Sight

Sight Chapter 48: Under Scrutiny

SECOND PART RECAPS 
***author’s note: It has been another three months… sorry about that! Thanks for being patient ❤ This is kind of lengthy chapter, a realllyyyy lengthy chapter, so buckle up~***
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9:14 p.m. | Phillips Residence
The boldness Aislyn instilled in Cailean vanishes the second he reaches the Phillips’s doorstep. He’d hate to be on the receiving end of an unexpected visit like the one he was about to make, but figures it’s too late to turn back now. The answers he so desired were a knock away. He takes a breath and raises his knuckles to the door when it bursts open and a woman storms out, running into him. Cailean instinctively extends his arms to steady her after she crashes into his chest and stumbles. “Oh my.” The woman says. Her attention had been turned to something behind her as she was walking out, and she snaps her head around and clutches onto Cailean, the bag she was holding hitting the ground by his feet.

“Sorry about that.” She says as she raises her eyes to meet his. Cailean instantly recognizes her from his case files, she was Jacqueline Durand, the Phillips’s niece and current interim CEO of their company. “No worries, Mrs. Durand.” Cailean says as he bends down to hand her the fallen bag. “Have we met?” She asks, taking a step back and eyeing him questioningly. “No, but I’m the prosecutor that’s been tasked with the recent incident, so I’m familiar with your family. I’m here to speak with your uncle and-” At the mention of Walter, Mrs. Durand’s face sours, “Good luck with that.” She scoffs, “Jo, let’s go!” Mrs. Durand says as she begins taking off towards the driveway. “I’m afraid we may have put him in a bad mood.” She says over her shoulder.


Another woman appears in the doorway holding a child at her hip. It’s a face Cailean doesn’t recognize, but from her strong resemblance to Mrs. Durand, he assumes she’s her sister. “You can say that again.” The sister chimes in. “Is there a problem, girls?” Walter’s voice echoes from inside and the three of them turn their attention to the sound. “I heard…” Walter’s voice trails off as his eyes meet Cailean’s. “Mr. DeCarlo, to what do I owe the
pleasure?” From the way Walter emphasizes the last word, it was very apparent to Cailean that his surprise visit was anything but. “You’re a hard man to get a hold of.” Cailean says, running a hand through his hair to ease some of his nerves. Walter chuckles but Cailean feels uneasy at the sound. “Do come in.” Walter says, “Goodbye, girls.” He adds and Cailean notices that Mrs. Durand stalks off without a word, while her sister utters a goodbye under her breath and scurries after her. 

“Now, then. Can I get you anything-” “Why have you decided to drop all the charges?” Cailean interrupts. Walter hangs his head and laughs once again, “So you’re the type to jump straight into business I see.” Cailean doesn’t bother responding and keeps his gaze focused on Walter. He wasn’t as good a people-reader as his mother, but working for as long as he has did allow him to pick up on a few things. Walter’s current reluctance to meet his eyes being an example. With an exaggerated sigh Walter answers. “Yes, Heidi explicitly told me she wishes to be done with this whole spectacle, and I also felt it best to move on-” “I’d like to hear this from her directly.” Cailean says. Walter’s head snaps up and Cailean senses some anger in his expression.


“My wife is asleep at the moment.” Walter grits his teeth as he answers. “And, I don’t see why you felt the need to show up here when I’m sure this information was already relayed to you.” He adds. “I take my work seriously, Mr. Phillips. I’m not the type to move on from a case I’ve invested in if I don’t have proper closure.” Walter frowns. “Yes, well tomorrow perhaps we can-”
If you wait any longer, I’ll guarantee you’ll probably receive a well rehearsed response. Aislyn’s words echo in Cailean’s head as Walter speaks. He hated being forceful, but Cailean knew he needed to steel his resolve if he was going to get any answers. “…besides, Heidi hates being disturbed from her beauty rest-” “I’ll apologize profusely for my intrusion when I see her.” Cailean says sternly. Walter appears to figure out that Cailean has no intention of leaving and shakes his head. “Desmond.” He calls out. The Phillips’s assistant emerges from the kitchen. “Yes?” “Keep Mr. DeCarlo company while I wake Heidi.” “Right.” Desmond says. He gestures to a dining chair and Cailean nods and takes a seat as Walter makes his way upstairs. 

Once he thinks Walter is out of earshot, Cailean speaks. “Mr. Marseille, that note-” “Don’t!” Desmond interjects in a low voice. He places a hand on his forehead and gives a low, weary, sigh. “Just, don’t.” He continues. Desmond’s reaction only served to fuel Cailean’s curiosity and he presses on. “I figured it was important, but-” “It doesn’t really matter anymore.” Desmond says with tired eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Cailean asks. Desmond clenches his jaw but says nothing more, and Cailean feels a bit of his frustration bubble to the surface. “Look, if you know something, something that could help, then you should-” “Help?” Desmond repeats. “Help what, exactly? Last I heard, Mr. Prosecutor, you no longer have a case.”

Cailean opens his mouth to protest, but before he can utter a word, Walter’s voice rings from upstairs. “Heidi will see you now, Cailean.” Cailean doesn’t have it in him to be annoyed at Walter’s drop in formality and keeps his eyes focused on Desmond who rises without another word and gestures towards the stairs. Knowing he’d make no progress in their conversation, at least for the moment, Cailean ascends the steps without saying anything more.


Walter begins walking down a hallway once Cailean comes into view, and Cailean follows. At a door near the end of the hall, Walter turns on his heel. “My wife is sensitive about her appearance, I’m sure you know how women can be.” “Right…” Cailean says, confused as to why Walter felt the need to say that. “After you.” Walter says. Cailean steps past him and knocks lightly on the door. “Mrs. Phillips, I’m coming in now.” When Cailean pushes the door forward, he’s greeted by Mrs. Phillips’s back. “Sorry to disturb your evening.” He says as he enters. “Are you?” Mrs. Phillips snaps, her voice quiet and hoarse. “I am.” Cailean says calmly.

When Mrs. Phillips makes no move to turn and face him, an understanding of Walter’s comment clicks into place for Cailean. “Well?” She says. Surely she didn’t intend to have a conversation like this. “Why are you here?” Mrs. Phillips presses on, and Cailean realizes that is exactly what she plans to do. He takes a step forward and sighs. “I’m afraid I can’t just drop what I’ve been working on, unless I hear the reasoning directly for myself.” “What more reason do you need?” Mrs. Phillips continues to speak to the window, and Cailean supposes he has no right to feel irritated considering he did show up unannounced.


He does his best to speak gently and attempts to smile, “Most people who’ve been injured as you and your husband have don’t usually let things go like this.” “What can I say? We have big hearts.” Cailean hears a quiet snicker behind him, nearly forgetting that Walter was still in the doorway. He’d hoped that Mrs. Phillips would be a tad more reasonable and conversable than her husband, but it appeared as though the two were peas in a pod. Cailean’s smile falters, he suspects any efforts he’d make to get an answer of substance would be futile. “If that’s all then I shall be returning to bed.” Mrs. Phillips voice is a near whisper. Cailean grits his teeth and turns towards the door. “My apologies for wasting your time.” He says over his shoulder.

As he makes his way out, Walter halts him by placing a hand on his shoulder. “No need to work so hard, son. If anything we did you a favor.” Cailean shrugs out of Walter’s grasp. “I’m so grateful.” He says sarcastically. Walter laughs and steps into his bedroom. “I trust you can find your way out.” And with that, he shuts the door. Cailean stalks down the hallway angrily. To call this visit fruitless felt like an understatement. Cailean feels his phone buzz in his pocket. He pulls it out expecting it to be a follow-up from Aislyn, but is surprised to see it’s from Gus instead.


As he texts his replies, making his way down the steps, he notices Desmond is nowhere to be seen. Cailean slides his phone back into his pocket and walks out of the front door feeling more frustrated than he had been when he arrived.

– THE NEXT DAY –


5:54 p.m. | Ravens Plaza
After getting the okay from Nicole, Aislyn had given Mackenzie a head’s up to know that they’d be able to take her shopping in Ravensburg whenever she was ready. Mackenzie had excitedly called her in the night to say that she’d be available the next day. And so, after a rather uneventful work day in which she and Minah once again successfully evaded Axel and Randall at the office, Aislyn had picked Mackenzie up from school with Nicole, and beelined towards Ravensburg to make it in good time before the post-work traffic. The trip was still fairly long, but felt short with Mackenzie excitedly asking Nicole questions about her modeling days. Aislyn was also intrigued at the things Nicole had to say, surprised at some of the stories she’d share.

It was a refreshingly warm day despite the sunless sky. Ravensburg was as bustling and lively as it has been every other time Aislyn has come. After parking in a garage downtown, they walk into a nearby plaza to plan their course of action. “You sure you don’t want one?” Aislyn asks Nicole, extending the ice cream she and Mackenzie had just bought from a stand at the entrance. “No, dear. At my age little things like that get me bent out of shape quick.” Aislyn opens her mouth to argue what the harm a single treat could do, when her phone buzzes in her pocket, distracting her.

“Cailean?” Nicole says as she takes a seat at a fountain they approach. “How’d you know?” Aislyn asks. “Your face is fairly easy to read.” Nicole says, attempting to suppress her grin. “Who’s Cailean?” Mackenzie asks, eyes wide and sparkling with curiosity. Aislyn feels a blush forming and sits down beside Nicole, returning her phone into her pocket. “My boyfriend.” She answers, taking a bite of her strawberry frozen dessert. “You aren’t going to answer?” Nicole says disapprovingly. “It’s no big deal, I’ll talk to him later.” Aislyn says. She figured Cailean was finally going to fill her in on how his evening went. She’d texted him in the morning and never received a reply. 


Mackenzie sits on Nicole’s other side with a giggle. “What’s he like?” She asks. Aislyn feels her face grow redder. “I’m not the best at expressing myself, but he’s always so patient and understanding with me.” Aislyn says after taking a moment to think. “He’s incredibly kind and intelligent. I…” As Aislyn lets her eyes wander across the plaza, a familiar face in the distance makes her thoughts trail off. “Hang on a second.” She says, handing her treat to Nicole. “I see someone I know.” Aislyn begins making her way across the grass before Mackenzie and Nicole have a chance to comment, and steps into a park. Sure enough, she sees Jo, the girl who’d helped her and Kim after their plunge in the Oldmerrow River a few months back. In her arms is a little girl. Aislyn wonders if she’s babysitting since Jo appeared too young to already be a mother.

“Jo.” She says as she draws nearer. “Aislyn, hey!” Jo says excitedly. She scoops up the young girl she was playing with and rushes to Aislyn’s side, pulling her into a one-armed hug. “Hi.” Aislyn says with a laugh, returning her embrace. “Who’s this?” She asks, gesturing to the toddler who giggles at their movement. “This is my niece, Joy. I’m stuck babysitting while my sister deals with work. Would you like to hold her?” Jo asks, extending her arms towards Aislyn who takes an involuntary step back. “Oh, no. I’m terrible with children.” She says hastily. “Is that so?” Jo questions, giving her a curious look. Aislyn nods, feeling a heat of embarrassment creep into her cheeks.


She was surprised at herself as the words escaped her lips. It wasn’t that Aislyn was bad with kids, the thought of them just terrified her for some inexplicable reason. “So, what brings you so far from Oldmerrow?” “Actually, I live in Bayville now.” Aislyn says.

“Oh, really. That’s exciting! I’ve not been there much. Why’d you move?”

“Initially my parents wanted me around after… what happened, but I’m working now.” Aislyn answers, and Jo nods in understanding. “I’m with my step-mom and a friend today though, we’re here to shop.” “You came to the right place, you’re right in the heart of the shopping district.” Jo says. “My step-mom knows her way around.” Aislyn smiles, “Have you been back to Oldmerrow since I’ve seen you?” “A few times.” Jo says, “My aunt and uncle have a house there.” Joy begins to squirm in her aunt’s arm and Jo sets her on the ground. “Okay, okay. Don’t make a fuss now.” She says.

“Next time you’re here, I’d love to grab a bite or something if you’d like.” Jo reaches into her pocket and pulls out her phone. “I’d like that too.” Aislyn says as she puts her contact info in and hands it back. “Awesome.” Jo says. Aislyn feels her phone buzz. “That’s me.” Jo says after giving her a missed call. Aislyn recalls Jo being reluctant to share much about herself, including her number, when they’d met and wonders if there was a reason for her change. “Well, my sister should be home any minute now, so I’m going to take this little one home.” “It was nice running into you.” Aislyn says. “The feeling is mutual.” Jo smiles. With a wave they walk off in opposite directions.


“Sorry, I finished your dessert. It was melting.” Nicole says as Aislyn walks towards her. “That’s fine.” Aislyn laughs. When she comes to a stop near the fountain, she notices Nicole and Mackenzie are beaming at her. “What?” She says hesitantly. “Nothing.” They answer simultaneously. “That doesn’t sound suspicious at all.” Aislyn raises an eyebrow. She notices that their arms are locked together and is pleased that Nicole and Mackenzie were getting along so well.

“Mackenzie and I were just discussing how we think you’ve gotten much prettier as of late.” Nicole states. Aislyn shakes her head at the unexpected compliment. “It’s true!” Mackenzie says at her reaction, “It must be because you’re in looove.” She says, teasingly drawing out the last word. “They say that’s what it does to you, right? Makes you prettier?” Mackenzie asks and Aislyn runs a hand through her hair in embarrassment. “You didn’t finish telling us about Cailean.” Nicole says, and Aislyn turns her gaze towards her.

“What’s up with you two? We came on a mission, remember?” Aislyn says, attempting to deflect their questioning and the subject altogether. “Who says we can’t multi-task?” Mackenzie pauses to hop up, “I don’t have people around me who I can talk about this kind of stuff with.” Though she says the words so nonchalantly, Aislyn feels a pang of sadness in her gut. “There’s always later, right?” She says in defeat and Mackenzie’s face breaks out into a brilliant smile. “That’s right.” Nicole says as she rises, “Now, it’s time for business.”


They follow Nicole who begins walking towards a street lined with stores. “Fear not.” Nicole says as she turns towards them in front of the door. “You’ll be leaving with nothing less than a knockout dress. Poor Drew won’t know what hit him.” At the mention of her crush’s name, Mackenzie blushes. She mumbles a thanks and rushes inside. Aislyn figures she must’ve filled Nicole in on the details of the party while she was speaking with Jo.

Aislyn places an arm on Nicole’s to halt her before stepping in. “Thanks for doing this.” She says genuinely. “Don’t thank me yet, the hard part’s only just begun!” Nicole answers. She intertwines her arm with Aislyn’s and pulls her through the door with a laugh that Aislyn joins in as they enter the bustling store.
___


6:17 p.m. | 24 Hour Gym
Cailean had spent the day off at home. He was sure there’d be more cases waiting for him to sort through, but knew he wouldn’t be as productive as usual after having the Phillips case scrapped the way it did. He spent the majority of the day developing some film from an old film camera that’d been sitting on his shelf. He’d become so engrossed by his prints that he nearly forgot about his agreement with Gus by the time 5:30 rolled around. Knowing he’d likely be late, he sends Gus a heads up text to let him know, and sees one from Aislyn that morning that he never replied to. When he’d gotten home last night, Stan had asked for his help repairing a landscape light in the yard. Feeling drained, he went to bed shortly afterwards without filling her in. Cailean decides to give Aislyn a call, but reaches her voicemail. She should be done with work by now… maybe something came up. He thinks. 

By the time Cailean arrives at the gym, he finds Gus waiting for him as he bounds up the steps. “Sorry, I got distracted.” He says as he pushes his disheveled locks back. “I told you, don’t worry about it.” Gus says with an easy smile. Cailean returns the gesture and realizes in the moment that it has been quite some time since he’d last seen Gus in person. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Gus says as if reading his thoughts. “Yeah, it has.” Cailean agrees. “Shall we?” Gus pulls open the door and Cailean follows him in.

“So what’s this about you suddenly being free?” Gus asks as they make their way upstairs.

“The case I was working on fell through. Which in itself is nothing new. But the way it happened didn’t make any sense.”

“Sounds rough.” Gus says. “There’s nothing I can do now but get over it I guess.” Cailean shrugs. “Yeah, there’s no point in dwelling on something you can’t change.” Gus says in understanding. Cailean sighs. “I know… So, what’ve you been up to? It’s not like you to be silent.”

“Ouch. Are you calling me loud?”

“Why state the obvious.” Cailean says and Gus laughs.

“You’re right. I do have something occupying most of my time these days.”

“And that is?”

“All in due time.” Gus deflects and Cailean raises his eyebrows. “Okay…”


They make their way over to the treadmills and input their incline and speed settings in silence. That feeling of guilt in Cailean due to the distance that had grown between them begins to fade away, just like that. He opens his mouth, intending to apologize for letting things get to this point, and to his surprise is cut off by Gus. “Don’t.” He says, “You don’t have anything to apologize for, Cailean. I’m just as guilty as you for suddenly going radio silent.”

“Did you become a mind reader since I’ve seen you last? You’re unusually perceptive today.”

“What can I say? I’m a people person.” Gus grins and Cailean returns the smile. After a moment, they both slowly pick up the pace on their respective machines and let a comfortable silence fall between them. It’s Gus who breaks it first. “So how are you and Aislyn?” Cailean nearly stumbles at the sudden question. Of course Gus would know, considering Chad told him that Kim probably shared the news of their relationship with half of Oldmerrow last time they spoke. Cailean feels his face grow hot. “Let me guess. Kim?” He says. “No.” Gus pauses to laugh. “Aislyn, actually.”

Aislyn never mentioned that to Cailean, but he supposed it was something she’d feel awkward bringing up. Cailean felt awkward himself just speaking to Gus right now. “Right…” Cailean says, running a hand through his hair. “So…” Gus slows his machine’s pace to a walk and Cailean does the same. “How are things?” He asks again. “Good, I guess.” Cailean answers. “You guess?” Gus looks his way and gives a crooked smile. “I mean, Aislyn isn’t the easiest person to read.” “That’s true.” Gus chimes in.

Cailean turns to him and Gus gives an apologetic smile. “I’m probably the last person you want to discuss this with, huh? Given our history and all. I suppose that’s fair considering I never told you anything when she and I were…” Gus lets his sentence trail off awkwardly and Cailean laughs. “If you meant it when you told me that you didn’t love her-” “I did mean that.” Gus interrupts, “I care about her, but not in that way.”

“Then I wouldn’t mind relying on you, just like I have all the other times I’ve been with someone.” Cailean continues. “I’d like that.” Gus clears his throat, “And I plan on doing the same.” “Good.” Cailean says with a smile.


“I’m guessing the distance and all has been tough.” Gus says.

“Yeah, we usually end up missing one another timing-wise when we call, and at times I wonder if it’s just coincidence or if she’s avoiding me.”

Gus listens carefully as Cailean speaks. “Why would she avoid you?” He asks and Cailean shrugs. “I don’t know.” “Speaking of avoidance, there’s something I’ve also been meaning to tell you… Me and Ki-” Gus’s words are cut off by Cailean’s phone ringing. He wonders if it’s Aislyn returning his call, but when he reaches for his phone, he sees Lexi’s name glow on the screen. “Is that Aislyn?” Gus asks with an amused grin. “No, Lexi.” Cailean says, “I don’t think it’s anything serious, I can call her back. What were you saying?”

“It can wait, you can answer first.” Gus says. Cailean nods, “Hello?” “Cailean, hey!” Lexi exclaims on the other end. “How are you?” Cailean asks, smiling at her enthusiasm.

“Great. Is now a bad time?”

“No, I’m just at the gym with Gus. What’s up?”

“Are you and Aislyn dating?”

“Yeah.” Cailean says, amused, “Who’d you hear that from?”

“I knew it! I didn’t hear it from anyone. On Valentine’s Day I saw her and your mom talking and figured that combination wouldn’t make sense unless you were involved somehow. Otto told me to keep it to myself, so I have been. But since he’s away for work in Ravensburg at the moment, I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity and ask.”


“On Valentine’s?” Cailean echoes. He and Aislyn were together for the majority of the day, except for when she’d stepped away in the morning to run an errand and he went to do some work. It’s possible that she could have run into his mother then, but why hadn’t Aislyn mentioned it? “Where did you see them?” He asks. “Oh, um… At the Oldmerrow Graveyard.” “What?” Cailean says. That location was a ways away from the rest of the town, which made them being there seem deliberate.

“Did you talk to them?”

“No…” Lexi trails off, her enthusiasm disappearing. Cailean suspects she was beginning to feel as though she shouldn’t have said anything. “Why not?” Cailean says urging her to continue. “The air around them seemed kind of tense so I didn’t think I should approach them.” A sense of unease begins to creep over Cailean. “You have no idea what they could’ve been discussing?” Beside him Gus turns off his machine and looks over in concern. Cailean is hung on Lexi’s every word and doesn’t meet his eyes. “Um, if they didn’t mention anything then maybe I shouldn’t-” “Lexi.” Cailean says sternly.

“Uhh… I was too far away, but…”

“Lexi, just tell me what you know. I’m not going to get upset.” Cailean could tell Lexi was becoming increasingly uncomfortable but didn’t have it in him to do the nice thing and drop the subject. With a defeated sigh, she continues. “From what I could tell it looked like they were there for a while. I didn’t hear much but I did hear Aislyn tell your mom ‘don’t tell Cailean’ very clearly… I thought it was about a surprise for you or something, but your tone is making me think that’s not the case… Did something happen?”

“I have no idea.”

“I’m sorry.” Lexi says sadly. “Don’t be. Thanks for telling me.” Cailean says, doing his best to keep his tone even. “Umm, so I’ll see you around then?” Lexi says cautiously.

“Yeah. Bye, Lexi.”

“Bye…”


Cailean hangs up and turns to Gus who was now looking at him worriedly. The gym was silent aside from the quiet hum of faint music and the occasional sound of sneakers on wood by the dancers in the adjacent room. “What was that about?” Gus asks. “Lexi says she saw my mother and Aislyn talking at the graveyard on Valentine’s morning. And that Aislyn told her not to tell me something.” At his words, Gus’s expression doesn’t change.

“Why do you not look surprised?” Cailean asks, some of the anger that had arisen in him spilling out. Gus uncomfortably shifts from foot to foot and crosses his arms. “Well… on Valentine’s, Kim got a call from Aislyn in the middle of the night. She didn’t tell me what it was about, but it makes sense if it was regarding that.”

“Why would she mention that she got a call and not tell you why?”

“She didn’t mention it, I asked her because I noticed-” Gus seems to catch himself and abruptly stops mid sentence. “Noticed?” Cailean repeats. “I noticed… because she wasn’t by my side when I woke up.” “Oh.” Cailean says, realization quickly settling in.

“That’s what I was trying to tell you before Lexi called, that Kim and I are dating.”

“Oh.” Cailean repeats, unable to articulate anything else. “Since when?”

“Since Valentine’s… Aislyn was the one who gave me a push to ask Kim out, and I did, and it went pretty great.”

Cailean was feeling a million emotions at once. “I didn’t know you felt that way about Kim.”

“Neither did I, but it slowly dawned on me and… you probably don’t want to hear about this now.” Gus says and Cailean wonders what kind of expression he has on his face. He wanted to say he was happy for them, but the emotion that was overwhelming him right now was anger towards his mother. “Sorry.” He says simply, and he can tell Gus understands.

“Well, the evening after, Kim went to go and pay Aislyn a visit in Bayville because she was concerned.” Each word Gus uttered felt like a punch to the gut for Cailean. How could he have been so completely oblivious to all of this? “Aislyn didn’t mention any of this?” Gus asks hesitantly. “No, she didn’t.” Cailean says icily.

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to pay my mother a visit.”
___


7:02 p.m. | Ruby Brick Restaurant & Bar
An hour into their shopping trip, Mackenzie tries on a dress that makes her face light up. Nicole and Aislyn exchange a silent glance between themselves knowing that they’d found the one. Aislyn knew they’d be successful with Nicole’s help, but she didn’t think it’d be that quick. She supposed knowing where to look made all the difference. Nicole insisted she pay for the dress to Mackenzie’s protests, and Aislyn compromised saying she’d pay for the matching shoes and accessories to which Nicole agreed and was met with even more protests from Mackenzie. 

They decide to grab dinner from a nearby restaurant and dessert afterwards to celebrate their productive evening. When they enter, a woman sitting at the bar snaps her head in their direction and looks at them in a way that makes Aislyn uncomfortable. The woman’s face is familiar but Aislyn can’t place where she knows her from. “What’s wrong?” Mackenzie asks when they take their seats. “That woman…” Aislyn says. “I know her from somewhere.” Then it suddenly clicks into place. The woman was the news anchor, Valerie Jamieson, that Cailean mentioned he didn’t particularly like after she wrote a piece attacking the Oldmerrow Police Department and his mother. “I know her as well.” Nicole chimes in.


As if on cue, Valerie rises from the bar and joins their table. “Pardon my intrusion.” She says, “But I couldn’t help but notice that you’re
the Nikki Lake, are you not?”

“I’ve not gone by that name for some time now.” Nicole says.

“Right, right. My apologies. You’ve been out of the spotlight for so long now, what would you prefer I call you?”

“Nicole is fine.” 

This happened from time to time when Aislyn occasionally stepped out with Nicole. Someone would recognize her or ask to take a picture and she’d express her gratitude, but politely decline.

“I have an evening show-” “I’m familiar.” Nicole states, interrupting Valerie who looks very smug upon hearing that.

“Would you mind if I got a quick interview? Those of us who were such fans were shocked when you retired so suddenly. You were such an inspiration.”

“I’m flattered, but that chapter of my life has closed, and I don’t feel the need to revisit it.”

“Of course, you run a talent agency of your own these days, right? How’s that going?”

At this, Nicole smiles. Aislyn had to give credit where it was due, it appears as though Valerie did her research, and knew all the right things to say.

“It’s been so fulfilling to help cultivate the careers of others.” Nicole says sweetly.

“It’s refreshing to see that your roster of talent has such a range of ages and backgrounds.” Valerie flashes a killer smile.

“That’s exactly what we set out to do…” Nicole continues.


Nicole begins to converse back and forth with Valerie and Aislyn resists the urge to roll her eyes.
She looks at Mackenzie who is staring wide-eyed and in awe of the two ladies, shifting her gaze back and forth between them. Aislyn wonders if she too would have been as enamored with Valerie had she not already heard about her from Cailean. Looking at her now, Aislyn couldn’t help but feel like there was something forced about her politeness.

Valerie catches her staring and directs her eyes towards her. “And who might you be?” She asks, keeping her smile plastered on. “I’m her daughter.” Aislyn says curtly, not bothering to fake any pleasantries. “I wasn’t aware that you remarried.” Valerie says redirecting her gaze to Nicole whom Aislyn notices was beaming at her response. She can’t help but smile at her in return.

“Yes, well. My husband and I didn’t feel the need to make a big spectacle of it.” “I see… And you?” Valerie says, turning to her right. “She’s a friend of mine.” Aislyn answers on Mackenzie’s behalf. “Aren’t you a little old to be hanging out with… children?” Valerie says sweetly and Mackenzie’s expression falls. Aislyn opens her mouth to snap back, but to her surprise, it’s Nicole who speaks first. “Ms. Jamieson…” She begins. Aislyn turns towards Nicole and is surprised to see the look on her face: eyes narrow, and the smile from moments ago nowhere to be found.

“Who my family chooses to befriend or spend their time with is not your, nor anyone else’s, concern.”

“Well, of course, but-” Valerie begins to speak, but Nicole cuts her off. “I wasn’t finished.” Valerie has it in her to look embarrassed and that pleases Aislyn immensely.


“Now, I think I was kind enough to you. Played along and entertained your well-rehearsed, artificial, predictable questions, but you media people never know when to stop. I’d almost forgotten how much I’d despised living my life under such scrutiny as I have for most of it, and in one brief moment, you’ve reminded me. So for that, I thank you.” Nicole says with a smile. Aislyn had never seen her be anything but pleasant, and was equally impressed and slightly afraid at her ability to say such harsh words with a sweet expression.

“You have a talent for overstepping boundaries you know. I’m sure it serves you well in your line of work.” Nicole continues. Clearly no one has dared to say the things Nicole was to Valerie, who stares open-mouthed, seemingly frozen, at Nicole. “A word of advice, next time you speak to someone and see the line, you know, the one you shouldn’t cross… don’t foolishly blaze past it. Especially if you’re speaking to someone you need something from.” Aislyn almost felt bad for Valerie. Almost.

“I think you should go.” Aislyn says, tilting her head towards the door. Valerie doesn’t hesitate to heed her advice. “Sorry for the disturbance.” She says, still having it in her to give them a smile before stalking towards the door. “Nicole.” Aislyn says, once Valerie is out of sight.

“Yes?”

“That was incredible. Slightly scary, but incredible.”

Nicole laughs, “Oh, dear. That was nothing. You should have seen me when I was younger, I’ve mellowed out quite a bit.” Mackenzie giggles. “You certainly fooled me, I thought you were happy when Valerie was talking to you.” Aislyn says and Nicole rolls her eyes. “All a part of the job, darling.” Aislyn couldn’t imagine a life like that. So many people looking into you and at you, and having be nice about it. Considering the life she’s had, it would be her worst nightmare. “A life under scrutiny…” She says, quoting Nicole’s words from earlier. “No offense, but that sounds horrible.”

“Believe me, it was. Consider yourself lucky that you’ll never have to experience it…”
___


7:11 p.m. | DeCarlo House
Cailean had stormed to the Oldmerrow Police Department only to be told by his mother’s right hand, Tom, that she’d left early for the day. Tom’s interruption during Cailean’s interrogation of Ensley Bates was still fresh in his mind, but he did his best to keep his anger in check. Cailean utters a thanks and makes his way straight home. 

Sure enough, he finds his mother watering some plants in the garden out back. As he gets closer to her, he does his best to put on his usual face. His mother thought overt expressions of emotion made you irrational, and he was feeling quite a few at the moment. If she caught on, as she usually did, she’d refuse to talk to him until after he ‘cooled his head’ and he couldn’t afford to wait for however long that would take. He wanted his answers now. 

“What has you home so early?” He asks when he reaches his mother’s side. “It’s Stan and I’s anniversary, so I figured it was only fair to make some time to celebrate. He’s still getting ready.” She answers as she moves to another plant to water. “That sounds nice.” Cailean says. He walks over to the wooden fence surrounding their yard and leans on it, drawing in a slow breath, “This may seem random, but did you run into Aislyn on Valentine’s?”

“You’re right, that is random.” His mother says, continuing to focus her attention on the plants by her feet, seemingly unfazed by his question. “Well?” Cailean presses. His tone must’ve given him away, since his mother turns to look at him, her sharp eyes peeking over the shades on her nose-bridge. “I may have run into her briefly.” She moves to another plant. “That’s it?” Cailean says, dropping his attempts to remain calm. “That’s all you have to say?”

“Were you expecting something? It was just a brief run in.” She says dismissively. Her tone only serves to infuriate Cailean more. “Drop it, mom. A friend of mine saw you two, why are you lying to me?”

“Why would I need to report my running into someone to you.”

“That someone is my girlfriend, which I know you’re aware of despite me not having told you, because when do you not know something? And given your history, do you expect me not to be concerned?”

“My history?” His mother repeats, narrowing her eyes.

“Do you want me to remind you each and every time you’ve looked into someone I’ve dated and how that played out?”

“I was only looking out for you then.”

“They were normal people, mom. Just because you’re surrounded by criminals every day doesn’t mean the rest of the world is like that.” Cailean says exasperated.


“You’re being emotional.” His mother says cooly.

“You expect me to be calm? What did you say to her?”

“Nothing much-”

“What. Did. You. Say?” Cailean repeats, gritting his teeth.

“Like I said, nothing.”

“Your telling me that if I go to your computer right now, I won’t find a file on Aislyn.” His mother hesitates before answering and that’s all the confirmation Cailean needs. “I knew it, you did find something out about her. Was it so bad that you just couldn’t help yourself from confronting her about it?”

“Calm down, that’s not what happened.”

“So tell me what did. People don’t just run into each other at graveyards.”

“You’re being ridiculous.” His mother says.

“And you’re lying to me.” Cailean counters, “And you hate lying.”

They lock eyes with one another, neither one relenting. “I have nothing more to say to you.” His mother says. “Of course you don’t.” Cailean retorts. Without another word, he makes his way back towards the house. He hadn’t expected his mother to be so unyielding. She detested lying, and yet she was doing exactly that now.

Was that avoidance he was feeling on Aislyn’s end because of this? If he asked her, would she be honest about it? Was whatever they talked about so bad that she felt she couldn’t trust him? Each scenario that played out in Cailean’s head only served to make him feel worse. He thought he was someone who could confidently say that he knew the people closest to him best. And it was becoming glaringly apparent that that was far from being the case… 

If you’ve made it to the end, I’m giving you a virtual hug. Sorry this was eons long, I tried to cut it several times and this is all I could manage without shifting the timeline I have in mind for the story off by much. To be honest, I expected to be a tad further plot-wise by this point, but incorporating chars. and other elements into the story drew it out longer than expected. This chapter held quite a few significant developments for later on~

Sorry for going MIA once again. I thought I’d have some free time during Thanksgiving, and ended up being busier than ever, lol. I guess this super long chapter kind of – sort of – makes up for it *inserts awkward laughter* I’d love to get another one out before the year ends, but am not too sure if I’ll be successful. The number of times I’ve posted this entire year is quite ridiculously low 😅

Thanks as always for being so patient and sticking by my horrible writing schedule and this lengthy story 💕  In case you don’t hear from me until next year, I wish you all a happy holiday! Stay safe out there!

Thanks for reading ❤️
Take care,
xoxo Amy

15 thoughts on “Sight Chapter 48: Under Scrutiny

  1. It’s so awesome to see another chapter! Three months already?! Time really flies by 😮 Has life been alright to you?

    Cailean losing his confidence as soon as it comes to the actual thing, what a mood 😆 Hmmm… so previously I thought Heidi might be dead and Walter was just covering it up, so I was surprised to see that she was there… but I’m also suspicious to why she refused to show her face, and her reluctance to speak. Now I’m thinking that maybe someone is pretending to be her (maybe the housekeeper that Cailean was trying to interrogate last chapter?). You continue to be highly shady, Mr. Phillips 🤔

    The shopping trip with Mackenzie and Nicole (and the friendship that’s sprung up between them) was so cute! I think Aislyn should get into a habit of answering Cailean when he calls though, they still have a disconnect in communication, both of them should be prioritising that more. And the little details of Nicole not wanting to eat the icecream because of her modelling past, and Mackenzie’s poor situation, were sad. It’s really good to see the three of them having fun together. Ahh and could you remind me of the first time Aislyn met Jo? I can’t quite remember. Aislyn’s reaction to being offered the toddler was so me haha.

    Yay for more Gus! I’m glad the boys are finally reconnecting. What a hard-hitting gym session though😅 Cailean and Aislyn r e a l l y need to sort their communication problem out. It’s only from two other people observing does he realise something is up with her. And now he’s found out that she’s definitely hiding something major from him…

    Damnnn Nicole! I agree, that was scary yet incredible. She really put Valerie right back in her place and I love it 👏👏👏 I really hope that the slimy news anchor won’t try get back at her though. I feel like people like her could twist the most truthful words into something bad. I can’t imagine having to constantly deal with that kind of thing, fame comes with a heavy price.

    I didn’t think cool-headed Daphne would say anything to Cailean, so I’m not surprised that his attempted questioning ended up with him just getting more frustrated. So now, he has to confront Aislyn about it, which I’m guessing she will avoid as much as possible… before she’s finally forced to tell him. The danger of Aislyn putting off telling him the truth about his abilities is now slowly creeping up, and it’s got me on the edge of my seat. Yikes yikes yikes.

    This was a really great chapter, the length was fine to me because of all the interesting scenarios that were packed in! I’m curious, though, how many words was it? Happy (healthy) holidays to you too ❤🎇

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    1. Aww thanks ☺️ Yeah, I know! When I looked at the date when I last posted I was thinking no way it’s been that long. I’ve been doing well, thanks for asking! Finishing up grad school so it’s been kind of hectic.

      Any time someone else talks you into doing something, motivation just decreases super quick XD Interesting line of thought there… I shall let you see how it plays out 😇

      I felt it was a needed change of pace to do something fun. Plus that party’s drawing nearer so they really needed to get that shopping done, hehe. Communication remains to be obstacle #1 for Caislyn I’m afraid. Ahh it’s been years *cries* but Aislyn met Jo in Chapter 23 (a familiar face) via flashback – chronologically in the story they met in that time skip in chapter 10 but I didn’t fit it in there 😅 Aislyn’s feelings about children shall be a recurring thing, especially when her new sibling comes into the picture. There’s a reason for her views that even she hasn’t realized yet.

      Their chat was long overdue. Haha, what was supposed to be a little exercise turned into a bombshell of revelations 😂 Cailean’s going to start thinking that his ‘give Aislyn time and space whenever he thinks she’s holding something back’ approach wasn’t the wisest idea.

      Fame is a double edged sword indeed. The sacrifices you have to make for wealth and power aren’t worth it for some. That was the case for Nicole. Valerie will be popping up again. Whether her nature is on the evil side or not remains to be seen.

      A part of him knew going to his mother for answers wouldn’t be that fruitful but he thought she’d divulge at least one thing. Bingo, Aislyn’s immediate line of thought is going to be to skirt around it for as long as she can… That’s not going to play out well in the long run, hehe.

      Aww I appreciate that! ❤️ Haha, I’m glad you feel that way because it was about 6.5k 💀 I know. Thank you! And thanks for reading 💕

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  2. I’m suspicious about Heidi and I, too, wonder if someone was pretending to be her. Hmm…
    That was some nice bonding between Mackenzie, Aislyn and Nicol, expect for the journalist, of course. It’s too bad that Aislyn isn’t answering Cailean’s calls yet again. Remember these girls who would drop anything they’re doing just to talk to their boyfriend? Well, Aislyn’s the opposite and it’s toxic, too. It’s not even because she’s busy, to be honest. Cailean’s right that she’s avoiding him.
    I liked that Gus and Cailean finally met up. It was a tad awkward, though, because Gus used to date Aislyn. But woah, what developments it brought up, Cailean found out about so many things Aislyn didn’t bring up! Like, even the fact she helped Gus and Kim get together that she reasonably shouldn’t have any problem sharing? Weird, she’s in too deep with hiding simple and little things from Cailean.
    And there it is, Cailean and the mother. Wow, I was surprised that his mother used to dig up stuff on his previous girlfriends, though it kind of makes sense given what she’s like. I did think that she was so interested in Aislyn because of her being at the police station on various occasions, but now I see maybe she wouldn’t have looked into it so much had she not dated her son. But then again, she has the same desire for the truth as Cailean with her cases, so maybe she would have anyway…
    And I couldn’t help but notice that both Cailean and Aislyn do not have one parent and have one step parent, but in Aislyn’s case her bio parent is her dad, but in Cailean’s – his mom. It’s interesting and maybe they could get some closure with both of them missing one parent, though it’s an entirely different case with how Cailean’s dad is dead, and Aislyn has such a bond with Nicole because her mom wasn’t as good and she wasn’t as close to her as Cailean was to his dad… And I believe Kim lives with her mom only? I thought that was brought up at one point if I remember correctly. Also, Gus has very demanding parents. Does anyone have a standard home structure with both loving bio parents here? Mai? Lexi? Otto? Anyone? XD
    And yeah… Now I see how you mentioned you’d be torturing us anyway once Aislyn and Cailean got together. I wonder if they manage to trust each other again and not break things off when it gets to the confrontation where Aislyn would have to tell him about her ability… But you know, if only her ability was the only thing she kept hidden from him. She didn’t have a logical reason, I believe, to hide many of the stuff, simple, everyday things that she, too, didn’t share with him about her cause she deemed them and her life unimportant. Like, I kind of get why she’d be hesitant to share her past, but that’s a lot, a lot other things she could have and should have said just because he’s her boyfriend XD How is she going to explain that? Just merely her personality trait?

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    1. You know, actually I have to rant.
      What kind of a girlfriend is Aislyn? She goes to the person she barely knows (I don’t remember them bonding that much after she rescued Aislyn, like heck, she doesn’t even know about her sister or family) and they haven’t talked for months straight away and excuses herself from the people she is meeting. But when her boyfriend calls she’s like nope, he didn’t even reply to my text XD Even if that conversation was too long for the meeting, she could have answered and said they would talk it over later. She didn’t know that but Cailean was about to meet up with Gus anyway so he didn’t exactly have time either. Just wanted to check up on her. And I don’t get Aislyn, I really don’t. How can she be so selfless that she doesn’t even talk about herself but knows many, many things about others? It’s usually the opposite with toxic people, isn’t it? But isn’t that toxic, too? She can’t form a healthy relationship that way. They say it’s about giving, yeah, sure, but taking too, and she isn’t even trying to take anything Cailean might offer her (and I’m sure he would have a lot to offer). I wonder what her relationship with Tristan was like, you know, back then before the accident? Was she much different?
      Actually, I remember being so happy when you got Aislyn and Cailean together and all, but I never expected her to be such a toxic girlfriend – cause let’s face it, even if she’s trying to show affection and all, that’s not everything, and she does too many things that jeopardize the relationship and ruin the potential it had in the beginning. And it’s not her ability, the problem is with Aislyn herself. I’m starting to feel like Cailean doesn’t deserve her… And I get it, they may sort things out after all still, but you know, if I was Cailean, I think I wouldn’t want to be with someone who lied to me the way Aislyn did. I just couldn’t trust them anymore no matter how much I would try – kind of similarly like if they cheated on me. And with how the ex was dishonest with him (a pattern, huh?), I can’t see it ending very well. Aislyn would have to deal with her trust issues. But starting anew with someone else, I think. Even telling him the truth (even if she suddenly told him the whole truth and not part of it, which I doubt) isn’t going to magically fix the damage. Cailean must be deeply hurt now, and even if she changed, he’s never going to trust her the way he had before.

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      1. Haha, rant away 😆 I know how frustrating she can be.
        Again, Aislyn is someone who shies away from discussing herself, or romance in general, so she jumped at the chance to escape from the conversation, even though it was someone who she wasn’t super chummy with. You’re right in that she hasn’t pieced together that Jo is Mrs. Durand’s sister. Her noting that Cailean didn’t answer her text wasn’t from a bitter place, but more so that she figured out that must be the reason for his call and didn’t feel the urgency to answer. If she did, it definitely would’ve been a short call XD

        Aislyn is quite the perceptive person. She has no issue listening and helping others with their problems, but is a bit hypocritical and doesn’t like it when others try to do the same for her. That trait is something that can be toxic and harmful in a relationship because it’ll have the other person exhausted from trying to guess what she’s thinking or feeling all the time, and frustrated from her lack of expression. All the lying probably doesn’t help either.

        Haha, Cailean does have a lot to offer ☺️ The way things are now, Aislyn’s put up a wall between them that doesn’t allow them to get closer to one another emotionally. In her defense, she has this wall up with everybody, but considering they are in a relationship it’s worse that that’s the case for them.

        Aislyn was a completely different person with Tristan, 180 degrees. She was a lot more outspoken and outgoing then. She also didn’t mind being the center of attention. Tristan helped her have a bit more stability in life, as she was more of a wild child. And they never fought or had issues communicating. Back then, Aislyn didn’t have any trouble sharing what was on her mind, unlike now. After the accident happened and so many people around her would talk about her, she grew to hate attention and closed herself off from everyone. She’s just now getting back to being super social and being in relationships after nearly a decade.

        Haha, I mentioned the feeling of satisfaction at them getting together would be short lived 😇 While Aislyn has some toxic traits, I’d hesitate to label her as a toxic girlfriend just because her goal isn’t to cause harm but that’s what ends up happening. Perhaps intention doesn’t matter though…

        Cailean didn’t luck out falling for someone who also takes advantage of his kindness and keeps things from him. That’s why he’s not going to take what Aislyn tells him – if/when she does – too well. Whether it’ll be something they can work through or not, I shall let you wait and see. Aislyn definitely needs to work on herself though. Trust is going to be such a major factor in their relationship moving forward, especially after this…
        I’m touched at the level of thought and feelings you have towards everything 😊❤️ It was fun to read. I can’t promise things won’t continue to be frustrating in the future, but I still hope you enjoy, hehe.

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      2. I mean, I know she didn’t pick up not because he didn’t reply to her message, but imagine if Cailean thought it was because of that. It would cause additional drama XD I just thought of that and thought it would be a funny explanation given the circumstances in which she didn’t pick up. Sure didn’t look good for someone who didn’t know her motives.
        I meant to say, I had a friend who would always listen to my problems, and one day she told me I was selfish because I never listened to hers. Problem was she never really brought them up that much, and sometimes didn’t want to talk even when asked. I also learned from experience that some people really don’t like you questioning them and feel you’re annoying, so I’m usually cautious with not asking too many questions. Anyway, she reminded me a bit of Aislyn, except she wouldn’t probably have a problem with someone not hearing about her stuff (kind of an issue, too, with her trying to be too independent).
        Yeah, it’s looking so bad now especially because they’re in a relationship…
        I’m so sorry the accident changed her so much. Still, it’s bad that she doesn’t seem to acknowledge she has a problem now. It’s been so many years…
        Well, I wouldn’t deem her a toxic person, but a toxic girlfriend, though very unusual at that. Usually, toxic people use others to their advantage, but in this case she’s toxic both to Cailean and herself (cause she doesn’t even seek help and support from him that she should be getting in a relationship). I do think it’s an interesting case. Normally, it’s totally the other way around. It’s weird and I get why we would hesitate to say someone who’s so caring is toxic, but she’s being so, I think. Toxic to their relationship as a whole. It’s like she’s doing all the bad things that we are warned of doing because they ruin communication. It will be difficult to move on from this point but I feel like with how it’s going, she’s reaching the lowest point where she will have to face the consequences of her actions, and will have to acknowledge the bad she’s done. With what you said about intention, I thought of the road to hell being paved with good intentions XD I feel like it’s kind of this way here. It’s so hard to acknowledge it’s toxic because she’s all in all a good person and she can be so sweet and caring. But I feel like you can be toxic without meaning, too, just in a different way, but equally damaging. I don’t know, that’s my take here.
        I thought of how interesting it’s going to be when Aislyn tries to get closer to Axel. It will be a funny situation for her to meet someone who has a wall put up just like her. I feel they’d profit tremendously from a relationship in which both of them worked hard to overcome their trust issues. Just a thought, though. I really am with Cailean on this one. He’s too good to deal with some of Aislyn’s shit, even though I don’t doubt he has the kindness and patience to go through it with her. Just sometimes people choose to suffer because of a loved one when in reality it would be better for them to move on and be selfish for once… It kind of hurts because Aislyn is the main character and we are so attached to her, but Cailean has been through shit losing his dad and now having another girlfriend lying to him. It’s just not fair that he has to suffer for this relationship now. I really feel bad for him.
        I’m sure I will enjoy! I’m kind of too invested in your story at this point, LOL

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      3. I see what you mean, that’s definitely one way to interpret her actions. And when you don’t know, your mind tends to jump to worst case scenarios sometimes.

        Sorry to hear you had that experience. It’s hard to find that balance of giving people their space and not being pushy, but also letting them know you’re there for them and getting them to talk to you.

        Aislyn prides herself on her independence and the issue is she lacks self-awareness. It’s funny because if she saw someone else in her shoes she’d be able to give solid advice, but she can’t seem to see her own situation that way and that’s the problem.

        I think you make an important distinction in that toxic people tend to take advantage of others, and harm them for selfish reasons, but Aislyn isn’t gaining anything from what she’s putting them both through. Just causing unnecessary trouble. 😂😭 You have to reach a lowest point to be able to work your way out of it though, and she’s certainly getting there.

        Haha, that’s a very relevant and accurate quote XD I appreciated your perspective, I think a lot of what you said holds true. The outcome of your actions matters, despite what you meant.

        Interesting you bring up Axel. Because he’s so like Aislyn, she’d be able to pick up on a few things about herself from being around him. As for what develops between them… you shall see. I can say they will get a lot closer over time 😇
        Loool, Aislyn is definitely putting the poor guy through some hardship. In a way, he will benefit from that and learn to be less passive about things. Aislyn’s going to have to prove her worth to be able to save their relationship. Otherwise, it’s very possible Cailean won’t feel it worth fighting for.
        Aww, again I’m touched ☺️💕 I hope to deliver~

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    2. You both may be onto something there…
      Yeah, Valerie kind of put a damper on their evening. Most people would indeed jump at the chance to talk to their significant other, but not Aislyn. She’s someone who shies away from public displays of affection, and being super vulnerable and expressive in front of others. So even though she wasn’t busy, she’d feel awkward speaking on the phone in front of Nicole and Mackenzie, and that’s why she passed on the call. Before that she was avoiding Cailean though. That part of her is definitely harming their relationship.

      Yeah, it was awkward indeed. Gus and Cailean didn’t know how to navigate the subject of Aislyn, but won’t be holding back when discussing their love lives going forward because Gus never felt that way about her and he has Kim now. Aislyn being a matchmaker is something she should have no trouble mentioning to Cailean, but since Gus was involved she felt weird bringing it up. She wasn’t sure how Cailean would react because she never discussed her relationship with Gus with him.

      Daphne never cared when Cailean was in high school, but after he became an adult she began to look into the people around him – not just girlfriends but he doesn’t know that – because she was afraid being the son of the police commissioner and all, some people could approach him with ulterior motives. Her reasons for looking into Aislyn were about 60% because of the confession and her history at the station and 40% because she’s dating her son. If Aislyn wasn’t dating Cailean she still would’ve confronted her, but she was extra curious because they do have a relationship.

      Yup! I’m glad you picked up on that 😄 Aislyn absolutely hates bringing up her mother as it’s a sensitive subject for her. But, if she did, it’d be something she and Cailean could both relate to one another with since they both were closer to the parent they lost – even though Aislyn’s mother is still alive out there somewhere – and it happened at around the exact same point in their lives (high school).

      Regarding the dynamics of everyone else, you are 100% right: Kim’s parents are divorced and she lives with her mother, Karina, and Gus’s parents are famously in a loveless marriage. Chad and Mai both have normal loving families with both parents still together. If they manage to get engaged, then that’s something that you’d be able to see at the wedding 😇 It probably won’t come up in story, but Axel and Lexi also have stable families. And Otto only has his biological father who hasn’t remarried after his mother passed away due to an illness (this will come up later on).

      The problem with Caislyn’s communication is partially because of Aislyn’s fears but another part is their personalities. Aislyn doesn’t mention a lot of trivial things because in her mind she genuinely doesn’t feel they are worth mentioning or she doesn’t want to cause worry. Cailean on the other hand values knowing all those little things which is why he continuously tells her to open up to him – except she doesn’t XD. I told you their relationship would be a bumpy ride, hehe. That eventual confrontation won’t be pretty 😇 Thanks for reading and commenting! ❤️

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      1. Wow, I do love how you know everything about everyone’s family life. It was interesting to have that all written out like that. And Aislyn, being as perceptive as she is, I feel totally can’t see the whole scale of the issue with her not opening up to Cailean. And she won’t listen, too, even to JD’s advice. I get it she may not be ready, but I feel like she’s not trying enough (kind of believes it will be okay as it always has been when she managed to get out of trouble; it will backfire for sure) and will probably be shocked when it suddenly dawns on her what she caused between herself and Cailean with all the lying and hiding things. I feel like everyone would value little things about their significant other. You obviously care about them and want to know what’s going on in their life. God, now I really wanna see Aislyn’s face when she meets angry and hurting Cailean. She was being delusional for sure, caught up with her case and all the others things and not seeing where it’s going…

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      2. I think it helps when writing out character dialogue and interactions if you have a backstory in mind for them ☺️

        Things would be infinitely better if Aislyn would do what J.D. told her to, but she’s stubborn. That’s exactly right, because Aislyn’s managed to have things work out her way in the past, she assumes things will play out the way she wants them to. That won’t be the case this time though. The distance between them made it easier for her to think that way. Had she still been in Oldmerrow, it would’ve been harder for them to reach this point because they would’ve been a short drive away if they needed to talk. Aislyn definitely cares about those aspects of Cailean, she loves when she finds out little things about him or sees him happy doing what he loves, but doesn’t realize that he feels the same and wants to know those things about her too.

        You’ll get to see that reaction in all its glory next chapter, hehe :3 Aislyn will start to realize just how badly she’s been handling their relationship.

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  3. I’m so sorry I’m late reading and commenting! To be perfectly honest I had hip replacement surgery a week ago Monday. (No, I’m not an 80 year old woman!) And I needed to be lucid to read and digest it! So I saved my email and it got buried. 😬. I just realized I missed it! I’m doing really well with the help of my wonderful husband. ❤️ Enough about me.

    Can I strangle Aislyn? When your boyfriend calls – ANSWER THE PHONE! Especially when he’s as sweet and as hot as Cailean. Yes, he’s very very very patient with her and so she takes advantage of him. Grrrr. I understand she has issues and doesn’t want to ‘worry’ Cailean, but he worries more having to guess. He’s figured her out, kinda and is giving her some space, but she’s yet to figure him out. I hope he hasn’t met his boiling point. I mean 🙄 he’s lost his case, which is super suspicious, found out Gus and Kim are thing, that Lexi saw his mom and Aislyn having a sneaky visit and now mom isn’t telling him the truth either!

    This web gets more and more tangled! 🕸🕷🕸. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and have a great Christmas and New Year! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Please don’t apologize! I appreciate you taking the time to read at all ☺️ Oh, my! I had a close family friend have the same surgery last year! I saw the before and after pictures/x-rays – it’s super invasive. Wishing you a speedy recovery! ❤️❤️

      Haha, you can 😆 She needs a wake up call. Aislyn is unaware of just how increasingly worrisome her silence is, and that trying to not cause concern by keeping things only does the exact opposite. You’re right in that she hasn’t tried to view things from his perspective or understand him at all. Cailean hasn’t reached his maximum tolerance yet, but he’s getting there, hehe. All of these back to back developments certainly haven’t helped.

      I had a great Thanksgiving, thanks 😄 Back at you! I hope you have a safe Holiday and wish you smooth healing from your surgery, Audrey 💕 Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. So sorry for how long it’s taken me to read this. 😌 Even now, I feel like most of the days I don’t have the energy for simlit and especially not commenting. Just figured I’d do it from early in the morning today and finally get to som of the “backlog” of chapters.

    Ha, ha, as everyone else said – Aislyn really should take time to answer calls from her boyfriend, lol. 😛 The boy isn’t going to put up with that nonsense forever, girl. It’s great that she’s building friendships with her step-mom and Mackenzie, but seriously – be a better girlfriend. I say this as someone who was in a relationship without communication. She’s killing the relationship.

    And of course it would come bite her that she talked to Cailean’s mum. I have to say, maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t like his mum in this one. That whole refusal to talk unless he’s completely emotionless and stuff? Nonsense. That’s just because she doesn’t want to deal with messy emotions. I’m not surprised she wouldn’t talk, but I think it’s shitty to not want to talk to your own son like that. Maybe Cailean’s fallen for Aislyn because he thinks that kind of secret keeping and nonsense is normal because of mummy dearest. 🙄

    This was great, Amy, and I’m again sorry for taking so long. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey dear, please don’t apologize! I know the feeling. I end up hopping on here once a week and still haven’t caught up on anything myself 😅 I appreciate you taking the time to read ❤️

      Aislyn is unsurprisingly continuing to frustrate everyone XD For every step forward she takes in one area, she takes several back elsewhere, hehe.

      Yeah, Daphne’s approach is kind of hit or miss. She knows arguments and misunderstandings arise quicker when one party is expressing significant emotions, so she’d rather avoid that – even with her own family. Daphne takes her promises seriously and even though Cailean’s her son, she doesn’t wish to break her word to Aislyn and share what they talked about. Nonsense lolll 😂 it really is. That’s true in part – it’s not like her secret keeping drew Cailean to her, but he’s more understanding of it because he’s used to it and wants to learn about her more, bit by bit. Aislyn isn’t helping whatsoever with that though 😆

      Thanks for commenting and the kind words 💕Hope you feel energized and in good spirits soon~ ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

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