Sulani (Western Oceania)

Prologue, Pt. 8: Jade (SDVR)

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“I want to show you something.”

Cash guided me through the shallow pool beneath the Gemini Falls. I stopped for a moment to take in the sheer magnitude of this incredible twin waterfall. At Cash’s insistence, I closed my eyes. I could feel the mist lovingly splash against my cheeks in on the sultry September evening. I was in awe of the night… of the natural beauty of Sulani… and the man who held my heart.

“What are you doing?” I giggled as Cash suddenly swooped me up into his arms, his right hand supporting the back of my thigh and his other arm encircling my waist.

“Jade, I love you,” he said.

“Yes, I know,” I laughed. “I love you too.”

“A few months ago, I rescued you from the ocean, but it was really you who rescued me. I don’t want anyone else but you,” Cash continued. “Maybe this is all too corny or cheesy or whatever… and I sure as hell ain’t eloquent, but Sunshine…”

“Oh my gawd!” I squealed, unable to contain my joy.

“I know a guy is supposed to kneel,” he spun me around. “But that isn’t my style. So will you marry me?”

Seasons change. Water keeps flowing, whether in the beautiful island nation of Sulani or in a struggling township in the Cascadian Midwest. When I was twenty-five, my dad had a series of mini strokes. Nothing too alarming, and no permanent damage, but enough to warrant a move home. I didn’t want to risk abroad away from my father if something worse happened. I had finished my graduate degree and it was time to come home. Maybe I could apply the sustainability practices I had learned to my old city. Cash assured me that one day, we would return to marry on the island and that he would come with me.

Living with my folks was out of the question. Dad didn’t want us making a fuss over him, even though his movement was restricted and his speech processing was slower than before. I rented a little apartment in a renovated factory downtown. It didn’t have the prettiest view – one of the muddy lagoon and the local Fish Fry restaurant, which was known for its greasy chips and beer-battered cod. Cash helped me move in, carrying most of my boxes and lugging my furniture up the stairs. I unpacked and set about making the place my own – hanging posters of music festivals we attended together, paintings purchased from local artists down on the docks, and stringing a collection of flip flops and lights together for my kitchen wall.

“Where is the peanut butter?” I asked. “I’m starving.”

“You’re starving?” Cash gasped. “I’m the one carrying this enormous stack.”

“And looking good doing it,” I smirked. “I could’ve sworn I packed the peanut butter,” I frowned. “And where’s the bread?”

“Don’t worry about it,” he came closer, nuzzling my neck. “We’ll… order… in…” he said, between kisses.

“Cash, I have to be responsible,” I giggled, enjoying the sensation of his three piercings against my skin. “I can’t spend all my money on takeout.”

“I am being responsible,” he protested, continuing to trail kisses around my face and ears. “I am providing for you.”

“But… but…” I interjected. “I really wanted fried…” I tried to concentrate, but the fog of desire overcame my senses.

“Then I’ll order you fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” he declared. “And a vintage port and two bowls of clam chowder…”

“That… sounds… divine…” I murmured, burying my face in his hair.

Cash swept me off my feet, curling his arm around my waist and another securely beneath my legs. “…after we christen your new place.”

Cash took a job chartering flights up and down the river, and picked up freelance work for the Pine-Mesa Premier. I was hired as a junior environmental systems analyst for Joja’s Water Reclamation facility, one of the few remaining Joja structures in town. Just until I could get on my feet, and dad was fully recovered. Honey’s hours had been cut at the college, and I knew my parents were struggling financially. Cash offered to help, but I told him my father was too proud to take his money. And… I figured the position with Joja was temporary. After all, they hired me to make sure they were in compliance. Maybe I could make a difference from within, and undo some of the damage that had been done to our community.

My masters was already paying off. They didn’t care what your degree was in as long as you had one. I could’ve studied the history of rock and roll and they wouldn’t have blinked twice. It wasn’t exactly the anthropological work I dreamed of doing, but it was a paycheck, and a decent one at that. For the first time in my life, I had some stability. Cash respected my autonomy enough to know I enjoyed my freedom and needed my own space. He rented a luxury condo on the west side of town near the new and improved train station. His place had an indoor swimming pool on the ground floor and a rooftop bar. Mine had a temperamental boiler and a four-story walk-up. Nonetheless, it was a place to call my own.

My parents loved Cash. He was a charmer. My father liked having someone to share his “dad joke Fridays” with, a series of groan-inducing, pun-laced text messages. He also appreciated a man who knew his way around a grill. Cash would bring rib-eyes from up the river every Saturday evening.

Honey was the mother I never knew and I started calling her mom at one point. I don’t really recall when it happened. Maybe it was because of how great she and Dad were together. Maybe it was because I was in love. Mom really enjoyed having someone help her get the Christmas décor down out of the attic every winter and someone who could reach the top shelf in the garage, since Dad couldn’t stand on ladders anymore. Some days, when dad had the energy, we would bike ride all up and down the promenade together. Other days when Dad was feeling weak and Mom and I had to work, Cash would come over and keep him company, make sandwiches, and watch the gridball game. I really was very lucky to have a man like Cash in my life.

Cash and I would go running three times a week. I enjoyed sharing all my old haunts, some of my favorite places in Pine-Mesa City. Like the bakery run by a Vanija, a Hellanic immigrant, who made the best fruit filled doughnuts, and she would always sneak an extra doughnut hole in when I wasn’t looking. Or the Farmer’s Market in St. Agatha’s parking lot where I’d pick up fresh corn on the cob and watermelons from a kindly old nun by the name of Sister Julia. And the waterfront spot where all the kids would go on hot summer days to collect tadpoles and jump off the big rope swing into the river.

“What?” I called over my shoulder as I ran across the old rail bridge near the pier. “Can’t keep up?” I teased, sticking out my tongue.

Cash slowed his pace to a saunter and winked. “Just admiring the view.”

We drove south for the winter, on a romantic road trip to Del Sol Valley across the Valverdan border and the Ophiuchus Channel. I had never been to the Sim Nation. Cash made sure we stopped at some of his favorite places, like the Spice Temple in San Myshuno, where eating the curry was said to be a religious experience. We had a picnic in Fae Rae Gardens in Moonlight Falls, with a basket of vampiric delicacies from the Van Gould Merchant House -summer blood sausages, truffle pasta, and a raspberry creme brulee. We stayed at the Grand Admiral Hotel in Sunset Valley, named for an ancestor of Cash’s, and dined on the amazing breakfast buffet of strawberries, waffles, and cream. I didn’t want to leave, especially with the foot massage from Cash on the sands of Old Pier Beach.

“I think I’m in love,” I declared as I swung around a streetlamp post in delight, gazing up at the palms lightly swaying in the evening winds.

“With me?” Cash asked.

“Of course, and the vegetarian dim sum we had for dinner.”

Cash laughed. “You love food, don’t you?”

“Yes!” I exclaimed. “And life!”

We arrived in Del Sol Valley on the night of a major movie release. Cash explained this was normal. A new movie premiered every few weeks. The city lights glittered like gold, extending for kilometers, and disappearing into the twilight horizon. As we drove down Starlight Boulevard, I asked Cash who his favorite actor was.

“Is this a trick question?” he said, rolling the top back on the convertible.

“No,” I tucked a foot under my leg and leaned forward in my seat. “Anyone… anyone at all. I promise I won’t judge.”

“Even if it’s an attractive woman?”

“Should I be surprised?”

“I feel like this is a trap.”

“It’s a traaaap!” I hooted, surprising him momentarily and he gripped the wheel more tightly.

“You!” he reached over and poked the freckles on my nose.

We rounded the ridge of a long and winding street, ascending into the foothills above the valley. The house was enormous, cold and white split-levels with too many windows to count and a moat. Yes, an actual moat, running beneath the modern-equivalent of a drawbridge path and circling around to the back of the house. It wasn’t like I had forgotten that this was the ‘world’ Cash came from, one of wealth and privilege and mansions that could fit four of my parents home. He was a Landgraab after all. But I felt awash with unease, like I didn’t belong here.

“Is that your childhood home?” I gasped, unable to contain my shock.

“Only one of them,” Cash replied, casually.

Charity Landgraab was an investment banker and on the board of several prominent nonprofits – Bet on Better, Del Sol Angels, and the Del Sol Community Foundation. She was a tall woman with dark red lips and pale blonde hair. Baron Landgraab was the Chief Financial Officer for the family enterprise, forecasting the company’s financial standing and and advising fiscally on their land holdings. He was a bit shorter than his wife, but no less imposing, and his hair was only slightly darker than Cash’s blonde locks, and his face in a semi-permanent shade of angry red.

One of the family butlers directed us to a dark living room with mostly empty floor-to-ceiling bookcases, decorated sporadically with odd looking statues and an occasional plant. Cash and I settled on one end of the long black rectangular leather couch and the elder Landgraabs sat on the other side. Silence permeated the room while we waited for our complimentary iced tea, something to make social situations such as these less awkward.

“Whatever happened to Jacqueline?” Mrs. Landgraab broke the silence first. “She was so cute…” she eyed my curves up and down. “…and petite.”

“She dumped me, remember?” Cash grunted, evidently annoyed that his mother brought up his ex-fiancé. “Left me on the beach without my clothes too.”

“Her father could’ve brought us a lot of business,” Mr. Landgraab grumbled. “You shouldn’t have let her go,” he continued, lifting an angry finger to wave in the air. “You’re always thinking about yourself, Cash, and not what is best for this family.”

“Now hold on here,” I interjected. “We didn’t come here to discuss business.”

“I’ll handle this,” Cash took charge. “Mother. Father. It was a mistake coming here.”

“Oh but you’ve only just arrived,” Mrs. Landgraab protested.

“If you’re going to pick on my fiancé and bring up Jacqui…”

“The Card family has a lot of holdings in the northeast quadrant of the province… and the leverage our company needs to move into the future,” Mr. Landgraab added. “So what if you have to sacrifice a little?”

“You know, I actually think she’s back in town,” Mrs. Landgraab continued. “In fact, I’ve invited her over here this afternoon. She was always super sweet, wasn’t she, Baron?”

“Mother!” Cash jumped off the couch. “This conversation is over. Jade?”

“No, what’s she going to offer you long term?” Mrs. Landgraab raised her voice. “Look, you think you love my son, but you will never be part of this family.”

I waved my hands in retort. “No, I don’t think you understand. You will never be part of our family.”

Sure enough, the ex had already arrived when Cash came storming out. Jacqueline Card with her gold heart crop top, pink jeans, and raven black hair strutted the main walkway. If she was about to play “nice” and give her ex the speech about how she made a mistake and wanted him back, Cash wasn’t going to have it. He cut her off and said he already had “the crazy” from his parents and he didn’t need it from her.

“Ah… Cash…” she pouted her lips and yawned. “Always so serious… you were never any fun.” She glanced in my direction. “I just came to say hello and meet the new girl. So you’re the love of his life?”

“Jacqui, I’m not in the mood for games,” Cash sighed, exasperated.

“Games? Why would I play games?” Jacqueline laughed, humorlessly. “I wasn’t the one who dated half the Western seaboard.”

“I’ve changed,” Cash said, through gritted teeth.

“If I were you,” Jacqueline flicked an imaginary speck of dust of her shoulder, addressing me. “…I’d run far away from this one. You’re so not his type. He’ll dump you when he’s bored, so beat him to the punch.”

I turned to leave so neither of them could see the emotions rising on my face. I didn’t believe a word she said, but I felt confused as to why she felt threatened by me, or why she wanted to hurt Cash. Pity. That’s what I felt. I knew I wasn’t engaged to a saint, but he was a better man than she gave him credit.

“Jacqui… you left me so why are you here harassing my new girlfriend?” Cash grunted.

“Because it’s fun…” Jacqueline laugh. “Oh and Jane… or whatever your name is… you wore that?” she raised her voice to a higher pitched giggle. “Mrs. Landgraab hates sunflowers. Such a provincial flower.”

We were on the next flight back to Cascadia. Cash tried to assure me that we would be fine without his family’s blessing, but I could tell he was upset. I couldn’t imagine what I had done wrong, or why I was unsuitable for the Landgraab family. My family had done nothing but welcome him with open arms. Just because I wasn’t a model and I didn’t have a wealthy upbringing or a glamorous job didn’t mean I hadn’t worked really hard to get to where I was at. Didn’t hard work count for something?

“Maybe I’m naïve,” I bit my lower lip, collapsing onto my winged sofa after we returned from a summer block party at the community center.

Darwin had made some comment about Cash’s mother must be so proud of his work, circling the conversation back to an uncomfortable topic.

“…to think it would just work like that…” I snapped my fingers. I repeated myself, almost in disbelief. “Maybe… I’m naïve.”

“In all the ways that matter,” Cash wrapped his arm round my shoulder. “I had hoped to shelter you from that kind of pain.”

“Shelter me?” I shook my head. “Cash… I’m sad for you.”

As much as I was offended, I was even more upset by the Landgraab’s rejection of their own son. Cash had come a long way since wild partier frat boy, dating a different model every week, living off a trust fund. He had a respectable job and a kind heart, and he cared about nature like I did too. Wasn’t that enough for his parents to accept his life choices and life partner? I suggested we wait to marry to give his family time to come around. Cash assured me all the time in the world wouldn’t make a difference, but he would try… for my sake.

Cash grew to love the Pinecrest Community Center as I had. Over the years I had been gone, a homeless shelter opened up on the other side of town. Many of the younger families had left. The children didn’t come around as much to play hopscotch in the square, and the teens didn’t come to study on the ancient PCs when their families could now afford laptops at home. Cash decided to put some of his skills to use and started teaching a computer literacy course for elders. They adored him, especially because he helped them upload photos of their beloved pets and video chat with their grandchildren.

“Son, can you explain how to crank the search engine?”

He never laughed at their questions. No matter how silly.

“Mrs. Ruffing, you don’t have to crank anything. You just have to type what you want to search for in this white box…here…”

“Oh… but what do I want to search?”

“Anything you want, Mrs. Ruffing. Or anyone be they a celebrity or a scientist or a politican.”

“Okay,” she cracked her knuckles. “I can do this… how about d-i-c-k…”

“Probably don’t want to bring that up on the internet,” Cash reached out his hand with a gentle smirk.

“Why?” she looked at him oddly through her blue spectacles. “I’m looking up Ned Dickerson. I used to go parking with him in the tenth grade,” she proclaimed proudly. “Oh I wonder what he’s doing these days.”

I spent my afternoons in the community garden with Mrs. Mosby. I loved the feel of the dirt beneath my fingertips and the sound of the water showering from the can. Irene Mosby had been good friends with Cookie, even though they were night and day different. Irene enjoyed quiet nights by the fireplace reading a biography with her cats, Tutu and Bala in her lap. She had been a ballerina when she was younger, and danced with the famous Madri Gale in the Zenith Opera House. Now days, she complained of arthritic knees and back pain, but she still enjoyed getting out in the sunshine and working with the plants.

“I feel tied to the earth,” she explained. “Like that’s the place where my feet used to dance, and now I give back some of the support the ground gave me.”

“That’s a beautiful sentiment,” I cooed.

“The circle… of life,” Irene smiled warmly, and then leaned her ear toward the ground. “What’s that, Miss Snapdragon? What pithy words of wisdom do you have today?”

Yes, she talked to the plants.

Inspired by my father, Cash started working with the troubled youth of Pine-Mesa – the ones who struggled with drugs, dabbled in crime, and and generally thought violence was the answer. It’s a miracle that I never ended up in a gang myself, but I blame my health issues and my loner tendencies. You would think with his upbringing Cash wouldn’t be a good fit for these teens, but he was passionate about helping the young men and women. He poured over half his weekly paychecks into programs to improve the community.

Cooking classes where the guys could chop celery and dice onions instead of stabbing with switchblades in dark alleys. A makerspace to create and a marketplace for the girls to sell crafted items instead of selling themselves. A clothing drive to provide appropriate attire for job interviews. Working professionals who came as guest lecturers, people who had at one point been on the streets themselves, and speak about education and job skills. A forum in the basement on Friday nights where the teens could come and talk about whatever they wanted and ask any questions. The only rule was that they be respectful of the others.

Not everyone liked what we were doing. In winter, a chemical cocktail through the window caused irreparable damage to our kitchen. In spring, the police were called while we hosted a Farmer’s market and claimed we didn’t file the appropriate permits with the city. In the summer, the Pinecrest office was trashed. I had never been one to run away from a challenge, but I was wondering how much of this was worth it, especially with my long demanding work hours. Cash never gave up hope though. He moved the cooking sessions to his own apartment. He petitioned the city to move the marketplace to the waterfront, out of the residential area. I worked nights and weekends to reorganize the office and digitize the records as best as I could. I thought we were making changes for the better.

They say… adversity builds character. They say… grief fades over time. They say… hope can get us through the darkest of times. As I stood staring at the overpass where the love of my life was taken from me on the eve of our wedding, I couldn’t help but disbelieve everything I had ever heard. If my twenty-nine-year-old self could transport to her fifteen-year-old self, she would’ve spray painted, ‘Life SUX!!’ on the freeway column with an extra exclamation point for emphasis.

Five years of my life, waiting for a future that never came. The police found drugs on his lifeless body. I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe it. My Cash was not taking narcotics. The media spun the story, writing untrue phrases like “party boy” and “wrong side of town,” as if the right side of the town somehow made “them” better than us. That his engagement to me somehow connected him to the Selvadoradan illicit wonderpetal market, a horribly shameful association that deeply hurt my father and I. It didn’t matter if it was a lie. It was sensational. The media said what they wanted and the public believed them. Meanwhile, it took three days for the police to clean the bloodstain on the sidewalk.

When you mourn, you ache. I physically ached in places I didn’t even think possible. I woke in the morning to cold sweats and a hard feeling in my chest, as if someone sat on my ribcage. I cried myself to sleep at night, fitfully tossing and turning. At work, I was stoic. I had to be. My desk drawer was filled with used tissues and unwanted emotions. Day in and day out, I pulled myself out of bed, brushed my teeth, fixed my hair, dressed, and went to work. I came home late, ate a boxed meal, watched television, showered, and went to bed. Then I started all over again. I was going through the motions, but I felt stuck. I couldn’t fill the emptiness gnawing at my insides. Dad and Honey suggested I move back in with them, but I couldn’t bear the hovering and crowding and constant reassurances. My colleagues noticed, but stayed away from me, choosing to gossip about my life with pitying stares around the water cooler.

When you reach that day when you’ve had enough, you have two choices: give up or move on. I pulled a long forgotten letter out from my desk drawer. I’m not even sure how it got there. Written on faded yellow paper, torn at the edges, on the back of a leather scroll like some invitation to a quest. That’s where I was – “in dire need of a change.” Papa Jack assured me this happened to him as well, long ago, and he felt as though he lost the things that mattered most in life. My heart physically ached as I read the words he penned all those years ago “real connections to other people and nature…” I didn’t feel real. I didn’t feel whole. I felt trapped in a dead end job that sucked the life out of me, adrift in a polluted sea without my anchor. Would I ever feel together again? Papa wrote that he gave up all the things in life and he bought a place in the countryside valley of Stardew in a coastal community of Pelican Town. It was the place where I was born, but could barely remember.

My eyes grew wide and wet with tears as I realized my grandfather left me the deed to the farm, paid in full, and even prepared in advance for the cost of inheritance tax. All I had to do was trust him and call the name and number of the local mayor.

I had asked my father why bad things happen when I was little. It was right after my mama left for the third and final time. I felt pain and I hated it. My dad tucked my hair over my ear and held my chin gently. “Pain is part of this thing called living… mija, that when we are broken, we find our true strength.”

“I hate it!” I had screeched. “I don’t want to be broken Jade.”

Dad sighed and continued. “A great warrior, a trained fighter, beaten and broken a time or two in battle, once said ‘better to live as a broken piece of jade than as useless clay.’ He picked up and kept living. You will too, mija.”

I had been barely living for the past few months. Dad was right. I needed to keep on living. I was ready to pick up my pieces of jade.

So I tendered my resignation. The assistant didn’t even look up when I dropped just one among the dozens of papers on her desk. I went back to my apartment and called my landlord. I tried calling my mom. She didn’t answer. She never did. I packed my things into my dad’s old Stallion. I drove across town and left the car in the driveway with the keys, moving my boxes into the garage. Dad and Honey were out at the middle school concert band. I couldn’t bear facing them. If I talked to my father, I wouldn’t have the courage to go. I walked down the street to the bus terminal. I bought a one-way ticket to Pelican Town with hope in my heart for the first time in months and a knapsack full of the few things that mattered thrown over my shoulder.

As I boarded the bus, I fiddled with the engagement ring, thinking of lost moments and precious memories. I don’t know if I was crying because I finally felt peace, or because I was sad to leave behind the person who mattered to me the most. Somehow I would always carry Cash with me, no matter where I went. A lone tear splashed down my cheek as the gruff, middle-aged bus driver looked at my pass.

“You okay, sugar?” the woman asked, shoving her dirty blonde strands beneath a baseball cap, and snapped her pink chewing gum loudly.

“Never better,” I swiped at my face with the back of my arm.

“Not many people go to Pelican Town these days,” she shrugged. “You got family there or somethin’?”

“No, I’m uh…” I paused and smiled shyly, looking down at my shoes. “No.”

“You go on back now, then,” she nodded. “We got a schedule to keep.”

Author Notes: Very little is said about the Farmer’s backstory in Stardew Valley. Of the Stardew fanfiction I’ve read, most times, the Farmer breaks up with their significant other. I decided to try my hand at losing their significant other tragically.

This was a hard chapter to write and screenshot, mostly because I couldn’t find good scenes or sets, but I did fall in love with Jade’s apartment and I’m sad to leave it behind. I do feel like this ending was a bit rushed. Writing the background has been fun, but I’m ready to move on and get into the story. The quote about jade was said by Bruce Lee, martial artist, among many other things.

I want to give credit to some amazing lots and Sims I’ve used/featured in this segment. See images/full credit over on my Simblr and check out some of these amazing creators and their lots in your game.

I will give credit here to Trropico’s Landgraab Makeover. Malcolm morphed into Cash for the story and I aged him up and altered his appearance and personality traits. Other than renaming Nancy and Geoffrey to Charity and Baron (and adding skin details and eyelashes), I left the older couple exactly the same. Thanks for reading.

Day 1, Pt. 1: I Shall Name You… (TC2CW)

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A new home. A fresh start. Winds of change. Whatever you want to call it, Azure has thrown caution to the ‘whim’ and has moved to a secluded island at the base of Mua Pel’am. A once mighty and fierce volcano, now days Mua is a little sickly, spewing yellowish flames and burning a little less angry hot. Azure, with her interest in nature and degree in biology, moved to this cozy home and struggling pineapple plantation in hopes of making a better future for herself and for the world. She is interested in sustainability and healthy ecosystems and looks forward to the challenge of restoring the island to its glory. Maybe it’s cliché, because everyone was moving to Sulani these days to “fix” the planet, but Azure doesn’t care… and neither does her “Watcher.” I’ve never completed the eco sustainability goals of cleaning up the island in Sulani and I look forward to seeing Azure try… or fail… depending on her whims.
The first two whims out of the gate: Light a Campfire and Collect a New Frog. I decided to save the “campfire” for the evening. I’ll admit. I had to look up ‘WCIF frogs’ in Sulani. I guess showing you the inside of Azure’s home will have to wait. We’re off to the waterfall.
Azure is feeling productive and confident as she changes into her swimwear.
Now she whims to make a new friend as she’s sauntering down the beach confidently. We’ll have to get off the secluded island later to achieve this whim, I believe.
I see you, side-eyeing that beach trash. No new whims though. For now, we pass you by.
I love the waterfall!! In my Sim lore, it is named Gemini Falls (as revealed in my Stardew Remixed story).
You know… if I was in sketchy waters, I’d wear sandals too. Where did you get that frog food from, Azure? I love how the Sims pull things out of thin air… not even from their inventories. Haha.
Azure is ready to catch frogs.
I’ll admit. I was way too excited about this frog. 😀
Azure was too. But she was confident in her abilities to catch a frog. On try 2, she captured a little surfer eggplant frog.
I have never been happier to hear the little jingle in game indicating she completed/fulfilled her first whim. Now she whims to eat a wild plant.
Azure passed a wild plant on her way over to the waterfall. This one isn’t ready for harvest though.
Neither is this one.
Or this one. Azure ponders hard about this kava shrub though. I love her long fingers here and her beautiful nail polish. I’ll have to try and fulfill your “wild plant” desire later, Azure. Let’s make a new home for our frog.
On the coffee table! What a beautiful frog! Oh, yes! Azure found spoiled chips on her first attempt to catch a frog. Who dumps chips in a waterfall? And why can’t this item be sold or deleted? I don’t really care about cash flow, though Azure only has §1879 in her wallet, but shouldn’t you be able to delete an item like this? I guess in real life, you can’t just “delete” items you don’t want. *sigh*
Frog seems right at home on the coffee table. This is Azure’s living room. I love it! I would live there, even if it’s small. She still has a few boxes to unpack. This lot is off-the-grid, btw.
Here’s a first look at her kitchen. I spent soooo much time setting up this kitchen and making it feel cluttered and real. Azure dumps those good-for-nothing spoiled chips in the trash bin.
While I’m at it, I’ll show you the lot traits. Good soil. Island Spirits. Great acoustics. Plus two challenges – off-the-grid and volcanic activity. The Bread Box of Holding (functional) in the background is included in the Mega Storage Mod by SrslySims.
Azure is apparently uncomfortable about the “Brackish Water” and washing dishes off the grid. “The special tangy flavor…” Wait! Hmm… you didn’t actually drink the soapy dish water when I wasn’t looking, did you, Azure? 😬
Azure is ready to view and feed her new frog friend. Azure goes to feed and name her frog… oh wait! What? You can’t name pet frogs? What? Why? I want to name my frog!! Azure decides since this frog is of the Surfer Eggplant variety to give the frog a “surfer name.” I shall name you… *Google-ates surfers.* I shall name you… Slater… after a famous surfer, Kelly Slater. Slater… that’s a cute name. Do you like it, little frog? 🐸

Author Notes: And there you have it! Day 1, Pt. 1 of Throw Caution to the Whim. This is the narrative style I’m planning to use for this story. Again, this is very different from my usual stories, but it’s part of the challenge for me. Are you like me? Do you enjoyed cluttered homes or do you like a simpler look? Should we be able to name collected frogs (and for that matter collected anything in Sims 4? Justice for your live space alien and pet geode!! Hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading.

Throw Caution to the Whim…

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Here I am again starting yet another story. I have a disease… a curse??… an addiction to starting new Sims stories. This is the perfect challenge for me because I consistently follow my “whims” and play what I want and write when I feel like it.

The very first Sims story/challenge I ever did was “whims based.” It was sadly abandoned shortly after starting because I lost my game to corruption. Now in 2021, I’m older, wiser…maybe?, more tech savvy, and know way too much about modding and fixing my Sims’ games. Plus I’m more adept at BACKING UP MY SAVES.

I’ve been wanting to do a “holiday” or “yearly” style generational challenge. Every generation will follow a different month of the year. I also did this with the very first Sim I ever played in TS4 – Jenara. This time I’m starting with a the daughter of Summer Holliday (with two L’s because it’s cool). Everyone has their own way of handling whims and directing Sims. Here’s what I plan to do a.k.a. THE RULES. I’m looking forward to the random elements so I don’t play the Sims the way I always do, and I allow my Sims to fail… like IRL.

In order to do a whims-based gameplay challenge, I will be using a million mods. For some reason EA stopped updating whims, which makes me sad, because I love the whims-system. One mod I absolutely do NOT play without that’s related to whims is bienchen’s Whims Overhaul (you have to scroll to get to the mod link and/or do a page search to find it). I highly recommend any of bienchen’s mods – these mods enhance gameplay and expand Sims’ personalities dramatically so they all feel different and unique. Whims Overhaul specifically adds whims for all the expansions, game, and stuff packs that EA abandoned in 2018 (*side-eying you EA*). This mod also increases the likelihood of “family-based” whims, which is useful for this type of gameplay challenge so we actually move beyond one generation. Bienchen also puts all mods into one convenient download every time there’s an update!! Click here for my mod suggestions based on gameplay or in general.

The game generated such a unique and beautiful looking Sim. I love her! She’s a beautiful blend of her parents. I only added eyelashes and a skin detail and I edited the shade of eyeshadow (because EA does makeup so bold and over-the-top)

Let’s meet Azure Holliday…

Age: 21
I play with aging off and decide when it feels right to ‘age up’ my Sims. However, I do add a ‘birthday’ to the calendar for them with the ‘Party Spirit’ tradition.

Birthday: May 26
Since this is the first generation, I am picking her birthday. In future generations, they will follow the calendar year. Also I went in and set up the calendar as I always do based on where my Sims live. Sulani is located in the Southern isles off the coast of Ur-Nena in my Simworld. I gave the world a series of holidays similar to the U.S. with Pacific Islander vibes and did some research on Samoan and Tongan holidays also for added realism/flavor.

Star Sign: Cancer
Based on snowii95’s traits mod. I’ve tried multiple star sign mods, and I like snowii95’s the best!

Pronouns: She/her

Traits (rolled at random either in CAS or with a set of dice)

Aspiration: Beach Life (determined by location)

Career: None (must whim to receive a career)

Uni Degree: Biology Degree with Honors (rolled at random)

Skills: None (must whim to raise skills)

Relationships: Azure’s parents never married. Summer Holliday (yes, the Summer) didn’t feel like she needed a piece of paper to prove they were in love. She’s remained with the same partner for over 23 years. Her interests are wellness (yoga specifically), swimming, and working out in the gym. Azure’s dad, Lee Ward is a laid-back kind-of guy with a love of cooking, eating, hanging in the hot tub, and movies. Summer and Lee currently reside in Mt. Komorebi, where Summer owns a gym and Lee reviews restaurants for a living. Azure also has a maternal aunt, Crystal (Summer’s adopted sister), who resides in Forgotten Hollow and is a gothic romance novelist.

She is stunning! So different from what I usually do in CAS.

Likes/Dislikes (Preferences): rolled at random to get these preferences, and then picked a few that made sense based on her choices

  • Likes Blue and Green / Dislikes Brown
  • Likes Black Hair / Dislikes Green/Red Hair
  • Likes Alternative and Island Music / Dislikes Pop and Winter Holiday Music
  • Likes Freckles and Hats / Dislikes Makeup on Potential Partners
  • Likes Hipster style (okay, let’s see who’s hip on the island) / Dislikes Goth, Rock, and Punk style
  • Likes heavy set / Dislikes light weight
  • Likes brown eyes / Dislikes green eyes
  • Likes clear masculine voices / Dislikes sweet feminine voices
  • Likes Hawaiian pizza / Dislikes cheese pizza
  • Likes Swim Wear / Dislikes Cold Weather Wear
  • Likes Fitness, and Nature / Dislikes Science, Film, and Literature
  • Prefers Showers (waterfall here we come) / Dislikes Baths
  • Her hobbies are swimming, photography, and guitar (I’m thinking underwater photography might be interesting to pursue).
  • She dislikes computers, phones, and TV (based on technophobe trait).
  • Attracted to long hair / Dislikes bald look
  • Interested in Nature and Survivalism / Not interested in Technology or News
  • Loves to hang out at the beach / Dislikes hanging out at retail outlets
  • Likes Island Décor / Dislikes Contemporary Décor
Arnie’s Better Maps mod is stunning! 😘

For this challenge, I’m playing in isleroux’s save file. It’s a gorgeous world with custom clubs and backstories and the world feels so rich and alive. Perfect! Just the way I like to play. This also saves me time going through and creating all these pieces myself.

I did make some major changes to Sulani just for the sake of this story. There weren’t enough ‘community’ lots. I like to play where my Sims don’t travel between worlds easily so I prefer to try and play within a single world completely for full immersion. I might run into some issues down the line or occasionally travel elsewhere, but it’ll be based on whims and story direction.

I’ve also gone through and added CC eyelashes (a huge pet peeve of mine) and skin details to the Sims, and maybe tweaked their outfits a smidge and added body hair for the males. I’ve also edited a few of the homes to add more clutter (and on a few occasions, I redid coloring and design inside).

I love this little home!!

Here is Azure’s new home. I basically gutted and redid Scheinheilig1603’s Sulani Pineapple Plantation for this game. The original lot is on the Gallery and is lovely by itself. I added plenty of clutter to make it feel more homey and “lived in” and authentic, and added some content to the outside of the home. I’ll start by playing “off the grid.” Azure is a technophobe and a green thumb so a little off-the-grid pineapple farm will be a good fit for her. Recently I was playing in the world and realized how much I loved it. I am looking forward to playing out the challenge in the beautiful world of Sulani. I’m already multiple days in and it’s already so unexpected and different from my usual gameplay. Hahah!

And there you have it. Azure Holliday – Gen 1 – Throw Caution to the Whim. In the next chapter, I’ll do some set-up and start playing. Let’s hear from you. What do you think of Azure? Have you tried a whims challenge before?

Prologue, Pt. 7: Cash (SDVR)

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In understanding our past, I hoped to pave the way to a better future. I applied for a full time program in Anthropological Studies at the Eco Institute. If you had asked me even two years prior, I would’ve never expected to be studying at the graduate level. I adjusted to island life well during my six months prior, and I figured that my experience had more than prepared me. I was wrong.

I visited home briefly before the start of my first quarter, and on my return, the airlines lost my luggage. It took three weeks of arguing with the baggage department to retrieve my personal items. Harsh cyclone winds my first summer (winter in the northern hemisphere) had me second guessing my decision. Afternoon storms would arise without warning, making it difficult to study, and often knocked out the lights at the institute. Sometimes it could take a day to restore the power due to budget cuts. I didn’t mind too much. It gave me an opportunity to light scented candles and continue researching on my laptop or practicing my crafting.

I enjoyed making paper flowers, daisy chains, and greeting cards. It was a hobby to pass the time. I probably could’ve been out on the beach getting a suntan or swimming in the Simuyan Sea, but I liked the quietness of my room. The Institute’s advanced scholars were given private rooms. I didn’t mind. I enjoyed my own company, and that of my adopted tetra fish named Cuatro. The student housing included three-story buildings with straw roofs with a swimming pool, fishing pond, and an atrium in the center, and a common study hall, lounge, and kitchen in the main central hut.

My dorm room had beautiful teak wood wall panels and floorboards. Every window had a bamboo rolling curtain, and gave a view of warm golden sands and date palm trees. Enough to spark my imagination… sometimes I’d write poetry in the late evenings before bed. The low lighting helped my head. My suitemate introduced me to kava, a ceremonial beverage of the natives, with healing properties. It was an acquired taste, a powdered root in what was sort of a muddy water, but it helped tremendously with my headaches.

I never expected to find my heart at sea. When I wasn’t in class, crafting a new design in my room, or working on my projects down at the beach, I would take one of the outrigger canoes out on the Simuyan Sea. Sometimes she was gracious, welcoming me in her teal-blue arms and showing me her wonders. Sometimes she had harsher lessons for me as the skies opened up and poured their fury. I enjoyed tooling around on the water and exploring the islands, ebbing and flowing with the waves and currents. However, I wasn’t prepared to meet my doom.

Storms could crop up suddenly. We were taught at the Institute to always carry a pack of emergency supplies with us and an extra power supply should the motor fail. Of course, Mother Nature isn’t always kind. My pack fell overboard and I forgot the power cell. I was adrift at sea, a long ways from the shoreline, wondering why I chose to go out on the ocean on that particular day. The winds picked up. As I attempted to secure my sail, I was knocked into the water. The last thing I remember was a red and blue fabric hitting my face softly as if urging me to go to sleep. It’s a miracle I survived.

His name was Cash Landgraab and he was a privileged and arrogant son-of-a-bitch. Well, with a name like Landgraab, of course he would be. I shouldn’t have expected less. He must’ve had some kind of death wish because he was diving during a thunderstorm off a boat named, I kid you not, My Thang, when he saw a body floating in the water. He asked me if I was dead. Not a great introduction mind you. I coughed, grateful to be discovered. When asked if I could tell him my name, I blinked a few times.

It was dark, but I could tell he was rougish handsome with some serious scruff growing around his mouth, chin, and sides of his face. I could see the little freckles splashed across his nose, but I couldn’t tell the color of his eyes. It’s funny the things that draw our attention. He definitely had the look of a bad boy… silver chain around his neck, arms and shoulder blade covered in tattoos, ears pierced with silver hoops. I fixated on his three black studs below his lower lip. I could tell he was concerned, even if I had interrupted his nighttime hobby.

If I was envisioning some romantic princess-carry back to his boat, that’s not what happened. He turned away from me, once assured that I could breathe and move, and suggested I climb on his back. He would lug me back to the boat ladder. I wrapped my arm timidly around his rib cage and used my free arm to swim. I wasn’t helpless. Plus he annoyed me with his comment about only an idiot would boat out in this weather and I must be a tourist. I tried to adamantly assure him that I was most certainly not just some visitor to the island and had actually been living and going to school here for some time, but I couldn’t get the words out. Instead, I felt his muscles rippling beneath my hand, and could smell the sea salt in his hair. To be fair, everything smelled of sea water.

We returned to his place, a two-cabin outpost steps from the beach with a green tin roof. I could hear the rain pounding against the green tin roof, mimicking the ba-rum-pum-pum of my heart. Cash did a concussion test before suggesting I rest. I didn’t have to be told twice. I passed out on his bougie burlap sofa while he watched some strange cartoon where the actors all spoke Takaha at much too fast a speed for my brain to keep up.

“Ugh, how long was I out?” I asked, groggily stirring from my awkward rest.

“Something like two hours,” he glanced at his ornate gold wristwatch that screamed ‘money.’

“And you stayed here the whole time?” I tilted my head in surprise.

He had changed into dry shorts, a blue aloha shirt which he left unbuttoned, revealing his fabulous sixpack, and switched out his silver jewelry for gold to match the watch. He looked less than amused. I flushed, realizing I was staring again.

“Uh… sorry…” I stammered, uncertain of the protocol when a stranger rescues you, and a handsome one to boot. “I… didn’t mean to ruin your evening.”

“Naw… it’s all good,” he relaxed into a grin, and turned off the television. “This anime was beginning to bore anyhow.”

“I’m… uh… Jade…” I managed to squeak out, kicking myself for sounding like a stupid school girl with a crush. “I… where are we?”

“Jade,” he said, running a hand through his hair. “I like it. We are on my private island. This is Key Point.”

“You own an island?” I exclaimed. “Like actually own an island?” my eyes bugged as I made a circle with my hand in the air. “The whole thing?”

“I’m a Landgraab. Of course, I own an island,” he shrugged as if it was something completely mundane.

It was too late in the night and the tides were too high to start out to sea now. The winds and rain would make it near impossible to see clearly enough to fly. Yes, Cash also owned a plane, his source of income. He was a bush pilot of sorts, shuttling the rich on exotic vacations and the scientists on their expeditions. I asked how he ended up out here. He stated he was exiled to the family island to repent from his “wicked ways.” He seemed excited when he shared that last part, and I tried desperately not to squirm uncomfortably. I didn’t have much experience at all with the opposite sex and I was feeling flustered, hot, and shy all at the same time. It was an unnerving, but pleasurable sensation.

Like a gentleman should, he offered up his room for the night. I had a feeling I wasn’t the only girl to sleep here before. I tried not to read into it as my stomach knots turned anxiously. Here I was standing in a man’s bedroom in a bikini with a short little violet skirt around my waist, recovering from a head injury and a traumatic dive in the ocean, and he smelled of orange and patchouli. I had never been alone in a man’s bedroom before. He shifted his shoulder a little to the side as he stopped in front of the bed. He assured me that he would sleep on the couch in the other cabin, and that I would find a lady’s shirt in the closet to sleep in… his sister’s from her last visit.

Morning arrived. I wandered to the first cabin, lingering at the doorway for a moment. Lifting my fingers to my lips, I wished I had brushed my teeth, but I didn’t know if it would be appropriate to use the toothbrush left in the bathroom. I had no way of knowing if it had been used before. I wandered into the kitchen to the smell of frying eggs, sizzling butter, and a faint earthy scent of mushrooms.

“Ah, you’re awake,” Cash said. “Good morning, sunshine.”

“Uh… sunshine?” I repeated with a bemused smile.

“Yes, your hair…” he said. “Reminds me of the sunrise.”

My cheeks grew hot as I settled at the table. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”

“Only the ones who fall off boats,” he teased.

Cash began whistling some island tune and I wondered if I should help, or stay seated. I played with the hem of the long style button up shirt I wore, the one I found in the closet. It was better than sleeping in my damp bathing suit.

“Can I ask you a question? Is this really your sister’s shirt?”

Cash returned to the table with an amazing smelling breakfast scramble, complete with pan-fried potatoes, mushrooms, and tomato and a hint of minced garlic and lemon pepper.

“No comment,” he set the plate in front of me and sat down in the adjacent chair. “But I can say, I don’t have a sister.”

“Ah! Old girlfriend,” I said, without thinking and took a bite. “Oh… my! This is delicious.”

“I’m not so bad at cooking if I say so myself,” he winked. “And sort of…”

“Please don’t say current girlfriend,” I forced the words out, my fork freezing in mid-air.

“She left three months ago… old enough for you?” he replied.

“Uh… um… I’m sorry… your personal life is none of my business,” I flubbed.

“No bother. She didn’t really like living on an island,” he shrugged, focusing on eating.

“How could you not?” I shook my head. “I love living here. I get to wake up every day to the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen, and I get to be lulled to sleep every night by the ocean. The plant life is so lush, and the people are friendly and more than willing to share their knowledge with me. I almost can’t imagine my life back on the mainland now.”

Cash smiled at me, with the most amused brown eyes, but didn’t say anything as he took another bite.

Cash stood dangerously close to me as we made our way onto the docks. Only a single button of his flowered shirt was looped through its hole, but I was focused on the world around us. It was hard to believe that it had been storming only a few hours before. It was such a beautiful, bright island sunny day. I could see why the man liked living here. The purple reef was visible from his doorstep, and you could see the tufts of smoke billowing out of the active volcano, Mua Pe’lam, only ten kilometers away.

“It’s enough to take your breath away,” I said, an airy quality to my voice, one which I’d only admit to myself that I was emphasizing on purpose. Something about this man made me feel all flirty. “I can see why you live here. Your view is incredible.”

“I’ll say,” Cash suddenly appeared at my side, all too close to me. I hoped he couldn’t hear my pounding heart as he continued, “I’m glad we got to share this, Jade.”

The way he said my name sent shivers down my spine.

He flew the “long” way home. I half-suspected he did it to spend as much time with me as possible. We flew over brilliant green jungles, breathtaking flowers, the famous Amethyst Reefs and Green Diamond Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. I tried to hide my blushing face when he pointed out another famous locale on the island, Gemini Falls. I had heard whispers and rumors in the dining hall about folks coming out there for a “good time.” I’ll admit. I wanted to visit the falls, but only because I heard a particularly rare type of frog resided in the pond below.

“Frogs?” Cash laughed. “No… no… you don’t come to Gemini Falls for frogs.”

He relayed the legend behind the popular destination for lovers, the goddess Veni fell from the heavens after battling the fire god, Maros. They say she lay paralyzed on the sands of Sua’Eno Peninsula, a water spirit named Son’kawa rose from the incoming tide. She had helped many people find their life partner, but had never known love or the touch of a man before. As he nurtured her back to health, she felt herself growing more and more attached to him every day, but she worried her father, the god of the heavens, Ianos would disapprove of her love for a water spirit. She would be forced to choose between her duty and her soulmate. She couldn’t make the decision, so she left without warning one day.

“Goddesses and water spirits,” I shook my head, the scientist in me trying to avoid mocking island tradition.

“It isn’t over yet,” he winked. “It is said that Ianos saw how sad his daughter was. In his wisdom, he urged Veni to return to earth for two nights. Son’kawa was so surprised and happy that she had returned, that he took her in his arms and carried her to this high rock and they consummated their great love for each other. The two nights… that’s why there is a double waterfall, the Gemini. It stands until this day to remind all of us to seek out love.”

“It’s a beautiful story,” I admitted. “But it’s a myth… a fairy tale.”

“I think we can all use a little magic in our lives,” Cash replied.

Cash enveloped my thoughts for the next several days. I attempted to write a research paper and I could see his face on my screen. I made an effort to carefully clean a conch I found on the beach and I could smell his cologne. I tried to listen to a podcast on Mua Pe’lam artifacts and I could hear his seductive murmurings. I didn’t know what infatuation was, or love for that matter, but the man who rescued me from the jaws of the sea completely permeated my heart. I thought a trip to the local tiki bar might help. As I relaxed on a lounge chair, waiting for my Lotta Cocolata, I melted into the setting sun rays and the sounds of island vibes. Except I could still hear his voice.

He was at the bar, chatting with an attractive woman in a purple suit. He seemed surprised, but happy to see me. Cash wrapped me in a warm embrace, and I was, for a moment, glad to be back in his arms. Girlfriend was less than pleased, giving me a death glare. Her name was Justine, a hostess on the Kinship Cruise Lines, and she was his “date.” I felt a twinge of disapointment. My suite mate informed me that Cash had lots of “dates” and that he had a reputation around these islands.

Out of curiosity, I had completed a cursory web search on Cash Landgraab. Oldest son of Baron and Charity. Went to business school, but never finished. Attended law school but never took the bar. Tried to revive a dead venture, and failed. Dated an heiress to a Worth 360 company, a Hesperian supermodel, two underwear models, three swimsuit models… I could see he had a type. I couldn’t help myself. I liked him. I liked the Cash that spun fairy tales while we floated among the clouds. I liked the Cash that cooked me breakfast when I woke up. I liked the Cash that saved me… and maybe it was hero’s worship at first, but I genuinely liked him.

“Have you been to the Kapu Caverns yet?” Cash asked, showing me images of his last expedition.

“No,” I replied. “Is there some romantic story behind it?”

“You tease,” he laughed. “But actually there is.”

“Let me guess. Mermaids and cave trolls?”

“Close. Sirens and sprites.”

We both laughed. Justine coughed. “This is all fascinating… but Cash, I’m bored.”

“Sorry, honey,” Cash replied. “This is…”

“I don’t care who she is,” Justine snipped. “We’re on a date. You and I.”

Cash paused to think for a moment. “We were on a date. Good night, Justine.”

She angrily stormed off and told him never to call her again. I was shocked, but Cash explained that ‘they’re all the same…’ the girls who wanted him for his rock-hard abs and money.

“No? You? I thought you were more than a bank account and a pretty face,” I said, in mock-seriousness, trying to quell my churning stomach.

Everything in me screamed stay away from the likes of Cash Landgraab, but I couldn’t help it. I was already enamored. Cash invited me for drinks the following night. Seemed harmless enough. It was a delight watching him talk, the studs on his upper chin bobbing up and down with every word. I found myself wondering what his lips tasted like. If this is what grown up desire felt like, I could forget the Timothees of the world and fall into the arms of Cash any day. His laugh was infectious, his smile was contagious, and his eyes were intense and wild.

Cash introduced me to the wonders of the islands. He insisted on capturing every adventure with his camera phone. I, on the other hand, focused on the delights of the moment. The damp feel of the caves, the sound of water dripping in the distance, ringing off hollow walls, the glow of the local crystalline growing along the cavern floor. My face lit up with every step, delighted by the experience.

We would often swim in the ocean together in the afternoons when he wasn’t flying, and my classes had finished. Sometimes the rain would pelt the water below, creating thousands of little circles on the surface and we would find shelter in the rock archways of the base of Mua Pe’lam. We would lean against the rocks opposite each other and laugh about yet another winter storm, breathing heavily from our vigorous swim, completely drenched and yet we didn’t mind at all.

For me, everything was magical, a miracle of sorts, and for Cash, he saw the island through new eyes – my own. We swam to the furthest cove of the islands and found the legendary Cave of Spirits where the Ohan’ali hibiscus flowers seemed to float in the air, a phenomenon caused by the steam vents from the volcanoes and the rush of the whistling winds between the rocks.

“It’s absolutely… incredible,” I murmured. “In all my studies, I… have never seen… anything like it.”

“You can’t always learn about life from a book, Jade,” Cash reminded gently. “Sometimes you have to get out into the world and experience it for yourself, to feel it physically and know it here…” he tapped his chest. “…in your heart.”

On Sunday afternoons we would lay out on the eastern edge of Leiowa Beach. We didn’t have to say anything. That was what made our relationship so comfortable – words didn’t need to be said in order to enjoy one another’s company. One such Sunday, however, we were interrupted by Jai, a local and an undergraduate student at the Eco Institute. I had seen her once or twice before, a cute and curvaceous woman of Seoulan descent. I could hear her giggles when I blinked into the fading sun and tried to focus on her face.

“Hello there,” Cash opened one eye, and greeted in his voice reserved for his flirty tone.

Instantly, I tensed, wondering why he addressed the pink vision in such a manner.

“Huh… hi…” the girl stammered. “I’m… uh…”

“Can I help you?” Cash rolled to his side and propped himself up with his elbow.

I grunted, and rolled the opposite way to help myself sit.

“You’re um… Cassius Landgraab, aren’t you?” she said, fluttering her eyes. “I’m Jai and can I say I’m a big fan? I just loved your Ray’s Anti-Ray commercial,” she gushed.

“Well, miss, I take sunblock very seriously,” he replied.

I resisted the urge to gag. What was with this guy? One minute he was sweet and kind, funny and intelligent with me, and the next he was pandering to the masses with a voice that could make candy sick with syrupy sweetness.

“Oh!” Jai cooed. “Can I get a picture, Cash? Can I call you Cash?”

“Hells yeah,” he grinned and posed for a selfie with the adoring fan, who put her cheek a little to close to my Cash’s.

Yes, my Cash. After all the time we spent together, I was ready to be possessive. Jai finally deigned to look in my direction and acknowledge my presence.

“Is this your fiancé, Jacqueline?” she asked. “You two make such a cute couple. So when’s the wedding? Oh the magazines were right. You look just like a model.”

I stopped, mid-step. Jacqueline? My heart stopped. Cash’s girl that left a few months before… was that who Jai thought I was?

“You never said you were engaged,” I began, trying to even my tone and keep from betraying my utter disappointment. “Jennifer, huh? I should’ve known.”

“Jade, it’s not like that,” Cash protested.

“I’m the other woman, aren’t I?” I exclaimed in dismay. “Well, not exactly. We haven’t really defined what we are.”

“I want you to be that,” Cash began, and then grimaced. “No not that…that. I mean, to define what we are… what you mean to me.”

“What does that mean?” I raised my voice. “We’ve been hanging out for weeks now and I wondered if you suddenly took a vow of celibacy or I’m just not that attractive. I always seem to do this to myself, though that’s not really fair as this has only happened twice and I’ve never truly had a boyfriend.”

“You haven’t had a boyfriend?” he arched a brow.

“Whatever… Cash… it’s not like it matters now. You’re engaged!” I said, exasperated.

Was, was… engaged,” he corrected. “And I want to be that… exclusive with you… I like you a lot Jade. I respect you. That’s why I’ve been waiting. You’re different.”

“Ha!” I rolled my eyes, refusing to believe what I was hearing. “You have a reputation, Cash, and I should’ve listened to my gut before getting involved… or whatever you call this.”

“I want to be involved. Jade, you aren’t listening to me,” Cash protested. “How can I show you I’m serious?”

“I don’t know, but I’m not going to be another Jacqueline or Jai or Justine for that matter…”

“No, you’re Jade, and you’re my girlfriend,” he said, his face suddenly on mine.

Our lips met in a warm and gentle caress. I stood stunned, allowing it to happen to me for a moment, before it registered.

“Girlfriend?” I muttered.

He kissed me again, this time with more passion. His fingers slid through my hair, searching as he pulled me closer to himself. This time, I reciprocated, wrapping my arms around him, something I had wanted to do for a long time, ever since we hugged that first day back at the tiki bar. Even so, I pushed back from him, trying to gather my wits.

“Let’s get this straight… you’re my boyfriend,” I sputtered.

He grinned. “Yes ma’am.”

Author Notes: I’m getting closer to the conclusion of the prologue and the move to Stardew Valley. I’ve enjoyed playing in Sulani so much again. I might even do a future generation on a beach farm here. If you’ve played Stardew Valley, I think the Farmer is supposed to be on the younger side, but I like the idea of an older farmer. I’m in my thirties and I wanted the Farmer to be close to or in her thirties as well. That tweaks and shifts the ages of the eligible candidates, but I’m okay with that. I’m all about defying tradition. There’s also nothing indicated in the game about the farmer’s educational background, so this is all my own interpretation, and I figured why not? Go for a graduate degree.

And now time for Simworld notes:

  • The Simuyan Sea is mentioned in the Sims lore. It is said that Barnacle Bay is situated on the Simuyan Sea. In my Simworld, the planet’s southern ocean is the warmest and is the Simuyan, stretching between the Paclantic Ocean to the east and the Arcadian Ocean to the west. (Learn more: See Oceans and Waterways).
  • Cash Landgraab is actual a remake of a remake of TS4’s Malcolm Landgraab by tropico on the Gallery. When I rolled for a name, Cash came up as an option and I loved the pun. 😛 Baron is another name that was randomly generated. Charity was the only name I personally picked.
  • Venusian mythology originated in the Sulanian islands. The natives known as Amazoneans in my Simworld pay tribute to Veni, the goddess of love and life, and a host of deities in their pantheon.
  • The native Sulanian language, So’lelo, is similar to the Hawaiian language in that it only has a small amount of letters in its alphabet. Unlike Hawaiian, the Sulanians includes the consonant ‘s.’
  • A Worth 360 is a Simworld equivalent of a Fortune 500 company, an annual list of the top 360 companies in the world with the highest total revenue.
  • Kapu Caverns is a nod to the Her Interactive Nancy Drew computer game, The Creature of Kapu Cave.
  • Mermaids are considered a spellcaster species in my Simworld. They are also called sea witches, or less commonly, aquatic fairies.
  • The beach ‘Leiowa’ is a lot I created myself, but it’s so bland I didn’t keep it and moved the couple down the shore a bit. I decided Leiowa means ‘place of honor’ in So’lelo.
  • Seoula is a small country at the northwestern tip of the continent of Cathaysia (above the Hanzu Monarchy) loosely based on Korea.

Thanks for reading!

Prologue, Pt. 6: Dying Star (SDVR)

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It was New Year’s Eve. We were playing a game of chess to pass the time until midnight. I was excited to stay up late, and I enjoyed challenging my mind, especially as my physical body often failed me. A nurse had arrived at our doorstep in the middle of a blizzard, wrapped tightly in a red coat, saying she was stationed at the county hospital. One of her patients, a Mr. Owen, desperately wanted to reconcile with his family. He was in the final stages of Bowden’s Malady. I nearly shut the door, stating we didn’t know any Mr. Owen, but Dad stopped me. He asked me if the man’s first name was James, and when the woman confirmed, he informed me that Mr. Owen was my Papa Jack. Naturally our curiosity got the better of us.

The contents of the room were so ingrained in my mind. The last time I saw Papa Jack, he sat in a faded green chair. We didn’t even know he was living in Pine-Mesa City. He was renting a little old house with cracking walls and failing radiators. The floorboards creaked and the windows leaked winter air. A shifting cedar log crackled in the fireplace. A set of three swords were displayed on the wall as some sort of commemorative achievement, and a painting of a bridge from the Valley hung on the adjacent wall. Atop the fireplace, an ornately carved wooden clock, a gift he said from a resident of his former town, dinged to indicate it was half past seven. A silhouette graced the mantlepiece, a woman across from a gold circular design, and a strange alien creature encircled by leaves. The floor rug was red and gold, patterned, but faded. The windows bore no curtains or blinds, simply looking out, cold glass at a winter snowstorm, illuminated only by a few lone streetlamps. A Christmas tree, festively decorated with candy canes, yellow balls, gold painted snowflakes, twinkle lights, and red ribbons stood across from the dying man, the only other light in the room.

Papa Jack had written me letters every year on my birthday. When Dad picked up the stack, he realized that the envelopes had the markings “return to sender” in my mother’s handwriting. For nine years, Papa wrote letters, and for nine years, she returned them. He must not have known that Mama and Dad separated and that I was living with my father. An article in the local paper about my classmates and I winning a science fair competition in early December made him aware that I was living in the same town he was. That’s when he asked his nurse to find me. How he ended up in Pine-Mesa City didn’t matter. He had a gift for me. Another letter. He didn’t even want me to open it right away. At twelve, I simply did not understand the implications, nor did I really want mere words on paper from a grandfather I barely remembered and knew.

Over a decade and a half passed. Pine-Mesa skies grew smoggy with the emissions from the Joja factories. The thick hazy orange air made it difficult to breathe and thrive. The company poured waste into the sewers and dumped toxins into the river. Before we knew what had happened, it was too late. Homelessness increased and the purpose of the community center was converted into emergency sheltering, but lack of sanitation and resources nearly forced a shutdown by the government. The Crown Bench only then began proposing laws, years behind, to prevent and regulate pollution as a result of deliberate corporate negligence.

As airborne diseases skyrocketed, families began moving out of the region. Joja left the region for yet another place to pollute, leaving behind only a regional office. But by then, the damage was done. Abandoned buildings and streets were filled with discarded remnants of a faceless corporate giant who pulled out in a hurry because the bottom line mattered more than human life. Giant concrete cylinders for tunneling into the mountain that never happened lay untouched in the streets, cracking in the intense heat and freeze cycles of summer and winter weather. Since the factories no longer required major transport to major coastal cities, the railyards became like ghost towns. Pine-Mesa was fading, hemorrhaging life like a dying star.

It’s funny. I came back to try and make a difference. When I was 18, I didn’t go to uni right away. I continued to volunteer at Pinecrest Community Center, and took a variety of odd jobs to support myself. I watered flowers in gardens of traveling neighbors, but soon learned I was allergic to grass so mowing lawns was out of the question. I worked at a summer camp in the foothills, serving mess hall slop to over-eager eight-year-olds who were excited to learn archery and bracelet braiding. I washed dishes in a Fiesta Inn where the owner only spoke Selvanez and I had an opportunity to practice the language of my parents’ homeland. That was by far my favorite and longest employment as I didn’t have to interact much with the general public like the front of the restaurant. I could wear shorts and we would blast Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne.

On a rare hazy blue day, Cookie passed away, right before my 19th birthday, finally succumbing to her disease. The sun set on an era, and rose with a new day… in a world without the quintessential ‘wise old woman’ who couldn’t bake to save her life, could shuck corn faster than anyone I had ever seen, and who cussed like a star sailor. I had never cried so hard in my life. I didn’t know then that it was possible to miss someone so much that it physically ached. I had hoped she would live a long life and get to see me graduate from university, maybe even marry and be a “great auntie” to my kids. Like the telephone poles which cast long shadows across the street, so Cookie cast a long shadow on my life. Somehow I felt like this was a sign. That I should pull my life together and do something worthwhile.

In my twentieth year, Dad had finally saved enough to buy us a little home. A two-story brick and board house with a little attached garage enough for one car, not that Dad ever used it. The yard was overgrown with wildflowers and ivy twisted up the faded walls. The fence was in need of repair and the house pipes howled a bit when it was stormy. But it was ours. I took to making it into a home, spray painting sunshine on the garage door, painting the window bars white, and filling the pantry with a glorious spice collection of dried herbs and crushed peppers. Dad worked on “green-ifying” the space, upgrading the appliances to eco-friendly and adding wind turbines to the roof to help generate some of our own power.

I only lived there for a short while, but it felt the most “home” than any other place I had been before. Perhaps it was because Dad owned instead of rented. He actually did a little dance when the first mortgage bill arrived and we celebrated with a bottle of orange fizzy juice and almond madeleines I baked. Perhaps it was because Dad and I could share meals together around a kitchen table and laugh at the sports news. Perhaps it was because I could finally afford a vehicle of my own – and oh! I rode that bike up and down Third Street, waving to the neighbors like a giddy school girl. Perhaps it was because for the first time in my life, I think I was happy.

My window overlooked the front walkway and the mailbox so I could watch when the post arrived. I waited every day for my university acceptance letters. I failed my entrance exams for all the right Cascadian universities. I blame the fact that I didn’t get enough sleep the night before and that I was fighting a migraine when working through the mathematics section. I had good grades and good extracurriculars, but it seemed I wasn’t destined for a four-year school. I wasn’t like I really wanted to leave. Pine-Mesa had a local college so I applied and was accepted into their general studies program. I was content in Pine-Mesa for now. This was before the Dark Days. Before people really understood the importance of preventing the planet from dying… before people really knew the long-term impact of the slow death of midwestern Cascadia to contamination of the waterways and overuse of chemicals.

Dad began dating the dean of Pine-tree Polytech, and they were married the following spring. Her name was Honey Abeja, and she had beautiful dark skin and black braids. I actually really liked her. She was kind, funny, and intelligent, and all the students at PTP spoke highly of her and described her as fair. Honey had quite the resume, working with the Selvadoradan Bee Restoration Project as their Communications Manager, the World Institute of Science and Technology in Shang Simla as a grant writer, and the National Clean Beaches project in Sulani as their Development Director.

As far as stepmoms go, this one wasn’t evil. She made an effort to get to know me and respect my autonomy and privacy. I even came to ask her for advice a few times. I didn’t view her as a threat to our little life because honestly, I barely knew my birth mother. I even started calling her mom by the third year. Maybe it was because I was an adult, I didn’t think twice about accepting her into this family. I could tell Dad was happy, for the first time in years. Honey brought out the best in my father. She encouraged him to apply for a position at the college, and submitted a stunning recommendation on his behalf. She believed in him in a way he hadn’t experienced in a long time, and he finally started trusting himself and his decisions again. My mother’s betrayal and subsequent leaving of our family did a number on his head.

I suppose I was affected by the loss of my mother as well. It was different for me though. I didn’t really “miss” having a maternal figure until I hit puberty. Instead of a mom to help me through social-emotional intelligence development, my dad fumbled his way through explaining the intricacies of becoming a woman, of menstrual cycles, hormonal urges, and of course, dating. Other than my crush on Timothee, I never considered pursuing a boyfriend or girlfriend. I didn’t really feel like I was missing out. Dad saw a number of women socially during my growing up years, but he never settled down again, until Honey. All of the women were nice, but I’d hardly call any of them motherly. A few of them brought me presents, some tried to talk with me, mostly polite chit-chat, and only one attempted to “hang out” with me, if you could call it that. We went to the shopping mall, ordered Hanzuean food, and her in-depth “navel gazing” made me nauseated and I requested to go home early. I didn’t have the courage to tell my dad for months that I really disliked her, and thought she was ill-suited as far as partners go. 

When I completed my undergraduate degree, Honey arranged for an science internship in the Sulani Isles. I had never really traveled, let alone left the country so I was excited to experience life outside Cascadia. The tranquil blue-green waters were enough to convince me that I had found my place. I was stationed at the Sulani Eco Institute at Admiral’s Cove. It was a ten month internship, and one I was excited to complete. We spent our mornings out on the beaches, cleaning up, discovering the local flora and fauna, and taking samples. In the afternoons when the heat was excruciating, we came indoors for classes on biology, sustainability, recycling and waste management, and environmental planning. Evenings and weekends were reserved for the interns to take in local island color and life. There were a few mandatory events, but no one really seemed to mind the community luau dinner or the turtle hatchings.

I had an intense curiosity and an interest in making the planet a better place. Simterra had its long history of fighting the natural world, learning to coexist with the natural world, wars with xenophobic species, accumulating technology, medicine, and resources through said battles, bettering the planet, and then repeating the cycle all over again. When we had arrived on this planet centuries before, trillions of miles from our homeworld, our people were forced backward in time and technology in order to hide from a vastly superior alien life form. As we continued to advance, we discovered some incredible secrets of the universe, but we seemed doomed to repeat the failures of past generations. I wanted to preserve the place we had come to call home, the only place I had ever known in this galaxy. Honey suggested I pursue a graduate degree in environmental science, but I had different ideas.

Author Notes: I didn’t intend the prologue to get so long. It’s taken on a life of its own and I’m along for the ride. I’m truly enjoying sharing the backstory of my farmer before she comes to Stardew Valley and I hope you are too. Setting up “grandpa’s” or rather ‘Papa Jack’s’ scene had to be one of my favorites of this entire chapter. If you’ve played Stardew Valley, it’s not exact, but it’s my interpretation. I’ve been enjoying playing around in their world and getting to know these characters.

This chapter is also reminiscent in some regards to my own childhood. In 1990, the Clean Air Amendments ushered in a new era, one to hopefully address major environmental and health concerns caused by stratospheric ozone depletion, air pollution, and toxic emissions. We were hoping to move toward a purer, greener future. Pine-Mesa City is one of those places where the “bills” were too late, and the city suffered greatly, especially when the factories pulled out in favor of doing business overseas. I actually considered environmental law at one point before settling on communications and human services instead. While I don’t work directly to “save” the planet, so to speak, I am proud to say that my organization works to build clean energy-efficient structures, and we were a decade or more ahead of the curve.

A few notes:

  • Bowden’s Malady is a fictional disease that appears in the cult-classic television western in space opera, Firefly. It is a degenerative disease targeting bones and muscles. In the show, it’s a result of rapid terraforming of the planet accelerated by working in the mines. In my Sims world, it is a result of working in the mines for many years. I always assumed Grandpa in Stardew Valley fought in the mines growing up, indicated by the sword on his wall.
  • Before Cascadia was part of Sim Nation, annexed in the late 70’s, it was part of a monarchy. Today, the queen of Cascadia is more of a figurehead role, and she rules jointly with the Sim National President. However, some remnants of the old days remain – like the “Crown Bench” instead of the “Supreme Court.”
  • Fiesta Inn = Holiday Inn and Selvanez is the language of Selvadoradans.
  • The Sims original game had a variety of real-world appearances, such as Christine Aguilera and Avril Lavigne. While I didn’t listen to these artists much, both women defined changes in music in the 90s.
  • Hanzuean/Hanzu/Hanzu Monarchy is an allusion to China. I imagine if Earth ever did travel to space, China would be one of the major countries to do so. This is another “feature” in the tv show, Firefly, where the characters speak both English/Mandarin.
  • Matteo and Honey began dating all on their own and there was instant chemistry. I had to chuckle at the game’s pun in generating her name, Honey Abeja.

Thanks for reading!

Year 1: A Little Bit of Fire (LMDB)

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I was born on a rainy spring morning. The midwife told mammy that the heavens smiled down on Simterra when I arrived. The waters fell on fertile land, pouring down the mountains over Green Diamond Falls, and into my eyes. That’s how I got my teal-blue eyes, they say. The villagers treat me like a gift of the goddess. I’m not certain that’s really what happened. If rain made eyes blue, then anyone could look up at the sky and change their color.

I was born in the month of March, the month of the god Maros. Perhaps you know him by his less Simlish name, Mars… or Ares. That’s right. Fire. There is a legend that Maros fought a great battle in the sky and lost, falling deep within the earth. Mua Pel’am is Maros trying to claw his way back to the surface from the underworld, Tartar. I don’t know if it’s true. I do know that I have a fiery spirit like Maros. The volcano spits lava into the Simuyan Sea, and anyone who knows me, knows I spit fire right back.

On the morning of my birth, Mua Pel’am was quiet. He gurgled beneath the molten rock, but did not spew his usual ire. I suppose the child born under the sign of Maros is cursed with a hot head. But even a fiery dragon knows when to reign its head. They say the dragons, the Ṭirākaṉ, taught our kind how to use fire thousands and thousands of years ago. I am still learning how to tame my fire.

I suppose my parents are the real reason for my fire. My papaw is a soft-spoken man. He lived his whole life on the island. I wouldn’t call him homely, but he isn’t the most handsome man. It is probably why he didn’t date much earlier in life.

Papaw doesn’t remember his real name. It is too hard to pronounce. His parents didn’t mean to be cruel, but he would be teased in school. So he started calling himself Buddy.

When he was fifteen, Buddy hit his head on a rock while fishing. He blames the accident as the reason he didn’t continue onto university as his parents would’ve liked. Instead, he obtained employment following secondary school at the island television station near the Green Diamond.

Buddy would go to work at the television station five days a week. Then to the local bar for dinner and refreshment, to watch the news, and if he was feeling happy, to dance. Always the same. Papaw likes routine.

Sometimes he would meet celebrities who came to film on the island, but they never saw him. He felt like he was invisible for most of his life. When he saw my mammy in a crowded bar, something changed. He felt like he was eighteen again.

I don’t blame him. Mammy is radiant. That night many men attempted introductions and tried to buy her drinks and dance with her, but it was my papaw who won the day! In the dim orange light, Isadora wore a dress of citrus. Her smile was soft and seductive. Her ocean-blue eyes beckoned to my father like the stars to a sailor on the sea. She wanted a local, someone who would stay, someone who would be stable.

Her own life was filled with chaos. She was ripped from her mammy’s arms when just a babe. My GranMa was a troubled woman, sipping on the bovine elixir too much to be any kind of mother. Isadora bounced from home to home, at first, a frightened and confused child. She learned to rely on herself for her own well-being and happiness.

Mammy didn’t like her studies, and she wasn’t very good in school so she had neither the money nor the smarts to attend university. But she knew she had her looks. When she started hanging around the Sand Bar, she hoped to find a rich man who would take care of her. Someone who would be kind and maybe a little sweet. She didn’t expect someone like my papaw to sweep her off her feet.

He told her he was looking for someone to share his whole life with… someone who would bring fire back into his life. After the death of his parents, he felt lost and adrift in life. Work. Home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. The moment he saw Isadora, he knew that he found his spark again. He didn’t have much money, just the family home, but he could offer her his love.

His boldness resulted in one very beautiful union. She took him off the beaten path.The fragrant hibiscus heightened their encounter. They made love beneath the stars.Their risky night of passion and pleasure resulted in my older brother, Jahni. Their little gift from God.

My parents are still very much in love. Just join our breakfast table some morning and you’ll see the way he looks at her, and she smiles at him. This is the passion of the island. This is the romance that draws you in and makes it so you never want to leave. This is how I, their little bit, joined the world.

…just a blue-eyed smalltown girl

Author Notes: I’ve decided to intersperse journal entries from Daija Bleu with the BitLife shenanigans. I couldn’t help myself. Obviously this is written from Daija’s perspective much later in life, but it was a fun for me to write after I completed the introductory post. BitLife doesn’t give you backstory so this is all my imagination and the Sims. Also I included some SimBit extras over on my Simblr – some behind-the-scenes game play and outtakes – for fun. Enjoy SimBit Extras 1

Day 2, Pt. 3: Happy Feet – the Group Date (SIS)

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Welcome back to the island kingdom of Sulani. I’m your host, Neal “The Dealin'” Wheeler, and this is Bachelor and Bachelorette: Sulani Style – Sweethearts in Sulani. Tonight, we will be “dealin'” our bachelor candidates a challenge – the dance off. Who will be light on his feet? Who will sweep Breanna off her feet? Who will have two left feet? Only the evening will tell… Bring out your dancin’ shoes and join us for the fun!

Our bachelorette is ready to sway… What adorable island attire she’s wearing!

I can hear the sounds of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now.

Mort goes for the theatrical entrance in a cloud of black smoke. Poof! Our special effects department got carried away now, didn’t they?

Breanna is skeeved out by Mort’s strange appearance. She is not impressed.

…that leaves an opening for Hunter, but not so fast, Afu saunters up confidently too.

Too slow, fellows! Miguel makes the first contact of the night. Griffin, buddy, you need more pep in your step!

“Hola Senorita Breanna, the night is so beautiful for dancing, is it not?”

Hunter’s Confessional: Plum!

Afu’s Confessional: How does that guy swoop in every time? 

Mort’s Confessional: Freezer bat bunnies! I hoped she would be impressed by my smoke screen. 

Griffin’s Confessional: It’s nice having my own suite, but man! (slouches forward) I shouldn’t have stayed up all night trying to beat my record for FIFA 08.

Miguel offers to go fetch Breanna a refreshing beverage… making way for Andy-oh! Eyes up top, Afu! Yes, we see you checking out the pirate princess’ booty!

“Andy-oh is in the house!” Andy declares loudly, ignoring Mort’s not-so-subtle elbow-jab to pipe down. “And Breanna… you got the steps, girl.”

“Uh thank you,” she replies.

Breanna’s Confessional: I’m not sure what to make of their outfit choice – leather mini skirt, fish net tights, and knee-high boots. And don’t get me started on the top! Lawd have mercy!

“They said ‘dress to impress,'” Andy twirls about. “So here I am!”

“You certainly… aremaking an impression,” Breanna says.

Afu’s Confessional: Ooo… do I detect some shade?

“Wanna hear a joke?” Andy inquires. “Our wedding was beautiful. Even the cake was in tiers.” He snickers.

Breanna laughs lightly and curls her fingers. “It’s too early to joke about marriage.”

Afu’s Confessional: And I’m back in the driver’s seat! 

Breanna declares dance-offs have begun. First up…

Afu. I have my eye on you. Twist and Shout.

Well, shake it up, baby, now
Twist and shout
Come on, come on, come, come on, baby, now

Come on and work it on out
Well, work it on out, honey
You know you look so good
You know you got me goin’ now
Just like I know you would

Afu pulls out spinning light sticks, surprising Breanna.

Well, shake it up, baby, now
Twist and shout
Come on, come on, come, come on, baby, now
Come on and work it on out
You know you twist, little girl
You know you twist so fine
Come on and twist a little closer now
And let me know that you’re mine!

Ah, ah, ah, ah, wow
Baby, now
Twist and shout
Come on, come on, come, come on, baby, now
Come on and work it on out
You know you twist, little girl
You know you twist so fine

Come on and twist a little closer now
And let me know that you’re mine
Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now
Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now
Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now
Ah, ah, ah, ah

Breanna declares Afu’s dance a success! She enjoyed the workout and it was a lot of fun.

Unfortunately for Afu, Mort is swooping in on his territory, eager to make up for scaring Breanna earlier.

“You are a phenomenal dancer,” Mort declares.

“Why thank you,” Breanna fans herself, feeling a bit out of breath from her last dance.

Your turn, Mort. Monster Mash.

I was working in the lab, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab, began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash, he did the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
He did the mash, it caught on in a flash
He did the mash, he did the monster mash

Uh oh! Breanna just isn’t feeling it.

Mort, you tried. Maybe the song just hit too close to home… vampire and all.

Mort’s Confessional: Aw bats! I blew it!

After Breanna refreshes with a trip to the ladies room and that drink Miguel promised… she wanders over to bachelor number three for the night.

Kaha. Wipeout.

…with a little help from the props department, Kaha loosens up.

“Finally something to do with his hands,” Hunter smirks.
“Making fun of Kaha isn’t nice,” Miguel calls. “You’re ruining the song.”
“This is a good song,” Andy declares.

Uh oh… Kaha stomped on Breanna’s foot. Maybe he was doomed with a song called Wipeout.

Then laughs hysterically out of nervousness. She hits him with the light wand as she tries to catch her balance.

Poor Breanna fell to the floor and face-planted. Kaha holds his back and groans.

“Ooo, that’s gotta hurt!” Andy says.

“No one’s dancin’ in the moonlight any longer,” Afu laughs.

“Breanna, are you alright?” Miguel rushes forward with concern.

“Everyone, back up,” Miguel shouts, throwing his hand in the air. “Give Breanna some room.”

Miguel puts his hands out to catch her if she falls again. She holds her hand up to her face, her cheeks turning deep red.

“Well, that was embarrassing,” she winces.

“Can I get you anything?” Miguel inquires. “Here… let me help you sit down.”

Griffin decides to take this moment and dive into the bay, swimming around the venue.

Holly rests for almost an hour at this point, giving all the gentlemen a chance to chat with her. Everyone but Griffin. Breanna talks about how she’s squeamish about creepy-crawlies, which apparently saddens Miguel. Hunter observes and listens thoughtfully. Apparently he too decided to take a dip in the ocean. Thankfully, we’re in Sulani. Shirtless guys is the norm. Griffin returns to the hut in his swim wear and chats with Holly.

Miguel’s Confessional: How would I take the lovely Breanna through the bush I so love if she can’t stand the sight of spiders? 

Hunter’s ConfessionalBreanna would do well in the city with me. Maybe skip the entomological exhibit at the museum. (chuckles to self)

Griffin’s Confessional: (in reference to Holly) I like her hair. It’s kinda weird, but cool.

I help myself to a a refreshing glass of lemonade. Gotta stay alert for all the happenings on the dance floor. Holly comes over to see if Breanna was okay. She winces and says she is hanging in there.

While I down my drink, Kaha comes over to apologize profusely to Breanna. She accepts his apology readily. Those two seem to be getting along better now.

Breanna’s ready to get back on the dance floor. Hunter gets redressed at lightning speed. He’s ready to bust a move. Hunter’s turn. Off the Wall. Breanna was really getting into the song.

When the world is on your shoulder
Gotta straighten up your act and boogie down
If you can’t hang with the feelin’
Then there ain’t no room for you this part of town
‘Cause we’re the party people night and day
Livin’ crazy that’s the only way

On the other side of the bar, it looks like some of the ladies from the Paramours house showed up. Caroline and Nakaia are letting the ‘madness’  get to them. Hortance settles at the bar and Miguel wanders over to order another drink. Mort realizes he’s gotta get his head in the game.

So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf
And just enjoy yourself
Groove, let the madness in the music get to you
Life ain’t so bad at all
If you live it off the wall
Life ain’t so bad at all (live life off the wall)
Live your life off the wall (live it off the wall)

You can shout out all you want to
‘Cause there ain’t no sin in folks all getting loud
If you take the chance and do it
There there ain’t no one who’s gonna put you down
‘Cause we’re the party people night and day
Livin’ crazy that’s the only way

So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf
And just enjoy yourself
Groove, let the madness in the music get to you
Life ain’t so bad at all
If you live it off the wall
Life ain’t so bad at all (live life off the wall)
Live your life off the wall (live it off the wall)

The dance with Hunter was a success!

Do what you want to do
There ain’t no rules it’s up to you (ain’t no rules it’s all up to you)
It’s time to come alive
And party on right through the night (all right)

Are you ready? Andy asks of Breanna. It’s his turn. Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough. Breanna grins and says sure.

Lovely is the feelin’ now
Fever, temperatures risin’ now
Power (oh power) is the force the vow
That makes it happen
It asks no questions why (ooh)
So get closer (closer now) to my body now
Just love me ’til you don’t know how (ooh)
Keep on, with the force don’t stop
Don’t stop ’til you get enough
Keep on, with the force don’t stop
Don’t stop ’til you get enough

Mort and some of the ladies join in the song on the corner of the dance floor. Andy isn’t thrilled that they’re moving in on his territory.

Touch me and I feel on fire
Ain’t nothin’ like a love desire (ooh)
I’m melting (I’m melting) like hot candle wax
Sensation (ah sensation) lovely where we’re at (ooh)
So let love take us through the hours
I won’t be complainin’ (ooo)
‘Cause this is love power (ooh)

…but he’s not giving up!

Keep on, with the force don’t stop
Don’t stop ’til you get enough
Keep on, with the force don’t stop
Don’t stop ’til you get enough

Ooo… looks like Breanna’s had enough. She develops a cramp in her side and stops before the end of the song.

Griffin stops Breanna outside the hut and chats with her about color theories and dance moves. A walk on the beach is exactly what she needed to stretch her cramping side.

Griffin cracks his neck and his fingers and he’s ready to start grooving all on his own. Play That Funky Music.

Yeah, there was a funky singer
Playin’ in a rock and roll band
And never had no problems yeah
Burnin’ down one night stands
And everything around me, yeah
Got to stop to feelin’ so low
And I decided quickly, yes I did
To disco down and check out the show

You go, Griffin! Rock that confidence!

Kaha’s Confessional: How can I learn some of those man’s moves?

Yeah they was dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down that boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, oh till you die

I tried to understand this
I thought that they were out of their minds
How could I be so foolish (How could I)
To not see I was the one behind
So still I kept on fighting

Well, loosing every step of the way
I said, I must go back there (I got to go back)
And check to see if things still the same

Breanna came over and joined in.

Yeah they was dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, ya
Till you die

Now first it wasn’t easy
Changin’ Rock and Roll and minds and things were getting shaky
I thought I’d have to leave it behind
But now its so much better (it’s so much better)
I’m funking out in every way
But I’ll never lose that feelin’ (no I won’t)
Of how I learned my lesson that day

When they were dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die
Oh’ till you die

Breanna laughs happily. “That was so much fun!”

“How was I?” Griffin asks. “You can be honest.”

“I loved your confidence,” she praises. “A confident man catches my attention any day.”

“That’s a good thing, right?” he inquires.

She bobs her head. “You lay that boogie down!”

It’s Miguel’s turn.

“Tell me,” he inquires. “What kinds of things are you looking for in a good dance song?”

“Catchy lyrics. Good beat. And emotional meaning,” Breanna lists off.

Miguel goes over and requests a song from the DJ, instead of waiting on the random choice of the producers.

Now I’ve had the time of my life
No, I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it’s the truth
And I owe it all to you
‘Cause I’ve had the time of my life
And I owe it all to you

I love this song! Breanna’s eyes light up.

Afu’s Confessional: Uh oh. We might be in trouble. 

Hunter’s Confessional: I didn’t know we could pick our songs. 

I’ve been waiting for so long
Now I’ve finally found someone to stand by me
We saw the writing on the wall
And we felt this magical fantasy
Now with passion in our eyes
There’s no way we could disguise it secretly
So we take each others hand
‘Cause we seem to understand the urgency

Just remember
You’re the one thing
I can’t get enough of
So I’ll tell you something
This could be love
Because I’ve had the time of my life
No, I never felt this way before
Yes I swear it’s the truth
And I owe it all to you
Hey baby

With my body and soul
I want you more than you’ll ever know
So we’ll just let it go
Don’t be afraid to lose control, no
Yes, I know what’s on your mind when you say
“Stay with me tonight” (stay with me)
And remember
You’re the one thing
I can’t get enough of
So I’ll tell you something
This could be love

Breanna is shocked when Nellie Aquafree interrupts and starts belting the lyrics, coming between the two singers.

Because I’ve had the time of my life
No, I never felt this way before
Yes I swear it’s the truth
And I owe it all to you

Afu takes the opening and begins dancing with Breanna.

“What are you doing?” Breanna asks.

“You said… confidence catches your attention any day,” Afu replies.

Breanna isn’t happy.

They finish out the dancing competitions with group dances.

There’s nothing more that I like to do
Than take the floor and dance with you
Keep dancing…let’s keep dancing! 

Shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing, yeah, yeah
Show ’em how we do it now
Shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing, yeah, yeah
Show ’em how we do it now, show ’em how we do it now

Let show the world we can dance
Bad enough to strut our stuff
The music gives us a chance
We do more out on the floor

Groovin’ loose or heart to heart
We put in motion every single part
Funky sounds wall to wall
We’re bumpin’ booties, havin’ us a ball, y’all 

We got the rhythm tonight
All the rest know we’re the best
Our shadows crash in the light
Twistin’, turnin’, we keep burnin’

Shake it high or shake it low
We take our bodies where they wanna go
Feel that beat, never stop
Oh, hold me tight, spin me like a top

Shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing, yeah, yeah
Show ’em how we do it now
Shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing, yeah, yeah
Show ’em how we do it now

Show ’em how we do it now, let’s get on down
Show ’em how we do it now, show ’em how we do it now, ooh
Ooh Show ’em how we do it now, shake your groove thing

Quite a few guys go for a dip in the ocean to cool off after a night of dancing. Levi from Paramours shows up to check out the party and wishes Breanna good luck.

“Uh… is it legal for him to be here?” Afu asks, raising his hand as if in school.

“Did you enjoy the water?” Breanna asks of Kaha.

“Do your tattoos have any special significance?” Breanna asks of Andy.

“Of course they do,” Andy replies. “Each tattoo reminds me of a place I’ve been and how I’ve grown as a person. Like my bird on a flower branch? It’s to remind me to be free to be myself. That I need to embrace who I am.”

“Actually… that’s quite beautiful,” Breanna admits. “I’ve always been to chicken to go under the needle. If I were going to get a tattoo, what would you suggest?”

Andy steps forward and takes Breanna’s hands much to her surprise.

“I wouldn’t presume to know what you should get,” he says. “Tattoos are very personal. You should choose what best fits you, but as I get to know you, I’d be happy to go with and I’d be honored to help you pick out your first.”

Breanna’s Confessional: I’ll be completely honest. Until now, I didn’t know what to make of Andy. But now. He held my hands. I think my heart skipped a beat a little bit. He’s a little different than the usual guy I’ve gone for, but he’s really rather sweet. 

Mort was the only one of the guys who headed back to the estate. He planned to research dance videos and pickup lines.

Mort’s Confessional: Next time… I’lll…er… compliment her hair or something. Or maybe her feet. She has tiny feet… girls like being thought of as tiny, right? Uh… (gulps) tiny happy dancing feet. Yeah that’s a thing, right? 

Andy must’ve made enough of an impression to get the “second chance” card. Breanna selected Footless.

Been working so hard
I’m punching my card
Eight hours for what?
Oh, tell me what I got
I’ve got this feeling
That time’s just holding me down
I’ll hit the ceiling
Or else I’ll tear up this town

Now I gotta cut loose
Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees
Jack, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose

They danced over to the entrance where Andy offered Breanna a thumbs up.

You’re playing so cool, obeying every rule
Deep way down in your heart
You’re burning, yearning for the some-somebody to tell you
That life ain’t passing you by
I’m trying to tell you
It will if you don’t even try

These two are so cute. They started singing the lyrics with such enthusiasm while looking into each other’s eyes.

You’ll get by if you’d only cut loose
Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Ooh-whee, Marie, shake it, shake it for me
Whoah, Milo come on, come on let’s go
Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose
You got to turn me around
And put your feet on the ground
Gotta take the hold of all

Breanna was pretty tired after a night of dancing. She went to relax outside on the lounge chairs. Afu went to find her.

“Hey, just wanna make sure I didn’t totally offend you,” he says.

“Aw… it’s okay, Afu,” she replies. “Apology accepted.”

“Are you even tired?” Miguel asks as he joins Breanna.

“Nope,” she shakes her head. “I feel so energized.”

“I can see why,” he replies. “You looked great out there!”

“Thank you,” she exclaims. “I’m having the time of my life.”

He grins at the pun. “I’m happy to hear you liked my song choice.”

“It’s one of my favorite songs of all time,” she purrs. “How’d you know?”

“Lucky guess?” he shrugs. “You’re easy to talk to, and it makes it fun to try and please you.”

“You know…” she begins as she tries to return the compliment. “You have a really nice smile, Miguel.”

“Looks like we’re doing this again,” he adds. “Saying goodbye in the morning.”

“Twice in a row,” she flutters her lashes. “Must be a sign.”

He closes his eyes. “I do enjoy spending time with you, Breanna. And I’ll be your dance partner anytime.”

She flushes. “I don’t exactly want to say goodbye,” she confesses, picturing her lips on his own as he squeezes her hands.

Griffin’s Confessional: I can’t wait to hug Breanna again and hold her close. She’s such a beautiful woman and a really cool person and it was so much fun to dance with her. I think we’ll have lots of fun together. Should I call her? I did give her my personal number. Or is it still too early? Aww… shoot! I left my cell phone at the bar.

Hunter’s Confessional: Those were some bumpin’ beats. Breanna was on fire last night. Whoo! She hardly stopped dancing. I am confident we’ll do just fine together. And mmm… her lips are fine. I’d love to kiss them.

Afu’s Confessional: Breanna is… mmm… fine! Like a red wine. And I think she likes a little chocolate with her wine. We should schedule a date.

Kaha’s Confessional: I’ve never thought about romance. Not really. I think (blushes) if Breanna feels about me the way I feel about her, I should like to have my first kiss with her.

Miguel stayed behind to help the crew clean up and bought one of the producers breakfast.

Miguel’s Confessional: I need to step it up if I want to stay in this competition. I should read up on romance and I should practice my best compliments. Naw… Breanna doesn’t strike me as someone who really appreciates pick-up lines. I just need to be myself. Whoo! Go for a jog. Clear your head. You’ve got this Miguel.

Andy was the last to leave. Somehow he fell asleep in the bushes and lost his multiple changes of clothes. Tsk, tsk! One of the guys playing a prank. It didn’t matter.

Andy’s Confessional: Breanna was totally digging me. This could be the start of something beautiful. 

Author NotesThanks for reading this epic long update. It grew longer and longer as they stayed at the beach bar for the whole night and through part of the morning. A lot happened here, and the gentleman all earned points. 

The Songs Mentioned in the Chapter: I made a list of fun, catchy dance songs and rolled at random to see who got paired with what. I was actually pleasantly surprised how well they matched. In terms of Breanna’s favorite song, she was the happiest during Time of My Life (until Nellie interrupted), and she had a lot to drink by the time she karaoke-d with Andy on Footloose. 

This chapter featured VanPelt81‘s Andy and Hortance, MaggieMarley‘s Mort, afai1261‘s Griffin, Munterbacon’sMiguel and Nakaia, TheYayToast’sHunter and Caroline, nerdfashion’sKaha, and divanthesimmer ‘s Afu. Try as I might… I couldn’t get Soulgal7‘s Beau to show up, even though he’d been introduced, though he did wander by the bar in the morning when Miguel and Breanna were chatting. He kept saying it was “too late” when Neal would call and invite him. Well, you missed out, Beauregard.

I couldn’t stop townies from wandering on the lot, or I didn’t try very hard. The only one I mention by name is Nellie Aquafree, my TS4 remake of Nancy Landgraab (and I know she looks exactly alike, but Nancy Landgrabb with two b’s makes an appearance in other stories of mine so I count the TS4 version of her as someone else).Care to guess which guy “pranked” Andy and hid his clothes? 😉 

Hope you enjoyed! Tell us who your favorites are and your favorite moments of the night in the comments. And you can vote – which guy deserves extra points on his dance card? (Just in case this affects your voting, Andy is safe from the first elimination because he received a the “second chance” rose tonight). 

Day 2, Pt. 1: Unexpected Candidate (SIS)

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Welcome back to Sweethearts in Sulani. I’m your host, Neal Wheeler, and today you’re meeting us on a hazy morning in paradise.

Breanna fell asleep after a long night. Miguel carried her back to his room. Thankfully, his roomie, Mort was no where to be found. Probably off fluttering around in his bat form.

…or sleepwalking right into the swimming pool. Oh gawd! Mort! Don’t drown! Thankfully, he fights and kicks and makes it to the surface. Phew!

Breanna wakes up and wanders outside the main house, seeing Miguel already awake, still in his suit from the night before, reading on his phone while waiting for her.

“Uuhhhh… about last night…” she begins, her southern drawl thick in the early morning, her throat a little hoarse.

“Oh… don’t worry. Nothing happened. You were tired, and we were locked out of your beach hut. I let you sleep on my bed. I napped in the tiki bar hut on one of the couches,” he assured her.

“Oh my,” she flushes. “I’m sorry if I inconvenienced you.”

“It was no bother,” he replies.

Her eyelids grow tired and she yawns, sleepily. “I had a good time last night.”

“I hope I was not too forward with the kiss,” Miguel confesses.

She frowns.

Miguel’s Confessional: She doesn’t remember! (slaps the side of his head) She had a lot to drink.

“It was nice…” she manages.

Breanna’s Confessional: To be honest… (winces and sucks air through her teeth) …I hope I don’t offend him… (rubs head) …I’m a bit hungover.

Miguel’s Confessional: I had a really good time last night. I’m not gonna lie. It stings a little that she doesn’t recall we kissed.

“Thank you for taking care of me,” she says and offers him a warm embrace.

“You’re most welcome,” he returns the hug.

“I should probably change… and sleep in my own bed from now on,” she laughs weakly.

“Can I walk you to your door?” he asks.

Breanna’s Confessional: I can’t believe I missed it! I’m sure it was great. He is great… what am I saying? (laughs, flustered) I hope I have sweet dreams. Is that too school girl-ish?

In spite of his terrifying near-drowning experience, Mort was back in the pool after a quick rest.

Miguel also joined him.

Breanna’s Confessional: I can’t believe I don’t remember kissing Miguel? I’d really like to do it again. But Afu is really hot too. I wouldn’t mind making out with that man. Oh did I say that aloud? (flushes)

Breanna goes swimming to clear her head before her big first day. Who’s her favorite? Right now, she’s thinking of Miguel and Afu, but we’ll see how everyone’s points tally (including viewer votes).

Miguel showers and changes and pops into the kitchen where Merry fixed a roasted chicken. Looks like everyone already ate breakfast, and seeing as it is nearly eleven, Miguel grabs a plate. Someone left behind a half-eaten hot dog.

Hunter and Griffin head upstairs to work out.

Griffin’s Confessional: (hand on hip) I’m gonna buff up and Breanna will like me even more.

Hunter’s Confessional: (closes eyes) I was hoping to work out alone.

Kaha decides to bust some island moves. Hunter is down.

Kaha’s Confessional: (singing) I will serenade Breanna from one of our many island love songs.

Andy settles in to research pick-up lines.

Andy’s Confessional: (laughs to self) Oh that’s a good one!

Afu freshens up in the bathroom off the kitchen. One of the other guys is hogging the main bathroom.

He’s about to head outside when Breanna greets him.

“Oh hello,” she says cheerfully. “Good morning. What a beautiful day!”

“It looks like it’s shaping up to be,” Afu replies. “How are you this morning, Breanna?”

“I slept really well,” she replies, and flushes, thinking of Miguel.

“You know, I heard a joke the other day,” she continues hurriedly. “Why couldn’t the bed sheet fall asleep?”

“I dunno,” Afu scratches his head.

“Because it was all tuck…ered out!” she giggles.

Afu laughs too.

Kaha and Griffin take their pasta lunch out to the beach.

“I love the smell of the sea salt and sunscreen,” Kaha confesses.

“Which one of you stole my shampoo?” Afu demands.

“Why would you think we stole it?” Kaha looks startled.

“I’m lookin’ at you, thief!” Afu glares at Griffin.

“Now hold on a minute…” Griffin narrows his eyes.

“Look I get it… you all want to be fabulous like me,” Afu pointed to himself. “But you can’t go around stealing things without asking.”

“It…wasn’t… me!” Griffin yells.

“Hehh… guys?” Kaha interjects with a weak chuckle.

“You were in the bathroom the longest this morning,” Afu grunts.

“I have my own private bathroom, jerk!” Griffin reminds him. “Someone else stole your precious shampoo!”

“Later dudes, I’m gonna go into town and buy more shampoo and while I’m there, I’m getting Breanna a gift,” Afu declares.

“See ya,” Griffin grimaces.

“A gift is a good idea,” Kaha acknowledges.

As Breanna’s heading back to her room to prep for the evening’s group date, Afu follows Breanna and offers her a single red rose.

“I know,” he begins slowly. “…that you’re giving us roses, but a lady like you should never be without a rose.”

“Why thank you,” she accepts, flattered.

Afu’s Confessional: Of all the guys here, I think, I can make Breanna happy.

Well, look out gentlemen, there’s another contestant strolling up just now. Look at that swagger!

Afu… looks like you aren’t the only game in town!

“Dude, you’re busting in on my moment,” Afu sniffs.

“Who are you?” Breanna inquires and points as she purses her lips.

Breanna’s Confessional: He was in a full suit and tie. Whoa! (fans self)

“Good evening, Miss Gaines, I am Beauregard R. Lee,” the fine gentleman introduces himself, bowing gallantly. “And I am honored to be here.”

“Oh hello…” she replies, intrigued. “Please… call me Breanna.”

“And you may call me Beau,” he kisses her hand.

She giggles shyly.

“Seriously?” Afu gives the man a once-over. “It’s ninety-nine degrees out and you’re wearing a monkey suit?”

Beauregard waves his hands. “My best for the lady.”

“You didn’t have to…” Breanna trails off, noticing Afu growing frustrated out of her eye corner.

“My dearest Breanna,” Beauregard begins. “Let’s not waste time here, dahling. A southerner myself, I certainly know how to treat a lady such as yourself. A fine southern belle like you should not have to stoop this low to enter this contest when a strong, romantic, good-looking sim like myself has already decided you would be my perfect match.”

Afu snorts. “Is this guy for real?”

“Umm…” Breanna puzzles. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

“I can give you anything you want. Name it and it’s yours. I would pamper you with all the niceties a lady like yourself deserves…” Beauregard continues.

“Okay… pal… back off… I was here first!” Afu snips.

“I could not help myself,” Beauregard says. “Such a lovely lady as yourself deserves to be with a gentleman, and I could not wait to meet you properly. I hope you are not offended.”

“Offended?” she laughs nervously. “No…” she flushes. “…it’s all a bit… much… don’t you think?” she winces.

“Miss Breanna, of course, we are here in Sulani, but I know you would be missin’ some of that fine southern cuisine that I’m sure you are fond of. I took it upon myself to bring you a few boxes of Creole pecan pralines from Aunt Sally’s. Yes, down that Willow Creek way. A little chocolate is always good for the soul,” Beauregard offers.

Afu’s eyes grow wide. “Look dude, back off, Breanna is with me now. You can have your turn later… or maybe never…” he cranes his neck, looking for the crew. “…is he even supposed to be here?”

“Gentlemen…” Breanna waves her arms. “It’s alright… uh… I’m flattered, Beauregard…”

“Please, call me Beau,” he grins. “And I’d like to be your beau… if you’re interested.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Afu rolls his eyes. “Does that line really work on women?” he turns to Breanna and offers his hand. “Breanna, whaddaya say we ditch this clown? I think we have time for a quiet drink on the patio before heading out this evening.”

Beauregard closes his eyes and laughs lightly. “Have you no imagination, sir? What kind of offer do you think she will accept? Miss Breanna…” he turns to her. “…I’ve already scoped out the bar to ensure they were stocked with sweet tea and hurricane drinks. Not that Yankee iced tea, but the real thing, sugah. Now if I may be so bold…” he smiles. “…shall we stroll arm-in-arm together around the property and you can tell me all about these lovely flowers…” he waves his hand at the floral bushes lining the pathway. “…that are abundant everywhere? It gives me great pleasure in learning everything there is to know about you. And perhaps we’ll stop by the bar and get some sweet tea and sit in the shade to sip and chat together. Shall we?” he bows and offers his arm.

“What universe are you livin’ in to think you can steal another man’s girl? You’re not even that good-looking,” Afu growls.

Breanna cringes and Beauregard holds his face dramatically.

“Afu! What were you thinking?” Breanna gasps. “I’m… so… sorry…” she apologizes meekly.

Beauregard clears his throat and straightens his tie. “Miss Breanna, do not apologize for things that are not your fault, dahling. Afu, is it?” he clicks his tongue. “Insults in front of the lady?”

“You wanna go, suit!” Afu yells. “I can take you.”

“I will choose whomever I want,” Breanna interjected loudly. “And I am no man’s girl as of yet,” she pointed to herself. “Afu, thank you. Mister Beauregard.” She bobs her head. “If you’ll excuse me, I must ready myself for the evening group date.”

“Perhaps another time,” Beauregard says. “… we can stroll through the garden and sip a hurricane drink together in the shade. I am certain you know every flower by name,” he flatters.

“Ah… thank you,” Breanna smiles.

Afu glares at Beauregard. “And I’m sure…” he says sarcastically. “We don’t want to take up any more of Breanna’s time.”

“Ah, yes,” Beauregard nods. “I wouldn’t presume to delay the lady.”

“But you are…” Afu bites out.

“Breanna, please let me escort you to the party this evening,” Beauregard requests.

“No, me,” Afu says hurriedly. “I’ll do it. I’ve known you longer. And this guy isn’t supposed to be here yet.”

Breanna tips her hat.

“Gentlemen!” Breanna suddenly begins laughing. “Please… your competitiveness is admirable, but you don’t have to try so hard. It’s only the second day, and you’ll both have time with me at the party.”

“Uh really?” Afu’s eyes widen.

“My dear, if this is really a competition,” Beauregard begins, giving Afu a once-over as if he didn’t even think the other man was a contender. “…we will ask for your good graces and favor.”

“Right,” Breanna tries to recover from laughing. “I’ll see you both later.”

Afu slouches in surprise. “You mean, he can come?”

Afu corners Breanna off the dining room after she finishes getting ready. He dramatically proclaims his disdain for Mr. Beauregard R. Lee, and why she should not allow him to attend the party tonight.

“Afu, he didn’t mean anything by it,” Breanna says. “You could be more gracious.”

“Grace is not gonna win this competition! The guy is trouble, Breanna, I’m worried for you,” Afu says, passionately.

Breanna lifts her hands to her face as her eyes grow wide. “You’re absolutely right,” she begins sarcastically and gasps. “We’ve got trouble. With a capital T. That rhymes with P. That stands for Pool.” She mock-frowns. “Oh wait… the pool is right over there…” she points.

“Stop it, Breanna, I’m serious,” Afu narrows his eyes.

Breanna laughs. “Lighten up, it was just a joke.”

Afu hangs his head.

“Cheer up,” Breanna begins. “You’ll have time with me tonight at the par…”

Poor Afu! He’s just exhausted from all his arguing and passes right out.

“Uh?” Breanna curls a finger. “Aa…fu?”

Author Notes: Thank you for reading everyone. I had to exit the game to “save” Mort. I didn’t want him to die the first night. Because of that, the scene on the beach with Miguel and Breanna was erased, and that explains her “memory lapse.” I wasn’t planning to introduce an eighth bachelor and SoulGal7′s Beauregard Lee just swaggered on over and up to Breanna and Afu during their conversation. It was perfect! This chapter also featured VanPelt81‘s Andy, MaggieMarley‘s Mort, afai1261‘s Griffin, Munterbacon’s Miguel, TheYayToast’s Hunter, nerdfashion’s Kaha, and divanthesimmer ‘s Afu. 

Day 1, Pt. 6: First Night Fun and Fiascos (SIS)

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Neal’s Voiceover: Greetings and Salutations, viewers! I borrowed that phrase from Hortance. Welcome back to Sweethearts in Sulani. Let’s check in with the guys house. Tonight, seven bachelors will participate for the heart of our bachelorette, Breanna Gaines in the first competition of the season – a mixology contest! Hopefully, some of them have read the full dossier on Miss Breanna and will remember her drink of choice – Tang and Zing!

Neal’s Voiceover: Before we get started, let’s check in with our team and determine where each candidate stands. Thank you to the viewers for casting your votes on our official website.

From the Top left to Right: Andy (10), Afu (6), Hunter (9), Mort (19)

From Bottom Left to Right: Griffin (13), Miguel (17), Kaha (10)

Oh, if you recall Miguel and Mort were tied last round. Now Mort pushes ahead to first place with 19 points. Miguel is shortly behind in second with 17 points. Griffin inches to 13 in third place. Kaha and Andy tie, sliding into 4th place at 10. Hunter is in 5th place with 9 points, and Afu, no surprise, is still in last place with 6 points.

At the end of the evening, the gentlemen will have hopefully earned even more points in this next competition, and you, the viewers, will have a chance to once again vote for favorites after tomorrow’s solo date, and two more competitions. I, myself, am looking forward to seeing the gentlemen compete, and I’m curious how everyone will do.

Will Breanna (and the viewers) reward the bold and confident, or choose the sweet and shy contestants? As you can tell from tonight’s episode title, the competition is about to get fierce, and crazy things are about to go down. (Neal winks at the camera). We wouldn’t want it any other way, would we folks?

“Alright, Breanna, are you ready?” Neal asks, with a big goofy grin on his face.

“Absolutely,” she replies, just as the back door opens and Holly nearly stumbles inside.

“Sorry,” she murmurs, embarrassed. “Trying to get a good angle.”

The crew dim the lights for dramatic effect and intense music begins to play. Neal starts with some basic mixology tricks, including stacking bottles and balancing them on his palm. The crowd gathers, with Andy snagging the seat to Breanna’s right, and Kaha sliding into the seat on Breanna’s left. Meanwhile, Miguel hovers behind the bachelorette.

“Alright, gentlemen, the rules are quite simple. Mix up a cocktail for Breanna. You can use any of the ingredients behind the bar here. Only one man per bar and there are only two fully stocked bars so you will have to take turns. Breanna will take at least a sip of each drink and then make her decision. You are allowed to do one sabotage this evening, but if you mess with another man’s entry, it still has to be drinkable. Remember we don’t want to offend our lady here,” Neal waves his hand toward Breanna.

She smiles graciously.

“At the end of the evening, the man with the best drink will collect two additional points. You can continue to mingle and do one-on-one and/or group interactions throughout tonight and all those interaction points will add up also. Our crew will be around keeping a careful eye on the tally. Any questions?”

Andy pumps his fist in the air. “Let’s get started!” he yells. “Breanna… are you ready to have your mind blown?” he practically screams.

“I think so,” she winces, and rubs her ear.

“Let the games begin,” Neal declares.

Despite Andy’s loud enthusiasm, Hunter and Afu are the first contestants to make it behind the bar to begin. Kaha is a little too late. “It’s okay,” Breanna encourages. This gives the two of them time to talk. Kaha manages to tell a funny story about a dog and a ill-fated fishing trip.

Hunter wows Breanna with his bar tricks. Neal decides to dance and cheer Hunter on. Hunter’s Confessional: Remember. I can make one heck of a cocktail.

“Opps, Neal,” Holly reminds. “You’re supposed to be impartial.”

“What can I say?” Neal responds. “I like a good actor like Hunter.”

Afu’s Confessional: I think Breanna wants a taste of the islands. In more ways than one. And I’m gonna give it to her. (he winks at the camera)

Hunter’s Confessional: Plum! I look good. Afu’s Confessional: I am going to wow Breanna with the a combination of fresh fruit and alcohol.

Hunter completes the challenge first. Breanna’s Confessional: Oh my! He smells amazing. I wonder what cologne he uses.

“Here you go, darling,” Hunter smiles as he believes he has made his best drink yet.

“I can’t wait,” she replies as he walks behind her to sit on the next barstool.

“Darling?” Griffin walks up behind the two. “Isn’t that a little too early for pet names? She has a name… Breanna…” he smiles a little too wide.

“Oh,” she winces, recalling her earlier complaint with Hunter, though now she’s feeling more relaxed. “I do prefer my name…”

“Of course, you do, Breanna,” Griffin sends a withering stare at Hunter.

“I call everyone darling,” Hunter confesses grinning, deciding not to be thrown off by Griffin’s mind games. “Breanna. Where did you get such a lovely name?”

“Oh,” she turns toward him and begins to tell the story of how she is named for her great-aunt, and Hunter impresses her again by recalling that ‘Breanna‘ means ‘high and noble.’

While Breanna is distracted by Hunter, Griffin swipes her drink. He takes a sip. Griffin’s Confessional: It truly was a work of art in the form of a cocktail. I couldn’t let Breanna have this one first and then all of our chances would go right out the window. It would be all downhill from here.

“Where did it go?” she exclaims when she realizes her cocktail glass is missing.

Griffin quickly goes and dumps the drink in the bushes and winks at Holly. “Shh,” he says.

She giggles. “That’s your free pass.”

No worries, Breanna! Hunter declares. He made enough for everyone to have his signature cocktail. Miguel moves behind the counter to begin scoping out his options. Afu is still working on perfecting his drink as he squeezes a lime into the mixer.

“Is it my turn yet?” Andy asks plopping back down at the bar after using the restroom.

He’s considering chatting with Breanna about the latest party he attended,  but misses his opening when Miguel asks the bachelorette to dance.

Griffin takes a moment to strategically slip past Afu and take his place as a contender.

Meanwhile, Hunter sits back down after giving Breanna her second (really, her first) glass and she takes a sip. Andy’s Confessional: I wonder if I can S’moogle that Sweet and Salty recipe. Or is it Sweet and Tangy? Kaha’s Confessional: I don’t actually drink so I do not know anything about mixing up alcoholic beverages (wrinkles his nose as he steps up next to Afu). I might just have to sit this contest out. Hunter’s Confessional: I hope she likes it. I make the best cocktails. Everyone says so. Afu’s Confessional: (after taste testing his concoction) Plum! That’s not the right mixture.

Mort’s Confessional: Should I ask Breanna to dance too like Miguel? She has to do something while waiting. Look at all those guys fighting over the spirits! Good thing I brought my own.

“This was delicious,” Breanna sets her glass down. “What’s in it?”

“Close your eyes,” Hunter saunters up behind and sits down on the barstool immediately to her right. “And think about the flavors.”

“Rum,” she replies after a moment of pondering. “I taste rum.”

“Good,” he urges her to continue.

“Pineapple,” she exclaims. “And cherry?” she crinkles her nose.

“Maraschino liqueur,” he admits as she opens her eyes. “And grenadine. The Silent Film.

Andy has already had too much to drink. He left his juice in the middle of the floor.

“Ai-yai-yai-yai-yah!” Andy yells and begins busting a move behind the counter.

Hunter’s Confessional: That guy is super annoying.

Breanna and Hunter return to the end of the counter. It’s musical barstools tonight! Meanwhile, Kaha pulls out a bottle of fresh water.

Andy and Neal begin chatting. Afu still works on his drink. Breanna abandons her first drink to speak to Hunter once more. A nervous Mort disappears off to his room with sudden chest pains.

“Are you okay?” Breanna inquires of Hunter.

“Hmm?” Hunter opens his eyes. “Oh yes, just listening to the music. These island tunes are nice, aren’t they?”

“They are the sounds of my people,” Kaha says, defensively. “They are more than nice.”

“Okay,” Hunter replies sullenly and slides off the barstool to use the facilities.

Breanna takes another sip of Hunter’s Silent Film.

Andy plops back in a seat and slaps the counter. “Bartender! Fill ‘er up!”

Afu grimaces. “You’re supposed to be serving drinks, not ordering them.”

“I got you a glass of water to clean your tongue, Breanna,” Kaha offers shyly.

“Cleanse my palate, you mean?” she replies and her eyes widen. “Thank you Kaha.”

Breanna leaves the bar with Hunter’s drink in one hand and Kaha’s glass of water in another.

Griffin catches Breanna’s eye. Kaha makes his move.

“And just like that… the guy moves in?” Afu groans.

“Water?” Hunter sniffs. “Breanna deserves better than water.”

“Why didn’t I think of that?” Griffin wonders aloud.

“If you’d stop messing around and actually give her a drink,” Andy directs at the other man in pink.

“So so… I’ve never really fished before,” she replies to Kaha’s question about her fishing skills. “Worms make me squeamish.”

“Oh we do not fish with worms,” Kaha shakes his head. “We use baskets designed to trap the fish and keep them alive.”

“It sounds much more humane,” Breanna agrees. “Do you name them too?”

Kaha laughs a deep-bellied laugh. “No, we sell them in the fish market.”

“Oh,” Breanna says, feeling a little embarrassed.

She takes a sip of water. “The dossier says you built your own home?”

“You read my profile?” Kaha says in awe. “That is wonderful. I read all about you too.”

Breanna smiles shyly.

“Oh, but that does not mean I know you… I want to get to know you, if you mean to… get to know me as well,” Kaha replies awkwardly.

“Yes, tell me about building a home,” she asks. “Is it very difficult?”

“Difficult?” Kaha exclaims and stomps his foot on the ground. “Yes. Very. It is not an easy feat to build a home with your bare hands. Not that my hands are not always bare. I do not cover them. Real men have scars… huh!” he pushes his chest out dramatically.

“I see,” Breanna says, wondering if someone coached him on that line.

“I mean… er…” Kaha returns to his normal tone and pitch. “I do not wear gloves. It is too warm in Sulani, and the weave for our walls is soft.”

“They are beautiful… walls…” Breanna trails off, glancing over her shoulder.

Kaha proceeds to tell Breanna all about making a home, and twisting the pipes into place, and how fun it is to see the water flow through for the first time. Breanna seems mildly impressed.

“And if you do not like it, Breanna, I will tear it down and build a new one for you!” Kaha declares.

Breanna coughs into her water. “Oh… I’m sure your home is lovely.”

“But you will not see it?” Kaha’s face darkened.

“We’re getting ahead of ourselves, Kaha,” Breanna pats his leg. “Let’s keep getting to know each other first.”

A frustrated Kaha slinks off to sulk outside the tiki hut. Breanna returns to the counter. Kaha’s Confessional: Breanna touched my leg? How forward! Breanna’s Confessional: That wasn’t uncomfortable at all!

“Welcome back,” says Hunter.

“Thank… you…” Breanna replies, delicately.

Mort returns, a glass of milk in hand. Milk will help his acid reflux.

He quickly downs a glass when he sees an opening with Breanna. Too bad she needs to use the restroom. She’s desperately waiting for Hunter to get out of the bathroom off the hut. Breanna, there are other restrooms on the lot!

Mort’s Confessional: Oh my word! She is so beautiful!

Mort retrieves a chilled bottle of wine from the refrigerator. He returns to the counter only to discover someone “stole” the bottle opener. Griffin’s Confessional: Don’t look at me! (shrugs)

When Breanna returns, Griffin is waiting for her with a drink in hand. Hunter has returned to bar tricks. Andy sniffs, annoyed that he still hasn’t gotten an opportunity to chat with the bachelorette.

“I made this for you,” Griffin declares. “A root beer float. It’s my favorite.”

“Why thank you,” Breanna replies. “How sweet!”

Griffin laughs. “Literally.”

Now it’s Breanna’s turn to laugh a little too hard. I think she’s having fun tonight.

“This is delicious,” Breanna exclaims.

“Thank you,” Griffin replies shyly.

Andy’s Confessional: Hey! No fair! I want ice cream. Mort’s Confessional: Bats! I didn’t open the bottle fast enough.

“Hey! I thought we were serving alcoholic drinks,” Andy protests.

“There’s nothing in the rules,” Neal confirms.

“You’re too slow, fellows,” Griffin says, yawning and stretching his arm around Breanna.

Andy sniffs and looks away.  “Hmmph!”

Mort remains,  an awkward smile on his face.

Griffin’s Confessional: Come on, guys. Give me a break. I’d like a moment with Breanna.

Breanna’s Confessional: He removed his arm so fast. (pouts) I rather liked the feeling.

“Now that they’re gone,  we can talk,” Griffin says, dropping his arm back. “What’s your favorite time of day?”

“Probably morning,  right after sunrise,” she replies,  a little ice cream dribbling down her chin.  “Mmm… it’s when I get my best ideas.”

“My bad!” Griffin offers his sleeve.

“Oh I couldn’t,” she protests.

While Griffin goes for a napkin, Andy moves in. Afu swaggers across the room, catching Breanna’s eye. Miguel settles on the sofa across from Breanna, patiently waiting his turn.

“Andy, why don’t you let me help you with that drink?” Afu offers.

“No thanks,” Andy flips his hair. “I’d like her to try it before sunrise.” He tries to sit next to Breanna but wobbles. “You can’t be into the tool.”

Breanna’s Confessional: Afu may be a tool, but he’s the hottest one in the box.  Ooo… (giggles).

“Or that clown, Griffin,” Andy continues, glaring in the other man’s direction. “He stole those flowers from a hothouse. At least Miguel’s an honest dude.”

Griffin? What are you doing? Fail! Go sit with Breanna! Kaha has returned and is busting a move.

Miguel lifted his glass as if giving a toast. “Thank you, but do you really think tearing down the competition will improve your odds?”

Andy grunts and mutters something about proving it to the group that Griffin is a thief.

Mort takes Breanna’s hand and guides her to the couch where Griffin is sitting.

“I was just warming up the cushions,” he winks at Breanna.

“Wine! This is different,” Breanna declares.

“I wanted something unique,” Mort replies. “This is a bottle of the finest wine from the Von Straud estate in Forgotten Hollow.”

“I hope you enjoy it,” Mort continues. “The full-bodied red pairs well with dark chocolate brownies.”

Breanna’s Confessional: I prefer a good white wine. But Mort was looking at me so earnestly. It was rather cute. I just couldn’t hurt his feelings.

“It is… pretty good,” Breanna winces.

“Really?” his dark eyes light up. “Thank you. It’s one of my favorites.”

“Have you ever gone steady with anyone?” he inquires.

“Oh,” she tilts her head. “Actually… no…” she laughs daintily. “Between my parents’ failing health and the farm and my studies when I was in school, I just didn’t find the time. Have you?”

“Oh? Me?” he squeaks. “People don’t really wanna date the son of the Reaper, himself, you know what I mean?”

Breanna’s Confessional: I really didn’t.

“I promise I’m a normal dude… normal…ish… dude… guy… man… person,” Mort says, flustered.

“Eh,” she shrugs. “Normal is overrated.”

Meanwhile, Hunter has decided he’s had enough of his hot layers and sheds his clothes to jump into the swimming pool, catching Breanna’s eye.

“Uh… yeah… I know. My time’s up,” Mort stands up, the defeatism evident in his tone.

“Excuse me!” a deep voice says from behind a scuba mask. “Breanna… I believe it’s time to be escorted to another part of the set.”

“Oh… really?” she squints her eyes. “And who are you?”

After Mort slinks off, Afu takes off his mask. “I had to get rid of him somehow.”

“Wh? Wha??” Breanna makes a face. “Afu… what are you doing?”

He pulls his drink out from his scuba gear pack and bends on one knee as he offers it to her. “Making a splash,” he declares. “Setting myself apart from the others. Plus… when I wear this thing, people think I’m the crew, not a contestant.”

“I see,” she takes a sip of the Lotta Cocolata in a coconut glass. “Mmm… this is really good. Put the chocolate… in the co-co-nut!” she smirks. “You know… you look really good… even in that scuba suit.”

Afu’s Confessional: Chocolate and coconut. Gets ’em every time. 

Breanna’s Confessional: It was a little weird. The scuba suit. But… that drink was divine. And well… (flushes) That suit was a bit form-fitting. Andy’s Confessional: Hmmf! Whyyyyyyyyy didn’t I th…think… (his words are a little slurred) …to…try…scuba gear? Who knew… (he hiccups) …it was ssssuch… a turn…on! 

Breanna returned to the counter.

“Are you enjoying your evening?” Miguel asks.

“Yes, I am,” she smiles, thinking of Afu’s dark brown eyes.

“I meant to tell you. I love your crown of flowers,” Miguel compliments.

“Why thank you,” she nods.

Dance party! Breanna declares. Miguel smiles and slips off the barstool to join her. Afu somehow changed back into his other suit. Wow! So fast? How did he do that? Maybe he was wearing the scuba dive outfit under his tux. Griffin and Mort join in while Neal begins cleaning up some of the mess. Hunter offers to help and brings some dishes to the sink.

Whoo! Breanna is tuckered out after all that dancing. It’s good for her core, she laughs. Kaha picks up Mort’s half-empty glass of milk. Afu arrives with a second drink in hand – this one blue. Andy and Griffin flank Breanna.

“I once… went to a party…” Andy says, trying to catch his breath. “…where we danced for four hours… in the nude.”

“Really, dude?” Griffin rolls his eyes. “We’re talking to a lady here.”

“Hmm…we’re comfortable… in our… sk…skin…” Andy’s eyes widened as he looked at Griffin. “Wasn’t I tryin’ to proof… what a guy… you were!”

Prove,” Afu corrects.

“Here!” Andy slams a glass onto the counter. “I don’t want this…anymore!”

Breanna offers to help Hunter with dishes, but Neal shoos her away. Afu grins in her direction.

“I could watch you smile all night long, beautiful,” he says.

She giggles.

Andy finally makes it behind the counter and whips up a drink for Breanna… in a red party cup?  Breanna’s Confessional: Ugh! What is this? It’s brown! Griffin’s Confessional: That guy just can’t win. I can’t believe he already got wasted. Oh… that smells horrible.

“Here,” he offers. “Let me help you with that.”

He tosses out the drink. Andy shrieks and runs out of the tiki hut in frustration.

When he returns a few minutes later, he’s covered in dirt and grime and smells like the wrong end of a cowplant. Neal winces. Ooo! Party foul!

“I found it,” Andy declares, throwing his arm up in the air, holding onto an empty glass and a lime slice. “Griffin… he threw out… that man’s…” he sputters, pointing at Hunter. “…drink. He… he… he… cheated!”

“You’re allowed one sabotage,” Neal reminds everyone.

Griffin winces. “Okay, I did. I’m sorry. But he had a backup,” he shrugs in Hunter’s direction.

“Yeah, it’s all good, man,” Hunter offers a truce.

“What?” Andy growled. “You mean I crawled… around… bushes… for nothing?! You all stink!”

“No you stink, man,” Afu plugs his nose and waves his hand. “Go home, man.”

“You okay?” Miguel inquires as he joins Breanna on the loveseat. “Some guys don’t know how to treat a lady.”

“I’m okay,” she replies. “Thank you for asking. He’s uh…” she glances over her shoulder at an angry Andy stomping toward the mainhouse. “…determined…” she manages.

Miguel closes his eyes and waves his hand. “My lady, you are kinder than the rest of us would be.”

“So Miguel,” she begins. “Tell me about your work in the jungle. You were a bush pilot and you hunted treasure, but you were injured?”

“Yes, I spent half a year in a coma,” he replies. “…after touching a poisoned artifact and falling down a very dark shaft. It was a difficult time in my life, but my parents stayed by my side and watched over me, praying I’d return to them. Even if my life was in peril, the jungle is still a beautiful place. She calls to us adventurers in our dreams.

She tilted her head. “And you want to go back? I can see it in your eyes.”

“Yes,” he admits. “I should like to take someone with me too. Perhaps you… someday.”

“Oh… I don’t know…” she turns away shyly. “I’m not sure I am cut out for wandering around dark ruins and exploring the depths of the jungle. There might be bugs there…” she squirms.

Miguel laughs. “My lady, I promise you… they are more afraid of you than you are of them.”

Miguel heads over to the bar, which is finally free, to fix Breanna her drink. Neal declares it is already midnight and the contest is over. Miguel sighs. Shoot! I missed it! Breanna declares Afu the winner. The chocolate and coconut drink was surprisingly refreshing and delicious.

He decides it doesn’t really matter. He didn’t really need to enter the contest. He can make a drink anyhow. Breanna’s favorite is Tang and Zing, he remembers.

Most of the contestants head into the main house now that it’s after midnight. Hunter decides to wow the remaining folks with his bar tricks. Miguel offers Breanna her favorite drink.

“Someone read the dossier…” she says, impressed.

Miguel tilts his head, observing Hunter’s famous bottle stack. “You are really good at that.”

“You’re still out here?” Miguel asks, finding Breanna outside her hut. “I was just about to go for a walk on the beach… if you care to join me.”

Miguel’s Confessional: I am the luckiest guy tonight. I’m getting one-on-one with Breanna before the solo dates are declared.

“Shall we look for treasure?” he asks.

“Oh?” she stops, staring off into the horizon. “Yes, let’s comb the beach together, and the winner gets to take something from the loser, right?” she bites her lip, purposely coy.

He smiles and nods. “You remembered.”

They start digging through the sand. Eyes up, Miguel!

Unfortunately, Breanna doesn’t find anything. A seagull poops on her shoulder. She freaks out. Miguel tries to calm her down. Miguel’s Confessional: It’s just a little seagull crap. (smirks) It won’t hurt. (shakes head) I don’t know if she’d survive in the jungle.

Breathe in… and… out. Breanna’s Confessional: (wails) I can’t believe my moment with Miguel was ruined! And my top! Is ruined too. She wanders over to a bush to tinkle. A little too much booze tonight? I guess that’s what happens with a mixology contest. It’s a long walk back to the beach house, and she’s not sure she wants to wear bird crap the whole way back.

Never fear! Miguel is here to save the day. He offers her his jacket. She eagerly ducks into the bush and removes the top, and slides her arms into Miguel’s oversized coat so she doesn’t have to walk back in just her bra and skirt. A lady would never do that.

“Feeling better?” he inquires.

“Yes, much,” she bobs her head. “Thank you…” she laughs. “It’s a little silly. And I didn’t even win the contest. I should give you something not the other way around.”

“I don’t mind,” he smiles. “My jacket looks good on you. Maybe even better.”

You’ve got to get down here… Merry texts her sister. Miguel and Breanna are getting some really adorable one-on-one time. He gave her his jacket!

“Aww… look at those two,” Holly sighs happily as she watches two couple dialoging from a distance. “I wonder what they’re saying…” she snaps a few pictures.

Miguel suggests they gaze to at the stars. These two are so cute together!

“Come on Holly, let’s give them a moment,” Merry says. “And you’re in your pajamas anyhow.”

“Oh…okay,” Holly agrees reluctantly. “I just hope I don’t miss anything good.”

Author Notes: Wow… what a chapter. Okay, first of all, let me say, I tried my absolute hardest to not play favorites. All the actions in this chapter by the guys were autonomous (except, I cheated and went into CAS to have Miguel share his jacket with Breanna because it was too cute an opportunity to pass up, and it just seemed like something he would do).

Here’s what the guys did in the competition:

  • Hunter (Silent Film)
  • Kaha (Water)
  • Griffin (Root beer float)
  • Mort (Von Haunt Estate Meloire)
  • Afu (Lotta Cocolata)
  • Andy (Dim and Gusty)
  • Miguel (Tang and Zing*) (*doesn’t count – submitted late)

The way I determined the winner was by having Breanna drink a little of each option. The drink that made Breanna “flirty” or the happiest (by default) would be the winning drink. Breanna was the happiest after Afu’s drink and also feeling flirty for the first time during the evening so he won the competition. I know. It’s a bit subjective. I tried. I originally set up the competition to last between 10pm and midnight. It actually went to almost two am.

I had to box in the set a few times to get the guys to actually stay in the same spot, and I think I had to change the back door twice too. Let’s just say one’s the screen door and the other one’s the solid. Outfit changes. Bladder fails. Hunger pangs. Taking dips into the swimming pool. Musical chairs. And they all still survived. Barely.

Andy was the most drunk of the bunch. Poor guy. He did choose to autonomously “yell” at Breanna. Twice?!?! Uh oh… it’s not looking good for Andy. Griffin did genuinely “steal” Hunter’s first drink for Breanna. And then left the glass outside in the bushes?? Afu chose to wear a scuba suit at one point. I laughed hysterically. 

Miguel and Breanna autonomously wandered to the beach. I did have Breanna ask him to be in a group to make it easier to get good screenshots together. I sent Merry and Holly (who was already dressed for bed) to follow for “photos.” I guess they did get to do the treasure hunt after all. Miguel found a sea urchin. Breanna found nothing and was super ticked off when a bird pooped on her. That’s when I got the idea for the jacket.

I had to use some creative angles because I couldn’t really justify why Miguel would give Breanna his jacket, shirt, and tie. XD Unfortunately, his shirt had to be changed a smidge too (and it’s not the same tie, but who cares? We’ll say the moonlight brought out the shiny white lines). And then he rolled a whim to kiss Breanna, and Breanna rolled a whim to kiss Miguel. I couldn’t help it. I had to indulge them.

Hope you enjoyed. This chapter featured VanPelt81‘s Andy, MaggieMarley‘s Mort, afai1261‘s Griffin, Munterbacon’s Miguel, TheYayToast’s Hunter, nerdfashion’s Kaha, and divanthesimmer ‘s Afu. 

FYI, I’m taking a quick break tomorrow for a LASL update, but I’ll be back soon with more Bachelor and Bachelorette:  Sulani Style.

Day 1, Pt. 7: Good Evening, Sulani! and Voting Commences

Posted on Updated on

Welcome back to Paramours in Paradise. I’m your host, Neal Wheeler. Tonight, Levi met with seven beautiful women competiting against one another to be Levi’s future partner. What the ladies don’t know is we’ve kept the cameras rolling and they have the opportunity to earn some extra bonus points after the meet-and-greet earlier this evening. Levi, our bachelor, has just come back from a little solo night swim in the ocean. Let’s see what happens.’

Kiana heads straight to bed in her private quarters. She was so tired, she didn’t even bother turning the lights off. Gotta get your beauty sleep, girl! 

Caroline and Nakaia start chatting with one another. Oliana is annoyed by Nakaia’s presence.

Oliana announces that Levi clearly thought she was funny. Nakaia glares at her cousin and falsely instills confidence by stating Oliana copied her hairstyle and that will give her an edge.

Caroline doesn’t want to get in the middle of a family thing.

Oliana heads inside and fries an egg in toast, adding a pinch of salt. Okay a lot of salt. Island salt tastes better, doesn’t it, Oli?

Nakaia changes into something more comfortable and returns to the porch. “I’m funny,” she waves her arms around and cackles as she mimics her cousin. “Amateur!”

Leilani asks Hortance about her career.

Hortance happily replies, but mentions she hates children. (Oh yeah, we forgot about that little fact).

Already tense, Leilani is upset. Hortance attempts to calm her down.

After awhile, most of the ladies head to bed. Seriously, no one is taking advantage of extra time with the bachelor?? Oliana invites Hortance to star gaze with her. Hortance squints her eyes and wishes she wasn’t so near-sighted. She already took her contacts out for the evening.

Oliana and Hortance appear to be getting along well.

Oh wait! I take it back. Hortance passes Levi on the docks. She smiles. He says he was looking for her (as he hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind).

Hortance is thrilled to hear so and offers to give him her personal number.

Levi says he thinks she looks fine… especially in the bathrobe. His knees get a little wobbly and she suggests they sit down as she purrs happily. Hortance’s Confessional: Maybe I’ll rethink my thoughts on baby pink… maybe… just for Levi.

What’s wrong, Levi? Turns out… Levi has it bad for Hortance (all his whims were about Hortance, and many of his moodlets were related to her). Is he gonna be sick?

She manages to soothe his nerves and brighten his day. He confesses how he is totally into her.

Hortance explains she usually doesn’t go for younger men. Levi is shocked. Hortance smoothly recovers by saying she finds Levi hot enough to suit her tastes, and apologizes if she makes him nervous. 

Levi puts his arm around Hortance. “You also boost my ego too,” he says. Looks like these two are getting cozy!

Levi kisses… or nibbles… Hortance’s neck after she mentions she has a thing for vampires. She giggles.

He goes in for the full blown dip kiss. Whoa!

Hortance is a little caught off-guard. That was quick. Still… Hortance’s Confessional: I wanted to kiss Levi. And after that kiss, whoo! I need a cold shower. But I don’t want to move too fast. Let’s leave some mystery for later.

Levi politely kisses her hands good night and leaves.

Author Notes: Alright, before the vote, I’d like to explain the roses one more time. Each of the ladies who received roses will receive a bonus point, and they are safe from elimination! That means, the only two ladies up for elimination are Leilani Lovemore and Oliana Kealoha. UNLESS… in the next few days, someone else’s points dip below theirs. Let me explain. If another contestant, other than Leilani and Oliana, has lower romance and friendship points on the 3rd day, they may not be safe from elimination.

This may or may not sway your votes. You can vote for your favorite, or you can vote to save one of these two ladies. The choice is yours. They will also have opportunities to boost their scores in the next two days before the elimination.

Hortance is the only one of the seven ladies to opt for a romantic encounter with Levi during the evening opportunity for extra points so she’s the only one with bonus points. Bonus points are gained by autonomous interactions instigated by the bachelorette contestant (not the bachelor) and confessionals do not count. I waited 3 hours to try and be fair.

Here’s the points as they stand after the initial meet-and-greets and the rest of the night. 

Leilani Lovemore: +1 lovely outfit, -2 misunderstanding, +1 hands of friendship, +1 beautiful name, +3 compliment,  +1 ask about career, +2 discuss career, -1 bored, -1 unimpressed, -1 no sparks = 4 total

Caroline Grofield: -1 rude introduction, +1 smooth recovery (on Levi’s part and that’s why this point is added since he legitimately laughed in game after Caroline’s introduction), +1 adorably anxious, +1 flatter, +1 unique accessory, +1 hot outfit, +1 cute, -1 bad dancer, +1 A for effort, +1 pathetic attempts at flirting (the worse Caroline was in game, the more Levi liked it somehow!), +1 kiss from the bachelor, +1 rose (safe) = 8 total points

Kiana Hamilton: -1 late arrival, +1 ask question, -1 bragging, +1 funny, +1 impressed by introduction, +1 “rescued the damsel” (I know this isn’t really an interaction in game, but Kiana freaked out in the middle of her interview so I rolled with it, and Levi found it endearing), +1 game of charades, +1 whisper sweet nothings, +1 fire up, +1 tickle fight, +1 enjoyable conversation, +1 attractive, +1 great smile, +1 rose (safe) = 10 total points

Hortance Hildenbrand: +1 suave introduction, -1 made Levi nervous, +1 compliment appearance,  +3 boldness, -1 insult hometown, +3 get to know, +2 flirt, +1 suggest change of venue, +1 rose (safe), -1 rushing his answer, -1 over-confident, +1 experienced older woman, +1 planning for future, +1 flattery, -1 declined to go fishing (um… why, Hortance? You might like it), -1 playing hard to get, +1 risque question, +1 sweet talk, +1 thinking of woohoo (both did, but Levi’s points count), +1 hot woman  = 13 points Bonus Points: +1 exchange numbers, +1 brighten day, +1 confess attraction, -1 give fake bad news (from not liking younger men), +1 cuddle, -1 rejected kiss  = 15 total points (with 2 bonus points)

Oliana Kealoha: +1 cheerful introduction, +1 polite, +2 compliment, +1 welcome to the island, -3 failed jokes, +1 joke about mimes (the only one he didn’t dislike), -2 fake bad news (she did this twice??), +1 ask question, +1 suggest fun activities, +1 hug, +1 amusing = 5 total points

Indie Jones: +1 friendly introduction, +2 discuss interests, +1 ask about hometown, +1 enthuse about interests, -1 evangelize vegetarianism, +1 cook a meal, +1 kiss from the girl, +1 sweet girl, -1 thinking about Hortance, +1 flattery, +1 rose (safe) = 8 total points

Nakaia Aroha: +1 funny introduction, +1 stunning, +1 a lady who stays fit, +1 intriguing career, -1 brag, +1 challenge, -1 failed flirt, +1 show off muscles, +1 gorgeous outfit, +1 compliment appearance, -1 failed joke (Levi joked about his eyes, but Nakaia didn’t get it), +1 compliment personality, +1 rose (safe), +1 schedule a date with Nakaia = 7 total points 

Alright, now it’s your turn.

For all of you watching, enter your vote now. Who do you think should go home with extra points today! Bachelorette Candidates are listed in alphabetical order. 

Feel free to let me (the writer) know in the comments or over on the forums why you made your selection.