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The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures, ch. 29

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The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures, ch. 29

  1. 1. Dear reader, welcome back to the Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures, to chapter 29! This update brings about a change for the Bookacies, since from now on, the Legacy will be published on Slideshare and Dreamwidth instead of the Exchange. I, like so many others, had enough of the constant uncertainty with the Exchange and decided to migrate. Besides, this new formate allows me to be even wordier – which can be a good thing, or then also not. The migration also partly explains the long gap between updates, as I wanted to convert my old chapters as well, and that took longer than I expected. All the same, let's get on with the story! Last time when we left off, the Bookacy generation C siblings and first cousins had just moved into the newly built Bookacy Greek House Greek House, and visited home for Christmas, in the middle of the summer as it was for their parents. What happened next, you ask?
  2. 2. Well, at least for Charlie, dating was what happened next. Well, when wasn't it? This time it was the turn of a cute dormie wearing a purple dress. She was quite nice, and didn't even seem to mind the old man who played chess until near bladder failure.
  3. 3. No, she didn't seem to mind in the slightest. In fact, she dropped by later and brought a new gaming system. This brought fun for all, since the Greek House didn't have one yet.
  4. 4. Ryker the placeholder, on the other hand, was having fun getting to know new sims. His romantically minded roommates introduced him to Chloe, one of the Custer siblings and second cousin to the current Bookacy siblings. They seemed to get along very well. ”Thanks, Ryker! That was a cute thing to say.” ”And it's true. You do have pretty eyes. And rumor has it you're a knowledge sim too, is that correct?” ”What, are you a knowledge sim too? That's so cool!”
  5. 5. Yes, they were getting along very well indeed. The romantically minded roommates chuckled happily.
  6. 6. Of course, the kids were also busy throwing parties. Especially toga parties, now that those were possible. The extended family were busy being attracted to inappropriate targets and taking note of popularity sims, and Cyrus, the eldest of the generation and the resident vampire, was busy popping out of his coffin to party and trying to get fried to death. Good times.
  7. 7. Slap dancing and watching the mascots fight are of course both essential ingredients of college parties. Most of the cousins that were invited over were trying to focus on the former, while the resident partyers were more interested in the latter.
  8. 8. This time, the cheerleader was victorious, and even the streaker popped by to do a naked victory dance for her. Chloe was somewhat shocked that this college had naked streakers, but her twin, Calista, was too busy noting that Chip was a romance sim (only in secondary aspiration, though) to notice. The kids of the house were excited and asked the streaker to join for the rest of the party, which she happily did.
  9. 9. Claire, one of the three resident romance sims in the Bookacy Greek House Greek House, had decided that Trevor Mace wasn't actually as boring as one would think, not when she'd gotten to know him better. In fact, she thought that he could actually turn out quite un-boring very soon.
  10. 10. ”Cyrus! Do you have to wake up just now?!” ”It's seven o'clock and dark, and I'm a vampire. Did you have to pick this one out of the, what, five double beds in the house?” ”Three!” ”Plus hot tub.” ”Cyrus!” ”Okay okay, I'm going! I'd rather not be present, thank you very much.”
  11. 11. With Cyrus out of the way, Claire and Trevor had a much more enjoyable time. The rest of the guests concentrated on partying, and also Claire and Trevor quietly joined them some time later. The party was a success, how else.
  12. 12. Life wasn't all about parties, though. Cho, for instance, took some time to work on flower arranging since there was a flower bench in the house. Who knew when she might need skill in that area.
  13. 13. For Charlie, life surely wasn't all about partying. It was mostly about dating.
  14. 14. One of the matchmakers was almost constantly over, as Charlie was working towards his lifetime want. Sunny had spread the word in the gypsy community, and whoever it was that came over, always knew to check on Cyrus as well. There hadn't been anything strange going on, but they all wanted to keep it that way.
  15. 15. Sometimes Charlie's matches were surprising to say the least. Those dates may have ended a little bit faster than the others, but it was all in good fun all the same.
  16. 16. ”So I hear that you're a romance sim?” Timothy Chalmers asked Cho one chilly afternoon when the two were fashionably hanging out on the sidewalk. ”Yeah, I am. You have something against that?” asked Cho back in a slightly teasing tone. ”No, no. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just curious. See, from what I understood, you're a Legacy heiress, too. How does that work out?” ”Yeah well I guess it isn't the most obvious of combinations”, Cho replied, smiling. ”But I'm sure it'll work out. So far it's been great, I've been able to, you know, do my thing despite being the heiress.” ”And what is 'your thing', exactly?” ”'All the love I can get'.” ”All the love you can get. And... does mine count?”
  17. 17. ”Yes, Timothy. Yours definitely counts.”
  18. 18. And perhaps there wasn't love in the air that day, but there was a definite something nevertheless.
  19. 19. Cho may not have been quite the serial dater that Charlie was, but she did do a lot of dating. Besides, with her lifetime want it was more the quality of dates that mattered than the quantity. Not all dates were spectacular from the beginning, of course.
  20. 20. But Cho was determined to have a good time, which alone was mostly enough to make her reach that goal eventually. After all, what life was all about in Cho's opinion, was exactly fun.
  21. 21. There was undeniably a charm in the young, confident lady who quite openly pursued 20 simultaneous loves. Even professors, be it hers or her fellow student's, were not immune to that infectious smile, as also Professor Sean Jaypalan got to experience.
  22. 22. Carl, on the other hand, wasn't dating a huge crowd of girls. So far, he was perfectly happy with Veronica. And well, Audrey. The three of them had a pretty good deal, he thought. One that included a lot of hot tub time.
  23. 23. ”Goodness, Carl! You're such a big baby, aren't you?” ”Only when my cousins aren't there to see it. Only for you, hon.”
  24. 24. Charlie was, in his typical way, always in for a new date. This time he'd asked out a girl the cousins used to share a dorm with, Sandy. She turned out to be a nice girl when the two of them headed for Bertrand's Botanical Dining for the night.
  25. 25. And her interests seemed to be similar to his as well. ”So what do you wanna do with your life, Charlie? I mean, what are you gonna do when you grow up?” ”You mean I should know that already?” Charlie asked, smiling? ”Not really. Just thought you might have plans, many have. They want to be Captain Heroes or Professional Party Guests or some such.” ”Well, for the moment I just want to enjoy life and have fun. Part of that is dating nice girls like you. I'm having a great time by the way, the bubbles are always a blast.” ”Yeah, me too.” ”So anyway, I don't plan on growing up before I've had my college share of fun, and the rest I'll think of when I grow up.” ”I think I like your life plan, Charlie Bookacy.”
  26. 26. Cyrus' life may not have been as exciting as that of his siblings and cousins, but with some caretaking from Creator, he wasn't a complete hermit either. He was well on the way to having a new best friend, Chris Jalowitz. ”... and this one time, we actually had a fire here in the Greek House, would you believe it?” ”A fire, really? How did that happen, did you set the cookies on fire or something?”
  27. 27. Cyrus laughed. ”No no, it wasn't me, I swear. In fact, it was a lightning that hit one of those lamps on our yard. I was pretty worried for a moment, but in about three seconds the rain put out the fire.” ”Well what an anticlimax that was.” ”Yeah I guess.”
  28. 28. ”You know, I was kind of expecting you to be the brave fireman who rescued three sims and a dog from the terrifying flames. You'd look good in that uniform.” ”Oh I don't know, I don't think I'd make a very good fireman. I'm kind of scared of fires and heights and stuff. This one time there was this kitten in a tree close to my folks' place and...”
  29. 29. ”Err... Not excactly what I was after here, Cyrus.” ”No? But surely I can't become a fireman if I'm afraid of heights.” ”Nevermind.”
  30. 30. It wasn't long until Nicholas made it into a full member of the Greek House. Cyrus had asked him to pledge, and he'd been writing quite enough term papers for a while, thank you very much. But well, as the cousins said, since he was always around anyway, they could as well have him do something useful. ”You know, just because you're in, it doesn't mean that you won't have to write term papers anymore”, said Cissy casually while getting off the chessboard, ”It's just not how it works in this house.” ”You have experience on that?” asked Nicholas. ”Not really, no. But that's why we have our own Greek House with the second cousins – that way we are the ones who get to boss around.” ”Not a bad plan of action, I guess.”
  31. 31. As the evening went on, Cho noted that she should celebrate with Nicholas his acceptance to the Greek House. Nicholas had no objections.
  32. 32. No, no objections whatsoever.
  33. 33. Not that they were the only couple under the Greek House roof. By no means. ”Bleh! Would you two move over please? I've got plates to collect. I think the hot tub's free if you want to go.” ”Just came from there, cousin.” ”Need to know, Carl. Need to know.”
  34. 34. Sometimes, however, there was time simply to play poker, and forget about all that romancey stuff for a while. The poker table was a constant attraction to both the residents and the visitors, who were numerous.
  35. 35. There was also time to upset Count Pao. He only stopped by to yell to the residents from the newly built gate (safety first, had Marylena said when she sent some money for the purpose of expanding the security system of the house with a fence), and then ran away in order not to get fried. Whatever was he upset by?
  36. 36. Well, I'm guessing Carl here might have an idea, possibly.
  37. 37. But after all these leisurely activities, it was time to get back to the serious business. This time for Claire. ”Hey, Trevor, good to see you. I know I just asked you to hang out, but you know... What'd you say about an actual date?”
  38. 38. Trevor's answer was an enthusiastic yes. The couple may have never made it inside as they planned to...
  39. 39. … but that didn't really bother either of them.
  40. 40. Back at home Charlie was also busy with similar activities. He was determinedly working for those 50 first dates, and already had a rather respectable number for a college kid. The matchmaker's aim wasn't always very good, but at least no one had got badly hurt so far. Marie Mazza was lucky, as she only got slightly tangled in the matchmaker's skirt, and not for example stuck in a fence or anything. Well, maybe slightly stuck in the wall, too.
  41. 41. But, thanks to Charlie's irresistable charms, the date was actually quite successfull. The alarm system (state of the art) only went slightly crazy at the nightly surprise visitor who swore she only wanted to bring her date a plant. Charlie got mumbled at for days afterward.
  42. 42. Of course, not all of your 50 first dates can be as lucky, even if you're the forever charming Charlie Bookacy. ”Err, hi Sandy was it, right? Umm aren't you like my aunt or something?” ”Well technically we aren't related but yeah, I'm dating your 'uncle Bill', as I think Cho calls him. He's really your first cousin once removed, but I guess 'uncle' fits him.” ”Yeah... Umm... Would you mind if we called it quits for the date? It's a little awkward you know. You can stay for some pinball or poker if you like, though.” ”Bill is a romance sim, I bet he wouldn't mind!” Sandy said, winking. ”...” She laughed. ”Nah, just kidding, kid, sure I don't mind. I think I'll use the pinball option, wanna join me?”
  43. 43. But how about our placeholder, Ryker? Well, he didn't have to feel left out either, as his fresh romance with Chloe Custer was blossoming beautifully. He followed the previous placeholder's, Laura Carlson's, example, and got involved with a member of the Custer family.
  44. 44. Ryker and Chloe were happy to give the jacuzzi the workout it deserved. Not that it wasn't getting enough excercise otherwise.
  45. 45. Cho, for her part, had met a new professor, Eric Dallas, in class. He seemed a nice young fellow, who didn't mind getting to know his students, so Cho invited him over to the Greek House one day. It was a nice day, so they spent some time outside, along with the usual suspects of the Greek House.
  46. 46. Perhaps it was a little bit questionable from a professional point of view, but Prof. Eric couldn't deny that he found Cho quite attractive.
  47. 47. Cho did not object to working on her grades some, in a fairly effortless and pleasant way. Meanwhile, Claire was having a chat with Tara Bertino, who was in friendly terms with sims around the Greek House, and interested in meeting the rest of the Bookacy clan. Especially certain twin girls she'd heard were distantly related to the Greek House members.
  48. 48. Charlie's endless parade of girls went on, this time with a young lady named Angel. The combination of the name and the hairdo earned a raised eyebrow, but she explained she'd always been ”a bit of a rebel”. The actual date was pretty much the same old, same old for Charlie. After all, he'd been doing a lot of dating ever since teenage, so no wonder it got a little repetitive at this point.
  49. 49. But after the date, when Angel stayed just to hang around, the two of them found out that they in fact had a lot in common. ”You know that little mohawk of yours is kinda cute.” ”I thought you didn't like bad girls, Charlie.” ”Well, if you're 'a bad girl', then I think I just might. Wait, did I just catch myself being cheesy?” ”Maybe just a little.”
  50. 50. Nevertheless, soon Charlie and Angel found out that they did like each other. A lot.
  51. 51. ”Toga party time, C?” Yep, Cho dear, toga party time. This is, after all, a Greek House. ”Not just any Greek House. The Bookacy Greek House Greek House.” Well, that. Now chop chop, go on and have some fun!
  52. 52. The party again included many usual suspects, like the Custer siblings. Calista seemed to prefer pajamas over an actual toga. ”Well, if the choice is between pajamas and the sheets, I know which ones are meant for wearing, thanks.”
  53. 53. Carla, another second cousin, was also attending the party wearing similar fashion. Much girly activities, such as jokes, tickling and gossipping were involved.
  54. 54. Plenty of social activities took place throughout the the evening. Some of them friendly, some of them more than.
  55. 55. Especially Cho seemed to have socialized quite a bit, since it was that evening that she achieved the respectable status of big sim on campus. She was quite proud – yet another sign that she was doing quite successfully as the heiress. She was where she belonged.
  56. 56. At some point the guests started to avoid the kitchen, perhaps out of politeness. Charlie and Angel did enjoy their smooching peace.
  57. 57. As the kitchen was taken, the natural place to go was the upstairs poker table. The four fastest made it, and the rest hung around in the hopes of someone needing to go to the bathroom.
  58. 58. The upstairs lounge may have had the poker table, but the living room downstairs had the guitar, and Carl made it first. ”My turn, bleh!” ”Trying to scare me away from the guitar? Not going to work, cousin.” ”Well, worth a try.”
  59. 59. Chris didn't seem to mind that Cyrus didn't make it to the guitar. ”Hey, Cyrus. You look pretty nice in those toga party pajamas.” ”Heh, well it's a toga party alright, so I thought I might actually wear the pajamas. They are pretty comfy too.” ”I guess so. Pretty interesting class we had the other day, huh?” ”The one about inflation?” ”Yeah, that one. You know, I'm not quite sure if I understood what the professor was saying on the second half, so I was wondering if you'd help me with my assingnment, like, maybe some evening when there's not a party?” ”Yeah, sure I can try. I'm not sure if I understood it that well myself, that stuff sounded pretty complicated, but...”
  60. 60. A small distance away, Cho and Chip bumped into each other. ”Chip! Hi, good to see you! So you changed out of the togas already, too?” ”Hey, cousin! Yeah, the toga was getting pretty sweaty from all the dancing, so I took the liberty of using your shower and changing something clean on.” ”Yeah, pretty much same story here. So, how's my favorite alien cousin doing?” ”Well, my favorite heiress, your favorite, and only, alien cousin is doing just fantastic.” ”Cissy's as much of an alien as you are. Not that I wouldn't like her, everybody does. But still, what's up?”
  61. 61. ”Well, the usual really, we've been studying pretty hard. You know, knowledge sims and all.” ”'We?' You mean you and Sunny? So you're still seeing her? How are things with you two?” ”Hey hey, one question at a time okay?” Chip laughed. ”I know you're curious about the latest gossip, but I still only have one mouth. Plus you know men are said not to manage multitasking.” ”Okay okay. So you two are still together?”
  62. 62. ”Sure we are. And yeah we're doing great. Sunny is fun to be with, and we have a lot in common.” ”Yeah, like wanting to bury your noses in a book.” ”Hey you know us, Cho, neither of us is that type of knowledge sim! We know how to have fun too.” ”Aww, is poor little Chip getting teased by big bad cousin Cho? You're so cute when you're being sensitive. And so... cute and... head over heals in love. When are you going to propose?” ”Erm... Propose? I'm not really sure if...” ”Come on Chip, you're totally that kind of guy! Romance is just your secondary anyway!”
  63. 63. ”Well... Yeah... I guess we'll see about that.” ”We surely will”, replied Cho, smiling. ”So, what else is up?” ”Well, nothing much. Just enjoying life's simple pleasures and such.” ”What kind of pleasures?” ”Well, like, I don't know, jumping in rain puddles or something.” ”That's a dangerous sport, cousin.” ”Don't worry. I only do it after the rain.” ”Okay, then I approve. How's Cissy doing?”
  64. 64. ”Oh, just great as usual. You know Cissy, she's always socializing, making friends with everyone.” ”Yeah, Cissy likes everyone and everyone likes Cissy. Is she seeing anyone in particular?” ”First things first, huh, Cho?” ”Well of course, I'm always in for some juicy gossip!”
  65. 65. ”Well, as a matter of fact she is. You know this guy Erik Swain?” ”Yeah, I think I might have met him.” ”Well, him.” ”Is he nice?” ”Absolutely. Big brother approves. You know if she'd started seeing someone unacceptable, I might have needed to intervene...” Chip started. ”... as if that ever works”, said Cho with a lopsided grin. ”But I would have, that's my responsibility! Anyway, with Erik there's no need. If you think me and Sunny are all cute and mushy and that, well, you ain't seen nothing yet!”
  66. 66. ”Okay okay, I admit you're not the single mushiest couple in the world! How are Clarissa and Clyde, you're still living with them, right?” ”Yeah, we are. They moved out of the dorm with us when we figured we have enough money if we put it all together. It was actually Clarissa's idea to found the spare Greek House, so she made the phone call.” ”Oh yeah, you told me about that one. How's that working out?” ”Well, just fine I guess, toga parties should be fun, and the pizza is good. Oh, now that I remember, welcome to the opening toga party next week! Tell everyone you see, the doors are open, okay?” ”Okay, thanks. Sounds like fun, I'll tell the others. Clarissa was seeing this guy Glen something, right?”
  67. 67. ”Yeah, I guess you could call it that. They're together on a fairly regular basis, and most often joined at the lip.” ”So they aren't, sort of, officially together then?”
  68. 68. ”Not really. Glen's a bit of a charmer, I guess you should know the type”, said Chip, giving Cho a wink. ”What does Clarissa think of that?” ”I don't think she minds too much. She's pleasure herself, I think she's keeping her options open as well.” ”Well, at least someone is being reasonable! How about Clyde? I think I saw him the other day in the library, but I don't think he noticed me.”
  69. 69. ”Well, he isn't really seeing anyone at the moment, if that's what you mean.” ”No? Why not? Doesn't he want to? I'd imagine there wouldn't be a problem with girls not liking him or anything.” ”Well, I have a hunch that the problem might be, well, me, sort of”, said Chip, slightly embarassed. ”You? Why do you say that?” asked Cho, confused. ”Well, you see, it's a little bit tough to live with a cousin who has a similar aspiration and a secondary romance. Basically...” ”Ah, I see. Every girl he's attracted to...” ”... is even more attracted to me, yeah. I've tried to tell him that if he wants to make a move on someone, I surely will stay out of the way, but he hasn't seemed to want to.”
  70. 70. ”He did meet this girl once, though. This pretty brunette, I quite approved of her as well. That was when he was playing some pool with us on campus. I think they liked each other pretty well, actually.” ”'Liked', as in past tense? What happened?” ”I don't really know, Cho. It's got something to do with C. Clyde was just getting all good and romancey with this girl, when C told him 'NO' and told us all to go home.” ”Oh man, why'd she have to veto it like that? C's such a spoilsport sometimes. I wonder what was wrong with that girl, why she didn't approve.” ”I've got no idea, but anyway, when she says we gotta go, then we gotta go.”
  71. 71. ”Was Clyde upset?” ”Maybe a little. Well, I know I would be. But he's doing okay I think, having fun at parties and such. At least he's not, you know, sitting inside moping or anything.” ”Good. Tell me hi from me when you see him. I guess we'll meet next week at the latest anyway.” ”I will.”
  72. 72. ”Anyway, let's not just stand here all evening and be boring”, said Chip with a smile. ”How about a good, oldfashioned pillow fight?” ”One pillow fight coming right up! Anyone else care to join?” And so the party took a pillow fight oriented turn for the rest of the evening.
  73. 73. Meanwhile, in Alphabetia proper. ”Now let's try again. Please concentrate very carefully, mr. Chamcha. Your last try was rather impressive already, but with a little more of conscentration and effort you should be able to do even better”, said miss Lauren. Salahuddin Chamcha did not reply, he merely pointed his wand with a look of concentration on his face.
  74. 74. ”Nice and steady, there's the trick. Concentrate on the shape, think of the feeling and smell, not merely the sight”, miss Lauren instructed. Salahuddin waved the wand one more time and pointed it sharply. There was no sound, but the light in the room increased for a moment. Something seemed to be forming in front of them.
  75. 75. And indeed, something was forming in front of them. A wooden dining chair had just appeared from thin air, and was now glowing weakly before settling there just as if it had always stood on the floor in Salahuddin's lair. ”Excellent, mr. Chamcha!” exclaimed miss Lauren. ”That's what I call a perfect performance!” Salahuddin smiled, still looking at the chair that had just appeared out of thin air. He hadn't had any idea of all the powers he could possess. He was very pleased. And so was miss Lauren. ”You're progressing very well, mr. Chamcha, very well indeed. Bringing objects to existence is much, much harder than the summoning we practiced last week, as you could probably tell. Naturally, the larger and more complex the object, the harder work it is to create it with willpower. Now I'd suggest that you take a rest, this would be quite tiring for any witch or wizard. We'll continue with the theory and practice tomorrow, the same time.”
  76. 76. In the Bookacy Greek House Greek House, the semester had just ended. Finally there was some time to just relax and do fun things, such as play video games. Charlie took a little break to do just that. Not that he didn't enjoy what he usually did, to the contrary, but change is always change.
  77. 77. Around the end of semester also winter arrived. Snow was also a welcome change, and especially Claire enjoyed it. She'd always enjoyed the small pleasures of life, and when the chance came, she happily took up playing in the snow. In the greek house no one was ever too old for snow.
  78. 78. It was also a perfectly good time to recruit new members from bypassers. The vict... ahem, lucky fellow, this time around was named Adrian Custer. Ryker did his placeholder duty by inviting Adrian in, and he gladly accepted the invitation.
  79. 79. Meanwhile, Cho was spending her winter day in a way that she felt was most meaningful. The hot water felt like a rather nice contrast against the chill of the air, and Nicholas' company of course made everything at least twice as good.
  80. 80. Charlie preferred inside activities for the moment. After video games it was time for a guitar session. College life was good.
  81. 81. Of course, at some point Charlie needed to gather himself and go outside for some more serious business. ”Hello, Charlie. Sunny couldn't make it today, she's gone for the ingredient hunt. Everything still peaceful here?” ”Hello, Genesis, good to see you. Yeah, everything seems to be fine. Cyrus is in his coffin as usual and doesn't seem to act any stranger than usual.” ”Good to hear that. Sunny is always so worried. The ingredients are even harder to find than she imagined. But, it must be a date that you'd like to have?” ”Yeah. A date or two would be nice. Thanks.”
  82. 82. ”Charlie, I'd like you to meet Arcadia. She works as a repair person in Alphabetia and was very eager to meet someone new.” Charlie went to politely greet Arcadia and to get to know her a bit better, while Arcadia was trying to figure out where she was and how she got there. But who was it that Claire was chatting to in the background?
  83. 83. That appeared to be Glen, Glen Fuchs, who happened to be passing by, as so many others these days, and Claire happened to see him while on the yard. ”So you must be Claire then?” ”Yep, the one and only. How'd you know that?” ”Well Clarissa has talked about her cousins sometimes, so I guessed based on her descriptions.” ”You know Clarissa?” ”Yeah, sure. Actually, we're kind of seeing each other on a semi-regular basis.” ”Ah you're her boyfriend then. I think Cho said Clarissa had one but I didn't know what you looked like.” ”Well I guess it depends on the point of view but neither me or Clarissa really define us as 'together', not at this point anyway.”
  84. 84. ”Oh okay then. First things first, cleared out of the way I guess”, said Claire with a smile. ”So, what do you wanna do, hang out here on the sidewalk, or maybe come inside?” ”Hey guys”, said Ryker, who the other two only now noticed approaching them, ”Someone play with me please? I've been studying the whole day and that's just noooo fun”, he grinned. Actually Ryker quite liked studying. But the fun and games that usually resulted with the cousins were fun too.
  85. 85. Luckily, Ryker didn't have to wait for long, as his girlfriend, Chloe popped by to see him. Actually, that was why he'd come out in the first place. ”That looks like fun”, commented Claire to Glen. ”Uh-huh. Was that an invitation?”
  86. 86. Meanwhile, Adrian had wandered on the back yard, after having a chat with the Greek House regular llama. On the back yard he soon found out that the hostess of the house was preoccupied at the moment, and that the hot tub was taken. Bummer.
  87. 87. Charlie's dating parade marched on, this time with someone younger than Arcadia had been. The college coach was of the opinion that Charlie was getting out of shape and should work out, but we firmly disagreed on that, as Charlie was, and had always been, in tip top shape. Many of his dates have appreciated that.
  88. 88. ”You've come to the wrong house, mr. coach. There are three romancers and a pleasure sim in here, we're all in good shape. And our odd-one-out fortune cousin isn't fat either, sorry.” *Grumble grumble* ”Kids these days, no respect for their elders!” ”And I bet it's pretty cold too, having to walk knee-deep in the snow in those shorts.”
  89. 89. A Charlie-date or two later, inside, Cho bumped into a stranger in the living room. ”Yikes, there's a man in his swimtrunks in my livingroom! Where'd you come from?” Cho grinned, always thrilled to meet someone new, especially a cute guy. ”Your hot tub and pool, actually. Both are pretty cool, I like the warm water in the winter. Name's Adrian Custer and I just happened to be passing by when your placeholder pulled me through the gate. You must be Cho I'm guessing?” ”Yeah, that's me. I live here. So have you met everyone yet?” ”Not sure. I met Ryker obviously, and he said the girl with black hair is Claire and the redhead is Cho. I think I saw Claire on the yard chatting up some blonde guy.” ”And me you saw in the hot tub”, Cho gave a wink, making Adrian blush slightly. ”Umm... Yeah. And from what I understood, you have two brothers and yet a male cousin living here as well.”
  90. 90. ”Yeah, that's true. So the redhead guy who always seem to be on a date with a different girl, is Charlie, my younger brother, and the pale looking guy who actually wouldn't be pale at all if he wasn't a vampire, is Cyrus, my older brother. He's the one who's naturally only awake at night and mostly cleans”, explained Cho. Adrian chuckled. ”Thanks, I guess I'll then recognize them by that description.” ”Hopefully. Then there's yet our cousin Carl. He's the one who's left, and you might have seen him outside snogging either a blonde or a girl with black, spiked hair. He's my somewhat geeky cousin.” ”That doesn't sound very geeky.” ”But under that macho-man image of his, he really is.” ”Alright then. Judging by this Ryker guy being a 'placeholder' as he said, you must be some kind of a challenge family. A Legacy? Are you guys a big clan?”
  91. 91. ”Yeah, an Alphabet Legacy to be exact. I'm the generation C heiress.” ”Oh wow.” ”I guess. Well anyway, yeah, we are a pretty big gang. Many are related to us. Like, our placeholder Ryker for example. His girlfriend, Chloe, is my second cousin.” ”The black-haired girl I saw on the yard with him?” ”Yeah, that's probably her. Unlike the rest of us, Ryker doesn't date several sims at once. Oh and Cyrus is funny like that too. Not that Cyrus would actually date anyone, but anyway.” ”I think I might have met this Chloe before. She looked familiar.” ”Well, it could be. Or it could be her twin, Calista. They aren't identical, but they do look a lot alike.”
  92. 92. ”A twin? Maybe it was her then, it was some party I think or something...” ”Well, I guess a party would be right up Calista's alley, she's a pretty popular girl and likes to throw parties for sure. If you know Joshua Ruben, then it's a good chance that you've met Calista as well. They spend a lot of time together.” ”Oh yeah. I know Joshua alright. Yeah I think it was his girlfriend I got introduced to in a party”, decided Adrian. ”Probably yeah. Have you met the oldest sister, Corinna?” ”There's a third one?”
  93. 93. ”Yeah, and a fourth one too actually, but Christa is still in high school. But if you've met Calista, you might have met Corinna too. The Custer sisters are pretty tight. You have the same last name, by the way”, noted Cho. ”Yeah, and I'm not the one who's related to them. Anyway, at least I don't recall anyone named Corinna...” ”Well, Corinna isn't as much of a party animal really. She just really wants to build a nest with her boyfriend Weldon.” ”And you don't understand that kind of behavior at all?” asked Adrian, amused. ”No no, sure it's cool if that's what she likes. You know, as the heiress, I might actually settle down myself at some point. But why she has to do it at such a young age I don't really understand.” ”To each their own.” ”Yeah I guess”, Cho shrugged, smiling.
  94. 94. ”Any other interesting cousins around the campus that I might know?” ”Plenty! Let me see... Do you know a girl named Carla Patch?” ”Carla... Carla... Wait, this sweet girl who seems to know everyone and looks younger than she is, a real babyface?” ”That's probably Carla. She's also my second cousin.”
  95. 95. ”Wow, it's a small world. I mean”, said Adrian, ”I happen to know her boyfriend, Kevin Enriquez. He's a really nice fellow.” ”Good to know, I was wondering if I should be worried about my baby cousin.” ”You haven't met him?” ”No, not yet. Carla just told me like a week a go that she's dating him so I haven't had the time to check him out yet.” ”Okay. Well, Kevin's alright, no need to worry there.”
  96. 96. ”By the way”, continued Adrian, ”do you happen to know anyone named Phillips? Like, Bobby Phillips? Just remembered we have some classes together and he seems to be a playable too.” ”First cousin once removed.” ”I knew it, you're related to half the campus!” ”Pretty much. Say hi to Bobby when you see him. And to his girlfriend, Mehrissa too. Talk about sickeningly cute...” ”Yeah, he's with his high scholl sweetheart still, isn't he?” ”Yeah, that's Bobby and Mehrissa. He's one of the oldest together with Cyrus, and he's going very very steady with Mehrissa, so we're all just awaiting when he's going to pop the question.”
  97. 97. ”And they're living with these twing girls, right?” ”Yeah, Beatrice and Barbara. Also first cousins once removed.” ”Alright, I already kind of guessed that”, said Adrian, smiling. ”I bet.” ”So which is which?” ”Beatrice is the one with glasses. And the romance sim.” ”Ah yeah, I think I've seen her with a couple of girls.” ”Most likely. And then there's Barbara, the one without glasses.”
  98. 98. ”She isn't into dating that much, is she?” ”Not so far at least. Mainly she's been into making friends with everyone and throwing parties”, confirmed Cho. ”And don't bother, since first, she's my cousin and you don't mess with my cousins, and second, she isn't into guys either.” ”Ah, too bad!” laughed Adrian. ”But you are, aren't you?” ”It really took you that long to get to that part?”
  99. 99. ”Well, I didn't think it was polite to jump right into business like that. But now that I've sneaked my way to you and gotten to know you a bit, I might just as well find out if you're interested”, said Adrian, winking. ”Well, I might well be. What are you into, Adrian, besides girls? How about, say, music?” Happily, Adrian was into music as well.
  100. 100. So the evening went on. There was playing poker and hanging around, getting to know some new sims and spending time with old friends.
  101. 101. The hot tub was a particular attraction that cold winter night. ”I think we should have some kind of a queue number system for this thing”, said Ryker with a grin. ”Maybe so, it's awfully crowded all the time. And no one leaves before they're blue from the cold”, replied Chloe. ”Yeah, Cyrus isn't the only one who looks blue here anymore. But it's pretty great.” ”That's true. I'd like one thing changed, though.” ”And what's that?” ”I'm supposed to sit on your lap, and not the other way around, silly.”
  102. 102. Inside, the dinner consisted of pork chops, and it included some getting to know each other as well. ”So I think Cho said this one time that you have a robot at home?” asked Nicholas, curious. ”Yeah”, replied Cyrus, ”We've had George ever since my great-grandfather built him. Are you interested in robotics?” ”Well I think that's a pretty fascinating topic, maybe I should try to earn a badge or two in that topic, sometime.” ”Yeah, why not. Badges are always fun, and who knows they might be useful too”, agreed Cyrus. ”Fortune sims”, muttered Charlie, but in an amused tone.
  103. 103. ”But seriously, Charlie”, said Nicholas, ”you never know what this world throws at you, or what's out there, so having good skills all around is useful.” ”You're only saying that because I'm sitting here, Nicholas, aren't you?” asked Professor Brooke Wood, who'd just taken a plate of pork chops and seated herself next to Charlie. ”Not necessarily, prof.” said Nicholas with a smile, ”But I wouldn't mind if being skill-minded helped my grades”, he winked.
  104. 104. After dinner, Cyrus received a phone call. ”Oh hi Chris, how are you?” … ”I'm good, just got up for the night and had dinner.” … ”Sure, spending time with you is always fun. How about tomorrow night? I'm not sure if I'll be able to help with the essay but I could try... Might be that you'll end up helping me in the end.”
  105. 105. While Cyrus was on the phone with Chris, Cho went to Adrian. ”Hey listen, it's been nice hanging out with you today. You should definitely come again some time soon. And I wouldn't mind going on a date with you either, actually.” ”I very much wouldn't mind that either”, Adrian replied with a grin. ”Hey, Glen”, called Cho, ”I understand the swimwear, it seems to be the new black, but what's up with that dressing choice?” Glen muttered something pretty unclear.
  106. 106. It became pretty clear what was up, though, when Glen slightly later said good night to Claire in the living room. Romantic chaos was up.
  107. 107. And, naturally, Claire wasn't the only one causing that, either. ”Alright, by then Adrian, see you soon again.” ”Yeah, definitely. Good night, Cho.” ”Good night.” Nicholas gave a little cough.
  108. 108. ”You thought I'd forgotten about you? Poor boy”, teased Cho. ”Well, I might have suspected that a little bit, yeah. Not that you could, of course.” ”No, I couldn't.” ”Wow, you know I'm all for casual romance, totally and utterly. But I gotta admit this is a little weird”, commented Adrian, looking a little bit dumbstruck and in awe. ”Weird? Not in this house, Adrian-boy. In this house it's not weird at all”, said Cho with a wink at both of them.
  109. 109. After the others had gone to bed, Cyrus took up to jumping rope. He felt good and energetic. Tonight he had some time for himself, and tomorrow he'd have a fun time with Chris. She was always such fun company, and she didn't seem to mind spending a lot of time with him, either. Having a best friend was cool.
  110. 110. Back in Alphabetia, the atmosphere was also cheerful, but for quite different reasons. ”And you would estimate that I am ready?” asked Salahuddin his mentor on the path to magic, miss Lauren. ”Yes, I think you are. You've progressed really fast, and it seems that your mind and body cope well with performing magic. Especially for such a new warlock. How did you feel after yesterday's lesson? Any tiredness, headache, other weird feelings?” ”I do believe that I was somewhat more tired than usual, but otherwise I have felt perfectly healthy.” ”That's really extraordinary, mr. Chamcha. And today you're feeling good, too?” ”Very good, miss Lauren.”
  111. 111. ”Great. In that case, I think you're ready. If you want, we can try tonight.” ”Absolutely. If you are of the opinion that I am ready, I would be more than happy to try.” ”I am. You have all the information, all the skills and the necessary power. Let's give it a try.”
  112. 112. A short instructions session later, the two magicians stepped into position in Salahuddin's lair. They pulled out their wands, and at miss Lauren's sign, started moving them in unison. All this happened in perfect silence, and both had a look of strong concentration on their face. Again, the wands made no sound, but there seemed to be small changes in the air around them, like small spots of bright light, and the air around Salahuddin and miss Lauren seemed to heaten. Still in unison, the two pointed their wands and concentrated hard on one single spot in front of them. And again, something seemed to be forming in front of them...
  113. 113. Salahuddin's wand dropped from his hand, clattering onto the floor. He was silent for a moment, then began to laugh. The whole basement echoed with Salahuddin's laughter. ”We have done it, miss Lauren! It has succeeded!”
  114. 114. ”We have finally, finally succeeded! She shall finally be mine!” ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Dear reader, this crucial turning point in the plot is, naturally, where I leave you this time. I hope that you have, after this long break, enjoyed the ride with the Bookacies, and that you'll join us again for chapter 30, which will hopefully be out a little sooner than this one. Until then, happy simming!