Thursday, October 6, 2011
Chapter 0.10: Today Is Tomorrow's Regret
After Ryder proposes, Jane moves in with him and his parents. The couple maintain separate bedrooms, despite Ryder's best attempt to persuade her otherwise. She claims that she wants to save herself for their wedding night.
Although Ryder easily secured a job in the film industry, his career seems to have stalled out before it even began. The only acting gigs he ever gets are minor, non-speaking parts, and while it doesn't really bother him that much Jane finds his lack of progress infuriating.
In his spare time, Ryder learns to play the guitar. He's always loved music, and he dreams of mastering the skill one day. Jane watches him unhappily, wanting him to focus on his career instead.
To prove her point, she takes him back to the salon where they had their first date.
"You're never going to get anywhere in the film world if you look like that," she tells him.
Ryder frowns. "But I like my long hair," he explains.
Jane rolls her eyes. "That's the first thing that needs to go..."
As the last lock of his beautiful blonde hair falls to the floor, Ryder begins to sob. His manhood be damned, he really loved his hair.
"How could you do that to me?!" he exclaims angrily. He knows it's completely irrational to be so upset about something as trivial as hair, but he feels like she's betrayed him.
Jane shows no remorse. "I want my future husband to be successful," she explains, her voiced edged in irritation. "I was only trying to help!"
That night, Ryder goes to bed still fuming about the makeover. For the first time ever, he consciously questions whether they are meant to be together, but he quickly dismisses the thought as pre-wedding jitters.
The day of their wedding arrives at last. Despite her parents not contributing a single simoleon to the party budget, Jane insists that she and Ryder get married at the elite Lighthouse Country Club. She also insists that Ryder wear a tuxedo and scarf to match her wedding gown (hints the pink).
Ryder grins like a doofus during the entire ceremony, unable to hide his glee. Jane tries her best to act happy and excited, but inside she feels like screaming. She tells herself that it's just cold feet, that all brides feel this way, but deep down she knows better. As she places the ring on Ryder's finger, she thinks about her first boyfriend, Terrence, and a frown crosses her lips. Luckily, Ryder is too absorbed in the moment to notice.
Several hours later as the party begins to wind down, Ryder pulls Jane aside.
"I think we've waited long enough," he whispers into her ear. "Are you ready yet?"
Jane blushes and nods her head.
Back at the house, the newlyweds make their way upstairs. As they lay on the bed gazing at each other awkwardly, Ryder wonders why he feels so nervous, why it feels so forced.
Jane wonders the same thing.
With her own mother removed from the picture, Jane decides to confide her worries in Beatrix.
But Bea is more interested in watching TV than listening to her daughter-in-law drone on and on about her problems. Jane seems to get that a lot.
Though most of her high school cronies stopped talking to her ages ago, Jane knows of one friend who will always listen to her. Terrence Little, her ex-boyfriend, lives on the other side of town in a high rise condo, but she decides to pay him a visit anyway.
"I just don't know what's wrong with me lately," she tells Terrence as they stand around chatting in his living room. "Ryder is great. Better than great. He's perfect. But... I don't know. It's just, I just..." she pauses, her eyes bright with tears. "It doesn't feel right."
Unable to bury her emotions any longer, she begins to cry, warm tears streaming down her face.
He pulls her into a hug. "Shh," he soothes softly. "It's alright sweetheart. Everything is going to be just fine..."
Their innocent hug turns into a not-so-innocent kiss.
...Which turns into an all-out affair.
"Where have you been?!" Ryder demands when Jane gets home late that night. "I was worried sick about you!"
"What does it matter to you, anyway? Am I not allowed to hang out with my friends anymore?" Jane shouts back.
Ryder glares at her. "What is going on with you?! You've been so temperamental lately!"
"Whatever Ryder. I don't need this shit," she yells as she storms upstairs to bed. "Oh, and you can just sleep on the couch for all I care!"
Jane has to make a detour to the bathroom before she can go crawl under the covers and cry. Her affair with Terrence, the fight with Ryder, her whole confusing life; it's all just too much. She throws up in the toilet but leaves still feeling oddly nauseated.
A Few Weeks Earlier:
Sharla Starr stands alone in her basement apartment, savoring the moment. Already an adult for far too long, she finally left her intolerable family and their wretched little house and moved out on her own. Free at last, she feels giddy with excitement.
Sharla grew up a lonesome child, the result of a quickie marriage and mismatched parents. Her father, in all his infinite wisdom, despised her. Claimed she was "evil", whatever that means. Her mother ignored her, preferring to dote on her three younger sisters instead.
But Sharla refuses to pity herself. Ever since she was a child, she's known she's special. She could feel the vampiric power coursing through her body, sense the potency of the undead beneath her skin. Stronger, faster, smarter. She is all these things and more. Even compared to her own sisters, she knows she is by far superior.
A few weeks ago, she met Ethan. Bitter, lonely Ethan. He is so dark and moody, always sulking about some human woman who ripped out his heart and broke it into a million pieces. Needless to say, Sharla fell madly in love with him from the moment he said hello.
She can sense that he is different too, that under his human exterior he is far more powerful than he lets on. And she feeds off that power, her hunger aroused by just the thought.
At first he refused her advances, explaining that he could never love another woman again. But if there's one thing Sharla knows above all else: Sharla gets what Sharla wants.
In no time, she brought him around. She's always been able to seduce men with her charms, and Ethan is no different. Who cares if he doesn't actually love her? She does't need his love, as long as she can sleep in his arms.
Sharla is walking home late one night after a particularly grueling day at the studio when an unfamiliar man stops her just outside her building.
"Excuse me, ma'am, you dropped your keys."
"Hmph," she says as she bends over to pick them up. She stands up slowly, her back aching from her long shift at work, when she locks eyes with the stranger. Immediately, she freezes. A fully matured vampire stands before her, larger and more terrifying than anyone she'd ever met. His eyes glow faintly in the moonlight, his pale skin shimmering with an unearthly iridescence.
"Sharla Starr, it's a pleasure to meet you," he says as he extends his hand. His voice is low and deep, and oddly soothing. "We have much to discuss, you and I."
"Who are you?" Sharla asks nervously. "Wh-What do you want?" She tries to sound cool and collected, but this man rattles her.
"You are carrying my son's child," he replies calmly. "And the last hope I have to fulfill a prophecy."
I really struggled writing this chapter for multiple reasons. First, I didn't have any idea how to handle my generation 3 roll. Here it is, in case you were curious.
Generation 3 Information:
Marital Status- Couple
Number of Children- 3
Primary Income- Criminal (Thief)
Secondary Income- Job Hopper
Generation Goal- Property Mogul
Miscellaneous Fun- Fashion Diva
Not a bad roll, but it's hard to come up with a plausible reason why my heir would choose to become a criminal when the family is already ludicrously wealthy. I even deleted Ryder and Jane's wedding presents, using master controller to remove the money out of my family's account. (Even one that was worth half a million simoleons!)
Also, I couldn't quite figure out how to illustrate story progression's autonomous events. I wanted to write about Sharla and Ethan's relationship, but I couldn't for the life of me think of a plot line. Finally, I decided to draw on a super old story line from my last legacy (the West legacy) and try to incorporate it into this legacy somehow. Not that I expect any of you all to remember it or anything, I just think it has interesting potential. And I happen to love this particular character.
Finally, I didn't realize that writing about Jane's affair would be so difficult! I don't really understand why people cheat, but I didn't want to make her out to be some cold, heartless sex addict either. So I did my best to try to get behind the psychology of her actions and actually give her a soul. Lol, whether I succeeded or not is questionable, but at least I tried.