return to the west coast

2

75 YEARS AGO TODAY

Over 127,000 United States citizens were imprisoned during World War II. Their crime? Being of Japanese ancestry.

President Roosevelt signed an executive order on February 19, 1942, ordering the RELOCATION of all Americans of Japanese ancestry to CONCENTRATION CAMPS in the interior of the United States.

Evacuation orders were posted in JAPANESE-AMERICAN communities giving instructions on how to comply with the executive order. Many families sold their homes, their stores, and most of their assets. They could not be certain their homes and livelihoods would still be there upon their return. Because of the mad rush to sell, properties and inventories were often sold at a fraction of their true value.

Until the camps were completed, many of the evacuees were held in temporary centers, such as stables at local racetracks. Almost two-thirds of the interns were NISEI, or Japanese Americans born in the United States. It made no difference that many had never even been to Japan. Even Japanese-American veterans of World War I were forced to leave their homes.

Ten camps were finally completed in remote areas of seven western states. Housing was spartan, consisting mainly of tar-paper barracks. Families dined together at communal mess halls, and children were expected to attend school. Adults had the option of working for a salary of $5 per day. The United States government hoped that the interns could make the camps self-sufficient by farming to produce food. But cultivation on arid soil was quite a challenge.

Evacuees elected representatives to meet with government officials to air grievances, often to little avail. Recreational activities were organized to pass the time. Some of the interns actually volunteered to fight in one of two all-Nisei army regiments and went on to distinguish themselves in battle.

On the whole, however, life in the relocation centers was not easy. The camps were often too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. The food was mass produced army-style grub. And the interns knew that if they tried to flee, armed sentries who stood watch around the clock, would shoot them.

FRED KOREMATSU decided to test the government relocation action in the courts. He found little sympathy there. In KOREMATSU VS. THE UNITED STATES, the Supreme Court justified the executive order as a wartime necessity. When the order was repealed, many found they could not return to their hometowns. Hostility against Japanese Americans remained high across the West Coast into the postwar years as many villages displayed signs demanding that the evacuees never return. As a result, the interns scattered across the country.

In 1988, Congress attempted to apologize for the action by awarding each surviving intern $20,000. While the American concentration camps never reached the levels of Nazi death camps as far as atrocities are concerned, they remain a dark mark on the nation’s record of respecting civil liberties and cultural differences.

youtube

Happy birthday to the West Coast music video!

Over the last three years, the official music video for the lead single off of Lana Del Rey’s second official studio LP, Ultraviolence, has amassed over 73,000,000 views and has garnered much critical acclaim, and saw the return of Lana Del Rey’s beau-on-screen, Bradley Soileau! Happy birthday, West Coast!

JULY 10 - MITSUYE ENDO

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, Mitsuye Endo was harassed and eventually fired from her position as a clerical worker at the California Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento, just one of many Nisei state employees facing similar discrimination due to their Japanese ancestry.

After Executive Order 9066 called for the mass exclusion and detention of Japanese Americans on the West Coast, Endo and her family were sent away to the Tule Lake concentration camp. While there, she was selected by San Francisco attorney James Purcell to serve as a test case to file a writ of habeas corpus, and upon agreeing to participate, Purcell filed a petition in July 1942 arguing against her unlawful detention as a loyal US citizen.

The case worked its way through the court system for two full years. Within that time, Endo was transferred to a different camp in Topaz, Utah, where the War Relocation Authority offered to release her if she agreed not to return to the West Coast. She rejected their offer in order for her case to proceed.

On December 18, 1944, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Endo’s favor. The case was one of many factors that pushed the Roosevelt administration to release Japanese Americans from internment camps and allow them to return to the West Coast.

Sorry I have’t posted fic recently. The Girl’s Night fic is suddenly multi-chaptered and already like 6,000 words. I don’t even know. I can’t do brevity. 

Have a little bit of something else I’m playing with in the mean time (not completed, because ahahahaha):


Rob Lewis wrinkled his nose at the thick, rank odor of the city. “I hate this place.”

“How do you hate New York?” Reggie Young, his friend and business partner, shook his head and followed him out of the Javits Center. “It’s the greatest city in the world.”

“I hate L.A., too, so don’t take it personally.” Rob smirked at him and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He’d missed a call from his dad. That was the fifth time he’d called since Rob mentioned he and Reggie were coming to New York for a general contractor’s convention. His dad kept trying to get him to call Darcy. And he would call her, he absolutely planned to call her. Just later. Later when he had an escape from the city first.

Darcy was his oldest brother’s daughter, and somebody who might be considered an odd duck. Not necessarily in a bad way, but more of a free-spirit than the buttoned-up, nose-to-the-grindstone Lewises were used to. She strolled through life with a particular sort of laissez-faire that baffled him and could, from time to time, grate on his nerves. How the hell could somebody be an intern for almost five years? How did she support herself? Where did she live?

Reggie pulled out his own phone and started tapping away. “We’re here for another day, so suck it up. I’ll find a hotel.”  

And that’s why he still hesitated on calling his niece. He didn’t want to do the awkward thing where she insisted on offering him a place to stay and he had to try to politely talk her out of it. To hear his sister-in-law Helen tell it, Darcy probably lived in a roach-infested studio apartment hell-hole. Except he was pretty sure Paul mentioned she was living with her other dad and his girlfriend. That would be even more awkward, honestly.

But he couldn’t avoid calling her. He shouldn’t. She was his niece, and as bewildering as she could be, he did love her. It probably didn’t say much good about him that she’d lived within a few hours of him for three years and he hadn’t visited her once. Hell, she’d come to see him twice. But he was here now, and he’d be here another day, so maybe he could just tell her he already had a hotel room and that they should just go to dinner. Yeah, that would work. He could be an awesome uncle and take her out somewhere nice.

Keep reading

“An evolution strange
Two tongues touch
exchange
A feast unknown
To stone, or tree, or beast.”

- May Swensen

(Or machine.)

The funny thing is, the Vision loves poetry, so I bet this very poem occurred to him in his first kiss.

People throw the term OTP around, but for me, it is the Vision and the Scarlet Witch. Love did for them what is should do: it made then better people.

Wanda Maximoff spent her entire life being pushed around and commanded by men in her life. First it was her domineering brother, Quicksilver, who had a stronger personality and decided what was best for both. Then it was Magneto, Lord of the Evil Mutants, who used guilt, debt, and obligation to manipulate her into staying. She was subject to unwanted advances by Toad and Mastermind, men who are as revolting in personality and character as they are in appearance.

Even when Wanda joined the Avengers, she was the doormat member. She always voted with her brother and followed his lead. Her job in stories, according to Roy Thomas, was to “throw a hex bolt and then faint.” She had a crush on Captain America, not because of his personality, but just because he was leader and alpha dog and he told her what to do.

All that changed when the Vision came in. She found in herself the courage to admit she loved an artificial man, to hell with convention. She became assertive, because the relationship gave her courage. She told Quicksilver off, a guy who bossed her around her whole life by saying he knew what was best, when he disapproved. When Mantis, in true bitchy soap opera villain fashion, tried to steal the Vision from her, she clenched her jaw, determined to fight for what she wants! She even became dedicated to personal development, studying true magic under Agatha Harkness. It didn’t take a day, or a week, or a year, but she eventually led an Avengers team, FORCE Works.

Likewise, the Vision was irrevocably changed by their relationship. Instead of being cold, creepy, and emotionless, he discovered emotions in himself. He felt love, passion, and even lost his temper when he was afraid for her. At first, he didn’t feel worthy of her, but her love convinced him of his value and worth. He wanted to be more than what he was for her, and her love convinced him he could be more. The Vision was the definition of reserved and inhibited, but Wanda made him extroverted and encouraged him to try new things like vacations and bathing suits.

A lot of people compare the Vision to the JLA’s Red Tornado. The Red Tornado was a JLA member who was also an android, alone and without a place in the world. Except the Red Tornado faded into the background of JLA stories, and it is very difficult to argue he got any interesting character development. In short, the Red Tornado is what the Vision would be…if nobody loved him.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch, though, were the axis on which all of the Avengers turned for decades. Other members came and went, but the Avengers were their life. Until the 2000s, Vision and Wanda were the longest serving Avengers in terms of number of continuous issues (no, seriously, count for yourself). It is no exaggeration to say they WERE the Avengers, the constant when others came and went. I have always been skeptical of any Avengers roster that doesn’t include them. It doesn’t feel like the Avengers without them. In fact, their absence in the 2000s was totally emblematic of where that book took a wrong turn and broke so cleanly from its past.

So many issues plagued their relationship, from the return of Simon Williams, the man the Vision’s mind was based on, who even came back from the dead with the power of Wanda’s love, or the attempt by Mantis to break them up and steal the Vision, to the Vision’s hard reboot in Avengers West Coast where he returned to “factory settings,” to the hiatus they took where the Vision and Carol Danvers had a passionate relationship (yeah…that really happened), to the most hideous thing that could ever happen to anyone, the loss of their children. To quote Wanda: “Dying, I could take. Disfigurement, paralysis, anything. But not losing our children.” The Vision was even destroyed, one dark day - but he returned to Wanda even from death. In the movies, it looks like they will be on opposite sides of the civil war. They would not be the first couple tragically torn apart by war.

Yet, despite all the problems they faced, I have never believed any hiatus would be truly permanent, because love is not an emotion, but a choice to make a relationship work despite obstacles. No matter where the Vision went, no matter what strange form he took, he would return to Wanda. In comics, love is stronger than death. Madness can’t conquer or end it. Love is stronger than conventions or society. To quote Wanda: “To blazes with the rules. Love is for souls, not bodies.”

anonymous asked:

Prompt: Peggy brings a knife to a gun fight.

Anon, I laughed so hard when I saw this prompt, in total delight. What a very Peggy idea. Thank you!! (Still not taking new prompts at this time. But soon! I will let you know when!)

—-

The click of Peggy’s heels echoed in the empty, badly lit interior of the warehouse. She stopped as two goons came out of the shadows, guns pointed at her.

“Drop the purse, sister. Kick it over here.”

“I’d like to see my friends,” Peggy replied, her voice cold.

“First we need to know you ain’t packin’, or we put a bullet in that pretty skull.”

She stared at him, and then let the purse fall, and gave it a sharp kick that sent it sliding across the concrete floor. Teeth clenched, she submitted to a rough pat-down that paid special attention to her chest area.

“I don’t have a gun,” she said. “And I’m alone. Your boss made it very clear over the phone what the consequences would be if those conditions were not met. So … I’m here. Where are they?”

“The famed Agent Carter,” a voice sneered from the shadows, and the mobster known as “Big Boy” Agosti swaggered out into the light. “Don’t look like much, do you, sweetheart? You’ve been causing a lot of problems for me lately.”

“You brought the problems,” she returned flatly. “You don’t own the West Coast, Agosti, and the SSR wouldn’t have bothered you if you hadn’t begun interfering in our operations. Now, I want to see Chief Sousa and Chief Thompson, and they had best be unharmed.”

Agosti glanced over his shoulder and jerked his head meaningfully. Another small cluster of oversized and over-muscled goons dragged the two hostages into the light. Both had been roughed up, but they were on their feet (foot, in Daniel’s case; he didn’t have the crutch and his leg was missing) and while they were both swaying a little, neither seemed to be terribly out of it or bleeding more than slightly.

“Peggy, no,” Daniel said. It came out close to a groan.

“I trust you’re both well,” Peggy said, her voice a little tight.

“Don’t we look well?” Jack inquired. His sarcasm was dampened somewhat by the swelling around his mouth; the words came out slurred.

Peggy gave Agosti a narrow-eyed look.

And then she moved. She lashed out at the man standing nearest to her, driving her chunky heel hard into his groin, and as he went down, she reached under her skirt, pulled out a knife, and threw it with unerring accuracy into the hand of the man who had just started to aim a gun at her.

Neither of the hostages were slow on the uptake; both took advantage of the opportunity to throw themselves at their guards, and they went down in a thrashing tangle of limbs.

Agosti could only stare in shock and disbelief as Peggy rained down unholy hell on the half-dozen men in her immediate vicinity, beating them with slats of wood, chunks of concrete, and their own weapons. She found a chance to retrieve the knife from the hand of her victim (after kicking him in the face) and threw it across the room. It flipped end over end and clattered on the floor near Daniel’s shoe.

By the time she was done, with a few extra stomps for Agosti, the hostages had cut themselves free and Jack was propping up Daniel on the missing-leg side.

“I’m starting to think I know now what I missed seeing when you took out all those Washington guys last year,” Daniel said, as Peggy threw an arm around his neck and pecked him carefully on the bruised corner of his mouth. Jack squeezed her arm and she gave him a fast half-hug with her free arm, a squeeze around the waist so light it was almost not there at all, before letting go.

“What did you do with my – ah.” She picked up the knife, wiped it on her skirt, and leaned down to resheathe it in a quick motion that made both men’s eyes widen a bit. “A good throwing knife is worth its weight in gold. Dernier taught me that.” She scooped up a shotgun from one of the unconscious goons, and used it to cover their rear. “Now, Daniel, let’s retrieve your missing … things, and my handbag, and get out of this place.”

BONUS ANNOUNCEMENT/HEADS-UP:

Following my return back from my vacation/trip to the West Coast this coming week, and after I get some affairs in order, I’m going to be opening up commissions again officially around the beginning of July! I just wanted to give a heads up to anyone who would need time to get finances in order. I don’t like springing things like this on folks if I can help it. 

So keep your eyes peeled but don’t fear about missing it, as a big announcement post will be made!

Dersha Fiction: Skylines Chapter 8

Thank you all for the love on the last chapter! Each comment, reblog, and like I receive makes me smile. Thank you! (Click here) to read previous chapters! Just a few more chapters left until the end.

This chapter gave me hell. I have deleted and rewritten parts many times. That’s what took so long to get this posted. I really hope you all enjoy.

Two Weeks Later

The Los Angeles sun kissed Ahsha’s mocha brown skin as she sat down outside the Starbuck’s coffee shop. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, making for the perfect California day. Ahsha was soaking up the sun since there was supposed to be a big storm the next day.

Jelena was meeting Ahsha at the coffee shop to discuss last minute plans for their office grand opening the next night. They still had a lot of work to do before launching the program but at least their office would be finished. Working from home had become a chore. Ahsha liked to keep her work life separate from home.

While she waited, Ahsha attempted to call Nate for the fourth time that morning. The last time they talked ended with Nate telling her he would call back. Ahsha was too old to play the childish games, plus she was attempting to work things out with Derek. She was trying to do the right thing and end whatever she had with Nate the correct way. Sure, she could just move forward with Derek without letting Nate know. But that didn’t sit right with her. Nate had been a sweet gentleman and deserved to know what was going on. For the fourth time, the call automatically went to voicemail.

“Hmph,” Ahsha huffed, stuffing her phone into her purse. She spotted Jelena walking up the sidewalk. “You’re late.”

Jelena’s eyes narrowed to slits. “I had business to handle. Unlike you, I have a life.”

Ahsha chuckled. “If having a life means being old and bitter, you can have it. I just ran by the office, it looks like it’s ready to go for tomorrow night.”

“Hmm. I would hope it would be ready by now. They’ve had more than enough time. The catering is taken care of and you’ve sent out the reminders for all the sponsors, right?” Jelena was typing away at a text message, which annoyed Ahsha. The woman didn’t even have enough respect to put her phone down during a meeting.

“I sent those out a week ago, Jelena. Maybe if you would pay attention to things outside your bubble you would have known that. Everything on my end is done. Rumor has it Anthony Shirapova is coming,” Ahsha bragged, raising a cocky brow. “I ran into one of his employees the other day and they put in a good word for me.”

Anthony Shirapova, simply known as Tony S., was a well-respected fashion icon in California. He was still fairly young, but had been featured in Vogue, Elle and even had a line in NYC Fashion Week. Having him as a sponsor would be big for Ailey. It was good advertisement for both companies.

“Anthony Shirapova as in the Anthony Shirapova,” Jelena asked as she dropped her phone to the table.

“Yep. That Anthony Shirapova. There’s a good chance he shows up,” Ahsha replied, sipping her coffee. “That’s a big deal.”

As usual, Jelena just couldn’t be happy and give Ahsha her props. That was too much like right. “There are others who would be a bigger deal,” she scoffed.

“Yeah, others that you couldn’t get a hold of, huh,” Ahsha snapped, earning a glare from Jelena. “Anything else you want to discuss? I have other business to handle.”

“Nope. We’re done here,” she hissed, grabbing her bag.

“Jelena,” a loud voice shouted. Ahsha recognized the voice as Terrence Wall’s, Derek’s best friend and ex-Devil player. “Hey, Ahsha! Long time no see.”

Ahsha’s face lit up instantly. She hadn’t seen Terrence since she had returned to the West Coast. “Hey T,” she screeched, throwing her arms around her old friend.

“You know her,” Jelena gawked, turning up her nose.

“Hell yeah. This is baby sis. She’s married to my best friend. I didn’t know you two were friends,” Terrence replied, gazing back and forth between the two women.

“We work together,” Ahsha corrected him. Jelena wouldn’t even be Ahsha’s friend in another life. The girl was the saltiest person she knew.

“Oh okay. I met Jelena a few weeks ago. She’s a sweetie,” Terrence smiled, wrapping an arm around Jelena’s shoulder.

Ahsha almost choked. Sweet and Jelena being used in the same sentence was a joke. “I’m sure she is,” Ahsha replied sarcastically. “I better get out of here. I have a picnic with the kiddos. Nice seeing you Terrence.”

The mention of children brought on an even darker scowl from Jelena Howard. Ahsha figured it was because Jelena hated children. Little did she know, Jelena was envious of her little family.

……….

The afternoon was as beautiful as the morning. Not a cloud in the sky and a slight breeze to cool the summer air. Derek and Ahsha hadn’t spent much time with the children and decided to have a picnic in the park. The children were excited because they hadn’t spent much time outside since they had come back to California. Ahsha packed up a few sandwiches and other snacks for them to enjoy, along with a few balls and Frisbees for the kids.

When the family arrived at the park, Harper and Jackson took off running towards the swings.

“I guess they said forget the food,” Derek chuckled, grabbing the picnic basket from the trunk. “I wish I had that much energy.”

Ahsha grabbed the bag of toys from the backseat. “You do,” she laughed, without realizing what she was saying.

Derek raised a brow as he smirked. “You would know.”

The simple act caused Ahsha to blush. “Um…that’s not what I meant.” Yeah you did, she thought to herself. Since they had agreed to working out their relationship, the couple had not had sex. They were both wanting to focus on building the emotional side of their relationship back up before focusing on the physical side. So far they had lasted two whole weeks. Two long weeks. Derek stopped on a small hill and helped Ahsha spread a large blanket on top of the plush, green grass.

“Those kids are something else,” Derek laughed, watching Jackson push Harper on the swing. They could hear Harper screaming from where they sat. “He’s such a good big brother. Harper won’t be dating until she’s sixty at this rate. Between me and her brother, all the boys will be afraid.”

“Poor girl,” Ahsha said, shaking her head. “They fight like cats and dogs but you can’t tear them away from each other. Jackson went to summer camp last year and Harper almost had a fit.”

The memory bothered Derek, though he didn’t want to admit it. All the moments he missed always bothered him. He would never get those moments back and it killed him inside.

“What’s wrong,” Ahsha asked, noticing that Derek was staring off into the distance.

Derek sighed. “I was just thinking about all the stuff I missed. That bothers me…a lot.” Although Derek got to witness events like first steps and first words, he missed out on various important moments. For example, he missed Harper’s first dance recital. His baby was the smallest ballerina on that stage and he didn’t get to see her dance for the first time. Jackson hit his first home run and he wasn’t there to cheer him on. Those moments meant a lot to the kids and Derek wasn’t there to live it with them. It hurt.

“I wish you could have been there to see Harper on that stage. She was a star. That moment didn’t mean anything to her without you there,” Ahsha explained, watching Harper kick her feet to swing higher.

“Really,” Derek exclaimed. “Oh man, I feel terrible now.” Harper was truly a daddy’s girl. The fact that her daddy wasn’t there to see her perform really broke her heart. Ahsha had to bribe her in order to get her on the stage.

“All she’s been talking about is you coming to her next performance. I hear about it every single day. She’s excited about this upcoming recital,” she beamed, thinking about Harper’s bright smile. “I know Jackson doesn’t mention it but he wanted you there for his games too. I could never give him the encouragement like you could.”

Hearing all of this made Derek want to turn back the hands of time. You live and you learn. He was living proof of that. “You did an amazing job, Ahsha. I mean that. You’re an amazing mother,” Derek hummed, gazing into Ahsha’s eyes.

The sweet words brought tears to Ahsha’s eyes. “Thanks. That means a lot, Derek.”

Feeling the urge to kiss her, Derek leaned in until they were interrupted by their children.

“Daddy, look what I found! A seashell,” Harper squealed, jumping into her father’s lap.

Jackson shook his head. “I told her that wasn’t a real shell but she won’t listen.”

“It is real! You’re just mad you didn’t find one,” Harper snapped, sticking out her tongue.

“Keep telling yourself that,” Jackson laughed, only pissing his sister off more. He took a seat next to his mother and dug into the picnic basket.

“Now Jackson, don’t take out two sandwiches if you’re not going to eat them,” Ahsha warned, watching her son tear open the plastic baggies.

“He’s a growing boy, leave him alone,” Derek added, smiling at his wife. “He’s going to be big and tall like his father. Right son?” Derek playfully punched Jackson’s shoulder.

“Yep. And I’ll play for the Devils just like you,” he smiled in return. Ahsha couldn’t help but smile at the sweet scene between father and son. Jackson looked up to Derek more than he would ever know. It was sweet to see them bonding.

Harper looked up at her father with the saddest expression. With mayo spread across her cheeks, she asked, “What about me? Will I be like you too?”

“Aww, you have part of me too but you’re a lot like your mom. That means you’ll be a great woman like her someday,” Derek cooed, pinching Harper’s cheek and making her giggle. The sound of their children’s laughter was truly a blessing. It made them both feel whole. “When you get old like your mother, you’ll be amazing.”

“Hey now, you’re the one getting gray over there” Ahsha teased, swiping her thumb over Derek’s graying chin hairs. The salt and pepper look suited him well.  

“Are you and daddy loving each other again,” Harper quizzed, reaching over and taking one of Jackson’s chips. Ahsha’s mini-me literally said anything that was on her mind.

“Never stopped,” her father responded while winking at his wife. Derek Roman still had the charm to make her swoon.

Harper smiled widely at her brother. They had a special connection that neither of their parents would ever understand.

Derek watched as Ahsha and Jackson bonded over lunch. Whatever they were talking about had Ahsha laughing until tears streamed down her cheeks. This was the Ahsha he had fallen in love with years ago. So carefree and loving.

He wasn’t sure if she realized the importance of the next day. Not only was it the grand opening for Ahsha’s office, but it was also their marriage anniversary. Derek didn’t want to bring it up and upset her since they were taking things one day at a time.

“Will we get to go to your party tomorrow night,” Jackson asked his mother, chowing down on his second sandwich.

“Of course not. There will be alcohol so no children allowed,” she said. “You’re coming, right?” Ahsha’s doe eyes were begging Derek to say yes but suddenly he had other plans.

“Um…I’m sorry, Ahsh. I have some stuff to do for the team that night. It’s a must that I be there with the draft coming up,” Derek muttered. He knew it would piss Ahsha off because this was a big night for her.

The ex-dancer’s face fell in disappointment. She quickly fixed her expression.  “K,” Ahsha simply replied with a tilt of her head.

That “K” meant a lot more than it implied.

……….

Grand Opening Event

A storm wasn’t going to ruin the big night for Ahsha and Jelena. After weeks of working from their new homes, they were finally opening their office. The company itself was still under construction but a new office space would give the two directors a place to brainstorm and tie loose ends. Many of their sponsors and future sponsors were in attendance. Kyle went with Ahsha since Derek wasn’t coming.

“This place is gorgeous. I love the modern feel,” Kyle expressed, sipping on her champagne. “Ohhh, this painting is neat. Who did this one?”

Ahsha hunched her shoulders. She was clearly bothered by Derek not being there. “I don’t know. Jelena brought it from home, I think.”

Kyle sighed loudly. “Don’t get sassy with me because you are dickhydrated. Take that up with your husband.”

“I’m not being sassy,” Ahsha groaned. But Kyle was partly right. The last two weeks was beginning to catch up with her. “Just nervous about tonight.”

“Mmm, I don’t know why. All these people seem to really like you. Relax,” Kyle quipped, massaging her best friend’s shoulder. “You got this, girl.”

That wasn’t the only thing bothering Ahsha though. Today was her marriage anniversary. Derek hadn’t mentioned it, so Ahsha assumed he had forgotten after all this time. In her eyes, Derek was losing major brownie points for not coming to the event and then forgetting their anniversary. Though they were in the beginning stages of working things out, Ahsha couldn’t help but feel a certain type of way.

Kyle began to mingle with guests as Ahsha began to speak with possible sponsors. They all seemed invested in the plan she and Jelena had going forward. The biggest surprise of the night occurred when Anthony Shirapova took the mic and offered his blessing to Jelena, Ahsha and the Ailey company. The gesture made both directors smile with pride.

“Thanks for that Mr. Shirapova,” Ahsha beamed as he walked away from the podium.

“No problem, Mrs. Roman. My pleasure,” he replied in a thick Russian accent. He placed a soft kiss on Ahsha’s hand before they made their way to one of the tables to talk. “This place is really nice and I love what you two are doing with the company. I believe it will flourish here in Los Angeles.”

“Me too! There are so many talented dancers here that are looking for a home. Hopefully we can provide just that,” Ahsha explained. Her enthusiasm about the company stood out to Tony.

“I’m assuming you were a dancer yourself?”

Ahsha’s face automatically lit up. “Yes! I danced for the Los Angeles Devil Girls. Every now and then I pick up a dance class or two to stay in shape.”

Tony nodded and appeared to be in deep thought. “Well I’m impressed. I will give sponsoring your company great thought.”

“Bestie,” a voice called out. Ahsha felt two arms grip her from behind. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”

The intruder was none other than Aundrea Perkins, the woman who was like a gnat at a picnic. She seemed to never go away.

“Sorry to interrupt. I just wanted to tell my friend congrats on the grand opening,” Aundrea sang, hugging Ahsha’s shoulders.

“Oh, no problem. I’ll talk with you later, Mrs. Roman,” Tony said, smiling at Aundrea as he left the pair alone.

Ahsha’s blood was boiling. This woman had a lot of nerve walking into her event, trying to play childish games. “What the hell are you doing here? No one invited you to play with the grown folks,” Ahsha spat, a scowl forming on her face.

“Well Jelena invited me after I told her I was your good friend. Maybe you should let her know that you’d like to okay that stuff before she goes adding randoms to the list. You couldn’t at least put me on the guest list,” Aundrea asked, cocking her head to the side. “I mean, we do share the same man and all…at least my character does in my new film.” Jelena never even asked Ahsha about a friend. They would have to discuss this situation later.

“Aundrea, you have three seconds to get out of here before I have to drag you out. This isn’t the time nor place for your petty games,” Ahsha snarled, trying to keep her voice down to a whisper. The thought of dragging Aundrea out by her $15.99 wig from the local flea market crossed her mind.

“Hmph. I’m doing you a favor, honey. Funny how you came back into town and just fell right into Derek’s bed again. You forgot about your boyfriend back in New York,” Aundrea replied, a haunting smirk gracing her lips. Ahsha’s expression suddenly went from that of an angry woman to confused. How did Aundrea know anything regarding her personally life? “Leaving your Instagram open for the world to see was a big mistake. Your boy toy is actually here tonight. I thought you may want to see him since you two haven’t caught up in a while.”

By this time, Ahsha was fuming. She could literally feel the heat crawling from her toes up to her face. “Get out,” she growled.

“No. I’m not going anywhere. You really think I’m going to let you get away with taking my man? I knew you were trouble when you stepped out of that Escalade. With your manicured nails, perfect Barbie doll hair and oh, let’s not forget that little strut. Funny how I was there the entire time when Derek was crying over your ass. I was there to pick up the pieces while you lived it up across the country. Derek thinks you walk on water but I see straight through that,” Aundrea hissed, her eyes stuck in a fiery glare.

Ahsha had to chuckle to herself. This child was about to make her stoop to a level that she didn’t go often. Usually, Ahsha could hold herself together without losing her cool, but tonight was different. Aundrea was disrespectful from the beginning and Ahsha had let her slide on a couple of occasions. Trying to sabotage her event was the last straw. Now she was messing with Ahsha’s business.  “Look little girl, I’m a grown ass woman handling grown ass things. I don’t have the time nor the energy to argue with you about a man you never had in the first place. I’m the one with his last name and I’m the one keeping him warm at night. You were simply a place holder. I can see right through you and your Instagram filters. Those filters may fix how you appear on the outside, but the ugly on the inside trumps it all. You’re nothing but a gold digging opportunist looking for your next come up. Well guess what? That come up isn’t happening here. Take this as a loss and move on.  Now please leave my event before I have you escorted out. I’m sure you want to avoid that embarrassment.”

“Whoa, I made the perfect Ahsha Roman crack. So you do get dirty,” Aundrea laughed as Nate walked up behind Ahsha.

“You-“

“Hey beautiful, congrats on the opening,” he whispered in her ear before laying a kiss on her cheek. Aundrea smiled, knowing this was all her doing.

Ahsha flinched away. “Hey, I didn’t know you would be in town,” she grimaced.

Aundrea clasped her hands together, “Aww! What a surprise! I’ll leave you two to catch up.” Ahsha glared at Aundrea as the actress walked away to mingle. The woman was probably looking for her next money pot.

“Well that nice woman actually invited me to the event. Did she tell you that we’re starring in a movie together? Her agent called up mine and made the magic happen. I was going to call you-“ Nate began until Ahsha cut him off.

“We need to talk,” she grumbled, grabbing Nate’s arm. Ahsha pulled Nate away from the busy scene inside the party and into an empty office. Her night was already turning into a nightmare and having him here unexpectedly made matters even worse. She felt like she was on a bad reality television show where women ended an argument by throwing drinks at each other. Add on Nate’s dismissal of her many calls.

“Sorry I didn’t let you know about being in California. My schedule has been booked. It’s good to see you,” Nate purred, stepping in to give Ahsha a hug.

The young model was stopped by Ahsha’s hand. “I’ve been calling you and my calls have gone straight to voicemail. Not to mention the time you were supposed to call me back and never did. I’ve been wanting to talk to you about something very important.”

“I told you I’ve been busy. It wasn’t done on purpose,” Nate groaned, running a hand over his head. “You know how busy I get, babe.”

Ahsha shook her head. “I’m not your babe, Nate. I never was. Let’s face it…we were both in this for the sex, not because we had a future with each other. You’re a sweet guy that I’m sure any young woman would be happy to have. But we’re in two different places in life and I don’t want to hold you back from that dream you’re chasing.”

“What are you saying,” Nate questioned.

“I’m saying that I’ve decided to make my family work. My kids are my world and their happiness is my number one priority. I’m sorry,” she explained, watching Nate’s heart literally break under her words.

“Wow,” was all he could mutter under his breath.

“I’m sorry that Aundrea suckered you into coming here tonight. This is not how I wanted to handle this at all.”

Nate nodded. “It’s cool. Have a nice life, Ahsha,” he spat, leaving Ahsha alone in the quiet office.

A few minutes later, Ahsha left the office and had security escort Aundrea out. The storm outside was no match for the one that had just occurred. The one raging in Ahsha’s chest was an inferno by the end of the night.

…………..

Rain was falling so hard that it took Ahsha an extra 20 minutes to get home. The storm still hadn’t let up when Ahsha pulled into the underground parking garage. All she wanted to do was get inside and go to bed. The night had gone somewhat smoothly after the Aundrea and Nate fiasco. Sadly, Ahsha didn’t get the chance to speak with Tony Shirapova again and she knew that would affect their chances of getting him as a sponsor. Hopefully he had a good enough impression to join the Ailey team.

As Ahsha put her key into the lock, she could hear music coming from the other side of the door. Knowing how forgetful she could be, the mother assumed that she left her iHome radio playing. It didn’t even cross her mind that there was a surprise waiting for her on the other side. When she opened the door it was clear that someone else was there. Not only was there music playing, but there were rose petals scattered across the carpet. Candles were lit and the smell of lavender and vanilla filled the air.

“Happy Anniversary,” Derek’s deep voice bellowed in her ear as his arms wrapped around Ahsha’s waist.

Poor Ahsha couldn’t even find the words to convey how shocked she was. She had assumed that Derek forgot about their special day. They were working out their relationship which meant they didn’t have to celebrate. “Derek…”

“I bet you thought I would forget,” he added, kissing her cheek.

Ahsha’s eyes wandered around the room. The entire set up was absolutely beautiful. Derek had taken the time to decorate her entire condo. “This is beautiful,” Ahsha gushed, turning around to face him. “Why’d you do all this?”

Cupping her face, Derek whispered against her lips, “Because you deserve it and I love you.” He placed a tender kiss on her lips and took her hand. “I figured you’d be tired after your big night so I got you a bubble bath started. How’d it go by the way?”

Ahsha’s mind was still stuck on Derek’s surprise. The events from that night had suddenly slipped away. When Derek reminded her of the night’s events her blood pressure rose. “It was a long night. I’ll tell you that much.”

“Aw, well maybe you can tell me about it while you relax. Come here,” Derek crooned, taking her hand and leading her to the master bathroom. The space was dimly lit by candles surrounding the floor around the tub. Rose petals sat atop the soap suds, creating a serene environment. Derek was quite the romantic when they were together. Obviously he hadn’t lost his touch. “Ready to get in?”

Ahsha nodded. The warmth of Derek’ finger tips on her back made her shudder. His hands glided across her bare skin before reaching for the zipper and slowly pulling it down. As his hands pushed the dress down to the floor, his lips teased the sensitive skin of Ahsha’s neck. Her breath hitched as her bra fell to the marble floor. With mocha skin glistening under the candle light, Ahsha looked stunning.

Derek helped his wife into the warm waters and sat at the edge of the tub. As Ahsha relaxed against the cool wall, Derek began massaging her scalp. When she was pregnant with Harper, Derek would help her wash her hair. Those were the most relaxing times.

“So what happened,” Derek asked, using the shower head to wet Ahsha’s hair.

“Aundrea was there,” Ahsha began, closing her eyes as Derek worked in the shampoo.

“Aundrea?”

“Yes, your Aundrea. Somehow she made Jelena believe that she was an old friend and got put on the list. Then she invited Nate,” she explained. Derek’s fingers suddenly stopped moving. “Why’d you stop?”

“Wait, what? How does she know Nate,” Derek asked, his mood dampened by the news of Ahsha’s ex being at the event. Maybe he should have gone.

“Nate isn’t the problem. I’ve handled it. But Aundrea…Derek I don’t know how much more I can take of her. She bombarded my event and possibly ruined my chance with a sponsor,” Ahsha groaned, tilting her head back to look at Derek. “I hope she doesn’t continue being a problem.”

Derek’s jaw clenched. “Naw, she won’t. Trust me.”

The room fell silent as Derek rinsed the shampoo from Ahsha’s hair. Obviously Derek was bothered by the fact that Aundrea hadn’t caught the clue. He was trying to fix things with his wife, not have her questioning his efforts due to a woman who wanted to sabotage their happiness.

Ahsha didn’t want Derek to think that she was angry with him. He couldn’t control Aundrea’s every move. Grabbing Derek by his shirt, she muttered, “Come in.” Her warm smile was so inviting. Derek couldn’t help but remove his own clothes and slide in behind her. The warmth of their naked bodies was comforting to the both of them. Ahsha rested her head against his chest and closed her eyes. The thumping of his heart against her back created a serene scene. They hadn’t been this close since they had sex weeks ago.

“I don’t want you to think I still have something going on with Aundrea. Because I don’t,” Derek said, breaking Ahsha out of her moment of tranquility.

“I just want us to be okay,” she added with a sigh. “Not just for the kids but for us too. I miss us.”

“Baby,” Derek whispered, tilting Ahsha’s head up. “I promise that we’ll be fine.” With that, he bent down and captured Ahsha’s lips. Water spilled out of the tub as her body moved closer to his, deepening the passionate kiss. Their tongues swirled together in a slow dance, heating the already warm water. They were yearning for each other. Moving onto Derek’s lap, Ahsha straddled his legs as he bumped against her center. Both of them were literally longing for the other’s touch.

Derek didn’t want to stay confined to the tub. Pleasing her required more space. “We aren’t doing this in here,” he urged, grabbing Ahsha’s waist as he stood to his feet. Her long legs wrapped around his waist. When they finally reached the bedroom, the attack was on.

The couple could barely get to the bed without their hands exploring secret places. They crashed to the bed, lips still connected in a heated exchange. Ahsha moaned as Derek’s mouth moved to her neck, lightly biting the skin. Her skin tingled under his touch. The feeling of his kisses trailing down her body intensified her need for him.  Ahsha could only grip the sheets in preparation for what was coming. The sensation that hit her next was one she had missed. She could only arch her back as Derek’s tongue teased her wet center in the way only Derek Roman could accomplish. All her worries from earlier seemed to dissipate with every swift movement of his tongue. Loosening her grip on the sheets, Ahsha’s hands moved to the top of Derek’s head as he continued to work.

“Shiiiit,” Ahsha moaned, unable to control the tightening of her legs around her husband’s shoulders. The man knew how to navigate her treasure like he was captain of the ship. To say that Ahsha was missing his loving was an understatement. Her body convulsed as she closed in on her release…but suddenly he stopped. Ahsha sat up on her elbows to only be gently pushed back down.

“Relax. Be patient,” he crooned, his smirk telling Ahsha he had more naughty things in his plans. The art of patience was one of Ahsha’s weak traits. The way he had turned her on made her yearn for more.

“When have I ever been the patient type,” she teased, pushing against the wall of his chest before their lips crashed together again. Ahsha linked her arm around his neck and flipped them over so she was on top. Straddling Derek’s lap, she focused on his defined midsection with her finger tips. Her feathery touch making him stiffen instantly. Satisfied with herself, Ahsha smirked down at him.

“You sure you want to play this game,” Derek asked as Ahsha’s hand traveled down to his length.

“Play what game,” Ahsha questioned in mock innocence while stroking him. “I don’t know what you mean.” She found sheer enjoyment in making her husband moan. It was music to her ears.

Ahsha squealed when her back met the cool sheets again.

“No games tonight,” Derek said, his face serious. “Let me love you.” The expression on his face silenced Ahsha immediately. There was no sarcastic comeback or fighting him on it. Derek missed making love to his wife. Showing her how much she meant to him and making her feel like the only woman in the world.

Gazing up at the beautiful man before her, a single tear rolled down Ahsha’s cheek. All those lonely nights when she cried, all the times she felt like she had failed her family, and all those times she felt damaged…all those times led up to this. This man wanted to love her if she just let him in and trusted the fact that he wanted their love. That simply brought tears to her eyes.

Derek kneeled in front of her, his hands gripping her parted thighs. Having Ahsha back in his life almost made him cry. He settled in between her legs until his chest was flat against hers. Kissing her tears away he positioned himself at her center and slowly pressed in. Their lips were inches apart and their eyes stayed locked on each other as Ahsha linked her legs around his back. The feeling of him sinking deeper made her want to scream out his name. Once Derek was buried inside of her, he paused.

The storm outside had worsened. The high winds made the tree branches knock against Ahsha’s windows. The lights flicked twice before the room went dark. Only the light of the few candles in her room casted a dim glow on their connected bodies. Derek kissed her lips slowly. He let every ounce of love he had for Ahsha pour into her lips. Their lips literally told a story.

There was a flash of lighting followed by a clap of thunder. But neither of them seemed phased. They were still focused on each other as Derek finally began a slow, tantalizing grind. He pleased his wife with deep, slow strokes.

When their eyes met again, Ahsha whispered, “I love you.”

That was the first time she had uttered those words to him in a while.

“I love you too,” he replied, continuing his slow rhythm. He took his time and watched her faces as he loved on her. Her hips began moving with his, creating the most incredible feeling. The sounds of their lovemaking filled the room as Ahsha gripped his back.

“Derek,” she moaned, as he continued pounding into her.

“Yes baby,” he cooed in her ear.

Moving her leg to his shoulder, Ahsha gasped, “Deeper.” Not able to deny his wife of pleasure, Derek rotated his hips granting her wish. “Argh!” Ahsha’s walls began to clench around him. He knew she was close and he didn’t know how much longer he could hold on. Slightly picking up the pace, the couple’s lips connected in another searing kiss. All their senses were heightened and the feeling of Derek’s fingers on her quivering heat sent Ahsha over the edge. She moaned into his mouth as she finally caved under his pleasure. Derek groaned as his release came shortly after, spilling his seed into her womb.

The couple crashed down to the bed in a heap of limbs, neither one of them able to move. After a few minutes, Ahsha finally curled into Derek’s side. They fell asleep to the sound of the storm. It was the first time they had slept together in years. Things were getting back to how they used to be.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you all enjoyed!

Chapter Inspiration Song: Alone Together by Daley feat. Marsha Ambrosius (Now do you see why I picked this song?)

Note: Yes, someone got up and blew out all those candles. Nobody has time for burnt weave.

BTS Hit New Peaks on World, Heatseekers Albums Charts With 'The Most Beautiful Moment in Life'

Less than two years after their debut, BTS continue to make strides on the Billboard charts, reaching new peaks and landing within the Top 10 of two separate tallies this week.

The boy band’s The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 1 album sold 2,000 copies in America, according to Nielsen Music. The effort lands them at the No. 2 on Billboard’s World Albums chart and No. 6 on Heatseekers Albums – new peaks for the boys on both charts.

BTS previously hit World Albums with Skool Luv Affair, which peaked at No. 3 on March 1, 2014, while later that year Dark&Wild also bowed at No. 3 on Sept. 6. Dark&Wild also peaked at No. 27 on Heatseekers Albums.

BTS at No. 6 on Heatseekers marks the first K-pop album to land inside the ranking’s Top 10 in 2015 so far.

The guys also make a big showing on World Digital Songs with six of the album’s nine titles bowing on the ranking. The record’s racing, lush lead single “I Need U” charts highest at No. 4. Also making bows are “Dope” (No. 11), “Hold Me Tight” (No. 12), “Boyz With Fun” (No. 13), “Converse High” (No. 15) and “Outro: Love Is Not Over” (No. 25).

Known as a K-pop group dedicated to hip-hop, The Most Beautiful Moment marks a somewhat softer moment for the band who tone down the intense and gratingly bombastic productions heard in past singles “Boy in Luv” and “War of Hormone” for a more melodic approach that still keeps their signature biting rap style in every track. That’s further demonstrated in album standouts like “Dope,” that’s sees the guys utlizing saxobeat dance breakdowns, and the feel-good funk heard on “Boyz With Fun” and “Converse High.

After performances on the West Coast last year, BTS will return stateside for their four-date Live Trilogy "Episode II: The Red Bullet” tour in July. Check out snippets of The Most Beautiful Moment below via the LP’s official preview:

cr: billboard

Phillip “Phil” Walsh
“Just a bogan from Hamilton”
15/03/1960 - 03/07/2015

A highly respected player, and person, who played for Collingwood, Richmond and the Brisbane Bears, for a combined total of 122 games. His first coaching job came at Geelong in 1996 before moving into an assistant position at the Port Adelaide Football Club in 1999, where he became Mark William’s right-hand man, becoming an integral part of their historical 2004 Premiership win. In 2009 he moved to West Coast as an assistant before returning to Port for the 2014 season. On October 7th 2014, Walsh was appointed head coach of the Adelaide Crows where he coached them to 7 wins from 12 games this season until his death early Friday morning.

“I just thought he was going to be a super coach. If he spent the rest of his career as an assistant coach, he wouldn’t be fulfilling his talent. I know that I’m right in saying that. I said as recently as last week — ‘we’ve got a premiership coach here’” - Mark Ricciuto

Rest in Peace, Walshy ♥

4

WNTRRR C∀MP is a 16 page, A7(ish) size zine. Full colour with an edition of 10, and 1 colour xerox on cream card-stock with an edition of 30. Hand numbered on the back.

WNTRRR C∀MP was created in one day upon my return from the west coast. I got home to frozen rivers, a layer of snow on the ground, a cold apartment and winter starting to take chunks out of my guts. These 16 mini illustrations represent an alternate reality and escape on the shortest, coldest day, with the least in me left to give.

WNTRRR C∀MP comes with stickers!!

Full colour zine – $5

One colour Xerox zine – $4

Thank you for looking!

<3 <3 <3

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Hey Overwatch fam, 

I wanted to link the 3 Part Docu series that Gamespot filmed about the creation of Overwatch. Each episode is about ~20 mins long, so a full hour of amazing insight on the creation of this game. The amount of detail / homages paid to 90s shooters really made me feel inspired by the Dev team. The last part has some great talk about the ideas behind their heroes. It’s a great watch, and helps hold you over until the game drops! (2DAYS AND 3 HOURS FOR ME IN THE WEST COAST! AHHH!)

Enjoy! ⊂(▀¯▀⊂)

“Frozen” coming to DCA -  Having the Unpopular Opinion

So, I’m obviously not from California, and the last time I saw the “Aladdin” show was 10 years ago. However, I’m okay with “Frozen” going into the Hyperion at Disney’s California Adventure. Yes, the amount of “Frozen” in the parks on both coasts is excessive. However, this live show going in at the Hyperion brings up the possibility of them 1. closing the Sing-Along in the theater where Muppet•Vision used to be, and 2. closing the “Frozen” storytelling show at Disneyland which would lead to 3. returning the parks on the west coast to a somewhat “normal” state. Also, from what I understand, this show going in at DCA has been in development since 2013, before all the hype even started. On top of that, this would be a “Frozen” production with a legitimate budget and actual live singing. It would be a thoroughly detailed “Broadway-style” musical rather than a hastily-put together show to sell park tickets. There’s more care being put into the production of this show than with “Frozen”’s other in-park appearances. With “Aladdin” now playing on Broadway and possibly getting a National Tour before too long, I don’t find it surprising that the show is closing. It’s something that many fans have enjoyed over the years, and I get that. However, shows close to make way for new shows. It’s a way of life. “Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular” will be missed, but it’s in great company with the multitude of other great Disney Parks shows that have closed. 

yosemite falls. merced river. yosemite. california …, by tannerwendell

yosemite falls. merced river. yosemite. california. #visitcalifornia I spent an amazing 5 days shooting with @scottcbakken in Northern California. We got some insane conditions during the storm that hit the west coast. Fall colors and a glorious return of the waterfalls!

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Lana del Rey returns with pure magic on her lead single ’West Coast’, lifted from her highly anticipated sophomore effort Ultraviolence out soon. Leaning towards the Paradise cut of her Born to Die debut, the Dan Auerbach produced single floats between two vibes as LDR’s enigmatic vocals pervade the sombre yet light soundscape. Down on the West Coast / They got a sayin’…