Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chapter 2.7- Dramatic Scenarios

          Every time Layla noticed the little red flag raised on her mailbox her heart leapt hoping there might be a letter from Phedra inside instead of just the usual bills.

          Cyrus claimed to have actually spoken to their sister several times, but Layla hadn’t heard from her at all since her she had moved here.

          Peering inside she tried to still her heart a little. If nothing else, Cyrus was expected back in town soon to finalize something to do with a house he would rent for his family. She could ask Cyrus if he’d heard from her. It would be so much better to hear it from Cyrus than it would be to hear it from her mother. Helen had been acting like she had superior knowledge about Phedra lately, and it drove Layla crazy.

          Heart sinking, Layla put her signature on the bills that required one for an automatic withdrawal from her account and stuffed them unceremoniously back in the box.

          Disappointment rising, Layla looked up at the sky before dropping her eyes with a chuckle. If the sun was right she should be expecting a visitor any moment now. Sally had taken to coming over after school to spill all the days gossip and get out of her chores at home.

          Usually, she was a little resented for the noise she made. But today Layla felt a little lonely and would welcome her chatter.

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          “Ottawa was a dear and picked it up for her, of course, but then I had to make sure she kept her eyes where they belonged. She was the one who broke up with him and she’s not getting my boyfriend just because she’s now single,” Sally rattled perched on the bench watching Layla tend to her plants. "It's not like she doesn't know that there are far more women than there are men in town."

          Lifting her eyebrows in acknowledgement, Layla was only half listening. She was happy Sally had come over but she still couldn’t pick out who was who since her cousin seemed to know everyone at school and in town.

          “Alright, why are you still single?” Sally changed the topic so abruptly she might have given Layla whiplash if she hadn't been expecting it. Sally sprung this question on Layla every time she spoke to her older cousin. Hoping that by embedding the question in other topics would get an answer one day, Sally never gave up asking though Layla always gave her the same answer.

          “I like being single.”


          “Why do I need someone?”

          “Why don’t you?”

          “Why do you?”

          “Who is it in your past that you can’t get over?”

          “Who said there was anyone that I needed to get over?”

          “So you’ve always been single?”

          “I didn’t say that.”

          Sally sat up, deciding to change the script.

          “I think you’re hiding something from me.”


          “Seriously! You’re hiding something from me aren’t you? Like, maybe you’re engaged to some Arabian prince who’s desperate for you to be in his harem and you’re hiding here-


          “It’s Sarah. No, you’re right,” Sally refused to give up. “That couldn’t be it. Oh! I’ve got it. You’re gay!”




          “Don’t forget it. Ah! I know! You ran away to be here because you were sleeping with a married man and he wasn’t going to leave his wife for you and you were ashamed but you still think you love him.”


          Layla accidentally overwatered the twig of an apple tree, frowning at it, thinking how eerily similar Sally’s made up tale sounded to her mother’s story.

          Gasping, Sally clapped her hands. “No, I've got it this time. Here we go, you really did meet some hot islander and the two of you fell hopelessly in love but he’s dying and didn’t want you to stay around and watch. So now you’re pining over him and wondering if he’s alive or if he’s died and you can’t move on until you know.”

          “Yeah, Sally, it’s something like that,” Layla said as she dropped her watering can, hoping agreeing to one of the overly romantic and dramatic scenarios would get her to stop.

           “Something like that, yes. I believe little Miss Sixkller is onto you, you know.” The gate clanged shut as the intruder interrupted, making Layla tense.

          “It’s Sarah, not Sally. Ignacio?”

          Standing, trying to figure out why on earth he had just walked into the backyard, Layla attempted to keep her cool. Sally was here after all, she didn’t need to raise a scene for the girl to go and gossip about at home and at school.

          Finally realizing the easiest way of getting rid of him was to face him before he could drop any more hints to Sally she turned and strode closer. The defiance on her face wasn’t missed by him and he turned his attention with a smirk to Sally.

          “Mmmmmm, yes. It is I, Ignacio, come to liven up the afternoon of two pretty ladies,” he had piled his accent on extra thick for effect. But it just made Layla think of Joel's own odd accent.

          Watching Sally grinning widely at his attention, wrinkling her nose a little Layla rolled her eyes. He winked at her, before looking back at Layla.

          “What do you want?”

          “Ah, so quick to business! But I’d like to wait a moment. Basking in the glow of two such beauties makes me warm. And what man would not want to stay in the warmth as long as he can?”

          Sally twisted away a little, sighing wistfully, doe eyed.

          “Why are you here?” Layla’s icy tone brought Sally up short. She peered closely at her cousin, narrowing her eyes before again looking at Ignacio. She then turned on the bench looking thoughtful, a tiny crease between her eyebrows from her concentration.

          Ignacio folded his arms defiantly, raising his chin, eyes glinting. It frightened Layla a little. She knew just what kind of damage he could do if she pushed him too hard. All the same, she wanted him off her property.

          “So rude, so- so pushy. Not a very good way to treat your guests.”

          Sally still looked thoughtful, but by now she had raised her eyes to peer closely at Layla.

          “What business do you have with me? I’m busy and don’t have time for your games.”

          “I don’ play games Miss Sixkiller,” Ignacio’s eyes were hard, though he kept his tone light and playful. “Games are for people who have something to lose. I don’ lose. That is for those lesser than myself.”


          “Why, yes. I always get what I want in the end. You need to know that.”

          Raising her chin defiantly, she narrowed her eyes trying to avoid the studious stare Sally continued to give her.

          “Well, I don’t play games either. So, Why are you here? What do you want?”

          “Mister Ned sent me with a gift for the wonderful girl who had lunch with him two days ago.”

          “A gift?” Despite her loathing of the snake in front of her, she couldn’t keep the curiosity out of her tone.

          “A gift,” Ignacio announced again, proudly producing a basket, holding it out to her.

          Immediately, Layla’s nostrils flared and her temper fired up.

          “If you think,” she snarled, surprising Sally whose eyes widened. “If you think I’m going to go on a picnic with you again you’re not just wrong you’re delusional and cruel, you son of-”

          Ignacio’s laugh interrupting her made her angrier still.

          “This?” He asked, lifting the basket slightly, his extra thick accent gone. “This is not for a picnic. This is a fish basket. It is full of fresh fish that he asked me to catch and bring to you for you to have for your-” his eyes swept the backyard lingering on the two lines of pathetic plants- “Well, you told him it was a garden. I don’ know what this is but it is a rather pitiful garden if that is what you think it is. I think I would call it an attempt at a garden at best.” He sat the basket at his feet still looking around the little backyard until his eyes again rested on Sally. She had turned fully to him and was giving him the same piercing look she’d just given Layla.

          “Ah! I see we cannot call you ‘Little Miss’ anymore, can we?” He asked her, his softer manner returning almost instantly. “Though Raul tells me it is not Sally anymore either.”

          Sally didn’t respond. Raising his eyebrows, Ignacio briefly looked at Layla before continuing. “My brother said that now you are Sarah, and much too grown up to be called Sally.”

          Watching him flirt with her under-age cousin made her a little sick, and if she was honest, just a little jealous.

          “Uh, excuse me? Ignacio?”

          He winked at Sally, not taking his eyes off of her.

          Mi nina bonita, permiso por favor.” (“My pretty girl, excuse me please.” –God I hope I got that correct. Rusty rusty rusty.)

          “Yes, Miss Sixkiller?” He turned his eyes to Layla.

          “Why on earth would Ned send fish for my garden?”

          Blinking, his simper disappeared as he frowned a little at her.

          “Why would you- But surely- Oh come you mus’ know.” All traces of flattery had dropped from his tone replaced by incredulity instead.

          “Must know what?”

          Sally shook her head, but didn’t turn toward her.

          Ignacio studied Layla for a moment before answering her slowly, as if to make sure she understood him clearly.

          “You know what fertilizer is, right?”

          Afraid he was somehow making fun of her, she answered with a curt nod.

          “Ok, well fish makes a potent fertilizer. Makes your plants grow better, stronger. Bury the fish nex’ to your plants, but not so close that the bacteria tha’ breaks down the fish as it rots can burn your plant and its roots. Ok?”

          Surprised at the generous and level answer, Layla nodded slowly suddenly remembering seeing Shane do something similar. She felt rather stupid now.

          “Of course,” she acknowledged. “I’d forgotten about that. Thank you.”

          “You wan’ to thank me? Go on a date wi’ me. You won’ regret it.” His suave attitude was back in a flash at her docility, making Sally giggle.

          “Not on your life.”

          He shrugged and seemed ready to transfer his attention back to Sally, but Layla still had another question.

          “How did Ned know about fertilizer?”

          “Well,” Ignacio’s smile turned smug once more. “Well, if you mus’ know, he has a wonderful, handsome man in his employ who told him and suggested such a gift. Oh! Now see! Doubly in my debt. Or is it Thrice?”

          There was no need for Layla to answer, the steely glint had returned to her eye and he took a swift breath with widened eyes before turning his attention back to Sally.

          “Miss Sixkiller, you make my heart leap with your beauty. You mus’ save a day where I can take you to dine and drink your eyes for an evening. It mus' be the momen’ you age up. I can’ take no for an answer. You would break my heart if you did.”

          Sally flashed a toothy grin and tossed her head at his flattery.

          “That won’t be happening any time soon. Ottawa would die, and I could never betray the love of my life.”

          “You pierce my heart with an arrow, and make me want to throw myself off a tall roof.”

          “You make me want to rethink.”

          Feeling a little nauseous, Layla loudly cleared her throat. Lazily, Ignacio brought up his eyes to hers smirking and she felt a thrill in her stomach. Hating herself for a moment of weakness with that slime she rolled her eyes at him.

          “Well lovely ladies, I shall leave you to your pleasures in this garden.” Winking one more time at Sally he turned and strode back out the gate with a chest puffed out and head held high. Layla wasn’t sure if she had won a battle against him, or if she had lost one with her self control.

          Sally, on the other hand, watched his back disappear before letting loose a syrupy sigh.

          The moment the gate had closed behind him Sally spun around to find Layla massaging the bridge of her nose looking troubled. She allowed her older cousin a moment of thought so she could process a few of her own. She’d just gleaned a lot of information from a very unexpected source.

          “Why didn’t you tell me you had lunch with Ned Hale? Every girl around for miles wants Ned Hale to ask them to do something, anything, with him so they can try to get on his good side, get into his pants, get their hands on even a few of his simoleans.”

          “It’s not important.”

          “It’s not important?” Sally repeated in astonishment. “You had a picnic with Ignacio, too! Layla, you’ve got the only two single men in town paying you attention and it’s not important? One is loaded with simoleans and the other is loaded with  trouble and sex! You could have whichever one you wanted! Or if you did it all discretely enough you could have both! Oh my PlumbBob, just imagine it!”

          “No! I don’t want to think about it that way! I hate Ignacio! And Ned? Ned is nice and kind and a friend who sends gifts!”

          “You mean Ignacio sent you a gift through Ned.”

          “I don’t ever want to think about Ignacio that way, Sally! And I’m not going to! Right now, all Ned is is a friend. And with what you just said, it sounds like he needs one. It’s Ned I’m grateful toward. Ignacio can kiss my ass. And you know what, what about you? What was that you just did? Just forget about Ottawa because someone else compliments you? That’s not cool Sally. No matter how much you think you need a man.”

          “It’s just a little fun.”

          “Well it’s not fun for me. Not at all.”

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I love Sally.


  1. LOL! That mailbox pic. Brilliant :p
    I loved all the pics, actually. It's making me want to play AP again. It's been so long...

    Anyway, wow. So much going on!
    Layla is beginning to worry about Phedra, and thinks even Helen knows something about her that she doesn't.
    Sally and Ottowa may be nearing the end by the sound of it. She's lusting after Ignacio, and he's checking out some other girl (don't ask me who.).
    Ignacio has a crush-io! :D Hehe, Layla is really pulling these boys in, isn't she? She's already had two, and now has two more after her.

    I'm sad she doesn't think of Ned as more than a friend, he seems like the perfect (if a little socially awkward) man. Definately husband material.
    Ignacio. Well. 'There's a fine line between love and hate'. And he is hot. Think Layla may have a little crush there, but of course, she'll deny it.

    Not sure what to make of the gift. Was that just an excuse for Ignacio to wind Layla up, or was it really from Ned? I'd imagine Ned would use his money for gifts, so seems odd for him to send fish that he didn't even catch himself!

    Need more, please! :p This storyline is too addictive!

    1. Oh, yes! There's a lot going on in there. Probably too much TBH.
      Don't count Sally and Ottawa out just yet. Sally is nothing if not shrewd. She won't risk losing him if she doesn't have a sure thing in hand to substitute Ottawa with, and she definitely won't let him out of her clutches if she's not ready!

      I don't think Layla has moved on herself just yet. She's just not ready to. And after Joel, I think physical attraction is a lot more important to her. So Ned's inability to crank her engine carries a lot more weight than it should.
      She'd deny it vehemently. lol. Yes he's Hot. I love how he looks. Love it. =D

      Um... the gift. Don't underestimate Iggy. Ned let Layla know a lot about Iggy that she didn't pay attention to. He's really smart and quite talented. And as he said, he doesn't lose very easily. She made a very determined and capable enemy without realizing it. I also don't like to waste actions. So this did indeed serve a purpose, just what is it? ;)

  2. The mailbox pic was awesome!

    I really, really want to know Phedra has been up to.

    1. Thank you! Too bad I'm running out of things to crawl into to take shots from. Ha!

      Teehee. It'll be a little while before we find that out. She's been quite busy though.

  3. Again with the awesome screen shots, the mailbox pic was great! Now gah! With this Phedra business! Now Helen has superior information as well, that no one is telling Laydee? :( Such as what?

    Oh gosh, I can't *imagine* what would happen if someone did steal Sally's boyfriend! That girl's all spit and hellfire. All the "why are you single" counter questions were funny. Good grief, all the scenarios she came up with trying to figure out why Layla's single, lol. No, girl! Joel's not dying. He may be pining a bit, though. LOL @ Ignacio stressing the word "pushy", considering she pushed him into the koi pond *giggle*. Good grief, both of them sure gave Sally a lot of fodder for the gossip mill. Probably partially Iggy's intent, I wouldn't put it past him, saying he gets what he wants in front of her. That looked an awful lot like a stride of pride he had there, walking out of her yard.

    And yeah, Gemma had a good question--did the gift of, ah, fertilizer actually have anything to do with Ned?

    1. We'll find out what Phedra has been up to later on. lol. She's been very busy. I think I can say that safely.

      Oh man, Sally scares me at times. She's-wow-yeah. Nope. I don't think I could ever cross her. Sally is a good match for Layla and I love how they interact. They really flow together well. They're both like cheep toilet paper--- I won't even finish it. I'm sure you know it. But between that and their rather no nonsense attitudes they get each other and push each other at the same time.

      Yeah. He was totally reminding her of what cards he still holds with that one. And he didn't know Sally was there originally, couldn't have known. Or could he? Ooooh! There's a nugget for ya! Lol! That's a pose actually. And if I hadn't already spent an hour getting everyone's poses loaded the way I wanted them I would have changed it. I didn't realize it was almost identical to the stride of pride until I had him in it. At that point the scene was almost finished and I didn't feel like going and digging up a new one.

      No. Ignacio admits as much, and in the last chapter Ned had confirmed that he knows nothing about making anything grow. Ignacio suggested it to Ned who took the bait and authorized the action. I'd not advise you to connect any dots yet though. There's still information that hasn't been given. Lots of it, in fact. lol.

  4. That mailbox shot was incredible! I wonder what's going on with Phedra that she's not contacting Layla but everyone else seems to know about...

    Sally's questioning of Layla was hilarious, all those scenarios! I'm still not liking Ignacio in the slightest - I hope he gets lots of comeuppance

    1. Aw, thank you! I'm going to have to come up with some more new shots for everyone to drool over soon. Ha! I'm glad I've finally started to kind of get the photography thing in game.

      Phedra has been very busy, I will say that. But it'll be a little bit before we know just what's going on.

      Sally has a romantic bent that's on the tragic side doesn't she? Ha! I loved coming up with those, I giggled each time I managed to come up with a new on.

      Ah, Ignacio! He's certainly going to have to pay in a certain fashion. Unfortunately, the consequences of his actions might be felt more by other, more innocent, victims that we haven't even encountered yet. And I'm really glad you don't like him btw. He's not supposed to be very likable right now. At all. lol

  5. I love Sally. This was such a good chapter. Ignacio reminds me of Noah from The persistent. It's both cute and frustrating. No means no, dude. But...still. He's kinda pretty. ;)

    1. He's a pretty boy and he knows it, unfortunately. Iggy's got a lot of swagger and a lot to hold up with all his boasts of himself.

      I love Sally, too. She's awesome.

  6. lol, Sally has quite the active imagination! Loved all of her various scenarios. And since she witnessed that little exchange between Ignacio and Layla, I'm sure she can concoct a few more stories! :P

    1. I bet she will too! She's sharp and Layla seemed to forget that discretion is a wise practice. Ha!

  7. Looking forward to see what Ignacio does next. :)

    1. Lol. He's got a lot up his sleeve doesn't he? =D