An update? I'm shook!

(Not really, I told y'all I'd do it and I done did it lmaooo.)

Hi all! It's so great to get back into this, ugh, I missed Edgar. As usual, I'm sorry for the late update, I've been so busy with real life that time just flew past, but in my defense, what is up with this year of 2018? It's like we've been put on fast-forward, I swear I can't believe we're more than halfway through!

Thank you to all the well-wishers regarding my book, it's still in the editing stages but I promise you guys will be the first to know when (hopefully) it gets on the shelves.

I hope you guys like this chapter, we see some soft interaction between Seth and Edgar, and a bit more of ~plot~. Also, a reviewer pointed out to me that Seth should be older than the eleven I'd made him, which, my bad. I've changed it. And kudos to those who can spot the one Easter egg I dropped in here. It's really, really obvious if you're a reader of my works haha!

Again, thank you for being so patient with me and for all your support even despite my late updates! Check out my new fic Cruel Intentions, which will be getting another update this weekend, and for January fans; your patience has been rewarded –an update is on the horizon! We love Twilight in this house!

Review?

:)


Chapter XX - Maude


It wasn't that Edgar couldn't teach.

If that was all it came to, then of course she could explain to someone how best to draw a face by dividing the basic sections of it, or how to blend using a dark pencil to show the shadows of nearby surroundings, or how to mix colors that would best resemble the glow of a sunset over the ocean –but none of that was Art.

Art was about passion, it was about letting yourself feel and do what seemed best to you, and being constantly surprised at what you managed to put out on the canvas when you were done. It was about getting lost in the process, thoughts closed to everything that didn't have to do with the movement of your fingers, the angle of your brush, the motive of bringing your work to life. It was about dismissing the physical self; ignoring the ache of your wrists from being constantly held up for hours on end, the stiffness of your neck from bending/straining to see what you were doing, the paint or pastels splotches on your cheeks if you got too swept in the excitement. It was about crying and wanting to tear your hair out in frustration when you couldn't get it to do exactly what you wanted to, pushing the work aside for days –weeks- on end after swearing it off for life, before suddenly being hit with a wave of inspiration so hard that you were helpless but to follow the whims of your muse, sometimes working for an unhealthy amount of time until you were finished, until it was just, just right, and stunning, and lovely.

It didn't matter if the piece was barely cohesive, if it was simply just smudges of different textures slapped onto whatever surface you just happened to be using that day. Art wasn't supposed to be perfect; it was supposed to convey something more, show a glimpse into a whole world that few ever had the privilege of seeing. It was about the feelings it drew in both the artist and the viewer, and the impact it had on said life. Maybe it wouldn't be a completely life changing piece –few ever were-, but it was enough if it drew a second, or even third glance from a person. It was enough to have them think about it.

Art in itself couldn't be taught in a worded lesson. It was something to be learned through action, experience, and joy. Edgar thought it was a travesty to teach it any way else.

Because if there was one thing in this life that she loved, Edgar knew for certain that it was Art.

And besides, she doubted that a fourteen year old kid would have much patience for hearing about theory and all the different terms that came with it –indeed she suspected he might just throw her out should she start reciting her Art History textbook to him.

(She'd be lying if she said that she hadn't seriously contemplated this as a course of action for quite a bit of time).

So in the end, after she made Seth bring out a plastic coverlet from their garden shed to place on the grass to keep it from getting dirty, they settled on the timeless and highly respected method of Finger Painting.

"This isn't exactly what I had in mind…" Seth said slowly, eyeing the two buckets in front of them with a frown. Edgar hadn't had this in mind either when she'd set off in the morning, but in the same way she approached most things in her life, she'd decided to just go with the flow.

She had brought an old set of tube paints, some of the presentation paper she and Edward had bought (she had a feeling she'd be hearing about that from him, but frankly she didn't care) and some worn paint brushes when she'd set off in the morning. The paint brushes were moot, but the paper, paints, as well as the various other paraphernalia that had taken permanent residence in her satchel were still options, which among many other things, included: old and forgotten buttons that she'd found lying around in different places, different kinds of leaves she'd picked up from her many forays into the woods –though they were probably dried up by now-, beads and pretty Dragon Tears she'd gathered throughout the years, and a thin-toothed plastic comb which was great if you wanted to add a little personality to your work.

These too were set out on the plastic by the buckets of paint –remnants of what she'd used to paint Leah and Seth's room not so long ago.

"You wanted me to teach you. The best way is through self discovery," she told him, a bright smile on her face.

Seth didn't return it. "How does finger painting count as 'self-discovery'? A three year old could do it." He sounded put out, but she wasn't bothered. It was evident he didn't understand the deeper subtleties as to why this activity was key and shouldn't be underestimated. No matter though, he was sure to understand by the time they were finished.

"Three year olds have a grand appreciation for true art, far more than you do in your current state," the black haired girl declared.

"Hey!" Seth squawked. She ignored him.

"It's simple. Use the tools in front of you to express and bring out your innermost emotions," she said, gesturing to the items before them.

He tilted his head, hair flopping to one side, and she couldn't help but compare him to a cute –though unusually talkative- puppy. "And you're sure this is going to help me learn how to paint?" he asked.

"Yes."

With that simple declaration on her part, he clapped loudly, startling both her and some birds that had been hopping about a few feet away. "Well then!" he enthused, and her conclusion that he was far too loud was reaffirmed. "Let's get this show on the road then!"

And with that he dunked his hand into a bucket with an almost unholy amount of glee for someone who not even five minutes previous, had been questioning her teaching methods.

When the paint sloshed and splattered, the thick drops of maude landing on his face and making him shriek with mischievous laughter, Edgar found that she couldn't help but laugh along with him.


"Brother!" A dainty female voice exclaimed, with just the right amount of excitement to be considered genuine. It wasn't, not really, but Catherine was good like that. She could talk to the Devil Himself with a smile if it came to it, just like their mother.

Sitting beside her, at a southern table in the posh Seattle restaurant they'd chosen to have their monthly sibling dinner in, was their older brother William, looking like he'd rather be anywhere else in the world, but at least he'd shown. Nine times out of ten, it was just Charles and Catherine.

Mustering up his best smile and reminding himself that they were only doing this for their mother's sake, he walked over to their table to join them.

"Cathy, looking lovely as always," he said, and she reached over to squeeze his hand with a satisfied preen.

"Thank you little brother, you always say the kindest things," she replied. Her blond curls were golden under the atmospheric lights of their surroundings, and coupled with her bright blue eyes and rosy pink cheeks, she looked like one of the angels in the paintings his daughter loved so much. She looked just like their mother. His sister was beautiful, it was true, but he couldn't say the same for her insides.

"Indeed," William drawled, sounding unimpressed. With his strawberry blonde hair and brown eyes, he looked more like their father, square jaw and all. The two of them were their parent's clones, right up to their mannerisms. It had been a surprise when dark haired, grey eyed Charles had been born, for no one knew where he'd gotten it from. He'd been the odd one out, not only in looks but in personality. Those were just a few of the many things that set him apart from his siblings.

"I'm surprised you bothered to show. We haven't seen you in months," He said, raising a brow.

The smile William gave him was insincere. "It really is unfortunate, but you know how it is when work demands your undivided attention."

"I'm sure," Charles said dryly.

Catherine jumped in then, "How's dear little Edgar? She must be all grown up now! You never bring her around for a visit. The children miss her!"

'The Children' –Cathy's quaint quadruple that ranged from seven to twenty-seven- hated Edgar and the feeling was mutual. They thought she was a weirdo and more than slightly deranged, and she thought they were spoiled and entitled. Privately he thought that none of them were all that wrong about the other (loathe as he was to admit it, he knew very well his daughter wasn't what one would call 'normal' –that didn't mean it was a bad thing however!).

William's five kids were only a little better. Two of them were in college, twin boys, and admirably quiet for their age, but when they did talk, they were painfully blunt. Between the them and Edgar, most people in a five meter radius were liable to get (unintentionally) insulted at least twice before whichever gathering they were all attending was over. The other three didn't even live in the country, one being a archaeologist, the other a geologist, and the last a missionary.

Whenever they did show, they all came with interesting, if slightly disturbing little anecdotes about their work. Edgar never paid attention to what they had to say, and they couldn't accept that she didn't find any one of them to be the most interesting person in the room, which then made them salty.

Social events were a nightmare in their family, honestly.

"She's alright, thank you. A busy bee as usual. And you, Will? How's the wife?" he asked politely.

This was how most of their dinners went; polite stilted conversations that suited strangers more than siblings. After that they'd go their own ways and wouldn't voluntarily reach out to the other until the next dinner unless it was either, a) an emergency, b) someone's birthday/death, or c) their mother started crying and/or guilt tripped them into it.

The relationship between the three of them wasn't hostile per se, it was just that neither of them were all that close to each other, and the big age gaps didn't make it easy either. Will was ten years older than Cathy, who was twelve years older than him. His two older siblings had already been well into their own life routines by the time he came along, with Will in university and Cathy just blossoming into adolescence. He couldn't exactly blame them for being distant.

It was mostly familial obligation and their mother that kept them from completely forgetting that the other existed. That and their father's will, which their mother had yet to reveal to them. Charles himself didn't care about it all that much, his father had been dead by the time he was six, so he had no attachment to him, nor to anything he owned –but his siblings were ready to go to court for it if they had to, when the time came.

Sometimes, Charles wished he'd been born in a warm, comfortably middle-class family in which things like generational distribution of wealth and property in one's Will and Testament wasn't a thing, and what mattered most was the love shared between family members.

His dear wife Liza, bless her soul, was someone who had come from such a family, had firmly told him that he had no right to be ungrateful for what he had, when millions of people were struggling to make ends meet. He knew it was true, but when he saw how his whole family was so uptight over money, he couldn't help but linger on the thought.

"The Blue Rose ball is coming up in a few weeks," Catherine started conversationally over dessert, "Can we expect to see you there, Will?" she asked.

His brother let out a noncommittal hum. "I am one of the sponsors."

"Your darling niece will be auctioning off some pieces, and all the proceeds will be going to charity. I hope you can support her," Catherine said, giving Charles a wink over her crème brulée. He appreciated her efforts.

"Of course," William agreed. "One of my associates has already taken an interest in her work. He thinks she's very talented, couldn't stop raving about it really. He's very interested in meeting her. "

"He is?" Charles asked with surprise, and a tad bit of suspicion. This was news to him, and he knew William wouldn't have mentioned it if this 'associate' wasn't important in some way.

"Yes," his brother said with a nod. Charles gave him a look of annoyance, Catherine waving her hand impatiently.

"Stop being so cryptic Will, and get on with it. Who is it?" she asked, her eyes gleaming with interest. His sister was among other things, a lover of news, if put politely.

William rolled his eyes. "He's from Europe, a Count or some such. I can't be bothered to remember all their titles, so pompous the lot of them-"Charles wanted to laugh at the fact that his brother was calling anyone 'pompous'. "-Anyway, he does big charity work over there, and has a reputation for being something of a…Collector. The Ball was the best opportunity for him to make his way stateside, or at least, according to him."

"His name?" Charles asked expectantly.

But William just shook his head. "I'm not at liberty to say as of yet. He wants to remain under the radar for now, because of his 'royal title'." The last part was said with a clear amount of disdain, which had Cathy giggling next to him.

Charles frowned. It was all very cloak and dagger, in his opinion. He hated to admit it, but he could agree with the fact that the man was being awfully exaggerated in his behavior. It was strange; wouldn't a man with such a background want to be known? Most of the fancy European families that occasionally ventured over the pond for social reasons were always huffing and puffing all over the place. He couldn't understand why this man wasn't.

He wanted to know just who this man was, his reputation, and just why he was so interested in his daughter.