Friday, November 25, 2011

Chapter 1.6: Three Times The Trouble

As Elijah steps out of the dimly lit police station, the bright morning sun blinds him. He blinks a few times, trying to clear his sight, when he sees her standing by the corner of the building attempting to look inconspicuous. With her low cut shirt and bright red hair, Nadira Sabo never failed so miserably.

"Hello Nadira," Elijah says as he walks over to her. "Or is it Mrs. Parrott now?"

Nadira glares at him. "Kanoa and I decided to postpone the wedding for a few more weeks, so I can have a chance to settle into Appaloosa Plains. The vibe here is... different than back in my hometown of Neverglade."

"Well, what are his orders? I assume you're here on business?" Elijah asks, fidgeting nervously. Even though he's only known Nadira for less than a week, something about her makes him uneasy.

"Yes. I'm guessing you realize Kanoa had a hand in busting you out of jail?"

Elijah nods. "How'd he do it? I heard the evidence against me was pretty solid."

Nadira smiles, her eyes glittering with mischief. "Oh, you know. The usual. An eye witness placed someone else at the scene of the crime. Kanoa has many enemies, as I'm sure you are aware, and he is always looking for an excuse to rid himself of one of them."

Elijah frowns and tries to ignore the guilty churning in his stomach. "Fine. I'll just be going then..."

"Not so fast," Nadi smirks. "Kanoa wants to see you. Tonight, at the saloon."

Eli moans inwardly. He should have known that he wouldn't get off that easily.

Back at home, Elijah has a surprise waiting for him. He hears soft cries coming from the nursery, and as he walks through the door he feels his heart stop.

"Is that our son?" he asks quietly.

Scarlett gently lays the baby in his crib and slowly turns around. "Elijah?" she whispers. "Is it really you?"

He can tell that she's been crying, her pale cheeks wet with tears. "Scarlett, I-I'm so sorry."

He walks over to her and wraps his arms around her waist. She smiles at him, a look of shocked happiness on her face, and let's out a small sob.

"What happened?" she wants to know.

"I... I didn't do it sweetheart," he lies. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. An eye witness saw another man at the crime scene, and they arrested him instead. I was released this morning."

"I knew you had to be innocent," she tells him softly. "I knew you weren't capable of such a thing. Oh, Elijah. I'm so glad you're back!"

The familiar feeling of guilt returns, so strong it makes his whole body ache. Elijah fakes a smile, trying to look as innocent as possible. "What did you name him?" he asks.

"Nathaniel," Scarlett replies. "Just like we talked about."

As promised, Elijah heads to the saloon that evening to meet with Kanoa. He finds him upstairs by the bar.

"You wanted to see me?"

"Yes, we need to talk," Kano responds. "Why don't we play some shuffleboard while we discuss last night's... incident."

"I expected better from you," Kanoa tells him as they stand around the game table. "I've trained you well, given you all the tools you need to succeed, and so far you've been my star pupil. I had high hopes for you Elijah, but you cannot go beating up every man that hits on your wife. If you want to stay in my gang, you will need to exercise much more control than that."

Elijah nods, his face solemn. Kanoa continues, jumping into the heart of the matter. "I did you a favor, getting you out of jail, and for every favor I give I expect three favors in return."

"How can I help you?" Elijah asks, confused.

"I will figure something out," Kanoa replies gruffly. "I plan to keep you around for a while yet. You are my best thief, and the other guys in the gang seem to like and respect you. I will save the last two favors for some other time, but I do need your help with a particularly sensitive matter today."

Elijah watches him warily. "Okay..."

"I'm sure you've heard about Nadira and me?" Kanoa asks. Elijah nods. "Excellent. I need you to break up with her on my behalf."

"You... what?!" Eli doesn't know whether he should laugh or cry.

Kanoa chuckles. "Nadira, my fiancée. I don't want to be tied down right now, but honestly I've never been more afraid of a woman in my life. If I tell her it's over, she'll probably murder me with a toothpick and make it look like an accident. She did that to one of her boyfriends, you know. Not only is she a gifted criminal, she's got the temper of a hungry lion. She eats men like me for breakfast."

"What makes you think she won't take her anger out on me?" Elijah sounds slightly panicked. "I'm not immune to the deadly stab of a toothpick aimed at my jugular."

Kanoa grins knowingly. "That's why it's called a favor Elijah. Now get to it, or else you'll end up back in that jail cell for the next five years."

Elijah decides to get it over with and visit Nadi tomorrow morning. He figures his chances of survival are better earlier in the day when she might be slightly tired and off her game. He hopes so anyway.

Apparently, he guessed wrong. He finds her in quite a state. Not only is she pregnant, she's nauseated and her back aches. Nadira seems pretty pissed off about the whole situation.

"So, uh, Nadira," Elijah begins nervously. "I need to, uh, talk to you about something."

Nadi frowns. "What do you want Elijah?" she snarls.

Elijah glances around the kitchen, scanning the counter tops for knives, forks, toothpicks, or any other sharp instrument within grabbing distance. "Kanoa sent me here," he answers at last. "He, uh, wants me to tell you something."

Nadira rolls her eyes. "Okay..."

"Maybe we should sit down," Elijah says abruptly. "Or maybe you should sit down. Over here. In the corner."

"Elijah!" Nadi snaps. "Spit it out already!"

"Kanoa wants to break up with you." He speaks quickly and closes his eyes, bracing himself for a fight.

Instead he hears giggles which quickly turn into outright laughter. He opens his eyes and sees Nadira doubled over laughing.

"Oh my God!" she says wiping tears from her cheek. "You should have seen your face!"

"You're not mad?" Elijah watches her cautiously, still worried that she might hit him.

She chuckles. "Mad? Hell no. I was going to break up with that loser soon anyway. The kid is not even his."

Eli's eyes widen. "Oh..."

"Wipe that dumbass look off your face," she tells him, returning to her normal, temperamental self. "I may be pregnant, but I can still whip you in a fight if I wanted."

"Yes, okay. Sorry," Elijah says, showing himself to the door.

With that over and done with, life returns to normal around the McKinley household. Nathaniel becomes a toddler and inherits his father's eye and hair color.

And Scarlett's pregnant again.

This time they have a baby girl. They decide to name her Faye.

Right after Faye is born, Scarlett finds herself pregnant for the third time. She always wanted a big family, but she never realized how hard it was to be a mother.

Faye grows up and joins her brother in the toddler stage. Unlike Nathaniel, she inherits her mother's black hair and blue eyes.

The next day, Scarlett gives birth to another girl, named Anastasia.

Elijah and Scarlett hold a big party for Nathan's childhood birthday. Eli invites all his friends from work under the presumption that their just buddies from around town. On the far left, Ryder is now walking with a cane. Elijah and Nadira (who's pregnant again) cheer Nathaniel on while Kanoa and one of his thugs Patricia Bedlington sit on the sofa and watch television. They can't be bothered to come see the birthday boy blow out his candles.

Nathaniel becomes a child.

Also, Anastasia become a toddler. She has her father's grey eyes and her own bright red hair.

Nathaniel loves playing with his baby sisters.

You can't see me!

Soon, it's time for Faye's birthday. Scarlett is off at a horse show, so Elijah is all alone tonight.

...And this is what happens when Mom leaves Dad in charge.

But it's okay cause Elijah likes fire.

Oh yeah. Scarlett.

...She's probably not going to be happy that you almost burnt down the house.

But the show must go on!

 Faye is not pleased. Not pleased at all. She really wanted some of that birthday cake.

Scarlett is going through a midlife crisis right now and really wants to spend some money. She makes it up to Faye by buying her a tree house.

Nathaniel would rather stay in the house and paint. Faye thinks he's such a L-O-S-E-R.

"I will be a famous musician one day, and I will perform on big stages in front of lots of people!" Nathan proclaims.

"Will not!" Faye retorts.

"Yes I will!" Nathaniel replies angrily.



Elijah intervenes. "You need to apologize to your sister right now young man," he says. "We do not say 'shut up' in this household."

"But Dad..." Nathan whines.

"Say you're sorry or you are grounded for a week."

A close-up of Faye's face. Nothing makes her happier than the sweet joy of getting her brother in trouble.

Nathaniel has yet another birthday. He seems shocked at how fast he's growing up.

"MOM!" Faye calls. "Ana's picking her nose again!"

The next morning is Nathan's first day in high school.

"I don't want to join band!" he moans. "Band is for geeks!"

"Elijah McKinley, band is not for geeks," Scarlett reprimands. "And if you don't join music club then I'm not going to buy you that guitar you've been asking for."

"Mom! That's so not fair!" he complains.

"Well, life is not fair. Deal with it."

(Side note: Faye got CAAAAKE!)

Anastasia celebrates her birthday. She is rather pleased.

She immediately takes a liking to all things furry. She dreams of following in her mother's footsteps and becoming a famous horsewoman.

Now that her kids are out of diapers and in school all day, Scarlett decides to adopt another horse, a mare named Sarah. She plans to breed Sarah and her old stallion Spirit.

Scarlett tries to convince herself that adopting another horse made sense for the ranch, that it's not just because she feels empty and alone without the kids at home. Deep down though, she know it's not true.

Challenge Notes:

Nathaniel is the heir. *pouts* I have a particular plot in mind for generation 2 that requires a male heir, and I didn't get any other boys. Honestly, I'm kind of getting sick of blonde hair, grey eyes. That was Ryder's combination, and Elijah's combination, and now it's Nathaniel's combination. I swear I kept writing "Elijah" where I should have written "Nathaniel" throughout this entire chapter. Really, I'd be surprised if there isn't one of those mistakes somewhere in this update.

My favorite of the kids is Faye, by far. She's got spunk, and I think she turned out really well (as you'll see in future chapters). Also, all three of the kids inherited the "Pyromaniac" trait, which is funny because I believe there's only like a 1 in 3 chance that a child will inherit that trait instead of the "Immune To Fire" one. They get it from Elijah, who does in fact have the "Immune To Fire" hidden trait. Also, Faye and Anastasia got the "Burglar" trait, but Nathaniel did not. I guess Elijah wasn't high enough up in his career yet or something. =(

I thought about changing Ana's red hair to Scarlett or Elijah's color, but I decided I really liked having 3 kids with 3 very different hair colors so I kept it. I did tweak it a bit though to make it more vivid.

Also, Nadira Sabo is making a cameo appearance from the Sabo Random Legacy.


Nadira plays with Nathaniel at his birthday party. Honestly, I think she's just a softie at heart. =)

See what I mean? This was totally autonomous. <3

This made me laugh. Apparently the horse really wanted to come to Nathaniel's birthday party. The second picture actually kind of creeped me out though. I don't know, horses heads always remind of that scene from the Godfather. o_O

My collection of gnomes. I don't remember how I got the bunny one. It just kind of appeared one day.

After I got three of the horse gnomes, I renamed them Chico, Harpo, and Groucho... The Marx Brothers. =D

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chapter 1.5: Consequential Timing

One afternoon, Scarlett pulls Elijah aside to make a very important announcement.

"Y- You're p-p-pregnant?!" Elijah stammers. "I'm g-going to be a father?!"

Scarlett nods, her face shining with excitement.

"I've been carrying this around for a while now, looking for the perfect moment," Elijah tells her, fumbling around in his back pocket. "I can't think of any better time than now," he says as he drops to one knee.

"Scarlett, will you marry me?"

She never wanted anything else.

They decide to have a private ceremony, with just the two of them in attendance.

With a baby on the way, Scarlett gets into a nesting mood and remodels their house, renovating the unfinished attic to make room for the nursery.

To Scarlett, life is perfect right now. She can't wait to be a mother.

Surprisingly, Ryder is thrilled at the idea of becoming a grandfather.

While Scarlett's out with Ryder, a rather unwelcome guest decides to drop by and visit Elijah.

"Hello Elijah," Carmen purrs. "Don't you look sophisticated today. Plaid shirt and a vest? How... quaint," she says, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

Eli clenches his teeth, trying to control his temper. "Well hello Carmen," he replies. "I didn't realize you'd crept back into town. Does Ryder know you're here?"

"No, I actually came to see you. I need to ask for a favor."

Elijah laughs, the hollow sound echoing against the walls. "What makes you think I'd help you?" he asks after a minute.

Carmen smirks. "Because," she retorts, her dark gray eyes glimmering with triumph. "I know what you did to Johnny Johnson."

Eli freezes. "You... what?"

"You remember Mr. Johnson, the kind old man that wound up in the hospital with three broken bones and a severe concussion? He's doing much better now, although he is still suffering from rather acute memory loss. The doctors have hope that one day he'll be able to remember who gave him such a violent beating."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Elijah lies, his voice flat and impassive.

"Sure you do," Carmen smiles. "You're the one who put him there."

Eli stares at her, his face burning with panicked anger. "What do you want Carmen?" he growls.

"I need you to start a little rumor for me. The divorce proceedings between Ryder and I are not going as well as I'd hoped. It appears that due to a couple of minor affairs I had years ago Ryder is going to be awarded the bulk of our assets. I want you to speak with a couple of tabloids and tell them that Ryder has been sleeping with Scarlett. You could even suggest that she's pregnant with his child, to make it more convincing. You do that, and I promise that no one will ever find out about your fight with Mr. Johnson."

"Are you crazy Carmen?!" Elijah yells, his temper snapping. "I'd rather die than put my wife through that shit! Get the fuck out of my house!" he screams.

Carmen glares at him and smiles cruelly. "Fine," she replies, her tone just a little bit too sweet. "You'll regret this though." And with those final words, she leaves.

That night, Carmen stops by again. With Elijah at work, the only one home is the very pregnant Scarlett. She's not happy about the intrusion.

Scarlett invites Carmen inside anyway. "What do you want?" she asks, jumping right to the point.

"Oh, Scarlett," Carmen says, a look of forced sympathy on her face. "You didn't hear?"

Scarlett frowns. "Hear what?"

"Elijah. He's been arrested."

The color drains from Scarlett's face. "Arrested?!" she whispers, shocked. "For what?"

"It's all over the news, my dear. He's been charged in the beating of Johnny Johnson."

Scarlett feels dizzy. She knew Elijah was upset about the incident, but she never thought he would actually hurt Johnny because of it. She walks over to the sofa and sits down, feeling dazed and confused.

"I- I can't believe it," she stutters. "Is he okay? How long will he be there for? Can I see him? Oh my God, what about the baby..." she babbles, her face full of worry.

"My dear," Carmen interrupts. "Do you know what the punishment is for assault? Five years in jail. He's being held with no bail. Apparently, there is some pretty solid evidence behind the charges."

Scarlett looks terrified. "C-Carmen," she says slowly. "I-I don't f-feel so g-good."

She gets up from the sofa, struggling to support her large, pregnant body, when suddenly she feels the crippling pains of labor set in.

"I can't have the baby yet!" she cries, grimacing from the sharp stabbing sensation in her belly. "Elijah's not here. I'm not ready!" she sobs.

The baby doesn't care. It's time.

Challenge Notes:

Here is my generation 2 roll:

Marital Status: Single Parent with Help
Number of Children: 2
Primary Income: Busker
Secondary Income: Medical
Generation Goal: Hobby, or Obsession?
Miscellaneous Fun: It's So You