Partridge in the Pear Tree Pub | 4th of Simcember
After her conversation with Gracie, Elle returned home to an empty house.
“Hello? Cathy?” she called out into the darkness as she walked into the foyer.
She was greeted with nothing but silence. Not even a single patron or employee filled the pub downstairs. Elle frowned, wondering where everyone was, and why the pub wasn’t open. The thought of spending the night alone filled her with discomfort. Clicking through her phone, she wished her friends and family lived closer. She opened a web browser hunting for local hot-spots, hoping to find something to occupy her time. The Ice Lounge on the other side of town sounded most intriguing…
Enjoy a frigid evening with friends right on the historic waterfront at the Ice Lounge. Help yourself to a Christmas cocktail, boogie beneath icicles on the dance floor, and enjoy the cool atmosphere during your night on the town. Exclusive ice rink for lounge patrons. Are you graceful or clumsy? Depends on whether you’ve had too many cocktails.
Elle chuckled at the ‘clumsy’ bit. That would definitely be me. She changed into festive, but warm attire, wrote Cathy a note and stuck it to the refrigerator, and then stepped out.
The Ice Lounge was only an eleven minute walk. It was pleasant enough, and strangely, the air had warmed somewhat. Elle enjoyed taking in the sights, appreciating the old Sim Union-style architecture and the way the moonlight sparkled on the lake like dancing sugar plum fairies. I think I’m going to like living here.
Ice Lounge | 4th of Simcember
When she arrived at her destination, Elle noticed a glamorous looking, silver-haired woman in a black sparkling evening gown standing on the pier, chatting with another grey-haired woman. Wow! I hope I can rock that look when I’m that age! Elle gaped just a bit.
“Love your outfit,” Elle remarked awkwardly interjecting herself in the conversation.
The one woman nodded and left. The other woman in the evening gown broke into an wide, warm smile.
“Hello, and thank you,” she said. “I like your outfit too. In the spirit of holiday colors.”
“Oh,” Elle flushed. “This was just something I threw together. Hi, I’m Elle.”
Elle shook the woman’s hand, her eyes bulging. “Like Claus… Claus.”
“Yes, married to Mister Clause,” Mary winked.
“Oh my!” Elle gasped.
“He would very much appreciate your hat, I think,” Mary said, her eyes twinkling.
Elle walked inside after producing her ID, impressed with the beautiful one-roomed lounge with a three-hundred-and-sixty degree view of Lake Hunnewell. Soft strains of jazz wafted throughout the circular room, its centerpiece an enormous sixty-foot tall tree with silver garland and crystal blue balls dangling on its frosted branches. Elle breathed in and out, trying to calm her nerves. It would be good to meet people in this beautiful place. She was surprised it wasn’t more crowded, but then again it was a week night.
Two patrons were sitting at the modern-looking bar with ice-blue glowing lights in the foot area and sprigs of holly atop the counter. The bartender in a three piece grey suit served two older individuals. Elle whistled softly. He looks sharp! She was bummed she didn’t recognize more young people. This was a college town after all. Right now it seems like a retirement home in here.
“Hey! Hey!” Elle lifted her hand in greeting. “What white wines are you serving?”
The bartender offered a low wave and replied, “We have a house wine and the Monte Vistan Grappo Blanco in stock tonight.”
“Ooo…” Elle exclaimed. “I’ll have that. How much?”
“Glass or bottle?” he inquired.
“Glass,” she flushed. “I don’t think I could finish a bottle without some company.”
Oh plum! Was that flirting? That was flirting! That sounded flirtatious. Oh llamas! I hope he doesn’t think I’m coming onto him. But he is kinda hot.
His eyes sparkled as he poured the drink.
Elle found a seat, a tall throne-like white cushioned chair in the far corner, far away from the bar and the bartender with the expressive eyes. Mmmm… this is delicious, she sipped her wine and watched as other customers trickled into the Lounge.
Mary Clause approached the grand piano, an eggnog sort-of color. Eggnog! I should order some rum and eggnog. That would be delicious. Elle smiled as the woman began to play a lively jazzy tune. She glanced shyly back to the bar and noticed the bartender staring in her direction.
Elle nearly dropped her glass, spilling some wine on her green sweater dress.
“Gah!” her face must have turned a thousand shades of red.
“Elle, I think I could use a partner,” Mary interrupted her embarrassing moment.
“You look like a woman who sings,” Mary replied.
“What? Who me?” Elle exclaimed. “You want me to sing?”
“Yes, would you?” Mary requested, extending her hand.
Elle swallowed hard as a small crowd began to gather. She somehow willed her legs to stand and walked to the golden microphone after Mary’s gentle prompting.
“What should I sing?” she whispered, terrified, whipping her gaze to Mary.
The woman seemed to exude confidence as she stood just right of the piano.
“Whatever you like, Elle,” Mary said. “I’ll play along.”
“Are you ready?” Elle asked, humming nervously as she thought of a tune.
“Yes, whenever you’re ready,” Mary nodded, stepping to the bench.
Elle coughed, and nervously cleared a tickle from her throat before beginning a shy and sweet mezzo-soprano.
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear
Gaining confidence, Elle continued as Mary provided the echo.
Silver bells, (silver bells) silver bells (silver bells)
It’s Christmas time in the city
Hear them ring, (hear them ring)
Soon it will be Christmas day
When she was finished, many people clapped, and a few dropped some Simoleons in a nearby tray in appreciation. Elle flushed with pleased pride. She noticed the bartender had momentarily paused mixing drinks, but he quickly averted his eyes when she looked in his direction.
Feeling confident, she returned to the counter and ordered an eggnog with spiced rum.
A woman in a bright red dress walked past Elle as she fiddled with her Santa hat.
“Hey,” she glanced over her shoulder with a grin. “You’ve got a great voice.”
“Oh!” Elle’s hand froze in mid air. “Thank you.”
“You should come by and sing at the Noggin’ Nutcracker sometime,” the woman said.
“Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m not really…” Elle trailed off. Not really what.
“No, you’re good,” the lady in red said. “I mix drinks there, so I come here for some wind-down chill-time, but you’re the first singer from here I want to poach.”
“I don’t really sing here,” Elle shook her head. “I just indulged…” she bobbed her head toward Mary. “Mrs. Clause over there.”
“If you change your mind,” the woman said, flicking a card from the bust of her dress. “Here’s my contact info. I’m Margarita by the way.”
“Uh… thanks…” Elle licked her lips.
“Ah,” she collapsed at the main bar. “I need some food with all that juice I’ve been drinking. Barkeep, whaddaya have?”
“I prefer mixologist,” he said with a slight sniff. “I am an artiste. Kitchen’s closed.”
“What!” she exclaimed, her face falling. “No!”
“How about some pretzel rolls?” he offered. “I still have some of those.”
“Sure,” she stuffed a few Simoleon notes in the glass tip jar.
He perked up. “I’ve got cheesy stuffed ones.”
“I thought you said the kitchen was closed,” she said, tilting her head.
“I save these for special customers,” he smiled, leaning against the counter casually. “Ladies with Santa hats get discounts.”
A young man with spiked blue hair walked past, scoffing.
“Puh-lese! Jesse! What a waste of a line!”
The mixologist, presumably called Jesse, grimaced.
“Now, the hat is stupid,” the boy in the heavily studded leather jacket remarked. “…but you have a half-decent singing voice. We should jam sometime.”
“Uh thanks,” Elle narrowed her eyes. “How old are you?”
“Twenty-one, but I can be a lot more mature than say… Jesse here,” he said.
“Spencer, if you’re going to harass my customers, go away!” Jesse interjected. “You’re not even on the schedule tonight. And you’re seventeen,” he eyed the wild teenager with amusement.
“Fine, but listen Red, whenever you want to jam, you know where to find me,” he practically fell off the barstool.
Elle smothered a smile. Jesse laughed.
“Shove it, Jesse!” Spencer grunted. “I’m on the prowl tonight. And you’re ruining my game… with the ladies.”
“Rawrr!” he lifted his hands, wiggling his fingers and stalked off.
“Well that was…odd…” Elle said, snatching a pretzel roll. “Mmm… the hot cheese is a nice addition.”
“You’re welcome,” Jesse replied. “Like he said, I’m Jesse. Most newbies don’t sing on their first night.”
“I kinda got roped into it,” Elle glanced back over at the stage where Mary Clause still plunked away Christmas tunes on the keys. “She’s great.”
“Who? Mary? She’s been playing here for years,” Jesse said. “Her husband is away a lot.”
“Oh,” was all Elle could think to say. “And um… yes…” she shifted in her seat nervously. “I am new in town. Just transferred to the Uni.”
“Where are you from?” he inquired.
“Califorsimia,” she replied.
“Let me guess, Del Sol Valley?” he remarked. “Tried your hand at acting and couldn’t hack it so you came here to pursue a higher education.”
“Never been,” she confessed.
“What? You’ve never been?” he replied, wiping the counter. “Okay, I had you pegged wrong.”
“I prefer not to be a peg at all,” she replied. “Pegs are boring. I’d much rather be free to define myself by my standards, not societal norms.”
“A true unique,” Jesse grinned. “Hey, you just keep being you. Don’t lose that optimism.”
Elle flushed happily.
“If you’re from Califorsimia, you’ll probably find out quick, the night scene’s a little tired here, but this place isn’t half-bad,” Jesse offered.
“I don’t know,” Elle glanced around. “It could be very lively. I suppose I’m okay with quiet… if I have some nice-looking company.”
She squeaked internally. I just said that out loud? I said that aloud.
He looked away, smiling shyly for the first time all evening.
“You know my name, but I don’t know yours,” he said, as if avoiding the subject.
She was a little disappointed. “Elle. So tell me about yourself Jesse.”
“I uh… what’s there to tell? I didn’t want to go into the family biz. I moved here. Started taking classes at the uni. Moonlight as a mixologist at night.”
“I’m sure there’s more to you than that, Jesse,” Elle said softly.
“I sure hope so,” he chuckled awkwardly. “Hey we’re about to close up. I’ll pack up your food. It’s on the house, Elle.”
“Really? Thanks,” she grinned and then slipped into a yawn. “Oh… it’s late. Two am. Wow. I lost…” she continued to yawn. “…track of time.”
“Time well spent, I hope,” he grinned.
“Yeah,” she nodded. “I’ll see you around, Jesse.”
“Have a good night, Elle.”
Author Notes: I swear… my Simself and versions of my Simself are always attracted to bartenders. Maybe it’s cuz they are among some of the easiest Sims to meet. Jesse Daugherty is a game-generated Sim, but the two of them really hit it off unexpectedly. Mrs. Claus did invite Elle to sing, and Spencer did try to awkwardly hit on Elle (some mod I have… can’t remember what allowing teen-adult romance). Funny though. Margarita was the only one who exchanged numbers with Elle at the end of the night.
This chapter featured divanthesimmer’s Mrs. Clause, Margarita Mixer, and Spencer Goode. If I start at the beginning (it would be Cathy, Jasper, Gracie, Mary, and then Margarita as the 5th Sim). Though if I go in strict order, if I count the street vendor, it would be Mrs. Mary Clause. Or if I don’t count the street vendor, then technically, the mixologist, Jesse Daughtery. I can’t decide. Whom shall I feature in the next chapter?
Thanks for reading.