House of Harwood

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Vote by March 10, 2014!

In the previous episode, readers voted that after a confrontation with Nicholas about Granny’s suspicions regarding his amorous act with Tanya, Amy mysteriously disappears.

Episode 16

“Good morning, everyone.” Tanya’s eyes flitted from person to person as she poured herself a cup of steaming hot coffee and settled into her seat. There was a glorious brunch spread across the table; fresh fruit, several different kinds of eggs, toast, muffins, and pastries, anything you could think of. The family met for brunch every Sunday religiously, it had been a tradition for as long as Tanya could remember. This morning was like any other, except that Victoria looked particularly worse for the wear and neither Sophia nor Amy had come down yet. John James was looking as empty as ever, mechanically chewing on dry toast. Granny was stirring her tea thoughtfully. Tanya glanced over at Nick and smiled to herself. They would continue this brunch tradition together, someday.

“Morning, Tanya.” Nicholas flashed her a grin. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” Tanya smiled radiantly and Victoria wordlessly put on a pair of tortoise-shell sunglasses.

Granny’s eyes followed Nick as he devoured his eggs and toast, greedily shoveling in slice after slice of the butter-soaked stack, stabbing the scrambled eggs with ravenous intent. She’d had such high hopes for Nick. When she had made the initial arrangements with his grandmother, Granny had been overjoyed at the opportunity; she couldn’t wait to see Tanya cut him down, sure that she would see right through his pathetic show. Granny sighed. Maybe enlisting Nick to pretend to fall in love with Tanya had been too cruel, but she had to test whether Tanya could tell the difference between genuine and false emotions, whether she was a good judge of character. Apparently not. She sipped her tea and supposed that the game could end now – Tanya would be heartbroken of course, but there was no need to make Nicholas go on with this charade.

Nicholas closed his eyes and rubbed his full stomach contentedly, then opened them and gluttonously grabbed for several more pastries. What a joke this whole thing was. He felt bad for Clarissa Harwood, trying desperately to turn one of her granddaughters into the wise, cunning family protector when one was an evil self-serving bitch and the other was weak, naive and as stupid as she was trusting. It would have been amusing to watch Granny and Amy realize that they had both engaged him to do the exact same thing, but that was a pleasure he would have to forego. It would, however, be interesting to see just how much Amy meant to the family she was trying so desperately to lead.

The brunch cocktails were served – another long-standing tradition – and Granny began to wonder in annoyance where the others were. Amy hadn’t been at dinner the night before either – in fact, Granny hadn’t seen her in several days. Just then Sophia burst into the room, causing Victoria to spill her drink and shriek dramatically.

“Have any of you seen Amy?” She looked around the room, eyes lingering longer on Granny. “I haven’t heard from her in days, no one knows where she is! It’s not like Amy to disappear like this; she’s never done that before…” Sophia looked at John James, but he offered only a noncommittal shrug and returned to his toast. Sophia closed her eyes briefly then turned back to Granny. “Have you heard from her?”

“No, I’m sorry I haven’t.” Granny stirred her tea again. She had been so focused on Tanya lately that she hadn’t given Amy much attention. Now she thought back to the last few times she’d seen the girl. Amy had seemed strange, now that she thought about it – jumpy, cagey, and decidedly odd. What had their last conversation been about? Nick and Tanya…she’d said something about Nick’s obvious insincerity, not thinking that Amy would make anything of it. Mostly she’d wondered if Amy had picked up on what Tanya had not – as much as she hated to admit it, Amy was the far cleverer sister. But Amy had nervously said nothing. Granny sighed again. Where could she be?  Vote now on what will happen next…

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