Just like that, Forest was back at work. He and Flynn never spoke of the battle lines that were being drawn over control of the underworld. In fact, when they were together, they almost never spoke at all.
The day Flynn issued a direct order that Forest successfully countermanded, Flynn sent a furious summons to Forest to come to his office alone. To everyone’s surprise, Forest did so. When he left hours later, he was glad his suit covered up the rug burns. But the two of them hadn’t said a word.
Forest was also making his own booty calls.
This meant that in unguarded moments, Flynn could be found wandering around the Sample estate.
When Forest caught Dylan chatting with Flynn one morning, he took him aside and said in no uncertain terms to stay away. “He might show up in the hall in his boxer shorts, but he’s still dangerous.”
Meanwhile, Sky’s business was booming, but the thrill of the Sing-A-Grams was fading. One morning she had an audition for a wedding singer gig outside the chapel when she was caught completely by surprise.
It ruined her audition, and she lost the job.
Leah Marmalade walked by with barely a look, then seemed to have second thoughts and lingered at the gate, watching Sky.
“Come on!” Plum called. “The party is this way.”
Sky hurried to catch up with Leah without really knowing what she was going to say.
“Uh, hi. I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Leah shrugged uncomfortably. “A couple of friends are getting married,” she said. “It’s not like I stay away just because we’re divorced.”
“You’re having another child,” Sky said. “I guess you’re really happy.” It shouldn’t have hurt, but it did.
Sky watched her go, her heart squeezed so tight it might break all over again.
Before she went home, she slipped inside the chapel while the wedding was being conducted in the garden to down a glass of punch.
It tasted terrible. Perhaps it served her right.
At home, Xia still stole time on the Ghostwriter fandom forums to read what they said about Sky. Ghostwriter wasn’t performing as many gigs as it used to, and the forum had dwindled. The board on Sky’s woohoo life had few real observations these days and was mostly filled with wild speculation.
With Xia training hard as a fighter pilot and Sky performing in the evenings, Dylan spent a lot of time looking after Sawyer. Sky argued with him about it; they had plenty of money for a babysitter, and he shouldn’t be wasting his teenage years.
Dylan wouldn’t hear of it. “This is the proper thing for me to do,” he insisted.
“At least let us pay you for your time,” Sky insisted.
“Well, that’s not appropriate. You shouldn’t pay me for just doing what I should. We’re family.”
Sky took to slipping extra money in his wallet. Dylan must have noticed, but he let her do it.
In addition to the extra babysitting, Dylan became a photographer for the school newspaper. He spent his unauthorized babysitting money on a nice camera and spent long hours working on layout.
And after THAT, he took more practice exams for college placement.
“I don’t know what he’s trying to prove,” Sky worried to Xia. “I wish I knew how to help him have fun!”
Abby didn’t have much trouble having fun. She dressed as a princess and spent long hours sharing her dreams of glamor and fame with her dolls.
Sometimes she dragged her family into the living room to sit alongside her dolls for a big “performance,” which meant she danced and sang and everyone applauded wildly.
“Her singing voice is great,” Xia admitted to Sky. “I know where she got that.”
Sky shook her head. “I don’t sing anywhere near that well,” she admitted.
Sky continued to work on her domestic skills.
And kept working.
She was proud of her first real success. Too bad it was homemade dog food. At least Riddle ate like a king.
One evening, Forest received a mysterious phone call.
“I want to meet with you immediately,” a woman’s voice on the other end informed him.
“How did you get this number?” Forest demanded.
“This is Cynthia Flynn,” she said.
Forest hung up and went to meet her.
She chose the stadium — an odd, very public choice. Cynthia Flynn was an old woman. She had been married, apparently happily, to the Emperor of Evil for most of her adult life. She almost never ventured out in public.
The sun was setting, but it still was bright enough to sing Forest’s skin. He could smell himself burning. What could Flynn’s wife want with him?
“Good evening, Madam,” he began. “How can I help you?”
“All he can do is think about you. He doesn’t eat. He doesn’t sleep. I hear him speaking your name when he thinks I’m not listening. I don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re destroying him. My Sean is a good boy!”
Forest stood for a moment, stunned. He didn’t know whether to scorn or pity her.
“Mrs. Flynn,” he began. “You realize that your husband hasn’t aged since you married him, don’t you? Do you enjoy having a boy toy in your old age?”
Cynthia scowled at him. “That’s none of your business!”
“I’m afraid it is my business, Madam. You, on the other hand, are not my business. I can see that your husband keeps you happy, and I have no intention of hurting you. My problem with Mr. Flynn is purely…. business.”
Cynthia scowled. “You’re a wicked man. You leave him alone!”
Forest couldn’t help but laugh. “*I’m* wicked?” he said. “Has your husband ever really smiled at you?”
With that, he grinned, showing off his new fangs in the best possible light.
Cynthia’s eyes widened when she saw them, but she didn’t seem frightened exactly.
“I see there’s no reasoning with you,” she said. “My Sean will just have to destroy you.” And she turned and left.
It was the most bizarre interview Forest could remember in his life, and he’d had plenty of truly bizarre interviews.
Not long after Forest started boinking her husband, Cynthia called Forest up for a date. I couldn’t resist accepting. Sims romance system for the win.
Cynthia, by the way, is a simalike of Miley Cyrus — created long before she had the big change in her image :). She and Flynn never had any kids.
Sadly, I don’t have very many pictures of child Abby that I haven’t used. Most of her childhood was lost in the deleted pictures.
I’m really trying to crank through the last of this generation to get to the heir poll!