Tag Archive | sky

6.12 Stern Talking

Sky headlined at Llama Music Center.

The stands were packed. She had never imagined she had so many fans.

In the sea of faces, she could easily pick out Forest’s. She didn’t even think he liked her sort of music. Whatever else he was, he was a loyal brother.

She sang her soul out.

In the morning, she was almost afraid to read the reviews.

“It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had as a musician!” she gushed to to Xia when she returned home after midnight.

“I wish I could have been there,” Xia said, pouring her girlfriend a glass of juice. “The pre-mission mission ran really long. It’s really a routine excursion, but this will be my first trip into space!”

“I’m going to miss you, but I’m so excited that you’re finally going to reach your dream. You’re literally reaching for the stars, huh?”

Xia smirked. “For a couple of old geezers, we’re sure not slowing down, are we?”

Sky snorted. “You’re doing a great job at being an embarrassing old woman. Now you need to get to bed, or you’re going to nod off during blastoff.”

“That’s right! I have to get my beauty rest. Not just for me, but for geezers everywhere!”

It was after dawn before they finally got to sleep.

Abby was a wreck. She’d been trying to soldier on, but it just wasn’t working. After the casting director stopped her in the middle of an audition and asked her not to come back, she lost her last grip on composure. She burst into tears and fled home.

The sound of her sobs brought Dylan running. “Abby! Good heavens! What’s wrong?”

“Everything!” Abby said. “I made a horrible mistake. Now I’m publicly humiliated. My career is a joke. Even Dion thinks I’m disgusting, and I think he’s right.”

“Whoa, whoa! You are not disgusting. Please tell me what happened.”

“I woohooed a casting agent,” she said. “And then someone found out and reported it to a gossip magazine.”

“Oh my gosh,” Dylan gasped. “Why would you do something like that?”

“Because I want to act!” Abby cried. “Do you know how hard it is to break into acting? Do you know how many people start their careers on the casting couch?

“But woohoo? You don’t have to compromise your body to reach your dream!”

“I was so frustrated showing up at audition after audition and seeing that bland smile. I thought it was just a sacrifice I had to make. Now I’ve ruined my career and everyone’s respect. Especially mine. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror!”
“Stop!” Dylan exclaimed.

“I– what?”
“Don’t you see? You’ve fallen into a trap,” he said. “I dare say it’s exactly the trap that this sorry excuse for  a human being hoped you would fall into. If you made a mistake, it was provoked, and I can only begin to guess how many other worthy actresses have the same story to tell. 

“You can’t let this strike you down. You’re stronger than that. I know. You’re my sister.”

“Dylan…” Abby murmured. “I thought you of all people would be horrified.”

“I am horrified,” Dylan said gravely. “I’m horrified that you must fights wolves like this agent in order to pursue your dreams. It shouldn’t be like this.”

“You’re right,” Abby said. “It shouldn’t be like this. Thank you. You won’t tell my moms?”

“Mama reads gossip mags to find the stories about herself. She might find out anyway. But I won’t tell her. Abby… I’m sorry you’re going through this, but I want to set your mind at ease. You have never done anything to make me respect you less. I don’t think you ever will.”

“Thanks, Big Brother. I guess you’re so, well, old-fashioned that I was sure you’d think less of me.”

Dylan smiled a little. “I think we have different definitions of ‘chivalry,'” he replied.

Plum Marmalade seemed to be having a bit of trouble with reality.

She surprised Sky with a bouquet of purple roses one day at an autograph session. “They were so bright and beautiful, they made my heart sing! And that made me think of you.”

Sky’s eyes darted to Leah, who was watching nearby, as she accepted the flowers. “I think maybe these would be better for your wife?”

“Ah yes, my wife! Have you met my darling Leah? Doesn’t she have the most sparkling blue eyes?”

“I’m sorry,” Sky said to Leah. “I didn’t do anything, I swear! Is everything all right with Plum?”

“It’s not as bad as it looks,” Leah said with a grimace. “Plum’s on a new medication, and it seems to make her a bit loopy. We’re working with the doctor on a better dosage.”

“If you need any help, let me or Dylan know.”

“I think we’re all right. Thanks anyway!”

“Don’t let’s leave without an autograph!” Plum gushed.

Sky scribbled on a scrap of paper. “That, at least I can do,” she said.

Xia, on the other hand, was in a break in her astronaut training. She was prepped and ready for her first mission, and now all there was to do was wait.

“I don’t know what to do with myself!” she confided to her friend and boss, Anita Bookabet.

“We are both women of leisure,” Anita said with a chuckle. “We should find some fun way to waste taxpayer money.”

So they went outside and played football.

Xia also took up fishing and could be found by the pond on the Sample estate at odd hours. “I’m just practicing for the long hours I’ll have to be alert when we blast off.”

A phone rang while Sawyer was irradiating a life fruit seed. He had to look around for a moment before he realized it was his phone. His phone never rang.

“Why are you calling?”

“Hello? Is this Sawyer Sample?”

“Yes I am.”

“This is Sharon Leonard. I was wondering if you’d like to go out.”

“Go out? Go out where?”

“To Fiddler’s Green?”

“I guess so.”

His mom was always telling him to be more social. He guessed it couldn’t hurt. While he was driving to the pub, he finally placed the name. Sharon Leonard was a girl in his science class.

She was waiting for him as he stepped out of the car. “Hi there.”

“You’re the one who laughed at me when I got into a fight at Honeydukes,” Sawyer said when he saw her.

“Yeah, about that. I didn’t really mean to make fun of you. Besides, you should have seen what the other guy looked like when you hit him!”

“He was a real moron.”

“I could tell. A real mouth breather. Anyway, I was mean to you, and I was hoping I could make it up to you.”

“How would you do that?”

“I could buy you dinner?”

“I’m not sure if that would make it up, but I’m happy to eat.”

So they did. Sawyer was able to find hot dogs on the menu at Fiddler’s Green. That made him feel better. Then Sharon suggested that they go upstairs and play shuffleboard for a while.

Shuffleboard was a pretty dumb game. He could analyze the velocity of the pucks, but his analysis didn’t have much effect on the outcome.

Sharon kept talking, but it was repetitive stuff: what he thought of his teachers, whether he had any hobbies. Pointless drivel like that.

Finally, Sawyer had to stop. “I’m sorry, but this game is boring. You’re pretty of stupid. I think I’m going to go home and find something more interesting to do. Thanks for inviting me anyway.”

He left her gaping at the shuffleboard table as he headed home.

Dylan found Andria surveying the living room with a distressed look on her face.

“Is there something wrong with our decorating?” Dylan asked. “You look offended.”

“So much electronics!” she said with a scowl. “All out in the open where everyone has to see them!”

“Have you ever thought of living off the grid?” she asked eagerly. “We totally have the resources. All these technical doodads destroy our connection to the land.”

“Good heavens! I had no idea you felt so strongly,” Dylan said. “I have no particular love for electronics. They seem kind of garish. I don’t think the family would be too eager to move to a farm, however.”

“We have enough land to do it here!” Andria said. “I’m certain of it. There’s so much untapped potential in this property. Even through all the interference from technology, I can feel the pulse of the land. This is a beautiful place.”

“This is about your true self?” Dylan asked awkwardly. “About being, uh, fae?”

“I guess so,” she admitted. “Our magic springs from the land. Electronics make me feel uncomfortable. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like one of my senses is muffled. Almost like a buzzing in my ear that won’t go away.”

“I can’t ask you to move into this home if it makes you feel that way,” Dylan said. “But I believe we’ll have to find some sort of compromise. Sawyer will never accept a limit on his scientific equipment.”

“Is Sawyer really going to live her after he graduates from college?”

“I honestly do not believe Sawyer should live on his own. He taunts us and complains, but it’s the only way he knows how to interact. He is special, and he needs us. I will not turn him away.”

Andria smiled wanly. “I was pretty sure you’d say something like that. All right, then. We’ll work something out.”

“On an unrelated subject, have you seen Abby?”
“She was reading something on the computer, and then she left. She looked like she’d been crying. Is she all right?”

Dylan scowled. “It’s her story to tell, but it involves the foulest of knaves,” he said. “It’s been all I can do to keep myself from tracking down this villain to give him… a really stern talking to. Oh, Andria, none of my experience in life has prepared me to defend my sister’s honor. What should I do now? Challenge him to a duel?”

Andria folded him into her arms. “You can’t defend her honor, my love. But she can, and I think she will.”

“Thank you so much for agreeing to meet,” Abby said. “This is a really awful subject. I wasn’t sure you would talk to me. When I started looking for celebrity tell-alls about me and Nemo Hodgins, I started finding articles about you. I guess we’re in the same boat.”

Aminali Ibari was the newest rising star with Plumbob Pictures. She’d recently completed filming a supporting role in the film adaptation of The Dog Barks for Thee, which would hit box offices next month.

“Don’t read those articles,” Aminali said seriously. “They’ll drive you crazy. I want to put all that behind me and focus on acting.”

“But is it true?” Abby asked. “Did Hodgins offer to exchange woohoo for jobs with you?”
“If you really want to know my story, I’ll tell you,” Aminali said. “You promised to buy me a drink.”

Over the course of the evening, Abby and Aminali shared their stories with each other. They were surprisingly similar. Or perhaps not so surprising. They shared the same passion for acting and faced the same barriers to making their career. And they both had Nemo Hodgins in their past…. Aminali further in the past, but not much further. Realizing how recently Nemo had passed from Aminali to her filled Abby with another wave of shame.

“We can’t let him keep doing this to young actresses,” Abby said. “We have to do something.”
“What can we do?” Aminali demanded. “He has all the power. Young wannabe actresses are interchangeable, and he knows it. Nobody is willing to risk their careers to go after him.”
Abby took a deep breath. “I think I am.”

Aminali just stared at her. “Do you realize what you’re saying? If you accuse someone in the industry, you could be blacklisted. He might come out smelling like a rose.”
“I just can’t sit back and let him prey on any more women,” Abby said. “I think it’s worth the risk. If I lose my chance at a film career, maybe I can save someone from what we went through.”

“You’re a pig-headed woman,” Aminali said. “Take that as a compliment. If you go public against Nemo Hodgins, I will back you up.”

“Oh, thank you so much!” Abby cried. “I just wanted to know your story. I didn’t expect to find an ally!”

“It’s about time we started standing together,” Aminali said. “Good luck to you.”


I didn’t expect the big show venue to be so awesome. If you get close, you can see how artificial the big crowd looks, but it’s a still a fabulous effect.

Abby looks like she’s wearing too much makeup. I could have sworn it looked more tasteful when I was playing it. Ah, well, I’ve played weeks ahead of this, so we’re stuck with it.

Sharon Leonard invited Sawyer on a date. It was the only time he was invited on a date while he was a teen. I thought it was pretty funny that it was the same girl who made fun of him earlier. They had an attraction of 0. He couldn’t stand her.

6.11 Love in Light and Darkness

Note: This is crazy long, but I just couldn’t find any way to break it up that wasn’t clunky. It was just a very busy day!


Love Day dawned in an inauspicious manner.

Riddle was itchy, and he thought it was time Dylan did something about it.

Considering that the itches were fleas, Dylan had to decontaminate both of them.

Xia wasn’t there that morning. He had risen before dawn and was already at Tintagel Keep.

Love Day was a big day for her, but not for the usual reasons. She was scheduled for an experimental flight test. The outcome could make or break her career.

“All right,” she said to her copilot, Mitchell Bachelor. “Here goes everything. Let’s set this plane on fire!”

“So, do you and Andria have anything special planned?” Sky asked her eldest son over breakfast.
“Of course I planned something,” Dylan replied. “It’s Love Day. I thought we’d take a romantic balloon ride at the festival.”

“I was thinking of something really special,” Sky said. “You and Andria have been seeing each other for a very long time. What’s holding you back?”

“Everything that didn’t hold you back,” Dylan snapped. “The last thing I need is romantic advice from you.”

“Wow,” Sky said, stung. “I know I didn’t always think ahead, but I think my kids turned out all right.”

Dylan sighed. “I’m sorry Mama. It’s just that we view our relationships very differently.”

“I can see that,” Sky said.

Dylan offered an awkward smile. “I have to go pick up Andria,” he said.

The sky was clear and blue. The sun was bright. It was hard to imagine a more perfect Love Day.

Dylan and Andria didn’t waste any time.

Abby had called and left a message for Dion, proposing that they go out to celebrate Love Day in the evening. Dion hadn’t called back yet. That was all right, though. She had landed the part that Nemo Hodgins promised her, and that had led to a much bigger part in a different production.

Her career was finally taking off. It was hard for her to complain about the huge stack of scripts she needed to learn.

Sawyer, on the other hand, would rather read scientific journals. He was willing to humor his family and read them at the park.

Sky ran into Forest. As usual, he quizzed her on any unusual behavior or break ins at her house. She assured him everything was fine.

Then Xia burst onto the scene.

“Take a look, baby!” she cried. “You’re looking at Avalon Island’s newest astronaut! Woot! Woot! Woot!”

“Really!” Sky exclaimed. “That’s fantastic!”

Xia swept her off her feet, literally. “We better make this moment count. Who knows when they’ll shoot me into space!”

She didn’t give Sky a chance to protest. Not that Sky would ever protest.

“Would you do me he honor of accompanying me on a little balloon ride?” Dylan suggested. “I rented it it out for an hour just for us.”

“Wow!” Andria said. “I’ve never been up flying!”

“Never? We need to travel together,” Dylan said. “Up we go!”

“Wow! This is beautiful! You can see so far!”

Dylan reached down into a cabinet at the base of the basket. “I brought a little something to mark the occasion.”


“Champagne! I should have expected you to so something dashing.”

“To many years together.”

“Mmmm. I love the bubbles. They tickle.”

“Now, my dearest, let’s see where this balloon will take us.”

“You mean we don’t have to stay at the festival?”

“Absolutely not! We just have to bring it back in an hour.”

“Wow! Then let’s explore!”

Xia, meanwhile, decided to learn how many hot dogs her stomach could hold.

When Hunter saw her entering an eating contest, he couldn’t help but try it himself.

Xia won. Hunter nearly made himself sick.

“The prize is more hot dogs,” Xia told Sky afterward. “I never want to see another hot dog for the rest of my life.”

Abby’s Love Day was lonely and getting lonelier. Dion still hadn’t called back, and the sun was getting low.

If there were a problem, he’d tell her, right?

“Wow….” Andria breathed. “It’s breathtaking.”

“I was hoping it would be,” Dylan said.

He held her hand while she looked all around her. They were, for all intents and purposes, completely alone, above a small cove on a corner of the island.

That was exactly what Dylan had intended.

“Andria,” he began, sinking to one knee.

Andria reached forward to pull him up. “Dylan? Are you all right?”

“I’ve never been better,” Dylan replied. He pulled something out of his pocket.

“Dylan! Is that–?”

“Andria, my lady love, you’ve been patient enough with me to be the noblest woman on the face of the Simearth. If you will allow me, I wish nothing more than to spend the rest of our lives making it worth your while. Please be my wife.”

“Dylan! I– I don’t know what to say!”
“Yes, I hope,” Dylan replied. “You’ve come this far. It seems premature to abandon our affair just when it could be most worthwhile.”

“Could you be any more over the top? Of course I’ll marry you!”

“You may be a crazy man, but I love you anyway.”

They dallied too long on the balloon ride, and Dylan had to pay a steep fee for returning late. And they almost missed the point of the party. They came dashing, hand-in-hand, back to the park just in time to see Xia blow out her candles.

“Here’s to being the most embarrassing old lady you ever met!”

“I gotta tell you, this has been one hell of a day!”

“Here we go!”

[It’s not my fault! I had a series of crashes here and replayed this birthday about three times. I have NO PICTURES after transition! I don’t know why! Xia’s new look is pretty much exactly like her old look, though.]

As everyone cheered for her mum’s birthday, Abby looked up to the park entrance and saw the one face she’d been most hoping for.

“Dion!” she cried. “I was starting to worry! I hope everything’s all right!”

Something in his eyes stopped her cold. “Dion?”

“Did you think I wouldn’t find out?” he shouted. “You didn’t even try to keep it secret!”

“Oh no,” Abby gasped. “No! No! No! Dion, it’s not like that. I didn’t mean–”

“Are you going to try tell me that you’re NOT woohooing with your boss? Do you think I’m that stupid?”

“It wasn’t supposed to be–“

Dion stared at her. Abby trailed off, unable to find words.

“Please, go on,” Dion snarled. “I’d love to know how you plan to finish that sentence. What was it supposed to be, and what do you think it looks like? What can you possibly say that makes this all right?”

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “It wasn’t supposed to hurt you.”

“You know where I found out? A gossip mag at the grocery store.”

Abby didn’t think she could be more shocked, but she was wrong. “They wrote about me?”

“Yeah. All publicity is good publicity, right?”

“Dion, please…”

“You disgust me. I never want to see you again.”

Abby watched him walk away, unable even to cry. Then, mechanically, she picked up a slice of cake and sat down with her family. The cake tasted like sawdust.

“Was that your boyfriend?” Andria asked. “He looked kind of upset. Everything all right?”

“Yeah,” Abby said. “He was kind of upset.” She didn’t elaborate.

“He should have stayed for cake!” Xia declared. “Everything is better with cake!”

Dylan caught Abby’s arm as he was cleaning up. “You all right?” he asked. “You want to talk about it?”

“Not yet?” Abby choked out.

“Come on!” Xia called. “You don’t want to miss the best part! Dylan, you’re on fire duty. I think I’m too buzzed to be safe.”

Dylan chuckled and grabbed the lighter.

“To many, many more years making fools of ourselves,” Xia shouted over the sound of the rocket.

“The very best kind of fools!”


This post took me like a week to write :-p.

I have to say that the hot air balloon was the glitchiest piece of Sims premium content I’ve ever played with. Also, it only rises about the height of a sim off the ground, which makes it look kind of dumb in the air. Good thing I didn’t buy Aurora Skies for that thing. The champaign animation is absolutely adorable, but the proposal didn’t even work until I used MasterController to remove Andria’s Imaginary Friend occult status. I’ve noticed a few other interactions that don’t work for occult for no good reason. Somebody inherited from the wrong object someplace ;-p.

Xia’s LTW is now complete, which I believe finishes all the goals for Generation 5. It’s all Gen 6 now, and of course Gen 7 in the not-so-distant future.

I don’t feel like I’ve ever given Xia’s Party Animal trait enough attention. It’s flipping hard to throw a ton of parties in this game and get anything done. She’s always trying to throw a party autonomously, and I cancel it out. I always wanted to have her get drunk and dance on a table in one of the bars, but when I tried that at The Garden Gnome pub, it told me the ceiling was too low. I guess you can only do it in a place with two-story ceilings :-p.

Imagine she did more partying.

6.9 Fairies and Demons

The day was finally here.

Andria was aging into adulthood.

The whole extended family and then some turned out for her birthday party. Also, her half-brother Clifton Hodgins, who was the keyboardist in Ghostwriter. Her Uncle Arma had to work.

But nobody was happier than Dylan. Andria gave him a knowing wink as she blew out her candles.

Now was the first day of the rest of their lives.

Let the party begin!

As everyone settled down for cake,

Sky goofed around with Clifton.

Abby’s unsettling boss wandered around the place like it belonged to him and got into their private stuff.

Dylan was finally offended enough to ask him to leave.

“Do you think I’ll get grandbabies out of this?” Sky whispered to Xia.

“Shh!” Xia warned. “Not your business!”

Meanwhile, Dylan caught Andria away from the crush of people just as soon as their responsibilities as host and hostess were complete.

They stole out together to the quiet of the back yard to watch the stars and snuggle in a way they hadn’t done since they were kids.

“Do you wish upon stars?” Dylan asked.

“Sometimes,” Andria laughed. “That one looks like it’s listening.”

“What would you wish for?” Dylan asked.

Andria whispered in his ear.

Dylan blushed flaming red.

Meanwhile, Ghostwriter set up for an impromptu performance on the front lawn.

The might be a bit long in the tooth, but they still knew where their sound was.

Xia grabbed a chance to catch up with her son.

And party a little bit.

Dylan got out his birthday present for Andria.

“You’re old enough to drink it now,” he said. “I thought this was pretty fine stuff. Perhaps we could share a toast to a fresh start together?”

“I think that’s a lovely idea. I’ve been curious to know what nectar tastes like!”

They clinked their glasses and each took a sip. Andria made thoughtful noises. “It’s, um, a lovely color,” she concluded.

The sounds of the raucous party were still going on the front lawn. “Do you think they’ve even noticed we’re gone?” Andria asked.

“Mama’s never needed me to party,” Dylan replied. “Usually I just slow her down.”

“So tell me, my knight of propriety,” Andria asked archly, “are we cleared to cuddle on the sofa now?”

“Of course!” Dylan replied. “I’ve been looking forward to it!”

He put his arm around her.

And very quickly

Things got out of hand.

Andria pulled herself away. “Let’s take this upstairs,” she panted.

Dylan, unable to speak, just nodded. He let her lead him back to his bedroom.

Dylan was almost incapable of thinking at all. Never before had he felt desire like this. Never had he needed someone the way he needed Andria at that moment. Her touch trailed fire over his skin. His chest was so tight that it was almost hard to breathe.

Then, suddenly, he came to his senses and yanked himself away.

“Andria! What are we doing?”

Andria just stared at him. “Isn’t it obvious what we’re doing?

Dylan sat up. “We could have — we almost — how can we disrespect our relationship like this? We’re not even married yet!”

“Dylan!” Andria cried. “I just passed through one hoop for your propriety. How many more do I need?”

Dylan sat at the edge of the bed, shaking. “My parents came together just like this,” he said. “They were young. They didn’t know what they wanted. All they thought they were doing was having fun. They made ME, by accident, and it almost ruined their lives. I can’t do that. If we’re not sure that we will stay together, how can we take the risk?”

Andria laid a hand on his shoulder. He ran his fingers over hers, reverently, then took a deep breath and pushed her hand away.

“Do you want to marry me?” Andria asked softly.

“I… can’t imagine myself with anyone else,” Dylan said. “But is that enough?”

“Before we go any farther,” Andria said in a wavering voice, “there’s something you should know.”

She swung her legs over the side of the bed, stood up, and… shifted.

Dylan gasped. “What are you?”

“They call us machina fae,” Andria said. Her voice was strange, higher pitched and ethereal. “We live in your world in secret, using a glamor to make us look human. My father, Doctor Hodgins Sword, was fae. He taught me about it in secret. My mother never knew. I was supposed to keep it secret from you too, but I just can’t live like that. I need you to know who I really am.”

“You’re not human.” Dylan’s voice was flat, stunned.

“No,” Andria said. “If you can’t live with knowing that… I understand.” Her voice broke, just a little, as she said it.

Dylan sank to the bed and held his head in his hands. “I need to think,” he said. “I just need to think.”


Andria is an Imaginary Friend! WTH?

I first discovered this when Dylan took her portrait, and the photograph subject was identified as “Imaginary Friend” rather than “My Main Squeeze,” which was what I was going for.

I looked at her parents in the mausoleum, and she inherited this from her father, Sebastian Hodgins, not her mother, Lynn Winslow Sword. I have no idea who Sebastian inherited from because his parents are long since purged. Gwynn? I don’t remember anything about IFs from the Hodgins Wishacy.

So that’s Andria’s big secret. She’s a part of a secret fae society living among the Avalonians.

6.8 Mirror Mirror

Finals were coming up at school, and Andria was a bundle of stress. At least, she said her stress was all about finals, and she spent a lot of time hitting the books. She began more and more time at the Sample estate until she was there all of her free time — arriving straight from school and leaving late at night to go to bed. She said her Uncle Arma made it impossible to study at home.

It wasn’t such a bad deal either. When Andria was stressed, she cooked, and she was pretty good at it.

Dylan held up his end by cleaning up after her. The kitchen was spotless and smelled delicious most of the time.

For the most part, everyone treated Andria as family.

Even Sawyer. Of course, that meant he accosted her whenever he was in a bad mood to complain that the smells of her cooking were distracting him from his studies.

Andria tried to give as good as she got.

“I saw you eating my cupcakes. It didn’t bother you then!”

“If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d know the appropriate times to cook.”

“Right, right,” Andria retorted. “Smart like you. You’ve already reminded everyone about that.”

Dylan worried about Andria, but she assured him that she wasn’t taking Sawyer’s theatrics too personally.

Instead, he worked on Connery’s training regimen.

Connery was a wary dog, even as a puppy. It wasn’t that easy to gain his trust.

On the other hand, he didn’t seem to be terribly destructive, and he took well to house training.

Riddle, on the other hand, was as loyal as could be.

Dylan wished he could take the old fellow to a dog show, but it wasn’t Riddle’s loyalty that was the problem — it was what was likely to do to anyone he WASN’T loyal to.

It was hard to get the mailman to bring by the mail any more.

Despite his complaining, Sawyer was at the top of his classes in everything. Everything except physical education, but he insisted that shouldn’t even be a school subject.

As Andria’s finals approached, Dylan got more and more excited about her birthday.

He spent time at the nectary, trying to find the perfect gift to celebrate her entry to adulthood.

He came for a gift for his once-and-future-girlfriend, but he stayed for the flavor.

A lifelong passion for nectar was awakened. Nectar was truly the most civilized drink in the Simworld.

Xia was offered a position as an experimental test pilot. She was transferred to the military base at old Tintagel Fortress.

“They keep making me wear this flying monkey suit!” she said to Abby. “I keep saying, ‘More flying! Fewer meetings!’ but nobody listens to me. Don’t you think this hat is absurd?”

“Am I allowed to say yes?” Abby asked, giggling.

“There’s something I want to ask you, Mum,” Abby said, becoming more serious. “You always go out there and get exactly what you want. Have you ever done anything that you were ashamed of?”

Xia gave her daughter a long look. “You want the truth?”

Abby nodded.

Xia signed. “I don’t know if I should admit this to you, but you’re a grown woman. I did a few things that I’d rather not talk about, but I don’t think I’m ashamed of any of them. Very few sims get a chance to shoot themselves out of a cannon at the moon, and I intend to be one of them. When you’re playing those odds, sometimes you have to break the rules, and you absolutely have to make sacrifices. The thing that matters most in the end is your self-respect. You’re the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror.”

Xia looked deeply into the eyes of her only biological daughter. “You’re a good person, Abby. I know that, and I hope you know that. If anyone wants to judge you for your choices, they can answer to me.”

Abby flushed. “Thanks, Mum. It means a lot to me.”

“Don’t mention it,” Xia said. “Seriously, don’t mention it. I’m a military woman. Tenderness is bad for my image.”

“No offense, but your house is getting to be almost as bad for studying as mine,” Andria told Dylan. “I’m going to go study at the library.”

Dylan looked surprised. Things were actually pretty quiet at the Sample Estate that afternoon. “Sure. If you want to drop by for dinner, you’re welcome.”

Andria flashed him a smile. “Sure. I’m pretty sure you’re going to be eating the leftovers I cooked anyway.” She hopped on her bike and headed to Monmouth Archive.

There weren’t many other people there, so she didn’t have to worry about anyone following her down into the stacks.

The stacks were the oldest part of the building, and it was was a very old building. Every wall was covered with old video recordings or much, much older books.

Andria walked directed to the very oldest part of the basement.

She hadn’t been here since her father brought her as a child.

But it didn’t take long to remember where the trick book was.

The switch clicked into place, and the door swung open, slowly and silently.

Andria stepped through to a chamber so old that it made the library look sparkling new. Ages old. You could smell it in the air.

She took a breath and walked past the witchfire torches to the gate of the Vault of Antiquity.

She could barely see the elders, but she knew they were there. “I’m going to tell him,” she said. “If you want to stop me, you’re going to have to do whatever you’re going to do right now.

The sigh of the elders was like the wind through dry leaves. “We know,” they said. “Maybe it’s time. You have our permission.”

Abby was outside, watching the sunset and thinking, when her phone rang.

“I was just going out for a drink,” Nemo Hodgins said on the other end of the line. “Want to join me. I have great news I’d like to discuss in person.”

“Really?” she asked. “Where do you want to meet.”

“You know the Priest’s Pub?”

Abby was in the car and on her way before she hung up the phone.

“What did you want to tell me?” she asked when she saw him. “Did I get the part?”

Nemo grinned. “Let’s sit down and talk over a drink. My treat.”

So Abby had a couple of cocktails. She wasn’t that accustomed to juice, but she knew she’d have to get used to it to live the life she wanted.

She liked the burn, really. But it didn’t take long until her head was swimming just a little.

Nemo strung her along with a teasing light in his eye. Every time she tried to talk about work, he changed the subject.

After drinks, they headed upstairs

And played darts for a while.

Not a game she was best at when she was tipsy.

Nemo trounced her.

“OK, I can’t take it any longer,” Abby said at last. “Stop teasing me. Did I get the part?”

Nemo grinned. “I know a guy who knows a guy who’s doing casting for the new film For Whom the Dog Barks. They have a trainer role you’ll be perfect for. He owes me a favor. I think it’s as good as yours. This could be your big break.”

“What?” Abby asked. “I haven’t auditioned for that film.”

“They’ve seen your other auditions,” Nemo said. “But you’re still going to have to read for the part, and we need to knock it out of the ballpark. Do you have time to meet with me to go over the script?”

Abby nodded. “I’m free whenever you are.”

“Is tonight too soon?” Nemo asked. “I have the script back at my office.”

So they headed back to Nemo’s house once more. They ran into Police Chief William Pierce, in the foyer.

“Abby, meet my roommate,” Nemo said graciously. “He was just on his way out. Weren’t you, Will?”

“This really is a lovely home,” Abby said as she looked around.

“Thanks. It’s William’s, really. He’s old money. Very old, actually. I rent a couple of rooms from him. Now, have a seat in the living room. I want to whip up a little snack for us to study by.”

Abby was left alone in his living room, pacing nervously. She’d been working so hard to get a break. Could this possibly be it? How well did Nemo know the casting team?

She found her way to the bathroom and stared at herself. “You know you want this,” she told her reflection. “What are you willing to sacrifice for it? Have you come this far just to give up? You can make this happen! And you will!

So long as she could look at herself in the mirror, she would be all right.

She made her way back to the living room. Nemo was already there. “I set a fire in the fireplace,” he said. “I hope you don’t mind. It just makes the place so much more cozy.”

“It’s lovely,” Abby said. And it was. The whole house was beautifully decorated.

“Here’s the script,” Nemo said. “It’s not the most brilliant work you’ve ever seen, but right now what we need is to get you some screen time.”

Abby laughed self-consciously. “I know,” she said. “I’ll take what I can get.”

So they ran the rehearsal scenes several times. Abby tried out different character styles. Nemo gave her thoughtful feedback. She slowly grew more confident. The part wasn’t terribly complex. She could do it. It was just a matter of doing it better than anyone else.

On the dozenth run through, Nemo leaned close to her as he recited the lines, and suddenly their lips were touching.

He drew back quickly. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “That was so unprofessional. I just — you just have this incredible presence. I’ve never been so affected by anyone before.”

He drew closer again, caressing her nose with his own. “You’re an amazing woman, Abby. And so beautiful. If you want me to stop, say it. Nobody ever has to know.” His hand was beneath her skirt, stroking her inner thigh as he spoke. It was hard to think.

Then he was kissing her again. Abby’s heart was pounding, her mind racing…

She shut of her thoughts and let it happen.


Argh. I’m getting close to the end of this generation in gameplay, and I’m SOOO far behind in posts!

Yeah, when Abby’s boss heart-farted for her the first time they met, it was hard not to let this plot happen.

6.6 Tasteful

“This place is a bit stuffy, don’t you think?” Xia pointed out as she surveyed the living room. “It could really use some livening up.”

“The word you’re looking for is ‘classy,'” Abby said. “You don’t need chrome and disco balls to liven up a home.”

“Hey,” Xia retorted. “I never had a disco ball. Actually, that’s a really good idea.”

“If you have to be tasteless, can you keep it in your room?”

Everyone settled in to their new space. Sawyer set up his science station in his room

and a telescope on the second floor deck, where he began scanning the skies for galactic phenomena.

Connery was cute.

Riddle tried to puzzle out Connery.

The Arcane Institute contacted Dylan to commission some photography.

They were also interested in consigning some of his more unusual freelance work for sale to their rather unusual and discriminating clientele.

The Arcane Institute folks set Dylan’s weird-sense tingling, but this looked to be a very nice business relationship.

Sky had a surprising work day.

Plum Marmalade hired her to sing for Leah as a wedding anniversary present.

Was this some kind of sick joke? Sky knew she should turn down the job, but morbid curiosity made her accept.

The whole thing backfired, almost literally. Her effects gear blew a fuse. The whole performance was a disaster.

“I’m so sorry!” Sky said. “This is so humiliating.”

Leah laughed. “It’s all right. Plum has a… unique…. sense of humor. Sorry you got tangled up in it.”

“Happy anniversary,” Sky said, and she meant it.

Leah beamed. “Thanks. I hope you’re happy too.”

Sky nodded thoughtfully. She was surprised at how easy it was to talk to Leah. So many years of heartache had faded to a sort of comfortable, shared experience.

“I’m really happy with my life,” Sky said. “Did you ever thing I’d get there?”

Leah looked embarrassed. “Not really, but I’m so glad you did.”

Abby got a visit from a local casting agent named Nemo Hodgins.

“I have to say that I was just blown away by your head shots!” Nemo said. “I know potential, and you have it. I have some parts in mind for you. Nothing big, but it would get you on the screen. Your audition was a little rough, though. I think it’s going to need some polish.”

“Tell me what I need to do!” Abby cried. “I’ll do anything.”

Nemo grinned. “I’ll have my people call you, and we’ll do lunch.”

Andria disappeared after school on a quest of her own. Since she spent most of her time at Dylan’s house but didn’t sleep there, nobody even noticed she was gone.

“I know my relationship is frowned upon,” she told the soothsayer, “but I love him.”

The soothsayer was silent for a long time. “Love is a powerful thing,” the she said at last, “but is it worth the risk?”


Still not my best post, but time is moving forward!

6.5 Old World Charm

Abby had always known what she wanted to do with her life. As soon as her party at the club closed down, she headed to the Plumbob Pictures Backlot to apply for any modeling or commercial appearances available. Her resume was thin, but she’d done a lot of work for her school drama club. Hopefully it would amount to something.

Now was just a matter of waiting for the phone to ring, right?

Dylan had to abandon his idea of entering Riddle in shows. He was too territorial and stubborn.

Dylan did the best he could to teach Riddle some discipline, but it never worked that well.

Still, it wasn’t so bad to have a canine protector around, especially since they were still getting attempted break-ins once a week.

Dylan was still keeping Andria at a distance, so she decided to take an end run around him. She and Xia had no trouble bonding over plants. Soon, Andria was over almost every day, working in the garden with Dylan’s de-facto stepmother.

Once she discovered that it considered it within propriety to help her with her homework, she seemed to constantly having trouble with a math problem or a literature essay.

While he was making suggestions, she made sure their knees touched, or she leaned against his shoulder to ask for input.

Dylan began recording the days until Andria’s birthday on his calendar and counting them off every morning. It couldn’t come soon enough.

“You know, Xia’s garden is amazing,” she pointed out one day. “There’s so much more you could be doing to reduce your ecological footprint. Why have all these electronics getting in the way of the important things in life? We could live off the grid!”

Meanwhile, a lot of things were starting to break down around the house.

Dylan had to admit that their lifestyle, largely built around Sky’s living large, fame-driven sensibilities, seems a whole lot more complicated than it should be.
One night, Abby independently brought up how absurdly large and complicated the Sample estate was. It turned out that they’d been having similar thoughts for different reasons.

“I don’t want to make Mama feel bad, but this place is so neuvo riche,” Abby confided in Dylan. “Why don’t we live somewhere more simple and elegant? You’re the oldest and kind of becoming the head of the household. Do you think you could talk to her?”

Sky, meanwhile, was spending most nights out. Her performance schedule hadn’t slowed a bit as she grew older.

Some of her oldest fans were her best.

At one poorly attended evening in the park, Abby ran into Freddy Cagley. They immediately hit it off.

Freddy had kind of a crush on her, even in high school. Abby was charmed, but she made it clear that nothing was going to happen between them. He was such a sweet guy, but kind of a dork.

But the big topic of conversation wasn’t romance. It was puppies. His dog Dakota had recently given birth to a litter, and he was looking for homes for the little guys. Apparently Dakota had been spending a lot of time with Hunter’s dog Mystery. It wasn’t a big, well, mystery who the father of these pups were.

Intrigued to get a look at the little guys, Abby headed home with Freddy after the concert.

And immediately regretted the decision.

Freddy’s place had to be seen to be believed.

Freddy looked around as Abby stepped inside and had the good taste to look ashamed. “Hey, if I’d known you were going to come by, I’d have cleaned up a little,” he said. “This means you’re never going to go out with me, doesn’t it.”

“Could you just show me the puppies,” Abby choked out. “Are they outside?”

They were, and Abby immediately fell in love.

She named the little fellow Connery.

And got the heck out of Freddy’s place as fast as she could.

Meanwhile, Andria was working hard to find a home on the outskirts of Avalon that met Dylan and Abby’s surprisingly similar aesthetic.

She found it. It didn’t turn out to be that hard to get Sky to move. She was ready for a change. And Sawyer didn’t care where he lived so long as it had a science station.

The new place immediately felt like home.


Eh, not my best chapter, but here we finally move to the fresh copy of Avalon! I had to add all the lots back in, and I’m really happy with the new version. You’ll see more soon.

I really like Riddle, but I realized that for genetic reasons, I probably picked the wrong littermate. It seems like it’s kind of a bug that puppies/kittens end up with all their body sliders to minimum no matter what their parents are like. Mystery is a much better representation of Enigma’s genes. So I decided to have Abby adopt one of Mystery’s puppies.

I seriously have no idea what was up with Freddy Cagley’s house. But I dropped that house in the Avalon redesign and replaced it with something else.

6.4 Time Lapse Pictures

Dylan had never felt so alive behind a camera as he did on his trip to Al Simhara. There was a quality to the light he had never experienced. Edges were crisp and clear. He could see for dozens of miles. And oh what there was to see.

His time on assignment flew by.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

So clearly his artistic calling was in photography and not grilling. He could handle that.

He celebrated his return home with some rest and relaxation.

Meanwhile, Abby was struggling with her math homework. Sawyer was trying to help, but it didn’t seem to be sticking.

“Why do they need all these squiggly symbols?” she demanded. “Why can’t they use human words?”

Later, Sawyer caught her trying to copy answers from his homework.

“If you hand that in, you’re going to be very disappointed,” he pointed out. “It’s not the same assignment. We don’t even go to the same school.”

“I figured your math would at least look convincing,” Abby replied, sulking.

Abby did manage, against all odds, to pull a passing grade in math. It hailed the end of her high school career. Her birthday was finally here.

Abby was determined that her coming of age not be slighted the way her last birthday was. At her insistence, Sky and Xia rented out the La Palma poolside club.

Sky entertained the guests as they gathered.

Hunter showed the passage of time more than the other triplets.

Forest, on the other hand, didn’t look a day past his adult birthday. Nobody asked why.

Xia’s dear older brother Jin was also showing his age.

And Garry Crumplebottom too. Time was passing for everyone.

Abby made sure to carve out some time from her mingling to talk to her boyfriend Dion.

“When will I get to see you?” he asked. “You’ve been so busy recently.”

“I’m sorry,” Abby said. “With drama club and finals and everything, I keep losing track of time. I’m sure it will be better after graduation.”

Then it was time for cake.

“This is it, Mum!” Abby crowed to Xia. “I’m an adult! I’m free!”

Xia could have warned her that adulthood wasn’t quite so carefree, but she didn’t see the point. “Yeah!” she said. “Let’s party it up!”

Dylan, Sawyer, and Andria escaped the loud dance music into the pool room.

Andria turned out to be a pretty good shot.

Sky had to leave the party early for a singing engagement.

Her birthday hit in the middle of her set.

She preferred it this way. No reason to call attention to growing older.

She went right on singing, just as she always had. If anyone noticed, she couldn’t tell.


Hey! This blog hit 40k views! That’s pretty cool. Nice to know some folks are reading it. Don’t be afraid to comment!

(I know I disabled anonymous commenting b/c I was getting so many spam comments, but there are so many options for logging in. Believe you me, I’d enabled anonymous comments if I could :-p.)

Since there are no animation for photography, I wasn’t sure what to do to blog Dylan’s work. I settled on taking shots similar to the ones he actually took and framing them in the blog. There isn’t a lot more for me to say about WA, so I let his trip pass in screenshots. I figure you got the idea ;).

Didn’t Abby grow up beautiful? I was pretty impressed!

6.3 Control Issues

The incident at Honeyduke’s seemed to set off a chain of erratic behavior in Sawyer.

He rendered the upstairs sink into a fountain of loose water pipes. When Sky demanded to know why, he claimed it was an important scientific experiment, and her primitive brain wouldn’t understand anyway. Xia had to spend an entire afternoon putting the thing back together.

Later, he disappeared into the same bathroom and emerged with a shaved head.

Then he began sneaking out in the evenings. His half-sister Rosie Winter caught him vandalizing the house she lived in with their mother Amy.

She called the cops. They found him throwing raw eggs at the front door. He didn’t even try hide his behavior, but he put up a fight when they tried to escort him off the premises.

Sky and Xia were at a performance of Sky’s when Sawyer returned to the Sample Estate in a police cruiser. Dylan was the adult on duty, and he took the whole thing very poorly.

“What were you thinking?” he demanded. “Do you know what you’re doing to our family’s reputation?”

Sawyer was practically vibrating with agitation. “You’re too stupid to understand!” he shouted back. “They’re all too stupid to understand my intellect! You pathetic mouse-brained ape!”

Dylan stopped suddenly. “Is this about Amy Winter?” he asked quietly. “Because she doesn’t want to be your mom?”

“She’s stupid anyway,” Sawyer said. “Talking to her would be boring.” But his tone of voice betrayed the lie.

Sawyer was a mystery to Dylan, but for a moment he saw an emotion he understood. “Look,” he said to his troubled little brother. “I get that you’re mad at her. I’m mad at her too. But we have to find a better way.”

When Xia and Sky returned home, they read the police report and had a long talk with Sawyer. Then Xia went to the computer and filled out an application. It turned out that she had already done the research, but she and Sky had still been uncertain it was necessary.

Sawyer started an experimental education program at the Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center the following Monday.

Time would tell if it was the right thing for Sawyer. It was supposed to give him extra power to direct his studies while providing extra focus on skills to survive in a social world.

In the short term, with Sawyer’s attention focused on something constructive, things calmed down abruptly in the Sample house.

Sky’s cooking had actually gotten pretty good.

When he wasn’t on photography assignments, Dylan spent a lot of time with Riddle.

Soon the old dog had learned a lot of new tricks. Dylan was considering entering him in a few shows.

Dylan was also doing more independent photography.

The local consignment specialist was eagerly finding homes for his more artistic shots. In fact, he was hoping Dylan would provide him more stock.

With the proceeds of his first large art photography sale, Dylan escorted Andria out on the promised night on the town.

Dinner was at the newly opened Camelot Cafe.

Andria was delighted.

“All right,” she said. “You pass this test. Keep treating me like a queen, and I’ll keep waiting for you.”

“Are you really still angry with me?” Dylan asked. “I’m not trying to make you feel bad. It’s just a matter of, well, honor I guess. And propriety.”

“I know,” Andria said. “With you, it’s always honor and propriety. If I didn’t love that about you, I should have abandoned this relationship a long time ago.”

“You make it sound a fool who only has your company at your sufferance,” Dylan said.

Andria gave him a brilliant smile. “Don’t worry,” she replied. “Your sense of honor may be inconvenient, but it’s also what makes you into the man I love.”

“But it makes me suffer to have to wait for you while you still consider me a child. You have to understand that it’s in my nature to make you suffer too.”

“Come on, dear. I’m going to beat you at Gnubb.”

After a rousing game that Dylan actually won, Andria thanked him for the lovely date.

Then, before he could step back, she took him in her arms and kissed him soundly.

Dylan should have jumped back. No matter who initiated the kiss, he was the adult who shouldn’t be taking advantage. Instead, he found himself kissing her more deeply.

Andria released him, laughing. “See?” she said. “A little suffering builds character.”

Dylan’s head was addled and his heart was racing. He said a quick goodbye and headed home.

The next day, Sim Life magazine called him with his most lucrative contract offer to date. They wanted a travel spread of Al Simhara.

Dylan thought of Andria. He wasn’t sure what would happen when he saw her next, and the idea made him nervous. Every day he was on travel, the closer Andria’s birthday would get.

“I’ll do it,” he said. “When do you want me to leave?”


I am having SO MUCH FUN with Dylan’s LTW. But the complete lack of photography animations really gets to be a bummer.

6.1 Rites of Passage

Sky had been passing as human most of her life, blending in fairly well with the people of Avalon. As she grew older, this just didn’t seem as important as it once had.  First she stopped being sure she walked on the ground all the time. As she saw her Elder birthday approaching, she let her opaque form drop more and more.

Her ghostliness turned out to have an extra benefit for night concerts.

She was a little more nervous to show this side of herself to Xia.

But Xia thought it was fantastic.

“I can’t believe you didn’t do this before!” Xia said. “I’m always discovering new ways that you’re amazing.”

Deep in Sky’s psyche was still the lonely child whom everyone thought was creepy. That child really needed Xia.

Things were a little rockier in Dylan’s love life.

“What do you mean we need to take a break until I graduate?” Andria demanded.

“Well, you see, now I’m an adult, and you’re still a teenager,” Dylan said. “It’s just not seemly for us to be in a relationship.”

“You have to be kidding me! We’re the same people we were before your birthday! Nothing’s changed!”

Dylan hated upsetting Andria. She was the light of his life. But this was too important. He had to stick to his guns.
“Look at it this way,” he said. “I’m now old enough to be your teacher at school. There’s no way a relationship between us can be conducted on equal terms while I am of legal age of adulthood and you are not. I would be taking advantage of you, and I won’t do that.”

Andria sighed. “Dylan, sometimes I don’t know what century you get your code of conduct,” she said. “There’s no way I can talk you out of this nonsense?”

Dylan gulped. “I’m afraid I’m immovable,” he said.

“All right,” Andria said. “We’ll play it your way. It’s only one more term of school.”

Dylan breathed a sign of relief. For a moment, he’d been terrified that he would lose her. “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “I’ll make it up to you as soon as you reach your majority.”

“You’ll start making it up to me before that,” Andria said. “You’re taking me out to dinner. As friends, of course. You’re going to make it nice, and you’re going to pick up the tab.”
“I always pick up the tab,” Dylan said.

Dylan’s career was going better. As soon as he was old enough to go into business, he started marketing his services as a photographer. He had a few contacts he’d built through the school newspaper, and they delivered some portfolio-building work rather quickly.

The Stemple-Mais wanted a photo shoot of their new baby.

They were living in the house once owned by Dylan’s late great-aunt Ada.

The house was incredibly crowded. Apparently, Garry Crumplebottom had maintained an open home policy with his step mother Jeanna and his half-sisters. After Shanni’s death, Jeanna remarried Miyuki Mai, and Miyuki had also moved into Chateau Crumplebottom. They never had children. Jeanna’s two daughters with Shanni had been enough for her.

Then, when Jeanna died, there’d been some kind of falling out, and the entire collection of Crumplebottom non-heirs had moved out as a group.

Miyuki lived here with her second wife, Charlotte Stemple-Mai (not pictured).

They also roomed with Shanni’s daughters from her marriage to Jeanna


And Renee

Now there was a new generation, Miyuki and Charlotte’s daughter Monica.

It was interesting to spend some time catching up with his distant relatives and family connections. Dylan couldn’t imagine living in such a small house with so many people, but all he had to do was take pictures. That was hard enough to do.

Avalon held a Simfest at the park pavilion, and Sky decided to enter.

While she was waiting, she was roped into being a barely voluntary volunteer for a magician who was performing ahead of her.

It turned out to be useful that she was part ghost.

It protected her from the puncture wound.

Then it was Sky’s turn to perform.

The response was overwhelming.

Sky won the Simfest hands down.

The cheering crowd was heady.

Sky loved music of any kind, but the lure of stardom kept her performing solo.

After she calmed down from the adulation, Sky returned home, had a snack, and went to bed alone. A bit of an anticlimax. She wished she could share her victory with Xia.

But Xia had other plans. Abby had persuaded her to go out mother-daughter clubbing.

Without Sky to hold her back, Xia’s party instincts got out of hand. Abby had never seen her mum let go like this, and she liked it.

Xia used her ID to buy Abby some juice, though only one glass.

They even did the bubble bar together.

Abby had to admit that she didn’t care for the taste. It was just the whole naughtiness of underage bubbling that excited her.

After a while of bubbling, Xia could barely walk straight.

“I am so pumped!” she shouted to no one in particular.

“Now I gotta go pee!”

Sky ordered some shrimp cocktail at the bar while she waited.

But Xia, who was juiced and bubbled half out of her mind, never came back. She left the club and staggered home instead.

When Xia returned home without Abby, Dylan came looking for her.

“This is what comes of a night of debauchery,” he said severely. “Maybe you’ll think about this sort of thing the next time you decide to let it go at a nightclub.”

“Thanks, big brother,” Abby said sincerely. “I’ve learned my lesson.”

She meant it — it was so comforting to know that she had a responsible brother looking out for her. And she had learned a lesson, just not the one Dylan wanted her to learn. She’d learned to always carry cab fare when she went out.


Don’t be too hard on Xia! It was a group outing fail!

I totally should have used MC to change Andria’s dress for her argument with Dylan. I can’t see that dress without thinking, “Pregnancy!” Of course, she’s a teenager, and I have no plans to ever turn on teen pregnancy.

I keep wanting to type “Sinfest” instead of “Simfest.” Whoops.

6.0 Passing the Torch to Dylan

Sky’s solo career continue to rise. She was recognized more and more often. People stopped her on the street, in restaurants, and at the bookstore to ask for her autograph.

Her popularity got inconvenient and added time to everything she did outside of her own home, but Sky had to admit that the thrill of celebrity never died. She knew that for every fan, there was some other gossip columnist mocking her behind her back, but in the end, both her fans and her detractors were interested in what happened to her. Sky’s broken marriage and sex life had already been the subject of gossip, and she was over being embarrassed. Even negative interest was a form of fandom.

This was her state of mind when she rented out the Mirror Mirror Art Museum for Dylan’s birthday party.

Everyone turned out. Much to Sky’s surprise, even Sawyer’s biological mum, Amy Winter and her daughter Rosie who was almost the same age as Sawyer.

Sky was not at all sure how this would go. Sawyer knew of Amy, but he had never shown any interest in meeting her. Moreover, Amy had offered financial support but had never taken any initiative to communicate with him herself.

And, of course, Leah wouldn’t miss this for the world.

Life was so complicated.

Dylan and Andria arrived together, arm in arm. They’d been inseparable for days.

“Pardon me for being so forward, but this is my last chance for a while,” Dylan said. Then he stepped in to close the distance between them.

Andria sighed, her eyes alight. “I was wondering when you would be ready to do that,” she said.

“But wait! What do you mean by ‘last chance’?”

But the crowd was already here.

It was time for Dylan to cut the cake.

Uncle Hunter needed a shower again.

In the crush of guests, Dylan found himself sitting with Amy Winter rather than Andria after the cake cutting.

It wasn’t a total loss. She seemed interested in talking about the post-impressionist paintings on the second floor.

Then his own mum found him. “Thank you so much for coming,” he said. “I know it isn’t easy to get away from the rest of your family.”

“Don’t ever think I would miss something this important. You *are* my family, Dylan. I don’t love anyone more than you.”

Dylan couldn’t help but blush. Leah was busy, and and Plum were raising four children — three half-siblings of Dylan’s and one half-brother of Abby’s. She never made him think she forgot about him, but it was still good to hear it.

Xia’s brother Jian showed up ready to party.

He and Xia started cutting up the floor by the kitchenette.

Abby cranked up the charm on her half-brother Stanley.

And Sawyer and Amy found their way to each other through the crowd — drawn together in spite of reluctance on both sides. 

Sawyer made the first move. “Hello,” he said. “It’s time that we met. I understand that you provided the other half of my genetic makeup.”

“Um, I guess you could say it that way,” Amy replied uncomfortably.

“My mom, Sky Sample for clarity, gave me some pictures of you,” he went on to explain. “That’s how I knew who you were when I saw you. I assume she sent you some pictures of me.”

“Yes… she did,” Amy said awkwardly.

“But hey,” she continued. “Did the lights just go out?”

It turned out that Gina Sample-Baerwyn had decided to take center stage.

Amy headed off to listen, and Sawyer followed. He didn’t stay very long, however. Ghost stories weren’t his thing.

Most of the rest of the party was spent telling stories.

Andria waved as she headed home. “We’ll talk soon!”

“Absolutely,” Dylan replied. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Now wasn’t the time to get Dylan to explain what he meant by “last chance” to kiss her, but she intended to have answers soon.


And now the 6th generation has begun.

WTH is with Hunter, anyway?