TG Universes & Series:
Weather related power issues are prompting me to post this a day early...next part will be posted on Friday unless another storm affects us. Again, this is written with the blessing of Snowfall.
Tessa gave the group her leave and allow them to enjoy the park without her oversight. The kids were immediately trying to run for the nearest area, the aptly named SeaSide, giving them a snicker as they came halfway across the country to immediately try out a theme area that was based on something they took for granted. John groaned and told the kids they were going to get wet, but that didn't matter to them. He was given a grin by the others as Billy could see that it was going to be a place he could enjoy with John being unable to deny him thanks to his pleading looks that he was a notorious sucker for.
Billy didn't fight the change into their water shirts. The kids were all wearing swimsuits with the girls complaining about needing to wear their tops again, but Kylie blushed as Billy jokingly blurted out "boobies" to the girls, getting them to quickly pull their shirts on over their tops. Billy grinned; he knew that his sister would react that way, but the look on his parents' faces showed it was the right response. Logan didn't care one way or another, he saw John putting his on which was enough reason to don his own shirt.
Kennedy and Valerie took off their shirts while Willie boldly told them "I'm not getting wet."
Billy's looks changed that around to him agreeing, but only for a couple of rides, earning Billy a big hug from Kennedy as well as a nod of approval from John.
The ladies sat on a pair of loungers as the kids enjoyed the rides. Valerie smiled as she enjoyed the fact that the kids were being on their best behavior while Kennedy was ready for the time when Billy was no longer so attached to them like a toddler usually is. He was starting to finally grow up, making her love the feeling of her being able to finally claim to have helped raise a child with no argument.
Valerie read her mind and offered a solemn "he's been your child since you brought him home. You are his mother no matter what some say. He loves you unconditionally despite knowing that he is not your blood. He is more like his sister than his brother, what you went through with Kylie will prepare you for the time when he finally blooms into the boy he is inside. He's close."
Kennedy took the words to heart. Valerie offered a happy "I think John might have hit his mark last night. I'm at my most fertile and didn't tell him. I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse that I'm a grandmother, but might be pregnant for the third time."
Kennedy could sense some feelings of remorse and fear to which she offered a consoling "it's a blessing to all of you. John deserves to have a second pregnancy with you, even if it's really your third child with him overall. I am hoping for a girl if you do have a child, but he will love him or her regardless. You are best able to handle the kids especially now that you have so many who can support you. You are the best mother in the state, if not the country, take it as it is: a blessing."
John caught the image of the ladies talking and sighed at what they could be talking about. He had to tell Willie "I should have brought along some condoms. I don't want Valerie to feel bad because I couldn't be bothered to use protection in our night of passion. She deserves better."
Willie offered him a strong "she sees it otherwise. She is giving you another child, one of your own no less. It's another shot at being a father to your own flesh and blood. She is more concerned about how the kids will react, but they are old enough to be their own people and the little one will have nothing but the best for his or her entire life. Congratulations man, you do deserve this."
The two guys stopped when the kids came over to them after their ride on the kiddie "shoot-the-chute" that got them drenched and giggling while poor Reed was left shaking his head at being just skinny enough to get stuck with six kids on the ride. John was just glad that the operator told him he was too tall. Willie was also too big for the ride, or so he claimed, but in reality, he made room for three kids behind them getting big smiles from the kids who replaced him on the ride.
Their next stop was one John couldn't avoid. He was going on the bumper boats with the twins while Willie got stuck going with Billy as Reed and Logan joined together to target Ella and Kylie. The kids had a blast as John couldn't steer all that well and Willie had Billy shooting everyone with the nozzle, getting unexpected hits on different people, especially his brother and sister. John offered a complaint that he was always the target, but the kids were bad drivers making it funnier.
The group took a quick rest as Billy needed to use the bathroom prompting the kids to do the same, giving John the chance to hug and kiss Valerie who told him "sorry about last night."
John offered a consoling "I am sorry, we will accept the consequences together. We are grandparents, it'll be awkward but it's already awkward with so many kids being different ages anyway."
The next rides were simple water slides and raft rides, with John happy to not join the kids on the rafts, but enjoying Billy and Willie getting close as they enjoyed the fun. By noon the kids were getting hungry and sought out lunch, with John eyeing the restaurant Mitch had told him to enjoy. He wasn't a fan of seafood, but it was worth the risk as the chef was extremely good.
As soon as they entered the "Daily Catch" restaurant, they were spotted by the manager and directed to a table that was large enough for all of them.
John shook his head and asked, "were we expected?"
The man grinned and happily told him "we had a bet on which one you would choose. None of us expected you to stay in one area, but it's smart thinking on your part."
John simply nodded. It was a spur of the moment thing done by the kids, but the day was going to be the hottest of the week as the rest of the days would be warm but overcast. The park was laid out to have water rides in each, but only two in each of the other areas. Not quite as 'fun' for the kids, as they were not exactly thrill rides and were meant to be calming. It was best to just get the water rides out of the way then.
The group looked at the menus and were happy to see that they had something for everyone. John went with a simple fish and chips plate while the kids enjoyed grilled fish sandwiches. Willie had the shrimp scampi after asking about gumbo. The server chuckled and informed him that would only be found in Princess Nicole's Storm Bayou. Valerie and Kennedy opted for New England clam chowder and were pleased to see it served in Bread-bowls.
Reed was the only non-fish eater, opting for chicken strips which John complained that he got lucky. Reed shot back a terse "you know damn well I hate fish because the 'donors' only fed us tuna when they got too lazy to cook. Kylie thankfully didn't have to eat it for long and mistook it for chicken salad."
John took his admonishment in stride, it was meant for the five youngest to hear. Kylie didn't say a word, she knew the story and had no problem with fish sandwiches as Sylvia and Mitch told her that they were nothing like the hockey pucks that her school served. The pictures looked nice and she did like that they were fresh and made into patties instead of being big chunks of meat.
Chef Joann Caulder came out to watch the group as they ate, waiting until they were finished to inquire about the food. She was concerned that they may say something to Tessa about her cooking, but it was not going to happen. The kids liked her take on what could be called 'fish burgers'. The finicky Billy was happy to have a 'hamburger' which nobody corrected him about. Joann was pleased to see that everyone ate all of the food and there were no parts left on the plate other than pickles, which Logan normally disliked.
She introduced herself to them, which John happily told her "they are pleased with your food and may have made me have to copy the style for back home. It's a high compliment for them to have eaten it all. Even little Billy enjoyed it, he never likes new food."
The kids gave him a glare causing Joann some concern while Reed casually explained "Please don't get the wrong idea. They aren't upset at the food, he's just a terrible chef when he tries new food. He's never able to make things the right way and fails badly at even the most basic dishes."
John told him firmly "it's not like it's beer battered tempura, it's just a simple whitefish and flour fry!"
Joann gave him a grin as it was clear that John was simply trying to open them up to new things and was doing it for the right reasons. She sat down and asked where they were from as their accents were familiar to her, ones that she hadn't heard in a couple of years.
John was happy to proclaim "we are from Winnisimmet, MA. It's a small place just outside of Boston."
Joann smiled at hearing that, she was right- it was a true Boston accent. She spent a couple of years on Cape Cod and working in restaurants in the North End of Boston and the North Shore of Massachusetts giving her a feel for the real accent as opposed to the fake, one neighborhood only image of the place that 99.99999% of people recognize. It was softer than the Dorchester version, but was noticeable.
Joann happily told them "it's been a couple of years since I met any locals from there. I haven't found clams that work as well as the ones you have. No offense to the mid-Atlantic states, but there's something about the tidal flats that make the clams grow to the right size and taste better."
John grinned and asked, "Crane River, I hope?"
Joann laughed hard, adding "as if I'd submit folks to the marked-up smugness of Pullen Point clams. I don't trust the folks there, too many fingers in the pie and the folks digging them up are known to dig in protected areas. I do use some Narragansett Bay clams as well, simply because the supplier gets them from there in good quality."
The subtle dig at Pullen Point made the others chuckle. Joann went back to work with the manager thinking that she was being polite at first, but saw her enjoy the interaction. She didn't normally come out of the kitchen during the post-lunch rush, but something about the group made her come out. As they were leaving, John was asked what went on with Joann.
John thought it over and offered a simple "she knew we were VIPs and was trying to get a feel for how the meal went. It's what you would expect from a chef, she got what she needed. I think she spent some time in our state seeing as she knew some of the local jokes and spotted us as being from the Boston area right away. It was a bit of fondness and a trip down memory lane for her as well. She did well, as did your staff."
There was little else to say as they walked out with the manager breathing a sigh of relief over them not taking any offense or being upset at something his staff had done. Joann was working the day in that restaurant by pure luck, the fact that she was pleased with the group was a bonus as was them enjoying their experience. He did think that he was lucky; they could have been uptight, snobby, entitled people who expected top service and multiple things they didn't have access to instead of being 'normal'.
Outside the restaurant, Kennedy suggested that the family rest for a bit to allow their food to digest and give the kids their second wind. Seeing the advertisement for the mermaid show she smiled and led them along with John telling her that she was a genius. The kids didn't know what to make of the show, but the adults knew from their talks that it was something to see at least once.
The family got close seats and saw that the show was going to be a full house leading them to see that it was the right choice to make. The kids stared at the people preparing the lagoon while listening to the kids around them talk about "Princess Danica" and her routine. It was all new to the six younger kids, but Reed and the adults knew that as soon as they saw the cast swimmming out they would be all smiles and cheering as they gave a performance unlike any they had seen before.
The wait was long to them but it was really only 15 minutes. The kids watched the action as the screens showed various images of the oceans and beaches. They were enthralled, not noticing time passing.
Without warning to the six kids, but expected by everyone else; the show started with colored lights going around the screens in front of the lagoon before they were yanked up and revealed the mermaids dancing in the water giving the kids a quick routine going around in circles until one jumped up in the air, flapping her tail, and caused the kids to cheer.
The kids all screamed out "Princess Danica!" as the mermaid seemed to fly out of the water at great speed making her jump over the others with a big splash timed perfectly to the music and movements of the other mermaids. To the group's surprise, there were also a couple of mermen in the show and were just as fun to watch as the mermaids.
The show was unlike anything the kids had ever seen before. Logan had trouble focusing as he saw the women to be beautiful, with Danica as the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. It was not lost on his parents, the reaction was normal for an 11-year-old boy who saw any sexy woman that way, even if he was in a committed relationship with a young lady already.
Danica and the mermaids swam at high speed, jumped in unison, and seemed to dance in the water as if their tails were really part of them even if everyone knew they weren't. They were amazing, with John having to think that they were some of the best swimmers he had ever seen. The show was a production that put even the most complicated shows in Las Vegas to shame. Tessa went all out for the show and gave Danica full reign to do as she pleased allowing the show to utilize their strengths well.
Danica's singing was great, which came as a surprise to the kids, but it fit with the show perfectly as she performed songs with the mermaids jumping out of the water over her as she sat on a rock-like platform that extended up from the lagoon bottom. Many children, especially girls, sang along. John looked at Kennedy and Valerie who were both singing as well, with John having to fight singing one that he now knew well while blushing at knowing the song. Seeing the show now explained Sylvia's mysterious gift of a boxed set of cd's. They were songs from all of the park's shows.
It seemed like a quick 15-minute performance, but was actually closer to 45 minutes. Danica and her cast nailed it and had the kids screaming with joy. When the show ended, Danica brought herself up out of the water and sat on a throne at the edge of the water, smiling and waving as the crowd passed by. She took note of the group as they made to leave, giving the kids a big smile while enjoying Logan squirm. She gave a signal and had one of the attendants direct them over, with the kids getting excited while poor Logan was feeling lovesick over being so close to the beautiful young woman.
The group was escorted backstage, with the other mermaids finished changing they were free to talk with the ladies and answer whatever Danica had to ask of them. Danica entered after them, after being freed of the tail, allowing her to sit down normally. Danica was wearing a skimpy swimsuit which caused Logan to blush deeply, while Kylie stared in awe at the woman's body on display for all to see.
The group waited for Danica to speak, but she offered them a smile "I hope I lived up to what Sylvia said it was."
John shook his head and corrected her, saying "it was Mitch, actually. He said you were great, but that was unlike anything we have seen before. It was worthy of Broadway or Las Vegas."
Danica tested them, they passed. She wasn't entirely sure, but the way Sylvia described them it was hard not to think that they weren't the right group. Mitch visited the park a couple of times when he returned from school and told her that the group were coming and described them extremely well. The security officers didn't try to stop them when she told them what she was going to do, which only proved that they were just who she suspected them to be without anyone confirming it to her.
Danica kept them waiting as she drank some water. She was resting, but kept the kids calm. It was clear that they were overexcited, but they were being polite to her and remained quiet.
Danica finally asked about Mitch, hoping to get more information about the guy, as the locals were not giving her anything useful. She wasn't trying to be a gossip, she was trying to protect Sylvia just in case things went wrong with their relationship. They may be engaged, but there was always a chance of the relationship going south, especially if she isn't holding up well underneath her seemingly good exterior.
Valerie answered for all of them, as she was closest to Sylvia after acting as her go-to person for talks before she gave birth to little Sylvia Robin Samuels. Sylvia needed parental guidance and Valerie was more than happy to be the surrogate mother that the other mothers couldn't be. Sylvia eagerly listened to Valerie and opened up to her more than anyone else, even her therapist in Bayleston.
Valerie grinned widely, explaining firmly "Mitch is about the best guy you can encounter. He loves Sylvia deeply. She fell for him for all of the right reasons: he treats her right, shows her affection and care when she needs it most, lets her have her space, never pressures her for sex and keeps her focused on her classwork. You likely didn't get any information from the townsfolk due to him being a local hero for his on-field action, but also because his parents are highly respected by the town and have shown that Mitch wasn't to be exploited by them. That hasn't stopped some, but he is still off-limits to those who haven't shown their intentions. You may be benevolent, but they are cautious. Les and Mary are best to get to know; as Mitch is his father's son and Mary treats Sylvia like a daughter so will treat you the same once she sees how close you are to her."
It was what Danica needed and made her smile; he was the same guy that Sylvia raved about. She was like a little sister to each of the princesses with Danica happy to receive her help in trying to draw new people to see the mermaid shows. Sylvia was a whiz at finding great new ideas even if it took Danica and her merpeople to bring those ideas to life in a realistic fashion. The group chatted for a few more minutes with Kylie asking about training, getting her interest piqued by the ladies' movements in the water.
Danica sighed as she recalled her early transition into becoming a woman, telling Kylie "it took a lot of work to learn how to do things right. I struggled with keeping things hidden from view lest my secret being revealed while giving lessons. Getting used to the oyster shell bra and silicone tail was almost as bad when I came here. Now I feel strange without them on."
Kylie looked up at her in shock, Ella whispered to Danica "Kylie's like you!"
Danica smiled at the girl, seeing in her how she herself could have been if she had been allowed to become her true self at an early age. It may have been a double-edged sword though, had she transitioned early she would have missed swimming due to regulations keeping her from competing with the girls which would have meant she would never have been hired to become the princess of SeaSide and perform in front of thousands every day.
None of them dared to say how far along Kylie really was, but Danica asked softly "how long have you been in transition? Nobody would ever guess you were born with a birth defect unless you told them. You are becoming a stunning young woman."
Kylie blushed and blurted out "mom and dad got me help three and a half years ago. I'm all girl because of boys kidnapping me and hurting me really bad, making me need surgery down there. I'm not the only one like me in the family, there's a bunch of us."
Danica smiled and told her affectionately "I'm a little jealous. You are beautiful and are going to have boys all over you."
Kylie offered a giggle and happy "I don't like boys, I have a beautiful girlfriend already."
Danica hugged her and smiled brightly at being corrected, it was one of those times that she loved being wrong. The group bid their farewell, with Danica feeling better about the day for some reason. Sylvia was right about them, they were a special group of people that made you feel better after encountering them.
The group walked out to people staring at them over getting to meet the cast. They simply ignored the stares, it wasn't their fault that they were able to get an audience with Danica while everyone else was not able to. The stares were simply jealousy and awe, Danica was known to be private and focused during her performances and really only interacted with the crowds during the dry-shows and evening closing ceremonies when all three princesses joined Tessa to bid the kids goodnight.
The next group of rides were higher water slides and roller coasters, which were meant for the three older kids with Reed being put in charge of them. The twins and Billy simply went with Valerie and Kennedy, allowing John and Willie to relax and watch the ladies' purses. Neither guy had a problem with that, they had had enough of the fun and excitement for the day and let the twins and Billy burn off their excess energy while the two relaxed and waited for them to need to calm down and do some swimming in the large kiddie pool near the lounge chairs.
It was tough, but the kids found themselves getting tired of the constant splashing and running to lay down beside the guys for a nap. The four older youths were spending much of their time in lines as there were a lot of teens and older kids there that day. Reed didn't mind the wait so much, it gave him a chance to think about the next day when he went with John to various meetings in Bayleston instead of going on the larger thrill rides as the trio's escort.
While waiting, Reed was being checked out by group of girls who seemed to care more about his body than waiting for their turn on the water slide. Reed rolled his eyes at catching their lingering glimpses, the girls were looking at him like a piece of meat and he wanted none of that. He ignored their looks and instead moved the trio forward up the stairway and further into view.
He could hear them talking about his "tight body" and "hot ass" and cringed every time he heard them. It was made worse as Kylie kept smirking at him, causing him to clench his mouth closed and forcibly say "don't even say a word. It's no different than boys doing that to you. They are hypocrites; they hate guys hitting on them and ogling them, but are not afraid to do the same to a boy."
Kylie didn't say a word, Ella snickered while Logan kept an eye on the girls to ensure that they didn't get too close to Reed. It was confusing to him that girls would act that way toward a guy, he clearly had no interest in them or else he would be talking with them, but they kept on talking about him like they were going to land him. He cringed when he heard them mention the bulge in Reed's shorts and what they wanted to do with it, it was worse than guys in his class talking about girls' breasts.
When they finally reached the top, Reed had to wait while the trio went down on their own in the three lanes of the slide in a race against one another. Reed wasn't happy, the girls were right behind him and were jockeying for who got to go with him in their run. He wanted to say something to them, but he wisely kept his mouth closed and let them talk themselves into saying something too lewd for the park.
When they raced down the slide, Reed was last down allowing the girls to give him a 'show' as their tops came undone during their fake flopping motions. He didn't pay attention to it, Logan's eyes nearly popped out at seeing his first pair of naked breasts while Kylie groaned about them being show-offs and Ella complained that they were too big for their own good. Reed had to fight a laugh, it was true as the girls were on the large side and looked like a bunch of bimbos with their skimpy suits and actions.
The girls followed the foursome to their next ride; more water slides, but at different angles. Reed again went last and this time he was alone as he picked the shortest route giving him a chance to get away before the girls got down. He moved faster than they liked, when they got to the bottom their tops were again off and this time they gave the whole of SeaSide a 'free show' as the end of the slides were at the entrance to SeaSide and was built there specifically to draw in people to the water rides.
Reed kept on ignoring the girls for the next hour as the kids went from slide to slide, raft ride to raft ride. It was getting to the point that Reed couldn't turn a corner without the girls being there waiting for him to get off a 'kiddie' ride or in line with him hoping to get on a raft with him. Kylie enjoyed her brother getting leered at, it was good fun even and payback for some of his teasing over her having found a girlfriend and started dating seven months before.
Ella and Logan kept quiet as Kylie relished in Reed's frustration. They could see the downside to being a sibling, especially one as good looking as Reed. Ella would never admit that and Logan already felt inadequate next to him, but agreed that Reed was handsome and making girls swoon over him.
The kids ended up making the girls go in front of them with Reed being relieved to have them away for a bit even if he knew they'd be at the bottom of the ride hoping to get a glimpse of what was in his swimsuit. The girls were put in a six-person raft with Reed and Logan waiting for the next one, causing the elder girls to ask about Reed as they rode down the slide and traveled along the river portions of the ride. Kylie tried to stoke their egos by saying he was 18, just graduated high school, and had a job waiting for him at home as he was taking a year off of school to build up his resume.
Ella smirked, she was setting them up for a fall as Kylie left out the most important bit of information; she never mentioned Jessie Bollinger, Reed's girlfriend. The girls took that lack of a girlfriend as a sign that he was free game and thought about going after him further even if he may be leaving soon. He was a big catch for girls, they already had their friends jealous of them getting Reed. Logan asked how Reed was able to ignore the girls so easily.
Reed grinned and explained "they are making bigger fools of themselves than anyone could possibly do. I guarantee that word will get out that the girls were showing their breasts to everyone in the park because of their lame attempts to get a guy who had no interest in them. They are the worst kind of girls, they don't take 'no' for an answer."
Logan agreed with him, adding "I think they are snobs. They were talking about the park's workers like they are beneath them. They said they were losers who didn't belong there and the princesses were ugly and didn't deserve their jobs. They want the jobs, but they either can't sing, dance, swim well, or make everyone feel great because that's what the princesses do."
Reed smiled at him unintentionally revealing his crush on Danica. Logan realized too late that he had given Danica such flattery but Reed casually added "she's beautiful and an amazing athlete. She sings great and I think we will be back for their 'dry' show later so we can see the ladies dance all together as it's supposed to be different than the 'wet' show we saw earlier."
At the bottom of the ride, Reed didn't give the girls their needed views because Logan was in front of him and blocked 'the meat' as they jokingly called Reed's privates. Logan glared at them while Reed led the kids on, ignoring the girls again. The girls though were stopped by security and asked to leave the area after finally going too far with their antics.
The girls looked at the tall, burly security officers like they were joking but Sgt. Grayson, the SeaSide security sergeant, wasn't joking. He had heard multiple complaints throughout the afternoon from parents about the girls' bikini issues and their lewd remarks. He had spoken with three of the slide operators and they told the same story, but added that Reed was trying hard to ignore them and was only acting as the guardian to the three kids and had no interest in the girls.
Sgt. Grayson and a woman also from Security herded them out, telling them that they were no longer welcome in SeaSide and their behavior was borderline offensive to the point that he had seriously considered kicking them out of the park, but didn't want to upset their families by telling them why they needed to leave early. The girls were on the verge of screaming at him, but several other teens that they recognized were on the phone with people who would make trouble for the girls making them back down. They left, with Reed being told that he could enjoy the rest of the day without the girls' sexually harassing him.
Kylie fought for the right words but Reed thanked them for helping. He could see by the looks on the teens nearby that the girls would have a lot of explaining to do no matter what. He just hoped that they didn't get any big ideas if they saw him again, he hated to cause trouble for anybody.
The kids enjoyed the next hour as Reed seemed to be a new man. The girls were giggling about it, but Logan told them to quit it or he'd tell their moms. This was a valid threat and both girls calmed down and offered their apologies to Reed, giving him sad eyes as they regretted their actions.
As they finished their 20th ride on the slides and rafts, Valerie and Kennedy came over to get them. The twins and Billy were feeling tired and hungry prompting them to call it a day and seek out dinner. They couldn't agree on anything so they opted to have a quick bite before enjoying some relaxing rides that would calm the kids down before the larger dinner at the hotel.
The kids saw that Danica and her cast were sneaking out and wanted to go over and watch. It was their 'dry' show, one that they had missed in the early afternoon, but was worth the time to see. She wasn't going to perform alone, the other mermaids were joining her and even had the guys joining her as they went through the routine as they sang and danced.
The kids were loving the whole show as Danica was as good on the outdoor stage as she was in the water with the ladies doing complex, yet easy to learn, moves that complimented Danica's own moves. She was like a beacon for fun and entertainment, she was better than they had heard about before. Danica was a true performer, living up to the image of princesses that the girls had formed based on years of watching Disney princesses in movies and was a true princess in their eyes.
Toward the end of her performance, Danica chose Kylie to join her up on stage with her for the final two songs. Kylie nearly fainted, but it was unavoidable as the tween was eyed immediately by Danica as a way of giving her a memorable time and giving her some assurances that she could be true to herself as a person. She saw the spark in Kylie, one that was smoldering inside her and only needed a chance to flourish on its own with a little bit of fuel and a push.
Kylie danced with Danica and joined in the singing of the songs, with the audience joining them but Kylie's own singing was what was amplified over the speakers with Kylie fighting tears as she sang along to the songs. Danica was all smiles and hugged her, giving Kylie the chance to calm herself as the rest of the group went down for pictures then to the dressing room to join Kylie. There were jealous complaints from parents who wanted their own daughters to be up on stage, but it happened every show. Kylie was someone special to the park and wasn't planned but Danica made the choice. Kylie was in tears while Danica asked if she had danced before.
Kylie nodded and offered a meek "I do ballet and Aunt Amanda is teaching us other dance moves since we have more dances at school in 7th grade. I know the ones you were doing, we were taught them last month."
Danica grinned, it wasn't planned to go that way, but Kylie's moves made the show all the better and the other mermaids were happy that she kept up and didn't try to overdo things to outshine them like many of the girls and boys did whenever they were brought onstage for the show. Kylie was a rare child, one who was not trying to perform yet was good at it and made them do better by comparison. They didn't want to admit it, but she made the show better.
As the group entered, Kylie was now calm as Danica admitted "her dance instructor gave us a good show, we haven't had a kid able to keep up who didn't also try to take the spotlight. She's good, I hope that it was as fun for her as it was for us." Kylie was all smiles now and her ego starting to get larger but Kennedy gave her a big hug and kiss to soothe her and deflate it before she spoke.
The group was happy that Danica was pleased, they left her with hug and kisses with Kylie trying her hardest not to float away as her happiness was making her feel like she was walking on clouds. Danica watched them leave and was greeted by Tessa asking if they were doing well, getting a happy "they are the kind of people you love to meet. They are better than expected, you were right about them."
Tessa looked to Danica and boldly proclaimed "they are normal people. They came from humble origins and worked hard to get where they are in life. John may have won a lottery and become rich, but he is no different than I was before I hit the jackpot in Las Vegas. They are what you want people to be: kind, caring, generous, smart, wise and compassionate. Those kids are reflections of their parents and taking after them more closely than they realize. Logan and JD are John. Kylie is Kennedy. Billy and Reed are Willie. Cat and Ella are Valerie. The twins may be the only blood to their parents, but all of the kids are their parents' kids in so many ways. Worth watching because they are good to see."
Danica understood them now, they were people who tried to be good people. Tessa led Danica out to where they would conduct the evening's closing ceremonies with the family standing beside Sylvia giving Danica smiles with Sylvia looking happier than she had ever seen before. It was what she needed most and Danica was proud to have seen the happiness in Sylvia come out especially as the talk with Tessa took hold and was put into proper perspective by the simple scene.
They were even more surprised when Sylvia indicated they should stay a few more moments "wait. You are about to see something few visitors do."
Their mouths dropped as Tessa herself began to sing. She did it without a mic or any music backing her. The song was powerful and haunting, punctuated by main lights going off to leave only service lighting. VentureRealm's Queen singing a lullabye to her kingdom. Billy actually fell asleep in the arms of his father.
"Goodnight." Tessa said after her last note.
Everyone made their way to after-closing duties or their exits, as did the Finns.
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