Finals were coming up at school, and Andria was a bundle of stress. At least, she said her stress was all about finals, and she spent a lot of time hitting the books. She began more and more time at the Sample estate until she was there all of her free time — arriving straight from school and leaving late at night to go to bed. She said her Uncle Arma made it impossible to study at home.
Dylan held up his end by cleaning up after her. The kitchen was spotless and smelled delicious most of the time.
Even Sawyer. Of course, that meant he accosted her whenever he was in a bad mood to complain that the smells of her cooking were distracting him from his studies.
Andria tried to give as good as she got.
“I saw you eating my cupcakes. It didn’t bother you then!”
“If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d know the appropriate times to cook.”
Dylan worried about Andria, but she assured him that she wasn’t taking Sawyer’s theatrics too personally.
Instead, he worked on Connery’s training regimen.
Connery was a wary dog, even as a puppy. It wasn’t that easy to gain his trust.
On the other hand, he didn’t seem to be terribly destructive, and he took well to house training.
Riddle, on the other hand, was as loyal as could be.
Dylan wished he could take the old fellow to a dog show, but it wasn’t Riddle’s loyalty that was the problem — it was what was likely to do to anyone he WASN’T loyal to.
Despite his complaining, Sawyer was at the top of his classes in everything. Everything except physical education, but he insisted that shouldn’t even be a school subject.
He spent time at the nectary, trying to find the perfect gift to celebrate her entry to adulthood.
He came for a gift for his once-and-future-girlfriend, but he stayed for the flavor.
Xia was offered a position as an experimental test pilot. She was transferred to the military base at old Tintagel Fortress.
Xia gave her daughter a long look. “You want the truth?”
Xia signed. “I don’t know if I should admit this to you, but you’re a grown woman. I did a few things that I’d rather not talk about, but I don’t think I’m ashamed of any of them. Very few sims get a chance to shoot themselves out of a cannon at the moon, and I intend to be one of them. When you’re playing those odds, sometimes you have to break the rules, and you absolutely have to make sacrifices. The thing that matters most in the end is your self-respect. You’re the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror.”
Xia looked deeply into the eyes of her only biological daughter. “You’re a good person, Abby. I know that, and I hope you know that. If anyone wants to judge you for your choices, they can answer to me.”
“No offense, but your house is getting to be almost as bad for studying as mine,” Andria told Dylan. “I’m going to go study at the library.”
Dylan looked surprised. Things were actually pretty quiet at the Sample Estate that afternoon. “Sure. If you want to drop by for dinner, you’re welcome.”
There weren’t many other people there, so she didn’t have to worry about anyone following her down into the stacks.
The stacks were the oldest part of the building, and it was was a very old building. Every wall was covered with old video recordings or much, much older books.
Andria walked directed to the very oldest part of the basement.
She hadn’t been here since her father brought her as a child.
But it didn’t take long to remember where the trick book was.
The switch clicked into place, and the door swung open, slowly and silently.
Andria stepped through to a chamber so old that it made the library look sparkling new. Ages old. You could smell it in the air.
She took a breath and walked past the witchfire torches to the gate of the Vault of Antiquity.
She could barely see the elders, but she knew they were there. “I’m going to tell him,” she said. “If you want to stop me, you’re going to have to do whatever you’re going to do right now.
The sigh of the elders was like the wind through dry leaves. “We know,” they said. “Maybe it’s time. You have our permission.”
Abby was outside, watching the sunset and thinking, when her phone rang.
“Really?” she asked. “Where do you want to meet.”
“You know the Priest’s Pub?”
Abby was in the car and on her way before she hung up the phone.
“What did you want to tell me?” she asked when she saw him. “Did I get the part?”
Nemo grinned. “Let’s sit down and talk over a drink. My treat.”
So Abby had a couple of cocktails. She wasn’t that accustomed to juice, but she knew she’d have to get used to it to live the life she wanted.
She liked the burn, really. But it didn’t take long until her head was swimming just a little.
Not a game she was best at when she was tipsy.
Nemo trounced her.
“OK, I can’t take it any longer,” Abby said at last. “Stop teasing me. Did I get the part?”
Nemo grinned. “I know a guy who knows a guy who’s doing casting for the new film For Whom the Dog Barks. They have a trainer role you’ll be perfect for. He owes me a favor. I think it’s as good as yours. This could be your big break.”
“What?” Abby asked. “I haven’t auditioned for that film.”
“They’ve seen your other auditions,” Nemo said. “But you’re still going to have to read for the part, and we need to knock it out of the ballpark. Do you have time to meet with me to go over the script?”
“Is tonight too soon?” Nemo asked. “I have the script back at my office.”
So they headed back to Nemo’s house once more. They ran into Police Chief William Pierce, in the foyer.
“Abby, meet my roommate,” Nemo said graciously. “He was just on his way out. Weren’t you, Will?”
“This really is a lovely home,” Abby said as she looked around.
“Thanks. It’s William’s, really. He’s old money. Very old, actually. I rent a couple of rooms from him. Now, have a seat in the living room. I want to whip up a little snack for us to study by.”
Abby was left alone in his living room, pacing nervously. She’d been working so hard to get a break. Could this possibly be it? How well did Nemo know the casting team?
She found her way to the bathroom and stared at herself. “You know you want this,” she told her reflection. “What are you willing to sacrifice for it? Have you come this far just to give up? You can make this happen! And you will!
So long as she could look at herself in the mirror, she would be all right.
She made her way back to the living room. Nemo was already there. “I set a fire in the fireplace,” he said. “I hope you don’t mind. It just makes the place so much more cozy.”
“It’s lovely,” Abby said. And it was. The whole house was beautifully decorated.
“Here’s the script,” Nemo said. “It’s not the most brilliant work you’ve ever seen, but right now what we need is to get you some screen time.”
Abby laughed self-consciously. “I know,” she said. “I’ll take what I can get.”
So they ran the rehearsal scenes several times. Abby tried out different character styles. Nemo gave her thoughtful feedback. She slowly grew more confident. The part wasn’t terribly complex. She could do it. It was just a matter of doing it better than anyone else.
On the dozenth run through, Nemo leaned close to her as he recited the lines, and suddenly their lips were touching.
He drew back quickly. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “That was so unprofessional. I just — you just have this incredible presence. I’ve never been so affected by anyone before.”
He drew closer again, caressing her nose with his own. “You’re an amazing woman, Abby. And so beautiful. If you want me to stop, say it. Nobody ever has to know.” His hand was beneath her skirt, stroking her inner thigh as he spoke. It was hard to think.
Then he was kissing her again. Abby’s heart was pounding, her mind racing…
She shut of her thoughts and let it happen.
Argh. I’m getting close to the end of this generation in gameplay, and I’m SOOO far behind in posts!
Yeah, when Abby’s boss heart-farted for her the first time they met, it was hard not to let this plot happen.