2.11 – Time to Grow Up

Birthdays came and went. Nothing fancy but we surrounded each child with joy and encouragement when the time came.

It’s amazing how fast kids grow. Of course, in the moment it doesn’t always feel like that. Juliana was just a toddler, sweet and angel-like, swinging from my arm. Then, she became the innocent child with the twist of curiosity. And now, a beautiful teenager who isn’t allowed to date until she’s 25. I can tell she’s planning something teenagery with those golden brown eyes.

Sasha went from a little monster with cute blonde hair and lilac eyes……to a rosy-cheeked adorable young lady. I figured if she wasn’t too careful, she’d have boys yanking her pigtails if she ever wore her hair that way.

Then, only Titus remained of the kids. I’d only had girls in my life except for Esmeralda, of course.  I wasn’t even sure how life would be with a boy, but I sure was excited to find out. With his dark hair and lilac eyes, he was different than the rest of us but cute as a button. He went from a rambunctious little toddler……to a bit of a shy pirate or knight or…well, each day was different, it seemed.

Lastly, our birthdays came. Esmeralda first and then myself. We both lived life as best we could each day. Would the next season be the same?

From the gorgeous creature I married…..to the beautiful bride I’m still happily married to whom, if possible, I love more than when we married. Esmeralda said she felt old and elderhood seemed to be around the corner. I told her to stop worrying about that. We still had plenty of time to do things together.

And me, my old youthful self. Boy, did I think I knew it all back then. And now, my older and wiser self with some wrinkles.

I didn’t feel any older, though, or smarter. I just felt dread and uneasiness, gripping my chest like an unwanted heart attack.

Update

So, as you all know, at least those who are still around, I don’t update a lot. To be honest, the main reason is London. I wrote out a lot of his story back in 2015 during NaNoWriMo. However, I couldn’t figure out how to get from his point in life previously to the point in the story I wrote. I got lazy, uninterested, and uncaring.

Push forward to now. Thanks to Jes2G from the forums, I was introduced to a book that has changed my life. I know, sounds over dramatic, right? Maybe, but it has. I’ve been a pantser since I began writing. Whatever was off the top of my head is what came out on paper. I had no organization or no plan. It’d worked for me. Until London.

London’s story, needing the guidance and accuracy I didn’t have, stalled. The book she told me about is Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland. I read it in one sitting, and it grabbed, holding it fiercely. I’m now 100% a planner and out-liner. I can’t imagine going back to the old way. (I’m also reading the same author’s book called Structure Your Novel.)

So, long story short, I’m planning more of London’s story. I know how it ends and during lunch today, I found where it begins from where I left him and his family. I’ll fill in the blanks in the next month or so, taking no prisoners. Haha! So, hopefully, soon, I’ll have more story for you. I’m focusing on this first before anything else (except the games I’m in on the forums). It’s exciting right now, and I don’t want to lose my momentum.

Until next time,

Lovesstorms

 

2.10 – The Calm Before the Storm

With a plan in place, life became hectic, though, thanks to Esmeralda, somewhat organized. Es agreed to the move back to my parent’s house. Her parents had already made plans to move into a fancy retirement home complete with nurses and other special amenities, so besides visiting them, they were self-sufficient.

So, while we dealt with Juliana’s failed experiments…

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and Titus’ new doll that looked suspiciously familiar…(and still just as creepy),

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….our move to my childhood home became official. We found a buyer for our house–a young couple just starting out–and Mom and Dad hired a contractor to renovate the guest house.

Their excitement grew as they realized they’d have grandkids close by. We worked out some rules with the kids to ensure Grandma and Grandpa maintained some privacy. Mom and Dad said they wouldn’t mind if the kids visited, but perhaps they forgot how kids are. I insisted. I didn’t want their retirement to be loud and chaotic.

Dad said it wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, he had plans of traveling as often as Mom would let him take her away. She’d always wanted to see the world –without being a spy. I’m not sure her training would help her relax and enjoy. I imagine it must be difficult to transfer from a life of crime fighting to a relaxed retirement. Dad would help, though. The only way to get her full attention was to whisk her away on romantic trips and distract her. With us living on the property, they’d have more freedom to come and go.

In the days leading up to the move, we tried to take each moment and savor it to the best of our ability. Es would play outside under the stars practicing new songs she wrote,

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while Jules continued checking for monsters under her bed. I remember hearing about Caitlin’s dramatic monster sighting when she was Jules’ age. Jules always seemed disappointed when none were found.

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Routines helped keep some semblance of order, including bath time.

“Fwower Girl,” Sasha insisted when I tried to take her hat off one of those times. Lynelle’s wedding had long been over, but I guess she’d loved getting all dressed up. After quickly washing her hair amidst her wails, I hoped I’d rinsed out her hair thoroughly and put the hat back on her blonde head.

“There. Flower girls have to stay clean and smell good, too,” I said.

She happily clapped her hands, splashing water on me in thanks, I suppose.

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A few days before the move, a photographer came out to take a picture of us all. Things went well, except Sasha. She tried to escape a few times. The photographer insisted the picture would be perfect. He knew how important it was to us. We laughed when we saw it later. I thought it might be a great picture to show all of Sasha’s boyfriends someday knowing she’d treasure how much her dad loved her. Hehe…

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On moving day, Titus’ birthday arrived. Another final memory in the ‘ole house. Another door shut as babyhood ended for the last time. Es struggled to keep it together.

While Es made a birthday cake with love and tears, Sasha and I whispered secrets.

“Dad-dy,” she said, close to my ear.

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“Yes, pumpkin?”

“My birfday?”

I chuckled. “No, sweetie, it’s Titus’ birthday.”

“Happy birfday, Tus,” she whispered. “When my birfday?”

I kissed her on the head. “Soon, pumpkin. Real soon.”

 

While Sasha and Juliana played peek-a-boo,

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and the hug game,

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Es declared the cake ready. Party time!

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Titus the baby turned into a handsome toddler with his black hair and purple eyes. Don’t you agree?

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Would the move be a welcome change? Or would we struggle with my parents? Was it really for the best? Would Ghint find us? Had he forgotten? Would he ever come back? Life was changing so fast. It felt like the calm before the storm.


Lovesstorms’ Notes

First, my apologies for not posting in such a long time. I’m always trying to get back into writing, but then something pulls me back or I get lazy and don’t want to put forth the time and effort. I hope I’ll continue as I have ideas for the next part, but I need to solidify it.

Yes, I have a favorite. Again. Just like Caitlin was my favorite from Gen 1, Titus is my favorite for this Gen. Well, at least currently. He’s just super adorable with the black hair and purple eyes. I had the picture above on my phone for a while. He’s seriously the most adorable toddler I’ve ever had in this game. And where in the world did the black hair come from? No. Idea. Haha! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! ❤

2.9 – Big Changes

After knocking on my sister’s house, I noticed the “for sale” sign out front. Memories flared leaving me wistful of days past. Sophia and Lynelle lived there after they moved out of Mom and Dad’s house. Sophia, being married first, moved away leaving her twin behind. Lynelle had put up a brave front, but my whole family received extra phone calls and text messages for a few months. Now, Lynelle married the week before would move to France with her new husband Andre.

I heard the door creak open and turned back see Sophia. She stepped onto the porch to greet me with a hug.

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“Hey, London! I’m glad you were able to come say goodbye before we left.”

“Of course! I wouldn’t miss it,” I said, giving her a quick hug. “I’m sorry that Es couldn’t make it. Jules got sick last night. Her biggest challenge is keeping the healthy kids away from Jules.”

“Oh, that’s tough.  We’ll miss her and the kids. I suppose we’ll have to do with just you,” she said, teasingly.

“What am I, chopped liver?” I retorted. She laughed and hugged me again.

I turned to walk inside when I felt a tug on my sleeve. “London, don’t be frightened, but when the party is over, Lynelle and I want to talk to you–alone.”

Curious, I looked back. “Why? Is something wrong?”

“No, we just thought we needed to discuss things before we’re separated again.”

“Like what?”

“Mom and Dad. But,” she said quickly, “let’s talk later.” I nodded despite not understanding.

Inside, I found Tiberius there, too. Sophia was his favorite of us all. Whenever she came to town, he always visited her. I greeted him and sat on the couch.

Tiberius and I watched her play a video game terribly. She concentrated on it like her life depended on it, but it wasn’t helping. Glancing at him, I smiled when he winked at me. He held up his index finger to his lips. I kept my lips zipped knowing we were about to see a classic Tiberius practical joke.

“Oh, no!” yelled Tiberius. I smiled and watched the show begin.

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“What? What’s going on?! London, what’s Tiberius yelling about. What’s wrong?” At the last question, she finally turned to look in Tiberius’ direction. Unfortunately, a noise from the game erupted and her character died.

I snickered, and then Tiberius and I both laughed. Sophia huffed and hit the game controller. A poor effort in throwing a temper tantrum, in my opinion.

“Tiberius!” she yelled. “London, why didn’t you say he was joking?”

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“Because you were too obsessed with the game and I love watching the fun he creates.”

“Video games deprive your mind of brain cells,” started Tiberius, “and you shouldn’t waste your time. And–”

“And I’ve been in medical school almost four years now,” she said, grinding her words out, “plus I also have a family. My free time is limited,” interrupted Sophia. “So, don’t even start with me about wasting time.”

Tiberius and I looked at each other sheepishly. It’s easy to forget that she was technically still in college and married with a kid. Mac and her eloped without anyone knowing. When she came back, we all met him. I didn’t trust him at first. Then when Jack was born and Mac became a stay-at-home dad, I understood. He supported Sophia’s endeavors and cared a great deal about her and Jack.

“Sorry, sis,” I said, but then whispered, “not sorry.” When she looked at me, I made a face. She punched my arm, pushed a button on the controller, and played the game again. Ugh. How I really missed our family being together.

After all the others left, Lynelle, Sophia, and I sat down at the table to talk.

“So, what’s this about? Last I heard Mom and Dad were fine. Is there new news you are holding back from me?” I asked, calmly.

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Lynelle spoke first. “I think they are, but their privacy is very important. I’m not sure they’d tell us something was wrong unless absolutely necessary. How long will they remain healthy? We need to set a plan in place to communicate with each other when something goes wrong. London, because you and Caitlin reside here, you’ll both need to be our eyes and ears.”

“Yeah, perhaps, you and Caitlin can take turns visiting them, spending more time with them. Anything to help keep an eye on them. I mean, what if something happened and we weren’t around? That would be terrible!” Sophia tried to hold back tears.

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“If something happens, there isn’t much we can do. They will die one day,” I said, which made Sophia begin to cry. I scratched my head. I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about, but I did agree having a plan in place would help when the time came.

Sophia wiped a few tears from her eyes and nodded. “I would be able to tell quickly if something were wrong if I were around, but I can’t be.”

“Sophia, I don’t mind checking up on them every few days. I just worry they’ll think we’re trying to take their freedom away by bugging them all the time. I don’t want them annoyed at me.”

“I don’t think they’ll be annoyed. Caitlin already spoke to them about us checking in with them more often. They seemed open to it, but Mom did say she still had a life, even if she was getting old,” Lynelle said. We all chuckled.

“Mom sure is feisty. I’m glad they both still have each other,” Sophia said through her tears. “I’m sorry. I can’t seem to help it.” Lynelle reached over and held her twin’s hand. Despite their different lives, they both seemed to be in tune with each other.

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“Ok,” I said, steering the conversation towards a more neutral ground, “do you two already have ideas? If not, I’m not even sure where to begin.”

“I  have one idea, but you probably won’t like it.” Lynelle looked at Sophia, who nodded. “We think you should move into Mom and Dad’s house.”

“What?!” I squawked out. “There is no way they’ll go for that. Too many things have to happen for it to work.” Es had mentioned something similar recently, but we’d dismissed it thinking it would be too expensive and too much work. I stared at the table thinking about all the possibilities again.

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Sophia spoke up softly. “London, we all three think it’s the best idea.”

“You girls ganging up on me isn’t fair, you know. What about if we just move closer to them? We could build a house or find one nearby. We need more room anyway.”

Lynelle and Sophia exchanged glances. “London, that sounds like a really good idea!” Lynelle said.

I just looked at them. “So, if it is such a great idea, why didn’t you think of it, oh, great ones?”

Lynelle just stuck her tongue out at me. Sophia tried to hit me, but I moved too fast.

“Do you think Es will go for the idea?” asked Sophia.

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“Well, she is the one that brought it up, so I assume she would. I’ll discuss both options. It might be easier for us to move in. I’m not sure how long it would take to build, but it might be cheaper and easier to turn Mom and Dad’s guest house into an apartment for them. Then we’d be nearby and they’d have their privacy.”

Sophia started to sob again, and I handed her a tissue.

Lynelle considered me from across the table.

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“What? Do I have spinach in my teeth or something?” I asked moving my tongue across my teeth.

“No, no, nothing like that. Sorry, but I think your idea  to change their guest house into an apartment is brilliant! I also know exactly how to get them to cooperate without making them feel like their being pushed into it. You talk to Es while I talk to them.” And with that, a plan was born.

 


Lovesstorms’ Notes

I’m trying to get back to the basics again, yet still be more story driven. How do you like it so far?

I tried really hard to figure out a way to get London and his family back in Justine and Marvin’s house. Why? Because I want to be there when they die. I know, really sad. I don’t even like thinking about it, but these are the first of my sims that I’ve EVER let die. 😦 At this point I’ve not received the “you need to say your final good-bye’s” or anything. I just wanted to be prepared. I doubt it’s within the rules of the wishacy, but I’m only half doing it anyway. >_< I hope you enjoyed this chapter!

2.8 – Gooey Buns, Gnubb, and Dragons

Juliana’s POV

“Hi! My name is Juliana Evette Ramsey. I’m a libra, though I’m unsure what that means. My favorite food is PB&J’s. Yum!” I licked my lips thinking about the gooey peanut butter and the black raspberry jam that Mom always spread on the bread.

As I looked in the mirror, I continued my soliloquy, which I had just learned about in school today (I had to try it out). “My favorite color is yellow. Though, not too much yellow. Really, I like all colors, but too much of any color is yucky. My favorite music is the kids cd I have in my room.  Daddy says I’m a brave, friendly, artistic sort of girl. I get my bravery and friendliness from my Grandma Ramsey.” I’d never watched myself talk in the mirror before. The way my lips moved with each word was interesting.

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“I supposedly get the artistic side from Daddy,” I said slowly watching my lips some more. “He. Doesn’t. Paint. He. Writes.” Hmmm…lips are weird. “Anyway, I try to be like him sometimes and it can be fun, but I don’t know if I want to do it aaaaallllll the time. It gets boring.”

“Anyway, I just woke up and now I’m heading down to breakfast. Mrs. Brown made cinnamon rolls.  One of my favs on a Saturday morning!” I jumped up and down, pounding my feet on the floor.

“Juliana Evette!” I heard my Mom yell.

“Sorry, Mom!”

I ran down the stairs and grabbed a plate of the gooey buns by the stove. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The cinnamon tingled my nostril hairs and I let out a happy sigh. Saturday mornings didn’t get much better than this.  Who could top cinnamon rolls and no school plus Saturday morning cartoons?

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I ate my roll quickly, and put my plate in the sink. I looked at the clock on the wall. Eeep!  8:00 am already?  I had a lot to do! How would I ever fit it all in one day?

First, I changed into my outfit that I picked carefully the night before. Then, I went outside. Hmm…it looked like it was going to rain. However, I saw Dad playing the game he’d just bought: Gnubb. I’d never heard of it, but he said Grandma and Grandpa Ramsey had played it when they were younger. I thought I’d join him to see how it worked. If it did rain, I’d just climb into the tree house and pretend a flood would destroy the town below.

Can you believe it? My most awesome, most amazing, and coolest parents ever, ever, ever had a contractor come out and build the tree house. It’s like a castle! It’s so high and so big! I can’t even tell you how awesome it is, but trust me, it is.

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Back to Gnubb. I don’t really know how to explain Gnubb’s rules, but basically, I knock down my pins and the other opponent, Daddy in this case, knocks their own down. Then, once you knock down all of yours, you knock down the big one in the middle.

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And I won!

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Daddy loved it. He thoroughly enjoys when I beat him.

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When I was done, I played in the tree house. Since it wasn’t raining, I pretended I needed a knight in shining armor to free me from the mean dragon.  The dragon is hiding down the road somewhere, of course. If I try to escape, though, he knows. I don’t know how, but he does. He breathes fire and it reaches all the way down to me. I barely escaped with my life last time! There was no way to escape.

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“Oh, you don’t want to save me, knight? Well, walk that way.”  Hehe, the dragon’s that way. Hey, if they don’t want to save me, then they can meet the mean dragon.

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Finally, my knight shows up. He slightly resembles a cute boy I know from school. “Save me!”

“I’m sorry, Princess! The King told me you were being held captive. I tried to come as soon as possible, but a dragon tried to stop me. I slayed it and ate it for dinner. And now I’m here to save you!”

“Oh, the dragon is dead? Did you save any dinner for me?”

The boy scrunches up his face. “Um, no.”

“Well, what good are you then?”

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The tree house must have been made for everyone. I didn’t mind sharing, especially with Mommy and Daddy. They went up there sometimes when I was doing other things. Can you imagine if they played with me up there? We’d be unstoppable! One time I tried to follow them. Mom caught me at the bottom. She said her and Dad needed a little alone time.

Sadness had crept in, but then Mom said, “When we’re done, we’ll take you to get ice cream.” Ice cream always made sadness go away. So, I left to go work on my experiments.

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One of my new friends had werewolf capabilities. At least, that’s what he told me. I didn’t really know if it was true or not. He just said being a werewolf meant extra hair all over his body and changes on a full moon. It all sounded a little creepy to me, but I accepted it. Why not? He did seem a bit hairier than the other kids, but it wasn’t that noticeable.

Anyway, he didn’t want to be a werewolf anymore. He hated being made fun of all the time. So, I told him I would experiment to see if I could come up with a cure. So far, all my work had failed. He was still the same. I told him I’d be his friend no matter what, though. And I’d keep working on a cure.

He drank everything I made, too, including the stink potion. No one talked to him for a few days after that one, though. I sighed. I had written “stinky” next to that recipe in my notebook. Perhaps I’d need it for something one day.

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One Saturday, a few weeks later, Mom and Dad decided to take us all to the new amusement park. It sounded way more fun than the egg hunt. There was even a roller coaster! So, Mom and Dad got out the strollers for Sasha and Titus while Mrs. Brown and I took a cab.

We arrived hours before Mom and Dad and went directly to the roller coaster. It looked huge and I began to doubt the logic of this adventure. The car itself held on to the track by only a couple of wheels made me nervous. However, Mrs. Brown talked me into it, so we continued through the line.

As I sat in the car, I wondered again at the logic of this situation.

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As we went up the first hill, I started getting excited. At the very top, Mrs. Brown put her hands up, so I followed suit. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

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The exhilaration of that ride kept me going back for more!

Then, I ran into Raina, the mean girl that I had befriended awhile ago. Well, kind of.

“Hi, Raina! How’s it going?”

“Um, fine. You’re hair is messy. Didn’t you brush it today?”

I felt my hair and found my pony tails crooked. I laughed and fixed it the best I could without a mirror. “That was from all the rides I just had on the roller coaster. Have you been on it yet? It’s so much fun!”

“Duh. I’ve been here all day.”

“Really? Are your parents here?”

Raina shuffled her feet a little. “Yeah…sure,” she said stumbling over her words. “Um, they’re around here somewhere.” From what she’s said before, her parents were always ‘around’, but I’d not actually met them.

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“Can I meet them? My Mom and Dad will be here soon, too, and I want to introduce them.”

“No!” she yelled. “Um, I mean, I think they are in a meeting in one of the buildings. We can’t interrupt them.”

“Oh, ok. Well, what do you want to do?  Go on the roller coaster again? Mrs. Brown can come with us since we need an adult.”

“Who is Mrs. Brown?”

“She’s our plumbot. Her duties include cleaning, fixing things around the house, taking care of us kids, and a few other things.”

“Well, that sounds dumb. Don’t your mom and dad do those things? They sound like lazy parents. No wonder you’re like you are.”

Here is when I started getting a little annoyed, though I tried to stay calm. “No, Mrs. Brown is really nice and she loves playing with us. Mom and Dad play with us, too, but sometimes they have to do their job. That’s how they pay for me to have clothes, shoes, and other stuff I need. Don’t your parents have jobs?” I didn’t understand why she got this way.

“Yeah, of course. They are just as lazy as yours are. We have a butler and maid that come around to do things.” Raina stopped for a moment. She seemed to get a little sad, I think. “My parents aren’t around much.”

“Where is their meeting?  Maybe we can go sit by the room and I can wait with you. Then, when they’re done, you can go spend time with them.”

I reached for her hand, but Raina jerked it away. “No!”

I stepped back a little. She made no sense sometimes. “Ok, ok, sorry. Geez.”

“Look, your Mom and Dad are losers and you need to tell them that. They are horrible parents and your horrible too.”

I hated it when she did this. I knew it had something to do with her parents, but I didn’t understand. My other friends and I talk about our parents and stuff. No one seemed to mind at all. I couldn’t understand why she got upset. It was time for me to stand up for myself, I guess. I thought I’d take a page from my parent’s book and what they called “respect”. I heard that speech a lot.

“Look, Raina, I know you’re upset. But that is NO way to talk to me. I’m trying to be your friend and hang out with you. But if you don’t want to, then just say the word and I’m gone. My parents are awesome and they do a good job providing for me, my little sister, and my little brother. I think I’m going to go. You need to find your parents and tell them how you feel when they aren’t around. See ya.”

“Woah!” she held her hands up and backed up a little.

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“Please don’t leave.” I heard her plea, but I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t have to put up with her mean comments.

I continued on my path and I heard footsteps behind me. “Juliana, please stop.” The crack in her voice halted my footsteps. I didn’t turn, though. Raina ran in front of me and just stood there with tears in her eyes. “Please, just listen.” I nodded for her to continue.

“Juliana, I’m s-s-s-orry….for getting angry. My parents aren’t actually here. I lied.” I had wondered when she kept getting upset, but I refrained from saying anything. “They are in Bridgeport right now at some kind of party.”

“They left you alone all alone?!”

“No, no, my older brother is here, too. He’s supposed to take care of me. He’s actually down on the beach with some of his friends. Ignoring me is his favorite thing to do. He always tells Mom and Dad that I’m a brat when they’re away. So, I get in a lot trouble. I try to tell them that he’s lazy and never even takes care of me, but he’s a genius and they just think he’s all that and a bag of chips.”

“Wait, what about chips?”

“Just that he’s awesome and can do no wrong.”

“Oh, well, that’s terrible. Maybe I can come over some time when they’re gone and we can hang out. I can even bring my video recorder and can tape what he does. Then, we can show it to your parents and they can see what he really does when they’re gone.” I was getting excited just thinking about it. “We could be like reporters or undercover agents!” Like my Grandma Ramsey.

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“No, no, no, no, no we can’t do that,” she stuttered, wringing her hands together.

“Why? He’ll get in trouble and you won’t.”

“He’ll get really angry and…” she stopped suddenly. “Nothing, never mind. Look, I gotta go now. I’ll talk to you later.” She ran off before I could even say anything. I didn’t mean to make her run off. Me and my big mouth.

Even after Raina and I had our talk, Mom and Dad still hadn’t arrived. I wondered why they were taking so long.

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Lovesstorms‘ notes

Haha! Yeah, I can’t believe it, but they really did try to walk all the way across town to the amusement park. How ridiculous! They never did make it. You have no idea how hard it was to not teleport them. But I figured I’d write some kind of story around the silliness. lol

 

2.7 – Twinsies

 

Juliana continued her musical path. Mrs. Brown’s programming for music was done by Es, of course.

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Of course, the mallets had multiple uses.

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Sasha continued the Ramsey tradition of swing naps and play time.

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Esmeralda decided to make Juliana’s birthday cake when the time came.

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Her first few attempts ended badly.

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But she finally succeeded! I was so proud of her hard work and perseverance. She may or may not have had my Dad come over and help. She had an idea of what she wanted, though. He just helped to make it happen.

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Party time arrived with the presence of cake. As I went to get Juliana, Es grabbed Sasha.

“Come on, Ms. Sasha!  It’s time for your big sister’s birthday.” Sasha gurgled and seemed to be in a happy mood despite being woken up.

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“Blow out the candles, Juliana!” I cheered as we surrounded her and spun our party makers.

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Little Juliana twirled into childhood before our eyes.  Soon she would start a new adventure at a new school amongst her peers. Thankfully, her enthusiasm far outweighed any fear.

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And she already had the attitude, too.  Whew!  I know how my house had been when I was growing up with three girls. Fear coursed through my veins as I thought about the teen years around the corner.

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“London!” I turned to find Es running down the stairs, waving something in her hand. “You’ll never guess what I found!

“Wha?” I asked amid a mouthful of cake.

“Well, remember right after we blew out the candles and I mentioned Juliana looked familiar?” She paused to gulp in air as I nodded. “I went up to find my old boxes from when I moved out of Mom and Dad’s, and I discovered why.”

My curiosity piqued as I finally saw what she had in her hand: a picture of her family. It had been taken when I had gone over one night to visit her, while we were still in high school.

“Do you see it?” she asked as I reluctantly put my fork down on my plate.

“See what?” Honestly, I had no idea what she was talking about. Granted, my eyes couldn’t stay off the young Esmeralda. If anything, she had grown more beautiful since that night.

“Honestly, London!” she cried waving her arms, thus removing the picture from my glazed over eyes. “You’re supposed to be so perceptive, but you’re blind right now.”

“What? No I’m not! I can’t help that I was dreamily staring at my beautiful bride!”

That stopped her in her tracks. She hesitated for a moment, blushing, but continued quickly in her excitement. “London, Juliana looks like Jenni!” she squealed, pointing at the picture, which she quickly shoved in my face again.

I tried to study the picture closely, but she kept shaking it in her exuberance. I only saw Nathaniel and his tongue. I laughed out loud remembering the incident. “We need to show that picture to Nathaniel’s girlfriend!”

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Es smacked my arm and urged me to look at Jenni again. “Honey, if you’d stop moving, I could,” I said half-jokingly, trying to hold her arm still.

She just sighed and handed me the picture. Sure enough, she had been right — Jenni and Juliana could have been twins.

Jenni and Juliana side-by-side

Obviously, there were a few subtle differences, like eye colors and skin tone, even their lips and noses were different.  The hair looked similar, which could have been part of the similarities. But Esmeralda’s photo had aged, discoloring Jenni’s hair. Es whipped out her camera, practically ripped the old picture from my hands, and took a quick photo. Then, she snapped a shot of Juliana and sent them both to Jenni, presumably.

I’m not really sure what all the hoopla was about. I mean, it was kind of cool, but…..women. I shrugged and continued devouring my cake.  Just a few minutes later, Es received a text from her sister. Jenni had been amused and surprised, too.

Within a few weeks, Jenni and Juliana had started calling each other “twinsies” and spent as much time together as possible. Es seemed happy that Jenni and Juliana had a special bond, but I knew her sister. I cautioned Es, but she said they’d be fine.

______________________________________________________

For her birthday, Juliana had received a music box from us. I didn’t see how it was better than the new book series for young girls Mandie Morris that I had suggested. However, Es had said the music box would speak more deeply to her than the books. Somehow, she had been right.  Frequently, we would hear our daughter humming from the hallway and we’d peek in. Her dancing figure could be seen floating around her room. It was one of her prized possessions and one of our most cherished memories.

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Sasha’s birthday came and went without incident. She inherited my hair and Esmeralda’s eyes.  Many people suggested we enter her into beauty contests along with Juliana. However, I remembered my life in the spotlight, and how I hadn’t always enjoyed the pressure it had created. I wanted a normal life for them, like sometimes I had wished for.

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Sasha crawled around like most toddlers did. Sometimes she’d come across things that intrigued her. One time she found an old crayon under a table and stuck it up her nose.  Another time, she created her own book….with the pages from one of mine. Let’s just say, her curious treks kept us on our toes.

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Sasha’s free time, when she wasn’t exploring, eating, and doing other toddler activities, consisted of many hours at the already mastered xylophone. By the time she grew out of it, we had to throw it away. It had a few busted keys, most of the paint had worn off, and the many mallets we’d had were mutilated with teeth marks or broken in half.

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One day, Mrs. Brown put Sasha in the swing, like she always did for nap time. However, this time, Sasha was not happy. The screams, I’m sure, could have been heard all the way downtown.

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Instead, she requested her “cwib”. There, she had her own special activities.

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I always made time to sit with Juliana each day. Anything to show her I wanted to be there for her in whatever way I could. Some days, we talked about serious situations with her friends or other kids at school.

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Other days we just goofed around.

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While others times, I’d have to actually help with homework. Juliana enjoyed doing math, except maybe math.  After a few written book reports, she chose to start her own stories.  They were simple, of course, but I encouraged her to pursue writing if she had fun. I wasn’t sure if she would be a full-time writer like me, but she continued to write throughout her childhood.

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No matter the circumstances, I always tried to be there for her, even I was late at times due to writing deadlines.

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Shortly after Sasha’s birthday, Es was asked to write a few songs for an up-and-coming rock group’s new album. While she had hesitated, I encouraged her to do it. Yeah, we were busy, but her music was her dream. And dreams were meant to be chased.

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Also, in that time period, Es started feeling unwell again.

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Did this mean what we thought it meant?

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Yes!  We were pregnant again!  I wondered if it would be a girl or boy this time.

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On a beautiful Spring Festival morning, we woke up to gorgeous weather in our beloved Roaring Heights. Who could resist such a place?

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We packed all the kids up and left for the park. The eggs begged us to find them.  I felt like a kid again when a park volunteer handed me a beautifully decorated Easter basket! Without hesitation, I immediately began searching high and low. I barely noticed when baskets were handed to Juliana and Es as well.

Juliana followed her Mom as she saw an egg under a bush. Of course, Es picked it up too fast.  I don’t think she would have if she’d known Juliana had been following her.

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Then, I found one.

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Juliana continued her quest to find one.

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Sadly, she didn’t. I’m not sure if other kids had found them all earlier or what. I felt bad for her, though, and got her some cotton candy.

Sasha played in the kiddie area while we hunted eggs. Didn’t you know rocket ships entertained more than a plain old colored egg?

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Once Es finished hunting, she meandered over to the playground. Her and Sasha had a grand ‘ole time.

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While Juliana played with Sasha, Es and I walked around the park on our own. We encountered some machine called “Love Inspection”. To me, it seemed silly, but Es liked those type of things. I had my doubts about what it would say.

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Love Inspector cut

We both laughed at the results, and then made our way back to the kiddie park. There we found Juliana who smiled from ear to ear. She pulled out an egg from her basket. It seemed there had been one inside the toy box Sasha was now sleeping in, and she hadn’t even noticed it. We left shortly after that.

______________________________________________________

Mom and Dad called a few days after the festival to invite us over. It was their anniversary party and we all had a fun time!

We announced Es’ pregnancy and Dad was sure it would be a boy. I hoped so. I was already worried about the estrogen piling up in our house.

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Sasha had fun by the big music center. She wiggled and giggled to the music.

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Mom told me later about Juliana’s whereabouts. As soon as we had gotten out of the car, my first born had headed straight to the back of the house. She’d seen Grandma’s head from the street, working in the flower beds. Mom couldn’t even stop working to enjoy her party.

“Grandma!”

“Hey, granddaughter!” She hugged her. “How’s my Juliana doing?”

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“Awesome! So, this girl in school hated me and I thought she was a meanie, but I talked to Dad who told me to be nice to her and I was and then she tried to call me fat and ugly and I asked her if she wanted to talk about it and I saw her hangy thing in the back of her throat and then she left me alone the rest of the day andnowwe’refriendsbutshe’ssometimesstillmeantome….” Juliana took a quick breath, then opened her mouth again.

“Woah!!  Slow down, honey! Grandma can’t understand what you’re saying.”

“Oh. Sorry,” Juliana blushed, but repeated the story more slowly.

“So, you’re friends with her now?”

“Yeah, kind of. I’m trying to do what Dad said he did when he was a kid. It’s hard sometimes,” she confessed.

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“Well, your Dad is wise, and it sounds like he’s giving you great advice. He has handled quite a few bullies in his day.”

“Yeah, he told me. Kids can be so mean.” Juliana’s smile left her face for a split second before she bombarded Mom with more school news.

At one point, I looked out the window and saw Mom doing some kind of crazy balancing act. I shook my head and laughed. Who knows what those two were up to. I appreciated the time Mom took with my kids. Her life kept her busy, but she always looked for opportunities to be with them.

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Sasha and Es seemed to have a fun time as well. Of course, Sasha’s happier after her stomach is full.

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The party ended and I asked Juliana to say good-bye to everyone. Last on her list was Grandma.  Those two definitely had a special connection.

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We piled into the car as the sun began setting, turning the sky a beautiful purple and orange. 

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Esmeralda shared the news with her family as well. Her mom had been out of town, but everyone else congratulated her. Her and Jenni spent some sister time together while she was there.

I found out later that Jenni was leaving town again. Es was a little perturbed and told Jenni that she needed to stay in touch with Juliana. Jenni promised, but Es knew she probably would at first, but eventually would stop. That was just how Jenni was: unreliable.

Of course, Jenni also predicted Es would have a boy when she guessed that Es was pregnant. Only time would tell.

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While we were getting ready for our little one to arrive, we got a call from Felix. Caitlin had a baby girl they named Amber Renee. We went to visit and while the women oohed and aahed over her, Felix and I just shrugged our shoulders. Women and babies.

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Esmeralda hugged all over Amber and pretty much hogged her (according to Jenni). Thankfully, they had people coming over in waves, so everyone eventually had a chance to hold the new little addition to our extended family.

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Felix’s smitten look showed me they were doing well. Having the baby hadn’t hurt the romance. I was glad for my sister. She needed someone like him to help ground her. Sometimes I worried about the fame and how she handled it.

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Es finished writing the songs for the new rock group, Castaway. After that, she decided to slow down and take a break for awhile. I encouraged it as I knew she needed the time to prepare for the baby.  So, in her extra time, she taught Sasha how to walk, too.

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_____________________________________________________

Finally, delivery day arrived. 

“London, I’m headed to the hospital.”

“Ok, text me when you’re on your way back,” I absentmindedly said as Es laughed and walked out of the room.

Honestly, I must have been out of it. A few minutes after she left, my brain repeated it in my head again. “Wait, what?!”

I ran outside to see if I could catch her, but she’d already left. I hit my forehead with the palm of my hand.  I sent her a quick text apologizing for not paying attention. Then, ran to see what needed to be done about getting the room ready. Esmeralda’s news was surprising as she’d gone into labor a few weeks earlier than expected.

We had decided that Sasha and Juliana could room together and the new baby would get its own room for awhile. We told Juliana when we told her Es was pregnant again. However, that had been awhile ago.

I moved Sasha’s crib to Jules’s room quickly and brought Sasha to her crib. She had been asleep. As I put her back to bed, Juliana woke up.

“Daddy? What’s going on?” She yawned as she sat up.

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“There, Sasha, you’re back in bed again. Night-night,” I cooed as I kissed her on the head. She laid down and fell back to sleep almost immediately.

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“Jules,” I whispered walking over to her. “Mommy went to the hospital to have the baby. For now, Sasha and you will share a room. Babies can be loud and I didn’t want Sasha to be woken up.”

Juliana yawned again, rubbing her eyes. “Ok, Daddy.” She climbed back into bed again. I walked over, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight.

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As we prepared for their arrival, she made it safely to the hospital.

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Once they arrived back at home again, I ran immediately to the front door. I apologized again for not realizing what she’d said earlier. She waved it off and handed me the baby carrier. There sat our beautiful new baby boy!

We named him Titus Levi Ramsey.

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Then, she promptly handed him over to me, walked out the back door, straight to the sauna for some tender, loving care.

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Titus slept a lot the first weeks of his life. Mrs. Brown continued helping as well, which came in handy.  That is until the day she glitched and we found her on the roof with Titus in her arms. Talk about scary! Es did some re-programming on Mrs. Brown after that incident. She’d been so busy, she’d plum forgot to keep up her maintenance plan.

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*Lovesstorms’ Notes*

First, my apologies for making you all wait so long. I’m definitely back and I’m in the mood to really continue this story. This chapter included much more than what’s here. I had to cut quite a bit out as I just want this generation to move forward. I’m learning what’s important and what’s not (and still learning). , but I cut quite a bit. I kept getting overwhelmed by all the stuff I kept trying to include. It’s still long, but expect some changes soon. I want to get this generation over so I can start the next one. lol I’m getting a little bored despite that I love this family to pieces still.  I just want to get on with it. So don’t be surprised when you see new or different things. This family is still a hoot and a half and I definitely can’t give them up. I love them far too much!   (And don’t worry, I still continue to plan on involving Ghint and his friends. I love him too and can’t wait for you to see what his story is.)

Also, my apologies for the text being so different throughout. I dislike WP for that. Granted, I think it has something to do with the theme I chose? I’m not sure, but I wasn’t about to go copy and paste all the correct fonts in the bbc area. I don’t care that much. From here on out, though, I’m only using the standard default font. It had something to do with how my chapters copied over from Blogger. (Oh, and I just looked. This theme now has an option for different fonts, so I’ll choose my favorite and hopefully that’ll fix my problem.)

As for Jenni and Juliana being like twins, that completely 100% true. (I hope you didn’t think London and Es were having twins…hehehe.)  I had been looking through old photos long after Juliana had become a child. I happened to come across an old family pic of Esmeralda’s family and noticed Jenni. Woah! What a coincidence! Almost twins! So, yeah, I had to include that here, too! I hope you enjoyed the chapter! ❤

2.6 – Time Marches On

Time is relative, right?   For me, Esmeralda’s pregnancy was flying by. For her, she felt like time was passing normal.  She enjoyed being pregnant, despite the bouts of morning sickness.

As I saw Esmeralda’s belly grow bigger and bigger, my world got smaller and smaller. Though I had said I was used to the idea of a baby, there were times I still worried I was in way over my head.


I spoke to Dad a few times and he felt the same way at the beginning.  He taught me a few tricks he learned, so I tried them too.

 
One trick was to take time to relax outside.  So, I’d go out early in the morning to fish.  


That didn’t always work, though.  Sometimes those bigger fish were on the other side of the lake.


If fishing didn’t help, then I’d take my jet pack out to an open area.  The wind through my hair always made everything fall into place.


Unless that place was the ground.  Things fell apart when you hit the ground.

 


One day, when I returned back from “destressing”, Es had a suggestion.  Maybe feeling the baby move would help.


That’s when I finally felt the kick.  It was real. Very real.


Suddenly, I had a lot to say.  It was almost like talking to a therapist.


Life after that slowed down, which I found strange.  I wanted to see this little one I kept talking to.  To see their ten little toes and ten little fingers.  What color hair did they have?  What color eyes?  Who’s nose did they have?  


So, as I waited to have my questions answered, my thoughts turned to my second alien book. The Forgotten Son had been published a few months before, so the thought of a new book excited me. Ghint’s story seemed true, but I had no way to corroborate it. Let’s face it, as much as people said they went into the future or said they died and ambrosia brought them back, you still had to be careful.  So, I took the foreign folder to the science building.


They analyzed everything.  After a few days of waiting, they called to say they could confirm the folder and its contents matched multiple other items they knew were from confirmed alien encounters.  Though, they could not match all the figures and facts (not enough data on our side), much of it did line up with what they knew.  


So, after that, I felt relieved.  Fear and excitement welled up inside of me and adrenaline pumped through my veins.  The perceptive side of me just knew this would be an adventure and I couldn’t wait!   


Ok, ok, let’s stop for a moment. This is older London here. In these memoirs that I’m writing, I want to do my best to help you understand where I was coming from at that time.  Therefore, I took an excerpt from my diary….er journal, I mean, to help you out. 

 



Ok, so older London here again.  It was a little personal to share that, but I hope I’ve helped shed some light on my inner thoughts at the time.  Now, back to my regular life programming.


_____________________________________________________________________

So, once the alien documentation reinforced my first gut reaction about Ghint’s story, I felt free to begin working on the book. However, I couldn’t finish it until Ghint took me to his planet.  For the time being, I cheerfully wrote the information from the folder and included some pictures.

Once I finished what I could with that, I turned my attention to a mystery novel that I’d been mulling over.  It would be called Whodunit in Roaring Heights and would involve many cleverly named characters, a dinner, a singing telegram, a police officer, a few dead people, a butler, and several different endings to the story.


Shortly after I came up with that iffy idea, Es went into labor. The time had finally come to meet our new little one.


Welcome to the world, Juliana Evette Ramsey!


I couldn’t get enough of her friendly nature.  She loved cuddling!


The swing became her favorite spot.



Her arms would move as if she were dancing in her seat. Maybe she’d grow up to be a dancer or a painter.  Who knew with the way her arms flailed about.


She did cry a lot.  I’m not sure why.  


I loved my little Juliana, but sometimes, her crying made me a grumpy London.



Dirty diapers frequently occurred.  Yay.


“There you go, sweetie.  All clean,” Esmeralda cooed at Juliana after another diaper session.


Bonehilda at work.  I think it might be time for a plumbot.  I’ve heard they actually do their job.

 
During the day, Esmeralda watched Juliana and tended to her.  At night, it was Daddy duty as Es concentrated on her career.  If Es needed to go into town to work on an album during the day, then I’d take care of the sweet pea and Es could leave.  I loved the flexibility we had!
 



Shhh…Juliana is finally sleeping.  Time for us to go to bed, too.


The swing ensured our many sleep filled nights.  Every once in awhile, though, cries could be heard in the middle of the night. Then, you’d better watch out.


 


Sleep deprivation could be dangerous, folks.


Overall, though, we loved that adorable Juliana.  Play time with Daddy!


 


Her birthday appeared out of nowhere.  Time to lock the cabinets, put all things knee high away and have someone constantly watching the cute monster.  Ready or not, here comes toddler Juliana!



Grandpa Scot’s hair!  The eyes we couldn’t figure out.  They were almost a mix of Esmeralda and I’s.  Maybe they went back another generation.  



It didn’t matter.  Juliana Evette sparkled like the snow on a sunny day.



At the time, I had never considered myself out of shape or old.  I worked out every day and kept myself up physically. Once I finished playing with Juliana, though, my fatigue rose to new heights. Tornadoes were less exhausting.



Once she learned to talk, nothing could stop her.



“Bo-i-da-uh sary,” she’d say. Yeah, for a little one, I guess Bonehilda is scary. Thankfully, Bonehilda never took offense.



Potty time progressed quickly.



In fact, she enjoyed humming while sitting. Oooh, maybe she’ll be a musician like her mommy.



Then, again…..maybe not…



She definitely enjoyed food time.  Maybe she’d be a chef.



Yeah, it was definitely time for a plumbot.  


“Bonehilda strong!”



Caitlin flew into town and threw a party.  They announced their pregnancy!  My excitement for them amplified more now that I was a parent.


That is until Juliana cried and cried after we arrived at the party.



“Sorry, everyone.  This is her first time away from home,” Esmeralda said.



Every time we would give her away to someone, she’d start the incessant crying.  She only wanted Mommy who couldn’t hold her all night.


We almost went home.  Even Es struggled.



Then, suddenly a fairy appeared.  Juliana stared at her, enraptured.  The tears stopped immediately and she didn’t cry the rest of the evening.


Everyone talked and chatted away.  The party went uphill after that.


“Who is the fairy?” Mom asked Caitlin. 


“I have no idea, but I’ll make sure to invite her to every party if Juliana is coming.”  They laughed.



“So, that’s what I have to look forward to,” Felix said as he looked at Juliana.


“Yeah, it’s fun and I love it, but sometimes, as you can see,” I admitted as I rubbed my head, “it can cause headaches.”



We sorely missed my other two sisters, Lynelle and Sophia, but I knew they were not in town and had other obligations.



“…and then, she said, ‘Dadda’.  Felix, it was priceless!”


“Man, that’s awesome!  I can’t wait for our little one to say my name either!”


“Don’t worry!  It’ll come soon.  Oh, and I was a…..well, a bit overwhelmed before Juliana came.  Sometimes talking to my Dad helped.  So, if you have any questions or just want to hang, let me know.  I’m only a yard away.”


“Thanks, man!  I appreciate it!”



“Es!  Es!  Look! Juliana is walking!”


“No way!  Where’s my camera?”



Caitlin and Gertrude snickered at something.  Gertrude worked with Caitlin as a roadie and they’d become good friends.  Also, I’m showing off one of my many videos recording Juliana doing something obviously spectacular.



Now that Juliana has learned to walk, she sneaked around to find Grandma.



Mom may be getting older, but she still was in great shape. She made sure to take care of herself.  Juliana didn’t stray far from Grandma the rest of the night.



Tickle time!



“So, Son, now that Juliana is older, when is she going to have a baby brother or sister?”

 

 


“Dad!” I yelled.  Felix and Caitlin just snickered.  They were already pregnant, so they got out of questions like that.  Oh, where was Sophia and Lynelle.


The end of the night closed with an old school cheer from Mom.  She still had the moves.


 

 


Here’s a picture of Morgan, Cait and Felix’s little dog.



Later that night, while Juliana slept peacefully in her bed, Es and I got into bed.


“London, I know it may be too soon to ask this, but I think I’m ready for another baby.”



“Me too!  That’s kind of funny.  After my conversation with Felix, I decided if you were ready then I was ready.”


“Really?”



And try for a baby we did…



The next morning, Juliana wondered around. Her mission:  find Mommy.


Success!!  


“Hi, baby! Did you want me to read you a story?”


“I not baby!  Story, pwease.”



“There once was a princess named Juliana…”


“Juiana. Me!”



Frustrations are bound to happen to little ones.



Chewing always seems to make them better.



We knew what this meant!  Yay!



“Peek-a-boo!”


“Dino peak-a-boo!”

 


“All done.”


I loved seeing Juliana cuddling with her bear.  



It reminded me of my younger days cuddling with my friend Peep.



Esmeralda told me her pregnancy news and I was pumped!  I had this under my belt.  I could do this!



Without even thinking, I felt her belly. 



She smiled as she looked down.  My enthusiasm this time around probably had her confused. 



I must have done something right because she dragged me into the new contraption I had bought for her.



The bot building station gave Es something to do in her spare time.  We didn’t dislike Bonehilda.  She had provided and cared for us a long time.  However, she was getting old. Parts were harder to find.  We needed to upgrade.



Juliana wanted out from her crib.  Es had left for the studio and I needed to finish a chapter for my publishers.  



Thankfully, Es quickly and successfully made a new bot.  


Introducing Mrs Brown!!


Juliana loves her shine.



We visited Esmeralda’s parents.  We hadn’t seen them in awhile since they kept vacationing around the world.  While they visited us when they were in town, we didn’t always talk a lot when they were out of town.  


So, they invited us to stay for a little while, enjoy the pool and catch up.  While we were there, we shared the good news! Esmeralda lovingly rubbed her belly. She loved being pregnant!  This time, the morning sickness wasn’t as bad.  I think she enjoyed the pregnancy more.



Honestly, I have no idea what occurred here.  Scot must have said or did something to make the women upset. Justine, Es and Sophie sure gave him some nasty looks while Lynelle didn’t seem to have an opinion.  



Juliana had a great time at Grandma and Grandpa Macklamoor’s.  (I think the fairy may have been around somewhere.)



Esmeralda had to leave in the middle of the party.  She was meeting a co-worker for lunch.  Her friend was none other than Judy Rodgers.



Sadly, Es had to watch the passing of Judy.


 

 


“This can’t be happening.  I’m going to try and beg for your life, Judy.  I can’t go on without your help!”



“No, Esmeralda.  I’m ready for this.  You have been preparing for years to get where you are today. Be confident! Be strong!  You’re very talented and you can do this!” Judy turns to the Reaper.  “I’m ready now.”



“NO!!!”





She disappeared as quickly as she had turned into a ghost. Esmeralda was heartbroken.


She would always remember Judy Rodgers and what happened there that day.  



In the days that followed, grief would overcome her.



Music helped soothe her aching heart.



I tried to help cheer her up as best I could.  I can’t imagine witnessing a friend’s death.  


 

She even spent time rocking Juliana. However, as they both grew bigger, it was tough to hold Juliana for long.  Plus, Juliana kept declaring she was a big girl and didn’t need to be held.


I knew Mom was pretty upset as well.  Judy and her had been best friends.  She’d never forget when Judy befriended her at the park when Mom first arrived in town.




Before I knew it, Es was in labor again.  This time with our second child.


“London, honey, freaking out isn’t helping!”



Thankfully, Mrs Brown helped occupy dear Juliana as her brother or sister made their way into the world.



Welcome Sasha Noelle Ramsey!!


 

*lovesstorms’ notes*

This was more of a light hearted chapter.  I’m still waiting on my computer to get upgraded, so I just used pictures I had. Though, I did end up going in game for the few pics near the end.  I couldn’t be patient and wait for the 2nd baby.  I just had to know whether it was a boy or girl.  I am not afraid to admit, I was slightly disappointed.  It’s ok, though.  I didn’t want to mess with what is meant to be.  Of course, now I’ll have to try again. 😉


Hopefully, you also got a little more understanding as to what’s going on in London’s head.  Granted, I’m not the greatest at character development, but I try.  Suffice it to say, he’s excited about what lies ahead, even if he’s slightly scared, too.  


Shockingly, I didn’t have one single pose, which I enjoyed immensely.  They can be so much work.  I hope to not need them as much in future chatpers.  It isn’t as enjoyable for me when I do so many.  It takes forever, the game freezes in the middle of it, then crashes.  The upgrade will help, but I may just start getting more creative with my pics.  :))  It was a lot of fun to get back to the Ramsey family again. 


I’ve been working hard on another project, too.  You can find it on the side.  It’s called “There Goes the Neighborhood” and it’s more of a 3rd person omniscient story based in Sims 4.  


I hope you all enjoyed this chapter!

2.5 – An Encounter of the Third Kind

The morning of our departure, Es and I woke up early to pack.  Then, as we enjoyed our coffee, stood on the deck to relish our last day in paradise.  We’d miss the waves crashing on the beach, the smell of the salty air, and the crabs chasing each other in the sand.


Check out time came and after we left the key on the counter, locked the doors on our way out. After the suitcases were loaded into the car, we slid in ready to leave. Unfortunately, my trusty car wouldn’t start.

“Hmmm.  I wonder what’s wrong,” I mumbled as I opened the car door.  “I had it checked before I left.”  I went to the back of the car and opened the hood.

“London, what are you doing?” Es came around and stood next to me.  “You don’t know the first thing about cars.  Maybe we should walk to the diner, ask about a tow truck and grab brunch.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”  I closed the hood.  I really didn’t know what I was doing.  Es chuckled as she opened the door to grab her purse.  We locked the car and started the hike.  She caught my hand as the sun shone down upon us.  Its warm rays forecasted another hot day.

 

Once we arrived at the diner, the staff pointed us to the phone along with the number to a local towing company.  I paid the extra money to send it to Roaring Heights.  I know, expensive, but I wanted the only mechanic it had known to look at it.  I just hoped my baby could be fixed.  After hanging up, we quickly ate brunch.  Then we made arrangements with the local airport since the local car company had no vehicles available.

After the plane took off, we circled over the island.  The view was breathtaking!  I knew we’d be back again, for a proper honeymoon.

“London, what is that white stuff down there?”

I leaned over in my seat to peer out the window.  “I don’t know.  They look like clouds over the water.  That’s weird. Wait!!  I see the top of a roof or something peeking out of one of the clouds!”  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  “That’s it, Es.  We’re coming back.  Maybe we can do some snorkeling and discover what it is.”

“Yes!” she squealed and grabbed my hand.  “I love a good mystery!  Maybe we can be here for a week or two next time.  It’ll give us longer to investigate.”  The whole trip back I thought of nothing but the mysterious cloud covered areas.  I could only guess what lay under the white fluffiness.

We arrived home late, but the car had yet to arrive.  The next day, after we’d unpacked and settled in, I sat at my computer staring at the blank screen.  Thankfully, the mechanic’s call interrupted.

“London, I’m sorry to tell you this, but your transmission went out again.  The last time, I rebuilt it. But it had already been rebuilt before that.  It’s had its limit.  We’ve also looked into buying a used one from a junk yard, but currently, no one has any.  I can try to keep looking, but it could be a few days, a few months or ten years before the part is found.  I hate to say this, but I think you need to look into buying a new car.”

My heart sank.  I told Frank to keep an eye and ear out for the part, but said I’d pay it to be stored for now.  I couldn’t just junk it. My mom had given it to me.  “Thanks, Frank.  I appreciate you being honest.  I’ll make sure you look over any new cars before I buy one.”  I hung up. 

 
Es walked in and I told her the news. She appeared a little too excited. “Honey, I’m sorry, but honestly, that rusty bucket should have been gone a long time ago.  It’s like a death trap on wheels.  The doors wouldn’t even close all the way.”



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“But it started every time I needed it to,” I protested.
 
“Um, yeah, except when we were in Sunlit Tides,” she said as she counted on her fingers, “the one time in that rain storm and a few other times which I could point out.”


“It purred,” I said more quietly, knowing I was losing the battle.


“And now it’s choked on its final hair ball.”


“Let’s find a car that runs and is newer than 1968,” she pleaded. “And, if it makes you feel any better, we can get two vehicles.  One can be for you, though I’d appreciate if we could still fit a stroller and a kid inside. And one for me, and I’ll choose a van or suv.”

 
I perked up a little at the thought of getting a car I’d enjoy.  I hated to admit it, but the car did break down frequently. More than I was willing to admit.  And, I had been wanting a cd player for awhile instead of the 8-track deck it boasted. Maybe I did need to move on.  

Within a few days, we both had chosen vehicles.  Frank checked them over and approved.  Purchases complete, we drove them home.    

The weeks that followed occurred without incident. While I finished writing my book, Es ordered thing for the baby room.  She eventually grew bored of that and would work on compositions on her guitar.


Her music became, well, music. I knew she could do anything she put her mind to, but she really began to sound like a pro.  I’d leave my door open to let the music drift in, for those moments of needed inspiration. 

As the day drew closer for the alien to arrive, I approached Es and told her everything about Ghint.  Her immediate acceptance of it, surprised me.  I thought she’d freak out, at least a little.  When she explained she trusted me, I became apprehensive.  Having that responsibility on my shoulders had me debating that last week.  I kept thinking that perhaps I’d made a big mistake. 

“London, honey, what’s wrong?”

 

Sitting at the table, a few days later, I had my head in my hands.  I hadn’t even noticed her approach.  Raising my head, I gave her a forced smile.  “Nothing, sweetie.  Maybe I’m coming down with something…” was all I could muster.

No, London.  You’ve been jittery and upset ever since you told me about Ghint.  I told you I trusted you, but now you’re beginning to scare me.  Out with it.”  Her face filled with concern. 
 
I didn’t want to tell her any of my thoughts, but I knew she wouldn’t let it go.  I sighed and began.
 
“I’ve been having doubts about the alien coming here.  Lots of thoughts flying through my brain as to why it’s a bad idea. Maybe I should meet him at the door and ask him to leave,” I said biting my lip.

“No, I don’t think so, London.  If they were going to do something to us, they already would have.  I mean, they know where we live.  Is that what you mean?

I nodded slowly.  That had been my thought. 

 

“And another thing,” she continued, “they didn’t want to disturb our wedding. No one even saw them except you. And, last but not least, they had the respect to wait a full month after we married.”  Es raised her arms in the air.  “It just doesn’t make sense that they’ve come to harm us.  I think they want something else. Maybe you’re just scared,” she suggested.

 

“I’m not scared of them,” I sputtered. I got up and walked into the living area. “Esmeralda, I welcome them. You know I’ve been waiting for this day and…”  
 
“researching them for a long time….” we said in unison.  My head jerked towards Es.  She smiled, but seemed annoyed.  I guess she’d heard me say that before.

“Look, London,” she reasoned as she followed me,“I know you may not seem scared, but maybe you’re worried about the answers they’ll bring regarding your chemical makeup.  I know I would be, especially if I were about to have a…” Her voice drifted off quietly, “…baby.”  Her eyes widened.  “Oh, no,” she breathed out as her eyes misted. “What if…what if…oh, my…the baby.” She burst into tears.

“I know, honey, I know,” I just held her as we collapsed on the couch.  Curling up against me, she cried her fears out. Now, my burden was being shared, and I hated it.

When her tears were spent, she slowly untangled herself.   “Well, I don’t care if you’re anxious or not.” She pushed herself off the couch as her voice got stronger. “We have to talk to them,” she stated as she paced the room.  “We have to find out if our baby will even survive or will have some kind of permanent damage.” She stopped and hung her head. “What were we thinking?” She sighed and leaned against the wall.  

 

“Look, Es. Let’s not beat ourselves up for this.  What’s done is done. We can’t change it.” It killed me to see her all upset like this. I knew if I tried to hug her right now, she’d push me out the door.  Possibly even throw me across the road.  

Instead I offered, Like you said, they respected us.  Maybe we’ll find out why I was born this way.  Maybe the baby will have issues, but most likely, he or she will not.  Let’s not get any more upset by this.  It’ll work out.”

“I can’t help it.  I’m not sure why I’ve never thought of this.  I guess I’m just so used to your skin, it never occurred to me.”

“But, Es, look at me.”  Her swollen eyes sought mine. “I am blue, but I’m healthy.  I’ve barely been sick my entire life.  Maybe, just maybe, even if the baby was born blue, he or she would be healthy.  We have no evidence to think otherwise.”

She stared at me.  Her eyes twitched a little, the only evidence that her mind processed my words.  After a few minutes, she plopped on the couch very unladylike.


“I know.”  She sighed, fiddling with her wedding ring. “I know you’re right, London.  I know it in my brain. But, I still worry.”

 
“I know, baby.  It’s okay,” I took her hand and held it firmly as I continued, “Look, as long as we can continue to remember that those who have been born with blue skin were healthy, no one died, and no one had permanent damage, then we should stay calm.”

Es leaned forward.  “See, that is what I don’t understand.  Why would they do it then?  What is the point of the blue skin?”  Her voice had calmed down as she ticked through the questions.

“I’m not sure.  Maybe that is why he is coming to talk to us?  It would make sense.”

“Well, you have already written a book about them,” she spoke slowly as she talked it out. “Maybe they read it and want to talk.  Hmm…I hope they liked it.”  She seemed serious for a moment, but then giggled.

“Hmm…well, that’s an interesting thought. Thanks.”  My voice dripped with sarcasm. “Hopefully, my book is not the reason for their visit. Yikes, I hope they did like it.”  I shivered a little.

“Oh, honey, I was only kidding.”  She patted my hand. “We have a few more days.  Let’s finish our list of questions and then we’ll be ready for him.”  She seemed far more confident than I did.

My phone rang as we concluded the list.  Romeo’s numbered displayed on my phone, so I answered.  He stated they had samples ready for testing. I agreed to come in the next day.

In the morning, I kissed Es goodbye and drove to the bakery. Inside, Romeo stood at the counter, helping a customer.  The place smelled like fresh baked bread with a hint of blackberry jam.  My mouth watered. 

He waved me back and we walked through the double doors.  Instead of walking down the hall we had weeks ago, we took a left this time.  We strode past the kitchen staff and into another room.  Another kitchen, to be exact.  Trays lined the walls on carts.  One cart sat next to the counter.  My mind imagined all sorts of goodies.  Next to the cart, the counter held pens and several questionnaire notepads. 

As I entered, Romeo asked everyone else to come in.  Six other men and women walked in from another room and surrounded one side of the counter.
 
“Welcome to our Test Kitchen, ladies and gentlemen!   We appreciate all of you taking the time out of your busy schedule to help us test these new products.  We will do this every quarter, if you would like to participate.

“Each recipe you will try is either a new recipe or one that we put a twist on.  We want to keep our old stand-by’s that sell well, but would love to introduce new things, too.  It keeps the bakery fresh and alive!

“This is how it will work.  Each area has a new item.  They haven’t been named yet.  We will not give out the ingredients.  We don’t want trick your mind in anyway.  We need a pure thought process.  So, grab a plate and fork, then take a sample, one at a time,” he said and pointed to the pile on the table in the middle of the room.

First, look at it. What are your first thoughts on it? Is it eye catching?  Do you like the way it is presented?  Does it look appetizing?

Next, cut a small piece off it and put it in your mouth.  Don’t just swallow it.  Take your time.  Move it over your taste buds or whatever you do to savor your food.  What do you taste?  Are the flavors distinct?  Is one flavor stronger than another?  Do the flavors collide nicely? 

Finally, swallow it.  Is the after taste pleasant? Is the texture pleasing?

When you’re done, answer those questions along with a few others that are on the paper.  At the bottom, there’s an area for any additional comments or notes.”

I processed everything he said and grew suddenly unexcited“I have homework?  You failed to mention this part.”

Romeo laughed.  He put his hand on my shoulder.  “Well, I may have hidden one or two things from you.” He smirked at me. “And you did agree, so no backing out now,” he stated in a sing-song voice.

“Yeah, I suppose not. I hope you are happy with yourself, you crafty man.”

Romeo took the samples and spread them around the room.  I grabbed a pencil and questionnaire along with a plate and fork.  I watched as the others picked their starting places.  I chose one further away to start. I had never done anything like this and felt a bit foolish.  They all looked like pros at this.

The instructions were clear and concise, which made it easier. I tasted each one slowly with a few bites.


In between each sample, I drank some water to clear my pallet.   Then wrote my answers down.  I wasn’t thrilled with all the questions, but I did have fun trying everything.  Maybe when we were done, I could try a bigger sample of my favorite.

“Romeo, don’t ever let our chef go,” I surmised as I added my completed questionnaire to the pile. Obviously, I knew nothing about testing, but I enjoyed every bite of the samples.  Maybe too much since the others had finished long ago.

“Well, that’s not my plan,” he said, chuckling. “Katarina has known Chef Louise for a long time.  Apparently, they grew up together.  I met her when we visited Kat’s parents a few years ago in Monte Vista.  Louise had recently moved back there.”

“When we told her our plan to open a bakery, she surprised us by asking if she could interview for a job. I told her we would let her know once we started.  Like you, once I tried her samples, I knew her pastry abilities beat all the other interviewees.”

“Well, I’m impressed!” I raved as I walked to the doors. “I’m looking forward to the next tasting already.  Hey, before I go, do you want to join me for a slice of banana bread?”

Romeo laughed.  “London, you just ate all those samples.”

“Yeah, but they were just samples.  I have plenty of room for a delicious slice of my favorite bread.”

“True, London, very true,” his laughter filled the kitchen. “I suppose I could join you.” As we walked out of the kitchen, Romeo locked the door behind him.  The secrecy of the kitchen surprised me.  I guess it made sense, though.  You never wanted competition to come in and steal your recipes.

Once we got our slices, we sat down near the window.  Conversation turned to the twins, which were growing far faster than Romeo and Kat expected.  Romeo asked about Es and the baby.  We talked a little about the alien.  I glanced at my watch as I took a sip of water, almost choking on it.  We had been sitting there for an hour.
 


“Oh, man!  I need to go.”  I jumped up from my seat as Romeo chuckled and said goodbye.

When I arrived back home, Es sat on the couch, relaxing and reading a book.  She looked up as I walked in.

“The food must have been delicious.” She chuckled and shut her book.

“Oh, I’m SO sorry!  The time flew. Did you know I had homework?”  She raised her eyebrow as she tried to hide her smile. “Yes!  I’m telling the truth. I had to fill out this questionnaire.”  I filled her in on the rest of my experience.

“Well, I’m glad you had fun, but now I need your help.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said as I sat down beside her.  “What are you reading?”

“A baby book recommended to me by your mom.  That’s not what I need help with, though.  I have a basket of laundry upstairs that I need to do.  However, I filled it up a little heavier than I meant to.  Could you please bring it down to the laundry room?”
“Of course, my love,” I proclaimed as I jumped up off the couch.  I brought up my arm and flexed my muscle.  “I, your strong sexy man, will carry your laundry basket and save the day.”


Es rolled her eyes and laughed.  “You’re sometimes a bit too much, but I love you anyway.  The basket is upstairs in our bedroom.  Thanks, honey!”

 
I brought the laundry basket down and she gave me a kiss for the work.  I felt I deserved a little more.  After all, I saved the day!  
 
Instead, I plopped myself in front of my computer to do some editing. My latest novel had few more rewrites, then it would be finished.

When I awoke the next morning, I could hear the rain against the windows.  “Appropriate for alien day,” the words came out before I could stop them.

 

I took a shower and then sat down at my computer. I looked over our list one more time and then printed it out.  I grabbed it, added it to my pile and walked out to the living area.

I sat on the couch and dumped my stack of papers on the coffee table.  It included the list along with several folders filled with everything collected over the years. Es came over, leaned down and put her hands on the back of the couch.  “We’re ready, London.  I think we’ll survive.  In fact, I’m actually excited.”

“Really?  I feel like our first month of marriage has been far more than most could handle.”

“Yeah, it has been pretty overwhelming,” she put her hands over her stomach, “but I have a good feeling about it.  Like we’re in the right place kind of thing.”

I nodded, I understood, though I didn’t feel the same.  “I’m glad you feel it.  Maybe your feelings will come over and jump into my body, too.”

Es laughed, then walked around the couch.  A knock sounded at the door.  She looked at me.  I nodded and we both walked to the door together. 
 

Ghint stood on the other side of the doorway.  Completely visible, he greeted us with a wave.  This time, his ship wasn’t parked on the road.

“Good afternoon!  Please come in!” Es allowed him to walk into the room, then shut the door.

 
Es asked him if he wanted anything to drink or eat.  He declined.  I wasn’t sure he even enjoyed the same things we did or if he even ate similar food.  For all I knew he ate metamorphic space rock or something even stranger.

He shook our hands in a warm, friendly way.  My previous fear began to disappear.

“Please, Ghint, have a seat.”  He sat down on one couch, while we chose the other.  I wasn’t sure if I needed to begin or if he would.  We sat in silence while Ghint took in his surroundings. 


After a few minutes, he spoke.

Thank you for meeting with me.  And, yes, London, before you ask, the ship is in the woods hidden away.  It is still invisible, but I did not want to take any chances of it being found.  And, again, I am invisible.  However, knowing you and your wife would be sitting with me, I included her in the programming of my suit.  This is full body visual. I believed it to be less distracting.”  We nodded as he continued.

 
“First, London, I wanted you to know that your book has helped our people tremendously.  Overall, we as an alien nation are slowly becoming more accepted.  We know it will be a long time until full acceptance, but we believe it will happen. Of course, there will always be those who disapprove, dislike or are ignorant.  However, you have shown most of the world that being different is not bad with your book, My Colored Life.

Those, including yourself, who have been our experiments have helped us more than you will ever understand. Our future is more secure than it ever has been because of you.  Our testing has gathered valuable information.  Those results have saved our people and will continue to aid in our quest to succeed.”  He stopped, letting it sink in.

I didn’t say anything.  How could I?  My book somehow helped save a whole race. Helped them to survive.  From what, I had no clue.

 

“Well, honestly, I’m shocked,” I replied finally. “I wrote the book to help me process my life and the others who were affected.  I never dreamed it would help a whole other race.” I looked into Ghint’s almond shaped eyes.  “I have so many questions, though.  One more important than any other currently: Es is pregnant, will the baby be….healthy?”

Ghint smiled and said, “Yes.  In fact, it will be a normal sim baby.  The process we use is never transferred to the next generation.”

We breathed a sigh of relief and hugged one another.  “So, is that all you came to tell us?  If so, I have a list of questions,” I leaned over to pick it up.

“No, I came to ask you a question.  I promise I will answer your questions, but it won’t be today.  Our question: would you write another book about us?”

“What?” I squeaked out.  The questions abandoned my mind as I gawked at the alien. “But I have no more information.  What I wrote originally, mostly detailed my life experience and the little knowledge we had at the time.”

“I have been given permission to share more information,” he gestured towards a folder on the coffee table.  I hadn’t seen it before. Man, they can make things appear any time, couldn’t they?  He continued, “You will have access to it when I leave. Also, what you wrote in the first book helped introduce us, which was far more important than the details. To help guide you for the next book, I want to tell you my story.  We feel the way for complete acceptance is to share with your world, our world.  My story will do that.”

 

“You have a world?” I asked in utter disbelief. Something niggled in the back of my brain.  It didn’t come quickly, so I pushed it back into the recesses.

“Yes, the name of my planet is Tetor.  We have lived there for what has seemed like centuries.  The book would be more information about us along with our planet, our people and the story behind our experiments.  The full story.  

“You are a published novelist.  Your popularity along with your writing skills are a perfect combination for what we need.  The packet you will look at when I leave, includes documents along with some photos of our planet.  Please take your time looking through everything and thinking about this.  It is a very important decision, to us and to your planet as well.”  He stood up.

 

“Of course. I, er, we will give it great thought and consideration.”  I stood up, feeling rushed.

“Some of the documents have information that may answer some of your questions,” he said as he walked to the door.  “Other answers will be found within my story.  I apologize for leaving so quickly.  A situation has developed that demands my immediate attention.  I will contact you in due time.”  He shook our hands before I could even reply and left.

I stood stunned in the middle of my living room. Was that real?  Did that just happen? I pinched myself.  “Ow!”

“Yes, honey, it was real,” she laughed as she sat down on the couch again. “I hope everything is alright.  Ghint sure seemed in a hurry to leave,” Es said as she picked up the packet and moved to the kitchen table.  She emptied the contents of the folders on the table as I sat down across from her.

Together we looked through everything.  We took our time.  First we looked at the photos.  They were all different, but showed different aspects of his planet.  To us, it looked like Ghint had pulled them together from difference sources.  

The planet resembled Earth in many ways.  As we studied the photos, we pointed out differences between our planet and theirs or things we noticed.

Once we finished, I picked up the folder and began to read while Es continued studying the photos.  

“Woah!” I blurted out as I read the folder in my hands, which surprisingly was in simlish. 

“What?” Es said as she looked up from a picture.

“It says here that they have two suns.  They sit next to each other and run parallel.”

“Wow! I wonder how that works.”

“I don’t know.  It doesn’t really explain it.  Maybe the suns are smaller than our one is and they need extra heat. It’s interesting nonetheless.”

“Well, none of the pictures include any suns that I can see. Maybe their suns are dangerous to look at like ours.” Es continued flipping through the photos. Silenced occupied the room as we continued our examination.


Suddenly, I made a gasping sound. “Es, I think I found part of the reasoning for the experiments!”

Es put her photos down to listen.

“According to this, a time machine appeared and sims from Earth arrived to explore Tetor.  It seems the machine could be used to travel into the future or the past. Eventually, after some kind of long fight with the government, sims started to marry the aliens and have babies.  Thus, creating a new species.  They were born with blue skin!  Like me!” I looked at Es as her jaw dropped.

“Wow, London!  This is what you’ve been waiting for! Keep reading!”

I stared at the paper and continued, “No one really anticipated a new species, which to me is surprising. After the first baby was born, concern emerged. The babies seemed healthy enough, but a research team developed nonetheless.  They hoped to determine what, if any, products or medicines would be needed for this new life. 

“After a small amount of time, they found sims grew faster than aliens.  So, they cloned the new species’ DNA and traveled to Earth to experiment.  Careful research determined the exact parameters needed for a successful implant.  That’s why a scan of the mother was completed before any implantation. They inserted the DNA into the baby BEFORE it was born.  It didn’t matter what stage as the cloned DNA took over immediately.  The character of the child remained, but the physicality was that of the new species.


“These babies were exact replicas of their new species.”
 I stopped reading. 


 “Es, this means that I’m part alien.”


Es remained silent, thinking.  Then, almost when I couldn’t handle it anymore, she replied, “But, London, you don’t have any alien characteristics.  Does it say anything about the differences between the new species and aliens?”

“Yeah, according to this, the sim eyes were dominant, they had hair and also grew like regular sims.”

“Well, that explains it!  Is it bad that you’re part alien?”

“I’m not sure.  I’ve heard stories of others going into the future. So, I believe what I’m reading.  It’s just a lot to take in,” I paused as I stared at the ceiling in thought. I do already have a few ideas on how to start the book they want me to write.”

“So, you think you will write it?”

“I’m not sure yet.  I want to finish reading everything.”

“What else does it say?”

“Basically, the rest says they scanned each child once a week and sent the reports to their headquarters. Eventually, after the lengthy experiments, the team discovered there was no need for alarm.  Nothing needed to be done.  The new species seemed to be healthier than a regular sim or alien and there was no lasting effects,” I finished as I put the folder down.  “Well, I guess that’s good news and lines up with what I know.”

After a few minutes of hearing the clock ticking, Es spoke up, “London?”

 
“Yeah?” She stood up and walked behind me.
 
“You know I don’t care whether your alien or sim, right?  I married you because I love you for you, no matter what?”

 

I relaxed as she touched me.  “I know.  I may need that reminder a few more times until I get used to the idea.  I kissed her hand. “The scientists never suspected this in their research.  They just thought it was some skin pigment alteration.  Boy, are they going to be shocked by this.” 

 

*lovesstorm’s notes*

Well, what a revelation!  And, we’ve not even discovered everything yet.  I know some may be disappointed about no more blue babies. 😦  London wanted it to be his story alone.  😉  And anyway, I already have a plan for the next generation that will make you forget blue babies (at least I hope).  


Also, I feel like the pictures came out really good this chapter. Like, the seemed to fit the story better than I usually can get them.  I truly hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed putting it together!  😡

I’d love to have your feedback and guess as to what could be coming.  :-O

Poses
Mechanics of Emotions – Love by Delight33

Couple Pose #2 – by sssvitlans
Depression by chasmchronicle
Bodybuilding Poses by Sims WeeklyWorld News
For Men by Ms Adrienne
Sit Series by Dill
Sofa Poses by Inna Lisa
Have a Seat by k2m1too
Table Talk Poses by Cheeky

Objects
Dossier Folder from Around the Sims
Office Clutter by Living Dead Girl (TSR)
Office Stuff by ClioSims3

2.4 – The Surprise

I moved to the other side of the porch to get a different angle. Mom congratulated me again as I walked by.  I thanked her, but my attention remained on the ship.   It seemed empty.  I surveyed the road and surrounding areas, but in the dark, I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary.  No, wait, something caught my eye.  A blob of some sort, no bigger than a plate, and it floated towards the house.

Any normal person would be terrified by now.  Not me.  I had spent most of my life researching these creatures.  I knew everything known to sims about them, which consisted of little.  The drive to understand them, talk to them, learn overwhelmed me.

The green bobbing thing moved closer until it finally stopped in front of me. I could not help but stare at it. It was just a face, covered in green skin. The almond-shaped eyes seemed bigger than mine. The jet-black color a void of nothing but my reflection. Their ears were pointy on top and just a little larger than mine. They stared at me, probably probing my mind, which was absolutely freaky. I had read they could do that. What a strange sensation! I did not like it. It’s my personal space.

As soon as that thought erupted, they spoke. As if they knew I didn’t like it.

“I am Ghint Traun,” they said with pride. “You’re London Ramsey.”

Taken aback, I realized that I understood everything they said. Unless they were speaking my language. I wouldn’t probably have known the difference. My research showed they spoke Simlish, but no one had ever spoken to one of them, so I’m not sure how we knew that information. Maybe they spoke our language when speaking to us. Another question to add to the pile, I thought.

Oh, and they knew my name. They knew everything because they had created me. In a way, I guess. Honestly, it felt bizarre. A stranger, knowing my name without an introduction. It didn’t feel right.

“Yes,” I nodded.  “Nice to meet you, Ghint.”  I held out my hand and they shook it, which surprised me.  An alien who shakes hands, too?

“I know you are full of questions, London.  We have the answers you seek.  Unfortunately, now is not the time,” they explained, glancing at the guests inside  “We do not wish to interrupt your ritual.  Could we meet in one month?”

I thought for a moment.  One month felt far too long, but I agreed.  Esmeralda and I needed time with each other, before something else was thrown into our newlywed life. I ran my schedule quickly through my head and found nothing on the day he specified.  Even if I had a meeting, I would have cancelled it.  I would tell Es.  She knew how important it was that I discovered more about me.

“That sounds agreeable.  Are we meeting here?”  He nodded. Oh, and you and your ship are invisible, right?  Otherwise, my family and friends would be a little more frightened.” I looked through the window. Es, Sophia, Lynelle and my mom danced to a song I recognized.  Lynelle kept doing some crazy moves while the others laughed. I smiled, thankful no one had noticed my one-sided conversation or my absence. 

 “Yes. You are correct about the invisibility.  You’re very perceptive, London.”  He looked into the house as well and smiled at my sister.  “We don’t like causing disturbances.  It is harder to accomplish our missions.”

I nodded.  I could easily see that being a problem.  I shook hands with him and he left the way he came without a sound. 

I fumbled to find a seat near me.  I may have felt calm when talking to them but the moment they left, my heart pounded inside my chest, whether from exhilaration or trepidation, I wasn’t sure.  My mind tried to wrap itself around what had just happened.  As I took a few calming breaths, my heart started to steady.  I knew when the time came, I wouldn’t miss the meeting with alien stranger. I needed to know more. 

I stood up and went inside, back to my bride and our guests. Es noticed me first and rushed me, squealing about the song that had just played. Thankfully, she didn’t ask any questions or mention my absence. Instead, she said we had a marriage certificate to sign to make it official. To celebrate, she dragged me over to the dance floor.  As she pulled me close, the lights suddenly dimmed.  We started our first dance as Mr and Mrs London Ramsey.

As the music played, I held her close. I tried to put the encounter with Ghint out of my mind for now. I’d process it later. Es touched my cheek with her finger and smiled at me. Her lilac shampoo wafted into my nose as she put her head on my shoulder. I put my arms around her body and pulled her close. She held my thoughts captive. It didn’t take much.

As we moved around the dance floor, a thought popped into my head.  We were done!  No more planning no more lists.  I pulled her even closer as that realization sunk in.  My thoughts drifted toward our night together…alone. This night needs to hurry along.

A few hours later, we finished the cake and champagne.  We’d worn ourselves out, but it had been a memorable day.  Even more so with the alien.  Everyone seemed eager to leave but kept glancing at us.  I just rolled my eyes and shooed them out the door.  I loved my family, but those girls had too many thoughts running around in their brains.

Once the blinds were closed, we worked on getting things cleaned up.  She seemed nervous as she fumbled with a few dishes in the sink.  I just followed her lead, anticipating what was to come. Eventually, I turned off the kitchen light. She gasped, not entirely expecting it. I stated we could leave some for the next day. I joined my hand in hers and tugged her close to me.
“It’s over.  You can relax now,” I said with a smile. 
“I know, but it will be hard going from all the planning to doing nothing.  Maybe I should learn to play guitar.  Or I could find a part-time job.”
 

As we walked upstairs to our bedroom, I didn’t let go of her hand. She seemed nervous.

“Did you want me to carry you over the threshold?”

“No. I want t figure out what I should do.”

I softly kicked the door shut behind us and kissed her forehead. I walked over to the closet and opened the door.  “The guitar sounds fun,” I answered as I took off my jacket and tie.  “The part-time job could be enjoyable if you find the right one.”

“I don’t know.  Maybe.  I’ll think about it.  I just don’t want to be stuck in retail forever. That’s why I quit my last job.”


She seemed lost in thought after that.  I wanted to help her talk it out. I knew she worked best that way, but her nervous energy wasn’t about what she should do. I pulled her close and kissed her. She gave in much faster than I anticipated. Soon, our night had begun in glorious honeymoon bliss.


____________________________________________________________________

The next morning, I woke up to an empty bed.  Disappointment coursed through me for a moment.  We had such an intimate time the previous night, and I would have loved to have a repeat of it.  As I lay there, I heard a noise.  It sounded like it was coming from the bathroom.  I threw my robe on and made my way there.  As I kicked the clothes from the previous night aside, I knocked on the door.

 “Es, are you ok?”  I said worriedly.

Nothing.  I heard the water turn on at the bathroom sink.

“Honey?”

A faint, “yeah” came and a sigh of relief escaped my lips.
The door slowly opened and Esmeralda came out naked. I saw her pale face when she looked at me with pitiful eyes.
I drew her into a hug and asked what had happened.
“I don’t know.  I just suddenly had to throw up.  It woke me up and I barely got to the bathroom in time.  And,” she said dejectedly, “there’s a mess in there.  I’m so sorry.”
“I’ll get it. Don’t worry about it.  Go back to bed and I will make quick work of the clean up.  I could go to the store, too, if you need anything.”
She shook her head.  “No, I just want to lay down again.  I’m sorry.  Can you help me get some clothes on?”  I nodded.  “I’m sure this isn’t exactly how you pictured our first day as husband and wife.”
 
I didn’t respond as I helped her get clothed and back in bed. Instinctively, I touched her forehead, expecting it to be hot.  It was surprisingly cool to the touch.

 

I covered her up with blankets as I said, “Honestly, honey, I just want you to feel better.  I’m sure you also didn’t picture our first day like this.  Rest well.”  I kissed her forehead as she closed her eyes.

I went to the bathroom, dug up some cleaning supplies and scrubbed the whole bathroom.  “There!  Good as new!”
I put everything away and walked into the bedroom.  Esmeralda slept peacefully and her cheeks were rosier than before.  Satisfied, I went downstairs to eat something.
 
After I ate, I found her still sleeping, so I left a note on the table next to the bed telling her to text me if she needed me.  

Originally, my office wasn’t sound proof.  But recently, I’d done some work on it.  I could still hear sounds, but only if the door stood open.   
 
Once seated at my desk, I started working.  A few hours passed before I noticed. Funny how that happens when I’m writing.
 
I checked my phone and didn’t see a text message from Es.  I saved my work and went to check on Es.  I found her still sleeping and felt her forehead again. Hmm…still cool.  Her eyes fluttered open.

“Baby, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to wake you up,” I said with a frown.

“It’s ok.  What time is it?  I probably need to get up and make breakfast.”
“It’s 11:00.  I already made myself something to eat.  Are you hungry?  I could bring up some toast.”
She thought for a moment, but shook her head.  I could tell she wanted to get up. She slowly sat up on the edge of the bed, and then I helped her to stand.
“Are you ok?”  I asked concerned, hanging onto her arm.
“Yeah, I think so.  I feel a lot better.  You know how it is.  You feel so much better after you puke,” she looked disgusted when she said it, but then smiled.
 
She started walking to the bathroom and stated that she needed a shower.  Maybe a shower would help even more.
 
I went downstairs to finish cleaning the kitchen.  I heard her get out of the shower as I opened up a container of yogurt.  She came down just as I put the bowl on the table.
As we ate, we talked about what we were going to do that day.  We would leave the next day for the honeymoon.  I didn’t voice my opinion, but I wondered if we should even go. Her sickness troubled me. If needed, I would postpone the vacation.

She stated relaxation was the key.  Visiting some place in town we’d never been to before sounded fun to her.  I had wanted to take her to the new bakery, but the mere thought of mentioning food scared me.  Well, technically, I wanted to take myself and drag her with me.   Our wedding cake had been delicious and I wanted to test some of the other goodies they offered.   I decided to throw my thought out anyway. 

“How about the I started.
“Deliciously Indulgent Bakery,” we said at the same time.
 
We laughed and I told her I had been worried.
“Honestly, I feel much, much better now.  Maybe it was a fluke?  I might have had too much champagne.”

I do remember she had a few glasses.  She usually didn’t drink, so maybe it’d been too much.  I decided that it made logical sense and let it go for the moment.

We strapped ourselves into my little car and traveled in town.  The sun shone brightly in the beautiful Roaring Heights sky as my beautiful new bride and I strolled up to the bakery.  My taste buds salivated at the thought of the desserts inside, waiting to be sampled.  The day couldn’t get much better.

The bakery’s popularity had been growing for a few months now.  So, when we arrived right after lunch, I was surprised to find it empty. 

However, once we ordered our food, the placed started filling up.  We quickly grabbed our plates and found seats.

“Ok,” I said as I rubbed my hands together, “we bought a few different things.  On my plate, I have a piece of banana cream pie, blueberry cobbler, and a cinnamon roll. What do you have?” As I spoke, drool started to form at the corner of my mouth.
 
“London, you’d think we struck gold.  You are far too excited about this,” she laughed, but moved her plate closer to me.
 
“I can’t help it.  If these are half as good as that wedding cake, then I did strike gold.”  I announced that her plate contained a piece of strawberry-rhubarb pie, cherry cobbler, and a few different types of cookies.  I ate half of my plate and handed it to Es.  She surprisingly had already eaten half of hers as well.  So, we switched.
 
As we ate, people came by and congratulated us.  We thanked everyone, but my focus remained on my plate.  They were all more incredible than I originally anticipated. 

The place went beyond my wildest dreams.  I needed to meet the owner.  As I asked to speak to him or her, the counter person pointed at someone coming our way. Who happened to appear, but none other than Romeo Montague!  Shocked couldn’t even begin to describe the looks on our face.  Why hadn’t he ever said anything!
 

“Cat got your tongue, old chap?” he said with deep laugh.

It took me a few minutes to recover.  Finally, I picked up my jaw from the floor and shook his hand.
“So, you have come to tell me how terrible my food is?” he said with a raised eyebrow.
“Um….” I cleared my throat nervously.  “I came to say, uh, how impressed I am with your, um, your bakery.” I took a deep breath and continued, “It has the most delicious selection of desserts.  Well, at least the ones I tried.”  I felt my eyes grow big and I quickly croaked“But I’m sure they are all awesome.”  I felt like an idiot, but couldn’t seem to stop the escapade. “You definitely have extreme talent and if you ever need a partner, I would be glad to invest in your business.”  I blew out my breath.  The floor needed to open up and swallow me.  What an idiot!
 
But Romeo just stared back in shock. I really must have made a fool of myself.  Es gently put her arm through mine.  We looked at each other and relief spread through me.  Why was I nervous with her by my side?  And anyway, besides Es, Romeo was my best friend.  The desserts had messed up my brain, I guess.  

Romeo asked us to follow him, which took us through part of the kitchen and then down an elegant gold pinstriped hallway. At the end, we stood before a set of tall mahogany doors.  He opened one door and held out his arm, inviting us in.  We walked in to a modern office with elegant touches. It fit Romeo well.

Romeo waved us to take a seat and he sat down in his office chair. “Are you serious about a partnership?” he asked with raised eyebrows.

We nodded without even looking at each other. After our taste testing, we discussed the idea at length. Honestly, we never thought it would happen.  And how we missed the news that Romeo and Katarina owned the place puzzled us.  

“Well, we are doing far better than we expected in our first quarter.  If it was anyone else, I might politely decline. However, it’s you. Would you agree to be a silent partner with a side of food testing?

My eyes widened considerably.  “Food testing?  What would that entail?”  I pictured myself at a table eating unknown things and then spitting it out.  Ew.

He revealed the secrets of the test kitchen, and it sounded intriguingly yummy.  Then, he explained some details about the business and told us some stats including number of employees, the last monthly totals and a few other minor numbers.

He looked at us and said in a sincere voice, “Honestly, if you would like to invest, I would not stop you.  I would welcome you, my friends.  If you still agree, we can get our lawyers to draw up the paperwork.  It shouldn’t be too complicated,” he said with a big grin on his face.

 

I looked at Es and she nodded vigorously.  I stood up and held out my hand, “you have yourself a deal.”  He also stood up, but walked around the desk.  As he shook my hand and patted me on the back, Esmeralda stood up.  Romeo went up to her as well and hugged her.  Who knew the day would create such an exciting adventure.

After our business had finished, we walked out to the customer area.  The rush had ended and Romeo gathered the staff.  The partnership Romeo kept quiet, but he told them we would be helping out in the Test Kitchen.  Once we met everyone, more customers strolled in and business picked up.  We left with a smile on our face.

We talked in the car about the exciting news.  Esmeralda seemed more excited than me.  She also said she needed a snack again when we got home.  I couldn’t believe was hungry again. She had just eaten. I said nothing.   

Once home, Es barely acknowledged me as she headed toward the kitchen to finish cleaning up from the night before.  I quickly kissed her and headed to my office.  I had another idea pinging around my brain and wanted to get it down.
 
I had just sat down and started typing when I heard a thump.  Honestly, I’m surprised I even heard it, but I had left the door open accidentally.  “Es?”

“Es?  Are you okay?”  I nervously got up and jogged to the kitchen.

Esmeralda lay on the floor, collapsed.  

I almost panicked, but quickly got it together.  Her chest rose and fell.  Good, she was breathing! Whew! I lifted her into my arms and walked down to the hospital.  It didn’t seem far and putting her in the car would’ve been a hassle.

By the time I got to the hospital, though, my arms were weakening.  I almost wished I had put her in the car.  She may not have been heavy, but the walk took longer than I’d originally thought.
 

As I walked up the stairs, Es woke up.  A nurse wheeled a chair over to me.  I thanked her and gently put Es into it. 

“London, where are we?”

“In the hospital.  You fainted at home.  So, I brought you here.”

She went wide-eyed for a moment.  I took her hand and said everything would be fine.  We sat at one of the desks and the nurse handed us a pile of forms.  Thankful she’d woken up, we started filling out the paperwork. 
 
A nurse sat down at the computer and entered all the information when we’d finished. She also asked us a few more questions as she entered the information. Es answered the best she could. She still seemed a little out of it.  
I told the nurse we were just married the day before.  Even Esmeralda’s name hadn’t been changed to Ramsey yet.  I pulled out the copy of the marriage certificate in my wallet.  The nurse, Poppy according to her name tag, didn’t bat an eye as she continued stabbing at the keyboard.
Finally assigned to a room, Es answered more questions, including repeats. After multiple tests were done, they allowed her to rest. She fell asleep quickly. I spent that time postponing our honeymoon and then calling her parents. They rushed over but stayed in the waiting room. 
 
I decided against calling Mom and Dad just yet.  They had taken a trip themselves to France.  Mom had been there a few times for work, but Dad had never been.  I didn’t want to interrupt their fun.
 
As I sat there, waiting for results, I thought about everything.  We had barely begun our marriage and the alien came, then this happened.  What more could happen? Maybe I shouldn’t ask that question.

I had told the nurses that she had been sick that morning. They had said she could be dehydrated or something. I wasn’t sure about that. She’d only been sick once. Then, she drank water at the bakery.
 

Es only slept for a short time. She wanted to see her parents, so Scot and Sophie came into the room. I wondered if they felt I was already failing their daughter. I kept catching them grinning at us, though, which confused me. I glanced at Es, but she was too tired to notice. 

Finally, a few hours later, a doctor knocked on the door and walked in.  Scot and Sophie excused themselves and said they would wait out in the waiting room again.  I appreciated their respect. They knew we would tell them as soon as we knew more.

Dr. Smith introduced herself and walked to the side of the bed.  I grabbed Esmeralda’s hand.  Nervously, we waited for the results.

“Esmeralda, we did numerous tests and as far as we can see, you are a very healthy young woman.”

“You mean you found nothing wrong?  Not even the flu?” She held her hand to her stomach.  “That doesn’t make any sense.” 

“It does, but you’ll need to prepare yourself.” Her glance skimmed over both of us. She seemed serious for a moment, but then she grinned.  “Congratulations!  In nine months, you’ll have a new bundle of joy!”
 
Flabbergasted.  No, maybe dazed.  Yeah, that’s the word.  That’s how I felt. Probably Es, too. I think I stopped breathing.  Even the doctor gawked at us, probably wondering what our problem was. I glanced at Es.  I saw many different emotions flickering across her face.  I’m sure my face mirrored hers. 

Finally, we looked at each other. Then, she grinned, from ear to ear.  I did too.  I couldn’t help it, she made me do things like that.  I mean, we did want kids.  It happened to be a little faster than we had anticipated, but it would be ok, right?
 
“I suppose you weren’t expecting that answer, huh?”  The doctor skimmed the chart in her hands as she continued, “I am slightly concerned with Esmeralda’s results. So I’d like her to stay on a light bed rest for a week. This would include the couch as well. Just take it easy, no lifting, nothing strenuous. It is a little unusual, I know. There isn’t anything wrong per se. It’s just a precaution. And, I want you to start prenatal vitamins right away. We’d like to get a quick ultrasound just to check on the baby before you leave. Then, we’ll get you a prescription for prenatals and the other instructions for bed rest, and you can be on your way.”
“But, Dr. Smith,” Es interrupted, “we were supposed to leave for our honeymoon tomorrow morning.  Could we just postpone it for a few days, maybe?” Es asked looking a little disappointed.

“Well, maybe, but I honestly would hold off for at least the week.  Once you are cleared, then you can move forward with your plans.  I know it’s hard to hear, but it is for the safety of you and your child. I held her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze.  It was only a week.  

We thanked the doctor and she left.  Shortly after, a nurse came to take us to the ultrasound room. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw what looked like a blob, no, maybe a bean, on the screen. Es started crying. I may have shed a tear or two. I was grateful she was alive and all was well.

After the nurse came in to give us our information and dismissal paperwork, I pushed Es to the lobby where Scot and Sophie joined us. The hospital insisted they push Es to the car at the curb, so I asked her parents to meet us at our house where we’d explain everything. 

At home, we told Scot and Sophie the news.  I’m not sure how older people suspect these things, but they both high-fived and said, “We knew it!” 

They left shortly after that offering any help if needed. I called Mom and Dad too. I told them the news over the phone. I had to hold the phone away as they screamed. I think they were excited. They offered to leave early to help, but I told them to please stay. Es and the baby were well and we could handle it. Then, in a week, we’d be on our way to our honeymoon destination. They finally agreed to stay if they got a copy of the ultrasound.
Esmeralda headed for bed after we hung up.  She hadn’t gotten much sleep at the hospital.  “Nothing’s better than your bed at home,” she said with a tired smile.  
 

After she went upstairs, I sat on the couch and mulled over everything that had happened. This whole thing had completely blindsided me. Yes, I accepted it, of course. I had no choice. My brain still needed to process it all, though.

I was being selfish, and I knew it.  I had hoped to get to know Es in many ways long before a baby entered our minds.  That one night!  Our blissful newlywed life changed because of it.  And we couldn’t get it back. 

As I continued to stew, I played with my wedding ring.  It was our fault.  We had to own it.  Make the best of it.  It would be a challenge.  We worked well together in challenges, I thought slowly.  I’d rather be in this with her than anyone else.  And, we had nine months to get used to it…the idea of a baby.  We could do this. Yes!  We could!

I felt a little better after my pep talk.  Es needed me more than ever right now. I knew she needed reassurance that I was indeed accepting of this.  She knew me well, and I could not fool her.  I needed to get my brain wrapped around it, and fast.  Nine months, nine months, nine months. My brain kept repeating that.  Nine months was a long time.

The best way for me to help work my way through stress?  Write my novel.  It always inspired me.  So, I went to my office to work.  I texted Es, but I must have pondered longer than I thought.  Shortly after I sent my text, she sent me one assuring me she was feeling better and had found a book to read.

After just twenty-four hours, Esmeralda became restless.  I knew that it’d be tough, so I bought her a guitar.  I thought it would be something that she could learn to play while she relaxed.  Her delight in it, made me happy.  Soon, I heard music – er, well, notes – drifting from the instrument.  I went back to work on my story.  Thankfully, I usually shut my door, so it didn’t make her suspicious.

After a few hours, I stopped to check in on her.  She sat on the couch with her foot under her leg.  Her slouched shoulders indicated her sadness. I sat down beside her and held her hand.

“Honey, I am so sorry that I ruined our honeymoon and messed up our schedule. I’m sure I’ll be cleared in six days and then we can go,” as she said it, though, she had some doubt on her face.

“Es, honey, your health along with the baby’s is far more important than a trip.  Or even our schedule.  We’ll go when you’re cleared, no matter when it is.  We could even wait until after the baby comes.  I do not want you to be miserable on such an important trip,” I pointedly looked at her.  She blushed, but smiled.  “We could also just spend a few nights somewhere.  Then, go on a second honeymoon after a few years.  It would not take long for me to search out some bed and breakfast places.”

Her eyes lit up at that idea.  “Oh, that would be perfect!  I want to explore France with you, but I feel a little overwhelmed by it,” as she finished her sentence, I interrupted.  “Hey, how did you know where I was taking you?”
“Easy, I mentioned it once a long time ago when we first started dating.  I said it was a dream of mine to go to France one day.  I knew you would think back to that and take me,” she smiled slyly as she spoke.
She continued with enthusiasm, “So, I want something that would still be relaxing and enjoyable.  I want to relish our time together, but for the place not to be too far away.  I think you might want to check out a place called Sunlit Tides.  I’ve heard some excellent things and it’s just up the coast.”  I nodded and said I’d look into it.
 
Time went by quickly as we made our plans. I found a few nice houses we could rent. After speaking to all the different owners, there was one that stood out. The beauty and charm of the place caught my eye plus the owner listed a host of amenities that the other places didn’t have. We provided our own food. I booked it immediately. We could cancel within 48-hours and get our money back, which clinched it for me.

Esmeralda did feel better after a few days. The vitamins must have helped more than I thought they would. Or maybe it was just rest. Unfortunately, the morning sickness didn’t escape her.  By mid-mornings it usually disappeared.  She worked on buying guitar lesson books, baby books and finding a part-time job that intrigued her. The laptop always seemed to be in front of her. 

 

Beyond getting ready for the trip, I spent as much time in my office as I could.  Es started planning the baby’s room.  She couldn’t do much to the room, but she did a lot of searching for ideas online. Honestly, I didn’t care what she did to the room.  I was just happy that she was enjoying life again.  I needed to remember she liked having things to do.

Finally the day of the results arrived.  We were both optimistic as we waited in a room. Thankfully, it was good news, and she was cleared.
Doubt still crept in. Was she really healthy enough to go?  Should she stay home and rest?  What if she collapsed again?  Or what if something worse happened?  I didn’t want to be responsible for losing the baby.  I’m not sure either of us could handle it.

The most dreaded question, which I hadn’t even thought of until that moment:  would my DNA affect the baby? No way was I going to mention that question to Es. Maybe I could talk to the scientists or ask the alien quietly, when Es away. The only thought that eased my mind for the moment: the doctor hadn’t said anything about it.
For now, I needed to push the doubt away.  Surely Es would say something if she didn’t feel well plus the doctor had cleared her to go.  Ugh, this baby was already making us second guess everything.  

I peeked at my bride the next morning as we prepared to leave.  Her cheeks glowed with a rosy color and she had a bright smile on her face.  Yeah, she was ok, but I’d watch her like a hawk.
 
I loaded our bags in my trusty car and we climbed in.  The vehicle started perfectly.  My mechanic in town really knew how to make this baby purr.
 
On our way out of town, Esmeralda started asking about baby names and which ones I liked.  She had a whole list in her lap.  Boy, I was in for a long drive.
 
We arrived right before dinner.  The house sat against an island paradise back drop.  We knew it would be beautiful, but we never guessed it would be this spectacular.  We got out of the car and pulled the bags from the trunk.
 

Once we were inside the house, I put the bags down.  I pulled Es close to me and kissed her forehead.  “We’re finally here, sweetheart,” I whispered as I hugged her close.  She wrapped her arms around me and sighed contentedly.  

 “Let’s explore!” she exclaimed as she grabbed my hand. Not exactly what I wanted to explore, but I obliged. We began our own tour of the house.

We found a hot tub in the back, but unfortunately, it was against doctor’s orders.The view from the deck in the back brought the sounds of the ocean. It waved to us with its white foam caps and the breeze brought us the salty smell. It was perfect! I wrapped my arms around Es as she stood in front of me, watching the ocean. She leaned back, relaxing in my arms. I knew this was the exact place we needed to be.
Later that night, as I brushed my teeth, an idea came to mind.  I quickly finished and went to find Es. However, she’d already curled under the covers and had fallen asleep. I’m glad she was getting the rest she needed.

The next morning, we agreed to walk to the local diner for breakfast.  The greasy food tasted amazing. Those little places make the best food!  Of course, we could not eat like that all the time or we’d die of a heart attack by age 40.

We walked along the beach and hunted for seashells after we ate. We had a blast comparing shells and even found a message in a bottle. It said, “You will find what you seek.”  We laughed so hard!  I guess it meant the bottle?  We didn’t know, but the thought amused us nonetheless.
 
We walked by a local spa along our venture. It didn’t seem busy, so we stopped in. What is a relaxing trip without a massage? The doc said Esmeralda could get one, but cautioned us to tell the staff that she was pregnant.  We didn’t understand why, but when we told the staff, they knew immediately what it meant. They mentioned too many toxins and what-not getting into the blood stream.
 
I was concerned, but they waved it off.  “We have a special pregnancy massage that we do, which is less than the hour recommended.”
It seemed good to me and Es agreed.  

After our amazing massages, we left and went to the park.  Along the way, we bought food at a local grocery store and made a picnic lunch.  We found a spot near a creek and spread out the blanket we’d bought.  Everything always tastes better outside for some reason.

Finally, we arrived back at the house in time for a nap.  Not sure when the last time that occurred, but I woke up rejuvenated.  I’d have to remember naps were my new friend.

Es lay beside me sleeping peacefully.  I carefully got out of the bed and made my way downstairs. Grabbing my laptop, I sat on the couch to check my emails.  Most knew I was on vacation, but sometimes the publishing companies and my agent didn’t care. This time they had sent easy questions, which I answered quickly.
 
Dinner time drew near, so with the extra time, I decided to go to the grocery store again.  It was just around the block.  I left Es a quick note and made my way down the road.
 
While I was gone, Es woke up and panicked.  She couldn’t find me in the house and I’d forgotten my cell phone.  I found out later she’d knocked the note on the floor when she’d flipped back the covers.  Once she found the note, she calmed down.

I felt terrible when I found out, though. I should have waited or at least brought my cell phone. Es continued reassuring me, but I vowed to be more careful in the future. 

Our evening continued with a delicious dinner. Unfortunately, the baby didn’t agree and poor Esmeralda got sick shortly afterwards. I held her hair back as she vomited in the toilet. My poor Es.

She crawled into bed shortly after that, so I went back downstairs to work on my book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t concentrate. The events of the day crowded my thoughts, leaving me exhausted. After staring at the screen for an hour, I put everything away and carefully climbed in next to Es.

The next morning, she still wasn’t feeling well, so we lounged on the couch.  We laughed at our “vacation” so far.  I told Es my feelings on having a baby. How I hated myself, but I knew I could work through it. She surprisingly didn’t get upset. She said she struggled with the same thoughts, but she loved kids and looked forward to having a little one. And any time I needed to vent about it, she wanted to hear it. 

We eventually made our way to the deck where the salty ocean air seemed to revive Esmeralda.  She suggested we find some fishing equipment and try our hand at catching some fish for lunch. We found some poles and a tackle box in the garage and strolled down to our own private beach. 

Honestly, I hadn’t been fishing in awhile.  Probably the reason I got the hook stuck in my shorts.  Es almost doubled over in laughter.  She had to help me, but couldn’t resist snapping a photo first.  Finally, our lines were in the water. 

Within half an hour, we’d caught a few fish. I turned the grill on once we arrived back on the deck. Then, I scaled and grilled the fish while Es whipped up a salad. Fresh fish is definitely the way to go.

While Es voiced her tiredness and left for the bedroom, I tried once again to write, and this time I sat out on the deck. My brain finally relaxed and the fog cleared, thanks to the ocean sounds around me. I finished quite a chunk of writing that afternoon. I was mighty proud!
As the sun started to set in all its glory, I knew I’d never forget this place. Especially on those days when frustration reared its ugly head.  Perhaps when I got home, I might find a special place along the beach nearby.
Later, Es woke up hungry, enough to eat a bear, she said.  She suggested we go to a restaurant she’d heard some of the locals talking about.  A romantic place.  Since she seemed more herself, I agreed.  So, we got dressed up and drove to the other side of the island.  
 
Instantly, we understood the popularity. There were candle-like lights everywhere, even outside.  I’m not sure how they kept them lit during storms.  Maybe they were fake candles.  Either way, Paradise Island oozed romance before you even walked in the building.  Well, at least that’s what Es said.

Inside, the same candle-like lights dimly lit the place.  Each table sat secluded from the others to give the customers more privacy.  Unfortunately, the wait was an hour and a half!
 
The hostess asked how many, but I didn’t answer right away.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to wait that long.  My stomach growled in protest when Es said, “Two, please.” 
“Name?”
“Ramsey”

“First name?”

“London,” Es answered.

The hostess said, “Wait. THE London Ramsey?”
“Um, I only know one, so I guess,” I answered, looking amused.
“Please wait right here.”
 
She turned and walked to what I assumed was the kitchen area. A few minutes later, the hostess hadn’t returned, and I began to get a little uncomfortable in this foreign place.  Others turned to stare and whisper.  I hated that.  I glanced at Es who shrugged but patted my hand reassuredly.    
 
The hostess came out with a tall bald man with a suit and name tag.  It said, “Matt Spark, Manager”.
 
I began to worry we were in some kind of trouble.  Had another London Ramsey come and not paid their bill or something?
 
“London Ramsey!”
“Are we in some sort of trouble?”
“Oh, no, not at all.”  He held out his hand and I shook it a little hesitantly.  “My name is Matt Spark.  I’m the manager of Paradise Island.  I wanted to come personally meet you.”  He kissed Esmeralda’s hand and she blushed, of course.  “My staff has a list of my favorite celebrities.  So when one comes in the door, they know to immediately come find me.”

My eyes widened.  “I’m one of your favorites?  Wow!  I’m honored!” I leaned towards Es and whispered, “I must not be at the top of the list because he took forever to come out.” Es hushed me.

“Natasha,” he gestured to a woman with a serving tray, “please bring two menus to Table 55.”  She nodded as he turned back to us. “Come this way.”

He quickly whisked us to a table in the back.  Matt stated the specials and said our waitress would bring the menus shortly.  He asked if I would sign his book, which I did.  Then, he left us alone in the romantic ambience.

As Es looked into my eyes, I could almost feel the romance.  That is until she laughed and mimicked me.  “Are we in some sort of trouble?”

“Oh, stop!  You didn’t know what was going on either,” I laughed but pulled my hand back.
 
“I know.  I couldn’t stop myself, though.”  She grabbed my hand again and kissed it.  A tingle went down my spine, then my stomach growled again.
 
Once we had the menus, we looked them over and choked when we saw the prices. When our waiter came back, she asked if we were ready to order, quickly explaining that the meal was on the house. We were to order whatever we wanted.
 
I shook my head in disbelief.  In Roaring Heights, most people left us alone. Sometimes, the paparazzis would get annoying, but if we ignored them for awhile, they’d eventually leave.  We enjoyed the simple life, but for one night, we opted to enjoy the royalty treatment
 
We ordered what we desired, then sat back and took in the beauty of the place.  As we started talking about other topics, the food came.  Now, I’ve had some lobster in my lifetime, but Sunlit Tides’ lobster easily rivaled and surpassed all of them.  Even to this day.
 

After thanking the manager again (and whispering to keep our presence under wraps), we strolled under the moonlight hand in hand.  The warm salty breeze ruffled Esmeralda’s hair.  There wasn’t much conversation as we ambled back to the house to finish the rest of our romantic evening together.

Our little vacation felt more like a honeymoon after that night. I knew once we got back, things would change again. Shortly after our arrival, the alien meeting loomed. I had so many questions, and I hoped he’d have some answers. Time would tell, as it always does.

*lovesstorm’s notes*

Well, I’m back.  Yay!  I’ve already written out the rest of London’s life during November which was NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I know what I’ve written will not be the full story, as I still plan on playing the family in the game.  So, it’ll be partly game play wishacy style and partly my story.  


I pushed to get this chapter out partially because I feel terrible for all my slowness, and also because it was a gift to my secret person from the Sims 3 forums:  Alleenmens.  Merry Christmas, lady!
The alien arrived during his wedding. I had no say in that matter.  The partial alien face was a game glitch.  And, yes, the game crashed shortly afterwards, which is why I only got like three pictures.  😀 


I made them try for a baby long before I wrote the story out.  Haha.  I decided they should have the baby as newlyweds.  Not sure why.  That’s just how my mouse clicked and rolled.  


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the chapter.  The story I wrote for London and the aliens is so exciting for me.  I can’t wait to share it with you.  Hopefully, you find it awesome, too. 


Poses

Office/Table conversations by Inna Lisa
Poses for Sofa by Inna Lisa
Romantic Dinner Poses by Zhippidy
Poses with a glass of by Inna Lisa
Requested Pose Pack by Forever Hailey
Sleeping Pose Pack by traelia
Masculinity Pose Pack by Cobalt Rose (Slices of My Soul)
Awards by Kiddo’s Dreams
In the Hospital by Kiddo’s Dreams
12 Poses at a Table by Delight 33
Just for Women by Neka Mew
Hi, My Friend by IMHO
Carry me by Eris Sims @ photosimthesis
Wheelchair Poses by spladoum
For Men by Ms Adrienne
Loretta Pose Pack by Skylar
Laptop Poses by spladoum
Couple Poses by Inna Lisa

2.5 – An Encounter of the Third Kind

2.3 – Tying the Knot

The next morning, she fixed me breakfast while I cleaned out the fridge.  I think I got the poor end of the deal.  However, I could get used to a beautiful woman cooking for me, especially if it was Esmeralda.

At breakfast, we decided on a quick wedding.  I mean, why wait?  We’d known since high school.  Well, at least I had.

So, while Es was playing guitar, I was on the phone with a few of my people.  Word had gotten out fast that we were engaged (paparazzi, I guess) and they wanted to throw me a bachelor party.


So, within a week, there was a party at the Lady Luck Casino and Bar.  They invited quite a few people including a few I’d not seen in awhile.

I stood outside to greet the arrivals as the sun started to sink.  It was a beautiful evening for a party!

First to arrive was my dad.  He gave me a hug as he started inside the building.  I was so happy he could make it.


Then, Tiberius Willard appeared next.  Mom said that Tiberius, Scot and her all stayed at the same house when they were in college.  So, all of our families got together once a month.  I enjoyed it but it was becoming tough since the kids were older and busier.  However, the adults still did it anyway.  I’m glad Mom and Dad had such great friends.


The rest arrived in a blur as I continued to greet everyone and laugh at all their antics.



I ordered a round of drinks from Bartender Phoebe.  She seemed good, but I was slightly worried about her skills.  Fire!  Oh, no, wait, never mind.


Once the drinks were made, I brought a few glasses to some of the latecomers.


“Are you ready for the wedding?” asked Romeo.

“Almost.  We have a few other things to work out.  I don’t even care about all the little things.  I just want Es to be my wife,” I said as I looked on the dance floor.  The owner, Kitty Wiggins smiled at Romeo and I, but kept dancing to the beat.

“Yeah, I completely understand.  Once I knew Katarina was the one I wanted to marry, I just wanted it to happen.  We have to accommodate the ladies, though, and let them have their day.  Anyway, I didn’t mind waiting.  I just had a tough time concentrating on all the details.”

 

Dad came over to us as we were talking.  “I’m sorry to interrupt, but Mom wanted you to know she could pick up the flowers the morning of the wedding.”  I told him thanks and then he leaned closer.  Talking softly, he said, “Kitty has a fabulous place here and definitely knows how to get everyone to have fun.”  I laughed as he walked over and started dancing with a few of the other guys. 

I looked at Romeo and he just shrugged, then followed Dad.  Before I could join them, I saw Dyno walk in.  He looked around and then he saw me.  

He walked over and pounded me on the back in congratulations.  Then, we talked about what he’d been up to.  He’d just arrived in town that morning after travelling for the last month.   


Before Dyno could say much more, the food was ready.  Kitty recommended the stuffed mushrooms and meatballs as her favorite.  Of course, it was all amazing, but she was right, those two appetizers were a delight to the senses. 

 


Finally, Kitty stopped dancing and disappeared for awhile.  The music was left on as Felix continued dancing and Romeo sat bopping his head to the beat.  Dad finished dancing and made his way over to Scot.  They started whispering and acting like a couple of school boys.  What were they up to? I wondered.


After everyone finished eating, Dad called everyone to gather around. 


I started getting slightly nervous when I saw Scot give Dad thumbs up and Dad just grinned back.

“Well, first, thank you all for coming!  This has been quite a party and it was good to see all of you.  As you know, London is my only son.  We all know he is different, but he has taken that and turned it into a inspiration for so many around the world with his books.  He is very special to Justine and I, and we love him more than he’ll ever know.  

When he first came to me about marrying Esmeralda, I thought he might be a little young.  However, he’s already proven to me how hard of a worker he is, and I can see how much he loves her.  I can also see how they work together as a team and how strong that has made them.  Justine and I couldn’t be any happier for them.

So, to show him how proud we are, I’ve ordered up the best champagne they have here.  London, would you like a glass?”  My Dad just stared at me with this lopsided grin.  I became a bit flustered as I knew he was up to something.  Since I was on the spot, however, I didn’t really have time to figure it out.

I nervously said, “Yes.” and the “fun” began.


Well, I wasn’t real thrilled about what Dad did, but it was pretty funny.   Anyway, after Dad’s speech, I couldn’t be too mad at him.  It made me feel good that he was proud of me and approved of my choices.  Miraculously, I also did not get too wet.  I found a towel in the restroom and cleaned up the best I could.

Dad and Mom were the ones who paid for the party and they were very generous.  Everyone at the party received an equal amount so they could play the night away.

Romeo was the first to win.


Scot was next.


Felix had some trouble.  He kept losing, so he got mad at the machine.  I don’t think kicking it helped much.


I also won.  It wasn’t much, but it would help with the wedding costs.   Why do women have to buy such an expensive dress that they wear for one day?


Tiberius won as well and he did a dance.  It was humorous to watch, especially since he was a little juiced.


Dyno pulled me aside later and we talked more about his travels.  I loved travelling, so I always enjoyed hearing about the favorite places of others.  Dyno talked most about a place called “Isla Paradiso”.  

It was beautiful with lots of blue skies, mountains, warm weather, scuba diving and so much more.  It sounded wonderful and the perfect place to take Es for our honeymoon. Since she still had so much to do, she had left that last minute decision in my hands.   I made a mental note to research the place later.


Romeo may not have been from Roaring Heights, but he’d heard of us.  Dad had impressed him the most.  I guess his cooking was known throughout the world.  Dad was happy to sign an autograph.


I chuckled at Romeo as I walked up.  

“You just can’t leave us celebrities alone, can you?”

Romeo turned to me and made a face.  When he blushed, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.  He tried to hit me, but he missed.

He told me he had been on reality tv show, but that was nothing compared to what he’d heard over the years about Dad. 

“Did you enjoy growing up with your Dad’s cooking?  Mmmmm…it just makes my mouth water imagining all the yummy things he has made,” Romeo said as his eyes glazed over.

“Of course I did!  I almost stayed just to continue getting fed.  However, he’s taught me a few tricks, too.  I can hold my own.”  Dad agreed, which made me feel good.  



“Well, in that case, you should invite us over one night and show me how good you can cook,” Romeo challenged.



“Challenge accepted.  After we get back from our honeymoon, we’ll have you over,” I said with a smile.


Near the end of the party, I guess Felix thought it would be funny to get Dad back.  So, he got another bottle of champagne and sprayed him.  Dad thought it was hilarious!  Thankfully, he didn’t mind getting a little messy since he was leaving soon.


Romeo needed to go and we did our best bro hug.  Shortly after he left, the others began dispersing, too.  It was an awesome party and I’m glad everyone was able to come!



____________________________________________________________________


On a beautiful summer evening, our wedding guests arrived for the event.  Thankfully, our families had really helped by doing some errands and helping us set up the ceremony area.  We decided on my house since it was so last minute.


I wasn’t allowed to see Es, but I could hear her.  She sounded like she was having a great time.  I am glad she didn’t seem too nervous.  


First to arrive were Lynelle and Sophia.  They had just graduated and already knew what they wanted to do.  I was so proud of them!

Lynelle had a dream to open a winery, but wanted to get some ideas drawn first.  She had already visited Paris to view the wineries there.  She would leave soon on another trip to get some cuttings and other ideas for her future business.  She’d not uttered the exact words, but I knew she’d fallen in love with the place.  I would not be surprised if she made Paris her home.


Sophia had decided to go to school and become a surgeon. She had already enrolled and planned on leaving the next day. As crazy as our fast wedding plans had been, it was a blessing because Sophia wouldn’t have been able to come back for it if it had been any later.


Once everyone had been seated, the ceremony began.  We said our vows and exchanged rings. 

“On this special day, I give to you in the presence of God and all these witnesses my promise to stay by your side, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, through good times and bad.”

“I promise to love you without reservation, comfort you in times of distress, encourage you to achieve all of your goals, laugh with you and cry with you, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”

 

“London, I give you this ring.  Wear it with love and joy.  As this ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.  I choose you to be my husband, this day and forevermore.”


“Esmeralda, I give you this ring as a sign of my commitment and the desire of my heart.  May it always be a reminder that I have chosen you above all others and from this day forward, we shall be united as husband and wife.”


I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.  You may now kiss your bride.


“Who was that?” I whispered to Es.

“Don’t know, don’t care.  I just want another kiss that makes my knees turn to jelly.”


“Mmm…that can be arranged,” I put my hands on her face and drew her closer.  Then, I slowly lowered her lips to mine.  

After lots of hugs, tears and slaps on the back, we went inside to cut the cake.  Esmeralda kept looking at me funny. I was slightly worried about her shoving cake in my face.  She had jokingly said she would.

Surprisingly, she restrained herself.  I think she knew if she started it, I’d finish it.  And it wouldn’t be pretty. 

The cake may have been slightly off kilter due to an unnamed person who bumped the table, but it was delicious nonetheless.  The new bakery in town had outdone themselves.  Later, I decided to partner with them, which turned into a smart decision. 


Everyone else seemed to agree as well.  It didn’t take long for the cake to disappear.


Sometime after we were done eating, our fantastic photographer caught this special romantic moment with Mom and Dad.  It will be a picture I treasure always.

The photos were next.  Esmeralda and Katarina talked frequently and I was glad they were becoming friends.  I told Romeo and Katarina they could come over any time unless I was on a deadline. 

 

Lynelle and Sophia joined us as well. I don’t remember having as much fun with them. Funny how life changes when you move out of your parent’s house.  They always drove me crazy, but now I was sad to see them go.  

I was sad that Caitlin couldn’t come, as she was out on tour, but she knew the moment she was back that I’d hound her until we got some pictures.

I promised them that Caitlin and I would keep an eye on Mom and Dad.  We would call immediately, if anything happened.  I hoped that the phone call was far into the future.


Then, one last picture with Mom, Dad, Scot and Sophie.  It was tough to get us all in one shot, but we finally succeeded.

While everyone was mingling, I walked to the porch to relax and consider the day.  It was so comforting to hear all the joy and laughter.  I was thankful that our wedding had brought so many of us together.

Unfortunately, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.  I looked at the road and my heart sank.  It was something I thought I’d never encounter and as big as day!  I looked around and no one seemed to notice it.  This wasn’t good.  Why did this have to happen today?

It looked similar to others that I’d seen in pictures during my research, though I’d never seen one in real life.  I couldn’t tell if something was inside or not.  It was too far away.

So, I grumpily thought to myself, what was it doing here and what did they want?


Lovesstorm’s Notes

Well, nothing crazy happened at the bachelor party, but it was still a fun time.  The most important thing:  Esmeralda and London are FINALLY married!  Hooray!  😀

Don’t get me started on some of these “formal” outfits.  I didn’t feel like changing most of them.  :))

No joke.  The spaceship came right as they were getting ready to cut the cake.  The game also froze on me shortly after this (probably due to the alien looking like that).  :-O

So, I wonder why the spaceship is there?  Maybe we’ll find out soon.  😉

2.4 – The Surprise

Poses
L.O.V.E. by Studio Star Girls (Pamy)
With Love by Rayne

Twilight Sage by Forever Hailey
Heart by Heart by Rayne
Life’s Moments by Kiddo’s Dreams