Wednesday, October 3, 2012
[Prologue] Chapter 3: A Fling and a Fairytale
On the surface, their evening appears perfectly ordinary and unexceptional. A boyfriend invites his girlfriend over for a low-key night at his place. He makes dinner for her, a salad to pacify her vegetarian lifestyle, and they eat together in amiable silence, merely enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company.
Yet, upon closer inspection, the boy seems… nervous, tense, and unhappy. His foot twitches uneasily, and the way he looks at the girl conveys a desperate sort of longing. He loves her, his soulful eyes reveal that much, but does she feel the same way about him? The girl notices his wistful stare and smiles at him reassuringly, her whole face lighting up with easygoing charm, but it does little to soothe his nerves. He wants more from this relationship, and he’s not sure that she can, or will, give it to him.
“Everything alright?” Maeve asks, oblivious to Luca’s inner turmoil.
“Fine,” he answers shortly.
She frowns but decides not to press the issue.
“I was promoted,” he tells her after a minute, hoping to fill the void in the conversation.
“Promoted?!” Maeve exclaims excitedly. “So soon? I thought you were just assigned to the Infectious Disease Research Team last month.”
“I was,” Luca beams. “Dr. Devereux retired, and they needed someone to take over and continue her work studying the White Fever. They made me head of the department, Maeve.”
“Oh, Luca, that’s wonderful!” she gushes.
“I’m really excited about it. I’ve been eyeing the position for a while now, and I can’t wait to really sink my teeth into it. Five more people have died, you know,” he adds quietly.
Maeve sighs and shakes her head. “It’s looking pretty grim then, huh?” she asks.
Luca nods. “Unfortunately, we can’t seem to isolate the source of the infection, and until we can find out exactly how people are contracting the virus we have no chance of discovering a cure.”
“You don’t think it’s related to the plague though, do you?” she whispers.
“We just don’t know enough about it yet to say positively one way or another, but I tend to doubt that theory myself. It seems to be isolated to Jericho and the surrounding swamplands, and it hasn't spread as fast as the plague did during the Dark Ages.”
After dinner, Luca cleans up the dishes while Maeve disappears outside for a while.
He finds her in the backyard looking through his telescope. “What are you doing out here?” he asks, coming up behind her.
Maeve grins at him and points to the stars. “Venus and Mars,” she giggles, “are aligned tonight.”
Luca laughs at the childish excitement on her face, but he ignores her comment. He’s never believed much in astrology, and besides, he has something else on his mind right now.
“You’re cold,” he whispers, stroking her cheek.
Maeve shivers slightly at the touch of his hand. “A little bit,” she admits.
“Come inside,” he offers.
Her violet eyes widen at his suggestion. “Inside?” she repeats. “I- I shouldn’t.”
“Why?” he demands, more forcefully than intended.
“I need to head home,” she replies.
Luca sighs, his hands falling limp by his side. They’ve been dating for over three months now, and he has yet to convince her to spend the night with him. More so, she refuses to take him home or even give him her phone number, and they only ever meet up on the weekends. He knows she’s hiding something from him, but he tells himself that she’ll open up to him in time. Unfortunately, his patience is wearing thin.
Frustrated, Luca grabs her and pulls her into his arms. “Why don’t you stay tonight?” he suggests, kissing her passionately.
His rough, commanding tone takes Maeve by surprise. She feels his hands slide lower down her back, and she suddenly finds herself weak in the knees. “Luca,” she half whispers, half moans. “I shouldn’t. We shouldn’t. I… I…” But the words don’t seem to come.
Luca senses her failing defenses and seizes upon the moment. “Come upstairs,” he instructs, guiding her into the house.
They stumble their way to his bedroom, where Luca slowly undresses her, savoring every touch.
“It’s my first time,” Maeve breathes as he kisses her lips, her neck, her shoulders, her breasts.
Luca smiles and brushes a strand of hair out of her face. “Mine too,” he confesses. “Are you scared?”
Maeve shakes her head and unsnaps her bra, as though to prove to him that she’s just as ready as he is.
Their first time is quick and fumbling, but there’s no denying the passion between them.
Exhausted, Maeve falls asleep curled up in Luca’s arms. He closes his eyes and holds her tight, desperately trying to stay awake for fear that he’ll wake up and she’ll be gone.
The next morning, his fears prove justified. She leaves a simple note on his bedside table, the only evidence that she was ever even there at all.
Gibson comes over for lunch later that week, and Luca ends up spilling the entire, painful story.
“Are you sure she’s not seeing somebody else?” Gibson asks softly, purposely avoiding eye contact.
Luca looks up, startled by the suggestion. “No! No. I mean- Just… No. Absolutely not.” He coughs awkwardly, remembering their evening together. It was the first time for both of them. He knows this, but still Gibson’s words strike a nerve. “I’m positive,” he insists, trying to convince himself as much as his friend. “There’s nobody but me.”
Gibson watches Luca curiously, wondering how he could be so certain of himself. “Well, that solves it then,” he declares suddenly.
“What?” Luca frowns. “What are you talking about, Gibs?”
“She’s using you, my friend.”
“Using me?” Luca laughs, trying to sound relaxed and unconcerned. “For what? My money or my connections? Cause, dude, you know I have neither.”
“Sure, I know that, but does she? It sounds like a typical sweetheart swindle to me.”
“Sweetheart swindle?” Luca repeats incredulously.
“Oh, yes. It’s a classic case. A young, beautiful woman will find a rich and powerful man to befriend, and over time she makes him fall madly in love with her. Then, once she’s certain that she has you hook, line, and sinker, she will start withholding sex and companionship until she gets just what she wants from you.”
“And what does she want from me?” Luca demands.
“Well, I’m not entirely certain,” Gibson admits. “Usually, they want money, but sometimes these women are far more devious than that.”
“Maeve has never shown any interest in my wallet before,” Luca retorts. “And what else do I have? I’m just a measly doctor.”
“You have access to vials and vials of controlled substances,” Gibson muses. “Perhaps she’s an addict?”
Luca eyes his friend in disbelief. “Sounds like a stretch to me.”
Gibson shrugs and continues eating his salad. “Either that, or she’s seeing someone else. Are you sure she’s not married?”
Luca rolls his eyes and quickly changes the subject, but Gibson’s words stick with him like glue. What if she is dating other people? Or, what if she’s just using him? Luca fears that his friend may be on to something.
Even though Emily is a teenager now, Luca still spends his free nights helping her with her math homework.
He wants her to become a doctor, like him, and he doesn’t hesitate to tell her so.
Emily claims that she’s still interested in pursuing a medical career, but tonight she seems distracted and preoccupied.
Moody might be another way to describe it, but Luca writes off her touchiness as typical teenage hormones.
Even when she can’t seem to hold down her dinner, Luca fails to see a connection and immediately, instinctively blames the nausea on food poisoning.
He only becomes really concerned when she disappears for over an hour.
“Emily?” he calls out. “Is everything okay?”
A small sob resonates through the bathroom door. “I’m fine,” she replies, but her voice sounds weak and shaky.
Luca frowns. He’s not very good at this whole emotional… thing. And besides, he has plans to meet Maeve tonight, and he hasn’t seen her in weeks, ever since that night.
“Are you… Are you sure?” he asks.
More sobbing greets his ears, but Emily manages to choke out a small “yes”.
“I’m just going to go,” Luca says awkwardly. “But if you need to talk about anything, you know how to reach me…”
He turns to leave, feeling confused and flustered. He wants to help her, but how can he when he doesn’t even know what’s wrong?
Hearing the front door snap closed behind him, Emily feels a fresh wave of tears stream down her face. She so desperately wanted to tell him, but she just couldn’t. What if he never spoke to her again? What if he called her a whore? What if he told her to get an abortion? The idea of losing her friendship with Luca just seems too horrible to imagine.
No, she thinks defiantly, getting up off the floor. No one needs to know that I'm pregnant. Not my mom, not my boyfriend, not even Luca. I got myself into this situation, and I can figure my way out.
Luca meets Maeve at Grandver Beach later that night. After his strange encounter with Emily, he feels grateful for her relatively calm and normal behavior.
“It’s been a while,” he comments as they roast marshmallows over the open fire.
“I was… busy,” she tells him.
He eyes her suspiciously, remembering Gibson’s theories. “I don’t even have your number, Maeve. I couldn’t even call to make sure you were okay.”
“I told you Luca. I can’t afford a cell phone right now.”
“I could buy you one,” he offers.
Maeve shakes her head. “I don’t need you to buy me things,” she insists.
“Why can’t I come over to your place sometime?” he demands suddenly. “I’ve never seen where you live.”
Maeve looks taken aback. “I- I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
“You’re married.” It’s not a question, but a statement.
“A married virgin?” she laughs bitterly.
“It could happen,” he counters.
“I’m not married.”
“No,” she sighs.
“Well? What is it?”
Crawling into his lap, Maeve runs her fingers through his thick black hair. “There’s nobody for me but you,” she tells him with a deep, passionate kiss. “I love you, Luca.”
“You love me?” he repeats numbly.
Maeve grins and kisses him again. “Yes,” she whispers.
Luca pulls her closer, temporarily forgetting all about his concerns. “I love you too,” he replies.
A few minutes later, Maeve suddenly jumps up and clutches her stomach.
“Are you okay?” Luca asks, watching her from a safe distance. Why does he feel like he’s been through this already once tonight?
“Fine,” she grunts. “Marshmallows… They’re too sweet for me I think. But I’m fine.”
“Let me take you home,” he offers.
“No!” Maeve shouts. “I mean, no. Thank you, but I will be fine. I can find the way myself.”
“But I want to make sure you get there safely,” Luca argues.
Maeve attempts a smile. “That’s sweet, but don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.”
“At least take my cell phone,” he exclaims, not hiding the frustration in his voice. “You can give it back to me the next time we see each other.”
Not feeling much like arguing tonight, Maeve reluctantly agrees.
The following day Gibson casually mentions that Luca could, potentially, use his phone’s GPS to locate Maeve’s home and spy on her, but Luca scoffs. He trusts his girlfriend. They love each other. He would never take advantage of the situation like that. Would he?
But now that the idea has been planted in his mind, Luca can’t seem to think about anything else. For the entire rest of the weekend he obsesses about it, but eventually the desire to know what she’s hiding overwhelms him. So, with the help of Gibson-the-computer-whiz, Luca tracks his phone to an isolated property on the rural outskirts of Jericho.
He watches from the road, feeling oddly scared of the ominous old structure before him, but he’s not satisfied just knowing where Maeve lives. So Luca creeps closer.
Yelling fills the air. A woman’s piercing shouts echo around him. He starts to bolt, fearing that he’ll be discovered, but suddenly he hears the sound of Maeve crying. What if she’s in trouble? What if she needs him? Defiantly, he heads to the door and shoves it open.
Maeve’s eyes widen as Luca bursts into the room.
“What are you doing here?” she cries, burying her head in her hands.
“Maeve, who is this?” the older woman demands, her voice firm and domineering.
“I heard yelling. I thought- I thought you were in trouble,” Luca tells Maeve, ignoring the other woman’s icy cold stare.
“M-Mother, this is Luca,” Maeve whispers in a trembling voice.
The woman gazes at him long and hard. “He’s human,” she sneers.
“Please don’t be mad Mom,” Maeve pleads. “He doesn’t mean any harm…”
“Harm!” the woman huffs. “Of course he does. How do you know him?”
Maeve opens her mouth to answer, but Luca cuts her off.
“Maeve is my girlfriend,” he announces angrily. “What do you mean ‘he’s human’? Maeve, what is going on here?!”
The woman’s eyes flash furiously. “You’ve been dating this- this-” She motions toward Luca in disgust.
“No!” Maeve exclaims. “Well, sort of. I mean- He’s a doctor!” she stammers.
“You spoiled, ungrateful child!” she shrieks. “Going behind my back to date one of- of- of THEM!”
“Don’t you dare speak to her that way!” Luca shouts. “Maeve and I love ea-”
“SILENCE!” the woman screams, her face twisted in rage.
Quicker than a blink of the eye, she reaches into her sash and pulls out a vial, throwing it at Luca before he even has a chance to react.
“You killed him!” Maeve cries as Luca sinks to the floor.
Esme, Maeve’s mom, snorts disapprovingly. “If only,” she grunts. “It was merely a flask of sleep, dear. He will wake in a few minutes.”
“Why would you do that?!” Maeve screams. “Now he’s going to know about us!”
“He won’t remember a thing,” Esme smirks. “It’s a potent enough formula that he’ll think of it all as merely part of his dream.”
“I love him,” Maeve sobs.
“You don’t know what love is,” Esme counters. “Besides, what would your father say?! Or, worse, what if the council found out? Magic and humans do not belong together, dear. We live in two separate worlds, and that is the way it must stay.”
Maeve’s face falls. “But-”
“It is for your own safety, darling. How do you think that… that boy would take it? Learning that you were hiding such an important secret from him? If he didn’t send you straight to the insane asylum, he’d probably have you executed! You don’t understand how paranoid humans can be.”
“But I know Luca. He wouldn’t-”
“He would, and he will. You must believe me, dear. I only want what’s best for you. Now, go wake him up and tell him that it’s over, and then we can forget about this whole thing.”
Grudgingly, Maeve does as her mother says. Luca takes the news as well as can be expected, with confusion and anger and lots and lots of cursing.
“Was it ever real?!” he screams, his voice cracking with emotion. “Or was it all just a lie? Just one big fairytale?!”
“I never loved you,” she whispers. “I’m sorry I strung you along, Luc, but it was just a fling.”
Luca feels numb, like his heart has been ripped out and trampled on, and he leaves without another word.
Tired, alone, and brokenhearted he heads home to wallow in his misery. He feels empty and defeated, like the butt of some cruel joke, and with bitter determination he decides to forget about love and happiness and focus on the only important things in life- his job and his research.
My goodness, this was an angst-filled chapter if I ever wrote one! I feel only partly accountable for all the drama though, as StoryProgression fucked me up royally. Emily’s pregnancy was not part of my original plot, and it honestly shocked the living daylights out of me when I got the notice that her high school boyfriend had knocked her up. I didn’t even know that I had teenage pregnancy enabled in my settings! But I decided to go with it and change my story to suit, which led to the shifting of my timeline and one miserably unhappy chapter.
However, in other news, there will be children soon! I kind of screwed up my timing with Luca, as I spent way too many days trying to level up his career and not enough time getting him laid, and now he’s very close to being an adult with absolutely NO children to show for it. And he has to produce five, so… yeah. He’s going to be a bit older by the time he has all of the kids. Also, I decided at the beginning of this legacy to ban the fertility treatment lifetime reward because I only want twins and triplets if the Sim gods destine it to be so. I feel like it’s a bit more authentic that way, but I may eventually cave and use it.
Maeve and Esme’s house was built by me and will eventually be available for download (after I figure out what the hell I’m going to do about that god awful ugly tower!), but if you want to give me feedback on it you can visit my thread in the Creator Feedback Forum at Mod The Sims (here). I will edit this post with a download link once it’s available, but until then any advice is welcome!
Finally, there is a minor discrepancy in one of my photos. I won’t tell you guys which one on the off chance you didn’t notice it *crosses fingers*, but in case you are curious about it my game crashed and I had to replay the scene twice to get all the screenshots I needed.