April 29, 2014

Chase: Week Fifteen, Day Seven

Neurotic Obsession: Eva finds her calling.

Eva hurriedly slurped her juice, ready to get out of the house. 

Farrah glanced over at her sister.  "I wanna go," she whined.

Eva rolled her eyes at her little sister's persistence.  "No, Farrah. You can't come!"

"You never take me anywhere!" Farrah accused.

Eva shrugged as she stood up quickly and crumpled the juice box.  "That's because you're so bratty!" she said, hurrying away.  "Besides, you're not even done with lunch!"

Farrah grumbled and began eating faster, glaring at her sister as she skipped out the door.

***

Eva wound up at the park, with no real destination in mind.  It's not like she had any friends to meet, she thought bitterly.  She kicked at a rock on the path.  She would never admit it to anyone else - but sometimes she wished she was more of a people person like her mother...

Hearing shouting, she glanced up.  What's everyone doing at City Hall, she wondered.
Intrigued, she wandered over, stopping behind the crowd.  "Hey, what's going on?" she asked the guy in front of her.
He turned around and leaned on his sign.  "This Contractor wants a city permit to cut down the forest up by the cliffs!  He wants to put in some richy-rich subdivisions!" he growled.  "They're going to kill off all the wildlife, like squirrels, and raccoons.  Or the wild horses!  All because they're greedy!"

Being an outdoorsy girl, Eva was horrified.  "Oh no! That's horrible!" she echoed faintly. "There must be something we can do about it!"

"There is!" Arthur said passionately.  "We can fight the system! It's why we're protesting! We're trying to get the Mayor's attention so he knows Sunset Valley likes it's forests!"

"Can the Mayor stop it?" she asked.  Wow, that was a lot of power for one man...

"Sure! He can decline the permit and tell that schmuck to look somewhere else!" Arthur said heatedly.
Then he stopped abruptly, flushing.  "I'm sorry. I know I come off strong," he said with chagrin.  Holding out his hand, he added, "Hi, I'm Arthur."

Eva smiled as she shook his hand.  "I'm Eva," she said shyly.

Arthur nodded. "I've seen you around school, I think."

They awkwardly stared at each other for a moment until Arthur handed her his sign.  "Want to join us?" he asked.

Eva stared down at the sign in her hand.  Could she? she wondered thoughtfully before finally coming to the conclusion:  Why not?!
"You bet!" she announced, waving her sign as high as she could.  For some reason, she felt like she was being so naughty and it was so liberating

"Alright!" Arthur cheered as he lifted up a spare sign next to her.  "Be forewarned! Think of the Unicorn!" he shouted as he waved his sign around.
Getting in the spirit of things, Eva shouted out, "Save the Unicorns! Save the Trees!" she hollered as loud as she could.  She felt amazing!

She glanced over at Arthur and shared a smile. 
But, then her phone rang.

She rushed to answer it quickly.  "Hello?" she asked in a low voice.  She frowned as she listened to her mother.  "I didn't want to bring her," she hissed into the phone.  Sighing, she listened a little while longer before capitulating.  "Yeah, okay. I'll watch them. I'm on my way home."  Slipping the phone back in her pocket, she handed her sign back to Arthur. 

"Gotta go?" he asked. 

"Yeah," she said with regret.  "But, it was nice meeting you."

"Yeah, you too! I'll see you in school!"

Despite her earlier frustration at being called home to watch her siblings while her mother ran out to meet a client, Eva found herself smiling.  She'd just made her very first friend!

***

"Good night, Greyson," Eva said softly as she tucked her little brother into bed.  "Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bugs bite!"

Greyson smiled up at her before flopping down on the bed and pulling the blanket over his head.

"No! It's not play-time!" Eva said sternly, pulling the blanket away from his face.  "Night-night time!"

Greyson giggled and pulled the blanket back over his head.

Eva sighed.  It was going to be a long night!

But, Eva tried to make the most of it...

***

"Come on. Time for bed," Eva told Farrah.  She saw the glint in her sister's eye, warning her that Farrah wanted to fight.

So, just as Farrah started to cross her arms and glare, Eva reached out and pegged her sister's shoulder.  "Last one to the bedroom's a rotten egg!" she called out as she hurried towards the stairs.

Farrah stared in startled silence for a moment before scurrying after Eva, rudely pushing past her to be first.  Eva stumbled into the stair railing and fought to catch her balance.  "Hey! No fair!" she called up the stairs.

"You snooze! You lose!" Farrah cried out.
"I win!" Farrah cheered, pumping her hands in the air when she made it to the room first.

"Yeah, but you cheated!  You pushed me!" Eva protested. "And you're going to pay!"
 She grabbed the pillow from her bed and walloped her sister with it.
"PILLOW FIGHT!" Farrah yelled, grabbing the other pillow and whacking Eva back.
Feathers flew as they beat the stuffing out of each other, giggling and gasping for breath as they played.
Finally Eva grabbed the pillow Farrah had just aimed at her head, and laughed, "Truce! I call a truce!"

"That means I won!" Farrah chirped.

"Sure, you won the Pillow War. But now, it's time to get to bed.  School tomorrow," Eva said.

Farrah crossed her arms.

Eva was worn out. "Come on! Just go to bed and I'll take you to the park tomorrow!" she promised with exasperation.
"Deal!" Farrah announced, scurrying up into bed and plopping her head down on the pillow.

Eva sighed.  Well that went well, she thought.

April 28, 2014

Chase: Week Fifteen, Day Six

Neurotic Obsession:  Yvonne impresses everyone with Keaton's "Art Launch!"

"Yvonne, I've got to hand it to you!  This Art Launch party was the perfect idea for bringing more attention to Keaton's work!"  Candace Landgraab said. 

Yvonne smiled smugly.  "I knew it would be!" she gushed.  She'd come with the idea at a recent workshop she'd made everyone attend.  Candace had been so impressed she'd given Yvonne a raise on the spot for such innovative thinking.  And if Candace's reaction was any indication, then she would soon be looking at another promotion!

"...what Felix said!" Candace said, laughing.

Yvonne's gaze jerked back to her boss.  Felix? What had Felix said?  She'd been too busy gloating that she hadn't heard a word Candace had been rattling on about.  She smiled politely and murmured something non-committal. 

Candace smiled and patted Yvonne on the shoulder.  "Well, don't you worry, you've really proven that you didn't get lost on the "mommy-track" with this shin-dig!"

Yvonne fumed as she watched Candace shuffle away.  Dammit! If she never heard the name Felix again, she could die a happy woman!  That insufferable... low-down... rotten...
"Yvonne!" Byron Keaton called out happily.  "Wipe that frown off your face!  This party is a huge success!" he said, beaming as he looked around the art lounge with all his work showcased. 

Yvonne returned Keaton's smile.  "Oh, of course it was, sugar! I handled everything!"   Glancing around the room, she found the person she was looking for.  "Now, Byron, there's someone I think you should meet.  Very interested in your art work and plenty of money to spare!" she said softly, hooking her arm through Keaton's and leading him across the room. 

***

"I'm hungry!" Farrah complained as she plopped down next to Eva. 

Eva rolled her eyes as she finished off the last few spoonfuls of soup.  "Then you should've had some of the soup that I warmed up!"

"But I didn't want soup!" Farrah complained.  "I want some of Mama's lobster thermidor!"

Eva ignored her sister and took her dish to the sink, cleaning it up right away. 
Farrah followed her into the room, stomping her foot.  "E-VAH!" she whined.  "I want some LOBSTER!"
"Farrah! No! I told you! I can make you some soup or a sandwich. But you can't have mother's leftovers." Eva tried to stay patient as Farrah started kicking and screaming with a hissy fit of epic proportions.  Why had mother ever given a 5 year-old lobster thermidor anyways?  That was all she wanted to eat now!

"But I WANT it!" Farrah screamed, her face mottled and red from her temper tantrum.

Eva opened her mouth to respond, but stopped short when she heard the front door open.
"What in the world is going on in here?!" Yvonne demanded as she walked in.  "Eva! I can't believe you can't even handle your little sister for a few hours! If you can't handle the responsibility, then maybe we need a sitter to watch both of you!"

Eva's mouth dropped open.  Me? she thought, I'm getting in trouble because my bratty little sister is freaking out?!  She started to defend herself, but Yvonne had already switched her attention to Farrah.
"And you, young lady! It is not acceptable to carry on like that!" Yvonne admonished Farrah with a shake of her finger. 
"Well I don't want to be a lady anyways!" Farrah shot back grumpily.  "I'm going to be a businessman!"

Eva's mouth dropped open once more and she cringed in anticipation of the set-down her little sister was going to receive.  You never talked back to mother!
 Only... Yvonne didn't scold Farrah... she just put her hands on her hip as she let out a little laugh.  "Well, it doesn't work quite that way, sugar!  But you can be a businesswoman!"

"Yeah!" Farrah agreed. "I want to be just like you!"

Yvonne chuckled as she ruffled Farrah's hair.  "Well, that's sweet, sugar.  Come on, let's share that lobster thermidor! We businesswomen need to stick together!"
Eva watched in amazement as her mother reached in and grabbed her leftovers (that she never shared), split it onto two plates and then sat down next to Farrah, chatting about being a businesswoman.

God, she hated it here, Eva thought with a scowl.

***

Chase peeked in on Greyson when he got home, but found his little guy sleeping soundly.  Guess Yvonne put him to bed, he thought absently.  With a loud yawn, he padded upstairs.
He peeked in on the girls to make sure they were sleeping peacefully as well. 
And then he slipped into bed with his wife.

April 16, 2014

Chase: Week Fifteen, Day Five

Neurotic Obsession:  A Black Legacy Family Holiday!

"Happy Snow Flake Day!" Ace Black called out as he walked in.  "Ho! Ho! Ho!"  His daughter-in-law Cornelia Black and his nephew Ahmad Baker-Black were right behind him. 
"Hey guys! Come on in!" Chase called out as he pulled Farrah out of the high chair and set her on the floor. 
"And who's this?" he asked, shaking the red-head's hand.  His younger cousin, Cesar, grinned proudly as he made the introductions.  "This is my girlfriend, Colette Glover," he explained, "Gwen Glover and Holden Wozny's daughter."

Cesar's dad, Topher Baker, raised his eyebrows.  "Pretty brave to come join the family festivities," he said with a laugh.  "And serious..."

Cesar and Colette just made moon eyes at each other.
"Okay, everyone, let's get this show on the road!" Ace called out with a nod from Chase.  "Time for presents!" Everyone found a spot to sit.
Yvonne handed Eva her first present.  "This is from your father and I," she said.  "I hope you like it."

Eva open the box carefully.  "Oh! An easel!"
"Thanks Daddy!" she called out happily.  She couldn't wait to try it out!  Such pretty paints!
"Now you, Yesenia,"  Grandpa Ace called out to his niece.  

"Yeah, okay, whatever," she answered, eager to seem nonchalant.
That didn't last in the face of a brand new guitar though.  "Grandpa Ace! Thank you!" she squealed excitedly at the pink-leopard print guitar.
After a few more presents, Colette shyly told Cesar that she had a present for him.  He opened it and found a cool sports watch.  As he put it on, he held out a small gift box to Colette.  "I have something for you, too," he said nervously.
"Oh, I can't wait," Colette said excitedly as she tore open the box.
"Wait.. it's... are you for real?" she asked with tears in her eyes.

"What is it?" Eva asked.  It must've been a really bad present to make her cry.

Cesar walked over to her and grabbed Colette's hands.  "It's for real, Colette.  Will you marry me?" he asked.
Colette squealed like a little girl.  (Except maybe the little girl sitting right behind her...)  "Yes!" she said, leaping into Cesar's arms.  "I will!"

After a hearty round of congratulations and hugs around the room, the love birds slipped away to "celebrate" together.  Eva suspected they were probably going to kiss. 
When Yvonne grabbed her present and read the name tag, she looked over at her daughter.  "Oh goody, another one for me," she said with a smile.  She opened it and found a messy hand-made picture inside.  As she pulled it out, still-wet glue and glitter smeared on her hand.  "Oh, how lovely, sugar," she said.  "I'll just put that to the side," she said quickly.

"That's such a great picture you have there!" Grandpa Ace said proudly.

"We should hang it on the refrigerator, shouldn't we, sweet pea?" Chase asked Eva.

"Thanks! I worked really hard on it!" Eva said, basking in the attention.

Yvonne rolled her eyes.  It's just a silly picture.  For all the cooing everyone was doing over it, you'd think it was art museum quality.  "You should see my new client's work.  Byron has a way with the brush!"  Yvonne cut in.
Eva's shoulders slumped slightly.  "I made a picture for you, too, Farrah," she said.  "Yours is the blue box!"

"I wub it, Eva!" Farrah cried out, squashing the picture against her dress. 
Finally, the stack of presents was worn down and everyone slowly made their way to the door with their bounty.
"Happy Snowflake Day!" Chase called out as he waved to his retreating family members.  He sighed.

"Well that was a nice little family reunion, wasn't it?" he asked Farrah as he scooped her up. 
As he prepare the kids for bed, he thought absently, It's hard to imagine that Cesar is old enough to get married now.  He picked up Greyson to cuddle with him for a bit.  Those kids sure are growing up fast...

Chase: Week Fifteen, Day Four

Neurotic Obsession:  Yvonne & Chase make head-way in their relationship finally!

Yvonne checked her email before work.  Over her shoulder, she called out to Chase, "I'm going to be working late tonight. Landgraab gave me the task of signing Byron Keaton, the up and coming artist.  Do you have rehearsal or a concert?"

Chase bit his lip.  "Umm.. I think I'm clear today. Check the calendar."

"Good idea," she said as she clicked over to the family calendar they used to try to keep their activities more organized.  She glanced at the date and announced, "It looks like you're clear."  She paused, then asked.  "Do you mind?"

Chase grinned.  "Well since you asked so prettily," he teased as he came up behind her and kissed her neck.   

And to think, it had only taken 10 years of marriage to get to this point...  But the night where she'd broken down in tears also broke down some walls they'd been trying to pull down.

***

Yvonne had pecked him on the cheek and hurried off to work. Chase had gone about his morning.  Feeding Greyson and then tucking him in for a nap.
Farrah crawled over to her brother's crib and stared at the baby.  "Dada... baby!" she said, pointing.  "Bru-bah!" She poked Greyson in the head.

Chase laughed.  "That's right. That's your brother.  No poking," he said, gently moving her hand away from the crib.  "I have an idea!" he said excitedly.
But, Farrah wasn't as interested in Music Mornings as Eva had been...

***

"Daddy!" Eva cheered when she ran in the house after school.  "You're home!"

Chase grinned.  "You bet.  And I have a fun time planned for us tonight," he promised.

"What is it? What is it?" she asked anxiously.

Chase shook his head, wiggling his eyebrows.  "Dinner first. And you have to eat your veggies without complaining."

"Awwww..." Eva moaned, but stopped abruptly,  when Chase looked at her and raise his eyebrows. 

Chase laughed at the funny face she made in an attempt to stop her grumbles, afraid that she'd lost already.  He ruffled her hair.  "Come on, let's get dinner and eat fast!"

***

"Byron! What a pleasure, sugar," Yvonne said with a smile.  "Oh, and is this something you're working on?" she asked, looking at the picture on his front porch. "It's lovely, sugar!"

Byron's chest puffed out.  "It's just a little something I've been working on," he said.
"Well, I thought the best place to have this discussion would be to head on over to the Modern Arts Museum.  What better place to start than at the place I'm going to get your artwork!"

Byron grinned.

***

"Daddy! This is so much fun!" Eva laughed as she concentrated on staying upright.  She'd never been ice skating before!

"Don't fall!" Chase said, reaching out to steady Eva.
Then, grabbing her hands, he slowly spun her around in a circle.
Eva looked up at her daddy and grinned.  "This is the best night ever!" she said happily.

***

"I like the way you think!" Byron said smoothly.  "You send that contract over to me and I'll sign it in a jiffy!"

"I'll take care of everything, sugar," Yvonne said, shaking his hand.
As she left, she felt a grin spread across her face.  She'd spent so much time worrying that she'd lost her edge.  But, baby, she still had it...

***

"This was the best night ever!" Eva said as she hurried inside.  "I love it when Mother's not here!"

Chase blanched as he followed behind her.
Eva hurriedly ditched her mittens and jacket when she came inside.  Chase followed behind more slowly, wondering how to respond. "You know your mom loves you," he said.

Eva shrugged, "Yeah, sure," she said. "I know."

Chase sighed.  He decided to leave well enough alone.  Apparently Yvonne would have to fix her relationship with Eva, as well.
"Daddy? Will you read me a book?" she asked.

"Of course," Chase said, grabbing a book and heading into her bedroom.  He sat down next to her as she wiggled to get comfortable.
And within minutes, she was fast asleep.

Chase gazed down at her and shook his head with wonder.  She was just perfect!

***

"You will never what!" Yvonne said with a huge grin when she came in the door, glowing with victory.

"You got the contract!" Chase said, excited for her.
"That's right, sugar! Not only did I get the contract, but," she announced regally, "You are now looking at the new Division Manager!"
"That's great, Yvonne!" Chase said, pulling her in for a hug.  "I'm so proud of you!"

Yvonne bit her lip, somewhat anxiously.  "This might mean I have to work a little bit more," she admitted cautiously. Before whenever she got a promotion, it caused tension between them because she'd had to work more. She waited for Chase to get testy...

But, Chase just nodded.  "I figured. We'll work it out. Having that family calendar has really helped, though."

She released the breath she'd been holding and smiled with gratitude.  "May I suggest we retire upstairs to celebrate?" she asked saucily.