Winter 2010/2011 – Gregory is 32, Nina is 29, and Reagan is 2. (Rachel Heredon is 30, Fabrice Lemieux is 27) Last update: Spring 2010

7am

7 am: Once, a long time ago, Nina would have whined if she had to be awake and alert before 11 am. She had loved the simple luxury of laying in bed until she decided to get up and not the insistent car horn from a coworker trying to make it to work on time. She’d dreamed of being a rich important somebody’s wife — a doctor then — and looked forward to the many days of lazing in a giant bed but dreams tend to skew when they hit reality.

Nina is married to her rich important somebody but she tosses and turns when he leaves their bed to get ready for work. She can’t sleep without the weight of his arm around her waist and she’s learned to not punish him with sleeping on the couch because by 3 am he’s slipping into bed to their mutual relief.

Breakfast

She listens to Alexa play with Reagan and smiles softly at her domestic little life. Instead of recovering from a long night of partying and charming, Nina’s up early–on a Saturday–making pancakes for her children. She laughs at herself, enjoying her happiness, before remembering that there is one major flaw to her ideal weekend. Gregory isn’t home — he’s never home on weekends anymore.

Her father would laugh if he could hear her thoughts, loud with disbelief and a hint of cruelty. Papa would puff on his hand rolled cigarette, tug on his Panama hat and give his constant advice: the best husband is a rich, absentee one; never complain when he’s gone because those will be the best moments of your married life. Her parents’ advice might have landed her a husband but it couldn’t guide her now that she’s gone off the script.

Exercise

11 am: Nina finds peace at the gym. She likes to lose herself in the repetitive action of the stationary bike and allow her mind to wander free. She doesn’t know why but it feel like a storm in gathering, ready to wash away her new life.  Nina doesn’t like to think about her past, only allowing brief moments for it to pop into her daily thoughts but she knows there is only one person that could ruin everything for her.

What if she tries to find her? What if Dina does find her and reveals all her secrets? Would Gregory forgive her or would he throw her out and take their children away? Her stomach drops sharply and Nina’s forced to rest her head on the control panel to push back the nausea. She wishes she could tell Gregory the truth but he’s so fragile — his need for absolute trust in those he holds close so central to his being that Nina knows revealing herself would destroy much more than their family.

Ballet

She abandons the bike for the ballet bar and in a contradictory act tries to grasp onto her past self and present life at the same time: ballet is the only place the two ever meet. Nina had not wanted this life when it was first offered to her. She’d known right away that Gregory was a man looking for love, marriage, children: all the things she had been taught to scoff at if it wasn’t attached to money but he’d had money, lots of it, and Nina had only done what her parents raised her to do.

She knew not to fall in love with him, that was the easy part. Don Lothario had broken her heart and she was well versed in saying empty affections  that she easily moved from girlfriend to fiancée to wife to mother of his child without feeling a twinge of the emotion.

It was only on Alexa’s first birthday when she was staring across a giant cake that Nina realized that she loved him, a man full of rigid rules and a soft heart. Nina had never known you could fall in love when you aren’t looking and now she’s stuck loving this man, loving their little family and hoping that although the clouds are there it never rains.

Meeting

1 pm: By the time the meeting start Nina has firmly locked away her past, at least for that day. Being around these women, who controlled the gate doors to higher society, Nina knows nothing of her past can remain. With them she’s Nina Wright, wife of Gregory Alexander Wright heir to the philanthropic Wright family, and that means she belongs to their exclusive circle of money and status. She wouldn’t be a Caliente if a part of her didn’t shiver with excitement every time she goes to one of these meetings and today she’s hosting one.

Suggestion

“Have you thought about inviting the orchestra Nina? I know Gregory is a fan of the movements the Philharmonic is performing now and they haven’t been invited the perform in Heredon Cove for four years”

Nina nods at Rachel’s suggestion, mentally counting the seconds so that she appears to give it great thought but she already knows who she wants to invite. She always enjoys helping with the preparations to plan the annual charity benefit, but this year its even more important to her because it’s her turn to head the committee.

“I like that idea Rachel,” Nina starts and she can see the other women around them nodding with approval before she has a chance to finish. “However, three months ago Gregory and I had the chance to see this new ballet company on the mainland and I think they would be perfect for the charity event.”

GoodIdea

There is a brief moment of tense silence before Meagan Sterling nods her head in approval, a smile ghosting over her face. “That is a excellent idea Nina and most people on the Cove love the ballet, pretentious culture is kind of our thing. I’m sure the tickets will sell out within a week.”

Dana Heller agrees, absentmindedly smoothing down her headband. “We’re an island of culture-whores, if I can say it tactlessly.”

The younger women laugh at her bluntness but Laura Bullard does not, sternly reprimanding them. “Language like that is neither appropriate nor befitting your position in life. Two of you are raising our future committee members and the other two of you I helped mentor through your cotillion, please try to behave. I’m shudder to think about how you would act if I wasn’t here.”

Nina tries to look properly reprimanded but struggles to hold back laughter when she catches Dana’s eyes.

Affair

They wait until Mrs. Bullard leaves the dining room before laughing quietly.

“I hear Mr. Bullard is on a business trip to to Hawaii with his secretary…his twenty-three year old secretary.” Nina smiles when they all turn to look at her, hungry for more information. “Just a little tidbit I picked up at the courthouse the other day.”

Meagan and Dana immediately start whispering about the things they would do if their husband decided to go on vacation with their secretary and Nina nods sagely, keeping an ear our for Mrs. Bullard’s return but also watching Rachel out the corner of her eye. Rachel’s face is tight with tension and Nina fights the urge to sigh, instead clasping her friend’s hand under the table. She could not imagine what it would be like to be married to such a fool.

Park

7 pm: It’s late when she takes Alexa to the park, leaving Gregory home to care for their son. It’s Saturday so none of Gregory’s silly rules count and Nina is happy to watch her little girl run off and play. She is amused to find out that her opponent for a game of darts like to recite French poetry to help the time pass by.

“L’Amour croit par l’exemple, et vit d’illusions. Belles, étudiez ces tendres fictions…Que les poëtes saints, en leurs douces ivresses,.. Inventent dans la joie aux bras de leurs maîtresses.”

Nina raises an eyebrow as she prepares to throw a dart. “Trouble with love?

The man dips in head in agreement. “Oui, what other trouble does a Frenchman know?”

She has to smile at that statement and is silently satisfied to see that she’s made a good hit. Nina finds him intriguing, having never seen him at the park before and she is more than willing to play amateur psychiatrist to avoid her own problem. “What’s the problem? Is she married?”

“Very much so and very unhappily because he has no money.”

Darts

Nina pauses before taking her next shot, listening to his short phrases of French poetry and assessing the man’s obviously expensive clothes. They were a few seasons out of style but still very well made. “Why then does she stay? Why does she not leave with  her rich, French lover?”

“They share a small child and her husband is sure to die without her love.”

She starts to laugh at his exaggeration and comment that the lover never cares but she notices the wounded look in his blue eyes and the way he plays with his ring — a wedding band. Their eyes meet for a second and confirm what Nina’s starting to guess: that he’s the wronged husband. She isn’t sure what to say and the darts hang loose in her hands.

He looks away and checks the board before offering her an out. “Best two out of three?”

Rain

11 pm: Nina settles into bed enjoying the soft pressure of Gregory’s arm around her waist and the sweet smell of baby powder coming from Reagan. She tries to chase sleep but her mind is caught by the story and the presence of the man in the park. He seemed so broken, would Gregory become like that if the truth came out ? Would he become that lost?

A shudder runs through her body and pulls Gregory out of the first stages of sleep.

“You’re not sleeping.”

She shakes her head and presses her body closer to his. “I have a lot on my mind, it won’t let me sleep.”

Gregory sighs and places a kiss on the back of her neck. “Here’s something funny you can spin around your brain. Jayden came to see me today and asked if you had dyed your hair blonde.”

“What?” Her voice is sharper than she intends and Nina rubs Reagan’s back as he starts to stir.

“Isn’t that ridiculous? Like you would ruin your hair by dying it blonde, but he swears the woman looks just like you only with blonde hair. I could not stop laughing.”

Nina lays there listening to Gregory laugh and isn’t surprised when it starts to pour outside.

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A.N: I’m alive. very much alive. I have clawed my way out of the midterm abyss and managed to make it back here. I’m in my Masters year so every test is not a test but a major project so I had no time to pretend to play the game. I couldn’t even bust out this update even though half the picture were already taken. Mea culpa

I try not to have a favorite family in the Cove but I’m fascinated by Nina and Gregory’s relationship. Is is weird to be fascinated by a relationship of your own creation? I tried to do a day in the life of thing with Nina here and I hope it worked. I like adding the little time stamps to it and its just seemed like an interesting take. I’m trying to set the stage for Dina’s entrance into their lives but I’m not sure its going to be in this year yet. I want to wind Nina up just a bit more.

If you couldn’t recognize the Frenchman that’s Fabrice and the poem he’s reciting is “The Art of Love” by André Chénier. The section translates “Love believes by example and lives of illusions./ Fair, consider these tender fiction/ That the poets saints, in their sweet intoxication,/Invent joy in the arms of their mistresses.” That scene really just came out of the blue and worked with my idea to start connecting these families to each other in different ways.

Sidenote: Laura asked last month about the Heredon boys and I figured I should answer now instead of waiting for their update. John and Arthur are brothers, Sam is their distant cousin. They can trace their lineage back to common ancestors but in the game they don’t have a family flag.

I hope you like it and I’m going to try to add some picspam from this update tonight

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