Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chapter 7: Back and Forth

Back and forth, back and forth. Forever back and forth. As the mother of five children, Eileen O’Hara knows the creaking sounds of her old rocker as well as she knows the voices of her slumbering daughters. The one in her arms curls closer to her chest, finally lulled to sleep by the rhythmic motion of the chair, and Eileen sighs in relief. The little girl was restless tonight, and it took ages to calm her down.

Just as she goes to lay her in bed, however, a sound startles her out of her reverie. Voices. Angry, male voices, loud and nearby. Making sure not to wake her daughter, Eileen swiftly takes the child to the back room and heads outside to investigate.

Collapsing to the ground in a violent fit of coughing, Kieran writhes and shakes from the searing pain in his chest.

“Get up ye lazy dog!” the man beside him shouts. “We’re takin’ ye to the sheriff, and we don’ want ye covered in dirt when you’re hangin’ from that noose.”

“Noose?” Kieran gasps for air as he struggles to regain his footing. “What is my crime?”

The man snickers and kicks him to the ground again, viscously grinding the heel of his boot deep into Kieran’s already bruised stomach. “You were stealin’ from m’ lord’s private garden!” he spits.

“Yeah,” the other man nods his head vigorously. “Besides, you talk like ye ain’t from ‘round these parts, and we don’ like strangers lurkin’ near our town. Too many bad things been happenin’ lately, ye see?”

“Strange things,” the first man continues. “Ye were mighty close to them woods, boy, and there been talk of a witch livin’ out there. Wouldn’t be surprised if ye knew somethin’ ‘bout all that.”

“Twenty minutes on the rack oughta straighten ‘im out, huh Merrick?”

“Twenty minutes?” Merrick laughs heartily. “I bet he don’ last twenty seconds!”

“What is going on here?” A woman’s curt voice cuts into the conversation, and the men abruptly fall silent.

Eileen’s eyes dart back and forth between Merrick and Silas, the town bullies, to the bloody young man sprawled out in the middle of the road. With a furious snort, she strolls over to Kieran and takes his hand, determinedly pulling him to his feet.

“I should have expected to find you involved in such a situation, Merrick,” she hisses, “but I see you’ve dragged Silas down your same wicked path. Beating up a defenseless stranger? Absolutely shameful!”

“But this man’s a criminal!” Merrick retorts. “He was stealin’ from Lord Hadrian’s garden!”

“Since when do you care about Lord Hardian’s welfare?” Eileen snaps. “He’s done nothing but terrorize our town since the day he took over the fiefdom.”

“But he talks funny!” Silas chimes in. “Listen to ‘im. He talks like one ‘o them foreigners.”

“Despicable,” she snarls as she grabs Silas by the arm and drags him away from Merrick. “You of all people should know better. Or have you already forgotten the day you showed up in town, a runaway slave, half starved to death and within an inch of your life? My husband took you in, no questions asked, found you work and hid you from the bounty hunters. Why, if he could see you now-”

“Ah, leave ‘im alone Mrs. O’Hara,” Merrick calls out. “If you want a good-fer-nothin’ lout hangin’ ‘round your place, then fine. We’ll leave. We don’ want no trouble or nothin’.”

“Trouble finds those who go looking for it,” Eileen replies with a scathing glare. “Best keep your fists in your pockets, boy, else I shall be paying a visit to your Nana. And you, Silas, would do well to remember past kindnesses, for the way you’re acting now there may not be any more in your future.”

“Thank you,” Kieran mumbles as Eileen leads him into her small cottage. “I’ve been traveling for days now without food, and I was getting desperate. I- I’m sorry.”

Eileen shrugs indifferently, but her watchful eyes never leave Kieran’s face. “Lord Hadrian wastes more food than my whole family eats in a year. He won’t miss a few apples from his orchard.”

Kieran nods and rubs his aching head. “Regardless, I won’t make that mistake again,” he assures her.

“What is your name?” Eileen asks in a slightly softer tone.

“Kieran,” he grunts. “Kieran Everard.”

“What brings you to Aaron’s Dale, Kieran?”

“I’m searching for a man,” he replies vaguely. “I need his help with something.”

Eileen frowns. “Where does he live?”

Kieran glances up, meeting her gaze for the first time since she rescued him. “I- I don’t know. That’s why I’m searching for him.”

“Maybe I can help. I’ve lived in the valley my whole life, and I know most of the families around here.” She smiles at him, but her eyes remain hard and serious.

Kieran pauses for a moment, considering. “His name is Atticus Thorel,” he says at last. “He’s a mage that used to live in this area.”

Eileen begins to speak, but a woman cuts her off.

“I’ve heard of your mage,” a raspy, but determined voice announces. “When I was a child, he used to perform magic tricks for the kids in town. He moved to the other side of the pass, but I can’t imagine that he’s still alive. His grandchildren, however, might be.”

“What are you doing awake, Juno?” Eileen demands, not bothering to hide the irritation in her voice. “You should be in bed right now. Asleep.”

“I’m old, not dead, Lily Pad,” Juno says with a mischievous grin. “And until I die, you live in my house, under my rules.”

Eileen scowls back at her, but Kieran doesn’t give her a chance to reply.

“You know Atticus?” he asks briskly.

Walking over to stand beside her daughter-in-law, Juno shakes her head. “Not really,” the old woman replies. “He left town when I was just a little girl, but I heard rumors that people used to see him in Alderney occasionally.”

“Alderney,” Kieran repeats. “Where is that?”

Eileen frowns and drums her fingers on the table. “The other side of the pass,” she tells him. “A good two weeks on horseback.”

Kieran feels himself deflate. He’ll never make it all that way without food or water, especially since he doesn’t even know where he’s going.

Watching the young man carefully, Eileen’s eyes suddenly light up with an idea. She glances back at Juno and mouths something to the older woman, who shrugs and nods her head. “Kieran, did you say?” Eileen asks as she turns back around.

“Yes?” Kieran looks up sharply, having been lost in his own thoughts.

“Kieran, my family owns a small plot of land near the abbey by the hillside, a vineyard that we keep for his lordship. Due to my husband’s sudden passing this last summer, we have not been able to bring in a sufficient harvest this season, and with winter looming I fear that we do not have the time or resources to gather enough crop to satisfy Lord Hadrian and pay our fealty to the king. If you will stay and help us, then I will arrange for a guide to take you to Alderney before the pass becomes snowed in for the winter.”

Kieran pauses. “How long until the pass closes?”

“Should be at least a couple of months away,” Juno replies. “And since you will be working solely in the vineyard, the harvest should take no more than six weeks to gather.”

Eileen nods. “Six weeks of labor in exchange for room, board, and transport to Alderney sounds fair to me. What do you say?”

Not seeing any other choice, Kieran reluctantly agrees. Six weeks isn’t so long, he tells himself, and although he’s eager to find Atticus and return to his time, to the present, the experience could actually prove quite interesting.


With a wide, playful grin, Beau grabs Delilah and sweeps her in for a heated kiss. 

“What was that for?” Lila giggles as she tries to break free from Beau’s firm grasp.

Beau shrugs and tries to act nonchalant, but he feels unusually nervous today, fidgety and uptight. He and Delilah have been in Sunlit Tides for one whole week now, and he has yet to pop the question. But tonight, he thinks ruefully, tonight that all changes.

“You look tense, darling,” Beau smirks as he teasingly slides his hand up under the skirt of her dress. “Why don’t you slip out of those clothes and into something a bit more comfortable? I want to give you a massage,” he adds with a wink.

Delilah is more than happy to oblige.

Beau starts out slowly, gently rubbing the warm oil into her smooth, sun-kissed skin and working his hands up and down the length of her bare back. The faint scent of coconut wafts through the air, mixing with the light tropical breeze to create an intoxicatingly rich aroma, and Beau quickly feels himself grow aroused by the sheer sensuality of the moment.

“Delilah,” he whispers, his voice a low growl against the soft hum of the island jungle.

Glancing up, Delilah looks straight into Beau’s hungry blue eyes.

“I want you,” he breathes.

Delilah smirks and pulls Beau on top of her, wrapping her legs around his waist as her hands impatiently fumble with the buttons on his shirt. She knows that expression on his face quite well by now, but she never tires of seeing it. The hold she has over him, the sexual chemistry between them, still feels absolutely electrifying to her.

“Let’s go back to the hotel room,” she suggests as he starts to undo his shorts.

Laughing at the shocked expression on her face, Beau sweeps Delilah into his arms and carries her across their lanai.

“I love you,” he murmurs.

Delilah just giggles and kisses him in response.

As soon as they reach their room, the rest of their clothes fall away, and they spend the remainder of the afternoon tangled up in each other's arms.

“The stars look beautiful tonight.” Delilah sighs and walks over to the window to get a better look. Kieran would have loved it here, she thinks as a sharp pang of regret tears through her chest.

“You look beautiful tonight,” Beau replies.

Lila forces herself to smile. This isn’t right, a small voice whispers in the back of her mind. You don’t love him, and you never will. Stop trying to fool yourself into believing this is something it isn’t.

“You seem sad,” Beau murmurs as he comes up behind her and wraps his arms around her waist. “What are you thinking about?”

Kieran, the voice says.

“Nothing,” she lies instead.

Tell him that it’s over. Tell him that you tried to make this work, that you tried to love him, but you’re not over Kieran. That you’ll never be over Kieran.

Delilah shakes her head, but Beau doesn’t seem to notice. He continues talking to her, whispering sweet words of adoration into her ear, but she isn’t listening to him.

I am over Kieran, she tells herself sternly. And I do love Beau.

Liar, the voice snaps back. You’re only with him because you’re afraid. Afraid to be alone, afraid to grow up, afraid to take responsibility for the mess you’ve made. But it’s time to face the consequences of your actions. You’re better than this, Delilah. You know you are.

With a sickening jolt, Delilah’s mind leaps back to the present. “What are you doing?” she demands as Beau drops to one knee.

“Proposing,” he quips before reaching over and pulling a box out from under the bed. “I love you, Delilah, and I want to spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you have made me. Marry me, darling?”

Challenge Notes:

I couldn’t abandon Kieran that easily, now could I? ;) So yes, this means that we will be following his story as well as Delilah’s. I just hope that it all makes sense and doesn’t confuse you guys. If you ever have any criticism/advice/feedback/tips/whatever, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment with your suggestion! I’m always looking to improve. =)

Thanks for reading! <3


  1. Make her say no. Please please PLEASE make her say no. I don't care if he still lives with her or whatever, just don't let her be so damn happy in a marriage. Even with the guilt, she'd be happier married than not cause she could lie to herself that at least Beau is happy.


    Seriously, I may start begging.

    1. Aww, Cece! :( I didn't realize you hated her so much. Do you really think she'd be happier married to him than not? Because I'm not so sure. If she marries Beau, she's a lot deeper into the relationship than she really wants to be, and that may come back to bite her in the ass someday. And anyway, I doubt she would take much comfort from Beau's happiness if she can't find a way to be happy too.

  2. Yikes! Another cruel cliffhanger. =P

    Even with Lila's doubts, it seems like it could go either way. O.O

    It'll be interesting to see how different or non-different a younger Atticus is.

    1. Yeah, that was a mean one, wasn't it? =P

      Well, actually, we -may- have already seen a younger Atticus in a previous chapter. Maybe. ;) (But you'd have to have a damn good memory to remember exactly when, haha.)

      Thanks for reading and commenting! =D

  3. *jumps up and down and flaps arm wildly* I can't wait to see more of Kieran. Kieran: you need to find your way back! Don't die some sad, anachronistic death. D:

    1. Totally had to look up "anachronistic", and even now I still don't think I understand exactly what it means. Haha.

      And yeah! I'm excited to see more of Kieran too. =D

  4. NOOOOOOO Lila, say no! Listen to your intuition! You were just thinking to yourself that you've tried and it isn't working! Say noooooo!

    *deep breath*

    Ok now you've really got me hooked on the Kieran side of the story, that's very interesting. Can't wait to see more.

    1. Bahahaha. I love that you're so into my story! You have no idea how happy that makes me. :D

      Kieran's side of the story really should prove interesting I hope. (If I can pull it off of course, lol.) I'm excited to get to dabble in some medieval stuff (like Praaven... that world is gorgeous!), and I can't wait to play around with him some more. He's probably my most favorite sim ever. <3

  5. Oh Kieran! I love, love the medieval world you've painted and it seemed utterly realistic to me. I can't wait to read more of the story from his perspective. Of course, I may be biased. ;)

    Delilah...it sounds like she's starting to smart up but I don't trust that smart, responsible side. For all she knows, Kieran is dead and never coming back. Woman, you're a witch too! Ever thought to perhaps hone and use your powers to try and find him? Pull him back? Join him in the past? Anything other than just sit there in misery and feel sorry for yourself???

    1. Hehe, I can't blame you for being biased though. I love seeing Delilah in your world after all, so it's only fair. ;)

      As for Lila... Yeah, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. (As usual, haha.) She doesn't trust her magic at all, but still that's no excuse to completely ignore it like she has been. Kieran tried to explain this to her much earlier in the story, but her magic is integral part of who she is, whether she wants it to be or not, and some day she's going to regret not learning how to use it. I think at this point, though, it's not even on her radar, but that will have to change soon. ;)

      Thanks for reading!

  6. SAY NO, SAY NO! I really hope she doesn't marry him. You shouldn't really marry another man when you keep thinking about another. Amirite?

    I love what you're doing with Kieran! The writing was excellent and I can't wait to see what happens next.

    1. You are so right, Jessica! :D

      And thank you! I can't wait to delve more into Kieran's story. He's a fun sim to play with.

  7. Two storylines! How fun! :D And one is medieval, love it! Strange things have been happening, hmmm. How intriguing! I can't wait to read more!

    I hope Lila turns Beau down too, poor guy, he does deserve to be someone's first choice, not their desperate choice. I hope she makes the right decision this time!

    I look forward to seeing what happens next! =)

    1. I couldn't have said it better myself, Nirar. Beau -does- deserve to be someone's first choice, and not their only choice (if you know what I mean). I hope she turns him down too, but I will tell you that it was a difficult decision (for me) to make. I can see both sides of it, you know?

      Thanks for the comment! =D

  8. *gasp! My stomach sank just that low when he sank to that knee. Oh man I hope that you're posting again soon because sitting on that one is a rather uncomfortable ordeal. Wow. At least she's acknowledged to herself what's really going on. Knowing how you feel about something and what you really want is half the battle. Now will she acknowledge that it's not Beau she wants?

    Ok. Love seeing Kieran in olden days trying to find his way home. Yay that he's not gone from the story yet! I'm so excited I'm bouncing all over that there's still a possibility he'll make it home just as the babies are halfway through the teenstage so he can stick around. I can cross my fingers and dream right?

    1. I agree. Knowing how you feel about a relationship is so, so, SO important, but will Delilah be brave enough to act on those feelings? Only time will tell! ;)

      Haha, of course you can (cross your fingers and dream, that is)! No promises though, because according to Atticus Kieran did, in fact, die back in the Dark Ages, and with that in mind the chances for him coming back to the future seem pretty slim. Kieran doesn't know that, however, so he's still going to try though! ;)

  9. She'd better say no and listen to that voice in her head! She can't marry Beau, she just can't!!!!

    1. Aww, lol, I hope she doesn't marry him either. I'll admit that it was a -really- tough decision to make, and even now I'm not certain I made the right call.

      Thanks for reading! =)

  10. Hey there, been a silent reader for a while.

    So glad to see Kieran again, now get back home and convince Delilah not to marry Beau. Although Beau is a cutie, she just doesn't love him like Kieran and I doubt she ever will. Can't wait for more :)

    1. Hi Nicky! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! =D

      It was fun to show Kieran again, too! And you're right- Delilah doesn't love Beau the way she loves Kieran. It's not even close, but I don't know that she sees it that way. *sigh*

  11. Loved seeing what's happening to Kieran back in medieval times! However, back in modern times, Delilah better not say yes! If she does...

    1. I know! I know! :( If she does, then I'm going to feel so bad for poor Kieran! But that's a whole different story, haha.

      Thanks for reading! =D

  12. Kieran so hawt...

    Delilah needs to say no, and then rush back in time to reunite with the father of her children. Then they can all live happiliy in the dark ages, and you can add in inventions through the generations! How cool would that be?!

    Lilah should say no anyway. No matter what. The end.

    1. LOL! I think he's pretty cute too, but I never get tired of hearing that! <3

      That would be a pretty awesome story, but I don't think I'm ambitious enough to attempt it. Although... ;)

  13. I'm glad to see more of Kieran, I hope he gets back to her somehow. And I hope that Deliah says "no". This story is really tugging on my heartstrings!

    1. Aw, thank you so much! I'm so happy to hear that. <3 I hope you like how it all turns out! =D