Chapter Ninety Seven : Hot Mama

I love my kids.

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No, really, I mean it! They were a surprise – a huge surprise – but their squishy little faces grew on me fast. Thirty tiny fingers and thirty tiny toes! Triple the dirty diapers and triple the mouths to feed, as if my Hasslich you-know-what’s weren’t hanging to my knees already! All I know is it’s a miracle I have my mom and my sister to fall back on.  And Kody, too, of course.  He’s no slouch in the uncle department, which sure is lucky for me.  It’s nice for the kids to have a father figure in their life.

What about Marcus, you say?  Right.  Well, I never did get around to telling him.  I mean, I meant to.  Really.  I didn’t want to at first, but Coralie insisted he should know about his kids, and it got me thinking maybe she was right.  But then I heard he married some chick named Ulrike something-or-other…?  Okay, fine.  Ulrike Faust – Ulrike Flex, now, I guess.  Okay, fine! – not I guess.  I know.  Ulrike Flex: Art Book Collator, Windenberg native, creative, art lover, perfectionist, muser, founding member of The Renegades.  Not that I know everything about her or anything.  Not like I pulled an all-nighter stalking her Simbook or anything.

Yeah.  Ahem.  Anyway….

Now that my little monsters (I say affectionately, of course) are officially child-sized and capable of minimal self-sufficiency, I’m thinking its time for old Lola to pursue a few additional endeavors. Maybe go someplace where they call me something – anything – other than Mommy. Something like…. Lola. Or “Sexy,” or “Hot Stuff,” or “Musical Genius” will do.  I can just hear it now – like “Hey, Musical Genius!” to which I smile kindly, as if I hear that all the time.

But really, anything will do. They can call me Plumhole if they want to, as long as their fingers aren’t sticky and they don’t wet the bed.

So naturally, the first thing I did after the kids’ birthday was find a job. Now, it’s not like we’re hurting for money around here, but it’s a plum of a good excuse to get out of the house, you know what I mean?  The kids are in school now anyway, so what else am I going to do? I mean, I guess I could do what Coralie does, which is mostly running and yoga and cooking up fancy gourmet meals.  Soccer mom stuff.  But she barely ever leaves the house, which I guess makes sense for someone who was once abducted and impregnated by aliens – breeds a certain fear of the unknown, if you ask me.

But I’ve never been abducted by aliens, and I think even if I was, I’d still want my job. It’s just not in my SNA to sit still. I need to dance, I need to play music!  I need to move and talk and joke and go places and see things and meet people and explore the world. You know? So I like being an entertainer, even if I am only a C-lister.  I get to do all the things I love, and someday I’m sure I’ll do what I was born to do – to play the very best clubs in Windenberg, to blow kisses to my adoring fans while they chant my name. To have my pick of attractive groupies for dating and other such romantical activities. (Maybe that last part is my favorite.)

But for now, I’ve got to practice, and I do, every night after I put the kids to bed.

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Between raising three kids and working towards a promotion, life is pretty busy.  Luckily for me, I live in a big house with lots of built-in babysitters, so I still get out of the house pretty often.

Most Saturday nights you can find me in Windenberg hanging with the Spin Masters. Dominic Fyres says I’m the coolest mom he knows, which is kinda weird since, you know – he’s married to the mother of his children and all.  Not that I mind – keep the compliments a’comin’, Dominic!

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So Saturdays are my big night out, but I try to keep my wild(est) side in check. Sunday is my stomping day, and I like to be on my game when I plaster the neighborhoods with my face! I mean, hey – nothing wrong with a little self-promotion, right?  If you want something, you’ve gotta get out and grab it by the cajones!  That’s what I always say!

Ive always enjoyed my flyer-posting Sundays, because that’s when I get out there and promote myself to the public.  You know – round up the groupies.

But lately I’ve been enjoying my route just a little bit more.

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Remember Marian?

I saw her on my flyer route a few days ago, and recognized her immediately from our last run in at the park.  It’s been awhile, and we’ve definitely both gotten older, but I’d know that gorgeous porcelain face anywhere. True, she doesn’t fit the mold of a groupie, but she piques my interest with that mop of crazy red curls and that smart-plum smirk.

I barely know her, but then, I don’t need to know her to want to kiss her.

Marian’s street always gets extra flyers.

And today is no exception.  I’m always hoping to spot her, to run into her, to strike up a conversation, you know?  I’m tacking a flyer to a street pole when I see her cross the street toward me (she’s wearing that cute little bowler hat again) and I realize I’m staring at her.  I almost look away, but it’s then that I see she’s staring straight back at me. She smiles and she makes a beeline in my direction.

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Is she flirting with me? I think she is, but it’s been awhile since I’ve flexed those muscles. My eyelashes flutter involuntarily, and I physically force them to stop. Rein it in, Lola. Get it together.

I’m thinking I should ask her out, that I should do it now before she’s gone.  But Marian beats me to it, and I’m stunned.  Next thing you know, we’re at some bar, and she’s holding my hands.

If you want something, you’ve gotta grab it by the cajones!  That’s what I always say.  Did I say that already?  I think I said that already.

Maybe Marian wants me, and my hands are the cajones….

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But I want more than hand-holding.  I want that kiss.

I don’t grab Marian by the cajones.  Because, I mean, she doesn’t have any, obviously.  So I grab her by the waist instead, and I dip her as I plant one on her.

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Well, plum.  How’s that for grabbing life by the balls?

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The Bachelor Experiment : Day Fourteen

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It’s Day Fourteen and Corey jumps out of bed in a happy mood.  It’s the day of his date with Jessamine, and it’s obvious that he’s looking forward to it.

Namika is still sound asleep on “her” side of the bed, and Corey takes the moment of privacy to book the plans for today’s date.

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He tiptoes out of the room in search of breakfast, careful not to wake Namika.

But Namika stirs, sensing the emptiness of the bed, and follows Corey to the breakfast table.  She’s rolled a whim to “be friendly” with him, and so she settles into the chair next to him and makes some small talk.  Namika isn’t about to send Corey off on his one-on-one with Jessamine without first reminding him of her exceptional charm and beauty.

Corey thinks of llamas as he digs into his mac and cheese.  I don’t see the connection, but maybe the mac and cheese uses llama milk instead of cow milk?

Namika just stares at him, searching his face for signs of dread for his impending date.  She can’t imagine that Corey actually wants to spend time alone with Jessamine.  But such are the rules of The Bachelor, and Namika assures himself that he’s only playing the part he signed up for.

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But Corey’s happy mood does nothing to comfort Namika, and soon she’s off in a huff.  Which is fine, because it’s time for Corey’s date to begin anyway.

Knowing that Jessamine loves the outdoors, Corey has planned for a date at The Bluffs.  He knows Jessamine will enjoy the scenery, and maybe – just maybe – Corey is hoping for a little skinny dip in the pond.

When they arrive, he starts off the date on a good note, offering Jessamine a friendly hug.

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Both Corey and Jessamine are in a happy mood, but Jessamine wants to heat things up.  In an effort to steer things in a romantic direction, she compliments his appearance.  And who could blame her?  Corey does look dashing in that denim shirt.

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Autonomous chatting ensues, until I intervene – for scenery purposes, I send them down the hill to continue their date.

They share another friendly hug…

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And Jessamine compliments Corey again.  She’s really laying it on thick, now – “You’re so good-looking, Corey!” she muses.

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“Oh no, Jessamine – you are!”

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And Jessamine can’t argue with that.  She’s so flattered that she blows him a kiss.

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And of course, Corey responds in turn.  Ever heard of mirroring?  Yeah, well, these two are the perfect example.

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At the very least, they’re on the same page.  Corey must be feeling particularly close to Jessamine, because he reveals his deepest, darkest secret to her – something about a back ache?

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Whatever it is, Jessamine looks momentarily perturbed, but she quickly puts her game face on.

And what a game face it is! She flirts…

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And he flirts back…

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And suddenly Jessamine is moving in for the kill.  It’s time for her to tell Corey her deepest, dirtiest secret…

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And Corey is, of course, nothing less than enchanted.  Still, the date is coming to an end and neither of them have been feeling particularly amorous.  Neither of them has flipped into a flirty mood, and much to Corey’s dismay, there has been no skinny dipping.

In a last ditch effort to turn up the heat, Jessamine turns on the charm.

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And ends the date with a sweet but demure peck on the cheek.

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Sure, she was hoping for something a little more racy, but this will have to do.

As their date concludes, Corey seems content, wrapped up in his phone as usual.  But Jessamine seems rather frustrated.  She sighs in annoyance and leaves Corey alone with his phone, taking the trash with her.

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Oh, no, Corey, she thinks to herself in exasperation.  No, it’s okay, really! Thanks for offering, but I’ll take out the trash.  You just go ahead and check Simbook.  Again. 


 

Back at the mansion, later that night, Corey spends some time with Roskva.

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I’ll admit, I use this opportunity to give them both a little nudge, to really see what’s between them.

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Corey is flattered by Roskva’s flirtation, but he doesn’t make a move in return.

Unfortunately for Roskva, their little interlude is (intentionally) interrupted by Jessamine, who is determined to make her presence known.  Roskva closes her eyes and tries to compose herself.

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She considers calling it a night, but in the end, she rallies.  Roskva is all too aware of tomorrow’s elimination, and she knows her time is running short.  She’s got to make her impression on Corey, now, Jessamine or no Jessamine.

And so she throws her hat in the ring.

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Jessamine cringes.  How could he?  After their special date today, how could he entertain a flirtation with Roskva right in front of her face?  She gets up noisily, intentionally creating a scene, and dramatically flops into a nearby chair.

“I’ll just give you two some space,” she grumbles.

But as Roskva chats happily with Corey, Jessamine’s anger only rises.

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Jessamine rages, flailing her arms and shooting daggers their way.  But Roskva and Corey are far too busy to notice.

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The way they look at each other, it’s like they’re the only two people in the room.

And soon enough, they are.  Because Jessamine has had enough and storms off to bed.


 

Corey and Roskva pass the evening together, seemingly enjoying each other’s company.

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They talk late into the night, but finally, it’s time for bed, and they both head off in separate directions.

Corey trudges up to his bedroom, knowing that he has a tough decision to make and a long day ahead of him tomorrow.  There’s not much sleep in his future tonight, he thinks.

And sure enough, Namika also thinks there’s not much sleep in his future tonight.  She’s been suspiciously absent all night, and I can’t help but wonder what she’s up to.

Namika tiptoes to Corey’s bedroom (her bedroom, really, at this point).  But when she turns the handle, she finds the door is locked.

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She can’t believe it.  Corey has locked her out.

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Namika seethes.  How dare he?!  What does this mean?  Could someone else be in there with him?

No, she assures herself.  Certainly not.  Because who could compare with her?  But still, she thinks – something between them has changed…

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And she doesn’t like it one bit.

 

 

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Duckling to Swan : The Bachelor – Hasslich Edition CASTING CALL

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Welcome to Duckling to Swan : The Bachelor – Hasslich Edition!!! As my Bachelor Experiment draws to a close and I find my way back to my favorite Hasslich clan, it’s time to finally get The Bachelor – Hasslich Edition underway!

I’ve been planning this for quite some time, and I finally have the perfect Hasslich bachelor lined up. For those of you who follow The Hasslich Prettacy, you’ll see that while you technically haven’t met him yet, the bachelor is closely related to one of our very favorite Hasslich couples. He’s a Hasslich at heart, and feels that true beauty is on the inside – which isn’t to say he isn’t a stunner!

I’m super excited to introduce you to the Hasslich Bachelor, but first I’m hoping to round up some eligible bachelorettes! I will be accepting applications through April 13, 2016. If there are more than seven entries, voting will commence after the application deadline.

Things to Know:

Like The Bachelor Experiment, the name of the game in this competition is autonomy. This series will be written with a bit more dramatic flair and artistic license, but the bottom line is the same – the bachelor will choose his leading lady with as little player interference as possible. And in the end, the bachelor and his lady of choice will join the “cast” of The Hasslich Prettacy.

To submit a contestant, please head over to my Ducking to Swan thread over on The Sims Forums.

Requirements/Guidelines:

-Applicants must be single.
-Applicants must be YA/Adult female.
-All shapes and sizes are welcome! The more variety the better.
-…but no aliens, please.
-All aspirations and traits are welcome. Big personalities make for interesting interactions!
-CC is acceptable as long as it comes in a package file.
-You’re free to submit as many contestants as you’d like.
-A note on formal wear: Please submit your bachelorette(s) with the formal wear you want her in at the first elimination ceremony. For subsequent eliminations, I will be changing up their formal looks to my liking (which means lots of beautiful CC gowns). Don’t worry – I will make sure your girls look their very best!
Please upload your bachelorette to the gallery under #Hasslichbachelor.

Application:

Name:
CAS Photo:
Traits:
Aspiration:
Backstory:
Style: (Please tell me a bit about your bachelorette’s personal style, to help me in choosing their formal wear. Is she classy? Flashy? Sexy? Conservative? Feminine? What colors does she prefer?)
CC links (if applicable)
Your Gallery ID:

Deadline is April 13, 2016.

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The Bachelor Experiment : Day Thirteen

On the morning of Day Thirteen, Namika wakes up to an empty bed.

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She was so sure this would work!  Not that Namika has anything to worry about. With only those two silly blondes left, she’s not exactly feeling threatened by the competition.  But still, Namika heard somewhere that when you sleep with someone, they form an attachment to you.  Apparently Corey is immune to science or something, she thinks.  It never occurs to her that he chose not to sleep next to her at all.  Oh well – Namika sighs.  It was worth a try.

Namika shakes it off and goes off in search of Corey.  She’s rolled a whim to “Be Funny” with him, and she wants to make sure that she’s the first one to make him laugh today.

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After their giggles subside, Namika goes to shower and dress, and Jessamine has woken up.  Since Corey rolled an overnight whim to flirt with her, I send him to complete the whim.

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Jessamine heaves a sigh of relief.  So her antics last night weren’t so disastrous after all.

Finally, Roskva wakes up and rolls a whim to be funny with Corey.  She makes a conscious decision to leave her garter belt on (hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!), and she gets a big, genuine belly laugh out of him as per usual.

Namika wanders through the living room and watches out of the corner of her eye.  Amateur, she thinks, as she sizes up Roskva.  Namika is unconcerned.

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But while Corey has enjoyed yet another morning of flirting with half-dressed women, it’s time to begin today’s competition.  The winner will be the lucky recipient of a one-on-one date tomorrow, and for Jessamine especially, there’s a lot on the line.  Out of the three women left, she is the only one who has not yet had a one-on-one date with The Bachelor.

I struggled with how to approach this next competition.  Part of me thinks I should just send Jessamine on the date, since she hasn’t had one yet, but another part of me thinks that’s unfair to the other girls, who had to win their dates.  In the end, I go with the competition, but that brings another internal debate, because I’m not sure what the competition should be.  In the end, I settle on a bartending contest.

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This seems fair, as I haven’t looked at any of the girls’ skill levels and don’t know if any of them would be slated to win.  I direct the three contestants to “make their favorite drink,” which adds an element of surprise that I like.  The contestant with the highest quality drink will win the date.

Right off the bat, things are looking a little hairy for Jessamine…

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Unsurprisingly, Namika seems more confident.

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And Roskva, who hesitates at first, ultimately looks like she’s got things under control.

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But in the end, I’m at a crossroads.  There is no clear-cut winner.

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Rovksa and Jessamine both make good quality Juice On The Rocks, and Namika makes a good quality Flaming Zesty Salt.

So I send Corey over to make his favorite drink.  Maybe the one whose taste in juice matches his should be the winner?

Corey makes a mess of the bar…

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and ends up with a Flaming Zest Salt – just like Namika!

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By my own rationale, that makes Namika the winner.  But that presents a problem, because Namika is already in the lead, and Jessamine and Roskva are basically at a tie.  If I send Corey on a second date with Namika, he still won’t know whether to keep Jessamine or Roskva.  So I come up with an alternate plan…

The contestants will face off at the chess table.  Corey doesn’t want a dummy for a girlfriend, so he decides to put their logic skills to the test.  I consider leaving Namika out of the chess competition entirely, but that seems wrong.  I promise myself that if Namika wins the chess tournament as well, she’ll get her date and I’ll find another way to get Corey to decide between Roskva and Jessamine.

I pit Namika against Jessamine for the first game.

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And (luckily for me), Jessamine comes out on top, giving her a victory moodlet and putting her in a confident mood.

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Namika slinks off, and I send Roskva to play against Jessamine.

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Roskva puts up a good fight, but in the end, Jessamine claims victory again. And again, actually, because in a moment of temptation, I give Roskva a second chance to beat Jessamine.  I just can’t help but want to help our underdog along! But Roskva succumbs again to Jessamine’s superior chess skills, and I know that Jessamine is indeed the winner.

I direct Corey to congratulate Jessamine with a friendly hug.

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While Jessamine flips into a flirty mood and bats her eyelashes at Corey, Namika and Roskva are chatting nearby.

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Namika, energized from her workout earlier, attempts to “rile up” Roskva.  Namika sees Jessamine as her biggest competition, and is not happy about her rival’s one-on-one date tomorrow.  But she doesn’t want Corey to think she’s feeling jealous, or threatened or insecure…because she’s totally not.  Really.  She’s not.

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Still, Namika plants the bug in Roskva’s ear – she “inspires” Roskva, so to speak – to break up the little love fest going on between Corey and Jessamine.

And Roskva buys it, hook line and sinker.

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Roskva marches straight over to Corey and interrupts the little love fest.  And fortunately for her, Jessamine excuses herself to use the bathroom…

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Leaving Roskva with a little on one one time with The Bachelor.

 

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But her moment in the sun doesn’t last very long.  Corey is hungry, and when his stomach growls, he leaves Roskva in the dust.  She drops for a set of push ups in a last ditch attempt to catch his attention, but Corey is gone.

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But Roskva is feeling energized, and she isn’t quite ready to give up.  She’s already lost tomorrow’s date, and she knows that she’ll need to work harder than ever if she wants to make it through the next Elimination ceremony.  So she springs to her feet, and follows Corey in pursuit of an autonomous hug.

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When Corey sits down to eat, Roskva initiates a flirt interaction…

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And then joins him at the table, where they enjoy a little alone time.

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I keep waiting for one of the to initiate a romantic interaction.  I mean, come on guys!  Roskva made the first move already, but things are not exactly heating up.  It isn’t long before Corey stands to leave, and I see that he’s rolled two romantic whims – only, they’re both for Jessamine.

The first one is rather telling.  Corey rolls the whim to ask Jessamine to be his girlfriend.  This is the first time he’s rolled this particular whim for anyone in the house, and if you recall, Jessamine was also the only contestant that Corey rolled a whim to have a First Kiss with.  He does seem to be exceptionally attracted to her.

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Poor Roskva!

But luckily for her, Corey can’t ask Jessamine to be his girlfriend – it would break the rules of the competition.  Unluckily for Roskva, Corey also rolls a whim to Be Mischievous to Jessamine.  This is a whim that can be fulfilled, and as per my rules, I direct him to go trick Jessamine with a hand buzzer.

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Which leaves Roskva alone on the balcony, wondering what went wrong.


 

Corey finds Jessamine in a flirty mood (and she’s rolled a whim to woohoo).  He tricks her with the hand buzzer first, and then they spend some time chatting under the stars.

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Jessamine even reveals a deep secret.  I am very curious what it is!

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Eventually, the two part ways and Corey heads to bed.  He’s had a long day.  Jessamine, on the other hand, joins Namika and Roskva for a movie.

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Soon, Namika declares she is tired, and is going to bed.

Roskva shakes her head silently.  She knows exactly what Namika has in mind.

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And sure enough, Namika is a woman on a mission.

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Only this time, Corey lets her stay.  Her mama always told her, persistence pays off!

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As she drifts off to sleep, Namika touches her foot lightly to his, and she smiles.  Maybe this is love after all.

 

 

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The Bachelor Experiment : Day Twelve (Elimination #4)

It’s Day Twelve, and the morning of Elimination #4.  Fortunately for Corey (and unfortunately for one of the ladies), there is no doubt in his mind as to who to send home.  It’s not an easy thing, breaking hearts – but such is the life of The Bachelor.

The morning passes quickly, as everyone sleeps in.  By the time they all wake up, it’s time for me to tend to their needs bars and get the ceremony started.

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Corey stands at the front of the ceremony hall, in a confident mood.  I’m glad to see he’s feeling good about his decision, because his relationship panel tells the whole story.  It’s an easy choice this time around, but as Corey looks at the four remaining women, he feels an underlying sense of regret.  They all look so beautiful, dressed to the nines, and he has truly formed a bond with each of them.

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The women stare at him intently, waiting for him to speak.  Only Jessamine is distracted by a string of dirty thoughts – her thought bubble shows she’s thinking about rocket ship woohoo!  But who could blame her?  Corey does look dashing in his formal wear tonight, and Jessamine is sure that after their kiss, her name will be the first to be called.

The room quiets, and Corey calls the name of his first choice: Namika.  This comes as no surprise to me, of course, but Jessamine and Roskva are both visibly pained.  Neither of them know that Corey has kissed all three of them, and both Roskva and Jessamine believed that the kiss was a sign of good things to come.

But Corey’s friendship bar with Namika is about 75% full, and their romance bar is about 50% full, making it the highest romance bar in the mansion.  They are currently listed as “lovebirds.”

Namika makes her way to the front as the others look on.

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I’ve nixed the whole rose-giving thing at the eliminations to avoid damaging Corey’s romantic relationships with the other women.  So I direct Corey to give Namika a friendly hug, which she happily returns.  But it’s clear that the other contestants are less than enthused – Corey’s obvious preference for Namika is more than a little discouraging.

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Namika pulls away from Corey, and as they chat, a money thought bubble appears over her head.

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Maybe she’s asking if there’s a cash prize for this thing, or how much Corey is actually worth.  Namika’s only going through the motions at this point – she’s got this thing in the bag, as far as she’s concerned. All that’s left to do is suss out the details – you know, choose a wedding dress, compile the guest list, and figure out exactly how rich she’ll be once they say “I do.”

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She saunters off with a dazed look on her face.  Good news about the money thing, I think.  Tall, dark, and handsome, good kisser, AND a life of luxury?  What’s not to love?

Once Namika is out of sight, Corey takes a deep breath and calls the next contestant:  Jessamine. She makes her way to the front, where Corey greets her with a warm hug.

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But as they pull away, Corey is shocked by the look on her face.  He thought she would be happy to stay, but Jessamine is visibly tense.

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I look at her moodlets, and see that she’s peeved that she hasn’t gotten more romantic attention lately.  As a romantic, the lack of romance really gets under her skin.  And as a drama llama, she chooses this moment to rake Corey over the coals.  Not cool, Jessamine.  Not cool.

But despite her drama queen tendencies, Corey still really likes Jessamine.  His romance bar with her is lower than Namika’s, but their friendship bar is higher, and they are listed as “lovebirds.” Corey feels bad that Jessamine is feeling neglected, and wants to make it up to her.

He autonomously initiates the “Ask Risque Question” interaction, which only irritates Jessamine further.  She wants romance, not a cheesy pick up line!

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Corey is dumbfounded, of course, and is left wondering what went wrong.  He only wanted to make things right!

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But finally, Jessamine comes to her senses, realizing that she’s probably just blown her last chance with The Bachelor.

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She blinks back tears, and I can’t help but feel sorry for her – just look at that face! But then again – maybe the pouty face is just more drama.  Maybe she’s just fishing for more attention from Corey?

Nonetheless, she trots off feeling sorry for herself, and leaves Corey alone with the last two contestants.

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And, of course, this is the hard part. Corey doesn’t relish this, but the time has come, and he doesn’t question himself at all.  He calls the name of the final contestant:  Roskva.

Colleen looks hurt, but Roskva jumps up in excitement.

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Maybe their kiss meant something to him after all!  She throws her arms around Corey in a friendly hug, though her pink heart thought bubble makes it clear she wants more.

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They chat briefly, and Roskva expresses her thanks for being invited to stay another round.  Corey gets a vacuum in his speech bubble – he appreciates how Roskva is always cleaning up the mansion.  They are listed as “Just Good Friends,” but Corey’s romance bar with Roskva is just about equal with Jessamine’s.  And as a domestic sim, Corey finds himself drawn to Roskva’s family-oriented side.  She would make a good wife, he thinks.

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Roskva leaves…

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…and Corey is left to say goodbye to Colleen.  She is clearly not happy with this outcome.  I kid you not, Colleen was in a happy mood the entire ceremony – right up until now, when I have her approach Corey, and she flips into a tense mood, which she makes absolutely no attempt to hide.

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But Corey keeps his cool an explains that he thinks they’re better off as just good friends – which is exactly how they’re listed in his relationship panel (the small romance bar they once had has now disappeared – for Corey, at least).

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Colleen drops her head in her hands, and tries to regain her composure.

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Finally, he offers her a friendly hug, and is pleasantly surprised that she accepts.

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Corey sighs with relief – he does care about Colleen (their friendship bar is very high!), but he just doesn’t feel a spark with her the way he does with the other girls.

Colleen seems to understand, and makes a show of accepting their newfound “friendship,” but the look on her face makes it clear it’s just pretense.  Corey is pretty much dead to her now.

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Colleen turns to leave – as she makes her way through the mansion, she contemplates stealing a thing or two, just to make a point.  She is a kleptomaniac, after all.

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Goodbye, Colleen.  You can steal a million knick knacks, but you can’t steal Corey’s heart.

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…………Later that night…………..

Jessamine is unable to sleep.  She regrets her behavior at Elimination tonight, and is afraid she may have just dug her own grave.  She truly likes Corey, and wants to make it up to him, so she cooks up his favorite – grilled pineapple – and brings it to his room as a peace offering (i.e., I realize there’s an autonomous “compliment Corey’s appearance” in her queue, so I follow her).

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Jessamine knocks softly, but gets no response – so she eases the door open quietly.  This girl really has no regard for privacy.

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As she enters the room, she finds Corey sound asleep in his bed.  She thoughtfully decides not to wake him, and the “compliment appearance” action cancels itself.  Instead, she digs into the grilled fruit herself as she stands at the foot of his bed and watches him sleep.  Seriously – creeper much?

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She waits around for awhile, hoping for something to happen – maybe he’ll say her name in his sleep! But eventually, Jessamine gets bored and leaves.  Corey is gorgeous and all, but she has more interesting things to do (like maybe, get some sleep herself).

But Jessamine isn’t Corey’s only secret visitor tonight.  When she’s sure Jessamine and Roskva are asleep, Namika tiptoes quietly into Corey’s room and slips into bed beside him.

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She wiggles down under the covers and snuggles up close to him before she drifts off to sleep.

But Corey is no fool.  Literally one minute after Namika is asleep, Corey jumps out of bed.  He’ll find somewhere else to sleep tonight….

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….and foiled again, Namika is none the wiser.


 

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The Bachelor Experiment : Day Eleven

On the morning of Day Eleven, Corey awakes with a crick in his neck.

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After his date with Roskva the previous night, he floated to his bedroom wearing a goofy, dreamy grin. How could he have missed Roskva’s beauty until now? How could he have denied such unmistakable chemistry? Just thinking about her now made him giddy, and he knew he would see her beautiful green eyes in his dreams tonight. Maybe what they say is true – maybe true love is really friendship set on fire.

Corey certainly feels on fire right now, that much is true, and when he enters his bedroom, the sight of Namika so scantily clad in his bed quickens his pulse. She’s sleeping – or pretending to sleep, maybe – but her presence here is more than a hint. It’s a blatant invitation.

Corey weighs his options, struggling between his heart and his…. (ahem) head. Namika is beautiful, sexy, and she’s already seen his hot dog anyway…

But – Roskva. After such a wonderful date with her, and such a stirring first kiss, Corey can’t bring himself to end his night in the throes of passion with someone else. Not because he doesn’t want to. Oh, he very much wants to. But because it isn’t right, and because woohoo with Namika (or any of the ladies) is still against the rules at this point in the competition. Call him old-fashioned, but Corey fancies himself a gentleman.

And so, here we are on the morning of Day Eleven, with Corey and the crick in his neck. Maybe if he’s lucky, one today’s ladies will offer him a back massage.

 


 

Corey’s first date today is with Jessamine. I send her to fulfill a few needs, and she sits down to eat with Colleen, who is still reeling from her dud of a date yesterday.

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Jessamine only listens half-heartedly. She’s too busy pumping herself up for her own date, and secretly (or not so secretly), she knows that Colleen’s loss is her own gain.

Meanwhile, Corey is grilling up his own breakfast when Namika approaches. She’s rolled a whim to embrace  Corey, and so I send her to do exactly that.

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There’s also an autonomous flirt initiated by Namika. Dismayed to have woken up alone this morning, she’s not about to let Corey start his date with Jessamine without reminding him of her charms. As far as Namika is concerned, Jessamine is her biggest competition – but then she doesn’t know about Roskva’s recent comeback.

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And Corey does find her irresistable, despite his refusal to share his bed last night. He is, unsurprisingly, receptive to her advances. I take this opportunity to see if we can finally fulfill Namika’s long-pinned whim for her First Kiss with Corey. I pull up her romantic interactions menu for him, but big nope. The First Kiss isn’t available yet. Namika isn’t giving up hope, though – she’ll have her own time in the Chateau d’ Amour later tonight, Corey will be helpless to resist her. She is sure of it.


 

After breakfast, I send Jessamine and Corey to take their flirty showers. When they are both feeling sufficiently frisky, I lock them inside the Chateau, and the date begins with the “offer rose” interaction.

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Jessamine is flattered, but when they sit to chat, Corey (ever the technology addict) pulls out his phone.  She tries to pull his attention back to her, and in a few minutes, it works.

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They get up to take a selfie, documenting the special moment. There’s some autonomous joking and then some autonomous flirting.

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Meanwhile, I realize it’s beginning to get late.  I think I waited too long to get this show on the road, and it looks I’ll have postpone Namika’s date until tomorrow night.  Namika might not be so happy, but Jessamine and Corey seem a-okay with my executive decision.

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Either the flirty atmosphere is having the desired effect on Corey, or he’s just really feeling Jessamine, because I notice that he’s rolled a whim to have his First Kiss with her.  I think this is somewhat interesting – he shared a kiss with Roskva last night, but it was  based on Roskva’s whim.  This is the first time that Corey himself has rolled a whim to kiss anyone.

And so, of course, I allow it.

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Jessamine is more than pleasantly surprised, but unfortunately for her, their four hours is up.  I direct Jessamine to initiate a romantic embrace, and Corey gladly accepts.

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Corey is more confused than ever now, but as he goes to bed that night (in his blissfully empty bed), he thinks there are worse things in life than choosing between four beautiful women.


 

When Jessamine bounces around the kitchen the next morning, Namika just shakes her head. Jessamine might think her date went well, but Corey hasn’t had his date with Namika yet. Namika heads off for her own steamy shower, and I direct Corey to take one too, for good measure. He wakes up still feeling flirty after his date with Jessamine, but I don’t want it wearing off too early during his date with Namika.

When Corey and Namika meet on the terrace of Chateau, I lock the doors and have Corey offer Namika her rose.

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Namika happily accepts the rose, and returns his kindness with a romantic gesture of her own.

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In no time, sparks are flying between them.

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Meanwhile, elsewhere in the mansion, Jessamine’s curiosity is getting the better of her. She doesn’t have the jealousy trait, but the way she’s nosing around the Chateau, peeking in the windows, makes me think the green-eyed monster has gotten the best of her. She even tries the door, but finding it locked, has no other option than to head back to the mansion.

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Back on the terrace, Namika and Corey’s friendship bar is 75% full, and their romance bar is about 50% full.

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I think this bodes well, so I look again to see if I can fulfill Namika’s First Kiss Whim. My rule on whim fulfillment is that the person who rolls the whim has to be the one to initiate the action – which means they have to have the option on their own social menu, and I have to patiently wait for that option to become available. When I open Namika’s romance menu, I see that First Kiss is finally an option, and immediately direct her to go in for the kill.

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The kiss goes over well, which is not unexpected. Corey’s an even better kisser than she’d hoped! Namika has stars in her eyes, and Corey sees only Namika.

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I think they’re both oblivious to their audience, but I never can be too sure with Namika.  The look on her face makes me wonder if Colleen and Jessamine were meant to see that kiss.

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There’s still another hour left in their date, but Corey’s stomach growls, and he decides to forgo any potential romantic encounters with Namika in favor of food.

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As he eats, Namika takes the opportunity to brush up on her darts game…

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And this is how they spend the remainder of the date – companionably, and separately. Namika goes about her business, content and confident in her victory, satisfied (for now) that she’s got this competition in the bag. She doesn’t need to spend every second with Corey to know she’s always on his mind. Corey will never say it, but Namika knows she’s won already.

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The Bachelor Experiment : Day Ten

 

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It’s the day after Elimination #3, and there are only four ladies left.  I’ve made an executive decision to shake things up a little this round.  Instead of the standard competition and one-on-one date, Corey will spend an equal amount of time alone with each of the contestants over the next two days.  The “dates” will last for four hours each, and occur in the structure pictured above.  I built it specifically for this purpose – there’s a small kitchen, bathroom, and sitting area downstairs, and a grill, hot tub, and dining set on the deck upstairs.  I’ve used the flirty painting Jessamine made back during the painting competition, and enabled the flirty aura.  And just to set the mood even further, both Corey and his dates will be instructed to take a steamy shower beforehand.  The door will be locked, so they won’t be interrupted.

It’s about 11am, and since Colleen is the only contestant whose needs are already fulfilled, I choose her for the first date.  I send Corey and Colleen to go take their steamy showers, and then I lock them inside the Chateau d’ Amour, where Corey begins the date (as he will begin all the dates) with the “offer rose” interaction.

Colleen looks disgusted at first, and I actually worry she might reject him.

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Luckily, she comes to her senses.  Maybe she’s just allergic to flowers and had to sneeze?  One way or the other, Colleen ultimately seems pleased with the rose.

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I think Colleen is feeling flirtatious (and least that’s what her current emotion says!), but from the look on her face I really can’t tell if she’s flirting or cringing.

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They sit down together on the couch to chat, and things don’t get much better from there.

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They talk, and talk, and talk, and talk.  There are speech bubbles and thought bubbles of all kinds, but nothing that seems romantic in nature.  Despite their flirty moods, these two just don’t seem interested in flirting with each other.  And then, when they’re all talked out, they sit side by side in an awkward silence.

Finally, there’s an autonomous friendly hug initiated by Colleen, which Corey happily accepts.

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Still, I can’t help but wonder what’s going on here.  They do already have a romance bar (however small), but no one is making a move!

Instead, they decide to square off in a game of darts.

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And it’s during this friendly competition that both of their moods flip back to “Happy” instead of “Flirty.”

They pass the rest of the date this way, and by the time the four hours is up, they’ve just about maxed out their friendship bar.  Their romance bar, on the other hand, remains static.

In a latch ditch attempt to light the spark, I decide that all dates will end with an “embrace” interaction, initiated by the contestant.  So Colleen goes for it, but Corey recoils.

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I guess friendly hugs are okay by him, but a romantic embrace would be pushing it.  Needless to say, the date doesn’t end on a high note.

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And so the two part ways, and Colleen slinks back to the house feeling embarrassed.


 

I give Corey a chance to regroup (i.e., fulfill his needs) and then I send him and Roskva off to go take their steamy showers – separately of course!  By the time their date begins, the sun has already set, and two meet up on the rooftop, feeling flirtatious.  I lock the door behind them, and the date begins.

As with Colleen, Corey starts off with the offer of a rose, and with that, a romance bar finally appears for Roskva and Corey!

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A whole bunch of completely autonomous flirting ensures, taking both me and Roskva by surprise!
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Something has clicked for Corey.  It seems he’s finally seeing Roskva in a romantic light.  Not only that, but the rocket ship woohoo thought bubble appears over his head.  Corey’s gone from zero to sixty in about one second here.

He autonomously blows her a kiss, and giggling, Roskva jumps to catch it.

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Corey continues to take the lead (Roskva is happy to let him chase her for once!).  He compliments her appearance, and initiates and hug.

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Finally, Roskva takes some initiative of her own and autonomously caresses Corey’s cheek.  It happens so fast and unexpectedly that I miss it…but I do manage to get this screenshot of Corey looking at her like…..that.

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This is when I realize that Roskva now has the option to have her “First Kiss With Corey.”  She has been gunning for this for so long, and the whim has been pinned for what feels like forever…! Who am I to stand in the way of a whim?  I instruct her to initiate the kiss…

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And Roskva lands the very first kiss with Corey!  Score one for Roskva!

The date is just about over now, and both of their needs are suffering – though they’re both still feeling flirty.  I decide to cut the date just a little short so they can get some rest – this date was such a success that a few extra minutes won’t make much of a difference.

Roskva initiates the romantic embrace with Corey…

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And the two reluctantly part ways for the evening, with Roskva rolling a whim for hot tub woohoo and Corey still thinking about rocket ship woohoo.  No doubt about it – a fire definitely lit for these two tonight!

But meanwhile, Colleen walks out to the fountain, where she stands facing the Chateau, watching forlornly from a distance.  I can’t help but laugh out loud at this, it is so creepy and weird!  It’s completely autonomous and she just stands there like a weirdo, still apparently depressed about Corey’s rejection of her hug.

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And on the third floor of the mansion, Namika decides to take a more active approach.  She picks the lock to Corey’s door, slips on her silky negligee, and climbs into his bed, where she lies in wait.

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The Bachelor Experiment : Day Nine (Elimination #3)

On the morning of Elimination 3, Corey wakes up feeling nervous.  It’s time to send another girl home, and he still hasn’t decided who it will be.  Luckily, the ceremony isn’t scheduled to begin until sunset, giving Corey a few more hours to make up his mind.

It’s still very early morning, and the sun is just rising over the horizon.  Corey thinks he has a precious few minutes to himself before the day begins, but Jessamine is also an early riser and has rolled a whim to cloudgaze with Corey.

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Corey, ever the gentleman, spends the next hour laying beside Jessamine, making out shapes in the sky.

But Namika wakes soon after, and on the heels of their successful date yesterday, she rolls a whim to embrace Corey.  She waits patiently until Jessamine departs, and then moves in for the kill.

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They pull away, and Corey feels a rumble in his stomach. The morning has slipped away from him.  The bachelor has a long day ahead of him, and he’ll need to spend most of it with the two candidates for elimination.  This may be his last chance for breakfast, and so he heads to the kitchen in search of food – but he intercepted by Roskva, who autonomously strikes up a conversation.

Can we sit? she asks, and Corey agrees. Roskva is well aware that she’s on the chopping block, and she sees this rare moment alone as an opportunity to sway Corey in her favor.  But Corey gets a yellow heart thought bubble, confirming what I already know – he still doesn’t see Roskva as anything more than a close friend.

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Their moment alone is, of course, short-lived, as the rest of the household is beginning to wake up.  Jessamine joins them in the living room, and Roskva, feeling dejected, trudges off for the yoga mats.

But if Jessamine was hoping for her own private moment with the bachelor, she is sorely disappointed.  Namika is more than confident of her place in Corey’s heart, but she’s not taking any chances with the blonde who first caught his attention.

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For once, drama llama Jessamine doesn’t burst into tears.

But Corey still hasn’t had any breakfast, or any lunch for that matter – it’s well past noon by now and elimination is drawing near.  Hunger be plummed, Corey sets off in search of Paige.

I have him initiate a flirt interaction with her, and Paige (romantic that she is) responds well.

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This little interlude wins Paige a few more romance points, and some more friendship points as well.  But it’s only fair for Corey to allow Roskva the same chance, and so he goes looking for her next.

Corey initiates a flirt interaction with Roskva, and she is clearly tickled by his attentions.

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They sit to chat, and for a brief moment Roskva thinks she might be able to save her own skin.  She gets a pink heart thought bubble – there’s no question she has a crush.  But no sooner does she sit down next to Corey than Namika saunters up and joins them.

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Namika immediately launches into a dramatic story, drawing Corey’s attention away from Roskva.  Namika is all friendly smiles to Corey’s face, but when he’s not looking, Namika taunts Roskva, flashing her crazy eyes at her.

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But Roskva is a class act, and though she gets a thought bubble with Namika’s face X’ed out, she doesn’t retaliate.

What neither of the girls know is that Corey is actually checking the time.  There are only two hours left before elimination, and still, Roskva and Paige are neck and neck – one of them IS ahead, but only marginally.  I decide to intervene, and send them to face off through a dance off.

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But Corey never even notices, and the dance-off is a bust, leaving Corey to send one of them home, however uncertain he may be.


 

When the hour arrives, the contestants all gather in the ceremony hall to wait for Corey.  Paige shows up looking tense already, and Roskva has to remind her to change into her formal wear.  It seems an unlikely friendship has formed between the two – desperate times call for desperate measures!

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Roskva chats cheerily to Paige, but it quickly becomes clear that her happy mood was nothing but an act. Roskva is even more tense than Paige.

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The contestants all sit to wait, and Roskva is visibly frazzled.  Try as she might, she just can’t seem to contort her face into a smile.  Colleen, too, looks less than confident, and even Jessamine seems unsure.  Only Namika seems cool and collected.  She arrived feeling energized, in the knowledge of her triumph.

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When Corey finally arrives, a hush falls in the ceremony room.  Corey is still hungry, and he is visibly troubled.  He’s made up his mind, but it was an extremely close call.  He can only open he’s making the right decision tonight.

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Corey takes a deep breath, and predictably, calls Namika’s name first.  Their date the previous day was an undeniable success.  Corey wonders now why he didn’t notice her sooner, but as Namika presses against him in a long embrace, he feels increasingly glad they’ve had the chance to connect.

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None of the other women look particularly happy with this development, and Namika shoots a murderous look at Colleen as she returns to the mansion.  She’s all giggles and butterflies in front of Corey, but there’s a side of Namika he hasn’t seen!

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But as soon as she’s out of sight, Namika’s face lights up, and she floats back inside with a bounce in her step.  First rose of the night – just as she expected.

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Corey calls Jessamine next.  While she’s fallen in the standings after Namika’s quick climb to the top, Corey is still highly attracted to Jessamine and has rolled numerous whims for her.  She puts on a happy face and manages not to throw a tantrum over being called second, which I think is actually a pretty big moment for Jessamine.

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But as she turns and walks back inside, the look on her face tells me she’s only barely holding it together.  Likewise, Corey’s stress headache is only getting worse.

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But our bachelor rallies, and next to be called is Colleen.  Their romance bar is only just barely there, but it’s obvious that Corey feels a spark.

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Paige and Roskva are officially panicked. Well, Roskva is, anyway.  Paige just looks stunned – I think she was expecting a miracle.

But as Colleen turns and walks back to the mansion, she looks down at Paige with smug satisfaction.  I get the sense Colleen is gunning for Paige to go home…

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But in the end, Colleen is just glad she’s safe, for tonight.  Her position here in the mansion may be precarious, but Colleen is determined to be the last woman standing.

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Corey is left now with only Roskva and Paige.  He takes a deep breath, and calls the name of the last girl…

And it’s Roskva.  She jumps to her feet and joins him at the front.

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Neither Paige nor Roskva have a romance bar with Corey, but Roskva’s friendship bar is just a smidgen higher.  It’s enough to save her, and she breathes a sigh of relief, grateful for another chance.  She knows if Corey only gives her a chance, he’ll feel the undeniable chemistry between them.

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But Paige….well, Paige is furious.

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As Roskva walks off, she glances back at Corey and Paige.  She saw the look on Paige’s face, and she knows that Corey is in for an earful.

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Meanwhile, Paige sits, raging in silence.  Corey’s head is pounding and he knows that Paige will not accept this defeat with grace.  He is dreading this confrontation.

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Finally, he turns to look at her, and with that she flies at him.

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“You pitiful excuse for a man!” she proclaims.  “You wouldn’t know a real woman when you see one!  You want one of those silly little girls, be my guest! But this real woman’s body?” – she silhouettes her figure – “is off limits for little boys like you.”

Paige turns in a huff and stalks away, leaving Corey shuffling his feet.

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Paige makes her way through the mansion, and heads for the front door.

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Roskva, for one, won’t be sorry to see her go.  So much for that budding friendship.

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So long, Paige.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter Ninety Six : You Can Call Me Queen Bee

“I can’t believe my babies’ birthday is today!” Lola exclaimed.

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It was a strange feeling, the way this intense nostalgia and growing excitement all mingled into one big mish mosh of emotion. Her squishy-faced bundles of joy would soon be walking, playing, going to school, making friends, and inevitably needing her less and less each day.  Even stranger was that she missed those tiny fingers and toes already.  It wasn’t so long ago she dreaded their very birth, dreaded the responsibility of motherhood and the lack of freedom it would bring.  But now that her triplets were growing, Lola suddenly wished that they’d stop.

Coralie put her hand in front of her mouth, covering her smile. “Look at you, Lola.  A mom through and through! Who ever would’ve guessed?”

Lola shook her head, laughing. “I know, it’s strange the way life works out, isn’t it? I have to say, I’ve enjoyed motherhood far more than I thought I would. I’m going to miss having my smushy little babies around – it almost makes me want to have another.”

Coralie’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, to which Lola laughed.  “I said, almost.  I can’t say I won’t miss this part, but I’m ready for the next phase.  They’ll be more independent as kids, and it’ll be nice to get some time to myself again.”

Coralie nodded in agreement. “Triplets are a lot of work, especially when you weren’t even planning on one! And I thought twins were hard! But oh, Lola – just wait until they’re teenagers. If even one of them turns out like Jessalyn, you’re going to have your hands full.”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves now! I need to get through today first! One step at a time, you know?”

Coralie turned to face her sister. “Well?” she asked. “Are you ready for this?”

Lola pursed her lips briefly, and then smiled. “Yeah. I’m ready.”


 

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Lola walked from crib to crib, taking in those squishy faces one last time.  There was an underlying sense of sadness, of time moving on, but overwhelmingly, Lola was ready.  She was eager to meet her children, to see how they would grow and who they would turn out to be.  Parenthood wasn’t about keeping her children to herself, but about raising them to be capable and unique individuals.  And unique they would be, if they took after her.

And as the family gathered around, and the bassinets began to shake, Lola grinned in anticipation.

Libby was the first to spring from her crib, natural born leader that she was. As an insider with the Social Butterfly aspiration, Libby immediately took to Jessalyn.  If anyone could help her achieve Queen Bee status, it was her cousin.

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Diego soon followed suit, bounding from his crib to join his sister.  Already he was an active boy, but with the Artistic Prodigy aspiration, it was clear that his energies would be used in pursuit of creative endeavors.

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And as the youngest, Celia was the last to leap.  Naturally creative with the Rambunctious Scamp aspiration, she was as different from her brother as a triplet can be.

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Lola stood on the sidelines and sighed.  Her triplets were triplets, as similar as any three children could be.  But already she sensed the differences, where their personalities would diverge and grow independently of one another.  And separately from her.


 

Here are the kids in CAS:

Libby Hasslich

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Diego Hasslich

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Celia Hasslich

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In another home, life with triplets might prove overwhelming, noisy, or even chaotic. But the Hasslich family was no stranger to multiples, and so the chaos was only more of the same.

The triplets were off to a running start, all three of them full of energy and personality. Diego, forever in pursuit of artistic excellence, spent most of his time at the his craft table.

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Day after day, his talent grew, not as a result of any natural ability, but as a product of his endless reserve of persistence and dedication. Diego worked hard to graduate from drawing shapes to vehicles, and though he loved his sister, he envied Celia’s innate creativity – especially because she rarely used it.

Celia never could sit still for long.

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But it was Libby – predictably – who emerged as the leader of the pack. There was nothing she loved more than people, than making friends, and being admired.  She idolized her cousin Jessalyn, and strove to walk in her very popular footsteps.  Indeed, there was nothing Libby liked more than people, unless it was being loved by them.

And so, while her brother and sister were happy in their individual endeavors, Libby was ready to surround herself with her very own subjects friends.

“I’m going to start a club,” she told Celia one day.  “A super-secret, super special, really cool club.  And since you’re my sister, I’ll even let you be in it!  Space is limited, of course, so I’ll need your formal acceptance letter by noon.” Libby smiled benevolently at Celia, as if she was doing her a great big favor.

Celia shrugged.  “Okay, sure.  But who’s in this club, anyway?”

Libby crinkled her nose.  So far it was only her, and Celia, pending that acceptance letter, of course.  But it wouldn’t sound very cool to say so.  “VIP’s only,” she answered vaguely.

Celia shrugged again. “Okay, sure. But what do we do in this club?” she asked, reluctant to commit to anything that might interfere with her monkey bar time.

Libby paused.  She hadn’t really thought about that.  “It’s a secret!” she improvised.  “If you want to be in it, don’t ask so many questions, Celia.”

“Whatever,” Celia muttered.  “But, Libby – ” she leaned in close, not wanting to be overheard. “Make sure to invite, Diego, too.”

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Libby did invite Diego – not that she particularly wanted to.  Her brother was kind of a geek, she thought, always hidden away behind his craft table with a big bag of glitter. But her options were limited, and she’d have to start somewhere.

And when the day of their first club gathering arrived, Libby was thrilled to find that it was an undeniable success. Not only did everyone listen to her as the club leader, but they even gained a member!

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Libby thought her cousin Amalie was almost (almost) as cool as she was, which was really saying something. If she played her cards right, Libby decided she might even grant her cousin with the coveted title of Princess-Bee (second in command, of course, to Libby’s own title of Queen-Bee).

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-Madison Hasslich, left (daughter of Isaac Hasslich) playing with Amalie Wahine (daughter of Xander Wahine-

But while Libby spent her day with her new wing-woman, Diego made a new friend of his own.

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Sheena Santander was her name, as Diego soon found out. But when he introduced himself as Diego Hasslich, Sheena gave him a funny look.

“Hasslich?” she said, like it was a dirty word. “My mom says the Hasslich men are cads, whatever that means. I don’t think it’s good thing, though.”

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Diego shrugged.  “I’m not a cad,” he assured her.  He didn’t know what that meant either, but it didn’t sound like a good thing. All Diego knew was that he only wanted Sheena to think good things about him.

“Her old boyfriend was some guy called Xander, I think,” Sheena went on.

Diego’s face lit up.  “That’s my Uncle Xander!”  He frowned, putting two and two together. “But my Uncle Xander isn’t a… a cad.”

Sheena shrugged. “My mom says he is, but she says that about my dad, too. My dad just says my mom is sad. He always used to say, ‘Janie, turn that frown upside down!’ But she didn’t, and now my dad has a new girlfriend, which is kinda weird, because my dad is REALLY old.”

Diego didn’t know what to say to that, but he did think it sounded like Sheena could use a friend.  As soon as he had the chance, he would ask Libby if Sheena could join the club.

Because all Diego knew was he wanted to see her again.

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The Fairfield Diaries : 1.1 Eva Capricciosa

Eva

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Two things you should know about me: 1) I never wanted to settle down, and 2) I’ve always had a soft spot for the bad boys. That’s why it’s so funny that I somehow became a married mother of three. What’s even funnier is that I love it.

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My husband is a far cry from a bad boy, but there’s this crazy, unpredictable side of him that drives me wild. I never know what to expect with Rez, and he always keeps me on my toes. Never a dull moment. That’s what drew me to him when we first met – my friends thought it was his distinguished good looks, or even his family name I found attractive. But really, I just liked that wild look in his eye.

Still, I never thought I’d marry him, or anyone really. Not until he came to me with this absolutely insane idea that we leave Willow Creek together, and create some new kind of society. One where looks don’t matter, he said, where no one knows his name or his family history.  It was all completely out of the blue, and it made no sense to me, but it didn’t matter. Love, he said, was about so much more than physical chemistry or impulsive lust. I laughed, of course, because Rez is a Hasslich! Impulsivity and lust are in his blood, and isn’t lust what brought us together in the first place? But Rez was serious – he was beyond passionate about the idea, about this traditional society where marriages are arranged and couples stay together no matter what.  It was crazy and harebrained, and just insane enough to excite me. So I said yes.

And so we eloped, Rez and I.  He took my last name, and the rest is history.

Beyond the success of Fairsfield, Rez’s biggest dream is to become a well-known comedian.  He’s on the bottom of the totem pole right now, but he’s working his way up.  For some reason, he’s required to learn to play music before he they’ll give him a chance to tell his jokes.  He’s not very good, but I like to listen to him play anyway.

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As for me, I’ve gotten a job in the tech industry.  That means I spend a lot of time playing games on the computer, so I can’t complain.  I’ve been out on maternity leave for quite awhile, but now that the kids are in school and our bills are increasing, it’s time for me to buckle down again.

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Our kids are growing up so fast.  Zelda and Zachary are always at the park, making friends with other kids their age.

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Well, Zachary is, anyway.  Zelda’s not much of a people person.

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But even our youngest, baby Myles, isn’t a baby anymore.

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But with the twins’ birthday getting closer every day, Rez and I spend time with the other Founders whenever we can. It’s important to Rez that we arrange Zelda’s and Zachary’s marriages now, so that we can surprise them with the news once they’re officially teenagers. Rez is sure they’ll be thrilled, there’s not a shred of doubt in his mind. But me? I can’t help but worry. Rez’s harebrained idea seemed exciting an interesting at the time, but my babies were only hypothetical back then. Now that they’re real, that they’re individuals with their own dreams and personalities, I wonder if arranged marriage is really what’s best.

But Rez has no doubts.  He spends hours on the phone, making the arrangements. He talks a lot with Tatiana Cloud, whose son is Zelda’s age and who Rez says is her best prospective match. They’re both loners, and will each respect the other’s need for space. Rez says he trusts Tatiana, and I wonder why he would rather talk to Tatiana than to me, but I remind myself not to be jealous.  It’s only business, so I keep my mouth shut.  I do think the Oulette’s new boy is a better fit for Zelda, though. I’ve been talking with Maaike, and we have plans of our own.

I’m sitting by the window, texting with Maaike, when I see Rez outside talking to a man I’ve never seen before. Well, they’re not talking exactly – Rez is furious, and I recognize that wild look in his eye.

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Something inside me stirs at the sight of it, and I’m filled with exhilaration.

I run outside to intervene, but if I’m honest I have no intention of breaking this up. If I know Rez, he’s said something offensive, he’s pushed too hard, he’s set the man off. And I don’t care because deep down, his wild side excites me.

But when I get there, I see that this altercation is escalating more quickly than I’d bargained for.  I like seeing Rez in caveman mode, but I don’t want to see him fight.  I step in and kiss his hands, trying to calm him down.

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But the man takes the opportunity to mock me, and Rez looses his cool.

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I standby helplessly, but luckily Rez emerges victorious, and the other man rushes away with his tail between his legs.

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And suddenly, I realize, I’m feeling frisky.

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On a whim, I throw caution to the wind.

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And a few days later…

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I’m pregnant again, and this time I hope for a sister for Zelda.

My pregnancy progresses healthily, but as the days go on, I become more and more exhausted.  The twins’ birthday is impending, and fortunately, Rez has things “under control” in the kitchen.

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He makes quite the mess, but at least the cake is actually edible.

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Zachary blows out the candles first…

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And Zelda goes next…

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And as Rez prepares to inform each of them of their betrothed, I see both of my children take a deep breath.  Rez opens his mouth, the eagerness written on his face, but just as he begins to speak, a cry escapes my mouth.

I’m in labor.

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Welcome to the family, Poppy Capricciosa!

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Zelda Capricciosa : loner, hot-headed, Fabulously Wealthy aspiration.

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Zachary Capricciosa: genius, slob, Bodybuilder aspiration

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