Sunday, April 15, 2012

4.8--Onwards and Upwards

Dasia's publisher stops by unexpectedly.  She's only ever spoken to him on the phone, so she's surprised to find out that he's so... young.

As soon as he steps inside her home, he immediately gets straight to business.  "I read your latest submission. Are you really going to include that in your next work?"

Dasia quirks her brow.  "What? You don't like it?"

Randolf frowns deeply, accenting the premature wrinkles he's already developing - most likely on her account. "Talking polar bears, Dasia?  Am I being so demanding that a half-assed rewrite of His Dark Materials is necessary to meet the submission deadline?" 

"Dammit.  I knew I got that plot from somewhere." She smirks, then shakes her head when she see's he's not amused.  "I have writer's block."  Dasia feels even more defeated admitting it out loud and Randolf's careful gaze isn't helping any.

"Let me take you out to dinner." He finally says.  "Maybe a small brainstorming session away from home will help you."

"You really want your cut of my next novel, don't you?"

Randolf laughs and then dons a smirk to counter Dasia's suspicious glare. "No.  I just really want one of my favorite authors to continue writing quality literature."

Dasia feels like a failure the more she elaborates on the aborted and horrible plots that have been going through her mind for the past month.  Randolf gives good suggestions, but none that she thinks are up her alley.  However, being out of the house and simply having a conversation with someone that is invested in her work is enough to promote some motivation on her end.

"Do you take all your writers out for dinner?" Dasia asks.

Randolf shakes his head.  "You're honestly the only sane one I'm representing.  The others tend to lash out when I push them for deadlines.  One even threatened to write a flop next time to make sure I didn't get a paycheck.  How he thought that was hurting me more than himself, I'll never know."

"If I'm sane in comparison, then you need to find new authors." She laughs and Randolf smiles in response.  "You should smile more." Dasia says before she can stop herself.

"When you send me your next masterpiece, I'll make sure do so.  In fact, maybe I'll take you out for a few celebratory drinks ... or something."  He grins again.

Dasia started the flirting and he went along with it.  She's sure this is second nature to him, something he does in order to exude charm when necessary and likely won't go anywhere - but she still feels obligated to stop it. 

"I, uh... I need to get back.  I think I've got a few ideas I want to write down."  She stands up abruptly, driving the point home that she wants to leave.

Randolf nods, as if he knows she's uncomfortable with the current mood of the conversation.  "Of course.  I don't want to interrupt genius."  He can't help smiling as he watches her glare at him until he begins moving from his seat and toward the car.  She's beautiful, but also clearly off limits.  Not to mention, someone he works with.  

"I'll give you a ride home." He offers and beyond her acceptance and a careful "thank you and goodbye" when they arrive at her home, she doesn't say another word to him.  Randalf shrugs it off as soon as she's safely inside.  Keeping things professional would be easier - but he was never exactly someone who strove for "easy."  He wouldn't have gotten as far as he had, at his age especially, if that were the case.  So he resigns himself to calling Dasia later that week.  He does have to check on her progress, after all.

Just like her great-grandfather, Robert Dennis, Ellis finds herself rummaging through trash in the name of work. She has since been promoted to the resident Crime Scene Technician and is expected to fill out reports on local suspects, specifically ones pertaining to recently re-opened cases, but the pay increase swayed her perception of the "investigation" portion of the job.  She doesn't particularly care for these new duties - but as the saying goes, someone has to do it and that someone is unfortunately Ellis.

Logan keeps his promise and takes Harlan out for dinner, with Ellis' permission, at the local diner.  It was hard for him to miss Ellis'relieved smile when he showed up.  Add to that Harlan's apathy with his company and it's clear that the non-trust Ellis harbors has filtered to their son.  He can't fault them for it, he knows this, but it still hurts.

Logan isn't surprised to find Ellis waiting in the kitchen for them to return.  After Harlan goes to bed, they both sit wearily at the table.  "He looks like he had fun." Ellis says with a tired smile.

"I think so.  Although I can't really tell with him.  He is still reserved around me."

Ellis nods.  "He's... a quiet kid.  Always has been.  Just give him time and I'm sure he will open up to you eventually."

"I don't need encouragement, Ell." He frowns.  "If he decides to keep me around, then I'm staying."

"Good." Ellis stands up, moving toward the front door as a signal that Logan should leave.  "Harlan tells me you're going to drive him to school tomorrow?"

"Yeah.  I'm leaving for Bridgeport in the afternoon and I thought I would say goodbye personally."  Ellis nods again, holding the door open as Logan passes through back into the night air.  "Ell."  He says, turning back before she can shut the door on him.  "He's a great kid.  You did a wonderful job raising him."

"Thanks... truly."  She smiles for a brief moment, before shutting the door and leaving Logan to his waiting taxi.

Saying goodbye proves difficult for both of them, but Logan promises to call as often as he can until his next visit.  Harlan smiles at that and quickly hugs Logan, something he wasn't expecting, before heading into the building.

This "dad" thing is better than he thought...

Speaking of dads - Duncan had been teaching Lachlan how to drive for the past few days, in preparation for his license test.  They had quite a few scares (including almost hitting an old lady when Lachlan confused the gas pedal for the brake pedal), but he was getting better.  And by better, Duncan means "not murderous."

"So dad.  What kind of car are you and mom getting me once I ace my test?"

"A fixer, probably.  I'm not getting you anything new, what with your current driving 'expertise.'"

"Hey!" Lachlan frowns.  "I haven't almost run over anyone today.  That's progress!"

Duncan laughs.  "Let's hope you don't have to use that argument with your driving instructor.  He or she will fail you on principle."

"Do you think if I cry, it will net some sympathy points?"

"You're an ugly crier.  I wouldn't bet on it."

Lachlan smirks. "Thanks, dad.  Love you too."

Not to either of his parents surprise, Lachlan does pass his driving test with flying colors.  Both Dasia and Duncan chipped in for a "new" car, and although he acts excited when opening the box containing his new car keys, he can't help feeling the guilt rising in the pit of his stomach.  His parents promised to get him a car if he got his license, sure, but also on the condition that he does well in school and doesn't get into any trouble.  School was going well, but Lily's "deal" was severely compromising the latter.  Hopefully, things would go in their favor because he's not so sure he can deal with both of his parents disappointment if it doesn't.

So I finally got Photoshop working again, which means my pictures are going to look a bit different from here on out (assuming I have the motivation to continue editing them).  Nothing fancy; I just thought they were too giant, and given the fact that my computer doesn't have a "real' graphics card, also too blurry.  I fixed them as best I could, so hopefully it makes a marginal difference.

Ellis has been blasting through promotions lately.  I'm okay with this, yes I am.

Dasia hasn't written anything recently, mostly because I've forgotten to keep up with it, hence the writer's block plot.  She's still at 9 or 10 novels and slowly working on her 11th - which is a romance novel.

Harlan is at level 9 with his logic already and I didn't write down any of Lachlan's skills, so uh... yeah.  Ja-whoops.


  1. I love Duncan. Also, Dasia is seriously pretty. Like, really, really pretty. I don't know how I missed that before.

    That red/white checked shirt sure is popular. I think half the guys in my town end up in it too!!!

    1. Ha - yeah. That shirt seriously just spawns on every male and I'm far too lazy to fix it. I'm just going to say Logan and Duncan shop at the same place. ;)

  2. I was going to say, Do they hand out the red checked shirt to all the single Dads?
    It's nice to see Logan being a dad. =D

    1. Haha - yes. That way you can spot them. ;)