back from holiday, Brock, close, couple, drama, hotel, Living Room Brock, Living Room Orson, love, Luxury Apartments, Luxury Apartments May, music, Orson, Pandora, reality, relationship, roleplay, romance, Seattle, writing
~Now we continue on with the story of Pandora and Brock, as they return to their daily lives in Seattle.~
Pandora’s last night in Hawaii was every bit as magical as her first night, made possible by some new friends and an old relationship made new. As Brock held her close, dancing to the music playing in the restaurant, she couldn’t help but feel like things were finally looking up for her.
She was ready to return home, get back her life again.
The next morning, she and Brock were packed and ready to fly home. They met Jane and Jason in the lobby as they bags were loaded into the shuttlebus that was set to take them to the airport. She excused herself and went to the desk.
“Ms LaRue, I hope your stay with us was a most pleasant one?” the woman at the desk smiled. Pandora passed over her room key and nodded.
“I want to thank you and your staff for the kindness and hospitality you showed me while I was here. I can never repay you for that.”
“There is no need for repayment. We were happy to help. You are welcome here any time you desire.”
“Thank you.” Pandora smiled. She rejoined her friends and they climbed into the shuttle, headed for the airport.
Seattle – Escala Apartments – 7D
A late evening rainstorm was going as a taxi pulled up in front of the building. Two people climbed out but in the gloom, it was hard to see their faces. The trunk opened and the larger of the two began pulling bags and suitcases from it, setting them on the curb while the other held open the door to the apartment building. The driver was paid and sped off into the night, while the other two headed inside.
“Was that her?” came a whispered voice.
“Can’t tell. Too dark.”
“We need to get in there, find out where she lives.”
“Don’t you think I tried that? Place is locked tighter then Fort Knox!”
“You can’t bribe the security guard?”
“Tried that. He threatened to cornhole me before having me arrested. Swear the guy looks like one of them wrestlers you see on TV.”
“We watch…and wait.”
After escaping Louis’s clutches…again…Pandora and Brock made their way upstairs to her apartment (Pandora doing her best to ignore Apartment 3C). Unlocking the door, she stepped inside the darkened living room, holding the door open for Brock to bring in their luggage before she closed the door behind them. She flipped on a single light and looked around with a sigh.
“Home sweet home.” she mumbled, tossing her keys on the table.
Brock set down their bags on the floor beside the entrance to Pandora’s bedroom, and then went about checking each of the rooms to make sure everything was as it should be. He already had an uneasy feeling about being back in her old apartment, and he had a nagging suspicion something just was up with the place. As for Pandora saying home sweet home, Brock sung out.
“Not for long, love.”
He meant about the new home that he had bought her, which he wanted to go and take her to see in the morning. Right now, he knew she would be tired from their flight back from Hawaii. Finding nothing out of place, or suspicious, he turned out the lights in her bedroom and ensuite, before coming back out and enveloping her into his arms.
Kissing the top of her head softly, he mused. “Aren’t you happy to be home?” It was a reasonable question, cause he got the feeling something was upsetting her. Was it passing Simone’s apartment? Or maybe not having heard back from Kali. It could have been any of these things, but he didn’t feel he wanted to press her.
Brock ran his hand gently up and down her back, while he waited for her to say something.
If Brock seemed unsettled to be there, Pandora was even more so. She didn’t know if it was because of this place, or something else. But her apartment…felt different.
Brock wrapped her in his arms, asking her if she was glad to be home. She pressed her cheek against his chest, listening to the steady beating of his heart.
“In a way.” she replied. “But…this doesn’t feel like home anymore.” She looked at him. “I feel like a stranger here. Things have changed…I’ve changed. Does that make sense?” she wondered.
Seeing Pandora being uncomfortable in her own apartment truly had Brock concerned. They had both been away from the city a while, and now to try and settle back in after all that had happened was going to be an arduous task. Brock did agree however that Pandora of old had changed. Everything from her tastes in clothes, to her demeanor. The crash, their break up, their reconciliation, finding out about each other’s true selves – all this played a part in how they were acting now.
Brock gazed down at her with a concerned expression. He knew that she wouldn’t want to spend the night at his apartment, especially after when she explained that it just wasn’t her, and yet she didn’t feel comfortable here either.
He had one idea.
“We….could check into a sleazy motel.”
This was said to hopefully bring a smile to her face, in that she might see the funny side since neither really wanted to be in her apartment.
“‘Just…the bed bugs and other nasties might be an issue. I’d hate to think what one of those CSI ultraviolet lights would bring up”
Brock was silent for a few moments after her declaration. She began to wonder if he was having second thoughts about the two of them. She herself was having no regrets. After everything they’d been through, for her to forgive him was a mighty big thing for her to do.
She was definitely a changed person after this ordeal.
She looked at him, seeing his concerned expression, but also a glint in his eye.
“We….could check into a sleazy motel.” he smirked.
That made her laugh, hard, and she clutched at him, chortling with absolute delight. She wrapped her arms around his neck, her laughter muffled as she pressed her face into his skin.
“What did I ever do to deserve you?” she giggled, bring her face upward again. “And a motel sounds nice…but nothing sleazy. The only thing I want biting me on the ass is you.” she winked, poking him in the ribs.
Getting herself under control, she stepped back to look around the place that she had once called home and realized that home was where her heart was. And that was with Brock.
He had gone out of his way to make her feel comfortable by buying her a new place to live and she couldn’t wait to move in with him. It would take some time to get their things moved in, deciding what to keep between them but it would be a fresh start for the both of them.
“I don’t want to stay here tonight.” she stated firmly.
Pandora’s laughter was infectious and he couldn’t hide his smile even if he wanted to, that he would ask her to stay in some dive of a motel for the night to cheer her up. The muffled laughter reverberated off his chest and he continued to hold her in his arms – his eyes bright from happiness. This was how he loved to see his Pan – laughing and happy.
She asked what she had done to deserve him, and he just shrugged not sure how to answer that one. He wasn’t about to break into some long winded speech. But the part about biting her ass did sound inviting. His grin from that was unmistakable and he could only make a satisfied sounding noise.
Course, when she came back to earth from her laughing fit, she did admit that she didn’t want to stay in the apartment that night. Truth was, he didn’t want to either.
“Then it’s settled. We book into somewhere a bit more upmarket than the Pink Poodle, and perhaps stay somewhere like the Fairmont Olympic. I’ll go make the booking.” Brock stepped back and then took out his cell, starting to search the number as Pandora would be waiting. “I’ll see if they have a King deluxe with spa tub. Love those.”
Brock turned around and headed towards the balcony doors, where he could look out onto the street as he made the booking.
“Evening. I’d like to book a room for two. Mhm….under the name Carrendar. Yes.” he then gave over his credit card details and waited for confirmation as he tapped his foot. Once the guest manager made confirmation, Brock told her they would be there within the hour. He hung up from the call and turned on his heel saying.
“We can stop at the 7/Eleven and grab some snacks. Ice cream maybe?” He really wanted to treat her.
Stepping away from her to pull out his phone, Brock thought getting out of the apartment was a grand idea.
“The Fairmont sounds lovely. I’ve ridden by there a few times. Definitely swanky.” she agreed. He found the number and went about making a reservation for them as she ducked into the bedroom to get a few more clothes. Looking through the closet, she cringed at the sight. Everything was black. Black lace, black leather, black suede…black, black, black. She began ripping things out and tossing them on the bed, items she had no intention of ever wearing again. By the time she was finished, her closet was nearly bare. She decided to keep two pair of her favorite leather pants, boots and tops because she loved how she looked in them. Everything else was headed for the Salvation Army bin.
“We can stop at the 7/Eleven and grab some snacks. Ice cream maybe?” he called out when he’d finished his call. She strolled out of the bedroom and into the kitchen to grab a couple of garbage bags.
“Make it Butternut Pecan and you got a deal.” she winked before going back into the bedroom. She began shoving the clothes she’d tossed on the bed into the bags so she could easily take them to the donation bins. And that brought to mind transportation.
“Brock? How are we getting to the hotel? I don’t have my bike and we took a cab from the airport.” she reminded him.
Reminded of how they didn’t have a car with them since they both came together from the airport, Brock then had an idea. He knew that Orson had been spending time with Erica who lived with Simone. It was probably not a good idea, but then again he was family and he might be able to help them. Course, he could just ring another cab.
“Why don’t I give my brother a call, see if he can give us a lift over there?”
Erica’s apartment – 3C
Erica and Orson were making out on the couch, as Simone came out with her hand on her stomach. “I feel like shit. She headed into the kitchen and started to rifle around in one of the cupboards for something to settle her stomach. Simone had been something of a misery guts since she discovered she was pregnant. Though she hadn’t spoken to Orson about it, since he was really just her best friend’s current crush, it wasn’t hard for him to spot that something was up with the girl. Erica broke from kissing Orson, to look over her shoulder at her gal pal in the kitchen. She was wearing pokemon pyjamas, and her hair was done up in a messy bun.
“If only the tabloids could see you now.” Erica joked, as Simone flipped her the bird.
“You take a picture of me, and I will get you back, bitch.”
Erica burst out laughing and went back to kissing Orson, who was used to their catty ways.
“Why don’t I give my brother a call, see if he can give us a lift over there?”
Pandora left her bedroom, dragging two large garbage bags of clothing. She dropped them on the floor beside the door with a huff of breath and placed her hands on her hips, tossing her hair out of her face as she did so.
“Yeah…I’m fine with that.” she agreed. She had no idea Orson was a few floors away, or that he was with the one person she didn’t want to deal with just yet.
Things were about to come to a head.
Outside – Sidewalk
“I could swear I saw a light come on.”
“Seventh floor…fourth window in.”
“So? Could be anybody. We don’t know it’s her for sure.”
“Are you using the binoculars or not?”
With the binoculars trained on the mentioned window, the watcher’s breath catches as Pandora walks by the open curtains.
“Is it her?”
“Yes…oh…she looks good enough to eat…” came the moaned response.
“So how do we get to her?”
“We watch…and wait…there’s always opportunity. We just have to knock on the right door.”
Laughter echoed throughout the darkened car as the rain continued to pour down around them.
Thinking this was a good idea, Brock then put a call to his brother Orson, who happened to only be four floors down. The cell buzzed in his pocket and then Orson broke his kiss with Erica to answer the phone.
“Yo Bro…sup man?’
“Hey…just got back in town with my girl, Pan. We are at her apartment, but she doesn’t fancy spending the night here, so I booked us a room up at the Fairmont. Don’t suppose you could give us a lift over, neither of us have a car.”
“Sure dude, just let me explain to Erica, and I will be right up.”
He hung up the phone and then tweaked Erica’s chin.
“My bro..Brock is back from Hawaii with Pandora. They need a lift to the Fairmont, sounds like they are going to be having a hot night in a top star hotel. Lucky dog.”
Instantly Simone dropped a cup of water she was holding in her hand.
“He’s back? With Pan?”
Orson nodded as he got up from the couch and adjusted himself, since Erica had turned him on a bit.
“Mhm…going to go give them a lift. Why, did you want to come say hello?’ Orson was pretty clueless about the situation. Simone quickly shook her head, and dashed back into the bedroom, slamming the door. Orson shrugged, while Erica pouted. “Will you come back?” she asked, pawing at his jeans. Orson bent down and kissed her forehead. “And miss a night with you? Hur. I be back within the hour. Don’t worry.”
At that, Orson headed out of Erica and Simone’s apartment, and headed to the elevator, where he would go up to Pandora’s apartment.
He reached her floor and then went to knock on the door.
As Brock was chatting with his brother, Pandora’s own cell phone began to ring. Frowning, as she wasn’t expecting any calls for the night, she pulled it from her pocket to check the caller ID. The grin that swept over her face was brighter then any of the stars in the sky and she quickly answered it.
“Well if it isn’t the Wonder Twins!” she grinned, moving away from Brock so she didn’t interrupt his own call.
“Hey big sis! How’s Seattle?” came the voice of her youngest brother, Caleb.
“Rainy at the moment. Kind of wished I had stayed in Hawaii.” she chuckled. “Where’s Caden?”
There was a click and then the voice of her other brother came over the line. “Hey Pan, how are you?”
“I’m doing better then I expected.” Pandora smiled, daring a glance at Brock.
“Things working out for you guys?” Caleb wondered. He had wanted to jump on the first plane out to his sister when he found out some schmuck had broken her heart.
“Yeah…we did some talking…things are good, knock on wood.” she stated. “How’s school and what are you guys up to?”
“We are doing excellent. 3.5 GPA for me, Caden’s beating me by about .4 points.”
“That’s because I’d rather study then party every weekend. Caden retorted.
“I did not send you to college so you could spend your weekends getting drunk.” Pandora frowned.
“Aw come on, Pan! I hear it enough from Mr Party Pooper over here! Give me a break!” Caleb groaned.
“Oh god! She did the ‘mom’ voice! Save me!” There was the sound of fake choking down the line and Pandora couldn’t help but laugh.
“Stinker. Seriously though. To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?”
“Well…we were wondering…” one twin started.
“…and if it’s cool with you…”
“If we could come and stay with you for summer break? they both finished.
“Why?” she frowned.
“George and Denise have been hitting the drugs and booze pretty hard lately…and we don’t want to be around them any longer then we have to.” Caden stated.
That was all the incentive Pandora needed to agree.
“Yeah. I have no problem with it. Um…Brock and I are moving into a house together in the next week or so…we’ll have plenty of room for you.”
“Have we told you lately that you are the best sister ever?” Caleb grinned.
“I love hearing it.” Pan smiled.
“Thanks, sis. We’ll call you in a few weeks and let you know when we’ll be coming up.” Caden stated.
“Love you guys. Be safe and I’ll see you soon.” Pan smiled warmly. After receiving the same from her brothers, she hung up, a soft and pleased smile on her face.
There was a knock at her apartment door and she looked at Brock, before moving to see who it was. Glancing through the peephole, all she saw was a blue shirt. She stepped back and looked at Brock.
“I think it’s your brother, but I’m not sure. All I can see is a blue shirt.”
Sure enough the owner of the blue shirt was Orson. Brock went to open the door and there was his older brother, the blonde giant and standing there with a dopey expression. He saw the couple then wandered in and gave his baby brother a hug.“Welcome back Bro.” He slapped his brother’s back three times, before letting him go and then giving Pandora a bit of a salute. He wasn’t familiar enough with her to hug her, he felt a bit awkward there.
“Wow…you look tanned. Good holiday?’ He asked, before then noticing his brother’s scars.
“Shit…what happened to your face?”
Brock knew this was going to come sooner or later and he shrugged. “Got into a fight.” Orson then pulled his brother aside and whispered. “You…you can heal you know.” Brock pulled back from his brother’s grip and said simply. “It’s okay, man. I know what I look like and I can live with it.” This had Orson confused, and then he arched a brow, before looking at Pandora.
“You know why my brother looks like he got hit by a bus?” He was wanting answers, and it looked like they weren’t heading off to the Hotel just yet.
Brock opened the door and it was indeed his brother. They greeted each other as brothers should before Orson looked at Pandora. She was thankful he didn’t try to hug her as well. After all, she didn’t know him like his brother did.
“Wow…you look tanned. Good holiday?”
“Yeah…for the most part.” she answered, a bit awkwardly. And then he took a really good look at his brother.
“Shit…what happened to your face?” Pandora cringed at the shock she could hear in Orson’s voice. She waited to see what Brock would say.
“Got into a fight.” was all he said.
Orson pulled Brock to the side and they began to have a whispered conversation out of her hearing range. She locked her hands together, nervous, but knew the man deserved an explanatation. As if he had heard her thoughts, Orson looked directly at her.
“You know why my brother looks like he got hit by a bus?” The tone of his voice and his obvious stance as he stood next to Brock indicated they weren’t going anywhere until he was satisfied with what he heard.
She took a deep breath and decided to just tell him.
“I’m afraid that’s my fault.” she started, “but…your brother was a giant ass spider at the time and I had to defend myself or risk being killed.” she added. Before Orson could ask about that, she showed him her hand, palm facing upward. With nary a thought, a bright orange flame appeared in the center of her palm. “I’m pyrokenetic. I have been all my life, only discovering my power when I was 18 years old. When I found out about Brock…and Simone…I ran off to Hawaii for some alone time, try to put things in perspective. Brock came after me…and we had an argument…that quickly turned into a fight. That’s when I found out who he really was…what you both are. I met your Aunt Charlotte, by the way.” she stated. “Anyway…I…set Brock on fire, in his spider form so I could get away and that’s when your aunt showed up.” She wasn’t sure if she should have explained about Hope, didn’t think it was her secret alone to tell. “She said some things that made Brock and I think things over and we managed to talk out our problems. And I will regret, until my dying day, the harm I’ve caused to him. I didn’t mean to hurt him so badly and I wish with all my heart that I could take away those scars.” She bent her head, staring at the floor as she struggled to contain her still turbulent emotions over what she’d done. It would take her a long time for her to forgive herself for what she’d done to Brock. She was just amazed that he could forgive her for it in the first place.
Orson certainly was not ready for the explanation in full of what happened on the Hawaii holiday. He knew as to why Brock and Pandora broke up, well, partly but nothing after that, so this was all news to him. Brock remained silent as Pandora started to explain everything, but the part that gave Orson a fright was when he saw her create fire with her hand. The explanation that she was a pyrokentic leaving him somewhat shocked. So, she wasn’t mortal. That sort of made things a bit easier, but not when she explained that Brock had revealed his true form to her. It was almost like betraying a closely guarded family secret and something he had not even begun to explain to Erica. Erica would probably dump him in a second if she knew the truth. Orson brought his hand up to his forehead and nervously brushed back his blonde locks, before staring down at his baby brother.
“Well, that explains the scars. Still want to know why you haven’t just used your regeneration ability. I mean…dude, you are a good looking bloke….well, you were.”
Brock didn’t care about his looks, and this was when he went to stand by Pandora’s side. “There is a reason I haven’t let them heal by will. I did wrong by Pandora, and these scars are a daily reminder of what I have done and the punishment I deserve.” He was adamant about this and was not about to change his mind.
“And Aunt Charlotte went to Hawaii? Damn. I know I heard the call, but I was…kinda busy.” It was true, all Carrendar family had heard it. Orson felt sheepish about that. “I guess that explains a lot. More than I needed to know, come to think of it.”
At this Brock shrugged, but then put his arm around Pandora.
“Truth’s out Bro….she knows what we are and she accepted me, after the fight. I’m just happy that she accepted me back….scars and all.” he then pressed his lips to the top of her head. “She’s my girl….nothing is going to changed that.”
She let the two talk but one thing stuck out in her mind and she looked at Brock in shock.
“You mean…this whole time…you could have healed yourself? And you let me think…the guilt…but I…” It was rare to see her speechless. “Why would you do that?”
He moved to her side, wrapping an arm around her. When he spoke, he was looking at Orson, but she couldn’t help but feel he was speaking to her as well. “There is a reason I haven’t let them heal by will. I did wrong by Pandora, and these scars are a daily reminder of what I have done and the punishment I deserve. Truth’s out Bro….she knows what we are and she accepted me, after the fight. I’m just happy that she accepted me back….scars and all. She’s my girl….nothing is going to changed that.”
There was such conviction in his tone, Pandora felt blessed to have this man in her life.
“You would keep your face like that…for me?” she was simply amazed. He pressed a kiss to her head, letting her know that he was hers.
“Brock…I truly do love you, shocked as I am right now.” she looked up at him, her eyes bright with love for him. When she looked at him…she didn’t see the scars…she only saw the man she loved.
Brock didn’t like to think he was deceiving Pandora by not healing himself, but he laid the truth out for her. He felt he needed a constant reminder of his past sins, in order to be a better man – no matter how he looked. She knew what he truly was now, so to him the scarring was superficial compared to what he had become. When she declared her love for him again, right in front of Orson, that was when Orson took his keys out of his pocket and shook them.
“Okay you two. Before you all get mushy and get me teary eyed, your chariot awaits.” he started off for the hall, leaving Brock and Pandora alone for a moment. Brock held his Pandora in his arms, and just continued to kiss the top of her head, refusing to move.
“I just want to be the man you wake up to…and the one that you fall asleep with at night. I never want to lose you.” He meant that with all sincerity, as her words hit home.
Seeing as his brother was already leaving the scene, he started to gather up their things. “Got a few extra bags here.” he didn’t realize she was about to dump her past life’s clothes at the nearest op shop. It wasn’t just him that had changed, it was her too. Black was no longer her colour. Her love was for brighter colours…the darkness having left her heart and her life.
“Come on, before he takes off on us and leaves without us.”
Orson left them alone for the moment, telling them he’d meet them at the car downstairs.
“I just want to be the man you wake up to…I never want to lose you.”
She shook her head, holding him tight. The feeling that suffused her body was simply one of hope and joy. She loved this man, and nearly losing him made her re-evaluate the things she wanted out of her life.
She stepped back and pressed a light kiss to his lips, which was gladly returned.
“Come on, before he takes off on us…” he smiled, grabbing their things, including the two extra bags of clothes.
“I’d like to drop those off at the Salvation Army bin on the way. I won’t be needing them anymore.” she told him at his questioning look. He nodded and headed out with their things. She paused in the doorway and took a look around. She had spent the better part of 10 years in this apartment, a place she’d once called home. But it had never really been a home. It was place she simply resided. She never made the effort to make it a real home as the furniture came with the place. She had a few pictures and small appliances that she’d bought…but the rest…
She would turn in the keys in the morning after she returned for the rest of her things. She wasn’t sure if Kali was back from Hawaii or not, but knew she could simply leave them with Tony if she needed to.
It was time to move on with her life…with Brock standing at her side.
She flipped out the light for a the last time and closed the door behind her.
“There she is!”
“Who’s that she’s with?”
“I don’t know. Let’s follow them and see where they go.”
The rumble of an engine started as the occupants watched the action across the way. Pandora climbed into Orson’s car, the mechanic in her sitting up and taking notice, admiring the beauty of it as she did so. She would have loved to have seen what was under her hood.
“I…love…this car…” she grinned as Brock slipped in beside her.
Brock put the extra bags for the salvos in the boot along with the bags they brought back from Hawaii. Orson was already behind the wheel of what he called “The Beast” his pride and joy. Getting in the back with Pandora, Brock chuckled to hear how much she loved his brother’s car. But she couldn’t love it as much as Orson did. Orson would make sweet love to it if it was a woman, that was how passionate he was about it.
“She’s quite the gal, isn’t she?”
Orson sung this out as they pulled out from the curb. The engine purred as Orson handled her like a pro. Brock kicked back and had his arm around Pandora as they cruised along. He had to admit, he enjoyed the ride. But then he remembered something about the car.
“The back seat get some action, Bro?”
Orson snorted at that remark. Truth was he hated to see her get dirty. “Nope…not done the deed in my beauty. Sides, she might get jealous.” There it was. Orson loved that car more than anything. Brock chipped back. “And here I was thinking this was a pimp machine.” He winked at Pandora as they continued down the road. “He probably makes the girls in his life take their shoes off before he lets them get in.” he then laughed before adding. “Wouldn’t be surprised if he kissed it good night.”
Orson simply turned on the radio to drown out his brother’s remarks.