With Charles gone, Veronica tossed and turned in her empty bed. She would wander half-awake in the wee hours of the morning as if looking for something.
It wasn’t long before she realized she couldn’t continue on as if Charles were there. She needed to change her surroundings. So she packed up a few of her bedroom necessities and assembled their adventuring yurt in the yard. It was warm and comfortable in all weather, and she had often slept alone while they traveled. Waking up alone in the yurt wouldn’t carry that sense of wrongness that caused panic and confusion her her bedroom.
Enigma knocked down snowmen in the yard.
Hunter went to visit Eliana, who had been withdrawn since she was fired by Sean Flynn.
Eliana answered the door, but he could hear her father talking in the background.
“You’re such a great friend,” Eliana said. Hunter noticed the word ‘friend’ immediately. “It’s rough to be fired and not know why, you know? But really it’s that my dad is so upset about the whole thing. He keeps asking me what I did to make Mr. Flynn angry, and I just don’t know!”
Eliana’s eyes widened. “Wow, that’s so kind,” she said. “But I couldn’t consider it. I know Dad wants me to stay here. Moving out would make him even angrier!”
There was something seriously wrong with this household. Hunter needed to know more before he took action.
Forest spent most of his time in his room these days, researching something in musty old tomes.
He didn’t talk to his family much, but it was clear he was very concerned about something.
Sky was inconsolable.
Her father was gone, and she had never felt so alone. Not only had Charles been the quiet support that held her up during times of stress, he was the only other being she knew with their curious… condition.
Leah had always liked Charles, but he was not her father. She and Sky struggled to talk about Sky’s grief.
On this night, she provided live entertainment at The Garden Gnome pub.
The place wasn’t exactly packed, but business was good enough. They liked her at the Garden Gnome.
As she headed to the bathroom after her last set, she ran into an old classmate from high school, Xia Wu.
Xia had been a bit of an ugly duckling in school, but she had certainly grown up well. And confident.
She and Sky stood for a moment and watched each other. The moment dragged a bit longer than was really polite.
Sky struggled to find a way to recover from the awkwardness. “Hey,” she said. “We ought to catch up on our lives since graduation! Come on. I’ll buy you a drink.”
Xia smiled warmly. “If you’re buying? Absolutely!”
Shy had never paid much attention to Xia at school, but it appeared that Xia had been paying attention to her. Xia knew everything about Ghostwriter, too.
“I just love to dance,” Xia said as she set her empty glass on the bar. “Do you have to head home now, or would you — ah — like to dance with me?”
Sky followed her to the dance floor
At home, Leah began to tidy up Charles and Veronica’s unused bedroom.
She found the ballerina music box that had been Charles’s first gift to Veronica and wound it up.
She’d heard the story of how Charles had found it in France and brought it home to give to his true love. Leah loved it. Her parents-in-law were such soulmates.
The music was a haunting love song that made Leah fantasize of fairytales and magical romance. She and Sky had that kind of connection, didn’t they? Perhaps not quite so perfect, but they had the rest of their lives to make it that way.
Xia was a great dancer, and she was starting to give Sky a look that made her heart pound. Sky was pretty sure she was looking back, and she knew she wasn’t supposed to. She needed to say goodbye and walk away.
Instead, the next song was slow and sultry. She and Xia stepped together and touched each other for the first time.
“It’s not too much?” Xia asked.
“No,” Sky whispered softly.
“You know,” Xia whispered as they danced cheek to cheek, “I had the biggest crush on you in high school. I used to write you love letters and then never send them.”
“Really?” Sky was shocked. “You felt that way about me?”
Leah had been the only girl she’d ever realized noticed her. Some part of her was still the lonely, ostracized ghost girl from Sunset Valley.
“Of course!” Xia said. “You were so confident and beautiful. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.”
And then Sky completely lost control of the situation.
She had no idea who kissed whom. The moment just felt right, and they fit together as if made to hold each other.
Once it began, it seemed as if there were no way to stop.
When they were finished, all they could do was hold each other breathlessly. Xia was glowing.
Sky felt light, as if some great weight were lifted from her shoulders. All the tension and grief seemed like something she could live with.
And then the weight came crashing back down on her.
What had she done?
Back from a long hiatus!
Don’t be too hard on Sky. We all saw her traits, much less her LTW. She’s been thrust much too quickly into a stable home life she wasn’t ready for.
I loved the Sultan’s Tabernacle adventure gear, but the !@#$ thing is two stories tall, which makes it impossible to use as an adventuring tent. Good going, EA. I liked the idea of Veronica sleeping in it now. Plus it gives great sleep moodlets.