City Of Secrets
Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:07 AM
Frodi and the kids walk down the hospital corridor, back towards Nick's room. Lilla happily skips ahead, content in the knowledge that her father has been found, and her family is no longer in danger. She holds something in her hands, that she bought specially in the cafeteria. Frodi walks alongside Michael, Rosie, and Vincent, protectively stroking her bump. She hadn't wanted to leave Nick, but he insisted her and the kids get something to eat.
An older woman walks down the corridor towards them. She deliberately bumps into Frodi, making her fall against the wall.
FRODI: OW! Do you mind?
The woman turns, and looks hard at Frodi. Then without a word, she simply walks away.
ROSIE: Who is that lady, mummy?
FRODI: I don't know sweetie. *strokes Rosie's hair* But let's just forget about her, and go and see daddy.
Rosie nods, and takes Frodi's hand as they walk along the corridor.
Lilla, still skipping ahead, is the first to reach Nick's room. She bursts in...
LILLA: Daaaaaddddddd, we brought you some ice cream. *holds out the ice cream she had been carrying* Love you dad.
NICK: Love you too, honey. *takes the ice cream* Ice cream? Mmm! Chocolate flavour, my favourite. Thankyou sweetie. That's just what I wanted. *kisses Lilla*
Frodi, Rosie, Michael, and Vincent appear in the room.
NICK: You weren't long in the cafeteria.
Frodi strokes his face, and gently kisses him.
FRODI: Well, I can't leave you alone for a minute, can I?
She sits down next to his bed. Words can't express how delighted she is that he's alive. She smiles at him, and holds his hand. The kids also sit round his bed, happy to see their dad again.
FRODI: I'm just so glad to have you back, Nick. When I saw you walk out of that building, into the snow... I couldn't get to you fast enough. *kisses his ear* I love you so much.
LILLA: Eat your ice cream, dad, before it melts.
NICK: My daughter has spoken!
FRODI: I'm sorry, but they didn't have any coffee powder to put in it.
NICK: Thank god! *smiles weakly* That means it's edible. *starts eating the ice cream*
Frodi lovingly strokes Nick's arm, as he eats the ice cream.
ROSIE: A nasty lady bumped into mummy, daddy. Out in the corridor.
NICK: *looks up sharply* Are you okay Frodi? *concerned*
FRODI: Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry about it.
NICK: *thinks* Hmm, did she have green eyes? And a blue coat?
FRODI: Well, I never noticed the eyes. But yeah, she had a blue coat. You know her?
NICK: ... She's Leilah's mother. She came to pay me a visit.
FRODI: Oh? What did she want?
NICK: ... She's going to look after Leilah's kids.
FRODI: I see. *bites lip*
NICK: ... Frodi, I'm sorry you had to find out that way. I never meant...
FRODI: *strokes his hair* A wise man once told me, we've been through so much together, we can deal with anything. And he was right.
Nick & Frodi are careful with what they say. Neither of them want to mention Nick's affair with Leilah in front of the kids.
NICK: I never stopped loving you.
FRODI: *holds his hand* I know. And I'll never stop loving you, either. We'll get through this Nick. What matters, is that you're here, and you're safe, and we still have each other.
Frodi looks at Nick... his blodied body covered in bandages and medical dressings... his eyes dull with pain. It breaks her heart to see him in so much pain. How could Palpatine do this to his own grandchild? How could he torture Nick like this? She mentally takes note of all his wounds... every bruise, every cut, every scar... hating that he's suffered so much... hating Palpatine. She puts her hand up to Nick's head, near his bullet wound, but she's careful not to touch it, not wanting to cause Nick even more pain.
FRODI: Did Palpatine do this to you as well? Did that bastard shoot you?
Frodi's lip quivers slightly, as she talks.
NICK: No, that was one of the guards, when I tried to escape.
Nick shifts position in the bed... and winces in pain. The doctor had given him painkillers earlier, but it doesn't seem to be helping any. Nick still feels the intense pain. Every nerve ending feels liks it's on fire. No, worse than fire. His head feels like it's about to burst. He closes his eyes, and tries to concentrate on breathing.
FRODI: *clasps his hand* Is the pain still as bad?
NICK: *nods* Like you wouldn't believe! *opens his eyes, and looks at Frodi*
Frodi bites her lip. She looks over at the door, then looks at Michael.
FRODI: Michael, would you close the door for me, sweetie?
Michael closes the door.
FRODI: *to Nick* You've done so much for me Nick. Now it's my turn.
Frodi pulls out her wand, and looks at Nick. Her magic may not be as strong as Nick's, but she can't bear to see him suffering. She *has* to do something. She touches her wand to Nick's chest, and a soft light flows from the wand, into Nick's body. The light fills Nick with a soft glow. as it helps his wounds to heal, and eases his pain. Nick sits up, and smiles. Frodi notices his eyes aren't so dull now, either.
FRODI: *smiles* How does that feel?
NICK: It feels... good. The pain is almost gone.
Nick wraps his arms around Frodi, and cuddles her. Frodi stays in his arms, glad she was able to do something for him.
FRODI: When you were gone, I tried to contact you... through a spell.
NICK: Ahhh, so that really happened? I heard your voice in my head, but I didn't know if it was real, or I was imagining it, or I was dreaming, or what. *looks at Frodi* The drug my grandfather gave me was pretty strong.
FRODI: Want to talk about it? *strokes his arm*
NICK: *looks at the kids* Not right now.
FRODI: *touches his bad leg* Did Palpatine take your cane? How about, when we get the chance later, we get you another one?
NICK: *nods* Sounds like a plan.
Nick puts his hand on Frodi's bump.
NICK: Anyway, what are you doing, running around snowy mountains? You're 7 months pregnant. You should be at home, resting.
FRODI: You think I'm just going to sit back and rest, while you're in danger? No way! When you dissappeared from the Vatican, and then I found out Palpatine had taken you, I *HAD* to come. And you... you...
Frodi trails off. She grabs Nick's hand from her bump, and grips it tightly. She pulls his hand up to her mouth, and kisses it, as tears form in her eyes. Nick reaches up, and wipes a tear.
NICK: *gently* What's this? Why the tears?
FRODI: *sob* I KNEW something was wrong yesterday, Nick. I felt it! I felt you gone! And you CAN'T be gone.
NICK: I was gone. But I came back, Frodi. I cam back because of you. You gave me strength.
FRODI: Nick... I want to tell you... I NEED to tell you... how much I love you.
This song starts playing
FRODI: *looks into his eyes* Nick Zarano, I am completely, totally, utterly head over heals in love with you. I love you with all my heart, and I'll never, ever stop loving you. You are my light... my world. When you're happy, I'm happy. And when you hurt... I hurt too. Every day, I think how lucky I am to have you in my life. I get excited to be near you. Your smile lights up the entire room. You make me complete. And when you're not around, there's a big hole inside of me. I love you with all my heart Nick. I don't ever want to be without you.
Nick doesn't say anything. He just pulls Frodi close to him, and kisses her passionately. Frodi's hands cradle his face, as they embrace. It's a touching moment. Their kiss lasts for several minutes, before Nick finally speaks.
NICK: There's something I need to tell you Frodi. Well... something I need to tell everyone. *looks round at everyone* Michael, Lilla, Rosie, Vincent... come here for a moment.
The kids run over, and sit at Nick's hospital bed.
NICK: My grandfather injected me with something. A toxin. It was pretty intense. It made my white blood cells attack my magic blood cells... as though they were a virus.
Nick explains how every magic user has special magic blood cells in their system, and how Palpatine's toxin took away his magic, and his immortality.
FRODI: So you're not immortal anymore?
NICK: Nope. I'm mortal, just like you. And I can't case magic again... ever! *sad*
FRODI: *wraps her arms around Nick* I'm sorry Nick. *kisses him gently* But we can get through it, together.
NICK: ... This can't get out! If my enemies knew I was mortal now, it would make me an easy target.
FRODI: My lips are sealed. *kisses his lips*
NICK: *kisses her* Oh, I should have asked before. How's Henghsa?
FRODI: Henghsa? Hmm, not sure, really. I think his burns were pretty severe, but to be honest, I was more concerned about you.
They kiss again, just as they hear a knock at the door, Bing & Alessea walk in, with Aurelius and Cassima. Their new son gurgles happily in Alessea's arms.
BING: Nick... how are you?
NICK: Surviving! Glad that it's finally all over.
BING: Us too.
ALESSEA: Nick, I can never thank you enough for saving my son. But... thankyou.
BING: Yes, thankyou Nick.
Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:13 AM
With Nick finally released from the hospital, the family embarks on a trip far away from Italy, and The Shire. Right now, Nick's future is up in the air. He has no job, no allies, no alliances. Only a few close friends. But soon.. that might change.
For now Nick uses some funds he had left-over, and takes the family to Scotland. It's a bustling, busy country with plenty of people.. plenty of noise.. plenty of normalcy. But it's also a place where a nice quite cottage can be found for rent.. right outside of Edinburgh. This is where Nick pays the low rent, and manages to find a place warm for his family to stay for awhile.
It's not too big, located on a small run-down farm.. a pub down the street. Nothing fancy, but it will do. The master bedroom is rather nice, with a large bathroom.. and a large bathtub.. for two.
Nick and Frodi sit on the porch outside, watching the kids play on the front yard.
This could be their lives one day.. calm, no battles.. no wars.. just family.
Nick is taking this time to heal, relax, and wait.. waiting for Frodi to give birth to the next child to bear the Zarano name. A strong bloodline, with not such a dark past after all. Nick comes from Leonardo Da Vinci.. that can't be forgotten. But something has.. the Knights Templar.. who were they exactly? Why hasn't Nick seen them? Why.. if he's a bloodline member, did no one ever come to Nick's aid.. or did they? We may never know..
As Frodi plans for a nice relaxing bath later in the night.. with Nick ideally.. she decides it's time to address the Leilah issue. It's clear Nick just wants to ignore it. Why not? Leilah may be in a coma, but the kids are being taken care of. The less those poor kids know about Nick Zarano.. may be the better off for them.
Meanwhile Bing and Alessea have ventured off into the newly formed elf city, in the remains of Amadar. Bing has begun working for Amathon (the new elf leader), working for the elf trading company, and government. He's supporting his family, and gaining allies as well. Bing and Alessea have promised to visit the Zarano clan soon.
In China, a recovered but slightly disfigured Hengsha struggles to regain power in his company. Stocks are tumbling. His reputation is falling. His power-grip on his family-grown company is slipping. Soon, Hengsha may need to turn to someone for help.. someone who will need the money and power Hengsha can provide.. someone known as Nick Zarano. But for now, his company struggles to stay afloat.
Across the globe, magics rejoice over the explosion of the Illuminati's headquarters. The world can move on. Interpol continues to track down Joker, but their leads are running thin. It's believed Joker has retreated to his hideout once again.. where he usually stays for months, lying low. Some have wondered where exactly Joker's hideout is located.. rumored locations include Italy.. Ireland.. and Scotland. Meanwhile another thief has appeared on Interpol's radar.. this time a woman.. a woman dressed in leather.. she's a very smart con-woman, with connections to organized crime.. right now they only know her first name.. Selina. Interpol is in the process of tracking her down, along with one of her contacts.. a mysterious man with a hidden past.. a man who is believed to be, in control of some of the Illuminati's old assets and men. This man goes by the name of Ra's al Ghul. His last known location was in Arabia.
Back in Scotland..
Frodi is folding clothes in the bedroom.
Nick walks in, and leans up against the door.
Frodi: Dinner will be ready soon. It's in the oven now. *smiles*
Nick: Well knowing you cooked it, the whole cottage might burn down. But.. then again, you have a little piece of me inside of you. So maybe the baby, with my cooking skills.. is helping out.
Frodi punches Nick in the arm.
Frodi: Saved by your DNA? As if you're the only person who can fry an egg.
Nick: I can fry one hell of an egg.
Frodi continues putting some of the children's clothes away.
Nick: Frodi, when I almost died.. well, when I did die.. I couldn't stop thinking about what I had done. There were great memories of us flashing in my mind, but then they were followed by betrayal.
Nick: No.. let me finish. You see.. I'm not the best with words Frodi. But.. when I was immortal, when I knew I could live.. for hundreds of years.. there was something always in the back of my mind. It was a curse. Not a gift. Because.. if you died, and I continued to live.. I don't know how I'd go on. I know we're going to die one day.. all of us will. But I'd rather not be around, watching you die.. and my children, and everyone else. I can't handle that. I love you with everything I have Frodi. I never loved any woman, like I love you. One night with Leilah turned into her forcing my hand.. I never loved her. It was lust. She made me think I loved her.. but I never did. She's an empty person, god help her. And I hope she recovers, for.. the kids sakes. But if something.. ever happened to you.. I'd lose it. I never lose that attraction to you. I never not want you. You will be stuck with me, til the day we take our last breaths. And even then.. from when I died back in The Shire.. I know we're connected beyond this world. I promise to you.. I'll never betray your trust again. I want you, our kids.. and our life. That's it. I'll always love you.
FADE TO BLACK
Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:45 AM
Frodi stops folding the children's clothes. She looks at Nick with love in her eyes. She walks over to him, and reaches up to touch his face... and french kisses him... long, and passionately.
The kiss continues...
Eventually, Frodi speaks.
FRODI: Stuck with you? There's nowhere else I'd rather be! *kisses* We belong together, Nick, and nothing can ever tear us apart. *kisses* Every part of me loves every part of you. *strokes his face* Our love goes beyond this world... it's what connects us. And when you disappeared from the Vatican, and I knew Palpatine had taken you... I was ready to kill him, just to get to you, and know that you were safe. *kisses* Not knowing what he was doing to you... I was so scared for you. And when I felt you die... in The Shire... I reached out to you with my mind... willing you to live. *pause* Knowing you fathered Leilah's children hurt... but losing you hurts so much more. I love you so much Nick. I don't know how to go on without you. *kisses* And... you're stuck with me, too. For always. *smiles*
NICK: So that's agreed then? We're stuck with each other for always? *kisses*
FRODI: *nods* Always!
Frodi puts her hand behind his head, and kisses him, not ever wanting to stop. She whispers in his ear.
FRODI: I love you!
Nick wraps his arms around her, and holds her tight.
FRODI: Oh, it feels so good to be in your arms again! *snuggles into his arms*
NICK: *kisses her* I meant what I said Frodi... I'll never betray your trust again.
FRODI: I believe you Nick. And I forgive you. I know that won't ever happen again.
They share a loving kiss.
FRODI: I truly hope Leilah recovers though. Those poor kids witnessed her being gunned down. I can't imagine what they're going through now. Their grandmother is taking care of them, but they don't know what an amazing father they have. *strokes Nick's cheek, and kisses him*
Nick & Frodi stand in the doorway... just looking at each other... looking into each other's eyes. Nick strokes her hair, and they kiss again.
FRODI: Mmmm, your lips taste so good. I want to stay here and kiss you all night... but I should get the tea... before the cottage burns down. *kisses him*
NICK: Can't have that, can we? *grins*
FRODI: I'm cooking macaroni cheese and bacon. Isn't that better than hospital food?
NICK: Hmmm... hospital food, or your cooking? It's a tough choice. *winks*
FRODI: *playfully punches Nick's arm* You beast. *giggles*
NICK: Hehe. Come on... let's go and get this macaroni cheese and bacon then. *kisses her cheeks*
Nick pats her bum, as she turns towards the door. She looks back at him, and he whistles innocently. She takes his hand, and leads him to the kitchen.
He leans heavily on his cane, as he follows her.
It's a cane that Frodi had got for him. And while it may not be hand-carved, like the one from Alastor - Frodi doesn't have that skill - it was bought with much love. While Nick was still in hospital, Frodi had searched all over town, and found a shop that sold walking canes. She chose that one specially for Nick.
FRODI: *in the kitchen* *shouts* KIDS! It's time for tea. Come and wash your hands.
Nick sits down at the table, as the kids come running into the room. Lilla looks at her dad, and throws her arms around him.
LILLA: *cuddles him* Glad you're better daddy. Love you.
NICK: Me too, pumpkin. *kisses Lilla's forehead*
Frodi smiles, as she serves macaroni cheese and bacon to everyone.
Bnig has returned home, after a long day working for the elf government.
BING: *calls out* Honey! I'm home!
Aurelius and Cassima race up to him, and give him a 'Welcome Home' hug.
AURELIUS: Hey dad. Guess what? I beat Cassima at arm wrestling.
CASSIMA: Not fair. He cheated. *sticks tongue out at Aurelius*
BING: Have you two been good, and helped your mother today? *hugs his children, and kisses their foreheads*
CASSIMA AND AURELIUS IN UNISON: Yes dad.
Bing puts one arm around Aurelius, and another arm around Cassima, and all 3 of them walk into the living room. Alessea is sitting there, breast-feeding the baby. She looks up at him, and smiles, and they kiss.
ALESSEA: Bing! The baby was hungry. He wanted fed before his daddy. *laughs*
BING: *coos over the baby* We can't have the little man going hungry now, can we? *kisses Alessea*
ALESSEA: Anyway, how are you? How was work?
BING: Tired. But I'll survive, hehe. Amathan is a fair elf, and a good boss. And the work is interesting. But you know what I've been thinking about all day? This...
Bing kisses his wife, and starts giving her an ear-rub, as she breast-freeds the baby. She sighs contendly.
CASSIMA: Dad, will you play with us?
BING: I'll play with you after tea. How about Hide & Seek?
AURELIUS: I'm the best hider ever. You'll never find me.
CASSIMA: I'll find you Aurelius, cos you're a rubbish hider.
BING: *winks at Alessea, then looks at the kids* Oh, but I'm so tired, my boots are stuck to my feet. What am I going to do?
Cassima and Aurelius giggle. They know very well that Bing's boots are not stuck to his feet, and that it's a game to see which of them can get a boot off faster. They each take a leg, and get to work on unlacing his boots, and pulling them off. Cassima wins... just.
BING: *sticks his feet up* Ahhh, that feels better.
Meanwhile, the baby has finished his feed.
ALESSEA: Bing, will you hold the baby, while I go and finishing getting tea ready?
BING: *takes the baby from Alessea, and tickles him, making him laugh*
Bing loves his family. And while he enjoys going to work...he loves spending time with his 3 children, and his beautiful wife.
Nick, Frodi, and the kids are all sitting at the dining table, enjoying bacon and macaroni cheese for tea. Frodi keeps looking at Nick, feeling so glad that he's out of hospital.
VINCENT: Muuuummmm, can I have some more macaroni cheese?
FRODI: Not until you've finished what's on you're plate, Vincent.
VINCENT: But the stuff in the bowl is cheesier than the stuff on my plate.
FRODI: *chuckles* Really? And how do you know that?
VINCENT: I just know!
FRODI: Hehe. You're a wee chancer, Vincent Zarano. What are you?
VINCENT: *just grins, and eats his macaoni cheese*
MICHAEL: This is good, mummy. I like it.
FRODI: I'm glad you like it, sweetheart.
After tea, the kids run off to play, while Frodi starts the dishes. Nick limps up behind her, and puts his arms around her, feelng her bump.
NICK: I gotta admit... I really enjoyed that macaroni cheese. The baby must have been helping out. *kisses her neck*
FRODI: Hehe. I remember one of the first meals you ever cooked for me... an omelette. And you were teasing me about your 'special ingrediant'
NICK: The special, secret ingrediant? The ingrediant that makes my omeletes so irrisistable.
FRODI: ... Is an egg.
NICK: Can't make omelettes without an egg. *still stands behind Frodi, with his arms round her*
Hensha sits in his office, wondering what to do about his company. He's used to being in control... but now... he feels vulnerable. And Hengsha doesn't like feeling vulnerable. And the scars on his face have shattered his confidence, though he won't admit that to anyone.
He presses the intercom, and speaks to his secretary.
SECRETARY: Yes Mr Hengsha?
HENGSHA: Please come into my office for a moment. I want to dictate a letter.
SECRETARY: Yes sir. Right away.
Moments later, the secretary enters Hengha's office, notebook and pen in hand. Hengsha indicates for her to sit.
HENGSHA: Here's what I want to write. *clears throat* 'Dear Sir. I am led to believe your confidence in my company has fallen. However, I wish to assure you that...'
Hengsha notices the secretary's hand shakes as she writes.
HENGSHA: Look at me!
The secretary slowly raises her eyes to look at Hengsha.
HENGSHA: What do you see?
HENGSHA: What do you see... when you look at this face? *indicates his own face, with all the scars*
SECRETARY: I see... I see...
HENGSHA: A freak? A monster?
SECRETARY: No sir. I see a man who has gone though a terrible misfortune.
HENGSHA: A misfortune? So that's what you're calling it? I was burned! These scars are a constant reminder of that.
SECRETARY: I'm sorry sir. I can't imagine how horrific that must have been for you. But all of us here in the office are glad to have you back.
HENGSHA: I may look different now... but I'm still the same man. And I still run this company.
SECRETARY: Yes sir.
It's late evening now, and the kids are in bed. Frodi sits down next to Nick, and looks at him. She takes his hand, and kisses it softly.
FRODI: You okay?
NICK: Yeah, fine.
FRODI: *runs her hands through his hair* You know that bathtub in our room? I think we should put it to good use...
Nick looks at her, and grins. They make their way up to the master bedroom.
Frodi runs a nice, hot bubble bath for them both. And while the bath is running, she slowly unbuttons Nick's shirt... and is saddened to see all his wounds. While she was able to ease his pain in the hospital, his wounds are still healing. She unbuckles his trousers, They fall to the ground, and Nick steps out of them. Frodi slowly kisses every cut and every scar she sees on his body.
FRODI: *sad* I hate that you went through this. I hate that Palpatine hurt you so much.
NICK: It's over now. He can't do any more damage.
Frodi helps Nick into the big bathtub, then she climbs in herself. She takes a sponge, and gently bathes his wounds. At the same time, he takes another sponge, and gently washes her bump.
NICK: So when are you going to have this baby, Mrs Zarano? Your bump is HUGE. *smiles at her*
FRODI: Hehe. I feel ready to give birth right now! *kisses Nick* But it will come when it's good and ready. But maybe it just likes ice cream and coffee powder. *smiles*
NICK: If my chld grows up liking that... stuff, I'll know who to blame! *winks*
Nick slides back in the tub, and starts rubbing Frodi's feet.
FRODI: Oh Nick, that feels so good. *gives a contented sigh*
Nick & Frodi spend a long time in the bath tub, washing each other, massaging each other, kissing each other. And even after the bath, as they lay on the bed in each other's arms, Frodi can feel herself getting wet. What with Nick's abduction, and his horrendous ordeal at the hands of his grandfather, dying, then recovering in hospital... it's been too long since they've been intimate with each other. Frodi looks at him, puts her hand across his chest, and kisses his lips. One kiss turns into two... and then four... and then more. Tender, gentle kisses turn into wild, passionate kisses, and they kiss each other all over... both of them getting wetter, and harder. No words are spoken... none are needed. They're just enjoying each other again.
FRODI: *moans* Nick... I love you.
NICK: I love you Frodi.
Finally, both of them are ready. Their bodies become one, as they make love.
Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:26 AM
Rain pours down on what appears to be an old abandoned castle. Footsteps are heard along the stone path, showing someone in black high-heels. It's a woman with long dark hair. She slides down a pair of goggles, and can see something beyond the stone wall.. something underground. Something sending off heat signatures.
The woman takes out a grapple gun, and fires it towards the castle wall. She climbs up the wall, and climbs down the other side.
A guard wearing a clown mask notices her. Before he can grab his gun, the woman lunges at him.. snapping his neck.
Woman: *stands up over body* I see Jonathan upped his security. *takes objects from the body, and steals clown mask*
Wearing the mask, the woman waltzes right past guards, down into the underground bunker.
The woman silently chokes some guards, and then makes her way into the living quarters.. the doors sealing closed behind her.
The woman creeps around corners, grabbing a knife from the kitchen. She passes by random art objects, statues, paintings, and other stolen goods.. all being situated on display.
Finally, she reaches a larger room.
She walks across the floor, where a man is sitting in a chair.
The chair swings around. It's Joker.
Joker: Hello Selina.
Selina: Jonathan. You're looking great.
It is clear that Joker is ill. The gunshot wound he received in The Shire is still visible, and looking infected. It seems Joker is not getting proper medical care out in the middle of nowhere.
Joker: I find it so sweet that my ex-wife has decided to pay me a visit.. and kill some of my guards along the way. Remind me again why you married me?
Selina picks up a jewel from a display case. An obvious item from one of Joker's heists.
Selina: It's the so-called "normal" guys who always let you down. Sickos never scare me. Least they're committed.
Joker stands up, and grabs a purple cane.. his new cane. A cane he now needs.
Joker: For the last time, I am not a sicko.
Selina: No. But you are a cheater.
Joker: You slept with other men on OUR HONEYMOON!
Selina: And you slept with men as well. We're even.
Joker: That was just a phase for me.
Selina: Tell that to a hobbit named.. Stengolas?
Joker: Why are you here? Besides the enjoyment you get from insulting me.
Selina: You have something I want.
Joker: Sorry sis. My goods aren't for sale. You had your chance. *walks towards the window*
Selina: Keep your goods for the next man who comes along. He'll be just as disappointed as I was. I am actually here regarding a certain flash drive. A flash drive created by the Illuminati.
Joker: These flash drives people talk about.. I don't know why they are so important. You know, I was reading a book this morning.. The Curse of Soterios. The main character was using it to blackmail his lover. He got whatever he wanted from her. Well, she was a werewolf after all.. but..
Selina: Enough. You know which one I am talking about. The Illuminati kept a red and black 64 gigabyte flash drive. On it, was all the data they had on Nick Zarano. Footage of him murdering people, incriminating documents, all stuff to blackmail him if the time came. It was supposed to be released to the press in the event Nick's grandfather was killed. That way he went to prison. The only problem.. it went missing. Someone took it. Someone who had access. Someone who would gain.. from possibly blackmailing Nick Zarano if the time came.
Joker: Sounds too complex for me. Tell you what.. report it missing to the police! I'm sure they will help you.
Selina takes out her whip, and begins choking Joker with it, knocking the cane out of his hand.
Selina: I know you have it. I know you have it somewhere. Where is it?
Joker: What.. business.. do you have.. with Nick Zarano? *chokes*
Selina: That's between me and him. I suggest if you ever want to take another breath.. you tell me where the flash drive is.
Voice: Ready to fire.
Selina turns around, and sees five armed guards.
Selina releases her grip on Joker.
Joker: Now that's better..
Joker picks up his cane. He presses the button on the top, and a small knife pops out. He stabs Selina in the back, as she screams in pain.
Joker: Kill the bitch!
Joker leaves the room.
As the men prepare to shoot her.. Selina stands up.
Joker opens his vault, and takes out a small flash drive.
Joker: Plan B.
Joker snaps the flash drive in half, destroying it.
Joker: Looks like Nick Zarano's life may have to become a little more complicated.. a little bit faster.
Joker takes the secret elevator, and makes his escape.
Once outside, Joker turns back to look at his castle.. he loves this place. He's spent years building it. It's the only thing he has. All of his art, all of his items..
As he gets into the car..
Joker watches in horror, as his castle goes up in flames.. an explosion detonated underground. He collapses on his knees, and crawls through the dirt.
Joker: No.. no.. no.. no.. MY WORK! MY ART! YOU CRAZY BITCH! YOU BACKSTABBING BITCH!
The explosion burns everything inside Joker's secret hiding place.. all of his art.. gone.
Joker fires his gun into the air.
Joker: Come on out you psychotic piece of trash! You two-timing slut!
Joker runs around, shooting into the air, finally collapsing back onto the ground.
Joker: You.. you.. will pay for this.. YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!
Joker reaches into his pocket.. and takes out the three pieces of the Triforce.. he closes his hand.
Nick and Frodi's House in Scotland..
It's morning. Nick wakes up, and kisses Frodi's forehead.
Frodi: Mmmm.. *wakes up* Good morning. *smiles*
Nick: Enjoying the afterglow?
Frodi kisses Nick.
Frodi: Oh.. OOH! *feels her stomach, and sits up*
Nick: What's wrong?
Frodi: Nothing.. I think the baby kicked. Let me just get up..
Frodi gets up, and begins to walk.. suddenly..
Nick: *looks down* Oh god!
Frodi: My water broke!
Nick: Where is Bing and Alessea when we need them.. alright, I'll help you get your robe on. Then, into the car. I'm getting the kids up, and dressed in record time. To the hospital we go!
Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:06 AM
Nick grabs his cane, and climbs out of bed. He limps across the room, grabs Frodi's robe, and helps her with it on.
FRODI: *holds her stomach* This baby is a month early - right on time. *smiles*
NICK: Yeah, our kids always seem to come early. *grins* Did no-one ever tell you, pregnancy is supposed to last 9 months, Frodi Zarano? 9 months... not 8 months. *kisses her*
FRODI: Hehehe. I guess not.
Nick guides her to the bed, so she can sit down. He quickly throws some clothes on, wanting to get her to the hospital as soon as possible.
NICK: Okay, I'm gonna get the kids up. Will you be okay?
Nick knocks on each of the kid's doors, enters their bedrooms, and turns on the light to wake them up.
LILLA: Aw, dad... *rubs her eyes* It's too early. What d'you wake us up for?
NICK: Your mother's ready to have the baby. *ruffles Lilla's hair* Come on... I need you all to get dressed pronto, so we can take her to the hospital.
VINCENT: *curious* How do you know she's ready?
NICK: The baby has a special way of letting us know. *grins*
VINCENT: *hops up and down on one foot* Oooooh, I can't wait.
NICK: *chuckles* Come on then, get dressed. I'll be right back.
Nick limps back through to his & Frodi's room. He puts his arm around her, and kisses her forehead.
NICK: How are you doing?
FRODI: Good. Excited. *smiles, and squeezes his hand*
NICK: *squeezes her hand back* The kids are getting dressed. I'll get the car ready, then I'll be back.
Nick limps outside, and gets the car all ready. He grabs Frodi's hospital bag that contains some drinks to keep Frodi hydrated, some light snacks in case she feels like eating, and various other bits and bobs, and throws it in the car.
Meanwhile, the kids, now fully dressed in record time, rush into Frodi's room.
MICHAEL: Dad said you're having the baby now?
FRODI: That's right Michael. You're gonna have a new baby brother or sister in a few hours.
Nick appears, having got the car ready.
NICK: Okay kids. Time to go. *smiles*
Nick walks over to Frodi, who's still sitting on the bed. He takes her hand.
NICK: Are you ready?
FRODI: Yep. *stands up* OOOHHH *puts her hand to her stomach*
Nick gently rubs her back, and kisses her forehead.
A minute later, the contraction passes. The excited kids race down to the car, while Nick helps Frodi down. Nick straps the kids into the car, then helps Frodi in, stroking her bump as he does so. Minutes later, Nick is driving them to the hospital.
VINCENT: *excited* So are we gonna have baby brother, or a baby sister, mummy?
FRODI: I don't know yet, sweetie. We'll have to wait and see.
NICK: Knowing your mother, it will be a giant bowl of ice cream and coffee powder. *winks at Frodi*
All the kids giggles at this thought, while Frodi playfully punches Nick's arm.
FRODI: It's not my fault your child demands weird food. *smiles* OOHH!
Frodi inhales sharply, and shifts uncomfortably in the car seat.
NICK: Another contraction?
FRODI: *nods* Yeah. This one's stronger.
NICK: We'll be there soon. *speeds up*
ROSIE: Why is the baby hurting you, mummy?
FRODI: It's just part of the process, sweetheart. It's the baby's way of letting us know it wants to be born now.
Three contractions, and approximately 34 minutes later, they arrive at the hospital. Nick lets the kids out the car, then helps Frodi out, still in her robe. He has his arm round her, as he limps along. The kids dance around excitedly. They reach hospital reception.
NICK: Excuse me, my wife is in labour. Can we get some help?
A nurse immediately gets a wheelchair, and helps Frodi sit down in it. She asks the receptionist to page a doctor, then wheels Frodi to a delivery room, with Nick and the kids in tow.
NURSE: *smiles* So when did your labour start, Mrs...?
FRODI: Zarano. Um... not sure of the exact time. I woke up this morning, and my waters broke.
They reach the delivery room.
NURSE: We'll set you up in here, Mrs Zarano. *helps her stand up*
FRODI: OOOOOHHHHHH. *clenches her fist*
Again, Nick rubs her back, which soothes her. The nurse lowers the bed, and when the contraction is over, Frodi lies down in the bed.
NURSE: *to Frodi* You have a good husband there, knowing exactly what you need.
FRODI: *looks at Nick, and smiles* He's the best!
A doctor enters the room. He has medical charts, forms, and a clipboard, ready to take details.
DOCTOR: Hello there. *smiles big* I'm Doctor Talbot. I understand we have a baby on the way?
FRODI: Yes doctor. My waters broke when I got up this morning.
NURSE: This is Mr & Mrs Zarano, doctor.
DOCTOR: Thankyou nurse. *looks at Frodi* Now lets see how far along we are, hmm? Just lie back, and try to relax. How far apart are your contractions?
FRODI: Um, not sure. We've just been concentrating to getting here, since my waters already broke.
NURSE: *checks her watch* She had a contraction 4 minutes ago.
DOCTOR: Good, good. Now let's see how dialted you are. *checks* We still have a while to go, Mrs Zarano. You're only 4cm dilated. *smiles*
The doctor does a few other tests, including checking her blood pressure, and taking some blood samples. Suddenly.
FRODI: OOOOOOHHHHH! *grips side of the bed*
DOCTOR: *checks his watch* Your contractions are still 9 minutes apart. *feels her stomach* Baby's in a good position. Your blood pressure is a little high, so we'll need to keep an eye on that. But apart from that, you're in good health.
FRODI: Thanks doctor.
DOCTOR: Okay, I'll leave to to get some rest now. I'll be back in a while. But if you need anything, don't hesitate to call me. The Call button is on the wall here. *shows them the Call button*
The doctor leaves, while the nurse stays, to make sure there are no problems.
NURSE: I see you've had plenty of practise at this. *indicates Michael, Lilla, Rosie, and Vincent* You should be quite the expert now.
VINCENT: *pipes up* We're gonna have a baby brother or sister!
NURSE: So you are. And are you excited about that?
VINCENT: *nods furiously*
As they were driving to the hospital, Frodi had wondered how the kids would handle seeing her in labour, but they don't seem phased at all. In fact, they seem curious and excited. They ask the nurse all sorts of questions, like when the baby will come, and if it's going to be a boy or a girl, and how big will it be, and will it know them. The nurse is very patient with them, and answers their questions as best she can.
Meanwhile, Frodi knows from past experience, it's best to keep mobile for as long as possible, to help the baby along the way. And since the doctor has finished with his tests, there's no reason why she should be confined to the bed. Nick helps her to stand up and walk around.
FRODI: I'm glad you're here Nick. *holds his hand*
NICK: I wouldn't miss this for the world!
FRODI: It's ironic that... you get out of hospital... and I go in to hospital.
NICK: Admit it... you just wanted some attention, didn't you? Little attention-seeker. *waves a strand of hair away from her face*
FRODI: That must be it. *gasps* AHHHH! NICK!
Nick holds her close, and rubs her back.
NICK: Okay, you're doing great Frodi, you're doing really great. *kisses her*
An hour later, the doctor comes back to examine her again. She lies down on the bed, as he checks her vitals.
DOCTOR: How far apart are the contractions now?
NURSE: Eight minutes doctor.
DOCTOR: *checks for the baby* You're 5cm dilated now. Things are coming along nicely.
The doctor leaves again, to give Nick & Frodi some privacy.
NICK: You know what you need?
NICK: Dr Nick's magic touch. *grins*
Nick sits on the end of her bed, and rubs her feet, and kisses her toes.
NICK: You like that?
FRODI: *gives a happy sigh* I like that! It's... HEAVENLY! I always said you gave the best footrubs.
The doctor comes back every so often, to check on her. Four hours later, Frodi's contractions are much stronger, and closer together. It's too uncomfy for her to walk around now, so she lies in the bed. She feels comforted, knowing Nick and her children are close by. Nick makes her drink every so often, so she won't get dehydrated. And when she's having a contraction, he holds her hand, and wipes her brow with a damp cloth, giving her words of encouragement. The kids are still curious as to when and how the baby will arrive.
On the doctor's next visit, Frodi has progressed to 8cm dilated, with her contractions only 4 minutes apart. The birth is getting very close now, so the doctor doesn't leave.
FRODI: *having another contraction* I want to push. AAAHHHHHH.
DOCTOR: Not yet. Breathe through it.
NICK: *holding her hand, and stroking her hair* Squeeze my hand Frodi.
FRODI: *pant* *pant* *pant* *sqeezes Nick's hand*
NICK: You're doing so well Frodi. *smiles, and kisses her ear*
An hour later, she's fully dilated, and her contractions are coming every other minute.
DOCTOR: On your next contraction, I want you to push. Can you do that, Mrs Zarano?
Moments later... another contraction. Frodi squeezes her eyes closed, and gives a big push.
NICK: *wiping her brow* You can do this Frodi.
FRODI: *pushing* HHHHHHNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!
DOCTOR: I can see the head. Keep pushing.
DOCTOR: Okay, rest now. Wait for the next contraction, then push again.
Frodi lets the doctor guide her, and tell her when to push and when not to push... all the while, squeezing Nick's hand tightly. Suddenly...
WWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH WWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH
The baby is born. The doctor and nurse give a cheer, and the kids join in.
DOCTOR: *places the baby on Frodi's chest* Congratulations Mrs Zarano. Mr Zarano. You have a little girl. *smiles*
Frodi is exhausted, sweaty, and sore down below. But she is so happy. She strokes the baby, and looks at Nick.
FRODI: We... we have a little girl Nick. *smiles*
NICK: I'm so proud of you Frodi. *kisses her*
FRODI: I couldn't have done it without you. *stretches up to kiss Nick* Thankyou... for EVERYTHING. *looks at the baby, and cuddles her* Hey there little one. Welcome to the world. *smiles happily*
Nick and Frodi coo over their baby, acknowledging she's human... not hobbit. Of course, they can't say that to the doctor or nurse. The baby... being a baby... cries, and wriggles on Frodi's chest.
VINCENT: *looks at the baby* She's all wriggly! Heehee. *giggles*
FRODI: So were you, when you were born, Vincent. *smiles*
Twenty minutes later, the afterbirth is delivered. The ambilical chord is cut and clamped, and the doctor checks the baby to make sure her reflexes and breathing are okay, and there's no problems. He wraps the baby up, and gives her back to Frodi. Frodi takes the baby, and holds her in her arms. She looks up and Nick.
FRODI: She's so beautiful Nick.
NICK: She's beautiful, just like her mother. *strokes the baby's velvety-soft layer of dark hair*
ROSIE: *peeks at her little sister* What's she called, mummy?
Frodi & Nick look at each other, and nod.
FRODI: She's called Eurus.
Posted 18 June 2012 - 07:54 AM
Nick looks at his new baby girl. This is what life is about. Nick and Frodi have been through alot, and everything has led them to this. All of the wars, the sacrifices, were for this. Life goes on, and new life comes into the world. A world filled with happiness, and the never-ending corruption. Nick knows the life he is currently in will not work for his family. They need money. Nick needs something leave to his children.. something they can grow with. Nick decides, once Frodi and the baby are settled in.. he needs to visit with Hengsha.
1 MONTH LATER..
An exhausted Nick sits in the back of a taxi. He is exhausted not only from the plane ride, but the lack of sleep due to little Eurus. He's only leaving Frodi alone for about 24 hours. He plans on meeting with Hengsha, then heading back to Scotland.
Nick once again walks into Hengsha's headquarters.
The Chinese secretary greets Nick, and asks about Frodi. She's excited to hear about little Eurus being born. When Frodi was in Singapore, she was still quite away from giving birth.
The woman leads Nick into a room.
Eventually, Hengsha walks in.. and sits at the table.
Hengsha: I hear of your newborn.. you have my congratulations.
Nick sits down.
Nick: Thank you. We named her Eurus. I'm sure you know of that name.
Hengsha: Yes.. Sao Feng was close friends with Eurus back in the day. I've heard of her. She was a great woman.
Nick looks away often.
Hengsha: Do not insult me. I know of my face.
Nick: Hengsha, it's fine.
Hengsha: No. It is not. *stands up, and walks towards the corner* I used to be a handsome man. I used to be in control. Now.. my grip is slipping. But alas I'd be a fool, to blame this all on what happened back in The Shire. I've been losing control over my company for years. For I fear.. I am turning into my worst nightmare.. I am turning into an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone.
Nick: Middle-age is beginning to sneak up on me. When I saw Eurus.. laying there ontop of Frodi.. I just.. I thought.. "So this is what it was all for." That is why so many people had to die. So others could live. Not just her. But probably millions of other children. The next generation. But I also thought about where I am.. flat broke, with no allies.
Hengsha: You killed the elf, didn't you?
Nick: *surprised* Who?
Hengsha: Gondien. There are rumors.. that this elf leader was executed by you. Rumors that well.. are being taken too seriously.
Nick: I won't go there.. but yes. I know of the problems lying ahead for my family. The elves and the hobbits are moving away from my era.
Hengsha: *pours a drink* Times have changed Mr. Zarano. The magics know they face extinction. All that remains is where they make their final stand. Hardly any magic bloods are left, after all that blood was spilled in Britain by your Illuminati connections. I know you were just caught in the middle, but because of Former PM Ian Mercer, most of the magics are dead. So now the few left.. the hobbits, the elves, some humans.. are going to fight like vultures for survival. By the way.. what ever happened to Ian Mercer?
Nick: I don't know. I tried contacting people, but no one answers. I've lost all of my power. I assume he's in hiding. Too many people want to hang him.
Hengsha: Power? I heard the UK is still looking for Ian's replacement by the way.. that'd be power you could grow to love.
Nick: An ex-criminal? With pending charges? They'd never take me. And I wouldn't want that kind of power.
Hengsha: As for the magics, the world is no longer theirs. The immaterial has become... immaterial.
Nick: It sounds like we both wanted to meet with each other.. as if you've been planning this.
Hengsha: The Singapore Legal Associates of the Greater China Sea District has need of your services. Ideally we'd wish for you to act as our agent in business transactions. But it seems my own employees are turning against me. Investors don't want a new agent. They want a new CEO. And since it's my position, my company.. my choice.. if you agree to my terms.. I choose you.
Hengsha: That is not the appropriate answer to a job offer.
Nick: Hengsha, you know me.. for the little we've spent time together. I am not a business guy.
Hengsha: But yet you are. But yet you are here. Let me ask you something.. when you ran your organized crime ring, how much net profit did you make a year?
Hengsha: I thought so. This is your chance Mr. Zarano. Your chance to leave something to your children. Your chance to change your life around, and control a legit, legal business. Your chance.. to protect your family. Freedom! Magics are a dying breed. The world is shrinking. The blank edges of the map filled in. The magics must find a place in this world or perish. You will have control, power, and you will be able to meet with those traitors in The Shire.
Nick: ... But why would you turn your entire empire over to me?
Hengsha: Because I am a lonely old man Nick. It is true. I have nothing. No wife. No children. No friends. No allies. But you.. can take the one thing I put into this world, and make it rich once again. You can bring this.. my company.. back to life. You will meet with investors, continue my global enterprise, and develop new technology. This is your life.. on an epic scale.
Nick: Where would I be relocating?
Hengsha: Anywhere. I am shutting down this office. My company is global. You can setup show in a new place. You could have a new life for you and your family.
Nick: Hengsha.. I respect you. I don't want to take this from you.
Hengsha walks over to Nick. Nick stands up.
Hengsha: I want you to improve on my company. I want you.. to replace me. And one day, maybe in the after life.. I'll come back and we'll be young men together again. Free of our sins, and our mistakes. But for now.. I offer you my company.
Hengsha puts out his hand.
Nick: I won't disappoint you.
Nick shakes Hengsha's hand.
Hengsha: You may have changed the course of history Mr. Zarano.
ONE WEEK EARLIER..
Alessea and Bing's House in The Shire..
The rather large home of Bing and Alessea is a beautiful estate, courtesy of Bing's job with the elf-hobbit government.
Alessea walks out the front door, and picks up the mail.
She goes through all the uninteresting mail, when something catches her eye.. a yellow envelope.
TO: Residence of Mr. Bing and Mrs. Alessea, The Shire
OPEN ME - Alessea's eyes only.
Alessea looks strangely at the envelope, and opens it. Inside.. photos. The first photo is kind of grainy, mostly from rain in the photo, and trees blocking the view. It appears men are standing around in the woods. The next photo shows a man pointing a gun at someone.. an older elf someone. Alessea realizes what she ls looking at. The final photo, is clear.. a man, who appears to be Nick Zarano.. pulling the trigger. Complete with muzzle flash from the gun, and blood splatter from Alessea's father.. Gondien.
Alessea's hands shake in horror.
Scotland, Nick & Frodi's House..
Frodi walks to the front door. It's almost late. Frodi finally got the kids in the bed, and the baby is finally sleeping. With knocks at the door, Frodi opens the front door.. and sees Alessea. In the background, a nervous Bing, standing by a car.
Frodi: Alessea! You must have got our message!
Alessea: Yeah. Congratulations. Can you come outside? I don't want to get the kids involved in this.
Frodi: Involved in what? *steps out, and closes the door*
Alessea looks at Frodi.
Alessea: Did you know?
Frodi: About what?
Alessea: About the fact that your wonderful husband shot and killed my father.
Frodi: Alessea, I'm sure you are mistaken..
Alessea: Then I'd show you the photos. But unfortunately the police have them, and they are issuing a warrant for Nick's arrest as we speak.
Frodi: Alessea, my god! Grow a heart! We just had a baby! You know my kids had to suffer when Nick went to prison once. Don't send him there again!
Alessea: You and Bing. You both think I'm supposed to what.. just get over it? Just forget that the son of a bitch who comforted me after my father's death, was the man who actually shot and killed him? I'm not letting Nick get away with another murder.
Bing: Alessea, leave me out of this! I'm sorry Frodi.
Alessea: Sorry? You're sorry? SORRY AT HER?!
Frodi: Alessea, your father pushed Nick into that situation. He was racist towards humans.
Alessea: And it seems my father had the right idea. Humans are heartless killers. But then again, maybe I shouldn't say that. Some people utilize their human, to their advantage.
Frodi: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Alessea: I'm not going to be like you Frodi. I'm not going to thank your husband for killing my father, then sleep with him as a thank you gift.
Frodi slaps Alessea.
Frodi: You of all people know what Forsco did to me. And you have the nerve.. to come all the way here.. completely ignore our friendship, and my newborn child.. so you can what.. insult me and my husband?
Alessea: My father was the one who raised me. Made me the woman I am today. HE WAS KILLED! IN COLD BLOOD! EXECUTION STYLE! Nick has no remorse. Nick didn't even care! He just took him out like he does everyone else who stands in his way.
Frodi: Alessea, I did not know Nick killed Gondien. And I am truly sorry everything lead to that.
Alessea: Oh, it didn't lead to it. Nick just killed him for more power.
Frodi: Nick is not here. Why are you?
Alessea: Good. I don't want to see his face. I just came, to make myself clear. I don't want anything to do with your husband, or the sick little world you both live in. Let him continue to cheat on you. You never took my advice anyway. And let your kids continue to accept violence. And when Nick sleeps with another young teenager, and you're left to pick up the pieces.. don't say I didn't warn you.
Frodi: Get off our property then Alessea.
Alessea: Mark my words.. Nick will pay for what he's done. Then maybe.. just maybe, you will grow some self-respect, become your own person, and have the courage to leave him.
Alessea walks towards the car, and Bing opens the door. Bing looks at Frodi, with sad eyes.
Nick walks into the house. It's mostly dark. Nick notices a faint light in the living room. He takes off his jacket, and walks in. Nick sees the light is coming from the fireplace.. Frodi is sitting on the settee, drink in hand.. the light glistening off her face, it appears she has been crying.
Frodi: It's funny.. I never usually drink. But after tonight, and after not being able to drink.. all I want to do is drink.
Nick takes the glass away from her, and pulls up a chair, sitting across from her.
Nick: What happened?
Frodi: Did you kill Gondien? Did you lie to me?
Nick looks down.
Nick: I couldn't tell you Frodi. And this is the reason why.
Frodi: So you just never told me HOW he died?
Nick: You know how things were. Things got complicated.
Frodi: Alessea knows. Someone must have sent her photos. And, she gave them to the police.
Nick stands up, and leans over the fireplace, hanging his head.
Nick: Well this is one way to start my new career.
Frodi: New career?
Nick: Hengsha made me CEO of his company. Gave me ownership of it. I don't know why, but he did.
Frodi: So new career.. but no friends.
Nick: Bing and Alessea.. let me guess.. want me dead?
Nick sits down next to Frodi, and holds her.
Frodi: Alessea was so.. angry. I never saw her like this before. But maybe that's what happened to Bing and Alessea awhile ago. When they were having trouble.
Nick pulls up her feet, pulls off her socks, and rubs her feet.
Nick: We don't need anyone Frodi. Just us, and our family. We'll get through this.
KNOCK AT THE DOOR
Nick: Who the hell could this be at this hour..
Frodi: Oh god Nick! What if it's the police!
Nick: Don't panic. Are you kidding? They don't arrest people at this hour. They are too lazy. They sleep til noon. *grabs his gun* Let me see who this is.
Nick walks to the front door, and checks.
Nick: It's Bing!
Nick opens the front door.
Bing: Nick, I am so sorry.
Nick: Did you tell Alessea how you KNEW what happened?
Bing: I didn't need to. On the way back.. at the Scotland airport, we got into a fight. I didn't want her to do this. To completely go against our friends, your children.. you. So at the hotel.. I left. She's supposed to get on a plane in a few hours, probably heading without me. I left her a note.. explaining that I also knew what happened.
Bing: I don't believe in killing people, but if it wasn't for you Nick.. I wouldn't have the life I've had, and have. I can't repay you, but sending you to prison. Can I come in?
Nick: ... Come in.
Nick leads Bing into the living room. Frodi gets up, and hugs Bing. The fireplace continues to light up the room.
Bing takes photos out of his pocket.
Bing: Alessea was bluffing. She was delaying sending these off to the police. But, she decided she would hand them in tomorrow. When I left tonight.. I took them with me. The only copies.
Nick takes the photos, looks at them.. and throws them into the fire.
The trio watches the photos burn.
Frodi: Bing, I'm sorry for all of this. But.. thank you.
Bing: When Alessea chose her father.. that day in the hospital, and didn't help me find our child.. I knew I didn't know her completely. I lost some of my love for her that day. And our child.. Tom's child.. we were supposed to come to Nick. He was supposed to help us raise him. But Alessea didn't want that. I don't know why.
Nick picks up Frodi's drink, and drinks from the glass.
Nick: Alessea always had issues with me. Even though I brought her back to life, and saved her ass. I can understand her being pissed though. But Bing.. you are really taking a risk here.
Bing: I am done choosing between you and her. I love Alessea, yes. But she had no respect for MY relationship with you. She didn't care about Frodi, your kids, our kids, or the damage this would cause. I know she'd say the same for you, but still.. Gondien was pushing the limits. And the way you handled it, was much smoother and less dramatic than how Alessea handled the news.
Frodi: So what now Bing?
Bing: Unless Alessea comes knocking in the morning.. I may need a place to stay.
Morning arrives, as Bing watches the window from the living room. He can't sleep. He looks at the clock.. Alessea's plane had to leave by now. He picks up the phone, and calls the airport.. and sure enough, someone confirms that Alessea and her children got on the flight, and went back to The Shire.. leaving Bing behind.
Bing: Love does not always work out. Nor is it easy.
Upstairs, Frodi tries to sleep. She looks at Nick, after the long night last night.. she understands why he didn't tell her. Not only for her sake, but for the sake of Bing's marriage. She had no idea Bing partly KNEW what happened. Now their marriage has been ripped apart. Frodi just wants hers, to be okay.
And just as Frodi begins to doze off.. Eurus begins to cry from the other room. Frodi gets out of bed, and heads into the other room. She finds Bing sitting in a rocking chair, rocking little Eurus near the window.
Hengsha sits in his office, in the dark. As if expecting, that something is going to happen.
The doors open from an empty lobby.
Three men enter.. two men in leather jackets, with guns. The man in the middle, sporting fancier clothes, and a gun.
Man: Search the place.
The men search for weapons, ransacking the office.
Hengsha: You won't find any guns Ra's.. I am alone, with no weapons.
Men: Clean boss.
Hengsha: So.. I shall die by the famous Ra's al Ghul?
Ra's al Ghul: You chose your fate when you borrowed from my associates, and never paid back.
Hengsha: Well the company isn't mine anymore. It's Nick Zarano's.
Ra's picks his head up.
Ra's al Ghul: Is it now.. well then we should give the new owner a clean slate. No debt. Say hello to Sao Feng for me. *looks at his men* Kill him.
Both men open fire on Hengsha, killing him right in his office chair. Hengsha's lifeless body falls onto the desk.
Ra's al Ghul: Let's go. The debt's been paid.
Ra's walks out into the lobby, and takes out his cellphone.
Ra's al Ghul: *dials a number* Selina, I got word on what you did to Dr. Crane. Very good work. However, it seems the good doctor leaked information about Nick Zarano to some particular people. Let's make sure we find out who, and clean it up. Nick Zarano's life has suddenly become even more important to me. It seems I now have a stake.. in his new-found company. I wouldn't want to lose my money, if the owner dies or goes to prison. Also, please send me an update on the Ring. I've been searching for the bloody thing for years. If you have a lead, I'd like to know about it. Oh.. and make sure Davy is clear on our terms. I don't want to regret this decision. *hangs up*
Ra's walks out of the building.
To be continued..
Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:07 AM
Voice: He was a great man. A business man, who we all could look up to. A man lost in life, but found in his work. He will be sorely missed.
Taps begin to play, as we see Nick, Frodi, the children, Bing, and others gathered at a funeral service for Hengsha.. in Hengsha's birthplace, Singapore. The oldest children know what is going on. And despite Frodi's hesitation, Nick convinced her it was for the best, that the kids see a funeral. This is part of life. Sheltering them from it won't help them. We all die someday.
Nick: Rosie, where is Mr. Hengsha now?
Rosie places a flower on the grave.
Frodi: That's very sweet of you Rosie. I'm sure Mr. Hengsha would love that flower.
Michael and Lilla stand there. Lilla waiting for the time to pass, so they can leave. Michael seems lost in himself. He looks at the grave.. and just thinks.
Nick: You okay Michael?
Michael: ... Yeah.
Michael walks away, as Frodi kisses Eurus in her arms.
Nick: *looks at the grave* I'll make you proud Hengsha. And I promise.. to find out who is responsible for your death. But.. you knew it was coming. You had to.. you KNEW.. but how? ... Who wanted you dead? I'll find out.. and they will be held accountable.
Nick walks away from the grave.
ONE WEEK LATER..
Nick sits in bed with Frodi, massaging her back.
Frodi: Bing seems so lost, without Alessea.
Nick: I feel bad for him. He's tried calling her. But she won't answer his calls.
Frodi: Well, he can stay with us. Right?
Nick: Of course. Besides.. when my half-brother is a little older.. I have a feeling we'll see Alessea again. Now.. Mrs. Zarano, our lives are about to change. Where shall we move to? After all, where we move.. my new company moves with us.
Frodi: I don't know. I'd like new memories. And a great place to raise the kids. Someplace stable, and safe. I know we'd have to move somewhere with non-magics, due to the issues with the elves. But I'm not sure where.
Nick: How about New York? I could move my company there. We could live in the city, in an apartment. Or we could buy a house, upstate.. or in another state. With a yard. We'd have options. New York is a melting pot. We'd blend right in, and have plenty of opportunities for our family.
Frodi: That sounds brilliant! I could finally get a better tour of where my American husband came from. *smiles*
Nick: We could travel the US. So many places to explore. Plus.. we'd be away from all this craziness out here.
Frodi: What about our visas?
Nick: Well, technically I'm still a US citizen. So I'll be able to bring you, and the kids over easy. *smiles* And I have good reason.. if needed, I could apply for a business visa. We could rent an apartment.. in my office building. An office building I'll need to purchase.. once we get used to the city, we can always buy a house somewhere. Wouldn't that be great? I could live, and work.. in the same place. Plenty of time in between meetings to spend time with my wife.
Nick kisses Frodi.
Frodi: What about Bing? And isn't this going to be too much for you?
Nick: Well, Bing can live with us.. I can get him a guest room. And no, it's not too much. Hengsha left us quite a bit of money. His company.. will prosper under the next generation of the company.. with me at the helm. Like the name.. Zarano Global?
Frodi: Sounds lovely.
Nick: So now you will be sleeping with a CEO. I just can't wait for the office sex.
Frodi punches Nick's arm.
Then, she kisses him.
Frodi: This calls for champagne.
Frodi runs into the other room, and comes back with two glasses of champagne. She gets in bed with Nick.
Frodi: Cheers.. to our new life.
Frodi and Nick clink their glasses, drink, and kiss.
Later that night..
This song plays.
Nick wakes up, and walks into the nursery. He stands over a sleeping Eurus. Nick watches her sleep, as he glances out the window.
Nick looks back down at Eurus.
Nick: From this day forward.. your father is going to be a changed man. I've learned alot from my life. I've seen the good in people, and the awful bad in people. I've saved lives, and taken lives. But as of today.. I vow to you, to your mother, and your brothers and sisters.. that I will do everything in my power to protect my family. The Zarano family name will be written in history books, and I will not let us be walked on.. or become victimized. *looks out the window* It's time to begin the 2nd chapter of my life.. and I plan on making this one the best one yet. And no one.. is going to stand in my way.
Suddenly, rain begins to hit the window, as thunder rumbles in the background.
Eurus wakes up, and Nick picks her up. He kisses her forehead.
Eurus makes some content noises, and goes back to sleep in Nick's arms. He sits in the rocking chair, and holds her.
Out the window, a storm rolls in.. as someone stands on the grounds, watching the house. A laugh is heard, as the person turns into something familiar.. something we haven't seen in ages.. a Death Trapper. The Death Trapper flies off into the sky, disappearing among the storm clouds.
This song plays.
As time passes, Nick moves his company from China, to New York. He buys out a massive office tower in Manhattan. The tower used to be home to a small security firm called the Illuminatus Enlightened Security Firm. The name caught Nick's attention, but Nick just shakes it off as a unique name. It was one of the only towers in the city priced at a great price. Nick calls his construction team in, and within months, the building is complete. The tower is renamed Zarano Tower. Most of the tower is office space, with the lobby containing shops and restaurants. The highest floors have residential spaces, and on the top floors.. private residential space for the Zarano Family. Multiple rooms, all luxury accommodations. Beautiful bathrooms, all sorts of electronics, it's the best home the Zarano Family has ever lived in.
Once completely moved in, after the flight from Scotland, it's clear Bing is staying with the Zarano family for awhile. Nick gives him a private floor, one floor below theirs. He's only one elevator ride away, and Bing tends to ride that elevator back and forth between floors many times aday. Everyday he tries to call Alessea, only to have her not call back.
Within months, Zarano Global relaunches on the stock market. Nick's company offers security, financial services, real estate, and many other ventures. Nick invests in, and buys a pretty nice chunk of small businesses, growing his enterprise. Within months, Nick opens offices in China, Scotland, Ireland, London, and more. As his name goes out onto the airwaves, it's clear people are forgetting Nick's past.. and are backing him.. or better yet, having him back them with investments. With all of this growing power, Nick continues to set his sights on one particular trading company.. in the Shire. Soon, he'll have to attempt a meeting with the elf-hobbit leader.. and settle some issues.
With Nick's new found money and power, once again the Zarano family has guards. Nick is making sure is family is protected. Frodi befriends, and gets to know quite a bit of people.
Alfred Falcone is Nick's assistant, and adviser. He's an older British man, of high-class. He worked for the Royal Family in the past, and shows such manners. He's a great man, who also enjoys playing with the children. Sadly, Alfred's wife died at a young age. He was so deeply in love with her, he never married again.. and because of that, has no children. The Zarano children become almost his own, and they commonly refer to him as Uncle Alfred. Alfred is the man who tells Nick his schedule each day, drives his car, and warns him of bad news.. among other things.
Lucius Ducard is Zarano Global's security chief. An African American, the now middle-aged Lucius served as an agent in the CIA, and worked for the US military. He was discharged from the military due to unspecified reasons, but they were not pleasant reasons. Lucius is a kind, gentle man to women and children, but stern in meetings where security is an issue. He develops new technology for Nick's company, acting as Nick's lab assistant, while also making sure there are no security threats. Lucius is always keeping tabs on some particular people.. people from Nick's past. He's well aware of Nick's secrets, and Nick's bloodline.
Dominick "Dom" Fischer is Nick's business partner, and the chief of operations for Zarano Global. Dom is the second in command to Nick's company. Dom is around Nick's age, and tends to be serious most of the time. He's always finding the next big idea, and always reinventing the company. Sometimes Dom can overstep, and make decisions without Nick's input.. forgetting the name Zarano is on his company paycheck. Nevertheless, Dom is a close friend to Nick, be it a business friendship. Dom worked for Hengha, and was the US business operations manager for Hengsha's company.
Miranda Tate is Zarano Global's customer affairs manager. She is the woman who greets guests in the lobby, works out business deals, and smiles when she says "Mr. Zarano will be with you shortly". She's part assistant, part everything else. She's a fiery young woman, with short dark hair. She's the newest, and youngest member of Nick's team.. and she's trying to prove herself worthy of working for Nick's company. Recently she also ventured into the stock business, curiously buying shares of Nick's company.
Peregrin Bowman is a hobbit who Nick brought over from The Shire. Frodi and Peregrin are becoming friends, after Nick finally.. through Bing, found a hobbit willingly to come to New York and work for his company. Peregrin works international relations for Nick's company, with most humans thinking he's just short in stature. Since Peregrin's job isn't too complicated, he spends most of his time with the Zarano family, randomly barging in, drinking, and playing games with the kids.. sometimes to Nick's annoyance, which has sometimes resulted in Nick throwing him into the elevator to get rid of him.
As time passes, the Zarano family's life is good. Nick's business is growing. Joker has disappeared. And finally.. things are calm. Bing tries to deal with the lose of his family.. hoping one day.. he'll see Alessea.. and his children.. again. But he knows Alessea getting over his knowledge of Gondien's murder may be impossible.
About one year has passed.. and it.. is Eurus's first birthday.
Somewhere out at sea..
An old ship sails through a storm. Crew members panic, running back and forth.
Through the chaos, a young woman approaches the front of the ship.
She is wearing dirty clothes.. her hair is a mess. Her late 20s year old face shows signs of despair.. as if she doesn't want to be aboard this ship. As men yell behind her, she turns to listen.
Man: Cap'n! We're losin' control! th' sails be tearin'!
Man #2: Th' cap'n be below deck ye bloody fool! "cap'n goes below wit' his ship" me ass. He's a lazy-no-jolly-selfish bastard. He'll let us all die, 'n save himself.
Man #3: Oh just shut th' hell up men! th' cap'n won't let us rest til we get to th' Shire. Lord knows that lass, wit' that rin' be extra important to th' cap'n.
The woman touches the gold ring around her neck, as they talk.
Man: What th' hell be it 'bout that rin' anyway? Why does th' cap'n need it so badly?
Man #2: Ye be knowin' th' bastard. He gets ill every so many years. He's always findin' a new way to stay alive. 'tis rin'.. could keep him alive forever.
Man #3: Nevertheless, I don't like goin' to th' Shire. Too many hobbits. 'n elves. They're creepy.
The woman walks towards the edge of the ship, holding onto her ring. It slightly glows in the moonlight.
Suddenly, a beam falls from the top of the ship, throwing men overboard. It's pure chaos, as a large hole now rests in the middle of the ship.
As the rain pours down, the woman closes her eyes, and begins to sing.
Woman: *singing* Upon one summer's morning, I carelessly did stray, Down by the Walls of Wapping, where I met a sailor gay, Conversing with a bouncing lass, who seem'd to be in pain, Saying, William, when you go, I fear you will ne'er return again.
Man: We're cursed I be tellin' ye! Cursed! Abandon ship! Before we die!
Man #2: *grabs the other man* Pull yourself together matey. We're miles from th' Shire. Miles from land. thar's no goin' back.
A man is holding onto a wooden beam for dear life, shaking violently. He is frightened beyond imagination.. and in a trance like state. He keeps whispering words over and over.
Whispering Man: Dead men.. tell no.. tales... Dead men.. tell no.. tales... Dead men.. tell no.. tales... Dead men.. tell no.. tales... Dead men.. tell no.. tales...
At the front of the ship, the woman continues to sing.
Woman: *singing* His hair it does in ringlets hang, his eyes as black as sloes, May happiness attend him wherever he goes, From Tower Hill, down to Blackwall, I will wander, weep and moan, All for my jolly sailor bold, until he does return. My father is a merchant—the truth I now will tell, And in great London City in opulence doth dwell, His fortune doth exceed ₤300,000 in gold, And he frowns upon his daughter, 'cause she loves a sailor bold.
Man: We're takin' water below deck! Get th' cap'n!
Man #3: Alert Captain Ra's al Ghul.
The cabin doors burst open. The loud sound of boots walking can be heard.
Woman: *singing* A fig for his riches, his merchandize, and gold, True love is grafted in my heart; give me my sailor bold: Should he return in poverty, from o'er the ocean far, To my tender bosom, I'll fondly press my jolly tar. My sailor is as smiling as the pleasant month of May, And oft we have wandered through Ratcliffe Highway, Where many a pretty blooming girl we happy did behold, Reclining on the bosom of her jolly sailor bold.
The men all stop what they are doing, as the Captain walks out.
The Captain is wearing a dark robe. It's Ra's al Ghul. In one year, he has weakened.. it appears he is sick.. and aging rapidly.
Captain Ra's al Ghul: Gentlemen, the ring is the prize. Dangerous waters, that be our path. Death lies before us, as we sail to The Shire. But let me remind you.. In faith, there is light enough to see, but darkness enough to blind. *looks towards the woman* We must trust our own judgement. The ring is testing us.
Woman: *singing* Come all you pretty fair maids, whoever you may be, Who love a jolly sailor bold that ploughs the raging sea, While up aloft, in storm or gale, from me his absence mourn, And firmly pray, arrive the day, he home will safe return.
Man #2: Captain.. is she sane?
Captain Ra's al Ghul: She is. But I fear.. you all won't be. Continue onward.
The Captain locks himself back in his cabin.
The men continue to try saving the ship from total disaster. But from the tone in the Captain's voice, it's almost as if he knew the crew were in way over their heads.
Finally, it's as if the storm is letting up. The rain stops.. the clouds open.
Man: ... S... SUN! SUN! We made it!
Man #2: Hahahahaha! Break out th' spiced rum! We're alive!
Man #3: Cap'n didn't be knowin' what he was shoutin' 'bout.
As the crew celebrates, the whispering man continues to whisper.
Whispering Man: Dead men.. tell no.. tales...
Woman: *singing *My name it is Maria, a merchant's daughter fair, And I have left my parents and three thousand pounds a year, My heart is pierced by Cupid, I disdain all glittering gold, There is nothing can console me but my jolly sailor bold.
The woman keeps her eyes closed, and walks forward. She falls into the water below.
The men stop.. and look in silence. All of them frightened by the woman randomly walking off the ship.
As the men go to investigate..
Within seconds, the massive tentacles of a sea creature rips the ship in half, snapping the wooden ship like a twig. Men scream, as rope and debris fly everywhere. Cannons land in the ocean, pulling men down with them.
Man: THAT RING! It's the ring she was wearing! It could be cursed! That woman.. she did this! OH GOD NO!
The man is eaten alive by the monster, as the ship is cracked into pieces, and pulled beneath the surface.. leaving nothing but debris behind. A once mighty ship, now gone.. only small pieces of it left.
The woman is scene feet away from the shipwreck, grabbing onto a wooden door, and using it as a float. She spits up water, and grabs onto the ring around her neck.
Woman: I have to get back to The Shire.. I have to.
The woman kicks off her boots, with wooden cylinders inside.. it was a disguise, to make her look taller. It can now be seen.. that this woman, is a hobbit. She paddles to the north.. knowing The Shire, is only some miles to the north from her location.
Pieces of the ship wreck follow her, along with some bodies of the deceased crew.
Feet away, a barrel floats towards a small island.. with a body hanging onto it. The body rolls onto the sand.. and the body suddenly shows signs of life. It's the mysterious Ra's al Ghul, alive.. and partially, well.
Hours later, Amathon is walking with some of his guards along the beach, talking about his plans for the future of The Shire. Suddenly, one of the guards points to what appears to be the remains of a shipwreck, washed onto shore.
Amathon: I'll have to report this to the others. See the colors? One of ours?
Guard: Hm... found a flag sir. Not our colors. Not sure who this was.
Amathon looks at the odd symbol on the flag, not recognizing it.
Guard: Found some bodies sir. No one alive yet.
Guard #2: Over here! Female hobbit! Late 20s! Still breathing!
Amathon: I'll call for the doctor. Stabilize her. Look for more survivors, and any supplies valuable to us.
Guard: Yes sir.
One of the guards bends down, and looks at her.
Guard #3: Miss, it's going to be okay. We're calling for a doctor.. *looks at the ring around her neck, and touches it*
Amathon: Doctor is on his way.
Guard #3: Sir, I think you should have a look at this.. *points to the ring*
Amathon bends down, and touches the ring, in astonishment.
Amathon: *to himself* Where did you get this...?
Guard #2: Should we take it sir?
Guard #2: Sir?
Amathon: ... Leave it on. But make sure you have eyes on her at all times. We don't want someone pick-pocketing that. Check her ID.
One of the guard's finds a wallet on the woman.
Guard #3: Hmm.. no name. But she does have this.. *takes out a Shire residency card, with the citizen's name being scratched off*
Amathon: We'll call her Jane Doe, until we can find out her real name. But she appears to be from The Shire. We should be able to find her in our records. I'll alert the others on what is going on.
It's early morning. Bing is awoken from his phone ringing.. the phone number.. from the Shire.
Meanwhile Nick's alarm clock beeps. He has a busy day ahead. Work, and then a nice celebration with the family.. a tour of Nick's old neighborhood, and dinner at an Italian restaurant for Eurus's birthday. Meanwhile Alfred is bringing up something for Frodi.. something Nick ordered from Lucius. He doesn't know what she'll think of it.. or how she'll react. It's boots with cylinders inside, to make hobbits look human height.. it's new coming out of the Shire. Lucius custom made new experimental ones for Frodi, not wooden.. not noticeable, and very comfortable. He wants to give Frodi a choice.. either be herself, or.. if she wants to get less stares, and try being a human for a day.. experiment with the new invention by Lucius. Nick is curious to see what Frodi thinks.. once some.. early fun in bed.. is complete.
A new chapter of City of Secrets, and the life of Nick and Frodi Zarano.. has begun.
Posted 01 July 2012 - 10:17 PM
Bing stares at his ringing phone with excitement. The number on the Caller ID display is a number he knows well.
It's a number he's been calling every day for the past year.
It's Alessea's number.
He picks up the phone... his hands shaking with excitement... and answers.
BING: Alessea? Is that really you?
ALESSEA: *coldly* Hello Bing.
BING: Oh Alessea, it's so good to hear you again. I'm missed you so much. I've been calling you every day, and you never picked up.
ALESSEA: I didn't answer, as I wasn't ready to talk to you.
Bing sighs. She still hasn't forgiven him.
BING: I miss you Alessea. I still love you, you know - you and the kids. How are you all?
ALESSEA: We're doing fine Bing. I've made some good friends here - people I know I can trust. Aurelius and Cassima are doing well at school. And the little one is walking now.
Tears well up in Bing's eyes. He's missed so much of his children's life, including seeing his youngest son take his first steps. A year is a long time to be away from his family.
BING: I wish I could have seen him take his first steps. Will you give him and Cassima and Aurelius a big hug from me, and tell them their daddy loves them? Please?
ALESSEA: That's sort of why I'm calling. The children want to see you. Where are you?
BING: ... In a place called New York. I have a nice apartment here.
ALESSEA: You must be doing well for yourself.
BING: Well, Nick is...
ALESSEA: NICK? You still associate yourself with HIM?
BING: Nick is my friend, Alessea. It's thanks to him that I'm able to live as a free elf.
BING: Remember when we first met? Back on Liberta? That wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for Nick. He's always been there for us Alessea, whenever we needed him. He even brought you back to life, after you... died. *the memory of holding Alessea's cold, lifeless body when Philip killed her still haunts him* Nick brought you back to me. I can never repay him for that. And Nick helped us find our son, when he was kidnapped.
ALESSEA: And this was after HE KILLED MY FATHER!
BING: *sighs* Alessea, if it wasn't for Nick, we would never have even met. We wouldn't have had all these years together. *sniffs* What happened to us, Alessea? We were so good together. We had the world at our feet. We had everything. We were happy. What happened to us?
ALESSEA: What happened is that NICK MURDERED MY FATHER! AND YOU KNEW ABOUT IT! And thanks to you, he got away with it!
BING: And I'm truly sorry about that Alessea. But you can't forget how Gondien betrayed Nick. He turned against Nick, and tried to turn everyone on Liberta against Nick, as well.
ALESSEA: DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES FOR HIM! THAT MONSTER KILLED MY FATHER! IN COLD BLOOD! And... Frodi is no better! She used Nick to kill her father too, and then she slept with him as a reward. Do you see a pattern here, Bing? Well, unlike Frodi, I can't forget my father's murder so easily.
BING: Alessea, please! You know what Forsco what like. You know how he terrorized Frodi. He even tried to kill his own grandkids.
ALESSEA: So she claims! I only have her word for that, Bing.
BING: Frodi was your friend.
ALESSEA: I can't trust her anymore.
BING: Look... can we meet up? Let's talk about things face-to-face, not over the phone. We could talk... I could spend some time with the kids... we could go out for a meal. What do you say? I still love you... I really want to see you again.
ALESSEA: ... I don't think so Bing. You've made it clear where your loyalties lie.
BING: My loyalties? What about you? You always put your father above our family... above me and our kids. Remember that time in the hospital, our kids were missing... and you wouldn't help me look for them. I found them trapped in the lift, scared out of their wits. Have you any idea how much that hurt me?
ALESSEA: MY FATHER WAS VERY SICK! He almost died Bing. How could I leave him?
BING: *sighs* Look, I don't want to fight with you. You said the kids wanted to see me.
ALESSEA: And as their mother, it's up to me to protect them from the destructive forces you surround yourself with.
BING: Destructive forces? I suppose by that, you mean Nick?
ALESSEA: That's right!
BING: Why can't you see the good in Nick?
ALESSEA: GOOD? THERE IS NO GOOD IN HIM!
BING: ... You can't keep my kids away from me Alessea. You are my wife, and I love you. But don't keep my kids away from me.
ALESSEA: Goodbye Bing.
Alessea hangs up.
Bing lets the phone fall from his hands, and fall to the floor. He still loves Alessea, but he can't help thinking she's being cruel and petty by not letting him see his kids. He sits down on the bed... and weeps.
New York, Zarano Global Offices, Nick & Frodi's Apartment...
Nick & Frodi are having fun in bed, enjoying some kissing and cuddling, as well as some playful bantar.
FRODI: *lies in Nick's arms* I can't believe how quickly this year has gone. It's just flown by.
NICK: Mmmm. And what a year it's been! So much has happened. Having our little girl... taking over Zarano Global... watching it go from strength to strength... us moving to New York.
Frodi pushes Nick over, so he is lying on his front. She climbs onto his back, and starts massaging his back. A smile spreads across Nick's face, as he enjoys the massage.
FRODI: I'm so proud of you, the way you've built up your company. Hengsha would be proud, too. *kisses him*
NICK: You just like sleeping with the boss. Admit it. *winks at Frodi*
FRODI: Well... the boss is INCREDIBLY sexy! And his lips are so soft... *leans down, and kisses his lips*
Nick sighs contendly. Life is good. He rolls over, and pulls Frodi on top of him.
NICK: *strokes Frodi's hair* So what do you think of New York so far?
FRODI: I love it. Love the view. *stares at Nick*
NICK: *grins* Um... the window's over there. *points to the window*
FRODI: Right now, I'm enjoying THIS view. *kisses Nick passionately*
Nick kisses her, then he blows a raspberry on her cheek, making her giggle.
NICK: Looking forward to the tour of my old neighbourhood tonight? And the meal at the Italian restaurant for Eurus's birthday?
FRODI: *nods* Very much! I've been wanting to see where you grew up for the last 14 years, Nick Zarano! And the meal out tonight will be wonderful. Eurus's birthday meal. I can't wait. *plays with Nick's hand*
NICK: Speaking of the birthday girl... let's go and see if she's awake yet.
Nick & Frodi get dressed quickly. Nick looks at the clock, wondering when Alfred will show up with the surprise for Frodi. Then they both go through to the nursery. Eurus is gurgling away happily. When she sees Nick & Frodi, she reaches out her arms. Frodi picks her up, and kisses her.
FRODI: Morning birthday girl.
NICK: *tickles her foot* One year old, already.
EURUS: *babbles* Ayyyy YAYAYAYBEBAYA
FRODI: Are you telling us a story?
NICK: *plays along* And what happened next?
NICK: What a great story. *takes Eurus, and gives her a cuddle*
FRODI: *to Nick* I expect Bing will pop up later, to say Happy Birthday to Eurus. I feel so bad for him. It's been a long time since he saw Alessea and his children. And his youngest son is only a few months older that Eurus. It must be hard for him.
NICK: We've not seen the last of Alessea. I'm sure of that.
Excited voices are heard outside the door. Michael, Lilla, Rosie, and Vincent want to wish their little sister a happy birthday. Nick looks at the clock again.
At the breakfast table, Frodi brings out a special birthday cake shaped like a '1', that she had ordered from the baker's in town, and everyone sings Happy Birthday. They don't usually have cake for breakfast, but this is a special occasion. Eurus is too young to know what's going on. She doesn't understand that it's her birthday. But she likes all the attention, and the singing. And she seems to have as much fun playing with her cake and squishing it between her fingers, as she does eating it.
FRODI: *to Nick* By the time you get home Nick, the place will be filled with birthday balloons for Eurus. That is... if the kids have enough puff to help me? *looks at the kids* Do you have enough puff?
MICHAEL, LILLA, ROSIE, VINCENT: *nod furiously* Yes mummy, we have enough puff.
The balloons are now a birthday tradition Frodi had started a few years ago, when Nick had been in jail. It was a hard time for the family, and they all missed Nick desperately. But Frodi had tried hard to keep her children's spirits up. The balloons had been a success with Michael and Lilla, as well as Rosie, and Vincent. So the tradition was borne.
As breakfast is ending, the doorbell rings.
DING DONG... DING DONG
NICK: *gives a knowing smile* I wonder who that is?
Nick goes to answer the door, and quickly returns with Alfred in tow. The kids dance around him excitedly, and he chuckles, and gives each of them a hug. Frodi puts Eurus in baby chair, so she can watch what's going on.
ALFRED: I have that special package you wanted, Nick. The one you wanted for your wife. *looks at Frodi*
NICK: Thanks Alfred.
Nick watches Frodi open the package, as he explains the special boots are custom made for her to make her look human height, so she can choose to be herself, or, if she wants, she can see what it's like to be human. But he stresses the choice is entirely hers.
FRODI: Oooh, it might be fun to try them. Thanks Nick. You're amazing. *smiles, strokes Nick's cheek, and kisses him* And thankyou too Alfred, for bringing them . *smiles at Alred*
Frodi sits down, and Nick helps her put the boots on, then helps her stand up. The kids stare up at her, not used to seeing their mummy that tall.
FRODI: Oh, I feel... tall! *laughs* What a strange feeling.
VINCENT: Heeheehee. You're tall, mummy.
FRODI: *smiles* So I am.
NICK: How does that feel?
FRODI: Weird. Fun. Hey, I'm not looking at your belly-button any more. *giggles*
NICK: No, you're now looking at... what... mid-chest? *teases* *puts his arm to his mid-chest, to indicate how high Frodi is now, then looks at her and grins*
FRODI: *playfully punches Nick's arm* I'm taller than that! *kisses him*
NICK: Are they comfy enough?
FRODI: *stomps her feet a couple of times, to test them* Yeah, it feels like I'm walking on a cushion.
Takes a few steps, and wobbles.
FRODI: Woah... woooaaaaahhhhh.
She wobbles again, and falls into Nick. The kids giggle.
FRODI: *looks at Nick* I think I need a bit of practice with these. This could be fun - seeing what it's like to be human for a day.
Nick smiles, and helps her stand up again.
ALFRED: I'm glad the boots are a success Frodi, and I'm sorry to break up the fun on such a special day. *glances at Eurus in her high-chair* But... um... Nick, we have a busy day today.
NICK: Right, okay. *looks at Frodi, and winks* That's the beauty of living in the same building you work in - it only takes 5 minutes to get to the office.
ALFRED: I'll wait for you down there, Nick.
Alfred leaves the Zarano residence, and heads downstairs to the office.
Nick & Frodi kiss passionately. Even after 14 years of marriage, the passion is still there.
NICK: Don't fill up on birthday cake while I'm gone. We're going out to the Italian restaurant, remember.
FRODI: I'm looking forward to it. AND the tour.
Nick gives Frodi another kiss. He kisses and cuddles his children, then leaves for the office.
FRODI: Okay kids, time to get blowing up those balloons. *holds up 5 packets of balloons* We have pink, blue, green, yellow, and orange. Who wants what colour?
ROSIE: Ooh, ooh, I want pink!
Vincent, Michael, Lilla, and Rosie each pick a colour, leaving Frodi with the orange balloons. Eurus squeels and laughs as the balloons get blown up, and Frodi tells her the colour of each balloon.
The doorbell rings again. Frodi goes to answer it, and sees Bing there. Bing looks at her, and his jaw drops.
FRODI: *smiles* My amazing husband got me these special boots to make me look human-height.
Bing doesn't say anything, but Frodi sees his red eyes, and forced smile, as he walks through to the living room.
LILLA, VINCENT, MICHAEL, LILLA: *excitedly* UNCLE BING! UNCLE BING! GUESS WHAT?
BING: WHAT? WHAT? TELL ME? TELL ME?
KIDS: It's Eurus's birthday today.
BING: *fakes surprise* Really? How old is she?
KIDS: She's 1!
Bing walks over to Eurus, and picks her up. He throws her in the air, and catches her again.
BING: Who's the birthday girl? Who's the birthday girl?
EURUS: *giggles and babbles*
Bing is trying to hard to appear 'happy'.
FRODI: *to the kids* Tell you what kids. Let's have a game. Uncle Bing and me will leave the room for a few minutes, and we'll see who can blow up the most balloons.
Frodi puts Eurus back in her chair, so she can watch the activities. She tells the older kids not to let Eurus get a hold of any balloons, in case she chokes on it. Then Frodi leads Bing through to the kitchen.
FRODI: Okay Bing, what's happened?
BING: What do you mean?
BING: *pause* *deep sigh* Alessea called. She finally called. I thought it was to try and patch things up, but things went... bad.
FRODI: Let me guess... she still want's Nick & me dead?
BING: Pretty much. I tried reasoning with her, and reminding her of everything Nick's done for us. But she wouldn't listen. And she still won't let me see my kids.
FRODI: I'm sorry Bing. I really am.
BING: *sniffs* I shouldn't bother you with all this. I just came by to wish Eurus a happy birthday. Love all the different coloured balloons you got. *sniffs again* Anyway, I'll be off now. Have a wonderful day, with Eurus and your other kids.
Bing turns to leave.
Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:48 AM
Voice: Please enter authorization number.
Nick enters a number into the keypad. It closes within seconds.
The elevator flies down to Nick's main offices, and the doors open.
Nick walks into the room, and once again reaches more security doors. After some retina scans, Nick enters the main offices, where cubicles of workers are on phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Computer screens all around the offices read the latest global news, stock prices, and internal company news.
Nick heads up the staircase, to his office, as Alfred joins him.
Alfred: Sir, here's what is on your agenda today. *takes out tablet* There have been some riots in Istanbul. Because of this, we can expect stock prices on some manufacturing companies to drop. Many have factories in the riot-containing country. Meanwhile Miss Tate is sending over some clients from a technology firm. She believes they have technology that would interest you. For a potential investment.
Nick: Acquire as many shares of the Istanbul-based and partly Istanbul-based companies as we can, within our usual budget. Tell Miss Tate I'll schedule an appoint with them.
Nick opens the door to his office.
Alfred: Oh! And Mr. Ducard has some news for..
Lucius is sitting in Nick's office. He stands up calmly.
Lucius: Nick, we need to talk.
Alfred: You beat me to it. I'll take my leave.
Nick walks into the office, and Alfred closes the door.
Nick: Lucius, always a pleasure. But today is not the first of the month. It's not time for our monthly security briefing. So what is this about then?
Lucius: I'm afraid I have some news.
Nick: What kind?
Lucius: You may want to sit down for this.
Nick sits down at his desk.
Lucius is a drinker. He pours himself a drink of Scotch from Nick's private cabinet.
Nick: It's early. No. Well, I may change my mind.. depending on the news.
Lucius sips from his glass, and sits down.
Lucius: How are you and Frodi getting along?
Nick: Very well. There's been no issues the last year. Everything's fine.
Lucius: Thinking about having more kids?
Nick: Well, I know Frodi wants more. If it was up to her, she'd be popping them out like pretzels. I'm the one who's sometimes hesitant. Wait.. why are you asking me this?
Lucius: How would you feel about having two more?
Nick: ... Lucius, spill it.
Lucius: Remember Leilah Dawn? The mother of your children?
Nick: ... That still sounds wrong, but yes. Of course I do.
Lucius: She's still in a coma. The doctor's don't know if she'll ever recover. But yesterday some news came to me.. some news I had to tell you about. As you know, the United Kingdom is still pursing and arresting those convicted of witchcraft. Leftovers from Ian Mercer's reign of terror.
Lucius: ... *cellphone rings* .... I should get this.
Nick: No. Tell me what you were going to tell me.
Lucius: ... I think I'll keep it to myself. I.. I should go. You know, you never know who is calling. I'll be back later.
Lucious suspiciously leaves the office. Nick wonders what that was all about.
Nick works on some paperwork. He stands up, to walk over to the copier.. when one of the papers falls onto the floor. Nick bends down to pick it up.. noticing something else on the floor. Under his desk, is a picture.. a picture of two children. Nick picks it up, and studies it.. those children look oddly familiar to him. One boy, one girl.
As someone knocks at the door, Nick throws the photo into a desk drawer.
Nick: Come in!
The door opens, and Miranda Tate walks into Nick's office.
woman.jpg 151.52K 1 downloads
Miranda: Mr. Zarano, I have some details about that technology deal Alfred mentioned to you.
Nick: Ah yes, let me see them then.
Miranda hands Nick the paperwork. He looks it over.
Nick: ... Infinitum Research Technologies? Well they look quite interesting. What's their stock price?
Miranda: $25 dollars a share. They are seeking an investor to fully develop their main project, the PCSIV device. It stands for Portal Connecting Somnacin IntraVenous. Bascially the device is designed to let users..
Nick: ... "relive the past, and go through reverse time". This is the equivalent of a time machine.
Miranda: Of course it's experimental, but yes.
Nick: Have Lucius meet with them, and invest 100% of our total allowed technology fund. This sounds like a brilliant concept.
Miranda: Right away Mr. Zarano.
Miranda turns to leave.
Nick: Oh, Miranda.. one last thing.
Nick: Find out what Lucius is hiding from me about Leilah Dawn.
One hour later, Nick is still tied up in paperwork, and checking stock prices on his computer.. when..
The door flings open, and a man walks in, holding a tablet. He slams the door closed with his shoe.
Man: Those bastards! Those lying bastards!
Nick: I sense you are not having a good day Dom?
Dom: Our investment with a bank in Amadar. Those lying bastards promised us a specific amount of profit. Today I was told it'd be 2 weeks til we see any money. 2 WEEKS! Someone should just blow up the entire region of Amadar. Lying midgets.
Nick: Midgets would be hobbits. Elves are tall. And by midget, you mean my wife.
Dom: Oh. Sorry.
Nick: You're forgiven. Have you seen Lucius?
Dom: No. He left the office hours ago. *pours himself a drink* By the way, in an unrelated note, what is Miranda's situation?
Dom: Single? Married? Lesbian?
Nick: All of the above.
Dom: Smart-ass. You just want a play at her.
Nick stands up, and walks over to the window.
Nick: No. Those days are over. I'm happily married.
Dom: Sure. So, how are we to handle this Amadar situation?
Nick: I'll take care of it. There are many things I have learned from my bastard father. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. I'll schedule a meeting with them soon.
Eventually, Dom leaves the office. Nick sits back down.. and tries to finish the paperwork. But he can not concentrate. He gets up from his desk, and looks out the window. Nick jumps in fear.
Suddenly.. in the window, Nick sees a man, with a dark robe.. with a mask covering his face. The mask appears to be centuries old. The man just stares at Nick, appearing to be within the glass.. not hovering outside, not inside.
Nick jumps again, and turns around.. he sees Alfred, bringing some tea into the office.
Alfred: Are you alright?
Nick looks back at the window, noticing the man is gone.
Nick: Yeah.. I think so.
Nick sits down, and picks up the cup of tea, his hands shaking.
Alfred: You can talk to me you know.
Nick: Alfred.. sit down.
Alfred sits next to Nick.
Nick: It's like no matter how hard I try.. to live a normal life.. a normal 9 to 5 life.. something is always there to remind me.. "Hey, you are not normal. Don't try to be."
Alfred: Don't worry, Nick. It takes a little time to get back into the swing of things. All the things your family has been through. You can't expect to just one day move to another country, change your lives, and everything will be forgotten.
Nick: I feel.. like nothing has changed. Like I am still immortal, still capable of magic.
Alfred: You're not hero Nick Zarano any more. You are Nick Zarano, businessman, and family man. You have to face that.
Nick: *grabs a bottle of whiskey from the cabinet* I can still see them..
Alfred: See who?
Nick: Before you came in. I was looking out the window. Well, at the window. I saw someone. Someone in a dark robe, wearing a mask.
Alfred: Should I call Lucius?
Nick: No. He wasn't in the room. But.. I saw him. Someone is trying to warn me, or threaten me. I don't know which.
Alfred: Sir, don't take this wrong.. but maybe you are just tired.
Nick: Goddamn it Alfred! I saw him! The goddamn mask was shining for god's sake. It scared the living shit out of me! I thought this was in the past! I thought this was done! I thought I could be normal.
Alfred: ... Do you think someone is after you? Someone from your old life?
Nick: Not me, no. What scares me.. is that I have been through this before. When they come... they come at what you love. They come at my family. They come at the people I care about. But this time.. I won't let it happen.
Alfred: Well, I wish you luck with that. It won't be easy finding out who this "person" is, without evidence.
Nick: If he showed up.. what's to say he won't show up again?
Apartment in Upper Manhattan..
Lucius, bottle in one hand, phone in the other.. talks to someone on the phone.
Lucius: So she was arrested in the UK for witchcraft.. I know that much. Where are the two children? .... Well that shouldn't happen. They can't be separated. They are twins.... I DO NOT CARE. Check Leilah Dawn's will once more. We have to know who else she would leave her children to. Who else besides her mother? Yes.. I'll hold.
Lucius: Yes? ... What do you mean? ... Okay.. yes.. I understand.. so you are telling me.. Miss Dawn never wanted her mother to raise her kids? Then who was the number one choice, in the event of her death or other circumstances? .... You're serious? ... Alright.. thank you. I'll relay this information to him as soon as possible.
Lucius drops the phone on the floor, and slides down the wall.
Lucius: My god..
Evening has come.
As the Zarano family leaves the tower, Frodi constantly keeps an arm on her husband. Not just because of love, but because of support. 6 foot 3 inch, 225 pound Nick Zarano provides some nice support for a wobbling Frodi in her new boots. Frodi enjoys not getting stared at by random strangers, for being short. And it does feel good being closer to Nick's height, while being short enough to be considered a short human. Nick also admires Frodi's boots, mostly because of their style. And the idea of ripping them off later..
After taking their limo downtown, Nick takes the family past some of the highlights of his old life. One that sticks out to Nick.. the old police station. Now closed, and crawling with rats. After passing by some pizza places, some stores, a deli, and more pizza places, finally they reach Nick's old apartment building.
As the family walks inside for a brief tour, Nick's cellphone rings.
Frodi: Who is it?
Nick: Damn it.. Lucius. I have to make sure everything is alright. You head in, and I'll be right there.
Frodi: Okay. *smiles*
Nick: Just don't fall! *Nick answers the phone* Lucius?
Lucius (On Phone): Nick, there's something I have to tell you.
Nick: Couldn't this wait til tomorrow?
Lucius (On Phone): It can't wait. It's about your family. Your children.
Nick: What about them? I have them here.. they're fine.
Lucius (On Phone): Not those children. The twins you had with Leilah Dawn.
Lucius (On Phone): I was going to tell you this earlier. But I had to get proof. And this can't wait, since child care services needs an answer within 24 hours. It seems Miss Dawn's mother was arrested for witchcraft. I'm sure you knew of her family, and their activities.
Nick: ... Faintly.
Lucius (On Phone): Well, she is going to be in jail for quite some time. And when she gets out, she could be labeled an unfit parent. I had a lawyer re-examine Leilah's will. And shockingly, her will clearly states that one person.. in the event of her death or other circumstances.. would get custody of the children. Even her mother wasn't chosen first.
Lucius (On Phone): You.
Nick: ... What?
Lucius (On Phone): She chose you.
Nick: That's impossible. We ended badly. We hate.. I mean, hated each other. You can't be serious. I'm a criminal for god's sake!
People along the street stare at Nick oddly at that announcement.
Lucius (On Phone): Well according to the courts in the UK, you were cleared of all charges years ago. You are married, have a stable life, good income, and healthy children with no prior accidents or harm caused to them. In their eyes, you are a good parent. They have no knowledge of your DNA in the childrens blood. But if they did, they'd be dropping them at your doorstep right about now.
Lucius (On Phone): Right now the twins are being held in the custody of child services. If you fail to become their guardian, they will be separated, and put into the adoption system. It could be years before they find a home.
Nick: ... Lucius, I just got my life back together here. I know Frodi wants more kids. But having 2 walking, talking, pooping, crying reminders of my affair with Leilah doesn't seem to be a good idea.
Lucius (On Phone): I'm sorry to burst your bubble Nick, but this world doesn't revolve around you. You slept with Leilah. You knocked her up. Don't expect the world to just work around that. These children never asked to be born. And I would hope Frodi would get over her feelings. Just like I think you would if little Eurus had turned out to be Jack's. Remember you told me?
Nick: ... My life is never not complicated.
Lucius (On Phone): Talk to Frodi about it, and we'll talk in the morning. You have 24 hours.
Nick hangs up, and walks into the apartment building.
Frodi: Look at this place.. to think you lived here many years ago Nick. You lived such a different life. Before you got shot.
Nick: Ah yes.. such a simple.. life. I wish someone would shoot me now.
Nick: Nothing. I'm just joking around. I'm a bag of laughs. *bangs head against wall, as Frodi looks at him oddly*
Out in the waters of the Caribbean, lies a mysterious island. An island that is believed to hold mysterious qualities. An island that appears, and disappears.. in fog.
This is Isla Sirena.
A small group of villagers walk across the beach, chanting.
Villagers: Deh-Shay, Deh-Shay, Bah Sah Rah. Bah Sah Rah. Deh-Shay, Deh-Shay, Bah Sah Rah. Bah Sah Rah.
A man in a dark robe follows them, tired after hours of martial arts training.. he is training for a war. A war that could change the earth.. forever.
The eldest villager stops chanting, and looks at the hooded man.. pulling his hood.
Eldest Villager: RISE.. Ra's al Ghul.
Small run-down apartment in downtown Manhattan..
In a dimly lit room, filled with rats, debris, and newspaper clippings.. a man sits at a desk, looking over paperwork. He laughs to himself madly.
Man: You thought you could run.. you thought you could change. There is no changing who you really are. I am living proof of that. And oh boy.. sending those photos to that elf was just the beginning. First.. I take your friends from you, socially. Next.. I take your friends from you, permanently. Hahaha hehehe ho.. *coughs and hacks* I'm baaaaaaaaaack.
The man writes "THE JOKER" on a mirror, using bright red lipstick.
Joker: *reads newspaper article* "This winter, Nick Zarano will be hosting the first-ever Zarano Global Holiday Party. Mr. Zarano is inviting some of the top business people, political contacts, and other important people to this social event. It's going to be a fabulous, luxurious event."
Joker picks up a can of his laughing gas, and smiles.
Joker: It's going to be one unforgettable event. I'm already planning my entrance! HAHAHAH! *coughs* See you then Nick! It's going to be a blast.
Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:15 PM
Frodi gives Nick a strange look.
FRODI: Are you okay, Nick?
NICK: Oh yeah. Just peachy! *bangs his head on the wall again*
Frodi pulls him away from the wall. She doesn't know what's wrong with Nick, but she can see how agitated he is. She rubs his back, trying to calm him.
NICK: Life was so much easier back then. No ties... no complications... *slams his hand on the wall*
FRODI: *takes his hand, and kisses it* Well, for my own selfish reasons, I'm glad you let me into your life.
ROSIE: *tugs at Nick's other hand* So which apartment was yours, daddy?
NICK: Top floor.
FRODI: Are you going to show us?
NICK: There's probably someone living there. We can't just barge in. Come on, let's go.
Nick walks out of the apartment building. Frodi looks at him, and frowns. He was fine a few minutes ago. Had Lucious said something on the phone to upset him?
MICHAEL: *to Frodi* Is dad okay?
FRODI: *bites her lip* Yeah, he's fine Michael. He probably just wanted some fresh air. It is kinda stuffy in here. Shall we go and join him?
Frodi pushes Eurus in her pushchair, and wobbles outside. Michael, Lilla, Rosie, and Vincent outside follow her. Eurus babbles contendly, taking in all the sights and sounds. They see Nick standing outside... looking at his mobile phone.
FRODI: *tries to lighten the mood* Nick, I still wobble in these boots. I need my handsome husband to lean on. *strokes his arm*
NICK: *puts his phone away, and looks up* Frodi, you got that little pink gun of yours? It would really come in handy right now.
FRODI: *worried* *lies* No, it's at home. Why Nick, what's wrong? *rubs his back*
NICK: Nothing. Just kidding. *clenches his fist*
LILLA: So where are you taking us next, dad? *gives Nick a big hug*
NICK: ... Maybe we should continue this another day. I'm tired. Let's go home.
Frodi puts her hand over Nick's clenched fist. Something has upset him, that much is clear. But was it the phonecall with Lucious? Or was it coming back to his old apartment block? Frodi doesn't know. But when something bothers Nick... it bothers her, as well. She leans in and kisses him.
FRODI: *softly* Okay, let's go home then. It's almost supper time, anyway. *looks at the kids* So did you enjoy daddy's tour? This is where he spend a lot of his childhood.
VINCENT: *nods* It was fun. Can we come here again, daddy?
NICK: ... We'll see.
Nick grips his cane tightly, as the family make their way back to the limo. Inside the limo, the children chat away happily, excited to have seen where their dad spent a lot of his childhood. But Nick remains silent... deep in thought. Frodi takes his hand, and squeezes it, trying to offer support.
Nick & Frodi's Tower Block...
They soon reach the tower block, and make their way up the lift to their home. Frodi has little Eurus in her arms. As Frodi opens the front door...
VINCENT: *shouts* Bet I can beat you to the far stairs. Race you. *runs off*
ROSIE: Hey, you got a head start, you cheater! *runs after him*
Michael and Lilla look at each other with amusement. They're too old to place 'Races' now, but they're still curious to find out who won. They make their way along the corridor to the far stairs.
Meanwhile, Nick heads to the living room, and goes straight for the drinks cabinet. He pours himself a whisky, and downs it in one. By the time Frodi kicks off her tall boots, and puts Eurus in the playpen (with Eurus playfully trying to pull Frodi's hair), Nick's already downed a second drink, and is pouring himself a third. Frodi gently takes the glass away from him.
FRODI: *looks at him with concern* Okay Nick, what is it? What's bothering you?
NICK: Who says anything's bothering me?
FRODI: *lovingly strokes his arm* You've been acting odd ever since Lucius called you. What did he say, to get you so upset?
Nick looks at her, and sighs. He walks across the room, and slumps into the settee. Frodi sits down next to him, gently rubbing his arm.
Eurus gurgles away in her playpen, as she plays with her coloured toy blocks. She loves stacking her blocks, then making them fall down again.
NICK: Life just loves to screw me over!
FRODI: What happened Nick? You can tell me. *plays with his hair*
NICK: Lucious called earlier... as you know. He had something to tell me. *pauses* You remember Leilah?
FRODI: Yes, I remember Leilah. Has their been any change in her condition?
NICK: No. But you know her mother was taking care of her kids... our kids... um... Leilah and mine kids.
Nick still finds it awkward to talk about the kids he had with Leilah.
FRODI: It's okay Nick. You can talk about your kids. *holds his hand*
NICK: Yeah, well, it seems Leilah's mother has been arrested for witchcraft.
FRODI: *tightens her grip on his hand* It makes me so angry that the UK are doing that... STILL doing that! What gives them the right to murder innocent people, just for using magic? Magics have as much right to live as non-magics do.
FRODI: Wait a minute... if Leilah's mother was arrested... who's looking after Leilah's chidlren?
NICK: ... That's the thing, Frodi. Right now, they're with Chidcare Services.
FRODI: *shocked* They're WHAT? That's terrible! Oh, those poor things. They must be terrified. They've been through so much already... seeing Gabe murdered and Leilah shot... and now their gran has been arrested. And they're so young! Nick... what's going to happen to them? *sad*
NICK: *sighs* Well, Lucious had a lawyer examine Leilah's will. It seems Leilah never wanted her mother to get custody of her kids. Apparantly, if something happens to Leilah, she wanted me to take custody. *looks down at the ground*
FRODI: So that's what's been bothering you? Oh, poor Nick. *takes his hand* Of course you have to take custody of them. Those poor children have suffered so much. They HAVE to come here... with us! You can't let them stay with Child Services Nick.
NICK: ... I didn't know how you'd react... having a constant reminder... make that 2 constant reminders... of my affair with Leilah. Could you ever learn to love them?
Frodi gently strokes his cheek, and looks into his eyes.
FRODI: They're your children, Nick. They're part of you. How can I not love them?
Nick looks at Frodi. He pulls her legs up, and starts rubbing her feet..
NICK: You really are something else, you know that? *smiles*
They share a tender kiss.
FRODI: It must have been a shock, when Lucius called you out to the blue like that. It's a lot to take in. How do you feel about it all?
NICK: Still trying to get my head around it. It won't be easy... having them here.
FRODI: I know, Nick.It will be awkward for everyone for a while. They'll be lost... scared... confused. They probably don't really understand what's going on.
NICK: And it will be hard to explain things to our own kids. Michael and Lilla might be old enough to understand, but I'm not sure about Rosie and Vincent.
FRODI: But we'll make things work, Nick. I know we can. Those kids deserve to know what an amazing father they have. And let's not forget about the DaVinci blood running through their father's veins.
Frodi squeezes his arm, and smiles.
FRODI: I wish Lucius had the decency to tell you in person though.
NICK: Well, that's the other thing. Lucius wanted to tell me straight away, since we don't have a lot of time to dwell on this. I have to give Lucius an answer within 24 hours, or... the children will be seperated, and put up for adoption.
FRODI: *gasps* Oh Nick... NO. They're only 5 years old. And they're twins. They CAN'T be seperated. They can come here. There's plenty of love to go around. *clasps his hand*
FRODI: When are you going to see Lucius again?
NICK: Tomorrow morning. I'll give him my decision then.
FRODI: I think we should tell the kids... our kids... now... tonight. Give them some time to get used to the idea.
Nick sighs deeply, and lines of worry spread across his forehead. The thought of expaining to his kids that he had an affair with Leilah isn't exactly pleasant. But if Leilay's children do come to stay with them, Michael, Lilla, Vincent, and Rosie should know why. Nick wishes he had more time to think things over... but he doesn't. He has to give Lucius his decision in the morning. At least Frodi isn't against the idea. If anything... she's all for the twins coming to stay with them. That gives him some relief, at least.
NICK: *nods slowly* Let's tell them then.
FRODI: I'll go and find them. And Nick... remember... I love you. *kisses him tenderly*
Frodi stands up and leaves the room. Nick stays seated on the settee, hand gripped tightly on his cane. Frodi goes looking for the children, and finds them playing Hide & Seek. Vincent and Rosie are hiding, while Michael and Lilla are trying to find them. After a few shouts from Frodi, Vincent and Rosie emerge from their hiding places.
FRODI: *smiles* Your father and I need to talk to you all. Come on, let's go to the living room.
ROSIE: I told you Vincent. You shouldn't have done that. You're gonna be in so much trouble now.
Vincent lip quivers, as if he's about to cry. Frodi hugs him, and ruffles his hair.
FRODI: No-one's in any trouble, darling. Don't worry.
Frodi kisses and cuddles each of the kids to reassure them they're not in trouble, then takes them back to the living room.
Posted 17 July 2012 - 10:02 AM
But one thing is certain. Within 24 hours, Leilah and Nick's children arrive. Their names.. Harry and Molly.
It isn't going to be easy raising all the children. But with Nick's financial success, they can afford it.
Frodi adopts well to the change. It's Nick that begins to change slightly. He spends more time at the office, and less playing with the kids. It's not clear what is bothering him. It could be having all those kids, and all that responsibility. It could be the guilt over what he did with Leilah. It's unclear what is happening to Nick. But as the weeks go by.. Nick's issues finally begin to unravel, when some shocking news comes to Nick.. in the form of high-heels and leather.
2 MONTHS LATER..
New York City..
A light chill fills the air. Winter is moving in, but the first snow fall hasn't arrived yet.
Nick stands by his office window, looking out. He drinks from his glass of whiskey. He's been drinking a lot lately, and using up quite a bit of the company's budget on refilling his liquor cabinet, all to Alfred and Dom's disliking.
Nick leans on his cane, and sips from the glass. It's been hard adjusting to his new life, in New York.. but things were going well. Until reality slapped Nick in the face. Between company issues, political issues, and now Harry & Molly.. Nick is slowly losing his grip on life.
Nick looks at the clock. Midnight. It's another late night at the office. Does Nick really need to be at the office alone? Is there THAT much work to be done? It's unclear.
Suddenly, Nick hears his office door open. The main offices are empty. Well, at least they should be. Nick turns around.
He can't believe who he sees standing in his office.
Female Voice: Hello Nick.
Dressed in her leather suit, and all her equipment.. is the woman who helped Nick last year. Selina.
Selina: Selina Kyle. It's a pleasure.
Nick: Pleasures all mine. It seems I'll need to have Lucius upgrade our security systems.
Selina: I come in peace. *lowers mask, and unzips suit* Ah, that's better.
Nick: We have unfinished business. Why did you let me go? Last year?
Selina: I believe in a fair fight. Besides.. *picks up glass object on Nick's desk, and examines it* Your grandfather was a terrible man.
Selina pockets the item, without Nick noticing.
Nick: What were you doing there? And why are you here now?
Selina: I'm sure you've done your research on me Mr. Zarano. *approaches Nick seductively* So tell me.. what do you know about me?
Nick: I know you're a thief. A con-artist. A drifter. I also know that you have a psychology degree. And.. you were a doctor. So I have to wonder.. Dr. Kyle.. what would a fabulous doctor like yourself, be doing ditching your entire life to run around the globe and steal paintings?
Selina: ... Maybe I just like being naughty.
Nick: Or maybe you were stealing them for someone else. Someone who wanted paintings.. and other valuables. As it is, that's a brazen costume for a cat burglar.
Selina: Yeah? Who are you pretending to be?
Nick: Excuse me?
Selina grabs Nick's hand, and strokes it. Nick keeps a stern face. Selina is a dangerous woman. Any attraction here is simply a matter of respect, and control. Who can outsmart the other.
Selina: You dress up in your business suit, live your normal life as a family man.. a nine to five family man. Is that who you really are?
Nick: I'm not the issue. You are. What are you hiding? Why are you here?
Selina walks around the office, picking up items.
Selina: That's for you to figure out.
Nick: Well you made some mistakes, Miss Kyle. You do have a criminal record. I could probably figure out even more.
Selina: A girl's gotta eat. Sometimes, you have to just be.. and live life.
Nick: Well, you got quite an appetite. I can't count how many things you've.. stolen.. wait.. *looks up* I remember.
Nick is sitting in a cell, on Shutter Island. A buzzer sounds.
Guard: REJECTS! Listen up! We have a new member of our crew. I'd like you all to meet Doctor Kyle. She will be assisting Doctor Crane with his research and treatment programs. Get a good look at her.. there they are Miss Kyle! All the perverts, criminals, rapists, and murderers. All of them looking to fuck you and your mother. Sick bastards they are. All drooling at the first piece of pussy they've seen in years.
Doctor Kyle: Watch your mouth officer. Or you'll be next up for a lobotomy.
Guard: ... Yes Doctor Kyle. *mumbles* Bitch.
Nick looks at the doctor as she passes, catching a glimpse of her face, and long hair.
Man in cell next to Nick's: All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out faces, bright and early for the daily races, going nowhere, going nowhere.
Inmate: Shut up Franco! Before I stick one of those brushes up your ass!
Doctor Kyle: ... I'm going to like it here.
Nick looks at Selina.
Nick: You were a doctor.. on Shutter Island.
Selina: You don't know a thing about me.
Nick pushes Selina against the wall gently. He puts his hand on her throat.
Nick: Enough with the games. Tell me what you know.
Selina: Oh.. there's the Nick Zarano I know. I knew he was still in there. *raises hand, with wedding ring on it* A clue.
Nick: ... So you're married. To.. oh god.. no. The way you play games.. you married Joker?
Selina: Doctor Crane. Of course, we're separated now. We have differences. I like other men. He likes men in general.
Nick: So you threw away your life for him? To work for him? To be a slave for him?
Selina: And? Your wife isn't the same way? Frodi Greenhand doesn't have a brain. She only has one thing on her mind.. please my husband and make babies. Actually, that's two things. My mistake.
Nick: Watch it.
Selina: Oh come on, I'm here to just give you a warning! For the common good! You see, I finally ditched Jonathan for good. Burned his entire mansion of stolen items. He wasn't too happy. But, half of it was mine away. I had the right to burn it. Anyway, needless to say we still keep in touch. He sends me a text message each month, notifying me of his next job. Recently however.. he's disappeared. And when he does that, he's up to something.
Nick: I'm not his babysitter.
Selina: He's the one who sent that elf the photos.
Nick turns around.
Nick: That elf? Alessea?
Selina: That's the one. Jonathan wants to make sure you pay. For what, I don't know. But needless to say that was apart of his plan. It worked.
Nick: ... That son of a bitch.
Selina: Also, it gets worse. I have reason to believe Jonathan sent an anonymous tip to Interpol. A tip regarding witchcraft. A tip focused on Leilah Dawn's mother. Leilah Dawn being your former mistress. Jonathan has it out for you. Big time.
Selina pockets another item from Nick's office.
Nick: ... Why are you telling me this?
Selina: Because I want you to do something for me.
Selina walks up to Nick, and looks into his eyes.
Selina: I want you to find my husband. Use your connections to find him. Don't kill him.. let me talk to him first. Then, have at him.
Nick: ... I'm not in that business anymore.
Selina: Wake up Nick! You don't owe these people any more! You've given them everything! You've saved the world from countless attacks, and went to prison for crimes you've committed. You've well paid your debt to society. And.. society continues to kick you in the face. Stop trying to be a martyr. It's time to take control of the situation, and stop acting like the good citizen. We both know that's not you.
Nick: I haven't given them everything. Not yet.
Selina: Sure. Go ahead and continue to live your decent life. It's all a bad joke. You think this is your way of changing your fate? By repaying society for your sins by being a decent man? It's too late for that. I'm not asking for you to put a bullet in his head, I'm asking you to find him.. and bring his perverted ass to me. You think this can last? This show you are putting on for Frodi, and the world?
Selina: I'll pay you, for all your hard work finding him. *touches Nick's shoulder* I always make good on my debts.
Nick: ... This.. this thing Joker could be planning.. I assume it involves me?
Nick: I have an old contact in Atlantic City. I'll contact him again. I'll see what I can do.
Selina: So this means we are working together.
Nick: ... Yeah.
Selina: Better together, than against. Besides, you do owe me for setting you free. Oh.. *grabs something from her pocket* Here.
Selina hands Nick a key.
Nick: What's this?
Selina: If you need to get in touch with me.. or if you ever need to get away from.. your life.. come see me. It's a key to my apartment. The address is etched on the back.
Nick: Okay then..
Selina kisses Nick on the cheek.
Selina: Don't tell your wife about any of this.
Selina leaves Nick's office, and disappears into the darkness.
Moments later, Nick picks up the phone.
Nick: It's Nick Zarano. I know, it's been a long time. Look, I need someone found..... alive.... Yes, I know... well, I'd be willingly to pay one million in cash... good. Name's Jonathan Crane. He goes by the nickname The Joker. Bring him to me, alive.
Frodi looks across the bed.. still no sign of Nick. She sighs. This is becoming a habit of Nick's, when he works long hours. Frodi thought she was awoken naturally, and tries to fall back asleep. BUT.. seconds later she hears the elevator beep. Someone has been ringing for Frodi to open the elevator doors.
Frodi grabs her robe, and heads out into the living room. It's been quite lately, with Bing leaving for The Shire last month, supposedly to settle his marriage issues.
Frodi presses the elevator button, and the door opens. To her surprise.. Frodi sees Alessea.
Alessea: Frodi. I um.. don't know where to begin. I hope I didn't wake you.
Frodi: Oh um, no.
Alessea: Can I come in?
Frodi: Yeah, sure. Um.. have a seat.
It's awkward between them. It's been over a year since Alessea took off to The Shire. Plus they didn't leave off on good terms.
Alessea: First off, I want to apologize for what I said to you. I was angry, and hurt beyond words. But I know you weren't responsible for what happened. I've also figured out that Bing wasn't responsible either. So it's wrong for me to be this way to the both of you. Bing knew yes, and maybe you did to. But that doesn't mean you guys actually pulled the trigger.. your husband did that.
Frodi: Alessea, I always thought you were one of my best friends. We've known each other for so long. And that's all thanks to Nick. I knew Bing through Nick. You met Bing through Nick. You can't forget that.
Alessea: Look.. I'm not asking for a friendship. But.. I am asking for us to try again. I'm moving here. Moving in with Bing. We're going to stay in separate bedrooms.. and try to work out our issues. And I want you and me.. to be on decent terms at least. So I can talk to you, about all of this. I don't want us to fight.
Frodi: What about Nick?
Alessea: I will not badmouth Nick to you.. but I do not want to bother with him. I am trying to put this behind me. And in order to do that, I have to not be around him. I don't want to see him. I hope you can understand that.
Harry and Molly wander out of their bedrooms, after hearing the talking.
Alessea: And who are these two beautiful children? ... Wait, they.. can't be yours..
Alessea keeps her mouth shut.
Frodi:You um.. want to see little Eurus?
Alessea: I'd love to. Bing told me all about her.
Frodi and Alessea head into the other room, each trying to be careful what they say.. each trying to rebuild any possible friendship.
Alfred walks in, and finds Nick passed out in his chair, still holding a whiskey bottle.
Alfred: Oh dear.. it's getting worse.
Alfred cleans up Nick's desk, when he finds a key on the desk. Etched onto it.. an address, and words.. "With love, Selina".
Alfred: ... No. No it's not what this looks like.. you wouldn't do this to Frodi again.. would you?
Nick continues to just lay there, passed out.
Warehouse in New York..
A car pulls into the warehouse. Men dressed in leather jackets and clown masks get out of the car.
Masked Man: Alright, unload them. Bosses orders.
Masked Man #2: Not until the boss gets here!
Masked Man #3: Fuck.. now we have to stand around here and wait? Shit I've got plans later.
Masked Man #4: What are we going to do now?
Masked Man #2: I don't know. Something to keep each other occupied. Maybe talk?
Masked Man #4: Talk? What are we? Teenage girls?
Masked Man: Ooooo Oooo! I know! I know! I got a question. A good one. Why do they call him "The Joker"?
Masked Man #4: I heard he wears make-up.
Masked Man #3: Make-up?
Masked Man #4: Yeah, to scare people. You know, war paint.
Voice: Hehehehehe ho hahaha hehe ho ha. And I thought my jokes were bad.
All the men turn to see Joker, entering the warehouse.
Masked Man #2: Oh, er.. boss. We were just um..
Joker: Did you go to Ra's?
Masked Man #2: Yes. We made the trade you asked for.
Joker: Where's the people I asked for?
Masked Man #2: In the van.
Joker: I don't have all day. Open the van.
One of the men opens the van doors, and the other henchmen pull out two men.. both tied up, with bags over their heads.
Joker: Good work. Now go. Leave me with my people. Go.
The men get in the van, and take off. Joker calmly looks at his watch, as the van leaves the warehouse.
Joker: And... here... we... go! *mouths the word "Boom"*
An explosion is heard. The van has exploded outside.
Joker: *turns his attention to the two short men in front of him* See, I'm a man of simple tastes. I enjoy dynamite, and gunpowder, and... gasoline! But.. I'm sure you both already know that. Ah-ta-ta-ta-ta. And you know the thing they have in common? They're cheap. Cheap like immortality, and resurrection. All thanks to the newest science. Ah.. I love life.
Joker: Ooohhh. You want to play. Come on! Let's play then! *kicks the men* You see.. here's the beauty of it all. You now both owe me. I brought you back. Oh.. actually, Ra's made it possible. But all technicalities aside, I helped bring this train into the station. You both have nothing, nothing to threaten me with. I am in control. Oh, and by the way, the suit I'm wearing, it wasn't cheap. You oughta know, you both bought it. All of your money.. I have. But I am ranting.. you see.. all you both cared about is money. This world deserves a better class of criminal. And I'm gonna give it to them! With your help!
Joker: And for the first time, I have a plan. You both.. are apart of it. Welcome back.. to the land of the living.
Joker pulls the bags off the men's heads.
Joker: Welcome to my world. Hehehhehe ho..
The men.. are hobbits. Two hobbits.. better known.. as Stengolas Smallburrow and Forsco Greenhand.
Joker looks at Stengolas.
Joker: So we meet again. Maybe now, we can have round two.
Stengolas looks on in horror at Joker, as Forsco looks around, blinking his eyes.. he's back. He's alive.
Joker: Oh what I have planned for the two of you. You are just going to love getting back at the people you hate most.. the Zarano's. This is going to be one hell of a celebration.
Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:32 AM
Alfred stands there... holding the key.
ALFRED: *reads out loud* "With love, Selina". Who is Selina, Nick?
But Nick is still passed out.
ALFRED: You're a good man Nick. This can't be what it looks like. There must be another explanation to this... I hope.
But Alfred can't help thinking the worst. Why else would the words "With love, Selina" be etched onto a house key? He shakes his head sadly, as he continues to tidy up Nick's office. He puts the key back down on the desk, takes the whisky from Nick's hand, and puts it back in the cabinet. Then he leaves the office, with Nick still passed out.
Nick & Frodi's Apartment...
Frodi and Alessea open the door to Eurus's bedroom. Eurus is lying in her cot, clutching her teddy bear, babbling away happily.
FRODI: Morning Eurus. You're awake already?
EURUS: *gurgles and babbles*
FRODI: *picks Eurus up in her arms* Oh, what a chatterbox you are, Eurus. What a chatterbox. *kisses Eurus's cheek*
Frodi turns Eurus to face Alessea.
FRODI: Eurus, this is Alessea.
Eurus stares up at Alessea.
ALESSEA: So you're Eurus? *smiles* Bing has told me so much about you.
FRODI: *to Eurus* Bing's been talking about you? Let's hope he hasn't revealed all your bad habits then. *blows a raspberry on Eurus's arm, making her giggle*
ALESSEA: She's adorable. Can she walk yet?
FRODI: Not quite. She's getting there. She can stand on her own for a little while. What about your little one?
ALESSEA: He's walking, and he's into everything. I have to have eyes on the back of my head, with him.
The easy-going frienship they used to have is gone, but both of them hope that something can be rebuilt.
FRODI: Um, let's go through to the living room.
ALESSEA: *looks around* Okay... just for a while though. I don't want to deal with Nick, when he appears.
Frodi leads Alessea through to the living room, and puts Eurus down in her playpen, still clutching her teddy bear.
ALESSEA: So who's this cuddly fellow? *indicating the toy bear*
FRODI: That's Mr Snuggles. She takes him everywhere. *smiles*
Harry and Molly, who were still lurking in the hall, appear in the living room.
FRODI: *cuddles them, and kisses their foreheads* Hey, you two. Have you come to keep us company?
Harry and Molly nod. They look at Alessea, wondering who she is.
FRODI: This is Alessea. She'll be living downstairs from us.
Small voices are heard, as Michael, Lilla, Rosie, and Vincent appear in the living room, wanting their breakfasts.
FRODI: Morning sleepyheads.
The kids are glad to see Alessea again. They don't really understand why she disappeared a year ago. Well, the older kids worked out that some kind of falling out happened between mummy & daddy, and Alessea, but they don't know how or why. Nevertheless, they are happy to see her again, and all the kids still refer to her as Aunt Alessea.
FRODI: I'll be making breakfast soon. Would you, um, like to stay, Alessea?
ALESSEA: *looks around, obviously expecting Nick to appear any moment* No, I should get back downstairs. Bing is watching my children right now, but I shouldn't leave him for too long.
Frodi is pleased to hear that. She knows how much Bing has missed his kids and Alessea.
FRODI: Okay kids, say goodbye to Alessea.
LILLA, ROSIE, MICHAEL, VINCENT: Bye bye aunt Alessea
MOLLY, HARRY: Bye bye
FRODI: Michael, and Lilla, can you watch your little sister, while I see Alessea out?
Michael and Lilla nod, and run over to Eurus's playpen. Rosie and Vincent start playing with Molly and Harry.
Meanwhile, Frodi sees Alessea back to the elevator. Things are still awkward between them, but it appears both of them want to try.
FRODI: *to herself* I should tell Nick about this. It's only fair he knows that Alessea is back.
Frodi looks up at the clock, and sighs. Still no sign of Nick. Is he still in the office? Frodi's worried that he's pushing himself too hard. She picks up the phone, and dials his number.
RING RING... RING RING
Nick snorts, and jerks awake. The ringing phone sounds like gunfire echoeing round his head. Why does it have to be so loud? He picks up the phone.
FRODI: Nick, it's me, Frodi?
NICK: Frodi? What is it?
Nick & Frodi's apartment...
Frodi can tell straight away he's hungover. She knows he's been drinking a lot recently (although she doesn't know he's been passed out all night), and it worries her. Memories of Nick lying in a coma because of drink and drugs plague her mind. She CAN'T let that happen again! She CAN'T let history repeat itself.
On the phone...
FRODI: I missed you last night. Are you okay?
NICK: *whispers* Yeah, I'm fine.
FRODI: Are you coming home for breakfast?
NICK: *whispers* No, I have a lot of work to do here.
FRODI: You work too hard Nick. I'm worried about you.
NICK: *whispers* Well you shouldn't be. I'm fine.
FRODI: ... Will you come home for lunch?
NICK: *whispers* I don't know...
FRODI: *sighs* Please Nick?
NICK: *whispers* I'll see what I can do.
FRODI: Love you.
But Nick has already hung up.
Nick rests his head in his hands. Is he really so busy, he can't spare time for some lunch with his wife? He sighs. Why does life have to be so complicated. His eyes fall upon a key lying on the desk... Selina's key. He picks it up, looks at it, and thinks.
Nick & Frodi's Apartment...
Frodi leans against the wall. Her concerns for Nick are growing daily. And she misses him -she hasn't seen much of him lately. Plus, she needs to tell him Alessea is back, before he accidently runs into her. Frodi sighs.
VOICE FROM THE LIVING ROOM: Muuuummmmy, when's breakfast?
FRODI: *walks back into the living room* Soon Vincent. I'm just gonna make it now. Scrambled eggs okay with everyone?
Everyone nods their approval.
After breakfast, Frodi clears away the dishes, still thinking about Nick. Suddenly, she has an idea. It's a game she hopes will help unite the kids, and help Lilla warm up to Molly and Harry. She sits down in the living room, and gathers the kids round, bouncing little Eurus on her knee.
FRODI: Okay, we're going to play a game. I call it 'Mummy Says'. What happens is, I say a sentence that begins with the words 'Mummy Says', and you all have to do as I say. But if I DON'T start with 'Mummy Says', then you stand still, and don't do anything. Sound like fun?
The game begins...
Frodi still has little Eurus on her knee, and wherever possible, she does the action on Eurus as well, so Eurus won't feel left out.
FRODI: Mummy says... stand on one leg. *holds Eurus's leg out*
Everyone stands on one leg.
FRODI: Mummy says...raise your arms in the air. *raises Eurus's arms*
Everyone raises their arms.
FRODI: Mummy says... touch your nose. *touches Eurus's nose*
Everyone touches their noses.
FRODI: ... Shout your name at the top of your voice.
MICHAEL: *shouts* MICHAEL! Oh!
Michael realises too late, that the sentance never began with 'Mummy Says'. He's 'out'. He sits next to Frodi and Eurus, watching the others play.
FRODI: Mummy says... sit down.
Everyone sits down.
FRODI: Mummy says... stand up.
Everyone stands up.
FRODI: Mummy says... blow a kiss to Eurus and Michael.
Everyone does that.
FRODI: ... Spin around and face the back wall.
Molly spins around, meaning she's 'out'.
The game continues, until there is only one person left playing - Lilla. Everyone had fun, and it brought the kids together as a group. Frodi's glad her game was a success, but she wishes Nick was with them. Frodi plays another game with the kids, and the morning just flys by.
As Frodi is making lunch for the kids, she hears the elevator doors open. Nick limps into the kitchen, still a little worse for wear. The kids greet him warmly, Frodi kisses him passionately, glad that he's here. She tells him that Alessea's back. Nick isn't exactly thrilled to hear that, but for Bing's sake, he doesn't make too much of a fuss.
After lunch, the kids run off to play. Nick heads through to the living room, and pours himself a whisky. He leans on his cane, gulping it down. Frodi bites her lip. He's drinking again?
FRODI: *takes the whisky glass from him* How about a nice massage, instead of that whisky?
NICK: How about both?
NICK: *grumbles* Okay, I'll settle for the message... for now.
Nick sits down, and Frodi starts massaging his back.
FRODI: I'm really worried about you Nick. You're pushing yourself too hard.
NICK: In what way?
FRODI: The kids and I miss you Nick. You spend all your time in your office, you work god knows how many hours... and... you're drinking again.
FRODI: *bites her lip* So... you haven't been drinking like this for a few years.
NICK: Nothing wrong with a drink, every now and then.
Frodi pulls up a chair, and sits opposite him. She takes his hand, and strokes it.
FRODI: Nick, the last time you were drinking like this, I almost lost you. I don't want that to happen again. *kisses his hand*
Nick looks at his hand. It's the same hand Selina was stroking last night.
FRODI: Is there something bothering you Nick? You can tell me anything, you know.
NICK: I own Zarano Global - a multi-national company. I have to put in the hours, if I want it to be successful. And yes, sometimes I like to unwind with a drink.
FRODI: *strokes his arm* But do you have to work this hard? I just don't like seeing you so stressed Nick. *kisses him*
NICK: I'm fine. *takes her hand*
Frodi looks down at the ground. Nick is not fine, and she knows it.
FRODI: You're miserable here, aren't you?
FRODI: With this... all of this. This way of life.
NICK: It pays the bills.
FRODI: *looks into his eyes, and strokes his face* You don't ever have to pretend with me Nick. Not with me. I know there's something wrong. *gently kisses him* I also know you've never been an office person. *kisses him again*
FRODI: Talk to me Nick. Please? I'm worried about you.
NICK: I should get back to the office. So much work to do.
Nick leans on his cane, and hauls himself up from the chair. He kisses Frodi goodbye, glad that she doesn't know about his visit from Selina, and makes his way back to the elevator.
Frodi puts her hand up against the elevator door, still worried about Nick, and wishing she could do something to help. She sighs, and goes to check on the kids.
Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:39 AM
Fog surrounds the mysterious island.
Inland, small stone buildings are scattered around the island.. all surrounded by a massive stone wall. This stone wall keeps out the native islanders.. while armed guards walk the fence, keeping watch over the facility.
In the center of the island, lies a large pit in the ground. The hole seems to run deep underground.
A hooded-man stands over the pit. Other men approach.. guards of Chinese descent.
Guard: Master Ra's al Ghul.. *bows* We have received word from the States.
The man lowers his hood, revealing a younger Ra's al Ghul.
Ra's al Ghul: Did he kill our men?
Guard: *looks down* I'm afraid so sir. You knew?
Ra's al Ghul: *looks into the pit* I knew that manic couldn't keep a deal. I gave him use of my Lazarus Pit, bringing back two people for him.. in exchange for something of usefulness to me. I knew he'd do something stupid to ruin it. The man is insane.
Guard: Should we do something sir?
Ra's fishes into his pocket, and takes out the Triforce.. it shines through the fog.
Ra's al Ghul: No. Not yet. But we shall have our day.
Nick walks into his office.
Shortly after, Alfred walks in.
Nick: Does it hurt to knock?
Alfred: Yes. It does. You sarcastic bastard.
Nick: Excuse me?
Alfred: So what's the plan Nick? Are you out to destroy your life, your family, and this company along with it?
Nick: Alfred, I have no idea what you are talking about.
Alfred: If you weren't passed out, maybe you would have read the paper. I kept this away from Frodi, but it's only time til she finds out.
Alfred throws a newspaper on the desk.
Nick reads the headline. Nick's picture is on the front page. "CEO orders hit on Criminal Kingpin: Tale of Bloodmoney"
Nick: .. Okay, first off, I wanted him found. Not dead. I never ordered a hit. Second, he's not a kingpin. Nor do we share money. Third.. who the hell leaked this?
Alfred: I don't know. But we have a problem on our hands. Dom is ready to panic, and Lucius is trying to find the leak.
Nick puts his head on the desk.
Nick: This is a nightmare.
Alfred: Not only is the press going to eat us alive, but many of your staff are quite pissed that you never told anyone about this. We couldn't prepare!
Nick: Alfred, how the fuck was I going to know that this was going to happen? I don't have a crystal ball.
Alfred: But you do have Selina. Right?
Alfred: Nick, I know about her. So I'm going to ask for an honest answer. Did you give the orders because of Selina?
Nick: ... Partially. She gave me some more information of what Joker has done. She pushed me over the edge.
Alfred: Are you having an affair?
Nick: Yes Alfred. I fucked the woman in the cat suit right here on this desk. Is that what you want me to say?
Alfred: ... What happened to you Nick? What the hell happened to you?
Nick opens a bottle of whiskey.
Alfred: Ever since you adopted Leilah Dawn's children, you've begun acting this way.
Nick: It started way before that. *drinks* Maybe I have alot on my mind.
Alfred: Does Selina help you take it off your mind?
Nick: Alfred! Enough about Selina! I haven't even seen her more than twice. You shows up out of nowhere, steals stuff from me randomly, gives me information or something, and takes off. I don't know much else about her.
Alfred: Well then maybe you should use that key on your desk. Lucius believes she was the leak.
Nick: What? Selina shows up.. has me track down her husband.. then rats me out? It doesn't make any sense.. Wait.. *Nick thinks*
Suddenly, Nick stops..
Nick: She played me. That lying bitch.. she played me. Maybe she wanted Joker found.. but by god she wanted something else too. She knew I'd make the call.. she knew my contact would squirm if the cops showed up.. she knew he'd tell the press anything they wanted to hear!
Nick throws his glass into the wall, shattering it.
Nick: First she saves me, now she screws me over. She has to be working for someone.
Nick grabs his coat, and opens his desk drawer, taking his gun, and some bullets out.
Alfred: Wouldn't she be working for her husband?
Nick: No. I believe her on that front.. he hasn't contacted her. But that means she is working for someone else. Someone who wants to get to me.
Alfred: Where are you going?!
Nick: Downtown. Dom can run the office while I'm gone. Tell Frodi I'm at a meeting.
Nick runs down the steps, and out of the offices.
Selina walks off a ship, and into a small building.
A small candle is the only light in the room.
Ra's al Ghul: Is it done?
Selina: As you asked. You know I still have concerns about this. First I helped him, now I'm sending him into a trap.
Ra's al Ghul: Contract for hire? Is that not what it says on your resume?
Selina: You're right.. now I can expect my payment, and I'll be on my way.
Ra's al Ghul: Actually, there's a change of plans. At least.. your plans have changed.
Selina: No. I don't care what it is. Our partnership is over. We had a deal.
Ra's al Ghul: Blame your husband.
Selina: Ex-husband. And what does he have to do with anything?
Ra's al Ghul: First off, I have nothing against Nick Zarano. It's your husband, who.. as part of our deal, wanted me to contact you.. and set Mr. Zarano up. BUT.. you never know what Dr. Crane is going to do next.. what.. STUPID.. thing he will do next. Foolish really. You see.. things can change rather quickly in a few hours. Earlier, I thought your usefulness had run it's course. BUT.. after I received some news from New York, it seems you may be useful after all.
Selina: If you are hinting at what I think you are hinting at.. let me remind you. I have NO relations with my husband anymore. I do not know, nor care where he is. I can't believe instead of just trying to contact me, he'd have YOU do the dirty work.. basically making me do it all anyway.
Ra's al Ghul: Oh, but that doesn't matter. You see.. I'm an old man filled with years of knowledge. Now, thanks to your husbands deal, I am younger.. but with that knowledge. And that knowledge has given me experience.. I do no not agree with Mr. Crane's actions. I need some insurance.
Selina: *reaches for her knife* I do not like the way this is going.
Ra's al Ghul: You have no idea who you are dealing with. If I could find you.. and have you do something for your ex-husband without you even knowing it.. what else am I capable of? But sadly, your ex-husband broke our deal. The conditions have changed.
Men come up behind Selina, and grab her. She kicks, and fights back. Ra's watches, smirking to himself.
Selina manages to drop all of the men. As she prepares to attack Ra's, she walks straight into a sword.. a sword drawn by Ra's.
Ra's al Ghul: You have made.. a grave mistake.
Selina drops to the ground, as Ra's pulls the sword out of Selina's stomach. He watches her bleed on the floor.
Ra's al Ghul: Funny how life turns out. Now.. you need me. You see, you will slowly bleed out.. and die. All out of your own mistakes. But I have the power to save you. Using the same method in which I fulfilled my end of your husbands deal.
Selina: ... Wh.. who.. are you..
Ra's al Ghul: You thought I was weak. I was stupid. As you can see, you are over-matched. *yells* Men! Prepare the pit!
After a few minutes, Ra's carries the bleeding Selina out into the woods. Men follow behind Ra's, all chanting softly.
Men: Deh-Shay Deh-Shay Bah-Sah-Rah! Deh-Shay Deh-Shay Bah-Sah-Rah!
Once they reach the pit, Ra's holds Selina over it.
Ra's al Ghul: Behold the Lazarus Pit. Whoever masters this pit, can bring a limited amount of people back from the underworld. But those that are on the edge of death, can stay alive by being dropped into it.. even those in good health can jump in.. but those that do, will face consequences.. your energy will be drained to those that have passed on. Leaving you alive, able to crawl.. but barely able to do anything else. This will be your home Miss Kyle, until someone.. most notably your husband, makes me see otherwise.
Ra's al Ghul: Til we meet again, Miss Kyle.
Ra's throws Selina into the pit. She falls into the darkness, screaming.. but then stopping.
She can see the sunlight from the bottom of the pit.. and the powers of the pit.. begin taking her over.
Ra's al Ghul: Oh.. and the pit has some other effects. Including making you slowly begin to lose your grip on reality.
Nick uses a key to open the door to an old rundown apartment building in downtown Manhattan.
He takes out his gun, and a flash light.. slowly making his way inside the dark apartment. Nick hits a light switch, and finds the apartment mostly empty. Some bottles of wine on the floor.. empty Chinese take-out containers.. and random newspapers, with headlines circled.
Nick checks each room, discovering the apartment is empty.
He notices an answering machine on the counter. The red light is blinking. Nick presses the play button.
Answering Machine You have two missed calsl. 1 call received this morning. *man's voice* Selina, it's me. I hope the deed is done, and Mr. Zarano's name is being blasted as we speak. I need you to come to the island. We need to talk about your ex-husband. BEEP.
Nick looks down on the floor, and notices a piece of notebook paper. It appears to have Selina's handwriting.
-Leak information about Nick's actions to the press.
-Get back to Ra's.
Nick: ... So it's true. But who's Ra's?
Answering Machine: You have one remaining call. 1 call received this evening. *Joker's voice, singing* Only you, can make this world seem right. Only you, can make the darkness bright. Only you and you alone, can thrill me like you do, and fill my heart with love for only you. Hehehehhe ho hehehehehe. Selina.. I know it's been a long time. But in case you get this, I'm sorry I have been silent lately. I've just been.. busy. Anyway, I was just wanting to let you in on a tiny wee little secret.. I'm the one, as part of my deal with Ra's, who wants that information leaked to the press.. about Nick Zarano. You see, truth is, we're mean't to be. Not me and you. Me and Nick. Hehehehe! But he just doesn't know it yet. But soon.. he will. Anyway, I just thought you'd love to know.. you did all of this for me! I bet you're just thrilled to know that! Anyway, gotta go! Explosives don't wire themselves! BEEP.
Nick stands in shock, and drops the flash light. Nick slides down the wall, and sits on the floor.. looking at his gun. Nick thinks back, to all of the terrible things Joker has done. Nick clenches his fist. Seconds later, Nick takes out his cellphone.
ONE HOUR LATER..
Lucius stands in the apartment, Nick still on the floor. Lucius has listened to the answering machine messages.
Lucius: This is serious.
Nick: Joker is insane yes. Psychopathic. But stupid, no. He knew Selina could convince me.. to convince me to track HIM down! He knew that plan was a failure from the start. He knew I'd never be able to find him, but it actually served another purpose.. partially destroy my company. Joker set himself up, to actually ruin me. I can't even wrap my head around this. Only Joker would do something this insane. If I actually HAD ordered a hit, Joker would have basically contracted a hit on himself.
Lucius: I'm more concerned about this Ra's character. Have you ever heard of him?
Nick: It doesn't ring any bells.
Lucius: This is bad Nick. Real bad. The press is destroying our creditably. Companies are backing out of our investments.. and even if you wanted my security team to find Jonathan.. it's impossible now. Most of the team walked when the news broke. They don't want to be working for you.
Nick: The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes. This is all what Jonathan and Selina have been trying to tell me.. people don't change. I'll always be a killer, a liar, and a cheater. It's in my blood.
Lucius: You have the strength to change Nick. I know you do. But you played right into Selina's hands.
Nick: It wasn't sexual. Believe me. Honestly, she kinda freaks me out. But.. I felt as if I owed it to her. And plus, I wanted to find her husband too. So I believed her.
Lucius: But Nick, she played on your emotion to wipe out everyone and anyone. You have a reputation to kill. That hasn't left.
Nick: I don't feel I have to wipe everybody out, Lucius. Just my enemies.
Lucius: So Doctor Crane, Selina, and even the mysterious Ra's are now your enemies. What are you going to do now?
Nick: If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone. You see, previously I treated Joker like a nuisance. Like a less-lethal, more useful Franco. I never found a need to kill him.. but this changes everything. He didn't just target me. He targeted my relationship with my friends. My company. He went after people who were close to me. And on the other side..he put a young woman in a coma, killed a good father, and helped kill Eurus. I can't overlook him anymore. He has to be dealt with.
Lucius: As I see it, you've had one good year. Do not blow this now Nick. I thought you wanted redemption.
Nick: Redemption is for those that deserve it. I'm far beyond that point of deserving it.
Nick finally stands up.
Lucius: Nick, I am going to be honest here... THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO HANDLE THE SITUATION! We could take what we have, and go to the police. Go to Interpol.
Nick: Lucius, wake up. If someone is going around this earth saying, "I'm going to fuck Nick Zarano and his family," what do we do with a piece of shit like that? He's a fuckin' dog.
Lucius: Fine Nick. Go ahead. Go after Joker. But do not expect me to sit back, and watch you destroy your life, your family, and this company.
Nick: What are you saying?
Lucius: My services are no longer needed. So, it's time we part ways. Give my best to your wife. God help her.
Lucius leaves the apartment.
Nick picks up a wine bottle, and throws it at the wall. He begins taking his frustration out on the apartment.
Nick: This isn't my company! *smash* It's Hengsha's! I didn't earn it! I didn't deserve it! *smash* I don't deserve Frodi. I don't deserve any of this! I NEVER DID! I NEVER WILL!
Nick breaks down on his knees, and begins to cry, angry with himself.
Nick: She's loving the wrong man. I'll never change. I'll never learn. I should have never came back to life. I should have stayed dead. She would have met someone else. A hobbit. Not a fucked up human, who isn't capable of loving her. I never wanted kids. I never wanted a wife. I never wanted happiness. I don't deserve any of it.
Nick grabs random objects around the apartment, smashing them to pieces.
He collapses onto the floor, and tries to calm himself down.
Back at the Zarano Global offices, Frodi walks around the empty office. She saw the news.. she knows what is happening. Nick's empire is collapsing, after only a year of success.
Frodi turns around, and sees Nick. The offices are dark.. both of them stand apart, in the dark office. A blueish light shines in from the outside lights.
Frodi: Nick.. what is happening to you? What.. is happening to us?
Nick: I can't do this Frodi.
Frodi: Do what?! I've tried to be the supportive wife Nick. I've tried to help you. I've tried to listen.. but you keep shutting me out. What is going on with you? This all started when your kids came to live with us.
Nick: They are not my kids Frodi. They never will be. They are LEILAH'S kids. And GABE'S. I can't put on a happy face anymore, and pretend everything is alright. It's not. I can't live like this. I can't wake up, with seven damn kids in the apartment.. two of them being a walking reminder of my lies, and just live this charade. I can't forget what happened. I can't forget what I've done. Everything.. is eating me alive.
Frodi: Nick, I love you..
Nick: *backs away*Don't touch me.
Frodi: Nick.. what the hell is wrong with you?!
Nick: I don't deserve this Frodi! Any of it! I'm not a hero! I never even worked a damn legit job! If it wasn't for Hengsha, we'd be on the street. That's the kind of man I am. But you can't see that. No matter how many times I screw you over, lie to you, cheat on you.. you keep coming back for more pain. You should have divorced me years ago. We should have never met even! We both would have been better off.
Frodi: ... I don't believe what you are saying Nick. I chose not to. *starts crying* I chose to believe it's the damn alcohol doing this to you!
Nick: I'm not drunk goddamn it! I.. I HAD TO KILL MY FATHER! MY GRANDFATHER! And I chose to kill even more people! Because what? They got in my way? Life isn't fair Frodi. But shit I sure tried to spin the wheel in my direction. And where did it land us? In hell. I'm living in hell. Alessea was right. So many times. You just kept coming back for more.
Frodi: ... She's back you know.
Nick: Oh, good. Maybe I should go put a bullet in her head too.
Frodi: NICK! STOP!
Nick: Did Bing tell her? How he came crying to me over the last year? He pretty much begged me to force her hand, and get his kids back. I thought he even wanted me to kill her! But now they'll probably be all lovey-dovey. Figures.
Frodi: Nick, you have to pull yourself together. For our children.
Nick: It's my fault our children have had to deal with so many things. My fault they've had to move 100 times. They would be better off without me.
Frodi: Nick, I love you. We all love you. We can get through this.. together.
Nick: There's nothing to get through. I'm tired. Tired of giving a damn. Tired of fighting yet another villain. I officially retire. *takes off his wedding ring* Do me a favor. Find someone who can return the love you give. Because, I'm surely not that man.
Nick puts the wedding ring in Frodi's hands.
Nick: If you hear on the news that Joker has been killed, you know what I've been up to.
Nick leaves the offices, despite Frodi trying to stop him.
Frodi sits at the kitchen table, not having slept all night. Alfred comes off the elevator, with a sad look in his eyes. He places a newspaper on the table, in front of Frodi.
Alfred: I'm sorry Frodi. But I thought I'd let you know, that Nick left us some orders.. Dom has taken over the company. He's going to try to fix up the company. In the mean time, your apartment here is still going to be yours, despite Mr. Zarano taking off. Also.. Nick left me a letter. Asked me to help you with the kids.. and surprisingly, asked Bing.. and Alessea, to help as well.
Frodi: I don't know what to feel Alfred. Normally, when Nick has pulled stunts like this.. I've felt sad.. broken. This time.. I'm angry. I'm angry that he has done this yet again. I know what he's been through, but this doesn't give him an excuse to walk. Like his own father did. I thought he wanted to be a better man.
Alfred: I'm sorry Frodi. Deeply sorry.
Frodi: Do you know where he went?
Alfred: I'm afraid I don't. But, the company plane left last night. I assume he left the country. But on a lighter note, we're supposed to be planning the Zarano Global Holiday Party. Originally Nick left all the party plans up to you.
Frodi: I honestly don't feel like celebrating.
Alfred: Whether Nick is here or not, Dom wants this party to go on. We need to rebuild the company. With Nick out, it does break some of the tension between us and the press. And you and the kids have to be at the party. Bing and Alessea are supposed to come. Maybe focusing on this party, will help you feel better.
Frodi: When's the party?
Alfred: Two weeks from now. We need to get planning.
Frodi: ... And the kids.. what am I supposed to tell them? That they're father left randomly?
Alfred: Actually, Nick said his goodbyes to them before he met with you.. he had all intentions of leaving then.
Frodi's stomach sinks.
Frodi sits at the kitchen table, and feels lost in thought.
Nick limps with his cane through Vatican City.
It's a long process of Nick trying to get inside, even having to wait on line at a church confessional.
Eventually, Nick gets inside.
Nick kneels down, and blesses himself.
Nick: Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been.. many years since my last confessional.
Priest: What are your sins?
Nick: ... I, uh, betrayed my wife. I betrayed myself. I've killed men, and I ordered men to be killed. No, it's useless. I killed... I killed my father in law; he injured my wife. I killed my best friend. I killed my allies.
Nick: ... I've done unspeakable things, and I need to be able to live with myself.. for what I have done. But I've also done good.. you may know who I am.
Priest: ... I know who you are, yes. You are Nick Zarano.
It's a cold rainy day in The Shire. Fog has begun rolling in, as citizens run about their business.. mostly elves and hobbits, with some magic humans. This is mostly all that remains of the magical world.
Amathon's guards walk around, patrolling the towns, and the docks. Suddenly, a ship comes into view.
Guard #2: In this weather? *shouts* Show your colors!
The ship continues to press on.
Guard #2: *shouts* Show your colors!
A flag is a revealed.. with a skull and crossbones.
Guard #3: Holy mother of god..
Guard: Sound the bells! Grab the guns! Prepare for defense.
Before the guards can react, the ship turns sideways, and opens fires on the port. Explosive cannon balls set the port on fire, as citizens run inland, screaming.
The Shire begins to fall apart, as war takes place in the towns. The ship has docked, and a crew of men dressed in dark clothes attack any opposing forces.
The captain steps off the ship.. Captain Ra's al Ghul.
Ra's al Ghul: *to his men* Find me that ring. Kill anyone that gets in your way.
Man: Yes my lord.
Ra's al Ghul: Now if you will excuse me, I have to meet with someone.
As fire burns around them, Ra's passes by fighting hobbits, elves, and humans. He walks into the main government building, stabbing any unsuspecting guards.
Once inside, Ra's raises his hand, and closes his fist.. using some kind of power to choke and kill any guards standing in his way. He also makes a pushing motion, throwing men against the walls, and other objects.
Ra's breaks down the doors of Amathon's office.
Amathon: ... Who the hell are you?
Ra's, using his powers, lifts the elf leader into the air, and begins choking him.
Ra's al Ghul: My name is Ra's al Ghul. Now if you will be so kind, tell me where the One Ring is. If you don't, I will kill you, and find the ring myself. But ideally I'd like to leave the rest of your country untouched. Tell me where to find the ring, and my men won't destroy The Shire any further. Keep the location a secret.. and The Shire will burn to the ground once more.
Ra's lowers his hand, causing Amathon to drop to the ground.
Ra's takes out his sword, and places the tip against Amathon's throat.
Ra's al Ghul: One push into the windpipe and everything you've worked so hard to build will come crashing down. I suggest you take my advice, and tell me where the ring is.
Amathon: You.. think you can immediate me? With all your darkness.. your powers..
Ra's al Ghul: Darkness? You want darkness? That is fine by me, I was born in darkness. I grew up in darkness. Ah you think light is your ally? You merely adopted the light. I was born in darkness, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!
Ra's cuts off one of Amathon's arms with the sword. He screams out in pain.
Ra's al Ghul: That ring. Now.
Amathon: You'll have to kill me first. You pathetic excuse for a man. A human. You are the scum of society!
Ra's al Ghul: Fine. I'll do what you say.
Ra's stabs Amathon in the stomach, causing him to gasp.
Ra's al Ghul: Embrace the sensation.. and slowly, filled with regrets.. die.
Amathon takes his last breath, and dies.
Ra's carries Amathon's body out into town centre, and throws it on the pavement. People pause all around the town.
Ra's al Ghul: Elves.. hobbits.. magics.. take control... take control of your world. Behold, the instrument of your liberation! Identify yourself to the world! *holds up picture of the One Ring* Bring me this ring, and you shall all be set free. You shall be saved from the threat of being wiped out. It's time for a new government. And, I'm letting everyone have their chance at being apart of it. FIND THE ONE RING! And if any of you don't like it, feel free to challenge my men. It won't end well for you.
To be continued..
Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:01 AM
One week has passed since Nick left New York. At first, Frodi and the children couldn't leave the office building without being attacked by paparazzi and reporters. Now, the attacks are dying down. Dom is leading the company through a serious rough patch. His leadership has made him a star within the company. So much so, the board may even consider ousting Nick as CEO, and replacing him with Dom.
Meanwhile, Frodi decides to take action. She leaves the kids with Alfred, Bing, and Alessea. Frodi heads to Lucius's apartment.
Frodi walks into the apartment, after being greeted by Lucius.
Lucius: Can I get you anything? Water? Soda?
Frodi: No thank you. I'm here about Nick.
Lucius: ... He went off to kill Joker, right? That's what he told you?
Frodi: He hinted at it.
Lucius: That's what I thought as well. Til I heard that the Zarano Global private jet left the airstrip one week ago. Rumor has it Joker is stateside. I don't think Nick went after Joker.
Frodi: That's why I'm here. I want you to help me find him.
Lucius: ... I left because of what Nick said he was going to do. Killing someone when you have a company to run is not a smart move. I wasn't going to sit around, and be apart of the fallout.
Frodi: I'm not asking you to come back Lucius. I just want to know where Nick went. I think you could help me.
Lucius: ... Nick is being self-destructive right now. God knows, you know him better than I do. But still, I don't think finding him would be the best thing.
Frodi: Look, Nick has been through alot. I'm not excusing his behavior, but most people haven't had to deal with the problems Nick's had to deal with. And the drinking didn't help.
Frodi: Wait.. you know where he is.. don't you?
Lucius: ... I may have seen the flight-plan. Out of curiosity.
Frodi: Then you have to tell me. You have to tell me where Nick went.
Lucius: ... You won't like the answer.
Frodi: Try me.
Lucius: ... He went to Rome.
Frodi: .... Why Rome?
Lucius: At first I wasn't sure. Til I discovered, that Leilah Dawn was moved to a research facility in Rome. She's still in a coma, but they are trying to awaken her. My guess is, Nick went to see her.
Nick walks into a hospital room, and sees Leilah.. laying in bed, hooked up to machines.. one machine is measuring her brain wave activity.
Nick sits down in a chair next to the bed.
He looks down at the floor.
Nick: Leilah, it's me. Nick. I know it's been awhile.. since we've talked.
Silence, aside from the beeps of the machines.
Nick: *takes a breath* I'm sorry Leilah. I'm sorry because of what I've done.. and what happened to you. I'm sorry, because for years I blamed you. I called you crazy, I said it was all you.. when in reality, it was me. I was being a typical man. I was enjoying having two women fight over me. I saw you falling in love with me, yet I let it happen.. knowing I could never love you. I loved someone else.. always have, always will. So I lied to you. I slept with you. It felt good, and that's all I cared about. So yeah, I told you I loved you.. I told you what you wanted to hear. Then, I turned it all around on you. And I continued to believe my own lies.. til I found out that you left our children.. in my custody. Not even your own mother's. So now I see how much you loved me. And what did I do? I spit on it. I'll never forgive myself for it. It's been alot to deal with.. having our kids around. Harry and Molly. *tries to smile* Molly is already starting to look just like you. Though Harry kinda looks more like Gabe, than me. Strangely. But.. I'm getting over my issues. And I'm learning I have to deal with everything in my own way, without being destructive. Our kids need me, to be a good father. Frodi is already a good mother to them. She put everything behind her, and is embracing it. Which kinda makes me even more look like the pathetic father that I am.
Silence, aside from the beeps of the machines.
Nick: Frodi is taking care of our children Leilah. And I hope, one day you will wake up.. and you can take back your kids. Being with you, is where they belong. But for now, they are having fun with their half-siblings. The apartment is really chaotic, with seven kids. *tries to laugh*
Silence, aside from the beeps of the machines.
Nick: I'm sorry for all of this Leilah. I promise you.. one day, the man who did this to you.. and Gabe.. will pay. He won't breathe another breath once I'm finished with him. *walks over to her bed, and touches her hand* You will always have a place in my heart Leilah. And I promise to be a good father to our children. I needed.. to get this out. I hope one day, you wake up. Goodbye Leilah.
Nick kisses her forehead, and leaves the room.
Suddenly, the brain wave monitor shows some brain wave movement.
Nick walks into his hotel room, and walks over to the liquor cabinet.
He opens the cabinet doors, and stares at the bottles.
Nick looks up.. and closes the doors, walking away.
Nick goes into the bathroom, and strips down. He gets into the shower, and tries to clear his mind.
As the water pours down on him, Nick has a flash back.
Nick holds a gun, pointed at Gondien.
Nick jumps. He feels the bang from the gunshot, as he shivers.
As Nick continues to wash up, he hears a knock at the hotel room door.
Unsure of who it is, Nick grabs a towel to wrap-around his lower half. He heads out into the room, and opens the door.. shocked to see his wife standing there.
Frodi: I finally found you. *notices Nick being shirtless, and naked aside from the towel*
Nick: Oh.. I was just taking a shower. Come in.
Frodi walks inside, as Nick closes the door.
Nick: How did you find me?
Frodi: I was determined.
Nick: ... I notice.
Frodi: So what are you doing here? Besides taking a shower?
Nick: ... I went to a church. I had some.. private, conversations with some clergy. I also confessed to a priest. About what I've done, throughout my life. I know I won't really be able to fix what I've done, but it felt good confessing.. and finally dealing with everything. I also.. went to see Leilah.
Frodi: How is she?
Nick: Same. I told her.. about you being a good mother to our children. And I admitted to playing her, before everything went down. It was wrong of me, and I can only hope that she will forgive me.
Frodi: I have to ask.. why did you do this Nick? Why take off, and suddenly do this?
Nick: I'm getting older Frodi. I'm.. I'm not in good health. I'm starting to look back at the first chapter in my life.. and I screwed it up. Big time. I was carrying around guilt. I'm trying not to carry it anymore. I feel... I'm getting wiser now.
Frodi: The more injured and older you get, the wiser you get, huh?
Nick: When I'm dead, I'm gonna be really smart.
Nick walks over to the window, leaning on his cane.
Frodi: Did you stop drinking?
Nick: I've been sober for about 7 days.
Frodi: I'm glad.
Frodi walks closer to Nick.
It begins to rain outside, and thunder. Storms are moving in.
Nick: I told Leilah basically, that I never loved her. And basically that I've only loved one woman.
Frodi puts a hand on Nick's back.
Nick: We never even had a honeymoon. Even when we got married, a child was on the way. We've never had time for just each other. But I love our children, and I'm not saying anything against them. It'd just be nice if we had our own time once and awhile.
Frodi: I know Nick. And life is going to be more difficult, with Harry and Molly. But we'll get through the rough patches. Those poor children have been through enough. They deserve a good life. A life we can give them.
Nick: I know. *turns around to face her* I'm sorry for taking off, like I did. Things.. just got to me. I know that when we go back to New York.. I have to make some changes.
Nick slowly unbuttons Frodi's top, and watches it slide onto the floor.
Frodi: ... Nick..
Nick grabs Frodi and kisses her passionately. He picks her up, his back against the wall, as they kiss like they haven't kissed before. Nick's towel falls to the floor, as Nick kisses Frodi's neck.
Nick carries Frodi to the bed, and the both of them kiss each other wildly. Eventually Frodi makes her way down below, and gives Nick a special "present". Nick moans, as he pushes her head further down. Frodi sucks hard, enjoying being back with her husband. Nothing else is on their minds.
Minutes later, Nick returns the favor to Frodi, as she grabs the sheets of the bed, biting her lips in ecstasy.
Later that evening, Nick puts his wedding ring back on, as the happy couple kisses in bed.
Nick: They'll never be anyone else like you Frodi. You're the only one for me. And I promise.. I'm going to be a better husband. So much so, I think we should enjoy my hotel room for the next day or so. Maybe a mini-honeymoon.. we could go out, or stay in, and order in room service.. whatever you want. It's.. *kisses her stomach* all.. *kisses her legs* about.. *goes lower* you.. *gives her more lip-biting ectasy*
Back in New York..
Joker lines-up clown masks, weapons, and tear gas cans onto a table.
Joker: People have an innate desire for conflict. So what they are fighting is not me, but rather mankind. War, on an industrial scale, is inevitable. I'm just supplying the bullets and bandages, and pushing everyone into place.
Joker: One week to go! Oh how exciting this is going to be. It's going to be killer.
Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:47 PM
Frodi & Nick lie in the bed, entwined in each other. Frodi is glad to see that Nick seems to be coping with things better. She had felt so helpess, watching him lose himself in alcohol as the darkness took hold of him... desperately wanting to help him, but not being able to. But talking to the clergy and the priest, and going to see Leilah seems to have helped him, and she is glad of that.
Frodi grabs the bedsheets, as Nick kisses her down below. She leans her head back, moaning softly. Outside, the storm is closing in on them.
FRODI: *pants* I want you Nick... only you. I don't want to... ooohhhhh... to share you with other ho... hotel guests. *wraps her legs around his back* Mmmmini ho...honeymoon is... OOOOOHHHH... wonderful! *pushes his head down*
NICK: Staying i...in, it is then... mmmmmm *kisses her*
FRODI: *moans in ecstasy* You're the... the only one Nick. You're the only one I can... OOOOOOHHHHHHHH... love. *runs her hand through his hair*
Frodi kisses his neck, and shoulders, and chest, and belly button, making her way down below. She kisses and sucks hard, listening to his excited gasps of passion as he holds her head down.
FRODI: Ni... Nick...
Frodi grips tightly as she sucks, never wanting this to end.
Both of them are ready. Nick pulls her up, and nuzzles her neck. Frodi throws her head back, calling his name... as he enters her. Thunder and lightning crash on the window outside, drowning out their cries of passion and ecstasy.
New York, Alfred's Apartment...
Alfred is looking after Molly, Harry, Vincent, and Rosie... while Bing & Alessea have Eurus, Michael, and Lilla.
ALFRED: So what would you children like for tea then?
ROSIE: CHOCOLATE! Mummy lets us have chocolate for tea.
VINCENT: And sweeties.
ALFRED: Oh, really? *chuckles to himself*
ROSIE AND VINCENT: *nods solomnly* Yes uncle Alfred.
Harry and Molly try to stifle their giggles, wondering if they will really get chocolate and sweeties for tea.
Alfred knows they are just trying their luck, since Nick & Frodi are not around. Chocolate and sweeties for tea, indeed.! He decides to play them at their own game.
ALFRED: Well that's odd. *scratches his head* Your mum told me to give you spinich... and brocolli... and beetroot for tea, along with dry bread and water.
Alfred chuckles, and the children's faces fall... even Harry and Molly. But he doesn't have the heart to tease them any longer.
ALFRED: I'll tell you what... why don't I make us some nice bacon and eggs, instead?
CHILDREN: YAY! Bacon and eggs! Thankyou uncle Alfred. Spinich and broccoli is yuck!
MOLLY: *tugs nervously on Alfred's sleeve* You weren't... really... goes to give us spinich and brocolli... were you?
ALFRED: Hehehe. You caught old uncle Alfred out there, Molly. No, I wasn't really gooing to give you spinich and brocolli.
Hotel In Rome...
A magical thing happened - Nick and Frodi both climaxed at the same time. Now they lay wrapped in each other's arms.
NICK: So how's the mini-honeymoon so far? *kisses her forehead*
FRODI: *reaches up to kiss his lips* WONDERFUL! BEYOND WONDERFUL! *looks into his eyes* You are the best thing that ever happened to me Nick Zarano! You are the best thing in my life! *lovingly strokes his cheek*
Nick smiles, and moves his hand to brush some hair away from Frodi's face. His gentle touch sends her pulse racing.
FRODI: I'm not going to ask what you talked about with the clergy - I respect that it's private. I'm just glad you found someone you could talk to, instead of keeping everying bottled up inside. *strokes his arms* Are you seeing the clergy again?
NICK: I'm not sure. Maybe. *strokes her hair*
Frodi's hand goes up to clasp his hand, and her fingers brush against his wedding ring. She looks at it, and smiles.
FRODI: *touching the ring* How does it feel, to be wearing it again? *bites lip*
Nick looks at his ring, then puts his hand over Frodi's hand.
NICK: It still fits. *smiles, and kisses her* That means, it feels good.
FRODI: I'm sorry for just showing up like I did. I know I'm probably the last person you expected to see. But I just couldn't give up on us Nick. You mean too much to me. *kisses him* You're worth fighting for.
NICK: I'm glad you came.
FRODI: I'm proud of you, for quitting the drink. *squeezes his hand*
NICK: *looks down* The drink didn't help any. I'm learning to deal with things without alchohol, and without being self-destructive. *pauses* It was hard... seeing Leilah... seeing her hooked up to all those machines.
Frodi takes a deep breath, remembering the pain of seeing Nick like that... in a coma, hooked up to machines. She looks into his eyes, stroking his hair.
FRODI: We have to keep on hoping she'll wake up.
NICK: I have so much to atone for.
FRODI: What happened to Leilah isn't your fault Nick. You can't blame yourself. *wraps her arms round him, trying to comfort him*
NICK: But things ended badly between us, and that *IS* my fault. I knew she was falling for me, and I did nothing about it. I continued to let her believe she had a chance, knowing I didn't love her... knowing how much it would hurt you and Gabe. *sighs* That's just one more thing I have to deal with. I hope she can forgive me one day.
FRODI: I forgave you a long time ago Nick. *kisses him* What we have is too good to just throw away. And I know Leilah will forgive you as well. *plays with his hair* But I need you to forgive yourself, too.
Nick looks at Frodi.
FRODI: Leilah fell for you, and I can't blame her for that. She saw your heart, just like I do. *touches Nick's heart, and smiles*
Nick stays silent for a moment. Then...
NICK: Do you realise, it's well after tea-time, young lady?
FRODI: *looks up at the clock* Oh! No, I hadn't realised. I'm enjoying being here with you so much. *kisses him* I love our kids Nick. ALL our kids. But having this time together... just you and me, it's... it's...
NICK: ... Just what we need?
FRODI: *nods in agreement* Just what we need. *cuddles into Nick's arms*
NICK: Why don't I order us some room service? *kisses her forehead*
Frodi nods. Nick grabs the phone by the bed, and orders room service. As he puts the phone down, he puts his arm around Frodi, and lies slides back down in the bed.
NICK: I should get semi-decent for room service coming. Where's my towel?
NICK: It's alright for you - you can stay hidden under the bedsheets. But do you want the waiter to see me naked?
FRODI: *giggles* No.
Frodi looks around, and sees his towel near the window, where it had fallen earlier. His cane is also leaning against the window. Frodi brings them both over to him... just in time.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
VOICE: Room service.
Nick hauls himself up on his cane, and wraps the towel around his lower half. Frodi dives under the covers, as Nick opens the door. The next hour is spent with them enjoying themselves, feeding each other, touching each other, just spending time with each other. Finally they get to the dessert - strawberries. Lovely and juicy. They enjoy feeding strawberries to each other. Then Nick picks up a strawberry, and holds it out to Frodi. Frodi leans forward, ready to take a bite, but Nick pulls it away, and kisses her lips instead.
FRODI: MMMmmmmm. MUCH better than strawberries! *kisses him passionately*
The kiss lingers. Nick pushes her down onto the bed, and lies on top of her... still kissing. The kissing intensifies, as they explore each other all over... strawberries forgotten. Frodi makes her way down, and kisses and sucks, feeling him get harder, as she gets wetter. And for the second time that night, magic fills the room.
Afterwards, they lie in the bed, holding each other. Nick has his arm around her, and she puts her arm across his chest, and kisses his chest.
FRODI: *kisses* How do you do that, Nick? How do you make me feel so good?
Nick looks away, thinking about everything he has done. But Frodi pulls his face back towards her.
FRODI: *gently* Hey... I know you've been through a lot Nick. You've had to deal with so much. Most people couldn't cope with half of what you've been through. But you don't have to face anything alone. I still believe we can get through anything, as long as we're together.
Nick smiles, and kisses her.
Frodi suddenly has a flashback, from before Nick left. She shudders.
Nick: Find someone who can return the love you give.
FRODI: *cradles his face in her hands* Don't expect me to ever stop loving you, Nick. You're the only one for me. *looks up at him, and kisses his lips*
NICK: I feel the same way.
Another kissing session follows.
FRODI: Oh, almost forgot. Dom wanted me to arrange a holiday party for the office.
NICK: *rolls his eyes* When is it?
FRODI: Um, next week. I spent the last week arranging it. I really didn't feel like celebrating anything... with you being gone. But Dom was pretty insistant.
NICK: I like the party we're having right now. *nuzzles her neck*
FRODI: *giggles* Me too!
Nick glances out the window, and sees daylight.
NICK: Sun's coming up.
FRODI: We've been up all night? I can't believe it!
NICK: Why don't we have a nice shower together... a nice, hot, steamy shower? Just the two of us. No kids to disturb us.
Frodi smiles, and nods. Nick leans on his cane to pull himself out of bed. Then he pulls Frodi out of bed. He leads her through to the bathroom, and turns on the shower. He climbs in, and she climbs in after him. He pushes her against the wall, and they kiss passionately, as the water splashes down on them.
Frodi knows Nick still has a lot to deal with. She knows he still has to work through the issues that plague him. She doesn't know yet how much of a hold the darkness still has on him. She doesn't know how long he will stay in Rome. She doesn't know if he will go to talk with the clergy and the priest again. She doesn't know if he will visit Leilah again. But what she *does* know, is that she loves him with all her heart, and she will never, ever, ever turn her back on him.