About: Nora, Emily, Holly, Kevin, Chad, Scotty, Jordan, Jason.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50 and part 51
2ND WEEK APRIL
“Emily Craft, right?” A voice behind Emily says, startling Emily.
“Mrs Harper!?” She sounds spooked and Holly smiles.
“I’m sorry, if I scared you. I just saw you and thought I’d say hello.” Holly seems even a bit shy about it and Emily feels guilty.
“No, don’t worry. My thoughts were miles and miles away and you just ... surprised me, that’s all.” Emily now relaxes and Holly dares to be more forward.
“How about some coffee, to recuperate from the shock?”
“If I can order tea instead.... I wouldn’t mind a cup, no.”
“Perfect!” Holly laughs. And soon enough they enjoy their tea. Emily tenses up again, she knows that Nora is still very much in doubt about what to do about William. And Emily is not a good liar. She longs to tell Holly what a cheater her boy-friend is, but at the same time she feels the need to wait until Nora has decided what to do.
“How well did you know William’s wife?” Holly asks suddenly.
“Her death must have been shocked you, then?”
“Yeah, when I heard about it...” Emily nods.
“I know William is still devastated. He hardly talks about her. He says it’s too hard.”
“I’ll bet it is.” Emily murmurs.
“What?” Holly asks, unable to understand Emily’s words.
“No, nothing.... No, I can imagine that it’s hard for William.” Emily feels so fake.
“What are their children like?”
“Oh, they are great!” Emily says enthusiastically, glad to let the topic of Nora rest.
“He talks about them often. Sarah, who’s happily married. Kitty, who recently came back to be closer to her family.
Tommy, who is so successful in his company. He’s going to be a father soon, William says, and Justin, who fought in Iraq. I know I forget one.”
“Kevin.” Emily replies on automatic pilot.
“Yes, the lawyer... According to William it’s just a matter of time until Kevin finds the woman of his dreams....”
Emily nearly chokes on her drink. What?! Has William completely lost it? What is wrong with that idiot? Kevin, with a woman? It is even more hilarious to Emily, because she knows Kevin is married to Scotty. Sarah’s happy marriage? Since when does William write Harlequin books?
“All the children are indeed very successful in their own way.” Emily mutters, bringing the napkin to her mouth, not knowing whether to laugh at the sheer stupidity of this conversation or get incredibly mad and tell Holly the truth... Holly is shocked and reaches out to Emily from across the table..
“I’m so incredibly sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you, Emily. I had forgotten how fresh this wound still is to you. And how Nora was a friend of yours. I wish I could have met her, she must have been a wonderful woman to have such a dedicated friend... Of course, if she would be alive, I wouldn’t be with William.” She laughs softly.
“No?” Emily asks surprised.
“No, what kind of woman do you think I am? I HATE cheaters... You know, David had been sick for a long time before he died... Medication helped against his illness, but ... it had a side-effect. David could no longer.... you know...”
Emily shakes her head. She’d rather not know, but she can guess.
“Not at all?” She asks, rather surprised by the sudden intimate turn of the conversation.
“Nothing. And it wasn’t easy. Our love-life had always been great and all at once it was over. It was terrible, but I never cheated on him. Never thought about it!
So, when William entered my life, I saw his wedding-ring and I thought he was with someone and at first I pushed him away, but when he told me that he had lost his partner, just like I had, it forged our relationship... He is so honest and caring.” Holly sighs and all Emily can do is bite her tongue.
“If you're sure your father won’t be there, I can come.” Chad says on the phone.
“Chad, why don’t you like me father? I always thought that it was he was so obviously against gay men...”
“Not to mention my line of work...” Chad finishes the sentence.
“I just... Now that I know what he did to Scotty, I keep wondering...” Kevin shrugs, though Chad cannot see that. “I don’t know, maybe it’s better not to know...”
“You father never offered me money to get out of your life, like he did with Scotty. Honestly, I wouldn’t lie to you about this.” Chad says quietly.
“But your father did make it clear to me, that he thought I was the lowest of the lowest. And that he didn’t even consider me good enough to look at you, much less be in your company. At that time, it was hard enough for me to balance feeling good about myself, with those moments that I felt, I was so cheap. I seriously didn’t need his disdain.
And your father would probably still be able to make me feel completely worthless. So, I’d rather avoid him.” Chad’s words make Kevin sigh. “I see you point. I will tell my mom that you'll be there, provided dad isn't there.”
“Your mom on the other hand... What a woman!” Chad compliments and Kevin beams with pride.
“Oh, come on, Jason. Why say no?” Jordan asks. Jason feels cornered by Quinn, Mario, Scotty and Jordan.
“I don’t know anyone there.” Jason tries.
“Oh, don’t worry, they don’t know you either.” Mario says.
“And by the end of the party, you will know them, that is the point of such a party. Get to know each other.” Quinn points out.
“I don’t know, I’m.... I’m not out .... and I’m worried that they will see me and know and.... I’d feel so uncomfortable.” Jason stammers.
“Don’t worry,” Jordan laughs. “Kevin’s family is so accepting, no one is going to remember you because you’re gay...”
“They will remember you if you end up spaced out drunk in the pool though...” Mario jokes, but Scotty is not so sure of that either.
“Come on, Jason, say yes. You’ve become a member of our little group... We’d miss you if your weren’t there....” Jordan persuades.
“That is what is great about this party. Gay and straight. No one is excluded.” Scotty’s words make Jason look up.
Scotty has the feeling that Jason is closeted because there is this huge pressure on him to not be gay. Tonight is the first time he has seen Jason, but that idea of an enormous choke-hold on Jason, has stuck with Scotty from the moment they were introduced. Maybe meeting the Walkers and their casual approach to homo-sexuality could help Jason relax a bit....
When Emily hangs up she bites her lip, not sure she completely agrees with Nora’s plan. She takes a deep breath and then comes to a decision and dials:
“Holly. It’s Emily... Listen, I just spoke to one of the Walker-kids... There’s a party at their house and I’m invited.
I asked, if I could take a guest with me and that was alright...” Emily takes another deep breath. “I think, it might be a good idea, if you came with me. That would give you the opportunity to meet the Walker-kids and see where William lives and what his life there is like...
William himself won’t be there.... He’s not much into partying... But the others will there and like that you can see them, without them knowing who you are. You’ll be just the guest of their mom’s friend...” Nora suggested this after Emily informed Nora on all the nonsense that William had told Holly. Nora feels it’s time for the cold, hard truth.
She wants Holly to come the house, sit her down and confront her with the truth about William. She knows how much it will hurt, but Nora feels she has no choice anymore. She doesn’t want Holly to get lied at any longer. And somewhere Emily agrees. She has gotten to know Holly a bit better and she comes across as a friendly, but lonely person.
“Are you sure that is good idea? I feel like I’m going behind William’s back on this.”
“Nah, you’re just going away with a friend of yours. How can you know that you would turn up at William’s house?” Emily smiles and she hears Holly laugh.
“It is ... naughty... but I’ll do it. I’m coming with you.”
“Kitty thought it was a great idea. She’ll bring Warren Salter. Remember that show they planned in New York? Seems they want to move it to LA. Warren wants to stay closer to his mother, here is LA. He plans to take care of her. Sarah will bring Noah, just as a ‘friend’, in order to not scare the children. They will behave ‘professionally’, whatever that means.
Tommy will be there. Julia, that will depend on how she feels that day. Justin will take Tyler with him. Jordan has asked Mario, Quinn and Jason. Scotty and I will bring Chad. I don’t know who you will ask?” Kevin finishes his list with a glance at Nora.
“Oh, just some neighbours and Emily Craft will come and bring a guest.”
“Emily? Oh, that’s good. I like her.” Kevin laughs.
“Glad I have your approval, son. She loves you too... Yes, I look forward to that party. It will be a very interesting Saturday."
END OF PART 52
SNEAK PEEK FOR PART 53
Everything is ready for the party.... Nora can't wait.