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As always I suggest that any new readers start at the beginning and read my previous chapters, but as a very quick reminder, the fourth generation heir Edward has very recently been granted a divorce from his adulterous wife Marielle. However she was petitioning for custody of their two children Albert and Stuart. As an adulteress this is something that she would not have been able to do prior to the 1873 Custody of Children Act, but she was determined to try to take advantage of the change in the law. In happier news the third generation heir William and his wife Beth have recently returned from a break in Simmouth with their three oldest grandchildren. Although the children had been a bit of a handful, Beth had had a very relaxing time and was ready to take over the running of the house again. They arrived back in plenty of time for Stuart's birthday, so let’s join them as the guests are arriving for the party.
The door bell rang as Eddie was walking through the hall. Guests had been arriving for Stuart’s party for the past twenty minutes and he was therefore surprised to see his lawyer, Indy Vetinari standing on the doorstep, rather than a family member or friend. “Mr Vetinari, this is a surprise. What can I do for you?” He asked walking out into the porch. “It is more what I can do for you Mr Legacy.” Said Indy smiling. “I have very good news. Your ex-wife will not be getting custody of your kids.
*** Indy is originally from DrSupremeNerd’s excellent Vetinari Dualegacy.
Eddie smiled, and breathed a sigh of relief. Ever since he had been informed of Marielle’s intention to petition for custody he had been worried that she would be successful. Hearing that the judge had ruled in his favour was amongst the most wonderful things he had ever heard. “Mr Vetinari that is the best news I have heard since you told me the judge was granting me my divorce. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me, and this...you are a miracle worker.”
Indy laughed. “Yeah, much as I would like to take full credit for this, it was my fiancée who managed to make this happen.” “Then please thank Miss Di for me.” Said Eddie earnestly. He thought for a moment. “We are having a party for Stuart, would you like to come in?” He gesturing towards the door. “Ah, I can’t I’m afraid. Said fiancée is waiting for me, and I have to go.” Replied Indy. “Well thank you again Mr Vetinari. If there is ever anything I can do in return...” Said Eddie as Indy turned to go. “It’s my job,” called Indy over his shoulder, “and you are paying me for this anyway.”
Inside Eddie’s family and friends were busy relaxing and catching up. There had been weddings to organise and businesses to start up, so Louisa and Victoria had not seen very much of each other since leaving finishing school. They were making up for that over a game of billiards. “I saw your advertisement in the newspaper the other day. Have you had much interest?” Asked Louisa as she watched the balls bouncing around the table following Vicky’s break.
Vicky gripped her cue tightly and stared at the table as the balls clicked off of each other. “Vicky?” Louisa tried again. “Hmm? I apologise Louisa.” She sighed. “Thus far there has been no interest in our advertisement. It is true Rosie and I have not long opened the office, but there has not been one inquiry.” Said Vicky matter of factly. “Well I am certain that business will soon pick up and that you will be able to build a good reputation.” Said Louisa brightly. Vicky gave a small smile. She hoped that her cousin was right, but perhaps two ladies setting up as inquiry agents was not the best idea in the world. ‘We will be good at it though.’ she thought sullenly. ‘If only we are given the chance and an investigation to pursue.’
It was soon time for the birthday boy to be brought to the cake and it was a very happy Eddie who went to fetch Stuart. “It looks like you and your brother get to stay with me little man.” He said as he walked across the landing carrying his son. “Me want to stay with Papa an’ Bertie, an’ Grandmamma, an’ Grandpapa.” Said Stuart adamantly.
“And you will.” Replied Eddie, kissing him on the top of his head. For the first time since Indy had told him Marielle was not going to get custody because of Di, Eddie wondered what it was she had done exactly.
He had no time to ponder the question though, as he called all of his guests into the drawing room to witness his youngest son’s birthday. “You are such a lucky boy.” He said to Stuart as all of his friends and family entered the room. “So many nice people here to share this day with you.” “I know Papa. Nice people here for Stua’t.” He said, a wide grin on his face. “Yes little man they are.”
With the drawing room chock full of all of Eddie’s family and friends there was barely room to move, and there would be more than one elbow to the ribs if they got too enthusiastic with the noise makers and party horns. Stuart giggled as he looked round at all the friendly faces. The house had felt happier to him for the past week, and his father had been more open to playing than he had been. He didn’t understand why this was, but he was very glad of it.
*** In this picture you can see DrSupremeNerd (blue dress, blonde hair in a ponytail), and Angela thepiepers5, (blue striped dress, brown hair) writer of the brilliant Tha Simple Life.
“It is time for you to grow up my little man.” Said Eddie, a tinge of sadness in his voice. His youngest son was about to become a child, and he was doubtful that he would have any more children. He had tried to be a good father for his boys when they were small, but he had been so caught up in his own misery, he wondered if he had been as good a parent as he could have been. He heard Bertie laughing as he leant forward to blow out Stuart’s candles for him, so looked up to see him playing with Andrew Harrison. He thought of Stuart’s wide grin too and wondered if his worries were maybe groundless. His children seemed happy enough after all.
With the candles blown out, Eddie put his son on the floor so that he could become a child. Stuart’s eyes opened wide as he felt a shudder go through him, before a tickling sensation took over. He was looking forward to being big enough to play with his brother and cousins, and wanted this growing up malarkey to be over. Plus the cake his Aunt Alexandra had baked looked nice, and he was eager to try it.
The cake was just as delicious as Stuart had hoped, and soon the party was in full swing, with the children (fuelled by the sugar in the cake’s icing) running wild and the grown ups gathered around Alexandra at the drawing room piano. Eddie though stepped out of the hall onto the patio to get some air. He had perhaps overdone it with the guest list and couldn’t remember the last time the house had been so full, or noisy. Whilst it was very nice to see so many of his family and friends having fun, it was also tiring and slightly overwhelming, and he felt like he wanted a bit of peace and quiet.
He went to sit on the bench looking out at the garden, only to find Carmen Leong sitting there. “Miss Leong, I had no idea you were out here. Do you mind if I join you?” “Not at all Mr Legacy. I confess that I was finding it slightly stifling inside.” She replied smiling up at him. They two of them had been friends since they were teenagers, but since his marriage their conversations had become less and less frequent. It seemed as if the only time they saw each other was at some function or other, and Carmen was always pleased if they managed to find time to speak. She had realised a while ago that her feelings for Eddie went deeper than friendship, but was content for things to stay as they were rather than risk losing him as a friend. “As am I, that is why I am out here.” He replied.
He took a seat next to her. “We have not had time to talk much recently,” he said as if reading her thoughts, “are you keeping well?” “Very thank you Mr Legacy, and you?” She asked. He took a deep breath, “Better than I have for a long while.” “Yes, I heard about…” she paused wondering how to phrase it. “The divorce?” He supplied, amused by how diplomatic she was trying to be. “Yes.” “I made a mistake, but it has been rectified. Besides I have two wonderful children by her.” Eddie said truthfully. Part of him thought that he should be ruing the day he met Marielle Hutchins, but then he thought of his sons, both of whom looked so much like him, and he found he couldn’t.
“They are wonderful indeed Mr Legacy, you are very lucky to have them.” She smiled at him. “Yes…” His breath caught in his throat and he stared at her. “Mr Legacy are you well? You are staring at me.”
“Yes I am quite well thank you…” He said slowly, amazed at the direction his thoughts had taken. He was suddenly aware of the fact that he could hear the piano in the drawing room, and how beautiful Miss Leong was. “Miss Leong, would you care to dance?” He asked getting to his feet. “I would love to Mr Legacy.” She answered, heart pounding as she accepted his hand.
So by the soft light of the garden lanterns to the faint strains of the piano they began to dance.
Beth, on her way to the kitchen, stopped in the hall as she caught sight of Eddie through the French windows. She smiled as she watched him dance with Carmen, after all she wanted what every mother wanted: for her children to be happy, and she had a good feeling about Miss Leong and her son. A very good feeling.
Just then Stuart ran across the hall, making to go outside to his father. Beth caught him and gave him a fierce hug. “What is this for Grandmamma?” He asked as he hugged her back, “Can a grandmamma, not give her grandson a hug on his birthday?” She asked laughing. “Yes, of course, and I always love having hugs with you Grandmamma,” he tightened his grip, “but Bertie, Christopher, Bethany, Celly, Andrew, Peter, Eric and Ernie are all playing Myshuno! and I do not want to. I want to ask Papa to play trains with me instead.” “Your Papa is a bit...preoccupied at the moment darling,” said Beth letting go of Stuart, “but I am certain that your Grandpapa would love to play with you. Let us go and find him.” She said smiling, then taking Stuart's hand in hers she went to find her husband.
On the raised patio, Carmen’s brown eyes met Eddie’s green ones, and in that instant he knew what it was like to have someone look at him without guile, to see their true feelings reflected there. He knew now that the first woman who had said she loved him, had planned and calculated every move she had made in an effort to get him to respond in the way she wanted. This woman though...she was different. There was nothing calculated in the way she had instinctively moved closer to him, the way she had made him hold her close. As one they moved now, oblivious to the rest of the world.
“I am telling you Eddie spent the rest of the party in Miss Leong’s company William. I have high hopes for where their relationship might be headed.” Said Beth as William came upstairs from locking up the house after the party had ended. “That is nice dear.” Replied William quietly.
“Come now, are you not excited or happy at the prospect of our little boy finding love again?” Asked Beth surprised that William wasn’t more excited by her news. “Oh Beth, of course I am” Said William looking at her. “I want nothing more than Eddie to find the one who makes him as happy as you make me, but I do not want him to make another mistake.” “William,” Beth reached across and caressed his cheek, “if he is making another mistake, not that I think he is, I have always liked Miss Leong, but if he is, it is his mistake to make. He cannot keep thinking about what happened his whole life and never taking a chance again.” “You are right, and I am being silly.” He sighed. “No, not silly, just a good father.” Beth leant over and kissed her husband tenderly.
It turned out that the birthday party for Stuart was the first of many family gatherings that would be taking place over the next couple of months. The next event was Louisa’s wedding, and the ceremony was held in the back garden of her new townhouse in Simdon. Eddie looked over at his youngest son who was fidgeting like mad. “Stuart sit still.” Hissed Eddie, mindful of the fact that his Aunt Enid would not be very happy if her daughter’s wedding was not as perfect as possible. “I cannot help it Papa, this suit itches, and is scratchy.” Stuart ran a finger between the lace of his collar and his neck. Eddie looked around at the rest of the congregation, and was amused to see Bertie, Andrew, Peter and Christopher also fidgeting in their best suits. Of the children, only Bethany and Celestia were sitting still, waiting for the ceremony to begin. “I know little man,” He said leaning close, “but unfortunately being a big boy means that you have to suffer Lucy’s enthusiastic use of starch in your collar. Once the ceremony is over, I promise you can take the collar off, if you sit still.” Stuart scratched frantically at his neck before sitting on his hands, and staring at the wedding arch, willing Louisa and her fiancé Cyd Roseland to get a move on, and marry so he could take the hated collar off.
As if reading his mind, Louisa and Cyd took their places beneath the arch and the ceremony begun. The vows were very traditional, and utterly beautiful. By the end of them, most of the female family members were dabbing at their eyes with handkerchiefs, mumbling about how they always cried at weddings.
The ceremony over, everyone retired inside to eat, drink and be merry. Stanley was waiting for Eddie to bring him a drink, when Peter approached him. He was not sure why, but he seemed to be the children’s favourite uncle. Not that he minded, because he loved them all very much too, but it was a bit startling to have a small person accost you every time you turned round. “Uncle Stanley.” “Yes Peter.” “Will you ever get married?” “Err...I do not think so, no.” Replied Stanley truthfully. “Why ever not? I think that marriage sounds like fun.” “Um...” Stanley thought about his lifestyle and all of his special friends. He knew that if he ever got one of them into trouble, he would do the honourable thing, but if that never happened he would not be sorry. “I suppose I have never met the right lady Peter.” He said at last. “Huh. Mom says that you know lots of ladies, how comes none of them are right?” “Err...” Stanley looked round the room in consternation, hoping to find some help from another adult. None was forthcoming.
In the dining room, Stanley’s sister Rosemary was talking to Vicky, or at least trying to: Victoria seemed to be very pre-occupied and wasn’t responding to Rosie’s conversation. Finally Rosie kicked her shin, causing Vicky to pause, her fork halfway to her mouth. “Vicky, this is getting ridiculous.” Said Rosie softly. “Look at you. I know you have a lot to think about at the moment, but you haven‘t even changed into your finery for Louisa’s wedding.” Vicky put her fork down and sighed heavily. “I apologise, I am feeling rather a lot of pressure at the moment. I have so much still to do for the wedding, and then there is the fact that our business is...” “Dead in the water?” “Yes.”
“Vicky, please, you are taking too much on yourself at the moment. Get your wedding out of the way, and then we, yes we since I am your partner in this, can concentrate on building our reputation and more advertising. I was thinking that we could place more advertisements in the classifieds, and flyers of course. Oh and perhaps we can speak to some local businesses about leaving our cards with them for customers to take.” As Rosemary spoke, it was obvious that she had been giving the matter a lot of thought. Vicky smiled at her cousin, “Rosie, what would I do without you as my business partner and best friend?” “Worry yourself to death of course.” Replied Rosemary with a smile.
It was a good job that Rosemary was so calm since her wedding was the next one the family would be witnessing. As they sat and watched Miss Rosemary Legacy become Mrs Rosemary Go, it seemed amazing to Robert that so many years had passed since he had stood beneath that arch with Cecilia, and now his baby girl was about to start married life. His wife, sitting in front of him, with a huge smile on her face was already looking forward to the day when she would meet her first grandbaby. At least she hoped Rosemary’s would be the first, and that Stanley didn’t have a child or two somewhere she knew nothing about.
With the ceremony over, the reception got underway, and Rosie and Eddie were soon enjoying a game of cards. “How are you Eddie? Are the children adapting to life without their mother?” She asked fiddling with her chips.
Eddie paused as he dealt the cards. There was something about Rosemary that invited you to take her into your confidence, even if you had not planned on doing so. “I am well, thank you for asking, and as for the children...for the most part they are coping admirably, but Bertie does have the tendency to not want to be alone. He has recently started to suffer from night-terrors as well and more often than not ends up in my bed. I worry about him Rosie. I worry about Stuart too, but for the opposite reason. I realise that he was so small when she left, but it does not seemed to have fazed him in the slightest.” Eddie shuffled the cards some more. “All will be well in the end I suppose.” “It will be, I am sure. Even though the boys are young, this has been a big change for them, and it would be very surprising if they did not have a few wobbles as they get used to how life will be from now on.” Replied Rosie reassuringly.
Whilst the family was celebrating Rosie’s nuptials, Joe Grundstrom was on his way to a dinner date with the lady he had been seeing for a number of years. “Mother, the carriage is here, I am going now.” He called through to the drawing room.
Maria brought her hands down on the piano keyboard. Since Marcus had passed away, Joe had stayed in, keeping her company like a good boy. She had insisted that he start to go out socialising again, but now he was about to leave, she was suddenly aware about how big and lonely and empty the house felt of an evening. “Mother, did you hear me?” Asked Joe stepping into the drawing room. “Of course I did child.” She said composing herself and getting up from the piano stool.
“Are you seeing that nice young lady again?” She asked. “Yes Mother, I am taking her to dinner and then we are going dancing.” Replied Joe, mindful of the fact that the carriage was waiting. “You have been seeing her for quite some while now.” Maria looked pointedly at his ring finger. “Yes Mother.” Replied Joe ignoring the direction of her gaze. “You find her company enjoyable?” Maria asked.
Joe thought for a moment. “Yes Mother, I find her company very enjoyable.”
*** Aria Bohemian appears courtesy of Jamie (DocGirlP)’s fabulous Bohemian Legacy.
“And yet, she is still not my daughter-in-law.” Said Maria. “Mother...” “I would so love to have grandchildren Joseph,” She continued, “and I know your father, God rest his soul, would have liked to witness you marry.” She started to tear up.
Joe felt the familiar flush of shame his mother always managed to make him feel at the memory of the aborted wedding ceremony just over a decade ago, as well as the clenching of his stomach at the fact that Maria did have grandchildren, she refused to acknowledge them or allow him to do the same. He pushed such thoughts aside, and concentrated on what he was planning to do that evening. “Actually Mother, I am going to ask her to be my bride tonight.”
Maria gave a little squeal of delight. “Oh Joseph that is wonderful news. There is no way that she can refuse you, and this engagement will not turn out like that farcical one with Miss Legacy. I will start to make a list of everything we will have to organise, and begin the guest list.” Joe left Maria happily writing a list of the lists she would have to write in order to make sure that everything was perfect.
Dinner was lovely, and Joe and Aria then went on to the Simdon Dance Hall. This had become a little routine of theirs: dinner at a Simdon restaurant, dancing at the dance hall, and then back to Aria’s. Tonight though would be different, and Joe was just as nervous about asking Aria to marry him, as he had been about asking Alexandra, If for a very different reason. With Alexandra it had been because he had known he was making a mistake, and was only doing it because she was convenient and willing to marry him. With Aria it was because he adored her, completely and utterly, and didn’t want to think about life without her.
Aria had picked up on Joe’s nervousness. She smiled her feline smile and moved closer to him, relishing the fact that this move seemed to make him even more nervous and uncomfortable. “Joe what is wrong?” She purred. “You have been so distracted this evening.” “I have? Yes I have. I...” He let go of her and stepped back.
He got down on one knee, and with shaking hands reached for the velvet box in his pocket. “I love you Miss Bohemian. Since the day we met I have thought of no one else, and cannot imagine my life without you.”
He opened the box and looked at her expectantly. “Aria Bohemian, will you marry me?”
Aria’s face was carefully neutral as she reached into the box and removed the diamond ring that was nestled amongst the white satin.
She regarded it closely, turning it in her fingers and watching the light catch the stone. Just as Joe thought he was about scream with frustration, a slow smile formed on her lips and she looked at him. “No.” “I am sorry...” Joe said, certain he had misheard her. “No Joe Grundstrom I will not marry you.”
“But I love you.” He said, his insides feeling as if they had been liquefied, and his heart torn out of his chest. “I know.” Replied Aria. “And I thought...”
“What?” Interrupted Aria. “That I loved you too?” “Yes.” Whispered Joe.” Aria gave a cold laugh. “People love with me, never the other way around. You were a diversion for me Joe, that is all.” “But you took me into your bed!” Said Joe in a choked voice. “And?” Aria raised an elegant eyebrow at him. “Surely you of all people Joe, know that woohoo does not equate love.” “Buh...buh...” Joe floundered as he tried to think of something, anything to say that would make her change her mind. “Goodbye Joe, it has been...fun.” Said Aria as she turned to leave.
She took two steps before she turned back to him. Hope glimmered in his chest like a weak flame. “Oh, and have your piece of tin back.” She said as she flicked the betrothal ring into the air with one perfectly manicured thumbnail.
Aria smirked as she walked away from Joe and out of his life. Ever since Jamie and the other simselves had explained to her what had happened between Joe and Alexandra, she had wanted to make him suffer in the same way.
*** Yup, this is part of what Jamie requested as Joe’s punishment. (I'd set Aria on him. Because I know my girl could wrap him up in her wiles, walk all over him and make him feel like the dirt that he is). It also ties in nicely with what Orikes, Angela, and Katy (Hurrikaty) want as well, so it’s all good, and I’m not finished yet as you shall see.
After Aria had walked out of the dance hall, Joe had slowly picked the ring up from the floor, placed it carefully in the box, and walked with as much dignity as he could muster, out of the dance hall and into the nearest pub. He stayed for last orders, drinking whisky after whisky, trying to drown his sorrows. He had never known that such pain was possible, and had wondered briefly if this is how Alexandra had felt the day he had left her at the altar. He had staggered out of the pub at closing time, and managed to hail a hansom to take him home. He was looking forward to climbing beneath the covers and trying to forget that the night had even happened. What he hadn’t been counting on was his mother still being awake, and waiting for him in the red drawing room she grandly called a library. “Joseph, how did it go?” She called as he tried to sneak past. “I am tired Mother.” He slurred, heading towards the stairs. “Have you been drinking? Joseph Grundstrom get in here now.”
There was no denying Maria when she used that tone of voice, and almost involuntarily Joe found his legs guiding him into the library. “I may have had a couple of drinks.” He said, hoping to get this over with as soon as possible. “In celebration?” “No. She turned me down Mother.” He said in a rush, eager to get the words out and not dwell on them.
“She did what?” Asked Maria. “Turned me down Mother.” Replied Joe quietly. Every time he said the words, or even thought about it, his insides felt as if they were trying to make their escape. “Well what did you do to make her do that? No do not tell me, I am assuming that you were your usual useless self.” Said Maria unkindly.
“Oh for crying out loud!” Exclaimed Joe. “Mother you have no idea what you are talking about. I do not think that I could have done anything to change the outcome of tonight.”
Maria wasn’t listening however, and continued to talk. “It appears I have to take matters into my own hands. Your father was always against our interfering in your relationships, but you have proven yourself incapable of finding, and keeping a suitable bride.” “Mother I forbid you to interfere in my life!” Roared Joe, but it made no difference. “I will see you wed in my lifetime Joseph, even if I have to snatch the hour glass from the Grim Reaper’s hands and hide it in order to gain enough time!” Declared Maria reaching for her address book.
It was a very different mother who found herself sitting in the garden of a newly built townhouse in Simdon a couple of weeks later. The day had dawned sunny and warm, and Beth couldn’t be happier. Although she was now solely responsible for running the household again, she was finding it a lot less stressful than she had when Marielle was meant to be doing it. Not only that, she was convinced that William, Eddie and Alexandra were working behind the scenes with the staff to make sure that her workload was kept down. Before Eddie’s marriage, such behaviour from her family would have earned them a few sharp reprimands, but now...she was exceedingly grateful for the help. In front of her someone gave a polite cough, and the babble of conversation died down as the attention of the assembled guests switched to the person who had coughed, and his companion beneath the wedding arch.
Ah yes, that was another reason Beth was so happy: her youngest daughter was getting married. Despite her worries, Vicky had managed to get everything organised and ready for the day, and was now concentrating on getting through the ceremony. She was not a naturally nervous person, and had known for years that Patrick was the only man she could ever love, but suddenly this seemed like a huge step. Her nerves lasted until her eyes met his as he uttered his vows. The love and understanding reflected there made her feel so safe, her nerves evaporated.
*** Patrick is the simself of Strangerhood7.
“Now that wasn’t so bad was it?” Asked Patrick after they had shared their first kiss as husband and wife. “No. I do not know why I have been such a worrywart lately, but I am so happy to be your wife.” “You have had a lot to think about and organise.” Said Patrick soothingly. “Pshaw, lots of people have numerous things to organise.” She protested. “Vicky, stop it and enjoy the day.” Said Patrick firmly as the guests got to their feet and started to applaud.
There was another reason Beth was so happy, and she was standing with the rest of the guests, applauding Vicky and Patrick. Beth had been thrilled when she had overheard Eddie ask Vicky if he could bring a guest to the wedding one evening, hoping that the guest in question would be Carmen. She had been absolutely delighted to be proven correct when the carriage had stopped outside Carmen’s house to pick her up that morning. Eddie had been spending a lot of time with Miss Leong lately, and Beth couldn’t approve more of their burgeoning relationship.
Beth was not the only one. Eddie had gone up to Vicky as the buffet was being served to thank her for allowing him to bring Carmen along. “Eddie you do not need to thank me. I am happy that you have a friend you wanted to bring, and besides, I like Miss Leong.” Said Vicky, fending off his thanks. “You do?” He asked eagerly. “Yes I do. She seems to be a very pleasant person, and I can see why you would enjoy spending time in her company.” Explained Vicky.
“She is certainly a lot more pleasant than Marielle.” Pointed out Eddie. “I never said that.” “No, but you were thinking it. No, do not deny it,” said Eddie as Vicky started to utter protests, “it is the truth. And speaking on that subject, I know I have apologised before, but I feel I must apologise again. I should have listened to you when you tried to warn me back in university.”
“I have told you before, there is no need to apologise.” Said Vicky softly. “Anyway, you were in love and therefore blind to her faults It happens to the best of us.” Eddie gave a sad smile. “True. Whilst we are on the subject, I feel I should ask you if you have any reservations about Miss Leong.” His tone was jokey and light, but Vicky could tell he really did want her honest opinion. She thought for a moment before shaking her head. “No, no reservations what-so-ever.” “Really?” “Really. Miss Leong cares for you deeply Eddie, have no worries there.” She smiled reassuringly at her brother, and was gratified to see happiness and relief flood his face.
Outside, their older sister, Alexandra was sharing a moment with her husband Anthony. “That was such a lovely ceremony, do you not agree? I cannot believe my baby sister is now married, and just think there will be more cousins for our four, or maybe more children to play with.” Anthony nodded before fixing her with his piercing green eyes. something you are trying to tell me?” “Alexandra my dearest, is there
Alexandra looked at him faintly puzzled before laughing. “Oh my, no, at least not yet...I would like more children at some point you know.” Anthony laughed. “Four is not enough for you?” “No. Not when they are ours.” Anthony pulled her into an embrace. He was not adverse to having more children either. He told her so and grinned wickedly before adding, “besides the trying is enormous fun.”
Late into the night, after a very enjoyable reception, the guests started to take their leave. Vicky’s immediate family, including Carmen as Eddie’s guest, were the last to leave, “Mrs Simself, I wanted to thank you for extending your invitation to me. It has been a very enjoyable day, and I wish you all the best as you embark on married life.” Vicky smiled broadly at her. “Miss Leong, it was a pleasure to have you here sharing this momentous day with my husband and I. I sincerely hope to see more of you in the future, as you accompany my brother to other family events.” Carmen blushed slightly as she thought of the future and the possibility of Eddie being present in it. “I would like that.” She said solemnly.
Standing nearby, Alexandra muttered to her mother, “if that brother of mine does not ask that delightful lady to marry him, he is a far bigger fool than I would ever think possible.” Beth opened her mouth to admonish her daughter, but closed it again. wholeheartedly with the statement. After all she agreed
The day of Vicky’s wedding also happened to be the day of Timothy’s graduation, and his entire family and Lauri had travelled to Sim State to witness it. “Congratulations again.” Said Lauri as the party came to a close. “Thank you. I do not think I could have survived the last year without your support.” “Of course you would have done.” She protested “No, I would not.” He leaned closer to her. “I cannot wait for us to start our life together, in fact I am leaving for Regalton tonight so that I can be closer to you.” It was a good job neither saw John walk by just then rolling his eyes.
*** Lauri (LauriEmpress) writes the brilliant Legacy of Jubilee.
With all of Timothy’s things packed into trucks and loaded into the carriage, Henry, Aphrodita, Alfie, Timothy and Lauri set off back to Regalton. John watched them go with mixed feelings. He now had the Legacy Society all to himself, and although he did wonder if he would find it lonely, at least he would be able to concentrate on his studies. Oh and at last he could do something he had wanted to do for ages, but had thought Timothy would not approve of.
He had found the portrait covered in dust and leaning against the wall in a little used room at the back of the house. He had been shocked and disgusted to find it abandoned thus, and had vowed to make sure it was once again seen by the world. He was surprised as he hefted it through the house, at just how heavy it was, but with a bit of effort he managed to get it hanging from two abandoned picture chains in the drawing room.
John stood back to admire his work. “There you go Father.” He said. “Your portrait is back in its rightful place.” He glanced at the portrait of his grandfather with it’s gilt frame. “Perhaps not in its rightful frame, but back where it belongs none-the-less.”
Eddie and his family may have already attended three weddings in rapid succession, but there was one more they, and most of Regalton, had received invites to. So it was then, that they, found themselves taking a seat on the lawn of a large Mansion which overlooked King’s Square one bright, sunny morning at the end of the summer.
*** Oh boy, there are a lot of simselves here. Jamie (DocgirlP), Sarah (Purple Bunny), Professor Butters (Loolooloo16play), Katy, Orikes, Lea (thls0), Denise (Avidreader7), Gin (GintasticNecat), Cee (charris), Michelle (MichelleFobbs), De (Fireflower314), Marina (Smoothiequeen87), Rose (RoseFyre), Angela, Jessica (Myzra), Annie (Tatdatcm), Circe (hbCirce), Doc and more.
As I looked out at all the people looking at the wedding arch and me, I started to panic. Why had I invited all these people? I’m shy. I don’t do standing up in front of an audience. I was just starting to hyperventilate when a reassuring voice broke through my panic. “Di, you want to give me your full attention? We’re meant to be getting married here.” I turned to Indy and felt myself start to relax as I looked into his sapphire blue eyes. Somehow his confidence always seemed to rub off on me when we were together. “Sorry.” I smiled at him. “Shall we get on?”
He took my hand as he started to say his vows. “You know everything I’ve said before?” I nodded. “I still mean it, and I’m happy I’m here in this strange place where people are branded morally corrupt for no reason, and naked hot tubbing is considered scandalous, because I am here with you, and I love you.”
I smiled as I started my vows. “I’m still exceedingly glad that you weren’t a girl, and that Doc’s plottiness demanded a girl, because I get to marry you again and again, and I love you very much. Oh and before mixed bathing became popular, it was the norm for men to swim naked. Bathing costumes only came in to preserve women’s delicate sensibilities, so you can hot tub naked, just not in mixed company.” “Sweet. Do you count as mixed company?” “Nope.”
We shared our first kiss as a married couple in Regalton as the simselves cheered and awwed, and a couple of members of the legacy family muttered something about unconventional wedding vows.
In the front row, Bee turned to her sister Becca, a smile on her face. “It’s good to see the folks get married isn’t it?” Becca nodded. “Yeah, it was odd us being here, but Mom and Dad not being married. Didn’t feel right.” “I know. Plus, big party, lots of opportunities to meet people.” Bee, the eternal popularity sim, replied. “True.” Becca, a romance sim to the core, had already taken a good look at all the male guests.
*** Bee and Becca Vetinari are of course the daughters of Indy and SimDi from Doc’s Vetinari Dualegacy.
As he clapped, Eddie was letting his mind wander, and found he was staring at Carmen. All these weddings recently, It was enough to start giving a man ideas. He shook himself. No. He’d tried matrimony and it had ended up being a disaster.
Becca was about to head into the house when Stanley stopped her. “Excuse me Miss...” “Vetinari, but you can call me Becca.” She smiled brightly at him. Stanley raised his eyebrows at this, but said, “very well, Becca it is then. My name is Stanley Legacy and I was sitting behind you. I could not help overhearing you call Miss Di ‘Mom.’” “That would be because she’s my mom.” “But...Now I realise clicky people age differently to us normal people, but you appear to be slightly younger than me, and I know Miss Di has not given birth here in Regalton. I find myself very confused as to how you can be her child.”
Rather than be insulted or offended by Stanley’s assertion that she could not be who she said she was, Becca just smiled more broadly at him. “Have you heard of multi-dimensional theory?” The name “Cate” flashed through his mind, followed by “Carmilla.” “I...” Stanley paused, confused by this and why he felt those names should mean something to him. “No, I have not. It sounds more like something my cousin Theo would know about.” Becca put her arm through his. “Well then Stanley, would you like me to explain it to you?” Stanley found himself nodding, and letting her guide him inside.
*** Cate is from Cee (charris)’s excellent Regacy and is married to Stanley there. Carmilla is from Professor Butters (Loolooloo16play)’s wonderful Squeaky Clean Legacy and is also involved with Stanley.
I chuckled as I watched Stanley be herded into the house. “Becca and Stanley seem to be getting on well.” Indy turned to watch them too. “You know, most mothers wouldn’t be too happy about their daughter spending time with a notorious womaniser.” “And most fathers would be threatening to cut off part of said womaniser’s anatomy if he hurt his little girl.” I responded. Indy laughed. “Our daughter’s going to eat him alive isn’t she?” “Yep. I think so.”
With the congregation getting up and milling around chatting, Indy and I made our way inside, hoping that our guests would follow us. They didn’t. “Never mind.” I said as Indy cut the cake. “More cake for us.”
“You mean more cake for you.” said Indy as he spooned a forkful into my mouth. “Well yes.” I said after I had swallowed. “I like cake. Can you cut me a slice please since you are nearest the knife?”
As I took my plate into the kitchen to wash it up, I looked out the window and saw the reason why so few of our guests had followed us inside. The warm weather had encouraged them to take a dip in the swimming pool. While I was still slightly miffed about it, it was nice to see my friends having fun.
The children were also having fun. I had bought a few items of play equipment to keep them amused, and Andrew and Peter Harrison were playing on the roundabout with Stuart. “WOOOHOOO! Can this thing go faster?” Yelled Andrew as Stuart jumped on board after pushing it. “I think so, hold on!” He shouted, jumping down again and pushing with all his might.
*** Andrew and Peter are the sons of Theo and Doc.
While Celestia Harrison and Bertie were giving the slide a try. “Oww, I don’t like this.” She complained as she came off the end hard.
*** Celestia is Theo’s alien baby.
As for Bethany and David, they had discovered the monkey bars. “Bethany let go and let me across.” “No.” Replied Bethany firmly. “I was on here first. You could see I was on them when you started across.” Said David petulantly, his hands starting to sting as he held onto the warm metal. “I wanted to play too, and I am the eldest, so you should let go.” Bethany could be very stubborn when she wanted. “Na-uh.” Mind you, so could David. They hung there at a stalemate, waiting to see who would let go first.
Indy walked through the garden, a smile on his face. It was nice seeing kids in the back garden. Bee and Becca were grown, and Andrew and Ariana were too young in their original time line to be brought over, but perhaps one day he and Di would have children here too.
*** Andrew and Ariana are Indy and Di’s children in Lauri’s Legacy of Jubilee. They were toddlers there the last we saw them.
I had been so sure that all the children would enjoy playing on the playground for the rest of the day, I was surprised when Bertie entered the games room, sat down at the chess board and asked if I would play with him. “Of course Bertie, but wouldn’t you rather play with your brother and cousins?” I asked. Bertie glanced quickly to his right where his father was chatting to Theo and shook his head. This did not go unnoticed by me, and I made a note to keep a closer eye on him.
“Hmm, well it is certainly not unpleasant to get a chance to speak to you Bertie. Did you enjoy your holiday with your grandmamma and grandpapa?” I said. “Oh yes, it was fantastic Miss Di. I played pirates and found some glass in the sand, and went sea bathing...” As I listened to him chatter on, I thought about how happy he sounded. If only he didn’t seem to be so attached to Eddie, I wouldn’t be worried about him.
Our game of chess didn’t last very long since Indy soon appeared to steal me away. We spent the rest of the reception dancing and celebrating our latest wedding. I think all the guests enjoyed the day. We certainly did.
Autumn had arrived in Regalton by the time Eddie, Theo and Stanley next made it down the pub as a threesome. Their pub trips were something they had been keen to make more frequent after Eddie’s divorce, but Eddie had had to bail on the last few. This was something Theo was now ribbing him about. “It has been too long since you were last at the Bull with us old chap. One would think that you had something more important or enjoyable to do. I mean,” he continued, not letting Eddie get a word in edgeways, “I expect Stanley to cry off in order to keep one of his women happy, but not you. She must be very special.”
“Oh now come on,” said Eddie good naturedly as he set down his pint, “I am hardly as bad as Stanley.” “Hey!” Stanley spluttered through his pint, but Eddie ignored him and carried on talking. “Do not forget that I have two children to look after and I work evenings when I have a show on. A couple of times I have not been able to make it is due to those reasons.” “Only a couple though.” Reiterated Theo. “Most have been due to you seeing Miss Leong.”
Eddie grudgingly admitted this was so, and turned back to his pint. “So?” Asked Stanley. “So what?” He asked innocently. “So are you going to tell us how the two of you are getting on? We are dying to know old chap. If a lady is going to steal our best friend away again, we want to make sure she is going to look after him properly this time, and not turn out to be a money-grubbing bitch.” “She was never after my money. Well, not directly.” Pointed out Eddie. “A lazy slut then.” Amended Stanley. Eddie smiled. Although Stanley’s tone was jokey, he knew that the two of them loved him like a brother, as he did them. In their position he would want to know the same.
“We are getting on extremely well.” He replied. “Most days, Miss Leong drops by whichever shop I am working at in time for lunch. If the weather is fine we take a picnic and go for a walk in one of the parks.” “If the weather is not fine?” Asked Theo curiously. “Then we eat together in the break room.”
“The evenings I am not working, looking after my sons, or expected down the pub with a lecherous redhead and big nosed fellow,” Eddie moved his legs as he said this, and laughed as both his cousins exclaimed in pain and he realised they had kicked each other as they aimed for him. “Not funny.” Said Stanley rubbing his shin. “Yes, it is.” Replied Eddie grinning. “As I was saying, those evenings we like to go dancing...”
“...or we dine at a fine restaurant...”
“...something, which is normally followed by more dancing.”
“And?” Asked Stanley once Eddie has finished. “And what? I am not like you Stanley.” Said Eddie laughing. “I was not implying you were. Theo said she must be special, and I want to know if you think she is. Do you like her Eddie?” “Very much so.” Said Eddie after a pause. “I enjoy spending time with her immensely, and she makes me happier than I ever thought imaginable.”
Theo and Stanley exchanged glances and smiled. Eddie had never sounded this earnest about Marielle, and there was no doubt that he hadn’t been this happy or carefree since they were teenagers. “She seems very special indeed Eddie, and I cannot help but wonder, will we be hearing wedding bells in the future?” Asked Theo.
It was a good job that Eddie had finished his drink, because if he had had a mouthful, he would have spat it all over the table. “Oh I do not know about that.” He blustered. “After all, my last matrimonial adventure did not go well.” Theo looked at him shrewdly and thought about his feelings for his wife. “Let me ask you this then Eddie. Can you imagine life without her?” Eddie looked down at the table, and started tracing patterns in some spilt beer. “No.” He said quietly. “I cannot.”
Theo and Stanley exchanged looks again. Whether or not their cousin fully realised it, they could see he was in love. After a moment of silence, Stanley got up. “I think it is time for a another round, do you not agree chaps? It’s my shout I think. Same again?” Theo and Eddie agreed, and Stanley went to the bar to get the next lot of drinks.
The next day was a Sunday, and after spending all day with his boys, Eddie was letting them read for a bit before they had to go to bed. “It is nearly time to light the lamps, so finish the chapters you are on, and then it is time for the two of you to go to bed.” “But Papa, it is not late.” Protested Bertie. “I know Bertie, but you have school in the morning, so you need to get up early for that.” He said, knowing how his eldest son got when he was lacking in sleep.
With the lamps all lit, Eddie told the boys that it really was now time for the two of them to go to bed, and he expected to see them upstairs once he had fed the dogs. Grudgingly Bertie put his book away and made to leave the library followed by his younger brother. “Do you think that Papa is going out tonight again?” Asked Stuart. “I do not know.” Said Bertie quietly, trying not to think about it. “I hope he is. And I hope he is taking Miss Leong to dinner again. I overheard Grandmamma saying to Grandpapa she thinks Papa taking her out all the time is wonderful. I like Miss Leong. Do you?” Bertie scratched at his arm. “Yes.” He said, and he did, but he did not like his papa being out in the evening all the time. He was still having bad nightmares, and what if he had one and his papa was not at home? Oh his grandmamma would tell him it was all a dream, and that everything would be alright, but she wouldn’t let him sleep in her bed, because grandpapa slept there too, and it was not big enough. Dragging his feet along the floor, Bertie made his way upstairs to his bedroom.
Once Eddie had tucked his sons into bed, he went to find one of his parents to keep an ear out for Bertie in case he had another nightmare. “As I said last night, do not worry so Eddie, your mother and I will look after Bertie.” Said William when Eddie found him. “I know you will Father, but I cannot help but worry about not being here in case he does have a nightmare.” Said Eddie chewing his lip. “Stop that Eddie. You cannot stay in the house of an evening for the rest of his childhood, and spending time with Miss Leong makes you happy does it not?”
“Happier than I can tell you Father.” Replied Eddie, a wide grin spreading across his face as he thought about Carmen. “And have you ever not been there for Bertie when he has a nightmare?” Continued William. “No Father.” He said truthfully. Bertie’s nightmares always seemed to occur late at night, and he was home by then. “Well then, stop worrying son. Go and dine with Miss Leong and enjoy yourself.” Said William firmly. “Thank you Father, I will.” He replied, reassured.
The restaurant Eddie and Carmen were dining in that evening was a fairly new one in Simdon, and was very close to the dance hall. As they perused the menu, Eddie looked over at Carmen amused. “Miss Leong, you always study the menu so thoroughly. I do not think I have ever seen another person take such care over their choice of meal.” Carmen blushed, but not because she was taking Eddie’s comment as a reprimand. She would have to tell him she supposed. She put the menu down, and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “The truth is Mr Legacy, I am not a very good cook. Eating food, such as this, is a great treat for me.”
Eddie smiled at her. “You are being self-deprecating Miss Leong. I am sure your cooking is more than adequate, and I would love to sample it one day.” “It is kind of you to say so Mr Legacy, but I do not think that would be a good idea.” “Miss Leong, I am sure your Macaroni Cheese is be lovely.” He said, thinking of the simplest dish he could. Carmen gave an embarrassed cough. “Actually Mr Legacy, I cannot even cook that.” Eddie looked at her amused. “Then what can you cook?” Carmen looked at her hands. “Grilled cheese sandwiches.” She said quietly.
“Grilled cheese...” Eddie struggled to keep a straight face, but couldn’t. “And is that all? What sort do you make? Plain cheese toasties? Or do you get all creative and try different combinations of cheese? Maybe add a slice or two of ham? Or even some tomato?” Luckily Carmen had known Eddie for years, and knew he was laughing, not at her, but at the fact that she was so embarrassed about admitting her cooking failure, when he thought that there was no need. “I will have you know Mr Legacy,” she said, also struggling to contain her mirth now that she knew he didn’t care she was so culinary inept, “that you have not eaten a toasted cheese sandwich, until you have eaten a toasted cheese sandwich prepared by Miss Carmen Leong!”
Eddie watched her talk, in the most florid terms she could manage, about bread and cheese and the correct temperature of the pan, while repressed laughter caused the corners of her mouth to twitch, and all of her embarrassment faded. “Marry me.” The words came out in a rush with no conscious thought from his brain. He hadn’t believed his father when he had told him long ago, that he would know when he met the love of his life, but now he knew William had been correct.
Carmen stuttered to a halt as what Eddie had said reached her brain. “I am sorry Mr Legacy, but for a moment I thought you had just asked me to marry you...”
“I did.” Following his talk with Theo and Stanley the night before, Eddie had slipped his mother’s engagement ring into his pocket before he left the house that evening. He had not seriously been planning on asking Carmen to marry him, but now, as he took the velvet box out of his pocket and slid it along the table, he was grateful for his foresight. “Miss Leong, I adore you, and have for quite some time. I did not think I would be truly happy again, but you make me happier than I ever imagined I could be and I want you by my side for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?”
Carmen took the box with shaking hands and opened it. She stared at the diamond ring nestled inside: the same diamond ring that had been presented as a betrothal ring to the next legacy spouse since Gabriel had proposed to Elise all those years ago.
She set the box quickly on the table, as if it was on fire. “If I marry you Mr Legacy,” she said, thinking out load, “then I will be the head of the family’s wife. The mistress of an important household, and have all the responsibility that goes along with that. That is a position and responsibility I have never wanted. A position and responsibility I still do not want.”
Eddie closed his eyes and groaned at what he was hearing. The first woman he had asked to marry him, had only done so because she wanted a position of power and influence in the community. The second woman, the woman he was certain was the love of his life, was turning him down because she didn’t want that position. He stomach suddenly seemed full of hot acid, and he was so intent on slipping into despair, that he almost didn’t realise Carmen was still talking.
“But,” she had continued, “there is no other man on Earth I have felt this way about. I cannot imagine my life without you Mr Legacy. You want me by your side for the rest of your life, and...I want you by my side for the rest of my life. If I have to take on that mantle of responsibility in order for that to happen, then so be it.” She picked the ring up from out of the box, and slipped it onto her finger. “Yes Edward Legacy, I will marry you.” These words finally penetrated Eddie’s funk. “I am sorry?” He stuttered.
“I love you , and yes, I will marry you Edward.” She repeated, smiling broadly at him. Eddie let out a relieved breath. “I thought...that you did not...but you will? You have made me the happiest man on the planet.” “Then we are a matched pair, because I am the happiest woman on the planet Mr Legacy.” She replied, tears of joy glistening in her eyes.
So this is where I will leave you dear readers. As always I hope you have enjoyed it. There will be an undetermined break before we are back with the legacy I’m afraid. I have two related projects I want to get done before the next chapter, so look out for them instead. Thank you all for reading, and thank you to those whose simselves and legacy sims I have running around You guys rock for putting your sims out there, and as you can see, I occasionally treat them by inviting them to a big party. Thanks also to the creators at All-About-Style, MTS and everywhere else I shop for making this legacy look authentic. =>
Mwhahaha. In order to get Aria to take the ring out of the box, I had to get them engaged, and then exited without saving. Joe did not take getting engaged well. =>
Didn’t take it well at all.
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