Friday, June 14, 2013

Chapter 2.26- Out the Door

          Rain was still falling as she pushed the button on the doorbell with a heavy heart. Merry sounds of children inside playing touched her ears, but the tinny sound of the shrill bell over the clamor was all she really heard.

          Then she heard a baby’s cry, and one of the girls calling for her mother to go and soothe it. The doorbell had startled the poor thing again.

          Unfortunately, the baby’s cry only made her remember that here was another person who would never know her mother. Henry would never know his grandmother now. And Layla dissolved into the tears she’d been holding back since Tiburcia’s mother had stormed off of her porch into the rain leaving so many questions behind.

          “Hey sis,” Cyrus pulled the door open just as Layla managed to scrub her eyes and get a deep breath.

          “Can I come in?” she didn’t even allow space to ask.

          Frowning, he glanced about furtively before stepping back and allowing her room to pass into his home.

          “Sure,” he said. “Sure, yeah, come in.”

          “So what’s going on? What do you need?” This time Cyrus was the one to not allow Layla a moment. Over his shoulder Olivia’s narrowed eyes and pinched lips made her feel as though even Olivia still held her in judgment.

          “Well,” she said slowly. After all, wasn’t she still digesting the news herself? “I got a call this morning from Daddy-”

          “Oh,” Cyrus cut in, nodding and breathing through his teeth. “That’s nice. What’s up?”

          Layla blinked. Was she missing something?

          “Well,” she tried to continue, though she was worried he’d cut her off again. “Daddy called to tell me that last night- last night.” She stopped, her words cut off in her throat.

          “Mom’s gone, Cy,” she finally choked out. “She passed away last night.”

          Cyrus bowed his head, closing his eyes.

          “She’d been ill for a long time,” Layla said. “Uh, Galen’s wife, Arden. Arden had insisted she move that PlumbBob awful couch and mom wasn’t up to it. She was hurt pretty badly and after that she was just constantly in pain, and in and out of the hospital with these nasty infections, and pneumonia and Daddy said this last week- this last week was-was-bad-”

          Cyrus’ head came up, just in time to catch his baby sister as she hurled herself at him as she had flung herself at Iggy earlier.

          “Hey!” He cried, startled as she cried into his shoulder. “Hey, hey, hey! It’s alright! It’s alright!”

          But Layla ignored his pleas and continued until he finally had to push her off of him.

          “Really, it’s going to be okay,” he said, wide-eyed and looking at her as though wary she might do it again.

          Putting on a grin that he figured looked as goofy as it felt, he tried to get her to smile back.

          “Anyway,” she finally found her voice again. “Daddy said she passed last night in her sleep. So at least she’s not in pain anymore and that in some ways it’s a relief to know that she’s not suffering.”

          Cyrus nodded as behind him Olivia loudly cleared her throat.

          “Hey,” Cyrus cleared his throat as well, as if answering his wife. “Hey, uh, this is really awful about Mom-about Helen, and all, but I’m- we’re- but we’re kind of expecting company over soon.”

          Arching a single brow, Layla looked back at her brother quizzically. Was he really not that affected by their mother’s death? Surely he wouldn’t carry his grudge against their mother beyond her death?

          “And it would be really awkward if you were here,” he continued. “If you are here still, when he arrives.”

          Jaw dropping slightly, his words hit her like lead in her stomach.

          “Really, Laydee,” Cyrus still went on. “I hate to ask you to leave at a time like this, but I kind of have to.”

          Blinking, nodding, it took her a few moments to gather herself and formulate a response. How could he kick her out? Wasn’t she more important than a guest?

          “Oh. Okay. I’ll go,” she said, ashamed of how bright her words sounded to her. “No. No. I wouldn’t want to make things awkward for you.”

          She took a step around him as his own mouth opened as though he wanted to say something.

          “See,” she said before he could get anything out. “See, I just thought that family always stuck together. Thought you’d want to know that the woman who gave birth to you had died. Oh well. Have fun with your guests.”

          And without a backward glance, she walked out the door.

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          Ignacio heard the front door close from the kitchen. He’d been tempted to call Layla to see where she had gone to. Arriving back home and finding her gone had worried him. His mother’s prediction that she might go to Cyrus hadn’t sat well with him either, as he was fairly sure of the welcome she’d receive as Ned was her brother’s employer.

          Coming into the living room swiftly and quietly he found a scene that took his breath away momentarily. Layla was cuddling his little girl

          “The gems are pretties aren’t they?” Layla crooned, her voice pitched higher than usual in an imitation of baby talk.

          Ignacio turned to sneak back out of the room. Layla freaked out if she thought the little girl had touched the gems. She said she was terrified she’d choke on them, though she still hadn’t removed them from the girls reach.

          “See the pretty butterflies? So pretty. Butterflies,” she continued as Ignacio slipped back out, his stomach flipping even as the muscles in the corners of his mouth twitched.

          Ignacio had just managed to make it back into the kitchen without detection when Layla turned around, scanning the room.

          She’d kept hold of Tiburcia, enjoying the child’s warm weight on her arm. Turning, she buried her nose in the soft dark hair on her shoulder, inhaling the sweet scent that clung to her.

          “We need to get you a room with us so you can stay with your Daddy and that mean old woman won’t need to come get you from him,” Layla looked around again, as if she half expected Ignacio to have materialized since she last looked around. “We should tell him.”

          Raising her voice a little: “Ignacio? Iggy? Where are you?” she called.

          Ignacio’s heart leapt a little when he saw that Layla still held Tibi. He also noted the hard look in her eye that hadn’t been there earlier.

          “Hey,” he said. “There you are. I was a little bit worried when we got back and you weren’t here. Are you alright? Where did you go?”

          Layla’s eyes narrowed fractionally as Tiburcia began to fuss and wriggle trying to get down to a toy she’d spotted.

          “Hang on, let me put her down.”

          Putting the girl down Layla slowly walked back to where Ignacio was standing.

          “So,” she said, putting on what she thought was a seductive face. “So, I’ve heard tell that the greatest real estate mind in town is currently living with me. That is, if what you’ve told me is true at least.”

          Ignacio took half a step back, narrowing his own eyes as she had earlier. What on Sim Planet had gotten into her?

          He put a fist on his hip, nodding at her slowly.

          “Uh-Huh,” he acknowledged warily. “That is true.”

          “Hmmm,” Layla’s fingers walked up the buttons on his shirt front and he nearly shivered from anticipation over whatever the hell she was about to do. “Well, isn’t that convenient.”

          “Uh,” his eyes darting about as he tried to puzzle her words out. Where was she going with this. “Uh, that is good? I guess? Why is it convenient?”

          “Because I think I’m ready to be a homeowner,” grabbing his shirtfront  in her fists, pulling him an inch or so closer. “And you’re going to find me a house to buy.”

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

Yeah. I had fun with that bit.

Ok. Cyrus. Layla is not going to know this for a long time. Maybe never. But Cyrus and Olivia were expecting Ned at any moment and as Ned is his boss (in story only, it’s backwards in game) Cyrus did not relish a meeting of those two in his home, especially with Layla all emotional like that. Cyrus is genuinely sad Helen had died. Really. The news, however, was a lot more shocking to him than it was to Layla and sometimes that takes a bit more time to sink in. So don’t think too horribly of him right now. Let Layla do that.

And in game that was the first time Layla had autonomously done something with Tiburcia. So be proud of her folks. There might be hope for her yet. I couldn’t not use it. It was so sweet! And I still love how when I want her too Layla gives great face.


  1. I guessed it might be Ned. I have a feeling Ned is a different man than everyone thinks he is. I think he'd've comforted Layla, not insulted her or whatever Cy thought he'd do!
    I was going to say "Man, Cyrus is such a dick." But then you pointed out the shock thing, and the fact that his mind was on damage control.

    Love that Layla is starting to interact with her 'step-daughter'. Kaity is Family-Oriented, so I have the opposite problem of dragging her away from her kids to do things ;) It means I don't have to worry about them! When Winter was over, Kaity fed Autumn, then went to play with the twins or something, then Shae decided Autumn was hungry, then she put him back, then Autumn teleported (yes, it happened again. LOL!) to Winter, and Winter fed him too. That'll be one fat baby!

    So, that was off-topic...
    What was I saying?
    Oh yes. Glad Layla is showing she's less terrified of babies now, and that she's going to move to keep Tibs away from Slut. (Genuinely forgotton her name.)

    LOVE how she got Iggy to help her look for a house ;) What a tease. Love it. I may try stuff like that when I want James to wash the dishes :p

    1. I think Cyrus just didn't want the awkward that would be bound to come up.

      Lol. Wow. That's a lot of willing hands! But then, there are a lot more kids in your household. Ha! Wait, Autumn Teleported To Winter? As in in front of him, or in Winter's arms? Oh Shae. So long as Josh isn't going hungry while she feeds her... (Doing math in my head.) First cousin once removed??? Is that the relation? Yeah. Cause Josh and Autumn will be Second cousins. Okay.

      Pffft! Lol! Y'know, I'd wanted to use that word but figured I was a little biased against Melly.

      I couldn't help it. She looks so stinking manipulative in those photos, all coy. Yes! Do it! It works. ;)

    2. No, infront of him. Not by the front door, either, so he's not resetting, he's just skilled :|
      Yes, I believe those relations are right, but I get a bit fuzzy with second cousins and removed cousins. That's what I was thinking they were, though.

      Hehee :p I'm now the master and he is my slaaave (BDSM? Maybe.)

    3. He's using the powers he got from his dad then! Awesome. Super baby!

      You'd figure I'd know how all that works a little better seeing as how large my mother's family is and most of my first cousins once removed and second cousins are the ones my age. I have several first cousins who are older than my mother, their aunt. Anyway, it's just tough though. I'm forever having to count back to common relatives and figuring it out from there. There is a couple of sheets of notebook paper on the fridge with my family tree on it so I can figure out how I'm related to half these people. (I have 27 first cousins on my mom's side alone and I get confused easily)

      Perhaps... ;) Layla is experimental if nothing else.

  2. I loved the way Layla started to interact with Tibi at the end and Ignacio's reaction to it, also the way she got him to help find her a house was brilliant.

    I was feeling quite cross with Cyrus over his reaction (I guessed it would probably be Ned he was entertaining but still thought his reaction was bad) but I guess I'll let him off on the basis he was in shock...

    1. I did too! About time she did something with Tiburcia. She also rolled a wish to potty train her, so she did that too. There just isn't a place in the story right now for toddler potty time though.

      Yes! I also loved seeing her manipulative side come out. It's funny.

      Yeah, he hadn't quite absorbed the news or taken in that Layla was coming to him for mutual comfort. He was still stuck on what was going on other than that. If it's any consolation he feels pretty badly about how Layla left also. He's just not sure what to do about it.

  3. Ok first, I loved the description of the sounds Layla was hearing when she got to Cy's house. Nicely evocative contrast. How deeply was Cyrus affected by the news? You'd think that her emotional state, along with the news she brought, would have given him some sort of pause, but...grinning and asking her to leave? Not cool Cy. Poor Layla. Not only has most of the town turned its back on her, but now her own brother seems to be pushing her away. That's got to be a bad feeling, if it's even dawned her to look at it like that yet. She was well justified in her sarcasm toward him =(

    Cute to see Iggy's heart strings being tugged by seeing Layla with Tibi. I bet that string-pullin' did something to his heart.

    Heehee. Loved her busting out the womanly wiles on him after that to talk him into getting a house. I like too that we're starting to see more the effect she has on him.

    Hm. Ok about Cyrus. He still seemed odd about it, but I guess we all handle things in our way when death happens. I wonder though if it would have been so awful if Ned *had* shown up? Does he hate Layla that much now?

    1. Huh. That's weird. It cut out part of my comment. There in the middle where the double space is. And now I don't remember what it was!

    2. The grinning and asking her to leave was partly prompted by Olivia. There is no love lost between those two. Otherwise I think Cyrus probably would have tried to be a bit more understanding toward Layla. Really. However, you are right in that he's kind of pushing her away a little. I think the phrase has something to do with "Getting tarred with the same brush" by association. I can't remember it right now though.

      Oh, yes. That little scene did a lot for what's going on with him. Especially given Layla's first reaction toward Tiburcia.

      Teehee! Yeah. She was totally manipulating him and knew it. Ha!

      I don't think that it's hatred, so much as embarrassment and the fact that it would have been awkward. Cyrus is desperate to keep his family stable and will do whatever it takes for things to stay that way, including keeping Layla out of Ned's way if need be to keep Ned blissfully ignorant.

      Lol. That's odd. I wonder what it was.

  4. I totally get Cy, actually. I thought it was pretty obvious Ned was the guest, though of course Layla still can't put two and two together.
    And maybe it's because I don't react emotionally right away to bad news, I just related to his mildly stunned reaction and the need to process that kind of thing.
    And he is in a tough position, having to support hid family, and his boss being the guy his sister chewed up and spit out.
    Anyway, no Cyrus hate from me. And I also sympathize with Layla, because that must have been hard for her to be pushed away by her brother.
    It's nice Layla was interacting with Tibi. =D

    1. I'm glad, though, that you got that. Layla is honestly trying, really. This just wasn't the best of times to display those attempts at listening.

      I'm so glad you can relate, cause I do it too. He's totally me in mourning. It takes a bit to wrap my brain around the facts of death. Layla is Mommy Dearest. Slightly delayed very emotional reaction.

      Oh yes, Layla is going to take that very much to heart for all the wrong reasons. Maybe if they actually knew each other better.

      Isn't it? About freaking time. She's the slowest sim I've ever played with when it comes to reacting to what's around her. It's like she really is clueless...

  5. I was thinking Layla interrupted a discussion (fight) between Olivia and Cyrus, and then with boss man coming over, on top of his mother dying, I thought maybe Cyrus was a bit overwhelmed. See---I can add extra storylines to any story, lol :P

    Cyrus is in a tough spot though, I hope he and Layla can work things out.

    It's good to see Layla spend some time with Tibi, and I love how she *talked* Iggy into finding a house to buy! =)

    1. Cyrus was for sure in a tough spot. And as the two of them are in completely different emotional states and states of comprehension it didn't help anything.

      I couldn't resist doing it that way with the look on her face! Like a cat about to pounce! lol And it really is nice to see that she's trying with Tibi.

  6. OH YES!
    When she told it to Cyrus, I yelled out HELL YEAH! I'm in the basement. Who knows what my daughter thought as she's above me in the kitchen.
    OH MAN she needed to hand it to that brother of hers!!!!
    Yes, I realize he's just in shock. I knew that to start, but that whole bit about the family being more important than his stupid, rumor-enabling guest was awesome. I knew who he meant.
    I forgot how pretty Olivia is. Tho, bitching makes someone uglier. Hm. I'll give her another chance before I slap that label on.
    Loved the bit with Ignacio wondering what the hell Layla was up to. Hehe
    Great chapter!

    1. Lol. If she's a pretty typical kid she's tell you just what she thought eventually. xD

      ... Layla is bad at accepting family without a second thought based purely on "family is family no matter what." It took a lot for her to take that out on Cyrus. Thankfully, she managed to turn that around to look at the little 'family' she's created and how it's functioning, or not. lol.

      Olivia was really just concerned about Ned's possible arrival. She kind of felt bad for Layla, but her survival instinct was in overdrive there.

      Lol. Poor Iggy. Layla messing with his 'head.' Ha! Thank you!

  7. I'm surprised Layla didn't realize that the guest Cyrus was expecting was Ned. I mean, he's the only reason they are sort of avoiding her now... but I suppose she was too preoccupied to think about that.

    It's so cute how Layla is finally warming up to Tibi -- I'm still going to call her that. Not going to let Melly stop me -- maybe they'll end up being a happy family in the end!

    1. Yeah. Layla's not fully thinking through what's going on with anyone else. All she sees is that her mom died.

      I still think of her only as Tibi. <3 Maybe they'll be a happy family in the end. One can only hope!