Vickie wrenched herself away from him. “What? What are you doing?” she demanded. “Who are you?”
“I’m called Jonah, of the Waves clan in the South Simsian Sea,” the merman said in a thick voice.
“So you do speak Simlish,” Vickie said.
Jonah looked embarrassed. “I understand very well,” he said. “I just don’t often speak.. with air.”
“Oh!” Vickie said. “You’ve been following me. Why? Why do you stare at me like that?”
The merman dropped his eyes. “I did not mean to upset you,” he said. “I just felt… this. I assumed you felt it too.”
“Felt what?” Vickie asked, trying to mask the trembling in her voice.
He frowned, thinking, then reached out and brushed his hand over her skin. “I don’t know the name for it,” he said. “The call of the sea?”
She opened her mouth to reply, but nothing came.
Instead, she took him by the hand and wordlessly led him back to the house.
They stayed in her bedroom a long time.
Downstairs, Edmund was also thinking romantic thoughts, but of a much more chaste and proper manner.
“Joy? Would you grant me the pleasure of your company at Ventinari’s Restaurant this afternoon? Perhaps on the early side? 6pm? Yes, that would be delightful!”
He arrived early. If Joy appreciated punctuality, he wanted to be punctual. Even if she didn’t, it was unlikely she’d be happier if he were late.
“I wanted to celebrate a milestone with you,” he told her, “both for me and, I hope, for Avalon. We are free of all but the oldest, most powerful vampires.”
“Really? That’s amazing,” Joy said. “You did this all on your own?”
“With the weight of a thousand years of fae knowledge behind me,” Edmund agreed. “The strange thing is that most of them wanted to be free. They thanked me for returning them to mortality.”
Joy shook her head. “I guess I’ll never really understand it all.”
“To celebrate, would you join me for dinner?” Edmund asked.
Joy smiled. “But of course!”
“Vetinari’s is the nicest restaurant in town,” Joy said. “I’ve never been here. I’m looking forward to finding out if it lives up to the hype.”
“My mother makes several things on this menu,” Edmund said. “I wonder how a restaurant compares.”
“Your mother is a gourmet cook?” Joy asked.
“In her spare time,” Edmund agreed.
“While we’re waiting, would you join me in a toast?” Edmund asked. “This is some of my father’s prized nectar, which he put down before he died.”
“How can I say no to that?” Joy said.
“Is it supposed to burn?” she asked.
“Perfect quality flame fruit nectar,” Edmund said. “I have heard that flame fruit nectar is memorable, but I’ll be honest — I have no idea how this tastes. It might be an expensive disaster.”
“All right then, I’ve been warned,” Joy said. “I’m ready for the adventure.” She raised a flaming goblet to her lips.
“Oh, my. This is amazing. I’ve never tasted anything like this!”
“Wonderful! This is ideal for a celebration, then. I think Dad would approve.” Edmund sipped his own.
The nectar danced over his tongue and warmed him from the inside out.
“I think this is going to my head!” he said. They both laughed.
Edmund looked up and met Joy’s eyes over their wine glasses. “I am embarking on a new chapter of my life. I have been searching for a small place of my own, and I’m ready to move away from my family estate. Would you consider joining me there?”
Joy froze, then took another sip. “I don’t think I’m ready to talk about marriage,” she said slowly.
“However you wish to define our relationship, I am at your disposal,” Edmund said. He tried to hide the splash of wine as his hand trembled.
Then Joy’s face relaxed, and she beamed at Edmund. “All right then,” she said. “I would love to move in with you. I know I couldn’t have handled your entire family, but just the two of us, with books and magic, that sounds divine.”
The counter stood between Edmund and Joy, so he couldn’t take her into his arms. Perhaps this wasn’t the most wise place to start an important conversation. He settled instead for a soulful gaze across the distance. “Joy, my love,” he said. “With you, I am the happiest man alive in this moment.”
He was pleased to see her blush.
I had the hardest time with this scene, but here we are — Edmund has completed his Lifetime Wish and is moving out of the house with his girlfriend! He really should have proposed to her, considering that he is a Proper sim, but it didn’t happen in the flow of the moment. Joy is Unflirty and pretty cautious about commitments anyway.