Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chapter 40: Full of Cake and Free Food

When his own children were Jace's age, Farrell did everything he could for them, taught them to walk and talk, and played with them and generally enjoyed their company. He also slept in a sleeping bag in their nursery, afraid that MorcuCorp would come creeping in to steal them away, and even when he was with them physically, his mind was often preoccupied, worried about their mother, about finding her and rescuing her.

That seems like so long ago now, their time here in Drake's Hollow has passed in safety and security, and though he's never held any job at all, Farrell feels well and truly retired, free to spend his time in the simple pursuit of pleasure. His own children are grown now, so it is Jace who becomes the beneficiary of Farrell's second childhood, the two of them forming a close bond during their log afternoons together, playing and chatting.

In pursuit of Jace's best interests, Farell pays a visit to Elliot in his new house.

Claire had returned from their honeymoon pregnant, and Elliot is now the father of twin girls, for the second time in his life, Corrine and Danica.

"You aren't worried about having babies this late?" Farrell asks, "About not being around for them?" Farrell was always one for blunt speech, and these very questions are what stopped him from indulging his own mid life wish to have another child with Aouregan when his own children became adults.

"Of course I worry," Elliot answers, too used to his brother's directness to be taken aback by it, "But Claire is younger than I am. She wanted a family, and I didn't think it was right to deny her that. besides, we're not elders yet, I still have some time left on the clock to raise my girls," he finishes with a  light laugh.

They put the girls in their cribs and go down to the kitchen, where Farrell broaches are more delicate subject. "Jace's birthday party is this evening," he says, "You know Jack will be there."

"He wouldn't be if I lived there," Elliot says, his lips pressed in a firm line.

"He's Jace's father," Farrell says, "And you're his grandfather. I want you and Claire to be there, and I want you to not make any trouble."

"I behaved at Shadow's wedding, didn't I?" Elliot says.

"Yes, you did. But that was a public event. This will be in the house. I just wanted to make sure we're clear on this. I can't make you like or accept Jack, but I wish you would try. For Jace's sake."

"And I wish you get that no good criminal out of my grandson's life, instead of letting him free rein of the house," Elliot counters, "But neither of us is getting what we want from that situation, all we can do is make the best of it. I'll be at the birthday party, and I'll smile and won't make a scene."

Farrell did really expect much more than that, but he had to try.

"Hey, baby," Ian greets Delaney, trying to get his arms around her.

"Back the fuck off, you moron," Delaney growls, pushing him away, "I'm here to see Jack."

"Jack ain't here, he's at the gym. It's just you an' me, now baby," Ian says, doing the opposite of backing off.

Delaney shuts him down with a hard slap on the cheek. "There's no 'you and me'. You got that?"

"I seem to remember different," Ian says, undeterred, "And it seems to me that maybe you should be nice to me, if you don't want me to share my sweet memories of you with him."

"Seriously, Ian, extortion for sex?" Delaney rolls her eyes, "You know, you go ahead and share with Jack. Maybe he'll dump me, or maybe he'll forgive me when I beg for it. What he'll definitely do, though, is beat the crap out of you first. Is that want you want? Am I really worth getting your face smashed and your jaw broken?"

Ian has to admit she's got a point. "There are no chicks in this town," he grumbles, "And nothing to fucking do."

"Complain to the boss," Delaney says over her shoulder as she heads out the door, "I'm going to the gym."

Delaney finds Jack at the gym, and joins him in a race up the rock climbing walls.

Jack loses his grip and falls. It's quite the rush.

But it sure does hurt when he stands back up.

"Are you okay?" Delaney asks, stroking him on the cheek, "A back injury like that took my Dad out for good."

"I'm fine," Jack assures her.

"Jace's birthday party is tonight," she says, "I got the boss to let me off for it..."

"But I have to work," Jack sighs heavily.

"It will be near Jace's bedtime by then, anyway," Delaney says, "You can still be there."

"Don't worry, nothing would keep me away," Jack promises. It would be so much easier if they lived together, but she won't sit still long enough to discuss their future with him.

"Great!" Delaney smiles brightly, "Now I gotta get going. Boss only let me have the night off if I put in some work this afternoon."

Most days, their shop is quiet. It would be worrisome if it was their family's main source of income, but the Brannons have the kind of easy wealth that makes it so they only have to work as much as they want, or not at all if they prefer. For Shadow, the quiet days give him the time to research, studying Kvornan's encrypted fables for clues. Kvornan himself still refuses to put it in plain Simlish. Learning to understand is part of the process, he had said, nothing is ever simply given.

Iola spends most of her time in the shop working on her writing. She hasn't the confidence yet to call it her novel, though that is what she hopes it will someday be. For now, she spends hours fretting over the structure of one sentence, or selecting just the right adjective. 

Her efforts are only occasionally interrupted by customer actually seeking her psychic advice.

Guests, some invited, others not, start showing up at the Brannon house to celebrate Jace's birthday. Or for the free food.

It's mostly the immediate family who gathers around for the cake.

Jace blows out his candles.

Luckily he gets them blown out before his mother puts him down so she can answer her phone.

"The boss," she mouths silently to Jack.

"Can't leave us alone, can he?" Jack answers, but Delaney has already moved off to take the call in private.

Elliot promised to not make a scene, but that doesn't mean he has to acknowledge Jack in any way, and he avoids even making simple eye contact with his grandson's father.

Jack doesn't let Elliot's obvious disapproval get in the way of enjoying birthday cake with his son. No one had to remind him not to make trouble.

After cake, Jack and Jace play a few rounds of rock, paper, scissors. Jace beats his father easily once he figures out his dad will go for scissors every time.

The time Jace spent with Farrell has made a lasting impression, and the boy has turned into a junior brainiac, already using words to big for his father to get his head around.

Jack has no idea what his kid is talking about. So, hugs!

Delaney interrupts to tell Jack what the boss wanted. Farrell takes the opportunity to wish Jace a happy birthday.

And to give him his gift, a book on basic chemistry, along with an offer to help him learn to use the chemistry set up in the attic.

"You're the best, uncle Farrell!" Jace enthuses.

Technically, he's the boy's great-uncle, but Farrell sees no need to correct him.

In the few minutes they have left before Jack has to meet up with Ian for work, he and Delaney sit out on the porch for some private time.

"Why just you?" Jack asks. The boss' call was an invitation, or an order, depending on how you look at it, for Delaney to go to the city for a few days, and work directly with Cole himself.

"He didn't say," Delaney shrugs, "And you know it's best not to question him. It will just be for a few days."

Farrell spends a few minutes getting to know his new son-in-law, Aurora's husband Jaybird Crane. Aurora couldn't make it to the party herself, being so busy at the hospital. Jay, however, is a self-employed writer, and has plenty of free time for parties.

Jace is not unaware of the tension between between his father and grandfather, but, because the adults are so careful about not mentioning it, Jace keeps quiet about it as well, pretending to be in on whatever secret they have, like it's a game they're all playing.

As the party winds down and guests, full of cake and free food, start to leave, Delaney gives her present to Jace, a new Scary Bears bear. They were her favorite toy when she was his age. "Uncle Farrell gave me one just like it on my birthday," she says.

"Uncle Farrell gave you one of these?" Jace enthuses, more excited by Farrell's approval of the gift than the actual toy, which is a bit to inert and non-interactive for Jace's taste.

Now that he's a child, Jace has outgrown the nursery and gets his own room, decorated in his favorite color.

"You're sure about this?" Jack asks, "Once you're inked, it's permanent. Well, there's some laser removal deal you can do, but I've heard it's painful. More painful than the actual inking."

"Pain is part of the process of becoming a shaman. I have to put my blood into it."

"Okay then," Jack says, having gone as deeply into this subject as he cares to.

Shadow watches without cringing as Jack inks the design he chose on his arm.

"You know, while Delaney is out of town, you can still feel free to come by, and sleep over so you can be with Jace," Shadow comments.

"Thanks, man, I appreciate that. And I will take you up on that."

"I don't understand why you don't just move in with us," Shadow continues.

"I don't get it, myself," Jack sighs, "She keeps holding me at arm's length, you know? I sleep over almost every night, but any talk of making it official, and she's walking away, changing the subject."

Shadow wonders if casting a love charm on Delaney might help, but decides the potential for harm is too great. She already loves Jack, anyway, her problem with the relationship lies elsewhere. Fear of commitment, perhaps? Shadow grows quiet as he mulls over it.

On his first day of school, it becomes very obvious that young Jace is a genius.  "This is too easy," he grumbles as he does his homework with Farrell beside him, overseeing.

"We'll have to find more challenging things for you to work on," Farrell suggests.

Shadow holds his first book club meeting at the Happy Sunset cafe.

This group hardly needs a special time to talk about books, any time any of them meet the topic of what they're reading will come up. The 'club' is more an excuse for a family party, for Shadow to spend time with Aurora, Cassidy and Jesse now that they don't all live under the same roof and attend school together, and for Iola to stay close with her parents.

"Notice anything different?" Shadow asks Iola when they're geting ready for bed later.

Different?" she asks, "No...should I?"

"The tattoo?" he points it out.

"Oh," she says, "I guess that is new, now, isn't it."

Shadow chuckles a little, "Nothing is ever new, is it? Not for you. So, how many tattoos do I end up wit, when all is said and done?"

"I'm not telling," she answers with her own laugh.

When the Brannons first moved to this house, they brought five children with them, and these halls were always noisy with their voices and the sounds of their toys and games. Jace has it all to himself now, and plays quietly with his blocks, alone.

"Hey, buddy, it's time for bed," Delaney says, coming up from her workout.

"Okay," Jace says, standing up to go to his room.

"Wait up," Delaney stops home, "You know I'm going on a little trip tomorrow, right? I'll be gone for a few days. But your Dad will be around to take care of you. He'll take you to the Summer Festival."

"Uncle Farrell will be here, too, right?" Jace asks.

"Of course he will."


"You'll be okay, I won't be gone long," Delaney assures him, giving him a hug.

Jace takes the hug, but doesn't need the assurance. He's already planning the fun adventures he'll have with his uncle Farrell.


Shadow has already maxed the alchemy skill and reached level 10 of the career. He's currently working on learning all the recipes, and getting the ingredients to make them. Also, he's got the Renaissance Sim LTW, so he's working on charisma and fishing as the 2nd and 3rd skills.
I don't have him and Iola in the shop everyday. I wish it were more exciting, but most days no one comes in but the cashier. I did set up a desk and laptop for Iola there when she doesn't have anyone to give readings to. She came into the house with LTW to max writing and painting. I usually change that for spouses who don't have the writing career, because having them just practice writing while being unable to actually finish a novel makes me sad. But, eh, this time I'm keeping it. Maybe she'll get an opportunity that will allow her to write a book. Like Rex Enmity from my Enmity legacy, she'll be a frustrated novelist most of her life.

I don't currently have a salon in the town, but I did put a a tattoo chair in the warehouse where Jack and Ian live. Although I could just use MC to get tattoos for Shadow or Delaney, I made them actually get them from Jack. I didn't show Delaney's tattooing in the story, but she got one.

I've been rolling random traits for Jace, he got Lucky and Light Sleeper as a baby, and then picked up genius as a child. And since he really did spend a lot of his toddler time with Farrell, well, it's obvious where he gets it. Farrell has not much else to do, actually. His 'career' as an inventor stalled out ages ago, I only send him to make stuff when he rolls a wish, and that doesn't happen often. He did get a wish to make 5 toys when Jace turned toddler, and he did make those toys, but didn't sell them. They all went to Jace. Farrell had the same LTW as his son, and he maxed Logic, Inventing and Handiness ages ago. So he's really really retired now.


  1. There are some hilarious facial expressions here, but I'm already in a very giggly mood so nobody else may find them funny.

    I'm glad Ian can't really mention anything to Jack. I hadn't thought of the whole Jack beating him to a pulp thing, and Jack is substantially larger than Ian, so would clearly win. I'm a little worried about Delaney going to Bridgeport. I hope she doesn't get into too much trouble.

    Jaybird Crane? Lol wut? Did you make that up? I laughed so hard.

    I love how Farrell is Jace's favorite person. He probably is one of the best role models at the moment, though his parents are really the only bad ones, everyone else is pretty busy, so it's nice that he has the time.

    You mentioned that there were 5 kids when they moved, and it made me feel sorry for Jace. (I also had to rack my brain to remember the 5th, sorry Kyle!) You need to hurry up and get him a playmate ;)

    I've already rambled enough, but Shadow looks so tiny next to Jack! Bless him, he's got a huge heart though :)

    1. The 'city' isn't actually Bridgeport. I've been using a CC world called Meadow Glen for scenes shot in 'the city' and I guess I better come up with a name for it, lol.
      Ian would certainly be putting himself at considerable risk if he actually confessed to Jack. Jack would not take it well at all, and he is all big and muscly thanks to his visits to the gym.
      Yes, I did make up Jaybird Crane. The Cranes are one of the original families I moved into the town. The older kids I named Jasper and Juniper, and then I added a toddler, decided to call him Jaybird, realized how silly it sounded, shrugged and figured, what the hell, some parents give their kids stupid names and left it.
      Farrell has had nothing but time for Jace, and is the one that taught him to talk. They have the closest relationship as well.
      I want to get Shadow and Iola on the babymaking, but I'm waiting for one to roll a wish for it first. Shadow has the Family Oriented trait, so I was hoping he'd get a wish by now...if not soon, I'm going for it. At least Farrell and Aouregan have wishes for grandkids, so someone will be fulfilled, lol.

      Everybody looks tiny next to Jack, lol. He isn't Jack the Giant Killer, he's Jack the Killer Giant.

  2. Haha at Jace figuring out that Jack always throws scissors. That was fantastic father son time. I loled
    If Ian were to get slapped again, I'm not too sure but I'd think he still deserved it. He knows no boundaries, that's for sure.
    Can't wait to see what the boss wants with Delaney.

    1. It must be tough when your kid is smarter than you. But Jack is pretty cool about it, and Jace always has Farrell for the more intellectual bonding.
      If Ian isn't careful, he might get more than slapped. Delaney i right, Jack would do more than slap him if he knew.
      What the boss wants with Delaney will be coming up soon. =D

  3. Fun chapter! It'll be interesting to see what Cole wants.

    Jace's room looks good! I'm guessing he's not the heir, since he was born so early, but I like that he's playing a big role in the story.

    1. Thanks, Becky!
      Jace is definitely not the heir, being the first of five. But he does have his place in the story.

  4. I'm quite interested in figuring out what Cole wants. He certainly knows more than he lets on, even more than Delaney knows and I am guessing that his use for her extends beyond her thieving abilities. She is the cousin of a descendant of "The Lady" as well as Farrell's own lineage.

    1. Cole definitely knows more than Delaney. And I'll say this much, his interest has more to do with the Brannnon lineage itself than anything from Aouregan's family.

  5. I think it'll be interesting to see what Delaney gets up to in the city with Cole. He seems to know more than he's letting on and I just hope whatever goes down doesn't get her into too much extra trouble.

    I almost want Ian to tell Jack anyway because I really wanna see the fight : ) I can help you find poses if you'd like.

    1. Delaney's city adventure should be fun and possibly life threatening, lol.

      I have got a nice collection of fight poses; Aeon's, Psycho's, Splad's Beat Down poses, Artist Kate...MyPalSim did some SimFu poses recently, too, though I wouldn't use those for Jack. But, if you know of more, I'm always happy for more ways to take pictures of Sim beating the shit out of each other.
      I also could use more bruises and black eyes. I got some from TSR, but again, more = better. I'd love a trickle of blood from the mouth or nose, actually.

    2. And Zhippidy's fight poses! I almost forgot, but she's got some great ones, too.

  6. This chapter was wonderful. I love little Jace. And Jack was so cute when he was interacting with his son. I also enjoyed seeing Jack and Shadow together. I hope that even if Jack and Delaney have a falling out (although I hope not) he'll still be a part of the story.

    I'm also interested to see what the boss is up to. Considering how detailed you plotlines get it must be something important. Hmmm... I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

    1. Thanks, Tsuki! After your comment last chapter, I knew you'd be happy to see more of Jace.
      Don't worry, Jack is very much a part of this story, no matter what happens. He's Jace's Dad and he wouldn't just abandon him even if something happened between him and Delaney.
      I do have some detailed and convoluted plans for Delaney's trip to visit the boss.

  7. Quick thinking on Laney's part! Maybe that will hold Ian back from telling Jack---for a little while anyway! lol

    I hope everything goes okay for Laney while she'd dealing with Cole. Jack may be blinded by love, Ian cowed by the idea of getting beaten to death by Jack, but I doubt that Cole will be as easy to manage! lol :P She'd better be careful---

    I really like the interaction between Farrell and Jace. That is too cute! I'm glad that Jace has a nice steady influence on him. It was funny how Jace ended up with the Genius trait too! Farrell is going to make an excellent grandparent! :D

    1. Yeah, for awhile. Ian has a chronic case of Jerkass, though, so in the end self-preservation instinct may fail him.
      You are very right, Delaney's not going to get Cole wrapped around her fingers like she has Jack.
      I love the way Farrell's relationship with Jace has developed too. I didn't plan that, he just was the most available to take care of him, so they are close. And thenJace rols Genius as a trait, which kind of sealed their bond, for me.
      Farrell will be a fun grandparent. He's looking forward to it.

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  9. Who do you think Jace looks more like? I definitely see Delaney in him, but sometimes Jack too.

    Ah, Delaney, fast becoming my favorite bad girl. A few days off with King Cole ought to be interesting....she loves Jack, I know, but, Trouble is her middle name and I'm wondering who brings it first, her or the boss.

    1. ugh, sorry for the double post. Blogger is being a b1tch. Or maybe I'm up too late, lol.

    2. I've peeked at Jace asa YA in CAS, and he definitely has Delaney's nose and facial structure. The mouth is all Jack. And the eyes, too, though the brown comes from Jack's mother. Jesse, Jack's brother, has brown eyes as well.

  10. Phew, I go AWOL for a couple of weeks and I have loads of updates to return to! It was fun catching up. :)

    Jace is a very cute kid, and Jack seems to be a pretty good father with him which is nice to see. I also really like the friendship between Jack and Shadow.

    Iola is so beautiful as a YA and the scene where they're discussing Shadow's tattoo was really sweet. I love them together. <3

  11. Hi, Elly, Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed catching up!
    Jace is growing up very cute. Jack has his faults, but he does try to be a good dad. I've been enjoying Jack and Shadow's friendship, too.
    Iola did turn out very well. I'm really looking forward to seeing her and Shadow having kids.

  12. I love Jace! And I love his relationship with his father & his uncle, but it does make me feel even more sorry for Jack, that Jace worships Farrell like that. And of course, all this nonsense with Delaney... poor Jack!

    1. Thanks!
      It s sad for Jack that his son looks up to Farrell more than him, and that he's only in the house as a visitor, even if it's a frequent visitor.

  13. I'm glad Jace has Farrell to look up to. I hope his relationship with Jack doesn't suffer. It's difficult, when you're more intelligent than your parents. I hope there doesn't end up being resentment on either side.

    1. Jace is especially fond of Farrell, but he has a very loving family around him to provide him with lots of different examples, so I'm hoping he'll turn out okay.

  14. Aw, Jace grew up cute. I love his relationship with Farrell. I feel really bad for Jack, though. I know it's part of the roll, but Delaney hasn't been very fair to him, especially since he's been so good to her. Between this and the possibility of him finding out what happened between Ian and Delaney, he might snap...

    Love Shadow's new tattoo! It's very....him.

    1. You are right, Delaney hasn't been fair to Jack at all, and he's the one suffering most from the roll I got.

      Ah, that reminds me, Shadow is about due for another tattoo.

  15. Lol. Sometimes it's good to just have only one kid and lots of time. :)