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In The Arms Of My Angel
Posts : 454
Join date : 2009-04-10
Age : 55
Location : Nottingham, England
Humor : Dirty!!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 am|| |
Chapter 228 - Good News/Bad News Day
Urs could scarcely believe what he'd just heard one of Nicholas's colleagues announce a few seconds ago. It wasn't that he wasn't proud of what had just been revealed, he was. Very much so. A look to his son-in-law told him that he had a sheepish look on his face and Urs knew why it was there. He'd fibbed. Not only to Sylvie, but also to Franky and Urs and Franky hadn't ever picked up on the fact that he'd lied. A look to Franky told him that she was as stunned as he was and so was Sylvie. They didn't seem to care that he'd been lying to them for almost ten years. They were beaming with pride about the fact Nicholas and his colleagues's research had made a minor breakthrough years ago, a new drug had been developed and clinical trials had been a great success.
Unnamed right now, the new cancer treatment was particularly effective for those who were diagnosed in the very early stages of the disease. Some sufferers responded best of all, but other patients hadn't had to endure chemotherapy or radiation therapy to walk out of a hospital cured of their ailment. Though how the mediciation differentiated between good cells and cancerous ones..........well that went completely over the top Urs's head. He'd barely understood a word of what had been said other than that the medication had to be administered by drip and basically devoured the bad cells and left the good ones alone. A look to Franky told him she was just as baffled by the scientific stuff as he was but was paying attention to what else was being said.
It had also proved effective in slowing down the progression of cancers caught in later stages, easing a patient's pain a little and giving them a little more time with their loved ones. The only downsides to the drug was what was currently its only known side effect. The patient also had to spend at least one day in hospital post treatment just in case their temperature soared high enough to make them pass out for a few minutes. Pleased though they were to announce what they had, the group of over thirty men and women were going to continue their research in the hope of improving the drug so that all forms of cancer could be cured one day.
Understanding why Nicholas had asked himself and Franky to attend the scientific community press announcement now, Urs turned his head to look at Sylvie's face again. He felt his brow furrow when he saw that her eyes weren't sparkling the way they had when Ursy had won at the Olympics and her smile wasn't the beaming one she'd had plastered on her face until a week after the closing ceremony. Without a doubt, she was proud of Nicholas, Urs was certain of that, but she was upset about something at the same time. He looked at Frank and quickly realised she appeared to have come to the same conclusion as himself. He'd only just been able to hear her ask Sylvie what was wrong over the excited questions the press were throwing at Nicholas and his colleagues.
"Noth........I'll tell you when this is over." Sylvie replied with a quick headshake.
Franky sighed then looked at Urs, both of them knowing Sylvie had just tried to deny there was anything troubling her only to quickly realise she wouldn't have gotten away with that. Whatever it was, they both knew they would know once the questioning had come to an end and Nicholas was standing by her side. That happened a few moments later, Nicholas stepped down off the podium and came running up to where they sat on the back row. His eyes holding as much concern as Sylvie's despite what had just been made public.
"Forgive me?" He asked, wrapping his arms around Sylvie's waist and attempting a smile.
"What for? Telling me fibs for years. Don't be stu......Don't be silly Nick. I have nothing to forgive you for. You said from the start you wouldn't say anything until you were sure your research had come to something. I am so very, very proud of you and I wish your parents were here. I don't care that you told a few lies along the way. I really, really don't. I just wish I could show how truly excited I am about what's happened, but I can't. Not right now, not when Ur........."
"I know, I know. It's okay. I understand and I'm concerned about Urs too." Nicholas nodded, pulling Sylvie into a tight embrace and keeping her there while he spoke to Urs and Franky. "She's worried about Urs. We haven't heard anything from him in almost four days. He said he would call to let us know he and Danay arrived in Rome okay, but he didn't. We've called the hotel, they didn't check in. We've checked the airports too, but none of them will tell us if he went somewhere else because he's over twenty-one and considered a grown man. Yesterday, we heard a rumour that they'd broken up, but that came from someone whose word we wouldn't trust if our lives depended on it. He's not at his apartment and all calls go unanswered. Ours, his friends' and his coach's. Sylvie's worried that he's gone off somewhere on his bike, had an accident and no-one knows who to contact."
Knowing that their grandson had arranged to take Danay to Rome in order to propose marriage, Urs and Franky looked at each other. Both of them knew exactly who Nicholas had been talking about and thought Delphine Allard was just stirring the pot. She'd wanted Ursy for herself ever since he'd won the gold medal, not because she loved him, because she'd wanted her face in the press and had told Ursy he wasn't anything special when he'd politely turned down her request for a date. As soon as she'd seen him with Danay, she'd started trouble by calling Danay names and not liking the fact Danay ignored every foul insult that was thrown her way.
On the premise that the rumour could be true, Urs knew that his namesake would have gone for a very long bike ride and wouldn't have really cared where he ended up. But he was positive that he would have contacted his parents before now, just to let them know he was safe and sound. As for the possibility of him having an accident, that could have happened but someone would probably have contacted Sylvie or Nicholas by now. Ursy always had ID on him along with contact details tucked in behind the card.
Someone's mobile went off a few seconds later and Urs recognised it as Sylvie's. She pulled it out of her pocket, read what had been sent then showed it to Nicholas. His eyes flew wide once he'd read it. He immediately grabbed Sylvie's hand and the couple started heading for the door, giving a flick of his head to Urs and Franky to let them know he would like them to come along.
"What's happening, Nick?" Franky asked once they were in the car.
"That message was from Urs's neighbour. I asked her to call if she heard anyone at the apartment. She has but is too afraid to go and see if it's him. Said there's a lot crashing and banging around going on, amid some very loud yelling. She's called the police, just in case he's been broken into but she doubts that he has."
Knowing that Ursy's neighbour was in her late forties and had been ill recently, Urs and Franky couldn't blame her for not going to check who was in his apartment. They'd both noticed how frail she'd looked the day he'd invited them round to see the place and he'd told them she'd just left an abusive marriage. Her ex-husband not allowing her to eat what she wanted or consume anywhere near the recommended daily calorie intake for a woman until her two brothers had found out what he was doing anyway.
Nicholas burned rubber as he drove out of the underground car park but quickly calmed when he felt Franky touch his left shoulder from behind. A simple but effective tactic she employed to request him to slow down. Nicholas cursed a couple of times during the drive, once when he had to stop for a red light and the second when a man of about his age stepped off the pavement without checking the traffic, but otherwise stuck to the speed limit. He pulled up sharply outside the complex Ursy had moved into shortly after his return from Switzerland and the four of them were soon taking the lift to fifth floor. Despite the fact he was concerned for his grandson, Urs couldn't prevent a quick smile crossing his face. He still thought Ursy had invested his trust fund very wisely.
Sylvie and Nicholas left the lift together before the doors were even open and were yards ahead of Urs and Franky as they stepped out. They reached the door a few seconds after the younger couple had crossed the threshold and followed them in. What greeted Urs's eyes was a similar scene of devastation to the one he'd seen when Carlos had been broken into when he'd first started dating Karen. Even though it looked like the exact same thing had happened, Sylvie and Nicholas were sure Ursy had wrecked the place himself. They could hear sounds coming from the direction of the bedroom and after a couple of seconds of more careful listening Urs heard it too. Ursy crying hard and the sound of something hitting wood. That was quickly followed by a knock at the still open apartment door.
Sylvie went to see why her son sounded so distressed while Nicholas went to talk to the two police officers who'd shown up. One appeared to recognise Nicholas, gave him a quick nod once he'd explained that there hadn't been a break in and quietly withdrew. Sylvie came back into the lounge a few seconds later, wiping her eyes and chewing on her bottom lip a little.
"He says he'll be out in a minute." She informed before helping Nicholas get the couches upright so that the four of them could sit down.
It took Ursy more than ten minutes to appear and when he did it was clear to everyone that something bad had happened. He had a full beard, his hair hadn't seen a comb in days, he looked exhausted, his eyes were red and his clothes were creased. He didn't smell particular good either and didn't seem to care.
"Where have you been? Your mother's been worried." Nicholas questioned.
"Canada." Ursy replied giving his father a quick shrug. "Looking for Danay. She........She left me the day we were supposed to go to Rome."
"Did you find her?"
"Do I fucking look like I bloody well found her, Maman?" Ursy snapped then immediately apologised. "No, I didn't find her. She's not gone back to Montreal. Ewart says she says she's safe but she flat out refused to tell him or their parents where she is when she called them a couple of days ago."
"Are you sure he's not just saying that?"
"Yeah, Nonna. He got a call from her while I was talking to him. I heard every word and she hung up as soon as she heard me asking to talk to her. She left me note, said she wasn't leaving me because of Delphine. She's not scared of her, that's one thing I am certain of."
"Then why has she left you?"
"Says it's her dearest wish to see me win at the Olympics again and that she's noticed I'm getting.........I'm too easily distracted if she's there while I'm training. She told me not to call........in the note..........or to try and find her. But that's exactly what I've spent the last few days doing, going to all her favourite places, asking all of her friends. They're worried 'cos she won't say where she is when she calls them either. She'd already changed her number by the time I landed in Montreal and keeps changing it."
Urs looked at Franky and watched her wipe her eyes. They'd both really liked Danay and had been looking forward to watching her walk down the aisle to Ursy. They'd both been convinced she would accept the proposal. Now she'd broken their grandson's heart and Franky called her a nasty name under her breath. No-one bar Urs heard it and it shocked him, even he wasn't sure whether Danay had been selfish or had made a huge sacrifice just yet, but selfish was what Franky had called her, followed by the 'b' word she rarely used. He gave her hand a squeeze, she turned her head and gave him her questioning look when he remembered she'd heard a similar story before.
"Ria and Richard. Remember?" Urs whispered, raising his eyebrows a little.
"Yeah. You're right. I'm sorry honey."
"Well........Disappointed though I am, Urs..........There are plenty mor.........."
"Don't! Don't Pa! Don't tell me there are plenty more fish in the sea again. I don't want to hear it. Danay was everythi.............That's it! I'm done with women. You can have this back." Ursy pleaded, raising the volume of his voice as he leapt from his seat, fished around in his pocket and tossed the box he pulled out to his father.
Nicholas nodded, sighed heavily and put the box in his trouser pocket. Urs and Franky sighed knowing that he had been looking forward to seeing his paternal grandmother's engagement ring on Danay's finger. Now it appeared that he would have to wait for Jasmine to find a man worthy of her love.
"Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to be left alone for a while..........Please."
Urs, Franky, Sylvie and Nicholas all looked at each before standing. Ursy accepted the hugs and cheek kisses Franky and Sylvie gave him, though he didn't smile the way he normally did as they pulled back. Nicholas hugged him too and apologised for what he'd started to say and Ursy shook his head. Those three headed towards the main entrance as they finished while Urs moved to stand directly in front of him.
"Got something to say, Nonno?"
"Ja, I do. I know you might not want to hear it right now, but I'm going to say it anyway." Urs replied, making Ursy look at him by taking hold of his face when he turned it away. "You know I said almost exactly the same thing to my father when I broke up with Erika. I know how much you're hurting, but I promise you.........you will find the one who's supposed to hold your heart for eternity some day. Please don't give up, you're still younger than I was when I found your Nonna."
"I'm not.........making any promises, Nonno. Deep down, I know you're right, but right now.........all I want, all I've ever wanted is somewhere in Canada."
Urs nodded, pulled Ursy into the same tight embrace his father had given him. How long they stayed that way, Urs didn't know but it wasn't him that broke the hug. Ursy gently pushed him away, attempted a smile and nodded slowly. Urs gave him a soft smile, told him not to worry his parents any more then turned and walked to where they and Franky stood waiting for him.
"I promise." Ursy nodded once he moved to the entrance.
The door closed, two couples made their way back to lift and Urs noticed that Franky seemed to have drifted off somewhere once Nicholas had instructed the lift to take them to ground floor. He knew she was worried about Ursy, her facial features and sad eyes told him. He let her think for a moment or two then gave her a quick nudge to bring her back to him.
"What were you thinking about?"
"All those times I took the children out on my own, honey. I was trying to remember how many men approached me and asked how I could be with a cold-hearted, unfeeling bastard like you, never mind have children with you. How many times can you remember walking into the house or a hotel suite to find me punching the hell out of a pillow after hearing that?"
"I lost count after a hundred and something." Urs replied, his left arm finding its way around her waist and recalling what she'd said to him on each occasion she'd heard those words with a soft smile on his face.
"You are an amazing father, Urs and one day you will be awesome grandfather. There's no doubt in my mind about that. Never has been and there never, ever will be."
Turn the page.
Posts : 454
Join date : 2009-04-10
Age : 55
Location : Nottingham, England
Humor : Dirty!!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Sun May 19, 2013 4:26 am|| |
Chapter 229 - Golden
Had it been solely up to him, Franky would have celebrated the next milestone birthday with another big party. However, she'd told him long before the day that she'd wanted to celebrate it quietly and he'd begun to argue with her about it, until he'd remembered that it was their Golden wedding anniversary as well. She'd gotten what she'd asked for, her birthday had been celebrated quietly. She'd spent the morning with their children and grandchildren, opening cards and gifts. The best present she'd received that day though was to see Ursy walk through the door, looking much better than the last time she'd seen him and to hear him say that he was starting to get over what Danay had done, just about anyway.
The house had been filled with flowers from himself as well as those who loved her. He could still remember how wide her eyes had gone when his bouquet of eighty pure white Cala Lillies had been delivered. They had been quite expensive when he'd first met her and still were. Franky being Franky, she'd shaken her head at him after finding somewhere to put the huge display and he'd told her to stop, she was worth every penny. Once she'd eaten breakfast and had dressed, she'd been taken into town by all the girls for a pampering and had returned looking even more beautiful.
Their wedding anniversary celebration on the other hand had been a much noisier affair and had started shortly before their guests started arriving. They'd loved all the gifts they'd received, especially Ciara's. Her 'Then & Now' portrait of them now hung in the lounge, near the door that gave access to the kitchen. How Ciara had blended one of their original wedding photographs with one she'd taken a couple of days before, Urs didn't have a clue but he was glad she had. Other than Franky's gift, that had been his personal favourite, though he hadn't vocalised it. If the smile that lit up Franky's face each time she looked at the picture was anything to by, it was probably her favourite gift too. Other than what he'd given her anyway. Just like him, she would never confirm that vocally.
What he hadn't expected was for one of their boys to have to stop her hitting the floor after opening what he'd given her. She'd recovered quickly, thanked Jordi and had given Urs a firm, gentle kiss in front of everyone once he'd fastened the bracelet around her wrist. Years after what she'd told him that they the last things she could have sold to get the garage business back into the black and what she wanted to do with the old gold sovereigns she'd been given as a child, he'd carried out the plan. Her eyes had told him how much she appreciated what he'd done, he hadn't needed to hear any words.
Everything about the day had been perfect, well almost. The girls had made the celebration cake this time and it hadn't turned out as they'd wanted it to. The three tiered confection had been wheeled in by Sylvie and Serena despite the disappointed looks on their faces. Neither he or Franky had cared that it was a bit wonky, the middle and top tiers leaning a little to the left. It had tasted good and that was all that mattered to them.
A couple of days after they'd returned from Willisau, he'd revealed his secret, telling her how he'd finally found someone capable of singing the songs Carlos had left behind. His name, Lyle Emmerson, aged twenty-six, originally from the same town where her Hartford ancestors had once owned the mansion. He'd continued by telling her how stunned Sebastien had been when Lyle had turned up as agreed and sung a few bars of 'Granada'. 'Floored' was the perfect word to sum up his brother's reaction to what he'd heard.
Once they'd explained to Lyle what they intended to, he'd looked a little puzzled and had asked why Kurt wasn't doing it. Lyle had seen him perform a few times, thought he had an amazing voice and was more than capable of singing the songs. Urs had smiled while replying that they had asked Kurt and he'd said no, insisting that someone else had to be given the chance first. He would only record the songs if his father and uncle hadn't found someone before their lives ended. Now Lyle was having singing lessons to improve his technique before Sebastien would allow him anywhere near a recording studio. Urs had stepped away from the project after finding Lyle, but kept in touch with his brother to make sure things were going well. They were, Lyle wasn't quite ready yet and was paying unfaultering attention to what he was being taught. Desperate though Carlos's family were to hear how Lyle sounded, Urs knew they were prepared to wait until he was perfect.
Urs had called himself a 'Dummkopf' for keeping the Spyder under the tarp for so long. He'd passed the test a week after he and Franky had spent a week in Switzerland. That feeling he'd missed had returned and he loved nothing better than taking it out on the road with Franky riding pillion behind him.
Christmas had been as wonderful as ever, though Urs had felt a little disappointed to see Cesca back with 'Lightswitch'. He'd shown it, briefly, but Franky had still seen the frown on his face when the young man had walked into the lounge. Not wanting to upset their granddaughter, he'd welcomed him politely but hadn't really paid him that much attention after that. Secretly he was hoping the arrogant little twit would get the message that he didn't like him or that Cesca would see what a mistake she was making and dump him for good. He wasn't about to tell her to do that, it wouldn't get him anywhere and would only drive Cesca away. Given time, he was sure she would see Robbie was not the man for her and he was prepared to give her as much as she needed. Just like Franky was.
"Hey! Where have you drifted off to?" Franky's questioning snapped him out of his musings and he turned to smile at her quickly.
"Just remembering what's happened in the last few months."
"Oh! I'm guessing you were thinking about Cesca and Robbie when I interupted."
"Ja." Urs replied, turning his head over his shoulder to see if Saskia and her dance partner, Jeremy, were still asleep and smiling when he saw that they were. "Have we got much farther to go?"
"Another five miles." Franky replied with a nonchalant shrug. "Do you want to stop for bit, stretch your leg out. You have been sitting in the same position for the past............"
"I'm fine. Stop fussing." Urs cut her off, knowing that she was only asking because he'd been diagnosed with a touch of arthritis in right hip joint around this time last year. "You know the painkillers are better than anything Hanneli ever took."
"Hmmn. I'm surprised she lived as long as she did with that condition. Almost one hundred years old. You know Sylvie still cries about the fact she and Dalton had to cancel the plans they'd made for her."
"Ja, I do." Urs nodded, knowing how distressed Sylvie had been to hear that her beloved Grandmother had passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of ninety-nine just four days after she and the rest of her family had returned home from paying her a visit. "Caught her the other day, when she was looking at her wedding album. It still amazes me that Hanneli made it to the ceremony, never mind the fact she stayed as long as she did at the reception."
"I hope you two live that long. What a party that will be." Saskia informed before she yawned and stretched out. "Don't look at me like that Grandpa, you're both still pretty spritly for your ages. Don't even try to deny it. I heard..........Ahem! How much further Gran?"
"Almost there." Franky replied with a smirk on her face.
Urs grunted a laugh, knowing why that smirk was there. With them having to leave the house very early this particular morning, Saskia had spent the night with them. It was obvious she'd heard what he and Franky had gotten up to shortly after retiring to bed at ten o'clock. Red though her face was, she didn't seem to be bothered by it and smiled softly just before Urs turned to face forward again.
His thoughts quickly turned to the idea of reaching the age of one hundred years. It wasn't an impossibility. Both he and Franky had taken really good care of themselves, had always enjoyed a healthy lifestyle and still did. In fact, their doctor had said much the same thing as Saskia had the last time Franky had been for her check-up. She'd huffed a quick laugh as he'd said it then said it would be nice as long as neither of them went the same way as Carlos's mother had, though she hadn't mentioned her by name. Urs knew that was her biggest fear, for him as well as herself. Luckily, there were no signs of memory loss so far and, hopefully, that's how things would remain. He smiled quickly, knowing that they would be well taken care of if such a thing was to strike them, all the children had agreed to that when they'd discussed the subject shortly after he'd turned seventy-five. Even if they ended up in a care home, they'd all promised to pay regular visits and there wasn't a doubt in Urs's mind that that promise would be kept.
"Jeremy, wake up. We're almost there." Saskia asked, giving the young man sitting beside a very hard nudge.
"I said we're almost there."
"Already?" Jeremy asked once he'd rubbed his eyes and cracked his back.
"Yup! Up and at 'em sleepyhead. We've got a long day ahead of us." Saskia replied, offering Jeffery the travelling mug she'd pulled out of the bag that sat between them.
"OKAY! I'm awake! How much coffee did you put in this Sas?" Jeremy asked after taking one mouthful.
"You like it strong."
"Yeah, I do. Not strong enough to strip paint though."
"Ha! Ha! It's not that strong, I got Gran to taste it this time, so there."
"All right you two. Enough of the teasing." Franky instructed, smiling as she looked in the rearview mirror. "Focus."
"Yes, Mrs Buhler."
Franky rolled her eyes at Urs as she moved to leave the car and he knew why she did it. She'd told Jeremy to call her Franky when he and Saskia had first become dance partners. He'd gone running to his parents, spoke to them briefly, returned and told her he wasn't allowed to. Nothing Franky could say had been able to get the couple to change their minds. Four years on and approaching twenty-seven years old the young man still referred to her in that very respectful way and she still huffed every time he did so.
"Are you going to........be a little happier today?"
"Huh?!" Urs shrugged in response to Franky's question while watching Saskia and Jeremy retrieve their luggage from the boot and thinking he'd had a lot to carry with him while touring.
"Last year. 'Mr Grumpyguts' was well in house by the end of last year's competition, despite the warning I gave you."
"Oh that. I will try not to look so disapproving of Saskia's dresses, especially those she wears during the Latin phase of the competition."
Urs smiled as Franky gave him a quick peck on the cheek. He then took hold of her hand and walked with her to the main entrance of Blackpool's Tower Ballroom behind Saskia and Jeremy. Both of them laughed at the couple who had no romantic interest in each other, they were dance partners and friends, nothing more. They laughed because Jeremy was trying to be a gentleman by offering to carry a few of Saskia's dresses, despite the fact he already had three suit covers slung over his left shoulder and a large bag in his right hand. Saskia shaking her head and replying that she could manage just fine.
Knowing that Franky was going in a different direction to himself once inside, Urs turned her into a light embrace, kissed her on the lips and watched her head towards the changing rooms before going to find his seat in the audience. They weren't the first to arrive, several people were already milling around and he recognised a few faces from the previous year. They came to greet him, said it was good to see him again and asked where Franky, Serena and Hadley were. Most tutted and shook their heads when he replied that Serena and Hadley were at home, recovering from a bad case of Flu. Others nodded sympathetically and smiled when he told them Franky had driven Saskia and Jeremy all the way from London so that they could compete today.
He was left alone for a while after that, though not for long, but still gave Elijah Forrester a smile once he'd turned to face him.
"I'm surprised to see you back here, considering the trouncing my son and niece gave your granddaughter and her partner last year. Your wife wasn't that good of a dancer, I can't begin to imagine what kind of teacher she is."
"Better than you could ever imagine." Urs retorted, glaring at the odious man who hated Franky because he and his father blamed her for their motorcyle repair business going bust all those years ago.
"Really? If she's that good, why hasn't she taught anyone outside your family or friends? Care to tell me that?"
"Nein! I don't. Why don't you just fu......disappear Elijah. I had no interest in talking to you last year and certainly don't now."
"How rude? There's no need to be like that." Elijah huffed, turning on his heel and heading back to the opposite side of the dancefloor.
'Still a first class prick then?' Urs's inner voice nudged, reminding him that he'd heard someone call Elijah that last year and he'd laughed and nodded his head in agreement. "Oh, ja. And someone needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror if he thinks I'm rude. Asshole!"
Yes, his son Billy and his niece, Lulu, had trounced Saskia and Jeremy last year. Those two had won the competition while Saskia and Jeremy had gone home trophyless. Urs had wanted to knock the smug look off Elijah's face as everyone started to leave, especially since he'd approached Franky and told her that having the best dance teacher money could buy was better than having an old fossil like her teach them.
For the first time in a very long time, he'd seen Franky ball her fists up and wouldn't have blamed her if she had sent him crashing to the ground. Instead, she'd taken a deep breath, told him he wasn't worth it and walked out of the world famous ballroom with her head held high. By the time they'd reached the car she'd been smiling again but they'd just had to see Elijah again as Hadley drove out of the car park. He hadn't looked so high and mighty when they'd spotted him making for his own car and it was clear someone had punched him since the left side of his bottom lip had been split open.
"Obviously didn't learn your lesson last year did you? Maybe you will this year." Urs muttered to himself, shooting back the glare Elijah was giving him and chuckling to himself when the much younger man looked away first.
Proud of himself for winning that little battle, Urs stood and decided to walk around for a little while. He knew he'd be seated for a long time soon and knew it wasn't good for him to be immobile for a long time. Even though his hip hurt, he had to keep going or seize up completely. He'd learned that from spending so much time with Hanneli Rast and had often been told off for trying to make her sit down and let him do whatever it was she'd needed doing. How she'd coped with having arthritis in almost every joint though he still didn't know. He only had it in his hip and there were some days where he really didn't want to get out of bed, particularly the cold, damp ones. He did though and Franky never babied him, with the exception of making sure he'd taken his medication anyway. She'd followed his doctor's advice to the letter and not one harsh word had passed between them in that regard since he'd been told why his leg felt so stiff in the morning.
His thoughts turned to what Elijah had just said to him with regard to Franky. He didn't give damn that a man who couldn't dance a step thought that she wasn't very good. He was no expert and more than a little bit biased, but he thought she was fantastic. He could well remember walking into the Music/Dance room before she'd found out she was pregnant with Frank. She'd been wearing a black leotard and a matching flared mini skirt at the time and hadn't seen him come in. He'd taken a seat to watch the energetic performance, trying to remember if he'd heard 'Keep On Dancing' before, who had sung it and trying to figure out what 'The Jerk' was. He'd sat watching her hips shaking from side-to-side in perfect rythmn with the beat, her legs doing the same at some points. He'd stood, thinking the song had come to end only for it to begin again after a few seconds pause.
Once the song had finished, Franky had seen him and had immediately noticed his furrowed brow. After a brief giggle she'd told him that 'The Bay City Rollers' had sung the song in the 1970s, that 'The Jerk' was a dance from the 1960s and she would teach it to him if he wanted to learn. He'd been willing, right up until he saw how complex the leg and foot movements were anyway and had walked away from her, shaking his head rapidly while she giggled. Knowing that she'd been teasing him, he'd turned, re-approached her and pulled her into a kiss. The leotard and skirt hadn't stayed on her body for very much longer after that and neither had his own clothing. Gott alone knew how long they spent making love in the middle of the dancefloor but they'd been basking in the afterglow when David had arrived for his four o'clock lesson. Urs had walked in just after one o'clock and he couldn't recall how long the dance had lasted but David hadn't suspected a thing once he was in the room and so they hadn't had to endure his teasing for once.
She was a brilliant teacher too and had taught more than their children, grandchildren and friends to dance. He would never forget seeing her begin to teach their children to have confidence on the dancefloor. They all had much more than he'd ever had even though a couple of them still often stepped on their partner's toes.
As Saskia, Cesca and Lottie had grown he'd seen her treat them exactly the same way. Patient and calm, not becoming frustrated or shouting at them whenever they got something wrong. All the girls had inherited Franky's long legs, but Saskia's were the longest. She currently had a thirty-one inch inside leg and still had a little growing to do. Franky's inside leg measurement was a little longer at thirty-one-and-three-quarter inches. He wouldn't ever forget the smile Franky had worn when Saskia had said she wanted to dance competitively and had asked her grandmother to teach her. She'd been over-joyed and still hadn't taught her everything she knew.
He could also remember the time Franky had pushed him rather harshly out of the Music/Dance room. It was his own fault he'd landed on his rump anyway. He shouldn't have grunted a laugh when he'd seen how awkwardly Saskia had moved on two inch heels at the tender age of seven. Intent on apologising to Saskia, he'd re-entered the Music/Dance room and received another glare. Not from Franky, from the fisted hands on hips, angry faced smaller version of her. Franky had remained stoic while Saskia gave him her 'I'll teach you to laugh at me' look, then she'd pointed to a quote she'd written on one of the walls.
'Those who can't or won't, have no right to criticise those who can and do.'
Knowing that he'd been very awkward the one and only time she'd asked him to wear Cuban heels while teaching him to Tango, Urs had apologised to Saskia for laughing at her, then sat down on the piano stool to watch the rest of the lesson once she'd accepted the apology. How many times Saskia had stumbled and restarted, Urs had lost count but by the end of the two hour lesson she'd improved a lot. So much so there had been no doubt in his mind that she would go a long way in the dance world.
He knew why Franky hadn't set up her own dance school as well. Because she hadn't wanted to take business away from Michael's school. She even helped him out when he needed it. He could remember walking into the building by her side on one occasion, hearing several young people questioning what on earth she could teach them at her age. She'd been fifty-three at the time. Michael had heard what some of his pupils had said, he'd immediately put a Salsa rythmn on and led Franky onto the floor.
To see her dance in such a sexy way at an age those pupils considered old had amused Urs himself no end. Most had stood there with open mouths as they watched her and ten pairs of eyes had flown wide when she'd ended the dance on the floor in a forward split position. He'd left shortly after witnessing that and when he'd returned all ten pupils had done a complete one eighty degree turn in their attitude. She'd also told Michael that she'd been asked about teaching dance at the Sarah Cullen Centre and he'd agreed to do so voluntarily following a little arm twisting and Franky's reminder that she didn't have any qualifications that allowed her teach in her own right like he had. All these years later, she still didn't have the same credentials as her former dance partner and was perfectly content not to have them.
Hearing the Master of Ceremonies announce that the competition was ready to begin, Urs returned to his seat and made himself comfortable. He watched Saskia and Jeremy closely, but didn't really pay much attention to any of the other couples. Time flew by and before he knew it the Latin phase of the contest had come round. Knowing that Saskia and Jeremy were going to dance a Tango at this stage but not how skimpy her dress might be or when they were set to dance, Urs plastered a smile on his face and looked at the scoreboard as the first couple was announced. They were in tenth place, didn't stand a chance of winning and would have to pull off a flawless performance to finish in the top five. Although they danced beautifully, they left the dancefloor without achieving their goal.
Saskia and Jefferey were in the same place where they'd ended last year's competition. Fourth. However, Billy and Lulu were below them this year, down in seventh place. Urs looked across to where Elijah sat and grunted a quick laugh when he saw the forty-something sulking like a child with his arms folded across his chest. Following a quick eyeroll and headshake, Urs looked to the right of where the judges sat, hoping to see Franky standing near the area where dancers entered and left the ballroom. She gave him a quick thumbs up once he'd spotted her and he nodded his head that he was fine. He didn't mind the fact he'd been left alone, Saskia needed her more than he did, especially when it came to taming that mass of hair into a sleek style or actually getting into the dresses.
Billy and Lulu made their way onto the old parquet next and performed flawlessly up to the point where Lulu had to execute a small jump. She landed completely wrong, turned her ankle, tried to continue but eventually allowed her cousin to carry her off. A quick glance at Elijah told Urs he was blaming her for the fall, when even he knew Billy had been to blame. He'd assisted her into the jump far too hard. With Lulu unable to continue, they had no other choice but to withdraw from the competition and were quickly whisked to the backstage area.
Before he knew it, it was Saskia and Jefferey's turn to dance and Urs felt a huge smile light up his face when he saw Saskia's sparkling red and silver dress. True there wasn't much to it at the back, no more than bra straps at the top, the skirt cut on a diagonal line, thigh length on the left, knee length on the right leaving most of her back exposed. The front covered much more. Her chest was completely covered then the fabric narrowed, exposing both sides of her torso a little before spreading out again to form the skirt. Even though it revealed a lot of her flesh, Urs approved of it much more than the one she'd worn the year before at the same stage and he wasn't hearing any disgusting remarks being made by the young men who sat around him. A quick look around told him some were giving her a much more appreciative look over. One young man couldn't take his eyes off her and Urs was sure he'd caught a look of jealousy in his eyes as she moved into the starting position, pressed up against an open shirted Jeremy.
A familiar tune began to play and, even though he thought he knew what to expect, Urs was shocked to see how high Saskia could kick her legs this year, a good three or four inches beyond what she'd managed to attain last year. He smiled, continued to watch the dance knowing that to anyone who didn't know the couple, it looked like they were in love. A quick look to the young man who appeared to have taken a shine to Saskia told him that and he chuckled when he saw the glint of jealousy again. Knowing would happen if Saskia and the young man got together and he expressed that jealousy whenever she danced with Jeremy, Urs turned back to watch the end of the dance. As practised many times, Jeremy sent Saskia sliding across the floor, she stopped after about twelve feet, slapped her hands on the floor and turned her head to give him a very harsh glare as the final note of music hit. Dance over, Saskia's beaming smile returned and a few minutes later the couple were waiting to hear their score.
Several people booed when the score went up though Urs didn't know why. They'd done enough to move up to first place without scoring top marks from every judge. Now it was just a question of if the couples who'd been above them could regain their positions. Even though he'd kept his fingers crossed that that wouldn't happen, Urs couldn't help but feel a little disappointed that two of them managed it by the end, finishing in first and second place, pushing Saskia and Jeremy down into third.
They seemed happy with where they'd finished by the time the trophy ceremony came around and Urs knew where the bronze coloured statue would end up. The same place as all those the couple had won. In Serena and Hadley's home, in the display cabinet they'd had built for the purpose in the dining-room. As he watched the couple head backstage he couldn't help but wonder if they would get into one of their back and forth bickers again and if Jeremy would win once more by insisting Saskia had to take the trophy home, he was perfectly happy with the medal.
He was proved right almost an hour later when Franky came out to meet him at the pre-arranged spot. She was giggling and shaking her head, like she had so many times before and confirmed that was her reason for doing so. She also told him that Saskia was talking to a young man backstage, that she'd giggled at one point and told him Jeremy was not her boyfriend and the boy had beamed a huge smile once he heard that. Franky had left them in the process of exchanging contact details and Jeremy was doing much the same with a girl who'd caught his eye mere seconds before he and Saskia had taken to the dancefloor.
Knowing that the couple would remember where they'd parked and wouldn't take too long, Urs and Franky linked hands and began to head outside. However, they didn't get very far because Elijah grabbed hold of Franky's free arm and roughly yanked her back.
"I should.........." Urs began, fist balled up ready to strike only to feel Franky squeeze his hand.
"What do you want, Elijah?" Franky asked once Urs had relaxed a little.
"To know who's been training Sas and Jeff. Don't bother telling me it was you, I know better. No way in hell would you be able to get them to that standard in a year."
"I don't give rat's ar........backside what you think you know Elijah. I did train them and I know you didn't follow the advice you were given last year. I wasn't the only one who told you Billy needed to rest for a couple of weeks, it's obvious you kept pushing him and it's your fault he failed to place today. Just keep pushing, see what happens. He's just about reached the end of his tether."
"Why don't you shut up? You're just jealous 'cos you never won anything worth a damn. My boy's gonna.......blah, blah, blah."
Neither Urs or Franky heard the end of Elijah's little strop because they'd turned and began walking away from him as soon as he'd opened his mouth again.
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.........eight........nine............ten." Franky counted as they walked the few steps to the car.
Saskia and Jeremy joined them a few moments later still with huge smiles on their faces and letting their proud parents know where they'd finished. Knowing they would be spending the night in a B&B, Franky turned left out of the car park rather than turning right to head home. As she paused to check the road was clear, Urs looked in the wing mirror and grunted a quick laugh when he saw Elijah on the ground, a much younger man looming over him, shaking his right hand. Billy stood behind the man who'd obviously thumped Elijah, protectively holding his orphaned cousin in his arms and shaking his head at his father.
Urs couldn't help but smirk at what he saw, thinking that the Elijah had probably said or done something to do deserve it and thanking Gott that Franky hadn't caught him for once. Urs turned his head towards the back seat after that and caught something in Saskia's eyes. That something told him she was keeping a good secret and it had nothing to do with the fact she'd given a boy named Casey Bartholemew her contact details. He raised his eyebrows questioningly then huffed when she shook her head, refusing to tell him what the secret was.
"Just like her mother and grandmother."
Although he wouldn't find out Saskia's secret for quite a while, Urs did find out why Elijah had been sent crashing to the ground thanks to Jeremy. Jeremy had bumped into Billy and Lulu in the capital and they'd told him Elijah had raised his hands to both of them for losing. Lulu's boyfriend, Grady, had been there and defended them both as well as Franky. As angry as it made Urs to hear that Elijah had referred to Franky as a 'talentless whore who should have hung up her dancing shoes before she'd even met him', it rose even higher when Jeremy told him that Elijah had thrown both Billy and Lulu out of the house as soon as they got home.
Franky had seen how angry he was, had pulled him out of the music/dance room and calmed him quickly. Of course he'd known she didn't give a damn what Elijah thought about her dancing, she hadn't said a word about that. She'd simply smiled, told him not to worry about Billy and Lulu because Grady's parents were kind people and had taken them both in. Both youngsters had decided to take a break from competition for now, but had agreed they weren't going to quit dancing or be pushed to compete when they weren't ready ever again.
Only once he'd calmed down had she allowed him back into the room to watch her teach Saskia and Jeremy part of a new routine. He'd sat for two hours but couldn't remember much of what he'd seen due to the fact that three of them had walked out two hours later, laughing hard while Franky made her ninth attempt to get Saskia to reveal her secret.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Tue May 21, 2013 4:42 am|| |
Chapter 230 - Mistakes & Corrections
It sounded like World War Three had broken inside Frank and Carina's home as Urs and Franky walked up the drive. They'd never heard the couple shouting at each other so visciously. Neither of them could make out exactly what was being said, but they had heard Cesca's name mentioned and heard her voice. Though they normally walked straight in without knocking when they were expected, they weren't able to do so today. The front door was firmly locked. It was opened a few seconds later by a nervous looking Carlotta who immediately ran upstairs after welcoming them both with a tight hug.
Knowing that she'd never liked to hear her parents arguing, that she was pregnant and the argument appeared to be getting louder, neither of them blamed her for heading up to her room. It was as far as she would be able to get without running out of the house.
Since the argument appeared to be taking place beyond the lounge, Urs pushed the door open and was then able to make sense of every word.
"IT'S NOT THAT, CARINA AND YOU KNOW IT! IF IT WAS THAT, WOULDN'T I BE UPSET ABOUT LOTTIE TOO?! DON'T BE SO BLOODY STUPID!"
"DON'T YOU CALL ME STUPID FRANCIS TONI BUHLER." Carina hissed back, sounding much like her father in full on rage. "THINK YOURSELF LUCKY I DIDN'T JUST SLAP YOU FOR THAT AND TELL ME WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THEN?"
"HIM! THAT HAUGHTY LITTLE PRAT IF YOU MUST KNOW! GOD HOW I WISHED SHE'D DITCHED HIM LONG AGO! I'VE BEEN TELLING HER FOR AGES THAT SHE CAN DO BETTER THAN HIM AND NOW SHE'S.......URGH! GIVE ME STRENGTH!"
"He wasn't that bad, you weren't around him all the time, Papa. He treated me nice sometimes." Cesca raised her voice.
"NOT GOOD ENOUGH, CESS. LOOK WHAT HE'S DONE SINCE YOU TOLD HIM. TUCKED HIS TAIL BETWEEN HIS LEGS AND RAN BACK TO MUMMY AND DADDY. I TOLD YOU HE WAS NO GOOD FROM THE GET GO BUT DID YOU PAY ANY ATTENTION. HELL NO, AS PER USUAL YOU IGNORED WHAT I THOUGHT AND..........."
"Francis! Carina! Enough!"
Urs startled slightly on hearing Franky raise her own voice but quickly realised she'd only done so because they hadn't noticed the two of them were even in the room. He watched their recently turned fifty year old son turn round to face her. His eyes flew wide as soon he saw her and he swallowed hard as he lowered his head in shame for a second or two.
"Sorry you had to hear that, Mami."
"Maybe so, but yelling at people and calling each other names is not the way your father and I raised you to handle difficult situations, is it?"
Urs couldn't help but grunt a quick laugh as he watched their eldest child together lower his head in shame again, this time keeping it there while Franky gave him a quick jab in the ribs.
"Sorry." Urs apologised quickly, giving the area a quick rub. "What the hell is going on, Frank? We could hear you both at the end of the drive."
"I'm.........I'd just told Mama and Papa.......that I'm pregnant."
"Oh!" Franky replied, her eyes widening briefly, a look of disappointment on her face and swallowing noisily. "I thought you were taking precautions."
"Up until just before easter, I was. I didn't have the implant renewed because Robbie had been so good to me since Christmas. He finally sat down and told me what he wanted out of life. He was talking about marriage and ki..........children. I thought he was ready to settle down and I thought it would take much longer to.........I'm so sorry Gran."
"It's not me you should be apologising to, Cesca. Obviously you've told Robbie and he's left you, but don't worry. You'll have all the support you'll need."
"Of course you will Poppet." Frank sighed, stepping in front of his eldest child. "I never said you wouldn't and I really didn't go...........lose my temper because I'm not ready to be a grandfather. I lost it because.......well you know how I feel about Robbie so I'm not going there yet again. I want you to have the best in life Cess and Robbie isn't it. I really wanted you to wait until you'd found a good partner, but I'm not going to disown you just because that worthless piece of gar......."
"Frank!" Carina cut him off, giving him a hard stare.
"Just because Robbie is the father, it doesn't mean me and Mamma won't always be there for you, don't you know that yet?"
"Of course I do." Cesca nodded, tears threatening to spill from her eyes as Frank yanked her into a tight embrace. "I'm sorry."
"Stop saying you're sorry." Frank shook his head, held Cesca a little tighter and kept her for a few minutes.
Cesca dried her eyes once he'd released his hold then headed upstairs. Once she'd disappeared Frank turned to Carina, took hold of both her hands and spent a few moments looking into her tear-filled his eyes before he spoke.
"I'm sorry I called you stupid."
"I forgive you. I'm sorry for even thinking of raising my ha............."
Frank stopped her talking by placing his fingers on her lips. He shook his head then pulled her into the same tight embrace he'd given Cesca. They stayed like that for a few moments, each taking deep breaths until they'd calmed down.
"So, how do you two feel about being made great-grandparents twice within a couple of months?"
"You already know I think Lottie is too young to be getting married, never mind that she's going to be almost due by the time the wedding takes place. Young in body she may be, but she's very mature for her age and Conan has always treated her very well. Like you, Frank, neither me or your mother thought Robbie was right for Cesca and I am a little disappointed about what she's just said. However, I'm more disappointed about the way you took the news. She's not the first to make such a mistake and sure as hell won't be the last. That said, I am proud of what you said to her before she went upstairs and I'm one hundred per cent sure you'll keep that promise."
"Sure will, Pa." Frank nodded as their VidCom went off.
"I'll get that, it's probably Reina wanting to know if Carlotta's come with any ideas for her dress yet." Carina informed before quickly disappearing into the lounge.
"A venue would be nice as well." Frank shouted after her retreating form.
"They haven't decided yet?"
"No, Mami. St Nick's is all booked up, so is the church where you and Papi got married. Carina called the vicar this morning, she's asked him to let her know first if any couple cancels, but he doubts they will."
"What are you saying? Are you saying that my daughter slept around with other men while dating Robbie?!" Carina's loud voice suddenly found it's way into the kitchen. "I don't give a crap what Robbie says. We did not raise our daughter like that.............You know, it's about time you let that son of yours stand on his own two feet, Dulce...........You know exactly what I'm talking about, every time he has a problem he runs back to you and Robbie senior and instead of encouraging him to deal with it himself, the two of you do it for him............He's almost twenty-six for God's sake and it's about time he took responsibility for his own actions is what I'm saying. Do you need to be hit upside the head with a brick to understand?......I'm sorry that was rude........Of course. I'm pretty sure Cesca will allow you to see the baby. Okay. You go talk to junior. Bye."
She returned to the kitchen a couple of seconds later to find Frank chuckling to himself and quickly questioned him as to what he found so amusing.
"You are." Frank giggled. "You say you're nothing like your father, but you sure as hell are in some respects Carina. Saying things without thinking and having to apologise for it."
"Oh that." Carina shrugged nonchalantly. "Well it's about time someone told Dulce a few home truths about her only son. She may scare most of those who know her, but she sure damn well doesn't scare me and you know it...........Francis."
The family sat down to the lunch Urs and Franky had been expecting to be served shortly after their arrival. Cesca and Carlotta took their seats with smiles on their faces and shared a secretive look before tucking into their sandwiches. Carina caught it and asked them what the secret was.
"Erm...........How would you feel about me getting married in a museum in Hampshire?" Carotta asked with a huge smirk on her face.
"I told you, wherever you want, Lottie. Why Hampshire in particular?"
"'Cos that's where the Royal Marines Museum is based, Papi and it's stunning. Conan needs to know by this evening so he can confirm the booking."
Frank nodded his approval of the venue then let out a long sigh of relief. He looked at Franky, knowing that Conan and Carlotta were due to be married in just under sixteen weeks, that a lot of arrangements still needed to be made and now it looked even more had been added to it.
"I don't know what you're looking so worried about. The four of us have more to do than you. All you've got to do is have suit fitting and write a speech." Franky teased when she caught the anxious look on Frank's face.
"Yeah, write a speech. That's all, no biggy. You don't appear to remember how bad the first one I wrote for Ty and Joanne's wedding was. I would never have got a single, solitary laugh but for your input."
"Suppose I'll have to help you again then, won't I?"
"Hey! I can do funny too you know." Urs pouted once Frank and Franky had stopped giggling.
"I know you can, Pa and I'd appreciate your help as well."
"That's all right then."
"Great. I'll call Conan once lunch is over. He says he can't wait to see me in my dress, even though I'll be as big as house by then. Personally, I can't wait to see him in his dress uniform, especially now he's Lance Corporal. I just hope I can stay upright as I walk down to him."
Everyone spent a few moments giggling then the topic of conversation changed to names for the babies. Carina rolled her eyes when Carlotta replied that if she had a girl, she and Conan had already decided she would be named Carina Lucy Grace, a boy would be called Gabriel Francis. Frank looked a little upset about that to begin with, then remembered Conan had lost his father a couple of years ago and his first name had been Gabriel.
"Well I'm not going to name mine after anyone on Robbie's side, certainly not after his father if it's a boy." Cesca informed with a loud 'pfft'. "I was thinking Karen Gloria Grace for a girl and........Francis Carlos for a boy."
This time it was Frank's turn to roll his eyes and he spent several minutes trying to get Cesca to change her mind about naming a son after him. She flat out refused then asked her mother what she thought about the middle name. Carina thought for a minute then indicated Urs with her eyes once she'd nodded.
"Don't you dare. Not my first name anyway." Urs grimaced and shook his head once he'd understood what Carina was saying without speaking.
"Well I did want three names. Francis Carlos Toni. Hmmn. I like that."
Sixteen weeks flew by and Carlotta did go weak-kneed when she saw Conan waiting for her at the other end of the aisle with the Stunned Goldfish expression on his face. He wobbled a slightly too but quickly regained his composure. Frank's speech was a great success, one of the funniest Urs had ever heard and delivered with much more confidence than he'd shown when he'd been Best Man for Tyson. The young newlyweds flew out to Madrid the next morning, Carlotta taking her bouquet with her so that she could place it on Carlos and Barbara-Jean's grave. Having been tasked with placing another set of flowers on Karen's grave, Carina, Frank and Cesca took the set that had adorned the top table.
Carlotta celebrated her twenty-first birthday two weeks after returning from honeymoon, doing so quietly with her husband and family in 'Ramone's' restaurant. Gabriel arrived safe and sound just over a month later on the 3rd of January the following year, weighing a healthy two and a half kilos and with plenty of jet black, curly hair on his head.
Both Carina and Franky were with Cesca as she gave birth to her flame-haired little boy on the 4th of February. Francis weighed in a little lighter than his cousin at two and a quarter kilos. Robbie turned up to see him the following morning and tried to persuade Cesca to change his name, not caring that Franky was sitting nearby.
"If you think for one minute I'm naming my son after you just because that's what your mother wants Robbie, then you are sadly mistaken. You can tell her from me his name is Francis Carlos Toni Buhler, like it or lump it. She doesn't scare me like she does you." Cesca informed, speaking calmly and looking her son's father directly in the eye.
"Come on, Cess. For me?" Robbie pleaded, turning on the charm.
"I said no, Robbie and this time I mean it. No, I won't change his name and No I won't take you back. I've had enough of you playing with my emotions. I deserve better than that and I'm going to find someone who won't treat me the way you did. If that's the only reason you came, then you can get out. I don't need and I don't want you anymore. I've set up an appointment for the DNA test and sent you the details, just make sure you're there."
Stunned by what he'd heard, Robbie left the room and told his mother what had transpired. Urs and Frank both heard her huff when he told her that Cesca had refused to change Francis's name and had seen how she'd scowled at her son when she heard he wouldn't be getting back with Cesca either. She pushed him to one side and tried to enter Cesca's room only for Robbie to grab hold of her arm and tell her to leave her alone. Stunned, Dulce asked him to repeat what he'd said and he did so.
"I said, leave it Mum. For once you are not going to get your way and I could give a damn whether you like it or not."
What was said between mother and son after Urs and Franky had reported to each other what they'd witnessed, not member of the Buhler family would ever know. The only thing they would learn for certain was what they'd never doubted since Cesca had told her parents she was pregnant. Robert Forsythe-Croft the Third had indeed fathered little Francis and Cesca granted him the chance to be a good one. Time would tell if he kept the promise he made when the DNA test had confirmed what he'd denied, but both Urs and Franky felt he would break it the second the words left his mouth.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Thu May 23, 2013 5:52 pm|| |
Chapter 231 - Our Overprotective Father
Franky wasn't the only one capable of surprising those she loved, that much Urs had learned as the children grew up. They'd all pulled several of the own over the years. However, she'd always been able to pick up on the fact they were up to something, they all had their little tells. Now Jordi had pulled off another spectacular one without giving any clues whatsoever.
Jordi, Gaston and Melinda had arranged to pay their visit as always, Franky had prepared the rooms as per usual and they'd had a wonderful time catching up. It had been almost midnight on the first evening of their visit when Gaston had said that they really must be making tracks rather than yawning, apologising and saying he was looking forward to a lie-in like he normally did whenever they were in town. Franky's eyes had flown wide and she'd begun to protest about them staying anywhere else. They'd had that argument long ago, with Jordi and Gaston eventually agreeing that they would stay in the house when visiting. Something had clicked and she'd begun to tell them that they couldn't drive back to Edinburgh after a few hours rest. Jordi, Gaston and Melinda had looked at each other, straight faced and serious for several minutes before Jordi had cracked.
He'd giggled and smiled his way through revealing that they'd left Edinburgh two weeks before and had moved down to Ilford. Urs had joined in the laughter once he'd gotten over the shock that Jordi, Gaston and Melinda had basically come home without telling a soul. Having not heard Franky join in, he'd turned his head and had laughed even harder when he'd seen the Stunned Goldfish look on her face. She'd stayed like that for several minutes, then she'd shaken her head, wagged a finger at their youngest son and playfully told him off for winding her up.
Once the laughter had almost stopped, Jordi had apologised before telling his mother that the family hadn't been on holiday in Italy at all. They'd spent those two weeks moving, settling in, adjusting to new jobs and making a couple of new friends. Years after he'd first applied, Jordi now had his dream job lecturing at the Institute of Education at the University of London and possibly had a couple of students capable of surpassing him, if he could get them to apply themselves a little better than they currently were. Other than to tell them that their new home had four large bedrooms and to invite them to a housing warming party, Jordi hadn't said anything else about the house.
Urs and Franky had attended the party, arriving before any other guests as instructed, to find Gaston and Melinda busy in the kitchen. Franky's offer of help had been politely refused because Jordi had appeared, desperate to show them around the hi-tech home that was so him. Impressed though they'd been with the property, Urs had been astounded to walk into one room and find it packed with antique items that would have been considered the latest gadget in their day and it had been Franky's turn to laugh at him. Into advancing technology in his spare time Jordi might have been, but he also had an appreciation of what had gone before. It showed in everything he'd purchased with the money he'd made off sales of the 'HoloDect'. Gott alone knew how much his collection was worth and Urs had left the room still wearing the Stunned Goldfish look after a quick tour.
Both of them had really enjoyed the party and hadn't been the least bit bothered that Jordi and Gaston had regailed their friends by telling them about the surprise he'd pulled on his parents. There had been a lot of laughter at the dinner table, conversation had gone until well into the next morning. Having been asked to spend the night, Urs and Franky had headed upstairs shortly before two and had fallen asleep, still giggling.
Now four weeks had gone by and each member of Jordi's little family looked angry with each other. Jordi constantly shot Gaston angry looks as they skated around the ice. Gaston shot them back and remained at Jordi's side, despite the fact he looked like he wanted to skate away from him. Melinda looked angry with Jordi too. She was a few metres ahead of both men, skating between a head shaking Ciara and Simeon. Franky had picked up on the frostiness between everyone as she and Urs took to the ice but hadn't done anything about it yet because she was still figuring out who was mad with whom. Melinda had asked to spend some fun time at the rink with the aunt and uncle she felt closest to and didn't appear to be have had a single second since she'd begun skating. Time was running short, the music would speed up soon and more experienced skaters would have the ice to themselves for an hour.
"Hmmn. I think I've worked it out." Franky nodded as the man who'd taken over Lauren's job asked those who couldn't skate very well to leave the ice.
Even though Jordi, Ciara and Simeon were more than capable of keeping up with the speed of the music, they all left the ice when Gaston and Melinda did. There was still a lot of tension between everyone and Franky hadn't said a word to any of them yet.
"You'd better sort this out before my parents arrive." Gaston hissed in Jordi's direction, not looking at him and yanking his skate laces undone.
"Me?! Why do I have to be the one to apologise?" Jordi snapped back, not looking at his husband.
"Because you're the one who upset Melinda and Cici, asshole! Think yourself lucky Simeon didn't thump you for saying what you did, 'cos I sure would have if you'd said that to my partner."
"She knows I didn't mean it."
"Does she? Does she really? I don't think so." Gaston finished, stood sharply and stormed away without putting his outdoor shoes back on.
It was obvious to Urs that Jordi had said something inappropriate, perhaps even cruel, to his sister. He'd witnessed several arguments between the siblings over the years, even when they reached adulthood, but Gaston had never moved away from Jordi and he'd certainly never threatened him with physical violence. Urs turned to Franky and gave her the wide-eyed look that he used to ask if she was going to intervene.
"No. They're adults. They can sort it out between themselves." Franky replied quietly. "Despite the fact Jordi looks like he doesn't know who he should apologise to first."
"Okay." Urs shrugged nonchalantly then turned back to looking at Jordi and noticed that he really didn't appear to know who to say sorry to first.
Jordi looked at Melinda who shook her head then flicked it in the direction of Ciara and Simeon. Whatever he'd said to Ciara had obviously cut her to the core if the tears that now streamed down her face were anything to go by. Simeon looked like he was ready to beat the crap out of his brother-in-law. Having never seen Simeon so furious, Urs swallowed hard and heard Jordi gulp audibly. Urs whipped his head round as soon as he heard that and saw that the youngest Buhler child had turned his face to an arms folded, head turned away Gaston. He thought about intervening for a second or two, then thought better of it. They were all adults and perfectly capable of settling their own disputes without him or Franky getting in the middle of it.
Jordi sighed heavily, spent a few moments thinking then stood and moved just to the left of Ciara where Melinda sat. He squatted, took a deep breath then started to apologise only for his daughter to cut him off quickly.
"No, Da. You apologise to Aunt Ciara first. I can wait."
Seeing that Melinda was deadly serious, Jordi nodded once then turned to Ciara, took hold of her hands and took a very deep breath before he began to speak.
"Cici........I'm sorry for what I said. Just because you don't have children, it doesn't mean you don't know what you're talking about. I had no right to tell you that you should keep your nose out of how I raise Melly until you've raised a child yourself. You're right, I was a complete jerk last night. Forgive me?"
"Of course. You dare say anything like that to me again though and I won't stop Simeon knocking you out for the count."
"Oh trust me. You won't be hearing anything like that from me again." Jordi shook his head and pulled Ciara into a tight hug.
"Oh Jordi, Jordi, Jordi." Franky sighed, shaking her head as the hug was broken.
Jordi gave her a brief, tight-lipped smile before moving back to Melinda. He took hold of her hands, but quickly let go of the right so that he could attempt to dry her eyes.
"Please don't cry, Hen. I don't want you all puffy-eyed for tonight."
"Should've thought of that before you did what you did last night. You said I was old enough to date, then go and follow me when I go out on my first one. Then you go and make it worse by confronting Harvey because he's got his hand on my hip. Honestly, Da! I'll be surprised if he EVER speaks to me again. I really like him."
"Gott, Jooooooordi!" Urs grumbled, shaking his head with his eyes closed now he understood why Melinda was so angry with her father.
"I know you do. I'm so sorry I ruined your date by dragging you away like that. I'm still struggling..........finding it hard to see you as a beautiful young woman rather than that cheeky, little thing Daddy and I adopted what seems like mere moments ago. I promise I won't do anything like that again and I will talk to Harvey, make him see that I was just being overprotective of my Munchkin. Okay?"
"Okay." Melinda sniffed, nodded and allowed herself to be pulled into a very tight embrace that lasted for much longer than the one he'd given Ciara.
Ciara didn't seem to care about that, she simply smiled still wiping her face then nodded her head to where Gaston sat. Jordi turned to look at him, gave Melinda a kiss on the cheek and ran to him. Whatever he said once he'd reached him would never be known by the rest of the family. They were simply happy to see that Gaston accepted the apology quickly, stood and wrapped his arms around the man who'd hurt him. They kissed quickly and came running back to the rest of the family holding hands with Jordi giggling a little.
"And just what do you find so amusing?"
"What Mami said to me when we adopted Melinda, Papi." Jordi replied, smiling with tear-filled eyes.
"You weren't in the room. She said that she could see me being more over-protective of Melinda than you ever were of Sylvie, Serena or Ciara. I scoffed, told her no way because I'd learned from watching how you started to let them become the beautiful women they are. Now look at me, I've turned out ten times worse."
"Ten? Nein........Twenty, thirty...........Fifty maybe........."
"Very funny, Papi." Jordi laughed and shook his head
Everyone else began to giggle and continued to do so while they walked out of the Serena Hartford Arena. They all hugged before heading to their respective cars and were soon driving out of the car park. Having parked closer to the entrance, Urs drove out first and turned to look at Franky while he waited for few cars to drive passed.
"See! I told you neither me or you needs to settle each and EVERY fall out between our children. We did a pretty good job raising them, didn't we honey?"
"Ja. Y.....We did, angel. We did." Urs replied, even though he would always think she deserved a million times more credit with regard to how all of their children had turned out than he ever would.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Sun May 26, 2013 4:29 am|| |
No chapter missing, realised the other day that I'd given two chapters the same number.
Chapter 233 - Blowing Off
Even though he hadn't kept track of Hans Brill, there was no doubt in Urs's mind that the young man who stood before him now was his son. He looked so much like him and carried himself in the same very confident manner. Knowing better than to judge, Urs extended his right hand and felt his brow furrow when Espen refused to shake it.
"You have got to be joking." Espen scoffed. "You seriously think I'm going to shake the hand of the man who stopped my father from becoming a megastar by persuading Simon Cowell to go with him instead?"
"Now just a min..........."
"No, I'm not going to stand here and listen to your lies." Espen cut Urs off and took a step closer. "I know for a fact you were jealous of his skills and I think you should be ashamed of yourself for what you did. Il Divo would have sounded ten times better with him in the group. God knows they couldn't have sounded much worse."
"Why you arro.........." Urs began only to stop when Espen's head nodded forward sharply.
"Ow! What was that for Mom?" He asked, rubbing at the spot where he'd been hit and turning his head to face the woman who was glaring at him.
"For being rude and obnoxious for one thing, Espen. How many times do I have to tell you not to believe every word that father of yours says? Hell, I can't even understand why you're so loyal to him. Have you forgotten what my parents proved he was up to while I was giving birth to you?"
"No, I've seen the pictures. But he is my father. I have every right to hear both sides of the story, no matter what that story may be. You've always told me that."
"Yes, I have. However, I didn't raise you to be rude, did I? Believe your father's lies if that is what you wish, despite the fact I know better and have told you so several times. Just don't blame other people for his failings. Yes, he had an amazing voice, still does but I........Oh just get away from me before I really lose my temper with you."
Even though he looked to be in his mid to late thirties, Espen nodded at his mother then turned on his heel and disappeared into the huge crowd. The woman introduced herself as Magenta Werth once she'd instructed Espen to remember what she'd told him in the past and apologised for her son's rudeness once Urs had shaken her hand.
"Franky not with you?" Magenta asked, craning her neck in the vain hope of spotting her in the mass of humanity that surrounded them.
"Ja. She's just putting our bets on."
"Only a little flutter once in while. Usually when we decided to come here or another racecourse."
"Oh! Who have you selected in the next race?"
"'Close To Kick Off'. He's improved a lot over the last year or two."
"Yes, he has." Magenta beamed a huge smile. "I'm quite proud of how he's come on actually. Never thought he would make it as a racehorse when I saw him as yearling."
"You own him?" Urs queried with a smile.
"Not entirely. I have an eigth share in him. Who is Franky backing?"
"'Road To Nowhere'."
"Really?! I thought she knew a good horse when she saw one? He's only placed once this year." Magenta stated once Urs had stopped chuckling and he was looking at her again.
"Ja, he has. She doesn't study form like I do though. Just plucks a name off the list and goes with it."
"And it's a method that's served me quite well I think. Or do I have to remind you of how many lengths there were between 'Hopeless Case' and 'Rarely, If Ever'?"
"Nein, danke" Urs shook his head and wrapped his arm around Franky's waist once he'd taken his betting ticket from her.
She giggled then said hello to Magenta and began talking to her about horses while Urs drifted off to last time they'd been to the races. He'd picked 'Rarely, If Ever' to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and scoffed when he'd heard the name of Franky's selection. Expert pundits and regular racegoers were all saying 'Hopeless Case' didn't stand a chance of winning and he'd told her the same. Franky hadn't given a damn that he'd laughed at her once she'd looked the horse over in the parade ring and decided to stick with her selection. From the off she'd stood at his side, shouting 'C'mon boy' at the top of her lungs and whooping with delight as the gelding began to catch up to the field that appeared to have left him standing at the start. Urs had shaken his head then returned to watching his selection.
He'd been in the lead for a while and looked like he was going to win, only for a grey to go flying past him as every horse took the final turn. So engrossed had he been in encouraging 'Rarely, If Ever' to regain the lead, he hadn't spotted 'Hopeless Case' moving up through the pack to gain second position. The grey crossed the line first with 'Hopeless Case' a neck behind and almost fifteen lengths ahead of 'Rarely'. Having refused to place an each way bet on the second favourite, Urs had ripped his ticket up while listening to Franky cough in a vain attempt to stifle the giggles that were bubbling up inside. She'd laughed for a little while then apologised for doing so and had even offered to share the five hundred pounds she'd won. He'd refused to take it but had agreed to her giving half it to his favourite charity. Of course someone had tried to spoil their fun once she'd left his side to go and collect her winnings, but he hadn't paid any attention to what they'd said or the fact they thought him rude for not even casting a slight glance their way. He'd simply sighed out a breath, gone to wait for Franky at a pre-arranged spot and had driven her home with both of them wearing huge smiles.
"............flea in his ear?" Were the only words he heard as the memory faded, bringing him back to the conversation Franky and Magenta were still having.
"Huh! That was my arrogant son. Don't get me wrong, I love him to death but he can be so rude at times. I raised him better than that and now his father is trying to undo all my hard work. Sometimes, I wish I'd never met Hans Brill." Magenta replied, her eyes narrowed and head shaking. "Bad enough he's told Espen he cheated on me because I'd cheated on him first. Espen may be thirty-six, but he still has to learn to tell when his father is lying. It's not hard. Hans blinks more than he should when he's lying."
Magenta wished them both good luck for the next race, said goodbye and moved a little further down the rail to where Espen stood. He gave her brief look once she was by his side then returned to looking at the ground like he had been when she'd approached. Magenta said something to him, but what that was Urs and Franky didn't know and didn't want to know. It was obvious to them both that his behaviour had upset Magenta deeply and she was telling him how she felt about it.
Urs turned to Franky, saw the questioning look and told her what Espen had said to him.
"Ha! Hans Brill a member of Il Divo. Pfft! The project wouldn't even have got off the ground if he had have been chosen instead of you, honey. Simon disliked him the moment he walked into the audition, only chose him as a backup because he was the best of the rest. Even if you had quit the second time you threatened to do so, I don't think there would have been another album, neither of the guys would have put up with his arrogance very long."
"A micro-second...........maybe." Urs replied before giving Franky a quick kiss on the cheek and watching her watch the horses canter down towards the start.
He drifted off again. To the beginning of Il Divo, the multiple arguments and disagreements he, Carlos, David and Sebastien had had whilst trying to bring Simon's dream to reality. He smiled, knowing that none of those confrontations had ever become physical and tried to imagine Hans being in his place. No doubt about it, Hans had always had a good voice, as good as his own, but he had never liked sharing the spotlight. Had it been Hans Brill instead of Urs Buhler, then Il Divo would have been over before it really began and four men would have probably walked out of a recording studio with physical bruises rather their egos having taken a battering.
Hearing that the race had begun, Urs shook that memory away too and turned his attention back to the huge screen that allowed spectators to see what was happening in the distance. Since the field consisted of thirty horses, it was difficult to pick out 'Close To Kick Off' physically, but the loud speakers informed he was ahead of 'Road To Nowhere'. That was how things remained as the pack came thundering around the last turn and Urs could just about hear Franky's shouts above those that surrounded him.
"Get him of the rails for God's sake. You know he hates that!............Wider! Go wider............Geeze!...............Give him his head!.........Go on! Go on!...........Annnnnnnnnnnnd!............I............hmmn. That's too close to call."
Urs nodded in agreement having watched 'Road To Nowhere' and 'Close To Kick Off' battle for the lead all the way to the wire. To him and several others it looked like a dead heat and a look round told him he wasn't the only one watching the screen for the decision. It seemed to take forever for the picture to appear and for it to be announced that 'Close To Kick Off' had won.
"You can get that smug look off your face right now, Urs Buhler." Franky instructed with a laugh and headshake when he turned to face her. "You said my pick didn't stand a chance and he only lost by a short nose. So nah!"
Urs laughed at the childish way Franky stuck out her tongue following the final word. He kissed her quickly then took hold of her hand and still giggling the two of them went to pick up their winnings and walked away from the booth still smiling. They eased their way through the crowd and had almost reached thier car when Urs felt someone tap him on the shoulder. He turned to see Espen standing there, gasping for breath and looking a little red in the face.
"I'd like to apologise for everything I said earlier. I had no right to say the things I did, especially when I've never heard you sing."
"I thought your mother was a fan?" Franky asked looking surprised.
"Oh she was. Still is actually. But every time she put Il Divo on I was either out or upstairs blasting out my own stuff. I don't know why I'm taking my father's side rather than mom's. She raised me alone until I was twenty-one. Dad spew's nothing but bile about her and you every time I see him. I think it's about time I sat dad down, told him a few home truths about himself and to grow the hell up........perhaps. He'll probably throw me out of the house again, say he's going to disin............I'm sorry for everything I said earlier" Espen finished with a nervous smile on his face and right hand extended.
"Don't worry about it. I've heard worse from people who.........never mind." Urs replied, shaking the offered hand and returning the smile.
Espen walked away looking a lot happier than he did the first time Urs had set eyes on him and gave his mother a tight embrace when he reached her. Something clicked in Urs brain once he and Franky were heading out of the racecourse grounds. Ten miles down the main road he turned off and into the car park of a restaurant they'd eaten at before.
He expected her to protest about taken to the fairly expensive place as he pulled into a parking spot. However, other than to give him a look that told him she thought he was spoiling her, Franky didn't say a word. Not until they were both out of the car anyway.
"I do remember what you said a couple of years ago you know?"
Urs thought back to that time, nodded when he remembered what he'd said in reply to her protestations.
"It's my money. You're mine to spoil if and when I want to. Now get your sexy hiney inside Frau Buhler."
Two hours after they'd entered the restaurant, Urs and Franky walked out, holding hands with Urs not caring that he'd just blown almost all of his winnings on a luxurious meal for two.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Tue May 28, 2013 4:20 am|| |
Chapter 234 - Destruction And Renewal
Even though they'd enjoyed several 'Chocolate Days' over the years, Urs's favourite had always been the first one. He'd just reached the point where Franky had begun massaging him with the oils when he felt the hard shove and heard her calling his name instead.
"What's going on?" He asked, rubbing at his eyes and blinking rapidly when she turned the main bedroom light on.
"I can smell smoke. There's a fire somewhere." Franky replied, quickly slipping into pyjamas.
"Well it can't be in the house, the sprinklers would have taken care of that?"
"I know, honey. But sniff up, can't you smell it?"
Urs did as she requested while slipping his own pyjamas on and nodded after a couple of seconds. There was no doubt about it, something close by was on fire and since they knew how dangerous inhaling smoke could be, they had to get out of the house. Even though they were pretty sure the house wasn't on fire, the scent of smoke became much stronger as they left the bedroom hand-in-hand. Urs could feel Franky shaking so he gave her hand a quick squeeze and kept the pressure applied while they walked downstairs.
"Am I being stupid or is very hot in here?" Urs asked, feeling hotter than he had in the daytime.
"No, you're not. I can feel it too. It's been a long, hot summer, maybe the front lawn's caught fire somehow."
Urs agreed and they were both proved right once they reached the bottom of the stairs. He could see that their front lawn was on fire, the flames were rising high and were no more than twelve feet away from the door once he'd looked through the narrow window on the left side of the door. Deciding that it was too dangerous to go out that way, they made their way out through the back of the house and into the garage.
Once inside, Urs tried to turn the garden sprinklers on manually but nothing happened. At least that's what the panel at the side of the control told him, the little lights that told him the heads were above ground level weren't lighting up, so he tried again. He wasn't about to send Franky to check that the heads had come up and were working properly when that attempt failed as well, she was too busy calling emergency services anyway. He thought about going himself, then thought better of it since he could see how thick the smoke was and could hear that every smoke alarm in their property was now bleeping. They really had no choice but to stay where they were and wait for the blaze to be put out.
"I have to go back inside." Urs informed once Franky was standing beside him again.
"What the hell for?"
"To open the ga..........They'll have equipment to cut through those, won't they?"
"Huh? Oh yeah. Yeah. I'm sure they will. Right now, we've got other concerns."
Urs looked to where she was looking and realised what she was talking about without having to ask. Because they didn't know if just one side of the front garden or both were affected they had to wake their neighbours and get them out. If the right side of the garden was also alight there was a slim possibility the flames could spread to their home as well. He nodded, followed her to Flavian's memorial and retrieved a handful of gravel. They started throwing stones at the back bedroom window as hard as they could, yelling the name of the occupant as they did so.
"Jasper!" Urs yelled, throwing the last but one stone he held and taking a deep breath when the sixteen year old appeared at the window.
"Wha's goin' on? Do you know what time it is?"
"Never mind that." Franky shook her head at the sleepy looking boy. "Listen to me and try to stay calm once I've finished. Our front lawn is on fire and the fire service want your family out of the house to be on the safe side. Go wake your parents and sister and come out the back way. Do you understand?"
"Y-Y-Y-Yeah. I-I-I-I.........Yeah!" Jasper nodded, his eyes flying wide before he moved away from the window.
Feeling relieved that they'd managed to wake Jasper, Urs and Franky moved to the very end of their back garden once they heard voices next door. They took a seat in the arbour, cuddled up against one another and listening out for sirens. They could hear Ted and Jasper doing their best to comfort the two females who'd been in their house and gave Ted a quick smile when he popped his head over the fence that seperated them.
"Thanks. It didn't look like it had spread to our property when we came downstairs, but I can't be sure, didn't stop long enough to have a good look. Just glad you acted so quickly."
"No problem. We'd have done the same even if Franky hadn't been told to get you out. I'm just wondering how it started. It's far too late in the evening for the sun to have caused anything to catch fire."
"Yeah! It has been really hot just lately, every plant Della has put is dead thanks to the hosepipe and sprinkler ban."
Urs nodded then sighed, knowing how hard Della had worked on landscaping the boring back garden of the property she and Ted had purchased from Trinity. It had looked amazing for a few weeks after she'd finished, he and Franky had watched her face redden when they'd told her so and how much of an improvement they thought she'd made to the mostly concreted space. Two weeks after they'd told her that, daytime temperatures had begun to rise to unbearable levels outside. Water levels had dipped to the point where certain bans had been put in place and were being strictly enforced. Anyone caught using a hosepipe or sprinkler system was served with an immediate fine and a heavy one at that.
Urs sighed and looked around the space he and Franky had spent hours lovingly creating together. Even though he couldn't see much with it being the middle of the night, he knew it looked terrible. The plants they'd put in shortly after moving in were faring the best but this years's planting was already dead or dying. The front and back lawns were no longer the lush green they had always been and the soil was riddled with huge cracks. The vegetable patch Franky had created when the children were little probably wasn't going to produce much this year and whatever crops they did dig up would be of poor quality.
Bad though he felt about the fact not a single drop of rain had fallen over the past ten weeks, Urs knew it was nothing compared to what he would feel if they lost everything in the house. Yes, most of those things could be replaced because of the insurance, but the special gifts he and Franky had exchanged wouldn't have the same meaning behind them if they had to replace those. He sighed again, turned his head to look at Franky then looked to where she was focused when he saw how wide her eyes were.
Flames could be clearly seen making their way towards the garage now and he immediately knew what she was thinking. She swallowed hard, turned back to look at him through teary eyes and opened her mouth only for him to cut her off.
"Don't! Don't apologise for not agreeing with me about paving that bit, angel." Urs instructed, wiping her eyes and recalling the argument they'd had about the six by three metre strip of land he'd wanted to pave over and she hadn't.
She'd wanted to train a climbing plant up the side wall of the garage to make it a little more appealing to the eye as you came around to the back of the house. He'd huffed and grumbled for a while before agreeing to her plan and now loved the fact you could smell Honeysuckle in that boring little space. The plant also served to keep moths away from the poolroom entrance when they had all the doors open. It had also provided the perfect place to bury 'Alondra' and 'Jester' after they'd passed away and now looked wonderful even if there were only two large stones bearing their pets's names set into the small grass bank. Urs knew she wasn't worried so much about losing the plant, there was still some dangerous equipment in the garage, welding equipment for one and motor oil for another. They were in the middle of upgrading the sprinkler system in there, the old one had been ripped out earlier this morning and the new one wasn't connected to the water supply as yet . It would be bad enough if the welding tanks exploded, but their new saloon car, the 'Fire Harley', the Screamin' Eagle, the Spyder, the MG and the Thunderbird were in there as well and all the keys were in the house. If they caught fire there would be as big an explosion as the one that had occurred at her original garage and a lot more damage would be done.
Luckily his 'Ice Harley' and 'Heritage Softail Classic' weren't in the garage because he'd given the 'Ice Harley' to Ursy and Hadley Junior now owned the 'Softail'. Despite the fact he wasn't able to ride such a powerful machine yet, Urs was in no doubt that he would be able to in time. It hadn't been easy for him to give either bike away since he hadn't really wanted to let them go. But there hadn't been much point in keeping them if he wasn't going to be able to ride them so he'd decided to give them away and since all the male grandchildren rode motorbikes it had been hard to decide who got which one. Gino had made it a little easier by saying that he didn't see the point of him having one when he was touring so much, that he preferred the same type of machines his Uncle Frank used to ride off road and on it and liked the Screamin' Eagle above all the Harleys. Carlotta had passed her bike test, unlike her sister but she'd rather ride around on something without that amount of power. Jasmine, Saskia and Melinda liked the look of the machines, they just weren't interested in riding them, unless it was in the pillion seat.
The World War One model he and Franky had restorted all those years ago wasn't in there either. They'd given that to a London based transport museum thirty years after they'd completed the work despite the fact they'd been offered more than two million pounds for it. Urs rolled his eyes as he remembered what he'd heard the man who'd made the offer saying before he'd done so. He'd told Franky as soon as he'd got back to the display stand that the man only really wanted it so that he could brag to his wife's friends that it had been completely restored by 'Urs Buhler of Il Divo fame', otherwise he had no interest in owning such an old vehicle. They'd allowed him to approach, listened to his offer and turned it down to receive a look that said 'Are you crazy?!' before they'd turned and walked away. A couple of days later they'd offered it to the museum and it was still there, on a podium with a panel detailing where it had come from and who'd been responsible for restoring what. Urs didn't care that over the years he'd heard several people saying that they didn't believe that Franky had done the vast majority of the work, he knew the truth and that's what really mattered to them both.
He didn't want to think about the damage such an explosion would cause if the remaining vehicles went up in flames, seeing what had happened to the original 'Franky's' was an image neither of them had ever been able to rid themselves of completely, they certainly didn't need a reminder. So, instead of focusing on that, Urs decided to listen a bit harder and gave Franky a quick nudge when he heard the sound of shouted commands down near the house. The fire service had arrived and were extinguishing the blaze. One team appeared at the corner of the house a few seconds later and quickly dealt with the flames that were threatening the garage. Once that had been doused, a team of paramedics ran up the garden and insisted on checking them both out for smoke inhalation. While that was being done, Urs and Franky watched a team head inside their home. They came out a few moments after they'd both been given the all clear and gave them the thumbs up. They didn't have to wait for long for the fire chief to come up to where they sat and let them know most of the house and all of its contents were safe and sound.
"Most of the house?" Franky queried.
"Yeah! You're going to need a new front doors. They're melted and twisted a little from the heat, but it seem to be secure."
Urs and Franky nodded, breathed out a long sigh of relief then asked if the fire had spread next door. Luckily it hadn't, but smoke had found its way into the property. A couple of firemen were inside, opening windows, just like every window was being opened in Urs and Franky's home.
"You look exhausted." Franky stated as the man who'd told them they hadn't lost anything ran his hands down his face.
"You can say that again. I'll be glad when this weather is over with or we find out who's keeping us so busy. This is our fifth grass fire tonight, twenty-fourth in two weeks. Luckily no-one's died yet. I'm convinced someone is setting light to the dry grass deliberately and if I ever have that confirmed I'm gonna wind up in Alford Prison doing a ruddy life sentence for murder."
Urs informed the fire chief that his and Franky's home was fitted with CCTV cameras that covered the whole of the property and they weren't the only ones that had it. Chief Smith smiled, asked him to check the footage and let him know if anything useful could be seen. Urs agreed and heard Ted shout the same over the fence before inviting himself and Franky to spend a couple of hours next door until the smoke had disappaited enough for them to return. They agreed and crossed the boundary once Ted and Jasper had removed one of the panels that seperated them.
"Bloody typical!" Ted yelled as he and Jasper leaned the panel against one of its neighbours .
Everyone looked bemused for a moment or two then both gardens quickly filled with laughter. After all those weeks with no sign of rain and none predicted for at least another ten days, it had started raining and was quickly becoming a downpour. Everyone who was wearing nightwear headed into Ted and Della's home and stood in the conservatory, shaking their heads and chuckling a little. Della disappeared a few moments later but soon came back, bearing a tray laden with hot chocolate filled mugs topped with marshmallows. Once she'd got her family and unexpected guests settled with those, she then set about making strong coffee for the firemen who remained nextdoor once she'd firmly instructed Franky to sit down and told her she could manage. Coffee that was gratefully accepted, neither man or woman caring that they were drinking it in pouring rain.
Two hours later Urs and Franky were able to go back home and happily did so. Other than a little smoke damage and melted and twisted front doors, everything was as it had been when they'd retired to bed. Settled under a cotton sheet they drifted of to sleep, thankful that they'd had the smoke alarms and sprinklers put in the property before moving in, had upgraded through the years as well as last year and that they both liked to have a least a small window open at night time, no matter what the weather was like.
When they awoke the next morning, they immediately checked how much damage had been done to the front garden and sighed heavily when they saw that almost all of the lawn was a charred mess and their favourite Weeping Willow tree had been damaged. They knew it might grow back in time, but it was still upsetting to look at. While Franky prepared breakfast, Urs checked the CCTV, spotted someone tossing something over the gates and swallowed hard when he saw how quickly the fire spread. He rewound the footage, watched it again in an attempt to make out the facial features of the tiny hooded black figure. Twice more he did that before calling Ted to see if he had anything that would identify the perpetrator. Unfortunately, Ted's coverage was even worse as were those of the rest of the neighbours.
Investigations would prove that an oil soaked cloth had been set light to and tossed into the garden by an unknown person. No-one in the normally quiet road was happy about that and a couple of residents even voiced their opinions as to who might be responsible. Without positive proof, it wasn't possible to arrest the twenty-two year old you man they'd named, never mind prosecute and convict him. Disappointed though he was about that, Chief Trent Smith was a lot happier a couple of weeks later because he and his crew hadn't been called out to a single late night grass fire in all that time but he did find it somewhat peculiar that the fires stopped after the young man who'd been suggested as the arsenist moved out of the town, his destination and that of his parents never to be known.
Once arrangements had been made to replace the front doors, Franky conferenced called the children to let them know what had happened and was soundly told off for not letting them know sooner. Each and every one of them did so again as they turned up at the house then told her to sit down, take it easy and leave the clean up to them. Not one would listen to her protest that she could manage, so she eventually sat down next to Urs and gave him a puzzled look.
Urs shook his head, wrapped his arm around her shoulders then cracked up laughing when she said she couldn't believe some of their children had cancelled major plans just to come and wash a few walls or paintwork down. A fact he found hysterical because he knew that's exactly what Franky would have done for a relative, close friend or complete stranger had they been in a similar situation.
A few more hot days followed that event, but eventually the rain returned and almost everything came to life again. Parts of the front lawn had to be dug up so that the old sprinkler system could be replaced, but the people they hired to do that made a wonderful job of it. When it came time to gather the harvest, Urs thought that it would be a waste of time but knew it had to be done. He set to work on the potatoes first and took the meagre crop indoors to show Franky. Not one potato came out of the ground much bigger than a ten pence piece.
"At least we have something to show for all the hard work we put in and that is what matters at the end of the day, honey. Others out there put ten times as much effort in and are rewarded with nothing." She sighed, reminding him that there were still parts of the world where people were dying of hunger before gently pushing him out of the kitchen and joining him in reaping their smallest ever reward.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Fri May 31, 2013 4:08 am|| |
Chapter 235 - My Personal Interpretor
Ever since the day they'd married, Urs and Franky had agreed to teaching each other the languages they didn't know. He'd taught her German and Swiss-German, both of which she could speak quite well, though sometimes she did have to ask him for the translation to Swiss-German from English. In return, she'd taught him Spanish and he spoke it fluently. Fluently yes. As rapid as her and Carlos? Absolutely not.
He could remember when they'd been on tour and had arrived in Barcelona, he and Franky had gone out following the soundcheck to have a quick look around. She'd stopped to admire something in a shop window and he'd agreed that the mozaic bull would make a good addition to their collection. He'd begun to gently pull her towards the door, only for Franky to dig her heels in and shake her head before she spoke.
"No, cariño. No vamos a pagar mucho cuando hay una tienda que tiene exactamente la misma cosa a mitad de precio."
Those words had come out of her mouth so fast that he hadn't understood any of them other than the first two. She'd giggled, translated into English then led him to another shop where they'd purchased the exact same bull at half the price. They'd shown it to the rest of the guys when they got back to the hotel and Carlos had asked where they'd purchased it from. Urs had told him the entire story and his Spanish brother had smiled at Franky once he'd finshed.
"Bueno. Me alegro de que escuchado mi advertencia."
Franky had smiled then told him that Carlos had warned her not to go to 'Eustacio's Emporio' because the owner was a rip-off merchant, charging tourists and the like at least twice as much as any other souvenir shop in the city for the exact same object. With them having the next day off, they'd gone out to do some sightseeing, had seen the same bull in each souvenir shop they passed on their way to La Sagrada Familia and not one had been marked for sale at anywhere near the price they'd seen in 'Eustacio's'. By the time they'd visited Barcelona again, the shop had closed and had been turned into a Tapas bar, the owner left bankrupt due to his bad business accumen.
Now here they were seated at a computer, waiting for Sebastien and Lyle to be interviewed on Spanish television.
"Stop that!" Franky asked, quickly glancing at him as he checked the time. "Spanish tv, not Swiss."
"Don't I know it. They're already running five minutes late."
"Ah chill will you. It's not like they're going to cut Lyle's singing short, you've done enough interviews on Spanish tv to know that."
Urs huffed a quick laugh and tried to remember how many interviews Il Divo had done on Spanish tv. He couldn't recall them all, but one in particular sprung to mind. They'd been in the Green Room, waiting to go on and he'd checked his watch several times because they should have been in the studio at 8:30am. They didn't get to sit down on the couch until 8:33am and he'd been the only one who seemed to care that things weren't running to schedule. However, not one question had been cut and neither had their performance. They'd made up the time by reporting the news and weather a lot quicker than usual, just like Carlos had said they would.
"Here we go." Franky's voice snapped him from the memory and he tried to follow the first question the presenter put to Sebastien. "She's just asked him how the project came about."
"As the result of an argument and bet I had with Carlos many years ago." Sebastien replied with a smile on his face and a headshake. "We were on a few days break from touring and I was working on some of my own songs when he walked in and tried to offer his help. I told him to butt out because he knew nothing of songwriting. He said he could write if he wanted to and the next thing I know we're shaking hands, having agreed that IF he ever wrote anything worth a damn I would have to find someone to record a few of them, preferably a Baritone. I got the shock of my life when I saw how many he'd written and read how beautiful some of the lyrics are. I wish he was still around so that I could apologise for doubting him."
"How many did he actually write?"
"Forty-three. Some were much better than others, but it was still very difficult to choose ten to record. I had to get Carlos's family involved with that."
"Why did Urs take a step back once you'd found Lyle?" Franky translated the next question.
"Because I'd only asked him to help me find someone to record the songs. We auditioned lots of singers but really wanted to find someone who was our brother's match.....or as close as we could get. Lyle is quieter, personality wise, but not when he sings, that's when he really comes alive."
"You didn't think of asking Urs's son, Kurt, to record the songs?"
"Yes and I did do that. He's perfectly happy with his opera career and I would have got my butt kicked if I had tried to pressurise him into a recording studio."
"Lyle, is it true you didn't want to sing professionally when you auditioned for Sebastien and Urs?"
"No, it's not. In fact I'd audtioned for several opera roles only to be told I needed lessons to improve my technique and annunciation. I was working three jobs when Mr Buhler first heard me, trying to earn enough to pay for those lessons."
"Oh! As what?"
"A cleaner, a waiter and hospital night porter."
"Do you consider yourself to be Carlos's match or better?"
"Neither. I come pretty close, but I don't think we'll hear the like of that amazing voice ever again unless his grandson decides to persue a similar career."
"Are you hoping to be offered a lead in a major opera with the release of these songs?"
"No, I'm perfectly willing to audition for any role, I don't care how small. It won't bother me if I never set foot in a recording studio again either. I'm just happy to have been given the chance to improve my technique and record some of the wonderful work Senor Marin left behind."
Noticing that the host had turned her face to the camera Urs squeezed Franky's hand and shook his head, he didn't need her to translate what was being said. He knew Lyle was being introduced and that he'd fibbed to Franky about which song he was going to sing.
"You..........Oooh!" Franky huffed and gave him a quick shove when they heard 'Qué Suerte Estoy' being introduced rather than 'Perdió De Vista'
Urs smiled, knowing that the first song was the one Franky had shed a few tears over after reading just the lyrics. When they'd got back to the hotel she'd told him that the song told the story of Carlos's relationships with Karen then Barbara-Jean and how very lucky he thought he was to have been loved by those two wonderful women.
Having heard Lyle sing the song before, Urs didn't really pay attention to how he sounded this time. He focused more on the effect the lyrics were having on Franky now the music had been added. She was entirely focused on what she could see and hear and Urs didn't mind one bit. It was a beautiful song and Lyle was delivering it with as much passion as the man who'd wrote it would have. Her eyes watered again as the final verse began and she closed her eyes as Lyle took a deep breath to deliver the final line.
"Qué suerte estoy" Lyle sang as loud as he could, pitch and pronunciation perfect with a soft smile on his face and his eyes glistening with tears.
"Wow!" Was the only word that fell from Franky's lips while they listened to the small television audience clapping and whistling to show their appreciation of what Lyle had done. "Are you going to tell me what he really wants to do now?"
"Nein." Urs shook his head, knowing what Lyle really wanted to do with his music career now he no longer needed the singing lessons and that it didn't involve working solo or releasing an album.
"Pleeeeeeeeeeeease, honey." Franky pleaded, batting her eyelashes at him and running her hand down his naked chest.
"Ahem! I said nein. Much as I would love to take you back upstairs and 'punish' you for trying to get me to reveal my little secret that way, we don't have time. You've got to be at Cleave House in an hour to accept a donation, haven't you?"
"Hmmn. Yes, I have and the man who's making it more of stickler for punctuality than you ever were, even though he isn't Swiss."
Urs laughed as he watched Franky head back upstairs, grumbling as she went. He took a few moments to compose himself then smiled, knowing that a major Hollywood celebrity had contacted her a couple of weeks ago, wanting to know about Cleave House and offering to make a donation. That wasn't the only thing she would be dealing with today though, once she'd finshed at Cleave House it would be back home to do the books for the garage business because Frank and Carina were currently on holiday in Madrid.
She came back downstairs a few moments later and kissed him before leaving. Urs closed the back door once he'd watched her drive off and quickly answered the VidCom to a beaming Sebastien. He asked how Franky had reacted to their little deception and laughed out loud when Urs replied that she hadn't suspected a thing. Once the giggling had stopped, Urs asked where Lyle was and wasn't that surprised to hear that he was in his hotel room, dealing with the many requests to audition for an opera that were coming in. One exciting him more than any other and making both Sebastien and Urs cross their fingers that he would be offered a part.
Despite the success of all the songs and pressure from some circles to record more, Lyle stuck to persuing his dream and appeared alongside Kurt in 'The Marriage Of Figaro' four months later. Kurt playing the scheming, bullying, skirt-chasing Count Almaviva to perfection and Lyle portraying 'Figaro', despite the fact he'd assumed he would be playing the lesser role of 'Antonio' once he'd got through the audition stage. Making his stage debut in front of Urs, Franky, Sebastien, Emma and Carlos's children and grandchildren and doing so to great acclaim.
Urs wasn't the least bit bothered that Sebastien got more credit than he did for the entire project. He'd done what he'd agreed to at the very start and Sebastien had made the bet in the first place. However, both Sebastien and Urs knew who was really responsibe for the fact Lyle had even been able to sing in Spanish and, therefore, become the success he did. It wasn't them and it sure as hell was any of the seven Spanish teachers they'd hired to teach him the right pronunciation. They'd all lost their tempers and stormed out, saying that he would never get it right and vowing never to return.
No, Lyle Emmerson had managed to learn enough Spanish thanks to the ever patient, once flame-haired woman known as Francesca Grace Buhler.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:39 am|| |
Chapter 236 - Angel Nasty?!!
Rarely had he seen Franky pout during their relationship, not unless she'd been in a playful mood anyway. Those occasions when she'd done so Urs could count on his hands and knew exactly what had caused most of them. Frustration. Frustration caused by the fact she was sure one of their children was having problems and wouldn't talk to her about it. He could remember walking into the house to find her sitting on the couch, bottom lip protruding slightly and huffing out a breath, trying to figure why Kurt had suddenly gone so quiet. Once she'd found out that he'd been teased and pushed around for being a member of the school choir and had sworn Frank to secrecy, she'd had serious words with both of them. They'd both left her office chewing on their bottom lips, heads hanging slightly despite the fact they'd apologised for not telling her what was going on.
There were other incidents like that tucked away in the recesses of his mind, but the one he recalled easiest was when they read that 'Strictly Come Dancing' had been cancelled. That announcement had been made a couple of years after she'd done the tribute show to Michael's mother and she hadn't been the only one to huff and pout it. Lots of people had voiced their opinions, some had started a petition to stop the cancellation and a multi-millionaire had offered a huge chunk of his fortune to keep the show going. None of those things had persuaded the television executives to change their minds, the last show had ended with virtually everyone in the dancehall crying and Franky doing the same at home.
Now, all these years on, it had been brought back and they were able to watch every show as it was broadcast rather than having to record it and watch it back later. Ever since Saskia and Jeremy had competed in Blackpool, they'd been hearing rumours that the show might be being brought back but hadn't really believed them. Not until Saskia had revealed what she'd been forced to keep secret for so long and telling everyone that she had been selected to be a celebrity's partner a couple of days after Franky's birthday. Everyone bar Franky had screamed with delight and hugged her tight then they'd all giggled when they saw the Stunned Goldfish look on Franky's face. She'd sat like that for a few minutes then a huge smile had broken out across her face and she'd finally hugged Saskia tight with tears rolling down her face.
The show had started a couple of weeks later and they'd watched every one together. Proud that Saskia had taken some very harsh criticisms in her stride and had made it through to the final. Urs looked at Franky as Hadley junior turned the car into the already packed studio car park and laughed when he saw how narrowed her eyes were. He knew full well why they were like that already and thought Daniel Heyman had better be a little less scathing of Saskia in his critique tonight. Gott alone knew how many times he'd heard Franky hiss 'asshole' at the television over the past few weeks but it was a lot. She didn't hiss those words just because Daniel had been nasty to just Saskia and her partner. Far from it, she hissed them every time harsh words fell from his mouth and constantly said that there were ways to criticise without being so bloody nasty about it.
In what seemed like no time at all, Urs and Franky were settled in their seats close to the dancefloor with Serena, Hadley and Hadley junior seated to Franky's left. The show started with the host being introduced followed by the judges and Urs grunted a quick laugh when he saw Daniel Heyman's eyes fly wide on seeing Franky in the audience.
"I think he's scared of you, Gran." Hadley junior informed with a chuckle watching Daniel scurry to his seat obviously having caught the narrow eyed glare Franky shot him as he passed her.
"I'm sure I heard him say 'Oh crap!'" Serena continued, giggling and shaking her head a little.
Franky said nothing in reply to those two statements. She simply grunted a quick laugh, made herself a little more comfortable, relaxed her facial features and prepared to enjoy the show. Like the rest of the audience she showed her appreciation of the hard work the celebrities had put in each time a dance was over and listened to the critiques carefully. Sometimes she nodded her head in agreement, others she rolled her eyes and hissed a quick 'that's crap' while the audience booed. As amusing as Urs found that, it was nothing in comparison to hearing Daniel speak.
Through all the other shows he'd spoken fluidly and had looked very confident while doing it. However, now that Franky was sitting close by he'd turned into a bumbling, stuttering, gibbering wreck. Barely able to get his words out without coughing and taking deep breaths every so often. Even though he knew he shouldn't laugh, Urs did so quietly because Franky was almost twice Daniel's age and he appeared to be scared by her presence. He wasn't the only one who giggled every time the forty-one year old spoke, both Hadleys and Serena did too and he was sure he heard a few others join in.
The giggling stopped when the host began to announce the next couple and the five of them turned to watch a review of the shows that had got Saskia and Murray Wallace to the finals. The clip that grabbed Urs's attention more than any of the others was watching Murray storm out of the practice studio after failing miserably to get a 'Jive' move right with Saskia chasing after him. Whatever she'd said to him to get him back inside hadn't been picked up by the cameras or microphones because the operators had lost track of the couple once outside and had only picked them up again as they headed back to practice. Urs could remember the show that followed and now understood why the six foot ten tall Scottish rugby player had beamed with pride once he'd finished the dance. Five foot seven inch tall Saskia had gently kicked his butt for letting Daniel's snarky comments get to him and she'd remained patient in her teaching.
Music started to play as Saskia and Murray took to the floor and Urs felt his eyes fly wide after the first few notes. He hadn't heard the song in years, never mind sung it, but he still knew the words to 'The Time Of Lives' and snapped his head round to question Franky. He didn't get chance to say a word, she was equally as stunned as he was and so were Saskia's parents and brother. Urs turned his head back to the dancefloor and continued to watch the end of the Waltz. Saskia and Murray were beaming by the time they'd finished and standing by the host's side and continued to do so while listening to the first three judges give their opinions of what they'd seen.
Everyone in the audience seemed to take a deep breath when it was Daniel's turn to speak and Urs noticed he looked as stoic and confident as usual.
"One word. Stunning! I don't know how you got Murray to this point Saskia, but that was your best dance of the entire series."
"Oh, finally he appears to understand that you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar." Saskia returned, straight-faced once the host had asked her if she had anything to say in response.
That brief comment sent the entire audience, the host and judges into a brief giggling fit which lasted until Saskia and Murray had headed off to await their scores. Even though he hadn't paid really close attention to watching the couple dance, Urs thought they'd probably done enough to score their best ever mark and was proved right when the number thirty-six flashed up, putting them top of the board with one more couple to dance.
"Saskia's fault, she trod on Murray's toes slightly during a turn, made him jerk a little." Franky informed when he turned to face her.
Understanding that the judges had spotted that mistake as well, Urs nodded and crossed his fingers in the hope that Saskia and Murray would stay on top. He suddenly remembered that Casey was supposed to be in the audience tonight, quickly scanned the area and spied him a few seats away, smiling and returning the wave he received without a hint of jealousy in his eyes. The last couple appeared on the dancefloor as Urs turned his head back. He sighed, knowing that they hadn't put a foot wrong over the last few shows, were favourites to win and secretly hoped they would suffer a minor disaster tonight. That wish didn't come true though, their score was a perfect forty and Urs huffed when he saw Franky nodding her head in agreement.
"Sorry, honey. It was a flawless performance. I'm not going to sit here and say different just because Saskia is taking part, am I?"
"Nein. Credit where credit is due, that's always been you."
Knowing that all the couples had to dance one more time before the public would be given chance to express their opinion, Urs sat back and watched again. Saskia and Murray left the dancefloor that time to receive the same score as the first. This time it was Murray's fault for the point loss, even Urs knew they'd would be deducted as soon as he'd seen the way the twenty-eight year old comported himself during the Salsa. The cocksure confidence had been missing at the beginning and only picked up about thirty seconds in. Considering that Saskia had been so very nervous about performing on television, it was really quite remarkable that she and Murray ended the show still in second place.
With everyone in need of the bathroom, Urs took hold of Franky's hand and led her out of the studio in front of Serena and Hadley. Other members of the audience were talking excitedly about what they'd just witnessed and stating who they hoped would win overall. Urs was so engrossed in listening to the chatter that he didn't hear the shout behind him. He only felt the hard knock he received, tried to stop himself hitting the ground and groaned when his right knee connected the hardest with the floor.
Franky was down by his side within a second, asking if he thought he'd broken anything and smiling quickly when he shook his head. He took a few moments to get over the shock then turned his head to look at the worried young man standing close by, swallowing hard.
"I'm sorry, mister. I just wanted to and tell my mum how proud I am of her." The boy informed extending his right hand.
"And I told you you were going the wrong way didn't I?" An American accented male stated as he finally reached area where the accident had happened. "How many times have I got to tell you not to run off like that Junior? Especially when we're in a crowd."
Urs looked at the American while Hadley senior and junior attempted to get him upright again but had to tilt his head almost all the way back to see his face. It took him a moment to realise that the almost seven foot two male was Washington Ford, a member of the Cleveland Browns basketball team who'd recently married his childhood sweetheart in London.
"Need a hand there guys?" Washington asked once he'd stopped shaking his head at his son.
Urs shook his head but both Hadley's nodded theirs and next thing Urs knew he was upright again. He thanked Washington then reassured his son and namesake that he was fine, just a little bruised. Junior was made to apologise again and Urs gulped when his age was revealed. At seven years old, Junior was already well over four feet tall and looked older than his years. Washington senior caught the stunned look on Urs's face, laughed and told him he'd been almost five feet tall at the same age. They had a quick giggle about that then Washington marched Junior back towards the studio once Urs had assured them both he really was fine and didn't need to go to hospital.
"Hey! I really am okay." Urs informed, catching the concerned look Franky had on her face when he turned back to face her. "I promise I will tell you right away if that changes. Okay?"
"Okay." Franky nodded, taking hold of his hand again and walking by his side until they reached male bathrooms.
Business concluded in there he waited for Franky outside the ladies bathroom and walked back to the studio without further incident. His knee throbbed a bit and his hip hurt, but both settled down a few moments after he'd taken one of his painkillers. Casey came over a few seconds later, caught the concerned looks that were passing between Serena, her husband and son and turned to Urs once she'd explained what had happened.
"Are you sure you don't need to go to hospital? I mean, anything can happen at your age, no offence and Saskia says your bugger for masking the pain."
"I'm fine, stop fussing." Urs grumbled while Franky, Serena and the two Hadleys giggled. "Has she said whether she's going to do the next series?"
"No, not yet. They're not sure if there's even going to be another series. Viewing figures aren't what they expected. Then again it took the original show a while to get going. Maybe it'll happen like that again." Casey replied with a huge smile on his face and quick shrug. "Not much I like better than to see Sas out there on the parquet, giving her all. Guess you know that feeling pretty well huh?"
"Ja, I do." Urs replied, looking at Franky with a smile on his face.
The conversation turned to a different topic after that and Casey shook his head once he'd informed them that his father was putting a little pressure on him to propose to Saskia. However, much as he loved her, neither of them felt ready to take that step yet and Casey was paying more attention to what his father had told him before he'd met Saskia. Despite the fact they both knew whirlwind romances could work out, they'd both agreed to take things slowly and maybe even live together for a while before getting married. Even though they were hoping to see the couple married soon, Urs and Franky knew Saskia felt the same way as her boyfried, so did her parents. They were all happy that she'd found a man who treated her well and respected what she could do on the dancefloor.
The results show began again a few moments later and the tension in the air was almost tenible. Everyone held their breaths as the couple who'd come in third place was announced and a glance across the dancefloor told him Washington was on his feet, smiling and clapping along with his son. It felt like an eternity had passed when it was revealed who'd finished in second place but Urs noticed that both Franky and Serena had tears in their eyes while watching Saskia hug her partner followed by those who'd come third. Two couples remained and the crowd went wild when the host yelled that the favourites had won. Urs looked at the other couple and grimaced slightly when he saw the angry face on the celebrity who'd lost.
Having been told there would be a small gathering backstage for family and loved ones, Urs and Franky remained seated while the audience filed out. One group of ladies paused as they reached the seat where he sat, studied him briefly then smiled broadly in recognition. Various questions were launched at him and he confirmed that Franky was still taking very good care of him, yes there were times when he missed touring and everything that went with it, no, he had never found retirement boring and rattled off his list of activities. They seemed happy with that, walked to the main entrance and gave him a quick wave which he returned with a smile on his face.
Finally it was time to head backstage and the five of them walked into another room surprised to see Saskia talking to Daniel Heyman, her smile still beaming and holding Casey's hand tight. She saw them, excused herself then ran over to where they stood waiting, embraced each of them tight then asked them to come and meet Daniel.
"I dunno, sis. He still looks as if he's scared of Gran." Hadley junior shook his head.
"Not surprising, considering his aunt told him Gran's kindness is fake and that Grandpa is too scared to leave her 'cos she'll take him for every penny he has left. When he saw you out there Gran, he thought you would have a go at him for all the mean things he's said to me. Silly Goose even thought you would slap him on live TV." Saskia informed shaking her head as she spoke. "The only one that's faking their persona in this room is Daniel himself and he's only doing that because the executives thought it would make for better viewing. He's a great guy really, he loves his girlfriend, Anna to bits and says he probably isn't going to do another series if he's asked. He's fed up of the press bothering her about the comments he makes."
"Who's his aunt?" Hadley senior asked quietly.
"Say no more." Urs cut Saskia off and shook his head while Franky rolled her eyes and huffed a quick laugh.
Realising that Daniel might not believe a word that Franky said if she talked to Daniel about his aunt, Urs stepped forward and took him to a quiet corner. Once there he told the younger man what he could remember of the derogatory articles Breena Smeeton had written about Franky and that there was no way on earth he would still be with the kind of woman Breena described. He would have walked out the door the very first time the greedy, manipulative side came out and he would not have looked back. The more he spoke, the wider Daniel's eyes grew and by the time he'd finished telling him that Eva Cowell and her twin brothers had prosecuted his aunt and won, Daniel's mouth had turned to a shocked expression.
"If you really think I've been so easily deceived for more than fifty years, then just take a look over there." Urs concluded, pointing to the far side of the room.
Daniel did as he requested and a brief smile crossed his face when he saw that Franky continued to talk to a family member of one of the contestants despite the fact an A-list celebrity was trying to get her attention by tapping her on the shoulder. Twice she turned her head towards said celebrity and told them she would speak to them when she'd finished her current conversation. Since she had her back to Urs and Daniel it was impossible for her to see them watching and therefore manipulate the entire scene to her advantage. She concluded the conversation then turned to the celebrity and politely asked what they wanted.
She giggled after the A-lister had whispered in her ear and nodded before taking her by the hand and bringing her over to where Urs and Daniel sat. Once there Franky explained then handed Urs a very battered copy of 'Ancora'. Urs added his own autograph to those of his brothers then explained that he had indeed been in very bad mood the day the celebrity's grandmother had been too afraid to approach him for the autograph. He'd just been told that his girlfriend was cheating on him and apologised for making her grandmother so nervous that she'd turned and walked away from her favourite Divo rather than pressing to get what she'd wanted since the beginning of that particular tour.
Daniel stood as the celebrity walked away with a beaming smile on her face and apologised to Franky for being a little nastier to Saskia than any of the other contestants.
"No need. I should have remembered what Simon said to me when I told him I thought he'd gone too far with one of his criticisms. I still find it sad that television executives find it necessary to have a 'Mr or Ms Nasty' to stir the pot and therefore boost the ratings. Don't get me wrong, I understand why it's done, just don't like that it has to be that way."
"Funny that. My Anna..........who doesn't like my Aunt Breena very much by the way..........well she said much the same thing to me when I was told how they wanted me to behave on the show. She's always reminding me that she knows the real me and that's all that matters. She was so sure I could do it........Me, not so much."
"So you'll do the next series, if there is one?"
"Maybe. I'll have to talk to Anna before I make my final decision in that regard. Now please excuse me, I'm running late for dinner with my angel."
Franky nodded, watched the younger man leave then turned her attention back to the rapidly approaching Saskia.
"Grandpa! Why didn't you tell me what happened? Are you sure you don't need to go to hospi........."
"Saskia. Hush. Grandpa says he's fine and I believe him." Franky interupted and smiled as Saskia turned to face her. "Besides he promised he would tell me if things changed."
"Oh! He promised! That's all right then." Saskia replied, knowing exactly what would happen if things changed and Urs didn't say anything to Franky.
Urs knew wouldn't only get it in the neck from Franky. Serena and Saskia would have a go at him as well. Having those three fiesty females telling him off was not something he wanted to hear thank you very much.
"Ja, ja. Very funny you two." Urs shook his head, tongue firmly planted in his cheek as he watched Saskia head back to Casey and give him a quick kiss on the cheek.
They stayed at the after party until Serena came to tell them they were ready to leave and relived the entire show on the drive back home. Three more series of 'Strictly' would be broadcast before it was cancelled again. Daniel reprised his performance for the second series then quit. Saskia was asked to take part again, but decided not to and began looking into what qualifications she would need to become the Dance Instucter she'd always dreamed of being.
As for Urs's knee, it was fine when he woke the following morning, just slightly bruised from the impact on concrete, so.............nah!
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Join date : 2009-04-10
Age : 55
Location : Nottingham, England
Humor : Dirty!!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:19 am|| |
Chapter 237 - Shameful Behaviour!!!
"I thought you could send and receive multiple pictures at one time on that thing?" Urs queried as he turned the car off the main road to drive up to the lake side home.
"You can. Cesca just hasn't figured out how to do it yet." Franky replied, looking at her mobile phone screen and smiling as it announced that more pictures of their granddaughter with her boyfriend had been received. "Can't blame her for being so excited. Drew's a much better man than Robbie will ever be."
"Ja, he is. I knew that asshole would let her down."
"So did I, honey."
Urs nodded then shook his head and frowned in disappointment. Ever since the DNA test Cesca had given Robbie the chance to be a good father to her little boy and he'd let her down. How many times he'd watched her get Francis ready for his father's visit only for him to call and cancel at the very last minute though, Urs didn't know.
What he did know was that he'd been in the house to witness Cesca's heart break each of the times he'd appeared on the VidCom looking happily exhausted while he spoke and he'd seen a giggling, naked woman walking behind the stupid little prick. He knew Cesca's heart hadn't broken over what she'd seen, it had broken because he'd broken the solemn promise he'd made to her to always put his son first. How Frank had restrained himself from punching the idiot the two times he had showed up for a visit, Urs didn't know either but he was proud that he had.
He glanced over at Franky and quickly remembered what he'd seen a few weeks ago when he'd walked into 'Guido's'. He hadn't been that surprised to see Dulce sitting across from her because she and Robbie senior were seeing their grandson regularly. What had surprised him was to hear Franky raise her voice and to see her eyes narrowed as she ripped a sheet of paper up and threw the pieces at Dulce. With it being a highly unusual reaction for her, he'd quickly slipped into the seat Robbie's rapidly retreating mother vacated and asked her why she had reacted that way.
Once she'd explained that she'd had enough of hearing Cesca grumbling about the fact Dulce was still pressurising her to change Francis's name and that she'd presented Franky with a prepared legal document that she'd said Cesca HAD to sign, it really was no wonder Franky had blown her stack. Firstly by telling the woman she would do no such thing. Secondly by reminding her that Cesca had told her no ten times already. Thirdly by saying that she didn't give a damn if Dulce didn't like her grandson's names, Francis was Cesca's baby not hers. Fourthly by asking how the middle aged woman could have the nerve to think she could get Franky to change Cesca's mind. The final query made angrily and rhetorically while tearing the document to shreds.
Urs had shaken his head, sighed out a long breath while she'd ran her hands down her face and took some deep breaths. Only once she'd calmed down had they been able to enjoy eating lunch together, undisturbed.
Now Cesca had someone knew in her life and was much happier with Drew Marshall Cavendish than she'd ever been with Robbie. He bought or sent her flowers every Friday, asked her to bring Francis along whenever they went on dates in the daytime and made both of them laugh a lot. Right now, he was leaving discipline entirely to Cesca, except when she was in the ladies room. On those few occasion he'd had to correct little Frank he'd done so firmly and calmly and thought nothing of changing stinky nappies. Little Frank adored him and loved nothing better than soaking him to the skin each time Cesca and Drew bathed him together.
Urs smiled as he slowed the car, knowing that his great-grandson wasn't the only one who'd taken an instant liking to Cesca's new boyfriend. Franky, Carina, Frank, Carlotta, Conan, Gabriel and himself had as well. Neither of them cared that he drove a limo for a living rather than riding around in one. All they cared about was the way he treated Cesca and that he respected her as well as the way she wanted to raise her son.
"Strange." Franky informed, looking through the windscreen with her brow furrowed.
Urs looked to the front of the lake house and nodded in agreement when he spotted a car he didn't recognise parked outside. No-one should be there, for the next few days it was his and Franky's to enjoy, that agreement had been reached long ago with his siblings and their children and not one had ever disturbed them. He rolled to a stop, applied the handbrake then took hold of Franky's hand once they were out of the car. They entered quietly, took a look around the lounge and stared at each other when they saw clothing scattered around the room. They both listened carefully and looked at each other again before following the sound of snoring to the ground floor master bedroom.
The scene that greeted Urs's eyes once he'd gently pushed the door open completely shocked him. So much so that he gave his great-nephew a very hard shove and shouted his name at the top of his lungs.
"Huh! Oh Scheiße! Salome, aufwachen. Wir haben verschlafen." Roby's almost twenty-three year old son instructed the naked woman still sleeping in his arms, his hazel-coloured, almond shaped eyes as big as saucers.
"Oversleeping is the least of your worries. What the hell do you think you're playing at?" Urs demand, keeping his eyes on Ueli rather than the naked young woman who'd leapt out of the bed and scurried off to the en-suite bathroom
"You what?! You're supposed to be engaged to Svendja? Has the engagement been called off?"
"Nein." Ueli informed, shaking his head and hanging it in shame when he saw Franky looking at him, her eyes wide and head shaking. "What am I supposed to do? I have my needs and Svendja won't......you know.......until we're married."
"So what? That doesn't mean you go and cheat on her, you deal with your.......needs yourself. You stupid, arrogant, selfish little........URGH!" Urs yelled in response, knowing exactly what Ueli was saying and shaking his head at him again. "You don't go find some little tar......"
"Urs, that's enough." Franky interupted and made him turn his attention to the door that gave entrance to the dressing room and en-suite. "I don't think she knows he's engaged."
"You bastard!" A now fully dressed Salome yelled, glaring at Ueli before picking up one of his shoes, throwing it at him and running out of the bedroom with tears streaming down her face.
"Did she know?"
"No, I only met her a couple of days ago." Ueli snapped back, rubbing the top of his left arm where the shoe had connected. "What's it got to do with you anyway? You are not my father. You, Papi and Grandpapi all had sex with other women before you were married. What's the problem with me doing the exact same thing?"
"I would have thought that much was patently obvious!" Urs replied, turning his back to Ueli and releasing Franky's hand as the young man searched the floor for his underwear.
Franky quickly left the room once Ueli had found what he was looking for and Urs had an idea that she might be going to comfort or talk to Salome. He whirled back round to face Ueli, thankful that he was no longer naked but still extremely angry with him.
"Ja, we did, but neither of us were engaged to someone else at the time, were we? You've heard enough over the years to know that much is true. HAVEN'T YOU?! Gott alone knows what your parents are going to say when.........."
"You're not going to tell them? Vater will kill me."
"Nein, I'm not going to tell them and neither will Franky. That we'll leave up to you. It's a shame you didn't think with what's between your ears rather than what's between your legs. You have been raised to respect women in all ways, particular when it comes to sex. Bad enough you've cheated on Svendja, but to use Salome just so you can satisfy your own carnal needs, well that's even worse in my book. I'll give you half an hour to get your stuff together, strip and remake the bed and get out of here."
Urs finished with a sharp nod, turned on his heel and headed out of the bedroom. He attempted a smile when he saw that Franky had made a drink for him, herself and Salome but wasn't that bothered that she hadn't stopped talking to the sobbing young woman she had in her arms to talk to him. It was all too clear to Urs that Salome hadn't known Ueli was engaged and he thought she was feeling very embarrassed about the fact she'd allowed him to use her to satisfy his needs. That he figured out by listening to what came out of her mouth between sobs 'I thought.......I thought he was........one of the good ones. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.' All of it said in Swiss-German while a closed eyed, head-shaking Franky rubbed her right hand up and down her back.
He relaxed back on the couch once he'd picked a mug up and had just taken a second mouthful of Camomile tea when he heard another car pull up outside. The door flew open a couple of seconds later, a furious looking Roby entered and spoke sharply to Urs once he'd slammed the door shut.
"Is Ueli here?"
"In the master bedroom."
Roby nodded sharply, looked at a now open eyed Franky then stormed of into the ground floor bedroom. Much as he and Franky didn't want to hear what was said between father and son, it was impossible not too. Salome was still sobbing, so going outside while the confrontation raged was out of the question. They weren't about to leave her alone in that state.
"How did you find out?!" Ueli's raised voice came loud and strong through the closed bedroom door.
"Your friend, Dario told us despite the fact you'd sworn him to secrecy. Your mother is at home, in tears because she thinks we've failed in raising you to be a gentleman and right now I want to beat seven shades of shit out of you. One for cheating on Svendja in the first place, two for using that poor girl out there the way you have, three for asking Dario not to breath a word when you know full well how he feels about cheating. You know what he went through when he found his father in bed with his mistress a couple of years ago and yet you still did that. You selfish, arrogant......URRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! And before you ask, Svendja knows what you've done too, she asked me tell you the engagement is off and to give you this back!"
"OW! That hurt Vater."
"Pfft! Think yourself lucky it was only a ring and not my fist."
The bedroom door opened and closed again and Roby dropped down hard next to Urs. He sat there for several minutes with his eyes closed, breathing deep and raking his fingers through his hair. Urs looked at him when he opened his eyes and gave him a soft smile when he saw tears attempting to make their escape.
"I'm sorry. If I could have found out what was bugging Dario earlier, you two wouldn't have had your usual trip ruined."
"It's not ruined." Urs shook his head and watched Franky do the same. "Ja, we're upset, but we know you're more upset than we are. Svendja's a great girl, we couldn't have been more pleased when you called to let us know about the engagement. You know that Roby."
"Ja, I do. I thought me and Livia had raised him better than that. My father, my step-father and you were the examples I used whenever I talked to him about how he should treat the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. All three of you were mine when I was growing up. Many times I was desperate to make love to Livia before we were married, but I respected her wishes. It was hard, but I did it. I really thought Ueli would be the same. Now he's let me, his mother and his fiancee down, I don't blame Svendja for breaking off the engagement and I don't think she'll forgive him. Stupid, stupid, boy."
Other than Salome's sobs, silence reigned in the room for the next few minutes and eventually Salome stopped crying, attempted to dry her eyes and apologised to Roby as well as Urs and Franky.
"No need. It wasn't your fault. It was all his. Dario told me everything." Roby replied, shaking his head and smiling soft at the sniffing young woman. "Would you like a lift home when I've calmed down enough to drive?"
"Nein, I'll walk into Willisau and get a bus back to Luzerne."
"Nonsense. Not in your state you won't, not when I'm going that way anyway."
"Okay." Salome nodded, attempting a smile as she took the mug Franky held in her hand and took a few mouthfuls.
Ueli quietly made his way into the room a couple of minutes later and scanned everyone's faces while chewing on his bottom lip. Urs noticed the small cut he had below his right and quickly figured out the ring had caused that. It wasn't bad, didn't look like it would leave a scar but Urs found himself hoping it would, to serve as a reminder of the shameful and disgusting way he'd behaved. He didn't vocalise the thought as he looked at Franky but she seemed to know what he'd been thinking and nodded slightly in agreement.
The scar he bore on his arm was still slightly visible if you looked carefully, but he didn't feel any shame about the way he'd received it and once Franky had been told how he'd received the injury that had caused it, she'd never said or done anything to make him feel ashamed about what had happened. In fact she often looked at it or ran her finger down it, her anger at Sina's actions always evident in her eyes despite the loving smile she wore.
"Erm.........I'm sorry, Salome."
"Save your sorrys for someone who gives a shit, Ueli." Salome snapped back as she stood sharply and glared at him. "I don't want to hear it. In fact I want to say thank you to you. I may only be nineteen, but you've taught me a very good lesson. The next time a man uses sweet words and gentle kisses to try to get me into his bed, I will not do so as easily as I did with you. I'm not going to give a crap about what such men may think either, I won't care if they say that I'm only playing hard to get, it's my body and I'm not going to let any other man take advantage of me any more. So thank you for the lesson. I'd like to go home now." She finished, saying the final six words to Roby who nodded and stood up.
"Vater, I'm so.........."
"Not now, Ueli. I may look calm on the outside, but inside I'm still furious with you. Maybe that will change be the time you get home." Roby cut him off and spoke without turning to face him. "When you've apologised to your mother, perhaps."
Wide eyed, Ueli watched his father and Salome leave then moved around the lounge to pick up the items of clothing that were his. He shoved everything in a holdall as he went then moved towards the main door, paused on threshold, turned his head and apologised to Urs and Franky before making his way to his car and driving off.
Franky set her mug down on the coffee table once the door was closed then stood and moved to sit next to Urs. She turned slightly so that she was sitting sideways on the couch, asked him to do the same so that he was facing away from her. He did as she requested once he'd given her a quick kiss and let out a long sigh of relief a few seconds after the stress busting massage began.
Though it wasn't the best start to their usual wedding anniversary and Franky's eighty-third birthday celebration, neither of them let what had happened bother them. They spent the next three days at the lake house, reliving their wedding day, enjoying dinner at 'Ramone's' in Lucerne and sitting on the verenda enjoying the scenery as they always had. They made love too, especially after the celebration dinner and after watching their wedding video for the upteenth time, this time though their images standing five inches higher than they had on the original 'HoloDect' and visible from any point in the lounge and doing so in the bed that they'd found Ueli and Salome in.
The day after they returned to England, Roby called to let them know that he and Livia had forgiven Ueli for what he'd done and so had Dario. Svendja hadn't though, in fact she'd been so upset that he'd broken her heart that she'd thumped him in the face, he'd fallen down the three steps that led up to her parents's front door and he'd broken his right ankle in the fall. Despite her distress, Svendja had called an ambulance and his parents to let them know what had happened, but she didn't go to the hospital with him and hadn't spoken to him since.
They didn't hear anything about Salome until just before Christmas and smiled when they did. Like she'd said in the lounge at the lake house, she hadn't allowed any man to take advantage of her and didn't give a damn that she'd been called 'frigid' and other such names up until a week before Christmas Eve. She had a new man in her life, one who admired her vivacious personality much more than her killer figure, one who wanted to get to know her as person rather than using her as something to satisfy his sexual needs.
As for Ueli himself, he would spend almost the next two years without a girlfriend but would be a lot more respectful in his treatment of Samira once he'd managed to convince her to date him in the first place.
Happy though he was to hear that Ueli had begun to change, Urs couldn't help but think he'd let Roby and his parents down and vocalised that thought to Franky. She rolled her eyes in response, laughed then shook her head once she'd realised what he was talking about.
"Urs, honestly! You haven't broken the promise you made to Liana and Peder. You've been there for Roby each and every time he's needed advice and he's always listened to you, the same goes for Tran and Antoine. Sometimes you can be such a...........Knuckleheaded Numptynoodle!"
Turn the page.
Posts : 454
Join date : 2009-04-10
Age : 55
Location : Nottingham, England
Humor : Dirty!!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:56 am|| |
Chapter 238 - Past, Present & Future
"Wakey, wakey. Lazybones. Time to get up."
Feeling a quick splash of water on his face, Urs chuckled at the memory that it invoked, slowly opened his eyes and grinned wickedly.
"How can you call me that, after last night?"
"Don't start." Franky replied, giggling and wagging her finger at him. "You know full well what day it is and that it's going to be a busy day. We haven't got time for an encore performance of last night's bedroom activities."
"Spoilsport." Urs batted back as he eased himself to a seated position and reached for one of his painkillers. "See Mami, swallowed it."
"Pack it in, Urs."
Urs pulled his tongue back in, closed his mouth and laughed along with Franky until she decided to turn away from the bed and head downstairs to make breakfast. She was right, he did know what day it was. Saturday, 7th May was the date Carlotta and Cesca had selected to have little Gabe and little Frank baptised together at St Nicholas church. He and Franky were mostly looking forward to it due to the fact the party was going to be held at their home. With it being the biggest property in the family, it made sense to hold it in the music/dance room taking into account that so many people had been invited and the vast majority had replied they would be there. The only down side to that was that Dulce and her husband would be at the ceremony and the party as well.
He huffed out a breath as he stood and padded towards the en-suite because Dulce still hadn't given up on trying to get her way. This time she'd approached Carlotta, having not realised how the close the two sisters really were until just after Christmas. Unusually for Carlotta, she'd lost her temper, told the older woman to go away in a very impolite way, adding a few of her maternal grandfather's favourite Spanish expletives for good measure. Despite that, the obstinate woman hadn't got the message, had approached Carlotta again only for Conan to step in and firmly tell her to leave his wife alone. That confrontation had only happened a couple of days ago and Franky had screamed in frustration once she'd heard all about it.
"Well she'd better keep her mouth shut today!" Urs stated outloud, his eyes wide, eyebrows raised and a quick grimace crossing his face. "'Cos if she tries again someone is going to feel the rare lash of Fire's tongue. She might be approaching eighty-four but she's still fiesty."
Chuckling to himself, Urs stepped into the shower and thanked Gott it didn't have a tray because his painkiller hadn't taken full effect yet. While he showered he wondered what would happen if he got that bad that he would need a wheelchair or sticks to get around and quickly decided there would be no need to sell the house and buy something more appropriate. Every door was wide enough to get a wheelchair through, they'd proved that after Jamie had run Emma down. Emma had had to use a wheelchair for while and the only difficulty they'd had was getting her upstairs to the bathroom. However, Sebastien had solved that by carrying her up the double-wide staircase and down again once she'd finished. Should he ever find himself in a similar position it wouldn't take much to get him upstairs. Install a stairlift, problem solved and the cupboard where he and Franky kept coats and shoes was plenty big enough to install a toilet and handbasin, so no worries there either. The only other problem he could see himself having was getting in and out of the bath, but there were plenty of aids on the market to assist with that.
He sighed, knowing that Sylvie had argued with her maternal grandmother about buying a bath lift, Hanneli Rast insisting that she was perfectly happy to take a strip wash every morning or evening. Sylvie buying her the lift anyway and having it installed despite the fact she'd been told not to. He huffed a quick laugh when he remembered that Hanneli had said she wouldn't use the damned thing as she headed off to bed. The next morning Sylvie had woken up to hear splashing sounds coming from the bathroom accompanied by some off tune, but rather sweet singing. A few moments later she'd heard the sound of the lift's motor, Hanneli had unlocked the door with a huge smile on her face while Sylvie had looked at her with her head tilted to the left, her eyes wide, eyebrows raised, a straight-lipped smile on her face and her arms folded across her chest. Her way of asking a question without a single word passing her lips. Hanneli had laughed, called herself a stubborn old fool, thanked Sylvie for the gift and told her she'd enjoyed every minute of the hour she'd spent in the very warm water. Now every time that memory came to the fore, Sylvie chuckled and warned her father that he'd better not be so obstinate if he ever got as bad as Hanneli Rast and Nicholas always added a 'neither had you' with a smile and a quick laugh. To which Sylvie always replied with a quickly stuck out tongue followed by a nod.
"Geeze!" Urs gulped when he remembered that all the children were middle-aged now, though they all looked younger than their actual ages.
It didn't seem like five minutes had passed since he'd first held those Franky had given him in his arms. Sometimes he wondered where the years had gone and those were the times he sat and watched some of what Franky had recorded. He would have missed out on so much if she hadn't done that and sent the home movie to him as soon as she'd transferred it to a computer. Their children had done the exact same thing with their own children, especially those who lived in other countries. It really was no wonder their DVD collection was so big. Those DVDs alone took up four shelves of a six foot wide bookcase and most cases contained two or more discs. The other two shelves were filled with home movies of the two of them enjoying themselves during private times as well as Franky's skating performances.
Now here they were, about to begin doing the same with a third generation of his branch of Buhlers. Something that he hadn't ever thought would happen, never mind that he would be around to see it start. He chuckled as he stepped out of the shower, wondering what his parents would think now and imagining how big their proud smiles would be. He was certain they would be much bigger than those he'd seen each and every time he took to the stage with his three brothers.
"Honey, breakfast's almost ready and the caterers are on their way up the drive!" Franky's voice only just reached his ears from the bottom of the stairs and he smiled when he heard how happy she sounded.
His smile broadened, knowing why she sounded so happy. Her recent health checkup had revealed that she was in very good condition for her age. Nothing untoward had shown up in the bloodwork and a scan had proved there was nothing wrong inside her body. Other than a slight worsening of his hip joint, Urs had received the same news. A hip replacement operation had been floated at the results appointment, but Urs didn't feel he had reached the stage that he needed that yet. Once the painkillers kicked in, he was still pretty mobile, just not quite as flexible as he had been.
"Better not go there with relative strangers about to enter the house." Urs instructed himself, coughing as he left the en-suite and slipped into some clean pyjamas.
Composed, he left the bedroom and carefully made his way downstairs, arriving at the bottom just as Franky opened the door to the caterers. He kissed her cheek quickly then made for the kitchen once she'd given him a smile. He sat down, happy to see that she'd prepared a full English breakfast and began to eat, knowing that she wouldn't be bothered that he'd started without her. She'd come and sit by his side once she'd reminded Kathy of where the music/dance room was, then she'd leave her and her staff to set things up, just like she had so many times before. He was proved right less than a minute later and she came in giggling.
"What's tickled your funny bone?" Urs asked as she took her usual seat.
"Kathy's got a new employee with her and she was a stunned when she entered the house. Stood at the bottom of the stairs, shaking her head with her eyes closed. I asked her if she was all right, then she got a little nervous and told me that her grandmother had told her to expect something completely different to what she actually saw."
"Don't tell me. Huge crystal chandaliers, top of the line everything and massive pictures of you everywhere?"
"Hmmn. Stop grumbling, I think it's funny. I mean how many times have we bought things from 'Passionata' rather than going into the city to purchase almost the same thing from 'Harrods' or 'Fortnums'?"
"I don't know. Virtually every time we've changed the decor, that's for sure. And you've gone by yourself and come back with something several times. What are you asking that for anyway?" Urs asked, knowing that Franky's favourite shop stocked much the same household items as those two world famous shops without charging the earth for them.
"Because Tamara's grandfather owns 'Passionata', at least he did until last week when he finally handed full control over to his son, Steve and his daughter, Sian. Sian is Tamara's mother and I've seen her in the shop several times. Recognised her immediately, even though I haven't seen her around in almost six years. From what she told me about her grandmother, it sounds like she was that chambermaid that snuck into your hotel room when you were away from me."
"Which one? That happened five times."
"So it did. The third time."
"Manchester." Urs nodded then shook his head because he really didn't want to remember that event or the others for that matter.
Bad enough that a chambermaid had snuck into his room in Italy when he'd been dating Franky. To have it happen four more times after he'd married her was even worse. Luckily though, he hadn't been in the shower with the door unlocked and the radio on full blast on those four occasions. He'd been lying on the bed, fully clothed, catching forty winks and had leapt off the bed as soon as he'd felt the weight of another human being on the other side. Each time he'd called the hotel manager to deal with them then he'd called Franky and told her what had happened. He wasn't the only one it had happened to either. Carlos, David and Sebastien had endured much the same thing and had dealt with it in exactly the same way. He looked at Franky, saw her smile and decided not to let the fact that a descendant of one of those women was now in their home bother him.
"Sorry, honey. I shouldn't have brought that up."
"It's all right, angel. It is rather funny. Did she have anything else to say?"
"Other than that she was amazed by the painting hanging at the top of the stairs, no."
Urs smiled and nodded, knowing exactly what she was referring to and recalling how hard he'd faught to have it hung at the top of the stairs. She'd wanted to put it in the display room, but he'd been so impressed with what Frank and Carina had given to her for her seventy-fifth birthday, he'd insisted it had to go where it hung now. He didn't give a rat's arse that it was a huge full length portrait of Franky on her own, wearing the 'vow renewal' dress, posing much like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind and painted by one of Carina's friends under her instruction. Good as that picture looked in the movie, the one of Franky looked ten times better in Urs's opinion because Franky had a soft smile on her face and her eyes sparkled with mischief rather than looking glum. He chuckled, knowing that for once he hadn't agreed with her about where it should be hung and that he'd won the silly back and forth 'stairs/display room' debarcle.
A stunning portrait deserved to have a special to hang and there were plenty of him by himself in different room. All of them done by fans, framed once he'd selected his favourite ones from those he'd been given and hung in the display room. The rest carefully placed in several albums and stored on shelving in the same room.
He heard Franky sigh heavily after that and watched her wipe a couple of tears from her eyes. He knew why she was close to tears and it had nothing to do with what they'd just been talking about or the fact that Dulce still wanted things her way. Even though she hadn't been as close to Emma as she had to Lauren, Franky was missing her as much as the two people who'd passed away a couple of weeks ago. Almost twenty months had passed since Emma's funeral had taken place and they still hadn't heard much from Sebastien himself.
Eden had kept them up to speed though and had called just a couple of days ago to let them know his father still wasn't allowing him or his siblings touch anything that had belonged to Emma and was refusing to let them take what they'd been left in her will out of the house. Between them, they'd decided to give him a little longer to sort himself out before they would work together to give him a push to keep the last promise he'd made to their mother. A promise to go on living for his own sake and that of their children and grandchildren.
"I'm so.........." Franky began only to stop when Urs quickly placed the fingers of his right hand on her lips and shook his head.
She sniffed a few times, nodded in understanding then stood and walked over to the kitchen sink where she quickly splashed some cold water over her eyes. Between long, cleansing breaths she finished her breakfast, cleared the table and stacked the dishwasher. She'd just finished doing that when Kathy came into the kitchen to let them know the cakes had arrived and needed to be put in the fridge until later.
Although he wanted to see what Cesca and Carlotta had chosen, Urs remembered the promise he'd made to them both and resisted the urge to go sneak a peek once the cake boxes were in the fridge. All he could tell, was that they were at least three tiers and nothing more. He huffed, heard Franky giggle and watched her shake her head as he stood and began to make his way back upstairs to get dressed. She followed him up once she'd shown the delivery men out
With him in a dark blue suit and Franky in a cream coloured knee length dress they left the house, both knowing they could trust Kathy implicitly because they'd done the exact same thing before and she watched her employees like a hawk. Not one had ever dared sneak off to look around the house or touch their things and if any did find themselves in need of the bathroom, the sixty year old always set a time limit then went looking for said employee if they weren't back downstairs within the allotted time and she'd never had a single one cause her a problem.
In what seemed like no time at all, Urs turned the car into St Nicholas's car park for the second time in ten days and made his way around to help Franky out once he'd applied the handbrake. She took a deep breath before taking his offered hand, sniffing back tears as she did so. Urs gave her a gentle smile once she was upright, knowing that the last time they'd been in the church was to say goodbye to Bert and Ruby. Even Urs couldn't believe they'd gone so quickly, Bert first in his sleep, Ruby late the following evening in the back of an ambulance on her way to hospital. Their funeral held the same day and both of their ashes buried together at the cemetery. Without saying a word, Franky let him know that she'd pushed that pain to one side with a quick squeeze of his hand and a long sighed out breath. Understanding what she was communicating, Urs nodded slightly, gave her a quick kiss then led her around to the front of the church.
Several guests were already milling about and were perfectly happy to talk to him as well as Franky, mostly about the babies. Two couples queried why one of the church bells sounded a bit funny and Urs told them. However, he didn't tell them that one of Franky's Gibson ancestors was partly responsible for the crack or that it had been caused because he and a couple of his friends had still been hungover from the night before. Anyone who wanted to read the full history of the church could discover that on their own by reading through a the huge book the Reverend Paul Webb had found when he'd become vicar. That book detailed the building of the place as well as listing everyone who'd worked on it, what they'd been responsible for and what accidents had occured. Almost three centuries after the event, Franky had discovered that a sixteen year old Francis Gibson and several of his friends were responsible for the biggest bell ringing the way it did and it made her giggle every time she thought about it.
More cars pulled into the car park and Urs frowned as one in particular parked up. He watched Dulce and Robbie senior once they were out of the car and noticed they appeared to be arguing as they walked towards the church. He couldn't hear much of what was being said for a while and a quick smile crossed his face when Robbie said that he wasn't as bothered as Dulce was and if she kept on then he would take Francis out on his own in future. Dulce looked at him wide-eyed, Robbie glared back at her and she eventually nodded her agreement. Finally it seemed that Dulce had realised that her husband really wasn't bothered about what Cesca had named her son and had given up her quest to get her to change it.
They greeted each other politely and Dulce didn't apologise for her behaviour but Urs hoped she would at some point today. He wasn't bothered about that right now and neither was Franky because Dulce looked upset and they both knew why. Just over a week ago, her son had signed a formal document relinquishing all of his rights with regard to his son over to Cesca and he wasn't going to be at the baptism. That had come as complete shock to everyone, especially Cesca and Dulce but it hadn't made Cesca stop allowing Robbie's parents to see little Frank. That wouldn't have been right in her book, especially since he loved his paternal 'Ganga' and 'Gangar' as much as his maternal ones.
A powder blue limo was the next vehicle to turn off the main road and it was soon parked outside the church entrance. Everyone who'd been invited to attend the ceremony entered the old building once the limo was void of its passengers. Both Urs and Franky giggled as they watched sixteen month old Gabriel tug his little sailor style hat off his head and throw it to the floor once Carlotta had sat down with him seated on her lap. Conan quickly returned it to his head with an accompanying warning look and a headshake. A look to Cesca told them she was doing the same to fifteen month little Frank while Drew giggled beside her.
A traditional baptism service began once everyone was settled and in what seemed like no time at all Carlotta, Conan and Cesca were standing by the font alongside the godparents they'd chosen. Carlotta had asked her best friend, Marsha Novack and her husband, Dorian to fill that role for her. Conan's eldest brother, Aries and his wife, Maxine did the same for him. Little Frank's only godparents for right now would be the recently married Minerva Hawley and her husband, Christopher Dewitt.
Urs turned to look at Drew as the vicar began the actual baptism. Drew smiled broadly despite the slightly narrowed eyed look Cesca shot him. Urs knew they'd argued about him taking part in the ceremony. Even though Drew loved Cesca and her son very much, he wanted to become little Frank's official father first and since he and Cesca weren't married yet, he hadn't even bothered filling in the documents required to adopt Francis Carlos Toni. A consult with Paul had confirmed that Francis could be rebaptised under his new father's surname once the adoption had gone through. Despite knowing all that, Cesca still pouted a little until Drew shook his head.
All too soon the ceremony was over and everyone began to file out of the church with Urs the only one groaning a little when he heard the tune the bells were ringing. He smiled as he turned his head to look at a giggling Franky and shook his head while wondering how long it taken for the now elderly Campanologists to learn 'Wheels On The Bus' when they were used to ringing something much more traditional.
With so many cars in use, Urs and Franky had no other choice but to leave the driveway gates open once they arrived home. The line of parked vehicles stretched from the garage, all the way down the drive and a handful had to be parked on the road. The party got going quickly and everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves, but Urs kept an eye on Dulce as she approached Franky and began to speak to her.
"No, Dulce. You apologise to Cesca first and Lottie before me." Franky politely cut her off, arms folded across her chest and head shaking a little.
Knowing that she would keep an eye on Dulce until she'd done as asked, Urs seized the opportunity of her distraction and made for the table where the cakes had been placed. He wasn't that surprised to see Kurt and Gino move around to the back of the table with him and they all took a moment to admire the craftsmanship before Urs began to raise his hand to Gabriel's, ignoring both Kurt and Gino's quietly growled warnings not to even think about it.
"URS! Leave the cakes alone!" Franky's loud yell stopped him dead in his tracks though and he snapped his head around to look at her once he'd lowered his hand.
Kurt and Gino giggled as did everyone else in the room. Most did so over the fact he'd been caught and had a very sheepish look on his face. Those that loved and knew Franky well did so because she hadn't turned around and shouted her warning. She'd done that while still watching Dulce with her back to him, giggling and shaking her head once the warning had been issued.
Each time they sat and watched what had been recorded that day, Urs and Franky would both have different reactions whenever that particular scene had played. Urs would always wear the same sheepish look he'd had on his face while Franky would smile, shake her head and laugh longer and louder than she had on the actual recording.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:07 am|| |
Chapter 239 - Pushing Through
Unlike their English home, the one in Paris had never been adorned with personal photographs or momentos, but Franky had always made sure she packed an old digital photoframe whenever they decided to visit Paris and it was the first thing she set up when they arrived. Many friends as well as family members had stayed there over the years, all of them thankful that it was a short walk from the still world famous tower.
Urs laughed as he looked at the current photograph that was displayed on the frame. It showed Franky, himself, little Frank and little Gabriel post mashed potato fight, all of them having been captured laughing and covered in the stuff by a giggling Ciara. Franky had started the dinner table fight by flicking a small amount of potato at him because he'd been in a slightly grumpy mood when he'd got home.
Ever since the day she'd given him the Spyder he'd kept it in pristine condition. He'd gone out alone into town one morning only to get back to the vehicle to find that someone had driven too close to it, leaving a long, wide scratch on the bodywork. No-one had seen anything, he hadn't reported the incident to the police simply because he considered it a trivial matter, they already had more than enough to deal with and he could fix it himself anyway. 'Captain Grumpyguts' had put in an appearance simply because he couldn't figure out how anyone had managed to cause the damage on such a wide road.
Franky had instantly known he wasn't happy as soon as he'd walked through the back door. She'd asked what had happened then tutted and shaken her head once he'd told her. Showered and no longer smelling like a motorbike, he'd sat at the kitchen table watching nineteen month old Gabriel and eighteen month old feed themselves with frightened looks on their faces. That's when he'd felt the first hit against his cheek and seemingly before he could blink the food fight had begun.
The kitchen had been a mess by the time they'd stopped, but Franky hadn't been the least bit bothered about that. His mood had lightened a lot, Ciara had walked in with her newest camera in hand and snapped the picture of the laughing foursome. Ciara had then taken the boys upstairs for a bath while Urs and Franky cleaned up. That had taken a lot longer than it normally would because they'd continued throwing mashed potato at each other if they found a big enough splodge to throw. By the time Ciara came back down with the boys, they'd barely made a start and she'd walked back into the kitchen to find them both laughing hard.
Once they'd got the kitchen back to rights, they'd headed upstairs to clean themselves up and had done so quickly in the shower. Even though they'd both been naked, they hadn't taken the opportunity to make love, but there had been some very passionate kissing and carressing. Somehow, they'd managed to stop those familiar flames from igniting because they knew their great-grandsons would be leaving soon and they'd asked to watch a really old movie before they did. Long, deep nasal breaths had been taken until they'd calmed down and they hadn't stopped until they were dressed and heading back downstairs. They settled on the couch with the boys in their laps and Ciara sitting close to her mother to watch 'Ice Age'. Despite the fact that three of them had seen it many times, they'd all wiped away laughter induced tears away by the time the credits began to roll.
Cuddles and kisses were given at the front door once Cesca and Carlotta had arrived to pick their children up. Ciara left a few moments after them to go and pick Simeon up from the airport, hoping that he'd enjoyed his baby brother's Parisian stag night and that nothing too embarrassing had been recorded. Once the house had been locked up, Urs and Franky had headed upstairs to finish what they'd started in the shower and had drifted off to sleep shortly before 11:00pm in their usual positions with smiles on their faces.
Hearing the VidCom go off in the kitchen, Urs headed into that room, smiled when he saw who had called, listened to what he'd said then went upstairs to tell Franky. He found her coming out of the bathroom, twenty minutes after she'd gone in and questioned what had taken her so long.
"It just took me a little longer, that's all. Certain habits do slow down when you get to our ages." She informed, blushing bright red and shaking her head.
"Hmmn. Seb just called, told me not to worry about lunch, he's on his way over with it." Urs replied, wrinkling his nose when he smelled the slightly over-powering scent of the air freshener Franky had just used once she'd finished in the bathroom.
"Okay. I'm glad Marie, Eden and Monique finally persuaded him to let them have what Emma left them. Don't know why they asked us to be there while they took it out of the house though, he coped just fine."
"Not quite he didn't and you know it, angel. Don't think for one minute that I didn't see what you did to help him through it. You might think you didn't do anything that special, but I KNOW you did. Okay, Fire?" Urs instructed, holding her against him, knowing that she'd sat by Sebastien's side, holding his hand and rubbing his back while his children worked upstairs to tearfully sort through the jewellery and other bits and pieces their mother had left to a specific child.
He closed his eyes for a second or two when he remembered that Franky had stayed by his brother's side once the children had gone and how she'd held him in a tight embrace when he'd seen that all of Emma's jewellery was gone. An entire two hours it had taken him to calm down enough to thank her for getting him through one of the most difficult parts of losing someone you loved.
Shaking his head, Urs smiled, kissed Franky quickly on the lips then made his way back downstairs behind her. She answered the knock just after he'd reached the bottom to a softly smiling Sebastien who crossed the threshold and handed over what he'd struggled through the door with to Franky.
"You didn't have to......."
"Non, pas un mot de protestation Madame Buhler, sinon je vais ............ jure pire que Carlos habitude de faire. Comprendre?" Sebastien cut her off, the fingers of his left hand flying to stop Franky talking.
"Oui, Monsieur Izambard."
Urs laughed as he watched her remove the cellophane from around the four pink large-headed roses, a cream lisianthus, four pink germinis, six white freesias and four pink alstroemeria with eucalyptus that had all been carefully arranged and presented in a huge ceramic teacup and saucer that bore the French word for 'Thank You' written in gold script. That done, she then looked around for somewhere to put the flowers and quickly set the display down at one end of the coffee table. She gave him a quick look, daring him to move it to the middle as he had so many times before with other displays and giggled when he shook his head.
Tongue firmly planted in his cheek and head shaking because he knew she was teasing, Urs led the way to the kitchen and took a seat at the table. Sebastien emptied the bag he'd arrived with while asking Franky to find a couple of items of kitchen equipment he would need as well as three red wine glasses. He whipped his head round when he heard her wince as she stood up from retrieving two frying pans from a base cupboard and asked if she was all right.
"Yeah. Just my age catching up with me." Franky reassured, one hand rubbing her lower back, the other squeezing Sebastien's right forearm.
"Okay. Go sit down. I can manage by myself." He instructed, flicking his head to where Urs sat, not moving to make a start until Franky had taken a seat. "I........I am sorry I missed your birthday, Urs."
"Pfft! For the first time since we met. I'm not bothered, Seb. I'm just glad to see you looking better."
"Merci." Sebastien smiled quickly then turned his attention to peeling a potato once he'd uncorked the bottle of wine he'd brought with him and set it aside to breathe. "I.......It wasn't just what Marie, Eden and Monique said to me that changed my mind, you know? Yesterday, I got up really early and went to the cemetery alone.........I arrived before it even opened and sat in the memorial garden thinking about..........the way I've been behaving since Emma's been gone and what she would do to me if she were able. I swear I heard her threaten to dump me on my derriere just before I stood up to leave. Yesterday, was even harder to get through than it was when Maman left us and this.......this lunch is just a small token to show you both my appreciation for what you both did yesterday. Especially you, Franky. I would never have got through it without you sitting there, allowing me to hold your hand the way I did. I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"No. See." Franky replied smiling, shaking her head and wiggling the fingers of her right hand in the air. "Still fully functioning."
Sebastien continued to prepare their afternoon meal, moving around the kitchen expertly, Urs and Franky were able to see that he was making one of Emma's favourite meals. A simple omelette, pomme fritte, salad and fresh Fresh bread would accompany the wine. They smiled, happy to see him cooking again then Urs turned his attention to the bottle. He was able to see the label, remembered his French brother buying two bottles and telling him that it was one of the best wines ever produced. He turned his attention back to Franky and noticed that she'd remembered the same thing.
"Shush!" He instructed in a whisper when she turned to look at him with wide eyes.
"Okay." She nodded reluctantly, then sighed out a breath, both of them knowing one bottle of Charles Noellat Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, had cost well over two thousand pounds back in 2034.
"You look like you've lost some weight recently, Franky." Sebastien informed as he set the meal down in front of her and Urs.
"A couple of kilos maybe, I never have checked my weight very often and I do tend to lose a bit over the summer months, Seb. I always have. I'm still in the healthy weight range for my height and age according to my doctor. He's very happy with the state of my health, Urs's too."
"Ah oui, I remember and I remember the pact you and Urs made after the apendicitis incident. The yearly health check was another habit Emma got into thanks to you, you know?" Sebastien nodded as he took his seat and began to pour the wine. "I wouldn't have had those extra two years without her insisting that we had to have that. Which reminds me, I need to make that appointment, considering I haven't had one since she's been gone. A toast, Urs."
Urs nodded in agreement, but asked Sebastien to wait a moment by raising the index finger of his right hand because he had his mouth full of food. He swallowed that, picked up his wine glass then raised it to the same level Sebastien was holding his at.
"To four wonderful sisters, three gone, one still here. The women who have seen us at our very best and at our very worst. The women who stuck by us and brought us through the bad times and revelled with us in the good. To Barbara-Jean, Lauren, Franky and.......Emma."
"To BJ, Lauren, Franky and Emma." Urs repeated, clinking his glass with Sebastien's and watching Franky blush a little.
"No signs of engagement rings on Cesca's or Saskia's fingers yet then?" Sebastien asked once he'd wiped his right eye free of tears.
"No, not yet. They're both still perfectly happy though, especially Saskia now she and Casey are living together in Weybridge." Urs replied, shaking his and frowning a little until Franky gave him a quick dig in the ribs.
"What was that huff for?" Sebastien asked once he'd swallowed another mouthful of food. "Do you think she's too young to be living with him?"
"Don't look at me. I'm not telling him why you get all huffy when the subject of Saskia and Casey's home is mentioned. You said you weren't bothered when they told how far it's set back from the main road and how far you would have to walk to get to it because........."
"Fine." Urs cut Franky off and shook his head at her with a smile on his face. "I do like where she lives, just wish is was a lot closer to the main road. It's a good three hundred metres away from that, with no vehicle access. You have to walk down several narrow alleyways to get to it. We got completely lost the first time we paid a visit."
"Only because you wouldn't follow the directions Saskia gave you. Oh so sure you knew where you were going once you'd barely glanced at the map she sent you."
"Not funny." Urs retorted to Franky's giggling tease even though he knew she was right.
Saskia had indeed printed off a map, showing exactly where the little two bedroomed cottage was located and had warned them both to be aware that some front doors opened into the rabbit warren of alleys and some weren't numbered. Four navy blue doors he'd knocked on before finding the place at the very end of the final alley way, convinced he'd managed to find the property without referring to her directions those four times, Franky rolling her eyes and giggling each time he got it wrong. Pulling her to the left when they should have gone right when they finally reached the path that gave access to where they needed to be. Saskia giggling once she'd heard the story and telling him off for not agreeing to her coming to meet them at the main road, calling him a stubborn old so and so as she headed towards the kitchen to make refreshments.
"I don't know what you're laughing at, you were just as bad." Urs stated with a firm nod to a giggling Sebastien once he'd told him about that particular misadventure. "Or have you forgotten how you got us all completely lost in Rome, you argued with Emma about which direction we needed to go and we were almost late for the concert."
"Non. I remember. We did that on purpose to wind you up." Sebastien replied, still laughing though a lot harder now.
Urs shot him a quick look then turned his face to Franky and immediately knew she'd known Sebastien and Emma had been faking their anger with each other, the smirk on her face and the grunted laugh she emitted were the 'tells' that told him so. He grumbled playfully at the laughing pair then flew back to the ninth world tour.
For once they'd all decided to go out together following the soundcheck for nothing more than a walk around. Urs had kept a careful eye on the time and even Sebastien had checked his watch occasionally. They'd reached the end of one narrow street when Sebastien had said that they should really be heading back. Intent on retracing their steps, they'd turned around, walked back down the other side and when they reached the end, Sebastien had made to go left while Emma had made to go right, both insisting their way was the right one. For almost the next five minutes, they'd ignored everyone else and bickered back and forth about who was right and who was wrong before Sebastien threw his hands in the air in submission and allowed Emma to guide them back to the arena. The French man grumbling throughout every second of the journey and continuing to do so once they'd arrived.
"Very funny." Urs muttered shaking his head at Franky then at Sebastien, knowing that he and Emma had probably told her their plan, had sworn her to secrecy and she'd kept if for all these years. Now he understood why she giggled each time that particular tour was mentioned, especially when they remembered the Italian leg.
"Hmmn. I can't believe how big Gabe and Frank are now. It doesn't seem five minutes since you told me Cesca and Lottie were pregnant and now they're almost two. I hope I live long enough to become a great-grandfather." Sebastien stated, wiping laughter induced tears from his eyes.
"So do we. Have you got any plans for this afternoon?"
"Oui, Franky. Once I've cleaned up here, I........"
"We can do that. It's not like you've cooked us a banquet and left us huge mess to clear up." Franky interupted, looking around the kitchen and seeing nothing but pans and other implements waiting to be washed.
"Non, Franky. I made the mess, I clear it up."
"No, it's only a few bits."
"I don't care, I'm doing it." Sebastien stated firmly, staring at Franky, arms folded across his chest to let her know he wouldn't take no for an answer.
"Oh all right. You win."
"Hey! You never give in to me that easily. Almost three hours it took me to persuade you to have that portrait hung at the top of the stairs." Urs huffed and pouted playfully.
"That's because I've always had a little thing for the French accent." Franky teased in reply, giggling and her eyebrows raising quickly.
"Ahem! Like I was saying, once I've cleaned up here, I'm going to the Louvre with Marie, Eden, Monique their partners and children. It was one of Emma's favourite places, though I will never understand what she saw in abstract art. Jamais l'esprit que je ressens à ce sujet, il sera bon de se rappeler quelques-uns des moments heureux qu'elle a passés là-bas."
"Oui, ce sera." Urs and Franky replied together, holding hands and swallowing the last of the best wine either of them had ever tasted.
Sebastien nodded, drained his glass then cleared the table and began to tidy up looking at Franky's plate as he did so and apologising for forgetting that she wasn't that keen on French crisp lettuce due to its nutty flavour and for giving her so many fries to begin with. Urs looked at her while Sebastien headed for the sink and smiled, knowing that she'd never eaten more than fifteen fries and there had been at least ten more than that on her plate when Sebastien had set it down in front of her.
It didn't take the French man long to tidy up and they were soon walking behind him to the front door. Sebastien pulled Urs into a long, tight brotherly embrace and gave him several pats on the back while saying goodbye and calling him brother. He held Franky a little longer but just as tight then did something he'd never done before when he pulled back. He smiled, took hold of Franky's face in both of his hands and spent a couple of minutes smiling and looking into her eyes before placing a brotherly kiss on each of her cheeks.
"Au revoir pour l'instant..........ma belle soeur." He whispered, still smiling as a he pulled back.
"Au revoir pour l'instant...........mon frere." Franky returned, her eyes widening briefly having known the French man had considered her a sister for many years but never having heard him refer to her as such verbally.
With a promise to call a little more often and humming a happy tune, Sebastien left them standing on the doorstep. Neither of them moved until he'd disappeared from sight and once they were back inside, Urs locked the door, turned to face Franky and raised his eyebrows quickly to her while keeping the rest of his features stoic.
"Wh...........You're going to punish me for what I said at the table aren't you?" She asked, chewing on her bottom lip while he stalked towards her.
"Bien sûr..........and for the little secret you kept from me all these years." Urs replied, his fingers already working at undoing the buttons of the blouse she was wearing, tossing it over his head once he'd removed it, not caring wear it landed as he kissed her throat and slowly worked his way up to her mouth.
Despite the fact he'd 'punished' Franky for teasing him many times in the past, in almost exactly the same way, Urs didn't see a look of disappointment on her face as other items of clothing went flying across the room. He saw nothing other that what he'd always seen in her eyes. Complete and utter love for him mingled with that mischievious little glint that had been there since day one and a willingness to let him spend Gott alone knew how long teasing her womanhood with his fingers and mouth before he adjusted his postion, replaced his fingers with his aching manhood and slowly drove her to a final orgasm, both of them reaching the peak together, quietly moaning each other's names.
Some time later they lay naked on the lounge room floor, wrapped in each others arms, sated and happy for themselves. Urs happy that he could still make love to Franky at his age, her happy that the little red pill still had such an amazing affect on her libido.
Urs smiled as he looked down to Franky's now sleeping face, knowing that she'd done what she'd promised Emma she would do before she died, that Marie, Eden and Monique had taken the advice she'd given them over the VidCom and in turn they'd worked together to stop their beloved father from slowly slipping further and further into the depths of despair. Only once he'd remembered that tearfully made, almost deathbed promise did he close his eyes and join her in refreshing nap.
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Posts : 454
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:09 pm|| |
Chapter 240 - Almost Unbearable
With Franky's rings clutched tight in his right hand, Urs dropped down heavily once he'd entered the waiting room, not caring that his hip protested at such a sudden movement. His pain was nothing in comparison to that which Franky had endured over the past few weeks. Oral medication had barely helped, had made her dopey and completely unable to focus on anything. Pain patches had been a little better for a while, at least she'd been able to get a few hours sleep. Now though she seemed to spend a whole twenty-four hours in agony but was more worried about the fact she couldn't wear the rings any more. She'd lost so much weight recently they constantly slipped off and she now wore them on a chain around her neck.
He sighed out a long breath and looked towards the waiting room door, knowing that Franky had just been wheeled into an operating room and doctors had probably already started working to attach a pain pump. This would be the last thing they were able to do to make her comfortable, other than allowing her to go home anyway. He swallowed a sob, wishing the drug Nicholas had helped develop had been able to cure her completely, but all it had really done was give her more time and he was so grateful for that.
His thoughts drifted back to a few weeks ago, three days after they'd celebrated their fifty-fourth wedding anniversary and Franky's eighty-fourth birthday. With both of them wanting to know why her bathroom habits had changed, her appetite had decreased significantly, so much so that she'd lost almost eleven kilos in weight, and why over the counter medications hadn't made much of a difference, she'd made an appointment while they were on their way back from Willisau. As soon as her doctor had called him into the office, Urs had known something wasn't right. Even though Franky thought Stuart was overreacting, she'd gone for the blood test he'd ordered as well as the CT scan. Neither of them had expected that diagnosis from such vague symptoms. How lower back pain, mild stomach cramps, constipation and a loss of appetite had even led Stuart to suspect that was what was wrong with Franky in the first place, Urs didn't have a clue.
Those horrible words had barely escaped from the specialist's mouth when Franky had leapt out of her seat, arguing that some sort of mistake had been made since she didn't carry the gene that would have made her more prone to develop the disease, sure she would feel much worse if she really was at stage four already. Asking for another test despite being shown the scan images, the affected organs clearly visible even to someone with no medical knowledge. Wide eyed and visibily shaking, she'd turned to him and apologised with tears running down her cheeks. He'd immediately stood, squatted in front of her and asked her why she was apologising, she wasn't to know, what she had had always been a difficult cancer to diagnose and still was. She'd nodded once she'd stopped calling herself stupid then said she should have remembered about Marie.
Hearing the name of Sebatien's mother had brought those memories flooding back and, even though the same disease had taken her life, her symptoms had been so much different. At one point her stomach had been so swollen, she'd looked at least six months pregnant and she'd gained a lot of weight. Franky hadn't shown either of those symptoms so how could he have even expected her to go in that direction. Hell, even he thought eating more roughage or simply taking a stronger laxative would help and that the back pain was a result of what she used to do out on the ice.
Once they'd managed to compose themselves a little, Urs and Franky had listened to the teary-eyed specialist explain how he would like Franky to be treated. Since Nicholas and his colleagues had made their breakthrough, they both knew chemotherapy and radiation therapy were rapidly becoming treatments of the past for early stage cancers but neither would do Franky much good anyway, except make her sicker than she already was. At least Nicholas's development offered the possibility of a little more time. Time for Franky to get her affairs in order and time to make a few more happy memories. A complete hysterectomy wouldn't cure her either, since that foul disease had already spread beyond the organs that would have been removed, mostly to her liver and lungs.
With treatment arrangements made, they'd made their way home somehow, called their children and waited until each and every one of them was in the house before telling them that their mother had ovarian cancer. Of course they'd all reacted badly, Kurt worst of all once Urs had struggled to tell them that their mother had a matter of weeks left to live, even with the planned treatment. Tears had continued to stream down Kurt's face while he told Franky that he and Maria would move back in to take care of her. Franky replying by saying that they would do no such thing, she would do what she could, while she could and refusing to listen to any argument to the contrary until Urs had stepped in and made her see sense. Kurt and Maria had moved in, but hadn't babied Franky at all, they'd agreed to let her do as much as she felt capable of doing as had the rest of their children.
For the first few weeks, few people outside the family would have known Franky was so seriously ill. Not until she'd collapsed at the bottom of the stairs a couple of days ago anyway, mere moments after she'd signed the paperwork that would transfer her ownership of the garages over to Frank and her trusteeship of 'Cleave House' over to their daughters and daughters-in-law. Urs had thought she'd gone when he reached her, but luckily, Nicholas had been in the house and had called an ambulance once he'd checked her over and found her still breathing. Dehydration and fatigue had caused her to pass out and once she'd been rehydrated her Oncologist had come to speak to her. Apparently, he'd watched her for a few moments, had seen her tossing around on the bed, trying to get comfortable and had recommended the pain pump once Franky had admitted the patches weren't really helping any more.
Eventually, Franky had agreed to having the minor procedure carried out with the proviso that she be allowed to go home as soon as possible. "We'll see." was all that Andrew had said before leaving her to get some much needed rest. Franky had replied that they would not see, just like she'd resisted every request Andrew had made for her to go into a hospice over the previous six weeks.
Once Andrew Cunningham had gone, Franky had turned to Urs and asked if he thought she was asking too much by requesting to spend whatever time she had left at home. Urs had squeezed the hand he'd been holding while waiting for her to come round, shaken his head and told her no. If ending her life at home was what she wanted, then he was going to do everything in his power to make sure that was what happened. With teary eyes, Urs had watched Franky fall into a restless slumber, hoping that she had enough time left to be able to finally see what he was having done to her old office. He'd huffed a quick laugh then sniffed when he thought about that, knowing that she didn't have a clue what was going on behind the door, due to the fact it was kept locked and he had the only key.
Hearing the waiting room door open, Urs turned his head in that direction and smiled a little as their children and grandchildren filed in. All the girls looked like they'd been crying again and all but one of the boys had tears in their eyes. Urs looked at his namesake, knowing that he was pushing what he was actually feeling to one side and that he would probably cry once he knew Franky had made it through the surgery.
Where they'd gone for their walk, Urs didn't know for sure, but suspected they hadn't strayed far. He knew they'd more than likely gone wherever they had together and all sorts of emotions had probably coming flooding out. He looked from one to the next, smiling with pride, knowing that not one day had passed without at least two of them being in the house, helping out, reliving memories. Despite her pain, they'd all made Franky laugh several times whenever they'd recounted an embarrassing childhood story and just a couple of days ago, she'd been able to sit in the music/dance room smiling while listening to Jordi and Kurt reprise their performance of the Beach Boys 'Wipeout'.
Silence reigned in the room for a few moments, then the door opened again, a young nurse stepped in and informed that Franky was now back in her room. Everyone released a sigh of relief and accepted the fact that only Urs would be allowed to go in and see her until tomorrow. Even though they weren't particularly happy about that fact, they all trouped down to the private room and arranged themselves at the window while Urs went in.
For the first time in weeks he could see that Franky was resting peacefully and smiled when he didn't hear her moaning. He looked towards the glass that seperated him from the children and smiled a little broader as he nodded his head. Once he'd seen them smile, he sat down, took hold of Franky's hand and whispered her petname.
"Ice." She replied through a sighed out breath. "I'm so.......sorry."
"What for?" Urs asked, using the fingers of his free hand to wipe away the tears that streamed down her face while fighting hard to stop his own from making their escape.
"Not.......allow......agreeing to them to doing this.........before now. I feel so............comfortable. For the first time in......in what feels like years, I feel like I could........make love........with you."
"Ssssssssssssh! You don't need to apologise because we haven't done that for a long time, angel. You don't need to apologise for anything you've done in the past few weeks. You always have had a high pain threshold, I know that. You had most of the children without any pain relief and how many times have I walked into the house to find you working on the garage accounts even though you've had a migraine?"
"I don't know........a lot."
"Can you do one little thing for me?"
"Open your eyes a little and look towards the corridor. Let everyone know you're...... okay."
Franky nodded, slowly opened her eyes, turned her head and smiled as broad as she could given that she was still under the influence of anasthesia. She scanned the faces then turned to look at Urs as she reached the person standing to the far right.
"Oh Ursy." She sighed with a headshake then settled back down to sleep.
Knowing that she wasn't referring to him, Urs turned his head to look at their eldest grandchild and quickly noticed he'd released the tears he'd been holding back. That was how things remained for a few moments then Frank came in and informed they were all heading back to the house. Work on Franky's old office was finally complete, workers were packing up their tools as he spoke and they wanted to get the room put together so that she could come home as soon as possible. Urs nodded, handed him the key then stood and gave them all a tight hug before watching them walk towards the hospital's entrance together.
He returned to his previous position, gently placed the chain back around her neck and promptly fell asleep. He had no idea how much time had past when he felt the light touch on his shoulder but he opened his eyes to find that it was dark outside and the corridor lights had been dimmed.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, but there's a gentleman at reception, asking to see you. Says he's your brother." The male nurse informed.
Knowing who Gus was talking about, Urs stood, placed a quick kiss on Franky's lips then left the room. He walked as quickly as he could to the reception area and was immediately yanked into a tight embrace which he returned.
"What are you doing here?" Urs asked once the two men had released their holds on each other and quickly wiped their eyes.
"Jordi called me to let me know what was happening with Franky. I thought it was about time I.......sorted the old house out and put it on the market so I made the quickest arrangements I could. Can I go and see her?"
"Not right now, Seb. Strictly no visitors until tomorrow. She's comfortable for the first time in weeks and I don't want her dist............"
"It's okay. No need to explain." Sebastien nodded then let out a long sigh. "How much.........Have they said how long..........."
"Not exactly, just........a month maybe.......at the most. But considering they said she wouldn't make it to the New Year, I.........I don't believe it. I don't want her to go, but every second she still here means so much."
"Oui, I remember feeling like that when......Emma......was.......d......"
Urs nodded, knowing that Emma had passed away from cancer as well. Hers had been in her kidneys, she'd shown no symptoms whatsoever, had been treated but had only survived for two years following diagnosis. Despite her illness, she'd packed a lot into her's and Sebastien's life in those two years, both of them doing things they'd always wanted to do but had kept putting off. All bar one dream had been fulfilled by the time she died and Sebastien had taken the trip to the Great Wall of China without her while Urs and Franky had been in Willisau, celebrating their fifty-fourth anniversary. However, he hadn't done so alone, their children and grandchildren had gone with him. All of them reporting that they'd had a wonderful time as soon as they'd returned to Paris.
"It's not fair........She doesn't deserve to.....to die like that, Seb. Not after.......everything she's been through."
"Non, she doesn't and neither did Emma or Maman. But neither of them ever complained about life not being fair, they've said many times that they've had wonderful lives despite the merde they've been put through. Emma......Emma was always telling me that her life had turned out a million times better than she'd ever dreamt it would because she met and fell in love with me. I'm sure Franky feels the same about you."
"Ja, she does. She said almost the exact same thing..........the other day. Once we'd been told that noth..........." Urs nodded, tears beginning to well in his eyes again and coughing in an attempt to stop them making their escape. "It's time for me to.........to .be stronger than...........I ever thought I.......than I've ever needed to be........Isn't it?"
"Oui......Oui it is mon frere."
Urs and Sebastien stood in silence for a few moments, looking into each others eyes both of them knowing how their wives had wanted to die. Neither of them in pain but rather like Barbara-Jean had done or alone in their sleep if Urs and Sebastien went before them. Emma hadn't gotten all of her wish, Sebastien had joined her on the hospital bed and held her close just a few moments before she took her final breath. At first he'd refused to believe that she'd gone and had only released his hold on her once a teary-eyed Eden had gently squeezed the top of his left arm and had slowly shaken his head at him.
The two men embraced again as that memory faded, then Gus approached and let them know he didn't see any harm in letting Sebastien go and stand at the window for a couple of minutes as long as he was quiet. He did exactly that and gave Urs a teary-eyed smile before leaving. Urs returned to Franky's side, took hold of her hand and made himself comfortable once more. He'd just closed his eyes when he heard Franky muttering and quickly raised his head.
"What was that angel?"
"I said. What's Seb doing here?"
"Wanted to see you. He's going to sort the old house out and put it up for sale. At least that's what he said."
A smile graced Franky's face and she nodded slowly before going back to sleep. Urs smiled too, knowing that Marie, Eden and Monique had been trying to persuade their father to sell the property for the past year. He'd always refused, thinking that one of them would want it for themselves, refusing to believe they were completely happy in their own modest places and disbelieving all three of them when they said they didn't need to own bricks and mortar to remember all the happy times they'd spent there.
Knowing that Franky had been worried about the fact the Frenchman had been arguing with his children again and that that worry had now been eased, Urs lowered his head to the mattress and fell asleep. He did so, secure in the knowledge that Franky was no longer in constant pain and hoping she would live long enough to celebrate her eighty-fifth birthday despite what her latest scan had revealed.
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Age : 55
Location : Nottingham, England
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:39 am|| |
Chapter 241 - Knocking On Heaven's Door When he'd first opened the door to Franky's old office, Urs thought he'd done the wrong thing by having it converted into a bedroom and bathroom for her, because for the first time in a long time he hadn't been able to read her expression. He'd just been about to close his eyes and apologise when he'd heard her sniff then swallow hard."Oh honey. It's beautiful." Franky informed, reaching for his hand, linking her fingers through his and squeezing gently."Really?""YES, really. Dummyhead."Nodding, Urs leaned over her, kissed her gently then moved around to the back of the wheelchair and pushed her in so that she could see what he'd had done in greater detail. Through all their years together, she'd never once suggested decorating their bedroom in such light colours, always agreeing with his choice despite the fact she had spent most of the time there in the early years. At her insistance he stopped pushing and watched the tears stream down her face when the first thing she looked at was the white console table where he'd placed all the framed photographs of those who meant so much to her. Somehow she managed to turn around and smile when she spotted the two frames on the bedside table. One holding a portrait of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchilden, the other, Ciara's black and white shot of the two of them, taken just two weeks before Franky had been diagnosed, the pair of them set against a black background, wearing black polo-necked tops so only their faces and hands could be seen. Himself standing behind the woman he still loved, holding her in a slightly dipped dance postion, their foreheads and noses pressed together. Both of them smiling. Franky's favourite shot of the many Ciara had taken during those two hours.By the end of her first night home he knew without a shadow of doubt that she would have decorated in such a fashion if, and probably only if, she had spent her life alone. Being in that room allowed her to rest when she needed to and watch their family's antics at the same time. She'd giggled a lot and the following day Sebastien had arrived. They'd talked for hours, the Frenchman bringing her up to date with what was happening with his family. Franky's one and only complaint about her treatment being that she hated the fact she still had a very poor appetite. A small smoothy and she felt like she'd eaten a banquet. The upside being that she hadn't lost her hair and couldn't feel much thanks to the pain pump and the drug that flowed through her system. With the painkiller being delivered directly into her spinal canal, it meant that she that didn't need to be given high doses and therefore it didn't make her sleepy or confused. Sebastien had smiled as he left her to talk to her lawyers and had told Urs that he was thankful that Franky wasn't in as much pain as his mother and Emma had been.Though he'd never thought about it all the time Franky had been suffering, Urs's mind had flown back to that time and by the time he'd finished remembering what he'd seen and heard back then, he found himself feeling thankful that Franky hadn't suffered that badly either. It really was the last thing she deserved considering what she'd been through before and after meeting him. At least the palliative care nurse they'd been assigned always turned up in plenty of time to top the pump up and change the nutrient bag. He'd stepped out of the small en-suite over the past few days to find those two women giggling about something he hadn't been made privy to but the eyeroll Rain gave seemed to indicate it was yet another in a long line of embarrassing stories about her son. From the moment they'd met, the two women had got along very well, despite the fifty year age difference and Rain had never become frustrated with Franky. The young woman had also listened carefully to how Sylvie, Serena, Ciara, Carina and Maria had wanted to help take care of the woman they adored and not one word of protest had passed her lips on that subject. She'd been more than willing to leave bathing and dressing Franky to them, none of them had been embarrassed about doing that and Franky hadn't been the least bit bothered that they'd all seen her naked.
Now he'd stepped out of the shower again, having woken a little later than he had been doing recently. He dried and dressed himself quickly then returned to the newest bedroom and looked at Franky. He knew why he'd woken later than normal today and still couldn't quite shake the fact he felt a little ashamed of becoming aroused the previous evening. Two things amazed him more than anything about that, one that Franky had smiled when she'd the peak in the sheets and she'd been more than willing to slowly take him over the edge, the other that he'd been able to function without any kind of medical help at approaching ninety years old. He'd heard and read stories about men being capable of fathering children well into their eighties and a few in their nineties but hadn't really believed them, until last night anyway. Not that he would even contemplate the idea of finding someone new once Franky had gone. To his mind, she was irreplaceable and if that meant he would have to live the rest of his life without knowing the joys of making love again, then so be it.
It still also surprised him that there were some people who thought she was only after him for his money. If they knew exactly how much she was worth, it wouldn't be her they were referring to as a 'golddigger' and even he'd been shocked to see how much she had in her bank accounts. He'd never known exactly over the past few years, but had guesstimated and checking her accounts on the computer when Franky had been too weak to do it herself had told him his estimate had been off by miles. If there was one thing he was sure of, she had definitely invested the ten million her Uncle Lou had left her very wisely. So much so that she could have left him years ago, paid for all the things they possessed herself and still have enough left to be able to do everything she wanted and go wherever she liked without him.
He grimaced slightly as he sat down on the bed and made himself comfortable against the headboard. Franky was still sleeping, looking peaceful and serene. To look at her, it was hard to believe she was coming to the end of her life. This particular morning, she had a glow about her and physically she looked more like she'd endured a long battle with food poisoning rather than cancer. He just wished that was the case. He knew her time was close, but she'd survived longer than her doctor thought she would. She'd made it through Christmas and into the New Year as he'd hoped she would and now Valentine's Day was just two days away. He swallowed hard, knowing that she'd told everyone not to buy her any gifts for Christmas, requesting they donate the money they might have spent to charity instead and he suspected there was something secreted somewhere for him to open on that saint's special day. He was pretty certain of that because a parcel had arrived a couple of days ago and she hadn't let him see it as she usually did. Instead she'd asked Frank to hide it somewhere and he'd agreed with tears welling in his eyes.
Feeling the sting of tears beginning, Urs closed his eyes, sniffed them back and took deep breaths until the sensation was almost gone. When he opened his eyes again, he wasn't surprised to see Franky staring up at him, her eyes full of concern for him.
"What are you thinking about? You don't regret what happened last night, do you? I sure don't." She informed with a smile, slowly moving herself closer to him and draping an arm across his lap.
"A......little. I don't regret you stopping me pushing your hand away though. I was......I was remembering how I reacted a few days after you were diagnosed. Everything I said........in that doctor's office just........completely went out of my head. I'm so sorry, angel. I should never have raised my voice to you and said that you should have remembered everything you'd read after Seb told us about his mother."
"Don't honey. Don't apologise again for reacting the way you did. You've already apologised more than enough and I've forgiven you. I want what.....whatever time I have left to be happy, remembering the good times we've shared. Not crying about...........the fact I don't I have long left."
"I know." Urs nodded, drying his eyes and taking another deep breath. "What would you like to do today?"
"Well since it's pouring down outside, I'd like to lay snuggled up against you on the swingseat in the poolroom while the children and our grandchildren have some fun in the pool together. It's been a long time since I've seen that."
"Okay. I'll go and tell them then."
Hearing a knock at the door as he finished speaking, Urs kissed Franky on the lips, stood and opened the door to admit Rain. He left the two women alone and headed for the kitchen, somehow knowing that's where everybody would be. He took a deep breath, sighed it out slowly then told the family what Franky wanted to see today. Ciara had just prepared her mother her favourite smoothy and she handed the glass over to Urs before following her siblings, neices and nephews upstairs to change into a swimsuit. While they got ready, Urs returned to Franky and watched her take a few mouthfuls from the small glass while Rain packed up her things. Once she was ready to leave and go to her next patient, he escorted her to the door. As usual she didn't say much as she placed her bags onto the front passenger seat of her car. However, Urs did notice the fact she had tears in her eyes and questioned her why.
"Oh, it's nothing. One of my colleagues is leaving today and I'm going to miss her terribly. She's gotten me through some really tough times. Don't you worry about me, I'll be all right."
"Okay. I'll see you tomorrow then?"
"Yeah. To......Tomorrow." Rain replied, making her way into the driver's seat and heading off down the drive much quicker than she normally did.
Believing that Rain had told him the truth and assuming that she must be very close to her colleague, Urs closed the front door and made his way back to Franky. He crossed the threshold just in time to find Ursy ignoring his grandmother's protests and gently lifting her into his arms. Urs chuckled a little when he saw the exasperated look Franky had on her face and walked by his namesake's side until they reached the swingseat. He sat first then wrapped an arm around Franky once she was comfortable.
The seat moved back and forth in a fluid motion for the next few hours, himself and Franky spending the time watching their family enjoy themselves. They giggled when one teased another, shook their heads when one showed off, rolled their eyes when others had to remind their cousins they were supposed to be having fun, not writing songs or studying. For all those hours, nothing but laughter resounded around the room and come one o'clock everyone was hungry again. Once again Franky couldn't face eating a sandwich and decided to go to sleep four hours after she's swallowed small another smoothy.
Before she settled down, she managed to raise her head and look at Urs with very tired eyes and a weak smile on her face.
"I haven't said it much over the past few weeks, but I need to now. Thank you for all you've done, honey. Today and in the past. I love you so very, very much, I could never tell you how much enough times. I'm sorry, I'm going to.......I can't stay awake much longer. I really need to.....to........to sleep now........I love you, Ice."
"I love you too, Fire."
Knowing that she always fell asleep around four o'clock, Urs smiled, gave her a gentle kiss and continued to hold her while she slept. Her words didn't strike him until an hour or so later, when he focused on the way she was breathing, each one shallower and accompanied with a little whine as she exhaled. He felt the sting of tears again but this time allowed them to run freely down his face when he realised what was happening. Somehow, he didn't allow himself to sob until she'd released her final breath with a long, gentle growl. Within microseconds of hearing their father's heart break, the family gathered round, but no-one asked why they'd heard such a heart wrenching cry of 'Nein, Nein, Noooooooo!'. It was all too clear as they looked at the closed eyed, serene face resting against his chest. He tried to lift her into his lap himself but couldn't manage her weight by himself. Without having to be asked, Frank and Kurt stepped forward and gave him a brief smile through tear-filled eyes before helping him to do that.
Having stopped the seat from swinging mere seconds after Franky had taken her final breath in this world, Urs started again, his already tear-streaked face hidden from the matching ones surrounding him. He didn't want to release his hold on her once her doctor had arrived to confirm that she'd gone and only did so enough that he could do what he needed to do. Other than to say he was sorry for the family's loss, the young man said nothing as he handed over the required paperwork. He withdrew to another room but returned after a few moments to let them know what would happen next then left wiping his eyes as Jordi escorted him to the door.
Urs looked outside as Kurt lifted Franky into his arms to carry her up to where she'd really wanted to spend her final days. It was still raining, though nothing like it had been all day, heavy rain seemed to have become a torrential downpour over the last few minutes and somehow it seemed right. He followed Kurt upstairs, the rest of the family trailing behind. He stood close to the bed, watched Kurt gently deposit his mother on top of the bedding and noticed that he had his eyes tightly closed as he bowed his head and kissed her forehead. A look to the doorway told Urs that the rest of the family were doing the same, the females unable to stop the tears streaming down their face. Things stayed that way for a minute or two, then Serena managed to compose herself enough to speak.
"Come on, let's go back downstairs. Papi wants to be alone with Mami for a little while. We'll all get a chance to say........."
She didn't need to finish what she was going to say since all of her siblings had touched her arm and nodded their heads, their way of letting her know where she was going. Urs watched them all move out of the room and waited for the door to close before he settled himself beside Franky and gently moved her into their favourite position. For the first time in a very long time, he cried like a baby but couldn't remember exactly when that had been and he didn't even hear Ciara's first or second gentle knocks. He heard the third one and swallowed hard when she stepped in to inform the ambulance had arrived to take Franky's body away. He asked to be given a couple of minutes, attempted to dry his eyes as the two men nodded then reluctantly left the bed.
He knew where Franky would be going and why, but didn't really want her to be kept somewhere so cold until he'd made the funeral arrangements. That was just the way it had to be in order to keep her remains in good condition. He swallowed hard several times as he watched the two young men gently lift Franky onto a stretcher and thought he heard both of them sniff as they fastened the bodybag's zip. He accepted their condolences with a slow nod of his head before he stepped back to follow them downstairs. It was as they reached the bedroom doorway that he noticed something out of place. Two envelopes stood propped against the mirror of Franky's dressing table. Both marked with his name, one also marked 'Not to be opened until my funeral'. The hand so familiar he would have been able to pick it out instantly if it had been placed in a huge pile of similarly marked envelopes.
Desperate to know what they contained but knowing he had something else to do first, Urs left the letters where they were, followed behind the two men and stood with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as she was placed in the back of the ambulance. Despite the fact it was still raining very heavily, no-one moved to go back inside until the ambulance had disappeared from view. Though he felt more tired than he could ever recall, Urs knew what he had to do next, there were so many people to told. Frank seemed to realise what he was thinking and told him to leave all but one call to him and his siblings. Urs nodded and headed towards the VidCom. He didn't have to say a word to Sebastien, he knew as soon as he saw his face and quietly asked a question.
To which Urs nodded slowly with his eyes closed, tears streaming down his face while listening to his French brother sob almost like he had when Emma had passed away. "Desole, mon ami.
Unable to speak, Urs opened his eyes, tried to smile in thanks then ended the call with nothing more than a few very slow nods. Thinking that he wouldn't sleep for a long time, for the next few hours, he remained downstairs with everyone else and didn't even think about going to bed until the last of them had decided it was time to settle down for the night. He could hear sobs as he closed the door to the master suite and bit down hard on his bottom lip in a vain attempt to stop his own tears falling. He picked up the envelopes, knowing that Franky had been writing a lot since she'd come home but hadn't picked up a pen at all yesterday. He sighed, made himself comfortable on the bed and opened the one that bore just his name. He took a deep breath, unfolded the sheets and began to read Franky's last message to him. 'My Darling Urs, my love, my life, my heart, my world, I want to begin this letter by saying that I'm sorry that I couldn't go on any longer and gave up this particular fight. I'm sorry that I have gone before you rather than going with you. I know you feel lonely right now, but you are not alone. The children have agreed to stay for as long as you need them and I...........I really haven't gone anywhere. I am all around you, always have been and always will be until we're reunited. I know you thought I had it within me to hold on for a couple of more days so that we could celebrate Valentine's Day together. I am so very, very sorry that I couldn't do that for you honey, but there will something for you to open on that day from me and with all my love. I also know that even though you knew I was dying, you haven't given much thought to funeral arrangements in all that time. Just remember when you are making those arrangements not to make too much fuss. I know the thought of having me cremated is probably tearing you apart right now, but it is the only way nowadays. There are a few things I would like you to make note of and try to accomplish on that sad day and afterwards, please don't worry too much if you can't do it all. I'll be happy, even if you just manage one thing out of all the things that follow. Firstly, I would like to go to my eternal rest wearing the red dress you bought for our wedding anniversary last year. It's still in it's bag, near the front of my closet. I know you won't have forgotten where I put it the morning after we got back from 'Ramone's'. Secondly, I would prefer it if everyone who attends the service did so wearing bright colours rather than black. It will help them all remember the good times we shared, that I am pretty sure of. Thirdly, well I don't need to tell you where I want to be placed afterwards and I love you so much for buying that little plot of land next to my parents' s grave a couple of years ago even if the price was extortionate. Fourthly, please don't push Seb into attending. You know he's really only just beginning to get over Emma's death. Much as I know you will want him there, don't get huffy if he says he feels he can't do it. I know you're sitting there wondering what the hell the other envelope contains. I won't go into detail, I'll just say they're my final messages for all our children and grandchildren that I would like you to read aloud during the service then hand to them once it's over. Or at the wake if they won't give you time to do that. I have left quite a lot of final words. Please try not to get too upset once you've been told the full contents of my will. I know you'll find it hard to watch our children and grandchildren take what I have left them out of the house, but you know they'll treasure them. The vast majority of what I own, however, has been left to you. I know you'd rather have me than all the money in the world, but I really hope you carry out my final wishes once you've heard what they are. If anyone can accomplish that, it is you, Ice. As you can see from the tear stains on the paper already, I'm finding it hard to write everything I want to say. And I.......better not say I'm sorry again, especially since you've always said that you only have to see my face to know how much I love you. Even though I am gone, that love will continue, honey. It has burned since the first day you asked me for date and every day since, even through the times when I've been angry or upset with you. It will never, ever die. Stay strong my darling, I know with all my heart that you can and will go on without me. Goodbye for now, Ice. Liebe für immer Franky (aka Fire) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
Two hours after he'd figured out this last note had probably been written while he was sleeping the night away and that Franky had probably asked Rain to put the envelopes on the dressing-table, he was still awake and had read the letter twice more, his head shaking and tears streaming down his face each time he reached the parts where Franky apologised. She had absolutely nothing to apologise for after all. He neatly refolded the two sheets of paper and returned them to the envelope while reminding himself to put it in the memory box with the rest of the love notes they'd exchanged over the years.
He'd just begun to settle down to try and sleep when he heard two bedroom doors open and two sad feminine voices talking quietly outside though he couldn't make out what they were saying. Wanting to make sure that Francesca and Carlotta were coping, he slipped from under the bedclothes, fastened a robe around himself and made his way downstairs. It didn't take him long to figure out where they'd gone because he could see that the kitchen light was on. He stepped into that room and smiled when he saw them standing at the open back door, arms wrapped around each other, looking up to the blackness above. He approached and gave them both a quick smile when they both turned round to face him.
"What are you two doing down here at this time in a morning? Missing Conan and Drew?" He asked, nodding towards the kitchen clock which showed it was 4:17am.
"No. Not really. We couldn't sleep because of the rain, Grandpapi. It hasn't stopped all day and I........." Francesca informed with tears streaming down her face, head shaking and unable to finish what she was saying.
"We miss her so much already, Grandpapi." Carlotta confirmed, roughly wiping her eyes.
"I know you do." Urs nodded as he pulled both young women into a tight embrace. "It might help if you remember what Grandmami used to say whenever the two of you complained when it was raining like this. 'It's all right. It's just the angels in heaven crying because one of their most beautiful earth bound sisters has finally gone home.'"
Both girls nodded then headed back upstairs once they'd composed themselves. Urs decided to stay where he was for a couple of minutes, breathing in the cool night air with his eyes closed. He sighed out a long breath, then began to close the door only to stop midway. He looked heavenward and smiled broader than he had in days when he saw a single, solitary star shining much brighter than those that surrounded it.
"Liebe für immer, Fire. Liebe für immer." He nodded after blowing a kiss towards that one particular star.
He locked the door a few seconds later, returned to the master suite and pulled Franky's pillow into his arms. As he closed his eyes, a small smile crossed his face. Finally, after a full twenty four hours the rain had stopped and England's native birds were beginning to sing again.
Do not close the book just yet.
Posts : 454
Join date : 2009-04-10
Age : 55
Location : Nottingham, England
Humor : Dirty!!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:23 am|| |
Chapter 242 - Con Te Partiro
Urs took a moment to look at the photograph sitting atop the coffin and huffed a quick, silent laugh, knowing that Franky would tell him off for ordering the Cala Lilly adorned casket, never mind spending so much money to have it lined with the hottest red, highest quality man-made silk effect material money could buy. It did seem extravagent considering what was going to happen to it, but she was worth every penny he'd paid and more. It wasn't the most extravagent he'd seen on display at the funeral director's, just a simple red coffin with carvings of Franky's favourite flowers glued to the side.
He smiled softly when he saw no hint of black, other than that on the shoes of his children and grandchildren and the ties fastened around every male's neck. Next to his vacant seat sat Frank, Carina by his side, trying hard not to cry, holding his hand tight. Their daughters sat close to their parents, holding their sleeping and blissfully unaware sons tight against them. Conan, Carlotta's husband of almost four years holding her against him, still upset that he hadn't been able to get back to England in time to be with her the day Franky died, probably still cursing the fact that automated air traffic control in Los Angeles had gone haywire on his first day of leave. At least he'd arrived late the following morning and he was there for her now. Drew with his arms wrapped around Cesca both of them still unable to believe he'd walked away from a bad crash in the limo completely unscathed just moments after Franky had slipped away.
His namesake and one of the four pallbearers came next, Sylvie squeezing her son's hand, tearfully telling him how proud she was of him. Next to her, with his arms around her and their daughter, sat a sniffing Nicholas. Kurt sat behind Frank, patting his only child on the back for the way he'd carried his grandmother into the chapel. Maria giving him a smile as he took his place between her and his girlfriend of one month, Erika. Serena came next, her twins separating her from Hadley, Serena kissing her son on the cheek for being brave enough to bear his grandmother into the cemetery chapel despite the fact he'd broken wrist a couple of days before. Jordi had seated himself next to Hadley, with Melinda between him and Gaston. Ciara sat beside him, tears streaming down her face just like her husband, Simeon. The couple never having regretted having children of their own.
To Urs's left on the front pew sat a quietly crying Gabriel, no Christie to comfort him because she'd died a few weeks after Emma, but there beside him sat his daughter, Francesca, very much a girly girl and not liking her name shortened in any way. Her new husband, Marco, sat beside her, his step-daughter wrapped in his arms. Urs swallowed, knowing how much Gabriel had wanted to beat Enya's real father when Francesca had been found bruised all over, her right eye black and very swollen. Barrett came next, holding his son, Gabriel Frank against him, squeezing his wife, Avril's hand tight. Dillon's face he couldn't see because he had his head lowered, obviously trying to stop himself crying if the way he held Rose's right hand was anything to go by. Of all Gabriel's children, he was the one who'd grown closest to Franky and he'd fulfilled her final request just as well as Ursy, Gino and Hadley had. Dillon turned his head briefly to look at the man who'd given his shoulder a comforting squeeze and did his best to thank his sniffing little brother, Mitchell, for the support he was offering. The two nodded at each other then returned to what they'd been doing before, Mitchell attempting to dry his eyes while Lana gripped his left hand tight. Lana didn't seem to mind that her husband was paying more attention to his brother rather than their two sons at the moment, she'd always known how Dillon felt about Franky and was more than willing to comfort Mitchell Gabriel and Barrett Dillon Francis by herself for a few seconds.
Michael cut a lonely figure, sitting behind Gabriel, his hands clasped together and eyes lightly closed, obviously thinking of Byron as well as Franky until someone touched him on the shoulder and he took hold of their hand. Urs looked at her and recognised her as his cousin Rose's daughter, Marianne. Further back on both sides, sat Franky's family members, what remained of his family, friends, current and former employees, volunteers and the everyday people they'd come to know as a couple and seperately.
Of all the people that had become familiar to him over the years there was only one family missing. Blair having suffered a heart attack a couple of days ago and still in hospital, his children there by his side as they should be, hoping he would make a full recovery. Urs smiled briefly, knowing exactly how hard Franky would have kicked Blair's butt for even threatening to sign himself out of hospital just so that he could attend today's service.
He looked to Sebastien who'd placed himself next to Simeon and watched him roll his eyes backwards at the light blue suit he was wearing, knowing that he didn't think the colour suited him at all and how much Emma would be giggling if she could see his face. Their children and grandchildren sat a little further back. David and Lauren's descendants sat behind them with Carlos and Barbara-Jean's family.
So far, they'd got through singing one hymn and listening to the vicar tell the packed chapel of Franky's life, now it was his turn to do what she'd asked of him in her final note. Urs coughed, removed a few sheets of paper from his jacket pocket and began to read a poem.
"God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, 'Peace be Thine'.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn't go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home."
He finished, smiling softly and breathing deep as he flicked the first sheet over and looked at their smiling friends and family.
"A few............Erm.........A few days before Franky died she asked me not to talk about her too much today, but rather to remind our children and grandchildren of the proudest moments she remembered and to give them some words of encouragement so here goes. It's her list by the way, not mine. I'll read them as she wrote them." He paused to take a deep breath.
"Sylvie. For one so shy and quiet when we first met, I still find it hard to believe that you grew into such an outstanding performer. My proudest memory of you is not all those high-class recitals you've given over the years. No, it's the first time you ever performed in front of an audience, the Christmas show when Stephanie had broken her wrist. That and the day you walked down the aisle on your father's arm. You looked so beautiful even Nicholas was crying, don't let him tell you he wasn't. I know better."
He paused to flick the sheet over, listening to quiet giggling as he did so.
"Francis. Don't scowl, I know you're not that keen on your full name, it's the only way you take after me, that and the fact you can't sing of course. My little mischief maker. Always wanting to know how things work. My proudest memory of you, besides the day you married Carina of course and watching you become a wonderful father, is when you won your first motorcross championship, despite the fact you scared me when you came off following that first high jump. To watch you get back on the bike, catch up with field then pull ahead of them to win was simply........amazing."
"Kurt. It has to be the day you sang that old Carpenter's number 'Sing', leading the school choir at the age of thirteen that makes my heart swell with pride. I know how hard it was for you to do that, considering the bullying you'd endured. I've never seen anyone with stagefright that bad. Don't worry, I threw the shoes out eventually. The day you married Maria also holds a special place in my heart, particularly the look I saw on your face when you saw that she was wearing my Garnets. The stunned goldfish as it became known. Like your big brother, you too are a wonderful father."
"Serena. Other than watching you walk down to Hadley wearing my wedding dress, seeing you win your first England Junior Skating Championship and go on to win the nationals at the age of sixteen made me so proud. I had a funny feeling you would surpass me on the ice each time I gave you a lesson and you did. However, that is nothing in comparison to the wonderful mother you have become. You have done amazing job without much help from me. And to think when you found out you were expecting twins you said you wouldn't be able to cope. You did make me laugh with some of things you came out with."
"Ciara." Urs paused to knock a couple of tears from his cheeks and took another deep breath, touching the tear-stained piece of paper. "Ciara. Oh how pleased I was that bone marrow transplant worked. You fought that horrible disease so hard and with so much determination. I'll admit, I was upset when you said you didn't want children, but that's your's and Simeon's choice. As long as you're happy that's all I care about, all I ever have cared about and I leave knowing you are happy. Your photography is amazing, you pay such care and attention to those people who feel the need to have a momento of a lost child. That is the work I am most proud off. I know there are a couple of pieces your father isn't very keen on hanging in our home, but I know he won't take them down now I'm gone."
"Flavian. Only ever with us in body, held forever in our hearts."
"Jordi. I never thought I would see the day when you would climb 'Devil's Drop'. You were so very afraid of heights. Watching you do so with Kurt and myself encouraging you all the way, seeing you beam that wonderful smile when you reached the top, despite the fact you were shaking like a leaf when I hugged you. It was worth all the tantrums and tears. Don't give up now that I'm no longer there to encourange you, I know you enjoy climbing so much. I will never forget the day you and Gaston brought Melinda home, I knew she would have two amazing daddies and she has."
"My beautiful, darling grandchildren. Urs, you scared the.........forgive me vicar.......you scared the living crap out of me the first time you made your way up to a thirty foot diving board at the age of ten, I almost sent your father up to get you down. At the time he hadn't told me you'd already dove off the cursed thing twice. However, I couldn't have been more proud than the day you won Olympic Gold, I was not crying that day, don't let Grandpapi tell you any different." Urs paused to look at his eldest grandson, both of them rolling their eyes backwards at Franky's fib. "Jasmine. Such an amazing voice and the attitude to match. Wow! I have no doubt your album will be a huge hit, despite your doubts. Your talent is yours, don't let those with none grind you down or tell you how you should sing. Listen to your Grandpa and cousin, they won't steer you wrong."
"Francesca and Carlotta, seeing you performing in the same play was amazing. And since you can't tell me off now, I did keep a few press reviews from 'A Man For All Seasons' and 'Jane Eyre'. Did you really think you could hide all those newspaper reviews from me? Not a chance. Saskia. Such a wonderful dancer, I was so proud to be in the audience when you won your first dance contest at the tender age of 11 and even more so when you took part in 'Strictly Come Dancing', don't ever be ashamed of coming second. Hadley, where you got the desire to become a physio-therapist from, I have more than an inkling. You were always Emma's favourite and I was so proud to watch you walk up to the podium to accept your degree. I'm so happy you've accepted the job with the football team, I know Zane Junior will be fair with you now that he's in charge. Gino. I've lost count of how many colours your hair has been over the years, not that it matters. Listening to you sing that song you wrote for your best friend's wedding blew me away more than anything you've ever done with 'Rebel Yell'. Grandpapi too, though he'll never admit it and remember, you are never too old to rock. And finally Melinda. The day you arrived I cried because Jordi and Gaston were so happy. Keep at those books, I know it's hard but I have no doubt you will make a wonderful doctor one day."
Urs paused to neatly re-fold those pieces of paper and return them to his jacket pocket and remove others.
"She also left a few words of thanks to her special friends. Gabriel. My brother, my closest and dearest male friend, thank you for all you've done through the years, taking care of the garage business whenever I toured with Urs and checking on the house each and every time we've been away, accepting without question that Frank would take over the garage one day. The Thunderbird I've left to you, no arguments." He paused again, looked at Gabriel and huffed a quick laugh when he saw the astonished look. "Michael and Blair. The other two wonderful men I considered a brother, though I probably didn't say often enough. Thank you for all those wonderful dances and for teaching Urs to Foxtrot as a surprise for my fiftieth birthday, Michael. And thank you, Blair for encouraging Frank to develop his little sideline business. I couldn't think of anything specific to leave to either of you but there are instructions in my will for both of you to have something to remember me by." He raised his head to look at Michael, saw him shaking his head and mouthing 'The memories are more than enough'. Urs nodded, then returned his attention back to reading. "Sebastien. The only one left of my 'butt kicking buddies', though we haven't had to kick Urs's butt for such a very long time. Thank you for never, ever comparing me to Jamie and for welcoming me into the 'Il Divo' family with open arms. I'd like your girls to have the Chaffee diamonds and pearls. No arguments, there's more than enough for me to leave to my children and grandchildren, even though I know I could leave them nothing but memories and they'd be more than happy. To all my other friends and family, thank you for being there every time I needed help, for the love and support you've shown me through the years. I wouldn't have been half the woman I was without you. And last but by no means least, my darling, darling Urs. Thank you for sharing a wonderful life with me. Thank you for.........for being by my side each and every time I was injured or......ill. Thank you for the beautiful memories and for each of our children. Thank you.......for loving me all these years. I love you honey and I always will."
"No, thank you, angel." Urs whispered, folding those sheets, taking another deep breath and looking at the coffin. "For the first time in years, I am not going to do what you ask of me." He sighed then turned forward again.
"Franky, your Uncle Lou once said to me that when God made you, he broke the mould and hid the pieces and I have never heard truer words spoken. From the very beginning of our relationship, you were supportive of not only myself, but my friends, my family, casual acquaintances and even complete strangers. Many people had comments to make about you without even having the privilege of knowing you. You, being you, simply brushed them all off and, after a while, I learned to do that to. Your irrepressable spirit, sense of adventure and humour as well as all the surprises you pulled on me through the years are what I will remember about your character. You have left me with the family I never thought I would have and a remarkable record of the way they've grown. Together we've known joy, pain and heartbreak and somehow made it through. We both made mistakes in the early years, me some huge ones. My petname for you was 'Fire', yours for me 'Ice'. Looking back I think we should have swopped them around, you were almost always so cool about everything that happened to us, while I raged inside, but that wasn't the reason we gave each other those names in the first place, was it? When.....When we were told that nothing more could be done to help you, for a little while I thought how lonely and empty my life would be without you by my side. I know that's not the case and how hard you would kick my butt if I gave up living just because you're gone. Even at my age, I have plans to visit those places you always wanted to go to, but never got to, to re-visit your favourite places and remember those special moments we shared there. They say you only have one great love in your life and you.......you Francesca Grace Gibson were mine. I have spent almost fifty-five years in the arms of an angel. It was my greatest honour to know you, to love you and to be loved by you. Heaven's most special angel has finally returned to her home. I....I love you.......Fi........Fire, I will until we are together again and forever more."
Urs finally allowed his tears to fall as he listened to gentle ripple of applause and resumed his seat, accepting the comforting hands that were placed on his shoulder until he'd got some measure of control back. He then raised his lowered head to see Sylvie, Frank, Kurt, Ciara, Serena and Jordi standing in front of the microphone he'd used and listened to Frank speak with tears glistening in his eyes.
"If we had a diamond for each and every good memory Mami left us with and linked them together to form a chain, how far do you all think it would reach?"
A short silent pause followed then the whole congregation replied as one.
"To the moon and back."
Frank nodded then looked to vicar who stood, moved behind the altar, his hand hovering over the table.
"Something we planned as a little surprise. I know I can't sing but it's the way we all want to say goodbye to Mami."
Urs nodded and tears began streaming down his face when heard his children singing 'Mama', Kurt making everyone gasp when he took what used to be Carlos's power show. As the final line began, he turned his head slightly and tried to regain control of his emotions as the black curtains closed around the coffin. However, that he wouldn't be able to do for a long while. The tears continued as he walked out of the crematorium, saw the multitude of floral tributes that had been placed on the racks and while he read each and every card.
They continued to flow at the wake, held at the family home and only really began to slow when everyone began remembering some of the many good times they'd shared with Franky. Her ashes would buried the next day beside her parents's and Flavian's place of eternal rest amid more tears, sobs and sniffing.
Turn the page.
Posts : 5269
Join date : 2008-12-13
Age : 64
Location : Urs Buhler, The man of my dreams!!
Humor : I found it and as always the joke is on me!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:09 am|| |
Ok JJ I am all caught up to here and YOUR KILLING ME!!
This makes me want to cry at his loss..
Ok more please
Posts : 454
Join date : 2009-04-10
Age : 55
Location : Nottingham, England
Humor : Dirty!!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:09 am|| |
Chapter 243 - Getting By/Angel's Last Surprise
He didn't need to look at the date to know how much time had passed since Franky had been taken from him. Urs knew, to the number of days at least, he wasn't going to count the seconds, minutes or hours. That was too hard. This was the one hundred and eighty first day he'd woken without feeling her move against him slightly or hearing her sigh softly as she pulled back from the gentle good morning kiss she'd given him virtually every morning since she'd made that promise all those years ago. The one hundred and eighty first day he'd opened his eyes to find that he hadn't been having a nightmare. The one hundred and eighty first day he'd woken to feel the space beside him cold but still neatly made. The one hundred and eighty first day he'd uttered a profanity in English, simply because he had woken up.
He sighed heavily and shook his head as the coffee maker announced it had finished brewing. He poured himself a mug then moved to sit at the kitchen table, still unable to believe that she'd done what she'd always said she would do, left him more financially secure than he ever imagined he would be. Even though they'd all talked about that subject often, their children hadn't expected to be left an equal share of whatever money was left once the charity donations had been paid out. They'd all said they'd been more than satisfied with what they'd received when they'd each turned twenty-five years old and their trust funds matured.
He shook his head slightly because he would rather have Franky back in his arms than half of her personal fortune, the Dordogne cottage and the Parisian house as a whole and her half share of their property porfolio and he wasn't the only one that felt like that. He didn't have to be told that their children would be willing to give up their equal shares in 'Pheonix Livery' to have her back in their lives either. There wasn't any doubt in his mind that Cesca wouldn't give up the 'Fire Harley' now she'd finally passed her bike test. She shed a few tears every time she looked it over, knowing one day she would ride it but wanting to see Franky back astride it much more than herself. Gino had said much the same thing before he'd dried his eyes and reluctantly rode off down the drive and out of the gates on the 'Screamin' Eagle' two weeks after he'd been told it was his.
It had taken Gabriel almost two months to come and collect the Thunderbird and he'd placed it on the back of the recovery vehicle much slower than he ever had when he'd been called to take one away from the scene of an accident or breakdown. Almost half an hour rather than the five minutes in fact. And three times he'd checked the straps were holding it securely before he was satisfied the precious cargo was going to make it back to his home undamaged. Urs smiled briefly, knowing that the Thunderbird would end up in Dillon's possession once his father was gone and that he would ride it as often as he could.
Michael had taken even longer, before selecting the Tangoing Couple statue Urs had given Franky shortly after Karen's death. As sad as Urs had been to see Franky's former dance partner take the statue out of the house, he been happy knowing that it had gone to someone who had appreciated it since Franky had brought it home. Urs huffed a quick laugh as he remembered how Michael's eyes had settled on the piece a few moments after his arrival at the house, how he'd shaken his head and had begun to move to look for something else. His eyes had flown wide when Urs had grabbed his arm and told him to take the statue if that's what he wanted to remember Franky by. Tears had welled in Michael's eyes, he'd shaken his head in refusal then Urs had picked it up and more or less shoved it him. Not in harsh way or with any malice, just firmly, insistantly while fighting back his own tears. Michael hadn't been able to say a word in argument, he'd nodded and thanked Urs with nothing more than a teary-eyed smile before leaving.
Blair hadn't shown up at all due to the fact he'd suffered another heart attack a couple of days after Franky's ashes had been buried. That one had proved fatal and the Buhler family had attended their second funeral within a month. Urs shook his head, knowing that he and his children had all tried to persuade Blair's children to have something to remember Franky by, but they'd flat out refused, citing that the memories and the gifts she'd given them in the past were already more than enough to bring her to mind. Very reluctantly, each and every one of them had nodded, knowing nothing they could do would get them to change their minds.
Hard though all those events had been to get through, having to try to smile as their daughters, granddaughters and daughters-in-law took what items of jewellery they'd been left had been a million times harder. He'd tried to hold back the tears but a few had made their escape once Serena had tearfully announced that they were done, doing so while turning her mother's engagement ring around the ring finger of her right hand. Sylvie and Ciara doing much the same with the eternity and wedding rings they'd been left. Maria still looking like she didn't want to take the few items she had in her hands because she'd had possession of the Chafee garnets ever since she'd married Kurt, wore them on a fairly regular basis and hadn't expected to be left the birthstone ring. Carina wiping her eyes and shaking her head as three rows of diamonds had cast a multitude of colours around the room.
Maybe, just maybe, he would have been able to hold them back if Carlotta hadn't said she would give ever precious jewel she'd been left, just to have her grandmother back and all the other females hadn't nodded in agreement. Knowing that he was going to have to go through that again today, Urs closed his eyes and took several deep breaths when he felt the sting of tears again. Come hell or high water, he was going to make sure Franky's last wishes were abided by and hoped the two women concerned would stop protesting.
"You all right, Nonno."
"I'm fine." Urs nodded and smiled at Ursy once he'd opened his eyes. "You're up later than usual." He continued, watching his grandson take a seat next to him and remembering how they'd argued about him moving in a month after Franky's death.
"Actually, I've been up for hours. Heard you come down. I was in the display room, looking at the things you've collected over the years and remembering what you told me about the angel collection you'd seen at Lauren and Nonna's home."
"Ja. It took me quite a while to believe most of them actually belonged to Lauren. They were so well taken care of, I was convinced your Nonna and her were winding me up when the packers arrived to take your Nonna's things out of that house. The four of us sti.........used to laugh about that a lot."
"Hmmn. You eaten yet?"
"Nein, I'm n..........perfectly capable of getting my own breakfast."
"I know that. Just twice you've let me prepare breakfast for you since I moved in. I'm not going to baby you, but please let me do a little more. You know I hate cooking just for myself."
Reluctant though he felt, Urs nodded, watched a smiling Ursy stand and begin to prepare Rosti, moving around the kitchen with more confidence than he'd ever had himself. He seemed to know what was needed and where it was without having to look and looked like an expert cook. Urs sighed, knowing that his namesake had apologised about the fact another relationship had ended a month before Franky had been diagnosed.
One year after he'd won Olympic gold for the second time, had retired from competition and had begun studying to become a diving instructor, he'd met Rebecca Shaw. Urs and Franky had watched the relationship blossom and grow only for them to turn up at the house one day and reveal they'd mutually agreed to split. Neither of them had cheated, nor had they argued or become abusive to each other. Their relationship had never been based on sex, more on friendship and companship than anything else. They were still in contact with one another and Ursy was happy that Rebecca now had someone new in her life, someone who'd captured her heart the moment their eyes had met. Having felt like that about Danay, Ursy really couldn't have been more pleased for Rebecca and was sure the relationship would be a long and happy one.
Urs sighed, knowing Ursy was still holding a candle for Danay. Deep down he still had strong feelings for her and had said he would forgive her if she ever came out of hiding. Having been in a similar position before, Urs knew better than to tell him to forget all about Danay and move on to someone else. Sad though it was to see him alone, Urs knew he wouldn't do that unless he heard those words from Danay's mouth and it would probably take him a long time to do it. He wasn't stupid though. Ursy knew there were other good women out there who would be proud to call him their boyfriend or husband. He simply wasn't willing to move on unless and until he heard from Danay and wouldn't be pushed to do so.
"Do you think...........I'm being stupid waiting for Danay, Nonno?" Ursy asked just before he pushed the first piece of Rosti into his mouth.
"Nein. What I or anyone else thinks doesn't matter. I have been there before you know, with Frank. Jasmine been opening her mouth again?"
"Yes. I know she just wants to see me as happy as she is with Xavier, but...........Danay's going to have more people than me to apologise to if that private detective her parents hired ever manages to catch up with her before she runs again. They're not giving up though...........Thank God."
Urs nodded, knowing that Danay's parents had called Ursy shortly after he'd returned to Paris to let him know they'd hired a private detective to track Danay down. He'd got close several times only for her parents to arrive at the cheap apartment she'd been renting to find that she'd fled again, her neighbours surprised but unconcerned to hear she'd gone because they were used to people arriving in the small towns only to leave a few days or weeks later. Danay calling her parents a day or so later to let them know she was well and tearfully asking for them to stop looking for her. Despite the fact he felt sad for Danay's parents, Urs couldn't help but think that they were keeping something from Ursy each time they called him with an update.
Hearing multiple cars and several familiar motorbikes arrive near the garage, Urs pushed that thought out of his mind and shook his head at each child, grandchild and in-law as they came into the house. He knew why they were really there today and it wasn't anything to do with cleaning all the objects in the display room. Three more people were expected in a few moments, he was going to have to give over something else that had once belonged to Franky, it was going to cause him grief and they were all there to support him through it. He huffed then nodded and watched them retrieve what they would need to fulfill a small part of what they'd promised Franky they would do. Taking care of him and helping where they could. Urs swallowed hard once they'd all gone, knowing that he'd already chipped a couple of her rare motorcycle collectibles and remembering how upset he'd been about it. Since he didn't want any more damaged, it was only right to let those with safer hands take care of them.
Another car arrived and Sebastien was soon standing in the kitchen, looking happier than he had in a long time and whistling a tune that Urs knew well.
"Have you sold the house for more than you were expecting it to fetch?" Urs asked, watching Sebastien pour himself a cup of coffee before taking a seat at the table.
"Non, it's only been on the market for three weeks. Haven't had so much as one enquiry so far." Sebastien shook his head, tilted his body slightly and slipped a hand into one of his trouser pockets. "I found something this morning."
"Mein, Gott. I haven't seen one of those since Melinda was........eight." Urs laughed, taking hold of the English penny Sebastien had fished out of his pocket, knowing that the coin had been taken out of circulation shortly before Melinda's birthday and that she'd found one lying on the ground a few months later.
"Can you remember what she said and what Franky said in reply when Melinda found one a few weeks later?"
"Oh, ja. I think so. Melinda said 'Oh, it's just a penny', then Franky told her that little poem her Grandmother had said to her when she'd said the same thing around the same age. Erm........."
"I found a penny today, just laying..........." Sebastien began, when he saw that Urs was having a little trouble remembering the ryhme.
"..........just laying on the ground. But it's not just a penny, this little coin I've found. That's what my Grandma told me, she said the Angels toss them down. Oh, how I miss that story. She said when an Angel misses you, they toss a penny down. Sometimes just to cheer you up, to make a smile out of a frown. So don't pass by that penny when you're feeling blue. It may be a penny from heaven that your guardian angel tossed to you!"
"Oui, that's it. Word perfect." Sebastien nodded, wiping his eyes as he did so. "I wish I could have heard Emma say that to our grandchildren. She never could remember it completely, just told them to put each one they found in their pockets because they'd found them so obviously they're were meant for them."
"Hmmn. So why were you whistling that bloody nursery rhyme when you came in?"
"Because Harvey and Brett called me just before I left Paris. Delia and Cess are both pregnant, due with in a couple of days of each other. Around Christmas time." Sebastien informed then checked the time and shook his head while Urs smiled, happy in the knowledge his brother was going to become a great-grandfather. "I'm sorry, they're late. I did tell them ten o'clock."
"It doesn't matter. I'm not going anywhere, am I? I'm just..........right now I can't think of the word.........I understand why Franky left Marie and Monique the diamonds and pearls. I just...........I didn't think it would feel as bad as it does, to watch.........No teasing me if you see me crying when you leave. Okay?"
"As if I would, Urs. I'm a little wounded that you would even think like that. It was damn hard watching them take their mother's jewellery out of the house."
"I'm sorry, Seb. Spoke without engaging my brain. Consider my butt well and truly kicked." Urs sighed, knowing that he and Franky had been in the house when Marie, Monique and Eden's wife, Misty had finally taken what their mother had left for them and their children out of the house. It had been incredibly hard for them to go through her jewellery box and find each piece and they'd all cried when they'd finally left.
Sebastien had been almost inconsolable once he'd seen the empty box and lockable drawer, despite the fact he knew it would happen one day. Almost two years after Emma had gone, nothing had been left behind. Now Urs was beginning to feel like he said he'd felt that day. It really did feel like someone had stolen the jewels, even though they both knew that hadn't happened. Everything had gone to those they loved and they would spend their lives appreciating what they'd been left.
"Didn't have the same problem at the bank yesterday did you?"
"Nein, Seb. No-one said a wrong word to me. Most of them said they were sorry for my loss, a few smiled and I was given a couple of tight hugs by the brothers who were in charge of the vault. They'd been quite young when Franky first went there to open a safety deposit box and they've adored her ever since. Which wasn't hard. She was so easy to love."
"Oui, she was."
"She got it wrong though. It hasn't stopped, even though she's gone." Urs continued shaking his head and watching Sebastien's eyes widen while he thought for a minute. "I was in town the other day when some woman approached and said she would make my remaining years the happiest I've ever known while looking at this......." He paused to raise his right hand in the air to show his brother the ruby ring. "........with that familiar gleam in her eyes. Didn't like it one bit when I pushed her to one side and walked away. Pfft!"
"I understand. And Franky always said 'maybe' that kind of thing would stop once she was gone, never did I hear her say that it actually would." Sebastien nodded then shook his head. "It was a good job Marie wasn't in that reception area when you walked out of her lawyer's office. She would have............well I hate to think what she would have done."
"Cesca almost did something. Almost slapped that woman, until she realised that she was so much older than her and remembered how Franky would have reacted." Urs replied, huffing a quick laugh and raising his eyebrows a little as the memory came to the fore.
One week after they'd laid Franky to rest, every adult Buhler and their respective partners had walked out of her lawyer's office with teary eyes and stunned looks on their faces. As a group they'd started to make for the exit only to hear one employee saying to another that it was about time Urs got something back for all the money he'd wasted on Franky over the years. The other woman hadn't said a derogatory word in reply but had warned her colleague about earwigging at the door. All but one Buhler/Gibson descendant had ignored the first woman, but not Cesca. Oh no, not Cesca.
She'd turned sharply on her heels, stormed a few steps and confronted the woman. 'Did you ever meet my Grandmother?' 'No'. 'Then keeping your fucking snide comments to yourself and think yourself fucking lucky I was raised not to strike out physically, because right now I so want to knock you flying over to the other fucking side of that desk. I suggest you keep your nasty little mouth shut with regard to my Grandmother in future, unless you want me to deal with again. You stupid fucking.........Bitch!'
Even though they all knew Franky wouldn't have approved of the bad language, never mind the fact Cesca had reacted as she had, everyone else had a quick chuckle while watching a furious Cesca make her way back to them. She'd apologised for her outburst only to receive headshakes in reply and had been stunned to hear several say they were proud of how she'd put the woman in her place without striking her.
"She might look like Franky, but she sure as hell has the Marin temper." Urs concluded with a smile and a quick chuckle to which Sebastien nodded in agreement.
"She sure does." Sebastien giggled a little before his facial features dropped. "Did you ever find out why Franky's doctor kept trying to persuade her to go into a hospice after every treatment?"
"Eventually, a few days after she'd left the hospital for the last time." Urs shook his head at the mention of the man who'd treated him like he was invisible until the day Franky had signed herself out of the hospital. "He'd believed all those rumours he'd heard about me being a cold hearted, unfeeling bastard, thought me spending every minute I could at the hospital with Franky was just an act. Didn't think she would be taken care of properly. He thought I'd stayed by her side during every treatment, examination and test just....... just to make myself look good. Rain soon put him on the right track. They're half-siblings apparently. I still can't believe she wasn't told that Franky had gone until after she'd called round to top up the pain pump. She knew as soon as she saw my face though, said she thought Franky would be around for a few more weeks. Modern technology, huh?"
"Don't get me started. Monique's car is always telling her she hasn't got her seatbelt on when she has. I swear one of these days she's going to take a hammer to the damned thing."
Urs laughed, knowing that you couldn't start the engine of a modern car unless the driver's seatbelt was fastened. Monique's had had the problem the entire six months she'd owned it. Fastening the seatbelt was the first thing she did once she was settled in the seat and he could just imagine how infuriated she was becoming with the infernal machine, particularly since it had been back to the company who'd sold it to her six times, they hadn't been able to find a fault, never mind fix it.
Both he and Sebastien heard another car pull up a few seconds later. Shortly after that a giggling Marie and Monique entered the house and immediately apologised about the fact they were laughing.
"No need to apologise." Urs shook his head as Marie headed towards the coffee machine. "What do you find so amusing?"
"The two of us finally discovered what was causing the problem with my car yesterday. A tiny burr on the clip was stopping the sensors connecting properly, Marie filed it off and 'Heypresto!'. It started first time this morning without me having to jiggle the clasp around." Monique informed through her chuckles.
Giggles, eye-rolls, groans and disbelieving headshakes followed Monique's revelation and lasted until Marie sat down. Even though they knew why they were there, both women chewed on their bottom lips when they saw the two boxes sitting on the table.
"I'm sorry Uncle Urs. We know Aunt Franky left them to us. It just doesn't feel...........right for us to take them. They should be going to Sylvie, Seri or Ci.........."
"Why? So that they can be locked away in another bank vault, never to see the light of day again. You've known for years that neither of our girls wanted them. You two have always admired them. It's only right they go to someone who's going to appreciate and wear them." Urs cut Marie off, speaking slower than he normally would. "Besides, there's another reason she wanted you to have them, perhaps this will help change your minds." He continued, placing the envelope he'd had by his side all morning on the table and pushing it towards them.
Marie and Monique looked at each other briefly then Marie picked up the envelope, opened it and retrieved a few sheets of paper. Two were the original drawings of the jewellery they'd been left. Others recounted the history of each piece, who'd commissioned it, who'd designed and made it. Urs smiled, knowing that he'd hadn't said a word to Sebastien about what Gustave had managed to find out about the jewellery once Franky had told him about the Venice trip.
Gustave had managed to get in touch with the man who'd asked about the diamonds at the opera house. In turn Jerome had revealed that he had the original drawings in his possession as well as photographs of the man who'd designed the pieces actually making each piece and was more than willing to give them up. Gustave had sent everything to Franky as soon as he'd received it. In turn, Franky had put the envelope in the same security vault, little knowing that there was a connection to Sebastien's family until five years ago and making Urs promise not to breath a word.
"I don't understand. Who is Guillaume Laselle? The name rings a bell, but I can't remember where I've heard it before."
Monique's question made Sebastien sit up a little straighter and his eyes fly wide. He asked to look at the documents, then at Urs and back again several times once he had them in his hands. Marie realised there was more in the envelope, gently pulled the old pictures out and handed those to her father once she and Monique had taken a quick look.
"Oh! Mon Dieu! I.......I don't believe it. I've only ever seen a couple of photographs of him."
"Papa!" Monique and Marie queried at the same time, their eyes flitting back and forth from the stunned Frenchman and back to each other.
"Guillaume Laselle was my mother's.......erm.........my great-grandmother's baby brother. I don't know much about him, other than the fact he was the yougest of ten children, worked in the jewellery trade, never married because he lost his fiancee in a TB epidemic just a week before they were supposed to be married. He died quite young too.........at thirty-four." Sebastien replied after a few moments thought, his head shaking and looking through the photographs as he spoke. "H-H-How did you get hold of these?"
"Gustave. He was good friends with a Jerome Morneau, your great-grandmother's nephew, right?"
"Erm.....Oui, by her sister, Amelie." Sebastien nodded, then grimaced slightly and Urs knew why he did that.
Amelie had never had a close relationship with her younger sister, Elodie. Amelie had left Paris at the age of sixteen, had married and given birth to Jerome. Once he'd reached adulthood, Jerome had turned up in Paris and Guillaume had taken him on as his apprentice. Jerome had tried to find out why his mother and aunt didn't get along only to be told to leave the subject alone. By the time Sebastien's mother had been born, Guillaume had died and Jerome had left France completely. All Marie had known about her father's cousin was his name and that little bit of history, nothing more.
"Are you sure he created those pieces?" Sebastien asked, turning his attention to Urs and still shaking his head.
"Take a closer look at what he's working on in the third picture."
Sebastien did as he requested but still couldn't see what Urs was talking about. Urs rolled his eyes, then opened the boxes and pointed to two points on the photograph. Once to where the pearls were wrapped around the neck of a jeweller's mannequin, the earrings hanging off the bottom edge. The second time to what lay almost complete on the table a softly smiling Guillaume was seated at, inspecting one of the stones.
Silence reigned in the room while Marie and Monique assimilated the information they'd been given. They had listened to Sebastien tell part of Guillaume's story as young women and had sighed heavily when he told them it had been his great-grandmother's dearest wish to own something that her brother had made, sadly he'd died just a month after completing the diamond necklace and she'd had more important things to spend her money on back then. With him being mostly commissioned to make each piece, it had proved impossible to find the handful of pieces he'd made on a whim since they'd been sold to jewellers and therefore on to a customer. Now the two pieces he'd said were his greatest works would soon be in the hands of a descendant of the sister he'd always adored.
Wiping tears from their eyes, Monique and Marie finally nodded their agreement to accepting the jewellery. They closed the boxes, pulled them back across the table and sighed heavily as they rested their hands on the top. Urs caught the furtive glances they gave each other, asked why they'd looked at each other that way and smiled when they said it still didn't feel quite right because Eden didn't have anything.
"Yes he does. Took me a while to persuade him to take it, but he took the friendship ring Franky wore. Misty's been wearing it for almost three weeks now."
Hearing someone cough near the doorway that gave access to the lounge, Urs turned his head in that direction and smiled when he saw his family standing there, the females wiping their eyes, the males nodding their heads. All silently letting Monique and Marie know that they were happy with who Franky had decided to leave the diamonds and pearls to. Monique and Marie stood together, walked the few steps to where their friends stood and embraced each and every one tightly before doing the same to Urs. Despite the fact he could feel the sting of tears in his eyes, Urs smiled and shook his head when they both apologised for taking so long to accept Franky's final gift and promised to wear them more often than she ever had.
Somehow, he managed to hold the tears back until Sebastien had hugged him and left and only allowed them to run unimpeded down his face once he'd waved him off. He knew exactly why he cried, that feeling was there again, mixed with the satisfaction that he'd fulfilled the last of Franky's bequests.
Feeling physically as well as emotionally drained, Urs attempted to dry his eyes, turned back into the kitchen and gave each of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren a hug before slowly heading upstairs. He made his way into the master suite, immediately turned to Franky's wardrobes and raised a hand to sliding door. Other than to retrieve the dress she'd requested to wear for the funeral, they hadn't been opened in over six months and he had thought about sorting through her clothes today.
"I'm sorry, angel. I can't. Not today." He whispered quietly, eyes closed and head shaking as he lowered his hand. "Not today and perhaps not for........a while yet."
In silence, he moved over to the bed and laid down with Franky's pillow held tight in his arms. He drifted off to sleep with the scent of Lily's filling his nostrils as he had every day since she'd been gone and thanking God that Serena had found a full bottle of Donna Karan's 'Gold' perfume in the dressing-table drawer when she and her sisters had taken what they had.
Two hours later he woke and looked to the wardrobes again once he was standing upright. This time though he didn't raise a hand to the handle that would allow him to slide the door back. Instead he noticed something lying in the corner between the end of the wardrobe and the wall. Up until yesterday a small, narrow shelving unit used occupy that space and Franky had always kept a small silver tray on top where she would put the bits and pieces she pulled from her jeans as well as loose change. Even though he thought the item had probably slipped between the two pieces of furniture years ago and that it was a little childish, Urs bent to pick the item up. How he'd even seen it, given the fact it was very tarnished and the carpet was a dark brown colour, he didn't know and didn't care. He'd seen it, that was all that mattered and he smiled as he slipped the old and worthless penny piece into his trouser pocket.
Two weeks later he smiled a lot broader after seeing pictures of Marie and Monique at the opening of the new Paris branch of 'Ramone's', both of them wearing the jewels and smiling with tear-filled eyes.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:13 am|| |
Chapter 244 - Paying Tribute
He didn't want to be where he was right now. He wanted to be at home, watching those bloody ancient DVDs as well as the final 'HoloDect' images that Franky appeared in. Remembering all the happy times they brought to mind and seeing her smile through her suffering while Gabriel and Francis celebrated their second birthdays. He really didn't want to be in a concert hall, sitting in a private box waiting to watch and listen to one of his grandchildren belt out some songs while her fans screamed at the top of their lungs.
'Now that's one of the biggest lies you've ever told yourself.' Urs heard his inner voice tease and he huffed a quick laugh because he now heard Franky's tones rather than his own on such occasions, always imagining her standing before him, hands on hips and head shaking slowly. 'Carry on and you'll become what you promised me you never would become. A grumpy old git.'
"You all right Papi?" Frank asked, squeezing his forearm.
"I'm fine. Stop fussing." Urs replied with a headshake and a smile that Frank returned.
Urs turned his attention towards the stage area and wondered if Jasmine was pacing nervously backstage like she did before every concert rehearsal. Just like her maternal grandmother, she suffered from stage fright a little but by the time she actually set foot on stage it had disappeared. Her voice was strong yet sweet and she could certainly move around the stage well. How the hell she could remember lyrics and dancesteps as well, Urs didn't have a bloody clue. He was simply proud of the fact that she could.
He checked his watch, quickly calculated that there wasn't long left until the concert started and looked around the private box with a proud smile on his face. Happy that the every member of his branch of the Buhler family was there to see and hear Jasmine kick off her first world tour. Sad that Franky hadn't lived long enough to see it and still fuming that Jasmine's manager had selected this particular day for the tour to begin. Even at his great age, Urs still wanted to punch the man in question for doing that.
Urs huffed out another breath and thanked Gott that it hadn't rained earlier in the day, especially since they'd all spent over an hour at Franky's graveside, arranging flowers and telling her what their children were up to. Each and every one of them had cried as they headed back to their vehicles and it was understandable that some hadn't stopped until after they'd reached the house. After all, Franky had only been gone from their lives for exactly a year, though to Urs it felt like she'd been gone a lifetime already.
Feeling tears begin to well in his eyes again, Urs wiped them roughly, closed them then took a few deep breaths in order to compose himself. For once in his life though, it didn't work and a few made there escape before he fished a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and wiped them away. Luckily the house lights had gone down by then and everyone's eyes were on the stage, ears listening to Jasmine being introduced over some very fast paced music. It took a moment for Urs recognise the tune as one of her biggest hits to date due to the fact the audience was screaming so loud. Jasmine appeared a few seconds later, putting every ounce of energy she possessed into singing 'Strikeback', ending with a huge smile on her face.
Urs watched her scanning the crowd for a few seconds and admired the sparkling dress she wore, though he would have preferred to see the hem sit a little lower on her long legs.
'Don't be so prudish. I wore much shorter dresses when I was performing. Have you forgotten what part of my anatomy you always caught a glimpse of whenever the skirt flew up.'
Urs raised his eyebrows and shook his head in reply to that particular query from his inner voice. He couldn't remember exactly how many times he'd seen a glimpse of her buttcheeks when she'd been out on the ice but he had the DVDs to remind him of that. While he smiled at the memory, he listened to Jasmine introducing another of her hits and heard the audience go wild again after 'See The Real Me' began to play and she started to move around the stage in perfect time to the music. There was no doubt it, she'd certainly inherited Franky's energy levels to Urs's way of thinking.
For the next forty-five minutes he watched and listened to Jasmine perform, proud of the fact that she thanked her fans for their appreciation at the end of every song. Intermission seemed to pass in no time at all and when Jasmine re-appeared on stage she was wearing a gold dress that ended just above her knees. She was singing the song Gino had helped her finish writing a few months after Franky's death, 'Unshakeable'. That went down as well as all the other songs had and while the audience clapped, Jasmine moved towards the rear of the stage and retrieved a bar stool which she promptly sat down on once it was sitting in the middle of the stage.
"Phew! Hello, London. Are you having a good time?" Were next words out her mouth and her smile broadened when the audience screamed a long yes in reply. "That's so good to hear. I don't usually do what I'm going to do in a few minutes. My manager doesn't think my voice is made for such songs and prefers me to perform my own work, but he can kiss my ar.........posterior tonight. There are a few people here tonight who completely disagree with him and I hope you will too once I've finished. Those of you who follow my career closely will know what happened exactly a year ago today." Jasmine paused to carefully wipe a tear from her left eye and take deep breath. "For those who don't, I lost my wonderful grandmother, Franky. Ahhhhh! There she is." Jasmine informed once she'd turned her head over her shoulder and had seen the picture of Franky smiling behind her. "Believe me, I could sit here for hours, no d......for the next ten years telling you how wonderful she was and even then I wouldn't cover it all. She is missed so very, very much, not only by me, but every single person whose lives she touched. I'm so happy to have had the privilege of knowing her and being able to call her my Grandma and I wish with all my heart she could be here tonight. She'd be sitting up there, with the rest of my family......." She paused and indicated the private box with index finger of her right hand. "........but then again, she probably wouldn't. Knowing her she'd be on the front row, beaming that amazing smile while holding my Grandfather's hand. He IS here tonight and I'm so glad he is. Most of you know exactly who I'm talking and that he used to sing as well, still does actually, even though he's in his nineties. But I'm not going to get into that, other than to say that his voice was, is and will always be simply amazing. My next song is one that my Grandmother loved to hear my Grandfather and his three brothers sing. Sadly, it never made it on to an album because Mr Simon Cowell thought enough artistes had covered it already. I'm going to sing it, mainly for my Grandfather and my family, but I'm pretty sure some of you will appreciate the song as well. Ladies and gentleman, I give you 'To Where You Are'." Jasmine finished with a nod of her head, the introduction began to play and few seconds later the softer tones of her singing voice were filling the auditorium.
'Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory's so clear
Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are my
And you are watching over me from up above
Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for a while to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are
Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen
As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Watching me from up above
And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave
Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for a while
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are
I know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are'
The next sound to reach Urs's ears once Jasmine had finished the song and the lights had been extinguished around her was thunderous applause. The lights came back up to reveal that the entire audience was on its feet. Of those Urs could see well, most were either shaking their heads, wiping their eyes or both and he heard several sniffs around him. He didn't care that his own face was wet, it had been a wonderful tribute to Franky, especially since smiling pictures of her were shown on the screen behind Jasmine as she sang, most of them Urs's favourite ones.
Urs didn't know how long the standing ovation lasted, all he knew was that he was so very proud that Jasmine had got through the song without breaking down into tears and had only allowed them to fall once she'd finished. She, herself, stood on stage shaking her head for a few moments then moved to get a drink of water. He couldn't help but laugh he saw her stick her tongue out at her manager, knowing that he would be in usual spot in the wings.
"Oh looks!" Three year old Gabriel piped up excitedly as he slid out of his seat and picked up the large white feather he'd spotted on the floor near Urs's feet. "Great-Grandmami was here, Great-Grandpapi."
"Gabriel, don't be so........Ow!" Carlotta began only to stop and rub the back of her head after receiving a clip from her sister. "What was that for?"
"You know what it was for. He's just turned three. If he wants to believe that means Gran was here then let him. Mami and Papi didn't call you silly for talking to 'Tutti' until you were seven, did they?"
"No." Carlotta replied quietly, her face flushing bright red at the mention of her childhood imaginary friend.
Urs laughed once more as he watched and listened to the interaction between the two siblings while he settled Gabriel onto his lap and watched him carress the feather. Jasmine began to perform again a few seconds later and in what seemed like no time at all the concert was over. The family waited until the auditorium was almost empty then made their way back stage. Urs did his best to remain stoic as they reached Jasmine's dressing room, but she saw right through him and ran into his arms before anyone else's.
"Don't you dare. Don't you dare say you're sorry." Urs shook his head once he'd placed a hand on her mouth to stop her speaking. "It was a wonderful surprise and a wonderful tribute. Danke."
Unable to speak because her emotions had finally gotten the better of her, Jasmine nodded and continued to cry while everyone hugged her. She let out a sob when Gabriel showed her the feather and repeated what he'd said in the box, but smiled and nodded in agreement with him. She gave him a kiss on the cheek which he quickly wiped away then slipped him to the floor. A few moments later, Jasmine's manager entered and looked a little sheepish as he coughed to get her attention.
"Okay, Jaz. Next album, a few cover versions. Okay?"
"Damn right!" Jasmine nodded sharply then walked over and hugged the man who didn't usually like such displays of affection.
He grumbled something under his breath as a giggling Jasmine released him, reminded her what time the flight to Paris was then left. Everyone spent a few moments with her, congratulated her on the performance then hugged and kissed her again before wishing her well for the rest of the tour. Urs was the last to do that and held her for a long time. He swallowed hard and nodded with his eyes closed when she reminded him that she really had to get going. Reluctantly, he released his hold, smiled when she stood on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek and wiped his face again before leaving the dressing room himself.
The drive back to the house wasn't as quiet as the one had been down to London and Urs didn't mind one bit. His children and grandchildren were all talking excitedly about what Franky would have thought about tonight and he agreed with everything he heard. Oh ja, she definitely would have loved every second of Jasmine's performance and would have hugged her so very tight backstage while telling her very proud she was of her.
When they arrived home, Urs spent a few minutes in the lounge then decided to head up to bed. He wished everyone goodnight then slowly made his way upstairs, pausing every few steps to look at the portrait and deal with the minor discomfort his hip joint caused him. Since his painkillers were on his nightstand, he had to keep going and eventuallly made it to the top where he paused to listen to little Francis and Gabriel snoring. He smiled, huffed a quick laugh then made for the master suite only to pause on the threshold when he saw what was lying on his pillow. Even though he was in pain, he moved quickly, picked the long, white feather up and raised his eyes skywards before adding it to other two he'd received that day. He closed his nightstand drawer, settled down under the covers once he'd removed his clothes and had swallowed the small but powerful pill then pulled Franky's pillow into his arms.
"Good night, angel." He whispered, looking at her portrait through very tired eyes as he spoke and thinking he'd heard her reply as he began to drift off to sleep.
"Good night, honey. Schlaff gutt."
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:59 am|| |
Chapter 245 - Rememberance
As he had for the past eight years, Urs took a seat on the bench that stood a few feet away from where Franky's ashes were buried, holding a bunch of her favourite flowers in his hand and with tears threatening to spill over again. Somehow, he'd managed to keep them at bay all those years until it was his turn to pay his respects. He'd always insisted the children and their families pay their respects first and they'd always done so in age order, by family. He sighed quietly as they gathered around the small area where Franky lay, proud of the fact that most of them were still working hard in their chosen field. The only one that wasn't being Gino since 'Rebel Yell' had finished their farewell tour just before Christmas.
Taking deep breaths, he watched as Sylvie and Nicholas laid their flowers below the plaque that bore Franky's birth and death details, the engraved Fire Lily and the inscription he'd chosen with the help of their family.
'It's rare that angels walk the earth, the one who sleeps here will be forever loved and remembered.'
Ursy came next with his ex-girlfriend, Danay and their daughter, Francesca (aka 'Little Franky') standing to his left, his wife of five years, Shana, standing on his right, holding their newborn son, Kurt Urs Francisco. He smiled, knowing the little girl hadn't liked her full name being used from the age of six and she'd missed out on knowing her father for the first few years of her life. Her mother hiding out in Canada following the split not knowing she was pregnant at the time, not telling Ursy because Thorsten had threatened to kill Ursy if she ever went near him again while holding a huge hunting knife at her throat. Thorsten sure that doing that would drive Ursy into the depths of despair, make him quit training for the next Olympics when the reverse had been true and Thorsten had ended those games down in ninth place anyway. Danay coming out of seclusion a few days after Thorsten had been killed in high speed, alchohol fuelled car chase almost three years later.
Ursy and Danay had tried to make their relationship work only to mutually agree seven months later that that special something they'd once had was gone, never to return. He could still recall bits and pieces of the argument Danay and Ursy had had when she'd told him about their daughter. Ursy yelling at her that she knew the family story well enough to know he would have stepped up to the plate from the very beginning. Danay crying as she apologised again and told Ursy their daughter's full name and that she wanted to follow in her great-grandmother's footsteps on the ice. Only once before had he seen tears rise that quickly to his namesake's eyes. Nine years ago to this very day, they'd been there from the moment he woke to the minute he went to bed. Now they were doing so again as Little Franky stood from placing her tribute on the marker and turned into her father's arms. Danay looking ashamed and regretful about what she'd done while she watched father and daughter embrace and tried to translate the script tattoo on Ursy's right forearm. 'Angeli non usque aut odio ........ sunt iustus dare.'
Jasmine and her husband of eighteen months, Xavier De Cardenes, followed them with five year old twins Toni Matthew Francis, named after his maternal great-grandfathers and favourite uncle, and Bernadette Grace Joelle, named after both her father's mother and maternal grandmother, holding hands with their mother and two year old Hanneli Serena, named in tribute to Sylvie's grandmother and Franky's mother, held securely in her sniffing father's arms. They spent a few minutes there, then moved to one side to allow Frank and his family to lay their flowers.
Visibly shaking, Frank knelt, laid his tribute, wiped his face then stood and turned quickly into a crying Carina's arms. Francesca and Drew, her husband of almost six years came next. Urs smiled, happy in the knowledge that Drew had accepted Francis so easily then shook his head at what Robbie was missing out on and almost allowing tears to fall when he remembered that the couple had lost three children already, the last one at seven and a half months old. Little Cesca's recently buried ashes not too far away with those of her two day old brother, Drew Lars Kurt, and her 'born asleep' sister, Karen Madeline. Urs swallowed hard then shook his head, hoping they would give it one more try. Carlotta and Conan came next, eleven year old Gabriel looking slightly uncomfortable because his siblings, eight year old Ross Fraser David and Grace Merle Liana, aged five, were holding his hands.
Next came Serena and Hadley, followed by Saskia, her husband, Casey and their flame haired children, six year old, Casey Urs, five year old Melody Francesca and three and a half year old twin girls, Serena Francesca Ione and Lauren Saskia Barbara. Hadley Jnr swallowed a sob and looked at his second wife, Megan with tears streaming down his face as he stood up from laying his flowers next to Saskia's. It still amazed Urs how he'd found the strength to carry on after Lizzie and the little boy they'd planned to name Hadley Sebastien had been killed in a car accident three years ago. It amazed him even more that Megan had agreed to name the child she currently carried Lizzie Serena Lorella Emma.
Kurt knelt next, kissed the fingers of his right and placed them on the plaque for a moment or two, the way he had every year, only Maria's gentle touch on his shoulder making him stand and turn into her arms. The rebel of the family, Gino, followed his father, doing the exact same thing to his fingers and the plaque. His hand slipping under his shirt to touch the tattooed portrait of Franky he had on his left bicep and the script underneath 'Angelus Nunquam Moritur' as he lowered his head. Veronique, his fiancee of three years following Maria's lead, though she wouldn't be able to hold him so tight once he was upright due to the fact she was pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl. Gino Kurt Peter and Maria Francesca Louisa, due to be born within the next month.
A sobbing Ciara hung her head as she knelt and laid her flowers, whispering something that no-one could hear though Urs thought she was probably apologising to her mother once again for having no children of her own. Simeon's arm finding its way around her waist to help her stand and look at the two teenaged boys they'd taken on making her get up. Urs watching them, still unable to understand how their mother could have abandoned them at the age of ten and twelve respectively. David and Steven had coped remarkably well with that but the sudden death of their father from a massive heart attack eighteen months ago had devastated them, so much so they had only recently felt comfortable enough to call Ciara and Simeon, Mum and Dad rather than aunt and uncle.
Finally, Jordi stepped forward with Gaston and together they laid their flowers. Melinda handed her little boy to Jordi then laid her tribute while Urs shook his head at the way his son cooed over his three week old namesake, Jordi Gaston Francis Urs Flavian Buhler. His father, Dante Sansotta, wanting nothing to do with him and currently refusing to submit to a DNA test, despite having received a court order to do so, his whereabouts unknown, his mega-rich parents refusing to say where he was........for now at least.
Urs thought back to what had happened a couple of days after Franky had gone and how Frank had attempted to smile as he handed his mother's last gift over. With shaky hands Urs had ripped the paper off, removed the lid and his left hand had flown to cover his mouth when he saw that the red box contained a glass ornament showing his own and Franky's younger faces in profile, her kissing him tenderly on the lips and labelled 'Lovers Forever'. Franky's features done in tones of red, orange and yellow, his own in icy blues and white. Tears had streamed down his face as he lifted it from the box and placed it on the mantlepiece where it still sat. He hadn't been able to take his eyes off it all day and had spent hours wondering how she'd managed to have such a thing made. She'd surprised him many times during their life together, but never to the extent that he would have hit the floor if he'd been standing upright.
Hearing movement close by, Urs raised his head and saw that their children were beginning to move away from the graveside, though not far for now, just far enough to be close at hand in case he needed them. Now it was his turn and he winced slightly as he stood. Much as he hated taking pills, he had to admit the painkiller he took daily took a lot of his pain away, though the arthritis still reminded him that it was there, especially so if he spent long periods immobile. As he stepped forward, he watched Frank and Toni head for the little area where the water tap was and mentally scolded himself for forgetting to bring some from home for the second year running.
"Can I stay with you this year Grangranpi?" He heard Toni questioning as he handed the metal jug over, knocking tears from his eyes.
"No you can't, Toni." Frank sniffed and shook head as he lifted the little boy into his arms. "Mami told you that this morning didn't she?"
"Yes." Toni nodded, using the heel of his hand in an attempt to dry his eyes. "I sorry Grangranpi. I knows you like to talk to Grangranmi on your own. Do you fink she can hears you?"
"I like to think so, ja. I like to think she hears all of us." Urs replied, shaking his head and gently patting Toni on the cheek before Frank turned away and headed back to where everyone stood waiting, leaving him to have some time alone as they had each and every time they'd visited Franky on this particular day.
Taking a deep breath, he knelt and arranged the Lillies in the vase once he'd looked the family tributes over. He smiled, knowing that others would arrive later in the day from Carlos, David and Sebastien's families, their other relatives and friends and most would contain Forget Me Nots and Eidelweiss as they always had. He closed his eyes for few seconds, remembering watching her walk down the aisle to him on their wedding day and the wonderful life they'd led before he began to speak, his voice almost inaudible, finally allowing his tears to fall.
"Well here we are again, angel. Has it really been nine years?.........It still seems like only yesterday that you were taken from me..........I still miss you so very much........I miss Seb too.........Still can't believe he went before me......Gott that's almost three years ago......I know you'd kick my butt for saying this........but......I wish you could tell me when......when is it going to be my turn? Everyone......Gabe, Michael and Orva are up there with you.......Why can't I......What more do I have to do?.........Don't get me wrong.......I'm not lonely, not in the daytime anyway, our children make sure of that. The nights are the worst.....That's when I really feel alone.......I just wish you were still here or I was with you. I have done everything I said I would........and more. I'm sorry if I sound pitiful, Fire. I just want and need you back in my arms......I guess I'll just to have accept that it's not my time yet. It's so.......so very..........very hard, I can wait.......but not.......not much longer. I guess I'd better go, before I break down completely. I still love you Francesca Grace Buhler, my angel."
He finished, dried his eyes then kissed the fingers of his right hand and placed them on the plaque. He stood slowly, lowered his head once he was upright, closed his eyes and whispered a silent prayer. As he opened his eyes, he noticed that the grey clouds were quickly being driven away to give way to a clear, bright blue sky and the sun had finally come out from hiding.
He turned away from the burial site and slowly started the walk back to his family. However, he stopped dead in his tracks when he thought he heard a familiar voice whispering in his right ear, the way she used to sometimes.
"I still love you too, Urs Toni Buhler. When your time comes........I will be there waiting for you. Until we meet again...........Ice."
"Until we meet again.........Fire." He sniffed, his right hand rising to touch the cheek where it felt like he'd just been kissed.
Even though it began to rain a second or two later, Urs walked back to Frank's car with a soft smile on his face. He fastened the seatbelt once he was settled, happy in the knowledge that they were going to spend the rest of the day remembering Franky while watching as many of the old recordings as they could get through.
CLOSE THE BOOK.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:43 pm|| |
Even though he was approaching sixty-four years old and was normally a very confident man, Francis Toni Buhler still had his doubts as he read what he'd just written. Very few people put pen to paper nowadays, but his siblings were right, someone did need to write the end of 'Fire & Ice's' story. Why they'd elected him to do it he didn't know, his penmanship had always been a little untidy, especially when he'd been in rush. His hand was the complete opposite of his father's neat fluid script, except for the places where updates had been added to certain parts of the story anyway. Then his father's words were squashed together a little more and occasionally one printed line on the paper had been filled with two lines of writing. That made things a little harder to read, though not by much.
Frank grunted a quick laugh as he recalled what his father had said when he'd finished telling them the rest of the story.
"Not enough my ass. If anyone hasn't written enough, it's probably me. "
He sighed, knowing the family had only just read the last few chapters. He hadn't known that his father had continued to write after they'd said goodbye to Mami, he'd barely been able to hold a pen sometimes, but there they were. No more than a handful, revealing that 'Ice' had been able to carry on after 'Fire' had gone and how he'd felt about certain things. Just over two hundred and forty memories dedicated to one extraordinary woman and a few dedicated to himself.
"Oh no, Pa. That's nowhere near enough. Pfft!"
Frank laughed, shook his head, looked his own script over then instructed himself to stop worrying, it was legible at least. He huffed out a breath, knowing that every member of his father's branch of the Buhler family was waiting in the lounge, anxious to hear what he'd written under the title. When they'd first suggested it, he hadn't had a clue where to begin. Then Kurt had come up with the idea of everyone writing what they thought had happened mere moments after the Patriach had left them to rejoin his Angel. Frank widened his eyes, knowing that 'Angel' had been his father's final utterence before he closed his eyes forever.
Still feeling a little unsure, Frank read the notes he'd been given then read how he'd put them together again. He still wasn't a hundred per cent sure it was perfect, but he was no writer. He'd done his best with what he'd been given and what he'd wanted. Carina had been right with what she'd said before he'd entered the kitchen and sat down at the table. No-one was expecting perfection, they simply wanted the final chapter to be written down for future generations to be able to read. To his way of thinking it was nowhere near perfect. However, he'd done his best and his only hope now was that his family thought he'd done the end of Fire & Ice's story justice.
Taking a deep breath, Frank stood with the old, battered, leather bound journals in his hands and made his way into the lounge. He sat back down in the seat he'd vacated almost four hours previously, scanned the expectant faces, spending a little longer looking at Grace and Ross than he did anyone else, and began to read what he'd written.
He couldn't quite put his finger on what it was that was bothering him, but he didn't feel quite right. His right hip wasn't giving him any pain, in fact it felt like he didn't have that touch of Arthritis there at all. Sighing out a breath, he looked at his hands, his eyes immediately flying wide when he saw that the liver spots had disappeared and they looked much younger. Even the skin on his face felt a lot smoother following a quick feel. What the hell had happened to his hair?! He hadn't worn it long enough to tickle the back of his neck in years.
"Amazing, isn't it.........Ice?" An oh so familiar voice questioned behind him, making him immediately whip round.
"F-F-FIRE?!" He questioned loudly, tears welling in his rapidly blinking eyes and swallowing a sob, unable to believe she was there.
"Ja. It's me honey." She replied, walking..........no, not walking........gliding towards him, almost like she was wearing her ice skates.
"What's happening? Am I having some weird dream? You look like you did the very first time I saw you."
"I know. I've looked this way for just over nine years. It's what happens when you.........when you die, honey."
"I'm dead then?"
"Yeah." Franky sniffed. "I'm sorry."
"What are you sorry for? I am.........was almost 100. I've had an amazing life and left a wonderful family behind me. But the best thing is..........I'm reunited with you. I've missed you so much angel, sometimes I even begged for this day to come."
"I know. I heard you. It just wasn't meant to be........until now."
Seeing tears begin to run down Franky's face, Urs stepped towards her, almost afraid to touch her in case she disappeared. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her waist, one hand immediately sliding up her back so that he could twirl his fingers in her hair. He stopped after a couple of minutes because something was tickling the back of his other hand. He took a better look at Franky and nodded with a smile on his face when he realised the tips of her wings had skimmed over his skin.
"Okay, I'm dead. I have no problem with that." Urs nodded, then pulled away slightly when he heard leather rubbing against leather.
He gave Franky a better look over and smiled when he saw that she was wearing white biker leathers and a golden glow surrounded her. A look at himself told him that he was wearing what he'd worn the day she'd crashed her Harley, only now he was dressed head to toe in white.
"How is this possible, Franky?"
"Like I said honey, that's what happens when you die. Your soul and appearance goes back to the happiest day of your life and that's how you remain."
"So I guess David and Sebastien have gone back to the day they met Lauren and Emma?"
"Just about, Seb's gone back to the day Emma agreed to their first date, apart from the residual bruising."
"What about Carlos?"
"Well.....It's hard to say really. He's just happy that he's got both Karen and Barbara-Jean here with him. Could care less what he looks like." Franky giggled. "I can hardly wait for you to see Flavian, your family and mine, besides everyone else that's gone before you. Even our first daughter together is here. She looks so much like my mother. Everyone that went before us has done a wonderful job raising her and Flavian together."
"They've grown up here?!"
"Yes they have, though not so quickly as they would, had they lived. Our.....Cesca's lost ones are here as well. Our first Serena, or Renny as she likes to be known, is almost 9, Flavian's just turned 5. It feels weird to begin with but you'll soon get used to it."
"With you beside me, I'm sure I will. I can hardly wait to see them either. I thought they would have been here to meet me though."
"Don't huff and pout, honey . I wanted them all to come, but they made me come on my own. You......We do get to spend eternity with them after all."
"Can we stay here, by ourselves for just a little while then? It's been so long."
"I know. And yes..........yes we can."
"Good. You've always been around........haven't you?"
"Yes, I have. I've been there every time you've watched those old DVDs of me skating instead of the Holoimages little Urs spent so long converting them to. I've watched you look through every photograph, reliving the wonderful times we shared. I was there when you finally got round to emptying my wardrobes, three years after I'd gone. I so wanted to hold you when you pulled out things that brought back memories. You really should have let the children help from the start you know?"
"I know." Urs nodded, sniffing a little as Franky shook her head then continued.
"I was there each and every time you sat down with Jasmine and I was with her as she wrote the first part of our story down. I was there at every wedding and each and every time you held our newborn great-grandchildren. I was there in Lucerne when you unveiled that statue of yourself in the market square. I was there when you did the same thing inside the Syco building. That one of the four of you is amazing, but the one of just you..........takes my breath away. I was there when you told our children the rest of our story. I was there when you went to Sebastien's funeral, he didn't think it would be so hard for his children the second time around and he can hardly wait to express his thanks for the support you gave them. I was there at every one of your birthday celebrations. I was so happy when you relented and let the children throw you a party for your 95th birthday."
"They were........It just wasn't the same without you there."
"I know, honey. I know. Christmas and New Year, I was always there, as I was there each and every time you paid me a visit. I loved each and every one of those tributes you took so much care in arranging. I was there for everything you've seen and done since I had to leave you."
"What about.........this sounds weird...........What about Francesca? Were you there then?"
"When she won the Junior European Championship bronze medal for figure skating you mean?"
"Yes, I was and through her training too. I couldn't be more proud of our great-granddaughter and what she did with the medal afterwards. I've never seen her father or maternal grandparents cry like they did when she placed it around your neck as a thank you for pushing her through the tough times, using what became our motto when competitors tried to scare her off. You were amazing. I don't think we'll see them cry like that again until she marries. I loved her name from the moment I first heard it, just like I did all of our great-grandchildren. Francesca Jasmine Orphelia Buhler, what a wonderful tribute to two grandmothers and one great-grandmothers that is. It's a shame her parents's relationship didn't last and I was so angry that Danay didn't tell little Urs about her for all those years, but I can understand why she did what she did and I'm glad they're working so well together to raise her now. She won't be the only one to follow in my footsteps either."
"I was angry with Danay too, I couldn't be more proud of Little Franky either." Urs nodded, wiping the tears from Franky's eyes. "What she accomplished.... aged just 11....... I was astounded. Who else follows in your footsteps?"
"I know and you'll see later. I'm very happy that Cesca's finally settled. She looked stunning in my wedding dress. Did you see Drew crying?"
"Nein. I was too busy watching her walk down the aisle on Frank's arm, just like I was when Hadley took Saskia down to Casey. I'm glad Drew is raising Francis as his own though. Robbie will regret abandoning Cesca and Francis when he finally decides to grow a set of ba......you know what's.......and stands up to his parents every time they try to tell him how to live his life, especially that mother of his. I'm glad they're having another child too, except for his name. Urs Toni Drew Martin Hadley Cavendish. Pfft!"
"Yeah he will. Melinda is such a kind, caring and helpful young woman. She loves her job at the hospice, despite her youth. I have never seen those children laugh so hard."
"I know she does. I'm so proud of her. She's like you in so many ways, she's made an amazing doctor."
"I'm afraid we don't have much time left, honey Do you want to see them all before we leave?"
"Ja, but I'm kind of.........scared. I can't remember where I died or when."
"At home, in bed a few hours after all of you had got back from watching Kurt perform for the final time. Just as dawn was breaking on the 2nd of June 2070. Nine years after I left you."
Urs nodded, took a deep breath and did as Franky requested. At first it felt funny seeing himself lying with her pillow held in his arms as though he was asleep. For a second, he thought he was still dreaming until he heard his and Franky's children, grandchildren and great-children crying. He felt a huge smile find its way across his face when Frank composed himself enough to speak.
"Don't be sad that he's gone. Be happy that he lived. He's left behind some wonderful memories. Be happy that Fire and Ice are finally reunited and that he left this life as he wanted, in the home that held so many happy memories for him. We know what he wants for his funeral, no fuss, just his urn placed in the ground beside his angel. Thank God he had the foresight to buy that little piece of land. He'll get exactly what he wants.............and more than deserves."
The images slowly faded and nothing more could be heard from that direction so he turned back to Franky, who was crying but smiling. He knew that look well enough to know that she was immensly proud of each and every member of their family.
"Something on your mind?" Franky asked while he dried her eyes.
"I was just wondering if........you know........if we're allowed to make love?" Urs whispered quietly, his head snatching up when he heard giggling in the distance as well as right in front of him, one familiar laugh coming across loud and deep.
"Yes." Was all that came from Franky's mouth and her face was red when he looked back to her. "It's almost time to go honey." She sniffed after a few minutes of being held and rocked gently.
"Just one more minute."
Urs felt her nod against his chest but that one more minute seemed to go by too quickly. She pulled away, dried her eyes and smiled when a familiar sounding machine made its presence known behind her. He didn't need for her to step aside to know what it was and returned her smile when he saw a pure white Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic idling, waiting for its passengers.
"Just one more question before we go."
"Who's riding pillion?" Franky asked, her smile brightening when he nodded. "I am, Ice. I am."
"Come on then, Fire. Let's go.........home?"
Franky nodded and with arms wrapped around each other the couple made their way to the bike. Urs climbed on first, Franky quickly hopping on behind him, her arms encircling his waist, making him shudder. The bike moved off of its own accord and reached a pretty high speed, leaving Franky's waist long, Titian red hair to create a trail behind them.
Silence reigned in the room for a couple of minutes as Frank finished and, even when everyone did give their seal of approval, not a word fell from anyone's mouth. Frank didn't need to be told he'd done a wonderful job, long sighs, nodding heads and teary-eyed smiles were enough to let him know he'd ended the story perfectly enough for those who always had and always would matter the most.
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|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:07 pm|| |
YES YES YES!!! They are finally together again and leave it to Urs to ask about making love
Wonderful endng to the 3 stories that made up the life of FIRE & ICE..
More work needs to be seen soon PLEASE!!!
|Subject: Re: In The Arms Of My Angel || |
In The Arms Of My Angel