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Tony Lothario's Blog #9
Published Apr 30, 2007


Written By

eshuff

Storyteller
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This is Tony, here again.

This is the most difficult piece of writing I've done so far. Best laid plans go awry, don't they?

This is Tony, here again.

This is the most difficult piece of writing I've done so far. Best laid plans go awry, don't they?
It was a week between the time Gabe sent the email to Senator Taylor and the time I got the phone call from him.

It had been raining all day, and I could hear it pound on the glass while I was trying to listen to him.

"Mr. Lothario," he started, sounding, I don't know, pompous and nervous at the same time, "this is Senator Robert Taylor. Now I understand we have something to discuss. May I call you Tony?"
What?! "No, you can't call me Tony! I'm not your friend! And yes, we certainly do have something to discuss!"

"Now, sir, there's no need for hostility -- what about my club, the Georgetown Club, downtown for lunch?"
A club? Like one of those places in old movies where men sit around and smoke cigars and drink brandy? I didn't think such places even existed anymore, and I wouldn't set foot in one if they did. No way was I going to do this on his territory anyway.

"No! I'm not going to meet you at any club of yours! There's a bookstore on 23rd Street with a coffee shop. You meet me there in an hour. You'll know who I am -- I look exactly like my son!"
God, I thought, I can't believe it. This may actually work! "Who were you yelling at?" Gen had come up behind me.

"SENATOR Taylor, sweetheart! I'm meeting him downtown in an hour. Can you believe it?"
"Watch yourself," she said. "You have to stay calm, Tony! The man's a politician, a professional manipulator -- if you lose your temper with him, he'll take advantage of it."

She looked at me, and added, "Aren't you going to change your clothes?"

"My clothes? No, they're clean."
Gen laughed, hugged me, and said, "Ok, yes, they're clean, and they're you. Go for it, and stay calm."

"I'm calm, I'm going to stay calm." Which was a lie. "I'll call you as soon as I can."

"Take the car," she told me. "It's raining."
The 23rd Street bookstore. Not as strange a venue as you might think -- I'm there frequently, it's comfortable, and it's easy to see who's there as soon as you walk in.

By the time I got downtown it had stopped raining, which made me regret taking the damned car instead of my bike. All right, I told myself. Stay calm.
Nevertheless, I was close to shaking with nerves when I went in. I spotted him immediately -- not too many people show up here wearing sports coats, and he was sitting alone, and from the back at least, looked stiff and tense. I sat down and frankly glared at him. No way was I going to shake the man's hand.

"Senator Taylor, I presume," I said.
He stared at me for almost a minute. "Rafe does look exactly like you," he finally said. "So, where do we start?"

"How about with an apology? Not only have you had my son for all these years, but you were obviously poaching on my wife! There's no other reason you would assume he's your son!"
He looked down at the table. For a second, and it really was only about that long, I felt some sympathy for him. Ok, second's gone.

"You're right," he told me. "The relationship with Eden was reprehensible. I apologize."
"What about my son? I'm NOT going to let this go on!"

"Well, what's your offer?" he countered.
My offer. As if were bargaining over the price of a car.

"My offer is you figure out how I can get my son back or I take you outside and knock your teeth out, that's my offer!"

Gen would not have been proud of me at that moment. Back it down, I told myself furiously.
He actually smiled, and murmured something under his breath that sounded like "Lothario all right..." Then he looked at me and started again.

"Mr. Lothario," he said, "Rafe is a teenager. And after everything that's happened, he knows as well as you do that he's your son. I know he wants to get to know you, but I'm not making some public announcement about it. It would embarrass him as well as me. Think about it."
"So what are you saying?"

"I talked to Rafe last night," he said quietly. "He asked if he could start by staying with you for the summer once his school term is over in a few weeks. That's acceptable to me. But again, no public announcement."
I shoved away from the table and walked away. This was not what I wanted! I wanted an admission from him and from Eden, I wanted it made absolutely, unequivocably clear that he was MY son, not his.

"I can't do that," I snapped at him over my shoulder. "Offer refused. Come up with another one."
He got up and blocked my path, and in a low, cool voice, said, "Listen to me! You're thinking about yourself! I'm not going to discuss what I think Eden did to you or did to me, but you aren't the only one who's been hurt in this fiasco! It's not my offer -- it's Rafe's offer!" "Rafe's offer," I repeated, trying to unclench my teeth.

"You heard me. Start with that. In the long run, it will have to be made right. But start there."

"Starting when? I want a date and I want it right now."

"Two weeks from Sunday."
"Two weeks from Sunday. All right, you've got a deal, for now. But I don't want to see you and I don't want to see Eden!"

"Believe me," he said, "the feeling is mutual."
I walked off without another word and stood in the street by my car like an idiot, staring at nothing, while a couple of cars honked at me.

It's happening, I thought. My heart was racing like I'd run a marathon. Not the way I wanted it, but it's happening. Gabe, whatever you want, kid -- plasma TV, Harley, my left arm, anything...

Turning it over to my cousin, who'll find out soon enough.
I was driving myself crazy, getting up in the morning to make sure Gabe went to school (he'd 'forget'); grabbing a couple of hours sleep; driving downtown to Cat's house around noon to snatch a few hours alone with her before she went to work; driving back to supervise Gabe; then back downtown late to see her again. I was dead tired. Once I got there it was worth it...but I couldn't keep going like this. "Babe," I finally told her, "we have to talk." She stepped back, gave me a wary smile. "If it's going to be one of those talks, you'll have to get dressed to do it. Let's go downstairs." Every room in her place is kind of silvery and shiny, pretty like her. Cat sat down on the opposite end of the couch, which wasn't normal. She had to be expecting this.

"I can't keep doing this," I told her, figuring it was better to just say it. "I'm dying here; I'm falling asleep on the road and it's affecting everything, which you probably notice."
"So what are you telling me? You want to stop seeing me?" "No, I don't want to stop seeing you! I want to see you MORE, but not like this! Come on, Cat, you know what I'm dealing with -- work with me here! Why can't Alcaide work the nights? He's a single guy!" She looked down at her hands, said nothing for a minute. "Don," she finally said quietly, "he can't. It's time I had a chat with dear Nick about all of this, it's gotten old. But he has a daughter, and he's very protective."

For a while now something had been bothering me, and it all came together in one bad moment. "A daughter," I repeated. "Does she have long kind of brownish blonde hair and those same gold eyes -- I mean, who else has eyes like that? Is her name Amanda?"
Cat looked surprised. "That's her, why?"

"Oh God.... Gabe's going out with her..."

She laughed, laughed until she had to wipe her eyes. "Oh dear!" she finally gasped. "Nicky's going to have a fit! Gabe must be pretty good to have kept it from him so far!"
I was getting tired of people telling me who Gabe could go out with. He can see any girl he wants to see. Pretty good, yeah I guess he is pretty good, too good...and I'd bet Amanda isn't the only one he's got going at the same time...I'd seen him talking up close to a little brunette the other day....Ok, I'd deal with that later. The rest of the problem was still sitting out there.

"Forget about her for right now. Something has to happen here."
"Don, I could use the time with Nick during the day anyway. We get a lot more done when we can work together.

"I've got an idea, someone I know who can definitely manage it for me, she's got experience and she's suited for it. But you're not going to like it."
"Why? Why wouldn't I like it? Sounds good to me."

"Because you know her and you can't stand her. Morgan Jones."
Morgan Jones....MJ??? "No way!" I yelled at her. "If I never saw that red witch again for the rest of my life it would be too soon!"

"You wouldn't have to see her. There's no reason we have to ever go over there at night. It's the best solution I can come up with."
MJ. Of all the people in the world... but if I didn't have to see her or talk to her... and I was bound to run into her sooner or later anyway unless she fell off the earth, which wasn't gonna happen. Didn't know what Tony would think about it, but Gennifer, or whatever her name really was, she was going to have a fit. Which might be an interesting thing to see. I do not like that woman.

"Fine," I choked out. "Whatever. It's better than what I'm dealing with now."
Cat smiled, got up and held me for a little while.

"Go home," she said. "Get some sleep. Let me start fixing this. I don't want to lose you."

"You're not gonna lose me," I whispered. "It's hard to chase me away once I want something. And this is something I want real bad."

I'm turning this back to Tony. This is the only part I have here, so I'm going to say, Tony, I'm sorry, man, but there was something a little off there. Maybe that's why it turned out that way.
Two weeks later, and believe me, I was counting the hours, I got up, showered, and paced, waiting. Gen had started to show and was tired and slowing down, but for some reason she was happy and calm instead of climbing up my back all the time. I didn't know if I was going to get a phone call or if Rafe would simply be delivered like a package. It was the latter.

"There's a limo outside," Gen told me. "It has to be him. Go on."
He came up the sidewalk and stopped, looking at me. I couldn't think of a thing to say. Give the kid a hug, I thought, but I didn't know him, and a handshake seemed like an idiotic way to greet my own son. I heard Gen come down the steps. She stepped between us, looked at Rafe, smiled, and said, "Hi, welcome home." It was a good summer after that. He's a great kid -- smart, athletic, got along with both of us. I invited Don and Cat over to meet him. That was pushing Gen's tolerance, but she had to get over it eventually.

It started out well, until Don said to Cat, "Are you gonna tell them?"

She looked at him. "I've hired a manager for the nightclub," she said to everyone and no one in particular, not looking at Gen. "Morgan Jones."
Gen sat back, the said, "MJ? You hired MJ? Are you out of your mind?" I have to admit I wasn't overwhelmed with joy myself, but it was Cat's business, not mine. I don't frequent her club. There was no reason I'd have to run into MJ -- she might as well work there as anyplace else.

"Ginny," I said carefully, "it's not that big a deal."
She crossed her arms and glared at Don. He was the last person in the world to blame for Cat's decision. Whatever I might have had with MJ, Don openly despised her. It was almost funny, as if he'd provided a reference. "It'll be fine, " I said, trying to smooth it over. "We'll never run into her."

"It is not fine!" she snapped.

Don and Cat were staring at her, staring at me.

"I'm going in," Gen said. "I'm tired."
The four of us sat there, silent, watching her get up and walk in. Across the table, Rafe was watching me with narrowed eyes, Eden's chilly gray eyes. I didn't know him well enough yet to know what he was thinking, but he seemed to expect me to do something. So far his relationship with Gen was what I would have to characterize as cautious. I don't think he liked what he saw at that point. And I didn't know what to do. Cat got up and said, "We've got another commitment, don't we? Thanks for the afternoon."

Don looked at her, blank, then said, "Yeah, sure."

I felt like a fool. Angry, embarrassed. Said goodbye and stood back fighting with myself.
Don looked over his shoulder as he was following Cat out, shook his head slightly and said, "Good luck, man. Bye, Rafe."

Silent, Rafe got up and started cleaning up the food.

"She's pregnant," I told him. He didn't respond, didn't even look at me.
It was a long night. The next morning, Gen got up before me, and I heard her scream.

"Tony!" she cried, "I'm in labor!"

It was a month too soon -- frantic, remembering Ellen, I dialed for an ambulance. There was no way I was going to risk her life or my child's life with some kind of hare-brained dash to the hospital!
And that was probably one of the most intelligent decisions I'd ever made. Both of them survived. And I brought home my second son. Marcello. Marc. Full heart is a cliche, but mine was full. It was the end of summer, time for Rafe to return. I'd been dreading it. Two days before he was due to go, he asked if he could talk to me.

"I'm not going," he said. "I want to stay here."
That was undoubtedly going to cause some consternation in the Taylor household. However, we could probably pull it off.

"You'll have to talk to your mother and stepfather," I told him. "You know the situation, Rafe."
"Yeah, I know it. I know it at least as well as you do. I grew up in it. I like it here. Besides, you're going to need me." I was going to need him? Need him for what?

Puzzled, I hesitated, then said, "You know I want you to stay. Make the call, let's see how they take it."

Rafe got up and went off to his room. I was still wondering what he was talking about when Gen came up and said, "I've got to go buy groceries. See you in a bit."

I gave her a hug, distracted. I'd have to talk to her about Rafe staying, not that I expected her to object, but I'd do it when she came back.
An hour went by. Then another one. Two hours to buy groceries? If it were clothes, but groceries? I'd begun to feel uneasy when I got the phone call.

"Tony Lothario?"

"Yes," I said, every nerve suddenly on edge.

"This is Deputy Madison. Sir, your wife's been in an accident. You'll need to go to the Metropolitan Medical Center."

An accident.... I could not catch my breath. "Is she all right?"

"She's not critically injured, but you'll need to go. That's about all I know, sir."
I stood there, stunned. I couldn't simply run out; Marc was asleep in his crib.

Rafe came in, looked at me and asked, "Dad, is everything all right? Can I help?"

Taking a deep breath, I said, "Can you stay here with Marc for a while? Gen's been in an accident."

"Sure I can."

"You take care of him, Rafe. Can I count on you?"

"You can count on me. Don't worry."
I went into the room, one of those places you hope you'll never enter, right up there with a jail cell. Gen was sleeping. Quiet. Motionless. I sat in the requisite blue hospital chair in the corner of the room, waiting for the doctor to see me. I think my anxiety level was so hight at that point that if they'd checked my vital signs, I might have been admitted myself.

It was almost an hour before a nurse ushered me into a doctor's office.

"I'm Doctor Woods," he said calmly. "Have a seat, Mr. Lothario. Let me explain what's happened."
"Is she going to be all right?"

"She's not going to die. She hasn't sustained any life-threatening injuries. But she took a severe blow to the head, specifically, to the part of her brain called the frontal lobe."

I'd taken a few courses in biology in college, but apart from recognizing the name, I didn't know what that meant. "So, what does that mean?"
"One of the most common effects of frontal damage can be dramatic changes in social behavior. A person's personality can undergo significant changes after an injury to the frontal lobes." "I don't understand -- what kind of changes in social behavior?"

"Come over to the chart, let me show you what I'm talking about."
"The frontal lobes are frequently compromised in accidents like the one your wife was involved in, precisely because they're at the front of the head. See how vulnerable they are? There may be no effect; there may be minor changes; there may be dramatic changes."

I stood there staring at a completely useless anatomical chart of the brain, trying to understand what he was saying. "Like what?"
"She may behave very differently from the way she used to conduct herself. You'll have to observe her."

"And if she does," I said, "can it be treated?"

He looked at me, and in a very gentle voice replied, "Probably not. Not to any significant extent. You can take her home now. Bring her back at the end of the week. I'll set up an appointment."
The first few days Gen slept most of the time and complained about her headache. She was irritable, restless, but that was certainly understandable.

Don stopped by to ask how I was doing. I wasn't always pleased to see him, but I was then.
"So what'd the doctor say?" he asked.

"He said there might be some changes in social behavior," I told him.

"Social behavior? Like, her personality?"

"Yes, like her personality. I haven't seen anything much so far, though."
As soon as I said it, I heard her coming down the stairs.

I think the three of us saw her at the same time, but I doubt either Rafe or Don was as stunned as I was. I don't know where she got that outfit, and I'd never seen her stride across a floor like that.
Gen glanced at me, then went right up to my cousin.

"Hi there," she said in a voice I thought she reserved for me, a soft purr. "You are looking particularly good today... why don't we book some time to get to know each other better?"
No one said a thing. I couldn't believe it. I'm certain Don couldn't believe it, but he recovered faster than I did.

"Lady," Don said in a hard, tense voice, "I think you need to go back to bed. You got a delusion or something going on here...you don't need to get to know me better."
Rafe muttered something like, "Oh man." I saw him put his hands up to his face.

Horrified, I said to Don, "Can we go outside for a minute?"
Don stood there on the walk, silent, looking at me. Of all the people in the world to see my wife behave like that, it would have to be him. Maybe it was the best thing it was him -- at least he knew where she was coming from. "What are you gonna do?" Don asked me. "That's not even her anymore, Tony! A few days ago she wouldn't sit at the same table with me without giving me the evil eye! Who is that?"

I shrugged. How in the world did I know what I was going to do? Or who she was. I couldn't even talk.
"Call me," my cousin said, "call me anytime, Tony. Whatever I can do, you know I'm good for it."

"Yeah," I said, stupidly, giving him a quick hug. "Thanks."
So here I am back again, at what feels like the edge of the world. Standing on the edge, looking over into the place where monsters swim. What am I supposed to do? Expectations aside, what can I do?

This is Tony, logging off.

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#50MissJayMay 3, 2007

5.0!!! Aww man I hope Gen gets better. That's crazy!

#51EnchantedRoseMay 6, 2007

Great story hope everthing will turn out fine \:rah\:

#52KismynameMay 7, 2007

That was so unexpected. I don't know how you keep coming up with these surprising plot twists. \:\) Hopefully, this will be a temporary change in Gen's personality. Awesome story, can't wait to see what happens next!\:rah\:

#53rhiannon32gaMay 15, 2007

\:wub\: I have followed this entire series and I love it! This particular chapter is a great one, I can't believe what you did to poor Gen, but I KNEW something was up when Gabe said that Tony was going to "need to the help", this just smacks of Eden! That women just does not know when to let up on the poor guy! GAHHHHHHH - didn't she torture him enough when she was with him? Anyway, I love the series and I look forward to your next installment! Happy simming to you ~Rhiannon32GA

#54SongChild99May 18, 2007

I've just spent the last hour or so reading this entire series. By far one of the best ones I've read on here. \:wub\: \:rah\: \:wub\: \:rah\: *eagerly awaits next installment*

#55LlyrielMay 18, 2007

Great twist. Excellent writing. Amazing. Superb. Waaah! Really really great twist here! I LOVE that Rafe is so much like his dad, that the two really connect. I hope they will stay together, Tony can really use his help! I hate Eden she is so argh! I'm glad that Gen is changing in personality, hopefully she'll stabilise a little and then we can all love her more. You know, if she'd be more forgiving and more open-minded, but maybe not quite as flirty as she was then! Tony must have felt so hurt seeing his wife hitting on Don. Then again, the change is expected, I guess. Well, this is the last one so far... and I am really looking forward to the next one!

#56Jul 7, 2007

Oh, poor Tony! I hope Gen doesn't stay that different...and I love Rafe. He's such a sweetie.

#57ZayuryNov 27, 2007

\:rah\: Incredible chapter, excellent writing, very detailed pictures! This chapter was very close to home for me.... It's wonderful how Rafe stayed by his father's side! Poor Tony, how hard things have been for him, he is a wonderful man, he has a hard road ahead... Fantastic story! \:wub\: \:rah\:

#58KenvjoFeb 25, 2008

And the saga continues! Great stuff!\:rah\:

#59Sarebear728May 31, 2008

Have to admit, I saw the accident coming. However you still get accolades and a 5.0 from me \:\)

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