2007-06-10: The Ex Factor


Elena_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Lance Maddox

Summary: Frantic that his kids are lost in New York, Desiree's ex-husband decides to invade the Gomez Apartment. Chaos ensues.

Date It Happened: June 10, 2007

WARNING: This log has a few racial slurs in it. If you're easily offended, please don't read it.

The Ex Factor

The Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

Evening at the Gomez apartment. Pretty peaceful, with no small children or murder, right?

"Oh I'm not worryin'," Desiree is saying as she stands over the sink, washing the dishes from the dinner she, Elena and Ramon sat down to a few minutes earlier. She has rubber gloves as yellow as a rubber duck and is scrubbing at a plate rather vigorously with a soapy sponge. Whether or not she is, in fact, /not worrying/ is up for debate. One of the subjects of dinner? The fact that her two kids are suddenly in New York. She's yet to see them, but she got the call last night. Scrubscrubscrub. "You'll like 'em. They're sweet kids." Pause. "Mosta the time. I jus' wish I could get holda their daddy. They was supposed to be in Laurel."

"I…..so where -are- they right now?" Elena asks, picking up the freshly washed dish in one hand and looking a little worried as she towels it off. Setting it neatly on the dish rack, she continues. "I mean, they're….13? 14?" Not much older than Luis. And right in the middle of New York besides. "They're not running around by themselves are they?" New York can be pretty dangerous, especially for children. Not to mention if they're also -like- Desiree, she didn't want certain people yanking them off the street if they show.

"Let me get this straight," Ramon growls. "Your kids are somewhere here in New York. Their father is not with them, and he can't be bothered to pick up the god damn phone? Where are they? I'm going to go pick them up right now." He stands up.

Breathing like a winded rhino, one Lance Maddox, stomps his way towards the door of the Gomez residence. A cigarette is discarded in his wake outside, a mutilated piece of paper in hand. The man looks ready to have a stroke or heart attack. What looks like a business suit is rumpled and appears slept in. His tie is missing, and the top few buttons of his shirt are undone. He's redfaced, sweat beading his forehead and his short and normally neat haircut looks as if his hands have been dragged through it numerous times. It's possible he's also been breathing into a paper sack at many points during the trip to New York, even while screaming at cabbies to get their goddamned cars moving faster. In standstill traffic. Who ever heard of traffic that don't move? That's just another thing that's got his goat. Right now? Other worries are on his head. Another glance is made at the abused piece of paper and he heads up to the door of the Gomez residence, and bangs on the door, "DEZI. Son of a bitch.. this better be the right address. DEZI. YOU IN THERE?"

Desiree gives a strained look sidelong to Elena as she rinses off a bowl and hands it the girl's way. "They— n-no, now, just wait," she says, raising a yellow-gloved hand tentatively in the air as if to stop Ramon. "I been tryin' to call him, he ain't answerin' his phone. The kids, they came all the way here by themselves… as… as far as I could figure out. I made 'em promise they were stayin' somewhere safe! They're gon'—"

Suddenly, her eyes widen. She forgets about the glass that she instinctively plucked out of the sink to wash next and freezes, staring at disbelief in the direction of the apartment door. Gape. Gape. Gape. "… what in the name of hell." Dezi hurriedly slides the gloves off and gives Elena and Ramon a slightly mortified and woefully apologetic look. It's… pre-emptive. She grabs a dish towel and runs to the door - but before opening it, she purposefully bangs her forehead against the wood and mouths overdramatically to her housemates, 'I'M SO SORRY.'

"Lance…?" Desiree opens the door, still drying her hands gently on the towel. "What in GOD'S name are you doin'?!" No wonder she couldn't get ahold of him.

Wait. The -ex husband- was here?! Elena pauses, her eyes as round as the dinner plates she is holding in one hand. Dark eyes train on Desiree as she runs to the door, mouths her apology, before opening it. And when the door opens, she peeks cautiously out of the kitchen. Does she…even want to witness this? And what the heck - did 'Lance' run ALL THE WAY to New York from Mississippi? She doesn't say anything for now, but she does glance at her father. This is a surreptitious thing, sneaking her sight over to the corners of her gaze.

Ramon's eyes narrow to dark, furious slits. He opens his mouth to say something predictable to Elena…then closes it. He stalks behind Dezi though, and crosses his arms, looming from over her shoulder as he stares down at The Ex. "You scream so loud on my front hall, amigo," he drawls, stepping up his Mexican accent, "you going to let everyone know you sound just like a woman."

"What the hell does it look like I'm doing? I'm working on my third heart attack of the week standin' here, waiting on you to open the goddamned door!" No ladies and gents, Lance is not a very pleased looking man. He's ready to burst a blood vessel. It's with some relief and desperation that he reaches for his ex-wife, to grip her shoulders in his hands. "I hopped on the first flight I could find, you know how much airfare is to this stinkin' city? Jesus tap- dancin' Christ, woman! I couldn't remember what the hell I did with your phone number, but I pulled a favor with Bart to track your ass down." His hands raise, and rake through his hair, "The kids Dezi, I swear to GOD, when I went to get 'em at the airport, they weren't there. I checked and checked, they never got on the flight back to Mississippi. Cops weren't doin' shit about it, and the PI I hired is so damned drunk, he couldn't find his balls with both hands…." There's a pause then as Lance looks past Desiree at Ramon and peers, "what the hell is this? Wasn't that.. what was it.. syncho duh mayo.. that was last month weren't it?" Shaking that off, Lance's attention is back on the wife. Focus man! "Anyway, I swear to you Dezi, it's like if them kids were on the damned plane, they must have been invisible."

"Well jeeez! It ain't my fault you lost the phone number I gave to you four times in case of /emergency/!" Desiree backs up away from the doorframe and the unexpected visitor that has his hands on her shoulders (no more!), bumping into Ramon since she didn't realize he followed her to the door. She doesn't move once she's there, though; just hovers in front of him. "I /knooooow/," she enunciates very slowly for Lance gesturing wildly with one hand. "What're you talkin' 'bout cinco de Mayo, get inside before you interrupt all the neighbours' dinners. The kids are here in New York, called me last night and I nearly had a heart attack myself." Realizing that she's forgetting her manners in all of this, she touches a hand to her forehead as if fighting off a sudden headache and, with the other, gestures vaguely. "Lance, these're my friends Ramon, and his daughter Elena. This is Lance Maddox," she narrows her eyes at Lance. He really does look like he's going to bust a vessel. "My ex-husband. Who doesn't have any sense of politeness showin' up at your door yellin'."

"….hi," Elena says, still a little bit in a daze as yet another family's problems invade her door. But this is Dezi, who's practically part of the family now. If she wants to let her ex-husband in, then she's going to be allowed to. She gives her father a careful glance, but she does put away the dishes and wipes her hands with a dish towel. After drying her hands, she makes her way cautiously towards the living room, sliding her hands in her pockets. "It's….nice to meet you." She's SO NOT SURE about that though, but as always she's unfailingly polite.

Ramon notes that the asshole is at least worried about the kids and lets out a grunt in response. He figures, given the guy's casual racism, that little more is required from him. Still, he inserts, with far less accent, "Where precisely did they call you from, Desiree?" He lowers his voice to compensate for all the frentic, yelling energy, keeping his arms crossed over his chest.

Lance waves his hand dismissively, as if it's not his fault either. "My scatterbrained secretary must of lost it! I gave it to her for safekeepin', she was /hired/ for that sort of shit." One he fired and replaced a year ago, cause she just wasn't as cute to him anymore. "Hell, ain't my fault they ain't used to eatin' with noise in the background!" Completely dismissive of disrupting other peoples' evening, he does however step into the apartment, but not because of the invite, but, "Damn, I gotta sit down, been runnin' around since I got off the damned plan.. what the hell!? They're here? WHAT IN THE HELL THEY DOIN' HERE? They ain't supposed to be here! Their asses were supposed to go straight back to Laurel. Did you put 'em up to this? Look, just cause I've been having stress attacks the past couple of years, don't mean nothin'!" Lance just helps himself to the closest seat, drops down into it and sort of doubles over there as if trying to calm his breathing. "If they done called you, how come the hell they ain't here right now!?" So much for trying to stave off hyperventilation, he's looking back up at Dezi. Then to Elena for the greeting, and as he's wont to do, doesn't think before speaking, "This your maid? Speaks English too damn good for that." Cause where he's from? Hispanics don't speak English (That he's aware of) and they're all cleaning services and construction. (In his world.) "Well hey there sugar." Oh good lord. At least his attention diverts from eyeing Elena back to his ex-wife, "Well come on, let's got find them kids. I got an earful for them. Running off like this!"

And when Lance turns to address her, Elena, being the well-meaning young woman that she is, even gives Lance a small smile…….that ultimately dies at what he says. Her face drains of color, half in shock, and half….well. It was something indescribable. What results is an expression that is rarely if ever seen on the young woman's face: a heartbreaking look of pure and utter humiliation. It didn't help that she had this very same treatment throughout high school which was why she tried so hard to rise above it, only to be crushed by one remark that essentially told her that some people still looked at her like that.

"U-um. Well, they… wouldn't… say where they were, so much." Desiree runs a hand over the top of her head and clutches the elastic in her hair, wincing silently and looking around at the assorted people in the room. She shrinks, inasmuch as she can. It's not exactly easy for a woman like her to disappear, but thankfully, she speedily re-grows her spine in time to whip the end of her dishtowel at Lance's shoulder. "You did not jus' come in here and say that! Lance! What's /wrong/ with you! For Chrissake," she rolls her eyes, "'Lena ain't my /maid/, she's my friend and you— jus'— stopthat." Dezi moves to stand between Lance and Elena and thus block his line of sight. Looking over her shoulder with apology written over her face to Elena, she then plants her hands on her hips, raises her brows, and regards Lance. "I think you should maybe gimme a number to call you and actually /reach/ you at so I can tell you when I know the kids are okay. O-kay?"

Ramon is already stepping smoothly /around/ Dezi. He pulls back his fist and attempts to slam it into the Ex's jaw as hard as he can. Pure rage is shining out of his eyes at this point, and when he speaks it's in a low Spanish /full/ of infuriated malice. He doesn't even notice the language shift as he snarls out, "Usted entra en mi casa y usted tira que mierda racista alrededor de usted hijo de una ramera?"

"What? You're their mama! They gotta tell you! Hellfire.. I'm their father and they .. nevermind. Why the hell would they say.. they think they're so damned grownup they hop a plane up here on their own.." Lance rises to his feet, plants his hands on his hips, "Huh? What? NO WAY IN HELL WOMAN. We're goin' to find them kids together. We made 'em, we can go find 'em and give 'em what's coming to —" Anything else Lance was going to say is promptly cut off by the intrusion of Ramon's fist into his jaw. Seeing stars, the large and bulky man wobbles a moment.. before falling backwards onto the floor. ".. the.." Ow… what the.. when did he leave the US of A? Everyone's speaking in Mexican! Someone fix the audio on the TV!

When Ramon whales on Lance's face, Elena snaps out of it. She hurries forward, to try and take her father's arm in an attempt to pull him away from Lance before he REALLY gets going. "Papa, please…" she says. While part of her just wants to let her father go and defend her honor like he was clearly itching to do at the moment, the last thing they needed was for a neighbor to call the cops - though since they were in Queens, no one would probably care if Ramon stomped on his head and sent him through a window. But still, she doesn't want to take any chances, and this was Dezi's ex-husband…..though god only KNOWS -why- Desiree married him.

Desiree sees it happening, and she can do nothing to stop it. Does she even /want/ to stop it? She's normally against violence (dishtowels as weapons not withstanding) and people getting hurt, but when it comes to Lance, well, he does motivate a certain desire to hit things sometimes. Besides which, she doesn't blame Ramon at all. Rolling her eyes way, way up, she tips her head toward the ceiling as if to mentally remove herself from this disaster for one, two, three, four… "OKAAAAAAY!" The woman can't help it. She stomps her way to Lance's side, crouches, and looks up at Ramon. "I know he's an ass," she prefaces. "But he's an ass who's gonna be complainin' up and down New York state of a sore jaw we don't at least get him some ice. Meantime," she scooches around behind her starry-eyed ex-husband. "Help me toss him out on the street. And quiet, Lance. I wanna see the kids as much as you do, but I ain't gonna have you comin' in here badmouthin' friends of mine who've been good enough to let me into their home." Dezi mutters something to the effect of 'wereyoualwaysuchajerk'.

Ramon /growls/ like a large Doberman whose territory has been intruded upon, but he lets the women calm him down. "You get your kids safe," he says in English. "Call me when it's settled. Call me if you need me. He can buy ice at the fucking corner store. He doesn't want Hispanic ice, he made that perfectly clear. If they are in a hotel they paid with a credit card. I'll go use my computer — heard of those, yet, white boy? — and see if one of your credit cards was run at any local hotel. I'll call you if I find something."

Lance is capable of being a charmer, and Desiree was the woman for him and he couldn't live without her. (At the time.) She wouldn't let him touch her without the ring, so that's what it took, that's what she got. And.. that's where things got them. To here. Head reeling, jaw throbbing, the man is just all agape as he picks himself up off the floor.. "He hit me.. that damned wetback /hit/ me." Dezi, your cue to shut the man up for his own health, cause he never learned to control his mouth. Tenderly touching his jaw, he looks between Ramon and Dezi with something like surprise on his face, "Wha.. look now.. them kids drove me up the damned wall before going off on that trip to France. Can't explain it, just some weirdness alright? I done been goin' crazy and then I've been beatin' myself up over them bein' missin'. What the.. where the hell does he get off sayin' that shit to me!" Clearly, Lance does not realize what he's saying is incredibly offensive and wrong. Amazing that he hasn't been murdered yet. "Hell yes I know what a goddamned computer is!" And .. more offenses that were to come are cut off by Dezi. "When did you get so damned forceful? I like it."

And then……he did it. He went out and did it. Elena stares at Lance, the shock and humiliation from earlier fading away into righteous fury. Did ….did he just call her father a…

She hears nothing. She doesn't listen to anything. All she hears is the dull roar, and dark, gregorian chanting in her head as THE BEAST RISES from the normally soft heart. Elena can handle plenty of things. She can handle pain. She can forgive people hurting her. People electrocuting her. People shooting at her and trying to kill her. Hell, she could even forgive boys for breaking her heart should it come down to it, eventually. Her hand shakes, and it clenches slowly into a fist. A very tight, white-knuckled fist as a golden color starts bleeding into her normally dark irises as control is let go and adrenaline shoots into her system for added oomph.

Nobody. NOBODY. Calls her father a wetback.


And the moment Lance gets up and yells at Dezi and Ramon, she slings her arm back, aims carefully, and -DECKS- Lance. And since she's pre-med, she goes for the Adam's Apple. So he will STOP TALKING.

And here Ramon was about to pick the man up by the scruff of the neck and the belt buckle and throw him out with a wedgie for his trouble. He stares at his daughter, rather impressed. Then he just smirks with pride. And says, rather calmly, "If he retaliates at her, Desiree, he /is/ a dead man. I need everyone in this room to understand that if he touches her my hand will get really twitchy. My daughter has not worked her ass off and gone to premed and gotten a job at a huge prestigious company and gotten the ear of that company's CEO to be talked to like that in her own home, I don't care who the hell he is or what the circumstances."

"Oh Jesus Ramon," Desiree says remorsefully under her breath as she looks up at the man with wide eyes brimming with worry, insulted on his behalf and looking a little embarrassed, to boot. It's her fault this /maniac/ is here rambling in the Gomez's sanctuary. Standing up, she looks sharply at Lance. "Oh hush. I been learnin' to take care of myself! It's been—"

Holy mother of—

"'Lena— !" Dezi stares in shock at the young woman and poises to … well, watch what happens when Lance is given the smackdown for the second time in a span of two minutes. Rather than try to help the decked man again, because really, what's the point, he's just going to get hit again, she lets her head hang. "… I'm gonna ground them kids for approximately eternity." Deep breath. "Lance, Ramon ain't kiddin', so, let's you just— get /out/. Alright? I'll walk you out."

And…. as he wasn't expecting a hot little thing like Elena to pull such a stunt, he looks away from Dezi and… down he goes, gagging, and incapable of speaking further. Mission accomplished. Now, he thinks he'll crawl outside and puke on the doorstep. He never would have laid a hand on Elena, too pretty a girl to physically knock around. That's the way he looks at it, objectifying and such.. not that he can vocalize such thoughts. So at the offer of walking him out, Lance, still gagging, gets to his feet and puts up no protest.

Her face is frozen in an expression of pure fury, actually standing in front of her father and shaking. Elena isn't big on the violence either….in fact when she puts someone down, she tries to do it gently. But he didn't deserve any of that. He didn't deserve any regard. NOT FOR THAT. This was…actually the first time she's ever actually whaled on someone before, and she didn't know where she found the force to do so. She was usually a wussy, she can't even break a window. She'll have to figure it out later, but she doesn't say anything, she was so angry. Her body is tight, and tense, and she's trying her best not to cry. It's been a while since she's been this insulted - she could've borne it, though, if he didn't go after her father. But he did.

Ramon puts a protective arm around his daughter and steps in front of her, turning his back on Lance like he has now dismissed him as a threat entirely. That way, if Elena /does/ need to cry, she can do it without feeling humiliated in front of the loudmouth. There had been a brief look of relief on his face that Dezi wasn't pissed, and something relaxed in his shoulders. Dezi is not the type of girl who might, say, be the center of an altercation between him and her ex, and then, when a spotlight fell on them, go running off after the ex and not support him at all save to try to break up the fight. This is good stuff to know! And now, since Dezi didn't follow in those footsteps, he's ready to forgive Cass and be casual friends again.

Desiree puts a hand on Lance's back, but there's nothing particularly affectionate about the gesture - it's more hesitant than anything as she tries to lead in him the direction of the door. "I'm sorry… that… that happened," she says quietly (and sheepishly) over her shoulder, casting her knitted brow and distinctly apologetic eyes over her shoulder, even if Ramon and Elena's backs are turned. Now, to take the amazingly silenced man out of the building where he can cause slightly less chaos and hopefully not insult random strangers who may actually have weapons. "We'll get Parker and Portia yet, don't you worry. New York's big and scary, but they were brave enough for Paris for a whole year, they'll be okay. For the record, don't come back to this apartment ever again. Ramon don't joke around very much."

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