

He glanced at me before returning his attention to the road, “Yes?”

“Can you tell me why I shouldn’t tell Mom about my girlfriend?”

He sighed; eyes trained ahead, “We’ve already gone over this, Maize. Your mother is a firm believer in the Berry laws. She raised you to obey them. She would never approve of your girlfriend.”

I shrugged, watching the familiar houses I had grown up with pass by, “If you’re just afraid she won’t approve then I’m going to tell her once I land.”

The squealing of breaks and smell of burnt rubber filled the air as I jerked forward, my seat belt catching me and yanking me back into my seat with a thud. The car veered to the side of the highway, stopping in a grassy medium. My heartbeat raced as I looked at my father, unsure why he had pulled over so suddenly, “What the hell!”

“Do not tell your mother.” I had never seen my father look so serious in his whole life. At that moment I was not sure if it was because he had almost caused an accident with his careless driving or if it was simply reacting to my previous statement.

“You almost killed us both because I decided to tell Mom about Cream?” I asked incredulously.

“If I tell you this,” he took a deep breath, “you have to promise not to think differently of your mother. She’s rash and selfish but she does love you – and me.”

“Okay,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest, “go ahead.”

“Promise.”

“Alright, I promise.”

“Your mother and I were always breaking up and getting back together in high school. Well, one time when she broke up with me I found another girl, Velvet, and fell in love with her. When your mother wanted to get back together a few months later I wasn’t interested – too caught up in my fantasy land. Your mother, well, she doesn’t take rejection well. ” I nodded along with my father, having already heard this story from Miss Storm, “I didn’t know at the time but she started following me and Velvet around, trying to catch us together. She started rumors but they didn’t work and it just pushed me further from her. A few weeks later, she came crying to me. She begged and begged for me to break up with Velvet – to take her back. She showed me a photograph of me and Velvet kissing and then threatened to go public with it. I never thought she would actually go through with it. I’m not sure if she’d do the same to you.”

“So, Mom is the reason you got exiled?” I whispered, unsure how I felt about this revelation. My father nodded solemnly, pulling the car back onto the road and heading towards our destination.

The rest of the trip was spent in silence.

*

Two months passed in the blink of an eye.

I had promised my father I wouldn’t think differently of my mother but I hadn’t been able to keep that promise completely. I still spoke to her regularly and always told her I loved her but I noticed I was more detached when we spoke. I knew she felt it as well, regularly asking me what was wrong. I always told her I was just busy with life.

This did nothing to help the turbulent sea Cream and I had set sail on. I still had to spend every day ignoring her existence and secretly watching her with Royal. We no longer had a class together – which was a blessing and curse rolled into one. I no longer had to ignore her while she was within arms distance twice a week but I also no longer got to see the love of my life as often.

Ivy and I had grown closer and I spent much of my days with her. Our usual days consisted of us talking about nothing in particular – her pre-med studies and my artwork. She was also surprisingly good at video games, which meant we spent an unhealthy amount of time glued to the tv – battling orcs and waving around virtual wands.

Occasionally, Cephei would tag along on our ‘adventures’. I didn’t have a problem with this, since Cephei was the daughter of Chester – a man who owned a local art gallery. More often than not, she was either talking about her experiences there or rooting us on in our virtual lives.

However, when the sunset, I never failed to get excited. Getting to spend actual time with Cream was the best part of any day. Today was especially exciting, as today just so happened to be a very special day for couples all over the world. As the three of us parted way, Ivy and Cephei teased me about having a secret lover. If only they knew how right they were.

I was more than comfortable with walking into the Storm residence by now. I had been spending almost every night for the last three months here, sleeping on the couch once or twice a week as well. On the nights that I stayed over I always made sure to thank Miss Storm in the morning, though she always told me I was more than welcome there. She had even made me my own key to the front door as a Christmas present – said it saved her the hassle of having to answer the door at all hours of the night.

Once inside, I easily navigated through the front of the house and towards Cream’s bedroom. Two knocks was all it took for the door to swing open, white hair jumping into my arms with a happy squeal. For a moment all of my worries were forgotten as sweet lips grazed mine, soft nimble fingers intertwining with my rough ones. When we separated, she led me happily into her room and closed the door behind us. We were always careful not to wake up Miss Storm.

“You’re here awfully late,” Cream stated, eyes trained on her alarm clock. The red letter announced it was 11:47 pm, “Where were you?”

I sat down on her bed, patting the space beside me to show that I wanted her to join me, “I was with Ivy and Cephei.”

Her bottom lip jutted out in the pout that I had grown to adore over the past few months, “You’re always with Ivy.” She whined, plopping down beside me.

“And you are always with Royal.” I replied simply.

“I’m with Royal because I’m forced to be with Royal.” Though I could tell she was upset she did not swipe at my hand as I brushed a stray piece of hair out of her eyes.

“It’s a completely platonic relationship.” This had been brought up more often then I liked lately. I could have easily squashed the whole issue by just telling her the truth – that Ivy would never be sexually attracted to me. That she played for the other team.  I just didn’t feel it was my secret to tell. After all, how would I have liked it if I told Ivy about Cream and then she went and blabbed to someone else?

“Then why do you hang out with her so much?” Her voice had a slight whine to it.

I found myself smiling as I pulled her closer, “Because I can’t hang out with you, duh.”

Cream blushed but I knew she wasn’t convinced yet, “But Ivy is so pretty and confident and whenever you talk about her it seems like you have so much fun together. Plus, she smart and -”

“and I love you, not her,” I interrupted, tapping her nose playfully, “and I happen to think you are the prettiest girl in the whole wide world.” I added cheesily.

She sighed, that pout back on those lips, “I’m just nervous because I don’t know her and she doesn’t know you’re taken.”

“You can change that whenever you want. Ivy wouldn’t betray us, she’d be supportive.”

We sat there in silence for a moment as I ran my hands threw her long hair. Eventually, a gloomy little sigh escaped her lips, “You’re right. I’m being silly. I know you love me. I just worry sometimes that you’re going to decide this it’s too hard or that I’m not worth all this work…”

I pulled her up on the bed, forcing her to look me in the eyes, “Hey now, that’s not true. You are worth every single second of this trouble and any future trouble –”

My romantic speech was cut short by Cream’s lips. We kissed until our lips were puffy and our breathing heavy. When we finally parted the red lights on Cream’s clock read 12:13 am. A sly smile spread over my lips as I realized what that meant.

“I have a surprise for you.” I whispered into her ear playfully.

She blinked a few times, seemingly confused, until a sly smile of her own took over lips, “Oh, I have a surprise for you too.” Every fiber of my being was awakened at the soft seductive tone her voice had taken on.

“Who should go first?” I asked hoarsely.

She giggled, rolling out from under me, “I think you should go first.”

I nodded, holding out a finger, “I’ll be right back.”

Indeed, I don’t think I had ever managed to run to the kitchen and back in such a short amount of time. Taking a deep breath and regaining my composure, my right arm was hidden behind my back as I opened to bedroom door again.

One of Cream’s silver eyebrow rose at the sight of me, “What do you have behind your back?”

At the prompt I whipped out the bouquet of red roses I had hidden away the previous night. Cream gasped, clearly surprised, as she took the flowers from my hand, “Happy Valentine’s Day, love.”

“They’re so pretty! Where did you manage to get them from? Thank you so much!” She gushed.

I laughed, satisfied with her reaction, “There’s more to come tomorrow.” I warned as she put the roses down on her dresser and threw her arms around my neck.

“Hmmm, there’s more right now.” She purred in my ear.

“Oh really now?” I whispered, landing a sweet and fleeting kiss on her lips, “I can’t wait to see what you got me.”

Cream pointed to the bed, “Sit right there and keep your eyes shut.” She commanded sternly.

I laughed along, giving her a playful salute and a quick, “Yes, Ma’am,” as I followed her directions.

I had my eyelids squeezed shut and my hands over them, just for good measure. As I sat there, the anticipation began to build. I could not, for the life of me, even begin to imagine what kind of surprise she had in store for me. I could, however, hear her shuffling around the room. I was also pretty certain I heard a dresser drawer slam shut. A few moments later, her soft lips were brushing my earlobe.

“Ok, open them.”

I must have stared in awe for too long, since Cream was squirming under my gaze, “You don’t like it?”

I don’t know how she could ever think I didn’t like the sight of her half-naked, “No, I’m just – wow.”

Her giggled floated through the air and slowly she crawled into my arms, confidence renewed. Soft mewls and low moans filled the air around us and soon my own shirt had found a new home on the floor. Her small hands flowed up my chest, resting on my shoulders as I cupped her in my arms. In the heat of the moment I pinned her to the wall, lips attached to her neck and her legs wrapped around my waist.

I knew I wanted this. I was more certain of this than anything else in my entire existence. I just had to make sure she was, too.

“Cream,” I mumbled through her soft nibbles on my lips, “are you sure – we don’t have to-“ Her finger fell on my lips, silencing me.

“Yes, I am.”

“I don’t have… um.. I didn’t bring protection.” I stammered against her lips.

She pulled back, looking into my eyes for a few moments before speaking, “Aren’t you a virgin?”

“Well, yes.” I answered truthfully, though I didn’t see the point in asking such a question.

“I am, too. We don’t have to worry about anything.” With that she was back to attacking my neck.

I bit back a moan and tried to fight the fuzzy feeling that was eating away at common sense, “Babies,” I managed out, “I don’t want to get you pregnant.”

She pulled back again, this time laughing, “Maize, I can’t get pregnant – not with you.” She stated confidently.

I met her touch for touch, kiss for kiss, as she pushed me onto the floor.

Generation One

Chapter Eleven: Settling in

“Cream, will you pose for me?”

It was Thanksgiving afternoon and the Storm residence smelt of freshly chopped vegetables and slow roasted meats. After a small talk with Cream and a lot of kissing, she had managed to talk me into sleeping over – on the couch, of course. I never would have dreamt of sharing a bed with her so early in our relationship.

The angel in question was currently in the kitchen with her mother, preparing for the evening’s festivities. She spared a glance from the concoction she was preparing to give me an inquisitive look, “Why do you need me to pose for you?”

I looked down at my phone, rereading the text from my father. That morning I had wished him and my mother a Happy Thanksgiving. After a short phone conversation with both of them I had asked my father if I could text him something important. That important information pertained to Cream and the fact that I was now dating her. My father had been ecstatic at the news, immediately responding to my text. He asked all the cliché questions – including what she looked like.

“I want to show my Pops what you look like.” Miss Storm stopped stirring the delicious broth on the stove, flinching when I said the word Pops. I felt guilty momentarily, having forgotten about my father’s past with her in that second. Cream didn’t seem to notice.

“You told you father about us?” The look plastered onto her face told me that she was worried by this news.

“Don’t worry. I’m ninety-nine percent sure he won’t care that were different colors.”

My attempt to wave off her concern was met with a roll of her eyes, “Oh, and what if he falls into that one-percent?”

“He won’t.” I was relieved when Miss Storm began working on her broth again.

“But you told me that your parent’s sent you here because you weren’t acting like a proper Berry in the first place!”

“They did,” I slid up beside Cream, wrapping one arm around her slim waist as my other hand snuck into a nearby salad. The apple slice I plucked out filled my mouth with juice – I had never realized how much better organic fruit tasted when compared to their store bought counterparts, “but it was mostly my mother. My father often tried to talk to my mother about my so called rebellious nature. He just never won.” I finished cheekily.

She frowned, clearly not satisfied with this answer. I took that opening to snap a picture of her.

“Hey!” She shouted, trying to snatch my phone out of my hand. I raised my arm high above her head, watching as she jumped in vain. Amusement glittered in my eyes as I slowly backed away from her, heading toward the living room slowly.

“I’m sure my Pops will love it. You just have this glow when you’re mad.” I teased.

She smacked me playfully, following me as I maneuver around the kitchen with ease. If I had been a weaker man her glare would have sliced me in half. Lucky for me, Cream’s glower didn’t have the desired effect and I managed to escape from her wrath with all my limbs intact. Once she had given up on the hunt, I plopped down on the couch I had spent the night on and loaded up the picture of her.

I really did think it was adorable.

With a few clicks the picture was not only traveling through space to my father also set as my new wallpaper. My phone had only been in my pocket for a few seconds when it vibrate, startling me. I hadn’t expected my father to respond that quickly – and not by calling me, either.

I fumbled with my phone until I finally managed to answer it, “Hi Pops, what’s u-“

“Maize,” his voice was stern and laced with worry, “is that girl really your girlfriend?”

“Um, yes?” I answered hesitantly. Perhaps Cream had been right. Maybe my father wouldn’t approve.

“Look, I need to tell you something,” I could tell he was mustering up all the courage he had, “I didn’t leave Sugar Valley-“

“Pops, I know.” The anger I had felt towards my father the previous night returned, searing my veins. I didn’t want to talk to either of my parent’s about this today, since it was Thanksgiving. That had been the sole reason I held my tongue earlier. I wasn’t sure, however, if I could do the same now that my father had been the one to bring up the lack of truth.

“You know…” There was a long pause as he took this in, not knowing how to proceed. This was fine since I had a mouthful for him to hear.

“How could you not tell me something so important?” I hissed into the receiver, “Did you think sending me into a different country with no idea how their culture worked, no idea of the laws and expectations, was a good idea?”

“Of course not-“

“Then why did you!”

“Your mother thought it would be better if you didn’t know about my history,” He sighed, lowering his voice, “You’ve always taken after me. Your personality, sense of justice, morals, rebellious nature – it’s like you’re a clone of me when I was your age. Your mother thought that if you knew I had behaved in such a manner that it would be condoning you to do the same. She always held you to the same standards that we were held to while in the Berry-.” I could barely make out vague shouting in the background and my father’s gruff replies, “Maize, I have to go. Do not tell your mother about this girl of yours.”

Hiding my relationship with Cream from my mother wasn’t something I had planned to do. We had already agreed to hide it from everyone but I had assumed my parents would be on my side, “What, why?“

“Maize,” his voice was low again and for a moment I could feel his age seeping through, “I love you. No matter what you choose to do with your life, I’ll stand by your side. I can’t promise the same for your mother. Berry knows I love that women with all my heart but she will do anything to get what she wants.”

“What are you saying dad? What could I give mom that would keep her from approving of me and Cream?”

“Grandchildren.” His voice was barely a whisper.

It was then that I heard my mom’s voice, almost crystal clear, asking my father who he was talking to, “Oh, Tyler. I have to go, I’ll talk to you at work tomorrow!” and with that the line went dead.

I wasn’t sure how long I sat there in a daze, phone limp in my hand, before Cream came out to inform me that the feast was finally finished.

*

When Cream and I had agreed to hide our relationship I don’t think either of realized what we were really getting ourselves into.

Seeing the girl you love walk right by you, not able to spare an adoring glance was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my whole existence. No fleeting caresses could be shared in classes, no loving words. I could not provide her with support when those scathing words were thrown her way and I could not be the shoulder she leaned on when life hit her with all it had. It was a terrible feeling – loving someone so much but being forced to watch their life pass before your eyes silently. These last three weeks a particularly dark feeling had been strangling me.

Jealousy.


Cream and I had both agreed that it would look suspicious if she suddenly broke up with Royal – especially since she had no real reason to do so. That did not mean that I didn’t fantasize about head butting the jerk every time his hand slid around my women’s waist.  It also didn’t change the fact that, even knowing that Cream was acting, my heart had this nasty habit of stopping every time she allowed his lips to touch hers.

“Are you ok?”

The feminine voice snapped me out of my thoughts as I found myself staring into a familiar green face, “Huh?” was my eloquent reply.

She sighed, sitting down next to me at the picnic table. From here we had a perfect view of Scarlett, Cream, Royal and some other Berries I did not know, “You shouldn’t torture yourself.” Ivy chided.

“I’m not,” I replied defensively. Apparently my glares and evil eyes hadn’t gone unnoticed, “why are you here anyways?”

She shined an apple as she spoke, “You might be a little weird but you’ve got a good heart. Not many people have that quality around here.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“True,” She drawled, “but I know you didn’t take advantage of Cephei.”

“Cephei?”

“That crazy yellow girl at the party.”

I nodded, remembering the drunken girl who had thrown herself at me and then proceeded to dance and screech in my ear, “Did she get home ok?”

“See!” She exclaimed, “You are a good guy.”

I found myself rolling my eyes in her general direction, “So, why are you talking to me now?”

She shrugged, “Why now? Because you look like you could use a friend.”

Though her mouth formed the words, her eyes were captured by another image. I followed her line of sight and realized that Fern was among the berries I hadn’t recognized. She was currently snuggling up to some guy.

“You can sympathize with me.” I accused.

“This just isn’t the place for ‘abnormal’ romances, Maize. They always get squashed before they have the chance to bloom. ”

“How poetic.” I mumbled, watching my breath float through the chilly air.

“She’s fine, by the way.”

“Huh?”

“Cephei.” She explained.

“Oh,” I mumbled, looking over at Ivy, “that’s good. Thank you for helping her that night.”

Ivy laughed, shaking her head, “Why are you thanking me? It’s not like she was your responsibility.”

I shrugged, a small frown tugging on my lips, “I don’t know.”

“Hey, let’s get out of here.” She said, standing suddenly, “This is too depressing, watching people we love, love someone else.” Ivy didn’t really give me a choice in the matter, as she tugged me up and led me down the sidewalk.

“Wait, where are we going?”

“On an adventure!” I wasn’t sure where her abrupt burst of energy came from but I had to admit, it was contagious. I found myself smiling as she led me through the chilly December air to some unknown destination. I had this undeniable feeling that Ivy herself had no idea where she was going, simply allowing life to take her where it pleased. It was freeing notion.

It was also the start of a beautiful friendship.

————————————
AN: Sorry about the lack of photos in the first half of the chapter.

Generation One

Chapter Ten: A Walk Through Hell

And if I could swim
I’d swim out to you in the ocean
Swim out to where you were floating
in the dark

I knew that the Storm residence was not the best place to have this conversation with Cream. The chance that this would turn into more of a fight than simple conversation loomed in the back of mind and I did not want to subject Miss Storm to our fighting. It was getting late, she did not need to be kept awake by our misunderstanding and pain. Where we decided to talk, however, wasn’t far from Cream’s house at all. It only took five minutes for Cream and I to cross the grassy land and reach the waterfall that her house was located near. The cool autumn air lazily blew by as we stared into the distance, neither of knowing exactly what to say to the other. There was so much to say, so many places to start.

“So, how was your night?” I asked awkwardly, trying to fill the silence that had settled between us.

“It was ok.” Cream said, toying with her hair and avoiding my eyes at all costs. I could tell my inquiry had made her uncomfortable, I just wasn’t sure why. Maybe she was still upset at me for punching Royal’s face in. I knew she wasn’t going to come out with it on her own so I prodded a little more.

“What’s the matter?”

“Nothing is the matter, Maize.”

I knew the real answer from watching my parents fight when I was younger. Whenever my mother said nothing was the matter it had meant something was the matter, “Tell me the truth.”

Her head snapped in my direction- eyes blazing with anger for a second before the flames quelled into pain, “Maybe you’d know if you hadn’t been ignoring me for almost a week.”

I sucked in a lung full air and suddenly it was my turn to avoid her eyes, “Yeah, sorry about that,” I paused for a moment, risking a glance over at Cream before diverting my gaze again. She still looked pretty upset, “I didn’t like, um, Royal and you together.” I practically was mumbling.

And if was blessed
I walk on the water you’re breathing
To lend you some air for that heaving
Sunken chest

“You don’t get to pick who I date, Maize.”

“I know, I never said that –“

“And just because you don’t like who I decide to date doesn’t give you the right to ignore me! Do you know how worried I was?” Her voice was steadily getting louder – the anger slipping into every word.   “You wouldn’t pick up your phone. I took a taxi all the way to your apartment and you wouldn’t answer the door. I know you were home, your motorcycle was –“

“Are you serious?” I interrupted her much like she had done to me, “I’m not the only one to blame here. How could you even think that Royal deserved an apology?” I stated, recalling her text, “Have you suddenly forgotten how acquainted my face is with his fist? Or how he used to make both of our lives nightmares? I suppose a few sweet words and swift boost in your social status was supposed to smooth everything over. Well, news flash, it doesn’t!”

“That was over a month ago! He apologized to us both and has been making a real effort to make things up to us!”

“To get into your pants!”  I corrected loudly. I was suddenly very grateful for the waterfall that was, hopefully, masking our screams from Miss Storm’s ears.

Cream’s face was red with embarrassment or anger, I couldn’t tell. Her fists were tiny bundles by her side as she seethed in silence for a moment. I took a few deep breaths myself; reigning in the irritation she had ignited.

‘Cause they chose you
As the model
For their empty little dreams

“Is that what you really think about me? That I was just dating him for the popularity?”

I sighed, kicking at a rock that wasn’t really there, “Why else would you be dating him?”

She rolled her eyes, “Well, it’s not true.”

“Oh really?” I found myself nearly laughing, “Look at what you’re wearing.”

She looked down at herself, eyes skimming her exposed belly button and thighs, “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

“You mean besides the fact that I know you hate heels and I can practically see your underwear?”

“What does my clothing have to do with me dating Royal?” She shot back, clearly flustered at my statement. Her hands played with the hem of her skirt in an attempt to pull it down further.


“They’re changing you.” The irritation I had quelled was rearing its ugly head again.

“Wearing a new skirt doesn’t mean they’re changing me.”

“It starts out with your clothing,” I pointed out, “but it’s not going to stop there. How long do you think they’d let you hang out with me? One week? Maybe a month? Then they’d hint that I wasn’t cool enough for you, that you’d be better off without me. What then, Cream? What are you going to do when they start saying your hobbies aren’t cool enough; your personality? Are you just going to change all that too?”

With your new head
And your legs spread
Like a filthy magazine

“Of course not!” She shouted, throwing her hands in the air, “A new outfit is not on the same level as a new life.” Cream turned her back on me, huffing as she headed towards the bank of the lake. I wasn’t sure why I felt the need to ruffle her feathers at the moment, but I did. I wasn’t done yet, either. I needed to get my point across now, I wasn’t sure if I would ever get another chance.

“They’re changing you and you don’t even realize it. We never use to fight. Not until Royal and you starting exchanging emails.” I shouted after her departing figure.

She paused in her retreat. I took it as a sign that she was finally digesting what I was saying and decided to put hit it home, “You’re going to wake up one day and realize that you’re everything you hate. Everything that I hate.”

And they hunt you
And they gut you
And you give in

I took a few strides towards Cream, effectively closing the distance between us. Reaching out, I tried to touch her arm but she shrugged off my touch. I wasn’t sure what to do. I could have kept lecturing her but I felt like if I did I might end up ripping a drift between us that could never be repaired. Instead of risking it, I stood behind her in silence, waiting for her to give me some sort of signal.  We were exceptionally close to the water now. The mist from the waterfall coated my face as I waited patiently, fiddling with my thumbs.

The gush from the waterfall was deafening from this distance, I had to strain my ears in order to hear her speak, “Why do you even care?”

And if I was brave
I’d climb up to you on the mountain
They led you to drink from their fountain
Spouting lies

I’m not sure what came over me but before I could stop myself I had twirled Cream around, forcing her to look me in the eye. Her white irises met my yellows and then my lips were upon hers.

Who knows how long I stood there, lips touching hers while electricity coursed through my veins, but I couldn’t imagine a more perfect first kiss. After an eternity I pulled away and hesitantly searched Cream’s face for a reaction. I found shock and surprise written clearly, which was much better than the anger and pain that had filled her eyes moments ago.

“That’s why.” I breathed.

And I’d slay
The horrible beast they commissioned
To steer me away from my mission
To your eyes

My voice snapped her out of the trance my lips had put her in. She stumbled backwards and shook her head, “Maize, I-I-I. W-we can’t-t” She stuttered, hand gently touching her lips.

I was so sick and tired of hearing that I couldn’t be with her – from Ivy and Scarlett to the story I had heard not even an hour ago. There was nothing wrong with wanting to be with the one you loved because I did love her. I knew that now.

“Why not?” I asked, raising an eyebrow, “Because some old man who was probably really grumpy decided over a hundred years ago that different colored Berries can’t be together? Well, screw him, Cream.”


And I’d stand there
Like a soldier
With my foot upon his chest

“It’s not just the law, Maize.”

My heart sunk and I felt the fight leave me, “Then what is it, Cream. You have to tell me, I can’t read your mind.”

She bit her bottom lip, brushing a stray piece of hair out of her face, “Maize, I-I I can’t be my mother. I can’t throw everything away on a chance – a risk. She, she never recovered. She went down this path and it destroyed her. It destroyed my family.”

“I promise you, I will never hurt you.” I said, taking a step forward. She took a step back.

“I know you would never hurt me deliberately,” She took a deep breath, tears welling up in her eyes, “But I’ve seen how this story ends. You’ll be forced to leave and I’ll be broken. Irreparably broken. So, I’ll marry someone I don’t love, like my mother. Only I’ll be able to learn to love him because I won’t know what it’s like to be in love with you. That way he won’t leave me because I can’t reciprocate the feeling.”

With my grin spread
And my arms out
In my bloodstained Sunday’s best


I found myself grinning like a madman despite her words, “So you’re saying you like me.”

“I’m saying it won’t work, Maize. That’s it’s not worth the risk.”

“Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I whispered, a sad smile plaster onto my lips.

She shot me a dark look and countered, “Better never to have met you in my dream than to wake and reach for hands that are not there.”


And you’d hold me
I’d remind you
Who you are
Under their shell

“But my hands will always be there.”

“You can’t promise such things, it’s not fair.”

A few strides brought me face to face with my angel, “Yes, I can.”

“How?” Her voice was barely a whisper, the words almost swallowed by the thunderous crash resonating from beside us.

I reached out, wiping away a few stray tears that had fallen, “Because I’d die before I’d let them take me from you.”

And if they sent a whirlwind
I’d hug it like a harmless little tree

I stood there in silence; watching the emotions flicker in her eyes as she internally decided our fates. It was the longest ten seconds of my life. When her eyes steeled, a look of determination etching onto her face, I felt my legs begin to quiver My chest caved in and suddenly it was near impossible to breath as the icy wisps of sadness pierced my soul. She didn’t believe me and there was nothing I could do to change her mind – nothing I could say that would make her stay by my side. My hand dropped from her check as I turned to face the bank. I had hardly moved an inch before her hand found my chin, forcing me to look at her. She was biting her bottom lip again, eyes searching mine for an answer I knew in my heart she already had.

However, the words I thought she was going to speak were not the ones that escaped through her teeth, “It’s not going to be easy.” Then her lips touched mine, soft and delicate. A fleeting kiss that left me craving more – much more than she might be willing to give.

Or an earthquake,
I’d calm it

And I’d bring you back to me

As she broke the kiss, a sigh escaped her lips. I’m sure she wanted to verbalize her feelings to me but at that moment I just wanted her lips back on mine. Before she could open that rosy pink mouth I had her wrapped up in my arms, lips attached to hers again. She returned the kiss just as greedily.

When we broke apart we were breathless. Our heavy breathing filled the void between us and it only took one glance at her pouty to make me want another blood soaring kiss. I moved in, wanting another, but Cream’s hand stopped my lips from gracing her own.

“Maize, we need to talk about this.”

“Can’t we talk later?” I pleaded. I couldn’t imagine a better feeling than the warmth that bloomed in my chest every time our lips touched. I wasn’t ready for that to end just yet.

She shook her head at me, laughing, “Maize, this is serious. If this is going to work we have to have a plan.”

I frowned, “It’s simple, just don’t get caught.”

“Oh, and how do you propose we do that?” She asked, crossing her arms.

And I’d hold you
In my weak arms like a first born

I shrugged, “We will act normal in public.” I stated as if it was so simple. Her doubtful expression encouraged me to continue, “We can act like we are still fighting, if you want. I’ll sneak over to your house every night. No one lives nearby, we won’t be caught. I’ll drop out of school if I have to, get a job somewhere –“

“You are not going to throw your life away in order to be with me.” She chided.

“Then let’s run away together.”

“I can’t,” she whispered, sparing a glance at her house, “My mother…”

“Then let me do this.” I was practically begging.

Cream shook her head, “No, Maize. For now we’ll just play it by ear.”

I’d walk through hell for you
Let it burn right through my shoes
These soles are useless without you


There was no point in arguing with her, not now. Besides, there were more important matters that needed to be dealt with. Like getting my lips pressed against hers.

Wrapping her into my arms, I placed a small kiss on her forehead and nose as I made my way down to my prize. She giggled at each caress, happily meeting my lips.

“What am I getting myself into?” She whispered.

“I love you, that’s what you’re getting yourself into.”

Through hell for you
Let the torturing ensue
My soul is useless without you

———————————————–

The song is by Say Anything and is called ‘A Walk Through Hell’

If any of the images aren’t edited for you, I’m sorry. Photobucket was giving me a lot of trouble and I’m no sure what saved and what did not save. D;

Uncategorized

Chapter Nine: Forbidden Love

You’re looking at her.

I repeated those words in my head, the meaning behind them slipping through my fingertips every time I finally grasped it. They were simple enough but nothing added up. I stared at my hands in silence, trying to sort out my own feelings. The scope of emotions ranged from confusion to anger.

My hands curled into fist as the anger seethed. My parents had sent me into their home country with no knowledge of the culture or expectations. A country my own father had been exiled from. None of it made any sense. Why hadn’t my father ever told me about Miss Storm? How had my mother and father found each other after he left? The anger was boiling in my veins and just when I thought I was going to overflow, burst at the seams, a feather light touch caressed my hair.

“Do not be mad at your father,” I held her gaze, frowning steadily at Miss Storm, “If he did not tell you about us it had to be for a good reason. He’s a good man, Maize. He was probably trying to protect you from his mistakes.”

My fists slowly unclenched, “It doesn’t make any sense.”

She seemed to be debating something for a moment before a sigh eased out of her lips and she slid into the chair beside me, “What doesn’t make sense?”

I glanced at her before gazing back down at my hands, “Everything. Why did my father try to court you? He always seemed so content with my mother, a berry of his own color. Why was he the only one banished? What happened to you? How were you found out? Where does Cream’s father fit into any of this, it doesn’t make-“ Miss Storm’s hand rested on my arm, halting my rant completely.

She gave me a saddest smile I had ever seen, “I guess I should just tell you everything, from the beginning. It’s a long story.” She warned.

“I have time.”

“It began in high school. Anzac, your father was quite popular, you know. He used to be on the football team and play the guitar. He was a known player and flirt but Marigold, your mother, was his on-again off-again girlfriend.”

This was nothing new to me. I had known my mother and father had dated in high school and my father had a penchant for bragging about how amazing he had been at sports. His disappointed when I showed zero interest in just about everything athletic had not gone unannounced.

“I, well, I am and always have been sick,” I found myself looking at her thin wrists and fragile waist, trying to figure out what was ailing her, “I wasn’t popular but your father, he was always sticking up for me. Not just me, either. He might have been popular but he wasn’t anything like the Berries Cream’s getting involved with. He was a kind soul. Whenever he was around no one would dare speak an ill work to each other. He had that kind of influence over all of us.” She bit her bottom lip before continuing.

“Our affair started at one really out of control party. I had been invited somewhere along the grapevine. While your father might have been a nice guy that didn’t mean most of the popular guys were. It didn’t take long for them to begin picking on for anything they could think of – including my art. To this day I do not know where your father came from but he marched right up to them and told them off. I remember that he pushed one of his own teammates before shouting at them all. He wouldn’t leave my side from that moment on. I tried to tell him to go ahead without me – that I would be fine, but he insisted. He was determined to protect me.”





That sad smile returned, “It turned out to be the best thing he could have done, since the party was broken up by the cops. As I said before, I’m sick. I can’t run or exert myself for long. Your father, on the other hand, was the most athletic man I knew. He held onto my hand and never let go. Just when I thought my lungs were going to explode he swept me up into his arms without missing a beat. I know I would have been arrested that night if it hadn’t been for him. When the sirens finally faded into the distance and the house was nowhere in sight, he put me down and asked me to watch the stars with him. We couldn’t stop laughing – the adrenaline, the rush of escaping the police. He kissed me. It was all overwhelming. I’m not going to lie to you Maize, we were both a little tipsy that night but I don’t regret a thing.”

I frowned, knowing that wasn’t how the story ended, “So where was my mother? How did you guys get found out?” She put up a finger to silence my questions.


“Your mother had broken up with your father during this time,” she answered my first question before plowing on with her tale, “I wasn’t expecting it to develop into anything, after all, your father had a habit of leading girls on. But it turned into something I don’t think either of us expected. Your father and I tried our hardest to keep it a secret but we were teenagers and we were in love. It’s was hard to keep our hands off of each other – especially since I had idolized your father for years. But it wasn’t meant to be – we couldn’t be. Even if we had been the same color I was betrothed to Cream’s father. My father, Cream’s grandfather, was one of the founders of the Berry Mainlands. He had traveled here from the isles with almost nothing to his name and worked hard to build the life we had. He wanted to ensure our success and felt the best way to do so was to pick our spouses for us. I had never questioned my father before but now that I had Anzac, it seemed all I did was doubt him. I would skip my dates with Plum to see Anzac, sneak out late at night. Your father even crawled through my window a few times.”

Her lips pulled into a frown, “Your mother, she tried to get back with your father. He turned her down, saying that his heart had been captured by another girl. Marigold must have been fuming at his rejection because she followed him to my house one night. He snuck in and we didn’t know any better. The next day the rumors were swirling around school like a plague. The most popular guy in school in love with me, a purple berry? Unheard of. However, there was no evidence of our love and soon everything returned to normal. Everything except for my father’s strict orders to stay away from Anzac.  Of course, his orders went unheeded. We continued our love affair, trying to be careful.”

“We weren’t careful enough, apparently, because just a few weeks later a picture of us kissing spread like wildfire. The press picked it up and soon we were infamous for our love. Of course, it’s a crime for Berries of different colors to be romantically involved with each other. We were arrested and tried for our love. My father was using all of his influence to get me out of jail time but it wasn’t looking good. Then, Maize, your father did something I’ll never forget. He told them he would take full responsibility for our actions – that it was his fault and he had seduced me. I remember sitting in that small courtroom, trying to deny his statement as my father shushed me. I got off with a slap on the wrist while they determined that the best course of action would be to force Anzac to leave. That way he could never seduce or victimize another confused Berry.”

“They wouldn’t tell me where he had been exiled. I knew it had to be somewhere across the border but my illness kept me from going after him – not that I would have been able to anyway. Marigold had gone after Anzac as soon as he had been exiled and my father was like a hawk after the incident. He considered me an embarrassment and rushed my marriage to Plum. I was a senior in high school when we wed.”

 It might have been my imagination but I could have sworn that a tear raced down Miss Storm’s cheek, “It was a terrible time in my life, I never even got to say goodbye to him.” She whispered.

My frown reflected her own. How could my father keep such an important part of his life from me, “I’m so sorry, Ma’am,” then an idea smacked me right in face, “What if you could see him? I could arrange for you two-”

She shook her head, standing up from the table to retrieve her desert from the oven, “That’s sweet, Maize, but it’s too late. Your father has already settled down, it seems. We have both changed so much since all those years ago.”

“You could at least say goodbye.” I offered. I found a pen and a grabbed one of her cook books off of the kitchen counter. As quickly and neatly as possible, I scribbled down my old address, “Just in case.”

She opened her mouth to respond but closed it when the front door slammed shut. Both of our head shot up as a snow white head bobbed its way into the kitchen.

“It smells so good in here, mom. What are you cook-“ She paused when her eyes rested on me, startled into silence.

“Hi, honey. Your friend stopped by to talk about something,” she shot Cream a look that clearly said she had no choice in the matter, “I hope you two can mend whatever happened. He’s just a delight to have around.”

She nodded stiffly, eyes never leaving mine.

Generation One

Chapter Eight: All I Wanted Was You

Think of me when you’re out
When you’re out there

I looked down at my phone for the millionth time that hour; rereading the numerous texts Cream had bombarded me with in the twenty-four hours that had pasted since the party that changed everything. The messages began angry and slowly progressed into the realm of worry.

‘I can’t believe you! :[ How could you embarrass me like that in front of everyone when you know how much I want this? I don’t understand why you had to go and mess everything up! Is being normal that awful?!  Maybe you like being called a freak!’ – Received at 12:08 am

I banged my head against the wall I was slumped against before clicking over to the next message.

I’ll beg you nice from my knees
And when the world treats you way too fairly
Well it’s a shame I’m a dream

‘Maize, answer your phone! We need to talk! You are being childish and rash and you need to apologize to Royal. He’s really angry at you.’ – Received at 12:45am

‘I’m not kidding, Maize. Answer your phone right now! You’re just making me angrier.’ – Received at 12:51 am

It had been nearly half a day before her next text message had shown up,

‘This is silly, Maize. You’re over reacting, please talk to me.’ – Received at 2:37 pm

‘At least let me know you got home last night ok!’ – Received at 3:06

My thumb hovered over the reply button as I thought about replying. I caved in, quickly typing out a long winded response:

‘I’m not afraid of being normal, I’m afraid of them changing you into something twisted. You don’t see it but I do. You’re perfect, Cream. I don’t need you to dress in fancy dresses or make-up. I just need you.’

I deleted the message and started again:

‘Freak Royal, like I care if he’s mad. I hope his face is permanently disfigured – It’d be an improvement.’

This message was also deleted.

After three more angry drafts I finally sent her a two word text message stating ‘I’m fine’ when in reality I was anything but. Flinging my phone across the room, it collided with my kitchen cabinets with a distinctive and satisfying crack.

I think I’ll pace my apartment a few times
And fall asleep on the couch

The next few days were spent on my couch in a depressed coma. I hardly ate. Showers were out of the question. The only bodily functions I fulfilled were the ones involving the toilet. I found myself watching stupid romantic comedies even though I was fully aware that every plot would only fuel the fire burning away my happiness. Apparently I liked torturing myself with constant reminders of what I would never have.

Wallowing in self-pity had never been so pathetic.

I felt like crying because, honestly, crying was cathartic. The sniveling sobs never happened; no tears would flood the dam of my eyelids and create rivers where skin use to be. It was like my tear ducts had taken a vacation when I needed them most.  Relief would be too easy. So, instead of being a slobbering mess, I just stared at a television screen for hours on end. My expression bland. No emotion filtering through my eyes.

Wake up early, the black and white re-runs
That escape from my mouth, oh

Thanksgiving was approaching fast and I had no one to spend it with. My initial plan for the break had been to go home and spend it with my parents but at the last minute I had canceled in order to celebrate with Cream and her mother instead.

Only I hadn’t spoken with Cream in nearly five days.

My eyes drifted down to the phone that was scattered between dirty clothes and empty cereal boxes. It glowed softly, announcing I had another missed call. I fully understood that the lack in communication weighed solely on my shoulders. I hadn’t texted Cream since those two words on Saturday and hadn’t answered a single phone call. I was afraid of what her voice would do to me – the voice that haunted my sleep. The same voice that now belonged to someone else.

I was sure that voice would tear me apart.

The lack of recent activity resulted in my muscles aching in protest as I slowly sat up. Snatching the phone off the floor, my thumb softly traced the web-like fractures in the screen. The recent abuse my phone had been receiving was taking its toll. Creams name glowed through the fractured glass tauntingly, announcing I had five missed calls from her. My head sunk into my palms.

I could follow you to the beginning
Just to relive the start

If I could turn back time, I would. I would introduce myself to Cream sooner. I would sweep her off her feet and make sure she fell in love with me. Most importantly, I would tell her how I really felt. Sure, I had been vigilant with my actions – I stuck up for her, always listened to her, tried to be caring and loving – but I had never vocalized my feelings. I realized now where this had gotten me – stuck in the friend zone.  If only I hadn’t been such a coward.

Yes, it could have been glorious.

But I wasn’t some time traveling magician and I had to come to terms with that. If I wanted to make things right, if I wanted the girl, then I had to correct the present – not the past. The easiest way to start the healing called for the actual use of my phone instead of the abuse of it.

Maybe then we’d remember to slow down
At all of our favorite parts

I untangled my hands from my hair and hit the dial button. Each ring sped up my heart rate tenfold and caused my hands to shake. I couldn’t believe I was so nervous – I was just calling my best friend. I had done this hundreds of times over the past few months; you’d think I’d be used to it by now.

My stomach dropped when her voice mail picked up. I had never hung up faster in my life.

I slunk back over to my couch, head drooping. How was I supposed to smooth this mess out in time for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow if I couldn’t reach the girl? Surely it wouldn’t be a good idea to show up on such a family orientated evening in order to inevitably argue and eventually patch up our friendship. No, I would not want Cream’s mother to have such an ill first impression of me.

That only left me with one real option – to find her this afternoon.

As the idea hit me I was re-energize. I snapped out of the depressed stupor I had been stumbling around in for the past five days and felt something blossom in my chest.

Hope.

It was a beautiful feeling after all the nothingness. The scolding shower and change of clothes probably had something to do with it too.

All I wanted was you
All I wanted was you


The ride to Cream’s residence was a long one. Her mother owned a good size piece of land over by the waterfall, and this is where their small house was located. I had been there a few times in the past, usually dropping Cream off from school on particularly trying days. In my experience I had never seen anyone else in the area. Their house was the only one for miles and their proximity to the gushing waters drowned out the sounds of suburban life. It was a peaceful place.

When I arrived outside the Storm residence I found that I was a nervous wreck again. If this went wrong I knew I would revert right back to my state of half living. I wasn’t particularly fond of feeling helpless but loosing Cream forever would plunge me right back into those icy depths. I had to try.

I had been so caught up in my troubles that I hadn’t seen the struggling woman right in front of me. With a waist the size of my forearm, she was quite the frail purple berry. She left me with the impression that she might snap in half at any second and it didn’t help that she was in the mists of a garden that threaten to gobble her whole. No request for help was made but I couldn’t just let her work up a sweat alone while I chatted away.

“Let me help you.” I didn’t wait for her reply as I crossed the gap between us and began to inspect a vegetable, trying to decide if it was ripe enough to harvest and add to her growing collection of fresh food. Right when I came to the conclusion that it was, her purple hand covered mine.

“I think you might do more harm than good.” Her voice sounded tired but carried the indication of amusement well.

“Yea, I don’t know much about plants, I’m afraid.” I smiled sheepishly at her as she stood up, brushing off her knees and hands as she regarded me carefully.

“You look a lot like your father.”

“You knew my pops?” I was no secret that my father had been raised here but in the few months I had been living in Sugar Valley no one had mentioned him or my mom, for that matter.

“Yes, I knew him well.” It was strange to see Miss Storm’s eyes glaze over, the wistful sound of sadness edging into her voice – especially since she was speaking of my father.

“I’m Maize.” It was an attempt to change the subject. The woman was already so frail and breakable, I hardly wanted to speak about something that would further her appearance of vulnerability, even if it was my father.

“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you Maize,” she gestured over to her home, “I’m afraid Cream isn’t home right now. She’s gone to some tart’s home for the evening.”

I had to stifle my laughter at the word tart. Apparently Cream’s mother wasn’t too fond of her new friends either, “Would you mind if I waited for her?”

“No, please, come inside,” Her hands were busy collecting apples and cabbages into her arms. I followed suit, piling my arms high with ripe fruits. I might not have been much use in the garden itself but I certainly could help her carry her haul.

Two hour passed by with ease. Miss Storm had led me to her kitchen and proceeded to wash off her prize. I had made myself at home, sitting down at the dining table and watched her make an apple pie. She was already preparing food for tomorrow, it seemed. We passed the time with idle conversation, mostly about nothing. Then, somehow, we stumbled onto the subject of Cream. Miss Storm was a typical parent, doting on her only daughter with every ounce of her being. The only difference was that I joined along, praising my angel every bit as much as her mother did. Eventually, Miss Storm put the knife down and turned to me, a sad smile on her lips.

“You love my daughter, don’t you.” It certainly wasn’t a question and all of a sudden I felt my heart pounding in my chest. Did I love Cream? I wasn’t sure. I certainly liked her a lot -enough to forsake this whole town and all its dumb laws, no matter what the consequences would be.

“I do care about her.”  She nodded her head at my statement, her smile tugged down by a frown.

“Did your father ever tell you why he no longer resides in the Berry Mainlands?”

I shook my head, “I had always assumed he left in search of a job opportunity.” Though, now that I thought about it, my father didn’t have a great job or anything. He worked for the local newspaper and my mother, she was a nurse. Nothing too fancy.

The scowl on her face told me that this wasn’t true and suddenly I was extremely curious. Why had my father left the mainlands? “Do you know why?”

By now she had turned back to chopping up her vegetables, “It’s not my place. If he wanted you to know I’m sure he would have told you.”

I could have called my father but he was quite a few hours ahead of us, being across the continent and all. I knew he and my mother would already be tucked away for the night. I didn’t want to wake them but I also really wanted to know what had caused him to leave in the first place.

“Please, Miss Storm, if it has to do with me and my father, then I deserve to know.” Her chopping paused momentarily before she resumed her cooking.

“I suppose you do. Especially since it seems you are heading down a path very similar to his.”

My eyebrow arched at her statement and I leaned forward in my seat to get a better look at her face, “What do you mean?”

“It means your father was exiled from the mainlands for attempting to court a different colored Berry, Maize.” Her chopping increased in speed.

I could hardly keep the shock from plastering onto my face. My eyes widened and I heard myself intake a large breath of air. My father, who was married to my mother – who was a stickler for the berry rules, had been exiled for falling in love?

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“I’m afraid I am not joking.”

Well at least now I knew why my parents had claimed it impossible to come visit me during the school year, “What happened to the girl? Who was she?”

Miss Storm let out a deep breath, “She’s standing right in front of you.”

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Chapter Seven: After Party

“Oh, you came. Cream said you wouldn’t be here.” Scarlett’s bored drawl greeted me.

“Yea, well, this isn’t exactly my idea of fun.” The words tasted sour on my lips.

One of her red eyebrows arched, “I’m sure you’d find it much more enjoyable if you had a drink or two. Maybe a smoke.”

“No thank you,” A quick survey of the room told me that Scarlett was not attached to her cohort’s side as usual – which meant no Cream, “Where’s Cream?”

“Is that why you’re here, dressed properly for once in your life? To recuse that that vanilla from some perceived danger?”

“Yes.”

The violent poke she shoved in my chest took me by surprise, as did her words, “Look, freak, I know what you’re thinking and you can just forget it. Cream is, as much as I hate to admit it, a pure-blooded purple. You’re yellow, for Berry sakes.”

“What does that have to do with anything!”

“Don’t play dumb. I see the way you look at her. You can play it off like you’re just friends but we’re not blind.”

“And if I do like her? What then? What are you going to do about it?”

“I’m not going to do a thing,” she took a sip of her drink, calmly evaluating me, “but ask anyone around here. Interbreeding colors is forbidden and the fallout isn’t pretty.”

“Because of the lack of children?”

“Ensuring that Berries of pure color continue to exist is top priority in the mainland.”

I had to wonder why my parents never told me any of this. Sure, they had drilled into my head that proper ‘bows lived, drove and married their own colors but laws were never brought up. I had always assumed it was like the dress-code at Sunset High School – regulations that most people followed but were simply frowned upon if broken. Nothing as serious as Scarlett and Ivy had made it seem. I was curious – starving for more information, really- but it was clear that Scarlett’s attention had been captured by something else.

Following her gaze I found myself staring across the expanse of the kitchen into white eyes. Cream looked stunned for a moment, and I had to wonder if I looked that ridiculous in the fancy clothing she had chosen for me, but she quickly broke out into a smile. She managed to find her place beside me with only a few stumbles.

“Maize! You came!”

“Yea, I wasn’t going to let the wolves eat you alive.”

Scarlett snorted in response but held her tongue, instead spinning on her heels and heading down the crowded hall. I barely noticed her absence.

“They’re not wolves, Maize,” Cream chided, though she had to raise her voice in order to compete with the surrounding chaos, “Let’s go outside! I need to talk to you!”

Before I could agree she had taken my hand in her own and started to tug me out onto the nearby balcony.  Stepping outside was refreshing – I could finally breath without having to worry about contracting cancer tomorrow morning.

“What did you need to talk to me about?” From the giddy grin she was sporting I knew it was good news.

“Guess!” She exclaimed.

“Hmmm,” I pretended to think for a moment, even though I clearly had no idea what could have happened here that was so exciting, “Royal got knocked out?”

I received a punch in the arm for that comment. I processed to nurse it dramatically, “What then, what happened?”

“He asked me out!”

“Excuse me?”

“Royal,” Cream was practically gushing as she bounced on her toes, “he asked me to be his girlfriend – in front of all his friends and everything!”

I felt my heart drop to the floor.

“Forgive me if I don’t see the positive in this situation.”

“You don’t? He’s like, the most popular guy at our University, Maize! How is that not exciting?”

 “Did you say yes?” My voice was barely a whisper.

“I did,” She frowned and shook her head, “Maize you look like you’re going to be sick, what’s the matter?”

I swiped away her hands as they reached up to feel my forehead. Her eyebrows furrowed and she began to inquire about my health again but I didn’t really hear anything she said – my face was growing hot and my mind was fuzzier than it had ever been before.

I stormed back into the party, Cream on my heels. I heard her call my name out but I couldn’t stop myself -I was tearing through the crowd and towards the bedroom I had seen Cream enter the kitchen through.

Now, I’ve always prided myself on being a level-headed individual; I’ve always kept my temper in check, smiled in the most painful of situations and taken my beatings in stride. So imagine my surprise, and everyone else’s, when my fist slammed into Royal face.

I found the gasps and whispers amusing.

Before I could land another fist square on Royal’s nose, Cream had grabbed onto my arm, wailing for me to stop. It was evident that Royal was absurdly drunk – wobbling on his feet as he slurred some unintelligent slander my way. I rolled my eyes at him, yanking my arm out of Creams grasp so I could deck him one more time.

It connected right on his jaw.

As I stormed away I could only pray that in the morning his face would hurt half as bad as my heart did.