Interlude: Permission

“Oh, come on! That one was too easy!” Mark chuckled heartily, his laughter echoing around the large room. “Give me another.”

“Okay, okay.” Jocelyne smiled, swiping her finger across her phone screen to bring up the next trivia question. “Ooh! I bet you don’t know this one.” She teased. “On the hit TV series Eight Cicadas, what is Annette’s favorite ice cream flavor?”


She giggled triumphantly as she watched the smile fade from Mark’s face. “Um… Shit. I don’t know! I’ve seen like one episode! Uh… pass?”

“Ha!” She laughed brightly. “I don’t believe it… The master has been stumped at last!”

“Yeah, yeah.” He rolled his eyes, but smiled. “Keep rubbing it in.”


“Oh, and the answer was ‘durian’, by the way.” Jocelyne added with a smirk. “Obviously.”

“Uh huh, and I’m sure you would have gotten it?” He asked, raising an eyebrow at her.

The woman nodded. “Actually, yes, I would. I love that show.” She smiled as she handed her phone to him. “Okay, my turn! Show no mercy.”

“I won’t.” He assured her with a laugh. “Let’s find a tricky one for you…” Mark peered down at the phone screen, his smile widening for a moment before suddenly vanishing. “Aw, shit.” He muttered.


Jocelyne’s brow furrowed in concern. “What?”

A heavy sigh escaped Mark’s lips. “I’ve gotta leave for work. I didn’t realize how late it was.”

“Oh.” She muttered in reply. Where had the time gone? “Guess I didn’t realize either. I mean, I was kinda hoping we’d have a chance to fit in a little…alone time?”


The girls were with Elliot for the weekend, Tobi and Colette were away for the day visiting Diego, Zayne was out with his friend Dom, and Mari and Jonas were busy puttering around downstairs. It was very rare to have so much privacy in the house, and Mark and Jocelyne liked to take advantage of it whenever they could.

Shit. This was the perfect chance. She thought sadly. Having to worry about being quiet kind of took a bit of the fun out of their sex life… And the occasional quickie in the car on date nights wasn’t nearly exciting as it used to be.

Mark just shook his head, chuckling. “Honey, if you wanted time for that, you shouldn’t have started up that trivia game. Surefire way to get us to lose track of time.”


“I know.”

“Hey, we’ll make up for it when I get home tonight, okay?” He assured her, pulling her close to him. Mark’s voice was low and sultry in her ear as he described in great detail how he planned on spending their evening. His hand crept slowly up her thigh with every word he spoke.

Jocelyne giggled, her heart fluttering and cheeks growing warm. “Mark…”


“Tante Joce?”

Both adults practically leapt to their feet at Zayne’s sudden entrance. “H-hey. I thought you were still out with Dom.” Jocelyne forced a smile, grateful he hadn’t walked in on them in an even more compromising position.


But clearly it was enough to still mortify her nephew. His cheeks reddened and he glanced down at the floor as he spoke. “I-I was. I just got back a few minutes ago.” Zayne bit his lip. “Erm… Is now not a good time? I just wanted to talk to you for a minute…”

“Nah, I was just heading out.” Mark was much more successful at keeping his demeanor casual. “Those books won’t check themselves out, you know!” He smiled warmly at his grandson, then turned to Jocelyne, planting a soft kiss against her cheek. “See you tonight.”


“Have fun at work.” She smiled.


Zayne finally seemed to relax as his grandfather began walking toward him. “See you later, grandpa.” He said softly, smiling.

Mark gave him a playful punch on the arm as he passed. “Later, kiddo.”


Jocelyne could tell right away that something was up – the silence that followed after Mark left the room was strangely tense and heavy… Nothing like the usual quiet moments she shared with her nephew. This can’t be good, can it?

“So… What’s up?” She asked, breaking the silence at last. “You said you wanted to talk?”

Zayne nodded seriously. “I did.” He crossed the room, taking a seat on the small leather couch.


Jocelyne followed suit and sat down at his side, waiting for him to speak again.

“I just… I guess I wanted to apologize.” He sighed softly. “I’ve been acting like a total dick – er… I mean jerk lately. And that was really stupid of me. So I’m sorry.”

The woman’s eyes widened slightly. That was definitely not what she’d been expecting. “Well, thanks.” She smiled. “That means a lot, honey.”


Zayne returned her small smile. “I’ve just had a lot on my mind lately, I guess… But I kinda decided to start acting like an idiot instead of just talking to you about it.” He let out a small laugh. “Dumb, I know.”

“Not dumb.” She shook her head. “Talking about how you’re feeling can be really hard. I get it.” Jocelyne assured him gently. “But you can tell me about it, okay? No judgements from me.”



“I promise.”

Inside, Jocelyne was absolutely panicking, of course — worrying about what it could be possibly be that he wanted to tell her. But years of dealing with three teenage girls and all their drama had given her a great poker face.

He took a slow, deep breath. “I guess I kinda feel like you and grandpa are…” Zayne hesitated for a moment. “Babying me too much.”


It was all she could do to hide her relief. Oh thank God. Jocelyne had been expecting so much worse. “How so?” Her voice was calm as she spoke.

“I kinda wanna be more, like… independent, y’know? Make my own choices and do what I wanna do without you guys always worrying about everything all the time.”

She considered his words for a moment, nodding slowly in understanding. This wasn’t exactly news to her, of course. She’d known for the past couple of months that he’d been feeling this way – trying to grow up much too fast.


“We worry because we love you.” She explained. “But I’m sorry that you’re feeling so frustrated about it… And I understand. I used to feel the same way, when I was a little older than you.” Jocelyne told him, pausing for a moment. Okay… Maybe I can throw him a bone here.

“Tell you what.” She continued. “I think you have a point… You can handle yourself better on your own now. So what if we extend your curfew by an hour? How’d that be?” Jocelyne offered. “Same as the girls have now… And maybe I can ease up a bit on the rules about screen time.” She added with a little wink. “I think you’ve earned a little extra flexibility.”


To her surprise, Zayne shook his head. “That’s not what I want, Tante Joce.”

“What?” She failed at hiding her confusion. “What do you –?”

“I wanna move out.”


Did he seriously just say…? Jocelyne couldn’t even find her voice. So instead of voicing her shock and concern, she just stared at him, waiting for some sort of explanation.

“I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.” He continued, his voice stronger this time. “But I feel like it’s time to go be on my own.”

At last, she managed to speak. “Honey, what are you talking about?” Jocelyne fought to keep her voice steady. “Even if I said it was okay… You’re only sixteen. You can’t.”


“I can.” He corrected her. “Dom’s cousin did it. She went to private school in another city, and she was allowed to live on her own… As long as her parents gave permission.” Zayne explained.

Jocelyne shook her head slowly. “Well if permission is what you’re looking for, you won’t be getting it from me. I’m sorry.”

“Oh, come on!” She could already see his calm mask beginning to fade. “Can’t I at least try it? Won’t you give me a chance?!”


“And how exactly do you plan on paying rent?” Jocelyne countered, still keeping her cool. “Or the heating bill, or electricity? Water, internet…?”

She saw a brief flicker of uncertainty cross his face. “I… I’ll get a job!”

His aunt nodded. “Okay. And what if it’s not enough? What if you still can’t afford it?”


He hesitated for even longer this time. “W-what about the money Mama and Papa left me? There’s tons of it. I’ll use that.” Zayne smiled confidently as he spoke.

This is just getting ridiculous. Jocelyne felt her patience beginning to wear thin. “You can’t access those funds until you’re eighteen.” Her voice was firm. “You know that.”

“I can if you give me permission!”


“Absolutely not! Your parents wouldn’t want you wasting your inheritance on something like this, okay? Not until you’re ready.”

“But I am ready!” Zayne cried, clenching his fists at his sides. “And I bet Mama and Papa would let me have a chance to prove it!”

“Well, I’m sorry I’m not them!”

“Yeah, me too.”


Jocelyne held her face in one of her hands for a moment, calming herself. Why couldn’t he understand? “Zayne, I’m sorry, but my answer is no.” She shook her head slowly. “Look, you’re growing up. You’re not a little kid anymore. I realize that. You’re a young man now, and I’m so proud of you.” Jocelyne meant every word. “And I promise to be more conscious of that in the future, okay? But living on your own… It’s a big step. You’re just not ready yet. Take some time, calm down, think it over… And you’ll understand.” She assured him.


“So you seriously won’t even hear me out?!” Zayne practically spat at her. “I can’t believe you!”

“I have heard you out.” His aunt sighed. “And you can keep trying to convince me until you’re blue in the face… But my answer won’t change. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, whatever.” Zayne turned away from her and rose to his feet, muttering under his breath. “Bitch.


Jocelyne felt like he’d slapped her across the face. “What did you just call me?!”

He left the room without another word.



Shoutout to Trip/Infragreen for letting me reference her story in this one! Her story is very dark and adult, but really awesome. You should check it out!

67 thoughts on “Interlude: Permission

  1. You know what Zane needs? He needs a whooping! He’s not thinking straight and being extremely unreasonable. He should think about all the progress he’s made with the help of his Tante Joce and then think twice about calling her a bitch. Btw I started ashes to ashes about two weeks ago and I finally caught up. Decided to make an account so I can comment and I even started my own legacy story. So thank you for your continuous entertainment and inspiration.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading, and I’m very glad to have offered you a bit of inspiration 🙂

      And yes, Zayne is definitely being unreasonable and immature 😦 Poor Joce was actually being quite nice to him, and he turned around and called her such a terrible name.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joce is into sorrid tales of crime, addiction, and some cheeky demon’s sexcapades? You naughty girl! 😛

    Tbh I said dumb shit like Zayne too. Ask for that little cottage out back instead. The family still has it, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joce has a wild side in her entertainment choices 😉

      And LOL! That’s cracking me up. Something tells me Zayne wouldn’t be satisfied with just having the cottage though 😛 He wants to be off the lot, at least 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And he seems to believe that Luc and Hazel would be any different…they’d probably rope him into constantly babysitting for those younger kids they dreamed of having. I bet they even liked salad too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, that’s gonna come back and bite Zayne in the ass later. Who’s to say this isn’t going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back between him and his aunt?

    (And is it just me, or does Jossy look really…old in a couple of the screenshots? Like, older than usual)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, this little argument is definitely a bump in the road for both of them… But hopefully they’re able to move past it!

      And as for Joce haha she’s in the adult life phase now, so she has definitely aged! And like Trip said, she’s raising four teens! 😮 She should probably have a head of gray hair right now XD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow 😳 language young man! 😡I’m upset he called her a bitch, but at the same time I’m intrigued to where this rebellious nature will take him. I’m getting runaway teen/prodigal son vibes! Also I wonder what will happen when the triplets find out definitely going to lose some points with them. Plus the scolding his going to get from Mark later. If building a wedge between him and his family is his goal he’s off to a good start! Looks like my counterparts curse is already in motion! Darn her to heck😝


  5. Wow 😳 language young man😡 I’m upset that he called her a bitch but I’m also intrigued to find out where Zayne’s rebellious nature takes. Word of advice Joce teenagers never start off apologizing without motive. I’m getting runaway teen/prodigal son vibes! I wonder how the triplets will react to this? Mark will definitely give him an earful later if he wants to start building wedges between him and his family he’s off to a great start. It appears my counterparts curse is starting to take effect!😝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, he went way too far there. Gah. And I love your advice to Joce about teenagers apologizing 😛 We’ll see what happens next after this interesting conversation… XD


  6. He thinks if Luc and Hazel were still alive that they would understand but I think if Luc and Hazel were still alive Zayne would never feel the need to move out. I think he feels alone. He might be surrounded by family who all love him but it’s not enough to fill the hole that his parents’ death left in him. He thinks being on his own will help him find himself and maybe it might but the way he’s going about it doesn’t give the adults around him much faith that he will be able to survive on his own. What he should do is get a job, build some savings and prove to them that he can be responsible instead of acting childishly by calling Joce a bitch because he didn’t get his way. All he did was prove Joce’s point about him not being ready.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I wish WP had an “insightful” button like the forums do! I think everything you’ve said here is spot-on (from Zayne’s reasons for wanting to be so independent to what he should do, to what he’s doing wrong) 🙂 He so desperately wants to be on his own, but all he’s doing is proving that he really IS immature. *sigh* My poor baby haha. (And poor Joce having to deal with this!)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohhh..ohhh…oohhh! I can’t belive he said that stuff…not nice, really…I wonder if Zayne caled her bitch because oh the heat of the moment or because he don’t see her as the person that takes care of him…I hope his relatives,(the one’s that have his age, because think he would feel it’s closer to his reality) put some logic in his head! He has the train of thought of a child…you can’t eat pizza for the rest of your life! (That won’t be that long if you only eat pizza…) And I think he think’s if his parent’s were alive, they would let him go, only because the memories he has from his parents is from when he was child, AKA, giving a lot of stuff to him, and there is not many bad memories…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I definitely think calling her a bitch was a heat-of-the-moment thing. I don’t think he REALLY thinks she is one. Hopefully he’ll get a wakeup call and realize he’s being ridiculous. And great insight about his memories of Luc and Hazel probably affecting what he thinks they’d do 🙂


  8. I loved this! Believe it or not, I really enjoyed that moment between Mark and Joce, it had such a warmth to it. And Zayne’s second-hand embarrassment was hilarious.

    Joce is such a good mom. She handled that really gracefully, keeping her cool and explaining the reasons behind her decision. You can tell she has a lot of experience with parenting, never a dull moment with four teens I bet haha!

    I can’t say I was surprised by Zayne’s reaction though, of course he wouldn’t think it would be enough, though she was being completely reasonable. I can’t help but love him in spite of it all – or because of it – he really takes me back to being young. I wasn’t particularly rebellious as a teen, but we’ve all experienced a moment where we thought the grown-ups were being totally unfair. Granted, most of us probably didn’t say the B-word, but we sure thought it, because we’ve just endured what we thought was such great injustice. Ah, to be young again… Hahaha! (That being said, I bet Zayne already regrets saying that. he’s a good kid, deep down :))

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This comment is the most pleasant surprise ever! Hahahaha 😛 I’m glad you enjoyed the Joce and Mark moment, and were amused by poor Zayne’s embarrassment 😛 He’s not dumb — he totally knows what was up hehehe

      And yes, Joce has lots of good parenting experience under her belt by this point 😉 She tries very hard to treat her children with respect and fairness as best she can!

      Unfortunately that respect and fairness is not always met with a positive reaction, as we saw here 😉 I’m glad you can relate to Zayne’s teenage attitude 😛 I think we’ve all been there for sure! (And you’re so right about him regretting it haha. It was a 100% knee-jerk reaction)


  9. Pffft. Call her that one more time and see what happens to you. *cracks knuckles*
    And shame on you for thinking your parents would be chumps, you manipulative little brat! Teenagers can be so dumb sometimes. On one hand, he says he’s not a little kid, but on the other hand he’s not mature enough to realize that what he’s asking for is permission to be not responsible. All he wants to do is live the so-called high life that his cousins are living. To be a slob, eat junk, and waste precious time on mindless crap. If he wants to live like that, he NEEDS to be babied. smh…crazy teens…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hahaha exactly. Zayne has SO much growing up to do, and he’s so blind to his own immaturity! Like you said, if he lived on his own, he’d end up being a slob and eating junk and probably be totally unprepared for the not-so-fun parts of being on his own… But he doesn’t see it that way, of course 😛 *sigh* I love this kid, but he’s such a knucklehead XD

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Zayne…it’s funny how we all are the same dumb teenager.
    “When we are young
    Wandering the face of the earth
    Wondering what our dreams might be worth
    Learning that we’re only immortal
    For a limited time”

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Young man, how dare you speak to your aunt like that. Call her that offensive word one more time and you’ll be in dead meat. If you have nothing nice to say, then keep your mouth shut. I understand that he wants to be independent and live the luxury life of his cousins, but look at him. He’s still a teen and he still needs to be babied. He’s not ready to handle the real world yet. Ooh, Zayne’s immature behavior makes me so mad 😡 (hints jealousy is playing a role in this)

    Joce has done very well with her parenting techniques. She handled the situation calmly and explained the reasons behind the decisions. She certainly cares so much about her nephew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right, Zayne is not ready to be on his own yet at all. He’s still quite immature. 😦 But Joce is a wonderful parent and definitely loves her nephew 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Zayne…If you want to prove you are an adult calling your Aunt a Bitch is not the way! 😡 Get. Job and show you can handle that and school work, then ask again.

    I am curious how Mark will react. Most of the interactions we have seen are between Jocelyn and Zayne. So much for their romantic evening when Mark gets home. 😕 This makes me wonder if he will run away, if things will just get really ugly or he will regret his words and they come to some sort of compromise. I think a lot of it depends on Marks reaction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah talk about a mood killer :-/ Zayne totally messed up here *sigh* As for Mark’s reaction and what Zayne will do from here… We’ll see! 🙂


  13. talking about dumb teenagers I guess we have a textbook example right here. Trust me Zayne moving out is HARD! Especially if you live with your loving family.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Uh-oh… If I or my brother used the B word when we were teenagers, we would be picking ourselves from the floor the next minute. My dad would have made sure of that.
    I think they spoiled Zayne a little. I suppose he’s going to switch back to his “jerk mode” again. I hope he’ll regret his words when he finally grows up or sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think he’s been a bit spoiled too… probably not good! We’ll see what happens from here. I love Zayne but what a little jerk *sigh* haha typical teen!


  15. Just my two cents here. As a teen only a year younger than Zayne is, I can see why he would want to move out. I’ve thought about moving out too, and my family is nowhere near the size of his! He feels stifled, and in an odd position where he is surrounded by family at all times, yet none of it is immediate family.

    However, it might not be a smart thing to do if that’s the only reason. I want to move out because I want to move to a different, bigger city, because the schools in my city aren’t nearly challenging enough. He only wants to move out because he hates rules (in that way we’re polar opposite).

    I’ve always thought a good compromise would be to move in with my older sister and her roommates, who live in the city I’d like to go to. Perhaps Zayne could move in with River and Remi? It would give him some independence, but he wouldn’t be left to his own devices to ruin everything, and he could contribute to the rent with a part time job instead of drawing from his inheritance.

    None of that excuses what he said to Joce, though. I would never, ever talk to my mother like that! What an awful thing to call the person who has been taking care of you since you were a child.

    (Also, hi! Long time no see. I’ll try and be more active here)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi SimMim! I’ve missed you!!!! Thanks for offering your perspective 🙂 I think a big part of the problem here isn’t Zayne’s age as much as his maturity level. He’s shown that he really isn’t very mature and I think that’s not a great sign that he’d do well on his own. Your idea of him moving in with Remi and River is really interesting! 🙂

      And yeah… he was awful to poor Joce 😦


  16. Zayne is definitely not acting like an adult. It doesn’t surprise me at all that she turned him down. He needs to grow up a bit more. And definitely apologize to Jocelyne for calling her a bitch. That was way out of line!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh wow. Someone’s in dire need of a grounding… for the rest of high school.

    I feel bad for Joce…she’s actually being very reasonable with him, and all he wants to do is call her names and prove just how immature he actually is. How ungrateful of him! She’s taken care of him, fed him, clothed him, done his laundry…

    And yet I do remember being a teen, and how everything seems so unfair and no one listens to you and seriously you’re so mature and can’t they see it? But I don’t remember calling my mom names, and Joce is as close to a mom as Zayne has!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Hi! I got your casting call submission 😀 And thank you so much for reading my story! It means a lot!) You are so right about Zayne. He’s being an ungrateful jerk right now… but at the same time yes, he’s a typical teen who thinks he’s right and the world is against him haha.

      Calling her a bitch was super harsh (and yes, she’s basically his mother. Ouch. What a thing to call the woman who raised you!), but it felt fitting… especially because Zayne is following in Mari and Stefan’s footsteps as a Rosebrook with the hot-headed trait haha 😛


      1. I saw! For some reason my forum name is different and I don’t know why… this is the username I use everywhere it’s allowed to use it–some places block it because they think I’m using profane language. “Brass” is not a dirty word… Hopefully I can change my forum name, but I’m not holding my breath.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s really strange that the forum censors it! Who are you on the forums? Did you comment on my thread? I get usernames confused haha


            1. Ah, the forums are known for having super annoying and illogical sensor rules, so I figured they did too! Well I think chevronfox is a cool name, if that helps 😀


  18. Excuuuuuuuuuse me, Zayne? You may be 16, and think you’re an adult, but you sure aren’t mature enough to be called one. He probably just wants to move out to slack off and be a slob whenever he wants, without realizing the responsibilities that come with living on your own. I get where he’s coming from, but it’s not the smartest thing to do.

    Calling Joce a bitch ain’t helping your case, either.

    *hugs Joce* Sorry this had to go this way, girl (*glares at Zayne*)

    At least I have cute Marklyne moments… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is so immature, it’s true! I don’t think he fully grasps all the responsibilities involved… :-/

      Joce appreciates the hug and is happy you thought her moment with Mark was cute 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I do believe this takes his level of acting out to a new level. He’s lucky he’s a Rosebrook and not a member of my family. Any woman in my family wouldn’t have been the one feeling slapped had that word been directed at them by an immature 16 year old, ijs…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, he’s damn lucky haha I know I would have probably ended up with a smack if I’d said something like that to my mom at his age haha (which Joce essentially is to him). I think Joce was seriously just too stunned to even react at that point. None of her kids had ever called her that before. It probably hurt a lot 😦 Zayne’s such an idiot kid haha

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hahaha thanks, that’s kind of what I’m going for… Zayne is pretty arrogant and self-entitled (I still love him though! Hahaha). I feel bad for Joce too! She’s a great mother to him but he’s being a shitty kid haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you missed it too! 😦 I ended up with over 40 submissions so I had to cut it short unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll do another casting call in the future 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Given what Charlie said, Zayne probably hasn’t had a lot of discipline. It’s hard to accept no when everyone always said yes. He’s definitely being a rash teenager.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I cant help it! When I first tried reading Dust to Dust, I was busy with the bloomer legacy and just couldn’t catch interest in it, at the time. Now i regret not reading it sooner! and Ashes to Ashes is definitely fighting for space with the Bloomer legacy, I already love them all so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh my gosh! I knew Zayne was going to get into some stuff but I didn’t expect this. He is no where near ready to move out on his own. And I can’t believe he said that to Joce….ooooh ge should of felt the sting of her shoe hitting his butt as he walked away. I can’t believe how he’s acting. I’m praying for you Joce with this one smh. On a lighter note Marklyne is so frickin adorable 💜😁

    Liked by 1 person

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