“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.
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.
At last Avalon began to warm up. It had been a long hard winter. Never had rain been so uplifting. It certainly brought out the romantic in Winston.
It was a good thing that the rain was welcome because it rained nonstop for a week.
Gamora celebrated by testing for her green belt in Sim Fu.
Then going back inside to play video games with her father.
As soon as she was safe from hypothermia, Victoria returned to the dive site she had scouted during the winter.
She couldn’t wait to get beneath the water and discover what might be hidden there.
It was nothing like diving at Isla Paradiso. It was cloudy and raining above, so the light was dim. Visibility was further reduced by debris from the ocean floor that were stirred up by recent rainstorms.
The low visibility led to a close encounter of terrifying proportions. It was all Victoria could do to control her breathing as the enormous shark swam by close enough to brush its fin against her leg.
But at last she found her way through underwater boulders to a place of clearer water.
At last. This place looked promising. She was able to collect a few rare shells, but there was so much more to explore.
She returned from her dive to a secluded beach. The rain had not let up.
She took a few moments, standing in the chilling rain, to watch the beautiful herd of wild horses on the beach.
They weren’t terribly happy to see her, though.
Then it started to hail, and both human and animal ran for cover.
She hadn’t found much on her first exploratory dive, but Manu was pleased. Exotic shells weren’t as valuable as antiquities, but he had a market for them.
As she stepped out of the Arcane Institute, she heard a sort of roaring, chanting sound. She followed it toward the fortress of Camelot down the street.
It turned out there was some sort of protest going on.
A protest about jellyfish?
Curious, Victoria drifted through the palace gate, where she saw a familiar face.
“Roderick?” she said. “What are you doing here?”
“Vickie! Oh, hi!” Roderick set his sign down against the wall. “Fancy meeting you here!”
“What is all this?” Victoria said.
“You didn’t know?” Roderick said in surprise. “I was sure I told you. I’m the president of the local chapter of Avalon Tree Huggers. We march every month. This month is about invasive Pirate Jellyfish destroying our reefs.”
Victoria was aghast. “There are jellyfish destroying our reefs?”
“We’re almost completely sure Angelina saw one at the beach last Thursday.”
“Wow,” Victoria said. “I didn’t know you were such an activist.”
Roderick shrugged. “I don’t like to sit around waiting for things to happen. If I care about something, I get involved.”
“I’d never thought about it that way,” Victoria admitted. Was she just waiting around for life to happen to her?
Her thoughts were cut short by the sound of keyboard music. “Rod, I think your protest is over,” she said.
Celebrity songwriter Mickie Jameson had started an impromptu concert in the Camelot courtyard. Everyone clustered around him. There wasn’t a sign in sight.
“Wow,” Roderick said. “I guess that’s it for today’s protest.”
Victoria held out her hand. “Well, at least it stopped raining.”
Roderick was staring at her.
Victoria flushed. “What??”
“Come with me to dinner,” Roderick said.
Victoria’s eyes widened. “Are you asking me out on a date?”
Roderick’s lips twisted tauntingly. “Does it matter? Will you come?”
“All right! I will!”
“Follow me!” he cried and set off at a run.
“Hey!” she called from behind. “No fair!”
“Are you done killing that boss?” Gamora asked Sawyer. “I have an idea.”
“Don’t distract me!” Sawyer snapped. “10 more damage!”
“I finished reading the time traveling guidebook,” Gamora said. “I’ve planned my first time, and I’m ready to leave.”
“What?” Sawyer said, looking away from the screen for a moment. “Noo! He killed me! This is your fault!”
Sawyer stood up. “You’re planning to travel in time?” he demanded. “That is incredibly dangerous. You’re still a minor and should not be taking that sort of risk.”
“This is my project,” Gamora reminded him. “I have the guidebook. I’m pretty sure you can’t stop me.”
“Besides, there’s the possibility to study exotic future lifeforms and possibly aliens!”
“You make a persuasive argument,” Sawyer said. “But I’m coming with you.”
“Are you kidding?” Gamora said. “Of course you’re coming with me.”
“Wow,” Victoria said. “All of a sudden the weather is gorgeous. I never thought the rain would clear.”
“See what I mean?” Roderick said. “You have to seize the moment.”
“And this is delicious!”
“So long as you don’t order what he’s having!”
“Oh, there’s Uncle Chaim!” Victoria said.
“He looks like he’s on duty, so we can’t chat. But you should really meet him. He’s a wonderful guy. I think he’s going to be Chief of Police someday.”
“You have a pretty amazing family,” Roderick said. “I like watching you talk about them.”
“You mean listen to me, right?” Victoria said.
“No, I meant watch. Your face just lights up.”
“Oh, see that lady?” Roderick said.
“She’s Sam Pistachio. You wouldn’t believe it to look at her, but she plays a mean guitar. I’ve heard her play down at the park.”
“She’s also insane, I think.”
They lingered over their meal and talked about their new life after high school. At last, Victoria stood up. “I have to get home,” she said. “It’s late, and I think we’re both tired.”
“Thank you for a wonderful evening, Rod.”
“Anytime,” Roderick said. “I mean anytime. You can call me any time.”
“Maybe I will,” Victoria said. “You’re so spontaneous. I like that.”
And she blew him a kiss.
“Wow, Vickie,” Roderick said. “If you could bottle that up and sell it, you’d make millions. I’m serious. Call me.”
They said farewell. Victoria watched him walk away and wondered.
Here we finally see how Roderick grew up. He turned out hot!
Note: Wow, the writer’s block has been really difficult to shake off, but here I go…
Victoria had to return to reality. As much as she might wish otherwise, tropical vacations were not a direction in life.
“But what do I do now?” she complained to Mom after dinner one evening. All I want is the ocean, but ‘beach bum’ isn’t exactly a profession.”
Andria gave her a sly smile. “I have so much water fae in you,” she said. “You’re practically a naiad. Maybe you don’t need a traditional profession.”
“I don’t think I’m made for a life of leisure either,” Victoria protested. “I don’t want to be useless!”
“Hmm,” Andria said. “Why don’t you go talk to my friend Manu at the Arcane Institute? I think he will have some ideas. Don’t assume there’s nothing you can do with your life’s passion.”
That, at least, was advice Victoria could act on.
Manu did have ideas. Lots of ideas. The first thing he did explain to her just how valuable the ocean antiquities were that she had collected on her vacation. Museums were desperate for these relics.
It had never occurred to Victoria that her that her hobby might have that kind of value.
That afternoon, she rented a boat to scout the deeper oceans around Avalon Island.
The island was a frosty wonderland, far too cold for swimming or diving, at least with a wetsuit. The sun sparkled off the ice coating the branches of the winter trees.
Victoria was in luck. There were signs of a promising dive site within sight of Camelot. She would return in the Spring to see what there was to see.
At home, Edmund was developing new spells.
And experimenting on his family.
Gamora turned out to be especially vulnerable to his Animale enchantment.
She was not at all happy about it.
Edmund, on the other hand, was thrilled. He would have to watch his back, though, in case his cousin took the whole thing too personally.
Victoria made sure that Connery got proper affection when he trotted across the street from Aunt Abby and Uncle Chaim’s house. He was an old dog and deserved all the cherishing he could get.
One of Victoria’s high school friends, Roderick Winter, called her up one day. “The gang is having a mixer at Shady’s tonight. You totally want to go.”
Victoria didn’t need a whole lot of persuading. A night out dancing was just the sort of thing she wanted to get her mind off being an adult.
“You should come with me!” she told Edmund.
Edmund scowled. “Dancing and drinking aren’t really my thing.”
Victoria grabbed his arm and offered him one of her disarming smiles. “Come on, big brother!
And that’s how they both found themselves on the dance floor of Shady’s Nightclub.
Danial Ibari-Saunders found his way to Victoria while she was ordering a drink at the bar.
“Heeeey, Vickie Baaaaby!” He exclaimed. The slur in his voice told her he’d already had a few drinks.
“Hi Danial,” she said.
“You’re looking hot tonight!” he said. “Come dance with me!”
“I’m sorry, but I have other plans for this party,” he said cooly.
“I’m being an ass, aren’t I?” Danial asked a bit more soberly.
Victoria relented a little. “A little bit, anyway,” she admitted.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I just get carried away. I don’t mean to be insulting or anything.”
“Ooooh!” Jake Pradis cooed over Danial’s shoulder. “You two look so cute together!”
“Do I know you?” Victoria demanded.
“Hey, barkeep!” Java Weaver shouted. “Get some hot wing for my roommate before he makes a bigger ass of himself!”
This conversation looked like it was about to get really annoying. “Hey,” Victoria said quickly. “I see Roderick. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Hey!” she called. “Great party, huh?”
Roderick laughed. “I don’t know. I just got here. I was reading for an audition, and it just ran later and later. I hope that’s a good sign.”
“Oh! I didn’t know you were going into acting! My aunt is an actress.”
“Believe me, I know!” Roderick said. “It’s not like there’s anyone who hasn’t heard of Abby Sample. In fact, if you ever have a chance to put in a good word with me, I’d really appreciate it. This field is all about who you know.”
“Yeah, Aunt Abby says the same thing,” Victoria agreed. “She says you have to be very careful. There are so many people who can take advantage of new actors.”
Roderick looked embarrassed. “Yeah,” he said. “I noticed.”
Sensing that she was treading in territory not suitable for a dance party, Victoria guided the conversation back to safer topics about who was doing what after graduation.
When Roderick turned in for an early audition, Victoria found herself back on the dance floor. She’d had a few drinks and was ready to dance!
So was Danial.
“Ha! You’re really good at this!” she had to admit.
“Dancing is life! Life is dancing!” Danial replied.
“Yeah!” Vickie agreed.
Danial tried a bit too hard to be the life of the party, Victoria decided. When he relaxed more, he was more fun. He was even kind of attractive, though it wasn’t terribly appropriate to think that about a married man.
Where WAS his wife, anyway?
Meanwhile, Edmund ran into Joy, who looked equally uncomfortable with the loud music and the press of people.
“Would you like to dance?” Edmund asked awkwardly. She smiled at him. They both remembered prom.
“How is this supposed to go, anyway?” Joy asked.
“Like this, maybe?” Edmund suggested.
The both laughed at how stupid that looked.
“Let’s get a drink and get out of here,” Joy suggested. And that’s what they did.
After Joy left, Edmund found himself outside the dance club, waiting for Victoria to finish up whatever it was she did at parties like this.
Edmund’s eye caught a familiar figure lurking in the shadows.
“You,” he said. “Marisela Flynn. I’ve been trying to find you again.”
“Why would you want to see me again?” Marisela asked. “I’m not exactly a safe companion.”
“I’ve been doing research,” he said. “I know what you are.”
She gave him a half smile, and the moonlight glinted off her unnatural teeth. “So, what do you think now?”
“I want to know what your life is like,” Edmund said earnestly. “I’m also a create of magic, though I’m very different from you. There’s a lot we could learn together… don’t you think?”
Marisela sighed. “Life,” she said. “I’m not sure if you can call what I do life. Your magic is a happier sort than mine.”
“You sound like you don’t want to be what you are,” Edmund said.
“You’re very perceptive,” Marisela said, though it was hard to tell if she was serious or not.
“Hey Edmund!” Victoria called. “It’s dying out in here! You want to go home?”
It was well after midnight when Edmund and Victoria returned home.
She looked around at her brightly-colored, nautical-themed room. She’d converted the nursery into her own bedroom long ago, and she kept another bed in case Gamora wanted to sleep over.
For the first time in her life, she could see how…. young it looked. Some day, she might want to bring a guy home. How would that even work?
Andria noticed her daughter’s lost look. “Not really your thing is it?” she said.
“I guess it’s time to think about redecorating,” Victoria said thoughtfully. But what, exactly, did she want to represent her as grown woman?
It was too late to think about it now. Now she needed to sleep off the party.
Andria should have gone to sleep once she knew her children were safe in bed, but age hadn’t made her more practical.
There was romance to be had under the stars instead.
I’ve been staring at this collection of pictures for over a month. Gah. I hope I have kick started myself back to writing.
The bring drink to sim interaction is a total lag failure. I kept trying to buy drinks for other sims so that we could walk around drinking and talking together, but my sim kept struggling to find a place to put down the !@#$ drink platter, so she was never drinking at the same time as her conversational companion.
Roderick is three days younger than Victoria, and his birthday was on this party. I tried to age him up before the party so that everyone could be an adult, but the game would just not do it. So we have to wait to see his adult look and get a sense of his final trait.
Sadly, Manu seems to have disappeared. This has me highly annoyed, since he’s been Andria’s best friend outside of the family for quite a while. I’m not sure what happened to him, since I have NRaas homeless management turned off.
“Actually,” Edmund pointed out. “Winston is still a minor. I don’t believe he can rent a room on his own.”
Winston scowled. “Thanks, big brother. Like would have even checked if you didn’t say anything.”
“He can share a room with me,” Victoria said quickly. “It won’t be so bad.”
So they rented two rooms instead.
“Wow, I guess I thought they’d be larger,” Victoria said when she got her first look at their room.
“The point isn’t to spend a lot of time in the room anyway,” Winston pointed out. “I think we’ll be all right.”
Edmund, on the other hand, found his lodgings to be just to his taste.
On the first day, Victoria eased herself into life on a tropical beach.
The turquoise water stretched as far as the eye could see. It was heady.
Winston preferred to look at the beauty through the picture windows of the resort gym.
During the entire vacation, he didn’t once leave the resort grounds. Instead, he milked it for every bit of pleasure and relaxation he could find.
It took Edmund the longest time to find his stride. He wasn’t really used to relaxing. Spending a lot of time doing nothing except enjoy himself seemed sort of like…. well, cheating.
But he did eventually come around.
On the second day, Victoria took an introductory scuba class.
A whole new world opened before her.
Deep beneath the waves was an alien place that she had never imagined existed.
She was struck by a sense of belonging stronger than she’d ever known. When her tank of air was empty, all she wanted was to go back.
The required delay between dives was hard to take, but she was enthusiastic, not self-destructive.
Winston, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so clear on whether he was self-destructive or not. High from a great workout, he decided to take on the fire walk.
Ha! He turned out to be a natural at it! He walked off without the slightest hint of a burn.
Edmund took in the local art.
And discovered that he was a bit of an attraction himself.
“I’m sorry if I’m forward,” the ghost said. “I just have never seen an Avalonian before. You’re such a beautiful people!”
“I’m not sure how to respond to that,” Edmund said. “I don’t think I have ever spoken to a sentient ghost before either.”
She grinned “Let’s discuss it over lunch.”
They did, and other than their supernatural nature, didn’t turn out to have much in common.
Winston was right about one thing. The size of the room wasn’t much of a problem. Each night, he and Victoria dropped into bed and slept soundly.
They fell into a routine for the rest of the week.
Victoria rose early and reserved a boat to take out diving.
Sometimes she made it to the beach by sunrise and could watch the wildlife in the morning stillness.
Then it was on the boat and out to a dive site.
There was so much to explore.
And, it turned out, diving was absurdly profitable as well. Collectors paid high fees for exotic fish. And there was the occasional valuable relic.
Edmund discovered that extended relaxation stimulated all sorts of new ideas for spells to attempt.
Winston balanced hard exercise
With hard relaxation.
One morning, Victoria made an amazing acquaintance.
She wiped her hand over her face mask to try to clear her vision. She couldn’t believe her eyes.
But the figure didn’t resolve into a pair of legs. She really did have a tail.
Victoria tried to communicated.
And to her surprise, the woman seemed to understand her.
And then her air ran out. She had to leave or suffocate. Victoria had never been so frustrated by the fact that she needed a bunch of equipment to explore under the sea.
She met up with her brothers at dinner that evening.
“You would believe it!” she told Edmund. “She was part fish and part human, and she was completely at home in the ocean. It was amazing.”
“I don’t have any trouble believing you,” Edmund said. “Did I mention that I had lunch with a ghost?”
Later: “Have you ever considered the propriety of the way you dress? You show so much skin, it’s inappropriate!”
“Edmund, you’re positive medieval. It’s hot here. I don’t see anyone wearing as many clothes as you do.”
“I cover myself for propriety, not comfort.”
“You go with that.”
She was still haunted by the experience at bedtime. “Have you ever heard of a living, breathing mermaid?” she asked Winston.
“No, but we’ve seen wilder things by now,” Winston agreed. “In fact, I think they’re attracted to us.”
On their last day on Isla Paradise, Victoria took a day off from diving to just enjoy the beach.
And there she was again, rising out of the water.
Victoria jumped to her feet. “You!” she cried. “You have legs now! Who are you?”
“I had to find you again where we could understand each other,” she said. “My name is Maya. I’m one of a colony of Merfolk living in the reef of Isla Paradiso.”
“Why did you come to me?” Victoria asked. “Does everyone know you’re here?” She looked around to see that they were already attracting a crowd of astonished observers.
“We’re not exactly trying to keep ourselves secret, but we don’t talk with humans often,” Maya said. “You’re different. We’re not exactly sure why yet.”
“It might have something to do with magic,” Victoria said. “You see, I’m not exactly human either…”
They talked for hours. Victoria could feel a fast friendship forming.
Then they cut loose and had a little fun.
Eventually the sun began to set. Victoria’s flight was in a few hours.
“I’m sorry I have to leave,” she said.
“Come back and see us again,” Maya said. She pressed a conch shell into Victoria’s hands. “This will help you find me when you return.”
She returned to Sparkling Sands after dark.
This was her last chance to give it a try. Now or never!
“Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!”
“I don’t know how Winston DOES that!”
And then, to everyone’s regret, it was time to return to frigid Avalon.
Not my most inspired piece of fiction, but enjoy the picspam! OMG, scuba diving is gorgeous. The scenery and the fish are so detailed and colorful!
As I mentioned earlier, I was hoping that Vickie would meet a Merman, since she’s quite straight, but no such luck. The only Mermaid she met was female. They became great friends. Maybe she’ll meet a male on a future trip.
I added a couple of dive sites to Avalon. It took a lot of reading and a few tries, but they work all right. I wish more people put dive sites up for download, but it got around that it was impossible to install them in other worlds. That’s not true. You just have to use constrainfloorelevation with a large negative number (maybe -15 to -20 to lower the sea floor deep enough. I can totally help folks if they want to try it. I’m considering installing a couple of custom worlds with dive lots just so that I can copy the lots onto Avalon.
Then, right before the ceremony, the clouds opened up, turning the melting snow into slush.
The graduation ceremony was mercifully inside.
At least both of the graduates had a lot to brag about.
Joy Reacher walked alongside Edmund. He had to admit that he enjoyed the company. They both had a wry appreciation for the pomp and circumstance that Victoria didn’t share.
Her favorite part was the end. Free at last!
By evening, the rain had abated. Aunt Abby took time out of her busy promotion schedule for her latest moving to meet the new graduates at The Round Table for a dinner celebration.
“I’m not as young as I used to be,” Abby admitted, “but there are some interesting roles for old ladies!”
Everyone brought their orders outside and shuffled to find places to sit down.
Edmund asked Joy to join them. “Mom has something planned at home,” she admitted, but she couldn’t help but smile at Edmund’s disappointment. “I can drop by for a little while, at least.”
Edmund at down, and his family immediately crowded in around him. “This didn’t work out quite the way I intended,” he told Joy apologetically.
Joy laughed. “It’s all right. I have to leave anyway.”
Edmund watched her back as she left.
“I can’t believe my kids are adults already!” Andria exclaimed.
“I am so proud of you,” Dylan told Victoria. “You’ve grown up into an amazing young woman. I am proud to be your father.”
“Wow, Dad,” Victoria said. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Feel the burn!” Winston interrupted.
“Firecracker shrimp, just the way I like it!”
Sawyer ate alone.
As they finished their meal, the chef sidled nervously up to Andria. “Are you Andria Sword Sample? The fae activist?” she asked. “You’ve done so much for us. Could I have your autograph?”
“I’ve done so much?” Andria said. “Really?”
“Because of you, the Fae Council is letting us come out of hiding. Thank you so much.”
The chef wasn’t the only fae who showed up at the restaurant.
“Are you… are you a fairy?” Edmund whispered.
The winged woman laughed “Some people call us that,” she agreed. “It’s as good a name as any.”
“I’d love to get some pointers on how to make people do your bidding,” Gamora said to Aunt Abby.
“Why do you think I can help you with that?” Abby asked.
“Well, you ARE a successful actress,” Gamora said.
“I don’t think acting works the way you think it does….”
“Oh, my stomach!” moaned one of the restaurant guests. “Is there a doctor in the house?”
Sawyer sighed. “I never get a day off of this job.”
“Here, hold still. This won’t hurt a bit.”
“Hey man, are you sure? Oh, wait that does feel better!” He grabbed Sawyer’s hand and shook it vigorously. “Thank you! Thank you!”
Sawyer cooly extracted his hand and shook off the other man’s sweat. “You’re lucky I was here. Gutbusteritis can have serious consequences.”
“This is for making amazing babies,” Andria said, and she swept Dylan off his feet.
“I think it’s time to go home, Dylan murmured.
So they did.
It snowed in the night, and in the morning it was clear that Spring would be pushed off again.
“This winter just goes on and on,” Victoria complained to Edmund. “It’s even too cold for safe diving.”
“This last cold snap doesn’t seem fair,” Edmund admitted. “Even the family weather manipulator can’t handle something like this.”
“Wait, I just had an amazing idea!” Victoria cried. “Let’s get out of Avalon and go someplace warmer! We’re adults now. We can make our own airline reservations. Let’s just go!”
“Take a vacation?” Edmund said thoughtfully. “I admit it never occurred to me.”
“Will you come with me?” Victoria asked.
“I would love to see a tropical climate myself,” Edmund admitted. “Of course. And you know Winston will never forgive you if he can’t come too.”
“I’ll talk to him. He’s going to a culinary magnet school. I’m sure we can make some kind of arrangement.”
Within hours, she was on the computer, making airline reservations.
Off to sunny Isla Paradiso!
I was pretty sure that Victoria’s birthday was on the first or second day of spring, just when the snow had all melted. Then there was some gap in time before I played the game again, and we were back to snow covered landscapes. Not sure what was up with that. It’s likely that some of the Options settings for season length got tinkered while I was messing around with game mods, but usually the game keeps you in the season you already have.
So, the result is that Avalon gets an unseasonably long winter, and I get to try out NRaas Traveler!
Joy Reacher was included in the group that I sent to The Round Table to have dinner, but for some reason she didn’t actually stay to eat. Sigh.
The game created a fairy paparazzo, which kind of fed into Andria’s storyline, so I went with it. She did kind of get hit with the ugly stick, though. Then again, I really really enjoy all the different kinds of faces my gene pool produces.
Oh, and Andria and Dylan are all over each other autonomously, as you’ll notice. I only take shots of half of their shenanigans. It’s so adorable.