Monday, January 2, 2012

Chapter 2.7: Vulnerable

After spending the entire morning chasing an energetic toddler around the neighborhood playground, Faye feels tired and cranky and ready to go home. She gathers up Audrey, finds her keys, and turns to leave, when all of a sudden she hears a familiar voice call her name. Glancing over her shoulder, Faye groans. Heath greets her with an amicable smile, but beneath his friendly fa├žade she can sense frustration.

Faye takes a deep breath, bracing herself for a fight. "If you're coming over here to lecture me," she says, putting her hand on her hip, "don't bother. I already feel bad enough, Heath, without hearing your two cents."

"Moi?" he asks, stopping short. He smiles at her endearingly and steps closer. "I take offense to that accusation, mademoiselle." 

Faye laughs. She hasn't seen her good friend since before she started showing, and in all honesty she's missed him dearly. "You've always been too opinionated for your own good," she retorts with a grin.

Heath chuckles, but his eyes are serious. "Faye, I know you've been avoiding me," he begins. "And I know that it has to do with your pregnancy. I just... I don't understand why."

Faye fidgets uncomfortably. "I don't know what to say. I guess I just thought you'd be mad."

"Bullshit," Heath replies. "That's bullshit, and you know it. I don't give a crap that you're pregnant, Faye. I just wish you'd be honest with me."

She frowns. "Heath, please. I-"

"It has to do with your baby daddy, doesn't it?" he interrupts, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. "You slept with Ryan, didn't you?"

"No!" Faye snaps. "No, Heath. It's not Ryan. It's- It's Wesley," she says at last.

Heath looks taken aback. "Wesley?" he asks. "Who is Wesley?"

Faye sighs. "Wesley Mason."

"Wait a second. Do you mean the Wesley Mason?!" 

She nods.

"But... He's married!"

Faye rolls her eyes. "Yes, I've become aware."

"Does he know about the baby?"

"No, and I'd like to keep it that way! Heath, you know the tabloids would go crazy if they realized Wesley was having a child out of wedlock, and I... I don't want to do that to him or his family. Please. Please. You mustn't say anything to anybody about this. Okay?"

Heath pouts. "Fine, but on one condition."

Faye glares at him. "What?" she asks.

"I want to touch it."

"Touch what?" Faye glances up uncertainly.

"Eww!" Heath squeals. "It MOVED!"

Faye giggles. "It does that a lot now."

"So when are you going to move out?" he asks casually.


"Move out," he repeats. "I mean, now that you're having a baby, I just assumed you'd move out. You can't stay a nanny forever, can you?"

Faye quickly says goodbye to Heath and excuses herself. She walks briskly to the car, his words still ringing in her mind. I can too stay a nanny forever, she thinks defiantly. What the hell does he know, anyway?! 

However, try as she might, Faye can't shake the feeling that Heath might actually have a point.

She gets so lost in her own thoughts that she almost runs over her brother Nathaniel.

"Hey Faye," he smiles at her.

"Nathan!" she laughs. "I didn't see you there! How are you? How is Beth?"

"I'm alright," he lies. "Beth broke up with me again. Right after Dad died."

Faye takes Audrey out of her stroller and gently sets her down in the grass. "Oh, Nathan. I'm so sorry. What a bitch! I can't believe she'd do that, and right after Dad's death..."

"Enough about me though," Nathan says, faking a smile. "I can't believe you're pregnant! Dad would have been so proud!"

"You think?" Faye sounds skeptical. "I mean-"

"Of course he would!" Nathan enthuses. "And with a doctor, too! He would be ecstatic."

Faye shoves him away. "Nathaniel! Ryan and I are not an item! How many times do I have to tell you guys that?!"

"Right, I just... assumed... since you two are living together..."

Faye glares at him. "Goodbye Nathaniel," she replies irritably as she grabs Audrey and walks away.

The following few weeks proceed fairly normally for Faye and Ryan. That is, until one afternoon a surprise visitor shows up at their door. 

With a frown, Ryan shakes Wesley's outstretched hand. "Hello, Wes. I didn't realize you were back in town."

"Yes, I came at once. I had to see for myself."

Ryan feigns ignorance. "See what?"

"Faye. Is she here?"

"Did she call you?" he demands.

Wesley looks exasperated. "No, but I wish she had. I heard about it through... a source. I need to see her. Is she home?"

"I will tell her you came by," Ryan replies. "But I cannot let you in. If she wants to speak with you, then that's her decision. Not mine."

"Come on now, Ryan," Wesley grins. "Let's be sensible about this. I want to see Faye, and I want to see her now. I came all the way across the country to talk to her, and I will not take 'no' for an answer." 

Ryan shakes his head. "I'm sorry, Wesley. If she wants to see you, she will give you a call."

Wesley smirks. "Friend. Buddy. Pal. We've known each other since, when? High school? I'm sure you remember how persistent I can be. Now let's cut the crap. Please go find Faye. Now."

Ryan feels his temper snap. "Wesley, I said NO!" he shouts angrily. "She doesn't want to see you, and frankly I don't blame her."

"What's the big deal?!" Wesley responds. "Why are you protecting her, Ryan?"

"Wesley, just f-" Ryan stops mid-sentence. Slowly ambling towards them, Faye's giant, bloated figure emerges over Wes' shoulder. Following his gaze, Wesley grins.

 Faye walks outside and quietly nods to Ryan. "Please?" she says. "I think Wesley and I need to talk. Alone."

"Are you sure?" Ryan asks. "I'm happy to stay. I can-"

"No," she interrupts. "No. I'll be fine. Thank you, Ryan." She smiles at him weakly, but her eyes are full of stubborn determination.

Once Ryan leaves, Wesley immediately digs into the heart of the matter. "Is it mine?" he asks.

"Yes," she replies without hesitation.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

Faye frowns. "Why are you here?" she retorts. "You didn't seem to care much about me before."

"Of course I cared about you. But this," he says motioning to her belly, "this changes things."

"How?" Faye demands. "Why can't you just pretend like you don't even know me? Like I don't even exist?"

He reaches for her hand, but she pulls away. "Because," he responds, his voice quavering. "Because I can't stop thinking about you. About us. I- I love you Faye."

She sighs. "You don't love me, Wesley. You barely know me."

"I want to be with you. I want to help you raise our baby, and I want to be part of his- or her- life."

Faye shakes her head. "Why do you even care? Go have a family with your wife or one of your numerous other girlfriends and leave me- leave us- alone."

Wesley's head drops. "I can't," he whispers. "I can't have any more children."

"What?" Faye looks confused.

"There was an accident, and the doctors... They couldn't save my- my-" 

While Faye and Wesley talk, Ryan tries to get some work done, but his attempts prove futile. He can see them through his office window. They've been talking for over an hour now, and he wonders what they could possibly be saying. 

Don't listen to him, Ryan thinks with sudden desperation. He knows very well that Wesley will do anything to get what he wants, and he worries that Faye will fall victim to one of his manipulations.

A few minutes later, Faye walks into Ryan's study.

"Wesley's gone," she announces.

"Did you talk about the baby?" Ryan wants to know.

"Yes," Faye smiles. "Wesley is moving to Appaloosa Plains. To be with the baby. And me," she adds after a second.

Ryan feels his stomach drop. "No! Faye, you don't know him like I do. He's married, and-"

"Getting a divorce," Faye finishes. "He's taking the role of fatherhood very seriously, Ryan. He says he's done sleeping around and he's ready to be a family now."

"But, Faye. I-"

Suddenly, Faye feels a sharp pain in her lower abdomen. "R-Ryan," she cuts him off. "I think it's time."

As a world famous doctor, Ryan has seen many women in labor, but he's never heard any scream as loud as Faye.
"Just. Stay. Calm," he instructs her patiently. "I will get the car."

"It's in the fucking shop!" Faye yells. "Remember?! GODDAMMIT I'M GOING TO DIE!"

So Ryan calls a taxi and calmly reassures her that she is, in fact, not going to die.

As they approach the hospital, Ryan continues to ease Faye's frazzled nerves.

"Ryan, I don't think I can do this," she babbles. "I'm scared. I don't want to. I-"

"You will be just fine," he soothes. "You are going to do great, Faye. I know you will."

She stops at the edge of the hospital door. "Ryan?" she whispers.

"Yes, Faye?" he asks softly.

Without a word, she slips her hand into his. "I'm ready now," she murmurs.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Chapter 2.6: Our Faye

"Marriage," Ryan repeats to Audrey.

"Mawidge," she replies cheerfully.

Ryan sighs and shakes his head. Already on edge, he feels his remaining patience wearing thin. He stands up and stretches, and then, for what feels like the hundredth time tonight, he pulls out his cell phone and checks his recent calls. No new messages.

"Where could she be?" he asks Audrey as he carefully picks her up. "She should have been home hours ago."

"Mawidge," she says, smiling up at him with bright, innocent eyes.

Ryan laughs and kisses her on the cheek. "Let's hope not. We need our Faye, don't we sweetheart?"

"Mawidge," she repeats again.

Ryan frowns as he gently sets Audrey down in her crib. Perhaps he shouldn't have taught her that word.

A couple of hours later, Ryan hears the slam of a car door and the familiar tap-tap of Faye's shoes on the pavement outside. He sets down his book and patiently waits for her to walk through the front door.

"You're home late," Ryan casually observes.

Faye's voice sounds faint and distant. "Yes. I- I lost track of time."

Ryan stands up and walks over to her. "Are you okay?" he asks softly, his face full of concern.

"Yes," she replies vacantly. "I'm fine."

Ryan isn't convinced. "Faye, you don't have to pretend with me. I've known Wesley Mason for years, and I've seen the way he treats women. You did the right thing, breaking it off."

"He didn't even care," she tells him quietly. "He said it was for the best and then asked me to leave. I just... I thought he cared about me."

"Oh Faye," Ryan whispers. "I'm so sorry."

He watches her closely, his eyes wide with worry, and as she begins to cry he instinctively reaches toward her and brushes a tear off her cheek. "He doesn't deserve you," he murmurs.

Faye laughs, but it sounds hollow and weak. "He doesn't deserve me? Or I don't deserve him?"

"You deserve so much better than him," Ryan replies, his eyes locked on hers. "Faye, there's something I've been wanting to tell you." He takes a deep breath, bracing himself for rejection, but before he can speak she interrupts him.

"R-Ryan," she stammers. "I- I don't f-feel so good..." Grabbing her stomach, she turns and runs toward the bathroom.

Ryan hesitates but quickly follows after her, stopping just outside the bathroom door. He can hear her violent upheavals even through the thick walls.

"Are you okay?" he calls out.

Faye lays down on the floor and takes a deep breath, allowing the cool tile to soothe her flushed face. "I'm fine," she answers weakly. "I'll be fine."

"Are you sure? I can-"

"No," she snaps. "Please. I'll be fine."

But she isn't fine. As the days turn to weeks, Faye finds herself getting sick more and more often. At first, she blames her illness on food poisoning or the flu, but the longer she waits the harder it becomes to deny the truth.

She is pregnant.

As soon as her normal clothes stop fitting, Faye decides that she can't hide it from Ryan any longer. She has been avoiding him ever since the night she broke up with Wesley, ever since she started getting butterflies in her stomach every time their eyes meet.

She takes a direct approach, not wanting to play games with him. "Ryan," she begins slowly. "I'm pregnant." He doesn't say anything, so Faye continues. "I will pack my bags and leave as soon as you've found another nanny to take my place. If you want, I can leave now, but I feel that for Audrey's sake you should hire someone before I go. I don't trust daycare, and I'm not sure how well she'd adjust to-"

"Do you want to leave?" Ryan interrupts.

"Excuse me?" Faye looks taken aback.

"Do you want to leave?" he repeats.

"Well, of course not," Faye replies. "I love Audrey, but once the baby arrives-"

"It can stay here too," Ryan finishes. "Audrey loves you, Faye. She's attached to you now, and I... I don't want to have to train another nanny. Besides," he adds, "I'm sure Audrey would love to have a little playmate to run around with."

"Oh Ryan!" Faye exclaims excitedly, pulling him in for a hug. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Holding her close, Ryan breathes in her faint scent. Cherry blossom, he thinks with a smile.

With her due date quickly approaching, Faye finds herself in desperate need of cash. On her nights off, she often heads down to the local park to busk for a few extra Simoleons.

Tonight, Faye's sister Anastasia shows up.

Elijah, Faye's father, died yesterday. Faye has been so busy caring for Audrey and worrying about her pregnancy, that she didn't even get a chance to say goodbye. Anastasia seems to be taking the news particularly hard.

Faye takes a break from busking to chat with Ana for a minute. When she brings up her pregnancy, however...

Ana doesn't take the news well. Apparently, she and her husband Derrick have been trying for a baby for quite some time and haven't had any success yet.

Faye consoles her distraught sister.

But when Anastasia asks to feel her baby bump, Faye refuses. She fears her jealous sister's temper.

Ryder, Faye's grandfather, is also at the park this evening. His good friend Jedidiah tries to cheer him up after Elijah's death, but the only thing Ryder can think about is how much his son would have enjoyed this park. Elijah always did love the great outdoors.

Nadira Sabo stands nearby, watching them grumpily. They're in her way, goddammit.

Back at home, Ryan puts Audrey to bed. As he kisses her good night, he can't help but think about how much Faye has done for his little daughter, how much she's done for both of them. Ryan wonders if Wesley knew about her pregnancy, if he would change Faye's mind about staying. He hopes not.

"We need our Faye, don't we sweetheart?" he whispers to Audrey.

The toddler yawns and lays down, her weary eyes struggling to stay open. "Faye Faye," she repeats sleepily.

Challenge Notes:

I always struggle to create a realistic time frame for Sim pregnancies. I never know whether to play it off as nine months or three days. It's more believable to write it as though it happened over nine months, but that's always so hard when you only have three days to take pictures.

As for my challenge updates, Ryan is still at level 2 in the medical career, and Faye only busks when I feel like it. I am really running low on cash right now, but I'll figure it out (I hope). Ryan's "hobby" for the Hobby, or Obsession? goal is reading, and Faye does painting. Although, I'll admit, I'm a tad bit behind on their hobbies for the past couple of weeks, but I will make it up soon. I just forget sometimes, lol. The It's So You miscellaneous fun will be complete once Faye's kid reaches childhood. I'm not going to makeover my nursery right now, so the children will just have to wait to have redecorated rooms. Plus I have no money at the moment. Haha.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chapter 2.5: Bedazzled

"And why are we here again?" Faye asks as she sits down at the bar.

Heath sighs dramatically. "Because, Faye. You never go out with me anymore," he complains. "It seems like you're always busy babysitting that little brat. Even on your nights off, you've been staying home with the kid, and I'm sick and tired of being less important than a two-year-old."

Faye opens her mouth to argue, but now that she thinks about it Heath has a point. She has been rather preoccupied with Audrey lately, and it's been several weeks since she's seen her good friend.

"See?" Heath pouts. "You're not even disagreeing with me."

"Of course you're important to me," she says, carefully avoiding his accusation. "It's just... Audrey is in such a delicate phase right now, and she requires a lot of my attention."

Heath frowns, his eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why do I think your absence has more to do with the doctor than the kid?"

Faye blushes and looks away. "It- It doesn't!" she retorts, not quite making eye contact. "Ryan is nothing more than my boss. We're just friends. I mean, he's Audrey's father, and that's all. The relationship is entirely professional."

Heath snorts. "Entirely professional? Since when did you start calling him 'Ryan'?" he wants to know.

Faye shifts uncomfortably. "He's much more relaxed now than he was when I first started," she replies defensively. "He prefers to be called Ryan now."

Heath rolls his eyes. "You wanna fuck him and you know it."

Faye looks shocked, so Heath back tracks. "Not that I blame you, love. A handsome, wealthy young doctor? I'd tap that."

"Heath, you're not gay!"

Heath grins. "Honey, for him I would be!"

While Heath gets into a heated argument with the bartender about the hottest lifeguard on Babe Watch, Faye tries her best not to act bored. Unable to stand it any longer, she makes her excuses and gets up to leave, but just as she's walking to the door a young man stops her.

"Hello," he greets her with a gleaming white smile.

"H-Hello," Faye stutters. Normally so confident and self-assured, Faye feels her stomach tingle nervously, and she wonders if her heart has just stopped beating. He's gorgeous, she thinks as she tries not to stare. From his perfectly sculpted hair to his glowing sun-kissed skin, she's never seen someone who looks so... polished.

"My name's Wesley."

"I'm Faye," she replies breathlessly.

"May I buy you a drink, Faye?" he asks smoothly.

"I- I- No," she says, shaking her head. "I was just about to leave."

"So soon?" He locks eyes with her. "But I was hoping for a dance."

The image of Audrey and Ryan flashes through her head. "You're sweet, but I-"

Heath interrupts her. "Of course she wants to dance!" he yells from across the room. Faye glares at him, but he ignores her. "Faye LOVES to dance! Faye, dance with the dude! Dance, monkey! DANCE!"

"I'm sorry," Faye whispers to Wesley. "He's a bit drunk. And mentally disturbed. Apparently he didn't get hugged enough as a child..."

Wesley chuckles. "I don't know. He seems pretty smart if you ask me," he says with a wink. "Just one dance? I swear I don't bite."

Faye hesitates. "Well, maybe just for a minute..."

"So where are you from?" Faye shouts over the music as they walk out onto the dance floor.

Wesley grins. "Nowhere special," he replies. "I'm a citizen of the world, you might say."

Faye laughs. "Okay, then. What do you do for a living?"

"Nothing, right now. I'm exploring my options," he says, running his eyes over her body.

The way he looks at her, the hungry passion in his eyes, makes Faye feel all tingly inside. "Why are you in Appaloosa Plains?" she wants to know.

"To get away for a while. From... people," he adds after a second.

"Well, how informative," she responds dryly. "You're quite the mystery, Wesley."

"I know," he replies, flashing her his most charming smile. "Enough about me though. Where are you from, beautiful?"

Faye feels a shiver go up her spine as their eyes meet. "Appaloosa Plains," she tells him proudly. "Born and raised."

"Really? And what do you do here in such a small town?"

Faye pauses. Wesley seems so sophisticated, so out-of-her-league; she doubts that he'd be half as interested in her if he knew that she worked as a nanny.

"Nothing special," she retorts at last.

He chuckles. "And who is the mystery here?"

As the bar begins to shut down, Wesley leans in and grabs Faye's hand. "Do you wanna come back to my place?" he whispers.

Faye frowns. "Wesley, you seem like a great guy, but I-"

He gently places a finger on her lips to silence her. "I won't take no for an answer," he grins.

Back at Wesley's house, things quickly begin to heat up. With a purposeful look in his eye, he pulls Faye toward him and runs his hand along her back, slowly tracing the curves of her figure.

"Wesley, I-"

"You're so beautiful Faye," he whispers, his hand moving lower and lower down her back.

"Thank you," she replies softly. "But-"

"Babe, there's no need to be shy," he says, gently grabbing her ass.

"Wesley!" she pulls away, shocked. "I don't even know your last name!" she blurts out.

To her surprise, he begins to laugh. "I don't normally get that response," he admits, his eyes twinkling. "Mason. My last name is Mason."

The name sounds vaguely familiar to Faye, but she can't seem to place it. "I'm Faye McKinley," she tells him.

"Well then, Ms. McKinley. I must say, I've enjoyed spending the evening with you."

Faye blushes. "Yes," she agrees. "But I really must get home now."

His face falls. "Already?"

She nods.

"What about a kiss good night?" he asks hopefully.

Faye is more than happy to oblige.

"When can I see you again?" he wants to know.

"I don't know," Faye whispers.

"Well, where do you live? How can I reach you?" Wesley asks.

Noticing the clock on the wall, Faye gasps. "It's 4 o'clock in the morning?!" She sounds shocked.

"Yes, but-"

"Oh! I really must go," she says as she heads to the door.

"But, Faye! I don't even have your number!"

"Bye Wesley!" she calls over her shoulder.

The next morning while Audrey plays in her room, Faye sits down to talk with Ryan. After her evening with Wesley, she feels tired and cranky and oddly guilty, as though she's betrayed Ryan by spending time with another man.

"You got in late last night," Ryan casually observes.

"I don't have a curfew!" Faye snaps. "I can get home whenever I please."

Ryan frowns. "Where were you?" he asks, trying to keep his tone impassive.

"Nowhere," Faye retorts. "It's none of your business anyway."

Ryan looks surprised. "No need to be so touchy, Faye. I was just trying to make conversation," he tells her.

"You don't need to keep track of me!" Faye responds angrily. "I may work for you, but you don't own me!" she yells. Then she storms off to Audrey's room, leaving a worried Ryan to wonder what he said wrong.

Faye emerges a couple hours later, and to her horror she sees Wesley and Ryan standing together in the living room, talking in hushed whispers.

"I had no idea," she hears Wesley say.

"Yes, she passed right after Audrey was born. Cancer, of all things."

"I'm so sorry, Ryan. I wish I knew she was sick. I would have come sooner."

"I appreciate the sentiment, old friend. How is your father?" Ryan asks.

Faye tries to quietly slip away, but Audrey begins screaming "Dada! Dada!" and both men immediately turn towards her.

"Faye!" Ryan's whole face lights up when he sees her. "Wesley, this is Faye McKinley and my daughter, Audrey."

Wesley frowns and looks from Ryan to Faye and back to Ryan again. "Wait. You're dating Faye?" he asks, confused.

Faye turns bright red. "No, Wes, it's not-"

Ryan interrupts her. "How do you know Faye?" he scowls.

Wesley hesitates. "We hung out last night," he says at last. "Faye, you didn't tell me you lived with Ryan Romulus."

"I don't!" Faye replies defensively. "I mean, yes I live with him, but not like that! Wesley, I'm Audrey's nanny..."

Wesley laughs, relieved. "You had me worried there for a minute, babe. I thought you and Ryan..."

"No!" she giggles. "He's just my boss."

"Excellent," he smirks. "I'm going to be in town for a few weeks, and perhaps you could show me around sometime?"

Faye leans in. "I'd love to," she whispers. "What would you like to see?"

"How about the inside of your-"

Ryan clears his throat. "Maybe Audrey and I should just-"

"Good idea," Wesley interrupts, not taking his eyes off Faye. "Why don't you go put the kid to bed or something, Ryan? I'm sure Faye wouldn't mind having the afternoon off."


Ryan stares intently at Faye. "Fine, but can I-" he begins.

Faye smiles at him. "Thanks, Ryan! I owe you one!" she says, quickly handing Audrey to her father.

Wesley and Faye spend the entire afternoon together.

...And the entire evening as well.

Faye sneaks out early the next morning while Wesley sleeps. She feels ashamed of herself and overwhelmed by guilt. She barely knew him, after all.

The following evening, Ryan gets home from his shift at the hospital earlier than normal.

"You slept with him," he says it more as a statement than an accusation.

"Why do you care, Ryan?" she snaps.

"Do you even know who he he is?" he asks, his eyes full of tender concern.

Faye sighs with exasperation. "Of course I know who he is. Wesley Mason."

"The Wesley Mason," Ryan corrects. "Heir to the Mason family fortune and a favorite among the tabloids for his numerous infidelities. Faye, he's married."