The Victorians: A Legacy Chapter 1.8

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Information about The Victorians: A Legacy Chapter 1.8
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Published on July 26, 2009

Author: tribebohemian

Source: authorstream.com

The Victorians: A LegacyChapter 1.8 : The Victorians: A LegacyChapter 1.8 Slide 2: Welcome back to the Norrington Legacy. Last time we left off Asher was having trouble with his temper, Trace was indulging in his deviant side, Abby was waiting for Mr. Finch to propose and Lora was practicing her wooing . I advise you read the previous chapters but if you’re feeling daring, tuck in! After three years at University, Asher was finally moving into the honorable brotherhood at Weatherton hall. He was welcomed by fellow brothers, Barrington Finch (on keyboards) and Mr. Roger Davies. Slide 3: Barrington Finch was creative and musically inclined. And all who listened(Roger’s delicate ears aside), found him to be quite proficient. A family sim who has a yearning to breed pups and kits. Perhaps 20 (ha bloody ha). I doubt Abigail would appreciate such a thing. (Pisces – 4 sloppy, 5 shy, 7 active, 3 serious, 6 nice. Turn ons: make up and athletics. Turn offs: zombies) Slide 4: Roger Davies was neither creative nor as charming as our dear Asher. In fact he was quite a dull fortune sim who’s greatest aspiration was to be a City Planner. A reasonable goal for an unremarkable young man. (A cancer – 6 neat, 4 shy, 4 lazy, 3 serious, 8 nice. Turn ons: black hair and a good cook. Turn off: a hard worker. Guess he wants to keep his little woman at home barefoot and pregnant. And just between you and me, he skills so slowly I think he may be mildly retarded) Slide 5: Due to his simple nature, Roger worked on his building skills nearly nonstop to keep himself busy. He chose to major in economics. Numbers and toy building brought him a great deal of comfort… and it also kept him from setting the house on fire. Slide 6: Barrington was the family man of the group. All his actions were in aid of his future goal to find himself a good wife and settle down. In fact he thought about it non stop. And when he wasn’t thinking about marriage, he pondered the many children he hoped to have or adopt in the future. Yeah, he and Abby are made for one another. Slide 7: And Asher… well he was able to get back in touch with his roots. Weatherton Hall boasted a fine garden and a small pond. He spent a great deal of time out back relieving stress. No one dared step forth into Asher’s private sanctuary when the young man was in one of his moods. Slide 8: Speaking of moods, seems Mr. Terrance Trower, while staying in his family townhouse in Simcambridge, reacted quite poorly to being spied on by a university student. Asher of course was not having it. What makes Mr. Trower think it was his skinny bare arse that Asher was spying on anyway? Slide 9: And finally the time had come. Barrington had decided to ask for Abigail’s hand. So after calling his lady fair, he dressed in his best and called for a carriage. At first glance, one would never guess at the nerves running wild beneath his confident visage. Slide 10: Abigail looked angelic of course. She had a pretty good idea that tonight was the night she’d been waiting for. Barrington felt as though his breath had been taken away. “You look absolutely stunning.” He whispered reverently. Abby blushed. “Thank you. As do you.” “Shall we head inside?” Barrington offered his arm. “Wouldn’t want to miss our reservation.” Slide 11: Sitting down to dinner, Barrington and Abby felt the first actualizations of love. Though both were too shy to voice their feelings out loud, it was there. So lost in their revelation the pair hardly noticed the waiter prattle on about the daily specials. (I always get their food wrong. They want stuff I can’t recognize) Slide 12: And when the moment finally came, Barrington couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant reaction. Abby was pleased as a peddler with a penny and her pretty face glowed with joy. “Oh Barrington, it’s absolutely lovely!” “Then it compliments it’s owner well.” Slide 13: Afterward the newly engaged couple took a romantic stroll through he gardens. There under the moonlight Barrington couldn’t help but fall to his knees and serenade his wife to be with a song. (shy though he may be, Barrington is a hopeless romantic) “I suppose it would be inappropriate to kiss you with so many witnesses?” He ventured cheekily. Abby smiled shyly. “Yes, and we wouldn’t want them to stare.” Slide 14: With only a moment’s hesitation, Barrington took Abby in his arms and whispered breathlessly, “Let them stare.” Slide 15: Meanwhile Trace continued (though half-heartedly at best) to sort through potential future wives. Ms. Marilla Tyson was a young widow of no name and little to live on. Still, she was beautiful, charming and knew all the right things to say in order to flatter young, eligible men. Slide 16: And when he wasn’t busy skilling, doing group research or writing his term paper, Trace was sneaking off and falling in love with James. Slide 17: Back at the Ladies College, while Abby was waking with a new spring in her step, things had hardly even begun for Lora. She was still looking for her ‘one and only’. Though she had plenty of admirers to choose from, Lora was quite particular. Slide 18: With term almost at an end, both girls were firmly occupied. While typing term papers, Abby dreamed of the family she would soon have while Lora continued her correspondence with Mr. Roger Davies. After weeks of letters and phone conversation, Lora felt they were ready to meet. She found him to be promising. He liked her cooking skills and she in turn favored his facial hair. Ah, a match made in heaven. Slide 19: When the two finally agreed to meet for an afternoon walk, Roger was clearly taken aback at his luck to have landed such a lovely girl. Lora smiled. “I do hope that impression of a landed trout is your endearing way of saying you like my frock.” Slide 20: They spent the afternoon enjoying one another’s company. Roger was impressed not only by her pretty face but her admirable domestic skills. And Lora wasn’t the least bit insulted when he explained that he believed a wife was to be kept and kept well. “I think that being kept well would suit me just fine, Mr. Davies.” Slide 21: Many an afternoon was spent engaging in such innocent diversion. And if Roger was at all shocked by Lora’s forward behavior, he kept his complaints to himself. He quite enjoyed the hello and farewell kisses he was granted at each meeting. (good thing he wasn’t aware that he had Mr. Mcferren to thank for Lora’s proficiency) Slide 22: Lora in turn greatly enjoyed the small (and not so small) tokens of Roger’s affection she regularly received. For someone so slow, he certainly knew how to keep a lady happy. Lora was immensely content and had eyes for no one else. For a romance sim she was quite restrained. Slide 23: Abigail on the other hand, spent a good percentage of time thinking of other young men. Amar, the shop-boy, included. She had a habit of getting herself into compromising situations. Though Abby was pleased to have made a good match with Barrington, she couldn’t help but wonder “what if?” She of course tried to keep these unlady like desires to herself. (but she couldn’t hide her naughty thoughts from me) Slide 24: But she wasn’t always successful. Case in point: At dinner one evening Jane Staples confided in Abby a most scandalous secret. She found their fellow student, Shirley Blackwell quite fetching. After a moment’s pause, Abby admitted to understanding the attraction. (Abby dearest, you’re a whore. And I think young Allison in the back agrees with me. Shirley Blackwell? I don’t get the attraction. Eeewww) Slide 25: Thankfully, the term had ended and Abby was going back home to await Barrington’s graduation. Hopefully she would be kept out of trouble back in the cradle of her parents’ arms. Despite being sad about ending her short adventure in the world, Abby was gracious enough to wish Lora the best of luck with Mr. Davies Slide 26: Speaking of adventures, Alice arrived the next morning to begin her own. Lora was quick to greet her little sister and began lecturing immediately on the best way to embark upon her collegiate tenure. “And I’m pleased you took my advice with the green suit. It truly does bring out your eyes and that will help distract young men from you acerbic personality.” Slide 27: “I’m not interested in any young men.” Alice quipped good naturedly. She couldn’t be insulted when she was so pleased to see her older sister. Besides she knew Lora meant no harm. “I intend on making as many friends as I can. I have the rest of my life to be married and I’m certainly in no rush.” Lora gave her sister a sympathetic shake of her head. “Oh Alice , you poor, misguided little dear.” Slide 28: Misguided or not, Alice began networking right away. Despite her ‘acerbic personality’, she was well liked and included in all the gatherings on campus. Though forced to earn her first cooking point, she thoroughly enjoyed her studies and did well in her classes. And like her oldest brother before her, Alice always won at Mahjong. Slide 29: Back at Weatherton Hall, Roger had decided to meet with Mr. Stuart Norrington. So Asher, being a good friend, invited his family to the fraternity for the evening. He hoped that introducing his father to Roger would make things easier for everyone involved. Slide 30: While Roger was pleading his case, Evelyn took a moment to mount her own investigation. “So tell me Asher,” She kept her voice low. “What is this young man like? You sister speaks only of all the treasures with which he showers her. And while I love Lora dearly, I must question her choice. Is he a good man? Is he worthy of her?” She dropped to a whisper. “Can he afford her?” Asher smirked. “I would not have vouched for his character if I felt anything less than confident that he and Lora would do well together. I think they will keep one another happy.” Slide 31: Stuart too had to agree that while Roger lacked any obvious intelligence, he was clearly capable in providing Lora the sparkling life she desired. With yards of trimming lace to match. Nor did he seem to want for more than Lora would be happy to give in return. With far less hesitation this time, Stuart gladly gave Mr. Davies his blessing. Slide 32: With that out of the way, it was time for Asher to graduate. And time to make some hard hitting decisions. Alice was more than happy to help him plan his graduation party but she vetoed his suggestion to meet any of his male friends. “Come now little sister, I think you’d find Raymond quite pleasing.” “Don’t think I can’t see what you’re trying to do Asher.” She snapped back. “You’ve nearly married off two sisters and now you’re working on a third. Are you trying to single handedly marry off all four of us?!” Slide 33: And soon the celebration was well under way. Some were dancing, others played games, baby sister Annie made a beeline for the bubble blower. Despite Asher’s hopes, Raymond didn’t make much of an impression on Alice. Olivia couldn’t help but ask if there wasn’t something certifiably wrong with Alice. Asher could only chuckle in reply. Slide 34: And in the middle of all that joviality, Asher finally made the move he’d been wanting to do for years. Olivia, having resigned herself to an exhaustingly long (and perhaps never ending) courtship, was speechless. Asher watched her with the eyes of an anxious child. “Well, what say you? Do you think you could possibly tolerate my unruly self for a lifetime?” Slide 35: Olivia gave him a watery smile. “For a lifetime and more.” She whispered. Slide 36: Unfortunately for them both, their lifetime together would have to wait while Asher studied abroad. He graduated with a 4.0 Suma Cum Laude and into a hideous outfit. My first ever sim graduate. Yay! One down and only several more to go, yeesh. Slide 37: Having passed her Freshman Art class with a B, Lora turned to perfecting her domestic skills. Since she could already paint, play violin and dance very well, she took on pottery. When she wasn’t in class, spending quality time with Roger or gleefully accepting his expensive gifts, Lora could be found here; Making decorative tea sets which she painted herself. Slide 38: Alice, on the other hand, cared nothing for such frivolous activities. She had chosen to study Political Science and spent nearly all her time socializing. Like her brother Asher, there were those who found her too abrasive for polite company and gave her a wide berth. But she too had a fair share of kindred spirits. Alice absolutely loved the freedom of University. Slide 39: Going back to the men’s college, we find Trace in the middle of yet another outing with yet another young woman who fails to ring his bell. There was the gold digging young widow, Ms. Marilla Tyson. No special skills beside promoting herself… (Sorry Marilla. You’re nice but if Trace can’t marry the man he wants, then he’ll need to settle for a woman with money, great chemistry or mad phat skillz) Slide 40: Then there was Miss Sally Jenkins, a young Philosophy student enrolled at the ladies college. While she neither cooks or cleans, she is creative and the two of them got along quite nicely with one bolt. Still, Trace had to keep looking… (I like Sally. There’s just something sweet about her) Slide 41: Alice Strain not only came from money but she was also excessively fond of Trace’s logical side. She too inspired a bolt of chemistry with Trace. While he enjoyed her company, there was something holding him back from getting too interested… (definitely cute and I love the red hair. A pretty girl who adores his brains? Not bad at all) Slide 42: That something was actually waiting for Trace to return from his afternoon stroll with Alice. James was none to pleased with the female company Trace had been keeping. Slide 43: “Why must you rub it in my face?” James argued. “Not only do I keep my feelings for you hidden from prying eyes but now I have to see you flaunting your lady friends about campus on a regular basis.” “James, would you listen to yourself?” Trace snapped back. “Have you forgotten your senses? Of course I have to spend time with those young women. We both have obligations to our families to uphold!” “Don’t speak to me of obligations!” James cried. “I can’t stand to see you with them!” Slide 44: “Stop this please! You whinging is more than I can bare!” “Whinging!?” “James, we’ve discussed this before. These girls mean nothing to me. I’m only trying to appease my father!” “And how far will you go for his appeasement?” James asked quietly. “How long before I lose you for good?” Slide 45: The whispered question blew the remaining anger from Trace’s sails and he pulls James into his arms. “You will not lose me.” Worried blue eyes gazed at him. “How can you be certain?” Having no answer for his beloved, Trace chose to simply comfort them both with a breath stealing kiss. Slide 46: On Asher’s recommendation, both Roger and Barrington offered Raymond the honor of pledging their esteemed brotherhood. And while he was busy proving himself worthy by cleaning their home… Slide 47: They also extended an invitation to Trace. He had the honor of pulling weeds. (funny note: Asher’s garden died in the very short time since he graduated. No one remembered to look after it) Slide 48: With the house sorted and his tenure at Sterlington University nearly over, Roger invited Lora out to dinner at The Smoking Llama. It boasted a eclectic cliental and he knew Lora would appreciate the worldly atmosphere for what would be the most important night of her young life. (thinks a lot of himself, don’t he?) Slide 49: The proposal went well and Lora was good enough to pretend utter surprise, all the while assessing the quality of her diamond. Roger had seen to it that she had only the best. “Does it please you, dearest?” “Oh darling it’s wonderful. Color, clarity… I shall the be envy of every girl I know!” Slide 50: It was only after she’d placed the rock on her finger that Lora felt the first twinge of regret. She wondered if perhaps she should have held out for something more. Courting had been such fun but now that it was settled, some of the excitement had dissipated. She was quick to silence such disparaging thoughts with a glass of wine. Slide 51: As Roger saw her home, Lora reminded herself that there was plenty of future excitement to be had: Marriage, motherhood, a home of her own… not to mention the many celebratory parties to be thrown. And she had no doubt Roger would see to her happiness in everything. Now was no time to regret childhood lost. There was a wedding to plan. Just think of all the lace! Slide 52: Her goal of finding a suitable husband accomplished, Lora was ready to head home to plan her upcoming nuptials with her mother. But not before greeting her baby sister Annie who had arrived only that morning. It didn’t take very long before she was getting on the young woman’s nerves just like old times. “Please Lora!” Annie cried. “I’ve just got here. I don’t need a rambling diatribe on the benefits of matching my dress to my eyes! It’s enough that we’re wearing the same color!” Slide 53: “Oh don’t be cross Annie. It’s unbecoming. I’m only remarking on how well you’ve grown up. You look lovely.” Lora nodded approvingly. “A proper English young lady, at last.” Annie snorted. “Yes, who would have thought it possible?” Slide 54: And one of the first things this proper young lady set out to do was break in the furniture in the grand salon. Her second order of business was to take a carriage into town, in search of her pirate. Like Lora, Annie was determined to find the perfect husband. If she must be married, then she would make the best of this opportunity in finding him. Slide 55: It was in The Smoking Llama, at a questionable card game, that she first spotted him. Count Nicolas Clifford. A mysterious, well travelled man of (it was rumored) great fortune. Annie felt there was something off about him: his carriage, pale pallor and crimson eyes. But she’d never been one to run from the unknown. Slide 56: After politely waiting for an available seat, Annie joined The Count for a game. “What on earth,” He drawled in a rich baritone. “is an innocent creature like yourself, doing in a place like this, at this time of night?” “Same as you, I imagine.” Annie lifted her chin bravely. “Are you in or not?” Count Nicolas smirked. “Oh, I’m most certainly in.” Slide 57: The game was intense and Annie did quite well for herself. And if The Count allowed her to bluff him a few too many times while he watched with an intrigued eye, that was his secret to keep. There was something about Annie that peaked his interest. He seemed to peak hers as well. “I won!” Annie squealed happily. “Forty and two hundred pounds! A decent amount in deed.” “Well played.” Count Nicolas nodded graciously. “Would you perhaps… care to dance?” Slide 58: Despite subtle warning bells in her mind, Annie accepted his arm and allowed him to sweep her across the floor of the lounge. After stepping on his polished shoes more than once, Annie blushed. “I’m sorry. I’m afraid I’m not as practiced as I should be. No one to dance with, you see.” As she stared into The Count’s blazing eyes, she felt suddenly lost and compelled to act outside of her own freewill. “I feel… strange.” Annie whispered. “Your… your eyes…” Slide 59: The space between them grew smaller and Annie felt a burst of heat as his cold lips touched her own. The Count’s blood warmed at the feel of her in his arms. He’d expected the innocence but not this overwhelming sense of renewal. There was an unforeseen sweetness about Annie’s aura. Her scent was compelling and flooded his senses with the promise of pleasure… of a new life. Slide 60: The sound of Annie’s blood rushed in The Count’s ears and with a violent roar he pushed her away. Annie stared back at him in confusion, her blues eyes still glossed over. “Wha… “ She swayed on her feet. “What’s happened?” “You little girl, have no business here.” Count Nicolas scolded. “Leave this place now. Before trouble finds you.” with that he swept away. Slide 61: Back at Weatherton Hall, Trace had decided to move into the fraternity house. Though it wasn’t anything like the peaceful experience he imagined it would be. When Barrington wasn’t studying, he was playing the piano like a possessed demon, banging the ivories and flooding the house with headache inducing symphonies. Not mentioning the other, not-quite-so-cultural, distractions he had to deal with. Slide 62: Speaking of headaches, the latest potential prospect was Miss Andromeda Hawes. Not especially handsome and so irritating that Trace found himself reminiscing fondly over his painful evenings with Miss Ormley. Andromeda came from money and had the attitude to prove it. Despite her dowry, neither her lack of skills, incompatible chemistry nor her dreadful conversation made the price worth it. Slide 63: By coincidence, after saying goodnight to Miss Hawes, Trace found his sister Annie wandering about with a bewildered look on her face. “Annie! I heard you’d arrived.” He embraced her quickly. “What on earth are you doing out?” Annie shook her head. “I… I was playing cards.” She muttered, still somewhat confused. Trace frowned. “Are you alright? You look ill.” He took her arm. “Come, let me see you home.” Slide 64: Some blocks away, love’s young dream was bringing their very own romantic evening to a late finish. They look absolutely darling, don’t they? Yes, they do play the part well. Yet, there was something not quite right between Barrington and Abigail. Despite their showy love for one another, it was their private thoughts that make me doubt the sincerity of their countless professions. Slide 65: Take Barrington; Two bolts of chemistry for his fiancé and three for his soon-to-be mother in law, Evelyn. With whom he is more than a little obsessed. When he isn’t dating Abby, thinking of adoption, weddings or class work, this thought bubble practically lives atop his head of raven locks. Lora is often featured as well. Slide 66: And we already know about Abby’s questionable behavior. While Roger may have been too oblivious to realize the awkwardness of this moment, Abby wasn’t. “Barrington, you’re back!” Abby smiled weakly. “We weren’t expected you so soon.” “Clearly.” Barrington took in her slightly flushed expression. “Class ended early.” “How… fortunate.” Abby pretended not to notice Barrington’s open suspicion. Slide 67: But enough about those two. In the days that followed, Annie found herself daydreaming about the unusual man she’d encountered at the pub. She wondered where he was from and what sights he may have seen. His older, more experienced view of the world enticed her and Annie latched onto this fantasy with a fervor only the young possess. Slide 68: So imagine her surprise when she discover that she too had become the object of one’s obsession. The Count had been unable to control his own desire to seek Annie out and finally traced her scent back to the ladies college. “Count Clifford!” Annie was taken aback. “Whatever brings you to campus?” “Many things, against my better judgment.” He muttered. “You seem to have a fondness for night.” Slide 69: “I like to gaze at the stars.” Annie explained. “And your excuse?” “I…” The Count paused. “I wanted to express my apologies for my abrupt dismissal the other evening. I was simply unprepared and admittedly overwhelmed…” “Overwhelmed?” Annie frowned. “What by?” “I find you compelling, Miss Norrington. I can not say why. I’ve seen many a pretty face in my time, but you…” Slide 70: “You’ve bewitched me.” He finished, his voice the richest velvet. Annie flushed. “Well, when you put it that way, apology accepted.” (Leave it to Annie to fall for a vampire. LoL) Slide 71: In an unspoken agreement, they continued to meet after sunset, though Annie never questioned why. His apparent dislike of sunlight only made Count Nicolas more interesting. He wasn’t quite the creative, Pirate Chef she’d envisioned for herself as a girl but he was just as exotic. And she loved his tales of adventure, though she wondered how he had found time to achieve so much. Slide 72: And when he claimed his preference was to see her done up in velvet dress robes and without any face paint marring her innocent visage, Annie admired his honesty. “Me, in sophisticated gowns? A childlike Empress to rule by your side? Lora would be so pleased.” Slide 73: Against all reason and propriety, Count Nicolas succumbed to her childish charms. Annie was both naïve and yet aware. Her blue eyes were wide open, ready to accept all that was thrown at her delicate feet. After many years spent in darkness, perhaps The Count had found someone with whom to share his long, lonely life. Slide 74: Trace and James too were a couple who enjoyed nocturnal rendezvous. Under the cover of dark neither young man need hide their affections for one another. And now that James had also been invited to pledge Weatherton Fraternity, they had even more time and (most important) privacy to be together. Slide 75: The two enjoyed laying in the hay pile out back, beneath the stars. Here they were hidden from all prying eyes and protected from the elements as well. “I wish to relive this moment for always.” James sighed blissfully. “Should I live to see three-hundred, I don’t believe I shall ever exceed the contentment I feel right now.” Trace pressed a kiss to his hair. “I wouldn’t mind putting that theory to the test.” He turned smoldering eyes on his partner. “Shall we see just how content I can truly make you feel?” Slide 76: “Long underwear?” James smirked nervously. “How dashing.” Trace blushed. “I was raised on a farm. What did you expect? Satin breeches?” “I’m only teasing, love.” James cooed. “Come here farmer boy.” Slide 77: Later on they snuggled together, safe from the light rain that had begun to fall. As Trace held James’ lithe body against him, he fought against the nagging feeling that this comfort would be short lived. The frail bubble in which their relationship existed could pop at any time. (trace and james’ transgression doesn’t count toward the ‘no woohoo outside of marriage’ thing since trace is a spare. And he’s a male so he could’ve gotten away with it) Slide 78: Returning to the ladies college, Lora had finally earned her gold pottery badge and was ready to catch a train back to Guilford. But not before finding out which dashing young man had stolen her little sister’s heart. “I shall wheedle it out of you eventually.” Lora threatened jokingly. “You might as well tell all!” Annie squealed with laughter. “There is nothing to tell as of yet! And you keep what you think you know to yourself!” Slide 79: In reality, there was a great deal to tell. That evening, after Lora had said goodbye to her sisters, Annie and The Count met once again at their usual time and place. She didn’t know but he was beginning to be racked with guilt over his deception. Count Nicolas was contemplating either telling Annie the truth or putting an end to their liaison. Slide 80: That night, fate stepped in and made the decision for him. “Nicolas,” Annie asked mid snog. “Are you… staring at my neck?” “I…” The Count was caught off guard. “Yes... I am.” “Why ever for?” “I desire… to taste you my beloved.” He admitted shamefully. Slide 81: There was an awkward pause before Annie attacked The Count’s neck with affectionate and enthusiastic kisses. “Like this you mean?” She giggled. “I can certainly see the appeal.” Count Nicolas chuckled before suddenly sobering with a mournful groan and pushing himself away from Annie’s embrace. Slide 82: “It is no laughing matter!” He hissed angrily, shocking Annie into silence. “Do I amuse you? Are you truly so naïve that you’ve yet to realize that I am a monster?! Well let me assure you dearest, I am a raging beast. This creature,” He gestured to himself in disgust. “with whom you so openly share your affections, lives off the lifeblood of others!” Annie’s eyes widened. “Oh yes my beloved. I drain the blood of the helpless, meek and oh so innocent ones, such as yourself in order to survive! Can you now look at me with such genuine kindness, with such love, knowing what I am?” Slide 83: “Yes!” Annie cried earnestly before forcing herself into The Count’s arms. “You’re no beast…” “I am .” Nicolas insisted brokenly. “No! You have a heart with which you feel. You’re warm and gentle. You love…” She whispered. “All of that makes some part of you human. And that’s enough for me.” Slide 84: There was silence and then… “Annie, dearest…” “Yes?” “Marry me?” “Try and stop me!” Slide 85: Despite having little respect for tradition, Annie made the obligatory call to her parents, asking them to meet Count Nicolas that evening. Her mother was clearly pleased while her father was completely flabbergasted. This was certainly the first they’d heard of Annie’s potential suitors. Lora’s teasing gossip hardly counted. (funny note: the count risked death by sunlight several times to bring annie gifts. That’s devotion) Slide 86: Later that day as Annie informed her sister about their parents’ impending arrival, she wondered what Alice had been doing to keep so busy. Annie rarely even saw her older sibling. “Mama and Papa are coming to meet your beau, tonight?” Annie nodded and Alice sighed. “I suppose I’ll be expected to put in an appearance.” Slide 87: In no time at all it seemed the sun had set, her parents had arrived and Annie was introducing her father to The Count. “Papa, I would like you to meet Count Nicolas Clifford. Nicolas, this is my father, Stuart Norrington.” Pleased as she was, Annie missed the troubled look her parents shared at their first glance of Nicolas. Slide 88: He was strange and both Evelyn and Stuart wondered how on earth their child had come across such a… being. But Annie insisted she loved Nicolas and Evelyn could see that her daughter was entering this arrangement with both eyes open. At least The Count appeared to reciprocate those feelings. Slide 89: While Stuart was clearly unnerved by The Count, he had to admit the man was charming, engaging and a pleasant conversationalist. He was older with a knowledge of the world which Stuart understood was appreciated by his youngest child. Annie had always made her own way. He could hardly expect her to thrive in a conventional match. Slide 90: At the news of her father’s blessing, Annie leaped into Nicolas’ arms. Both Stuart and Evelyn stared on, fingers brushing together in a show of comfortable support. “Have I done the right thing dearest?” Stuart asked quietly. Evelyn sighed. “Had you disapproved, she might have run off with him, and we may never have seen her again. She truly believes herself genuinely in love. So yes. For our Annie, it is the right thing.” Slide 91: With Senior year slowly but steadily coming to an end, the boys of Weatherton Fraternity spent most of their time skilling, earning badges and generally preparing for the life that awaited them after college. Both Barrington and Roger were consumed with wedding and honeymoon plans, home buying and career decisions. Trace was still putting off the inevitable and concentrated on writing his thesis. A memoir of sorts. The first of many he would write. Slide 92: But it wasn’t always dull. There was the time the study room floor rug caught a spark from the fireplace and nearly burned down the entire room. Thankfully, trace had studied fire safety and remained calm enough to put it out. Roger, on the other hand, did not study fire safety and his helpful contribution consisted of him dancing around the raging inferno in a panicked fashion. Slide 93: Or the time Mr. Peter Oxley yelled at Roger because Barrington had been watching him through the spyglass. Poor thing… cried like a bitch. Slide 94: And let us not forget the many, many, many comments on how hot Trace’s mother is. “Roger, I’m warning you as a friend. Do not, I repeat, do not finish that sentence!” (trace’s mom has got it going on… evelyn is a M.I.L.F) Slide 95: But finally the day came for Barrington and Roger to graduate. Roger finished with a B+. He did manage to max mechanical and logic (irony anyone?), earn a gold toy making badge and earned 8000 lbs by selling his wares. Barrington graduated with honors and maxed his cooking, body and creative skills. Trace waved them goodbye and celebrated having the house to himself for a short while. Slide 96: That is until he received a persuasive phone call from his father. It was time to stop procrastinating and choose a wife. Stuart wanted to see all of his six children happily married and he felt disappointed in Trace’s lack of action. He didn’t understand what could possibly be holding his clever son back from making a decision. “I expect this sort of disregard of my wishes from Alice. Not you. Make your choice. I’m certain you will not regret it, my boy.” Slide 97: Stuart needn’t have worried about Alice. Just because she was taking her time, didn’t mean she wasn’t making an effort. Enter potential #1: Eric Swinstead. His infatuation led him to sneak into the ladies’ dorm in order to catch a glimpse of Alice in her night dress. Only to realize he didn’t care for athletic girls. Slide 98: Potential #2: Martin Roberts. No money or skills but completely full of himself. He was sure he could convince Alice to see his merit in time. That is until he admitted his adversity to girls with a creative streak. Though he promised to overlook that flaw if she would have him. Alice finally pelted him with pillows until he went away. Slide 99: Potential #3: Timothy Buckley. A fellow Political Science student, he and Alice spent a great deal of time talking, studying, making mischief. He was quite fond of her willfulness and creativity. Though he himself was more reserved in nature, the two got along like a house on fire. Caused, no doubt, by the two bolts between them. Slide 100: So it really shouldn’t have been any surprise to Alice when her stomach began to heat at the very sight of Timothy. Not certain what to do with such emotions, Alice chose to deal with them head on. “I like you Timothy.” She announced one evening without preamble. “And as I’m sure you are aware, doing so makes me vulnerable which is something I can’t abide. So tell me now and tell me quick; are my affections misplaced? And if not, are your own intentions honorable?” Slide 101: Timothy took a moment to recover from the emotional ambush before chuckling. “Alice Norrington, you must be the strangest girl I’ve ever met. Yet, my heart tells me I would be a fool to allow you to slip past my grasp.” He smiled. “Your affections are both well placed and returned. And my intentions are more than honorable.” Alice blushed and grinned back. “Well then. Be ready to meet my father… tomorrow.” “Yes ma’am.” Timothy gave her a mock salute before gracing her lips with a hesitant first kiss. Slide 102: Timothy and Stuart got on famously. Unlike his other children, Stuart believed Alice was perfectly capable of looking after herself. So he was far more confident in her choice of mate. If she believed Mr. Buckley was up to the task of sparring with her for a lifetime, then the boy must be worth his salt. Alice would have it no other way. Needless to say, Stuart gave his consent and blessing whole heartedly. Slide 103: Meanwhile, Trace had come to a decision. He waited outside for James to come back from class. Immediately, James knew something was wrong. “Trace? What’s happened?” Trace shook his head. “I’m sorry. I… I’m going to propose to Sally tonight.” Slide 104: “Propose.” James said flatly. “To Miss Jenkins. You promised I wouldn’t lose you.” He finished brokenly. “Oh please don’t be like this.” Trace begged. “You knew this would have to happen. We both did. What we had was beautiful but fantasies don’t last!” Slide 105: “Fantasy?!” James snapped. “Is that all I was to you?! And to think you used such pretty words to get me into your bed!” “I have always been honest with you!” Trace stated. “Do not pretend that you didn’t see this coming.” “This is your father’s doing isn’t? You would rather trade our happiness for his approval!” “And why shouldn’t I?! The man gave me everything! A home, an education, love… And has only asked for this one duty in return. It’s a such a small price to pay…” He finished, his voice hoarse. Slide 106: James gazed at Trace with sad eyes. “I hope, for your sake, that you always feel that way. God forbid you ever resent the choice you made today.” “James, please don’t leave it like this.” Trace pleaded. “You’re my best friend.” “I’m sorry love, but I can’t just stand by and watch you choose another over me as though nothing of an intimate nature occurred between us. It doesn’t work that way.” Slide 107: Needless to say, Trace was not quite in the right frame of mind for his evening out with Miss Jenkins. Fortunately, Sally was good at keeping up her side of the conversation. Part of Trace wanted to direct his misguided anger at her for simply not being James. If only she wasn’t so pleasant and accommodating. Slide 108: The proposal was awkward at best and somewhat expected, considering all the time Trace had spent reluctantly courting her. Sally was good enough to make the best of a less than stellar moment. She somehow knew Trace wasn’t in love with her but she was sincerely fond of him. She hoped with time and patience, they could make a heaven out of hell. Slide 109: Things had not improved by the time graduation came around. Trace and James were still not speaking. And James’ somber mood was obvious to all the guests at the celebration. Miss Alice strain wasn’t particularly pleased with Trace’s choice either. And things just went from awkward to downright scandalous. Slide 110: After seeing Trace show his new fiancé the smallest shred of affection, James felt as though he would explode. After several glasses of wine, he accosted poor Sally who was receiving Stuart’s congratulations on both her graduation and she and Trace’s engagement. Slide 111: Trace, who had already been slapped silly by a weeping Miss Strain, attempted to make peace with his ex-lover. But James wasn’t having it and began shouting the most inappropriate and personal accusations. Trace could only thank the heavens that his dear mother was preoccupied with the bubble blower and hadn’t heard any of it. Slide 112: In the end, there were several fist fights and buckets of tears. Lora was insulted, Stuart disappointed, Alice appalled, Raymond frightened, Miss Strain royally hacked off and both Asher and Annie made some money on the winner. (that being said, the party, in all it’s utter ridiculousness, was a roof raiser. LoL) Slide 113: “Sally,” Trace began weakly. “I’m so sorry. What you must think of me…” “You loved one another?” “I…” His face flamed with shame. “I knew there was something.” She sighed. “There is no such thing as perfection. We all come up wanting. I believe you are a good man. And I think we have the potential to make one another, at the very least, content. If you so choose.” Slide 114: “What on earth is all that racket out there? Hmmm, I can’t feel my feet. How lovely!” Tune in next time to see the if Stuart finally gets those 6 weddings we’ve been working toward. Will Trace and James regain their friendship? Or is Sally doomed to tipped over trashcans and flaming bags of poo for the next generation? Thanks for reading!

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