Author Topic: Divine Deception -- S4E24: Series Finale  (Read 12439 times)

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Divine Deception -- Episode Fourteen: New Beginnings
« Reply #75 on: January 24, 2016, 08:53:15 PM »
Lol its cool. These things happen! Besides, if its the finale, then its probably better that we have some suspenseful waiting period lol

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Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

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I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season Finale: Destruction
« Reply #76 on: January 25, 2016, 01:15:11 PM »
Divine Deception
"Destruction"


The light in her eyes are like two of the brightest stars in the darkest of night. I've never seen anything more perfect in all my life. Her smile, the way she giggles. I don't think I've seen anything so beautiful or that I've ever been this truly happy. Destruction has always been my way at filling a hole inside of me that I knew never could be filled, to make others feel the same. Now, I don't feel the need to hurt anybody anymore. I never believed that moving on could ever be a possibility for me. That I could walk away from hurting others just to feel some balance in my own self. Now I know that it is possible. Delilah has made it possible.

I put Delilah down and pick up my vibrating phone. "Hello?" I say.

I am met with Peters' voice. "Sadie, I expect that we are still on schedule?"

"Of course."

Delilah is the reason why I can't just walk away from this assignment. Finishing it off means that it's over and that I can move on. If I don't find a way to make Peters happy, I know that he will expose me and that would mean taking me away from my daughter when she needs me most and I know better than anyone how much that can affect a child.

"Good. Everything has been put into place."

I take a deep breath. "What happens when it's all over? What if I get taken in?"

"You call the number that I have messaged you. You call it and we will pull you out with a snap of the fingers." Peters' words make me have difficulty swallowing. To know that he has a power greater than anybody I've ever known. That he has the ability to take a criminal out of jail without a second glance. It also reminds me of how appreciative I should be to be on his side. Not against it. "I'll see you on the other side, Sadie. Know that we have full confidence in you."

I hang up without saying another word and look myself over in the full-length mirror across the room. It feels as if my heart is going to break through my chest, shatter any bones in its way, but from anybody looking at me, I seem pretty calm and confident. That's good, because I would hate for anybody to question me when I am already questioning myself.

"That's the end of discussion, Vita," I hear Nick in the other room. Vita's in there with him. They've been arguing all morning. "Alto Manor is going onto the market and that's final."

"How can you do this to me?" She asks with a hint of hysteria. "After all that we've been through together?"

"Been through together?" He scoffs. "You were the one who was going to abandon this family with your bag of donations and the hired help. That was, of course, before the whole town saw what you really are: a vile creature that cares little for anything other than herself." He chuckles. "Oh look, there are two drinks on the table. One for each of your two faces!"

They make their way through the house, room to room. I can't figure out if Nick is trying to find something or if he is just trying to escape from Vita's bickering.

"You are despicable." Vita's heels thump against the ceramic flooring just outside the room I'm in. "Might I remind you that what happened the other night will hurt you just as much as it has me? While I may have needed your assistance to keep crime hidden and the community thinking that it's decreased, you need me just as much. How else do you plan on keep your hired thugs on the streets? Without me as leader, you're going to have to play by the rules!"

"I'm sure we'll survive without you." Nick spins back to the front door and Vita follows as he yells back, "Sadie, we're leaving!"

"And how are you going to manage financially?" Vita prattles on.

I give Delilah a kiss on the head and right as I step out into the hall, I see Nick shoot Vita a dark look. "While it's none of your business," I start, "I have offered to aid him in any way that I can."

Vita glances over her shoulder, rolling her eyes and returning to Nick immediately. "Seeking financial help from the town harlot?" She gasps in amusement. "I didn't think cheap thrills would be able to cover off any missteps your business might be having."

The blood under my skin starts to heat as I make it next to my husband. I raise my hands to encompass the room. "Well, once we get paid for this place, we won't have to worry about anything. You on the other hand..." I grab the door and open it, calling back at Vita as I make my way out, "Goodbye and good luck, Vita."

"I will never forgive you for this, Sadie!"

I smirk as I walk down the steps. "Good, then you will never forget it either. C'mon, hun," I call Nick as I get closer to the car.

Vita grabs onto Nick's shoulder to stop him from taking another step outside. "You can't do this," she says. "That horrid woman has taken everything from me, don't you understand? You, my career, my friends, and now this house, and if you aren't careful, Nick, she's going to take everything from you too!"

Nick wiggles his arm free. "You've been through a lot lately, Vita. Take a long walk and figure things out." He shrugs into his jacket. "Go take a wander down by the beach and look at the house my mother left to us before she died, because right now, I'm going with my wife to go see her like I do every year." He heads out the door, following my exact footsteps, leaving Vita screaming behind him about how he needed to believe her, that I am the very definition of evil and if he doesn't return to her, that I will find a way to hurt him like I have so many other people. He doesn't respond as he takes a seat in the passenger seat and I drive out of Alto Manor.

The car ride to the cemetery is a silent one. Nick just stares out of the window, reminding me of the day this assignment was put into action. The day Peters told me about my parents and the fact that the Altos were involved in their demise. I can still remember how focused I had been jogging from the beach to Nick's workplace with the world passing me by, yet feeling as if I wasn't moving a beat. The difference is that I have done that only once and Nick does this every single year.


We arrive not long after. The place is deserted and the rain has started to pour harder to the point where my umbrella is doing little to protect me from the sky's tears. Nick is quiet, though he explains to me that he would have expected this to get easy every year, but it doesn't.

"I'm here for you, Nick," I say, placing a hand on his shoulder and giving it a soft squeeze. His smile shows me that he's appreciative and he grabs my fingers into his palm and squeezes back. "Does anybody usually come with you?" I whisper as if I might wake the dead.

Nick shakes his head. "Usually I come alone." He looks up into my eyes. "You're the first person I've felt should come with me. I want to show my mother that I finally made the right choice."

It takes me a moment, but I realize what he means. That I'm the first choice in his life that his mother would approve of. My gut twists and I taste bile at the back of my throat. I have to swallow hard to force it down again. "Nick..."

"Come on, she's this way."

Nick leads me off the brick pathway onto the grass. "My mother never accepted Vita as my wife. She always said that she was a woman with an endgame and would ruin my good nature. I was always too arrogant to listen to her, too young." He crouches down to the gravestone, kissing his fingers and touching them to the wet stone. "I'm sorry for that, Ma. I should have listened."

I put my umbrella down and put my hands in my pockets, the rain running its icy fingers down my spine. I tighten around the handle. "And you come all the way here every year to beg for forgiveness?"

He nods, though he doesn't turn around. He just looks at the engraving to Delilah Alto, the woman our daughter is named after. "I was never a good husband, Sadie, and I was even a worse son. I wish I could take everything I said to this woman back. She was right about everything. Vita, the life I'd chosen, how unhappy I would be." He takes a deep breath. "You're the only good thing in my life and I don't think that I deserve you."

"That's not true," I mumble as tears start to pool in my eyes. He starts to stand. "Don't... Don't turn around."

Nick does anyway. The look of surprise on his face, the look of betrayal as he spots the knife in my hand. I can't hold his stare as his eyes make their way to mine. They're streaming with tears and it feels as if somebody else has taken control of what my body is doing. I clear my throat in a weak attempt at recomposing myself. "Just turn around," I tell him. "Just turn back around and this will all be over."

"Sadie, what are you doing?"

"Just turn back around and this will all be over," I repeat.

The emotions on his face are like a freight train that's lost all control. Treachery and bewilderment, revelation and malice. "You..." he sputters. "It was all you."

"I'm sorry."

"Vita was right. You targeted us since the beginning."

I don't speak. I just watch his every move, waiting for him to act.

"Devil's Night, the motel, our child!" He huffs with exasperation. "You set it all up. It was all a lie!"

"It wasn't--"

"Don't lie to me anymore!" He yells at me. "I bet every chance you got, you laughed at me, laughed at Vita for questioning you. You just fed us more and more of your lies! Vita's right. You are a horrid person. Now get out of my way!"

Nick pushes past me and it's that quick. I can feel as his body tightens in an attempt to protect the muscles in his body. The way he stands there in complete shock, still questioning the pain that he feels, both physically and mentally. Then it's as if his legs can't hold his balance any longer and reality sinks in. He doesn't fight it. He can't, and he collapses back into my arms.

"I'm sorry," I say, resting my head on his shoulder. As much as he needs me to keep upright, I need him. The scent of his woodsy cologne reminds me of the first time I'd met him and the memories of the last year rush in, flashing back and forth at the back of my head like a strobe light.


"It wasn't all a lie," I tell him as his body goes limp and I let him slide to the ground, trying to steel myself from the hatred I know Nick has for me, but it's nothing for how much I have for myself.

He reaches out to me. I drop the knife and raise my own. It's the least I can do. I don't know what else to say to him. I can't apologize anymore than I already have and even if I could, I doubt he would listen. He looks at me with pain in his eyes. I can only wonder what he must be thinking. Is he reaching out to say sorry for what he's done to my parents? Or is he accusing me of being the demon that swindled the naive? Before I can get an answer, before I can grab his hand, he's gone.

The graveyard becomes eerily quiet as I look at him, tracing his body with tear-filled eyes. Water pools around him and for some reason unknown to me, I want to put up his umbrella and protect him from the harsh rainfall. Instead, I cover my face and burst into tears. Sirens can be heard in the distance. This is the end. I keep my eyes close, imagining Nick looking over me like he believed his mother did when he would come here.

When I close my eyes, I see Death. He's there to take Nick to the afterlife.

Babe Hart's there too. She's come to comfort me, support me in this difficult time where I have lost my husband. She tells me that it's not my fault. That Vita came in and took the man that I loved away from me. That Vita hated both Nick and I so much that she wanted to make sure I suffered. Vita's the Destroyer in my mind. Vita did all of this.

"She's telling the truth," Death says, stepping forward on the opposite side of Nick. Death's cold and dark, although something inside of me tells me that I can trust him. "Now, do you allow your husband to be transferred over?" He asks and I say yes.



When I open my eyes, I am in the back of a police car. My hands are cuffed behind me and an older woman sits in the front, driving. She doesn't seem to be one to talk and to be completely honest, I don't even know what I would say. I'm not innocent. It wasn't Vita who killed Nick and gradually I am forced to accept who I am. I am a Destroyer, sent on a mission to ruin the Alto family. I befriended a woman who would later despise me. I seduced a man from his wife. I stole a child from her family and married into it just to hurt Vita. I set everything up all the way to the point of conceiving a child with a man who was targeted for death. I scorned and swindled everybody within a ten mile radius and it led to blood on my hands.

The car stops and the officer assists me out. "This way, Ms. Alto," she says, taking me to the doors of the police station.

I go through hours of questioning. Pictures are taken of me and I have to give my fingerprints up. When I am given the opportunity, I demand that I get my one phone call. I am taken to a cheap phone and rummage through my pockets for the number Peters gave to me earlier. I have to take a deep breath to stop myself from shaking. I don't want to accidentally hit the wrong keys. Once I have finally steadied myself, I type in the number and listen to the tone on the other end.

"The number you have dialed is no longer in service. If you think you have reached this number in error, please hang up and try again."

"What?" I say aloud. My heart has sunk to the pit of my stomach. "No, that can't be right. Peters, pick up the phone."

"The number you have dialed is no longer in service. If you think you have reached this number in error, please hang up and try again."

"Peters pick up the phone, Peters pick up the phone!" Anger swells inside of me and I punch the wall as it forces its way out. "PETERS PICK UP THE FREAKIN' PHONE!!!"

Officers have pulled me away and I am kicking and throwing my hands around, screaming at the top of my lungs at Peters even if I know that he can't hear me. This was his plan. I know it was. I was hired to destroy a woman and man who brought havoc to my family and yet, here I am, screaming into a phone that has nobody on the other end.

"I am the Destroyer, not the Destroyed!"

I can hear Vita laughing back home. I can hear her asking "who really got destroyed?" I'm here and the one thing I care for more than anything in the world, is stuck back in the house with a woman who despises me. A woman who will bring Delilah up as her own and I can't do one thing about it. I've lost everything.





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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season Finale: Destruction
« Reply #77 on: January 25, 2016, 03:40:37 PM »
OMG!  :o  Totally did NOT see that coming!  Sadie should have trusted her own instincts and forget the end Peters insisted on.  Relying on Peters was a mistake - HUGE mistake.
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Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season Finale: Destruction
« Reply #78 on: January 26, 2016, 10:06:24 AM »
I kinda expected it when he was so insistent that she call the number. But, to the same extent, I still thought she would have a reasonable alibi set up before doing it!
because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*


Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season Finale: Destruction
« Reply #80 on: January 26, 2016, 11:08:03 AM »
Well, DUH lol Season 2 better be just around the corner!
because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

Offline experience

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season Finale: Destruction
« Reply #81 on: January 27, 2016, 05:04:43 PM »
Aww thanks guys!

I have just finished "filming" the mid-season episode. Half way there. I will keep everybody updated and create a promo like I had when Divine Deception first started. I just downloaded the posing mod so maybe a picture ad will be uploaded as well!



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Offline Katala

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season Finale: Destruction
« Reply #82 on: February 28, 2016, 01:49:59 PM »
I defiantly didn't see that coming, poor Sadie.  :'(

I wonder if this was all planned by Vita... :o
"Two paths diverged in the woods, and I took the one less traveled...And it hurt man! Rocks! Thorns! Glass! Not cool Robert Frost, not cool."
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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Ad
« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2016, 10:28:43 AM »
Season 2 is on its way!

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Promo
« Reply #84 on: March 27, 2016, 11:27:20 AM »
Divine Deception Returns April 2nd 2016

***

I would never have believed I'd be the one caught in my own web of hatred.


I've hurt a lot of people. An act of revenge for the family they stripped away from me as a child. I thought it would give me closure, answers even, but what I've been left with is a dark hole I will never be able to refill.

I've ruined a woman's marriage. I've taken away her child. I've even gone the distance of killing my own husband just to spite her.

But there was one good thing in my life and I haven't seen her in fifteen years.


In my darkest moments, when my failures flash before me, I see her...

Delilah Alto, my daughter, and she lives with the woman I've taken everything from.

She is what keeps me going...

My name is Sadie Lawrence and I will find you.


***

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Premiere: OITNB
« Reply #85 on: April 02, 2016, 10:09:21 PM »
Divine Deception
"OITNB: Orange Is The New Black"


"Devil's Night, the motel, our child!" Nick huffs with exasperation. "You set it all up. It was all a lie!"

"It wasn't--"

"Don't lie to me anymore!" He yells at me. "I bet every chance you got, you laughed at me, laughed at Vita for questioning you. You just fed us more and more of your lies! Vita's right. You are a horrid person!"


I bolt straight up before the frost in Nick's voice can cover the entirety of my body. Goosebumps have formed over my forearms, the hairs on the back of my neck have stuck straight up and it feels like a block of ice has been dropped down my spine. When my eyes are able to adjust, I realize why. I'm in one of the darkest corners of prison. The ones held for murderers. I've been here for fifteen years and every night I wake from the same nightmare. The first of many regrets and being held here just allows me to relive it day in and day out. This is my punishment. This is what I deserve for following the way of the Destroyer.

I swing my legs over the side of the bed and look through the bars of my cell. There isn't an inch of privacy on this floor. No cement walls to separate cell from cell. Only a line of iron bars keep my cell from joining the one next to me. I use the toilet before any of the other girls wake up. From the little light I can see down the hall, it must be almost sunrise, which means an officer will be out shortly to get everybody on their feet. I like to be on my toes before then. The psychologist who volunteers her time to hear us tells me that me being up before the officers gives me a false sense of security that I am on top of things. I never liked her much. I only saw her once after that and it was to tell her I would never be seeing her again.

There's a sink in my cell with me. It's the best source for a drink when I wake up in the middle of the night parched, which, unfortunately, is more times than none. There's also a mirror above it made of some type of plastic that can't be broken. I know. I tried to break it the first night I was place inside after one of the officers called me a waste of life. It humours me now because when I think about all of that full year destroying the Altos, I had so much control over everything: the people I manipulated, the obstacles that were thrown my way. Heck, even my emotions were in check. And then the moment it all caved in, everything slipped through my fingers like water.

I grab my toothbrush a clean my teeth. As I do, I can't help but look at how much my face has aged. Wrinkles have started to appear on my forehead and in the corners of my eyes. I want to keep telling myself that makeup will hide the signs, yet I know by the time I can get some it will be too late. The prison won't help me and aging is inevitable.

As expected, an officer enters soon after through the door at the end of the hallway, banging on the bars with her nightstick like she's the newest member of the Blue Man Group. She orders us all to stand by the doors of our cell, presses the button to open them and then leads us to the shower room where we get our first shower in a week. All women on the floor shuffle under a shower head. With haste, I do too. Supposedly, everybody has their own natural scent and from not being able to shower every day, I have learned that I don't like mine. I wash my hair and my body as fast as I can. There's no luxury time. We have five minutes and that's it. No waiting for the water to warm. Thirty seconds is a long time, which could be spent scrubbing the gunk out from under my broken fingernails that I know won't ever be truly gone. I glance over my shoulder for a split second and catch a glimpse of Daisy and Trish.

Daisy was arrested after she supposedly killed her husband and his parents after a family argument during a game of Pictionary. From what I've heard, Daisy had gotten upset because her team hadn't been able to guess that her drawing was of an alligator and not a crocodile and that was when the spears for the cheese fondue had become weapons. Supposedly she hates to lose. I've only spoken to her a handful of times. She seems nice. She has a very condensed face, leaving a large forehead to be admired, but even I can see there's a screw loose behind the pair of lazy eyes. I've always kept my distance when I felt it was necessary.

Trish on the other hand is very quiet. She's never spoken, at least I've never heard her. She keeps to herself and paints a lot. I don't think she's all that great, although from my time here I have learned that art is subjective. Trish murdered her father after he refused to accept that she was bisexual. She'd been trying to gain his approval all her life with certain things, but after she'd come out, he'd disowned her. Supposedly they had a difficult relationship to begin with and that was the final straw. When the police came to arrest her, she was sitting in the middle of the living room, her father's hand in her left and a bible in her right, rocking back and forth, mumbling, "See no evil, speak no evil. See no evil, speak no evil."

We get a half an hour before we can head down to the cafeteria for breakfast. I find Bernice outside. Bernice is the only person inside the whole facility that I trust. That includes officers, guards and anybody who volunteers their time for us and there's one simple reason for that: She's a better person than I am. I have seen enough people inside this place to know which ones deserve to be here and which ones should be locked up in an insane asylum. Bernice is neither. She was a victim of physical abuse and the one time she fought back, she couldn't stop. Her lawyer tried to fight for her, but it was in a time when the colour of one's skin made an impact on the people around them. If there is one person who doesn't belong here, it's Bernice.

"We'll get out of here one day," I say to her as I gaze through the fence, across the water to Sunset Valley. For how close it is, I know, deep down, how far away everything really is.

A snort makes its way past Bernice's tight lips as she uses the weight machine. "I think we'll get farther if we try and escape, and we both know how far that would go."

My fingers intertwine through the diamond grates. I give the fence a good tug. "I think we could do it." The expression on Bernice's face shows her lack of enthusiasm. That and the idea really is preposterous. The prison is on an island, which can only be reached by boat or helicopter. Getting out from the cage the government holds us in and across the water. I've been awake at night during bad thunderstorms here. I've seen how rough the waters get. If some swat team wasn't able to capture us, the water would take us out completely. Still, I can dream. And I do. I've got enough time to and before I know it, we're called down for breakfast.

"I had that dream again," I tell Bernice as we sit down with our meals. We're the last to arrive and most of the others have already eaten. We take the table we usually do on the far wall.

"Which one?" she asks. "The one with your little girl?"

I shake my head. It's not like I don't get that one often enough. Usually it comes once a week. I give my daughter Delilah a kiss before Nick and I head off to the cemetery. When I close the door to the nursery, she starts crying and as hard as I try I can't open the door. The crying gets louder and Nick starts yelling at me and then there's the woman I hate more than anybody. Vita Alto, the woman I destroyed and landed me in this prison. Actually, she didn't land me here, killing Nick was the reason, but she was a very large piece of the puzzle. I was supposed to do everything I could to ruin her life. I became her friend and demolished everything she had going for her. I took away her husband first, seducing him and luring him away from her. I had social services take away Vita's child. I bombed her reputation, which shattered her life. Her family, her career, her money, everything. Gone!

But there was one thing she got on me. Delilah. With Nick dead and my transfer to prison, she was the only person my daughter could go to. A toddler in the hands of that woman. I can only imagine what Delilah has turned into over these long fifteen years. She was about to turn two when we were separated. What lies has Vita filled her head up with? In my fifteen years here I haven't seen either of them. A visit from my daughter. Not even a session for Vita to gloat. Nothing.

"I just hope that she's all right," I say quietly.

Bernice puts a hand on my arm. "You'll see her again," she says. "You'll see."

I smile, but it feels forced. I push away my untouched plate and make my way back to my cell. Once I know nobody is around, I shrink into the corner next to my bed and sob into my hands. I would have thought that my hatred for Vita would abate over my years away from her, but every day away from my daughter is a constant reminder that I failed. I failed as a Destroyer. I failed as a wife. I failed as a mother and no matter how hard I try to forget it, those fifteen years are gone and I can't take them back. If I ever get out of here, I promise myself that I will find Delilah and tell her the truth. I need to find her.

I close my eyes and imagine the chubby cheeks and red hair of Delilah Alto. On that image I write: My name is Sadie Lawrence and I will find you.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Premiere: OITNB
« Reply #86 on: April 03, 2016, 05:30:48 AM »
Yay it's happening!  Terrific update experience. 

It will be interesting to see if Sadie can pull of a 'Shawshenk Redemption' and escape in a thunderstorm.  But where will the tide take her?  I'm definitely intrigued and I'll be reading!
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Offline experience

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Premiere: OITNB
« Reply #87 on: April 03, 2016, 04:47:38 PM »
Hey thanks Mags! It's nice to be writing as Sadie again. Though this time in a different light. She was so sure of herself in the first season and now she's regretting every second of it.

Thanks again for the support!

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Premiere: OITNB
« Reply #88 on: April 08, 2016, 05:18:22 AM »
Yay! Just found this again! Love it!

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because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Premiere: OITNB
« Reply #89 on: April 08, 2016, 12:56:10 PM »
Great to see you have returned! Thanks for the support :D I always love to hear what everybody thinks.

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Premiere: OITNB
« Reply #90 on: April 09, 2016, 01:20:54 AM »
You have a great way of writing Sadie, like we get she's doing/done bad things, but she is also remorseful and sweet... What's the word for it? Anti-hero? *shrugs* I can't remember, but whatever it is, you really write her well, despite the cruddy stuff she's done, we're all rooting for her!

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Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

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Re: Divine Deception -- Season 2 Premiere: OITNB
« Reply #91 on: April 09, 2016, 02:50:00 PM »
Aww thanks Magz :) I just looked up anti hero and that is exactly what Sadie is. There is a specific word for it though that I can't quite put my finger on.

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Re: Divine Deception -- S202: Long Since Forgotten
« Reply #92 on: April 09, 2016, 09:37:21 PM »
Divine Deception
"Long Since Forgotten"


I sleep. I have that same dream again. The one where Nick's telling me everything I am and everything I've done to him, betrayal adding an edge to his lashing, sharper than the knife I hold in my hand. There's an unearthly force under my grip. I can't control it. The more I try to, the closer I come to stabbing Nick in the back. Before I can swipe, I am jerked awake and there, right in front of me is Bernice. She has my shoulders in her hands and she is telling me that I need to hurry. That it's time.

"Time for what?" I say groggily.

I watch as she goes over to the sink and slides everything that's on top of it into a pillowcase with one good swipe of her arm. She returns to my side, holding out her hand for me to take. "To get out of here," she answers simply, which makes me laugh out loud. I can't figure out if it is because of how nonchalant she is or if what she is saying is true. She covers my mouth to silence me. "Keep quiet. We only have one chance at this."

I stagger to my feet. For the life of me I can't get a grip on my own actions. "I don't understand. What are you going on about?" It's just come apparent to me that Bernice is in my cell and my door is still closed, most likely locked. How did she get in?

"Daisy and Trish started a fight in their cell," Bernice explains. "They're causing a distraction so that we can get out of here." She grabs onto the edge of the mirror above the sink and pulls it right off the wall, revealing a tunnel that looks to have been made over a course of years. A course of cold wind blows through it at me that has a hint of the cafeteria's odour. I squint inside to try and see where it leads, but all I can manage to make out is darkness. Bernice is inside before I can ask any questions, gesturing for me to follow.

I allow for Bernice to lead me through the tunnel that meets many intersections. I keep close just to make sure I don't accidentally lose track of my partner. Tunnel after tunnel. Everything looks the same until the one we're in drops us out at the main lobby. I land with a grunt, my sneakers squeaking on the recently-cleaned vinyl floor. There's nobody inside. Nobody behind the main desk, in the waiting area or even at the front doors to cuff us and take us back to our cell, after a beat down, of course. It's empty and eerily so.

The alarms are triggered almost instantly, engulfing the main lobby in a fit of red flashing lights and panic. It screeches in my ears, but I follow Bernice out through the front doors and into the long strip towards the water's edge. I begin gasping for air. I haven't realized until now how unfit I am, but I keep running anyway. I can't quit now when I am so close to an escape. When the other girls inside made such an effort to help us get out of here.

Bernice stops at a watercraft. "Get on," she tells me right as she turns the key that is still in the ignition.

"That's convenient," I mumble. Maybe one of the guards have a hand in our escape as well. Maybe there are more than just the prisoners participating in this escape plan. Bernice doesn't say anything back. She just lurches the jet ski forward and we are heading toward Sunset Valley. The water's rough. We're bobbing up and down over waves and jerking from left to right on occasion, but I'm close. The rain pellets us from above, running its icy fingers down my back. I'm so close to seeing Delilah again!

A bolt of lightning flashes, lighting the cloudy backdrop of the night sky, a roar of thunder returning its call. The watercraft jolts to the left and I am caught off guard. I can't keep my grip on Bernice. I am shot off into the water, my fingers open, trying to grab anything they can. I hit the surface hard. A bright light flashes above me. I can't make it out. It's blurry. It's harsh. All I can hear through the bellows of thunder is Bernice calling my name, fading off into the distance as she flees to freedom and I sink to the bottom of the earth.

"Sadie Alto!"

My eyes open and I stare at the woman that stands on the other side of the bars. It's not Bernice calling for me. It was a dream, the universe's punishment for being in here. It's not even a guard. She wears a blue pinstripe suit and holds a folder in her hands. I can see from the look on her face that she's been calling me awake for a long time so I sit up.

"Ugh, finally. I've been trying to wake you for eons."

I shake my head from the lasting fragments of my dream. "What time is it?"

She glances at her wristwatch. "Quarter past twelve."

Quarter past twelve? Why was I allowed to sleep in so late? I make a grumpy noise that the newcomer will only understand as grumbling. I've missed my shower for the day and breakfast. To be completely honest, I am more surprised than frustrated. I haven't slept much since I've been put in here. I get to my feet and make it to the sink to brush my teeth.

"Sadie Alto," the woman repeats, clearing her throat.

"I go by Sadie Lawrence now," I say sharply. I get the feeling that this is another volunteer psychologist who wants to hear my feelings and tell me how to change for the better, and after my last visit with one of them, I don't much care for their types.

"I'm sorry," she says with a shake of her head. Her rose-red locks shift over her shoulders in an untidy fashion. "I am here to take you back to SVPD."

I spit the rinsing water from my mouth. "What? I've done nothing wrong, though," I defend myself. "If you're going to move me to a new facility don't you need to have a reason?" My mind can't connect the dots. Sure, I may have fought with a girl or two over the years and told some of the volunteers to shove their egos where the sun don't shine, but none of that deserves a new placing. "I've done nothing wrong!"

"That's right, Ms. Lawrence, you've done nothing wrong." Scanning over the woman's face, I try to decipher what she means. "Your bail has been met. I'm taking you out of here."

It's a short ride from the island to Sunset Valley. Armed guards take me from the speedboat to a car that takes me to the police station. It seems strange to me that I need to be handled as such, especially when by the end of the day I will be free. Maybe prisoners who were being freed in the past tried to exact revenge on the officers once before. I've never heard about that, though.

By the time I arrive at SVPD, it's late afternoon and I can't stop looking at its structure. I haven't been off that island for fifteen years. But now, looking up at the face of the station, it's like I was pulled in just yesterday for Nick's death. The woman who woke me up earlier, her name is Sofia Dawson, is my lawyer and she calls me into the station to sign paperwork. She wasn't lying when she said that somebody had bailed me out. Every piece of paperwork that I look down at shows the debt paid for. But what I can't seem to get an answer for is who did it. Who paid for my freedom? Nobody, not even Sofia can give me an answer. Every single person tells me that I need to speak with some judge about it. After two hours of reading and listening to this mumbo-jumbo, I decide that an answer is not what I want. I really want to take this ticket and get the heck away as fast as I can.

Sofia hands me a bag with some spare clothes inside. I go to the washroom and pull on the grey hoody and the pair of brown trousers. I stuff the orange tracksuit into the bag and tie it up as tightly as I can as if that will hold onto the hatred I felt for the last fifteen years. When I step outside again, Sofia takes the bag and leads me out without any other questions.

"I hope you feel that I have helped you today, Ms. Al--Lawrence. If you need anything, here's my number..." She hands me her business card. "And enjoy life. Live free and be good." Before I can say anything, she's back inside, leaving me to admire the ability of having my leash taken off.

I wander across the street. I don't know where to go or who to call. I don't even know who's still around. A lot has changed over the years and I can only wonder what's been left in the town I left in animosity. The summer festival is still going on in the park. That much hasn't changed and because of its familiarity, I venture to it.

This was where I first met Vita back all those years ago. I was here with Gobias and he wanted to get his face painted so many times. I can still remember him inked up with the unicorn that was farting rainbows. The hotdog eating contest. The Charlie and Marlie twins. Meeting Nick. Meeting everybody...

I glance over at a couple in the skating rink. They're wobbly on their legs and both of them fall.

It's as if the world around me slowly morphs into the past. My body goes into shock, my vision becoming fuzzy. My legs feel like they're logs of wood, heavy and no longer bendable. My breathing quickens and there are cotton balls in my throat. I can't breathe. I can't breathe! I need to get out of here. I bolt off in a sprint as fast as my spindly legs will take me.

I run the streets as the world continues to blur. I am a thoroughbred, galloping, running blind. I can only take in the few things that touch upon my brain from time to time. The aching in my calves and the water that splashes my legs as I run through puddles. I hear car horns coming from all directions, but I don't stop. I can't stop. Where do I go? My mind comes up blank and it makes no sense. I am finally free and I feel as trapped as ever.

When I finally come to my senses, I am looking at the house I left everything in. I'm cold, lathered in sweat and completely winded, but the structure's intimacy with me subdues my hysteria. I sag against one of the pillars to catch my breath. What has led me here? Out of all places, this is where I end up? I glance to the parking space outside the garage and notice an black car. Is it possible Vita never left? The questions penetrate my brain and I can't do anything other than shut them out for the time being. I haven't been given any answers all day. I'm probably not going to start getting some now.

After climbing the stairs to the front door, I look inside. The place is in darkness. I ring the doorbell, yet nobody answers. I expected as much. Whether or not Vita still lives here, I wouldn't think that she'd answer the door for somebody like me. But there are more ways to enter than meets the eye. I can only hope it's still here. Back when Nick and I declared our love for one another, he let me know about the secret key rock that he left in the garden. It held a spare key for the place. I wander into the garden in the middle of the walkway and comb every inch of it. It took about five minutes to find. Sunk into the dirt and strangled in roots, I pull the key from the rock and clean it up as best as I can using the end of my sweatshirt. I use it on the door and enter. I don't think about my surroundings. I just run for Delilah's bedroom.

I open the door quietly, scared that I may wake the child that I left on the other side many years ago. She's not in the crib. Dust covers the sides of the wooden structure and a web strings all the way from the ceiling to the bed in the corner. For such a well kept place in the past, it smells of negligence and age. Delilah's not here and she hasn't been for a very long time. Neither has Vita. Until now I believed that the place had been put up for sale. Nick had ordered it the morning before he died, but if he wasn't there to reinforce it, aka I killed him, Vita would have never had to sell. She would have never let the place fall into such a state if she was living in it, though. If she wasn't here, where was she?

I step back into the main foyer and notice something very peculiar. There is nothing inside that flaunts Vita's wealth. All the walls are bare. There are no art pieces. There aren't any portraits of her family, except for one thing that hangs just above the doorway to my daughter's room. It's a picture of me that was taken during the spring festival. Just me in an empty studio with a backdrop. I glare at the photograph. I don't know why it irks me so. It's as if Vita knew that I would return. Knew that I would come to this very spot and see that she now holds all of the power. That she has everything and that I am the one left alone.

I turn to the side table where I know a photograph of Nick and I used to sit. I remember. I had placed it there when Nick and I returned from the winter festival. The night I took Vita's daughter from her. But it's not there. I make my way outside and toss the key in the garden.

I pick up the latest newspaper and check the date. It falls apart in my hands. Even so, I can read the date very faintly. It was placed here more than ten years ago. And it all starts to come together. It had to have been Vita who set me free, she paid my bail and this is just the first of the many parts of a game she wants to play out. I take a deep breath and drop what's left of the newspaper in my hands to the ground. "She wants a game? So be it," I whisper to myself as I walk all the way off the property, ready to never step on it ever again. "Because I may know of how to get to her first."

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Re: Divine Deception -- S203: Lost & Found
« Reply #93 on: April 18, 2016, 12:44:57 PM »
Divine Deception
"Lost & Found"


When I first started my life as a Destroyer, I was Eighteen. I had just graduated high school and been handed over everything my parents left for me. In with all of the jewelry, china, family portraits and all else was a letter from a man named Lee. He explained that he knew of my parents and could help with living with their abandonment. He wrote if I wanted to find inner freedom that it could be found with his way. The way of the Destroyer. It took some thinking, but I finally decided hurting the world as the world hurt me was the only way that I could move on. At that time Lee was located in Bridgeport and that was where I moved to. Throughout my schooling, he taught me how to defend myself, how to manipulate others and block any type of emotion from forming inside of me. He also taught me how to unlock memories. To be completely honest, I've never been very good at it. It takes a lot of patience and a type of meditation that blocks out everything around me. It can transport me to another world if I can muster it. I've only been able to get that deep into my meditation once before, when I had first started and was desperate to find closure with my parents, to relive the memory of them leaving me. I haven't tried since, though now I am desperate to figure out where exactly Delilah is.

The memory I can't fully recall has brought me to this very place. The place everything concluded and turned my whole life into one big mess, aka the last place I want to be even if I know that it is mandatory. Nick had said something to Vita back that day when we left the manor. I know it had to do with the manor going up on the market and a place where Vita should go look at, but that was fifteen years ago. I can't for the life of me remember what he said.

The first thing I do is go over to Nick's grave. Grass and dirt crowd the stone edges of the stone, the sun glimmering off the gold letters that say, Nicholas Alto. I squeeze my eyes close to aid the tears that sting my sinuses. I can still remember what I said to him that afternoon. That not all of our relationship was a lie. And it was true too. As horrible as it is for me to say, I felt a tinge of happiness as I ripped Vita to shreds. But Nick... He was different. The moment I ended his life I hated everything. To this day I can't figure out if it was because I had to kill him, bloodying my hands in the process, or if I really did feel love for him. That there were some truth to the emotions I was faking. I crouch down, kiss the tips of my fingers and touch the cold stone.

I make my way to the nearest bench and take a seat. It's mid afternoon, the same time Nick and I had come here those many years ago. I close my eyes and start practicing my breathing. In and out. In and out. I try to capture Master Lee's voice. Listen to the sounds behind the sounds. Feel the flow of blood through my veins. I can feel my eyes begin to roll with no control.

"And how are you going to manage financially?"

I instinctively open my eyes and look around the graveyard. There's nobody other than me there, although from the location of the sun, I've been in meditation for about an hour already. I close my eyes again and take a deep breath, following my former master's directions again. Breathing. Sounds. Veins.

This time when my eyes roll, I can sense that I have been taken to another world altogether. The sun shatters behind my eyelids and the moon takes its place. The grounds begin to fill with men and women I have been introduced to in the past. Everybody I have destroyed is there. Nick is there. So is Vita and a woman I've never met before takes a seat next to me. While she is ghostly, I can still make out some striking features. Her thick eyebrows, stumpy looking fingers and the way her nose hooks. She looks oddly familiar, but I can't quite place my finger on where from.

"That horrid woman has taken everything from me, don't you understand? You, my career, my friends, and now this house, and if you aren't careful, Nick, she's going to take everything from you too!"

"You've been through a lot lately, Vita. Take a long walk and figure things out. Go take a wander down by the beach and look at the house my mother left to us before she died, because right now, I'm going with my wife to go see her like I do every year."


The memory dissolves and when I open my eyes it's daylight again. I wipe the layer of sweat that has broken out along my hairline as I get to my feet. The house that Nick's mother left to them before she died. I vaguely remember it. I had seen the address when I started helping finance Nick with his work. That was where Vita has to be. She has to be there, because if she isn't, I don't have a clue which direction I should take a look in next.

As I make my way back to my car I realize that the woman who sat beside me, the woman that looked so familiar... I think she was Nick's mother.

I make it to the lakeside about forty five minutes later and as I look across the water I can see the rough waves and the gloomy sky battling a summer storm. From the looks of it it is going to be big. I had better find the address and Vita before it makes it over and begins its protest here.

I spot the house right away. It looks just like it had in the file years ago, the most striking feature being the bright red door. I sit in my car for a moment and stare at it. This is it. Please, let this be it, I think as I unfasten my seat belt. This has to be where Vita lives because I don't know where to go after this.

I get out and make it to the front door. I bring my umbrella with me. The moment I ring the doorbell, the umbrella goes up and I turn away from the door. I know Vita all too well. If she sees me through the peephole, she won't open up. She'll pretend that she's not home and wait for me to leave.

Unfortunately, after five minutes of waiting I figure that she's already seen me and turn to face the door again and ring the door bell one more time.

"Well, looks like somebody crawled out from under her rock." I know that voice and for the first time in my life, the sound of it fills me with a giddiness that I can't explain. I whirl around to face Vita Alto. "What I want to know is how you found me?"

Rain has started to fall, but nothing can distract me from the woman in front of me. Vita Alto. Her hair is pasty white, her skin is loose and her collar bone sticks out like that of a malnourished child. Fifteen years has definitely taken its toll on her especially around her eyes and mouth. Her lips tighten to the point where they are almost nonexistent.

"Where is she?" I say, getting straight to the point.

Vita raises her eyebrows as she pulls back. "Have you been around town?" she asks. "Your name is worthless. Everybody knows you for the garbage that you really are."

"I could say the same about you," I snap. "Alto's now a terrible name and I go by Lawrence now."

Vita chuckles. "That's type of attitude won't get you far around here, girly. You could never keep your remarks to yourself, could you? Among many things."

My jaw tightens. The feeling of what I can only describe as happiness from seeing Vita slowly turns into bile at the back of my throat. There is only so much hatred that I can remember in regards to Vita during my time away from her. Most of it had calmed like they were figments of my imagination. But now, seeing her right in front of me, rekindles the fury, burning brighter in the damp air between us. I swallow my pride and repeat, "Where's Delilah?"

"What makes you think I know?"

I can see the amusement dancing in Vita's eyes. "Don't play games with me--"

"Play games?" She laughs out loud. "I wouldn't think of doing anything of the sort."

"Then tell me where my daughter is."

"Here's the thing, Sadie. You destroyed everything of mine and I am going to enjoy watching you ruin yourself now."

"Where is she?" I'm screaming now and I can't stop it. "Tell me where she is right this second or I swear I'll have no problem breaking through that door!"

"Uh, uh, uh." Vita wiggles her finger childishly. "You've spent so many years in the dump of a prison, do you really want to be sent straight back because you can't control your emotions?"

"Vita, I swear--" Her roll of her eyes stops me right then and there and all I can do is stare at her.

The air stops between us and all we can do is look into each other's eyes. I grip the handle of my umbrella so hard that I think I hear it squeak and my jaw is so tense that I can feel the cords in my neck starting to ache. "So, this is it," I finally say. "Back to this?"

Vita grins. "I think it would be best if you leave."

I don't move immediately. Vita's superior aura leaves me with few options and she's right, each of them will send me back to prison. Even so, I don't want to let her think that she's won. I stare her down for as long as I can in hopes that she will rethink her decision to keep my daughter's whereabouts hidden from me. That she will realize that what she's doing will lead her down a bad road. But what I see in return is a woman who doesn't care anymore. She wants to destroy me like I've destroyed her and a part of me actually understands her and I hate myself for it.

I turn and pass her. "This is why you bailed me out? To punish me?" I shake my head in disapproval and cross the street to my car.

Vita's smile flattens. "What? I never bailed you out."

"You lie," I say. I open the door to my car.

"Sadie Lawrence, if there is one thing today that you believe, be it this: I did not bail you out. You should have rotted in that cell for many more years for the crimes you've done."

I studied Vita's facial expressions fora year while I lived in Alto Manor and I know exactly when she's lying. As much as I want to say that she's not telling the truth, from the look on her face, it's the most honest thing that she's said all day. Which begs the question: If Vita didn't bail me out, who did?

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Divine Deception -- S203: Lost & Found
« Reply #94 on: April 18, 2016, 04:39:29 PM »
I think Sadie need to do more meditating!  She needs to calm down and focus on her daughter, not her own misdeeds or those done to her.  Perhaps then she can find Delilah.  I think until Sadie can let the past go, the future won't hold much joy for her.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: Divine Deception -- S203: Lost & Found
« Reply #96 on: April 22, 2016, 09:23:57 AM »
I think Sadie need to do more meditating!  She needs to calm down and focus on her daughter, not her own misdeeds or those done to her.  Perhaps then she can find Delilah.  I think until Sadie can let the past go, the future won't hold much joy for her.

This is very true. She's letting her emotions get the better of her and, as you can see, she's losing her focus and control of things. In the Pilot episode, Sadie said when things start to fall apart that she let go of everything and went with the flow. Obviously she's having a harder time doing it now.

She also needs to keep in mind that she got Vita's child taken away.

Yes! Vita is a pretty awful person on her own, but when it comes to Sadie there are more layers to it than just being mean to be mean.

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Re: Divine Deception -- S203: Lost & Found
« Reply #97 on: April 22, 2016, 10:23:56 PM »
Just caught up with the story. And quite a fabulous one full with suspense, like watching thrilling soap on TV. Season 1 was epic, expect season 2 to be better. The fight against Vita Alto will be very interesting. Looking forward for next episode update.
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Re: Divine Deception -- S203: Lost & Found
« Reply #98 on: April 23, 2016, 06:29:15 PM »
It's great to see another reader! Welcome to Divine Deception. I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed season one. It's not a traditional sims story and it is so nice to see people still enjoy it anyway. I look forward to hearing what you think and hope you enjoy the show ;)

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Re: Divine Deception -- S204: Name Game
« Reply #99 on: April 23, 2016, 10:19:17 PM »
Divine Deception
"Name Game"


There is one mirror in front of me. I stare into the eyes of my reflection. My blue eyes, the ones dreading my next action. I only have to do it once more, though this is where I usually screw up and let go before I am completely finished, leaving a pain I can't rid myself of for another few days. I push back the locks of red that begin to block my vision, taking a couple deep breaths. "One more and that's it," I mutter, tightening my grip on the piece of fabric. I giggle hysterically for a moment before I can muster the courage to pull the waxed up slip up my leg, tearing out any hair that had once been underneath. "Son of a--"

"Delilah!" The voice scolds me from the other side of the bathroom door. My mother is always there when I least expect it. Like she's got a natural gift to see, and hear obviously, the future. "What did I say about cursing?"

"Sorry," I grumble. I stumble forward to the sink, crumpling the wax strip in the palm of my hand. I toss it in the garbage bin right after. I hate waxing, but after my experience with shaving left me with a nasty gash on my upper thigh, I decided blades were something I wanted to avoid if I could. It's a phobia. I eat my steak with a butter knife too. I should have known better than to try and shave. My psychologist says that my fear of blades comes from back when my father was murdered by the hired help, the nanny named Sadie Lawrence.

"Stop dilly-dallying," says my mother and I can hear her making her way down the hall. "You're going to be late for school."

I brush my teeth.

My mother has never understood how much work goes into being a woman of the Alto name. I mean, she should. She was the mayor many years ago. She and my father built the name off of nothing, growing it to be something of worth. It's funny. From how she goes on, she never uses it to her advantage. She never uses the family name like it is something to be proud of. She keeps it very hidden and goes about life in a simple manner. A simple woman in a simple time. Meanwhile, high school is a extremely pressing time in a young woman's life, like my own, and I flaunt that name like sprinkles at an ice cream truck. It's what's made me who I am today: head cheerleader.

"Delilah Alto, if you are not in that car in five minutes, the Vita-mobile is leaving and you're to take the bus."

I rinse my mouth out and run to my bedroom as fast as I can. I hate taking the bus. Only the losers take it, or those who can't care less about their status. That'll be the day that I take any bus of any kind. I hate public transportation on a whole different level. People have called me shallow, sure, but I need clean air to breathe. Not stuff that's contaminated by body odour.

My mother has laid out three outfits for me. One is an ugly pink dress that was sent over seas from one of my aunts a year and a bit ago. It still fits, unfortunately, but immediately I roll it into a ball and kick it under my bed. The second is a simple tee-shirt and shorts combo that looks as if it was found in the bargain bin at the local clothing store. The third choice isn't so bad. I slip on the long sleeve shirt with the tank top over it. Pulling up my shorts, I step into my flipflops and run as fast I can out the front door.

By the time we make it to school I still have five minutes until the bell rings. I ask my mother to drop me off at the corner of the street so I can walk in. She doesn't refuse. She doesn't even question it. She just sighs, slows the car down, and when she leans in to kiss me on the cheek, I offer my right first and then my left, never making contact with my lips.

"You'll be home for dinner?" she asks as I step out of the car.

"Uh, I'm not sure. Maybe." I don't say anything else and close the door.

As I make it up the stairs to the crowd of kids waiting to go inside, I see Heather McMaster. She's the other rich girl from the other side of town, blessed with perfect features and a nose that her parents got fixed for her. A freak in my own opinion. She likes to prattle on about how she's related to Katy Perry, but we all know it's a lie. Who does she think she's fooling? I roll my eyes as I make my way over to her.

"Heather!" I wave my hand as I get closer to her and we both, at the same time, lean in for a social kiss on the cheeks as if we are from Italy.

"Deli, I didn't see you at the bonfire on Saturday. Were you with a boy? Maybe Keith Sanderson? He wasn't there either."

The crowd around us turns into oohs and aahhs and I smirk to show that Heather might be onto something. Actually, I was stuck at home grounded because of the F I got on my last assignment. My mother had a freak out when I showed it to her after my teacher asked me to get a parent's signature.

Before anything else can be said, Tom Zaas is pointing and laughing at one of the other kids in our year. When I get a better look, I notice that it's Jordon. I used to be good friends with him until he got weird and started dressing like a girl. He obviously just wants attention and attention he will get. When the other kids start laughing, I can't help myself. I laugh too.

"What are you? Gay?" Tom snickers, getting the whole crowd to join in. "Come on, Jordon Sparks! Jordon Sparks!"

"This is who I am!" Jordon yells out at all of them. His eyes make contact with mine and I can see the little boy inside him. The one I had been friends with once. He stares me down as if pleading for help. Tom is on the other side of me, trying to rouse me into the crowd's chant. Deep inside, I know I have the power to end all of this. I can have the control over everybody else and can bring this all to a stop. There's also this little slice that reminds me that it could turn everybody against me too. That if I side with a freak, I am a freak as well. But I have a name, I remind myself. I have the Alto name.

"Whaddaya say, Alto?" Tom urges me again. "What do we do with Jordon Sparks here?"

I take a deep breath. "I have an ugly pink dress back at home that will fit him perfectly."

The crowd around me starts laughing and calling Jordon names and I watch as he pulls into himself, pushing past everybody and into the school where I know the taunting will never stop. I drop my gaze to the ground and follow the line of students into the school. I could have stopped it. I could have hurt myself at the same time.

The rest of the school day is uneventful. At the end of the day I pass Heather and a group of the other cheerleaders in the hall. Heather asks me if I want to go shopping with them. I tell them no, that I have a ton of homework to do and if I don't finish it by the end of the night, I'll have my mother on top of me. So I head to the library. I am able to finish my book report and do an essay on entrepreneurship within two hours. When I check the time, I decide to start on my literature paper. Even if it's not due for another week, I may as well get a head start since I'm here.

"I heard what you did this morning," somebody says on the other side of the table. When I look up I see a weighty girl who knows no bounds when it comes to highlighting her hair.

I raise my eyebrows in disgust. "Excuse me?"

"What you did with Jordon!"

I roll my eyes and lean back in my seat, glancing down at my notes. "I'm sorry, but don't you have a toad to kiss or something?" I dismiss her with a wave of my hand, not bothering to look up at her.

"You are appalling!" she snaps. "You think because you have looks and money you can treat anybody you'd like like crap. You cheerleaders are all the same."

My glare soars up to meet hers. "Listen, whoever you are, I get it. You're mad. Jordon will get over it and we'll all move on."

The girl makes a noise that I can only decrypt as contempt. She grabs her book and sticks her nose inside it. "Whatever."

This girl's dismissal frustrates me and suddenly makes me feel the need to appear above her. "Hey, it's a game of survival and the sooner you realize it, the better off you'll be."

"This isn't The Apprentice. Besides, all you have in your survival pack is a name. A name that was tarnished a long time ago." She snorts at herself. "I'd be careful who you speak to about the Alto legacy."

The girl's nose may be stuffed in her book, but I am about ready to bore a hole through the pages and into her skull. My hands clamp around the side of the table and my right knee bounces up and down, bleeding my frustration into the air. Who is she to talk to me that way? "The Alto name is strong--"

The girl chuckles. "No it's not. It's a laughing stock."

"What do you mean?" I ask. I am more interested in seeing her fail at an explanation than anything.

She puts her book away and gets up from her seat. "Do your own work and figure it out yourself. Stop getting everybody else to do your dirty work for you."

I grab onto her hand to stop her from leaving. "You're lying, right? Trying to get one over on the top cheerleader? Payback for Jordon maybe?"

"As if," she snorts. "Now, let go of me."

"Tell me what you mean, exactly."

"No." She pulls her hand away.

"I'll pay you."

"I don't want your money."

"Then I'll let you have dinner with me. Eating out in the open with the most popular girl in school is sure to get you some points with everybody else in the yard." I can see by the repulsive look in the girl's eyes that she doesn't agree. "Whatever, I just want to know what you mean."

The girl sighs heavily, checks her watch and then says, "Fine, but only because I'm starving."

We head to the nearest diner and grab a seat. It smells like cooking oil and greasy food. Where the corners of the windows are caked in grime and the tops of the salt shakers are always loose from teenagers like me. Once my platter of fries and a hamburger arrive, I check my salt to make sure I won't be pranked. Just to keep on my new friend's good side, I suggest that she be careful about the pepper and vinegar too. When everything is all set, I ask her again what she meant about the Alto name being a laughing stock, and she tells me.

My mother was the mayor of Sunset Valley and before she could be elected again, a surveillance video was broadcasted all across the town of her wanting to take sponsorship money and run off with the hired help. "Mr. Alto wasn't much different. He'd had a lovely affair with some other chick who ended up killing him."

"The nanny?" I ask bewildered. I scan her face for any signs of lies. "H-He never had an affair with her. She was jealous of my mother and killed him because of it. He never had anything to do with her."

"No, Mr. Alto was very promiscuous, although he did end up marrying that woman."

I glare at the girl across from me with an emotion I don't know a word for. Fury, repulsion, antagonized? "I never caught your name."

"Alicia."

"Well, Alicia, you obviously know nothing about my family--"

"Oh, I know more than you think."

"No, you don't. It's obvious this was a ploy to get me here. To be seen like we were friends in public."

"You're the one who wanted me to stay. Not the other way around."

I shake my irritably. "It's not my fault for thinking better of a lesser."

"It's never your fault, is it?"

I push my chair from the table and throw what I owe on the table. "Watch your back tomorrow at school," I growl and make my way out of the diner. The story that Alicia made up swirls around in my mind making me chuckle to myself all the way home. I think about how I had believed that girl held some information that I wanted. That she had some inside chink on my family's name. Instead, it turned out to be complete hogwash and I can't get any of it out of my head.

 

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