Can I Trust You With My Heart? – Part Three
Welcome Back to Familiar Faces Chapter Thirty-Five: Part Three

In this chapter we are following heir Frankie Familiar and...
Some days were better than others. Today had been one of those other days for Emilia Summerdream.
And it wasn't over yet. ...
For the large part Emilia was thoroughly enjoying her time in Takemizu. The work she was doing at the
Institute was fascin...
While there was a bit of friendly competition among them, the lab groups were set so that each member
was a specialist in ...
Truth told Nicholas Barthelet was the reason Emilia had applied for the Institutes program. He was
absolutely brilliant! H...
'Nick the Prick' was most often the appellation given to him by his students.

While his lectures were most often fascinat...
To get away from the stress of her studies Emilia often took lunch at the garden across the street. When
she did so the la...
“Taking a relaxation break is necessary, Ms Summerdream. Indeed I would recommend it to all my
students. I've found that p...
Which was how Emilia had come to take studies from the 'Old Wise Man of Takemizu', in addition to her
already full load at...
She'd also signed up for Tai'Chi lessons at the local spa, and tried to spend time every morning in her
relaxation garden ...
There just weren't enough hours in the day. If she didn't get back to work there would be even less.


~-~-~-~-~-~-~
Euclid took a deep breath and opened the medicine cabinet. All sports have superstitions, all teams have
traditions. It wa...
For years the FSU basketball team had shaved their beards before the final game of the season. It had
begun as a practical...
“Whoa, no beard? Haven't you had that since you were a teen? What's the occasion?”

“Final game of the season. Superstitio...
“Wait, everyone shaves?”

“Well yeah, everyone on the team at least.”

“Even Amin?”

“He better, if we lost and he hadn't ...
“Can you explain the meaning of this ritual to me? I do not understand why bouncing a rubber ball
causes so much excitemen...
In modern times basketball may no longer be a battle to the death. However the competition is still
fierce. The skills dis...
From the first basket, to the last, the players of the game are in a battle just as desperate as a those of
old. No one pl...
However to some the game is more than just a game. Their futures hang in the balance, if they win they
could be in the pro...
And when the battle is completed, and the crowds go home. The winners celebrate.
And the losers commiserate.

“Gah! I can not believe we lost to this podunk school. Why are they even a part of our schedu...
“This was the only thing I had that was mine, and now it's going to be yanked away. No more basketball,
Golf team here I c...
“Annie?”

Annie turned around and took a step towards Frankie, but then caught herself and stepped back.
“Frank”

“Can we ...
“So talk.”

“Who's the guy?” Dang it he wasn't going to ask.

“I thought you wanted to explain, not ask questions.” Annie ...
“It wasn't as if I was trying to keep anything from you. What was I supposed to say? 'Hi, I'm Frankie
Familiar, the legacy...
“When I was a kid other kids expected me to be good at stuff. Not because I was smart or talented, but
because I was heir....
“It wouldn't have made a difference to me. You would have still just been Frankie to me.” Annie said as
she sat down besid...
“I'm sure that there's some good things about being heir. You sound like the poor little rich boy, I have all
this but I w...
“I need to catch my bus,” Annie said as she stood up. “Maybe next time?”

Frankie stood up as well. “Will you unblock my e...
While the true graduation celebration would begin the following day, on Twikki, there needed to be a
party on campus as we...
Fiances that would be left on the mainland needed to be said goodbye to. Neither Encore or Elsie would
be on campus when t...
Egeus and Frances' wedding was fully planned, Elisha had seen to all the details. Frances would be
waiting for Egeus, in t...
“I don't think I should be relying on your family to do things for me. I'll be an adult, I should be able to
handle things...
“I feel like I just cheated on my boyfriend.”

“It'll grow back,” Euclid said for at least the tenth time that evening. “I...
“So are you all packed up and ready to move in with your Aunt and the ladies? We're going to have to do
something special ...
“Of course I want you 'Ras, that was never our problem, wanting each other. We could go upstairs right
now and spend the r...
Ahhh Twikki Island!

Twikki Island, home of sun, sand and surf! Twikki Island, where relaxation abounds. The perfect
locat...
“So have you two found out what's exciting to do here yet? I remember we had a great time here when we
were kids, but I'm ...
Zeke had a point, so it was off to the boardwalk for everyone.

“Can you believe this guy?”

“That doesn't look so hard. I...
“Okay, maybe this isn't as easy as I thought it would be.”

“Once you have begun the lessons there is no refund. You may l...
“I'm going to stay down at this end of the beach for awhile. I don't want to be in range of that staff, in
case Elijah get...
Up on the street side of the boardwalk, a different type of dance instructor was challenging potential
students to learn h...
While he normally wouldn't shy away from a fight, Elijah wasn't quite ready to risk the wrath of a Fire
God. For once prud...
“What do you mean you don't think you'll go to the club?” Erasmus had spent his time at the boardwalk
talking to the local...
“Buying a souvenir for Elsie? That's sweet.”

“Yeah, Elsie really wanted to come with us. I wish I'd stood up to Elijah. I...
“Gah can you believe this?” Erasmus said as he eased onto the sand next to Egeus, “Zeke doesn't want to
go clubbing withou...
“Is that a dig?”

“Does it need to be? You already know what I think about your situation. You just need to figure out tha...
“I used to think Elani and I had a pretty good deal going. It wasn't as if I ever hid that I was sleeping
with other peopl...
“I wasn't stopping her from doing anything she wanted to do. I was offering her a choice.”

“Just keep telling yourself th...
Meanwhile back on Campus a group of young women were preparing to return to Familiarity. Emily
was the only one of the gro...
“She tricked Elijah into letting her go. She told him that since they were all going to the beach, she might
as well go ca...
“I'm proud of you Elsie, you've learned to use the ultimate weapon in a woman's arsenal, sex. We'll make
a romance sim out...
Between Zeke's reluctance and the long day they'd had just getting to Twikki, it was decided best to stay
home their first...
Following the meal everyone congregated in the basement game room. As children the mahjong tables
had enraptured them but,...
A few hours later he was eating his words and considering asking her for a loan in order to keep the game
going.
Frankie hadn't been drawn into the late night poker game, and so he was up earlier than most the next
morning. He took adv...
“Don't be so sure of your charms Frankie. From what I've seen, the subject in question wouldn't be very
susceptible to the...
Go see the guy and get the thing wasn't nearly as cryptic to Frankie as it might have been. He knew
exactly what Emilia wa...
The Guy to see was the Witchdoctor and the thing to get was Mr. Mickles. Emilia thought that Mr.
Mickles might be necessar...
Poker continued to be the primary form of entertainment that evening.

“Anyone heard from the girls? They should be back h...
“I'll call her in the morning, make sure she got home from work okay.”

“Does it bother you that she's out at clubs every ...
“Maybe if you'd asked instead of ordered?” ventured Ezra.

“Wouldn't do any good she likes her job. Loves it in fact.” Eli...
“Ain't that the truth. Elsie asked me to look at a wallpaper book so she could tell her parents what to do
our room in. I ...
“Hey Babe”

“Is this Euclid Goth? You have collect call from Emily Familiar. A booty call. If you would like to accept
ple...
The call disconnected leaving Euclid to stare at his phone and mutter 'what the hell?' He was about to
head back to the po...
“This was supposed to be a guy trip. It was supposed to be a let's have fun and act wild and not care what
the girls think...
“There's kinky stuff going on in this house and I'm not a participant. Something is very very wrong here.
Did we cross int...
“It wasn't all that horrible. Dinner was good.”

“You enjoyed being lectured about free range chicken? Personally I prefer...
“So wait you're eliminating a women based on food preferences? You lived with Grandma, how old were
you before you actuall...
“I could have handled the food thing, at least I would have given it another try maybe. But, really Elijah
that coffee hou...
“In retrospect Frank's right. I could never date a woman that likes Exotica.”

“Exotica?”

“Think Don Ho.”

“Eww, yeah tha...
“Elani's with you? Why'd you bring 'Lani?” Emily had saved that little tidbit of news for after.

“Sun, surf, beaches, for...
On their third day on Twikki, the scheduled called for visiting 'historical sites'. These sites included the
temple ruins ...
Elani had always seen through him. He'd never been able to fool her, about anything. The few times he'd
tried to lie to he...
What should he wish for? He shook his head, he didn't need some ancient island guardian to tell him
what to do. He already...
Erasmus turned around and blinked. No he wasn't seeing double.

“Pardon us for interrupting, if you still have business wi...
“I do believe that the week has finally picked up for us, my friend. Take a look at the beauties that just
invaded our isl...
The girl smiled speculatively. “Dreams he leaves to his handmaidens. A proper handmaiden will do her
duty.”

“So what does...
Ignoring the burst of laughter coming from Erasmus, Elani quickly turned around and reversed her
direction. In doing so sh...
“I'm really glad you decided to surprise us, I would have hated missing out on coming here.”

“I can't believe you were go...
Following their day at the ruins, the two groups of young adults from Familiarity, had migrated to one of
the island's dan...
“I told you to leave it alone Emily. 'Ras hasn't said anything about Elani, I don't think he knows she's on
the island. I ...
Since returning to her hotel that afternoon, Elani Familiar had experienced many different emotions.
She'd had a long cry ...
Elani looked up to see the islander whom she had practically run over that afternoon. Seeing the flower
he held, a mainlan...
“I see, well that's pretty enterprising of both you and they. I'm suppose that I should be flattered, that
you went to all...
“Jim,” Elani nodded, “I'm Elani. I think I might enjoy dancing with you, Jim.”

Pulling her into his arms, Jim smiled. “El...
“It's a picture alright,” replied Elani, somewhat short of breath.

Oh my Elani thought to herself, but was this guy ever ...
“What do you mean Emily? Elani's not even here, how could I have done something to upset her?”

“You mean you really didn'...
“At the ruins today. Euclid told her you were at the shrine, she went to find you and came out crying.”

“Where'd she go? ...
“So she wasn't there, huh?”

“Didn't answer, probably avoiding me. Like she always does when she's upset. She never talks ...
Back on the mainland, life was continuing much as it normally does. While their son was spending his
final day on Twikki, ...
“Where's Ferd? Is he home yet?”

“Yeah, he and Tina are up in his room studying.”
“Please, don't tell me you're really that naive? If dinner is almost ready I'll go detach our son from his
girlfriends fac...
Ferdie could have argued that he was studying diligently. He was currently testing a theory of
probability involving how m...
“Ferdie, stop it!”

“Comeon Tina just let me.”

*Knock* *Knock*

“Ferd, Tina, you've got one minute to arrange yourselves ...
“Dinner's almost ready, is Tina staying?”

Ferdie looked at his girlfriend “Yeah?”

“That's fine, but next time let your f...
Campfires were a Familiar family vacation tradition. It didn't matter if the participants were eight,
eighteen or eighty, ...
“Hey, remember that story Grandpa told us when we were here before?” Ezra asked, “Do you think it's
true.”

“I dug up half...
“Fire's dieing down, the girls will be here soon, and I want a shower.” Euclid said as he got up from the
fire.

“You guys...
“You've been avoiding me.” Erasmus said coming up behind Elani on the patio of her hotel.

Looking up at him she replied, ...
“So you came thousands of miles, to a hotel just down the beach from me, in order to get away from me?”

“No to be with my...
“Enlightening? Emily said they upset you, actually she accused me of more than upsetting you. She
practically jumped down ...
Did she?

“All that stuff you said the other night about wanting a relationship about wanting to try. But you don't
think ...
“Everything on this island is dependent upon tourist dollars. The handmaidens do their part for the local
economy.” Erasmu...
Catching up to her, and grabbing her by the arm, Erasmus turned Elani to look at him. “Don't keep
running away from me 'La...
“Why does it have to end? Why can't we just keep loving each other? You asked me what I wanted, that's
what I want, I want...
“Ouch,” said Erasmus drawing back a little bit. “I guess I didn't expect you to. I thought I'd been keeping
you busy enoug...
“Problems?” Aldric asked his son when he heard yet another exclamation of exasperation and a fit of
furious erasing. “Do y...
“Is that the last thing you need to do tonight? Maybe you should move on and come back to it, when
you're not so frustrate...
They'd walked along the beach talking for quite some time. Elani had told Erasmus everything, he'd
listened and when she w...
“Want a reminder?” Erasmus asked easing her down on the sand.

“Yes please.” Was the reply and the only thing said for a v...
“Corvus,” recited Ferdie. “Primary stars are: Gamma Corvi, Beta Corvi, Delta Corvi, Epsilon Corvi, and
Alpha Corvi. How bo...
“Ferd must be freezing out there,” thought Aldric. “He's been at it over an hour, maybe I should mix up
some cocoa and tak...
~-~-~-~-~-~
“Do you remember where I rate yet?” He asked briefly coming up for air.

“Heading for the top of the charts.”

“Keep strok...
“Well that was embarrassing,” he said as he rolled away and sat up.

Rubbing her hand in the sand, Elani tried to hide a s...
It wasn't supposed to happen. Not to her, not now. She had plans for her future. She was going to be a
dancer, correction ...
“Hi, It's me. I really need a friend right now. Can we talk?”

“Could you meet me at our spot?”

“Thanks Erasmus, I really...
If he had thought about it, Erasmus might have considered the swings an odd location for he and Elani to
call 'their place...
Erasmus crouched down in front of Elani, “Hey don't cry. Whatever it is, it not worth crying over.”

As he reached up to b...
“I'm pregnant.” Seeing the look on his face she almost laughed. “Don't look so scared it's not yours.”

Erasmus nodded, “Y...
“I'm supposed to say something really supportive here. But, I don't know what my line is. I don't have a
script for this, ...
“If it was me, I'd wanna know. But that's your decision. What about your folks, have you told them?”

“Are you kidding me?...
“That was because she really didn't have anyplace else to go and she really didn't want to live alone with
a baby. Her par...
“So you're going to keep it?”

“I don't really believe in the other alternatives, not for me at least. I'm young, I'm heal...
“I'm not looking for a reason.” Standing up Erasmus pulled her up and into his arms. “I told you the
other night that I wa...
“Ege, we got to get up.”

“Mmmph, is it time for class?”

“Wrong lifespan, babe. The caterers will be here in twenty minut...
“Caterers, guests, WEDDING!” exclaimed Egeus as he sat up. The reminder had worked like a splash of
cold water, not only w...
“I thought we weren't supposed to see each other before the ceremony.”

“That's only for brides, I don't see a wedding gow...
“Hey Aunt Em, you all look great. Where's Frank, didn't he come with you?”

“He left early, went to pick up his date. They...
Familiar Faces will be back soon.

Until then,
Thanks for Reading and Happy Simming!

____________________________________...
Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five:  Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)
Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five:  Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)
Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five:  Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)
Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five:  Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)
Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five:  Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)
Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five:  Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)
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Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five: Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)

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Continuing heir Frankie Familiar's journey through young adulthood.

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Familiar Faces - Chapter Thirty Five: Can I Trust You With My Heart? (Part Three)

  1. 1. Can I Trust You With My Heart? – Part Three
  2. 2. Welcome Back to Familiar Faces Chapter Thirty-Five: Part Three In this chapter we are following heir Frankie Familiar and his first circle as they journey through young adult hood at FSU. We'll meet up with Frankie shortly, for now we're going to head towards Takemizu.
  3. 3. Some days were better than others. Today had been one of those other days for Emilia Summerdream. And it wasn't over yet. She still had three reports to proof and a theory document to analyze. Better get started, if she wanted to sleep at some point.
  4. 4. For the large part Emilia was thoroughly enjoying her time in Takemizu. The work she was doing at the Institute was fascinating and the other students were a lot of fun. They came from all over and were each considered to be the best and the brightest at their individual schools. Her lab group was made up of: Knut Alioto, Lydia Couderc, Corbin Gray and herself. She enjoyed working with them and the lively discussions and arguments over various theories that inevitably arose when they got together after class for tea. When she'd come to Takemizu, she hadn't really thought much about the other students that would be there. When she had it was with based on a desire to excel and to outshine the competition. What she had instead were friends.
  5. 5. While there was a bit of friendly competition among them, the lab groups were set so that each member was a specialist in a different area. Lydia was the chemist, Knut specialized in physics, Corbin was their resident botanist and Emilia's specialty was microbiology. While each of them had solid backgrounds in scientific research and the core fields of study the goal was to learn from each other as much as from their instructor. Nicholas Barthelet, their instructor, was a brilliant scientist in his own right. He'd won accolades upon accolades for his work with genetic theory. That he had consented to participate as research lead and instructor for the student exchange was a boon to everyone involved with the program.
  6. 6. Truth told Nicholas Barthelet was the reason Emilia had applied for the Institutes program. He was absolutely brilliant! His knowledge of scientific theory was seemingly limitless and Emilia wanted to siphon out as much of it as she could. He was also a stoical taskmaster that demanded perfection in every thing the students did. “Don't tell me what you think you see Ms Summerdream! Tell me what you see. You must be precise in your analysis. The ability to perceive the minute differences between two samples could mean the difference between life and death for the patient who's cells you are performing the analysis on.”
  7. 7. 'Nick the Prick' was most often the appellation given to him by his students. While his lectures were most often fascinating, they were just as often filled with so many minute details as to make both the brain and the body go numb. He expected his students to have perfect recall, which meant finger cramping note taking, taken at a vigorous pace.
  8. 8. To get away from the stress of her studies Emilia often took lunch at the garden across the street. When she did so the last person she wanted to see there was Nick. Away from the classroom he wasn't nearly as abrasive, but his intense scrutiny often made her nervous. Emilia was hardly one to babble but when he stared at her like that she felt as if she needed to explain herself.
  9. 9. “Taking a relaxation break is necessary, Ms Summerdream. Indeed I would recommend it to all my students. I've found that periods of relaxation and meditation add to the intuitive minds ability to clarify. If you would like I would be happy to introduce you to a meditation master who's techniques would teach you to use your relation time most productively.”
  10. 10. Which was how Emilia had come to take studies from the 'Old Wise Man of Takemizu', in addition to her already full load at the institute.
  11. 11. She'd also signed up for Tai'Chi lessons at the local spa, and tried to spend time every morning in her relaxation garden practicing. The meditation and the Tai'Chi were working though, she felt more productive than ever. So really she didn't mind the added work, and it didn't seem like work.
  12. 12. There just weren't enough hours in the day. If she didn't get back to work there would be even less. ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  13. 13. Euclid took a deep breath and opened the medicine cabinet. All sports have superstitions, all teams have traditions. It was a part of being an athlete but it didn't make it any easier.
  14. 14. For years the FSU basketball team had shaved their beards before the final game of the season. It had begun as a practical joke. Team members had shaved their mates while they slept. At the time of the joke, the team had been in the worst slump in school history. Inexplicably they'd won the game and started a tradition.
  15. 15. “Whoa, no beard? Haven't you had that since you were a teen? What's the occasion?” “Final game of the season. Superstition may be silly but we never lose if everyone shaves so everyone shaves. I have a heavy beard so it'll grow back before you know it.” Elisha cocked her head, “it's not a bad look, but I'm used to you with a beard.”
  16. 16. “Wait, everyone shaves?” “Well yeah, everyone on the team at least.” “Even Amin?” “He better, if we lost and he hadn't shaved we'd have to shave his head as retribution.” “But, I like his little patch.” “You can barely see it.” “But, I like it.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  17. 17. “Can you explain the meaning of this ritual to me? I do not understand why bouncing a rubber ball causes so much excitement. I need to know the meaning behind your current rituals.” “Basketball isn't a ritual Stella, it's a game. It's played purely for fun and bragging rights.” “It's an athletic competition, Frank. The guys work very hard to hone their skills.” “Actually Stella is correct, in ancient times the Aztecs had a ritual in which enemies would do battle to the death. The heads of the losers would be thrown through a stone hoop. Some people claim that the game of basketball was derived from that ritual.” “What? I'm a history major, I know these things.” “I didn't think you actually went to class though.” “Sometimes I do.”
  18. 18. In modern times basketball may no longer be a battle to the death. However the competition is still fierce. The skills displayed by the athletes are a combination of physical and mental preparedness. The emotional level of the crowd can reach deafening decibels but the players must tune out everything but the ball and the basket.
  19. 19. From the first basket, to the last, the players of the game are in a battle just as desperate as a those of old. No one player determines the success or the failure, it is a team effort. Everyone must be in the game.
  20. 20. However to some the game is more than just a game. Their futures hang in the balance, if they win they could be in the pros, if they lose it's the business world instead.
  21. 21. And when the battle is completed, and the crowds go home. The winners celebrate.
  22. 22. And the losers commiserate. “Gah! I can not believe we lost to this podunk school. Why are they even a part of our schedule? We should be playing teams like La Fiesta, teams that end up in the championships. Our line up sucks, and with losses like this anyone we might have recruited will go elsewhere.” “Brit, with Jim on DL and Mick benched cause of his grades, you knew there would be problems. You can't carry the team. These guys have a decent record, it's not a shameful loss. Not like last week at Tech.” “Don't mention the Tech game, Annie! Losing to the Geek Squad?” Brit rubbed his forehead, “Dad's gonna make me drop the team now I know it. The only reason he allowed me to play was so that he could show off clippings to his buddies. Look at my son the superstar! If he can't show it off it's not worth my doing.”
  23. 23. “This was the only thing I had that was mine, and now it's going to be yanked away. No more basketball, Golf team here I come. I hate my father!” “Don't say that Brit, you know it's not true. And hey we'll figure something out, you'll play next year.” Who was that guy? Frankie couldn't hear what was being said, it would be rude to interrupt. If he didn't interrupt he might miss his chance. He had to talk to her, he needed to make her understand. He couldn't keep this up, pretending he didn't care. He cared way too much about what Annie Stephens thought about him. That he'd hurt her, hurt him. It hurt more than he wanted to admit, to anyone. Who was that guy?
  24. 24. “Annie?” Annie turned around and took a step towards Frankie, but then caught herself and stepped back. “Frank” “Can we talk, please?” “I don't think so.” “Come on Annie just hear me out. Don't keep locking me out, it's not fair, you never gave me a chance.” “Do you want me to get rid of him?” Brit asked as he put his arm protectively around her shoulders. “No, it's okay Brit. Go change, I'll see you on the bus.” Annie walked towards Frankie, “Outside?”
  25. 25. “So talk.” “Who's the guy?” Dang it he wasn't going to ask. “I thought you wanted to explain, not ask questions.” Annie shook her head, “Brit's a friend. Look my bus is going to leave soon, if you want to talk, I don't have much time.” “True, I'm sorry I have no right to ask you about some guy.” Frankie sighed, “I guess I'm sorry about a lot of things. You were right I should have explained my situation before.” He took a few steps backwards and collapsed onto the low wall.
  26. 26. “It wasn't as if I was trying to keep anything from you. What was I supposed to say? 'Hi, I'm Frankie Familiar, the legacy heir'?” Frankie shook his head with a small smile, “I can't say that, it would seem like bragging. It's nothing to brag about you know? I'm not the heir because of something I did or because I'm the best one for the job. I'm the heir because I happened to be born in the right house at the time. It's just one of those things, like having brown hair or green eyes.” “What about later, once I knew you. You should have told me.” “Yeah, I should have. I could say that it never seemed the right time but that's not completely true. You see, I've never had to tell anyone before. For as long as I can remember everyone I've met knew I was the heir. They knew without me telling them. And all of them have had some kind of expectation about what that means.”
  27. 27. “When I was a kid other kids expected me to be good at stuff. Not because I was smart or talented, but because I was heir. And then after,” Frankie paused. “After my Uncle took me to meet Squatch, people were always looking out for me, protecting the legacy. And now they look at me like I should have the answers, like I should know what's going on and how to change things. They all expect something of me. And you, well” Annie raised her eyebrow. “You never had any expectations of me. I was just Frankie, some guy, a friend. I was me, not the legacy heir..”
  28. 28. “It wouldn't have made a difference to me. You would have still just been Frankie to me.” Annie said as she sat down beside him. Frankie shook his head. “Maybe, maybe not, but how was I to know that. It's mattered to everyone else. It's the defining focus of my existence. Before I was born, before my grandfather was born, my life was decided for me. Do you know what it's like to have no choices? I know where I'm going to live and I know where I'm going to die. It pervades my life, and the funny thing is, who I am isn't important. Everything that might have distinguished me from previous heirs has already been done. I could be anyone, as long as I marry properly and have a kid. After that nothing else matters. I'm just a face on the wall for future generations to point to.”
  29. 29. “I'm sure that there's some good things about being heir. You sound like the poor little rich boy, I have all this but I want more!” Annie wrinkled her nose. “Do you think the rest of us have control over our lives? We're all effected by circumstances that were created by others. It's what you do with your circumstances that matters. Grow up Frank, life isn't fair, not by a long shot.” “Okay, maybe you wouldn't have treated me any differently if you'd known.” Frankie smiled slightly, “the only other person that would say something like that to me is 'Lisha.” “Maybe, I would have liked her after all.” Annie said softening. “I did promise you a party, there's going to be one tonight. It's not a big blow out, more of a family thing, graduation celebrations for Ege and 'Ras. You could stay and meet 'Lisha.” Frankie offered hopefully.
  30. 30. “I need to catch my bus,” Annie said as she stood up. “Maybe next time?” Frankie stood up as well. “Will you unblock my email address now? I'd really like it if we could be friends again. I wish we could be more than friends. It wouldn't be fair to you to ask for more, so I won't. But I miss you, I'd like to hear from you, to know what's going on in your life. Even if it's just to know you're out there still. ” Annie smiled, “If you feel inclined to send me an email, I'll read it, I might even respond. I'm still mad at you, I might get over it. We'll see how things go, okay? Bye, Frankie.” Annie turned and walked towards the parking lot on the other side of the Athletic complex. Frankie wished he could follow her, stop her, convince her to stay. He shook his head. It could never be what he wanted it to be, but maybe it would be enough. ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  31. 31. While the true graduation celebration would begin the following day, on Twikki, there needed to be a party on campus as well. It just wouldn't be a graduation without a party. There needed to be a chance to unwind with family and friends. Egeus and Eramus' parents wanted to opportunity to congratulate them on a job well done. To see their son's one last time as young adults to file the memory away along with the memories of other achievements.
  32. 32. Fiances that would be left on the mainland needed to be said goodbye to. Neither Encore or Elsie would be on campus when the twins returned for their final year. By the time they returned, to campus, the girls would be starting their adult lives, looking for jobs, decorating houses, and planning weddings.
  33. 33. Egeus and Frances' wedding was fully planned, Elisha had seen to all the details. Frances would be waiting for Egeus, in the home they'd purchased and decorated, when he returned. That there were bound to be numerous minor details arising regarding the home and the wedding while Egeus was away caused some anxiety. “And what about a plumber? Who do I call if something happens that I can't fix? I don't know the reputations there, I wouldn't want to call someone that's going to do a shoddy job.” “If you need anything done just call Granma, she can fix anything, unless it's the shower.” Egeus winced in recollection of Granma Betsy, the servo, running amuck due to shower water. “And if Granma needs to be repaired, call Mom she knows what to do.”
  34. 34. “I don't think I should be relying on your family to do things for me. I'll be an adult, I should be able to handle things myself.” “They're your family too, almost.” Egeus smiled, “that's what they're there for. If you didn't call them they'd be hurt. I'm sure everything will be fine, it'll only be a week.” “Do you know how many potential house fire meals are cooked in a week?” “We installed fire alarms, you'll be fine. Besides, you're a great cook.” Egeus looked at his fiance. “If you don't want me to go I won't, I told you I'd stay. They'd understand, really they would.” “And I told you that I enjoy worrying. For every worry there's a potential disaster averted that can be celebrated. By the time you return we'll have so many things to celebrate that the wedding will just be a splash in the bucket.”
  35. 35. “I feel like I just cheated on my boyfriend.” “It'll grow back,” Euclid said for at least the tenth time that evening. “I have a heavy beard, by the time I'm back from Twikki, you won't even notice the difference.” “It already is, your five o'clock shadow is itchy.”
  36. 36. “So are you all packed up and ready to move in with your Aunt and the ladies? We're going to have to do something special when I get back. Something to celebrate our new status as friendly neighbors.” “A barbeque maybe, isn't that what neighbors do?” “I was thinking of something a little friendlier than that, though barbeque sauce might be a good idea.” “Don't do this now Erasmus.” “Do what?” “Don't flirt with me if you're not going to follow through.” “Do you want me to? Follow through, if you do you just need to say so. Tell me you want me, Elani.”
  37. 37. “Of course I want you 'Ras, that was never our problem, wanting each other. We could go upstairs right now and spend the rest of the night rapturous ecstasy, but what would that prove? It's not enough for me, not anymore. The one thing your little experiment has taught me is that I'm no longer willing to settle for only a partial relationship with you. I'm no longer willing to be just your friend nor just your lover. I want more, I want both. I'm scared of trying, I don't know if I could handle loosing you if we were to fail. But, if we don't try were going to lose each other anyway.” Erasmus started to speak but Elani put a finger to his lips. “Don't respond, not until you've taken the time to really think about what I said. While you're on Twikki, I'd like you to think about me, and what it is you really want from me. I know you love me, I know I love you. What do you want to do about it 'Ras?” When she had finished Elani gave his hand a squeeze and his lips a kiss and walked out the door. ~-~-~-~-~-~
  38. 38. Ahhh Twikki Island! Twikki Island, home of sun, sand and surf! Twikki Island, where relaxation abounds. The perfect location to get away from it all. The worries and stress of the real world melt away when you touch the shores.
  39. 39. “So have you two found out what's exciting to do here yet? I remember we had a great time here when we were kids, but I'm sure that the amusements are a bit different for adults.” “There's a couple of clubs that sound interesting, but we probably don't want to go clubbing till after dark. I'd say the best place to see exotic islanders swish their grass skirts would be the boardwalk. There's a public beach.” “Nude?” “Not everyone's as outgoing as you are Ege. I think there's a nude beach on the other side of the island though.” “We probably shouldn't do a nude beach. I don't even want to think about the possible sunburn locations.”
  40. 40. Zeke had a point, so it was off to the boardwalk for everyone. “Can you believe this guy?” “That doesn't look so hard. I bet I could do that.” “It looks dangerous Elijah. Patricia might have reservations about dating a pile of ash.” “I would be willing to teach your daredevil friend, if he has the ability to learn. Do not worry, I will not light the staff unless he is found to have ability.”
  41. 41. “Okay, maybe this isn't as easy as I thought it would be.” “Once you have begun the lessons there is no refund. You may leave at any time, just beware that the Fire God does not like a quitter. Once you indicate that you wish to honor him, if you are unable to complete the ceremony...” “What do you mean by that?” The teacher shrugged. “Very few are willing to risk the wrath of a God in order to find out.”
  42. 42. “I'm going to stay down at this end of the beach for awhile. I don't want to be in range of that staff, in case Elijah gets mad at himself and starts throwing it around.” “You want to help me find shells?” “Heh, my experience with shell hunting has usually ended in claws attached to my fingers. I'll think I'll just enjoy the view.” “Isn't it gorgeous here?” “Well, yeah but I was referring to the surfers out there.” When Elisha looked at him, Egeus just grinned. “Hey, it's my bachelor party. I'm allowed beefcake, aren't I?”
  43. 43. Up on the street side of the boardwalk, a different type of dance instructor was challenging potential students to learn how to pop, lock, and moon walk. After watching for a while, first Frankie and then Euclid decided to try their hand at it. It was a bit difficult for them to keep their faces straight while performing the various convulsive movements but they were soon judged ready for competition.
  44. 44. While he normally wouldn't shy away from a fight, Elijah wasn't quite ready to risk the wrath of a Fire God. For once prudence won out, and so did perseverance. Following his day of lessons if he were ever to have the urge to honor an Island God, he'd be able to do so.
  45. 45. “What do you mean you don't think you'll go to the club?” Erasmus had spent his time at the boardwalk talking to the locals and getting recommendations on the island's nightlife. “I just don't think I should go dancing without Corey.” “Then don't dance.” “Then why go to a dance club?” “To laugh at the people trying to dance and failing, to drink and to hang out with your friends. Gee Zeke I never figured you for being whipped.”
  46. 46. “Buying a souvenir for Elsie? That's sweet.” “Yeah, Elsie really wanted to come with us. I wish I'd stood up to Elijah. I'm going to have to make it up to her. I going to check everything out so that our honeymoon ends up perfect. And maybe this necklace will keep me out of the doghouse until then.” “I'm sure she love it. It's always nice to know a guys thinking about you when you're not around.”
  47. 47. “Gah can you believe this?” Erasmus said as he eased onto the sand next to Egeus, “Zeke doesn't want to go clubbing without Corey! I could have seen that coming from Euc, Mr. 'I'm whipped and I know it', but Zeke? “Don't be so hard on him. He's still a little bit in awe of the fact that he's not only in love but that Corey loves him back. It scares him and he doesn't want to do anything that will mess it up.” “Corey and Zeke have known each other forever. It's not as if she's suddenly going to realize he's a spaz, she already knows he is.” “Yeah well, it's easier to analysis other people's relationships than it is to analysis your own.”
  48. 48. “Is that a dig?” “Does it need to be? You already know what I think about your situation. You just need to figure out that 'Lani's the best damn thing that ever happened to you, and decide what you're going to do about it.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I've been told. Why do I have to do anything? If she loves me, why can't she accept that this is the way I am? Why do I have to be the one to change?” “Because if you don't do anything you're going to continue to be miserable. Do you enjoy misery so much?” “Misery loves company and I'm never lacking in companionship.” “Don't be glib, it doesn't suit you.”
  49. 49. “I used to think Elani and I had a pretty good deal going. It wasn't as if I ever hid that I was sleeping with other people, hell we used to compare notes.” Erasmus chuckled remembering some of those discussions, “she's the one that changed, not me.” “Don't pretend that it never bothered you, her sleeping with other guys.” “Not really,” Erasmus twitched as he recognized the lie he was telling. “Maybe it did a bit, but I never complained about it. I never tried to stop her.” “Oh, come on Erasmus! You stopped her plenty of times, how many times did you ignore her at a party until she started to hook up with someone else? How often did you call and ask her out, just because you'd heard someone else had?”
  50. 50. “I wasn't stopping her from doing anything she wanted to do. I was offering her a choice.” “Just keep telling yourself that Erasmus, maybe someday you'll believe it.” Egeus stood up disgusted with his friend. “I'm going to round up the guys and head back to the house. When you get your head out of the sand, dinner will be waiting for you.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  51. 51. Meanwhile back on Campus a group of young women were preparing to return to Familiarity. Emily was the only one of the group that would be returning after break. Elani, Elsie and Encore had graduated. “I'm just saying that since I have a few weeks before my job starts, I don't see why I should hang around home. I should be on the beach with my fiance.” “I'd like to go too but they're having guy time. Doing some male bonding or whatever guys do when they get together.” “You mean other than oogle native women in grass skirts. And it's not guy time Elisha's with them.” “Euclid better not be oogling native women.” “'Lisha doesn't count, she's like a mascot.”
  52. 52. “She tricked Elijah into letting her go. She told him that since they were all going to the beach, she might as well go camping with Amin. Just thinking about his little sister in a tent with a guy for a week was all it took. He was packing her bikini and insisting that she go with them.” “'Lisha can be sneaky when she wants something can't she?” “She can, and so can we.” “How do you mean?” “We show up on Twikki and tell them that we missed them. Then before they can start thinking that we're being needy and clingy, we pounce. Once they're bleary eyed, they'll see the advantage of having us there.”
  53. 53. “I'm proud of you Elsie, you've learned to use the ultimate weapon in a woman's arsenal, sex. We'll make a romance sim out of you yet. You all should definitely go to Twikki, they'll be happy you did. Or at least the ones that matter will. The rest will get over it.” “What about you? You don't have anything on your schedule this week.” “I also don't have a guy on Twikki that would be happy to see me.” “'Ras would be ecstatic if you followed him to Twikki.” “Making 'Ras ecstatic isn't on my to do list, not at the moment. I'll go to Twikki to celebrate my first hit.” “You should still come with us, you won't even have to see him if you don't want to. Just hang on the beach with us. Have some girl fun, find an island guy to give you a lei.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  54. 54. Between Zeke's reluctance and the long day they'd had just getting to Twikki, it was decided best to stay home their first night. They had several more days, and Zeke would eventually give in and go out. Euclid and Frankie made a run to the village market and then cooked up one of their Grandmother's favorite vegan specialties. None of the kids were strict vegetarians, but they'd all gotten used to no meat meals growing up and it was a nice change of pace when fresh ingredients were available.
  55. 55. Following the meal everyone congregated in the basement game room. As children the mahjong tables had enraptured them but, now that they were grown, poker was the game of choice. When Elisha slid into a seat at the table her brother had rolled his eyes and called it a man's game.
  56. 56. A few hours later he was eating his words and considering asking her for a loan in order to keep the game going.
  57. 57. Frankie hadn't been drawn into the late night poker game, and so he was up earlier than most the next morning. He took advantage of the quiet and sought out a spot on the upper balcony with his laptop. Booting it up he was pleased to find Emilia online, he'd sent her an email but hadn't yet gotten a response. “Hey, good to see you online. Did you get my e-mail? What do you think about it? Am I on the right track?” “I think that the idea has merit, Scientifically. I can't confirm it from here, I might not be able to confirm it once we're back home. We'd need permission to do the tests and I'm not certain we'd get it.” “I'll work on that, leave it to me.”
  58. 58. “Don't be so sure of your charms Frankie. From what I've seen, the subject in question wouldn't be very susceptible to them.” “I think I can reason logically and persuasively enough to get an agreement. It might solve problems all the way around.” “Don't make any decisions or have any life changing discussions until I get home. I'm working on something here that's connected and well I don't have time to explain it right now. I've got a meeting with Nick soon, but I sent Grandpa Bob the information to look over. If I'm right, it could change everything Frankie.” “It's BIG?” “Very BIG!!!! Look I gotta run, give everyone my love I'll see you this weekend. And remember to go see the guy and get the thing.”
  59. 59. Go see the guy and get the thing wasn't nearly as cryptic to Frankie as it might have been. He knew exactly what Emilia was referring to and already had it on the schedule for later in the day. Satisfied from his talk with Emilia, Frankie opened his browser and quickly tossed off two emails. Before pressing send on either of them Frankie hesitated briefly. Emilia had said he was on the right track scientifically, but he understood what she hadn't said. Not even Emilia could live by science alone. Remembering once again a particular bit of advice his Grandfather had given him, Frankie hit send.
  60. 60. The Guy to see was the Witchdoctor and the thing to get was Mr. Mickles. Emilia thought that Mr. Mickles might be necessary if Frankie were to need assistance in fighting off angry spirits in the future. He might have borrowed Uncle Elliots, but it was considered more powerful if used by the one whom had earned it. ~-~-~-~-~-~
  61. 61. Poker continued to be the primary form of entertainment that evening. “Anyone heard from the girls? They should be back home by now.” “I called Corey earlier, it was a horrible connection. There was some kind of interference, I coulda sworn I heard someone say 'buckle your seat belts and prepare for landing'. She said she couldn't understand what I was saying and she'd call me back.” “Heh! Probably picked up a shortwave from overhead. I tried Emily but her phone was off,” Euclid frowned, “probably recharging.” “Dudes! We're here to get away from women, not to obsess over them. Are you in or out Euc?” Tossing out his cards, Euclid replied, “I'm out, and we're not obsessing we're wondering. Don't tell me you're going to spend a week here and never contact Patricia.”
  62. 62. “I'll call her in the morning, make sure she got home from work okay.” “Does it bother you that she's out at clubs every night? I don't really wanna go out dancing without Corey, and I definitely don't want her to be going out partying without me.” “Patty's not out partying, she's working. Her being in clubs doesn't bother me, why she's in the damn clubs does. She has no business tracking vampires. One of these days one of them is going to realize she's following them.” “If you're worried about her why don't you ask her to get a different job?” “You think I haven't? How well do you think that went over? Ever try to tell a woman what to do? They never appreciate your advice.“
  63. 63. “Maybe if you'd asked instead of ordered?” ventured Ezra. “Wouldn't do any good she likes her job. Loves it in fact.” Elijah grimaced, “I'll tell you one thing. I'm gonna corner Bob at the wedding this weekend, get some answers out of him. See if I can find out what the heck he thinks he doing sending her out there with no protection.” “Good luck with that. Cornering a vampire, even your friendly neighborhood type is as dangerous as answering a which do you prefer question from a female.” That analogy made every one of the guys wince. Each of them had memories, of falling into that perennial trap.
  64. 64. “Ain't that the truth. Elsie asked me to look at a wallpaper book so she could tell her parents what to do our room in. I told her whatever she wanted was fine with me.” “Did she cry? Emily cried when I said that about the bridesmaids dresses.” “Nah. She started going on about how it was our bedroom and we'd be sleeping in it every night for years. How it needed to be just right and be a reflection of us both. So, I looked at the book and picked one out. Man, I did not know she even knew those kinds of words.” “Never offer your opinion until you've been told what it is,” said Zeke, nodding. “Euc? Your phone was ringing so I answered it. I think it's Emily.” “Thanks 'Lish. Tell her I'll be right there.”
  65. 65. “Hey Babe” “Is this Euclid Goth? You have collect call from Emily Familiar. A booty call. If you would like to accept please proceed to look out the window.” “Stop messing around Emily.” “Will you accept the charges?”
  66. 66. The call disconnected leaving Euclid to stare at his phone and mutter 'what the hell?' He was about to head back to the poker table when he thought maybe he'd look out the window as suggested. When he'd done so he let out a whoop and took off running to the front yard.
  67. 67. “This was supposed to be a guy trip. It was supposed to be a let's have fun and act wild and not care what the girls think. Bad enough my sister had to butt her way in but now we're saddled with with a gaggle of fiances. We used to have fun together before everyone got hooked up. Can't we enjoy ourselves without having women involved?” “Well, I don't know about you, but I know I can.” Elijah rolled his eyes at Egeus. “You're just miffed cause Patricia isn't here. Maybe you should think about why that bothers you. I'll take a shower and we'll get a manly game of poker going, will that work?” “Poker in lieu of sex? Sure, that's a great substitute.”
  68. 68. “There's kinky stuff going on in this house and I'm not a participant. Something is very very wrong here. Did we cross into an alternate universe?” “Congrats 'Ras you now know what life is like for the rest of us.” “Oh poor you Frankie, you have women lining up to meet you.” “And the ones that aren't lining up are being shoved in my face.” Frankie looked pointedly at Elijah. “Hey, I thought you'd like Cleo” “Of course you did, we obviously have so much in common.”
  69. 69. “It wasn't all that horrible. Dinner was good.” “You enjoyed being lectured about free range chicken? Personally I prefer not to think about where the food I'm eating comes from. I really didn't want to know that the cattle my ribs came from were corn fed, and why that's so horrible.” “Yeah, yeah but she had a point. I mean I agree in theory.” “And theoretically the waiter didn't smirk when she asked if the salmon was hatchery raised. Diners are so well known for having fresh sea food.” “That was pretty funny.”
  70. 70. “So wait you're eliminating a women based on food preferences? You lived with Grandma, how old were you before you actually ate beef? Tofu burgers aren't meat you know.” “It was her attitude about it. When Grandma cooked, we ate the sprouts and the tofu, and it was pretty good most times. But, if Dad wanted to do steaks or Mom felt like cooking a turkey, Grandma never made any comment about it. She'd just fix a salad or have whatever meat alternative they made to go along with the meal for her.” “Yeah, if you asked her why she was a vegetarian she'd tell you, but she didn't condemn anyone for eating meat.”
  71. 71. “I could have handled the food thing, at least I would have given it another try maybe. But, really Elijah that coffee house?” “Oh yes, the infamous coffee house.” “What she challenged your preference for espresso over lattes?” “If only, no see we went to the coffee house cause Pat needed to check it out for work. There's been a rumor, that one of the vamps likes to hang out there sometimes. No one's really been able to even confirm this guys existence, let alone pin a hang out on him. Unfortunately, we choose the wrong night to try and find him there. It was open mic night.” “Did she boo the comic?” “No, she drooled over the lounge singer. Thought he was brilliant, a real talent. The guy sucked.”
  72. 72. “In retrospect Frank's right. I could never date a woman that likes Exotica.” “Exotica?” “Think Don Ho.” “Eww, yeah that would be a killer. How does Patty stand to live with this girl?” “They get along great, known each other forever. But, then again, they work opposite schedules. They don't actually see each other all that often.” ~-~-~-~-~
  73. 73. “Elani's with you? Why'd you bring 'Lani?” Emily had saved that little tidbit of news for after. “Sun, surf, beaches, for some reason we thought maybe she'd have a good time. She's here despite 'Ras not because of him. It's not like they avoid each other, they just.” Emily trailed off “They just end up miserable whenever they're together.” “That's their problem not ours. We aren't their keepers Euc. They've got to figure out what they want from each other and I'd rather they do it now. I'm not going to spend the next forty years wondering if I should invite both my sister and your brother to our kid's birthday parties.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  74. 74. On their third day on Twikki, the scheduled called for visiting 'historical sites'. These sites included the temple ruins and the shrine to the island God Jumbok. Contemplating the shrine in front of him, Erasmus dug around in his pocket searching for a coin. When he found one he held it in his hand and stared at it. He didn't know what he should wish for. 'Ras felt that he had always done his best to avoid hurting anyone. He liked making people feel good, it was something he did well. To avoid being hurt himself in the process, he'd devised a set of guidelines. Short encounters were best, nothing lasting long enough to get attached. Never make promises, not even to yourself. Never let your guard down, never let anyone get too close. There were a lot of people, back home, that thought they knew him. But, there were maybe a handful, that really did. Egeus, Euclid, maybe his parents, and Elani.
  75. 75. Elani had always seen through him. He'd never been able to fool her, about anything. The few times he'd tried to lie to her, she'd just shook her head and looked hurt. Hurting Elani was the last thing he'd ever wanted to do. It seemed that for all his trying to not hurt anyone, he always seemed to fail where she was involved. She was right, it wasn't working, not for either of them. What was he going to do about it? She'd be better off without him. Elani was a survivor, and he had no doubt that no matter what he decided, she'd be fine. Eventually. But would he? If he followed his plans, and moved into the room reserved for him at Uncle Dwight's, he'd be living across the street from her. Could he live that close and not want to be even closer? Could he watch her from his window and not want to run out and say hello? Would he be able to see her on the street and not want to take her in his arms? They were bound to be thrown together, they had all the same friends, and they'd soon have the same family.
  76. 76. What should he wish for? He shook his head, he didn't need some ancient island guardian to tell him what to do. He already knew what he wanted. Erasmus lowered his hands and put the coin back in his pocket. “You were wise not to bother the God with your dreams. Jumbok can be fickle and more often than not he will send you nightmares.” Said a voice behind Erasmus. “This is true,” came a second voice. “It is not the God's duty to fulfill the dreams of mortal men. He leaves that to his handmaidens.”
  77. 77. Erasmus turned around and blinked. No he wasn't seeing double. “Pardon us for interrupting, if you still have business with Jumbok we'll leave you to your quest.” “Quest? Oh you mean the coin thing? I don't think some ancient island God has any answers for me. What I want isn't going to be found here.” “That's very wise of you. Too often the tourists feel the need to bother Jumbok with things that don't concern him. They ask for silly things, and they do not use the proper ceremony when making their requests. It's no wonder he gets angry at them. Why would Jumbok care if that a man desires more coins in his pocket? Or more women in his bed?” “I suppose that only a God would feel that having more women in bed was a silly request.”
  78. 78. “I do believe that the week has finally picked up for us, my friend. Take a look at the beauties that just invaded our island,” exclaimed Jim with a smile, as he watched a group of young women approach the ruins. “One of these days, I must visit the mainland and find where they grow them like that. Twikki has been called Paradise on Earth but if there are more where they come from I would have to disagree,” His friend Zee replied with a whistle. “Which one do you want?” Zee sighed,“unfortunately I have been given duty with the Dive Club this week. I will be spending my days siphoning their fuel while you, my friend, siphon much tastier treats. May the Gods grant you fortune in your quest!”
  79. 79. The girl smiled speculatively. “Dreams he leaves to his handmaidens. A proper handmaiden will do her duty.” “So what does being a proper handmaiden mean?” The girl in green smiled laughingly, “It's a secret.” “I won't tell anyone. I'm good with secrets, I promise.” As the girl in green leaned towards him to whisper in his ear he didn't notice that someone else was approaching. Stopping short Elani took in the scene before her. So this is how you go about thinking of me? She thought closing her eyes. Well I'll leave you to it then, you obviously don't need me here.
  80. 80. Ignoring the burst of laughter coming from Erasmus, Elani quickly turned around and reversed her direction. In doing so she ran smack dab into the bare chest of the man who had, unknowingly to her, been following. Stopping short Elani started to apologize, “I'm sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going. I didn't know anyone was there.” Biting her lip she felt the tears that had been threatening begin to fall. “A beautiful woman, such as yourself, should not be so sad.” The islander said as he raised his hand to brush away a tear. “Please, I'm fine really.” Hiccuping she looked over her shoulder and stammered, “I just need to get out of here.” Elani brushed past Jim. Leaving the ruins, she just shook her head at Emily as she left the lot. She did not want to talk about it, not now. ~-~-~-~-~-~
  81. 81. “I'm really glad you decided to surprise us, I would have hated missing out on coming here.” “I can't believe you were going to refuse to go clubbing without me.” Encore laughed. “You shouldn't feel guilty about having a good time when I'm not around. Just cause we're getting married doesn't mean we're always going to be together. You know I'm not going to be on campus next year, I won't be able to come down for every party. I don't expect you to sit at home when I'm not around. I'm sure not going to.” “What do you mean?” Zeke stopped dancing. “I'm not going to sit at home alone when you're not around next year Zeke. We're going to have to get used to having separate lives for awhile. When you're not there I'm going to wish you were but I'll learn to survive.” Smiling she said, “and so will you.”
  82. 82. Following their day at the ruins, the two groups of young adults from Familiarity, had migrated to one of the island's dance clubs. Everyone was there, and everyone was having a great time. Everyone except Elani, that is, she'd never returned to the ruins. When her friends had stopped by the hotel for a quick refresher prior to heading out they'd found her soaking in the sun with no sign of the tears they'd witnessed earlier. Whatever had been bothering her had passed for the moment at least. Still, she hadn't wanted to go clubbing. Maybe one of them should have pressed the issue. Most likely they would have, if they hadn't all been enchanted by the idea of spending a night in an exotic location with the men they loved.
  83. 83. “I told you to leave it alone Emily. 'Ras hasn't said anything about Elani, I don't think he knows she's on the island. I haven't told him, and I'm not going to. If she decides she wants to let him know, she will. Obviously if she didn't want to come here, she doesn't and you won't do her any favors if you interfere.” “But she was crying, I saw the tears.” “And immediately assumed that 'Ras was responsible for them?” “Well who else?” “Do you think if they'd had a fight 'Ras would be in a good mood?” “Well I'm going to find out.”
  84. 84. Since returning to her hotel that afternoon, Elani Familiar had experienced many different emotions. She'd had a long cry and then a long soak in the hot tub. While she'd soaked she'd begun to believe that maybe, just maybe she'd over reacted. If Erasmus Goth had been enjoying himself on a tropical island, well, it was his right to do so. He was an unattached male with a long history of romancing. She'd asked him to think about her while he was here, and was sure that he was doing so. In his own way. She'd give him the time she'd promised, and she'd take that time herself. She hadn't gone to the club, not because she didn't want to see him, but because she didn't want to interfere. Based on the reactions of her friends, she was going to be spending a lot of time by herself on this vacation. “Pardon me for intruding, but I discovered this and thought that perhaps you would enjoy it.”
  85. 85. Elani looked up to see the islander whom she had practically run over that afternoon. Seeing the flower he held, a mainland rose, not something that would have been picked from a flower bed on the island, she smiled. “That's quite a find. I know that you couldn't have flown to the mainland since I saw you this afternoon. Do they grow here naturally somewhere?” “Ah, my duplicity has been discovered.” Jim said with a smile, “The local florist has a hot house where he grows them. Please accept it, beauty such as yours deserves beautiful things to compliment it.” Standing up and accepting the flower she inhaled it's scent. “It's wonderful, thank you. How did you know where to find me? Or were you just carrying a rose around in the hopes of getting lucky with someone?” Jim put his hand to his heart as if wounded. “I am a discerning gentlemen, I would not give a flower of that magnitude to just anyone. As to finding you again, it was not a difficult task. You'll find that the tour guides around the island know how to locate just about everyone. Including guests.”
  86. 86. “I see, well that's pretty enterprising of both you and they. I'm suppose that I should be flattered, that you went to all the trouble to locate me and to bring me a rose.” “I didn't come here just to bring you the flower.” “Of course you didn't,” Elani smiled wryly. “It's not that I'm immune to your obvious charms,” Jim interrupted, “I was hoping that you would dance with me.” “Dance with you? I don't even know your name.” “Pardon my inexcusable rudeness. I shall endeavor to make it up to you in some fashion. My true name would be difficult for you to pronounce, the closest translation into your language would James. You may call me Jim.”
  87. 87. “Jim,” Elani nodded, “I'm Elani. I think I might enjoy dancing with you, Jim.” Pulling her into his arms, Jim smiled. “Elani is a fitting name for an island beauty. Do you perhaps have roots on Twikki?” “Hmm that depends,” Elani replied with a blush. “Promise not to laugh? My parents spent their honeymoon on Twikki, and well, I'm pretty sure I was conceived here.” “A fitting tribute to a beautiful memory?” He replied with a chuckle. “I suppose so,” Elani said with a shake of her head. “It's not really something that I want to visualize.” “Then perhaps you would like to visualize something else instead?” Pulling her closer, Jim whispered in her ear. After several minutes of detailed descriptions he pulled back asking, “Does that create a more pleasing picture for you to consider?”
  88. 88. “It's a picture alright,” replied Elani, somewhat short of breath. Oh my Elani thought to herself, but was this guy ever potent. She hadn't felt this attracted to anyone, other than Erasmus, in a very long time. She felt her resistances crumbling, and her desires building. It would be so easy to give into those desires, to let herself be carried away by them. Would it be so wrong?
  89. 89. “What do you mean Emily? Elani's not even here, how could I have done something to upset her?” “You mean you really didn't know she'd come with us?” Euclid had been right. “I'm sorry Erasmus, I just assumed, when I saw her crying, that the two of you had had a scene. I guess I was wrong to blame you, this time.” “Elani was crying? When was this?”
  90. 90. “At the ruins today. Euclid told her you were at the shrine, she went to find you and came out crying.” “Where'd she go? Where is she?” “Back to the hotel, she's been there all day.”
  91. 91. “So she wasn't there, huh?” “Didn't answer, probably avoiding me. Like she always does when she's upset. She never talks with me about whatever it is I did, she just goes and hides. How am I supposed to do what she wants when she never tells me what that is?” “Do you really need to be told?” “Not really, but a clue now and then would help. Women should come with road maps.” “It's not just women, it's all relationships.” ~-~-~-~-~
  92. 92. Back on the mainland, life was continuing much as it normally does. While their son was spending his final day on Twikki, one that had started late and contained little else than being lazy in the sun; Emma and Aldric were doing more mundane things, like working and getting ready for an evening at home. “Something smells delicious, whatcha cooking?” “There's ribs in the oven, just tossing a salad to go with it here. How was work?” “Same old, had a meeting this afternoon with the high school principle, we're going to have to install security cameras in the workshop. Some of the kids have been sneaking in after hours and using the equipment. I now think I know where the robot that rampaged at Eva last week came from. How was your day? “Pretty quiet, couple kittens in trees and a doomsday machine on the lower west side.”
  93. 93. “Where's Ferd? Is he home yet?” “Yeah, he and Tina are up in his room studying.”
  94. 94. “Please, don't tell me you're really that naive? If dinner is almost ready I'll go detach our son from his girlfriends face. There's enough for Tina, right? I'm sure he invited her to stay without asking.” “Yeah there's plenty. He knows she's always welcome.” “He knows he's supposed to ask anyway.”
  95. 95. Ferdie could have argued that he was studying diligently. He was currently testing a theory of probability involving how many times Tina would remove his hand from her thigh before he'd get his fingers under the hem of her skirt. So far the odds were not in his favor. She had fast hands.
  96. 96. “Ferdie, stop it!” “Comeon Tina just let me.” *Knock* *Knock* “Ferd, Tina, you've got one minute to arrange yourselves in such a way that we can all pretend that you aren't doing what we all know you're doing in there.” “Crap”
  97. 97. “Dinner's almost ready, is Tina staying?” Ferdie looked at his girlfriend “Yeah?” “That's fine, but next time let your father know before he starts supper. Also, homework is supposed to be done in the study. If you are going to have friends in your room, the door stays open. Got it?” “Yeah Mom, okay.” “And Tina?” “Ma'am?” “Your book is upside down.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  98. 98. Campfires were a Familiar family vacation tradition. It didn't matter if the participants were eight, eighteen or eighty, on the final night at a family vacation home they'd all gather around the fire. Marshmallows were a staple, fire eating was optional.
  99. 99. “Hey, remember that story Grandpa told us when we were here before?” Ezra asked, “Do you think it's true.” “I dug up half the yard this afternoon, found a bunch of bones but no gold.” Was Zeke's reply. “So that's where the hole I fell in came from? I thought the strays had found Twikki.” Said Egeus shaking his head. “You did fill in the holes didn't you Zeke?” “Yeah, most of them.” “Did you find anything besides bones?” Asked Elisha “I hope you saved them, those types of trinkets could be sold as relics or artifacts back home.
  100. 100. “Fire's dieing down, the girls will be here soon, and I want a shower.” Euclid said as he got up from the fire. “You guys are gonna keep them busy right? I'm gonna hunt down Elani, I don't want them running interference for her.” “I think we can manage to keep our fiances, occupied 'Ras. All night if necessary.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  101. 101. “You've been avoiding me.” Erasmus said coming up behind Elani on the patio of her hotel. Looking up at him she replied, “No I haven't” Erasmus just raised an eyebrow. “Yes, I have,” she said with a small smile. Pulling out the chair beside her, Erasmus sat down. “Do you want to tell me why?” “I figured you needed time to think, so did I. It was better if we did that separately”
  102. 102. “So you came thousands of miles, to a hotel just down the beach from me, in order to get away from me?” “No to be with my sister and our friends.” “Who have spent most of their time with their boyfriends instead of with you.” “Yeah well, I haven't minded, much. I had plenty of time to work on my tan. We've done some stuff together, seen some of the sights. We had girl time at the hot springs we all got massages.” “But you haven't seen the really cool stuff, have you been to the market or the ruins.” “Actually yes, the ruins in particular, were very enlightening.”
  103. 103. “Enlightening? Emily said they upset you, actually she accused me of more than upsetting you. She practically jumped down my throat about it. Of course I denied having anything to do with it, I wasn't even aware that you were on the island, let alone at the ruins.” Erasmus frowned and continued. “But since my awareness is rarely needed when it comes to you being mad at me, I considered what I did while we were at the ruins. I didn't think you'd mind the mahi-mahi I ate, so I narrowed it down to the time I spent at the shrine. Am I getting close?” “Yes 'Ras, I saw you at the shrine. There I was thinking I was going to surprise you and instead I see you wrapped up in not just one woman but two. It pissed me off, and it hurt. It hurt more than I expected it to, so I left.” “You expect me to hurt you don't you?”
  104. 104. Did she? “All that stuff you said the other night about wanting a relationship about wanting to try. But you don't think I can handle it, do you? You told me to think about what I want, but you've already decided that it doesn't matter what I want. The first time I do something that might remotely be interpreted as betrayal you walk away.” “Remotely? 'Ras, you had two women climbing all over you.” “I had two high priced hookers offering me their services.” “Hookers? Hah!” Elani exclaimed, and then she looked at him. “Gah! You're telling the truth aren't you?”
  105. 105. “Everything on this island is dependent upon tourist dollars. The handmaidens do their part for the local economy.” Erasmus explained, “and no I didn't.” “Insulted to be asked to pay?” Erasmus looked aghast. “Why would I pay for it? If I'm not accepting when it's offered freely I'm sure as not going to pay.” “What do you mean?” Elani just looked at him stunned. “You mean you haven't been?” “Not for over a month. I couldn't have you, I didn't want anyone else.” Putting her hand to her mouth she stood up and walked quickly away. Well hell, thought Erasmus, what had he done now? Jumping up, he went after her.
  106. 106. Catching up to her, and grabbing her by the arm, Erasmus turned Elani to look at him. “Don't keep running away from me 'Lani. You keep doing that, you know. You get upset at me, at something and then you make a declaration and you leave. If I follow you, you tell me to leave you alone. If I don't follow you, then I'm the bad guy that doesn't care if you're upset.” Removing his hand from her shoulder he slid it down and took her hand. “I'm tired of trying to figure out the role you've cast me as. Am I the guy you're in love with and want to try to build something with? Or am I the guy that you're so sure is going to break your heart that you're unwilling to give me a chance to do anything else?” “Have I really been doing that?” Elani asked biting her lip. “I do, do that don't I? Kinda confusing huh? Maybe I do expect you to hurt me. I love you so much, and I've loved you for so long. But, I don't see any other way for this to end.”
  107. 107. “Why does it have to end? Why can't we just keep loving each other? You asked me what I wanted, that's what I want, I want you. I'll do whatever you want to do to prove it to you. Just don't tell me not to touch you, I've tried that, it doesn't work. Do you want me to promise that I won't see other people? Done, I can do that.” “'Ras.” “You don't believe me, that's okay. I don't know if I believe me, but I'm willing to give it my best shot. Are you?” “Were you telling the truth back there? Have you really been abstaining?” Elani dropped his hands, “I haven't been.”
  108. 108. “Ouch,” said Erasmus drawing back a little bit. “I guess I didn't expect you to. I thought I'd been keeping you busy enough that there wouldn't have been room in your schedule for that.” “There's always room. You haven't been keeping me busy the last couple of days.” “I've been here,” said Erasmus “and so have you. Oh. Do you wanna tell me about it?” “Do you want to know?” “Not really, but part of making things work is talking about them right?” Noticing for the first time that there were other guests on the patio, some of whom were obviously listening intently, Elani replied, “lets take a walk.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  109. 109. “Problems?” Aldric asked his son when he heard yet another exclamation of exasperation and a fit of furious erasing. “Do you need help with anything?” “Why do I need to know about conjunctions? I'm going to be an artist not a writer!” “Conjunction junction, what's your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses.” “Oh gah Dad, don't sing!”
  110. 110. “Is that the last thing you need to do tonight? Maybe you should move on and come back to it, when you're not so frustrated.” “I guess so, I need to do some work with the telescope. I'm supposed record the locations of five different constellations and be able to name the distinctive star groupings in each. I guess I could do that.” “Put on your coat it's cold out tonight.” ~-~-~-~
  111. 111. They'd walked along the beach talking for quite some time. Elani had told Erasmus everything, he'd listened and when she was done talking, he'd said 'okay that was yesterday, it's in the past, it's history'. He wasn't a hypocrite after all, they were romance sims, and romance sims have brief meaningless encounters as a matter of course. He'd rather not think about the various encounters Elani had experienced, but he knew there had been many. Almost as many as he'd had. But that was in the past, and they shouldn't effect the future. From this point on, was a new begining. “So was it a one time thing? Or is it something you want to pursue?” “Definitely a one time thing, he was erhm, very skilled.” Elani said with a sideways glance, “but he wasn't the best I've ever had.” “So I don't suffer by comparison?” “Who said I was talking about you? It's been so long I don't know if I can quite recall where you fit on the scale.”
  112. 112. “Want a reminder?” Erasmus asked easing her down on the sand. “Yes please.” Was the reply and the only thing said for a very long time.
  113. 113. “Corvus,” recited Ferdie. “Primary stars are: Gamma Corvi, Beta Corvi, Delta Corvi, Epsilon Corvi, and Alpha Corvi. How boring is that? They should give stars interesting names like Horsefly Major and Speck of Dirt Minor. That's three down, now I just need to find Octans and Cassiopeia.” Adjusting the scope towards the southern quadrant Ferdie resumed his search.”
  114. 114. “Ferd must be freezing out there,” thought Aldric. “He's been at it over an hour, maybe I should mix up some cocoa and take him a mug.” As he closed his book to do just that he heard a frightened scream from the front porch. Looking towards the window he tossed the book down and took off running yelling for his wife as he did so.
  115. 115. ~-~-~-~-~-~
  116. 116. “Do you remember where I rate yet?” He asked briefly coming up for air. “Heading for the top of the charts.” “Keep stroking my ego and I'll redefine the terms of your investigation.” “I'd rather stroke something else.” Elani replied as she adjusted her position for better access.
  117. 117. “Well that was embarrassing,” he said as he rolled away and sat up. Rubbing her hand in the sand, Elani tried to hide a smile. “It's okay it happens.” “Not to me, not since high school.” “Want to go inside and start over.” Looking out over the water at the horizon Eramus replied, “the sun's about to come up. We've got a plane to catch soon.” Standing up he said, “if we're going to begin again, I want it to last forever.” ~-~-~-~-~-~
  118. 118. It wasn't supposed to happen. Not to her, not now. She had plans for her future. She was going to be a dancer, correction she was going to be a star! She even had the auditions lined up. Maybe, someday down the road, she hadn't ruled it out, not completely. But now? What would she tell her parents? Her friends? Her sister? How would she explain? What was she supposed to say? Oops?
  119. 119. “Hi, It's me. I really need a friend right now. Can we talk?” “Could you meet me at our spot?” “Thanks Erasmus, I really appreciate it.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  120. 120. If he had thought about it, Erasmus might have considered the swings an odd location for he and Elani to call 'their place'. But whenever they'd ever wanted to talk about anything that's where they went. Seeing her as he approached them, 'Ras could tell that this was gonna be a big talk. Something must have happened in the short time since he'd left her. The Lani he'd sat with on the plane home had been joking and laughing. She'd tempted him with the suggestion of mile high club, then reconsidered due to the space available and the stewardesses stationed right outside the lavatories. They'd decided to save that portion of their reunion for later, when they had the time and space to do it properly. After waiting as long as they had already done, a few more hours wouldn't matter much.
  121. 121. Erasmus crouched down in front of Elani, “Hey don't cry. Whatever it is, it not worth crying over.” As he reached up to brush away the tears, she replied. “It's big.” “Need me to hide the bodies?” “Don't joke, I can't do this if you're joking.” “So spill, I can't help unless I know.” “I'm pregnant.” “Well that's not so. . .What?”
  122. 122. “I'm pregnant.” Seeing the look on his face she almost laughed. “Don't look so scared it's not yours.” Erasmus nodded, “Yeah.” Why did that scare him even more? “Who? That guy on Twikki?” Elani nodded, “Jim, or whatever his real name is.” Erasmus expelled the breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. “So what are you going to do about it?” “I don't know. It kinda messes everything up you know?”
  123. 123. “I'm supposed to say something really supportive here. But, I don't know what my line is. I don't have a script for this, whenever I've thought about you being pregnant I always assumed it would be mine.” “Nightmares, huh?” “Not really,” Erasmus's lips twitched with the thought. “Are you going tell him? That Jim guy?” Elani shook her head, “he doesn't figure into it. I don't even know his last name, it was just a thing that happened. Maybe later, if I have the kid and they want to know about him, then maybe I'd try to find him. Let him know, give him that choice.” “Right.” “You think that's wrong?”
  124. 124. “If it was me, I'd wanna know. But that's your decision. What about your folks, have you told them?” “Are you kidding me? You know how they'd react, my Dad would be packing up my stuff and bodily moving me home while shaking his head and grunting. Mom? She'd be telling me how she was too young to be a Grandmother and acting like I'd done it on purpose to make her feel her age.” “I think they'd surprise you. They love you, they'd want you to move home but it would because they'd want to help.” “If I keep it I'll have to. I can't stay where I am.” Erasmus stood up and paced a few times. “It's been done, Delilah and Everett stayed.”
  125. 125. “That was because she really didn't have anyplace else to go and she really didn't want to live alone with a baby. Her parent's already had a full house, with Elijah's family there. Her sister had a full house too. She'd also been living in the house for a long time and was really good friends with everyone already. I've been there less than a week. 'Hey guys, I know you were all looking forward to Everett leaving for college, but guess what?' Aunt Ang wouldn't mind but I think that would be pushing the boundaries as a new tenant.” Elani watch 'Ras pace back and forth a few more times. “Could you sit down? You're making me nauseous.” “Oh sure, sorry.” He replied as he eased himself onto the swing beside her. “Sounds like you've been thinking about it, keeping it that is. What it would entail.” “Of course I have, being pregnant messes up a lot of things. Puts a bunch of plans on hold. But is the fact that it inconveniences me enough of an reason to not have it?”
  126. 126. “So you're going to keep it?” “I don't really believe in the other alternatives, not for me at least. I'm young, I'm healthy, and my future is fairly well secured. Even if I had to get my own place and a nanny while I worked, I could manage it. That's assuming I'd be able to reschedule my auditions. And I know what I said about my parents, but you're right they'd want to help. I'm lucky, I have a pretty good support group, they'd be there for me and Emily would love it. And” “I'll be there for you too. Whatever you decide I'll be there.” Elani sighed with relief, “I guess that's what I wanted to know. I was afraid that you'd use this as a reason to walk away. If you were looking for one, a reason that is, this would be a pretty good one.”
  127. 127. “I'm not looking for a reason.” Standing up Erasmus pulled her up and into his arms. “I told you the other night that I want this to work, I meant it. I don't think it's gonna be easy, not all the time. This is just the first test, we pass this one the next one won't seem so hard.” “I hope the next one doesn't come with diapers.” “You and me both. So, how about we get out of here before we need umbrellas and go take a nap before we have to get ready for the wedding?” Erasmus asked with a wink. “I think that idea has merit,” replied Elani. “We're going to have a lot of things to do over the next couple of days. We need our rest.” ~-~-~-~-~-~-~
  128. 128. “Ege, we got to get up.” “Mmmph, is it time for class?” “Wrong lifespan, babe. The caterers will be here in twenty minutes, we need to start getting ready. The guests will be here in an hour.”
  129. 129. “Caterers, guests, WEDDING!” exclaimed Egeus as he sat up. The reminder had worked like a splash of cold water, not only was he awake but he was shivering. The wedding nerves had set in.
  130. 130. “I thought we weren't supposed to see each other before the ceremony.” “That's only for brides, I don't see a wedding gown do you?” “Yet another advantage over the hets.”
  131. 131. “Hey Aunt Em, you all look great. Where's Frank, didn't he come with you?” “He left early, went to pick up his date. They should be here soon.” “Oh, that's right he said he was bringing a date. Did he tell you who?” “He's been pretty closed mouthed. I'm curious though, this is the first time he's brought a girl to a family thing. She must be important.”
  132. 132. Familiar Faces will be back soon. Until then, Thanks for Reading and Happy Simming! ______________________________________________________ A general shout out to all the wonderful creators in the simming community. Thank you for taking the time to help my sims and their houses look good. I'd also like to thank everyone who has been looking forward to my updates for putting up with my slowness and I'd like to thank the people in the box that helped cheer me on and finish it.

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