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Lucy Avellino
Mister Holmes' Neighborhood
Fri May 13, 2005 18:45

“ . . . until you’ve tried the patented Holmes Omelet.”

Huh? Lucy shook her head, trying to clear the cobwebs, and shoveled the first bite of eggs into her mouth. Chew. Chew. One very blissful sigh issued. “Oh wow.” Yeah, that’s all he got verbally, but the way the brunette was consuming her omelet was a sure sign that she really, really, really liked it. Complete with a heartfelt moan of appreciation. And all natural, baby.

Italians loved their food.

Glancing up only when her plate was empty, the bright smile on her mouth faded when Devon informed her that his brother was still MIA. Great. Moira was busy today, and it really wasn’t fair to the redhead to keep coming over and babysitting a twenty one year old. Sigh.

Zoo? What, what?

The blush heating her cheeks said it all. “It’s .. ah .. a special thing. I can’t go to the zoo with anyone but Caleb.” Oh, what a sneaky little grin. Very devious. We won’t go there, will we. She removed herself from the stool and gathered both plates to plunk in the dishwasher, then picked up a rag and began cleaning up after the cop. Ze eldest sibling had trained her very well in the art of finicky neat freaks.

“Ok. If you really want to tag along, we can hit downtown for some shopping.” Lucy started giggling at the instant look of horror on Devon’s face, it was such a guy thing. His mouth opened, but nothing came out immediately, which made her laugh all the harder. “That was worth it right there. Oh, man. You Holmes boys are going to prove amusing for the next fifty years.” Smartass wench.

“Downtown. Shopping. If you’re still here when I return, I’ll assume its an agreement.”

Sniggering, Lucy bounded out of the kitchen and up the staircase to the second floor, and darted into her bedroom. The closet door was still flung open from her last foray into it, so all the girl had to do was choose an outfit for the day. Not hard, right? Right. It took almost twenty minutes, but she managed to put together several nice things … and then hopped into the shower, washing her hair while singing along to the radio Caleb had thoughtfully installed.

She thumped back down the stairs about fourty five minutes later, wearing a pair of romanesque sandals, a flirty blue skirt that ended halfway down her thighs and a white tee shirt that tried very hard to conceal her curves – failing miserably. Devon was waiting patiently in the hallway, his gaze distracted. Probably wondering why he hadn’t run away. Poor guy.

He offered his arm gallantly, which prompted another grin from the lady of the house. Grabbing her purse off the hall table, she followed the cop out of the front door and paused to lock it behind them. Two choices for transportation – his squad car or the Bug. Guess which one Lucy chose? Watching Devon trying to fold himself into the VW was something else, since he was a bit bulkier than his older brother.

“Feel like a circus clown yet?”

And they were off, Steppenwolf blasting from the speakers.

“Gosh, that’s beautiful.”

Lucy paused in the middle of the sidewalk, staring at a display window. Inside were a bevy of wedding dresses, most of them ultra-feminine satin and lace. Barbie stuff, fit for an heiress from the Hamptons. One, though, at the end of the row, it was this that caught her attention. Simple cream ivory, falling in a straight line to the floor, flaring gently at the hips; the dress looked like something out of the Roaring Twenties, a gown fit for a flapper.

She walked right into the store, apparently having forgotten about the big, masculine cop tagging along because he’d lost his mind and agreed to a shopping expedition, and zeroed in on the first salesperson she saw. “The Art Deco gown you have in the window, may I see one in a size four?” Gestured over to a seat, Lucy shot an apologetic grin at Devon when he finally sat down as well. “Sorry. At least we can go home after this.” Look … it’s man bait!

“Miss, please come with me.” The brunette rose, setting the hippy purse at her companion’s feet before following the lady into the back fitting rooms, which left Monsieur Law and Order alone, surrounded by female employees of a bridal gown shop. Can we hear the Jaws theme playing? I knew we could.

“Oh, that flatters your figure nicely, Miss Avellino.” It seemed like hours had passed, though in reality barely more than thirty minutes. “Why don’t you show your fiance?” Someone giggled, not unkindly. “He’s my fiance’s brother. But okay. The men of that family have good taste.” A few minutes later, Lucy stepped into the main room; her slim figure encased in the wedding gown almost like it had been made for her. There were still several yards of skirt, but no abundance of frilly lace or bows.

Not actually paying attention to Devon past his, “It looks nice,” she turned towards the trio of mirrors set to one side and eyed the dress from several angles. Spaghetti straps, beautiful lines, and she looked pretty good in it. As an afterthought, Lucy reached up and gathered her hair into a loose bun, then eyed the overall image. Hmm. Hair down, looked good. Hair up, looked good.

“I need the skirt hemmed about two inches. Can you have it delivered to my home address when it’s finished?” When the saleslady nodded, the singer squealed in delight before hurrying into the back to change carefully out of the gown. Wow. Okay, they might not have set a firm date yet, but now she had the dress she would get married in. Who said Lucifer couldn’t be a complete bundle of feminine cuteness.

She paid for the dress back out in the main shop room, refusing to let Devon see the price, then scribbled down her contact info. Brown eyes were sparkling like the previous day’s celebrations as the two stepped back out onto the street, Lucy still tucking her wallet into the purse.


Something knocked into her, sending the slim girl careening towards the shop window and what would have been some very nasty glass wounds had Devon not caught her in time. Blinking at the suddenness of it all, she glanced down in time to see someone tugging her purse away. A second mugger was elbowing her future brother-in-law in the mouth … twice! Uh oh.

“My purse!” She managed to croak out, though the blood trickling from Devon’s lip worried her more. The big lug, on the other hand, straightened up from his stagger and gave chase; lost in the crowd along Fifth Avenue easily enough. Her hip aching from the assault, Lucy stayed right where she was, leaning against the wall. For once, just once, she was gonna be smart.

The cop stumbled back some time later, Lucy wasn’t wearing a watch and couldn’t give an exact accounting of how long it had taken. His lip was still busted, and he was favoring the opposing hip that she was … but he had her purse! “Thank you!” Enveloping his larger frame in a hug, the mafiosa stood on her tiptoes and planted a kiss on the bleeding lip – gently of course. “Ok. Trip over.” She slid herself under one heavy arm and proceeded to stroll up the street with him in tow.

There were two messages from Jane when they got back home. The menaces had run off yet another babysitter and Caleb’s older sister had an important meeting that started in … holy cow, twenty minutes! While Devon took himself off to clean up the scrapes, Lucy dialed the number to Jane’s cell and caught her on the way to an expensive day care. “Nah, just bring them over here. I’ll feed them sugar and chocolate.”

Mrs Marcus Snyder didn’t find that too amusing, but a free babysitter was a free babysitter.

All four of them were sprawled on the living room floor, one twin for each of the adults. Jeremy had staked out Uncle Devon and Theo was busy giving Aunt Lucy tips about beating brother Jeremy and Uncle Devon’s collective arse. It had taken exactly two hours of bored kids to drive down to the local game shop and purchase a PS2 with a handful of games, along with a couple of movies from the video place next door, to placate everyone.

Sean and Penny had shown up around five-thirty. The strained tension that had plagued their meetings was gone, and the tall dancer seemed happier than she had for the last month or so. The tenor looked pretty damn relieved as well. They were barricaded in the kitchen making dinner when the man of the house finally showed up.

“Damn it!” Devon shouted, tossing the controller aside in frustration.

Ha! “I win. I win, I win, I win.” Lucy beamed, since this was the first time she’d managed to come out above any of the three since they’d bought the bloody things. Still euphoric over her victory, the lass allowed herself to be tugged into a very enthusiastic hug and kiss, returning both happily, and then allowed herself to be dragged out into the entry way.

To meet Paul Bunyan.

“Wow. You’re big.”

First thing out of her mouth, after which she apparently had to remove her foot as well. Blinking rapidly, and blushing like crazy, Lucy attempted to repair the damage by gathering John’s hand up in a shaking session. He looked … very ill at ease. Huh.

Oh. They were setting another spook free, were they? And using Lucy’s house to do it. She listened quietly, while both Caleb and John rushed through the explination, as if they feared she was going to shoot them down immediately and toss everyone out of the house.

Not quite – though Rob was going to get a stern lecture next time she saw him.

“Welcome to the family, John. There are three bedrooms here, though ours is definitely off limits.” Her grin was pure mischief. “That leaves two to pick from. Just toss your things into the one that feels most comfortable and get yourself settled. Dinner will be …” Pausing, she leaned over and peered into the kitchen, eyeing the activities. “We got one more for dinner, Sean. How much longer?”

The blond shrugged, pausing to count out the burger patties waiting to be grilled. “Uh .. soon as Caleb gets his ass out to the patio and does the honors. We have twelve patties here right now and a pack of hot dogs for the kids. Pen?” The dancer glanced up from shredding the last of the lettuce. “Half an hour, maybe. “ Check that.

“Thirty minutes. Caleb, go and cook, please.” She punctuated that ‘please’ with a very thorough kiss before nudging John towards the stairs. “Go on. The longer it takes to unpack, the longer you’re going to be uncomfortable.” Bossy Italian on the loose!

Ding dong.

Lucy peered out the peephole, lofting a brow at the man standing on her front porch. His other bestest friend wasn’t in sight, which figured since Penny was usually at school by this time of day. “Hey, sexy.” He grinned as she opened the door and stepped inside. Brown eyes casually meandered across the visible portion of house, then flickered back to its mistress.

“Here. Altered and everything.” He eased a large garment bag from one shoulder and hung it on a peg in the hallway. “Honey, can I talk to you in private for a few minutes?” There he went again, nervously looking around to see if anyone was eavesdropping. She shrugged and led the way outside to the patio, pausing to bellow upstairs that Sean was around and about to kidnap her to Reno for Caleb’s benefit.

“Have … have you thought about who is going to walk you down the aisle at your wedding, princess?” Not that a date had been set, but Lucy was leaning towards Halloween just for the whole gothic atmosphere. It reminded her so much of Phantom.

“No. I guess James could walk me down.” She scowled, wondering why her friend was deliberately bringing up the fact that she didn’t have a male relative to perform this important function. Sean sighed, knowing he should have done this before Bernardo died, with or without the man’s permission.

“You could, princess. A family member would be more proper though, even if he isn’t fully Italian and is in big trouble because he was never supposed to tell you.” It came out in a rush, his frame braced for a potential Italian explosion. “Stefano was my father …” He whispered the last part, eyes lowering to the ground.


“That’s not funny, Sean! You’ve no right to mock the dead.” Angry and disbelieving, Lucy rose to go back inside before she started crying, but the bastard reached up and yanked her back down roughly. It was the first time he’d ever actually touched her in anything but a gentle fashion.

“Its not funny. It’s not a joke. Lucy, your father had girlfriends. A lot of them. One of them was my mother. This was back when he wasn’t yet married so it was okay to sleep around. Only Mom got pregnant. Since she was Irish, Bernardo wouldn’t let them get married.” Sean paused, pulling an envelope out of his jacket and handed it to her.

Inside was his birth certificate. Mother – Maureen. Father – Stefano Avellino. Oh my god. Stomach twisting in protest, the brunette stood up and stumbled down the steps and onto the grass. The paper had been left in her half-brother'’ lap ... brother ... Sean was her brother. The world refused to stop spinning until she took refuge in the bath house, refusing to come out even after he followed and pounded on the door.

“Please … I need to work this out.”

She needed some serious alone time.

  • Or Even This?Caleb Holmes, Thu May 12 23:19
    “I hate shopping. This is why I let Lucy buy everything for the house!” Caleb whined, plucking at one of the nearby clothing racks, grimacing at some of the garments there. Yes, it was late on a... more
    • Mister Holmes' Neighborhood — Lucy Avellino, Fri May 13 18:45
      • Evening EnchantmentsCaleb Holmes, Fri May 13 22:36
        For the umpteenth time this morning, Devon questioned himself as to why he had even considered going on this insane ‘shopping’ trip. Why did women call it shopping when all they did was wander past a ... more
        • Fruits and VegetablesLucy Avellino, Sat May 14 23:39
          “Take Sean inside, would you?” Sure. Take the varmint inside and keep him under house arrest. Sean glanced towards the locked door, then wisely decided not to press his case. Italian women were very... more
          • Coffee and BreakfastCaleb Holmes, Sun May 15 21:18
            “Take Sean inside, would you?” Caleb had worded it as a request, but John knew better. Oh, he had heard that tone of voice countless times, and never disobeyed. The ones that did were left in... more
            • Hot Cross BunsLuciana Avellino, Mon May 16 15:10
              He stepped mechanically through the motions, body and mind doing their best to synchronize at the behest of the katas. Muscles once driven to the edge of tension slowly began to loosen up as Sean... more
              • Star CrossedCaleb Holmes, Tue May 17 02:42
                It was the first time that John had smiled – truly smiled – in a long time. “I miei genitori sono venuto in America quando ero giovane; tutta la nostra famiglia ha incluso. Spendere i vostri giorni... more
                • Tears of a ClownLucy Avellino, Wed May 18 15:31
                  Lucy stood at the top of the steps, toweling her hair dry, and watched Sean stalk out of the kitchen into the foyer. He glanced up, sharing a frustrated glance with his sister before exiting the... more
                  • Of Nightmares and DreamsA Company of Miscreants, Wed May 18 19:14
                    He had ran. John couldn’t help it. With Sean’s body pressed so tightly against his, he couldn’t bloody think properly! It was an intoxicating experience, the faerie tale sensation broken by the rude... more
                    • Codes and RiddlesCaleb Holmes, Wed May 18 23:51
                      His chest felt heavy. Beyond that, laden with the weight of the casket. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he felt as if it were his fault for Beth’s death. If he had never retired, taken Lucy... more
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