Ziva thought she was free of Rylan’s pranks; there had been fewer as he focused on his career and the financial security of his future family. This change gave Emilie room to play her own, shaking up soda cans, plastic bugs in ice cubes, whoopee cushions, all tame antics and taken with good humour by Ziva. Emilie’s favourite was sharing serious stories that lead the listener astray, a false sense of reality, she added crazy eyes with the punchline, making Ziva jump, and grit her teeth, annoyed she was so easy to fool. Other perks to befriending Ziva, her computer knowledge, Emilie asked for lessons on programming and building applications, she kept secret her reasons but, Ziva was keen to share her knowledge and have a constructive way of communicating.
Aside from her housework and mischief, Emilie loved to read she was fond of Rylan’s books, “Unseen Prayer”, another of his cybercrime thrillers had her enthralled. It had sat hidden in unpacked boxes intended for landfill, she read, hypnotised by the story, turning every page until discovering the killer had been in plain sight after all, the twist, written from their perspective. She pushed him to publish it, Rylan’s previous novel “Built for Duty” flopped, and critics slated his work, forcing him to take a break, shelving many of his ideas. Emilie sat excited at the table the letter in her hand; curiosity had the better of her as she prized it open. Thick, expensive paper, an elegant invitation to an awards evening, Rylan’s novel nominated for an award. Delighted squeals greeted him, tired, Rylan shrugged, a half-smile, collapsing on the sofa, Emilie was plenty excited for them both.
Award or not, Rylan decided enough, he loved writing, creative, imaginative, his job offered him little artistic elaboration, things were a certain way. He pondered over other positions offered, the one that caught his interest was in business, as a Regional Manager, the pay increase a step towards the wealthy dreams. They were comfortable, the money from his parent’s house paid the deposit for the new one and a chunk of the mortgage. Emilie deserved something spectacular, rather than a home ceremony, she gushed over the weddings at Von Haunts, the arch by the water, the beautiful gardens the bride would emerge from, this is what he wanted.
Rylan let loose his plans with the Mischief Makers; he needed them to distract Emilie at the weekend. Most were unaware of Emilie’s troublesome side, she possessed a certain charm, boosting their confidence and playing a game of dare. Emilie had no problem persuading Maesto to strip and take a jog through the park near their home. They locked the door, laughing as he stood naked on the porch keen to get back in, the neighbours observing with mixed horror and intrigue.