3. Naivety

A few days later Cassie still hadn’t spoken to James. She’d sent him a couple of evasive texts saying how busy she was, but nothing more. She was still unsure, and by now she was pretty certain that she had left it far too long to see him again. Sue’s words rang in her ears – was she really letting her past control her present? The one thing she didn’t want!

Moodily, she put her glass of lemonade on the table and stretched out in the sun. Maria was napping, so she had a couple of hours to herself. Rather than bite the bullet and talk to James, she’d decided to try and relax in the back garden. It wasn’t working though. Her mind was a mess with everything, and she didn’t know where to start sorting it through. Rubbing her forehead, she noticed a figure coming down the stone steps onto the patio.

Oh god. James.

Standing to meet him, she felt a stab of fear in her stomach. She couldn’t read his perfectly blank expression. He stopped as she stood, looking her up and down.

‘Good. You are alive. And really rushed off your feet, I can see.’

Embarrassment ran through her. ‘James… I’m sorry…’

‘Why didn’t you call me, Cassie? Why didn’t you pick up the phone? I had a really good night, I really thought we had something… Look, if it was just in my head, I’d rather you told me now so I could stop waiting. You owe me that, at least.’

‘James… Oh god, look. I am sorry I didn’t call you. I was completely out of line. I’ve just had a lot on my mind, I needed some time.’

‘Well, thanks for letting me know Cassie. Did it not occur to you that this might be something that I needed to know?’

Cassie hung her head. ‘I’ve been an idiot.’

‘Yeah. You have.’

Looking up, Cassie was relieved to see a glimmer of warmth sneaking into James’ eyes. ‘Yeah, I have.’

‘Anyway.’ James kicked a loose stone away, clearly unsure of what to say next. ‘Give me a call?’

‘You know… It’s Maria’s birthday today. Mr. Stanislav and I were just going to have a birthday cake in the garden, keep it small, you know? But I’m sure he’ll be happy for you to stay. I know she likes you.’

A smile crept onto his lips. ‘Yeah, she’s a total sweetheart. Do, er… Do you want me to stay?’

‘Yeah! Of course I do!’

Beaming, James leaned forward and planted a kiss on Cassie. How on earth had she nearly let this slip away?

Little Maria was in her element as Cassie held her up to her candles. All the attention was on her, and she was basking in it! As the shaky chorus of Happy Birthday came to an end, Eric gestured for her to blow out her candles.

‘Come on, Ria! Time to blow them out!’

‘No! More singing! Sing about me, Dada!’

Cassie caught James’ eye and laughed as Eric tried to explain the birthday cake process to a disgruntled Maria, who wanted her name to be in more songs. Eventually, she was convinced after a minor threat of no slice of cake if she didn’t co-operate.

*       *       *

‘Thank you, Miss. Rivers!’

Cassie shook the warm hand of Jacob Shears. She was picking up Cassie from school, and Mr. Stanislav had asked if she wouldn’t mind delivering some more papers for him. Knowing now that James wouldn’t hit the roof she’d agreed to gladly; if nothing else she was getting a bonus for this! Eric had insisted, as the deliveries were not part of her job description, and she wasn’t about to argue with him! Waving as Mr. Shears walked away, she looked about for Maria.

‘Cassie! Up here!’

Startled, Cassie looked up to where the voice had come from, laughing as she saw Maria waving to her from the tree house. It was her favourite haunt; whenever Cassie picked her up from school she usually spent half an hour trying to coax her down from the clubhouse in the branches. Her Dad had offered to build her one in the backgarden, but that wasn’t good enough for Maria!

‘No, Dad. I want the one from Central Park.’

‘But sweetie, that’s on council land. It’s not for sale!’

‘I don’t care! I want that one!’

Since aging up, Maria had become ever more assertive. Having been called princess almost daily since she’d been born, she’d taken the role to heart! One of her many birthday presents had been a dressing up box, and she would live in the princess costume if she were allowed to!

Fortunately her school only allowed fancy dress on charity events, and even if her father would let her there was no getting past her stern head mistress! Cassie had wondered how Maria would react coming up against true discipline for the first time, but she’d handled it surprisingly well.

‘Of course I did. Princesses don’t throw temper tantrums,’ she’d replied when Cassie had complimented her on it. At least she took the role to heart in it’s entirety!

Eric had been out at work when the pair returned home; Maria had been talked down from the treehouse after only twenty five minutes and so Cassie had decided to go to diner for their teas as a celebration. She was surprised to see a ruffled looking Vita Alto stood on the doorstep. She let Maria into the house with strict instruction to get started on her homework before turning to address the haughty woman.

‘Is Mr. Stanislav not in? It is he I wish to speak with.’

‘No, he’s gone to work I’m afraid. Is there anything I can help you with?’

‘Well. Perhaps. My husband did not return home from work last night.’

‘Excuse me?’

Tutting, Vita rolled her eyes and gave Cassie a cold look. ‘You heard me perfectly well, girl. I cannot get through to him on his mobile. I wondered if Mr. Stanislav might have any idea.’

‘Why would he?’

‘Well, they are colleagues! Honestly girl, do you know nothing of your employer’s work?’

*       *       *

‘One more, one more!’

‘No, Maria please, I really have to go! I’m meeting James!’

‘ONE MORE!’

‘Okay, okay!’

Beaming, Maria performed a perfect pirouette. She’d been enrolled in ballet classes for some time now, and had decided that she was going to be a ballerina princess when she grew up. She was completely obsessed!

Applauding, Cassie took a sneaky look at the clock on Maria’s bedroom wall. ‘That’s brilliant, Maria! You’ve really come a long way, haven’t you? Now, I really, really have to go…’

Maria stamped her foot crossly. ‘Honestly, Cassie. You spend more time with James than you do with me! You’re supposed to be my nanny, not his!’

Laughing, Cassie ruffled Maria’s hair. ‘Come on now, be fair! You know that’s just not true! Besides, I’ll be seeing you later, won’t I? I’m dragging him along to your recital!’

Her face lighting up, Maria grinned. ‘Seriously? You promise you’ll be there?’

‘Of course I will!’

‘At six on the dot?’

‘At six on the dot!’

Cheering, Maria pulled Cassie into a hug.

‘Okay, now go! And remember what I told you!’

Cassie laughed. Maria had got it into her head that James was going to ask Cassie to marry him, and she’d already decided that she would be their bridesmaid. Cassie wasn’t sure how she’d break the news to her that the bride was usually the centre of attention on a wedding day; Maria still wasn’t used to playing second fiddle!

She met a tired looking James on the beach front. He had a package at his feet.

‘Are you okay?’

‘Of course I bloody am, why are you asking?’

Cassie was taken aback. ‘Calm down, you just look a bit knackered is all.’

James rubbed his eyes. ‘Sorry, hon. Just a few problems at work. Plus I was supposed to deliver this half an hour ago, but Liv’s running late.’

‘Liv?’

‘Business contact.’

‘Is it her birthday?’ Cassie gestured down to the package, which was decorated with a red bow.

James frowned. ‘Yeah. Yeah, her birthday. Thank god, there she is…’

Waving over at a hawknosed woman who was coming towards them, relief etched itself into his crumpled features. ‘Liv! Hi!’

He quickly put on his business face as he shook her hand. ‘Oh, this Cassie, my girlfriend,’ he pointed to Cassie stood a short way behind him. She didn’t want to get involved in anything technical.

‘Hi, Liv! Happy birthday!’

Liv looked at her for a moment. ‘Thank you, Cassie, was it? Now then, James! What have you got for me!’

Forcing a smile, James picked up the box and handed it over. ‘Here we go! Just as promised.’

‘It’s heavier than I thought it would be, you know.’

Wondering what was in the package, Cassie turned to go to the bar. She was shocked to see a police officer stood behind her; she recognised him as Hank, who’d drunkenly tried it on with her during her jobsearch. He had a stern look on his face.

‘James Brennan, Cassie Rivers, I think you’d better come down to the station, don’t you? You’re under arrest.’

27 thoughts on “3. Naivety

  1. Oh noooooooooo! Cassie’s in trouble and it’s hardly even her fault 😦 If only James was as good as he seemed. It’s great to watch both Cassie and Maria grow from chapter to chapter… As ‘people’ more than just aging…

    • Speedy reading! Yeah, James is a bit of a dark horse. Still, there is a minor(ish) clue in this chapter as to what all this will lead to! Thanks for reading 🙂

      • To be honest, so do I, but both Eric and Cassie only seem to be rolling wishes based on her! ‘Buy a dollshouse’, ‘Read to Maria’, ‘Enrol Maria in afterschool activity’, I just figure they want to give her everything :p She’s not particularly meanspirited in terms of her spoiledness, she just knows that if she asks she’ll get. Thanks for reading!

  2. I’m so excited you are writing another legacy! I loved the Emmetts, I have a hunch with all of this childcare experience, Cassie is likely to expand her business when Maria grows up. Bookmarked, and looking forward to the developments with this! Thank you for continuing to write!

  3. Wow… Maria is so ADORABLE like she’s “TEH ADORIBLE MASTAH” and I say she’ll write that in the same spelling all over her room in purple crayon if she hears that. P.S. I spelled the adorable master wrong for a reason O_o

  4. Awww, Cassie is so nervous for her first date! It’s adorable how she’s never really gone on many first dates and only ever had one serious boyfriend. Though I am sad Matthew had to be left behind, I hope Cassie can finally let his memory go.

    I love how you describe Cassie and Sue’s friendship! So often during legacies, authors forget to bring in friends to add depth to their stories. Sue is the perfect balance of a good friend, a mentor, and a bartender for Cassie! Heh.

    That is quite awkward for Cassie to be caught lounging after avoiding James with the pretense of a busy schedule… Luckily they both handled it well!

    Oh no!! I knew there was something off about James! I just couldn’t feel comfortable around him, with his snippy attitude and vague job. Poor Cassie! Now she’s in danger of suffering for his stupidity!
    Absolutely wonderful read. You’re really on a role! Can’t wait for more! 🙂

    • Thanks for reading! Yeah, Cassie is only young and considering that her relationship with Matthew was obviously serious I thought it made sense for her to be nervous, particularly seeing as this is her first ‘grown up’ relationship as an adult too; I guess she had every right to be nervous given the baptism of fire James has given her! And yeah, Sue is a great friend! I guess I’m at an advantage with this being the first generation; Cassie isn’t surrounded by family to take up all the writing space d:

      I’m really pleased you enjoyed!!

  5. Just caught up with all the chapters. I have to say, you did it again! This is a fantastic legacy and I love your new writing style! 😀

    Cassie is an adorable founder. Her friendship with Sue is a great creative touch added to the chapters on your part! James and Cassie seem like a cute couple, but it seems like James isn’t working for the right people in town. I do hope Cassie is alright!

    Can’t wait for more! 😀

    • Thank you so much for reading, I’m pleased you enjoyed! I’m looking forward to more from the Halliwells too 🙂

      I’m glad you like Cassie too! You’ll have to wait and see what happens to her :p

  6. I think I caught the clue! Unless you changed Mr. Alto’s job in game, then I think I know what this little thing is! Vita did say they were co-workers after all!

    • Ooo, no that’s not what the clue is! The clue (I don’t even know if it can be called that… I’ll explain in a footnote when it comes about!) is literally teenytiny and relates more to what will happen to Cassie than anything else.

      But as for Mr. Alto… He’s a business man, isn’t he? 😉

      • Love it 🙂 Can already see its gonna be as great as the Emmett’s! I may have only completed them but I fell in love with them straight away I just had to keep reading start to finish until I got there! x

      • Aww, thanks for reading the Emmetts! Congrats for getting through it all, there’s a lot there! Hope you enjoy the Rivers just as much 🙂

      • Don’t apologise! He starts out in business but wants to move to the criminal career track, hence why I made him be a business man with criminal dealings 🙂

    • Yes, I did, several! I made Cassie’s family (for the prologue fire scenes), Matthew and his family, Eric (Maria was spawned using the Master Controller mod… in-game her mother is Jamie Jolina!) and James, plus some others who are yet to come. Sue’s game-made though 🙂

  7. Oh my GOSH! I love the ending, a very dramatic cliffhanger.
    I didn’t understand this sentence ‘Sue! You need to sort out the loos! Out of bogroll!’ what are you talking about exactly 😛 And does Nick Altos (I think thats his name) not-answering-phone thing, will it still be included in the story line, or was it just put there?

    • Haha, bogroll is toilet paper, she needed to go and sort out the ladies 🙂
      Yes, the Nick Alto mystery will be cleared up in the next chapter!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  8. O_O. I wonder what this is about! I really hope that James did not do something bad such as killing Vita Alto’s husband! I know, I know it seems really far off but I have a sneaky suspision that it may be something like this that got James in trouble! I hope he’s innocent though, I was starting to like him. If only he was as perfect as he seemed… I just hope that Cassie’s not in trouble or about to be hurt! Oh and Maria, you gotta love her! She growed on me even more during this chapter. She’s just so adorable 😀

    Anyway, brilliant chapter! I love this legacy and I hope that you’ll keep up your high standard 😀 Off to read the next chapter!

  9. I just started reading this story, and I like Cassie’s character. I completely understand where she stands with having unfinished business with Matt. She left without saying goodbye and she needs closure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s