Chapter Nine

Dusk was sitting, legs crossed, on a large round footstool, while Zac finished explaining what it felt like to be voted Best Breakthrough.

"Okay. Next question. Not that it matters, since you insist on changing the subject. If you were on This Is Your Life, tomorrow, who could they bring out to really surprise you?"

"Well, if I could think of someone, it wouldn't really be a surprise," Isaac said, obviously racking his brain. "But I'd really like to meet like, all the people who've helped us out, or maybe someone we've met abroad."

"Aren't you going to ask me if I have a girlfriend?" Zac mused, as Dusk hummed.

"I'm not. But I'm sure people wouldn't mind knowing, so if you feel you really must share with us..."

"Um... No, that's okay."

"Hey! The sun's come out! Let's go outside!" Dusk said, jumping up and pressing her nose against a window.

They were staring at her, not quite sure how to react.

"What? Are you allergic to nature or something?"

"No... Are they coming with us?" Taylor said, gesturing towards the cameramen.

"No, I think we've had enough of them for one day. All work and no play makes Dusk a dull chick."

They headed outside, Dusk a couple of steps ahead. She dropped to her back in one movement and spread her arms.

Zac and Taylor found some twigs and broke into a spontaneous fencing match, "accidentally" smacking into Isaac, who grunted and moved, to Dusk's joy and horror, to a patch of grass beside her. She quickly sat up.

"I forgot to ask. The PR guy just told us a little about your show. How old are you?"

"A couple of months from sixteen."


"Yeah, I know what you mean... I was younger than you when I 'made it', or whatever, and I still marvel at the fact that you and your brothers are so young."

"Younger than me? How long have you been doing this?"

"About a year altogether, I think."


They sat in silence for a while, Zac's panting the only disturbance.

She glanced over at Isaac and saw that he had picked up a small daisy, and was twirling it between his fingers, watching the petals spin. She couldn't help smiling. He looked up, looked at the daisy, and smiled back.

She found herself saying that he seemed the type.

"They type who what?" he said, still grinning slightly.

She couldn't stop smiling either, even though she knew she was probably looking sheepish.

"The type to notice flowers, I guess. You're rare."

He suddenly became very preoccupied with the daisy in his hand.

No. I didn't say that. No! If he hadn't been sitting there beside her, she would have groaned. I hope he understood what I meant.

"Yeah. I like nature," he said.

Taylor, who had reached them just in time to catch the last comment, plonked down beside Dusk, followed by Zac.

"Oh yes. He's a regular flower child," he said, tossing some grass at Isaac.

"Yeah," Zac chipped in. "We usually recommend girls that they change their names to Rose or Lily or something. Can't get his attention any other way."

"Can you change your name to Grass or Tree?" Taylor wondered, not managing to keep a straight face.

"Well, I was blessed at birth with Dusk, so..."

"I think it's a really cool name," Isaac said with a glance at Taylor. "How does one go about getting a name like that, anyhow?" he said, half closing his eyes and making an uptight face.

Dusk moved into a many times rendered account for her parents' colorful past, and her mother's invention. The conversation spun on, the way they tend to do.

It ended about forty-five minutes later, after they had hopped on to pets, pencils, and whatnot. Dusk and Isaac were in the middle of a heated conversation about ethics and morals, where they'd been for about ten minutes, when Taylor broke in.

"First of all, I have to say I think it's amazing that you can disagree so much when you're actually saying the same thing."

"And it's raining!" Zac interrupted.

"Yeah, there is that. It's just started drizzling. Can we move inside?"

Isaac and Dusk both raised their right hands, palms up. It was raining, slightly.

"Yeah, okay," Dusk said, slapping Isaac over the shoulder. "I can't get through to this brainwashed knucklehead anyway."

They wound up in front of an ancient TV, watching reruns of the Brady Bunch, Dusk and Zac making up new words to the theme song, along the lines of "a story, of three wacky brothers, who were busy with an album of their own".

"All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the oldest one in curls", Dusk managed to gasp out, sending Taylor and Zac into another laughing fit.

"Ha. Ha. We are not amused," Isaac said, feigning disgust. It was clear he was putting huge effort into not cracking up, which Taylor, wheezing, pointed out.

Dusk was trying to calm her breath, tiny noises escaping her as she wiped her eyes, clutching her stomach with the other hand. She crossed her eyes and made herself limp, falling backwards. Of course, this being her lucky week and all, she landed in Isaac's lap, her head under his chin.

"Can't you two make your minds up?" Taylor exclaimed in an annoyed tone.

Dusk practically had a heart attack when Isaac wrapped his arms tightly around her.

"Oh, I don't mind. I like a girl who's flexible," he said, letting go and chuckling when she turned around to face him.

"God gave men brains larger than dogs so they wouldn't hump women’s legs at cocktail parties..."

"Ruth Libby," Isaac said, before she could finish. She gave him an approving look.

"Yeah. I never really believed that anyway. I've probably lived way too long around guys. Dogs are to prefer any day."

Chapter Ten
Chapter Eight