Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 204853 times)

Offline Eiira

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 7, 2/1)
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2014, 06:58:37 AM »
It's so nice to see you posting an Immortal Dynasty Trip! I am sadly behind due to RL interference but I will catch up over the coming days!

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 7, 2/1)
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2014, 08:09:00 AM »
Shark's kinda cute, actually...lol.
Awww....poor Anette! I actually forgot that Bill was an adult until the sparkles.



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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 7, 2/1)
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2014, 10:03:07 AM »
There is just so much about this chapter that I love. You write with almost a satirical bent...and that is something I greatly admire. :) All of those subtle details--the cicada, the canary yellow paint, the slobber-covered tiberium--it all just adds so much to the story.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 7, 2/1)
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2014, 11:44:01 AM »

Shark is surprisingly handsome! And Amy is just the cutest. Then again, I think I'd be just as excited about walls if I'd been living on empty lot. Still, her enthusiasm is adorable.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 8, 2/2)
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2014, 12:31:11 AM »
Lol, it's the sims, who cares if you inbreed.

Love Shark's makeover - very artsy!

My conscience does! Until I tell it to shut up.

It's so nice to see you posting an Immortal Dynasty Trip! I am sadly behind due to RL interference but I will catch up over the coming days!

It's so nice to see you commenting! And take your time. :)

Shark's kinda cute, actually...lol.
Awww....poor Anette! I actually forgot that Bill was an adult until the sparkles.

He's definitely one of the cuter guys in Twinbrook. There's very little "wrong" with him.

Yep, Bill starts off the game very close to elderhood. I originally hoped that Annette would get someone closer to her age, but I guess she doesn't mind.

There is just so much about this chapter that I love. You write with almost a satirical bent...and that is something I greatly admire. :) All of those subtle details--the cicada, the canary yellow paint, the slobber-covered tiberium--it all just adds so much to the story.

Thanks! I think I'm trying really hard with detail this time just because I need practice writing fiction and wielding adjectives again. :P

Shark is surprisingly handsome! And Amy is just the cutest. Then again, I think I'd be just as excited about walls if I'd been living on empty lot. Still, her enthusiasm is adorable.

He is! Writing excitable sims is interesting; it's writing a character type that is so much unlike who I am in real-life.

I like how you've included the dynasty helpers in this storyline. It's hard for there to be any meaningful updates about them since they mainly just build their skills, but you've done a nice job keeping their roles interesting.

I'm somewhat nice to my helpers; they might work to the bone to get masterpiece museum pieces done, but I try to fulfill their wishes and give them some sort of happy ending.



Chapter 8: Baking Buns



This chapter is the story of three new parents.

One of them had shiny dark hair and flawless skin. Even with a lack of papers, her age was verified by those. Our guesses were late 20's at that time. Most of us started families later than that, but the rest of the world saw her, Annette, as a typical new mother.

The other two waltzed into their elder years without any children and no excuses for it. Bill and Harwood had little in common, except for being (as far as Annette was concerned at that time) lifelong bachelors. But the nooboo fever attacked and ravished them too.

Why yes, the Waverly manor was baking a multitude of buns in multiple ovens. This is the story.



Finishing the house neatly coincided with Bill’s elder birthday. Even though Annette made some effort to make it a tolerable day, with yellow cake and a small party, her poor partner still sulked to the closet after blowing out the candles. He rummaged around for hair dye and anything acceptable and in aqua.



For him, sweater weather would come soon enough. But as Twinbrook still hovered at 80F or higher, even late at night and later in summer, sweaters were out of the question. Bill dug around the drawers a bit more, until he came across a tank top, in aqua and printed with black skulls. That, plus a pair of boxer shorts, it counted as clothes, even with company over. Annette subscribed to that philosophy for herself too.

The clock read 10PM, and most of the guests were gone. Maybe one still sat down, licking frosting off their fork, but the house got quiet in the time it took him to get the shirt on without it being inside out.



Most of them left, except for one comely, red-haired woman, who vomited in the toilet. No one knew her name, no one but Harwood, that is. He ended up claiming her after she washed her face.

“Don’t worry. She’s just a friend,” he said, with a smirk, escorting her out the door. "You guys might get to know Blaise a little better."



The party ended by the time Annette found Bill, with him hiding in the living room, and behind the best floor-to-ceiling television that tiberium could buy. She just sat down, with nonchalant gossip on her tongue.

“I think that Harwood knocked up that woman,” she said, as her rear end descended and hit the firm sofa cushion. "It's funny, I think this might be his first one. He's never mentioned anything about kids or even any partners. Heck, I thought he was gay."

“That’s all that’s on your mind? Not me being old?” Bill asked.

“Um, yeah. I have to clean the toilet now because of his squeeze. I don’t really care if you’re old or not. You’re a pretty sexy old man, if I say so myself.” Annette found his arm around her.



“That matters a lot to me. I’ve been thinking about this whole relationship business over the past few days, and I actually feel great about it,” he said.

“Really?”

“Really. As long as there are no surprises. I like things this way.”

“No surprises.” For a moment, Annette’s life felt like the slow, no-surprises lull that Bill wanted, until she woke up later that night to throw up. She threw her clothes in the laundry again, in case there was still tiberium dust left in the pockets. But even fresh laundry failed to take away her nausea.

Soon after, the household got a call from Harwood’s “friend,” just to forward the news to him that she was indeed pregnant. He took it with a weird sense of apathy, and was spotted using a dating site at the library.



Anyways, if you couldn’t guess by now, Annette had the exact same news, at least in regards to parenthood. Somehow, she forgot about the bun in her oven until she visited one of Shark’s old classmates one morning. She had Shark and Harwood with her; Shark had an honest reunion with a friend over waffles. Harwood found himself a new date.

Annette, against good sense, tore her nephew away from a delicious breakfast to spread the good news.



“Wow, my uncle did that to you?” he asked, pretending to not know how nooboos came to be.

“Yep!”



“Fool! I told you to leave,” he retorted. "And now you definitely can't."

“Now, now, your anger isn’t good for the nooboo. Isn’t your plate still half-full? Don't waste good waffles.”

“Point taken." Shark grumbled and headed back to the kitchen. "Good luck with your devil spawn.” The two of them turned away from each other for the rest of the day. Annette, now eating for two, stole a waffle for the road, and still wanted to get home to the collection of cheese plates and sushi stacked in the fridge. And cook something else, because neither were advised for pregnant women to eat. Maybe more waffles. She almost bolted out the door without Harwood, who was either sorely rejected or getting lucky.



It was the former. The wise old man made a foolish move, and found a married woman on the dating site. Something went wrong between him and Mrs. Castor. Before she could strike him in anger or tell her husband about the old man who tried to flirt with her, Annette grabbed Harwood by the wrist and led him out the door.

“You didn’t get any waffles, did you?” asked Annette.

“No.”

“Well, I’m fixing that once we get home.”

Someone else had the Motive Mobile that morning, so the two hailed a taxi, with Harwood looking out the window in silence. He tapped his fingers on the door.

“I want to leave your business with married women up to you, but this is just hilarious," said Annette. She laughed when she remembered his craggy face and scattered liverspots. Harwood was a man who showed his age. "Because when I think raw womanizing appeal, I think of Harwood Clay. Duh. How do you do it, though?"

He shrugged.

"Is this new for you?" Annette asked.

"Somewhat. I had flings before, but I'm in a stable place for the first time in ages. This is my weird way of finding someone right for me," he said. "And I'm having some fun with it."

"So, what about Blaise?"

"I'll do what I need to. She's a loose woman, but good for a fling. I'll keep my eye on her and avoid whatever comes out."

"God help you, because I'm in the same boat," Annette said, pointing at her tummy.

“Congrats on that, though I guessed when you stopped eating your sushi. I'm not so opposed to it, now that I think about it. You have years to leave behind a legacy, immortality or not. Me?” He stared out the window with an anxious, wide stare, as they crossed the bridge over to Puddlewick Lane.

“I’m lucky if I have a few more years. So do you want your ice sculpture now, or should we wait until you’re done baking that bun?”

“The latter,” said Annette, “Breaking the news to Bill is a little more important now.”

However, the house was empty, except for Sagebear sprawled out on the sofa with the television blaring. Amy was out for a movie matinee with a couple of friends, considering that she already mastered the art of portraiture and had actual time on her fingertips and not just paint. Shark went for seconds at breakfast. Bill, well, that was the mystery.

Whatever. Annette made enough waffles for two hungry sims plus more, with a glass bottle of real maple syrup and a stick of softened butter set on the island counters.



Whatever. Annette made enough waffles for two hungry sims plus more, with a glass bottle of real maple syrup and a stick of softened butter set on the island counters.

She also added to the stock of cheese plates, cutting to the mild hum of the refrigerator, and a muffled chainsaw. Those walls worked wonders. Now with a long maternity leave ahead of her, Annette took criticisms of her plating to heart. Sloppy, unorganized. But those cheese plates looked better each time she made them.

Sometime in the afternoon, Bill finally came through the front door. Sagebear bolted towards him and lapped his face.

“I missed you,” Annette said, holding a cheese plate, “What could have given you a reason to leave the house?”

“A job,” he stated.

“Really, what?”

Bill shoved an ID-card into her hand. Bill Racket. Twinbrook Police Department. City employee. #045603., and a picture where he stared at the camera with utter dejection, as if it was a criminal mugshot. Just a mugshot with a blue background.

“You know, when I suggested a job, I thought that you could go into business. Or tax fraud,” said Annette.



But no, he slipped away while Annette got ready for work a couple days prior and headed to the police department with truthful information about himself. He might have held some shallow loyalty to Twinbrook’s biggest criminal family up until that point, but people can change. Funny enough, his criminal record was mostly clean, except for a series of public nudity charges about 30 years prior. That, and Scout Sargeant processed the job applications, and she had no opinion of Bill either way. Facing his older brother, enemy, and long-time police officer Dudley came a little later. Telling his mother could never come at all, if he played it right.

“It’s not like I’ll turn you in,” Bill said, “In fact, I can pull some strings to let you steal in peace. But otherwise, I want to do well there.”

He went up to bed without a word about Annette’s new t-shirt, or the slight bump under there. By the time she made her way upstairs, Bill was asleep, snoring with Sagebear curled up at his feet.

Something about work kept doing that to Bill. He got sleepy as soon as he got home, and headed upstairs before Annette could say that she was pregnant. As time went on and she got rounder, she assumed that he knew what was going on. But why risk it if he was dense enough to think that her cooking was just that addictive?

Bill finally got into a better sleeping groove, so that he was awake for quite a while after work. By that time, Annette waddled around at the end of her pregnancy, weighed down.



“I hope that you figured out that my cooking isn’t that fattening,” she said.

“Yeah?”

“Bill, I’m pregnant.”

“But you still look so thin!”

Gawd, was he dense.



“I mean, that’s great!” He put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, “Surprising, but I think I can handle it.”

By handling it, it meant that he was out and missing for the next two days, leaving Annette to sleep alone in utter silence. Sagebear went back downstairs to her dog bed. She had one extra serving of food to put away after dinner without him to eat it. But two days was enough, and Bill came home to sleep in their own bed, next to his enormously pregnant girlfriend. He came back to a situation he had to accept without a scowl. The compromise was two hours overtime at work each day. Processing more police reports took Bill’s mind off fatherhood, and commitment. There was also the bonus of watching his family’s business get raided. Without punishment for them, but he kept an inkling of hope.



Annette’s new interest in fishing was unrelated to any of that, though. She just got into a sushi-making groove, and one of Harwood’s close friends kept a pond full of fish on his property.



Making him pancakes in thanks did not go so well, though, when Annette's water broke before she could flip the first one. As the pancake cooked and burned in an old, cast-iron skillet, Annette called a taxi and headed home. Juan Darer would have to deal with the pancakes himself.



Of course, she went home only to grab a toothbrush and some pajamas, with every intention of getting a ride to the hospital to deliver her nooboo in sanitary and private conditions. Every contraction got closer and closer, though, and she hardly got through the front door before it was too late to do anything else but give birth right there. Everyone else in the household was asleep, working, or engrossed in their art. Annette labored with a stranger panicking.

The end came within the hour, as if all of the pressure inside of Annette released its grip.



Because after less than an hour at home, Annette held a healthy little boy in her arms. Ten fingers and ten toes, in spite of Annette drinking the regular Twinbrook water. Healthy lungs that produced mighty screams. And vibrant pink skin.

“Oh, hey there,” she whispered to him. “Hope your dad thinks the same way, but I always liked the name Franco. I hope you don’t mind it.”



Finally able to fully bend over without a nooboo nestled inside of her, Annette laid Franco down. At last, she could get her regular clothes back. She also learned that their house guest was named Eva Drudge, and she was just one of Harwood's friends.

Annette mailed Eva a check, with a memo attached. Good luck getting more child support after this. - Annette



Bill, the new father immediately fell in love when he came home from work a little early. He did his duties in keeping Franco clean and smelling like cloying nooboo powder.



The story about the new parents would not be complete without the last one, who had no idea what to do with his new twins. Beverly and Eva both gave him chilling announcements too. But Harwood could take solace in how his world wasn't crashing down alone.



Not that Julienne could easily convince Annette of what horrors awaited for her either.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,309
Word Count so far: 12,660

Revised on 2-2-2015
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Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 8, 2/2)
« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2014, 08:29:32 AM »
*cue dramatic music*

Lovely update. I really liked the way you described Annette's pregnancy.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 8, 2/2)
« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2014, 06:13:12 PM »

I'm guessing both Hardwood and Bill have been rather busy with the ladies of Twinbrook. Poor Annette! Of course, now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn't be surprised that a sim with a name like "Hardwood" likes to get around!  ;D



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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 8, 2/2)
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2014, 11:17:59 PM »
Oookay, so we have two Harwood-boos in the mix (at least...), one rather pink-looking Racket-boo, and if I am interpreting Julienne correctly, potentially another non-pink Racket-boo somewhere...?

Thus begins the "whom is procreating with whom and perpetuating townie genetics" part of the dynasty. :)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 8, 2/2)
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2014, 08:50:22 AM »
*cue dramatic music*

Lovely update. I really liked the way you described Annette's pregnancy.

Thank you!

Yay to the brood of nooboos and rainboos joining the family! Hardwood appears to have been a busy man (I love Blaise Kindle, can't wait to see what their offspring looks like). Amy needs to join in all this procreation fun!

I love Blaise too! Even if half of it is for her hair color and the other half is because she's pretty. Getting attractive kids from Harwood boils down to making sure that they have attractive mothers.

Amy will join in her own time. ;)

I'm guessing both Hardwood and Bill have been rather busy with the ladies of Twinbrook. Poor Annette! Of course, now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn't be surprised that a sim with a name like "Hardwood" likes to get around!  ;D

HA! I had thought about making a crack about Clay's name, but I was afraid of getting flagged for being too inappropriate.  ::)

His name makes me think of floors. :P Like pale maplewood planks and easy-to-clean ceramic tiles.

Oookay, so we have two Harwood-boos in the mix (at least...), one rather pink-looking Racket-boo, and if I am interpreting Julienne correctly, potentially another non-pink Racket-boo somewhere...?

Thus begins the "whom is procreating with whom and perpetuating townie genetics" part of the dynasty. :)

The girl that Harwood is holding is actually a twin, so make it three.

But for whatever bad things that Bill did, I'm keeping my mouth shut. ;)

No new chapter right now. I hit a small writer's block (and an unrelated programming block, which is a little more imperative to fix, since it's for a class), but I wanted to respond to people's comments anyways.
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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 9 & 10, 2/4)
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2014, 12:24:35 PM »
I actually got two chapters done a little sooner than I thought. So have an awesome double-update.



Chapter 9: Griffin



I fear what comes next. Not wanting to do myself any good, I camp out by the door, listening for the trademark sound of cowboy boots against the walkway. Dad likes those boots. He says that it fits, considering that his name means "lover of horses." He never owned one, but he's worn the style ever since he was five. It's the only charming thing about the man, considering that he is a horrible person who fills those boots.

When it comes to fatherhood, and who was good at it or not, my dad seemed like a superb father in comparison to someone like Harwood. All I got about the latter were accounts of an utter deadbeat; of a sad old man wallowing in hedonism and avoiding responsibility. My father was there for me. In fact, he was heavily involved in every facet of my life. At some points, he was all I had, but now I loathe him like the rest of the town did, and I don't want those cowboy boots near me.

I regret this rash decision to let him live here. I don't know if I can hear him or not. I back away from the door, in the direction of the kitchen. Like many people, I keep knives there. Always be prepared.

It's like no one has come in, but I swear that someone is breathing along with me. My heart thumps in my chest. I almost tell myself that I'm alone.

"Boo."



"Jesus Christ!" He had to have come in through the window. "Dad, just go through the front like a normal person."

"Oh yes, call me normal," he said.



"Look, I need you to be mature right now. I'm going through a difficult time right now," I say. "Reliving some horrible times."

"Well that's what you get for putting up with me anyways. Do I get the couch or the bed."

"You know what. I'm not just doting on you because you can't escape the cops anymore."



“Oh, so says the privileged writer who gets an awesome salary," he says. "Being evil doesn't pay as well as it used to, you know.”

"Settle in, don't mess up things," I tell him. "I'm going for a run. Maybe you should try the Recurve Strand route."



Recurve Strand sits on the edge of Sunset Valley, shaded by the coastal cliffs and palms. And it is utterly untouched. Not even a beach chair makes marks in the sand. All that does are bare feet, such as my own.

My path winds around past the beach proper, over by some rocks that overlook the vast ocean. Once I make it there, I receive another text.

Surprise when you get home!



It’s dad.

And no, his surprises are usually quite awful.



Needless to say, I weep for my house and my stomach once I come home and have it presented to me.



Dad attempted to cook dinner, with his mac and cheese browning and scorching in the pan. He scrapes off the burnt parts, but is still left with a bowl of blackened pasta.

“Come on, it’s what I eat every night!” he says when I revolt.

“I never said that I can cook either, but you get a double serving tonight,” I say as I retrieve a half-eaten pint of cookie dough ice cream from the freezer. “However, I’m treating myself for being so dang nice to you.”



I mean, I put in a good run this afternoon.



But while I eat, a new pair of eyes looks at me.

“Is this your idea of a gift?” I ask dad.

“There’s quite a story behind that griffin. But first, you gotta guess who’s still in contact with grandpa Franco.”

“I dunno. Grandma Lily?” Of course, dad probably has grandpa Franco’s number, as weird as it sounds. Nobody else does; Franco went missing, for all I know.

“Her too,” says dad. “But Franco and I are actually chummy, considering that he worked for me. Anyways, the two of us met up last year, and he gave me that griffin. Apparently it’s one of Annette’s old heirlooms.”

“That’s cool.” In white marble, with a rough, pale wooden base, it matches the white floors from the old house, or Annette’s white pants. She surrounded herself with white, so a white griffin statue? Why not?

“Well, I picked up that book you’ve been reading,” said dad. I worry about what he's gotten into. “Just the first chapter. I don’t think grandma Annette was really that frantic. And second, I know that you wanted to learn more about her and that just confirmed it for me. Maybe read the bottom of the base when you get a chance.” He smirks right at me, dirty dishes in his hands. He has his uses, after all.



So I sit outside for a couple of hours. Dad watches for a few seconds, but he knows me well. You don’t interrupt me when I’m reading, and you certainly don’t interrupt me when I’m pondering the finer points of life.





Besides, he is a stickler for keeping things clean, so maybe I like him more than I say.



The griffin makes his way to the nightstand when the washing machine stops rumbling and it comes time to retire for the night. It watches me undress and smooth out the covers before I mess them up again, watching with white marble eyes.

Dad might be trying to do something good, for the first time ever. Maybe he's right and a little easter egg is written on the bottom of that griffin. I pick up the statue and flip it over, and one line of writing is on the bottom of the base. It is burnt-in and written in neat calligraphy and thin strokes. Roaring Heights 2047. For Eileen. Eileen was one of those vague names, or one I've tried to block out of my memory. Annette was the only person who referred to her, but something happened to get this from Eileen. While Annette was in Roaring Heights, perhaps? Dwarfed by gilded skyscrapers? Goodness, possibly wearing a skirt on a regular basis?

She seemed like a more modern city slicker. I like this new idea I have, however. Maybe I still have the wanderlust bug in me. I pick up travel brochures from time to time to satisfy it. Roaring Heights always makes the best, with pictures of the nighttime sky and every white tower lit up, with “Roaring Heights” written in shiny gold typeface.

What happened to all of us? That's difficult. But it's a different time now, and there might be answers of the distant past in what I call my present. Getting the answers is a nice excuse to travel, anyways.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,126
Word Count so far: 13,785

Revised on 2-2-2015
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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 8, 2/2)
« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2014, 12:35:35 PM »

Intriguing! Looking forward to seeing some Roaring Heights. I haven't seen anyone feature it in a story yet.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 9 & 10, 2/4)
« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2014, 12:42:02 PM »
Intriguing! Looking forward to seeing some Roaring Heights. I haven't seen anyone feature it in a story yet.

Once the town was announced, I knew that I had to place part of the story there. I've played there a bit and it's a lovely place.



Chapter 10: Talk of the Town



Julienne wanted to meet Annette at the laundromat, to discuss a personal matter. It seemed like too public of a place to discuss what she had to, but Annette listened to her colleague and hoped that Shark would make a good nooboo-sitter while she was gone.

"It's about Bill," Julienne said. "As it always is."

"I know, isn't he great?" said Annette. “Alright, tell me, what could he have done?”

“It’s a bit of a story. He called me a couple months ago and begged me to meet him at the park. Apparently he just learned that you were pregnant. I said yes…”



“...But I hate him and wasn’t letting him have it. So I slapped him across the face and hoped that he would go straight back home to you...”



“...What a jerk. He turned the blame on me, saying that I sounded so enamored over the phone and that he just needed one fling to clear his mind before your kid came along. When I said no, he said that he could just find another fling...”



“...Well, he could have it. But I’ll be darned if I have a part in letting a young cook get hurt like that.” Julienne exhaled, exasperated. “And just yesterday, I heard a little rumor that he had his way with a co-worker. She’s on maternity leave now. The other rumor is that her husband is sterile.”

“I’m not believing you,” said Annette, “The only woman he works with is Scout Sargeant. From everything he’s said about her, she doesn’t sound like his type.”

“Cheating is a funny thing. My family’s former maid didn’t seem like his type either. But my advice to you is to start over and find literally anyone else.”

“And I appreciate your concern. Can’t wait to get back to work.” Annette grabbed a few boxes of detergent off the shelves and walked out the door. “Gotta have a nice-smelling uniform for when I’m back, right?”

Actually, Annette thought of envy more often than the possibility of Bill cheating on her. She sat in the rocking chair near Franco’s crib each morning, waiting for her little boy to wake up and give her something to do. Preparing more cheese plates instead sounded too boring to tolerate. All of her museum pieces were all set, and watching her artists work bored her. But Bill? He had a job, and Twinbrook never caught on to the notion of paternity leave.

The restaurant kitchen needed her! If only Julienne focused on that, rather than trying to dig up dirt on an ex.

Summer started to fade to Autumn, with the temperature hovering around 60 or 70 and the cicadas quiet and hibernating. Then it got to 50 at night, and Annette started using the blanket she bought in the midst of summer when she went to bed. She even dug up a turtleneck sweater and a scarf for any time she could go out. And her adult birthday approached. The faintest sign of crow’s feet appeared at the corners of her eyes, but with an elderly partner by her side, looking old wasn’t much of a concern.

Annette also toyed with the idea of one last party before Franco’s first birthday and her own adult birthday. With the address book open, she compiled a few invitations, and then hit one name: Scout Sargeant. If Julienne was correct, Scout was pregnant with Franco’s half-sibling.

“I’ll humor you, Jules,” Annette said to herself, “I bet she’s not even pregnant.”



Okay, there were a lot of men in Twinbrook who could have done that, right?

Scout gave her a firm handshake and a warm smile. “Ah yes, I’ve heard about you,” she said to Annette, “Apparently you’re a fine cook and a joy to wake up next to.”

“I believe it. Congratulations, by the way.”

Once the leftovers were put away and the house fell quiet and the clock read 2AM, Annette dropped into bed without undressing. She sprawled out and lay face-down on her tummy. Half-asleep, she almost didn’t notice Bill when he snuggled next to her, but that put her into a full sleep. The thought of him ever cheating on her was far, far from her mind.



Besides, destroying relationships was someone else’s job. Annette couldn't bother to concern herself with Harwood's sleazy behavior, so why bother Bill about it? Unlike with the former, Annette didn't see any concrete evidence that he was guilty of anything. At least, anything more than working too much overtime, in the same office as Scout.

There were bigger troubles ahead in her long, eternal life to worry about than that.



On an unrelated note, Annette woke up one morning to find Shark caring about his little cousin for the first time. While Annette was at the laundromat, he handed Franco to Amy, but that morning he cradled Franco in one arm and held a bottle of warmed formula in the other.

“You know, you should beat me to the punch more often. Nooboos are hard work,” said Annette, “Sculpting going well?”

“Yeah,” he said, sounding languid from his work sculpting. “Nah, I’ll take back all the things I said about Franco being some sort of devil spawn. He’s just a nooboo, I guess.”

“Not for long,” muttered Annette, as she wistfully looked at Franco. Wrapped in his blue blanket and smiling with his soft and pink nooboo features, he won over Annette so hard that she couldn't bear the thought of him growing up. At least the pinkness would stay.



Shark might have thought different thoughts. That was the first and last diaper of Franco's that he changed.



But all of those wonderful nooboo things that Annette enjoyed blew away with the single candle. At least a squirming toddler sounded like a fun thing to have, though. One who got into mischief and giggled and maybe broke a few delicate thing lying around.



Of course, looking very much like his father was a plus in Annette’s book too. Franco came back from the dresser with his love of all things grey apparent, contrasting with all of the vibrant amaranth pink. He seldom made a sound except for when things went wrong. He got loud then. He usually carried a morose look on his little toddler face, and saved all of his trouble-making for when he got older, or so Annette hoped. She wasn’t going to raise a boring child if she could help it.



But if Franco smiled, he did it in a subtle way with that angry mouth, and that was just the cutest thing ever. Annette went to bed to feel entirely rested for starting work again the next day, but only after quick snuggle with her little man. He needed it before she unleashed him into the world of posing for museum pieces.

Usually, Bill was right next to her, snuggled close and always snoring, but what got into him that night? He didn’t get to bed until 4 in the morning, with 4 hours until work.



Bill had an alibi, and news that Harwood fathered another set of twins named Marcie and Norman. He just nodded and wrote a check. Annette poked fun at his deadbeat habits one morning over coffee, which bothered him. Blaise and the others had a good handle on how to raise children, and would they even remember him before he left the mortal world?



Besides, his women and the kids lived across the bridge. If they cried, he didn’t know and could ignore the burdens of fatherhood for his own spawn. Franco was different. For the moment, lived in the same room, posing for sculptures and often fussing due to slight changes in temperature or a speck of dust out of place.



With that fussiness, Franco was not a cheerful toddler, but something about his little pout charmed everyone.

Meanwhile, Annette faced two things. First, she got a promotion and was Julienne's new superior. The afternoon she returned to work as that superior, she tied the back-tie to her apron and noticed a dejected Julienne staring right at her.

“So, you’re still with him?” she asked.

“Duh. I’m not that easily convinced, Jules.”

“Have you even spoken with him about it?”

“Why? I don’t think he cheated on me, and I think that you’re a brilliant cook but a bitter ex,” said Annette, “I’m above you now. Get chopping.”

A large knife made a fast tapping sound on the cutting board, though Julienne wielded it this time, with slices of onions piling up. Instead of a knife, Annette’s lungs became her primary cooking instrument. She yelled out orders and expedited like a professional. She did that while tending to the large, open griddle and dozens of pancakes at a time. Actually, that might have been the best part of her life at that point, because she still had all of the chipper energy to come home and cook dinner, play with a toddler, and examine her developing wrinkles in the mirror. She did that every morning while running her hair through a flat iron. The humid kitchen made her hair wavier and she needed all the help she could get with it.

With those new wrinkles, she faced her adult birthday! On the eve of it, she came back from work and made a salad for herself and the rest of the family. She kept her scarf on in the house, as it grew colder in the autumn, then noticing that the oven clock said 12:05. A dark chocolate cake covered in white frosting sat in the fridge, and she needed more room for other leftovers anyways. It was time to get that birthday over with.



As much as she couldn’t say no to a party, Annette made it into a small family celebration. Very small. Franco was fast asleep, of course. Amy said that she went out clubbing with Sinbad or someone else. Harwood didn’t give any notice that he would be gone for the night, but he was anyways.



Oh well. She didn’t need any of their fashion advice. It’s basic instinct to love striped sweaters. Her wrinkles and crow’s feet turned out to be of no concern. They were there, but after ten minutes, Annette smiled upon seeing the new little lines of definition on her face. So subtle, they deserved only one act of rebellion in the face of middle-age. She got her black shears from the kitchen, probably unwashed after preparing a roast with them, and cut off ten inches of her beloved long hair. The flat-iron went in the garbage, with slight, slight waves making their comeback in her hair.

After preparing a pot of coffee to keep her from stumbling over and falling asleep in the middle of museum pieces, Annette stood in the sculpting studio. Impatient, she tapped her feet as the hours passed without a sign of Harwood.



He came home early that morning with a spring in his step. What would his fiancee think?



“Alright, let’s picture this right,” Harwood said, once he came through the double-doors of the sculpting studio at 5 in the morning. Annette struck a commanding pose.

Small talk was pretty common between the two as Annette tried different poses for a few hours, full of talk about environmental issues. It was the only topic they found much discussion fodder on, even if it was because they disagreed mightily on the importance of carpooling. But that morning, Annette gave Harwood a more difficult question.

“How do you talk about infidelity with someone?” she asked him. There was not any news about a messy breakup with Beverly, so it had to have happened in his life.

“Just ask? I don’t know. Bev and I talked about it, and it went pretty naturally. I brought up the subject of sleeping with other women, and she just shrugged her shoulders and let it happen. She's on odd woman. How bad are things between you two?”

“Things between Bill and I are fantastic,” said Annette, looking upwards and closing her eyes for another pose. “But his ex and I have a bet. She thinks that he cheated on me, and if she’s right, I have to pay for a bunch of expensive spa packages for her snobby little face. If I’m right and he’s been faithful, she funds the kickstarter for my own cooking show.”

“And you just forgive him if he cheated on you?” Harwood asked.

“Absolutely.”

“Well, then you can get the truth out of him with that kindness. How about we try the first pose again? Commanding stance?”

The finished piece was quite a sight to behold, appraised at over 2,000 simoleons. The collar of her shirt was stunningly rendered. Running off a bold French roast, Annette’s fingers twitched as she got the mail for the morning. Utility bills, promotional materials, and among those promotional materials, a lingerie catalogue. On a normal day, Annette would throw it in the recycling bin, but she instead noticed a lacy, brown bra and underpants set on the cover. Not particularly risque, but a little more revealing than the tank top and boyshorts combo she swore by.

Well, if she had to get her boyfriend to open up about cheating or not, there was nothing wrong with sweetening the deal.



Word Count for this chapter: 2,222
Word Count so far: 16,007

Revised on 2-3-2015

Forgot to mention this when he was born, but Franco started out life as Artistic and Grumpy, with a love for Grey, Stu Surprise, and Geek Rock.

And Harwood and Beverly had a son before she aged up to elder. His name was Parker and his story significance is non-existent. :P Beverly was the only woman he had an inkling of attraction towards.
No respect, no chance, cease and desist when I chant-

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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 9 & 10, 2/4)
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2014, 05:09:13 PM »

Oh gosh, that square jaw looks odd on a toddler, but Franco's little pout is darling!

"Okay, there were a lot of men in Twinbrook who could have done that, right?"

Unfortunately, thanks to story progression, only three!  :P

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 9 & 10, 2/4)
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2014, 08:11:07 PM »
So that makes...five? Six Harwood-boos? I think I've lost count...

Franco is adorable. I totally feel for Shark though...I hate diapers. :/

McHazy

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 9 & 10, 2/4)
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2014, 12:47:50 PM »
Oh, am I loving this! Lots of fun and nooboos. Franco is such a cutie pie!

I hope Annette wins her bet, surely Bill would know better than to cheat on a lady with pointy teeth!