Well, chapter two is finally done, sorry it's a little short ^^; For some reason, I'm not very happy with how it came out... Oh well, I'll try to make the next chapter better. Hope you enjoy, R&R please :)
There was a surprised silence around the pool. Everyone looking at either the hotel employee or the confused Ezekiel.
"What?" Heather shouted, shattering the silence. "You're telling me someone wants to interview him and not me?" She pointed at the prairie boy. "Who the heck would want to talk to that torque wearing twerp?"
"Oh I don't know Heather," Gwen glared at the queen bee. "Maybe his parents?"
"Well actually," The employee interrupted them. "It's someone claiming to be his cousin."
"My 'cousin'?" Ezekiel repeated. "I haven't heard from any cousins in years eh… " He started to get out of the water. "Guess they wanted to get back in touch."
"Hold on Zeke," Bridgette said, gently grabbing his wrist. "It might not really be your cousin, they could just be lying to get to someone who's famous."
"Yeah!" Izzy spoke up. "Like when my brother pretended to be Sunny to get into a Share concert."
Everyone stared at her. "Uh, Izzy?" Gwen spoke slowly. "Isn't Sunny dead?"
"He is, my brother had forgotten about that part."
"Um," Ezekiel started, bringing attention back to himself. "I appreciate your concern Bridgette; but if they wanted to get close to someone really famous then why not call Owen, or Duncan?"
"That is a really good point," Sadie called from the pool smoothie bar, Katie of course next to her. "They could've called Cody, or Justin." They both swooned and turned to look at Justin, who grinned at them.
"Or even Noah would've made more sense!" Izzy chirped.
"Why do you people keep forgetting I'm not deaf?"
The employee loudly cleared her throat. "Would you like to take the call, Ezekiel? I can't keep him on hold forever."
Ezekiel shrugged. "Sure, eh. Maybe it really is a cousin." He got up and she gestured for him to follow her.
"I'll show you where you can speak privately."
Watching his retreating form, Bridgette let out a small sigh. Noticing the look on his girlfriend's face, Geoff placed his arm around her shoulders.
"Chill Bridge, it's just a phone call."
She looked up at him. "He's still a little naive though… I'm just worried someone's trying to trick him. There are probably people out there still mad about what he said last year."
"He would've taken the call no mater what you said to him," Noah commented as he climbed out of the pool; finally free of Izzy's grasp. "He's got a stronger sense of curiosity then all Georges of the world combined."
"Not to mention a real stubborn streak," Izzy called as she swam over to the smoothie bar. "You should've seen the fight he put up when Izzy wanted to go piranha fishing!"
"Here you are," The employee said as she opened a door. "No one should bother you in here."
"Thanks," Ezekiel glanced around the room. It was clearly meant for business meetings, mostly empty except for a table and a couple chairs. He gave the female employee a small smile when she handed him the phone, and she returned the expression. She turned to leave, but paused in the doorway and looked back at him.
"Look," She started. "Obviously you can watch yourself, but your friend out there did have a point. There are a lot freaks out there, and not just the paparazzi kind. You get any feeling somethings off, hang up." She paused, then added in a lighter tone. "I Don't need to be the clerk who served one of you kids on a platter to a perv, got that?"
He chuckled, "Crystal clear, eh."
She shut the door, and Ezekiel looked at the phone in his hand. He started to feel nervous, what was he supposed to say? If it was a cousin he hadn't met, what were they going to talk about? And what if Bridgette was right, and it was just a liar, or as the clerk put, a perv? His thumb brushed the answer button. There really was only one way to find out.
He pressed the button, and held the phone to his ear. "Hello?"
"Zeke!" An obviously male voice exclaimed. "I can't believe it, it's been so long yo!"
He was already starting to feel doubts, no one in his family spoke that way. Except for him of course, but that ended when Noah played a recording of him talking. "Who is-"
"It's me!" The voice cut him off. "You're cousin Todd!"
He thought for a moment, he did used to have a cousin named that. But that didn't really mean anything. Todd was a fairly common name. He was pretty sure one the producer's name was Todd. "So you're my cousin?"
"Yeah, we used to play together back on the farm! remember?" There was a pause. "'Course, you were pretty little... Heck, so was I yo. But then I saw you on the show and remembered it all! What are the odds?"
What were the odds? Ezekiel was really suspicious now, what 'Todd' was saying was pretty general. He needed to get more information out of him. Suddenly he felt a little boldness. "Prove it."
"I said prove it eh. If you're really my cousin than you should know things about our family." Hm, maybe Noah was rubbing off on him a little.
"Oh, right. Heh, guess I shouldn't expect ya to believe me right off the bat. Lemme see... Oh! You're parents names are-"
"On the show's website. You're gonna have to do better than that eh."
"... You coulda let me finish the sentence yo. Geez, you're worse than speedy..."
"Never mind. Anyway, let's see... Our moms were always baking together." His voice took on a slightly nostalgic tone. "They made the greatest tortes..."
Now that surprised Ezekiel. His Mom loved to make tortes, and she would always talk about her sister when she did. Very often she would speak of pleasant memories, and wonder what had become of her... And her son. It could still be a coincidence though. "What's her name?"
"Your mom," he clarified. "What's her name?"
"Oh," the question seemed to confuse 'Todd'. "Cecilia."
Shock went through Ezekiel's body, nearly causing him to drop the phone. His aunt's name had been Cecilia, and she had a son, named Todd. Both had disappeared over a decade ago. There was no way anyone outside the family could know these things, he never told anyone and knew his parents hadn't either. It could only mean one thing...
"Zeke?" Todd's concerned voice pulled him out of his thoughts. "You still there?"
"It really is you," was all he managed to whisper.
There was a pause, then a soft chuckle. "Yeah, it's me. So how ya been cuz?"
Feeling just a little overwhelmed, he grabbed a nearby chair and sat down. Memories, albeit cloudy ones, flowed into his mind. He remembered having fun with his cousin as they played in the mud, he remembered waiting anxiously for the next treat his mom and aunt would make, he remembered looking up to his older cousin and wanting to be just like him. Mostly though, he remembered how sad and confused he had been when he had sent his cousin a letter, and never got a reply.
Questions just started falling out: "What happened to you eh? You just disappeared, we never knew what happened. We thought..." He couldn't finish.
"It's not like we wanted to to cut away from you, we had to."
Todd sighed, "It's a long story yo."
"I've got time eh."
"Okay, but I ain't telling you everything. Not now. You don't need to know that yet. But I'll tell what got it rollin', alright?"
"It started when my mom met the jerk who'd become my stepdad..."