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Generation 5 Legacy Accounting

Here we are for more post-generation accounting.

Generation 5: 1 point

Lifetime Wishes: 5 Points
Master Romancer – Sky
Emperor of Evil – Forest
Fairytale Finder – Hunter
Become an Astronaut – Xia
Presenting the Perfect Aquarium – Eliana

Careers Maxed:
Singer – Sky
Military – Xia
Criminal: Evil – Forest

Portraits: 6 points
Sky Sample
Leah Mai Marmalade

Xia Wu

Forest Sample

Hunter Sample-Baerwyn
Eliana Sample-Baerwyn
Sims Reaching 100k Happiness: 2 points
Forest (150k)
Xia (125k)
Sims Reaching 200 Happiness: 2 points
Sky
Total: 16

That doesn’t include the household value points, which I keep failing to calculate. I should just remove them from the other accounting posts and calculate at the end.

5.51 Signs of Love

Sky’s solo performances were really in demand, and it led her to be away from the home at some unusual times.

When she found herself with an early morning gig over breakfast, the younger Samples had to fend for themselves. With mixed results.

It turned out that Sawyer was better with the microwave than Abby was with the stove.

The maid seemed appreciative of Abby’s handiwork.

Which would have been nice, except she wasn’t on break.

After school, Dylan invited Andria out for dinner and a movie.

Abby invited her boyfriend Dion out to see one of her Mom’s performances at a frontier-themed club called Hillbilly Harry’s.

Sawyer irradiated a butterfly.

And was delighted with the results.

Dion picked Abby up at her door, just as she’d asked him to do, and took them both to Hillbilly Harry’s Frontier Club.

“I just can’t wait for you to see Mama perform!” Abby said. “She’s such an inspiration to me.”

“Don’t you think it will be kind of loud?” Dion asked.

“Well, yes,” Abby said. “That’s the point, isn’t it?”

Sky’s voice echoed over the sound system, thanking all her fans for coming.

“That’s Mama!” Abby said. “We have to hurry to get a good place. Mama has so many fans we could be crowded out.” She turned and hurried into the club.

“Isn’t she amazing?” Abby said breathlessly as Sky took her encore, raising her voice above the cheering fans. “I can only hope that I’ll have half the stage presence when I get a chance to act professionally. She’s such an inspiration. Don’t you think so, Dion?”

“Dion?”

It turned out that Dion had found an entirely different way to pass the time.

Alarmed and insulted, Abby flitted around the club looking for her date. She eventually found him in the arcade corner, playing Caveman Dino Invasion 3.

“Dion!” she said sharply, trying to keep the hurt out of her voice. “What are you doing? I thought we were on a date!”

“Oh, hi Abby,” Dion said, dropping the game immediately. “Don’t be sore. It just got so loud in there, and it’s really not my kind of music.”

“You could have told me,” Abby said.

“I kind of tried to,” Dion admitted. “It was just, you know, loud. And you were having such a good time watching your mom. I figured we could talk after. I, mean, it’s no big deal, right? I had a good time, and so did you. We don’t have to like all the same stuff to be a couple.”

He offered an apologetic, lopsided, adorable smile, and Abby for once was at a loss for words.

Dylan’s date went a little more smoothly.

After returning home from dinner and independent film showing, they just lingered out in the snow, gazing into each other’s eyes. The next words ought to be goodbye, but neither of them could bring themselves to say it, so they said nothing.

Andria at last fell into Dylan’s arms. “You’re the best thing that’s happened to me since Dad died,” she whispered in his ear. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Dylan held her close. “You make every day brighter than the one before,” he said. “I can’t imagine how dark my world would be without you.”

Dylan took her hand and willed himself to do this right. “My dearest Andria,” he said. “Please don’t take this request as any sort of pressure, but I’d be honored if you would consider wearing my pin.”

“You want me to be your girlfriend?” Andria’s face lit up. “Of course!” 

“You’re an amazing man,” Andria said. “You treat me like a fairytale princess.”

Dylan chuckled, blushing. “You make me feel like a fairy tale prince.”

Andria sighed. “Have you ever wished upon a star?”

“No, but I guess this would be an appropriate moment.”

Andria leaned her head on his shoulder. “Don’t tell,” she said, “or it won’t come true.”

“Grandma!” Sawyer said. “I want to know everything about death. What does it feel like? Is it preventable?”

Veronica Sample’s ghost merely smiled and waved, seeming to look right through her grandson.

“Wow,” Sky said when she finally made it home from the club. “This was the best crowd yet. My hand is cramped from signing autographs.”
Xia clapped. “Bravo! I know you always wanted to be a superstar.”

Sky, safely away from her fans, couldn’t help but giggle. “I know! Isn’t it amazing.”

“Not half as amazing as you are,” Xia replied.

“I think we should take this upstairs,” Sky answered huskily.

“At the risk of ruining the moment,” Sky added as they made their way to the bedroom. “Do you know what tomorrow is?”

“Dylan’s birthday,” Xia answered promptly. “I do actually track what’s going on with your kids.”

“My baby’s going to be a grown man,” Sky whimpered. “That makes me officially old.”

Xia shrugged and gave Sky a wicked look. “There’s nothing we can do about it except be really embarrassing old women.”

“All right then,” Sky replied. “Let’s get started on that.”

And they did.

———-

This is Sky’s last post as the patroness of this legacy. The next post begins Dylan’s reign. It’s always sad and exciting to pass the torch.

Turns out there’s no option to watch a Showtime performance WITH someone. Dion never considered watching the performance like *everyone else* on the lot. He just wandered around the club alone doing other stuff. Then when the date ended, I got this notification:

Buh. Guess Dion knows how to make his own fun.

5.50 Something in the Air

Sky and Xia slept in the next morning, leaving the mess for later. Which meant they really left it for Dylan to clean up, since he couldn’t bear the sight of the kitchen when he came down for breakfast.

“How can we live like this?” he demanded, half to himself. “It’s just not civilized!”

Sawyer shrugged. “Mom’s sushi is better on the second day, I think.”

Sky was delighted to see the house sparkling clean when she woke up in the late morning. It gave her extra time to work on a new song, something with a beat.

This did not set well with Sawyer, who was struggling with remedial reading comprehension homework. Math was easy. It was these fluffy pointless things like themes and emotion that seemed like so much nonsense on the page.

“Stop that offensive noise and teach me how to drive,” he said. “I need to be able to leave this house when it’s too loud to hear myself think.”

It wasn’t the best way to ask, but Sky took what bonding time she could with her youngest son.

To Sky’s surprise, he turned out to not be too bad at driving. He applied his laser focus and picked up the skill fairly quickly. Sky still wasn’t entirely sure he should be allowed to drive by himself, though. The problem was when that laser of concentration got focused someplace else while Sawyer was behind the wheel.

Later, she got a surprise call from Forest, who wanted to catch up. She didn’t here from him often, as opposed to Hunter, who she talked to almost daily. So she dropped Sawyer off with the car and headed over to see him.

The fact that he now owned the house they’d lived in as children was way down the list of Forest’s weird behavior, but it led to complex feelings whenever she visited.

The house was definitely not the strangest thing about Forest.

Not by a long shot.

She and Forest exchanged pleasantries at the door, but instead of inviting her in out of the cold, he escorted her up to the patio for a longer chat.

Never much for pleasantries, Forest began by quizzing her on the security precautions she had in place at the Sample estate and made suggestions on how to make them more effective.

“What, exactly, are we protecting ourselves against?” Sky asked.

Forest grinned, his fangs glinting in the fading light. “My enemies, of course,” he said. “But don’t worry too much. You’re under my protection.”

Sky didn’t think that helped her worry at all.

“High five?” Forest said as she got ready to go home.

“Too slow!”

“You’re such a bastard,” Sky said.

“No more than you,” Forest replied.

The same evening, Xia took her boss, Anita Bookabet, out for drinks.

Xia and Anita were pretty good friends these days. Spending days flying upside-down with your hair on fire tended to lend themselves to bonding.

That night, they shared the dance floor of The Garden Gnome pub with Xia’s brother Jian and his love Dragonwife.

Xia liked seeing the steamy looks Jian was always sharing with his wife.

She was not so fond of Jian’s new look, though. “Do us all a favor and shave it off!” She whispered to Jian as she headed to the bar for a refill.

It was a nice evening, but what Xia was really hoping for was a promotion.

Anita knew how to keep her personal and professional life separate, though. No amount of cocktails and buddy stories got Xia any promises.

Eventually Anita packed up a well-buzzed Xia and sent her home to sleep it off with no promotion.

At least the dancing and drinks were fun.

“Would you do me the honor of accompanying me on an evening of dinner and dancing this Friday?” Dylan held the phone awkwardly to his ear.

“Is that a real question?” Andria Sword asked at the other end.

Dylan dug his heel into the carpet of his room, blushing furiously. “I’m quite serious. If you’re amenable, I would be delighted to share your company.”

“Are you asking me out on a date?”

“Yes?”

Andria laughed. “I’d love to!”

He took her to the nicest club he knew that would allow teens, The Sphinx. And there they finally spent enough time talking for him to relax just a little.

“I hope this isn’t too forward,” he suggested after dinner, “but would you like to dance?”



“I’d like to,” Andria admitted. “But you might not like dancing with me. Are you a strong lead?”

Dylan opened his arms as invitation. “I’m more than willing to learn together,” he said.

Andria flushed. “All right then,” she said. “I’ll give it a try.”

“Wow,” she whispered later. “You really do know to dance.”

Sky returned from Forest’s house and found herself with the evening free. It was a good time to get the band together.

She tuned her guitar while she waited for the boys to arrive, but the sound of shouting outside made her dash into the yard.

“What — what’s going on?”

Adam kicked a young man to the curb. “I think you better call the cops,” he said. “I caught this guy trying to break in the bathroom window.”

So this was why Forest was still so worried about security. “Wow,” Sky said. “Thank you for looking out for us.”

“I can’t believe this happened again!” Xia, still tipsy, stumbled into the scene.

Adam thumbed over his shoulder. “Be glad Garry wasn’t first to the scene,” he said.

“I’m lucky you’re my best friend,” Sky said.

Adam shrugged. “Don’t worry. It was fun.”

———-

Where ARE Forest’s fangs in that shot of him grinning. Art fail, EA. Yes, he’s still a vampire.

Not a whole lot of action in this post, but character development moves along. There’s a lot to catch up on.

I never had a burglar in my game EVAR, and the Samples have gotten 4-5 in the last few play sessions. Sheesh.

5.49 Making Ready for Forever

“I need to relax,” Xia said after the last guest had left. She hummed as she poured out the last of one of Lancelot Sample’s priceless bottles of well-aged nectar. “Come join me in some liquid relaxation, Sky.”

Sky sighed. “You know, I don’t mind if I do.”

While Sky and Xia were sipping and contemplating a a good party,

Abby was sure that her parents wouldn’t mind if she joined in the fun. She was, after all, almost an adult.

Sky gave her an amused look that said, “I see what you did there.” But she let Abby try it. Perhaps fine nectar would spoil Abby’s refined tastes against juice keggers at university.

“We are one hot middle-aged couple, if I do say so myself!” Xia announced. She sounded like maybe she’d had enough nectar for one evening. “Come over here and preserve our love for posterity.”

Sky giggled at the picture. “You know, we really are.”

“Told you,” Xia said smugly.

Abby realized that she could probably use the moment of distraction to refill her nectar,

but instead she decided to make her escape before her tipsy parents heated up any more.

Dylan had a Snowflake Day gift for Corrina. He’d asked her to meet him after everyone left the party so that they could exchange gifts in private.

While he was waiting in the foyer, Sawyer accosted him with some complaint about the party guests stomping on his research specimens in the back yard.

Dylan had no idea what Sawyer was talking about, but that was pretty normal.

“Why don’t you go do your science someplace else?” Dylan complained. He was so nervous about seeing Corrina he was almost sick. He didn’t have the time or energy for Sawyer’s eccentricity.

To Dylan’s surprise, Sawyer paused. “I think I will,” he said, with no hint of irony.

So he set about assembling a research center in his bedroom.

He was much happier. Scientific observations made so much more sense than people.

Dylan’s gut knotted when he saw Corrina on the doorstep.

“I came as fast as I could!” Corrina said breathlessly. “The Butterfield-Bookabets called and asked me to babysit. I told them I had plans with you for another half-hour. That ought to be enough time for gifts, right?”

Dylan gulped. “I guess we ought to be fast, then,” he said. He produced the package he’d spent an hour wrapping yesterday evening. Inside was a brightly-colored pendant he’d painted himself.

“Wow!” Corrina said. “This is amazing! You make such beautiful things, and you’re so smart! I’m so much happier when I’m around you.”

Dylan blushed. “Wow,” he said. “Thank you.”

“Oh dear,” Corrina continued. “I forgot your gift at home! Is it all right if I bring it to school tomorrow?”

He had to do it, and it had to be now. “Corrina,” he said, his voice cracking, “I just don’t think this is working out.”

“What?” Corrina said. “I don’t understand.” Then her eyes widened. “Wait! You don’t mean–! You can’t!”

“You’re a really nice person!” Dylan said lamely. “But think about it. We barely ever see each other. Sure, we’re both busy, but if we were happy in this relationship, we’d be making time. I just don’t think we’re right for each other.”

“I can make time!” Corrina said. “I’ll call the Butterfield-Bookabets and tell them to get another babysitter. It’s just that I need the money to get to university….”

Dylan felt like his heart would break. “Don’t give up your college savings for me!” he cried. “It’s just– it’s more than that Corrina. I know there are guys out there who are better for you than I am. I’m really sorry.”

Corrina’s eyes brimmed with tears. “So this is it,” she said. “You barely gave me a chance, and now you’re kicking me to the curb. I thought you were a nice guy.”

Dylan blinked back tears of his own, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. The last thing he wanted to do was break Corrina’s heart, but he knew now that she wasn’t the right girl, and the worst thing he could do would be to pretend he had feelings he didn’t.

Corrina let out a sob and dashed down the steps, past Abby and Sawyer’s melting snowmen. Dylan watched her go, his heart aching, wishing it could have been different.

“This has to be the dumbest idea you’ve ever had,” Sky giggled. “I’m freezing!”

“Nectar makes everything better!” Xia insisted.

“We are so drunk!”

They laughed.

“Xia,” Sky said. Her slight slur didn’t mask the earnestness of her voice. “I’ve been thinking about what you said. About love and commitment.”

Xia looked at her with a sudden intensity. “Yes?”

“I think I want to try an exclusive relationship.”

Xia sighed. “As you wish, my love.”

“Now stand up!” Sky insisted. “I can’t feel my knees!”

She staggered to her feet and pulled Xia up with her. “You’re the strong one! You should be doing this!”

“I’m also the drunker one!” Xia laughed.

“Xia?”

“Yes?”

“Would you not marry me for the rest of your life?”

Xia didn’t even blink. “Of course,” she said.

“Come on!” Xia said. “I’ve never tried this, and I’m just drunk enough that it looks fabulous!” She grabbed Sky by the arm and pulled her along.

“Are you kidding me? It’s freezing!”

“I’ll warm you up, baby.”

And she did.

———-

This is literally the last screenshot in my folder. I am caught up!

Sheesh. The last few posts are just FILLED with indoor snow. I didn’t notice how bad it was until I went back and reviewed.

We made it to the heir poll! Now I just have to post it!

5.48 It’s Better to Give

Abby meant well. She really did. All she wanted to do was explain to Sawyer ways he might behave that would make it less likely for his classmates to pick on him.

Sawyer didn’t take it that way.

He let loose a torrent of verbal abuse on Abby.

“Everyone keeps trying to change me! THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME! There’s something wrong with you. You and Mom and Mum and Dylan and everyone at school and everyone who thinks they can call themselves ‘normal.’ You’re all idiots!”

Abby was stunned. “I had no idea you felt this way,” she said. “I thought you wanted to learn how to fit in better.”

“I don’t need to fit in,” Sawyer said. “I’m smarter than all of you anyway.”

There was no use arguing with Sawyer that there were different kinds of intelligence. He had no way of visualizing social intelligence. And there was no denying that he was already showing a genius for the sciences that his artistic and musical family couldn’t comprehend. “Of course you’re smart,” Abby said. “Can you help me learn what you really want?”

This is how Sawyer roped Abby into his plans to build a snowman army.

Abby never did understand why Sawyer was fascinated by snowmen, but she realized that the only way to get to know her strange little brother was on his own terms.

He was right — even his family wasn’t very good about letting him call his own shots. For all that they worried about him, did any of them understand him? Was it even possible to understand Sawyer?

Building snowmen turned out to be a lot of fun. Sawyer tweaked their construction technique with each one and kept notes on something or other. Abby just rolled big snowballs and followed his directions.

After a while, they were laughing together. Abby didn’t think she’d ever seen Sawyer look that comfortable with anyone. It made her feel good — special, even — to see this side of him.

It turned out that the lawyer route was, in fact, a much more effective way to get through to the Marmalades. The attorney Sky kept on retainer took Xia’s long, ranty complaint and turned it into a businesslike challenge. Xia demanded a parenthood test, with Sherman Marmalade, but in the end Plum ceded the parenthood issue without a fight. There wasn’t much point in denying it. Sherman’s conception was recorded in Dr. Sebastian Hodgins’s notes.

Xia was granted visitation rights. The first time she met with Sherman as his mum was at Tinkerbell’s Beautique and Spa. Xia had thought that maybe they’d go for a spa day together, but in the end, they spent most of their time outside talking.

To Xia’s disappointment, Sherman didn’t bear a lot of resemblance to her. His skin and eye color were Plum’s. His hair was black, which didn’t match either of their families. He’d have to grow up a little more before she had a chance to see her face in his.

But really, the most important thing was that Sherman wanted to know her. He’d always known he wasn’t really Leah’s kid. Finding Xia seemed to bring him an answer to a lifelong question.

Now they just had to get to know each other. No big deal, right?

Xia wasn’t done being angry at Plum, but she at least felt less helpless. When she returned from her visit with Sherman, she felt like partying.

Snowflake Day was coming, and what would be better than a gift exchange! Xia used to party all the time in her youth, but parenthood, life drama, and work stress had slowed her down. Suddenly, Xia realized how long she’d spent focusing on responsible goals. There needed to be more fun in the Sample/Wu household!

She got on the phone and called everyone she knew.

Sky was surprised but pleased when Xia told her they were going to be hosting a huge open house. “I’ll make hors d’oeuvres for everyone!” she cried. “Starting with sushi!”

The idea of Sky making sushi made Xia a little nervous. Sky had old master grilled cheese in the last week. But she decided not to rain on Sky’s parade. What was the worst that could happen? Food poisoning? Ermmm….

Instead, on the day of the party, she herded the kids outside for a massive snowball war.

It was a gloomy. cloudy morning, but it was bright with bonding and laughter.

Then, after he’d showed and cleaned up after the fun in the snow, Sawyer quietly dropped his bombshell.

He’d decided it was time to age up.

“Now?” Sky cried, rushing up to meet him on the landing. “But I was going to throw a party!”

“Mama, I don’t *want* a party,” Sawyer said. “I knew you wouldn’t believe me. It’s better this way.”

So, around lunch time on Snowflake Day, standing on the stairway landing, Sawyer Sample became a teenager.

Abby cheered when she saw him.

She, at least, thought the surprise was delightful. “High school will be better,” she confided. “You’ll see.”

There wasn’t much more time to talk about it because the guests were starting to arrive. Dion Callender-Doctor showed up early, hoping to get a little quality time with Abby.

That was not to be because Uncle Hunter as not far behind him.

“What is WITH you, Uncle Hunter?” Abby demanded.

Hunter cringed. “I told you, it’s unicorn stuff,” he said. “Um, could I use your shower?”

The Samples had some well-aged nectar that Great Grandpa Lancelot had gathered on his travels. Xia decided it was time to uncork one to lubricate the conversation.

Nobody could remember inviting February Callender.

Dion really wanted to get some time alone with Abby, but Abby wouldn’t hear of leaving the party. There were too many wonderful conversations to be had and fun people to charm.

Forest made an appearance. His reputation preceded him.

For some more than others. Cousin Ash in particular spent the entire party as far from Forest as he could get.

Dylan arrived late. To everyone’s surprise, especially Xia’s, he brought Sherman.

“He called me and asked if he could come?” Dylan admitted.

Sherman didn’t have much to say, but he was never far from Xia.

Corrina Shepherd actually made it to the party!

Dylan’s heart squeezed, somewhere between delight and guilt. He’d also invited Adria, and she was also there.

“Let’s get this party rollin’!” Xia declared. “Don’t be shy! There are gifts for everyone!”

Sky’s sushi didn’t turn out half bad, and some of the guests had also brought treats.

Adria chattered with Dylan about an artistic layout she had in mind for a special edition of the paper.

It was a totally chaste conversation, right? Why was he so nervous?

Dylan was relieved when Adria decided to sit down to eat. Until she sat down and started chatting with Corinna.

Sky and Forest caught up. Forest spoke about his life almost entirely in vague euphemisms, but Sky was used to it.

The crowd got to be too much for Sawyer, though. He escaped to the back yard for some peace and quiet.

Unfortunately, Cousin Gina saw him go.

She had other plans entirely.

“I’ve had enough of all you crazy people,” Sawyer declared. He headed up to his room to set up some science experiments, and he stayed there until the party was over.

“Come, sit down with me!” Corrina pleaded with Dylan. “I know we’ve barely seen each other since prom, but my work schedule is changing. I’m really hoping that will change.”

She and Dylan sat down with some sushi. Dylan wondered what romantic couples were supposed to talk about. It was so much easier in letters.

He settled on he thoughts about the class president elections, which were coming up fast. Some of his friends on the paper had suggested that he run, but he couldn’t imagine anything less appealing than a campaign. He thought Abby should run.

Corrina laughed and agreed with him.

But then Dylan’s words trailed off as he watched the mess she made as she ate.

She was just like his mom.

“Um, I’ll be right back,” Dylan said. He had to get away from the crowd for a minute to think.

———-

Sawyer’s a teen at last!! I don’t know why he aged up on the stairway. I triggered age-up a couple of days early, but I didn’t want a cake because the Snowflake Day party was about to start.

I had Xia buy the jukebox so there could be dancing. Then I forgot to turn it on. Whoops!

GINA GOT CHARLES’S HAIR! Now I feel kind of guilty for giving it to Sawyer. Maybe I should have given him his mum Amy Winter’s hair. It was cool purple and indigo, which you didn’t get to see because all my surviving shots of her were elder.

I was pleased that we finally got Corrina to show up for something. She’s a really interesting/bizarre looking sim. I think I know who her genetic father is, and he’s an MTS sim with Commitment Issues who never had any actual kids. So this makes his genes worthwhile :).

I have one more post before we finally make it to the heir poll. One more!! And I even have the pics laid out for it.

I need to log into the game and get some CAS shots for the poll.

5.47 Love’s Battlefield

With Forest gone, Sawyer moved out of the room he had shared with Dylan into the empty space This gave Dylan a room he could arrange the way he wanted to.

Sawyer, on the other hand, took Forest’s musty, creepy room

And gave it his own touch.

Sawyer spent a lot of time in escapist play. He preferred the electronic variety. The rules were always either written out or easy to learn from the game.

He also spent a certain amount of time acting out scenarios with his dolls.

Sky and Sawyer had spent a lot of time using dolls in therapy, trying to help Sawyer socialize better at school. It warmed her heart to see him doing it at home. At least, until she overheard what he was saying.

“You’re supposed to smile. Your smile looks phony. You’re creepy.”

“I’m smarter than you are anyway.”

“I’m going to stuff you in a locker.”

“No you won’t. I can stop you with the power of my mind.”

“Then I’ll stuff your head int he toilet. I can beat you up a creepy like you.”

He was also wearing the muscle shirt to school again.

“Mom leaves the dirty dishes out all the time,” Sawyer pointed out over breakfast.

“Don’t remind me,” said Dylan.

Sky worried that things were getting worse at school again, but when she asked Sawyer, he wouldn’t talk about it.

She ended up leaning on Abby and Dylan to keep an eye on him, but they were both in high school and could only learn so much.

Dylan had his own distractions. He and Corrina spent as much time on the phone as they could manage with their busy schedules. Dylan had the newspaper, and she had an after-school job babysitting that took up a lot of her time. Whenever they managed to make time for a date, Corrina would get a last-minute babysitting offer and cancel on him.

Dylan had to settle for writing letters. He didn’t mind, really. He felt more comfortable writing out his thoughts and feelings than talking about them.

Sky started getting calls to perform in movies.

These were background roles, usually as a singing in a nightclub or bar, but they were wonderful publicity.

Her concerts were also better attended.

With more dedicated fans.

She went into the studio at the beginning of winter to record her first solo album, and sales were better than expected.

Then, in the middle of this day-to-day life, all hell broke loose for Xia.

It began with Dylan. He returned from a weekend at the Marmalades full of stories about a family party. Plum and Leah had three children of their own, two boys named Sherman and Stephan, and a little girl named Devon. It had been Devon’s birthday into childhood. The Marmalades had rented out a play center and hired an interactive children’s drama troupe.

“And in a few weeks, Sherman is going to be a teenager. They’re talking about taking me and him skydiving.”

Xia leaned forward abruptly in her chair. “Sherman’s going to be a teen already?” she asked. “When’s his birthday anyway?”

And that set off a lot of math that changed everything for Xia.

“He’s my son,” she told Sky bitterly. “Plum had my kid and never told me. Plum wanted kids really badly, and we’d been to see Dr. Hodgins several times about conceiving one before she found out about you and kicked me out. As far as I knew, nothing ever took. Why does nobody tell me I have kids?? Are there any more hiding under rocks I should know about?”

Xia was angrier than Sky had ever seen. Seeing her like this made Sky feel, really for the first time, guilty about having Abby without saying anything Knowing that she’s committed the same offense made it hard to talk to Xia about Sherman.

Xia deliberated all of five minutes before going to find her coat. “If Plum thinks she’s going to keep me away from him,” she has another thing coming,” she said.

“I know this is important,” Sky said earnestly, “but maybe we should talk to a lawyer first. I don’t think you can just show up unannounced. Dylan warned me about their security system.”

“She is not going to keep me away from him,” Xia said firmly. It was clear there was no reasoning with her.

Xia set out that very evening to confront Plum.

Castle Marmalade was an imposing structure in the dead of night.

It turned out that Sky and Dylan were right. The fortress was patrolled by trained guard dogs at night.

Xia was angry, but not angry enough to risk her life.

She had to retreat to fight another day.

Sky spent the evening calming Xia down. Xia, who was always the level-headed one, swung between fury and self-recrimination until almost dawn.

The day dawned for Dylan’s first date with Corrina. He had to let out his nervous energy, so the house was spotless by the time he needed to leave to meet her at the restaurant.

He wanted his first date to be as classy as possible, so he persuaded her to go out to dinner at The Round Table. Corrina insisted that this was far too fancy. He insisted that he was going to treat anyway, so she didn’t need to worry.

He wanted to be sure he wasn’t late, so he ended up arriving a half an hour early.

But that was all right. He could draft an article for the newspaper while he wanted.

Around him, diners drifted in and out.

Some of them seemed pretty happy, and some were inexplicably miserable.

Dylan had been absorbed in that work for an hour before he realized that Corrina still wasn’t there. Had something happened to her? He dialed her number nervously.

“Corrina? Are you all right?”

“Dylan!” Corrina exclaimed on the other end. “Oh, look at the time! I’m so sorry. I hope you weren’t waiting long. The Butterfield-Bookabets called me to babysit. I told them I had plans for tonight, but it was kind of important, and now it looks like they’re going to be out all evening. Please don’t be mad!”

Dylan hung up the phone, feeling lost. What had just happened?

If there wasn’t going to be a date, then he should head home. Dylan sank into a chair and glanced over his sketch for the paper, trying to collect his racing thoughts.

“Hey there! Aren’t you Dylan Sample? What are you doing here?”

It was Adria Sword, a new girl in the high school a few years behind Dylan. “Uh, hi! I guess I could ask you the same thing,” Dylan stammered.

“I come here sometimes because I love the food,” Adria admitted. “I’ve always wanted to travel to France to try the real thing, and when I’m older I’m going to do it.”

“I’ve always wanted to travel too,” Dylan admitted.

Suddenly, in the crowded snow-filled courtyard of the restaurant…

Dylan Sample and Adria Sword could only see each other.

“Do need someone on the newspaper?” Adria asked. “I’ve been meaning to ask you, but you’re always so busy. I think journalism is really exciting. Especially world events.”

“Would you like to help me on the article I’m writing now?” Dylan asked.

Adria’s face lit up. “Sure!”

Dylan looked over her shoulder and saw his creepy Uncle Forest arriving for dinner with his even creepier sort-of-boyfriend. “Uh, what about if we sit over here? It’s quieter.”
 

What do I do? his mind kept racing, even as he talked to Adria about the school lunch budget. Is this how I’m supposed to act? Am I doing wrong by Corrina?

But when he looked in Adria’s eyes, he couldn’t look away.

So, Plum had JUST gotten pregnant when she kicked Xia out of the house. I knew this at the time, but I got so focused on Xia’s career that I completely forgot about it until a stupid amount of time had passed.

Corrina, who is a babysitter service sim, agreed to go out with Dylan *three times* to The Round Table and then set the pop-up that something else had come up. I used MasterController and located her in the apartment where Ignacio and Alice Butterfield-Bookabet live, and for some reason she was route-failing there. So I made it part of the story. Ah well. Dylan had actually been rolling wishes to meet Adria and learn her sign for a couple of days.

I believe the gold-skinned, black haired cutie who bought Sky’s album is Freddy Cagley, son of Morand Cagley and Bella Bachelor Cagley.

The golden boy was Asriel Bookabet, grieving over the death of his cougar Zuzu Weaver. I just had to drop him in there. πŸ™‚

Adria must have aged up right after she talked to Sawyer. I’m not sure which kid she’s closer to in age.

The next post was supposed to be the last one before the heir poll, but when I laid it out, it was clear I’d have to make two posts. So I’ll get those out as fast as possible! Then I’ll be caught up — I think it’ll be the first time in the history of the Samples.

5.46 The Last Gasp of Fall

Winter was around the corner. The leaves had fallen from the trees, and there was frost in the morning.

Xia prepared Hunter’s garden for the first snow, making sure the sensitive plants had enough mulch around their roots to protect them from freezing.

Abby tried to impress Xia by pretending she was interested in gardening.

Xia knew it was just a ploy for attention, but she didn’t call Abby on it. She wanted Abby to feel loved.

As the sun rose on Saturday morning, Sky painted and Dylan tidied up. Sawyer’s sleep schedule was off from everyone else’s again.

For brunch, Sky made yet another attempt at grilled cheese sandwiches.

They came out golden brown this time, exactly as she’d intended.

She took a tentative bite….

And to her shock, they tasted pretty good!

“Hey everyone!” she called! “Brunch is on!”

“These are great!” Abby quipped. “They taste just like chicken!”

“I have big plans for today,” Sky said with her mouth full.

“Mama!” Dylan complained. “Do you have to do that? It’s disgusting!”

Sky shrugged off Dylan’s rebuke. “Winter is almost here, and I’ve been promising everyone a day at the park. This is our last chance until Spring.”

“Mama,” Abby said patiently, “it’s dark and rainy outside, not to mention almost freezing. I’m not going to the park in that.”

Sky smirked. “Thanks to your grandmother Veronica,” she said, “I can handle that.”

So they packed up and headed off as a family to the park.

“Come climb with me!” Abby said immediately. “They just installed a climbing wall. I bet I can beat you.”

Xia blinked. “Seriously? Which of us is training to be an astronaut?”

Xia took up the challenge, though, and it went pretty much as one would expect.

Worst, Abby seemed genuinely upset about losing.

“Hey now,” Xia chided. “I’ve been doing military exercises since you were in diapers. Give me a little credit here!”

Abby smiled. “I know,” she said. “It’s silly. I just like to win, I guess.”

“Can I invite Mum?” Dylan begged.

Sky froze. “I was thinking this would be a family day out,” she said.

“Mum IS family,” Dylan retorted. “And you said you’d invite her to things. I heard you.”

Sky nodded. “You’re right,” she said. “Call her.”

Sawyer tried to strike up a conversation with Adria Sword, an older girl from school who was hanging around on the basketball court.

He started by trying to explain the scientific principles behind the patented Veronica Sample Weathermaster machine that had allowed Sky to make the day so pretty.

Then he told her about how advanced his brain was. Grownups kept saying that he had learning disabilities, but they couldn’t do calculus in their heads.

Adria nodded a lot, but didn’t say much. Then she said she had to go. Sawyer didn’t think it had gone very well.

Leah came straight over from a champagne brunch at the Castle Marmalade.

She was delighted to see Dylan. It was the first time in a very long time that Sky saw firsthand how close they were.

It was to be expected — in fact, it was a good thing.  Still, it was hard not to compare the adoring way Dylan looked at Leah and wonder if if he felt that strongly about his mama.

She found ways to distract herself.

And it did get better.

As the afternoon wore on, Xia taught Abby the basics of basketball.

Sawyer gave up on the social stuff and began collecting, “specimens.”

Sky serenaded the park and brought in a nice collection of tips.

Everyone had a good time, and after the kids were in bed, Sky and Xia sat up and held each other tight.

“There won’t be very many more days like this one,” Sky said sadly. “Sawyer’s about to start high school, and it won’t be that much longer until Dylan graduates.”

Xia sighed. “I know.”

Sky nestled into Xia’s shoulder. “I hope I’ve done all right by them. I never imagined myself as a mom, but it just happened.”

Xia held her close. “You’ve done just fine,” she said.

———-

Just a slice-of-life character building chapter. I debated leaving this one out, but I just can’t let go of these little moments.

Since it was cold, they kept popping in and out of their outerwear, so some of the pictures are in different outfits. Ah well.

Also, Sky is floating again. Her and Charles’s walk styles set to a normal sim sometime while Sky was a teen, and I left it that way to show how human they’d become, especially since Sky was only 1/4 ghost. They could still walk over gaps and through walls, and with Twallan’s mod allowed her to teleport. However, I started experimenting with Showtime and Simports, and it turns out that ghost occults (or possibly any occult?) can’t Simport. So I removed her occult state in order to send her on Simport and then replaced it, which reset her walk style. I left her as human for a stretch later because of Simport, so she’ll be floating on and off. I figure, that’s probably reasonable for a 1/4 ghost anyway :).

BTW: Adria Sw0rd is the late-in-life daughter of Sebastian Hodgins Sw0rd and Lynn Winslow Sw0rd. She got Sebastian’s coloring, but a lot of Lynn’s facial features. You’ll be seeing her again :).

5.45 Black and White Limousines

Prom day was here.

There were no more streamers to hang in the school gym. The vote had been held for the theme song. (“Unforgettable.” Again.) The ballots for prom king and queen had been distributed.

Dylan was finally left with enough time to be nervous.

He was going stag. That was no big deal. Half his friends were too. But what were they going to do? Hang out by the punch bowl and talk about the newspaper? Should he try to ask someone to dance. What if someone asked HIM to dance? What should he do?

“She promised me she was going to call you!” Abby snapped at Dylan. She seemed genuinely frustrated.

“What, my secret admirer?” Dylan asked.

“Of course. She just checked with me yesterday to be sure you still didn’t have a date. If she thinks I’m going to all the work to get you two together, she has another thing coming. I can help. I’m a good friend, but friendship only goes so far. This is trying my patience.”

Sawyer looked both perplexed and disgusted. “Why do you have to keep this stuff a secret from each other?” he asked. “Isn’t that like lying?”

“You’ll understand when you’re older.”

“I have no intention of behaving like an idiot when I’m your age,” Sawyer replied.

“On second thought,” Abby said, “maybe you won’t.”

Dion came to pick up Abby. He brought flowers and wore his best duds. Abby bestowed on him a radiant smile to show how much she approved. Dylan averted his eyes. He’d seen her practice that smile dozens of times in front of the mirror. It wasn’t nearly as spontaneous as it looked.

Abby herself had gone shopping for her prom dress no fewer than ten times, and she had four runner-up dresses still in her closet. It had to be earth tones to warm up her severe silver complexion, green to set off her hair, show skin but not too much skin, and accent her figure to best advantage.

Dylan had been in charge of renting the limousine, of course. Abby had pressured him to borrow the Marmalade staff limo. He’d refused to bring anything like that up to his mum, but in the end his Stepmom Plum had offered to let him use it.

Dylan kept to a classic look for himself, though he hated having anything around his neck.

Sawyer was just as happy to have his older siblings out of the house. While they were gone, there was a 100% reduction in teen angst.

He spent most of the evening figuring out how to disassemble the family cow toy.

When it got to be about time to return, he he decided to be somewhere else. He expected Dylan and Abby to be just as emotional as they had been when they left, and dealing with drama was so exhausting.

Now that the weather was cold, Avalon Springs was his favorite place.

It was beautiful, and nobody wanted to swim there when it was cold. He could work on his scientific experiments in peace.

Abby and Dylan were back just exactly at curfew. Both of them were bursting with emotion, just as Sawyer had predicted.

“I told you! I told you that you had an admirer!” Abby crowed.

Dylan was still dazed. “I probably would never have known if you didn’t force her to ask me for a dance.”

The girl in question was Corrina Shepherd, who sat next to Dylan in math. Early in the semester, she’d asked Dylan to copy his math homework, and he told her in no uncertain terms that he would not be a party to cheating. Those were the last words they’d exchanged until prom night when, under Abby’s thread of revealing her secret crush, she’d asked Dylan to dance. Then, on the dance floor, she’d confessed her feelings to him. They’d been inseparable for the rest of the night.

They were both too excited to sleep, so they grabbed breakfast before heading to bed.

“I really shouldn’t have been so worried about being voted prom queen,” Abby chattered cheerfully. “I mean, when you look at the running, I didn’t have that much competition. A sophisticated sense of style will always show through. And do you know that Dion asked me to be his girlfriend? He even called it ‘going steady!’ So quaint! He’s adorable, really. Of course, I said yes, but I don’t know how long I really want to tie myself down… Dylan? Are you listening?”

“I was just wondering what to do now,” Dylan admitted. “You never seem to worry about these things. But I’m just not sure if Corinna is the right girl.”

“She doesn’t have to be the right girl!” Abby exclaimed. “How will you know if you don’t try her on for size? Do you really expect to marry the first girl you date? You need to get some dating experience.”

Dylan thought of his mama, who had plenty of dating experience. Too much. All that experience certainly hadn’t helped Sky make good decisions. He saw his mum crying every night while his parents’ marriage fell apart, and he swore then he would never play games with someone else’s heart. When he made a commitment to a woman, he was going to abide by it. When he fell in love, it would be forever.

After she heard that all three children were safely in bed, Sky got up and headed downstairs to wait for Forest to come home. He was even more nocturnal now than he used to be. If she didn’t try hard, she never saw him at all.

“I wanted you to know that our house was broken into again,” she said. “You told me that we wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.”

“I’m well aware of the problem,” Forest admitted. “I thought that I had my nemesis… under control… but it appears that he is more determined than I gave him credit for. It’s most impressive.”

“Impressive to you, maybe,” Sky retorted. “My children live here. I’m not going to let them be pawns in your power games.”

“I know, I know,” Forest said. “It may not look like it, but I do take my niece and nephews welfare very seriously. I have been thinking hard on this, and I believe I’ve devised a plan that will take my problems out of your life completely.”

“You’re kidding me,” Sky said.

Forest smiled wickedly, though he kept his lips pressed together. Sky never saw him grin openly anymore. There was something about him these days that gave her the chills, and that was saying a lot for a ghost woman.

“Yes,” Forest said. “I’ve been working under the belief for years that you would be safest with me here to protect you. I think the rules of the game have changed now, however. Now it’s time for the mountain to go to Mohammed.”

He seemed almost luminous when he said it. Sky’s blood ran cold. She didn’t know if she was sad or eager when she said, “Are you trying to say that you’re moving out?”

“Yes,” Forest agreed. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. I think I you’ll be safer now if I see personally to the containment of my nemesis.”

“You’re going to live with him?”

“As a manner of speaking. I think it’s going to be very entertaining for both of us.”

“I don’t even trying to understand you anymore, brother,” Sky said, shaking her head. “If moving in with your enemy will be fun for you and keep your scary business out of our lives, then don’t let me stand in your way.”

Forest chuckled. “It’s all arranged. I’ll be away by dawn.”

“That fast?” Sky said. “Is this goodbye?”

“I’m not going to vanish,” he said. “But I imagine we’ll be seeing a good deal less of each other.”

They stared at each other awkwardly. Then Sky opened her arms, and Forest’s face softened. They folded together in the first hug they’d shared since they were teenagers. “Good luck,” Sky said.

“Thank you for putting up with me all these years,” Forest said. “And most of all, thanks for not asking questions.”

In no more than an hour, Forest left the Sample estate. It was the last day he would call that place home.

But not before he made a few… alterations… to his uniform. The new version suited his sense of style much better.

The black limousine that had once been Sean Flynn’s drove him to the Flynn home. He didn’t warn Sean and Cynthia Flynn that he was coming. That would have spoiled all the fun.


The Flynn home just happened to be the very house that Veronica Sample had built for them with Forest was a teenager. Flynn had bought it a long time ago, and it was hard to believe that he hadn’t done it with Forest in mind.

So Forest’s life came full circle.

———-

Sorry I wrapped Forest’s departure into the prom post. There wasn’t enough of it to really make it its own post.

So we give  fond farewell to Forest. This is very close to the state of gameplay, so he hasn’t had much chance to do much in story progression. I left him and Flynn as love interests just to see what would happen. It appears that Forest and Flynn can carry on their affair right under Flynn’s wife’s nose without any problems. Story Progression is not terribly savvy about these things. Forest also started an on-again-off-again thing with the elderly Jeannette Crumplebottom, who is Shanni’s eldest kid…. Forest’s first cousin once removed, I think. Icky. Jeannette’s a playgirl, though, and nothing will come of it. Plus I think she’s older than Cynthia Winter Flynn.

I lost my notification shots of prom, but it was pretty nondescript. The notable events were the ones I wrote about — Dion asking Abby to go steady and Dylan picking up a love interest. Corrina Shepherd is a babysitter service sim.

5.44 Old Demons

Sky’s next big gig was at Coffee Under the Sea. The coffee shop was getting more and more of its business from live performances, and apparently Sky’s unsatisfactory performance at the park was enough to raise her profile as a solo artist enough for them to call her personally.

This was a much higher-profile performance. Sky was nervous. So nervous she had trouble keeping her feet on the ground — literally. She hadn’t felt this ghostly in a long time.

She arrived very early to the performance only to find her old lover February Callender hanging out at the coffee shop. February hated her for some reason she’d never really figured out. Not a good way to start the evening.

She tried to calm her nerves with a cup of coffee. It turned out to be pretty good coffee.

The crowed was smaller than her park performance drew.

On the other hand, they were much more engaged. The smaller crowd felt so much more intimate. She was able to build a rapport with the the listeners.

Her heart took flight. Sky had been a professional musician for so long that she’d lost track of the simple joy of sharing music that had drawn her in when she was young.

Afterward, the audience begged for pictures with her. They also wanted to buy her album. The problem was, Sky had never recorded a solo album.

She wondered what it took to reserve a studio. Maybe she could do a combined studio album with Ghostwriter.

While Sky was out, thinking of anything but home, it happened.

The Sample Estate was invaded. Again.

This burglar was not driven away by Riddle’s barking. Maybe he thought a dog was the worst defense the family had.

The sound brought Xia running. She never hesitated before acting. She had been trained for just such a moment.

The burglar never stood a chance.

The burglar alarm called the police department automatically, but Xia had the situation well in hand before the cop arrived.

Still high on adrenaline, she chattered to the cop about the fight while he cuffed the criminal and read him his rights.

“Thank you, ma’am,” he said respectfully. “You’re one of the good guys. If you don’t mind, I’m going to look around the property for anything irregular after this guy is secured.”

“Certainly, officer,” Xia agreed. “Anything I can do to help.”

As soon as the coast was clear, Abby came clattering down the stairs. “You were amazing!” she cried. “Tell me everything!”

Abby adored her mum, and she was always trying to get Xia’s attention. But this time Xia really had been amazing, and she was eager tell her daughter all about it.

The cop returned. “Everything seems to be secure, ma’am,” he said.

He and Xia got their first real look at each other.

“Wow,” Xia breathed. “Have I ever mentioned how much I appreciate a man in uniform?”

“Um,” Abby said. “I’m going to go into the kitchen. And call Dion. I’m sure he wants to hear all about this.” She scrambled out of the room as fast as she could.

Sky returned, flushed from her performance, to find Xia making time with the police officer in the foyer.

“Hi Honey,” Sky said flatly, taking in the scene. “I’m home.”

“Sky!” Xia said, not taking her eyes off the policeman “May I introduce you to Officer Cobalt? You just won’t believe the night we’ve had!”

“Sky looked away. I’ll give you guys some privacy,” she said. “I think I need a drink.”

She escaped to the kitchen and stripped off her winter sweater, only to find Abby sitting at the breakfast bar, talking intensely into her phone. “I gotta go Dion. See you at school.” She hung up. “Mama!” she said. “Did Mum tell you all about beating up the burglar? She was amazing.”

Sky sank into the seat beside her daughter. “I guess that explains a lot,” she said. “What happened?”

Abby breathlessly shared every detail she’d witnessed from the top of the stairs. “Mum is such a badass!” she squealed. “And she’s totally making time with that cop. I’m sure you don’t mind. I know you and Mum have this open thing, and I think that’s totally the best thing! Monogamy is such a silly idea anyway –“

Sky let her talk, and she tried to listen, but her mind was a whirl. At last she said gently. “We can talk about this tomorrow. You still have school. This whole situation is exciting, but it’s not worth your grades.”

“Aw, Mama!”

Sky raised her eyebrows. “Now, young lady.”

So Abby headed off to bed, and Sky tried to think. In the foyer, she could barely hear Xia saying goodbye to the police officer over the pounding of her own heart.

She avoided Xia’s gaze as her lover pranced into the kitchen. “Can you believe this? What a night! And did you see how hot that cop was?” She did a little pirouette and singsonged, “I got his phone number.”

“You were amazing,” Sky said, “or so I hear.”

“Wait,” Xia said. “What’s wrong?”

“I didn’t think you were into guys,” Sky said.

“What, him? Sure I am, I guess, if it’s the right guy. Does it bother you that I’m bi?”

“I think I just need some time,” Sky said. “I don’t have any reason to be upset. I know you want an open relationship, and I’ve always been happy with that. I just–“

“Wait,” Xia said. “We have an open relationship because *you* wanted one. I never asked for us to be open.”

Sky’s eyes widened. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. Finally, she managed, “I don’t understand. We’ve talked about this.”

 

“We talked about how we didn’t need commitment, and we weren’t going to require commitment from each other. You never asked me if I wanted it.”

“Wait!” Sky cried. “That’s not fair! If you didn’t want to live like this, you had to say it! I never tried to push you to anything that didn’t make you happy! I trusted you to be honest with me!”

“Hey, hey,” Xia pulled Sky into her arms. “Please calm down. I don’t mean you did anything wrong. You’ve always cared and listened.”

Sky clung to her, trying not to try. “I’ve been doing my best,” she murmured. “I really have.”

“You’ve been wonderful,” Xia said soothingly. “But let’s step outside. I think the walls have ears.”

Sky took a deep breath “OK,” she managed. Xia took Sky by the hand and drew her out onto the chilly back deck.

“I need to come clean,” Xia said. “I told you I had a crush on you in high school, but it’s more than that. The truth is that I couldn’t get you out of my head. You were just, well, aglow, and you were so crazy about Leah I knew I didn’t have a chance. I knew it was stupid to set my heart on some girl who didn’t know I existed, and I tried not to be stupid about it. I tried really hard to love Plum the way I loved you, but I don’t think I was ever honest with myself about how much I still wished we could have a chance.

“I was stupid that night in the pub with you because it was the dream I hadn’t been able to chase away since we were kids. Suddenly the real Sky noticed me, and I just couldn’t let the chance slip away, no matter what the cost.”

Sky frowned, trying to take it all in. “You never told me you felt this way,” she said.

“At first I didn’t want to admit it,” Xia said. “We’d just destroyed our relationships with our chosen life mates. I pretty much hated myself, and I knew you did too. I didn’t want to spoil your chances with Leah, and then I didn’t want to become your crazy stalker either. I don’t believe that you have one perfect mate or any of that kind of nonsense. I was determined to make my dreams of you go away.

“And then when we were both free and had a chance to try each other out for real, we were both so broken. I didn’t think you could take crazy love talk, and I didn’t think I could handle saying it even if it were true.”

Sky’s breath caught. “I was a disaster,” she agreed softly. “I was sure that I was some kind of broken good who would destroy anyone who loved me.”

“I’m really happy with exactly what we have now,” Xia said. “If you want to keep our relationship open, I’m fine with it. And not doormat I’ll-give-you-anything-you-want fine, but actually fine. The open relationship is fun. What what I want most is you. If you want to change things, let’s talk about it.”

She stepped into Sky’s arms and stared into her eyes with frightened, naked honesty. “I love you, Sky,” she said. “I always have.”

For a moment, Sky felt the old terror of commitment descend on her, but she realized that it was a cobweb of a fear that she could shake off with no trouble. She took a long shuddering breath and said, “I love you too.”

———-

This is the last of the string of burglaries. I guess the game was making up for the fact that I’d never had one in like four years of playing the game.

5.43 Social Climbing

Abby joined the drama club. She spent most of her free time playing with costuming and practicing her lines.

Dylan wanted to learn to drive. He was now the head student editor of the school newspaper, and he really needed to be able to get places on his own. He had four parents to pester for rides, but it really bothered him to make them schedule their lives around him.

It was prom time. Dylan signed up for the decoration committee. Abby walked the halls between classes with an ambitious sparkle in her eye.

“I’m going to be prom queen,” she confided in Dylan as he drove her home. “Have you thought about running for prom king?”

Dylan frowned. “Why would I want to be prom king? That’s just a popularity contest.”

“And what’s wrong with a popularity contest?” Abby demanded. “Being popular just means everyone likes you. It’s good when everyone likes you.”

“I guess it works for you,” Dylan said.

“Who are you going ask to be your date?”

“You don’t have to have a date to go to prom,” Dylan said. “That’s such an outdated idea.”

Abby gave her brother a sly look. “You never even try to date,” she said. “If you paid any attention at all, you’d probably know that someone in your class has a crush on you.”

Dylan hit the break a little too hard, throwing them against their seatbelts. “You what?”

“You cut a pretty nice figure, brother mine,” Abby said. “Of course somebody noticed.”

“Who?”

Abby tossed her hair. “Not my secret to tell,” she said. “I’m trying to get her to ask you to prom herself.”

One afternoon, Sawyer found the maid in the kitchen.

“I have taken an inventory of the leftovers in the refrigerator,” he told her, “and we are missing two slices of cake. My analysis indicates that you are the most likely to have eaten them.”

The maid was flabbergasted. “What are you talking about? Why would I eat your cake?”

“I don’t know why you ate our cake,” Sawyer said. “Why is irrelevant.”

“This isn’t fair! How do I know you didn’t eat it and are blaming it on me?”

Sawyer gave her a hard look. “Would I really bother telling you this if I ate it?”

She cringed. “Just don’t tell your moms I’ve been eating their food.”

“If it continues, I can’t be responsible for my actions,” Sawyer told her.

Abby thought long and hard on who would take her to the prom. Even though she could win prom queen regardless of who she went with, she knew that the right arm candy could be a big boost to her chances. She needed someone attractive, but not so attractive that he outshined her. It also helped if he had social connections and enough money to really dress up for the occasion.

She decided that her best candidate was Dion Callender-Doctor. She invited him over to her house after school to do homework together.

“Wow,” Dion said when she brought him in. “This is a really nice place.”

“I know, right?” she said. “The Samples have a long legacy. The family records go back to my great-great-great Grandparents, Susie and Connor Sample. She was a music legend, and he was an award-winning author. There are celebrities all over my family tree. We’ve had money for as long as anyone can remember. We’re really kind of like aristocracy.”

“That’s really impressive,” Dion said, though he seemed a little put off. “You wanted to do homework?”

“I know just the place. We have this picturesque arboretum just through that door. I always go there when I want to think clearly.”

Dion seemed to relax when he walked into the beautiful arboretum. “This really is beautiful,” he admitted.

“My mum and Uncle Hunter planted all the flowers,” Abby said.

“So what are you going to write for our history essay on the Fae Infusion Era?” Dion asked, getting out his notebook.

“I already wrote it,” Abby admitted, “but I have so ideas I didn’t want to use if you’d like them.”

Dion wasn’t terribly good at history, and Abby knew it. That’s why she had suggested they were on that subject. He was happy to let her dictate most of his essay for him.

“Thanks so much!” he said when they were done. “You’re really good at this. I think you might have saved my grade.”

Abby smiled graciously. “We make a pretty good team,” she said. “And I was thinking we’d be the most amazing couple at the prom if you would be my date.”

Dion blanched. “Wow,” he said. “I never thought someone as popular as you would ask me to the prom,” he said. “I’m really flattered. The thing is, I was planning to go with Sherman Ursine-Mentary.”

“That sounds really nice, and I know he’s your best friend,” Abby said, “but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you had a real date instead.”

Dion scowled. “We weren’t planning on going as friends,” he said.

Abby blanched. “Oh.”

“Look, I’m really flattered. Um, is there any chance you’d like to do something else sometime? Maybe go out to dinner? I think you’re really nice.”

Abby sighed, maybe just a bit theatrically. “I really like you,” she said. “And I just can’t get the thought out of my head of the two of us on the dance floor. I think we’d just be amazing together. I know it’s a terrible thing to ask, but do you think Sherman would be willing to go out with you some other time instead of prom?”

Dion seemed just a bit mesmerized by the picture she painted. “Yeah,” he said slowly, “we would look pretty great together.”

And that’s how Abby Sample landed her date to the prom. It’s also why Sherman Ursine-Mentary stopped speaking to her.

In the wee hours of the morning, when everyone else was asleep, a long black limousine drew up in front of the Sample estate.

Forest Sample stepped out into the pouring rain and thanked his new driver.

It had been an exciting night. Forest had led an army of minions into Sean Flynn’s office and escorted him out of the the underworld lair.

Flynn had been driven out into the rain alone, swearing that he would be back to retake his empire.

Whatever happened in the future, Forest had achieved his life’s ambition.

He was now the Emperor of Evil.

———-

I couldn’t imagine Abby going to the prom without a date, and of course Story Progression has paired almost everyone off. So I had her pick an interesting guy she was heart-farting for and persuaded him to break up with his boyfriend. Dion is the child of January Callender and our Matt Smith/11th Doctor simalike. I’m not sure about his face. We’ll have to see if he grows into it. Have I mentioned how much I love the genetics in my town?

I’m kind of disappointed in the Evil career track. It was really just skilling. I think there should have been some kind of special interaction that you needed to do to get a job metric, like police officers have to file reports. Maybe intimidate people, win fights, or extract protection money.

Ah well. Forest made it. Sadly, this means that he, his bloodlust, and his messed up love affair will soon be leaving this legacy. He hung around a crazy amount for time for a spare, though. Gen 5 is almost over. And I really had him cranking on his LTW almost the whole time.

On the positive side, I have vampire aging on, but he’s still probably going to live for a couple more generations. I think he’s going to become the Sample legacy’s antihero protector.