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Ghanima Atreides
9th May 2006, 6:40 PM
Hi guys,

Here is my newest story, about the unlikely friendship between three very different people, which started in their childhood and, after a bumpy ride, it survived into adulthood.

It is called "Different Shades of Grey" for it represents the fact that life is never in black and white.
Drama, romance and (hopefully) humour. :D Hope you like it!


Some of the characters from this story are up for download! Get them here (http://www.insimenator.net/showthread.php?t=3843&page=3)
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Chapter 1

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“Well, here we are, honey” said the woman on her best cheerful tone, looking down at the smaller figure of her daughter. “Our very own place. It’s not much, but it’s ours, and it’s home.”

Faye Griffith did not answer immediately; she was a tiny girl of 10 years, with two large, almond shaped eyes peering from beneath an unruly mane of fiery red hair. She resembled her mother, Simone, in almost everything, except her hair: she had her father’s hair, but that was about all she ever had from her father, a man she vaguely remembered seeing once or twice as a toddler. That seemed almost a lifetime away, so much having happened over the past few weeks: selling their old house, packing everything they had to move to another, smaller town…far from the few people Faye had ever called “friends.”

And she didn’t like it one bit.

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“Why did we have to move, mom?” the girl asked for the hundredth time, only to receive the same answer:

“Because I got a better job offer here and we need the money, Faye” Simone Griffith said flatly. “You’ll understand better when you’re older.”

Yet Faye already did understand better. She had overheard a phone conversation between her mother and father, a man she had practically never known, late one night when she was supposed to be asleep. She could sense her mother’s fear even without knowing the reason, and it angered her, the way adults always disguised the truth, bothered her. All she wanted was the truth.

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One of the drawbacks of living in a small community is that news traveled extremely fast and before Simone and her daughter were barely settled in their new home, a group of locals strolled by, glancing inquisitively at the new arrivals. One woman wearing a pink, flowery (and, in Faye’s opinion, extremely ugly) dress boldly introduced herself to Simone:

“Hi, I’m Wanda Tinker, these are Gilbert and Malcom. Welcome to the neighbourhood, it is so good to see some decent people moving in for a change.”

“I’m Simone Griffith, this is my daughter, Faye. Nice to meet you, and thank you for the welcome.”

As the adults engaged in chatter, Faye remained aside, perusing one face after another. She could see covert glances sweeping from her to her mother and back, the unuttered question present in the strangers’ eyes. Faye knew it well, it was always the same: why there was no father, how was it that Simone, who looked barely in her mid twenties, had a daughter that old.

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“What a lovely girl”, Wanda drawled sweetly, ignoring the sandwiches Simone had prepared for her guests. “Is it just you two girls, then?”

“Just us.”

“Splendid!” she exclaimed theatrically and flashed a wide, toothy grin in Faye’s dirrection, who stood frozen on the spot. She really disliked Wanda Tinker, and was amazed that her mother did not detect the falsity of her every gesture. Or perhaps she did, but like her, was forced to ignore it. “I have a daughter myself, a few years older. My husband and I own that little toy shop around the corner, you must’ve seen it as you drove by.”

“Oh…yes of course…” Simone tried to salvage the moment, a few creases of irritation emerging on her forehead.

“Come here, darling, and sit in my lap, tell us about your hometown, hmm?” Wanda offered.

Faye bit her lip hard, squeezing her doll tighter in her arms and took two apprehensive steps back.

“Mom, can I be excused? I would like to go to my room now.”

“Faye!!”

It was too late. Already, the girl’s hurried footsteps resonated upstairs where she dove through the door of her still unfurnished room, closing it behind her with a sharp bang.

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“I’m sorry, she is a bit shy around strangers” Simone apologized to Wanda, secretly thankful to see the woman pick up her bag.

“Think nothing of it, dear. I simply adore children, I am sure once Faye and I get to know eachother a bit better we’ll become the best of friends. Really, you two must visit us one evening, for dinner, my husband would love to meet you. Bye bye now, I’ll leave you to unpack.”

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Alone with her daughter, Simone leaped upstairs where the girl sat in a corner, hugging her knees. Scooping her up by one arm, she rasped:

“Now why did you have to embarrass me in front of those people, hmm?! Didn’t I teach you any manners?”

“I didn’t like how they were staring at me, mom! At you!! I know what they were thinking!”

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Later, Simone apologized, and confessed she didn’t like Wanda Tinker any better than she did, with her ridiculous hat and ugly dress, which made Faye feel a bit better and less alone in this strange new town she had been dragged to.

“Things will be better, I promise” she said and kissed the young girl good night. “Get some sleep now, tomorrow is your first day at the new school.”

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Tiny pinpricks of nervousness crawled up Faye’s spine at the thought: new school meant new kids, and she had never found it easy to make friends. Too tired to worry about it however, the girl soon fell into deep, restful slumber.

Ghanima Atreides
9th May 2006, 6:41 PM
Chapter 2

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“Have a good day at school, honey!” Simone wished her, but Faye payed little attention; she felt edgy and her knees were unusually wobbly. What would this new school be like…? Needless to say she longed for a friend of her own, but that was easier said than done.

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The school itself looked in far better shape than her old one and for a while, Faye searched aimlessly for her class, pointed out at last by the janitor. She still had fifteen minutes of recess however, which she spent exploring the place with all a child’s curiosity. Groups of cheerful students passed her by, some even stopped to look and whisper among themselves. Unwilling to simply walk up to someone and begin conversation, Faye reached the school library alone.

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“Hi, are you new?” a shy, mellow voice broke her reverie. Startled, Faye looked around to discover a small boy sitting by himself on a nearby couch, holding a book. Encouraged by his smile, she approached.

“Yeah, my mom and I moved in town last week…I’m Faye, Faye Griffith.”

“Jason Darcy.” said the boy friendily. “Hey, I think you’re in my class then, old Crumplebutt said something about a new student yesterday.”

“Old Crumplebutt?”

“Our teacher, Agnes Crumplebottom. I must warn you about her, she’s a tough one.”

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Before Faye had time to decide whether to laugh or feel scared, the sound of footsteps caught her attention; its source, three girls who had just entered the library and were curiously watching them. Or, better said, her, for they ignored Jason entirely.

“Oh you’re the new girl!” one of the three exclaimed confidently. She had lush raven hair and wore what looked like an expensive silk dress, inches shorter than all of Faye's dresses. “I’m Valentina Esposito, I heard all about you. It’s not often we get new students here…wanna go down to the cafeteria with us?”

“Thanks, I was talking to Jason and…” Faye tried, but Valentina silenced her with loud sigh, copied keenly by her two friends:

“Oh…him.” She commented, appearing to only then notice Jason sitting on the couch. “We don’t talk to him. He’s…well, dangerous, trust me, did you know his mom is a devil worshipper? Or…something like that.”

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“That’s not true! She is a model!”Jason retorted, while Faye glanced nervously from one to the other. To her, Jason didn’t look dangerous at all, in fact he looked ok for a boy, but she was unwilling to go against who appeared to be a popular student. Still, as Valentina and her gravitating group of noisy, giggling friends dragged her towards the cafeteria, guilt tugged at her.

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To worsen things, Jason’s warning proved entirely true: Crumplebottom was a strict, austere teacher who loomed like one shriveled old crone in the background, and delivered swift, merciless punishments ranging from bad grades, to very bad grades and surprise quizzes nobody ever got entirely correct. Needless to say, she also gave a good amount of homework, but at the end of the day, Faye felt relieved and anxious to go home.

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Her head barely visible from behind a deskfull of brand new accessories, Valentina Esposito called Faye over, leaning back and gracefully folding her legs like an adult. Faye could’ve sworn she was wearing mascara, something her own mother would never have permitted.

“I’m throwing a party at my place on Saturday”, Valentina announced. “Wanna come? Lydia, Christy, Felicia, Andy…umm…mostly everyone will be there. We’re having a ballet show and all.”

Looking anywhere else but at Jason who peered at them morosely from the back of the classroom, Faye nodded:

“Umm, sure. I guess mom won’t mind.”

“Great! We’ll pick you up in my dad’s car at 5 pm. It will be so fun!”

And for once, Faye dared to hope so as well.

HCAC
9th May 2006, 6:59 PM
It's really intriguing, Ghanima. I like it. Keep writing! :)

Ghanima Atreides
9th May 2006, 7:02 PM
Thank you! :D This is just a sort of introduction to what's to come, but it had to be done otherwise things wouldn't make sense...I got most of it planned out and I felt inspired by some of the great stories on this site, like French_Sim's.

SpacemanHPSpiff
9th May 2006, 11:34 PM
Very cool! The pictures are very nice, and the story's interesting! I'll be looking for the next update. :)

indalu10_SC
9th May 2006, 11:39 PM
this is a very good story!
rarely do people make stories about little kids.

Tixi
10th May 2006, 7:13 AM
oh i love it!! i love stories like this...and where did you get that blonde girls (the one in the hotpink shirt and blue jeans) hair?

Ghanima Atreides
10th May 2006, 9:46 AM
Thanks guys, I was afraid nobody would like it lol :p Glad you do, and keep an eye out for the next update either later today or tomorrow!

Tixi, that hair is a freebie from rose sims: http://www.rosesims2.net/ look on page 5

Ghanima Atreides
10th May 2006, 1:35 PM
Chapter 3

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“Now remember what I told you, Faye. Be respectful to Valentina’s parents and try not to get yourself into trouble, ok? I’ll pick you up at 8.”

Faye nodded, watching her mother exit the Espositos’ courtyard and slowly disappear from view behind the tall fence. Through the wide-open doors, she could hear the lively chatter of many mingled voices, tiny child footsteps trotting loudly up and down the stairs and the distant beat of a loud speaker. It seemed most of Valentina’s guests had already arrived, and the party was getting started.

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The Espositos were decidedly well off, and their house bore the testimony to that fact: fine, modern furniture, beautiful landscaping, and even a swimming pool in the back yard. Faye demurely followed Valentina into her room, where she proudly displayed what resembled a toy store more than an actual room.

“Dad bought these for me yesterday, kinda boring, no? I wanted the Hula Princess Barbie, not the Ballerinna one.” she explained as she pulled out a brand new Barbie, complete with a dollhouse and several outfits. To Faye, they seemed fantastic, but they tended to become overshadowed by all of Valentina’s other toys.

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Later, three of the girls including their raven-haired host executed the promised coordinated dance atop an improvised stage in the back garden. Everyone gathered to watch and cheer, and even Faye had to admit for once Valentina was doing more than boasting: they could dance, better than anyone their age she had ever seen. The performance completed, enthusiastic applause erupted from all sides for several minutes, Valentina dropping one curtsey after another, literally aglow with delight.

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Everyone had a good time. Faye, too, at last managed to shed some of her innate shyness and joined in the games played by the other children, but whenever she sat idly aside, she could not help but wonder where Jason was, and whether he, too, would have liked to be there with them. Everyone else in school seemed to have been invited. She remembered Valentina’s sarcastic remark about the boy’s mother and, unable to contain her curiosity any longer, asked one of the other girls, Felicia, about it.

“Why do you want to know?” Felicia replied with a deep frown. Obviously, Jason Darcy was the last thing on her mind. Lowering her voice to a whisper, Faye insisted:

“Look, I just want to know if it’s true that his mom is..you know, a devil worshipper?”

“That’s what Vale says, I don’t know, I never saw her…But he never talks to us, always sits by himself so we leave him alone…he gets all weird if you talk to him” Felicia shrugged casually. Faye bit her lip; he didn’t get all weird when she talked to him.

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Several hours later, the party was in full swing. Faye discovered that Valentina Esposito was far nicer whenever her friends were not around, discarding her usual arrogant, attention-seeking attitude to the point where Faye actually liked her. This was confusing, for why would someone as pretty and popular as Valentina need to pretend? In her experience, only unpopular kids pretended to be someone else. And why did she seem to want to be friends with her of all people?

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“Cake, anyone?” called Mrs Esposito, bearing a plate of delicious chocolate cake, slicing it evenly for each child. Faye liked Mrs Esposito; she didn’t speak like most adults, with the knowledgeable indulgence they tended to show towards young kids. Instead she addressed them all as if they were her own age, jokes and serious conversation alike. Momentarily, Faye wished her own mother were more like that, then guiltily dismissed the thought, yet could not help but envy Valentina. She had everything she could ever want.

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One final event shook that conviction, however. Nature called, and Faye left the downstairs lounge to search for the bathroom. On her way, she sensed movement on her left, and muffled noises coming from the master bedroom: two low voices, adult voices…and barely whitheld female giggling. Careful to stay out of view, the young girl approached and through the open door she saw none other but Ted Esposito lovingly caress the maid’s face, before leaning in to kiss the proffered lips!

Faye felt the blood rush to her face; almost instinctively she ran to the other end of the corridor, her mind swarming with what she had witnessed in that room. She was old and intelligent enough to put the pieces together, even if only from a child’s point of view: Mr Esposito was behaving wrongly towards that woman, in a way only husbands and wives were supposed to behave.

In a second, the idyllic image she had built in her imagination shattered. Unable to envy Valentina, Faye sampled feelings of pity towards the girl she had thought to have it all.

Frenchie
10th May 2006, 1:53 PM
Hey Ghanima, I just wanted to tell you that I've noticed this story. Wait till I come home and I'll read it !

chronicboredom
10th May 2006, 6:16 PM
Very good!

Frenchie
10th May 2006, 6:39 PM
I felt inspired by some of the great stories on this site, like French_Sim's.I'm really flattered ! (I hadn't seen that comment when I posted my first message) Well your story seem to be fine so far, there's already drama ! I'll be back to read more :)

Ghanima Atreides
10th May 2006, 7:58 PM
Thank you both, and it's just the truth, Frenchy. :) I already got the next chapter planned but I wanted to do my contest entry first and my game is being a pain (i.e lagging for some strange reason)

o0saraho0
11th May 2006, 4:01 AM
Wow, this is an EXCELLENT story! I'm going to love it, I can tell. =) Keep writing!

Ghanima Atreides
11th May 2006, 5:20 PM
Thanks so much, keep an eye out for chapter 4, it really gets the story going and (hopefully) worth a few laughs. :D

Ghanima Atreides
11th May 2006, 6:37 PM
Here it is, a bit long but hopefully you'll like it! :bump: The second half is a break from all the drama, too lol.

Warning! If a bit of raunchy humor upsets you, turn back now. If it doesn't, then by all means read on!

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No matter how much she tried, Faye was unable to put the scene she had unwittingly witnessed at the Esposito house out of her mind; she wanted to tell someone, but did not dare mention it to any of the children at school, especially not Valentina. In the end, after three days of fretful procrastination, the girl confided in her own mother.

“Faye, now don’t go around spreading this story to any of the kids, understand? It’s a personal issue between Valentina’s parents.”

“But mom! He was kissing the maid, I saw them!”

“Even so, this is none of our business! Believe me when I tell you, you can hurt people very badly by getting involved in such things. Especially when you only know bits and pieces of the truth!”

“Is that why you won’t tell me about dad?”

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There was immediate silence and Simone pivoted on her heels away from her daughter. Tears glittered in both their eyes, yet neither were willing to look at eachother for several painfully silent moments.

“Your dad left us, Faye.” she said at last, and a bitter knot rose in her throat. “That is the truth. He left , and he wanted to take you from me as well, take away the only thing in my life…that…that matters…”

Simone bravely held back her tears that evening, and only allowed herself to sob in her pillow long after Faye was asleep. She did not wish her daughter to see her cry, to see her weakness. Faye needed a pillar of strength, a stalwart protector in her life, someone to take the place of the family she’s never known and Simone was determined to be…that someone.

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The following day, Faye had no time to think about her mother’s words, for a while at least. It was Show and Tell day, and each student was required to bring a meaningful object from home and tell the class about it. The more original it was, and the better the presentation, the higher the final grade would be.

Valentina’s choice had been her father’s latest present: a mini-kitchen, equipped with a child-sized oven and cutlery. She baked cookies for the whole class and received a B+ for her effort, which in Crumplebottom’s book was rare indeed.

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Ignoring the fact that her legs felt as if made out of jelly, Faye began telling the short story of the only thing she and Simone owned which could be called “meaningful” in some way: an ornate silver cup her mother had once won in a chef competition. Simone was quite the gifted cook, but with no edible proof of that, Faye’s presentation turned out rather…bland.

“The presentation lacked a certain flow, Miss Griffith, I can tell you haven’t practiced enough”, Mrs. Crumplebottom croaked from the front of the class. “And the theme was common at best. But, you’re new and I suppose I could be inclined not to give you a D for it this time. A C will do. Next!”

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Jason Darcy was next. The entire class, Crumplebottom included, watched with ever widening eyes as the boy began arranging various objects across two tables: chains, handcuffs, iron spikes and some other sleek, wobbly items the children looked at with confusion. Their teacher, however, knew what they were well enough to literally inflate with rage, like a balloon in which air was slowly being pumped.

“Mr Darcy!” she rasped. “What is the meaning of this…unsavory spectacle?!”

“My presentation, ma’am.” the boy began timidly. “I chose my mother’s work equipment for my Show and Tell theme.”

“I’ve seen one of those” someone whispered, unfortunately loud enough for all to hear. “In my parents’bedside table drawer.”

It was too much for Mrs Crumplebottom. Fuming, she ordered Jason to gather his things while she stormed outside the classroom to find a phone and summon his parents immediately.

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Two hours later, class was dismissed, but nobody was willing to leave until they saw Jason’s infamous mother with their own eyes. Fortunately for them, Mrs Crumplebottom was so angry, she did not even wait until Mr and Mrs Darcy arrived in her office; she strode up to them in the middle of the corridor, raging. Behind the crack in the classroom door, the students fought for a vintage point.

“Good afternoon, I’m Jonathan Darcy” began Jason’s father, a calm looking man in a pinstriped shirt. “This is my wife, Viviane…”

“You might know me under my pseudonym, Mistress Vivica” the dark haired woman interrupted, with barely whitheld sarcasm. Mrs Crumplebottom pursed her lips so tightly, they appeared to be one thin, flat line. She eyed Viviane with deep disapproval: her revealing lace top, the sinfully short latex skirt, the silver loops glittering in her eyebrow and nose.

“I should think not, Mrs Darcy. I called both of you today because I’m very concerned about your son Jason. The…things he brought out in front of the other children today were…let’s just say highly inappropriate for his age, and.”

“Did you take my fetish gear, Jason?” Viviane inquired calmly. The boy nodded dismally; he was certain he would be either expelled or grounded for life.

“Indeed that, and I would have expected a bit more responsibility from your part, Mr and Mrs Darcy, and I dare not think what this child has been exposed to…”

“Look, Mrs Crumpled Bottom…”

“Crumplebottom!”

“Crumplebottom. Jonathan is at work in the morning and I work the night shift…”

“I’m certain you do…”

Viviane’s patience was wearing thin, and she made no effort to conceal it. Clearly, this was one woman Agnes Crumplebottom could not intimidate.

“I apologize for my son’s actions, it will not happen again. I assure you he is not being exposed to anything inappropriate in our home. He knows about my work in terms suitable for his age because I will not fill my child’s head with farfetched stories or lie to him, when I know he will simply look for the information elsewhere. If you have a problem with his behaviour in this school, then I suggest you do what teachers do in such cases: give him detention or test his knowledge in class. But don’t even think you can tell me how to raise my own son. Good day.”

Mrs Crumplebottom watched Jason’s parents walk away, white with shock, as if she had been struck hard across the face.

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She did, however, release her anger later by giving Jason three hours of detention. When everyone else had left the room, discussing the recent events, Faye approached the desk where he had begun writing his assignment.

“Hi.”

“Um, hi…”

“Look, Jason…I just wanted to say that your mom…”

“If you’re here to tell me she’s a devil worshipper you can stop right there!” he blurted out angrily. “She’s not, she’s a great mom, she’s a model, a fetish model, which is like a regular one only for leather clothes and stuff and…”

“Whoa there, I just wanted to say I think she’s pretty cool. The way she handled old Crumplebutt was awesome!”

There was a moment’s silence, while Jason gazed, visibly surprised, at Faye who was smiling.

“Thanks...”

“Hey when you’re done you could come by my house if you want, to play or something…”

“But you’re friends with Valentina Esposito!” Jason said incredulously.

“So what? Can’t I be friends with both of you?”

The boy frowned, wheighing this new possibility he had never considered possible before then nodded:

“Okay then. See you at six.”

All of a sudden, detention seemed less of a chore.

Frenchie
11th May 2006, 7:02 PM
Hum. Here goes the devil worshipper... lol !
Cool one Ghanima, I like it !

Jacuzzi_SC
11th May 2006, 9:00 PM
Nice! I'll be following this story.

Ghanima Atreides
11th May 2006, 9:05 PM
Hum. Here goes the devil worshipper... lol !
Cool one Ghanima, I like it !

Devil worshipper vs professional dominatrix? What's worse for a kid in school lol XD especially when your teacher happens to be Mrs C

Nice! I'll be following this story.

Thank you, and I hope you'll like it in the future too :)

nikisazombie
12th May 2006, 7:06 AM
Your story is turning out very good!:D I like it:D

Willow's Tara
12th May 2006, 7:13 AM
Hey very goo,d interesting too.
can't wiat to see what happens next
Hey did you know that there is an actual Anges Crumblebottom,. she doesn't look like that one, the one I am referring to is Mortimer's Aunty (I think). Just thought you might want to know;)

Ghanima Atreides
12th May 2006, 11:15 AM
Thanks guys for the comments :)

Willow's Tara, I know, it's where I took the name from. Since I've always been a bit confused why there were two Mrs Crumplebottoms, even if one was dead, I decided to give this one the first name of Agnes but make her look like the downtown Mrs C (and act like her too lol). She reminds me a lot of an old teacher of mine, hence why I made her one.

richdude_SC
13th May 2006, 5:51 AM
Just started reading it and it's going great! :howdy:

LuteFanBoyNick
13th May 2006, 6:22 AM
This is amazing! Great to see a good kid story, but where did you get the Griffith's TV and Valentina's bake set? Alot of the stuff is cool.

Ghanima Atreides
13th May 2006, 10:57 AM
More readers! :D *is happy* I'm glad you find my story interesting, makes it worth updating for me.

As for the stuff I used, it's from MTS2.

Cooking set: http://forums.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=155697
Old TV: http://forums.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=96413

Panique
13th May 2006, 11:27 AM
Another reader for you, Ghanima! Can't wait to see what happens next. :)

elerii
13th May 2006, 2:24 PM
I absolutely love your pictures! Keep the updates coming! And all your sims are so pretty too! ^^

Ghanima Atreides
13th May 2006, 3:43 PM
Thank you ^^ I'm half way through writing the 5th chapter which is gonna be longer than the rest.

Lollipop_Girl
13th May 2006, 3:59 PM
Hey I just read this :) haha i loved the part where Jason brought in the fettish stuff for show and tell! Poor kid! And how Crumplebottom was so shocked :D

Ghanima Atreides
13th May 2006, 4:49 PM
Thanks for reading, lolli! I'm glad you found it funny, means it achieved its purpose ^^


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Chapter 5 - After six years....

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Six years had passed over the town of Isla Bonita, six virtually uneventful years which brought little change in the community. This was one of those places where nothing ever happened, or at least that’s what everyone liked to believe. That was about to change.

Faye Griffith, teenager now, slowly forgot what she had witnessed at the Esposito residence, putting it out of her mind like a bad memory which became easier and easier to ignore as she got older. It was none of her business, after all.
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Jason gradually took the status of her best friend; they were still a couple of misfits, but they had eachother’s company and a lot of common interests. They both dressed out of the norm and liked the same dark, mopey music. Jason owned a drum kit and a guitar, and the two teenagers spent hours experimenting with different tunes as they discovered they actually possessed a flair for performing. They even entertained ambitions of forming a real band one day, when they were out of school or at least in college.

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All in all, life was good, even with Viviane Darcy’s colorful entourage as familiar scenery whenever Faye visited her friend. At first she had been rather intimidated by Viviane’s appearance and unorthodox profession, but eventually came to like the woman’s dry humour and bohemian lifestyle. Viviane, too, seemed to have taken a liking to the girl.

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“I see you two are becoming quite inseparable” she said one day with a knowledgeable, womanish smile Faye recognized immediately. “Are you sure you’re not an item, because you spend more time together than most couples I know.”

“Mom, this is embarrassing..”

“Haha no, we’re just friends” Faye assured her.

“Yes, Jason has always been bashful around the ladies…you know, whenever I brought someone home from work, he would…”

“Bashful?! Mom, half of them were actually dudes!”

“But always a perfect gentleman” Viviane continued affectionately and ruffled her son’s hair. “He’s still virgin, my Jason, did you know that?”

With a look of horror on his face, Jason gaped at his mother: “Moooommm!!” and Faye burst into laughter. Whenever Viviane teased him so he would flush deep scarlet which the girl found unusually…endearing.

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Valentina and Faye remained friends, too, although not nearly as close as they had been as kids. For once, Valentina dabbled in various activities such as modelling and dancing, which left her little free time for hanging out…or so she said. At school she could be seen in the company of those girls who always looked ready for a fashion show and liked to call themselves “trendsetters”. She dated a lot because she enjoyed the attention, but Faye was used to her personality by then. Valentina could be the nicest girl if nobody from her group of popular friends was around, but those occassions were becoming less and less frequent and more often than not, she and Faye didn’t speak for days on end.

Ghanima Atreides
13th May 2006, 4:50 PM
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On one particular day, while Jason and Faye were secretly smoking behind the school ( bad habit!) Valentina strolled by confidently, swaying her hips in that special way she knew guys found sexy. As if his eyeballs had been glued to her behind, Jason stared and stared until she disappeared behind the corner.

“Should I bring the drool bucket?” Faye asked him with a slight frown. “Or some glue perhaps, to keep your eyeballs from falling out of their sockets!”

“Goddamnit Faye not so loud!” he hissed. “Listen…do you think you could…you know, get me a date with her..?”

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Faye gaped at him. She couldn’t believe her own ears!

“Dude, you’re out of your mind. I know Vale, she won’t date you. You know it too! Plus she has a boyfriend already…or make that boyfriends. **** I don’t even know anymore these days…”

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“Please Faye! You’re my best shot at this, you’re her friend…look, forget date, just an outing…tell her it’s just a couple of drinks, that’s all. Tomorrow evening at Red’s Diner…You can tag along too, you know, to keep her from getting suspicious while I work my magic…”

“Thanks for the official title of Fifth Wheel, Jason” snapped Faye. “Oh look, there’s Valentina now, you can start “working your magic” right away.”

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Before he could protest, the girl dragged Jason by the sleeve of his coat towards where Valentina and her friends chatted casually, while their usual admirers hovered in the vicinity.

“Vale…I need to ask you something” Faye began as soon as she was within earshot. She ignored the ensuing mutterings such as “Oh my god…what’s with the hair?…” and “Where did she find those clothes…?!”

“Yeah? What is it?”

“Jason and I are going out to Red’s Diner tonight. Wanna come? It’s been a while…”

More hushed mutterings, and Valentina clearly torn, unable to decide whether to blatantly push her oldest friend further away, even if that friend happened to dress like a hippie reject, or risking nasty gossip from the rest of the school.

“Um, I can’t tonight, I have dance practice until ten…tomorrow either, how about, uh, Friday?” she mumbled at last, eyeing Faye intensly, with a look that verged on homicidal and spoke volumes of “you owe me big time for this, Faye Griffith! What the h**l were you thinking?!”

Faye, on the other hand, was rather enjoying herself. It would do Valentina some good to think about what mattered most to her: a bunch of false, popular friends or those less popular, but sincere people who actually gave a damn about her.

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Just as they were talking, Jason felt his shoulder colliding painfully with something…large and blunt, and for a moment he staggered to regain his balance. The large, blunt something was in fact the tall, muscular figure of a student, senior and captain of the school football team, Eric Hourvitz.

“Hey watch it!” he mumbled, but Eric simply pretended Jason was invisible. He leaned forward and slapped one hand on Valentina’s buttocks, grinning mischievously:

“You’re kinda hot, Esposito.” he grunted.

“Get your hands off me…” Valentina retorted, rather unconvincing in her displeasure. In fact, Faye suspected she was enjoying it.

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“You heard the lady. Get your hands off her!”

Everyone’s head swung around at the sound of these words, seeing Jason advancing confidently toward Eric. Irritation was already showing on his features; everyone knew Eric had a short fuse, more inclined to break your jaw first, and ask questions later. Faye signaled for her friend desperately to stop, but Jason seemed decided to confront Hourvitz; was he going crazy?

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“What’s that? I don’t remember giving you permission to speak! Get the f*** outta here, Darcy, or I’ll break your skull!”

“Apologize to Valentina first.”

Faye slapped her forehead in dismay; four pairs of eyes watched the scene intently, unblinkingly, and deep inside everyone was prepared for an unpleasant outcome to this.

“I dunnow what you’ve been smoking, dweeb, but you’re getting on my last nerve.”

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The inevitable followed. In a fraction of a second, Eric’s fist shot out, hitting Jason straight in the face. He cried out in pain briefly before being thrown to the ground by the force of the attack, where he remained, unmoving, unconscious. Satisfied, Eric Hourvitz spat and turned to leave.

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“A*****e!” Faye called after him, but Hourvitz didn’t even react. He only muttered a curse under his breath and something which resembled “the dweeb had it coming”.

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Fortunately, Jason’s ego had withstood more damage than the rest of him. He was only superficially hurt and his nose wouldn’t quit bleeding, but otherwise ok, much to Faye’s relief.

“You idiot, you idiot!” she cried even as she threw her arms around him. “He could’ve broken your nose, or worse…He has a gun, he always waves it around to brag and…and…”

“I’m ok, Faye,” he assured her. “I…I don’t know what came over me, but when I saw him put his filthy hands on Valentina I just…flipped, I dunno…by the way, thanks for getting her to go out on Friday. You rock, amiga…”

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Faye managed a slight smile; a painful knot held her stomach tightly, like a powerful claw clenching her insides. Why did it bother her so much?

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Valentina, however, didn’t show up in class the following day, or the day after. She also missed her appointment with Faye and Jason on Friday evening.

“Can you call again?” Jason nagged while Faye kept jotting down Valentina’s number on the keypad of her cellphone.

“I’m trying, Jason, geeze! It’s no use, I keep getting her voicemail…Hold on, I got an idea…hello? Felicia? Hi, this is Faye…listen, have you seen Vale lately?”

“Where did you get my number?” came the flat reply from the other end of the line.

“Never mind that now …have you?”

“Ummm, no, I haven’t, not since wednesday…listen is there anything else you wanted to tell me, because I’m kinda in the middle of something…”

“Baby, put that down and come back to bed...”

Realizing it was useless, Faye hung up and stomped one foot in frustration. There was only one thing left to do: they would have to pay a visit to the Esposito residence.

~Michelle~_SC
13th May 2006, 5:10 PM
I love your story, you have me attached! It's Fantastic :D *****

Lollipop_Girl
13th May 2006, 5:14 PM
Ah why do girls like Valentina always get the attention lol! :D Cool update!

Ghanima Atreides
13th May 2006, 5:16 PM
Wow thanks for the rating! *is flattered* glad you liked it, but as the title suggests there's more to it than meets the eye...especially where Senorita Esposito is concerned ;)

islandprincess
13th May 2006, 5:49 PM
omg i just read this the whole way through it is so good

elerii
13th May 2006, 6:04 PM
I absolutely love it. ^^ Great update!

indalu10_SC
13th May 2006, 8:22 PM
wow, i wonder whats going to happen.

KittyKatH2o
14th May 2006, 2:54 AM
I wonder what happened to Valentina? (I like the way you made it look like photos taped up :)).

leos_pride
14th May 2006, 8:17 AM
great story!

Jacuzzi_SC
14th May 2006, 9:21 AM
Still really cool!

Ghanima Atreides
14th May 2006, 10:34 AM
lol gotta love cliffhangers :p I will update pretty soon though, as soon as I get the rest of the pics I need...should be either today, tomorrow or the day after. Thanks for reading and commenting! *mwah*

LuteFanBoyNick
14th May 2006, 4:05 PM
Jeez, thatm oment with Felicia would be so weird if it happened in real life..

I wanna download the child kitchen...stupid Firefox saying it can't find the MTS2 server...

DejAng3l
15th May 2006, 7:45 AM
wow...........great update..............now i wonder what happened to vale......hope she's okay...........

Panique
15th May 2006, 7:51 AM
Can't wait til you update!

Ghanima Atreides
15th May 2006, 4:51 PM
I got all the pics guys (took me hours!) but I'll be writing it tomorrow when I'm less tired. :)

BetteBob
15th May 2006, 7:45 PM
ooohhh, I just started reading this story and its fantastic! I'm really enjoying it, I can't wait until the next update

SpacemanHPSpiff
15th May 2006, 10:01 PM
Ahhh! Ghanima! Somehow I missed a bunch of updates, and suddenly they're all teens! Ai! I have to keep up with the stories I read better... Anyway, great updates! I can't wait to see more...

Aw, poor Faye... Woah, how did she change from such a mild child to such a "punk" teen? :P

Jason's mom is very funny. Heh heh.

elerii
15th May 2006, 10:18 PM
It's okay, take your time! The writing is wonderful and the pictures are amazing! I absolutely love how you edited them

Ghanima Atreides
16th May 2006, 11:40 AM
Aw, poor Faye... Woah, how did she change from such a mild child to such a "punk" teen?

She's still rather mild (although not as much as when she was a frightened 10 year old moving into a new town, of course) but her style of dressing has more to do with the teenage tendency to want to pertain to a certain group. Plus she's a 16 year old, and she's going through that "rebel against the norm" phase :D So is Jason, typical emo kid. (sans the cutting, that is).

It's okay, take your time! The writing is wonderful and the pictures are amazing! I absolutely love how you edited them

The photoshopping is kept to a minimum, really (except for the frames) I use animation testers and picture taking hacks a lot to get the desired effects and expressions (which is why it can be tricky to synchronise them all for the needed shots)

But I'm happy you like them! Thanks for reading, and
I'll update in a couple of hours :D

Ghanima Atreides
16th May 2006, 2:38 PM
**Warning! This episode contains some non explicit mature situations and pics**

Actually, just one, but I felt I had to mention it. lol


Chapter Six

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*CRASH!*

The sound of shattering glass broke the silence of the night, like a sudden thunderclap prior to a storm. Senses alert, Jason and Faye tiptoed their way through the Esposito’s front yard, their stealth certainly paying off. It was a warm summer night, and one of the lounge windows lay open, sound and light spilling freely outward. It didn’t take the teenagers long to realize something was wrong…very wrong.

Valentina was nowhere in sight, but both her parents were…and judging by their aggressive body language and tone, they were having an argument.

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“Where is she?” Eleonore Esposito demanded to her husband, barely holding back a flow of tears. “She’s been missing for two days, Ted, two days!”

“Why do you act as if I knew? I’m just as clueless and worried as you!”

“No you’re not!” the woman cried, jabbing an accusing finger through the air. “You think I don’t know? You think your daughter doesn’t know?! How you sleep with that w**re, then play the happy family! And now Valentina is gone and you could care less, you b***ard!”

Ted Esposito’s arm shot out, striking his wife hard across the face; he was a tall, muscular man who worked in the Army, his sudden retaliation being enough to send Eleonore tumbling to the floor, clutching her throbbing cheek and weeping quietly. The glasses she wore lay broken nearby. For a few eerie moments, neither them, nor the two teenagers watching in horror, moved a muscle.

“Don’t ever f*ck with me again, idiot woman! Hear me?! Now get off the goddamn floor and get me the phone! I’m reporting her missing.”

Faye couldn’t tear her gaze away, as if the unpleasantness of the situation had her strangely mesmerized: in her mind’s eye she recalled a scene long ago, Ted Esposito and the maid kissing…and everyone telling her to mind her own business.

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“What a sleazy b***ard,” Jason muttered, and then, all of a sudden, the sound of footsteps caught their attention.

Through the dimness they recognized Valentina, dragging her feet along the edge of the driveway. She looked haggard and unkempt, from her stained jeans to the windswept, shaggy hair drooping across her face.

“Valentina!” they called out together, and the girl stopped, a speck of light shining on her face as she turned around.

“Oh God…!”

“Vale…”

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Blinking confusedly, Valentina stared and stared for what felt like ages, seemingly unable to recognize either Faye or Jason. She had a haunted expression on her face, smudged and dirtied as it was, running mascara tracing two zigzagged patterns underneath her widened, bloodshot eyes.

“Please!” she breathed. “Go away, please!”

“Vale, what’s the matter?”Faye began, taking two steps forward. Immediately, her friend took two more back.

“Were you attacked?”

“No! Please…my parents! They can’t see me, you have to go! Go now, please, go!”

With that, she sprinted away into the darkness of the backyard, leaving Faye and Jason, silent and stunned, behind.

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Worried out of their minds, they returned the following morning and were met by Mrs Esposito. The woman kept her head down as she spoke, in an useless attempt to hide the large bruise on her cheek and the swollen lip.

“I’m sorry, kids…Valentina can’t come out now. She’s not feeling well.”

“But is she ok?”

“She will be fine, Faye.”

Unconvinced, the two lingered around the Esposito house some more, attempting to catch a glimpse of Valentina or hear anything that could shed some light on the matter, but all their efforts proved futile. Just as they were about to leave, Faye noticed something on the pavement…it looked like a piece of paper, a ticket of some kind.

“An admission ticket”, Jason said, looking at it over her shoulder. “To Club Maxx. And it has yesterday’s date on it.”

Ghanima Atreides
16th May 2006, 2:40 PM
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Club Maxx was a relatively new establishment, opened some two years before in a less than favorable part of town. The club itself didn’t enjoy a sterling reputation, which made Faye uncomfortable as she, accompanied by a stressy Jason, passed through the front door. At once, they were assaulted by the stench of cigarette smoke (and God knows what else), loud music and shouted slurs. The two advanced steadily, keeping their eyes peeled for any sign of Valentina…or of trouble.

It didn’t take long to locate her, wrapped in Eric Hourvitz’ arms, near the front of the establishment. Faye had not even expected to find her there, but seeing her kiss Hourvitz without any sort of restraints rather shocked her.

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“Vale..?” she demanded at once. Her friend looked considerably better than the night before, but her eyes, still bloodshot, remained strangely unfocused. That didn’t deter her from frowning deeply at Faye when she pulled her arm.

“What the…? Faye, what the **** are you doing here? Are you two stalking me or something?”

“Are you dating him?!”

“I don’t know, maybe…why?”

“Valentina, the guy groped you like a piece of meat in the middle of the schoolyard and now you’re making out with him?!”

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“It was just a kiss, what’s the big deal? Oh yes, I forgot. You never had a boyfriend. You and emo geek over there should hook up, I mean he’s everywhere you are, is he attached to your wrist or something?”

Faye stared at her incredulously. Valentina’s words cut through her like a knife through warm butter, but above all was her rising anger.

“Well excuse me for freaking caring!” she snapped. “Where were you, everyone was so worried! Last night you were freaking out and now you’re back here with Eric Hourvitz….?! Something’s very wrong with you!”

“Nothing’s wrong with me, Faye! Or wait, perhaps you’re right…something is wrong, I’m growing up and you’re not! Which reminds me, did you have to come talking about hanging out together in front of my friends? Now I’ll never hear the end of it.”

“Your friends?! What am I, chopped liver?”

“It’s not that, but you don’t know them, they turn everything into a rumour. Now they’re gonna think I’m dating Jason Darcy or something! Just because you don’t think about your public image it doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t either!”

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“Know what? Forget it. Go right back to upholding your public image, you won’t have to worry about your part-time-friend-you-only-remember-when-you-have-a-problem anymore. I’ll be glad to stay out of your way!”

“Come on baby, let’s go have some fun. Forget about these losers” Hourvitz mumbled and pulled Valentina away. Seething, Faye returned to the bar, where Jason sat miserably and drowned his sorrows.

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“Is she gone?”

“Yeah. Gimme a beer.”

The barista didn’t have any qualms about selling alcohol to minors, it seemed, giving Jason and Faye plenty of time to rant and drink more than they should have. The hours flew by quickly, and before they knew it, they were being forcibly removed from the premises and out on the pavement.

“Ok you two that’s enough. You’re gonna get me in trouble with the boss”

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The barista wasn’t kidding. Jason was completely wasted, nearly passing out on the side of the road. Although her head swam and her eyesight was blurred considerably, Faye could still stand, finding herself in the undesirable position of helping her friend puke in the grass.

Then, to make things worse, Faye realized how late it was, and that she had no less than 12 missed calls on her phone…from her mother. Frantically she called home, struggling to keep her voice steady. Immediately, Simone’s screaming voice boomed in her ear:

“Where are you?! Do you know what time it is?! I want you home in fifteen minutes, tops, you hear me?!”

“Uhh, mmm, I’m sorry mom, I didn’t hear the phone, we were watching some DVDs and I had it on silent… I forgot to tell you, I’m over at Vale’s, with the rest of the girls. It’s a bit late now so do you mind me spending the night here? It’s safer than walking home alone at this hour…”

Simone seemed to consider it, but her tone remained high pitched when she answered:

“How many times have I told you, keep your phone on at all times so I can reach you. It’s the reason I bought you one, I was so worried…”

“I’m sorry, mom, ok? I forgot about it. I’m ok though, so…can I stay?”

“Well I suppose…is someone sick there?”

“Nah, just the girls messing around” Faye lied, eyeing Jason worriedly as he puked again. “Thanks mom, see you tomorrow!”

Praying that Simone would not call the Espositos to confirm her story, the girl helped Jason to his feet. His house was nearest, but it still took a full hour and a half to reach it. It was dark and very quiet, as if deserted entirely.

“Parents’ outta town ‘tis weekend” the boy muttered and stumbled inside. Faye was relieved for that; last thing she needed was having to explain the situation to a pair of stressed out adults.

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As soon as he reached the lounge, Jason crashed onto a rug and within seconds he began snoring. Faye was herself too tired to get him upstairs, but was unwilling to sleep up there by herself. Instead, she curled up on the couch and soon fell asleep.

She was awakened by a pair of arms coiling around her waist. Half asleep, Faye reached through the darkness in confusion.

“Jason…” she grunted sleepily, an instant before she felt his warm lips crushed against her own. Her heart began pounding; what was he doing? Clearly awake, Jason dragged himself onto the couch, his hands searching for her, pulling at her with a hunger he had never felt before. Valentina and her rejection didn’t matter anymore then; only Faye mattered, her warmth which drew him near, her scent which filled his nostrils. He wanted her then with an urgency which sent his blood boiling through his veins, dulling the pain of Valentina’s caustic words, even if only for that one night…

For a while Faye lay motionless, torn. She knew what Jason was doing, and could even guess his reasons. Half of her wanted to push him away and slap some sense into him, the other half enjoyed his advances more than she liked to admit.

She knew then that she liked him, she had always liked him, enough to surrender her virginity to him. She was afraid to even think of the word “love”. What would come to pass when the sun rose over the horizon and this momentary magic which held them together vanished, she did not want to consider then - all she wished for was that single moment, their moment, and abandoned herself in his arms.

~Michelle~_SC
16th May 2006, 3:31 PM
You just keep coming back with more and more greatness [new word, ok.]
This is a great story and i love it every time! I hope jason 'remembers' what he did, i think those 2 would make a great couple! also i think vale' should realises who her true friends are!

BetteBob
16th May 2006, 4:14 PM
fantastic! I really enjoy your writing style, its incredibly enjoyable to read. keep up the good work!

LadySwig
16th May 2006, 4:46 PM
I agree with BetteBob, fantastic!

Ghanima Atreides
16th May 2006, 6:19 PM
Thank you for the lovely compliments, they make storytelling *this* much more fulfilling :)

Yeah it's gonna be an awkward time for Jason and Faye after this night (don't expect everything to be solved right away, hehheh), as for Vale, her deep dark secret will be revealed pretty soon too :)

Frenchie
16th May 2006, 7:03 PM
Good feedback helps storytellers much. I agree that your storytelling abilities are outstanding, you can render emotions quite well ! Nice chapter, keep it up, I want to know more !

LadySwig
16th May 2006, 8:09 PM
Oooh I cant wait to find out what the big secret is!

islandprincess
16th May 2006, 10:20 PM
You are amazing story teller

LuteFanBoyNick
16th May 2006, 11:50 PM
Very nice, but what is wrong with Val. In the darkness, it looked liek she got shot in the lip.

richdude_SC
17th May 2006, 12:57 AM
As always, great update!

indalu10_SC
17th May 2006, 2:40 AM
that was really good!
how`d you get them to make that face at the same time? its kinda funny.

DiamondX
17th May 2006, 9:16 AM
More More More More More More!!!!!!!!!

Panique
17th May 2006, 9:36 AM
Hmm, this is so interesting! Somehow I don't think it'll be smooth sailing for Jason and Faye from now on...

When are you going to update? I can't wait! :D

Oh, psst, did they use protection? :o That would suck if they didn't and something happened.

NO! FAYE! YOU'RE TOO COOL!

*Gets excited and scared and crawls in corner of forum and refuses to come out til you update, Ghanima!*

Ghanima Atreides
17th May 2006, 11:38 AM
Very nice, but what is wrong with Val. In the darkness, it looked liek she got shot in the lip

Her lips were dried and cracked. As to the reason, well it wouldn't be much fun if I just revealed it. ;)

how`d you get them to make that face at the same time? its kinda funny.

I used Shaklin's lovebed for that shot, if it is what you're referring to.

Oh, psst, did they use protection? :o That would suck if they didn't and something happened.

Nope, it was very sudden and spontaneous. Poor Faye, one more reason to feel afraid now...I think her mom would freak out if that happened, she had Faye when she was about 16-17 too and the last thing she wants is her daughter following in her footstepts :/

Again, thanks for reading! The next update is in the works, but it will prolly take a while as some of the shots I want are difficult to take..

leos_pride
17th May 2006, 12:18 PM
wow..what a great update

SpacemanHPSpiff
17th May 2006, 1:01 PM
Amazing update! Oooh, I'm dying to know what Valentina's secret is, it looks like it'll be an incredibly interesting one.

Naughty Jason!
Yeah it's gonna be an awkward time for Jason and Faye after this night (don't expect everything to be solved right away, hehheh), as for Vale, her deep dark secret will be revealed pretty soon too :)
Oh dear... No, I didn't have my hopes up that it ould be solved quickly. And now proof from the author. Ghanima, aurgh, I need these problems solved now! *tears at hear in frustration*

Anyway, keep up the good work! I'll be watching for the next upate!

PennyTheCorgi
17th May 2006, 1:03 PM
omg,I just found this series and I love it! You are a very talented author Ghanima Atreides and I soooo look forward to the next update.

PerplexinglyMe
18th May 2006, 10:30 PM
I love the story, and maybe it's just my copmuter, but I have only one complaint: The pictures load REALLLY slow. My computer's an old fart, though, soo...

Ghanima Atreides
18th May 2006, 11:27 PM
I'm not sure...all pics are hosted on Photobucket, which loads fast for me however...it depends on your connection. Also there are times when Photobucket loads slower because they are doing maintenance or whatnot, so they could load faster other times. I can't really say, nor can I help that :(

kawaiimeg_SC
19th May 2006, 1:00 AM
Great story! I really admire you for this. It's hard to write a great story and even harder to be able to tell it gracefully with sims but you are doing both!

Vinhou
19th May 2006, 1:22 PM
Wow, what a great story! Just found it now. I can't wait for an update - it's really exciting!! :P

Ghanima Atreides
21st May 2006, 12:02 AM
Here's the update guys, hopefully worth the wait lol. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Chapter Seven - Foul Play

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey59.jpg

“Uh, Jason…your elbow’s poking me in the stomach…!”

“Sorry…”

Eyes stinging from the sudden flow of light, Faye wormed her way out of Jason’s arms and groggily stood up; her head pounded awfully, and a migraine threatened to creep its way across her temples. For a brief instant she wondered where she was, before the memory of the recent events washed over her with frightening urgency. Quickly, she gathered her scattered clothes and began dressing in silence.
Awake and hungover, Jason was doing the same; the two teenagers avoided eachother’s gaze as much as possible, their minds racing with the memory of what had passed between them the previous night.

“Erm, Faye, I…”

“Mhm?”

More awkward silence.

“Look, I don’t know how to say this properly so I’ll just say it…ahem…I’m so sorry about…last night..I should never have…”

Faye’s hand rose in dismissal; she did not want to listen to an apology. What had happened could not be undone, and his very words only fed fuel to the question which irked her like a thorn: “Did he wish Valentina were in her place then?”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey60.jpg

“I have to go…mom is waiting for me... Bye...”

Faye turned to leave, and several times Jason had been dangerously close to running after her, to explain that which had no explanation. Converging emotions kept him glued to the floor, doubting everything: his feelings, Faye’s feelings, his damnable crush over Valentina. He felt ashamed and angry, ashamed at his indecision and angry at himself for hurting the one person who had always been there for him.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey61.jpg

Heavy clouds gathered in the morning sky, heralding a heavy downpour of summer rain, brief, unpredictable and very seasonal. Faye walked slowly, only peripherally aware of the water which soaked her clothes; tears burned hotly in her eyes, welling higher and higher and coursing down her pale cheeks, burning like the hot iron of shame. She hated Valentina then, with her effortless beauty and feminine charm, Valentina who could have had any man in town, but who toyed with the affection of the one person she wanted for herself, claiming it without as much as an interest.
Just before she reached her home, however, Faye realized that Valentina had nothing to do with this: she had feelings for Jason he did not share, all he wanted from her was friendship and, maybe, if drunk enough, a one time pleasure. Secretly, she had dared to hope that the previous night’s encounter would make him want her more, and the thought brought further pain.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey62.jpg

Meanwhile…

“…and after that she took off without a word, no doubt thinking it was just a rebound one night stand…”

“And was it?” Viviane Darcy inquired, smoldering dark eyes bearing into her son’s lowered gaze.

“No! I mean…I don’t know…last night was just…"wow!", I definitely wasn’t thinking of Vale then, but now I’m not sure if I was just trying to block her out entirely, to forget the whole rejection thing..”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey63.jpg

“Well, only you can decide that I’m afraid…take some time, think it over. You know, your father and I began dating properly after one night of guilty drunken bangin’ and look at us now…you were conceived on that night, too.”

“Mom, have you ever heard the expression “too much information”?”

“Now now Jason, what did you think, that yours was an immaculate conception?”

Viviane smirked, seeing the familiar look of exasperation on her son’s face.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey64.jpg


That evening, Faye returned to Club Maxx – alone, for she did not care to confront Jason again, but she felt determined to discover what Valentina was hiding. For she had no doubt she was hiding something...
Inconspicuously she treaded across the dark club, careful not to be spotted, unsure if Valentina would even be there at all. It all depended on that very fact.
Pushing away a drunkard who staggered over to slur something in her ear, Faye searched....and searched...
Just when she was about to give up, she saw Valentina; Eric Hourvitz was with her and even though they were out of earshot, she had a clear view of the pair.
Silent as a shadow, Faye followed them through a side entrance, barely escaping detection as she did so. For once, being skinny and short had its advantages.

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Crouching behind a narrow wall and an upturned wooden palette, the girl watched in amazement as her friend picked up a cigarette rolled by Hourvitz on a nearby table. The white powder laying nearby was clue enough as to what those cigarettes contained, and it wasn't tobbacco or even weed.

“F**k, this sh*t’s good” Valentina mumbled in a haze.

“Now take it easy, baby”, her boyfriend warned. “Remember last time?”

“I’m fine, ok?”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey66.jpg

Suddenly, the door was flung against the wall with such a force, everyone in the smoke-filled room jumped in surprise, Faye nearly knocking over the palette which barely covered her crouched body. In the doorway stood a man wearing an expensive suit, shades and looking obviously displeased. He carried himself with an air of authority and arrogance, Faye guessing he was the owner or someone important before Eric even confirmed it:

“Sh*it! Hey boss..”

“What the f**k’s this, Hourvitz?”

Faye held her breath as the unknown man took two confident steps towards Eric, all silent and wide eyed. The other young man in the room darted out through the door but in his anger, the newcomer paid no heed. His business was with Eric, it seemed.

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“Just a couple of friends, boss, they’re cool…” he began as the red haired man grabbed him by the collar.

“What did I tell you?! Never give drugs to anyone in my club, ever! Wasn’t that the deal, Hourvitz, I believe it was. And what did I warn you would happen if you broke our deal?”

“I’m sorry b-boss, h-honestly I didn’t think..”

“Ah yes, of course you didn’t think, that much is obvious!”

They were interrupted by the sound of vomiting; Valentina stumbled and fell to the floor, grunting and mumbling incoherently. When light shone on her face, it revealed rigid features, dilated pupils and unnaturally clenched teeth.

“F**k, the b*tch better not be OD-ing on me!” the man in the suit spat. Unfortunately, the sight of her friend in a possibly life threatening situation triggered a reflex in Faye’s body, her arms colliding with the palette before her. It only took a second for everyone to become alerted of her presence.

Ghanima Atreides
21st May 2006, 12:02 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey68.jpg

The club owner did not hesitate; he pulled a handgun from his pocket and held it point blank against Faye’s chest. The girl stood frozen, half expecting a deadly bullet to shot out any minute, half under the astonishing impression that she knew her attacker…from somewhere.

“My my, what do we have here?” he smirked. “Another of your friends, Hourvitz?”

“No, boss, I never brought her here!” Eric defended himself.

“Tell me, my pretty…do you wish to die?”

“Please, sir,” Faye blurted in a moment of courage. “My friend, she’s sick…and if she dies, you’ll have to explain it to the authorities!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey69.jpg

The man sneered, and angrily signaled to Hourvitz:

“The medkit, top cupboard. Give me the seringe and the adrenaline vile..and you’d better pray that she doesn’t die, Hourvitz, or you’ll be joining her! As for you, my pretty, make a single wrong move and I pop you one!”


Some very tense minutes later, Valentina’s convulsions seemed to have subsided some, but the injected adrenaline gave a sudden boost to her blood pressure. Nose bleeding profusely, she gave a barely audible moan, then fell silent once more. Faye herself felt ill to her stomach, paralyzed with fear.

“She needs to see a doctor!”

“The h*ll she does! Nobody leaves this room!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey70.jpg

Again, the door was crashed against the wall and a second man emerged, towering in the dimness: he was tall, broad shouldered, a deep frown obscuring his eyes:

“Boss, there’s some cops upstairs…they want to talk to you.”

Seething and cursing, the club owner instructed his bouncer to take the teenagers to the basement, as quietly and swiftly as possible while he attended to the matter in his office.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey71.jpg


“Good evening, officers. My name is Gabriel Renard, I am the proprietor of this establishment. How can I be of assistance?” Renard began on his best courteous tone, looking every inch the businessman behind his fine oak desk. The two uniformed policemen took a quiet look across the room – very neat, very stylish…so unlike the dilapidated hovel this man ran downstairs.

“We’ve had a call, Mr Renard. Anonymous.”

“About activities involving drug usage in your club.”

“In my club?!” Renard did his best to appear shocked, and a good job of it as well.

“Yes, indeed. The caller wouldn’t identify himself but the dispatcher described a shaky, male voice…”

“It was one of those kids Hourvitz brought! I’m gonna kill him!”

“Officers, I must say I am as clueless as you. Of course, I cannot vouch for all my clients, or what they might bring into the club, but I run an honest business here.”

“We’ve already arrested two individuals for possession…”

“Is that an accusation..?”

“No, not an accusation. We just felt…you would like to know.”

Renard cleared his throat; behind the reflective surface of his glasses, snake-like eyes moved frantically in deep thought; if the police searched the place thoroughly enough, they would undoubtedly discover not only the captive teenagers in the basement but the cocaine Hourvitz had stashed there for easy dealing to kids around the neighborhood. It had to be moved, and as soon as possible!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey72.jpg

“Well, officers, I am truly sorry that I cannot be more useful at the moment…”

“Will you call us if you happen to see anything suspicious then?”

“Absolutely.”

Formalities exchanged, the policemen left, but Renard wasn’t fooled; they were going to keep an eye out on the place, until they had enough evidence to obtain a search warrant. Which, had to be avoided at all cost, or at least ensured that all incriminating evidence was removed.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey73.jpg

“Dave? Pack ‘em up, all of them, and take them to that dockside synthetics factory, you know the one I bought last month. I will come later with the merchandise when it’s safe to move it. I have a plan…and in the meantime, it’s time I paid an old friend a visit…”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey74.jpg

“Get up! Up, up! We’re going on a little field trip…”

Faye sobbed uncontrollably in a corner, over Valentina’s figure, crumpled at her feet. When Dave Scourge yanked her by the arm, she lashed out at him, but the biker’s strong arm was an impenetrable barrier, practically swiping her across the room.

“Now calm down! See,screaming like that tends to p*ss me off, and when I get p*ssed off, I like to cut things!”

He held the blade of his pocket knife against her jugular for a few terrifying seconds, the sharp edge brushing over the soft skin. Faye willed herself to be calm…she had to be, if either of them was to survive that night.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey75.jpg

Later that night…

“Hello, Simone. Long time no see…hmmm?”

Lollipop_Girl
21st May 2006, 12:09 AM
Wow! I just read the last two chapters...I think Jasons mum is great :D and wow Valentina is involved in drugs! This story is great! I also feel sorry for faye, and her feelings for Jason.

Agh your sets are amazing! Mine really dont compare lol!

Oooh that boss guy knows Simone?
Keep it up :)

professional loser
21st May 2006, 12:42 AM
I agree, Jason's mum is cool ;) Great story, I'm hooked!

leos_pride
21st May 2006, 1:26 AM
the club owner knows Simone....Dam wasnt expecting that.

Ghanima Atreides
21st May 2006, 1:29 AM
the club owner knows Simone....Dam wasnt expecting that.


I'm glad, it's harder to make a story unpredictable than people think. lol Glad you like it so far, there are more surprises to come :bump:

I agree, Jason's mum is cool

I love Viviane, she's so un-motherly yet an entirely capable parent, a real "alternative-mom". :D

dib072776_SC
21st May 2006, 2:30 AM
Man good not great story!! I need to know more.

GummiBears
21st May 2006, 2:54 AM
This is really a great and captivating (sp?) story. I love it all from show and tell to now. I can't wait to see what happens next. :D :D

Panique
21st May 2006, 3:12 AM
I forget stuff too easily. Who's Simone again?

Also, I like the fact that Jason's mum is so open with him. And *gulp*, Ghanima, that question I asked you before and you answered, is anything leading off that?

In other news, *smacks Vale* DON'T SMOKE!

Silvercry
21st May 2006, 3:38 AM
Simones Faye's mom.


Edit: Great update Ghanima Atreides. *wonders if the one guy is faye's dad*

SpacemanHPSpiff
21st May 2006, 5:20 AM
Woah, Ghanima, great update! Amazing pictures and intruiging storyline as usual! I can't believe you can come up with all these plot twists! Poor, confused Jason... Take my advice, boy- stick with the amin character, and all will be well. :D

Grr! All the possibilities of what this all could mean! I need another update! I mean, no rush, of course! :P

LuteFanBoyNick
21st May 2006, 6:03 AM
Can that guy be Faye's dad? Very nice update. Jason's mom is cool, but she could never repalce my mom. And I don't want soem of the certain people at my school to come over to me and say. "Hey! IO just saw your mom in the latest porno magazine!" That would be a very uncomfortable moment.

Ghanima Atreides
21st May 2006, 12:43 PM
lol she's a fetish model, not a porn star, Lute. She isn't meant to be an ordinary mother. :)

Thanks for the replies! As usual, you guys are the best readers :)

SimFreak, no Faye probably won't be pregnant, I've done the teenage pregnancy theme in an earlier story and I don't like to repeat myself. hehe More will be revealed in the next chapter, I still have to figure out some details for it, and build the next location. :beer:

indalu10_SC
21st May 2006, 3:50 PM
i'm confused... who is simone?


i hope he isnt who i think he is!!

~Michelle~_SC
21st May 2006, 4:17 PM
Another great update! I love this story, you *think* you know what is gunna happen then something else happenes out of the blue, can't wait for the next update!

Simone is fayes mum...

everythingsfuctup
22nd May 2006, 3:57 AM
Oh this is a awsome story. I am hooked.
Brilliant pictures, scenes and beutiful sims.
I have my suspistions about who the orange haired guys is... well there was a dead give away with his hair colour and fayes from earlyer on in the story.
ooooh please update soon.

SimplyStella_SC
22nd May 2006, 10:37 AM
Nice story! I love the charachters, they're all so different
:beer:


I have my suspistions about who the orange haired guys is... well there was a dead give away with his hair colour and fayes from earlyer on in the story.
I thought it too, Faye said she had her dad's red hairs. If that's true, aw, poor Faye :blink: he just doesn't seem a uhm.. good boy.

Ghanima Atreides
22nd May 2006, 12:01 PM
LOL I suppose too many people have already guessed it so no point in concealing it anymore ;) I was wondering whether anyone would pick up on that hint earlier in the story! Yeah Gabriel is Faye's dad but that's all you're getting :P I'll give more details when I write chapter 8.

Alantra
22nd May 2006, 3:25 PM
I am loving this story.. can someone tell me how to subscribe to it

Thanks,

Lori

Frenchie
22nd May 2006, 4:39 PM
I agree with Lolli, I feel so sorry for Faye... but I'm sure he's the one who called the police. Maybe he'll change his mind and Faye's feelings will eventually be shared by Jason ? Like Vale, I'm addicted. To your story ! :)

Ghanima Atreides
22nd May 2006, 4:52 PM
@ Lori: Wow, thanks for the compliment! :) It's easy to subscribe, scroll up to the top of the thread, and under Thread Tools, choose Subscribe.

@French: He couldn't have had, Faye came alone to the club. The identity of the caller was left purposely ambiguous because I needed a realistic reason for Gabe to take Faye and co. prisoners and because it will play a role in what I'm going to write next. :)

I'm very happy you like it so far!

richdude_SC
23rd May 2006, 12:41 AM
Another great update, and Jason's mom is so awesome :anime:

Snuggle_Freak
23rd May 2006, 3:08 AM
oooo Mr. Renard is Faye's dad!!! I just have a gut feeling it's him! And poor Jason and Faye I hope they end up together and happy in the long run :(

Ghanima Atreides
25th May 2006, 2:24 PM
Chapter Eight - Consider me Gone

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“How did you find me? What do you want? Get out of my house!”

Silent and implacable, Gabriel waited patiently for Simone’s angry voice to subside before answering in his long practiced, languorously silky tone:

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“You’ve always been a smart girl, Simone, please don’t stop now. Did you think I wouldn’t recognize my own daughter? She looks like you enough and has – he casually brushed a rebel strand of fiery red hair off his forehead – my hair. The phonebook was all I needed to get your address.”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey78.jpg

For a splitting second, Simone seemed ready to shout another angry word, then realization washed over her, chilling her to the bone.

“Faye! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY DAUGHTER?!!”

“Our daughter”, Renard corrected her mildly. “She is in a safe place, my dearest Simone, I can assure you. That’s where you come in. You see, I need a small favor, and if you agree to help me, sweet Faye will come to no harm. But if you don’t…”

The man’s voice trailed off into broken silence; he was positively gloating, a cruel smile curling the corner of his sensuous mouth.

“Would you hurt her, Gabriel? Your own child?” Simone rasped coarsely, barely able to speak at all.

“She wouldn’t be the first b astard kid of mine I put in a morgue.” he replied coldly. “Now, about my favor…”

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Meanwhile, in a quiet bar downtown, Jason sat thoughtfully and sipped his drink, listening to the distant melody floating from the loud speakers upstairs. He and Faye often came there to have a good time, and it felt strange to be there without her. Yet he had not the courage to seek her, not after their last encounter, which he dearly hoped would not be the end of their friendship. He valued that more than a one night stand.

Sitting there alone, the boy’s thoughts trailed back at his mother’s advice: “think it over.” But he had tossed each side of the problem around in his mind so many times it made him giddy,

and without a clear solution in sight. On one hand there was Faye, his oldest friend, whom he had desired a night before as if no other girl on the planet mattered, on the other hand there was Valentina, the beautiful, haughty Valentina whom he had fantasized about ever since he could remember thinking about girls…

Why did relationships have to be so complicated? Jason wondered and shook his head in disdain.

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A sudden draft and a door closing with a a loud bang broke his reverie; looking around in surprise, Jason recognized a familiar face: Taylor Perry, an aquaintance from school, who appeared to be in a strange kind of frenzy, an uncontrollable fit of panic, so acute he jumped several feet in the air when Jason approached.

“Sh*t man! You scared the crap outta me!”

“Are you ok?”

“Wha…? Yeah, uh….” Then, he gasped, round eyes fixed on an invisible spot somewhere, outside. “There’s someone out there, watching! There is, isn’t it? Can you see?”

Jason could see nothing but darkness, so he turned to the panicking Taylor once more.

“Why don’t you tell me what happened…?”

“Man, you have no idea…” he leaned in close to Jason, his voice barely a whisper: “I went to this club, Maxx or sumthin’ with Eric Hourvitz and his chick…in the back room for a few, you know…”

Jason nodded impatiently.

“All was ok then all of a sudden this dude barges in, shouting, I don’t really remember what he was so p*ssed about…then he finds a chick hiding in a corner, and dude! It was Faye Griffith…at that point he pulls out a gun so I just got the he11 outta there, man…!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey81.jpg

“WHAT?! A gun?! Faye was there? And Valentina?! Are they ok? Where are they now?!”

In his shock, Jason nearly grabbed Taylor by the collar of his shirt, making him shrink further.

“I dunnow man, I freaked…I didn’t know what to do so I called the cops and ran as fast as I could!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey82.jpg

“But…!”

It was useless. Taylor sprinted out of the club, leaving Jason swamped by fear and confusion. What could he do?

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Unsure whether Taylor’s story was just the raving of a stoned man or had any truth in it at all, Jason decided to call Faye. When she didn’t answer her cellphone, he tried home but that, too, remained unanswered. A touch of frost began creeping its way up his spine – he would go to the club next, and see if either she or Valentina were there. He would even have been glad to see Eric Hourvitz at that point!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey84.jpg

In the meantime, blindfolded and bound by their hands, the unfortunate trio had been forced in the back of a van and taken to the old abandoned chemicals factory Renard had bought recently but done nothing with yet. It was a perfect place to conceal hostages: secluded near the docks, and entirely empty save for the rats, it guaranteed no unwanted witnesses.

“It’s locked tight!” Hourvitz concluded after trying the lock of their prison several times, cursing. Faye didn’t respond; she was busy supporting Valentina’s body, who swayed dangerously atop the improvised chair they had placed her on.

“I left a coded clue back at the club, scratched it in the wall when that gorilla wasn’t looking” Faye said. “But it’s a long shot…”

“Coded message?! Great! We’re gonna rot in here for sure now!”

“And what exactly have you done, except getting us in here?”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey85.jpg

They were forced to end the conversation; Renard’s bouncer walked in defiantly, inspecting the three teenagers with satisfaction.

“Like rats in a cage” he said triumphantly. “Methinks the boss is being too soft, if you ask me he should’ve let me put a bullet in your heads and be over with it…”

“Of course, you would’ve leaped to the opportunity like a good errand boy.” Faye retorted hotly, and bit her tongue as soon as she ended the sentence, but it was too late. Looking up at Dave Scourge’s enormous shape towering above her, his nostrils flared angrily, one muscular arm rising to strike…

Ghanima Atreides
25th May 2006, 2:27 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey86.jpg

Instead of hitting her, Scourge clenched his powerful fingers on Faye’s narrow shoulders, pulling her against his chest.

“You have quite a mouth on ya,” he grinned widely, exposing two rows of sharp, yellow teeth, “I have a better use for it…”

Faye’s stomach leaped sickeningly, her knee instinctively aiming for one of Scourge’s most… sensitive areas. At that point it no longer mattered to her if he killed her afterwards, as long as he took his filthy hands off her. She couldn’t bear the sensation.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey87.jpg

“Stupid b*tch!” the man seethed, wincing in pain. His large hand struck Faye hard across the face, while Valentina and Eric watched helplessly. Warm, fresh blood exploded in her mouth, along with a tide of dizzying, blinding pain. Disorientated, the girl staggered back and collapsed on the floor, struggling to remain conscious. Cursing, Scourge left the room and locked it three decisive times.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey88.jpg


“Are you all right…?” Hourvitz inquired earnestly, holding out a helping hand which Faye grudgingly accepted.

“Yeah….yeah I’m fine. Thanks.”

Valentina sobbed fitfully in a corner, curled into a ball like a frightened cat.

“Th-this is a-all m-my f-f-fault…!!!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey89.jpg

Jason wasn’t having better luck. He had been able to locate the backroom door Taylor had mentioned, but getting inside was easier said than done; a grim looking bouncer barred the way and peered at him suspiciously whenever he approached. Clearly, he needed to find another way.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey90.jpg

After circling the club meticulously several times, the only viable solution appeared to be the lone window on the first floor. The fire escape took him close enough and, several failed attempts and a bleeding finger later, the window slid open at last.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey91.jpg

Praying that he would not meet anyone on the way, Jason tiptoed his way through the dark office and the corridor ending with a single staircase. Moving cautiously he descended first into the backroom –also deserted, to his rising disquiet – then even further into the basement…

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey92.jpg

Panic gripped him; there was no sign of anyone! Blocking disturbing images of what could have befallen Faye and Valentina from mind he inspected every inch of the place but there was little to suggest people had been there at all.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey93.jpg

Preparing to give up, Jason’s eyes accidentally fell on...something out of ordinary on the lower side of a wall, where the uncertain light of the lone bulb hanging from the ceiling shone brightest. Crouching over to get a better look, his heart leaped…

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey94.jpg


In a heartbeat, Jason retraced his steps and successfully made it out of the club unnoticed; he knew he had to check one last place, to be sure…and that place was Faye’s home. Yet, as soon as he approached, he noticed movement in the yard: Faye’s mother was talking to a ginger-haired stranger on the lawn, surrounded by what looked like carton boxes piled together.

“I want to see her!” the boy heard Simone plead. “I want to see my daughter! I’ve done what you asked, now take me to her!”

“All in due time, all in due time. Tomorrow we’ll take the merchandise to the factory in your car, for safety. Then, and only then, I will let her go. Try to trick me or call the police, and she’s dead. Understand?!”

Simone muttered a teary “yes” and proceeded to place one box after another in the trunk of her car.

“…the factory…”

Breathless, Jason recalled the odd pattern etched into the wall of that basement…

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey95.jpg

He understood, then…

gazania
25th May 2006, 6:12 PM
Just wanted to tell you ... this board has been pretty flaky, so if it looks as if you're getting no responses, it might be because it has been pretty hard getting on here.

Great story so far!

Lollipop_Girl
25th May 2006, 6:52 PM
:) Great updates! I knew that guy was Faye's dad! Nice work Ghanima!

GummiBears
25th May 2006, 7:12 PM
Awesome update :D

Frenchie
25th May 2006, 7:25 PM
Lolli's smarter than I am, I had no idea !
I can't wait to read the rest, Jason's really brave and he must be in love to do such things !

SimplyStella_SC
25th May 2006, 7:38 PM
Oh, this is starting to get really thrilling! I can't help but wonder what will happen next.
The message on the wall! Damn clever.
Update soon! :D

Ghanima Atreides
25th May 2006, 9:21 PM
I can't wait to read the rest, Jason's really brave and he must be in love to do such things !

Or just nuts :P But as they say, still waters run deep. He's not as soft as most people think him to be.


The message on the wall! Damn clever.

I wonder if anyone translated it yet. It's not just gibberish ;)


Glad you like it so far! It took me ages to post it, the board was giving me a tough time.

Lollipop_Girl
25th May 2006, 9:27 PM
Ah I am psycic, I predicted it of course :D

I love your pics too Ghanima! They are so well done!

Ghanima Atreides
25th May 2006, 9:32 PM
I also admitted he was her dad some posts earlier :D

Thanks Lolli, because I confess they're hella difficult to take, I use posing cheats a lot but getting each of them to act at the same time is a pain, especially for non resident sims. The lighting effects are photoshop, and I just realized I need to enable shadows from now on rofl :lol:

SpacemanHPSpiff
25th May 2006, 9:35 PM
Wow! Amazing update! I love the setting, it has such a wondefully gloomy look... :D

I can't wait to read more!

Lollipop_Girl
25th May 2006, 9:41 PM
Hmm well I didnt see you post that, so it was my psycic powers! :D Yay! lol!

Ok I'l quit the spamming now :D

Ghanima Atreides
25th May 2006, 9:43 PM
Hey I ain't complaining, it means people pay real attention to my story :D so I'm glad when they notice details and stuff. :nod:

Psychic powers, I'll remember that when I buy a lottery ticket, Lolli ;)

Rock Chick_SC
25th May 2006, 10:41 PM
I enjoyed reading so much, the presentation is great and the way you have built the characters and set the scenes makes it totally compelling, thanks very much for sharing x

SimplyStella_SC
26th May 2006, 6:57 PM
I wonder if anyone translated it yet. It's not just gibberish ;)
Well, I tried to :laugh:
I'm not sure I translated it correctly tho, is there any online translator somewhere? :heyhey:




is that an only word, right? :dolt:

Ghanima Atreides
26th May 2006, 7:11 PM
:giggler: Yep it's one word, in a certain kind of code. ;) I won't say which yet, since it will be revealed later in the story. But feel free to try and translate hehe it's actually rather easy if you know what to search for.

~Michelle~_SC
26th May 2006, 11:34 PM
I know what the code is, but didn't figure it out if you get me:P.

I tryed.

I gave up, i'm too lazy :D

As you know i love this story and can't wait to read more. Wooo

:bump:

Padlock_SC
27th May 2006, 1:41 AM
I think I got it translated right, if it is only one word. =P

SimplyStella_SC
27th May 2006, 4:07 PM
:giggler: Yep it's one word, in a certain kind of code. ;) I won't say which yet, since it will be revealed later in the story. But feel free to try and translate hehe it's actually rather easy if you know what to search for.

Oh well then maybe I have understood it. Maybe.

I guess I will wait to say my translation 'till you put up the solution, so if I was wrong I won't look too stupid.
:laugh:

Ghanima Atreides
31st May 2006, 1:26 PM
LoL that's no problem, I used a guide too so don't think I know this stuff by heart :p But, I'll post an update soon, I finally got all the piccies, just need to write it up...

Ghanima Atreides
31st May 2006, 4:20 PM
Chapter Nine - Still Waters Run Deep


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey96.png

Jason watched helplessly as the Griffiths’ car melted away in predawn darkness, extinguishing the last of the aged motor’s rumble. It seemed that the whole world around him slumbered, his own heart pounding deafeningly against his ribs: Faye and Valentina, kidnapped, possibly even…no, no, he could not allow himself to think that way!

Jason forced himself back to rationality; he had but one clue to their whereabouts: the message Faye had cleverly left behind at the club, and Renard’s own words: “the factory.” He felt grateful then for those long gone childhood days he and his friend had learned Morse code by heart, so that they could safely send eachother cryptic notes during class.

“Docks.”

Isla Bonita was a small community, and there were but three factories gathered around the narrow dockside area. Two of them he knew well, for they provided the residents with household items, and food. The third, however…had been closed five years earlier after the owner went bankrupt and, to the best of Jason’s knowledge, it had yet to be re-opened.

That…had to be it.

In a heartbeat, Jason raced back to his home, and careful to avoid his parents, he snatched the phone off the hook and dialed the emergency hotline.

“Hello…IBPD…how can I help you?” the dispatcher’s drawling voice rang on the other end of the line.

“Hello. I…uh, wish to report a kidnapping.”

“Is this some sort of joke? Who is this?”

“Jason Darcy. Look, this is no joke! My friends are held prisoners at the old dockside factory, Antlers Chemicals!”

“Sir…are you sure about this?”

“Positive! Aren’t you gonna do something about it?!”

“I will contact the patrol car nearest to the location. If this turns out to be a wiseass crack…”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey97.png

Jason tossed the receiver against the wall. He had no doubt the woman didn’t really believe him, Isla Bonita was a quiet countryside town, nobody he knew even remembered last time there had been a serious crime committed there. This was one of those places everyone liked to consider “safe”.
Praying that she would indeed send some policemen to investigate, the boy could found it impossible to sit idle and wait; instead he climbed aboard his father’s car and drove away to the factory himself.

He found the place dark and quiet, with not a soul in sight, and to his disquiet, there appeared to be no police cars nearby either. He waited: five, ten minutes, before making the reckless decision to enter the building.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey98.png

Jason moved across the damp, silent corridors with extreme caution; the smell of decay and neglect wafted from everything around him, and each step he placed on the weathered wooden floors produced a loud creak which seemed so much louder in the encircling stillness. It was an eerie, foreboding place: rusty machinery and grime-coated pipelines, thick dust wich stung his eyes, and the distant twich of a flickering light.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey99.png

Jason, a rationalist par excellence, felt the small hairs at the back of his neck stand on end; it was so easy to imagine things in that maze of undulating shadows and suspect sounds with no identifiable source, not to mention the constant fear that around each corner he could come face to face with one of Renard’s lackeys.

Ghanima Atreides
31st May 2006, 4:21 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey100.png

“Is this the place?”

“Yeah…Antlers Chemicals. It sure feels like a wild goose chase to me…”

Two police officers descended from their car before the doors of the factory; the were reluctant and disbelieving, but it was their duty to investigate each reported emergency.

“Bah, I could’ve been in bed now,” yawned Roman Centowski, his hand moving instinctively to his belt, where his gun never left. He couldn’t allow his mind to wander; tired or not.

“I’ll take the east side, you take the west and signal if you find anything.”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey101.png

Dave Scourge, too, was tired and weary; he hated the mouldy smell, the cold, the lack of a good strong drink and a warm bed, or that he was being forced to babysit a bunch of teenagers who, had it been his choice, would be resting at the bottom of the lake by then. And the girl- the insolent little b*tch, how he would have liked to teach her a thing or two about respect…but the boss’s orders were clear enough: the kids had to remain unharmed.

“Freeze. Turn around…slowly..”

Scourge barely had time to reach while Roman Centowski’s trained hands cuffed his wrists together.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey103.png

“Where are the kids, Scourge?”

“I don’t have to tell you a damn thing!”

“Scourge, you’re going down for this one. For two years we’ve been trying to get our hands on you…would you really make your situation even worse?”

Painfully aware of the man’s gun barrel poking him in the ribs, Scourge gritted his teeth.

“Maintenance. First floor…”


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey102.png


“Jason!”

“Valentina! FAYE!!”

Tears and embraces followed, the captives accepting freedom in a burst of happiness after having prepared themselves for the worst. Locked in Jason’s arms, Faye caught a glimpse of Valentina swaying on her feet again.

“My friend, she’s not feeling well” she told the policewoman who had unlocked the door to their prison. Valentina’s face hardened, but nodded. “She needs to be taken to a hospital, as soon as possible…”

“I am calling an ambulance. I need to inform your parents…”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey104.png

But their troubles were far from over.

A second car came to a screeching halt before the gates and two figures emerged, moving slowly into the yellow light…first, the terrified face of a woman, Simone Griffith, followed closely behind by Gabriel Renard, calm and gloating, his gun attached to Simone’s back.

“Nobody make a move,” he instructed.

The third time that night, Faye felt as if she would be overwhelmed by terror and drown in it. Only Jason’s firm grip kept her from throwing herself at Renard.

“No! NO! Mom…!”

Roman Centowski kept his cool; slowly he raised his handgun and pointed it firmly at Renard’s head.

“Let her go.” he said simply. “Do it now, or I shoot.”

“NO!” Faye wailed desperately. “What if you miss?!”

“I won’t.”

And then, suddenly, Gabriel released Simone’s arm.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey105.png

Everyone ran to Simone, who was shaking visibly, to comfort her. Centowski took one step towards Renard, who, seized by one final impulse of hungry desire to remain free, reached out and grabbed the arm of the nearest person – Valentina. Using the whimpering girl as a shield for his own body, he distanced himself from the group.

“I will kill her if you come near, I swear!” he threatened on a tone far from his usual silky calm; with a shared gasp, the rest withdrew. A desperate man was a dangerous one, and a trained policeman like Roman knew it. Still, his arm did not waver; he merely waited for a proper angle to shoot Renard without harming Valentina.

And then, in the tense silence, a voice cried out:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey106.png

“NO!!!!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey107.png

“JASON!”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey108.png

Two gunshots were fired in a heartbeat: startled, Gabriel Renard pushed the trigger almost at the same time as Roman Centowski.

…Moments later, two bodies lay sprawled on the pavement limp as ragdolls…

Jason, in an unpredictable, insanely courageous attempt to help Valentina, had lunged forward and pushed her out of harm’s way, while the bullet intended for her pierced his skull instead. Nearby, Renard had met a similar fate, his lungs shattered by the second blast.

Dark red, sickly blood trickled from the bodies, forming puddles– nobody found the strength to speak, or even move; they simply watched, paralyzed with grief and terror.

shakazulu
31st May 2006, 4:21 PM
good work ghanima, i thought he may be her dad but he isnt a very nice one, what with victors dad herman in lollis story and fayes dad, lol makes orflad look like a dream come true for earth even though he cant fly a spaceship so well.

shakazulu
31st May 2006, 4:25 PM
eek just read that update you must have posted it at the same time i posted that, great story, but what will happen next eek!!

Ghanima Atreides
31st May 2006, 4:54 PM
Aww shakazulu you read my story! :D Thank you, and I'm happy you like it!

Orflad is not a bad parent, he's actually one of the few who understands and supports Earth. But yeah, Faye and Serene's dads are quite a piece of work...there's a good reason Simone never wanted Faye to know her father.

I hope the others will still be able to enjoy this 'darker' chapter. But the story is not over yet!

Lollipop_Girl
31st May 2006, 4:57 PM
Wow! Are they dead? This is such a good story! Renard really is a horrible dad, Just like my Herman lol!

Once again your pics really are amazing! They are all staged so well and the added effects are brilliant! Good work Ghanima!

elerii
31st May 2006, 5:19 PM
This story is so great! I love it. Your pictures are AMAZING!

*~LadyWaterLilly~*
31st May 2006, 5:28 PM
I love this Story. Poor Jason.

Frenchie
31st May 2006, 5:42 PM
Noooooooo Jason's dead ! :'( So he really loved Val, didn't he ? (I love the picture on which he's screaming by the way)

SimplyStella_SC
31st May 2006, 5:46 PM
Oh my, Jason? Bullet? Skull? Omg ._.
He hasn't just a crush on Valentina, then :blink:


Oh, btw, yay..! I translated it right. I didn't figured out in wich way the dock and the factory where related.
This is such a clever story :thumb:

A_SIMS_ADDICT
31st May 2006, 6:38 PM
This is an awesome story!!!! I can't believe i didn't find it sooner!

shakazulu
31st May 2006, 6:46 PM
Orflad is not a bad parent, he's actually one of the few who understands and supports Earth. But yeah, Faye and Serene's dads are quite a piece of work...there's a good reason Simone never wanted Faye to know her father

thats what i meant, orflad must be doing something right lol, its nice to have a good dad of the bunch, hurray orflad, still cant believe jason was shot

gazania
31st May 2006, 7:33 PM
That's a shame about Jason. I wanted to know what his decision turned out to be. I always say to go with the friend .... hey, I married MY friend!

Although ... there have been cases of people who were shot in the skull and survived. There aren't a whole lot, since a bullet can literally mess up your brain. (I won't go into gross details here.) One of the most famous, of course, was James Brady, who was shot during an assasination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. But most people who survive being shot in the head suffer permanent injury, though a very, very, very lucky few regain almost all of their physical and mental functions. It depends exactly where the bullet hit, and I guess we'll find THAT out later. :)

I guess I will just have to wait for the next chapter to find out! :)

P.S. I should also add that it depends on what kind of gun shot Jason, what kind of bullet hit him, etc., but if I go into much more detail, I'm going to sound like a bad version of CSI!

AngelFrouk
31st May 2006, 7:48 PM
Nowhere in the last post it sais that Jason is dead...

shakazulu
31st May 2006, 7:52 PM
i actually really want jason to be okay so he can tell faye his feelings, his mum likes her too so shes off on a good start

GummiBears
31st May 2006, 9:59 PM
wow, excellant updates :D i wonder if simone will let her know that was her birth father.

SpacemanHPSpiff
31st May 2006, 11:25 PM
Amazing update! Aughhh! Thanks for leaving us with a cliff... Now I'll never be able to concentrate on homework! Grrr, if Jason's dead... *cracks knuckles*

All your shots are amazing, as usual, but I must admit, those last five shots made me almost gasp- amazing job well done! They look so realitic, with the setting and poses and what not...

Great job and update soon!

A_SIMS_ADDICT
31st May 2006, 11:31 PM
I agree with Space! Plus, your grafix card is wow ;) hehehehe *slaps computer*
I hope JAson is fine though!

Amazing story! I read it in 45 minutes during class :D! can you tell i'm learning a lot in school?.....
:lol:

Frenchie
31st May 2006, 11:36 PM
Nowhere in the last post it sais that Jason is dead...
He had his skull pierced by a bullet...

BTW : Fun as Orflad manages to appear in that thread :D

~Michelle~_SC
31st May 2006, 11:47 PM
But i don't want hime to die! Grrr....
When you think you know what might happen it dosen't!
It was totally unexpected

Ghanima - you are great at writing and story telling :D

LuteFanBoyNick
31st May 2006, 11:58 PM
TYo Michelle and Frenchie:
Read the second post on this page. Maybe Jason will be lucky.

LadySwig
1st Jun 2006, 8:58 AM
I hope Jason is ok. Great story!

shakazulu
1st Jun 2006, 9:25 AM
in a magazine once i saw a picture of a german soldier that had been shot in the head and literally had his head blown in 2 but he survived, the human body is amazing lets hope the sims body is the same bazzing!!!

dib072776_SC
1st Jun 2006, 11:46 AM
Man I love this story. I am on pins and needles waiting for the next chapter.

Jason can not be died!!! Booo

Ghanima Atreides
1st Jun 2006, 12:09 PM
Wow, people actually debating my story! :) I'm very happy you like it, a darker chapter can go either way with readers...as for what will happen next, you'll find out soon I hope :) Just so you know, there are a good few chapters to come yet, so bear with me!

Shadee: ty for reading! The grafix card is not all that amazing, just a GeForceFX5200. Saving the pics as PNG files helps improve their sharpness though. And, I use a sweet little sharpening filter in Photoshop.

All your shots are amazing, as usual, but I must admit, those last five shots made me almost gasp- amazing job well done! They look so realitic, with the setting and poses and what not...

Hehe thanks very much :) I would've liked them to threaten eachother with guns more realistically, but I couldn't find a way due to the limited maxis animations..plus that gun is weird, it dissapears when you cancel the animation. But I'm glad you think they're realistic, I enjoy setting scenes and taking pics. Tedious, but fun! ^_~

Panique
1st Jun 2006, 3:07 PM
Ghanima, if Jason is dead.. I'm gonna go hide in the corner again. Because I *heart* Jason. He's so schweet ^^

And he should luff Faye. Faye's cool. And me. He should luff me. <3. JASON! DON'T DIE!

Hakuryuu_SC
3rd Jun 2006, 1:16 PM
i really hope you plan on updating soon...

this story is really good im glad i took the time to read it.

Your shots are amazing i just love your sets but please don't make Jason be dead

Ghanima Atreides
4th Jun 2006, 12:14 PM
Thank you, snowpup and Hakuryuu! You won't have to wait too long I expect, the next update should be in today or tomorrow. :)

jingxia
4th Jun 2006, 1:32 PM
Oh wow, what a great story !
You're amazing at building suspense, gosh I've been reading
every chapter with clammy hands without a single break !

I really hope Jason isn't dead. He's cute. But he's mighty dumb
for loving Vale. -shudders- xD GO FOR FAYE. if he'll survive that
is. oh so tragic.

Can't wait for the next chapter !!!

Ghanima Atreides
5th Jun 2006, 10:10 PM
Sorry for the delay guys, but I had some difficult shots to take plus building some new locations, I have 'em all now but I'll write it tomorrow on a clear head. :)

indalu10_SC
5th Jun 2006, 11:10 PM
wow... that was deep...

BetteBob
6th Jun 2006, 5:55 AM
when I saw the picture of Jason screaming "No!" I let out and audible gasp and instantly thought Jason can't die!! oh please don't let him be dead he's supposed to end up with Faye and get married and live happily ever after ... and ... and ... oh I'm such a hopless romantic

Ghanima Atreides
6th Jun 2006, 12:45 PM
Chapter 10 - Every End is a new Begining

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey109.png

Faye hazily remembered being pulled away from the crime scene by two burly paramedics, impervious to her thrashes and screams; she recalled even more vaguely a needle being swiftly jabbed in her arm before the numb blackness of unconsciousness overcame her. When she awoke between crisp white hospital sheets, the characteristic stringent smell stinging her nostrils, the first question to leave her lips had been:

“Where is Jason?”

The nurse ordered her back into the bed, saying she didn’t know and that he was being treated by the best doctors in the hospital. Fuming, Faye complied, and the following hours were spent in tight anxiety and restlessness, when each time a white robed figure walked by she would crane her neck, heart racing, hoping for news.

When hearing of Jason’s unavoidable death, for a long time Faye felt unable to feel…anything at all, as if all that remained of her emotions and sensations had been wrenched out of her. She felt like an empty shell from within, numb; even sounds reached her peripherally, like coming from a badly tuned radio. It wasn’t until she saw his coffin being lowered into the ground that grief unlocked itself in a terrifying tide, washing over her and threatening to swallow her whole.

In her mother’s arm she cried, and cried, until she could cry no more.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey110.png

Valentina Esposito also attended the funeral. She was already being treated for her drugs problem and Faye had held the hope that she would not have to look on her face that day, for she feared she would indeed strangle her right there on Jason’s grave.

“Oh, Faye, I’m s-so s-s-sorry!” Valentina sobbed and threw herself around Faye’s rigid body. “If I hadn’t listened to Eric, if I hadn’t been the c-cokehead that I am…this would never had happened! But I was alone, Faye, I didn’t know what to do, I had a father who abused me and my mother, and was surrounded by all the false friends you warned me about yet I didn’t listen, I didn’t listen…And now he’s gooooone and it’s all my fault, I should’ve been there in that coffin, not him!!!”

“He sacrificed himself for her!” Faye thought, seized by vicious anger, sorrow and jealousy alike, so much it sickened her and she feared she would vomit. Slithering out of Valentina’s arms she ran to a nearby chapel, to be alone.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey111.png

“Will you ever be able to…forgive me?” Valentina asked meekly after staring at her friend’s stone-hard features several tense moments. Faye bit her lip; she would have liked to strike her across the face, and at the same time her resolve was melting; nobody but Gabriel Renard could be blamed for Jason’s death, and she knew it. Guiltily, she wondered whether he would have done the same…had she been in Valentina’s place.

“Did you know…he was my father?” Faye said at last, positively oblivious to her own words. Astonished silence followed.

“What…?”

“My mother told me yesterday. She felt that I deserved to know. I suppose she’s right.”

“Oh God, Faye…I’m so sorry…loosing your best friend and your father the same day…”

“No. I have no father. He’s been dead to me for years. I just wish he would’ve died before he could take Jason to the grave with him.”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey112.png

Gabriel Renard received but a swift ceremony nobody attended; his burial place remained desolate and untended, a lone headstone hidden away amongst growing weeds nobody cared to remove.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey113.png

Two years passed and life took its normal course once again. Faye slowly overcame her sorrow to the point where she could lead a regular life, but the memory of those dreadful events and of Jason lingered with her always. Valentina dutifully followed therapy, and emerged a changed person; she was, at last, able to appreciate real friendship and stopped having contact with most of her old obnoxious acquaintances. Part of her, of course, felt obligated to change for the better, to repay, even if only a small part of it, Jason’s sacrifice. Faye knew, but appreciated her efforts.

When time came for the girls to go to college, they chose La Fiesta Tech, which was the farthest away university from Isla Bonita. Simone protested, as did Valentina’s mother, but the reason behind the decision was obvious enough: they both wanted to be away from that town and all the memories it held.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey114.png

Close to Strangetown, La Fiesta Tech was quite the diverse campus: aliens, vampires, zombies and other races intermingled with humans, something unheard of where Faye and Valentina came from. It took a while getting used to, but by the end of college Faye had struck up a close friendship with a group of girls among which two non-humans were present. Valentina’s tastes in friends were much more human-orientated, but she always showed tolerance for the minorities. Graduation day had been memorable for them all.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey115.png

After much deliberation, Faye and Valentina remained in Strangetown. They had more ties there than back home, and a new environment free of the ghosts of the past…or so they thought.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey116.png

They were happy again, just the two of them. They rented a small condo together, hopeful about the future which, at last, seemed bright, untainted by painful memories.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey117.png

But still, even after those six years, late at night when her friend slept and she lay awake in the darkness of her room, Faye remembered his face...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope I haven't dissapointed some of you with this episode, but life is not always pretty, also this is NOT the end, much more will happen so please bear with me...

Also to sweeten the sad episode, here's a bonus for my readers. Faye's yearbook:

http://img118.imageshack.us/img118/1766/yearbook8gq.th.jpg (http://img118.imageshack.us/my.php?image=yearbook8gq.jpg)

~~Click to resize for full version~~ You should recognize some known characters there too ^_~

Enjoy the story! xxx

Frenchie
6th Jun 2006, 2:06 PM
Ghanima, I haven't clicked on the picture yet, but on the grad picture, I saw a green girl with shades :)

And I can see a blonge girl with very messy hair too :D Thanks

That update was interesting and triggered many emotions of mine. I feel sorry for Faye. Poor Jason.

SimplyStella_SC
6th Jun 2006, 2:10 PM
This chapter was really touching, Ghanima, it made me cry ;'(
I think Faye is lucky if she remember Jason after six years. I had a schoolfriend who died when we all were fourteen. And sometimes I just don't remember his face, and that's even more painful.

Oh, I wish you could have talked more about the college years, but I guess you made it with a reason ;)
The yearbook looks nice and so does Faye' new friend :)

Panique
6th Jun 2006, 2:14 PM
:cry::cry::cry: JAAAASSSSOOOONNNNN!!!! :cry::cry::cry:

I can't believe Jason died :( Not fair! He was too sweet to go... and how much more of the story is there? Any hint of any resurrections...? Jason would suck as a zombie so don't. Also that wouldn't really go with the theme...

But I'm itching to find out what happens next! ITCHING!

Frenchie
6th Jun 2006, 2:18 PM
... and how much more of the story is there? Any hint of any resurrections...? Jason would suck as a zombie so don't. Also that wouldn't really go with the theme...I'm sure Ghanima will find a way to amaze us again ;) The story's not over yet, I'm dying (no pun intended !!) to know how Vale and Faye will get used to Stragetown and its... strange population.

And the yearbook really sweetened to episode, to me at least. Just wait till Lolli sees that :)

Ghanima Atreides
6th Jun 2006, 2:20 PM
Thanks guys, I'm glad you didn't think it sucked. I expect about just as many chapters to be left (long story, yeah). I won't say more though, just wait and see :)

Stella: that sucks, I'm sorry, must've been tough :( I doubt Faye can actually forget Jason though...he meant too much to her.

I'm gonna do a short recap of important events that happened in college, those that affect the present that is. Btw the girl living with Faye is Valentina :) lol

French: hehe, I'm glad you liked it, it was especially aimed at you and Lolli and the fans if your stories - it should also give a teeeny hint about future events. ;)

gazania
6th Jun 2006, 5:40 PM
Hmmm ... I'm not sure what to write.

On the one hand, Jason jumping out of bed and everyone living happily ever after is extremely unrealistic. The chances of that happening in real life are almost totally nil. You might have one or two survivors wind up that way (I actually read of one such case), but one or two out of how many? No, that wouldn't have worked at all.

On the other hand, like many here, I grew to like the character Jason. You really fleshed out that character very well. I would have wanted to find out more about him and his future.

Resurrection ... well ... maaaaaybe ... but, like SimFreak, i don't think that could flow with the storyline. However, I could be very wrong. A ghost might be another idea, but that would probably be just as awkward as a resurrection.

I GUESS I would have gone the cheesier route and made him partially paralyzed or partially blind, which is what has actually happened to some survivors who were shot in the head. Mr. Brady (the man who was shot during that assasination attempt on Reagan) is paralyzed on one side. It's a good thing I'm not writing this story! :)

You have a vision ... an idea of where your characters are going and what they are thinking ... and we will just have to see where that all takes us. I'll be looking forward to see just what will be going on in the future. :)

Frenchie
6th Jun 2006, 5:45 PM
I'll be looking forward to see just what will be going on in the future. :)I smell cameos. I don't know why... :D

LuteFanBoyNick
6th Jun 2006, 5:55 PM
I'd find it interesting if one of the two took a job in the phychic career and reseruct Jason. They could give enough money to make him human, right?

indalu10_SC
6th Jun 2006, 9:32 PM
i miss Jason.
but that was a good chapter though.
you`re really gifted. i wonder whose face she remembers. it could be one of two people...

~Michelle~_SC
6th Jun 2006, 9:58 PM
I luff you ghanima, you make fantastic reading.

Am really upset jason has gone :( but i love it still :D

Lollipop_Girl
6th Jun 2006, 10:17 PM
I knew poor Jason wouldnt make it, well I agree with you..life isnt always pretty. This update was really good, the funeral was very moving, and as usual your pictures were great! Keep it up Ghanima I love this story!

And BTW...I noticed some familiar faces in the college yearbook pic...You included my Serene and Martha! Wow thats so cool! And Earth is there too, which is also awesome! :D

Ghanima Atreides
6th Jun 2006, 10:27 PM
Thanks again for the encouraging comments. The next part of the story might seem different (In a way) to you, but I hope just as enjoyable. :)

Lolli: yep, they all attended La Fiesta Tech together and since it's Strangetown...:D

Btw take a look here (http://www.sims2community.com/showthread.php?p=431054#post431054) :P lol

Alicia Jewel
6th Jun 2006, 11:39 PM
Wow. This story is just... WOW! Pure amazement! I was hooked from the first chapter! It's too bad Jason died, though.

Kalorii
7th Jun 2006, 4:14 AM
:cry: :cry:

Poor Jason... I've been a longtime lurker on this story and I have to say you do awesome work, Ghanima Atreides. :bow: I'm really looking forward to what else you have in store for this story. :music:

richdude_SC
7th Jun 2006, 6:33 AM
NOOOOOOOOOOO! Not Jason! But anyways, great chapter. Pics still rock!

P.S. The yearbook was cool.

shakazulu
7th Jun 2006, 11:30 AM
and there was me thinking maybe just maybe faye would have been pregnant with jasons baby, great update ghanima as always.

PageofCoins_SC
7th Jun 2006, 3:33 PM
This is a great story. Jason isn't a vampire is he? Maybe... Oh well. I guess that's not very likely. But I love your characters and your pictures.

SpacemanHPSpiff
7th Jun 2006, 6:33 PM
Wonderful chapter! I can't believe I didn't see it before. Only now I really miss Jason... *weeps* :( He was a great character. I agree with gazania- you fleshed him out wonderfully! I miss him, but understand why you had to kill him off... *grumbles*

I like that they went to La Fiesta Tech, and that Vale is being a normal/good person again. ;) I'm interested to see the snippets of their college years you said you'd provide...

Yay for the year book! I love these cameos/mentons of other people (nice job for Lolli and French for making such great sims!)

And GREAT job to Ghanima, with your wonderful chapter and wonderful characters! :D

Ghanima Atreides
7th Jun 2006, 7:14 PM
and there was me thinking maybe just maybe faye would have been pregnant with jasons baby, great update ghanima as always.

I've done the whole teenage pregnancy thing in an earlier story, so I didn't want to repeat myself. :)

In fact, you guys being so supportive and nice inspired me to already take the next chapter pics! :beer: so, tomorrow or so I'll write it! ^^

Hakuryuu_SC
8th Jun 2006, 9:13 AM
i just finished reading the new chapter Ghanima, and although im sad that Jason died (he really was a great character) it was the better option and had a deeper impact and depth than keeping him alive. It would have been unrealistic if he had lived.

great story Ghanima you've managed to keep the story interesting from the first chapter, can't wait for the next one :)

Ghanima Atreides
8th Jun 2006, 4:59 PM
Here it is guys, chapter 11 sooner than I had anticipated! I went picture-crazy with this one but it was great fun, I hope you'll like it, and keep an eye out for cameos and references...^_~ Those who've read French_Sim's and Lollipop_Girl's stories will understand them best, so get out there and reaad them! ^^

Without further ado...

-----------

Chapter Eleven - Of spatulas and other oddities

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey118.jpg

“Tomorrow is the big day, isn’t it?”

“Yeah…yeah, it is..” Faye answered absent-mindedly, nibbling on the edge of her sandwich. She had no appetite at all, and for days had been unable to lay her mind at rest: “Spatula Miniøns” first “official” gig was planned for the following evening, at last a signed band with a contract and a first album in the works. It had been exhilarating and exhausting at the same time, and while the last hours before the big performance slipped away one by one, Faye experienced serious anxiety.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey119.jpg

It all started some three and a half years before, in college.

Valentina had chosen a Show Business major with ambitions of modelling and acting filling her head; not unlike her highschool days, she soon developed a large group of aquaintances and several ex-boyfriends by the time she was a Sophomore, and her eventual appointment as Captain of the Llamas Cheerleading Team came as no surprise to anyone.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey120.jpg

Over the following semesters, she dabbled into modelling and found that it suited her, at first competing for local pageants in hope of being “discovered”. Perhaps the happiest moment of Valentina’s college years had been when hearing that a semi-known fashion magazine was interested in hiring her for a couple of shots. That went well and her name appeared, for the first time, public, but competition was vicious and her career needed several more boosts before it could take off.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey121.jpg

Faye, on the other hand, lead quite a different college life. From her first weeks in La Fiesta Tech she had been drawn to – nay, fascinated – with the diversity the campus provided, race-wise: aliens from all the corners of the Universe, vampires and zombies, not to mention all the unusual characters that seemed to gravitate around this remote desert community, Strangetown. To Faye that proved an incentive to find out more about them, get to know them if she could – and so, when the opportunity arrived she rented a small student home along with three other girls from her year: Earth Neebtadrizk, who as the name suggested had been born and raised an Earthling but her family came from the distant planet Xk'krylg'hnreblv, Serene Raiden, a reluctant vampire striving to cure her ‘condition’ and Martha Peel, who would have liked nothing more than to join the ranks of the undead. Together with Faye they seemed an odd bunch and unlikely friends but truth proved quite different: they soon became inseparable.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey122.jpg

One of the things that connected all these young women was music: they all had similar tastes and some knowledge of playing various instruments, which they studied avidly in college under their professors’ tutelage. Faye had never forgotten hers and Jason’s old dream of forming a band and in his memory the four friends decided to realize their common ambition under the bizarre yet catchy name of Spatula Miniøns. They started small, doing covers of known songs in the college Auditorium until they began composing their own music, discovering that people enjoyed to see them perform and each time the crowd of fans thickened.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey123.jpg

That night, Faye tossed and turned in her bed for hours, staring annoyedly at the ceiling; just when she needed to rest most, sleep was unwilling to comply. Eventually, after purposely locking out all thought from her mind she drifted into slumber, only to be awakened with a start in the dead of night.

She had had a most curious dream, but the more she tried to recall it, the quicker it slipped away, leaving her chilled to the bone and unsettled. She was certain it had, somehow, involved Jason, and her inability to remember how frustrated her to the point where she was about to turn on the lights and read a few pages.
Deciding against it, Faye curled up beneath the cover and closed her eyes, but a strange whispered sound kept buzzing in her ears – it resembled the wind on a stormy day, whistling through beneath a door yet not a branch moved outside, and she and Valentina never left windows open at night, for they were wide enough for burglars to climb inside.

Through lowered eyelids, Faye had a fuzzy view of her room, dark save for a shimmering pool of light which seemed to have its source, somewhere, in the corridor around the corner.
The young woman shut her eyes tightly and tried to ignore the light and the hissing draft but, as often happened when one’s mind was focused on something, she found no rest.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey124.jpg

After several minutes in which her annoyance increased, Faye pushed aside the blankets and, barefooted, walked towards the corridor where even as she approached, the spark of light was dwindling. She found only darkness and not even a cracked window – was she loosing her mind, or had she dreamed it all? But no, there was something else left, milky white mist floated in midair and quickly dissolved. Mist, inside the house, on a perfectly clear night?

Disquiet siezed Faye and a shiver passed through her body; there was an odd sensation in that room, something almost palpable which escaped her reasoning.

Ghanima Atreides
8th Jun 2006, 4:59 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey125.jpg

Faye kept that night’s strange happenings to herself and soon put it out of her mind entirely, attributing the light to something obvious as the moon shining through a passing cloud and the draft to one of the windows which was known to remain slightly cracked if not given a hearty push. Besides, a busy day was ahead and she had no time to dwell on it.

Arriving in front of the club where they were going to perform, the Spatula Miniøns were greeted by a crowd of cheering fans. The girls waved happily, already feeling the familiar rush of adrenaline mixed with supreme delight at doing what they liked most: make music, entertain their public.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey126.jpg

Before long, the show began and the crowd positively rocked the walls of the establishment. Having been described as anything ranging from “refreshingly different” to “downright out of this world”, the Spatula Miniøns attracted a rather diverse and alternative group of fans, partly because the group contained two non-human members, quite unique in music history. It was something which primarily distinguished them from other girl bands.

With the first accords of their hit single, “Grapefruit Moron Sausage”, there came a mighty, approving roar from the fans – it was a song which subtly satirized certain prejudices humans had toward other species living amongst them more or less by choice, and the girls were extremely pleased to hear the others sing along with them on the chorus:

“…Grapefruit moron sausage,
I bet you’d say it too
Stuck on a distant planet
Like I’m stuck with you…”


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey127.jpg

Some of the most dedicated fans even wore custom T-shirts with the group’s faces and names printed on.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey128.jpg

The gig over and the crowd having retreated to nearing bars and clubs for the rest of the evening, Earth, Serene, Faye and Martha proceeded to gathering their equipment, aglow with the recent success. They were also very tired, and while the other three sat around the bar for a few drinks, Faye strolled outdoors to relax.

Watered and mowed regularly, the ground was covered in lush green grass and a multitude of plantlife grew all around, something hard to come by in Strangetown, a dry, unfertile place. Faye enjoyed the mild, freshly scented breeze, reminding her of Isla Bonita and its beautiful landscapes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey129.jpg

And then, suddenly, she saw it again.

A soft white shimmer flickered beyond a cluster of trees and branches, not far away. Faye’s heart summersaulted, remembering the previous night and the similarly odd light that seemed to come out of nowhere. Cautiously she stood up, approaching…

“Hello?…” she called out.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Ghanima/Sims/Stories/Shades%20of%20Grey/grey130.jpg

When she was half way across the grove, a different sound caught her attention: a twig snapping dryly beneath someone’s foot. Startled, Faye let out an audible gasp froze on spot, turning around, slowly….

LuteFanBoyNick
8th Jun 2006, 5:25 PM
Wow, very nice. Keep up the good work!

PennyTheCorgi
8th Jun 2006, 5:29 PM
Eep, don't stop now! I have to know who's behind faye!

Lollipop_Girl
8th Jun 2006, 5:37 PM
:) This is a really great update, hehe I love that the Spatula Minions hit song is titled "Grapefruit Moron Sausage". Well this cheered me up a little from some worries of mine, :) keep up the good work.

Frenchie
8th Jun 2006, 5:38 PM
Strange phenomena... but Faye's in Strangetown, so she should expect weird things to happen. Maybe it's a ghost ? Jason's ? But ghosts don't make such noises. I feel puzzled.

I'm happy about the cameos and the Grapefruit Moron Sausage reference :) I think Earth would be likely to take part in the writing of songs like that one.

Oh and... where can we download these fan shirts ? Are you going to upload them to MTS2 ?

I can't wait for the next update :)

shakazulu
8th Jun 2006, 5:45 PM
wtg ghanima, great update but who is in the woods, talk about a cliffhanger lol

gazania
8th Jun 2006, 5:47 PM
Way-ell, SimFreak had brought up the idea of a zombie a while back, so perhaps Jason is a zombie?

But if so, then why the mist and the light? I admit to being behind on my zombie FAQs, but that's not consistent with a zombie's appearance, as far as I know.

As The French Sim indicated, this IS Strangetown. I guess we'll still have to wait and see. :)

~Michelle~_SC
8th Jun 2006, 5:53 PM
''Grapefruit Moron Sausage'' Oh i love the name! and Spatula Minions :D had awesum band members :P

Talk about a cliffhanger! I wanna know whos in the woods!! Am sure we all do :P

Good job again!!!

Ghanima Atreides
8th Jun 2006, 5:54 PM
Whee, thanks so much everyone! I worked on this chapter harder than on most of the others in the hope of making it intriguing and enjoyable, a relief after the sadness of the last one. Ah yes, and thank you to French Sim and Lollipop Girl for allowing me to use their great characters as well!

Lolli, I hope you're ok and what worries you gets solved quickly, I'm glad you and Frenchy liked my GMS reference, I guessed the girls' music would be non-human acceptance-orientated, at least some of it.

As for the light and mist, you'll just have to wait and see, as well as the mysterious personage behind Faye. :D

And the fanshirts, I am going to share them privately if anyone likes a copy PM me. :)

--------------------

Edit: OMG I just realized this got featured, wow, thank you very much! :lovestruc

NCAngel76_SC
9th Jun 2006, 1:35 AM
Another FAN-freakin-TASTIC chapter!!!! You've got me at the edge of my seat once again!!! Just please don't kill anyone off just yet LOL

SpacemanHPSpiff
9th Jun 2006, 3:12 AM
Haha, all these French and Lolli refrences keep me laughing... :D Wicked band, and with the bands name!

Wonderful chapter, it's nice to see Faye have a basically good college life. But did you have to not explain the whole night scene and leave us at a cliff?!?! *screams with frustration* ;)

Fantastic as always!

ChloroformxCandy
9th Jun 2006, 3:17 AM
Awesome story. Can't wait for the next update.

Kalorii
9th Jun 2006, 3:38 AM
Yet another awesome chapter. You kick some serious butt with your writing, Ghanima :valentine

Now to wait impatiently for the next chapter. :mob

professional loser
9th Jun 2006, 4:55 AM
Jason died! *cries* But if it was necessary for the story...I suppose I can forgive you ;)
Hehe, I love the Spatula Minions :D They sound like my kind of band.

Hakuryuu_SC
9th Jun 2006, 8:01 AM
Ghanima i really do love your story you have such good writing skills and your pictures are always interesting.

The last two chapters were good and i agree that they helped kind of make the story a little less sad after Jason's death.

Could the mist be a ghost maybe? that is the only thing i can think of that would really explain it

Panique
9th Jun 2006, 8:11 AM
♪ GRAPEFRUIT MORON SAUSAGE! ♪

Was I the only one who got an image of the Neeb... the Neebazt... Earth's family in those lyrics?

And awesome writing as always. OMG I LOVE IT!!11 ONE ELEVENTY ONE. xD...

...

*not psychotic* ;)

Tixi
9th Jun 2006, 8:40 AM
Ah its Jason!!

indalu10_SC
9th Jun 2006, 11:57 PM
oooh!!!!
it might be Jason!!!!
you know, it is Strangetown, so anything can happen!

Jacki_SC
10th Jun 2006, 1:16 AM
I wonder if it is Jason... but that might be too, obvious, if you get me... hmmm I am trying really hard to come up with a solution!

gazania
10th Jun 2006, 3:16 AM
Well, I'd like to think it's Jason, but in what form is a good question.

I was just re-reading the first few pages of the story, and saw this line:

"Here is my newest story, about the unlikely friendship between three very different people, which started in their childhood and, after a bumpy ride, it survived into adulthood. "

This IS a story about three people who knew each other since childhood (so no college friends are among the three), and somewhere along the line they all become adults. I took it that the three people are Faye, Valentina and Jason. And we DID see a bumpy ride ... I would think that being shot in the skull would be classified as a bumpy ride! :)

Of course, one can argue that true friendship never dies. Whether Jason lives in any form or not is of no circumstance.

Ghanima Atreides
10th Jun 2006, 11:25 AM
It's really cool when people post what they think its going to happen! :) Nice find, gazania. :nod:
I'll update in a couple of days; chapter 12 is probably gonna be longer than most, so I need time to organize pics and such.

As always, thank you for your comments and feedback!

grape_merchant_001
10th Jun 2006, 2:52 PM
Of corse its Jason, its a great story your doing well with it! Keep it up!

Panique
11th Jun 2006, 3:44 AM
This IS a story about three people who knew each other since childhood (so no college friends are among the three), and somewhere along the line they all become adults. I took it that the three people are Faye, Valentina and Jason. And we DID see a bumpy ride ... I would think that being shot in the skull would be classified as a bumpy ride!

Of course, one can argue that true friendship never dies. Whether Jason lives in any form or not is of no circumstance.Ghanima, any words on this? COME ON! SHED SOME LIGHT!

Ghanima Atreides
11th Jun 2006, 10:42 AM
:lol: More shall be revealed in the next chapters ;) Would spoil the fun if I just told the secret now. Unpredictability adds its flavor (I think?) to a story...

xXharp_babyXx
12th Jun 2006, 3:14 AM
Ah, i love this story!!! I can't wait for the next chapter... can we get any secrets about what's behind Faye?? :)

Edit: :smash: Can I just ask why the conversation stopped after I posted? :smash: lmao I always do that!! :weep: :lol:

A_SIMS_ADDICT
14th Jun 2006, 10:23 PM
Alright, I'm back on track!

It has to be JAson ( DUn dun dunnnnnn)

And love the name of the band! Very clever :lol:
This story rocks Ghanima! :bow:

JayBleu02
15th Jun 2006, 12:56 PM
I love this story.
This is the reason why I started reading Sim stories.
I remember finding this and getting attached. I got so sad about Jason...I'm such a loser.
Post more!

Ghanima Atreides
15th Jun 2006, 1:24 PM
Hey, I'm flattered :) I'm happy you guys like it, in fact, the next update is on its way! I got the pics, just need to edit them and write the actual story...LOL ;) But I hope I can do all that today.

elerii
15th Jun 2006, 4:54 PM
I love your story. Your pictures are amazing too! You deserved that star. =D

Ghanima Atreides
15th Jun 2006, 5:50 PM
Chapter Twelve - Gone, but not Forgotten

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“Christ! You scared the he11 outta me! What are you doing, sneaking behind people like that?!” Faye demanded as she pressed her chest, where her heart pounded audibly. Annoyed, she squinted her eyes through the darkness of the grove for a better look of this impromptu visitor.

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“I apologize. I did not mean to startle you. You were having a mystical encounter and I did not wish to disturb.”

Sound died in Faye’s throat, she needed several seconds in order to overcome her surprise at hearing these words, spoken in a deep, quiet and heavily accented tone. The stranger’s shape loomed in the dimness, faintly outlined by the distant shimmer of a street lamp; he looked young and wore attire uncommon even for those who enjoyed the Miniøns’ music: in fact, he looked, and sounded distinctly foreign.

“You seem troubled”, he continued, interpreting Faye’s silence correctly. “Unless I am mistaken, you do not yet realize what has passed between the folds of the Umbra and the physical world we dwell in, only moments earlier.”

“What are you, some kind of psychic?” snapped Faye, who did not like the tone of his voice or the bizarre path the conversation was taking, but the stranger only smiled: a furtive, distant smile.

“You could say that,” he replied at last. “I prefer the term Seer.”

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That was too much for Faye. She took several cautious steps back and wrapped her arms around her body; all of a sudden the night air seemed so much chillier. She peered at him with unveiled suspicion and scorn; undoubtedly he was pulling her leg, or was crazy. Stalkerish weirdos always seemed to rove around celebrities, but they were but a small group on their first gig. So, what gave?

Decidedly, Faye disliked his presence - she wished he would get these niceties over with, take offence and leave her alone, but the man simply bowed respectfully.

“I shall not bother you anymore, Miss Faye. It was not yet our time to meet; it was wrong of me to force it. But we shall see eachother again. For now, I bid you good night – and by the way, I enjoyed your concert.”

“Err…thanks.”

Faye gaped at his turned back while his footsteps faded into silence, not even bothering to ask how he knew her name. She sighed; what a perfectly queer way of ending a queer day.

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Over the following weeks, things however turned for the worse; unexplainable things became a common event at Faye and Valentina’s apartment, although only the former ever seemed to take notice. At first, small things: toilets flushing over and over again in the night, empty bathtubs found mysteriously full of dirty water in the morning, doors and windows slamming even on entirely windless nights…determined to believe her imagination was playing tricks on her, Faye kept attempting to find reasonable explanations even when there were none, and the fact that her roommate never seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary, when she did all the time, was becoming increasingly worrying; was she perhaps, loosing her mind?

Then, one day, the pattern shifted; Faye’s belongings began disappearing from their places and turning up randomly around the house more and more often until it became impossible to ignore any longer. Exasperated, the young woman decided to bring the matter to Valentina.

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“Umm Vale,” she asked one bright autumn morning, “have you by any chance taken my sewing kit and left in on the lounge floor?”

Valentina stared at her in silence then shook her head lightly.

“Faye, remember the first rule of sharing an apartment: don’t misplace your roommate’s things, because you’ll be the first person they blame. You know I always ask first.”

That much was true, and it did not improve Faye’s state of mind. With a deep sigh she slumped in a chair and rested her aching forehead on her palms; despite having just woken up, she felt exhausted.

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Valentina knew her friend was being plagued by some secret worry she never cared to share, but this time she was determined to coerce it out of her, so when Faye stood up to leave, she followed.

“Faye, what’s wrong? Why won’t you tell me?”

“Nothing…nothing, I’m just tired. The girls and I had a tough recording session yesterday.”

That was exactly what Valentina was waiting for.

“You work too much and rest too little.”

Winking playfully she dashed over to the kitchen, from where she emerged with two envelopes in her hand and waved them under Faye’s nose.

“You know what these are? Invitations to one of the biggest social events in town! Everyone who is someone will be there next Sunday. Will you come with me? It will be so much fun! Come on, say yes!”

“Vale, you know I hate fancy dress parties.” Faye countered, but her friend would not hear it.

“Oh go on, how long has it been since we’ve done anything together? It’s always you and the band and your alien friends…”

Faye couldn’t stop herself from giggling.

“Gosh, Vale, you’d think we were married or something.”

“Sorry darling, my experimenting days are over. But if you come with me to the party, I can introduce you to this guy: his name is Dave, he’s 6 ft tall and has dark hair, wonderfully large green eyes and an even larger…”

Valentina stopped to laugh at the sour grimace spreading all over Faye’s face.

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“Eww, is that all you ever think of?!”

“You know, if you had a man warming your bed at night perhaps you’d sleep better and wouldn’t wake up all the time hearing toilets flushing, if you catch my drift.”

“My bed is just fine as it is, thank you very much. Unlike you, Vale, I can be perfectly happy without a man in my life.”

“But are you happy? Faye, you’re heading straight for a nervous breakdown, the way things are going now. You drain yourself working and shut out anyone who might try to pierce that wall you have built around yourself. It has been like this too long, in fact, ever since Jas…”

“I don’t want to talk about that!”

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“All right, all right! But just do this for your oldest friend, this once? Come to the party with me.”

Faye sighed; perhaps Valentina had a point. She had nothing planned for the weekend, maybe this was a good opportunity to spend some time away from it all and forget her troubles.

“Okay, I’ll go. Sheesh!”

Ghanima Atreides
15th Jun 2006, 5:51 PM
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Over the following two days, nothing out of the ordinary disturbed Faye, for which she felt relieved the first time in what felt like months. Saturday night, however, she was awakened in the middle of the night again…by the sound of insects’ buzzing.

Wondering where it could be coming from, the young woman rubbed her sleepy eyes and reached for the lamp at her side, but she was forced to stop and wave away several flies harassing her. Flies? What the...?

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Yet nothing could have prepared her for what she saw next: the several few flies became several millions, gathered together in one enormous black swarm, so dense it appeared almost solid, uncouth , ever shifting, gravitating menacingly in midair. Faye’s screams pierced the silence as she stumbled backwards away from it, taking the bedside lamp with her crashing loudly against the stone floor. Light flickered and died out. She was paralyzed with fear.

With an even louder crash, one of the windows was suddenly flung against the wall, shattered in a billion pieces all over the room. Quivering as if with sudden frustration, the swarm hesitated momentarily, then flew out and vanished in the darkness of Strangetown.

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“Faye! Faye, what happened?!”

Valentina’s bewildered voice intermingled with Faye’s fitful sobbing; several minutes passed until the latter was able to tell the peculiar tale of the recent events, face buried in hands, tears streaming down her pallid face. Only a few insects were left of the supposed menacing swarm she described in vivid detail, and a feeling of utmost dread towards Faye’s mental health seized Valentina.

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” she whispered, rocking the sobbing woman as gently as she would a child. “You must’ve been dreaming, then the window broke…I can never lock the damn thing. There are some leftovers from dinner in the kitchen, it must’ve attracted those flies…”

Faye nodded and dried her eyes, but in reality, she felt no better. No dinner leftovers could have possibly attracted the millions she’d seen before her very eyes, but she said no more to her friend.

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The following evening, Faye was almost grateful to leave the house, even though it meant digging out one of the few elegant dresses she owned, washing off the bright red spray from her hair and styling it neatly. Valentina, on the other hand, relished the preparations and fussed around her, insisting on being the one to apply her makeup. Several hours later, the two arrived in front of their destination: it was a private uptown club, the exclusive hangout of Strangetown’s richest and most influential inhabitants. Several of Valentina’s friends and acquaintances rushed to welcome them.

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Despite having little in common with the people gathered there, Faye did her best to enjoy the party. Since she ignored the looks certain women cast at her gothic-style gown, the several silver loops glistening in her ears or the nose stud she had refused to remove, and it was entertaining enough. At least, she was out of that apartment she was beginning to dread; perhaps they should sell it and move out?…

Valentina proved an unreliable party companion; as soon as a friend of hers introduced her to a good looking young man, flirting commenced and Faye was forced to look for recreation elsewhere.

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A few glasses of wine later, she felt herself flush in the airless room and choke on the smell of cologne which practically wafted from some of the guests; a breath of fresh night air was in order. As such, Faye stepped out onto the quiet, unoccupied terrace, from where she could encompass all of Strangetown within her view range. It was a clear night, the crescent moon shining down softly from the star studded heavens above.

As she stood there, Faye felt the wind scraping sharper and sharper against her skin; it wheezed and whistled in her ears, blowing her hair back; suddenly cold, she shivered and turned to leave…

…and then…

There came a deathly cold gust swirling around her, engulfing her whole, and the stars, moon, even the sounds coming from the party were blotted out. Only darkness. Darkness, and cold, and numbness, which chilled her to the marrow, drowned her mind in icy terror. Faye gasped for air in a desperate attempt to hold on to her wits but a sickening feeling descended abruptly in her stomach, dizzying and weakening, draining the very life from her veins. Half-conscious she saw…something through the ominous darkness descending from the sky, the faded shape of what resembled a hooded figure, pitch black, immaterial, faceless, save for two shimmering red eyes. Eyes, or just two blood red stars in the sky…? Was it real, or was she caught in that dreadful fugue again when she could no longer tell reality from dream?

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Slowly, Faye succumbed to the overpowering sensation of debility and lack of oxygen sapping her lungs and her mind and her very soul…

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PennyTheCorgi
15th Jun 2006, 6:00 PM
OMG! what an update! great job Ghanima Atreides, I'm gonna have a hard time waiting for the next one.

NCAngel76_SC
15th Jun 2006, 6:22 PM
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You even had me scared of the flies!!!!!! Can't wait for the next chapter!!!!! GREATTTTTTTTTT JOB!!!

Kalorii
15th Jun 2006, 6:42 PM
You write so well, Ghanima. I'm jealous. :hide: I can't wait to read the next chapter!

gazania
15th Jun 2006, 6:54 PM
At first, I was hoping that the mist and other supernatural occurences were Jason trying to contact Faye. Now I'm hoping that it ISN'T Jason. Flies? Moved things? Enveloping gusts? If this is Jason, he's acquired a rather nasty disposition! :)

shakazulu
15th Jun 2006, 7:07 PM
i thought it was jason at first, but then the flies and the evil face in the sky, hmmmmm, this was the absolute best so far if its possible to say that. bravo :)

~Michelle~_SC
15th Jun 2006, 7:27 PM
It was so quite reading that, someone sigined into msn and it scared the H*ll outta me. Its so amazing and it's getting scary, the black misty cloud!! Woah. I think i need to calm down. Have you ever thought of writing a actuall story, i think you would be really good at it! I seriously love your story and now i'm sitting at the end of a cliff waiting for the log to walk across :P

I forgot to say that you really deserve that star so wear it with pride!

Ghanima Atreides
15th Jun 2006, 7:54 PM
Thank you everyone!!! I was so anxious to write this and post it as I knew how everyone was sure it was Jason...:D all I'm able to say atm is that nothing is certain! hehe

This was also one of the most difficult to write chapters yet. Thanks for the comments, and that you think I deserve the star (Michelle). It is very fulfilling writing this story and I've enjoyed it thoroughly, so much it ended up being at least twice as long as I had innitially planned lol.

LuteFanBoyNick
15th Jun 2006, 8:11 PM
WHAT HAPPENED! At least wek now she isn't deead, she just passed out.

A_SIMS_ADDICT
15th Jun 2006, 8:24 PM
HOLY!!!! Amazing update Ghanima!!
:jaw:

Ghanima Atreides
15th Jun 2006, 8:32 PM
WHAT HAPPENED! At least wek now she isn't deead, she just passed out.

I never specified whether she was or not. ;) But I wouldn't kill the main character...would I?... :err: :evil:

~Michelle~_SC
15th Jun 2006, 8:34 PM
Evil!!! Ghanima!!!! Evil!!!! Now everyone will be saying 'I hope faye's not dead' :P Faye can't die can she.....

Oh and btw Faye will be making several apperancecs in my story :P Just beacuse Faye is so cool!

shakazulu
15th Jun 2006, 8:34 PM
surely not then again after jason, who knows cos he was fairly important i cant believe faye would be killed, eek <~~~ shuddersbtw ghanima how do you update your thread title everytime you post a new chapter :)

Vinhou
15th Jun 2006, 8:41 PM
Ooh what a great update! It's VERY exciting! I will be waiting with great anticipation for another! :D

~Michelle~_SC
15th Jun 2006, 8:44 PM
surely not then again after jason, who knows cos he was fairly important i cant believe faye would be killed, eek <~~~ shuddersbtw ghanima how do you update your thread title everytime you post a new chapter :)

Just edit the first post :P [oh i know i'm not ghanima]

Ghanima Atreides
15th Jun 2006, 8:48 PM
Thanks Michelle :) Yep, she's right lol!


Evil!!! Ghanima!!!! Evil!!!! Now everyone will be saying 'I hope faye's not dead' Faye can't die can she.....

I know, I'm sorry, but I couldn't help it, I looove cliffhangers :p

As for Faye making an appearance in your story, I'd love to! :) I feel honoured when people want to use my charries in their stories.

Minx_SC
15th Jun 2006, 9:52 PM
WOW! Best yet! Cant wait to see what happens

Blankmixtape_SC
15th Jun 2006, 10:13 PM
I just began to read your story today, so far I've really liked it.. you did a great job. =)

beeps
15th Jun 2006, 11:06 PM
Oh jeez... What a cliffhanger! Please post more soon!

boolPropped

The Pink Power Ranger
15th Jun 2006, 11:14 PM
aww. now i miss jason. :/ but seriously. i'm scared now!

SpacemanHPSpiff
16th Jun 2006, 12:30 AM
Ahhhhh! Amazing chapter! Grrr, first Jason, now... No! Surely not! You would never do that... Right? *whimpers*

Wow, your pictures are fantastic as always (what a gloomy quality they have, though!), and you still manage to keep your writing style fresh and exciting! And cliffish... *screams*

Update soon, please! For eveyone's sake! Because who here isn't jumping out of their skin? :P

Sta_r_obin
16th Jun 2006, 1:11 AM
This is most definitely the best story I've seen on here yet. Your pictures are just gorgeous and your writing is even better.

You've won yourself another fan.

I can't wait for more, and at the same time I'm dreading. I'm convinced that's a good thing.

JayBleu02
16th Jun 2006, 2:12 AM
Ah!
Post more soon!

professional loser
16th Jun 2006, 5:14 AM
Ooh...cliffhanger! Is it her dad haunting her?

A_SIMS_ADDICT
16th Jun 2006, 5:18 AM
her dad! I never thought of that! I always thought it was Jason!....
Hmmm, this calls for attention.....
GHanima...you are evil... how could you leave us hanging like this? :lol:

gazania
16th Jun 2006, 7:09 AM
Faye's dad? Interesting idea.

Or are there TWO spirits? One's a bit more playful (Jason/white mist/moving things), and one is evil (Dad/black cloud/flies). And both will fight over Faye.

I hope we don't wait too long to find out! :)

Panique
16th Jun 2006, 7:21 AM
Oh my gosh!! Argh! *tears hair out* :jaw: FAAAYYYEEE!! You *gasp* WOULDN'T kill two innocent main characters... would you?!?!?!

And, *whimper*, is it just me or did that cloud look like DEATH?!?!!?!?!?!? [ie Grim Reaper]

A_SIMS_ADDICT
16th Jun 2006, 7:23 AM
*crosses fingers* please! don't die faye!!

hotrod50s_SC
16th Jun 2006, 8:34 AM
ok everytime i think i have found the best story i find another lol.as all great writers do using the cliff hangers and keep them wanting more.i really love the mix with lolli's and french's sims into the story.

oh the pics and custom content are beyond awesome and your editing of the pics are amazing.the year boook was a great task lol never even thought about one of those.

the grad pic really threw me looks like it was actualy done in game.and the gun, i only know of one and it doesn't look that good.nice touch.

hated that jason died.great character development between you,Lolli,and the french sim i have to look all the time for stories.but my favs. are by these 3 people:)

also i love the twist you throw in the funeral scene was too real didn't even know that could be done lol

Hakuryuu_SC
16th Jun 2006, 4:10 PM
Please don't leave us hanging Ghanima! update soon!

The two spirits theory sounds interesting but whats going to happen to Faye?

Jacuzzi_SC
16th Jun 2006, 5:17 PM
Ghanima. You. Are. Evil.

jenny
16th Jun 2006, 9:59 PM
I just found this story! its fantastic, I wasn't sure at first but wow, well written and the pictures are fantastic:D

Nihon_Dreamer
17th Jun 2006, 4:20 AM
O______o oh please update sooooooon. This is excellent!!!!

Ghanima Atreides
17th Jun 2006, 11:29 AM
Evil, moi? :fallen:

:evilnod: :nana:

Wow, thanks guys for commenting! I've had different paths planned for the story and guess I picked a good one hehe:D

I won't leave you hanging too long I expect. Just a couple of days till I get everything ready...more twists are going to happen soon

SpacemanHPSpiff
17th Jun 2006, 5:57 PM
I'm going mad waiting for an update. But hey, take your time! You deserve it. :)

Just don't take too much time... *cough*

Lollipop_Girl
17th Jun 2006, 10:26 PM
Wow! I just caught up, it seems Faye is beeing haunted! Poor thing. I wonder what happens to her now..

richdude_SC
18th Jun 2006, 2:31 AM
Oooooooooh, she's being stalked by death, or is it Jason from beyond the grave???(Twilight Zone Music begins playing) Great update though.

shakazulu
18th Jun 2006, 10:27 AM
i didnt even think that it could be her father, hmmmmmm, wonders if faye is alright :(

Ghanima Atreides
21st Jun 2006, 10:16 PM
Next update will be tomorrow, guys :)

A_SIMS_ADDICT
21st Jun 2006, 10:17 PM
YAYAY! Thanks so much ghanima! I'm basically jumping off the walls! :lol:

JayBleu02
22nd Jun 2006, 7:51 AM
Can't wait!

Nishette
22nd Jun 2006, 1:57 PM
Yeek this is nailbiting! I can't wait to see what happens next.

Ghanima Atreides
22nd Jun 2006, 3:45 PM
Well, here it is, the update! More cameos and more drama in this one! Have fun!

Chapter Thirteen - Death is only the Begining

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Dawn descended over Strangetown gradually, tipping the edges of its encircling hills in red light, rising on the pale blue immensity of a cloudless sky above. It would be a hot, dry day.
The General Hospital seemed to snooze peacefully amidst heavily irrigated trees and trimmed bushes, a soothing image at that, concealing the personal dramas which unfolded within…

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“How is she, doctor? Is she okay..?”

Valentina Esposito swayed weakly on her feet, leaning heavily on the shoulder of Theodore Melville, the young man she had met only hours before at the high society event and her only support through the tense occurrings that followed. Theodore’s strong arm around her fet real and somewhat comforting, the one barrier stopping the fear which tugged at her: Faye, locked away behind hospital doors and a sleepless night of little news about her condition.

“She is awake. Come with me, please” answered the doctor on a cool, formal tone.

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Meanwhile, inside a lofty hospital ward, Faye awoke from what felt like centuries of slumber. Eyes stinging from the bright sunlight which flowed through the wide-paned windows, head swimming and pounding achingly, the young woman’s feet felt around blindly for the floor; but a sharp pain in her arm stopped further movement: a drip needle was implanted there. Faye shuddered from the very depths of her being and, hissing with pain, pulled the needle out. A sudden fear seized her; it wasn’t the needle, or the fact that she had woken up inside a hospital, but the last memory her mind recalled: the smothering, encircling, overpowering dark cloud…and the eyes! Dear god, those eyes!

“You shouldn’t have done that, Miss Griffith. ” a cold voice spoke, startling her. “You could have injured yourself.”

Anger replaced Faye’s fear; ever since childhood she had deeply resented hospitals and doctors, and waking up faced with both after the kind of night she had endured set off a burning spark of rage within. Only then did she notice the hospital gown she wore; she shrunk away from the dark haired woman, wrapping her arms around her as if to conceal the violation she felt at being undressed without her knowledge.

“Where are my clothes?” Faye demanded. “I want to leave. What am I doing here?”

“You were brought here last night, unconscious. And you may leave as soon as I run some more tests to determine the cause. Please return to your bed now.”

The doctor had chosen a bad moment to patronize Faye; she glared at her briefly, speechless, noticing how the woman’s eyes appeared oddly pupilless, hazy and sickly.

“I am fine. And I will leave now, doctor, unless you plan to arrest me.”

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The brunette’s orbs flashed dangerously, lips pursed dryly to a flat line. Strong fingers reached out and clasped on Faye’s wrist, preventing her from moving.

“Return to your bed, miss Griffith. It’s for your own good. And if I may ask…are you wholly human…?”

“Wholly..of course I am! What kind of insane question is that?!” snapped Faye, forgetting for an instant the town she was in, then added: “Why, does it matter to you? Let me go!”

With that, she pulled her now throbbing arm from the doctor’s clutch. She truly disliked her.

“Only so that I know how I should best treat you, of course”, the woman replied silkily. Hearing the commotion, Valentina could no longer bear to wait in the corridor and burst in, greeted by a restless Faye.

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“Who’s this nutcase you left me with?!” she cried. The thought of that strange woman learning what had befallen her the previous night filled Faye with icy cold dread; she had no doubts the only way she would ever leave that room was in a straight jacket.

“You were unconscious! Cold and white as a sheet, we thought you were dead! What was I supposed to do, except call an ambulance? Doctor Clervel here has been so helpful, she took you in immediately! Theo and I have been waiting all night for news…”

“Well, I am perfectly okay now. I wish to leave.”

“I would recommend against it…I am not yet sure what caused her condition, or whether the symptoms would not return…”

Yet the efforts of Charlotte Clervel and Valentina combined failed to convince Faye to remain at the hospital.

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The following evening, Faye left home early; Valentina fussed around her, repeating how ungrateful and stubborn she was being anytime she got the chance, while her friend kept avoiding to even walk into a dark room alone, fearful the unwholesome cloud would return to smother her. She needed to get away, maybe even spend some days with one of her bandmates, and so she set out for Serene's house, the nearest, pleased to discover Earth and Martha were already there. Even as they chatted casually, Faye gritted her teeth and confessed her secret, hoping that they would at least believe her if not able to find a reasonable explanation. If, such an explanation existed.

“I think I’m loosing it”, Faye said miserably and lowered her eyes in the ground. “I mean, I tried to ignore the possibility of anything…out of the ordinary going on as much as I could but I’m telling you, last night…that was no regular cloud. It couldn’t have been. I saw the cloaked face, I could swear its eyes were on me…so, am I crazy…?”

Earth, Serene and Martha exchanged confused, even fearful glances, for a moment leading Faye to think they really did consider her insane, until Martha spoke:

“Faye, it seems to me that you are being haunted by something..or someone. It is rare even in Strangetown that spirits should interact with the living and I am no expert, but I know someone who is. The Zamoras.”

“And the Zamoras are...?”

“Two Gypsies, brother and sister, who moved here about the same time you did. Very mysterious, not the most sociable pair either; they keep to themselves a lot. I met Marishka when looking for a cure for Serene, since she wants one so badly”- she added with a doelful sigh –“ and they really know their stuff.”

“Sadly, even her refined Vamprocilin-D is still causing an allergic reaction”, added Serene. “But she’s working on it.”

“Guys, a gypsy fortune teller is not what I need right now…”

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“She is not a fortune teller, Faye! Not the sort you’d see in an carnival, anyway. She’s the real thing, and she keeps her craft to herself but I think I can convince her to help you. Come on, what have you got to loose?”

At that point, Martha was right; Faye was desperate enough to try anything.

Ghanima Atreides
22nd Jun 2006, 3:46 PM
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Meeting the Zamora siblings brought further surprises for Faye, for she immediately recognized the brother in the person of strange man lurking in the grove behind the Auditorium earlier that week. Noticing her silent question, he tilted his head forth and smiled in that unearthly way of his:

“I told you that we would meet again. I am Danior.” he said softly while Martha was presenting her friend’s story to Marishka.

“Fine. I will speak to her, but not here. Come with me.”, the Gypsy concluded at length and lead the group up a worn path toward a small hut at the back of the garden.

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The hut felt cramped and airless, bathed in a dim red light, flickering shadows hanging in the corners and across the walls, covered as they were in tapestries and old oil paintings depicting mystical beings and symbols. The furniture was composed of a low round table, three chairs, one table laden with stacks of books, tarot cards, parchment and ink bottles, and one large, dull globe atop a carved wooden pole.

Marishka and Danior Zamora listened to Faye’s tale attentively; not a word was spoken until her voice faded into silence. Then, as if suspecting something unwholesome,the siblings exchanged a furtive glance and nodded sternly, both their expressions betraying their worry.

“We need to know more before we can help you. I cannot See beyond”, the young man said, “but my sister can. She will gaze into the Orb for you.”

Faye and her friends gathered around the matte glass globe while Marishka stared unblinkingly in its unguessable depths. Seconds dripped by, painfully slow – some held their breath and watched as intently as the Gypsy, while Faye contemplated the scene incredulously; in her opinion, the whole business had a strong parlor trick feel to it.

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Then, slowly, the orb’s texture began to change; in the place of a static, dull object it now shimmered like crystal, sparks flying from it like electricity bolts. Brighter and brighter it became beneath Marishka’s palms, who seemed enraptured by what she was doing, completely oblivious to the girls’ gasps and whispering.

“See, see, I told you!” Martha hissed in Faye’s ear and nudged her encouragingly. As for herself, Faye was not sure what to think of this display; the human eye was easily deceived, after all, and in her life before Strangetown nothing could have made her consider the possibility of magic at work….but how much things had changed since!…

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That night’s surprises were not over.

Suddeenly,a beam of blinding white light filled the hut, prompting everyone – including Marishka and Danior – to pivot on their heels, shading their eyes with their hands against its glare. In its midst a shape took form, a shape which Faye recognized, for how could she ever forget Jason’s face? The apparition remained there for just one instant, an instant which could have been a century to Faye, frozen in spot, gaping at the man she had loved and lost. Jason looked at her and spoke her name; grief and terror emanated from him, wrenching Faye’s heart ; she opened her mouth to speak, but no word formed on her dry lips. Before she had time to blink, the light, and Jason, were gone.

All three of her friends rushed to support the young woman whose knees gave way and she would have fallen right there where she stood. Still, she remained fully conscious, though shaken and torn. There was an unslaked yearning in her heart and a void she feared nothing would fill, ever.

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“Please, can you bring him back?!” she pleaded to Marishka when able to stand safely once more. “I need to talk to him, he’s someone I knew…long ago, and it’s more important than I could ever tell you! It doesn’t matter how much it costs, I’ll give you anything you want…”

“This is not about money! I cannot! I can look into the Umbra beyond - the Orb may reveal what it wills, and not what mortals will it to! It is dangerous to meddle in the affairs of the dead, for good and evil alike may pass into this world when the Gauntlet is opened! The one that haunts you dwells still in the limbo between two folds, for purposes unknown to me but which I dare not devel into!”

The Gypsy woman pulled out an amulet and placed it into Faye’s palm, closing her fingers around it and pressing there.

“Take it. Wear it at all times, it will shield you from the spirit’s malice. I can do no more. I can say no more. Leave now, please. Go!”

Faye was half dragged, half carried away by her friends, amulet in hand and floating as through a dream, a nightmare she could not awaken from. Having seen Jason, even in that unearthly form, reawakened the old love she had felt for him as a teenager but with the intensity of a grown woman’s emotions. She could not bear the thought of his malice, that he had been the one tormenting her for the past weeks. She refused to believe it.

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“Why didn’t you tell her the truth, Marishka?” Danior questioned his sister when they were alone. “You know it is possible to contact an Umbradweller, did it not move you at all to see that poor woman’s pain?”

“You know very well why! It is too dangerous! Contacting one of the dead is no simple matter in itself, but you know well what the consequences might be if the two worlds were opened onto eachother! Strangetown is an especially large portal and those who have passed beyond might return…and the horrors that are there, with them! This craft should never be told or practiced save for the Initiated, and those are few nowadays even among our kin!”

“Yet you practiced it, when I lay dying from a knife wound three years ago. And you brought me back.”

“And was banished for it, disgraced in front of our tribe! I nearly died in that attempt; I will never meddle with it again!”

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Later that night, while Faye sat wide awake and numb in the lounge of her apartment, lost in thought, a knock on the door arrived unexpectedly.

“What are you doing here?”

The late visitor was Danior Zamora.

“My sister lied. She can contact the dead, and I posess some of that ability. It is dangerous, that much is true; very dangerous, and possibly even deadly to those who attempt it. I will not deceive you, it is very likely we will never succeed, but I am willing to try, if you wish it.”

“Why are you doing this?…”

“Because I wish to repay an old debt, in my own way.”

A_SIMS_ADDICT
22nd Jun 2006, 3:50 PM
:jaw: I'm speechless

But, that's a good thing! :)
Really amazing chapter Ghanima

Elyssa
22nd Jun 2006, 4:07 PM
I am so hooked on this story! It's wonderful, and so many twists and turns!

Congratulations on begin featured :D It's how i found this great tale :)

JayBleu02
22nd Jun 2006, 4:24 PM
Noooo!
I want more now!

Really good updates. :blink:

longears15
22nd Jun 2006, 4:43 PM
Wow :blink:

Ghanima Atreides
22nd Jun 2006, 4:52 PM
lol I hope that was the good kind of wow, longears :lol:

Thanks everybody! Sometimes I get tangled myself in my own twists, since I constantly add more...but it's fun...and I'm happy you like it! :D

longears15
22nd Jun 2006, 4:59 PM
Yes, it was the good kind of wow :lol: I've been hooked since you started this story, but I think that's the best update yet.

Ghanima Atreides
22nd Jun 2006, 5:07 PM
Really? Thank you, I assumed this could go either way with the readers since it's the first chapter with a heavy dose of supernatural stuff, but I tried to build it up in the earlier ones...

btw, what language is that in your sig? lol

Corbins Raven_SC
22nd Jun 2006, 5:07 PM
That was amazing! I really love your writing style and the pictures are incredible.