Chapter Four - Interlude...
The days passed, and it was customary to see Gabriel disappearing off to the Lorriet house to see Giselle. Her constant requests for help seemed suspicious (who gets that many disturbances in that short amount of time?) and Gabrielle suspected that there was more to this than everyone else thought. And she guessed Anna was probably catching on too, if she'd been paying attention. Some days her sister was just deliberately unobservant, unless it concerned something she deemed important. So far, what Gabriel had been up to, wasn't one of them. At least it seemed that way to her.
One night, Gabrielle had stayed up to see him come home. He'd come home, she'd asked where he'd been, he'd said that he'd been with Giselle again and stormed off to his room, seeming ticked off for being asked something so obvious. But what he didn't notice was that she'd noticed the red mark on his neck, a hiccie. She'd gone off to bed smirking, knowing that she'd been right. Gabriel had a girlfriend. Not that such a thing was unusual, but the fact that he'd kept it from them was something to think about. They were his sisters for God's sake, what were they going to do that could be so horrible that he couldn't have told them? Part of her felt a little uneasy about arrangement, but dismissed it as some kind of sisterly attention deficient. Though normally she didn't feel like that, which was a cause for a little concern. She'd never had many problems with her own sex, just...the other one.
Sighing at the memory, Gabrielle walked into the lounge room. She found Anna and Gabriel Senior, sitting on the carpet, in front of the television. Playing with their new Playstation 3. It had been a present from Giselle, a thankyou present for their help. Or in other words, Gabriel's help. Not that she was complaining, it kept Anna busy and that was saying something. Apparently Anna was also angling for an Xbox 360 sometime in the future, but so far seemed to be keeping such dealings to herself. That and the usual nagging for an electric guitar.
"What cha playing?" she said, which surprised them.
"Oh, hey Gabby." said Anna, barely turning her attention from the game, "We're playing…damn what's it called again?"
"Final Fantasy XII." Said Gabriel Snr.
"Yeah! That's it!" Said Anna excitedly, "We've been taking turns at playing, cause it's only single player, mostly when the other dies."
"Well, mostly." Gabriel Snr sidled a glance at his youngest ancestor, who was too busy concentrating on the screen to really notice.
Gabrielle's lips curved into a tiny smile, "She's like that."
"Oh! And I almost forgot!" Anna abruptly handed the controller to Gabriel Snr to get up and race off upstairs to her room. Gabrielle waited until she came back, holding a note. Feeling a little puzzled at the sudden outburst.
"What's this?" she said, taking it off Anna and then read it.
"Yes." Anna replied, "Bridget somehow convinced me to participate...well, her and Nina really. So I was wonderin' if you guys wanted to come and see it, you know, as it says to invite family and whatnot. Gabriel Snr does count as family after all." She scuffed one foot on the carpet, feeling a little uncomfortable, "It's not A grade Hollywood or anything, but still good. I mean, it's the biggest kind a performance thing I've ever really done and...yeah...so what do you think?"
"It sounds okay with me. You should ask Gabriel when he gets back to see if he wants to come." She already knew he would, yet was wondering if he'd openly invite Giselle to come along as well. Still as long as he came she'd be fine, or Gabriel Snr. She had to have someone she knew.
He nodded, "Sure. Sounds fine with me."
"Sweet!" cheered Anna, hopping about in what seemed like a little victory dance. Gabrielle just rolled her eyes, smiling lightly.
"So, you going to keep dancing, or are you going to finish this level?" Gabriel Snr asked her. Anna bounded back over and grabbed the controller.
"You bet cha sweet arse I'm gonna finish this darn level. Bring it on biatches!"
Gabrielle decided to leave them to have their fun, dropping the note about the musical onto the coffee table.
Suddenly the phone rang and Gabrielle answered it.
"Van Helsing residence, Gabrielle speaking." She said. They had two phones, one in the front room and the other in the lounge room. The one in the front room was for work and the other one was just for everyday use.
"Gabrielle! It's me, Gabriel! You're lovable brother, how are things?" Gabrielle smiled lightly when she heard her brother's voice.
"Just fine. Anna and Gabriel are playing Final Fantasy XII on the Playstation 3." She replied.
"Cool. Do you know what level they're up to?"
"You expect me to know?"
He laughed, "Nah not really."
"Right. So, you must have some reason to call me other for idle chit chat. Am I right?"
"Yes, that's right. You know how you like to sing…"
"Yes…" 'What is he getting at?'
"And are pretty damn good at singing…"
"What are you getting at here?" Hm, she seemed to be voicing her thoughts more often lately.
"You know that musical downtown that's going to be on at the beginning of the month?"
"Yes. The one Maria Lorriet is planning and that most of town is gossiping about. The one everyone never hears the end about."
"Yeah, that one."
"What about it?"
"Well, it seems that their leading lady is unable to take her part, due to family matters. So…"
"Yes, so what?" Gabrielle didn't quite know what to be feeling right now, but anticipation was close at hand. She had a very good feeling she knew exactly what her brother was alluding to.
"Due to my wonderful relationship as protector of the woman that's the daughter of the woman in charge of the musical, Giselle Lorriet, I have managed to score you…" Gabriel paused to build up the suspense. And he was succeeding.
"Managed to score me what? Stop being a pain and drawing out the suspense!"
"I managed to score you the job as her replacement."
"You're kidding me! How'd you convince Giselle?" Elation and fear both gripped her, leaving her feeling light headed (in a good way) and slightly nauseous at the same time. While thrilled at the prospect of finding an outlet for her hidden talent, being in the spotlight was quite daunting.
"Well, let's just say that she'd like to hear you before she makes it official, but I'm pretty sure that the part is in the bag."
"Thanks Gab. I'll do my best."
"Hey, anything to keep you happy sis."
She bit her bottom lip, almost picking up an extra meaning to his words and immediately felt a little guilty that he bothered to mention such things. That those such things actually needed to be said.
"Besides, you've got nothing to worry about. No one sings like you sis."
"Gabriel." Gabrielle suddenly heard the voice with a thick French accent that obviously belonged to Giselle through the receiver, "What are you doing?"
"Just telling my sister the news."
"She better be good. Otherwise we're officially screwed."
"Trust me. She is good." Gabrielle decided to keep quiet, to see where the conversation went. Plus, she had no idea what to say anyway, the whole thing still tossing about in her mind.
"When are you going to finish with 'er? I'm getting impatient."
'Impatient for what, may I dare ask?' thought Gabrielle, evilly. No better way to make her less nervous and feel better then snoop on her brother.
"Just wait a minute and I'll be back." Said Gabriel and then to Gabrielle said, "Well, best not keep her waiting. I might have a new job to do."
'Job, yeah right.'
"Mama won't be back at ze 'ouse till about six-ish, so she should get 'ere around 'alf-past five." Giselle said in the background, "I want to 'ear 'er myself before I introduce 'er to Mama."
"Ya hear that Gabs?" Gabriel prompted.
"Alright. And by the way Gabriel, do remember to get some sleep. Don't let her keep you up." Said Gabrielle and hung up on her surprised brother.
"He still thinks nobody knows what he's been up to. Well, he should have thought that I'd find out eventually." She said to herself.
"What's up?" said Anna, "And who's not letting Gabriel sleep?" Gabrielle turned around to see her standing behind her. Anna seemed to be doing that a lot lately, sneaking up on them when they weren't expecting it.
'No doubt she'd call it her "ninja skills" or something...'
"Uh…well, he needs his sleep so…yeah, that's why I told him not to let her keep him up. Honest." Gabrielle tried to wipe the sheepish look of her face, for Anna's sake.
Anna pulled a face, "I'm not twelve..."
"No, I know that."
"This means I know perfectly well about sex so you can elaborate for me." She flopped down on the couch, practically taking up all the space, "So, does Gab have a girlfriend?"
"I think so, yes."
"Eh, figured that's why he was seeing what's-her-name..."
Gabrielle raised an eyebrow, "And when did you decide this?"
"Ages ago. The PS3 was a bit of hint that something was going on between them for her to be giving us presents."
"Anyway, Gabriel Snr and I are going downtown, for some reason. He's practically dragging me out, on the pretence that I spend too much time lazing around indoors."
Gabrielle looked at her sister pointedly.
"It's true though. Especially since we got that PS3."
"So anyway, we're going downtown, maybe go to the park, I don't know. You want anything?"
"No, I'm fine but thanks for asking."
"Cool. So I'll catch ya later."
She sprung off the couch and headed into the front room for her coat. Gabriel Snr appeared not soon after.
"I'm guessing she told you what's happening." He said.
Gabrielle nodded, "And that it was under the pretence she spent too much time lazing around indoors."
He smiled, "Well, it's true."
She returned his with one of her own, smaller smiles, "I know that. I've known that for a long time now." She paused for a moment, thinking her next words over, "Gabriel and I have been the only parental figures Anna has had, well, since Mum died that is. Now, she has you. It's good to see that there's someone else that can look out for her. I...don't think I've been a very good role model." Another pause for thought, "I know Gabriel has tried his best, but...it's good there's someone else, you know what I mean. We can't be here all the time for her."
"No worries." He grinned at her, "It's about time I gave this parenting thing another shot."
Another tiny smile. He'd gotten used to the fact that that was all he ever seemed to get out of her.
"You know, I'm thinking I'm beginning to like this arrangement of you staying here with us. It was a little strange at first, considering it's been just us three for so long but now...I guess I've finally adjusted."
"Well, that's good. I could only guess what you and Gabriel would get up to if I wasn't here."
Her lips curved into a pout, "Gabriel Snr, we're in our twenties. What do you expect us to do?"
Gabriel Snr grinned back.
"Hey, you said so yourself you haven't been a good role model for Anna."
She pursed her lips, his meaning opposite to what she'd been thinking. With the way she acted, that was no behaviour for Anna to mirror and she thanked God that it hadn't turned out that way.
'Thank God for our brother.'
"Come on Gabriel Snr! I'm not waiting all day for you." They heard Anna shout, "You're the one that suggested this little trip after all you big lug!"
"I best be going then." He said, and walked off into the front room to get his coat and get going. Gabrielle heard the door shut soon after, signalling that she was now on her own. Her happy demeanour faded rather quickly, her smile disappeared. She hadn't wanted Anna or either of the Gabriel's to get worried about her. The Cardinal had probably warned Gabriel Senior of the depression spell of her youth, but she didn't want to worry him, by showing him that had progressed with her to her adulthood. She tried to keep up the façade that everything was alright with her, and it had been easier lately more so then earlier on but she knew she had to admit to herself that not all was right with her. She wasn't her sister, Anna who found joy in the smallest things. She knew she had scars, terrible scars inside that hadn't healed and knew no other way to deal with such...the words weren't even there to describe exactly what they were.
'It hurts too much that it can't be anything else but deep scars. Wounds that haven't healed. Man am I so fucked up.'
Sighing over her self reflection, she made her way to her bedroom. Opening the top drawer on her beside table, she took something out of it. Something with a sharp edge that gleamed in the light.
"Dang it Gabriel Snr! Push harder! I'm not going high enough!" shouted Anna, encouraging Gabriel to push her harder on the swing.
"You don't want to go too high, otherwise you'll fall off." replied Gabriel Snr.
"Don't be silly you ninny! I won't fall off. I'm way too pro to fall off some little kiddie swing!"
"If you insist." Gabriel pushed harder on the swing. A little too hard.
"Aw crap." Anna complained, rubbing her behind after she got up off the ground, having tumbled off the swing, "That wasn't supposed to happen."
"What was that about being way too pro to fall off some little kiddie swing?" Gabriel Snr teased and she glared at him.
"Yeah, yeah ya old codger, I'd like to see you stay on a swing at that height. The seat practically fell out from under me."
He smiled, and she stretched her arms above her head.
"So, is this enough "no lazing around indoors" for you? Cause I seriously have a craving for ice cream. And strangely, donuts. But mostly ice cream. Ooh, and pizza. No, no...ice cream."
He laughed, "I really don't know what to do about you."
She grinned, "Neither do Gabriel and Gabrielle for that matter and they're my brother and sister." Another stretch, "You should so shout me ice cream old man."
He raised an eyebrow, saying nothing. She read his unspoken question in his expression.
"Cause that's what the ol' gramps does for his grand kiddies. Shouts them ice cream when they're out doing family bonding crud cause he reckons she's too lazy and spends way too much time indoors doing awesome stuff that he just can't comprehend."
She gave him her best puppy dog eyes, "Pweese Grampa Gabriel..."
He slapped her on the back of the head playfully, and she snickered.
"Actually I can just see the looks on peoples faces if I kept callin' ya that, so I guess I have to say you're my uncle instead. Even though you're like way ancient." She teased, grinning.
He hit her again, "Minx."
She poked out her tongue, darting away out of reach, "Hey, you're the one that wanted to spend the day out with me." She looked around, "Tell me again why the hell we came to the park."
He shrugged, "You're the one that wanted to go."
She pulled a face, "Eh, remind me not to do that on a Sunday afternoon ever again, cause I swear I can see that stupid blonde bitch from my Maths class and her little brother over by the slide."
Another eyebrow raise from Gabriel Snr, "Who?"
"I don't know, never really bothered to exactly remember her name. Stacy something, I think. American. Thinks her and Chrissie are like, best buddies cause they're both from America even though Chrissie is from New York and this other chick is from some other place I can't exactly remember but not New York. LA I think. That's in California right?"
He shrugged, "I haven't had much to do with America."
"Yeah well I do, cause I have friend from there but that's about it." Her stomach growled, "You know what, let's get that ice cream before I explode or what's-her-face decides to come talk to me."
The two wandered out of the park, Gabriel Snr checking the skies, a behaviour not going unnoticed by his charge.
"Lookin' for UFO's?" she joked, playfully jabbing him in the ribs, "Or let me guess...a flying cow?"
"Nothing so amusing." He replied grimly, "You-know-who."
His gaze went skyward, almost as if praying for divine intervention, "No, Dracula."
"Oh, close enough. Whatcha lookin' out for him for? Something tells me he isn't going to swoop outta the sky and kidnap me for some strange reason. Probably doesn't even know I exist."
"He'd likely come after me first."
"Being his ol' nemesis and all. Like Lara Croft and Natla."
"Never mind, video game series reference." She skipped a few steps ahead, "You Gab and Gabby are gonna kill him off right? Before he runs amok too much."
"That's the plan."
"That was the plan in ye old days but it didn't quite go exactly as you planned it. Think you'll do things better this time round?"
"He'll die. One way or another."
"Yeah, well I hope you're right. I don't plan on dying myself anytime soon."
He looked over at her, as she continued half-skipping down the path beside him, brown hair bouncing in the breeze.
'Not if I can help it.'
The smell of blood was what drew him to the house. The top floor was where the scent was coming from. It was too hard to resist it. Dracula flew down to the balcony joined to one of the rooms on the top floor. The room where the scent of blood was coming from. He could hear someone crying. A woman crying. The door was open, but curtains blocked his way. Peering through the curtains, he saw the woman that he'd seen days ago. The one that had killed his two werewolves. Van Helsing's descendant. Tears were running down her cheeks, and there was a clatter as she dropped the knife. The bloodstained knife. Looking carefully, he could see the cuts on her wrists that were bleeding.
The pain was not physical, but emotional. Gabrielle tried to wipe away the tears, but they kept coming back. The cuts would heal, just like the others, and Anna and the Gabriels would be none the wiser. It was terrible yes, both keeping things from her family and the deed itself but what was she to do? Nothing was ever going to be right with her, she'd never been right. A Van Helsing, she was a Van Helsing damn it and partly a Valerious as well and yet...nothing. She curled her legs up, holding them close to her body with her hands, yet the smell...it was still there. The coppery scent of her shame. Part of her wanted to laugh at how pitiful she seemed, broken hysterics at what she could admit yet do nothing about.
'Because I am nothing. If my ancestors could see me now...'
A choked half laugh through the tears, wrists still stinging.
'That doesn't hurt as much as I do inside.'
Broken. That's what she was.
'And I don't know if I can ever be fixed. I don't even feel like I'm Gabrielle Van Helsing anymore. That name deserves a better person behind it.'
Dracula didn't understand what was happening. She'd been sitting here, slitting her own wrists, letting the blood flow and was crying about it. Harming herself for reasons he couldn't see, couldn't understand. Whatever pain she was going through, it must be enough to make her cause herself more pain. To cause physical pain in an attempt to ease another, deeper, inner pain. Why would a beautiful woman like her need to do that to herself? And she was beautiful. He could admit that. He wasn't ashamed to admit that, even though she was the descendant of his greatest enemy. Sitting dishevelled and alone in this room, unaware that the very creature she hunted stood on her balcony. There was a thrill in that, a small victory over a Van Helsing. Trivial but pleasing all the same. This lone woman had given him food for thought, compelling the idea for a greater victory, a greater blow to Gabriel. All he needed now was to formulate a plan...
Gabrielle thought that she heard noises on the balcony, and slowly got off the bed, heading over to investigate. The curtains were blowing about in the wind, even though the soft breeze flowing past was hardly enough to move them like that. It was like...like something had taken off from the balcony and now that she actually looked, actually paid more attention to her surroundings, she could swear that she could see a dark shape fly behind a tall building in the city, disappearing from view. Her heart jumped in her chest, fear coiling in her stomach at this realisation.
'Was…was…Dracula just standing here…on my balcony…how…how could he know where we lived…my…behaviour must have drawn him here…oh god…'
She tried to comprehend what she'd just done, yet her tired, emotional mind couldn't force itself to do so.
'I was...he...could have killed me...he...'
She stumbled back in the room, grasping at straws for some form of composure, some rational frame of mind.
'Dear Lord what have I just done? What...what happens now?'
And that, was something she didn't really want to think about.
"Okay, I think it's time to go home now Anna, it's getting late." Said Gabriel, dragging Anna away by the arm from one of the music stores.
She pulled a face, "I'm fifteen, I can stay out as late as I want."
"Not on your own you're not."
She poked her tongue out at him and wrenched free, "What, is the old man tired?"
He sighed, "Anna..."
"Kidding, kidding...but seriously? It can't be that late."
She started walking off and he grabbed her arm again, "Hey!"
"Look, I'm not saying you have to go to bed or anything, but we are going home." Something felt off, he couldn't really explain what, but something felt wrong. Like they needed to get home. He was half-afraid something had happened to Gabrielle.
"We can go out again tomorrow if you really want, after school."
"I can't. I've got rehearsals for the musical." She paused for thought, "Which reminds me. I have to ask wether Gabrielle can pick me up late from school tomorrow. I can't catch the bus home like usual as the rehearsals run too late."
"Okay. Fine. Let's just go home."
She looked at him a little weirdly, "Fine. But what's got your knickers in a twist?"
He grimaced at the odd expression, yet said nothing, walking down the street. She continued looking at him for a moment, wondering what was going on, before grudgingly falling into step with him.
When they got home, Gabriel tried to open the door. It was locked.
"Gabrielle! What's going on?" he shouted.
"Gabriel Snr?" Gabrielle's voice called timidly from inside, "Is that you?"
"God Gabs, where the hell do you think I am?" Anna complained, "It's not like I ran off from Gabriel Snr or anything."
Gabrielle's heartbeat settled down a little, knowing her sister was safe. Her hand curled tighter around the knife in her hand by reflex.
"So...it's just the two of you out there?"
Anna pulled an odd face, "Uh, yeah. Who else?"
She had to know, had to know that...that it was them.
'No chances Gabs. No chances. After what happened...'
"Is everything all right?" Gabriel Snr said carefully, "Gabrielle?"
She snapped out of her daze and stared at the door, "Fine. No, everything...just come in. Now."
Anna looked at Gabriel Snr, the unspoken question "What the hell?" in her gaze. He shrugged.
"You'll have to unlock the door first."
"Right, right." How could she have forgotten that? She ran a shaking hand through her hair, feeling more on edge then usual, "Just a minute."
The door was soon unlocked and opened to reveal Gabrielle. Her hair was a mess, her clothes just as dishevelled, holding a knife tightly in one hand and her whole posture defensive and on edge. The two of them wandered in, and she shut the door behind them. Her hand hesitated over the lock, wondering whether the move was worth it and without another thought decided to take whatever precautions she could.
"Okay..." Anna said, watching her lock the door and taking in her obviously distressed state, "What the hell is going on?"
Gabrielle leant against the door, wondering how she was going to explain.
'No worries Anna. I just...he was...shit, shit, shit!'
She ran a hand through her hair again, trying to calm her nerves.
'What the hell is wrong with me?'
"Dracula…he was…" she was stumbling over her words, "…he was…he was…he was here. Just a moment ago." She stopped, wondering whether to say exactly how close she believed he had been. However, simply saying what she'd had seemed to be enough.
"No wonder you locked the door." Gabriel Snr said, eyes scanning the room, going very still.
"I didn't even know he was there…" she confessed, "I was…sitting…in my room," 'Liar! And you know it!' "and then I heard noises nearby and…I saw him…leaving…he flew behind a building so I couldn't see him anymore." Gabrielle was shaking, staring at the floor, as she couldn't think of what else to do.
'That's it. No more. I can't do that anymore. If...he...if he can...you have to stop. It helps...for a bit...but for the safety of your family, of this entire crusade...you're going to have to stop behaving like that...'
"Here, just calm down." Gabriel Snr put his hand on her shoulder, and was shocked to feel just how badly her body was shaking. Like the whole world had come down around her ears.
'I know the Cardinal mentioned her fragile emotions but this...'
She seemed entirely distant, withdrawn completely into her own mind like she had no idea what she was doing in the outside world.
"Gabrielle." He hugged her gently, and immediately felt her body go completely still, seeing her nails digging deeply into her palms. Her breathing had even gone near silent, tensing like a cornered animal. He stayed still, thinking perhaps he should give her some space when her body appeared to relax, not feeling so rigid in his arms. He let her go anyway, feeling that crowding her was not the best thing right now.
"Everything's going to be alright. We'll work something out." His voice broke the silence she'd not bothered to fill.
"How..." Her voice caught in her throat, feeling both cornered and exposed even when she wasn't. And she hated the feeling. This was her family for God's sake! She had no idea what she was going to say.
"We'll take precautions. I'll keep watch tonight, and you can sleep in Anna's room."
"What?" Anna couldn't' help but complain, "Can't she sleep elsewhere?"
He sent her a stern look, "Company is something she needs tonight, and staying in her own room tonight is too dangerous. Dracula could come back."
Gabrielle's heart jumped, feeling more nervous then before.
"Fine. I...was really only kidding anyway..." she looked at her sister, concerned, "You sure you're okay Gabs?"
She swallowed, taking a moment to compose herself and then nodded, not yet trusting herself to say anything.
Anna however, seemed in a much more observant state of mind, "What about Gabriel? He's over at Giselle's at the moment but what if..." her lips pursed together as she found the courage to speak her mind, "What if Dracula comes for him?"
"I doubt he really even knows your brother exists, or even you for that matter. I'm sure Gabriel can take care of himself.
"Oh God." Gabrielle said, her voice a thread of sound.
"What is it?" Gabriel Snr asked.
"I...I told Gabriel earlier today that I'd go over to the Lorriet manor tonight."
"Whatever for?" Anna asked, feeling puzzled, "Cause if my mind goes south about this then I'm gonna have a totally new opinion of both my siblings and Giselle."
As stupid as the joke may have seemed, it seemed to lift some of the darkness clouding the three in the room. Gabrielle felt somewhat better.
'How is it that she does that? Lightens up something so serious and makes me smile.' And she was, small as it might be.
'Anna...sometimes you're truly a wonder...now if we could just do something about that attitude...'
"Nothing like that." She then said, "I've been offered a spot as the replacement lead in her mother's musical and she wanted me to come over about half-past five this afternoon to show her what I can do."
"Oh. Okay then. Cause otherwise I was gonna be majorly disturbed."
Gabriel Snr rolled his eyes, before being serious once more, "I'll stay behind and watch Anna while you go out tonight. Just be careful."
Gabrielle nodded, "I will. I don't plan on being taken off guard again."
He nodded, staying silent.
"Wait, that means I have a babysitter? I know it's for my safety and all but...dang." Anna mock complained, "I haven't had one of those since I was...uh, actually I don't remember when I ever had a baby sitter."
Gabrielle's expression turned solemn, yet stayed silent.
'That's because you were baby sitting me...'
"Besides, it's more like he'd run screaming from my awesomeness anyway."
They both sighed.
Some Random: Sorry for the weird chapter ending. I cut chapter 4 into two, as it was getting waaaay too long, with all the extra stuff I put into it. So the scene where Gabrielle goes to see Giselle is actually now chapter 5 instead of 4, and includes the introduction of Giselle's mother who wasn't in it before. This also means everything has been taken a step back from where it was originally. Just a warning, mostly towards anyone who read the original and is re-reading. So far I've done this far with the redo as it is actually more work then I originally expected. I'm doing the best I can to get it all done as quickly as possible and will post the other chapters soon. At least this way people can actually read something instead of just getting that damn author's note. Anyway, please review people. Feedback would be greatly appreciated. I mean, feedback means I know who is reading and whether I need to change anything, the re-write was worth it instead of just scrapping the whole thing and...alright, I think I'll leave it there. Ciao!