Familiar Faces - Chapter 27: Bridges . . .


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Familiar Faces - Chapter 27: Bridges . . .

  1. 1. Welcome back to Familiar Faces . . . Chapter Twenty - Seven - Bridges
  2. 2. "Come on Almeric don't you even want to see what's up there? I betcha there's a whole bunch of creepy old stuff in the loft." "But mother said not to go up there. She said that the ladder isn't safe and we could get hurt."
  3. 3. "We'll be careful, come on Almeric don't be such a scaredy cat!" "But mother said . . . Hey wait for me Aldric!"
  4. 4. "If I've told you once I've told you a thousand times. You are not to play in the garage loft! What were you thinking? I'm very disappointed in you Almeric, I expect you to listen to what I tell you and to do as I say." "Yes Mother."
  5. 5. "What? Are you there again? Why do you follow me, what do you want from me? Why can't you just leave me alone?" Just another dream Almeric, she isn't here. But she'll find you she always does. You mustn't disappoint her this time. It will only get worse if you continue fail."
  6. 6. Or you could just keep running. There's nothing to keep you here. You've lost your chance at redemption. Disappointed the ones that matter, severed yourself from the ones that might have saved you. But you can't run, can you? The remnants are here, you could pick up the pieces. There's still a chance for success She explained it to you it's necessary. Does it matter that you'll lose yourself even more?"
  7. 7. "What'll you have mister? We got fried chicken on special or the soup of the day is potato bacon." "What kind of pie do you have?" "All out of pie sorry but we've got some chocolate cake left, it's pretty great!" Almeric suddenly turned forward and looked straight ahead. "Cake sounds good I'll have that."
  8. 8. Almeric doubted that any of the group seated behind him had gotten a good look at him. He didn't know any of them personally, but he knew who they were and they might recognize him if they were paying attention. He didn't want to chance getting up and leaving now so he'd stay and eat and listen maybe he'd hear something interesting.
  9. 9. "Oh come on you two, haven't we all been married long enough? You don't have to continue to be so sickeningly cute all the time, do you?" "There was an expiration date on our cuteness? When did it expire Alex? Was it after five years or was it at ten? I want to see where it says in the rules that old married couples have to be staid all the time. If you find it I'll show it to my parents." Dorme just grinned
  10. 10. "What's wrong sweetie are you getting jealous?" Bottom Goth asked as she blew her husband a kiss. "Ugh okay point proved we'll stop if you do. Where is that waitress? We don't have all night; I expect my phone to start ringing any moment to have Del screaming at me to save them from our hellions." "No doubt, I don't think she knew what she was getting into when she said they wanted some practice time."
  11. 11. "I can't believe that they're going the kid route now the marriage part I get it was pretty much a formality but a baby?" "Come on Alex I know you miss having babies in the house. Don't you want another one?" "No; Bo we're done remember? You know as soon as we heard Del was having one I knew you'd want another one. It happens every time." "I can't help it if I get baby envy." Bo and Dorme exchanged small smiles "It's in the hormones."
  12. 12. "Besides we could try for a girl, girls are easier aren't they?" Bottom looked at her brother and sister in law. "Tell Emilia that sis will ya? Maybe she'd believe it if her Aunt told her and not her Dad." "But she's always so quiet." "That's because she's always thinking about what her next stunt is going to be. Did you know Mom caught her up on the roof of the playhouse last week? She'd seen a birds nest and wanted a better view. The child is fearless, if she lives to be twenty we'll all breathe a sigh of relief." Dorme laughed and then stuck a fork in her husband's plate.
  13. 13. "Hon if you wanted steak you should have ordered steak, you always do that you order a salad and then eat half my steak." "I can't eat a whole steak. I just wanted a taste if you want some of my salad go right ahead." "If I wanted salad I would have ordered salad, I wanted a steak so I ordered it." Puck turned back towards his sister and brother in law "So I was thinking that we should make plans for when Mom and David take the kids to the beach next week. We could take a real night out not just a quick dinner but maybe go to Club Z or catch a show someplace? What do you all think?"
  14. 14. "That sounds like fun, they'll be gone from Thursday to Monday we could maybe plan something for Saturday night, and it would give us Sunday to recover before the horde returns. We need to be in top form when we're listening to their tales of mad adventure." "Date Night!" "You'd think we never take them any place any more wouldn't you Puck."
  15. 15. "Are we going to keep this just between the four of us are should we send out invites? Who do you think would be up for a night on the town with us?: "Well Del and Deanna are pregnant so we'll probably need to count them out." "Count Eva and Denise out as well for the same reason." Bo said a bit wistfully "Really?" Dorme hadn't heard those particular pieces of gossip yet "Really. Elle and Dov would probably be up for it they can leave 'Lisha with his folks. We can try to drag Emma and Aldric away from Frankie but I think they're as excited to get rid of Mom and Dave as we are to get rid of the kids they want to spend some time alone with him."
  16. 16. "I remember the toddler days and being amazed by every thing the little miracles did." said Alex "I'm still amazed by everything my kids manage to do; it's just now the things they do scare me rather than amuse me." replied Puck a dryly "Will you folks want any desert? We've got some really yummy cake, or how bout some Baked Alaska?" "No I think we're done. Come on guys lets go rescue the sitters."
  17. 17. Frankie was currently amazing his parents with his newest dance moves. He'd recently discovered the stereo and was having the time of his very short life while doing a bit of head banging in the living room of the Familiar legacy manse. Only one adjustment had been made to the household since Frankie had become a toddler. Eva and her new husband Ted had recently vacated the house and moved across town to their own home.
  18. 18. "Okay dancing king let's try it again let's say bottle." Frankie cocked his head the adults in his life seemed to always have a new trick that they wanted him to perform. They took the tricks very seriously as well and always seemed a bit disappointed when he didn't play along.
  19. 19. They always got so excited when he managed to catch on. They'd smile and laugh and clap their hands at him. And he'd get extra tickles and snuggles afterward Sometimes what they taught him turned out to be pretty useful like that walking thing that he and Grandpa had spent all day on.
  20. 20. Once he'd figured that trick out he'd been able to discover so many more things that he'd never even known had existed. He'd found a box with toys in it and had been able to reach right in and pull out a car. Then he'd found a box with pretty swimmy things in it that Mommy had called fishes. Frankie couldn't figure out how to get the fishes to come outside of their box to play with him. He hoped that someone would teach him that trick soon.
  21. 21. Sometimes the tricks they taught him didn't seem to serve any purpose but they were fun. Grandma had taught him a nursery rhyme and he would spend hours singing it himself, or to anyone else that might want to listen.
  22. 22. The trick he liked the most was the flying trick that Daddy did with him. They had to do it when Mommy wasn't looking though because anytime she saw them do it she'd scold Daddy and tell him to be careful. Daddy was always careful and always caught him.
  23. 23. Frankie wasn't the only one that was getting lessons and learning new tricks. The newest family dog Rowan had grown big enough to start her lessons as well. And like Frankie she tried her best to please her peoples because they always gave her a treat when she did well.
  24. 24. When the two little ones were done with their lessons they liked to wind down the day with each other. For all she was being trained by the older members of the household Rowan was Frankie's dog first and for most and the two were often found wrestling in the nursery.
  25. 25. "Tania the cabs here you'll need to put him down now. We've got other grandchildren waiting for us. You'll see him again in a few days." "Alrighty bye bye Frankie you be good for Mommy and Daddy okay Grandma and Grandpa will see you soon."
  26. 26. "But Mom wait what do I do if we can't get him to go to sleep he always wants you to sing with him before he'll go to sleep." "You'll figure it out Emma, don't worry, he'll sleep when he gets tired and he'll eat when he gets hungry. We'll be back in few days."
  27. 27. "Ugh! Why does everything have to fall apart as soon as the knowledge sim with max mechanical leaves on vacation?" Aldric and Emma were looking forward to spending some time alone with their son but they hadn't counted on how much they relied on David and Titania for certain things.
  28. 28. For Frankie though it was all good, there was a puddle to play in and that was way better than a vacation at the beach wasn't it?
  29. 29. Probably not, but what does Frankie know he's a toddler he doesn't have much to reference against? As for the eldest crop of David and Titania's grandchildren they'd been looking forward to a break from the snow and the cold of Familiarity and a chance to break in Casa Familiar Twikki.
  30. 30. Due to the size of the current generation of grandchildren it will be necessary for there to be several grandparent vacations if I want each of the kids to get a chance to be included. Because there will be that need I decided that I'd get bored if I kept sending them all to the Lake House. So I built the family a new beach house in Twikki, it broke their bank account but it will come in handy later on I'm sure.
  31. 31. For the first vacation of the generation David and Tania took the seven eldest grandchildren to the new house. Top Standing: Ezekiel and Ezra Capp Top Step Sitting: David and Titania Familiar Middle Step Sitting: Euclid Goth, Egeus Summerdream, and Erasmus Goth Bottom Standing: Emilia Summerdream and Elijah Familiar ________________ 'Zeke' and Ezra are the twin sons of Elliot and Deanna, Euclid and 'Ras are the sons of Bottom and Alex, Egeus and Emilia are the children of Puck and Dorme and Elijah is the eldest child of Elle and Dov.
  32. 32. Upon getting their vacation clothing changes taken care of the kids immediately settled into socializing. Which for the first four that made it to the way over advertised Mahjong board meant playing Mahjong until they were starving of course it didn't matter that none of them understood how the game was supposed to be played they had a lot of fun shuffling the pieces around. *Don't wake the Llama is so much more fun to watch
  33. 33. Egeus and Erasmus didn't need any bonding they've been best friends since well since forever but they like to think that they're more grown up than the rest of the kids. They were deemed responsible enough to be trusted with sharp pointy things that they could throw at the wall.
  34. 34. The biggest kid of the group however is David. "Who wants to play with Grandpa?" "We're eating Grandpa" "Food is overrated! I haven't eaten in decades and look at me. Come on somebody play with me."
  35. 35. The first day at the beach was mainly spent playing games and socializing. Taking move in motives into account most of the kids were pretty well worn out and found themselves beds fairly early. The exception being Euclid who found the soon to be deleted hot chocolate machine and managed to stay awake for more than forty eight hours straight. It didn't matter that he shook uncontrollably for most of those forty eight hours he could claim that he'd stayed up all night!
  36. 36. "Come on Ezra the couch doesn't go there it should go in the corner by the television!" "Use boolprop snapobjectstogrid false to center that painting, it looks off like that." Yes I'm endlessly amused by the fact that the various sims games on the video console have the same animations as the action games.
  37. 37. "And today we'll be visiting the Counterfeit Clam in the hopes of seeing the ghost of Captain Dregg so that he can infect yet another generation of Familiars with the dreaded Sea Shanty virus!" Okay who hired this tour guide?
  38. 38. "Avast you scurvy bilge rats find me some booty or you'll be walkin the plank!" Elijah claimed the right to be pirate captain based on his personal pirate experience gotten from constant tub pirating.
  39. 39. "Aye aye Captain!" "Report Mate Euclid!" "I see I see . . . Hey I can see my house from here. And there's my Mom! Hi Mom!"
  40. 40. While most of the kids enjoyed their day at the beach combing for seashells, building sandcastles or exploring the pirate ship; some felt that they were a little bit too mature. "Who wears this stuff? These colors don't even go together. Ugh such a fashion disaster in the making someone needs to clean out their downloads folder a bit better." Well thank you Mr. Blackwell.
  41. 41. Rarely was the house across the street ever this quiet or this dark. He had to take the risk, this was his best chance. He could take what he'd come for; take what was his by right. She'd explained it to him and he knew that he mustn't disappoint her this time. Almeric pulled the jammer from his pocket and disabled the alarm system from where he was standing.
  42. 42. So far so good, the dogs were in the back and hopefully asleep, no sound from them as yet. He had the treats in his pocket he'd use them if he needed them. He knew the layout of the house he'd studied the plans that he'd found online and he knew exactly where he was going.
  43. 43. "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
  44. 44. "I thought you said he was asleep?" Aldric glanced across the room at the baby monitor "I thought he was let's just wait he'll probably cry himself back to sleep. We can't go running every time he starts crying." "You're right, now where were we?" The monitor crackled "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" "Mmm uh hold that thought I'll just go check on him sorry."
  45. 45. "I'm coming Frankie just hold on a sec and I'll be there."
  46. 46. "Having a hard time sleeping down here by your lonesome? Pretty quiet isn't it? Not what you're used huh? Well I guess you can come up with me and Daddy for tonight don't get used to it though Grandma and Grandpa will be home in a few days and everything goes back to normal then."
  47. 47. "Dada?" "That's right we're going to go upstairs and see Daddy."
  48. 48. "What's wrong Frankie? You couldn't sleep huh? That's no fun." "I think it's just too quiet down there for him without Mom and Dad home. I thought maybe we could just let him play a bit up here for awhile maybe he'll fall asleep on the blanket."
  49. 49. Emma and Aldric entertained their son for little but his eyes quickly started to droop and before long he and Mr. Bear were fast asleep on the toddler blanket. Taking a cue from Frankie his parents settled into sleep for the night as well.
  50. 50. "Failure again Almeric? Such a simple task and yet you couldn't manage it could you? How disappointing. I should be used to it seeing as you are a constant disappointment to me." "Yes Mother."
  51. 51. "Hi fishies! Daddy says I swim like a fish can I swim with you? Want to go swim in the sea with me? We'll find the EAC and bounce across the jellyfish pods. How about it fishies?" Emilia wondered what the fishes were thinking did they like it in the tank?
  52. 52. "Why aren't you inside playing games with the other kids?" "Whenever I'm inside you say I should go play outdoors and get some fresh air, now I'm outside and you're complaining that I'm not inside? Grandma you're just as weird as my Mom." "I'd prefer it if all of you were doing something together outside. I'm not complaining 'Ras I'm just asking if there's a reason why you're keeping yourself separate that's not like you." "Most of them are just babies Grandma, they don't know anything."
  53. 53. "And you think that because you're going to be a teenager pretty soon that you don't have anything in common with the younger kids? I know that some of them are a bit more hmm rambunctious that you are but I'm sure that you can find something in common with most of them. Did you know that Emilia plays a mean game of chess? Or that Ezra likes to study birds just like you do?" "That's cause Ezra thinks he's going to BE a bird. He collects bugs for testing them in recipes that he thinks will be the secret to flying. Ezra is weird."
  54. 54. "Okay well I'll remember not to taste test any of his concoctions without first asking what ingredients he used then. 'Ras I'm just a little worried about you cause you've been a bit moody and that's not like you you're normally such a friendly guy. Is there anything that you want to talk about?" "Um uh no I'm okay Grandma I've just been thinking that's all." "Well alright but when you're done thinking if you want to talk about I'll be here okay?" "I know Grandma Thanks."
  55. 55. "Tours? You want tours I've tours I've got any kind of tour you can imagine." "Well we're looking for something to do with seven kids so nothing too outrageous but it needs to be interesting enough to keep them occupied for the length of the tour." "I've got just the thing you all wait here and the shuttle bus will be round in a few minutes."
  56. 56. "Para-sailing? Para-sailing with seven children? Who hires these guides?" Well it was all good until that cord broke and you tried to float down to the water but missed and landed on the rocks. After that it kinda went down hill a bit.
  57. 57. "As a child I was told by my Granny that Captain Dregg, knowing the law was on his tail, traveled up the coast looking for the perfect spot to bury his stolen booty. He found it near a grove of gnarled palms here on Twikki Isle. One moonless dark night, the Counterfeit Clam slid silently into the bay and before the wondering eyes of two hidden watchers and a crew of scurvy buccaneers armed with cutlasses and pistols had rowed boatload after boatload of heavy chests into the shore. They were accompanied by a tall, proud man with whiskers and a cocked hat that the watchers recognized at once as the bold leader Captain Dregg. The captain led his men away from shore, and they disappeared with them into the grove of palms. The pirates were gone along time; long enough, according to those who watched, to bury any amount of treasure. They came away before dawn and rowed back to the Counterfeit Clam and sailed into the last vestiges of the dark night."
  58. 58. "Of course, the eager watchers kept their knowledge quiet and scurried down to the grove a few days later, armed with lanterns and shovels. But nary a gold coin found they, and in frustration, they shared their tale with other good folks in the region. After that, there was not a night when the grove did not see someone digging fervently with a shovel. After a few decades of this, the grove gave up the ghost and died away completely. By my granny's time, there was nothing left of the spot save a few stunted trees, some wind-swept grass, and on certain dark nights, Dem Bones."
  59. 59. "Dem Bones are the skeletal crew of Captain Dregg. According to my granny, they come sailing up in a ship made of shadows. The ship moves silently up the coast at the dark of the moon, and anchors near the shores. Two or three boats are lowered from her side, and they are filled up with the eager forms of glowing skeletons wearing cocked hats and tattered buccaneers garb. Around their waists are belts full of pistols and long cutlasses. The biggest of Dem Bones - the one that is probably the first mate - has a skeletal parrot perched on his shoulder."
  60. 60. "Dem Bones carry heavy trunks full of treasure onto the shore and scatter them all around the place where the grove once stood. Then the pirate crew hauls out kegs and kegs of whiskey and one of the skeleton's takes out a fiddle. A phantom fire is lit on the sand, and Dem Bones start such a rowdy singing and dancing that the noise would wake the dead - if they weren't already awake. When they are exhausted from the dancing, the glowing skeletons collapse on the sand and start telling stories about the ships they have captured and the treasure they have amassed. Some of Dem Bones open the big trunks and take out jewels and ropes of pearls and adorn themselves. Others toss gold coins back and forth as if they were a child's ball. At the darkest part of the night, just before dawn, Dem Bones pack up the trunks and row back to the ship of shadows. One by one, the glowing skeletons disappeared into the hold and the ship draws anchor and sails away."
  61. 61. "Don't stay up too late kids, when we bought this house the realtor said that there used to be a grove of palms right here on this very spot." lowering his voice David glanced at his wife "Do you think I scared any of them?"
  62. 62. "Do you think that's true? Do you think there's pirate treasure buried here? Maybe the people that dug just didn't dig deep enough we should go get the shovels! Just think about it we could be sitting on gold!" Zeke asked excitedly "I don't want to see any skeletons. I don't even like being at Grandma's house after dark with the ghosts." said Euclid, as he glanced around worriedly.
  63. 63. "It can't be true Twikki hadn't yet been discovered back in the days of Grandpa Dave's Granny. He just made it up to scare you guys. You shouldn't be such a wuss Euc the ghosts won't hurt you." Erasmus scoffed at his younger brother.
  64. 64. "I dunno about that, Great Grandpa Ben likes to scare the pee out of people sometimes. Especially on those nights that Adam is playing court to Great Grandma Betsy. He once scared Grandma three times in a row and she passed out in her own puddle." Egeus said. He had some experience with ghosts. Like many a Familiar ghost Benjamin had been present to wish his grandson a happy birthday and since that time Egeus had often seen not just Ben but also several of the family dog's ghosts. "I wanna see that can I spend the night with you guys sometime?" Elijah had never seen a ghost or seen anyone pass out his house was boring. "Sure Ellijah you can visit us, but you better watch yourself because the ghosts like to scare guests most of all. Better be sure to bring an extra set of pajama bottoms HA!" Emilia laughed.
  65. 65. Elijah thought about it "Nah maybe I don't want to spend the night with you guys then." "Hey Grandpa said that he's going to let us use this house when we're in college, maybe when we come back here we can find the pirate treasure." Ezra wondered "There is no treasure." Repeated Erasmus Ezra chewed on his lip "But we could look couldn't we? It'd be fun and you know Dad's got an old map of this placed pinned to the wall by his desk. There's even a big ole X on it and you know what that means. X marks the spot. I betcha I could get that map." "Why didn't you bring it this time?" asked Euclid from across the fire
  66. 66. "Cause anytime we even so much as look at that map, Dad tells us to leave it alone. He says he 'only keeps it to remind him that even things that have no price tag can be too expensive' and that he'll tell us about it when we're older. I don't get it getting stuff for free is great! Especially when you can sell it later." Zeke piped in. Euclid grumbled "Adults always say that they'll tell us about stuff when we're older. Betcha when we get older that they'll forget." "Come on guys, the fire is out, we better go to bed." Egeus suggested.
  67. 67. "Okay Frankie boy I think you are clean as a whistle. Let's get you a story and then we'll go night-night in our crib okay?" "No crib! I wanta night-night upstairs." Frankie's lower lip trembled "Aww Frankie I'm helpless when you pout like that. I guess one more night won't hurt, but Grandma and Grandpa are going to be home tomorrow and everything goes back to normal then okay?" "Okay" Frankie readily agreed but he looked doubtful
  68. 68. "I don't see how he expects us to get him a little brother or sister if he wants to sleep in our room. I hope that once Mom and Dad are home he'll be willing to go back to the nursery. It's all about consistency if we let him break pattern too often he'll start seeing the break as the pattern." "Maybe he doesn't want a little brother or sister. I mean have you asked him?" "He'd be thrilled to have a sibling I don't need to ask him."
  69. 69. "He'd have to share his toys if he did, he wouldn't like that. Frankie doesn't even let Rowan play with his toys." "Frankie smart enough to understand that the dogs have their own toys. By the time we get around to having another child Frankie will - a) be old enough to understand the concept of sharing and b) have outgrown most of the toys that the new baby would be playing with." "But then it just moves to other stuff; bikes, cars, girls everything."
  70. 70. "No you can't use my car Aldric. Mom got me that car for making honor roll maybe if you applied yourself you could make honor roll and you'd have your own car. Anyway I have a date with Debbie on Friday, you and your loser friends will just have to find some other way to get to the movies."
  71. 71. "I have a feeling that we're not talking about Frankie here, are you having second thoughts about having another baby? I thought we'd agreed that it would be good for him to have a sibling." "No you agreed that it would be good for him to have a sibling. I'm having the same thoughts that I've had since Frankie was born. I don't see why we need more kids I'm happy with just Frankie and he's doing great as he is why should we upset his life like that?"
  72. 72. "We wouldn't be upsetting his life we'd be adding to it." Emma sighed, she and Aldric never fought; they rarely even disagreed and this was a decision that they had to be in accord with each other on. It wasn't so much that Emma wanted another baby, she wasn't a family sim after all. But she felt strongly that Frankie should have a brother or a sister to share his life experiences with. She enjoyed children and she and Aldric were good parents why shouldn't they have another one?
  73. 73. "This isn't something we should fight over and this isn't something that we have to decide right this minute. We have time still we can wait but the longer we wait the more disruptive to Frankie's life another child would be. The older he gets the more he'll have to adapt. I don't remember not having Elle around but when Eva joined the family it was an adjustment. Of course anything with Eva involved requires an adjustment." "He's happy so why change that?" "I don't think it would change, Frankie's well loved and he knows it that's not going to change. Aldric, I don't think that your growing up would have been any different if you'd been an only child." "Maybe, I bet Almeric's would have been if he had been one."
  74. 74. "So now you're blaming yourself for what ever issues Almeric has? See now I don't know if I can even talk about this cause you're making me mad when you think things like that. Aldric you are not to blame for your lousy childhood or for your brother's. You know who's to blame for that it's not you it's probably not even him. You are not your father, and I thank Wright am not your mother though I really wish they were here right now so I could give them a piece of my mind." "Em calm down okay? You're right okay? I know you're right I just . . . just don't know how to change the way I feel about it sometimes. I look around and I see the way you and your family interact and I think this can't be right. To you it's normal but to me it's completely foreign. How do I duplicate something that I have no understanding of?"
  75. 75. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Hey weren't there more fish in here yesterday? Where'd the other fish go?" "Okay chipmunks everyone needs to get their bags packed the airport shuttle will be here in less than an hour!"
  76. 76. "Grandma's home Frankie, did you miss us?" "Uh huh" "Well we missed you too next time we take a trip we'll be sure to take you with us."
  77. 77. David spent his first day home looking over the house and the lot. Checking the plants and the garden, the garden was going to need some work to get it ready for spring planting. He was going to miss having Eva around to share that chore. Emma enjoyed the garden but she didn't have quite the same touch. As he walked the perimeter of the lot he noticed a few things that shouldn't have been there and looking closer he wasn't happy with what he found.
  78. 78. David went inside to hunt down his daughter who was currently participating in the time honored favorite past time of all Familiar heirs since Dina's playful points were first added to the families genealogy. Thank you Dina!
  79. 79. When we were out of town were did you and Aldric spend much time outside?" "Not really Dad, he went to work of course and I fed Hemlock when he needed it. It was too cold to do much outside and not enough snow to enjoy it. Why is something messed up or missing?" ""There are a bunch of tracks in the garden and all over the lot across the street. I told the minions to have the henchmen keep an eye on the place but they shouldn't have been out of their vehicles enough to leave that many tracks."
  80. 80. "Wait you had people watching the house? Why would you want to have us spied on?" "They weren't spying on anyone they were for protection. A man in my position has to consider these things. Ever since your experience at college I've had security around here beefed up. I've got agents watching the Davis house - such as it is and there are others on patrol watching out for you and the rest of the family. Besides you never know what those Captain Heroes might try to pull next can't trust them not to attempt a kidnapping or a hijack."
  81. 81. "I never really considered that Almeric could still be a threat I'd like him found so I'm glad that you're keeping an eye on things but do you really think he'd be dangerous at this point? I always figured that once Aldric and I were married that he'd given up. He has to know that I'd never want him after everything he's done." "Perhaps if his goal was simply to get you, but we don't know that it was. What if getting you was just a means to succeeding at whatever his real goal is? He was willing to sacrifice his brother, and while we can assume that he knew you'd bring him back that doesn't make it less menacing. Anyone that's willing to build up a body count has to be taken seriously. Bob and I have discussed it and until Almeric shows his hand or is located we're taking the necessary precautions."
  82. 82. "Okay that makes sense but why didn't you mention any of this to us? If you think that Aldric's in danger he should be told." David sighed "Probably so, I just I wanted to give you both some time. You deserve to feel safe and to have a normal life. I don't want you kids to have to worry about things or to always be watching over you shoulders." "Thanks Daddy" Emma smiled no matter how gruff he came off her father really was a softie when it came to his kids. "Now about those Captain Heroes"
  83. 83. "What about em?" "Is there something you should tell me? I thought that the only rivalry between the Criminal Masterminds and the Captain Heroes is at the bowling alley on league night." "I have to protect my weapons and that bowling ball has brought many a Captain Hero to their knees. I wouldn't put it past Colette or one of her sidekicks to attempt to kidnap it."
  84. 84. "Can we eat soon? I'm hungry!" "Been on the bubble blower huh? Pizza will be ready soon." "Are you going to burn the pizza to cinders Aunt Emma? Dad always makes it that way." "Just your piece Euc we want to make you feel at home." "Yay!"
  85. 85. "Ever since they came back from Twikki it's been 'I want to hula let me show you my mad skills' I'm so sick of Don Ho at the moment I could scream." "They haven't been back all that long." "Long enough to for me to want to send them back." "You know you can't resist the draw of the hula Bo" "So sad and yet so true."
  86. 86. "Your boys are doing good right? Ezra and Zeke they get along?" "Sure as well as two kids can get along I guess. They have their moments but the moments pass. They get sick of each other or rub each other wrong it happens. When the kids are upset then everything's upset till we find a solution." "And that doesn't bother you? You're still willing to do it again add more variables? Why?"
  87. 87. "Cause that's life and it's what you do. Man I don't know there's no magic formula. You just do your best and hope it's enough. You know we didn't all have perfect childhoods either Aldric. Not as rough as yours but perfect? No one has a perfect life. You can't change the past and if you could I wouldn't to. You just continue to move forward." "Yeah all the stuff with your Mom and Dave must have been rough. You wouldn't want to change it? I mean if you could? You wouldn't want to have grown up with both parents always there?"
  88. 88. "See it's like this I like my life; more, I love my life. If Mom and Dad had made it work well I can't imagine that but it would have changed everything. You and me we wouldn't be sitting here. We wouldn't be having this conversation because you wouldn't be married to my sister, she wouldn't exist. I might have had a sister and she might have been named Emma but she wouldn't be same she'd be someone else entirely. You want me to change the past?" "Guess not, I never looked at it that way." "Maybe you should the past is the past what we do with the future is what matters."
  89. 89. "Well hey there birthday boy you look wide awake and ready to party now." "Elle is Dad home yet? Frankie's ready to take a spin." "I think he just pulled up probably by the time everyone's gathered he'll be in here."
  90. 90. "Make a wish and then we'll blow out the candles, ready Frankie?" "Ready!"
  91. 91. "Happy Birthday Nephew. I think it's just about time that you and I made my our acquaintances. I'm looking forward to meeting you."
  92. 92. "Now that you're a bigger boy we're going to have to get you over to our house so that you can play with 'Lisha she'll be having her party next weekend." "Can I come to her party?"
  93. 93. "Please?" Yes Frankie is still delightfully freaking cute.
  94. 94. "Alex I need you to explain to me why when I leave town for a few days that when I return I find my home unprotected? I left orders with the minions that there should be henchmen stationed to guard at all times. I come home and there are no henchmen I look around and there are tracks in the snow and I know that no one that works for me would be so sloppy as to leave tracks for they know that if they were to be so sloppy they would have to explain themselves to me. So start explaining."
  95. 95. "Dave I don't work for you anymore, that was two lifetime wants ago. Criminal Mastermind, Mad Scientist over done Professional Party Guest is where it's at now. If you've got a problem with the organization you're going have to find a different punching bag cause I'm out of the loop. Have you asked Bo?"
  96. 96. "Alex I can't yell at Bottom. First off she's my step daughter if I yelled at Bottom, Tania would yell at me. I don't want Tania yelling at me. Secondly if I yell at Bottom she does that thing you know the lip quiver and uh I can't keep my mad face on when she does the lip quiver." "Yeah I know the lip quiver, it's a killer isn't it? When she pulls that out I'm toast. Euclid? Don't tell anyone but he's the result of a lip quiver. You got other minions though right? Yell at one of them." "None of them are handy at the moment. Come on Alex indulge me." "Can't nice points." "Jeez fine where's Dwight?"
  97. 97. ""Everyone had a great time at your party Frankie however it's time for bed now." "But Grandma I'm a big boy now why do I have to go to bed?" "'Cause big boys have to go to school in the morning." "Aw man!"
  98. 98. "So your father thinks that my brother could be a psychopathic murderer and you don't want it to upset me or worry me you just thought I should know?" "Dad just believes that we should be cautious until he's able to locate Almeric." "It's not your father's responsibility to find my brother. It should be mine and it's time I started living up to my responsibilities." "You're not responsible for your brother. Dad would appreciate you using your resources at the paper to dig up any information that may be available and you know your brother better than any of the rest of us do so you might have a better idea of where he might have gone and where he might be now."
  99. 99. "Deed transfer from the estate of Richard M. Davis Senior to Richard M. Davis Junior. . . Deed transfer from Richard Davis Junior to Lisette Marie Davis. . . Deed transfer from the estate of Lisette Marie Davis to Almeric R. Davis. So it's still in Almerics name, I wonder if anythings been done with it recently. Weird though why would Dad transfer the house to Mom? It was his family's home. Been in the family for generations; big point of pride for him. That doesn't make any sense unless hmm I wonder."
  100. 100. "Hey Doyle are you still doing investigative work? Yeah I need a favor. I need to find out about a Deed transfer. No the file is sealed. I was hoping to get a look at the petition is that something you can do for me? Great I appreciate it let me get you the information."
  101. 101. So what's going to happen next? Find out more in chapter 28 which I hope to get uploaded within the coming week. I wanted to get both parts released at the same time but this one took a bit longer than I had hoped and I really needed to get an update out. As always Thanks for Reading and Happy Simming! _______________________ Obligatory general shoutout to all the wonderfully talented people that take the time to create and share their creations with the simming community.