Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 84646 times)

McHazy

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2014, 08:25:18 AM »
Great update, I hope Julienne is less bitter after all those spa treatments! I'd a love an Amy nooboo too, but who would the father be.......? I have an idea you know this already!!

Oh, and naughty Bill!  >:(

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2014, 09:20:51 AM »
Alright, there has been a very small delay in updating. Three days feels like a delay when you're sitting on over five generations of material and so, so much to write. :P I've been a mixture of sick and busy, but with good news too. I got a raise at work...and a few extra shifts on top of it. The latter is actually great; I love what I do and doing more of it is fantastic! Working in Information Technology has always been a dream of mine and I'm living it. Not to mention that it means a bigger paycheck. Gotta love those.

Hopefully the weekend will give me enough time to get an update together. :)



Because a lot of the comments seem to be about how odd Annette's response to Bill cheating on her was, I'll post a general response to that sentiment before individually responding to each comment. When I was writing it, I had explanations in mind as to why she just shrugged it off.

- She's going to live forever and decided that there are more important things to get upset about.
- She doesn't want to lose Bill and goes soft on him so he'll stick with her.
- She thinks that it's a one-time mistake of his and sees no reason to get too upset over it.
- She realizes that other immortals might do the same things to hurt lovers, so she needs to get used to the idea of dealing with cheaters anyways.
- It is something that totally relates to her past life that I'll explain one of these days. ;)

Of course, those are only my interpretations, and I'm honestly not sure which one is the truest.

Wow! Annette didn't seem to care about Bill's infidelity at all. I love her unconventional reactions to the situations she faces.

Her unconventionalness just makes her fun to write!

So far, this isn't exactly shaping up to be a dynasty of happy romances and relationships. Amy and Marc not working out, and Annette's weird relationship with Bill. It's hard to tell if Annette and Bill really even like each other, sometimes! I mean, an agreed upon open relationship would be one thing, but not even caring about his cheating?  :o

It's probably more true to life, though.  :( Not sure how I feel yet about these more realistic relationships! Why isn't everything all happy and with rainbows and unicorns!? . . . says the watcher who killed off her founder. Okay, okay. Hypocritical, I know.

I'm not a fan of happy romances, I guess. I wouldn't say that Annette and Bill don't love each other, though. If nothing else, Bill cleaned up his act pretty quickly and remained a very good partner for Annette until the end.

As for Amy and Marc, I've successfully paired them up in other games, but she seemed to just want to be his friend this time around and he felt the same way. They remained very close friends until his death.

To be fair, I think that immortal dynasty relationships can't be happy forever - mortals always gots to die. Interesting components to those relationships make the passage of time more meaningful, in my opinion.

That's one way to look at it. :)

Annette is far more nonchalant about Bill's indiscretion than I would ever be. :P

So Amy is next on the romantic radar. I wonder who will be the father of her eventual nooboo...?

Probably more than I would ever be too.

Her babydaddy was...someone. Someone I'll reveal when her story becomes relevant (she had two immortals to paint first!).

Great update, I hope Julienne is less bitter after all those spa treatments! I'd a love an Amy nooboo too, but who would the father be.......? I have an idea you know this already!!

Oh, and naughty Bill!  >:(

Nothing numbs the pain of break-ups like a good massage.

Considering how I'm on generation six and playing one of Amy's descendants, why yes, I do know! Let's just say that her babydaddy managed to have some intensely strong genes; their genetic great-grandson looks a like him still.

Now to try and expand upon the few paragraphs I have written for the next chapter...

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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2014, 11:37:25 AM »
Considering how I'm on generation six and playing one of Amy's descendants, why yes, I do know! Let's just say that her babydaddy managed to have some intensely strong genes; their genetic great-grandson looks a like him still.

Ooh, that probably means that we will be able to determine who it is once said nooboo becomes a toddler. Then again, I'm horrible with Twinbrook genetics at this point so I'll most likely be wrong. :P

Congrats on the raise! That's pretty awesome!

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 12, 2/8)
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2014, 06:14:20 PM »
Ooh, that probably means that we will be able to determine who it is once said nooboo becomes a toddler. Then again, I'm horrible with Twinbrook genetics at this point so I'll most likely be wrong. :P

Congrats on the raise! That's pretty awesome!

Not that I really want to make a babydaddy mystery for Amy. You'll see who gets the honors, well, in this update! Even if it's just in passing mention.

Thanks!



Chapter 12: However Much Time



The afternoon started normally. Shark started on another block of ice, and Harwood answered his phone to news of another child being born to a very happy, exhausted Blaise. “I hope you like the name Ben. He looks just like you,” she said.

“What a shame. So do you want to get started on number six?” he asked her, with a weak laugh.

Blaise asked for a day off, just to recover, which Harwood took well at first. He started off the day with a cup of Annette’s coffee, taken straight black, but his caffeine kick wore off by 2 in the afternoon, or so it felt. He felt as tired as, well, any woman that ended up carrying his children. Staring at a sculpting station, he didn’t know whether he felt weightless or heavy enough to collapse right there. Maybe sleep was more valuable than he thought.

“Does that look right, Mr. Clay?” Shark asked, after lopping a whole square foot of ice off one sculpture, leaving half a face on a statue. But no response for a minute, until Shark got an odd one.



As it turned out, Harwood suffered from something a little more dire than a caffeine crash that afternoon.



Once Shark turned his head, he realized what just happened. He ran to Harwood’s side, his face frozen in shock.

“I...I didn’t think it would be so soon,” Shark said. But by that point, his old mentor was silent.

Harwood, however, had a bit of time to speak to the Reaper. Some sims, upon meeting him, dropped to their knees to beg for more time. Some shook his hand. Harwood took the former option, sort of.



“Please take me!” he cried, “I have no idea what Sofia has planned, but this has to be better.”

“I’m always nice to the willing. I hope you know the way back, and that your old wife is not too angry with you.” The Reaper’s voice glided through the air like butter; rumbling and low in tone, but with tranquility beyond a usual human's voice. After those buttery words, Harwood jumped into some path on the road to the afterlife. Maybe to say hello to old friends, or maybe to face that ex-wife he never mentioned.

Amy wiped away one tear, while watching from the hallway through the double glass doors. She never knew Harwood well, whether he lived two houses away or in the next room. However, when they talked, there was a calm sweetness to his words. Maybe she would miss that, even if just for the usual mourning period. But then she got a call. It was Sofia. She and Amy weren't best friends, but she also knew her beyond just knowing that she was one of Harwood's "side projects."

“Hey. How are things?” asked Amy.

“That dirty old man needs to answer his phone,” said Sofia, in an exhausted rage, almost at the point of tears, “I called twice. I could tear his head off right now.”

“Too late.”

“You mean he’s gone? I thought he could adopt the kids and leave me in peace.”

“Wouldn’t happen anyways. But, kids? Like, plural?”

“Twins,” said Sofia, “Hannah and Ignacio. Thank god that my trust fund can cover a nanny.”

“Well, I wish you the best. Bye.” Amy stuffed her phone in her jacket’s inside pocket. A beautiful portrait of Franco sat on the easel’s edge. It was painted in bright amaranth pink, and whatever shades of grey worked best for the little hoodie he wore.

Her work, for the moment, was done. Time to relax. She wrote a message on a sticky note and affixed it to the fridge, where Annette would find it while preparing dinner. Sleeping over Sinbad’s tonight. Call if something’s wrong. - Amy <3

Of course, the full course of events was retold to Annette when she came back from work, but her only response was “wait, Harwood had a wife? She had to have been a real piece of work for him not to ever mention her.” She then stepped into the kitchen to make a few servings of goopy carbonara, his favorite, in his honor.

So the house prepared for a somber, quiet night. Whatever surprise Bill had in mind, he and Annette agreed that maybe it would be best to hold it off until the next day.



Besides, spending more time taking care of Franco that night sounded like a decent trade-off to Annette.



She was pretty tired of changing diapers, after all.



Franco learned, but the persistent pout and downward, morose stare stuck with him. Maybe even he grieved for the loss of the family sculptor. Who else would attack him with the claw between posing for sculptures, after all?

But even in a grieving household, Annette kept a smile.





Nothing made her happier than seeing her two favorite men bonding, with Bill tenderly smiling at their son after a snuggle. Whatever he had planned to make it up to Annette for the infidelity wasn’t even needed at that point. Her heart melted into a warm puddle again. She still fell asleep within minutes when next to Bill and his cuddly softness. He still thanked her each day for the amazing breakfast before work, or how she made pasta al dente for dinner.

With that, why make it up to her? Why even change at all?

The next day, however, he texted Annette at work, telling her to meet him at the fishing hole once her shift ended. In spite of still feeling greasy and smelling ever so slightly of bacon, thanks to the weird “plate full of bacon” order they got that night, she smoothed out the wrinkles in her collared undershirt and headed towards the pond. A few flakes of snow started to fall over Twinbrook.

By the time she saw Bill, the whole place was coated with thick snow.

“Does it always start this early in the season?” she asked him.

“Every time,” he said, “I never really appreciated the snow, but it looks lovely tonight. Like you.”

“Alright, if you’re standing outside to do something, you’re definitely feeling sorry. Even when you don’t need to.”

“I mean, it’s nice that you forgive, but I know you had something in mind.” Bill glanced over to the far end of the deck, to the wedding arch that Annette bought during her renovations. It was made of pale wood and surrounded by dormant or dying flowers.

She followed his gaze. “Oh. You’re not-” But she was cut off as soon as Bill got down on one knee.

“I am,” he said, drawing a dark jewelry box out of his pocket.



“I bet you never thought I would do this! But Annette Waverly, will you finally get me to commit?” He presented her with a shining, thin gold band, with one small diamond set in the center. And it fit on her left ring finger perfectly.

“Did you measure my ring size while I slept, or something?” she asked.

“I didn’t want you to ask questions.”



Annette covered her mouth, to cover the goofy, toothy smile that only her commitmentphobic boyfriend proposing to her could produce.

“I don’t even care at this point! I actually have a nice dress in the changing room. Put on a tie and we can do this right now.”

“Right now?” he asked, apprehensive, silent for a minute, until a snowflake fell on the tip of his nose. He noticed Twinbrook blanketed in virgin snow and pure beauty. Even better, he noticed his new fiancee’s goofy, gorgeous smile.

“Right now will do.” Annette barely heard those words before she bolted to the changing room. And unlike many brides, she went from casual to wedding-perfect in the same amount of time it took for Bill to throw on a blazer and fumble with tying a tie.



Without any parents to give them away, or any legal witnesses for that matter, the two walked down the aisle anyways. Bill beamed at his bride and the beautiful white dress that she never told him about.



“Alright, I know that I’ve been a very bad person,” said Bill, as he picked up the other ring he bought for Annette. “But I vow to be the best husband you could ask for. For however much longer we have together.”



Annette still kept her dopey smile, but the last sentence of his vows almost wiped it away.



“And I vow to make you happy, even with this strange life I chose.” As she slipped the ring on her groom’s finger, her sad blue eyes look at him. Her face melted into a dejected frown. “For however much longer we have left,” she sighed. But Bill took her hands and kept smiling.

“We’ll make the most of it,” he said.

Annette looked him in the face again, with every feature so lovely under all the torches and lights. With those beautiful grey eyes locked on hers.



“We will.”



And with Annette’s first Twinbrook snowstorm further piling the white powder all over town, they started to make the most of every precious moment.

Though she had a little surprise tucked into her pointless garter belt, for after Bill decided that he had enough of the outdoors. Before she could take it out, he went home to feed Sagebear and take a long nap.



“I kind of wish you could see me up there,” she whispered. “You always said that I deserved someone nice.”



She never said their name, but whoever it was, they had fireworks over Twinbrook and a public disturbance fine to honor them that night. I myself always thought that she set off the firecrackers for the dearly departed Harwood, but then again, when did he ever say a word to her about deserving someone nice?



Word Count for this chapter: 1,650]
Word Count so far : 19,231

Revised on 2-5-2015

Harwood died. News at 11?

Okay, I'm really that numb to his death. Why should I be sad at this point? Harwood produced three museum pieces and thrice as many illegitimate children, and accumulated more than enough LTHP for an obelisk. Job well done.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 12, 2/8)
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2014, 06:35:14 PM »

Great firework shot, and very touching too. I wonder if we'll ever learn Annette's strange, sad backstory? Adorable Franco pouts, a beautiful winter wedding, and laughs over someone ordering a plate full of bacon: great update!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 12, 2/8)
« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2014, 08:28:59 PM »
For however much longer we have together. A bittersweet line if ever I have read one--particularly so given Harwood's passing. :(

The fireworks seem so very Annette, too. :)

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 12, 2/8)
« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2014, 08:57:01 PM »
Awwww......I really liked Shark and Harwood's relationship. I think it was a really nice surrogate-parent thing; I'm a little sad to see him go.  :(

Annette's dress is very pretty, and Bill's proposal/the impromptu wedding was fantastic. Lovely update.

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Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 13, 2/10)
« Reply #57 on: February 10, 2014, 10:51:58 AM »
Great firework shot, and very touching too. I wonder if we'll ever learn Annette's strange, sad backstory? Adorable Franco pouts, a beautiful winter wedding, and laughs over someone ordering a plate full of bacon: great update!

I guess you'll learn something about her as time goes on. ;)

Maybe my simself took a small side trip to Twinbrook. I would be the person to order just bacon, after all.

For however much longer we have together. A bittersweet line if ever I have read one--particularly so given Harwood's passing. :(

The fireworks seem so very Annette, too. :)

Considering that Bill was well into his 80's when he and Annette finally married, I had to be well-aware of their limited time.

I couldn't see her doing anything else.

Awwww......I really liked Shark and Harwood's relationship. I think it was a really nice surrogate-parent thing; I'm a little sad to see him go.  :(

Annette's dress is very pretty, and Bill's proposal/the impromptu wedding was fantastic. Lovely update.

I would have explored their relationship more if I actually had screenshots of them together. :P They were good friends, even with very little in common.

Thanks!



Chapter 13: Fields of Expertise



Annette couldn’t avoid any discussion about getting married when she returned to work, as she always set her wedding band down on the counter. Lest she get it dirty while reaching into an elbow-deep bucket of batter, or rolling out pastries. After Mary Baker retired, the kitchen needed a pastry chef for the many doughnuts consumed.

Even Julienne gave her congratulations to Annette, without a hint of malice towards her other half.



It would seem so mysterious to anyone else, but Annette just knew that her plan worked after all. As it turned out, Annette maybe had a way with matchmaking, and not just with cooking. The next day, DeAndre Wolfe woke up with his beloved, gold-plated Margaret Vaguester back in his garage. Someone even renovated the black leather seats and buffed up the chestnut wood interior for him while it went missing.

Annette had a heart back then.

While Annette was a newlywed and Julienne fell madly in love (and got an engagement ring, how beautiful!), Amy’s paintings got better. They got good enough to get appraised for 3 or 4,000 simoleons. What was her secret?

“You and Sinbad had some fun, didn’t you?” Annette asked her, “You don’t just sleep over a crush’s house and just play Boggle, or something.”

“Wanna hear the story?”

“I don’t need to-”

“You will! I’m excited!”



Amy and Annette shared a few tactics when it came to winning over men.



Whatever tough-guy facade that Sinbad held was taken off whenever pillow fights came into the mix. So much for being the most ruthless worker for the crumbling Racket empire! Amy got to the softest part of his core, and whatever shards of good were left in his corrupt heart.

“I haven’t had this much fun since prom night!” he said, “And that was way too long ago, right?”

“Yeah. Taking me just so Jenni wouldn’t bother you. And then we were voted cutest couple,” Amy’s voice strained, her eyes looked downwards with sad nostalgia. Her pillow attacks weakened. “I miss that night too.” She dropped her pillow right there.



“Oh Sinbad, I really do miss it.”



He caressed the back of her head, his fingers deep in her thick, black-and-blue hair. “It’s not like life sucks, but it’s a little empty now. I mean, Goodwin has a family and I have nothing.”



And Amy took his hands, kept pretty soft for a thorough criminal, looking into his severe, downcast green eyes. Smelling the aerosol deodorant and aging leather of the jacket he owned since graduating high school.

“Hey, don’t act like I don’t feel the same,” said Amy, “My best friend has a wonderful husband and a little boy, and now I want that. In some way. Maybe if you’re ready.”

“I’m ready.”



“Are you just trying to fool with me?” she asked, with a flirty joy in her eyes.

“I’ll fool with anyone. But not you.”

"Pucker up, bad boy. While we're young!"



That kiss was the precise reason why Amy churned out better and better paintings, besides continued practice. But that night, the only thing that mattered was that she finally embraced Sinbad, feeling his strong physique in her arms. She ran her fingers through his coarse red hair and felt like she was at home, at last.



“Now we’ll move to my field of expertise!” said Sinbad, as they reclined on the bed and messed up the skull-print sheets.



And what an expert he was! While Amy always had a light spring in her step, she came home nearly skipping early in the morning. She did that while Annette met her brother-in-law, Dudley, for the first time at the police station. As mentioned, she faced a public disturbance fine from her fireworks display. It did not make her skip with glee.



If only everyone could be so happy.

Poor Shark relied on Harwood to guide him with his sculptures, and in the days following his death, every sculpture turned out progressively worse. Entire features lopped off. Tables made with five legs. Sculptures half-done with Shark shrugging his shoulders and saying that he couldn’t do better anyways. Trying to pass off a virgin ice block as an abstract masterpiece. Annette got tired of his angst, but she knew nothing about sculpting beyond what she gathered from watching the two sculptors (she didn’t mind Shark’s open shirt and tight jeans in the slightest).

“Cut the crap. Would Mr. Clay stand for this?” she asked Shark.

“How would he know? He’s dead.”

“Doesn’t matter. What would Harwood do?”

What would he do?



What else would he do?





And what else would he do?



Still young, Shark stumbled through life at a few points, but things started to stabilize. He even found an odd egg at the town dump one day, and after placing it in the microwave to incubate it, it didn’t mutate. In fact, it hatched into a cute purple dragon. He named it Harwood 2.0, because of all the purple, and decided that he could officially move on. Improving at sculptures.



Though his dragon needed to improve with landing sims on their feet. Poor Dennis.



But improving at sculptures, yes. Shark dedicated lots of time to that.



He needed to, because Franco was getting too big to carry, and therefore was growing up. Bill managed to do it one last time, with his little boy dressed in a grey suit and, what do you know, smiling!



His other son, Mark Sargeant, wanted something a little better than the party they offered. Or he was bittr about not getting his own birthday party, not that Bill could keep up with him. If Franco’s life seemed to whiz by, Mark’s did even quicker. Growing like a weed was too soft of a term for Mark; more like a bamboo shoot.



Regardless, Bill leaned over to help Franco blow out the candles, ignoring the cheering. That cheering meant that he and Annette had to say good-bye to their nooboo and hello to a fully bipedal, miniature human-esque thing.



So good-bye nooboo.



Good-bye nooboo.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,010
Word Count so far: 20,241

Revised on 2-2-2015

Short update, yeah. ~870 1,010 words in my document, but I just wanted to get past Franco's toddler stage and save the child pics for another update.

As anyone can figure out, I actually had to move DeAndre into the household, hence his fashion sense not being awful. And instead of getting his car back, I sold it because you don't just keep Margaret Vaguesters around in a dynasty! Annette actually stole his motorcycle. He brought the Vaguester along himself. Stealing it would knock the value down.

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 14, 2/10)
« Reply #58 on: February 10, 2014, 01:50:02 PM »
Chapter 14: Hannah



It wasn’t that Franco couldn’t remember any bit of his toddler years. He remembered some bits, but they were captured in a hazy image. Anything after childhood was captured with the metaphorical lens cleaned. And his first clear memory? Annette laughing at him. Endlessly. By that, it was just a few minutes, but it seemed so strange at the time.

“What is it, mum?” he asked, feeling a foot and a half taller.

“Well-” she was choked by her laughter, too much to respond.

“Just what!”

“You’re fat!”



So he was, so he was. Franco’s face grew enough for him to pull off pure scowls, an expression I knew well from him. He scowled and scowled, even with the slice of cake in his hand. He sat down at one of the high tables to eat it before his mum could make another joke about his weight or say that he shouldn’t have some cake to celebrate regardless.



The fat wasn't the only bad thing that aging up did. His hairstyle was unflattering and his clothes needed work. However, most of it was birthday black magic; the sort of stuff that imparts bad hairstyles and worse clothing each birthday. It was bad for him, but Franco got it all straightened out by himself, with a sweatervest to keep him warm and glasses to make sure that the teachers knew he was a smart cookie. Neither did anything about his soft, chubby build, but it was just a fun challenge to work around, in his already-fashion-savvy mind.

He climbed into the one vacant bed, Harwood’s old bed, cringing at the overdone purple interior. After he tossed and turned in bed, unable to sleep, Annette came in with a cookbook tucked under her arm.

“Will you go to sleep if I read you dessert recipes?” she asked.

“I guess.”

“And listen, son, I’m sorry about laughing. You’re still my handsome little boy.” Annette leaned over to tuck him in and give him a kiss on top of the head. “And you’re gonna go to school with nine kids who are all brothers and sisters. You’ll be the only kid they can date. So don’t worry!”

“Fine,” he grumbled, “Can I get a real story? One of the classics, perhaps?”

“What, do I look bookish? I’m a cook, not a scholar. Now, for crepes, you first whisk together the flour and eggs for the batter.”



Meanwhile, Shark stood motionless, the consequences of his actions coming to light. Sofia couldn’t catch a break, could she?

“I think we need to talk,” he said.



The break-up was quick, because Franco woke up bright and early to get an attempt at a sculpture in before his first day of school. Shark couldn't spend that time mired in relationship drama instead.



He even had time for another.

“Now, you gotta be a fighter, kid,” said Shark, pantomiming a fight. “The ladies love a man who can stand for himself.”

“Brilliant! But my mum says that everyone will like me.” Then Shark remembered Harwood and his little side-trips. Franco would be sought-after even if he was dropped on his head and deformed by a shovel hit. It was paradise for any boy, as long as olive skin and horrendous gaunt faces were their thing.



As it turned out, Twinbrook got very productive in general, even after Harwood's passing. Annette had to pull double-time at the diner to make up for Julienne’s absence, but it also gave her the chance to beat Julienne in the one thing she strived to do. With a pile of cash, Annette bought off the ownership to the diner in its entirety. Another thousand, and it even got a new sign with a new name. River Demons Diner became the hottest place for breakfast, brunch, and brinner.



That just gave Annette more of an incentive to cook and cook more.



She couldn’t take her eyes off her husband in uniform, though, even as some hot and sour soup bubbled on the stove. He quickly became one of the best police officers in Twinbrook, even with his old, fading tattoos peeking out of the short sleeves of his uniform. He gained trust, even with the Racket name still on his badge. The once unskilled, lazy politician became an expert problem solver on the clock and off it. That problem-solving was also great for when Franco came home with homework.

That was the man she married. And she never regretted it before, and certainly never did after moments like those.

So she chopped some tomatoes for the next dish. Bill needed a good reward.



Nothing got him happy like a nice spaghetti dinner, after all.



To think that he once cheated on Annette, or had second thoughts about anything. He softened a lot in his old age, even braving the outdoors for a little date to the Winter Festival. He collaborated with Annette to build a snowman without his gloves, when she asked.

“Is this what ice sculpting feels like?” asked Bill, his hands stinging from the cold snow, “I guess we’ve punished him enough.”





A birthday alone probably added to that too.

Once the snowman was finished, Annette took a seat in the snow. It buried her legs. Work left her dead-tired, and then she just wanted Julienne back in the kitchen at that point. But her heavy eyelids couldn’t give in when another hand touched hers, clasping it in the snow.



“Just like old times,” Bill said, “God, that night really did change my life. Without it, I wouldn’t be sitting next to the most wonderful person in Twinbrook.”



“I guess I knew you’d come around,” said Annette, squeezing his hand tight enough to threaten his circulation while buried in the snow. Even as the years piled on age for the both of them, Bill’s little grey eyes still charmed Annette, always drawing her closer.

“You’ll never know how much I needed someone like you,” she sighed.

In the mean time, Franco went on a quest for his own most wonderful person in Twinbrook. He had some variety, if Harwood’s daughters and nothing else counted as variety.



After school, he liked to play in the snow, across the street from the school building at the community gardens. He and the kids there threw snowballs and avoided frozen apples that liked to fall from the dormant trees. Carmen Kindle liked that too, and Franco liked her as a playmate. However, he hated her hair to the point of obsession. Short and tucked into a goofy PlantSim hat, it didn’t frame her thin, skull-like face in the slightest. Worst of all, it didn’t match her cute blue scarf.



“Believe me,” said Franco, “You need bangs.”

“I’ll show off my fabulous face how I like!” retorted Carmen, blowing a kiss to the air. “You’ll see that I’m awesome one day.”

Whatever.



To be fair, Marcie’s frizzy pigtails didn’t flatter her much either. He left those sessions unimpressed, liking the friendship of the Kindle girls, but little else.



He cornered a young Ignacio Carlton at the theatre one evening, though, after a chaperoned outing with the whole lot of Harwood’s kids to see Sentient Coffee Pot 2. Already confirmed about his heterosexuality, he also liked Iggy just as a friend. Franco did what he did best with friends: fuel the gossip machine. Who wore what the worst. He still never had a nice thing to say about Carmen’s hair.

“Hannah’s so annoying,” said Ignacio, “Why don’t you ever say things about her?”

“Hannah?” Franco asked. He didn’t take any classes with her. While Annette fought to enroll Franco is as many art classes as possible, it seemed like Hannah avoided all of them. She even preferred gym class to painting. She sat away from him at lunch, instead usually lunching with Parker Castor, one of her many half-brothers.



But oh, did he get to know Hannah. She surfaced at the gardens one night, with a blue fleece sweater that matched her big blue eyes. Her cheekbones filled out her face just right, and her dark hair was tied back into a neat little ponytail with a ribbon. Franco was silent and flustered at the sight of her, until managing to squeeze out a hello.

“Hey yourself,” she said.

“Uh, you wanna play tag?” asked Franco.



For a chunky little boy, Franco ran fast, slapping Hannah’s back in a matter of seconds.

“Come on! I’m too fabulous to lose at this game,” she said, before blowing a kiss to the air in celebration of her awesomeness. She was certainly Carmen’s half-sister with that attitude!



Franco's parents let him be. They were busy, after all.



As for Amy, she had another hurdle to overcome.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,454
Word Count so far: 21,965

Revised on 2-5-2015

Disclaimer: Annette laughing about Franco's weight is a reflection of her character, not mine. I was thrilled to have something other than a rail-thin heir after the Ironstars and their collection of noodly noodle people. :P

Franco's child trait was Snob, by the way.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 14, 2/10)
« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2014, 04:00:59 PM »

Out of curiosity, are you randomly rolling traits or picking them? And wow, two divas? Franco's got some . . . interesting choices, to say the least! That diva trait can make for a world of drama. He's certainly an odd looking child, but I think (like Bill) he'll grow into the face shape a little better as he ages up. Nice to de DeAndre and Shark are both leaving their mark on the world, too.  ;)

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 14, 2/10)
« Reply #60 on: February 10, 2014, 04:59:43 PM »
Shark is taking after his mentor, all right. :P

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 15, 2/11)
« Reply #61 on: February 11, 2014, 02:13:32 PM »
Out of curiosity, are you randomly rolling traits or picking them? And wow, two divas? Franco's got some . . . interesting choices, to say the least! That diva trait can make for a world of drama. He's certainly an odd looking child, but I think (like Bill) he'll grow into the face shape a little better as he ages up. Nice to de DeAndre and Shark are both leaving their mark on the world, too.  ;)

I'm choosing traits, and I have to meticulously choose traits in order to stick to my rule of "no overlapping traits." It involves spreadsheets of traits and everything! I just like to make note of them. I wanted Snob as a trait to trigger the Fashion Phenomenon LTW when Franco grew up.

Yeah, the wide jaw and extra weight did no favors for Franco as a child, but he grew into it better.

Shark is taking after his mentor, all right. :P

At least I have an excuse for Shark's behavior. He ended up with the Heartbreaker LTW. I think Harwood was content to spend his life alone, but why do that?



Chapter 15: Biological







Three sims took to the winter festival one afternoon. Shark didn't follow them, as he needed time and strong liquor to contemplate his life with. Sofia had triplets, may or may not have been out for his head, and Shark wanted to forget about them. Bill worked a desk job that didn't give snow days to workers from just up the road. But the other three could use a day and a snowball fight. Annette and Amy felt like kids again, pelting each other with snow, though Franco had a pretty good throw for a kid.



Amy stayed late that night, lighting a fire at the fire pit and going next door to the grocery store for a bag of marshmallows. In spite of that, she roasted just one for herself. She also had an elixir stuffed inside her jacket, for Sinbad. As cool as fairies were in her head, she wanted a human child, once her biological clock annoyed her enough. It started to. There was no one she could imagine as the father of her child besides Sinbad. His evil heart would surely take a turn for the better upon seeing his own nooboo. But he needed to be human for a human child. A human would be accepted by the Twinbrook community instead of othered.



“Hey babe,” said Sinbad, upon arrival, then stepping on a half-eaten, toasted marshmallow that Amy dropped in the snow. “Did you save any of those for me?”

“There’s something a little more important than marshmallows,” said Amy, “I can’t see you as a fairy. How can you be a criminal and a fairy?”

“Wasn’t my choice. I’d rather be a vampire. Apparently they hid this weird potion in one of the packages at work. Guess who tested it?”

“That sucks. Want to fix that?” Amy threw an elixir at his feet, the glass breaking inside of his boots and liquid seeping into his socks. Sinbad didn’t even cringe.



He just squeezed the last bit of fairy magic out.

"I'm not making you a vampire, though," she said.

Amy just went home after that. She wasn’t in the mood for woohoo, odd as it was considering how Sinbad never failed to get her in the mood. Instead, she made arrangements to sell the many paintings she had on hand.



After all, the easels needed to be freed up again.



Franco’s childhood passed by so fast in the eyes of his parents, but he himself didn’t care. In fact, there was plenty to look forward to. Maybe another foot and a half of height would solve the weight issue! After all, teenage girls such as the grown-up Marcie in her rose-print halter top were far more appealing to his eyes than other children. Something changed about him some months before his birthday. Those girls at school started to look less like friends and more like...something more. He announced his wish for attention from the ladies out loud, jinxing everything in the process. Well, according to superstition, he did. And in his own life, he was jinxed for sure!





Besides that, what was so funny to his parents?



Franco and Shark were the only ones who ate cake that night. The two cousins enjoyed their dessert regardless, chatting about women. Franco had a few years of basking in teenage hormones ahead of him and Shark wouldn't want his cousin to waste them. However, Franco's biggest concern was that Annette had the nerve to use cheap ingredients making the cake.

“I bet you’ll do well with the girls,” said Shark, “Once you fix your hair and clothes. You call yourself a fashion guru looking like that?”



Sure, he fixed those things, but the sticky drawers stayed!



After Franco settled on a look, his parents couldn’t be more proud, even if his birthday added 100 extra pounds on top of a foot and a half. With shaggy hair and distressed hazel eyes behind a new pair of glasses in dark silver frames and outlined with dark eyeliner, he grew up with loads of charm. The fat wasn't much of an issue if the rest of him looked good. Maybe that Twinbrook water wasn’t so bad for growing sims after all.



And as a test run for his new, teenage looks, he met up with Bunny Curious in the bathroom.

“Your eyes look gorgeous under these lights,” he told her.



“You’re a nice kid, but I don’t date younger men,” said Bunny, “Why don’t you try Marcie Kindle instead?”

Marcie said that it was her bedtime. At 8PM. He could see who else he went to school with, but Marcie was his only female classmate for that first day. And as handsome as he’d admit Randall Drudge was, Franco wasn’t searching for men.

Shark couldn't say the same.

In fact, Shark had a taste for men so broad that he started with the dregs of Twinbrook. Annette had a feeling that he might have been "off," considering that he made a few lewd comments about his male classmates. He often asked Amy if she was coming back from meeting with "that hunk my dad bosses around." Like many a conservative, confused adult, Annette expressed her ambivalence and confusion, and paid no attention otherwise. She also thought that his taste skewed towards the young and handsome. He then brought a Bayless home one afternoon.

In a small town, it was easy to become famous or infamous. The Bayless family didn't deserve the bad reputation, but the term "ugly as a Bayless" was in vogue back then. It made sense; they looked wrong. All of them did. Their ears stuck out more than anyone's, and their chins receded in a peculiar way. Shark didn't mind and brought home Skeet Bayless, infamous ugly swamp vampire, in hopes for some action. After all, it wasn't like he could knock him up.

Due to being married, straight, and prone to misunderstandings, Skeet refused Shark's advances. It was the start to a bad afternoon for the both of them, until Skeet collapsed on the porch.



Poor Skeet, and poor Shark too. Death followed him for a bit after that.



Not that long later, Shark just wanted to reconnect with his mum. She was so absorbed in parties, money, and not liking Bill when he was growing up. He may have had mixed feelings, but also the impulse to fix things. Shark fixed things, but he did it at the last moment.



Heck, even Bill felt a bit of remorse for his enemy’s death. In a strange way. What was left of the Racket family mourned or cheered in their own odd ways.

At least things were looking up for Amy. Sinbad answered the door one evening, giving her a peck on the cheek and a flirty grin, as usual. He wanted woohoo, as usual, and Amy couldn’t resist his charms, nor the brilliant, near-devious smile he perfected throughout his life. But before, she drew him in for a whispered message.



“Don't use protection tonight. I know it sounds strange, but I want a nooboo,” she whispered, “Right now. I can’t press the snooze button on my biological clock anymore.”

“Do I have to pay child support?” he asked.

“I’m rich! Why should I make you do that?”



That was his only concern.

The winter snow started to melt as Twinbrook welcomed spring, though Annette still woke up each morning to frosty grass and frosted windows. As for her goals, most of them were finished, except for her garden. She searched for life fruit and got only flame fruit bushes and money trees in return. The alley catfish in the freezer that remained useless as bait because of the frozen ponds, and useless as sushi fish because they tasted terrible raw. But those missing ingredients depended on waiting and waiting only. Cooking mastered in full, almost as far in her career as a small-town cook could be, and Annette had nothing to do. Nothing at all.



“I hate you for building this outside,” said Bill. “I don’t even think that bikini of yours can make this feel right.”

Nothing at all. Her joints felt older as adulthood marched on, but the hot tub melted away all the stiffness. She also enjoyed the string bikini while she could wear it without traumatizing the entire town. She took the time to enjoy those little things, as time ticked on quicker and quicker.







Her best friend’s life changed drastically, for starters.



And someone made Franco make the sappiest of faces, just in time for prom night.



Word Count for this chapter 1,428
Word Count so far: 23,393

Revised on 2-15-2015.

Franco gained either Perfectionist or Hopeless Romantic for his teen birthday. Whichever one he didn't get for his teen birthday was his YA trait.

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 16, 2/11)
« Reply #62 on: February 11, 2014, 11:19:59 PM »
Chapter 16: Sister, Sister





Franco spent a lot of his free time in front of the easel, under the guidance of Amy. After getting amazing grades in art classes throughout childhood, it seemed natural for him to pick up painting. But he kept throwing around the phrase “perfecting it.” Mixing colors in his palette, spending hours blending them on the canvas, observing color and shadows. Did most teens do that just for the sake of perfection? Did any?

They would soon learn that, yes, Franco wasn't alone in his passion. Annette went to a parent-teacher conference and spoke with Franco’s beloved art teacher, Mrs. Ponder. She was a newcomer to the town, but Franco adored her class.

“Your son is my best student,” Mrs. Ponder said, “Well, other than Carmen.”

"Oh, you mean that Carmen?" Annette asked. "It's in her blood. Franco got this way through hard work alone, dang it!"

Ah, Carmen Kindle. She was one of those Harwood spawn that overran the town. There was no mistaking her for someone else's child. She inherited the best and worst from him, the most notable being her slim jawline and gaunt, skeletal cheekbones. His artistic talent got passed down too. When Franco beat her in attention to detail, she stepped up and unleashed her avant-garde creativity. Carmen's paintings lay somewhere between cubism and M.C. Escher in their sheer oddity. Whenever Franco fished for compliments over his work, over the best paints and canvases that his rich family could buy, Carmen just insisted that she was awesome. And it was easy to believe.



Talent wasn't the only good thing she inherited. Puberty did her a few favors, bringing out those expressive, pine-green eyes and luscious, full lips. It was hard to ignore her cheekbones even with those, but even Carmen was growing up into a beautiful young woman. She even took one of Franco's tips and grew out her hair a bit during high school. Fine, wavy strands of red hair grew until tapering off at her chin. It impressed a lot of people, even snobby Franco. With wide-eyed amazement he only had at the finest of women, he met her at her house after school.



“You know, that rivalry is pretty dumb,” he said, “You are the prettiest girl in class.”

“Well, I’m the only one,” she said, “But I’ll take any compliments. I know you love me anyways. Boys always try to upset the girls they like.”

“So, prom’s coming up.”

“I’m not gonna be caught dead going alone either, boy.”



They kissed to seal the promise. Too bad that Franco couldn’t dance, but he could fix that. He just needed practice, and the Spring Festival came into town with its bright-colored dance floor and cheerful, danceable indie pop playing all day.



“Hannah, I’m not going to embarrass myself at prom,” he told her, with Hannah grown up too. She cut her dark hair into a short pixie cut, but her blue eyes and dreamy olive skin remained. “Can you practice dancing with me?”

“Better than practicing with Mark,” she said. "Dude's an apple pie, from what we hear."

"An apple pie?"

"He's gay. God, Franco, he's your brother. You should know this by now."

"But can I say one thing? Shut up and dance with me."



Hannah obliged. Franco closed his eyes and tried to think of Carmen instead, but the warmth of Hannah’s hands, even through her gloves, was uniquely hers. Carmen had very cold hands, usually, due to poor circulation. Hannah spoke with an almost child-like soprano voice, compared to how husky puberty made Carmen’s voice. Two minutes in, and Carmen wasn’t even a presence in his mind. Just Hannah, stepping in slow motion to a her favorite ballad.

“Ahh!” It was like someone dropped an anvil on his toe.



“I’m so sorry,” Hannah said. It turned out to just be her boot. “I’m just a big klutz sometime. I don’t think Carmen is, though.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine.” Franco escaped without injury that night, and many others. She became his regular dance partne. While he still told himself that he did it to impress Carmen later on, Franco always fell into the lull of Hannah’s gentle embrace. Lulled whether at the Spring Festival, or dancing to the stereos at the gym.



Breaking that lull was far too easy, though.

“Relax, kiddo,” said Amy, a puddle forming at her feet. “It’s just labor.”

Annette watched from the corner. “You just wait,” she muttered to herself. "No one likes squeezing a watermelon out through a pinhole." In a matter of minutes, Amy's demeanor changed.



“Okay, okay, get it out of me!” Amy’s body started to tense up under all the pressure, “Hospital!!”



“Really? I gave birth at the front door and didn’t even cry,” said Annette, tapping her feet and waiting at the door for her carpool. Amy ignored her and called a friend to drive her to the hospital.



A panicking, useless friend, perhaps, but Amy took it from there.



Even Sinbad managed to show up in time.



Later that night, Amy came home with a precious little boy in her arms. Swaddled in a hospital-issue blue blanket and already looking at his mother with his father’s tough, bright-green eyes, she was won over by him in an instant. She named him Julian, and as much as she loved Sinbad, Amy hoped that her Julian would be more of an artist like her than a hardened criminal.



Meanwhile, it seemed that Bill had second thoughts about who he loved, cowering in fear at his wedding ring one night. He even ran off to the great outdoors after work, which was not a Bill-like thing to do.



To be fair, there was someone else that he loved with all of his heart. Sagebear, older and with light silver flecks in her beautiful merle coat, gave Bill more kisses than his own wife did. He scratched her behind the ears, cleaned off the ores that she still dropped into his lap, and even administered flea baths. In return, Sagebear always greeted him by the door after work, and still kept his feet warm at night, curled up at the end of the bed.



But when he leaned in to kiss Annette on a date, there was no doubt in Bill’s mind any more about who he really, truly loved. Sagebear never left smudges of matte brown lipstick, after all.



The two of them still made the most of their time.



Why worry about anything? Franco had a lovely prom date, and he even convinced Carmen to color-coordinate with him. His dancing lessons paid off, because he came home with a shiny silver crown and a smile on his face. And a steady girlfriend in Carmen.



Though he might have regretted the last part.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,131
Word Count so far: 24,524

Edited 2/12 for mistakes that escaped my bare-bones proofreading. :P

Revised further on 2-15-2015.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 16, 2/11)
« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2014, 09:38:57 AM »
Oh dear...Hannah or Carmen. Franco has quite the conundrum on his hands.

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 16, 2/11)
« Reply #64 on: February 13, 2014, 12:16:19 AM »
Carmen's got a lovely hair colour. Is that from Harwood by any chance? I don't know why but I never pictured him as a natural brunette.

Yeah, Franco certainly has more spouse options that your typical Dynasty heir. And keeping your Simpage posts in mind as I read your story makes it even MORE complicated.  :P

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 17, 2/13)
« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2014, 05:16:32 PM »
Oh dear...Hannah or Carmen. Franco has quite the conundrum on his hands.

It was a difficult choice for me too!

Carmen's got a lovely hair colour. Is that from Harwood by any chance? I don't know why but I never pictured him as a natural brunette.

Yeah, Franco certainly has more spouse options that your typical Dynasty heir. And keeping your Simpage posts in mind as I read your story makes it even MORE complicated.  :P

Harwood has black hair when you age him down. Carmen's hair color was just random, but I agree that it worked very well for her!

Most of my heirs had quite a few options, but Franco was surrounded by them and spent the first week of young adulthood doing nothing but seeing who could make a good wife. His story was presented without much context on the official site, and yeah, it got a little messy. :P



Chapter 17: Gothic Sanctuary



It's okay to be afraid.



There aren’t too many ways to rationally react to seeing your own father in his underwear. He is passed out on the floor and snoring the tiniest bit, smelling of juice and a fun night. As I said, I think that cowering in fear is one of those rational things.

I would otherwise never do this, but I'm on a hunt for family background, and he might know more than I do. I steal his phone, which he left on the coffee table. He bought a thinner model within the last few years; I can feel the difference as I hold it. I scroll through the contacts list, full of names I don't care about. It's all Bridgeport folks, it seems. I pass by some names that stick out otherwise. Olive, his favorite granddaughter. Piper, who he must have reconciled with. Willow, who has such a neutral name in his list for someone's who is his actual wife. Wormwood, which is an in-joke. Who doesn't like C.S. Lewis? Dad was once a Wormwood too, but the name was befitting for a rookie and stopped fitting when he was no longer one. He ascended to "Uncle Screwtape" before I was born.

I think I hear him stir. I try to memorize Wormwood's number and put down the phone.

Annette gave him some treasures of hers. I don't like the guy much, not that I can say anything different about any of us, but he has something I need. Getting through to him will be more of a challenge than stealing dad's phone.



Dad wakes up later when I go out to my fire pit for a marshmallow or three before bed. He pokes the fire and takes joy in watching the flames dance. In his underwear. In the mind of Philip Waverly, Sunset Valley deserves a good look at him undressed.



With his eyebrows raised, he speaks in a threateningly low voice. “I know you want to find out a little more,” he says, “You placed my phone on the kitchen table.”

“I guess I’m not the genius in the family,” I say.

“It’s fine. There are a lot of things I want to know too, but I better stay low before the police bust me again. And perhaps...perhaps I want your forgiveness for those things I did.”

"You don't, that's the problem."

"But what if I do?"

"You'd try to make a change in everyone's life and not just do this cutesy garbage. But I appreciate the info. Looks like your Wormwood will be getting a call."

"Nice to see you remember that. Not any of the loving things I did for you, but my in-jokes at work? Sure you do."

"Ah yes, your loving things." He betrayed me...a lot. In between that, he doted on me like a father should, even as I got as old as he was. So he had loving things, but I can't remember them. Love doesn't stick with anyone like trauma does. I never look at myself and see a content Josephine.

Trauma is a big gash in the middle of the face like that. It's a huge port wine birthmark that no foundation will cover up. Or at least, that's how I'm seeing it.



In spite of his shortcomings, I have a lot of confidence in his ability to keep the house running. Even if he does disturb the neighbors by hanging the clothes in his birthday suit.

I guess it’s safe to plan a little vacation now.



Something's compelling me to.



So I tell Agnes the next morning, getting approval and a “it’s your life, and I’d rather you not disturb my office time with it.” In a perfect world, all I would have to do is pack some the necessities in a suitcase and check the train schedule.

Before I leave, something dark sits in my bottom dresser drawer, nestled among sweaters and my long winter coat.



It’s something better left in Sunset Valley, in a place where it can’t gather suspicion, and where no one can hear me when I bury my face into my hands for the last sob. I can't travel with this cursed relic. I can't look at the past with it in my line of vision. It's the worst part of the past, even if just for me. Considering that the Goth family is out for dinner tonight, they can take it without knowing that they will. There's a place for these "relics" in their garden.



The ashes of one of my old contacts were never properly taken care of after Twinbrook. While we buried the urn in Twinbrook, I cleaned the dirt off and took it with me and locked it away, somewhere where they couldn’t haunt me. That part of my life is past me, I think. The obelisk, standing there unmarked in the garden is a nice touch, so they can feel peaceful, honored, and stay far away from me.



I’m not alone in my gothic sanctuary, though.



Nor am I particularly respectful towards the grieving.

“Oh, hi Agnes,” I say.

“Kind of odd how we had the same ideas,” she says, “I know that most dynasty girls are widows.”

I hang my head a bit. “Basically.” Agnes approaches me instead, with the sweetest look in her eyes, as her beautiful grey eyes glimmer under the garden lights. I'd be gay without her too, but Agnes makes my jaw drop a lot. She has for years, and I might not come back alive if my worries are right.



“Most people already know about this, but I lost my husband not too long before you moved here. While I still miss him, I have no choice but to move on," she says. "And everyone buries their dead here anyways. My sister like to keep a few ghosts around for when my brother-in-law is on business trips, to keep her company.”

“So she gets her old in-law for company?” I ask Agnes.

“Pretty much.”

Wow, and I thought I could be mean.

“I moved on a long time ago,” I lie, “You know how dynasties work. Everyone gets resurrected? Not this guy. Something about the resurrection process got botched, and I feel bad about it.” I lie again. “I hope he likes this garden.” Okay, I hope he does. Did I lie well enough?



Whether or not I did, Agnes still looks at me with those dreamy grey eyes, set above her impeccable cheekbones and strong chin. My impulses want to burst right out and rip through my sternum.

“I always love tragic stories,” she says.

“Do you love women?” I ask.

“Well!” says Agnes, flustered, “Maybe I’ve admired a few. Are you trying to get at what I think you’re getting at?”

“Probably.”



And I lean in, with all of my impulses. She falls into it just as quick as I do. I have convinced myself that I'll die on this mission, but just to calm myself.



It stops when I go home. What did I do there? I have a feeling that I should leave even sooner because of it. Well, once I recover from the small shock and do something other than stare at the air with wide eyes, and maybe read a little more. Just in case she thought it was love. At least I can leave the house to dad and expect clean floors and cleaner counters.



As long as he doesn’t do anything stupid, anyways.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,251
Word Count so far: 25,775

Revised on 2-15-2015.

Offline Trip

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Chapter 18: A Multitude of Wrinkles





It was a good thing that all of the portraits that Amy needed to paint were done, until someone had another birthday. Not even her duties could tear her away from Julian and those precious nooboo hands that grabbed at her black-and-blue locks of hair.



Good for Franco too. Maybe Amy would take time out of her busy schedule and re-do the wallpaper before his young adult birthday. Maybe then he could stand around without guarding his eyes from the blinding orange walls.



Thank goodness for friends to distract him.

Hannah knocked down the king during their game of Gnubb, adding another thing to confirm her awesomeness to the long list of things she found to be awesome about herself. Those long, toned legs in short athletic shorts were among them too, or at least Franco hoped. He couldn't be the only guy who saw that. Afterwards, the two of them still sat on the grass with exhaustion after a long game of Gnubb.

“You know, there’s not much more gorgeous than a woman who exercises,” Franco said, “Your legs look stunning.”

“I know they do! But you’re fine the way you are. Don’t think I judge,” said Hannah, poking Franco’s chubby tummy for effect. “In fact, I’m just fine with it.”

“Are you trying to flirt with me?” he asked. “It makes my job easier.”

“Yeah. What else would I do?”



Franco’s hand crept closer to hers, and he laced his fingers with hers.

“Holy crap, what about Carmen?” she asked. “Doesn’t she like art?”



“That she does,” said Franco, “But I have a bit of a thing for your big blue eyes. And I think I need to see what other girls are like before things get too serious between Carm and I.”

“And you call yourself a gentleman?” Hannah asked, with a laugh.



Oh well. If Amy could rekindle her friendship with an ex as if they never had feelings for each other, why couldn’t Franco when he finally had to confront Carmen? Or Hannah, or whoever else he could net? Those teenage hormones left him lovesick and confused.



He didn't tell anyone else. However, he spilled the secret to Shark while posing for more sculptures. Instead of harsh advice to stay monogamous, Franco got a reassuring hug without criticism. Then again, anything else would make Shark a huge hypocrite. “I can’t believe that my baby cousin is growing up,” Shark said, almost in tears, “I never thought that you could ever be like me.”

“Any advice?” asked Franco.

“Don’t be afraid of doing something just because it feels nice. I can’t say that I’ve been a good person, but I don’t regret a bit of it.”



That advice was probably why Franco went to Hannah’s mansion after school one day, and didn’t even say hello before attacking her with a kiss.



“Holy crap, what about Carmen?” she asked, again, frozen in shock.

“Didn’t I already tell you? Blue eyes.”

“You gotta be a little more convincing,” she said.

“You’re awesome.”



And that was the day that Franco confirmed that he was a little more rotten than a first glance could tell you.



Not to say that he ever treated Hannah like a disposable toy in those days. He handled her like a gentleman, taking her out to dinner on the hefty allowance his supremely rich mother could give him. He offered to pay for caviar, if she wanted it, only for Hannah to order a simple veggie burger, her favorite, without any fries.

“Woopie!”

“We’re at the Bistro,” he said, picking at a plate of grilled salmon and leeks. “You could have at least gotten a dessert, or something a little bit fancy.”

“My choices are filled with awesome,” she said.



“Alright, I won’t argue with it.”



To be fair to Hannah, his father was the sort of guy to order a hot dog at the Bistro, while Annette had a plate of the restaurant’s famed risotto. Franco never had anything to say to his dad about his low-class choices in bistro food. It just mattered that his parents were still in love. After all those years, Annette still found Bill to be the sexiest man in Twinbrook when under the candlelight. His recent promotion to Head of Forensics at the police department and the new lab coat didn’t hurt, either.

“Oh my god,” she said. “I’m getting old.”

“No, you’re gracefully aging up,” said Bill, “You’ll always be young compared to me, anyways.”

“When you look at it that way...I’m still getting old. Like, my birthday’s tomorrow. I scheduled the party but I wish I could forget now.”

“I’ll make it nice and try not to die on you. We can’t have it be that sad of a day.”

“I guess we can’t,” Annette scraped the last bits of risotto from her plate, “You’ll be out of work by then? You promise?”

“Babe, I wouldn’t miss it.”



But before that happened, someone else had a birthday. Just a simple one in the morning for Julian. Even while arranging her own party, Annette baked him a white-frosted yellow cake. She could get that and everyone out of bed to cheer him on.



If Amy thought that Julian had his father’s eyes, she was right, but she couldn't forsee how right she was. Sinbad’s genes took over everything and colonized the kid's face. Those Rotter genes defined every last thing about Julian, from his little toddler scowl to the red hair done in a fauxhawk.



Still, he was cute.



And eager to learn.



Bill might have kept a good attitude about Annette’s birthday, and she warmed up to the idea. Goodwin Goode didn’t, though, and even Lolly, her own niece, stood around forlorn for the entire evening.



But the Waverlys always loved family, and Annette stood by the cake and thought of a wish. Her nephew and her son cheered for her over the sounds of some classic jazz and R&B. Her heart filled with pride for that wonderful family she raised.



When a wish didn’t come to mind, Annette just blew out the candles so there wouldn’t be wax all over her cake and the buttercream frosting she spent half an hour making and spreading. She let the birthday magic take over and smiled all the way through it, finally accepting inevitable old age and a multitude of wrinkles.



It wasn’t because of her friends, though.



But because her old, old husband was still alive and well enough to mercilessly laugh at her through it all.



Finding a good look for her scrawny, elderly body helped too.



As did cherry cobbler, her favorite of many cobblers, for breakfast.

Granted, she had two snags when it came to the final stages of her plan to live forever.



The sudden, early death of Goodwin Goode was one of them. He was such a good friend, and she wouldn't live forever without at least six friends. However, chatting up his widow while he begged for more time fixed that snag before the clock struck midnight. The second one, well, was far more devastating.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,185
Word Count so far: 26,960

Revised on 2-15-2015

I'm well-aware that Julian did not have Sinbad's exact hair color. He aged up with plain black hair, which I wouldn't stand for. Because he turned out looking so much like Sinbad, I gave him an approximate shade of red hair while he got his dad's true hair color after his child makeover.

But he was just so cute! Julian also was born as artistic and neurotic, because someone needed to get Franco's portraits later on. :P

Offline Trident

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Hey, I finally figured out what/who your profile pic is! Lol
Franco is definitely.....interesting.  :o

I like the romance between Jo and Agnes. It is, for lack of a better word, quite cute.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Oh my word, Julian is adorable!

As for Franco, well...like father like son, I guess...? That is pretty awesome that Bill is alive, but how in the world did he outlive Goodwin? Wow...

Offline Rhoxi

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Julian is sooo cute! I love how he sort of looks like he's scowling, even as a tot!

The backstory continues to shape up and look interesting. No wonder she didn't want to bring her husband back, if she was always into women. And making a move on Agnes? She's got classy taste.  8)

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 17-19, 2/13)
« Reply #70 on: February 13, 2014, 08:36:17 PM »
Hey, I finally figured out what/who your profile pic is! Lol
Franco is definitely.....interesting.  :o

I like the romance between Jo and Agnes. It is, for lack of a better word, quite cute.

You'll even see the full image in this next update!

He was a pretty interesting guy.

I think it's cute too!

Oh my word, Julian is adorable!

As for Franco, well...like father like son, I guess...? That is pretty awesome that Bill is alive, but how in the world did he outlive Goodwin? Wow...

I didn't get too many pics of his toddler years, which makes me pretty sad. He was one of the cutest toddlers of the dynasty.

I'd say that Franco is worse than his old man, or better. He has the excuse of being young and hormonal.

To be fair, Goodwin was a little bugged in that regard. He was the same age as Annette, but died about a day after their elder birthdays. But Bill outlived all of the original, non-supernatural adults. He was just very lucky, I supposed.

Julian is sooo cute! I love how he sort of looks like he's scowling, even as a tot!

The backstory continues to shape up and look interesting. No wonder she didn't want to bring her husband back, if she was always into women. And making a move on Agnes? She's got classy taste.  8)

Yeah, he's really angry looking, but it's indeed cute.

I think she likes women who are like herself. Agnes likes vintage things and has blonde hair and grey eyes, just like Jo. It was a recurring theme throughout her life. ;)



Chapter 19: Bon Voyage





Hannah became the central-focus of Franco’s mind. He barely looked at Carmen during art class, using one of her brother’s as a model for portrait drawing instead. He studied alone during study hall, even though she took it the same period. However, Hannah was always invited out to dinner, foosball at The Red Rendezvouz, or on her insistence, a friendly soccer match.

Franco tripped over himself after kicking the ball, though, and Hannah still blocked it. She might have beaten him in that game, but he still loved those lean legs of hers. In fact, he loved all of Hannah's beauty illuminated in the moonlight.



Annette and Bill also liked the nighttime ambiance.



Their like of it left Amy and Shark alone, on the night of Amy’s elder birthday! Annette mentally kicked herself for missing it, like she missed her adult birthday.



“Please don’t cheer. I look like crap,” she told Shark, while Julian played with a doll near her feet.



Amy found her fashion sense on her own, though, so much subtler than whatever she thought was fashion before she met Annette. Crap turned to fabulous and all was right in Amy’s world.



But even with Bill’s shy, flirty eyes, and tolerance of the outdoors for once, things were not right in Annette’s world.



She had a nervous pout when the two of them fished, even as a mighty deathfish tugged on her fishing line, then stole a piece of her bait. After piercing another fresh angelfish with her hook, Annette cast the bait into the water again, hoping for a good bite. Also, Bill finally noticed that something was a little wrong.

“Are you angry at me?” he asked, pouting as nervously as his wife, with his fishing line still untouched. "I always feel bad about the affair."

“Geez, I forgave you years ago,” she said. "Remember that. I'm not letting you die thinking that I haven't forgave you."

“No, not about that. About the garden.”

“I’m trying to keep that at the back of my mind. I’m not angry at you. Maybe just at the world.”

The little indoors garden that the two of them kept was fruitful in a literal sense. Bushels of flame fruit were frozen for baking purposes. She even picked a few deathflowers and kept them in a vase. However, not a single plant bore life fruit and its pale yellow glow and coveted, subtle sweetness. Her few life plants were picky customers and went barren before Annette got a single fruit from them. Time ticked and ticked away for both Annette and Bill, who divied up the gardening tasks between them. She didn’t have much longer to wait. Him? He could pass on at any minute.



She reeled in a deathfish, and an idea. “There are wild life plants in Egypt,” she said, “Maybe we can plan a very late honeymoon.”

“Us, trekking the desert sands at our age?” asked Bill, “Are you trying to kill me?”

“You don’t have to do a thing. I can do it just fine.”

“I guess if you have to. I wanna stay for Franco’s birthday party, though.”

Annette almost forgot about that. In fact, the party was scheduled for later that day. She even baked him a marvelous chocolate cake and invited all his friends and classmates. Including Carmen. As far as she knew, they were sickening and sweet high school sweethearts.

At four in the afternoon, the guests poured in, and Carmen arrived at the curb in her white pants and grey sweatervest. Franco waited in his dark grey suit, eyes severe and Carmen confused.

“What’s wrong?” she asked him, “Shouldn’t you be happy today?”



“I actually don’t think things are going well between us,” he said.

“What? I mean, we’ve been a little distant lately, but I was hoping we could patch things up.”



“No. I will not stand for your narcissism, or those godawful cheekbones, for that matter!” The second comment left Carmen appalled, taking a firm stance in front of Franco. She clenched her fists until her knuckles went pale.



“Well, excuse you. My cheekbones are fantabulous.”



After breaking up with Carmen, Franco was left with nothing else that he needed to accomplish before young adulthood. So with that sense of completion, he stood at the cake with a proud smile. He knew it was delicious devil’s food under there, his favorite.



Plus, the laughter of his parents sounded pretty great, especially that of his father. Thank goodness he was still around. As for Carmen’s cheering ten minutes after their break-up? Well, absolutely unnerving.

While the guests cut the cake, Bill and Annette fled the scene. He went upstairs and shoved a few changes of clothes into a suitcase, as well as a 24-pack of bottled water and some sunscreen for his lily-white skin. Now that Franco was a young adult and he and Annette did their part to celebrate, they had no excuse to not go to Egypt in their last ditch effort for life fruit.



They landed alive and well, anyways.

“There are places indoors,” said Annette, “Like the market, or a beginner’s tomb.”

“Or a tent,” said Bill, retreating to one, zipping it open, and taking a nap inside, snoring like a chainsaw. Ah, typical Bill. He’d be okay.



Annette had bigger plans, and nothing felt cooler than riding a Kenspa through the golden desert sands. The breeze ran through her hair and negated the effects of the hot Egyptian sun.



Her destination was an imposing structure: one of the pyramids. Taller than any building in Twinbrook, a little more golden than the sand, it was like an impenetrable monolith. The door was more than twice her height, and it opened with just a bit of pawing and investigation of its surface.



With little time to spare, Annette stripped down, donned her sunglasses, and dove into the adventure. She dove in with little knowledge of the floorplan or where in the world the life plant could be.



Of course, the entire day was filled with new things, from spending half an hour reading the hieroglyphics on a wall to getting caught in traps to finding treasure. All she came back with was moonstone, one of Sagebear's common finds. Annette spent the day on her bare feet, barefoot on stone floors in temperatures higher than even a Twinbrook summer. The soles of her feet started to burn and turn pink from the heat of the stone and sand, but she left her sandals at the first room of the tomb.

When it was midnight, Annette was hot, thirsty, and exhausted, without any life fruit in her pocket or any clue as to where it could be. Sweaty and drained, she re-traced her steps and exited the pyramids, barely able to keep her balance on the Kenspa. She stumbled into the tent where Bill was still dozing half-asleep and sprawled out right next to him.

“I can’t do this,” she said, in a weak voice.

“But what about your mission? You never gave up on anything else.”

“I’m not giving up. I’m just saying that I’m too old to go tomb-raiding.” Annette grabbed her phone and dialed home.

“Don’t tell me that you’re inviting him over for this,” said Bill, “This was supposed to be our late honeymoon!” But he was too late.

“Yeah, Shark?” she asked, “I can get you an emergency ticket to Egypt. You gotta do your old aunt a favor.”



Next thing Shark knew, he found himself in Egypt, still wearing a sweater for whatever odd reason he had for that. With his aunt's directions, he found the pyramid.

“Yeah, I can do this,” he told himself.



Most of it was quite easy.



They even grew wildflowers inside the pyramid! How peculiar. But an important bush stood far to his left, with fruit glowing pale yellow hanging from its vine.



His aunt Annette couldn’t thank him enough for it, though Shark was confused when she took the fruit after they got home, just to plant it in a pot.

“I have no idea how long those things were on the vine,” she said, hands dirty with dark potting soil, “And our soil is just fine.”



As it turned out, Franco was able to sort out his fashion sense just fine without his parents at home.



For Annette, there was little she could do, aside from buy a new motorcycle and feel the wind run through her hair and vibration of the loud engine from her seat. The way it roared made her feel pretty young, maybe even enough to make her forget about ambrosia while her life plant was still a sprout.



With all of this travel, I grab my suitcase and follow suit. The next train to Roaring Heights leaves in three hours, after all.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,470
Word Count so far: 28,430

Annette and Bill's trip to Egypt bugged out before Annette could finish the tomb, so I sent them home and Shark to Egypt separately and that trip went well. And yes, she planted the life fruit at home, in accordance with the rules about homegrown life fruit. I force-grew it with some Green Dragon magic. Cheaty, but legal. Annette and Bill gardened and grew special seeds together ever since her adulthood, but no life fruit came from it. :(

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 17-19, 2/13)
« Reply #71 on: February 13, 2014, 08:46:47 PM »
Green dragons are fantastic things. :)

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 17-19, 2/13)
« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2014, 01:31:26 PM »

Looks like you and Annette were cutting it close there! The trip to Egypt was a clever save, and thank goodness for green dragon gardening magic!

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 20, 2/14)
« Reply #73 on: February 15, 2014, 12:17:09 AM »
Green dragons are fantastic things. :)

You bet they are! They really saved my rear this dynasty. Helping force-grow some money trees later on didn't hurt either. ;)

Looks like you and Annette were cutting it close there! The trip to Egypt was a clever save, and thank goodness for green dragon gardening magic!

I was really scared when I actually took inventory of the garden and noticed that I failed to get life fruit. I can't say that the trip to Egypt was my idea entirely (I read about the tip a long time ago).

Also, 2,000 views! Woo! And just in time for the chapter we've all been waiting for.



Chapter 20: Head of the Table



Not even the summer heat could get Annette from bed that morning, as she pulled the blanket closer to her instead. The long break at the beginning of the week left her with plenty of time for sleep. Besides, the life fruit still grew, even if she was not looking. She lolled around in bed for half an hour until she finally remembered that she dozed alone. Bill always got up early for his job. He had it ever since before Franco was born. How was she so thick as to forget?

And usually, he would be out the door by 8, but he knocked on the bedroom door at 8:30.

“Aren’t you supposed to be at work?” Annette asked, in her tired voice.

“They gave me the day off today. Anyways, there’s a surprise in the garden for you.”

She stretched her arms, relieving only a bit of the stiffness of old age and aging bedsprings. The latter could be replaced. The former, well, it had to happen to everyone. And if Bill had a good surprise, perhaps it deserved Annette actually getting dressed. She threw on her usual shirt and headed downstairs.

Thank goodness for her husband! Both of the life plants bore fruit, pale yellow and shining like incandescent lightbulbs. With the deathfish stinking up the freezer and a few food replicators sitting in storage, everything was right in her grasp. Every little piece.

Until Julian started crying, just as Annette finished getting dressed for the day. Someone turned the floor hygeinator on.



“Someone’s cranky, aren’t they?” she asked the toddler as she pressed him close to her.

“Scary!”

“Yeah. Aren’t they awesome?”



She retired to the rocking chair, hoping for the motion to calm Julian down before they started the day.

Shark passed by, dressed in his best blazer. Everyone wore something a little different that morning. Amy in an orange cocktail dress, Franco in the new suit jacket he got for his birthday, and even Bill managed to put on a blazer. Without the skull-print tie, someone might even mistake him for a man who cared about formality on most days. Once Annette caught Franco, she asked what the big occasion was.

“I’m graduating, mum. We’ve been talking about this for a couple of weeks and I want you to look good for it. There’s no way I’m letting you embarrass me by wearing something casual”

So they had been. But immortality was at her fingertips, and the taste of life fruit felt just as sweet as seeing her little boy in his cap and gown, tossing his high school diploma. Plus, she didn’t have to dress up just to eat ambrosia.

“Hun, you know that I care about you very much,” she said, “But I have important things to do this morning.”

“Fine. Do immortality on your own schedule. I don’t mind at all.” Franco turned away, scowling.

“I’ll be there for the afterparty!” He was already out the door with everyone else, leaving Annette alone in the house. With a cutting board of ingredients and a few hungry food replicators, Annette hoped that she could pretend that those were the company she needed.

“Let’s do this,” she said to herself.

She built a small shed in the back of the yard when they first built the house, and eventually a staircase down to a secret basement. If it was a true secret. Harwood, Amy, and Shark all knew about it, considering that they placed the pieces down there. In fact, it was more of a secret to Annette up until that day.



It made descending the spiral stairs just that much more surprising.



Even the three ice sculptures staring back at her caught her off guard, if just for a moment. But then Annette remembered that she indeed posed for them. With every detail from the her little hooked nose to the folds in her clothes done perfectly, she made a mental note to cook some hamburgers for Shark in thanks. And to mourn at Harwood's grave, because it was the least she could do for him.

It was a two-story display, though. Her pieces on top. Other immortal’s pieces on top. The miscellaneous stuff on the floor below. And that was pretty empty, with just three sculptures.



However, Annette marveled at them anyways, well, at the sculpture of her husband and how he couldn’t think of a pose better than standing when the piece was done.



Marvelous!



And heck, her nephew always looked quite stunning, and he retained that in ice.



After appreciating the work of her wonderful artists, Annette bent over to press the right buttons and enjoy her life’s work. She had to enjoy it mass-replicated because deathfish were not always in season. The replicator's machinery hummed as lights and lasers took over, producing a plate of ambrosia after a few minutes of waiting. They still stunk up the room with the deathfish's pungent odor.



Regardless of the smell, Annette dug in, seated at the head of the table. It was worth it for what her dish could do. Ambrosia, as studies showed, was a hard dish to make and worth it for the benefits. It reversed the telomeres in chromosomes back to reverse some effects of aging, if not all of them.



She dug in with a stupid, content look on her face, having braved the journey to immortality with few bumps in the road. Unlike a lot of us, she till had her beautiful little family intact. Unlike most of us, her husband was still there to inappropriately laugh at birthday parties and play video games in his pajamas. Annette’s fork scraped the plate, echoing in the dead silence of the basement.



So she rose without regrets.



Refreshed in pale rainbows and sparkles, her telomeres feeling 69 instead of 78, and her joints maybe a little more supple too. She would live. With that euphoria, Annette waited for it to die down a little bit before she noticed one glaring problem.



Of course she sat at the head of table. Who else could? Her room was empty, she served dinner for one, and had seating for only one.

She made it there with few snags, with an easy life, in her own easy way of living forever. And what was left for dear Annette but to learn about seven other ways to do it? Especially if they were as pleasant as her path. Her own son was next in line.



She missed his graduation ceremony. She missed seeing her precious, grown-up Franco stand tall in his black graduation robes and receive his diploma. So maybe she had one regret.



It didn’t seem to bother Franco as much as he thought it would, though, when he cheered after leaving the ceremony. Annette always walked in on him painting or sketching, or taking care of Julian. Sometimes, she witnessed him having deep discussions about the fashion industry with Amy. After sitting in her basement that morning with a plate of ambrosia, Annette looked to the future and to whatever Franco had to show her about living forever. She trusted Franco and his ability to succeed.

Provided he didn’t do anything stupid, anyways.

We all did.



Word Count for this chapter: 1,205
Word Count so far: 29,635

Revised on 2-15-2015.

Founder: Annette Waverly
Supermax: Cooking
Career: Culinary
LTW: Living in the Lap of Luxury
LTRs: Motive Mobile, Food Replicator, Fireproof Homestead
Ops: Just Business, Super Stir-Fry, Chinese Stir-Fry, Spying on the Cuisine, Swim Into the Grill, Catfish for the Chef
Building: River Demons Diner (previously Brunton’s Boxcar Diner)
Property: Chapel Hill (previously Hollowlog Springs)
Best Friends: Bill Racket, Julienne Knack, Rosy Whelohff (fairy), Penny Pincher, Jenni Jones-Brown, Sinbad Rotter
Museum Pieces: Portrait/Sculpture/Photo for every stage
Immortalized at 78 Days

jsiberian

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 20, 2/14)
« Reply #74 on: February 15, 2014, 02:43:26 AM »
My first instinct was to congratulate you on Annette's immortality, but I guess that's a little redundant, seeings as you've done it four times since then.

Beyond that, wow. Julian is the most gorgeous toddler EVER.

 

anything