My writing and art! Main @cjadewyton and polished work on @jade-wyton
A little rough, and I definitely want to fix it up a little, but I'm glad to finally be writing the scene where Gavin comes out to Dale ;u; Dale hesitates for all of 5 seconds before his Good Dad Insticts kick in.
But that second time... it had just felt right to him. And he supposed it had to her, as well.
She’d cried on the way up the stairs that day.
It was strange, how things had turned out. Everything was so different— But also, so much the same.
The biggest difference, really, was that Talia had been happier.
Their relationship hadn’t been a magical fix and she was still having a lot of trouble being open with him.... But she was definitely happier. And right now, that was all he could ask for.
This was only the second time she’d let him stay over in the three months since they gotten together. He’d have stayed over every night, if she’d let him. Or had her stay at his house— Which she still wasn’t comfortable with.
Dale was distracted from his thoughts as Talia stretched and stole the blanket, and he had to bite back his laugh as he stole it back. He tugged her close against his chest, catching a glimpse of the alarm on her bedside table and quietly cursing that he only had another ten minutes with her before it went off. Though, as he heard Gavin’s feet hit the floor in the other room, he realised he wasn’t going to get it.
Dale had barely let out his sigh before Talia’s door creaked open and the light from the hall shone in.
‘Gav, it’s not even seven yet,’ Dale muttered. ‘Don’t you want to sleep a little longer?’
‘No, I’m awake,’ Gavin replied. ‘I.... I want to talk to you about something, Dale. It’s important.’
‘Alright,’ Dale took a deep, throaty breath, and forced himself out of bed. He stretched, then stumbled down the hall after Gavin. ‘Guess I’ll make breakfast for everyone, huh?’
‘That’d be nice,’ Gavin said, pulling a chair from the table to the kitchen. ‘And we can talk while you do?’
‘Yeah, course,’ Dale yawned as he went through the cupboards. ‘Bacon and eggs?’
‘Yes please. Scrambled?’
‘Sure,’ Dale pulled out what he needed and, with another yawn, started cooking. ‘So, what did you want to talk to me about?’
‘Well... it’s about...’ he hesitated. Then sighed. ‘Dale, you had a lot of girlfriends before my mum, right?’
‘Yeah, a few,’ Dale replied. ‘Why?’
‘Well... I want to know.... How do you ask someone out?’
Dale felt himself chuckling. ‘You have a crush?’
Gavin gave a nod, a blush creeping over his cheeks as he looked to his feet and kicked out at the wall. ‘I’ve been watching you and mum, and I think how I feel is the same.’
‘Ah,’ Dale gave his own nod. ‘I see.... That’s cool. What’s her name?’
‘No— Not a girl,’ Gavin admitted. ‘It’s Jacob.’
‘Jacob?’ Dale paused. ‘Connor?’
Gavin nodded, though he still didn’t meet Dale’s eye.
‘Oh, well, that’s fine,’ Dale shrugged, and quickly scraped the food out of the pan and onto a plate. He headed to the table, ruffling Gavin’s hair as he passed. ‘Jacob’s pretty cool, isn’t he?’
‘Yeah,’ Gavin gave a smile, and finally looked to Dale as he dragged his chair back to where it belonged and started serving himself breakfast. ‘Yeah he’s cool.... Do you think I should ask him out?’
‘Why not?’ Dale turned to the hall as he heard Talia’s alarm go off. ‘He seems nice, what have you got to lose— Hey, save some eggs for your mum, right? She’s mean when she’s hungry.’
‘She’s mean anyway,’ Gavin giggled.
‘Yeah, but you’re not spending the day at work with her!’ Dale retorted, gently smacking the boy’s hand away from the food. ‘Eat what you’ve got already, you little brat!’
Hey! Just added chapter 13 to A Man Worth a Million! :D Dale and Talia have FINALLY gotten together!
Ya'll can read the draft so far here: https://cjadewyton.com/my-writing/kladstone-romances/
It was good to hear him laugh so much.
And just as she thought about it, she heard him start laughing, and wondered what joke she’d missed as Dale turned into the apartment’s parking lot and slotted into one of the spots.
She’d only half-undone her seatbelt before Gavin leant over the seat and planted a kiss on her cheek.
‘I’ll meet you inside!’ he decided, reaching into Talia’s pocket for her keys. She didn’t have time to suggest otherwise before he was out of the car and halfway into the stairwell.
‘Gavin wai— Ugh,’ Talia leant back in her seat as her son disappeared.
‘There he goes,’ Dale’s voice floated into the car as he pulled open Talia’s door for her. ‘Fast little bugger, isn’t he? Nyoom.’
‘Nyoom,’ Talia repeated, though a little flatter than Dale had said it. ‘Sometimes I wish he’d slow down. Just a little bit.’
‘Aw, but then he wouldn’t be Gavin, would he?’ joked Dale. Then he offered Talia his hand. ‘Come on. You alright?’
‘Yeah, I...’ Talia hesitated, then took his hand and let him pull her up. ‘I’m fine. I just....’
She lost her train of thought.
And when Dale waited patiently for her to continue she felt her cheeks start to burn, and she looked away and pulled her hand back.
‘Talia?’ Dale’s voice was soft as his hand took hers again and gave it a squeeze that trapped butterflies in her stomach. ‘Hey.... Look at me?’
She dared to turn back, and as she met his soft, kind eyes she felt the butterflies trying to push out of her throat.
‘Talia,’ Dale managed, his voice cracking with the same emotions that had paralysed Talia. ‘Please be my girlfriend?’
And the butterflies escaped her as a laugh.
She didn’t mean them to.
But they escaped her, and she found herself choking on giggle after giggle as she collapsed back into the car and covered her mouth with her hands.
She had known that the question was coming, but she hadn’t expected it to sound like that out loud. She hadn’t thought he would say it like that.
She couldn’t breathe.
It was too much.
‘Yes!’ she managed. ‘Yes! Yes! Yes, Dale! Yes!’
‘You want to talk about what happened?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Talia. ‘I guess we have to, don’t we?’
‘I suppose we do,’ Dale replied. ‘Well.... First things first; do you like me?’
Talia looked away, focusing her gaze on the school yard and scanning the building for signs of students. ‘Yes.’
‘Do you want to date me?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘You don’t know?’ Dale asked, his fingers tapping on the wheel again.
‘I’ve been trying to decide all day,’ Talia admitted. ‘That’s why I didn’t want to talk about it sooner. Because I’m just not sure. It’s... overwhelming. And I’m sorry. I wish I had an answer.’
‘Hey, it’s alright,’ Dale replied, and she felt his hand rest on hers. When she turned, his gaze was soft, and kind, and full of love, and it made her heart wrench sideways and upside down. ‘You don’t have to be sure, yet. You can think about it.’
‘You’d wait for an answer?’ Talia almost scoffed. ‘That’s.... I don’t know how long it’ll take me. What if it takes me a week to decide?’
Dale shrugged. ‘Then I’ll wait a week for the answer.’
‘God, I want to strangle you! Stop being so sweet!’ Talia groaned. She caught a glimpse of Dale’s grin as she turned and dropped her head against the window with a huff. They both sat for a while, staring at the nearby buildings, before Talia let out an exasperated breath and turned back. ‘Dale?’
‘Thanks,’ she managed. ‘For being patient with me. I appreciate it.’
‘It’s alright,’ he replied.
Then the bell rang, and less than a minute later students were pouring out the doors into the yard.
‘Here they come,’ Dale said.
‘Oh, no, is that Jacob?’ Talia groaned— And then felt herself relax as Jacob waved goodbye and veered off in another direction. ‘Oh thank god. I did not want him being involved in this conversion.’
‘Yeah, talk about awkward,’ Dale gave a half-hearted laugh, which became much more genuine as Gavin pulled open the car door and leapt in. ‘Hey, Gav, how was school?’
‘Was alright,’ Gavin replied, throwing his bag in the foot-well and pulling on his belt. ‘What were you doing in mum’s bed last night?’
For god’s sake, Gavin! Talia almost screamed as she watched her son through the rear-view mirror. Have some tact!
Thankfully, Dale chuckled. Though it was awkward. ‘Just chilling.’
Gavin’s brow furrowed, and he looked confused as he stared at Dale. ‘Chilling?’
‘Yeah, chilling!’ Dale repeated. ‘Nothing wrong with two people just, you know, hanging out!’
‘In bed together?’
‘Yeah!’ said Dale, his voice cracking as he blushed. ‘Just two good friends. Hanging out.’
Gavin looked at his mother. Then to Dale. Then back and forth again before he rolled his eyes. ‘You asked her out, didn’t you?’
‘Yes,’ Dale admitted.
‘Like you said you would.’
‘Whoa,’ Gavin leant back against the car seat. ‘There’s a lot about dating I don’t know yet.’
‘Well, you’re only eleven,’ Dale comforted. ‘Give it some time, and you’ll figure it out. No reason to rush.’
‘Right, you’ve had a lot of practice, haven’t you?’
‘Good,’ said Gavin. ‘You can teach my mum, then! She’s never dated anyone! Not since she had me! So she’s not very good at it and will need a lot of help.’
‘Gavin—’ Talia cut off with a sigh and eyed her son through the rear-view mirror. ‘Honey. Please. I’m not completely useless.’
‘Mmm,’ Gavin pulled a face, and Talia wasn’t sure whether or not she should have been offended. ‘When it comes to dating you kinda are.’
‘—I think you’re just bad at talking to people,’ Gavin continued. ‘Like. In general? It’s not something you’re very good at. Even with Trish and Anna you can get kinda weird and mean.’
‘Hey, Gav, keep the roasts for dinner,’ Dale cut in. Then he eyed Talia and gave her a cheeky grin. ‘Just because something’s true doesn’t mean you need to say it.’
‘Dale!’ Talia snapped, feeling her cheeks flush hot. ‘You boys— I swear to god! I will get out of this car right now and walk home if you don’t watch your mouths!’
‘We’re on the highway,’ Dale commented. ‘I’m going eighty.’
‘You think that’ll stop me?’ Talia put her hand on her seatbelt buckle and raised her brow. ‘You think I’m afraid to prove a point?’
Dale didn’t reply. Instead, he reached for the dashboard— And Talia heard the car doors lock as he pressed one of the buttons under the radio.
‘Smart choice,’ Talia commented, resting her hands on her knees.
‘Well, I want you alive,’ Dale chuckled. ‘You know. On account of the whole, loving you thing.’
Sunny gets in a fight
SUNNY: I’M NOT GIVING YOU SHIT UNTIL YOU PAY ME BACK, SANDY!
Sandy leaps at the table, attempting to steal food from Sunny. Sunny slams a hand against Sandy, slapping the gull so hard it flies sideways and crashes onto the ground with another loud, angry cry. The café-goers all audibly gasp as this happens.
The gull then stands up and opens its wings before starting to angrily scream at Sunny, who starts shouting back.
SUNNY: NO, SANDY! YOUR MOTHER’S THE STUPID ONE! SHE CAN’T EVEN OPEN CLAMS!
Jazza quickly gets to his feet and gets between Sunny and the gull. He holds his hands out and speaks calmly.
JAZZA: Okay, okay. Let’s calm down. Sit down.
SUNNY: Oh, now you’ve done it! You’ve made my boyfriend mad! Jazza, defend me!
Jazza looks awkwardly between the woman and the bird before sighing and wiping his nose on his sleeve. He turns to the gull and takes a few steps toward it as it squawks at him.
JAZZA: Okay… You’re not hurt are you?
Sunny pouts in the background of the shot as Jazza pulls his gloves out of his pockets and puts them on, then carefully picks up the bird and checks it over. It tries to bite him but he ignores it and makes sure it’s fine.
JAZZA: You need to leave… Ma’am.
He carries the bird away from the tables and throws it into the air. It flies away, still furiously screeching.
Jazza watches as it disappears into the parking lot before turning around to the staring patrons. Half of them look amused, the other half just look confused.
EXT. BEACHSIDE CAFÉ – LATE MORNING
The scene cuts again to show Jazza’s car pulling up to the crowded beachside café where Jazza had first picked Sunny up.
The car parks, and Dan and Jazza both climb out. They’re still talking about nothing important as Jazza opens the car door for Sunny and helps her undo her seatbelt.
They start towards the café together.
INT. BEACHSIDE CAFÉ – LATE MORNING
The scene cuts to show the café door from the inside as the group approaches.
Jazza stops to open the door, and Sunny keeps walking directly into the café window.
‘Do you want my honest opinion?’ Dale asked.
‘Yeah, sure. …’
‘Evan’s an arsehole.’
Talia was expecting more. For him to continue. To say Evan was just a kid when it happened, and it was unfair to expect him to give up his life and his future. … To say what everyone else seemed to say, over and over and over.
But then he didn’t. He didn’t say another word, and they both sat in silence until Talia sniffed and swallowed and finally managed, ‘Is that … it?’
‘Yeah,’ Dale confirmed. ‘My whole opinion. Evan sounds like an arsehole.’
‘Y. … Yeah,’ Talia agreed. ‘Yeah. He was.’
‘And you deserve better than that,’ replied Dale. ‘So, if you know where he lives I’m more than happy to break into his house and shred all his socks.’
‘Which is yours?’ Talia asked, passing the heavy-looking plastic bag from one hand to the other. ‘I don’t see any spy cars around, Bond.’
‘Ha ha,’ responded Dale, flatly. ‘It’s the blue sedan.’
Dale frowned. ‘You’re not getting in my car—’
‘—Yes, I am!’ Talia snapped. ‘Unless you’d rather I scream. Help. Someone. I’m being kidnapped. That sort of thing.’
‘I’m not kidnapping you,’ Dale snorted. ‘If anything, it’s the other way around!’
‘Open the door,’ Talia repeated.
‘Are you crazy?’ asked Dale as he unlocked his car and watched Talia settle into the passenger seat. A sigh, and he joined her. He adjusted his mirror, avoiding eye contact with her, and then slammed his hands into place on the wheel and let out an exasperated groan. ‘I could be a murderer, you know! What about that son of yours?’
‘You’re too much of a pussy to kill me,’ Talia responded nonchalantly. ‘If you were that tough, you wouldn’t have pissed your pants in the ally.’
‘I didn’t piss my—’ Dale cut off halfway through and turned to the windscreen, scowling. He let out a long, frustrated breath as he turned the ignition in the car. Then he drove in silence, not daring to even glance at Talia as he made his way through the quiet streets.
‘Who’s Richard?’ Talia asked. ‘You steal his wallet, too?’
Dale slammed on his brakes. ‘Get out of my bag!’
‘Why? You went through mine,’ Talia shrugged and, as if to make a point, noisily unzipped the next pocket and stuck her hand in.
‘MUM!’ Gavin called from his room. ‘MUM, CAN YOU HELP ME?’
‘I’ll help,’ said Anna. She made her way to Gavin’s room, then hurried back in. ‘Apparently not. He needs you specifically, Tally.’
Sighing, Talia pushed herself off the couch and made her way to her son’s bedroom. She found him showing Jacob the new soccer ball he’d gotten on a shopping trip with Dale.
‘Hi mum!’ Gavin grinned.
‘Hey honey, what did you need help with?’
‘Nothing,’ responded Gavin, his grin growing wider. ‘I just wanted to see if I could make you come in.’
‘Gavin!’ Talia snapped.
Talia rolled her eyes. ‘Any more surprises I should know about?’
For a minute, Dale bit his lip and thought. Then he clicked his fingers and let out an excited exclamation,
‘Right! Richard wants me to teach you how to use a gun!’
‘Well, it’s a long story,’ Dale rubbed the back of his neck. ‘But to cut it short, I’m the reason he limps.’
Talia put her face in her hands. ‘So let me get this straight: you shot Richard—’
‘—And he wants you to be the one to teach me how to use a gun?’ Talia let out a long sigh as Dale gave her a confident nod. ‘Is he sure about that? Or is he actually wanting to end up in a wheelchair?’
‘Why is the pillow sticky?’ she muttered. She shook her head as she realised it was her makeup, not the fabric, and frowned. ‘When did I get home?’
‘About ten minutes after you fell asleep,’ Dale’s voice laughed from the dining table.
Talia snapped her head up and looked at the group of people sitting in her apartment. She stared at them for a moment, taking them in. Dale. Gavin. Richard. Trish.
‘Anna’s not back yet?’ Talia yawned.
‘It’s only nine,’ Trish commented, taking a bite out of some very wet-looking, off-coloured bread. ‘Good beef. Try it as a sandwich. Tastes like heaven.’
‘I like it with the potatoes!’ Gavin giggled.
‘Potatoes?’ Talia asked. ‘I didn’t think I made potatoes?’
‘Dale did,’ Richard commented. ‘We were waiting for you to wake up, so we made some extras to pass the time. Then Patricia came in and started eating, so we figured it wouldn’t be too rude to begin without you.’
‘Of course she did!’ laughed Talia. Then she sat up and stretched. ‘How’d I get upstairs? Oh— No. Dale? You didn’t—’
‘—HE DID!’ Gavin shrieked. ‘He carried you! All the way up!’
‘It’s three flights!’ Talia exclaimed.
‘You’re not too heavy,’ said Dale, sipping his drink. ‘Though I almost dropped you at one point. I don’t envy the me from the universe where I did.’
‘Yeah, nah. He’s dead and you know it,’ Talia snickered. ‘So, what else did I miss?’
‘Gavin took his meds,’ Dale commented. ‘And a bird flew into the kitchen window while we cooked. Scared me so much I accidentally threw a carton of juice into Richard’s face.’
‘It went everywhere!’ squeaked Gavin.
‘Kind of like your lipstick,’ Trish commented, pointing to her own mouth and wiggling her finger. ‘Might want to go wash your face.’
‘Christ,’ Talia muttered, slipping off the couch and hurrying into the bathroom. She dared a look in the mirror and was met with the ugliest version of herself she’d ever seen. ‘Frick!’
Another scene from A Man Worth a Million; but this one is from the first draft, not the final. It's chapter 26 of the first draft but, we'll see how much content gets cut/added and where it is in the final, eventually.
Talia meets her ex in a supermarket. She's pregnant again, wearing real gold and diamonds in a dress that costs more than a car (coming home from a VERY fancy party), and eating whip cream directly from the can. Because she's Talia, and Talia does what she wants.
Talia managed to swallow the whipped cream.
‘How have I been lately, or how have I been over the last twelve years?’ Talia asked bitterly. She felt the whip on her cheek, but didn’t wipe it off as she stared down her ex. He looked … well. Better than he had in high school, Talia thought. Though he still dressed like an arsehole. …
‘Look— Talia— I’m sorry,’ it came out as a sigh, and Talia almost believed it was genuine.
‘Yeah, imagine facing the consequences for your actions,’ Talia scoffed. She didn’t feel like talking and squirted another glob of whipped cream into her mouth.
‘—I don’t accept your apology!’ Talia snapped, mouth still full. ‘You’re a coward who ran away and left me to clean up your shit, and I don’t have time for someone like you!’
‘You ruined my life!’ Talia growled. ‘So you didn’t lose your chance to play football!’
‘It was wrong of me!’ Evan blurted. ‘And I really am sorry. I’ve felt so bad about it. …’
‘Then why didn’t you contact me sooner?’ Talia snorted, spraying another lot of cream into her mouth. ‘Oh, wait. It’s because you’re too much of a coward to actually face the people you’ve hurt.’
‘N-No, I didn’t know h-how,’ Evan stammered.
Talia didn’t budge. ‘Huh, well it’s weird that everyone else knew how to find me. Did you miss the memo? I wasn’t exactly hiding.’
‘—Coward,’ Talia hissed. She downed the last of the whipped cream from the can and threw it in the trolley with a loud clang.
Evan shuffled as Dale came out of the bathroom and put an arm around Talia, kissing his wife, laughing, and wiping her cheek before glancing to her companion.
‘Who’s— Oh,’ the drop in his tone was telling. He recognised him from the photo.
Gavin grabbed his mother’s hand and looked from her to Evan, back to her. ‘Mum? Are you okay?’
Evan shifted even more awkwardly at the sight of Gavin, and awkwardly rubbed his cheek to hide his face from the child. ‘I suppose I should be going.’
‘Alright. Bye then,’ Dale said dryly, turning away with a wave of his hand. He put his arm around Gavin and quickly pushed his family away, only turning back to grab the trolly, dropping his voice as he glared at Evan. ‘Have a fun life, arsehole.’
‘Was that my dad?’ Gavin asked. ‘Like, my other one?’
Talia sighed. ‘Yes.’
‘Dale’s better,’ Gavin shrugged. Then he looked to his mother and frowned before spinning around. ‘Dale’s a better dad than you’ll ever be! YOU’RE STUPID AND EVERYONE HATES YOU!’
Talia scoffed a laugh and shushed her son. ‘Gavin, don’t yell.’
‘But I have to stand up for you!’ Gavin declared.
‘I can defend myself,’ she told him. She glanced up and saw Evan staring awkwardly back. ‘He’s just a dumb coward.’
‘COWARD!’ Gavin shrieked.
‘Shush!’ Talia repeated. ‘You win by being better than him!’
‘But I want to win by yelling at him!’ Gavin declared, drawing looks from the surrounding shoppers. ‘He made you cry! I wanna make him cry back!’
‘Gavin,’ Talia sighed. ‘I’m sure he’s cried enough already.’
‘Then I’ll— I’ll break his legs instead!’
‘You will not!’ Talia snapped. ‘You will behave yourself and get in the car without any more yelling.’
‘Come on, Gav,’ Dale wrapped his arms around Gavin and heaved him over his shoulder. ‘I’m her husband. It’s my job to beat up people who make her cry.’
Talia shook her head and rolled her eyes, huffing loudly. ‘You boys, I swear. I can’t take you anywhere!’
Gavin had been chatty the entire drive home.
To be expected, Dale thought, with the day he’s had.
Glancing into the back of the car as he pulled into the apartment’s parking lot, he couldn’t help but sigh. Talia looked too peaceful to wake up. He wasn’t sure he’d have the heart to do it.
‘Told you she gets tired,’ Gavin gloated. ‘Are you going to carry her up the stairs again?’
‘Don’t think I have a choice,’ Dale laughed his response, clambering out of the car and walking to the back seat to retrieve Talia.
She didn’t seem to notice as she was hefted into the air, and simply lay heavy and limp in his arms. She didn’t even give a mumble of protest as Dale used her head to push the car door shut.
‘She’d be so mad if she knew you did that!’ Gavin snickered.
‘Well, don’t tell her,’ Dale replied.
‘Really, Dale?’ all of Talia’s anger was replaced with surprise as she yanked a pair of pink, feathery handcuffs out of the bottom of Dale’s bag. ‘All those jokes you made! I didn’t realise you actually owned a pair!’
About five different expressions passed over Dale’s face —which Talia could almost swear matched perfectly with the five stages of grief— until he settled on acceptance.
‘I forgot those were in there.’
‘But why?’ Talia laughed. ‘Why would you need these in your work bag?’
‘It’s. … I. … An indescribably weird no-questions-asked favour for Richard?’ Dale gave a cough and took the handcuffs from Talia. He played with the safety latch for a minute before clicking them open and holding them out. ‘Do you … want to try them on?’
For a minute Talia stared at him. Then she sighed and figured … why not?
She held out her wrists and let Dale clip the handcuff around one of them. ‘Oh, please officer. I have a son! I have a son!’
‘Well, that’s too bad!’ Dale responded. ‘My name is Sergeant Awesome, and I’m arresting you for being too pretty.’
‘Please! No! I won’t do it again!’ Talia mock-cried as Dale tugged her towards the couch.
He sat her down and clipped the other side of the handcuffs to the coffee table’s leg, then snatched the remote off the floor. ‘We both know that’s a lie! Repeat offence means you’re sentenced to watching TV with a friend! Sorry, I don’t make the rules.’
‘Oh, no! Not TV! Anything but TV!’
[A Man Worth a Million, Chapter 9]
People seemed to really like the bits I posted before so here’s some more seagull logic
I really want to spoil the entire thing and explain the plot and ending because imo it’s great but... I gotta finish it instead aushdhshsh
Anyway I’ll update the files on my website tonight and try to get a bit more written!
transcript under cut
JAZZA: Really? What made you like me?
SUNNY: You gave me chips.
JAZZA: (surprised) Is that- Is that it?
JAZZA: That’s all it took?
SUNNY: Well, not ALL it took, but it certainly was one of the sexiest things a human’s ever done for me!
It's REALLY hard to pick my favourite jokes from my own writing when the entire goal of my work is "make myself laugh repeatedly on every reread." Sorry that it's all in images I didn't want to mess up the format (YOU'RE NOT BEING VERY ACCESSIBLE, JADE) but these are all my best out-of-context quotes from the script I'm attempting to write!
The premise of the story is "There are lots of movies about animals like cats/dogs/mermaids turning human and falling in love. But what if it was an absolute bastard of an animal, like the Australian seagull? How would that go?"