synopses

 

G E N  +  O N E

 

 

The legacy begins when the founder, Fern Kingston, arrives in Sunset Valley. She is fleeing from Moonlight Falls, her birthplace, where she grew up with her alcoholic gambler father and without her mother. Unfortunately, with the death of both her father and grandmother, 21 year old Fern is left with nobody but debt collectors chasing after her father’s debts. Taking a taxi to the idyllic seaside town of Sunset Valley, while struggling with her weight and an unhealthy outlook on life, Fern wishes to turn over a fresh leaf, even if it means being homeless.

Exploring the green town, Fern chances upon a gym, where she can nab free food from. She meets the dashing Xander Clavell, who rudely rejects her. Upset and spurred on to begin a healthy lifestyle, she sneaks into the gym at night and begins working out. Soon, Fern begins to get fitter and feel better about herself. She also finds work at the local bookshop, following her love for books, and meets a nice man named Christopher Steel at the library. However, homelessness begins to take a toll on her, and she suffers severe periods of hunger, lack of sleep and hygiene issues. On a good note, Fern is nurturing a fondness for the lovely, quiet beach on the edge of town.

Luckily, Fern manages to buy a tent and sets up camp at Old Pier Beach. Things are looking sunnier when she has now gained a strong, healthy figure from all her hard work at the gym. She makes her first friend, Tamara Donner, and finally attracts a little attention from Xander. With more free time, Fern also begins working on her wish to become a professional author. Tamara treats her to a spa session at Sharma Day Spa and Fern gets a wonderful beach-themed makeover, marking her true change of character. A surprised Xander asks her out on a date, and hopeless romantic Fern totally falls head-over-heels for him.

Soon after their first date, Xander asks Fern to be his girlfriend, and she moves into his butterscotch villa. A while later, Fern becomes pregnant, oblivious to Xander’s lack of enthusiasm at the news. She gives birth to twins, Ash and Briar, whom she adores. Fern works to get back into shape, and Xander, happy with his girlfriend, proposes to her. His proposal blows away Fern’s unease about Xander’s possessive behaviour, rudeness to her friend Christopher, and favouritism to Ash (who looks just like him). They marry in a sunny backyard wedding, with Christopher and his slinky wife Blair looking on.

The twins celebrate their 5th birthdays, and Briar meets a boy called Max Oliver at the party. Fern happily spends time at the beach, writing novels. All seems well; Ash is proving to be a highly intelligent child, and Briar energetic albeit a little crazy. However, things turn downhill when Xander is arrested as a criminal, fueling a heated argument between him and Fern. Xander manages to calm his wife down, but there is now tension in the family. She also meets Blair lurking suspiciously outside the villa. Unknown to poor Fern, her husband and Blair are having a secret affair.

Briar and Ash are having suspicions about their father’s behaviour, but Fern remains blissfully ignorant until one night, Blair and Xander hook up in front of Christopher and Tamara, finally over their partners. The latter inform Fern and she confronts her husband, who confesses, and they get into a physical fight. Fern decides to leave with her children, and she ends up homeless again, heading to Old Pier Beach.

Living on the beach in two tents, Fern tries her best to get her family’s life together and buy a house, to no avail. Ash and Briar take their new situation quite well, and bond with Christopher, who is comforting Fern. The twins celebrate their 13th birthdays on the beach, beginning high school and getting part time jobs to try help their mother.

Fern falls in love with Christopher and soon, they elope in a sweet intimate ceremony, to the delight of the twins. They go on a honeymoon in breathtaking Isla Paradiso, where Fern contemplates her previous marriage with Xander and realises how toxic their relationship had truly been. Upon their return, they build a simple cottage at the large empty lot Christopher had inherited, in Summerhill Court. There, Fern tells Christopher that she is pregnant.

Fern gives birth to an adorable girl named Isla, who is quiet and sweet. Meanwhile, Briar is secretly dealing with vicious bullies Anastasia Payton and Shania Goth. Ash and Max attempt to protect her, but after an altercation at the park, she yells at them to leave her alone. Years later, Isla turns five and Fern worries about how old both herself and her children are getting. Max kisses Briar, totally confusing and angering her. Ash and Max make a deal with the bullies to leave Briar alone, but when Briar catches them together, she is furious at the boys, not knowing about the deal. Ash also meets a girl named Allie Beard at school.

There is suspicious talk about the science lab in town, especially about two scientists — Anastasia’s parents — and Ash encounters a sneaky Blair at the lab. After explaining the deal to Briar, the boys make up with her, and Max happily becomes Briar’s best friend again. During the housewarming party for the Kingston’s renovated home, Ash is missing after visiting the Payton mansion. He awakes in an unfamiliar and dusty room, kidnapped by a mysterious man named Mr. Goth and none other than Xander. The men threaten Ash into working at the science lab on a secret project. A little while later, the twins turn 18, and the story is passed from Fern to Briar.

 

 


 

G E N  +  T W O

 

The second generation opens with Briar starting out on her dream to become a secret agent; while Ash follows the path of a scientist despite his real dream to work with his twin. Briar begins noticing strange things on the full moon, including a weird glow to the air and zombies. She also sees Ash lingering about a suspicious abandoned warehouse.

Meanwhile, things in Briar’s love life are going just as weird — she and Max share a kiss at Plumpuddle Park, followed by a dinner date. The next day, she attends a party at Lone Wolff Manor, where she discovers Ash and Anastasia are dating. Furious and confused, Briar and her twin have a severe falling out, and stop talking to each other.

Isla celebrates her 13th birthday soon after, then Max and Briar reveal their relationship to their family, all of which but Ash are delighted. Briar begins her own investigation into the supernatural ongoings, as none of her police coworkers believe her. Conducting an experiment in town, she derives that most people cannot seem to see the supernaturals. Meanwhile, Ash, Anastasia and Allie are working on a mysterious lunar contraption.

When Briar suspects someone is watching her, she goes to investigate the warehouse. There, she is knocked out and kidnapped by someone unknown. Briar wakes in a creepy, dark room, where she sees an equally creepy woman in blood red. Ash appears and argues with the woman, seeming to protect his sister, threatening to break off a mysterious deal with the woman. Briar then wakes up in the woods again, wondering if it was all a nightmare.

Isla works on a history project with her crush, Clayton, whom Briar discovers to be a vampire. However, her little sister does not believe her and becomes angry. Upset, Briar runs out and decides to follow Ash, who drives to an isolated hill. Briar spies on him and finds out her brother is meeting with their father, Xander. Ash appears to be working with him, on a machine that shoots a beam of powerful light into the sky.

At the library, Briar chews over the information she garnered from spying. She finds a book called The History of Lunar Light, which describes a phenomenon called lunar light. Briar realises that she has an ability to see this light, and hence supernaturals, incorrectly diagnosed as schizophrenia. That night — a full moon — she sees Clayton acting strangely, who says that the lunar light is stronger than usual. She discovers the cause to be the machine Ash was working on, shooting beams from behind the science lab. When Briar gets closer, the machine switches on to full power, and she feels something change drastically to Sunset Valley.

The machine seems to have increased the strength of lunar light, and normal people are beginning to notice the supernaturals. Mr. Goth watches Briar, musing on how to deal with her interfering investigations. He takes his chance when she cuts through the woods to meet with Max; two supernaturals, apparently mind controlled, attack Briar and deliver a warning. Realising that she might be putting Max in danger if they stay together, Briar breaks up with him, much to his bewilderment and heartbreak.

Sadly, Briar disconnects herself and wallows at Summerhill Spring, where she sees Clayton and Isla kissing. She follows Clayton to the criminal warehouse, where he is arguing with the woman in blood red. Clayton seems to be manipulated by the woman, and Briar thinks Isla might be in danger. Later, Briar is promoted to policewoman, and senior officer Blair taunts her. She suspects that Blair maybe warding off supernatural suspicions within law enforcement.

Under mind control, Clayton breaks up with Isla. Someone probes in Briar’s room while she is comforting Isla, finding all her notes on the supernatural happenings. Briar is intercepted by Xander and the two previous supernaturals, who once again attack her and knock her out. This time, she wakes up in a cell. She sees Mr. Goth, Xander and her friend Allie watching her, and realises that Allie had been the one to knock her out and spy on her notes. Mr. Goth reveals himself to be the person behind all of the plans, and tells an imprisoned Briar his intentions to control all supernaturals, thus seizing control of the country- in the name of equality and disdain for the ignorance of Sunset Valley.

Ash, Allie and Anastasia free Briar secretly, revealing themselves to have always been on the right side. They confront Mr. Goth and the woman in red — Mrs. Goth — which results in a fight. In the chaos, Ash manages to get to the lunar light machine and sacrifices himself to trigger a self-destruct mechanism, sending out an electric pulse that kills the nearby villains, including Xander. Ash dies confessing to his twin sister that he had always been protecting her.

At the funeral, Anastasia reveals to a grief-stricken Briar that she and Ash had been married. She also tells of her pregnancy, Fern overhearing this and offering Anastasia help and a place to stay. Months later, Anastasia gives birth to a girl, naming her Ashley, since she is a spitting image of her father. Ashley’s bubbly personality slowly begins breathing life back into the grieving family.

As Briar heals through the passing three years, she gets back together with Max. She also speculates that the intensifying weather in Sunset Valley is due to the lunar light machine. At Isla’s 18th birthday party, Briar spots Clayton, who later approaches her. He asks for a way to cure his vampirism, as he still loves Isla, and they talk to Allie for a cure. During a surprise picnic at Plumpuddle Park, Max proposes to Briar, who happily accepts.

Briar and Max marry in a quiet beach wedding, and soon after, she finds out that she is pregnant. Life is racing by for the Kingstons. Nine months later, Briar gives birth to adorable triplets — Cherry, Cinnamon, and Caramel. Isla also marries Clayton sometime after, during fall.

Things are going well for the Kingstons, with the triplets growing up happily. Snow falls for the first time when the girls have aged into children, much to the excitement of the whole family. However, their happy lives are torn apart when an arsonist burns down their house, with Max and the kids still inside; the work of Shania Goth, in revenge for the death of her parents.

 


 

F A L L E N  +  A N G E L S

 

warning — this synopsis briefly mentions self harm, suicide, abuse, murder, depression, and drug use. please don’t read the summary or the full story if these may trigger you. 

The third generation begins when Cherry is sixteen. Much has changed in the family, with the fire having burned Cherry’s face, turning her sweet personality into a bitter and cynical one. She spends her time alone, only finding happiness in playing piano and singing, wanting nothing but to escape the valley when she turns eighteen. Briar has also hardened, damaged by anger and grief for her favourite daughter. The triplets no longer have a good relationship — Cara resents her sister for getting all the love and attention from their mother, and Cinna has distanced herself. Cherry starts eleventh grade, taking a secret path through the woodlands, her happy place. Upon reaching school, she taunted by her old enemy Teddy Schnauzer, who is also Cara’s boyfriend, and continues to be shunned by her classmates.

As Cherry walks home from school through the woods, she is confronted by Teddy, who is angry at her biting comebacks. He attacks her, but Cherry hits back with self defense moves, which she learned from her mother. Teddy’s friends join in, but all of them are driven away by the sudden appearance of an mysterious boy, clearly trained in fighting. She notes that he does not seem to be from Sunset Valley. Grateful and stunned, Cherry asks him to teach her in self defense, but he advises her to ask her mother instead. He leaves before Cherry can find out his name, though not before agreeing to see her again.

Cherry realises that Teddy only found out about her secret path due to Cara, and they argue, Cherry hating her sister even more, despite Cara not intending Teddy to actually hurt her. Briar announces that she wants Cherry to join Law Enforcement when she turns eighteen. Although she dreams of playing music and travelling after high school, Cherry jumps at this, taking it as a chance to learn self defence. She trains hard for two years under her mother’s watchful eye. Throughout this, Cherry grows more and more annoyed when the mysterious boy does not make an appearance, having developed a secret longing for his gentle demeanor and acceptance of her scar. On her eighteenth birthday, Cherry meets a cocky stranger who looks familiar. He turns out to be the boy’s brother, who himself turns up soon after, confusing and shocking Cherry. His name is Gabriel, and he introduces his brother as Luc.

Gabriel talks with Cherry, and offers to take her to Bridgeport, much to her suspicion and curiosity. He explains that he was also trapped in a horrible life before, until someone kindly helped him, and would like to do the same. She is given ten hours to decide, and she returns to the house, conflicted over the danger and allure of the city, as well as hurting her mother. Meanwhile, she overhears that Cara has accidentally become pregnant, but when Cherry offers to help in pity, her sister furiously denies it. Fueled by anger, Cherry decides to run away with Gabriel, and escapes Sunset Valley at night with the help of Cinna.

Arriving in Bridgeport, Cherry discovers that Gabriel lives in a cosy penthouse with five others; Luc, his cousin Lilith, a sarcastic and lanky man named Raphael, and Michel, a sweet-natured boy who has also run away from a wealthy and homophobic French family. She quickly becomes friends with the friendly Lilith, who lets her stay at the penthouse. Although her new flatmates seem nice enough, Cherry becomes suspicious when one night, she overhears Lilith and Gabriel talking, seemingly covered in blood, and she gets the impression that they are killers.

Cherry becomes paranoid, but tries to ignore her suspicions. The next morning, she practises her piano in the music room, where Gabriel joins her, showing his own love for music, and they play together. Gabriel moves to kiss her, but abruptly leaves, which Cherry interprets as disgust, much to her despair.

Cherry follows the others the same night, when they seemingly go out to the club; she discovers that it is a guise in which they are really carrying out a robbery of a mansion. Horrified, Cherry is conflicted whether to continue following them or simply leave the city. Her mother’s traits lead her to follow the group, consequently learning that they steal not for their own benefit, but for Bridgeport’s poor, wronged by the corrupt rich. Cherry faces Gabriel, who explains that the overheard talking last night had been an act, to tempt her into following them and so testing her attitude towards crime. Frightened and angry, Cherry argues that what they are doing is wrong, but Gabriel asks if she truly believes that.

Cherry decides to stay with the group, unwilling to leave the first people who accepted her, and some time later is training with Luc, who is a kickboxer. They constantly argue, much to Luc’s teasing amusement. Cherry has a talk about Gabriel, where he confesses that he does like her, but he is afraid of getting close after loving another girl. She is suspicious that it goes further than that, but quietly accepts his apology. Cherry also goes on her first robbery with Raphael. Although she has doubts about the morality of her actions, she learns that she enjoys stealing from the deserving rich.

Cherry turns nineteen, marking roughly a year spent with the Torres. On her birthday, she spends time with Luc, who she has developed a friendship and crush on throughout the past year. His back-and-forth flirty behaviour has made her anxious and hurt, however, which only worsens when they go out together and he flirts with another girl. Cherry is warned by the rest of the family about his jerky fuckboy personality, but is still drawn to him due to his moments of genuine niceness. Much to the irritation of Gabriel but surprised happiness of Cherry, Luc kisses her.

A few days later, Lilith makes Cherry go clubbing with her for the first time. Cherry enjoys herself with Luc for a while, but then meets Caden Malanov, a Russian man who somehow knows Luc. He tells her that all Luc wants to do is sleep with her, which shocks Cherry, but also confirms her underlying worry. After arguing with Luc, who denies what Caden said, she leaves the club upset with Gabriel. On the drive home, they pass a bloody scene of an apparent murder. When Luc comes home, hurt from confronting Caden, he apologises for his behaviour and properly asks Cherry if she still wants to be his girlfriend, which she hesitantly agrees to.

In a flashback to 10 years ago, the Torres siblings are living happily with their parents Seo Yeon and Nicolas, although they are in poverty. Lilith was taken in by her aunt and uncle when she was younger, and is close with the brothers — Luc is soft and placid, while Gabriel is the baby of the family, Seo Yeon teaching him to play piano. This life is destroyed when their parents are killed in a factory fire, which is due to the negligence and greed of their boss, a businessman named Avarice. The children are taken to an orphanage, but when the matron turns out to be abusive, they run away into the dark streets of Bridgeport.

Back to present day, Cherry is on a coffee date with Luc. Although still distrustful of him, she is happy, and is surprised when Luc tells her this is also his first date. Lilith also is at the same cafe, and she introduces her new boyfriend, a rich and elegant doctor called James. They walk back home through the fall streets, Cherry telling her boyfriend more about her life in Sunset Valley. When she asks about Luc’s past, he refuses to tell her anything. Arriving to the seemingly empty penthouse, Luc kisses her. Cherry becomes anxious when things become more intimate, but they are interrupted by Raphael. Later that night, Gabriel and Michel come home with news of a second murder, which is similar to the first.

In a second flashback, to eight years ago, the Torres kids are living in a tiny, abandoned apartment, having just survived the starvation and violence of the streets for a while. Gabriel goes off to secretly observe a Muay Thai class from afar, wishing to be able to defend himself and his older siblings. The teacher calls him out, much to his embarrassment, but introduces herself as Evangeline, and kindly offers to teach him after seeing how fast he has learned. She allows him to attend classes for free, in exchange for helping with cleaning the gym. Meanwhile, Luc is running heroin for money, unbeknownst to his siblings. He is brutally attacked by a client who does not want to pay. He lies about the manner of his wounds, determined to get enough money for his family to live in a better condition. The next morning, on the look for medical supplies, Lilith bumps into a street boy who tries to pickpocket her. Forgiving him, she learns his name to be Raphael.

Back to present day, Luc picks Cherry up from her workplace, worried for her safety after learning of a third murder that afternoon. Walking home together, they bump into James, who is polite, although they are surprised to see the wealthy man in a poorer part of town. A little after the family have dinner together, Luc pulls Cherry into his bedroom, where they talk and kiss in peace. She becomes scared again when he becomes more touchy, but he stops when he notices her discomfort, much to Cherry’s relief and gratitude. She wakes up later in the night to find that her boyfriend is smoking by the window. When she asks if anything is wrong, Luc says he just has a headache, and harshly tells Cherry to go back to sleep.

In a third flashback, four years ago, the siblings are training with Evangeline, who has tucked them under her wing, at the gym where Gabriel now works. On a stormy night, a panicked girl arrives after hours, desperate to learn how to fight. Gabriel learns her name to be Maria, who is hurt and in hysterics, and manages to calm her down. He takes a liking to her, despite her unstable behaviour. Elsewhere, Luc is at a drug ring meeting, where he meets a dangerously seductive girl named Ebony, the stepsister of Caden Malanov. Lilith is also involved in criminal activities with Raphael, who she is now best friends with, stealing from the rich together as revenge for what happened to her family in the past.

Back to present day, Cherry, Luc, and Lilith visit a fall farmers market in the countryside, where Cherry enjoys the blissful evening and her boyfriend’s hidden, quieter, sweeter side. When they return to Bridgeport, the family and Evangeline gather for a relaxed dinner. The old teacher teases Luc about asking her and Lilith for advice about dating Cherry, and Lilith and Raphael for not being together yet — all to Cherry’s surprise.

In the fourth flashback, Ebony is now dating Luc and staying at the Torres penthouse. Luc discovers how awkward and ignorant of relationships he is, but tries to make his girlfriend happy by doing as she asks, despite her cold attitude. He spends his free time reading books — a newly found love — and with Ebony, who spends a little time with him each night after she goes out during the day. She becomes furious and paranoid when she sees a text from another girl, a coworker inviting him to a work party, and tells Luc not to talk to the girl again. Meanwhile, Gabriel is happily friends with Maria. He begins to fall in love with her sweet and kind personality. They spend time at a beach, and Gabriel discovers his feelings are mutual when Maria kisses him. Later, Lilith and Gabriel rob a mansion in Sunset Valley. When they return from the trip, Gabriel finds his girlfriend at the penthouse; in hysterics, she tells him that she pushed her abusive father down the stairs in self-defense, and so may have killed him.

Back to present day, Cherry is writing music in the penthouse library. Luc visits her and she learns that most of the books are his, much to her disbelief. They relax together before she heads off to meet her cousin Ashley Kingston, who is working for the New York Police Department, and is in Bridgeport to investigate the serial killings. She tells Cherry how Cara gave birth to a boy named River, and that Briar knows where Cherry is, but has not attempted to drag her daughter back home. Afterwards, Ashley helps Cherry go lingerie shopping, and when Cherry returns home, she and Luc sleep together for the first time. To everyone’s surprise, they continue their relationship happily, and while on a winter date Luc thanks Cherry for how kind she has been to him. They are interrupted when Ebony stumbles across them, which sends Luc into a panic attack, unbeknownst to the suspicious Cherry.

In the fifth and final flashback, Ebony is still staying at the penthouse, despite Luc’s growing unhappiness with her cruel indifference towards him. She has become close friends with everyone else, including Maria who moved in recently, and Lilith gushes on about Ebony’s sweetness and love for Luc, which shocks him. In private, Ebony berates Luc for coming home late from work without telling her; she checks his phone and when he asks why she continues to do so, Ebony says she worries about him and only doesn’t spend time with him due to his depressing demeanor. That night, he stumbles across Ebony talking with Maria, guilt-tripping the latter about her father. When Luc stops his girlfriend, Maria is grateful and asks Luc what Ebony is really like. Despite his initial reluctance, he tells her after her kindly encouragement. Just after he goes to bed, Maria is alone and hears on the news that her father was found dead. Overcome with guilt, she commits suicide. The next morning, the penthouse is thrown into devastation, Gabriel breaking under overwhelming grief. To everyone’s shock, including Luc, Ebony declares in cruel delight that she was there when Maria heard the news, and did not stop her from leaving the penthouse. After telling Luc she only dated him because he gave her everything she wanted, and that she has been continuously cheating on him, Ebony leaves the family. Torn apart with self-hatred and guilt, Luc ends up harming himself. A while later, Gabriel is struggling to deal with his grief, turning to playing the piano for solace, and Luc has become a player to distract himself from his pain.

Back to present day, Cherry and Luc carry on with their usual dates. Cherry begins to worry about Luc’s strangely quiet and spaced out behaviour; when she asks her boyfriend if anything is wrong, he insists he is fine. Although she doesn’t believe him, they head back home without any further questions. On the way, they bump into James Whitecliffe. When she greets him, he pushes past without an answer, confusing her. Later, when Cherry retreats to Luc’s room as always, she finds him smoking. He attempts to break up with her without explanation, angering Cherry, and she refuses to leave. As she tries to get Luc to tell her what is going on, she accidentally discovers he is self-harming. A few nights after, the family learn from the news that Ebony has fallen victim to the serial killer. Cherry is conflicted about telling the troubled Gabriel and Lilith about her boyfriend’s issues and the damage Ebony left on him. She eventually decides to respect Luc’s wishes, and instead helps by coaxing him to open up about his past and feelings. She learns of the crippling depression and anxiety her boyfriend has been hiding behind a flirty, confident facade.

Some time later, while waiting for her boyfriend James, Lilith is unexpectedly attacked by the serial killer. Once she takes him down, she realises that the killer is James, to her horror and fury. Three months later, Cherry talks with her boyfriend. He has been slowly getting better through opening up, but the two have also been slowly drifting apart. Cherry quietly misses the old days of their relationship, and is constantly irritated by Luc’s self-blaming view of his relationship with Ebony, much to her guilt and sadness. He senses her frustration and acknowledges that their own relationship will not last, despite confessing he is in love with her. Cherry spends more time with Michel and Gabriel — after realising that she has forgotten her friends in favour for her boyfriend — and learns of Michel’s wishes to return to his home in Paris, despite his homophobic parents. Cherry also realises how much she missed being in Gabriel’s calming presence, and listens to him play guitar as she wonders about her own urge to return home. She then discusses the serial killer with Lilith, the latter being adamant about never dating around again, and confesses that she does have romantic feelings for Raphael, but stayed as friends due to their previously unstable and dangerous life.

Six months later, Lilith and Raphael are getting married after a whirlwind courtship and engagement. At the wedding, Michel announces that he is returning to Paris, in an attempt to reconcile with his parents and introduce his artist boyfriend Jake. To Cherry’s surprise, Michel says that Luc is coming along with them as well. Upon asking her boyfriend why he didn’t tell her, he implies that it is the right time to finally end their relationship. Sure enough, when the three leave for France plus Lilith and Raphael have embarked on their honeymoon, Luc breaks up with Cherry. He explains that she needs to move on and he needs to figure things out on his own. Cherry notes that Luc has intentionally left her and Gabriel alone in the penthouse. She spends the next two weeks heartbroken, writing music, with Gabriel carefully comforting her. In her loneliness, she decides to finally contact her blood family again.

Cherry returns to Sunset Valley, unlocking bad memories from the past, and anxiously approaches her house. Cinna welcomes her back with a rare hug, and although Cherry and Cara stand off in a brief awkward moment, Cara apologises for her horrible behaviour as teenagers. Her baby River is now a cute toddler, and she is dating a kind and graceful man named Jordan. Briar and Max joyfully reunite with their daughter, Briar scolding her for being reckless, but all are glad to have their family back together again. Briar meets Gabriel and interrogates him, the protective mother she is. Cherry wonders where her home is, not quite Sunset Valley, not quite Bridgeport. When Cherry and Gabriel drive back to the city, they sit together at the outlook over Bridgeport, and he discusses how he would like to let go of his past and move to a new place with their family.

One and a half years later, Cherry and Gabriel are living peacefully at a beachside cottage near Malibu, California. Gabriel is working on opening a Muay Thai gym in Los Angeles, while Cherry spent most of the time fixing up the cottage, and life has now just slowed down for them to enjoy together. In their wild garden, they eat breakfast and play music, and Gabriel surprises her with a Golden Retriever puppy, as a marriage proposal. Cherry happily says yes and names the puppy Momo. Afternoon, the family gathers at their cottage — Lilith is now heavily pregnant with her and Raphael’s child, Luc is quietly working through his issues as well as applying to university, Michel and Jake are living together in Los Angeles. Cherry’s parents and siblings also come over from Sunset Valley to celebrate the engagement, and they all have dinner together. Later, Lilith gives birth to a baby girl named Amaya.

Cherry and Gabriel get married in a beautiful woodland wedding, with all of their family and dearest friends present. A year later, Cinna visits Cherry, who is also now pregnant with twins. Cinna discusses how she would like to move to California, as it is much more invigorating for her artworks, and just needs to find a temporary room to rent. Cherry suggests that she rent a room with Luc, who agrees, and Cinna is annoyed, but says she’ll think about it. Three years later, the twins are now sweet and mellow-spirited toddlers named Alejandro and Fawn, with Momo acting as a guardian dog. Thoroughly enjoying parenthood, Cherry and Gabriel decide to have another child.

The finale chapter opens with Cinna’s perspective, as she moves into Luc’s small but lovely house on the beach. She thinks about the supernatural sight she inherited from Briar, which allows her to see spirits and the ghosts of people’s pasts in colours, which she paints out into art, and how Luc has a black aura of pain and guilt. They set down ground rules and begin living together; distantly, quietly, but comfortably, Cinna productive in her art, Luc hard at work studying for his psychology university degree. A few months after Cinna has moved, she and Luc sit on the deck at sunset, and he asks her whether she’s planning to move out. She says no, and they kiss. Nine years later, it is Cherry’s thirty-first birthday. Her five children — Alec, Fawn, Evangeline, Matias, Santiago — and an elderly Momo energetically wake her up. The parents contemplate renovating their home to fit their children as they grow up, while the kids play in the garden. Eva has her first ballet lesson, which she takes to immediately. The generation ends with Cherry deeply at peace with her life.

 


 

e n  +  p o i n t e

 

chapter 1: plié

On September 1st, 2019, Evangeline Kingston arrives at Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts to begin a scholarship for the pre-professional ballet program, settling in with the help of her cousin India. Feeling out of place with her unconventional dancer’s physique, among the rich students and the luxuriously appointed school, she butts heads with a girl she nicknames Swiper, who jabs Eva about not belonging in the elite academy. Eva shoots back that her talent and hard work got her a place, not her money or parents, earning immediate dislike from the kids around her. However, she notices one tall boy looking at her curiously, who nods with approval. After introductions with the ballet mistress, Luna Darcy, Eva heads to her new dorm room to begin unpacking. She meets a friendly girl named Piper Rozehart who is next door, and tells Cherry and Gabriel about her first day over Skype. Cherry reminds her daughter to look after herself this year, as Eva injured her Achilles heel several months before, preventing her from competing at nationals, or the Grand Prix, the biggest pre-professional ballet competition in the world.

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chapter 2: chassé

The second day, Eva and Piper grab breakfast together in the academy cafe. Eva is impatient to begin dancing, but has to go through academic classes in the morning, which is her weak point. In calculus, she gets into a tiff with Swiper again—commonly known as Vicky—and Piper stands up against her, catching the attention of another girl, Sasha Copeland. She explains to the two that Vicky acts like she is better than everyone due to her big-shot hotelier parents. After lunch, Eva heads to Studio A early, and finds one other person there already, the boy from yesterday. They exchange a friendly conversation, and she finds out his name is Mako Hayashi, and that he came from Zakharova Conservatory, a prestigious Russian ballet school in New York. She notes that he somehow seems familiar, although she’s sure they’ve never met. As class begins, Darcy mentions the auditions for the Grand Prix troupe next week, and how the competition is the only chance for new dancers to gain a place at New York Presidential Ballet, the most revered company in the States. The atmosphere turns tense, as Eva analyses and ranks all the dancers around her, picking out her competitors. When she sees Mako dance, she chooses him as her main competitor, and so does he, their intense ambitions immediately turning them against each other.

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chapter 3: assemblé

At the end of the first week, Eva heads back home to Malibu for the weekly Saturday family lunch. The older generation—Lilith, Raphael, Luc, and Michel—are all there, now happy and at places of peace in life. Eva finds her four siblings—Alec, Fawn, Matias, and Santiago—in the music room, where their greatest shared passion lies, playing as a band together. The second week begins with the auditions for the troupe. As Eva predicted, she, Mako, Vicky, Sasha, and two others named Misha and Taylor get into the troupe. However, to her immense shock and displeasure, Darcy pairs her and Mako for pas de deux partnering. They dislike each other more in the pas de deux class, their opposing attitudes grating, and Eva, who is already on edge from bad previous experiences with partnering, is fired up by him correcting her technique. When class ends, they argue, Mako saying he will get the contract for NYPB this year, and warns Eva to not get in his way.

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chapter 4: relevé

At the second pas de deux practice, the class begins practising lifts, much to Eva’s wariness. When Eva refuses to do a Giselle lift, Mako notices her nerves under her snappy attitude and asks if she is okay, but she replies defensively, thinking him as implying her as weak, which escalates to a vicious argument. Eva tells him she doesn’t trust him, that he could sabotage her, and Mako takes offense. Darcy interrupts the fight and urges them to work together, revealing that she paired them because their weaknesses balance each other out. During break, Misha Solano asks Eva if she wants to team up for modern dance class on Saturday, and she takes to his friendly and relaxed vibe. After the fun modern class, where Misha gels easily with Sasha and Piper, Eva grumpily goes to her first practice with Mako. On the way, she bumps into Vicky, who says she shouldn’t be with Hayashi. Annoyed, Eva goes to Studio B, where the atmosphere is tense. However, when they dance together, Eva begins to realise that she at least trusts Mako as a pas partner, and when they nail a particularly difficult lift, both of them get momentarily excited, forgetting about their rivalry for a few seconds. When they finish, she asks why he isn’t working in the industry already, due to his technique being past pre-professional level. Mako answers that he has gotten multiple contract offers, but not the one he really wants, which is the NYPB.

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chapter 5: piqué

Eva spends one of the last days of summer surfing, with her siblings and her deepest love, the ocean, and she recalls how Cherry taught to her as a child about listening to the water, rather than trying to control it. Back at the academy, the class discusses famous ballerinas in history, one of which is Svetlana Pominova, a NYPB prima ballerina who is revered as the technical master of her generation. Now that Eva, Sasha, Piper, Misha, and Mako are all friends, they gather together before ballet, and Misha laments about how Vicky is torturing him as his partner, which Mako quietly apologises for, piquing Eva’s curiosity, but she is distracted by learning her Kitri variation for regional competitions. Tuesday evening, Eva and Mako have their second practice, now far more friendly to each other. They begin going through what they have learned so far for the Don Quixote pas de deux. Eva gets a horrible leg cramp, unwittingly revealing her fear of injury to him. She confesses that she got dropped last year, supposedly because she was too heavy for her partner, resulting in her Achilles injury one week before the Prix. Mako guesses that she got dropped during the Giselle lift, which is why she was so prickly. They talk for a while, discussing each other’s strengths in dancing; technique, and expression, both of which they can’t understand.

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chapter 6: jeté

The fall season takes over, and Eva spends time sparring and strength training at her father’s Muay Thai gym, kickboxing being one of their shared strengths. Gabriel reminds of her weakness when fighting—she always focuses too much on the attack, leaving her defense open. Back at the academy, the five are now comfortably settled in as friends, enjoying breakfast together; pas practices with Mako are free of arguments, and they become more playful with each other, Mako also helping her with technique. One rehearsal, they are interrupted by Vicky, who wants to talk to Mako privately, much to Eva’s confusion. She realises that Misha has been protecting his best friend, and that the two have some sort of history, as Vicky pleads for financial help and Mako reprimands her coldly. Unsettled, Eva finds her partner in the studio next morning, subdued, and she comforts him despite not knowing the situation. She watches Vicky in the following troupe rehearsal, and notes how distressed she looks, casting doubt on what really happened between them. Saturday night, the squad gather in Eva’s dorm for a pizza and movie night. She ends up falling asleep on Mako, and they discuss their childhoods a little, although he stays secretive.

chapter 7: attitude

Eva returns home briefly, wishing that the academy wasn’t so far from family and nature, the two dearest things to her heart. The day of November ballet exams arrive. Eva is relaxed, confident in her abilities and preparation, although Mako is anxious, and she calms him. She takes the exam with Vicky, and tries to wish good luck, but is ignored. One week before Grand Prix regionals, the troupe head downtown for the stage rehearsals. They run into a guy Eva nicknames Raven, who flirts with Mako. The troupe spends twenty minutes getting accustomed to the stage, and Eva begins to feel the first nerves for what will be an intense competition. The night before regionals, after the final pas practice, Eva asks her partner about the fight with Vicky. He explains that he used to be in a relationship with her, which turned out to be a strategy for Vicky to save her financially failing family, how she proposed to him, and that he understands why she did it. Eva is aghast, but cannot rebuke when Mako asks if she would go as far to protect her own family. Resigned to it all, he notes that his family is arranging a business-motivated marriage for him, ten years down the line.

chapter 8: arabesque

On the morning of regionals, Eva arrives at the now bustling theatre and begins preparing in the dressing room, with the help of Sasha. Misha does Mako’s makeup and talks about how they first met, at a Gucci show in Milan. He explains how his grandfather is a designer there, he himself sometimes models for the brand, and how Mako is an Armani model. The troupe perform successfully, but Eva’s nerves steadily agitate as the day unfolds, her stress levels rising to being unable to socialise like the others in lunch break. To calm herself down, she goes to find Mako, and finds him flirting with several people, including Raven. Mako comes back to the dressing room to soothe her nerves, and they talk about playing piano and violin. Eva successfully performs her Kitri solo, followed by Mako, who panics after making a tiny mistake. At the end of the competition, they win gold medals for their respective divisions as well as pas de deux and ensemble, qualifying the whole troupe for the finals. Afterwards, they met Mako’s mother, which to Eva’s shock, is Svetlana Pominova. The former prima ballerina is nothing but cold to her son, criticising him for his mistake and if he wants to fail to get into NYPB for the third time. In contrast, Eva’s family is very supportive and proud, bringing her and Mako flowers. They invite him to a celebratory family dinner, which they all have fun at. Eva and Mako walk home together, holding hands, and she begins to wonder if she has romantic feelings for him.

chapter 9: développé

After Christmas break, Eva returns to the academy for Semester Two. The class receive their exam grades back, in which Eva gets a 98, the highest she’s ever achieved. Darcy announces that the spring production will be Romeo & Juliet, and that two studios will be joining them for the cast—District Ballet and West Studio. At the afternoon auditions, the other dancers arrive, which include Raven and another boy she recognises from regionals, Nicholas. She learns Raven’s real name to be Damien and that he and Mako are in some sort of casual relationship. The auditions commence, and to Eva’s great relief, she is cast as Juliet, alongside Mako as Romeo. She contemplates how to portray the character, as she cannot understand Juliet’s reckless motivations and obsessive love. Darcy tells her that she is more like Juliet than she thinks, and that although Mako isn’t emotively adept as Nicholas, she couldn’t bear to split their partnership. As Eva walks out of the studio, she finds an argument going on between Misha and Vicky, the former pushing the latter to apologise to Mako. She refuses, pointing out his privilege and selfish behaviour. After spending more time with Mako during study group sessions and trips outside of the academy—resolutely denying any sort of romantic feeling for him—Eva realises that in their Romeo & Juliet pas de deux she has to stage kiss her partner, she becomes deeply flustered.

chapter 10: entrelace

As the Grand Prix finals draw nearer, Eva contemplates a ghost pain of her Achilles injury, and the hardship of ballet. She admits to her partner that it can get lonely, to which he expresses gladness that they are friends. Misha gets appointed as the costume designer for Romeo & Juliet, and spends much of his time in the academy fashion studios, where the squad hangout to do their homework alongside. Eva begins working on the Count Paris pas de deux with Nicholas. She is oblivious to his attraction to her, although they get along well, and they discuss Eva’s isolation from the ballet world, and her dislike of the wealthy society it is entangled with. At one rehearsal of the final pas de deux, Eva finds herself overwhelmed with Juliet’s grief. Darcy observes that although her ability to absorb the ballet’s emotions is her strength as an artist, losing herself in it can be dangerous. The night before a calculus test, having procrastinated studying and finding it immensely difficult to focus, she asks Mako to help her. He comes over with much annoyance, but his soothing presence helps her settle down, and they eventually fall asleep together.

chapter 11: pas de deux

The following morning, Eva wakes up blissfully in Mako’s arms, but is rudely awakened by the realisation she missed the alarms for the test. In her rush to leave the dorm, she instinctually kisses Mako’s forehead in goodbye. To her immense surprise, she doesn’t fail the test, and joins her friends in English class to watch the Romeo + Juliet film. On March 5th, Piper’s seventeenth birthday, the friends drive to a botanical garden in Palos Verdes, where Misha grew up. It’s cherry blossom season, much to Mako’s joy, and he tells Eva about how the flowering was his most treasured thing in Tokyo as a child. They lay down a picnic under a sakura tree and light candles on Piper’s favourite strawberry shortcake, which Eva allows herself to eat a little despite feeling guilty. Mako falls asleep in her lap, and when she feels his happiness like her own, she realises how close she has become to him. As evening falls, the group head back to the carpark, where Misha bumps into a guy (who Eva silently nicknames Logan) who seems to have a past with him. Logan mocks him for doing ballet and calls him a homophobic slur, to Misha’s silence. Mako steps in to protect his best friend, and Logan backtracks, seeming to fear his family name. Back at the academy, Nicholas asks Eva on a date, knowing already that she will reject him. He notes that Mako has an enormous crush on her, and in response to Eva’s fear of distraction and emotional turmoil in the face of her ambitions, tells her of the personal trust and respect required to make an exceptional professional partnership as she and Mako have now. During an improvised pas de deux to help Mako unlock the emotion needed for the ballet, Eva naturally kisses him. They spend the night at his penthouse, and sleep together without hesitation.