Devereaux Legacy: Chapter Six - Part 5Presentation Transcript
Welcome back to the Devereaux Legacy! Here is a quick recap to bring you up to speed (and would you believe it, I almost forgot to writesomething on this slide >.< )*Quinn acted like the hero from Miss Lilys stories and saved the princess. The princess being Zanes wife, Tina. The act of heroism killed her.*Bella Goth has made a dramatic comeback to Pleasantview and is sort of working with Lillian so she can get more Elixir. Lillian gave Bella the taskof marrying Quinn and giving him a list that had some interesting web links.*A few elves from the Reaper Office have found out that Reapers can successfully breed, and that their Reaper powers are part of their DNA. PuckSummerdream was the first successful experiment as he had the powers of both a Reaper as well as some of the aspects of Fate (seeing as Titaniais the aspect of Lachesis). Puck, however, decided to have all of his powers stripped from him, including his elven lifespan, and is now consideredmortal. He is also under the assumption that he will be able to dictate his own life. Pffft.Theres a whole lot more, but obviously if none of this makes sense, you might want to go back a few chapters. For everyone else, on with theshow!~*~*~
The very last thing Puck Summerdream would have expected as he walked into the apartment he had recently moved into was to begreeted by a very unexpected guest. Especially since had had made sure that his apartment was not only lock, but the deadbolt hadbeen thrown as well.When he saw that he had an uninvited visitor sitting on his couch he could only stare in stunned amazement before speaking."How..how did you get in here? What are you even doing here?"
Bottom Summerdream gave her brother a cool look. "You ruined everything. I hope youre happy with yourself."He crossed his arms and imitated her look. "What did I ruin?"
"Everything! And for what? This?" She gestured at the furniture in his apartment. "For a hovel filled with cheap furniture?"
He rolled his eyes and brushed past his sister. He opened the refrigerator door and asked politely, "Do you want anything?""No!"He shrugged. "Suit yourself," he said as he grabbed a can of juice. "And as for my hovel filled with cheap furniture I have to say Imkind of offended. I spent most of my grant money on this place and I am rather fond of it."
Bottom stomped over and crossed her arms. "I thought you were going to go to college.""I am going to college. I didnt have enough money to live on campus and get an apartment after graduation. So I got the apartmentnow and I commute to Pleasantview Tech. I also work a part-time job so I can keep affording rent and school. Now, are you going totell me what Ive ruined, or did you just come here to insult my poor Ikea furniture?""Youre different," Bottom accused."Well, I am a college man now," Puck teased back.
She sneered. "Youre mortal.""Yes, I am," he replied evenly."You smell mortal. No, even worse, you smell like a human!"He unconsciously touched his pointed ears. "Yeah, that makes sense considering that I asked Mama to strip everything away from me,including my elven life span. Other than my looks, I suppose I would technically be considered human." He shrugged nonchalantly.
"And now youve ruined everything!" she shrieked."You keep saying that," he said as he threw out his empty can, "but you wont tell me what Ive done. What do you care if I chose thispath?""Because of you, Papa was banished!"
He turned around and gave her a startled look. "What? Why? He knew that I had a choice. I chose not to become a Grim Reaper."He shuddered at the memory of his conversation with the Grim Reaper of this dimension."Except that you actually didnt have a choice. You were supposed to decide to become a Grim Reaper. Papa was supposed toconvince you. But no! Instead you chose this new half-life of yours so you can marry a human and have half-breed babies."
"No! I chose to live my own life, not the life that other people have planned out for me! I..I didnt know..that..I mean, Papa never saidanything to me about it." Unless he somehow knew that the Grim Reaper was going to freak me out the way he did. Somehow I doubtthat, Puck thought. "I didnt know," he said again in a whisper."Well would you look at that. Perfect Puck doesnt know something! Your super awesome visions never told you?"
Puck became angry. "No! I never could read Mama or Papa. You know that. And Im not perfect. Why do you always call me that?""Oh, Perfect Puck with his unique powers. Precious Puck who had both the Reaper capabilities as well as being able to see what Fatehad in store for people. The Chosen One," she said in a mocking, sing-song voice."I was not!""Yes you were, and I was always second best because I only had Reaper abilities. You were far more important for their experiment.But you know what? Now that youre nobody special, they want me. Youre useless to them."
He swallowed nervously. Being considered useless by the Reaper Office never ended well. "So then what happens to me?"
"Youre sentenced to die.""So thats what youre here to do." It was a statement, not a question, and his mind raced. He had been positive that the wedding ringsover Erin Devereauxs head, with his face, meant that he was going to marry her. But things changed apparently.
He felt himself pale and he flinched when she reached out and placed her hand on his chest."I could do it," she whispered. "Even now, and even though I havent reached my full potential, I can feel your fragile, mortal, little soul.All I have to do is twitch my fingers and itd be in my hand. I would be able to do whatever I wished to it. Maybe Id throw it into thePunished Realm so you can spend the rest of your days there apologizing to Papa for choosing the wrong path. Then nobody wouldhave to worry about half-breed children infesting the realm.""Then do it. Quit monologuing and just frickin do it."
She pulled her hand away and smirked. "No, Im not going to. The Reaper Office has decided that a slow death is a more suitablepunishment.""What then? Starvation? Drowning? Suffocation? Poison?"
She laughed merrily. "No. Youre mortal."He gave her a confused blink. "Yeah, I am.""Exactly."
He rubbed his forehead and sighed. "Bottom, youre almost as bad as Mama with this stuff--""Youre mortal. Youre going to get old. Your body will break down and end up failing you. You have, what? Fifty or sixty years? Andthen thats it. Dust in the wind. No more Puck."He was silent as he unconsciously touched his ears again. He hadnt thought about actually getting old and he couldnt even begin tofathom the thought of his young, virile body slowing down. But thats what happens to mortals, isnt it? he thought.
"And so thats your punishment," she continued. "Youre to die after you’ve felt your body fail you. You get to watch your preciousmortals die. I hope you enjoy the next couple of decades, Puck, because it will go by in a blink of an eye. I really hope she was worthit. I hope she was worth both your life as well as Papas." After she said those words, Bottom spun on her heel and walked out of hisapartment.
As the words "I hope she was worth it," echoed through his mind, Puck felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. He leaned against hiscounter and let out a long sigh.~*~*~
Quinn smiled as he walked to the front door of the new college house he was going to be living in for the next few years. He was sadthat he and Erin wouldnt be able to reside in the house that his mother and grandmother had lived in, but a fresh start was also exactlywhat he needed.A fresh start for everything. Maybe hed even try to pick up a few girls like his father was always encouraging him to do. And his sister.And his mother. Sometimes he felt like a complete failure when it came to being a Romance Sim, but now that he was a college man,with fresh faces to meet, he was really hoping that things would start to pick up for him. Especially after his last conversation with Emily.
Telling Emily that he actually couldnt be her boyfriend had been devastating, both for her as well as for him. She had pointed out that insome places, being with a first cousin wasnt illegal. And then she had pointed out that she was only his half cousin, so that made iteven more viable. But the look of horror that he had seen on his mothers face...well, he couldnt get rid of that image nor that feelingthat he was doing something wrong. It had become even worse when she pleaded with him and told him that she loved him and thatshe wasnt going to move on.That had been an awful day.
But now that Im in college, he thought, maybe now things will start to look up. I may not be a full fledged hero like Sir Quinn fromMiss Lilys stories, but maybe someday I can come close, he thought as he touched the strange key Miss Lily had given him so long ago.After he had saved the princess, Miss Lily had told him that he could keep it as a souvenir. She had encouraged him to keep it and tocontinue wearing it. She told him that it would always bring him good luck. He wasnt sure if it would, but he figured it wouldnt hurt.
As he stood there, the door flung open and his cousin Fleetwood was looking at him with a wide grin. "So, what, are you going to juststand there all day staring at the door?" he asked.
Quinn tried not to look embarrassed as he walked inside the house. Fleetwood kept grinning at him, which he couldn’t help but return."Im glad that there are some familiar faces here at least," Quinn said."Dude, like the only unfamiliar face here is Charles," the brown haired man said."Charles?"
"Yeah, Charles Austen. He and his twins sister Jane, who is really hot by the way, theyre over here from someplace called Simshire. Bytheir accent you can tell that theyre from the other side of the pond. And not only that, but theyre from a whole other Mini-Verse! Youknow, like how my dad, your dad, Grandpa Spencer, Nana De, and Papa Cassius are. And theyre from, like, a whole different timeperiod! You should have seen the way Charles acted when he saw the television for the first time. Anyway, theyre here on a collegevisa or something.""And they came here? I thought that the new law states that there cant be any more foreign imports or whatever."
"Right. As in they cant live here, unless they want to get married of course. But nothing says that they cant come here for theeducation. Its a loophole or whatever. Zach thinks its funny that his dad is being thwarted like that."
"Speaking of Charles and Zach, there they are," Fleetwood gestured into the living room where Zachary Goth and a red haired manwearing a suit were sitting on the couch playing a video game. "Hey, guys," Fleetwood called out, "Quinns here.""Hey Quinn," Zach said, intent on the video game.Charles looked up and nodded his head in polite greeting. "I would get up to greet you like a proper gentleman but--"
"I say! Did you just use the butt of your firearm to hit that poor woman of loose morals? You are not going to run her over with thatnon-horse drawn carriage you stole from the constable like you did last time, are you? " he asked as he looked back at the television.
"Ah, I see theyre playing Grand Theft Auto," Quinn said as Fleetwood led him up the stairs."Yeah. Charles and Jane, thats his hot sister by the way, only took a few days to become acclimated to this little end of Multi-Verse.Jane especially. Did I mention to you that I think shes hot?""Only once or twice, yeah." Quinn made a mental note to find out who Jane was so he wouldnt make the mistake of hitting on her; hiscousin was apparently already smitten. "So where are Ashton and Matt?" he asked.
"Ashtons at class, he should be back in about an hour or so. Matt...uh, well, Matt, uh," Fleetwood stopped in his tracks, gave Quinn astrange look, and looked at one of the closed doors. "Hes, uh, kind of busy at the moment."Quinn could hear muffled giggles coming from the bedroom his cousin was looking at, and then the unmistakable sound of bed springssqueaking. "As in hes busy with a girl," he said with a wry grin.Fleetwood looked down at his feet. "Yeah, he is. She came by earlier."
"Anyway, theres not much else to show you. Heres your room. Everything should be set up and stuff. Its too late to register for classtoday, but, I dunno, maybe you want to rearrange things or whatever. Were planning on ordering a pizza when Ashton gets back fromclass and then maybe well have a Hooray, were finally adults sorta! party. You in?"Quinn grinned. "Totally. It sounds like fun. Im just going to check out my room and stuff."
"Yeah, yeah. Look at porn. No need to be vague. We all have our own computers, except Charles because he has no idea how tooperate one yet. Do what you need to do."Quinn blushed at his cousins straight forward manner. "I was actually going to email my parents and stuff. But, yeah, good to know."Fleetwood gave him a sunny smile and walked away, and Quinn walked into his bedroom.
He knew that the bedroom would have its own bathroom attached to it as he had been told that most of the bedrooms did. He alsoknew that it would have a double bed. However, none of that is what grabbed his attention when he walked into the bedroom hewould be sleeping in for the next four years.What did grab his attention was a woman lounging on his bed wearing only her underwear. He had to blink a couple of times as hethought that the woman might have been a product of his eighteen year old libidos imagination. She didnt disappear and his mindregistered that it wasnt just any woman who was laying seductively on his bed...
It was Bella Goth.
Quinn cleared his throat and looked away. "Uh," he began, his voice cracking. He cleared his throat again. "This isnt Zacharysbedroom.""Who is Zachary?" she asked."Thats right, you dont remember anything. Um, Zachary is your grandson.""Quinn," she began and he was surprised that she even knew his name, "Im only twenty years old. Do I look old enough to have agrandson?"His eyes glanced at her quickly before looking away again. "No," he admitted."And even if I did have a grandson, why on earth would I be laying on his bed wearing only my bra, panties, and a pair of stockings?"
He shrugged. "Why are you in my bed wearing that stuff then?"She gave a throaty laugh as she moved to a kneeling position. "Because, Quinn Devereaux, Im here for you. You and I have a mutualfriend, you see, and she told me that it would be fitting for a woman like me to be with a man like you." She stressed the word man andlaughed again in a sultry tone. "After all," she continued, "you are a hero, arent you? I do so love heroes.""You know Miss Lily then?""Oh yes, I do. I know her very well. Maybe I know her better than you do, Hero."
He blushed and unconsciously touched the necklace through his shirt again. There was something about the entire saving the princessthing that had bothered him, but he couldnt quite put his finger on it.
When he had gone to that strange orange realm, the little green house that looked downright cheerful hadnt been exactly the terribleprison he had imagined a princess would be held captive in. Then when he had gone inside, the pretty blond princess didnt lookunhappy at all. In fact, he had seen her looking at a picture with a smile on her face. Then there had been the fact that she had lookedabsolutely terrified of him being there and had screamed, "No! Dont!"And then when he had taken her back to that condemned apartment building, Miss Lily had laughed and told him to just toss thewoman on the ground and leave her there. Quinn had been the one who placed her head on the pillow, arranged some flowers, and lita candle so when she woke up she wouldn’t be in the dark. But the entire thing had left him feeling uneasy.
But now here was this woman laying on his bed, a gorgeous woman who was smiling at him and calling him a hero, and he hadabsolutely no idea how to react. He thought about how his dad acted around his mom. Rhys would smirk and raise his eyebrowsbefore giving his a full grin, which Eden would return. Then hed strut on over to her, whisper something in her ear, which would makehis mother grin wider. And then hed kiss her.But Quinn had a feeling that if he tried something like that with Bella, she would laugh at him. He wasnt his dad, after all, and neverwould be no matter how much he tried.He gave her an apologetic look. "Thank you," he said lamely. He rolled his eyes inwardly and began again. "I really appreciate thegesture, but you dont have to do this."
Bella slipped off the bed and glided over to him. She reached out and touched his lips with one finger. "Oh, but I do. Miss Lily and Iboth think that you deserve a reward for a job well done. A reward and an upgrade. Miss Lily told me all about your poor littleromance with your cousin."Quinn blushed. "She did?""Oh yes, but dont worry, Quinn, I happen to think that it was absolutely terrible of your mother for not telling you. Its almost like shewas setting you up for failure."He tended to agree, and he didnt feel nearly as guilty about blaming his mother when he had Bella so very close, lightly touching andsmiling at him.
All thoughts ceased when she pressed her lips against his. "So, would you like me to go away?" she whispered huskily in his ear. "Or doyou want to see what exactly your reward is? Its your choice. You can go through your door...or stay here. What are you going to do?"
His shaking hand fumbled blindly on the door before it found the lock.
An hour later, he stepped out of his bedroom and the grin he had on his face wouldnt go away, even when he saw his disheveledlooking sister sneaking past his door, holding her boots in her hand. When she saw him, she stopped and smirked. It was clear that shewas very pleased with herself.
"Well, the very first thing I wanted to do when I got to college is done," she said triumphantly."So you were the one who was in the bedroom with Matt. I was wondering why Fleetwood was giving me those strange looks when hesaid that Matt was busy."Erin nodded. "Yep." She gave her topless twin a knowing smile. "So, what have you been up to?"
He tried very hard to look nonchalant. "Oh, nothing much. I will have to say that Im really, really glad that Dad gave me that box ofcondoms."
The twins stared at each other wearing identical smiles. Erin then gave her brother a high-five. "College is going to be awesome!" shedeclared.Quinn couldnt help but agree.~*~*~
"So how are things going at the house with the remodel and all that?" Erin asked her mother.
"Going, well," Eden said. "Everything is almost done and we should be able to move back in a couple of days. New foundation, newroof, new windows. All the rooms have been repainted, the new furniture has been ordered and the old furniture that we kept is goingto come out of storage soon."Erin laughed. "Im sure that you and Dad have to be glad about that. Im sure Twikkii Island is great and all for a vacation, but having tolive there for three years probably got old really fast. I mean, after visiting all the tourist sights and doing everything you can do, I bet itgot boring. What the heck did you do with your time?"
Edens voice was amused. "Oh, you know, this and that. Hung out of the beach, and stuff. We pretty much do the same thing here thatwe do at home.""Gee, that sounds romantic," Erin said dryly."Well, you know how it is with us old folks. So how have things been going at school? What have you been up to?"
"Going to class and doing homework. Hanging out with my friends. Meeting lots of new, interesting people, too. You know, nothingtoo wild," she replied vaguely."How has your brother been? He doesnt call or write as much as he did when he first got to school."
Erins brow creased. "You know, I think hes doing okay. I see him a lot, but hes become really secretive lately. I think he has agirlfriend, but Ive never met her. When Ive asked, he becomes vague. Ive also asked the other boys at the house and they say thattheyve never seen her either, but they know hes with someone.""How do they know?""Well, um, lets just say that he plays music a lot in his bedroom, if you catch my drift," she teased."Good, Im glad," Eden said. "Do you think its Emily? Your father and I have been talking and, um, well I came to realize that if shemakes Quinn happy then that should be all that matters. There are no laws against first cousins marrying and shes technically only yourhalf cousin, so if it is, you can tell him that its--"
"You mean you dont know?" Erin asked. "No, I suppose you wouldnt have; you guys are kind of out of the loop there.""Know what? What happened?""Emily dropped out of school.""What? Why? What happened?"
"I dont know and she wouldn’t tell me. I thought it might have had something to do with Quinn, but he swore up and down that hesbarely seen her since we got to school. She was fine one day, and then the next she just up and left. Something set her off, but I dontknow what. Nobody knows, apparently."Eden sighed. "Ill call Karen and find out what happened. I hope everything is okay. Anything else your father and I should knowabout?"
"Lets see. Fleetwood is engaged to Jane Austen, and Charles, Janes twin brother, is engaged to Aravis. They have a whole twins gettingmarried to twins sort of thing going on. Anna is engaged to Ashton. As for Zachary and Ceres, well..""What?""Well, apparently Zachs dad told him that if he gets married to Ceres that hell be disowned.""Oh really?"
"Yeah. But heres the punchline: Zach said that it just makes his decision easier about how theyre going to work out the last names.Theyre going to become Mr. and Mrs. Ceres Marius right after graduation. I asked if Alexander was pissed, but Zach said that he hadntspoken to his father since Alexander threatened to disown him."Eden laughed. "I knew they were engaged, but I didnt know about the disowning part. De called us up and bubbled on and on aboutGenetic Experimentation and how she wants to see how those two blend. So what about you?"
"Meh, you know. I was with Matt for a while, but we realized that one of the thrilling things about being together was the fact that hewas away at school while I was still at home. It wasnt like a bad breakup or anything like that. We still keep in touch even though hemoved back to Stangetown to take a job there. After that, Ive pretty much been playing the field.""Well thats good," Eden said emphatically. "If you choose to settle down, Id like for you to settle down with someone who will makeyou happy until the day you die. If it takes a few years, well then so what, you know?"
"Like how Dad makes you happy?" Erin teased."If you find someone who makes you half as happy as your father makes me, then I will be happy. The same goes for your brother,"Eden said quietly.
Erin sighed. "Well, that might not happen for a very long time, if ever. I might have to resort to having a child out of wedlock. I knowthatd drive Dad crazy.""Actually, it wouldnt, and you know that. Nobody is going to pressure you to get married.""Its a moot point anyway because the only person I find interesting is unavailable.""Who are we talking about?"
"Remember how I told you that Puck Summerdream, the cute red headed elven boy from the stable in Veronaville if you dontremember who he is, well remember how I told you hes going to school here?""I know you mentioned it in passing. You also told me that he seemed to be going out of his way to avoid you. If I recall, you werequite miffed."
"Well can you blame me? Anyway, yeah, he spent most of Freshman year avoiding me. But then it started getting strange. It was like,he would randomly show up wherever I was and the weirdest moments and I could tell that he was just as surprised to see me as I wasto see him. Then hed act like he didnt see me and hed leave. All that stopped in art class.""Art class? Did you change your major? I thought you declared Political Science."
Erin smirked, though she knew her mother couldnt see it. "Well, Mother dear--""Ugh, dont call me that. You know how much I hate it!""Sorry, Mom. Anyway, while I myself might not be too enthralled with being a main participant in the arts, I am a supporter of them.And if, say, they need a model or something, Im always happy to lend a hand."Edens voice lowered to a whisper. "Nude modeling, Erin?"
"Sometimes," came Erins cheerful reply. "Anyway, it was then that Puck finally gave up and stopped avoiding me. I guess it became toohard for him to pretend that he didnt see me when he had to sit there for three hours staring at my naked body, sketching it in greatdetail."Eden laughed for a bit before she said, "Im sure that got his attention."
"Pretty much but, alas, though were like super good friends now, hes had a girlfriend for, like, forever. Its a shame, too, because I kindathought he was cute when we were teenagers. In fact, I sorta developed a small crush on him after he surprised me with a kiss once.Theres just something enigmatic about him that I really like. I dont know." She sighed again."You know, I remember when I was your age that I felt that I would never find anyone to love. I truly thought there was somethingwrong with me. And then, well, I met your father and I couldnt help myself. There was, and still is, something about him. Dont give uphope. That is if you want to get married," Eden added hastily.
"Oh, I know. Someday my prince will come. Or maybe someday my sperm donor will come. I know my number one duty is to giveDad red headed grandbabies with The Nose," she teased."Do what you need to do, Erin. Your father and I will support you no matter what you and your brother decide to do.""Thanks, Mom. I really appreciate it. I love you."
"I love you, too. But I should get going. Your father is trying to tell me, in his own, subtle way, that hes bored. Well see you guys nextweek for your graduation!""Okay, Mom. Tell Dad I said Hi. Try not to go too stir crazy over there.""Oh dont worry, Im sure well find something entertaining to do to pass the time."~*~*~
"...Anyway, I have to go. Chris is here and we have dinner plans. Okay, I will. Talk to you later, bye," Puck said into his phone.Christina placed her hands on her hips. "Who was that?"
He shrugged. "It was only Erin calling to see whats up. She says Hi by the way."She pursed her lips. "Oh, only Erin, huh?"He raised his eyebrows. "Yeah, only Erin.""Why is she always calling?"He laughed. "She doesnt always call and she calls because were friends. Its what friends do. Friends talk to each other on thephone.""But shes single, isnt she?"
He laughed uncomfortably and looked away. "Erin is always single. She claims that shes looking for the perfect man, but I doubt therewill be anyone who shell settle down with.""Oh? You dont think so? You dont think shell end up settling down with you?"
"No. She wont. Im with you and Im not the type to cheat on people, you know that.""Whatever."Puck sighed and tried not to roll his eyes. "We arent going to have this argument again, are we? I thought we had a nice night planned.""You think I dont notice, dont you?""Notice what? What are you talking about?"
"I see the way you look at her. I see the way the two of you are when you talk to each other. You guys act like there is nobody else inthe world except for the two of you and it kinda sucks when I, who just so happens to be your girlfriend, is left out.""Oh come on! Youre exaggerating! I look at her when I talk to her--""No! You stare at her. When she leaves the room, you watch her go. When she enters the room, your entire face lights up. Youre inlove with her!"
He sighed and rubbed his forehead. "Im not in love with her. Im in love with you.""Oh really? Puck, weve been dating for two years now.""Yeah we have. Whats your point?"
"My point is that were about to graduate college and we havent made any plans post graduation. Most people get engaged at thispoint, especially when theyve been dating for a long time. But we arent. We dont talk about the future. I havent even met yourparents. Do you know how that makes me feel? Is it true what they say about that elven haughtiness? Is it true that elves dont likeinteracting with people who arent their own kind? is that why you havent introduced me to your parents?"
Puck heaved an even deeper sigh and ran his hands over his hair. "Yes, its true that elves are how they say they are. But if I wereanything like that, I wouldnt be attending this school. Theres an elven academy for people of my kind to attend. As for not meetingmy parents..." he trailed off as he thought about the words he wanted to say. "My parents are dead," he finally said. "They have beensince I was a little kid. I have a sister, but she doesnt approve of me."
When he tried to take her into his arms but she pushed him away. "That doesn’t mean anything to me," she said. "For all I know, I couldbe just a silly little fling for you. A rebellious phase.""Well, then if that were the case, then I wouldnt be in love with Erin like you claim. Look, I havent made any plans for the futurebecause I dont know what the future holds. Im living in my post college apartment. As soon as I graduate, Ill have a full time job.""And what about marriage?"
He shrugged reluctantly and looked away. "I plan to get married, yeah. Maybe. I might not. I dont know.""And thats not what you say to your girlfriend of two years whom you claim to be in love with!" Christina yelled."Youre right, its not. Im sorry. I really am."
It was her turn to sigh. "You know what? I believe you actually are sorry. But I have plans. I have hopes, dreams, wants and fears andyou apparently arent the person who Im going to share them with.""What are you trying to say?""Im not trying to say anything. Im telling you outright that I came here to break up with you.""Oh..."
"And thats the sad thing, Puck. After two years, all you can say is Oh when Im telling you that I want to break up."He twisted his fingers for a moment. "Do you want me to beg you to stay? It looks like youre pretty set on this.""Itd be nice if you begged, yeah. Itd also be nice if you told me that you have an engagement ring hiding in your bedroom and youwere planning on surprising me with it. Do you have an engagement ring?""No.""Then tell me this: are you planning on marrying me?"
He paused for a long moment before taking a deep breath and answering with, "...No.""Then theres my answer. God, what a waste of time. What a waste for both of us.""Chris, it wasnt a waste of time. We had fun. We enjoyed each others company. I dont consider it a waste at all. People date withoutexpectations of lifetime commitment."
"So what was your plan then, huh? Were you just planning on having us date for years and years? Thats not good enough for me. Aftertwo years of dating, I shouldnt be asking myself, Whats the point? And I find that sad. Goodbye, Puck." She gave him a kiss on thecheek and walked out the door.
He sat on his couch with a sigh. The Point of him dating Christina Huffington was so that he wouldnt date Erin Devereaux. He hadtried so hard to avoid it even though Christina was right: he was drawn to Erin. He couldnt help it.Christina was also right about another thing: it wasnt fair to her and he really did feel bad. He felt even worse when his very nextthought was that both he and Erin were single at the same time. He had really wanted to avoid that and he was keenly aware of hismothers hand nudging in the entire matter. He wanted to go along with it, but at the same time, he felt incredibly guilty.He felt guilty because the path he chose led to his fathers banishment to the Punished Realm. And for the time being, his guilt overrodehis attraction to the girl he knew he was destined to marry.~*~*~
Quinn played with his necklace as he laid on the bed watching Bella get dressed. He had never thought that he could be both contentand discontent at the same time.For the last four years of college, Bella had been with him. He was happy with that. He was fine with the fact that Bella was the real,actual Bella Goth, even though she claimed that she really couldnt be seeing as she didnt remember anything from her past. Heactually felt sympathy for her because he figured something very traumatic had happened to her, so she was blocking it out.What bothered him, though, was that for all the fact that they were together he wasnt allowed to say anything to anyone about it.Every time he tried to bring it up she would plead with him and say that she just wanted to wait a little bit longer before he saidanything. Part of him understood that. He didnt really want to deal with Alexander Goth and he had a feeling that hed get somestrange looks from Zach. Quinn was having relations with his grandmother, after all.
But he wanted to get the big reveal over with, deal with the backlash, and move on. Bella, on the other hand, didnt.The insecure part of him thought that she was embarrassed and that she didnt want to be seen with him. He never saw her come andgo. Nobody in the house saw her come and go. Shed already be there, waiting for him in his bed when he came home from class.When hed leave the room to get something, shed be gone. it was almost as if she conjured herself out of thin air.And so, because she wanted to keep things under wraps he had been forced to limit his conversations with his parents and his sister.He knew that if he spent too much time talking to them that hed end up blurting out everything, if only to dispel the rumors that hespent most of his college years locked in his bedroom manhandling himself while watching porn. He sighed and got out of bed as thefamiliar thoughts and doubts ran through his head.
"Darling," Bella said, "you sound pensive. Is something the matter?""Im just wondering when we can be with each other out in the open, thats all. Musing about the fact that everyone I know has thesuspicion that Im some sort of masturbation freak.""So you are worried about your reputation? What about mine?"
He blinked and that insecure feeling washed over him again. "Is that why you dont want anyone to know that weve been sleepingtogether for all this time? Youre embarrassed?"Tears suddenly filled her eyes. "No, my love, not at all. Im afraid that youre embarrassed of me!"His brow creased. "Why on earth would I be embarrassed of you? Youre freakin Bella Goth, the hottest and most attractive, not tomention legendary, woman in all of Pleasantview."
She began to cry. "If that were the case, then why havent you asked me to marry you? Youre just so handsome and the most eligiblebachelor in Pleasantview. I think youre embarrassed to be seen with me.""But..but youre the one who wanted to keep all of this secret!""Only because you havent asked me to marry you. I think youre just using me for sex and now Ill be ruined for all other men when youdecide to leave me for someone you think is better. Like, maybe your cousin Emily."
The brief stroke of his ego when she said that he ruined her for all other men diminished in a wave of guilt when she mentioned Emily.He slid off the bed and held her in his arms. "No, I dont want Emily. Youre the woman I want, Bella.""Oh, Quinn, you truly mean that?""Yes, of course I do. I had no idea you wanted to marry me.""So we will get married then? I have been waiting for so very long to hear those words come from you. We will be so very happy, Ipromise!"Quinn gave her a huge, happy grin. "Yes, we will get married."
"Will you get me a huge ring and give me a beautiful wedding?""The biggest and most beautiful, I promise.""Good," she whispered as he pulled her in for another hug.~*~*~
"Well, for all the time you guys claimed to spend outside, you dont look very tan," Erin said as she eyed her parents who had just flownback in from Twikkii Island the day before.
Rhys and Eden glanced at each other and smiled. "Good sunblock," Rhys said."We both learned our lesson from our first honeymoon when we both got horribly burned," Eden elaborated. "Sunburns are ratherpainful and...inconvenient."
Erin nodded as she picked at her salad. "Ill keep that in mind next time I go there. Which I wanted to ask, can I use the housesometime after graduation? I was thinking that itd be nice to go on vacation and think some things over."Eden cocked her head. "Of course you can. Its the family vacation home. What things did you want to think over?"Erin sighed. "Well, I really didnt want to talk about it until I made a final decision. But, well, I was thinking of maybe giving up my partof the heirship and letting Quinn be the full heir."
Rhys and Eden looked at their daughter with surprise and Quinn dropped his fork on his plate, making a loud clattering sound.For a few moments nobody said anything. Finally, Rhys and Eden responded simultaneously."Why?" Eden asked."No," Rhys said firmly.
The parents looked at each other for a long moment as they had a silent conversation that married couples tended to have. Rhyslooked away with a shake of his head and Eden turned back to their daughter. "Erin, were not going to force heirship upon you. If youwere an only child, like I am, then it would be a different story. But fortunately your father and I were blessed with twins. But I amcurious as to why you had this sudden change of heart."
"Well, its not exactly sudden. I know my duty as heir is to get married and bring in the next generation.""And your father and I have explained to both of you that nobody is forcing you to get married."Erin shrugged. "Yeah, I know that. But its either I let Quinn be heir or I start doing genetic experimentation, which is another thing Iwanted to think over."
"Genetic. Experimentation." Rhys said, stressing both words individually."Yes," Erin replied."Implying more than one pregnancy, which is breaking the law which, well," he shrugged, clearly indicating that didnt particularly botherhim."I was thinking about that. The law says one pregnancy per marriage. I wouldnt be married. Besides, what would really happen? Wedget fined, right? Maybe its time that we start standing up to Alexander and those dumbass laws he made that were specifically writtento harangue us. You know, take action instead of allowing him to do and say as he pleases without any sort of protest."Rhys and Eden looked at each other again.
"Anyway," Erin continued, "I would still like to move back home for now, if you dont mind, and then maybe travel the world. See coolplaces, meet new people, that sort of thing. And then I could start planning a political campaign against Alexander Goth. There was areason why I majored in Political Science, you know.""You can still do that without giving up heirship," Eden pointed out."Not to mention that youd have a better leg to stand on if you do run for office. Erin Devereaux. Not one to walk away from herresponsibilities. Constituents love hearing that kind of bullshit when it comes time for them to vote," Rhys said."I know that. But I also dont want to spend years and years looking for an interesting person while neglecting my duties as heir. I justthought Id let you know now so you dont become blindsided by it if thats my final decision."
"I can do it if she doesnt want it," Quinn said quietly. Everyone at the table looked at him. He grinned at them. "I already know all thebusiness stuff because Dad taught me everything. As for bringing in the next generation, well, Im ready for that, too. Im engaged."
Everyone spoke at once."You are?" Erin asked."Thats wonderful!" Eden said.Rhys smiled at his son. "Good for you. Who is the lucky lady?"
Quinn looked down for a moment before looking at them with an even wider smile. "Bella Goth."Eden raised her eyebrows while Erin began to laugh. "Youre shitting us, right?" she asked.Quinns brow furrowed. "No, Im not. Why would I joke about something like that?""Oh, man, does Zach know? If he doesnt, can I please be there when you tell him. I want to see the expression on his face!""Erin this isnt a joke. I bought her the ring yesterday, but she had said yes to getting married before I bought it for her," he addeddefensively. He looked over at Rhys who had fallen silent. "Dad?"
Rhys expression was dark when he said, "No. I forbid it.""What? Are you actually saying that I shouldnt get married to Bella?""Im that you shouldnt and that you cant get married to that woman."
Quinns chin jutted forward and said to his father in a cool tone, "You know, Im old enough now to understand what was going onbetween you and Mom and Grandma when Erin and I were little. Grandma didnt like Mom being married to you and she was mean toyou guys. I thought youd be a little bit more understanding about something like this. And its not like Bella is a bad person or anything,so I just dont get it. I thought youd be happy for me. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that you would forbid me from marryingthe person that I loved. I never thought youd act like Grandma. It always seemed to me that you hated being treated the way shetreated you."
Rhys jaw clenched for a moment before he angrily stood up and shoved his chair into the table.
Eden watched as he stormed out of the room. She sighed and turned back to Quinn. "Its not that he doesnt want to see you happy,"she said. "Its just, well, its Bella Goth. Its the entire Goth family. He has every right to be worried, and to be honest, Im worried, too.You understand where were coming from, dont you?"
"Yeah, I do, and she and I talked about it. We thought that maybe with the two of us getting married that it would help mend some ofthe bad feeling our two families have towards each other. Then Erin wouldnt have to run a hostile political campaign against Alexander.I honestly didnt think Dad would get so bent out of shape over my marrying Bella.""Well, Quinn," Eden said delicately, "Its also that your father knows her.""Everyone knows Bella!"She shifted uncomfortably and said, "I meant as in he knows her. Or, rather, at one time he knew her.""Ooh, yeah, I can see how that might be weird," Erin replied.
Quinn looked from his mother to sister in confusion before it clicked. His laugh sounded a bit forced when he said, "Okay, I can seethat. But, well, that was in a whole other Mini-Verse, right?""Yes," Eden said."Well, come on, someone like Bella is like someone like you, or me, or Erin, or Dad, or most of the people we know. We appear inother Mini-verses and get involved with or get married to different people. I can have an open mind about this. I think. I hope.Anyway, Bella doesnt remember anything. Its like she had a memory wipe or something. She doesnt know Dad and its not like heddo anything with her, right?""Of course not!" Eden said.
"Then he can get over it," Quinn said peevishly. "I am actually very happy and I am madly in love with Bella.""You have to admit that its kind of incestuous," Erin said.
Quinn threw his fork on his plate, crossed his arms and gave them a challenging look. "I seem to recall De mentioning once that shehas children by both Grandpa Spencer and Dad. Correct me if Im wrong."Eden shifted uncomfortably. "No, you arent."
Quinn pushed himself away from the table. "Then Dads just being a fucking hypocrite. Look, I gotta go. I have to finish packing andthen I promised my fiancée that Id help with wedding plans. Ill see you guys tomorrow after the graduation ceremony." He stompedout of the house, and the front door rattled in its frame when he slammed it shut
"He has a point," Erin said quietly. "And stuff with De, well, that was in the same Mini-verse. There isnt even the excuse of a memorywipe sort of thing, not that there really would have been seeing as shes a Simself and all."Eden looked at her sharply. "How much do you know?""Is it supposed to be a secret?" Erin countered.Eden sighed and shook her head. "No, its not. Your father and I decided to use the dont ask, dont tell approach; to let you guys judgehim based on his actions here.""And I have."Eden sighed. "What have you read? When did you do it?"
Erin shrugged. "A while ago. Sometime right after I moved to Pleasantview Tech. I read the story from his home verse, the story of theverse that De is in charge of, and the apocalypse Dad was the founder of. I didnt read everything because there was a whole lot and itturns out that the joke of him fucking everywhere isnt much of a joke, but more of a fact." She shrugged again. "And Ill tell you thetruth: I was a little bit bothered by it. At first. But then I talked to Vaughn and he helped me realize that Dad is my dad and hes alwaystried to do right by me, by Quinn, and by you. As far as Im concerned, all the echoes of him running around the Multi-Verse are alldifferent people. But here hes my dad. Im not going to love him any less because of his actions in other worlds. Its this one thatmatters."
She stopped when she heard Rhys footsteps behind her. When she looked up at him, he gave her a slight smile.
When he sat back down in his chair he looked at his wife and daughter and said, "Well, it looks like theres going to be a wedding in ournear future." The cheerfulness in his voice sounded forced and his lips were pressed into a thin line as he crossed his arms.~*~*~
Bella pranced in front of the mirror in Quinns bedroom, waving her left hand to make the sunlight catch on the diamond engagementring. The sparkling rock was huge and it was exactly what she had wanted. Even better, it was bigger than the one Mortimer had givenher so very long ago.The assignment that Lillian had given her wasnt nearly as unpleasant as she had originally thought. She had Quinn wrapped around herfinger and he gave her everything that she wanted. It also didnt hurt that, through proper training, he had become an adequate lover.Sex, expensive presents, and lots of Elixir is what Bella desired most in life.
The thought of Elixir made her pause and she leaned forward and examined her face in the mirror. She breathed a sigh of relief whenshe saw that she didnt have any lines marring her face. She only had half of a bottle left and Lillian wouldnt give her anymore until Bellahad finished the first part of her assignment: to give Quinn that list of web links.When she had gotten that piece of paper, she had typed in the web addresses. When she saw what the list actually was, she hadlaughed merrily. She had even taken it upon herself to make notations of specific chapters and pages. On top of that, she hadpainstakingly copied Lillians handwriting (imitating handwriting was something she was very good at; she had been doing it since shehad gotten married to Mortimer) and added in another link: The Ugothlacy, with appropriate notes and page numbers. She knew thatshe only needed to turn on the waterworks and Quinn would be on her side. She just needed to wait until the perfect moment to giveit to him. She had a pretty good idea that his announcement of their engagement wouldnt go over very well. Especially not with hisfather. Today might be the day shell be able to give him the note. By tomorrow, shell be able to get enough elixir to keep her lookingyoung for as long as she was alive. That was how Lilian put it. It was a really long and weird way of saying Eternal Youth but Bella hadlearned that Lillian liked making things sound far more dramatic than they really were.
She grinned and smoothed the front of her dress with her hands. She was glad that her body didnt look like she had given birth to twochildren (by two different fathers, though thank God Mortimer hadnt noticed, or if he had noticed, he never said anything). Thedownside to getting married to Quinn was that she was expected to give birth to yet another child. And she did plan on having a baby.Just not Quinns baby.Rhys Fitzhughs baby, on the other hand, was her ticket.Lillians plan, as far as Bella could tell, was to destroy Quinns self esteem and break down his opinion of his father and mother. Why shewanted to do that, Bella didnt know, nor did she care. She just wanted the money.
She was proud of herself that she hadnt used any of the love potion that the dark witch had given her. There was no need to give anyto Quinn (and she never had any doubts in her own attractiveness to think otherwise). And as for needing it herself, well, she managedto suffer through the boys clumsy administrations until he learned how to do everything to her liking.Oh no, the love potion was going to be used on Rhys. She just needed to slip a couple of drops into his drink, or into his food, thenmake sure that he looked at her. She figured that it wouldnt be that hard. Men always looked at her. And when she was compared toRhys current wife Eden? Well, Eden was getting old. Bella was young. And after Rhys got her pregnant, she would blackmail the familywith threats of exposing the scandal, dump the bastard child on them, and take off to Twikkii Island and live there eternally as a veryyoung and very wealthy woman.
She clapped her hands excitedly. As she did so, Quinns bedroom door opened and he stalked in, kicking the door shut behind him.Her hands were still clasped together as he looked at her.
"What are you doing?" he asked, sounding slightly amused."Oh, Quinn," she said in her best excited girl voice. "I was just admiring the beautiful ring you gave me and thinking about how happywe are going to be when we get married. And .. and, well, youre going to think that Im being foolish, but I was just pretending tointroduce myself to people, saying Mrs. Quinn Devereaux, and Mrs. Bella Devereaux. Oh, you think me silly, dont you?"
A sad smile spread across his face. His mouth reminded her of his grandfather. He wrapped his arms around her and asked, "Are youreally happy that were getting married?"She managed to suppress an irritated sigh. The constant reassurances that he needed had gotten old really quick. She mustered up hersweetest smile and said, "Oh, of course, my love. I simply cannot wait until were married. I spend every night dreaming about it."
He hugged her tight and kissed her fiercely. When he let her up for air, she said, "Oh my!"
"Im glad to hear that you are," he said roughly as he stepped away from her. She held her breath, waiting for him to speak. Her mindwent frantically to the half empty Elixir bottle. She desperately wanted to give him that note, but he needed to be in the right frame ofmind. She let out a small moan, which cased him to turn and look at her."Whats wrong?" he asked.
"Youre going to tell me that we arent able to get married, arent you?" She hid her face behind her hands and conjured up tears to goalong with her fake sobs. "I just knew it. I just knew this was going to happen!""No, no. Nothing has happened. Were still going to get married--""Your parents hate me and they havent even met me!" she wailed. She peeked through her fingers and saw the distressed look on hisface. She pulled out a folded piece of paper from the bodice of her dress and handed it to him."Whats this?" he asked.
She put on her best Im going to be brave in the face of tragedy expression and exaggerated a sniffle. "I did some research on your dadand I couldnt keep it secret from you any longer. And now youre going to hate me too! I didnt know, Quinn! I didnt know!"
His expression turned dark and he nodded. "Yeah, I already know about that."Bella suffered a brief moment of panic as she watched his face. Deciding to go for broke, she conjured up some fresh sobs and said,"Im just so scared that something bad will happen to me!""What? Why would you think that?"She continued to sob as she pointed at the piece of paper. Quinn looked down at it then back at her. "I should probably look at this,shouldnt I?" She nodded in response.
He sat down and started with the first link on the list.
It took him the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening to read everything. Thankfully he only read the highlighted parts, theworst parts of everything Quinns father had done across the Multi-Verse. Bella watched with satisfaction as his face turned fromcuriosity, to anger, to disgust, and finally to sadness.
She composed her face as he walked away a bit dazed from his computer. He sat down on the bed, but didnt say anything."You hate me, dont you?" she asked in a small voice."No, no of course not. He was in the wrong. He..." his voice faltered. "I thought he was one of the good guys. I idolized him. I wantedto be just like him! But now..."She was proud that she managed not to smirk. "But now?"
Quinn stared blankly at the wall and said, "But now what he said a long time ago makes a whole lot more sense.""What did he say?"
"He said something to me and Erin when we were little and we had gotten into a bit of trouble. He was very angry with us and he said,and I quote, There are people out there that would want to hurt you just because they can! There are bad people in the world! I shouldknow! And of course he would know, because..because hes one of them. My dad is one of the bad guys! He lied to us! He let usbelieve that he was a good person! I cant believe I wanted to be like him! "
Bella climbed into his lap and said in her sweetest voice, "But youre not like him, Quinn. Youre a hero. Youre my hero. But..." she puton a worried expression."What?""But if were still going to get married you..you wont let anything bad happen to me, right? Like..like with what happened to his firstwife?" Everything was going much better than she had hoped. She could almost taste the fresh elixir.
His expression turned grim and he hugged her tightly. "We are still going to get married. And dont worry, Ill protect you from myfather."~*~*~
The only lights in the living room that Eden could see by were the ones from outside and from the new computer that sat upon the newdesk. She stood there quietly for a moment as she debated about what to say."I panicked for a second when I rolled over to snuggle with you and I felt that your side of the bed was cold and empty. Woke me upbetter than any alarm clock could."
Rhys didnt say anything as he continued to stare out of the window.
Eden checked an irritated sigh. Hed been in a foul mood since Quinns engagement announcement earlier that afternoon. HavingQuinn accuse Rhys of being like Mary probably didnt help Rhys mood much either."Come back to bed, Rhys," she said gently."Im fine, Eden. You can go back to bed but Im not tired right now.""Things might not look so bad tomorrow," she said hopefully.
He spun around angrily. "Thats a load of bullshit and you know it! Erin wants to give up her part of the heirship. Quinn is marrying themother of the Anti-Christ and thats not even getting into the entire Multi-Verse thing. And youre okay with all of this!""No Im not! But we said--""Cut this we crap. You said it. You said it was okay."
She lifted her chin and gave him a level look. "Fine," she said calmly, "youre right, I did say it was okay. But what do you expect me tosay? Did you honestly think I was going to say to Erin, No, Erin, you have to be heir. You have to settle down immediately withsomeone you might not like and start popping out a kid or five. Forget about your ambitions. And what about Quinn? What should Ihave said to him? No, Quinn, you cant marry the person you love. You should marry some other person I choose because I dont likeyour choice. Because that certainly wouldn’t be like my mother at all, now would it?"And now lets go a bit further with this fantasy and do exactly what my mother wished she could have done to me. How about I stickboth of their heads into the ReNuYuSenso Orb and say, I want you to be this Aspiration. I want you to act just like this and do exactlythat so then that way you guys wont resent me when I force you to do things that I want and not what you want--"
"Oh! So now you resent me?" Rhys yelled."What? Rhys, this has nothing to do with you! Where the hell did that come from?""You were forced to get married!""I wasnt forced to marry you and I seem to recall that my mother made our lives hell because I didnt do what she wanted! She wantedme to become a Family Sim and marry some random guy she met at the bookstore. We got married because you asked, and I endedup being very happy with that decision.""Youre saying that in the past tense. So youre not happy with your decision now?""What? You know what? At this particular second in time, no! Youre kind of pissing me off!"
He sighed heavily and scrubbed his face with his hand before running it over his hair. Eden could tell that he was debating what to saynext and she braced herself for more angry words.
Surprisingly, he took her hands in his and said, "Yeah, I know I am."She squeezed his hands gently in return and gave him a small, relieved smile. "Rhys, sweetie, weve reached the point where our kidsare adults who have to make their own mistakes so they can learn from them. I dont like feeling helpless any more than you do, but thetwo of us fighting over something we cant change isnt the answer." She gave him a pointed look. "All we can do is wait and see. Andbe there to help pick up the pieces when and if were needed.""I dont like it. I have a bad feeling about all of this.""I know and, to be honest, I do too."
The two of them looked out the window with their arms around each other. After a few moments of silence, Rhys said, "I still thinkyoure hot when youre pissed."She smiled slightly and tightened her arm around him. I love you, too, she thought. She tried to ignore the twinge of irritation she hadat not ever being able to say those words out loud. Not hearing them after over twenty years of marriage was also starting to becomeunacceptable.~*~*~ ----------->
Here are some examples of what Quinn saw online. Rhys has been a very bad boy across the Multi-verse and there was a reason why Mary didntlike him or want him to be married to Eden. Ive been planning on having Rhys past come back and bite him in the ass ever since I imported him.Images from:The Fitzhugh Legacy (Smoothiequeen87)The Ugothlacy (EphemeralToast)The Morgan Legacy (Fireflower314)The Awesomesauce Bachelor Challenge (Orikes)(Hes in a lot more stuff but, well, it really isnt a joke when they say hes "fucking everywhere." Most times quite literally.)
Rhys is not a good guy. He never has been. He redeemed himself slightly in the Villainous Apocalypse where he was sent aspunishment for the crimes he committed in his home legacy. Crimes that he still hasnt apologized for. Hes just become very good atignoring the guilt he feels.Hes marginally better with Eden and hes always tried to be good with his army of children. Hes downright well behaved in my legacybecause hes trying a bit harder and, to be honest, hes married to the heiress, which is what hes wanted seeing as he wasnt an heirhimself. Eden is very good about doing the partnership thing and he actually has a say in what happens in the main family of the Mini-Verse, which is something hes never experienced before. He has as much power and say-so as she does because she lets him have it.Theres a lot more to it, like the stinking three bolts that they have and the fact that he does love Eden...but Im getting ahead of myself.Most of my readers know who he is, where he comes from, and what hes done, so I didnt want to rehash everything. For the fewreaders who dont know, dont worry...
...youll get the idea.A special thanks to:Marina/Smoothiequeen: Always and forever for the perma-loan of Rhys Fitzhugh (The Fitzhugh Legacy/A Villainous Apocalypse)Cait/RegacyLady: For Charles and Jane Austen (The Regacy)De/Fireflower314: For Vaughn Fitzhugh (The Morgan Legacy)Ori/Orikes: For Star Walton and Louise Legacina (The Pseudo Legacy)Lark/LadyLarkrune: For always letting me babble on and on about my story and for letting me bounce my ideas off of you. *hugs*Thank you to everyone for reading and commenting! Words can never express how grateful I am!Have a good holiday, and until next time, Happy Simming!