Chapter 444) Hell’s Bells

“Making mistakes does not make you a fool, repeating them does.”

~Hailey Cameron
Vatore Residence
A little over a year since the last chapter

Exiting the taxicab in front of her childhood home felt strange, and not like the homecoming she had expected.
A lot had changed, understandably so, but she had not expected this much change.

Her childhood home had undergone renovations, the front now looked amazing, modern and stylish, but only vaguely resembled the home she grew up in, the backyard was stunning now, but unrecognizable to Keira making this feel like a completely different house, had it not been for some hallways and rooms that remained the same as before.
The most noticeable change of all was that the sign out front was missing, christening this house ‘The Elysium’.

Along with it several of its former residents were gone too, as she later found out, instead there was a new resident in the form of a new dog, a light-colored Husky mix aptly named ‘Ghost’, with seemingly boundless energy.

Tears of joy had flowed freely when the absentee daughter returned home, after an exuberant greeting with many hugs, she was caught up on all the changes, while most her stories were purposely kept vague, limited to funny anecdotes and sights she had been able to visit the world over, leaving out the more unsavory things she had experimented with. Not really something she needed her parents or little brother to hear. Or anyone else really for that matter.

She hid her shock when she learned from her parents that Connor’s parents had moved out with their twins and the family dog ‘Aurora’ who had been Chase’s shadow since she was a puppy, so she was more his than anyone else’s anyway, and they took the sign naming this place with them, since it had originally been Chase’s brainchild. Understandable, maybe, but sounded strange to Keira. The new name for her childhood home would be ‘The Malton’, a fusion of her parents’ names Maddie and Colton, the sign was already in production and would be delivered within the upcoming weeks.

Evidently, the new ‘Elysium’ had been built right next to Avalon Park here in Newcrest. That park bore a lot of significance to Chase and Hailey, so the location wasn’t a surprise.

Keira’s mom Maddie told her there would be one of the famous parties at the new Elysium this weekend and told Keira she should absolutely go with them. While not really in a party kind of mood, Keira agreed.

Eventually, she was set up in a bedroom, Keira had expected it to be her old room, but was told that since she and Connor had both moved out when attending college, then subsequent to graduation bought their own house and never had any plans to move back home, and most certainly had nobody ever expected them to split up, so their old rooms had been repurposed. Keira’s was gone, demolished, for the benefit of enlarging other areas, Connor’s old room had been chosen by Jasper as his new room and looked nothing like it used to.

With her old room gone, Keira was put up in what was originally designated to be a guest room, even though the Vatores never really had overnight guests.
So, with Keira being back with nowhere else to go this became her room now. Not having a job at the moment, considering her very specialized education and aspirations it would probably be a while until she would find suitable new employ other than temp jobs, not to mention, she wasn’t really too keen on living alone, nor were her parents in too great a hurry of letting their only daughter leave again.

As glad as Keira was to be received with open arms and given a home, her new room turned out to be Chase and Hailey’s old bedroom, fully remodeled of course, but the layout was the same, which gave Keira the feels.
While setting out her cosmetics in the attached bathroom, Keira couldn’t help but remember the story everyone had heard a million times, about the day Chase and Hailey found out here in this very room that after years of failed attempts they were pregnant with Connor.

Oh, beautiful, gentle-minded, kind, sweet Connor, Keira sighed at the thought of him.

Try as she might, during all her travels, which often didn’t just stop at exploring exotic lands and sights, Keira had never been able to successfully suppress his memory. As soon as the initial ‘aahs’ and ‘oohs‘ of new lands to be discovered wore off, she was imagining him there with her. All the time, everywhere. He was everywhere. Even here. No, especially here. Maybe it had been a mistake coming home.
Then again, she had missed her family so much, growing more and more homesick each day, she even missed her annoying little brother Jasper, who in reality was a clever and well-mannered, quiet little boy, whom Keira had just never bonded with, due to the huge age difference between them.
Connor was in the same boat as her with twin sisters and a huge age gap between them, but he had always embraced that fact, seemingly enjoyed being the doting big brother the little girls simply adored, while Keira never could get to that place with her brother.

She never wanted a sibling, her mom accidentally got pregnant when Keira was 16, which really upset the then-teen for a long time and had tainted her feelings about the baby brother for good. Keira mostly ignored the little boy, coexisting as two quasi-strangers born to the same parents. Jasper could feel the undeserved rejection and it confused him, but the love of his parents made up for it. An odd dynamic.
However, maybe it was the excitement of finally being back that even he didn’t seem quite so bad now. Not great, but tolerable. Keira had arrived at a point in her 24, almost 25, years of life that she needed her parents just as much as her 9-year-old brother did, so they had to get along somehow.
No, it was time for her to be back home.

Keira had returned home the same way she had left. Without a warning, no call, no text, she had just shown up at her parents’ doorstep today.

The one thing her parents wouldn’t speak to at all was to the reason why Chase, Hailey and their twins felt the need to move out, after being roommates for over 30 years. Keira knew it had to do with her, instinctively, and it made her feel awful.
All because of her choices.

At least, from the sounds of it, the sudden need for separate homes had no lasting negative impact on the deep, old friendship between Chase, Hailey, Colton and Maddie, nor had it affected the band Chase and Colton had founded back in college.
2Dark 2C was, once more, nominated for another award for an album released during Keira’s absence.

After freshening up a little and listening to her little brother Jasper’s version of catching her up to everything that happened in his little world while she was away, she decided on a stroll through the neighborhood, which was a lie she told everyone, including herself.

What she really wanted to see was her old home, two doors down from her parents’ home.
She walked past it twice, then kept walking until she got to the little local bar she and Connor used to like to go to wind down at. The ‘Dark Mirrors’ hadn’t changed at all, at least not as far as Keira could tell without entering.

A little down the road from it, by the canal, still the cemetery, when Keira looked in and saw some tall bushes – THE tall bushes – it took her back to a moment of passion spent here with Connor, which ended in jail for both of them along with a lot of drama. That moment of bliss turning into a nightmare might have been what changed her the most. In the best and worst ways.
A pivotal moment for her and Connor’s relationship, trickling down to somehow eventually affect everyone she knew in one way or another.

It also instilled her with an insatiable thirst for answers, determined to find one of them, she headed back to her old home, this time she stepped up and knocked on the door, only to realize that it was an early afternoon, meaning Connor would most likely be at work, unless he was working night shifts.

Keira had just turned to leave when the door was opened, and she found herself vis a vis with a woman she had never seen before.

Keira’s heart sank.
Was that ….? No. Right? Couldn’t be. Connor wouldn’t. This lady was too old for him. Right? And not his type. Right? RIGHT?!

“Yes?” the woman inquired politely.

“Oh … ahem … Connor, is Connor home by any chance?” Keira finally worked up the words.

“I’m sorry, who?” the woman wondered.

“Connor Cameron. Dr. Connor Cameron.” Keira told her.

“Oh, you must mean the previous owner. No, sadly that hunk didn’t come with the house, but I drop off any stray mail that still arrives here for him at his parents’ house, right down by the park, it’s huge, impossible to miss. They’re really nice people, I am sure they can help you.” the woman smiled politely, while Keira had a hard time not bursting into tears, so she quickly thanked the lady and hurried off towards her parents’ home.


Connor was gone, their home was gone. Just gone.

Well, maybe not gone per se, but their home was no longer theirs. Not hers and now not even his anymore. That way back was forever gone for her. Only way left was forwards and onwards now.

This meant the tiny little hope inside of Keira in which a scenario lived where Connor would be so happy she was back that he would forgive her, take her back, and they would live here together again, just like before, was extinguished just like that. Snubbed out like a candle.

The Elysium
A few days later

Keira hadn’t been this nervous getting ready for a party since junior prom as a teen.
Would he be there?
Well, of course he would, the party was at his parents’ home and Connor was just as close with his parents as Keira was with hers. So … duh.
He would definitely be there. She would see him again.
Keira had anticipated that moment she and Connor would meet again with excitement, but also feared it. Would he hug her or hate her? Both? Neither?

Keira had every intention of checking out the new Elysium before the party, maybe even see Connor, but her parents and grandparents ended up taking up all her time from the moment she had returned from her scouting trip through Newcrest. Everyone wanted to see her, visit with her, tell her what she missed from their perspectives after she had to tell her story over and over.

Knowing she had hurt her entire family with her sudden departure and no signs of life except a few rather sparse texts to her mom every now and then, so she was on her best behavior, glad they were so very happy to have her back and not giving her the cold shoulder while drowning her in complaints.

Between all the excitement all those family visits caused, taking up every second of her waking hours, and the shock of learning Connor had sold the house both of them had once called home, she would fall into bed early each night, mentally and emotionally drained and exhausted.

And now the day of the party had arrived.
Now everything would be a surprise, the new Elysium, Chase and Hailey’s reaction to her showing up, even though undoubtedly her parents had already mentioned her being back to them. Connor’s reaction was the one Keira was most antsy about. At least her parents and little brother would be with her, moral support, so to speak.

The new Elysium turned out to be impressive, inside and out, in an understated way, looking average enough to not scream ‘celebrity home’, but impressive enough for anyone looking at it to know this wasn’t your regular middle-class family living here.

Chase always had been the one with all the money, born and raised in the prestigious hills of Del Sol Valley into one of the most famous celebrity families of the time. Hailey was a child of middle-class people from Newcrest, she kept him – and their kids – grounded in their personal and as 2Dark 2C’s band manager also professional lives.

It wasn’t as if Keira’s parents were hurting for money, they just weren’t at the level of any of the descendants of the Del Sol Valley Camerons, by now several generations deep and nearly entirely made up of famous musicians and actors.
Much like with expensive world class racing horses, anything bred by that family was considered best stock and nearly instantly famous, whether they wanted to be or not. Chase’s side of the family tried to keep a balance living normal lives off-stage. Mostly successful.

(Chase and Hailey’s family)

Even Chase and Hailey’s son Connor, who never wanted a career in music, had more talent and a better vocal range than many so-called stars.
He could have made a steep career in music but was hellbent on being a doctor instead, something the artist in Keira couldn’t understand. She had always just wanted to paint, sell art, preferably in an Art Gallery with her own name in bright shiny letters on it.
Sadly, that was a lot harder to accomplish than Keira’s teen mind would have anticipated. Her naturally being the more introverted, serious and aloof type didn’t help make the much-needed connections quickly. Connor had always been the outgoing one helping her out with such things.

After the initial greetings and many hugs by Chase, Hailey and their twin daughters Iris Marie and Briar Rose welcoming her back home – notably with no signs or sights of Connor – Keira was nearly flattened by dogs ‘Aurora’ and ‘Morpheus’, the latter being Connor’s dog, whom he and Keira adopted as a puppy and raised together. Both pooches recognized her right away, even after all this time, and seemed even more excited about her return than the humans.
Declining a tour of the house, Keira was then mercifully left to her own devices to explore on her own, which basically translated in her immediately looking for Connor. If his dog was here, he wouldn’t be far. And she was right, she heard him, more specifically his laughter, before she saw him through a window, and when she did, it took her breath away.

Just like that, all the old feelings returned with a vengeance. Every emotion, every memory of him she had been trying so hard to suppress more or less successfully for over a year was back all at once.

He was standing outside by the pool, talking to a few people, who in this moment turned to walk towards the house, probably to feast on the famous delicacies the parties at the Elysium always came with. Keira saw this as the perfect opportunity, so she headed out to the pool.

Connor remained with his back to her, but turned right as she had almost reached him, both froze, their eyes met, sending a hot jolt of electricity through Keira’s entire body. They just stood there; his bright blue eyes locked into her nearly black as coal ones.

Finally, after what had felt like ages, but probably was only some long seconds, Keira cleared her throat.

“Hi.” she offered, her voice barely a breath.

At first he said nothing, continued to stare at her as if she were a mirage, his face darkened, then in a voice that sounded unlike his, Connor croaked

“You’re back.”

“Yes. I … I … I am … I … ” Keira tried to find the words of the speech she had prepared in her head for this exact moment, the moment they would finally see each other again, but her mind was blank. Completely and utterly devoid of any and all words. Not even letters. She now noticed Connor’s eyes wander, locking onto something behind her, and he smiled slightly.

Expecting to find one or both of Connor’s 9-year-old twin sisters, Keira turned as well, shocked to find a young woman pass her, who then kissed Connor. Right there in front of her. What the … ?!

“Hi handsome!” the chick now purred, stroking Connor’s cheek. If looks could kill, that girl would have had it right there and then. She’d have been dead as a mouse.

Rendered speechless, Keira could do nothing but stare like a hungry wolf would stare at a rabbit, watching Connor turn to that girl to kiss her, trying to avert her eyes from that kiss, Keira ended up looking straight at his hand land on the chick’s ass, which was even worse.

Keira was fuming.
What the ACTUAL fuck was this now?!

The girl tried to turn to her, but Connor wasn’t done with the demonstration of affection, clearly now doing it to instigate and give Keira the feels in the worst way possible.
Payback really was a bitch. Damn him! And damn that chick in her floral number of a dress! Connor wasn’t into that shit. Right? Was he? Then again, he actually did look pretty into that girl.
What kind of fresh hell was this?!
Please don’t say that this chick is his … his … nope. NOPE!
Keira couldn’t even think the word. Just no! No!

“Oh, someone I haven’t met yet. So sorry, we get carried away sometimes. Understandable, right, I mean, can you blame me? Look at him. This is still pretty new to both of us, my mom calls this the honeymoon-phase. Hi, I am Lexie.” the girl chirped, smiling at Keira. Oh great, one of those perpetually chipper goodie-two-shoes now too, the kind that was harder to hate. Although, after being exposed to her lip-locking with Connor, hate came pretty easy to Keira …

Resisting the growing urge to punch that chick into the next century and Connor into his crown jewels, Keira cleared her through and found the courage to answer, albeit with a croaky voice.

“Keira. I am Connor’s … ahem … I am his … ah …” Keira stumbled over her own words trying to explain who she was to Connor, when he jumped in, his voice equally croaky.

“… my biggest pain in the ass growing up, that’s who that is. Lexie, this is my quasi-sister Keira, we were raised together back when my parents lived with Colton and Maddie. She’s their daughter.” he unceremoniously explained their relationship in the most distant way imaginable, leaving out any hint of them ever having been romantically involved, let alone engaged.

Recognition washed over Lexie’s face.

“Oh, right, I remember you being mentioned, and now that Connor mentioned Colton, I can see it, you totally look like your dad, too. You’re the world traveler, right, the one who checked out of real life for a year or two. Oh my God, how cool is that? Just up and leave without a care. I thought of doing that many times, I think everyone does at some point, but never had the courage to actually do it, cos I always thought that my family and friends would be so devastated. You’re a painter, right?” Lexie rambled on, sweet as pie, but everything about her just rubbed Keira the wrong way. Half of what that Lexie had said was probably intended to be backhanded, just wrapped in a nice pink bow of fake smiles. BiAtch!

“Art Gallerist actually, but obviously kinda in between jobs at the moment. How exactly do you know Connor if you don’t mind me asking?” Keira asked, the warning glance from Connor didn’t escape her, but it eluded Lexie, who happily continued with her banter.

“Oh, my gawd, that’s like the most predictable story EVER, we met at work, can you believe it? I am doing my residency at the same hospital Connor works at, and he was one of the few senior staff members who weren’t complete assholes to us newbies. Super-patient, he showed me the ropes and we got to talking. Rest is history, I mean, who could resist that man, amirite? Guess he couldn’t resist me either, so, tada, here I am. Speaking of being here, not to be rude, but Connor, we need to leave, or we’ll be late.”

“Right. Well, Keira, I’ll see you around, I guess, or maybe I won’t. Hard to be sure these days.” were Connor’s parting words as he placed his arm around Lexie and they left for the patio door, while Keira was trying not to fall apart.

Happy endings evidently really only were meant for fairy tales, and this wasn’t one.
Nope, this was turning into a Tim Burton story, fast.

The Elysium
A few days after the party

Walking towards the open-concept kitchen, only to stop short at the sight of a shirtless Connor by the coffeemaker, Keira gasped.

Evidently audibly, as he turned around to her, the front view of him not any less breathtaking than the back.

He said nothing, just raised an eyebrow, which behooved Keira to explain.

“Your mom let me in. Mine sent me over for some merch my dad needs to sign for some fundraiser 2Dark 2C are a part of. Hailey said Chase was still working on his part, so it would take a minute so she sent me to the kitchen for some coffee while I wait.” Keira could hear herself babbling like a fool. ARGH!

Connor shrugged and stepped aside, wordlessly pointing at the coffee maker. Another low blow, normally he would have poured a cup for her. Ouch.

“So, how have you been? Did you move back in with your parents too? Or are you just visiting here? I am living with mine until I can maybe find something else.” Keira tried.

“We’re not doing this.” with a rough tone he dismissed the lackluster attempt, without even looking at her, while putting his empty cup into the dishwasher.

“Why?” Keira asked.
Connor rose up and faced her, his facial expression angry.

“If you have to ask, then it’s not even worth trying to explain.”

“Connor, I don’t want things to be like this between us. Can we please talk? I will tell you everything. I’ll explain everything to you. Just please hear me out.” Keira pleaded.

“Nah, thanks. Not interested. Too little, too late.” he told her as he tried to walk off, in a desperate attempt to not let him go, Keira held on to his arm.
The minute her hand touched his skin, she felt as if she had touched high voltage. Roughly, he pulled his arm away from her, then rushed off, all Keira could do was watch him bounce up the stairs, taking to steps at once.

Sniffling, trying not to cry, Keira was pulled into a hug by Hailey, Connor’s mom.

“Give him time. He was very hurt. Still is. Obviously. He needs time to adjust to you being back, just like he needed time to get used to you being gone.” she said softly near Keira’s ear.

It took her a moment to find her composure, then she pulled away from Hailey, only to realize how much she and her son looked alike. Still, Hailey had always been like a mother to Keira as well, so it was no wonder that her heartache would just pour out of her mouth.

“He hates me now, Hailz. I fucked everything up!” Keira said in a tone filled with tears wanting to fall, but Keira managed to remain strong.

“Keira, the way it all went down wasn’t good, to put what you did to him in the most neutral way I can. Like I said, he needs time, to adjust to the new situation. Speaking of, are you staying or is this just a stopover? In Newcrest I mean, not my kitchen.”

“No, I think I am back for good. Actually, I am pretty sure I am. It’s the plan at least.” Keira told her.

“So, did your – shall we call it self-finding journey around the world – did it bring you the enlightenment you were looking for?” Hailey asked.

Keira frowned, averting her gaze, Hailey nodded, while rubbing the young woman’s arm.

“Yeah, I kinda figured it wouldn’t. You cannot find yourself while running. For that, we need to stand still, drown out all the noise and distractions and look deep into our soul. Or lose something very important, you know the old adage, don’t know what you got until it’s gone. Well Keira, you’re still so young. We all do foolish things when we are young. At least now you know you’re not missing out. Or do you still feel that way?”

“It was never about that, it was about figuring out my own place in this world. About who I REALLY am. Not Colton’s daughter, Riordan’s granddaughter, Connor’s fiancée, but Keira. Who I might be, who I maybe could become, finding my true potential. Turns out I am still only Keira from Newcrest, a failed artist and unemployed Gallerist and evidently the shittiest daughter, sister, ex-fiancée, list goes on and on … In other words, I probably screwed up my life and everyone’s I know as well. Good job, me.” Keira frowned.

“Oh sweetheart. You can be many things at once, they are not mutually exclusive. You can be Colton’s daughter, Riordan’s granddaughter and … ahem … well, you get the idea, while also being you. I am happily Mrs. Cameron, Chase’s wife, 2Dark 2C’s band manager, mom to 3 beautiful kids, but I am still Hailey, always was and always will be. That is an attitude, and inner conviction, nobody can take that from me. I always kinda knew who I am, who I wanted to be, my place in this world and I have a good idea who you are. But me telling you won’t do any good, this is something we each have to figure out ourselves, and some of us have an easier time with it, you are not alone having a harder time finding your place. You felt you needed to try travel, you did, and now you know for sure where you belong. That’s worth something. Why do you think your parents, Chase and I moved around so much before we realized, Newcrest was where we all belong? We wanted to make sure. Newcrest isn’t exactly a Hot Spot, most people not from the area wouldn’t even know where to look for it on a map … but to Chase, Colton, Maddie and me it is home. And maybe to you kids as well. Just one of many things we all had to learn by trying different ways.”

“Can I ask you something, Hailey? Something I really need an honest answer to.”

“Hit me with it.”

“Did you and Chase … did you … you moving … was that because of me?”

“Hm. Are you sure you can take the answer?” Hailey said softly with a mild frown.

“Oh god.” Keira grimaced.

“Yes, Keira, it was because of you. I do not want to get in the middle of this, neither does Chase, nor do your parents, you and Connor are both grown adults, young and foolish sometimes, these are YOUR lives, not ours. But we are still parents, very dedicated ones as you know and while Chase and I always considered you our bonus daughter, our loyalties have to lie with Connor and his wellbeing. After you did what you felt you had to, he was a miserable mess for a long time, it really wasn’t pretty, Keira. Your parents obviously would always have your back, so things were said between all of us that caused discord, backhanded accusations were thrown around, and all of us that were left behind are guilty of it, so eventually we basically had Team Keira and Team Connor and realized a little distance might be best. It worked, so don’t you worry. Your parents, Chase and I are good, still best friends, the same close-knit group we always have been, just now from different ‘headquarters’. We still hang out a lot. This is just another storm we successfully weathered together, looking back, one of many. And honestly, the communal living situation was fun before we had the little ones, today’s society isn’t made for this, so it raised a lot of eyebrows. Each family can afford their own homes and it only takes a few minutes to go see each other. Change, sometimes, can be an upgrade. We all feel that way about this change.” Hailey explained warmly.

“I am sorry, Hailey. I never meant for my choice to affect others. I just felt … I … “

“Suffocated, I know. We heard it so many times. I get your reasons, I do. It’s just the execution I had and honestly still have big problems with but all this leads back to my original statement: it’s YOUR life, Keira.”

“Do you think he’ll ever forgive me?” Keira asked.

“I honestly don’t know. My son is a very kind and forgiving young man, but you really hit him hard, because of that he wasn’t himself for a while, still isn’t 100% even now, he has said and done a lot of things that were out of character for him, so no telling. I don’t want to lie to you just to make you feel better, nor instill you will false hope. It would all be guesswork on my end anyway, if you running like a thief in the night taught us anything, then it would be that you just never fully know a person or how they will react. All I know for sure is the topic of ‘Keira’ is a VERY sore subject with my son. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, he has his opinion on it and it it never good these days.”

“Hailey? Do you like … Lexie? Is she his girlfriend or just a date? Are they serious? Like, does he love her?”

“Keira … I am not going there, not getting involved in my son’s relationships, whatever they might be. All I am going to say about this is that I think Lexie is a sweet girl. She managed to make my son find his smile again, when we all no longer thought he could, and for that Chase and I are grateful. Not to forget, Keira, you were gone well over a year, that is a very long time for not knowing where you are and if you are ever coming back. Didn’t you want to get some coffee?”

“Oh, no, thanks. I … need to get back home. Thanks for the talk, Hailey. And for everything.”

“Keira, one word of wisdom if I may? Making mistakes does not make a fool, repeating them does. Always remember that.”

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9 thoughts on “Chapter 444) Hell’s Bells

  1. I thought Kiera looked unhappy in that pic on Facebook. Boy was I right. I have to wonder, at the end when Kiera asked about Lexie, if she hoped Lexie made Connor happy. Because at this point, if he was happy, I think she’ll not continue to pursue him. But if he isn’t or if Lexie was a skank, she may try to go after him again. I see this as Connor still loves Kiera and she still loves him, but he can’t forgive or forget the hurt so he won’t go there. And now she has to prove to him she is ‘trustworthy’. This may take a very long time, if ever. I like the warning Hailey gave her at the end, that making mistakes doesn’t make you foolish, but repeating them does. I hope Kiera takes it to heart and doesn’t run again. I don’t think she will, at least not by disappearing like she did, but she may move far away because I think it will be too hard for her to see Connor with someone else if they can’t reconcile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t see Keira wondering if Lexie makes Connor happy. It’s just not her. I suspect what she was doing was gauging how Hailey feels about her to see how much resistance she would be up against if she were to try and get Connor back.
      Preferably as a lover, but at least as her best friend.
      Obviously, that cannot be a quick process all things considered, and would take forever and a day at this point, IF possible, as Connor is mad. VERY mad at her.
      Keira also has to get her life back in order, find a job and all, Connor has a life, so it would be a long process no matter what.
      Keira is a loner and kind of aloof, but having been gone for so long taught her that she needs her people, her mom, dad, grandparents, … even Jasper. I don’t see her running again, especially not after Hailey’s warning.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah, yes. Gauging if Hailey would be in her corner. Makes sense too. And yes, a very long time for them to even be civil to each other.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Magpie2012/Ravenangel888 March 3, 2023 — 8:17 AM

    Ai yai yai… Keira… What were you thinking child! That you could just waltz back into your old life the way you waltzed out? Silly girl!

    She has a lot of forgiveness to try to attain. Partly from her family and friends, and partly from herself but ESPECIALLY from Connor. He still loves her or he wouldn’t still be this hurt. That’s at least one good thing. But, will he ever trust her again!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You hit the nail directly on the head.
      A very long chapter, needed, to explain all the many different emotions coming into play for this epic clusterduck. 😉
      I think a small part of Keira had hoped to find a fairytale ending, where everyone would be so overjoyed he was back and in one piece that everything would be forgiven and forgotten. Welcome to real life. Ain’t happening.
      So now her family is happy to have her back, including her bonus parents Chase and Hailey, but the object of her every desire, as family, best friend and lover seems way out of reach, blocked by a chick who couldn’t be more Keira’s opposite of she tried.
      I think Keira would go for Connor being truly civil with her again, even if they couldn’t rekindle the romance (although hard to believe she’d just let it go).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Magpie2012/Ravenangel888 March 3, 2023 — 8:39 AM

        I don’t think she would let him go so easily. I think she finally realises exactly what she lost and that she won’t be whole until she has him back again. But yeah, I do agree that at this point she would like to just have a civil conversation with him…

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Knowing Keira, I don’t think she’d let Connor go if he were married with a dozen kids, sooo … yeah. Fun times ahead for sure (at least for the readers). 😉

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I concur with all comments made above.
    I thought it was so sweet of Hailey to hug her and counsel her when she looked like she might break down.
    Can I just say. Connor is an epic Hottie! Goodness me, those eyes, and hair. Kiera, my child, you need a game plan if you’re going to win him back. Start with Lexie 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed the Epic Hottie! Dreamy for sure. Kiera has a long difficult road ahead. Connor too.

      Liked by 1 person

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