Chapter Fifteen- California.
That has been the only thing running in my head ever since we got off the plane. The palm trees, the hibiscus bushes and the ever gorgeous ocean, twinkling in the evening sunlight. It was just that amazing, so much so I made Cameron and Bruce promise me they'd take me to the ocean one time or another, as soon as I set my eyes on it.
Being from Australia, I've had my fair share of beaches, but that was a thing you'd never get bored of doing - like art.
But currently, we were in a limo that would take us to the Strikers house. Yep, you read that right, we were inside a limo that would take us to the Strikers house.
I knew they were rich - have you seen their cars? - I didn't realise how rich until we got out of the limo and looked at the mansion standing tall in front of us.
It was a three story building that was painted in a light sky blue and snow-white colors. the gardens were perfectly manicured and many varities of flowers littered the garden in a well-kept manner.
"You guys said house. No one bothered to mention that you two live in a mansion" I pouted, seeing as everyone but me knew this before-hand.
"That, Sydney, is because this is our house" Bruce said, ruffling my hair. He had come to the airport to pik us up and currently he had my buffle bag strapped aroung one arm and Tanias one on the other.
"Hmm..." was all I said cause I was busy checking out the exterior design. Well, I am an artist and architecture also falls in that catergory - I think. Whichever way, I've always been facinated by architecture too.
"Come on, let's go" Bruce called back to me as everyone went in leaving me to bring the rear.
I walked up slowly, still taking in the exterior designing of the house. If Cameron hadn't stayed back and pulled me inside with the others, I would have stayed outside, too busy gaping at the exterior design.
When he stepped inside the double doors, still pulling me along, my mouth hanged open at the beauty of the place.
The beige, cream and butter colored walls and tiles. The thick red carpet that led up the grand two way staircase that met on the first floor and up the straight staircase led up to the second. The warm and welcoming living room you our right with the huge fire place, leather sofa set and glass coffee table. There were servants bursting around the house, doing various work. No one payed any attention to the bunch of teenagers in the doorway.
"Wow!" Tania muttered with awe, from beside me. I looked at her to see her gaping as much as I am.
"I know right? That has been the only thing running in my head since I got out the limo" Carly said from my other-side and I grinned at her for quoting Camp Rock 2 (I can't remember that girls name).
That's right, Mr. Striker - Camerons and Bruces father - had invited Carly to California for vacation, much to Cameron's charging. Then Cameron had invited both the Carter siblins for vacation too since Bruce invited us - meaning me, Nick and Tania.
"Master Striker and Master Striker. Welcome home" a voice called, startling me as a middle-aged man came forward to greet Bruce and Cameron. He had greying hair and kind grey eyes. He was dressed in a butlers uniform and bowed slightly when he reached us.
I looked up at Cameron questioningly as the man greeted Mina and Leo as well, they must have visited here before. I hadn't even realized that he as stll holding on to my hand until I looked up at him. But he ignored me as Mina happily greeted the man as Conelious
"Con, this is Nicolas, Tania and Kissme Blake" Cameron introduced us to the man, "Guys, this is Conelious our butler" he introduced the man to us. I glared at Cameron for calling me Kissme again. I really hoped we were past this.
"Sydney, it's Sydney Blake" I told annoyedly wacking Cameron on the arm. Besides smirking at me, he didn't say anything. "Fine, be like that" I huffed irritated, and snatched my hand out of his, before sticking my nose in the air and moving to stand between Bruce and Nick. putting as much distance between me and him as I could.
"Anyways..." Bruce drawled turning the attention away from me and Cameron. "Con. Make sure to get these bags up to the correct rooms. There might be more in the trunk" he told dropping the bags on his arm to the floor.
"Indeed sir."Conelious bowed and scurried off to get someone to get our bags. Just as he left, a lady made her way over to us. She had a clipboard in her hand and a ear-thingy in her ear. she was dressed in a business suit, with pointy black heels.
"Good, you're on time" she said looking at her wristwatch, no smile or greeting. "Mr. Striker gives his apologise that he couldn't be here to greet you all himself and that he'd meet you'll at dinner. The guest rooms are ready and..." finally she looked up from the clipboard she was reading off and a ghost of a smile graced her lips. "...Welcome home" she added to Cameron and Bruce.
"And here I was thinking that you'd be glad we are home" Cameron told cockily, moking hurt by placeing a hand over his heart.
"Yeah Nat. Loosen up a bit" Bruce added going behind her and rubbing her arm from behind. She clearly looked annoyed at what they said and wacked Bruce away with her clipboard, but you could see the affection through her action.
"Don't make me wish that you two were back in Morgantown" she threatened as Bruce jumped away from her to avoid being hit and laughing he started up the steps, beckoning us to follow.
We all followed him while Cameron stayed back, murmuring something to the lady, who's name I gathered was Natalie. Rolling her eyes she said "yeah, yeah. Just like you asked." But still Cameron seemed to be fretting out about it, whatever it was.
Bruce navigated us along the first floor hallway and showed us to our rooms. Since there were 100s of room on the first floor, all of us got a room each, cool! My room was stragetically, right in front of Nick's. As Bruce showed me to my room he said "too bad you'll never actually sleep in it"
I looked up at him puzzeled, wondering why I wouldn't sleep in my room.
"You sleep with Nick right? That is why I made certain that Nick's rom was right in front of yours." he told me ruffling my hair. I gave him a sheepish smile, before I threw my arms around him saying 'thankyou, thankyou, thankyou'. "Anytime Sydney" he chuckled before leaving me to unpack and leaving. It was really sweet of him though, even if I had no idea how he knew that I couldn't sleep without my brother. I have a feeling he knew this long before he even met me.
I mean, I text Nick every so often when he's not at home by 10, because I couldn't sleep without him. So if he's out with Bruce, he'd obviously have told them why I was filling his inbox with messages.
That's when I looked at my room - if you could even call it that, it looked like a suite - properly and gasped at what I saw.
My room was done in a beige and dark purple color - I think it was just a coincidence I got a room with my favorite color. The bedspreads, duvet, pillows, curtains and even the huge fluffy carpet that covered the floor were purple colored too. The bed was thrice as big as mine - back at home - and looked so comfortable that it took all my will power to not curl up and sleep. There was an aisle where I could sketch and draw right beside the floor length mirror that had a breath-taking view of the ocean. Then there was a dressing table, wardrobe - twice as big as mine - and an attached bathroom. It was an en suite, need I tell more?
The thing that attracted me the most was the view out the window and I found myself drawn to it. Throwing open the window - thankfully it wasn't sealed shut - I peered outside, taking in the beauty of the ocean, gleaming in the evening sun. The salty breeze blew my hair away from my face as I took as beep breath of fresh air.
That felt good. Really, really good.
I set my mind, then and there, that I would do a paintng of this view... after I unpack, I thought wryly as looked back in to see my untouched bags by the door - exactly where Bruce had left them.
Sighing I moved away from the window, to unpack and take a wash because there was time until dinner. I only managed to get half way through... Okay, not even half-way through, when boredom got the better of me, but seeing as there was only a few minites for dinner to start - and I had to find the dinning room - I decided that I'd just take a wash and put the unpacking for after dinner.
Taking a nice long lavander, bubble bath in the jacuzzi tub, I dried myself off before heading out to the room with a towel wrapped around my head. I dressed into a white tank top and a grey hoodie, paired with an old pair of jeans. Blow-drying my hair I tied it up in two pigtails and pulling on a pair of flats, I left the room.
I met up with Carly and Mina on the hallway and thankfully Mina knew the way since she had been here before. We met up with Leo and Cameron on the ground floor on out way to the dinning room and I made a point of ignoring Cameron.
I was still pissed about the whole 'kissme' thing. he didn't have to be so mean, did he?
At first he didn't think too much of it. It wasn't until we entered the dinning room and he pulled out a chair for me and I purposfully sat on the other chair that he realized that I was giving him the silent treatment.
"Woah, woah, woah, wait - you're not mad at me are you?" Cameron asked me sounding surprised, when I purposely didn't sit on the chair he pulled out for me..
Huffing, I turned my head away, sticking my nose in the air angrily.
"Aww... Come on, you know that whatever I did, I was only just messing around" he cooed as he circled around, so that I was now faceing him. Giving him a blank look, I turned away again, this time crossing my hand over my chest. Glaring at nothing in particullar.
Leo, Carly and Mina were looking at us like watching a movie or something and none of them bothered to help. Some friends they were.
"I'll promise I'll make it up to you, ifyou tell me what I did" he pleade as he took the seat he had pulled out as Nick and Bruce joined us and now we were only waitng for their father, Mr. Striker.
I kept my mouth sealed shut, looking down annoyedly at my plate.
"Anyone know why she's pissed with me?" he asked the others since I was dead-set on not talking to him.
Mostly everyone shrugged, it was Nick who answered Cameron. "She's pissed with you because you introduced her as kissme" he told Cameron boredly. Unlike the others, he and Bruce weren't looking at us like watching a movie.
"Oh!" Cameron said clearly not expecting that answer. he must've thought of somethng worser, because he was clearly surprised that I was mad at him for such a small thing. "Aww... Sydney, but I thought we were friends, can't I call you nicknames?" he asked me, wrapping his around my shoulder and leaning onto me.
Shooting him an unimpressed glare, I removed his hand from around me and dropped it.
"She hates that name - when you call it" Carly snorted looking smug and I grinned up at her for hitting jackpot. It's not the name that's the problem, or even the person who says it. No my problem is, when he calls me 'kissme' it used to be to annoy me and the reason I got so annoyed is because it felt like something a boyfriend would say and I most certainly didn't need to remember my ex, who I'm finally starting to forget. That's the reason I hate it when he calls me 'kissme'.
"I promise to never call you that come, on speak" he pleaded after shooting Carly a scowl. Pouting, I shook my head, not dropping the silent treatment.
Before he could plead anymore, Mr Striker entered the dinning room with Natalia in tow. He was a smart man in his thirties, but age hadn't made him lose his handsomeness. He looked just like and elder version of Cameron and Bruce, only without the bottle green eyes. His were a stormy gray color. He was dressed in a business suite, that told he just came back from work
"Good evening kids, I hope I didn't keep you kids from dinner for long." he called as he took his seat at the head of the looong dinning table. Now I can tell where Cameron and Bruce got there humour from. Once we were all introduced and done with our greetings, he turning to Natalia asking her to join us.
"You're eating" Bruce announced before she could decline and getting up pushed her gently into an available chair. Besised shooting Bruce a death glare, she didn't protest - at all.
Then dinner as served in courses, as we made small talk and laughed around. Surprisingly enough, Natalia could he quite easy to get along with once you gat used to her. She talked and laughed with us after a few minites into Mr.Striker's story - not about Cameron or Bruce, it was about some party he attended.
Half-way through dinner we got onto the reaon why I was here in the first place.
"So Sydney, Bruce told me that you had some paintings done?" Mr.Striker- or rather Eric, as he asked us to call him - asked me, looking really interested.
"Yeah! Though don't ask me to show them to you cas I gave them to Bruce and haven't seen them since" I told him nodding my head, I smiled to show that I was only joking about the last part.
laughing Bruce said, "No worries, I put the on cargo, so they'd be here by tommorow"
"Good, good." he told distractedly. "Now, about how many painting do you already have?" he asked me raising an eyebrow.
I frowned, trying to remember, but in all honesty I never would cas I keep mixing them up with my sketches and the number gets mixed up.
"About 10, because, as Sydney said 'theres nothing too inspiring in Morgantown', right Sydney?" Bruce saved me from answering, winking at me. Chuckling I said "Of course."
The last few weeks I spent travelling from town to town with Cameron. There were intresting things to draw in Morgantown if you looked carefully enough, so Cameron drove me around. But even so there was very little sceneries. There were times when small things could he exaggerated into something more, but that rarely ever happens.
That didnt mean I hadnt got anything. There were those painting of farms from that time me and Cameron had taken the train to Suncrest. Then there was the painting of the West side of the Monongahela river, from First Ward, and the Decerks Creek, when we went to South Park.
Since Bruce asked to add the ones of the kids in the sandbox and the constalation and the sun setting into the water. The one of the lake I had to re-paint. As some other old ones. There had been a sketch of cheerleaders in the pyramid position, from my old school, back in australia. Bruce had asked me to add that too, but to leave it as a sketch since the painting of it wasn't coming out right - it brought back unwanted memories, so I couldn't concerntrate.
Anyway, after dinner Mr.Striker bid us a goodnight and went on his way. Since the rest of us were tired as well, we bid each other goodnight as well and got back to our rooms. Actually, Bruce pulled Nick and went somewhere and I haven't seen Cameron since dinner.
So bidding the girls and Leo a goodnight I want into my room with the intention of unpacking. It didn't take long for boredom to find me again and the window looked too inviting - to paint. Putting unpacking to later, I pulled out my sketch book and carried the aisle to the window.
I was trying to find the perfect angle to sketch - a rough draft before I paint it - when someone knocked loudly on my door.
"Come in!" I yelled, not looking away from the window as I skipped around, dragging the aisle with my sketch pad, to find the perfect angle.
"Sydney?" I heard a confused voice ask as Cameron stepped into the room. I only hummed in responce too caught up to look away. From my peripheral vision I could see Cameron looking around my room until his eyes landed on my messy, unpacked bags, before they slowly trailed up to my back. "What are you doing?" he asked as he carefully stepped into the room seeing me skipping from one end of the window to the other,dragging an aisle.
"Trying to find the perfect angle" I murmured to him, not looking up as I eyed the window suspiciously, cocking my head from one side to the other.
"Are you trying to sketch?" he asked me sounding taken back. My only responce was nodding my head. "Have you started yet?" he asked me all excitedly and I finally looked at him skeptically.
"I thought I already told you I'm trying to find the perfect angle to sketch" I told him, crossing my hand over my chest, as I glared at him, forgetting that I was giving him the silent treatment for calling me 'kissme'
"Great! Then come with me. I'll show you the perfect angle" he grinned as he grabbed my sketch book from the aisle and my elbow with the other hand and led me out of the room. Curiosity got the better of me, that's the reason I let him drag me without fighting - cas I was supposed to he giving him the silent treatment.
He led me up the second floor staircase and then up to the attic. Once there he opened the attic window and led me out to the roof. There was only a small flat part in the roof where we could stand, but the view was definitly worth it. It was spectacullar, even better than the one on my room.
I sucked in a deep breath, as my eyes widened trying to take in every detail into my memory. "It's beautiful" I murmured to Cameron, not tearing my eyes away from the sea miles in front of us, glowing in the moonlight.
"Not as beautiful as you" he whispered and I whipped around to face him asking "what?"
"It really is beautiful" he repeated with an easy smile, so I must have miss-heard. "So apology accepted?" he asked me looking pleading.
I looked at him confused, the sea in front of us momentarily making me forgetting that I was mad at him.
"You know... for calling you 'kissme', I thought I could make it up by bringing you up here. I thought you'd like the view, since you liked the one out your window so much. I mean if it encouraged you to sketch, you must love it. I know only too well, how much you don't like to paint things that don't encourage you." he ranted looking sheepishly at the floor and not at me
"You know, a simple 'sorry' would have worked" I stated softly, cutting off his rant. Looking up at him, I smiled before adding "but thankyou for show me this. It's spectacular." Then I did something that surprised not only him but also me. I hugged him.