April 26

Her Skin Smells Better – Viewing Van’s Videos, Tension in Paradise

(12:48:07 AM) The Cosmos:
{Siobhan puts out a bunch of chips and other food type things along with drinks}
(12:48:25 AM) The Cosmos:
{Aubrey helps Siobhan}
(12:49:26 AM) The Universe:
{the boys get comfortable with the heavier alcohol while Van goes into his bedroom and goes through his collection}
(12:49:51 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige goes with Van}
(12:50:20 AM) The Universe:
{Seth follows Van and Saige into the bedroom} Hey… Lia thinks she might want to show the video we did last night.
(12:50:39 AM) The Universe:
{Van looks at Seth, almost drops the videos he’s holding} Seriously?
(12:50:44 AM) The Universe:
{Seth nods} Yeah.
(12:51:03 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige blinks} Wow. I never saw that one coming.
(12:51:32 AM) The Universe:
{Seth smiles} Yeah, I know. Anyway.. I was thinking it might be good for her.
(12:52:34 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige looks at Seth} Yeah? How do *you* feel about it? Cuz I gotta tell ya I don’t think the boys’ll be able to keep quiet.
(12:54:08 AM) The Universe:
{Seth looks at Saige} I think I can deal with it. {shrugs} If not, I’ll deal with *them*.
(12:54:55 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige nods and looks at Van}
(12:55:32 AM) The Universe:
{Van looks at Saige} I don’t know.
(12:55:47 AM) The Universe:
{Seth smiles} She said “if Saige can handle it, I can handle it”.
(12:56:10 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige looks at Seth, blinks} Wow.
(1:04:04 AM) The Universe:
{Seth nods} I know.


(1:07:34 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige looks at Van} What do you think?
(1:09:25 AM) The Universe:
{Van looks at Saige, looks at Seth} I think… if this is what she wants to do, then… we’ll do it.
(1:09:48 AM) The Universe:
{Seth nods} Just be quick with the remote if she changes her mind once it gets rolling.
(1:09:54 AM) The Universe:
{Van nods} Definitely.
(1:11:04 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige smiles} I can even give her the out. So It doesn’t look like she’s the one freaking… I can do it.
(1:13:09 AM) The Universe:
{Seth smiles} I’m sure she’d appreciate that.
(1:13:33 AM) The Universe:
{Van nods} All right, then. {goes back through his video collection, pulling out the video from the night before}
(1:14:04 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige looks at Van} Are *you* all right with this?
(1:14:43 AM) The Universe:
{Van looks at Saige, smiles} For all I know, they’ve already been through the whole library. What about you?
(1:15:35 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige shrugs} I’m down.
(1:17:24 AM) The Universe:
{Van nods} All right. Let’s do it.
(1:17:53 AM) The Universe:
{Seth smiles} I’ll get her started on the liquid courage. Let’s go through a couple of other videos first, then slip it in without warning her. See if she even recognizes herself.
(1:18:30 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige tilts her head} Why?
(1:20:36 AM) The Universe:
{Seth looks at Saige} You know.. every time you tilt your head like that when you ask a question, you remind me of this young girl I used to work with. She was a redhead.. about 18, looked 15.
(1:21:30 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige smiles} Sorry.
(1:23:13 AM) The Universe:
{Seth smiles} No problem. Anyway… it was something we were talking about on the way here. How when you’re watching yourself, you don’t really recognize it as you.
(1:24:15 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige nods} Then I guess we’ll be in the same boat.
(1:25:26 AM) The Universe:
{Seth nods} All right. I’ll be getting her drunk. Or at least relaxed. {heads back into the other room}
(1:26:09 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige looks at Van} You’re sure you’re okay with it?
(1:27:05 AM) The Universe:
{Van looks at Saige} Baby, I’m fine. Really.
(1:27:14 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige nods} All right.
(1:27:42 AM) The Universe:
{Van walks over to her, smiles} You sure *you’re* all right?
(1:28:06 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige nods} Yeah.. {smiles} Why wouldn’t I be?
(1:28:54 AM) The Universe:
{Van holds up the DVD} Because it’s more ammo.
(1:29:38 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige looks at him} It is.. but {shrugs} Fuck ’em.
(1:30:21 AM) The Universe:
{Van smiles, takes her hand with his free hand, pulls her closer, leans in and kisses her}
(1:30:55 AM) The Cosmos:
{Saige smiles and kisses him back}
(1:31:48 AM) The Universe:
{meanwhile in the other room, Seth makes Lia a buttery nipple}
(1:32:39 AM) The Universe:
{Ethan and Brennan are passing a bottle and taking shots, determined to be inebriated sooner rather than later}
(1:34:10 AM) The Cosmos:
{Siobhan, Sangria and Aubrey are doing shots}
(1:34:37 AM) The Cosmos:
{Lia takes the buttery nipple and shoots it}
(1:36:33 AM) The Universe:
{David takes a shot glass with whiskey, drops it into a glass of beer and hands it to Taryn, smiles} Try this.
(1:37:18 AM) The Cosmos:
{Taryn smiles takes the glass and drinks}
(1:37:43 AM) The Cosmos:
{Taryn smiles at David} Oh.. that’s good.
(1:38:24 AM) The Universe:
{David smiles, makes another one for himself, nods} My old man loved these. {drinks his}
(1:39:07 AM) The Universe:
{Brennan grabs the bottle of whiskey and makes one for him and Aubrey}
(1:39:07 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks Akhiro, smiles}
(1:39:45 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro sits on the couch with Renee, looks at her, quietly so only she can hear} So, what do you think now?
(1:40:24 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head softly} I’m not sure.
(1:42:04 AM) The Universe:
{Seth takes a seat on the floor near his wife, makes her another buttery nipple, looks at David and Taryn} The “Citywide special” across a lot of bars in Philly is made with Old Crow bourbon and Pabst.
(1:42:21 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods, still quietly} So.. why are you so resistant to it?
(1:43:19 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at Akhiro} Resistant to what exactly?
(1:43:50 AM) The Universe:
{Brennan smiles} We’ve gotta try that. {stands and goes to the liquor cabinet which is a cabinet in the kitchen devoted to alcohol} We don’t have Old Crow, but… {grabs a bottle of bourbon out of the back and carries it back to the living room, smiles} we’ve got this.
(1:44:12 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at Renee} David and Taryn.
(1:45:17 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee smiles} I’m not resistant to it. I’m just trying to get my head around how he can go from Saige to Aubrey to Taryn. in the space of 48 hours. I want them to be happy and they seem it..
(1:45:55 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} All right. So.. who do you think he’ll be with tomorrow night?
(1:47:00 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee smiles} Taryn hopefully.
(1:48:59 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro takes Ren’s hand, stands, pulling her up with him heads into Ethan’s room, closes the door behind him, turns to Renee} Cut the shit, Renee. What’s *really* bothering you? Why does David bouncing like that bother you so much, but not Saige going from confessing her love for *me*, to spending a week with David’s family to Van and fucking Seth last night? What about Taryn going from Tristan to David in less than twelve hours? Or Aubrey going from David to Brennan who she was cheating on David with? Out of all of that.. why are you focused on David’s progress?

(1:51:42 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} I’m not. I’m just trying to keep everyone straight. {looks at him} I’m not focused on David’s progress. Did you even hear what you just said? They are all our friends and they’re bouncing around like ping pong balls in a fish bowl.
(1:52:55 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} I heard it. {looks at her} We’re twenty something. These are the years we’re finding ourselves. Some of us just have to look in more places than others, apparently.
(1:55:37 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} I know.. I just… {shakes her head} I’m worried about what it’s going to do to the friendships. I mean Taryn hasn’t even acknowledged Tristan and he is doing a good job of seeming not to care but he’s got to.
(1:57:10 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods, steps closer to her, looks at her} And it’s *their* problem. When did we stop being part of the group that has fun and turn into the parents and counselors? I love my friends and things are a little crazy right now, but, I’d rather be crazy along with it than standing on the sidelines wringing my hands over every little thing.
(1:58:24 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him, blinks and shakes her head, quietly} I don’t know.
(1:59:55 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} I think Tristan’s a big boy. If he needs or wants to talk about it, he will. And the others are grown ups, too.
(2:00:38 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} I know he will.
(2:01:12 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods, puts his hands on his hips}
(2:02:05 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him, quietly} I know they’re grown ups. And you’re right.
(2:02:20 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} David.
(2:02:49 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him} What about David? He’s a big boy too.
(2:03:22 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro takes her hand and pulls her back toward the bed, sits down} The first time I noticed you getting like.. this.. was when all the shit was going on with David and Saige. But he bounced back rather nicely and he did it without help.
(2:06:22 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods, following him over and sits next to him} He did. {looks over at him, shakes her head} And he did a good job of it. And he’s with Taryn and they seem happy.
(2:07:08 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} So.. late nights at the store almost every night now. You’re distracted and you’re worrying about our friends like you’re their mother. {looks at her} Is there something we need to talk about?
(2:08:21 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} No, Akhiro. What are you asking me?
(2:08:47 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro shrugs} I’m wondering if there’s someone else.
(2:10:08 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee blinks} What?! No. Why would you wonder that? Baby.. there’s no one else.
(2:10:13 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} So.. we don’t need to be shopping for cribs?
(2:11:06 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} Uh.. no. {laughs} Not that I’m aware of anyway.
(2:11:28 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro smiles} Okay. So.. are you sick?
(2:12:59 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} No.. I’m not sick? There’s nothing wrong with me. {smiles} I’m perfectly healthy.
(2:13:43 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} All right. So.. maybe I need to give you more attention.
(2:15:06 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee smiles} I wouldn’t say no to more attention from you.
(2:15:57 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro smiles} Then let’s try that and see if it helps.
(2:17:26 AM) The Cosmos:
{Renee smiles, and nods} All right.. {looks at him} Baby, the late nights at work have been me just catching up on the books.
(11:01:09 AM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} I know. You’ve told me. You just seem distracted lately. And less enthusiastic than usual. It’s almost like you’re taking Tristan and Taryn’s break up harder than they are.
(12:13:28 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} I’m sorry. {looks down} It isn’t Tristan’s and Taryn’s break up. {quietly} It’s my dad.
(12:18:33 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro frowns} What’s wrong with your dad?
(12:20:32 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} He got married.
(12:22:48 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro blinks} When the hell did this happen?
(12:28:08 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him} He said a couple of weeks ago. He was vague and weird about it. So I pushed. She’s like 19 and he met her in one of those little countries he’s always visiting. And I’m happy for him I really am. She’s some kind of royalty and I don’t even know. According to him he’s giving me the rest of my trust fund and {shrugs} Then he’s done. He’s cashing out his assets and moving there to be with her.
(12:31:45 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro shakes his head} That’s.. insane.
(12:34:02 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} I *know*. He’s even selling the collection. I told him he didn’t have to do it that I’d take that and store it for him.. but no.. he’s selling it and {shakes her head} I’m worried about him.. it’s not like him to be this.. this.. {shakes her head again} I don’t even have the words.
(12:34:40 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at him} Over a 19 year old, no less.
(12:36:37 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} Seriously. I asked if I could come meet her and he all but flipped his shit on me. “*You* have a business to run and there is no way you can get away *now*.” It’s almost like he doesn’t want me to meet her and he’s shutting me out. You know.
(12:37:52 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} Maybe it’s time you talked to an attorney.
(12:38:34 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him} Why?
(12:45:58 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro shakes his head} To see what you can do to protect him and his assets.
(12:48:42 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at Akhiro, blinks} Yes. I’ll do that. First thing tomorrow.
(12:51:20 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} If you need me to go with you, let me know.
(12:52:33 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him} I would like that. Please. But you see why I’ve been distracted?
(12:52:57 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} Of course. But, why didn’t you tell me?
(12:53:46 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shrugs} I didn’t want to sound like a spoiled, whiny, brat. {looks at him} And *you* haven’t heard the best part yet.
(12:55:42 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro sighs} Tell me.
(12:56:48 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him} Her name’s Summer, and because he married her *he’s* now royalty too.
(12:58:37 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro just looks at her for a second} First and foremost, we need to find proof she actually *is* royalty.
(1:00:45 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} Oh.. he’s done that. They were honeymooning in her country when he called me, took time out of the “week long celebratory duties of the ‘Royal Couple’ to call me.”
(1:02:55 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} I just don’t understand why he needs to sell everything to stay with her.
(1:04:01 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} I don’t either. And when I asked him he kept saying because he wasn’t coming home he didn’t need all the *stuff* anymore.
(1:04:32 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} Can *you* buy it from him?
(1:05:12 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee smiles} Yes. I can.
(1:07:23 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} All right. If nothing else, then, between the two of us we can buy him out.
(1:08:38 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him} If I liquidate some of my assets I can buy the house and cars outright. The real estate might be a bigger problem. He’s got all those vacation houses.
(1:09:42 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at him} We can pool our resources and buy what’s most important. Let him sell off what you don’t care about.
(1:11:57 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee blinks} Akhiro.. {looks down} I can’t let you do that. We’re not talking an interesting toy here.
(1:14:15 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro arches a brow} No. We’re talking about your inheritance.
(1:15:38 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} I know. {shakes her head} But that’s not even what I’m most concerned about… {looks up at him}
(1:16:43 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} What are you concerned about, then?
(1:17:22 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shrugs} I feel like I’m losing my dad.
(1:20:07 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro takes her hand, squeezes it, quietly} I know, baby.
(1:21:29 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks over at him squeezes his hand back} And that makes me feel selfish and insecure. And it shouldn’t.
(1:23:40 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} I think it’s a perfectly legitimate response.
(1:27:02 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head}If I were twelve maybe. But I haven’t seen him since he left and we talk at least once a week. {blinks} My god.. what if she’s pregnant.
(1:32:03 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro shakes his head} What will that mean to you?
(1:34:14 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee shakes her head} If I buy him out… it won’t mean anything monetarily. But… {shakes her head again} shit.
(1:56:10 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods}
(1:56:34 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} Don’t get ahead of yourself. You don’t *know* she’s pregnant.
(2:07:10 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} I know. And I’m not one to panic usually.
(2:08:26 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro smiles} Then don’t start now.
(2:09:30 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} I’m trying not to.. but this is *not* like him. I mean you remember he used to give me shit for not planning every second of my day.
(2:09:54 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} So, maybe he’s having a mid-life crisis.
(2:12:27 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee frowns} I thought the cars were his midlife crisis. {shakes her head} I know I sound selfish and I hate that. And I *am* glad he’s happy, but it just struck an odd note to me that the man that wouldn’t give me my trust before I finished college, wants to sell off everything and live happily ever after.
(2:13:23 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} Well.. it *is* odd. Which is why you’re going to talk to an attorney tomorrow.
(2:14:11 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} All right.. I feel better now that I have a plan.
(2:15:14 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro smiles} Good. In the meantime, we’ll worry about protecting your inheritance.
(2:15:51 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee smiles} You’ll come with me tomorrow?
(2:16:48 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro nods} Of course.
(2:17:32 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee nods} Thank you…and for the record. If I ever even *thought* I might be pregnant {smiles} You’d be the first to know.
(2:17:50 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro smiles again} I’ll keep that in mind.
(2:18:18 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee quietly} I’m sorry I’ve been parental lately.
(2:19:00 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her} I’ve actually been more concerned with how little fun you’ve been having.
(2:19:54 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee looks at him} I’ll try to have more fun. {smiles} Do I still get that extra attention?
(2:20:25 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro smiles} Definitely. And we can either go watch Van’s porn or we can lock the door and start on that right now.
(2:20:58 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee grins} No way am I missing Van’s porn.
(2:21:32 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro laughs} Thank god. {gets up, pulls her toward the door with him} I was *really* hoping you’d say that. I think I hear the moaning already.
(2:22:02 PM) The Cosmos:
{Renee laughs as she goes with him} Thank you, baby.
(2:22:20 PM) The Universe:
{Akhiro looks at her, smiles} You’re welcome. {heads back into the other room}

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Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

Posted April 26, 2012 by The Universe in category "Fiction", "Solitude