Saturday, October 24, 2009

Keeping Up Appearences

DeSantos Residence - Sagebrush, Las Vistas

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_01

Nico stood in his bedroom rubbing the back of his neck. The day had been long and trying and all he wanted to do was unwind. He was wound up about several things: the late shipment of his “products” for the month, the run in with one of his past associates, but mostly his conversation with the woman who once held his heart ….when there was a heart to hold.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_02

Trudging into the bathroom he stripped off his clothes, stepped into the shower, and turned on the hot water valve at full force letting the steaming water rush over his head.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_03

He closed his eyes and gave himself over to the thoughts running through his mind; every one a remnant of his encounter with Isabella. Her eyes, her voice, her perfume, the curve of her hips, the shape of her thighs and how he imagined it would feel to have them wrapped around his waist again. He slid his hands down the length of his torso and just before they could find a physical solution to his frustration, he was jarred back into reality by a loud thud. Something was wrong.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_04

Panic stricken he jumped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around his waist, and ran down the hall to see what had happened.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_05

He burst through the door and his eyes quickly ruled out his worst fears as he found his daughter Bianca alone and unharmed, scrambling to pick up the pile of books that had tumbled to the ground.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_06

Shaken and still on edge he let his unfounded fear manifest into anger. “How many times do I have to tell you to ask for help before you try to get something out of your reach? Damn it Bianca!” She stood up, challenging him.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_07

“Well, Dad, maybe if you hadn’t put the bookcase up so high I wouldn’t have this problem,” she retorted. Realizing her tone, she clammed up quickly knowing that her words were about to get her into trouble.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_08

“Just pick up the books,” Nico replied in a low growl as he glared at the moody teenager masquerading as his daughter. “Ms. Brooks should have dinner ready in a few minutes; make sure you give her a hand with the dishes, okay.” Bianca nodded reluctantly and continued cleaning up her mess.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_09

He went back to his room and sat on the edge of his bed; pensive. It was hard for him to believe that his little girl was already 16 years old, smart, sassy, and—to his dismay—getting prettier everyday. Her rebellious and independent nature was also a problem. He found himself in a precarious position of wanting to protect her from the world, from pain and disappointment and especially from boys who were just like him at that age. Something was going to have to be done, and soon.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_10

He finished his shower, threw on some clothes and joined his daughter at the table. Bianca picked at her food and stared off into space with a look of boredom and irritation. “Is something wrong baby doll?” Nico asked; his tone and demeanor a complete departure from his public façade.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_11

“I’m not a baby anymore. Nothing is wrong; can I go back to my room please?” Bianca moved to leave the table but was stopped by her father’s low rumbling tone.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_12

“Sit down!” he commanded. “We are going to eat dinner together as a family and you are not going anywhere until we are both done. Now eat!”

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_13

“What family Dad? It’s just you and me, only because you cared to join me this time.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_14

Struggling to contain his anger Nico swallowed the bite of food in his mouth and slammed down his fork on the table. “Look little girl. I don’t know what the hell your problem is, but if you don’t get it together I’ll damn sure fix it for you…my way!

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_15

“Whatever,” was all that she could manage as she continued to eat her food.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_16

This was all he needed right now on top of everything else—fighting with a hormonal teenager. It wasn’t his territory. She was at the age where a girl needed her mother but with the situation the way it was that would not be possible.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_17

The door bell rang breaking into his disturbing thoughts. Moments later Rook and Rider walked through the entranceway and into the dining room. “What’s going on,” Nico asked a bit concerned. It was very unusual for his brother to make a house call after dark.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_18

“We have a situation Nico, with the….shipment,” Rook said, careful not to get too specific around his niece. The rule of thumb was the less she knew the better and anyone who didn’t follow that rule would have hell to pay.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_19

“Well then handle it Rook. What the hell are you coming here for while I’m eating dinner…with my daughter?” Nico hissed.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_20

“Sorry but this is a situation that you’ll want…no, you’ll need to handle personally. Trust me,” Rook said, his voice tense. Nico looked at Bianca. He could tell that she was waiting for him to comply, break his word, and leave her alone again. Seeing no other choice in the matter given his business situation, he reluctantly satisfied her assumption. “Fine, let’s go,” he said rising from the table and putting on his jacket. The three men started for the door.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_21

“Not you,” he said turning to Rider. “You stay here with Bianca. Keep an eye on her.” Nico shot him a stern look, cutting off the objection he sensed was brewing inside his young protégé. “Whatever you say boss,” Rider replied.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_22

Angered by her father’s hypocrisy Bianca lashed out. “I guess the ‘family dinner’ is just me now…..again.” She ran upstairs to her room before her father could respond.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_23

I should have stayed in my room, just me and my hands, in my room, Nico thought to himself as he and Rook walked out the door to deal with yet another difficult problem in his life.


Club Oasis - Downtown Las Vistas

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_01

Blake looked out over the balcony down to the sidewalk below staggered by the number of people standing in line waiting to get into the club. The red carpet was a glow with flickering pops of the paparazzo’s flashbulbs. When he had peaked at the lower level a few moments before he had seen a sea of celebrities, VIP’s and on-lookers coagulated into a blur of colorful light from the dance floor, clinking champagne glasses, and diamond jewelry.

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_02

He closed his eyes and breathed in the dry desert air; happy with his success. But the same unsettling feeling that followed him everywhere still lingered. As many people as there were around him that night, he still managed to feel empty and alone. It was a feeling he was coming to accept as a permanent state of being.

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_03

“Congratulations partner, we did it,” A.J. said with a smile as he approached the balcony where Blake was standing. Blake shook off his thoughts, turned around and smiled. “You’re damn right we did,” he replied giving his best friend a high five. “Can you believe how many people are down there? And they all think they’re getting in, which is even better.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_04

“This definitely calls for some champagne,” A.J. said as he turned to grab the bottle from the table beside him. “It certainly does,” a sultry voice chimed in. He and Blake turned to see a leggy blond emerge from the shadows behind them. Blake cracked a sly smile as she stepped into the light revealing her identity. “Kelsey, I thought you couldn’t make it.” Blake’s eyes swept up and down her shapely form, taking her in.

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_05

“Are you kidding? It’s important to keep an eye on the competition, “Kelsey said with a wink. She moved closer to the pair stepping between them to pick up a champagne glass. She raised it in the air for a toast.

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_06

“Congratulations on another successful venture. Hopefully it won’t be the only hotspot opening tonight, right Blake?” she said stroking the lapel of his blazer. A.J. grinned as he gulped down his champagne trying not to choke on his laughter.

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_07

“I’m going to go check on…..something. I’ll see you two later.” A.J. headed back downstairs flashing his wingman a quick thumbs up while Kelsey’s back was turned.

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_08

“Now that we’re alone, I wanted to discuss something with you,” Kelsey said inching closer to Blake. “Oh yeah, what’s that?” “A business proposition for you…and A.J., if he wants in.” Blake looked at her egregiously. “Why would you want to go into business with me?”

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_ 09

“Because you’re smart, creative, and resourceful,” Kelsey said as she walked behind him sliding her hand down his chest and into his blazer. “I could put someone like you to good use. Besides, working together side by side will give us a chance to get to know each other better. Don’t you think?”

Ep. 04_Sc. 02_ 10
Ep. 04_Sc. 02_ 11

Blake closed his eyes with pleasure as she slipped her other hand down the front of his pants and nibbled on his ear. “Why wait until then. Let’s go to my office.”


Ep. 04_Sc. 03_01

Lexie sat next to her boss wondering if her idea had been a good one, but talking her out it had proven unsuccessful. Isabella had been determined to go to the opening of Oasis, the club that Blair’s brother owned. The news report had shaken her enough to keep her holed up in her room for a few hours after which she had abruptly emerged dressed to kill pressing Lexie to find the VIP invitation that had come in the mail.

Ep. 04_Sc. 03_02

“Yes, Lexie, I’m sure about this,” Isabella said sensing the question that was on her assistant’s mind.

Ep. 04_Sc. 03_03

“Are you really? You know the press is going to be here and tons of paparazzi. After what we saw you know they’re going to try and eat you alive.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 03_04

“I knew this would happen, that’s why I didn’t want to come back here, but I can’t just crawl into a hole and hide from it. I won’t let them break me and coming out tonight is going to show them that they can’t no matter what lies they tell.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 03_05

The limo pulled up to the curb in front of the club and the driver hopped out and opened her door. “Last chance to turn back," Lexie said in a last ditch effort to get Isabella to change her mind. Isabella took a long look at the crowd in front of the club, the cameras flashing, and the madness that she was stepping into and sighed. “Let’s go.”


Ep. 04_Sc. 01_01

Sloane sat on the sleek white leather sofa in the VIP section surrounded by Nicolette’s entourage of stick skinny models and their buff athlete boyfriends. Though it was a necessary evil for her career, she fiercely hated the party scene and under normal circumstances, the smile she wore would have been fake and plastered on for appearances. Tonight, however, as she sipped champagne and laughed at the lame stories her airhead associates where sharing, her smile was big, brimming with satisfaction, and very real.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_02

She thought back to the news story that had aired earlier in the evening. It had touched on every point she had fed to Pierce. All the gory details had been twisted and manipulated into a larger than life scandal bigger than any of her PR strategies could have squashed. She swallowed another sip of the sparkling liquid in her glass and let her smile expand even further.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_03

“Hey gorgeous,” Pierce said as he slid in next to her on the sofa, rubbing blatantly on her leg. She hated Pierce and sleeping with him had only been a means to an end, but her happiness allowed her to forget that fact briefly as she turned his way and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ve never been better. “

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_04

“So I guess that means I did my job. Maybe we can work on a reward for my efforts?” Pierce whispered, nibbling on her ear. Taken aback by his insinuation –- she wasn’t a damn prostitute—Sloane eased away from him. “You got your reward up front,” she said quietly, trying to keep their conversation confidential.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_05

“Come on baby…we had fun last night. Why do you keep playing hard to get.” Pierce inched closer to her and ran his hand up her leg and up under the hem of her dress. “Trust me Pierce, I’m not playing with you. The only person who had fun last night was you. It was strictly business for me.” Sloane smacked his flagrant hand and walked to the bar, angry and disgusted with herself. She needed something hard and stiff, but not what he was offering.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_06

“She pushed through the mob and waved down one of the harried bartenders. “Give me a whiskey sour, light on the rocks.” She turned to the door looking at all the desperate unfortunate souls who were dying to be where she was. Suddenly a flurry of flashbulbs went off outside amid a crowd of paparazzi. Eventually two women emerged from the hoard, escorted by one of the bouncers. Sloane nearly swallowed her tongue when she saw Isabella walking in her direction, a glow with defiant confidence.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_07

What the fuck is she doing here? Momentarily paralyzed, Sloane got herself together enough to turn her back and hide her face from view. She peaked out of the corner of her eye as Isabella walked past her and into the VIP section next to where she had been sitting. She seemed fine, unshaken, and completely unaffected by the heinous rumors that had flooded the news outlets; rumors that Sloane had taken great pains to spread; rumors that should have sent her packing for good.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_08

Cursing under her breath, Sloane squeezed her eyes shut trying to push back the tears that were forming. This was horrible. The risks she had taken to make this work… and now everything was falling apart.

Ep. 04_Sc. 01_09

The bartender finally came back with her drink, which she unceremoniously snatched and hammered down in one gulp. She took a breath, slammed her money on the bar, and stalked out of the club. There had to be another way to get Isabella out of her life and she wouldn’t rest until she found it.


Ep. 04_Sc. 05_01
Ep. 04_Sc. 05_02

“I came up here to congratulate you, but I see you’re already celebrating,” Blair said averting her eyes while Blake wriggled free from Kelsey. “Sorry Blair, just taking a little break.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 05_03

“We can talk about this later Blake,” Kelsey said as she pulled down her dress and walked out the door. Blake looked away with a sheepish grin as Blair stared him down with her trademark look of disapproval.

Ep. 04_Sc. 05_04

Just as Blair began to speak again she was interrupted by one of the bouncers. “Your special VIP has arrived Mr. Bolthouse.” Blake’s face lit up. “Make sure Ms. Monacco is well taken care of,” Blake replied.

Ep. 04_Sc. 05_05

“You invited Isabella? Blake she’s one of my clients and I really don’t need you messing with her; especially now. She’s going through a lot.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 05_06

“I thought that was classified information,” Blake said with a smirk. “She’s an intriguing woman and clearly quite popular given what’s all over the news, so I figured I’d invite her to the opening. Obviously whatever she’s going through didn’t stop her from wanting to have a good time tonight; and I plan to show her one.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 05_07

Blair studied him carefully before responding. “I can only imagine what that means. I mean it Blake, you screw this up for me and I’ll kill you.” “ Relax Blair. I just want to get to know her. There’s something about her, that‘s just…different from all the other women I’ve met.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 05_08

“I’ll bet there is.” Blair’s expression left little doubt that she wasn’t buying her brother’s explanation. “Come on, let me get you a drink….on me,” Blake said moving past her and out of his office.


Ep. 04_Sc. 06_01

Isabella sat in the secluded VIP area and sipped on the complimentary champagne that she desperately wanted to guzzle down. Outside she was confident and steady; inside she was shaky, terrified, and falling apart by the second.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_02

Having Lexie beside her helped, but not enough. Every time she looked up she was confronted with a wall of eyes all staring back at her; eyes that were curious, cold, judgmental, and intently studying her every move. She resisted the urge to look away and started back at them with defiance.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_03

“You’ve made your point now can we go please.” Ignoring the urgency in Lexie’s voice Isabella stood her ground. “I’m not going to let these people think they’ve gotten the best of me. Let them stare if they want to; I refuse to let them see me sweat.”

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_04

Across the club another set of eyes observed Isabella. Blake stood by the bar half listening to his sister warn him again about staying away from the woman who had captivated his attention from the moment he saw her. He let his eyes linger on her, taking in her the curves of her body pressed against the tight fabric of her dress; her soft pink lips; the intense blue of her eyes. He was definitely physically attracted to her, but he was beginning to wonder if his feelings didn’t run deeper somehow.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_05

Movement caught in his peripheral vision interrupted his thoughts. He turned to the side to see a small group of men walking quickly into the club from the back door heading in Isabella’s direction. A glint of light coming from one of them caught his attention and it didn’t take long for him to recognize it as a flashbulb of a camera. “Those damn vultures!” he growled under his breath as he quickly moved toward them, signaling a bouncer for assistance.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_06

Isabella watched in horrified agony as the men surrounded her, blocking any way she had to escape. They pulled out their cameras, aimed, and fired shot after shot of her as she tried to cover her face in vein. Lexie jumped up and stood in front of her boss in a futile attempt to shield her from the firing squad.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_07

After what seemed like an eternity several bouncers surrounded the mob dragging the photogs away as they screamed her name hoping she might look their way for a moment. Blake pushed through the crowd, grabbed her arm and led her out of the club through a hidden exit.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_08

“Are you okay?” Blake said searching her face for anything beyond the look of shock she wore. Realizing that he was still holding her hand he reluctantly released it and let it fall to her side. It paused mid-air before dropping completely; as if she had not wanted him to let go.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_09

Staring off into space, she regarded his question absently. “I’m fine,” she replied, almost as if posing a question to herself rather than answering his. “Yes, I’m fine. Thank you. For the first time she met his eyes, which had not left her for a moment. They were warm and familiar, but in the confusion she couldn’t place where she had seen them before.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_10

“The driver is pulling around to get us. Are you sure you’re okay?,” Lexie said as she hung up her cell phone. “I’m fine, really Lex.” Isabella gave a weak smile in an attempt to hide her shell-shocked state. Her assistant, of course knew the truth.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_11

“I’m so sorry about this, I don’t know how they hell those bastards got in here,” Blake began. The limo pulled up abruptly interrupting his apology.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_12

“Don’t worry about it, it’s not your fault,” Isabella replied. “Thank you again.” She turned and let her assistant usher her into the car.

Ep. 04_Sc. 06_13

As the limo pulled away, Blake stood alone in the ally watching it get smaller and smaller in the distance until it was completely out of his sight. Though his encounters with her had been few, every time he was in her presence he was hit with a conflicting combination of intense desire, fear, and comfort. There was something there between them, something that he was determined to identify.


South Coast Hwy. - Black Rock Barrens

Ep. 04_Sc. 07_01

With his business temporarily settled Nico drove to the outskirts of town to the only place he knew that he would be completely alone. He got out of the car and stared out into the open expanse of the desert night, slightly shivering as a cool breeze brushed over his skin. He had come out here to think, clear his mind, but it had done no good. All he could think about was her.

Ep. 04_Sc. 07_02

His cell phone rang, breaking his concentration. Looking down at the caller ID he frowned when he saw the name and number….Ivy. Somehow he had foolishly thought it might be Isabella calling him. “Hello?” he said and listened half-heartedly to the familiar female voice on the other end.

Ep. 04_Sc. 07_03

His disappointment quickly turned into anger as the conversation went on. “I’m taking care of some business right now. This is probably going to take a while, maybe even all night. Don’t wait up, okay?” he replied gruffly and hung up before she could respond.

Ep. 04_Sc. 07_04

His conflicting emotions had been plaguing him, Rook’s unsolicited advice made things even worse and dealing with Ivy was the last thing he needed. He took the phone and gripped it tightly in his hand before pitching it into the darkness beyond him. No one else was going to interrupt him now.

Ep. 04_Sc. 07_05

He had to find some way to stop what was happening to him. He couldn’t afford to have these feelings; didn’t want to care, but as much as he tried to rationalize his way out of it, the undeniable truth kept coming back to him. He was still in love with her; had never stopped loving her; would never stop loving her. “Damn it!” he shouted into the air.

Ep. 04_Sc. 07_06

He hopped in his car and gunned the engine, heading toward Vista Glen. A force stronger than his iron will was dragging him, with his pride kicking and screaming, over the edge. He had to see her, needed to see her. There was no turning back now.


  1. omg this is wonderful!

    Poor Nico, and I feel even sorrier for Isabella. And Blake...right in the middle of gettin busy with Kelsey, there's his dream girl!

    I like Bianca. She needs to call Nico on the whole 'family dinner' thing. Too little too late Dad.

    Sloane...I ADORE the dress she is wearing! What a monster - although apparently not so big and bad and smart as she so smugly congratulated herself for being.

    Your shots are, as always, absolutely totally stunning. The light you used in the club, the combo of silver and green (love the green pouring over Sloane like virtual envy); the way you maintained one colorline throughout that scene, the gray and silver and the reflections, except for the poisonous green. LOVE IT!!!!

    Fantastic writing!!!

  2. Hey S.B.! For this episode I really wanted to push Nico to the breaking point. He's been running from his feelings for Isabella for a while and he can't run away anymore, so now he is running towards what he can no longer fight. He loves her, always has.

    Isabella is taking a lot of crap right now, and I don't think that's going to change for now. But she is certainly not going to take it laying down.

    Sloane's dress is absolutely gorgeous; I've been waiting to use it for a while. She's not all big and bad, but she does go to extremes to get her way, consequently she also goes to extremes when she doesn't get her way. She definately has some other tricks up her sleeve.

    I totally did not make the connection with the green lights on Sloane until you mentioned it. It does match her envious nature and I love the way that turned out (even if it was dumb luck on my part). I took a looooooong time designing the club. I wanted it to have a cool yet sensual vibe. For some reason soft white light does that for me. The silver on the walls toned down the brightness but still gave off some sparkle.

    This episode was a real challenge and I did procrastinate heavily when I got stuck but I love the way it turned out and I am glad you did as well. As always thank you for the compliments and encouragement:)

  3. Oh MY GOD!!! What a cliffhanger!!! Please don't let us hanging in there for a long time... I'm really dieing to see what happens next!!

    This chapter was just as fantastic as the last two... no, it was even better than the last two.

    Your shots are amazing, but I have my favorites and all of them are Nico's.
    the second shot. Nico in the shower! what a fantastic view!
    Nico in desert, just the blue sky and the stars above him... that shot really captures the loneliness he is feeling... and then when he throws away the phone...that is WOW!!!

    ok, now back to the story... You know, Nico is becoming one of my favorites... He has so many faces, and I really enjoyed seen them all...
    he is so complex, I don't know what to expect from him, he is so human in every aspect and with every chapter we are learning more and more about him and his feelings.
    I just love that you are able to capture a little bit of his essence in every one of his pictures and in every chapter... he is an excellent actor and you OMG You are an excellent writer, you know last chapter when he was talking to Isabella, he did an awesome job, he was a jerk, but that is just part of him, and then in this chapter with his daughter he is completely different, but he is still Nico, and I believe him, and the conversations are so real I really bow to you, I mean, the fears, the anger, the frustration in this chapter (specially with Nico) is so tangible, so breathable, it really feels like I was in there.
    I really love what you did and how you capture Nico's life and demons. Bravo!!!

    Now to Isabella, poor baby! I feel so sorry for her...She really tried to be strong, but the world out there is full of poisonous snakes. those damn paparazzi ruined it all...

    I'm really looking forward to see what Blake does, his interest in Isabella really is intriguing me... I wonder if he will be the one to take Nico off her head... it could be... Blake seems like a good guy, a womanizer, but a wonderful and very handsome guy. I'm glad he came to her rescue...


    now back to the awesome cliffhanger!!! how dare you!!!
    Oh gosh... I can't believe you ended it there!!!

    Again, this was fantastic, I bow to you and throw roses at your feet!!!
    You really did a wonderful job!! I can't wait for more!!!!

  4. Hi S@ndy,

    Wow, thank you so much for all the compliements. No need to bow, you're making me blush :)

    Nico is one of my favorite characters as well. Initially his role in this story was not as big as it is now; but, as my characters often do, he kept pestering me to be heard so I had to obey. I'm glad that I did because I love where the story has gone now that I invested time in developing him.

    He is really going through it in this chapter. Anger, fear, sadness, lust. He's been running from it all and he just can't run anymore. He's been pushed to his limit and he has to take action now.

    Isabella is a very strong woman and she knew the scrutiny from the press and rumours would get in her way. She is trying not to let it consume her, but she too has her breaking point. She is not out of the line of fire yet, especially if Sloane has anything to do with it.

    Blake is very drawn to Isabella. There is something there between them, something he connects with, but he just doesn't know what exactly it is. He is a horrible womanizer, but yes, a good guy underneath. He is definately not going to stop pursuing Issy until he gets to bottom of what he is feeling for her.

    Ahh the cliffhanger...I love a good cliffhanger and I'm glad I reworked things so that I could create one for this part of the story. I won't leave you hanging for long. I'm hoping to get the next episode up sometime this weekend or early next week.

    Thank you again for your comments and encouragement; it makes doing this worthwhile.

  5. Hi there, Muzegoddess! Beth gave me this link awhile go and I have just now managed to catch up (I've been lurking until I was sure I had caught up and digested everything). Whew, you really know how to pack a lot into an update!

    Nico seems like a dangerous man hanging dangerously on the edge. Which sounds ridiculous, I know, but I mean trying to strike that balance between what he is and does and his daughter. Teenagers are volatile, but I am thinking that maybe hers is inherited from her father, lol. I mean, yelling at her for books? Why so serious, Nico? Those two are a volatile bunch.

    First off, Blake's pink jacket was killing me. He looks like the type to wear a pink jacket and still think he's Mr. Big. Which just adds to his personality. Kelsey is a bombshell, but she seems like one of those fire women who burn too hot, too fast and scald everyone in their wake. I loved the picture where you see just half of Blake's face and Kelsey's confident little smile over his shoulder. That's great framing.

    It's sweet of Lexie to try and protect Isabella, but we all knew this was going to end badly. I'm curious as to what Blake thinks is between them, though, lol.

    Sloane is gorgeous! Just the combination of features. Very lovely. She's very commanding, too, she doesn't screw around. My kind of girl. "she needed something hard and stiff, but not what he was offering" LOL! Love it.

    Will definitely be coming back for more. Excellent job. :D I'm glad Beth sent me over.

  6. Hi Mao,

    How crazy is it that I have been lurking in the shadows on your page as well. I found Knock it Down a long time ago (one of the first Sims 2 stories I had ever seen) and started reading it, but then lost the link in my favorites. I found it again when I started reading Gayl & Beth's work, so I've been making my way through it (I just started Wings of Steel).

    I have a sick fixation with reading things from the begining so it might be a while before you see a full fledged comment on the newer stuff. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story.

    Okay,yes, Blake is "that guy" who would wear pink and think that he is still "the man" :) In truth he is very puzzled about what he's picking up from Isabella, but he is so infatuated with her that he can't help himself.

    Kelsey is a maneater in every sense of the word and she is going to really step into that role down the line.

    Isabella is just in hot water everywhere she goes and that is not going to change anytime soon. She's tough but reaching her breaking point quickly.

    Sloane is the woman I love to hate. She's got looks, brains,sex appeal and money and worst part is she knows it. She is a queen bitch on the outside, but truly a scared little girl on the inside which is why she lashes out so venemously when challenged.

    Thank you again for reading and commenting. It means a lot coming from such a talented writer.

  7. Wow, so much's happened in this one and my head's still reeling like Isabella's. Damn those vultures!

    Mhh, so many complications in Isabella's life. This is the worst time for her to have come back; Nico's obvious obsession and Blake's intense interest in her, and her family business, yet she tries to be strong and brave. How long can she leave the mask on?

    And that Sloane woman, I get she's ambitious and wants to succeed in showbiz, but to spread such rumors about Isabelle in the hope she'd run away is downright skanky.

    Wow, your characters are a complex mess, and so realistic and I love the writing. Absolutely beautiful.

    BTW, Lexie is such a doll :)