advent stories XO

Advent Stories #6- Rogue Rhodes Sisters

‘Have you spoken to Sloane?’

‘Nope.’

‘You know she’s found her right? Fitz would’ve been able to track her down.’

‘Well The Source is a tech giant, and you know Fitz has a long reach. As well as the family he comes from.’ Serena is just packing up, she didn’t get much done today she spent the time doing what her youngest sister told her not to do; digging for information. She didn’t find a lot but she had the gist of what was going on with Bella.

‘What are we gonna do?’

‘I’m hanging tight until I hear from Sloane and you need to do the same.’

‘Serena-’

‘Beatrix I don’t say this often because I love you. You’re my sister and I would do anything for you, so I say this with love, you need to calm the hell down. Yes mom is going to kill her and yes we don’t know what the fuck is going on, but you need to stop going into drama overdrive and trust that Sloane can handle this.’

‘I’m not in drama overdrive.’

‘Really?’

‘Our sister has eloped with some guy we don’t even know; How is that not par for a dramatic moment? Why are you being so calm?’

‘Because Bea, there is nothing we can do without knowing the facts of the situation-’

‘The one who knows-’

‘What do you want to do?’ Serena asks her sister, typical Beatrix drama overdrive, guns blazing.

‘I’ll tell you what I’ve done.’

‘What did you do Bea?’

‘I’ve booked a ticket to New York leaves in six hours-’

‘Beatrix! What the hell are you going to do in New York?’

‘I want to speak to Sloane she is not taking our calls so I might as well pay her a visit.’

‘You need to cancel that ticket.’

‘No, I won’t. Sloane doesn’t want to talk on the phone she might as well receive me in person. I’m due a trip to New York anyhow. Wanna come with?’

Serena prays for patience she has run out of. How is she sister to a bunch of crazy women! And why hasn’t Sloane returned any of her calls. ‘What do you think you confronting her would do?’

‘Get our questions answered. I don’t think she sees the bigger picture here, if, no, when this comes out, Mom will lay the blame on her.’

‘Bella is a grown woman who can do whatever she wants.’

‘Stop quoting words of Beyonce to me. I’m being serious.’

‘So am I. You know Beyonce speaks truth to gospel. Bella is grown she makes her own decisions. Her younger sister cannot be held liable for her own stupid actions. As far as we know Sloane didn’t talk her into it, she could just be talking her off a ledge as we speak. Mom cannot blame her for this and that narrative is tired.’

‘Tired or not you know what mom is like; she is going to think Sloane has a hand in this elopement. She always thinks she is the bad influence in the family.’

‘Mom needs to get over that.’ Serena gets into her waiting car. ‘And you need to take it down a notch. I don’t know what’s gotten over you, but you need to take several steps back.’ Beatrix is the dramatic one of the four, she is the ask questions later type, but something smacks silly about this, she wouldn’t be so presumptuous to show up on Sloane’s doorstep like this. ‘Bea what’s really going on with you?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘You’re dramatic not melodramatic. What’s going on?’

‘Get on the plane with me and I’ll tell you.’

Fucking Beatrix. ‘Fine. I have to go home. Talk to Gabe. Did you tell Edward?’

‘I did. He still cannot believe it.’

‘What does he think about you ambushing Sloane?’

‘It’s not an ambush-’

‘Showing up on her doorstep uninvited is an ambush Bea. I don’t know why we cannot just wait until she calls us. I’m sure there’s an explanation.’

‘She’s found her.’

‘I’m sure she has, but you know what those two are like. Let Sloane come to us, we can’t just go jumping on planes running all over New York.’

Beatrix sighs, she knows she is being overly dramatic about things but she needs to get away from the house right now, Bella provided her an excuse to do just that. Her mother-in-law is in town and they are not the best of pals never have been, but last night they got into it and things have been tense around the house since. ‘We’re going to visit our sister in New York because our other sister has eloped. It’s a problem and we need to get to the bottom of it.’

‘What about the children and Ed?’

‘They are going to be with their father. We have a cook and a maid so they’ll be fine.’

Serena noted Bea’s tone, and what she was not saying, ‘book my ticket I’ll see you at the airport. I haven’t told Gabe I wanted to wait until tonight.’

‘Ok I’ll see you, terminal four I’ll send you your boarding pass.’

‘K. I’ll see you later.’

Serena looked out at the traffic on her way home from behind the car and sighed deeply. She and Gabe are just now getting back to a good place. For a long time they were stuck in this dark fog and things were ugly between them. They were meant to have dinner tonight, just the two of them Gabe was cooking, he is the better cook of the two but they don’t get to spend these moments together, children, work, research…it all gets in the way of them finding their way back to each other. Bea and Bella know some of what is going on between them, but Sloane knows nothing, she’d been planning to tell her sometime but never got round to it, she kept putting it off. Of her three sisters, Sloane is the one whom Serena feels protective of the most, yet intimidated by her. Her youngest sister up and left while the rest of them were toeing the family line, made something of herself and Serena respects the hell out of her for it. Their mother however, was a different issue entirely; Sloane as far as she is concerned is a rebel without a cause for not getting her master’s degree, for moving to Paris straight after graduation and moving further away to the other side of the world to live her life. Their mother could not come to terms with that, all these years and she still holds it over Sloane, who is as stubborn as ever too. Sloane hardly comes home, but she was thinking about coming home for the holidays even staying at the house. So much for that now, because Bella’s little sideshow is bound to cause a raucous.

‘Thank you Mason, I should be back out shortly for the airport.’

‘Yes Mrs Banks.’

Serena exits the car and hurries quickly inside the house, it smells delicious. Gabe is making her favourite dish; Lasagna and tri-colore salad.

‘Hey sweetheart.’ Gabe walks out of the kitchen holding a bottle of red wine and two glasses. He’d heard the door shut.

‘You’re making my favourite, lasagna!’

‘I am. Packed the kids off to the grandparents on a school night we’re terrible parents.’ Gabe laughs a little, pulling Serena into an embrace. ‘Here’s a glass of that heavenly Barolo.’

‘Oh man.’ Serena buries her face in his neck inhaling his scent, ‘you’re gonna hate me.’

‘Oh come on Serena.’ Gabe knew what was coming, work, it is always work with them. He was looking forward to a night with just the two of them at home, no children, no work, nothing.

‘I promise it is not like that and you have to believe I would rather be here. It’s not work. Something’s happened.’

Gabe looked at his wife, ‘what?’

‘Let’s sit and talk.’ Serena dumped her handbag and coat by the door before heading into the family room to tell her husband all about her crazy day.

‘Are you okay?’

‘I may not be so please pour me a glass.’

Gabe does as his wife asks, pouring a generous glass of red wine.

‘Bella got married last night or two nights ago…I’m not sure when, but she got married sometime in the last forty-eight hours. I suppose she met the guy at Ari’s wedding-’

‘Hang on a minute, she got married to who?’

‘We don’t know. She told us about it this morning when Sloane rang to tell us she was coming home for Christmas. She dropped the bomb and left us hanging.’

‘Whoa…are you being serious?’

‘As a heart attack.’ Serena raises her glass and takes a large gulp. ‘Now Bea and I think Sloane has found her but we cannot get through to Sloane. Bea had this incredibly chaotic idea to go to New York and ambush Sloane-’

‘Ooooh.’

‘I know! But she’s determined and I have to go and be the middle man because Sloane will be so mad at us. You know Sloane in that mood is lethal.’

Gabriel couldn’t help his laughter, this is such a mess.

‘It’s not funny!’ But Serena does see the funny side. Although when Sloane finds them outside her door she will be less inclined to find it funny.

‘Oh it is, and I would pay good money to be a fly on that wall when Sloane sees you two.’

‘So you see why I have to go? I wish I didn’t.’

‘Is Bella okay?’

‘We don’t know. In a way I kind of get where Bea is coming from with this idea, but- I don’t know.’

‘It can’t end well, either way you want to cut it, you know how it is when Sloane and Bea are at loggerheads. I’m so sorry you’ve had a rough day.’

‘I’m sorry I’m bailing out on our dinner date.’

‘It’s family sweetheart.’ Gabe rests his forehead on hers. The summer was hard for them, the past six months has been trying on them, their marriage was on the rocks and they suffered a loss that took its toll on them. They are trying desperately to get back to the way they were and he knows Serena hasn’t forgiven herself for what happened earlier in the year and they walked away from each other.

(windows- Harrods & Gucci)