The town seems like any other town. Simple, quiet on the exterior but digging beyond the surface will reveal a whole new world of deception, lies, and most of all, power. This is where the rich come to raise their families. But they all have their dirty little secrets. Isolating themselves from the rest of the world is the norm here, weeding out the 'bad seeds'. The children are raised with a sense of 'being privileged' and their parents encourage this. They go to private universities where they are taught to rule the world.
But there is one little problem...
The government says they have to allow a certain number of scholarships every year to the underprivileged kids or risk the closure of their schools. On the far end of town lives the poor, the down-trodden, and the downright scum of the earth, or, at least, that is how the upper class sees them. Mana Marrow tries to hide this embarrassment in their town but now, with the government intervening, they will have to allow some of these young adults to mix with their own precious, spoiled, and pampered offspring. The town comes together to form 'The Hetaireia', a secret society for the Elite, and figures out a way to make this work in their favor, however, and soon the lucky chosen underprivileged youth begin their university studies only to find that all is not as it seems. A hierarchy is born and they find themselves at the bottom rung, treated as less than second class citizens.
Will you be one of the privileged students that seem to rule the schools?
Or will you be one of the poor, who struggle for the acceptance that they may never find?
Or maybe you will be an adult, working in the town, the schools, or at the factory that supplies jobs for little pay and hard labor?
The choice is yours, so choose wisely!
1) A level or class to which people are assigned according to their social status, education, or income.
2) A group into which members of a population are divided in stratified sampling.
Mana A word found in Austronesian languages meaning "power, effectiveness, prestige", where in most cases the power is understood to be supernatural.
1) Meaning 'Secret Society' in Latin.
2) A term in ancient greek for a corps of bodyguards during the Byzantine Empire. It means "the Company".
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PERMALINK // Nov 13 2017, 01:13 PM
Luca had called Max from home right before leaving for the hospital. Of course he'd gotten his voicemail. Probably too busy in bed with someone or other. Luca was furious but tried to stay calm for Robyn's sake and instead of saying what he really wanted to he just left a frantic message that Robbie was sick and to meet them at the hospital.
Now he was sitting in a room with the boy and he looked so small in the big bed, almost as pale as the white sheets he was laying on. Luca sat in a chair next to the bed holding Robyn's hand and looking anxious as he waited for Max and the doctor. They wouldn't even treat him until Max came because Luca wasn't his legal guardian. Well, he was going to make damn sure to fix that! If he was going to be the boy's nanny, Max was just going to have to sign papers to allow Luca to have him treated in cases of emergencies and he wasn't taking no for an answer!
But he could worry about all that later. Right now the important thing was Robyn. Damnit, what was taking Max so long to get there? "It's okay, Robbie. The doctors are going to make you feel all better. And don't worry about your dad, I'll handle him, okay?" He gave the boy's hand a reassuring squeeze.
PERMALINK // Nov 13 2017, 08:22 PM
In order to understand what was going on, Robyn would have to be older. He had to be around sixteen, which was an age that sometimes his dad thought he was. But He was four years old. He didn't understand that sometimes grown ups have lives and that they go out. He doesn't understand his father's world. He doesn't understand Luca's world. He understands that whatever he asks for he is going to get. He understands that there are cooks, maids and nannies. He understands it and thinks of it as normal but then when he goes to school and sees other daddies there or mommies... he doesn't understand it.
He understands that he doesn't fit in his father's world. So, Robyn fills his voids with stories, books, and fantasy game. He fills his times alone in a big house with imaginary friends, made-up games and make-believe monsters. He eats cereal and watches cartoons and if a new toy appears and he wants it, he knows all he needs to do is to ask for it, but he often gets bored with is because he doesn't have other children to socialize with except for the ones at school and he doesn't take his toys there because teacher doesn't let them. Robyn feels secure at school. He has stability. He has rules and shapes, he has other children, he interacts. He fills voids. Robyn actually likes school.
But school doesn't last forever, does it?
So, he decided he was going to be a pirate. He had read in a book that pirates don't need anyone and they're tough and they are comrades. Plus, Portugal seems interesting. He was in the hospital because he failed going to Portugal. He almost drowned trying. And the water was freezing and then Luca was there and Luca drove him to the hospital and then when they got to the hospital, he was placed in a bed and was rushed to make him feel better. And Luca was there... because daddy pays him to be there. The first day Robyn met Luca, the older boy was upset because he was late for a date. Robyn never opened up to him from that point on.
Robyn understands that if he wasn't paid for it, Luca wouldn't be there.
The little boy turned to see Luca. The young man was holding his hand and he had taken him out of the lake. Robyn still felt achy and cold. They gave him emergency care, they couldn't just leave him freeze; they administered fluids, kept him warm and were monitoring his heart, lungs and brain because he had lost conciousness. Robyn feared the worst was to come: they had to call daddy from his busy schedule and he wasn't going to be happy.
"Luca, can we go home?" he asked. "I don't want to bug daddy... I feel okay now...honest... I'll be good, I promise..." the boy's eyes started to water.
PERMALINK // Nov 13 2017, 08:58 PM
my son & my lover
i'm a hazard
Yes, Maximilian's phone had gone straight to voicemail. Yes, he'd been busy in bed with someone. But, fuck, when he'd seen that Luca had left him a voicemail - he'd given Luca explicit instructions not to bother him like that unless it was a genuine emergency - and when he'd heard the voicemail, yeah, sorry random chick but this was important. More important than you.
He'd driven all the way down to the hospital, demanded the location of his son and the boy's current guardian in a slightly less than polite manner, and then stormed into the room he was directed to. Sure, it hadn't been as fast as it could have been, but it had been as fast as Maximilian could make it and that was the important thing, right? The important thing was getting to his son right now. That was the only thing that mattered and, seeing Robyn lying in the bed like that, looking all small and pale and still sick, he couldn't help but frown, moving over to the bed and pushing past Luca. He'd deal with him later.
"Robbie? Angel, are you okay?" he questioned, leaning in and kissing his son on the forehead. Gosh, he was cold. So cold. "They're going to fix everything for you, don't worry. They're going to fix everything. I promise. Otherwise Daddy's going to have everyone in the hospital fired." Maximilian gave him what he hoped was a reassuring smile, and then turned to Luca. He was not happy with him right now but he wasn't going to go off at him in front of Robyn right now.
PERMALINK // Nov 13 2017, 09:58 PM
Luca tried his best to keep Robyn as comfortable as possible while he watched over him worriedly. He was still shivering himself and the doctor tried insisting he look Luca over as well but he refused to leave Robbie's side for even a moment. Gosh, how he hated Max in that moment! Luca wasn't even his father and yet he would give up everything to know that he was going to be okay. He knew Robbie didn't like him much but he didn't really blame the boy. They'd had a rough start and since then things had just gone downhill. But he blamed Max, not Robyn. And despite the boy's feelings for Luca he had grown to care a great deal for him.
Hearing Robbie's words had his chest tightening as he watched the tears form in his eyes. He reached his other hand over to brush his bangs from his forehead before replying. "Robbie, everything is going to be okay, I promise. You let me handle your dad while you just work on getting better. What you did out there can never happen again, but it wasn't your fault, okay? No one is mad at you." No. It was Max's fault. And Luca was going to make sure he damn well knew it too!
What was taking so long anyway? Max should have been here by now. He heard some yelling coming from the hallway just then. Ah! Here he is now, bullying his way as usual. So Luca wasn't surprised when Max came barreling in and pushed past him, but Luca kept a grip on Robbie's hand anyway. His other hand was balled into a fist and his jaw clenched tight but he was determined not to do this in front of Robbie.
He waited for Max to greet his son, rolling his eyes at the threat to the staff, and then Max was turning to him. He was expecting it, knew he'd be pinned with the blame, but right now he didn't care. His teeth still clenched he tried to keep his voice as calm as possible for Robbie's sake. "Your son ran away from home and took the rowboat out by himself and nearly drowned because... You. Weren't. There." He knew what Max had been doing, he could smell it on him a mile away which only had Luca even more furious.
PERMALINK // Nov 13 2017, 10:19 PM
Robyn heard his dad's voice and he wanted to hide. It was panic. Luca had used a very soothing language that Robyn almost believed him when he said things were going to be okay, but then his dad came, guns -a-blazing, threatening everyone at that hospital and even telling him he was going to get people fired. Robyn remembered how he once told him that he didn't liked that morning's breakfast and the next thing he knew, Robyn had a new cook and he really didn't like how the new cook cooked, but he felt so bad for the other one that he didn't tell anything about the new one. But that was the kind of power his dad had and Robyn knew it. So, he just shook his head.
"It wasn't his fault!" he said, sitting up. Daddy was going to fire Luca and Luca had been nice enough to bring him here. Robyn had a good heart still, so he could forgive easily given the right light on things. Luca was persistant, you got to give him that. Robyn just was stubborn and didn't want to admit he actually liked him until now. "I wanted to be a pirate and I wanted to go to Portugal... " he started to sob "and-and-and I thought.. I thought you-you wouldn't notice.. and that you would be happy to get rid of me... so I-I-I sneaked out... and I.. I took the boat... and I fell into the lake.. and Luca saved me.. and it's not his fault!" he was now all water works and so upset that the machine started to go BEEP BEEP BEEP because Robyn was certain his dad would punish him now...
PERMALINK // Nov 14 2017, 12:05 PM
my son & my lover
i'm a hazard
"Because I wasn't there?" Maximilian questioned, raising an eyebrow. He hardly believed that. There'd been plenty of times when he hadn't been home and Robbie had gotten by just fine so why should this have been any different? "I told you I was busy today and it was your job to look after him. So why the hell weren't you watching him, huh?" He frowned, not in the mood to have this conversation with Luca right now when Robyn was in the state that he was in. Sometimes, there were bigger priorities. "At least you saved him. Thank God you managed to save him. I don't know what I'd do if you hadn't."
At Robyn's concern he turned back to his son. "Hey, hey, Robbie, it's okay. He's not going to get fired. Luca's going to stay with us." Unfortunately, it didn't look like any attempt at calming him so far was working because the boy was now getting so upset that he machine he was currently attached to had started to go haywire. Maximilian wasn't really sure what to do - somewhat ironically since not knowing how to parent was half the reason they were in this situation in the first place - but he reached over to where Luca had his hand on Robyn's and placed his on top of the both of theirs.
"Robbie, I love you and of course I'd notice if you just disappeared. I'd never want to get rid of you, never. If you want to go to Portugal, Daddy will take you to Portugal. Luca can come too, if you like. But, Robbie, you can't ever run away like that again, okay? Promise?"
PERMALINK // Nov 14 2017, 09:26 PM
"Yes! Because you're never there!" Luca was about to say more but hearing Robyn's voice reminded him that he probably shouldn't be having this conversation in front of him so he quickly closed his mouth. Later though... Max was going to hear what he had to say like it or not! Turning his attention to Robbie his expression changed from anger to shock, and then his eyes softened. "Shhh, Robbie. It wasn't your fault, okay? Don't get yourself worked up, just relax. I'm not going anywhere." Not if he could help it anyway. Someone had to look after the boy and it sure wasn't gonna be Max! He still couldn't believe the boy had stuck up for him. He hated Luca! And quite honestly this would have been his perfect opportunity to get rid of him for good.
Max's little speech was all very touching, even going as far as placing his hand over theirs while he tried to reassure Robbie, but Luca wasn't buying it. He could say anything he'd like but until Luca actually saw him acting more like a father, they were just words to him. He could tell Max was struggling with what he should be doing and with a soft sigh he decided to cut him a break. Nodding towards the chair on the other side of the bed he then looked back at Max. "Why don't you go sit by your son and hold his other hand. It mght help him feel less stressed."
PERMALINK // Nov 14 2017, 10:01 PM
It really wasn't about Portugal, but there weren't words that Robyn could say to explain it. It was hard. It was tangled. It was mixed up emotions like fruit loops with milk that start losing their colors. He heard the machine and got scared, and the more scared he got, the more that machine started beeping and then a nurse came to see what was going on.
Robyn calmed down after they told him he was doing okay. He was still being kept there for a few more hours under observation, because well, that's what they do when you sort of die? But Robyn was scared that once they got home, he was going to be punished. After all, teacher put him in the corner for saying the bad word the other day and she was mad. This had to be ten times worse than to call a girl an Egghead. Far worse.
He felt Luca's hand and then heard his dad say that he had to promise he wasn't going to run away again. "I promise," he said. And he felt good because for once in a very long time, his dad was paying attention to him - Robyn - and not the hour, or the phone. Was this the thing that would take for this to happen? Robyn had to wonder that. "Luca, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you worry..." and then to his dad. "I'm sorry you had to leave your meeting... I promise I won't run away again, okay?" he smiled, kind of like a peace offering.
PERMALINK // Nov 14 2017, 10:30 PM
my son & my lover
i'm a hazard
"Good boy," Maximilian answered, glad to hear the promise. He didn't want the worry of his son running away once again. Oh, gosh, he didn't want his son to start thinking that the only way he was going to be able to get attention in future was by pulling stunts like this. He'd done something similar himself in the past and, to be perfectly honest, it hadn't really been worth it in the end. Robyn didn't need to go through the same situation as he had. "And it doesn't matter that I had to leave my meeting. This was more important, you're always going to be more important than whatever else I'm doing."
With another quick and yet subtle glare towards Luca - Maximilian didn't want Robyn to see the pair of them fighting right now, not in the current circumstances - he did as the boy suggested, getting up from his seat and moving over to sit on the other side of him, taking his free hand. "And don't worry, Robbie, the doctor told me when I came in. You're going to be alright, everything's going to be alright and you'll be out of here and back home by tomorrow. Maybe all three of us can go and do something together when you're feeling completely up to it again, okay? Anything you like." Maximilian glanced up at Luca, waiting to see if he would agree with what he was suggesting. Surely, then he would at least be able to prove that he was there for his son, right?
PERMALINK // Nov 17 2017, 07:37 PM
Robyn said nothing after that. He felt sleepy and tired, and he wanted to go home. His daddy was there, and it seems that this has made him love him. Robyn wanted to feel that every day, always, and he figured that next time daddy was too busy, all he had to do was ... jump in a river... or jump from the tree house. Get in trouble. Daddy pays attention when he gets in trouble.
He sighed and closed his eyes. He really wanted a mommy now. He liked Luca, really, but one day, daddy was going to get mad a Luca and then Luca was going to leave too. Everyone leaves when daddy gets mad at them. So, Robyn figures, if Luca leaves... who is going to be there? So, his new plan was to get a new mommy. And the first one he was going to ask for that was the man who never failed to get him what he really wanted.