Author Topic: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty ("Complete")  (Read 196656 times)

Offline Trip

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2014, 04:13:40 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

I can't say that Franco ever grew into that jaw. :P I love his pout! It's better than the constant scowl he preferred as he got older.

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. :/

I think six by that point. Four with Blaise, one with Eva, and one with Beverly.

Poor Shark. He had to face a lot of nooboos later down the line. I don't think he signed up for that.

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!

Thank you!

Good point. :P



Chapter 11: Simoleons Down the Drain



Annette knew a couple of things about book-keeping. A few sheets about the household budget were kept in a drawer, tracking the erratic income of the family. Annette wrangled promotions and raises for herself like a champ. Sculptures and paintings sold for hundreds or thousands. Having a hunting dog still paid, as Sagebear still dug up tiberium ore, dropping it in Bill’s lap when he came home from work. It covered the utilities and Annette's high grocery bills, and more.

Why, they ran a surplus! Rational sims would put all that extra money towards their kids' college tuition. Invest in the stock market. Put it in the bank and let it marinate in interest. Annette bought a fishing hole.

Granted, the fishing hole had a wonderful view, situated in the hills near the military base. Deciduous trees surrounded the pond and turned golden in the autumn. But at the time, it sounded like an odd purchase, so she made it worth it and overhauled the pond with suitable amenities. Granted, thar jacked the expense up even more, because a nice bar and a mixologist’s pay counted as a necessary amenity. 75,000 simoleons in the hole, and they still ran a surplus.

However, when it came time for Amy’s adult birthday, they still cut expenses and held that one at home.



Little did she know about a party crasher, though.

She and Marc hadn’t spoke for quite some time by then, and she  fell out of love with him and his quiet demeanor. He kept phone conversations short. He angsted over his structured, uncreative career. It was all a turn-off for her, in the end. But one day, a long time before, she thought that her heart belonged to him, and they drifted away without closure. Just a “maybe romance isn’t for us.”

So she followed Marc into the bathroom.



“Odd place to talk, but I think we left on the wrong note,” said Amy, “You’re a great guy, and I don’t want things to be sour between us. So, friends again?”



“Can’t see why not,” he said, “You’re a good person too. And don’t fret about adulthood. I ended up liking it.” And with Marc's words, Amy finally felt like she had the permission to carry on with her romantic life. She could carry it on with whatever man she could pick from her list of friends.

The two of them then coughed on some odd dust in the bathroom. What was going on?



Yep, Julienne was still bitter, if running off speculation. As for Bill, after getting beat and thrown to the tiles by skinny little Julienne, his phone vibrated in his pocket.

We need to talk privately. I’m at the fishing hole

Annette stood in front of the mirror in the little changing room she built at the pond, off to the side of new, main building. She put her phone on top of the dresser, just so she wouldn’t get distracted. The small elastic that kept her hair tied in a ponytail was slid off, and her regular clothes were folded on top of the dresser. Annette wore something better for that dreaded talk. A mailorder, it arrived just in time that afternoon.



As I said, she needed to sweeten the deal.



She did that at the expense of missing a friend’s birthday and the stunning carrot cake. What a shame; she decorated it herself cream cheese frosting and every tacky candy decoration she could find.



Bill was already seated at the couch, unusually patient, perhaps a bit forlorn. Melinda, the mixologist at the time, leaned over her spot behind the bar and hoping to scout out customers in the empty, empty room.

“Anything you need, Mr. Racket? Oh, and look to your left,” Melinda said.



He yawned. “Dressing like that in order to get the truth out of me? Oldest one in the book.”

“So you do have something awful to admit? Geez, I thought I would have to ask nicely too!” Annette leaned over to light the black candles at the end-tables. “But I want to clear the air, you know?”

"About what?" he asked.

"Some rumor that's been going around about you at work. You...you reconciled with Dudley, didn't you?"

"Yeah, that's something I never wanted to admit. He made a good career choice and is a funny, charming man."

"And everyone's been bugging me with some gossip about you cheating on me. By everyone, I mean Julienne. It seems outlandish-"



“I guess you and Jules caught me. I took Scout to the movies and we ended up doing other things, but hear me out. You were pregnant, I was stressed at work, I just got the notice that my mum passed away. And it was only once.” He sighed, looking at the floor. “I hate that I did that. I just hope you can forgive me now.”



The wide, distressed look in Annette’s eyes almost gave the verdict, but she switched gears. “I can’t believe it. Now I have to pay for all of those spa packages.”

“Wait, what?”

“Julienne thought you were cheating on me, and I didn’t. Because she’s right, I have to uphold my end of the deal. Another 50,000 simoleons down the drain.”

“Then what about me? Are you mad?” Bill asked.

“Oh, that? I've seen some horrible crap. Your thing? It was just a stupid lapse in judgment on your part," she said. "So is Scout’s kid yours?”

“Apparently. Her husband took it pretty well.” He gave Annette one peck on the cheek. “I don't care what you say. I still feel kind of awful about the whole thing. I think you’re due for a nice surprise tomorrow night, you know, for putting up with me. And I didn’t get you anything for your birthday.”



"Don't sweat it, honey." It wasn’t like Annette was diligent about birthday gifts either. She had nothing planned for Amy, except for a new orange dress and jacket that she hid in the dresser at home.



She took adulthood well regardless, even with the poor excuse for a party crowd.



Amy even found the dress. The headband was her idea, though.



While Amy preened at the dresser, Harwood found confronting another “friend” of his, Sofia. Pregnant, she looked up at him with sultry, tired blue eyes while giving her tummy a reassuring rub. While she claimed to be Amy's best friend forever, Amy laughed at the notion and Sofia was outed as being bitter and in need of rubbing Harwood's nose in the bad, bad thing he did.

“Sorry I haven’t called. How are things?” he asked, then looking down. “Aside from the obvious.”

“Going about as well as they can. I’m due tomorrow, and once I get this nooboo out of me, I swear that I’m going to kill you for doing this to me.”

“I know that kids weren’t really on your agenda, but take it in good faith that I’m thrilled. I hope it's as cute as you are.”

“That’s nice. As I said, I’ll go into labor and wish that you were dead. Pretty likely, considering your age-”

Harwood led her out the door before she could get more morbid. “Call me before you name it!” he yelled, as she waddled to the pink Bwan Speedster parked at the curb.

As the rest of the house slept, Annette embarked on a little excursion. Surely, things between her and Julienne would take a while to get tolerable again, even with all the money she had to fling in Julienne's face to pay for massages or manicures. As it turned out, Julienne had a friend that lived across the street from her. Just a friend, and not someone who could make her forget about the bad ex that her co-worker went steady with.

Not until she held that friend's car for ransom, anyways. She left a note in its place.



Not until she held that friend's car for ransom, anyways. She left a note in its place.

If you want to see your precious ride again, make Julienne happy. If you know what I mean. - xoxox Annette

The sun rose the next day, and Annette rose early in the morning, refreshed and bounding with energy for work in the afternoon.

Or some extra work for the morning, because Franco sat up in his crib, quiet but wide-eyed and awake. He was getting older and bigger each day, but somehow, everyone forgot about his toddler skills.



Poor Annette. She nearly jumped out of bed that morning, ready to take on the day even before her morning coffee. However, Bill ended up starting Franco his first lesson on talking in the time it took for Annette to brew a pot of espresso roast coffee and pour a splash of skim milk into her mug of it. At that point, she actually hoped that the dirty work of potty training was left to her.

And there was still the night to look forward to, with whatever Bill had planned. Annette even beamed from ear-to-ear while putting on her uniform and breathing in the scent of new fabric softener.



But the afternoon took a turn for the worse. The carpool arrived and the driver kept honking the horn, almost ready to jump out and drag Annette to the car themselves.

She made a dash to the car. Not like she was averse to facing bad happenings, but why be late to work when they paid by the hour?



Word Count for this chapter: 1,574
Word Count so far: 17,581

Revised on 2-5-2015.
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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2014, 06:47:38 PM »

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.



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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2014, 07:03:54 PM »
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.

Offline Trident

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2014, 04:20:17 PM »
Annette is definitely a different kind of sim. I'm going to enjoy watching her through the next 600 years.

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Eight Ways to Live Forever: The Waverly Immortal Dynasty (Ch. 11, 2/5)
« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2014, 04:30:34 PM »
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...?

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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.
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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.

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.
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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.
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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.  ;)