Ain't We Got Fun?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Literary_Dreamer, May 11, 2013.

  1. “August? August! Where is that boy?”

    Charlotte Morgan, née McColl, had been born to a family of the upper middle class—not quite rich enough to be truly bourgeois but rich enough to emulate the style. She’d been warned that she’d be ruined if she married George Morgan. He’d had a certain way about him, though, a charisma strong enough to charm her father into giving away his only daughter. It had been hard at first, learning the live in the stringent frugality that had saved his family’s fortune, but now… Now, looking around the grandeur of her new home, Lottie Morgan would have liked to see the faces of those who had told her that she would be ruined.

    “No, no,” she said, catching sight of some movers who had gone astray. “That goes over there. AUGUST!”

    Charlotte was a small woman, pretty and stylish even as she entered her forties, but she had a voice strong enough to reach every corner of their new mansion home. She batted her pretty hazel eyes as she counted the seconds, waiting for a response. After a few moments and no reply, she repeated, “Where is that boy?”

    Just as Charlotte was drawing breath to call for her son again, he appeared at the top of the stairs. Doing his best to act distracted, he descended the stairs slowly as he unrolled his sleeves. His mother approached him and they met at the bottom of the stairs.

    “You called, Mother?”

    “I did,” she said. “I thought you went into the city with your father for business.”

    “Then why were you calling?”

    “Because I was afraid you hadn’t.”

    Charlotte liked to pretend that the past five years had not happened. She liked the idea of her son still being almost grown but not quite. When August was going through his more rebellious stage, Lottie had often wished that her son would grow up just a little bit faster. Two years in Europe had done just that for him. He’d left a mischievous boy of eighteen and returned a pensive man of twenty. Every so often, she caught a glimpse of the boy she remembered in him, a spark, a flash of light. Now August had just passed his twenty-third birthday and she had to accept that her little boy was not coming back.

    Since August was no longer a boy, he should have begun taking interest in his father’s business (an occupation he really ought to have started years ago but he’d been coddled in his youth by his doting mother). He was good at whatever he tried his hand at, as talented as his father in business, but he was disinterested. This wasn’t a sort of rebellion that he was not going to do as he was told, he was far too old for antics like that anyway; it was simply honest disinterest.

    August did what was expected of him and he did it well, with the careful attention of a perfectionist, but he did no more than what was absolutely required of him. Charlotte almost wished he slacked in some area so that she could reprimand him with motherly justice and trick him into becoming a top-notch businessman with her motherly wiles. As it was, she could only watch on in faint disappointment because there was nothing out of line.

    “I’m sorry, Mother,” August said, almost sounding repentant but there was a hollowness there that smacked of dishonesty. “I was helping upstairs and I lost track of the time. Father said he didn’t need me to be present for the business deal, so he went to the city by himself.”

    Charlotte wondered what her husband thought about the change in their son. It had taken her so long to pin down the exact change that, by the time she realized she ought to discuss it with George, she was too busy with the plans for the move to do anything about it. George hadn’t mentioned anything, either, but he was a busy man himself.

    “You’re…helping…?” Charlotte asked. In their old home, the Morgans had lived a quiet life with only a housekeeper as a servant so many things had to be done themselves. Now, with their new home, they had dozens of people and yet August insisted on helping?

    “Only with my rooms,” August assured her. “I want to be sure it’s done right.”

    Charlotte bit her lip lightly and nodded. She was finding it more and more difficult to deal with her son. She couldn’t read him, anymore, like she had in the past and it was disconcerting. She had a feeling that it had something to do with the war, but August wouldn’t talk about the war. She supposed that she should be grateful; her son wasn’t dead or disfigured or reduced to a sobbing mess every time a car backfired. Still, she felt like she’d lost August somehow and that was one of the biggest driving forces behind her determination to move the family to New York. She covered her reasons with the veneer of family prestige but her real goal was to pull August out of whatever had taken hold of him during the war and bring him to the present. The war was nearly four years done, it had been a good three since she’d welcomed her son home, and they lived in a grand, peaceful world.

    “Mother? Is something the matter?” August asked, breaking her pensive silence.

    “Oh, no,” Charlotte answered, “I was just…considering if the furniture in this room should be rearranged to catch the cross breeze better.”

    “I like it the way it is,” August told her after a thoughtful glance around the room.


    “Yes. But… If you’ll excuse me, Mother, I would like to get some fresh air. It was rather close upstairs and that’s what I came down for to begin with.”

    “Go on, then,” Charlotte said, shooing her son outside. “Go for your walk, get your fresh air. Oh, but don’t forget that we’ve been invited to that party by…oh, I don’t remember who. Lord knows I have nothing to wear but we can’t disappoint.”

    “All right, Mother,” August said, the shadow of a smile on his lips. “I’ll remember.”

    “Good.” Charlotte turned her back on her son as he went outside and returned her attention to the movers. “No, no, no. Not there. There!
  2. Faye Loretta Reece. Only twenty-one years old and she was already engaged. And to a man that loved not her, but the wealth of her family and the prominent title he'd get after becoming the step-son of Donald and Loretta Reece. However, James wouldn't be the only one benefiting from the engagement; her family, built on sturdy old money, would be prospering from the new money of James Kessler, one of the two sons of entrepreneurs Theresa and Howard Kessler.

    "Are you excited for tonight?" James asked from behind Faye who was sitting on the porch. Faye looked over and up to the handsome and nonetheless charming blonde. He smiled at her before sitting down next to his fiancee. Their relationship was friendly and caring, but never loving in the sense of being in love. Both accepted that, even if neither vocally claimed it. To be quite truthful, Faye was only happy that she would be able to keep on living in the manner she had been since she was a child - wealthy and in good security. It was the only life she knew.

    "Yes," she answered with a small smile. She had been watching the decorators all day - listening to her mother make orders to everybody that apparently didn't know what they were doing, according to her mother. A party for Faye's and Jame's engagement - oh, it was to be grand. In the back yard, white Christmas lights were to be hung over the few trees' barks to illuminate just how lustrous their backyard was, and to behold how beautiful the Reece's home was. They didn't often hold parties, so when they did, they made sure to make it the best for at least the next few months or so.

    James took Faye's soft hand in his, looking at the contrast of his larger, tanned hands compared to her soft, delicate, pale hands. They had never seen a day of work, just like how Theresa wanted it to be.

    "Housework is for the servants," Faye's mother, a traditional old woman, had said. From the day Faye could understand what her mother was saying, Theresa had taught her how to be lady-like, how to be primp and proper, how to be beautiful, how to make men like her. Faye learned every word. But inside, the passion of wanting to be her own person never died down.

    Her papa was a bit looser on the reigns than her mother, but was still traditional.

    Faye looked over to her fiancee with her stormy grey eyes that were brightened by her dark brown and wavy waist-length hair. The couple really were such a contrast: Faye was naturally slim, but had the curves of what old women called perfection. She stood at 5'6" and had pale flesh that tanned just enough to caramelize her skin tone. She had dark brown hair and grey eyes, her smile perfectly white and aligned with dimples on either side of her cheeks. James, on the other hand, was a standing 6'3" with a broad and muscular body that was naturally tan. He had blond hair with chocolate brown eyes that could just sink into your soul.

    "Come," Faye said as she stood, still holding on to the blonde's hand. "Let us go get ready."
  3. August Morgan withheld a tired sigh as his mother fussed over his appearance. She was certain he hadn’t taken enough care in getting ready, despite his natural carefulness and perfectionist tendencies, and was determined to make him look as well as was possible with the car idling outside. The girl for whom the party was being held might be engaged already but she likely had plenty of eligible friends and one might become a suitable bride for August.

    “You really should have worn tails,” she complained, tugging at the lapels of her son’s tuxedo jacket. “Look at your father, doesn’t he look well? You should have worn tails.”

    George Morgan did look well, for a man nearing fifty. He was sturdily built but he had miraculously dodged the middle aged paunch that affected some men. His greying hair had not begun to thin, either. The stiff, formal attire he’d chosen was appropriate for a man of his age and standing—it was flattering, even—but it was not well suited to modern, young man like August.

    Truthfully, even Charlotte Morgan had to admit that her son cut a very striking figure. He looked, to some degree, like his father had when he was younger with angular features that weren’t too sharp and a strong, square jaw. He also sported his father’s thick, chestnut brown hair. From his mother’s side, he’d been graced with a tall, lean figure that was muscular but not bulky. He was also possessed of strange, smoky green eyes that were unique to him as no one else in the family had them. It might have been the source of some gossip if he hadn’t looked so much like his father.

    Sporting a sleek and stylish black tuxedo with a formal white waistcoat, there was nothing about his appearance that said anything other than handsome and wealthy young man. He was quite appropriately attired for the evening’s event, even if his apparel would have shocked during his mother’s youth.

    “The car is waiting,” George said when his wife began reaching to fix August’s hair. He didn’t see quite what her fuss was about. There was no rush for a man to be married before thirty, especially a man from a family like the Morgans who needed to focus on business before he got caught up with romance. Since it was a good seven years before August reached that age, any eligible women at the party would either be married with families or be unmarriageable old maids.

    “Oh. Oh!” Charlotte backed away from her son and adjusted her white fur stole. “Yes. Of course, we mustn’t be late.” She immediately turned and bustled out of the house, her beads and jewels clacking as she moved.

    George gave his son a sympathetic smile before following his family into the car.

    When they reached the party, it was just really beginning to get under way. The family was very quickly split up, with Charlotte ushering her son away from the more sedate corners of the party and towards the feverish pit where the music played and the people danced: where he could meet young women, that is.

    August was quietly social. He joined some conversations but only spoke as much as he needed in order to not appear rude. He danced a few songs but was never really committed to the dance floor. He drank a little alcohol, but not enough to get drunk or even really tipsy.

    When August caught sight of the most beautiful young woman present, he withdrew even further from socializing so that he could observe her better. He’d never been so instantly attracted to a woman’s appearance before. He’d found many women beautiful before, some even at that very party, but never like this. She drew his eyes no matter wherever she stood. If he lost her in the crowd, he scanned around until he found her again.

    What was more surprising to the young man was that he didn’t dare ask to be introduced to her. He may have become more reserved since returning from Europe but he’d never been shy. Before the war, he’d even been quite bold…to his family’s displeasure. Now, he watched her from afar, mute as a stone, waiting for someone to take the initiative to introduce them. There wasn’t a very great chance of anyone introducing them, however, because he was new in the area and he knew no one there. The person who had procured an invitation to this stylish party for his family was a business associate of his father’s whose name August didn’t even know. The only other alternative was that the beauty would ask to be introduced to him. That was even less likely in August’s opinion because he doubted she’d even seen him, or had an interest in meeting him if she had.

    So, August waited. He watched that beautiful creature and sipped at whatever drink he’d happened to take from the servants who carried them around on trays. As he waited and watched, he imagined what her name would be and what they’d talk about if they met but didn’t dare hope that they would actually meet.
  4. As James got ready in a separate room, Faye had her mother help her with her hair. She had already gotten dressed much to her mother's approval; white creme colored silk accentuated with a shade darker of lace laid straight against the engaged daughter's body. The sleeves were just thin strands of lighter grey sequins that rested upon her shoulders and ended under her armpits. Though her mother was more traditional in the sense of hair and lady morals, she was quite tolerant of the current clothing trend. Faye wore tan nylons underneath paired with deep red heels accentuated with gold. Her hair was pulled up into a side bun of sorts that was paired with a gold head band which clamped onto one of her upper ears and clipped onto the back of her hair, bringing a nice fall of gold to her hair. Her earrings were a deep ruby, similar to the color of her shoes, inlaid with swirled gold as well. They hung loosely from her earlobes and gave way to a more alluring view of her neck which was accompanied by a creme colored necklace.

    "Oh, sweetie, you look gorgeous," her mother mewed, bringing her only daughter and child to her arms with a very pleased expression. Faye laughed lightly and hugged her mother back.

    "I would kiss you, momma, but then I just might stain your cheek," Faye replied, rubbing her bright red lips together. Loretta just smiled and hugged her daughter again.

    "Now let's get going - your fiancee is already waiting outside for you."

    James was wearing a black formal suit with a red vest to accent with his soon-to-be wife. His hair was swept back with gel which Faye admittedly liked a lot better than his usual hanging blond hair that sometimes got in the way of his eyes. She was greeted with a small peck on the cheeks before they linked arms and walked downstairs with Loretta trailing happily behind them.

    The party soon started with people flooding in. Faye knew almost all of them, and if she didn't, her parents would help out. They all gave their congratulations to either the fiancees or the fiancees' parents, but the brunette and blonde both knew that very few of them were actually there to celebrate their engagement. Most were there to just have a good time.

    What seemed to be only a little while later after the party started, Faye Reece was separated from her fiancee who was replaced by her friends: three very fine young ladies that had no shame in mingling. They all shared dances on the dance floor, and strangely, Faye felt like she was being watched for a very long time. The feeling didn't unnerve her; however, she was inclined to find who it was that was staring at her. A lot of people were to be honest, but that was just them admiring her or happy for her engagement. She was also probably being judged.

    Then, after sitting down to take a breather, she spotted from across the room a very, very handsome man looking at her. They met eyes. She had never met him before. She was also sure that she had never even seen him before. But her body felt different after catching eyes with him. She automatically knew that he was the one watching her.

    "Marie," she said as she tapped one of her friends on the shoulder. "Who's that young man right there?" She pointed to him, showing the blond girl who she was talking about. Marie squinted her eyes to see better and shrug her shoulders after assessing him.

    "Don't know," she said as she sipped at her drink. "I've never seen him before. But I'll be damned if I said he wasn't one of the most handsome men I've seen all night," she said playfully, giggling some before looking at Faye. Faye let out an amused breath before standing up.

    "Well I'm going to go find out," she said as she made her way towards him. She didn't feel weird in doing so. She was taught to always introduce herself to strangers at her own parties - it made her seem 'unlike any of the rest', as her mother had put it.

    Once she was standing in a decent spot in front of him, she shined a smile of perfectly aligned and white teeth.

    "Good evening," she greeted. "How are you enjoying the party?"
    #4 catalyst, May 13, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  5. August had found a very good spot to watch her from. It was out of the way, far enough from the main line of traffic to prevent anyone from stopping to speak with him. He didn’t have any friends there, after all. Despite its relatively remote location, the spot had a clear line of sight to all places in the yard so that, as long as the beauty did not go inside and his view was not obstructed by other partygoers, he could see her no matter where she went.

    He wondered about her character and tried to guess at it by her appearance. Her manner of dress was fashionable and elegant but her long hair had gone out of style a few years back. Admittedly, August didn’t know much about women’s fashion. He based his observations on comparisons to other women. The beauty held up very well despite her outdated hair. August thought she looked very pretty with long hair and that she would have looked just as well if she decided to “bob” it as so many other women chose.

    She sat down for a break. It was no wonder to August that she was growing tired. She’d been moving about and mingling since he’d first laid eyes on her. Sitting down, she had the opportunity to look around and see the party from a different angle. He wondered what observations she was making. Then their eyes met. August froze. By the time he was able to tear his eyes away, he’d already held her gaze for a second too long.

    August made a study of examining everything but her for a few excruciating moments. Surely she’d noticed him staring and thought him too bold. He was humiliated. Still, he could not resist looking at her for long. She’d become the only bright spot at the party and he was ceaselessly drawn to her. When he looked back to her, she was approaching.

    August scrambled to explain to himself that she wasn’t coming over to speak to him; she couldn’t be coming over to speak to him. She’d seen a friend, that was all. A friend whom she’d desperately wanted to talk to but hadn’t seen all evening. She’d been so excited to see that friend that, even though she was tired, she was going to speak with them. But she absolutely couldn’t be approaching August and certainly not to accuse him of acting inappropriately.

    August held onto that belief like a lifeboat until she stopped just before him and said, “Good evening. How are you enjoying the party?”

    “What?” August choked in a voice that was a little too high. The shock didn’t last long, though, before his charming instincts took over and he put on his most gentlemanly appearance. He softly cleared his throat, took a deep breath, and began to speak in a pleasing voice that was the backbone to the charisma he’d inherited from his father and that he’d fine-tuned in order to be more alluring than the previous generation. It was said in his hometown that there wasn’t a female heart there which hadn’t been broken by him before he’d left for the war though, with his family’s reputation on his back, he’d been wary of romantic entanglements and had not really been more than civil with any of them.

    “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he said to the charming young woman who now stood before him. “That was terribly rude of me. I was caught by surprise; I don’t know where my mind was. I am enjoying the party, very much. It’s… It’s… I don’t seem to have a word for it yet. I’ve just arrived from the quiet, very quiet, middle west and all of this,” August motioned around at the party that bustled around them. “Well, it dazzles me, yet. But I haven’t even told you who I am. My manners seem to have fled me this evening. I am August Morgan and it is very much my pleasure to meet you, Miss…?”
  6. As the brunette with outdated hair, thanks to her mother's old ways, approached the handsome young man, she couldn't help but watch him as she made her way. Of course, she smiled and acknowledged her guests that complimented or congratulated her but every second that she wasn't, she was looking at the chestnut brown haired man. She noticed the way he was internally struggling - maybe for an excuse the bold way he had been staring at her all evening, or because he was just naturally nervous?

    Faye waited for his answer and took advantage of the situation by taking in everything he had to offer in that moment. The way he was sitting, his facial expressions, how copacetic his suit was - everything. She was often known for the way she assessed people; silently, but never judgmental. When she was younger, she had a rather quiet personality. However, once she got of age, she spent her whole teenage years being taught to open up. 'Show people the real you,' both her mother and her father had said. Which never made any sense to the young Faye - still didn't - since how could she be fake if she was naturally timid?

    He had thick chestnut brown hair that made her just want to run her fingers through it. From this up close, she could see his eyes. And what stunning eyes he had; smokey green and luscious, the color that she had never before seen on a man. Though he was sitting and she couldn't fully divulge her eyes in his body, she could already tell that he was tall with a lean, muscular body.

    A bit of a high-pitched answer squeaked from the stranger's lips - his tone somewhat confused. She had to bite the inside corner of her lip to keep from smiling, just in case she would make the man feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. However, before she could repeat herself, the copper brunette had switched expressions completely, clearing his throat and becoming quite the spiff. He apologized, explaining that he was only surprised when she had approached him. His voice, oh man, his voice. If she had lived in the west town that he spoke about, she would have been one of those poor girl's swooning over him. He was absolutely charming and yet, she didn't get the feeling that he was a billboard like all the other young big timers out there.

    "My, my, you're from out west? That explains why I didn't recognize you," she said with a light smile, dimples showing slight as her grey eyes shone with the joy of meeting someone new. "And oh, don't fret, Mr. Morgan. I'm glad that you're enjoying the party. My name is Faye. Faye Reece."

    'Soon to be Kessler. Tell him, Faye. Tell him this is your engagement party,' her thoughts warned, but for some reason she could not get the words out. She was hoping that August didn't know if he recognized her name. But it was possible that he already did.

    "So," she began as she sat down next to him, legs crossing out of habit. "How long ago did you move here?"
  7. Reece… Reece… The name sounded familiar but August couldn’t place it. There was something that tugged at the back of his mind, saying that a girl called Faye Reece was a bad girl to get involved with. August considered the thought for a moment and then dismissed it. Even if he was interested in being involved with Faye, and he couldn’t deny that he was, that didn’t mean anything would come of it. They’d only just met after all.

    “I’ve been here a week,” August told the girl, “though things move so quickly here in New York that I can hardly believe it’s been more than three days. The city I come from is a quaint little place and I mean that it is little in comparison to this city, but what city is not small when compared to New York? Even if it were not the largest city in the world, it would have enough vivacity to make it the largest in spirit. But you don’t want to hear me wax poetic over a city I’ve barely known a week, do you?” August gave a grin that was strangely confident in its shyness but still cultured and charming. It was the sort of little grin that was so purely natural that all the practice in the world would not allow for it to be copied.

    Suddenly, August knew he could not sit there much longer. Part of it was shyness; the girl he’d been watching almost all evening was sitting next to him and, even though words slid smoothly off his trained lips, he did not quite know what to say. Part of it was that he was of a naturally active disposition, no matter how much he’d appeared to change over the past few years, and he would not have been able to abide by sitting there much longer no matter who he was in the company of. Another part lay with the fact that a new song had just struck up and August wanted to trade the more stiff formality of talking side by side for the more intimate nature of dancing.

    It was that last reason that August asked, “Would you like to dance? I would be honored if you should. Don’t worry about my more country nature. I do know how to dance.” He stood and with another one of his charming smiles, he held out a hand to help her up if she chose to dance.
  8. August hadn't seemed to recall Faye's first and last name so she relaxed just a tad. She listened to him speak, learning that the older man had been in the city of New York for a week. He lived in a 'quaint little place', one, he said, that was of course smaller than New York. She smiled at that, nodding her head in agreement. At his last sentence, a subtle laugh escaped her lips, her smile showing the dimples that always showed when her lips curved happily.

    "No, you're quite correct. This city - it's, well, unimaginable," she responded, taking note of just how genuine his grin was. She could often tell when a person's face was hiding something, but his smile. His smile was real. And he was a country boy. Ah, the young woman had always wondered what it was like out there. The hustle and bustle of the city always kept her moving with bubbling posture, but never had she once visited the countryside.

    A new song was heard over the large and luscious yard which brought Faye's attention to the dance floor. She smiled at seeing a few of her friends dancing, seeing all of her guests enjoying themselves rather splendidly. She felt shifting beside her and she looked over, seeing that August had stood with a hand extended towards her, just another one of those charming smiles gracing his face. He asked her to dance, assuring her not to worry because, even though he was a country boy, he still knew how to dance.

    A grin contorted the features on her face, eyes twinkling with new delight of this stranger, as she took hold of his hand gently and stood. "I'd be delighted to dance with you," she answered before making their way out to the dance floor. Even though she was taught never to decline a dancing partner, she actually wanted to dance with this August Morgan fellow.
    #8 catalyst, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013