like a sister to me -paisley-

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    Estela Kappo
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    Age : 39
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    like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 pm

    Despite returning to the home she'd shared with Henri and Elias for eighteen years before being kidnapped, Estela still hadn't returned to anything resembling normalcy. Almost immediately after Elias was released from the hospital, Henri had whisked him off on a trip--without her. She'd been shocked and even hurt when he told her their plans, but kept those feelings to herself. What right did she have to be hurt? At least Elias seemed to forgive her, though she knew she would feel a wave of guilt every time she looked at his maimed hand now for the rest of her life.

    Even before they'd left Henri had been distant. She wasn't sure if they were just still figuring out how to adjust to the shock of her being back, or if he was secretly angry with her for her deception, or if he really had moved on in the last four years and was too afraid to tell her.

    Probably all three, she thought miserably, stirring the cup of coffee that sat in front of her. She was at a quirky little coffee shop in Nadar, one built up in the tree tops. The owners of this shop harvested their beans from right here on the island. Paisley had suggested it--Estela was meeting her here. She hadn't had a chance to see her sister-in-law since a confusing and emotional reunion at the hospital.

    If there was one clio Estela could expect no judgement or anger from, it was Paisley. The two had taken to each other since the moment they were introduced. Estela may not have had any siblings by blood (which was probably for the best, all things considered) but she had a sister in Paisley. Even now, after everything that had happened. Even after what happened to Poppy...
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:36 pm

    The last month of Paisley's life had been one of the most emotionally challenging months she'd ever experienced. For the second time in her tenure as overloridian her special task force had been working toward shutting down a conglomerate criminal organization. It didn't help that she was six months pregnant, or that she had a fifteen year old daughter denying treatment.

    Add to this Estela, Paisley's sister-in-law, and one of her best friends. Missing for four years, thought to be dead, and now...

    Paisley felt an overwhelming sense of guilt that she hadn't been able to sit down with Estela before today. But today Poppy was with Axel, and Paisley's role in the break down of the Coterie was lessening as it turned into paperwork and trials instead of investigations and interviews.

    Today was free, and so Paisley had asked Estela to meet her in a local coffee shop. It was a place they'd loved to go in their younger years--back when the children were babies. It seemed funny, returning here all these years later. Paisley pregnant again--as she'd been with Henri, and then Poppy, for a lot of it. Eventually the children had gotten too old to sit babbling in strollers, and both Estela and Paisley had gotten too busy for a weekly cup of coffee, anyway. It'd turned into play dates at the park, or hanging out at the estate when the sisters weren't working.

    Paisley was thinking about how much their relationship had meant, and how much it had hurt when Estela went missing, abruptly ending their time together, when she opened to door to the shop. Estela was sitting near at a table for two, and when Paisley caught sight of her she felt her eyes immediately begin to burn. Someone else would have blamed the emotion on the pregnancy, but Paisley knew it was her overwhelming love that brought tears to her eyes.

    Whatever had happened, Estela was here now. Back from the dead. Paisley walked over and pulled her sister into a hug.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:57 pm

    Estela didn't even have time to say hello when Paisley swooped in and pulled her into a loving embrace. She didn't hesitate to return it. For just a moment it was like being in the past again, years ago when Estela would meet the oft-pregnant Paisley here to chat about babies, or work, or their husbands. Back when Estela had been a normal woman with a normal life. She wanted that life back so badly it burned.

    "It's so good to see you," she said, her voice a little wavery. The two women sat down across from one another. "How are you? How--how is Poppy doing?" She tried and failed to keep the guilt out of her voice as she asked. Poppy, sweet little Poppy, who Estela had been closest to out of all of Paisley's children. That innocent girl had been through hell.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:53 am

    "Okay, I think," Paisley said, thinking to how Poppy had taken to spending every free moment with Axel. She and Nils talked late into the night most nights about their worry over the situation...but on the outside, Poppy did seem okay at the very least. She was going to elaborate, going to open a floodgate of her fears and worries over her children, going to confide in Estela like she would have done four years ago, but something stopped her. Paisley noticed the heartbreak in Estela's eyes, the guilt in her voice. Sadness ebbed in her stomach and she instinctively put a hand on her ever-growing bump.

    "How is Elias? How are you? Henri?"

    Nils had told her this morning that Henri'd mentioned going on a family trip. What he hadn't mentioned was that Estela would not be going with them...something that seemed very off to Paisley. She'd been home only a month. Elias had only been out of the hospital for a few weeks. Had they already left? Left Estela home alone to an empty house? Paisley couldn't understand it.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:53 pm

    Estela managed to smile at the news that Poppy was apparently doing okay. While it was far from perfect, their kids could be doing a whole lot worse than "okay." "Elias is doing well, all things considered," she said. In spite of everything, Elias seemed to be healthy and optimistic about his recovery. It warmed Estela's heart to see him smile and laugh with his father, especially after everything Henri had told her about their strained relationship.

    "I'm hanging in there. Henri..." She trailed off and sighed. "Things just aren't the same between us. I guess I shouldn't expect them to be after all that's happened, but..." She gave a sort of helpless shrug. Was it even possible to fix a relationship after four years of absence? After a lifetime of lies?
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:22 am

    "Where did they go?" Paisley asked softly. Despite Estela claiming she was hanging in there, Paisley knew things were still all over the place for her. How could she possibly begin to rebuild her life if her husband and son weren't even in the country? Henri and Estela had been so in love, Elias had been so close with his mother... How could she even attempt to recreate "normal" if Henri and Elias were gone? Paisley thought about how she would feel if her own family left her to deal with unimaginable guilt and trauma by herself. It just seemed wrong--family didn't do that.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:28 pm

    "Annerb," Estela answered. At the look on Paisley's face, she quickly added, "I don't understand it either. I know I...I would never go back to..." No. This wasn't about her. She had to focus on Elias, and if he felt it would help him heal to go back to Annerb, she wasn't going to stop him.

    I thought you were done with lying? Binof said. It still counts if it's to yourself. You did want to stop him.

    Well...yes. Of course she had. She wanted him to stay at their house, safe and sound, with her. She wanted to ask him everything about the last four years, about school, about settling, about his friends, about his father. But how could she? She was an outsider in her own family now.

    "Nothing's ever going to be the same anymore," she said sadly, more to herself than to Paisley.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:27 pm

    "Don't say that," Paisley said, feeling her heart break at Estela's words and tone. She reached over and placed a hand on Estela's and squeezed.

    She's right, though, Chevron thought. Even if things worked out for Estela and Henri, even if Elias welcomed her back into his life, forgiving her with open arms, things would never be the same.

    Paisley knew it was true, too. But she didn't want it to be. She didn't want to accept that her family was broken, that clio she loved had been hurt and that they would never be the same. Estela, Henri, Elias. Poppy.

    She paused for a moment and then recanted. "Maybe not the same," she offered, "but it can get better." She had to have faith that her daughter, that her nephew and brother and sister in law would be okay. They'd been broken, all of them in different ways, but they could heal. It wouldn't happen overnight, it wouldn't happen quickly, or without work, but they could make it through this.

    "Your boys just need to adjust," Paisley said. "Henri and Elias...they take things hard, you know." She thought about how difficult it had been for the two of them when Estela had first disappeared. She thought about how they'd both changed in her absence. They just needed time to adjust again. "Don't give up on them." Paisley knew Estela wouldn't stop loving them, but she was worried Estela would give up on herself. Count herself out and think that leaving would be better for them.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:01 pm

    Time to adjust. No amount of time was going to make up for four years of absence and eighteen years of deceit. "I don't know, Paisley," she said. She would always be Elias' mother, and she planned to be there for him every step of the way from here on out. But Henri... "You don't think Henri may have--" she coughed slightly to cover up the break in her voice, "--moved on? It's been four years." Estela knew that Henri had had something going on with that woman, but she didn't know how serious it was. He didn't even seem to know how serious it was, when he was telling her about it. And they hadn't had a chance to discuss what was going to happen going forward.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:19 pm

    "Moved on?" Paisley asked, shocked that Estela would think such a thing. "I know four years seems like a long time, but Stel, you should have seen him without you. There was no interest in anyone else. None." As she spoke Paisley remembered Poppy mentioning something a month or so ago, about Henri being on a date with someone, but Paisley had brushed it off. And she did it again, now. Whoever the woman was, she was not as important as Estela.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:22 pm

    Estela smiled sadly. Henri hadn't told Paisley what he'd told her, it seemed. Absurdly, her heart gave a small flutter of hope. Maybe what had happened between him and that woman hadn't been serious if he hadn't told his closest relatives about it.

    Or maybe that means it was very serious.

    "He started seeing someone else, Pais," she said. She shouldn't be sharing Henri's secret like this, not when he'd clearly been keeping it a secret, but she desperately needed to talk to someone about it. "He told me so himself."
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:40 pm

    Paisley’s breath caught in her throat. “What?” she asked softly. “Who? When?” She hated herself for asking the questions after she said them aloud; she should be providing comfort for Estela, not asking her to dive deeper into her nightmare. But it was so shocking. When Poppy had mentioned the woman, Paisley thought for sure that something had been crossed in communication. But if Henri had told Estela himself...

    “Did he end it with whoever it was?” she asked. “I’m just...he never seemed interested in moving on. It was unhealthy, the way he acted for so long after...” She hadn’t meant to end it there, but Paisley didn’t know how to continue. She hated talking about Henri to Estela because she didn’t want Estela to feel guilty.

    She sighed. “I’m sorry, I can’t imagine how hard all of this is on you.” She squeezed Estela’s hand again. “I love you. No matter what happens, I’m going to be here for you.”
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:57 pm

    Paisley wrote:“I’m just...he never seemed interested in moving on. It was unhealthy, the way he acted for so long after...”

    "Ah. Maybe it's for the best then," Estela said, looking down at the tea she had barely touched. It hurt to know that Henri had moved on, but at the same time, she didn't want him pining, grieving for her for four years with no end to the misery in sight. "And I don't know if I should tell you anything more. I shouldn't have told you at all. I don't know why Henri was keeping it a secret."

    Well. She had an inkling.

    "Thank you," she said, squeezing Paisley's hand back. "That means a lot. And don't worry about me, I'll get through this." Somehow. Maybe.
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:49 pm

    Had Henri even told Nils? Paisley wondered. If he had, Nils hadn’t mentioned anything to her about it. It would be unlike Nils to keep something from Paisley, but it seemed unlike Henri to keep something from Nils, also. If Henri wanted whatever relationship he was in to go anywhere, eventually Henri’s brother would have to find out. It didn’t make sense to keep it a secret.

    “Of course,” she said, “you don’t have to say anymore.” She paused. “But if you want to talk about it, or anything else, I’m here. I don’t want you to feel alone. You’re not.

    “I would never say anything to Henri. I know you want to be loyal to him, but it isn’t fair for him to ask you to keep his secrets. Especially if he isn’t going to be here to help you talk through whatever is going on.” Paisley didn’t understand any of it, and maybe it wasn’t her place to, but she did know she didn’t want Estela to feel alone in the mess.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:10 pm

    Maybe Paisley was right. Not about Henri asking her to keep his secrets, he hadn't asked anything of the sort. Estela had just assumed. Perhaps she was projecting, given her own history of keeping secrets. She was sick and tired of secrets. "The other woman whose son was--was taken," she said, her voice so low it was almost a whisper. "You know her, don't you? They had a history. Her and Henri."
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    Paisley Sommers
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Paisley Sommers on Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:15 pm

    ”Petra?” Paisley asked, shocked. She knew the history of which Estela spoke. She’d witnessed parts of it. Petra had tried to murder Henri 20 years ago, but before that, before Paisley had met her husband or Henri, Petra and Henri had been in love.

    Paisley let out a breath. “What a complicated situation,” she said. “Petra’s son...his father is Cillian.” The man who had taken their children hostage and tortured them. Cillian worked for the organization that had held Estela hostage, as well. Had worked, Paisley corrected herself. Now Cillian was safely behind bars.

    Nothing about Cillian was Petra’s fault, of course. But it was a very tangled web, these strange relationships. Paisley had a feeling it was going to be very messy, no matter what ended up happening.
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    Estela Kappo
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    Re: like a sister to me -paisley-

    Post by Estela Kappo on Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:01 pm

    "His father?" Estela said, horrified. Of course she knew better than most how horrible some parents could be to their children, but that didn't mean she wasn't still disgusted by it. She supposed she shouldn't be surprised that her own parents would have associated with such a man. In fact they probably got along famously with him, she thought bitterly. "That poor child."

    "And 'complicated' is one way of putting it," she said, shaking her head. She couldn't blame Henri for moving on. And she couldn't blame the woman (Petra. She has a name) either. She actually felt an odd sense of kinship with her. Along with Paisley, they had each suffered a mother's worst nightmare. "But whatever happens...what matters is that the kids are safe. Their well-being comes first, no matter what." Whatever Henri chose, whoever he chose, Estela would get through it and be their for her son and niece.

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