Rainbow Sundae 2.17

The shoe was on the other foot…

It was time for Ashlynn to meet Orion’s parents.

Orion wasn’t looking forward to it…

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Ashlynn tried not to shuffle around in her seat. The scent of the freshly baked cookies wafted up to her nose. Orion’s father and mother stared at her with the same look people gave animals at the zoo. Curiosity and little more.

Ashlynn: “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Fraiser.”

Alden, Orion’s father raised an eyebrow.

Alden: “So this is the girl?”

Leslie, Orion’s mother studied Ashlynn’s acned face and simple haircut.

Leslie: “She’s rather plain, don’t you think?”

Orion’s face turned to stone like an ELO song.

Orion: “I think Ashlynn’s gorgeous and she doesn’t need a gallon of industrial strength makeup to look good.”

The corners of his mother’s mouth dipped into a scowl.

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Ashlynn forced herself to grin.

Ashlynn: “I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I hope you like them.”

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Everyone grabbed a cookie and Ashlynn watched for their reactions.

Alden: “Tell me about your family, Miss Grofield.”

Ashlynn: “Well… my mother is a freelance botanist and my father is a freelance programmer.”

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Alden raised his hand to stop her.

Alden: “Frankly, I don’t care what they call their day jobs. I want to know more about the development of this unclaimed land.”

Orion choked on his cookie as the gears in his head started to click into place. He sucked in a deep breath.

Ashlynn: “I… I’m afraid I–”

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Alden: “I’ve allowed Orion to associate with you because that land could be either very profitable for the Fraiser Foundations or very dangerous.”

Ashlynn: “How could Willow Creek be dangerous?”

Alden: “Because the Fraiser Foundations is the sole regulator of food rationing. We also have divisions and partnerships with public housing. I need to know if your land is going to throw off that system. Is it producing significant–”

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Orion had heard enough. He threw up his hands.

Orion: “Enough! She didn’t come here for you to grill her about her town! She came here to meet you and so you can get to know the girl I intend to marry.”

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Alden barked out a laugh.

Alden: “You’re not going to marry that girl. I don’t even like the thought of you associating with her. I just humored you so I could see how the development of our future property was going.”

Orion: “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!”

Ashlynn: “Future property? My family will never sell our contract to Willow Creek!”

Alden: “Sell? Why would I want to pay for it? I’ll simply get it from the City once I convince them to incorporate the territory.”

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Orion threw himself out of the chair and Ashlynn did the same.

Orion: “We’re out of here.”

Leslie: “Orion Fraiser! Sit down.”

Ashlynn mumbled, “Thank you for inviting me over. Hope you liked the cookies…”

Alden: “Orion. Sit down now.”

Orion: “Fuck you. You disrespect my girlfriend repeatedly and now you’re gloating that you’re going to steal her town. Go to hell.”

Alden: “That barnyard bimbo isn’t your girlfriend. She’s just another money grubbing girl looking for a way out of the boondocks.”

Tears welled in Ashlynn’s eyes.

Ashlynn: “That’s not true! I love Orion and I don’t give a damn about money and I’d never move away from Willow Creek! It’s my home!”

Orion: “Let’s go, Ash. They aren’t going to listen.”

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Leslie looked at Ashlynn and Orion.

Leslie: “It should go without saying, but you seem rather stupid so I’ll spell it out for you. I never want you to see you with my son again. You are forbidden from even looking at my son. Got it?”

The door to the patio slammed shut behind Orion and Ashlynn as they left.

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Ashlynn studied Orion’s dejected face.

Ashlynn: “I thought you were joking with the whole: My parents are evil assholes.”

Orion: “I wish I had been.”

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Orion threw his hands out in frustration.

Orion: “This isn’t changing anything. I still love you. I don’t give a fuck what those assholes think.”

Ashlynn: “I love you too. I know you don’t care what they think.”

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Orion pulled her up and took her into a frenzied embrace. He was desperate to feel her lips on his, to taste her cherry lip balm.

Their kiss was salty from the tears that streamed down Ashlynn’s cheeks.

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Ashlynn broke away from their kiss and gave Orion a mournful look.

Ashlynn: “You promised me right? Eternity.”

Orion: “Of course I did. Eternity and more than that.”

Ashlynn: “Then we’ll find a way to be together.”

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Ashlynn went home and stared at the plain painted walls in Ida’s room. There was a tv on, but she couldn’t watch it. Pepper entered her room and noticed her sister-in-law’s unusual behavior.

Pepper: “Want to talk about it…?”

Ashlynn: “No.”

Pepper stood motionless and listened to Ashlynn’s quiet sobs.

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