Disclaimer: DM characters aren't mine…blah, blah, blah…original characters are…blah, blah, blah. Sue if you want, ain't gonna get nothing, I'm too puh. (See? I'm so broke, I can only afford the "P" in poor!)
Comments: Flame if you want, all I can say is (singing) "burn baby burn!" I pretty much ignore them because flamers are usually too lazy to bother explaining why they don't like something. Or they're cowardly bullies who are trying to get a rise out of folks because their own lives are too pathetic to live.
The rating is T because of a few expletives, crass language and such. Don't have to worry about encountering anything sexually explicit in this fic.
For those who don't know Spanish or just not familiar with the name, Auralia is pronounced Ore-all-lee-ah. Amalia is pronounced Ah-mall-ee-ah. The last name is pronounced Ah-ce-veh-des, all long sounds. Her nickname Aurie is pronounced Orry, like Orry Main from the North & South miniseries and books.
This rewrite is dedicated to texas2step, kittn, Rach, Kaiti, patscats, tvnerdgirl, MischievousPuck, AOK2, mouse8 and Helena.Thank you for taking the time to review. I'm long overdue on updating, but I certainly appreciate your input and patience. I hope you enjoy the changes I made.
It's amazing how time works. When you want something to happen quickly, either because you're eagerly anticipating something or you just want to get it over with, time seems to move slower than molasses in the winter. However, when you don't want something to happen, the faster time seems to sprint along.
Auralia Acevedes was stuck somewhere in between. As she tried to patiently wait in the opulently decorated waiting room of Davis, Stein & Hartman Design she was torn between wanting to get this meeting over with fast and hoping it never happened at all. That quandary seemed to make time rather schizophrenic. She knew she hadn't been waiting very long since forcing herself to walk through the glass double doors up to the reception desk. She was surprised the receptionist didn't chase her out for not having an appointment and asked her to sit and wait until she could be seen. For the last twenty minutes Auralia facilitated between believing the antique French clock hanging on the wall was moving far too agonizingly slow for it not to be broken and it feeling like she just blinked and five minutes have already shot by.
It didn't take long for her to understand why the steady ticking of a clock is capable of driving someone insane.
Forcing herself to breathe deeply before she gave into the urge to throw the damn frilly thing down on the floor and stomp on it, Auralia took a moment to carefully study her surroundings. It wasn't a big waiting room because with the type of clients this interior design firm caters to it wouldn't be good form to keep them waiting for long. It was comfortable and decorated like someone's living room. Someone with a lot of money and a taste for the eclectic.
She had done her homework before coming to the five story converted warehouse located near the L.A. fashion district. She learned Spencer Davis was one of the top interior decorators in Southern California. He was born privileged, but rather than simply squander his inheritance like a typical playboy, he opted to make a name for himself. Without any help from his family fortune, he and two other decorators built Davis, Stein & Hartman Design from the ground up into a Fortune 500 company.
Auralia sighed heavily as she raised her arms above her head and stretched out the kinks in her back. Mentally she reminded herself not to get all worked up. That whatever happens will happen. Smirking to herself, she knew it wasn't an easy philosophy to follow when it felt as if her life depended on the answers she hoped to get from this meeting. The reality was her life did depend on it. Patience had never been her strong suit and it was getting harder not to just get up and leave. If she had a choice, she wouldn't be subjecting herself to this agony. However, she doesn't so she was just going to have to suck it up and follow through.
Glancing down she noticed her blouse had bunched up funny when she stretched. Grabbing the hem she tugged it back into place with another soft sigh. Her anxiety at waiting for one Spencer Davis fed into her childish insecurities. Not only did she feel like a little kid caught doing wrong and waiting to meet her doom in the principal's office, she felt like a fish out of water. She felt incredibly underdressed surrounded by all the luxury.
She thought it'd be enough splurging on a tailored, button up blouse to offset her worn jeans and tennis shoes. That just ended up being the equivalent of throwing a cheap rug over the embarrassing stain in the carpet. It's still there and you only just attracted more attention to it. Not having any experience with anything fancier than a Village Inn restaurant, she had no idea how fancy this design firm would be. Even if she did, though, she wouldn't have been able to afford to do more than she did.
'Can't do anything about it now,' she thought resignedly.
Auralia mentally went over what she planned to say to Spencer Davis should she miraculously get in to see him. Unfortunately the words she'd rehearsed hundreds of times eluded her the longer she waited. Finally abandoning her speech, she concentrated on keeping calm while her insides twisted into knots. Finally a buzz from the receptionist's phone jolted her from her reverie. Attempting to appear disinterested, she strained to hear what the woman was quietly saying into phone.
Replacing the handset onto the cradle she turned to the young teen. "Mr. Davis will see you now, Miss Acevedes."
"Thanks," Auralia replied standing up. Slinging her backpack over one shoulder she crossed the room to the large wooden French doors. "Time to face the executioner," she muttered under her breath as she grasped the knob and entered.
Looking around as she crossed the room, Auralia decided the word 'office' was a misnomer. It could easily be converted into a small apartment. Not surprisingly it was furnished lavishly, albeit in a more contemporary style than the waiting room.
One thought crossed her mind as she walked over the huge Persian rug to the enormous art deco glass desk. 'Mr. Davis certainly has expensive tastes.'
As she approached the desk a disembodied voice drifted out. "Please, have a seat. I'll be just a moment."
Settling into one of the luxurious leather chairs facing the desk, she had to will herself to loosen her grip on the backpack in her lap. After what seemed like an eternity, Mr. Davis finally appeared, striding in from another room off to her left. He was a handsome man of average height with liquid brown eyes. The flecks of gray in his curly black hair belied his boyish face.
"Sorry to keep you waiting," he said sliding behind his desk. "I was on the phone with a client and it took longer than expected. Wouldn't you think that someone who could afford hire an interior designer would trust that designer to know what they're doing?"
Startled by the sudden question Auralia blinked stupidly before answering. "Uh, yeah. Sure. I'd think that."
"Right. Common sense tells you that. However, you'll be hard pressed to find an ounce of common sense in Southern California. I mean, who in their right mind would build a subway in earthquake country?"
Finding his enthusiasm infectious she couldn't resist returning his smile as she conceded his point. "Yeah, true."
"Anyway, enough of that," he waved his hand in the air dismissively. "How may I help you?"
"My name is Auralia Acevedes and I'm from Tucson. Not sure how to say it without sounding crazy, but…" Pausing to close her eyes briefly as she took a deep breath she finally just said it. "well…I think you might be my father."
Auralia waited for some sort of explosive denial, like on TV, but Spencer quietly sat back in his chair studying her.
After a few moments he finally spoke. "What leads you to believe I'm your father?"
"Honestly? I don't know for sure." She replied sheepishly with a shrug. "My mom got really drunk once and started rambling about how you got her pregnant with me. Knowing my mom, it's probably not true, but I need to find my biological dad." She admitted with a resigned sigh.
"Your mother doesn't happen to be Amalia Acevedes?" Spencer asked with a quirked brow.
Auralia blinked in surprise. "Uh, yeah, how'd you know? From my last name?"
"That did help, but I also know your mother very well. I've got to admit I was hesitant to meet with you at first. I wasn't sure how much you'd resemble your mother, in regards to your motives, I mean. But, I was curious about what you had to say. I'm curious, why find your father now?"
Auralia blew out a breath. "Kinda had to. See, I'm not a legal U.S. citizen and neither is my mom. I'm trying to correct that because I've been here for a while and really would like to stay. Anyway, if my father is a citizen, the immigration officer handling my case says I'll have an easier time becoming a legal resident."
Spencer sat in quiet contemplation for a few moments before speaking. "I can honestly tell you I'm not your father." He smiled gently at her. "I'm sorry if my answer disappoints you, but I'm absolutely certain without a blood test. Your mother was a very beautiful and charming woman. The reason she's memorable to me is she had an insatiable appetite for the good life she couldn't support on her own. And really, what better way to keep living well than by marrying rich?"
Auralia couldn't help but return his smirk as he continued his story. "Amalia decided I was the rich eligible man for her. It was amusing how hard she tried to seduce me, especially considering she wasn't the first to set her sights on me. She had no idea I already well versed in that game. About sixteen years ago I hosted a party at a friend's house in Malibu. Your mother managed to secure an invitation, a particular talent of hers. I remember leaving the party at about two that morning and went home. A month later she shows up here informing me she's pregnant with my child. I couldn't help myself, but I started laughing, which only made your mother livid."
Spencer paused to shake his head at the memory. "I simply told her the baby wasn't mine. She insisted it was and I had slept with her, but was too drunk to remember. I wasn't even buzzed, which is why I remembered that night quite clearly. I had three glasses of champagne the entire night and nothing else. In her frustration she slipped saying she drugged my champagne. I started laughing again, only harder. I asked her, 'were you too drunk yourself to remember? You never poured me a glass.' She continued being adamant that the baby was mine and I was only trying to avoid my obligation. Since she refused to believe me I had to bluntly admit certain facts about myself. I'm sterile and I'm gay. Always have been. When I suggested we do a paternity test once the baby was born she promptly stormed out of my office and I haven't heard from her since."
Many thoughts and memories swirled in Auralia's mind as she struggled to make sense of it all. She wanted to just think Spencer was merely covering his own ass, but her mother's track record lends a lot of weight to his words. Subconsciously she knew he wasn't her father.
Finding her voice she looked him in the eye. "Thanks. You've helped me understand some things better than I did before. You could've just blown me off, especially knowing who my mom was, and," she hesitated to take a deep breath, "I want to say I'm sorry."
"Sorry?" Spencer asked confused.
"Yeah, because of what mom did. That I'm bothering you about this again. I believe what you're saying, really. But, I was wondering…if…" Auralia took another deep breath to calm her nerves before continuing. "Do you have any idea who is, I mean, who might be my father? I don't have to know, but I need to know, you know?"
Davis chuckled and thought for a few minutes. "I might have a few possibilities."
"A few?" She asked incredulous.
"Three actually. Oh don't be surprised, I wasn't the only one your mother set her eyes on. I just happened to be the richest."
"Oh." Auralia replied quietly, realizing things were getting far more complicated than she expected.
"If I remember correctly, by the time I left the party there were only three other men there who your mother would pick as a viable alternative to me. All three were single, eligible and rich enough for her. Well, at least two of them. Let's just say that the third was well connected."
"So who are they?" Relief colored her voice because finding three men would be easier than having to deal with several more.
"Patience, my dear. I was just getting to that. I must apologize, though. I tend to be overly dramatic at times. I'm a sucker for suspense," he said with a smile. "The three possibilities are," he paused again and gestured to her backpack, "you might want to get out a pen and paper." He waited until she was ready before continuing. "Alright, the three possibilities are Lawrence Taylor, Mark Sloan and Steve Sloan."
"Are the two Sloans related?" She cocked her head in confusion.
"Yep. Father and son."
Her eyes widened in shock. "Whoa."
"Pretty dishy stuff, huh?" Spencer quipped with a grin.
"Yeah, I'll say. If this wasn't my life, it'd have the makings of one hell of a soap opera."
Spencer chuckled. "It would. Your mother was cunning, ruthless and devious. She would use any means necessary to achieve her goals." He paused as another thought occurred to him. "You know, she would've done well in the corporate world."
"Yeah, she would've," Auralia mumbled under her breath before speaking louder. "Do you have any idea where I can find these men? It'd save so much time."
"I haven't really kept up with them. We pretty much move in different circles, but occasionally I bump into one every so often. I know that Taylor still lives in Hollywood. Owns and operates Night Sweat Pictures."
"Night Sweat Pictures?" Auralia asked incredulously. "Sounds like porno."
"It is. Runs it out of Van Nuys."
"Oh-kay." She replied slowly. "Um, how about the other two?"
" Mark Sloan is a doctor at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles. Head of Internal Medicine, I think. Nice guy. Every time I see him, he tries to get me donate funds to the hospital."
"Is that the father or the son?"
"What about the son?" She furiously jotted down everything Spencer was telling her, hoping she'd be able to read her handwriting later on.
"I know that Steve was a cop, but I think he's a detective now in the LAPD. If I'm not mistaken, he lives with his father."
"He lives with his father?" Disbelief colored her voice as she arched a brow in surprise.
"I'm almost certain of it." Spencer replied with a nod.
"Ah, a boomerang."
Spencer chuckled, "a boomerang?"
"Yeah, you know, someone who leaves then returns home to live with mommy and daddy. Boomerang."
Spencer laughed harder. "Never heard that one before! They're close, I know that much. If you find one, you'll definitely find the other."
Nodding in understanding Auralia finished writing and put her notebook away. Standing up she offered Spencer her hand. "Thank you so much, you've helped a lot."
"You're welcome," Spencer replied with a smile as he shook her hand. Walking her out, he paused at the door. "I hope this doesn't offend you, but you're so unlike your mother. Other than information you asked for nothing. You could've tried laying down a scam, but didn't. You seem quite the opposite of your mother."
Auralia smiled at him warmly. "No offense taken. That's the best compliment I've ever had."
"Good luck. I hope you find what you're looking for," Spencer called from the doorway as she exited the reception area into the hallway.
"Thanks. So do I." She replied as she stepped out toward the elevators.