3.03 – Reunion

Chapter tune: The Pretenders – Back on the chain gang

“Raina! Are you ready yet?” Charlie knocked on her cousin’s door.

“In a minute! Come in, it’s open!”

It was two days after the night the cousins were reunited with the siblings again, and a very eager Allison had already invited them over for a Sunday lunch to catch up.

“In the bedroom!” Raina shouted when she heard her cousin’s footsteps in the living room.

Charlie opened the door and Raina motioned at her to come in. “How do I look?”

“Honey, you look fab.”

“Are you sure? Last night I kept thinking that I barely even talked to Allison and Andrew, and that I was a total mess, and kept wondering what they must have thought about me… I felt so, so embarrassed! I almost couldn’t fall asleep..!”

Almost being the key word. You fucking love sleeping!” Charlie smirked at her.

“Hey, don’t mess with me. I have to look good today to erase that memory from everyone’s head.”

“Or you want to look good today for that hot piece of ass Andrew has become. I get it girl. Man, did you see him? I would totally try to tap that if he wasn’t such a tightass. So not my type. Plus, I remember you had such an adorable crush on him when we were kids! Always doing him favors and following him around.”

“Hey no, I never had a crush on him! I just wanted to be his friend, even though he… well you remember how he was. It’s just…right after lunch I’m going to meet with Zach! He called me yesterday, said today is his day off. So this is also my first date outfit. We have a date! I’m so excited!”

“Oooh, then why didn’t you say so, girl? You look great. Not too shabby, not too slutty… and very cute. So where are you two going?”

“I have no idea. We’ll meet at the park and decide then.”

Allison’s apartment was located in such close distance from Raina and Charlie’s building, that it was almost worth wondering why the three of them hadn’t met during the time they lived in the city.

And Allison, well… she was so warm, that nobody would ever believe she hadn’t seen her old friends since they all were a bunch of little children.

“Charlie, Raina! Welcome!” she said the minute she answered the door “Raina, you poor thing… are you feeling better today?”

“It’s two days later. Did you really assume she’d still be drunk two days later?” someone’s voice pointed out from the background. It was Andrew.

Truth was, Raina had the exact same thought; but of course she had decided to keep it to herself. She’d never been one to annoy people by blunt statements like this, especially people she very much liked. “I’m better, thank you. It’s so nice to see you again! And I am so sorry for the trouble I put you through the other day.”

“Ah, don’t mention it! At least it gave us the chance to meet again, so I’ll call it fate! Come on in, let me make the introductions.”

Of course, Allison’s brother Andrew barely needed introductions. He was still the confident, quiet person both Charlie and Raina remembered, although he was definitely, definitely not a boy anymore. Raina found herself staring at him for a little longer than she was supposed to, which made her grateful for the soft tug on the arm, gracefully given by her cousin.

Andrew’s raven black hair was unexpectedly longer than what his serious demeanor would have anyone guess, gathered casually at the back of his head, while the warm shade of his light brown eyes was perfectly contrasting the coldness of his gaze. The result was… strangely charming, to say the least.

He was a software developer now, which was not in the least surprising, as he always loved both math and computers; a true son of his father. Not only that, but his apparently exceptional skills had managed to land him a promising job in one of the best and biggest companies in the city.

Then there was Allison’s fiancΓ© Oliver, a doctor doing his residency in Boroughsburg hospital. He looked equally serious, but with a more predictable, less edgy streak than his soon-to-be brother in law. A little shorter than him too, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a brown pair of shoes to match. He looked nice, dependable… and a little boring, Raina thought.

Regardless, he and Allison looked really happy together, and she only hoped that someday she’d have that special someone in her life too. Maybe it will be Zach, she considered hopefully, although the growing number of friendzoning ex-boyfriends didn’t let her get too hopeful just yet.

Next to them was sitting Jessica – or Jess, as she preferred -, Allison’s best friend from high school, and a lawyer in profession. She was strikingly beautiful, polite, well-mannered – albeit a bit haughty, at least at first glance. Between the exceedingly warm Allison and her particularly cold brother, Jess seemed to fit right in the middle.

And finally, there was Patrick, Andrew’s best friend since college. Those two were the living proof that sometimes opposites do attract. Even though Andrew had always been difficult to let people in, Patrick did not give a damn about it. He’d approached him during a dorm party, half drunk, demanding he’d join him in a beer pong game. Unexpectedly enough, Andrew did join him without much fuss; and it took one round, followed by one heated debate – tabs versus spaces in coding – for them to become thick as thieves. Patrick had also majored as a software developer like Andrew, although instead of working at a big company in a well paying position like his friend was, he’d chosen to put all of his energy into an indie game-developing company. Not in the least surprising, since he apparently was obsessed with gaming.

As soon as the two girls set foot in the living room, where everyone was seated, Patrick’s eyes opened widely. Followed by his mouth. “Holy smokes. I know I need to press ‘X’ to pick one of you up, but do I go left or do I go right? My auto-aim is broken, people! RECALIBRATE. RECALIBRATE.”

“What’s wrong with him?” Charlie asked.

“He’s just saying that he finds you both very attractive.” Andrew replied. After all these years of friendship, he had learned Patrick’s preferred way of communicating with a new crowd by heart.

“Oh.” Raina’s head tipped back slightly in surprise by the less than subtle comment, but only Andrew seemed to notice it.

“Why the surprise? Don’t tell me you have no idea how good looking you are.” he added calmly.

Of course, Charlie didn’t let this opportunity to mess with him for a bit go away. “Why Andrew, you bad boy, are you hitting on my cousin the minute she walks through the door?”

But he looked completely unfazed by the comment, as well as the inappropriately seductive tone in her voice. “Uh, no. I was just stating a very obvious fact; there’s a difference.”

I could hit on you if you wanted.” Patrick said.

“Thanks, but I’m not interested. Raina?”

“N-no…”

Patrick, quite theatrically, grabbed his chest with his two hands. “Oh, that was a big hit to my poor heart! Two rejections at once? My hardware is ruined! I’m going to the kitchen. MUST. REPLENISH. LOST. HITPOINTS.”

“What a fucking lunatic…” Charlie muttered under her breath, quietly enough that only Raina could hear her.

Allison turned towards Patrick, her big eyes giving him a warning, which was clearly not the first one. “Don’t eat all the mini quiches like last time Patrick, okay? Thank you!”

Dinner was served shortly after. Instead of the usual pizza or chinese food the girls ordered whenever they had company at home, Allison had prepared a very large, decadent, and seriously grown-up meal.

And… it felt nice. After the initial catch-up small talk, Raina felt like she knew everyone for years. They were nice people. She secretly wished that these gatherings would occur often, with her and Charlie invited. Or, maybe next time she could invite them over. Of course, she could never cook as deliciously as Allison, but she could try.

When everyone was done eating, Allison served them her famous – as Oliver called it – triple chocolate cake, proudly informing the two cousins that she caught the baking virus since childhood, when she watched their grandmother Rose bake all those amazing desserts.

Patrick caught Charlie staring at his arms and flexed them both, one by one. “Like what you see?”

“Not really. I’m just watching your tattoos… dude, is that a smiley?”

“Yup.”

“Is everything in your life so random?”

“No need to answer, I can do that for him: yes.” Oliver said playfully.

“Well, I was just about to say that tattoos are excellent conversation starters, but you fine lady, you already proved my point.”

“I completely agree.” Andrew chimed in. “That’s why, among other reasons, I don’t have one.”

“That’s… a bit much, don’t you think?” Charlie replied “I mean, it’s one thing to not like them, but not having one so that people won’t talk to you?”

He shrugged and Charlie, as if she expected that exact kind of reply, continued. “Well, I have a couple. Excellent conversation starters by the way, you’re right my nerd friend. Actually, me and Raina have one at the same spot. Got them together.”

“Yes… those are kind of hidden though.” Raina said, and for a moment she thought she saw Andrew shooting her a sizzling look, but it was so short-lived that she couldn’t be sure if it was her imagination or not.

“…Only a select few get to see them.” Charlie grinned.

“Well… I wouldn’t say that” Raina waved her hand dismissively “it would also be everyone at the beach, if we want to be completely honest.”

Holy fuck. Remind me to ask you about those tattoos later” Patrick said. “So yeah.” he turned to Andrew. “How about a hidden one?”

Andrew shrugged again. “That defeats the initially stated purpose of having it though, doesn’t it?”

“How about for the art? For the heck of it? Or, you know, as a means to express yourself?”

“Oh yeah, like you did it to express yourself! Try a couple of drunken nights in Sunlit Tides, and you have the explanation for most of these.” Jess pointed at Patrick’s tattoos smirking, while he punched her shoulder playfully in reply.

“Here’s how I see it” Andrew continued. “If I want to express myself, I’ll create something myself. It’s a better alternative than having to rely on the abilities of a quite possibly sub par tattoo artist struggling to scar my body for life.”

Everyone at the table stared at him, not quite sure what to reply.

He just smirked, as if he was simply expecting that exact kind of reaction. “You know I’m right.”

After a while, everyone was sitting in the living room, their faces full with the kind of satisfaction that comes with a full stomach after lunch, coffee and dessert. Allison was doing some of the dishes, and Andrew had just helped his sister by taking some more near the sink. Raina decided that she should be a good guest too, so she grabbed as many glasses as she could and made her way towards the kitchen. But the intense conversation that was coming from inside the room, made her pause for a while; and while she tried to decide whether to interrupt it by entering or not, she unintentionally listened.

“Mom called. She asked about you.” Allison’s voice was soft, as if she didn’t want anyone outside the room to hear.

Silence.

“Aren’t you going to answer me?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were asking me a question… oh wait, you weren’t.”

“Don’t be sarcastic. You know what I meant.”

“Well. If your attempts to communicate with your five year olds at the kindergarten station every day are anything like this, I have to say I already feel sorry for them.”

“Andrew… don’t evade the subject, please. She’s changed lately, really. Said she missed you.”

“Do you even know how long it’s been since we last talked? Let me answer that: more than a year. And you really think that the reason for asking about me now is that she’s changed? How about she just wants to meet me only to find out about our father’s new wife – whom I recently met? How about she can’t stand the fact that there are circumstances and events she’s not able to control anymore? And which she would ruin in a heartbeat if she ever got the chance? How do these sound as valid reasons?”

“You’re being too cruel…”

“Am I? Because last time I checked, you seemed to share my opinion.”

“Yes you are… I know that she wasn’t the world’s most supporting mother, especially that last time you talked. But ever since that whole Ingrid mess, you’ve become… rigid. I know it was an awful situation, but…”

“Oh, don’t do that Allison. Other than it being the last thing I’ll ever want to talk about, it is also irrelevant. And did you even listen to me when I said I never want to hear that name again?”

“You’re right… I’m sorry, I… I’m just worried about you is all.”

At that moment, one of the glasses slipped off of Raina’s hand, causing a loud noise as it crashed on the floor. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry! I was on my way to bring those in here and… I don’t know what happened! Crap… I’m really sorry!”

Allison promptly ran by her side and started collecting the pieces of broken glass. “Oh, it’s okay! Don’t worry about it, really..! Are you hurt? Here, let me sweep the small pieces really quickly, but try not to step on any of it!”

Andrew shot Raina his signature icy glare, making her wonder whether he somehow knew she’d been eavesdropping for as long as she had. “I’m going outside for a bit” he declared.

Raina knew it wasn’t right to follow him. He didn’t invite her. They didn’t even know each other that well. And she knew that when someone said they wanted to be alone, they usually meant it – especially people like him and her; introverts, loners. That much she knew. But she found herself exiting the building and walking towards his direction anyway.

He noticed her presence, but didn’t speak or move. They just stood side by side for a while.

“I don’t suppose you have any spare cigarettes lying around… I could use one right now.” he eventually muttered.

Raina looked at him with surprise. “No… you smoke?”

“Not really… just occasionally. When circumstances call for it.”

“Is now one of them?”

Silence again. After a while, he finally talked. “Read any good books lately? I remember you had quite the collection back then, considering your age.”

“You remember?”

“Sure.”

“Well, I get to review a lot, so about one third of them are bad and about half of them aren’t even my style. But I do have some pretty good ones to lend you if you’d like.”

“That would be nice, thanks. How about anything you wrote?”

She instantly felt her cheeks turn pink. How did he even know that a full time career as an author was what she was ultimately after? Or that she was filling her computer with new novel ideas and drafts every week, only to dispose of them whenever she read them for the second time? Was she so obvious? “Um… no. I’m afraid I haven’t written anything remotely worth publishing.”

He raised an eyebrow and studied her face for a while. “Is that your opinion or someone else’s?”

Raina blushed again, her whole face burning. That was such an uncomfortable topic for her, and yet he somehow recognized that deep down she needed to finally discuss it with someone. How did he do that? “It’s… mostly mine… Well, mine. But I know it. They’re not good, at least not yet.”

“I’m sure a second opinion wouldn’t be so bad.”

“It would, if it was actually a bad one.”

He smiled – or better, his lips twitched slightly upwards, as if to tell her “can’t argue with that”.

She found herself smiling back. “I had a really nice time today. Allison’s cooking is something else. I still can’t believe I’ve met you two after all these years! We should do this again soon. But… now I have to go inside to say goodbye…”

“You’re leaving?”

“Yes, I… I have a date. With that guy I was the other night.”

“Ah, yes. Your boyfriend?”

“No… it’s… it’s actually our first date today.”

“I see. Well… good luck. Is that what one’s supposed to say?”

“No idea. But thank you. I hope… well, I hope that everything works out for you too.”

The relaxed, almost pleasant vibe he had going on during the last ten minutes almost instantly faded away. “Meaning?”

Raina knew that she was making a terrible mistake bringing that issue up but, despite her shyness, she was always the type to give comfort whenever she sensed a need for it. “That girl you were talking about was obviously not worth the trouble. I’m sure there’s something a lot better on the way.”

He didn’t reply. But for a brief moment his body stiffened, his face winced, his eyes darkened. And she just… panicked. “I’m really sorry, I wasn’t eavesdropping, I just happened to hear that part of your conversation on my way to the kitchen. I didn’t mean to, I swear! But for what it’s worth, I hope – I’m sure – you’ll get over her soon.”

Apparently what she said wasn’t worth shit, because his glare was so deadly it nearly made her squirm. “You know, I appreciate the gesture, I do. But honestly, I don’t need your advice or your wishes. Just because we’re friendly, doesn’t exactly mean we’re friends.”

“But w-we could… I’d like us to be.”

“Doubtful. Have a nice afternoon, Raina.”

As he made his way back inside, Raina stood there, unsure what to do next. She knew she should be two things: embarrassed and maybe a bit angry. He didn’t have to be so rude, she meant well after all. And to be honest, he had pried a little too. But no, she just felt somewhat depressed. Not the serious kind; more like those late, after lunch hours on a Sunday when she was a kid, when it meant that weekend was almost over and school was about to start again.

She belatedly realized that she should be one more thing: excited for her upcoming date with Zach. But gosh, for a moment there she’d almost forgotten about it.

A/N: Hey guys! I wanted to post this since last week, but I had the flu and couldn’t even look at my pc, let alone open the game..! Sorry for disappearing for those few days too! Buuut I’m all better now and this is finally posted, yay!! πŸ˜€ You might have noticed that this chapter has long compared to the previous ones – almost 3.200 words! For my standards this is huge, lol! -, but I had no idea where to cut it so I just went with it πŸ˜‰ Also, I know the last scene pictures are appalling, with that deco building in the background, but when I noticed how ugly that was, well… it was too late! I won’t repeat the same mistake again though, promise! πŸ˜‰ Well, I guess that’s all I wanted to say πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for reading! ❀

30 thoughts on “3.03 – Reunion

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  1. Oh yessss, another chapter I’m living. ❀ These two already have epic chemistry and I can't wait to see it develop. Sorry, Zach, but you're just going to have to be the runner-up… at least once Andrew starts being such a rude dumb-dumb. That said, Raina *was* a little silly to mention the name she heard while eavesdropping – clearly, he wouldn't want to talk about it. He wouldn't even talk to his sister about it.
    I don't think this felt very long at all (rather, it felt too short). In fact, I think 3000~ words is about what I write for my usual chapters, so it seems fine to me, though I'm a little biased maybe since I've become extremely wordy as of late, luls. πŸ˜›
    Anywayyyy, you know I'm living this story. Can't wait for more. ❀

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    1. Oooh, I’m so happy to read that, you have no idea! πŸ˜€ ❀ And I was so worried about the chemistry thing (although it felt fine in my head, lol) so I'm very glad to see that you approve πŸ˜‰ Poor Zach, lmao!! XD I guess it's no secret anymore that Andrew will be endgame, right? But hmmm well, they might have a long road ahead of them because, as you said, he’ll first need to get his head out of his @$$ lol..!
      Lol, poor Raina! She is kind of silly sometimes – I *have* given her the clumsy trait and I guess those kinds of "accidents" have to count too, lol! Plus, she's Jesse's daughter, lmaooo XD
      I always wrote chapters less than 2000 words and I think it's because I used to take pictures first and then write the entire chapter. Now it's the first time I did all the writing first – it's so much more relaxing! πŸ˜€ So the words flew easier too, I think. The only downside is that I had to take much more pictures and my game crashed twice in the process, lol!
      Thank you sooo much for your comment! πŸ˜€ ❀ ❀

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    1. Yessss! He’s so handsome 😍 I was obsessed with him the moment I made him, lol! ❀ And I think broody suits him as well πŸ˜‰
      Hmmm Zach's cute but, will that be enough? πŸ˜‰ ❀

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        1. Oh yes! That is definitely one big difference they have πŸ˜‰ And would I want my girl Raina to end up with a shallow man? Nope, I would not! πŸ˜‚
          Buuut…. he still has a significant number of appearances to make! πŸ˜‰

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  2. Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize it before, but simplicaz’s outfits totally work for Raina. Fit her cute anesthetic so well! β™₯ I love her clothes.
    I think Raina and Andrew are similar even if it’s not immediately visible. She definitely could be sarcastic and she thinks similarly to him – she’s just too shy to voice her thoughts. Her comment about the books – I feel like he smirked because that’s a mean remark he’d make to her and she did that herself. Anyway, looking forward to see how it develops β™₯
    I loved the way Patrick talked. He’s so funny, haha.
    Oh, and I was confused there for a second when you spoke about Oliver. I believe you meant fiance or fiancΓ©? Fiancee, or fiancΓ©e to be exact, is the female equivalent, and it simply derives from French ways of adding “-e” to make a female version. Made me think Allison was a lesbian for a second, lol. Also, it should be “unfazed”. I know, I’m such a grammar nazi, lmao. But that last one I did it too during Sam’s gen and I remember feeling so embarrassed when I realized.

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    1. Yup, they do! ❀ I was dying to finally use them, and Raina's personality totally works! πŸ˜‰
      Oh, you can definitely read characters well because, even if she hasn't shown it yet, Raina *can* be pretty sarcastic – if pushed enough though, not by default! Gee, wonder who will be the lucky person to push her buttons, lol! πŸ˜‰ I'm looking forward to writing all about it! πŸ˜€
      Lmao, Patrick is such a weirdo – but I love him, lol!
      Oooh shoot – that was my dumb finger pressing "e" twice, lol! I did mean fiancΓ© and I'll correct that asap! Hmmm I thought that both unfazed and unphased were correct, but it seems I was wrong. Well, time to correct that too, thanks! πŸ˜€ ❀

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      1. I know, they’re so cute. But not something Skye or Calla would sport, I imagine, lol.
        It was just a random thought I had, glad I was right. I am always right! Lol, nah, but I like being right, you know? I love that Raina has a “darker” – as in not that cutesy – side to her. Definitely makes her a more realistic character. I loved the bit about her loving to sleep in, too. When you’re gorgeous as hell, then hopefully at least you have some personality quirks, and aren’t a Mary Sue. And I think she’s not! I wonder who that will be 😏 I suspect these two just have too much chemistry not to get in a heated argument. Maybe not the type Jesse and Skye would, but still!
        Patrick is so much fun!
        Yeah, don’t take it wrong, I just thought I have the right to instruct. And damn, I wonder what’s up with this unphased word? Maybe we’re learning from native speakers’ mistakes. I know I was mad at myself when I learned “anyways” wasn’t correct. Anyway, I think the difference is really in the meaning of verbs “phase” and “faze” if you look up their definitions. Could be it!

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        1. And here I forgot to mention I loved the little touch with the dress hanging on a wall in Raina’s room. It felt like she was trying it on for the meeting/ date and finally went with her current outfit β™₯

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        2. Hehe, I know! Both those girls wouldn’t be caught dead in such outfits, lol!
          Lmao, you were! I did want her to have a darker, wilder(?) streak, because like you said, I don’t want her to be a Mary Sue – after Rose, I’m not making the same mistake again lol! So I’m glad that it’s starting to show πŸ˜€ She has quite a number of quirks that one, lol!
          Hmmm definitely not Jesse andd Skye, but they’ll have some interesting (I hope) fights! πŸ˜‰
          Oooh, don’t worry at all – I don’t mind being corrected! πŸ™‚ I read that “unphased” is a misconstruction of “unfazed” but I have no idea if that means it’s being used or not… who knows, lol! The root word difference makes sense though and well, I already corrected it – just in case! πŸ˜‰

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  3. Woot! And, we’re off! I love the chemistry those two have together. It’s almost magical seeing this reunion and how everyone grew up. They are all so good looking. Andrew especially made me smile. πŸ™‚

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  4. Aww it’s silly how people changed growing up and all the relashionships are different after a long no time no see period. And Patrick is gross I myself wonder if someday he’ll find a date.

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    1. Yes!! They are definitely different, all of them πŸ™‚ I look forward to showing all the relationships and dynamics! πŸ˜€
      Lmao!! Poor Patrick! He’s definitely a strangr one, lol! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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        1. Lol! Yes, this generation will be solely focused on relationships. After that mess that was gen 2, I definitely want to do more romance-related stuff! πŸ˜‰ I really hope it will be interesting – we’ll see! πŸ˜€

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  5. Yesss this was an amazing chapter! Andrew has such a strong character, you’ve written him so well. But can I say Patrick makes me want to cringe and barf. Like, please dude, enjoy your games but don’t use their language to talk during adult conversations….

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    1. Thank you sooo much!! ❀
      Heh, I've had Andrew's character in my mind for so long..! And I'm so happy to read that I've written him well – it means a lot coming from you! πŸ˜€
      Lmao! πŸ˜‚ Poor guy – tbh I'm already kind of sick of him, so I'll probably tone that quirk down, lol!
      Thank you for reading and commenting! πŸ˜€ ❀

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  6. I just love Charlie, and the way she talks. πŸ’œ

    I do not like Patrick at all. πŸ˜† That’s such a gross thing to say on first meeting someone. Maybe in this household they need someone like him to balance out Andrew’s personality though.

    Andrew reminds me a lot of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, especially since this chapter was kind of about first impressions of people. Also, in their conversation it just seems like he doesn’t know much about tattoos. πŸ˜† Because a lot of people do collaborate with their tattoo artist to create something unique and beautiful. He seems to value being creative and making works yourself, so it makes me wonder what he’s made to be so high and mighty.

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    1. I’m so happy to read that! I really like her too – she’s strong willed like her mom, but she’s got her own style entirely πŸ™‚
      Lmao, Patrick is so weird! Maybe the way I wrote him was a bit much, but I’m not feeling his character yet – I’ll probably tone him down in later chapters πŸ™‚
      Yessss – I am so happy actually that you said that, because Mr. Darcy was a huuuge inspiration for Andrew!
      Hmmm I bet whatever Andrew has created definitely involves code, lol! He is good at it though πŸ˜‰ Still, his tattoo comment was unfortunate at best – probably because he, as you said, doesn’t know that much about them.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❀

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  7. Every chapter I fall in love with Charlie more and more, she’s my new Calla. I stan 🀩 Andrew has indeed become “a hot piece of ass” lol. I love that line about his warm brown eyes contrasting his cold gaze πŸ”₯ Considering how he was as a kid, I’m not surprised to see how he turned out. Raina’s right, Jessica is beautiful. I was already cracking up at Patrick’s shirt, but seeing him actually talk… oh wow. πŸ˜‚ I mean it’s true opposites attract, but I’m still surprised he and Andrew are friends. I feel like Andrew would get tired of his theatrics real quick. Speaking of which, that boy still is quite blunt with his words, isn’t he? Hehe, he wasn’t wrong about the tattoos though. He isn’t wrong about most of the things he says to be honest, but others have the decency to keep those thoughts to themselves. His conversation outside with Raina was cute until Raina blundered it, yikes girl. Things went south pretty quick. Rule 101 of eavesdropping, don’t let it slip that you did. Andrew’s a bit… rough around the edges to say the least, haha, and Raina’s too nice, and kind of naive. I’m probably jumping wayyyy ahead, but I can see these two learning a lot from each other, personality-wise. And if they happen to fall in love along the way, you’ll hear no complaints from me. It was cool to see you reunite the old crew and introduce some new characters. I loveddd this chapter! ❀ It went by super quick imo, and your photos were fine! To be honest, I was fixated on our future lovebirds, so I didn't even notice the backgrounds all that much, hehe XD

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    1. Haha, yay! I love that you love her! She’s not so similar to Calla in terms of ambition and lets say elegance, but I think she’s inherited her mom’s strong personality πŸ˜‰
      Andrew ❀ That's all I'm gonna say, lol! You're totally right about Patrick! The only explanation I can give about their friendship is that Patrick is not so… intense when he's feeling more relaxed. I guess I should try to show him more in the future! But, you're right that opposites attract tbh! πŸ˜€
      Haha, Raina is so silly sometimes – and that's part of why I enjoy writing her so much, lol!
      Hmm… you are not wrong to jump ahead! πŸ˜‰ Although I'm taking my time with those two (I wanna savour their romance if that makes sense, lol), they're both in for some life lessons πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for your comment Amy! And, again, I'm super psyched to see you here! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Man, I would love to spend time with Allison, with her being super lovely AND a wonderful cook! Although, Patrick indeed sounds like a fucking lunatic, aptly put by my babe Charlie. The way he talks, omg, if I was there I would get pissed off in the first few seconds πŸ˜‚

    Half of the time the things Andrew says are so damn funny to me, the other half is just a big yikes lol. Unlike Raina, he doesn’t know (or at least, doesn’t care) what times are appropriate for his honesty, and what times he needs to keep his unwittingly rude comments to himself. The Ingrid girl, who I assume he fell in love with but it went wrong, must have made his bad tendencies even worse. And like his childhood, he has this air of believing he is higher than everyone else. His tattoo artist comment made me go 😬

    However, I can see that Andrew is capable of being quite nice and encouraging, in his own straightforward way, and he could possibly be a really good balance to Raina. They have this great natural chemistry β€” like Amy said, they’re polar opposites, with Raina being too naive and lost in her romance dreams, while Andrew is too hard and cold, but within the short span of that conversation, it seemed to me that they were mellowing out each other’s negative extremes. So I think they have an excellent potential to help each other grow, and with that effect they have on each other, I can clearly picture them falling in love, despite how different they seem now.

    The chapter whizzed by for me! And it was such an interesting one to boot 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss, I love Allison so much! She’s the sweetest, indeed πŸ™‚ And Patrick… lol, I don’t even know what I was thinking when I was writing him, lmao!! He’s a strange one, that’s for sure – and I’d probably be tempted to strangle him if I met him irl XD
      Haha, that’s Andrew for you! He definitely has that this air of high-and-mighty, like you said, and that probably got even worse after his heartbreak. And he does have a tendency to be absolute about things he doesn’t like or deems useless (like his tattoo comment), and thus being unwittingly rude and insensitive to others.
      But you’re right that him and Raina have a strong potential to click and balance each other out and grow together! I am so happy that you think the chemistry is there too, I’m always anxious about that! πŸ™‚
      I’m really glad to know that – that’s always one of my major concerns, to make chapters that are easy and pleasant to read! πŸ˜€ Thank you sooo much for reading and commenting! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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