Chapter 1: A New Beginning
Friday 2nd October 1959 Evening - Mild, Dry
The Porter Residence
1. The largest house is where the Porters live. There's lots of guest rooms so family and friends can stay over - there's no better feeling than a house full of friends! There are also a couple of offices/meeting rooms for those all important business meetings. Let's not forget about that indoor swimming pool - the kids love that. There's also access to the rooftops, because everyone loves a good view... In reality, James loves a good vantage point for security purposes.
2. The smaller, but still fantastic, house is where the Callahans live. It's close enough to the safety and warmth of the Porters but gives the Callahans their own living space. There's still room for guests too.
3. By the main road there's the only two ways vehicles can enter and both have security gates which are kept guarded. Near to the Callahans' place there's a small building which tends to be where the guards can rest whilst remaining "on-call". This lifestyle requires high security and James Porter is a stickler for protecting his family!
4. Cut off from the right corner of the image are the stables, for the family's horses.
The day had been a relatively calm one, even if it had still been busy. After having his eye on a vacant property for some weeks now, James decided to take Jackson with him to look around inside. The place was near some popular pubs and a couple of banks, perfect for attracting the kind of customers who would flock to a betting shop. If they were dumb enough to gamble drunk, the Porters may as well profit from it. It went without saying that his trusty bookie, Jackson, would be managing the new place too. Once they'd decided the place was suitable, James decided to leave the paperwork until another day, which was a rare move for a man who was known for taking decisive action and sealing deals as soon as possible. He was sure nobody would beat him to it and he was even more sure he'd still get that property from them if they did. James detoured on the way home to collect the gift he had ordered for Lucy's birthday, letting Jackson wait in the car whilst he was in the shop checking the expensive piece of jewellery over ever so meticulously before finalising the payment.
When James finally drove his car into the driveway, the sun was already starting to set. As he parked the vehicle, he shook his head. A noise had been bugging him the entire journey and he was now certain there was something wrong with the car exhaust. He wouldn't have time to look at it tomorrow, as much as he loved fixing up his own cars. Luckily for him, he was paying someone to fix the cars and by now he trusted Kat to even touch his own vehicles. As he stepped out of the car, he scanned the area to see if Kat was in sight, but his attention was diverted to the figure standing on the public sidewalk at the other side of the security gates. James nudged Jackson, expecting him to follow but to only observe and listen.
"Chief Inspector Conway," James greeted the cop, not even the faintest sign of a smile on is face. "How's the promotion going? It's a shame about your predecessor, but the dirty cops never do last long," he knowingly remarked.
"I'll keep this short, as I'd rather not been seen spending too long around here," the middle-aged inspector began. "Tell Conor his hall pass has expired. The next time he gets into a fight or even breaks the law at all, I'm not saving him from a night in the cells. Get him under control, Mr Porter. He's-"
"Alright, shut the fuck up, Conway," James interrupted, not bothered to hear the cop's assessment of Conor as a person. "I'll deal with Conor and you can deal with your own job. You go focus on your own little corner of the city." James turned away from Conway, making it clear their conversation was done. He walked towards the house with Jackson before stopping to look at his friend. "Any chance you can have that word with Conor and tell him to get his shit together? I've been through this with him already and he got all defensive. He's more likely to listen to you," James suggested. As much as he loved his brother-in-law, Conor's drunken antics were starting to get on his last nerve right now.
When they stepped into the house, James called out to see who was home...
Vittoria had been asked to look after Braden and Emery for the day, whilst Sinead and Peter took Savannah out for a few hours. Braden was usually pretty well-behaved and he'd asked Vittoria to help him with his spelling quiz whilst Emery was content playing with her dolls. As the nanny read with the boy, she would notice the house was silent and silence in the Callahan house was usually suspicious, especially where the youngest daughter was concerned. This didn't escape Braden's attention either. "Uh-oh. I think Emmy went exploring again," Braden said, rolling his eyes and closing the book.
The girl wouldn't be found inside the house, even with Braden helping to look for her. "Last time, dad found her feeding aunt Lucy's dogs through the fence," he said, shrugging his shoulders.
Emery would eventually be found at the bottom of the garden, pointing up into the tree where a grey cat was perched. "I want a cat!" she cheekily announced, grinning whilst her brother let out an exasperated sigh. "Please can I have that one, Vit-o-toria?" she asked, still struggling with the nanny's name. "Can we see the dogs now?" she excitedly asked, referring to the Porters' pets.
Sinead had intended to have a few hours to relax with Peter, but Savannah had been sad lately and it seemed like she was feeling overlooked. It was easy to feel that way in such a chaotic and hectic home. Between the jazz club and Emery's hyper behaviour, Savvy perhaps hadn't been getting the attention she was used to. After taking her to buy a new toy, Sinead and Peter then took Savvy to Aliana's restaurant for a relaxed dinner together. They frequented Sky Haven as the restaurant was next door to All That Jazz, the live music venue the Callahans owned. As they finished their dessert, Sinead made eye-contact with Peter and sent him a warm smile. She hoped they'd get to spend some time together once the kids were all fast asleep later. But really, she was just happy to know he was safe since he stopped doing what she considered to be dangerous jobs, for James. Peter was managing the jazz club and spending time with the kids, so things were as perfect as they could be right now. Peace felt good.
"Ah, shit..." Savvy mumbled as she dropped some ice-cream on the table.
"Woah, girly. Watch that potty mouth, will you?" Sinead was quick to gently berate her. "Which of your uncles was it this time?" Sinead began, but was cut off when she saw Aliana nearby and she beckoned her over. She got up from her seat and gave Ali a quick hug. "Hey beautiful. How are you?" Sinead sweetly asked her friend. "It's Lucy's birthday tomorrow. Are you going to come over for some drinks?" she curiously asked. She wasn't entirely sure what James and Lucy were doing for her birthday, but she was sure they'd be doing something. She expected it would be something fun around the house rather than some special party venue. James and Lucy hadn't had much luck celebrating birthdays and weddings in the past.
Whilst Sinead was distracted, Savvy leaned towards Peter and spoke quietly. "I'm not telling her who said it. I'm not a grass..." she cheekily told him, referring to her mother's questioning about which of the guys had been cursing this time. "Is that even a bad swear anyway?" she curiously asked.
The pub was already full of life and happy drunken souls. Conor had only shown up there to check on his bar staff and draw up the week's rota, but he figured he might as well stay for a few drinks seeing as he was now there. He leaned against the bar as he lifted his pint glass, the bruises on his knuckles coming into view as he did. After taking a long drink, he placed the glass down just in time to hear one of the regulars ask him what he'd done to his hand. ""Ah, shit. This? Some guy was hassling a friend of mine last night, so I taught him some manners." He knocked back the rest of his beer before setting the empty glass down and sliding it to one side. "And, before you ask, I wasn't defending her to get her into bed. Besides, the cops kind of killed the moment," he added, with a playful wink.
Conor had drank far too much the previous night that he decided to stay sober this evening. Besides, it was Lucy's birthday tomorrow and he intended to stay over at the Porters' place tonight so he'd be with the family for the full day. It was best to avoid being lectured again and even better to wake up in the morning with a fresh face. With that in mind, he grabbed his jacket and headed out of the pub to walk to the Porters' place. He had his own car at his apartment, but he often preferred to walk and rarely spent time at his own place. Having spent most of his life with living with his crazy big family, going home alone to his own apartment wasn't appealing at all.
Conor wasn't really paying attention as he walked in the direction of his sisters' homes. He did this walk so frequently that he didn't really need to focus. Therefore, he wouldn't really see who was walking towards him...
If I haven't tagged you, please still post and put your character where you want them to be. I mostly just want you all to get your first posts up and set some scenes for you to utilise.
I haven't tagged if your CS isn't finished yet either, so as to avoid confusion.
Alexandra had collected Michelle from school on her way home from the restaurant and decided that the two would walk home through the town to get some fresh air together. The two talked about school as they walked and Michelle excitedly told her about the antics that she had gotten up to during lunch time. Alex smiled proudly as Michelle bragged about getting to the top of the jungle gym by climbing. “Be careful though, I don’t want you to fall” Alex told her as she gave her hand a little squeeze. Michelle scoffed in reply “I’m the best climber, there’s no way I’d fall” she told her looking up at her mother before smiling “I might even be better than you” she teased.
Alexandra let a laugh escape her lips at her daughter cheeky remark “you willing to bet on that?” She asked playing along with her daughters game. A devious smirk played on Michelle’s face as she thought of this bet “oh it’s on” sassyness was present in her tone as she made a little gesture with her hand “the big tree in the garden”. Alex laughed before nodding her head hiwever Alex had no time to reply as Michelle had stopped walking and was looking towards the shop on their left, the local newsagents that the two frequently visited. “Please can I have some chocolate Mam” Michelle asked as she turned on the charm.
Alex sighed before rooting in her pocket to pull out some change “one bar Michelle and I mean one” she told her with a stern voice before handing the change to Michelle, she watched as her daughter grinned before running into the shop. Alex shook her head laughing to herself as she pulled out a cigarette and lit it, she turned to face the window to keep an eye on her daughter and what she was buying, the last time Michelle had gone to get one bar she had arrived out with a multi-pack claiming that it was all in one packet and so could be seen as one bar.
As Alex looked into the window, her eyes caught a figure in the reflection and she nearly dropped the cigarette onto the floor in shock. Her eyes were wide as she turned around to see Conor Sullivan walking towards her. She hadn’t seen him in nearly ten years and yet it felt like the first time all over again. He looked the same but different and Alex could tell already that something wasn’t right with him. “Conor” she gasped, the shock of seeing him evident in her voice
Jackson had become accustom to the serene lifestyle since he had started working for the Porters. He spent most of his days doing what he called "networking", which usually required a crowd of good gents, loose women, and a keg of brew. He had accompanied James on an excursion to a vacant property, right next to a couple of well-known restaurants. He and James agreed that the place would be a prime location for a pub. Jackson had even gotten down on the floor before saying, "I could definitely see myself getting blitzed and passing out here." After checking out the location, James had remembered Lucy's present and directed them towards the Jewelry store. When they had arrived James had offered for him to go in, but Jackson insisted that he was more of a "Leather Guy". He was glad to see that James was still treating Lucy as the queen she was; for if anyone deserved that treatment, it was her. The way she held herself and controlled those around her, while remaining as gorgeous as she was. Jackson quickly caught himself before he went down that slippery slope, instead diverting his mind to the tasks he had to complete once he got back.
The beautiful Porter Estate was glamorized by the sunset, the light peering over the gable. The mood was even more fitted by the sputtering of the car's engine, once it was finally silenced. "Well, it's the looks that counts, aye?" Jackson climbed out of the car, also attempting the track down Kat. He would've loved to have popped open the hood and searched for a solution, but Jackson trying to fix a car is like a fish trying to climb a tree. His eyes, however, fell on a pointy star attached to a blazer. He looked up to James, his eye contact confirming that he also acknowledged the Inspector's presence. He followed behind James, not expecting the Chief to be here for anything serious.
When he heard that this whole situation was about Conor, he couldn't stop the chuckle from escaping his lips. He didn't need a summary to know what this was about. He was more surprised that the bloke had remembered the whole situation, after Conor had pumped him silly, let alone have the coherency to talk to the police. Jackson crossed his arms and leaned against the gate as James told the Chief to get stuffed and stormed off. Jackson raised his eyebrows at the Inspector, as if telepathically asking him what he honestly expected. He shrugged before turning on his heels and following behind James.
Jackson wasn't surprised when James asked him for help, although Conor was less likely to take Jackson more seriously than James. With Jackson, the conversation went more along the lines of, "You're not getting all boring on me, are ya'? You aren't letting the law scare ya', are ya'? You've been sober for too long, Jack." Although, he knew he could get Conor to agree if he was persistent enough. He really did enjoy picking fights with Conor by his side, though; seeing as Jackson was the one who instigated the fight the Inspector was bitchin' about.
Aliana's day went by as quickly as it had came. It seemed like things were always moving fast around her these days. For some reason, she had the feeling her life was passing her by and she wasn't accomplishing enough. Except, she had. The girl was running a restaurant -- albeit not alone -- but running a restaurant nonetheless. She was becoming successful in the underground world as well but she couldn't help but think something was missing.
Instead of continuing to think about it, she shoved the thoughts to the back of her mind. Thoughts like that interfered with more important things. Like, for instance, that next guy she was going to have in her bed. As she sat at the bar of Sky Haven, she looked around. Things were going great and business had never been better. There were the occasional rule breakers that she handled herself, but nothing too major.
Speaking of rule breakers, that's what she was currently dealing with. She had a very strict no smoking rule in effect, the smell of it making her want to vomit and someone was breaking it. So, she had to kill them with kindness in order to get her point across. Really she was going to give him a piece of her mind when she was approached by Sinead. The guy ran off and Ali narrowed her eyes before turning to her.
"Hello, my love. I'm doing well, and yourself?" She took a look at the table she was sitting at and waved at Peter before smiling at Savannah. "Hey sassy Sav looking mischievous today." She shot her a wink before turning back to Sinead. "Oh you know if there's drinks I'll be there.
Kat’s day was relaxing for her. She had spent the day in the garage, her haven as she preferred to call it, working on her bosses’ car while her tiny radio played music in the background. Her ginger hair was messily braided while her face and overalls slowly collected oil stains as she played underneath the hood. To Kat, cars were nothing more than toys to tinker with, a puzzle she just had to solve and her wrenches were just her tools to help her solve it. Kat sang awfully along to the music throughout the day as her overalls continued to collect more oil.
Kat hardly noticed what the time was when she heard a car door slam. She slipped out underneath the car hood and peered over, noticing James was speaking to another man with Jackson by his side. Kat’s brow furrowed together as she wiped her sweaty face, spreading the tiny splatter of oil on her cheek, before wiping her hands off. Kat swiftly closed the hood of the car and switched off the radio before dashing towards the two boys once the stranger left.
Kat strolled into the Porter's house, pouring herself a cold glass of water for herself when she heard a familiar voice call out. Kat placed the glass down and rushed to the foyer with a grin on her lips. “Afternoon, boys,” The young woman called out, her South London accent flooding between her words as she stopped in front of them, giving both James and Jackson a smile, “How’s the car doin’? Is she driving smoothly?” Kat asked curiously as she dusted her hands on her overalls, flickering her gaze between James and Jackson.
The day had started like most for Lucy, her days of excitement (or more like terror) were basically over and the peaceful life of motherhood had graced her beautifully. Some may call it boring, Lucy liked to look at it as not having to constantly fear for her life or her husbands'. Ten years had gone by in the blink of an eye and here they all were. The children were now home from school and around the house, surely not wanting to hang with their boring "old" mother. As she read a book in the lounge, she bristled at the thought of turning 34 tomorrow. The woman was amazed with how fast life was leaving her, she didn't have any regrets, and she couldn't think of ever having another. There were still a few she held on to, things that she feared if she let go completely, she would forget who she was and where she came from.
The blonde's eyebrows raised at the sound of excited dogs outside wondering if Emery had riled up the pups again. A small smile came to her lips thinking of her darling little niece. Lucy was standing to perhaps join in the little adventure the girl seemed to be having, missing when her children were smaller, more adventurous, and actually wanted to interact with her and James. Apparently, they were embarrassing. Looking towards the clock above the fireplace, Lucy sighed.. the sound of dogs barking and Emery laughing lightly was enticing but Lucy knew she needed to get dinner started.
Snapping the book closed, she walked towards the kitchen, heels clicking against the floor, years of wearing the damned things even inside of her own home showing as she gracefully glided to grab what she needed. Moving to the record player in the corner of the room, she turned on Johnny Cash humming along to the lowly played music as she prepared and cooked the meal. She had just finished off preparing the last dish and shoving it into the oven when Kat appeared, Lucy was about to speak when her husband's voice rang out and the ginger basically sprinted to the door."Whoah child!! you are going to break your neck!" Lucy shook her head with a chuckle and wondered what the girl's rush was as she too followed in her footsteps. She heard her speak to the two men before she chimed in as well.
"James? Gosh its been so long that I hardly recognize that handsome mug of yours." She teased, passively complaining about him being gone all day. It was normal, he was a busy man and she understood his position well, as her own father carried it all her life. She waltzed towards the front door and smile widely at the two men along with Kat before moving to greet her husband with a kiss on the cheek. "Took you long enough!" She grumbled with a small pout, obviously teasing with James. Lucy smiled to Jackson. "Long time no see as well, you a stranger now?" She asked before stepped to the side to offer him a hug as well, completely oblivious to anything else going on between them besides friendship.
______________________________________________________ With: James, Jackson and Kat @Misty Gray@Enzyme@viridity Mentions:
Peter was enjoying his time out with Sinead and Savvy. The two younger children were left home with the nanny, although he already missed the two like crazy, it was nice to have some time with his eldest. Savannah wasn't his flesh and blood but he would never see her as anything but that. She was a blessing to him from the moment he walked into her life. Peter's eyes stared at Sinead for a tad longer than necessary as he took in her every perfect curve, the way she tilted her head to the side as she asked a question, curiosity radiating from her like a small child, her smile bright enough to put the sun to shame. He tipped his drink back after another long moment of appreciating his wife, a small smile forming on his lips as he thought about that word carefully.
Things turned out differently than he thought they would. He never thought he was deserving of this life. The family life. His having abandoned him at a young age, he spent years wondering if he was good enough for someone's love. If anyone wanted to love him. Now he had more family than he even knew what to do with. Peter's thoughts were distracted as Savvy leaned in to speak with him. A small chuckle escaped him as she revealed she wouldn't tell Sinead who said the curse word. Peter already had a guess, straight from the Conor's mouth it came from, he was sure: it seemed to be his catchphrase nowadays. Peter listened to his daughter and shook his head slowly with a sigh. "You know your mother doesn't like curse words, and you don't have to tell us who said it, but you must learn not to repeat it." Peter leaned in and kissed the top of Savvy's head while pulling her close.
"Gotta set a good example for your brother and sister, you wouldn't want them saying those words now would you?" He asked curiously, trying to get his daughter to understand that the word wasn't suitable for children. "Only adults use that word, once you turn 18 you are free to use it, but until then....just try not to say it around your mother okay?" With that, he gave Savannah a wink and ruffled her hair before Aliana came to the table. He offered her a wave in return with a kind smile before watching the table interact, looking around the restaurant briefly, just casual surveillance really.
The fresh air seemed to add clarity to Conor's mind, but that only paved way for him to start to think of the potential consequences of his actions. He was expecting to enter the family home only to be lectured about it all over again. He knew Inspector Conway was meant to be turning a blind eye to the Porters activities but he also knew that didn't exactly extend to bailing drunken brawlers out of being locked up. Conor hadn't even asked for the favour as he was no stranger to spending the night sleeping at the police station. He'd been no stranger to it as a teenager so he didn't need protecting from it now. Conor frowned as he realised he was yet again practising an explanation for his family when he wondered if he should even bother explaining himself to them. His sisters all had the beautiful families and lives they deserved, so he was fine with being the drunken uncle who goes out drinking with the guys at night and spoils the children by day.
Conor was about to automatically step around the woman who was looking into a shop window, but when she spoke his name, he practically froze. He didn't even need to look at her to know who had addressed him; her voice was clear as day in his mind. Alexandra Romano. Still, he did look to her face and found himself noticing how beautiful his first - only - love still was. It had been just over ten years since he'd last seen her and that day still weighed heavy on him. She'd lost her father, brother, uncle and friend, all at the same time. The last he saw of the distraught girl was her entering the train station to leave Chicago. He never expected to see her again. Considering a few weeks prior to her departure he'd allowed her to be kidnapped and hurt, he was surprised she'd even acknowledged him right now and not simply avoided him.
"Alex..." Conor eventually replied. His voice was neutral, but his eyes told a deeper story than he wished to reveal. He took another good look at her and allowed a warm smile to cross his lips. She looked healthy and happy, from what he could tell. That filled him with some comfort, knowing she'd been able to pick herself back up after her tragedies. Not that she wasn't a strong girl when he knew her, but grief could easily change a person. "What are you doing in Dublin?" he curiously asked her. "Are you well? I mean, you look well," he assured her.
James was glad that Jackson seemed willing to speak with Conor, even if it was just a casual conversation about him needing to settle down. He just figured it would be taken better from his friend rather than the brother-in-law who was essentially in the position Conor should have been in. Hell, at least when Conor was in charge ten years ago, he had knocked the excessive drinking on the head and tried to act responsibly. James knew the reason for the young man's persistent drinking and recklessness, but he also knew that the woman he had loved had gone now and it was long overdue for him to move on. Alex wouldn't be coming back.
"It's much appreciated," he told Jackson. The topic of conversation left him mind when Kat happily approached them. The mechanic had quite an infectious smile, even enough to evoke a bright smile from the typically serious man. "The car's a piece of shit, Kat," he bluntly answered her question. James loved his cars. In fact, the black Bentley in question had been one of his favourites for some time, so it was surprising to hear him speak ill of the precious vehicle. "I haven't got time to look at it, but I'm sure you could check it out in the daylight, tomorrow?" he suggested. He knew it needed a new exhaust, but he'd let Kat discover that as he was certain she enjoyed tinkering with the car just had much as he did, so why spoil the fun? "I've had my eyes on a newer model for a while anyway..."
James was broken off when he heard Lucy's voice. Now, there was a beauty he could never replace or allow his eyes to stray from. He figured she was dreading adding an extra number onto her age, but she was still as smoking hot as she'd been 10 or even 15 years ago. Once again, he would be caught allowing a bright smile to grow on his face. This smile was different though, it was one of deep love and admiration for his wife. Lucy was the woman who always made him ensure he returned home each day and had made him acknowledge the value of his own life. "Wow. Forgetting who I am already, love? That hurts," he said, feigning offence. When she kissed his cheek, he softly rubbed her shoulder and gave her a quick peck on the lips in return. He was aware of the audience. "I'll make it up to you later," he quietly told her. "Do you need help with dinner?" he offered. Whilst he was always busy with the business, he knew Lucy had practically fallen into the role of housewife and he knew more than anyone that she was far greater than that role. She was a strong and successful woman, and James never agreed with the social norm of women waiting on their husbands.
James stepped aside to hang up his jacket, letting Lucy speak with Jackson. He turned back to the mechanic to address her. "Did you get much done on the other cars, Kat?" he asked. He wasn't checking up on her, just making casual conversation. Such conversations weren't James' favourite things, but he liked to ensure he extended his manners to his employees. He preferred to have people he trusted and considered to be friends working for him, rather than people simply paid to perform jobs for him. Those who were easily bought could only hold the most fragile loyalty.
Sinead glanced to Peter and Savannah as the two quietly spoke. It often made her heart melt to see her husband interact so naturally and lovingly with Savannah. She loved her little family and this was the life she'd always dreamed of. Sure, she wasn't travelling the world performing to big crowds, but she now realised she could never have had that and the family she'd also dreamed of. She sometimes performed in venues around Dublin whilst also having the pleasure of being married with children. This was the perfect balance she always wanted. It was stressful at times and she worried she might be growing a bit of a nag, but she loved her family. She only hoped Peter was happy with his life now and that he didn't resent missing out on the gangster action.
Savannah listened to Peter and nodded her head affirmatively when he explained why she wasn't allowed to swear. She sighed as she continued to lean again her stepdad. "Fine, I'll stop swearing near you and mum," she told him. Peter would no doubt pick up on her conditional promise of simply not swearing when her parents were around. She then looked up and smiled at Aliana when the lady addressed her. She liked the pretty restaurant owner and thought it was nice her mum had friends. She just wished she had some friends her own age too - not just her frequently annoying little brother and sister. She grinned when Aliana said she was looking mischievous. "Not me, Ali. I'm an angel," she assured her.
"I'm glad you'll be there, Ali," Sinead told her. She then raised an eyebrow as something else dawned on her. "Have you seen Conor the last couple of days?" she asked. She knew the two were friends and Conor often showed up in the restaurant when he was sober enough to need food. "It's been a few days since he last crashed at mine. Whilst I appreciate him not leaving his usual mess, I miss his dumb face and silly jokes," she fondly told her.
Alexandra looked at Conor as he turned to face her, while his tone gave nothing away she could see in his eyes that something was clearly going on with him. All thoughts of what Michelle was possibly buying flew out of her head as she turned around to face him. Alex had never thought she would see him again especially after her talk with James, she had accepted that their relationship was over and yet looking into his eyes now reminded her why she had fallen in love with him in the first place. Over the years Alex had forgiven Conor for what had happened to her nearly ten years ago, she had accepted it and moved on but yet she had never fully moved on from him, granted that she had a little reminder of him in her life.
“I had to leave Italy” she told him in a response before letting a smile take over her features “im good and thank you, how are you? I heard you were traveling?” She told him before Conor could reply or Alex could ask any more questions, she heard the shop door open and felt a small hand grab onto hers “Mam who’s this?”
Alex looked down at her daughter a soft smile playing on lips “this is Conor , he an old friend” Alex told her before a stern expression took over her features as she spotted the family sharing sized bar in her hand “Michelle I said one bar” she told her in an exasperated tone. “But it is one bar” she told her mother with a smirk. Alex shook her head but decided this conversation was better left for later considering the situation she was now in. Michelle had also picked up on the fact that her mother was letting this slide and turned to face the man beside them “hi Conor” she said in greeting, a big smile on her face.
Alex looked at Conor, a smile played on her lips but something else could be seen in her eyes. “This is Michelle” she told Conor as she bit her lip, she could tell already what Conor thought. That Alex had moved on and had met someone else , Alex hesitated slightly as she took another drag of her cigarette.
“She’s nearly ten” Alex told him, hoping that the statement of her age alone would confirm to him that Michelle was his.
Vittoria beckoned Emory close to her, where she could hold onto both of the children's hands. "How about we wait for your parents to get home to play with the dogs, but in the meantime, I have a lovely idea to keep you both." She raised an eyebrow, adding a hint of mischief to her words. Emory especially had seemed to respond well to this tactic in the past.
Strutting back up to the house, She turned only briefly to the two. "Vieni!, Por vein!" She yelled. Come along, first in Italian, and then in latin. Vittoria waited patiently by the back door, already brainstorming what she'd be teaching the little ones to do. Braden was much more of a typical boy, who liked to play fight and goof around, but Emory hadn't expressed much interest in that sort of thing around Vittoria. She had to find something the both of them would be interested in, and music seemed like a solid option.
"When I was Braden's age, my grandmother began telling me stories about my family, and some of them just so happen to be told like plays or songs! In order to tell the story though, I'm going to need a little bit of help, are you guys willing to do that?"
Conor nodded his head as Alex told him she had to leave Italy. He didn't know why, but he figured it wasn't much easier for her living with the rest of the family, even with her controlling father out of the picture. He'd visited Italy during his travels and was about to mention how beautiful the place had been. Instead, he was interrupted when a cute little girl joined Alex and took the Italian lady's hand. Clearly, it was her daughter and that naturally brought a smile to Conor's face. It was good to see she had moved on with her life, even if he hadn't.
When Alex introduced him to the girl and mentioned he was an old friend, Conor gave a her a wave and a friendly smile as he looked down at the child. He loved kids and he spent a fair bit of his time entertaining his nieces and nephews, taking hope from their energy and playful spirits. He folded his arms as he watched Alex tell her daughter off for buying a big bar of chocolate. "Ha. She's got you there, Alex!" he spoke up, his voice teasing. "This kid knows her stuff," he said, with a brief chuckle. "Hi, Michelle," he replied when the girl spoke to him. The smile was still on his face from his amusement at her resourcefulness around the bar of chocolate.
When Alex told him the girl was nearly ten, he slowly nodded his head and the smile left his face for a short time. A slight nausea overcame him and his heart rate quickened. Still, his automatic response was one that wouldn't be one of his proudest moments but these days his gut reaction was typically one of avoidance. "Almost ten, huh?" he said, planting the smile back on his lips. "I hope your mam lets you have a big party." He awkwardly scratched the back of his head as he tried to think of anything but what was glaringly obvious. He looked back to Alex and nervously bit his lip. Perhaps this wasn't the best time to discuss things, not with Michelle around. Maybe he wasn't even sure how to approach it at all. "You both look really happy. I'm glad you're happy..." he said, almost stumbling over his words.
When Vittoria beckoned her over, Emery remained on the spot and pointed up into the tree. "I want to bring the cat! I can't reach it!" she stamped her foot and loudly spoke, as though raising her voice would make her get her way. She heard the nanny mention having an idea and the lady seemed to suggest some mischief. Emery brightly smiled and nodded her head. The small child often protested, yet her protests rarely lasted, especially when distractions were provided. If anyone was living life in the present, it was Emery!
Braden was already patiently holding Vittoria's hand and once Emery held her other hand, they walked back to the house. Braden smiled as Vittoria spoke in Italian and Latin. Though he was often quiet, it didn't mean he wasn't paying attention and he found it very easy to retain new information. Braden then listened as the nanny explained what she was going to do and it involved plays or songs. "Yeah, I'll help," he agreed, always willing to learn and play.
"Ooh. Ooh!" Emery said, sticking her hand up in the air. "Are we going to sing about cats?!" she excitedly asked. She wasn't sure what was going on, but she heard songs mentioned and that was enough to gain her cooperation.
"Yeah, sorry I didn't get to take you out of the stables today I really just didn't feel like having to get all my riding gear on." Arlo runs his hand down the neck of the horse. "I know that's not the best excuse but I think it's pretty damn good." Arlo pauses his petting "you have no clue what I'm saying why am I carrying on a conversation with you." He gives the horse a final pat "I think that's my cue to head inside, the cold is finally getting to me." He exits the stall locking it behind him and heading back to the house.
Arlo had been in the stables most of the day playing with and grooming the horses. He's enjoying whatever time he can outside while the weather is still bearable. Once the temperature drops below freezing he's defiantly staying inside most of the day. As much as he hates the cold, though, he can't wait for snow.
He'd always loved the snow even when he was in the orphanage. He would sit at the window of the room he shared with some of the other children and watch the snow fall. It was such a nice feeling. It's even better now that he has a home with a family. It makes the cold days feel a little warmer than they used to. Even now that he's been with his family for years now it hasn't dulled the feeling even the slightest.
Arlo noted his dad's car in the driveway on the way in the house. He hadn't seen him all day, actually he hadn't seen anyone all day. He opened the door and glanced around to see if anyone was in the area. He didn't see anyone so he made his way up the stairs and into his room. He kicked his shoes off by the door and took his jacket off throwing it on the dresser beside some other clothes that were already strew across it. He flopped onto his bed kicking his feet wondering what to do. He looked at the clock on the bedside table. They would probably be having dinner soon. He hopped up from the bed and went to wash up quickly.
He finished and lazily walked down the stairs. He went into the living room and sat on the back of the couch, he leaned back until the world was upside down. He felt like he was on the ceiling whenever he did this. It was an odd feeling but an enjoyable one nonetheless. "mom, dad" he called out to them. Partly out of boredom and partly because he hadn't seen them for a good chunk of the day.
Alexandra watched as Conor and Michelle conversed. She saw the smile on Conor’s face as he saw her and she couldn’t help but wonder how long that smile would stay once he heard the truth.
Michelle laughed when Conor said that she knows her stuff and she looked up to her mother “see Mam he agrees it’s one bar” she then turned to face Conor once again “and do you agree that a multi-pack can be seen as one bar because it’s in one packet?” She asked him with an innocent tone.
Alex groaned “we are not going back to that Michelle” she told her a slight sternness falling into her tone as she shook her head at her daughter clearly trying to get someone on her side.
Alex watched Conor carefully as she said the age and watched his smile falter, he had picked up on the hint anyway. She turned her eyes towards Michelle for a quick second and noticed the grin on her face “yeah we’re going to have a big party aren’t we Mam? you’re now invited too mister” Alex nodded her head at her daughter “yes we are but what would Conor want at a little girls party?” She asked her daughter with an amused smile on her face, her daughter was always so open to new people and it pleased Alex that she had already taken an apparent liking to Conor. Michelle shrugged in response but the smile remained on her lips as she looked back at the chocolate bar in her hand. “Yes you can open it, just don’t eat it all you haven’t had dinner yet” Alex told her before turning her attention back to Conor.
He was stumbling over his words and Alex could only imagine what was going on in his head. “Do you want to go somewhere and talk?” She asked him “or do you have somewhere to be?” Alex stopped talking when Michelle once again spoke up “we’re going to get a milkshake and then football training if you want to come?” She invited Conor. Alex turned her head to face her daughter with a raised eyebrow “a milkshake?” She asked her with shock in her tone “you’re eating a chocolate bar big enough for a small family” she said with a shake of her head. “You are not getting a milkshake aswell or you’ll be getting sick at training” Michelle sighed loudly before looking starting to eat her chocolate bar again. Alex looked back at Conor again awaiting his reply.
"You wouldn't dare!" "I already . . . dared." Two young children by the names of Antonio (Tony) and Mckenzie (Mac) were sitting across the table glaring at one another after bickering for what seemed to be the longest time. Any other guest in the Sky Haven restaurant might have thought that they were both unruly children abandoned by their guardians. In fact, it didn't help that they had been seated by themselves for the past twenty minutes. "There you are!" Adriano (Ryan) announced casually jogging into the restaurant. His timing was off by thirty minutes, but a long night at the pub lasting till earlier that morning was ultimately to blame. People kept coming in and getting their rounds in like it wasn't a Thursday night. . . . Ignore the fact that it was already about 5 pm! His sleeping schedule was all over the place.
The man kissed his five-year-old half-sister on the head before sliding into his seat and briefly putting an arm around his ten-year-old younger brother. "So, where's mom?" Ryan tilted his head a bit as his green eyes shifted in curiosity to study the intense duo. He hadn't seen Tony and Mac since last week because he already lived in his own quarters. Well, technically it was his own even if it was just the guest house right next to the family's home. Earlier that month, pop offered the space to Ryan seeing that he was already a full grown man and the guest area had to be paid with the main house anyway. It was a means to escape any late night interrogations about his whereabouts especially after his underground fights, so Ryan accepted.
The family had been planning to have a night out together for the first time since they moved to Ireland about two months ago. It was definitely a challenge to do so mainly due to the fact that their stepfather was still under investigation. "Pop called sayin' he needed her for something. They'll meet us at home," Tony replied diverting his attention to his older brother. Honestly, the situation didn't surprise Ryan at all. It would take a whole lot of guts just to be able to eat out with family under strong surveillance. Anything his pop would say could be used against him even if it wasn't within the proper context. "Hm, alright. Now how about some food?" Ryan changed the subject releasing his grip from his brother and adjusting his own position. The slightly failed family outing could have upset the younger kids in someway.
"I'm carving!" Their youngest member suddenly blurted out from the side before rubbing her stomach. The table paused at her unusual remark before Tony corrected, "It's STARVING, not carving." "Okay whatever, diva," Mckenzie shot back a side eye at the middle child without hesitation. Ryan raised a brow at their interaction as he glanced momentarily at Antonio. "I just asked for sparkling water," Tony started with an underlying tone, "What's so wrong about that? She's been threatening to call me "diva", but now that she's said it . . I'm done," The boy rubbed his hands over his face very stressfully as he concluded his sentence. Tony had wanted to try sparkling water particularly after their pop asked for one the other day. Anyway, before Ryan could mediate the chaos, Mckenzie immediately began waving both her hands in the air to get any server's attention, "We have an old guy with us now. Can we please get a menu?"
Conor had been amused by the girl's persistence, asking if multi-packs were considered one bar. On that one he would disagree, on the grounds that there were multiple small bars within the one large packet. However, he wasn't about to be the one to tell the child she was wrong, especially as Alex wished to put an end to the chocolate-related debate. He had a feeling he knew someone just like her - someone who had a way of blagging or bargaining to get a little more out of a transaction. A free pint here or there, in Conor's instance.
Conor let out an awkward laugh as Michelle told him he was invited to her party and then Alex went on to asked what interest he'd have in a girls party. "Oh, I've been to my fair share of those. I have a niece around your age," he told Michelle. "I find the free cake is the best part," he told them. For some reason, he found himself unable to commit to accepting the girl's invite, or even accepting her offer out of simple courtesy without intention to turn up. It was a strange feeling to think he had a daughter and something he was struggling to process. He observed the little girl as she began to eat the chocolate, but he was snapped out of it when Alex asked if he needed to go talk.
"Alex, you and I need to talk..." he began. He was broken off when Michelle invited him for a milkshake and football training. Only a stutter sound escaped his mouth as he struggled to find the right words for the child. He was saved from having to think up a response when Alex lectured the girl about eating too much and getting sick. He took a deep breath to try calm himself before noticing Alex's eyes were back on him. She wanted a reply, a real response to this whole bombshell. He wasn't sure if he could truly answer her with Michelle standing there between them both.
Conor had just discovered he had a daughter. He'd had a daughter for 10 years without even knowing she existed. As much as he wanted to smile at the news and give Michelle her first big Conor hug, he couldn't allow himself to. He'd let the years pass him by in the blink of an eye and he was in no greater a position than he was before she was born. Though he'd been working for James and was a significant part in his nieces & nephews lives, when all that was stripped down he'd only been looking out for himself. He was selfish and reckless - James had said as much following one of his drunken escapades. Michelle looked happy and Alex did too. Conor believed his presence in the child's life would only lead to disappointment for her. His own father had been a great man and an amazing role model, as were James and Peter. Surely this girl deserved better than a selfish, drunken gangster for a dad.
"It's difficult, you know..." he told Alex. His eyes were pleading, hoping she knew how much this had caught him off-guard. "There's a lot to discuss. A whole ten years..."
Alexandra smiled when Conor talked about his niece, she had forgotten that Sinead had a child around the same age as Michelle. It was in that moment that Alex also wondered has Lucy and James had children. Her conversation with James about seven years ago was a short one and didn't hold very much depth and was more about Conor and their relationship. Come to think of it, Alex was unsure if James even knew that Alex still lived in Ireland.
She listened as Conor sort of dodged the question about going to her party but Michelle seemed content with his answer and thankfully didn't pose any more questions on the matter, now staying quiet after mentioning the milkshake. When Conor looked back at her and agreed they needed to talk, Alex studied his expression and could see the distress clear in his eyes. She knew that this news was a lot to take in, she was pretty sure even seeing her after all these years would have been enough of a shock. "Right, I'm going to bring Michelle home and get Fallon to bring her too training tonight if you want to meet up to talk?" she asked him as she took another drag of her cigarette before dropping the butt on the ground and then stamping on it to put it out. "Just name a place and we'll catch up" She told him.
After waiting for his reply, Alex smiled and nodded before grabbing onto Michelle's hand again "c'mon we need to get your homework done and get you dressed" Alex told her daughter. Michelle looked up at Conor and smiled before reaching her hand out and handing him two pieces of chocolate "it was nice to meet you, my mam needs some friends" Michelle said innocently. Alex gasped in shock at Michelle's words "Michelle" she exclaimed "I can't believe you said that". Her daughter started laughing, succeeding in embarrassing her mother and Alex shook her head. god they were going to have words when they got home.
After saying goodbye to Conor, Alexandra and Michelle walked home to their house. "Fallon" Alex shouted through the house as Michelle made her way into the kitchen to start her homework. Alex was still in shock at having seen Conor today and wasn't sure how to really feel about the situation. She had accepted that she would never see him again and yet having seen him she felt weird. All her feelings that she had supressed for him were suddenly bubbling back to the surface and now Alexandra didn't know how to feel. "I need you to bring Michelle to football training please" Alex asked her sister "and keep an eye on her for a bit" She pleaded.
fallon had spent the day in her room, drawing different ideas and sketches while flipping through magazines. a bottle of whiskey sat idly on her beside table while loose pieces of paper were messily piled next to the bottle. fallon was usually a neat person, always making sure her room was presentable if someone came in during the night. fallon wandered from one end of the room to another, lazily sketching random ideas on whatever pieces of paper she could find. fallon had nearly finished the bottle of whiskey when she heard alex call out her name.
"i'm coming!" fallon called back out, quickly hiding the bottle in her closet before strolling out of her room to meet her sister and her neice with a pleasent smile. Fallon listened to Alex's request as she made her way to the kitchen, pulling out a glass and some red wine as well. "That's fine, Alex," Fallon smiled as she poured herself a drink, "you need to find some friends anyway." She shrugged as Fallon leaned against the counter where Michelle was doing her homework, taking sips of the drink as she spoke. "I'll make sure gets to training on time, so don't you fret." Fallon chuckled, "How come the sudden request though? You usually take Michelle." Fallon asked with a raised brow.
Alexandra pulled on her cardigan as she made her way into the kitchen, watching over Michelle as she took out her books and began her homework. As Alex watched her all she could think was that the only thing michelle wanted was to meet her father, and completely unbeknown to her she had met him today. But Alex was not going to tell her that, not yet anyway, for fear that Conor may reject them both.
When Fallon entered the kitchen, Michelle looked up at her aunt and smiled "Hi aunt Fallon, Mam made a friend today" She told her with a proud smile before raising her hand for a high-five when Fallon burned her mother before turning her attention back to her homework after receiving a glare from her mother.
Alex shook her head when Fallon said she needed to make a friend "That's where she got that from" she mumbled to herself but a smirk played on her lips. When Fallon asked why she needed her to mind Michelle, Alex bit her lip as she looked from Michelle to her sister. "I bumped into an old friend" she said as she motioned towards Michelle with her head, Alex just hoped she picked up on the hint that Alex had seen Michelle's father. "We have a lot to talk about, nearly ten years worth of stuff" she said with a small frown as her attention diverted back to Michelle. Alex didn't know how this conversation was going to go down, she didn't even know if she would ever get to tell Michelle that she had met her father. She watched as the young girl scribbled away at her homework and allowed a smile to pass her lips before looking back at her sister. Wondering how Fallon would take this news
The familiar sound of dogs barking and scratching at the windows brought a smile to Jackson’s face. He hadn’t been to the house in awhile, so it was a nice reminder of how lively it was. It was a refresher, for he was use to the dead silence of walking into his empty apartment. Jackson placed his hands in his pocket as they walked in.
He smiled as Kat approached them, nodding to her. When she asked how the car was doing, he made an O shape with his lips, "Well..." He smiled as James gave his evaluation, motioning towards him as if he had taken the words right out of his mouth. "How about you, how're you doing'?" He asked Kat, leaning back on the door. He figured she'd be pissed to hear that the car had broke down yet again, so he decided to perhaps ease her temper.
His eyes trailed up from Kat to Lucy as she made her way down the hall. His toothy smile remained on his face as she approached James. "Handsome mug? Are we seeing the same James?" He stepped aside as Lucy went to hug and kiss James, resting his hand on the stair railing and briefly looking away. He was perfectly fine with the married couples affection, at least he told himself that. Jackson was slightly taken back by the hug, but happily accepted it and rested his hand on her back. He looked up, pretending to contemplate her question. "If I am, do I still get dinner?"
Jackson felt the pup's tail repeatedly belting his legs. "Alright, alright c'mere." He got down on one knee and moved to pet the dog. Seeing the opportunity, the dog nearly attacked the poor lad with kisses, causing Jackson to instinctevly scrunch his face and close his eyes. "I think he can smell the booze on me. Lucy, i'm afraid your dogs an alcoholic." He stood up, using the handkerchief in his jacket to wipe the sticky saliva from his face. "Anyways, can I help ya' with dinner?" He asked, leaning on the railing once more.
Kat was slightly taken aback by James' bluntness, angrily chewing her bottom lip as she tried to refrain from breaking hell on James. She knew he meant well, but her stubbornness could get the worst of her sometimes. Kat folded her arms as she took a deep breath, trying to calm the angry storm that was churning inside of her. "Right, guess I'm having an all-nighter tonight," She joked as she watched Lucy and James wander off before hearing Jackson asking how she was. Kat felt butterflies form in her stomach as she untangled her arms and stuffed her hands in the pockets of her overalls, rocking back and forth on her heels. "I seriously need a drink," She muttered with a cheeky smirk before noticing Lucy emerging from the hallway.
Katherine followed Jackson closely as the pup raced up to Jackson. A small smile formed on Kat's face, her gaze flickering back and forth between Jackson and the Porter couple. Kat, as much as she enjoys being her own woman, always dreamt of having her own family, settle down and have a kid with her infectious smile. Kat also couldn't help but imagine a future with Jackson, her heart seemed to race every time she saw him but of course, Jackson couldn't know that. Kat had been independent her entire life, so why stop now?
Kat didn't respond to James' question, but he realised Jackson was likely a more interesting distraction for her. He faintly smiled to himself at that thought. "No rush for the car. Do it tomorrow," he suggested, whether or not it registered with the young woman. After some of the private talks they'd had, he was happy for her to just spend time around the others and feel as much a part of the family as often as she could.
James was about to give his dogs some attention when he heard a voice call out for him and Lucy. Deciding the dogs would be far more forgiving about him not being around all day, he made his way into the lounge to see the source of the voice - his son, Arlo. He entered the room to see his youngest son sat back on the couch. He couldn't help but smile to himself as he saw the kid safe and sound before his eyes. Being called "dad" never got old, either. No matter how many times he heard it, it made him feel proud to know he was a father and the kids he cared about had accepted him as such.
"Hey, Arlo. Does your old man get a hug?" he half-joked as he greeted the boy. He rounded the couch and sat back in the space next to him, giving him a gentle, fatherly squeeze of the shoulder. He was about to ask the kid about school when he remembered the place had been closed today so Arlo had been able to hang out at home. "Are you doing alright? What have you been up to today?" he asked him. "Sorry I haven't been around much in the last few days. I intend on being here tomorrow." He lowered his voice before speaking his next words. "It's your mother's birthday and we need to make sure she has a good day. Did you manage to sort something out for her present, or do you need me to help?" James had already given him some money but wasn't sure if Arlo had been able to go anywhere with any of his aunts or uncles to pick a gift for Lucy.
Conor raised a curious eyebrow when Alex mentioned Fallon's name. It only made him more curious about how many more Romanos were in Ireland. The worst of them were dead, of that he was sure. Alex had suggested they could meet up to talk, alone. To that, he nodded his head. The confusion and thoughts he had were not for discussion in front of little Michelle, off that he was sure. "Green's Cafe? In about one hour?" he suggested, knowing the cafe would be open for a couple more hours and would be quieter than the other places he tended to visit. Conor knew that right about now he was meant to be heading over to the Porters for dinner with the family, Jackson and Kat, but he figured this was probably the most understandable excuse he'd had for letting them down to date.
"It was real nice to meet you too... Michelle..." Conor replied to the child, his gaze lingering on her slightly. It was difficult to process that she was his daughter, especially with the knowledge she was nearly ten years old and he'd never for a second imagined she - or any child of his - existed. She managed to bring a smile to his face at her comment about Alex needing some friends. "You be nice to your mum," he told Michelle, before she and Alex walked away.
Conor detoured back to his empty apartment to freshen up a little before meeting Alex. Typically, his idea of freshening up also involved a couple of shots of whiskey for the road. He eventually cleaned himself up and sprayed some cologne before heading back out to the cafe. He arrived before Alex and found a quiet table in the corner where they could speak in privately. Knowing he was early, he ordered himself a coffee to wash down the alcohol.
Lucy's cheeks reddened at the sight of her husband's smile, it simply never grew old and neither did he. Jokes are made all the time but Lucy couldn't deny that they both had aged very well all things considering. Although Lucy was cheating with all the anti-wrinkle cream she basically dumped on her face, at least she thought she was. Accepting the peck on the lips, a small giggle escaped her when James promised to make up for his absence later that evening, understanding they had an audience, Lucy gave him a wink. As Lucy turned to Jackson, she made a note to come back to James' question about helping with dinner before saying hello. Jackson and her had always gotten along so well, it was rare, but Lucy sometimes felt a strange vibe from him, she wasn't sure what it was. It wasn't threatening, otherwise Lucy never would have interacted with the man, but it was something more.
She chuckled at his comment about wondering if they saw the same James. Her husband was handsome, she would never say anything otherwise, because she gave up lies a long time ago. "Well normally I am not one for feeding complete strangers, but I think I can make an exception." She winked his way before the man was bombarded with dogs. Lucy let out a laugh as the man openly let the dogs love on him, rolling her eyes at the comment he made but laughed warmly. "I wouldn't doubt it, I've caught little Pistol getting into my whiskey glasses I leave on the coffee table, poor thing was walking into walls the whole night." Upon hearing his name, the little Yorkshire Terrier with the attitude of a Great Dane sprinted into the room and bounced on his hind legs for Lucy to pick him up. Before picking the pup up, Arlo called out to both James and herself.The blonde picked up the pup just as Jackson stood up again and Lucy looked to see where James had run off to, hoping he went to see what their son needed whilst she was distracted momentarily. Hearing Jackson's question, Lucy turned to him a smiled sweetly, appreciating the gesture from both him and James but knowing they had a busy day of their own. "I only have one more thing in the oven and then dinner is done, so there isn't much else to do. Would you like a drink though?" She asked just as Kat mumbled something about needing a drink herself and Lucy gave her a cheeky grin, "What you want doll?, I'm sure my husband can be a pain in the arse about his cars." She asked Kat as well as she began to take small steps back towards the kitchen, prepared to break out the drinks.
Peter resisted the urge to roll his eyes at his daughter as she only agreed to not use swear words around himself or Sinead. Of course her poor Aunts and Uncles might not be spared that courtesy, but he was sure that most definitely James and Lucy would be able to tell her no, Conor on the other hand...well Savannah had gotten that phrase from him so perhaps they needed to have a few words again. The shifting in power had been odd for Peter at first, his original boss, Conor, stepped down and his mentor James had took his place. Everyone seemed to be thriving do to it but Peter was very much concerned for his former boss and brother in law. Peter had stayed out of the exciting life he once knew for quite some time now, but Conor hasn't stepped out of it yet. Not even with Alex was he able to have somewhat of a calm and normal life.
His thoughts were interrupted by Savannah's response to Ali, causing him to laugh out loud and shake his head. "An angel huh? Sure you aren't the devil in disguise?" He teased his daughter lovingly before planting another firm kiss on top of her head before letting the ladies talk a bit. His mind was stuck on that word now, Angel. How ironic was it that Savannah called herself that? The girl knew the truth about her real father, but Peter and Sinead both agreed along with the rest of the family the they would not share their ill feelings towards the deceased man in front of or with Savvy. The pain on both ends wasn't worth it for all parties. He took his glass filled with a small amount of alcohol and swirled it for a moment before tipping it back, making a small face as the bitter taste slide down his throat; he slammed it a bit too hard against the table, no doubt causing the ladies to look his way. He blushed quickly and dipped his head in apology.
______________________________________________________ With: Sinead, Savvy, Aliana @Misty Gray@Melanin-Gxdess Mentions:
Thomas had been asleep for most of the day, having worked throughout the night guarding the Porters' place. He didn't mind the erratic work patterns as he knew he'd only be spending his money placing bets otherwise. Protecting the family that had taken him in and tried to help his father was far more rewarding than winning some cash. He decided to head to one of his favourite places for a bite to eat before he checked in to receive his orders from the Porters. As he parked up outside the Sky Haven, he noticed Peter's car also nearby. He would have assumed Peter was in the jazz club, next door, were he not already aware he'd taken Sinead and Savannah out for the day.
When he turned off the car engine, two unfamiliar men who hadn't been there a few moments ago caught his eye. Though they were standing at the other side of the road, they seemed to be looking at Peter's car for longer than Thomas was comfortable with. He'd spent a lot of time watching people and keeping guard to recognise when people were being unnatural. Or was he just being paranoid? He figured it paid to be safe, so would follow his instincts first. He climbed out of his own vehicle and leaned against the side of it. He put a smoke in his mouth and lit it up, remaining on the spot as he smoked it. He made no secret of the fact he was watching the two men, practically staring them down. They eventually caught on and continued on their way down the street. Thomas remained where he was until his smoke was finished. Mostly, to be sure the men were gone, but also because he knew Ali would give him shit if he smoked in her restaurant. He wanted nothing more than to stay safely in the beautiful woman's good books. Even if he believed she was way out of his league, it didn't stop him from making the effort with her.
Sinead and Savannah Callahan
Savannah grinned as Peter teased her about being the devil. "No way, not me, dad," she cheerfully assured him. A content smile remained on her face as Peter kissed her head again. Although she knew her father had gone by the name 'Angel', she hadn't realised at all that calling herself an angel might ring familiar to her parents. Besides, Sinead had always called the man by his real name, Giovanni, so Savannah often forgot about the other name he'd gone by. With her ice-cream finished and her interest in the restaurant dying out, the girl found herself simply watching the adults around her. She glanced to Peter as he had a drink but she only properly looked to him when he slammed the glass on the table. "If you break the glass, they'll make you pay for it. Ali's right there!" she told him, allowing her jaw to drop in an exaggerated expression. She then smiled again and wrapped her arms around Peter for a tight hug. "I'm just playing, dad."
Sinead had heard Savannah call herself an angel and was aware of the way the glass slammed when Peter placed it on the table. She couldn't help but feel a little awkward by the situation. Though she was sure Savannah had made an innocent comment, Sinead knew Peter and herself associated the word with some of the less savoury parts of the past. Sinead didn't want Savannah to know about that side of her biological father, fearing the truth would be too harmful for the sweet child. Sinead noticed Adriano trying to get Ali's attention and decided to take it as her own cue to leave. "It looks like you're needed, Ali. Thank you for the great service, as always. Make sure you come over to see us when you're free," she suggested.
Sinead turned her attention back to Peter and Savannah, checking they'd finished eating. "I think it's time we went home, before Emery realises we're having fun without her and gets jealous. Put your coat on, Savvy," she told her daughter. Knowing the child would take her time doing so, Sinead looked to Peter and sent him a concerned look. She outstretched her arms to take his hands and pull him up to his feet. "You okay, Petey?" she knowingly asked him. Despite wearing heels, she still stood on her tiptoes and leaned in to place a kiss on his lips. "Do we need to talk later, honey?" she softly asked him. She never liked to see Peter troubled or uncomfortable, so she would do what she could to reassure him.
Thomas entered the restaurant in time to see Adriano trying to get Ali's attention. He recognised the man as one of Conor's newest employees over at the pub. They'd not exchanged too much in terms of conversation, but they were certainly aware of each other by now. Thomas briefly watched Ali and smiled to himself as he took in her features. Soon enough, he snapped out of it and approached the Callahans. Savvy was busy focusing on fastening the buttons of her coat, so Thomas spoke quietly to Peter and Sinead. "This is probably nothing, but just be cautious until you get home. I saw a couple of guys looking too interested in your car for my liking. They walked away, but just keep an eye out, alright?" he suggested.
This immediately caused Sinead to tense up at the thought of any dangers which by default she would link to her family's business. "Thank you for the warning," she told Thomas, putting on a smile for him, until he left to find himself a table. Sinead turned to Savannah and helped straighten the collar of the girl's jacket. She then held the child's hand tightly and looked to Peter. "Shall we get ourselves home?" she softly suggested.