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Charlie Shepherd

"Words are such uncertain things."

0 · 301 views · located in The Olympian Academy

a character in “The Olympian Academy”, as played by Malfunction

Description

Charlie Shepherd

"Words are such uncertain things."


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Full Name: Charlie James Shepherd
Nicknames: CJ (by his family).
Age: 25
Godly Parent: Poseidon
Birthdate: December 7th
Home Town: Toledo, Ohio
Sexuality: Heterosexual

Likes:
- Painting
- Art
- Watching sports
- The Ocean
- Being alone
- History
- Stories
- Rodeos
- Cowboys
- Classical music
Dislikes:
- Dancing
- Being left out
- Crowds
- People watching him paint
- Swimming
- Math
- Losing track of stuff
- Loud things
- Being angry
- Spicy food
Fears:
- Enclosed places
- Swimming
- Rejection

Personality:
Charlie is a quiet guy who can't control his emotions. He is a kind guy overall and patient. He isn't the friendliest guy on earth though. Charlie isn't good with conversations and usually has to think over what he is about to say a number of times before speaking. It is safe to say that he can be a very awkward individual - especially with people he's not comfortable with. That Charlie is emotional is an understatement. His emotions tend to control most of his actions and the fact that he's moody most of the time doesn't help. He is prone to outbursts; whether it be out of anger, sadness, happiness, etc. Because of that, he can a bit unpredictable at times. He can be a bit aggressive when provoked and vengeful when someone wrongs him. He also a very jealous person who tends to be greedy multiple times.

When people get to know him, they found out that Charlie will do just about anything for a person he cares about. He shows his love through actions more than words. He is a creative individual who easily gets frustrated when he out of comfort zone. He tries his hardest in anything he does though. Lately, he has been trying to become more sociable and helpful though sometimes it just comes out terribly awful. He isn't the type to poke into someone's life and isn't great at giving advice; because of that, he prefers to simply listen. Although he doesn't talk much, if he is speaking about something or someone he likes or is fascinated about, he finds that it is much easier to talk about it.

History:
Charlie grew up in Toledo, Ohio with only his mother and younger brother. His mother, Marissa, was very young when she had Charlie and she wasn't prepared to be a mother. Charlie was raised mostly by his grandmother while his mother would work most of the time. There had been only a few times where Charlie had asked about his father but every time he never got a clear answer. After a while, Charlie just stopped asking all together.

Most of his life, Charlie was surrounded with adults. He grew accustomed to them and when he entered school found it hard to interact with kids his age. He became a loner at school and would spend most of his time drawing and reading. It was since then that he grew a love for art and stories. Honestly, Charlie's happiest times in his childhood was being alone. It was because when there were other's around, they found him to quiet and strange. Charlie would force himself to talk a bit more but the efforts were tiring so in the end he preferred solitude.

When he entered high school, Charlie joined the swimming team with his mother's constant pestering. He quickly learned that he had a talent for swimming and grew to have a close relationship with the coach and his team members. Charlie's swimming ability grew and grew until without him knowing he could breath in water. One time, he was play wrestling in the water with one of his teammates. Without knowing, Charlie had been holding his friend under the water for far longer that he could hold his breath. It wasn't until some of the other guys jumped in to pull them out that Charlie found out he had been drowning his friends. After that incident, his team grew a little more hostile against him and Charlie grew scared of swimming. His fear grew to the point where he ended up quitting the team. When his mother noticed this, she reluctantly deciding it was time to tell him about who his real father was. Charlie didn't believe it at first but connected his strange abilities to it rather quickly. He grew to accept the fact that he was a demi-god rather quickly and began to become obsessed with learning more about himself. His mother sent him to the academy to study for his last year of high school. After the academy he focused his studies on Greek mythology. When he figured that he didn't know what to anymore with himself, he decided to go back to the place where he wasn't so different - where there were people like him. He applied as a teacher for Greek Mythology and even he was a little surprised when he got the job.

As a teacher, Charlie has become a little more talkative. This is usually because he is talking about a subject he likes rather than talking to the student's directly. He has tried to get better in his people skills and has gotten better at talking to students more. He still has trouble talking to people his age though.

Anything else?
- His favorite animal is horses.
- He wears his glasses during class and when he is alone.
- Paints (mostly abstract art) in his free time.
- Loves cowboy movies.

So begins...

Charlie Shepherd's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoebe Ann Everton Character Portrait: Dresden Giancarlo Character Portrait: Vanessa Tate Character Portrait: Nathan Hensleigh Character Portrait: Charlie Shepherd
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#, as written by Mela
The Olympian Academy
7:55 am, Monday morning
One Week after summer vacation ended







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Pheebs had been fast asleep when the sound of her phone buzzing on the night stand forced her to awaken. She was a light sleeper – always had been, so it didn’t take much to get her up. It did sometimes take a lot for her to fall asleep though, especially lately. Having been in a relationship for two years, spending almost every night with that person, had caused it to become habit, so now that she was alone, she simply could not fall asleep. Mostly because thoughts of Dresden kept running through her head, and she’d even sometimes wake up with tears streaming down her cheeks due to a bad dream.

She loved him. She did. And she just couldn’t understand what had happened that month ago. The uncertainty was killing her. Usually a joy-filled, easy-going girl, Phoebe was not accustomed to this level of hurt and pain, so she’d done the only thing she could think of: gone to Charlie. The teacher was like an older brother to her. He had been since she was what? 10? 12? years old. She couldn’t quite recall. She only knew that Charlie had always been close to her, and since he’d gone back, they’d slipped right back into that sibling relationship.

Phoebe enjoyed being the little one again with him, and sometimes he was the only one she felt she could go to. In these cases, when she couldn’t sleep, that was what happened. So yesterday, around 11 pm, Phoebe had knocked on Charlie’s door. She’d had tears in her eyes, her mind occupied with everything she couldn’t figure out regarding Dresden. As usual, Charlie merely opened the door for her, and she’d ultimately managed to fall asleep in his bed, hugging him.

To them, there was nothing strange about it. In fact, Charlie and her had never had any tension, and there never would be any. They truly were like very close siblings, nothing more. Neither would ever think of the other in any sexual way, although at first, when this had started about a month ago, they’d had some questions to answer.

Everyone knew Phoebe though, so she usually got away with things like that. She was considered way too childish to have an affair with a teacher, and she was. She hadn’t really thought of what Dresden might be thinking about her nightly visits with the teacher, mostly because she had no choice. It was that, or never sleep. Charlie was there for her when she needed him more than anything, and she loved him for it.

The female opened her eyes finally, looking at the phone which had stopped buzzing. She reached out, untangling herself from sheets and trying not to wake Charlie up already as she grabbed her phone. She as quiet, carefully checking on the older male. Yep, not a sound. She’d have felt terrible of she’d woke him up before time, so it was quite the relief. She smiled down at him, checking the text she had received.

”Mornaaaain Pheebs!” it said, and the (currently) blue-haired girl grinned, texting a similar good morning back to her friend. Her sadness from the night before had been more or less forgotten after a good night’s sleep. Besides, she would have plenty of distractions all day. That was how it usually went: Phoebe would be miserable in the evening when she was alone, and then she’d wake up at Charlie’s in a good mood the next morning. The girl checked the time out of pure curiosity, her eyes widening slightly as she jumped out of bed. “Charlie!” She gasped, almost squealing the words, gently nudging the teacher. “It’s almost 8 o’clock! Charlie, wake up!”

They both had to be in class in 15 minutes. The same class, in fact. It was a little funny when they could basically walk each other to class like that. Regardless, Pheebs was in a hurry, and so she started skipping around the room, rushing to the bathroom to collect the clothes she had in a duffel bag out there. She closed the door behind her, not wanting Charlie to see her discarding her pajamas. She looked through the bag before quickly deciding on an outfit. She dressed herself in a flurry, not wanting to keep Charlie waiting.

She hurriedly applied mascara and eyeliner around her big, brown eyes, along with a bit of grey eyeshadow and then a touch of transparent gloss to her lips, taking a last look in the mirror before almost running out of the bathroom, laughing a little at how silly the whole situation was. She’d been so busy she’d forgotten to put her pajamas into her bag, so they were just lying on the floor of the bathroom.






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”Ellie!” Nathan calmly reprimanded the toddler fooling around. ”Shhh, don’t wake up mommy.” He elaborated for the third time. But it turned out one year olds weren’t the most considerate of people. He chuckled when she merely looked up at him, wide-eyed, almost like she hadn’t realized how loudly she was talking when she’d called on him to watch her slide from her little chair and onto the floor. He shook his head, crouching down to caress her cheek, whispering conspiratorially, “if you keep quiet now, we can go jumpy-jump on mommy later.”

Ellie giggled, one big smile immediately. “Mommy?” She asked excitedly and Nate laughed. “Yeah, that’s right, honey.” Of course, being one year old, Ellie couldn’t yet say much. Then he stood back up, smiling at his daughter. “Now, what did you want to show daddy?” She grinned widely, her excitement clear as day as she let herself slide down the chair and bump onto the floor, which wrenched a whole bunch of giggles from the little girl. Nathan couldn’t help laughing, bending down to pick her up, one arm beneath her bum, the other keeping a hand on her back.

“Oooh,” he commented, making a funny ‘o’ with his mouth before moving his head down to bring him nose-to-nose with his daughter as he smiled. “Look at you.” He kissed her forehead, glancing at the door to the bedroom as he held his daughter. Ellie leaned her head on his shoulder, yawning. The sound made him smile, shaking his head a little. She had hardly slept at all last night, mostly because Ness was really bad at letting her cry and complain until she fell asleep. Instead the Latina would fuss about, constantly trying to please the little girl. Which in the end kept both of them up, because Ellie had constant attention and entertainment, and when Ness left her, she merely cried. Clever girl.

Of course Nate had tried to convince his girlfriend to let Ellie be for a little while, but it was no use and he’d ended up going to bed. He’d felt Ness crawling into bed sometimes in the middle of the night. And of course Noelle had been awake again early in the morning, hungry, so Nate had gotten up, deciding to let Vanessa sleep in a little. Neither of them had anywhere to be until 10 o’clock anyway. He wouldn’t be surprised if Ellie’s constant giggles and squeals had awoken the young mother regardless though. The joys of small children.

Nate had since 6 am already and so had the small girl in his arms, but he supposed she’d be falling asleep again around noon whether they tugged her in or not. He’d dressed her in a soft yellow summer dress, along with a white, long-sleeved cardigan and a pair of equally white tights. It was still a little chilly, so he hadn’t felt comfortable with the straps of the dress alone. Besides, the cardigan could be easily removed, and it wasn’t thick.

And he’d managed to use a hair clip to hold back her bangs which would otherwise fall into her eyes. She needed a haircut. He was rather proud of the result, honestly. Not that Ellie was the most difficult of children to make pretty. In Nate’s eyes, he had the most beautiful girl in the world. He had dressed himself as well, but he'd gone with a simple pair of dark blue jeans, a black button-down shirt, a pair of black converse covered mostly by his jeans, and of course his trademark hat.

He looked back down at Ellie, smiling. She was completely relaxed in his arms, relaxing, her muscles having turned to jelly it seemed. He hugged her slightly, pondering. Maybe he should take her for a walk? Ellie was already in love with the grounds of the academy. She had been so excited when he’d taken her swimming in the lake. Of course he hadn’t done much swimming himself as he’d been busy holding her, but the way she’d been splashing around excitedly told him plenty. Oh, she was definitely his daughter.

He grinned at the thought. But he wanted to check on Ness first, and so he moved towards the bedroom, poking his head in to see if Ellie had accidentally caused her mommy to stir. Quietly he said “Ness? Baby?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoebe Ann Everton Character Portrait: Joel 'JJ' Joseph Character Portrait: Dresden Giancarlo Character Portrait: Charlie Shepherd Character Portrait: Ravielle Gullory
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The day belated into the soft, smoggy sunshine above the trees, the Academy had rounded past the dark hours, and one of it's students sat near her homeroom, lulling off into half sleep. For whatever reason, Ravielle always found herself awoken by even the faintest light from the morning. The horizon burned a light sapphire when she was awoken, complete with newly formed clouds, awaiting the wash of orange the sunlight would bring. It was those type of moments that made waking early worth it for her. Naturally, she sneaked around, it must have been at 5 or 6 am when she ventured out of the dorms, and into the nature surrounding the Academy, it was one of those few advantages it had over normal public schools, or at least the ones she attended. A cold chill crept up her spine as she jolted herself back up, there was no point in falling asleep now that she had actually managed to make it to class. Everyday was a step towards being a little less lazy, and a little less relaxed. Many would be surprised that she was actually willing to change herself, though the concept was hard to grasp. For the moment though, she definitely wasn't in the mood for any talk of change, she already chided herself enough. Surprised at the lack of students near Mr. Shepherd's classroom she curled herself into a ball, something about the hallways being mostly empty sent a shiver up her spine and not a particularly good one, people seemed to walk this way and that, groggy from a day they would have to spend locked up inside a classroom, she couldn't blame them for things that were completely out of their hands.

For a moment though she reflected on what she even did before coming down the hallway, by the way her hair was messily configured under her hat, the shorts she haphazardly threw on, the knitted worn shirt she wore,everything she had was put on with haste and little preparation, but at least they were comfortable. It was a good start to the morning, after all she had to stay on the positive side of things to enjoy what she did. With a small cough, she boosted herself up off the ground, now simply leaning next to the door with her books near her chest, and her head tipped over with her eyes close. For now, all she had to do was wait.



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The loud sound of slurping could be heard, while a juice box was suffocated past its limit. At this point it was pretty much emptied of its contents all thanks to Joel, yet he continued with that annoying slurping while walking towards Psychology, all of it quite typical of the Latino. He'd been wandering since 7:00am and was justly bored. No one to talk to, or rather no one who would want to talk to someone who lied all the time. He understood being ignored, but at least not to the degree that people actually had no desire to even acknowledge his presence, he didn't need the attention, but he did need the communication. He began to scratch his head in frustration, to add to things he would be in the same class with another much older sibling than him. Psychology wasn't so bad, but not when the person who taught it was related to you. Which complicated the relationship he had with her; one time he remembered having an argument with her which ended with him being punished. So most of the time he kept his mouth shut in class, and spoke only when told to. It was much better this way both for him and for her. He took one big slurp which brought up nothing from the carton as Dresden walked past him, looking as if he hadn't slept in days. Joel simply smirked at him, and put his back to the wall of the classroom, dusting of a bit of crumbs off shirt and then to the rest of his clothes. Mornings were never his thing.



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A very soft meticulous voice hummed beneath sheets, Dresden had something preoccupying his mind. The empty spot next to him was a victim of his frustrated stares, and his insomnia, to bide the time he had to hum songs to himself, hopeful to beguile himself to sleep. Too bad that only worked half the time. Especially with the faint sounds of doors opening, though there was one door he attuned his ears to hearing whenever it opened. Phoebe's door and then the sullen, almost heart pounding knocks she made on Charlie's door, it was at those times of the night when he thought about walking into the hallways to try to clear things up and console Phoebe, anything to wash away not only his feelings of regret but Phoebe's sadness as well. His stubbornness resisted this notion, and so, he stayed, caught in between the sheets of his bed, contemplating the day, trying to ignore the fact that Phoebe, his Phoebe was staying in another's man bed. It wasn't so much that it bothered him, knowing Phoebe to be a much more loving person and he just couldn't associate anything sexual with her, and Charlie being more of a loner, preoccupied with his own problems, but jealousy always had a way of seeping inside him, he just had to keep in mind the fact that they couldn't have possibly tried anything. During the week, Phoebe may or may not have noticed a sorry looking Dresden staring her way. He could see that her natural jovial spirit was deflated by his presence. Too bad he was too chicken shit scared to even approach her or make eye contact.

He had settled his problem, his past, but was unwilling to let Phoebe see his scars, and he wondered if that much was obvious now. The poor boy laid in his bed all night, drifting between dream and consciousness, his mind seemed intent on making tomorrow uneventful as the darkness that crept into his room was replaced by sunlight. His cerulean eyes scanned the ceiling in anxiety, he hardly felt like he slept, and he could forget about dreaming, not to mention that he hardly even had 15 minutes to make it to class. Without any hesitation, he sat up and walked towards the bathroom opposite his bed, he took the time to wash his face and brush, leaving himself enough time to dress in generally casual clothing. The Australian couldn't complain about the what he wore considering the constraint of time, to top it off he wouldn't have enough time to even sate the sudden grumbling from his stomach. He hurried himself only taking the time to grab his backpack, his guitar, and his Ipod before leaving his disheveled room. Walking towards the end of the dorm hallway he stopped near Charlie's door, gave a very faint look and walked off with little thought. He couldn't get caught up in his infatuation now, that would have to wait for the evening. A part of him hoped he wouldn't be caught in an awkward situation with Phoebe around, and another hoped he'd get over his inherent fear of having to face her again and just talk to her. He knew this untold rule of silence and neglect would be broken at some point, he just waited for when.

Taking quick strides towards Psychology, he walked past the usually ditsy Joel, a bit annoyed by his slurping and then calmed himself to withstand the noise until the teacher arrived.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoebe Ann Everton Character Portrait: Charlie Shepherd
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Charlie Shepherd




It was dark but for some reason, Charlie could see clearly. He could see the outlines of the forest and for some reason, everything was black and white. There were no colors and it was enough to make goosebumps erupt on Charlie's skin. There was a turmoil in his chest as his eyes searched for any sign of life. There wasn't anything but the sound of his name though. It wasn't only one voice calling him, it was a multitude. By the sound of it, Charlie didn't believe that whatever was calling to him was human. The voice was too low-pitched, sounding like they had swallowed a handful of nails. For some reason, Charlie's feet began leading him closer to the source of the sound. He didn't want to though; no, his insides were screaming to run the opposite way. Yet the voices grew louder and louder until Charlie had to cover his ears with his hands. The shadows of the trees began to move, dancing around him and began to slowly close on him while chanting his name.

"Charlie, Charlie, Charlie... Charlie - Charlie!"

The young man jolted out of his sleep, his eyes snapping open in a quick second. “It’s almost 8 o’clock! Charlie, wake up!” The familiar voice of Phoebe caused his body to relax and a sigh of relief escaped him. He allowed himself a few seconds to adjust before he blinked and glanced over to see Phoebe heading into the bathroom. He sat up slowly, already used to waking up with someone other than himself. It had been strange at first, having a crying girl show up at his doorsteps in the middle of the night, especially a girl that was his student. It was the fact that it was Phoebe, someone he had known since he was still a student in the academy, that made him able to adjust to her. It wasn't like there was anything sexual going on, he reasoned his mind with constantly. Their relationship was more like siblings than anything else.

Finally getting to his senses, Charlie let his eyes glance at the time. He jumped up to his feet when he saw the time. A short string of curse words left him as he quickly began to gather some cleans cloths to wear. Thankfully, Phoebe didn't take long to get ready and Charlie was able to take his turn. Really, living with another person was strange. He had long forgotten how it felt like and secretly, Charlie was kind of scared of missing Phoebe's presence after she was able to fully recover and didn't need him anymore. Sighing, Charlie stepped into the bathroom and just as he was about to shut the door, his feet got tangled on something and if it hadn't been for the fact the managed to catch himself by the sink, Charlie would've tumbled to the ground. His eyes looked down and noticed Phoebe's pajamas on the ground. Quickly, he grabbed them and stuck his head out the bathroom. "Don't just leave things on the floor," he said, his face burning a bit as he wondered if Phoebe had caught sight of his embarrassing stunt he just had in the bathroom. Considering the time, he simply let her cloths down on the ground people shutting the door behind him. "People could get hurt."

Charlie quickly began to change into a pair of jeans, a dark grey shirt with a brown blazer over it and he put on his shoes. He washed his face and teeth quickly, not wanting to waste time in trying to control his curls. It didn't take him more than five minutes to get himself ready and he was out of the bathroom in no time. He rushed over to get his satchel that held all his teaching material and a few personal items before heading for the door. Charlie opened it, looked over at Phoebe and for the first time since he saw the time, let himself relax and sent the girl he loved like a younger sister a cheeky grin. "Ready to go?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Phoebe Ann Everton Character Portrait: Vanessa Tate Character Portrait: Nathan Hensleigh Character Portrait: Juliette Halliwell Character Portrait: Natalia Nicoletta Jade Constantine Character Portrait: Charlie Shepherd Character Portrait: Christian Kennedy Shaddix
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#, as written by Mela
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Phoebe only just caught side of her older brother as he practically flew into the bathroom after her. The sight made her a giggle a little as she swiveled around to see the bathroom door almost closing. Charlie had this habit of making a fool of himself more times than not, and it was simply adorable. Phoebe knew that if Charlie only felt more comfortable around other people, he would not be single. He was too sweet, caring and thoughtful. These traits were the main reason she loved him as much as she did; he was among the very most important people in her life. Especially lately when he’d become a shoulder for her to cry on. She was so grateful to him, because if she had to be honest, she knew Charlie hadn’t been entirely comfortable with this at first. Even Phoebe could tell as much.

Her eyes, however, widened when he stuck his head back out, commenting on her pajamas. She gasped, horrified. “Oops, sorry!” She immediately squeaked, running over to take her nightwear from Charlie. Her pajamas were silk, and therefore rather slippery. She would’ve felt so bad if something had happened to Charlie because of her. She’d simply forgotten about them because she’d been so busy, not wanting to take too much time from Charlie; it was his home, after all. She was only a guest. Not that she wouldn’t have hurried as much if it’d been her bathroom. She would’ve felt exactly the same; the wish to not take up too much time and space.

She bit her lower lip as he shut the door and she sighed, looking down at her attire. She needed a new hair colour. Surely that would make her feel better? She shook her head, smiling mournfully as she put her pyjamas on the side of the bed she usually slept in. She would probably come get it later and take it to her own room, only to spend hours trying to fall asleep… and then she’d once more sneak into Charlie’s cabin. She then took the hairbrush she’d left at his place from the bedside table and began brushing through her blue, thick locks. She wasn’t too sure she actually wanted to do much of anything today. She had classes, yeah, but maybe she’d just go find Christian and Nolee afterwards. Fortunately she had classes with Christian this year. The thought made her smile genuinely. She’d missed her friends so much over the summer.

Then again, she could go find Ness and ask to play with Ellie. Her smile widened at the thought of the little girl. She could hardly believe Ness had a little girl now, and that was with Mr. Hensleigh. It was all so unreal, but amazing at the same time. As long as her Latina friend was happy, so was Pheebs. She threw the hairbrush onto the pyjamas once she was done and then she ran her hands through it, making it a little messy and slightly puffed. It’d have to do. She didn’t want to keep Charlie waiting, so there was that. Plus, they’d be late for class if she did anything much with her hair, so it remained slightly wavy, stretching to her mid back. She needed a haircut.

She’d packed her bag the other night, so when Charlie hurried out of the bathroom, practically bursting through the door, Phoebe laughed and went to pick up her own bag. She paused when he spoke to her, standing with a grin plastered on his face. “Charliiieee,” she tsk’ed, giggling before she threw her bag over her shoulder and went to stand in from of him. She reached up, skilfully brushing her hands through his hair to make his curls fall down a little. Then she stood back, watching him for a little bit before running into the bathroom. “Just a second!” She squealed over her shoulder, coming back with a bit of soft wax in her hands which she massaged between her palms.

“You can’t go to class looking like you just got out of bed, Mr. Teacher.” She laughed softly, glancing at the clock. Yep they still had four minutes. She hurriedly styled his locks in a matter of second, the look messy still, but now really cute at the same time. It was very… Charlie. And it looked good. Happy with her work, Phoebe smiled up at him, not saying a word until she was back from the bathroom once more, having washed off the remaining stickiness.

“There, ready,” she quickly chirped as she took his hand and hurried out the door, running down the halls with the mythology teacher in tow. No one even quirked a brow – after all, it was just Phoebe.






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Nathan Hensleigh was a rather complicated man at times, he would admit that much. In fact, he rarely even knew what he felt himself, and as he looked at his girlfriend, rousing from sleep, he felt that little kick again. It was part fear, part love. Because he did love Vanessa, but then… he couldn’t quite shake the feeling that he was in someone else’s life, like he didn’t belong here, in this family life this way. Like he wasn’t supposed to have been a father, like being in a committed relationship was as wrong for someone like him, as it was for a wish to breathe above water. He didn’t show it, but rather just smiled.

That didn’t mean it wasn’t there though, but as the son of Poseidon looked down at his daughter, the love he felt for her over shadowed everything. She was the gem of his eye, and he could no longer imagine life without her, no matter how many times he’d considering leaving Ness during her pregnancy. Now, however, he was thankful that he’d pulled through, because his little girl was worth it. She really was. Little Noelle was nothing but smiles and giggles, and somehow she always managed to chase away the doubts. They still popped up regularly, however, not that he’d ever let it show, nor would he ever tell anyone. It would remain his own little secret.

It wasn’t like he would act on those doubts anyways. He didn’t want his daughter to live with parents being apart. It wasn’t that children were torn apart by it, but rather that he was worried she wouldn’t see both of them equal amounts of time. Besides, he didn’t want Ellie to have that image of him when got older; that he was just a charmer who slept around. His daughter deserved better than that. Frankly, she deserved better than him, and so did Ness. Still, however, Nate plastered on a smile when Ness greeted him. “Look Ellie – you woke up mommy,” he chuckled, kissing the girl’s forehead as Ness called out to the little creature.

As Ellie’s head flew up, her back straightening to look in the direction her mother’s voice had come from, Nate couldn’t help smiling – genuinely. The girl had her trademark grin glued to her face and she squealed, jumping in Nate’s arms. He laughed at her, looking over at Ness. “I definitely think Ellie would like a morning cuddle,” he noted, another laugh emitting from him when Ellie bent forward, trying to get to the bed. He held her firmly in his arms though, not wanting her to fall over and hurt himself. As he neared Ness, Ellie’s smile widened and the history teacher let the girl into the bed, placing her by Ness’ side.

He smiled to himself, watching the two girls who defined his life, Ellie squealing in delight, her legs kicking into the air, arms stretching out for her mother to pick her up. Only once Ellie was safely in Vaness’s arms, did Nate lay down next to the couple, putting an arm around his girlfriend to pull her close, smiling at her and Ellie. “How’re you feeling?” He asked her, a little concerned, “you didn’t get much sleep. Are you sure you wouldn’t like to sleep another hour? We don’t have to be in class until ten o’clock, and it’s only eight.” He brushed a couple of strands of messy morning hair out of her face.

Nathan Hensleigh was indeed a man of contradictions, but what could he do except let events unfold? He knew this place, however, and drama always found its way into his life. Especially since he’d found Jules was back there too. He didn’t particularly like the thought of that, if he had to be entirely honest.