Camille has asked her sisters and her best friend, Allegra, to her townhome for champagne and hors d'oeuvres. They sit around and chat about inconsequential things until Camille brings the tray of glasses and a bottle of champagne.
"Here we are, ladies!"
"So Camille . . . what's the latest on your renegade sister, Natalia?"
"I haven't seen her, nor have I heard from her in years."
"Alexia? Any updates on your 'evil twin'?"
Sigh. "Not for some time now. I spent many years chasing her trail throughout Europe, but she always managed to stay one step ahead of me. Finally I decided that I needed to live my own life and returned home to TEKville, abandoning my efforts at damage control. I shudder to think what she's been up to since I gave up the chase."
"You did the right thing, Lex. You deserve a life of your own. You're not responsible for her actions."
"I know, Genie, but she's my twin. That makes me feel responsible."
"She always was a bad seed. Even when we were children, it was obvious that something wasn't quite right with that girl."
Allegra reaches behind her and grabs a piece of cheese from the platter on the table.
"What about her daughter? Didn't you tell me that an illegitimate child of hers showed up here a few months ago?"
Sigh. "Yes. Her name is Jes, and she came to TEKville intent on wreaking revenge upon me. Nat apparently forged my name on the chit's birth certificate."
"She's really quite a lovely young woman. I met her once when I stopped by Colette's condo while Coco was living there."
"Speaking of Colette, how is she? She's really had quite a run of bad luck, hasn't she?"
"She still isn't speaking to me. Through the grapevine I've heard that she and that . . . . foreigner . . . now have no fewer than three brats! Apparently she's good at something other than modeling."
"Isn't that a bit unfair, Cam? You should take a look at your own past before being too critical of your daughter."
"What do you mean, Gloria?"
"Never mind, Allegra. Glo should know better than to discuss family secrets in front of others, never mind that you are my best friend."
"Speaking of family secrets, have you spoken to Cece recently, Cam?"
Sigh. "I have not. She isn't speaking to me, either. I don't know why that private investigator had to go nosing around, digging up dirt on our family!"
"Glo, do you think she will ever forgive me?"
"It's hard to say, Cam. She has always been . . . different. Raising her was a challenge. At the moment she is completely focused on her new beau, that dark-skinned cameraman from TEK Channel 5. Right now I doubt if she cares who her mother is. I certainly hope that relationship runs its course. The thought of having grandchildren with black skin does not appeal to me."
"Gloria, they wouldn't actually be your grandchildren, you know."
"They would be mine, and the idea appeals to me even less than it does to Glo. The skin of the grandchildren I do have is entirely dark enough, thank you."
"You two! I just don't understand how we can have grown up in the same household and have such different levels of tolerance for diversity!"
Allegra quickly changes the subject.
"Alexia, I understand that your daughters are both doing well."
"Yes, thank the stars. My girls have good heads on their shoulders. Coco, as you know, has her own cooking show on TEK Channel 5 and is the head chef at Emile's. Colleen and her band perform regularly at the New York Bar here in town. They seem happy, and both are in stable relationships. Coco's current beau, in fact, is the brother of the man Cece is dating."
"And you're not worried about grandchildren from that union?"
"Of course not! I welcome grandchildren of any hue!"
(Slyly) "Well, you're not likely to get any out of Colleen if she keeps dating that interior decorator! He's a little light in the loafers, if you get my drift."
"Camillia Ruth St. Clair! How can you say such a thing! Peter is a fine man and treats Colleen like a queen."
"If you ask me, Peter is the queen!"
Eugenia sighs and exchanges eye rolls with Alexia. She makes an attempt to change the subject.
"How about Angel? Any word on her whereabouts?"
"I'm fairly certain that she's here in TEKville, although I haven't seen her. I had planned to drag her back to New York, but that is beyond my power now that she has turned 18. I have no idea what she's up to. You'd have to ask Colette."
"What about Harmony? Is she speaking to you, Cam?"
"Unfortunately, no. She will not forgive me for giving her to Mother to raise as her own daughter. Apparently she feels that being raised as our sister cheated her out of being part of her real sisters' and cousins' clique when they were growing up. She doesn't understand that she had a much better life than she would have if I had raised her myself."
"And . . . . the woman called 'Justice'?"
"Let's not even talk about her. I'm still waiting for the next shoe to drop. She has vowed to make my life a living hell, and I have no reason to doubt that she is capable of doing just that."
Camille still feels the sting of Justice's success in wooing Player away from her, but this is a subject that she won't discuss with her sisters in an attempt to keep at least some of her less savory decisions from becoming common knowledge.
"Did you all hear that TEK Hotel has a new manager? An Asian man, I understand."
"It's about time! The old manager really let the place get run down. I've heard that there has been a construction company making improvements to the interior. I haven't been in any of the rooms so I don't know what their condition is."
Camille averts her eyes, remembering the last time that she was in one of the TEK Hotel rooms. The sight of her lover naked with that defiant bitch, Justice, is burned forever into her memory.
"Does anyone know anything about the new manager?"
"My sources don't hae much information, other than the fact that he showed up in town out of the blue. Nobody seems to know anything about his background or what brought him here."
"He's attractive, and he appears to be eligible. Haven't you hit on him yet, Cam?" She winks maliciously.
"Certainly not! He's much too young for me, and besides . . . he's a foreigner."
Eugenia and Alexia exchange disgusted looks. Eugenia stands.
"Well, I think it's time for me to head back to TEK House. Thank you for inviting us, Camille. It's always nice to catch up."
Alexia stands as well.
"Yes, it's time for me to be going as well. I have plans for this evening and need to start getting ready. Walk with me, Genie?"
"Sure. Allegra, nice to see you again. See you later, Cam. You too, Glo."
Eugenia and Alexia depart. Gloria looks curiously at Camille. "Well, you certainly got rid of those two goody two-shoes!"
"Well, you certainly got rid of those two goody two-shoes!"
"Piece of cake. Speaking of which, my cook has prepared a lovely lunch. Hungry, ladies?"
Camille serves lunch, and she and her remaining guests continue gossiping into the early evening.