View Full Version : Raven's Hollow: Part 16 (Updated 10/27/08)
19th Mar 2008, 02:14 AM
The sharp, herbal scent of the pines tickled her nose as she made her way. A fine drizzle had started, and misty tendrils dragged chill fingers across her bare arms.
Finally! Aleydis thought to herself. All these years and I'm finally here.
Her shoes made little noise, even on the fallen leaves. The ruins rose around her, stark and beautiful.
Wyndham Hall... my heritage lives in these walls, she mused. Father may have lost sight of his origins but I will not.
Her great-great-great-many-times-great-grandfather had been Baron Wyndham of Raven's Hollow. Aleydis' father had regaled her with stories of his prowess at the hunt, mastery of arms, and strict stoicism. He had been harsh but fair, respected rather than loved by those who worked his land. But something had happened, something that drove the Wyndham family from their magnificent castle. They had not returned.
Aleydis shook her head. Time for mysteries later. Father never told me what happened, if he even knew. Not that he had any interest in this place, wife #4 prefers Malibu and modern. But she had been entranced by the stories. Her life-long dream was finally coming true, the castle once again belonged to the Wyndham family. Realizing dusk was quickly approaching, she continued her tour of the ruins.
A soft noise caught her attention. What the heck is that? No one lives anywhere near here, the village is down the other side of that cliff... She trod quietly towards the source of the noise.
He's beautiful! Oh the poor thing, trapped out here in the rain with these pathetic ruins for shelter! Aleydis cautiously approached the cat and reached out a hand. The cat head-butted her hand and immediately started purring. Beneath his matted fur, she could tell he was malnourished.
“Well, kitty, you seem friendly enough. And I certainly can't leave you out here waterlogged and starving. You're coming with me.” The cat allowed her to pick him up and in a perfect display of feline contentment, snuggled himself next to her chin, purring all the while.
“Now what to name you?”
19th Mar 2008, 03:48 AM
This looks interesting so far:)...can't wait to read more:D
19th Mar 2008, 03:57 AM
Hmm, me likies. An interesting beginning. ;) Do continue.
19th Mar 2008, 04:34 AM
Oooh this is an awesome start! I love your set!
19th Mar 2008, 06:27 AM
Very nice start! Update soon! ;)
19th Mar 2008, 06:38 AM
very nice beginning. i'm looking forward to reading more :)
19th Mar 2008, 10:54 AM
excellent pictures! And finally, a story with a cat >:3
19th Mar 2008, 11:43 AM
Cute start :), looking forward to reading more.
19th Mar 2008, 05:20 PM
Great beginning - just the right amount of intrigue to keep us coming back for more. Thumbs up!!
20th Mar 2008, 01:48 AM
Oooo, this is so intrueging! Aleydis is so pretty and unique and the cat is cute too, although that first pic with the cat kinda freaked me out a little...lol...it's the eyes I tell you! THE EYES! In an awsome freaky eyes way...:) Can't wait to find out more now...
20th Mar 2008, 08:45 PM
I'm glad you guys are liking it so far :) Comments/feedback definitely appreciated! I'm planning an update tonight.
21st Mar 2008, 01:14 AM
It is a lovely set... Since this is a legacy, is she going to live there? I wonder how that might work out. :D Yay, update soon!
21st Mar 2008, 06:56 AM
annachibi: all will become clear :D
I apologize for the crappiness of this update, my game crashed right when I started taking pics so I got a little frustrated with it. As it is a legacy, the story isn't written in stone except for the main plot so it sort of writes itself as I go. And don't worry, there will be moar kitty next time :)
The following day dawned clear and bright, with autumn's tingling nip playfully reminding all that summer was at an end. The rain had stirred up the leaves and everything smelled green and earthy. It was a beautiful day. Aleydis barely noticed any of it, though. The small house she had rented in town was positively brimming with all of her college hoard. She looked at the boxes in dismay, unsure where to start. You'd think after dealing with living with mom and summer vacations with dad, I'd be used to unpacking. I think I've gotten worse. I'm a packrat, she thought in mock disgust.
The house itself had been boarded up, the last renters years ago. It was wholly depressing. Aleydis desperately wanted to start digging through the ruins of Wyndham Hall but had yet to contract any labor. That reminds me, I have to head down to the Courthouse and sign some papers and then I'm supposed to meet that architect for lunch... he has a stellar reputation, I'm surprised someone like that is working around here. I'd be lucky to convince him to work for me. Work... yeah I need to find a job too. My savings account isn't going to last long. She took a last look at the heap of boxes, heaved a sigh, and went to change.
With a last check in the mirror, Aleydis headed out. Stop worrying so much you ninny! This last contract is just a formality legalizing your ownership of the Hall. It's a done deal. Then a nice lunch with Mr. London and you can return to that rat's nest you're going to make a home, she admonished herself sternly.
Nervously wringing her hands, she walked up the steps to the Courthouse, her heels beating out a sharp tattoo that matched her racing heartbeat. To her everlasting surprise, everything went smoothly. The City Planner had the contracts ready, all she had to do was sign. I'm signing my life away, she thought absurdly. Giddy with success, Aleydis practically skipped next door to Frannie's, a cozy diner, for her lunch with Mr. London.
“So Mr. London...”
“Please call me Tucker, Mrs. Wyndham.”
“Tucker. And it's Miss. But you can call me Aleydis.” She gave him a shy smile. He was really quite attractive. And he was flirting with her! “About your qualifications, they're really quite exemplary. I'm surprised you're not working with a firm in Sim City.”
“Well I considered it. I majored in Art at Sim State Sim City. But to be honest, I love archaeology and restoring old buildings. If I stayed in Sim City it'd be all new modern glass skyscrapers.” He gave her a winning grin.
“Art? Really? I majored in Art at La Fiesta Tech...”
“Well Mr. London... I mean Tucker... I'd be honored if you'd consider joining the Wyndham Hall restoration project. Leading it really.” Aleydis hiccuped. Tucker sure does like champagne, wonder how he knew it was my favorite?
With a suave smirk, he clinked her glass. “I wouldn't dream of saying no.”
Several glasses later, dusk was falling. So was Aleydis. She knew she couldn't drive home.
“Allow me to escort you home.” All she could see was the molten chocolate of his eyes. He caressed her hand and she winked saucily at him. “Shall we go?”
Aleydis barely remembered getting her key in the lock. Rorschach meowed plaintively at her but hissed and ran when he realized she wasn't alone. Her head was swimming and black spots flashed at the edge of her vision.
“Don't worry, I'll take care of you.”
21st Mar 2008, 10:27 AM
I totally LOVE this! ;) Great pictures and I love the storyline. At least you have a story, not just comment. Like me, LOL. Can't wait for more. :D
21st Mar 2008, 12:20 PM
This is so great :D
I love it!!
21st Mar 2008, 05:24 PM
Rorschach! :lol: Is he psychotic, then? Can't wait for the next part! :D
21st Mar 2008, 09:40 PM
oh no! great update......
21st Mar 2008, 11:45 PM
This is so good. The pictures are really good to :)
23rd Mar 2008, 08:48 PM
Sunlight filtered through the sheer curtain, piercing Aleydis' closed eyelids to what felt like the center of her brain. She groaned and tried to burrow under the covers.
“I told you I'd take care of you.”
With a gasp, she sat up, clutching the blankets to her chest. “What the hell?” A sudden burst of pain had her doubled over, head in hands.
“Tucker? What... what happened?” She stumbled out of bed and dressed in a daze. “The last thing I remember was walking home...”
He looked uncomfortable. “You had a lot to drink so I brought you home and um...” He gestured at the pile of clothes on the floor. A slow flush crawled up his neck and he grinned at her.
“You took advantage of me while I was drunk?!”
Tucker looked flustered. “Hey hey hey, it wasn't like that!”
“What the hell was it like then? You said yourself I was drunk. I remember lunch, you kept ordering more and more champagne. I don't have any idea how I got home, or into bed. What did you do to me?!”
“I would... NEVER... take advantage of ANYONE. Especially someone who had so much to drink! You were throwing yourself on me, pawing at me, flirting with me. I tried to resist but it's not so easy when a gorgeous girl is tearing your clothes off.” He glared at her. “I had no idea you were that far gone or I would have stopped you and slept on the couch. You were quite insistent.”
“Tucker... I... I'm sorry. I guess you're right. I can't remember!”
Oh gods no, not again, this is just like college all over again. Memories flooded her, whirlwinds of strobing lights, booze, different men every weekend. I had blackouts then, too. She struggled not to cry.
“Look, it's ok. Just... oh please don't be upset. It's as much my fault as yours. I shouldn't have ordered so much champagne, I was just excited. Your restoration is my dream job. I was expecting some dried-up old lady wanting to redo the castle but you're young and beautiful. No, please don't cry!” Tucker knelt beside her as the tears flowed down her cheeks.
“I'm sorry. I know we just met.” Aleydis sniffled. Should I take a chance and trust him? “I like you too... but this has happened to me before. Being taken advantage of, I mean. In college. I, um. I drank. A lot. So I woke up with strange guys. Half the time I didn't remember leaving the bar.” She took a deep, shuddering breath, her tears under control for now. “I guess I was just afraid this was like that. I try not to drink much anymore but I was nervous yesterday.”
Tucker pulled her up from the floor and hugged her, briefly, a friendly hug. “It's ok. I should have known better when I saw how much you were drinking. Let me make it up to you. I'm a great cook, I'll make you breakfast. Can I use your kitchen?”
Aleydis pointed through the doorway. “Right through there. There's not much in the fridge, I haven't been shopping. Pots and pans are in the cabinets, utensils in the drawers. It's a bit of a mess, I hope you don't mind,” she added self-consciously. “I've been upacking and decorating but I left the kitchen for last.”
He was already burrowing through the cabinets and pawing through the fridge. “No worries, I can whip something up with what you have.”
Rorschach, much improved with a bath and regular meals after his rescue from the ruins, padded into the room and snuggled against her leg. Aleydis wiped her eyes and absent-mindedly patted him.
Cuddling him always cheered her up. He was really a sweet cat, she was so glad they had found each other. “Good boy Ror. Yes, I'll fill your dish.” She headed into the kitchen with the cat on her heels when he froze. “Ror? Come on baby, breakfast!” Aleydis shook the dish enticingly. Rorschach ignored her, staring fixedly at Tucker. When he turned with a full plate of breakfast, the cat let out a feral hiss and bolted from the room.
23rd Mar 2008, 08:55 PM
Does Ror know something she doesn't? Hmm...
23rd Mar 2008, 09:01 PM
Really interesting so far! And the cat is pretty! Can't wait to read more.
25th Mar 2008, 02:57 AM
My thoughts exactly, romy. ;) Or he's just psychotic, as his name suggests. :lol:
27th Mar 2008, 08:24 AM
Aleydis ushered Tucker out shortly after breakfast with promises to call him. She just needed solitude, time to think and create and work out all the pain from the morning. Ror had come back inside after Tucker was gone, sniffing everywhere the man had been. She could have sworn the cat was pouting. Like all cats, though, his mood was ever-changing and soon he laid down for a nap in the sun. Aleydis sighed, trying to let the tension drain out of her. She poured everything out onto the blank canvas. The symphony of the crickets singing in the night finally roused her and she put the brush down, exhausted.
When she awoke in the morning, Aleydis checked her bank account and was dismayed to discover how little of her savings was left. “Time to get a job,” she told Ror, who cocked his head and yawned. She poked him. “While I'm sure it's boring to you, if I don't have money you won't have any more food.” He twitched his tail and stalked over to her chair, twining himself around her legs. “You're a big help, kitty boy.” A thorough search of both the newspaper and the job listings on the computer left her depressed. “You know, I didn't expect to get a grand job painting for kings and queens after art school but come on... gas station attendant? Hostess? Playground monitor?! Ugh, the best job here is as a wedding photographer. That might have possibilities. If I can find my camera and tripod...” Aleydis scribbled down the phone number and address.
Three hours later, she was helping a blushing bride fix her smudged makeup and entreating ring bearers and flower girls to smile. Her heart ached a bit, watching the happy couples and their families. They look happy now but what about in six months or a year, she thought maliciously, and immediately felt guilty. Just because your parents' marriage failed and you're lonely... she berated herself. Maybe I'll call mom and invite her for a visit. I miss her but she's always so busy. Plastering what she hoped was an endearing grin on her face, she yelled “SMILE!”
Good grief, I thought that last reception was never going to end, Aleydis thought as she trudged to her door. A loud CLANG made her jump. “What the...?” Her heart in her throat, she went to investigate. “My garbage can!” Refuse was strewn everywhere, rotting and stinking. “Oh great, just great. My feet ache, I'm tired as a dog, and now I have to clean up trash!”
“Oh no you don't you weaselly little cretin! Ror you get out of there right now! I am NOT giving you a bath on top of everything else...” She stomped over to the garbage can. “You're not Ror.” Good job Captain Obvious. The poor little cat cowered in the garbage, the remains of Aleydis' breakfast twitching in her whiskers. “It's ok, I won't hurt you.” She reached out a hand and let the cat sniff it. “I was working up to a fine rage there kitty but it's ok.” What is with all the starving strays around here? “Come on, let's get you some food. I already have a cat but we'll find a home for you later.”
Ror sniffed the new arrival, apparently pronounced her fit company, and immediately started purring. Aleydis watched the two cats play for a moment and went to get some food. The little spotted cat ate ravenously and the two cats curled up to sleep, noses to tails. Yin and Yang, she giggled.
As she was getting ready for bed, she noticed the answering machine blinking. “Hey Aly, it's Tucker. I got the permits you need for the castle. We can start construction anytime. I... um, I miss you. Talk to you soon I hope.” She punched the numbers on the handset, nervousness and excitement fluttering in her belly.
"Hi, it's me. Yeah, I got your message. That's fantastic, I can't believe you got them so quick! I want to head up there tomorrow and show you around. There's a lot to be done and we need to figure out where to start. Sure, 10 is fine with me. I'll see you then. Bye.”
I have no idea what to do about Tucker but at least I get to spend time at the castle. She fell asleep creating lists and drawing plans in her head.
27th Mar 2008, 06:35 PM
Excellent update and great pictures :D
27th Mar 2008, 06:52 PM
If she keeps finding strays, she's going to become the cat lady. :) Can't wait for the next update, Brilliantcat!
27th Mar 2008, 09:25 PM
cute update! I love your pic skills:D..I was thinking the same thing as Chessa...cat lady here we come! haha....I love the freetime painting options....can't wait for the next update:)
edited for bad spelling!
27th Mar 2008, 10:10 PM
Hehe, no more strays ;) But I did need a cat for the next generation of kitty heirs. Glad you guys are enjoying it! The next update should be soon, I've already written it and just need to take pics. Hopefully tomorrow. Up til now, I was mostly taking care of legacy-type things and basic set-ups. Things will be getting a little more interesting in Part 5...
28th Mar 2008, 06:51 AM
Kooli, I love this Legacy...and yay for the kitty legacy aswell! :) Thats such a cute idea :D
29th Mar 2008, 12:27 AM
Yay for strays! :D I have my sims adopt a couple of strays sometimes.
You've actually made some of the more boring parts of a legacy interesting, like choosing a job and whatnot! That's quite an accomplishment. ;)
31st Mar 2008, 05:33 AM
As always, the sight of the castle awed Aleydis. She felt such a sense of belonging. In their own way, the overgrown and graffiti-ed ruins were as beautiful as she imagined the hall had looked when it was brand-new. She had a fierce desire to paint the scene, just as it was, before the almost ethereal quality was lost in the restoration.
Aleydis heard a truck slow down and stop, and she turned to welcome Tucker. He was smiling and carrying a picnic basket and blanket. Wow, he's really trying to win me over, huh? Sigh.
Tucker gestured at the supplies. “I thought an early lunch might be welcome, especially in such a scenic place. I hope you don't mind,” he babbled on. “I was hoping maybe it could undo some of what happened at our last lunch.”
Aleydis tamped down her irritation at the delay in investigating more of the ruins and smiled. “That sounds lovely...”
They chatted while they ate, enjoying the last warm days before winter's bite gripped the land.
“About the other day...” Tucker started haltingly.
Aleydis held up a hand. “Please, let's just forget about it for now, ok?” Tucker looked irritated but acquiesced. “We'll talk later, right now I want to survey the ruins and make plans for the restoration. We have a lot of work to do and I'm not even sure what or how many workers we'll need. This isn't a date, this is business.” Tucker had the good grace to look embarassed. Aleydis stood up, brushing dirt and crumbs off of herself. “Let's start over here and make our way around.”
While she pointed out the worst damaged areas, Tucker explained what would be needed to repair them. He is definitely talented. I had no idea how that was even going to be salvageable. At least my business sense functions, if my common sense does not. She found her thoughts wandering throughout the morning and afternoon. “Tucker? Hey let's take a short break, half an hour or so? We have a few more hours of daylight but I need a rest.”
“Oh. Ok, I could use a drink or something anyway. I'm going to drive down to the Stop-Mart, did you want to come with?”
“Um... thanks but no. I'm just going to sit here and relax a little.” Without you.
“Alright then,would you like anything?”
“Bottled water if you don't mind? Thanks.” Aleydis smiled at him in dismissal.
With a last look at her, Tucker got into his truck and drove off. Alone. I'm HOME. She walked through the ruins again, spotting where she had found Ror. A grin lit her face. She wandered aimlessly, touching the walls from time to time. As she was walking back toward the road, Aleydis stubbed her toe on a rock. “OHMIGOD OW! Shiiiiiiit! Stupid rock! Mmmphmmm...” She gritted her teeth, hopped a bit, and leaned down to nurse her aching foot. When she did, she noticed an uneven patch of ground that had been half-covered by the rock.
“The hell?” Her toe forgotten, she leaned down and dug in the dirt, listening intently for any indication of Tucker's truck returning.
A book? It was wrapped in an old, rotted piece of linen. When she unwrapped it, her breath caught. It was one of the most beautiful books she'd ever seen. The tooled leather cover was obviously very old, it was worn down to almost nothing on parts of the spine. The intricate designs in the leather, luckily, remained. The pages were yellowed and caked with dirt, the spidered handwriting on them almost illegible. Aleydis stroked the cover reverently for a second, but mindful of Tucker's imminent return, she wiped it off as gently as she could and stowed it in her bag. The temptation to open it was overwhelming but she resisted. For some reason, she felt this was private. She did not want to share whatever she had discovered with Tucker. As if her thoughts had conjured him, the rumble of the truck's engine approached.
31st Mar 2008, 06:41 AM
-tiptoes in- Awesome update. Your pictures are so nice, and I love the kitties. -tiptoes out-
31st Mar 2008, 09:49 AM
Great update brilliantcat, I wonder whats in that book? I love your pictures, there so bright and clear...:)
31st Mar 2008, 01:19 PM
Oooh, what's in the book?! I'm intruiged, and I love this story!
31st Mar 2008, 01:34 PM
Kewl! :D I knew she must find a clue about its past somewhere. That's a gorgeous book, by the way. ;)
Also, I was just curious (as I am quite often) how exactly you set up your shots. Is Aleydis's house and the castle actually in one big lot together, or do you move her back and forth? And what animation(s) did you use to get that last pose of Tucker's? :)
31st Mar 2008, 03:21 PM
Mysterious! Great update...
31st Mar 2008, 04:21 PM
I'm really loving this :D
your pictures are gorgeous and it has a great plot.
31st Mar 2008, 09:07 PM
Thanks for all the great replies :) I got the silly legacy stuff out of the way so I can get back to the plot.
As for how I set it up, the ruins are one lot and Aleydis has a separate lot (so I didn't break the rules of the legacy challenge). Unfortunately I borked the ruins lot so I have to redo it. At least I saved the floorplan and I have pics >_< Tucker's pose was really easy, it's a Hula & More > Reactions > Embarassed and I just had to time it right to snap the shot.
31st Mar 2008, 10:11 PM
great update! great shots:D
31st Mar 2008, 10:24 PM
Great update! :D
1st Apr 2008, 09:36 PM
Great story, Aleydis is really pretty!
7th Apr 2008, 02:07 PM
Mentally and physically drained after the long day walking the ruins and fending off Tucker's amorous advances, Aleydis had forgotten the book waiting in her bag. She flipped the lights on and sluggishly dropped onto the couch. Within seconds, she had dozed off, snoring lightly.
Roused by Ror's rough sandpaper tongue on her palm, she jerked awake. “Sorry baby, I'll get you some dinner.” Aleydis wearily refilled his dish. I don't know why I'm so exhausted after a little hike. Well, mom always said a hot bath would fix you right up. I'll have to make do with a shower. The hot water pelted her face, invigorating her. Much better!
A now-revived Aleydis called for takeout and, remembering the leather tome, pawed through her bag. Again, her breath caught at the sight of it. She scrutinized the cover and grabbing a sketchbook, roughed out a quick drawing of the book. Curiosity eating at her, she finally opened it.
“GODDAMMIT!” She shrieked in utter frustration. While the pages were still intact, the handwriting was faded to the point that it was illegible. Aleydis fought the urge to scream. This has -something- to do with my family, she raged internally. This could tell me what happened to Baron Hawthorne and his family... but I... can't... BLOODY... read it! She peered at the print, her nose practically touching the pages, but it was no use. In addition to being faded and smudged, the writing was archaic, the language hard to understand. Clearly it was English but the spellings she could make out were strange. The book was very, very old. On the verge of tears, she set the book down. “I wonder,” she muttered pensively. Aleydis dialed the number and fidgeted while it rang.
“Hey Randall! Yes it has been a long time... I'm so sorry I haven't kept in touch... Yes, mom's fine. She's working on a big case, something about a political scandal, I'm not sure, I moved away after college so I don't follow the news. Dad and his floozy are touring Venice. Look, it's really nice to catch up with you... Uh huh. Twins? How wonderful, I get to be an auntie,” Aleydis' patience was growing thin. “Randall? Hey, bro? I know it's a bit odd to get a call out of the blue but I was hoping...” She took a deep breath. “You still running that antique bookshop? Oh, good! I'm glad business is going so well but I actually had a reason for calling.” Jeez, the boy never shuts up, no wonder I 'forget' to call him. “I need to get in touch with a book restorer. Or something. I have this book, see, and it's really really old.” She spent several more minutes listening to Randall's play-by-play of his life since their last talk but finally managed to wrangle a name from him.
“I'm so glad we had this chat. Yes I'll try to call more often, maybe I'll make it up there to see you and Madeline, after the babies are born. Congratulations hon!” With great relief, Aleydis hung up the phone. Good grief, Rand, you can still jabber like nobody else I know. She dialed the number her brother had given her. Hopefully it wasn't too late and someone would be there. By the eighth ring, she was about to hang up when a raspy voice croaked “Hello?”
“Oh, Mr. Tan? I'm so sorry to have disturbed you, my brother gave me your number, he thought you might be able to help me. Randall. Randall Wyndham? Right, I'm his sister Aleydis.” She explained about the book and set up a meeting in two weeks' time. Argh, I'm not going to survive two weeks with this damn book! I want to know what it says now! Ok, I'm acting childish. Focus, girl. Concentrate on the restoration project for now. A knock at the door shattered her reverie. Who the hell could that be at this hour?
7th Apr 2008, 03:23 PM
Ooh, more! You keep leaving us hanging, you naughty thing! :lol:
7th Apr 2008, 03:26 PM
Great update, Brilliantcat! Can't wait to find out about the book.
Poor Aleydis! That Tucker is very annoying. Did he lock himself out of his house or something? :p
7th Apr 2008, 09:10 PM
I have to say I don't care for Tucker....he needs to go away:p
love your pics and writing!
8th Apr 2008, 08:44 PM
Ooh! My first thoughts when I read the second paragraph was she's pregnant :anime: of course, I'm probably completely wrong :lol:
10th Apr 2008, 10:26 PM
“Tucker?” Aleydis goggled at him like an idiot. “What are you doing here?”
“Um, I know we spent all day together but as you said, it was just business...”
She sighed and pressed her forehead to the door. “Look, it was a tiring day. I don't even have the energy to cook, much less discuss... THIS... whatever it is.”
He grinned boyishly. “Well I can help there!”
Aleydis cut him off. “No, I already ordered some food. I'd really just like to eat and get some sleep. I have to work early tomorrow and then get some of the interviews going for contractors. It's practically winter, if I don't get moving there's no way we'll be able to start before the ground freezes and it starts snowing.” She sighed again. “There's the delivery. We'll talk, I promise. Lunch, next week?”
“Oh. Ok. Well that should be fine. I already gave you the list of some of the contractors that I know, right? Next week then. No champagne this time,” he added.
Aleydis glared at him. “No. I'll see you then.” She was tempted to slam the door, but refrained. Suddenly famished, she gobbled the sweet and sour pork, sharing a bit with Ror and the as-yet-unnamed stray who seemed to be making a permanent home with her.
The week passed in a blur of interviews and requisitions. My god I never realized how much work this was going to be! I'm going to get fired if I take another day off, Aleydis mused. She had been contemplating quitting in order to have more time to get things set up at the castle, but her savings was wiped out. Most of her earnings was going towards the restoration project so she hadn't even been able to set anything aside. She groaned as she headed to the restaurant to meet Tucker. What a bloody mess, hopefully I can let him down easy.
“Aly, here!” Tucker waved her over.
“I'm so glad we're finally getting to spend some time together!” He smiled brightly at her. “I know I botched our first date, I hope the picnic sort of made up for it. I want to woo you like you deserve.”
Woo? Did he just say 'woo' me? “Tucker, I don't think...”
“You're so beautiful and sweet, you deserve a guy who can treat you well, especially after what you told me. Someone like you shouldn't be taken advantage of like that, I'm so sorry you thought I did. If I had any idea, I would have behaved myself!”
Aleydis fought the urge to laugh hysterically. Talented he may be, but he's a little warped in the head I think... “Ok, slow down champ, you're not listening. I don't want you to 'woo' me. I'm... I'm really not interested in a relationship right now, ok? I'm much too busy. It was just a drunken mistake. But, um, I hope we can still work together,” she finished lamely.
He stared at her for an agonizing minute. Oh god, please don't start crying, she begged. I cannot deal with a sobbing man. He finally spoke. “Aly, I had no idea. You seemed interested and I really like you... I'm... pretty embarrassed here.”
Relieved he had chosen not to make a scene, and actually seemed to be taking it pretty well, Aleydis felt a bit sorry for him. Just a bit. “Tucker, don't be. We're still friends, right? And it's not you, I just don't want to be with anyone right now.” Liar liar, a tiny voice in her head sang.
“Well, ok. As long as it's not some other guy I suppose I can deal.” He winked at her. “So, um, can two friends... maybe hang out tomorrow? I have stuff going all morning, taking care of prep for the castle and all, but I'm free in the afternoon.”
Aleydis tried not to roll her eyes. Talk about obvious... “I would but I have a meeting tomorrow. A rare book specialist is coming all the way out here to see me about...” Oh shit. Well, the cat's out of the bag now. Tucker raised his eyebrows at her. “About this old book I found up at the ruins last week. I have no idea what it is, I can't read it. I need him to take a look and tell me if he can restore it.”
“You didn't tell me?” He looked wounded.
“Well it was while you were at the Stop-Mart. I put it in my bag and sort of forgot until later that night.” Which isn't entirely untrue, she thought. And damn my big mouth!
“Oh. I guess that's understandable. It was a long day. So you're going to tell me all about what this guy says, right?”
She looked at her watch and nodded distractedly. “Sure, of course. Look, I really need to get back to work, I'm late already. I'll call you.”
Tucker tried to engulf her in a hug, but Aleydis dodged and hurried out the door.
10th Apr 2008, 10:31 PM
Nice update :) he's very persistant isn't he :D!
10th Apr 2008, 11:08 PM
Hehe. I love how he said he was embarrassed and then just kept right on going. That fellow makes me uncomfortable though he's a bit pathetic.
Can't wait to find out more :)
10th Apr 2008, 11:56 PM
Awesome! :D You're great with setting up shots and poses. Can't wait for more about that book!
11th Apr 2008, 08:18 AM
Thanks guys :D Tucker is a tad annoying I will admit. They had 3 lightning bolts though so ACR went nutso as soon as they met. Of course, he's not all he seems... and he does have some redeeming qualities... More about that in the next chapter :)
12th Apr 2008, 11:05 AM
This is a great story! Fantastic updates again, brilliantcat!
12th Apr 2008, 11:16 AM
brilliantcat, you are the best. Seriously. I LOVE the storyline. ;)
18th Apr 2008, 10:04 AM
Another damn long day, Aleydis thought as she trudged home that evening. She had gotten into a fight with her boss after lunch and quit in a fit of pique. Now there was no money to use for the restoration until she found a new job. She had no idea how she was even going to pay her rent. A feeling of anxiety settled in her gut like an icy knife. It grew sharper as she got closer to home. By the time she reached her block, she was at a near-jog. She tried to fight the rising panic as she struggled to get the key into the lock. Panting, she tumbled through the door, slamming it and locking it. What the hell is wrong with me?
The terrible anxiety worsened. She turned on the outdoor lights, scanning the yard. Nothing out there, she told herself sternly. But something's wrong. I can feel it. Turning and resting her back on the door, she willed her breathing and pounding heart to slow. The phone's abrupt ring made her jump.
“Hello? Yes, this is...” Her hands shaking, Aleydis brushed an errant strand of hair from her face. It was the phone, you idiot. CALM DOWN. “Certainly Mr. Tan, I'll be there at 2 pm, with the book I'd like you to look at. Good evening to you too.” Still jumpy, she quickly made her ablutions and crawled into bed. There was still a lingering uneasiness, but she felt a bit calmer. She caressed the old book before she packed it in her tote for her meeting. Please, she begged mutely, unsure to whom she was appealing. Please let him be able to help me.
Aleydis woke from a restless night and spent the morning tidying up. Geez, I let this place go lately. Guess I've just been so busy. Scrubbing and other domestic chores had the benefit of keeping her mind off the remaining flicker of anxiety from the day before. A little before two, she headed out for her meeting several blocks away. Although it was brisk, the sun shone brightly and the walk was pleasant. As she passed the bus stop, Aleydis felt the skin between her shoulderblades crawl. She tried to surreptitiously glance behind her, but there was a crowd waiting for the bus.
Unnerved, she walked on. Suddenly something hit her with what felt like the force of a charging bull. She landed heavily, the wind knocked out of her. Dimly, Aleydis felt her forehead bounce off the sidewalk, pain racing across her face like a lightning strike. Trying to will air back into her lungs, she lay there stunned. Someone from the bus stop helped her to her feet. She swayed dizzily, her vision blurred. Fighting to stay upright and failing, she slumped to the ground.
“ALY!” Tucker's voice sounded muffled. “Aly, talk to me! Are you ok? Jesus, your head is bleeding! I was on my way to work when I saw you, please be ok, just say something, please!”
Drawing a painful breath, she rasped, “Tucker? My head hurts...” Aleydis started to cry.
“Shhh, it's ok.” He supported her with a hand under her arm. “My truck is close, can you walk a bit?”
“I... I think so.” She wobbled a bit, her stomach heaving. “I think I'm gonna be sick though.”
“S'ok.” Tucker practically carried her the block or so to the parking lot and settled her in the truck.
He drove to his apartment, babbling to her all the while. Once she was ensconced on the couch, he scrubbed her forehead. Aleydis hissed in pain. “Looks like you've got a pretty decent bruise too,” he remarked, as he dabbed ointment on the cut. “This might need stitches... what the hell happened?”
“I was walking past the bus stop when something, someone attacked me... I'm not sure of too much after that.” She looked around for her bag. “Tucker, did you get my bag? I had a blue toile tote... It's not here.”
“I didn't see one.” He headed into the kitchen. “I'm going to make you some hot tea.”
Aleydis was stricken. “It had the book in it! For my appointment with Mr. Tan! Oh god! NO!”
18th Apr 2008, 10:57 AM
Tucker always seems to pop up, hmmm.... that in itself is suspicious!
18th Apr 2008, 02:59 PM
I wonder what knocked her down! It feels a bit supernatural. :O
18th Apr 2008, 06:07 PM
"Mrs. Crumplebottom, look where you throw that purse!!" :laugh:
Great. Just great. I wanted to see what was in that darn book! :P I think Tucker knows something, and he's a big evil meanie! :lol: We need a knight in shining armor for poor Aleydis!
18th Apr 2008, 06:53 PM
I agree, Tucker seems to show up at the most convenient times.....great update!
18th Apr 2008, 06:59 PM
Just caught up on the last few chapters, I really love your writing style :D
18th Apr 2008, 07:09 PM
"Mrs. Crumplebottom, look where you throw that purse!!" :laugh:
I wish I'd thought to have Crumplebutt attack her :handbag: You'll learn more in the next update though ;) Some things about Tucker's weirdness will be revealed. Not all, I have to keep some surprises y'know!
23rd Apr 2008, 06:50 AM
Aleydis' stomach clenched and she barely made it to the bathroom in time. Tucker found her, soaked with sweat and shaking, huddled on the floor.
"Aly, you're staying here tonight. No buts, no arguments, nothing. I'm sure I have something that should fit you and I'll be on the couch. You can lock the bedroom door if you want." He picked her up as though she were weightless and deposited her in his bedroom. Too ill to talk, she nodded mutely in agreement. "I'm going to go check on that tea. You need it even more now. Just one sec and I'll bring it to you." He had concern written on his face; Aleydis was grateful for his presence.
Tucker returned with the steaming mug of tea, wrapping her hands around the mug to warm them. Aleydis sipped delicately. Her stomach seemed to have calmed for the time being but she wasn't going to risk tossing her cookies a second time by guzzling it. Tucker sat beside her on the bed, neither of them talking.
Finally he broke the silence. "I said I'd take care of you the day I met you. I still mean it, even if you don't want to be with me."
"Thank you. It's more than I deserve. I'm so glad you were there for me today, I hope you know how much I appreciate this. Most guys would have tossed me out on my ass."
"I'm not most guys. And for the love of all that's holy, you were bleeding! You probably have a goddamn concussion, I couldn't just leave you there!"
"You could have, but you didn't." Aleydis felt her eyelids drooping. She tried to hide a yawn.
Tucker made a face at her. "You're completely done in, no more talking tonight." He rummaged in the dresser and handed her a pile of clothes. "Get in bed and get some rest. You need it." Allowing her privacy to change, he returned long enough to settle her into bed then closed the door with a faint click.
A bladder near to bursting woke Aleydis some time later. She could see the pink and purple tendrils of dawn snaking their way across the sky. She went to the door and could hear Tucker's voice. Unable to make out what he was saying, she cracked the door.
"I didn't know you were going to HURT her!" Tucker was pacing with the phone to his ear, making no effort to control his voice. "I know, I know. I was working on it! Things weren't going exactly as planned..." He looked stricken. "Yes. I understand. I know. I KNOW." The agitation in his voice was apparent. "She's asleep. I doubt she'll wake till morning, I slipped some Valium in her tea." Aleydis covered her mouth to keep a gasp from escaping. What the hell is going on? "No, she's staying here. I know. Goddammit don't you think I know that! I couldn't forget if I tried. Just... don't worry, I'll take care of it." He laid the phone down and sighed.
Her insides turned to ice, Aleydis tiptoed back to bed. A moment later, she heard the creak of the door. She could feel his eyes on her and forced herself to repress a shudder.
23rd Apr 2008, 08:14 AM
Oh WOW, a brilliant update! I sure didn't expect THAT from Tucker.
23rd Apr 2008, 01:05 PM
He always did give me the creeps! I hope she's not pregnant with his baby, yuck!
23rd Apr 2008, 02:24 PM
Yeah, she seems to be exhibiting signs, hm?
That ass! *smacks Tucker* >:(
23rd Apr 2008, 06:37 PM
He always did give me the creeps! I hope she's not pregnant with his baby, yuck!
no freakin kidding! great update :D
23rd Apr 2008, 07:16 PM
Ooohhh. I knew she should have trusted her cat's intuition! Now, I wonder what he "couldn't forget if [he] tried". Is someone blackmailing him? Threatening to murder his elderly mother? It has better be good, else we will feed him to the man eating flies! :)
7th May 2008, 01:50 AM
After a sleepless night filled with waking nightmares, Aleydis wanted nothing more than to go home. However, she knew she had to confront Tucker about what she had overheard. Aly girl, you're great at blinding yourself to things you don't want to see but you can't possibly ignore what you heard. Get a grip and just do it and get it over with. Her sweater had speckles of blood on it, but she couldn't stand to have Tucker's clothing touching her skin any longer. She changed hurriedly and went to face him.
“Tucker?” She cracked the bedroom door. He was sleepily arising from the couch. And no wonder, he didn't even lie down until dawn. She felt a grim satisfaction in his red eyes and clear exhaustion. I hope he's suffering.
“Aly, you're awake... I didn't expect you to be up this early, you had a trying day.” I'll just bet you didn't, you slimy little toad. What kind of person drugs someone they profess to care about? Tucker scrubbed a fist over his eyes like a child and rumpled his hair.
Aleydis straightened, mustering all the dignity she could. “I know what you did.”
Those simple words had as much effect as if she had stabbed him. He fidgeted guiltily. “How did you know?” My god, he's not even trying to deny it...
Fuming at his utter lack of remorse, she could barely rein her temper. “I heard your phone call. You spent all day yesterday telling me how you cared for me, you were so kind and sweet... but all along you were responsible for my pain! You... are.. a... monster!” She punctuated each word with a sharp jab to his chest.
Tucker blanched at the word 'monster'. “Aly, I can't excuse what I did, but it's not what you think... I DO care for you. I didn't expect to, I didn't plan to... that's part of what's created this mess.” He sank heavily into the cushioned couch. “I had to do it, I had no choice!”
“I don't want to hear it! What could possibly drive someone to drug another human being and arrange for them to be beaten and mugged?”
“I can't tell you! If I do, we're both in danger!”
Aleydis stared blankly at him for a moment then laughed mirthlessly. “You're crazy. Certifiable. I am not listening to a second more of this. I don't know what's so important about an old, unreadable book that you had to have me attacked for it. I don't know why you lied to my face and pretended to care about me. I don't know, and I really don't care. All I know is you got me drunk the day you met me, drugged me last night, forced yourself on me when I was incoherent, and had me beaten. The only danger I'm in is from YOU. You're a liar. You are a sick, sick bastard. I'm leaving.”
“Aly please! You don't understand!”
Without a backward glance, she slammed the door so hard the windows rattled and stalked off, leaving Tucker sobbing brokenly.
7th May 2008, 02:01 AM
*high-fives Aleydis* w00t! You go, girl! :D
I don't care what his excuse is, it could be that he's trying to save the whole friggin' world, he could have gone about it differently. But then, if he had, you wouldn't have much of a story, would ya, Cat? :lol:
7th May 2008, 03:48 AM
Ick. I still feel a trifle bad for him. He's pathetic! Either way, he shouldn't have involved her in whatever nonsense he got himself into. He could have just crept into the house and stolen the book! Sheesh.
Love the update though! :)
11th May 2008, 05:34 AM
oooh great story Brilliantcat! I've been meaning to read it for awhile ;)
Im glad Aleydis told Tucker off... I never liked that guy from the start!
11th May 2008, 03:38 PM
Oh, dear I wonder what he's really into... Can't wait for an update! I have a feeling the plot is about to thicken! ;) Great job!
11th May 2008, 09:53 PM
I don't like Tucker!!!!!!!!
Great story, love it:D
12th May 2008, 01:41 AM
Wow, what an interesting turn of events! You sure know how to keep a reader engaged brilliantcat, :D. Tucker is such an ass, I really want to find out his reason for do it now and Aleydis to get her book back! =]
12th May 2008, 05:41 AM
Ohhh I love your story! Good job!
12th May 2008, 05:44 AM
Thank you guys so much! I've written up to Part 12 or 13 so I just need the time to get the pictures for the next update. Early this week I hope.
A lot is going to be happening in Raven's Hollow very soon...
15th May 2008, 02:08 AM
i just found this legacy and it's SO COOL!
keep updating! this is probably one of the best Legacy's ever
15th May 2008, 05:28 AM
I just got caught up with it all and I love it to bits!! Update soon! :anime:
15th May 2008, 12:49 PM
Ah wow! I just started reading this, and I absolutely love it! I just cant wait to hear more.
15th May 2008, 06:55 PM
I love this story; it's really interesting and the pictures awesome!
19th May 2008, 06:25 AM
I'm so glad you all are enjoying it! Update coming very soon :)
19th May 2008, 06:40 AM
Fall eased into winter. Delicate lacy snowflakes danced in the winter winds, laying a coat of sparkling white over everything. The glittering beauty was lost on Aleydis. Though she had healed outwardly from the beating, she continued to have nausea and dizzy spells. She could ignore it no longer, she was pregnant.
She patted the gentle swell of her belly, talking to her unborn child as she worked on her latest painting. “Look, mommy's working on a Van Gogh today.” Her savings gone, no job, and unable to get a legitimate job due to her pregnancy, Aleydis was forced to resort to less than legal methods of making a living. Presently she was forging art for a buyer in Pleasantview who promised a significant sum if she did well. At least I can work from home. Once the baby is born, I can look for a real job again. I wonder if it's a girl or a boy? She mused idly. She'd had no contact with Tucker since she blew up at him. He called nearly every day but she refused his calls. She had also halted all work on the Hall restoration. It broke her heart but she could start anew in the spring with a new project foreman.
“All done! What do you think?” Aleydis scrutinized the painting for any small mistakes and cleaned up a few brush strokes. She thought her buyer would be very pleased indeed.
It was a cold winter in Raven's Hollow and Aleydis always felt chilled. “Stop stealing all my body heat, kiddo! Brrrr!” The baby gave a fierce kick and Aleydis giggled. Despite the circumstances surrounding its conception, she loved her child already. She'd managed to sell several forged paintings and was relieved that she could stop for the time being. The money she made would easily provide for the two of them until next winter. A nice hot bowl of soup is just the thing... The phone startled her as she was cooking and she cut her finger. “Dammit!”
“Hello? Oh it's you. I thought I made it clear I had nothing to say to you.” What do you WANT from me, Tucker? Why won't you leave me alone? “Who the hell told you? Of course it's yours, I don't run around sleeping with whatever I see! That's generous of you, but I don't want or need your help. Honestly I don't ever want to see or talk to you again.” She slammed the phone down. It immediately started ringing again.
“I said I don't want... MOM! Oh mommy, I've missed you!” Aleydis tearfully explained the circumstances. Soothed by her mother's calm reassurances, she felt her heart lighten. “Oh please say you'll come! I know how busy you are but it's Christmas. I don't want to be alone... Good, I'll see you then.”
There wasn't much room for a tree but Aleydis squeezed one into her tiny home. Where the heck am I going to put this baby? There's only one bedroom, ugh...
Late Christmas Eve, the doorbell rang. Aleydis opened the door to her beaming mother, perfectly dressed and coiffed as usual. “Mom!” They embraced warmly and Aleydis felt a grin light her face.
They spent a quiet Christmas together, Aleydis' mother constantly patting her belly and cooing to her growing grandchild. Too soon, it was time for her to return to her practice in the city. After a tender hug, another pat for the belly bump, and pets for both the kitties, she departed.
Aleydis worried that Tucker would continue bothering her, but the New Year passed without incident. She was sitting quietly reading a novel when the doorbell rang. Distracted by the cats fighting, she waddled to answer it. It was Tucker. Infuriated, she opened the door with a bang. “What the hell do you want? I told you I wanted nothing from you!”
Tucker looked horrible, unshaven with shadows under his eyes. “I know. I want to help, to take care of you and... and our baby... like I promised, but I won't insist... I just... I need to talk to you! There's so much you have to know! I've tried calling, I waited, hoping you'd relent and at least speak to me... it's been too long, I can't wait any longer! I told you before and I'll say it again, you have no idea the danger you're in!”
19th May 2008, 07:48 AM
:O I hope that baby doesn't take after his/her pathetic father. Y'think he would've gotten in touch with her sooner if there was so much danger. Sheesh! Can't wait to find out what he has to say, BC! :)
19th May 2008, 03:29 PM
Wow, I can't beleive Aleydis is pregnant with that mugs baby. I really want to know what Tucker is going to say now! Ahhh...can't wait untill the next update!
19th May 2008, 09:06 PM
Yep, I saw that one coming. I hope it'll be a little girl! :D And she sure seems to be big for, what, 4-5 months? :lol:
He better spill the beans this time. And ALL of the beans, not just what's convenient for him. Frackin' coward...
19th May 2008, 09:44 PM
wow....so she is pregnant with his child...yuck, still hate him...hope that baby dosen't look like him...lol
Great update, the suspence continues:D
19th May 2008, 10:08 PM
Ooh! I just got caught up, I had an inkling she might be pregnant...
Can't decide if Tucker is going to be a good guy or not, I hope not :D
20th May 2008, 05:31 AM
I tried to drop some hints ;) She *is* big, partially cause some people just are (I barely looked pregnant at all till I hit 6 months or so while my sister-in-law looked that big at 3 months) and partially because the maxis preg replacements I use make the bellies bigger :lol: For the curious, Aly is about 5 months pregnant there.
Tucker is a pretty complex guy, as you'll find out soon. I wanted him to be somewhat likable/pitiable but I'm having trouble sparing any sympathy for him anymore >_>
20th May 2008, 08:31 AM
Spit it out already, Tucker! If Aleydis is in danger then so is your baby. And you keep saying that you care and then fail to show it. Sheesh! Grow a spine.
I think I'm getting caught up in the whole thing and a bit too involved :lol:
20th May 2008, 01:08 PM
Oh my god! I so didnt see the pregnancy comming! I wonder what the danger is.
I cant wait for the next update!
20th May 2008, 09:02 PM
I have to say, brilliantcat, you've done a wonderful job of emotionally involving your readers! :D
21st May 2008, 03:52 PM
Beautiful pictures and great writing - nice!!
21st May 2008, 09:01 PM
Great story, just read everything! And your writing skills are awesome. :) *hopes for more soon*
22nd May 2008, 01:32 AM
I just read the entire story and I gotta say, I love it!
Am I the only one who feels slightly sympathetic towards Tucker?
22nd May 2008, 08:54 PM
Just wanted to say that I've been following this for a few weeks and am loving it! Your writing is clear, interesting and not repetitive. Your pictures and sims are beautiful. Can't wait to see more! I'm in suspense about the danger surrounding Aleydis and her family's history.
23rd May 2008, 12:57 AM
Thank you guys for the great comments :) I'll hopefully have an update sometime this weekend. Everything is written but I haven't taken the pics yet.
23rd May 2008, 02:11 PM
She's pregnant!! :beer:
And the father is the asshole that should be some damn more specific than saying theres danger :D
But your writing and your pictures are sooo good :bow:
23rd May 2008, 06:39 PM
Aww, I feel kind of bad for Tucker. I know there's more to his story and he's not simply a monster. He's just doing a bad job of explaining himself and he ended up looking like a giant bastard.
23rd May 2008, 07:45 PM
Excellent update, but moar pictures of the cats next time please ;)
23rd May 2008, 08:47 PM
THIS STORY IS AMAZING! im always left on the edge of my seat after each update, begging for more!
24th May 2008, 11:02 PM
Hello!! I've been reading this story and several others for a while, and just recently decided to join because I am considering writing a story myself and would like to post on a site that recieves more veiwers than most sites.
I would like to say that I absolutely love your story!! It is very VERY good. You are a very talented author and you take excelent pictures. Keep up the good work, and I'm looking foward to the next update! You deffinitely left us with a cliff hanger!! :anime:
25th May 2008, 10:59 PM
Oh geez, now she's really gonna have a hard time keeping him away!
I still think he's a creep... no matter what.
I'm looking forward to seeing why she is 'in danger' so much :P
Great update :)
15th Jun 2008, 05:32 AM
“Listen... you probably won't believe me but I have nothing left to lose. I might as well tell you the truth.” Tucker started pacing. “This is all Mayor Donovan's plot.”
Aleydis snorted. “You expect me to believe that the mayor has some vested interest in my being attacked? That's crazy.”
“I know how it sounds, but really, you wouldn't believe how twisted this has all become, all because of Wyndham Hall.”
Her blood froze in her veins. “What does this have to do with the Hall?”
“You really don't know do you? Baron Hawthorne Wyndham had a fortune hidden somewhere in the Hall. No one knows how he managed to amass so much wealth. There are rumors... Anyway, when the family was forced to flee, it remained behind. The mayor and the city council have wanted to get at that for years but the land still belonged to your family line. Your father could have taken ownership at any time but he had no interest, to the benefit of the council who could snoop around as they pleased. Then you came. Your dad signed his rights over to you, giving you complete control of the land. The mayor knew he couldn't even peek at it to try to find anything with the true owner present, and worse, starting to restore it. You might even discover the treasure he covets for himself.” Tucker took a deep breath and shuddered. “I was ordered to befriend you in any way necessary...”
Aleydis goggled at him. “You... you drugged my champagne when we met didn't you? You couldn't know about my problems with alcohol then, you must have wanted some insurance I'd do as you wanted... You rat! I don't know why I am even listening to this.” Her curiosity getting the better of her, she simply glared at him rather than kicking him out. “So what were you supposed to do once you... 'befriended' me?”
“Nothing... at that point. Keep you occupied and slow down the restoration if I could. The permits I obtained so quickly for you were fakes. If you'd tried to break ground, the city would have halted everything until you got new, proper permits. When you discovered that book, Mayor Donovan feared that it might have something to do with the Baron, even reveal the location of his fortune. Luckily for you, it was illegible. Look, the mayor is power-mad and lusts for money. He doesn't care who he hurts, what lives he destroys! This town is secluded and small, he can do pretty much whatever he wants and get away with it... The council just covers it up... If you'd found anything in that book, I think he might have had you killed instead of just having it stolen.”
“This is insane! You're trying to tell me there's some conspiracy surrounding a mythical treasure on my family's land? And the mayor wants to KILL me?!”
“I know, I know it sounds crazy...”
“Damn right it does.” Aleydis glanced piercingly at him. “And just how do you fit into this? Are you after my supposed fortune too?”
Tucker's woebegone look almost made her pity him. Almost. “I would never hurt someone purposefully. Remember how you asked me why I was working as an architect here, where there's little work beyond basic construction, instead of in Sim City? I... couldn't work there. There was... an incident... Mayor Donovan found out about it, he knew my parents. He covered it up and I moved here where no one would know. He's blackmailing me, Aly! I have to do what he wants! If not, he'll tell everyone...”
“Tell everyone what?”
15th Jun 2008, 06:18 AM
Ooh... a scandal? Can't wait to hear what he's about to say...
15th Jun 2008, 08:01 AM
AHH TELL HER WHAT!!!
i love this story
15th Jun 2008, 04:57 PM
Oh you bad, bad cliffhanger-writer you!! :laugh: She should get the FBI on the mayor's ass! :D
15th Jun 2008, 05:37 PM
Dun. Dun. Dun!! oOO! This is getting very good. Keep up the excelent work!! :)
17th Jun 2008, 04:16 PM
I just got caught up, great chapters :D I want the gen!
26th Jun 2008, 06:34 AM
AHH I wanna know!!
Great chapter, update soon :D
28th Jun 2008, 09:19 PM
Tucker paced like a caged animal, his eyes darting back and forth in nervousness. Aleydis could see a fine mist of sweat beading on his forehead. He threw a glance out the window at the lengthening shadows. “Haven't you ever wondered why I only suggested lunch meetings? Why your cats hate me? The only times I spent the night with you were accidents. Lucky for me...” He resumed pacing. “Lucky for me it was never when there was a full moon.”
Aleydis placed a protective hand on her belly. “Just what are you saying?” Her skin prickled as she remembered the night she had the panic attack walking home. The same feeling was rising and she could almost smell the metallic tang of fear on herself.
Tucker took a breath, flaring his nostrils. “Maybe I should just show you.”
A shaft of moonlight broke through the clouds, brightening the night sky. Tucker convulsed, doubled over in pain. Aleydis was horror-struck as she watched his face seem to melt and reform in slow motion. There was a hideous sound of snapping bones, mixed with something wetter, meatier. His arms and legs seemed to lengthen, tearing his clothing. Hair sprouted everywhere. Claws burst forth from his hands and feet and she had a sense of sharp, sharp teeth. Tucker's breathing was harsh and labored. In mindless terror, Aleydis dropped heavily to the floor and scrabbled backwards, her eyes wide and pupils constricted. Her back hit the wall and she swallowed a sob. This is not happening, this can't be happening...
Tucker turned slowly, scenting the air. He let out an ear-splitting howl and she could hear the echoes of other wolves joining the moonlight song. Every hair on her body pricked up and she had to fight not to lose control of her bladder. He walked towards her and she closed her eyes, trying to draw breath into her frozen lungs. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god... I'm going to die... My baby... No...
“Aly?” His voice sounded strange, deeper and slightly slurred. “Aly, I won't hurt you or our baby, you know that. I'm... still me...”
A hysterical laugh escaped her lips. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
“I've learned to curb my less-than-human instincts over the years, Aly. I can maintain control when I change.” Tucker reached out to touch her and she recoiled.
“I was right when I said you were a monster! Oh god, I've fallen into a nightmare! Alice down the rabbit hole!” She let out a bark of humorless laughter. “I've lost it, this can't be real. I'm going to wake up in a straightjacket!”
“Don't you think I wish this was a dream?!” Tucker growled. “I wish I could wake up and be normal again! You have no idea...” He stalked around the room. “Get off the floor. I won't hurt you. GET UP.”
Terrified by this aggressive contrast to his normal submissive soft-spokenness, Aleydis complied. Pain rippled over her belly. She forced herself to take a breath and let it out slowly as a second contraction gripped her. “Oh god no, it's too soon!”
28th Jun 2008, 09:22 PM
Wow! Great update :D
28th Jun 2008, 09:50 PM
:blink: I was not expcting that!
Great update!!!! :D
29th Jun 2008, 02:31 AM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! how many monthes along is she????/?
29th Jun 2008, 06:10 AM
What an interesting twist! That explains a lot...
Hope the baby is alright.
29th Jun 2008, 06:18 AM
Well, that was un-expected.
Great update though.
29th Jun 2008, 12:54 PM
Wow, very muscled werewolf
Didn't expect this either...
Ab fab story :P
29th Jun 2008, 02:12 PM
Wow this is such an excellent story ... I love it so far =]
29th Jun 2008, 07:33 PM
OMG! WOW! I don't quite know what to say, every chapter theres something new and original and not at all what I think is going to happen! I love it! :D I do hope the poor baby is alright and Aleydis...:S
29th Jun 2008, 10:02 PM
Wow! Never expected that Tucker could be so fierce-like. He's such a sad human figure. I hope the baby is okay! :D
29th Jun 2008, 10:30 PM
I'm loving the story!
Can't wait for the next update, hope the baby's okay =]
5th Jul 2008, 03:07 PM
This is a great story, I can't wait for the next update!
5th Jul 2008, 05:01 PM
Wow! This story gets more and more suspenseful. That is one of the best sim werewolves I've seen. Whoa. Who knew Tucker had it in him.
Something is wrong with the post though, because if you are reading it in the storyview mode, it isn't listed as a chapter. I only noticed it when I went into comments.
Great story though! I can't wait to read more.
5th Jul 2008, 08:39 PM
I never saw that coming!!! that was brilliant...............I have never played teh werewolves before..............is that what they look like?....lol
Great, great update........I wonder what the baby will look like:D
5th Jul 2008, 09:42 PM
I don't read many Sims stories because I have the attention span of a goldfish, but I really liked your title image (shallow much? xD) so I started reading, and it was good, so I read all of it so far and now I want you to update like now. :o
Hooray for castles, one-night-stands, werewolves, and unplanned pregnancies!
20th Jul 2008, 06:00 AM
I'm so glad you guys are enjoying it, particularly my "twist" :) I've had that planned since I started writing and tried to hint at it with the cats' reaction to Tucker but it was subtle. I wanted it to be a surprise. I was a little afraid the supernatural might turn some readers off but I've gotten such a positive response here and on LJ where I've crossposted it.
Eek thanks for the heads-up on the chapter, it seems I forgot to put a title for it so it wasn't added to the chapter listing. Should be fixed now!
That is definitely NOT what Maxis werewolves look like! They're basically hairy humans, at least in looks. I wanted a more traditional, scary werewolf and I found this awesome mesh at Insim and I simply HAD to use it. As I remarked to someone on LJ, Tucker is wussy enough as a human. If he were a vanilla werewolf, he'd be picked on by the other werewolves :lol:
There are definitely more surprises to come ;)
20th Jul 2008, 06:08 AM
A white glow suffused her vision. Floating like a bit of flotsam on the ocean floor, Aleydis blinked to clear her view but the glow simply intensified. Her feet touched something solid and she lurched, trying to regain her balance. She couldn't make out anything, everything was white. In spite of the strangeness of her surroundings, Aleydis felt almost peaceful, safe. A speck of black in the distance grew larger and larger until it resolved into something resembling a human shape. Her vision blurred, a nimbus of light shielding the figure from view.
In a voice feather-soft and quiet, androgynous. The gentle rise and fall of syllables making no sense but somehow soothing anyway. A sharp, sudden pain startled Aleydis and the hooded figure seemed to waver like light under water. She could make out other voices, frantically calling for her. The ethereal voice continued, so soft that she had to strain to make out the sound.
“Wait!” Aleydis heard herself begging. She felt like she could almost understand... if she just had a moment more... The figure turned, half-shadowed, and Aleydis thought she glimpsed the curve of a smile. A gentle hand touched her stomach. The fluid voice resonated in her mind. “Do not worry. Your daughter needs you. She is the key.”
The glow blotted out and Aleydis felt like she was mired in quicksand. Fading, shapes began to emerge in the room. Pain, burning in her veins, pulled her to wakefulness. A hospital room. Worried-looking doctors and nurses. Tears pricked her eyes until she realized her hand was resting on her belly. A still-pregnant belly. Grief turned to joy.
“Ms. Wyndham, can you hear me?”
Aleydis tried to form a sentence but settled for a grunt of pain as fire raced up her arm.
“Ms. Wyndham? We're giving you some medication. You might feel some burning. It will help you relax. We thought it was a seizure, you set all the monitors off.” A kindly-looking grey-haired doctor gazed down at her. “You almost lost the baby and it is imperative that you relax and stay calm. We have you on an intravenous drip, fluids and a medication called terbutaline to stop contractions. We're giving you steroids in case labor starts again, it helps protect the baby's lungs. We'll start you on some antibiotics as a precaution as well, premature babies have poor immune systems. You're going to have to stay on bed rest for the remainder of your pregnancy.”
“Bbb... baby?” She struggled to form the word.
“She's doing well. Your labor has completely stopped and there was no harm to the fetus. Your cervix remained closed, that's a good sign.”
“How... how long? What happened?”
“You've been here for almost a week. From what I understand, you went into pre-term labor and a Mr. London called an ambulance. By the time they arrived, you were unconscious. We were able to give medications to stop the labor, as I explained. Speaking of Mr. London, he's been here every day to check on you. Would you like me to call him for you?”
Hair. So much hair. Claws. Teeth. Ripping. Shredding. No... gentle. Cupping her face, concerned. Clumsy paws dialing a phone. Sharp. Kind. Monstrous.
“I...” Too exhausted to fight the sedative further, Aleydis slipped into unconsciousness.
20th Jul 2008, 06:20 AM
great chapter!! love it:D
looking forward to your next update!
20th Jul 2008, 05:35 PM
Yes, great chapter. I was wondering what happened. Geez. Her life sucks with everything that's happening to her. OI.
22nd Jul 2008, 02:50 PM
can't wait for udate))
29th Jul 2008, 10:23 AM
Just started reading your Legacy and I love it! The mystery and all the twists are great. You also make great pictures. Thumbs up for you!
29th Jul 2008, 03:40 PM
osnap, there be trouble. D:
31st Jul 2008, 04:22 AM
Oho interesting twist ^_^
The descriptiveness of your writing is great, by the way.
31st Jul 2008, 08:59 PM
Nice update :D
4th Aug 2008, 10:47 AM
I love your story :)
I really hope Tucker and Aleydis get back together--even if he is a werewolf. They'd make a beautiful couple. And Tucker seems like a good parent--now if he could control his werewolf urges more.
Looking forward to the next update!
18th Aug 2008, 08:53 AM
:blink: woah I didn't see all of that coming... great updates! :)
17th Sep 2008, 07:47 AM
Dreams. Dreams of darkness, burning eyes hovering in the black. Moving closer. An acrid stench of animal musk. The eyes moved closer. The glow threatened to blind her in the surrounding dark. Closer. She felt rather than saw a hand... no, a paw... reach for her.
Aleydis bolted upright in the bed, clutching her chest, willing her pounding heart to slow. A monitor beeped shrilly, bringing a cadre of nurses running to check on her. Her panic-stricken eyes roamed the darkened room. Where am I? The hospital? She tried to think. A hand pressed to her distended abdomen was rewarded with a sharp kick from its inhabitant. Baby. The baby is all that matters. The sting in her vein warned her that the dark would soon descend and claim her again.
She was floating, safe and warm. She was nude, but felt no shame. As if summoned by her mere whim, unimaginably soft fur covered her flesh. It brushed her face, tickling her nose. She smiled. Too soon, she felt the pull of wakefulness and struggled to cling to her furry cocoon. Aleydis pried her eyes open to meet Tucker's concerned gaze staring back.
“How long have you been here?” She croaked feebly, her voice hoarse with disuse.
“Better to how ask how long YOU'VE been HERE,” he replied. “They've had to drug you. You've been out of your mind if they don't, screaming horrible things about monsters. They've had to restrain you. The only reason you're not committed is because they think we're engaged, and I won't let them.” Tucker's face tightened. “Six weeks. Six weeks of near-constant sedation because your mind can't handle what you saw. Six weeks MY... OUR child has had those drugs coursing through its veins because its mother... because its father is a monster.” He hung his head in defeat.
Aleydis began to reach for him and stopped. “You... you've been here every day?”
“Every moment they would let me.”
Guilt raced through her veins, chasing out the last of the sedatives. A lone tear slid down her cheek. “I don't know what to say. I'm sorry? I'm sorry I can't handle this? I can't handle what you are? I'm sorry I'm weak?”
Tucker stood up, anger blazing across his face. “YOU. ARE. NOT. WEAK! I don't know who put that idiot thought in your head but you are not weak!” He strode to the bedside and gripped her arms. Aleydis shuddered, the tips of unseen claws threatening to pierce her skin.
“My father,” she blurted.
"Huh?" Tucker asked, startled.
“My father." Aleydis sniffled, wiping her nose delicately. "He's the bastard who told me I'm weak. I'm not smart enough, talented enough. I'm not a boy. I'm not good at sports." Tears streamed down her face in earnest "He's a bastard. He's a vile fucking bastard," she said with relish. "He uses women. They're nothing but trophies, pretty things to show off, nothing of any real use. To him I am worthless and weak!” No longer delicate, she wiped her nose on her sleeve.
Tucker sat on the bed, hugging her close, letting her talk. Gradually, she snuggled into his side, relaxing as she ripped the thorns of long-repressed pain from her soul. A nurse peeked in from time to time, but he waved them away. The monitors continued their monotonous background beeping as sunset's flame-washed fingers touched the sky. He brushed one last tear from her face. “I told you, you're not weak. A weak person couldn't deal with that and become a strong, talented woman.” He kissed her gently.
Aleydis looked at him. When had he passed from the monstrous to the wondrous? Yes he had come into her life with ulterior motives, yes he had lied to her, terrified her... but he had also protected her, cared for her, listened to her. And now he was here, as attentive as any lover... I am so confused.
Tucker seemed to pick up on her mood. “Look, I know I can't make up for the past. I did things I'm not proud of. I wish I had never done them at all. I promise you, I'm finished with Donovan and his plotting. I want to be with you and our child, try to have a normal life. We can move away from here, start over somewhere new where his threats can't hurt us!”
She shook her head. “No. I'm not running. You're right, I'm not weak. Neither are you. You let him bully you into doing things you knew weren't right. You can't run away again. You have to make things right.”
17th Sep 2008, 05:26 PM
hmm, she is falling for him now..........i'm so happy you updated though!!! hope the baby wil be okay..small but good update!:)
26th Sep 2008, 05:05 PM
Yay for Tucker and Aleydis! They will make a wonderful couple. I can't wait for the next update!
26th Sep 2008, 08:13 PM
Aleydis isn't the only one who is confused, is she turning into a werewolf....
27th Sep 2008, 09:51 AM
What an amazing story! I'm totally hooked on it. I hope for a gazillion updates within the next 5 seconds... :D
27th Sep 2008, 02:54 PM
I dont' usually comment on stories, because... well, I tend to forget to do it. Shame on me, I know :p But this is excellent, I love the plot, the charaters and your style of writing and can't wait to find out more :)
27th Sep 2008, 03:49 PM
Wonderful! I'm so glad there's an update. great job! I like the tranisiton. I can tell something good is going to happen. :D
1st Oct 2008, 12:52 AM
I'm really wondering whats going to happen next..!
Update soon? :)
27th Oct 2008, 09:53 PM
Aleydis rubbed irritably at the small of her back. The doctor had chosen to wake her up at 6 am to examine her. Probably so he doesn't miss his tee time, she thought spitefully. Light snoring emanated from the chair, accompanied by the plastic-y squeaks only hospital furniture can make. Tucker had spent the entire night in the chair, holding her hand.
“Ms. Wyndham,” the doctor began. “Your case is somewhat... unusual. Although it's not unheard of for women to experience postpartum psychosis, it's quite rare before delivery.” He paced as he spoke, back and forth, back and forth, over and over. “Until yesterday, we had to keep you heavily sedated, you were having both auditory and visual hallucinations. Then they suddenly ceased sometime yesterday, for no apparent reason. You seem perfectly lucid this morning, despite the early hour. I think we can discontinue sedation unless an emergency arises, but I must say that your case baffles me. Generally psychoses are brought on by a traumatic event. Pre-term labor is certainly traumatic, but rarely, very rarely, causes such an extreme response. Is there something else that happened that may provide some explanation?”
Aleydis tried to focus. Lack of sleep and left-over medication combined to fuzz her mind. “Traumatic? No, no. Of course not.” Just my project-manager-turned-one-night-stand-turned-stalker-turned-maybe-boyfriend shapeshifting into a werewolf. Nah, that's not traumatic. She schooled her face to blankness.
The doctor gave her a long, searching look. “You know that you can speak to me about anything Ms. Wyndham? I take confidentiality very seriously. I can return when your fiance is getting lunch if you wish.” He glanced pointedly at the scar on her chin.
Fiance? Oh, right. Tucker told them that so they'd let him up here. I wish I didn't feel so dopey. As the doctor's words sunk in, she couldn't keep the fury off her face. “Are you implying that he abused me? Because that's insulting as well as untrue. I really don't remember anything after I felt the contractions.” And that's not fully a lie.
“Just keep in mind that there are people here you can talk to about anything you need to. I want to have a psychiatrist consult on your case just as a formality. You needn't feel pressured into anything, I just want her to take a quick look at you. It's up to you if wish her further involvement.” He made a few notations, checked the monitors, and left her to her thoughts.
Ugh, I don't want to talk to a shrink. Like I can talk to anyone about... that. They'd lock me up, she thought muzzily before sleep claimed her again.
When she awoke, a nurse was checking her vital signs and scribbling them down in the chart. “Shift change!” She remarked brightly. “Glad to see you awake and alert, Ms. Wyndham. We've all been pulling for you and your little one up here.” The nurse, who barely looked old enough to buy a beer, completed a rapid physical exam. “Vitals are good and everything looks fine on exam. Let me know if you need anything.”
Tucker shifted on the chair, eliciting a symphony of creaks and groans from the upholstery. He rubbed his eyes and smiled at her. Aleydis felt herself smile in return before she could help it. He stumbled to the bed and sat next to her leg. “How're my girls doing this morning?”
How can he be so damn blasé about everything that's happened and about what's he's done? “Tucker... look. I believe in second chances. You're on more like your fifth chance here. We have some very serious things to discuss before I'm willing to call this a relationship. I am willing to try. You've done awful things. Damn near unforgivable things. If I didn't believe you were telling me the absolute truth regarding being blackmailed, I wouldn't be forgiving you. I still won't forget for a long, long time though. I'm half-drugged and tired, but I won't be satisfied until I get some things straight with you. I don't want any of this hanging over our heads.”
He looked at her for a moment and some of the playful light in his eyes died. It accentuated the deepening circles under his eyes. “You're right. I want you to believe me because it's true. I had to show you or you wouldn't have believed me. I wish I had gone about it differently. Are... are you... going to be able to deal with me shifting once a month?” His lips were pressed so tightly together they had turned white.
“I... don't know. I think so. The nightmares were so bad at first. But even in the bad ones, it was never the werewolf that meant me harm. It was always gentle. I think my mind might be more ready than I think.” She froze as a thought slammed into her. “Will our daughter be like... will she be a werewolf?”
Tucker took a deep breath. “I knew I should have told you.”
Aleydis' insides turned to ice. “Told me what? Told me that my daughter is going to be a werewolf?! How could you keep that from me?”
“I didn't mean to! For god's sake, you wouldn't take my calls or talk to me! What was I supposed to do?” He glared at her.
“You're right. You're right, dammit! I'm sorry. Just tell me, I need to know!”
He took her chilled hands and rubbed them briskly, his voice calmer now. “It's possible. But very very unlikely. Lycanthropy is transmitted via blood and body fluids. Like an STD.” A bark of humorless laughter escaped. “However, since I wasn't shifted when we slept together, it's unlikely that the virus would be transmitted to either you or the baby.”
“You mean I could be infected too?!” Aleydis shrieked.
“Calm down! Do you want the nurses in here doping you up again? I'm getting there.” Tucker caressed her hands and arms gently, like petting a terrified animal to calm it. “You potentially could have been, but it's like a one in a billion chance. Plus you would have turned furry at least once seeing as it's been several months since we had sex.”
“Oh. I didn't think of that.”
Tucker placed a hand gently on her swollen belly. “It's the same teeny tiny chance that our little one could be infected. We won't know until she's born. I highly doubt it though.” At the occupant's sharp kick, his face lit up. “She kicked me!”
Aleydis giggled. “Good, she kicks me all the time!” She aimed a playful elbow at his side and they ended up tickling each other until they were both out of breath. Her mind eased, she cuddled into Tucker's side, her hand resting over his as they both felt their daughter's movements. Maybe, just maybe, they'd have a chance.
27th Oct 2008, 10:04 PM
Great update, can't wait to see if the baby is okay. (Hope she takes after her mother in the looks department ;))
6th Nov 2008, 02:57 AM
ahh, sweet update....can't wait to see the baby:)
6th Nov 2008, 09:27 PM
Aww. how sweet. Good update!! I'm glad things are looking up for both of them.
12th Nov 2008, 05:14 PM
Great update! I want to see how the baby comes out :)
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