Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 196615 times)

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 116, 1/16)
« Reply #540 on: January 31, 2015, 02:11:50 PM »
That evil Phil was such a cute toddler and I'm going to be like everyone else when I say Piper is stunning. Sorry to hear about your problems and hope you feel better soon, this is such an epic dynasty so I'll read whenever you feel like updating  :D

Welcome back! And thanks. :)

He really was too cute for something so evil. I'd also call Phil one of the cutest children I've ever gotten (considering how weird some of the Waverlys looked as kids), but with my track record, you might need to wait a month for that.

Hang in there, Trip.  We're all behind you!

Thanks for the support!

Just caught up on this, thank you for the mention I have to admit when I saw Bryant that very scene with Laurel came to mind  :D

I'm glad your new computer is working out, and that your hard drive survived the coffee incident, and I hope you feel better in yourself soon too.

It came to mind when I was playing it too. I had a feeling that he wasn't going to stock a pink diamond just to spite me. :P

It's working like a charm, though I realized that literally nothing can save Isla Paradiso because I have it open right now for some non-Waverly play, and if this desktop can't handle it, not much else can.

Just a rant I had to get out of the way.



Guess who still doesn't have the urge to write a new chapter? I might have a remedy, though. And a warning for some overuse of bold text ahead.

I re-discovered Hemingway, perhaps the greatest writing app of all time. It detects typos, over-complicated sentences, adverb overuse, and passive voice overuse. You all should probably use it too. Also, a lot of the older Waverly chapters were bugging me, so I'm going to revise my early chapters. This will help me better keep track of where the story's going as well.

I'll be putting a notice on older chapters about their revision as I hit them. It might be a good time to re-read soon! Because lord knows when I'll get my real writing bug again. :(
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Offline Deklitch

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 116, 1/16)
« Reply #541 on: February 01, 2015, 02:19:57 AM »
Thanks for the Hemingway Link, Trip. I've shared the link to it with my writing group thanks to you. Overly complicated sentences, passive voice and adverbs, three things I really do struggle with in my own writing, as this sentence demonstrates. LOL



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Offline Nettlejuice

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 116, 1/16)
« Reply #542 on: February 02, 2015, 06:22:13 AM »
Thanks for the link, Trip, now I need to go edit my work  ;D
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 116, 1/16)
« Reply #543 on: February 02, 2015, 09:40:46 PM »
Thanks for the Hemingway Link, Trip. I've shared the link to it with my writing group thanks to you. Overly complicated sentences, passive voice and adverbs, three things I really do struggle with in my own writing, as this sentence demonstrates. LOL

Heh.

Hope it's of good use to all of you!

Thanks for the link, Trip, now I need to go edit my work  ;D

Good luck!



Still no chapter on the horizon, but you can have a look at my new story! It's a 4x4 Dynasty.
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Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 117, 2/9)
« Reply #544 on: February 09, 2015, 11:39:47 PM »
And so I rise, as glorious as ever? I dunno.

As you should be able to tell, the events in this chapter never happened in the dynasty. Just to warn everyone again, a lot of what I'll write about Phil and Piper's life never happened. I didn't get much from them while playing, so I'm improvising.

I do like an excuse for making new characters. :D



Chapter 117: Zacharie



Meanwhile, Piper struck a great deal for her career, or started the worst deal of it.



Egypt wasn’t the biggest destination in the lives of Phil and Piper, but everything in the family was its own turning point, and one family trip was no exception. When they were both adults, they took along some elders on the guise of them enjoying the blistering hot sand and falafel for dinner. Tegan was one of them, and she had her suspicions about Phil’s line of work, and Piper’s too, for that matter.

“What in God’s name could you be on a work trip here for?” she asked them. “You’re not with Doctors Without Borders.”

“One of our contacts is Egyptian,” Phil said. “And we have a traveling investor. Tell her about him, Piper.”

She skirted around it. “It’s my problem, and I’m dealing with it.” She turned away and walked in the direction of the marketplace, leaving Tegan and even Phil in the dry dust.

And how this one contact became her problem!

Years had gone by for them to get to that point; 25 or 30 of them, in fact. At the start, it was just Piper and a dream. It was just one contact who saw some promise. It was just one simple vacation.

But before that vacation, Piper started her job and her superiors launched her straight into pharmaceutical research. That was a blessing, but her account for grant money stood empty. “And that’s the toughest part,” she was told.

Granted, Piper could easily use her own money to fund everything. Her bank account didn’t exist, however; the Waverlys shared a pool of money and were expected to be smart with it. That often was the case, and Piper’s need was hardly dumb. But even her first project required a huge injection of not a new drug, but money that the Waverlys had but needed for booze, ice, or child support payments. Piper had done enough to be seen as a pariah without that, so she left the family funds alone.

She wrote grant letters. All but a few came up with a blank, and only one was enthusiastic enough to seem certain. Piper didn’t even reply to that one. It came with the good timing of a contrived deux ex machina solution, offering her one million and the promise of future investments if it was a success on the market. Piper called the number, which led to the personal phone of the man behind the letter: Zacharie Delacroix. He marketed himself as an investor. His concern was not science or medicine, but profitability. It didn’t make sense for a project in its infancy.

Not to mention, the whole letter reeked of shady schemes.

“Hello Mr. Delacroix,” she started, keeping a professional air. “This is Piper Jones-Brown, and I got a letter from you about an offer to fund my research. I don’t know if I can accept it.”

“I realize that this isn’t the usual process, Ms. Jones-Brown,” said Zacharie. True to his last name, he sounded vaguely French, but he hid most of his inflection and accent. “But I think this could be a great opportunity for both you and I. As much as you want to do good, this is a lucrative business at the core, and I am naturally attracted as an investor.”

“I understand your interest, but I am refusing the offer. Now if you excuse me, I have a vacation to plan.” Piper swiped her phone’s screen to end the call and went upstairs to make sure that she packed enough underwear.

“You know, I ordered a third ticket,” said Lily, coming into Piper’s room. “I decided that you need something nice with someone young, while you’re still young. I like to think I’m still fun, but am I really?”

“You’re fine,” said Piper. “But a third ticket? For anyone?”

“Anyone you choose. I’d take my in-laws, but vampires and Egypt don’t mix well. So it’s up to you now.”

“Definitely, it can be anyone?”

“Listen, I know what you’re trying to say. I’m fine with it.”



This is not to say that Lily was always a tolerant woman. In fact, she had a breaking point around the corner, but young Piper tickled her heart instead of angering it. Their flight didn’t crash, and the two of them arrived at the base camp on a hot desert morning. Lily told Piper that she planned to take a run that day. She never ran through sand dunes before. Pushing her way through endless sand sounded like the workout she needed.

“I’ll be off. You do what you want...whatever that is,” said Lily. “Just be quiet once I come back.”

“I’m halfway across the world and there’s no way I’m spending it in a tent,” said Piper. “Not even with...with her.” She sighed, daydreaming about the woman twenty feet away from her, and her gorgeous hazel eyes and long eyelashes.

“It’s pretty tempting, though.”



Who else would she have brought along anyways? It certainly wasn’t going to be Dr. Herrera, the slimy obstetrician from down the hall. Kylie snatched a ticket from Piper’s hand without asking about the destination. It turned out that Egypt was ripe for adventure and Kylie had the itching need for something like that.

“Please help me clear out the copper mines. Reward available,” Kylie muttered, as she read one of the flyers posted on the adventures board. “Does that sound fun, love?”

“That depends. Are you going there with me, or just hanging out in the market instead?”

“I mean, the latter sounds nice, but I hear that there’s going to be a lovely woman following me to the mines.”

“You don’t say?”

“Maybe you’d like her too.”



Piper wrapped Kylie in an embrace. “I wouldn’t want anything else,” she said.

It was a short but hot walk to the mines. For a place that needed to be cleared, the entrance was wide open and big enough for two skinny women to get through. They didn’t need to find some dynamite to clear rubble from the stairs. It seemed like an easy job. However, the rubble lay ten feet past the bottom step.

A collection of large pick-axes lay at the bottom too, with a note affixed on one of the handles. For whoever has taken the job. -Z. The girls took one each for themselves and started the job.



Rubble and heavy blocks of limestone lined the walls, but Piper and Kylie took to clearing them. Rewards awaited and Kylie’s family could use those. Piper, however, did it for the thrill. She threw her axe into the rocks to try and forget that she was still waiting on her grants.

“You know, the price of copper is pretty good now,” said Kylie. “Bet it would fund...what is your project again?”

“Researching better anesthetics for the large ones,” Piper said. “It seems insignificant, but there are plenty of big people in Twinbrook and the area in general. Franco says that he’s glad he never had to get a fang pulled because anesthesia is a crapshoot past the 200 pound mark. I’m gonna try to fix that.”

“Thought you’d try to cure cancer first.”

“Not exactly a rookie job.”

“What about painkillers?”

“Too addictive.”

“Grandma Molly says that everything’s addictive,” said Kylie. “Come on, I know you wanna be a heroine, but sometimes you have to bend, right?”

“I know that everything’s addictive, but painkillers are a whole other beast,” said Piper. “It’s something I don’t want to be guilty of.”

“Suit yourself. It’s not like you need the money.”

Piper then threw down her pick-axe.

“But you do, so work for it,” Piper said.

“How rude,” said Kylie, giggling a bit afterwards. “You’re just doing this because you think I look hot while straining.”

“Well, duh.”

“Just for a few minutes, okay?”



Piper hollered at Kylie as she started clearing another pile. The clang of metal against limestone and copper ore was loud, enough to drown out anything. But even as Kylie took a short break, the same sound didn’t stop. It just got more distant.

“Crap, were we beat here?” asked Kylie. “Not that I mind.”

“Sounds like it. Maybe we should negotiate a plan. Lord knows we could use the help,” said Piper.



Down one of the corridors was a lone man, dressed too sharp for mining. The dust rolled off his blazer like cars over icy roads. He grunted with each strike of his axe.

“Sir, do you need some help?” Piper asked. He put down his equipment.

“Actually, you are my help.” His voice sounded like a repeat of something Piper already knew. In fact, her first thought was someone she spoke to five days prior, but it seemed too contrived to be possible.

She put away her suspicions. “So you’re the owner?”

“Yes, yes I am. Thank you for taking my offer. No tourists ever like this grunt work.” He spoke with a mild French inflection. Piper raised a brow, but extended her hand in a welcoming gesture.

“Piper Jones-Brown,” she said. “And this is Kylie, my partner.”



“Ah yes. Zacharie Delacroix.” Piper backed her hand away.

“Never mind, we have met before,” she said.

“Are you frightened by me, Piper?” Zacharie asked.

“Wait, is this shady investor guy?” Kylie asked, trying to keep her voice low.

“Yeah. Play cool.”

“How did you find me?” Piper asked him.

“People I know. It is an extreme measure, but even the people of my beloved France are getting heavier, and this is a wonderful breakthrough you could come to,” said Zacharie. “You were not listening, so I needed to find you. I admit, I did not offer any sincerity, so here I am to offer what I have. In fact, if I can get through this pile, we can go to the tea room I built in here. I think we need to talk over some tea.”

Piper and Kylie put on their friendliest faces. “Sounds lovely!” “Tea sounds so good right now on a hot day.” “At least if you kill us, we’ll die young and pretty.”

“Ah, such enthusiasm. There is just a bit more to be cleared,” Zacharie said, lifting his axe again. Steam started to escape from the cracks. “This leads to a hot spring. You can see why I built a tea room near there.”

“Was this really part of your grand plan to talk to me?” Piper asked.

“It was one of many, but I am glad you two took my bait so soon.” He broke through the rocks and climbed through the opening. A narrow stream of hot water flowed by in the new passage, which was illuminated by torchlight. Zacharie went down the corridor until he came back with a black teapot. He filled it with hot, coppery cave water.

“Is that healthy?” Kylie asked.

“I drink it all the time,” he answered. “But I am probably dead inside.”



They sat down for tea, and Kylie voiced her suspicions first. “So you tracked all outgoing planes from the area to see which one we were on? All so you can fund some newbie? No offense, Piper.”



Piper just drank her tea and nodded.

“I know it is a creepy move,” Zacharie said. “Perhaps I messed up.”

“Darn straight,” said Kylie. “Anything to say, Piper?”

“His tea’s great,” Piper mumbled. “Thanks, Mr. Delacroix.”

“Have you re-thought my offer, Ms. Jones-Brown?” he asked.

“I dunno.”

“How about I sweeten this offer? I own a lovely house over on the other side of the river. I will cook dinner tomorrow night, and you two bring yourselves and whoever else you want.”



He looked into his tea and daydreamed, as if he was a sweet and relatable person.

“We’ll see you there,” said Piper. “Tomorrow night at 7?”

“I think it sounds excellent.”

Kylie tried to warn Piper. “He’s trying to sweet-talk you, and it’s easier to hide bodies in a private house, ya know? It’s so fishy and I actually thought you could see that.”

“Maybe it isn’t,” said Piper.

“I bet Lily can talk some sense into you about this.”

Sure enough, Lily was at the base camp once they got back at night. She roasted a sausage for herself. “You hungry, girls? It’s lamb, and I like lamb.”

They both refused. “Lily,” Kylie said. “Piper’s been doing some strange things today, and I think you need to talk with her. Honey, I’ll be in the tent furthest down on the left. I’m not mad.”

“Well, what could it be, snowflake?” Lily asked.

“I’m being stalked,” said Piper. “By that blasted Delacroix guy.”

“You mean the shady investor?” Piper nodded. “And he’s here?” Another nod.

“Dangit. I mean, we can go to one of the main cities. It’s just a two hour drive anyways. I don’t want you to be unsafe.”

“Lily, it’s not that. It’s that I’m considering his offer, and that he wants to hash out these details over dinner tomorrow. I can bring whoever I want.”

“Jesus, Piper, you have a death wish now?” Lily rolled her eyes, with an angry huff. “I know that you need the money, but it’s a horrid idea.”

“I guess I want to be open about anything now. I’m tired of being in unfunded limbo,” said Piper, sounding defeated. “Plus, anesthetics? He’s not going to make a killing in the black market with those. It’s those little details that just make him a slimy capitalist as opposed to a kingpin.”

“If you say,” said Lily.

“So how was your day?”



“Went fine. I took a long run down to the coast and decided to explore. I got an ancient bracelet and here’s to hoping it sells,” said Lily. “I also logged a good nine miles with running. It feels so good!”

“Sleep might too. As for me, it’s just so hard to get to sleep without tiring myself out more,” said Piper, winking in the direction of Kylie’s tent. “We’ll try not to be too loud.”

“Brought my earplugs. Have fun with her,” said Lily.

She lowered her voice to a whisper as Piper walked away, down the row of tents. “Have fun while you still can.”



Word Count for this chapter: 2,390
Word Count so far: 247,625

Glad to come back to this story, guys. :) And there is still my 4x4 (link in signature) for when I'm lagging with updates on this again.

No, I never moved Kylie in during the dynasty. There was a point where I could have, but I didn't want to risk her being another 120+ day survivor.
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Offline Nettlejuice

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 117, 2/9)
« Reply #545 on: February 10, 2015, 05:33:17 AM »
No, Piper, don't do it. Shady guy is just shady  >:(
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Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 118, 2/15)
« Reply #547 on: February 15, 2015, 04:34:10 PM »
No, Piper, don't do it. Shady guy is just shady  >:(

Shady guy is also rich and kinda charming.

Shady, yes, but fun to read. Do it. Piper.

Wouldn't have a story if she didn't. ;)



Chapter 118: The King of Kings



“I always wondered why dad didn’t just buy a mansion in France. Guy’s so picky about everything but that. This Delacroix guy had the sense to do it here,” said Lily. “God, are you two seeing this?”



The stood marveling at the home they were invited to. Three floors, domed roofs, and sentry towers dominated over its place near the river bank. It was a watchtower over the desert. There also had to be plenty of room to store the remains of three women, if they misjudged his mild-mannered aura. Piper accepted his invitation for the money. Kylie didn’t want to be a young widow and would die with her lover if necessary. Lily started to tire of lamb sausages that she often burned.

“That is odd,” said Piper. “Not that I’ve ever been there.”

“We’ll see when you can get a break. And Kylie, it’s hard sound-proofing that house. I think we need to leave you behind for France.”

“Don’t be so rude about it,” Kylie said. “Are we really being won over by this guy’s palace?”

“Ours in Twinbrook won you over,” Piper said. “Don’t you forget.”

“I think you seem innocent enough. Him?”

“It’s an adventure, and it’s either Zacharie or stealing more loot from Abu Simbel. And it’s the latter that guarantees our death, actually.”

Zacharie spotted them from the window and waited for them on the porch, with open arms for Piper. Like the three women, he dressed in his best for the occasion: a deep blue suit jacket and a tucked-in scarf.



“My apologies. I forgot to get dinner on after my latest business call,” he said, as he gave Piper a quick hug. “However, I think I can get something good on my table.”

“As long as we can talk over it,” said Piper. However, her host was distracted as soon as he saw Lily’s pink skin. Zacharie, untrue to his permanent zen, squealed like a fanboy.

“Is this the real Lily Curious?” he asked, covering his agape mouth. “I...I have some of your originals, and I did not know that our dear Piper would be dragging you along.”

“Believe me, I wasn’t expecting this either,” Lily said. “I mean, really, I’m famous?”

“To me, you are.”

“I’m flattered. Now tell something nice to Kylie over here, because she thinks you’re the next Hannibal Lecter.”

“Ah yes,” Zacharie said. “What is your job?”

“That’s a good question,” replied Kylie.

“Well, I can see that you make your dear Piper happy. I think that’s a wonderful thing.”

“She’s a wonderful thing, that’s what.”

“So will you come inside?”

“I’m on my guard enough, I guess.”

Lily dragged Kylie away to look for her own sculptures. Zacharie, true to his word, headed to the kitchen to prepare fish for his guests. Piper, having already seen enough of Lily’s sculptures in her life, followed Zach to the kitchen. If nothing else, she could see how someone other than Annette cooked. Too bad it all looked the same to her.



She put her hand on her hip and cocked her head to get a better look at his knife-work. He fileted large chunks of meat from a Nile perch, and rubbed spices into them. A pile of leek slices were off to the side.

“Are you curious about this, Miss Piper?” he asked.

“Oh no, I’ve seen plenty of people make fish before,” she said. “But I guess I’m always going to wonder about you. It’s strange enough that I want to take this deal.”

“I don’t think it should feel strange.”

“But it does. I’m not saying no, but I’m asking what I’m getting into here. Kylie’s worn me down about this, okay? It is weird that you’d consider me for this. I’m just too open to the idea now.”

“You are the first one,” he said.

“And I’m sorry to hear that.”

“I assume you know something about authority?”

“Like many do.”



He stopped cutting. “I have been told to seek you out,” said Zacharie. “I might seem like a great power right now, but in all honesty, I am but a mere messenger. Many answer to me, yes, but I answer to the King of Kings.”

“Okay.”

“I am a suspicious man, I am aware. But I am in harm’s way more than you are.”

“I do want to get out of this alive. I’ll admit, the money’s corrupting me.”

“Do you want me to bring that up at the dinner table, or not?”

“No, please don’t. We’ll make this quick.”



His dinner received a warm reception from the ladies. “I had a good talk with Miss Piper,” Zacharie said, when he was half-done with his plate. “And she is firm on her stance about my offer. Her project will see a nice fund attached to it.”

Lily shrugged, perhaps still flattered by Zach indeed having one of her prized stone fountains upstairs in his meditation room. Kylie would not let go of her wariness without a fight.



“You sure?” she asked Piper.

“Maybe you should let up after this,” she said. “I can’t find it in my heart to accuse him of unsavory actions just based on my first reaction. Dude’s pretty docile.”

“Where did you get your money, Mr. Delacroix?” Kylie asked him.

“I had good luck on the international stock market, and I have funded others to great returns. It was through hard work, madame,” he said. “Lots of that.”

“You live alone?” Lily asked.

“Yes. I am not a man for relationships, which I think has helped me get where I am. Did you go on the same path to being the great, successful artist you are?”

“Oh no, I was married some time ago. I have an adult daughter at home. She never became an obstacle. But then again, she might be why I don’t have a million to throw around on pet projects.”

“Ah, Miss Curious, your darling Piper is no pet project. I see genuine promise in her work,” he said. “Though, what is she to you?”

“Surrogate granddaughter, of sorts. I really don’t know, but she’s a joy to have around. I’m warming up to her partner too. And I trust that she’ll do you well.”

Zach and Kylie finished their plates first, and she offered to wash them before heading back to the base camp. To finish their meals and have a one-on-one chat, Lily and Piper stayed at the table.



“You’ve sure made a 180 too,” Piper said to her. “Although you seem to be the only one who sees me as a joy now.”

“It’s really just Annette. We don’t know much about how she grew up, but I think she just got some nasty ideas from whoever raised her,” said Lily. “But she’s known, like, two gay people in her lifetime? I think it’s just something she needs to adjust to.”

“She’s reacting to it like I’m gonna destroy the family with this.”

“I can’t really answer to that.”

“What, did she want to bear the Messiah or something?” asked Piper, in a facetious tone. “Even the Virgin Mary could have said no to it. It’s just that she didn’t.”

“Oh, I’m just speculating about Annette. She might have that plan, but...you really didn’t hear it from me. I know nothing,” said Lily. “And why should I? I’m just another wily immortal for her to tame.”

“So what do you guys talk about in the basement, then?”

Breaking Bad headcanons and taunting each other. We’re not a serious bunch,” said Lily. “There’s a lot she hides from us.”

None of that was wrong either.

“Well, I like you for that,” said Piper. “I need a lot of support. I’ve been born with some rough edges and now I have a rough path ahead of me. So thanks.”



Lily smiled as she took the last bites of her supper. “Kiddo, it’s my pleasure.”

The rest of the vacation was, according to all of them, unremarkable in comparison to Piper getting one million simoleons promised to her project. They returned home after making sure that Kylie got back to her place, and were greeted by Hephaestus at the door. He had unusual dark circles under his eyes.

Piper worried but wanted to sleep in her own bed again, which left Lily to confront Hephaestus. “Just be honest with me,” Lily said. “Are you okay?”

“You know what it’s like raising a toddler,” he said. “But you’re right, I’m not.” He rolled up his sleeve to show a puncture wound on his upper arm.

“Christ, Heph! What did I tell you about getting Bunny angry? And Annette doesn’t want any of us living with vampires or being them. It’s apparently an insult to her cooking.”

“It was Phil.”

“Oh, right. What did you do to him, then?”

“Picked him up? The kid’s loud and fussy. You know that.”

“I forgot after a week in Egypt with two adults, okay?” said Lily. “So he fussed a lot?”



“Come on, what else is new? At least he’s so dang cute while he does it,” Hephaestus said. “As for the dark circles, if I try to sleep, I can’t because I miss my Tegan so much.”

“Aww. It’s just a semester. I think you’ll be fine until then.”

“I hope.”

“I think you’ll be fine. You’re healthy otherwise, and your mind seems to be doing fine.”

“That it is. I’ve been feeling peaceful between all this too. I wish I got that feeling sooner.”

Tegan came home not too long later, after her graduation, and asked the same questions. Was her tired husband okay? Geez, who did that to his arm…again? Her grandmother could be pretty volatile, after all. No, it was Phil? Sorry that he’s been such a fussy little larvae, but dang, is he sure a cutie pie. And Tegan timed it so that he was still the precious toddler she left once she returned.



Plus, Hephaestus reminded her that his time with Phil was still perfect. For every time he cried and made his sleep schedule chopped up and miserable, there was always a silver lining.



An adorable silver lining, that’s what.

“Get used to doing a lot of that. I have a job to get,” said Tegan.



On one summer night, she did. Her aunt Kristen was the interviewer and would make family reunions awkward if she didn’t give Tegan the job. As for meeting at night, Tegan understood. It was a vampire thing that only Kristen would fully understand.

“We’ll get you started on technical writing. There’s a report we have to get out to the journals,” said Kristen. “We’ll give you what you need and you can get started on that at home, even.”



Ah, the things she would sacrifice for scientific advancement.

Tegan had to admit it: getting over what Bryant did to her was tough with the end just being a merciless beatdown with no remorse on his end. Plus, he got out of his legal punishment on some flimsy conditions. Typing out reports through Microsoft Word was enough of a trigger under those circumstances, albeit one that she didn’t want. She would have loved to see what her family saw in video games and online shenanigans.

Life wasn’t fair that way.



That blasted technology kept her employed, though. It felt good being employed. And Piper came home each afternoon to say the same thing. The funds were doing her project well, and they looked forward to the next stage of development of Adinum. Aside from the route to her lab going straight through the maternity department, it was proving to be her dream job.



Did Piper keep her job? Only in a sense. Her story about Egypt came around in a circle. When she was an older woman and Zacharie was a much older man, she still did his work. She worked for him and the King of Kings she was forewarned about.



He led her to the door of his Egyptian contact, Mahfuz Maloof, who caused more issues than they needed.



Piper got arrested that night for beating Mahfuz to the ground in revenge, which is what made her think back to those days. Her first trip in Egypt might have been a catalyst, but the main one was under her nose. It was a person.



And as she thought, the signs pointed back to those days, when she was in her 20’s and operating under some sense of good. What she never answered was who King Zacharie’s own king was. He sat in an office on the top of one of Bridgeport’s highest towers, she was told. He was older than both of Franco’s parents, she was told. As she heard, he had been through plenty of Pipers in his career.



But as she thought about it, he may have sat elsewhere, younger than her and in a small town.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,153
Word Count so far: 249,778

As for my revision project, Chapters 1-14 are revised. They're shorter than my more recent chapters, so a re-read won't take that long. I'll announce my chunks of progress for the convenience anyone that's looking to experience the Improved Waverly Saga.

Think of it as a set of patches for my story. ;)

EDIT: Chapters 15-20 are revised too. This means that you can read all of Annette's story now!
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 118, 2/15)
« Reply #548 on: February 17, 2015, 10:04:17 PM »
Having seen Phil as an adult it comes as no surprise that he's a bit of a terror as a youngster. An adorable, charming little terror. Poor Heph. :P

I'm starting to really like Piper, methinks.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 118, 2/15)
« Reply #549 on: February 18, 2015, 06:46:29 AM »
Phil is already starting to show his true colours, oh dear. The King of Kings can only be one person, hopefully I'm thinking of the right person.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 119, 2/22)
« Reply #550 on: February 22, 2015, 11:49:32 PM »
Having seen Phil as an adult it comes as no surprise that he's a bit of a terror as a youngster. An adorable, charming little terror. Poor Heph. :P

I'm starting to really like Piper, methinks.

He was way too adorable to turn out like he did.

I loved Piper too, for reasons beyond her being a total babe.

Phil is already starting to show his true colours, oh dear. The King of Kings can only be one person, hopefully I'm thinking of the right person.

The contender for the King of Kings is no sim you know of. I like making expanded stories because I like making new characters (the Roaring Heights subplot is fun largely because of that).

But that's the only hint I'll give. ;) You won't see him for a while.



Chapter 119: Those Monsters





I always knew Phil as an elite athlete. He loved the weight rack and the treadmill on equal terms, and excelled with both of them. It made sense; he grew up into a body suited for both. He got his father’s lean muscle and long, lanky legs. However, like many a person who ended up with such features as an adult, Phil started out as a wobbling, chubby-legged toddler. He needed to walk before he ran.



Thank goodness he had the kind Tegan to aid him in that! In spite of her work schedule, she set aside afternoons to spend with her tot. She set aside a lot of time with him, in fact. Hephaestus might have been home for a lot of the day, but Tegan argued that she needed to have lots of precious moments with her little boy. She wouldn’t be spending an eternity with a young Philip. However, Tegan kept her lips shut about a deep fear of him growing up evil. It was the reason she wanted to be attentive, though. She radiated good. Maybe she wouldn’t admit it out of modesty, but it was true. Sometimes, she felt like the only positive force in the family. But would it be enough for Phil?

He already had a set of arched, evil eyebrows. He bit into his dolls and toys with a vicious grip whenever he played with them. The poor kid was doomed from the start. But no parent wants to hear that.

Perhaps that worry kept her mind of Hephaestus, who was an old man and well-aware of it. Time turned out to be the only big thing against him. He went in for check-ups with Matt the psychiatrist and his mind seemed to be in working order. His latest physical showed him to be in peak physical form...if they used a relative scale. But relative scales or not, peaks were peaks and the family loved to hear about them.



His good health was why Hephaestus got the time to take Phil out to the town. The summer sun still shone, the humidity was above 90%, and the swamps sounded with frogs. And they were far away from that, because he wasn’t going to take his son out to the great unknowns of the bayou. Hephaestus took the legends of swamp monsters and giant snakes there seriously. Perhaps he took them in a literal sense too. It was no place for a nooboo, but the pool was.

He could get an elder immortal to tag along for most excursions, because they built a bar on the roof and everyone had the same vice. Franco wished for a classier venue, but Annette raised him and raised him to be like her in some way. A beautiful female bartender shook cocktails, and maybe he could spend some time with his beloved stepson/grandson-in-law too.



Tegan missed out on those days, which meant missing out on her adorable son. What a shame! But Hephaestus was a good influence.



Franco, grumpy and with a glass of pineapple juice and hard liquor in his hand, might have not been as great of one. But he was one floor above them while partaking in the Waverly's greatest vice.



The family had their fun with Phil. But Tegan counted the years, and too quickly was he scheduled to grow up into a bipedal, talkative child. They had to send him to public school (who would build a posh prep school out in the swamp?), and who knew what could happen there! Keeping her worries a secret wasn't a great option. She brought it up over a breakfast of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. Lily sat next to her, due to parental preference and whatnot.

“Mum, how did you raise a child to be a decent person?” Tegan asked.

“It kind of just happened with you,” she said. “I followed my instincts. Hell, even Annette was able to raise a good son.”

Annette looked over the breakfast nook where they were from the kitchen. She had another batch of rolls to make. And she also had a chuckle. “Good? The guy’s a pain in my butt each day.”

“But he’s not a bad person overall,” Tegan said. “I just wonder how you guys do it.”

“I think you’re born that way, come to think of it,” said Annette. “Kid, I’ve been alive for over a century, and I’ve met some huge jerk-buttons. And for some, it was clearly a part of them, and not because their mum didn’t hug them enough. Or single father. I bet Bryant’s father tried a little better than the results turned out.”

“Don’t remind me.” Tegan grunted a bit with that statement. “Sorry, but it still cheeses me off that he got off free.”

“It cheeses off all of us, honey,” Lily said. “But...are you afraid of Phil turning out like some guy he’s never met?”

“Maybe a little, okay? And Annette married a criminal.”

“No, I married a criminal’s brother who got caught up in public indecency and maybe just a few money laundering schemes,” said Annette. “And even if I married Twinbrook’s own Whitey Bulger instead, that makes Phil about a sixteenth of that. You need more for any genetic evil. But, things can happen by chance, and dealing with him for eternity? I’m sure we can handle freakin’ Lucifer at this point.”

“Why the worry, Tegan?” Lily asked.

“Gotta cover all bases, mum.”

“But you’re acting like it’s more than just a chance. As if he’s biten you out of spite or something. You did that to me too, but kids don’t know how to control their fangs when they’re that little.”

“No, no, it’s not that.”

“Did you get that time machine to work and lie to me?” Annette said, anger bubbling like her water for another morning coffee.

“It won’t work for you, okay?” Tegan said. “You need the past and, try as I might, I couldn’t get there. I got to the future, and someone evil was there. I mean, they glowed red, for god’s sake! And it was a man, and he was really thin, and looked just like an old Phil. And darn it, I want to change that. I don’t want to be that woman who bore the Antichrist or Scarface.”

“Poor...I was talking about apologizing to Emily, right? But that’s probably changed by now. Heck, you’ll change it again just by eating another cinnamon roll. Don’t you know all the time travel tropes?”

“I do, I made sure to know,” Tegan said. “You know, worrying is awful. I should do it less.”

“That’s the spirit,” said Annette. “And getting widowed? We’ve all been there. Even twice depending on how you look at it. It’s fine.”

Tegan looked like she was about to cry, because she was indeed about to cry. “Don’t say things like that, Annette, okay? It’s really hurtful.” She then walked away to finish writing another abstract.

“I sometimes wonder how you raised someone at least kind of level-headed,” said Lily. She, of course, referred to the same son who was over 100 years old and still lurking on dating sites. Level was relative.

“I don’t even know if evil is genetic,” said Annette. “I mean, look at grandpa Bill’s family. Two evil parents, three sons, and the most criminal of them was a charismatic family guy. Your uncle Dudley was one of the best cops they had. And you know Shark’s kids, they’re all a bunch of goody-goods.”

“You have worse issues,” said Lily. “Sorry to say. I mean, Christ, is that the best thing to say to Tegan? And you’re saying this probably a century or more after the fact. I’ve been widowed for 25 years, and it still stinks. It’s awful being lonely in this life.”

“You’re the one who seems to look forward to the end more now. It hurts that much?”

“Yes, gram! Yes it does. And what if Tegan is right? We might just be due for a baddy. You want to spend the latter half of the dynasty with someone who could be worse than a Racket? We’ll all bail and not get our happy ending.”

“Then keep an eye on him yourself. Get yourself worried to death over this. You know, that would hurt us a lot worse,” said Annette, as she wiped a dish clean. Lily reached over the breakfast nook, towards where Annette had a heavy ceramic mixing bowl of cinnamon roll batter on the counter.

Crash. She pushed it over, destroying one of the best attempts at cinnamon rolls that Annette had, and her favorite mixing bowl too.

“Keep being you, Lily,” Annette muttered. She immediately bent over to clean it up, without saying another word.

Phil’s birthday happened on an early autumn day. Hephaestus was alive for it. That morning, he enjoyed life and a day off from everything with a hot bath and a mug full of an earl grey and lavender tea blend. Considering that all of the immortals valued hot baths for relieving the aches of old age, it wasn’t a bad sign for him.

Tegan didn’t worry much that day. She forgot about most of them anyways. She just gave her husband a kiss and threw him a towel after his bath. “Also, the pool water’s fine. I’d like to go swimming with you at midnight,” she said. “Not gonna freak out over that again, are you?”

“All the town’s germs plus that pesky water nymph? Sorry, honey,” he said. A few oddities about his mind stuck.

“Can you at least wear your swim trunks?” she asked. “I like it when you do.”

“I’ll see how I’m feeling.”

He chose his usual vest and kilt. Tegan didn’t mind those either, but she dressed in her bikini to fit the location. Just for him.



It turned out to be for Keon too. She missed him whipping out his camera phone, but turned around at the flash.

“Dang it, Keon! Don’t perv on married women,” Tegan said.

“I’m sorry, Tegan. But you look great tonight,” he said.

“Yeah, but it’s for my husband. You should know that.”

“Forgive me, then,” Keon said.

“I think I should, yes. I mean, you are a man, after all.”

“Oh, and I saw Bryant by the gate. I can help break up the party if you want me to,” Keon said.

“Wait, what? He has a restraining order...my mum caused him grave bodily harm, and she’s here,” said Tegan. “Why is he here?”

“Revenge, also perving on you in your bikini, I don’t know.”

“Okay, okay, I think I know how to handle this.” She turned towards Lily, who was waiting for one of the Ball kids to get off the diving board. “Mum, Bryant’s here, remember not to dignify his presence.”

“Crap, really? Don’t worry, I will. Lord knows I hate those prison beds.” Due to her role in the assault, Lily couldn’t approach him either. “Everyone else is sick enough of him to ignore that psycho.”

She found Hephaestus by the cake. “Good,” she said. “We need to get this done quickly.”

“I noticed,” Hephaestus said. “I mean, an old friend trying to get a bikini shot of you?”

“The other thing, love.” He looked towards the stairs down to the pool area. Bryant was muttering angry things to himself. His meds probably ran out before he planned for them to.

“Oh. Oh, that. Will do.” He picked Phil off the ground, interrupting a good nose-picking.



“Okay there kiddo, pay no attention to the bad man near the toilets,” Hephaestus said. Phil was a smiling bundle regardless.



Bryant continued as Hephaestus lowered Phil to the candles. True to the commands given, the family ignored Bryant as he switched his ramblings to either Spanish or Python.



And like a big boy, he blew out his candles and didn’t notice his dad doing most of the work.



Now, most parents think of birthdays like those as bittersweet. Losing a precious larvae and getting an independent rascal in return. I wasn’t one of them. Neither was Tegan, for that matter. “I had a lot of time with him as a crawling cutie-pie,” she told me. “However, I liked just getting that far even better.”

Getting that far, you say? It made sense when I thought about it. She probably expected to be a mother earlier in her life than she was. Some monster put a lot of her life on hold, after all. I’d lose hope sooner than she did.



Second, Phil grew up into a darling child. She questioned his eyeliner at first, but he looked so...so...unique. Yeah, that was it. Otherwise, he had that beautiful smile that Tegan missed from her dad. Curly hair that she also remembered from him. A few bits seemed to be all his own: the light brown hair, his particular shade of teal skin, and a budding like for geometric shapes.



He turned out well. Phil had playfulness, zest, and the energy a child needed. And he behaved himself that night while Tegan bent her knees and leaned over to light a fire. The lighter flickered but didn’t produce a flame. No lighter fluid, how dreadful. She looked over the pool to Hephaestus at the edge, chatting with Piper about work or how awful the chlorine was. Tegan ran over and squeezed him in a hug.

“Yes, I do think we need to get in some more hugs before midnight,” he said.

“It’s been a nice night, right?” she asked him.

“Of course, sweetie.”



As she let go, she whispered one last thing to him before saying good-bye to the invited guests. “I’m just glad that you’re here for it.”

He gave her an extra squeeze after that.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,297
Word Count so far: 252,075

250k! Glad to get there...and we're not even halfway done. O_____O

Sorry for the second delay. I failed a dynasty in the meantime (still kicking myself over that one stupid mistake), and I was also occupied by my other hobby: CC creation! It is a little ironic for a moderator of this particular forum to have such a hobby, but I have a radically different view on CC than others do. I finished one of my more bothersome projects a few days ago, though.
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Offline Lisa46

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 119, 2/22)
« Reply #551 on: February 23, 2015, 01:44:16 AM »
I'm so sorry your 4x4 failed. :( The story looked really good!

On the other hand, I'm glad it's getting updated again.

Offline Nettlejuice

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 119, 2/22)
« Reply #552 on: February 23, 2015, 11:23:22 AM »
Bryant could easily have ruined Phil's birthday and then made another new enemy for life, lol. So Phil started his eyeliner craze as a child, I was expecting it during his teen days. I had also assumed he was the King of Kings, oh well, if it means a new character I'm all for it.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 119, 2/22)
« Reply #553 on: February 27, 2015, 12:02:45 AM »
I'm so sorry your 4x4 failed. :( The story looked really good!

On the other hand, I'm glad it's getting updated again.

But it will be better once I tighten up my narrative! And maybe I get to mix things up because I got a female heiress this time. (I got to two in that last attempt, and they were both guys)

I'm glad to be here! I actually have to thank my girlfriend for me getting interested in updating again; I've been bouncing ideas off her recently. And yes, she's read the beginning of the story and seems to be a fan.

Bryant could easily have ruined Phil's birthday and then made another new enemy for life, lol. So Phil started his eyeliner craze as a child, I was expecting it during his teen days. I had also assumed he was the King of Kings, oh well, if it means a new character I'm all for it.

Ah, I misread your last comment. Of course Phil gets to rule too, in some way, for some time. How else would he have been the Emperor of Evil?

He just has someone powerful to knock down...

I had to get him started young on looking flamboyant. Plus, it's a throwback to his ancestry, because great-grandpa Harwood wore a lot of eyeliner too.



Chapter 120: Two Good-Byes



She should have seen the signs.

Tegan was remarkable in that she was one of the two confirmed only children in the family. Annette might have been, but we assumed that she came from a family of eight frat boy brothers instead. But yes, Tegan did not know the sweet memories of watching a younger sibling grow up. She poured her secrets onto the elders instead. She also adored her parents without a critical word.

For as much time as she spent around her mother, Tegan should have learned about sibling dynamics. Lily stood in stark contrast, at that point with ten or twelve younger siblings she grew up alongside or watched grow up. Unlike most who were the eldest in a large set, Lily had to watch them die. The Reaper tapped the shoulders of most of her 25 or 30 total siblings. She watched few of them, but read the obituaries. At that point? She had long since gotten past grieving Janelle and Selene Kindle.

She and Franco ventured to the swamp one afternoon. The Kindles had lived there for a while, in the old Bayless house. Poor Franco knew that the house had a way of attracting the bereaved. Unfortunately, there weren’t any unrelated attractive bereavers there. That was just a one-time prize. But bereavers there were, and the closest family had to pay their condolences.



“Hey, sorry about everyone in my family calling you an ugly freak,” Lily said to Felix, whose face softened a touch with old age. “But that was never me. And I’m sorry to hear about Nellie too.”

“It’s a lot more peaceful without her,” he said.

“Oh. I mean, she had her nice moments-”

“Lily, don’t try to gloss over this to me. Do it to yourself.”

“Fine, ya toolbag,” she told him. She would have left right there if it wasn’t for Franco insisting on staying.



He and Kraig shared a hug over their losses. Losing a parent was hard too; both was a special level of torture that Franco didn’t want to understand for himself. However, Kraig could take solace in that he’d always have a grandfather and an aunt, for the rest of his days.

So what does this say about us? Maybe it’s about how jaded some of the older ones got. Watching loved ones and family die is part of the territory and I think we all accepted that better than most would. A sense of apathy comes with it as well, the more you see it. That’s my guess, anyways, because I watched only two people die and it got better for a different reason. But after consoling their surviving relatives, Franco and Lily seemed unaffected by Nellie’s death after the initial announcement.

And there lied the problem of the day: they should have cared. Not necessarily because of Nellie, but because it said something about how much time had gone by. She was a lucky woman who lived to a healthy old age, but in comparison to the others in the house, how old was she?

Her death was forgotten amongst the surge of youthful energy that flowed through the main Waverly house.



Phil turned out to be a mischievous boy at first, though not more harmful than that. He loved rigging the showers with dye he picked up from the shops. The elders liked taking him out. His big grey eyes and chubby cheeks got him plenty of attention, and as a rich boy, he got his pick of whatever he wanted to buy. A box of Electric Fuchsia dye didn’t look out of place with the haul of Midnight Black and Nutmeg to keep the elders looking younger.

Annette caught him in the act before someone took a shower, which was going to be her to get the smell of the previous night’s moonshine off her.



“What, you want us with hair more colorful than our skin?” she asked him, seeming like she was full of true, mildly-sober anger.

“Yeah. I think it’s funny,” Phil said. “The look on your face would have rocked.”

“You really think so, kid?”

“Yeah.”

Annette then bent down to pinch his cheek. “Of course it would have been! Your old gram is just messing with you.”

“Can I try what you’re drinking?” Phil asked, with a cheeky grin.

“Wait until you’re a teen. I won’t get shunned for that, at least.”



Aside from trying to cause childish mischief, he decided to be less like he wanted to start the next Gambino crime family and more like a child. His parents bought him a treehouse, which he cooped himself up in a lot.



It was a way for a short kid to feel like a boss. Like he was in control of his tower, until Tegan and Hephaestus had to explain what two adults could possibly be doing up there.



But he had a world of toys and games, of enrichment and a good sphere of influence. Which is why the whole family absorbed some of that and forgot about aging and death.

Hephaestus definitely did. He tutored Phil through his homework each night, and got mistook for his grandfather most times when he picked his son up from school. While Lily spent days carving ice sculptures for the Mayor’s annual gala, Hephaestus took the job of sculpting Phil. In between trying to get his nose right, they played video games. They both laughed together and seemed like the most lively father-son duo in town.

The immortals ended up doing most of the housework out of boredom, but Hephaestus did what he could. He made the beds, or at least his own. He bent over one afternoon to smooth out the blankets after a nap. After that, what could he do? It was a weekend, so Tegan was home. They could mess up those bedsheets again! Or go out for dinner. But he also felt weak in the knees and more weightless than even a scrawny old man should feel.



“Oh god,” he muttered. “Why…not now, okay?”

No, for poor Hephaestus, it had to happen then. They’d spent ages telling him that he was old. It was true, and one mark was passed: he got too old. And Grim hadn’t missed the directions to the Waverly house that time.



“I don’t want her to see this,” he said, thinking that it was just to himself.



That last wish was certainly not going to be honored. Hearing a spectral noise that she was all too familiar with, Tegan bolted into their room, where she swore she heard the source. Her heart pounded in her chest as she kept telling herself “relax, it’s just another job. Everyone’s fine. [/i]It’s a coincidence[/i].”



“Oh dear god, no,” she whispered, holding back a sob. “No, no, it can’t be today!”

Perhaps in a sad attempt to lighten the atmosphere, Grim got his coordinates off by a few feet. They heard him, but that black cloud was nowhere in sight.

Ah yes, he ended up in Lily’s room instead. Unphased, he called out for his newest victim.

“Hephaestus Taylor Carlton Waverly, it is time to join the darkness!” he bellowed, into the empty room. “Come with me to join those who have since passed from this mortal earth.” And at his command, Hephaestus followed him, through the wall, and into Lily’s room to face his final foe.



He knelt down, pleading as many did. “Look, I want this delayed, just for a little bit. I mean, you see me. I have a young wife, and a child, and...and you spared my father-in-law for the same reason! I just can’t cope with this. I finally felt like I was living after being in some twisted hell for so long-”



“I have heard all these complaints before, Mister Waverly,” said Grim. “But life is a twisted hell. Can you not see it in the faces of your own family? How they become empty, drunk shells of themselves more each and every day?”

“Well maybe it could be better one day. But I just had six years with her. You can’t blame me for wanting more,” said Hephaestus.

“I will let them decide that later. But let me take you with your dignity today.”

Tegan was able to listen to it through the walls, while bawling like a two year-old for the whole time. And everyone else stalled in joining her. After it was over, only then did Piper and Phil walk into her bedroom, in response to her.

“Did it happen?” Piper asked.



“I WANT A FEW MORE YEARS TOO!” Tegan sobbed. A tear rolled down Piper’s cheek too.

“Oh god, I’m sorry,” she said to Tegan.



Phil started to cry like his mother did. “Au-Auntie Piper, can you take me out for some ice cream?” Which is what she did.

Tegan, however, managed to get dressed and go downstairs to the rest of her family, who heard the news and already started planning the burial.

“Honey, I’m...I’m beside myself,” said Lily, opening her arms for a hug. Tegan fell into them and Lily’s motherly warmth.

“It was just too short with him.”

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No, no...I need to get out,” Tegan said. “Call if I’m not back within the next few days.”

“Well, where you off to?” Lily asked. “Just in case I need to look.”

“Somewhere outside? Honestly, you know what this is like. How about you leave me alone?”

To drown her sorrows n Tegan sought out not whiskey nor hard cider, but a styrofoam cup of hot apple cider. The mulled beverage was a hit at the Fall Festival each year, and she swore that they finished setting up the day before. Alas, not even that simple pleasure helped. The Fall Festival was slated to start the next day. God, how could she forget when the equinox was?



Still, the trees and weeping willows were always beautiful that time of the year. On that peaceful Sunday afternoon, Tegan could people-watch too. An old couple fed the pigeons before heading inside the consignment store, and some young children ran past her. Maybe Phil knew them, and maybe he could use their company. But Tegan didn’t bother to ask, especially when she spotted something far worse out of the corner of her eye.

It couldn’t be, could it?



He kept his blue denim jacket for all those years. Bryant stood there in the park, as if a psychic sense told him that Tegan was a widow as of an hour ago. That vulture, how dare he try to break the terms of his parole like that? She always wished for the day when he would be gone, and his stay outlasted her own first marriage.

That settled it. She learned to have something of a spine on her fake wedding night, and with five years to hone that strength, Tegan had to stretch. She needed Bryant gone. Gone in her time of need, and gone in whatever joy she could find down the road too.

She approached him, walking with a stern, professional stance. “Bryant, you need to leave,” she said. Her feelings needed to be expressed in no uncertain terms. “You know that this makes me uncomfortable, and I haven’t forgiven you for anything you’ve done.”

“Not even a little bit?” he asked. “You seemed to have been doing well.”

“Sure I was, but don’t be a vulture. Now go, if you know what’s legally good for you.”

“Maybe I just want some advice, okay?”

“And you want it from me?”

“Look, this was a coincidence. I saw you here while getting groceries,” he said. “And it’s been five years or so.”

“You wanted to forcibly impregnate me before being arrested,” she said, between clenched teeth. “Need I remind you of everything you did? Multiple counts of assault, harassment, and years worth of those at that-”

“Therapy helps,” he said, cutting her off.

“Five years won’t cut it.”

“It’s helped, though. I mean, I’m looking for programming jobs now, and there’s this other woman too.”

Tegan held back the responses of “How?” and “What did you do to hurt her?” But she couldn’t leave some mystery woman to suffer just so she could have her peace for once. But she wanted her peace, and Bryant needed to prove that there was some in him too.

“What have they gone over with you in therapy?”

“Entitlement, anger, jealousy, mental illness. It’s what I get in return for walking free, ain’t it nice?”

“I dunno. What’s her name?”



“Viv,” he said. His mouth curled into a genuine smile. “Viv Hacker. Funny thing about her last name...she’s a sys-admin from Starlight Shores, still lives there. It’s a long-distance thing.”

“I remember that you hated me being on your level,” Tegan said. “Look, I want to be happy for you, but you’ve never been aware of what I’ve been through. And I’d find Viv’s address before I’d let you touch her. I’m not happy for either of you.”

“Of course you shouldn’t be. I don’t want to lose someone this time! I need your help with this, Tegan.”

“And why should I help you?”

“Because...because she’ll help me get over it. And once I’m off probation, I can move over there. It’s halfway across the country from you, we’ll both be happy. Like, I think this will help the both of us.”

“You want to keep Viv?” Tegan asked. “Look back hard on the last 30 years of your life, and don’t be that man.”

“What are you saying?” Bryant asked.



“That I want you, screw it, everyone to be happy. I might not feel it now, but I’m open to it happening. But you don’t make people happy. So you want advice? Don’t be a sore loser.”

“Like, if she rejects me?”

“It’s unfair, but...life goes on. Even if you lose the most precious thing in your life, there’s a lot ahead of you. Be open, listen to her and to everyone at least once before doing anything more drastic. Um, talk about this to your therapist and listen to them too.”

“See, even you can be civil to me for once,” remarked Bryant.

“Because I want you out of my life, and maybe Viv is the way out.”

“So, why don’t you look at one thing about yourself, since you’ve been so critical.”

“Okay?”

“Don’t let one person ruin your life. From what I’ve seen, you got a lot of it to live. So maybe stop letting me occupy your mind too.”

“What, you think I’m secretly obsessed with you? Bryant, that’s just plain offensive!”

“Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. But you’re half the reason your life has been mostly ruined. You couldn’t just leave me alone.”

Fighting back the urge to deliver Lily-style justice on Bryant, Tegan loosened herself a bit. Her fingers no longer were halfway to curling up into a fist.



“I’m tired of being your enemy. Just don’t mess this up with Viv. If you like her, and she likes you back, then it deserves to work well,” said Tegan. “But I’ll move on with my life if you move on with yours. No party-crashing, no past antics, nothing. I want us both to have a life-”

“Fine.” He cut her off again.

“Because, well, you are right. I have a lot of one left to live.”

I think that statement set the tone for the final days of reaching immortality for Tegan. For it to come from Bryant unsettles me too, but I think it helped her. It would dishonest to say that she didn’t hurt after losing Hephaestus, and downright disrespectful too. They shared a love that I don’t understand, but then again, a lot of the immortals did. But I will say this: Tegan dwelled on the past less than the others before her did. She drank just for the social benefits. Most of her woes dwelled in the present, after the initial grieving period.



Still, going to bed alone was the toughest part for anyone. And leaving the past where it belonged just meant that she needed dirt to fill her hole.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,703
Word Count so far: 254,778
No respect, no chance, cease and desist when I chant-

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Offline Nettlejuice

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 120, 2/26)
« Reply #554 on: February 27, 2015, 09:26:35 AM »
I'd love to have see Annette with bright pink hair, pity she caught Phil before he could do anything.  Aw, RIP Heph  :'( I get Tegan no longer wants to have such a bad relationship with Bryant, such a shame it had to be after her husband's death.
Chant: Life States (TS3) / Immortal Dynasty (TS4)




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