Ewan winced when a boy about his age set over the fence in the backyard of the scenic home, he, his parents and 4 siblings lived in. The shock dissipated quickly, he relaxed; he knew the boy. His cousin and one of his closest buddies, Nicholas.
“BUSTED! I knew you were hiding back here!”
“Hiding? I live here! So, where else would I be after school? The patio is one of the few quiet spots to do my homework in a house full of siblings. So, you busted me doing my homework at my own home. Wow, how can you even walk for all that brilliance? Now, why are you climbing our fences? I am pretty sure mom and Jay would have something to say about that.”
“I saw Jay get into his car and your mom is cooking, like she always is at this time, to feed your five million siblings and you. Which leads me to why I am here: What the hell is wrong with you?” blurted Nick at him.
“Couple things. A) I have four siblings, which is not THAT outragous. Nobody’s fault that my mom had multiples both pregnancies. B) we have a front door normal visitors use. And C) WTF?!”
“I am not a normal visitor, I am family. And your sisters were having a fight or whatever by the front door. Wasn’t feeling like getting sucked into that. And WTF is right. I tell you WTF: Adrianna!”
“You had coffee with her, yesterday after school. Don’t even try to deny it. So – WTF, man?!” Nick continued his dramatic entrance, not really unusual for him. He had charisma to boot and the same short fuse as his parents. Definitely an inherited affliction, but it suited him. He wasn’t the wallflower type. Everyone who knew Nick just basically ignored his dramatic outbursts, at the core he was a good guy with a heart of gold who would give his last shirt to whomever needed it and who would do anything for friends and family. All bark, no bite.
“THAT is why you have your panties in a bunch? I wish I had such an easy life that I had to pull problems out of thin air. Must be the celeb life echoing back at you. Normal people like me don’t freak out about a coffee with someone after class.” Ewan defended himself while watching his cousin sit down across from him, unasked. Nick was the son of superstar pop icon ViVa, grandson of THE Blaine Cameron, who still had a booming career, and now also a huge production company buzzing with other celebs. Nick’s aunts and uncles on his mother’s side all were VIP celebs, actors, singers, musicians, models. No wonder Nick wasn’t the quiet and calm type. His parents had only recently moved the family to Windenburg, Nick’s dad Liam’s birthplace, downsized and simplified their lifestyle to try and raise their two kids, teen Nick and his 9-year-old sister Aria Grace with the semblance of a regular life and outside of the limelight. So far, so good, no paparazzi or fans had found them.
“Obviously there is no celeb life in my life anymore. And normal people don’t close in on their friends’ girl.”
“What are you talking about, Nick?! You don’t have a girl, unless I missed a SERIOUS memo. I remember hearing you proclaim that you like your freedom, so, no girlfriends. You have a dozen girls you keep flirting and going out with! How am I supposed to know which one you are serious about?! And for the record, I didn’t exactly drag Addy to the cafe at gunpoint. I asked, she agreed right away, so I guess she didn’t get the ‘Nick’s property’ memo either, and we had a fun time over lattes, not some weird animalistic orgy. The end.”
“I have seen Addy first. I have known her the longest!” protested Nicholas.
“So – back off!” Nick shook his head, grimacing at his cousin’s slow grasp on the perceived issue.
Ewan had been born and raised in Windenburg, the simple, very rural lifestyle, enhanced by many fishing and camping trips to the deep forests of Granite Falls with his grandpa Jamie had been his and his two sisters Esmée and Emmy, who made up the other part of the triplets, as well as their younger twin half-siblings Silas and Sophie’s lives for as long as they could remember. They were a patchwork family, through the oddest twists of fate, the triplets were from their mother Abby’s failed relationship to Elliott, but his half-brother Jay stepped in to help raise them like his own, he and Abby fell in love and eventually had the twins. Elliott had been in the picture all along, but lived far away with his own, new family, while Jay was the real hands-on dad to all. Somehow, it just worked and nobody was unhappy.
“And what about Cassandra, Beth, Lilo, Lena, Heather, and all the other ones?” Ewan asked, confused.
“None of your business, dude! You do you, and I won’t question who does you. Speaking of, you coming to the Bluffs Friday night? Secret party – no adults allowed.” Nick’s tone changed with the topic, and now they were best friends and cousins again. It’s just how it was between them, all 10 cousins living in Windenburg, especially with the 6 teenaged ones who were a clique. Someone was always bickering with someone else, but it never stuck.
“Well, I am technically grounded .. so .. not sure.” Ewan shrugged.
“Do you need me to show you how to open a window and climb out?” Nick smirked.
“Noooooooo … Fine, count me in. What about my sisters? You know if they are coming? Cos, that could be a bit awkwardish running into them there … “
“Why? If you snuck out, so did they, so how would they tattle, right? At least the sister whoever lives through that fight out front. Looked serious.”
“Trust me, my sisters are like Fight Club. They love each other, total peas in a pod, and then they don’t. They start world war 3 and then it’s right back to BFFs. It happens. We all know it does and will again, but we don’t talk about it. They’ll be fine.”