Tales from TEKville by TheEvilKaren

Photo stories featuring 1:6 scale dolls

Part 10 - At the NY Bar

 

Similar scenes play out all over town that week, but eventually Darius is able to convince all of the invitees to attend, even the very reluctant Ethel St. Clair.

On the night of the big event, Coco -- who has been given the keys by Darius so she can open up -- and Colleen arrive first.

"Wow!"

"I just LOVE the new stage!"

"This new space is amazing!"

Others begin to trickle in and find tables.  The arrivals "ooh" and "aah" over the newly expanded bar, admiring the new booths that Darius has had installed, as well as the band's new stage.

As the crowd begins to grow, the guests begin to notice that there are no men in attendance and that so far, everyone who has come through the bar's front door has been a St. Clair.

Puzzled looks abound, and whispered speculation quickly turns into a bewildered buzz.

The bar's proprietor, however, is nowhere to be seen, so the crowd's curiosity continues to grow.

Justice arrives and makes her way to a table, as usual avoiding eye contact with any of her aunts or cousins.

Her birth mother, Camille, arrives shortly thereafter, as usual avoiding not only Justice, but the rest of the St. Clair girls as well.

Eugenia arrives and takes a seat with Harmony.

Eventually, when everyone who has been invited has arrived, Lucien Koslowski steps through the door and crosses to the stage.

An electric hum fills the entire bar as Lucien steps onto the stage and taps the microphone to get everyone's attention.

"May I have your attention, please?"

The crowd immediately quiets, eager to have this mystery solved.

"I'm sure you're all very curious about why you -- and only you -- were invited to this event."

Heads nod throughout the bar.

"You are no doubt thinking that the last time you were all together in one place was for the reading of Randolph St. Clair's will, and you are remembering the unexpected events of that day.  For most of you, I'm sure those memories are not pleasant ones, but I hope to change that for you tonight."

Lucien turns toward the front of the bar and beckons.  Through the door step Viktor and Dominique James, and an excited and not entirely pleasant murmur fills the bar. 

The siblings thread their way through the tables and join Lucien on the stage.

"I have an announcement to make."

The crowd immediately settles and listens intently to hear what Lucien has up his sleeve.

"Mr. and Miss James have decided to keep only a fraction of the funds left to them by their grandfather.  The rest will be divided amongst Randolph St. Clair's other heirs, the largest portion going to his wife, Ethel St. Clair."

This time there is no quieting the crowd.  It erupts into complete chaos as Lucien and the James siblings stand patiently waiting for the furor to die down.

Eventually the volume recedes to the point where Lucien feels that he might possibly be able to regain control, but just then Ethel St. Clair, who has remained rigid and tightly controlled during the meeting, rises from her chair and approaches the stage.  Alarmed, Eugenia reaches out to her mother as she passes, intending to stop her by grabbing her arm, but Ethel waves her off and continues toward the band's platform.

Everyone in the room waits with breathless anticipation to see what the matriarch of the family will do.  With dignity and a helping hand from Harmony, she joins Lucien and her late husband's dark-skinned grandchildren on the stage.

She approaches an apprehensive Dominique, who has no idea what to expect from this regal woman.  Ethel takes her by the arms and says, simply, "Thank you, child.  And welcome to the family."

Tears spring to Dominique's eyes as she bends to embrace the tiny woman.

Ethel turns to Viktor and takes his hand.  "Thank you for this, young man.  You and your sister would be welcome additions to this town.  Will you stay?"

Viktor smiles down at his grandfather's wife and says, simply, "Nothing would please us more.  Yes . . . . we will stay."

The End . . . for now!