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World of Darkness: The Academy - Dining On Baked Awkward [Complete]

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Wednesday, August 20th, Afternoon/Evening

With classes over, Sean headed back to his room to grab his pads for football practice. A crease appeared between his brows when he saw his pads scattered around the room, but he shrugged and gathered them together. Must've been too sick to put them away. He threw his sports bag over a broad shoulder and had the door open to leave when his cellphone rang. Glancing at the display, he didn't recognize the number.

"Hello?" the gorgeous jock answered questioningly.

"Sean Cassidy? This is Blaize Fairview," said a pleasant and direct girl's voice. Her sister had suggested she call the boy, giving her his number, though she had been surprised to find it already programmed into her phone. Candace must have mentioned it before and she'd forgotten. "My sister and your father are, y'know, and was calling to arrange plans to get to the hotel."

"Oh, Blaize, hi! Yeah, that's me," Sean said with slightly forced enthusiasm. Blaize certainly sounded pretty, yet didn't come across as an airhead, but she was still Candi's sister. He wasn't sure if he could deal with two Candies at dinner. "Good plan. I have football practice 'til five... so, five-thirty sound fine?"

"That's acceptable. I expect you to be prompt when you pick me up. See you in a bit." Click.

"Bye?" Sean said to the dial tone. He shook his head and put his phone away, continuing on his way to the field. Be prompt, pfft! Coaches hate it when you're late, and so do I.

Practice went well for him, earning him positive comments from the coach, but Sean was disappointed by the efforts of most of the others. They seemed to be still suffering under the bug that went around and exhorting them to do better was received with sullenness. Sean didn't much care - This was football, you played through the sick and the pain, the snow and the rain, as his old coach used to say. The only incongruous thing he noticed during practice was that the straps on his pads had been tightened too far.

After practice, Sean rushed back to his dorm and took a quick but thorough shower, scrubbing himself clean of sweat and dirt, leaving his hair glossy and dark as raven wing. He changed into a pair of clean khakis and a rugby jersey of blue and grey, grabbed his keys and left to meet up with Blaize.

Five thirty-five, and Sean was sitting in the common room of Lancaster House, when he suddenly realized he hadn't found out which dorm Blaize was even assigned to. He stood, about to call her back when a curvaceous dream in a light green summer dress and short heels entered the room, deep red hair bouncing on her shoulders. Their eyes met with surprised recognition.

That has to be Candi's sister. Daaaayum! Blaize's expression was more reserved than her sister's more openly appraising one, which Sean liked just fine. It was damn creepy to be sized up by the woman your dad was sleeping with. A surreptitious appraisal had Sean re-evaluating his assumptions of his father's girlfriend. If Candi was built like this in high-school, maybe her tits aren't fake.

"Hi, I'm Sean. Candi - Candace never mentioned that she had a sister, nor how pretty she was. Must be the jealously talking, eh?" Sean said with a wide grin and stepped up to offer her his hand.

"That's sis for you," Blaize replied easily with a soft smile and a firm grip, blue eyes covertly giving Sean a once-over, then a twice over, before meeting his stormy eyes directly. My! But they grow them fine in Canada. Candace wasn't exaggerating. "Blaize, charmed to meet you." Sapphire eyes glanced towards the entrance of Lancaster. "We should be going, we don't want to be late, do we?"

"Dunno 'bout that." Sean's smile grew a bit warmer, a twinkle in his eye, but then he nodded, gesturing the stunning teen forward and holding the door for her. "But yeah, I don't know Estes Park much, so it might take me a bit to find the hotel, despite directions."

Sticking close to her side, Sean led Blaize to the student parking lot and his well-used, but clean Wrangler. The gleaming black BMW parked right next to his Jeep earned a brief frown. Thing must be worth twenty times my Wrangler.

He helped his captivating companion up into the high riding vehicle, noticing the flex of her toned legs, the sway of her breasts as she leaned forward. He slid in behind the wheel, put on his seatbelt after Blaize's pointed look, then pulled out of the lot, engine a mildly rattling purr. He flicked on the stereo, The Offspring's Take It Like A Man blaring from the speakers.

Sean needn't have worried about finding the hotel. The stately Stanley Hotel was a well-known landmark, designated with several signs and just off of one of the main thoroughfares, its white-walled majesty easily seen from the road. Sean's eyes widened as he drove up to the sprawling hotel, beginning to wonder if he was underdressed, before he shrugged that thought aside. He was comfortable and didn't look like a bum, that was good enough.

Parking in the visitor's lot, Sean opened the door for Blaize and gave her a hand down. Studying the chateau-like edifice, he flashed the gorgeous red-hair a flirtatious grin and offered her a muscular arm.

"My I escort you to see the king and queen, milady?"

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Blaize looked at his arm, then blushed a little. Sean had a vivid flash of what she'd look like naked and strapped to a table. Flushing himself, he glanced away from her into the dark night. Where had that come from?

The two teens walked into the building, glancing around at the fine furnishings and attractive colors. At the front desk they were 'expected' and subsequently told which room to go to, instead of being told to bugger off.

Sean knocked on the door. It only took seconds for it to open, and then the adult version of the vixen on his arm was in the doorway, half-dressed. “Sis!” she shrilled, hugging her sister with such enthusiasm that Blaize was pulled off Sean’s arm. “Oh, lookit you! You’re so pretty!” Candi cooed, then turned to Sean. “My, you’ve become a big man now.” She caught him up in a hug, one that ended with the most subtle of squeezes on his backside.

Oh, yes. The night was looking up.

“Son, is that you?” his father asked, coming into the main room from the bedroom. He was buttoning up his shirt, hiding away the white undershirt he always wore. “Hey, Sean, Blaize. What do you two want to eat?”

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This is so unfair.

Getting a close hug from a woman with a chassis like Candi's, and half dressed no less, should have been awesome. Okay, it was, but it was also hair-raising, knowing that she sleeps - had just slept - with his dad. Still, he hugged her back, strong arms going around her slender back, the smell of her and her herbal shampoo filling his nostrils, his ass unintentionally flexing at her devious fondling. She had amply proven that the more he resisted, the worst she got. He sincerely hoped she hadn't felt the stirring below his belt.

"You're looking great as always, yourself Can... dace," Sean managed to reply almost smoothly.

Candi stepped back, an unnerving grin on her full lips that could have meant anything, her younger sister having a nearly identical unfathomable smile gracing her equally stunning face. Sean's dad entering the room was a Godsend.

"Hey, Dad!" Sean took his father's hand, bumping shoulders in what guys called a hug. "I could just 'bout kill for a good steak."

"I'm feeling like... Mushrooms," Blaize offered, a musing light in her gorgeous blue eyes, her lips still faintly curved, though that might have been just the shape of her mouth. It's a pretty mouth.

"Steaks come with mushrooms, baked, battered, fried, almost anyway you like," Sean suggested. She was pretty, but he still wanted that steak. He pulled his eyes away from the teen goddess, facing his father again, stormy eyes cajoling.

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"I think we saw a steak place down by the highway, Candi," Dean said, finishing buttoning up his shirt. As he started to mess with his tie, he added, "What do you think, hon?"

"I think red meat sounds delicious," she cooed, leaning against his arm and gazing up at him. Blaize rolled her eyes a little at the display, glancing at Sean to see his reaction. When Sean seemed disturbed as well, she gave him a ghost of a smile.

"Heh-eheh, sure darling, steak it is," Dean managed to get out, a blush toasting the tips of his ears. He gave Candi a quick kiss, still doing up his tie.

Briskly, she took it from him and did it while he smiled down at her with a mixture of patience and affection. "There, all ready," she purred, drawing a smile from his father that Sean had never wanted to see.

Blaize noisely cleared her throat, and the two adults parted, looking chastised. After that, it was a quick rush to the car, then to the restaurant, Candi and Blaize keeping up an idle patter. It was about school and sports and their lives, and the men tuned them out as only men could.

The steakhouse was nice - the Western theme was a bit grating and the lights were too low, but the smells that assaulted them as they stepped in were reassuring. The short wait also showed promise, but it was Wednesday night, and the four were soon seated.

"So, Sean, did your mother call you?" Dean asked as they started to look over their menus.

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Noticing the faint curve of luscious lips at his father's and Blaize's sister's display, he glanced at the 'adults' and seeing their attention focused on themselves, Sean turned his shoulders slightly, hiding the gagging gesture he made. Blaize's sapphire eyes twinkled.

At the restaurant, Sean was eying the 20 oz. T-bone, when his dad asked him a question. His head shot up from the menu, stormy blue-grey eyes dark, a scowl on his face. "Mom? Why would Vanessa call me? Haven't heard a thing from her, or Savannah and Cassandra, since she packed me off to Dalton." An eyelid fluttered as an ephemeral thought percolated through his head, but it was gone before it resolved into anything distinct.

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"Well, she called me to tell me she was vacating the house, and that I could have it back," he said. "That was part of the reason for this trip - to see if Candi liked the place."

"It's a bit... cold," the older red-head said softly. "Also, it's been decorated like a museum." Sean understood; his mother had been very fond of tribal artifacts, both real and replication. It did give the house a feel like the place was a giant display case and not a home.

"Since she doesn't," Dean continued, "I'm going to leave the keys with you. Vanessa's gone, her car's gone and she's taken the girls. So it'll be up to you to go up there once in a while and check up on it. And I don't think anyone will mind if you use the house as a place to get away. I'm having Vanessa's thing put into storage. Just don't break the house or get the cops called on you and it'll be good, alright?"

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The menu dropped from nerveless fingers as Sean stared at his dad, mouth dropping open in shock. He had never gotten along with his mother and his sisters hardly at all, but still, it hurt. He had seen them less than a month ago and they hadn't given the slightest clue that they were thinking of leaving. Vanessa had always seemed almost... eternal to him.

"I - I'll look after the place, sure Dad." Sean's voice was cold with the effort of his calm acquiescence, but his hands knotted into fists with the sound of cracking knuckles, tense muscles rippling his arms. "But, Vanessa and girls, they're just... gone? DId she even say where they were going?"

The two stunning red-heads sharing the table were forgotten as muscular, handsome young man tried to deal with another familial disappointment.

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Dean paused, his eyes dropping to the menu. Sean blinked; it looked like his dad was trying to think of the answer. It was only a second, but then Dean shrugged and said, "It's some getaway retreat deal. They may be going off to some no-men commune or something."

Dean folded his menu. "It doesn't matter, Sean," he said. "She'd divorced herself from everything about us, not just our marriage. And your sisters... they're following along in her wake. So I'm going to let them do their thing, and maybe someday we can be a family again."

"You have family here," Candi said, smiling at Sean. As his mind struggled not to take that to the logical conclusion, she added, "I'm not really mother material, but there are all kinds of families. And I'd like to be part of yours, Sean."

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"Uh... yeah, sure, I'd like that," Sean stammered uncertainly. Seeing everyone looking at him, he struggled to put a weak grin on his face and let out a bark of laughter. "There's no way I could call you mother, Candi. Aunt, maybe," Sean said truthfully enough, hoping she'd take it as a compliment. "So, I'm starving. Anyone else? Where's that waiter, so we can order, eh?"

Candi's smile shifted slightly, into one of those arcane, unfathomably feminine ones that could have meant anything except what you thought it did, and added her own velvety giggle. "Mmm, my appetite's been growing too. Everyone know what they want? Good."

Candi turned slightly in her chair, raising a slender arm and arching her back a bit. As if he teleported, their waiter was suddenly there with a wide solicitous smile directed at the stunning red-head. As grating as it was, Sean had to admit Candi knew how to get what she wanted.

While Candi was issuing her order, Sean felt a soft kick under the table and glanced over at Blaize. The younger red-head leaned over, whispering in a a voice he had to strain to hear. "Don't mind Candi, she's really not that bad, and she grows on you."

Sean glanced at Blaize, surprise in his eyes, then ordered his 20 ounce rid-eye, medium-rare when the waiter finally turned to him. Waiting for their food to arrive, Sean watched his dad under dark brows. His dad was a smooth operator and this might have been the only time he had ever seen him hesitate in giving an answer. But why would he lie about where they went? He'd tell me if anything bad had happened to them.

"I can't believe Savannah - any of them - didn't even say good-bye," he muttered.

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Candi was watching Sean closely - closely enough to make him nervous. "You know, Sean, I think I'd like that - to not be seen as a mother, not by you. But I'm not your aunt either. Let's just forego all those labels and you can call me Candi."

"Um, sure," Sean said, trying to smile. She was young enough to be his girlfriend, and this was awkward. Blaize looked bemused and would be of no help, and his dad was oblivious to his dicomfort at the idea of treating Dad's girlfriend like any other totally hot, doable chick. The reaction of the waiter with his eager, lecherous smile was just more proof at how unmotherly Candi was.

As Sean muttered to himself, Blaize reached over and touched his arm. "I'm sure that they were just busy packing... and if they weren't you deserve better siblings. From what Candi's said and what I've heard here, they were kinda losers anyway."

"Don't let it eat at you, son," Dean added. "They'll get their heads straightened out in time. And then they'll be back. Vanessa's a little crazy like that, and she's just dragging the girls along in her wake."

"Dean, did we want to talk about that one thing?" Candi asked softly. "It might cheer him up."

Dean glanced at her, then looked back at Sean. "Sure. Son, I don't know if this will help or not - you kids can be funny about this, but you might soon have a half-sibling to dote on. Candi and I are going to try for a child of our own."

Blaize looked completely floored. "You?" she blurted to her sister. "Miss. Babies-will-destroy-my-perfect-figure?"

"I was immature to think that," Candi giggled. "I'm so much more mature now."

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Sean choked on his water at hearing the news, mouth dropping open in shock. After coming to the arrangement of simply treating Candi as, well, as Candi, this was the nearly the last thing he expected to hear. His dad reached around the table, pounding him on the back.

"Sorry, went down the wrong way," Sean said unconvincingly when he could breath again, surprise loud in his voice. "Another brother or sister, eh?"

After getting pass the initial shock, Sean realized that the idea wasn't as unappealing as he'd have thought at first. He remembered having fun with Savannah when his was younger, before they grew apart. This was another chance at getting a piece of family that was close. A brother to teach sports or a sister to spoil while making sure she could take care of any douches that bothered her. The idea of another sibling wasn't unappealing at all.

To both Dean's and Candi's astonishment, a genuine smile appeared on Sean's face. Blaize glanced at the handsome jock with a new regard once she got over being bewildered from her sister's news. Unexpectedly, the awkwardness of dinner became a lot less awkward, at least for him, it did.

"That's great you two. Lookin' forward to it. Really. I'll help out anyway I can, honest."

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After Sean's surprising acceptance of his father's and Candi's news, dinner settled into an easy-going affair, the previous vague tension and awkwardness fading away under the flowing conversation and delightful meal. Sean and his father began talking about sports and how football practice was going and what was catching their fancy at the moment while the women prattled on about whatever women prattled on about.

Laughter hovered around their table like a delicate perfume as the began trading anecdotes and funny stories, which didn't even embarrass Sean much, not after hearing some of what Blaize had to saw about Candi when she was a teen. He didn't even mind when Dean and Candi kissed or fed each other morsels of their meals. More than one pair of male eyes glanced at Dean and Sean, sharing their table with a pair of gorgeous red-heads.

They took their languorous time eating, finally getting to dessert and coffee. Sean finished his deep-fried cheesecake and began picking at the remnants of dessert that Candi and Blaize, his dad finishing up his coffee than slipping a credit card into the fold to pay for dinner.

"That was a great meal," Dean declared, receiving affirmative nods from the others. "Candi and I also have something else to tell you kids." He grinned at his girlfriend, giving her another kiss. "We're going to be out of the country for a few weeks. Venice. You know, some place romantic and all that, to get started on this whole baby thing..."

"We going to be doing more than just that..." Candi began with a look of prim, mock severity, but her lips were writhing with a suppressed smirk.

"Yeah, right," Sean and Blaize snorted at the same time, then sharing a look and a grin themselves.

Dean leaned forward conspiratorially, hiding the boyish grin on his mouth from Candi and said in a stage whisper, "I completely agree." Candi let out a put-upon sigh and shrugged, but she was grinning too.

The men helped the girls out of their chairs, settled their coats on their fine shoulders and headed out for the cars. Dean and Candi were going out on the town and Sean and Blaize had to get back to campus. They said their farewells, traded hugs and handshakes, then Sean and Dean helped their respective women into their seats, sharing a look over the roofs of their vehicles.

Their eyes, the same storm coloured eyes, had been meeting all night, a question going unasked each time, and it went unasked this time too. Both of them were sure there was something they needed to say to each other, yet everything had been said. The niggling feeling stayed with them as they mutually broke eye contact with a twisted grin and got behind the wheel.

Fingers tapping on the wheel with the radio as he drove down the main road back to Dalton, he unintentionally hit a pothole, causing his worn Wrangler to jounce heavily. Even with his eyes on the road, he couldn't miss to heavy bounce of Blaize's buxom torso. Blaize glanced him accusingly and he gave her an apologetic grin. Potholes must suck with that much weight jiggling around, he thought in peculiar sympathy, rather than simply enjoying the pleasant sight. What the fuck?! With dad gettin' close with her sister, I guess I'm seein' Blaize as off limits or somethin'... Damn.

A trace of the forgotten awkward crept back insistently, like a case of mild indigestion.

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