Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter Bailey gave birth to twins. The Rands also took in Dominique and Liliana Huber-Swain since their mother, Bailey’s step-mother, could not cope with the grief of losing her husband, Bailey’s father. Canderous and Sion also spent some time at Nicholai’s house where they discussed plans for the future. And now on with the story!
The house was hectic, very hectic. Four adults, three teenagers, two children, a toddler, two infants, and an aging dog would do that, though. Especially when the infants were twins. And one of the adults, one of the teenagers, and one of the children were in the process of grieving. But life was moving along at the Rand residence.
Sinbad did what he could to help out. He and Sion generally had night duty for Obi, Leia, and Mission since they either were on a night schedule or just didn’t sleep. Dominique helped Liliana feel more at home by doing the nightly routine their mother used to do, which was reading at night. The kids brought home friends and did homework together in the family room. And Sinbad and Mira showed the world they still loved each other.
Of course things in the house broke and instead of getting a wrench, Sion suddenly just knew how to fix it with his brain. It weirded him out the first time he did it as well as the others. He could do it relatively quietly and incredibly fast. And saved on repair costs.
“I saw on tv that there’s this really really neat looking doll house. It’s so amazing! Get it for me,” Liliana said.
“Liliana Huber-Swain, you are not my parent. You can’t demand anything from me. If you had asked nicely for it, you would have gotten it. As such, as a lesson in how to ask for things, you aren’t going to get that doll house.” Bailey explained
“Don’t but me unless you want another lesson.”
Deciding to try a different person, Liliana went to ask “Grandpa” about the doll house thinking he’d surely spoil her. She got dressed up in her pretend princess attire and approached Sinbad, “I really really want a doll house! I’ll keep it in my room, away from Obi, Leia, and Mission. That way they can’t get hold of any of the small pieces. Please, please, please.”
Sinbad acted all kingly and said, “No. You’ve done nothing but been a little drama queen diva since the moment you arrived. If you thought that I was going to spoil you like I so do not do to my biological grandkids, you’ve got another thing coming, missy.”
Liliana’s lip trembled. No one had ever spoken to her like that before. And maybe the I’m going to cry tactic will do it.
“Crying won’t get what you want from me, so don’t do it. I wasn’t that mean and you aren’t three years old.” Sinbad said before turning and walking away.
“Grandma, why is Grandpa so mean?” Liliana asked that night.
Mira blinked. No one had ever asked why Sinbad was how he is, “It’s just who he is. For as long as I’ve known him he’s been mean to others. He spares me because he loves me like a husband loves a wife. What did he do?”
“Oh,” Liliana said, “He told me that I’ve been nothing but a drama queen diva and that I had another thing coming if I thought he was going to spoil me and not his biological grandkids.”
“Sounds like he just put how you’ve been acting in a not so nice way, Liliana. You have been trying to draw all the attention to yourself when that’s not fair to everyone else in the house. And let me guess, you asked him to get you the doll house?”
“Yes,” Liliana muttered.
“I seem to recall you demanding it from Bailey and getting told no. You asking Grandpa was mean to Bailey.”
“Well, what if Grandpa had agreed to get the doll house? How would Bailey feel?”
Liliana was quiet for a moment before saying, “Oh.”
Soon Bailey’s oldest was a teenager and the twins were toddlers. Wolfgang doted on his twin sisters and was very nurturing of those he cared about, especially those younger than he was.
And with their toddler years on them, it was time for them to learn their skills. Sinbad, wisely or unwisely, was allowed to teach Leia to talk, or at least start that process. While Leia learned to talk, Atton was helping Mission to walk.
Of course, the twins had a set of lungs and they had a tendency for crying. It didn’t help matters that the family was passing a cold between each other. It definitely put a strain on the relationships of the house and even Sinbad knew he was being a bit too snappish at people. Or at least was snapping at things he wouldn’t have otherwise snapped at.
Wolfgang’s school smarts continued into his teen years and his older brother and teen uncle and kid aunt couldn’t help but be a little jealous at how quickly Wolfgang was able to get through his homework. Wolfgang tried not to rub it in, but it was kind of hard when they decided to do their homework at the dining room table during dinner time.
One evening, Sinbad called Wolfgang into his bedroom. It made Wolfgang wonder what was going on.
“I’ve bet you wondered why we’ve never taken a vacation. At least not one outside of Moonlight Falls,” Sinbad started.
“I have. I also remember that I’ve been told that you threw a fit when Aunt Kreia said she was moving to Storybook County. Even though she seemed to take precautions.” Wolfgang said.
“It’s because an evil man named Darius put a hit out on my family. Not me, just my family. He… he wanted to show me that he was in control. That I would have to do what he said.”
“Why did he put the hit out on you?”
“Because I did not do one thing he asked of me when he took over Twinbrook’s crime organization.”
Wolfgang spotted a tear fall down his grandfather’s cheek and said, “What did he want you to do?”
“Why do you have to be so inquisitive? My own kids weren’t! Not even Sion. Heck, Canderous wasn’t either. Why?” Sinbad said, voice cracking at times.
Wolfgang frowned at the cracking voice and said, “My English teacher says that the best villains are the ones that have reasons for being evil. Because real life villains have reasons. Darius had to have had a reason for the hit. I’m just curious as to what. I’m sorry if you don’t want to talk about it you can tell me that you’d rather not talk about it.”
“Uh huh,” Sinbad said and he sat in silence for a few minutes before saying, “Don’t be sorry. I should have expected someone to ask questions when I have only given a basic answer to the reason why I’m so adamant about not leaving Moonlight Falls. Just give me a moment.”
Sinbad opened and closed his mouth several times before saying, “Darius doesn’t like his underlings disobeying him or getting too big of an ego. Or any ideas of taking over. So what he does is finds the underling’s weakness. And exploits it. In the cruelest way possible. I was getting too big for my britches according to Darius. A threat. So he looked for weaknesses.” Sinbad stopped there.
“Grandma.” Wolfgang realized.
“Grandma,” Sinbad agreed, “And your father, Uncle Carth, and Aunt Kreia. But primarily Grandma. So he told me to permanently sever all ties with them. And he gave me twenty four hours to do it in.”
“But how can you do that in twenty four hours? I mean, I can tell how much you and Grandma love each other. Sure, you two may fight a fair amount more than my parents, but I can see the intense love you two have for each other. How can you sever that in under twenty four hours?”
“Think, Wolfgang, think. I… I don’t want to have to say it.”
Wolfgang thought for a few minutes before he realized it. “He… he… he told you to… to…”
Sinbad nodded, knowing Wolfgang had come to same realization. “That’s why we he put a hit on my family and not me. That’s why we ran here. That’s why I’m worried sick about Kreia. Why I’m terrified that when you kids grow up that you’re going to want to explore the world. See beyond the borders of Moonlight Falls. And Darius is still out there.”
Wolfgang’s heart broke when he heard the worry and fear in his grandfather’s voice. But a hit over something that occurred several years ago being heavily focused on didn’t seem realistic though. “But if that’s so long ago, why would he still care?”
“You don’t miss much do you.”
“Nope and that didn’t answer my question.”
“Because there’s word spreading of an aging Master Thief in Moonlight Falls trying to band the gangs together to take Darius down. No city can do it on their own and Darius is wanting full control of the entire nation’s crime. Not just Bridgeport’s and Twinbrook’s.”
“That would explain it. How is that going?”
“Not that easily. Criminals don’t trust each on a good day. They trust me even less because I’m relatively old for being as inexperienced with being a Master Thief as I am. And the running to Moonlight Falls is what did it. I’m lucky I hit Master Thief. I knew for certain I was giving up achieving my dream to save my family. And I don’t regret that decision and I never will. It’s progressing because I was able to get Lucky Palms’ organization on board due to being friends with their leaders.”
“You know the leaders of that organization?”
“We might not be here talking if it wasn’t for the leader of that crime organization and a brave few members of his family. And just to keep them out of jail, I dare not mention their names. So, have I exhausted your curiosity?”
Wolfgang laughed, “For now. But I have decided what I’m going to do when I grow up.”
“Yea, join you in the fight against Darius.”
“You will NOT become a criminal!”
“Woah, woah, woah, Grandpa! Calm down. I don’t think I can do criminal. But I can do cop. Like mom. Just in case your way doesn’t work. Maybe law enforcement can take him down.”
“I’ve been keeping eye out in the news for it. From what I can gather, there just isn’t the evidence to tie him to it. They can’t get anyone close enough to Darius to tie him to his crimes. And it would take a true criminal to be able to do that. Darius does have a paper trail, but he keeps his paper trail very very small.”
“Ah. Thanks for answering my questions. I know that wasn’t easy for you.”
Sinbad nodded and Wolfgang left the room. He looked around for his grandmother and when he found her he said, “Grandma.””
“Yes, Wolfgang?” Mira asked, looking up from her computer.
“Grandpa just told me about Darius and I asked some tough questions which he answered. He could probably use you right now.”
“Thank you.” Mira said. She saved her work and went into her bedroom to comfort her husband.
And that’s it for this chapter! Are Sinbad’s fears justified? Will his son and grandkids all want to leave Moonlight Falls when they grow up? Will the plan to take down Darius work or will the criminals need help from law enforcement? Will the chaotic Rand house calm down or will someone go insane? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress towards Atton’s goals:
- Master an instrument – Achieved Chapter 2.10 behind the scenes
- Get married – Achieved Chapter 2.6 when Atton married Bailey
- Join Music Career – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job
- Learn all songs – He knows all his skill level gives him
- Become Hit Movie Composer – He’s level 8 – Quartet Lead
- Know all co-workers – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job (a mod from Twallan)
- Befriend 1 co-worker – Achieved Chapter 2.0. Pip Goodfellow and Atton are already Best Friends
- Level 5 Logic – He’s got 4.
Progress toward’s Mira’s goals:
- Grow a garden with every plant from the store – She’s gotten everything from the store except what requires 7 or higher gardening skill, it’s winter so progress is slow
- Master gardening skill – She mastered gardening behind the scenes of Chapter 2.8
- Get married – Accomplished Chapter 1.0 when Mira married Sinbad
- No woohoo until married – Accomplished Chapter 1.0 as Mira never woohooed before marrying Sinbad
- Have a boy and a girl – Accomplished Chapter 1.1 as they have 2 boys and 1 girl as of that chapter
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Mira – Illustrious Author: Level 2 Painting, Level 7 Writing
- Sinbad – Master Thief: Master Thief – Level 10 – MET Chapter 2.7
- Atton – Hit Movie Composer: Quartet Lead – Level 8
- Bailey – Alchemy Artisan – 2 potions thrown, Level 6 Alchemy