Affairs of the Heart
Written by Jayson Colin Vascardi
Legal Disclaimer: This story is fictional and not meant to reflect upon or imply anything about any of the celebrities mentioned herein. If you are offended by material of a homosexual nature, or if such material is illegal to view in your area, then you should be leaving now. Otherwise, please enjoy the story.
Please include "Affairs" in the email subject line. All emails will be answered.
The Last Will and Testament of Donald Preston Smith was read, and his estate was divided up among his surviving family members, and three charitable organizations: The Association for Children and the Enforcement of Support (ACES), St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and Middlebury College. The latter donation to start and maintain the Katherine Winthrop-Smith Memorial Scholarship.
Kevin and Brian talk, and then Jordan and Jeremy start crying and Kevin leaves to go tend to them. During the course of their conversation, Kevin's sexuality is called into question in Brian's mind.
Late at night, as the midnight bells of the local church are ringing, a mysterious woman dressed in black appears at the cemetery and lays a single red rose on Donald's grave, and sobs for awhile. She then looks up at the moon for a moment, and then westward were the twin towers of the replica of Notre Dame wing of the Smith Mansion rise up into the night sky, and softly replies, "I'm back..."
"I'm back. They all think I'm dead," replies the woman softly, "But soon enough, they will know that I am very much alive. I just had to wait for the right time to come back, and now that Donald is dead, now is the perfect time."
The woman pulls her hood a little tighter around her face, as it is a bit chilly in the night air, and walks back down the gravel path, to her completely restored classic car, a silver 1915 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Diana Smith sits alone in the library of the Smith mansion, looking through an old leather-bound photo album. As she looks through the old photos, small tears run down her cheeks. She never thought that at eighteen years old she would be an orphan. Technically, she's not an orphan, but with both of her parents dead, she certainly feels like one. Despite having at this point talked to her father's doctor, and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that her father had been born with a bad heart, she still can't believe that he's gone.
Diana turns a page in the album and comes to a picture from Donald and Katherine's wedding, well, vow renewal ceremony. Originally, Donald and Katherine couldn't afford a big fancy wedding, and they got married in a very simple, less expensive ceremony at City Hall. Katherine Winthrop did come from money, her father and grandfather were both very wealthy stockbrokers, but Katherine was disowned and literally thrown out of the house and the family at the age of 16 when her 14-year-old boyfriend, Donald Smith, impregnated her with Ashley and Zachary.
It would not be an understatement to say that when she was first disowned, it took Katherine quite a bit of time to adjust to the life of being dirt poor. Donald worked three jobs just to keep food on the table and clothes on the backs of his family, while Katherine stayed at home, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her two sons. During it all, Katherine never complained, but deep down, her being thrown out of the house at such a young age, and having her family turn their backs on her like she was never even born, left incredibly large scars, that she never let anyone know they even existed. She wasn't completely disowned of course, her mother and her younger brother Brad secretly visited her regularly, but it was still very painful to her for the rest of the family to do to her what they did.
A few years later, Donald began to hit it big, and soon he had begun to amass quite a large fortune, and eventually formed Smith Industries, Incorporated. Strangely enough the very first company that was acquired by Smith Industries, was none other than Thomas A. Winthrop and Son Investment Services, much to the displeasure of Thomas and Richard Winthrop, Katherine's grandfather and father, respectively. They didn't actually sell the company to Donald, instead it was acquired in a hostile take over. Katherine was of course very happy that Donald had acquired it, because in a sense, it was pay back for what they had done to her.
Diana turns the page, and the tears in her eyes grow even more, as she sees a family picture that had been taken just two weeks before Katherine died. In the picture, Katherine is sitting in a chair with Donald standing behind her. Ashley and Zachary stand on either side of her, and baby Diana, only one year old at the time, lies safe and comfortable in her mother's arms. They were all so happy that day, and none of them would have ever suspected in a million years that their mother would be dead only two weeks later. Diana was of course to young to remember anything from that time, but she knows what had happened to her from what Donald had told Ashley, Zachary, and her once they got a bit older.
Katherine Winthrop-Smith often drove up to the family cottage in Northern Vermont for the weekends. She liked to have some time alone from time to time, so she would drive up to the cottage and spend the weekend in solitude. Well, two weeks after the family picture was taken, the police came to the Smith Mansion in Middlebury, and sadly informed Donald Smith that there had been a fire at the family cottage, and that Katherine was dead. Katherine Winthrop-Smith's body had been burned beyond recognition, and the only way that she could be identified was through her dental records. The cause of the fire was quite obvious. Katherine had been reading in bed, and fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand.
Diana is brought out of her thoughts when a hand falls on her shoulder, and a voice replies, "Hey Diana."
"Hello, Lance," replies Diana, "Why aren't you with Brian? I thought you two were joined at the hip or something."
Lance laughs, and then replies, "Well, normally we are. But, Brian wanted to talk to Kevin alone for a few minutes, so I left them alone."
"Ah," replies Diana, "So, what's being with Brian like? He makes you happy I assume? And if this is too personal, just say so."
"No, I don't mind. Brian is a great guy, a great friend, a great lover, and of course a great kisser," replies Lance, with a grin, as Diana grins too, "And he makes me immensely happy."
"That's cool. Okay, now this may seem a little out of the blue here," replies Diana, "But do you happen to know if Justin is gay?"
"Well, Brian and I, as well as Nick and JC, are sure that he is," replies Lance, "But he's never confirmed or denied that fact. Why do you ask?"
"Well, you've met Seth and Bruce, right?"
"Well, I don't know if you knew this or not, but Seth and Bruce are Ashley's ex-boyfriends," replies Diana, "And when I say ex-boyfriends I mean that Ashley dated them both at the same time for five years."
"Yikes. Did they know about it?"
"Yeah, they did. Seth and Bruce are weird because they always go out with the same guy," replies Diana, "They've never dated separate people. All of their relationships are threesomes."
"Wait, are you saying that Seth and Bruce like Justin?"
"You're very perceptive, Lance," replies Diana, "Well, I know that Bruce worships the ground that Justin walks on. But, I'm not so sure about Seth. That's why I asked if Justin was gay, because I think its time that Seth and Bruce find a new boyfriend."
"Well, I'll talk to Justin and see if I can get him to tell me one way or the other."
"Okay, but don't mention why for now," replies Diana, "That is to say don't mention the fact that if he were to agree to go out with Bruce, that he'd also have to go out with Seth. It might scare him away. I suppose I could be wrong, but I think those three would be perfect for each other."
"Yeah, you could be right, Diana," replies Lance, "You could be right."
"Here you are Mr. Richardson," replies Mrs. Lansbury with a smile as she hands him two baby bottles, "I've warmed and tested the milk and it should be just right."
"Thank you, Mrs. Lansbury," says Kevin with a smile as he takes one of the bottles from her, "Um, would you mind feeding Jeremy?"
"Of course, no problem, Mr. Richardson," replies Mrs. Lansbury with a smile as she picks up Jeremy from his basinet and holds the bottle of milk to his lips.
"You're very good with children," replies Kevin, as he notices the caring and gentle way that Mrs. Lansbury is caring for and feeding Jeremy.
"Well, it comes from experience," replies Mrs. Lansbury, "And I've had a lot of it."
"With your grand-children?"
"Yes. And my great-grandchildren, and my great-great-grandchildren."
"What? You're a great-great-grandmother? How old are you if you don't my asking?"
"I'm 71," replies Mrs. Lansbury with a smile, as she notices the questioning look on Kevin's face, obviously not understanding how a 71-year-old woman could be a great-great-grandmother, "Perhaps I should explain?"
"Okay, well I had my daughter when I was 16. She got pregnant and gave me a grandchild when she was 16, so I was a grandmother at 32. Then 18 years later, my grandson and his wife had twins. So I was a great-grandmother at 50. And then 20 years later, my great-grandson Sean's wife had quintuplets. So I've been a great-great-grandma for a year now."
"Wow. You certainly have had experience with babies. Perhaps you can give me some tips then, cause I'm really very new at this," replies Kevin, "Being the youngest of three, I never had the chance to take care of a younger sibling. I helped a little with Brian, but I was only 3 when he was born, so I couldn't really do much."
"It would be my pleasure to help you, Master Kevin."
"Um, I know that you only say that to convey respect, but could you please drop the Master? It makes me kinda uncomfortable."
"Yes, sir," replies Mrs. Lansbury as she puts Jeremy's head on her shoulder and pats his back as she burps him.
The tower bells in the Notre Dame wing of the Smith Mansion begin ringing at precisely midnight, as they do every night. Donald Smith had originally considered having the bells programmed to ring every hour on the hour, as well as half past the hour, but decided against it. He figured that it would bother the family a little too much to have the massive bells ringing that much, so they were programmed to ring every six hours, at midnight, six in the morning, noon, and six at night.
As the tower bells ring for the twelfth time, the wrought iron gates of the Smith Mansion's Northeastern Gate open, and an old silver car, a Rolls-Royce, drives in. The Northeastern Gate is at the far northeastern corner of the estate, and has not been used for several years, probably due to the fact that the Northeastern Gate is a total of twenty-three miles away from the main house. The family always uses the Western Gate, since the main house is only a mile and a half away from it. But the fact that the Northeastern Gate is so far from the main house is exactly why the driver of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost decided to use it. The last thing she wants right now is for someone up at the main house to see her or her car. She can only hope that the estate security won't notice that the gates had been opened and come to investigate.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost comes to a stop in back of the old foreman's house, which had originally been built for the stables-master's family to live in, but they later chose to live in the very comfortable loft rooms above the stables, since it was closer. As she had hoped, the foreman's house wasn't occupied by anyone, and her key still worked. The mysterious woman in black hurriedly enters the foreman's house and closes the door. Once in, she removes her heavy fur-lined black cloak, and crosses the living room to start a fire in the fireplace, but then decides against it.
"No, that would be a mistake," replies the woman to herself, "The last thing I need is for security to notice the smoke coming from the chimney and coming around here to investigate. It's not yet time for the people at the main house to know that I am alive and well, so for now, they must continue to think that I am dead."
The mysterious woman in black is quite a strikingly beautiful woman. She has creamy white skin, with very long hair as black as ebony with blonde streaks. The woman stands about five feet eight inches and has a very voluptuous build. Her violet eyes are like two amethysts sparkling in the sun. Of course all of her beauty is not natural. The years have not been particularly kind to her, and she has had to have massive plastic surgery to restore her previous beauty. While she is not very old, only in her early 40's, her skin had started to wrinkle quite severely and her hair turn gray. This is probably because of the stress that she has been under for the last seventeen years as she has been living under a false identity.
Seventeen years ago, the mysterious woman in black was forced to fake her death, and assume a new identity. Her new identity is that of Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra de Montferrat, the wife of Prince Christian de Montferrat, the ruler of a small island kingdom in the Caribbean. Her family, that is to say her father and everyone else other then her mother and younger brother, had disowned her several years beforehand, when she got pregnant at a very young age. So when the chance to get her family back arose, she jumped at it. Her mother was already dead at this point, and her younger brother wasn't told about the plan. So he, like her husband and children, were quite distraught when they found out she was dead.
A memorial service was held, which incidentally, the mysterious woman in black attended, even though it was supposed to be for her. Of course, this had all been planned, and the woman who died wasn't the woman everyone thought it was. The mysterious woman in black's grandfather used his money and influence to have his grand-daughter's dental records changed so that the teeth would match those of a vagrant who had been found living on his property without his permission. It was this vagrant woman who was poisoned with strychnine, and then placed on the bed in a small family cottage, a book and a lit cigarette placed in her hands. The body was burned beyond recognition, and it was assumed that the fire was the cause of death, so nobody ever thought to check for poison.
The mysterious woman in black is of course none other than Katherine Winthrop-Smith, the wife of the late Donald Preston Smith, and the mother of Ashley, Zachary, and Diana Smith. She had always been very deeply hurt by her family disowning her at 16, so when the chance to restore her relationship with her grandfather and her father presented itself, she didn't hesitate. While it is true that she has to an extent regretted that decision, because she deeply loved her husband and her children, the scars left by her family disowning her were so deep, that if she hadn't gone along with her grandfather's plan, she likely would have died of depression.
Donald and the children never knew that Katherine was depressed, because she hid it from them, but that is the reason why she often spent the weekends alone in the Smith family cottage, because she needed time to be alone. Time when she could just let all her feelings out and sob without having to worry about her family finding out that she was so depressed.
Now that Donald Smith is dead, Katherine who couldn't face Donald, considering that she had remarried another man, while she was technically still married to Donald, desperately wants to see her children. She wants her children to know that she is alive and well, and that they have a few siblings, royal-blooded siblings, that they don't know about. She also came back because she has been hearing some rumors in the press that her son, Ashley, is gay. Katherine wants to know for sure whether or not he is, and if those rumors turn out to be true, Katherine Winthrop-Smith will not be a happy woman...
To be continued...
Well, there it is, Part 12. I hope that you enjoyed it. So the mysterious woman in black is Katherine. How will Ashley, Zachary and Diana react when they find out that there mother is alive? What will Katherine do when she finds out the truth, that not only is Ashley gay, but Zachary is as well? Stay tuned! All this and more is coming soon to Affairs of the Heart. Until next time, stay *NSYNC.
Please include "Affairs" in the email subject line. All emails will be answered.