Love/hate relationship is too strong, but Elan’s relationship with his “manny” was complicated. Elan’s mother hired Gérard when Elan was just a toddler. Elan’s childhood memories of the man were hazy: he was there when something needed mending, a bed needed to be made, and hungry tummy needed feeding. Gérard could be invisible, then suddenly appear when needed. Not a fun person, but perfectly reliable and utterly forgettable. Although never a spoiled brat (his mother made sure of that) Elan did take him for granted. And then after his mother died, he grew to resent Gérard seeing him as an extension of his father’s strong arm instead of a helping hand of his mother’s.
Arthur had threatened to fire Gérard many times. So to keep his job and perhaps to keep Elan from getting a more tyrannical butler, Gérard did exactly what Arthur told him to do… until he stopped.
Elan was forever grateful for Gérard change of heart. He knew Gérard needed to work so he put his old butler and Rafa’s neighbor, Miss Libby, in charge of his new LGBT runaway shelter. As you can imagine, Gérard provided efficiency and care, and Miss Libby provide effusive love to those kids. Then they provided effusive love to each other.
Agnes Saltos is the youngest of the Saltos clan. She is fifteen/sixteen during EMR.
Whereas Rafa is the favorite (mostly of his mom), Agnes is the most spoiled and protected. Imagine her walking through the neighborhood as an untouchable: boys feared her brothers (and a few of her sisters) and girls wanted to meet her brothers. Also, she had a gaggle of older sisters who answered her every question and took care of her every need. And being only 11 years old when their father died and she lost her eldest brothers to prison, she had Rafa step in quickly as something like a father figure. She adores Rafa, of course, and thus she is the first one of the family to love Elan simply because she knew Rafa loved him.
Despite being so cherished, she doesn’t have a brat cell in her body. She goes through life knowing she is fully loved by many people.
Pandora Evans is a brunette, but she likes to experiment alternating between red and honey blonde.
Pandora’s mom was friends with Elan’s mom. So although they were never close friends, she knew Elan well enough to trust his opinion when he called her to look at Rafa’s furniture. Art History major and heiress to the family’s galleries, she helped catapult Rafa’s career. Rafa did try to stay loyal, even after he found out she was Elan’s friend, but he was offered too many better deals from other agents. Pandora had been taking a huge cut in his sales, so after five years he moved on from her to another agent.
Oddly enough, she remains friends with Rafa’s friends, particularly Carlise Cobbs. The two embark on a business together. She offered contacts, organization, and business sense, but it was Carlise’s design and work.
As you might have surmised reading EMR, Carlise and Rafa dated briefly in high school. Although there was mutual respect, and love, it was the turning point for each of them. “Are we each other’s beards?” They remained close and although Rafa would not admit this aloud: Carlise is his best friend. She is the only one who can reach Rafa when he is almost unreachable (example) and one of the only people (besides his sisters) who isn’t afraid of Rafa’s anger, bad moods, and violence. They remain close, confrontational, fighting, arguing friends for the rest of their lives. Elan turns to her many times to understand his mercurial boyfriend.
Carlise goes to Design School but switches her concentration from fashion to interior design. Her road to success is long, as she has to intern for free and work for a short while after graduation. And her love life was an upheaval – she breaks up with Cinnamon (who Rafa never liked) and has a series of bad affairs. She also comes from a broken home, so she had no examples of a good relationship besides the one she had with Rafa (which was not very romantic) and Carlos does his best to be a father figure to her (as he does with everyone). She opens up her own little interior design studio with Pandora Evans. Of course, you know it, she rocks her suits and learns the business side of design with the help of Pandora and Scott. She eventually finds true love with a sweet and stable client.
On to the update…