Chapter One Hundred and Nineteen: Making Plans

 “Do you think it's safe?” Izzy whispered to her sister.

“I don't know, he might rip us a new one if we try.” Lizzy replied, peering cautiously into the dining room.

“I mean, if we were super quiet we might get past.”

“Are you kidding me, he'd hear us the moment we stepped in!”

“I CAN HEAR THE BOTH OF YOU NOW!” Charlie roared, making both girls jump.

Charlie did not take to paperwork and studying well, which made life in the Begly household tense as the family tip-toed around him, trying to be as quiet as possible as to not incur the wrath of Chuckles.

“You know, I thought it'd be fun having a smart brother, but I was wrong.” Lizzy threw her brother a dirty look as the two sisters walked through the dining room to get to the front door.

“Anyway, I got a date with Hugo. It sucks that you don't hang with us anymore.” Izzy said as she pulled on her shoes.

“I still don't like Hugo!” Charlie called from the dining room.

“Get back to work!” Izzy yelled back.

“I'm going out with Sammy. Making up for lost time. I can't believe Mum and Dad are letting me date a gaolbird.” Lizzy joked.

“And they still don't like Hugo. HE'S never been to gaol!” Izzy complained.

“Parents are weird.”

“So are brothers.”


The twins headed out the door just as Belle walked in.

“Good luck with HIM, he's in a mood.” Lizzy warned the Masters as they passed each other.

“I can handle him.” Belle grinned.

“Probably the only one who can.” Muttered Izzy, sharing THAT look with her sister as they walked out of the house. Her sister shrugged back. Would Chuckles and Giggles EVER admit to their love for each other?!

“So Charlie, how goes the Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce?” Belle sat down at the dining room table.

“Don't ask. Just don't. Bloody. Ask.” Charlie groaned. “I've looked through all these books you gave me plus those websites and I can't find a way around Demon.”

“You mean the proviso that it HAS to go through a Council review?” Belle asked. “I thought there was about ten ways to circumvent that.”

“Yeah, well, I'd need Higher Government support, and that's not exactly forthcoming is it?!” Charlie snapped. “Unless you want to call Dickson again and have him try to kill your Dad!”

“Easy! Easy!” Belle threw up her arms to protect herself. “Geez, you studying is a pain. You're all prickly, like a hedgehog.”

Charlie snorted. Then he froze. Then his face lifted into a grin. He immediately grabbed for his phone.

“This totally doesn't count as Improbability by the way.” Belle grumbled.

“Thanks Webster!” Charlie finally got off the phone as Belle sat at the table, waiting. “Wait, is that my chocolate ice cream?”

“I'm your best friend. We share everything.” Belle replied as she ate. “What did Webster say?”

“He's gonna talk to some of his friends on the Brisvegas City Council and have them come up here to help establish it.” Charlie grinned. “We're in!”

“All right!” Belle cheered. “Have some ice-cream!”

“Don't mind if I do!” Charlie grinned, digging a spoon into the ice-cream. “I've been researching legislation too, and there is SO much that we can stick on the Council if we can pull this off.”

“IF we can pull this off. Have you got any more signatures?” Belle asked.

“Noooo…” Charlie admitted.

“Charlie, you NEED those signatures, otherwise there's no Chamber of Commerce.” Belle frowned at him.

“I KNOW, but there just aren't enough non-PCC businesses in the Pleasantville Council area!” Charlie whined.

“Well, why aren't you canvassing PCC businesses?” Belle asked.

“I THOUGHT OF THAT.” Charlie snapped. “That'd never work.”

“PCC businesses would LOVE a Chamber of Commerce. They could weaponize it easily.” Belle pointed out.

“Yeah, but then they wouldn't be voting for ME to run it, would they?!” Charlie snapped. “The whole point of this is to get me in a position to run this joint!”

“Technically it doesn't have to be you.” Belle pointed out. “It just needs to be someone fair and impartial.”

Charlie's face fell.

“But it definitely should be you.” Belle quickly tried to backtrack.

Charlie sighed. “Let's face it, no one will vote for me even if they WERE all PRO. No one knows who I am, and I'm only 23 years old.”

Charlie felt his lip wobble.

“Don't be like that Charlie! We can find someone who will do things right.” Belle rubbed his arm. “I'm sure it will be you, but in case it isn't maybe we should have a backup?”

“I guess.” Charlie looked defeated.

Just then, Peter walked in.

“AGAIN!?” Belle groaned as Charlie perked up.

“Hi you two. Where's Tom?” Peter asked.

“Hey Peter, do you want to head up the Chamber of Commerce? Might help your chances of getting elected Mayor in the next election!” Charlie beamed.

Peter looked at the pair and blinked. “Excuse me?”

Poison didn't work. Straight out shooting him wouldn't work either, because he was too well protected. Plus after the poison tea episode he KNEW that his underling wanted him dead.

Crusader Daryl sat on the edge of Pleasant Gorge, looking down to the dusty road below. Something in the air made him think of Charlie Begly.

“If only I had a best friend like he does. Someone who has all the good ideas.” Daryl chortled, but it was bitter. How that loser managed to snag himself a pretty little best friend was beyond Daryl. Charlie wasn't rich, or popular, not like Daryl had been when they were in school. Back when Daryl had been School Captain and the richest, most popular kid in school. Before he lost everything.

Daryl sighed. This wasn't getting him anywhere. He had to get rid of Crusader Roger, and he had to do it in a way that kept himself safe. Then his father would come crawling back. Daryl was definitely going to ask for an allowance raise.

Daryl groaned, and looked down the gorge again. Maybe he should just throw himself down and end it all. Serve them all right. His mother would scream and wail at his father, who would finally have to feel guilty about something for the first time in his life.

Except that would mean that Sunny won. Everything would be left to Sunny, and Daryl couldn't allow that. Sunny was an unwanted bastard. Sunny should never have been born to begin with. Sunny only existed because his parents were stupid and couldn't keep their hands off each other. If only he could get rid of HER as well. Heck, get rid of Sunny, Lady Courage, Chuckles, Giggles, Belle, Charlie…ROGER.

“Why can't I THINK of anything?!” Daryl groaned. “Why can't I just…get…someone…”

Then Daryl grinned.

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