Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter, Obi dealt with the funeral plans for his mother and the twins grew up. The three then planned going to college at the University of Starlight Shores and they put out an ad for a room mate. And now, on with the story.
It didn’t take long for Obi’s phone to start ringing. He soon had a list of about ten people to discuss with his sisters. But first, he decided to check them out. That narrowed his list down to seven. He brought those seven up with Leia and Mission and their points narrowed it down to two over the course of a couple of days. Obi called the two up and found that the two had already accepted an offer to live at other residences.
Time went and fewer and fewer calls came in. A couple of days before the hold would be up Obi’s phone went off. He looked at it and it was an unknown number. “Hello, this is Obi Rand speaking. How may I help you?”
“Hey, are you still looking for a room mate?”
“I am. Who are you?”
Zenteri. The last name was familiar and that could bode badly for this guy. Obi mostly knew the names of criminals. But then it hit him. It was one of the family names from the family feud that he had learned about in history class years ago. Something about a powerful witch cursing a family. He couldn’t remember details and it was probably just a coincidence. Obi chatted with Maximus for an hour or so on the phone. He did a back ground check while he was doing it and the guy came up with nothing that rang any alarm bells with Obi.
He got off the phone with Maximus and began other methods of investigation. He turned up that Maximus was a player, but from the lack of vitriol posted about him, Obi figured Maximus was open and honest about his intentions. That still didn’t mean that if Maximus was chosen that he wouldn’t have a chat with the guy. But that’s what big brothers are for.
Obi brought up Maximus with Leia and Mission and they had no issues with him being their room mate after a quick discussion on whether they wanted someone who was known as a player living in their house.. So Obi called him up and told him he was it. Obi handled the paperwork with the landlord.
In no time the house was rented to Obi, Leia, Mission, and Maximus. Maximus said he would go ahead and move in and get the basics. He was already living in Starlight Shores and knew that Moonlight Falls was fairly far away.
In a few weeks, the three college bound Rands were ready to head off to college. Obi and Mindy agreed to at least temporarily end their relationship. That way, they could experience relationships with other people to decide if they were right for each other or not.
It took several hours of driving to get to Starlight Shores from Moonlight Falls and when they got there, Maximus was there to help them unpack. It didn’t take a perceptive person like Obi was to notice that Maximus thought his sisters were hot. And vice versa. He figured Leia was fine from Maximus. She tended to throw up her walls when people tried flirting with her. It was Mission he was most worried about.
“We need to talk,” Obi said that evening after the dishes from dinner were cleaned.
Maximus nodded, having guessed the topic of the discussion already.
“It doesn’t take much research to find out that you have a tendency to have one night stands. You attempt that shit with either of my sisters and give them the wrong impression of what you were wanting with them and we’ll have to decide if it’s still worth having you as a room mate when the lease is up.”
“I understand. And I make it crystal clear that I’m just looking for a one night stand. Nothing serious. And on the occasions that the girls get the wrong impression, I try to let them down gently.”
The two continued to discuss the issue and it became clear to Obi that Maximus wasn’t an intentional heart breaker.
And it soon became clear that Maximus had a fair number of one night stands. And it was one night when Obi caught Mission going into Maximus’s room.
“Before we go any further, I want to just double check that you’re fully aware this is a one night stand and not any indication that I have any romantic feelings for you?”
“Yea, just as long as you understand the same thing. We’ll be living together for a number of years and that would be awkward. And what brought that question up?”
“I understand and it was your brother. He read me a riot act concerning not breaking you or your sister’s heart.”
Weeks went by and it was clear that Maximus got along well with all of the Rands. One night, Maximus proposed all of them going out to a club together to take a break from the studying. Obi and Mission agreed quickly. Leia, it took some work to get to go, but she eventually caved.
Obi and Mission quickly went off to scope out the place. Mission looking for a one night stand and Obi looking for a casual relationship. Max had a feeling that Leia would just hang off to the side if left alone. So he pulled her onto the dance floor and attempted to dance.
“Max…” Leia started.
“Dancing doesn’t mean anything romantic has to happen between us. Relax, Leia. Enjoy yourself. We’re just two friends dancing at a club,” Max reassured her. He had in the past attempted to flirt with Leia to see if she was wanting a one night stand or a long term relationship. But whenever he tried she had put up walls and distanced herself from him. And he saw it happen to other guys he caught trying to flirt with her.
Leia gave a small smile and joined in with the dancing and began to enjoy herself, though it was clear to Max that she still was bothered by something and it didn’t seem to be going away as they spent time there.
Max eventually split off from Leia after she began to dance with others as they butted in for their turn to dance with Leia. Max had to admit the men had taste. Leia was stunning. He danced with a few ladies as he made his way to the bar as they approached him. He finally made it to the bar and bought two drinks and then went back to where Leia was.
He noticed that she looked very antsy and she seemed a bit pale. He put the drinks down on a nearby table and rudely butted in on the guy she was dancing with and said, “You feeling ok, Leia?”
Leia shook her head, “Too many people. I’m feeling very claustrophobic right now.”
“Let’s go outside, get you some fresh air,” Max said and led Leia out of the club and sat her down on the bench. They sat there for a few before Max said, “Do you want to go back in or would you like me to walk you home?”
“I don’t want to ruin your night. I’ll go back in,” Leia said.
“My night won’t be ruined if I take you home if you aren’t feeling up to being around a lot of people. We can find a movie to put on or make use of the ping pong table in the yard or the Foosball table that’s there. So do you want to go back in or would you like me to walk you home?”
“Home,” Leia said.
“Alright. Let me text Obi and Mission to let them know and we’ll head.” Max texted the two and then headed off back to the house with Leia.
The two ended up watching a movie together on the sofa after they changed out of their club attire. It was one that both had already seen a bunch of times, but that was fine with them. Leia still wasn’t completely over the anxiety attack and Max was still too aware of that to pay close attention to the movie. When Leia brought her legs up and held them, Max put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.
“Is this the first time you’ve had an anxiety attack?”
“Yea, if I had known, I probably wouldn’t have gone at all.”
“Obi mentioned your house being a bit crowded and chaotic when you were growing up. With how you reacted at the club, how did that not get noticed?”
“I spent a good number of those years holed up in my bedroom listening to music to avoid hearing my parents fight. Once my parents divorced I kept it up because seeing my Dad so torn up because of the divorce hurt. ”
That must be why she puts up walls. She’s afraid of getting hurt like her father did, Max thought, “That would explain it. I’m sorry about your parents.”
Leia turned in after the movie, worn out from the evening’s events. Max stayed up to make sure Obi and Mission came home. They came home an hour or so later. Mission with a boy in tow.
Obi sat down on the couch next to Max and sighed, “No offense to your lifestyle, but I wish Mission would just try a casual relationship that lasts more than a night. How is Leia? Thank you for bringing her home.”
Max smiled and said, “None taken. Maybe she just hasn’t found a guy that she wants to have a casual relationship with but doesn’t want to give up the benefits of being in one. And you’re welcome. Leia’s alright. She had an anxiety attack due to the number of people at the club. Or well, what was most likely an anxiety attack.”
Obi thanked Max again and turned in himself. Max decided that that was probably a smart idea as he had a shoot in the morning. It wasn’t a big role, but anything could end up getting him noticed.
And that’s it for this chapter. Will Leia let someone in? Will Mission find Mr. Right? Find out in chapters to come.
Progress towards Obi’s Goals:
- Become Private Investigator – Achieved Chapter 2.19
- Complete 30 cases
- Snoop 10 locations
- Write 5 papers on findings
- Reach level ten of Private Investigaor Career – He’s at level 1
- Go through 5 garbages and 5 mailboxes
Progress towards Leia’s Goals:
- Master Painting Skill – She’s at level 2
- Master Writing Skill – She’s at level 4
- Paint 20 paintings
- Be friends with parents – Due to story reasons I’ll only be considering Atton as her parent.
- Get 5,000 in royalties (or sell 15,000 from paintings)
- Paint family pictures (spouse, kids, parents if alive)
- Join book club (if applicable)
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Atton – Hit Movie Composer: Hit Movie Composer – Level 10 – MET Chapter 2.14
- Obi Wan – Perfect Mind, Perfect Body: Level 10 Logic, Level 10 Athletic – Logic is at 3, Athletic is at 5
- Leia – Professional Author: Earn $4000 a week in royalties – currently earning $353 a week in royalties