Friday, 31 August 2018

Chapter 66d part 1 - Gen 2 - Mint

I sit numbly on the couch in the living room.

After spending a few hours upstairs listening to Sunny's life story .. the shockingly real version ... my head is too fried to even think straight.

I numbly watch everyone else in the room.

I exchange a sympathetic smile with Mace.  He rolls his eyes at me, as he tries to comfort Mustard, who is clearly very upset and crying all over him.

Crimson lost his mind at one point, taking his frustration out on Mustard.  Screaming and shouting at him because of everything that Sunny has put Saffron through for being gay when all along he was secretly gay himself.  Of course it wasn't Mustards fault, he didn't even know that Sunny was doing such an awful thing to Saffron.  Crimson did apologise to Mustard later, but I am not sure it did Mustard a lot of good.  Him having to relive his and Sunny's life together, for our benefit, especially seeing photographs of them together, really upset him.  It is all too soon and too much for him, he is still grieving after losing the love of his life.

I sit quietly watching Turmeric and Granite, who are standing by the front door.  They have their heads together and seem to be sniping at each other.  I glance at Tapestry who suddenly starts to laugh.  He is on the phone talking to Rocky about work and the concerts in Rainbow that they have coming up.  I realise suddenly that I am the only person in the room who is shocked by all this, this is not new information for them, but it is for me.

My parents are upstairs in my bedroom with Crimson, who understandably is in a mess right now.  It hurt me to watch him breaking down and I really should be up there with him, but I had to come downstairs because we had a close call.  Bay popped round and I had to get rid of him without letting him upstairs to see everyone in my room, especially Crimson and Mustard who were both an emotional mess.

I can not help but wander what is wrong with everyone in this town!!  So many secrets and lies keep coming out of the woodwork all the time, and each time they come, the destruction they are causing seems to be getting worse!!  Like Gravel being Scarlet's biological Dad wasn't bad enough, now this ... Crimson's head and heart must be totally battered right now!!

I notice Forrest coming down the stairs, which makes me think about my own situation.   Getting used to him being my biological Dad and not Alpine, is taking a bit of getting used to, but I am really glad that is all I am facing, rather than what Crimson is having to deal with right now.  At least in the long run, my parents, all three of them, did what was best for us kids, and really nobody has got hurt in the process.

Sunny on the other hand, his sordid double life and gay secret is going to smash his kids to pieces if it ever gets out, like it has Crimson ... and Sunny, is downright selfish not to be here to sort out the mess that he has made.  Just like Ruby, with the fall out of Gravel being Scarlet's real Dad, they have both faded and left their kids to clean up and deal with their shit ... and I get a nasty feeling that Ruby's shit is not all out yet.

         "Leafy we are going to have to shoot off."  Granite smiles at Forrest  "We need to get back to Clay.  We also need to get Mustard out of here and taken home, before anyone walks in and starts asking questions."  He nods in Mustards direction.
         "You are not leaving him on his own are you?"  Forrest frowns at Mustard, who is still sobbing all over Mace.  "He could always go upstairs, until he has calmed down."
         "No, it is safer we get him away from here."  he mumbles  "T is going to go home with him and stay with him, until he is feeling better."

I sit quietly as I watch Forrest say goodbye to Mace, Granite, Turmeric and Mustard as they leave.  He closes the door after them, leans against it and lets out a huge sigh and stands there for a while just silently staring at the floor.

          "Did Bay suspect anything?" he asks me as he moves away from the door and sits down.
          "No.  He was looking for you and went straight away when I told him you wasn't here.  I told him you had gone out with Mom to look for Alpine."  I smile at him  "He said can you phone him when you get back."
          "Okay, I'll phone him in a bit, when I've settle my nerves!" he smiles then frowns at me  "Are you okay?"
          "Yeah, I am just a bit shocked."  I smile at him
          "Yeah, it is a lot to get your head around after watching Sunny's homophobic performance."
          "I can understand why Sunny might have wanted to hide being gay in the first place, but to take it to the lengths he did, especially what he has done to Saffron ... it's disgusting!!"  I frown at him  "He doesn't deserve you lot breaking your necks to cover for him, especially not Granite and Mace!!  After all the shit he threw at everyone who is gay, including Bay, when the berry hole was gay himself!!"
          "Mace is a loyal friend, that is why he is covering for Sunny.  As for the rest of us ... we are not covering for him by choice trust me!!"  he laughs  "We are doing it to protect all of his kids from the mental torment and heartache, that Crimson is now facing.  We are doing it for Saffron's sake mostly.  Saffron's head is already mashed enough ..  After all the abuse that he has taken off Sunny for being gay, just imagine what it will do to him if he finds out that Sunny was actually gay himself  ... it will destroy him completely.  This is why he can NEVER find out, especially after his failed suicide attempt!!"
          "Well he won't be hearing it from me, that's for sure!!"  I mumble  "Does Atlas know the truth?"
          "No!!  He doesn't need to know, it would only put pressure on him and their relationship if we told him.  He would have to keep the secret from Saffron, so it's best he doesn't know!!" 
          "I can't believe that Sunny and Mace were best mates before this all kicked off.  They seriously hid that very well!!"
          "Yeah I know."  he chuckles
          "What is wrong with everyone?!  All these lies and secrets ... it is getting damn ridiculous and I wander what else we have to come?"
          "Hopefully nothing, although I get the feeling Ruby still might have a few skeletons in her closet.  This might not be all over for Crimson just yet!!"  he rolls his eyes  "And if that was a dig at me just, because of mine and your Mother's secrets ...."

           "Dad you need to chill out with your insecurities, and No actually I wasn't having a dig at you."  I laugh at him  "Sunny and Ruby's shit actually makes you and Mom look like total saints!!  We do understand, know and appreciate that you did the best thing for us.  You haven't hurt us, like they have continuously hurt their kids.  We have spoken to Meadow, Holly and Ivy, they have told us all about the hell you have put them through with your phobia!!  So we fully understand why you were kept hidden from us!!  You, Mom and Alpine, did what you did to protect us, whereas the only people Sunny and Ruby have ever protected is themselves and their dirty secrets!!"
           "I'm glad you can see that."  he smiles at me for a while, then he frowns  "Mint, you know, you don't have to do what Granite suggested, he was only joking when he said it.  Covering lies with lies is how these things get out of hand, and I don't want you to get dragged into the shit.  It is bad enough you now have the burden of having to carry around and keep this secret, without putting yourself in the firing line."
           "I know Granite was only joking.  He said it to wind you up!"  I laugh sarcastically, but he doesn't bite at my dig at him.  "However, he did come up with the best story that can explain why Crimson is staying here, shutting himself off and not going home.  Probably the only story that would work, anything else would be suspicious, especially to his sibling."  I laugh  "Us pretending to be together and him being hauled up in my bedroom is no biggy!!  He is single, I'm single ... so what harm will it do, when it can explain why he will be virtually living here and it stops his brothers and sisters from being suspicious and finding out the truth.  If Crimson is happy to pretend he is my boyfriend, then I am okay with it too.  It is not like it will ruin either of our reputations ... everyone knows, there has only ever been Parsley for me and Wisty for him."
           "Well I am not okay with it!!  I can also think of two people who might have something to say about it for a start!!"  he pulls a face  "Parsley and Wisty are bound to have something to say about you two hooking up, so quickly after both relationships have just broken down.  It might even make them suspect, that you two were up to something before the break ups."

           "They can think and say what the hell they want, I don't care!!"  I smirk at him
           "Wisty especially can be a nasty piece of work if she wants to be ..."
           "I'm big enough to take it, she doesn't scare me!!  I've had the Strawberry Tart riding my back for years, mouth and fists, so I've had lots of practice!!  Wisty has no right to say anything, after she cheated on Crimson, and I doubt Parsley will bother to summon up the energy to get off his lazy ass to chase me down for an explanation.  He is probably already back riding his red bike as we speak!!"
           "Even still, it is not going to be as easy as you think!!  I have had to do it myself, as well as watch your Mom and Alpine playing fake relationships for years."
            "Don't stress, I can handle it!!  We enjoy hanging out together and a bit of hand holding in public is not going to fade either of us!!"  I laugh at him  "Besides we planned to spend more time together anyway, Crimson wants to help me with my deserted warehouse project."
            "Well you just be careful!!"  he mumbles
            "How was Crimson when you left him?"
            "In a right mess as you can image."  he smiles at me  "I need you to do something for me, seeing as you two are now playing detective, with your fake romance ... "  he laughs sarcastically  "Which kind of makes what I am about to say to you, after what I've just said, a little off!!"
            "Seriously, if you are about to give me lessons or advice on how to make a fake romance look real .. don't!!"  I laugh at him
            "No, nothing like that!!  I need you to be his shoulder to cry on.  He is feeling very alone at the moment as you can image.  I know that it is a Motherly figure that he needs right now, which your Mother can do for him, but it is not going to do her or the babies a lot of good if she is continuously getting upset trying to comfort him.  On top of her worrying herself sick over Alpine, and dealing with Coal in hospital and the Gravel baby bomb.  We are already having to keep a very close watch on this pregnancy because of all the complications.  I don't want her to get too stressed out by all this!!  So I need you to take some of the weight off her shoulders, and be there for him as much as you can, for your Mothers sake."

         "That's fine - I can do that."  I smile at him wandering for a moment, after what I heard Granite say to him, if this is his attempt at matchmaking as I watch him get a far away look in his eyes.
         "I know we didn't plan this pregnancy, but if anything happens and she looses those babies it will probably destroy her.  She has never really gotten over the miscarriage she had before you, and of course she will never get over losing Cinnamon."  he mumbles  "Hell it will probably destroy my sanity now that my phobia has gone and I am FINALLY getting the opportunity to be a Dad and do it right!!
         "It's fine, I understand."
         "I've told Crimson that he can stay here for as long as he wants and needs to.  It will give him the opportunity to pull himself together enough to face his brothers and sisters without breaking down in front of them and giving everything away.  Which he says he will do, because he doesn't want any of them finding out about any of Sunny's shit, especially not Saffron and Scarlet."
          "I don't know how he is going to emotionally cope with all this!!  He has a funeral to sort out and I know he is determined to find Ruby's family .  I am worried that he is going to probably make it worse for himself if he contacts her family and they don't want to know because of the colour mixing."
          "Crimson doesn't have to worry about all that, me and Granite have said we will do all of that for him.  I'm going to take over and finish organising the funeral, and Granite is already on the case as far as her family goes.  He is waiting for a phone call from his Brother Shale, who you probably know is a police officer.  He is checking the missing persons data base, checking out the original case files from when she was reported missing and trying to track down an address for her parents or siblings.  One of us will speak to her family, and if they do reject them, it will be easier coming from us rather than hearing it directly from one of them unpleasantly." 
          "That's good."  I smile at him

 We sit in silence for a moment, watching Tapestry getting a little loud and animated with his phone call.  He seems to have finished his call with Rocky and is now having some sort of disagreement with his Dad, Mango over his whereabouts.

          "Have you heard anything from the police today?"
          "Yeah."  he looks glum  "There is no change.  They still haven't found him."
          "Where the hell is he?"
          "Mint I wish I knew!!  Alpine's disappearance doesn't make any sense to me.  He has no clothes, money or medication and I can not even imagine where he might be."  he frowns  "He seriously can not be still wandering around out there bare foot in hospital pyjamas without anyone noticing him!!  It is stupid that he hasn't been found yet!!"
          "Do you think he has wandered out into the coded world?"
          "Yeah I think he has to be out there now.  We have searched every inch of this town and there is not even a sign of him.  It doesn't make any sense!!"  he pulls a face  "If he is out in the coded world, it also doesn't make sense that he hasn't been picked up for wearing blue clothes with him being green."
          "What about the deserted warehouse?"
          "There is no way he could have got in there."  he rolls his eyes   "El says they have checked around the gates and there is no sign of any recent disturbances.  They have applied for a search warrant but she says that could take weeks to come through, if ever!!!  That place is guarded like Fort Knox!!" he points in Tapestry's direction  "After Tap's abduction, they have even checked down in the sewers, but there is no sign of him down there either."
          "Do you think someone is hiding him?"
          "That would make more sense of his total disappearance ... but who??"  he frowns  "Who would hide him?  It could only be one of the extended family, but surely they wouldn't put us through this worry and upset by not telling us he is okay."
          "Seriously ... have you seen the state she is getting herself into.  She is like Fudge, they are both openly going out of their tiny minds!!  I know Meadow isn't hiding him.  She wouldn't put us through the worry and upset for a start."

          "So ..."  I laugh at him  "What is this about you wanting me and Crimson together?"
          "Don't!!"  he covers his face  "You weren't meant to know that!!  Granite has got a big mouth!!"
          "Why Crimson?"
          "I think you two are a lot alike ... you both have the same ambition and drive.  I could see you two being a couple like Spicey and Lemon, all about your careers with no intentions of ever having any children. "  he chuckles
           "They had Mango."
           "He will tell you himself, he was a very unplanned accident.  Not that Lemon and Spicey regret it now that they are surrounded by a large family.  They can see what they would have missed out on if they had stuck to their original plans for their life."  he laughs  "That is why both you and Crimson, who are very like minded, shouldn't dismiss children in your future, because of your career ambitions.  You can do both."
           "Our main reason for not wanting kids is that we don't want to inflict being a mixed berry on them!!  It will hold them back, and cage them in this town with limited opportunities.  I've told you before I hate being a mixed berry so why would I want to inflict it on somebody else, especially my own child?!"
           "I'm sorry!!"  he mumbles with embarrassment
           "Yeah you can apologize for it this time!!"  I laugh at him remembering when he apologized before we knew he was actually responsible for the green in me.
           "Like I have said to you before ... this town will make you feel that way.  Once you get to Berry, you will see the world of opportunities will open right up for you."  he smiles  "Anyway, I knew you and Parsley would never last, you are like chalk and cheese, too different.  Whereas, I can just see you and Crimson being good together.  Besides he is one of the good ones, he is a decent guy!!  Someone who will treat you with respect, unlike Parsley who has a lot of growing up to do!!  You can't blame me for wanting the best for you!!"  he chuckles  "You are only just finding out I am your Dad, but I've always known and have spent your whole life worrying about your future.  All three of you."

           "Yeah well I doubt you will ever get your Crimson and Mint wish granted.  I don't attract the good ones, just the losers, and he isn't interested in me, unfortunately."
           "Unfortunately?"  he frowns at me  "Do you actually like him?"
           "Yeah.  I always have."  I smile at him sheepishly  "I used to have a crush on him when I was younger.  He was always here with Cinnamon and I used to try and hang around with them.  To them I was just Cinn's bratty little nuisance sister and they used to shoo me away!"  I chuckle
           "So do you still like him?" he smiles at me
           "Yeah ... Hanging out with him lately with Wisty and Parsley has kind of made those feelings worse.  You are right, we are a lot a like, in ways that Parsley and Wisty would never understand.  I think walking away from Parsley has been made easier for me because of the way I have started feeling about Crimson."  I mumble, not sure why I am telling him any of this
          "You should tell him!"  he grins at me
          "What's the point, he isn't interested in me, AND you are NOT to tell him either!!  You will just embarrass me and make things awkward between us.  He is a good friend and I don't want it ruined by something he never needs to know!!"  I frown at him   "I've not even told Fudge, and I've just told you that in strict confidence, so I expect you to keep it to yourself!!"
          "I'm a doctor remember!!"  he holds his hands up  "My soul is weighed down with what people have told me in confidence!!"  he chuckles "So your secret is safe with me!"  he raises his eyebrows  "Am I allowed to tell your Mother?"
           "NO!!  Definitely NOT!!"  I snap which makes him snigger
           "Probably wise or she will be pecking your head from now and forever!!" he chuckles 
           "So, how long have you known about Sunny's gay secret?"  I ask to try and change the subject.

          "Officially, since he faded.  However, I have had my suspicions over the years.  The way he used to dance with Lilly caught my attention first.  We took an instant disliking to each other, I think he suspected I was only playng gay, like I suspected he was only playing straight.   And Mace is right about one thing, that homophobic act of his was way too loud!!  I think it was when Granite came back, that I knew for certain.  I saw the way Sunny kept looking at him when he thought nobody was looking.  One word ... Lust!!  I noticed him staring at Atlas too in pretty much the same way a few times."  he chuckles  "Sunny knew like the rest of us what Ruby was up to, sleeping with half of the town.  He didn't kick off, try to kick her into touch or leave her.  It was blatantly obvious to a few of us that there was no love there between Sunny and Ruby.  Anyone staying in that situation has got to be hiding something.  I suspected years ago that he might be gay on the sly!"
          "I'm shocked that Ruby didn't know about his gay secret and double life until he faded!!  The funerals, the bigamy, his Sunny Maize identity ... it is all very shocking!!"
          "Yeah we had a right game with her when we had to sit her down and tell her that her marriage was a sham and that Sunny was a total lie!!"  he chuckles  "We thought she was going to blow it and tell everyone!!  She was furious as you can imagine!!  Tapestry stopped her in the end, he threatened her with something.  Berry knows what - he won't tell us what he had over Ruby to keep her quiet."
          "Mom's face when Mustard told Crimson that Sunny has always been gay and that their relationship started when they were teenagers!!  I thought she was going to pass out!!"  I start laughing, still seeing her face in my head  "I can't believe you never told her when you knew, or that you even suspected!!"
          "Yeah, she will be mad with me for keeping the secret from her.  I'm in for it when she gets me on my own!  You know what she's like, she will probably batter me with something later."  he rolls his eyes  "I'm not sure the poor cushions in this house can take much more!!"

We both sit laughing at each other for a moment.  

I have noticed quite a few amusing things about my parents, since the truth has come out, and their relationship has been out in the open for everyone to see.  They are very touchy feely and  Mom is always whacking him with things, mostly the cushions, especially when she is annoyed with him.  Most of the time she is doing it playfully for no reason.  They tend to start having cushion fights and roll around like a pair of teenagers.

I have even seen them having a food fight, which was hysterical at the time but also pretty shocking to watch.  The funniest thing being when Forrest's OCD kicked in and he started going off his head over the mess they had made. 

It has actually been quite a shock to the system, seeing Mom acting this way, never having seen her like it before.  It is almost like she has become a totally different person.  She acts in a way with Forrest that she has never done with Alpine, which drives home even more what was staring us in the face all the time but never saw.  That Mom and Alpine didn't have any sort of relationship, especially not a romantic one.  It is clearly obvious that Mom and Forrest love each other, and I really don't know how they managed to hide it for over twenty years, when they clearly can't hide it now.

Tapestry suddenly plonks himself down on the couch, next to me, snapping me from my thoughts.

           "SOooo ... Crimson is the reason you have broken Parsleys heart!"  Tapestry laughs at me
           "SHIT!"  my head snaps round to look at him  "I TOTALLY forgot you was here!!  I'm sorry, you shouldn't have heard that!!  It's not how it sounded, honestly I didn't dump Parsley because of Crimson ..."

            "I know ... Don't worry, I know exactly why you dumped him!!  I was just messing!!"  he laughs holding his hands up  "As much as I love my Cousin, he has always been a prize jerk where you are concerned!!  I warned him weeks ago that he was treating you like shit and he was going to lose you again if he didn't buck his ideas up!!  He only has himself to blame for losing you, just like Wisty only has herself to blame for losing Crimson!!"  he smiles at Forrest strangely  "The pair of them are both idiots for not seeing what they had until they have lost it!!  Both you and Crimson deserve better!!"
             "I very much doubt that I have broken his heart!!"  I start laughing  "I bet he has already gone back to the slut and is happily riding his red bike again."
             "Not as far as I know.  He says he is never touching the Strawberry tart ever again!!  All she has ever done is caused him humiliation and heartache.  As for you NOT breaking his heart ... I wouldn't be so sure about that!!"  he rolls his eyes   "I think the Orchids can't deal with emotional stuff and relationships properly.  He loves you, he just doesn't know how to show it properly."
             "You are an Orchid!"  I laugh at him
             "I'm more Muffin like River and Dad."  he grins at me  "Coral, Prelude, Wisty, Parsley, Storm, they in particular are all the same ... their relationships are constant train wrecks of their own making!!  I put it down to their strong Orchid genes!!"
             "You really make me laugh sometimes!!"  I laugh at him
             "Only sometimes!?"  he gins at me  "Anyway, this fake relationship that you and Crimson are having as a cover ...."  he starts really laughing  "... you watch, it is going to really ruffle feathers with both of my cousins!!"
             "See I told you!!"  Forrest mumbles  "You know I am really not comfortable you two playing fake relationships!!  I would rather you didn't."
              "Well then you come up with a better idea!!  Until you do, we have no choice but to do it, for Saffrons sake!!"  I grumble at him

           "So Mini Leaf, now that you are a fully fledged member of our secret keeping society.  What is all this mystery around Ruby that I've been hearing about?"

  I thump him for calling me Mini Leaf and he just grins at me cheekily ... he never changes.

           "I'll give you Mini Leaf ... Bright Eyes!!" we both start laughing at each other  "I'm actually surprised you don't already know Tap!!  Seeing as you always seem to know everyone else's secrets before the rest of us!"  I smirk at him
           "Seriously, it is not by choice, trust me!!  I must always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, because I am sick of bumping into shit that I would rather not know about."  he laughs at me as he smirks at Forrest  "Like down dark allies ... kissing couples who are old enough to know better!"
          "Ha! Ha! Very funny Tap!!"  Forrest laughs at him   
          "So come on Mint, SPILL!!  What has Ruby done now?"
          "We have found out, that her surname isn't Red, it is actually Blaze, which she has hidden from everyone, as well as where she originally came from.  There are news articles from when Crimson was ten, saying that she is a missing person, there could be more, we just didn't get to look any further."  I roll my eyes  "She told everyone her family washed their hand of her just after Crimson and Cherry were born, because of the colour mixing.  That was obviously a lie, because ten years later according to her family she is still missing.  We suspect that she never contacted them at all after she left the boarding school and might STILL be a missing person."
            "Oh fudge!!"  he laughs for a moment then frowns  "I don't get it ... if she is still a missing person, how has she managed to get away with that.  Mace has told me it is almost impossible to hide yourself because of things like medical records, bank accounts and anything you need ID for.  That is why Gravel gave him a new identity so he could lie low, especially from the law."
            "That is exactly what Crimson thinks she has done, probably with the help of Gravel.  He is thinking that Gravel gave her a fake identification at the same time as he helped her to produced Scarlet ..."  this makes him laugh quietly for a moment

            "You are right, Crimson says she couldn't hide herself completely without getting a fake identity.  We have only ever known her as Ruby Red, but Ruby Red Blaze is her real name, which we found out from the news article which told us her fathers name as well as where she came from.  Crimson found her on the Red County birth register quite easily and her parents names tie up with a few names she gave her kids.  Crimson and Scarlet Blaze are her parents names."  his eyes widen
           "Hang on ....."  he starts to frown   "Did you just say Blaze and Red County in the same sentence?"
           "Yeah, that's her family name and where she was born."
            "Is Blaze a common surname, especially for red berries?"  he starts frowning, he looks from me to Forrest.
            "I don't know Tap.  I can't say I've ever come across anyone with that name, red or otherwise, here or out in the coded world.  To be honest, when I hear the name Blaze I think of Orange more than Red, I don't know why."  Forrest frowns at him  "Why what are you thinking?"
            "You are into Rock aren't you mini leaf?"
            "Yeah why?"
             "Where are your CD's?"
            "Upstairs in my room, where they have always been, why?"
            "Back in a sec.  I need to raid your closet."  he starts laughing as he runs off up the stairs.

I know he knows where my CD's are, because when we were younger, he would occasionally hang out with me and Parsley, and Tapestry has always been into music.  My closet was always the first place he went.

Forrest just sits there laughing at him

            "What is he up to now?"  I laugh
            "With Tap you never know what you are getting!"  he laughs  "One minute you see a flash of genius, the next stupidity!!  He is really frying Mango's brain because of the way he has turned out.  He has always thought he would be baby sitting a trouble making Tapestry for the rest of his life and Mo would be the one who made him proud.  However, Tapestry is proving Mango very wrong on both counts!!"
            "Yeah he has definitely surprised all of us."

Tapestry comes bounding down the stairs singing one of his songs that is currently in the charts, which amuses me, especially as at the moment I can't stop listening to it and I have it constantly on repeat.

            "Seriously Mint?!"  he waves one of his CD's at me before he hands it to me  "Why buy this and waste your money, when you only have to ask me .. "
             "What ... are you offering to come round here and sing it for me, every time I feel like hearing it?"  I snigger at him
             "No stupid!!  I could have given you one of these CD's for nothing, and I should have!!"  he laughs at me  "I get a box of 50 CD's delivered every time a new one is released.  You are basically my press rep, so you of all people should be getting all the perks ... next time just ask!!"
             "Cool!!  I will!!"  I smirk at him

He then holds up a handful of CD's

             "I wasn't sure you would have any of his albums, but I actually think you have them all."  he smirks then starts laughing  "My red mate Cane Blaze, comes from Red County."  he frowns at us  "Is Blaze the same red as Ruby?"
              "Oh shit ... I think he is!!"  Forrest chokes as he takes the albums off Tap and starts looking at the covers  "I'd say his skin is the same shade of red as Ruby's, but not his hair."

              "You know Blaze?"  my eyes widen
              "Yeah, of course I do."  he smirks  "Say party to Cane and he's always the first one there.  He is a good mate of Rocky's they are on the same record label, and Cane spends a lot of time in Berry.  So I bump into him quite often, especially at parties."
               "So Blaze is actually his real surname?"
               "Yeah ... I am surprised you didn't think about him, with him being red and he comes from Red County."
               "I never even gave him a though because I just thought Blaze was his stage name like yours is Storm, and I didn't know he came from Red Country."
               "You surprise me."  he laughs  "I presumed you was a super fan the amount of albums you have, so I guessed you would know everything about him."
               "To be honest, I don't really like him very much  ... "  I cringe  "They were Cinnamon's CD's and that is the only reason why I keep them.  Scarlet gave them to me because she can't stand rock - not heavy shit like what Blaze pumps out anyway."
               "Yeah he is a bit on the extreme side, but he is with everything he does.  His head is mashed up which is why he drinks too much and takes too many drugs openly.  He is a bisexual slag who openly colour mixes, and is constantly angry.  He takes rebellion to the extreme!!  When he is sober he is nicest guy you will ever meet, when he is high or hammed he turns into a total Berry Hole!!  He has even had a few stints in rehab."  he pulls a face  "He vents most of his frustration with life out through his music and his behaviour."  he rolls his eyes  "Anyway, he is red, comes from Red County, with the surname Blaze ...   I've been to Red County once and it is not a very big place.  There could be a few families with that surname for all I know, but you never know he could even be related to Ruby somehow."  he sniggers  "If he isn't, at least, I could ask him if he knows of them.  He lives in Red County and I am sure if I ask him, he would help us find her family."

              "Yeah, him being in Red County and helping us might make it a lot easier."  I mumble
              "I am actually starting to get very curious about all this myself.  Ruby is Vanilla's Grandmother remember, so all this affects her too."
               "Why is his head mashed?"  I ask out of curiosity
               "Family troubles which he doesn't really like to talk about.  All I do know, is that he comes from a very religious family and has had religion rammed down his throat all his life ... which he hated!!  That's why he hates his name Cane, because it is a biblical name.  His twin brothers name is Abel.  He also has a younger Brother, Gabriel."
               "Cane and Able, that is funny!"  I laugh and he laughs with me
               "I think everything Blaze does now is partly to rebel against the religion his Dad force fed him ... If you listen to some of his songs, it is very obvious he is very anti religion."
               "Oh shit!!"  Forrest starts laughing  "Tap ... Ruby's Father is or was a man of the cloth."
               "Man of the cloth?"  he frowns
               "A holy man.  He was a vicar when Ruby was reported missing, according to the news article that Mint showed me."  Forrest laughs  "I found her and Crimson having absolute hysterics because of it.  Who ever would have guessed that Ruby was a vicars daughter?!"
               "Oh fudge!!"  Tapestry suddenly starts howling
               "That's a bit of a wacky coincidence don't you think ... surname, colour, town and now the religion."  I mumble as I stare at Forrest
               "Yeah, it is a bit."  he stares at Tapestry for a moment, who is still really laughing  "Cane and Abel did you say?"  he frowns at Tap
               "Yeah Cane and Abel Blaze.  There is Gabriel Blaze too."
               "Maybe I should run upstairs and check the Red County data base.  We need to find out if this Gabriel, Cane and Abel have the same parents as Ruby."  he frowns at me
               "Yeah, I think that is a really good idea!!"

I smile at my Dad before he runs off up the stairs.

 Boolprop SimNano

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