Working on new chapters!

Yes, finally the Sterlings have got my attention again! They got all buggy and I lost interest way back, so I started a new legacy (http://theradagastfamily.wordpress.com). Unfortunately though, the last patch broke their neighborhood, so I was at a standstill… Being bored, I started going through this old blog and realized that the Sterling story is far from over! Right now I’m in the process of trying to fix the family and get everything back on track. So IF anyone is still actually interested in this story, look out for new chapters soon! :)

2.04 Vendela Venture

“I love you.” Vendela said almost accusingly, staring down at the flagstones. Pascal sighed and held her closer.
“I love you too.” It was so easy. There was no question, no doubt. They loved each other, why should they wait to say it? They had already said it a hundred times in the short space of time that they’d been together, and now it seemed almost impossible to stop.

528
“I love you” Vendela said again. The words had a sad undertone to them now. “I don’t want to go back home. I want to stay here with you.”
“You cannot.” Pascal answered quickly, his French accent and unfamiliarity to speak the language slurring the words a little bit. “What would your mother say? She would never allow it. And my mother would not like it either, I am sure. But you will come back, yes?”

529
Vendela let out a little sniff. She hadn’t decided yet if she wanted him to see her cry. Soon she wouldn’t have a choice in the matter; the feelings were becoming more and more overwhelming.
“Of course I’ll come back, Pascal! As soon as I can!”

“Daddy, I love him!” The mermaid princess Ariel’s voice blared from the TV.

530
Vendela was being a good older sibling and watching the little ones while their mom and dad had taken Tato to watch Nicholas’s soccer game. Suzette was in her room, reading as always.

531
Vendela sometimes felt bad for her, that she wasn’t experiencing the world and all it had to offer. But at this particular moment she was very happy for it, because keeping four toddlers in line was tiring enough.

532
She was in awe of her mother and often wondered how she managed them all. Her dad was awesome too, of course, but he got to go to work and spend time with grown-ups. Primrose rarely got a break from her children. But she didn’t seem to mind. Vendela’s thoughts were interrupted by little Silas who cried out:
“Mommy!”

533
Vendela put her arm around him protectively and hushed.
“Mom isn’t home. She’ll be back in a little while, you know that Lassy.” No matter how much Primrose had fought the nickname her children had given Silas, it had still stuck. But Silas, who happened to love dogs and the Lassie movies especially, didn’t mind at all. He pushed his sister’s arm away grumpily and cried for his mother again.
“Mommy, mommy, I want mommy!” Vendela sighed and let him wail for a bit. When he didn’t stop, she called Pookee, who was resting in the entry. The dog was busy ignoring her puppies that were fighting, tugging, climbing and yelping all around her.

534
Pookee was up in an instant and padded into the living room and rounded the couch, her young following in her heels.

535
“Quiet him, will you?” Vendela said exasperatedly to Pookee and nodded towards her little brother. As if the dog had understood both the words and the gesture, she jumped up onto the couch and started licking Silas’s face until his crying turned into laughter.

536

As the evil sea witch Ursula’s song sounded from the speakers, Vendela went back into her reverie.
I wonder if we were all planned.” She thought to herself, absentmindedly looking around at the children scattered on the couch.

537
I know she loves us all, but did she really want so many kids? I wouldn’t.” Once again her thoughts were cut off, but this time her cellphone was the culprit.

538
The entire end table buzzed, but she snatched the phone up so quickly that the ringtone had barely started when she pushed the green button.
“Vendela!” She answered breathlessly. She had glimpsed her secret boyfriend’s name on the display.

539
Silas threw her an accusing look. She took the hint; “be quiet or go away”, and gingerly moved away from the TV area to stand over by the floor length windows facing the patio.
“I’ve missed your voice.” She blurted out. They had not talked in almost twenty-four hours, which seemed like an eternity to Vendela.

540
“I have been busy Delly. I am sorry.”
“Oh, what have you been up to?” Vendela liked hearing what he did, who he met, what the weather was like in Champs Les Sims. It made her feel closer to him, made her feel like she was there with him.
“I cannot tell you.” She frowned, her eyes following a butterfly just outside the window.

541
“What do you mean, you can’t tell me? What’s going on?” She could almost hear the cogs in his head turn as he tried to come up with something to say. This smelled fishy, she thought. And just like that, something snapped inside of her.
“If you think you can be with some other girl just because I’m in another country, you’re wrong! I can’t believe you! We’re through!” She hung up. The rage was swirling around inside of her like a red hot stream of lava, eating her up slowly but surely. The pounding headache that had persisted for days now, felt like it was reaching new heights. Suddenly she felt sick. She didn’t make it to the bathroom, but wretched right there on the living room floor.

542

Somehow, life went on as usual around Vendela after that fateful call. Her siblings played and fought and wailed. Her mother baked her cakes and painted her paintings and worked on her latest children’s book. School was just as it always had been. Vendela wondered how everything could be the same, when she felt so different. The break-up with Pascal had left a black hole inside of her, and she really wasn’t feeling like herself either. She cried over anything and everything. The headaches hadn’t stopped. But worst of all, she often felt sick, to the point of throwing up. It didn’t always come to that, but feeling like she might was bad enough. The only thing that helped was constantly eating, which made her feel even worse about herself. Her ballet teacher had once told her that she had to watch her figure if she wanted to be any good. Those words came back to her now, and haunted her.
“Maybe you’re pregnant!?” Her friend Angela said one afternoon while they were doing yoga and gossiping at the gym.

543
Vendela had been complaining about feeling sick again. Her other friend Kaily laughed.
“Yeah, ‘cause Delly’s sooo loose.”

544
She gave Angela an accusing, but playful look. “How can you even say that, that’s so rude! Of course she isn’t pregnant.”
Vendela stared down at her pink yoga mat.

545
The thought had struck her once or twice before, but it just couldn’t be. They had used protection. Her girlfriends didn’t know anything about Pascal though, and she wasn’t about to tell them, now that he had treated her like trash. She only half listened as Kaily and Angela quickly dropped the subject and went on about the boys they liked in school but would never dare to talk to.

546
Maybe she should get a pregnancy test. Just to make sure.

“Delly, will you go get Nicholas?” Primrose called to her daughter as she passed the kitchen door.

547
“He’s poured milk all over the floor again and this time I’m not gonna be the one cleaning it up.” Vendela could hear the squishy, wet sound of her mother’s socks against the floor.
“Yeah, sure.” Vendela went into the twins’ room and pulled Nicholas out of his secret hideout behind Suzette’s reading chair.
“Go clean up in the kitchen, you brat.” She said angrily. “What’s wrong with you?!”

548
He threw her a disdainful look that only made her more frustrated with him. She pushed him towards the door and followed close behind him to the kitchen so that he wouldn’t be able to sneak away.

549
“Here he is. Oh, and mom, can I talk to you later when the kids are asleep? If you have time?” For a moment Vendela thought that she could see a glimmer of… relief in her mother’s eyes, but she quickly put on her usual smile and promised that she’d come up to Vendela once the young ones were put to bed.

The evening wore on slowly. Vendela kept to her room, trying to focus on a math assignment that was due in a couple of days.

550
But her head was swimming with thoughts of what she would say, what her mother would say, and what would happen next. She could hear the little ones screaming at the TV downstairs. When things started to quiet down, her tummy ached like crazy. Her mom would be up any minute now. Just as she was about to call Angela to make the time pass a little faster, there was a knock on the door.
“Come in.” She called, turning her phone off and moving over to the bed. Her mother entered and closed the door carefully behind her. Vendela could see that she had had a tough time of putting all the kids to sleep. Her eyes were tired and there were spots of dried toothpaste on her sweater. Primrose sat down next to her daughter on the bed and gave her a weak smile.

551
“How are you, honey?” She asked softly.
“I’m… I’m okay.” Vendela chewed her lower lip, staring at her hands fidgeting in her lap. “Better just get it out” she thought.

552
“Mom… I know you won’t like this, and I know you’ll be mad, please don’t tell dad though, not yet, I just want you to know for a while… Know that I’m… I’m pregnant, mom.” She stared at her mother, feeling like that time when she was five years old and she had stolen a chocolate bar at the grocery store when her mother wasn’t looking. But Primrose didn’t look half as shocked as she had anticipated. She put a hand on Vendela’s shoulder and said:
“I know.” Her voice was heartbroken, but still calm, in a strange way. It almost made Vendela feel worse.
“You know? How..?” Primrose gave a little chuckle.
“Oh, Delly. I’ve been pregnant five times. And you are my daughter. Didn’t you think I would notice at all? Come on, give me a little credit.”

553
Vendela let out something between a sob and a laugh.
“Yeah, I guess I should have… But… Mom… What am I gonna do?”
“Well, who’s the father?”

554
“His name is Pascal… He lives in Champs Les Sims.” It took Primrose a few seconds to connect the dots. Apparently she hadn’t foreseen this part.
“So that’s why you didn’t want to spend time with us.” She said thoughtfully. “I understand. You met online?”
“Yes.” Vendela was amazed at her mother’s calm, and by how good she was at guessing what had happened. “But we’re not together anymore. I… We broke up last week. I think he was seeing someone else.” Vendela had tried to stay strong, to be mature and grown-up as befitted the seriousness of the situation she was in, but saying those hurtful words out loud finally made her break. She put her face in her hands and started weeping like a baby.

555
The warm, loving hands giving comforting caresses only made it worse. How could she ever have doubted her mom? She had even feared being kicked out. It seemed like such a silly notion now. They cried together for a long while before Primrose, her voice raw and trembling, but determined, spoke again.

556
“Vendela, I think you should talk to this Pascal. You don’t know for sure that he’s been unfaithful? You should make sure. Delly. I know you.” She grabbed her daughters chin lovingly and looked into her eyes. “You would never give something that precious up if you didn’t trust him and love him.” Vendela shook her head silently, agreeing. “And love doesn’t just vanish. Talk to him. At the very least, he deserves to know about this. No, really, you have to tell him.” There was no point in arguing about that point. Vendela knew deep down that she did have to tell him.

557
As her mother went quiet, Vendela could see in her face that she wasn’t quite done. There was more she wanted to say, and Vendela waited patiently for her mother to form the words.
“You know what I think of family and children. Having a kid is the biggest thing you’ll ever do in your life, that’s my opinion anyways. I’m not saying that abortion is wrong, it’s completely your choice. But I will support you either way. If you want to keep it, I will help you every step of the way. Okay?” Her words filled Vendela up with love and appreciation.
“I want to keep it. I’ve known all along, I’d never want to get rid of it. I’m ready.”

558
She hadn’t been one hundred percent certain that she was ready, but now, with her mother’s support, she knew she could do it.

It took her a couple of weeks to gather enough courage to call Pascal. She was still both angry and hurt, but at the same time, she felt bad for some reason, like she had done something wrong. Her mother had been right though, she didn’t know for sure what Pascal had been up to and he deserved to at least know that he was going to be a father. She was in the park when she finally dialed his number. In the house she could never really be guaranteed privacy and this was something she didn’t want to be disturbed with. Her hands trembled.

559
She had planned the conversation down to every last detail. She was going to say it and that was that. She would tell him he didn’t have to do anything, that she didn’t even want his money. It rang five times before he answered.
“Vendela…” His voice, uttering her name, shook her more than she had anticipated and for a second she lost track of everything she had meant to say.

560
“Pascal. I… We need to talk.”
“Yes, we do, finally you call. I have tried over and over to call you.”
“I know.”
“Have you not read my messages?”
“No, I deleted them.” As she told him these things they suddenly sounded so petty and childish. “I was mad. I mean… I am mad. There’s someone else, isn’t there?”
“No.” His French accent made her bite her lip. She shouldn’t believe him. She wasn’t that gullible. But oh, how she wanted to.

562
“Oh yeah? Well then what were you up to that you couldn’t tell me about? I thought we were supposed to be honest with each other?” Her voice was full of hurt rather than accusations.
“I had planned a trip to Starkhaven. I was packing when you called. I was in a hurry.” His words hit her like punches to the stomach and for a moment she forgot to breath.

563
He kept talking. She could hear the hurt in his voice too, now. “I wanted to surprise you. But when you got so angry and did not answer my calls, I could not go. I know no one else in Starkhaven, you know this. I could not go.” He sounded as though he was trying to justify his actions, although she was clearly the jerk in all of this, she could see that now.
“I’m pregnant. And I want to keep it.” She stared in disbelief at nothing in particular.

565
She couldn’t believe that she had said it. And like that. This was the worst possible time and way to tell him. There was a long silence. Vendela kept walking around the garden, circling around a pond three times without even noticing that she did it. She had never experienced or even heard of a phone silence this long, but she knew that he was still there, and she waited.

564
She even imagined that she could hear his breathing, but it was so faint that it could just as well have been the wind or nothing at all. Finally Pascal cleared his throat.
“I will book a plane ticket on the next flight. It leaves later tonight. You will meet me at the airport, yes? It will arrive… I think around seven in the morning, your time.” He went quiet again for a bit. If she was supposed to say something, she didn’t know what.
“Okay?” He asked. She could hear that his voice was different. More determined than it had ever been before.

565
“Okay.” She answered plainly. He told her that he loved her before he hung up. He didn’t give her time to reply. But as she started the walk home from the park, her heart and eyes and lips could do nothing but smile, and no matter how silly she felt, there was no way she would be able to wipe it off her face anytime soon.

566
In a few heartbeats her life had made a great turn. For the better.

Thank you for readin’! I know it’s been such a long time since the last update. I’m sorry! I’m into the game again, but I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for it. We’ll just have to wait and see. Either way, what did you think of the chapter? And what do you think Deric will say when he finds out about all of this? Also, there are outtakes including family pics right here!

/Alexandra

The Plan

Hello everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the Sterling legacy so far! I do think you’ve been a bit ungenerous with the comments lately… :P But oh well! I just wanted to let you know what I’m planning for the story in the near future.

As you maaay have noticed – this generation is chock full of kids! I’ve never had this many children in one household before and it’s a slight nightmare. As for the whole blog story thing, that is kind of tricky too. How do you give them all equally interesting story lines? Well, you don’t. I think that will be almost impossible. But I have at least decided to dedicate one chapter to each kid. So the upcoming chapter (that will hopefully go up sometime next week) will be all about Vendela, the next about Nicholas and so on and so forth until they’ve all been showcased so that you know their personalities a bit better. These chapters will probably be a bit shorter than usual, just because I want to get through them as quickly as possible.

What do you think, will this be totally boring? :P Will you miss Prim as she won’t be the focus anymore?

2.03 Can You Handle It?

The birth of the twins – Suzette and Nicholas – made Primrose start to think more about her motherhood. She felt that, where her own mother had been a bit too proper and “grown up”, she herself was a bit on the childish side still. They had always been opposites, but now she thought that maybe she should try to aim to be a bit more like her mother after all. So as much as she loved her long hair and girly, bright pink outfits, she decided to get a make-over to look more like the mother of three that she was. Deric was reading to the twins when she came home from the hair salon. She snuck through the door to the nursery and stood around the corner for a couple of minutes, listening to him read. The twins were already fast asleep, she could hear as much from their deep breathing.
“What do you think?” She asked as she stepped in front of Deric who was sitting in the nursery armchair. She struck a pose and giggled a little.

Deric slowly put the book on the table next to him and stood up. At first Primrose thought that he was unhappy with the make-over. But he soon shot her a playful smirk.

“Well, I think you look…” Suddenly he pounced her, kissing her neck playfully so that she started laughing; she was quite ticklish and her husband knew this of course.
“Sshh, sshh” He cautioned, putting a hand gently over her mouth, and proceeded to lead her to the bedroom.

Even though they hadn’t consciously been planning for another child just yet, Primrose was soon expecting again.


“Delly, do you know mommy has a baby in her belly?” Primrose asked her daughter a few weeks later when she, Deric and Vendela were playing out in the garden, the sun starting to set over the ocean that you could just barely glimpse from their top-of-the-hill-house.

“Yeah,” Deric chimed in. “won’t it be fun to have a little baby brother or sister?” Vendela gave something that looked like a rather poor attempt at a shrug.
“I awedi have a bwothei and sistei.” She said with a smile as she continued jumping up and down on her spring horse, acting like she had just finalized the decision that there would not be another baby in the family after all. Primrose and Deric looked at each other, each wearing a faint smile to hide their worries. As she cheered her daughter on, Primrose thought about the fact that within a few months, and she knew from experience how fast they would pass, she would have four children. Four.

Would she be able to handle it? Or rather, she corrected herself quickly, would they be able to handle it? She glanced at Deric who was still sitting in the sand. He seemed to be lost in thought too. He sat silently for a few more minutes before he stood up, brushed the sand off of his clothes, and declared that he would go check on the twins, who were supposed to be sleeping.

Primrose let her daughter play around in the sandbox for a few more minutes before she resolutely leaned down to pick her daughter up. Suddenly those chubby little arms reached for her face.

“Mommy pwetty.” Vendela mumbled as she caressed her mother’s cheeks as softly as if she had been petting a newborn kitten. She buried her face against her mother and hugged her as hard as she could, not being able to reach around her of course, but doing her best nonetheless. Primrose was dumbstruck for a moment. Then silent tears started streaming down her face.

As she went inside to change Vendela into her pajamas, she thought that maybe they could handle four kids, after all. A little while later when Vendela was fast asleep and Primrose was about to go to bed, the emotions from before, hit her again. She realized how heavily weighed her heart had been from the thought of not being enough for Vendela. Certainly this could be a onetime thing, but she felt like it was actually the beginning of a change in their relationship. She went into the nursery to kiss the twins goodnight, and found that Deric was standing there, looking down at the sleeping babies. His serene face turned into one of alarm when he saw Primrose’s tears.

“Oh, honey, what’s wrong? Was she fussy?” He was talking about Vendela of course, who was going through a period of not wanting to go to bed at night. But Primrose shook her head and laughed.

“No, no, everything is great. I am such a baby. I’m crying because, well, I think me and Delly are going to be okay.” Deric, who had listened to hours of Primrose going over her worries, knew right away what she was talking about, and he pulled her into a tight hug.

He didn’t really know what the proper thing to say might be, so he settled for the obvious:
“Well… I told you so…”

SEVERAL YEARS LATER…

“Oh my goodness, I can’t for the life of me understand how you get any time at all to write!” Tilly exclaimed with a twinkle in her eye at Primrose. They were seated out on the patio, Primrose enjoying her steaming cup of coffee and Tilly focusing on the toddler on her lap.

All of the Sterling family was outside, enjoying the next to perfect weather.
“Well, the big ones are at school during the days, of course. And the little ones… Well, there’s a very good thing about siblings. They are really good at entertaining each other. But yeah, I sometimes have to force myself to stay up and write for a couple of hours at night when everyone’s asleep. It’s okay though, it’s worth it.” Primrose looked at her half-sister again and realized, as she had done every time they had met during the last few years, how old she looked.

She was truly an example of how looks could be deceiving. Despite the pronounced wrinkles in her face and hands, and the grey streaks in her hair, Tilly was as alert and on the go as ever. She had even brought training equipment with her on the train to Starkhaven.
“Gotta keep my body fit for fight!” She had exclaimed at their confused faces when she arrived, and then she had made a high kick in the air, that showed how incredibly nimble she was compared to Primrose.

Returning back to the present, Primrose drew a deep breath and looked at Tilly.
“So anyway… Have you thought about it, really? Are you sure you can do it? Because we can still cancel the plane tickets, but only for a few more hours, so…”

She trailed off, but to her relief wasn’t left with the awkward silence she had anticipated.
“Oh, no, of course I’ll do it!” Tilly piped up, almost indignantly. “I said I would, did you really think I would back out now? No, no, you deserve a vacation.” She peered out into the stark sunshine, shielding her eyes with her hand.
“So Vendela will come with you…” She searched for the eldest child and soon found her vividly dressed form high up in the air on the other side of the fence. She was jumping on the trampoline.

“And Nicholas of course.” She went on as she saw that Vendela had been joined by her younger brother. His bright blonde hair gleamed in the sunlight as he seemed to be trying the most daring tricks he could think of.

Primrose turned her head away quickly. She still hadn’t learned to accept that her children were going to try new things and that they were indeed going to get a little hurt every now and then. Deric always told her it was part of growing up, and she was really struggling to agree with him.
“Mm, yes.” She said as she turned her head back, forcing her eyes to stay locked on Tilly.

“Suzy is coming too. Couldn’t leave her behind when Nick gets to come, and I think she’s really gonna enjoy it.” Suzette was perched up on a hammock, reading. She seemed to be enveloped in her own little world.

“Oh! Yes, of course!” Tilly let out, a little too loudly, a faint blush appearing on her cheeks. “She’s so quiet, I… almost forgot about her.” She chuckled awkwardly.
“Well, yeah, the three of them are coming with us.” Primrose said, not wanting to embarrass her sister further. She knew exactly what it felt like to forget about Suzette. Even her teachers said that she was a master at becoming “invisible”. It was incredible how different she was from her twin brother. Tilly now turned her attention to the little boy on her lap, who was playing with his favorite plushy toy. She tried to peer under his hat to look into his eyes.

“And the small ones are staying here with me. Hey, Tato, you’re staying here with aunt Tilly, right?” Tato gave her an indignant look.
“I not schmall. I much biggei den Lassy!” He pointed at his blonde brother, who was sitting on the grass, playing with the family dog Pookee.

“Oh, Tato!” Primrose scolded a little impatiently. “You know that’s not his name. It’s Silas. Sigh-lass.” She said it slowly a couple more times until Tato, with a grudging look, pronounced it correctly.
“Well anyway” she went on, a little ruffled. “Tato and Silas are staying here, and the triplets too, obviously.” She glanced at the now worn and well used makeshift crib standing in the shade over by the wall.

“I don’t think they would appreciate the plane ride. And we probably wouldn’t have much of a vacation either, if we brought them along. Deric has always wanted to travel but well… Things got in the way.” Deric, who up until now had been standing in silence, focusing on the feeding of baby Caleb, let out a little laugh.

“Yeah. “Things”.” He said teasingly. “And why are you blaming me? You know you’ve been wanting to go to France for years!” He gently took the bottle from the mouth of the baby he was holding, and set it down on the table. “Besides, it will be good for the kids to have some quality time with us.” He added as he went over to the crib to tuck the sleeping baby in with the other two; Arya and Brock.

Primrose took a deep sip of her coffee.
“Yeah, that’s something I’ve been trying to do more and more recently. I want each of them to have time with us that isn’t shared with everyone else, you know? I don’t want them to feel neglected.”

Tilly pondered for a moment before replying.
“Yes, I understand. I know that Amelia wasn’t the most loving. I mean, she loved you!” She added hastily. “But she didn’t always have a great way of showing it, I noticed that too.” Primrose stared down into her coffee.

She could tell that Tilly wanted to talk more about this, but as she herself needed to do some packing, she promptly stood up and called to the kids to go inside.
“Delly, Suzy, Nick, you go to your rooms and start packing!”

Vendela ran up to her mother, her face full of anticipation and glee.
“Does that mean we’re really going!?”

“Yes!” Her mother answered with a big smile. Then she turned to Tilly, who had just picked up baby Arya. “Oh, and Till. Uhm, the dogs will have to stay here too. Pookee is pregnant again and I don’t want to move her, is that okay..?”

Although Tilly certainly didn’t consider herself very good with animals, she agreed when Deric assured her that all she needed to do was give the dogs food and let them out in the garden a few times a day.

Three days later Primrose, Deric and their three oldest children arrived at a quaint little hotel in Champs Les Sims.

“Wow, it all looks so… Old.” Nicholas let out as he looked around.

His fingers were itching to get to try all the doors and see if any were unlocked. Maybe he could find some secret hideout where he and Suzette could store a stash of pirated goods. He loved pirates, and their whole code of living. He knew he wanted to be a pirate when he grew up, and he also knew that you had to practice to be good at something. This was the perfect place to find new victims to practice on. Deric chuckled at his remark.
“Haha, well yeah, that’s ‘cause it is old. This whole town has been here for centuries.” He glanced at a part of the building that had begun to crumble apart. “I sure hope they’ve secured all that rock and stuff.” With his luck though, he thought to himself, it would probably be a good idea to avoid going through the passage underneath, just in case.

As soon as they had settled into their rooms in the incredibly small but very cozy hotel, the family scattered. Primrose immediately began venturing to the different historical and renowned locations of the city with her easel; trying to paint as much of the beauty as she had time for.

This kept her busy as long as there was daylight. In the evenings she spent as much time as she possibly could with her children, playing games, watching TV or just talking into the small hours of the night. She couldn’t help but notice, and feel a bit saddened, that Vendela was often absent from these family gatherings.

Deric spent his time mostly around the hotel, making sure the kids were okay, but letting them roam and explore almost as much as they wanted to. In comparison to Primrose, he didn’t worry too much about the children and thought that it was good for them to get a break from their mother’s usually tight leashes. She wouldn’t have had to worry much about Suzette though, who preferred playing chess with her father or sitting in her room reading.

She had quickly acquired a few books in French that she was trying to teach herself how to read. Nicholas, who was already adept at keeping his bad behavior from his parents, made a promise to himself to wreak as much havoc around town as he could, without his mom or dad noticing. On their second day in Champs Les Sims he passed a fruit stand outside a grocery store near the hotel and thought to himself: “What would a pirate do?”. He promptly managed to turn the table over, scattering fruit all over the street and grabbed a few apples in his flight.

A few days later he saw a girl around his age bending over to pick some flowers, and he again thought: “What would a pirate do?”. He proceeded to push the girl into the grass after painfully (for her) having pulled a sparkly ribbon out of her hair. In short, Nicholas was enjoying himself immensely. He wasn’t really an evil kid but… Well yeah, he kinda was.


Vendela, the oldest of the Sterling children and therefore the one left with the most freedom, had an adventure of her own in France. She had actually been the one to suggest Champs Les Sims as their trip destination, and although it was true that she had made a special project about the town as a school assignment, this wasn’t the true reason why she wanted to go there. The real reason, was Pascal. They had met at an online community a few months earlier, where they had soon realized that they had a lot in common, such as ballet, and that they actually really enjoyed talking to each other. After unpacking and having lunch with her family, Vendela rushed to the address that Pascal had texted her. As she stepped out of the cab, she recognized him immediately, where he sat on the doorstep. He looked just like his picture, only cuter. At first they hugged awkwardly, their hands barely touching each other.

But Vendela, who was the opposite of her shy little sister, went for a kiss, and Pascal gladly answered it.

The next night, as soon as she had gotten away from her mother’s infuriating “family time”, Vendela ran across town to a restaurant slash café where Pascal had asked her to meet him.

A late night dinner awaited them, displaying the best of French cuisine. As Vendela looked into Pascal’s eyes, she realized that this must be what it felt like to find “the one”. She had never felt anything like it before. This was it.

Suddenly Pascal started talking, which startled Vendela a little as they had both been quiet for several minutes, and the room was empty apart from them.
“Do you want to go to a party with me tomorrow?” He asked in a thick French accent that Vendela had loved from the moment they had met. She didn’t really like his proposition, however. She pursed her lips a little. She wasn’t the type to hide her emotions.
“Well, actually, I was hoping we could just spend time together, just you and me… Maybe… Maybe in my room at the hotel…” Even though she had ventured to sound coy, the obvious look of flirt, love and lust that she gave him, couldn’t be misinterpreted. Pascal stopped mid-motion and seemed to almost drop his fork before he steadied himself.

He stared down at his plate for a long moment before looking back up at her with a bit of a clouded look in his eyes.
“If you like to, Delly…” The hairs on her neck stood up. She loved the way he pronounced her name. Dell-eee. She gave him a determinative nod in response and immediately, she had the feeling that butterflies had moved into her tummy.

Did you guys remember Tilly? She was Mort’s daughter from his first marriage. She actually turned into a young adult just before Mort and Amelia’s wedding, and had a child (Donnel, who is helping her take care of the Sterling youngens) not long after Primrose was born. It’s nice to have her back in my game for a bit. And I thought she fit perfectly into the storyline here.

And then there’s this whole France trip, and Vendela’s “decision”, I suppose you could say. What are your thoughts about that? Do you think Pascal will turn out to be a good guy or a not so good one? And what will Primrose say if she finds out?

/Alexandra

PS: Since such a long time has passed during this chapter, there are LOTS of pics in the Outtakes section above. :) Enjoy!

2.02 Creativity Takes Courage

Primrose grieved for her mother almost more than she had for her father. Personally, she thought it was because when Mort had died, she hadn’t been able to really take in the emotions fully as she had had to care for her feeble mother. This time around, there was no one depending on her. Well, of course there was Deric, and baby Vendela. But she still thought that the situation was very different for her now. She wasn’t alone; she didn’t have to “suck it up” right away.

But weeks passed, weeks that eventually turned into months, and Primrose still couldn’t seem to let go of her mother. Deric was starting to get honestly worried. One day he had had enough of seeing his wife so miserable.
“Prim, honey. Maybe we should move?”

They were sitting on the couch watching TV; some stupid show about finding love. Prim turned her head sharply towards Deric. He threw his hands up defensively to make her wait and listen.

“I know that you can’t move every time you lose someone that you love. But this house is too small for us already.” He stared at his feet. “And you do still want more kids, don’t you?” Primrose nodded silently. “Well then it makes even more sense. We will have to move soon anyway, and I think a change of scenery would really do you good. Think about it, we could get a house with a big garden, where Vendela could toddle around. And when she gets older, I can build her a tree house.” They both knew that Deric was way too accident-prone to ever get into a project like that, but the thought made Primrose smile, something that hadn’t happened many times since Amelia’s passing.

She had to admit that Deric was making a compelling argument. So they started looking at houses. At first, they only considered houses in the same area where they were already living. But soon they started looking at other parts of Riverblossom Falls. And then one evening…

Deric flung up the front door and almost fell inside. He was out of breath as if he had been running straight from the school. In his hand was a newspaper.

“Prim! Primrose, where are you?!” He yelled into the seemingly empty house. A moment later Primrose came rushing down the stairs in a fright.

“What’s happened, what’s wrong?!” She asked hurriedly, looking her husband over to see if he was hurt. When he didn’t immediately answer, she grabbed his face with both hands and looked into his eyes. “Are you alright?!” Deric took a few deep breaths as he shoved the newspaper into her hands. She read the page silently. Then she looked up at him with a bewildered look on her face. Deric gave a soft laugh.

“Nothing’s wrong, sweetie. I’m sorry for scaring you. But look at this house.” He pointed at an ad on the page. “It’s perfect. Five bedrooms, a big garden, and honey – there’s even a tree house; just like we talked about.” She could see the excitement in his eyes as clearly as she could hear it in his voice. But she was still confused.
“Deric… This house is in Starkhaven.” She looked up at him and was puzzled to see that his expression didn’t change to defeat, or surprise, but to something hard and determined. As if he was ready for a fight.
“There is nothing holding us to Riverblossom Falls. Think about it. No, really, think about it. I can easily get a job in Starkhaven; they need good teachers there too. Mr. Carlton will give me a great recommendation; he’s already told me so. And you don’t need The Falls to paint or to write, your talent will be available to you wherever you go.” Deric felt like maybe this wasn’t the perfect time to give compliments, but he figured it wouldn’t hurt either. He went on. “Yes, yes, I know that you have your sister here, but really, how often do you see each other? If we moved, you might actually spend more quality time together, don’t you think? Starkhaven is only a couple of hours away.”

She could see and hear that he had indeed thought about this for some time. But then, why was he only showing this to her now? And what was the hurry? She asked him about it bluntly, and could see immediately that he was keeping something from her.
“Tell me.” She said, her teeth clenching slightly.

His fingers fumbled with the sleeves of his jacket.
“Oh, well, to be honest… I’ve been looking at this house for a while. The realtor even gave me a… virtual tour.” He faltered for a moment, and then went on in a quicker pace. “But it was only because I didn’t want to get your hopes up. I wanted to know it was perfect before I talked it over with you. And it is pretty darn perfect, believe me. I’ve gone through all the paper work and checked up on the neighborhood and you know… All that stuff. I think we would be very happy there. It’s just… Well… There are two others who want to buy it…”
“And the bidding starts..?” Primrose asked inquiringly. She could see that he was still fidgety. He looked at her with a weak smile and answered:
“Yesterday…”

At first Primrose was angry. But it didn’t take long for her curiosity to get the better of her. Deric showed her all the information he had, and almost before they knew it… The Sterlings owned a house in Starkhaven. Thanks to the money they had gotten for selling Mineor Incorporated, they were able to outbid anyone who stood in their way. Selling their little townhouse in Riverblossom Falls was easier than they had expected, and within a few weeks, they took their little Vendela, their belongings, and their memories – and left Riverblossom Falls.

“Honey, I’m home!” Deric shouted playfully from the entry.

A few weeks had passed since they had started settling in, and just as he had predicted, there had not been any trouble for him to find a new job. He had actually gotten a position at a very prestigious private school in the downtown area of Starkhaven. He could hear that the TV was on, but no one immediately greeted him. He let out a little sigh. The move had certainly raised Primrose’s spirits and she didn’t seem to think of her loss as much anymore. She was bringing the old Apple trees in the garden to life again, and that seemed to do her good as well.

But she was terribly lonely. While Deric had already gotten to know several people at the school, Primrose didn’t seem to have the strength to get out and meet new people at all. She didn’t even have to say it out loud, Deric knew it by looking at her and listening to everything else she said. And he could certainly sympathize. He loved Vendela with all his heart, but he wouldn’t have wanted to be cooped up with her all day long, every day, either. Just as he thought about that little bundle of cute annoyance, she came scooting around the corner into the entry. She had just started to learn how to get around on her own. Slowly but surely she inched closer to him.
“Hi baby girl!” He cooed, scooping her up into his arms and nuzzling her affectionately as he stepped into the living area.

Primrose was lying on the couch, staring at the TV with a dazed expression.

“Do you want me to take Vendela for a walk so you can have a little time for yourself?” He asked. Of course being left behind wouldn’t help much with her feelings of loneliness, but he knew by now that inviting her to come along wouldn’t make any difference. He also knew that Vendela probably hadn’t been outside all day.
“Sure” she sighed with a nod, and Deric went back outside to put Vendela in her stroller.

On his way home from the park, Deric saw a flyer nailed to a tree.

He stopped and looked at it a bit closer.

Deric looked down at the sleeping baby. A thought had struck him as if by lightning. Of course – this was the answer! Primrose was lonely. A dog would be perfect!

For two weeks Deric had kept it a secret from Primrose, and he had been happy and full of anticipation all along. But now that he sat in his car with a rambunctious puppy playing around in the back seat, thoughts of doubt started creeping into his mind.

What if Primrose didn’t want a dog? What if she would be mad that he hadn’t asked her about it first? This was a pretty big decision after all. By the time he pulled into the carport he had a knot in his stomach. Oh Maker let this go over well, he thought nervously as he walked up the stone steps to the house. Everything was quiet inside. But through the open doors to the dining room, he could see his wife standing by the sink with her back to him.

He moved across the still empty dining room quietly, she hadn’t heard him. For a split second he thought: I can still go back to the breeder and say I changed my mind, it’s not too late, she would never know. But of course he wouldn’t do that. He stood by the door for a moment, watching her.

Then he cleared his throat. Primrose jumped and turned around with a small frown on her face.
“Oh, Deric, you scared m-“ She stopped, stared at the small, furry bundle in Deric’s hand, and her hand rose to her mouth in shock.

“Deric…What did you do?” At first he wasn’t sure what this meant. Was she happy or upset? But the glassy look of her eyes soon gave him a clue. Primrose started taking a few, almost stumbling steps towards him. He put the puppy on the floor. It immediately ran into the living room and started sniffing around. When Primrose finally reached him, he took her in his arms and held her lovingly.
“You bought me a puppy?” She asked softly, her eyes twinkling at him.

“Mhm. I thought we were ready.” They both let out a little laugh. “It’s a boy, by the way.” Primrose stroked the back of his neck, and then started rubbing her slightly rounded belly. She had been to the doctor earlier that day.
“And these are one of each.”

The next few months, with preparing for the birth of twins on top of continuously settling into their new home, went by so quickly that none of them really noticed how fast Matisse grew into a full-fledged teenager. Matisse, of course, was the name Primrose had given her puppy. He was a wild thing with the appearance of an angel, or so Primrose thought, and no matter how many carpets he destroyed, she always forgave him and said that he was just acting like a teenager should.

Vendela was growing too, though she was far from being a teenager yet.

By the time Primrose’s pregnancy was in its third trimester, Vendela was starting both to walk and talk. Her first word had been “daddy”, and it still seemed to be her favorite one so far; the bond between Deric and Vendela was very strong.

Primrose could see some resemblance to the relationship she and her father had had. They had been “as thick as thieves” too. With some small sadness in her heart she realized that she wasn’t Vendela’s first pick, no matter how hard she tried to give her anything and everything she wanted.

The arrival of the carefree and bubbly Matisse had, to Deric’s great relief, had the desired effect on Primrose. She had found several new acquaintances just by taking Matisse and Vendela for walks. Primrose was also writing and painting much more than she had been previously.

This, as she was by now starting to get noticed for her skill, certainly helped bring money into the household, in turn giving the couple an opportunity to completely re-decorate a bedroom for the upcoming arrival of the twins.

She had even started to get noticed for her talent. Her best review so far was one that had been published in “Times of Starkhaven”, one of the city’s oldest and biggest newspapers. It said:


Hey guys! Much of this chapter was seen kind of from Deric’s point of view. I don’t know if that’s preferable or not (I feel like Primrose hasn’t really turned out to be the lovable character I wanted her to be)? Also, this chapter certainly isn’t my best, I just really needed to get this out since I’ve already played through the twins’ birth and baby days and I just want to get to the next chapter now. Either way, I hope you liked it and please tell me what you think of the house! I actually built it myself (I usually download) and I didn’t use a floor plan or anything, I just experimented really. And last but not least, feel free to check out the loads of outtakes from this chapter, and more pictures of the new house, in the menu above. :)

/Alexandra

2.01 Expect the Unexpected

It didn’t take long for Primrose and Deric to start talking about having children. In fact, they ceremoniously flushed Prim’s birth control pills down the toilet only a couple of weeks after they had gotten married.
Even though Deric had just started his new job as a teacher, and Primrose didn’t technically have a steady income, they both felt like they were ready. It was time, not only for their own sakes, but because they knew that their mothers were not exactly young anymore. Amelia was getting more confused every day, and her “good days” were becoming more and more scarce.

“Oh, mom, we’ve talked about this before.” Amelia looked doubtfully at her daughter, who went on: “I promise. We have.”
The first time they had discussed the subject, Amelia had been subdued by painkillers, so Primrose had thought it a good time to bring the subject up. Unfortunately, this had turned out to be a not so very great idea, as Amelia had clearly forgotten about the entire conversation. Primrose now stared at the floor awkwardly.
“I’m going to be a painter, mom. Or a writer. Or both, I don’t know, we’ll see!” She sighed exasperatedly, because she could see that her mother was fuming. But before she had time to respond, Primrose started up again. “The point is, mother, that I will not be taking over at Mineor. I know you want me to and I understand, but I just can’t.” It was Amelia’s time to let out a sigh.
“Oh, don’t be stupid Prim. You don’t realize how big this company could get. It grows constantly. But I can’t do it on my own anymore, and you know it.” Primrose nodded softly. Things had been falling apart for years now. At least when it came to her mother running the massive company that Primrose’s father had once started. “And besides, you can’t live off of painting and writing. Those are hobbies.” Amelia looked imploringly at her daughter, who was now wearing an angry expression on her face. You may think so, but Deric believes in me! And it doesn’t matter what you want because you can’t decide what I do with my life! You should just be grateful we haven’t shipped you off to a retirement home! Yet!” Primrose’s old disdain had surfaced that day for the first time in years, and Amelia had slunk out of the kitchen with a hurt and sorrowful look on her face. But most of the time, to everyone’s surprise, the two of them actually got along very well. Sometimes Primrose thought back to the time when she would have done anything to be as far away from her mother as possible, and marveled at it. Nowadays, her biggest anxiety was that one day; Amelia actually wouldn’t be there anymore.

“I’m so nervous.” Primrose whimpered with a glance at her husband. “What if she doesn’t approve?” They were standing outside Deric’s childhood home. Even though they weren’t expected, and hadn’t called to see that Laura was home, Deric knew that she must be. If she wasn’t over at their place, she could always be found at home. He grabbed Primrose’s hand and gave her a reassuring look.
“Come on sweetie. It’ll be fine.” He almost had to pull her towards the door. He rang the doorbell. In a few moments they could see Laura through the glass. She beamed at them as she opened the door.
“Oh! Deric, Primrose, are you here to visit little, old me?” Primrose smiled nervously and the three of them stepped inside. A warm, delicious smell met them as they entered. As if Laura had expected them, a great soup was simmering on the stove. Together they set the table and poured the hot soup into Laura’s precious china bowls. Deric had a panicked look in his eye as he sat down by the table. As much as he tried to keep a calm and collected front for Primrose, he was actually just as nervous as she was. They hadn’t told Laura that they were trying to have a baby, not even hinted at it even though they saw each other almost every day. For a few moments they sat in silence, tasting the soup. Then Deric spoke.
“Mom…” He cleared his throat. “We’re actually not just here on a random visit. There’s something we want to tell you.” His hands were shaking, so he placed them on his knees under the table. Laura looked at him with calm interest as she brought another spoonful of soup to her mouth. “Well… It’s… We’re having a baby.” For a second all was quiet. Then Laura started coughing loudly. Deric was on his feet in an instant, bending over his mother’s frail body and trying to see if there was something he could do to help her. But she gestured for him to calm down. She drank some water and started taking deep, slow breaths.
“Mom, are you alright?” He patted her back lovingly until the coughing had stopped completely. Laura looked up at him. There was something panicked in her eyes now, but she nodded almost impatiently and bid he sit down again. He obeyed.
“Was this… planned?” Laura asked cautiously. Deric and Primrose both nodded as she looked from one to the other.“Alright then” she said with a sigh and grabbed her spoon again. The two youngster’s eyes met in shared bewilderment.
“Alright..?” Deric prodded carefully, hoping his mother would go on, with something a bit more revealing as to her thoughts of their big news.
“Well if you planned this, then I suppose it’s all well thought over. Who am I to judge you? Even though you are very young…” She winked at Primrose to show that she was only teasing, well mostly, anyway. The tension in the air dissolved immediately and Laura clapped her hands together.“So I am going to be a grandmother? Oh, I really am getting old, aren’t I?” At this, Primrose smiled happily, and all through the drive home she was humming a very merry tune.
Amelia, who had by several unfortunate accidents both heard and seen that the young couple under her roof was trying hard to have a baby, wasn’t at all surprised when she got the news later the same evening. She merely smiled, congratulated them, and said that she would be happy to babysit anytime. Of course they all knew that this was out of the question on account of her increasing dementia, but it didn’t really matter. It was the gesture that mattered, and it meant more to Primrose than even Deric could understand.

Happiness and love enveloped the Sterling household for a few months, and then suddenly, the figurative rug was yanked right out from under their feet. Laura passed away during an operation at the hospital. There was no one to blame. The risks for someone that old had been quite high, but this, Laura had not chosen to tell her family beforehand. In the middle of preparing for a new life entering theirs, they were now stricken with the grief of Laura’s having ended all too soon. Amelia was probably the one who took it the hardest. She and Laura had been friends for many years, even before Primrose and Deric were born. And not only that. Laura had also been the one to care for Amelia when Primrose and Deric couldn’t cope. How many nights had Laura slept beside Amelia to keep the nightmares and illusions away? Too many to count.“Deric!” Primrose screamed at the bottom of the stairs. “Don’t forget to turn the lights out up there! I’ll wait in the cab. But hurry! I don’t think she wants to stay in here for much longer!” She clutched at her stomach as another jolt of pain surged through her body. Finally the day had come. Finally she would get to see her baby!

About three days later Primrose emerged from the hospital with a baby girl in her arms, and eyes that were bloodshot from all the tears she had shed. There were none left, it seemed, but her heart was still as broken as it had been for the last 48 hours. She looked at Deric who was already by the street, holding the cab door open for her. He looked almost as grieved as she was. Amelia had after all been like a second mother to him, especially since Laura had passed away. And now they had no one left to guide them through the daunting maze of parenthood.

Yay! I did it! I finally finished another chapter! It only took me about four months… :P Well, I actually took a break from everything Sims, and then when I wanted to start playing again, the Pets EP broke everything. I seem to be back on track now, though, and I’m hoping to get quite a few chapters out in the new year! Did you miss the Sterlings?

/Alexandra

PS: Don’t forget to check out the outtakes (look at the top of the page)!