A Piratical Legacy Chapter 31 - Can You Feel The Love?

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A Piratical Legacy Chapter 31 - Can You Feel The Love?

  1. 1. Chapter 31 – Can you feel the love?A Piratical LegacyChapter 31: Can You Feel The Love?
  2. 2. "Guess what, Mom!" Borusa Buccaneer crowed gleefully, dancing really cool. I bet were gonna be Bestest Friends Ever!"around the living room with excitement. "Shes pretty," Borusa added dreamily. "I got to sit beside her during"No, guess my news!" Spandrell interrupted his twin brother Spelling."excitedly. "Yeah, and I played tag with her at lunchtime!" Spandrell chimed in."Is it the same news?" Grace asked her youngest two children (step- "Her names Tina Traveller, and shes the same age as us!"children, if you want to get technical). "How nice," Grace grinned. "And here I thought your news would beBorusa and Spandrell exchanged a glance. "Well, sorta," they said in about your report cards, which youre waving so carelessly about.unison. Lest you forget, an A-plus is worth big money!""We both met someone new today!" Spandrell burst out. "And shes "Oh yeah," the boys shrugged in unison.
  3. 3. "If I win, I get to kiss her when were bigger and yoouuu cant," Borusa declared as he and Spandrell settled in for a game of Red Hands beforedoing their homework."Okay," Spandrell shrugged, scratching his nose. He liked his nose. He had one and his brother didnt. "And if I win, I get to call Shih n Zing firsttonight. An then I get to call Tina!""No fair calling Tina first," Borusa complained."Boys, boys," Grace said mildly. "No fighting over girls." She paused and added under her breath: "Not yet, anyway."
  4. 4. As the boys settled in to do their homework, Grace and Gertie sat down for another rousing two-player game of Sims 3."I didnt know this kind of game came in multi-player," Gertie mused, toggling the joystick furiously."Rumor has it that it was a cheap ploy to suck in buyers," Grace said. "At least according to some of the forums Ive been surfing lately. Theyretrying to appeal to new audiences.""Well, I dont know if I like it," Gertie said. "Then again... I guess Ill just have to keep playing and wait and see.""Fair enough," Grace nodded.
  5. 5. A short time later there was a knock at the door."Grace Buccaneer?""Yeeees?" Grace said, opening it just a crack."Im from the local Gaming association and I just wanted to say your recent dedication to reviewing and playtesting The Sims 3 has caught ourattention. Wed like to offer you an exclusive membership." Upon saying that, the woman pressed a laminated card into Graces hand and vanishedinto the night."That was... weird," Grace said.
  6. 6. A short while later the boys were safely ensconced in their brand new matching Ikea beds, though for some reason they were sleeping in the wrongones. Here you can clearly see Spandrell sleeping next to Borusas cuddly heart pillow.
  7. 7. As for Borusa, his dreams were being watched over by Spandrells Happy Cheese Friend.Okay, it was actually Gerties Happy Cheese Friend, but ever since becoming Perma-Plat, Gertie had attained true internal peace and happiness, aswell acceptance about her place in the family, and had started pulling back from the Cheesy path. She no longer needed it as much, and so shebegan passing off her cheesy accoutrements to any who would accept them. Spandrell just looked at it as a chance to become BFFs with her andaccepted every gift she offered.
  8. 8. Before long, the weather began to turn and Grace decided to try a new money-making venture: homegrown fruit and vegetables. She didnt somuch want to sell the fruit as save money on groceries: with a Bigfoot in the house, it was expensive keeping the family fed. Homegrown producewas definitely cheaper than store-bought, and healthier as well.
  9. 9. As for Andrew Bigfoot, he was finding new serenity in learning to play the violin. Hed long since mastered the basics of musicality, but hediscovered that he really enjoyed composing and performing in front of people. It wasnt just a skill he could pick up--it was an obsession.As for the family, they were always begging Andrew to play his music for them, but he preferred to practice in his room until he felt his latest workwas perfect. Then he would proudly share it with all of them.
  10. 10. "Daddy, do you think if I get really good at Science I can get to meet my other parent?" Borusa demanded as he danced on Lees toes to themelodious strains offered up by Andrews violin. "The alien one, I mean.""Its certainly possible," Lee nodded. "Do you want to?""Im just curious," Borusa said. "Aliens are awfully intresting. An other planets!""My, you do have your head up in the clouds," Lee chuckled. "Are you sure you arent a budding knowledge sim?""I can like planets and space and science and stuff without wanting to get better at cleaning," Borusa said disgustedly. "Im multi-dimensional," headded, carefully sounding out the long word. "Means I have layers!""Indeed you do, my boy," Lee said proudly.
  11. 11. That night when he tucked the boys in, Lee noticed that they were still sleeping in the wrong beds. He shrugged--if that was what they preferred,they were certainly old enough to decide it!Lee stared at both boys wistfully. They were growing so fast! A few more years and theyd be teenagers... thankfully, Ching Shih would be backfrom university by then, and could help with keeping them under control.
  12. 12. "Everyones asleep but us," Grace whispered late that night."Hmm... fancy that," Lee said, a wicked note in his voice. "What do you say, my dear? Shall we go and calculate our net retirement savings fundagain?""I thought youd never ask," Grace purred. "Ive got some promising new oil futures Ive been dying to show you.""And Ive got a new calculator," Lee winked. "With twenty-seven extra functions!""Ooh!" Grace squealed. "Last one to the bedroom has to pay Shihs next long distance bill!""Yikes!"
  13. 13. "No noms for Steven less I fills da fud boll," Rakshasi complained to herself as she went through her morning routine. "Mom n dad too busykissin. Romance--Do Not Want!"She muttered to herself as she carefully measured out a scoop of kitty kibble. Shifty-eyed, she made sure nobody was watching before sneaking ahandful of catfood for herself. "Om nom nom!" she said happily as she scampered down the hall to get changed for school.
  14. 14. When she got home, she was largely on her own again. With a resigned sigh, Rakshasi browsed the fridge to see what leftovers were available."Bunneh fud," she complained. "They maked me a cookie, but they eated it, and so Is stuck with BUNNEH FUD."
  15. 15. Its not that Moll and Rajah were neglectful parents; far from it, in fact. The fridge was always filled with food (of a sort, anyway), cat food wasalways in the closet, and they were happy to help Rakshasi with her homework if needed. Its just that they were often so wrapped up with eachother that they forgot to make dinner.
  16. 16. Which is what you get when you have a scatter-brained Romance sim for a father, and a ditzy Pleasure sim for a mother.But even though they might suddenly realize they ought to cook dinner at midnight, Moll and Rajah showered plenty of affection on Rakshasi.Still, she missed her brother. Shere Khan always made a point of cooking dinner if his parents were off Dream Dating.
  17. 17. Anyway, Rakshasi had to admit, her parents were certainly better than the nanny. Karen Gast was only good for laughing at as she inevitablyburned the cookies or peed on the floor.And thats that for the Tiger household!
  18. 18. Just down the street, Rajahs older sister Rani and her husband Pierce dismissing the formality with a wave of her hand. "Just call me Rani,Buccaneer were just settling in to their new house, which happened and my husband is Pierce. After all--youre family now! Well,to be the house Pierce had grown up in. Their first guests in their new almost."home were their daughter Angora and her fiancé Ian Legacina. "You sound kind of like my mom," Ian said, quirking a smile."Not that you and Angora are really guests, dear," Rani saidwelcomingly. "Angora said you want to move back home after you "Really?" Rani smiled approvingly. "Do you think shell be able tograduate, so you just start making yourselves at home now, okay?" make it to the wedding?""Ill try, Mrs. Buccaneer," Ian said hesitantly. Ian blinked. "Err... maybe," he said. "But its kinda ... complicated.""Oh, none of that Mrs. Buccaneer rubbish," Rani said immediately, "I wont pry then. Why dont you come inside?"
  19. 19. As Angora settled onto the couch to catch up with her dad, Ian found himself trailing Rani, who bustled around happily. "So tell me, Ian, what areyou planning to do with yourself after school?" Rani asked conversationally."Im planning a culinary career," Ian said."How nice," Rani smiled. "Angora doesnt have much career ambition, which is fine as long as she finds a job she likes. But its nice to see thatyoure passionate about your future job!""Cooking good food and getting paid for it sounds all right to me," Ian smiled slowly. He found himself liking Rani, who was obviously trying tomake him feel welcome."So," Rani said once that line of conversation had died out. "What first attracted you to my baby girl?"
  20. 20. "The fantastic woohoo," Ian blurted out without thinking. Then he Aunt Morgan and Aunt Kelly told you that Toshiko has a job linedrealized what hed said. He blushed furiously. "Err..." up for after graduation?""Oh, its fine," Rani said, completely unperturbed. "I remember what "Really?" Rani blinked, changing tracks entirely. "What sort of job?"college was like myself. Pierce and I were quite adventurous!" Were not exactly sure," Ian said in a relieved voice. "Shes working"Mom!" Angora yelped in a scandalized voice from the couch. for someone called Jack Thayer. I think its got something to do with intelligence.""You forget, your father and I were young once," Rani continued. "Well, how terrific for her!" Rani said enthusiastically."Change of subject!" Angora announced from the couch. "So, have
  21. 21. Relieved that the conversation had gone in a safer direction, Angora "But I think hell fit in fine with our family," Pierce smiled. "That is,turned to her father. if your mother doesnt scare him off. For a Knowledge sim shes awfully mothering!""So dad, what do you think of Ian?" "That just makes her a good mom," Angora said fondly. "Im glad"Whats more important, Angie, is how you feel about him," Pierce you like him, dad. Just think... only one year of college left and thenreplied with a gentle smile. were back for good!""Dad!" "Im counting the days!"
  22. 22. Next door, another sim parent was fondly awaiting the day shed see her children again. Hugo had been gone for three long years, and Liv had justmoved to Paris to get settled in, even though the semester wasnt due to start for several months.To Orikes, the house was now an extremely quiet one, and she found herself often absorbed in caring for Livs fish. Like the rest of the family, shewas almost as fond of their silvery and rainbowy beauty as her daughter was, though she only talked to them every other visit to the bathroom.
  23. 23. And Orikes maintained her connection to her son Hugo by taking very good care of his dog, Lila.Unlike some dogs, I actually like baths! Lila said to herself as her mistress lathered her up. But hey, extra treats for behaving in the tub are alwayswelcome!
  24. 24. When she wasnt spending time with her husband Will, tending to the family pets, or emailing her kids, Orikes tended to hula. Most of Pirate Islandpreferred the slap dance, but she was always one to dance to her own beat.On this particular morning, though, she didnt hula for very long. It was party time at the Pseudo household, and that meant that both Hugo and Livwere coming home for a visit!
  25. 25. Orikes was especially glad to see her daughter for the first time since Liv had attained young adult-hood. Liv had rounded out a little bit just beforeheading to Paris, but the look was attractive and suited her bohemian style.
  26. 26. "This is a great party, mom!" Liv said eagerly during a break in the incessant slapdancing. "Its so cool seeing everyone again!""You havent been gone that long," Orikes pointed out teasingly. "Its not like anyones grown an extra head since you last saw them!""Yeah, but its the first time that Ive seen some of them as an adult," Liv said approvingly, eyeing several individuals in the same room. Her eyessettled on the blue-skinned man standing in front of the fireplace. "Like that guy over there. Hes hot!""Hes also married, and his wife is not only a simself but THE simself," Orikes pointed out. "I suspect any attempt to hit on him would result inelectric pain.""Hrm... good point," Liv agreed. She glanced around again. "What about that chick dancing behind me?""I... dont think that would be a good idea," Orikes said, blinking as her eyes settled on Zoey Legacina.
  27. 27. "Meh, whatever," Liv grinned. "Theres plenty of cute guys and gals at school, too.""Just make sure to stay away from my daughters fi..." I started to chime in. Then I thought about my darling Athenas record in the fidelitydepartment. "Never mind. Shes probably got it coming."Liv glanced in my direction with a startled expression on her face. "You heard that?""My dear... I hear everything," I pointed out gently. "Comes with being a deity and all. By the way... nice hair.""Thanks," Liv grinned. "But its a pain to keep like this.""I hear ya, sistah."
  28. 28. Lainey had also made the trip to Pirate Island for the party, but when that Ive got this bruise on my ribs," she said quickly--she hopedOrikes tried to hug her future daughter-in-law the black-haired girl quickly enough to be believable. "I fell getting off of the plane."pulled back. "Ooh," Orikes winced in sympathy. She settled for patting Laineys"Sorry," Orikes said awkwardly, but there was hurt evident in her hand instead, and Lainey made sure to grip it warmly in return. "Dovoice. "I guess maybe Im pushing a bit too hard." you need to get checked out?""No, its not that," Liv said, backpedaling quickly as she realized "No, itll be okay," Lainey said. "Its just a bit tender."shed just started her relationship with her mother-in-law oncompletely the wrong foot. Truthfully, the reason shed evaded the "Well, if youd like the bed to yourself tonight I still have Hugoshug was out of instinctual guilt, but she couldnt say that. "Its just tent!" Orikes grinned, and Liv giggled.
  29. 29. All too soon, the last day of the kids visit dawned. Liv looked around the neighborhood sadly as she returned from walking Lila."At least a year til I come back," she said with a sigh. "And then Ill probably stay with Uncle Nick and Uncle Green. Well, I guess thats whathappens... time to say goodbye to this part of my life and hellooooooo to the next!"She grinned as she opened the gate and walked into the yard, unclipping Lilas leash once the gate was secured behind her."Aww, who am I kidding with all this nostalgic crap," she giggled. "College is gonna be so much fun!"
  30. 30. Inside, Orikes had just baked some fresh cookies and invited Lainey to join her. For some reason, Kaylynn the maid also thought she was invited tothe party, and both Orikes and Lainey were too nice to tell her to go away.While they were sitting companionably, Lainey was suddenly struck by the need to come clean about her white lie during the party."Oh?" Orikes blinked, but nodded acceptingly."I just did not want to admit that I was feeling guilty," Lainey said, hanging her head. "I do not think Hugo ever told you about the problems wehad when we first started at university.""No, he didnt mention anything," Orikes said. "Though he did seem out of sorts for a while there. What happened?""It was all my fault," Lainey said simply. "I was not faithful to the trust he had in me. He did not catch me--the guilt... I told him myself."
  31. 31. "Thats actually quite admirable," Orikes said after a moment. She while after that we got engaged."turned to Kaylynn. "Dont you think so?" "Well then," Orikes said with a smile. "Im glad you trusted me"Um, I guess?" Kaylynn looked surprised to be included. "Honesty is enough to tell me, Lainey. I think were going to get along just fine.better than lying, anyway." But if you ever cheat on my son again..." and her voice took on a menacing edge. "Im calling in my right to use my simself powers"And youve earned his trust again since then?" Orikes asked and you will be sorry."pointedly. "Do not worry," Lainey said hastily. "I will not do anything to hurt"Oh, yes," Lainey said emphatically. "I have not even looked at Hugo ever again!"another man since confessing to Hugo two years ago. We werebroken up for a time, but eventually he took me back, and a little "Good." And Orikes was sunshine and roses once again.
  32. 32. "Are you sure you dont want to take more of your things from your couldnt see. "Ive been thinking about turning your room into aroom?" Orikes asked Liv later that afternoon. "You know Im just sewing room."aching to turn it into a sewing room." "My room!" Hugo protested."No youre not," Hugo snorted. "I heard you talking to dad last night.You were talking about hauling out my old crib and setting it up!" "Its closer to my bedroom, and Livs room is closer to the one you and Lainey will share," Orikes said with a solemn expression. "Or"And?" Orikes grinned. "Grandbabies!" maybe your father and I should just knock out the wall and expand our room...""Eventually!" Hugo said. "Not right now! Go ahead and make yoursewing machine, mom. Itll be a few years before we need to kick "But... but my room!"you out anyway." Orikes couldnt take it any longer. She locked eyes with Liv and they"Actually," Orikes said consideringly, winking at Liv where her son dissolved in giggles. "Gotcha!"
  33. 33. As the taxi carrying Lainey and Hugo pulled away towards the town, we can see the local sights and be tourists right here in town!"airport, and as Liv got ready to head over to spend some time withNick and Green, Orikes made coffee and served both Will and "Ooh, that sounds fun!" Orikes said enthusiastically.herself. "Geez, you guys," Liv complained, poking her head through the"Well, weve got the house to ourselves," she said. "For another year, doorway. "Way to make a girl feel unwelcome! Im not even gone yetat least. What do you think we ought to do with ourselves, Will?" and youre planning your childless years!"Will took a sip of his coffee and considered for several moments "Childless year, dear," Will corrected her. "And Id say weve earnedbefore responding: "What I think is that we both ought to retire and it!"maybe go on a vacation or two," he grinned. "Maybe we canconvince Nick and Green to go with us! And even if we dont leave "Too right!"
  34. 34. Liv was still chuckling happily at her parents exuberance when she got to Nick and Greens small chateau about thirty minutes later. Shed chosento walk, despite the late spring snowfall, and had enjoyed it immensely. There was something extremely satisfying about drinking in all the oldsights of home just before she left it."Liv!" Green said happily, rushing outside to embrace his neice. "And here I thought you were going to neglect your uncle and I this entire visit.""Aw, Uncle Green," Liv blushed in embarrasment. "Ive been meaning to come earlier."Green laughed. "Its okay, Liv. Its not like Nick and I havent stopped by nearly every night this week. But I am glad youve stopped by here. Nickand I have a few different plans for the house expansion, and wed like to run them by you. Why dont you come inside for some breakfast and Illshow them to you!"
  35. 35. "Mmm... Ive missed your pancakes," Liv said, taking and savoring a bite of the syrup-glazed confection. "Mom and dad and even Hugo dontmake them as good as you do.""Youve always been a flatterer," Green chuckled. "But thank you. Its an old family recipe--one Ill gladly entrust to you once youve moved herefor good.""Ooh, nifty!" Liv said happily. "Thatd rock, Uncle Green!""Well, it goes with the heirship," Green said. "And speaking of that..." he pulled a roll of paper onto the table and spread it out, being careful toavoid Livs breakfast.
  36. 36. "Wow... you guys have been really busy," Liv blinked as she took in the details of the plans. "Which floorplan are you thinking of?""We wanted to leave that partly up to you," Green nodded. "Since youll be living here long after us."Liv considered for a moment. "I like this one best," she said at last. "Two double bedrooms, and theres room for my aquarium in the hall, andplenty of room for a dog bed or two here," she pointed, "and here. Plus it doesnt change the houses footprint at all, which I think is important."
  37. 37. "Thats the one weve been favoring as well," Green said happily. Hestood up and rerolled the papers carefully. Liv followed him as he "Aww, dont talk like that," Liv pouted. "Anyway, I dont know if Istowed them on top of the fridge. "Well get started right away, and wanna have kids or not. I think being an aunt will be pretty cool, andby the time you visit next itll all be finished." you know that Hugo and Lainey are going to have a ton of kids. Probably. I can always adopt a niece or nephew!""Sweet!" Liv grinned. "As long as the house stays in the family," Green said serenely. "I"There is one thing, though," Green said hesitantly. "There isnt think we all owe that to Marie."really room for a nursery or anything... so if you have kids, theyllhave to share a room with you--at least until... well... until theres an "Me too."extra room in the house."
  38. 38. Nick returned home from work a short while later. "Well, youve got me there," Nick admitted. "I suppose Im hardier than I look!""Hey Uncle Nick!" Liv squealed, tackling her fathers elderly twin. "You dont look old at all!" Liv said loyally. "Well, except for the"Whoa!" Nick grinned. "Old bones cant take as much of a pounding hair. But thats only natural. I guess you could dye it if you wanted,as they used to, Liv my dear!" but that wouldnt be natural. Itd be cool, though! Especially if you dyed it pink. Thats it... when I move back, were having a hair night.""Aww, dont pull that ancient crap with me," Liv said with a sly grin."Dont I know that youre still working out for two hours a day and "Its definitely going to be a change, having such youthfulstill keeping up with all those young athletes you coach!" exuberance in the house!" Nick said, but his voice held a fond note. "Youll have to give us two old codgers a chance to adjust, first!"
  39. 39. "Thats three old codgers, mate!" a small voice called from the floor. "Well, its gone, savvy?"Liv turned around and scooped up the Commodore Bear. "Oh, youre talkingagain!" she said happily. "But whys the rum gone?" Liv asked quizzically."Aye, it does seem so, doesnt it lass," the bear said agreeably. "And such "Because I hid me rum in th couch and then jumped on it," the bear saidsights Ive seen of late, love! But nary a sign o the Pearl, much to me sadly. "And then me wife died before she could replace it. Ive a quest fordismay." ya, lass--find some rum, aye? And hide a decent share in yer cousins couch, savvy?""The Pearl?" "Shes not a pleasure sim, so itll be safe from getting jumped on," Liv said,"Ask yer cousin, girl-child," the bear chided. "Tis her quest, savvy? But you agreeing. She looked at her watch. "And now--I must get going. Bye, bear.can bring the rum." Bye, Uncles! Ill call soon!""Rum?" Liv looked around in anticipation. "Where?" And with that, she was gone.
  40. 40. A few months later..."Well, thats just about done it," Nick said with satisfaction as he watched the last few fish swim free of the little baggies. "I think the renovationsare finally finished!" With a grin, he made a clamshell of his hands and chased the little fish around the tank for a few minutes. "Just you wait," hepromised the fish. "If you think Im fun to play with, youre going to love it when Liv moves in!"
  41. 41. "Do you think shell like what weve done with the place?" Green asked a few minutes later as Nick joined him in the bedroom."Liv loves everything," Nick said. "The real question is... will mother approve? If she doesnt, Livs tenure here is liable to be an uncomfortableone!"
  42. 42. I think its pretty safe to say that Marie approves, for three reasons. Firstly, because she found the stairs. Secondly, because she found her bed at thetop of the stairs. And thirdly, because with a Pleasure sim in the house, the little cottage will be seeing almost as much woohoo as it did whenMarie lived there!
  43. 43. While winters last snowfall invaded Pirate Islands normally balmy spring(and wreaked havoc with Graces tomatoes), the simselves found themselves "None of this answers where it came from," Aerdrene pointed out.all outside in their winter clothes. "Does it really matter?" Angela asked."Where did it come from?" Ruby asked, touching one shining green bottlereverently. "Marina gave it to me," Renee, who had delivered the twenty bottles of elixir, said when she could get a word in edgewise. "At her crustifying"Do you think it will be enough?" Pen asked doubtfully, scratching her party."head. "Theres still four more generations until the legacy is finished!" "She didnt want it for herself?" Michelle asked."Its enough for me until I can find a cute spare to marry!" Michelle vowed. "No.... she said something about not wanting to watch her children shrivel"The green kind of clashes with my hair," Kiwi said doubtfully. up and die. Well, not in those words, but it meant the same thing."
  44. 44. But just because they had Elixir didnt mean the simselves could stop fulfilling wants and trying to earn aspiration points. None of them wanted torisk drinking the stuff while in the green, and none of them were good cooks. So they had to skill and work and basically head in the generaldirection of perma-plat to ensure theyd actually be able to make use of their windfall.
  45. 45. Some of them skilled a little too enthusiastically, though. Like Jenn, who couldnt actually go and cheer for the elixirs arrival because she waspassed out on the living room carpet.This particular deity blames Jenns simselfs constant obsession with the exercise bike.
  46. 46. Still, life in the household was good, and now that they were set for at least another generation, the simselves were able to relax somewhat and fadequietly out of site... at least until there were some hot spares of an appropriate age!
  47. 47. In the "other" simself house just around the corner, two late arrivals were just settling in. Lauri was making the most of living in a giant, opulentmansion... by splashing in a puddle.
  48. 48. As for talaie, she forsook playing with the pool table or watching TV on the giant screen to try to catch butterflies.Ah, simselves.
  49. 49. In general, this batch was more laid back about their situation than the other household, even though they didnt really have any Elixir of their ownyet."But Im sure we can convince Orikes or the Prof to give us some of theirs," Stacie said optimistically as she ate dinner with Lauri and Gin. "Its notlike they have a use for it these days. Theyre like Marina--they dont like watching their kids die while theyre all still young.""Bit too late for them, anyway," Gin pointed out. "Theyve all gone saggy weeks ago.""Im sure if we just ask them nicely, theyll be more than happy to share," Lauri said.And that was pretty much the extent of the plotting for immortality in that household!
  50. 50. Time passed, as time is wont to do, and students trickled back intocollege towns around the world. Paris was no exception. "What?""Shih!" Zing said happily, rushing out to embrace his sister eagerly. "For laying a hand on my baby sister!" Zing explained."When did you get back? How was your trip? Was it good seeing Jimagain?" "Dont you dare," Shih growled, shaking her finger at him. "Ive already invited Jim to visit at the end of the semester.""Ill say," Shih said, and blushed. "Okay, but I might have to give him at least a bit of a hard time,""Whoa... that good, huh?" Zing crowed. "Woohoo! Go sister! Err... Zing said. "Its a big brother thing."wait a sec. You do realize, of course, that now I have to kill him."
  51. 51. While she counted down the days til Jims arrival and did her homework, Shih also concentrated on working towards her lifetime want to max allskills. If she could accomplish that while in university, it would free up her time after she graduated so that she could concentrate on family... andpossibly look into searching out the familys legendary ship, the Black Pearl.Immediately after returning from Twikkii Island, Shih had combed the campus library for a copy of her many times ancestor Jacks novel. But afterreading it, she found herself more frustrated than before: the book was a highly fictionalized account of Jacks run-ins with ninjas (the naturalenemies of pirates) and contained almost no information about the Pearl, or about who his mate had been, or anything that would be useful to her."I dont see the point in writing ones memoirs if one doesnt provide data that can be useful to future generations," Shih grumbled to herself. "Well,maybe the archives on Pirate Island will have more info."
  52. 52. Shih gave up on researching the Pearls fate for the time being. That project truly would have to wait until after graduation, as shed toldCommodore Bear... and she still had the better part of three years of study left."Up for a game of darts?" Toby asked one quiet evening when nobody really felt like skilling."Sure," Shih shrugged."Ill go first," Toby said, stepping back to the line. He took aim and tossed the first dart at the board.Thunk!"Youre going to have to fix that before you graduate," Shih said in a calm voice, gesturing to where the dart stuck out of the plaster."
  53. 53. "Well, I kind of suck at this game," Toby shrugged. "But Id like to see you do better!"Shih grinned and retrieved the darts, then stepped back from the board. With a wicked grin, she flung them at the dartboard in rapid succession."Okay, you cheated," Toby declared when he saw all three of them sticking up from the bullseye. "I dont know how, but you cheated."
  54. 54. "Nope," Shih grinned. "Im just naturally good."
  55. 55. As the boys found out, Shih was naturally good at a lot of things, which made having her there handy in and of itself. For one thing, she was theresident computer expert, so when Toby broke it by accidentally installing malware along with his legally purchased software, she was able to fixit.
  56. 56. Before long, it was time to continue a longstanding tradition at the Greek house: PARTY! And everyone was invited.
  57. 57. Liv wasted no time getting acquainted with her fellow college students, thats certain.
  58. 58. As for Ching Shih, she enjoyed the chance to rekindle old friendships. Crassus Toyonaga was Livs age, so only a year or so younger than her, andtheyd always been good friends despite his older brothers missteps."Its so good to see you again!" Shih grinned when she finally let Crassus escape from her Friendly Hug."Its great seeing you, too," Crassus said fervently. "Ive got this research Im working on and I think youre probably better at that sort of thing thanI am.""If its research you want, you should talk to Shere Khan," Shih laughed. "My presumed future brother-in-law is quite obviously Pirate Islands nextMad Scientist."
  59. 59. "Darn, and here I was hoping that title would go to me," Crassus said, a smile flitting across his handsome face."Mebbe you can has caek," Shere Khan said, coming up behind him. "What cookies you made?""Cures for zombieism," Crassus said enthusiastically. "Ever since my dad got turned into one, Ive made it my lifes work.""Oooh!" Shere Khan practically purred with excitement. "Tell!""I think Ill leave you two alone," Shih grinned, and moved off to mingle with the other guests. She knew from experience that once Shere Khangot going, he was like an unstoppable force of nature... and the more scientific he got, the harder he was to understand. His take on scientific lingowas ... interesting.
  60. 60. Ching Shih felt a lot of affection towards her brothers partner, though. She could see how happy he made Zing, and that was good enough for her.Plus, between him and Zing, Hugo and Lainey, and either Toby or Liv and someone, any parties she threw were guaranteed Roof Raisers.
  61. 61. Probably Ching Shihs favorite skill to work on was Body, and that was mostly because it got her out of the house and onto the basketball court.Shed had a love of the game since she was a teenager, and now she found herself spending hours playing every day."Shih! Phones for you!" came a call from the kitchen one sunny afternoon."Be right there!"
  62. 62. Putting the ball down, Shih sprinted into the house. She knew who just working out, but Im good. Have you figured out your travelwould be on the line. plans yet?""Jim!" she panted, tryinig to catch her breath. "Ah, you could say that," Jim said in a voice that sounded slightly uncertain."Who else, my darling?" came the melodious voice at the other endof the line. "But you sound like you have been running a marathon. Is "Oh? Whats up?"this a bad time to call?" "Well, I am at the airport and I am not sure how to get to your"Its never a bad time for you to call," Shih said, and blushed. "I was house."
  63. 63. Twenty minutes later, Shih pelted down the front steps and flew into her lovers arms before the taxi even had time to drive away."You. Me. Hottub. Now."
  64. 64. And twenty minutes after that, Jim finally saw the inside of Arravast house."Just help yourself to anything in the fridge," Shih said as she quickly threw on clothes over her bathing suit. "Ive gotta run--final exam! But Ill beback in a couple of hours and then we can spend some time getting reacquainted.""I will still be here," Jim chuckled, stroking Shihs cheek lovingly. As she sprinted out the front door in the direction of the academic buildings, Jimhesitantly rummaged through the refrigerator. However, after the first bite of the pancakes he found there, he decided to wait until after Shih gotback before eating. Presumably she would know what was safe and what was an evolving life form.
  65. 65. Instead, he and his scary pompadour headed downstairs to take advantage of the Greek houses fully stocked rec room.
  66. 66. "This game is intriguing," he muttered to himself. "But not as intriguing as my lovely Ching Shih. I do hope she returns from her exam soon..."
  67. 67. "How are you finding university so far?" Lucretia Marius asked Liv as they ate breakfast in the dorm cafeteria one morning. "Youve been here afew weeks... youve had a chance to settle in...""Oh, its great," Liv said enthusiastically. "I mean, yeah, class sucks and all, but the people are fun. Foods gross, but thats to be expected."
  68. 68. "Anybody special catch your eye yet?""Who, me?" Liv grinned. "Stop fishing, Lu. I know all about your engagement to Robin, and shell probably hurt me if I go for you. I like to avoidcomplication.""Hrm, I dont blame you," Lucretia said after a moments consideration. "Id stay away from me too, if I knew better."
  69. 69. Besides, Liv had others on her mind. Now that she was in university, shed pretty much settled on preferring men to women, though she wasalways willing to experiment if she thought she could have some fun. Her preferred partner of the moment, though, was college senior AmarRamaswami. Yes, hes engaged. But he and his fiancée have something of an open relationship, and its doubtful shed mind even if she caughtthem in the act.
  70. 70. "So, whaddya say, Amar?" Liv grinned. "You, me, hottub? And then we can look at my fish tank for a while! And even jump on a couch, and playvideo games!""Whoa," Amar said. "Im game for the couch-jumping and the hottub. But the rest is too much like a date, and that says commitment, and Imalready engaged."
  71. 71. "Hot tub it is, then," Liv said brightly.
  72. 72. "Hey, hows Toshiko doing?" Ian asked Angora over dinner one evening. Awkward moments aside, the visit to Pirate Island had gone well andthey were now back in dorm and nearly through their semester. "I havent really seen much of her since we got back.""Oh, shes fine," Angora said. "Busy concentrating on her studies, now that she has that job to look forward to. She spends most of her time in herroom.""Doing what?"
  73. 73. "Practicing, she says," Angora shrugged. "But... you know Toshiko.It could mean something utterly harmless, or it could mean the dorm "Youve never heard of Jack Thayer?"is in imminent danger of explosion. Im not sure what kind ofpractice shes doing, but I think... hope... that if it were really bad "Should I have?"shed at least do it outside." "Hes only the most notorious criminal mastermind on the face of the"Considering what her hobbies are, I really have to wonder what kind planet," Angora grinned. "And hes one of the good guys."of job it is shes got lined up." "Im starting to think that Pirate Island is a very, very strange place,""Well, its with Jack Thayers Syndicate," Angora shrugged, as if that Ian muttered, shaking his head.explained everything. "You dont know the half of it!""Who?"
  74. 74. In her room, Toshiko just closed her eyes... and soaked up the melodies.She actually wasnt practicing anything inherently dangerous--shed left most of her explosives in a cache on the outskirts of the city before theterm started--but it was related to her work... and she was enjoying it.She smiled, envisioning her upcoming graduation."Soon."
  75. 75. "Liv Pseudo! I am so glad you had time to stop by!" Lainey said, ahuge smile on her face. She embraced her future sister-in-law "Well, yeah," Liv said. "I have time between classes and I keep up onwarmly. "I have not seen you for weeks!" my work... or I sweet-talk someone else into doing it for me.""Yeah, Ive been keeping busy," Liv said with a wide grin. "Geez, "How can you learn this way?"first year universitys way harder than I was expecting it to be. Imnot so sure I like that part of getting a higher education. But the "I already know the stuff," Liv said dramatically. "I just dont haveparties are wicked fun, and Ive been to one pretty much every night time to write it all down! So someone else does that for me. Then Ifor the past week!" can go to the next Toga party, or play video games all night!""Do you not spend time on your studies?" Lainey asked, some "I love you as a sister, Liv Pseudo, but you are very strange at times."concern in her voice.
  76. 76. "Right back at ya, sis," Liv grinned as they walked into the dorm. you prefer?""For one thing, I dont know why youre in love with my dorkybrother, but Im glad you are cause I couldnt ask for a better sister." "Oh, geez... Im easy as long as there isnt a butt bow," Liv said. "Check with Shih--shes the one with hair that clashes with"Nor I," Lainey grinned. "But enough of this mushy bonding; I have everything."something more serious I must discuss with you." "Yes, but you are the maid of honor and she is not.""Oh?" Liv asked, in a voice that left no doubt she would raise heck ifa lecture was forthcoming. "And Im also the most easygoing person on campus," Liv chuckled. "Honestly, Lainey--Im cool with anything. Except butt bows. I live"It is about your bridesmaid dress," Lainey replied. "Which colour do in horror of a dress with butt bows."
  77. 77. Now that Hugo and Laineys wedding was a scant six months away, they really did speak of nothing else. Both of them enjoyed wedding planningimmensely, they were finding, and they were sparing no expense. It was going to be the event of the summer, that was certain!"Ugh, could you two please stop canoodling in the cafeteria?" a Stinky Dormie named Toby Ying complained."At least we know how to bathe," Hugo said, wrinkling his nose. "Geez, Toby... passed out in your own pee puddle again?""Its a serious problem," Toby sniffed. "The college is taking the condition very seriously! Sparing no expense to try to cure it! Its not funny!""Ill say," Hugo grumbled, plugging his nose.
  78. 78. Liv was a bit more kindhearted than her brother, though, and spent many a long hour worrying about the sorry state of the dormies on campus.
  79. 79. Speaking of sims named Toby...Toby Biggs was finally learning that yes, some women do find him less than appealing--at times, at least.
  80. 80. For once, my dear darling daughter Athena had apparently had enough. She pulled Toby into the photo booth with her, but apparently reconsideredonce they were already inside and booted him out on his rear.
  81. 81. "Ill never forget this," Toby grumbled as he stomped out of the dorm. "And see if I ever invite you over for another toga party!""Well, I dont want to go anyway!" Athena yelled back at him.I crossed my fingers. Maybe, just maybe, Athena was finally slowing down with her bed-hopping? Her fiancé Mitch had to be relieved at the fact,though he wasnt much better.In any case, its true: Toby will not forget being rejected by Athena, and it serves him right.
  82. 82. Speaking of our boys, lets see how theyre doing at the Greek House.Exams were over, and Jim was still visiting. Or visiting again. Something like that, certainly. The only thing the guys really knew for sure was thatthey could count on Jim being around at least five or six days a month, and Shih was always really glad to see him. Sometimes her slightly oldermale relatives teased her, and sometimes they made gagging noises, but today Zing had something else on his mind."...six oclock is perfect. Thank you!"
  83. 83. "Well, Shere Khan... today is our six-year anniversary," Zing said happily as he looked around their little table at Londoste. "Its hard to believeweve been together so long. Since we were kids! You know me--normally I wouldnt spring for something this expensive, but for our anniversary Ijust had to splurge."
  84. 84. "I wubs u," Shere Khan grinned, taking Zings hand. "And the cake is not a lie," he added, pausing to shovel another forkful of salmon into hismouth."I love you too," Zing replied in a heartfelt voice.
  85. 85. "In fact," Zing added, signalling the waitor. "Id like to propose a toast!" He paused as the attentive server filled both of their glasses with anextremely expensive champagne. "To us!""Visible romance!" Shere Khan agreed, and clinked glasses with his beloved. He sipped the sparkling wine carefully. "Win!"Zing didnt bother to sip his--he drained the entire glass in one shot and swallowed nervously.
  86. 86. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, black, velvet-covered box."I was going to write out this big long speech ... all that stuff you see on movies," Zing continued in a quick voice, petting the box absently. "ButIm not that kinda person. So, um... Shere Khan? Is it can be weddingz tiem nao plz?"
  87. 87. Shere Khans eyes widened and, at Zings prompting, he opened the box. His eyes opened even wider as he saw the size of the diamond. It had tohave cost Zing... the perpetual miser... a small fortune. "For. The. Win," he said with a happy smile.
  88. 88. "Woo hoo!" Zing whooped, all of the tension and stress hed been feeling all night evaporating. It wasnt that hed doubted Shere Khans reaction atall... but theres a special kind of stress that goes with asking someone to marry you, and hed had it with extra to spare. Of course, now he hadsomething new to worry about... weddings were expensive.
  89. 89. "U taked ur tiem," Shere Khan grinned. "We beenz here two years nao.""Hey, you could have asked," Zing chuckled. He knew his fiancé was just teasing him.
  90. 90. "This ring is srs bizness," Shere Khan said, holding it up to the light."So are weddings," Zing said. "Speaking of which, weddings are expensive.""The cake is not a lie," Shere Khan concurred, still gazing at the sparkling rock on his hand."I was kind of hoping we could have a ... small ... one?"
  91. 91. Shere Khan took his and and smiled, laughing fondly. "Irreplaceable Zing is irreplaceable. We can has invisible guests."That was good enough for Zing."But not invisible cake."
  92. 92. Both Shere Khan and Coxinga were in buoyant moods for weeks afterwards, and not even Ching Shihs experiments with her Mr. Mickles dollcould dampen their enthusiasm.
  93. 93. Thats not to say, however, that they didnt come close."Geez, Shih, could you just put that thing away already?" Zing pleaded as he did the pee dance. "Frammit! Now I really gotta go! And I haveclass!""It must not be working properly," Shih grumbled, turning the doll over and examining it. She completely tuned out her brothers complaints. "Byrights, you should have peed your pants.""Well, Im glad I didnt," Zing grumped. "Now, if youll excuse me, Ill just use the washroom and get out of here before you decide to do any moretests on me. Sheesh!"
  94. 94. Shortly after their engagement, Shere Khan proved himself worthy of the title of Best Boyfriend Ever when he snuck onto the property late onenight and dropped off an engagement gift for Zing.
  95. 95. Yes. He brought a hot tub.Zing thanked him profusely when he saw it the next morning and stuffed it in his inventory so Shih and Jim couldnt use it before he and ShereKhan had a chance.
  96. 96. We havent seen much of Toby and Ophelia this chapter, but that doesnt mean she didnt come around. She and Toby dated each otheroccasionally, now that she was at least partly over her hangup with his supernatural ancestry, but they also saw other people quite often and therewasnt really any jealousy involved. Both of them were mostly concerned with a) having fun, b) passing their classes, and c) getting laid, notnecessarily in that order. Exclusivity just wasnt a part of their lexicon. They did tend to see each other more than they saw other people, though.
  97. 97. One lovely weekend just a couple days before the end of the semester, Jim stopped in for another of his frequent visits. After their almostobligatory dip in the hot tub, he and Shih headed back into the house, but rather than socializing like they normally did, they were just as full ofhormones as theyd been before the hot tub.
  98. 98. Suddenly, Shihs stomach gave an audible growl. "Only if you consider the morning after our first date to be before we got involved," Shih chuckled."Hungry?" Jim asked, his eyes twinkling. "Ah, well... it was before the commitment talk," Jim said. "I did not think I"Maybe just a little," Shih admitted. would ever have one of those, and yet here I am now. And I do not regret it one bit.""Me too," Jim purred, pulling her close and kissing her again. "But weshould have some food, also." "Thought not," Shih smirked. "You know, from the way you keep coming back for more.""You and your one-track mind," Ching Shih grinned. She didnt reallyobject. Knowledge sims were interested in acquiring all kinds of "It is not quite an obsession," Jim agreed. Suddenly, his stomach growled.knowledge. He looked down at it. "Traitor.""I warned you before we became involved, did I not?" "Theres gelatin in the fridge," Shih giggled. "Ill grab us some."
  99. 99. The two of them sat down in the dining room and dug in."I do not understand why somebody would think to boil cow bones until they got fast-setting goo, and then add fruit flavoring to it," Jim said as hetook a mouthful, "but I do enjoy a good gelatin occasionally.""Yeah, its okay," Shih said, grimacing. "But I wish you wouldnt tell me the origins while Im eating." She pushed her plate away."Have I spoiled your appetite?" Jim asked, concerned hed teased a bit too much.
  100. 100. "Only in a round-about way," Shih said, a nervous smile on her face. She reached under the table. "I know its a bit soon, Jim... and youre aRomance sim... but I wanted to ask now, so that... well..." The normally eloquent Shih found herself stumbling over her words for probably thefirst time in her life. "Im the legacy heiress, and while I dont strictly need to get married... I want to. To you, specifically."
  101. 101. She handed the box to Jim, who picked it up and opened it. He gasped when he saw the ring."What do you say?" Shih asked, trying to keep her voice light-hearted and failing miserably. "Jim Reeves... will you marry me?"
  102. 102. Jims face broke out into a huge grin."Ching Shih Buccaneer," he said softly. "I thought youd never get around to asking."
  103. 103. "Really? Because I wasnt sure how youd feel about the whole commitment thing," Shih babbled. "I mean, we had that talk a few months ago butthats not exactly the same thing as marriage and youre a Romance sim and I was worried and..."
  104. 104. "Ching Shih Buccaneer," Jim said, taking her hand and squeezing it in his. "I have known I was going to marry you since our first date. It just tookme a little while to come around... the Romance sim thing, you understand."
  105. 105. That night, there were two more deliriously happy people sleeping in the Greek house.
  106. 106. The next morning, a very reluctant Ching Shih and an even more actually here," Shih complained.reluctant Jim pulled themselves out of bed. "Ah, but summer is coming," Jim said with a smile. "And I do not"I wish you didnt have to go," Shih sighed as she walked with Jim to teach in the summer. I will come and spend the whole break withthe front porch. you... your cousin Liv will not be joining you until fall, yes?""We are of one mind in that regard, my beautiful pirate," Jim said, "Yes," Shih found a grin returning to her face. "And the boys allpulling her to him for yet another kiss. "But I must be at work... in leave tonight, after finals."sixteen hours." "I will be here in two.""It just stinks that you spend more time travelling than you do
  107. 107. That night, Hugo, Toby, and Coxinga went in to write their last ever exam at university. As soon as they got home, Hugo made a beeline for thephone.
  108. 108. "Gotta hurry," he explained as he called his taxi. "Lainey and I are flying back to see her relatives for a few weeks before the wedding."In a puff of confetti, he transitioned to adult."Nice purse!" Shih cheered, bursting out laughing when she saw."Aww... man!" Hugo grumbled. "Laineys going to be teasing me for the entire flight! I swear, Shih... you and Liv have been a bad influence onher. And thats my cab." He picked up his suitcase and waved. "See you at the wedding!"
  109. 109. Toby claimed the phone next."You know, I feel as though I ought not to like it, but for some reason I just cant help... I totally rock this outfit!" he exclaimed as he checkedhimself out."Eww..." Shih and Zing wrinkled their noses in unison. "You look like a... er... service provider, if you get my drift," Shih continued.Toby considered this. "Maybe youre right. I should invest in leopard-print, instead.""I only hope hes joking," Zing said in an undertone as Toby picked up his suitcase and strutted out to the waiting cab. They could see him hittingon the taxi driver all the way from the kitchen.
  110. 110. "Well, big bro," Shih said in a falsely cheerful voice. "Looks like patting his shoulder. "Itll fly faster than you know. And youre goodyoure next. Youll have to hurry if you want to make that flight!" with money. I bet you can earn enough to visit Shere Khan as often as Jim visits me!""Yeah," Zing sighed. "I just wish that Shere Khan was flying backwith me now instead of in three weeks. But he has a project to finish "Yeah, but its expensive!"up. It just stinks... cause we only get a few weeks together thissummer and then its a whole extra year until he graduates! And we "Some things are worth paying for. Now, call the taxi."cant get married until then." And with a poof, Coxinga had graduated, too.Shih had never seen her brother so morose. "Aww..." she said,
  111. 111. However, his flight across the Atlantic would have been a lot more stressed and upset had he known what his fiancé was doing just then."Im glad youre still here," Guido said nervously, leaning closer to Shere Khan across the table. "I really need to speak with you.""U needz a cookie?" Shere Khan asked, his tone puzzled."Err... sort of," Guido said. "See, theres this problem Ive got. Kind of with my love life.""O rly?"
  112. 112. "Its about my boyfriend," Guido continued, staring morosely at his cousin."Invisible rel8shunship counslr!" Shere Khan protested, putting up his hands."No, nothing like that," Guido said. "Its just... well... Ive been dating Sawyer West since Freshman year, right?""Bukkit half full," Shere Khan said cautiously. "No is in league with basement cat?"
  113. 113. "Er, were just fine," Guido said. "Weve got this awesome relationship.""So wha wrong wiv caek?""Well... its a long story," Guido said.
  114. 114. "See, Sawyers roommates with a few people, including this guy named Ash Thayer and his boyfriend, Sinjin. Ash is pretty cool. I think you knowhim?""Lab rat," Shere Khan said, thinking back to the previous years experiment. "Myspace pix say he has a bun.""Yeah, and we were both super happy for him," Guido said. "But now..."
  115. 115. "Wha?" Shere Khan demanded, getting tired of his cousin beating around the bush."Its just..." and now Guidos voice took an angry turn. "What did you do, Shere Khan?""Sumtin wrong? Oh noes?""I mean," Guido took a deep breath.
  116. 116. "Sawyers pregnant too!"To be continued...Thanks to all the simselves who let me use them and abuse them and even make them old and saggy. To find out more about all the great authorsIve featured, check out www.boolprop.com. Ive also got a link to my livejournal there and occasionally post bonus pics from some of the otherfamilies who dont feature in updates, and outtakes. Check it out!See you next time!

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