Sight

Sight Chapter 50 pt. 2: The Fundraiser

SECOND PART RECAPS
***author’s note: Warning: Mention of anxiety and panic attacks/symptoms towards the end should you find those things triggering/wish to avoid them. Without further ado, the chapter that’s had the ~ longest ~ time coming. Quite a few thoughts at the end as well. Hope you enjoy~***
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7:04 p.m. | Drew’s Room
“Come in.” Drew’s voice rings out at the sound of a light knock. The door creaks open and his mother steps in. He was expecting it to be Dakota. “Stop touching your hair.” She says sternly as Drew runs a hand through his slick locks, unused to the sensation of the pomade lathered into them. When he’d asked his sister for advice on how to style it he thought she’d laugh, but she was surprisingly helpful, providing overly detailed instructions on how to work the product into his hair. His mother walks over to him, pressing her palm over the strands he’s just disheveled. “You look handsome.” She says as she gives his shoulders a squeeze. “Thanks.” Drew says bashfully, he wanted to look his best for Mackenzie.

“And…” His mother continues, “your friend from school is here.”

“Mom, you should’ve said that first!” Drew exclaims.

“She’s pretty.” His mother says as she straightens his tie. Though her words seemed lighthearted, Drew could tell she was eyeing him carefully. “She is.” He says, doing his best to control his expression. His mother was an overly critical person by nature, and he didn’t want to hear her say something negative about Mackenzie if she picked up on his feelings. “I’ll go to her then.” Drew feels her eyes linger on him as he makes his way downstairs before he eventually hears his mother’s footsteps fade in the direction towards Dakota’s room. 


He’d offered to have their driver pick Mackenzie up in class that afternoon, but she’d simply thanked him and said she’d be fine. He wanted to insist, but he recalled Dakota telling him that there was a fine line between being considerate and being pushy, and that girls found the latter off-putting, so he’d quickly dropped it. For a fraction of a second, Mackenzie’s expression looked panicked, but Drew wasn’t sure what about his offer could elicit that kind of response. If the evening went the way he’d hoped, and the relationship between them changed, he figured he’d have the chance to ask her later on. 

As Drew makes his way to the entrance of the house, he passes by staff moving boxes from room to room. His parents’ annual fundraiser was set to begin officially at 7:30 p.m, and preparations were still underway for all the guests that would be arriving. Mackenzie comes into view, gazing out of one of their windows, and Drew takes a moment to collect himself before approaching her. He clears his throat, “Hi, Mackenzie.” “Hey, Drew.” She says. Mackenzie gives him a smile that jumbles all the thoughts in his head.

“Sorry. I came too early, right?” She asks as a waiter carrying a tray full of empty champagne glasses walks by. “It’s fine. I’m glad you did. We can spend a little more time together.” The words escape Drew’s lips before he thinks them through. Gosh, did that come off weird? He wonders. “I mean, if you’re cool with that… because I would like to-” “That sounds nice.” Mackenzie says, halting his flow of words before he can say something he’d regret. “Great. So, um, want to come upstairs? I actually have something for you.” Mackenzie looks at him questioningly. “You do?” She asks. “Uh-huh. Follow me.” Drew extends an arm and is elated when Mackenzie takes it. The brush of her fingers on his sleeve makes his heart hammer in his chest. 


He leads her to the bench on the balcony outside of his room, plucking a bag off of his desk along the way. “What’s this?” Mackenzie asks once he hands it to her. “Just a little something… I saw it and thought of you, so…”  “But, It’s not even my birthday.” Mackenzie says with a shy smile. 

“Does it have to be for me to give you something?”

Mackenzie looks at the contents of the bag carefully. It was a sweater. A lavender one that Drew felt would look striking with her eyes. “It’s beautiful, thanks.” Mackenzie says as she feels the material between her fingers. Her smile falters the moment she looks at the embroidered label. “What‘s wrong?” Drew asks. Mackenzie bites her lip and a distracting amount of color forms on her cheeks before she answers. “I can’t accept this.” She says after a moment. Mackenzie folds and places the sweater back into the gift bag. “Why not?” Drew asks in surprise, his pulse quickening in panic.

“I know that brand. That’s a thousand dollar sweater, give or take.” Mackenzie says in explanation. Was it? Drew didn’t really pay attention to that kind of stuff when he went shopping. “So?” “So…” Mackenzie repeats, her face reddening further, “It’s way too expensive for a casual gift.” “Why should that matter? It’s not much.” Mackenzie flinches at his words and Drew wonders what he’s done wrong. “Mackenzie?” “I’m not comfortable accepting it, okay? Friends don‘t gift friends things like that.”


Hearing her say the word friend made his stomach sink. “What if we were something more, would you accept it then?” The words are out before he has time to rethink them. “Huh?” Mackenzie says, taken aback. Drew sighs. No turning back now. “At the park a few weeks ago, I said I had something I wanted to tell you today…” Mackenzie nods, eyes locked onto his. “I wanted to ask… if you wanted to go out with me.” “On a date?” Mackenzie asks. “On more than one.”

Was confessing your feelings always this nerve-wracking? Drew’d never done it before. Getting the words out was almost painful. “I’m trying to say that I like you, Mackenzie. A lot.” Mackenzie’s blush deepens. It was probably only a few seconds, but waiting for her to give a response felt like hours. “I really like you too.” She says after a moment and Drew does all he can to keep from hopping off of the bench in joy. “So, that means we’re dating now.” He says. He had to make sure he didn’t just imagine what he’d heard.

“I guess so.” Mackenzie says. He reaches over and takes her hand into his. Mackenzie intertwines their fingers, and for a moment they sit in a blissful silence. Mackenzie is the first to break it. “I still can’t accept your gift.”


“Why not?” Drew pouts. He really wanted to see how it’d look on her. Mackenzie rises and walks over to the balcony railing. There’s a quiet rumble of thunder in the distance, and the clouds in the sky begin to empty.

“I have my reasons, okay?”

Drew wanted to ask what they were, but felt he was tip-toeing into pushy territory. He leaves the bench and goes to her side. “Okay, fine. I understand. I’ll take it back.” “Thank you.” Mackenzie says, “Promise me you won’t get me anything like that in the future, birthday or not.” Drew bites his lip, and Mackenzie looks at him pleadingly. “I promise.” At his response, she exhales a sigh of relief. “Good.” 

“Can I touch you?” Drew blurts at seeing the smile that forms on her face. Mackenzie nods. He places his hands on her back and pulls her towards him. What do I do now? Drew freezes. Thankfully he isn’t left standing frantically for long, Mackenzie wraps her arms behind his head and draws him in for a kiss. It’s only a quick peck, but Drew is surprised at how overwhelming the sensation feels. Every nerve of his body was on high alert. His surprise allows him to recollect himself.

“I’d been meaning to tell you, you look really pretty today.”

“Thanks.” Mackenzie replies. “You look handsome too. I like your hair.” Drew silently thanks his sister for her help as he leans back in for another kiss.


___


7:39 p.m. | Dempsey Residence
As they approach their destination, Aislyn is surprised at how lively the otherwise quiet residential area suddenly becomes, with a string of cars lining the street and groups of people walking from a distance. After managing to find a spot to park, she and Cailean join the procession. Aislyn gasps as the slick pavement gives way beneath her heel. It had briefly rained on the way over, and the ground was considerably wet. Cailean tightens his grip on the hand he was already holding, steadying her. “Easy there.” He says. “Thanks.” Aislyn says breathlessly. “I told you,” Cailean says as he draws her closer, “I’d be more than happy to have you lean on me for the evening.” “Well, you’re here to work, so I can’t exactly do that, can I?” Aislyn smiles. 

Cailean hadn’t said much on the ride over, only that despite having some things to take care of, for the most part, it was meant to be a simple, social evening. As soon as they enter the hosts’ residence, she and Cailean are approached by a man in a gray suit. “Cailean, good to see you! Diana is already here. We’d agreed that whomever caught you first would bring you to the other.” “Mr. Polański, good evening.” Cailean says in acknowledgement. “And who might this lovely lady be?” The man asks as he turns his attention to Aislyn.

“Aislyn, this is Filip Polański, the current District Attorney of Oldmerrow. Mr. Polański, this is Aislyn Persefoni, my girlfriend. She works at the Sentinel here in Bayville.” “Nice to meet you.” Mr. Polański says as he extends a hand. “Likewise.” Aislyn says as she takes it in the one not currently enveloped in Cailean’s. “Sorry to spring on you right away, but before things get too busy, there are a few people we’d like you to meet.” Mr. Polański shrugs. “Right.” Cailean says as he gives an apologetic smile to Aislyn. “Don’t worry about me.” She says as she gives his hand a squeeze before releasing it.

“I tagged along fully expecting to be abandoned at some point along the night.” She jokes. “Mr. Polański gives a hearty laugh, “That’s a good one.” “I’ll come find you when I’m done.” Cailean says. Aislyn nods and waves as the two men depart down a corridor opposite the direction the majority of the guests are being guided along.


For a moment, it appeared as though Cailean’s expression had stiffened. Aislyn couldn’t tell if it was nerves, or perhaps something else. She follows the crowd towards the main gathering space, immediately greeted by bright lights, mellow tunes being played by a live band, and flocks of people socializing all around. Aislyn’s attention is drawn towards the beverage counter and she makes her way towards it.

“What can I get you?”

“Anything non-alcoholic.” Aislyn says. “Coming right up.” The bartender replies. “Aislyn?” A man’s voice calls. She turns her head in the direction it comes from, and is surprised to be greeted by two very familiar faces.

“Mr. Silva, Ms. Valentine, what a pleasant surprise.” “I’ll say!” Ms. Valentine, who Aislyn can’t help but notice looks rather stunning, beams. “What brings you here?” Silva asks. “My boyfriend has some business to attend to, so I came as his plus one.” Aislyn intentionally refrains from mentioning Cailean’s name, Silva would surely recognize it from the Phillips case, and she’d done a good job of managing to navigate at work without having it come up.

Silva opens his mouth as if to ask a question and Aislyn preemptively deflects. “Are you here for work?” She asks. “Pretty much. The Dempseys normally have their fundraisers at convention centers or other grand, outdoor locations. The fact that it’s notably more intimate this year, and in their home, makes me think there’s a story. It’d be best if we could get the jump on it first.” Silva responds. That didn’t explain why his assistant, Ms. Valentine, was also in attendance, and Aislyn wonders if perhaps there was something going on between them. As if her thoughts were visible on her face, Silva clears his throat, “Well, we’ll leave you be.” He says as he extends his arm in an attempt to escape.


Ms. Valentine downs the rest of the champagne in her hand before taking it. “Have a nice night!” She says to Aislyn. “You too.” Aislyn replies, and they saunter off. As the room begins to fill up, she takes her drink and makes her way to the back wall, looking over the guests on the dance floor as she does so. As Silva and Ms. Valentine join them, even from a distance, the aura between the two definitely appeared to be more than friendly, and Aislyn wonders if the rest of the team possessed more knowledge of the nature of their relationship than she did. 

A waiter comes to a stop beside her, holding out a tray, and Aislyn sets her now empty glass down with a thank you. A few more minutes go by with her awkwardly shifting from foot to foot. She’d told herself that she’d use the evening as an opportunity to network, but found that to be something much easier said than done. When was the last time she’d gone to something even remotely resembling a party? Her social skills were rusty at best. 

Just as Aislyn steels her resolve to approach another woman standing alone on the wall opposite her, she feels a hand slip into hers and turns to see Cailean pulling her along. They don’t walk too deep into the crowd, to which Aislyn is thankful as she was now hyper aware of Silva’s presence. Cailean places one of his hands on the small of her back, and they begin to sway to the slow rhythm. She’d noticed something was slightly off about Cailean briefly when they were leaving her house, and again once they’d arrived at the lively premises. His current silence only serves to affirm that.


There was a time when Aislyn found Cailean’s expressions to be unreadable; she’d be so frustrated at her inability to tell what he was thinking by looking at him. A part of her was pleased she was now able to gauge his feelings so easily even though they’ve been spending most of their time away from one another. The other part was afraid as to what could be troubling him. “Something wrong?” She asks. “No, everything’s good. Great actually.” Cailean says, his expression lifting. “That’s good.” Aislyn says with a smile.  

As they continue to move to the music, Aislyn allows herself to get lost in the features she’s come to yearn for during their many FaceTimes and phone calls: the curve of Cailean’s collarbone, the sharpness of his jaw, the locks of his hair that seemed to constantly change from deep brown to fair blond depending on the light. It looked chesnut now, and Aislyn held back her desire to run her hands through it. Her eyes eventually rest on his, and she notices Cailean is looking at her rather intently. A blush creeps into her cheeks. “Aislyn.” He says steadily, “There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about…” “Okay.” She says cautiously. Cailean expertly guides her, never missing a step, to a corner of the floor away from the crowd.

“Remember that job offer I mentioned a while back?” He asks. “The one you said you didn’t have to think about for some time?” Aislyn nods as she recalls their conversation. “Well, the time came to think about it, and I accepted.” “That’s wonderful, congrats!” Aislyn says excitedly. Cailean’s expression isn’t as bright as she suspects hers is, so she waits for him to continue, expecting there to be more.

“Well, the thing is… it’s in Ravensburg.” “Oh.” Aislyn says in acknowledgement. And now his demeanor partly made sense. “That’s… not too far.” She says after a moment. Cailean chuckles. “Yes, well, considering how often we get to see each other already…” He says sarcastically, and Aislyn laughs. “So… I was wondering if, rather than kill a good part of the day driving to one another for dates, you’d prefer to just stay over, for weekends, holidays, or whenever.” “You mean, like move in?” “Yeah. That is, only if you’d want t-” “I’d love to.” Aislyn doesn’t let him finish.


“I’m happy to hear that.” Cailean gives her a smile that makes her heart swell. Aislyn was surprised at the urge she had to pull Cailean in for a kiss considering how much public displays of affection made her uncomfortable. “Is that what had you looking so tense?” She asks. “That’s how I came across?” Cailean grins, “Yeah, it’s been on my mind. I didn’t know how you’d feel about it.” “I thought I’d made my desires fairly obvious.” Aislyn says in a low voice. At that, Cailean smirks. “Well, you can never be too sure… I already started looking at some places, but I figured it’d be nice if you tagged along when you have some time, that way you could have a say in-” Cailean is interrupted by Mr. Polański from earlier, and a woman Aislyn doesn’t recognize stopping beside them.

“Sorry to interrupt, yet again.” Mr. Polański says. “Mayor Dempsey will probably be occupied for the rest of the evening after giving his speech, so if we’re to speak with him, now’s the time…” As Mr. Polański continues to talk to Cailean, the woman by his side looks at Aislyn with an unreadable expression. Something about the smile she gives Aislyn unsettles her. She shifts in Cailean’s embrace and as if suddenly aware that he was still holding her, he releases her. 

“Go on ahead. I can manage.” She says with a smile. Cailean gives her another apologetic look before taking off with Mr. Polański and the woman who opts out of introducing herself. Suddenly, all of the socializing made sense. If Cailean was going to be working in Ravensburg, he’d essentially be on his own, unlike in Oldmerrow where he was acquainted with all of the police, lawyers, fellow prosecutors, and even most residents. His departure provides Aislyn with a moment to process his suggestion. Living together… As the thoughts of what that would entail swirl through her mind, Aislyn decides to get some air, she felt her face was crimson. 


She walks through one of the back doors and lays eyes on a woman standing alone, gazing at the starry night sky. “Mrs. Durand?” She says once she confirms it is indeed whom she suspects. Mrs. Durand tears her eyes away from the view she appeared to be enjoying to look at her. “You’re that journalist from the Sentinel.” Considering how many people Mrs. Durand likely met with on a daily basis, Aislyn was impressed she remembers. “Yes, I’m Aislyn.” “Is there something you need from me?” “No, actually, I just came for some air.” Aislyn says as she looks up at sky, letting the cool wind calm her warm cheeks. “As did I.” Mrs. Durand says, following suit.

“Everything okay?” Aislyn asks, breaking the brief silence after hearing Mrs. Durand give a lengthy sigh. “You won’t publish my answer in tomorrow’s paper, will you?” Mrs. Durand answers.

“No, of course not… If you’d prefer to be alone, I can go back inside-”

“I’m only kidding. My sister says my jokes aren’t that funny, I suppose she’s right.” 

Aislyn smiles and Mrs. Durand continues. “I’m just missing my daughter. Being away from her for any length of time never gets easier.” Aislyn recalls seeing a photograph of her holding a child in her office. “She’s with my husband’s family for the evening, I’m afraid they’ll spoil her to the point where she’ll prefer their company over ours. Do you have any children?” Mrs. Durand turns to her, and Aislyn shakes her head. “I don’t think I want to.” Aislyn answers honestly, taking a moment to ponder the question. Mrs. Durand gives her a sad smile. “I don’t mean to pry, but may I ask why not-” Her question is interrupted by the sound of the door swinging open. “There you are, Jackie. I’ve been looking all over for you!” The woman exiting says.


It’s only when she’s a few feet away that Aislyn recognizes her. “Well, I grew tired of being a third wheel.” Mrs. Durand says dismissively.

“You aren’t a- Aislyn?”

“Hi, Jo.” Aislyn says with a wave. “You two know each other?” Mrs. Durand asks as her head turns between them. Jo rushes over and clasps Aislyn’s hands in hers. “Yeah, she’s a friend! We’ve met a few times.” Jo says in quick explanation.

“It’s so good to see you! I’d been meaning to message you, but I’ve been so busy with school and family stuff that-”

“It’s fine.” Aislyn smiles. Jo always seemed to have an abundant energy that was infectious. As Aislyn glances between the two women, the late realization that they were sisters sets in. Considering how similar they looked, she was embarrassed at how she was unable to piece that together sooner. “Do you two know each other?” Jo repeats her sister’s question. “We met through work, briefly.” Mrs. Durand says simply. “What a small world!” Jo giggles.

The door opens once more, and another familiar face walks out. It’s Dr. Renolds, she and Kim’s savior from their dip in the Oldmerrow river last winter. He tips his head in acknowledgment at the sight of her. “I’d hate to interrupt your conversation, ladies, but it appears as though Mayor Dempsey will be making a speech soon, so everyone is gathering.” “Shall we head back in, then?” Mrs. Durand asks, and Aislyn nods, following the group inside.


Bruce was right. The room was noticeably more filled when they return, and they work their way forward until they’re a few rows away from the stage. Aislyn scans the crowd and sees Cailean near the front, flanked on both sides by Mr. Polański and the unknown woman. As if sensing her eyes on him, Cailean turns and meets her gaze.
Sorry. He mouths. Aislyn shakes her head in response. It’s fine. She mouths back. “Who’s that?” Jo asks, catching their interaction. “My boyfriend. I came here with him, but he’s busy at the moment.” As if on cue, the woman beside Cailean reaches for his shoulder to whisper something in his ear. Cailean nods and redirects his attention towards her. 

The sound of applause suddenly bursts through the room. Aislyn, Jo, Bruce, and Mrs. Durand join in. The mayor had entered and was making his way onto the stage. “Please, you’re all much too kind. Good evening, everyone!” He says as he takes his place behind the mic. Aislyn had seen Mayor Dempsey a few times in the paper and on the news. In person he seemed to have an air about him that was different from the impression he gave off from a distance. Perhaps it was because he was in the comfort of his own home, but he appeared a lot more relaxed. 

“I’m Ryan Dempsey, but then again, most of you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t already know that.” He pauses for the crowd to finish laughing. “Thank you for taking the time to come tonight. This is a departure from our usual annual fundraisers. Fear not, we still plan on going through the usual motions for the different charitable causes of this great city; however, before that, there’s a bit of news I’d like to share.” The mayor pauses to clear his throat.

“The city of Bayville is my home, it’s all I’ve ever known. Being the mayor for these past few years has been one of my life’s greatest pleasures… But now, I think it’s time to be a bit more ambitious as my wife constantly tells me to be. And so, without dragging this out any longer, I am here to announce that I will be running for governor of the state.” The room immediately breaks out into hushed whispers. “There are people here from not only Bayville, but Oldmerrow, Ravensburg, Middlesbrough, and beyond. I’ve gathered you because I think I can make a difference in helping to resolve some of the issues that we’ve been having in cities all around Kardon. Now, I’m not springing this on you to pressure you into making a donation to my campaign funds, though any and all support would be appreciated. I simply wanted you to hear the news from me first…”


As the mayor continues to speak, Aislyn lets her eyes wander. She wasn’t much into politics, her job simply required she be in the loop, and that was what she did. Instead of listening to Mayor Dempsey’s many promises, she decides to gauge the reactions of the crowd. After scanning a few faces, a dress catches her eye. It’s one she and Nicole had painstakingly found. Mackenzie? If the boy Mackenzie mentioned she liked invited her here, it meant that this was the event his family was hosting that she’d told Aislyn about. He must be the mayor’s son. Interesting. Aislyn would have to get a look at him later. She needed to make sure Mackenzie was a good judge of character. Perhaps she’d ‘bump’ into the two and give her greetings. The idea makes her smile; seeing Mackenzie here was an unexpected, but much welcomed surprise. 

Aislyn returns to her analysis of the area. She catches a glimpse of Silva jotting something down on a notepad, seemingly pleased that he’d managed to procure the scoop he’d wanted. Beside him, a woman in a distracting red dress stands out against the muted blues, blacks, and grays of the other guests. She does not make her disinterest subtle. After fiddling with an excellently manicured hand, she mimics Aislyn and also gives her attention to the room. It’s only when she does that Aislyn is able to see that it’s Valerie. Suddenly eager to direct her eyes elsewhere, a sudden change in Valerie’s demeanor halts Aislyn. 

Her look of haughty disdain immediately becomes one of shock. Aislyn follows Valerie’s line of sight, and to a shock of her own, sees it fall onto Cailean. He doesn’t appear to notice the pair of eyes on him at first, but it doesn’t take long. His head tilts a fraction away from Mayor Dempsey and locks onto Valerie. The expression that forms on his face is as cold as it is instantaneous. Even in the brief moments she’d seen Cailean upset, Aislyn had never seen him look like that. His face was unrecognizable. As quickly as he looks at Valerie, he looks away, refocusing on the stage. Aislyn’s head snaps back to Valerie who, to her utter amazement, has her head hanging down. Her brows were knitted together so furiously with an expression that Aislyn could only deem as being a cross between sorrow and embarrassment. She couldn’t believe her eyes. 


Aislyn’s staring must’ve been a tad too obvious, as Jo leans towards her and speaks. “I know her.” She says quietly. “That’s Valerie Jamieson. Ugh, she’s so annoying. Do you know how many times she’s dug into Jackie? She never has anything nice to say. Even when-” “That’s enough, Josephine.” Jackie says sternly. Jo seems to catch herself at her sister’s discomfort. “Sorry.” She mumbles. Aislyn barely processes the conversation occurring around her, she was much too preoccupied with what she’d just seen.

Yes, Cailean had expressed his dislike of Valerie before, so his expression – though startling – she supposes shouldn’t have been such a surprise. No, what was the surprise was the look on Valerie’s. She must’ve upset plenty of people with the stories she’s run – Jo and her sister seemingly on that list – but Aislyn doubted Valerie would wear the same expression she currently was if she were confronted by them, or anyone else. There’s no way… 

Aislyn’s never pried into Cailean’s love life. All she knew were the bits she’s heard from Kim, who tended to overshare despite her best intentions. So she knew that Cailean’s last relationship prior to theirs ended fairly badly after… what was it Kim said? ‘A betrayal of some kind by his ex’… Though the story would make sense, Aislyn could not picture a world in which someone like Cailean was with someone like Valerie. There had to have been another explanation.

The sound of applause pulls Aislyn out of her thoughts. The doors beside the stage were beginning to open. A teenage boy and girl bounce up the stairs and the audience continues to clap at their entrance; the mayor must’ve introduced his family. Aislyn attempts to focus on what was going on in front of her, shoving her current speculations from her mind.

“…And last, but not least, the rock behind me who was responsible for helping to organize this evening and almost everything I do, really. My lovely wife-” From the same door the mayor’s children entered from, a woman walks out. She embraces Mayor Dempsey and turns to wave at the crowd. 


The room that was so warm and loud suddenly seemed cold and quiet. Aislyn immediately turns on her heel before the woman’s eyes reach where she’s standing. “I’ll be right back.” She says in a near whisper. Beside her, Jo and Mrs. Durand nod, their gazes still fixed on the scene Aislyn has turned her back to. She begins to make her way towards the back of the room, and doesn’t make it very far. Aislyn had never given much thought to the expression ‘having the rug pulled out from under you,’ but now, as she sees the ground hurtling towards her face, she supposes that was exactly what it felt like.

She’s caught by a pair of arms. A man whose face she is too ashamed to look up at speaks into her ear. “Are you okay, dear?” He asks. Aislyn is thankful the audience’s applause drowns out whatever noise she’s made. She nods. She supposes the gentleman was waiting for her to stand up and walk away, any logical person would, but Aislyn remains fixed in place. She couldn’t feel the lower half of her body, let alone get it to move. “Would you like to get some air?” He asks at her silence, Aislyn nods yet again. The man repositions his arms, draping one around her shoulders and placing the other on her upper arm to support her. He guides her onto her feet, and Aislyn is grateful she’s able to get her legs moving again thanks to his assistance. 

The bustling workers appeared to be preparing tables outside for a dinner by the poolside. The man leads them from the back of the house to the foyer; the sights of dishes, trays, and staff pass by in a blur.


Aislyn does not realize they’re outside until the night’s chill greets her face. Compared to the flurry of activity in the ballroom and out back, the front of the house is eerily empty. The man gently walks Aislyn to a bench, and joins her on it. He places a hand on her back, and begins to rub it in small circles.

“It’s all right. You’re okay.” He says.

Why is he speaking to me like that? Aislyn wonders. It’s only as she tries to vocalize that question that she notices just how labored her breathing is. Was she hyperventilating? Calm down. She thinks. If only it were that easy. She looks at her hands in her lap and notices they’re shaking. What is going on? Thinking that only serves to worsen her shortness of breath.

“Easy, now. If you keep breathing like that you’ll get dizzy, or worse. Can’t have that now, can we?” The man says calmly. Amidst her stress, Aislyn wonders if he was used to seeing such things. “I’m going to need you to try and focus.” He says evenly. “Breathe in, hold it, and breathe out when I tell you to. Can you do that?” “Aislyn nods. “It may help if you close your eyes as well, or perhaps focus on something in front of you.” Aislyn fixates on a potted plant across her feet. After a few minutes of following the man’s instructions, her breathing returns to normal.

“There you go.” He says as he draws his hand back. She hadn’t spoken a word since she’d slammed into the kind man helping her, and felt thankful but also slightly guilty.

“Are you alone? Is there someone you’d like me to get, or call for you?”


“No… I’m all right.” She says, at last finding her voice. After taking a few steadying breaths, ensuring whatever that was has passed, she turns to face him, and starts.”You’re Willem Grayham.” Aislyn observes aloud. Only she could be so unlucky as to embarrass herself in front of one of the people she admired most. “I’m flattered at the recognition.” He says with a broad smile. “That’s a given. I’m… a fan of yours.” She says sheepishly, “I went to your book signing here last year.”

“I tend to be quite good with faces, and looking at you now, I do find you quite familiar… Ah! The young lady with the Greek name.” “Yeah, my last name is Persefoni.”

“Right. I recall taking my wife on a surprise trip to Santorini after that signing, I suppose she has you to thank for that.”

Aislyn cracks a reluctant smile. She turns her head and rubs her temple. As if by doing so she could erase the frazzled look Grayham had already seen. He gives a comforting laugh. “You know, not to brag or anything…” He says in an attempt to draw her attention back. Aislyn slowly returns her eyes to his. “…but, shortly after getting this haircut, I quite literally had a young woman swoon at the sight of me. Collapsed on the floor and everything.” Graham pauses to clear his throat, and Aislyn can’t help but let out a stifled laugh at the unexpected comment.

“I’ve seen a lot worse than this, you’ve nothing to feel ashamed of.” She had a feeling Grayham was a good person from the words she’d spent so much of her youth reading, and seeing him now only reassured Aislyn of that fact. “Thank you… for saying that. And for the help.”

“My dear, it was nothing at all.”
___


Cailean didn’t use the word astonished often, but as he watches Mrs. Dempsey speak, there is no other word that comes to mind that comes close to describing how he feels. 

“…I don’t want to go on for much longer, so I’ll conclude by thanking you all for coming tonight. This is certainly quite different from our normal affairs. We wanted those closest to us to know first, and to thank you for your continuous support over the years for our endeavors. We’re currently preparing a dinner we’d be delighted if you’d enjoy with us. As my husband mentioned, this is not to strong arm any support out of you, but should you wish to help the campaign, that’s something we can discuss on a Monday morning, through our offices, and not a Friday night, off the clock. Have a wonderful evening, and thanks again for coming.”

It’s only when she steps away from the microphone for Mr. Dempsey to chime in does Mrs. Dempsey’s hold on Cailean break. He was transfixed at her every word. There was no doubt in his mind as to who she was. Even without a facial resemblance that was so striking, those eyes alone were enough. They were the exact same as the ones he was staring into moments ago.

Aislyn. He thinks. Cailean turns his head towards where he’d seen her standing before, but is unable to see her amongst the crowd. “Excuse me for a moment.” He says in a low voice, and Diana and Mr. Polański nod in unison.


Cailean begins walking towards where Aislyn was earlier. “Hello!” A young woman says excitedly, stepping away from whomever she was with to intercept Cailean’s path. After taking a moment to think, Cailean recalls seeing her on his evening visit to the Phillips’ home. She was Jacqueline Durand’s sister, and Walter Phillips’s niece. “Hi.” He says apprehensively.

“If you’re looking for Aislyn, she stepped out a little while ago.”

Cailean is surprised at the familiarity in which she speaks Aislyn’s name. How well did they know one another? Evidently well enough to recognize him, and know the nature of he and Aislyn’s relationship. Cailean supposes that’s something that can be inquired about at a later time. “Thanks.” He says. The young lady nods, and Cailean excuses himself.

He looks over the pool area outside. There were several waiters standing at the ready to serve dinner besides tables lined with cloths and candles. The rest of the house seemed otherwise quiet, which meant there was only one other place Aislyn would go. He walks through the entrance and sure enough, sees her seated on a bench by the front facing windows. A man was sitting beside her, a little too close for Cailean’s comfort. As he approaches, the man says something to Aislyn he doesn’t catch before rising and making his way to the doors. Cailean doesn’t bother looking his way as they walk past one another.


“Did you see who that was?” Aislyn asks in a quiet voice once he comes to a stop at her side. “No.” Cailean says curtly, he honestly couldn’t care less. “Are you all right?” He asks, his eyes scanning hers in concern. Aislyn breaks the contact between them. Redirecting her head to the floor. Cailean kneels in front of her to look up into the face she clearly didn’t want him to see.

With a pang, Cailean notices how unusually flushed her face is. It wasn’t the color he was accustomed to seeing on her; this one had spread to her forehead and neck. “Aislyn…” He places a hand on her cheek, expecting her to be warm to the touch, and is alarmed at how cold she is. Aislyn flinches out of his grasp and quickly jumps up from the bench.

“What are you doing out here? I thought you were-”

“Are you seriously asking me that?” Cailean asks as he rises from the ground. The shakiness of her voice does not go unnoticed. Aislyn had mentioned on their first date that she hadn’t seen her mother in years. If that still held true, her reaction was understandable. And, it confirmed that Mrs. Dempsey was indeed Aislyn’s mother. He knew she was a sensitive subject for her, but beyond that, Cailean had no idea exactly what caused their relationship to become whatever it was. 

Aislyn turns away from him and runs a hand through her hair, tucking some curls behind her ear.

“I’m fine.”


“That’d be infinitely more believable if you’d say it facing me and not the wall.” Cailean says softly. “Do you think that insisting like this is going to put my mind at ease? That I’ll just say ‘okay then’ and go back inside knowing that you aren’t in fact ‘fine’?”

Aislyn doesn’t provide a response to that. Cailean takes her silence as a positive sign, he places a hand on her waist and spins her towards him. She opens her mouth, but no words come out. “You don’t have to say anything. Come on.” Cailean takes her hand in his. “B-but-” she stammers.

“You don’t look like you can bear to be here a moment longer.”

“I can wait until you finish…” She mumbles. Cailean tilts Aislyn’s chin to meet his eyes. “You’re prioritizing my work, when right now my priority is you.” At his words Aislyn bites her lip. The look in her eyes pained him, they were as emotional as he’s ever seen Aislyn, unshed tears glistening.

“There’s nothing more important to me at this moment than making sure you’re all right.”

To his surprise, Aislyn quickly closes the distance between them. She buries her head in his chest, and locks her arms around his waist. Cailean takes no time to return her embrace. As he presses Aislyn closer to him, he notices she’s trembling ever so slightly. Cailean mentally chides himself for not noticing her absence, or distress, sooner.

“Let’s go,” He whispers into her hair. Aislyn nods against him. Cailean presses his lips onto her forehead. He pulls off his jacket and drapes it over her shoulders. Taking her hand once again, Cailean pulls Aislyn alongside him as they make their way down the driveway, and out into the dimly-lit street.     

… 

At long last, Chapter 50 is done; this part of the story is done. Done, done, done 🎊 No more split chaps, unexpected hiatuses, or delays *exhales sigh of relief* 

Well, for starters, there were quite a bit of back to back developments here, hehe. No significant ghostly/mystery revelations, but at least a few answers for some other things that may have crossed your minds whilst reading. 

One being the significance of Drew (and Dakota) after meeting them almost 40 chapters ago, lol. They’re Aislyn’s step siblings~ Bet you didn’t see that coming 👀 Another thing probably being the question: what has Aislyn’s mom been up to, that Aislyn has wondered from time to time herself. The answer: she’s been busy being the mayor’s wife – for quite a while at that – out of the public eye. My apologies for anyone who might’ve been uncomfortable at the end there. I know reading about anxiety or panic attacks is something not everyone is comfortable with. I tried to make it on the tame side/not too detailed. But Aislyn’s unaddressed trauma from her mother is something that’ll come into play moving forward, and will likely explain a lot about why she acts the way she does sometimes, so hope that’s all right. Lastly, but certainly not least, you finally found out who Cailean’s ex is. In a maybe not-so surprise for some of you, it’s Valerie XD What a couple, am I right? I’ll probably provide a bit more insight and explanations on all of that in the eventual reflections post I’m thinking of doing before returning to writing the rest of the story.

As of now, I’ve got zero screenshots beyond this point, so if I manage to overcome my current computer hurdle, I’m quite looking forward to getting back to that. I have some of the next chapter written already because there’s a conversation between Aislyn and Cailean that has just been chilling since I made my story outline years ago, so getting that out eventually will be nice 🤤

This was a whammy of a chapter (can you imagine this and the last one being one combined 💀). And it officially takes first place as my longest one 🥇 Something else I’ll probably mention again moving forward is that I really want to cut down on these lengthy chaps. Even though you’re all so kind and tell me you don’t mind, it’s for my own sake as much as yours, lol. Even though this chapter was done, the edits kicked my a**, lol, which probably wouldn’t have been as taxing if it wasn’t > 6.5k words. 

Of course this ending note has gotten quite long, but it’ll probably be my last one for a while so thanks for bearing with me 😄❤️ Feel free to let me know your thoughts!

Take care,
xoxo Amy

10 thoughts on “Sight Chapter 50 pt. 2: The Fundraiser

  1. You certainly packed a lot in this chapter! Everything was nice with Cailean inviting her to stay with him weekends and holidays so they could see each other more once he moves. I was surprised, but happy, that she so quickly said okay. She finds a few friends and sees MacKenzie. Then, bam – Valerie. And while she’s digesting that, and the biggest whammy, of all, her mother…. Cailean truly was worried about her. I’m glad he realized who Mrs. Dempsey was. Yikes. Makes me wonder if Valerie will try to cause trouble.

    I really wish you could get the PC working again. ❤️ Best of luck for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup 😄 I don’t plan on having one this long again, lol.
      Cailean figures it’d be a nice way for them to spend more time with each other given their distance and all. Aislyn definitely didn’t hesitate to answer which is a change for her. She was strictly acting on her feelings in the moment.
      Haha everyone was at this party XD I’ll be showing a bit of how Valerie and Cailean’s dynamic was down the line. I imagine it’s hard to picture at the moment, hehe. Seeing someone she hasn’t in nearly a decade – her mother at that – definitely came as a shock to Aislyn, Cailean figured she wouldn’t take it to well and he was right.
      Hmmm you may be right about that 😇
      I appreciate it! I hope so too 😭 Thanks for reading 💕

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  2. So many revelations in this chapter! No wonder you wanted to get it out so badly. It is very important plot-wise. But where do I even begin?
    I like how we finally know why Drew is relevant. I mean, I enjoyed reading about the sweet teenage romance, but come to think of it now, it was a bit confusing how he related to the story long after Aislyn helped Mackenzie by passing on some things from Maddie and offering her support. Btw, it is fun to think that when/ if Drew and Mackenzie get together in the future and have a family, Aislyn’s and Maddie’s families would be tied together. I remember they were such close friends especially after Aislyn was ostracized in high school for the very relationship with her ghost 💀
    Oooh, nice how the first shot ties well together with the ending, you sneaked in Aislyn’s mother right at the beginning by only showing her dress.
    It is ever so nice to read about Mr Polański, only because I can’t believe you bother with copying the ń’s every time he’s mentioned. It’s so sweet you do that! Although I can’t imagine him not changing his surname to Polanski after being in the States for so long. Everyone would probably be much too confused with the spelling and he’d have to make it make it easier for everyone around.
    I get why Mackenzie didn’t want to accept the gift since she’s poor and probably felt very awkward, although I still think accepting the gift would be the polite thing to do, even if she only wore it for her meetings/ dates with Drew. It broke my heart seeing him so sad after she refused to accept it.
    I actually managed to make out that the fundraiser Aislyn was headed to would be the same that Drew invited Mackenzie too when I read your summary page a couple days ago. I realized there was much I didn’t remember, lol. But I could never figure out Drew and Aislyn were siblings. I remember when you first started writing in detail about Drew, you mentioned we’d already met him somewhere, and I still don’t know when we were supposed to see him first. Could you maybe shed some light on that? I’m curious where you managed to sneak him in, lol.
    It’s sweet that Cailean wants Aislyn to live with him when he moves for work, though I’m not sure how they’re planning to do it since Ailsyn also has work to attend to that is far from Ravensburg,
    And Jo is there as well! I didn’t realize her and Aislyn were such good friends. I know they got along well after she helped out after Aislyn and Kim’s escape, but they barely meet at all, lmao.
    It was interesting how Aislyn said she doesn’t want to have kids. I don’t think it’s ever come up before and I’m kinda bummed that the conversation was cut off before we learned of her reasons. Does it have anything to do with her mother abandoning her?
    OH, and her mother. Shall we address the elephant in the room? It kind of makes sense we finally saw her, but then I didn’t expect we would. It did feel sometimes like Aislyn was a half-orphan, tbh, I kind of forgot of her existence and that she’s alive. But I’m not surprised Aislyn had that reaction to seeing her. Good thing Willem was there to support her! When Cailean was not tending to her at all 💀 I mean, I don’t blame him, it’s his work meeting at all, but boy, there couldn’t have been a worse moment for them to split. Right before the reveal of Aislyn’s mother! I was scared for a moment that Willem was some creep that wanted to take advantage of the state she was in, but I’m glad that’s not the case. He seems like a really good guy! I’m surprised it was him, for a moment I thought it’d be a doctor/ psychologist who’s especially aware of the signals of a panic attack. He really handled it like a pro, noticed right away when everyone else was fixated on the scene and then knew what to do to help her to calm down. And then him saying that he’s seen worse makes me wonder if he has experience in that department – maybe a close friend or family he’s helped support? Or did he actually work in the health department apart from being a writer?
    I like how, although Cailean is also a fan of Grayham, he was far too focused on him being too close to Ailsyn to pay any attention to who he was, lol.
    Ooh, and Valerie was watching them through the window! That will be so interesting to find out more about the nature of her and Cailean’s relationship. Oh my. No wonder Daphne didn’t like her.
    Jacqueline looks so much like Daenerys because of the hair combined with the dress. She looked so outwardly standing there outside alone.
    I can’t believe this was supposed to be the last chapter of Sight and there is so much we don’t know and a few things we only just found out about! I can’t wait to find out the resolution of the Philipps case, I’m sure you will not disappoint! And oh my, both Jo and Rey are in your header and they’re both such enigmas at the moment, especially Rey. It’s going to be interesting for sure!
    I hope your computer eventually cooperates. And it must feel so good to have finally gotten this out! Dear, this chapter was so info-heavy.

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    1. Hehe, it was a very heavy handed amount of information for sure 😇

      His relevance was one of the things I couldn’t wait to finally get out of the way, lol. Yup, Maddie was such a special person to Aislyn, which is why she feels very protective of Mackenzie. Hmm, that familial relationship is a cute future possibility for sure~
      Thanks! I felt like even if I showed her hair no one would have noticed/clocked who she was, but justttt to add that little extra element of surprise, I decided to hide her until the actual reveal XD
      I appreciated you informing me about that! Names are meaningful and I want to make sure to be respectful/accurate when I can 😊 Even if it would be more convenient to change it, he is now canonically Polański and shall remain that way going forward.
      Yeah, that was a tough rejection on Mackenzie’s part. She’s going to be hearing that exact same advice a little down the line. She has her own values and comfort level with things – which is important – but like you mentioned, turning it down like that wasn’t very polite. Drew made an effort, and she didn’t consider his feelings in the moment.

      Ahhh, I feel bad it’s literally been yearssss and there’s so much information piling on, lmao. Glad those recaps came in handy, haha. Funnily enough, back when Aislyn and Cailean went to the book signing mentioned in this chapter, that’s when Drew first appeared. It was such a small moment in Chapter 13. The whole reason I snuck in the line “…mom probably already started making dinner” there was to kind of tie in to this moment. Drew and Aislyn actually also met – briefly – in Chapter 34, which is why Drew is kind of shocked when he sees her, because he right away thinks she resembles his mother, and so does his friend. But, he eventually disregards it and forgets the whole interaction. It’s something I’ll probably delve into a bit more when I do my reflections post a bit later, but in a nutshell, those were the most significant of his earlier appearances.

      Cailean’s suggestion is a kind of compromise for the time being while he adjusts. He also plans on spending time in Bayville too because he knows it’s not fair to have her be the only one to constantly make the trips back and forth.
      Jo is just a bit of a social butterfly. Aislyn considers them more acquaintances than friends, because she barely knows anything about her, lol. Jo’s someone who can easily talk to people and spend time with them as if she’s known them for much longer than she has, and that’s basically what she did here.

      Yeah, Aislyn has only ever expressed that she doesn’t think that she’s good with children, but this is the first time explicitly mentioning that she doesn’t want any of her own. (Imagine if I had her explain her reasoning, this chapter couldn’t afford to be any longer 💀). Ding-ding-ding, that’s a huge part of it. But Aislyn will have a tough time coming to terms with that herself. At the moment, in her mind the idea of having kids terrifies her, but she doesn’t really think about why that is. She’s also not big on the notion of getting married either. But again, more on that later~
      Her mom basically became a taboo subject, so I’m not surprised she gave off a dead woman energy, lol. For Aislyn – excluding infant years – she’s almost lived for more years without her mother than with her in terms of what she can remember. Which is why she’s as shocked as she is.
      Cailean is going to feel sooooo bad next chapter, especially when he realizes just how not okay Aislyn is.

      Aislyn was lucky she managed to bump into a stand up dude. A mini biography of author Willem: he does not have any experience in the medical field, and his wife is a school teacher, so she doesn’t either. It’s something that’ll come up later, but it’s not spoilery or anything so I don’t mind dropping it here: their son has bad anxiety and panic attacks, partially due to the environment he grew up in, which is why Willem was quite familiar with what to do. He had to learn the hard way, and has done extensive research on it so that he can better care for his child.
      Haha, Cailean definitely had his blinders on in that moment. He’ll be quite surprised when he hears about what happened later on.
      Ahh, Valerie. She’s an interesting gal. She’ll probably make people have mixed feelings about her. I can say that Daphne is definitely a good judge of character. You’ll get to see the dynamic of how it was for the three of them at a later time 👀
      I loved all of Dany’s hairstyles 🙂 I didn’t really watch GoT like that, but I had friends who did, and any time she showed up I loved how she was styled, hehe.

      I knowww. Can you imagine me finding a way to wrap everything up at this point when literally nothing has happened but buildup 🙃 Aww, I appreciate the kind words. I really am looking forward to tying so much of that up and having everything come to light. Rey is also going to be super relevant later on for another unexpected reason… but who knows when that’ll be. Thanks, I hope so too! Fingers crossed that I manage to sort that out 🤞
      Haha, it was definitely a little weight off of my shoulders to have some of these tidbits of info finally out. Plus, not having to see these awful fundraiser pics is also a bonus. I definitely don’t plan on having a chapter this long ever again. Even if it means that Sight has more chapters than I’m thinking, I’d rather have them be more manageable. Seeing all your thoughts made my night! 🥺 Thanks so much for reading, Jowita! ❤️

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      1. That was a nice reveal for sure! I was confused for a moment there why Aislyn suddenly left. I thought she saw another ghost or sth, lol. I mean, technically, it WAS a ghost from the past. That would’ve been such a fun title with a little pun, lol.
        I can’t say it’s not pleasurable to see it spelled the original way in a block of English text, although I guess if Mr Polański comes from a family of immigrants, dating even a couple generations back, then his surname would have been changed along the way to accommodate to the American society. I know my own surname is most likely of German origin and the original ö is now spelled ‘oe’. Of course we tell people to just drop the o in pronunciation, though it’s not the correct pronunciation at all.
        But Polański is indeed a pretty surname. It is an adjective derived from the noun ‘polana’ which means glade/ clearing. Fun fact: Polish surnames that end in ‘-ski’ change with gender to ‘-ska’ like the adjectives do. So technically if he lived in Poland, his wife/ daughter would have been called Polańska. My aunt that lives in Germany changed her surname to the ‘default’ “-ski” ending to match her husband’s because people were confused, lmao.
        As I said, I can understand Mackenzie being uncomfortable, but the way she just flat out refused and provided no explanation wasn’t polite at all, and she was just too focused on her own feelings at the moment. It helped that the narration was focused on Drew so we got to see his side more and emphatize with his disappointment.
        Ooh, that explains why Willem knew exactly what to do! I suspected it might have been a family member, too.
        I’m glad you explained where Drew came from! I remember you mentioning we’ve seen him before and I did remember when she bumped into him at school, but not the book signing. Although this chapter I was kind of thinking it might have been the signing. I guess seeing Grayham awakened my memory at last, lol. I was just curious, I remember racking my brains to remember when we first saw him, lmao.
        Yeah, I figured they don’t know each other that well with Joe. I can tell why Cailean was so confused. I guess this time it wasn’t exactly Aislyn fault and her habit of hiding things since she probably genuinely didn’t deem her as important since the kidnapping happened a long time ago.
        Ooh, it’s interesting to learn more about Aislyn and her thoughts on marriage and kids. I like that your story isn’t a traditional legacy and we get more time to get attached to the characters and there’s no pressure on marriage and kids. I’ve been envious of that many times when I thought of my own story. If I was to come back, I would definitely stray away from the traditional legacy model.
        Ooh, ☕️ I look forward to reading more about the DaphnexCaileanxValerie dynamic. I can tell it’s going to be interesting.
        I didn’t watch GoT either, I mostly remember her from memes, lol. But that hairstyle definitely is closely tied to her. A lot of CC creators also derive inspiration from characters/ actors. I know I had Shari wear a lot of Ariana Grande’s hairstyles. She was so tiny she reminded me of her a bit, haha.
        I think it was fitting that it was long seeing how it sort of is a season/ part finale! Ah, I’m glad you enjoyed reading my thoughts!

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      2. Thanks! Haha, you know what’s funny is that I was playing around with that title for another chapter! Even though I’m not done writing them, I have bits and pieces for around four chapters down, and usually chapter names come to me last, but for those they’re kind of significant, so I already thought them up and they are just sitting there, waiting. So you’ll eventually see it pop up, hehe XD Particularly when a certain char finally reappears~

        Lol, I’ve got no space in the actual chaps to fit side character backstories, but Filip technically is a second generation immigrant. It would make sense for his family to adapt as needed, but I suppose omitting the accent wouldn’t help people pronounce it correctly anyways, so it’ll just stick around, hehe. That’s interesting! Etymology is quite fascinating. I never gave much thought into his name compared to other chars where their meaning holds significance, like Aislyn, Cailean, Desirée etc… A glade makes me think of something open and peaceful, which is what I was hoping would be the vibe he gives off, so that’s neat. I’ve never heard of names changing depending on gender. That’s so cool! I bet that is confusing for other people, even though it’s not a significant difference, just the tail-end. Now I’m imagining Filip with a wife and several daughters and being the only one with a different surname, lol.

        Next time will be Mackenzie’s pov so you’ll get to see a bit of a peek into what she was thinking. Yup, you guessed accurately, hehe. Willem’s family shall pop up again a bit later~

        I’m happy you asked! It has been so long that even I have to go back and refresh on what’s been shared in story even though I wrote it, so I can only imagine how difficult it is to recall things – especially little things like a brief character appearance – for you guys 😭

        Exactly, Aislyn didn’t even know who Jo’s family was, so the thought of saying that she knows her didn’t even cross her mind. Even if she did know, it’s Aislyn, so she may have just kept it to herself anyway since she knows Cailean doesn’t like to/can’t usually talk about work stuff outside of work.

        That’s interesting, because I feel the opposite way. I would’ve liked to have experienced completing a legacy. I admire how you were able to have had six generations! As it stands now, that’s not something Aislyn wants, but I want to successfully move past a gen one day, hehe. It’s like a mini-goal of mine, and I may or may not have started brainstorming some things – which is crazy considering how much of this story’s left to tell, lmao. I suppose since we’re used to doing things a certain way, it makes sense to be interested in the opposite 😊

        Incoming chaos is all I can say about that 😌 The sims3 CC creators make straight masterpieces from so many different kinds of media and real life, it’s insane. That’s a positive – and accurate – take :3 I don’t think even the final chapter of this story will end up being this long, hopefully this was a one and done, hehe. I really do, thanks for sharing them 💕

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      3. It is such a perfect title, haha. I would love to see it used in the story. Ooh, I wonder who from Aislyn past might reappear. I do remember you mentioning we’re going to see Tristan at some point. I don’t know why his character stuck with me so much considering he was mentioned once briefly, lol, but I guess it’s because I did play a Tristan once who was a townie from Moonlight Falls. And also because of Tristan and Iseult. I don’t know if you thought much of his name, too, but I do think it’s of French origin and derived from the word ‘triste’ which means ‘sad’. Etymology is fascinating like you said!
        Haha, love it that you thought up Filip’s origins. And that his name is spelled like it would be in Poland and not Philip. I think I actually had a classmate called Filip once who lived in the US as a kid and had a perfect American accent. Yeah, people would absolutely not pronounce it correctly anyway. When I see famous American people with Polish surnames I am always stunned at how their surnames are butchered. But seeing it spelled the original way, I can imagine the characters saying it correctly in my head as I read, lol.
        I love you giving so much thought into naming your chars! I just looked them up and I didn’t realize both Aislyn and Cailean’s name are of Gaelic and Irish origin. I already knew I didn’t pronounce Aislyn correctly from your previous comments and all, but oh my, I didn’t realize Cailean was pronounced Kalen, what even is that. I can’t with these names, ever so confusing.
        Yeah, the surname itself is pretty (could also originate from the word pole meaning field) though I do hope he’s not related to the real life director Roman Polański if any of the sexual assault allegations are true.
        Lol, I’ve never thought of it as having a different name. It’s so natural to Polish people because we decline these surnames the same way we do the adjectives. I had a female classmate whose surname was Wolny, which is an adjective meaning either free or slow, but it’s a male form, so technically she should be called Wolna. There were people making fun of her surname and she tried to explain that her surname was something like free man which didn’t make any sense because free woman would still be wolna kobieta in Polish. I remember someone changed her nick in the group chat to “Wolna*” as a joke. So you can see, everyone picked up on it right away. But it is a rarity in fact, as mostly women who have the masculine form of the surname are immigrants or come from the family of immigrants or just, idk, changed it to seem more western? Point is, if you see a woman who has a male form of a Polish surname ending in “-i” or “-y” she most likely doesn’t live in Poland (i. e. Emily Ratajkowski). But there are sure a lot of names that stay the same, those names just aren’t built like adjectives, they’re either Polish nouns or are foreign. My surname is German and it doesn’t change at all. Anyway, I won’t go into detail more as it must be so confusing already to someone whose language doesn’t even specify a gender of every word.
        I’m glad you explained to me when Drew appeared! I was just curious.
        Yeah, writing a legacy gets tiring and you are just so done with the kids and pressure for having kids, but then you also want to move on from certain characters, so it’s a plus you only do them for a limited amount of time. Though I’ve read some legacy stories where certain heirs would get like 100 chapters and you would just get so used to them you were surprised when the author eventually moved on to another heir. Good luck on moving past gen. 1! I mean, part of me doing a legacy is also the fact that I do get bored and want to move on sometimes, lol. And idk, writing a character especially if it’s first person, for a long time feels like a commitment. Like you might melt too much into them and give them a lot of your own personality or you might change to be more like them. Idk, but I think if you actually did write a character’s point of view for a really long time, either of these things could happen.

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      4. Haha, I’m glad you’re interested in him because he definitely will be showing back up, along with some other faces 👀 I did look into his name! I picked it for a reason that probably won’t come up until the reflections I eventually post after the story is done, hehe. That’s all I shall say about that for now~

        I feel like butchering all ethnic names is the American way 😂😭 I personally try to make an effort though, hehe~

        Yup! Aislyn’s name was the most significant in terms of having it relate to the story – her first, middle and last name. I might’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll just drop it again :3 Aislyn coming from the Irish for dream/vision, Clarissa from Latin for bright/clear, and Persefoni from a derivation of the Greek word Persephone for death/bringer of death. Cailean’s had more to do with his mother having a difficult pregnancy with him, and considering his birth a triumph – it’s also why he’s an only child, Daphne was not going to go through that again, lol.

        You know I was just reading an article recently because he was in the news this week, and I’ve never cared for him/seen any of his films, but reading about all of the allegations & the things he’s pleaded guilty to was gross… I feel like the name has been tarnished a bit, ugh.

        That nickname adjustment is hilarious XD Yeah, English is quite basic in comparison. I’m glad you shared that though, I don’t think that’s something I would’ve encountered on my own!

        Wow, 100 chapters is definitely a long time to get acquainted with a character. (I say that, but this story might end up getting close to that mark, lol). I definitely find that I bleed some of my personality into the chars I write, and I think part of that stems from trying to create something that seems more realistic than someone who is one dimensional or just follows a whole bunch of cliches. It’s interesting to see how everyone’s takes on writing can be similar in some ways, but vastly different in others 😊

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  3. The long-awaited fundraiser party is here 🎊 Mackenzie and Drew look so cute dolled up together, hehe. I totally get Mackenzie’s discomfort with being gifted such an expensive sweater, especially when he’s soooo clueless about her financial state and probably even how wealthy he is compared to the normal. I wonder if she worries Drew won’t like her if he discovers how poor she is, but I’m sure he won’t mind at all since he’s so enamoured with her. And yay for Drew finally plucking up the courage to ask her on a date! They’re both quite awkward teens LOL, clearly new to the romance thing, but it’s adorable!

    Ooh, Aislyn moving in with Cailean! This is an interesting and welcome change, to see how their relationship will grow if they close the distance that’s resulted in miscommunications/silences, and finally spend proper time with each other as a couple. I love how Aislyn’s thoughts about this prospect immediately went to spicy times, help 🤣 Girlie is rearing to go, LMFAO.

    VALERIE?! I totally did not see that revelation coming, what the heck. I’m with Aislyn, how did our kind and reserved Cailean end up in a romance with this horrible lady… and how did she betray him, I wonder? And is that her spying on Aislyn and Cailean through the window? *raises water pistol* I won’t hesitate, bitch!

    And the mayor’s wife is Aislyn’s mom! So this means Drew is Aislyn’s… half-brother? This chapter is full of interesting surprises. Poor Aislyn, falling into a panic attack (although I LOVE how you did the pictures for it, all blurred and dark, they visualise her distress so well). Good on William for helping her out—I was suspicious that it might be a strange man, but luckily it was just the kindly author. And bless Cailean for supporting and calming Aislyn, even if it was a tad late. I assume Mrs Dempsey hasn’t contacted Aislyn at all… which is terrible, realising she just moved on to her new, important, successful life without a single thought for her first daughter. Like what the hell, she even had two kids, so seeing her create a new happy family must have been a painful blow for Aislyn. Drew mentioned that Mrs Dempsey is overly critical/negative so I wonder if that was the case for young Aislyn as well…

    Great chapter, loved the big developments! Hope you’re doing well ❤

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    1. Lilaaaa, forgive me for the beyond belated reply 🥲 Honestly it’s scary how fast time has flown by. I’d love to have some elaborate explanation for falling off the grid, but it was just RL getting in the way. This is my first time logging back into WP in over three months 💀

      Yeah, part of the reason Mackenzie was hesitant when she started having feelings for Drew was her fear that he’d judge her – she didn’t want to be with someone who would. Drew definitely couldn’t care less if he did know, but like you said, he’s a bit clueless on that front and doesn’t know just how different their upbringing was or why it would be an issue. There’ll be a lot of cute awkwardness for these two going forward XD

      Loll Aislyn has been beyond ready to bring on the steam for a while now. Since she and Cailean haven’t spent a super long amount of time with each other, living together is going to shift their dynamic quite a bit. Not as easy to run away from things when you’re under the same roof 😇

      Yay, I’m glad that revelation came as a bit of a surprise. They do seem like a random pairing, but in Cailean’s defense younger Valerie was a much different person than current Valerie. It’s been kind of hinted at before, but the main reason had to do with a story she broke on Commissioner DeCarlo and the Oldmerrow PD, amongst other things, which shall come up a bit later. Cailean opened up to her a bit and in the end a lot of what he said came back to bite. Yup, that is her watching creepily from a distance, hehe. Fire away 👀

      Drew and Dakota aren’t actually Moira’s biological children, she just married their father and has been in their lives since they were very young so that’s why they think of her as their mother and not step-mother. So they’re Aislyn’s step-siblings. Aislyn did not take to seeing her again well at all. Thanks! That ‘twas me attempting to be artsy, hehe. Willem has some experience of his own so he knew exactly what to do to help – Aislyn happened to bump into the perfect person at the perfect time. Cailean’s going to feel bad at not being quicker to notice Aislyn’s absence/distress. She hasn’t seen her mom in over 10 years, so she was completely blindsided by her sudden appearance. Aislyn hated even thinking of her so seeing her came as a complete shock. The image of her having this happy family will just further add to Aislyn’s anger once she’s done feeling sad/shaken. You’ll get a bit of a peek into what was crossing Moira’s mind during that time later on. Exactly! She’s always been on the controlling side, which is why she cared so much about what everyone was thinking about the family and Aislyn when she had her accident. That part of her only worsened over time, so Drew and Dakota also grew up pretty sheltered for that reason. It’ll be an interesting family dynamic to show – if/when I ever get back to it *cries*

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting ❤️ Sorry again for being super late in replying~ Life has settled a bit on my end so I’m hoping to slowly be more active ☺️ Hope all is well with you!

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