Author Topic: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story  (Read 46719 times)

Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 07:07:30 PM »

One pair of sensible, mid-height heels bounced anxiously beneath one practical pencil skirt of reasonable length, itself situated beneath the worn wood of a small table in the Universal Exports company cafeteria. Above the table, Loelia Ponsonby’s delicate fingers gently caressed her mug of darjeeling, her large brown eyes lost in the steam, and one eyebrow arched reproachfully at the string of the teabag trailing down its side.

“It’s like putting your tea in the dustbin.” declared Eve Moneypenny as she heavily claimed the chair opposite Loelia’s, swiftly tucking her own sensible heels and practical pencil skirt beneath the table, pinning her briefcase securely between her leg and the wall.

“That’s what I always say!” moaned Loelia. “Tea from a bag is revolting. The leaves need to be free to bloom and swim about in the hot water. It’s a crime against tea, really. What would it cost them to just brew up a whole pot properly?”

“Still,” Eve arched her own eyebrow, “if it really is the Champagne of Teas, as you are always claiming-“

“It is!” insisted Loelia.

“Then why would you order it in a place like this, hmm? You wouldn’t drink champagne lukewarm from a pint glass at the corner pub, yet you expect the company cafeteria to supply you with the highest quality beverage imaginable.” She took a sip of her own Earl Grey and grimaced. “God, that’s awful.”

“He’s limping,” Loelia murmured after a brief pause.

Eve’s eyes narrowed sharply. “Yes, the dossier mentioned something about a gunshot wound. Still, it’s not like him to let it show.”

“I know!” exclaimed Loelia. “It must be really bad.”

“How is he otherwise?”

“Wistful,” sighed Loelia.

“Woman?” asked Eve. “Nevermind. Of course it is. Did you catch a name?”

“No. To be honest, I’ve stopped trying. There’s too many to keep track of, and he’ll have forgotten her in a week or two. He always does.”

Eve leaned forward. “Yes, but you’ve got two girlfriends who are starving for details, darling, and as his personal secretary you’ve got the best access. We’re depending on you.”

“That’s right, where is Mary? She ought to be here by now. She’s the one who called the meeting, after all.”

“Oh, she’s always late.” Eve relaxed against the back of her chair, “Probably got herself stuffed into the boot of a car, again.”

“You don’t really think so?” Loelia’s eyes widened.

“Wouldn’t surprise me a bit,” smirked Eve.

Loelia allowed herself a guilty giggle. “She is a bit accident-prone, isn’t she?”

Both women took sips from their disappointing mugs of tea, and were sharply interrupted by the thud of a document hitting the table between them.

“Sign!” commanded Mary Goodnight, gigantic blue eyes ablaze. She tossed one pen each at Eve and Loelia, and sat triumphantly on the one remaining chair at the table, swinging one sensible heel high to cross her stockinged legs at a rakish angle. She likewise crossed her arms firmly atop her ample bosom and allowed an anticipatory smile to settle across her face.

Eve glanced at the document briefly, then returned to her tea. “This,” she declared, “is a letter of resignation.”

“Really?” Loelia snatched it from the table and skimmed it intently. “Mary, you can’t be serious.”

“I am,” insisted Mary. “I’m getting out of this place, and I’m taking you both with me.”

Eve yawned. “So you’ve finally lost your mind for good, eh? That must be a relief. Now you can stop looking for it.”

“Where is Newcrest?” Loelia looked up from the letter.

“Nowhere,” grinned Mary. “It’s a completely empty little suburb, waiting to be claimed and molded. It’s the perfect place for a fresh start. Nobody will know us there, because there isn’t anybody there at all. We can make it whatever we want.”

“But we can’t all leave the *ahem* company at the same time,” Loelia protested. “Things would be in an uproar!”

Eve rolled her eyes, “Oh, yes! Three secretaries simultaneously give their notice and the entire British Secret Service crumbles. How will 007 continue to defend the crown if his mail isn’t sorted properly?”

“Or his private liquor cabinet stocked?” interjected Mary.

“Well, I am the only one who can make his tea the way he likes it,” sulked Loelia.

“No, the ‘company’ would survive just fine without us three,” said Eve, “But the reason we’re not doing this is that I love my job and I’m not going anywhere, and I’m especially not going ‘nowhere.’”

“Do you? Do you love this job, Eve?” Mary leaned closer and fixed the enormous blue discs of her eyes directly on her friend’s. “Or are you like the rest of us? Just biding your time, waiting for him to return from one mission after another? Combing documents for mentions of him, searching his face for new lines of care, his eyes for the reflection of new loves, his coat for new bullet-holes?”

Eve’s eyes dropped once again to her tea mug. Mary grabbed her hand, then Loelia’s.

“It’s time. It’s time to stop being supporting players in somebody else’s life story. It’s time to take the lead, and this is our chance. Come with me. Build a city with me. Just sign the letter and let’s go.”

The tension hung thick in the air as Eve audibly drained the last dregs from her mug. Loelia’s eyes darted around the room before finally settling on the pen sitting in front of her. Mary did not release their hands.

“Let’s go.” she repeated as she finally surrendered them, and folded her own hands in her lap.

Shaking, Loelia reached for the pen in front of her. “I . . . I just don’t know if I can . . .”

“Oh, what the heck?” grumbled Eve, as she snatched the letter from Loelia and hastily scrawled her signature at the bottom.  “You pleased?” she snarled at Mary as she tossed the document back across the table.

“Very,” Mary smiled and looked gently over at Loelia. “Now you, dear.”

“Well, if Eve’s on board then I suppose . . .” Loelia picked up the pen and neatly inked her own name beneath her colleague’s. “Though I don’t know who’ll make his scrambled eggs when he’s laid up at home.”

“Open a restaurant,” grinned Mary as she gleefully added her own graceful, loopy signature to the letter she’d written, “You can make eggs for all of Newcrest.”

“He always did say my eggs were the best he’d ever tasted,” said Loelia, “and he’s very discerning, so you know that means something. I bet if I opened a breakfast place I’d do quite well.”

“And there wouldn’t be a single teabag in sight!” smirked Eve.

“Certainly not!” grinned Mary, “It’s like putting your tea in the dustbin!”

“That’s what I always say!” cried Loelia.

“We know, dear,” said Eve, rising from the table and putting on her coat. “We know. Shall we?”

“Indeed,” Mary bounced up from her chair, sweeping the letter into her bag. “We have work to do. Got a number of things to finish up so I can head home to pack.”

“To pack,” Loelia smiled thoughtfully, and looped her handbag over her arm. “I can’t remember the last time I packed a suitcase for myself.”

“Don’t forget your toothbrush,” said Eve, “Now let’s be off!”

Three pairs of sensible, mid-height heels clicked out of the cafeteria, with perhaps a bit more bounce than when they’d entered. Three appropriate, practical pencil skirts parted ways at the elevator, returning to their desks to empty them out in anticipation of a new life. A few hours later, a person known only as M smashed an exasperated fist onto the surface of his desk upon reading a certain letter signed by three secretaries who, truthfully, could never really be replaced.

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Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 07:09:43 PM »
Stats - Ponsonby Household: Restaurant Option

Founder:  Loelia Ponsonby
Traits: Romantic, Neat, Perfectionist
Career:  Business - Management
Restaurant: The Gnome & Knickerbocker
     Value:  $80,641
     Days at 5 Stars:  3
Spouse: Raj Rasoya
Children:  Honey Ponsonby, Domino Ponsonby

Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 07:10:31 PM »
Stats - Goodnight Household:  Vampire Option

Founder:  Mary Goodnight
Career:  Scientist
Aspiration:  Vampire Family
2 Tier 5 Vampire Powers:  Tamed Thirst, Beyond the Herd
Vampire Garden:  Complete - Cowplant, Plasma Fruit Tree, Wolfsbane, Sixam Mosquito Trap, Dragonfruit, Deathflower
Spouse:  Lilith Vatore
Children:  Tatiana Goodnight

Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 07:11:03 PM »
Stats - Moneypenny Household:  Alien Option

Founder:  Eve Moneypenny
Career:  Astronaut - Space Ranger
Fully Upgraded Wormhole Generator or Rocketship:  Rocketship, complete
Rewards Acquired:  Steel Bladder, Never Weary, Antiseptic
Spouse: Corey Somethingorother
Children:  Felix Moneypenny

Offline MarianT

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 08:03:45 PM »
I always guessed Miss Moneypenny was an alien! What an intriguing prologue. Definitely looking forward to more (and they're all pretty, too).
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Offline Caterina

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 11:11:03 PM »
Yay!  What a great start!  It has a different feel to it, a little bit of mystery and suspense.  I am excited to meet their spouses and to learn more about your leading ladies.

Good luck.  I hope they get to eat pizza.

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Offline Nindigo

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 02:23:44 AM »
Reading and following. What an awesome prologue - it had me smile and really get into the spirit of their situation. I love all the details!
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Offline wfgodot

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 07:20:21 AM »
A girl in every port, and gadgets up my sleeve,
the world is not enough for the both of us it seems :)

I'm really excited!  I love the idea of all these pining secretaries removing themselves from the situation!  Rebellion!

I liked your new writing style a lot.  I think I'm going to be rooting for Eve.  Loelia is pretty endearing though.  Her dedication to properly made food and tea!
Kind of have to admire Mary's take charge attitude as well.  Oh heck I don't know if I can even choose a favorite now.  I'm even excited to see the line of restaurants after watching Morris succeed with his.

Good luck!

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Offline oshizu

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2017, 05:01:46 PM »
Love your different founders and how they're leaving behind "that secret agent" at last.
Can't wait to see who they romance and how their households turn out.

So your three dynasties are retail (restauranteur), vampire, and alien!
I'm starting out waving a Team Moneypenny banner, because the Alien option seems the hardest.  ;D

Best wishes on your new challenge! I'm looking forward to watching those stat posts fill up, too!

Offline PeregrineTook

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2017, 11:40:38 PM »
Good stuff!  Glad I caught this one early on unlike the Spiffendales.
I don't have any favorites so far...other than Mary  ;=)  It's the eyes, I think.

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 08:08:52 AM »
Oh I am so following this!!! Even if I don't get online as often as I used to (blasted Tapatalk).

I have no idea why, but, Mary reminds me of someone... I want to say Rose Tyler, but, it's not quite her. I know she's based off of Britt Eckland (who is freaking gorgeous herself), but, it's someone else and it is going to bug the bejeebers out of me until I figure it out lol

(for now) Team Mary

ETA: Olivia Wilde, but in this specific image:
because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

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Offline Heart Foam

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2017, 04:14:23 AM »
And I watched the one with Miss Goodnight only recently! She was useless. Team Moneypenny.
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Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: Three Times a Lady: A Rival Dynasties Challenge Story
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2017, 08:11:07 PM »
*emerges from under a pile of orc limbs*

Oh, man, you guys . . . . what year is it?

So. You've heard of World of Warcraft, yeah? That's where I was. For, like, six months. Give or take. I had to cut myself off cold turkey because it was taking over my life. My subscription ran out yesterday. I'm coping nicely, thank you for asking, and I think I'm going to be okay. And now I want to write stories again! I've had the first three chapters of this one virtually ready to go since last spring, but well . . . you know how it goes. Blood elves and whatnot.

Also, there was the issue of photo hosting. Having been burned badly by one free site I was reluctant to trust another one, so I've started a blog to host the pictures going forward, and if you happen to have a strong desire to read exactly the same thing I'm going to post here, just in a slightly different format, I highly encourage you to visit (GET IT?). I know very little about blogging and formats and such, but I'm hoping little by little to make it a fun place to be.

Okay! To recap, when we left off the standings were as follows:

Team Ponsonby:  Nobody :(

Team Goodnight:  @Magpie2012 , @PeregrineTook (tentatively)

Team Moneypenny: @Heart Foam , @oshizu , @wfgodot

Undecided:  @hazelnut , @Nindigo , @Caterina , @MarianT

Let's rock and roll, shall we?

Ponsonby, Week 1

Dear Ladies,

Well, it’s happened. I’ve arrived and set up house and I couldn’t be more overjoyed if  . . . well, I just couldn’t.

I’ve settled on a lovely large lot in Newcrest in a home pre-made by the renowned architect @Playalot . It’s called the Red N Black Starter and it’s darling. Clean, modern, and ripe for expansion, which was necessary almost immediately because . . . well, I’m getting ahead of myself. But so much has happened already this week that I can hardly grasp it myself.

Recognizing the necessity of getting things underway in the spouse and children department I wasted no time in knocking on the door of my ideal mate. Of course I immediately recognized who was the the head of that particular household and set straight out to plead my case to the person in charge.

Geeta, or Mother Geeta, as I now call her, saw the wisdom in my plan at once. In fact, I believe I had her at the word, “grandchildren.” I was initially concerned she’d be resistant to the idea of surrendering her rent-controlled, nicely appointed apartment in the Spice District of San Myshuno, but it seems her desire to see her dear son nicely settled and her legacy carried on superseded any other goals, and we soon arrived back in Newcrest, my household having tripled in size in just a few hours!

The next order of business was to secure the financial end of things. I’ve decided to open a breakfast restaurant, as Mary suggested, and as bricks and mortar don’t grow on trees I’ve enlisted a woman to help grow something just as valuable. Our gardener’s name is Jessica and she’s a dear. We should have a bumper crop of dragon fruit ready to harvest in no time at all.

Which brings me to the next great conquest of the week:  the husband. Though he may not possess the suave, debonair aplomb of a certain mutual acquaintance of ours, truly Raj is an ideal husband. Though initially prickly toward any romantic overtures (and perhaps just a touch annoyed that I set about wooing his mother before I did him), once in the right mood my darling proved to be a rather soft touch, bless him. He’s an absolute teddy bear and we’re sickeningly happy together.

It took only a few quick dates to convince him that we were soul mates. I’m just as convinced as he is, to tell the truth. He’s a marvelous cook, a tender, affectionate soul, and a fantastic father. Oops! Getting ahead of myself again.

I hope you won’t think less of me when I tell you we did things a bit out of order, but I know you understand the time pressure we’re all under. Conception occurred on the first try, and Mummy, Daddy, and especially Grandmama were all overjoyed.

A few hours (and dates) later I took it upon myself to make us an honest couple, and Raj readily agreed.

We completed the ceremony immediately, under the ever-watchful eye of Mother Geeta.

I confess the joy and excitement of the week caught up with me a bit later that evening on yet another date. I suffered a rather alarming bout of hysteria and was forced to give myself a stern talking-to in the bathroom mirror of the Narwhal Arms.

I’m pleased to say I regained my composure quickly and that Raj and I completed Soul Mate soon thereafter, granting me enough satisfaction points to buy Connections and finally get my career underway! Romance and keeping house are lovely, but you both know me; I’m most at home in an office and get fidgety when I’ve nothing to file and no paycheck on the way. I’ve entered the business career and am making great strides. I ended the week at level 5, Regional Manager.

We made the unfortunate discovery later that evening that not everyone in the household was looking forward to our new arrival. It seems our live-in gardener has a bit of a temper. And just after we’d redecorated, too! Oh, well. Nothing a locked door can’t fix.

The other details of the week taken care of, we invested the remaining proceeds from the sale of Raj and Mother Geeta’s apartment into our own little corner of Magnolia Promenade. I present to you:  The Gnome and Knickerbocker. It’s everything I’ve ever hoped for, and I do hope you’ll both visit at your earliest convenience. I can promise you the finest cup of tea you’ve ever tasted! The samosas aren’t bad, either. Though darling Raj can’t serve as chef himself, he’s a a real whiz at creating a menu and I think he’s really in his element as a restauranteur.

(Yes, that’s me asleep on the bench. I’m sure once your first weeks are over I won’t have to offer you any explanation whatsoever for that.)

From there the week was just a bit of the day-in, day-out skill leveling and gardening until the arrival of our precious Honey. I’ve named her after an old acquaintance of our mutual friend, and I think it suits her perfectly.

While I’m at work Raj and Mother Geeta see to things at the G&K, and it’s going swimmingly. We’ve already got a marvelous crop of regulars. I admit I don’t feel perfectly easy about leaving Honey home with the hot-tempered gardener, but she’s such a well-behaved baby that I’m sure she could win over even the prickliest of caregivers.

Grandmother Geeta is, of course, over the moon about the new arrival, and spends every minute possible with her. I’m gratified to have kept my promise to her regarding grandchildren so early on.

Life is not all sunshine and roses, however. We were quite put out the other day to find that our restaurant’s head chef is a vampire. Though I’ve not had any negative interactions with vampires personally, I can’t say whether or not her tendency to arrive at work in bat form will be good for business. I’ll certainly have to check the health code regarding winged rodents in a commercial kitchen.

Additionally, after the first heady flush of happiness, Mother Geeta seems to be displaying a melancholy streak. She quickly agreed to give up her job in favor of becoming the family painter, and has made great progress in improving her skill. However, she never quite seems content, and has developed a rather annoying habit of sighing loudly and gazing at the ceiling several times an hour. I expect I shall have my hands full keeping this particular member of the family satisfied. I mentioned my concern to darling Raj and he just laughed and laughed.

Still, the good moments by far outweigh the bad. I get off work and head directly to the restaurant where I’m able to help out for a few hours before heading home to snuggle my lovely baby. Raj tends bar and makes me whatever snacks my heart desires when we’re in between helping customers.

All too soon the moment came for my little angel to age up into a little monster. She’s absolutely precious, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I wanted to let you know, Eve, what a marvelous time we had out with you at the pub on Alien Night! I hope I didn’t come on too strong, talking you up to that stunning blue-skinned fellow, but he seems like quite a catch! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the two of you!

Well, I’d best close this missive here. I can’t wait to hear how the two of you fared on your respective first weeks! If you’re even half as happy as I am I’ll already consider this mad adventure a great, rousing success.