The Devereaux Legacy 5.1

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The Devereaux Legacy 5.1

  1. 1. Welcome back to my legacy, folks, where the author has a smarmy husband who insists upon pestering me about using the Batbox. This is a new occurrence, as Keith doesn't play the Sims; but he really, really wants to strike lightning down upon people, so Sims are the next best thing. Le sigh. You think he's kidding about the pants embargo thing? Check out the next few slides...
  2. 2. “What the heck are you doing?” I asked, startled. I just went outside for a few moments to talk to someone important, and I walked back into the house to see...this.
  3. 3. “Nothing out of the ordinary,” replied Keith.
  4. 4. “Umm, hmm. Except for the fact that you seem to be tub pirating on the couch without any pants.” “Well, it is completely ordinary when you are doing a...”
  5. 5. “PAAAANNNNTS EEEMMMBAAARRRGOOOO!”
  6. 6. I sighed when I heard this. “A pants embargo? Really? I thought you were kidding about that.”
  7. 7. “Not in the slightest. I totally intend on prancing around in my underwear. Look! They're so comfy and form fitting.” “Keith, get down from there! What's the matter with you?”
  8. 8. “I must Smite someone. I need to Smite someone. I have a list of people that qualify. You can choose anyone from this list.” “Keith, ALL of my characters are on your list. Even some of the ones that don't belong to me are on this list!” “Hey! Come on! Amelia isn't on the list!” “But Miles is!” “One little strike of lightning isn't going to kill him!” “No Keith, you may not Smite anyone. I should never have mentioned the Batbox's existence to you. Wait...is that ZANE'S name on the list?!” “But...he's already dead, so it HAS to be okay! Besides, maybe it'll make him think twice before coming for Amelia.” “No, Keith. Absolutely not. You may not use the Batbox. That is final.”
  9. 9. “Well, a pants embargo it is then. And you know how gregarious I am. I will be at all of the community lots wearing only this. I will be at all Legacy parties wearing only this. Random walk bys? Wearing only this, holding the newspaper high so everyone can behold me in my pants-less glory. Do you think I'm kidding?” Yeah, welcome to the Devereaux Legacy folks. If you are a new reader that hasn't been scared away, you might want to start from the beginning so you won't be confused. An existing reader that hasn't been scared away? Well, I hope you enjoy this installment. Virtual eye bleach will be passed around as needed. ***
  10. 10. “I don’t get it!” Tina remarked, petulantly, to Ruth. Or was it Jezebel? She couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Frustrated, she stomped her foot. The Hula Girls looked at each other. What on earth does he see in her? This question was obvious on Ruth’s face. Jezebel grinned back, eyes wide as she tilted her head a little towards Tina’s upper torso region. Ruth rolled her eyes in response and the two sisters snickered. “Stop laughing at me!” Tina cried. “It’s not fair! Why can’t I go home?” Ruth was about to patiently respond when Jezebel stepped forward into Tina’s face.
  11. 11. “Listen here, you. You know exactly why you can’t go home. You committed suicide and it was only by Thanatos’ intervention that you aren’t freezing your butt off in the Punished Realm. You are dead, for all intents and purposes, so deal with it! And for God’s sake, quit stomping your foot. What are you, two?” “I’M. NOT. DEAD!” Tina shouted, deliberately stomping her foot with each word for emphasis. “And why do you keep calling him Thanatos? His name is Zane, and he was the little boy next door. And why was he wearing that gruesome outfit? I want to talk to him! Right now! I want him to take me away from here! I’m hungry and I need to go to the bathroom! This place SUCKS!”
  12. 12. Jezebel threw up her arms. “Oh my God, she’s a freakin’ idiot! An official, class ‘A’ Retardo Lander…” she walked to the corner of the room, muttering under her breath. Ruth watched her impatient sister for a moment before replying to Tina.
  13. 13. “No, I suppose you aren’t dead. You will be if you were to step foot upon the mortal realm again, though. That’s why you are here: Zane wanted to save you from being punished because he cares for you.” She held her finger up at Jezebel, knowing that her sister was going to interrupt with a rude comment and she continued. “Zane is not the same little boy that you knew before. He’s…well, he’s a… er, THE…um…” she trailed off, not knowing how to explain it to Tina. “He’s different now,” she finally responded, lamely. “Well, you can say that again! He wouldn’t have dreamed of scaring me and then leaving me to starve to death! What did you guys do to him to warp him like that?” Tina crossed her arms and glared.
  14. 14. “US?!” Jezebel shouted from her corner of the room. “We didn’t do anything to him! It was his whack job of a-” “Jez! Enough!” Ruth interrupted. “Perhaps it would be best if we let Zane explain things to you,” she continued to Tina. “To be fair to him, I don’t think he realized that you needed food and other amenities. No, let me finish,” she responded as Tina opened her mouth to interrupt. “I will go find him and let him know that you want to talk to him while Jez here will go to the mortal realm to get you some food.” “I most certainly will not-” “Yes, Jez, you will. You have to, okay?” “Fine!” Jezebel flounced out of the room, displeased. Ruth nodded to Tina. “So, you’re going to have some food and I’ll go get Zane. Does that sound okay to you?” Tina shrugged and Ruth turned to exit the room herself.
  15. 15. “Why has he been avoiding me?” Tina called after her. Ruth paused and looked over her shoulder. “He’s afraid that you won’t like him the same way he likes you, that’s why,” was her response before she left the room. ***
  16. 16. Ruth searched the manor and she eventually found him in the library contentedly reading a book. Or so it appeared. As she observed him, she noticed that he wasn't turning any pages, but he was doing his best to ignore her. Her lips quirked as she continued to stare at him, not saying anything. She and Jezebel genuinely liked him and they found themselves taking on the more 'big sister' role towards him. Of course, 'big sister' meant teasing him in a good natured fashion, and the fact that he tried very hard to not let his irritation show was even more funny.
  17. 17. When it became apparent that he wasn't going to speak first, Ruth cleared her throat. “Black is a little cliché, don't you think?” He shut the book and his lips twitched a little. “Oh, I don't know. Black is the new blue according to Jezebel. I like blue,” he casually replied. “So, you're not being morbid?” “Weren't you guys the ones who picked out my new outfit?” “You bring up a good point. Besides, I'm pretty sure that a certain someone will like your new look. Speaking of a certain someone, Zane, you really should go and talk to Tina.”
  18. 18. His brow knitted lightly as he stood up, getting ready to leave the room. “Ruth, I really wish you and Jezebel would stop pushing me about it. I..I know that I should, but I can't. What if she does not like me? What if she would rather completely die than stay here with me? What if...”
  19. 19. “What if she were to die, right here, under your nose, before you get around to answering your own questions, hm?” Ruth nonchalantly poked at the fire as she said this, not looking at him.
  20. 20. She smiled slightly when she heard Zane gasp and drop his book. “She's dying? I..I thought that if...oh no!” “Relax. She's going to be fine. She's just hungry and has to take care of her baser needs, something that I'm sure didn't occur to you when you brought her here.” “But...but, we don't have to.” “No. We don't. Jez and I are made of Ether, bound by the same magic you are, bound to you; but we were never mortal. You are Dead. Not undead, not the living dead, but of The Dead. Reaper magic animates you. The only time we have to worry about those needs is if we spend extended periods of time on the mortal realm not wearing our robes of office. “Tina, on the other hand, is not Dead, nor made of Ether. She's a mortal, and as a mortal, she'll need to be fed and taken care of because she's technically still alive. You bringing her here just made it so she didn't die. You didn't make her immortal.”
  21. 21. “Wait, so she's going to age?” Ruth sighed and spun around to face him. “Zane, I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. But this is all besides the point. My point to you is that you need to talk to her. Find out what she wants. This isn't high school, and you can't afford to be childish about this. It isn't as easy as handing her a note asking her if she likes you with a check box next to a 'yes' 'no' or 'maybe'. Be a grown up. You're a nice guy, and I'm sure she'll like you. But you are never going to find out until you talk to her!” “I will, okay? Just not right now. I do not know what to say to her and...” “Whatever. Just remember to pick up some amenities from the mortal realm while you wander around brooding like a high schooler. And while you're at it, make sure that you are positive that she's worth it!” “She is! I love her! I will do whatever it takes and face any sort of punishment!” “Then prove it!” Ruth shouted before she walked out of the library, doing her very best to ignore the look of hurt on Zane's face. “But she might think that I'm some sort of freak,” Zane whispered. ***
  22. 22. Eden woke up bright and early with a smile on her face. Today was a special day. She played with the blocks on her play table for a little bit before toddling down the stairs. She wanted everyone to know what day it was.
  23. 23. First, she went into the greenhouse to find her most favorite big person. “Birf'day Mommy!” Mary looked up from the plant she was talking to. “It's Birthday, Eden sweetie. You're going to be a big girl today, so you must learn how to pronounce things correctly! Don't touch that!” Mary scolded as Eden reached for one of the plants. “You don't want to ruin your pretty dress.” “I yuv you, Mommy,” Eden replied before she toddled back inside.
  24. 24. Next, she made her way to the living room to find her father. “Birfth'day Daddy!” “J..j..ust...w..wa..wanted..to..l..look..up...g.. Grilled Cheese!” Goopy stuttered as the shock of electricity from the computer zapped him. Eden giggled. “Daddy funny. I yuv you, Daddy.”
  25. 25. She giggled as she went into the room where her grandparents were located. They acted so different from her parents, that the affectionate spectacle that Sebastian and Kitty put on always made Eden laugh. “Birfth'day Gamma! Birfth'day Gampa! I yuv you!” Unfortunately, at that moment, Sebastian and Kitty were preoccupied to respond to their granddaughter.
  26. 26. She didn't too much though as she occupied herself by bouncing in time to the stereo. She looked over to the other end of the room, and gave out an excited gasp and grin. She stood up and began to toddle over to her new point of interest.
  27. 27. The newest member of the Devereaux family, Jack, made a tiny meow as he saw the grinning toddler make her way towards him. With a panicked look, the kitten tried to escape the little girl's inevitable clutches.
  28. 28. To no avail, though, as the kitten's short legs were no match for Eden as she managed to catch him and give him a toddler snuggle. “Birfth'day Jack! I yuv you kitty,” she said as she planted a kiss on his head. Jack mewed piteously as he tried to escape.
  29. 29. Sebastian managed to scoop the panicked kitten out of Eden's hands before he started scratching, though. He looked the kitten in the eye and said with a smile, “Don't worry Jack, in a couple of hours she won't be a sticky little toddler anymore.” Jack looked at Sebastian with a disdainful glare, heaved a small, huffy sigh, and twitched his tail.
  30. 30. A few hours later, after Eden had a nap and was bathed by her mother, it was finally time for her birthday. Mary gathered her daughter into her arms and was about to call to her husband. She tossed about in her mind on how to address him. Finally, she mentally sighed and just called out, “Goopy. It's time for Eden's birthday. Will you be joining us?”
  31. 31. In the recreation room, Goopy inhaled the delightful scent of his grilled cheese sandwich, completely ignoring Mary's call.
  32. 32. Mary waited a few moments and then just shrugged. It wasn't like Goopy was all that involved with Eden anyway. Not to mention, there was nobody present to witness the situation as Mary had opted to not throw a full birthday party for the child. “But, that's okay isn't it Eden? Momma knows that you are a perky, pretty, perfect little girl, Aren't you? Yes you are! Who is a pretty little girl?” Eden looked adoringly at her mother with a smile.
  33. 33. They both leaned over the cake to blow out the candles. “No no Eden, don't spit on them! Blow them out like this!”
  34. 34. When she grew up and changed into the clothes that her mother had left out for her, Eden eagerly ran to the rec room where her grandfather would be. He promised her a present for her birthday, and she was most anxious to receive it.
  35. 35. With a smile, she ran up to Sebastian and held out her hand. Trying not to grin back, Sebastian slapped her hand five. “Happy Birthday, sweetheart,” he said. Eden looked at her empty hand and then back up at him, solemnly, still holding it out. “Grandpa! You promised me a birthday present!” “It's your birthday? I don't remember anyone telling me about it!” Eden looked blankly at him, letting her hand drop to her side. “But, you saw me blow out the candles!” Sebastian laughed. “Edie, I'm teasing you. Your birthday present is upstairs in your bedroom, ready for you to use.” Eden threw her arms around his neck and gave him a kiss. “Thank you!” “You're welcome, sweetie. Happy Birthday.”
  36. 36. As she was heading upstairs, she overheard her mother talking on the phone. “Why, yes. She's grown up now so she can take on more difficult roles. Umhm. Yes, she's been working on her musical skills and dance will now be added. Excellent. We have a couple other commitments right now, but once those clear up we can most certainly let you know so she can audition. Excuse me? Oh, yes, within the next week or so. Outstanding, I will talk to you then! Thank you.” As she hung up the phone, she looked at her daughter with a smile. “Great news, Eden. After you're done with the next two photo shoots you'll actually have some speaking parts on stage. Isn't that exciting? We'll have to hire a tutor for your school work. Oh! I should call one right now! ” Eden gave a small smile. “That's great, Momma. I can't wait.” Mary blew her a kiss while she dialed the phone. Eden kept her small, neutral smile on her face as she made her way to her bedroom. ***
  37. 37. Laurana looked around the empty bedroom that she had briefly stayed in since the family had been reunited. She didn't feel overly nostalgic about leaving it as she hadn't been in it long enough to gain a whole lot of memories of it.
  38. 38. Aviendha, on the other hand, smiled sadly as she and Ashley took one last look around. “You gonna be okay?” Ashley asked. Aviendha placed her hands on his shoulders. “Yeah, I'm gonna be fine. It's just going to be kinda weird not growing old in this house, you know?” Ashley slid his arms around her waist. “But, we'll have the new house to grow old in. It'll be a lot roomier and besides, the new house will feel like home after a few months.” She sighed. “I know. Besides...”
  39. 39. “...it's nice that we can do our friends this solid after all they've done for us.”
  40. 40. After Marsha made sure that everything was put away properly, she made her way to the back yard where Xander was. She watched him silently as he stared at the small bed of flowers that were recently planted. “What's on your mind, hon?” Xander smiled as he turned to her and held her hands.
  41. 41. “I was just thinking about how TOTALLY nice it is to have them back home,” he replied.
  42. 42. That night, the ghost of Merlin poked his head out from the Spirit Realm and checked out the new surroundings. “Uh, it looks, er, like our graves, er, have been, um, moved.” Merlin called out to Savannah. “Well Family Sim, is it our actual family who moved us, or grave robbers?” Merlin floated around a bit more. “Er, family. Xander's old. Looks, er, like we're great- grandparents, um, as well.” “Good. I was tired of floating around the graveyard haunting strangers. “ “It's, er, nice to, um, see the family again, too.” “Well, then the family won't mind if we swipe some food from them. Check out their fridge and grab something good.”
  43. 43. Merlin opened the fridge and began pulling some of the food out. “Grab some of the good juice, if they have any,” Savannah instructed. “Ansley wants some of the pink stuff.” Merlin chuckled. He was glad that he and Savannah could host their own gathering on the Spirit Realm now, instead of always having to mooch off of Savannah's relatives. “Er, what about your, um, father? What would he like?” “Dad says that by Bob, everyone will rue the day that he got created for this legacy unless he gets some decent chocolate cake. So, chocolate cake.” Merlin whistled in a ghostly manner as he grabbed everything that was needed for the party. It certainly was good to be home.
  44. 44. Most of the Lewis family had little problem settling into their new home. Xander and Marsha were both retired, so they spent a lot of time in their new garden.
  45. 45. Because Xander had managed to pull some strings, Ashley had a number of job offers. Though, Ashley couldn't help but smile at the fact that one of the job offers was as a school teacher. However, he chose the job that he thought he would enjoy the most.
  46. 46. Besides, Aviendha thought he was dead sexy in his pirate garb.
  47. 47. Aviendha had also managed to become an acclaimed artist in some circles, but in her off time she still painted multiple pictures with the hope that someday she would be able to open an art gallery with Frances and Malcolm.
  48. 48. Moving twice and attending her new school, Pleasantview Academy, made adjusting a bit more difficult for Laurana, however. She made a few tentative friends with her distant cousins, but for the most part, she didn't participate much in class discussions or any extra curricular activities. She decided that she wasn't going to let on to her family about how rough it was for her, though. Everyone else seemed so happy.
  49. 49. It didn't help matters much that the headmaster sent a note home with Laurana requesting a meeting with her parents. When she got the note, she opened it up on the bus and read it. Of course, it didn't say anything very interesting other than that he wanted to meet with the Lewis family, but Laurana was certain that she was in some sort of trouble. She threw the letter out.
  50. 50. “I didn't do anything wrong,” she mumbled to herself as she sat down to do her homework. “Why does he want to talk to them?” She blew her hair out of her eyes and squinted slightly at her homework. She soon forgot about the letter as she settled in and worked on her fractions.
  51. 51. A few days passed when Aviendha received a phone call from the school. She listened to Mr. Ryan on the other end and she explained to him that, no, she hadn't received the note he had sent home with her daughter and yes, it was just fine for him to come over that night for a meeting. She gave an sigh when she hung up the phone, irritated that Laurana had concealed this information from her.
  52. 52. Headmaster Ryan showed up promptly at five, and Aviendha made sure that she was on the sidewalk to greet him. “Ah, Mrs. Lewis, it's nice to finally meet you. I want to reassure you that Laurana is not in any sort of trouble. I generally like to meet with the parents of new students and such.” Aviendha breathed a sigh of relief. The Headmaster wasn't finished, though. “However, there are some minor concerns that her teachers brought to my attention, and I thought I would bring them up to you and your husband.” “Of course,” Aviendha murmured, “why don't you come in. I'm sure that dinner is ready.”
  53. 53. Laurana sulked guiltily while she ate her dinner. Both of her parents had scolded her for throwing away the letter from the Headmaster and her punishment was pending. To make matters worse, apparently there wasn't any major problems and she wasn't in trouble at school, so tossing the letter out had been pointless. She sighed mournfully while the adults talked to each other. Then, Headmaster Ryan addressed her, forcing her to look shyly up at him.
  54. 54. “Laurana, your teachers tell me that you don't participate in class even though you are a bright girl who is doing very well. Why is that?” Laurana shrugged. “I don't know,” she responded quietly.
  55. 55. “Honey, are you scared of giving the wrong answer? Is that why?” Aviendha asked. Laurana scoffed. “No Mom. I know all of the answers. School is easy.” “Then why don't you answer the questions?” “Because...because I don't want to answer all of the questions and be laughed at for being a nerd,” she answered, not looking at her mother. Aviendha sighed. She knew Laurana wasn't telling the full truth, but she didn't want to press the issue in front of the Headmaster.
  56. 56. “She's lying,” Aviendha said to Ashley as they began clearing the plates from the table after the Headmaster left. “Yep,” was his distracted response. He was turning something about his daughter over in his mind. Aviendha sighed, vexed.
  57. 57. After the dishes were done, Ashley went into the living room, where he received a hug from Laurana. “I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't mean to be bad.” He looked down at her and his suspicions were confirmed: she was squinting. “Well Lori, as long as you know that it was bad and you won't do it again. You're still going to be grounded from going outside for the weekend though. Does that sound fair?” “No!” “Good. That means it's actually a punishment then,” was his cheerful response. “You really wouldn't learn your lesson if we grounded you from television, seeing as you really don't watch it. Right?” “Yeah...” Ashley kissed her forehead. “Alright baby, we love you. Now off to bed.” Laurana walked out of the room, dejected.
  58. 58. She sighed woefully as she crawled into bed. It would have been better if her parents had grounded her from television; but they were right, she didn't really watch it. She flopped her head down on the pillow and sulked. Tossing the letter out was totally not worth it.
  59. 59. “Glasses,” Ashley said as he crawled into bed. “What?” “She needs glasses. That's probably a big reason why she doesn't participate. Add that to her just generally being shy and...” he shrugged. Aviendha thought about it. “You're probably right. We'll schedule an eye appointment.” They both snuggled down to sleep, content with the thought they they were awesome parents. ***
  60. 60. “Frances!” Aviendha shouted with glee as she threw her arms around her friend. “We thought you, Mal and Karen were out of town!” The newly tanned Frances J. Worthington accepted the hug with a smile. “Well, yes. We happened to have a slight layover and we won't be leaving for the rest of our journey until tomorrow. I wished to stop by and visit while I had the chance. Malcolm sends his regards, by the way.” “How are you? How is Malcolm? How is your daughter?” Another happy smile spread across his face. “Malcolm and I are doing splendidly. Karen, of course, is a delight and we have been enjoying showing her the world immensely.”
  61. 61. “Did you and Mal ever find out who her biological parents were?” Frances knitted his brow for a moment, then shrugged. “No, we have not. We decided it would be best to not press the issue, though. As far as we are concerned, we are her parents and we even went as far as changing her name so that she bears both mine and Malcolm's. It is most strange, though...” he trailed off. “What?” “We'll find small trinkets and gifts for her on our doorstep occasionally. We assume they are from someone who is interested in her well being; most likely the same person who...gave...her to us.” He smiled warmly and then outright laughed, which was surprising to Aviendha, as he was usually much more stoic. “Karen is under the impression that Santa Claus is her guardian angel.” He chuckled a bit more. Aviendha smiled fondly at her friend. “Fatherhood suits you.”
  62. 62. “Hey, hey Frances!” Ashley called out as he entered the living room. “Nice tan!” Frances beamed and then made a weird gesture. Ashley raised his eyebrow. “What the hell is that?” “That, my friend, is the official greeting of Twikkii Island, which incidentally also includes saying, 'Hey, hey.'” Frances made the gesture again. “Hey, hey Ashley,” he said like a pro. Ashley laughed. “I see that a congratulations is also in order, huh?” Frances smiled even wider. “Well, it is nothing official, and it is not recognized here, but it was still nice to...stick it to the man, I suppose one would say.” “Well, congratulations either way.” “Thank you. I'll be sure to pass the sentiments on to Malcolm as well.”
  63. 63. Frances then regaled his friends with stories from Twikkii Island: the sights, the sounds, the food, and the historical monuments that he and the rest of his family had seen while there. “We even saw the 'Witch Doctor' and got that strange looking doll from him. I didn't want to keep it, but Mal insisted on putting it on display on our bookshelf. It is rather disturbing to look at , but I suppose as long as it remains on the shelf and it doesn't come to life like that horrid 'Billy' doll from that one online game, I suppose we'll keep it.” “Ah, Nek Castle,” Ashley laughed. “I'm glad you guys had fun. We wish we could have gone with you.” “Well, I am quite certain that Malcolm and I will return there. Perhaps the four of us can go together after Karen has grown up.” “Sounds like a plan.”
  64. 64. “Speaking of Karen, however, I'm afraid that she will be unable to attend Laurana's birthday party, as we'll be in Three Lakes during that time.” “Ah, that's okay. We knew that, but we also knew that it would have been rude to not invite her, know what I mean?” Frances looked relieved. “I did not wish to offend and I do hope that Laurana will be able to show up for Karen's own party when she has it.” “Dude, we'll be there with bells and whistles. You know that. Besides, Avi kinda wants to see what you've done to the place.” “That would be splendid. However, I must get going. We have a very early flight tomorrow morning.” And, with that, Frances left with a light spring in his step. ***
  65. 65. Soon, it was time for Laurana's birthday. She really wasn't one to want huge parties, like the rest of her family, but at least it was mostly people that she knew.
  66. 66. Even her distant cousin Eden was able to make it. It was strange, Eden was away from school a lot because of her performance schedules. But apparently, Eden was still doing well in school.
  67. 67. Indeed, Laurana knew almost everyone at the party, except for one person. Apparently he was another family member, but the family was only just getting to know him. Xander was one of the outgoing people, so after a round of introductions, he pulled the young man to the side to talk to him. “So, you're my cousin Lillian's son, huh?”
  68. 68. Zane fidgeted with his hands slightly before answering. “In a manner of speaking, yes.” Xander nodded. “I never met her, but from what I understand, she is a real...character.” Zane smiled wanly at the statement, but said nothing. The two of them stood looking at each other for a moment, not saying anything. Zane shifted uncomfortably and began to walk away.
  69. 69. “I also hear that you're the,” Xander lowered his voice, “that you're the Grim Reaper.” Zane closed his eyes and would have sighed. “It really is not supposed to be common knowledge. I honestly wish that the family did not announce it to everyone.” Xander shrugged. “Dude, you TOTALLY can't expect something like that to be kept secret. But, I'm pretty sure the knowledge of what you are is only kept within the family, and the children don't know so they can't blab about it.” Zane relaxed slightly. “I find that somewhat of a relief.”
  70. 70. “So,” Xander said after a moment, “when am I going to die?” “What?!” “Well, I mean, you would TOTALLY know, right?”
  71. 71. “Xander, even if I did know, which I do not, I would not tell you. That would be a horrible thing to tell someone, even if they asked for such a thing!” “So, you TOTALLY don't know?” “No!” Xander yawned. “Well, then, what kind of Grim Reaper are you if you don't have that simple knowledge?”
  72. 72. Zane had spent enough time with Ruth and Jezebel to know when he was being baited, however. So, he simply smiled. “Even if I knew, I am not a horrible enough of a person to tell you. Knowing when you are going to die is a curse, not a blessing.” “Dude. I'll just TOTALLY throw a party everyday then, you know. And I'll make sure that you're invited. On the day that you don't show up, I'll know that's the day I'm going to die.” Zane outright laughed and shook his head. “That will not work as it would be impossible for me to attend every party. I do have a job, a job that has paperwork, you know. I will appreciate the invites, though.” “So, you really don't know?” “No, I do not. Now, I believe Laurana is going to blow out her birthday candles. I wish to try out some birthday cake,” he said as he walked away, still chuckling a bit.
  73. 73. Laurana looked around hesitantly at all of the people who were gathering around her. She had to keep reminding herself that they were friends and family and they all wanted to see her grow up well.
  74. 74. As she leaned over her birthday cake to make her wish, a sudden panic rose up. She had absolutely no idea what she wanted to wish for. Her mind drew a complete blank and she watched everyone cheer her on. Hastily, she blew out the candles. “What did you wish for?” Someone from the crowd asked with a laugh. With a small smile, she replied with, “You know I can't say, otherwise it won't come true.” She knew that answer was safe enough.
  75. 75. After she and the rest of her guests had some birthday cake, Laurana went and changed into the clothes she had picked out. In the bathroom, she looked at herself in the mirror, pulled out her pigtails, and shakily put on her new glasses. She stared at her reflection for a long time before she stuck her tongue out at the mirror. “I look like a librarian,” she whispered glumly.
  76. 76. Everyone was happily socializing with each other when she slipped outside. She stood in the backyard for a while, looking up at the stars. Finally, a birthday wish came to mind. “I just want a quiet, happy life. Is that too plain and simple to ask for?” ***
  77. 77. “You're kidding, right? Please, Mom, tell me that you are,” Amelia sighed into the phone. “No, I am not.” “MOM! You promised a low profile life for me!” “And I had intended on giving you just that. But your father insisted.” “Mother, really, you guys don't need to go to all that trouble. A small birthday party for Rose is just fine.”
  78. 78. “Well, I suppose I ought to tell you that your father is being insistent because...well..” “Well? Well what? Oh dear God, is he planning on making some sort of scene?”
  79. 79. “Rose, don't lick the plate. You know it disgusts your mother,” Miles said as he walked into the house. He didn't even have to look over at his daughter to know what she was doing.
  80. 80. Rose guiltily stopped licking the plate. “Aww, how did you know, Dad?” “Who do you think you inherited that habit from?” Miles answered back. Suddenly, there was a frustrated yell from Amelia coming from upstairs. “YOU OKAY?” Miles called up. “YEAH, I'M FINE. JUST PEACHY. ROSE, YOUR GRANDMOTHER WANTS TO TALK TO YOU.” “YOUR MOM OR DAD'S MOM?” “DOES IT MATTER?” “KINDA.” “JUST PICK UP THE PHONE, SMART ALEC!” “FIIINE.”
  81. 81. “Hi Grandma,” Rose said when she picked up the phone. “Hi sweetie. You know that your grandfather and I love you, right? You know that whatever your grandfather does, he's not doing it to be mean, right?” “Yeah, I guess...” “Good. I want you to keep that in mind for your birthday party.”
  82. 82. Miles held his wife's hand as they sat in the hot tub together. “So, what was that all about?” Amelia rolled her eyes. “My Dad is being all embarrassing and stuff. He's trying to make a point so he's planning on making a scene at Rose's party, even though my mom promised that we would have a low key life.” Miles caressed Amelia's shoulder. She had told him a while back about the entire SimSelf thing, so he knew all about the sacrifice she had made for him. He had been flattered and he honestly didn't mind not being in the public eye all that much. However, her eccentric parents could be a trial, especially when they looked at him with that knowing look...or when there was some sort of stunt brewing.
  83. 83. Over the next day or so, Miles, Amelia, and Rose all prayed that the earth would swallow them whole before the birthday party. Unfortunately, their wishes didn't come true, and Rose's birthday was upon them. Keith was one of the first guests to arrive, strutting like a model, singing, “I'm...too sexy for my pants, too sexy for my pants...” Amelia did her very best to ignore him as Keith made his rounds, making sure that everyone saw him.
  84. 84. “How are you doing, Sebastian?” I asked, with the intent on keeping my questions vague as Ashley was standing right there. Sebastian smiled as he looked over at his family socializing with each other. “I'm doing great.” “Are you and Kitty okay?” He smiled even wider. “Yeah, we're fine.” “Good. Did she show you the...” I looked over at Ashley again. He seemed vaguely curious, but I didn't want to take any chances, “Did she show you the information?” He laughed. “Yeah, she did. It was...fascinating, like you said it would be. Though it's weird to know that...” he trailed off as he, too, noticed Ashley listening in on the conversation. “Weird to know that you are alive in another dimension when you're going to be dead in this one?” Ashley finished helpfully. He got surprised looks from the both of us and he laughed. “Come on. I'm not exactly an original Sim myself, you know.” “Well, you hide your knowledge beautifully,” I replied with a smile “I know,” was the laughing response.
  85. 85. Sebastian's good humor didn't last very long, though. When he sat down at the table he noticed something odd out of the corner of his eye, something that didn't seem quite right. When he looked to see what it was his mouth dropped open in disgust and horror. “Put some framming pants on!” he shouted to Keith. “This is your granddaughter's birthday!” “No can do, Seb-a-roo,” Keith replied. “Not until I get what I want. What I want isn't that big of a deal but my wife seems to think it is.” “Oh my framming lord,” Sebastian rolled his eyes. “Hey, watch your mouth around Rose. Her delicate ears and all that.” Keith whistled as he strutted away.
  86. 86. Much to everyone's relief, Rose's birthday cake was brought out and everyone could focus on her instead of the more uncomfortable sights.
  87. 87. “Make a wish!” Amelia said. “I know what I'd wish for if it were my birthday!” Keith said with a smarmy grin. “Well, it's my birthday and I wish that Grandpa would put on some pants!” Rose stated, matter-of-fact. Everyone in the crowd groaned. “Ha! You said your wish out loud! It won't come true now! I'm...too sexy for my pants, too sexy for my pants!” Keith started to sing and do the “Carlton Dance,” much to everyone's displeasure.
  88. 88. Aged up and clothes changed, Rose gladly began talking to her little cousin, ignoring her grandfather's pants-less antics as much as possible. “So, Edie, what's it like not having to go to school all of the time? Is it fun?”
  89. 89. Eden shrugged. “I have a tutor and stuff, so it's not like I don't have to do homework.” “Don't you get to play with kids though?” “Oh! All of the time! There's other kids in the plays and photo shoots and stuff. We all get tutored around the same time, take a lunch break, and then we have a show that night.” Eden shrugged again. “So, you, like, have a job then? That sucks.” “Aw, it's not so bad. I've been doing it forever, so I'm used to it.” She smiled sweetly up at her big cousin. “But, I really hope that Momma will let me have a birthday party so I can invite all you guys over. The kids I hang out with are...snobs. They think they're better than everyone else. But, they aren't better than me, that's what Momma says.” Rose was about to laugh at Eden's rather grownup talk, thinking that she was faking it. After listening a bit longer, though, she realized that it wasn't an act. Eden did that naturally. Rose mentally shrugged. Must be because of all the lines she has to memorize and stuff, she thought.
  90. 90. “So, Mom,” Amelia began when she had a moment. “About Dad. Yeah. Tell him to put some pants on.”
  91. 91. I gave an exaggerated gasp. “Oh my God, Amelia! Why didn't I think of that before? It's such a simple little thing that must have completely escaped me! You, my dear sweet child, are a genius. Pure genius I tell you! All the money your father and I spent on college for you was worth it, I see!” Amelia rolled her eyes. “Yeah, okay, enough with the sarcasm, I get it. By the way, you and Dad didn't pay for college, remember? It was all scholarships. But, seriously, about the pants...”
  92. 92. I shrugged. “I can't give him what he wants. Scratch that. I won't give him what he wants, because I know that he'll get carried away and probably kill someone. It's all fun and games when it's only the pee puddle; but when Zane has to get involved, it starts causing problems.” Amelia sighed. “Well, I hope Dad's happy to know that he's probably scarred Rose for life.” “Honey, I think he's scarred all of us for life.”
  93. 93. Much to Amelia's relief, the party was soon over and she and her family could go back to their low profile life. Amelia hugged her father, who was the last guest to leave. “I hope you know that you've succeeded in embarrassing everyone, Dad.” Keith smiled. “Good! Maybe it'll get the Batbox situation resolved faster!” Amelia just shook her head as Keith strutted theatrically out the door.
  94. 94. After he left, she flopped down on one of the dining chairs with a sigh. Everyone was quiet for a few moments and Amelia began to feel Miles' eyes upon her. “What?” She said as she turned to look at him.
  95. 95. “Your parents are weird,” was his reply. “No they aren't! They're...eccentric.”
  96. 96. Miles turned to Rose and they both began to laugh. “Nope, they're weird. At least my parents have the decency to be normal.” “Oh, yeah,” Amelia retorted sarcastically, “real normal when your mother talks about dressing up in Victorian clothing and having your dad tie her to bedposts and stuff.” Miles abruptly stopped laughing as a look of horror crossed his face. “Nuh uh! No they don't!” “Yep. They do.” “You..you take that back! They don't do...no way! They're normal!” “Nope.” “Yes!” “Ewwwww!”
  97. 97. She stepped into his arms and playfully began to dance with him. “Oh, I don't know, Miles. Maybe the clothing part isn't so bad. I mean, I could go talk to that guy across the street, you know, the one with the green coat and spiffy knickers, and ask him who his tailor is. I'm sure you would look absolutely charming in a get up like that.” “Don't...don't even joke about that. Victorian clothing is dead to me. I'll never be able to read Jane Austen books again without having nightmares.” Amelia laughed. “And, you only have your normal parents to blame for that. Not mine.” “And...that's point and match,” Miles replied.
  98. 98. It wasn't until the next morning that Rose realized exactly what had happened the night before. And, in the true embarrassment that only a teenager can muster, she looked up and groaned. “Oh. My. God! Grandpa wasn't wearing any pants, and everyone saw! I am so humiliated!” ***
  99. 99. “Up, Jack, up. Do you want the treat? Up!” Jack rose on his hind legs and begged for the treat. “Good boy, Jack! Who is so smart? Yes you are!” Mary squatted down and fondly stroked the cat. It was one of those rare times where Eden wasn't in a show, so she was on a normal school schedule. Mary was bored and she was eager for Eden to turn into a teenager so she land more high profile jobs, such as a television series or even a movie.
  100. 100. “I've been practicing, Kit. I'm positive that I'm finally going to beat you at this game,” Sebastian said as he racked the pool balls.
  101. 101. “Confident enough to place a wager on it?”
  102. 102. Sebastian stroked his chin. “Kitty, you don't need the money, so that would be kinda pointless, wouldn't you say?”
  103. 103. “Not money, silly. Something much more interesting.” “And what would that be?” “You, me, Victorian clothing, portrait painted so it can hang in the living room. Possible fun and excitement in said Victorian clothing later, no need for that to be documented.”
  104. 104. “Um, the 'fun and excitement' sounds fine. But...Victorian clothing?”
  105. 105. “Oh come on, Sebby. If you've been practicing, then you don't have to worry about it, right?”
  106. 106. “I don't suppose playing slop is an option?”
  107. 107. Kitty paused and gave a cheeky grin. “Nope. You know that's not how I roll.”
  108. 108. “Mmhmm. I also notice that you've been running the table.”
  109. 109. Kitty did a congratulatory fist pump as she sunk another ball into the called pocket. “Well, yeah. You see, I know that you've been practicing. But, if you are unable to hit any balls, then I win.” Sebastian hung his head.
  110. 110. In short order, Kitty won the game. She walked into the living room and began looking at all the places the future portrait could hang. Sebastian followed her and gathered her into his arms. “You know, Kit, I never agreed to the wager.” “Too late, I already ordered the clothes.” “When did you have time to do that?!” “Before we started playing. Come on, do it for me? It won't be tacky, I promise.” “People are going to think that we're strange.” “Who cares?” Sebastian smiled. “Oh, alright.” Kitty clapped her hands together gleefully and gave him a kiss.
  111. 111. Sebastian sat on the couch with a sigh. “Oh God, what did I agree to?” He mumbled. As he sat there, he started noticing the conversation that Mary was having on the phone.
  112. 112. “Why, that sounds absolutely perfect for her! I will let you know as soon as she turns into a teenager. Thank you so much for giving her this opportunity. Good bye!” Mary grinned happily as she hung up the phone.
  113. 113. Sebastian decided that he wanted to have a word with his daughter, and he managed to catch her in the reception room. “Mary, don't you think...don't you think you're driving Eden a bit hard? I mean, she's barely had time to be a kid. Let her live a little!” Mary forced a bright grin on her face. “Daddy, don't be ridiculous. Do you know how many children would kill for the opportunities Eden's been given? All of this is a wonderful learning experience for her!” “Mary, it's just that-” “Daddy! I know what I'm doing. Please, trust me on this, okay? Now, if you will excuse me, Eden has come home and she might need help with her homework.” Sebastian sighed.
  114. 114. Eden was about to gleefully turn on the video game that all the children at school were talking about when her mother entered the room. “Eden, you don't have time for that right now.” “Aw, but Momma,” “No buts, sweetie. First homework, then piano lessons, then dance, then, maybe if there is time, then you can play video games. But not before then. Discipline is the key to success, okay?” “Okay,” Eden sighed as she turned off the computer.
  115. 115. So, after her school work was completed, Eden practiced on the piano for the scheduled two hours.
  116. 116. And after the piano came the ballet bar that she got for her birthday.
  117. 117. Unfortunately, there were not enough hours in the day for her to play video games, she realized as her mother came in to wish her a goodnight. “Momma?” Eden hesitantly asked. “Do you think I'll be able to have an actual birthday party tomorrow? I would really like to invite some of my school friends.” Mary looked down at her daughter and smiled. “I don't see why not. You've done very well with your lessons and everything else. Good behavior gets reward, and you certainly deserve to be rewarded. Now, off to bed with you.” Mary gave Eden a loving kiss and a smile.
  118. 118. As she happily climbed into bed, Eden realized that there was one other person she wanted to make sure was present at her party. She quietly slipped out from under the covers and tiptoed down the stairs.
  119. 119. “I wanted to say goodnight to you,” she began.
  120. 120. Goopy chewed loudly on his sandwich, apparently unaware of his daughter standing behind him. “Daddy?” Startled, Goopy jerked around and peered at her. “Daddy, will you be at my birthday party tomorrow?” “My God! You're my kid, aren't you?” Goopy stated, surprised, with his mouth full of food. Eden nodded. “When did you get so big?” Eden smiled and shrugged, unsure of how to answer. Goopy turned forward again, forgetting that she was standing there. “Mm, grilled cheese. I need to make more.”
  121. 121. When it became apparent that her father wasn't going to say more, Eden kindly took it upon herself to clear up the empty plates that Goopy had left. “There you go, Daddy, I made some room for you.”
  122. 122. As she started to walk towards the kitchen, Goopy came out of his foggy, grilled cheese, haze again and turned to her. “Your name is Eden, right?” Eden stopped, smiled and nodded happily. His mind struggled with what he wanted to say as his concentration had veered off of his obsession. “You seem to be a nice enough kid, I guess.” Before he could say any more, his mind snapped back to the grilled cheese sandwich in front of him. Eden, however, was beside herself with happiness. That was the longest conversation she had ever had with him.
  123. 123. Before she could say anything, he stood up and passed gas over the table. “Ah! Much better!” Eden giggled. “I love you, Daddy. Good night.” ***
  124. 124. “Edie, you can stop practicing the piano. I thought your mother gave you the day off today,” Kitty said to her granddaughter. “She did, Grandma, but I really wanted to make sure that I got this song right!” Kitty sighed. “Well, it's birthday time. All of your guests are here. You don't really want to leave them hanging, do you?” Eden abruptly stopped her piano playing. “All of my guests are here? Really?” Kitty raised an eyebrow at Eden's strange tone. “Well, yes, everyone is here and they are waiting for you by your birthday-” she stopped when Eden dashed out of the room.
  125. 125. Eden smiled happily. It was true, all of her guests were there, including the most important one, her father. She waved happily to him as everyone began cheering and blowing on the party horns.
  126. 126. She cheered along with everyone else. She honestly didn't mind being the center of attention, and it was even better that her birthday wish came true: Her dad was there to help her celebrate her birthday.
  127. 127. “Happy Birthday,” Laurana said quietly to Eden when a lot of the people cleared out of the room. “It's so cool that we're all the same age now. Maybe we'll be able to hang out together. You know...if you want to.” “I hope I can, it would be neat to go to the movies and stuff. Maybe meet some boys,” Eden responded as she gave her friend a hug. Laurana blushed at the thought of having to talk to strangers.
  128. 128. There was another guest present that Eden was pleased to see. Jill Broke had been taken under Eden's wing at the Pleasantview Academy. Jill was a charity case there on scholarship, so a lot of the snobbier kids made fun of her. Eden, during her brief times there, always made sure that she was nice to the red headed girl, though. “Hi, Jill. I really like that shirt. It's a pretty color on you,” Eden said, sincerely. Jill blushed and looked down at the ragged sleeve. She was pretty certain that Eden really meant it, but her shabby clothes were still an embarrassment, especially when it was present in a house of obvious wealth. “Thank you,” the girl said shyly. “Um, Eden, I was wondering, if you can, um. Well, I was going to have a birthday party, and I wanted to know if you could come?” Eden looked at her mother for approval. Mary gave a smile. “We'll see,” was her non- committal response.
  129. 129. 'We'll see' usually meant 'no' in Eden's experience, but she didn't want to let on, lest she hurt Jill's feelings. She put on a big smile for her friend. “I'm going to try real hard to be able to, okay?” Jill nodded and shrugged. “If you're busy, I would understand.” “If I can't make it, I'll make sure that we all get together and have fun out on the town,” Eden replied boldly, ignoring her mother's cool gaze. She would find the time. She had to.
  130. 130. After the guests had all left and the party was cleaned up, Mary made her way to the telephone to call Eden's agency. Everything that she was doing, including the sacrifice of her own happiness, was going to be worth it in the end. Mary was determined to end the hatred people had for the Devereaux family. The key to it all was Eden. If people loved Eden...then eventually they will start to love the rest of the family. Eden's children, her children's children, and so on and so forth, just might be able to live in complete happiness, never having to worry about irrational hatred. It seemed a worthy cause, in Mary's eyes.
  131. 131. “Hello, this is Mary Devereaux calling. Yes, Eden's mother. I'm calling to let you know that Eden is now a teenager and I was wondering when we can set up an audition?”
  132. 132. Eden, for her part, was mostly unaware of her mother's ambition. Being over scheduled and exposed to the public eye was something that she had grown up with. She knew it was a bit more intense than if she were just a 'regular' heir, but...that's just how things were. She honestly didn't mind. Much. However, those thoughts were not going through her mind at that moment. Her thoughts rested on her father as he walked out of the room, completely oblivious of her existence, once again. “Good night, Daddy,” Eden whispered. “Thank you for coming to my birthday party.” ***
  133. 133. ”Zane, I tried to stop her but-” Jezebel began as she, Ruth and Tina burst into the room. Zane felt a number of emotions clamor up when he saw Tina: worry, fear, sorrow, happiness, and love. He tried very hard to keep his face neutral though as he nervously fidgeted with his hands. “No, it’s okay, Jezebel. I suppose I cannot put this off any longer,” he calmly replied.
  134. 134. ”Zane! Oh thank God it’s you!” Tina cried as she threw her arms around him. “I was getting so tired of those two telling me horrible things like I’m dead. And then there was that guy who looked like Death who was in my room and he yelled at me and told me that I am selfish. And I’m not! Really! This place sucks, Zane! I want to go home!” He held her in his arms for a moment, wishing once again that everything was normal and he didn’t need to have this kind of conversation with Tina. He lightly stroked her back before letting her go.
  135. 135. ”Tina,” he began and faltered. “Tina, you cannot go home. You..you know that. I…” he trailed off, pained. “I told you that you could not.” It wasn’t necessarily a look of dawning comprehension that crossed Tina’s face. More, it was like she had been denying the truth for as long as she could, but she wasn’t able to any longer. She took a step back from him. “You…You are Death, aren’t you?” Zane nodded miserably. “Then, you aren’t human anymore. You’re some sort of-” “So help me, if you finish that sentence, I will pop you one, Zane loving you be dammed!” Jezebel threatened. But the damage was done as Tina’s unspoken word cut through Zane and he hung his head.
  136. 136. A thick silence filled the room as Zane set his face to neutrality. “Believe me, Tina, if I could wish back everything, I would; the Creator knows that I have tried. But what is done is done and now you are faced with a decision. I can take you back to the Mortal Realm and let you live out the last few seconds of your life. When you die, I will be forced to collect you and send you to the Punished Realm, as that is where the spirits of people who committed suicide, as well as other crimes, go. There, you will have to live out your entire life all over again in utter hopelessness. “Or, you can stay here. You can never fully leave my presence, but fortunately my estate counts as my presence so you do not have to be in the same room as me, seeing as you find my Dead state so unbearable. There are plenty of things here to occupy you, even a stable where my horse is, if you like horses. If I recall correctly, you do. Neither decision is ideal, but one essential prison is far better than the other. The choice is yours. Which is it going to be?”
  137. 137. Before she could answer, everyone heard the front door thud open as a voice called out, “Lucy! I’m home!” Zane’s eyes widened and the Hula Girls let out twin gasps. “It’s can’t be!” “Oh no!” And the sisters ran out of the room in a panic. “What? What is going on?” Zane asked after them.
  138. 138. When he didn’t hear an answer, he turned to Tina. “You have to stay here! Right here in this room. Do not move, do not follow!” “No! I’m coming with.” Vexed, Zane grabbed her shoulders. “No, you cannot! Do you know how much trouble I will be in if a stranger finds out you are here? You will not have any choice but to go to the Punished Realm, me along with you, if that happens. Stay here!” He ran out of the room himself. Tina waited only a moment before softly trailing behind him.
  139. 139. “Ruthie! Jez! How are you sweet young things doing these days?” Thaddeus Wilcox said in a leering manner while he smoked a cigarette, ignoring the girls’ glares. “When did you get released?” Jezebel asked in a scornful tone. “Ah Jez, you know how it is what with how time moves differently here. A couple days ago, a couple hours ago, who knows?” “Well, then surely you need to settle into your own home,” Ruth spit out. Thaddeus chuckled. “That shit hole? I already did. I just came by because I was instructed to ‘report to Zane Devereaux,’ and ‘offer any assistance he may need.’ So, where is the newbie?”
  140. 140. ”I am Zane Devereaux. Who might you be?” Zane asked as he sedately entered the foyer. Thaddeus ground his cigarette out on the rug and gave a mock bow to him. “I am Thaddeus Wilcox, Pet Reaper Extraordinaire, at your service. So, I am dying to know: which of the two is yours?” “I beg your pardon?” “Jez or Ruth? Which one? I need to know so I don’t step on any toes, Creator forbid. Or have you claimed both? God, you’re a lucky man if you did. Isn’t it great being a Reaper? You can always get what you want.”
  141. 141. ”Zane isn’t like that!” Tina indignantly stated as she stepped around the corner. “Oh, Tina,” Ruth whispered. “She’s bloody retarded. I didn’t think it was possible, yet here is the proof,” Jezebel said as she shook her head. Zane said nothing as his hand shakily raised up to his eyes. Thaddeus, for his part, looked pleased as he walked over to Tina.
  142. 142. Putting his arms around her, he inhaled deeply. “A mortal. Oh, Thanatos, you’ve been a very bad boy, haven’t you?” Tina gave a pleading, terrified look to Zane.
  143. 143. -Something inside of him snapped, and he strode over to Thaddeus and knocked him to the ground. “Get off of her! Don’t you ever touch her again! The same goes for Ruth and Jezebel! Do you hear me?” He stood over the Pet Reaper, his clenched fists shaking. Thaddeus gave a feral smile, stood up, and dusted himself off nonchalantly. “You’re going to pay for that someday, Thanatos. Nobody pushes me around and gets away with it. But, you can worry about that later. What you need to do is worry about now.”
  144. 144. The slightest twinge of regret shot through Zane, but he pushed it down while he still stood, glaring at Thaddeus. “What do you mean?” “Well, of course I talking about the entire mortal being here situation. You see, mortals aren’t allowed to be here. And, if I am guessing correctly, this particular mortal is an uncollected soul. Very, very naughty. Not only will you be punished, but Ruth and Jezebel as well. You’ll be sent to the Punished Realm, where I doubt you’ll last a day. Ruthie and Jez, on the other hand, will be terminated. Destroyed. Poof. Gone. Bye- bye.” A look of horror crossed Zane’s face. Apparently, he never thought about his actions getting his friends into trouble. He looked over at the sisters. “I am so sorry! I did not know!” The girls shrugged. “We did. Don’t worry about it. He’s exaggerating,” Jezebel said confidently. “No I’m not, and you know it.” “Shut up, Thad!”
  145. 145. Thaddeus crossed his arms and looked at Zane. “Of course, I won’t tattle on you. As long as you give me what I want, of course.” Defeated, Zane asked, “And what would that be?” Thaddeus smiled. “Well,” he began, “I’ve always preferred this house over my own. I’ll tell you what. You trade houses with me, and I won’t tell about the pretty little blonde you’ve been boning. No pun intended, of course.” Zane blushed at the comment and looked at Thaddeus warily. “That’s it? That’s all I have to do?” “Yep.” “You promise?” Thaddeus smirked. “Cross my heart and hope to die.” “Don’t do it Zane. He’s a liar,” Ruth pleaded.
  146. 146. ”There is nothing I can do, Ruth. I do not want to get you guys in trouble.” Zane stuck out his hand and shook Thaddeus’. “It is a deal, Mr. Wilcox.” “Please, Thanatos. Call me Thad. It’s been great doing business with you.” *** And that's where I'll leave you. I hope you enjoyed this installment and as always, thanks for your awesome comments! Hopefully I'll have the next chapter out on or around the one year anniversary of this legacy. One year! Until next time, Happy Simming everyone!

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