Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chapter 1.6


Chapter 1.6- Roadkill


                Elena had managed to get ahold of Trenton not long after running an ad in the paper for her services as a photographer. The next day he had off, he came over. ‘Steve’ had just left for his shift at the graveyard when Trenton had arrived. Helen’s heart skipped a beat when she heard the bell. He was so pretty.
                Once he was in the house, Helen had tried to tell him a little of what she was trying to do. She wanted to do gallery type prints as well as standard portraits. But she had no eye for composition, something he proclaimed to be a dab hand at.


                “Of course I can give you a few tips on composition!” Trenton was smug. He thought this chick was cute, his boasting of his skills had bagged the bird.
                Elena smiled at him.
                “I really appreciate it,” she said. “I’m a little nervous about setting up shop with so little experience, but I think a lot of things in town are beautiful. They should be preserved in photographs for posterity. You never know when some developer will want to come in and put something more modern in its place. I’ve even heard rumors that the government thinks we don’t need a military base for training. They want to tear down our current City Hall and build a new one. This one would be larger, with offices for the military inside!”
                Trenton merely smiled at her.
                “That building is historic! It should be preserved.”


                He simpered at her when she finally stopped talking.
                “PlumbBob,” he said quietly. “You’re really lovely when you’re all fired up like that.”
                Elena felt her cheeks burn. Her heart hammering, she ducked her head, peeping up at him shyly between her lashes.


                “But I shouldn’t change the subject like that,” he said abruptly, startling her. “You called and asked me here to help you with composition.”
                Helen’s jaw had gone slack again.


                “Why don’t you pull out your Hikon and we’ll set up a little shoot, right here,” he continued smoothly. “Then we can work on your composition as long as you like.”
                Helen beamed, feeling like a schoolgirl who had been granted a favor.
                “Of course,” she enthused. “Is there a particular subject you’d like to practice on?”


                Trenton took a step closer to her.
                “Why,” he said, taking one of her hands. “You, of course.”
                Elena raised one eyebrow. This one was smooth.


                “I’ll go get my camera,” Elena told him. She had walked around the couch, and was near the kitchen, when his hands caught her around the waist. He turned her around, taking her in his arms.
                Elena was surprised. She hadn’t really anticipated this. After all, he was Zazzy’s brother. And in high school, he and Marcie Imaga had been all over each other. She’d never ever thought he would take notice of little-ole her.


                He kissed her so hard he backed her into the kitchen wall next to the fridge. Surprising herself, she responded with zeal, biting his lip gently as he pulled away at last. Who ever said she had to be a nun?


                She smiled nervously as he pulled back to look at her. Though they were no longer kissing, he held her trapped against the wall.
                “Is there,” he whispered to her, his lips still close to hers. “Is there a bed in the other room?”
                Her knees almost buckled and she nodded at him weakly.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


                That kid had a wail that could wake the dead.
                Steve had been surprised to see evidence that Helen had cleaned the house, again, when he had arrived late last night. She was still cleaning the bedroom when he went to see why the light was on. Usually, she was asleep along with Cyrus. Her tardy bedtime meant that little Cyrus had not had his morning feeding and he was letting the world know, waking both Elena and Steve.


                Steve lay back on top of the covers as she hurried around the bed to plug Cyrus up with a bottle.
                He sighed for a moment. It was still nice to see her running around in such a get up. They could have afforded some more modest jammies for her if they really wanted. But neither had brought it up.


                Elena smiled to herself, remembering last night. She felt very relaxed this morning, lack of rest or no. Trenton had left almost as soon as it was over but Elena was sure he’d call again, and soon.
                “Some couple got engaged round here a day or so ago,” Steve said slowly. “Seems like they’re invitin’ the entire town to the nuptuals.”
                “That’s nice,” Elena murmured.
                “How should we present ourselves at it, Princess?”


Elena’s head came up sharply.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, if we go folks are goin’ to ask about us livin’ together,” he said steadily. “And they’re most likely goin’ to ask about Cyrus and his daddy.”


                “We’ll just tell them you’re the guy whose life I saved in the woods and whom I now support,” Elena said after a moment of thought. She snuggled little Cyrus close. He was such a good baby.
                She couldn’t see behind her back. Steve was a little offended by such an explanation, though he didn’t say anything out loud.
                Elena replaced Cyrus in his crib, cooing sweet nothings only mama’s say as she did so.


                ‘Steve’ stayed lounging on the bed.
                “Where are you goin’?” he asked with a smile. “You oughta stick around. Let me watch you bend over and make the bed a while.”
                ‘Elena’ rolled her eyes, sighing, and walked out of the room without a response.


                “Aw,” Steve teased. “You know you’re curious. You know you want to humor me, give me a good show.”
                He waited for something to hit the wall between bedroom and kitchen. Not hearing it, he pushed harder.
                “It’s not like you couldn’t wear them pajamas you got while you was pregnant,” he raised his voice to make sure she could hear. “You must like all my flattery, Princess!”
                Steve chuckled as he heard her smack the wall-hard-with her palm.
                “Ain’t no use getting all riled up! I'll just see your undergarments tomorra' night also!”
                This time, she hit the wall so hard the phone fell out of its cradle, hitting the floor, making her cuss. 'Steve's' laughter rang out. She could be so easy to mess with.


                Once he had finally decided it was safe, he followed her into the kitchen. He was met by an interesting… aroma.
                “Something stinks,” Elena told him with a wrinkled nose. “I’m going to get the garbage out. You clean the sink. I want to know what died in here.”
                Steve raised an eyebrow, but simply went to do her bidding. Something did smell awful, and she could be a real bear when it came to anything that might not be absolutely sanitary.


                “Oh my,” Elena exclaimed, opening the fridge. She retched. “Did you pee in here? Oh, my PlumbBob!” She retched again, grabbed a supperware dish and headed outside with it.
                “Help me!” She hissed at him as she ran back in to get another armload. “Get everything out of the fridge and into the outdoor bin!”
                Steve was hungry. He could care less what the fridge smelled like. He wanted breakfast.


                Fully intent on ignoring Elena’s pleas for his help, he went to the fridge to grab a few eggs to fry. When he opened the fridge door, however, he was greeted by a smell that he had smelled only once before: Month old Roadkill.
                “Holy PlumbBob!” Steve stuffed as much as he could in his arms, heading to the sink, noticing as he did so that every item he held was warm.
                “PlumbBob damn refrigerator!” Steve swore. Telling Elena that the tiny bit they had saved would now be needed for a new fridge was not high on his list of things he wanted to do. It would push back his moving out yet again.


                Out in the yard, Elena’s stomach was not reacting well at all to the horrid odor of spoiling food. Elena was trying to make it back in the house, but…


                She simply wasn’t going to make it.


                Elena had never been so embarrassed in her life. Sincerely hoping the neighbors hadn’t seen, she rushed inside, locking herself in the bathroom, praying Steve wouldn’t notice the sick in the front yard. He’d never let her live it down if he did.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


                A few days later the hamper was full and every one of them out of clean clothes. Steve would have been content staying home with Cyrus, but Elena had insisted that they all go to the Laundromat  together.
                After getting her loads sorted and started she walked over to look out at the window, watching the memories stroll by. Steve was a little impatient with her. She had only convinced him to come by saying that she had wanted to talk to him about something important. But now they were here, all she did was stare moodily out the window.
                Finally, she called him over.


                “I’ve got a confession to make,” she told him in a conspiratorial tone.
                Steve looked at her, worried about what she wanted to tell him.
                “I sold a bunch of photographs today. I made over Five Hundred Simoleans!”


                “No,” he grinned at her. “Really? Five hundred simoleans in one day?”
                “Yeah, I know,” she was happier than she had been in days. “The new fridge is on its way, and we won’t have to dip into our housing funds any further! You should still be able to move out in a few weeks!”
                Elena gave him her biggest smile yet, figuring he’d be glad to get away from them, to get on with his life.


                She was more than a little surprised when he barely smiled back at her before quickly letting it fall. They stared at each other for a moment. Steve, deadpan. Elena, frowning, confused.
                Steve didn’t stand there long, just walked off with the baby, supposedly to show him some colorful poster on the wall.


                Steve stared hard at the poster, his mind a jumble. He had far too many suspicions about how far ahead she thought, now he wanted to know. And he needed to know now.
                He turned around walking quickly back across the floor arriving at her side so fast he worried Elena. She lifted an eyebrow trying to figure out what had gotten his panties in a wad this time.
                “Elena,” he said. “I’m worried about you. You’re tired all the time, pushing yourself far too hard. You’re pale and losing weight again. And, I know that you’ve been sick again since the fridge went out. What is going on?”


                She sighed with relief. She was worried he might have found out about her night with Trenton.
                Trenton had never called back and had ignored her calls to him. Now, she was anxious to forget about the whole thing, as obviously he had.
                “It’s just Cyrus,” she smiled a little at Steve. “He’s been keeping me up more at night with his teething. Once I get some more sleep I’ll be less likely to get sick, and then I won’t be as pale, and I‘ll gain weight. It all goes hand in hand. It’ll stop. Really, I promise.”
                Elena paused, Steve still frowned at her.
                “Really,” she repeated. “I’ll be okay.”


                Steve sighed.
                “That’s good,” he told her. “That’s real good. I had been worried you were pining over that guy you had over a little while back-”
                “-That’s none of your business.” Elena interrupted with an edge in her voice she had never used with Steve before. She regretted it almost instantly. The hurt look on his face made her stomach sink.


                Steve stepped back, regaining his composure, taking a few deep breaths.
                “I ought to take Cyrus home,” he told Elena. “He doesn’t need to be here. It’s his bedtime anyway.”


                Elena was sorry. She hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings. And she realized now that her tone implied that she was indeed hung up over Trenton.  Before he could move toward the door she strode briskly over to the washing machine without acknowledging Steve.
                Tugging at the wet clothes wrapped around the agitator made her angrier still.
                Steve still didn’t move. He continued to stand, holding Cyrus, by the window.


                As she shoved the clothes into a dryer, Steve finally looked at her over his shoulder. She punched the buttons angrily, making mistakes and starting over multiple times in an attempt not to fry the whole thing. She could see his sad eyes. She knew he was only concerned. But she just-

                And Steve stood at her side. She straightened up and met his gaze, even though it killed her to do so.
                “I jus' wanna say somethin’ afore we go.” Steve was blinking a lot, breathing hard. His heavy drawl not lost on Elena who knew it meant he was very agitated. “Et may not be any of my bizness who you toy with on yer time, but et is my business when thet hurts someone I care about. We’ve stuck it out for a long time now, ‘Elena.’ And whatever you did with this fella is killin’ you. And when you hurt, et hurts Cyrus, an' et hurts me. You cain’t hide et from me anymore, either. I know.” He paused, his mouth pursed.
                “Quit beatin’ us all up,” he finished, eyes boring into hers. “It ain’t nice.”
                With that, he spun on his heel and left, striding quickly out the door.


                It sank in slowly as she watched him climb into a taxi with her son. Then, unable to stand still a moment longer, Helen nearly ran to the hand sanitizer. Panting heavily, she pumped it out of the wall dispenser as fast as she could, rubbing anywhere she had exposed skin vigorously. She felt… dirty.
                Finally, the dispenser ran out and she reeled back, stumbling against the washing machine behind her. Pushing herself away from it, panic gripped her heart in a vice.
                “What am I doing?” she asked herself. “What am I doing?”


                Steve and the baby were both asleep when she returned. She had just climbed into bed when an odd cramp forced her to jump up. Looking down, she knew she had a lot more explaining to do. She just didn’t know to whom.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

So a little longer of a chapter, but I’m really trying to get some things moving. This will be baby number 2. And FYI, BTW, Cyrus was born with the Party Animal and Brave traits. I didn’t get to choose them. We’ll see just how this goes from here on in. I’m betting a little more action is on its way real soon.
Also, *magician hands* Ignore the walls down in shots with Trenton... It's only your imagination!

13 comments:

  1. Oh dear, looks like Helen's going to have some problems coming up, I hope she can eventually see what 'Steve' feels for her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol. I think Helen is constantly surrounded by problems. She just doesn't always see them. I just hope she can eventually see what it is she really wants, and what she actually needs. ;)

      Delete
  2. Oh dear, feel bad for 'Steve', she keeps popping out babies by other men and he can only look, but not touch.

    I love how he's raising Cyrus like he's his own :) really sweet guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is awesome. Almost a little too sweet. But he has his reasons. He actually ends up spending far more time with Cyrus in game than Helen. She's always off getting her picture taken for plot reasons. HA!

      Delete
  3. It's sad Helen could fall for Trenton when she's got poor Steve pining for her. I'm glad he did at least stand up to her in laundromat, and that he cares so much for Cyrus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone has to care for Cyrus, Helen sure isn't! lol. She loves the boy but they were in pretty desperate need of money by this point. It's just too bad that he didn't say EVERYTHING. It would have made it all so much simpler. He still needs a backbone. ;)

      Delete
  4. Oh, Helen. Such a silly girl. She needs to smarten up and get her act together before she loses everything. Again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. She's awfully headstrong isn't she?

      Delete
  5. Aww, poor Steve, he's too sweet for his own good, it's so nice seeing how he's truly becoming Cyrus' daddy.

    "she knew she had a lot more explaining to do. She just didn’t know to whom." ----> She has, inded! I wonder what Steve's reaction will be when he learns she's pregnant again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He really is far too sweet. And his autonomous taking care of Cyrus was darling.

      I think Helen still has a lot of growing up to do at this point. Otherwise she might know right off the bat to whom she needed to talk to. And you'll see his reaction very soon. ;)

      Delete
  6. Well, crap! I knew that Trenton was no good. Steve said there would be a wedding soon. I wonder if it's Trenton's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I forgot to mention: I got the feeling that Steve was only testing Elena about having a guy over, hoping she would deny it. Then, when she didn't, he was crushed.

      Delete
    2. You'll have to see in.. 2? chapters? 1? It's been too long. lol

      Yeah. He was indeed hoping for any negative response. Watching someone destroy themselves just to keep a secret is never easy. Add to that that he genuinely cares and it's nearly unbearable. But he does know more than he did. So that's something at least.

      Delete