Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chapter 10: Angela Combs The Tide

Sat, October 17, 2074 6:02 pm: Caliente Manor-- Middlebourne, Pleasantview


"You wicked," Siren laughed. "How could you say such things about your poor son?" Angela held back a smile of her own, trying to maintain her annoyance with Enoch. But she so loved to see Siren laugh. In Angela's opinion, Siren was far and away the most beautiful woman in Pleasantview. The bright-eyed, sheepish grin that accompanied her laughter only served to make her beauty more angelic and pronounced.


"Because he's mine, that's how. Sniveling, maladjusted little brat," Angela said. "I caught him slinking into the house late last night, absolutely reeking of pot. When I asked him where he'd been, he told me where to shove it and then promptly vomited all over my kitchen floor!" Siren doubled over in hysterics. If it had been her Laurie, she wouldn't have found the situation nearly so amusing. There was a gentle knock at the parlor door.

"Enter," Siren choked, brushing tears from the corners of her eyes.


Siren's new maid, Crystal or something, scurried into the room. She was a six-foot Amazon of a woman who nonetheless shifted nervously in and out of shadows, twiddling her fingers at her sides and biting her lower lip.

"Pardon me, but there is a young man here to see Master Lawrence," she said.


Siren cleared her throat before she spoke, battling against a fit of the giggles.

"Is Laurie expecting company?"


"He is, I think," the maid replied. Siren sobered.

"You think or you know?" With this, the maid became visibly more agitated. She wrung her hands forcefully. Angela imagined the girl fifty years hence, her hands thin and brittle from the squeezing alone, every surface a varicose vein, every vein a putrid shade of indigo.

"I know, I think," Crystal or whatever said. Siren rolled her eyes.


"Well don't just stand there looking stupid, send the gentleman to the parlor and run along to inform Laurie."

"Of course, Madam. Sorry." The maid left as quickly as her elk-like legs could carry her. The door closed with a firm but cautious click and Angela opened her mouth to speak.


"Where on Earth did you find that one," Angela asked.


"Oh, I didn't hire her. Troy did. More for her T and A than her credentials, evidently. But I've decided to grant him that after ten years of looking at my dear, sweet Lucy," Siren sighed. "I hired Lucy in part for her looks, you know. I had to ensure that the maid was so unappealing that Troy wouldn't give her a second glance. The fact that she was bringing her daughter to live here was another good deterrent. The last thing I needed was for one of my kids to walk in on Troy diddling the help."


Angela twitched. It was difficult for her to speak with Siren about Troy as a husband. Siren had no idea how close Angela had come to marrying Troy and even less of an idea about how much she still regretted not marrying Troy. Angela shook her head.

"I don't know how you cope." Siren shrugged.


"We have an understanding. Besides, I knew very well what Troy was when I married him. I knew exactly what his faults were-- Which ones I could improve upon and which ones I couldn't. His irresistible attraction to anything in stilettos just happened to be one that I couldn't."

Angela looked away towards the door. She knew what Troy was too. In fact, Angela might have ventured to say that she knew what Troy was better than Siren did. Twenty years ago, it had been her most compelling argument against marrying him. There was another knock at the door. It startled Angela out of her thoughts.

"You may come in," Siren called out. According to the dictates of politeness, Siren ought to have stood and answered the door. But Siren had always been a little rough around the edges.


The timid young man that entered the room seemed somehow very familiar to Angela. She looked him up and down while he gazed back at her like the proverbial deer in the headlights. His broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted torso was oddly disproportionate to his short and spindly legs. It was as though different areas of his body were developing at different rates. Angela also noted his hands, which were long and delicate like Laurie's. But it wasn't until she stared into his mournful little eyes that she knew why he seemed so familiar.

"Good evening ladies, I'm--"


"I know exactly who you are," Angela said, cutting the boy off. "You're Jorge LeCroix's little boy. The eyes, they're positively unmistakable. Wouldn't you agree Siren?" Angela turned to Siren who bowed her golden head in agreement. Angela extended her hand to the young man.


"Angela Taylor Pleasant-Goth," she said. The young man took her hand and shook it. They were across purposes. Angela had lent him her hand so that he might help her up.

"Macaulay Augustine LeCroix," the boy said in a rush. Angela stood unaided, giggling girlishly.


"Oh no dear boy, that is not the way that I greet fine young gentlemen." Before Macaulay had time to ponder how he should have greeted her, Angela wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him into a crushing hug. Afterwards, Macaulay turned towards his hostess.


"I'm Siren Chloe Caliente and you may shake my hand," she said. The boy smiled broadly and did as he was told.

"It's a pleasure to meet you," Macaulay said. Angela linked arms with the alarmed little boy, prodding him towards her chair. Macaulay's footing faltered beneath him to the point where Angela was almost dragging him. Siren hid her face behind her hand, rather poorly disguising her mirth.


"Now, why don't you have a seat next to me so that I might take a look at you," Angela said, tugging Macaulay down onto the chair. "It's been years since I last saw your father."


"You know my father, Mrs. Goth?" Judging by his expression, the prospect did not seem to appeal to him. Angela was unsure why. She remembered Jorge as being the strong but silent type that girls absolutely melted for, with skin the color of rosewood and silvery blue eyes like sea foam. Angela combed the tide of Macaulay's stare, hoping to find remnants of the brooding intellectual that she'd often fantasized about as a girl.


"Not terribly well I'm afraid but we did attend school together," she said. "Lovely man. There were broken hearts for miles when he married, weren't there Siren?"


"Laurie should be down to see you any minute now. Provided, of course, that the maid does not get lost on the way to his room," Siren said. Angela soured but only a little. She saw no need to change the subject.


"And of course your sister is married to my nephew," Angela continued.

"Oh. Phoenix is your nephew?"


"Yes, by marriage. Small world, isn't it? He's also my brother-in-law's half-brother but it has always made more sense for me to think of him as my nephew." No sooner had those words left her mouth than the door swung open wide. The knob collided noisily with the wall, causing all three of them to jump. Laurie strutted into the room, grinning.


"Mom, Angela, Cully," he said.


"Where are your manners, boy," Angela huffed. Even Enoch could have done better than that. Between Laurie and his mother, that parlor was becoming a complete bedlam of impoliteness. What must the LeCroix boy think of them?

"Good afternoon," Macaulay ventured. He beamed brightly at Laurie, who, though still smiling, seemed to be purposely avoiding Macaulay's gaze.


"Good afternoon, Cully." Laurie shook Macaulay's hand but peered somewhere near his shoulder. He then nodded in Angela's direction. "And I apologize for my previous rudeness, Angela," he chuckled. Angela did not think that it was a laughing matter. Laurie bent down and kissed her on the cheek.


Siren looked on. Angela wondered what she could see from her vantage point that was making her smile so. Laurie patted Macaulay on the arm.

"Come on, Cully. I'm sure that these ladies would like to get back to sharing their slanderous gossip," Laurie said. Siren turned to Angela in mock disbelief.

"You feed them well, change their filthy diapers, wipe their snotty noses and how are your efforts repaid," Siren said. Macaulay stood.

"It was very nice meeting the two of you." Angela smiled benevolently at him.

"And you likewise, dear," Angela said. Siren turned to Macaulay.

"Absolutely. You are welcome here anytime you like."

"Thank you."


"Can you stay for dinner," Laurie asked.

"No, I'm afraid not. My dad and I always eat together on Saturdays..." Angela stopped listening to their conversation. There was something very unusual about Laurie's body language. If she hadn't known him from birth, she might not have noticed.


But Laurie, who was ordinarily slouched and lumbering was currently standing perfectly upright. He also seemed a bit more energetic, making broad hand gestures like an over-inflated politician.


And the touching! He was trying to be casual about it. Here and there, an accidental brush against Macaulay's hand or sleeve. A pat on the arm for emphasis. Laurie was not the sort of person who absently touched other people. But Angela would never dare say anything to Siren.



  1. Incidentally, the maid's name is Elmira-

    Where Angela got "Crystal" we may never know.

  2. This post was cute! And I do like how Angela has aged.

    And perhaps she got Crystal because it's crystal clear that the maid was incompetent? :P At least, in their opinions, maybe.

  3. hehehe

    Well, you have to imagine, there are a few of things going on here. First of all, this is Elmira's first gig as a live-in maid. She's quite young and extremely nervous by nature. Her slip ups are usually a lot more grave than this and Siren's patience is starting to run out.
    Secondly, let's face it, Siren is a little jealous of Elmira's 25-year-old, tall, curvy, never-had-a-baby body. As a result, she anticipates any sign of weakness or incompetence from Elmira.

  4. OOOOHHH, another sim blog for me to obsess over. I love love love your sim names (Siren, Arnaud, Dina... squeee!), and the catty dialogue is too funny.
    It took me a minute to catch up with all your chapters, but you've got a regular out of me.

  5. Glad you're enjoying it! Hopefully, I'll have chapter 11 up for you later tonight.

  6. One of these days, I'll take a picture of the wants and fears that Laurie rolls. They're always all to do with Cully. And Laurie isn't even a romance sim. He's a knowledge sim like his daddy.

  7. That was fun - I liked meeting Angela and Siren - and Laurie is so cute - I'm hoping your next chapters include one with Laurie's POV - would love to spy inside his mind :-)

    Your characters (the kids) remind me of G.R. Martin's - they're mature beyond their years!

    For the higher classes, how old are they usually when they get married? In their teens?

  8. Laurie has the goofiest POV of anyone! He is funny, though. I just want to give him a hug.

    Ugh, I know! Some of them would seem to me to be age appropriate (Laurie and Enoch for example, who are both 15). But others not so much (Cully, Vince, certainly the Caliente twins). Then there are the adults that I think are a little immature for their ages (Ian, Angela and even to some extent, Troy). But such is life.

    Most of the members of the upper class marry between 17 and 25. After that, screw it. You're an old maid.

  9. I am finally getting some time to catch up with your story Penelope, but I have been so long away from it that I had to reread most of it so I could remember what is happening :).

    There were some seriously interesting dynamics going on here. Between Siren and Angela and then Angela and Macauly (what was the deal with that over-the-top hug... trying to get some memory of the father from the son I guess... but it was a little creepy). And then of course, Macauly and Laurie... looks like someone's in love :)

  10. Verity! *bunny dance*

    Haha, Angela is just one of those, "I haven't see you since you were this tall! Come over here and give me some sugar!" types of distant relatives and friends of the family that you only ever see at weddings and funerals when you're a kid. The ones that just leave you standing there like, "What the hell?!?" That kind. I doubt she ever hugged Jorge. After Jorge reached a certain age (about 14 or so) he lost all of his hugablilty.

    Now that I'm coming back to this chapter, I really have to wonder what was going on in Siren's brain. I know all of the still-pining-for-Troy thoughts that Angela was secretly having but Siren seemed to be thinking secretive things that she wasn't saying either. HMMMmmmm...

    Laurie and Cully only get cuter.

  11. So Angela would prefer to be married to a cheating Troy than to be married to Alex? Boy he must be dull. I remember Enoch mentioning his father only whinges. Poor Alex.

    And I certainly would like to know what Siren was thinking about here! Changing the subject when Angela starts talking about Jorge -- perhaps she sensed Cully's discomfort? You have to wonder who was truly being rude here, prissy manners aside.

    However, Siren has got to be completely unaware of all the little Cully/Laurie hints that Angela picked up on, otherwise she'd be freaking out. Maybe she's happy that Laurie has made a friend who isn't related to him by marriage.

    I feel sorry for her, though. She clearly adores Laurie, so it's going to be hard for her homophobic self to accept that he's gay. And in love with Cully! *waves the Laurie/Cully flag*

  12. That's a pretty good question, actually. (And has forced me to re-read the chapter. D'oh! There is so much that I wish I could redo stylistically here.) Siren changed the subject because she didn't want to bring Macaulay's poor mother into the conversation. It is fairly well known that Jorge LeCroix married a Townie woman. Her spectacular death still gives people chills. It just didn't seem like an appropriate topic to even touch on in front Macaulay.

    Angela and Alex don't particularly like one another very much. On the other hand, Angela has some very rose-colored memories of her brief and clandestine relationship with Troy. No other man had the affect on her that he did.

    When Siren's gaydar goes off where Laurie is concerned, she quickly files her suspcions in a little box labeled 'denail'. At this point, she probably has mixed feelings. Cully seems like a nice kid (and other than his niceness having its own merit, 'nice' is a wonderful departure from Enochness) and it is nice that Laurie has a nice friend. On some level, she probably notices the touching and the smiling and whatnot and on some level she may be uncomfortable with it. On a conscious level though, she might have some feelings about the fact that Cully and his father are total pariahs from Pleasantview society. Siren does not want to have these feelings and would never admit to them but the Tellermans/Calientes have worked long and hard to be accepted into the upper castes. Laurie fraternizing with Cully can only really have two outcomes--

    1. Laurie comes under negative scrutiny from the Dina Lotharios of the world.

    2. Cully is welcomed into the fold.

    Currently (that is, up to chapter 72), the second possibility would seem to be the one that is happening. Cully (and particularly his father) have not started to be invited to social gatherings or anything of that nature but Cully is present at Caliente Manor and occasionally Goth Manor on a casual basis. Everyone likes Laurie, which seems to be extending down to his shy new friend.

  13. Oh, I had forgotten all about Cully's mother! It's just that I'm so used to thinking the reason his family is so screwed up is because of his father, that I never remember the reason his father is like that in the first place is because of what happened to poor Kelly.

    Speaking of her, was her murder due to the prejudices against her class, or did it have something to do with Jorge's ancestry? I'm sure that will come up in the story, since it's all connected. *cue creepy music*

    Anyway, it's good to know Cully is being accepted. And hopefully Siren will still love her son, even if she won't exactly throw him and Cully an outing party.


    Sorry, Maruutsu! (Although, I am 100% certain that you would not be revisiting this now.) It is early/spoilery to talk too much about Kelly's murder at this point in the story. What happened to her was nothing personal against her. She was very much at the wrong place at the wrong time. As I am certain you know by now, (since as of the writing of this comment, we are 80 chapters in) immortal jackasses were involved.