8.32: Rise and Shine

Note: One NSFW shot in this one

—————————

He’s your Papa. You’ve gotta be happy for him. Emberlynn reminded herself for what felt like the hundredth time as she watched the newlyweds fall once more into each other’s arms. And… at least he’s not miserable with Mama anymore? She tried to tell herself.

Feeling like she was going to be sick, Emberlynn took a few hesitant steps toward her father and his new wife. “H-hey Papa…” She muttered. “Congratulations.”

“Thanks, honey!” He replied brightly, pulling her in for a hug.

“And, uh, you too, Serenity… I’m really happy for you.” She tried to force the best smile she could muster as the lie passed her lips.

A high, shrill laugh filled the air in reply. “What’s that you called me? ‘Serenity’?”

“Um, yeah? That’s your name. Duh.” Emberlynn shrugged in confusion.

“Mmm, I don’t think so.” Serenity shook her head slowly as a cruel smirk slowly spread its way across her lips. “It’s ‘Mama’ now.”

Emberlynn threw her hands into the air in reply. “Are you for real?! You’ve gotta be fucking KIDDING me!”

Emberlynn!” Phoenix snapped scoldingly. “That’s no way to speak to your mother!”

“WHAT?! You too?! You guys are INSANE!”

Trent suddenly appeared at his sister’s side, though Emberlynn was certain he had not been there moments before. “You hear that, Ren? Still bullying us after all these years…”

“Guess she hasn’t learned her lesson… Maybe a few of these will do the trick though…”

A cellphone had materialized in Serenity’s empty hand, its screen full of explicit photos of Emberlynn and Mason during those summer nights they’d once shared together.

“What the hell?!” She cried. “Where did you get these?!”

Serenity ignored her question. “It’s time you learned some respect… How about we send a few of THESE to your little friend Xander? And all his YouTube followers?”

“What?!” A panic unlike anything she’d felt before had begun rising in Emberlynn’s chest. “You can’t do that!”

But it was too late. Serenity’s finger was already about to hit ‘send’…

“NO!”

Emberlynn’s breath was harsh and ragged as she shot up in bed, still reeling from her nightmare. It had all seemed so real… and so terrible too.

It was just a stupid dream. Waves of relief washed over her as the realization struck her. Emberlynn swung her legs over the side of the bed, shaking her pounding head.

She didn’t need a psychology degree like her father to know what had sparked the awful nightmare. Even years later, she’d occasionally find her subconscious traveling back to all that terrible drama with the Ziegler twins in her teenage years.

Combine that with all the emotional stress she’d been under lately with her parents and Mason and, well… Recipe for a pretty terrible nightmare.

Through the fog of her hangover, Emberlynn could still remember how upset she’d been the night before. She’d begun the day in a terrible mood, thanks to a poorly-timed visit home, during which she got a front row seat to her parents’ current state of misery. Now that she had moved out on her own and Tristan, though still technically living under their roof, was so busy with starting University, it was like things were unraveling worse than ever.

Emberlynn had always secretly known that she and her brother were like the glue that was holding her parents’ marriage together. And now… Well, the cracks were coming out full force. It was so painful to see.

And then yesterday evening, still reeling from her visit with her parents, Emberlynn got a call from Mason that immediately dropped her mood from bad to worse — He’d proposed to Caroline. And, of course, she said yes.

Emberlynn tried so hard to sound happy for him, but in truth, it felt like losing him all over again… Though she always tried to remind herself that it was impossible to lose something that was never truly yours in the first place.

Still, ever since that fateful summer three years earlier when Mason had told her he had a girlfriend, Emberlynn’s mind had been flooded with so many ‘what ifs’. What if she’d been braver back when she was a kid? What if she’d let herself open her heart to him? Could she have loved him? Could they have been together? Could they have been happy?

The news of Mason’s engagement sent all those questions and more flooding back through her mind.

She’d been so upset that night that she’d completely skipped out on her plans to Skype with Xander and join in his 100,000 subscriber ‘party’ on his YouTube channel. She was so happy and proud of him, but she was a total mess. She couldn’t bear to ruin his special moment with her stupid moping, so she’d made up some BS excuse about ‘being tired’ and totally bailed on him. I’ll apologize later, Emberlynn had told herself. He’ll understand.

So instead, she’d found herself out at one of the clubs downtown, drinking and dancing until all thoughts of Mason fled her mind. In fact, it seemed that all thoughts had fled her mind, period. Try as she might, Emberlynn could not remember what had happened at the end of the night. She couldn’t recall what time she’d gotten back home, or how she’d managed to do so, or —

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a deep, rumbling snore filling the air.

Then she remembered…

Sort of.

Emberlynn looked down at the stranger’s sleeping face for a moment, wishing she could remember more details from the night they’d spent together. He’s pretty cute… Maybe I’ll give him my number. Or, with any luck, maybe he’d be up for another round before he left.

Wonder what time it is… She headed over to retrieve her phone from the pocket of her shorts, which lay crumpled in a pile on the floor beside her bed.

The moment Emberlynn’s weary eyes hit the screen, her stomach gave an enormous, sickening lurch.

It was nearly 12:30. And, to her horror, she had four missed calls from the theater.

“Fuuuuck!” She cried as she began frantically pulling on her clothes from the night before, not caring that they were neither clean nor appropriate enough for work. It didn’t matter. She had to go. Now.

“Hey… Rise and shine.” Emberlynn called out, giving the man’s shoulder a nudge as soon as she’d finished getting dressed and turning on the lights.

“Huh?” To her relief, he jolted awake with a start and sat up immediately.

“Sorry… But you’ve gotta go.” Emberlynn explained apologetically as she began picking his clothes up from the floor and practically throwing them at him.

He still appeared to be half-asleep. “What? B-but I…”

“Look, I was supposed to be at work over an hour ago!” Emberlynn explained desperately. “Like I said, I’m REALLY sorry, but I’ve gotta go NOW. And so do you.”

“You’re not even gonna make breakfast or anything?” The young man asked irritably.

Emberlynn sighed heavily. She didn’t have time for this. “Didn’t you hear what I said? No!”

He looked so much more offended than Emberlynn felt he had any right to be. “Wow. Seriously? Rude…”

“I told you, I’m late for work!” Emberlynn repeated. “I’m not trying to be rude!”

“Yeah, well you do a pretty good job without trying…” He muttered bitterly.

OH MY GOD, just get dressed and GO!”

Thankfully, he did not argue this time, though Emberlynn could hear a great deal of unpleasant muttering under his breath the entire way to the front door. Ugh. So much for giving him my number… Jerk.

As Emberlynn hurried through the living room, she heard Gucci gave a little meow of indignation that she knew translated to “Give me attention, human slave!”, but there was no time for that.

“Sorry, baby.” She looked down at her furry companion apologetically. “Snuggles and catnip when I get home though, okay?”

He simply glared at her, then resumed licking himself.

By the time Emberlynn had finally shuffled her one-night-stand out the door and watched him disappear grumpily down the steps, Emberlynn had her phone to her ear. It nearly made it to voicemail before someone answered.

“Emberlynn?! Where the hell are you?!”

“Hey, Anneliese…” Emberlynn muttered weakly to her coworker as she finished locking the apartment door behind her. “So, uh, on a scale of one to ten, how dead am I?”

ELEVEN. Charlotte’s on a RAMPAGE. Curtain’s in less than two hours!”

“I know…”

“It’s our first preview show!”

“Yeah, I know…”

“We need you, Emberlynn!”

“Yeah, I know!” She sighed in exasperation, letting her own frustration at herself get the better of her. “I’ll be there in like ten minutes. I’m sorry. Tell Charlotte not to have a cow, okay?”

“Too late.” Anneliese replied darkly. “I can hear the mooing already…”

Emberlynn rolled her eyes as she hung up, finally stepping out the front door of the apartment building and making her way down to the sidewalk below. She didn’t own a car, since she lived downtown now, where the public transportation system was excellent and most major things were within walking distance. And luckily for her, the theater was just two blocks down the street from her apartment.

God, I’m so dead. Emberlynn was still kicking herself for her carelessness as she made her way down the street. This internship was the only thing left standing between her and her Masters degree. But what if this screw up was enough to ruin everything? Charlotte’s employer evaluation was critical, and if she was really that mad…

“No. It’s gonna be fine.” Emberlynn muttered out loud to herself. “You can do this. Don’t let Charlotte get to you. You’ve got the next eight months to make it up to her.” Assuming she doesn’t fire you for this… Ugh. A small voice whispered.

She shook this thought aside as quickly as it had come, determined not to let herself lose focus. She just had to show up, kick ass, and everything would be fine.

Still, Emberlynn couldn’t help but marvel at how unbelievably shitty the last twenty-four hours had been.

She just hoped that meant there was nowhere else to go now but up.

——————————————————–

Hope everyone enjoyed my little April Fools joke 😉 (Sorry to anybody who was left freaking out over this one haha (or to the handful of you who were actually rooting for this 😛 ) Forgive me!) Like I said to some of you, it WAS a real, canon part of the story though! A 100% canon dream 😛 I wasn’t lying! Hehehe

I will now be going back to my normal five-day schedule 🙂 Next chapter will be next Monday, the 8th!

I’d also like to give a HUGE shoutout and thanks to the incredibly-talented Nobbi (Echova on the gallery!) for creating Emberlynn’s gorgeous apartment for me (and not just the apartment itself, the entire lot!) It came out beautifully, and I’m excited to get to finally show it in the story! ❤

48 thoughts on “8.32: Rise and Shine

  1. I’m just glad that the marriage wasn’t real, but I do hope Phoenix can find someone else (not Serenity) he can be happy with. Also, poor Ember 😦 Maybe she’ll meet her soulmate soon, or she might already know them 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah… it’s almost sad to see that he’s so miserable now :-/ at least dream-Phoenix was happy with Serenity 😦

      And Ember is getting by okay, but definitely feeling sad and lonely too :-/ Maybe the right guy is still out there though! Or like you said, maybe right under her nose? Also possible! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh phew just a dream! Or rather a nightmare. Poor Other still stuck in misery. I see Ember is still promiscuous. Though that was a bit bad taste buddy asking for breakfast, like sorry dude you weren’t that good now GTFO no breakfast for you!!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. HA! I literally laughed out loud at “sorry dude, you weren’t that good” 😂 Accurate, I fear 😛 Poor dude. Seriously though… what was he thinking? XD

          Liked by 1 person

  2. When things started to magically appear, Tristan in the same clothes, not dressed for a wedding, the phone….I was beginning to catch on. But man on man. It was a wild dream! 😂😂😂😂 She has so much guilt over that! And I was almost sad to see that Phee and Gigi are still married. And Mason is getting married! 😭😭😭. There goes that ship! Too bad she kicked out blondie – he was cute, but yes, an ass.

    I can’t wait to see what she is doing for work and her Masters degree! So ready for adult years! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe yeah, that dream started escalating pretty quickly 😂 Lots on Ember’s mind all coming together at once!

      And yes 😦 One marriage is sinking fast, and a new one is on the horizon! And Emberlynn is not happy about either situation 😬

      Blondie was definitely cute, but also an asshole, yes… better luck next time, Ember! 😛 We’ll see more about Emberlynn’s internship in some of the upcoming chapters ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re so sneaky! 😎 I can’t wait to find out more about Ember’s internship at school. And I noticed that GeekWithAGuitar is officially Xander, now, so I wonder how long it will be before someone figures out the puzzle! 😏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehehe I had way too much fun with Monday’s chapter 😈 Next chapter we’ll learn more about Emberlynn’s internship!

      And yes, now we know GeekWithAGuitar’s real name 😛 (though it doesn’t *necessarily* mean anything… lots of American dudes named Xander out there 🤷🏻‍♀️ 😛 )

      Thanks for reading, as always! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nobbi did a great job! I love the brownstone look. 🙂

    Man, Emberlynn sure doesn’t know how to pick guys. What a nightmare (pun intended… 😛 ) The guy really wanted her to fix breakfast for him? After a one night stand?

    He was cute. Was he from the casting call? Too bad his personality sucked. But then, she’s got Xander waiting for her over the airwaves…

    I’m NOT happy that Serenity isn’t going to be her new mom. Just think of all the dramatic opportunities you let fly away into the shadows!!! 😉 But then, it looks as if Phee and Gigi are already making dramatic waves. A divorce seems pending. Poor Tristan and Ember. No matter how old you are, divorces hurt.

    Great job at tricking everyone! I really was rooting for Pherenity! Sigh…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah it came out so great! I’m really pleased with it! ^_^

      And LOL yes, the nightmare didn’t end just because she woke up. What a jerk! Like you said, too bad… he was cute! (And familiar, maybe… he was banana boy from that Halloween party 😂 Fate brought them back together hehe)

      I’m sorry that I have crushed the Pheerenity dream 😭 Given how awful things are with PheeGi right now, maybe he really would have been better off with Serenity 😬

      Like

      1. Banana boy looks great without his banana. No wonder he seemed a little more familiar with her than his one night stand status. They had history! But not for long…

        And so long Pheerenity. It was a good ship dream… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m really glad it was just a dream 🙂

    Omg, the picture of Gucci licking iself xD Hilarious!

    It seems like, despite the horrible day she had, things are going well for Emberlynn. With University and this internship… I just hope this slip up isn’t enough to get her fired. That would suck. And if so, hopefully she can find somewhere else to do the rest of her internship.

    Well done, with the April Fool’s joke, and the chapter 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Btw. I was rooting for Geek With a Guitar to be Xander 😀 I’m so glad that he was. I wonder how Emberlynn realized it was him? Funny coincidence.
      I hope they get together some day. Do we have a ship yet?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. His name is indeed Xander 😉 But hey, there are other Xander’s in the world so who knows if it’s REALLY the same one we met? 😛

        Like

    2. Hehe glad you’re happy it was a joke 😛 I had fun with it! (And fun with that pic of Gucci too 😂😂😂)

      Overall yes, things are going pretty well for Ember! Just a couple of bumps in the road lately (and a HUGE bump ahead if she does end up fired from her internship 😱 But hopefully that won’t happen! 😬)

      Like

  6. Dark WitcHazard: We’ll something tells me I’m going to enjoy this Charlotte ripping Emberlynn a new one in the next chapter!

    Lover WitcHazard: Aftee having 48 hours to process I actually was looking forward to how you were going to pull this off! Then again Harper not being their should have been a give away Phee loves his mom too much to have her miss out! Plus Trent is too cool to wear the same outfit for seven years later and to his own sister’s wedding!

    Shipper WitcHazard: Well I’m still glad it’s not real! Although if Phoenix does have a mid life crisis and divorces Gigi because he found a mistress half his age I would not be against it! This ship is too toxic to stay afloat!

    Nooboos WitcHazard: No Nooboos!😱

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, maybe Shipper’s onto something and this was actually a vision of the future 😛 Don’t lose hope? Hehe

      Hopefully the real Trent has gone clothes shopping in the past 6 years 😂😂😂

      And Dark’s wish will probably come true next chapter 😬 Her boss is NOT happy… yikes!

      Thanks to the court for stopping by, as always! ❤️

      Like

    1. Forgive me 😭

      They both live happily ever after in dreamland, at least? With lotsa sexytimes and Pheerenity babies!

      Like

  7. Aww shucks! I was kinda hoping it was real. The extra shocked and disgusted looks from Ember should have clued me in. That, and the fact that none of the important people in Phoenix’s life (Harper, Dev, Rubi, Erik, Tam and Jasper) were at Phoenix’s wedding. Even if none of them agreed to the marriage they would still show up and sulk in a corner. I so wish he and Gigi would pull the plug already. Even your kids are over your marriage at this point. Geez.
    Ember is a hot mess but I’m loving it! The dude in her bed was cute but am I the only one who was extremely irked when he said “you’re not even gonna make breakfast or anything” ? Like, dude, seriously? He has pretty high expectations for a one night stand! LOL. Can’t wait to see more of Ember embracing the thot life, but she should know not to let dudes get in the way of her money.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hehe yes, unfortunately nothing more than a dream 😦 Given the current state of things, maybe Phee would have been happier with Serenity after all 😬

      And yeahhhhh Ember sure knows how to pick them 😂 That guy was such a jerk! Hopefully she’ll pick a better guy next time!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Poor Emberlynn, that’s a hell of a nightmare. Wonder what a psychologist could make of that 😉

    I hope she’s not going the Mari route. Wonder how she’ll cope if(when) her Phee and Gig get divorced

    Full disclosure, I completely forgot about Xander and Lola(?) and the whole Brindleton Bay thing,don’t know why. That would be an interesting situation, almost like Toby and Colette.

    If Gucci goes the way of Tomato and only gets shown once or twice I will riot

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe Emberlynn was very grateful to wake up from that one! 😛 And as for her behavior, I don’t think she’ll ever reach Mari-levels, thankfully! She’s just kinda having fun and living free for now haha

      And it’s been a while since BB, so I figured it’s not in the forefront of most people’s minds! There could be some reminders on the horizon though? 😛 😉

      Plz put down the torch and pitchfork! Hopefully they won’t be necessary! Though I can’t make too many promises 😬 And oh man, I miss Tomato! 😭 Best boy

      Like

  9. Ha! I knew it! Have to admit you had me questioning myself though at the beginning of this chapter. But then when Phoenix said, “That’s no way to talk to your Mother” and Serenity supposedly had pics of Emberlynn with Mason without a reaction from Phoenix, I suspected it was just a dream. Congratulations, you kinda pulled a ‘Bobby!’ Hoping you get the reference. hehe

    Love the apartment building, can’t wait to see more of it.

    Although I’m not normally an advocate for divorce, some couples just don’t belong together and I hope Phoenix and Gigi finally realize that and part ways. My sister-in-law had that happen to her and once she and her husband divorced, they ended up staying friends and closer than when they were married.

    I hope she doesn’t get fired. o.O Great chapter! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehe you basically caught me last time 😉 But I had to keep the charade going! 😛 Hehe Also… I don’t know that reference, actually! 😮 But now I’m super curious and really want an explanation! Haha

      I love that apartment too… Nobbi is such a talented builder!!!! And as for PheeGi… I think you’re right :-/ They’d really be better off apart, at this point. That’s a really interesting situation with your sister in law! That sounds like it could be plausible for Phoenix and Gigi too… But the question now is whether they will actually split. At this point in their lives, I think there’s a certain level of “comfort” in being together that makes it hard. Not a PLEASANT comfort, necessarily… But they’ve been together so long now that I think the idea of divorce is pretty scary. Okay, I’m kinda saying too much. 😛

      We’ll see next chapter if Ember’s boss shows mercy 😬 Thanks so much for reading, as always! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was in reference to the ‘Dream Season’ of a television show called ‘Dallas.’ A major character named Bobby Ewing was supposedly dead at the end of the previous season. When the new season opened, his wife Pam wakes up to the sound of someone showering and finds her very much alive husband in there. Fans were shocked because having Bobby’s death be only a dream, negated an entire season of the show!

        I understand what you’re saying. You could say they’re in a sense, stuck in a rut. With such a long time together, good or bad, there’s a history, a familiarity which makes the idea of giving that up very scary and hard to take that freeing leap of faith back into the unknown. Even if in the back of your mind you know it’s the right thing to do. In my SIL’s case, they hadn’t been together very long anyway and there were no children involved. So they didn’t share much of a history together or time to reach that familiarity comfort zone before realizing it just wasn’t going to work.

        Anyway, you’re welcome and I’ll always be reading, even if I don’t comment very often. Have a great rest of your week! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh! Now that you’ve explained it, I get the reference! (Though I haven’t seen Dallas myself!)

          And yes, you described how PheeGi feel much more eloquently than I did! Haha and that more or less sums up their current situation!

          I appreciate you reading very much, and please never worry about not commenting much! ❤️❤️❤️

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I have so much more to say, but for now I’ll just laugh a the most disturbing part of that dream – Ember dreamed about her father and Serenity, naked and getting it on. Worst.Sexdream.Ever.

          Hilarious though, and thank god it wasn’t real 😀

          Liked by 1 person

      1. I was like “dear Lord phee you think cheating was a mistake you’re in for a rude awakening” 😂😂🤣

        Like

  10. Dear Amanda… https://i.redd.it/3k7cgpmzgn421.jpg

    Seriously thought, you can’t play with my heart like that! Ooof.BOYE am I glad this whole things was just a nightmare.

    Gigi and Phoenix’s problems is something I totally saw it coming. You cna’t keep a healthy marriage while goign back and fourth between love and dislike. Thought I do hope they finally divorce for real and either hate each other, or just continue being friends, not being stuck in this weird-grey area. Decide what you feel about each other, jeez!

    Ohh, Ember..Who wouldn’t thought she’d be the type of person to kick someone out of her apartment after one night. Thought, It was justifiable, I guess.

    She’s in the fashion major in university, isn’t she? Well, god luck for her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL That gif reaction was perfect LOL Sorry for the huge shock of the last chapter 😬

      And unfortunately yes, PheeGi are stuck in the gray! They don’t 100% hate each other, but also definitely don’t 100% love each other either. It’s a constant up and down with the two of them… but it looks like they’re finally reaching the breaking point now…

      And LOL that guy totally deserved it 😛 Though I’m sure he wasn’t the first… usually i think it’s more of a mutual agreement though, less actual kicking out hehe.

      And yes, fashion design major! Living the dream 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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