finale chapter of generation three! warning: coarse language. i recommend reading this chapter on my blog, not reader, for the best quality. please check you have read chapter 3.24: fawn already. the timing of the first part is weird — it occurs soon after cherry and cinna’s last conversation, rewinding two years from the end of 3.24.
The first day at Luc’s house is a bright, balmy blue — the way Californian summers tend to be. I’ve been here before, once. Cherry led the way through long dry grass that rustled in the wind, happily chatting despite the fact she was visiting her ex’s house. She and Luc are on weirdly good terms. Me? I’d rather jump off a cliff than talk to my exes again. Having a boyfriend never ended well. They were always too pushy, too immature, too invasive. High school boys are fucking gross. Anyway. When I thread my way through the gently swaying pampas, all my worthy possessions from Sunset Valley slung from my shoulder, Luc’s waiting for me. His expression is as calm and cloudless as the sky.
The house is the nicest I’ve ever been in. It’s small, but with these tall beautiful windows that let sunlight cascade into the rooms. Quiet and minimal. The absence of colour is soothing. When the tide rises, sleepy waves come and go just below the sundeck — when the wind rushes, sand gathers against the glass and sneaks in through the door. To be honest the only reason I actually agreed to stay here is because I like the house. Cherry was saying something ridiculous like I think you two might really get along, with that thoughtful head tilt she always does. Yeah… no. I never get along with anyone, not least a man. Luc’s no exception, even if he’s hot as hell- I mean, even if he did catch my eye with how quiet he is, and rare intelligence many guys seem to sadly lack, and that violent black aura. Oh, yeah. I suppose I should explain this stupid supernatural ability I have.
I can see ghosts. Spirits are no problem — they’re just ephemeral imprints of souls that shimmer at the corner of my eye. They’re usually friendly to talk to and back in high school some even used to help me with my homework. The issue is what haunts people. Ghosts of the past. Cherry’s husband has this fading blueness of grief. Cherry herself has the burned-out fire of forgotten anger and bitterness. And Luc, midnight black of pain, guilt, exhaustion, loneliness. From the deepness of the colour and the way he wears it under his sleeves, clearly he’s still working through it. Mom always tells me that the sight is a gift, and I would make a great psychologist. Well, I don’t like people, so this gift fucking sucks. I hate being in crowds, because the countless regrets and secrets are searing to look at. I paint to let that all go. I’m just lucky that my personal therapy is popular with galleries and art collectors.
Once I dump my bags in my new bedroom, I face Luc with folded arms. “Let’s set down some rules of living together.” He slips a hand into his pocket in response, real casual, his gaze unwavering. “Alright, shoot.” “One, don’t touch me. I need my personal space. Two, don’t even dare to hit on me.” A simple nod. “Three, don’t walk around naked. Please. I don’t want to be blinded.” “What?” Luc gives me a weird look. “I’ve heard guys do that sometimes. In their houses.” “Uh… sure.” He’s trying not to laugh, I can tell from the twitching of his lips. “Anything you want to say?” I hastily decide to change the topic, because my imagination is wandering somewhere unwanted. Luc doesn’t seem to notice my blush and straightens the edge of his blazer thoughtfully. “Pull your own weight. Respect my privacy and I’ll respect yours.” The stare he fixes me with is suddenly intense. It confuses me until I notice the edges of him darkening. Something from the past nudging at his mind. “Okay, got it,” I say, and he smiles at me with relief barely veiled by that easy confidence. “Great.”