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As always I suggest that any new readers take the time to read my previous chapters so that you don't get lost or confused with what is going on. The last chapter finished with the eldest child of generation four, Alexandra, leaving for finishing school at Acadamie le Tour.
Also at the end of the last chapter, Edward had approached his father about a rumour he had overheard whilst working at one of the family's four shops. He had discussed what to do with his best friends and cousins Stanley and Theodore, and now Theodore was anxious to know how Eddie had fared. Unable to get to speak to him at school, he had invited him home. "So Edward, did you manage to speak to Uncle William?“ "Yes I did." Replied Edward. "And?" asked Theodore expectantly.
Edward paused. "It is true." He said flatly. "What?" Theo was stunned. "Father was remanded in custody for receiving and selling stolen property." Continued Eddie. "I cannot believe it! Uncle William is the last person I would think of as a criminal!“ "Well, I admit it is not as straight forward as it may seem." Said Edward with a wry smile. "You see Father...he got caught up with a group of real criminals accidentally really. He thought that he was part of a sanctioned career path until it was nearly too late. It was only the actions of Miss Di and the other simselves that saved him."
Theo paused as he digested what he had just heard. "Now that is more like Uncle William. I just cannot see him doing anything like that knowingly. Uncle Henry yes, but not him.“ "You know about what he did?" Edward asked, getting angry. "Mother has just always said that he was imprisoned for some terrible crime, but never said what that crime was. Why?" asked Theo, trying to calm Edward down. "I just thought that if you knew and had not told me..." Edward sighed, "He was imprisoned for trying to murder Father.“ "What? That is terrible! My plumbbob, how many more secrets does our family have?" Theodore was appalled at what he was hearing. "Hopefully none. Father told me everything that had happened last night, so unless something that Grandad George or Great Grandpa Gabe did has been kept form us, that should be it."
"How do you feel now that you know the truth?" Asked Theo hesitantly. "Better, but I still think I should have been told it sooner, I am, after all, the next head of the family, and I should be aware of what has happened.“ "Uncle William was probably just trying to protect you though, you know how parents are." "Yes, but I am not a child. I am meant to shoulder this responsibility, so I should be given the opportunity to do so.“ "Ah true." Agreed Theo. "Anyway, I really should be going: it is Victoria's birthday today and I will be in trouble if I miss it.“ "See you tomorrow then Edward." Said Theodore as his cousin got up and made for home.
Edward made it back home just in time for Victoria's party. Also present was Patrick, the simself of Strangerhood7. He had been strolling past the lot and invited himself in, as you do. "Make a wish sweetpea." Cried Beth as she went to blow a horn. William stood there looking at his youngest child, and smile on his lips. He couldn't believe that she was about to become a teenager, where had the time gone?
As she made a wish and blew out her candles, the room cheered her on.
The end result is that Victoria grew up very well. I love the combination of Beth's nose with William's features. Like her older sister she rolled family, but her LTW is to become a professional party guest. I always associated that career with pleasure and romance but there you go. She won't be achieving it so I might reroll it later.
With the party over, William and Beth headed over to the Palisade. William had made dinner reservations because they would both be celebrating their birthday the next day. William had ordered champagne, and when it arrived it raised his glass in a toast to his wife. "To my beautiful wife, I would not be here without you, and I look forward to many more happy years with you by my side.“ "Oh William."
They had not had the opportunity to dine out since the children were born, and they felt like newly weds again.
Like the newly wed she once was, some of Beth's old insecurities came back. "Darling, I have been thinking." She said. "Yes my dear.“ "I get old tomorrow, will you still love me?" she asked.
William laughed, "What a silly question, you are my life Beth. I will love you until the end of time.“ Beth smiled, "Oh William, I love you so much."
After they had finished their meal, William lead a much reassured Beth to the dance floor where they danced the night away.
Finally in the small hours when Beth's feet were hurting too much to carry on dancing, they headed for home.
They slept late the next day, with Beth being to first to rise. When William eventually got up he spent some time about his ablutions before going to look for her. He eventually found her in the garden. "Darling there you are, I have been looking all over for you.“ "Oh good morning dear. There is always so much to do in the garden. I do wonder how I find the time to get it all done."
"Well I hope that you can tear yourself away for a little while, I have something I wish to show you." "Oh? And what would that be?" Beth was intrigued. "It is a surprise, but one I hope you will like." He said smiling. "Come on. We are going for a carriage ride."
Their carriage took them out of their little village and into the nearby town of Bluewater where it stopped in front of a little shop. Disembarking William paid the driver and helped his wife down. She was silent as he led her up the steps to the shop. "Well, what do you think?" he asked, a big grin on his face.
Beth didn't know what to say. She should feel angry; after all she had thought that he had agreed not to buy any property with out consulting her years ago. But instead she felt a deep disappointment. "William," she sighed, "I thought we had been through this. You cannot buy property without consulting me. I am sure that it is a very nice shop, but I am your wife and you need to discuss things like this with me."
"But my darling," said William laughingly, "I can hardly discuss your birthday present with you now can I? Where would the surprise be then?"
Beth stood there agape for a minute. "This shop is for me?“ "Yes. Happy birthday darling. Obviously I own the place and everything is in my name, but it is yours to run as you please. Do you want to go inside?“ "Oh yes."
The fifth and final shop is called Beth's books and is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. William had put a lot of thought into the shop and had managed to combine two of Beth's passions: skill building and earning money to improve their home.
*** Just to remind everyone Beth is a knowledge sim with a secondary aspiration of fortune.
Beth looked around and smiled. "Thank you darling, it is wonderful.“ "So I am forgiven for not telling you about it?" queried William. "Of course, now come here." Beth replied pulling him into an embrace. "Good, good." Said William after they had kissed. "Now, how about we open up and start trading?“ "I though you would never ask."
The very first customer through the doors was William's elder sister Charlotta. William had confided in her that he was going to buy the shop for Beth, and she had was keen to see what he had done with the place. I think that she was very pleased with what she saw because she left the shop with a stack of books under her arm.
For some reason customers often take exception to one member of staff, in Beth's Boutique it was Beth, here it is Edward when he popped into the shop to help out.
Despite Mrs Picaso's objections to Edward the shop did very well in the first session of trading. I was especially pleased to see that it was a hit with knowledge type sims such as Meloti Tegenaria here.
*** Meloti is a the resident boffin from GintasticNecat's the Science of a Legacy. A truly excellent read.
There were a couple of sims that I was not pleased to see though including Christy Stratton here. The last time she had appeared at one of the family's businesses she had attacked Beth before making threats against the family. It appears that she is romantically involved with Russ Bear and was not happy about the fact that William had got off scott free whilst Bear rotted in prison.
William was ignorant of this fact and just saw her as another customer. "I assure you madam that our suppliers are the best in the country, delivering us only the finest quality goods." Said William putting on his best salesman smile.
"Really? That is not what I have heard about your other businesses." Christy replied archly. William's smile slipped slightly. "I am certain I do not know what you mean madam, but perhaps if you cannot find what you are looking for here, you would like to look elsewhere?"
Christy turned back to the item she was browsing. "No, no, I am quite happy here for the time being." She did eventually buy something and leave, just before Beth came out of the break room where she had been having something to eat and drink.
One of the last customers right before the shop closed for the night was Henry, William's twin. "Henry, I did not expect to see you here.“ "Ah well, I thought I would come by and wish you happy birthday William.“ "Thank you, happy birthday to you too. Are you doing much tonight?" William asked. "No, it will just be Aphrodita, myself and the children. You?“ "We've invited a few friends and the family. We were just closing so that we can get ready." "Oh, well I hope you have an enjoyable evening.“ "You too Henry." As he watched his brother walk out the door William thought ‘I think he really has changed. Even as children he never did wish me happy birthday, it was always a race to him to see if he could grow up before me. Which he did every time.’
On arriving back home William and Beth set about getting things ready for their party. They had invited most of the extended family as well as a few friends. Finally everything was ready, and William stood watching his three children. He was so proud of all of them and was happy that they were there for his birthday.
"This is it then?" said Beth looking at the cake. "Yes." Replied William. Like his wife, he wasn't exactly looking forward to this birthday. "No going back." Beth said sighing. "No. Ladies first darling."
"Thank you dear, you are so considerate." Said Beth with a withering glance at her husband. "I know dear. Now hurry up and make a wish darling.“ With a wry smile on her face Beth leant over and after a bit of consideration made a wish and blew out her candles.
Whilst the guests all cheered, well one guest anyway, Beth span into elderhood then stood back to watch her husband do the same.
As he thought about what he should wish for, William found himself coming up against a problem. He was so happy and had gone through so much, he was drawing a blank as to what he should wish for. Then as he looked at the faces of his children it struck him. He smiled and bent over the cake.
As William started to spin his family and friends were on hand to offer support and congratulations. "Are you alright old man? You look like you are in pain.“ "Less of the 'old man' if you do not mind Charles. My back has just twinged that is all. I will be fine in a minute.“ "Woo go William." I was always full of encouragement at birthdays.
With both William and Beth getting changed the guests grabbed some cake and headed for the dining room. After a little while William came back down looking for his wife. He had not had the chance to speak to her since they had aged and most unusually she had opted to change her clothes in one of the spare bedrooms and not their own. William finally found her sitting in the conservatory. "Darling there you are. I have been looking all over for you. Come and join the party."
"Oh hello William." Said Beth with a sad smile. "I was just ... sitting here admiring the garden.“ "Darling what is wrong?" he asked. "Nothing." Came the reply.
William sighed and sat down on the bench next to her. "Beth we have been married for thirty years. I know your moods as well as I know my own. Something is vexing you, now tell me what it is."
"William nothing..." Beth made to avoid his demand again, but William fixed her with a look. She sighed. "It is just ... look at me William! I am old and grey and wrinkled and saggy!" her voice rose in a wail. "How can you still think me beautiful now?"
In other circumstances William might have laughed at her silliness, but the distress in her face and voice stopped him. "Oh darling is that how you feel?“ "Yes."
"Then let me tell you something. From the very first moment I laid eyes on you, I thought you were the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet. In my eyes your beauty has just increased everyday we have been together.“ Beth just smiled sadly at his words.
"Come here.“ "William don't..." Beth made to pull away, but he wouldn't let her. "I love you Beth, and you will always be the most beautiful woman on Simearth to me. Besides, I think I should be the one worrying if you still love me now my frog-mouth has reached its full potential.“ Beth laughed, her husband always did know how to cheer her up. "I have always loved your frog-mouth Mr Legacy."
"Good, then come here." A little while later, her mind settled that William still thought that she was beautiful Beth consented to join the party.
I don’t think that William was stretching the truth when he said that Beth was still beautiful. I can't recall ever having another sim age so well.
As for William, well he looks more like his father than ever. I have grown to love Elise's mouth, but it does explode a bit on males when they become elders.
Speaking of George, he was very active that night, but spent most of the time floating around with a smile on his face keeping out of everyone's way. "Of course I am smiling voice. It is so good to be here for my son's birthday. Both Allyn and I are enjoying it immensely.“ Allyn's here? "Yes I think she is upstairs."
Sure enough I found Allyn on the landing. Hello Allyn long time no see. "Hello Creator. I cannot believe my baby boy is now an elder. It makes me feel quite old.“ I must admit I am getting all sentimental and nostalgic about it myself. It seems like no time at al that William and Henry were becoming teenagers.
Speaking of Henry, I think that it is time that we head over there to witness his birthday. Unlike William and Beth's, Henry's birthday was a quiet affair with just his close family there.
Watched by his family Henry became and elder. His eldest son Timothy was most sympathetic as he started to exhibit the signs of old age. "Father do you need assistance?“ "No, no Timothy, my back is just aching a bit, that is all."
I think that you have grown up rather well Henry. "Oh at last you are no longer ignoring me then voice.“ Henry I have never ignored you, despite of all you have done. "Then where have been the updates on my family?“ Ah...
"I am sure that you have not informed anyone of the fact that Timothy is now a teenager, or that John is now a child.“ Well...
"I doubt you have even introduced the fact that my darling Aphrodita gave birth to a third son called Alfie.“ No, but in my defence I have neglected some of your siblings even more. Alfred and James, for example I haven't introduced their daughters yet.
"Hmm, well I suppose since it is not just my family...I can live with it.“ Thank you, you are most magnanimous.
Back at the main house, the party was coming to a close. "Take care princess. I know we have not had much time to speak, but we must talk soon, so that you can tell me all about what you are up to.“ "I will Mama, I promise. Goodnight."
William and Beth didn't let their now, slightly advanced years, slow them down when it came to the family's business ventures. The fifth and final shop was fast becoming one of the most successful. Even with Edward helping out they struggled to keep the shop running smoothly, so had appointed Mr Goopy Gilscarbo as manager.
It wasn't long until one of the local reporters dropped by to review it. He seemed to be a bit confused over whether he liked the place or not.
Even when he was telling William the results of the review, it didn't look too good. The reporter seemed more confused than ever about what he was doing there. Thankfully he finally decided that he liked the shop so much he was going to award it the best of the best award.
The shop was certainly popular with the customers and the stars were flooding in.
*** Spider Jerusalem Vetinari is from DrSupremeNerd's Vetinari Dualegacy. He doesn't get to smile very much there, so it's nice to see him grinning here.
William was also getting a lot of repeat business and recommendations. "Can I help you Madam?“ "Oh yes. My brother Meloti said you have a special on telescopes, I know my husband Sean would love one...“ "Ah yes, this way madam.“
*** Saeva and Sean Tegenaria are from GintasticNecat's the Science of a Legacy.
Meloti was probably the shop's best customer. I have seen him leave the shop and one sim hour later return. He accepted every sales social and bought the contents of the shop several times over.
He didn't throw that final star which took the shop to level 10 though. That came courtesy of Sergeant Dorian Kauker just as Di walked in. "Trying to get back into my good books Dorian?“ "I have no idea what you mean. I am simply very impressed by this magnificent shop.“ This does mean that William has now opened 5 top level businesses. I am very happy about this. Like the ten children one, I found this fun to do and really felt like I had achieved something at the end.
The shop stayed open for a bit longer and just before closing Beth approached a woman wearing a greeny coloured dress. "Can I help you madam?“ "Oh yes..." she turned round.
"You! What are you doing here? I thought I told you not to come near any property owned buy my family?" demanded Beth when she saw that it was Christy Stratton. "Look who got old." Christy's voice was mocking when she spoke. "Get out. You are not welcome here." Beth's voice was raised in anger, and other customers were starting to look, but she didn't care.
"I am going, don't worry, there is nothing I want here anyway." Snarled Christy, and with that she turned and left, muttering under her breath.
William had witnessed the exchange and asked Beth about it. She explained what had happened with Christy Stratton at Beth's Bouquets so many years ago, and why she did not want the woman anywhere near their shop. "Why did you not tell me this sooner?" asked her concerned husband. "I was going to tell you when we arrived home, but the little problem of you being arrested meant that it went clear out of my mind.“ "Ah, yes I can see how that would have meant you had other things to occupy your thoughts." He paused, "There is one other shop I would like to pop into today before we go home.“ "Of course dear."
The last business he wanted to check in with was Beth's Briac-a-Brac, the first shop he had bought. This was the first time the family had been back to it since William had been arrested.
The two paintings that had caused so much trouble were gone, replaced with three new items for sale.
Since the shop had been empty for some time, and there was a bit of tidying to be done before they were ready to open. Every member of the family pitched in. These windows are disgusting. I will have to make sure that they are cleaned more regularly when I own the shop.
Finally Beth's Bric-a-Brac was ready to open. Business was brisk with old and new customers turning up to see what William was selling. "What brings you to Regalton may I ask Miss...?“ "Nebula. I was hoping to find a position as a governess, either here or in Bluewater, but I have so far not been successful.“ "I am sure you will find one eventually Miss Nebula."
*** Cherryh Nebula is from Michellefobbs's (Michaelfobbs on the exchange) fantastic Planetary Apocalypse.
"Now will Mr Austen like this painting I ask myself...?“ Mrs Austen was one of the last customers before William closed up for the day. She did eventually leave with one of the new paintings as a gift for her husband.
*** Normally I have to put legacy sims into more old-fashioned clothes then they normally wear, this one I didn't. Cathy and James Austen are from charris's fabulous the Regacy. If you haven't read any of the legacies I've mentioned, I recommend you do so: they are all excellent reads.
On arriving back home William and Beth set to work in the garden. Since their last conversation about it, Beth had found herself tending the garden well into the night more and more often. William had therefore taken to helping her out. It wasn't long until he was as good at taking care of the plants as his wife.
William and Beth finished in the garden just in time. They had invited Robert, Cecilia, Stanley and Rosemary to dine with them that evening. "Edward old chap, how good to see you.“ "Hello Stanley, no date tonight?“ "No I thought I would come and see my good friend Edward instead."
Over dinner Edward and Victoria explained that they were planning on going to the local lido the next day. "Stanley has already said yes, and we were wondering if you would like to come with us too? It is the last day before Stanley, Theo and I head off to university and Victoria and I thought it would be nice for us to have a fun day out."
"Oh I...well, yes I would like that, if Father says I can come of course." Said Rosemary looking at her father. "I do not see why not Rosemary. Your brother and cousins will be there to look after you. Who else will be there Edward?"
"So far Theo, Louisa, Elle and Lydia. I have also invited Ruby, Richard, Florence and Julia, but they are not sure that they can make it."
"Oh quite a few of you then. Rosie I am sure you will have fun.“ "Yes it will be nice to get together as a family. I am looking forward to it. Thank you for inviting me“ The rest of the evening was enjoyed by everyone. William was very happy to have his brother and his family round, it reminded him of how his home used to be full of family when his mother was alive.
"John I cannot see a spider above the picture rail. Are you sure there is one there?“ "Yes Papa. Perhaps you need to start wearing spectacles?“ "Do not be so cheeky young..."
"...hey just what do you think you are doing young man?“ "Well I...“ "This is meant to be a noble game of strategy, not a free for all."
"But Papa, you have always told me to take advantage of the situation and try to turn it to one's own advantage...“ "Yes, I have, but you are meant to do it in such a way that you do not get caught son. Now let us get on with the game.“ "Yes Papa."
The next day a number of teenagers and children from generation four met at the lido. It was a beautiful hot summer Sunday and the water was lovely and cool on their skin. "This was a fantastic idea old chap, well done for thinking of it." Said Stanley as he, Eddie and Theo sat around one of the tables. "Thank you Stanley." Eddie smiled. It was a good idea and he was glad that he and Victoria had thought of it. Stanley leant back in his chair. "Just think, this time tomorrow we will be at university."
"Yes I know." Replied Edward, a worried look crossing his face. "But?“ "But, I cannot help thinking of the future. I mean it is alright for you two; you do not have the pressure I do of finding a wife. What if no one likes me that way?"
"Oh I have a fair bit of pressure too." Pointed out Theo, "I am sure Grandpapa muttered something under his breath the other day that sounded suspiciously like 'lock him in a house for several days with a load of women. He will soon get engaged.'"
"Mmm sounds like my idea of heaven, me in a houseful of women." Said Stanley dreamily. "Stanley!“ "Sorry. I think you are being silly anyway. I mean look at us. We will be the three best looking chaps on campus; the women will be flocking after us."
Theodore laughed. "Maybe Stanley is right Edward. We will find love when we do, and not before. We should just stop worrying about it.“ "I suppose. How hard can it be to find the one you want to spend the rest of your life with?“ "Sarcasm really doesn't suit you Eddie.“ "I know."
Stanley looked out at the swimming pool where Louisa, Elle and Rosemary were playing. "Fancy a dip chaps? I fear we are getting too serious here.“ "Yes, why not?" Both Eddie and Theo nodded.
So the boys headed for the pool, ready to enjoy their last day as teenagers. "CANNONBALL!"
Edward soon joined Louisa and Rosemary in a game of Marco Polo...
...whilst his cousin Lydia (daughter of James and Claire) tried to copy Theodore by diving into the pool.
They stayed at the lido until late evening enjoying the sun and the good company. Everyone had a fantastic time.
Whilst their children were sunning themselves, William and Beth were visiting a new lot, Sue's (Secret) kitchen. Beth had long ago been invited to join the local cookery club, but had been far too preoccupied what with one thing and another. She finally felt that she had enough free time to be able to take part in one of their competitions.
As he was waiting for his wife to put the finishing touches to her meal William ran into someone he hadn’t seen since his daughter left for finishing school. "Mr Grundstrom, what brings you here?“ "Mr Legacy, how pleasant to see you. I am taking part in the competition today.“ "Really, so is Mrs Legacy. cooking?“ "Err, hotdogs." She is cooking her secret recipe stuffed rainbow trout. What are you
"Really? How...lovely. Have you seen my daughter recently?“ "Er, we went out for coffee the other day, and might make dinner plans soon.“ "Good. Did you know her brother and cousins will soon be at Sim State, and will be looking out for her?" That was what counted as a threat coming from William. He might be very easy going, but he loved his family dearly, and woe betide anyone who didn't treat his daughter right. "Yes sir."
In the meantime Beth had put the finishing touches to her dish and put it up for judging. ‘I do hope that I have got the seasoning right...’
The judge gave nothing away as he tried it. All he did was nod before moving onto the next plate.
Once he had sampled all the dishes, he walked back and awarded Beth first prize.
Beth was ecstatic, her first contest and she had won it. Unfortunately, Sharlene Royce was not so happy, and was anything but a gracious loser. Her baked Alaska had won her the last 10 competitions and she did not take kindly to a newcomer taking her crown.
William and Beth arrived home to find Edward busy trying to earn the rest of his academic scholarships. He stayed up the whole of the night with books from his great grandfather's education reward bookcase. At one point he thought he was seeing things, and that his great grandfather, a man who had died long before he was born, was in the room with him. ‘I wonder if we would have been best friends’ he thought as he stared at the spot he thought Gabe was.
By the end of the night Edward had earned all the skill scholarships, and was ready to leave the house for university. The family gathered in the hall waiting for the carriage to arrive for him.
William hugged his son. "Take care Edward. I am sure that your years at Sim State will be fun, but do not neglect your studies.“ "I will not Father.“ William felt a touch of sadness as his son pulled away. Not only was his son about to become a man, but his time as head of the family was almost finished. An era was ending.
Edward turned to his mother and kissed her cheek. "Goodbye Mother, I will ring once I am at the halls of residence.“ "You had better young man." She said smiling. Like William she was sad to see her son leaving, but at least he would be coming home ready to carry on the family line.
Edward pulled away from his mother, only to have his baby sister fling her arms around him. "I am going to miss you so much Eddie.“ "I am only a few hours away Vicky. Besides you will be at finishing school in a couple of years.“ "I know, but still...“ "If it makes you feel better, I am going to miss you too."
Just then the carriage pulled up outside the house and it was time for Edward to leave. As he loaded his trunk into the carriage, he wondered what the next four years would bring, and just who would he be bringing home to share his life with.
*** I think that this is a good place to leave the family. Thank you all for reading, I hope that you have enjoyed it. My thanks goes out to the creators of my fantastic CC. You can find most of it at All-About-Style (I admit I squee whenever I see that Judie has updated with Victorian clothes), and MTS2. Thank you also to the authors who have let me steal their simselves and legacy sims. You can find their stories and much more at Boolprop.com. Join me next time for the start of generation four's university years. Clicky=>
Ouch Theo, that looks like it hurts!
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