Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chapter 51: Lavinia Pockets A Pebble

Tues, November 24, 2074 5:17 pm: 124 Valleymoor Rd.- Arbormoor, Pleasantview


Macaulay wracked Lavinia's body with his eyes, sending an altogether unpleasant sensation up her spine. Sometimes, in certain lights and from certain angles, Macaulay was his father. The resemblance coursed through him much more profoundly than graphite-black hair and delicate hands. It resided in the deepest caverns of his intellect, bled from his very core.

Lavinia had not known what to expect when she let him into her house that afternoon, as silent as a monolith. They had barely spoken in weeks. On the rare occasions when they did speak, Macaulay half-heartedly pretended that everything was ok and Lavinia pretended right along with him. She could not have lived with herself any other way.


Hunter clamored noisily at their feet, unsuccessfully force-feeding a round peg into a triangular hole. No amount of pressure, no pitch of frustration would make it go down. Lavinia flitted her fingers through the hair above her ear, pushing back a non-existent stray lock. She wanted to tell Macaulay that she was sorry. She wanted to say that she had never intended to abandon him the way that she had. But the message that passed from her thoughts to her mouth was lost along the way.

"Cully," she said. "Will you please take your dirty feet off of my furniture?"


His expression softened to what Lavinia's well-trained eyes recognized as near amusement. She sensed an imminent encounter with his wizened sarcasm.

"It's a footrest, Vin. Its intended purpose is the resting of feet, regardless of relative dirtiness," he said. Lavinia shrugged.

"My house, my rules."


Leaning away from the couch, Macaulay kicked the footrest to the side. It glided over the floor on felt padded feet and Hunter watched it go. He sucked the tips of his fingers and returned to his futile game.

"Happy," Macaulay asked pointedly. Lavinia did not know how to respond.


Macaulay looked towards Hunter and grinned but Lavinia had the impression that his thoughts were elsewhere. Her cheeks flushed. He didn't care enough about their situation to stay in the moment. He was a pebble floating downstream.

Lavinia gathered her knees upwards and placing her feet on the couch, rearranged her body until her head was resting in his lap. It was a terrible ploy for attention but subtlety had never been one of her strong suits. Startled, Macaulay's head jerked in her direction. He laughed dryly.


"I see your game. Make me move so that you can get more comfortable. That's low enough to be unworthy of you, Vin."

"Yeah right. You know I never plan anything in advance." With that, Hunter mewed as though someone had called his name. Macaulay brushed his fingers against the necklace that rested against her chest.

"This is nice," he said absently. Lavinia bit back the urge to tell him that his father had given it to her. As Macaulay pulled his right leg onto the couch behind her, Lavinia was reminded of her grandmother's locket, which she could not remember seeing since before the move.


"I'm missing a necklace. It's a gold locket. Heart-shaped. You know the one."

"Yes, I do."

"Have you seen it?"

"Not recently."

"But you'll keep a look out?"



Macaulay ran his fingers through the loose ends of her hair. His coarse wool sweater grazed the side of her cheek. She reached behind her head and squeezed his side, taking solace in the fact that, if nothing else, Jorge was probably feeding him well.

"You're free to come stay here whenever you want for as long as you want," Lavinia offered. Sniffing, Macaulay wiped his nose with the back of his hand.

"No thanks. I'm fine where I am," he said huskily. Lavinia thought for the briefest of moments that she had never known a child to age as quickly as he did. He was a pebble polished smooth by the current.

"Do you need a tissue?"

"I'm good, thanks. I'm just allergic to you is all." Lavinia punched him in the ribs as best she could while lying prone. Macaulay laughed in the careless way that Hunter sometimes did and that Jorge never did.


"But seriously," she said. "My home is yours no matter how old you get, no matter how filthy your shoes. You're my boy always, no matter what." Macaulay stopped stroking her hair. Lavinia's skin prickled as though the air was charged.

"I'm still pissed off at you, you know. I mean, I'll get over it. But I haven't yet," he said shakily. Lavinia buried the side of her face in his leg. She caught the warm scent of his lotion. Her fingernails fiddled with the inside seam of his jeans.

"You understand though, don't you? I couldn't raise Hunter in that kind of environment." It was not a plea for forgiveness but it should have been.

"I know," Macaulay sighed.


Discomfort crept along the muscles in Lavinia's shoulders. She arched her back to prolong the moment when she would finally need to sit up, knowing that the longer she remained in his lap, the more weapons he would be forced to set aside.

"So where have you been all of this time? I haven't seen you in ages," Lavinia asked. Macaulay bit the tip of his forefinger.

"Oh. Um, just hanging out with a friend, I guess."

"A girlfriend," Lavinia pried, her eyes glittering wickedly.

"No. He's a boy." Lavinia smiled up at him, suddenly and unexpectedly proud.

"Well good for you! I'm glad to see that you're finally coming out of your social shell."

"It's just one friend, Vin."

"But still, it's a start! And I bet you've met lots of other kids your age through him."

"Yeah, I guess I have."


Lavinia pushed herself up, no longer able to continue lying with his leg jammed against her spine. As she regained her seat, Macaulay grabbed her just above the hips and pulled her backwards. Lavinia was too shocked to struggle. Once she was firmly sitting on his lap, he released her waist and placed his chin on her shoulder. Jorge's chest was pressed against her back. Jorge's hand brushed her thigh. Jorge's breath warmed her cheek. Once formed, the thought could not be overwritten.

Lavinia shivered as the chill of self-loathing danced through her extremities. Macaulay was a pebble rescued from the stream, coveted for its resemblance to the mountain from which it came and pocketed for further inspection. Macaulay cleared his throat.

"Um, Vin? Are you ok?" She was squeezing his knee hard enough to drain the blood from her knuckles. She let go, fingers spread.


"Yeah, of course," she said. "So um, about this friend of yours- You should bring him over for dinner one night. That would be fun. I could make a lasagna. He wouldn't think that was weird, would he? You inviting him over to your governess's house for dinner?" Macaulay turned his head and his lips brushed her throat. Lavinia grabbed the couch cushion as metallic sparks shot from her stomach to her throat. She wanted to jump from the chair but she was too afraid of being obvious. This was not normal. Macaulay brought his hand up to his face and Lavinia felt a few strands of her hair pulling from her scalp. Her hair had found its way into his mouth. That was all. "Watch it. That kinda hurts," she cautioned.

"Sorry. But yeah, I'm sure he wouldn't think it was weird. I've told him a lot about you. He's probably wondering why he's never met you." Macaulay leaned back on his elbows, clearly oblivious to what was going on in Lavinia's mind. And she was grateful.

"Good. I can't wait to meet him." Lavinia stood, scooping Hunter from the floor. He had fallen asleep in his own drool, smirking like a Cheshire Cat. He was mocking her. Lavinia fancied that his innate and devilish wisdom made him more than the sum of his parts.


  1. Holy crap, that was a long time coming! And it might have been longer coming (and er- consequently a better chapter) if it weren't for the fact that I just kept imagining Phoenix's sad little face stalking the blog to no avail. I wanted to be rid of this chapter like YESTERDAY, particularly since the next two chapters will be a little more interesting...

  2. LOL!!! LOL!!! DUDE!!! That's EXACTLY what I was doing!! I kept coming out of game to take a peek since I saw your preview pick!! LOL!! Oh man! *hides sad face in palm* :D

    Oh Pen! I feel bad for Vin! She still cares for Jorge and she can't separate Cully from his least not yet! *sigh* I had to laugh at oblivious Cully! He's such a guy!! Haha!!

    I like her referencing him to a pebble. But I have a feeling that Cully can be a boulder when need be. I think particularly when it comes to Laurie.

    I love that outfit on Cully by the way! Seriously!!

    YAY FOR UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. *pick should be pic *cough* I was just a wee bit excited to see a new chapter of DBL! Haha!

  4. It's nice to see that these two are still close. I wonder if Lavinia will pick up on the chemistry between Cully and Laurie when they come for supper. Also, does Jorge know that Cully still sees Lavinia?

  5. Phoenix:
    *hehehehehe* Phoenix, you rule! :D

    I actually felt bad for Cully in this chapter! Reason being that he was just hanging out, being his normal touchy-feely self, not at all realizing that Lavinia was having semi-lustful thoughts about him. If he had known that was going on, Lavinia might have never gotten so much as a handshake out of him ever again!

    And she'll probably be feeling really shitty about this for a while. Not just because it was WRONG with a capital WRONG but because she's starting to realize that she's not in the least bit over Jorge. She never was. Even when she hated him, it was because she loved him.

    I adore that analogy! He's a total boulder for Laurie.

    I know, right? That blue looks great against his skintone. And the rumpledness is sloppy in the way that Cully is supposed to be sloppy.

  6. Van:

    Oh yeah, Jorge knows. He doesn't mind at all. I think that he would be more disturbed if Cully decided that he didn't want to see Lavinia anymore. I do wonder if Jorge harbors some deep-seated jealousy over the whole thing though. Jealous of Macaulay because he gets to see Lavinia and Hunter. And jealous of Lavinia because Macaulay likes to spend time with her.

  7. Lavinia's relationship with Macaulay...I'm coming into this cold but I have some background so I'm just going to say it. Yes of course Jorge would be jealous. That's a touchy feely relationship. I hold you you hold me we hold each other very physical.

    The analogy with the pebbles and the boulder/mountain was inspired!

    Ok the shots are incredible. But the writing is so good that I don't slow down to stare at the shots! I go back and pine though....

  8. It seems pretty clear that Lavinia still has some strong feelings for Jorge whether it is love or hate or anything in between and they are certainly manifesting themselves with Cully. I think he would be mortified if he realized it.

    That aside, they have a very close bond, like family, that is hard to set aside. I actually think it would be fascinating for Cully to bring Laurie over...and what Vin's take on that might be...

    Wonderful update and I love how your chapter titles fit with the context of the story itself. Not to mention the stunning shots...

  9. Beth:

    I rather think that he is probably a little jealous all around. I don't know that he's picturing the amount of physical contact that was going on in this scene but just the fact that they're spending time together, I'm sure, makes Jorge twinge a bit. Perhaps even more than wanting Lavinia back, Jorge wishes that he had a better relationship with his sons.

    Glad you liked the chapter! I was a little on the fence about my shots here but since it was a seating conversation, there was only so much that I could do. So I'm happy that they were effective!

  10. Gayl:

    "Mortified" is definitely the word! Macaulay thinks that what was going on between Lavinia and his father was weird enough. If he knew that he was now a puzzle piece in Lavinia's jumbled emotional confusion, he would be horrified!

    I'm curious about what Laurie would think about the Lavinia situation. I don't quite know what Lavinia would pick up about Laurie. But I think that Laurie would definitely be able to sense the dysfunction between Lavinia and Cully. Laurie doesn't actually see Jorge enough to get a sense of him- Other than the fact that he is very stoic when Laurie is around.

    Thanks, Gayl! I try to choose titles that do two things:

    1) Let the reader know immediately whose perspective the chapter is from.

    2) Sums up the point of the chapter.

  11. Oh My!!! Someone isnt going to be to pleased, and WOW!!! Stunning story line and writing! I cant believe what I am reading, LOL! 80)

  12. hahaha I couldn't believe what I was writing! I think that's part of the reason this chapter took a few days longer than I thought it would.

    Eh, Jorge is never pleased these days. :P

    Thanks for stopping by, Cheri!!!

  13. sparkles!!! Even if she is still thinking of Jorge, the chemistry between Cully and Lavinia is palpable!!! :D lol In her own confussion she is playing with fire and Cully is playing along!!! what an interesting situation you have put them through! a moment like that is enough to change everything...
    I love the last two pics, all of them are great, but the last one is my personal favorite, the way he is looking at her, is just fantastic, and it shows his feelings, and of course the nervousness in her face is also visible, love how she is closing her eyes, lol maybe hoping he wont find out what's in her mind!
    Fantastic storyline and lovely writing!!! Bravo!

  14. Yikes, don't put ideas in my head! :p

    I kind of think that Cully was just doing as he normally does. He's the kind of guy that will stand really close when he's talking to you. And if he knows you well enough, he will shamelessly paw at you with no sexual motives. This is actually the exact opposite of Laurie, who really likes his personal space. But he doesn't mind if Cully touches him. On the contrary.

    Thanks, Sandy!:)

  15. I wonder if Vin would be as upset with Cully's touchy-feelieness if she knew he's gay?



    Wowsa! Okay first, that was awesome. Second, this touchy feely touchy feelyness is making me anxious. You don't sling yourself on people like that when you're just being "friendly". Lavinia! Just because he looks like his dad... tsk. Passing resemblence does not equal permission to fondle.

    Great writing, and good job with the couch action. I avoid chair scenes like the plauge.

  17. Lisa:

    IS Cully gay? :D

    I rather think that if Vin thought that Cully was gay, she might have been a little more at ease. But only because that thought would have curbed her "he's just like a pocket-sized Jorge" thoughts.

  18. Veerrroooonnnnn:

    Oh dear, well starve no more! I had some funny thoughts about the next chapter as I was walking to work this morning. So hopefully I'll have an update for you guys on Saturday. :)

    LOL! "Passing resemblance does not equal permission to fondle." I think that originally, when she first put her head in his lap, it was er- Innocent enough. He wasn't paying attention to her so she made herself unavoidable in the way that a cat or dog might do. Then it started to get weird.

    You are most wise to avoid chair scenes. They're about as visually dynamic as drywall. :P Not one of my brightest moments but this chapter had been on schedule since I wrote the prologue back when I had no idea how to assemble a sim story.

  19. :S OK I was about to restart reading the whole thing because someone said Cully was Gay and I completely missed that part!!!!

  20. *hehehehehe*

    Here's what we know about Cully and his potential gayness:

    Things That Say "Gay"

    1. The hair rubbing incident. Cully was feeling some definite attraction to Laurie there. And he was having some poetic thoughts about the color of Laurie's hair.

    2. Laurie is certainly into Cully and Cully seems to sense that. But it hasn't stopped them from being close friends and the two of them have never addressed it.

    What Does Not Say Gay

    1. Enoch says he doesn't think that Cully is gay. And even though Enoch is a terrible reader of himself, he is an excellent reader of others.

    2. Cully knows that Laurie has a crush on him and has yet to reciprocate.

    So overall, Laurie definitely has the hots for Cully. Cully is unsure and a little confused and doesn't want to lose his best and first and one and only friend but he just isn't certain that he doesn't have a thing for boobs.

    There are probably those of you out there right now that can think of more evidence that Cully is in fact gay. I've probably dropped hints like fairy dust all over the story. But I just can't think of anything right now.

  21. Thank you Penelope!!! :D lol I will definitely go back and read more carefully :D lol
    I'm always admiring someone else's eyes or hair and stuff like that but I'm not gay :D lol and I have some friends that are gay that doesn't make me gay either :D I will read those chapters more carefully :D lol

  22. Ha! I didn't mean to suggest that Cully might be gay by association. What I meant was that he knows that Laurie has a crush on him and he's still going along with it at the risk of leading him on.

    Also, you're a girl! When you're a girl, you can go around touching people's hair and the like. There's some sort of unspoken rule amongst straight guys that would prohibit that sort of intimacy with other dudes. :p

  23. Ah! I was making an ASS outta ME by assuming that Cully was gay because he knows Laurie is and doesn't discourage him.

  24. We should probably have more Cully perspective chapters. It's hard to gauge his motives sometimes when we look at him from other people's perspective.

    Then of course, there is the third possibility that no one has ventured- That Cully is gay but not interested in Laurie in that way.

    AND THEN there are the forth and fifth possibilities- Maybe he swings both ways and is into Laurie. Or maybe he swings both ways and is not into Laurie.

    I should start a running chart. :p