Welcome back to Galahad’s Bachelor Challenge! This is Day 2 of the challenge. On Day 1 we lost Stella Terrano, a University bin sim, when she took more interest in another contestant and failed to make any sort of connection to Galahad Merton, the bachelor. By the end of day 1 the closest sim to her had almost double her score. Needless to say, she had to go. We’re not down to six sim vying for Galahad’s heart, all premade Maxis sims: Puck Summerdream, Tara DeBateau, Ripp Grunt, Tina Travella, Natasha Una and Georgia Newson. And now that’s out of the way, let’s get on with this thing.
“All right! Time to head to the hot tubs!” Ripp cheered, leaping out his chair and doing a little dance. Behind him Georgia and Tina stifled laughs behind there hands. “This is always the best part of these shows! Come on, what are you lot waiting for? The door’s unlocked right?”
“You didn’t read the guidelines for this show, did you, Ripp?” Natasha asked. “No, why would I do that? It’s a bachelor show. They’re all the same.” “Not this one,” Natasha said, sighing at the look in his eyes. “Apparently the network thought they’d be able to boost their ratings if they didn’t just have hot tubs for every group date.”
“Awww.” Ripp pouted and crossed his arms. “I was looking forwards to it too. So what are we doing instead?” It was Tara who chimed up this time, from over by the door. “Don’t wake the llama! I love that game!”
Galahad was the first one to head upstairs. Everyone else waited a minute or so before they began the rush to join him. Tara arrived first, followed swiftly by Puck and then Natasha. They all took their seats and the game began.
“Hey, Tara,” Galahad said once the stick as been divvied up and she was getting ready to make her move. “Yeah?” Tara responded, concentrating hard on the two-headed llama in the middle of the table. “What is it?” “I’m sorry I asked Stella to leave so soon, I know you two liked each other.” “Don’t worry about it,” she said, shaking her head. “Depending on how things go, when I get out of here I’ll give her a call. Now stop trying to distract me! It won’t work!”
As a rousing game of Don’t Wake the Llama got underway upstairs, downstairs the other three sims commiserated on the lost chance to get to know Galahad a little better. “Well, you know, I didn’t really want to go on the group date,” Georgia explained to Tina. Ripp rolled his eyes as he listened. “I mean, they’re playing Don’t Wake the Llama!”
“Oh, tell me about it. You would have thought they would’ve gotten a slightly more grown up game that that,” Tina replied. She paused. “I’m heading down to the beach. Join me?” “Of course.”
Smiling, the two women the two women walked out the room. Ripp crossed his arms and set his jaw stubbornly. Georgia and Tina might now have been bothered about missing out on time with Galahad, or they might have just been in denial, either way Ripp couldn’t act so unaffected by missing out on time with the bachelor.
Ripp really didn’t want this to hurt his chances with Galahad. He had a big opportunity here, and he wasn’t going to blow it like he had so many other things in his life. He would have to do something later to make up for his slowness this afternoon. Maybe pull Galahad away for some one-on-one time, if he could manage it. Resolve strengthening, Ripp headed off to find something that would keep him busy for the next few hours.
Upstairs, Tara watched at the sticks on the llama’s back, arranged in precarious positions by Natasha, tumbled the moment Puck got near it. “Huh,” she said, sitting back and crossing her arms. “You know, you’re pretty good at this for someone in their thirties. I didn’t think they had this game back when you were a kid.”
“Brat, I’m only 29 and you know it,” Natasha said playfully. “I’ll have you know that this game came out while I was at college.” “So?” “So if I could be crowned SSU’s Don’t Wake the Llama champion when I was both drunk of juice and high off bubble I think I can win when I’m in my right mind.”
“Oh?” Tara leaned forwards at the mention of college, looking eager. “What did you study? Anything interesting?”
“Oh, Art,” Natasha shrugged. “I got it into my head I was going to be a world famous artist, renowned for my use of dairy products as a commentary on complex social issues.” Natasha paused and grinned. “I was really pretentious back then. Only wore black clothes and berets at all time. You guys go to college?”
“I only graduated a week ago,” Galahad said. He picked up one of the sticks closest to him and examined the llama on the table, working out the best place to put it before he placed it. “I studied literature over at ALT. I always figured it would be helpful for schmoozing – I want to be one of those professional party guests,” he added at the strange looks he got. The still looked dubious. He placed his stick on the llama quickly but carefully. “Yeah, I don’t know why I want that either.”
“You’re a strange on, Galahad,” Puck said. All eyes turned to him. He rested on his thigh and shrugged. “There’s a tiny college out near Veronaville. Only students they get are from around there. I went there, majored in Literature, like you, Gal. I planned to go into journalism, write for newspapers and all that, but you know how that industry’s going.” There was a hint of bitterness in Puck’s voice. The others made the appropriate sounds of agreement before looking to Tara.
Tara blushed. She looked down at the table, refusing to make eye contact. “I, ah, kinda got kicked out of SSU last month,” she said, cheeks flaming. “What?
“Huh? But you’re a knowledge sim! And a smart one too! You couldn’t have failed.” Puck, it seemed, was just as perplexed by it as Galahad and Natasha was. He was looking to Tara in complete confusion, brow furrowed as he tried to work it out.
“Oh please, guys, it’s not that big a deal,” Tara said, her embarrassment gone. These reactions were why she didn’t want to admit she’d been thrown out of college. She pursed her lips. “You know what college are like, way too much bureaucracy. I was there to learn, acing all my courses, and they kept trying to pigeonhole me into a major. That stupid administrator gave me an ultimatum – choose a major, be forced into philosophy or leave. I chose leave. I wanted to learn everything, not just one thing strip of knowledge!”
Galahad laughed. He picked up another blue stick and went to place it on the llama. “You sound a bit like my dad,” Galahad said. Deciding to risk it, he balanced the stick precariously right on the top of the pile. Beside him Natasha rolled her eyes, expertly placing a green on top of that and ensuring that the stack would topple on Pucks turn. “Dad’s always wanted to know anything ever. He’s never been satisfied unless he’s learnt something new by nine each morning.” He paused. “Come to think of it, my oldest brother’s the same way.” He paused again. “And my older sister. There’s a lot of knowledge sims in my family.”
By the end off their allocated group date time the four of them had managed to build quite a tall tower before it was finally knocked over and they decided to call it a day. While the others headed off to do their own thing for a bit – Puck said something about finding Ripp to put the dining room back to rights – Galahad decided he should probably try to talk to everyone. Galahad was meant to be getting to know everyone, after all. He hadn’t been doing too well at that yesterday, or so far today. Now though he was starting to get comfortable with some of the people in the house. He just needed to force himself to make the effort with the others. “Hey,” Galahad said as he reached the beach and saw Georgia staring out over the sea. “Mind if I join you?”
“It’s a free country.” Georgia shrugged. “Do what you like.” “Err, thanks.” Galahad sat down on the sand beside her, trying to work out what to say. Belatedly he realised he should have thought about that before he came down here. Galahad hadn’t spoken much to Georgia so far, outside of meals, that was.
“You know, my dad grew up around here,” Galahad finally said. Georgia raised an eyebrow but otherwise didn’t move. “Over in the – I think it was the Main Street Mobile Homes.” “That’s nice,” Georgia replied tersely. Galahad paused, but he didn’t let her tone deter him just yet. “He always used to tell me stories about what he got up to growing up.” He chuckled, remembering some of his father’s more extreme stories. “Did you like growing up here?”
“Not really.” Georgia’s tone was cool. She sat up and continued staring out over the ocean as Galahad leaned back. “They didn’t really let us get up to much at the Home. Something about health and safety regulations.” “Oh, that... Must have sucked,” Galahad finished up lamely, he wished he could think up something better to say. “Yep.”
Galahad tried for several minutes to get a conversation going with Georgia. However, striking up conversations had never been one of Galahad’s strong suits, and Georgia seemed intent on giving only monosyllabic answers, only making it hard for him. After about five minutes of trying to talk to Georgia, Galahad fell quiet and the pair just sat their watching the waves. After another couple of minutes Galahad sighed and stood. “I’m gonna head inside,” he told her. Georgia nodded but didn’t say anything. “I’ll see you later?” Georgia nodded again. Shaking his head, Galahad walked off towards the house in search of someone else.
The first sim Galahad found inside the house was Natasha in the bathroom. She was finishing cleaning up in the sink. “Hey,” he said, smiling as he walked inside. She looked up from the sink and smiled back. “Hey,” she replied. She nodded to the bathroom window. “I saw you chatting to Georgia. Anything interesting come up?”
“Not so much,” Galahad said as Natasha finished drying her hands, shaking them dry before turning to Galahad. “I don’t think she was much in the mood to talk.” “Her loss,” Natasha said with a shrug. She turned to him. “So does anything else interesting happen today, or are we left to our own devices?”
“There’s nothing we need to do,” he replied. “I’ve just got to keep getting to know you a little better.” “So?” “So what?” “So is there anything in particular you want to know?” “Oh, right!” Galahad blinked. “Erm, just... What do you do? When you’re not here, I mean.”
Natasha chuckled – not what Galahad had expected. He frowned at her, confused. “You didn’t have any idea what you want to talk about with me, did you?” she asked after a second you two, still chuckling. Galahad blushed, his checked almost the same colour as Natasha’s hair. She decided to take pity on him. “I paint. Mostly cheese-related things. It doesn’t earn my much money, but it’s enough to get by.”
“Oh, really? Are you any good?” Galahad spoke without thinking, but the moment Galahad said those words he regretted them. He flushed, going an even brighter red than before. Galahad rushed to apologise. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean-” “Don’t worry,” Natasha waved him off. “I know you didn’t mean anything by it. I’m not awful. Like I said, I make enough money to get by on, and I couldn’t do that if I a complete hack.”
“That... Makes sense,” Galahad said lamely. He didn’t really know what else to say. Galahad swallowed hard. “I’m sorry I-” “I said don’t worry about it,” Natasha smiled. “Why don’t you tell me a bit about you instead? Like your family, or where you grew up? You hardly said anything at all at lunch yesterday when we were talking about it.”
“I said the family thing was complicated,” Galahad said quietly. He paused. “Too complicated, really.” “Oh.” “But,” Galahad continued, the disappointment on Natasha’s face a bit too much for him to bare. “I can tell you about where I grew up. It’s this tiny little place, out in the middle of a canyon in the desert, and...”
Galahad regaled Natasha with stories from his childhood for some time before Natasha excused herself. She wanted to take a quick catnap before dinner. As she vanished off upstairs, Galahad headed off to find someone else to talk to, soon coming across Ripp in the dining room. Galahad smiled. “Hey.”
“Hey!” Ripp’s whole face lit up momentarily before taking on a more apologetic expression. “Sorry I didn’t make it up to the balcony. Puck and the girls were just a bit faster than me.” “It’s okay,” Galahad said. He smiled warmly at the other man. “I’m sure you’ll make it next time.” “I’ll certainly try my best,” Ripp replied. He smirked at Galahad and leaned in. “So, you think I’ll be around or next time?”
Galahad blushed, his entire face aflame. “I – I – I –” Galahad stammered, his heart thudding hard in his chest. He swallowed hard around the lump in his throat, and managed to squeak out, “Maybe.”
“You’re cute when you stutter,” Ripp said. He stepped back a bit, giving Galahad a little more space. He nodded towards the window overlooking the beach. “I’m gonna head out and try and turn this burn into a tan before dinner. You gonna join me?”
“Um, no thanks,” said Galahad. His face was still hot, and he felt like there were butterflies dancing the foxtrot in his stomach. He licked his dry lips. “I – I burn way too easily. I’ll be barbecued in ten minutes.”
After his chat with Ripp, Galahad felt giddy and there was a spring in his step as he headed off to find someone else he hadn’t spoken to yet. He spotted Puck and Tina played poker in the rec room. He decided to leave them to it and head upstairs to try and find Tara. He was almost at the stairs when he heard Puck call his name. “You didn’t think you were gonna get off without talking to me, did you?” Puck asked as Galahad turned.
“Of course not, I just didn’t want to interrupt your game with Tina.” Despite their combined three outgoing points, or perhaps because of them, Galahad and Puck were well on the way to becoming friends. “Oh, thanks for teaching me those tips this morning, they really helped when Ripp joined us.” “Think nothing of it,” Puck smiled warmly. “Just don’t beat me too badly next time we play.” “Aw, but that takes away all the fun.”
“I’m sure it would,” Puck said. He tilted his head to one side slightly, chuckling. “Man, my little sister would kill me if she found out I’d helped any with their card skills. We used to go to the poker den near us all the time when we were teens and she got so angry when I beat her every single time. I always could read her like a book.”
Galahad rolled his eyes. His brothers and sister had done the same thing a few times when he was a teenager when they’d come home from college, dragging him out downtown to a poker den there. Every single time Galahad had come out owing them all money. “I know how your sister feels,” Galahad said quietly. “Let me guess, you always won all her money?”
“Nah, we didn’t play for money. We played for fun,” Puck said. He smiled briefly, then frowned. “Well, I played for fun. Bo stopped wanting to play after a while.”
“Gee, I wonder why,” Galahad said dryly. He shook his head. “Hey, have you seen Tara? I want to talk to her next.” “Nah,” Puck said, shaking his head. “She’s probably upstairs though. I think she found a bookcase up there or something.” “Yeah, it’s by my room,” Galahad said. He looked hopefully at Puck. “Talk to you at dinner?” “You better.”
That book case was indeed upstairs just down the hall from Galahad’s room, and sure enough Tara was sat there on the couch reading some old sci-fi book. She looked up as he approached, her expression aghast. “Galahad! Have you read this? It’s just awful! There’s so many misconceptions about aliens! It’s all so completely offensive! How could anyone write something like this?”
As Galahad drew closer he caught sight of the cover. He grimaced. They had it around the house growing up, and on the one occasion he’d tried to read it Galahad had thrown it across the room is disgust. “That book’s like two hundred years old, Tara,” he said. “I think every thought aliens were monsters back then or something.” “Really? That old?” Tara flicked to the front of the book, then grinned up at Galahad. “I guess you’re right. Geez, I can’t believe someone actually published this drivel.”
Galahad sat down next to Tara on the sofa as she placed the book on the ground and kicked it under the sofa with her heel. “It was a long time ago.” Galahad shrugged. It was pretty simple to him. “Yes, but –” Tara cut herself off with a deep breath, and visibly tried to calmed down. She continued through gritted teeth. “I guess it was before the Equality Acts. It’s still horrible though.”
The pair sat quietly side-by-side for a minute or two, Galahad once again cursing that he had no idea what he wanted to talk about – again. And the more time Galahad spent cursing himself the more uncomfortable the silence felt, putting him under more pressure to think up something to talk about and – “So what you planning on doing when you get out of here?” Tara came to his rescue, the book apparently forgotten.
“Huh?” “Well it’s not like we’re going to be here long. You’re in this house for a week then the shows over. You’ve got to have something planned.”
“Well – I guess,” Galahad said. He bit his lip. “I’ve got some family stuff I need to do, pretty much as soon as I get back, then... I don’t know. Find a job? I haven’t really thought about it much.” “Lucky.” “What was that?”
“I said you’re lucky,” Tara repeated, louder this time. She looked at him with her piercing brown eyes, a haunted look to them. “You can do whatever you want in your life. You’re not going to be forced into doing something that will make you die inside.” “Uh...” “Don’t worry about it,” Tara sighed, then laughed as her stomach gave a particularly loud grumble. “Hey, The Beast says it’s dinner time, and it sounds like everyone else downstairs agrees.”
Tara was right. Galahad followed her downstairs and saw that almost everyone else in the house had already made their way into the dining room. Just as he was coming down the stairs Galahad saw that he and Tina were the last ones. “Hey, Tina, wait up!” he called. She was the only sims left in the house he had yet to talk to, so he might as well do that now.
“What is it?” Tina said shortly, sighing when Galahad reached her. “Nothing, I, ah just thought we could talk a little. We haven’t had much of a chance to today.” “Can we do that over dinner?” Tina gestured into the dining room. Everyone else was already seated and eating. “I’m starved.” “Oh, I-” “Thanks.”
“No problem?” But Tina had already turned and was headed into the dining room. He watched, perplexed, as she grabbed herself a plate of food. Just then his own stomach gave a loud grumble. Okay, maybe talking over dinner was the better plan.
Dinner passed far more quickly than Galahad would have liked, and before he knew it he was upstairs preparing for his one on one dates. As he stared at his reflection, Galahad took a deep breath and tried to steel his nerves. This was the part of the challenge he had been dreading the most, especially after how some of his chats had gone before dinner. While admittedly Galahad was getting to know some contestants quicker than others, he’d still only met them a little over a day ago. He was sure that later in the week he’d be comfortable spending one on one time with these sims, it was still early days and – A knock at the door cut across Galahad’s thoughts. He jumped, then sighed. “Come in,” he called, resigned and mildly curious who had taken the first date.
It was Georgia. She pushed open the door and strolled in, still in her bikini. Galahad gulped. Yep, he was definitely nervous.
“Hi, Georgia,” Galahad said, trying his hardest not to stare at, ah, certain parts of Georgia anatomy. “Hey, can we just get this over with?” Georgia said. She waved her hand towards the door. “I want to go for another swim before it gets too dark and cold.”
“You know, you could take this a little bit more seriously.” Galahad frowned at her, feeling a spark of annoyance. “I do have to spend the rest of my life with someone from this house, and it would be nice to be sure I didn’t send the wrong person home. This isn’t exactly easy for me, okay?”
“Oh boo hoo, the poor ickle romance sim has to flirt with people – what next? A family sim who wants kids? You know what? I don’t care.” Georgia spun on her heel and headed straight back out the bedroom door. “I’ve got better things to do with my time. I’ll see you at the elimination tomorrow!”
After she left it only took a matter of seconds for Galahad’s annoyance to fade and a wave of regret washed over him. He shouldn’t have done that. He half wanted to go after her and apologise, but he decided against it. Georgia was probably still annoyed. He could apologise tomorrow at breakfast. Right now though he had another date, and there was no way it could get any worse.
It could. Tina came in next, and that went a whole lot worse. Galahad wasn’t the greatest flirt – far from it, in fact – but he tried his best. That wasn’t good enough. Something he said must have struck a nerve with Tina though he had no idea what, because the next instant she was yelling at him.
After Tina left things began to pick up. Both Puck and Tara were much more receptive to his flirting, and as they left Galahad felt as though he had firmly secured a friendship with each of them.
Natasha’s date also went incredibly well, by the time she left the room Galahad could already feel the beginnings on a crush on her.
And as for Ripp, there was definitely no doubt about it: Galahad definitely had a crush on the other man. When Ripp walked into Galahad’s room he’d had no idea what to say. Ripp took care of that, immediately stepping up and hitting on Galahad. By the end of it Galahad was blushing and stammering the most he had since he’d arrived in the house.
The following morning at breakfast Galahad started to apologise to both Georgia and Tina for his outbreak the previous day, but they waved it off rather brusquely. After that Galahad just listened in on the conversations going on around him. He was starting to feel much more comfortable around these people – some much more so than others. He also had a clearer view of who was going to leave. Breakfast dragged on, all seven of the sims in the house just content to chat long after they finished eating, no one noticing how much time had passed until finally the clock struck noon and all eyes turned to Galahad.
“So who is it?” Tara asked after one full tense minute of silence. “Do you need more time to think it over?” Natasha this time, looking as nervous as Galahad felt.
“No,” Galahad replied. He smiled tentatively at her and looked around the table at the others. “I – I know who’s going. We got along pretty well to begin with, but the past day... We just haven’t seen eye to eye about anything. I’m really sorry-”
“ – Tina.” Tina sighed as they heard a car pull up outside. “I suppose I should have seen it coming.” She looked to Galahad. “No hard feelings? And the rest of you – we’ve got to meet up sometime. After this is all over.”
As the goodbyes were said and Tina got into the car outside, the six remaining sims gathered in the dining room once again. “So, what are we doing today?” Ripp asked.
That’s it from Day 2! And it’s goodbye to Tina who managed to lose quite a spectacular number of points in a single day – in fact, she lost 17 whole points between Days 1 and 2! Georgia lost some as well (six points), but losing 17 points must have taken effort! Anyway, scores for Day 2 were: Ripp 153 98/55 Friends, Mutual Crush Natasha 141 100/41 Friends, Mutual Crush Tara 93 65/28 Friends Puck 92 65/27 Friends Georgia 58 29/29 Tina 26 11/15 Ripp’s still way out in front, but the gap is closing. Anything could still happen!