"Do you want anything to eat? Or some soda?"
"Nah, I'm not hungry. Thanks."
"Oh, okay. Do you want to watch a movie?"
"If you want to."
It had been going like this for an hour now; Shannon was constantly offering Kaitlin some form of refreshment or entertainment, and Kaitlin usually turned her down. When the redhead buzzed by again after making rounds of the living room, Kaitlin grabbed her arm.
"Shannon, sit down. We'll put in a movie, and just relax. You've had a hard night to begin with. Why make it worse?"
Shannon gave her a grateful look, and all but threw herself on the couch. She sighed and leaned into it, closing her green eyes. "I wish. . .I wish just for once, that we could all have a get together as a group, and not have someone fighting."
"Like Caleb and Adelle?"
"Not just them. If it's not Caleb and Adelle, it's Caleb and Joseph. Or Joshua and Adelle. Caleb and Joshua have gotten at each other before. So have Joshua and I." She sighed. again. "I guess I should give up. They're never going to get along. Why should we attempt it?"
Kaitlin smiled reassuringly at Shannon, "Well you do have something now that you didn't all those times before."
The redhead blinked, "And what's that?"
Kaitlin grinned, "Why, me, of course!"
Both girls started laughing, and Shannon put Phantom of the Opera in the DVD player. Sitting back down, she flopped back with a sigh. She stretched for a second, then hit the 'play' button on her DVD remote.
"I love this movie," She commented as the opening started to play. "It always calms me down for some reason. Have you ever seen it?"
The brunette nodded. "A friend back in Las Vegas drug me to the movie theaters. I've seen it on Broadway too."
Shannon's face fell again, slightly. "I want to see it on stage, so badly. I don't need the London cast, or anything. I just want to see the original. Joshua's always promised he would take me. He tells me he's saving the money, and he'll take me there for our honeymoon." She blushed slightly. "That's far away though."
Kaitlin raised an eyebrow. "Do you think you'll marry him?"
"I know I will."
"Has he asked you yet?"
"Not yet, but I think he will in a month or two."
Kaitlin blinked at the surety in Shannon's voice, "How do you know that for sure?"
Shannon blushed, "Well . . ."
Kaitlin blinked again, then shook her head. "Never mind, I don't think I want to know. So . . . why exactly do Adelle and Caleb fight like that, anyway? And why did she get so upset earlier?" When Shannon didn't answer at first, Kaitlin sighed, "You don't have to tell me if it's none of my business."
"Adelle. . . is complex. Her parents split when she was young, and her mother just. . went to pieces. An alcoholic from what I know. I'm not allowed to stay the night over at her house often. . not when her mother is there, at least. Adelle spends most of her time, and nights, with Joseph. They don't have a . . .sexual relationship. . it's more that Adelle just needs a place to go."
They were quiet for a while after that, watching the movie in silence. When the movie ended Kaitlin noticed Shannon was crying. Shannon saw Kaitlin's concern and smiled through her tears. "I'm alright. This movie just . . . makes me cry for some reason."
"I . . .can see that. Why do you watch it if it upsets you?"
Shannon blinked, "Because I love it! .. . Wanna watch Moulin Rouge?"
"You have a taste for angst movies, don't you?"
Shannon smiled, "Sad movies make me happy!"
"You're twisted, Shannon."
The red-head beamed at her. "I know. I know. That's why you love me.
Shannon's church had been different from most that Kaitlin had ever been too. It wasn't full of stuck-up, Holy-Rollers such as some of the churches Kaitlin had attended in Las Vegas with her father. They were all hypocrites, Kaitlin decided. Her father practiced two different ways. In church, he was kind, free with his money, and religious. He sang the songs, bowed his head in prayer, thanked the preacher. But outside of the building, he cursed, he drank, he had affairs. . . It was the type of view Kaitlin had always had of churches.
Shannon's was different. It was full of small, down to earth people who instantly greeted her with welcome the moment she stepped through the door. The preacher didn't take forever and a day, the singing was good, and Kaitlin actually felt in a good mood as she left the building. What was even more surprising was the fact that Joshua showed up a few minutes into the service. He took a seat next to his girlfriend, and Shannon's eyes looked as though they were about to pop away from her skull.
Kaitlin's phone went off as soon as she walked in the door, and she assumed it was Caleb. He had told her he would call the next morning after church, and inform her of what happened after Joshua took him home. She hit the talk button. "So, you made it home alive?"
". . . I always do."
The voice at the other end of the line was most certainly not Caleb Motomiya's.
"Dad!" She sputtered, almost dropping the phone, and backing up against her bed. "What are you doing?"
"I'm giving a call to my youngest daughter. Do you have a problem with that, Kaitlin Rose?"
Kaitlin groaned. Her father had always insisted that when speaking formally, she was to be addressed by her first and middle names. It was a practice that continually drove Kaitlin crazy. "Sorry. I thought you were someone else when I picked up the phone."
"That was apparent." The distaste in her father's voice was evident. He continued. "I have been giving thought so a matter, Kaitlin. I think you should come live with me."
If the shock of her father calling hadn't made Kaitlin drop her phone, that certainly did. She scrambled to pick it up. "Come live with you? Why?"
"Because Loraine has so kindly chose to move you to a town where there is no opportunity for you!" Nicolas Anderson coughed into the phone. "I know your mother is doing what she thinks is the . . .best for you. But she did not consult me when she moved you to that god awful city."
"Dad, it's honestly not that bad. It's tiny, sure, but I like the people. I even have some friends."
"Friends that only care for you because you have money, Kaitlin Rose. In a hillbilly state such as that, I do not expect that anyone would know good people when they see it."
Kaitlin could tell by the tone of his voice that he was wrapping up the conversation. She hadn't even give him a word in.
"Just think about it, Kaitlin." With that, Nicolas Anderson hung up the phone.
Kaitlin let the phone drop to her bed, and blinked a few times. Then blinked again. The whole conversation seemed surreal. Leave her mother and Michael and move back to Vegas? Sure, she had wanted to when she first moved there. But now? Things were finally starting to fall in to place.
She reached for her phone, and stared at it for a moment. Then dialed the first number that came to her mind.
"Your dad called?"
"Yea," Kaitlin sighed, and leaned against Caleb's bed, rubbing her temples. Caleb had picked up on the first ring, anxious to hear from Kaitlin about Shannon. What he didn't expect was the rant that Kaitlin had poured out through the phone. It had taken a grand total of one minute of blubbering before Caleb finally told the girl he would come and get her. I've got to be kidding myself. ..
"He wants me to move back to Vegas and live with him. He doesn't think Michael and Mom are giving he me 'necessities' I need. God forbid I'm not living in a money dominated society, wearing fancy dresses, and dating senator's sons. Or at least casino heirs."
"Instead you're in a small town, dressed in T-shirts and jeans, and sitting here in my room, with me."
"Trust me, I'd rather be with you any day."
Caleb grinned. "Of course you would. Everyone loves me."
"He wants me to be like my sister. She's a model for some company. Beautiful and anorexic type thin. She's married to some casino heir and is rolling in dough. Same with my brother. It's insane."
"Sister and brother?" Caleb lifted an eyebrow.
"My dad's other children. Dad has my sister, my brother, and me. All from different mothers."
Caleb whistled, and Kaitlin nodded.
"Exactly. He would have had another baby before my sister, but the girl aborted and didn't tell him. She was in highschool. Our age."
"Sounds like my Dad."
Kaitlin gave Caleb a startled look. "Your dad? Your father isn't anything like mine."
"He isn't now," Caleb stated bluntly. "But Dad used to be a playboy as well. I"m literally not joking when I say it's amazing he hasn't ended up with AIDS. He was with a LOT of people."
Caleb shook his head and grinned. "Nope. When Dad was about eighteen, he had this girlfreind he was convinced he was going to marry. Though it's unusual for people to date during highschool in Japan. . well. . . Dad has never been traditional. But this girl's name was Reika. He's showed me pictures. The girl was gorgeous."
"What happened? She dump him?"
"Worse. She died. A drunk T-Boned the car Dad was driving. To this day, he still blames himself for her death. Anyway, Dad went a little crazy after that. Did everything he could possibly imagine. Fast cars, fast drugs, fast girls. . . drank tons.
"Dad ended up with this girl for a few months. They had a few passionate weeks together, before he moved on to someone else, as did she. He figured he'd never see her again, considering that was how the majority of his relationships turned out. One day, she appears on his doorstep and informs him that she's pregnant, and it's his. Dad always tried to support her and the baby, but she never would have anything to do with him. Still blames him for ruining her life.
"He cleaned up his act when he met Mom. She was the 'good girl' and that made Dad want her. They married, had me, had Leslie. Dad sees Christina, his other daughter, maybe once every few years. She used to substitute here for a while when I was in grade school . .really nice."
Caleb trailed off, and the two were silent, each wrapped in their own thoughts and problems. Caleb wrapped an arm around Kaitlin's wiast, and pulled her closer to him. She leaned back against his chest, and sighed. Caleb laid his head on hers, and kissed the top of her head.
"You're such a sap."
"Mmm. . ." Kaitlin could feel his smile against her hair.
The mood was broken, however, when Kaitlin's watch went off in a flurry of beeps. She growned and moved away from him, standing up. "That's my note to head home."
"I'll let you out."
As they stepped outside, Caleb bent down and presed his mouth to hers, giving her a slow, yet small kiss. "I'll see you tomorrow?"
Tomorrow suddenly seemed a whole lot brighter.
Author's Notes: You have no idea how hard it was to write this chapter. For such a simple chapter, I think Nik and I about shot ourselves over it. So, forgive if it sucks. I think it turned out decent for as much trouble as we had with it, but. . who knows. You now know a little more about Adelle, and about Kaitlin and Caleb's pasts. We're moving right along, no?