Monday, August 29, 2011

Chapter 0.2: Something Like A Second Chance

With her mailbox already full of bills, Beatrix hires a babysitter and goes job hunting. She interviews for countless jobs but only gets one offer. She cautiously accepts, and on Monday she puts on her uniform and heads down to the fire station for her first day as a firefighter.

With a nervous smile, Beatrix introduces herself to her heavily pregnant boss, Serenity Starr. As the only two women in the Anne Arbor fire department, they immediately hit it off. Bea thinks Serenity's purple hair is fabulous. If only she were so brave.

Serenity offers to show Beatrix around the city, and they agree to meet downtown at a local bar the following evening. Serenity never shows up, and Beatrix assumes she's probably gone into labor. About time too.

With the babysitter already hired and paid for, Bea decides to take advantage of her night out and have a few drinks. The bar is dead except for one other person, a young man with perfect hair and polished shoes. As he casually orders a drink, Beatrix can't help but notice his effortless charm and sophisticated demeanor. She carefully watches him out of the corner of her eye, making sure to keep her distance. These slick city boys make her nervous.

She tries to avoid him, but as the only two customers in the entire bar she soon finds herself face to face with the stranger.

"I haven't seen you around before," he grins at her, totally self-assured. Beatrix immediately picks up on the rich playboy vibe. As their eyes meet, Bea feels herself blush. She's never been one to play shy, but she's never met anyone so glamorous before either.

They shake hands, his grip firm and steady. "I'm Beatrix," she states matter-of-factly. She tries to be just as confident and carefree as him, but she comes across sounding disinterested instead.

"Nice to meet your Beatrix," he says, his eyes locked on hers. "I'm Brian. Brian Locklear."

"So, are you new to Anne Arbor?" he asks.

"Yes, I just moved here last week," she replies.

"And how do you like our lovely little city so far?" Beatrix senses a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

"It's very different from where I grew up, that's for sure."

"Oh? How so?" He gazes at her intently, his curiosity peaked.

"I come from a small farming town. Where everybody knows your name, your business, and your great uncle's second cousin."

Brian laughs, a deep, rich sound that echoes from his chest. "Well, I'd love to show you around sometime," he tells her. "Perhaps we can start with my bedroom," he adds with a wink.

Bea's mouth falls open in shock. She's never met anyone so cocky. The confident smirk on his face irks her.

"And that is my cue to leave," she announces as she heads for the door.

"Wait! Beatrix!" he calls after her.

She whips around, coming face to face with him.

"Yes Brian?" she asks impatiently. She's tired and cranky and wants to get home to her son.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. Most women find that line irresistible."

"Well, I'm not most women," Bea retorts. "And where I come from, arrogance is considered a flaw not a turn-on."

And with that, she turns around and walks out of the bar, leaving Brian alone with his thoughts.

"She's definitely not from around here," Brian mutters to himself, a small grin on his face.


The following afternoon, Beatrix decides to take Skylar, her son, out for a stroll to the park. When she arrives back at the lobby of her building, a familiar voice calls out her name.

"Hi Beatrix," Brian says affably.

"Brian?!" Bea looks at him with surprise. "Why are you in my building?" she asks bluntly.

"I was a visiting a friend of mine, Nina on floor 12. I didn't realize you lived here also." He smiles, pleased to be running into her so soon after their last encounter.

Bea glares at him. She's not happy about seeing him again.

Brian looks down and sees the baby in Bea's arms. "Is that your son?" he asks, his face impassive.

Beatrix scans the floor, too embarrassed to make eye contact. "Yes," she mumbles. She loves Skylar dearly, but she worries about how people will react to her being such a young mother.

"Oh," Brian begins, looking around awkwardly. "I didn't realize."

Beatrix just stands there silently, avoiding his curious stare.

"So, is his father in the picture?" Brian doesn't want to push it, but subtly is not his forte.

Bea laughs. "Is that all you think about Brian?!" She sounds both exasperated and amused.

Brian grins at her. "I like you. So shoot me."

Beatrix feels her heart beating so loudly that she wonders if Brian can hear it too. Something about him makes her stomach do somersaults. She hasn't felt this way since Ethan left, and it scares her.

"Brian, I've got to go. It's time for baby's nap," she lies. She quickly excuses herself and makes her way to the elevator.

She doesn't need to get her heartbroken again. Not so soon after losing Ethan.

Graceful, Beatrix. Real graceful.

Skylar becomes a toddler. He has Ethan's hair and eye color.

And this is what happens when you leave your toddler alone with the babysitter.... A Giant Red Plumbob.

Childcare is very expensive, and Beatrix finds herself struggling to pay the bills. The repo-woman looks like she's enjoying herself.

To Beatrix's dismay, Brian decides to drop by unannounced one evening. While Skylar plays quietly in his room, Brian and Beatrix discuss the recent rise in burglaries around the neighborhood. Although he's pretty vague, Bea discovers that Brian works at the local police department. What exactly he does there is a mystery.

"You know, you never answered my question," Brian tells her as they get up off the sofa.

"What question?"

"About Skylar's father... If he's in the picture or not."

Bea sighs. The evening was going so well. Brian hadn't made a single move all night.

"No," she says quietly. "He's not."

"So there's no large, muscular boyfriend who's going to beat me up if I ask you out?"

Beatrix blushes. "Brian. I think you're sweet, I really do..."

"But..." he interrupts.

"But," Beatrix continues, "I'm not dating right now. Skylar is the only man I need, and he is more than enough to deal with at the moment."

Brian frowns. It's obvious that rejection doesn't sit well with him. "You know, Beatrix, I can be pretty persistent when I want to be."

Bea laughs. "And I can be pretty stubborn when I want to be," she says with a smile.

It's getting late, and Brian is about to leave when he hears wailing coming from Skylar's bedroom. With Beatrix in the kitchen at the other end of the house, he decides to check on the little guy.

He finds Skylar sitting on the floor throwing a tantrum. He swiftly scoops up the child and distracts him with a game of the tickle monster. Sky loves the attention and finds Brian's antics hilarious.

Bea hears the commotion, and quickly makes her way to Skylar's bedroom.

She quietly walks into the room and is shocked by what she sees. Brian has Skylar dressed and ready for bed. She watches silently as he expertly soothes Sky's tearful protests and lays him down to sleep. The toddler falls asleep within minutes.

They noiselessly exit the room, and Beatrix closes the door behind them.

"I didn't know you were so good with kids," she tells him as they make their way back to the living room.

"There's a lot of things you don't know about me," Brian responds. "If we ever went on that date, you might be surprised by the things you'd learn."

Bea smiles shyly. She never thought of Brian as the nurturing type, and she has to admit she was impressed. What other tricks did he have up his sleeve?

"Well, it's getting late and I better go," he announces.

Before he leaves, Brian gently grabs Beatrix's hand. "Think about my offer, okay?" he says quietly.

As his hand brushes against hers, Bea's breath catches in her chest. Before she can reply, however, he turns and goes, leaving Beatrix feeling more confused than ever.

Challenge Notes:
Sorry for spamming pictures of Brian this chapter, but OMG I love him! I think he's my favorite Sim EVER, and I have no idea why. I literally squeal every time he pops up. And what is so frustrating is that he is SUPPOSED to be a jerk, but then he goes and does something so absolutely endearing, like playing "attack of the claw" with Skylar. That was totally autonomous and unplanned, but I couldn't not include it. It was just too adorable. And he likes to randomly show up at Bea's building just to drop by and say hello. And he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. And I think he's ridiculously handsome.

And now I'm not sure where I want to take my story. Damn you Brian for being so perfect!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chapter 0.1: New Beginnings

Feeling a mixture of fear and excitement, Beatrix surveys her new surroundings. There are so many tall buildings and man-made structures, so much traffic and noise, and so few wide open spaces. Coming from a small farming town, she feels lost amongst the smog and commotion. Far from her hometown and separated from her family, a wave of homesickness washes over her.

A small giggle brings her back to reality, and Beatrix looks down. The tiny newborn in her arms smiles gleefully up at her, gurgling contentedly as he snuggles against Bea's chest. She gazes back at him anxiously, still not believing that this helpless baby could be her son. She shakes her head, trying to calm her nerves. Her eyes are stinging, and she feels like she's on the verge of tears. She takes a deep breath and puts on a brave face. She needs to be strong, for her son's sake, but she's still reeling from everything that has happened recently.

Fresh off her eighteenth birthday, Beatrix feels like her final years as a teenager went by in the blink of an eye, yet she vividly recalls every painful detail.

She remembers being sixteen years old and in love. She remembers the excitement of prom night and the feeling of not having a care in the world. She and her boyfriend Ethan went together, and convinced he was the love of her life she gave up her virginity that night after the dance. It wasn't the only time they slept together, but it was the first.

And she remembers the panic, the absolute terror, when she found out she was pregnant. With an uncertain future looming over her, so large and terrifying, she remembers considering abortion. Or adoption. But she couldn't bring herself to choose either of those alternatives.

She clearly remembers the moment she told Ethan the news. The scared look on his face, the soothing tone in his voice, his comforting arms around her, she remembers thinking for the first time that everything might actually turn out alright.

But then came the arguing.

After she told Ethan about her pregnancy, Beatrix broke the news to her mother. All she remembers about that encounter is the yelling, so loud it hurt her ears. And the cold look on her mother's face as she told Beatrix to find a new home for herself and the baby. That no teenage mother was welcome to live under her roof.

She remembers pleading with her father, begging him to make her mom reconsider.

And his only response, a look of disgust and contempt.

Worst of all, she remembers getting the news that Ethan was being sent away to military school, that he was to be drafted into the army after graduation. She remembers yelling at Ethan's father, screaming for him to help them. All he did was laugh. It was the last time she remembers seeing Ethan.

She remembers a few months later she walked into the hospital and a few hours later she walked out with a baby. The labor pains frightened her, and she remembers wishing Ethan was there to hold her hand. She doesn't remember why she named her son Skylar, only that it was the first name she could think of.

Finally, she remembers coming home after the delivery. Her furious mother kicked her out of the house for good that night and even threatened to call the police if she didn't leave the premises immediately.

With a newborn in her arms, Beatrix sold the last of her belongings and bought a train ticket headed  somewhere out East. She left home that day and never looked back.

Beatrix had her eighteenth birthday on the train. After days of traveling, she finally arrived in the city of Anne Arbor. The first thing she did was find a cheap apartment. The realtor took pity on the "poor homeless child and her sweet little baby" and actually managed to find Bea a decent unit with an extra bedroom for Skylar.

She signed all of the paperwork as "Beatrix McKinley". She decided that she never wanted to see or hear from her family again, and to effectively cut all ties one must change your name, or so she reasoned. That way no one would ever be able to track her down.

Beatrix takes Skylar up to the apartment. She has yet to see the unit, and she's hoping it lives up to her expectations.

She's pleasantly surprised. It definitely needs some personalizing, but it will work just fine.

Bea snuggles Skylar close to her chest. "Do you like the new place Sky?" she coos softly to the infant.

Skylar just yawns, obviously ready for his nap. Beatrix decides to take that as a yes.

Challenge Notes:

Welcome to my new random legacy! My last legacy, the West legacy (found here), got bugged and became unplayable, so I decided to take my generation 3 heir (Beatrix), move her to Anne Arbor, and start a new legacy. It was hard to abandon my last legacy, but I think the McKinley clan should be pretty fun to play.

To give you a bit of background about the story, Beatrix was already pregnant (and a teenager) when my game started crashing. I played out the rest of her pregnancy in Riverblossom Hills (the home of the West family) and then moved her to Anne Arbor. In order to be as fair as possible, I forced her to age into a young adult before the move. I also gave her the standard 16,500 Simoleons to start with and removed all of her skill points and hidden traits. I wanted to make her just like a brand new Sim straight out of Create-A-Sim. Also, I realize that I'm probably breaking countless rules by not having Bea live through her pregnancy in Anne Arbor, but I decided against it for the sake of my story. So my legacy will start out with generation 2 already born.

Speaking of which, here are my rolls for generation 1 and generation 2. (My generation 1 roll is the same as it was for generation 3 of the West legacy).

Generation 1 Information:

Beatrix McKinley

Marital Status- Single Parent
Number of Children- 2
Primary Income- Firefighter
Secondary Income- N/A
Generation Goal- Awesome!
Miscellaneous Fun- It's So You

Generation 2 Information:

Marital Status- Couple
Number of Children- 2
Primary Income- Film (Actor)
Secondary Income- Music (Rock Star)
Generation Goal- Change of Scenery
Miscellaneous Fun- Half-Siblings