Edmund wrote his mother’s directions down on a scrap of paper. He didn’t much hold with fancy smartphones. It was something he and Andria had in common.
She could tell him the way to the gypsy caravan without a moment’s thought, though she hadn’t been there in years herself.
“Always be reverent,” she warned him. “No matter how rude and condescending they are. They talk down to us because they are powerful enough to do whatever they like, and they know it. But they’re not entirely capricious. They’ll listen to you, and they might help.”
Edmund rehearsed what he was going to say many times before he knocked at the door. If he was lucky, the fae — his mother’s people — would recognize him as their own. If he wasn’t, what did he have to lose? Did he have anything to lose?
“You have much to learn, and clearly your mother is not going to teach you,” they said. “We will answer your questions, but we will do it in our own time. Until then, you will learn what we want to teach you.”
Edmund could not have wished for more.
“It’s sweet of you to make me hot cocoa!” Victoria told him that evening. “You’re not usually the most domestic kind of guy.”
“I’m very good and putting mugs in the new hot beverage machine and pushing the ‘cocoa’ button,” Edmund said.
“I’m not sure, but it seems like you might want to talk about something,” Victoria said.
“You’re right,” Edmund said. “You’re a lot better with people than I am.”
Vickie raised her eyebrows. “I think you might be the first person who actually thinks I’m good with people.”
“I want to help someone, but I don’t know if she wants my help,” Edmund said. “I’m nervous about asking her, but at this point I need her to work with me.”
Victoria took a long sip of cocoa. “I’m really not that good with people,” she said.
“Maybe it’s just that I’m so very bad at it,” Edmund said darkly.
“I can listen, though,” Victoria said. “I mean, if you want to work through your ideas for how to talk to her.”
“That’s a brilliant idea,” Edmund said.
The following evening, he knocked nervously on the door of a Victorian bungalow.
He had spent many long nights of research simply tracking down where she lived. He had no idea how she would react when she saw him.
Marisela Flynn was in front of his eyes so fast that Edmund wasn’t sure whether had blinked too long or she bewitched him.
“We seem to keep finding each other,” she said, eyeing him. “But this doesn’t seem to be happenstance.”
Edmund swallowed. “I want to help you,” he said.
“You think I need help?” she asked, raising an arched eyebrow.
Edmund forced himself to look her straight in her sinister, luminescent eyes. “Can you tell me you don’t?”
Her lips twitched. “Touché. What, exactly, makes you think you have some way to help me?”
“I don’t know, but I think I might,” he said. “Can you trust me?”
“Trust,” she said slowly. “I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I’ll follow where you lead and won’t hurt you, for now, if that’s the assurance you need.”
He led her back the way he’d come that morning, but as they drew closer to the fae caravan, Marisela slowed down.
“The fae are the enemy of my kind. Do you want to get me killed?” she demanded.
“You have my protection,” Edmund said with more confidence than he felt.
Marisela chucked darkly. “Well, that settles all my worries.”
“Please sit down,” Edmund said, gesturing at an ornate table that held a huge crystal ball.
“Are you going to tell my fortune,” Marisela asked.
“No,” Edmund retorted, “but I might learn something to help your future. Please let me concentrate.”
Then he fumbled his first burst of magic and nearly dropped the priceless magical artifact on the ground. Keep it together, he warned himself silently. Please keep it together.
Marisela was abruptly riveted by the orb. “I can see my father!” she whispered.
“He’s your sire,” Edmund said. “It’s because of him that you are a vampire.”
“He wanted an enforcer for his battle with his ancient nemesis,” Marisela said bitterly. “My father has been at war with another vampire for control of the underworld for generations. I wouldn’t help him. Now I’m alone.”
“Think about him,” Edmund instructed, growing more confident. “He’s your tie to the undead. I have to learn about that connection.”
“That’s not hard,” Marisela said darkly. “I spend most of my time thinking about him.”
They stared at the orb in silence for a long time. Mists swirled within it. Sparks flew around it.
At last he let it fall back to its cradle and stood up. His dragon flew down to rest on his arm, squawking fondly. He stroked her scaly head thoughtfully.
“Are we done here?” Marisela asked. “Did you learn what you need to know?”
“I’ve learned all I can,” Edmund said.
“Do you still think you can help me?” Marisela asked, her voice carefully neutral.
“Maybe,” Edmund admitted. “But we won’t know until I try. Do you want me to try?”
Marisela didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”
So, it’s been a long time. I hope it won’t be so long until the next post. I know at least one person is still reading!
It’s been a really difficult year. It seems like life has been one drama after another, and there hasn’t been emotional energy for anything creative. It feels good to want to do something. I miss my Sims.
“Yeah, this afternoon!” Winston said. “Of course there will be cake!”
“Just so long as you don’t expect me to eat any of that disgusting stuff this time,” Gamora said.
“This coming from some who thinks fertilizer is a delicacy,” Winston said. He made a face.
“I think this is the time for an important decision,” Victoria told him. “Which will you be, a good witch or a bad witch?”
“I’m always good, sis,” Winston said with a wink. “You should know that by now.”
“You certainly have a good ego, brother dear,” Vickie said. She let out a squeak as he scooped her up in a hug.
“Hey there, bro!” Kain McWilliams said as he strolled through the door. “I thought I’d brink cake!”
Winston looked at him sidelong. “I did say we were providing cake.”
“You invited Kain??” Victoria hissed. Looking at him still made her skin crawl.
“Not me!” Winston protested. “Maybe it was Gamora!”
The next guest was Aunt Abby. “I wasn’t sure what to bring, so I had the chef whip up some nut-crusted tilapia. That goes with birthday cake, doesn’t it?”
“Judy!” Andrea exclaimed. “I’m so glad you could make it.”
“Hey,” Judith said. “It’s my best friend’s baby brother. Mason and I couldn’t stay away!”
“You two are joined at the hip these days, aren’t you?” Andrea asked.
Judith cast a glance to where her boyfriend was talking a few feet away. “Maybe it’s better said we’re on a short leash.”
As soon as the crowd arrived, but before Winston could do anything, Gamora seized her chance. “Happy birthday to me!” she sang.
“Wait,” Judith whispered to Andria. “Wasn’t this Winston’s birthday?”
“I have no clue what goes on with Gamora these days,” Andria admitted. “I didn’t think her birthday was near, but if she says this is it, I guess I’ll roll with it.”
“All right,” Gamora said to Winston. “It’s your turn now.”
“Let me take a picture of the birthday boy before he blows out the candles,” Cortney Pierce-Hodgins said with a sly wink.
“Here, let me pose!” Winston said. “How’s that look?”
In the corner, Paulette Mai tried to hide her sadness. Whenever Cortney was in the room, Winston was drawn to her like a moth to flame. There was no sign that Cortney had ever taken Winston seriously, but Paulette was forever trapped in her shadow.
“All right. Bring on the cake!”
“All together now! ‘Happy birthday to you…!”
“Blow it out in one breath, or your wish won’t come true!”
Paulette gaped. Adulthood looked very good on Winston.
Winston stood up, and Judith immediately took his place. “All right, girls,” Abby said with a conspiratorial wink, “let’s talk about men.”
Judith laughed. “So long as Mason is on the other side of the room!”
“Hey cuz, guess we’re both grown up now!” Winston exclaimed.
“One of us is grown up anyway,” Gamora said.
“Hey,” Winston said. “What are you doing these days. I haven’t seen you in ages. Maybe we could hang out.”
Cortney laughed lightly. “In groups, maybe. My boyfriend would get jealous if we spent too much time alone!”
Victoria found Paulette watching the party from the sidelines. “My brother is kind of dense, you know,” she said.
“Sometimes I just want to shake him!” Paulette admitted.
“Maybe that would get his attention, but I’m not sure!” Victoria said. “I’m rooting for you.”
Paulette smiled for the first time since she’d arrived.
“Hey Kain,” Gamora said. “Glad you could make it.”
“You sent me the most intriguing invitation,” Kain said. His eyes were hungry.
“I hope you’ve been thinking about me,” Gamora said. “Here’s some more incentive.” She kissed the tips of her fingers and breathed on them.
“What is that?” Kain demanded.
“They look like… rose petals?”
As the petals touched his skin, they disappeared. Kain’s pupils widened. “Wow…. that was… groovy. Do it again, whatever it was. Please!”
Gamora smirked. “Since you asked so sweetly…”
“That’s quite enough,” Sawyer said.
“What kind of conduct is that?” Sawyer demanded. “You’re making a disgusting spectacle of yourself.”
“The experiment was working!” Gamora protested. “I’m grown up now, Dad. You can’t keep treating me like a child.”
“You won’t use mind-altering pollen to dazzle other sims while you live under my roof.”
Gamora sighed. “You can design my next experiment.”
Sawyer paused thoughtfully. “I want to see your control group.”
Wow… it’s been a long time since I posted. But I got some energy to read other Sims blogs, and Shannon Simsfan gave me the boost I needed. I have a huge backlog, since life stress (mostly work) has just sapped all my creative energy. If I can keep rolling, there are a lot more posts where this one come from. We shall see.
Moving on…. Gen 7 is all grown up now!
I somehow thought that travel Into the Future would freeze aging, but it didn’t, so Gamora is now the same age as Winston and will become older than he is the next time she travels.
Gamora rolled a wish to use the flower kiss on Kain McWilliams some time ago, and I’d been idly trying to get them into the same place. The joint birthday party seemed like the right place. As soon as she queued up romantic interactions with him, Sawyer autonomously decided to pick a fight with her. He stood there in her face, waiting for her queued actions to complete, then jumped between her and Kain to argue with her. It was so hilariously appropriate. Sawyer is hard to love, and that’s the truth. He and Gamora deserve each other. (Story-wise, she still lives with him. In reality, she’s in the active family. She gets most of her rest photosynthesizing and doesn’t need a bed.
I thought I liked the look Winston aged up into, but I quickly changed my mind. There will be a makeover next time you see him.
Winston still wishes for Cortney and can’t manage more than about one social with her, while Paulette shoots glances at him from afar. Love triangle, sims style.
I HATE all the Plantsim outfits. WTF. Some CC-maker created some fabulous leafy outfits for Sims 2 Plantsims, but nobody seems to have been interested in creating for Sims 3 ones. Ah well. If you see anything, drop me a line.
Andria was surprisingly protective of her greenhouse. This was the fewest plants she’d had growing anywhere she’d ever lived, so each one received a larger fraction of her love.
Still, Gamora was able to persuade her to relinquish enough space for her to plant the crystal flower seeds she’d brought back from the Tourist Trap of the Future.
They seemed to respond to care like any other plant, but it helped that Gamora’s lab was beneath the greenhouse. When she took a break from her bot research, she could come upstairs to chat with them.
Dylan was so captivated by the setting that he began to paint it.
He sometimes lost so much track of time that Andria found him on the upper deck with his canvas at dawn.
“I should be annoyed with you,” she told him, “but the truth is that I find your artistic dedication sexy.”
Dylan could only blush — even after all these years.
Victoria had a room to herself, and it wasn’t a child’s room any longer. She decorated it to her nautical heart’s content.
It was even sound insulated so that she could make all the noise she wanted.
Connery had unlimited food and plenty of space to laze around. At his age, that was all he could ask for.
When Gamora saw the wedding announcement in the newspaper, she knew it was past time to strike.
She jumped on her hoverboard after school.
It didn’t take her long to find her way to the home her mother shared with her current provider.
She didn’t even try to disguise her handwriting. Manisha would never recognize it, but she’d know who it was anyway.
She slipped the note into the doorframe and rang the doorbell.
Then she was gone from sight with a soft woosh.
She still had a lot to learn about how to fly a hoverboard. Fortunately, she was out of sight behind the house before she lost control.
She couldn’t help herself. She had to watch from out of sight.
To her disappointment, Manisha’s new husband, Ash Sample-Baerwyn, was the one who came to the door. He walked out with his new puppy and looked around the house. “Damn kids,” he grumbled.
As he turned back to the house, he saw the paper that had fallen onto the welcome mat. Written in read, it said simply, “I hope you didn’t think I’d forgotten about you.”
Ash stared at the paper. “What the hell is this?” he said aloud — a little too loud. He was rattled. And he’d tell his wife about it. That would be almost as good as her finding it herself.
That same afternoon, Victoria arrived at Coffee Under the Sea, where a Simfest had already started.
Frederick was waiting for her. “Vickie! I wasn’t sure if you were going to come! It’s so good to see you!”
She grinned at him. “Sure! This is your first Simfest performance! I want to see it!”
They’d been out for coffee a few times since their dinner date. He was good company. When he looked at her, he had that hungry look in his eyes that told her he wanted so much more, and yet she hesitated. She didn’t mean to lead him on…
“Oh, look!” Frederick said. “It’s Shannon Reacher the acrobat! She can’t possibly plan to perform at a Simfest!”
“She’s someone important?” Victoria asked.
“The best in the business,” Frederick agreed.
“Maybe I can get her autograph!”
Victoria started in the direction of the coffee house when her eyes fell on an old friend.
“Danial! It’s been a while. How are you? Are you going to sing?”
“Hi Vickie. No, not this time. I’m mostly here for professional research. I think I’m going to wait a bit longer to make my big move. You here to watch your boyfriend sing?”
“Frederick? He’s not my boyfriend. But I did come to show him some moral support. This is his first Simfest as a performer.”
“Hey bozo! Learn to sing!” Jody Ursine-Sample shouted at the stage.
“What about Sasha? Is your wife with you?”
Danial flinched and then tried to shrug nonchalantly. “Sasha’s not feeling well.”
“What is it with you and Sasha?” Victoria asked. “Do you do anything at all together? I don’t think I’ve seen her since high school.” She wasn’t sure if she was joking or serious. What was it about Danial that always seemed so… off?
“It’s starting to hail!” Shannon Reacher shouted. “Run for cover!”
“Show me you love meeee….” The performer wailed from the stage.
“Yike!” Victoria said. “I thought I felt a drop, but this is crazy!”
“This Simfest is a bust,” Danial said. “Let’s get out of here and go see Sasha.”
“But what about Frederick?” Victoria asked. But as she looked around, she saw he was already running for his car. “OK, I guess I’m free after all.”
“This way!” Danial said.
“That’s your car?” Victoria demanded. “Where’s the rest of your family?”
“Just get in and get out of the rain,” Danial said.
“Well, it’s certainly comfortable,” Victoria said. “Where are we headed? I didn’t think you lived this way.”
“We’re not going to my house,” Danial said.
When they pulled up in front of Ygraine Memorial, the rain was like a river pouring from the sky.
“You’ll have to run for it,” Danial said.
“We’re at the hospital,” Victoria said blankly.
“Yeah,” Danial said. “Hurry, or we’ll get soaked.”
While they were inside, the rain slowed at last.
And the Simfest officially ended.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Victoria asked at last, “after all this time?”
“Sasha was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we got back from our honeymoon,” Danial said. “She that that if our friends knew, they’d be different around her. I guess, it got to feeling like the only way to feel normal was to pretend for everyone else that we were normal.”
“Is there any hope?” Victoria asked.
Danial’s jovial mask finally fell. The face behind was bitter and tired. “It depends on what you mean by hope,” he said. “There’s hope she’ll wake up one more time. I stay by her bed every day because I’d hate myself if she woke up and I didn’t get those last moments with her.”
Suddenly Victoria realized why Danial’s music career had been advancing so slowly. A lot of things made sense.
Impulsively, she threw her arms around him. “You’re not alone,” she said fiercely.
Danial hugged her back. “Thanks,” was all he said.
So this is Danial Ibari’s big reveal.
This is my story justification for one of those absurd May-December romances that StoryProgression always comes up with. Sasha Saunders Ibari is the daughter of Beatrice Saunders (a.k.a. Buffy Summers simalike). She’s older than Dylan and could literally die any day now. When Danial emerged as a player in Vickie’s story, I tried to figure out what to do with that, and this is what I came up with.
I’m so friggin’ far behind on all my reading, but I’m trying to catch up. I really am
“For you, Mama, I add a little something special.”
Andria chuckled. “That’s quite a performance for dash of extra cinnamon.”
Winston scrunched his nose at her. “This would be more fun if you knew less about cooking.”
When breakfast was finished, the family dressed up and got ready for the big event.
Everyone was gathering at the Old Mill Cafe.
Sawyer’s sister Rosie Winter was home with a cold, but she sent her two daughters, Angelina Winter
and Shalonda Winter.
Roderick was also not there, which was just as well because Victoria wasn’t quite finished being annoyed at him for messing with her date.
Sawyer’s close colleague, Sam Pistachio.
Sawyer and Dylan’s cousin, Gina Sample-Baerwyn, was on her honeymoon with her new busband Bryant Wu. But, to everyone’s surprise, her daughter Leona came. Leona was Great Uncle Hunter’s granddaughter and Victoria’s second cousin. She looked so much like her grandmother Eliana.
Or perhaps she was just there to fish, and the family gathering was a coincidence.
Victoria tried on several outfits and decided on what she hoped was classy casual.
Gamora powered through the guests on her hoverboard. “Make way!” she shouted proudly. “Make way for the bride and groom!”
Afterward came the guests of honor:
and Emily Sample-Doctor.
Emily chose to be married in the form that best suited her personal identity.
The couple was married at City Hall, but Abby insisted there be some sort of a wedding reception. Brunch at the Old Mill Cafe was the compromise.
“Hooray!” everyone cried. “Congratulations!”
It was a while before Sawyer and Emily were ready to see anyone but each other.
Abby and Chaim couldn’t help but be inspired.
“Please, join me for a spot of tea,” Edmund said to Sam.
“Oh! Samantha!” Emily exclaimed. “I’m so glad you came. I wanted you to see how amazing I look!”
“You’re just how I imagined you’d be,” Sam said without meeting her eyes. “Nice to see you in, ah, human form.”
Sam had been a rival for Sawyer’s affection back in the day. Emily didn’t want her to forget how that turned out.
“Let’s all have a croissant,” Sawyer suggested, giving Emily a hard look.
“That’s a wonderful idea!” Angelina Winter said. Sam got away from Emily and slipped into the seat beside Angelina.
“How could you have sunk so low as to play that role in Jupiter Resembling?” Gamora shouted at Abby. “Do you know how bad the science was in that movie?”
“You take a few acting classes, and then we can talk,” Abby retorted.
“And then you ask the patient to throw paint at the wall,” Sawyer explained to Victoria. “It’s very therapeutic.”
Tea concluded with a cutthroat game of shuffleboard between the three siblings.
And Sawyer rejecting the advances of an intern at the hospital who seemed to have had too much mind-altering herbal tea.
She was going to have a bad day at work when they saw each other next.
Victoria and her family returned home for a lazy afternoon, though Edmund did stomp her at a practice duel.
Edmund showed off with a bit of fancy spellcasting.
And shot himself in the foot. Literally. Fortunately, the spells wasn’t harmful.
“I don’t understand my brother at all,” Dylan admitted, “but I wish him the greatest of happiness.”
“If he and Emily are half as good together as we are,” Andria said. “He’ll do fine.”
As the family headed to bed, Victoria sat up and thought about love.
You just knew, didn’t you? It just happened?
So, Sawyer and Emily were released into Story Progression for about two days before I got a notification that they were engaged. I thought it would be fun for Abby to throw him a bachelor party. While I was getting set up to throw that party, I got a notification that they were married! Thus the party became a wedding reception instead. Somehow I thought that Sawyer and Emily wouldn’t bother with the whole legal marriage thing, but they proved me wrong.
Emily wanted to spend the entire party in her robot costume. I forced her to switch to her formalwear. She switched back. I gave up.
It’s nice to see Sawyer’s story end in nerdy bliss :).
“Hey, Gamora,” Winston said. “You’re doing homework too? What did you get for Question 37 in math?”
Gamora put down her pencil and glared. “You really think I’m working on homework for school?” she said. “I finished all the exercises in the math book last week.”
“Jeeze, okay,” Winston said. “It sure looks like you’re doing homework. Why are you sitting in here if you got it all done?”
“I’m doing an efficiency analysis on the plant-animal crossbreeding program at the Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center,” Gamora said. “Of course.”
“Of course,” Winston said wryly.
After her report was finished, Gamora made sure nobody was watching her and sneaked up to the rec room to watch the latest episode of Steamy Amazon Love.
Victoria was back in the ocean.
In addition to shells and antiquities, there turned out to be a decent market for live-caught marine creatures.
She no longer panicked at the sight of a shark. They weren’t terribly difficult to avoid if you knew what you were doing.
In the afternoon, she returned to the Arcane Institute to talk to Manu about her most recent haul.
“Oh!” the antiquities shopkeeper said. “You must be Victoria Sample. My father told me all about you.”
“You’re Manu’s daughter?” Victoria said. “I didn’t know he had a daughter. It’s nice to meet you!”
“I arrived last night,” the shopkeeper said. “Dad died suddenly of a heart attack. I guess I’m taking over the business.”
“He died?” Victoria said. “I’m so sorry! Does Mom know? He had your dad were such good friends.”
“I’ll make sure everyone knows,” the shopkeeper said. “But I’m trying to focus on some good things too. Can you show me your wares? Dad says you bring the very best inventory, and I can’t wait to see it!”
After such a sad and surreal consignment meeting, Victoria almost felt guilty for catching coffee with Judith. She and her best friend had been so busy building their post-graduation lives that there’d barely been time to do more than text in ages. It was so good to sit down and really take the time to catch up.
“I can’t believe you’re still dating Mason James!” Victoria teased. “He was such a dork in school!”
“He’s a fantastic dancer,” Judith said, “and he’s really smart. It’s actually kind of serious. We’re talking about moving in together.”
Victoria blinked. “Wow. That’s like one step from being married. That seems so… grown up.”
Judith laughed. “Being grown up isn’t all bad,” she said. “What about you? Is there a man in your life?”
“Nobody special,” Victoria said defensively. “Different guys at different times, you know.”
“Vickie the heartbreaker,” Judith said, her eyes twinkling.
“No, really, it’s not like that,” Victoria insisted. “I’m not ready for a serious commitment. How would I know if I found the right guy anyway if I don’t know what guys are like? I want to know what my options are.”
“You really haven’t been in love yet,” Judith said.
“I guess not,” Victoria replied. She really wanted to change the subject. “I’m having fun, though. Tonight I’m going out with a guy I met on Simmy-Cupid.”
Judith was aghast. “You have an online dating account? Do you have any idea the kinds of creeps that hang out on places like that? Tell me you’re going to meet in a public place?”
“Relax, relax!” Victoria said. “Lots of people make dates on the Internet. Anyway, we’re having dinner at The Round Table. It’s perfectly public and safe.”
Rosie Winter met Dylan and Andria at the door. “I’m so glad you could make it on such short notice!” she said. “The papers just went through. This is my first dinner party as a single woman!”
“It feels odd to say, ‘Congratulations for being divorced,'” Andria said, “but single seems to suit you.”
“I brought a lime mead up from the cellar to commemorate the occasion,” Dylan said. “I propose a toast.”
“Hey, Mister and Missus Sample,” Roderick said as he walked in the door. “Thanks for coming to celebrate with Mom. Just curious, but did Vickie come to dinner too?”
Andria gave him a sympathetic look. “I’m afraid not. She told me she had a big date tonight.”
“A date?” Roderick said. “I, um, hope she has a good time.”
Andria snagged a goblet from Dylan’s tray. “Before we toast Rosie’s new life as a single woman, I’d like to raise a glass to my old friend Manu. I guess, at our age, I can’t say that we lost him too soon, but I guess the truth is it’s always too soon.”
Rosie and Dylan raised their glasses. “To Manu.”
“Wow!” Rosie said. “I think this is the best nectar of yours I’ve ever tasted!”
Frederick Rudolph suggested that he and Victoria meet on the beach before dinner, just to get acquainted. Victoria couldn’t think of many things more romantic than the ocean under the stars. This seemed like a good start.
She had to admit that he could use more hair, but at least he didn’t make a big deal out of hiding his baldness, and otherwise he seemed fairly attractive.
They chatted for a bit about her career as a diver and his as a Sing-A-Gram Professional. It felt so weird to call what she did a “career,” but that seemed to be how grownups talk, and here she was supposed to sound mature.
Frederick was just at the beginning of a singing career, but he had big dreams. His favorite dessert was also fruit parfait. They collected all the standard smalltalk about each other.
Suddenly, her phone rang.
“I’m sorry, Fred, do you have a moment?”
“Oh, sure! Take your time.”
“Hi Vickie!” the voice on the other end of the phone chirped. “I was wondering if you were free tonight.”
“Rod?” Victoria gasped. “Is that you?”
“Sure. I was just thinking about you and thought maybe we could go out for drinks.”
“This isn’t a very good time, Rod,” she said. “I have someone here.”
Rod laughed. “You aren’t out with a guy, are you? After the Love-o-Meter said we were meant to be?”
“You know!” Victoria hissed. “You know full well I’m on a date!”
She felt a hot blush creeping up her face. She hung up the phone without saying goodbye and set it to silent. “I’m really sorry about that,” she said.
“Oh, that’s all right,” Frederick replied. “It gave me a chance to finish another chapter. You really ought to try this book. I just can’t put it down.”
After that, they headed to dinner. Frederick offered to pay, but Victoria found a way to gracefully refuse. He seemed fine with that.
The smalltalk continued. Victoria talked about how much she loved her new house. He shared funny stories about sing-a-gram customers and the big audition he was preparing for.
I’m supposed to feel something, aren’t I? she thought to herself as she looked across the table at Frederick. He was a nice guy. She enjoyed talking to him. But wasn’t there supposed to be a spark or something? Wasn’t she supposed to know if she wanted to go out with someone a second time?
What was he thinking?
Dinner ended. They bade each other farewell and promised to send messages on Simmy-Cupid. Victoria waved to him as he sat down in his cab. Then she lingered, caught in her own thoughts. Did she have any idea what she was looking for? Would she even know if she found it?
She didn’t recognize the voice at first, but the face was familiar. “Kain? Kain McWilliams?”
“I saw you over there with that guy, and it kind of looked like you were on a date. You wouldn’t go out with another guy behind my back, would you?”
“B-behind your back?” Victoria stammered. “Kain, we haven’t gone out since before graduation. I never said I was your girlfriend.”
“Are you kidding?” Kain said. “How can you deny the magic when we’re together? Can you really pretend we’re not meant for each other?”
Victoria took a step back. She was suddenly very glad that they were at a public restaurant. “I’m sorry, Kain,” she said, working to keep her voice calm and steady. “I don’t want to see you again.”
“I can’t believe you,” Kain spat. “I’m a nice guy. I’m way better than that loser you were with. I hope he breaks your heart.”
He turned and stormed away.
Victoria went inside the restaurant and called a cab. She stayed inside while she waited and watched for it through the window.
While she waited, she transitioned from shocked to furious. Kain didn’t own her. She didn’t owe him anything.
Judith had worried about a guy from an online dating site, but guys you met in person could be just as scary.
Was dating and romance really worth it at all?
I’m baaack! Or, at least, I hope so. My job is going fabulously, but the new life routine has been rocky. My kid starts kindergarten on Tuesday, so even more disruption. But it sure felt good to write the Samples again.
Grump. Manu has disappeared — deleted by the game. He was an Elder, and it’s possible he really did die of old age. It would have been nice to get a notification or something, considering he was Andria’s best friend outside of the family. I guess it serves me right for making friends with role/service sims.
So, I didn’t make this stuff up — Rosie’s partner was Dylan’s old highschool flame Corina. They never actually married (because SP is weird sometimes), but they lived together for most of their adult lives and had four children together. Any place would call that common-law marriage.
Right after I got the breakup notification for Rosie and Corina, Rosie invited Andria to a party. As usual, they were the only ones to show up, but Roderick came home during the visit. At the same time, Vickie was out on her randomly-generated date, and she got a phone call from — you guessed it — Roderick.
After Vickie’s date left, I noticed Kain on the lot. Vickie had never been able to get him into a conversation so she could, “Just be friends” to get rid of the lingering romantic interest status from prom, so I did it here. Here’s a gripe — you can send a breakup text, but you can’t send a just friends text, so it’s harder to get rid of RIs than it is boyfriends. And yet RIs can still trigger cheating. Argh.
Just to clear up any concerns about family relationships, I’ll just remind you that all the Gen 6 Samples are half siblings. Rosie Winter is Sawyer’s cousin through his other mum. Roderick Winter is Rosie’s son, and he’s Gamora’s second cousin, but he’s not related to any of Dylan’s kids.
This has been your incest false alarm. Dude, my breeding population is about 100 sims, and it doesn’t take long for everyone to be related to everyone else.
“What?” Andria cried, rushing in from the hall. “Are you all right?”
Edmund sighed and closed the tome. “I’m fine,” he said. “It’s just that the answer isn’t here. The longer I look, the more questions and half truths I find.”
“So many mysteries of the supernatural realms,” Andria mused. “If only you had someone to ask, someone wise who devoted her life to the study of magic. A family member perhaps?”
“I don’t mean to question your expertise, Mother,” Edmund said. “It’s just that this is a subject too deep in the dark corners of the supernatural world for you to be able to help me.”
“Really?” Andria asked archly. “I’d be more inclined to believe you if you told me what you were trying to do.”
“I seek a spell to grant life to someone who is trapped as an undead.”
Andria let that sink in. “Oh.” She said. “You want to cure a vampire.”
“I suppose that’s another way of saying it,” Edmund agreed.
“Well, I can see why you are stymied,” Andria said. “You’re looking in the wrong place. You need to start working with potions. I have never attempted something that involved, but I can point you to the standard references.”
“The standard–” Edmund began. Then, “Thank you.”
So Edmund began working with potions.
At last, he was making progress.
With Sawyer and Emily woohooing at all hours in their small house, Gamora spent most her time at her Uncle Dylan’s home.
She set up bot design equipment in her father’s lab.
The rest of the Samples seldom saw her. She preferred to work at night. Sometimes she stayed up until dawn.
Daytime was more useful to her as a time to rest, and she had no real reason to return home to sleep. She had discovered a way to replenish herself that was unique to her bioengineered body.
Photosynthesis. Rain made it even more nourishing.
Her time away from her father’s house also meant she could be sure she wasn’t around when Sawyer discovered some surprises she’d left for him.
Connery was growing more sleepy in his old age. His favorite place was on the sofa, dreaming of playing games with his people.
One evening, Dylan found Andria standing the back yard at bedtime, sadly surveying her garden.
“It’s beautiful,” Dylan said. “I have never seen plants as beautiful as yours. I guess it is, quite literally, your magic.”
Andria sighed. “Even with the help of my magic, I can’t keep up with all of this anymore. I’m growing old, Dylan. It’s not a great feeling.”
Dylan took her into his arms. “We both are in our twilight, my lady. But it’s a golden twilight.”
She held him tight. “You make everything seem more elegant,” she said, “even something as lousy as old age. There’s no help for it. I need to downsize to a much smaller garden.”
They sat down with the family the next morning and discussed their options. In the end, they decided to look for a new home. Victoria longed to be closer to the ocean. She scoured real estate listings to find a home for the family by the sea.
At last, they said goodbye to the stately home that Dylan had lived in since he was a teenager.
And moved to a lovely home a the end of Isolde Way that backed up to a private beach.
Victoria, who desperately wanted her parents to approve the house, made arrangements for a greenhouse to be built before they moved in.
Andria loved it. She had wept the night she left her garden to its new owners, but in her heart, she was relived to leave it in the capable hands of the new owners. Here, she could make a fresh start with something smaller and less taxing.
Victoria was first to enter the house on moving day. She walked around the first floor, drinking in the soothing feel of the place.
She could hear the rolling waves gently in the background and watch the surf from her window.
This was truly her home.
Then the rest of the family thundered in and made themselves at home.
Dylan set up his canvas on the second floor deck.
And his photography equipment in their new bedroom.
Andria began feeding everyone.
Edmund surprised everyone by suggesting some exercise options for the back yard.
Edmund had never really shown interest in physical exertion before now, but he said the workout cleared his mind.
Beneath the greenhouse was Dylan’s nectar cellar, and to the back of the cellar was a portal that could only be Gamora’s.
Now she had a lab that was truly hers.
Connery was as delighted as the humans with his new digs. After a hard day of watching the humans move their stuff, followed by a big meal, he needed a long rest.
“Come dance with me, my lady love,” Dylan said, and he twirled her to the sound of the music box that his grandfather Charles Sample had once given to his grandmother Veronica as his first expression of love.
Then they retired to their new bedroom to sleep.
When everyone was asleep, Victoria set about putting a few more personal touches on the home. A few wards here, a few repairs there.
There were so many practical uses for her magic, and she was just beginning to discover them. Who knew you could use it to prevent a sink from breaking?
Or that you could enchant the home against unwanted visitors? So many possibilities.
This was just the beginning, and she knew it.
This was a bit longer than I planned because I discovered that I’d set the bit between Edmund and Andria aside for a future post, and this was the last one it could be used in before the move.
I like to have each generation move to a new home that suits their personality. It took me a bit longer to find a house that I thought suited Victoria.
On a personal note, I thought I’d mention that this is my 401st post! The 400th was that Simantics post, and I forgot to make note of it. Yes, I know I’m insane.
Also, I GOT A JOB. Not just a job, but THE job — a perfect match for my skills and interests. I start on August 1. I’m really excited. Since I’ve complained on this blog about my miserable job hunt, I thought it was important to mention that it worked out!
The next evening, Sawyer got off work with a purpose.
He hopped into his experimental wish-powered automobile.
And headed straight to Emily’s house.
“I couldn’t wait to see you,” Sawyer said. “I have something to ask you.”
“Sure,” Emily said. “But come inside. It’s freezing out here.”
“Where is Greggory?”
“Don’t worry. He’s tending to the horses.”
Sawyer didn’t ask why Emily still lived with her ex-husband. It was one of those things he’d never felt comfortable expressing affection toward his girlfriend while Greggory was around.
As soon as they stepped inside, Sawyer pulled Emily to him.
“Wow!” Emily said. “Elderhood has brought out the passion in you!”
“That’s not the reason,” Sawyer said. “I wanted to ask–”
“Can’t you two get a room?” Greggory asked.
Sawyer cringed. “This is my room!” Emily shouted back.
“Now, what was it you wanted to say?”
“I, uh, have an experimental medical treatment. I wanted you to test it out for me.”
Emily looked stunned. “That’s not what I was expecting, but all right. I trust you that this won’t hurt me.”
“That’s a lot of trust….” Sawyer admitted.
Afterward, she grinned a huge grin. “That was amazing!”
“Fabulous,” Sawyer said. “I was hoping it would have a useful effect. Underground Pharmaceuticals is paying me a lot of money to test it on people.”
“Is that what you came here to ask me?” Emily said. “I should be annoyed at you, but this drug makes me feel too happy.”
“Actually no,” Sawyer admitted. “I just got nervous. Actually, I wanted to ask–”
“Would you like to move in with me?”
Sawyer didn’t think that Emily could look happier, but her face lit up. “Really? I thought you’d never ask!”
“You were always welcome to ask yourself.”
Emily shrugged. “I wanted to hear it from you.”
“When do you think you might move?”
“Let’s do it tonight! I just have to collect a few things….”
She sent Sawyer to her bedroom to gather her clothes. Greggory wandered in.
“So you and Emily are taking the big step?” Greggory said.
“Yes,” Sawyer agreed. “It was about time. I also think it’s disturbing that she’s been living with you since your divorce.”
“It made financial sense,” Greggory said. “Since she keeps getting demoted at work, we could maintain a better lifestyle this way.”
Sawyer nodded. “That’s reasonable.”
“I wanted to offer a bit of friendly advice,” Greggory said. “Emily is more than a bit… high maintenance. She expects you to deliver the world.”
“Stop there,” Sawyer said. “I don’t want advice from someone whose marriage failed.”
“There’s no space in your car,” Emily said. “We’ll have to pack mine. But I have to warn you. That car is out to get me.”
“The place looks so nice, now that I know it’s mine too! I can think of just a few dozen improvements I’d like to make.”
“I’ll draw up the mortgage papers,” Sawyer offered. “Until then, I think we should celebrate.”
“Wow,” Emily said. “The kiss of a joint mortgage holder has so much more passion!”
“Come upstairs,” Sawyer said, “and we’ll investigate this further.”
“I programmed the sleeping pod just for you.”
Emily drew back. “If I’m going to move in with you,” she said. “There’s something you should know first.”
Sawyer stood up, suddenly concerned. “What is it, Emily?”
“It’s this,” Emily said. In a whirl, she changed her appearance.
Sawyer blinked. “What is that? What are you doing with that cardboard?”
Emily too his hand. “I consider this my true form,” she said nervously. “I’m a robot trapped in a human body. I- I hope you can live with this.”
“Wow,” Sawyer said in astonishment. “I knew you were my perfect partner, but I never knew how much.”
“Let me show you how I can deal with your true self.”
“Now, come to bed.”
This was originally one post with Sawyer’s birthday, but enough happened that I thought it ought to get its own post.
This is Sawyer leaving the household. Mechanically, he asked Emily to move in with him, which brought the household up to eight sims. After this scene, I had the household sell its second house (Sawyer’s house), then had Sawyer and Emily move out and buy it. So they live in the same house, but it is no longer an active house.
Which is just as well, because having the active household live in two houses was a pain the butt. Not saying I wouldn’t do it again.
Emily was under my control just from the time she accepted Sawyer’s offer until the end of this scene, during which time I discovered she’s a Bot Fan! What an appropriate surprise for the love of Sawyer’s life.
I screwed up and failed to note Sawyer’s LTH when he left the household. Fortunately, inactives don’t gain happiness, so I should be able to look it up the next time I load the game.
At last the tests were completed. Sawyer and Gamora made their way solemnly to Sawyer’s subterranean lab.
“This is it,” Gamora said. “Do or die.”
“That could be literally true,” Sawyer pointed out. “You did the final testing on the time machine. It is only right for you to do the honors.”
Gamora chuckled. “You make it sound like an honor, Dad, but I think you’re just trying to protect your own ass.”
“It can be both,” Sawyer said. “I’ll stand over here while you activate the device.”
“That’s fine,” Gamora said. “I’m ready for this.” She stepped forward without hesitation and activated the floor switch.
The time machine crackled to life.
Brighter and brighter. “Hmmm,” Gamora said. “This is not the way it behaved in my simulations.”
“Now might be a good time to take a step back,” Sawyer said.
“I’m sure it’s fine–” Gamora began. Then she gasped.
Her eyes were filled with blinding light, her ears with the crack of thunder.
“That was deliciously dramatic.”
“We’re here!” Sawyer cried. “We’re in the future!”
Gamora looked around. “But when in the future?” she asked. “This view doesn’t match my calculations at all.”
Just then, light flashed in front of them, and a familiar figure appeared. “Oh!” Gamora said. “Look who’s here to check up on us!”
“Greetings, junior time travelers!” crowed Emit Relevart. “I’m happy to see that you decided to join us here at Oasis Landing! This is the resort city of time travelers everywhere. Stay as long as you like and learn about the time stream.”
Sawyer scowled. “You again? Why are you following us around? And what do you mean by ‘junior time travelers’??”
Gamora shoved her father aside. “Don’t mind him,” she said. “I think he’s still recovering from the transfer.
“I want to learn everything you can teach me,” she said eagerly. “What is this place? This isn’t where I set our coordinates. How did we end up here?”
Emit smiled indulgently. “I am part of the protectors of the time stream,” he explained. “We pull all new time explorers to Oasis Landing so that they may learn the rules in a safe space. When you are ready, you may travel to other places along the time stream. But first you need to gain a little experience! An inexperienced mistake in the past could erase us all in the present!” He chuckled.
“So you and the, ah, ‘Protectors’ are watching us here to judge when we’re trustworthy?” Gamora asked.
“Don’t make it sound too sinister,” Emit said. “Think of yourself in an apprenticeship program. You’ll become a master soon enough.”
Until then, you look tired. Take a rest here at our Community Center. It’s open to everyone from anywhere and anytime.”
“Tired?” Gamora said. “I guess maybe I am.”
“Take your time,” Emit said. “I’ll be around if you have any more questions!”
And with another friendly wave, he produced a skateboard-like object from nowhere, jumped on it, and sped away.
Gamora watched Emit go.
Here she was, in a tourist trap for time travelers. She had imagined her first time travel experience in dozens of different ways, but this was not one of them.
She found Sawyer in the lounge overlooking the time portal, his nose stuck sullenly in a book. “Did our babysitter reveal all the secrets of the timestream for you?” he asked without looking up.
“Come on, Dad,” Gamora said. “You have all the subtlety of stampeding elephant. We have to learn what the rules are here before we can decide if we will follow them.”
Sawyer closed his book, took a deep breath, and looked up to meet her gaze. Gamora realized he was trembling with suppressed frustration. “What do you have in mind?” he asked.
“We can explore this building, to start with,” Gamora said. “All the doors are open. All we have to do is walk in.”
Behind the first door, she found a hoverboard just like the one Emit had been riding.
That would come in handy.
Then she looked out the window at the futuristic landscape beyond.
“Forget the Center, Dad!” she said. “We can explore here any time. Let’s get out on the town!”
Their first visit was to the Bot Emporium.
Sawyer and Gamora had never seen so much technology on display in the same place. They froze in their tracks, trying to process the sights and sounds.
Nearby, two customers — locals? other time travelers? — examined a bot for sale. “It’s top of the line,” one said. “Sure, but I think it would be terrible at woohoo,” said the other.
Gamora blinked. The possibilities in that one statement were endless.
Sawyer drifted to the nearest display. “This is a bot,” he said reverently. “What is its power source? How advanced is its artificial intelligence?”
“Are you?” someone said from behind him. “Could you possibly be Doctor Sawyer Sample?”
Sawyer froze. “I’m what?” he stammered. “Who? You know my name?”
“Of course!” the stranger chirped. “I know your face from my history of science text! Avalonian faces are even rarer here at Oasis Landing than they are in your time. I’m Bridget Mannin. Would you considering shaking my hand?”
“Ah, certainly,” Sawyer said. “I’m in your history book? Please tell me more.”
Before he could say another word, he was interrupted by another woman, who grabbed his companion’s shoulder and forced her way into the conversation. “Bridget!” she said. “Is this who I think it is?”
“Really, Ma!” she said. “It’s Sawyer Sample! I read that he traveled in time at the end of his life, but I never thought I’d get to meet him!”
Ma Mannin clapped her hands to her mouth and let out a strangled squeak. “Doctor Sawyer Sample! I’m a huge fan of your work! Your neuroscience research is the groundwork of all Plumbots!”
“I’m starting to see the merit of sending all time travelers to the same town,” Sawyer said.
“Would you– could you grant me an autograph?”
Sawyer smiled. “Of course. I’m always willing to contribute to my own posterity.”
Gamora didn’t hear a word. She had found a bot designer.
Her fingers moved across the holo-screen as if she had been using them all her life, drawing her into a paradise she could never have imagined.
“Oh, my stomach!” Bridget moaned.
“I’m sure my techniques are primitive to you, but I am a doctor,” Sawyer said. “I might be able to help.”
“Are you kidding?” Bridget said. “You’re Sawyer Sample! I can tell all my friends that you fixed my stomach!”
“Oh! I didn’t realize how much your primitive medicine would hurt!”
“That was amazing!” said a bystander. “Could I have your picture?”
“Hello, Doctor Sample! I’m honored to meet someone who contributed important theory to the construction of my brain!”
“I’m glad I could be of help to you,” Sawyer said.
“All right, Dad,” Gamora called. “You’ve had your ego puffed enough. Let’s explore!”
Later, they visited a futuristic nighclub.
Sawyer had more opportunities to introduce himself to appreciative plumbots.
Sample futuristic intoxicants.
Play some futuristic pool
And speculate about futuristic forms of entertainment
Gamora, on the other hand, was drinking in all the information about the future she could find.
She discovered that plumbots were watertight.
And that she had a strange sense of kinship with some of the residents.
She wondered if they were, in fact, kin. She would have to study the local documentation to see if they had a common ancestor. She had no intention of having any children herself, so she assumed they were not direct descendants.
They traveled around in style by hovercar.
Slept in futuristic sleeping pods at the time tourist hotel.
Ate futuristic delicacies.
And traded stories with other time traveling tourists among their staunchly restricted social contacts.
Gamora sifted through strangers’ mail to get an idea what day to day life might be like at Oasis Landing.
And stole whatever she could find.
Her favorite acquisition was a sort of digi-pet named Cornelius.
“My master forgot me and left me behind!” it chirped. “Thank you for finding me! We’ll be very best friends!”
“If you can handle being my best friend,” Gamora said, “then you’re more impressive than you look.”
Sawyer didn’t take to the futuristic tech as quickly as his daughter did.
Though he did get it working with a little help.
Later, they took the hoverrail outside of the city.
Gamora was surprised to find that the outskirts of the refined, sparking future town was such a wasteland. Clearly, Oasis Landing was not such an oasis. What had they done to their landscape? Did the rest of the simworld look like this?
Sawyer wasn’t terribly concerned by all these possibilities.
He was far more interested in his discovery of wild, self-replicating nanites.
Gamora left her father to his discovery to scout further on her stolen hoverboard
Which she had not yet mastered.
She discovered that the sparse plant life was uniquely intelligent.
Her plant nature gave her the ability to talk to vegetation. She just seldom did because they had nothing interesting to say. The vegetation of the Oasis Wastes were something else. She spent almost an hour discussing philosophy and creative ethics with a crystal flower.
At the plant’s advice, she took a cutting to grow at home. To heck with protecting the environment against invasive species.
And, at last, they went shopping.
Yes, shopping, in the galleria mall of the future, time travelers welcome.
They did find some fashions of the future to their liking.
The next morning brought fresh attention from Emit.
“You’ve been visiting for quite a while. I wanted to check in to find out if you need anything before you head back to your own time.”
Well, that was subtle.
“Don’t worry,” Gamora reassured him. “We’re headed home today.”
Well, she decided they were leaving at just that moment. She had learned what she could from what Oasis Landing would let her see. She needed to return to her own lab to study and decide what to do next.
“One last thing,” Emit said. “My holo-sprite says that you have a friend of his, and he’d like to say goodbye.”
“I have a what?” Gamora said. “Oh! Of course!”
In the evening, she and Sawyer met at the community time portal on the rooftop of the Time Traveler’s Community Center.
“This has been very educational,” Sawyer said. “I’m not sure what I make of this future community.”
“I know what I think,” Gamora said. “We’ll discuss it at home. Here we go.” And she jumped into the portal.
Back in Sawyer’s lab, Gamora watched him fall out of the Time Portal. “You’re going to have to figure out how to do that with more grace, Dad.”
“That portal must not be calibrated for me,” Sawyer said, scowling.
“It seems to be calibrated perfectly for us,” Gamora said thoughtfully. “It’s calibrated to take us to no place but Oasis Landing and back. We have learned the rules. Now we just need to learn how to break them.”
Nanites? Nanites?? You know those are supposed to be microscopic, right?? “Nano-” comes after “micro-” on the tiny prefix chain.
For some reason, I was really blocking on this post. It turned out to be a blast to write. I wanted to finish it before we left on our three-day camping trip, but I didn’t quite make it, so here it is on our return.
I have a mixed opinion of ITF. There just isn’t much TO Oasis Landing. The objects are fabulous. I think I’m in love with the holo-sprites. But I’m not totally clear why a player would want to visit the unmodified future more than once. I think it would have been way more fun of ITF had been designed like World Adventures, with multiple “vacation destinations” in different time periods, preferably with WA-style quests.
If anyone has any ideas of cool stuff to do there or fun lots to add to it, do let me know. There are apparently some opportunities involving ruins in the wastes that I didn’t get on this trip.
Gamora’s flower walk came back while she was in the future. It had been gone so long, I forgot about it. I love it. One of the Nraas mods keeps setting everyone’s walk style to normal human. It took me forever to figure this out, and it’s the reason that Charles started walking rather than floating, and Sky walked for most of her life.
I’m pretty sure the mod in question is GoHere. GoHere seems to have a lot of unintended effects. I first discovered issues with GoHere over with the Wonderlands, when Erin couldn’t complete stakeouts as a P.I. because the sims required for the opportunity were not arriving reliably. Removing GoHere seemed to fix that problem as well as a separate problem with the host of Late Night inactive parties leaving the lot when they were supposed to be hosting the party. Seasons parties, e.g. pool parties, feast parties, costume parties, et al seem to be unaffected by GoHere, but the celebrity parties are. I THINK GoHere might also be the reason I had so much trouble sending my kids trick-or-treating during Spooky Day, but I’ll test that next sim-Fall.
At any rate, the only way I know of to fix occult-related walk style is to remove the occult status and replace it. After this post, I start focusing on getting Gamora’s flower walk back.
Springtime is the season of growing things. Andria, as a plant fae, felt Avalon’s rebirth in a special way.
She knew exactly what to do with all her extra energy.
“I’ve barely seen you leave your books for days,” Victoria said. “Are you all right?”
“Hush,” Edmund said. “I think I’m finally getting someplace.”
Victoria went to bed late, but was up early with a lonely old dog.
“This is what I get for all the love I give you? All right, then, have some more. Maybe you’ll bark loud enough to wake up the rest of the family.”
Before she could work Connery into a frenzy, her phone rang.
“Aunt Abby? No! You can’t be! Well, I guess if I can’t talk you out of it. At least I can do something about the rain.”
Great-grandmother Veronica’s weather machine was the perfect solution to two weeks of rain.
“You want me to go to a party?” Gamora demanded. “For an aunt I never see? I have research to do!”
“You can’t live on science alone!” Sawyer shouted. Then he stopped. “What am I saying? Of course you can. You can stay home if you like.”
By the time Victoria arrived at Little Cottage Park, the sun had already dried the grass.
The guests began to arrive.
Emily was first, though she was mostly just interested in some time with Sawyer.
Rosie Winter, Sawyer’s half-sister, surprised everyone by accepting her invitation.
Cousins Ash and Gina Sample-Baerwyn.
Abby’s half-brother Stanley Marmalade.
Along with his husband Jody Ursine-Sample and two older sons Chancey
and another kid whose name nobody caught.
Everyone gathered near the picnic benches
Where the guest of honor arrived.
“I’m so glad all of you are here to help me celebrate my retirement!” Abby said.
“Excuse me, Ms. Sample,” The festival vendor interrupted. “Do you mind if I take your picture?”
Abby gave her an ironic smile. “You realize that I’m now an ex-actress?”
“You’ll always be a celebrity to me!”
After she’d given Aunt Abby the applause and congratulations she deserved, Victoria had a wonderful time hunting for Easter eggs.
And so did Cousin Ash.
But she couldn’t resist the lure of the kissing booth.
“Five simoleons? This better be an amazing kiss!”
“Trust me, miss. You’ve never had one like it.”
“You’re a great salesman. Now I have to know!”
Afterward, the kissing vendor looked as if he’d lost his breath. “I should have paid you!” he gasped.
Victoria laughed. “That’s all part of the service, isn’t it?”
“Kisses!” called the cute girl at the booth next door. “Everyone welcome! Come and get a Love Day kiss!”
Chaim Sample-Erickson stopped by the kissing stall to think about it. “You think Abby would mind?” he mused.
“Come on,” girl said. “The wife has to let you have a little fun!”
Chaim chuckled. “You’re right. I think I’ll have that kiss.”
“Wait!” said the girl. “That wasn’t how this was supposed to go.”
“Oooh! Two hot men together!” Abby said. “Can I join in?”
“Eww!” Victoria cried. “I really didn’t need to hear that, Aunt Abby!”
“I heard sims only use 10% of their brain,” Jody Ursine-Sample told Sawyer. “Do you have any idea what might happen if we unlocked the other 90%? I have so many ideas!”
Sawyer scowled at him. “Do I even have to answer that? This is why you leave neuroscience to the experts.”
“You tell him, Sawyer!” Emily cheered.
“Like minds should stick together,” Sawyer told her.
“You seem to have found right mate at last,” Abby said. “Come have a snowcone with me.”
Sawyer nodded. “Emily’s intellect is second only to mine, though she’s had a difficult time convincing her colleagues at the hospital of her brilliance. I don’t have that sort of problem.”
Abby chuckled. “If she’s so much like you, little brother, I can just imagine.”
“I’ve been wanting to offer you personal congratulations, but it seems we’re so busy these days,” Sawyer said. “We used to spend so much more time together when we were younger.”
“I expect to have a lot more time on my hands now,” Abby pointed out. “Have you considered retirement yourself?”
Sawyer was aghast. “Never!”
Abby grinned. “All right. Let’s do lunch at the hospital then.”
It was time for a good old-fashioned pie eating contest!
“Ready! Set! Go!”
And up for air!
“This always seems like a good idea until I do it!”
A photographer from the Avalon Times was there to catch everyone at their most embarrassing.
“I won!” Victoria exclaimed. “What’s my prize? Oh…. more pie. Thanks.”
“Please!” Andria wailed. “No more pie!”
“You’re looking at Avalon’s reigning pie-eating champ!” Victoria crowed to Danial. “I’m not even sick to my stomach!”
Danial laughed. “Congratulations. The best sim won. I didn’t know you had such an iron stomach.”
“I didn’t expect you here at Aunt Abby’s retirement party,” Victoria said.
“Abby’s practically an aunt to me too,” Danial said. “You know my mom, Aminali, and your aunt were best friends, don’t you?”
“I guess I did sort of forget,” Victoria said. “I could never forget Aminali Ibari. I just sort of forgot you were her son.”
“She was an amazing woman,” Daniel said. “I’m lucky to be her son. I guess I’m kind of here to represent her spirit.”
Elsewhere, Abby was still gracious to her fans, though it was clear celebrity had lost a lot of its luster over time.
“Perhaps Abby can settle down now for a dignified retirement,” Dylan mused.
Jody waylaid him on his way to the dance floor. “Your brother is a bit of an arrogant prig, you know?”
Dylan nodded sagely. “True. That’s not news.”
“Wait! Did you just eat dirt??”
“Ha!” Jody chortled. “It’s all part of my act! Have you seen my magic show?”
“I think I will avoid it now,” Dylan said.
“I think it’s time to dance!” Danial shooted. “Woo! Vickie, have you tried the Smustle?”
“I know it, but I’m not very good at it,” Victoria said dubiously.
Danial grinned at her. “Come on. Dance like there’s nobody watching.”
“There better be nobody watching,” Victoria said.
“Doesn’t this hurt your back?”
“Maybe your trying too hard,” Danial suggested.
Then Victoria’s eyes caught someone across the lawn. “I’ll be back, guys. I just want to say ‘hi’ to someone.”
“Hey, Rod! What are you doing here?”
“Vickie! Oh, I’m supposed to meet my sisters at Camelot to fill out some inheritance paperwork. They’re late, so I thought I’d kill some time here.”
Victoria looked at the Love Meter gave Roderick a teasing look. “So, what does the Meter think of your romantic prospects? Is there a hot girl right around the corner?”
Roderick smirked. “I have a better idea. Let’s see what it thinks of us.”
Victoria hesitated. “Oh, I don’t know.”
“Aw, Vickie. It’s just a game. I won’t hold you to it.”
“All right! Let’s see!”
Victoria felt him place his hand over hers, firm but not too tight. What do I feel? she wondered. What should I feel?
The Love Meter lit up.
“Ha!” Roderick exclaimed in triumph. “I’ve never seen a reading that high!”
“Clearly, we’re the two hottest people at this party,” Victoria said.
“I can’t argue with that,” Roderick agreed. “Our hotness must have overwhelmed the poor thing.”
“Well, I gotta go,” he said abruptly. “My sisters have to be waiting for me by now. Call me!”
Victoria found herself both disappointed and relieved to see him go. At least he’d gotten her out of the Smustle.
The sun began to sink, and the party was still going strong. Even Gamora decided to make an appearance near the end.
“These old muscles just don’t dance the way they used to,” Dylan complained.
“Here,” Andria said brightly. “Let me help you with that.”
“You two are so adorable!” Gina cooed. “I hope I’m that cute when I’m your age!”
“You’re not that much younger than I am,” Andria pointed out.
Abby bade everyone goodbye at dusk, and they headed home feeling tired and happy.
Though Victoria felt extra preoccupied. Flirting was guys was so much fun, but she was starting to want a whole lot more fun than that.
So. Much. Party. For a sim without the Party Animal trait, Victoria sure acts like it. OTOH, she does seem to have a real preference for the swinging single lifestyle, and her Irresistible trait feeds into it.
Finally remembered to turn on Dylan’s can in southern gentleman walk style. I can’t think of a character better suited to it.
Ha! I guess Chaim is bi. It was funny to see him go kiss the male kissing vendor just as Abby walked by. Guess they’re very secure in their relationship.
I was a bit disappointed that sims dancing the smustle on the same dance floor don’t synchronize. That would have been an awesome feature.