Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chapter 2.9- Couldn't She

          Nervous and excited, Layla had showed up in front of Kim Gould’s nearly 15 minutes early. Ned hadn’t arrived yet and so she stood on the sidewalk, waiting, hoping she was watching the general direction he’d arrive in.

          It had taken Sally almost 2 hours to get Layla’s make-up and hair done just-so. Of course Sally wanted to do it for her. In fact, the girls had made a trip to Lucky Palms a few hours away just last night to find the perfect dress. Sally said that Kim Gould’s was an exclusive 5-star restaurant. Layla hadn’t thought to question what an ‘exclusive 5-star restaurant’ was doing in such a tiny town but had been as caught up in the excitement as her young cousin was.

          Ned had not arrived either in the direction or the manner that Layla had expected. This suited him perfectly. She was overdressed, but looked wonderful to Ned who was able to use the fact that she didn’t see him to gather himself a little.

          “You take my breath away,” Ned said quietly as he neared, trying not to startle her. He was proud of that line. Ignacio had helped coach him so he could be a little more confident in his abilities tonight and that line in particular impressed Ned.

          His gentle approach worked and she turned to hug him.

          “I thought you’d be arriving in your car,” Layla said. “I had no idea you’d walk up behind me.”

          “I hope I didn’t startle you,” Ned replied pulling back gently, but taking her hand instead of breaking away entirely.

          “Not at all.”

          Guiding her gently but firmly nearer the restaurant, Ned could hardly take his eyes off of her. It also cheered Layla that he was already touching her, holding her hand, hugging her. She’d tried desperately the other day to get him to touch her and he hadn’t.

          The only problem seemed to be that she was really overdressed judging by Ned’s clothes. But she was here now and had to make the best of it. She’d kill Sally later, the first chance she got, she’d spent over §500 on the dress, shoes, make up and jewelry.

          The restaurant was both cold and stuffy to Layla, which made her jittery. Thankfully, Ned had changed the script given to her by Ignacio and instead of chatting, then eating, they had eaten inside before taking a table on the patio to enjoy the mild spring weather and lengthening days.

          “I don’t know if I told you last time, but I’m going to be running for mayor in the upcoming election,” Ned told her once they were both seated opposite each other.

          “You didn’t tell me that,” Layla acknowledged. The atmosphere made her nervous, but it was much better than being inside that dungeon they had eaten in.

          “Have you served in government before?” Layla asked, hoping it would open more conversation.

          “No,” Ned answered promptly, “But I think I’d make a fine mayor. I’ve already began hiring and planning for my upcoming campaign. I’m really excited. It’s what I’ve always wanted.”

          Unable to understand why anyone so young and inexperienced would run for such a high office Layla’s only answer was a smile. He might stand more of a chance than she knew since the town was so small, and she’d best keep her opinions to herself if she wanted her relationship with Ned to ever get anywhere.

          Turning the topics to more mundane things (Al Gore again I see- sorry I accidentally cut off his thought bubble, but it was the political thingy I promise) the two easily chatted as the sun began to sink behind the hills. Using moments when he dominated the topic under discussion Layla had time to really survey Ned.

          He was well informed and intelligent. She really couldn’t keep up with the depth of topics he brought up he was so smart. He was handsome in a way,  but to her it was more boyish charm. He was obviously inexperienced but eager. And while she enjoyed her time with him she just didn’t feel a spark. Should she keep up with the pretense of really liking him just for a little fun, or should she be straight forward? Could she really bear to hurt him like she’d hurt Anthony?

          Noticing how intense Ned’s gaze had become she took advantage of the momentary lull in conversation to brush an invisible wrinkle out of her dress.

          Remembering how she’d strung Anthony along was painful and something she tried very hard to forget. At least walking away from Joel had been a mutual decision.

          She looked back up to find Ned’s eyes still on her. There was a soft smile on his lips she just couldn’t return. Though she was able to keep her expression from giving her thoughts away as his smile brightened, eyes still on her.

          The whine of the metal chair legs as they were pulled against the concrete broke her concentration. Glancing sideways she was shocked to see Ignacio sitting in the seat next to her dressed as though he meant to stay.

          Quickly looking back at Ned, she was pleased to see that at least Ned didn’t look very happy that Ignacio was there either.

          “Would you like me to summon a member of the wait-staff to take your order?” Ned asked his assistant mildly.

          “No,” Ignacio help up his hands in a gesture of protest. “No. I am not hungry tonight.”

          Ned still stared at Ignacio, his eyes widening, occasionally he waggled his eyebrows at him even. But still Ignacio sat.

          “Oh, come,” Ignacio finally flailed. “You two have eaten and now is the time for conversation. Let’s talk! How was your dinner?”

          But Layla refused to respond. Why did he seem to think he could just step into her life whenever he wanted? She was really getting sick of it.

          The next words Layla heard were not designed to make her any happier about the situation either.

          “Well, I had the filet, Medium Rare,” Ned offered. “Layla had the catch of the day.”

          She’d rip his tongue out if she got the chance.

          “I’m sure it was an insult to the fish you catch, but I enjoyed it very much,” she said sharply.

          “Are you saying that the fish I raise, the fish I catch are not good enough for you, who have travelled the world, to eat?”

          “I just said I had the catch of the day and I’m sure you weren’t the one who caught my dinner. I was simply saving you making some remark about your favorite sport.”

          “Oh,” Ignacio sneered at her. “Oh, so you insult my job, my knowledge, my love of fishing?”

          Layla didn’t respond, but she had a sour taste in her mouth that wouldn’t go away.

          “Iggy, I’m sure she meant no disrespect to you as a fishersim,” Ned hurried to stem the damage being done between the two people in town he was closest to.

          “No matter,” Ignacio frowned at his boss. “She has insulted me as a fishersim. It may not be all I do for a living, but at least I love my job!”

          He ended his speech by tossing his head at Layla, putting on an injured air. It didn’t go unnoticed by her either. She narrowed her eyes intent on coming up with a way to smooth this over. He wouldn’t one up her!

          “I think it’s wonderful that every sim in Sim Nation has the opportunity to do what makes them happiest for a living,” Layla raised her chin at Ignacio before turning back to Ned. “And I’m sure you’re going to be incredibly happy as the Mayor of Appaloosa Plains. Mayor Hale. It’ll be a great day when everyone in town calls you that Ned.”

          Eyes darting between the two men, Layla wasn’t quite sure what affect her speech had had on them. Ned’s face was passive when she had expected him to receive the most confirmation from what she’d said. Ignacio looked at her almost tenderly, which was almost exactly opposite what she’d intended.

          Sighing, confused, she reached to brush more invisible wrinkles out of her dress.

          “Well it will be,” she muttered into her lap.

          “You know,” Ned piped up at long last, this time looking at Ignacio. Ignacio turned toward his boss, away from Layla and she finally dared look up again. “You know I have an idea about a campaign fundraiser we could have-”

          Layla exhaled as quietly as she could, thankful the attention was off of her at last.

          The men went on discussing a fish fry and how that would help people to like Ned more while Layla used their engrossment to study Ignacio without him being the wiser. It was an opportunity that had never presented itself before, and she welcomed it.

          His nose was over-large, his eyes slightly protruded, his brow heavy and low. Yet despite his irregular features he was what Phedra would have classified as ‘hot.’ Layla would agree.

          He was maddeningly infuriating, but she knew from the few times she’d had civil conversations with him that he was intelligent but didn’t like to flaunt his wealth of knowledge. He loved the outdoors as much as she did. He took care of his body nearly as well as he took care of Ned an Ned's interests. And sometimes, when he’d look at her with lazy lust in his eyes she wanted him. That base desire he awakened in her made her hate him all the more.

Why couldn’t she feel that way about a decent man like Ned? Why couldn’t she just ignore that Ned didn’t make her blood burn like fire?

          Feeling the heat in her cheeks the longer she stared at Ignacio, Layla turned her attention to the pavement. To the mortar. To the ants scurrying along looking for crumbs.

          She’d just have to push through her desire. She’d be a fool to throw away what Ned could possibly offer with both hands just for his assistant instead. Besides, hadn't he shown just how unscrupulous he could be when she'd asked him to be kind and forget what she had told him? Admittedly, it didn't seem like he had shared her secrets with anyone, but he still held it over her. And she hated that she was in his debt in so many ways.

          Becoming so absorbed in her thoughts had quite a drawback. The two men had stopped talking and were looking at her expectantly. Jerking back to the present her mind went blank as she looked between her companions. Did she miss something? Did she do something stupid, or rude? Did she give herself away?

          “Yeah,” Ned chuckled, smiling at her. “Thanks Ignacio.”

          Both men began to stand up, so Layla quickly rose also, hoping she hadn’t embarrassed herself.

          Walking a short ways away, she heard Ned say her name quietly. She stopped, waiting as Ignacio bid Ned a good night.

          Then, she heard Ignacio mutter a string of Spansimlish that Ned answered in the same tongue with a smile under his words. Ignacio gave a humorless laugh and clapped Ned on the back as he passed by.

          Ignacio spared only a blank look for Layla before opening the gate of the restaurant patio and hailing a cab.

          “Hold out your hand,” Ned begged of her. He’d come around with one arm behind his back.

          Looking sideways at him in curiosity, she tentatively held out a hand a small smile on her face. See, pretending wasn’t that hard? Was it?

          Producing a dozen white roses from behind his back, Layla exclaimed over their beauty. She could get used to gifts like this. Couldn’t she?

          “Will you take a walk with me?” Ned asked.

          “Of course,” Layla responded, smiling kindly. Walks weren’t a big deal. She could walk with Ned.

          Instead of holding her hand this time, he placed his fingertips delicately on the small of her back talking of indifferent matters until they reached the park. Then he took her hand, guiding her to a bench and seating her as any gentleman would.

          Feeling a surge of affection for Ned she looked at him to find him watching her softly. It crushed her. She couldn’t hurt him. It would be too awful.

          “I’m really sorry Iggy and I got carried away with talk of my campaign back there. It was incredibly rude of me to not try and include you in the conversation more.”

          Sighing, smiling, Layla shook her head. “No. No, you weren’t rude at all. I tend to get lost in thought sometimes and I think my head just kind of took over. I’m the one who should be sorry. I know how important all this is to you.”

          Suddenly, the cool night air caught up to her and she shivered rather violently.

          “See, now I am being terribly rude,” Ned exclaimed a little dismayed at his lack of thought at her comfort. “Come here.”

          And he scooted closer to her, putting one arm around her shoulders and chafing one of her arms with his other.

          “I’m so sorry, I should have remembered that you’re probably freezing in that dress in the night air.”

          “I’m fine now,” Layla shook her head again. Determined to make the most of this she went to move her hand from her knee to his, but he kept her hand firmly where it was.

          Looking down, she sighed. She’d never get this to work out if he blocked her every attempt to be closer to him.


          Turning to look at him he ducked his head just enough so that his lips met hers. His fingertips on the back of her neck ticked while her breath caught and her head spun. His lips were soft and he held them tightly shut, though he pressed his face hard into hers.

          It was awkward and strange and left Layla confused. Did he want to kiss her? Or was he just doing what he thought she expected?

          Then she felt his lips tense, and move a little, parting slightly, and his shoulders relaxed as he exhaled slightly. This was more like it.

          “Mmmmm,” Ned groaned just a little as he pulled back only slightly several long moments later. His lips still barely brushing hers Layla nuzzled her nose a little into his cheek, smiling, knowing he could feel it even if he couldn’t see it.

          Then he slid his arm back down her side, pulling her closer to him by her hip.

          Though she couldn’t tell in the darkness, she was pretty sure he was smiling, too.

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

All together now: Aaaaaaawwwwww!

Yeah, yeah they’re cute. But better than that, I’m in Looooooove with my photography this time. So kudos to Me! Screw the sap story above. Lol. Just kidding. I'll never be able to recreate how I managed to get that as it was an accident.

So this was shot in an alternate save where I added both Ned and Iggy to the household so I could direct them. Unfortunately, there was an unforeseen problem. Iggy and Ned very nearly got into a fight at Kim Gould's (It really is the steakhouse from AP, I just changed the outdoor seating) over Layla. Don't you just love it when they play along? Both rolled wishes to kiss her, and other things. Layla rolled wishes to play catch with the dog who oogled her thigh for a sim hour. I finally sent him home. Along with everyone else in town who insisted on showing up to see if they could ruin the scene. I'm all for extras, but Cyrus is not an extra. Neither are Estella and Sally and Trigger and Ignacio's mom and dad and every other family member any of them have living in town currently. Not cool.


  1. That line that Ned was proud of? I literally wen "AWWW!" out loud, because it was so cute for him to be proud of that. Then I realised my boyfriend was sitting *right there* and looking at me weird. LOL ohwell, he must be used to it now ;)

    Ned is the sweetest sim in the whole os Simnation! I really hope he not only wins the election, but wins Layla too. He's so awkward with all of it, and it's so cute!! And then at the end, he was really confident and even dominant when he wouldn't let Layla move her arm (we all know what she'd've done if she could move it, naughty girl)

    Hm. Iggy. Clearly he like likes Layla, otherwise he wouldn't crash the date. Ned was *not* happy, but bless him, he's too nice to send him away, and Layla is too polite to him around company. But, as I suspected, Layla has an ikkle crush on him. *sigh* will she go for sweet and caring, or hot and.... well... hot?

    LOVED the pictures in this too. Poor Layla being overdressed. Wouldn't want to be Sally for that one! Eek.
    I love the people in the background! Lol, there was always something going on! That dog, someone having fun in the bushes, someone proposing, someone walking the baby in the middle of the night... Loved it, made the town feel alive! :)

    Next please!!! :D

    1. I didn't even notice the dog til now, lol!

    2. Ned is sweet. He's also totally clueless. lol.

      Poor Ignacio. He was really hurt by her remarks. But yeah, crashing the date wasn't a good idea in the first place.

      Lol on the town being alive feeling. It was driving me nuts since everyone wanted in the shots. I had to cut 2 that I liked because Cyrus was clearly in the background And that's Trigger having a picnic by himself in the last shot. And Estella was hiding on the other side of the bushes that I had secluded Ned and Layla in.

      I felt bad for the dog though. He just wanted to play with Layla!

  2. Heehee, I like that little sidelook Ned is giving her while they're holding hands before going into the restaurant.

    Oh, so NED is who hired Cyrus! Al Gore seems to be a new favorite topic of discussion for your sims, lol. I do see the correlation between her feelings about Ned and Anthony, now that you mention it.

    Well, well, look at Iggz all dolled up. Gosh Iggy, nice of you to turn up during your boss's date, I'm sure he's thrilled about that. So Layla acknowledges she has some attraction to Iggy, right after realizing she's not really all that attracted to Ned. I'm wondering what it was that Ned and Iggy discussed in Spansimlish. The couple behind Layla and Ned looked like there was a proposal in the works, how cute.

    Ah, so it was an argument over Layla? How so? Did Ignacio try and stake his claim in the middle of their date?

    1. Yes! Though she's a little clueless about that. If you noticed, again, she wasn't really paying attention to the actual words coming out of Ned's mouth. She's far too focused on herself. And yes. She's totally doing almost the exact same thing she has done before after supposedly learning her lesson. What makes it worse is she's been really pushing herself hard on Ned, she never pushed herself on Anthony.

      Believe it or not, that is going to come up later on about the two of them talking while Layla waits on the side. So I'm not ignoring this remark, it's just that it will be clarified when the time is right. ;)

      Actually, no. lol. In game while I was trying to get them all to sit and talk and have speech and thought bubbles I could use at one point Ignacio stands up and glares at Ned who then stands up. So I switch Ignacio to active and in his action queue is "Insult Layla" to Ned. I canceled the interaction and sat them both back down. Immediately Ned gets back up, in his action queue is "Imply Mother is a Llama" to Ignacio. But now I've got to go wrangle Layla who is off to try and play with the dog. When I get back Ned is "Insulting Layla" to Ignacio. I get that cancelled and both Ned and Iggy get "Compliment Appearance" interactions with Layla in their queue. Three.Ring.Circus.

    2. Good grief, sounds like you were herding cats!

  3. Speaking of Cyrus, how is Layla hasn't put two and two together yet? I mean, Cyrus says he's got a job with a young inexperienced politician running for office, and Ned announces he's running for mayor, his first time seeking political office...
    Ned is sweet, but, well, he kisses with his lips closed. I want to root for him, but I did that for Anthony and look what happened there. And I've been in relationships like that, where I had to keeping telling myself how nice etc this guy is and what a catch, because I just wasn't feeling it. So I tend to say, drop it now before you string this guy along too far and hurt him. He deserves better. And you just end up feeling crappy.

    Layla looked great in her dress, even if it was over the top.

    I have to admit, I kept adding in dialog for the dog. "Hey, you, guys! Can I get me some of that steak? Just a little bite? PleasePleasePlease?"

    1. Layla doesn't really listen when Ned talks that's how. She's far too focused on herself and what she's feeling and thinking. She did that a lot as a teen too.

      ITA. Fighting a losing battle with something like that really isn't worth it.

      The poor dog! I felt so bad for him! All he wanted to do was play with Layla! And I had to deny him his fun time. lol. If only he would have stopped thinking about ghosts he might have made more of an appearance. Ha!

  4. Oh Layla, run. Run as far and as fast as you can away from Ned before you break his little heart.

    1. Lets hope she takes your advise! Ned is really going to fall hard, and the only one to blame is Layla.

  5. Oh dear, I hope Layla isn't going to break Ned's heart, he's nice & sweet and everything but she clearly doesn't feel anything more than friendship for him.

    1. She really doesn't. And it sucks that she doesn't feel anything more than friendship for him. But then, Layla isn't known for making really good decisions either.

  6. Well that was um...oddly uncomfortable.
    LOL @ the dog just staring at her! Then, what was that dude thinking the marriage rings? It looked like Ignacio in his everyday wear. Speaking of clothes... I hate it when I'm overdressed, and I'm frequently overdressed. Then, I wear jeans to something that everyone else magically knew was dress casual, not jeans casual. Sigh. maybe I have the inappropriate trait. Nah, then I'd be wearing a swimsuit in January.
    Alas, I must end my read here for the day.
    Poor Ned. Layla doesn't need to play him, but for a moment there, I was wondering if Ned was gay. Just wondering.

  7. So awkward! But then Ned is kind of awkward/uncomfortable, so. Haha.

    That dog! Huuhhh... It's been so long I have no idea who that is. :/ Now I really wish I hadn't started purging the fug going on in that save. lol. It wasn't a relative of Ignacio's though. Hmmm...

    Isn't it awful when you're overdressed? Gah. So annoying. I've not managed the underdressed bit yet. And I wonder why my son describes me as "Fancy" in poems at school. *facepalm.

    Ned didn't end up being gay. FWIW. lol. Need to dig that up too... Looks like I'll be opening that save tomorrow. Ha!