Author Topic: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)  (Read 12369 times)

Offline Magz from Oz

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Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« on: February 10, 2013, 12:43:28 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Sequel to Duty Calls

Author’s Foreword:

After completing Duty Calls, (link here) I was itching to create a Fairy and really play with the Supernatural EP which so messed up my St Clair dynasty.  At the time my real life work involved gathering spatial data for a school called ‘Kalamia’ in north Queensland.  I really liked the way the word ‘Kalamia’ rolled off the tongue.  So I used it for my fairy’s surname.

From time to time, I returned to that old saved Duty Calls game file.  I waited until Brandon’s and Agnes’s child was born, a daughter I named Diana.



The next day was Love Day.  I sent them to the festival and they had fun with the Love Inspector and Brandon won King o’ the Dance. 





Satisfied that these two lovebirds were destined to be together-4-ever, I switched households to get Christopher Steel to max out his career. 

Expecting to read about his promotion in the newspaper, he also read that Agnes Crumplebottom had drowned.  Gasp!  Nooooooooo!



I changed households to see how Brandon was coping and well, quite frankly, he was not.  Unable to get the resurrected Agnes to remarry Brandon (apparently a known glitch), I found the idea for another story instead.

I hoped to introduce someone to be a new love interest and seriously considered Emma Hatch or Holly Alto of the dozen or so townies who seemed eager to console the young widower.

Meanwhile back in real life, I realised that the address for the school I was working on was, Kalamia Estates, Brandon, via Ayr.  It seemed an omen I could not ignore, so I rejected the idea of using Emma or Holly and instead moved my fairy, Faith Kalamia from Moonlight Falls to Sunset Valley. 

This is their story.

Spoiler Alert:  This is a love story.  No intrigue, no adventure – sorry about that – just a simple little love story, but I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway

“Islands of Sunset Valley” is a work of fiction. The St Clair and Kalamia characters, Simfield and many in-game incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Artistic or literary license is used extensively.

Members of the Forum, I welcome your comments on my story.   All reasonable constructive criticism is welcome.


Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 01:10:47 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley - Prologue

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were.  As well as if a manor of thine own or of thine friend's were.  Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”  Extracted from Meditations #17 – John Donne (1623)

Dear Diary,

I heard daddy cry again last night.  He hasn’t done that for a long time or perhaps I just haven’t heard him lately.  Every night, daddy just sits with mum’s tombstone and reads or talks to her.  Sometimes he plays his guitar or bass for her.  Each night he places a plate of Ambrosia on the table for her ghost to eat so she can return to us.  But her ghost doesn’t appear.  It never has.



I was only a toddler when mum, died. 



One afternoon, she went for a quick swim before her work shift.  Mum was fit and healthy, and not particularly tired, but she drowned.  Daddy was in the lower basement studying Alchemy as he often did in the afternoons back then.  Mr Koffi, who lives next door, told everyone he saw a blue flash of light and thought a meteor had landed close by but when he went out onto his rear patio he saw Grim by our pool taking mum’s life.

Daddy said he knew something was terribly wrong immediately he closed the Alchemy book. 



He said he felt his heart rip in two.  He ran up the stairs but couldn’t find mum.  He saw me in the nursery and picked me up.  Then he ran outside to find mum’s tombstone that Grim had placed beside the pool.



It’s been there ever since.  Daddy would not take mum’s gravestone to the cemetery.  He’s afraid if he moves it she won’t ever appear.  He didn’t even have a proper funeral for mum.  He told Uncle Chris he was going to bring her back so it wasn’t necessary.  Daddy did get contractors in to fill in the pool though, because he was worried I would go swimming alone and drown too.  Nana St Clair rearranged the outdoor furniture so the backyard doesn’t look quite so bare.

Daddy and I have an evening routine which is almost always the same.  After school we play chess or dominoes or sometimes we paint.  Then daddy cooks dinner while I do my homework. 



We have dinner together and watch some TV.



Then daddy reads me to sleep.  If it’s not raining or snowing, he works in his garden waiting for midnight. 



When the garden is dormant, he researches the internet or paints.  From midnight to dawn he waits for mum.  In the morning we have breakfast together.



When I go to school, daddy sells his harvested produce at the Al Fresco Street Market then he comes home and goes to sleep. 

I attend afterschool activities or I go home with my cousins Joshua Steel or Mortimer and Lexi Goth so daddy can sleep longer.  On the weekends, daddy uses energy drinks or an invigorating elixir to stay awake so we can spend the weekend together in the playground, go to the festival at the park or the movies or the art gallery.



Sometimes we go to the ball game or a concert or watch the performance.  I like the times when we just go fishing the most.



Aunt Jamie says daddy will wreck his health.  She said his Canadian (Edit by watcher: Circadian) rhythms are all out of whack and one day he’ll fall in a heap but he won’t listen to her or anybody.  She’s wrong; he listens to all of them but mostly ignores their advice.  He sits by mum’s grave every night, rain, hail and snow, winter, spring, summer and fall. 



Aunt Cornelia asked him to take mum’s tombstone to her house to be placed in their family graveyard so mum can be with her parents but daddy refused.  Uncle Chris and Uncle Gunther have both tried to talk to him but now they just keep an eye on him and mostly leave him be.



They did sneak over one weekend while we were out fishing at Recurve Strand and built a shelter over mum’s tombstone so daddy doesn’t sit out in the rain and snow.



Many friends and family came and went in those early days but daddy was polite but distant.  Most of his friends have stopped calling.  Even Aunt Cornelia rarely visits us now.  Uncle Chris, Aunty Jamie and Uncle Gunther take it in turns to call him every night.  They are the only townies daddy has any regular contact with and I’ve heard them say if it wasn’t for me, they’d leave him alone with his grief.



When Ms McIrish, our school teacher, set us an essay writing competition about people who cut themselves off and become islands, I wrote about him.

My dad was once the promontory that John Donne spoke of but gradually his ocean of grief washed away the clods connecting him to the mainland of humanity, now he is almost an island, connected only by me, the Isthmus of Diana.

I won the competition.  Ms McIrish gave me a lovely book.  I gave it to daddy to read to mum.

Diana Crumplebottom



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler



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Anna33

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 07:23:06 AM »
Oh no! Agnes died!

I am really glad you are doing a sequel to Duty Calls I enjoyed that story, poor Agnes though.
Diana is cute by the way

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 09:49:54 AM »
Poor Brandon! It is so sad that Agnes died. Diana is a lovely girl. :)

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 10:36:40 AM »
Poor Brandon. He hand Agnes had already been through so much, and for her life to be so tragically cut short. I'm already tearing up. :(

I love Diana so far. She has a good head on her shoulders for someone so young. Here's hoping for a lovely new beginning for her and her father.

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 04:45:53 PM »
I laughed and sighed all the way through Duty Calls.  Now I'm crying my eyes out.  Great start by the way.  I'm wondering how you're going to turn this into a love story.  :'(

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 04:13:30 AM »
Thanks everyone.

I love Diana too.  But make no mistake she is Agnes's daughter and likes things her own way.  I'll leave you with this image while I prepare the next update as Brandon takes over the narrative.



And yes Crystal, I can turn any scenario into a love story.  I'm such a Hopeless Romantic.  Welcome to the forum.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler



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Offline Magz from Oz

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Islands of Sunset Valley - Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 07:13:15 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 1 – New Arrivals

My brother Chris came by early this morning and dropped off a book Diana ‘accidently’ left at his house yesterday.  She is always forgetting things at the houses of her aunts and uncles. 



She thinks I don’t know that she does this on purpose so Chris or Jamie or Gunter or Cornelia will call in and return them.  If she hasn’t purposely ‘forgotten’ something, one of them will drop by with a new book they bought at the consignment store or something they’d like me to fix or to get some perfect produce for a special meal. 

Most nights, one of them will phone me.  None of them are subtle, but I know they mean well. 



Despite Chris’s grouchiness sometimes, he has been my rock since Agnes passed.  He is busy with his own family especially their new twins, Mitchell and Shelly. 



Even though his promotion to an astronaut gives him a lot of time off, he never seems to begrudge spending some of it with me.  I’m glad he’s mostly stopped telling me to move on, because I can’t and I won’t give up.

I looked at the clock.  Since Diana likes to try every new recipe I learn, especially the international ones, I’d probably have just enough time to make a serving of crepes then it will be time to get Diana up for breakfast and send her to school.  Things are just a bit haywire these days.  For some inexplicable reason the school bus doesn’t arrive to collect her but this just makes it harder for me to send her to school and out of my sight.

I received the notice yesterday that the school had scheduled a field trip to the Mausoleum today and Diana is annoyed with me because I wouldn’t let her go.  It’s immaterial to me that all her cousins were going, but I’m still not taking that chance.  I take a chance everyday just letting her go to school.  I wanted to home school her but, the reality is, I sleep while she’s at school.  That’s my new night-time.

I spend my nights talking to or reading to Agnes.  I don’t know why everybody finds this behaviour strange.  Most married men spend their nights with their wives.  Mine is simply dead.  I can’t understand why her ghost doesn’t appear though, but someday I hope she will and eat the ambrosia I put out for her every night.  Surely Agnes knows how much I miss her and want her to come back.

Cornelia tells me that if Agnes was going to appear, she would have done so by now.  Cornelia lives on a lot full of tombstones and tells me there are many nights when no ghosts appear and frequently nights when only one will appear.

I checked out the website mum and dad talked about but no one seems to have difficulty with recalcitrant ghosts.  I must be doing something wrong.  I may have to find out if there is a way I can force Agnes’s ghost to appear so I can ask her to eat the Ambrosia.



Cornelia thinks I use Agnes as an excuse not to socialise but that’s not true.  I never had been drawn to the party crowd.  Diana and I show up for all the family birthdays.  Initially Cornelia tried to invite me to parties with lots of single women.  I went once to be polite and resented losing that precious time I should be spending with Diana, not some flirty friend of hers who thinks a widower needs female company.  Luckily for me Cornelia is now too busy with her daughter Lexi and her new career as a Private Investigator.

I have all the companionship I need.  Diana and I talk every day, over breakfast and dinner, playing chess and watching our special program on TV.  As a green thumb I can also talk to plants.  That’s enough for me.  At least the plants never tell me to move on.  I did get rid of the bees though.  I didn’t want Diana to get stung.  When I need honey for a recipe I harvest the bees at the elixir store.

The crepes are perfect, light and fluffy.  Watching Cookin’ Cable has other benefits than great quality time with Diana.  But whenever I have a bad night, so does she, and Diana will be late if she sleeps in any longer.



Even though I thought we had resolved this argument last night, Diana is still upset with me this morning and had to have one last try to change my mind while we ate breakfast.



“Daddy it’s so unfair,” she moped, “Everyone else gets to go to the Mausoleum, and I have an extra history class instead of the field trip.  Morty phoned me last night and said he and Lexi would keep an eye on me the whole time.  You know how protective he is about his sister.  He said he’d be doubly sure I was okay.  Please daddy, can I go?”

“Kitten, I just can’t take the chance.” I said, “If it was the Bistro or the Theatre or the Police Station, you know I’d let you go, but the Mausoleum is dangerous.  Sims can die in there.”

“Daddy, it’s a school trip!  Morty said the Principal has prepared a thorough risk assessment on the excursion.  It’s safe or the School Board wouldn’t allow it to happen.  Everyone else is going.” She pouted and begged with her eyes.

When she looks up at me with her mother’s eyes, I have to really fight myself to be firm.  “Honey, you’re all I have.  Please understand I can’t lose you too.  It’s time to leave.  Do you want me to drive you to school - it’s on my way to the Market?”

“No daddy, it’s not raining and I like my bike.”  Despite still being cross with me, Diana hugs me and kisses my cheek, “Love you daddy.  Sleep tight.”  My heart aches as she disappears out the door.



I clear the dishes and plan something special for dinner this evening, trying to make it up to Diana for missing the school trip.  I know Morty phoned Diana last night.  Despite seeing each other at school every day, the cousins phone each other most nights.  Chris told me this morning that Joshua volunteered to hold Diana’s hand every second, if it helped.  That only made me feel worse. 



The other person Diana is closest to is Chris’s son, Joshua.  They have a very special bond and not just because they’re cousins.  They talk on the phone every night, even those nights when Diana has already spent the afternoon at Chris’s house.  This worries Chris and Jamie too because Joshua says he’s going to marry Diana when they grow up. 

It was amusing at first but less so as time has cemented their relationship.  Jamie says Joshua and Diana can’t ever marry because Chris and I are biologically identical.  While first cousins can usually marry, they can’t if they are the children of identical twins.  Biologically it would be like Diana marrying her half brother and the law won’t allow it.



Chris worries a lot about Joshua and Diana.  He says Diana is too much like me and has co-dependency issues.  But I’m careful not to point out that every second sentence Joshua speaks is about Diana or how he can’t wait for his birthday and hopes the school holds off his prom until Diana ages so they can go to the prom together.



Joshua often asks Diana to show off her ballet moves.  Joshua said when they’re older, they’ll win King and Queen of the dance on Love Day.  Poor Joshua, he’s not the only cousin Diana has wrapped around her little finger.  Morty does just about anything she asks too.  Luckily for me, he’s too wrapped up in Bella Bachelor to notice his little cousin that way because there would be no impediment to them marrying when they grow up.



All this talk of Diana marrying is moot.  She’s not even a teen yet and God forbid, how am I ever going to survive raising a teenage daughter alone.  I have to find another way to resurrect Agnes’s ghost.  I never got the ‘Oh My Ghost’ opportunity which everyone said I should have.  But life has never been easy for me and I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

There just has to be another way.  The ambrosia method that dad told us about all those years ago doesn’t appear to be working for me.  I hadn’t progressed any further with the Alchemy either so there may be a supernatural method I don’t know about.  Learning Alchemy reminds me too much of why I missed saving Agnes from drowning.  I did, however, learn the alchemy recipe for Invigorating Elixir which is very useful given my gruelling schedule.  But Cornelia did say there was a level 10 Alchemist in Sunset Valley and I need to pursue this option.

After selling my produce at the Market, I made a quick trip to Aliester’s Elixirs and Sundrys to speak to the clerk to find out who the Alchemist is.  The clerk there is helpful with any information about alchemy but not about disclosing the identity of any of the alchemists who placed consignments. 



He told me most alchemists guarded their secrets and would be very reluctant to discuss recipes.



He was a talkative chap and said that he’s not aware of any elixir that can resurrect a ghost.  He suggested I research the supernatural at the Vault of Antiquity but he warned me it would take hours.  I browsed around the store but was really too tired to concentrate on the odd paraphernalia that abounded in this curious place.  Just as I was about to leave a young teen fairy wearing a black tux strode into the store. 



He had the most gloriously bright green wings.  He dropped off a consignment of elixirs to the clerk and hurried out.  Thinking he may lead me to the level 10 Alchemist, I tried to introduce myself to the teen but he was obviously in a hurry.  I did notice that he drove off in an expensive black car.  He was sure an odd character, dressed in a black tux, long straggly black hair and driving a black car.  Was he a goth fairy?  I guess not or his wings would be black. 



Also a Bwan Speedster YL was not the average car around town especially for a teen.  To my knowledge only Thornton Wolff and Agnes ever drove them.  Someone had to know where I could find him.

I was too tired to drive around town hoping to locate his house so decided to try to meet him after school.  I went to bed and set the alarm early.  I arrived at the school just before 2:00 p.m. but he didn’t come out.  Maybe he had an extracurricular activity.  In that case, I was wasting my time.  Then I remembered the excursion.  I decided to wait until 3:00 p.m. for Diana to finish school. When Diana walked through the door and saw me waiting, her smile was all I needed to lift my spirits.



Diana enveloped me in a hug and together we went over to the festival at the park and had a bit of fun with a water-balloon-fight, some roller skating and a soccer shootout before going home to homework and a late dinner.



Over dinner that evening, I asked Diana, “Have you seen a teenage fairy who wears a black tux?” 

Diana said, “Oh yeah!  The whole school was talking about the Kalamia’s.  The two older brothers go to my school.  The oldest is Julian.  He’s got all the girls’ attention which upsets Morty because Bella likes him.  He drives a black sports car.  The middle boy is Keith.  He is my age and he also wears a black tux to school.  There’s something wrong with Keith.  I think he must be really sick.  He has to wear dark glasses even inside the classroom and his skin is almost grey.  His voice is really strange too.  They don’t talk much.”



Diana paused to eat a bite, “And you’d never guess what, they didn’t go on the school excursion today either, so I got to see them up close and personal for the first time.  Julian spent recess and the lunch break tossing a ball with his brother.  You’d like him daddy, he has such beautiful manners.  Julian really looks after Keith and it is no wonder that Bella really likes him.  Morty is my cousin and I love him but he can be so grumpy sometimes.”

“That was the best risotto ever, daddy.” Diane said when she finished her dinner but she continued with the conversation, “Keith is really freaky smart.  He must be a genius.  I think he could be at level 10 in Logic already.  All the girls in my class vie for his attention, but he doesn’t talk at all unless the teacher asks a question.”

“Have you seen their parents?” I asked casually.

Diane shook her head and grinned gleefully, “No and nobody has.  It’s all a deep dark mystery.”

“Do you know where they live?  Maybe we could invite them over for dinner sometime” I asked trying to sound casual.

“Well good luck with that.  Apparently they don’t ‘do’ invitations and you don’t ‘do’ dinner parties, so what gives?” Diana asked disbelievingly.

I sighed; Diana sometimes had a way of seeing right through me.  “Okay to be truthful, I know nothing about the supernatural and researching the supernatural takes hours I don’t have to spare, so I thought maybe a fairy could tell me if there was another way to make your mother’s ghost appear.”

Diana shrugged, “I guess it can’t hurt to ask.  Bella said they live in that new house built on the vacant lot on Summer Hill Court.”

“The dynasty lot!  Are they a dynasty?  When did a house get built there?” I asked.

“I don’t know daddy!  I’m just a kid!” Diana retorted and hugged me.  “Thanks daddy, I had a nice time this afternoon.  Why don’t you ask Uncle Gunther about the Kalamias?”

“Good idea, honey, do you want help with anything?” I asked as she raced into the hall.

“Nope.  I just want to tell Joshua about the Kalamia’s” she replied, “Call me when our show on Cookin’ Cable starts.”  I don’t know how she heard a word of her phone call because the upstairs rocked to her favourite kids’ band at maximum decibels.  Heaven help me when she becomes a teenager.

Since Gunther Goth changed careers and went into politics, he’s probably the best person to ask about newcomers in Sunset Valley.  After stacking the dishwasher I rang Gunther and asked him about the Kalamias.  Gunther told me the old dynasty lot was bought three days ago.  As far as he knew there was only a Mrs Kalamia and her children in the house.



I thanked him and he asked how we were doing.  I said we were fine.  I told him to tell Morty that Diana and I spent the afternoon at the festival and she’d forgiven me for not letting her go on the school trip.  Then Gunther surprised me by telling me that Cornelia and he were expecting again.  Clearly Cornelia and he had put their marriage back together and I assumed that Cornelia would age up any day since Lexi was born.  Maybe this nooboo is one of those change-of-life babies. 

Next I rang an ex-arch enemy, if there’s anyone with their finger on the pulse in this town it’s Vita Alto.  And she lived on Summer Hill Court too.  Now that Vita is a good Sim, she’s revitalised the social events in this town and is actually quite a useful friend, especially if one overlooks her persistent matchmaking efforts among the townies, me included.



Vita cheerfully said, “The Kalamia’s are filthy rich and in mourning.  It appears Mr Elias Kalamia passed away only very recently.”  Well that explained the boys wearing black tuxes.  I wonder how long they were expected to be in mourning.

Vita was full of information about the pretty young Mrs Kalamia who was clearly not as Greek as her name suggests.  “Her name is Faith.  She is a redhead and a fairy.  I swear I have my work cut out trying to keep Nick from going over there every second of the day just to see if poor Mrs Kalamia needs anything but he brings back such juicy gossip.”

“The Kalamia’s have a big children’s playground, lots of vegetable gardens, a good size fishing pond, and a large barn with a horse trough.  We have not seen any pets though.  They also have a big entertainment patio but so far they have not had any parties that we know about.”

Vita asked, “Have you read the article in the paper that Holly’s husband died?”

“Uh... no,” I replied, “I don’t read the newspapers anymore but Cornelia told me about his death.  I rang Holly to offer my condolences.”

Vita said, “I’d be happy to mind Diana if you wanted to take Holly out to dinner some time?”

“Thank you Vita but no.” I responded, “I saw Holly at the pool only the day before yesterday and we talked.  Holly and I are friends, Vita, good friends and that was all we’ll ever be.”



“Well as long as you’re single, I still have hopes for you two.” I wanted to correct Vita that I was not single but she waffled on for a time about her latest campaign before she eventually said goodbye. 



I told Diana when I read her to sleep that I will contact the Kalamias if I could.  She wished me luck.





As I did my evening chores, I resolved to meet the elusive Mrs Kalamia, not because she was young and pretty but because she was a fairy and an alchemist.  But if the Kalamia’s only moved to Sunset Valley three days ago, who was the level 10 alchemist that Cornelia bought the elixirs from that changed VJ Alvi and Vita Alto into being good Sims. 

There was someone else in this valley who may be able to help me but as they say, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.  At least now I knew where I could find one skilled alchemist...

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Prologue by Diana Crumplebottom
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 04:55:27 PM »
Thanks everyone.

I love Diana too.  But make no mistake she is Agnes's daughter and likes things her own way.  I'll leave you with this image while I prepare the next update as Brandon takes over the narrative.




Diana is so like Agnes.  I think she has more than her cousins twisted round her little fingers.  I always pegged Brandon for a softy but he makes a great dad.

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 06:03:21 AM »
The Kalamia family sound very mysterious, I can't wait to find out more about them. :)

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 12:41:58 PM »
I can understand the whole over-protective father thing with all that Brandon has been through. It's good that he has that network of support from his and Agnes's family.

I still can't get over the fact that Agnes is gone. One thing that I truly hate about EA's story progression sometimes. Just out of curiosity, who was Holly's spouse and how did he die?

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 1: New Arrivals
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 02:57:39 PM »
I can understand the whole over-protective father thing with all that Brandon has been through. It's good that he has that network of support from his and Agnes's family.

I still can't get over the fact that Agnes is gone. One thing that I truly hate about EA's story progression sometimes. Just out of curiosity, who was Holly's spouse and how did he die?

Milton Alto so I'm guessing he was Milton Tong and she must have proposed.  I didn't put them together, EA did.  I always felt she could do better than that.   I'm assuming he died in a fire because the newspaper said his smoking remains were found etc.  When I was playing Chris, I had him or Jamie read the newspapers and it was a string of obituaries every day.  Sorry, but all of the Bunches except Darlene (who lives with Leighton Sekemoto) have died and the Landgraab's left town.  I picked up the households I wanted for the story and moved them into a fresh Sunset Valley game because too many people were dead!
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 04:35:08 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 2: The Fairy

In the morning, after getting Diana up and off to school, I dropped by the Al Fresco Street Market to sell my produce but the prices they were offering today were lower than normal.  My merchant friend advised me he had another supplier who also produced perfect vegetables.  It was the law of economics, supply and demand.  He now had an oversupply of perfect produce and couldn’t offer me a better price unless the demand rose to meet the oversupply.



“Who is the other supplier?” I asked.  My friendly merchant pointed to a redheaded fairy at another stall.



Unless Sunset Valley acquired another redheaded fairy, the elusive Mrs Kalamia was right there at the Market.  She wore a short black dress.  If her mourning clothes were meant to keep men away they were doomed to failure, she was clearly an attractive woman, from the tip of her pert red curls to her sensible court shoes.  Her green wings looked amazing against the black dress.  I gave her my most charming introduction that somehow ended up talking about toothpaste.  I don’t think I’ll ever figure out how I came up with that topic.  Perhaps it had something to do with her lovely smile?



“Mrs Kalamia,” I said smiling my most good neighbourly smile, “I’m a professional gardener.  I understand that we are both selling produce at this market.  Can we discuss strategy on our produce because neither of us will get a good price unless we agree to supply particular produce and not undercut each other?” She smiled at me with emerald green eyes so reminiscent of my mother, I was momentarily speechless.
 
“Please, call me Faith,” she said disarmingly.  Her voice had the same mellow timbre as my mother’s too.  I looked at her face closely for the first time.  Oh my God, replace Faith’s short red curls with my mother’s blond locks and shrink down Faith’s well proportioned body onto my mother’s thin frame, delete the green iridescent wings, and you’d have an Audrey St Clair clone.  Well almost.  Slight adjustment on the nose, different brows and fuller lips, but Faith was so very like mum in looks.  No wonder Nick Alto couldn’t stop finding excuses to meet the lovely widow.  He constantly hit on mum the whole time mum and dad had been in Sunset Valley!

Just then her stomach grumbled.  “Oh I’m so sorry.  I haven’t eaten this morning,” she said.  “Why don’t we grab a coffee and a bite at the Coffeehouse and discuss strategy.”

“Okay,” I readily agreed, “I’m almost done here, I’ll meet you there.”  Then to my astonishment, I watched as she drove off in a police cruiser.  I followed moments later in my own cruiser.



We met up at the coffeehouse and she smiled when she saw my choice of wheels.  “I hope nobody thinks this is a bust!” I joked.  She laughed, it captivated me that she sounded just like mum when she laughed too. 

“Well, you know cops and donuts.  A cruiser or two is almost mandatory to get served here.” She quipped grinning.  I liked her sense of humour.



Over coffee, I made the usual attempt at small talk.  I asked her where she was from.  She said she’d lived in Moonlight Falls all her life.  I asked her whether she had a career.  She replied that she was a Five-Star Chef.  A cook who raises perfect vegetables.  We did have a lot in common. 

She asked me if I was single?  I said “yes” when I meant to say I was married.  I was mentally berating myself and she had to repeat her next question.  She asked me what my star sign was.  Apparently my star sign was compatible with hers.  I never believed in that stuff. 

I asked her “How did you acquire the police cruiser?”

“My late husband Elias was a police officer.  On his death the cruiser passed to me.  My son now uses my car as driving a police cruiser to school was too weird even for him.”  She laughed and I felt almost giddy hearing the familiar sound.

“I saw your son yesterday at the elixir store,” I said.  I wondered whether he was her son or her step-son?  She’s too young to be the mother of a teenage boy, surely.  I thought this topic would be a good segue to talking about elixirs but she rattled on about her children before I could get a word in edgeways.  My mind started drifting, I was tired and I had to refocus to listen to what she was saying hoping she would give me another opportunity to bring up the topic about elixirs.

“Julian’s such a sweet boy.” She said, “He’s always looking to find ways to ease my burdens.  Today he arranged a babysitter so I could get out and not go stir crazy.” She paused and we both started to say something at the same time. 

“Ladies first,” I said so she continued.



“Umm... if you’re not busy, I’ve got the babysitter for the whole day, I know it’s too early for a performance or a show, do you want to catch a tour of the theatre or something.”  She smiled wide eyed at me but it felt like she was beguiling me with her voice and her eyes and her perfect smile and her perfect everything.

My mouth said, “I’d love to” when my mind was trying to find the words to tell her I was immune to her charms.  But since I didn’t want to offend her before I could ask her about elixirs, I thought the ‘date’ might be worthwhile.  When we arrived at the theatre, she told me how much she loved music.  Faith was a virtuoso and her lifetime wish had been to be a One-Sim Band.  Her love of music was yet another similarity to my mother.

But unlike my mother, Faith was no shy retiring violet.  She told me straight up she found me attractive and began flirting.  She gave me flowers for heaven’s sake!  I was too surprised to respond. 



I’m so rusty at these romantic interactions maybe I did say something to encourage her or maybe she simply took my astonishment as a ‘yes’ and leaned in and confessed her attraction to me. 

Then she kissed me.  Oh my!  There wasn’t anybody about, but I could still feel the heat in my cheeks.  I couldn’t believe I was blushing. 



Then she kissed me again, wrapping her arms around me.  Inexplicably I found myself kissing her back.  Wordlessly she took my hand and we went into the quiet empty theatre.



Instantly I knew this was a mistake and I felt tense.  In the darkened theatre, she turned on a blue aura which she said was soothing and gradually my tension ebbed away.  As we toured she rattled off facts and figures of the history of vaudeville and cinematic music.  She was a walking talking encyclopaedia on music.  I was lulled into a false sense of security with her mellow voice and the aura when she whispered something in my ear, my mind went totally blank.  I haven’t got a clue what she said.  I wasn’t prepared for what happened next and I was swept away in a kaleidoscope of sensations.



Afterwards, she said she had to go as school would be out soon, and she wanted to be home for her children.  She asked me to call on her soon.  I assured her I would.  Faith looked at me with a slightly calculating glint in her eye and the tilt of her head, smiled broadly and kissed me goodbye.  Then she strode off, and the aura of calm faded leaving me feeling awkward and embarrassed.



I don’t know why they call it the stride of pride.  I wasn’t going to move an inch for the next two hours.  There was no way I was going to walk around like that for all of Sunset Valley to witness my appalling behaviour.  I couldn’t believe I had done that.  I felt sickened.  Instead I grabbed my guitar and plucked away at some tunes to cover my shame.



When the time passed, I drove home to find Diana had already finished her homework and had made herself a plate of cookies on the toy oven.

I asked if she wanted to go out for dinner. “No thanks dad”, she said coolly, “I’m going to paint.”  I knew I was in trouble when she called me dad.  It was my mother’s equivalent of using my full name.  Diana went off to the little artist’s nook beside my old bedroom and turned the radio up loud, really loud.

I went upstairs and saw her sitting there staring into space.  I turned the radio off.  “That Cookin’ Cable show we like to watch is starting, do you want to watch it with me.” I asked.



“No” she replied without looking at me.

“Honey please say whatever it is you want to say to me but don’t shut me out like this,” I said.



“Oh dad, how could you?”  Diana sobbed.  “I had to hear it from Carina Ursine who I thought was my friend.  At first I didn’t understand what the others were saying and dad, it was just horrible!  I though you wanted to talk to Mrs Kalamia about elixirs not woohoo with her on a public lot!”  Then Diana stood up and stormed into her bedroom slamming and locking the door behind her.

I went downstairs and ate a solitary dinner choking down food I wasn’t tasting before giving up and just clearing it away.  Then I went outside to Agnes’s tombstone and hung my head and wept.  I didn’t notice Chris arrive until he handed me a handkerchief.  “You want to talk about this?” he said quietly.



“No,” I said but still he stood there and waited for me.  Eventually the tears subsided and I turned to him.  “I don’t know how it is that there’s nobody within cooee to witness anything, but the whole town knows what I do, the minute I do it.  Okay, hit me with it, I deserve it.  What are the gossips saying about me?”



“Apart from the fact that you’ve hooked up with a pretty fairy and woohooed in the theatre, nothing much.  They’re actually mostly on your side.  Every single man in the town and probably a few married ones are green with envy though,” he replied dryly.  “I always expected the dam wall to crack someday but I never expected a total and complete catastrophic failure.”

“Look Brandon, you’re a widower not a monk.  It’s been six long years.  She’s a widow.  You two are both lonely grieving adults, but that type of mutual consolation shouldn’t be a public spectacle.  You have Diana to think about and your fairy has children of her own.  They don’t need to hear this about their mother,” Chris cautioned.

“I know that Chris.  Oh dear God!  I still can’t believe I did that!  I knew it was insanity.  Faith turned on this blue aura which she said was soothing.  It was amazing.  I felt so light and carefree.  She whispered something in my ear and it felt like every shred of common sense had been vaporised.  All the tension of the last six years just drained away and her kisses could melt the polar icecaps in a nanosecond.  I didn’t stand a chance.” 



“This wasn’t like the night Agnes proposed.  I knew what I was doing but I couldn’t stop it.  It’s no excuse that she came on to me like a train, I should have stopped it but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t because I didn’t want to.  Do you think fairies can cast a love spell or something?” I asked

“How should I know?” he answered.  “What are you going to do now?”

“I’m open to suggestions.” I answered truthfully.

“How about Diana come stay with us for the weekend.  It’s Joshua’s birthday on Sunday.  You have until then to sort yourself out.  If Diana wants to talk to you before then, she’s got her cell phone.”

“Okay if Diana wants to stay over at your place tonight, that’ll give me some breathing space.  But the weekends are our special time.  Let’s ask her about tonight?” I said.

“Don’t bother,” Chris said, “she rang Jamie asking if she could come over for the whole weekend.”

“Are you sure she said the whole weekend?” I asked glumly.

“Yes, she asked Jamie not Joshua.  Brandon, for all our sakes, give up this madness with Agnes.  You’re alive.  Be grateful for that.  You have Diana now but daughters grow up.  Find someone else.  Your fairy must really like you because I’m certain you wouldn’t have initiated what happened in the theatre.  I hope she’s a Hopeless Romantic and not just flirty.”

“She’s not my fairy!” I exclaimed, “I don’t think she’s a Hopeless Romantic.  I know she’s a Virtuoso, a Natural Cook and a Bookworm.”



“All good solid worthy traits,” Chris said.  “When are you seeing her again?”

“I’m not.” I replied.

“Fine Brandon, have it your way!  But now the women of Sunset Valley know you’re amenable to living female company, you’re going to get bombarded with love letters and date requests again.  Date one of them,” he said.



“Chris, we’re not having this conversation,” I said emphatically.

“Okay,” he said giving in too easily.  “But don’t think for one minute that our mother isn’t going to hear about this.”  I groaned.  That’s the last thing I need!

I sighed, “Let’s see if Diana still wants to go home with you?” 

Chris and I went inside to find Diana waiting in the hall.  She went up to Chris and hugged him. 



Then she muttered, “Can we go now Uncle Chris?”

“Do you have a hug for your dad?” Chris asked but Diana just burrowed further into Chris and clung to him.  I had to bite my lips hard to stem the tears I felt smarting the back of my eyes.  I felt shattered.  The weekends were our special time together and it seems Diana couldn’t stand to be with me.  I couldn’t stand to be with me either but I had no choice. 

Chris said to Diana, “Why don’t you wait for me in the car.  I want a quick word with your dad?”  Diana glared at me and walked out the door.

The tears that previously stung the back of my eyes now fell unfettered down my cheeks.  I turned away from Chris and stumbled.  Chris caught me and I cried into his shoulder.



"Brandon, for heaven’s sake!  You’re killing yourself continuing like this.  Is that what you want?  To be dead like Agnes?  Chris said harshly.

“No,” I mumbled. “I just want her back.”

Chris shook me, “I know you do, but Brandon, she’s NOT coming back.  Ghosts appear all the time but she doesn’t.  So while you’re sorting out this mess with your fairy, think about why Agnes doesn’t come back.  There must be a reason for that.  And don’t forget Joshua’s party on Sunday.  Bring a plate and if you don’t screw it up, bring your fairy.  I want to see the dam-buster for myself.”

“She’s not my fairy!” I said annoyed.

“Yes... she... is!” Chris said emphasising each word.  “She’s your romantic interest or you couldn’t do what you did and you know it!  Sunday!  2:00 PM!  Be there!”  Chris abruptly turned and left.



I cleaned up the kitchen and tried to garden but my heart wasn’t in it.  I tried to think about what Chris said about Agnes not coming back for a reason and I just couldn’t find any.  I know she loved me.  If she could, I know she’d come back.  I really must be doing something wrong.



I went out the back and grabbed a deck chair and took it over to Agnes’s tombstone.  I waited til midnight then I demanded that she come here right now because I had never needed her more than I did now.

I sat in my chair and talked to her tombstone until I was hoarse.  I waited for hours but sometime around 4:00 a.m., I drifted off to sleep.  Agnes’s ghost did not appear.

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline Candy

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 05:33:28 AM »
I don't trust that Faith Kalamia! I bet she's going to do something bad to Brandon!
Living and Loving Life!

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 06:56:21 AM »
Poor Brandon, he didn't stand a chance! I hope Agnes appear at some point.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 10:52:11 AM »
Oh Brandon, what have you gotten yourself into? :P That would be so incredibly awkward being in Diana's shoes. I hope that her weekend with uncle Chris will help her calm down and think through things a bit.

Offline yruvian

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 2: The Fairy
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013, 11:49:06 AM »
Poor Brandon... it seems like someone's got him on her wish-list... and she's not taking no for an answer.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 3: Confrontations
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2013, 03:11:14 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 3: Confrontations

I woke with dawn barely rolling in over the sea.  I resolved there and then to tell Faith I’m not her romantic interest but perhaps we could still be friends.  Now was as good a time as any since I figured most gardeners were always up early to pick the freshest produce.  Then I must find the other Alchemist in Sunset Valley to get the information I needed or make the time to go to the Vault of Antiquity and research it myself.



I drove over to Faith’s house but the house seemed too quiet in the crisp morning air.  Maybe I was too early.  Then I heard a rustle over in the gardens on the left.  I looked over the hedge and it was Faith, in her very fetching sleepwear, harvesting the produce from the trees.  Faith, who was so like my mother, was wearing the same sleepwear outfit that my mother wears but in green not black.  On mum that outfit made me uncomfortable because it was inappropriate to see one’s half dressed mother, on Faith it made me extremely uncomfortable because she looked so incredibly gorgeous.



She looked up at me and smiled as I approached.  “You’re early”, she said as she walked up to me. “I wasn’t expecting you quite this soon.”  She leaned in to kiss me but I moved away.  Hurt flashed across her expressive green eyes before they turned icy cold.  “I don’t understand Brandon?”

“Faith, we have to talk.  Would you please get dressed?” I said turning my back on her.  Now that I was actually here, breaking this relationship off was going to be so much more difficult than I imagined.  I knew what I had to do but somewhere deep inside I didn’t want to.

She walked over to the outdoor shower and showered wearing the tiniest white bikini.  I’m sure I’ve seen dental floss bigger than those tiny scraps of material.  I couldn’t not watch her as she showered - and she knew it! 




I realised if she hadn’t wanted me watching her she would have gone inside to change.  Faith dressed in a blue top with white slacks instead of her black dress.  The top looked modest from the front but when she turned around, I saw the wretched thing was nearly backless.  She came back to me and said equably, “There... better?”

“Hardly” I replied through almost clenched teeth.  I could see she knew the effect she had on me and enjoyed my discomfiture.

“What do you want?” Faith asked.  “To collude about price fixing?  I thought we arranged all that yesterday.  Talk fast,” she sighed.  “I have a lot to do” and continued to harvest her plants.

“Since you don’t know this town, it’s quite the gossip mill and I’m afraid our incident yesterday is now all over town.  My daughter knows and I’m sure your children will too, if not this weekend, then when school goes back on Monday.”

“Oh,” she said looking up from her plants as she bit on her bottom lip.  Oh dear heaven, how I wished she didn’t do that.  Those lips were made for kissing not biting.  “We hardly know anyone so I haven’t heard the gossip.  Why, dear Mr Alto and Mr Koffi came calling just last evening and neither breathed a word.”



“Oh, Faith you are too beautiful to be so naïve.” I chastised.  “Nick Alto and Gobias Koffi probably have other plans for you and upsetting you isn’t among them.”  She looked down at her hands while a small smile played on her lips.  I realised too late that she had gotten the reaction she wanted.  I was jealous... ridiculously so.  Why was she baiting me?

“Brandon, I just want to finish here.  Why don’t you make us a coffee and we can talk?  That door just there leads to the kitchen.”  She pointed to the double doors I could see through the hedge.  “The coffee machine is just beside the sink.  Bring the coffee to the children’s play area you passed when you came in.  I’ll be there soon.”  I went into the house and put the coffee on as instructed because I really needed a coffee myself.  I berated myself for not just saying “it’s over” and leaving.  Being near her was so bittersweet.  Just looking at her made me want to hold her and kiss her, not say goodbye.  I really was just prolonging my own agony.



Making the coffee, I saw a painting through the kitchen archway and went to examine it, not because I was particularly nosy or curious but because it’s just one of those things one casually does while waiting.  I walked through the archway into the hall and unwittingly stepped into my private hell!

In an instant I realised I knew every inch of this house.  With a bizarre sinking feeling, I looked into the formal lounge and dining area.  I felt every ounce of colour leave my face.  I walked towards the front door and saw a familiar lounge on the right. 



I turned left.  There was the children’s playroom, the walkthrough bathroom, the nursery.  I didn’t need to go in to know they were there.  I walked into the master bedroom.  Through the master bedroom were the master bathroom and the little conservatory.  I walked through the conservatory toward the big barn Vita mentioned, but everything else about the layout of the house was almost identical.  The brickwork and the wallpapers were different, most of the furniture was different too - but this house was the St Clair mansion, ‘Casa Blanco’.



It did have an even more breathtaking view than Simfield.  Sunset Valley had the ocean as a backdrop whereas Simfield had the river, the rolling plains and the mountains.  There I stood in the backyard looking back to a facsimile of the house I grew up in, inhabited by a fairy who was also a facsimile of my mother.  Moreover this fairy seemed intent on manipulating me for unknown reasons.  I felt sick to my stomach.

Dynasty founder Anthony had said how all the men in the family envied my father on his choice of a bride.  Could Faith be my vindictive great-great-grandmother Annette with plastic surgery to look like Audrey?  I didn’t know how plastic surgery worked but I knew you could get it at the hospital.

Had great-great-grandmother Annette been a redhead?  I remember seeing her portraits in the family museum but I don’t recall ever noticing the colour of her hair.  She had grey hair all the time I lived in that house.  Even if she wasn’t a redhead, hair is the easiest part of the body to disguise.  A simple store bought dye can do that in an hour.

I needed answers but I wasn’t sure I was going to like the answers I would hear.  I needed Chris to be here with me.  I was about to phone him when I heard my mother’s voice behind me, “Oh there you are!  I wondered where you went to.  Amazing view isn’t it?” 



Only it wasn’t my mother, it was Faith talking to me.  When I close my eyes or hear her voice behind me like I did just then, it was my mother’s voice.  Is it possible to change the timbre of one’s voice to emulate another?  Why not!  Mimics do that all the time. 

I decided to be casual and remembered something Agnes was fond of saying, ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.’  Tamping down my rising fear, I pasted on my most charming smile and said, “Nice house you have here.  I know of one very like it in Simfield.” Faith was smiling at me again which was a relief.  I hated hurting her feelings.



“Yes, the Price’s mansion, ‘Casa Blanco’.  I was in Simfield recently on a family matter and I went to a fairy party at the mansion and fell in love with the house.  Norman and Annette were kind enough to give me the name of the architects.  I bought the plan from Luis Blanco Associates and built it here for my family.

“The Price mansion?” I asked, “You mean the St Clair mansion?”



Faith shrugged, “Well it’s occupied by Norman and Annette Price so I just meant it as their house.”  So Annette married her dark wizard.  That can’t be good.

“My apologies, I knew Annette when she was Annette St Clair,” I said as casually as I could make my voice, “What did you make of them?”



She hesitated for a moment, “How well did you know them?” She asked.

“Norman; not at all, I never met him.  Annette, I knew all my life.” I replied.

“Did you like her?” Faith asked.

“Not particularly,” I replied evenly.

Faith sighed, “Oh good.  Neither did I.  Don’t get me wrong, she was hospitable but she had a way of putting people down, which I’m sure she thought was witty and amusing, but I found it insensitive and off-putting.  Norman was similarly unkind in his manner of addressing people.  I thought they were two peas in a pod and well suited.”  Just then Faith’s phone rang. “Would you please excuse me a moment, this is a call I must take.”

She walked over to the patio area where a wedding arch took pride of place against the amazing backdrop of the ocean view.  While I waited for Faith to finish her call, on a whim I dialled the house in Simfield.  After only a few rings, the phone answered with a very familiar voice. “Hello, Annette Price speaking.”  I half expected a wave of nausea at hearing that hateful voice, but I didn’t.  I really had moved on from that.

“Hello great-great-grandmother Annette, this is Brandon.” I said relieved to look over and see Faith pacing as she listened to her caller.



“Hello Brandon, you can knock off calling me so many greats, I’m younger than you now,” she chortled, “When are you going to return my fridge?”

“Your father gave his fridge to my father,” I answered evenly, “It’s not mine to return.”

“Horse feathers!” she snorted, “My father said he gave the fridge to you, but I want it back.”

“I’m sorry but it seems your father wanted me to have it and it would be ungrateful of me to reject his generosity by returning it to you.” I replied mildly.  “I just called to wish you and Norman well.  I only recently heard the news.”

“Well thanks, I think.  I heard you were a widower with a small daughter.  I’m sorry to hear that.  I suppose you’ve heard that my father and my son Andrew passed.” She said the words but there wasn’t a shred of real regret in her voice.



I watched as Faith did some quirky little flying somersault and flittered over to me.  “No,” I replied, “But it wasn’t unexpected.  Goodbye grandmother, I wish you well.”  I said politely and hung up.  My relief was almost palpable; Faith was clearly not my great-great-grandmother Annette masquerading as my mother’s double. 



Faith came up to me vibrating happiness with a bright radiant smile.  Her phone call was obviously good news.  She smiled beguilingly at me and my heartbeat accelerated. 



Blood pounded in my ears as she reached out and touched me.  She held my head and looked into my eyes. 



I thought she was going to kiss me.  I wanted her to kiss me but instead, she said, “I don’t know how to ask this politely, so I’ll be blunt, I want to have your baby.”


Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 3: Confrontations
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 04:38:59 PM »
Nooooooo Brandon.  Run far - run fast.

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 3: Confrontations
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2013, 02:57:00 AM »
There is something very sinister about Faith. Why does she remind him of his mother? He must get out of there and fast!

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 4: Bizarre Requests
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2013, 02:51:35 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 4: Bizarre Requests

I’m sure I heard her clearly but I still reeled at her words, “You want to run that past me again?” I asked.



“My phone call was from the hospital.  If I want a baby girl I have to try to get pregnant today or tomorrow.  I haven’t yet chosen a sperm donor from their registry but you have very good genes and I think we could make a beautiful baby together.  So would you please be my sperm donor?” she pleaded.



I had realised earlier that Faith had some sort of agenda that involved me, but I did not see this coming!  “What!” I responded in a voice two octaves too high, “No! Faith, I can’t.”



“Oh?” she pouted, “Why not?”

“Because I have a daughter and this affects more than just you or me.  Have you discussed this with your sons?” I was so incensed at her lack of appreciation of my side of things, I wasn’t sure I was even coherent. 



“I’ve talked it over with Julian and Keith.  Julian wanted to help me pick out the father but he had some odd ideas about what’s attractive.  He thinks Leighton Sekemoto would be a good candidate but his son, Sam is bald.  I don’t want a bald daughter.”



This is like watching a train wreck.  I know I should walk away but I’m rooted to the spot.  “I’m sure a daughter wouldn’t be bald.  Leighton’s a nice guy.  He’s got good traits.” I said weakly but all the while thinking if I ever saw him anywhere within a mile of Faith, I’d be jealous.  How does she push my buttons so effortlessly?

“Wouldn’t it be better to go with someone you don’t know as the sperm donor?” I asked.  I really cannot believe I’m having this conversation so calmly.  There is no way on Earth that I could ever look at Faith’s new baby and not be mentally scanning the male population trying to find a match. 

“Too many risks.  Please would you reconsider?” she pleaded with emerald eyes that so enchanted me 



I guess the unknown is risky.  One could end up with children who look like Arlo Bunch.  Nice kid for sure, but if he was mine, I’d be giving him rhinoplasty as a graduation present.  “Can you give me some time, I need to make a phone call?” 

Faith nodded, “Would you like another coffee?”

“Could I just have a glass of water please?” I responded.  The colder the better, I thought - because pretty soon I was going to need to pour it over myself.  I was seriously contemplating this matter.  Did I somehow acquire the insane trait?  I couldn’t understand it myself but I was resentful of anyone being her baby’s father but me.  I needed time to think about why I felt like that.



If I walked away and she went ahead with her plans, I think I’d shatter into a million pieces.  Where’s Dr Simgund when I need him?  Deep breaths, Brandon, I told myself.  I was way too tired to deal with this.  Feed the brain some oxygen.  This can’t actually be happening.  I close my eyes, breathe deep and open them again.  Yep.  Still here.  Still happening.  Oh God!  Keep calm and carry on!



I rang Diana’s cell phone and she answered immediately.  “Hello daddy, I rang the house but there was no answer, where are you?”  Progress - I was back to being called daddy again.



“I’m not home right now kitten, can we talk?” I replied.

“We’re talking.  Are you at the Markets?” Diana asked.

“No.  Do you want to meet me at the beach so we can talk?” I said.

“Are you at the Kalamia’s house?” Diana asked her voice sharpening.



I couldn’t lie to my daughter, “Yes honey, I needed to talk to Faith and now I need to talk to you.”

“Did you break up with her?” Diana asked.

“Not exactly.  I...” I started to reply but the line went dead. 



Well I had my answer.  I just had to tell Faith I couldn’t do what she wanted.  And if I wanted to win my daughter back, it looked like I had to break up with the one woman who managed to make me happy to be a man in six long years.  Since that had been my intention all morning, I should have been resigned to it but I felt like a knife had been run right through me.  Whoever said “life was not meant to be easy” must have been reading my bio.



All too soon Faith was back with a cool glass of water.  I drank it straight down.  “I can’t be your sperm donor.” I blurted out bluntly before I could lose my nerve.  “I don’t think Diana wants a replacement for her mother and I can’t do this any other way.  My first priority is my daughter.  I’m sorry but I can’t help you.” 



There, I had said it: I had refused to father Faith’s child, but I still couldn’t take the final step and break up with her no matter how much I told myself I had to.  Part of me just couldn’t let that tiny sliver of hope die.

“Okay...” she said, “Thanks for being honest.  Would you help me pick out a sperm donor?” she said in a tone which suggested she had no idea that she had just twisted that metaphorical knife through my heart.



“You ask the impossible!” I said heatedly and walked away feeling eviscerated and raw.  I didn’t look back.  I couldn’t.



My heart was breaking all over again and it was my own stupid fault.  As I walked past the kitchen, young Julian Kalamia came out the door.  He was radiating the blue soothing aura.



“Mr Crumplebottom, can I have a moment of your time, Sir?” he asked.

This was the last thing I needed!  He seemed a very nice boy and it would have been churlish to refuse so polite a request.  Also, I owed him an apology for what I did to his mother’s reputation, so I nodded wondering when I was ever going to get a break.  Julian gestured toward the children’s play area I passed earlier and I followed him through the garden gate.  We sat on a couple of deck chairs. 

He was still wearing the black tux with a green vest to match his wings.  I wondered how long it was since his father died.  Why was Faith in such a huge hurry to have another baby?  Being a sole parent was hell on wheels with just one child.  More must be next to impossible.  “Please forgive my mother,” he said civilly, “She has difficulty dealing with rejection and especially from you.” 

He looked at me as if expecting some sort of a response.  I didn’t know quite what to say and I didn’t know why he thought my rejection was worse than any other. “I don’t know your mother well enough to comment,” I said.



“On the contrary, Sir, I believe you know my mother very well.” Wow, from the mouths of babes, I thought.  He said the words without one ounce of judgement or suggestion in his voice.  I don’t know how he managed that but I flushed red to the roots of my hair.  I owed this boy an apology, I wasn’t that sure I owed him any explanation especially as I didn’t have one.

“Um... yeah.  I need to apologise to you for that.  I had no desire to drag your mother’s name through the town gossip mill.  They are ferocious in this town and I have inadvertently given her a reputation she doesn’t deserve.  I’d like to make it up to you and your brother but I don’t know how.”

“You can give her what she wants, Sir.” He suggested.  His face, his tone of voice and his manner gave no indication that he had just completely maxed out my weird-o-metre.  Is this earthy approach to procreation a fairy thing?  Can’t anyone but me see how ridiculous and precarious this situation is? 

I’ve already unintentionally given Faith a naughty reputation.  I can’t deliberately make it worse by fathering her baby out of wedlock.  I’m just not ready to take that step because it means I must let go of Agnes.  Besides, nobody would believe the sperm-donor story, especially after the theatre fiasco.  This town with its insatiable gossip mill will distort everything and believe the worst.  Moreover, I can’t do this to Diana or me.  But I can’t say this to her son.  I shouldn’t even be having this conversation with this boy but my feet seemed reluctant to get up and walk away.  I am also fighting to stay awake in this cosy deck chair and being calmed by his soothing aura doesn’t help me fight my need for sleep.

“Please don’t call me Sir.  Call me Brandon or Mr Crumplebottom.  I can’t do as your mother asks.  I have a daughter who is not happy with me right now and I won’t make things worse by... umm... well... you know.” I said failing terribly at trying to explain things.  He’s a teen but that seemed irrelevant.  I wouldn’t have been able to find the words to explain this to an adult.

“Do you not find my mother attractive?” he asked, “most men do.”

“Of course I find her attractive.  Any man still breathing would.” I retorted, “Since you’re being so personal.  May I be personal in return?”  He nodded a response and gesture which I found peculiar but in keeping with his formal manner and speech.

“Why do you want to help her find a sperm donor?” I asked.  “Surely it’s too soon since your father died to be rushing in and having another baby.”

“My father died when I was six.  My mother likes to have babies.  I would prefer that she acquire the babies she desires without acquiring the husbands who die and make her grieve,” he said.  His words, so insightful and his voice tempered with such consideration, completely freaked me out.  I would have expected that sort of maturity in perspective from my father, not a teen half my age.  Also something struck me as strange; I was sure Vita had said Faith was a recent widow.

I really had to pinch myself.  I couldn’t possibly be having this conversation with this young teen.  “So how old are you, sixteen... seventeen?” I asked.

“Fifteen,” was his reply.  So that made it that Faith had been a widow for nine years.

“Tell me about your father.” I asked.

“Why?” he asked, answering my question with a question.

“I’d like to find the measure of the man your mother chose to marry.  Was your father a fairy too?” I asked.

“No, he was not,” Julian answered.  “My father was a genius.  He was very well read.  He liked to fix things.  He helped my mother in the garden. He invented things and sculpted.  He loved to play chess.  He liked to collect things...” Julian droned away in his soft mellow voice but I, being completely exhausted and cocooned in the soothing aura he projected, fell asleep in that comfortable deck chair...



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
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Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 4: Bizarre Requests
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2013, 04:24:46 PM »
Wake up Brandon!  Get the heck out of there before you fall prey to that odd family!

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 5: In Too Deep
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 09:26:05 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 5: In Too Deep

I awoke to the soft touch of Faith shaking me awake.



“You shouldn’t fall asleep in the sun or you’ll burn up.  Come into the house quickly to cool down,” she instructed.  I realised I was feeling very warm and even felt a bit wobbly on my feet.

I stumbled and clutched at Faith as she guided me into the cool confines of the house.  “Into a cold shower would be best,” she said.  Definitely, I thought, I don’t ever recall feeling so lightheaded.



Faith steered me through the master bedroom and then into the bathroom.  I found her nearness exciting.  When she tried to help me out of my clothes, I held her hand to stop her feather like touches make my heart beat erratically.  “I can take it from here.” I said.

“I don’t think you should be left alone,” she said.

I shook my head and shouldn’t have because the room spun alarmingly.  “Faith, please leave?” I asked.  Watching her shower was one thing, her watching me was too much.



“No.  I’m too frightened of what may happen if I don’t keep an eye on you every second.  I’m staying!” she said her voice full of concern.  It was no longer the sun that I was worried about that would cause me to spontaneously combust.

“No Faith,” I said my voice thick with emotion. “If you don’t leave now, you know what’ll happen?”

“Oh?” she said initially confused.  I watched as comprehension dawned in her eyes and a smile spread over her face, “Oh yes please.”  My willpower dissolved into dust.  I gathered her in my arms and kissed her.



She looked into my eyes.  “Are you sure?  I don’t want you regretting this again?” she asked, her emerald green eyes searching mine.

I kissed her again in response.  Again she stopped me and held my head in her hands, “Brandon I need to hear the words from your lips.” 



She shouldn’t have mentioned lips.  Any chance I had to reach sanity flew out the window.  I realised then, with my last shred of perfect clarity, that I was more than half-way in love with this unconventional fairy.  “Faith, join me in the shower.  Please,” I said.  She kissed me then took my hand and pulled me into the shower.  I was sure the earth moved.  Even if it didn’t, the shower most certainly rocked on its base.

“Do you feel better?” she asked concerned I was still unsteady on my feet after our shower.  I nodded my head but the room still spun around wildly.  “Maybe another shower would help?” she suggested.

“With you or without you?” I asked.

“Without me,” she replied.  “I think you need to cool down.”

“Wouldn’t be half as much fun,” I said, my voice resonating with feeling.  I kissed her again.

“Can we try for a baby this time?”she asked.



“No,” I replied but she still went willingly with me into the shower a second time.  This shower definitely has dodgy fixings.  I’ll have a go at attending to that later.

“How do you feel now?” Faith asked.

“Better” I said but I stumbled again and was clearly still too unsteady on my feet.  She suggested I lie down and steered me toward her bed.  Then she joined me on the bed and cuddled into me. 



I felt her featherlike kisses against my hair.  I don’t know what was more dizzying, the slight sunstroke, her nearness or realising just how deep my feelings ran in so short a time. 



But Faith was not long content with mere cuddles and we began making out.  I found her utterly irresistible.  “Now can we try for a baby?” she asked.



I stood up, because I was so close to giving in to her demands.  She plays me like the master virtuoso she is.  When I’m with her it’s too easy to just go with the heat of the moment and forget about everything else.  But a baby is too big a deal with enormous consequences.  Ignoring them is wrong on so many levels. 



“No, Faith.” I said as I plucked her off the bed and gathered her in my arms.  It was high time I took the upper hand for a change.  I looked directly into her emerald green eyes and said to her, “I’m sure the guys who register as sperm donors have excellent reasons for doing so but being a father is not something I can do in absentia.  So Faith, unless I’m your husband, I won’t father your child.”  I got down on one knee, “Marry me Faith.  No child of mine is going to be born out of wedlock.”



“Oh Brandon, I can’t.” She said tears now glistening in her eyes.

“Why not?” I asked pole-axed by her refusal.

“I promised Julian, I wouldn’t marry the first man who asked me.  He doesn’t want another step-father who’ll die and break our hearts again.”

“How many husbands have you had?” I asked stepping away from her and hoping the distance would give my brain space to think rationally.



“Two,” she replied.

“What happened?” I asked.

“My first husband was Julian and Keith’s father.  He was older than me but he enjoyed collecting butterflies and rocks and things for me.  One day he was out in the mountains collecting insects when he died.  I was teaching Keith to walk but I knew as soon as he died.”  I could relate to that; I knew as soon as Agnes died. 

“Spontaneous combustion or from the cold?” I asked. 

“Neither, he died of old age but he wasn’t even really old.  Neither was Elias, he died early one night as we were preparing to go to an award night at the school.  Elias was asked to look the other way at some criminal activity at the hospital but he couldn’t.  He went back to the hospital because something bothered him.  They said he had a heart attack.  But I know the criminal element murdered him and hospital helped cover it up.” She looked unhappily up at me.



“When did Elias die?” I asked.

“Recently?” she said obscurely.

“How recently?” I persevered.

“What does it matter? My husband is dead.  I want another baby but I promised Julian I wouldn’t put him and Keith through that level of grief again.



“I’m sorry for your and their loss,” I said meaning it.  I can be just as stubborn as my brother will verify, so I held her and looked into her eyes, “Despite what Julian thinks now, in years to come, it won’t be fair to the child or you or me.  Julian’s hurting from the loss of his father and now his step-father.  It’s understandable but not realistic that you promised him that.  I’m sure he won’t hold you to it.”



She started to say something but I kissed her until she found me irresistible.  Two can play this game. 



Then I said, “I promised myself I wouldn’t marry again but I’m willing to take that step for propriety if you’re willing to meet me half way.  So how about you marry the second guy to ask you... me.  I’ve been falling in love with you since the second I met you.  Faith Kalamia, will you marry me?”



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 5: In Too Deep
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2013, 11:48:31 PM »
Oi Brandon, you're not thinking with the right part of your anatomy!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 4: In Too Deep
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 12:14:56 AM »
Excellent chapter. It's definitely got me intrigued...and worried! :P

There is something wrong here. Something very, very wrong. What on earth is Diana going to say or think? I know there must be more than meets the eye...

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 4: In Too Deep
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2013, 06:27:09 AM »
I'm worried about Brandon, maybe he have heatstroke. Something strange os going on with him. What if Agnes appeared after he is married again? Diana won't be happy.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 6: A Convincing Argument
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2013, 08:23:47 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 6: A Convincing Argument

She shook her head at my second proposal.

Stubborn woman, I thought.  “Faith, be realistic.  Can’t you see that this is the only workable solution?”  She looked at me with eyes glistening again with unshed tears.  This was not the reaction I was hoping for.  But I’m nothing if not persistent.  I heard that the third time’s the charm, so again I asked her, “Faith Kalamia will you be my lawfully wedded wife til death us do part?”



“I couldn’t bear another husband to die,” she replied, as the tears spilled down her cheeks.  I sighed inwardly.  That was a poor choice of words to woo a widow, irrespective of how recent.

I said to her as I kissed her tears away, “I have 12 deathflowers in my inventory.  I can cook ambrosia and I am level 10 handiness.  I assure you I have years till I reach elder and I’m not into sculpting metal or swimming.  I don’t plan on dying anytime soon.”

“You almost did today.  Falling asleep in the sun like that.” Faith contradicted me.

“But I have the deathflowers.  Besides I usually sleep in the daytime.  I hadn’t slept more than four hours in the last 48 hours and I was very tired.  For the fourth time, will you marry me?”



She looked at me long and hard, “If I say yes, can we try for a baby now?”

“Not until you say I do, with my wedding ring on your finger,” I countered.

“How about if we were engaged?” she bargained.

“Not happening, sweetheart.  If you want my baby, she comes with a wedding ring.” Again I went down on one knee.  “Fifth and final offer, marry me Faith and I’ll happily fill this house with babies for you.”



Finally Faith nodded.  “Yes Brandon Crumplebottom, I will marry you.”  She held out her hand for me to slip the ring on.  It was a perfect fit.  Then she hugged and kissed me.  “Marry me now,” she pleaded, “there’s a wedding arch out back.”

“I noticed, but tomorrow will be soon enough.  You can still have that baby girl tomorrow you said.  Anyway I have a fridge full of watermelons so you can have a baby girl any time.  Let’s make the wedding tomorrow because I need to discuss this with Diana first.  I have a family to convince I’m not crazy and you have a son who is yet to be convinced that husbands are worthwhile.”



“Will your family be a problem?” Faith asked.

“I don’t know for sure but I shouldn’t think so.  Diana may take some time to come around but ultimately she wants me to be happy.  My brother, on the other hand will be ecstatic once he gets past the shock.  Chris told me he wanted to meet you,” I said.  “His son, Joshua, is having a birthday party tomorrow afternoon and Chris asked me to bring you.

“Then we should get married at dawn, she said, “it’s a beautiful time for wedding photos and I’ve never had any.”



“I don't think my parents can get a flight that early,” I murmured into her hair, “how about sunset?  It’s just as glorious.”

“Compromise,” she said, “Let’s do brunch.”

“Brunch, I can manage, here or elsewhere?” I asked my voice thickening as I remembered a similar conversation a long time ago.



“Did you know?” she said softly between kisses, “That there is a charming little beach wedding venue at Recurve Strand?”

“The actual beach or the Recurve Strand bar on Old Pier Beach?” I asked puzzled.  Diana and I fished at the beach just last weekend and there was no wedding venue there then.

“The actual beach,” she replied. “It’s called the ‘Just Divine Beach Wedding’ venue.

“No, I didn’t know it had a wedding venue.  Okay, the Just Divine Beach Wedding venue it is, tomorrow at 10:00 AM.” I said, “Oh, by the way, could you just pretend in front of my family, that you love me even a little bit.  I don’t think they’ll appreciate that you’re marrying me for my incredible genes.”



“How can you be so clueless, Brandon,” she said shaking her head.  “Blind Freddie could see that I’ve been falling in love with you from the very start.  How could I not have been captivated by your charming introduction about dental hygiene?”



“Really?” I said astounded.  “You sure have an odd way of showing it?”

“Love scares me.  I didn’t expect it and I was taken by surprise.” Faith answered looking down at her hands.  “I always imagined that if I found love, it would be like a Nat King Cole ballad not the 1812 Overture.” 



I liked her analogy.  I could relate to it.  My marriage to Agnes had been a soft sweet melody.  My relationship with Faith so far had been more like a Verdi opera.  But I have high hopes of us making it now that one of the major obstacles to our future happiness has been overcome.  Love was a good place to start.  However, given that she’d been married twice before, I’d have thought she wasn’t a stranger to love; but perhaps that’s a question for another time.  “Seriously, it would have helped if you had told me how you felt when I admitted I loved you.”



“I didn’t know how to.  It seemed like it would sound too contrived if I just blurted that out,” she said appealing to me for understanding.

“You could have told me when I proposed.  You did have five chances” I replied weakly.

“Love hasn’t been good to me.  I’ve learned not to trust it,” she replied candidly.

“Fair enough – trust is something that takes time to establish.  Can I at least hear you say the words?” I asked.  “I think I need to hear you say it.”



“I do love you Brandon.”  She said holding my head and looking deep into my eyes.  “I love you so much it hurts.  It’s frightening to find that I’ve given you so much power over my happiness.  I’m terrified that it can all be snatched away.”

“Faith, I love you too.  But love isn’t about power.  Love doesn’t dominate, it cultivates, it inspires and it unites us.  Have a little bit of faith in us.  Love is what makes us stronger not weaker.  I never expected to find love again but since I have with you, I want to embrace it.”

“Are you a Hopeless Romantic?” she asked.



“No, I’m a hopeful one.  Now all we have to do is convince our families that we’re not insane.  You could tell Julian you married the fifth guy who asked you, not the first.”

“Same guy.” Faith countered.

“Nope, it feels like I aged 10 years between first and final offer.” I remarked wryly. “I’ll have to dye my hair to get the grey out before tomorrow.”

“Oh Brandon, I love your dry humour.  But seriously, can we discuss our name.  I don’t want to be Faith Crumplebottom.  I know some witches in Moonlight Falls who guard that name zealously.  They’d probably think a fairy will disgrace their pure family name.  I believe it was your late wife’s name anyway.  Will you take Kalamia as your name?”

“You want me to take Elias’s surname?” I asked somewhat taken aback.

“No, Elias took my name.  My father is Leonidas Kalamia.  I’ve kept my name through both marriages.”

“So I’m to be the third Mr Kalamia you’ve married.” I asked incredulously.

“Put like that, it does sound awkward, doesn’t it?” I nodded in response.  “We could take your birth name?  What was it?”

“St Clair,” I said deadpan.

“The Simfield St Clairs you mentioned?”  I nodded and Faith continued, “Annette St Clair now Annette Price, was she the grandmother you talked to on the phone this morning?” I nodded again. 

“One and the same,” I replied, “Although Annette is my great-great-grandmother, not my grandmother.”

“Are there more fairies in your family?” Faith asked.



“Grandmother Annette became a fairy through an Alchemy potion fairly recently,” I replied.  “So no, there were no other fairies in my family until you and Julian.”

“And Hope,” she said.  I wondered if that was the name she was planning to call our future daughter but she continued before I could ask.  “So do you want to take the surname of St Clair?” she asked.

“Not particularly, when I hear someone say Mr St Clair these days, I look around for my father.” I said wondering how on Earth I was going to tell him all this.



“We could take my mother’s maiden name of Baker if you like.” Faith suggested.  I felt chills at the very mention of that name.

With my hair standing up all over my arms and neck I asked, “Please say your mother was not Rosalie Baker from Simfield?”

“No,” she looked at me curiously, “my mother was Deborah Baker.  Rosalie Baker was my Uncle Roland’s wife.  I know she died a long time ago in a house fire.  You must have grown up in Simfield, do you know what happened to Uncle Roland and his daughter Audrey?  I couldn’t find out anything about them when I went there.”

Since there was no way under the sun that great-great-grandmother Annette didn’t see the similarity between Faith and her great-grandson’s wife, I’d say Annette didn’t tell Faith the truth out of spite but I don’t know why the rest of the town didn’t tell Faith the truth.

“Sit down my darling cousin, you’re in for the shock of your life.” I said far more calmly than I felt.



Faith promptly sat on a chair her mouth agape.  I sat on the other chair.  “Rosalie Baker died decades ago as you know.  Roland Baker died of old age a year or so before I was born.  Their daughter Audrey Baker married Alastair St Clair, my father.  They are very much alive and currently living in Union Cove with twins Lucy and Rosalie, who are teens as of last week, and another set of twins, Deborah and Roland who are now toddlers.”

“So my cousin Audrey is your step-mother?” Faith asked leaping to her feet, a beaming smile spreading all over her beautiful and so familiar face.”

“No, my darling Faith, you misunderstand me,” I stood and hugged her.  I whispered into her hair, “Audrey St Clair is my mother.  To cut a ridiculously long convoluted story short, my parents took Young Again potions to age back to young adults to give Audrey her almost pathological desire for a large family.  It must be a recurring family trait.”



My cell phone rang shrilly in the intervening silence. I looked at the caller ID but didn’t know it so I cut the call.  It rang again almost immediately with the same caller ID.  I cut the second call but it rang for the third time.  Annoyed, I answered it, because this caller was clearly not going to go away.  “Brandon Arthur St Clair-Crumplebottom, you have a lot of explaining to do!” my mother’s voice so very like my beautiful bride-to-be’s, filled the air.


Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 6: A Convincing Argument
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2013, 11:18:23 AM »
Oh boy, beware the wrath of Mom. :P

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 6: A Convincing Argument
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2013, 01:11:34 PM »
I have a really bad feeling about this!
I hardly think Diana will be just peachy with the  new development!

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 6: A Convincing Argument
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2013, 07:18:15 PM »
Brandon, you are in big trouble.  You should have talked to your daughter first.  You are still not thinking with your brain!

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 6: A Convincing Argument
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2013, 01:46:53 AM »
Brandon you're in trouble lol! I can't wait to see what happen next. ;D

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 7: Surprises Galore
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2013, 03:01:26 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley - Chapter7: Surprises Galore


There was no need for speaker phone with my mother when she was in full voice.  Faith seemed stunned to hear what sounded like her own voice coming from my phone.



“Not now mum.  You have incredibly bad timing,” I said more calmly than I felt.  No way could I face her ‘Spanish Inquisition’ right now.  I needed time to assimilate all that has happened, “I’ll call you back later” and ended the call before she could say another word.  But no sooner did I put my phone back in my pocket when it rang again.  This time it was Chris’s caller ID.

“Where in the dickens are you?” he yelled more worried than angry.  I didn’t need speaker phone for him either.

“What’s up?” I said neutrally.



“Joshua and Diana are missing.”  A chill ran down my spine as Chris continued, “They were at the festival grounds roller-skating but they have disappeared.  I’ve called their phones but both go straight to message bank.  I also rang all their friends but no-one knows where they are.  It’ll be dark soon.  Hank Wan has got the whole force out looking for them.

“What can I do?” I asked

“Where are you?

“Summer Hills Court?”

"Good, you cover the area along the hill track down to the back of Recurve Strand and meet up with Thornton Wolff and Gobias Koffi. They are scouring the area around Wolff Manor and along Sunnyside Boulevard and up the Recurve Strand pathway.  I’ll let Hank Wan know where you will be searching.  Justine Keaton is manning the search board so call in to her every half hour.  ”

“Where are you?” I asked

“At the Police Station.  Boyd Wainwright and I will be searching the area around the Science Facility,” he replied.

“Okay Chris, I’m sure they’re okay.  Joshua is a smart kid, he wouldn’t do anything dangerous, especially not with Diana in tow.”  I tried to reassure him.

“Of course he’s smart,” Chris retorted, “he’s my son, but your daughter is the emotional wreck you are and that’s trouble because she is so unpredictable!”

“Calm down Chris, we’ll find them,” I replied not offended by his remarks.  When Chris was worried, he resorts to jokes or sarcasm.  “I’ll call you back the minute I find anything.”



Faith heard every detail as she leapt to her feet and cast some sort of fairy spell on me.  I glowed white. “This is Flight of Felicity.  It means you can fly like a fairy for a while.  I’ll get Julian; we three can now cover a lot of ground faster than any of the others.” 

She hurried into the playroom where Julian and Keith were engrossed in a chess game.  “Julian we need your help.  Two little children have gone missing.  It will be dark soon, we need to find them,” her voice full of anxiety.



Julian immediately looked up, concern creasing his brow adding interesting lines to his handsome face, “Who is missing?” he asked.

Keith continued to concentrate on the chess board and for the first time I noticed his dark glasses.  What is wrong with him?  My future step-son’s has skin the colour of sea foam.  Without looking at us, he spoke in an unnerving voice that sent chills right through me.  “If you are looking for Diana Crumplebottom and Joshua Steel they are in our barn.”



“Keith, are you sure?” Faith asked him but by then I was already racing back through the master bedroom and out to the barn.  Wow I could fly like fairy!  I need to perfect my landings though.  Either I’m just clumsy or still woozy from the sunstroke. 

Sure enough there were my daughter and my nephew in the barn as Keith had said, but now fast asleep in sleeping bags.  I rang Chris back and told him.  He said he’ll call Justine Keaton to cancel the search and come immediately.



I knelt down and gently shook my daughter to wake her.  She looked so vulnerable with tear tracks still visible on her face.

Faith and Julian soon caught up with me but stood to one side.  Faith was again projecting her blue aura which soothed my ravaged nerves.  Diana startled awake, saw me and scrambled to her feet.  “I’m sorry daddy,” she said as she hugged me tightly.  What did she have to be sorry about?  “Can we go home now?”



“Soon, honey.  You and I have a lot to talk about.  How long have you been in the barn?” I asked.

“Since just after it started raining,” Diana said.  I didn’t know it had been raining.  “When the rain stopped we went over to the house.  We heard you and Mrs Kalamia talking.  I’m sorry we shouldn’t have listened.” Diana said in a voice barely above a whisper.

“What exactly did you hear?” I asked cautiously. 

“We heard you ask Mrs Kalamia to marry you and we heard her say she would.” Diana replied looking at me.  “I do want you to be happy daddy, but…”



“But what honey?” I asked.

“But what about me and what about mum?” she asked.

Before I could muster an answer Joshua sat up in the sleeping bag he was using and yawned.  “Is it my birthday already?”  Joshua said just as Chris arrived and hugged his soon-to-be-teenage son.  Chris barely acknowledged the rest of us; his focus was all on his son.



“You two gave us the fright of our lives.  What happened to just going roller-skating and then going to a movie?” he asked Joshua.

“We were roller-skating,” Joshua replied, “but that nasty man from the Bistro started teasing us about being kissing cousins.  He said we can never marry.  He upset Diana awfully.  Miraj Alvi from school told everyone there was a new wedding arch at the Recurve Strand so Diana and I went there to get married but the arch wouldn’t work for us.”



“Go on,” Chris and I said in unison, startled by what we had just heard.

“Well... then we saw some wild horses and followed them up the hill.  It started raining.  We saw the side gate to Keith’s house was unlocked so we took shelter in the barn.  When the rain stopped, we thought we had been rude not to tell Keith we were visiting his house but as we went up to the house, we heard Uncle Brandon talking with Mrs Kalamia.  Diana was upset again and went crying back to the barn.”  I looked down at Diana but she didn’t look at me.  Joshua continued, “We were cold, tired and wet and I found these old sleeping bags to keep us warm.  We must have fallen asleep.”



My nephew's usually good-natured face was screwed up with hurt and anger as he looked at me, “It's not fair dad!” he exclaimed to his father, “If Uncle Brandon can marry his cousin, why can't Diana and me?”

“What?” yelled Chris turning to me, “What is Joshua talking about and why are you glowing?”



“The glow is from a fairy spell Faith gave me so I could search quickly.  We weren't to know it wouldn’t be necessary.”  I replied.

“Okay Brandon, so what's this about you marrying your cousin?” Chris asked clearly puzzled. 

This was not exactly how Faith and I planned to tell our families.  I looked across at Faith who hung her head but her son held her hand tightly.  Julian’s face was unreadable behind those intelligent alert eyes but he watched me closely.  Diana squeezed my hand.  I looked down at her and she smiled tentatively back at me.

Taking her smile as encouragement I replied.  “If Diana and Julian will give us their blessing, Faith and I are getting married.”  I hesitated because I had no idea how to say the rest.  Given that Chris had told me only yesterday to move on, I was expecting his congratulations, but they were not forthcoming.



My brother, my childhood playmate, my lifelong friend and confidant looked at me as if I was some lowly grunt he was about to chew out on parade.  His steel blue eyes bored into mine.  “You're crazy you know that!  I can never figure you out?” he derided, “So Faith is related to Agnes?”

“No, Faith is Grandpa Baker's niece.  She is our mother’s cousin and our second cousin.” I said, “Which means we can marry.”

Chris turned to look at Faith for the first time.  He grinned at her and raised his hand for a friendly hand shake, “Heck of an introduction.  By the way, I'm your other cousin, Christopher Steel.  You're taking one enormous burden off me marrying my brother, so hi.”  Faith took his hand and lifted her head to smile tentatively at Chris when his body froze.  “Holy smokes, Brandon’s very own Oedipus complex in living breathing form.”  Faith looked bewildered.



“I do not have an Oedipus complex!” I exclaimed furious at his thoughtlessness.  I can understand that Chris has just been put through the ringer and he has never been particularly diplomatic, but he didn't have to say that the first time he met Faith.

“Yeah right and the Pope's not catholic.” Chris said as his phone rang.  Chris took the call.  The only sounds in that silent barn emanated from Chris’s phone.  The near silence accentuated the sound of my own heartbeat in my ears and I felt lightheaded again.  I looked at Faith who watched me with eyes burning with questions.  Joshua eyed Julian suspiciously.  Julian watched everybody.  All in all it was a tense group waiting for Chris to finish his call.



Chris broke that awful silence, “That was mum.  She said you wouldn't take her call.  You're braver than I thought.  She and dad are at the Sunset Valley airport with the family.  I'll go pick them up, you take Josh and Diana home and we'll all meet at your place.  My house is not big enough for the St Clair horde.

“But mine is,” Faith said.  “I'd like to meet my cousin Audrey.  I've searched for her for years.  Bring the whole family here and Brandon and I can prepare dinner for everyone.” 

Chris looked at me, “Voice too... the whole package in fact.” Then he turned back to Faith, “My dear cousin Faith, anytime you want to meet your cousin Audrey, wear a blonde wig and look in the mirror and you'll see her.  Okay, if that's what you want.  A baptism of fire it is.”  Chris turned to his son.  “Stay with your Uncle.  I’ll be back soon with Nana and Grandpa St Clair.  Your mother is so going to want to see this.

Chris departed and Faith and Julian lead a silent procession across the back lawn toward the house. 



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 7: Surprises Galore
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2013, 05:24:22 PM »
Whoa.  Like that's not something we saw coming!   ::)  Interesting development.  And Brandon now has to face hanging up on his mother!  Spanish Inquisition will look like a picnic.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 7: Surprises Galore
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2013, 05:38:21 PM »
Ooh, mother's wrath double-time. Somehow I'm feeling rather sorry for Brandon. This ought to be interesting. :P

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 7: Surprises Galore
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2013, 06:12:43 PM »
I looked up Oedipus Complex on wikipedia, and I was like  :o until I realized how it related and I was like "Ooooooh!"
Yeah, really weird stuff. Great story and keep moving!

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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 8: Explanations
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2013, 03:52:25 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 8:  Explanations

I didn’t know what to say to Faith.  She was clearly lost in thought.  I hoped her silence was about meeting her cousin and not about Chris’s tactless comment about an Oedipus complex but somehow I knew I could not be that lucky.

“What’s an ‘eat-tapas’ complex?” Diana asked.  I shook my head.  I just could not cut a break!  Faith turned and looked at me with that ‘don’t you dare say anything’ look my mother perfected years ago.

“Not now honey,” I said, “this is not the right time.  I’ll explain later.”



“No,” she demanded, “I want to know!”

“I think dad means that Uncle Brandon likes Mrs Kalamia because she looks like Nana.” Joshua said.

“So we’re not eating Spanish food?” Diana said visibly disappointed.  I’d momentarily forgotten how much Diana liked the international cuisines.  Despite everything I was feeling I had to laugh.  Julian and Joshua joined in and pretty soon the tension that enveloped me melted away.

“No cousin Diana, we are not eating tapas tonight.  Mum makes a really nice cheese plate though.” Julian explained.  “Would you like to see a fairy castle?”

“Yes please” she said.  Julian took her hand and lead her towards the children’s garden.  Joshua followed in their wake, while I followed Faith into the kitchen.



I started preparing an Autumn Salad since my sisters were vegetarians or they were the last time I saw them.  Faith Prepared a Potato and Truffle Torte and then Egg Rolls.  I expected Faith to ask me about Chris’s accusation but she concentrated on her cooking.  I was grateful of the reprieve.



But once we were finished preparing the food, Faith turned on me with her hands on her hips, “Oedipus Complex!  You want to tell me about this?”she demanded, her voice full of hurt.  Rats! I knew my luck couldn’t last.



I had been in therapy with the best psychoanalyst in the Simnation.  Dr Simgund hadn’t diagnosed even a latent Oedipus complex and he should know!  “I have no Oedipus complex despite what Chris thinks.” I said evenly.  “Yes, I love my mother but I am not, nor have I ever been, in love with my mother, and I especially do not want to possess her.” 



I took Faith’s hand and drew her to me.  I held her beautiful face inches from mine.  “I have looked upon my mother’s face many times in my lifetime and never once felt the need to kiss every inch of it like I do with you.”  I demonstrated my words with kisses.  “I had a fairly traumatic childhood and my mother’s love for me is probably the only reason I’m not still in therapy, but I have never felt about her the way I feel about you,” I said as I welcomed the frisson of pleasure Faith’s nearness gave me.



“Good to know” interjected my nosy sister-in-law as she walked into the kitchen unannounced.

I reluctantly let Faith back out of my arms and made the introductions , “Faith this is Dr Jamie Steel, my brother’s wife.  She has the most dreadful manners and appalling timing but you’ll get used to it.  Jamie, this is my fiancée, Faith Kalamia.”



Faith and Jamie looked at each other speculatively and I sensed a secret somewhere in those looks that puzzled me, but Jamie said, “Welcome to the family Faith.”  Faith smiled and hugged her soon-to-be sister-in-law in return.



I got the vibe that Jamie wanted to say something and needed me gone.  “I’ll go check on the kids,” I said.



I walked out of the kitchen door but hesitated for a moment, drinking in the beauty of the vista on my right and how well the yard was laid out.  I actually didn’t mean to eavesdrop but I heard Jamie say to Faith “I suppose you’ll want to cancel your registration at the fertility clinic now or would you prefer that Dr Landgraab check out Brandon to determine whether his equipment is still fully operational first.”



I was horrified by Jamie’s indelicate choice of words.  Between my brother and his wife, it’s a wonder that my fiancée didn’t high-tail it out of Sunset Valley but Faith just giggled, “No I’ll cancel.”  So there was a connection between those two.  Jamie does take patient confidentiality seriously so she probably didn’t want to acknowledge their professional relationship in front of me.

“Can I help with anything?” Jamie asked.

“Not in here thanks; Brandon and I have already got this covered” Faith replied, “Did you bring the twins?

“No” Jamie answered, “Mitchell is fussing and Shelly is sleeping.  I left them with a babysitter so I could enjoy this family get-together.  So, you and my mother-in-law are cousins.  You are both my patients.  Of course, I saw the similarities but couldn’t tell you or her about it.  I hope you understand this?”

“I do and thank you for maintaining patient confidentiality in the face of what must have been overwhelming odds, because you also didn’t tell me that the man I raved about was your brother-in-law.” Faith said.  I heard sarcasm in Faith’s words but Jamie’s response didn’t sound phased in the least.

“You think that’s the tough part?” Jamie said wryly, “Try not being able to tell you own husband that the brother he’s been worried sick over for years may have finally found someone to heal his broken heart.  I don’t make the rules, Faith, but I do understand why they are necessary.”



I had heard enough.  As I walked towards the children’s playground I saw Julian and Joshua shooting hoops while Diana played in the tree house.

“Hi Kitten,” I called up to her, “can you come down for a moment?”



“Isn’t this a magical place, daddy?” she said sliding down the slide, “There’s a toy train that fairies can ride to have some fun but this whole place is fun.”



Diana hugged me and because I wanted to move away from earshot of Julian and Joshua, we sat together on one of the seats in this garden fartherest from their game.  “Are we going to move mum’s tombstone here or take it to Aunt Cornelia’s when you marry?”  I was so completely taken aback by her capitulation.  I couldn’t reconcile the girl who hung up on me this morning with the laughing girl beaming up at me.  As for Agnes’s tombstone, I simply hadn’t even thought that far ahead.

“What do you think we should do?” I asked tentatively.

“I think Aunt Cornelia is right.  Mum would like to be with her parents.  I can go to the Goth Mansion anytime I want to talk to her.” She responded showing a maturity I never expected.

“So you’re really okay about Faith and me now?” I asked.

“Sort of daddy,” she said, “I know you loved mum but she has been dead a long time.  I’m sorry I was mean to you yesterday.  People were saying such awful things about you and I was embarrassed in front of my whole class.  Morty got into a fight with Roman Keaton because Roman said you were not only crazy like old Mr Hart but now you were naughty too.” 

I guess I deserved that but I squirmed inwardly that Diana had to suffer because of my indiscretions.  Roman should be more careful about flinging mud, his mother doesn’t have the best reputation in town either.  Despite still being married to Marty, Justine’s managed to hit on just about every guy in town.  I wish Diana had told me about this, I can fight my own battles and not with fisticuffs.  But I was touched that Morty still cared enough to defend me. 

“I’m sorry I hung up on you when you phoned this morning.  I was still angry.  Aunt Cornelia had just been to see Uncle Chris about Morty getting into that fight.  She said that Uncle Gunther’s re-election chances would be shattered unless you did the right thing and marry Faith.  Are you marrying Faith because it’s the right thing to do?” she asked.



“No, I love Faith.” I replied, “I never thought I could love again, so I didn’t recognise it at first.  I think my heart knew all along but my brain took some convincing.  I think if I hadn’t already loved her I wouldn’t have done that.  I’m not making excuses.  I know what I did was wrong and I’m sorry I put you through that.”

“Do you love Faith more than you did mum?” Diana asked in a small voice.

“No.  I love her differently.” I said, “If Agnes hadn’t died, I would probably still consider myself the luckiest man in the Simnation at having found someone so perfect for me.  But I’m not the same man who fell in love with your mother.  I’m older and I’ve changed.  A part of me will always love Agnes and I will always treasure our time together.  But the older me has found love again with Faith.  There is no more or less in loving, there is just love.”

“I don’t think I understand,” Diana said clearly puzzled.

“Who do you love more, Uncle Chris or Aunt Cornelia?” I asked.

“Oh, I see what you mean,” she replied.  “I love them the same amount but differently because they’re different people.”

Diana continued her story, “I overheard Uncle Chris tell Aunt Cornelia that it would be a good thing for both of us, if you fell in love again.  He said having brothers and sisters of my own would be good for me and having a wife would fill your nights with something far better than a cold tombstone.”  Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Chris is only 43 minutes older than me, because he acts like my father most of the time.



“But you’re not so sure that me loving Faith is a good thing?” I asked, “Because when you heard me propose to Faith it made you cry.”

“I was scared.  But Julian says I’ll learn that sharing you doesn’t mean you love me less.  Julian says a parent’s love multiplies instead of divides with each child.  Is that true?

“I’ve never had to think about that, but yes, I believe it is true.  My mother once said a parent’s love is the only infinite element in the universe.” I replied, “So you don’t mind having brothers?”

Diana giggled, “I get to have the coolest brothers in whole school and I get to have a little sister too.  Julian says we can have a horse or a dog or a cat.  Julian says if it’s okay with you, he can give me some fairy dust.  What does fairy dust do?”

“I have no idea” I said.  I had not seen Diana this excited, ever.  Despite what Chris said, Diana normally has a quiet temperament unless she was displeased, then all hell could break loose as I knew only too well.  While I hadn’t been looking forward to her teenage years alone, I still felt slightly put out that Julian had already stepped into the big brother role.  But I think I’m going to hear of lot more of ‘Julian says’ in the future, so I’d better just get used to it.

“Nana!” Diana squealed jumping to her feet and running to my mother who just arrived.  Mum hugged Diana exclaiming how she was growing so fast. 



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 8: Explanations
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2013, 07:58:17 AM »
You describe a mother's love for her children perfectly. It is so sweet that the two of them try to get married. Now I want too see what Brandon mom has to say.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 8: Explanations
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2013, 05:49:30 PM »
It looks like things are heading in the right direction. I'm glad that Brandon and Diana have made amends, but I still wonder how Audrey is going to handle all of this...

A brilliant chapter. I love your sense of humor here, especially Jamie's conversation with Faith and the whole eat-tapas thing with Diana (that was cute!).

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 8: Explanations
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2013, 10:18:26 PM »
Brandon's face when Jamie talked about his 'equipment' was priceless.  Another great update.  But I am a bit worried about Audrey's reaction too.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 9: Reunions
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2013, 05:55:26 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 9:  Reunions


“You didn’t bring Deborah and Roland?” I asked, greeting mum and my sisters with a kiss on their cheeks and my father with a firm handshake before he pulled me into a hug.



“No, they’ve had a long flight,” dad said, “We left them at Chris’s place with the babysitter.”  Dad, Lucy and Rosalie all took turns hugging Diana and Joshua.  Julian stood back and watched the St Clair horde take over, so I introduced him.

“Mum, dad, Lucy, Rosalie, Chris this is Faith’s son, Julian Kalamia, Julian this is my mother Audrey, your mother’s cousin, my father Alastair, my sisters Lucy and Rosalie and my brother Christopher who you met earlier but I didn’t get the chance to introduce you.”  I watched amused while Julian bowed low to my mother and sisters and shook my father’s and Chris’s hand.  Then it dawned on me that Julian probably had the proper trait.  The appreciative looks my sisters bestowed on the handsome teen fairy were not lost on my father.

“Come and meet Faith?” I said to my family guiding them through the front door. “Now don’t be surprised, this house is the Casa Blanco design but with Faith’s style.”

My mother looked at me curiously, “Chris has given us a quick run through on just about everything, but why are you glowing?” mum asked.



“It’s a fairy blessing called Flight of Felicity.  I don’t know how long it’s going to last."

“It lasts for 24 hours,” Julian said.

My mother turned to me “I want a quiet word with you later.”  That sounded ominous.  I knew I was still in trouble for hanging up on her.



“I promise mum, we’ll have ample time to talk before the wedding.  Come through to the kitchen, Faith and Jamie were there moments ago”, I said hoping she’ll cut me some slack.

Mum looked around and tears welled in her eyes.  “We had this wallpaper in our house when I was growing up.  Aunt Deb came to stay after the fire and she helped dad fix up the house.  He said Aunt Deb loved this wallpaper.  So Faith really is my Aunt Deb’s daughter?” mum asked.  “Dad always said I looked like my aunt but I was too young to remember her.  Will Faith like me?”

“Everybody loves you mum,” I replied. “Wait till you see her.  She really is your Aunt’s daughter.”

“I feel terrible that I’d forgotten all about Aunt Deb.  Dad said she met a fairy and eloped with him.  We never heard from her again.  When dad died I should have tried to make contact with her to let her know, but I was newly married and I had other priorities.”

“Mum I don’t think Faith will hold that against you.” I reassured her.



Just then Faith and Jamie walked into the hall and the blond and red-haired mirror images met for the first time.  Faith and mum stared at each other then hugged for the longest time.



Faith was the first to speak, “You look just like mum,” she said tears of joy clouding her voice, “I wish I had her blond hair but instead I got Grandma Kalamia’s mop of red hair.”

“Oh don’t wish for blond hair,’ quipped Jamie.  “The continuous eyebrow and eyelash tinting gets old really fast.” 



Mum laughed and hugged her daughter-in-law too.  “Oh Jamie, it’s so good to see you.  Mitchell and Shelly are adorable.  They must be a handful to balance along with your career.”

“Hey I need that career.  With three kids and a husband underfoot all day, I need something to keep me sane.” She said with a laugh.



My dad couldn’t wait to hug my bride-to-be, “Oh Faith, I am so delighted to meet you.  I do recall the Bakers, but sadly I never met your mother.  Obviously my loss.”

“Thank you, that’s sweet of you to say so.” Faith blushed.

“All right then, people” Chris said, “I’m hungry, let’s eat.”  Jamie lent over and whispered to her husband, “Were you able to get one?”..  Chris mouthed a reply which I interpreted to be ‘in the car’.  What were those two up to?



Faith and I carried the prepared food out to the back patio.  I looked around for Keith but he didn’t appear.  “Faith, would you like me to find Keith?” I asked.

“Keith is very shy,” she said, “He will meet you all in his own time.”

The family sat down at the two tables.  As we ate, Chris told our parents of our little scare with Diana and Joshua going missing and finding them here.  “How did you know they were in the barn?” Chris asked me.

“Faith’s son Keith told us.” I answered.  I turned to Faith, “How did he know?”

“He can feel their presence,’ she said matter-of-factly as if everyone could.

“Is he psychic?” my mother asked.

“He can’t read minds, if that’s what you thinking.” Faith replied.  “He can feel the presence of others which is why he won’t share dinner with us tonight.  So many people would overwhelm him.”

“Speaking of overwhelming.  I want to know how Brandon went from spending every waking moment trying to resurrect his late wife’s ghost to asking Faith to marry him.” Chris interjected.



Everyone looked at me except Faith who looked at her plate and my sister Lucy who was engrossed in something on her Multitab.  “I’ve given Agnes six long years to come back to me if she wanted to, but she hasn’t.  Agnes was the love of my youth.  That’s a part of my life I will cherish and never forget, but I can finally accept that it is now over.  I’m alive and fate has given me a second chance at love.  I’ve now found someone who makes me glad to be alive and I want to spend the rest of my days alive with her.”

“For some obscure reason, Faith loves me and I love her enough to take that chance and build a life together.  Also,” I said ruefully, “If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s never to underestimate the power of a determined woman.”

I obviously said the right words because everyone smiled.

“I’d like to propose a toast to Faith and Brandon,” Jamie said.  “May you find happiness in your own fairytale romance and may all your troubles be little ones.”



Chris walked away after Jamie’s toast and eyed the wedding arch.  I couldn’t guess what he was thinking but I didn’t need to.  When I came back from putting away the excess food in the fridge, he nailed me coming out the door.



Chris said “I didn’t think you had it in you.  Just so you don’t chicken out, I brought your suit.  How about you two get married tonight with all the family gathered here so Joshua can have his birthday party tomorrow as planned?"

“I will if Faith wants to, but she may not have a suitable dress.” I replied.

“Nothing wrong with what she’s wearing.  Why don’t you ask her?”  Chris said.

“I have to face the Spanish Inquisition with mum first.” I said, “Do you know where she is?”

“She was sitting with dad in the terrace a few minutes ago.” he replied.



I found mum sitting alone in the small arched terrace off the dining room and sat beside her.  “Oh Brandon,” she said.  “I’m very happy to see you move on and find somebody to love again but are you really sure?  You haven’t known each other long and you both have such a lot of baggage to clear.  You obviously haven’t spent your time together talking much.  You didn’t even know she was your cousin until after you proposed for heaven’s sake?”

“Mum, you once told me that dad had you at hello and you married dad the day after you met him.  Well, Faith said she fell for me from hello and it took me only a while longer to realise how I felt.” I replied calmly.  “Say what you want mum, but I love her and I’m going to marry her, no matter what.”



“Well I should hope so.  I was worried when Nick Alto told me what you got up to in the theatre.  I thought I raised you better than that, but I’ll forgive you that indiscretion when you marry her.  You do know that fairies live more than twice your lifetime, and any children with Faith have a 50% chance of being fairies too, don’t you?"

“Yes, mum, I do and we’ll cross those bridges when we come to them.  I’m sure we’ll meet a lot of challenges along the way but so long as we meet them together I’m sure we can make it.” I said.



“Good for you son,” dad said joining us.  “Enough with the Spanish Inquisition Audrey, give the boy a break.  Men in love do the daftest things, especially when they don’t realise it.”

“Thanks dad.  I have one issue to raise with both of you.  If neither of you have any objections, Faith and I will take the name Baker."

Dad said “I have no objections, Audrey?” dad looked at mum who shook her head, “Good that’s settled.  I have a question for you.  When you marry, are you moving here or will Faith and the children move to your house?”

“Diana’s keen to have a pet and there’s the barn here, so I think not moving here is no longer an option.” I replied.

“That’s good because your mother and I would be happy to take Sunny Point cottage off your hands.” Dad said.  Chris joined us all on the terrace and looked pointedly at his watch.



“Are you going to stay in Sunset Valley now,” Chris asked.

“If we left Sunset Valley now, I’d have a mutiny on my hands.  And I don’t mean just Julian.  I’ve never seen the girls fuss and coo about Deborah and Roland the way they’re carrying on about Hope and Leon.” He nodded towards my sisters who I last saw chatting to Julian.  I looked across to see Rosalie holding a small boy and Julian carrying the prettiest little fairy toddler.  She was adorable with pink wings and blond hair tied up in yellow hair ribbons.



So this was the Hope that Faith spoke about.  I thought she had been referring to the daughter we were going to have, not one she already had.  I really don’t remember her saying anything about the toddlers but I probably wasn’t paying attention when she talked about them.  But I recalled that yesterday she had needed a babysitter, which logically, she wouldn’t have needed if Keith and Julian had been her only children because they were both school age.  Judging by their age they had to be Elias’s children.  Mum’s right, Faith and I hadn’t talked all that much.

Suddenly I paled.  An awful truth hit me.  Those toddlers were probably right next door in the nursery when I woohooed with their mother this afternoon.  Twice!  Moreover, while I may have been unaware of the toddlers’ existence, I knew of the existence of Keith and Julian who had probably been in the house or at least somewhere on the lot.  What was I thinking?  I know certain friends would admonish me for thinking with the wrong part of my anatomy and they would be right.

I don’t ever recall feeling so totally out of control with Agnes the way I have been with Faith.  They are two very different women and Faith’s earthiness will take some adjustment.  I’m also acutely aware that it takes two to tango.  It didn’t matter to me that Faith knew her children were there.  I’m the one who has to look at myself in the mirror every morning when I shave and I need to be able to at least tolerate what I see.  So right now, I needed to marry Faith before I commit any further acts that would endanger my belief in my own moral code.

I looked for Faith but couldn’t see her.  She wasn’t anywhere on the back patio.  I last saw her in the kitchen so I headed indoors. 



She was playing the grand piano.  I listened to her play.  She was playing the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore which reflected the inner turmoil I was feeling. She looked up at my approach and stopped playing.  I said, “Will you marry me right now, I can’t wait another second?”

“I thought you’d want to wait until tomorrow but, yes,” she replied, pressing her lips to mine.  “I’ll marry you in a heartbeat.  Do you want to change?” she asked.



“If you want me to?” Faith nodded and I asked, “Do you have something suitable.  I guess I can wait until you go shopping or...”

She put her fingers to my lips “I have a dress that means a lot to me that I never thought I would ever wear.”

“Can you change in five minutes?” I asked

“More like fifteen” she replied.

“Make it ten” I countered

“Deal,” she said and went upstairs. 

I went back out to Chris, “Okay where’s my suit? 

“First bedroom up the stairs on your right,” he said.

“Our old room?” I said.

“The location is the same, the room is not,” he replied.  “I’ll gather the family.”

Chris was right; this house is not Casa Blanco.  Faith calls it Quantum.  I read the Latin on the lintel and I’ll google it later to find its exact meaning. 



I went into the room and saw it had a white and silver dandelion pattern which was very un-Casa Blanco.  Also it didn’t have twin beds as our old room did but one double bed.  The suit Chris had chosen was not my old red jacket suit that I worn since I aged up from a teen but a suit Agnes choose for me the day before she died.



I put the suit on feeling like a fraud.  Chris can’t have known why I’d never worn this suit.  Standing alone in the neat aesthetic room, I felt nearer to tears than I imagined.  I looked skyward and said, “Agnes, if you’re listening, you will always be my first love.  Thank you for loving me and thank you for giving me Diana.  I will cherish your memory all the days of my life.  But I am going to marry Faith.  I love her and I will try to make her happy.  I hope you will understand.  Goodbye my dearest.  Rest in peace."

And somewhere, maybe it was just my imagination, but I swear I heard the sound of someone running water into a bath and a deep sigh.  Maybe it was the ocean behind the house or perhaps the rustle of leaves in the trees, but I’m sure I heard Agnes’s voice say ‘good luck and goodbye’.  Feeling unnaturally calm and confident, I went downstairs to meet my bride.





Author's note:  Vale Agnes.  May you always rest in peace.   :'(
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 9: Reunions
« Reply #40 on: February 23, 2013, 08:36:48 AM »
That last picture make me feel sad. :( I'm looking forward to the wedding, can't wait to see Faith's dress.

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 9: Reunions
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2013, 05:07:01 PM »
Quote
I know certain friends would admonish me for thinking with the wrong part of my anatomy and they would be right.

Yeah I got quoted in a story. ;D 

Just loved this update.  I want to see Faith's wedding dress too.  Rosa's snow white dress looks cute on Hope.  Do we get a better view soon?

So sad that Agnes is really gone, I thought she was going to come back at the last minute.  What does 'Vale' mean?

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 9: Reunions
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2013, 05:12:39 PM »
So sad that Agnes is really gone, I thought she was going to come back at the last minute.  What does 'Vale' mean?

It's Latin for Goodbye. :) Lingua Latina non mortua est! (At least I think I said that right...it's been a good fifteen years since I was in high school Latin :P)

And that's the one part I forgot to comment on. That last bit with Agnes was truly beautiful. Brandon finally has some closure, and Agnes can rest easy knowing that her beloved has found love again.

Ironic, though, that Agnes died in the same way as her first husband Erik.

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 9: Reunions
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2013, 05:26:35 PM »
It's Latin for Goodbye. :) Lingua Latina non mortua est! (At least I think I said that right...it's been a good fifteen years since I was in high school Latin :P)

Thanks Raia.  :D  I wonder what the latin on the lintel at Quantum is and will we ever be told?

Magz sure uses a lot of unusual words in her stories.  Like Swirl-Girl I had to google Oedipus complex.  I'm thinking Magz must be a shrink IRL.  ::)

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 9: Reunions
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2013, 06:07:14 PM »
Thanks Raia.  :D  I wonder what the latin on the lintel at Quantum is and will we ever be told?

Magz sure uses a lot of unusual words in her stories.  Like Swirl-Girl I had to google Oedipus complex.  I'm thinking Magz must be a shrink IRL.  ::)

Nope not a shrink.  I do have a psychology degree but right now I'm in a lowly data entry position.  Long story so let's not go there.  The latin on the lintel at Quantum is "Quantum in me tuit".  It means approximately "I did as much as I could."  You will see why this latin phrase is significant in the next sequel.

Sorry about the unusual words.  They serve a purpose in that I write love stories which would not be to the taste of younger members and using words they don't understand or can't pronounce discourages them from reading further where the 'juicy bits' are.  At least that's my theory.  Since you've made it this far, I hope you'll bear with me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  I did quote you.  Where possible I try to weave members comments into the story.  Thanks also to my two most dedicated reader/commentators Louise56 and RaiaDraconis for keeping me on target.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2013, 11:36:35 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 10: Promises


I came downstairs with plenty of time to spare but my bride was just a little tardy.  I saw Chris standing beside a huge wedding cake.  So that was his little secret. 

Faith was well worth the wait.  My mother gasped as she saw Faith.  I have to say I choked up a bit too.  She was breathtaking; the dress was very becoming.



My future step-son had either overcome his aversion to step-fathers or had reserved judgement on me.  I hoped for the former as Julian went to his mother and kissed her cheek.  He placed her hand on his arm and guided her over to me.  Then he placed her hand in mine, bowed low to me and respectfully stepped back.  I was incredibly touched by his gesture.

I kissed Faith’s hand and together we walked up to the wedding arch.  I looked directly at Faith and spoke from my heart.



"I, Brandon, am deeply humbled and privileged to take you, Faith, to be my lawful wife.  I pledge to share my life openly with you.  I will endeavour to be there for you and strive to be the husband you need and can depend on." 

"I love your strength and enthusiasm.  I love your optimism, and your lust for life.  I can’t wait to see how the rest of our life together unfolds.   I promise to listen to you, to tenderly care for and cherish you and our children.  I will be a faithful husband and loving father.  I promise to respect you as an individual.  I will love you through good fortune and adversity.  Now and for always, I make this promise to you and to myself, in front of our family, to love and honour, protect and respect you for the rest of my days."



I placed my ring on her finger.  Faith put her hand on mine and looked up at me, her eyes shining with love.

"I, Faith, declare my love for you Brandon, and invite you to share my life as my husband.  I promise always to respect your needs, and to accept you just the way you are.  I will take you in my arms when you need to be held. I will listen when you need to talk. I will laugh with you in times of joy, and comfort you in times of sadness.  I promise to share with you my time and attention, and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship." 

"I love your smile, I love your quietness.  I love your sense of honour.  I especially love the way you love me.  I want to be with you and I choose you above all others.  I will work for a happy life for both of us with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how, completely and forever.  I promise, before the witnesses here present, to honour this pledge through all the days of our lives together."



When Faith put her ring on my finger and I placed my other hand on hers, I felt fully at peace with my soul.  As much as I had genuinely loved and missed Agnes, I missed being married.  Maybe that is what drove me so hard to bring Agnes back after all those long years.  If Dr Simgund was here now, he’d probably tell me that my id, my ego and my superego all desired to fulfil the role of husband. 

Not so much because of the physical aspects, although they were certainly delightful, I loved the feeling of being one with my life’s partner.  I loved and missed the small things; the spoon cuddles sleeping side by side through the night, seeing that secret smile a woman reserves just for her man, holding my wife in my arms for long slow dances, feeling the beat of her heart against my chest when I hold her, sharing a common goal and working towards it, and being there for each other at the end of a long demanding day and the million other minutiae being married entailed.



It took Faith, with her uninhibited approach to loving to jolt me out of my stupor and breathe life back into my heart.  She beguiled and tempted me, she surprised and shocked me, she exasperated and infuriated me and she broke through my reserve to make me whole again.

I enfolded my new bride in my arms and kissed Faith with all I was feeling, grateful that she thought I was worth the effort. 



“Wow, Brandon,” she said bemused.  “As much as I love our family, I just want to be with you now!”



I whispered to her, “After we cut the cake that Chris brought and since you have so much stamina and a handy dance floor, I would like a bridal waltz.  So behave yourself for a while then I’m all yours.”  Faith arched her brow at me but said nothing. 



She took my hand and as we walked together over to cut the cake, I saw a mischievous smile play over her lips.



Faith and I stood just staring at that enormous cake. 



We cut the cake and all took a slice but after the big family dinner that preceded our wedding, nobody was hungry.  I ate it anyway even though I knew I would feel bloated.  It was my first ever wedding cake. 



When we finished eating, Jamie sifted through Faith’s stack of CD’s.  She found one she liked and put it on.  It was Anne Murray and Jamie winked at me.

I took my lovely bride by the hand and lead her to the dance floor, “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life”, I asked my new bride as the music filled the air. 



Faith smiled as I swept her up in my arms to slow dance to the music.  At the chorus, Faith sang along in a soft contralto, “Would you be my partner every night, when we’re together it feels so right, could I have this dance for the rest of my life.”

My family cheered and joined us on the dance floor.  Faith was a wonderful dancer and I managed not to step on her toes unlike my poor father dancing with mum. 



Julian danced with Diana.  Was Julian being diplomatic not dancing with my sisters?  Whichever one he danced with first would upset the other.  I imagined that I’ve just handed my parents a lively conundrum for the next few years.



After the third dance Faith whispered in my ear, “Enough of the slow dances.  Brandon I think it’s time we said our goodbyes to the family: I’ve got other plans for you and me tonight like...” her voice trailed off.

“Like what?” I asked.

“Have you ever tried it in a haystack?” she asked.

“No” I replied as I looked across at the barn.  But the haystacks were in full view of the patio so thankfully that was not happening.  “How about using a bed instead?” I said.

“I thought you’d never ask.” Faith whispered, “Say goodnight to our family Brandon.”  I shook my head.  My wife has a one track mind.



I sought out Chris but saw dad first, and as Faith said goodbye to Jamie, I overheard snippets of conversation between them.  “Now you’ve procured one of the variables, we’ll leave you two alone to get on with it and do what comes naturally,” Jamie said.  I sighed, Jamie really was a piece of work but Faith just laughed. 



“Have you a name planned for the baby?” Jamie asked.

“Yes,” replied Faith, “I would like to call her Rebekah.”

“Is the name special?” asked Jamie.

“It is our grandmother’s name,” mum interrupted, unshed tears thickening her voice as she spoke to Faith.  “That’s her dress you’re wearing, isn’t it.  I recognise it from our grandparents wedding photo my father kept on the mantelpiece.  The dress looks just perfect on you.”  Mum hugged Faith, “Now, please take Brandon clothes shopping very soon.”  Faith’s response was unintelligible to me.  “Good, no more the man in black for Brandon.  He looks good in blue to match his eyes,” mum said.



I gave dad the keys to Sunny Point cottage and he hugged me in return.  “I’m proud of you son.  You’ve come through a long dark tunnel and made it out the other side.  I worried for you all this time, but your mother believed you needed to find your own way through this.  But we were both concerned that you were taking so long.  You should have seen your mother’s happy dance when Nick Alto rang us with the Sunset Valley gossip.”

“Dad, that’s not the impression I got.  She reprimanded me!” I said puzzled.

“Well, of course she did.  Your mother couldn’t let you know how pleased she was that you did something so shockingly out of character, so let’s keep this between you and me,” he replied.  “She rang Chris straight away then packed us all up and we caught the next plane here.  When you hung up on her when she called you from the air phone on the plane, she told me that you had healed.  Audrey wanted very much to meet the woman who dragged you back from the brink.  When Chris told us about your Faith being her cousin, she was in seventh heaven.  You gave her a new daughter-in-law and a long lost cousin in one package.  You know it’s going to take a fairy granddaughter to top that.



“Hope will be my daughter as much as Diana is.  A new granddaughter is definitely possible, whether she’s a fairy or not is out of our control.”  I cautioned.

“Julian will be a young adult and off your hands soon enough.  Go and say goodnight to your mother while I try and herd those girls into the car.”

I turned to my mother who was still chatting with Faith, “Goodnight mum.  We’ll see you tomorrow at Joshua’s birthday party.” 

Mum kissed me goodnight and whispered a choked, “Thank you for finding Faith and don’t ever hang up on me again.  I don’t call you often, so be a good boy and pick up next time.”  It had been a long time since I considered myself a boy, but I guess to parents, children will always be children.

“Yes mum,” I said contritely.  I saw dad wink at me as mum turned and shepherded my sisters out to the car.

I said my goodbyes to Chris, “Be happy,” he said as he hugged me, “and don’t ever build a pool here.”  I assured him I wouldn’t.

Chris gathered his family and said goodbye to Julian.  Joshua seemed miffed about something.  Had Diana’s new brothers usurped his special place in her affections?  I doubted it, but the pre-teen might be feeling a bit ignored as Diana spent a lot of the evening with her aunts pestering Julian.

Julian had disappeared and so had Diana and the twin toddlers.  I hadn’t even had the chance to cuddle my smallest step-children.  Suddenly my wife and I were alone on the back patio.  She came to me and whispered, “Now!”

“Can you wait just a little longer?  We need to say goodnight to our children,” I said to which she nodded and preceded me into the house.  I followed in her footsteps as she went first upstairs to the rooms of Julian and Keith which were both vacant.  Then Faith and I went into the same room where I had said goodbye to Agnes only hours earlier.  Keith had been reading a book to Diana, who was already deeply asleep.



“Good night father,” he said to me.

“Please call me Brandon or dad,” I said.  Julian smiled and left the room.  I looked at Diana sleeping in that big bed and wondered if she would be more at home in her bunk beds.  I’ll ask her in the morning.  I leaned down and kissed her forehead.  She would be soon getting too old for this so I was going to enjoy it while it lasted.



Then we went downstairs to the nursery.  The twins were asleep in their cots.  They looked adorable.  There is just something about sleeping toddlers that tugs at your heartstrings.  Then Faith leapt into my arms, “Now?” I carried her into the master bedroom.



“What about Keith?” I whispered.

With a dramatic sigh, she led me out through the little conservatory to show me Keith and Julian over at the barn.  Keith was stargazing while Julian sat close to him reading a book projecting his soothing aura around him.  “Julian will stay with him to settle him down and then they will go to bed,” she said.



“Is Keith all right?” I asked wondering when she was going to confide in me about her second son.

“He’s happier here than he was in Moonlight Falls.  He misses Elias.  He loved his step-father.  Give him time, I’m sure he will take to you.  Just let him make the overtures.  I hope you’re a good chess player because he loves to play.”

“I play chess with Diana frequently, but I’m not a master of the game by any stretch of the imagination.” I replied.

“Good, that’s a place to start,” she said, “I can see that you’ll be a good father to our children but are you ready to focus on me now?”

“You have my undivided attention as of now?” I replied kissing her. 



Faith returned my kisses with gusto and we were soon lost in a world of our own.

“Now can we try for a baby girl” she whispered between kisses.

“You do give me all the tough jobs?” I quipped. “Despite what my sister-in-law says, I’m sure I’m capable of fulfilling the task.”

“So let’s find out.” Faith said.



We heard the chimes the first time and I happily fell into an exhausted sleep.  My dreams were all of Faith and how lucky I was to have found love a second time.



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2013, 02:00:34 AM »
Wow, persistent, isn't she? :P

Such a beautiful wedding. I do hope that they will be happy together, the two of them and their growing brood of children.

And that Anne Murray song...I so wanted that played at my own wedding but my husband can't stand it. :P

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2013, 03:41:03 AM »
The wedding was beautiful! Faith look so lovely. I can't wait for the nooboo! :)

Anna33

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2013, 07:01:42 AM »
That was a truly beautiful scene, congratulations to Brandon and Faith. :)

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2013, 07:22:01 PM »
Fabulous wedding and fabulous update.  Is Faith's dress store or CC?

I really liked the vows you write.  Can I use some of the words from your vows from Duty Calls and this chapter for my own wedding?

How did you get Faith and Brandon to dance like that?  I only ever get the feet shuffle and stepping on toes interaction.

The latin on the lintel at Quantum is "Quantum in me tuit".  It means approximately "I did as much as I could."  You will see why this latin phrase is significant in the next sequel.

Another sequel - Yes!!!  Promise you're not going to kill off Faith!

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2013, 03:45:42 AM »
Fabulous wedding and fabulous update.  Is Faith's dress store or CC?

I really liked the vows you write.  Can I use some of the words from your vows from Duty Calls and this chapter for my own wedding?

How did you get Faith and Brandon to dance like that?  I only ever get the feet shuffle and stepping on toes interaction.

Another sequel - Yes!!!  Promise you're not going to kill off Faith!

Dress - Store - it's called Flowing Frock and part of the Romanza Ceremony & Attire set but I think you can buy it separately.

Vows - Your IRL wedding or a forum story?  Yes to IRL but you're better off with words that are appropriate to you and your fiancee. I wrote vows that seem appropriate to Brandon and Agnes / Brandon and Faith.  Yes with rework to a forum story.  Remember it is plagiarism to quote from one source but research to quote from many.  ;)

Dance - I have no idea.  They just did that.  But Brandon did win King o' the Dance at the Love Day festival when he was married to Agnes.

Sequel - I don't plan on killing anyone.  EA story progression does more than it's fair share.

That was a truly beautiful scene, congratulations to Brandon and Faith. :)

Thanks Anna. 

The wedding was beautiful! Faith look so lovely. I can't wait for the nooboo! :)

Thanks Louise.  I haven't got as far as the nooboo yet.  This family is exhausting to play.

Wow, persistent, isn't she? :P

Such a beautiful wedding. I do hope that they will be happy together, the two of them and their growing brood of children.

And that Anne Murray song...I so wanted that played at my own wedding but my husband can't stand it. :P

Persistent - Yes!  Faith just keep rolling the wishes.  At one point I had her wishes to "Go on a date with Brandon", "Kiss Brandon", "Woohoo with Brandon" and "Have a Baby with Brandon".  She really has a one track mind.  Brandon on the other hand wanted to "Garden", "Fish before 6AM", "Play guitar" and "Play guitar in the Park".  So not interested in his not-so-blushing-bride.

I think that Anne Murray has been on the playlist of most weddings I've been to.  I couldn't have it at my wedding.  I've been married too long.  My husband and I still dance to it to this day.  He has a lovely baritone and always sings me the words.  That's who gave me that idea.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
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Offline Swirl-Girl

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2013, 04:45:20 PM »
Awwwwww. So cute! But, er, Faith knows what she wants doesn't she!
I predict that...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

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Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2013, 06:54:56 PM »
Quote
Vows - Your IRL wedding or a forum story?  Yes to IRL but you're better off with words that are appropriate to you and your fiancee. I wrote vows that seem appropriate to Brandon and Agnes / Brandon and Faith.  Yes with rework to a forum story.  Remember it is plagiarism to quote from one source but research to quote from many. 

Haha My IRL wedding!  May 4.  Actually your words fit Michael and sort of fit me too.  I showed him your story and he says he wants to marry Faith!  ::)

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 10: Promises
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2013, 08:49:11 AM »
Haha My IRL wedding!  May 4.  Actually your words fit Michael and sort of fit me too.

Sure, I guess if it fits.  I'm flattered you like my writing that much.   ;D
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 11: Faith's Story
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2013, 05:48:52 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 11: Faith's Story


I woke and the bed beside me was empty.  This was disconcerting to say the least.  A quick shower and I went into the nursery.  The cots were empty.  There was no sound in the house except the clock.  Not even a radio.  I remembered this house design isolates sounds poorly as it has so many rooms opening into one another through arches rather than doorways.  So the quiet was unexpected and unsettling.



In the kitchen someone had made coffee.  I grabbed a cup and went to the garden to find Julian not Faith harvesting the new vegetables.  I asked if he wanted any help but he shook his head, “No thanks dad.  I need the work to increase my skill.” 



I was pleased to hear him call me dad so naturally.  “We’ve eaten.  Did you have some breakfast?”  I shook my head and he tossed me a watermelon with a huge grin then a wink.  I wasn’t really hungry but I ate it to please him.

I had never particularly envied Chris his sons but I thought it was going to be fun to have some.  I eyed that basketball hoop and promised myself that I’d use it soon.



At the fishing pond I saw Diana with Keith chatting happily as they fished together.  They were hitting it off really well.  I was wondering where Faith was when I heard the squeal of children’s laughter coming from the playground.  I walked over there to see Faith playing with Leon on a bumblebee ride while Hope played with a stuffed toy.



“Good morning darling,” she said as she approached me and kissed my lips.  “I hope you slept well.  Unfortunately, the sounds carry in that house so I brought the twins outside so you could sleep in.”

“Thanks Faith, that was considerate of you.”  I said feeling somewhat foolish that I had felt anxious about waking alone.  “What would you like to do today before the morning sickness hits?”  I picked up Hope and cuddled her.  Hope looks so much like my little sister Deborah except for the wings.  Obviously the female genetic material in that family was incredibly resilient.  Even my sister Rosalie looks just like mum.



“Oh, that’s no problem, I won’t get morning sickness, I have Simmunity” she said smiling.  “I thought we’d just relax and wind down before Joshua’s party.  Jamie said it was for 2:00 p.m.  Your mother thinks I should take you shopping but is there anything you’d particularly like to do today?”

“I thought we could spend some time getting to know each other better.” I said.

“Yes please!” she whispered giving me a long mind-numbing kiss.  “I’ll ask Julian to keep one eye on the twins.”  Before I could correct her misguided assumption she flittered over to Julian.  I have the uneasy feeling we’ll be talking at cross purposes often, so I made a mental note to be more circumspect about how I phrase things.



She was back in a moment.  “Have you ever tried it in a hot tub?” she asked mischievously taking my hand and leading me back into the house.

“Faith, you’re incorrigible and as you’re now pregnant, you can’t get into a hot tub.  Do you think we could just talk?” I asked

“Oh, are you still tired?” she pouted.

“No.  I’m well rested,” I replied.

“Are you hungry?” she asked.

“No.” I replied.

“Good, let’s get to know each better, then we can talk.” she assured me leading me back to the master bedroom.  There’s nothing wrong with Faith’s energy.



Before she found the energy to distract me again, I said.  “Now, my darling, let’s just talk.”  I wasn’t sure where to start as I had so many questions about a lot of things.  I didn’t want to just jump in with the twenty questions, so I asked about Keith because I was very concerned about him.

“Forgive me if I’m out of place talking about this,” I said hesitantly, “but despite my unfavourable remarks about Jamie’s crassness she really is a talented surgeon and my grandfather Arthur St Clair is a World Renown Surgeon.  I’m sure between them they can help Keith or at least know an ophthalmologist or someone else who can.”



“Thank you for your concern but it’s not necessary.” she said awkwardly.  “There’s nothing wrong with Keith and his eyesight is fine.  He has his father’s eyes but he is sensitive about being different, so he wears the dark glasses to hide his eyes and also to keep people at a distance.”

“What about his skin colour?  I’ve never seen a Sim with skin that colour.”

“He inherited his father’s skin tone?” she replied.

“Tell me about your first husband,” I asked, trying the open question approach since the direct questions weren’t getting me anywhere.



“Tepeq was an alien.  He abducted me 4 times before he worked up the nerve to tell me how much he liked me.  I told him that if he really liked me to stop the probing, as I didn’t appreciate it.  He asked me out on a date and we went to the museum.  He was fascinated.  We sort of dated off and on for a year.  Tepeq was extremely intelligent and very amusing in his quiet way.  I was lonely and asked him to move in with me.  When he confessed he was in love with me, we became lovers,” she said.



“Tepeq frequently asked me to marry him but I was commitment shy at that time in my life.  By the time we were expecting Julian, Tepeq was an elder.  He convinced me it would be better for the baby if we married.  So we did.  We were happy together.  He was a very loving father and husband.  His death was unexpected and very painful.” She said with a catch in her voice.

“So tell me about Elias,” I said.



“I had known Elias all my life.  I think he had been in love with my sister, Charity,” she began.  Whoa... back up, sister!  Another thing I didn’t know about her.  But Faith continued before I had the chance to say anything, “I met Elias again at a friend’s wedding after Tepeq died, Elias was very kind.  A lot of the people in Moonlight Falls were cruel about Julian and Keith’s father being an alien but he defended me. 



We danced half that evening together.  He had a very gentle soul.  He often called at my house after that.  He was really good with Keith.  He worried about me leaving the boys at home alone when I worked at the restaurant and he came over to keep an eye on them.”

“Since he began spending so much time at my house, we really got to know one another.  He told me he deeply regretted that he had always been too shy and never married.  When he first asked me to marry him, I refused.  I didn’t feel that way about him.  But it was clear that he felt that way about me. 

He was a charming and uncomplicated companion.  Since I did want more children before Julian and Keith became much older, when he asked me again, I married him.  If you’re thinking I felt guilty for not loving him, you’d be wrong.  I admired and respected him.  He knew I wasn’t in love with him and he was happy just being married and he loved being a step-father.  When we had Hope and Leon he was ecstatic. 



Every day of our marriage Elias told me how much he loved me and thanked me for being his wife.  When he was murdered, I grieved for myself and especially for Keith who had lost the only father he knew.”



“People can be so cruel to innocent children.  They can say what they like about me but not about my children.  I couldn’t stay in Moonlight Falls anymore.  My father came to see me briefly.  He has been living in Lunar Lakes but trying to find out what happened to my mother’s family in Simfield.  He asked for my help as no-one was willing to tell him anything.”

“So the children and I went there briefly, I didn’t have any more success than my father did.  Keith felt a shadow over the town which made him tense and agitated.  I received an anonymous phone call that I might find what I was looking for in Twinbrook.  The Bakers there were not our family.  They told me there were more Bakers in Sunset Valley, so we came here.  The Baker family who lived here were also not the Bakers I was looking for.  Since we drew another blank and Keith liked it here in the Valley we decided to stay.  The rest you know.”



“Okay I’m picking up a theme here.” I said cautiously.  “I’m not only curious why you marry elderly men you don’t love just to have children when you could adopt or get medical intervention to have babies.  I’m also curious why you didn’t want to wait to fall in love and marry like everyone else, then have children.”

Faith didn’t look at me as she replied, “I never wanted to fall in love.  I saw what it did to people.  My father was a prime example.  He loved my human mother.  When she died of old age, he was only just an adult.



He deeply grieved her passing but has never really moved on.  He’s had a few relationships over the years but has not remarried.  Initially I thought that it was romantic, that he loved my mother so much.  I can still easily picture mum and dad cuddling at the Fae Ray Arboretum in Moonlight Falls.” 



“But when my older sister Charity fell in love and married a wizard I saw another side of love” she began. 



“Charity adored her philandering husband and forgave him affair after affair.  Charity’s lifetime wish had been to be surrounded by family but her husband, Myles, disliked children and would not give Charity the babies she wanted nor allow her to adopt.  When he eventually left, I asked Charity to return home and live with dad and me.  I told her that she could adopt and dad and I would help her look after her baby.”

Faith sobbed into my shoulder.  “Charity said she didn’t want to live like dad through a long lifetime without the partner she loved by her side.  That last night, when I left her house, I really thought she was considering my solution.  Sometime in that terrible night, she swallowed an elixir to Forsake the Fae and become a normal Sim.  Then she tried to repair a broken dishwasher.”  Faith’s voice faltered. 

After a minute or two she continued in a tight small voice barely above a whisper, “I think Charity knew there was a good chance she could die repairing that dishwasher as a human with no handiness skill.  I believe she did it deliberately.” Faith sobbed anew.  I held Faith while she cried for her sister.



“My father refused to believe Charity could have done that but I think that dishwasher broke and instead of doing a fairy repair, she saw a different solution and chose death.”

Brushing aside her tears she continued, “I swore then that I would never risk my heart and fall in love.  I also realised that I was alone in Moonlight Falls for the first time and I didn’t like it.  Charity’s wish for children soon became mine.  I wanted children of my own but there are social norms where marriage and children go hand in hand.  As I was never in love with my husbands, I thought I had the perfect answer to everything.  My husbands were happy and I had the children I wanted.  They were good men and I loved each of them in my own way and I genuinely grieved their passing.”

“I had wanted a sister for Hope.  Julian and I discussed the father issue.  He was adamant he did not want to see me grieve for another husband passing and suggested I marry a Fairy or a vampire who would not die so quickly.  I didn’t want to marry any of the fairies or vampires I knew.  Besides, to marry someone you are not in love with is much easier on your conscience; if you know it may only be for a short while.”



“Older men realise what they’ve missed in their lives, they generally know what they want and they value people more.  The only man in Sunset Valley who met my criteria was Gobias Koffi and I just didn’t fancy him at all.  He was a bit too flirty and something of a party animal.  I don’t like either trait.”

“Julian begged me not to marry another human.  At Julian’s suggestion; I registered at the hospital for artificial insemination.  Dr Jamie Steel was my Gene Therapist and she scheduled some tests.  I actually believed I was immune to falling in love until you came along with your sad smile and steel blue eyes.  I told myself it was lust at first sight.  But you soon turned my preconceived world upside down.” She said wryly.



“I think I was initially attracted to your innate sadness.  When we were talking over coffee at the coffeehouse, I was becoming more and more certain that I wanted you to be the father of my baby.  You really listened to me prattle on about my children and wanting a baby.  I thought you understood me like no other man before.  When you kissed me at the theatre, I knew you were attracted to me too.  Then you seduced me in the theatre, and I was sure we would be good together.”

“Excuse me,” I said startled, “Back up a minute.  Who seduced who in the theatre?”  Faith would never hear from me that I hadn’t listened to her prattle on as intently as she imagined.

“You seduced me with your eyes.  Every time I said something to you, you were looking at my lips.  I really wanted you to kiss me again.  When I asked you to either stop looking at me like that or kiss me and put me out of my misery, you kissed me so thoroughly that I just about melted on the spot.  Then we started making out, and I knew I was way out of my depth.  When you started unzipping my dress, I didn’t want you to stop.”  As she explained her version, I could see in her eyes that she believed every word she said.

Snippets of different memories of that day surfaced.  I’m sure I remember that she had my shirt undone long before I touched her dress.  I think we were both way out of our depth that day.  I remember lucidly every kiss and touch and thinking back dispassionately and with the benefit of hindsight, it has been a mutual and equal meltdown - two people desperately in love and deeply in denial.

I regret that it happened on a public lot which ruined both our reputations but had she invited me back to Quantum, it wouldn’t have happened at all.  Maybe fate just lined us up.  In a public place, I was less on my guard and more open to stimuli.  I don’t think Faith is too constrained by anything as simple as location or social mores.



“Tell me why you wanted a baby so soon after Elias death.” I asked neutrally, hoping she hadn’t already covered this subject on the day we met when she thought I listened so attentively to her.

“So I could fill up the house with children.  If I had a full house, I couldn’t marry again even if I wanted to.  But when I met you I changed my mind.  I told Julian I’d met someone special and I was going to cancel the fertility clinic appointment.  I rang Jamie and told her I may not need medical intervention to have a baby.  I asked Jamie if she knew you but she said she couldn’t tell me anything, as you were her patient too.  She did say that she would still run the tests through the lab and keep my appointment on the books, which lead me to believe that you were unavailable.”

“As you know, I hadn’t heard the rumours that were circulating.  Nick Alto and Gobias Koffi came calling that evening, so I asked them about you.  Both said you were a recluse in love with your late wife.  Gobias told me that you had cut yourself off from everybody but your family.  He portrayed you as a rather tragic if pathetic figure.”

“On the other hand, Nick left me with the impression that he thought you were weak and an idiot.  I realised that neither wanted to paint you in a positive light.  But that only served to increase my interest because I saw none of that in you.  I thought you were sociable, intelligent and funny and a very passionate lover.”

“Since I knew from the theatre that you weren’t totally immune to me, I hoped I still had a chance to have my baby.  But you were so touchy yesterday morning when you came here, I wasn’t so sure anymore.  When I asked you bluntly to be my baby’s father, I saw that flash of heat in your eyes.  The more we talked about it, the more I could see how tightly you tried to control your emotions; I knew that you were not totally against the idea.  It was only when you were so abrupt when you finally refused my request that I really saw how much you did care.  I realised that I pushed you too hard too soon.  I thought I could just bide my time and you’d come round.”



“When I saw you asleep in the sun and realised the consequences of that, I became really frightened.  I tried to tell myself it was because if you’d died that I’d lose my primary choice for my baby’s father but I knew I was fooling myself.  I knew for certain then that I loved you as surely as the sun rises.  I didn’t want to face how I felt about you.  That was a door I didn’t want to open if I didn’t have to, but I wanted my baby before you did something else stupid and die on me.”

“So why did it take five proposals to get you to marry me?” I asked puzzled.

“I did promise Julian that I wouldn’t marry again in haste, but the truth was - I was scared!  I was in love with a human.  I never wanted to be in love with anyone let alone a human who would die of old age before I even reached adulthood.”



Faith looked at me, with tears swimming in her beautiful eyes and lips swollen more from her biting them than my kisses, “I do love you just the way you are but you’re already an adult.  So I’m asking you from my heart, will you take this.” She handed me a gift box, “It’s a Bottled Blessing of the Fae.  Become a fairy and live with me and love me all the days of my life because there are not enough days left of yours to give me the time I need to have with you.

“Faith we will have all the time in the world.  Let’s just see how this life pans out.  If deathflowers, Ambrosia, Young Again potions and Elixirs aren’t enough we can take this step.” I said hesitantly.

“It’s fun to be a fairy,” she said.  “You’ll like it”.

“Let’s just put this decision on hold for a while and let me get used to the only three fairies I know.  I love you as you are and I would never ask you to forsake the Fae.” 

“Well good, I don’t ever want to but I also don’t plan on leaving you with enough energy left to stray,” she said

“Faith, listen to me.” I said.  “I love you.  I am not your ex-brother in law.  I’m not flirty or charismatic.  Trust me, I will never do anything intentionally that’ll break your heart because it would break mine too.  Believe in me and our love and we’ll work through your fears.  I promise you I won’t ever cheat on you.  If you ask my brother, he’ll tell you than I’m pretty much a one woman kind of guy.”

“Oh Brandon, I guess I am being paranoid,” she said.  “Please be patient with me, I’ve never been in love before and it wonderful but it’s painful too.  I never expected that.  I think of losing you and I just can’t bear it.”

“Faith that works both ways,” I said holding her.  “We have a great basic foundation.  We’ll build on that day after day as we learn each other’s peculiarities, our likes and dislikes and what makes each other tick.  As long as we talk about the things that bother us, we’ll make it.”

“Well it bothers me that you have so many clothes on,” she whispered in my ear.



“I can rectify that,” I assured her and I did.

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 11: Faith's Story
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2013, 05:15:44 PM »
All of the sudden it all becomes more clear. I have a lot more respect for Faith, and for their relationship. They are two broken and hurting people who found love again in each others' arms. Hopefully they can both work through their anxieties.

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 11: Faith's Story
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2013, 05:48:46 PM »
So, that's what happened! I hope they can come to a good fix for their predicament. I think Brand on should become a fairy, but I love fairies!

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 11: Faith's Story
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2013, 11:42:20 PM »
Poor Faith.  Such a sad backstory.  Here's hoping baby Rebekah will be a fairy.

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 11: Faith's Story
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2013, 10:09:45 AM »
Poor Faith, I can understand that she is afraid something will happen to Brandon. Great update!

Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 11: Faith's Story
« Reply #59 on: March 03, 2013, 11:09:20 PM »
Oh no! I ran out of story! Quick Magz, write more! ;)
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By intl_incident                                                      By samoht04

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2013, 07:46:13 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Chapter 12: Keith’s Log


Our new father is very busy as our mother demands his attention constantly.  Our mother, who until today had been very laissez faire in her style of parenting has now become very ‘hands on’.  I sense a change in her, not quite a fear, but a certainly a dark shadow of apprehension that was not present before.  She is deeply troubled about something.  As I was too young to recall how she was when she married my step-father Elias, perhaps it is simply a newlywed thing.  I must talk about this with Julian when he has a spare moment.

Brandon came to see me to give me two of his deathflowers.  I thanked him and we talked over a chess game.  He is no Bobby Fischer but he is a worthy opponent and I look forward to many more games.



I think he is a man I would like to get to know.  He said he wrote the book on childhood rejection trauma and to come to see him any time I felt marginalised and that if I did not feel comfortable talking to him, he knows someone who specialises in helping people deal with those types of issues.

He asked me to call him dad or Brandon.  Julian calls him dad, so I will do the same.  Dad asked if I wanted to change my name.  He is very considerate to ask me so I chose to keep the Kalamia part of my name and hyphenate it with Baker.  Julian chose to keep Kalamia solely, while Diana chose to keep Crumplebottom and also hyphenate it with Baker. 



Mum and dad then went to City Hall to change our names.  After that, mum took dad shopping for clothes.  This is not a pastime I am interested in.  My mother chose a Gheez tartan called Loika Loch Braw patterned shirt for dad and blue jeans.  She chose a matching outfit for herself.  Not trusting EA’s random maternity outfit selection, mum wears her new outfit now to avoid looking ridiculous later. 

All this bother about appearances must be a female thing.  Julian and I have chosen not to change our clothes.  Julian said we are the sons of an alien and have more right than most to be the ‘men in black’.  Although Julian did smile on seeing the shirt mum chose for dad.  When they left the room Julian began singing “I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay, I sleep all night and I work all day” but I did not understand the reference.1

Cousin Christopher phoned our mother to say that since there were now so many St Clairs in town and as it was also the first day of Fall; Joshua had changed his party venue to the park.  They all left for Joshua’s party and since it was at the park, I was allowed to stay home to care for Hope and Leon. 

Mum met her cousin Audrey’s two toddlers.  She said she loved her mother’s and uncle’s namesakes and wished that she had taken Hope and Leon to the party.  Mum also met dad’s first wife’s family there.  Apparently the Goths are big news in Sunset Valley and news of our parent’s wedding last evening and the birth of Cornelia Goth’s son, Mason, were announced in the newspaper, so there was a lot of paparazzi there snapping pictures.  Cornelia Goth had been working out and was already down to her pre-pregnancy weight.



Mum also met Diana’s other cousins Lexi and Mortimer Goth.  I am acquainted with both as they attend our school but I do not know them well.



Julian said he was glad for my sake that I was not there.  He felt his privacy was constantly being invaded and it would have been a painful evening for me.  Diana hugged her cousin Joshua when he aged up into a teen.  Julian said that immediately after Joshua blew out the candles and aged up, they all received a text message from the school board that the High School Prom was going to be held on Monday night. 



Cousin Rosalie straight away asked Julian to be her date for the Prom.  Julian said he had not planned on going but reluctantly agreed.  I asked Julian later why he relented and agreed to go to the Prom with Rosalie.  He said she was so like mum with her green eyes, he did not know how to say no without being mean.



Diana told me later that Joshua was very disappointed that the Prom was Monday night as she would be unable to attend.  Diana’s birthday is on Thursday like mine.  On the subject of birthdays, mum must have forgotten in all her excitement that tomorrow was Hope and Leon’s birthday but inexplicably, they both aged up early. 



One minute they were happily playing with the blocks and the next amid aging sparkles.  I gave them both the Bookworm trait as it would help them with skills later in life.  Hope aged up first and immediately went to the dresser to change her clothes.  While she was changing Leon aged up.  He just plunked himself back down and continued to play with the blocks to get a head start on his Handiness skill.  After changing her clothes, Hope went off to the kitchen to try out the toy oven to begin learning the Cooking skill.



Imagine mum and dad’s surprise on arriving home to find their toddlers now children.  Mum was upset that she missed their birthday.  Leon was not worried as he did not want a big fuss.  Hope was glad that only one Sim saw her atrocious outfit and hairstyle.  Mum went off to play the piano and Hope finished raising her childhood cooking skill by making a perfect chocolate brownie. 



Dad invited me to watch TV with him and we watched Fishing Fracas.  I noticed that he did not need the fishing skill the TV provided.  All too soon the piano playing stopped mid tune and my mother came to announce that officially she was pregnant.  I left her and dad to coo over the coming event and went to bed.



On Monday, the school bus arrived and Diana, who had not been on the buses except for excursions, seemed not to be impressed that the school board provides such an aging fleet of rattletraps that have awesome turning circles for the length of their chassis but dreadful drivers.  I told her to only worry when Otto was driving.



Julian, of course, drove mum’s sports car, not the bus.  Hope and Leon were not required to go to school today so they spent the day taking classes on the Logic, Writing, Painting and Fishing skills.

School was not without problems.  Diana insisted I now sit with her as cousin Joshua was going to High School as was her friend Carina Ursine.  I prefer my own company but Diana has a bunch of girlfriends that she thought I needed to become acquainted with.  Julian thankfully rescued me from the pack of giggling girls and we went to the school library to read.

While we were at school, dad wanted to play his guitar in the park so mum accompanied him with her bass.  During a break in playing, they took a greeting card snapshot.  Mum swears the baby tried to kick her right kidney to shreds.  Of course, dad had to feel his baby kick and listen to her heartbeat.





Grandpa St Clair was also at the park with toddlers Deborah and Roland while dad was requested to attend a Musical Assembly at the School.  Mum enjoyed playing with Deborah but her back soon began to hurt, so she went to the Spa for a massage. 



When dad finished his gig, they both came home.  Julian went to the Prom with Rosalie and he won the Prom King crown.  He said he did not even nominate but Bella Bachelor had campaigned feverishly for Prom Queen and because she knew that everyone would probably vote for her, she campaigned just as hard for Julian to be Prom King.  Julian said things got really intense as Rosalie became possessive.  He said he was just trying to calm her down and somehow ended up the evening as her steady boyfriend.  He does not understand how that happened.  I am definitely not going to the Prom when I become a teen!

On Tuesday at school Julian said he tried to break up with Rosalie but he could not.  She is our cousin and it would be awkward for family events.  He told me he will just play it platonically and hoped she will just give up on him.  I sense that Julian is unwilling to hurt Rosalie’s feelings.  I fear that if he is waiting for her to break up with him, he has a long wait ahead of him.

Mum’s growing tummy causes her to have a lot of backaches.  Her answer to her restlessness is to dance so she and dad danced on the dance floor on the back patio.



I am not certain that dancing will cure her backaches but she enjoyed it immensely.  I could sense her happy vibes loud and clear.



Then they both went to the bedroom to have a nap.  In the evening, dad and mum went to a fund raiser for Gunther Goth.  After they returned home mum was restless.  As it was raining, they went down to the music room in the basement where there is a small dance floor.



Mum said dancing makes for an easy labour but as a male alien child, I have no way of knowing if that is true.  Actually there is a way but I sincerely hope it does not happen to me.  But soon enough the inevitable happened.



Mum chose a home birth and baby Rebekah was born a fairy with green sparkles which will grow into wings the same colour as mum and Julian.  Mum is very happy to have her baby girl and a fairy.  Dad is euphoric that Rebekah is all right with all the usual number of fingers and toes.



Presenting Rebekah Fae Baker, mother and child are resting comfortably at home.



1 Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Episode 9 (1969)
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2013, 05:19:49 PM »
How sweet is Brandon and Faith dancing.  I'm glad Rebekah is a fairy!  I love fairies too Swirl-Girl.

Is Cornelia a vampire because she should have aged up?  When you look back at an earlier screenshot of Gunther Goth does he have white wings?  Is he a fairy too.

Lumberjack song reference - so that's where it's from.  My father says the first line sometimes when Michael wears plaid.  I didn't know it was from a song.

Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2013, 05:21:30 PM »
Welcome nooboo Rebekah! I enjoyed reading from Keith's perspective.
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By intl_incident                                                      By samoht04

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #63 on: March 04, 2013, 06:28:33 PM »
Is Cornelia a vampire because she should have aged up?  When you look back at an earlier screenshot of Gunther Goth does he have white wings?  Is he a fairy too.

I think I glitched Cornelia's age when I played her for the wedding scene with Agnes back in Duty Calls and had her and Gunther make Lexi.  Good call on Gunther.  Great eyesight.  EA makes random townies fairies and witches and Gunther appeared one day with magnificant black swirly wings.  I tried to make him human in CAS but could only get the wings to turn white instead.  I tried to position the screenshot to make the wings fade into the background.  Obviously didn't quite make it.  :-[

Welcome nooboo Rebekah! I enjoyed reading from Keith's perspective.

Thanks Rosa.  Yeah I'm so busy with other projects  ;) that I just got lazy and went for third person past tense.  I'm glad you liked it.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #64 on: March 04, 2013, 06:30:04 PM »
Keith has an interesting voice and perspective on things. Welcome to little Rebekah! :D

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #65 on: March 04, 2013, 07:10:56 PM »
Edit in CAS doesn't seem to like changing life states. Not from fairy, anyway. I tried the same thing with another Sim and it completely ignored me.
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By intl_incident                                                      By samoht04

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #66 on: March 04, 2013, 10:47:03 PM »
Edit in CAS doesn't seem to like changing life states. Not from fairy, anyway. I tried the same thing with another Sim and it completely ignored me.

Oh good I thought it was just me that that happend to. 

By the way Magz, can you please learn how to post houses on the swap shop and post Quantum / Casa Blanco.  It's lovely, but you don't show us all of it.

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #67 on: March 05, 2013, 10:09:27 AM »
It was fun to read from Keith's perceptive. He us so serious. Congrats on the nooboo. :)

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2013, 04:24:21 PM »
Wooooo! Yeah, great update as always. When I first got the expansion I thought I would enjoy witches more, but fairies are awesome! Sorry, offtopic. Keep moving forward Magz!

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 12: Keith's Log
« Reply #69 on: March 07, 2013, 10:14:02 PM »
The story isn't over... is it?

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 13: Birthdays
« Reply #70 on: March 08, 2013, 04:27:55 PM »
Islands of Sunset Valley - Chapter 13: Birthdays


I eagerly read the morning’s paper to see if the announcement for Rebekah’s birth was in it, but no, the birth obviously missed the paper’s print deadline.



Julian assures me he needs to look after the garden in case it goes dormant from an early autumn frost, so I have an excellent excuse to spend all the time I want taking care of Rebekah.  She is such a darling.  Faith puts her in one of those baby swings which make raising her a breeze.



But I like to be able to hold her and I don’t mind changing dirty nappies.  Sometimes being a Sim rocks.  I enjoy feeding her although I’m not sure about those green baby bottles.  But she drinks every drop.  I really like it that Sim babies don’t need burping which means no pukes down my new shirt.  I’m not sure why Julian finds this shirt so amusing but I don’t mind it.



There is a definite chill in the air today, so my planned use of the stroller is deferred.  I use the rocking chair instead.  I have to say this rocking chair is awesome.  I love rocking away holding Rebekah.  If our watcher wasn’t so stingy, I could bathe Rebekah and use a changing table.  (Edit by watcher: the appropriate word isn’t ‘stingy’ it is “careful with money” to you laddie!)



I just love being with Rebekah.  I had let Agnes do most of the caring for Diana when she was a nooboo because Agnes wanted to and we always thought we’d have lots of children in time.  But Faith has been through all this four times and has a routine timed to the minute. 

“Brandon, would you just leave Rebekah in the swing, she’ll drift off to sleep a lot faster if you just watch her and not keep picking her up?”



“Oh sweetheart, look at her, she wants me to play with her.  See she’s reaching for my hand.  Look how tiny her hand is in mine?  Isn’t she just beautiful?  She has my blue eyes”

“Of course she’s beautiful.  Didn’t I tell you we’d make a beautiful baby!  But most babies have blue eyes at birth.  They may change green later on.  I think all the females in my family have green eyes.

“No, not quite, my sister Lucy – your cousin - has my father’s blue eyes.”

“Nice diversion but don’t get off the topic.  You’re spoiling Rebekah.  Leave her in the swing and she’ll sleep and play happily until her birthday.

“I can’t wait for her to grow up so I can teach her all the skills.” 

“Good, you can take care of the potty training.  That is an experience you shouldn’t miss.  It’s breathtaking.”

“I don’t mind” I said.

“Yeah right, wait and see.”  Faith said dryly.  “Okay here’s the deal, since you won’t leave her alone, how about we have Rebekah’s birthday early.  You talk the watcher into getting a birthday cake and we’ll take it from there.”

“Oh Faith, thank you for being so understanding!” I said hugging her.



Just then Diana and Keith came running into the nursery.  “Daddy, a birthday cake just appeared on the dining table while we were doing our homework.  Is it for me or Keith?”

“Neither kitten, it’s for Rebekah.” I replied.

“Oh that’s so not fair, her birthday’s supposed to be after ours!” Diana pouted.

“Life is rarely fair Diana,” Faith said gently, “But sometimes there’s a poetic justice to it.  Your father is in a big hurry to experience the unique joy of potty training.”

“Gross!” Diana and Keith said in unison.

The family gathered around the cake on the dining table but to my disappointment, it was Faith who brought Rebekah to the cake.



Rebekah aged up to have my hair and eye colouring.  My blue eyes persevered over those dominant Baker genes.  Wait a minute, I’m a Baker too.  But Chris and I take after our father not our mother.  We had birthday cake for an early dinner.  Not the most nutritious dinner but certainly filling. 

To my delight, Faith dressed Rebekah in the Ombradellarosa Snow White dress that Hope had worn.  “No point in wasting a perfectly pretty dress.”  She said smiling as she snuggled Rebekah before handing her to me.  “The potty is beside the crib and there’s a bin in the bathroom next door, knock yourself out,” she said with a wry grin.

But before I tackled that particular task, I just wanted to sit in the rocking chair and hold Rebekah’s soft sweet smelling body in my arms.  I can forgive our watcher for not letting us have the Changing and Bathing Station if I could just have more moments just like this.  If I was a cat, I’d be purring.



I could sit here forever but Faith is not going to be satisfied unless I get the potty training over with.  I don’t know why everyone thinks this is awful... Oh my God what is that smell?  How can someone so cute and pretty produce such an appalling aroma?  It’s whatever was in those strange green bottles, I’m certain of that.



I read on that forum site, that you can keep putting a toddler on the potty even though they don’t need to go, to learn the skill.  But I have to empty the potty after two attempts.  So I persist even though emptying the potty now ranks highest on my least desirable activities.  Four attempts it takes Rebekah to learn to potty.  Is that normal?  Well okay that took longer than I expected so I feed her on the floor while I take the trash out.  No way am I going to let that odour permeate the house.

Faith comes to investigate my progress and I proudly tell her we’ve got the potty training done. 

“Sweet!  Now how about you shower?” she said stepping back from me.

“Would you like to join me?” I whispered.

“Hmm, tempting, but no,” she said wrinkling her nose, “not tonight.  I’ll put Rebekah to bed and wait for you in our bedroom.”

So I’m guessing from that little conversation that some of Rebekah’s eye watering fragrance clings to me.  I showered carefully and joined Faith in the bedroom.

“Is that better?” I asked mockingly.

“Much better!” she said kissing me thoroughly. “Come to bed and show me just how much better you can be?”

“I’ve got a big day tomorrow.  I’ve got to teach Rebekah to walk and talk and take her to the library to read her the toddler books.  Maybe I should save my energy?” I teased.

“You don’t have to do it all in one day you know, you have plenty of time before she ages up to a child.” Faith replied.

“I know that.  I’m looking forward to taking her for strolls in the park, playing with her in that playground and just watching her experience new things.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned it is that babyhood is too short to waste a day of it.

“Well I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but the weather report has rain for the next three days.  I think it’s going to be indoor activities for her like the peg box or the xylophone.  Now shut up and kiss me,” Faith whispered.

Sometimes it’s in my best interests to just do what I’m told.  We awoke to find the weather is foggy and an overnight frost has chilled the plants.  The kids grumble about school and the boiler which keeps breaking down.  Then they say they can’t wait for snow to close the school for a couple of days.  I grew up in Simfield, we didn’t have seasons there, just summer all year round.  So not one day of school is lost due to weather, there was not one fallen leaf to rake or plants to go dormant.  But somehow I don’t miss my old home town, even its perfect weather.  All the people I love are now here in Sunset Valley.

So first thing after breakfast, I begin teaching Rebekah to walk.  After all, she may need to walk some distance to get to that potty.



She learns to walk easily enough and I give her lots of cuddles for encouragement.  Positive reinforcement works beautifully and we achieve that skill relatively soon.  After a quick feed and trip to the potty, which I now realise I have to empty… ewww!  Then we head off to the library where I read a skill book about the Riding skill while Rebekah ploughs through the toddler book at an amazing rate of knots.  Faith assures me Rebekah will remember every word she reads but it wasn’t as much fun as I had when I read Diana those books.  But since I’m in the Library, it’s too good an opportunity to miss.  If Diana still wants a horse I will need to know stuff about them.



The rain has really set in and the sky is so dark.  I take Rebekah home before the predicted thunderstorm comes.  We make it home as the weather holds off.  We play with the peg board waiting to see if there is a break in the rain for Hope and Leon’s ballet recital.  I was amazed that the twins only needed one class in ballet to learn the skill but they are both geniuses.  Rebekah is Artistic and a Virtuoso.  Needless to say Faith chose the traits.  I think Keith is right, Rebekah’s next trait should be a bookworm to increase her skills and then if she wants, she can take the genius trait when she ages up to teen.



The weather breaks and we all rush out to get to the recital before it finishes and the weather closes in again.  I know that Faith loves to dance but I would have thought that Leon would have preferred to taken scouts not ballet.  Well I can always teach him to fish and garden if that interests him.  When we get home, the children go off to do their own thing after dinner.  Soon it will be Diana and Keith’s birthday. 

I have had a very special birthday gift that I’d planned to give Diana for years.  When I told Faith what I wanted to do, she said she will match it with Keith so he didn’t feel left out.  I was teaching Rebekah to talk when we heard shrieks from the basement as the fire alarm went off.  We all rushed down there but Julian had the self-control to grab a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.  We got down there in time to see a sheepish Keith who had been trying to learn the inventing skill.



Faith scolded Keith for scaring her but he rightly pointed out where else was he to learn the skill.  The workbench had been placed there in the basement and had been left disused after Keith’s father died.  I think the boy was trying too hard to fill his father’s shoes.

I told him that when the weather clears, we can rearrange the side yard to build a pavilion like Chris and Gunther built for me.  I’ll install a safety shower there for him and we won’t have the risk of fire in the house.

The next day, I finished teaching Rebekah to talk and she said she wanted to play with the peg board and xylophone by herself.  Hmm... perhaps I should have left the talking skill to the last.  She shoos me out of the nursery.  I pop my head into the nursery every so often just to see if she wants anything.  Apart from feeding and emptying the potty my daughter is content to be left on her own. 

Since I’m at a loose end, I put together a plan to change around the side yard.  If we’re going to all the trouble to build a pavilion to study invention, we may as well build a glasshouse for the garden.  That way the plants would not be subjected to the frost and dormancy over winter.  I show my plans to Faith who approves and when the weather lifts, we’ll get contractors in.

That evening, it was not without a tinge of regret that I read Diana to sleep for the last time.  I can’t believe my little girl will be a teenager this time tomorrow.  Keith particularly asked us not to have a party for him so Diana has declined having a big event too. 

So it’s just the family gathered around the cakes in the dining room to see Diana make her wish and blow out her candles.



She aged up and immediately raced out of the room.  She came back a few minutes later with a different outfit and hairstyle.  I noticed that she chose the same hairstyle as her mother which accentuated their likeness.



Keith blew out his candles next and aged up into a striking young teen.  He too left the room and came back in his familiar black tux and wearing aviator sunglasses not unlike my own.  Although I only wear sunglasses when I’m in my swimwear, my eyes aren’t unusual.  I am actually yet to see Keith’s eyes, so I can’t really say whether or not they are as unnerving as he believes.  He must have been teased horribly as a child in Moonlight Falls.



As Keith has been careful to avoid anyone seeing him in his pyjamas I don’t even know if he wears the sunglasses to bed.  Just then, Rebekah decided to let everyone know that she’d been neglected in the recent festivities and Faith gave me the look that says ‘it’s all my fault’ that Rebekah wants to be the centre of attention.  Before I can utter a defence, Julian picks Rebekah up and takes her back to the nursery.



“Daddy, can we talk?” Diana asks.

“Sure kitten,” I replied.

“Privately?” she says.  Uh oh what have I done now I wonder to myself?  I follow Diana into the formal lounge.  “Now daddy, I want you to explain to me why I can’t marry Joshua when I grow up.  I think I’m old enough to be told the truth,” she said as an opening gambit.



I try as best as I can to simplify Dr Landgraab’s lecture on consanguinity and the law surrounding the degrees of separation required for cousins to marry.  I explain the complication of Chris and I being identical twins which changes the degree of separation between the cousins from 4 back to 2.  I explain why the state forbids marriage between people with less than 4 degrees of separation.  I can see that Diana understands my explanation by her unhappy face. 

“So Jared Frio was right.  Joshua and I can’t ever marry,” she said with a catch in her voice and tears glistening in her eyes.



“No kitten.  I’m sorry but you can’t.  But you can still be BFF’s.  You two have grown up as close as Chris and I did.  Think of Joshua as your biological half-brother, it may make it easier to cope with.” I suggest.

“So just to see that I understand, I could marry Morty because although he is my cousin too, Aunt Cornelia and mum were not identical twins?” Diana asked.

“Yes that’s right.  You are first cousins and the degree of separation is 4.” I replied.

“So what about Julian?” she asked.

Well that came out of left field.  I did a quick calculation in my head.  “You and Julian are second cousins once removed.  The degree of separation is probably around about 6 or 7.  So yes you could marry Julian.” I answered.

“But Julian is my brother,” Diana said puzzled.

“To all intents and purposes, yes.  But technically, no, he is your step-brother.  The degree of consanguinity is worked out on the blood or biological relationship, not a marital one.  There is no state law that would prohibit you marrying Julian, or Keith for that matter, because the law is only interested in the closest blood relationship, which is that of cousins.” 

“Does Joshua understand all this?” Diana asked.

“I believe Chris talked with him about this after his birthday on Sunday.” I replied.

“Well that’s not the best birthday present I’ve had so far.” She said wiping away her tears.

“I have a better one, that I hope you’ll like,” I said as I gave her a box.



Diana shook it and opened it to reveal car keys and a change of registration form for Agnes’s Bwan Speedster YL.

“You’re giving me mum’s car?” she asked.

“Yes, I think she would like you to have it.” I replied.

“Thank you daddy, can you teach me how to drive?” she asked as she hugged me.



“Sure, right now?” I asked.

“Yes, right now!” She replied, “Just the two of us together again like old times.”

“Okay, I’ll just tell Faith and meet you in the parking lot.” I smiled.  Diana was still a little girl inside wanting her daddy’s attention.  I make a mental note to myself to make sure I make time to include Diana and my step-children in my family time with Rebekah.

I had been monopolising Rebekah’s time but I needed to remember how to be part of a large family and spread my attention around.  But I can’t stop myself from checking on Rebekah one last time before I go outside to teach Diana to drive.



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 13: Birthdays
« Reply #71 on: March 08, 2013, 10:43:32 PM »
Awwwwww so cute.  Great update.  I like the way Brandon handles fatherhood.  ;D

It never ceases to amaze me that you know so much about different stuff, Magz.  I googled that thing about cousins and degrees of separation.  I never knew those laws existed.  I think I've learned something new with each of your stories, like psychology, latin and now this.   :P  I can't wait for more!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 13: Birthdays
« Reply #72 on: March 08, 2013, 11:01:07 PM »
Diana is such a beautiful girl. She reminds me so much of Agnes. I do hope that she can sort through her emotions regarding her cousin and find a new romance.

All of the children are lovely, and Brandon is such a good dad. Admittedly I feel sort of bad for Keith. He must have had a rough childhood in Moonlight Falls. Maybe eventually he will open up...?

An excellent update, as usual. :)


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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 13: Birthdays
« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2013, 11:26:56 AM »
Rebekah looks really cute. I like the idea of the dress I made being passed down from one sister to another. I never thought of it that way before.

Poor Diana! So sad that she can't marry Joshua :( She really does look very like Agnes. Happy birthday to Rebekah, Keith, and Diana!
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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 13: Birthdays
« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2013, 08:45:53 PM »
Is that the simming view on it as well, like can they partake in romantic actions together?

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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 13: Birthdays
« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2013, 09:36:16 PM »
Is that the simming view on it as well, like can they partake in romantic actions together?

I actually got the idea for that conversation because there were no 'romantic' interactions available between Diana and Joshua.  They are simply not on the conversation wheel.  I wanted Di to ask Joshua to the prom but no deal.

I did make Brandon out of the 'twin' option when I put Chris Steel into CAS at the very beginning.  They had the 'brother' relationship in my old game and Diana and Joshua had the cousin relationship.  When I moved them to a new unglitched Sunset Valley, they lost all relationships so I thought it would be okay but obviously not.

Those consanguinity laws are real not my writer's license invention.  Maybe EA uses that table to limit certain interactions.  I have no mods so I can't override the EA programming.  But I thought it was a nice arc for Diana and Joshua to explore.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley Chapter 13: Birthdays
« Reply #76 on: March 10, 2013, 10:49:15 PM »
I can't get my teenagers to have any romantic interactions either.  Maybe it's not because they are cousins with 2 degrees of seperation, maybe it's just because they are teenagers.  My teenager somehow ended up taking his grandfather to the prom and that was totally weird.

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue
« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2013, 09:23:07 AM »
Islands of Sunset Valley – Epilogue

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were.  As well as if a manor of thine own or of thine friend's were.  Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”  Extracted from Meditations #17 – John Donne (1623)

Dear Diary,

As Keith and I packed our boxes to go to university, I found that little essay I wrote for Ms McIrish, now Mrs Briody, all those years ago.  I showed it to Keith.



Keith read it and pointed out that our dad may once have been an island adrift from the mainstream of humanity, but today he stands a headland, proud and strong against the ravages of time and tide.



The Isthmus of Diana is no more.  Sheltering in the lea of the headland, the love of family and friends replenished the lost clods to form a cove where gentle waves lap the sun drenched beach.  The cove connects the headland to the mainland.  Atop that strong headland stands a lighthouse, our mum Faith, a beacon of light, guiding lost ships in the night to the safety of the cove.



I often wonder how things might have panned out if dad had been able to resurrect the ghost of my birth mother, Agnes.  Would he be the person his is today?  No, certainly not.  Grandpa St Clair said that Agnes had been the strong person in that relationship and dad had been devoted to her.  Would he have been happy?  Undoubtedly, but he would most probably not have had the life experiences to make him the tower of strength he is today.



At Julian’s high school graduation, Mrs Briody read a beautiful poem by Brian A ‘Drew” Chalker; saying that people come into our life for a reason, a season or a lifetime



Agnes came into my dad’s life for a reason.  To help, guide and support him to come to terms with his childhood, embrace adulthood and begin the physical and emotional journey he needed to make.  Agnes showed him how love between a man and a woman felt and gave him the foundation and scaffolding to develop and build the father we love. 



I like to believe that deep down, Agnes knew her role in the journey of dad’s life and that her work was done.  I believe that is why she never returned to him.  Not because of a glitch so she couldn’t or because she didn’t want to, but because she knew, ultimately, that she shouldn’t.

Our family; my brothers, sisters and I, together with our grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and all, will transit dad’s life for a season. 







We’ve helped him to grow and learn what being a parent and family unit entails.  We bring him joy and fulfillment in a way he could not have experienced on his own and we have tested the strength of his character on more than one occasion and, no doubt, will do so again. 









But as with all family, our transit in and out of his life will be cyclical, because we are the seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall.  We’ll come and go like the waves upon the sand.  We’ll leave interesting tidewater marks, pretty seashells and probably the odd bit of flotsam and jetsam just to keep him interested in walking along the beach.

But our mum Faith will be there with our dad for his lifetime, however long he chooses that to be. 







With her strength and love, he has found inner peace and contentment.  Faith’s boundless energy gave him the strength to match her enthusiasm and passion.  Faith is the light of his heart, his life and his lifetime.



But without the lessons learned from Agnes and our family, Faith’s liveliness would most likely have intimidated and repelled the young Brandon St Clair who first came to Sunset Valley all those years ago.  It was with Faith’s love and ingenuity that enabled dad to overcome his self imposed exile and with her blessing, grow beyond his programming to become the successful romance writer he is today.





Part of dad’s success as an author is surely the sheer breadth of material our family constantly provides him; including my cousins Lexi Goth and Joshua’s Steel surprise elopement on Lexi’s graduation day.  Then Lexi’s brother Morty was finally able to win Bella Bachelor over and marry her. 

But it is my brother Julian with his Secret Agent lifestyle, his dashing good looks and his romantic escapades which are the perfect fodder for dad’s books.  Although Julian swears dad has taken his literary license too far and given him a romantic reputation he hasn’t earned, the JK Chronicles are gaining popularity and have made the Best Seller list.  I personally can’t wait for the next installment.



Thankfully dad has restrained his wit and his pen to leave the rest of us out of print.  Although Hope with her fabulous figure and friendly nature sure attracts a lot of male attention.  Dad says he’s scanning the consignment store for a cattle prod.

I wanted to go to University not only to get an education but to meet some nice guys, and to keep an eye on Keith.  He wants to go to max out the Science Skill and hopefully find more aliens from his father’s home world. 

Am I looking for someone tall dark and handsome?  You bet, but also short; blond, brunette or redhead and average looking, is fine if he’s nice.  If I don’t meet the man of my dreams at university maybe I’ll meet him as I travel around the world with my sketchbook and easel.  Wish me luck.

So for me and you dear diary, it’s goodnight and farewell to Quantum... for now




Diana Crumplebottom-Baker

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
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2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline yruvian

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #78 on: March 11, 2013, 09:33:36 AM »
I'm losing lots of bookmarks this week <.<.

Wonderful end to a wonderful story. I'll miss Brandon and co though.

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #79 on: March 11, 2013, 03:48:08 PM »
Ohh, great story!
I loved every minute of it.

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Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #80 on: March 11, 2013, 04:48:06 PM »
Beautiful ending, and well wrapped up.
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By intl_incident                                                      By samoht04

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #81 on: March 11, 2013, 05:31:40 PM »
This story was well written and had all the elements I love about your writing.  I sort of hoped it would go on for a while longer but the ending left open a number of sequels that I'm looking forward to you writing, more fabulous beautiful love stories. Magz you rock!

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #82 on: March 11, 2013, 05:52:12 PM »
This made me tear up for certain. You recapped Brandon's experiences beautifully. He truly has grown as a character so much since we first saw him in Duty Calls. Such a likable guy, one that very much deserves his happy ending.

Diana embarks on her own journey now, her own life. The cycle continues, unabated.

Such a wonderful ending to a wonderful story! I absolutely, undoubtedly love these two tales. You truly are an inspirational writer!

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #83 on: March 11, 2013, 05:54:57 PM »
I really enjoyed reading this amazing story, are you secretly a professional author? :D

Brandon has grown so much since we first saw him as RaiaDraconis rightly said.
How wonderfully wrapped up.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #84 on: March 12, 2013, 05:21:26 AM »
Thank you all so much for your lovely comments.  No I'm not a professional author but it was always my lifelong wish to be one. 

Yes I purposely left this story open for sequels.  I have several in mind and after the Bachelorette is over, will work at one of them.  In the meantime, which sequel or spinoff do the forum readers want first?

Beyond the X-Files:  Keith’s adventure to find his father’s home world and the answers to life, the universe and everything.

Have Sketchbook, Will Travel: Diana’s misadventures in finding true love in all the wrong places.

JK Chronicles:  Mythbuster - Human by day, fairy after hours, Julian’s secret life as Landgraab’s Science Facility’s top secret agent and myth buster. 

JK Chronicles:  The Hunt for the Alchemist - Julian investigates what really happend to Agnes Crumplebottom and other inexplicable deaths. 

JK Chronicles:  The Timetraveller's Children - Who is Gobias Koffi really and why does he claim he is actually Elias Stavros-Kalamia.

JK Chronicles:  Whatever happended to...: Julian unites with his grandfather Leonidas Kalamia to investigate why his aunt Charity and grandmother Deborah's tombstones have gone missing.

In My Cousin's Shadow:  The Lexi Goth story

There are more stories in my mind but they involve other characters, such as Leopold Mountbatten who is currently featuring in the Bachelorette, Saffron Reynolds, Simon Tam (Firefly aficionados need no introduction) but to name a few.

So dear readers, have your say where I go next.

Magz

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Louise56

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #85 on: March 12, 2013, 06:03:07 AM »
Wonderful ending! If I should choose one to read about, I choose Keith. ;)

Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #86 on: March 12, 2013, 12:16:33 PM »
Gasp! Simon Tan! Will Kaylee be with him? I hope so!

Thos all sound really good, I think you should write them all ;D
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By intl_incident                                                      By samoht04

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #87 on: March 12, 2013, 03:04:12 PM »
Gasp! Simon Tan! Will Kaylee be with him? I hope so!

Thos all sound really good, I think you should write them all ;D

Who could have Simon Tam without Kaylee (or River for that matter)? 
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #88 on: March 12, 2013, 05:32:39 PM »
Wonderful ending! If I should choose one to read about, I choose Keith. ;)

Me too!  An X-Files and Hitchhikers cross, now that sounds interesting.  I vote for Keith  ;D

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #89 on: March 17, 2013, 11:42:52 PM »
I was just in this thread to get those vows and couldn't help but re-read the whole thing.  It really is a wonderful story. 

I took a good look at your characters and I'm pretty sure that Alastair is also Leopold from Ombradellarosa's Bachelorette story.  If you won't post Leopold, can you post Alastair or at least Brandon.  He is so sweet.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #90 on: March 18, 2013, 06:42:22 AM »
Firstly, thank you for the lovely compliment on my story.

Secondly, sorry Crystal, but I'm not posting Hugh Jackman in any of the incarnations I give him.  Yes, Alastair was/is Hugh with a different hairstyle, wardrobe and traits.  Hugh is my number one Sim I play with a number of different names.  His wife is always Audrey but also with a different name etc.  I made her in CAS out of one of the pre-made Sims there (I don't remember which one, it was too long ago).  Audrey was also Faith in this story so I made them cousins to explain the likeness.  I had a bit of fun with the Oedipus Complex because it fit the story.  As I previously stated, I studied psychology for many years and thought it was an interesting arc.

By the way, if you want a Hugh Jackman of your own to play, go into CAS and use the more detailed sliderbars to make the face you want.

The original Adam and Brandon in my failed dynasty did not look like the ones in these stories.  In these stories, Brandon is just Christopher Steel with different traits and hairstyle but the same clothes although with different patterns to them (well initially).  His current wardrobe is mostly vanilla Sims clothes but the patterns are either found here on the swap shop of re-colourised in CAS.  Brandon's hair is store and some of the clothes throughout the story were store also.

Brandon is sweet because that's the persona I gave him.  He could have been a total drongo if that was how I wanted him to be.  It's all in the writing.

So if you want a Brandon Arthur St-Clair-Crumplebottom-Baker sim to play, put Chris Steel in CAS and go for it.  (Oh and send him to the gym to bulk up his torso.)  However, I call dibbs on that name or any combinations of it (within reason).  Please don't post any story with a Chris Steel look-a-like with a Brandon similar name.  I'd be pretty miffed if you did.  Even if I don't use Brandon as the main character in future sequels, he'll be a secondary character for many of the stories I plan to write.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Crystal

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #91 on: March 19, 2013, 05:38:53 PM »
Thanks Magz.

I understand you don't want to share Hugh Jackman.  I'm sorry if I offended you.  I just wish I was as talented as you and some of the others here on the forum at making Sims to look like real people.  :-[

I found the twin option in CAS and played around with it a bit.  I decided not to twin Christopher Steel because you've already done that.

I know Brandon is so sweet because that is how you wrote him.  I just wanted to tell you that I really liked the character and I hope we see a lot more of him in your sequels.  :D

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Islands of Sunset Valley: Epilogue (Completed)
« Reply #92 on: March 19, 2013, 11:30:19 PM »
Sorry Crystal for coming down so hard on you.  I didn't mean to sound that harsh.  To make different characters, just grab one of those pre-made Sims in the bin and play around with the slider bars.  You'll be amazed how quickly you learn what each one does but I think there is a thread about how to use them in the Carl's guide.  If you have a good closeup of your intended subject, use the slider bars and turn them around to make sure you've got the angle of the cheek, chin, nose etc right.  Yes it does take hours to make a replica, but it's so worth it to have my very own Hugh Jackman to play with.

Thanks for your compliment about Brandon.  I wanted him to be likable and yes, you will see him in future sequels.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler