Yay, another chappie, lol. Enjoy.


"I should warn you now," Caine called from inside her walk-in closet. I was sitting on her bed, fiddling with a lock of my hair. "That my family— everyone except for my Mom, is very weird around my Dad."

"What do you mean?" I asked as she emerged from the closet. I raised an eyebrow at her outfit. She was wearing a long-sleeved, periwinkle dress that fell down to her knees. She made a face at me and I laughed.

"You'll see." she said, answering my previous question. Caine stepped towards her dresser and picked up her comb. Quickly, almost angrily, in electrified movements, she pulled it through her hair, destroying the carefully and beautifully gelled spikes; annihilating the skillfully crafted arrows of disordered crimson. She combed until her hair waved around her neck gently. The faint shine of the gel still lingered and Caine rubbed some lotion onto her hands and legs. I tilted my head to the side and studied her outfit further.

It was a very nice dress; with a faint pink snowflake pattern. It flared out at her knees slightly, making her look much thinner than she actually was. The front of the dress was unbuttoned, and the marble of her throat flowed uninterrupted to the contours of the starting of her chest. She slipped into a pair of periwinkle ballet flats and sighed heavily. I noticed that her face was tinted pink with embarrassment. I stared.

"I hate dressing like this." she grumbled, staring at herself in the mirror before winding a periwinkle ribbon through her hair. She kept winding until it twisted into a braid in her perfectly soft, scarlet locks.

"Why are you dressed like that?" I asked, genuinely curious.

"My Dad makes us dress like this," she said, her brow furrowing, "He thinks this is how proper ladies should dress."

"It's not that bad." I tried to sound reassuring but she rolled her eyes at me.

"Let's go." she said with a smirk.

I followed her out of her room.

"Good luck, Quinn," she said as we both bounded down the stairs, her hair gracefully flouncing around her shoulders and face, whilst mine raged angrily around mine, "You're about to meet one of the weirdest families on the planet."

Caine led me to a large, extravagant dining room. The aroma of tomato and oregano filled my nostrils as we walked in. The floor was freshly waxed, and a large glass chandelier dangled from the glass ceiling. The sun's rays created little rainbows and they danced around the floor. In the middle of the room, was a long rectangular table with ten long-backed maroon chairs. A maid was placing napkins into the large crystal goblets and looked up when Caine and I walked in.

"Oh, miss Caine," she smiled openly as we approached the table, "And miss Ryder. Your seats are ready."

She placed the last napkin into a goblet and smoothly backed out of the dining room.

Laughter erupted from the door and I looked over in time to see a tall, pixie-like female stroll into the room; her walk gentle, noiseless, intimidating. When she came closer, I took the time to examine her face. She had small features; a petite nose, exquisite, yet disproportioned lips, beautifully bright foggy blue eyes, and long blonde hair. She, in a way, to me, resembled Jennifer Aniston and I stared, ogled, at her poise. She was wearing a long white skirt with a shapeless blue t-shirt. A white ribbon held her hair up in a ponytail and her straight bangs fell over her eyes gently. She wore a pair of blue rubber flip-flops on her feet and a plain gold sequence decorated her lengthy neck.

"Hello," she had a perfect, soprano voice which was just as, if not more beautiful than Caine's.

"Hi…" I was surprised by how she moved around the table, her walk seemed more like an interpretive dance. I wouldn't have been surprised if pixie wings had sprouted from her back.

"Quinn, this is Alira. The oldest in the family."

"Nice to meet you," she chirped, before standing behind a chair. Everybody else emerged on cue after that. First, Cadence, dressed in a white summer dress with her hair gently waving around her shoulders, and light pink sandals. Soon after, wearing a grin that stretched from ear to ear, Olive bounded into the room, dressed in a pair of lovely light brown pants, and a large-collared blue sweater. The color looked amazing with her skin tone and I gaped at the way her long honey-golden hair swam gracefully around one shoulder. After her, another tall, statuesque female flounced into the room, and then Caine's Mom glided in wearing the same skirt, but a different, more formal, cloudy gray parachute sleeved top. She smiled at me before silently moving towards her seat.

"You look lovely, Mrs. Ash— Jezebel…" I tried to sound polite and she smiled.

"Thank you, Quinn. May I introduce my daughters?"

"I already introduced her to Li." Caine said and her Mom smiled.

"Well, then. This is Natalia, my second child." she nodded her head towards the statuesque female.

"Hi." Natalia grinned at me and I fought to match her brilliant beam.


Natalia gracefully swept past Alira and stood behind her seat. She wasn't dressed like the others; instead of a shapeless dress or skirt with shapeless top, she was wearing a form-fitting canary yellow long-sleeved shirt, and a beautiful satin white skirt that ended just a few millimeters above her tanned knees. Her short silky auburn hair was crimped and held back with a satin yellow hair-band.

"You girls can sit down," she said, effortlessly pulling her large chair back. I struggled with mine and Caine laughed gently when a male waiter silently swept forward and pulled mine for me.

"Um… thanks." I muttered, sliding into my seat the same time as Caine. I watched as Alira, easily the most beautiful — next to Caine — from the sisters, slipped fluidly into her chair. With galling charm, she plucked the napkin from her goblet and spread it out on her lap. I watched as each of them, one by one, spread their napkin onto their laps. I repeated the motion, intimidated by their grace. I prayed that my clumsy Ryder would behave tonight. Else, I was bound to break something; whether it be the gorgeous, fragile-looking goblet, or the amazing porcelain, gold-bordered plates.

"You must love dining like royalty…" I mumbled, and Alira laughed. It was more of a chirp, a sugar-saturated giggle fit for a delicate sprite.

Caine muffled back a chuckle and leaned to the slide slightly as the waiter brought out the food.

"Oh, wait a moment, Charlie," Jezebel said and the handsome, ebony-haired waiter froze in his footsteps.

"Ma'am?" his beautiful, and light French accent was mesmerizing to me and I turned in my seat slightly to get a better look at him.

He had light, creamy brown hair that was slicked back into a short ponytail that reached the nape of his neck. He was wearing what I assumed waiters at unbelievably beautiful houses would wear; a sharp, white shirt with a black tie, black slacks that were pressed tightly, and shiny black shoes. He looked absolutely terrified as he stared at Jezebel. It seemed like he was ready to be fed to a tank full of angry Great Whites.

"We should wait for Terrence. Keep it warm, though." she smiled kindly at Charlie and I noticed his sigh of relief.

"Of course Ma'am," he backed away into the shadows and I turned back to the table.

"I'm sure Quinn hates being in the dark, so why don't you tell her about yourselves, Nat, Li?"

Natalia and Alira both looked at each other and smiled.

"You go first." Natalia said, her voice angelic and glossy, "Makes sense for the oldest to go first."

Alira smiled at her younger sister and nodded.

"Sure." she turned to me, "Well, I'm in my third year of University."

She paused, as if waiting for a response from me.

"That must be… nice." I stated, not knowing what else to say. She smiled.

"It is."

"Which University?"

"York University."

"What are you majoring in?"

"Well, forensic science. I want to be a forensic scientist."

"Wow…" I was amazed at her dynamic career choice, "Better work hard."

She laughed and I noticed her eyes sparkle genuinely.

"My father insists we keep living here until we finish University. He doesn't want us to waste money on our own place. What else… Um, I hate Caine's snake. It freaks me out."

I laughed as Caine glowered at her oldest sister.

"I fear our father the most." she admitted as if confessing a great cowardice, "And um… I guess that's really it. Nat?"

"Well," Natalia cleared her throat, "I just got accepted to Stanford." she blushed when I widened my eyes and gaped, "I want to be a surgeon. I don't fear our father at all." I loved the way she smirked at Alira, who scowled, "Alden and I do not get along… and Cadence and I aren't exactly keen on each other, either. I love Caine's snake, I like spiders, and I'm trying to convince my mother to let me buy one, and I love sports, playing the guitar and singing."

"Wow… that's really cool," I nodded with a grin and she giggled.

"I'm actually teaching Caine to sing."

"Really?" I looked over at Caine, who avoided my gaze which ease. A move that would've been all too impossible, had it been the other way around.

"Yeah. She's really good, too." I could tell from the way Natalia spoke of her youngest sister, that she was the closest to her.

"No one gets me like Nat." Caine said in a voice so low, I thought it was meant for only me to hear, but Natalia's giggle surprised me. She had heard. Not only did she have beautifully elegant looks, but acute hearing, as well.

Suddenly, heavy footsteps echoed through the hall and everyone grew rigid. Especially Caine and Alira. Then, without any further warning, everyone stood up abruptly and slid behind their chairs again. I began to stand but Caine stopped me with an urged whisper.

"Don't." she warned, "My father doesn't like it when our guests do that."

"Oh…" I remained seated, terrified, without a doubt, and blushed when I caught myself shaking slightly. Jezebel rose fluidly, matching her daughters' grace, and turned just as a burly, fierce looking man walked in.

He had blonde hair, buzzed short, and he was wearing a pair of slacks and a long blue pinstriped shirt. His heavy footsteps made the goblets tinkle and I felt a cold sweat threaten my forehead.

"Evenin' ladies." he said, his voice loud and clear; completely terrifying and intimidating. He was so different from my father; whose voice was cool, and low, and whose appearance was lanky, and well, not completely terrifying.

"Good evening, sir!" Alira, Natalia, Cadence and Caine recited, their voices loud and clear. Caine's voice was louder than I was used to, and immediately, I noted that I preferred her cool, calm, and raspy voice.

"Good evening, Terrence." Jezebel said, staring at her husband with a nonchalant expression.

"Caine brought a friend over for dinner."

His deep green eyes shot to me and I tried to smile.

"G-Good evening… sir." I stammered, hating my voice for cracking. He stared at me for what seemed like an eternity before speaking.

"Control that voice of yours, child." he said, in a voice that made me want to cry.

"Oh, come on, Dad," Natalia rolled her eyes, "You scare her."

"Did I ask you to speak, young lady?" he barked, his eyes remaining fixed on a terrified me.

"No sir." Natalia spat, struggling to keep her voice from sounding sarcastic.

"That's right, soldier."

I was shocked at the way he spoke to his daughter. Dad wouldn't ever speak to Charlotte and I this way. When he was mad, he just ignored us; he never snapped at us like that.

When Caine's dad stepped up to his seat at the front of the table, right next to Caine and Cadence, he gazed around and everybody.

"Alira, your hair." he snapped and from the corner of my eye — I was too scared to take my eyes off of him — I saw Alira's hands brush her bangs from her eyes.

"Natalia Lynn Asher! Why are you not dressed according to the code I had set in this house?" he thundered and my eyes flickered to Natalia's angry expression.

"I'm sorry, sir." she said, her voice louder than it's usual kind volume.

"Terrence, please," Jezebel sighed, "Just leave it."

"No." Caine's Dad stared at Jezebel. She returned his ruthless glare and he looked at Natalia.

"Go upstairs and change right now or you won't eat!" he growled. Natalia stood defiantly in front of her father and I hummed a prayer for her in my head. I was amazed at how she defied him. I would never have the courage.

"I don't need dinner." she said, backing away from her seat. Then, fluidly, she strolled out of the room despite her father's infuriated glare.

"Caine." he turned on his youngest daughter.

"Yes, sir?" Caine's beautiful eyes flickered to him and he puffed out his robust chest.

"Your principal called me, girl."

I wanted to leave. He treated his children like dirt.

"I'm sorry, sir." Caine said, her voice returning to it's husky self. I liked the return.

"Repeat that, soldier."

"I'm sorry, sir!" she repeated, her voice rising into a clear drone.

"Damn right you're sorry!" Terrence hollered, "That was a disgrace, do you hear me, Caine Anneliese Asher!"

Caine Anneliese Asher? I thought, What a beautiful name.

"Yes, sir." her voice was unbearably clear and loud.

"You're grounded for two months, and you will report for duty on the weekends."

Caine glanced at me, all the light in her eyes flickered away quickly and I immediately felt sorry for her.

"Sir, yes, sir!" she said, her voice cracking ever so slightly.

"Why can't you be like your sister?" he thundered, gesturing to Cadence, who stared up at him with fear, and respect gleaming in her eyes.

"I'm sorry I'm a disgrace, sir!" Caine spat and I could only imagine how tough it was for her to say that.

"Terrence!" Jezebel's voice was hard and angry and I glanced at her.

"What?" Terrence avoided his wife's eyes.

"Shame on you. How dare you make your daughter say those things in front of her friend!" her voice was no longer it's beautiful, silky self. I was intensely frightened.

"Caine will behave like an Asher, sooner—"

"Let her start later. Not tonight, Terrence." Jezebel interrupted, glaring at her husband, "Now, please allow us to eat. Call Natalia back down here."

"I refuse to do that." Terrence said, sitting down. When his behind touched the satin covering of the long-backed chair, everyone slid forward into theirs.

"Fine, then. You are a poor excuse for a father." Jezebel snapped angrily, "Charlie?"

"Ma'am?" Charlie was at her side instantly.

"Please take my daughter's dinner up to her. I don't want my child to starve."

"Yes, ma'am." he backed into the shadows and four women stepped forward holding large plates.

"What are we having tonight, Megan?" Jezebel asked the tallest waitress kindly.

"For Miss Alira, Miss Cadence, Master Terrence, and yourself, Ms. Jezebel, and of course, Miss Quinn, we will be serving Fettuccini Alfredo with a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce, broiled muscles, tomatoes, chopped onions for Master Terrence, topped with each of your favorite cheeses." she said this while placing Jezebel's meal in front of her. The other girls stepped forward and gave everyone their dish. My waitress smiled down at me.

"Which cheese do you prefer, Miss Quinn?" she asked me quietly and I thought for a second.

"Parmesan, please." I said and I looked down in time to see her sprinkling cheese onto my pasta.

"Thank you." I looked up and widened my eyes when I saw that she was gone.

"Caine, would you like to say Grace?" Jezebel asked her youngest daughter kindly. Caine nodded and we all connected hands.

"Dear lord, we thank you for this meal that we are about to receive. Thank you for blessing us with this home, with this family, with our friends. Please help all those in the world reach salvation; please bless the unfortunate with the kindness that You have blessed this family with. Amen."

"Amen." everyone repeated after her. I looked up to see Terrence staring at us. Swiftly, he picked up his fork.

"Tell me about yourself, Quinn, is it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Tell me about yourself." I could tell he didn't like repeating himself.

"I'm a junior at St. Theresa's." I tried to sound jovial, like Cadence, and struggled to keep my voice even.

"What's your average?"

"Eighty seven point nine, sir."

"Good." he stated, "What courses are you taking this semester?"

"Advanced Canadian Law, Studies in Literature, Financial Math, and Biology."

"Good. You must be a good student."

"I try, sir."

"Caine is a great student, as well." for the first time since he stepped into the room, he sounded proud of her. "Her average is ninety seven point seven."

"Wow. You've raised a very intelligent girl, sir."


Was that all he could say? Good?

Nobody said anything else. We sat in silence and ate. Mr. Asher would occasionally mumble about the food and news. I kept my eyes down, and when I did raise them, I found him staring at me. I finally decided that it was safer for me to keep my eyes down. It seemed like hours were passing by and finally, to my great relief, Mr. Asher stood up and announced that dinner was over.

"Go to your rooms and finish your homework." he commanded to his daughters before turning on his heel and storming out of the room. Everyone rose fluidly, completely used to his booming voice, and I rose shakily, terrified of his rage.

"Come on…" Caine said gently, her voice returning to it's beautiful, hoarse self, "Let's go up to my room."

I nodded and followed.

Review, please. :)