Interlude: Confession (Gage)

Wednesday, Simune 4, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Califorsimia 

Gage flopped over on his bed, dropping an arm lazily behind his head on the pillow. He couldn’t sleep. He hadn’t even changed from out of his clothes. Maybe if he put on pajamas and actually got under the covers he could sleep. Somehow he doubted that simple act would actually help.

He had an argument with Kass again. It was a bad one. Was he an idiot? He didn’t really think she didn’t care about him and his plans, his family and his future, right? Gage rubbed his eyes and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He glanced at the clock. One minute after midnight. Reaching for his phone, he checked to see if he had any missed calls. Or text messages? He grimaced. Not a single one.

Slipping his feet into his boots, he re-laced his shoes and stepped out of his bedroom into the hallway. Maybe he should go over there. This conversation would be best face to face. He needed her. He needed Kass in his life. One way or another. He was half-in-love with her, he thought. Every time he was around her, she made him smile and feel good and feel important.

Gage stopped his progress down the hallway when he heard voices. His foster parents. Arguing. He frowned, and leaned over the railing, the light of the entryway drifting upward and illuminating his face.

“Pablo? Do you really have to go?” Jennifer was asking.

“Jen, they call. I go. It’s that simple,” Pablo replied.

From the shuffling sounds, Gage guessed his foster dad was collecting his gear to leave for the firehouse.

“But it’s your night off,” Jennifer protested.

“And the chief called me in so I go,” Pablo said, simply. “It’s a fire at the school, Jen. It could be bad.”

“But it’s the middle of the night and the start of summer. Who could possibly be there?”

“You’re right. But just in case, I go.”

“This is the fifth time you’ve been called in on your time off. You don’t think it’s him again?” Jennifer sounded almost panicked.

Him? Gage frowned. What was his foster mom referring to?

“If it was, I can’t talk about it,” Pablo said, kissing Jennifer’s cheek and walking out the door.

What was she so worried about? ablo was doing his job. True, it was strange that he was called in so frequently when he was supposed to be at home. Seventy-two hours on. Forty-eight hours off. That was the schedule for as long as Gage could remember. His parents didn’t see each other much as is. He hoped this wasn’t a sign they were headed for trouble, but as they argued more and more frequently, he figured they were already there.

Gage slipped back into his bedroom and waited until he heard his foster mom climb the stairs and shuffle into her own room. When he passed by her door, he could hear her praying in hushed Mexsimican. He recognized a few words. Protection. Safety. Arsonist. 

Arsonist? He grimaced.  Could they be referencing that guy who was lighting fires for fun in public buildings all over town back when he first moved to Sunset Valley? It was the same year Jennifer had transferred to legal aid and out of the district attorney’s office. At the time, Gage didn’t understand, but the arson case cost Jennifer her fancy job because of lack of evidence, he thought. He rubbed the back of his head, hopping into his car.

Out of curiosity, he drove past all the schools in town, starting with the public, to check on his foster dad. He wanted to make sure Pablo was safe. Like what could I do? Gage thought, snapping off the radio as he pulled up along the curbside where his foster father’s company engine sat. Pablo was loading equipment back on the truck.

“What are you doing here, mi hijo?” Pablo inquired.

Gage shrugged. “Couldn’t sleep,” he shoved his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. A partial truth. “I saw your truck. What’s going on?”

“False alarm,” Pablo replied. “Some wires sent a bad signal.”

“That why you got called in?” Gage followed up.

Pablo arched a brow. “You’ve been talking to your mama.”

“Naw…” Gage shook his head. “Just wondering. Thought it was your night off.”

“It was, but…” Pablo dropped his voice as other firefighters approached. “I…they thought it was something else… it’s nothing…” he forced a strained smile. “Go home, Gage. I’ll see you in the morning. I’ll make crepes.”

Gage returned to his vehicle, but instead of going home, drove up the hill to Kass’ home. It was well after midnight now, but knowing Kass, she was probably still awake. He pulled up to the curb outside her house and texted. After no response, he noticed the lights were still on downstairs. He walked over to the door, up the steps, and knocked. What am I thinking? It’s late. I should just go… I should go home like dad suggested… 

“Gage?”

The front door cracked open, and he saw the sleepy face of Carina.

“Hey Cari,” he began. “Sorry if I woke you up.”

“It’s nothing,” she shrugged. “I was awake. Mamma and Kass are still out and I can never sleep until I know everyone’s home.”

Really? Kass is still out? Out where? 

“She’s with Ayesha,” Cari added. “Did you call?”

“Yeah,” he looked down at his shoes, feeling stupid.

“You want to come in? I could make tea,” Cari offered.

“No, that’s okay,” he said, feeling like it was a wasted trip. “You have a good night, Carina.” He started down the steps.

“Hey Gage?” she called after him.

“Yeah?”

“I forgot to tell you congrats the other night at graduation… so… um… congratulations!”

Gage broke into a smile. “Thanks.”

She shut the door. He sighed, looking up at the stars. Kass was still out with Ayesha. That made him feel a little better. Still… he realized how much he missed her when she wasn’t around. Like his heart ached a little. I love you, Kass.  Gage walked around to the back of the house and plopped into the patio chairs. Maybe they would think he was a stalker, but he wanted to wait. To make sure Kass got home safely. She still wasn’t answering his text messages. Where are you?

He didn’t have to wait long. Within fifteen minutes, the family car pulled into the carport. He figured that was Kass, and if he knew her like he thought he did, she’d come around to the back door rather than going in the front. Sure enough she did. He frightened her more than he intended when he walked up on the porch. After a moment, she asked what he was doing there, and he said he was awake because of her. Maybe it was a dumb segue, but it was true. He had been thinking about her since the argument. It was high past time he told her the truth. She looked so shocked so he rushed through his next words quickly.

“I need you in my life, Kass, and if that means, not going to Windy City, then I won’t go. I realized you’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to real family. I don’t need to go to Windy City to know that, to experience family. I have family right here. Pablo and Jennifer would’ve adopted me had we not had so many issues with the papers before I turned eighteen and well, they’ve treated me alright and brought me up okay. After all my foster care homes, they were amazing. And you, you’ve been my friend from the beginning for as long as I can remember. I don’t know how to say this, Kass, but I care too much about you to lose you and to go off to some different university. I was thinking. I could come with you… with your dad.”

She looked startled.

“You need moral support and I want to go with you and you will regret it if you don’t go. And I was thinking we could go together to see my family. Then you’d get to meet them too and see for yourself. I want to be with you, and I want you to…” he stopped. “Say something.”

Did I ruin it? Did I say too much? I just said I loved her and rushed into everything else. She’s going to think I’m crazy. Kass replied by telling him she couldn’t give him an answer tonight. He had been so hopeful, but he wasn’t truly sure what he was hoping for. That she’d say she loved him too? That she’d want to go out with him? That she’d want to be his girlfriend? Ask him to stay? Kiss him with those soft peachy lips of hers? A guy can dream. He tucked his head, feeling almost embarrassed to have thought about her lips.

“Well yeah, I mean, I didn’t know you felt this way,” she replied.

“I didn’t either… I mean… I did… but well… oh boy!” Gage rushed his words so she wouldn’t say something he didn’t want to hear. “I didn’t know how to tell you. I didn’t want to pressure you or make you feel weird. I also was mad at you. I mean, you haven’t been supportive of me leaving, but then I thought… maybe you felt like I was abandoning you. Maybe you felt betrayed. Maybe you thought I was giving up on you. Then I thought, maybe you felt that way because you cared about me too… you loved me.”

“I do love you, Gage,” Kass said, but he could hear the hesitation in her tone. “As a friend. You’ve always been my friend. Honestly, I haven’t thought about you as more than that.”

Ouch!

“I just have always accepted you as Gage… my Gage… my good friend… my best friend…”

“I get the picture,” Gage cut her off as he realized this was fast going where he didn’t want it to go.

“Gage, I didn’t mean I don’t… I can’t… I won’t have feelings for you. I just have a lot going on in my life right now to sort through. I’m sorry for hurting you and for confusing you and for getting so angry. You’re right. I was feeling a little betrayed when you made plans without me, when you changed plans on me. You’ve always been there for me as long as I can remember. Even before Ayesha was my friend, you were there. I always was scared social services would come and take you far away from Sunset Valley, that you’d meet your real family and well… leave me. I don’t know what I’d do without you, Gage. You are my best friend. I need you too, just maybe not the same way you’re thinking right now…I don’t know what to think or what to feel right now. I’m confused. I’m a little lost. I need time. I don’t want to hurt you, Gage,” her voice cracked. “Can you give me some time to sort through some stuff?”

“Yeah,” he said, stiffening as he suppressed his hurt feelings, promising to always be there.

“I know,” she offered weakly like a pathetic consolation prize.

He didn’t need one. He bid her goodnight and walked down the steps, deciding that he shouldn’t hug her. If he embraced her, he would lean into her hair and cry… or kiss her… he wasn’t sure which one he wanted to do more. He let his heart out on his sleeve, and she didn’t exactly crush him, but she didn’t affirm him… not really. Gage slipped into his vehicle, turned the key, and drove down the street as the engine roared to life. Once at the bottom of the hill, he pulled over to the side of the road, out of view of her house, and dropped his head against the wheel.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. I wanted to fill in the gaps a bit, and explain what’s going on in Gage’s mind. I also wanted to show some crossover and the effects of Kass and Ayesha’s little escapade in the high school. And add more Pablo and Jennifer. Hope you enjoyed, even if this chapter was bittersweet. More bitter for Gage than sweet. :/ 

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1.12, Pt. 2: Confession (KCLKF)

Wednesday, Simune 4, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Califorsimia 

“You what?”

Gage had just said he loved her. Kass’ jaw dropped open as she was completely caught off guard. Realizing she probably looked like a freezer bunny brain, she abruptly closed her mouth. Her best guy friend just said he loved her. Kass paled. Does he mean in ‘love’ with me? 

Screenshot-492

“You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Gage continued, swinging their arms back and forth.

Well that answers that. I think… Kass bit her lower lip and tried to collect her thoughts and process her emotions.

“I need you in my life, Kass, and if that means, not going to Windy City, then I won’t go…”

He won’t go? Kass repeated mentally, feeling the words squeeze her brain. Here her best friend made a confession of love, and she felt panicked more than pleased. She should be elated. She liked Gage. A lot. They were best friends. He made her feel like the whole world belonged to them… when they weren’t arguing. Both had a bit of temper and could be hot-headed, and that always led them into trouble. If they dated… if we dated… what am I saying? I… don’t… even… know… The longer Gage rambled, the more cornered Kass felt. She should cut him off before he got any further. She didn’t really want him giving up on his dreams just to be with her.  No matter how she felt about him, he deserved to walk his own path, to attend his dream school, just like she did, and even to move in with his criminal family members. She had been cruel to want to deprive him of that experience. Even if she had serious concerns about his aunt.

Seventy-two hours ago she would’ve welcomed his change of heart, but now… now, there’s Davis. Gage had been around her for years and never said anything, even though there had always been an unspoken attraction between them. Maybe it wasn’t fair, but Davis spoke up first. It wasn’t like he officially asked her out or to be his girlfriend or anything, but Kass felt like he deserved a chance since he was showing definite interest and flirting with her. Kass enjoyed the attention, and she wanted to see where things went. Gage confessing his true love for her only complicated matters. She frowned. He was a great guy. He was fun to be with and funny, fiercely loyal, and deeply thoughtful. He was a scintillating conversationalist and could match her wit for wit. They would drive each other crazy and up a wall if they dated. She winced. The signs were all there, right? And I just ignored them? 

“I want to be with you, and I want you to…” Gage was saying and paused, gasping for breath. “Say… something.”

Kass tried not to make a face as her heart beat frantically like a car careening down a hillside without brakes on a rainy day.

“I don’t… I don’t know what to say…” she said, quietly, taking a step back. “I can’t… this is just… too much to take in all at once. I just…”

…go on! Tell him. You had a nice evening in the park with a great guy who doesn’t share a complicated history with you and he’s funny and gorgeous and likes me… and oh llama crap! 

Screenshot-490

“I can’t… not tonight… I need to think about it,” she said, nervously tucking a strand of hair over her ear.

“It’s okay, you can think about it,” Gage said, hurriedly. “I know it’s a lot. I didn’t expect an answer tonight. I hoped… but I didn’t think I would get one.”

“Well yeah, I mean, I didn’t know you felt this way,” Kass replied, opening another long train of thought by Gage.

Her heart literally began to ache as his words made her brain twist. Gage sounded so sincere, and nervous, and in love. What is love? Kass could’ve smacked herself. Now wasn’t the time for a philosophical debate in her mind. Still, she wondered what love really was. Had she ever experienced it? Anything other than familial and friendship kind-of love? Sure, she had inklings of love drops on the page of her life. She had flutterings of of butterflies, of sugary sweetness. She had crushes, and at one point, even convinced herself she was half in-love with one of them. Was it just fantasy? Was everyone else just a placeholder for Gage? For Davis? The more she thought, the more she was confused.

“I do love you, Gage…” she managed. “As a friend…” she quickly continued to restate the friendship multiple times so as not to give him the wrong idea while still conveying she cared.

“I get the picture,” he dropped his head in disappointment.

 

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He looked so hurt, but like his pride wouldn’t let him say anything else. Guilt gnawed at her stomach, as if she had been kicked in the gut by a horse. She had never thought about it before but when she moved to Edgewater, she would be leaving him behind too. He wasn’t just leaving her; she was leaving him.

““Gage, I didn’t mean I don’t… I can’t… I won’t have feelings for you…”

Kass said, and tried to think of words that would best convey her emotional and mental state without destroying any hope he might have. She genuinely did care. Maybe more than she would’ve previously admitted aloud. He was so important to her, and she never wanted to lose him as a friend, but as a lover? She nearly blushed at the thought, cleared her throat, and continued so she wouldn’t be hung up on the racing thoughts. As a boyfriend? That still sounded weird in her head. It was like trying to have two different conversations at once and the one in her head was trying to be emotional and the one coming out her mouth was trying to be rational. It was almost a losing battle.

How can I be honest with him without hurting his feelings? What am I feeling? I don’t even know. I do need him. I just don’t need him like that… feel for him like that… love him like I think he wants me to. But why? He’s a great guy. But he’s just a great guy… friend… 

“Can you give me some time to sort through some stuff?”

And Davis! I was supposed to meet Davis tomorrow night and here Gage is confessing his love for me and I don’t… I can’t… oh llamas! Why can’t I just hide under my pillows and never come out? 

“Yeah,” he said gently. “I’ll be here, Kass. I’ll always be here.”


Author Notes: This was originally written a bit differently, but I wanted to break it up into two parts, expand Kass’ emotional and mental processes, and share from Gage’s perspective so that’s what will happen in the next chapter. Thanks for reading. 

1.12, Pt. 1: Confession (KCLKF)

Tuesday, Simune 3, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Califorsimia 

Kass motioned for Ayesha to hide but was uncertain if she got the message across since it was dark. Ayesha slipped behind the shelving and Kass ducked under the desk behind the mini fridge. Within a moment, the door jostled as if someone was trying to unlock it. A figure stepped in, and the lights snapped on again. Kass held her breath and grabbed her toes to tuck her shoes further under the table. Workboots and a pair of jeans came into her view along with a mop bucket.

“I could’ve sworn I locked this room,” a man’s voice said.

Kass’s eyes bugged. It was Clark. And the voice was perfectly normal, without a hint of a Deutchsim accent. I knew it. He was supposed to be on a date with her mother. Something was wrong. Or he dropped her mamma off early, meaning Kass might already be in trouble since she hadn’t made it home yet. Within a minute, the voice belonging to the man in the park shuffled around a few papers, switched out some cleaning supplies for his cart, and left the room again. Ayesha slipped out from behind the shelves.

“Whew! That was close,” Ayesha sighed.

“No kidding! My heart’s still racing,” Kass exhaled heavily. “Let’s get outta here.”

“Good idea,” Ayesha nodded.

As they walked back into the hallway with extended caution, the girls made their way in the other direction of the janitor. Kass’ mind was racing with thoughts, wondering why Clark took all of Hunter’s shifts, and why he spoke in a heavy foreign dialect when around her mother and sisters. Was he just trying to impress the woman and her daughters or was there something more sinister at work? 

“Kass?” Ayesha stopped dead still.

“What?”

They could hear footsteps and whistling approaching their direction. This time they were out in the open hallway and all the classroom doors were locked and they most likely would be unable to hide alongside the thin lockers. Kass glanced about frantically, trying to think of a solution. Wincing, she did the only thing she could.

A loud alarm sounded and the emergency lights began flashing. Clark, who had been approaching their direction, immediately stopped and turned the other way, yelling a few Deutchsim expletives. This gave the ladies a chance to run without worrying about being heard as they took a shortcut through the library and out the back emergency door. Thankfully, Kass had enough sense to park a block or two away and they bolted for the vehicle, hearts pounding. Both girls collapsed on the sidewalk lawn, out of breath, laying flat on the ground in shock.

“I’ve always wanted to do that,” Kass began slowly.

“Yes, but now we look like Smurfs…” Ayesha moaned.

“Smurfettes?” Kass giggled.

“There’s only one,” Ayesha grunted, sitting up and rubbing the blue paint on her arms.

“Well, tonight there can be two,” Kass said, wrapping her arm around her friend’s shoulder. “We should do this more often.”

“What? Pull the fire alarm to avoid getting caught breaking and entering? Because that sounds like a great thing to do on a Tuesday night in the Valley?” Ayesha replied, sarcastically.

“No,” Kass shook her head. “Detective work.”

“Which inevitably will involve some breaking of the law,” Ayesha said, pausing as a smile spread across her face. “I’m in, but first, let’s go get cleaned up.”

An hour later, Kass dropped Ayesha off at her house after the girls slipped into the Ansari family gym to hit the showers and wash the blue dye out of their skin and clothes. Ayesha started a load of laundry, paid the desk attendant twenty Simos, and forked over the extra Dr. Ahh! she swiped, to switch the load and not tell anyone they were there. Of course, the sleazy Jack Levitt agreed to do it if Ayesha would give him some tongue sometime. She rolled her eyes, grunted, and grudgingly agreed. She didn’t exactly want anyone knowing she looked like a blueberry tonight.

Though based on Ayesha’s facial expression as they walked away, Kass would’ve guessed her best friend actually wanted to kiss Jack, even if it was blackmail. He was cute with his narrow-lidded eyes, pinned back ears, dark hair, surfer’s tan, and muscular frame. Kass giggled at the thought, adjusting the rearview mirror as she pulled into the carport at her own home. From the looks of it, all the lights were on so someone was still awake. She hoped it was one of her sisters as she trudged up the back steps. Just in case, she would leave her gym bag in the car.

“Kass?” a voice called out in the darkness.

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She shrieked, startled. Kass seriously hoped that the cops hadn’t come to arrest her, though she doubted they would stake out the house for a pulling-the-fire alarm first-time offense, though she imagined all sorts of worse case scenarios, one including SWAT in full gear and automatic weapons.

“Gage, you scared me half to death,” she squeaked.

“Are you okay?” he walked across the lawn, laying a hand on her shoulder.

“I’m… uh… fine…” she remarked, swallowing hard.

She wasn’t ready to admit her total stupidity of the evening to anyone. Ayesha was sworn to secrecy.

“What are you doing here so late?”

“Pablo got a call. Fire over at the high school,” Gage shrugged. “False alarm.”

“False alarm?” Kass repeated, and winced.

“Yeah, they think some wires got tripped or something,” Gage said, casually.

Wait till they find the explosion of blue paint on east wing wall! Kass groaned internally. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! she chided herself, though earlier she had been applauding herself for quick thinking.

“So you were awake because of Pablo?” she tried to steer her brain away from panicking.

“Naw… I was awake because of you.”

“Me?” Kass blinked rapidly.

“I need you. You’re my friend. No… you’re more than a friend,” Gage said expressively. “You’re my rock. You’re my anchor in the storm. You’ve been there for me countless times and I know this whole me going to Simcago thing is really throwing you and I made the decision without asking you.”

“Gage,” Kass interjected softly. “I’m not your mother.”

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“I know that, but you’re my friend… no… you’re more than my friend,” Gage repeated, grabbing her hands with enthusiasm.

“What are you saying?” Kass puzzled.

“Kass, I love you, that’s what I’m saying.”


Author Notes: Oh those girls! Again, the first half of the chapter is pictureless because I didn’t take screenshots in my first game experience. BTW, Jack is a Sim who shows up in the Sims Wikia articles as Sunset Valley Sims as I was poking through trying to decide which Sim would “blackmail” Ayesha, and then I clicked on his because I didn’t remember seeing him before. If you read the article, you’ll know why. 😛 Not that it’s critical to the plot or anything. His picture reminds me a smidge of Joseph Gordon Levitt, hence the name Jack Levitt. Back on topic… and then cliffhanger, though not really, Gage confessed his true feelings at the end. So long chapter again… but I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading. 

New Cover Reveal

featured from left to right: Andromeda “Andi” Fullbright, Gage Briody, Kassiopeia “Kass” Fullbright, Ayesha Ansari, Davis Lamar, and Carina “Cari” Fullbright

…because I wanted a better one… so here it is. The new cover for The Krazy  Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright for the first in the series. Thanks for reading and following.

New chapters coming soon!

Remember… when we left off… Kass was stuck in the janitor’s closet with Ayesha, about to be discovered by Clark Sauer, her mamma’s new beau. I’m sure you all want to know what’s going to happen. 🙂

1.11 Spy (KCLKF)

Tuesday, Simune 3, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Califorsimia 

“What are we doing here?”

Ayesha nudged her friend’s arm. Kass made a silence motion over her lips as she edged around the side of the Community School for the Gifted main building. Upon driving home, she spotted Clark Sauer’s truck and decided to stop and investigate. Kass really had no good reason to spy on her mother’s beau, but she wanted answers for the strange conversation she overheard in the park.

There was a ladder in the alley that gave roof access, and from there, it was a quick walk across the flat roof to the windows above the gym. The girls had slipped into the school through the singular window with a broken latch, the one that had yet to be replaced after it snapped off due to a one-in-a-million volleyball spike. Ayesha sneaked into the school a few times, but this was the first time Kass actually attempted anything remotely bad.

“You’re going to wear off your goodie-two-shoes shine,” her friend teased as they descended on the climbing wall.

“So what?” Kass leaped the final four feet to the ground, and brushed the chalk dust from her fingers, remnants of earlier climbers. “Maybe I want to.”

Ayesha stepped down onto the mat below. “You know this is trespassing, right?”

“I’m well aware of what it is,” Kass said, an edge to her tone.

“And you still want to go through with this?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, then, I’ll show you where they keep the good snacks,” Ayesha smirked, and seeing Kass’s odd look, she added, “In the teacher’s lounge, of course.”

Kass slipped across the gymnasium floor, and peeked out the little door windows before stepping out into the hallway. It had been less than a week since she was here, even longer for Ayesha, but nonetheless, everything looked smaller to her now. Grey metal lockers lined the walls, occasionally broken up by classroom doors, or a bulletin board. The “Congratulations Graduating Class of ’15” banner still hung across the hallway, the gold edging along the red lettering sparkling in the dimly lit room. A few green emergency bulbs and a long fluorescent ceiling strip at the end of the hall were the only light for their path. That was okay. Kass knew the school pretty well.

“This way,” she said.

“Teacher’s lounge is the other way,” Ayesha pointed over her shoulder.

“I told you. I’m here about a janitor,” Kass replied, narrowing her eyes as she started down the hallway.

“Who cares about the night janitor?” Ayesha scoffed. “The only things I ever found in the janitor’s closet were those frozen burrito things and a yogurt.”

“We’re not here for snacks,” Kass said, feeling along the sides of the lockers as she counted.

One-thirty-eight. One-thirty-nine. One-forty. One-forty-one. One-forty… 

“‘Sides, we just ate, Ayesha,” she remarked. “One-forty-four.”

“What?” Ayesha shrugged.

“My old locker,” Kass said, her eyes shining as she reached for the combination lock. “I bet they haven’t changed it yet.”

Sure enough… they hadn’t, because she was able to unlatch the locker after flicking the dial around a few times. She opened, and reached for the top shelf.

“What are you messing around for?” Ayesha frowned. “You cleaned it out before you left right? Ooo…” she fiddled with the dial of the locker next to Kass and the door popped open. “…but this person didn’t,” she grinned. “Jackpot!”

Ayesha pulled out a stack of magazines, a small handheld bejeweled mirror, and a row of smiley face stickers.

“Hey,” she leafed through one of the magazines. “I bet I can even find out why Graham and Kelly broke up in here.”

“Be serious!” Kass replied, shutting her locker door. “I found what I was looking for.”

“Okay, but I’m keeping the mirror,” Ayesha shoved the thing in her back pocket as she tossed the magazine into the locker. “What were you looking for anyhow?”

“Bobby pins. I knew I probably left a stray one or two here.”

“What do you need bobby pins for?”

Kass didn’t answer. Ayesha grabbed her arm with a semi-worried look on her face.

“Are you breaking and entering?”

Kass shrugged. “We’re already trespassing.”

Ayesha grinned slyly. “Oh, Kass, you sneaky dirty dog!”

“Seriously?” Kass wrinkled her nose. “I prefer clean, resourceful kitty.”

Ayesha covered her mouth to smother a laugh. The girls walked around the corner and followed the hallway to another intersection, turned right, and then walked down a flight of stairs before reaching the janitor’s closet. Kass explained at this time of night Clark was most likely cleaning the cafeteria on the other side of school.

“And why do we care?” Ayesha rolled her eyes.

“This guy is dating my mamma,” Kass replied, reaching for the closet door, locked as expected. She knelt down on the floor, pulling a bobby pin or two from her pocket and began fiddling with the lock. “You keep watch.”

“How do you know how to do this?” Ayesha asked, craning her neck to see if anyone was coming.

Crime Catchers,” Kass replied, a bobby pin perched between her teeth. “And it’s harder than it looks.”

“Let me try,” Ayesha nudged Kass. “If anyone knows how to unlock a door, I should. I mean, how many times have I raided my parents’ liquor cabinet or broken into the garage so I could borrow the beamer?”

Kass traded places with her friend. She rubbed her arms even though she wasn’t cold.

“This is kinda exciting, isn’t it?”

Ayesha nodded. “Almost there…”

They heard the latch click. Both exchanged glances of happiness and surprise before slipping into the closet. Kass pulled the overhead chain and a small amount of light flooded the space. As expected, the room had mostly cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, trash cans, a mini refrigerator, microwave, and a schedule log hanging from the wall on a clipboard. Ayesha helped herself to a soda, a Dr. Ahhh! and asked if Kass wanted one. She shook her head. She didn’t want to leave a lot of evidence or make it appear like something was missing.

“Suit yourself,” Ayesha popped open the snap top and leaned against the shelving.

Kass leaned in to examine the schedule with its hours listed for each of the district’s janitors, including Clark Sauer.

“What’s this name?” she frowned, moving her fingers down the sheet. “Hunter?”

Ayesha leaned in and squinted. “I think it says Hunter, but it’s crossed out.”

“I know it’s crossed out,” Kass answered. “But look at the hours… same time as Sauer, except Sauer is penciled in.”

“Beats me,” Ayesha shrugged, taking a sip of her drink. “What? You think you’ve uncovered something devious?”

Kass frowned. “No… not really… I just… it’s odd, right?”

“People take each others’ shifts all the time,” Ayesha said. “It’s not that unus…”

Kass reached over and flicked off the light and covered her friend’s mouth. “Do you hear that?”

“Hear wha?” Ayesha said, muffled by Kass’ hand.

In the distance, they could hear whistling, followed by shuffling, like footfalls on the steps. Kass’ heart began racing. If they were discovered in the closet, they’d have a lot of explaining to do.

 


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. So this chapter I envisioned in my mind in the first draft but scrapped the whole side mystery thing, figuring I had enough stuff going on in the story already. But I liked the original idea so much I decided this time to keep it. We see a bit of the brave side of Kass, and maybe a bit of the daring, bold side of her too. Ayesha, of course, was along for the ride, and this was a fun chapter to write. Since I didn’t have screenshots from the first edition, I kept it pictureless at the beginning here. I did have fun trying to imagine Ayesha and Kass covered in blue dye. Hope you enjoyed. 

1.10, Pt. 3: Park Play (KCLKF)

Tuesday, Simune 3, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Califorsimia 

After freshening up in the bathroom, Kass slipped out while Ayesha continued taking an abnormal amount of time to be ready. The sun had set and the stars were starting to poke their heads out from behind the evening fog. Most of the vendors had closed down for the night, except for a food truck and the ice cream booth. Kass’ stomach rumbled. Ten o’clock couldn’t come around fast enough. That smoothie wasn’t enough to tie her over until dinner.

Most of the festival patrons were either at the roller rink or watching the shows at the bandstand. Kass maneuvered through the crowd until she found a good vantage point to observe. A father picked his daughter up and plopped her on his shoulders. The little girl squealed with delight and nearly lost the balloon she was holding. Kass reached up and grabbed the string, rescuing the thing for the girl, who nodded in gratitude. Her dad smiled and said thanks. Kass smiled back, wistfully. She remembered the days when her dad was around to buy her balloons and lift her up on his shoulders. Back in the day when she thought he hung the moon and stars. Why am I remembering this now? 

Ayesha met her at the food truck, and purchased two funnelcakes. Hardly dinner, Kass protested, and then Ayesha reminded her that they would be dining with Davis and his teacher in less than a half hour, before she grabbed a shaker and added extra powdered sugar. The girls wandered back to the band stand, keeping an eye out for Davis. He was on the stage about to play a set.

“Look,” Ayesha nudged. “Come on,” she whispered, grabbing her friend’s arm and dragging her up to the front row.

Kass felt the heat rush to her cheeks as Davis looked down and winked at her. There was a man on drums, who looked old enough to pass as a teacher of Davis. The pianist looked familiar. Kass recognized her as the girl from the Java Jolt earlier, the one who had been playing with VJ. She seemed super intensely focused on the keys. Kass watched and listened with awe as the trio played a instrumental version of Fly Me to the Moon.

She couldn’t help but sway a little in time to the unassuming beats, and Ayesha pulled out and waved a lighter to show her appreciation. When the group was done, they received decent applause and whistles from the smattering of people gathered. The man in the red hat and leather jacket announced they were the last show of the night and told everyone to enjoy their evening. Davis called out to Kass and said he’d meet her by the picnic benches at the fountains just as soon as they loaded the gear up in the car.

“Okay, by the fountains, got it,” Kass gave him a thumbs up and turned around and nearly melted into a puddle of happiness. She giggled and grabbed Ayesha’s arm as they walked away with the dispersing crowd. “It’s like we’re with the band.”

“You goofball,” Ayesha laughed. “I gotta go to the bathroom again.”

“Didn’t you just go?”

“Funnel cake…” Ayesha pointed to her stomach, and then to the stage behind them. “You like him, don’t you?”

Kass smiled, but didn’t answer, making a beeline for the fountains, but not before glancing over her shoulder one last time at the musician barista biology grad who caught her eye.

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“So what did you think?”

Davis and his teacher, whom he introduced as Mister Beau Andrews, met Kass, as promised, at the picnic tables. Mr. Andrews was a dark-complexioned, rotund fellow who struck Kass as someone with a “Santa Claus” personality, offering jolly, deep-bellied bowl-full-of-jelly laughs. They had talked for a few minutes about music and Mr. Andrews’ passion for the symphony. Kass wondered if Andi knew him because she was in orchestra at the local public high school since our private school didn’t have one.

“You can be honest,” Davis drawled.

“Oh I loved it!” Kass exclaimed, pressing her hands together. “You have a group?”

“We’re called the Twilight Trio,” Mr. Andrews replied. “Jamie on keys, Davis on cello, and me on drums or occasionally this old geezer sings. You play?”

“She plays the piano and the guitar,” Davis answered.

Kass’ eyes widened in surprise.“Well I’m a novice with the guitar,” she said shyly. “But you remembered?”

“Well, yeah,” he smiled. “Because those are two of my favorite instruments.”

Is he just saying that? 

“But you play cello!”

“Cello is my third favorite.”

“Then why aren’t you up there on guitar or piano?”

“Because Jamie is incredible and way more talented at the keys…”

The way he mentioned the blonde pianist made Kass slightly jealous. She wondered where the woman called Jamie was and why she wasn’t joining the group.

“And I’m not that great on gui-tar either,” Davis continued. “I’d love to hear you play sometime.”

“Absolutely. You could come jam with us,” Mr. Andrews invited.

All the attention made Kass nervous. “I wonder where Ayesha is.”

“She seems like quite a character,” Davis remarked.

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“Yeah, well, Ayesha and I go way back. All the way to preschool. She threw a mud pie in my face the first day we met.”

“Why’d she do that?” Mr. Andrews laughed.

“Oh, because I punched her in the face,” Kass said, amusingly.

“You punched her in the face?” Davis repeated in shock.

“Yeah, because she took the last hot dog and I wanted it,” Kass explained in deadpan.

“Well, yes, because the proper response to a stolen hot dog is a sock in the eye,” Davis said, trying to smother a laugh.

Kass jabbed him in the arm in a friendly, almost flirtatious manner. “It always is,” she said coyly.

Ayesha would’ve been proud of her.

“Speaking of hot dogs,” Mr. Andrews interjected. “My lovely wife, Tori just finished grilling them and the hamburgers. We should eat.”

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They settled into the picnic bench. Ayesha joined moments later with a fresh coat of mascara. She grinned and said hello while tryign to slip Kass a tube of lipgloss under the table. Kass shook her head.

“We’ll be eating anyway,” she said, through gritted teeth.

“What was that?” Davis leaned in close. “Are you girls talking about me?”

“No… I… um… no…” Kass protested, flailing her arms nervously, whacking her wrist off the edge of the table.

“Oh now…” Davis reached over for her hand and gently began massaging between the joints, muscles, and bone. “We can’t have you hurting yourself…” he teased softly. “How will you hold and eat your hot dog?”

“You could always feed her,” Ayesha smirked, boldly.

Kass shot her the look of death as Davis returned her hand.

“Better?” he asked.

“Yeah, thanks…” she dropped her eyes shyly, avoiding eye contact with the practically giddy Ayesha.

Mr. Andrews insisted everyone call him Beau before introducing the two girls to his wife. Victoria ‘Tori’ Andrews had lovely earthy brown skin. high cheekbones, and a Simlandic-style braided bun. She shared that she was a former journalist-turned-private-investigator. Small world! She contracted with Jennifer’s legal aid office. Kass mentioned she would be interning there, which Davis congratulated her on after she explained she received the offer earlier that day.

Tori had worked for the Sim City Picture News. Of course, Kass had a million questions, mostly because she loved writing and mysteries and she had some cooked-up idea that the life of an investigative journalist was glamorous. Tori laughed and said the truth was far from it, and now that they had a kiddo, she was home way more often. The Andrews’ didn’t stay long as Tori was soon babying their fussy three-year-old, Jordan, and Beau was chasing down a four-month old black Labrador puppy.

After thanking the Andrews for the meal, Kass took a second helping, this time a grilled hamburger topped with fresh Califorsimian avocados, cheddar cheese, and red onions. Beau stayed behind to finish his wife’s peanut butter cookies. The group chatted about music and different bands they all preferred. Ayesha continued to watch her with a curious eye, hinting at needing to head home, almost as if she was a “third wheel.” Of course, Kass wasn’t ready to be alone with Davis. She reached out, parched from her whirlwind talking, and grabbed a drink, mentioning how it was late and she should check in with her sisters.

“That’s Jordan’s juice box,” Davis remarked.

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“Oh,” Kass flushed, stopping mid-bite.

“Don’t worry about it,” Beau shrugged, nursing his apple oolong tea from the Jolt’s festival cart. “He already went home. And I don’t think he had more than a sip.”

“Yeah, so he can’t punch you over his stolen juice box,” Davis teased.

“Oh stop it!” Kass slugged him in the arm again.

Ayesha stifled a laugh from across the table.

“This is good juice,” Kass said, sticking the straw in her mouth to avoid talking. “What’s the flavor?”

“Apple pomegranate,” Davis read the side of the box.

“I heard pomegranates are the food of love,” Ayesha swooned.

“And…” Kass nearly spit out her mouthful of juice and forced herself to swallow. “I hear plasma fruit is in season…” she said the first thing that came to mind.

Ayesha quirked a brow. Davis looked confused.

“I’ve…always… wanted to be adventurous… and try it…” Kass tried desperately to recover.

“Isn’t it kinda sour?” Beau interjected, packing the paper plates back into the picnic basket and picking up their trash.

“I thought autumn was the time for plasma fruit,” Davis said.

“I might be wrong,” Kass shrugged. “Maybe you should suggest it as a tea flavor for the Jolt.”

“I don’t know if Gram would go for that,” he chuckled, shoving his hands in his jean pockets.  “But if you really want to be adventurous, I hear there’s a pizza shop in Bay City that sells pineapple and plasma fruit pizzas. We could go sometime… you and me…”

Her face turned bright red. “Only if they ham it up… cuz I like… ham on my pizza too,” she made a fist and swung her arm across her chest.

Oh gawd! Can I dig any deeper hole for myself? Grim is going to have to come and put me in an early grave. I might just die from embarrassment. 

Screenshot-139

“Well, you two kids have each others’ numbers so you can um… meet up for this culinary delight?” Ayesha coughed, and interrupted.

“Yes.”

Davis and Kass answered in sync.

Beau smiled. “It was nice to meet you, Kass… Ayesha…” he stood up. “I should get back to the van and get home to the missus and the kid. Hope to see you ladies again. You’re welcome at any of our shows.”

“Nice to meet you,” Ayesha said.

“Yeah, very nice to meet you,” Kass echoed.

After the man left, Davis stood up. “I need to get the boxes back to the coffee shop. I’m glad we met up. So I’ll see you Thursday?”

“Thursday, right!” Kass rushed to reply.

“I’ll be sure she’s there,” Ayesha said, loudly.

“You don’t even know what I’m talking about,” Kass narrowed her eyes.

“I’m going to stick our bags in the car,” Ayesha said, deliberately dragging out her words as she tilted her head in Davis’ direction.

I get the picture. Turning to Davis, Kass said, “Thanks for inviting us tonight. This was fun.”

“Yes, I’m glad you joined us. It was nice to meet your friend… even nicer to see you.”

Kass didn’t know what to say, but her heart swelled with emotions she wasn’t sure she had ever felt before.

“Thank you,” she said shyly, looking at the ground.

“So see you Thursday?” Davis finally spoke up after a moment of silence as he seemed to be contemplating her face.

“Thursday,” she replied, hoarsely.

“Unless you want coffee tomorrow and I see you at the Jolt…”

“Right… coffee…”

“Yes, don’t tell me you’ve given it up.”

“Why would I do that?”

Davis grinned, surprising Kass with a side arm hug. “Good. I’d hate for you to stop coming into the Jolt.”

“I could come in for tea,” she chuckled, weakly, using all her willpower to keep from tilting her head into his arm, even though she wanted to badly.

“Or hot cocoa,” he said, pulling out of the hug, his eyes twinkling. “I hear women like chocolate.”

“Oh they do, do they?” she teased.

“Good night, Kass.”

“Good…uh… night…” she swallowed hard, watching the man walk away, her heart bouncing up to her throat. Wow! Just wow! 


Author Notes: I added a lot in this chapter – the band sequence, funnel cakes, the father-daughter balloon moment, some of Ayesha’s snark, Victoria, who is now nicknamed, Tori, and her job description, and many of Davis’ lines. The Fly Me to the Moon song is here if you’d like to listen (of course, The Twilight Trio band members are much younger than the talented musicians pictured here). FYI, the Simlandic States are my Simworld version of Sweden, Norway, and Finland. And plasma fruit pizza is a thing. I didn’t make it up. Created by the modder necrodog on Modthe Sims for TS4. You can download here. Writing these chapters reminds me of how cute Davis and Kass’ relationship was in the beginning. Opps… is that a spoiler!? Sorries. :/ I love their adorable awkwardness. Thanks for reading. 

a Sims 3 Story