Note: Wow, the writer’s block has been really difficult to shake off, but here I go…
Victoria had to return to reality. As much as she might wish otherwise, tropical vacations were not a direction in life.
“But what do I do now?” she complained to Mom after dinner one evening. All I want is the ocean, but ‘beach bum’ isn’t exactly a profession.”
Andria gave her a sly smile. “I have so much water fae in you,” she said. “You’re practically a naiad. Maybe you don’t need a traditional profession.”
“I don’t think I’m made for a life of leisure either,” Victoria protested. “I don’t want to be useless!”
“Hmm,” Andria said. “Why don’t you go talk to my friend Manu at the Arcane Institute? I think he will have some ideas. Don’t assume there’s nothing you can do with your life’s passion.”
That, at least, was advice Victoria could act on.
Manu did have ideas. Lots of ideas. The first thing he did explain to her just how valuable the ocean antiquities were that she had collected on her vacation. Museums were desperate for these relics.
It had never occurred to Victoria that her that her hobby might have that kind of value.
That afternoon, she rented a boat to scout the deeper oceans around Avalon Island.
The island was a frosty wonderland, far too cold for swimming or diving, at least with a wetsuit. The sun sparkled off the ice coating the branches of the winter trees.
Victoria was in luck. There were signs of a promising dive site within sight of Camelot. She would return in the Spring to see what there was to see.
At home, Edmund was developing new spells.
And experimenting on his family.
Gamora turned out to be especially vulnerable to his Animale enchantment.
She was not at all happy about it.
Edmund, on the other hand, was thrilled. He would have to watch his back, though, in case his cousin took the whole thing too personally.
Victoria made sure that Connery got proper affection when he trotted across the street from Aunt Abby and Uncle Chaim’s house. He was an old dog and deserved all the cherishing he could get.
One of Victoria’s high school friends, Roderick Winter, called her up one day. “The gang is having a mixer at Shady’s tonight. You totally want to go.”
Victoria didn’t need a whole lot of persuading. A night out dancing was just the sort of thing she wanted to get her mind off being an adult.
“You should come with me!” she told Edmund.
Edmund scowled. “Dancing and drinking aren’t really my thing.”
Victoria grabbed his arm and offered him one of her disarming smiles. “Come on, big brother!
And that’s how they both found themselves on the dance floor of Shady’s Nightclub.
Danial Ibari-Saunders found his way to Victoria while she was ordering a drink at the bar.
“Heeeey, Vickie Baaaaby!” He exclaimed. The slur in his voice told her he’d already had a few drinks.
“Hi Danial,” she said.
“You’re looking hot tonight!” he said. “Come dance with me!”
“I’m sorry, but I have other plans for this party,” he said cooly.
“I’m being an ass, aren’t I?” Danial asked a bit more soberly.
Victoria relented a little. “A little bit, anyway,” she admitted.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I just get carried away. I don’t mean to be insulting or anything.”
“Ooooh!” Jake Pradis cooed over Danial’s shoulder. “You two look so cute together!”
“Do I know you?” Victoria demanded.
“Hey, barkeep!” Java Weaver shouted. “Get some hot wing for my roommate before he makes a bigger ass of himself!”
This conversation looked like it was about to get really annoying. “Hey,” Victoria said quickly. “I see Roderick. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Hey!” she called. “Great party, huh?”
Roderick laughed. “I don’t know. I just got here. I was reading for an audition, and it just ran later and later. I hope that’s a good sign.”
“Oh! I didn’t know you were going into acting! My aunt is an actress.”
“Believe me, I know!” Roderick said. “It’s not like there’s anyone who hasn’t heard of Abby Sample. In fact, if you ever have a chance to put in a good word with me, I’d really appreciate it. This field is all about who you know.”
“Yeah, Aunt Abby says the same thing,” Victoria agreed. “She says you have to be very careful. There are so many people who can take advantage of new actors.”
Roderick looked embarrassed. “Yeah,” he said. “I noticed.”
Sensing that she was treading in territory not suitable for a dance party, Victoria guided the conversation back to safer topics about who was doing what after graduation.
When Roderick turned in for an early audition, Victoria found herself back on the dance floor. She’d had a few drinks and was ready to dance!
So was Danial.
“Ha! You’re really good at this!” she had to admit.
“Dancing is life! Life is dancing!” Danial replied.
“Yeah!” Vickie agreed.
Danial tried a bit too hard to be the life of the party, Victoria decided. When he relaxed more, he was more fun. He was even kind of attractive, though it wasn’t terribly appropriate to think that about a married man.
Where WAS his wife, anyway?
Meanwhile, Edmund ran into Joy, who looked equally uncomfortable with the loud music and the press of people.
“Would you like to dance?” Edmund asked awkwardly. She smiled at him. They both remembered prom.
“How is this supposed to go, anyway?” Joy asked.
“Like this, maybe?” Edmund suggested.
The both laughed at how stupid that looked.
“Let’s get a drink and get out of here,” Joy suggested. And that’s what they did.
After Joy left, Edmund found himself outside the dance club, waiting for Victoria to finish up whatever it was she did at parties like this.
Edmund’s eye caught a familiar figure lurking in the shadows.
“You,” he said. “Marisela Flynn. I’ve been trying to find you again.”
“Why would you want to see me again?” Marisela asked. “I’m not exactly a safe companion.”
“I’ve been doing research,” he said. “I know what you are.”
She gave him a half smile, and the moonlight glinted off her unnatural teeth. “So, what do you think now?”
“I want to know what your life is like,” Edmund said earnestly. “I’m also a create of magic, though I’m very different from you. There’s a lot we could learn together… don’t you think?”
Marisela sighed. “Life,” she said. “I’m not sure if you can call what I do life. Your magic is a happier sort than mine.”
“You sound like you don’t want to be what you are,” Edmund said.
“You’re very perceptive,” Marisela said, though it was hard to tell if she was serious or not.
“Hey Edmund!” Victoria called. “It’s dying out in here! You want to go home?”
It was well after midnight when Edmund and Victoria returned home.
She looked around at her brightly-colored, nautical-themed room. She’d converted the nursery into her own bedroom long ago, and she kept another bed in case Gamora wanted to sleep over.
For the first time in her life, she could see how…. young it looked. Some day, she might want to bring a guy home. How would that even work?
Andria noticed her daughter’s lost look. “Not really your thing is it?” she said.
“I guess it’s time to think about redecorating,” Victoria said thoughtfully. But what, exactly, did she want to represent her as grown woman?
It was too late to think about it now. Now she needed to sleep off the party.
Andria should have gone to sleep once she knew her children were safe in bed, but age hadn’t made her more practical.
There was romance to be had under the stars instead.
I’ve been staring at this collection of pictures for over a month. Gah. I hope I have kick started myself back to writing.
The bring drink to sim interaction is a total lag failure. I kept trying to buy drinks for other sims so that we could walk around drinking and talking together, but my sim kept struggling to find a place to put down the !@#$ drink platter, so she was never drinking at the same time as her conversational companion.
Roderick is three days younger than Victoria, and his birthday was on this party. I tried to age him up before the party so that everyone could be an adult, but the game would just not do it. So we have to wait to see his adult look and get a sense of his final trait.
Sadly, Manu seems to have disappeared. This has me highly annoyed, since he’s been Andria’s best friend outside of the family for quite a while. I’m not sure what happened to him, since I have NRaas homeless management turned off.