Goal #20: Tie Up Loose Ends, Part 3 (LASL)

Joseph miserable

Miserable, Joseph collapsed on Riley’s leather couch. That and an old record player and a coffee table were all that was left of Riley’s possessions. Everything else had been moved to his new home. Akira quipped that Joseph would have to be carried out in his pajama bottoms on the couch to get him to leave. Joseph was not amused.

He picked up a copy of his wife’s latest book, Clockwork Carnival. He was torturing himself. She didn’t want him anymore. She wouldn’t be his wife for much longer, but somehow leafing through the pages made him feel close to her again. The story followed a handsome Ferris wheel operator, muscular, tattooed, and dark haired, who kept having mysterious encounters with a beautiful redhaired woman every night at midnight on the carousel.

Unbeknownst to him, the woman pined away for her love from inside the mural on the carousel walls, forever trapped within the paint. On their final night together, she finally told him her fate and then climbed to the top of the Ferris wheel begging the gods to fly… just once. And when she fell and lay dying in his arms, she asked him four little words, “Do you still love me?”

Joseph couldn’t help but tear up a little at this couple’s ending. The male protagonist was named Joe. It was fitting. He could practically hear his Lizzie asking the same thing. The parallels were astonishing. Of course, he still loved her. He balled his fist and slammed it into the couch. I’m an idiot! She needs to hear that. In all his phone calls, messages, texts, and letters, he never once assured Lizzie of his love.

“Come on, get dressed,” Riley burst into the apartment.

“Not now, Riley,” Joseph shrugged and turned to face away from his friend, feeling pretty glum.

“No, you don’t have a choice,” Akira sauntered into the room. “We’re going out.”

Joseph and the guys

They arrived in Newcrest by nightfall. Riley and Akira planned some guys outing, and while Joseph wasn’t in the mood, he did appreciate his friends trying. John, Lizzie’s cousin was there, and his old roommate, Issador, whom Joseph had met at Cathy and Amy’s wedding. Munter Bacon flew into town to join the group, and that fighter pilot, Ace Reynolds also made an appearance. As they stepped off the tram, Joseph wondered what they were doing here.

“This is where you and Lizzie first had your date,” John explained.

“Yeah, so?” Joseph was confused. “It was a horrible first date. And I was an llama’s butt.”

Riley talks
“This,” Riley called from the sidewalk, speaking between sit-ups. “…is an… intervention, Joseph. You need Elizabeth. She needs you. And you need to be reminded of your love for each other.”

“So you took me to the site of a failed date?”

If he wasn’t so tired and heartachy from the past few months, he’d be amused.

“Come on,” Riley popped up from the curb, walking between Munter and John as the two were sizing each other up. “Now you boys play nice. We’re here for Joseph.”

“Of course,” Munter replied coolly.

“Right,” John grunted.

Joseph frowned. Were those two getting along now? He couldn’t keep up with Karleen’s exploits, but in the end, she seemed happy with Munter and John seemed happy with Ash.

“Julian’s already inside,” John remarked, waving to Joseph’s almost brother-in-law.

“Great, let’s go get some Bernish coffees,” Ace grinned.

“And wine,” Izzie said. “Do not forget the wine.”

“Oh the joie de vivre,” Riley swooned. “We drink wine. We sing loud. We fight the establishment…” he cleared his throat and hit his chest proudly. “Viva la revolucion! L’chaim! To Life! Let’s drink!”

“What revolution?” John wrinkled his nose.

“Space age or old world?” Ace interrupted.

“Don’t look at me,” Munter shrugged.

“I think he might already be intoxicated from raiding the mini bar in our train car,” Akira laughed lightly, steadying his partner by offering his arm. “And he’s mixing languages again.”

De nada!” Riley leaped onto one of the fence posts, scrunching like a leap frog. “People! There’s a party to be happening,” Riley said in an excited childlike tone. “Now come on, Joseph…” he urged, grabbing Joseph’s hand as he jumped from the post. “I’ve got something awesome planned.”

John and Joseph dancingForty minutes later, Joseph was laughing and dancing and singing along to “Ooo Child.” It was the song playing the night that Lizzie tried to get him to dance with her for the first time. He realized as he waved his arms in a silly fashion that he had been trying to keep up with her ever since, and she needed more than that. She needed him to be himself and to know who he was and to be confident in himself. He had struggled to hold a job and make sense of his life in orbit around the wildly successful and popular Lizzie and that jealousy and insecurity and pride had damaged their relationship and his sense of self.

Ooh, child, things are gonna get easier,” Akira sang loudly from out on the patio.

Ooh, child, things are gonna get brighter,” Riley sang tiredly from his seat at the table. “If I wasn’t so drunk off my llama’s butt,” he pumped his fist in the air. “…I’d come over there and join you all.”

Some day, yeah,” Joseph sang as he spun around. “We’ll get it together and we’ll get it all done. Some day when your head is much lighter.”

“Oooh yeah,” Riley said. “Someday… my head is gonna… tolerate… more… nectar…” he collapsed on the table.

We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun,” Joseph continued. “Some day when the world is much brighter.” He took off his cap and saluted the bartender. “You guys!” he exclaimed. “I gotta go.”

“Yeah, you go… you go get her!” Riley said, muffled, pumped his fist in the air without looking up.

“You want to borrow my jet?” Munter asked. “You could fly back to the city and pack your stuff.”

Joseph blinked a few times. “Right… um… sure… where is it?”

“At the airstrip, I’ll call ahead and arrange everything,” he replied, pulling out his phone. “Oh shoot!”

The device was already ringing.


“It’s my dad. He and my mum are coming into town. They want to meet Karleen,” Munter sighed. “I was kinda avoiding telling them about the baby.”

Joseph grinned and slapped his friend on the back. “You’re gonna be a great dad! I’m sure they’ll love her.”

“Hey man, you’re going to be a great dad,” Munter said. “Seriously, you and Lizzie are made for each other.”

“Thanks Munter,” Joseph smiled. “Thanks guys.” He waved to everyone. “Now I’ve gotta get to the airport.”

Everyone said goodbye, everyone except Riley.

“My head feels… funny… and words taste like…Skittles.”

Akira chuckled. “Alright, sweetie, it’s time to turn in at the hotel.”

Rob runs to catch Lizzie

I wandered through the Von Haunt Gardens, one of the most beautiful parks on the Eastern seaboard. It was a cool, foggy night so I opted for a leather jacket I had picked up at a thrift shop last time I went shopping with Karleen. My cap kept my hair from blowing all over the place in the wind. My wedges crunched against the gravel as I followed the brick wall surrounding the landscaped gardens.

I was happy. My flight was scheduled for the day after tomorrow. I would go home and see Joseph and make things up to him. I would ask for him to forgive me and take me back. That was the plan. I figured I had the next forty hours or so to come up with more eloquent lines, something that really reflected the state of my heart. Any time I was stuck on wording, I liked to stroll around town, usually late at night, to help freshen my perspective. I could’ve sworn someone was calling my name.


“Wow, you walk fast in heels,” Rob remarked as he stopped to catch his breath.

“Rob, what are you doing here?” I inquired.

“Still in town. Saw you. Thought I’d come. See how you’re doing,” he said, as he sharply inhaled between each statement. “And see. If. You. Want. To grab a coffee. With me. You still like.. Simithiopian?”

“I’m going home, Rob,” I said. “To Joseph.”

Not even coffee could tempt me away.

“Really? I’m glad for you,” Rob panted, bending over to grab his knees.

“You don’t sound too convincing,” I narrowed my eyes.

“Look Lizzie, I always wanted you to be happy,” he said, taking some gasping breaths.

“Are you okay, Rob?” I asked, frowning.

“And I always wanted you to be mine. But those two things aren’t necessarily in line with each other,” he offered with a shaky laugh. “And yeah, I’m fine. I wish you luck, Lizzie. Now where can a guy find the facilities around here?”

“Good night,” I waved as he ran away, puzzled, but still feeling peaceful in my heart about my choice to go home to my husband.

I toyed with my ring. “Oh Joseph, I’ll be home soon,” I whispered.

Rob at a dead endThirty minutes later, Rob hit yet another dead end in what felt like the endless maze of bushes in the Von Haunt Gardens. This felt like some sort of strange parallel to his life. He once loved Lizzie, but he lost her every time to Joseph. The guy was obviously the better choice and he meant what he said, but Rob couldn’t help but feel sad. Sad and uncomfortable. By now, his bladder had grown excruciatingly full.

“What the hell!” he faced a tall hedge and unzipped his fly.

Rob dies

A sharp pain whizzed through his brain and he groaned as he felt his whole body teeter as it was shutting down. This can’t be… how… I go… he thought. Carrie? Would his daughter be okay? Yes, he winced. His final thoughts in this world as he gripped his head were about how Lizzie would make such a good mom.

Author NotesSo much happening in game. Okay, first, we’ll start with the ending. I got a notification that it was Rob’s time to go. I thought it odd since he was still a young-ish adult. I followed him around a bit, he had an “accident” in the maze, and then he died from over-exertion in the garden. Poor guy! R.I.P. InfraGreen‘s Rob. This version of the Von Haunt Estate was created by Peacemaker. LegacySims2017‘s Joseph wouldn’t leave simscognito‘s Riley’s couch even after I moved him out and into Akira’s penthouse. I decided to expand a bit on the novella Lizzie wrote in game. Then Riley invited Joseph to join him in Newcrest. The part about Munterbacon‘s Munter’s plane was a convenient way to get Joseph back to San Myshuno quickly. Helps that he’s a billionaire in game. 😉  Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading. This chapter also featured MINEZ‘ Issador and Julian. townies, Akira and did I spy J Huntington the III? Ace Reynolds also made an appearance along with my Simself’s cousin, John Schooner.  


#4 How to Cure Insomnia (LASL)

Author Note: Featuring Rob Buckley submitted by InfraGreen

Entry No. 4 How To Cure Insomnia 

Sleep. It’s not something that comes easily to me. I tend to keep odd hours, mostly because in college, I did my best work in the middle of the night. Procrastination and too much caffeine pretty much set me up to be best friends with insomnia.

When I would try to sleep, I would meet the more positive twin of insomnia – inspiration. This is when the stories would come alive, the characters would take form, the plots would develop, and the dialogue would dance around in my head like microwave popcorn. I would toss and turn, shift positions, stare at the ceiling and wonder why my brain disliked rest at normal hours.

Sometimes I would stare at the picture above my bed, a lush green meadow surrounded by fence posts. My great aunt was the artist in the family, and when we moved to the Springs, she gave this painting to me. I always admired my great aunt, and wished I was more of a visual artist, but my skills lay with writing prose. Even so, sometimes I would visualize sheep in the field. Counting sheep is supposed to help sleep, right? Not for me. Counting just made me annoyed because it reminded me of my dislike for math.

When I was a kid, I was confined to the house if I wanted to get up because I couldn’t sleep. Now as an adult, I have way more freedom. I thought about jotting down plot ideas on my computer, but then realized maybe it would be better to do something that would actually make me sleepy instead of wired. Exercise is supposed to help you sleep, right?

Thankfully, Burners and Builders, the only gym in town, was open 24-7. Located downtown, B&B was only a few blocks from my house. I decided to walk instead of borrowing my parents car. They might wonder where it went anyhow. When I arrived, the gym was a ghost town, but the stereo was blasting some fun beats. Never a fan of exercise equipment, I decided a dance workout was just what I needed to feel better… and possibly sleepy.

After thirty minutes of dancing, I was interrupted by a fellow late-night patron, a man by the name of J Huntington the III. J and I went to high school and he was always quite pretentious. Did the ‘Huntington the III‘ give it away? I never did learn if his first name actual was a singular letter or if the ‘J’ stood for something. Irregardless, I didn’t particularly want to speak to the guy, and he seemed all too obsessed with his own muscles in the mirror to notice me.

Stepping outside, the cool desert air did little to make me feel sleepy. If anything, the night winds made me feel more alert. I didn’t particularly feel like heading home yet so I wandered to the only late-night restaurant in town – The Rattlesnake Juice Bar. As I slid onto a barstool, my stomach growled. I must’ve been hungry after my workout.

My grandmother always said milk helped cure insomnia, but I couldn’t exactly order the frothy white liquid at a bar. Since the kitchen was limited this late at night… or early in the morning… depending upon how you looked at it… I ordered a bowl of breakfast potatoes, a favorite dish of mine. Unfortunately, the bar was out of clean silverware so I had to eat them with my fingers. I didn’t particularly mind. The bartender was an old high school classmate of mine, Zoe Patel, and it turns out, she is roomies with J. Well, him, and Mitchell Kalani, the guy sitting next to me nursing a tang and zing.

You can’t very well be in a bar without ordering a drink. After all, that’s how bartenders make the most of their tips. Alcohol can help make a person sleepy, right? I ordered a… while Mitchell chattered about his money troubles. You and me both, pal, I was thinking. If I hadn’t racked up so much credit card debt in college, I probably wouldn’t be living with his parents.

But when life gives you limes, make margaritas,” Mitchell smirked as we clinked our glasses in a toast.

“Here here.”

Mitchell also claimed soaking your feet in a lemon-lime bath would help promote deep sleep because it relaxes the nerves in the feet. I wasn’t so sure about that, but he claimed he’d picked up a secret or two in the culinary field traveling the world as a dishwasher on cruise ships. He landed back in Oasis Springs when he blew all his money on entertainment. Plus he really disliked paying bills so staying with roommates helped shoulder the costs of an apartment.

Zoe’s shift ended around two a.m. She recommended a cold bath because lowering the body temperature was supposed to be conducive to helping a person fall asleep. I shivered at the thought.

“That doesn’t sound like fun,” I remarked.

What doesn’t sound like fun?”

The replacement bartender for Zoe appeared at our side. He had near-shoulder length dark hair and a full beard. I’d always found facial hair to be sexy, and found myself blushing at my own ridiculous thoughts. Zoe introduced her colleague as Rob Buckley, a musician/bartender. Upon hearing about my predicament, he suggested blowing bubbles.

“Excuse me?” I blinked rapidly.

Bubbles… it works every time with my kid. It has a hypnotic effect.”

“Bubbles?” I repeated.

So he had a kid? I figured that probably meant a wife or girlfriend in the picture.

Yeah, bubbles… if blowing bubbles seems silly, you could always try a bubble bath with honeysuckle and vanilla. It’s supposed to be soothing.”

“Right, thanks…” I replied.

Or you could hang out here and keep me company if you’re not ready to sleep yet,”  he offered. “It’s pretty dead in here now so if you like stale jokes and random bursts of songs, you might stay.”

I couldn’t tell if this was Rob’s way of flirting or not. Zoe gave me an encouraging smile over her shoulder.

I make a mean cocktail, and an even better grilled cheese,” he said, proudly.

“I like grilled cheese,” I shrugged. “I could hang out… for a little while.”

Rob refreshed my drink, and pan-fried a grilled cheese sandwich, which I gobbled down quickly, much to his amazement.

I like a woman who can eat,” he said.

“Ah…” I didn’t know what to say, so I decided to be honest. “I was severely underweight during some of my college years and I would rather enjoy my food any day and be healthy than eat like a bird again.”

Sorry to hear that.”

“Don’t be. I just went through a phase where I didn’t like myself very much.”

I think we all do. I went through a similar phase when my wife left me.”

So he’s been married before? 

“You had a kid together?” I asked.

Rob dropped his head, almost sadly.

“Oh,” I threw up my hands. “I didn’t mean to pry. You just mentioned bubbles and a kid earlier.”

Yeah, I have a daughter, Carrie. She’s two.”

“The terrible twos?”

Naw… actually, she’s okay most days. Her pops keeps her in line,” he pointed to himself proudly.

“Carrie is a pretty name.”

Yep, her mother named her after her idol, Carrie Fischer.”

“From the Star Wars franchise? Wow… I love Star Wars… and Trek… and well, most sci-fi. Oh I’m totally geeking out here.”

Rob chuckled. “It’s cool. I’ve been catching up on ‘To Boldly Go Discover Things’ on Simflix.”

“Great show! I am really looking forward to when they reveal the new alien race that has been terrorizing the galaxy.”

Me too. I wonder if Captain Ackrol will discover they have a traitor in their midst.

“We don’t know that Lieutenant Leandry is a traitor.”

Sure seems that way by her recent behavior and clandestine meetings with the Franchise.”

I smiled broadly. “I’m really happy to meet someone else who likes sci fi shows like I do.”

I’ll talk ‘To Boldy Go’ stats any day. And don’t even get me started on the musical score.

“Hated it?” I bit my lip.

No,” he shook his head. “Loved it. Most people despise it, but I like the classic sound.”

“Me too,” I exclaimed. “I played flute back in the day. Wasn’t any good, but I still love the sound.”

Really? I played clarinet. Now it’s mostly piano and I doodle on the guitar.”

“I’ll have to hear you sometime.”

Rob suddenly frowned at the sound of breaking glass. “Guess I better go check on that shipment.”

“It was nice to meet you, Rob.”

I’ll see you around, Lizzie,” he waved, distracted, as he wandered into the kitchen out of view.

I was a bit disappointed he didn’t respond to my offer, but then again, he was at work. Leaving a generous tip, I slipped off my barstool and wandered to the front door. I needed to get home to sleep. It was almost morning, and by that, I meant sunrise. Who knows what my parents would say if they knew I was out all night?

Just then Rob poked his head back through the doorway. “Bubbles, Lizzie.”

“Excuse me?”

“Try bubbles… for sleep,” he smirked before pushing back on the kitchen door.

I would be stopping at the grocery store on the way home… for a jar of bubble bath… preferably honeysuckle.

Reader Poll: Best tips to cure insomnia and fall asleep? 

Author Note: Thanks for reading. Lizzie really did have trouble sleeping. She would only lay down for cat naps. So I had her start to explore the town. Rob, the bartender, engaged in four autonomous “deep conversations” with Lizzie throughout the night, much to my surprise. Lizzie rolled for a ‘deep conversation’ whim once during the night also. Rob apparently really wanted to talk to Lizzie. ‘To Boldly Go Discover Things’ is a play on Star Trek… sort of… an inside joke with a friend of mine. Hope you enjoyed. 😉 

1.15 Third Wheel (ALOW)

“These watermelon mojitos…” Jenara began, taking a sip of her drink.

“…are amazing,” Gar finished her statement.

They shared a happy look. So far the evening was going well. They chose to sit at the bar and enjoy a beverage together while waiting for Dennis to show. They joked around, laughed, and talked about everything from the time Gar’s home remedy for aphids to Jenara’s slight obsession with the Justice League and the weather. Of course, the weather was a safe topic. Jenara figured you couldn’t go wrong with sunshine and clouds.

“Do you like spinach?” he asked.

“Why do I have some in my teeth?” Jenara covered her mouth, self-consciously.

“Oh no,” he reached out and pulled her hand. “You have nothing in your teeth. Why did you think you did?” he laughed.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Jenara replied. “I guess… spinach gets caught in my teeth easily.”

“Then no spinach-wrapped burritos for you tonight,” he smiled.

“Oh I like spinach, but my teeth don’t,” she added. “You recommend the veggie burrito?”

“Yeah, it’s good,” he nodded, leaning over the counter to flag the bartender.

Jenara glanced about, wondering about their dining companion. “I wonder where Dennis is.”

“Hey hi,” a woman in a brightly orange, lace-lined tank top and a full tattooed sleeve plopped onto a bar stool and waved. “I’m Alice. Dennis is my father.”

“Oh, um… hi…” Jenara said, stiffly, taken aback by the attractive dark-haired woman.

“Hello,” Gar said politely. “Alice, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

He stretched out his hand and bowed his head slightly as a sign of respect.

“You know your Simorean traditions,” Alice remarked. “I’m impressed.”

“Ah, yes, I spent some time studying the flora in Southern Simina as an undergrad,” he explained.

Jenara blinked. You learn something new every day. She didn’t realize Gar had traveled outside the country, and she hadn’t thought to ask him what he studied in college. She could’ve kicked herself now, realizing she hadn’t been showing him enough interest. Alice continued to ramble about how much she loved nature, and how fascinating it was that Gar was a PlantSim. She explained how she was a painter, and she only painted living things, particularly plants and flowers, and she felt that was her way of giving back to the grand universe. When she stretched her arms, she showed off even more of her tattoos. Jenara felt uncomfortable, as she knew little to nothing about painting, and she felt she had very little skills about which she could brag. Alice finally asked Gar if he would be willing to sit for a portrait sometime, as she would “love” to add a “PlantSim specimen” to her collection. Sure you would, Jenara thought sarcastically.

“Where is…uh… Dennis?” she asked, laying a hand across Gar’s arm subtly.

Alice took note as she glanced down, but then smiled. “He’s on his way. He was just parking the car. Valet around here is pricey.”

“Tell me about it,” Gar chuckled.

Great! Jenara thought. I’m a horrible first date because I didn’t ask him the kinds of questions I should…and… I took him to an expensive restaurant. 

“Excuse me, I’ll go powder my nose,” Alice slid from her seat. “You wanna come?” she looked at Jenara, who shook her head. “Okay, just thought I’d ask. Dad should be in momentarily.”

Gar reached over, and gave Jenara’s hand a reassuring pat. “I came here with you tonight.”

Jenara flushed, and smiled. He knew? 


She turned her head to see J, the guy who had attended her party at the beginning of the summer for the PlantSims. He was wearing the same powder blue sweater tossed over his shoulders and tied loosely around his neck. Jenara thought it made him look like a prep school grad ready for the beach, but the ocean was a long way from Oasis Springs.

“Hey, it’s good to see you,” J said with punchy enthusiasm.

Jenara stepped down off her bar stool, and Gar stood up next to her.

“This is Garbanzo Hawthorne…” she introduced. “And this is J Huntington the Third.”

“The Third?” Gar repeated, shaking the man’s hand. “You can call me Gar, J.”

“Thanks, and yeah, dad and grandad had my name,” J said, proudly. “Grandad was one of the first guys to blast off into space when they relaunched the space program and expansion, and Dad was started his own company. You may know of the Huntington Post?”

“The news site?” Jenara asked, her eyes widening. “Yeah, I know it. I used to read it every morning when I was in college. I liked the dedicated geek culture section.”

“Oh yeah, the Hunt Post offers all sorts of stuff. Did you see Tuesday’s article about how obsessed everyone is with the new mobile games?” J asked. “And how they are the ultimate stress reliever.”

“Yeah, I kill at Question Quash,” Jenara fist-bumped J, to which he replied, “I must challenge you sometime, then.”

“Isn’t it just an opinion site with gossip more so than news?” Gar said, sounding almost unimpressed.

“No… it’s a legit new site,” J said defensively, but his voice wavered. “Why? Do you dislike gossip?”

“Yeah, sure,” Gar shrugged.

“Gossip is our bread and butter,” J spread his arms and smiled.

“Well, that’s Dennis,” Jenara stepped between the men, and tugged Gar’s arm. “We’ve got dinner plans. Nice to see you, J.”

“Nice to see you too, Jenara. Come by the office sometime. I’ll get my dad to autograph an edition for you,” J smiled suavely.

“That would be…” Jenara could feel Gar tightening his grip. “…nice… thanks.”

As she walked over to the table with Dennis and Alice, she could sense Gar was starting to relax. Now he knows how I felt… She looked up at him and smiled sweetly, whispering in his ear, “I came here with you.”

Simorea is my Simworld version of South Korea. Simina is my Simworld version of Asia. The Huntington Post is a play on the Huffington Post. Question Quash is a random game I made up. Hope you enjoyed!

Previous Chapter: 1.14 It’s a Date 

1.10 Company (ALOW)

Jenara found herself watching over the podlings for nearly an hour. Each one was different, reflective of its comrade in a way. One glowed purple, the shade of a plump dragonfruit, and she could sense the rare and generous spirit of this podling’s counterpart, Tara. Another glowed a bold red, reflective of the heated emotions of its counterpart,Vito. Garbanzo’s podling glowed a vibrant fuschia color, and Jenara blushed thinking of his kind and extravagant words.

Snapping out of her reverie, she headed inside, barely having time to put on a pot of coffee and set out her cakes before the arrival of her neighborhood guests. She didn’t even have time to change. Jasmine came shortly behind, bringing Tara with her. Jenara found herself feeling disappointed when Garbanzo didn’t make an appearance.

Tara cornered Jenara and thanked her once again for caring for the podlings, and relayed her happiness that the younger woman was so generous in allowing a stump on her lawn. Jenara told her it was nothing, and she was enjoying the education and the experience, plus she was happy to meet fellow PlantSims attending the conference, and help be apart of a worthy cause. Tara asked about the PlantSims Jenara had met, and apologized on behalf of her husband. She also made a quick comment about Gar, being quite the ladies man, despite his attachment to another certain PlantSim. Again, Jenara felt disappointed. Perhaps she had misread his intentions, and maybe he was just being nice, but from the way Tara portrayed the man, she had probably flirted with a married man. Talk about awkward.

Despite her completely embarrassing encounter with Don Baxter and the Waterside ladies, they still made an appearance at Jenara’s gathering. Don even brought a friend, J Huntington the III, a local technician, who had much to say about setting up the website of the PlantSim conference and managing a chat room for supernaturals and Sims alike to get to know one another and promote peaceful relations. He even offered to put in a good word at his workplace for her if she wanted a job. Jenara found him to be a bit self-absorbed, but she was happy to meet another fellow tech with an interest in geeky things. She even had the time to debate various Star Trek captains with him, though she wasn’t sure she could forgive him for liking Archer the best. Jenara decided to keep her “lame” comment to herself as that wouldn’t have been polite.

Don nodded to her in his casual “wassup” kind-of way as he passed by Jenara and Tara. He was carrying two plates, one with a slice of Jasmine’s banana chocolate chip bread and the other with a slice of cheescake from Jenara’s kitchen. He brought the desserts to his friend, J. As much as Jenara was enjoying learning about Tara’s PlantSimness, she found herself straining to listen to the two men on the couch.

“This house is cool,” Don was saying.

“Yeah, and it’s resident is pretty cool too,” J said, munching on the banana bread. “Do you think that Jenara chick is into me?”

“Dude, you think everyone is into you!” Don punched his friend in the arm.

“I can’t help it. I’m great,” J grinned much too smugly.

Jenara resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

Hope you enjoyed!

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