During the chat, people asked about Bern and Leon’s backstory. We actually wrote this out before in the fan group, so we promised to post it and here it is.
It’s not a nice story, so read at your own risk.
Gisella was a terrible mother. After Bern was born, she would drop him off with Penelope and then vanish for months. Then she would come back and want to be the mother of the year and get sentimental and weepy about her baby. It would last for a month or two, until she found a new guy, and then she would vanish again.
Things got worse after Leon was born. She would come back, take the kids, and then drop them off, dirty, malnourished, and sometimes bruised. When Leon was five, one of Gisella’s boyfriends beat him so severely, Leon passed out. Bern called 911. When the cops showed up, Gisella attacked them. The kids were taken away and placed with Penelope, and Gisella caught some jail time. It was an ugly thing. She told Bern that he was dead to her, and she wished she never gave birth to a snitch.
While she was in jail, James and Penelope decided to get the kids away from her. Gisella is very stubborn, spiteful, and excellent at pretending to be whoever she needs to be, so they knew she would fight them for custody tooth and claw. Penelope, being Penelope, wanted to crush her, but James convinced her that there was a better way.
When Gisella got out, James told her that she deserves a vacation. He handed her $25K and the keys to a convertible and convinced her that she needed to sign adoption papers so CPS wouldn’t take the kids away from them while she was gone. Gisella isn’t dumb. She knew James was buying the kids, but she had been locked up for awhile and itching for good time. She signed the papers, reasoning she could always find a way around it later, took the money, and left.
Fast-forward several years, and Gisella shows up on the back of her boyfriend’s Harley and announces that she came to pick up “her boys.” Only Leon, who skipped school because he was sick, and Penelope were home. Leon had a panic attack. He just froze like a baby rabbit. Penelope told her that they wouldn’t be going with her. Her boyfriend, who was on the large side, lumbered off his bike and at that point Penelope beat the hell out of him and her sister. The whole thing was recorded in the surveillance video.
Charges were filed. It got ugly again, because Penelope was undergoing therapy for PTSD after being a prisoner of war and the prosecutor used it to pressure for jail time. In the end Penelope got probation on the condition she surrendered her PI license, did a lot of community service, and attended an anger management course.
Gisella came back home one more time while Penelope and James were out. This time Bern was home. He came out, put his hand around her throat, and lifted her off the ground. He didn’t say anything. She looked into his eyes and whatever she saw in there scared her so badly, that she took off permanently. Gisella spent her whole life mixing with the rough crowd. She’d seen torture, she witnessed murders, but there is nobody she fears more than her oldest son.