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A Visit to Sunset Valley: Questions from the Fans

Hi everyone, it’s been a hot minute since I posted here. I’m still working on setting up my TS3 game for the next story in Kass’ series. In the meantime, I have  some fun questions given to me by members of my Freezer Bunnies Reading Circle over on the forums.   I was going to answer everything over on the forums, but then it got a bit carried away so I’m sharing here for all my readers.  I sent my TS3 Simself to be the snoopy reporter and ask questions of this delightful cast.

Disclaimer: The answers are given based on where said reading circle is at in KCLKF (up through  Arc 12 or  chapter 1.33).  Really mild spoilers if you haven’t read that far.  Oh and a bit of breaking-the-fourth-wall humor.  Shout-out to all my reading circle peeps (you’re all mentioned below somewhere). Minor edit… apologies to Duvelina for not crediting her correctly. 


It’s a beautiful morning in Sunset Valley, Valverde.   The world appears to be peaceful as it is  just after the morning rush hour.  You can hear the low roar of ocean waves crashing against the soft sandy beaches and sweet sounds of swallows as they gather their families for the juicy gossip on the telephone wires.  No, not our gossip. Theirs. You know – like did you hear that  Chirpy McChatterbox was heard making amorous ticking sounds toward Hooty Howlin’ near the movie theater last weekend?  😉

While there are some clouds in sight, the skies are bright and beautiful.  Nothing can beat that tranquil blue!  I pause for a moment to drink in the sites, trying to ignore the Altos hideous Pepto-Bismol pink house on the hill. Tossing my empty paper cup  into the trash, I pop a mint to avoid coffee breath and head toward Central Park in downtown.

Gave my TS3 Simselfie a makeover… and put her in my favorite red plaid shirt. 🙂 Forgive what’s happening to Kass’ necklace here. I have no clue why it bugged out.

I caught up with the star  of The Krazy Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright.  We met on a park bench near the pond. I have to say it is a unique experience chatting with a character I’ve created.

Lizzie:  Hey Kass. Thanks for making time for this.

Kass: Sure. It’s an honor to chat with you, Lizzie.

Lizzie: No, the honor is mine. You’ve really brought my vision to life, and you’ve had some excellent input of your own . You’ve really taken charge of your life.

Kass: (smiles shyly) Wow… really? Um… that’s great to… hear. I haven’t been too sure… about a lotta things lately.

Lizzie: Well, let’s dive right in. Hope you don’t mind the cameras.

Kass: Not at all. I’m kinda used to them by now.

Lizzie: Really? They’re kinda weird for me. (clears throat) Okay… so first question is from ajmkv, writer and host of  the popular competitive reality TV show, Kev & Get It.

Kass:  Wow! He is a KCLKF fan?  Love that show. Ayesh and I watch it almost as religiously as Specific Hospital.

Lizzie: (smirks) I know. I can’t get enough of the juicy juicy drama.

Kass: (tilts head) Really? You strike me as more of a thriller and suspense kind-of gal.

Lizzie: (grins sheepishly) Guilty pleasure. Actually… if I’m being honest… a pleasure, pleasure. Not guilty at all. I also like a good fantasy. You should check out Tales from Camelot. Fantasy mixed with some excellent suspense.

Kass:  (pulls out her phone) Bookmarking it now.

Lizzie: Alright… the questions – ajmkv says, “A lot happened to you in these (most recent) Arcs. Lots of emotion, both negative and positive. Trying to stay positive, what is it that you’re most looking forward to in the next few days?”

Her expression brightens. She looks relieved by the question. Her face lights up with a smile and a flush creeps into her cheeks.

Kass: I… I’m really happy with my new boyfriend. His name is Davis, as you know.  I couldn’t have gotten through what I did recently without him.

Lizzie: He did seem to help out a lot, especially during that harrowing night  at your house.

Kass: Yeah… that mess… (laughs awkwardly) I’m just hoping for some down-time… baseball-free… with Davis.

Lizzie: Next question is from MercuryFoam of the exciting supernatural  thriller, Between 2 Worlds.

Kass: (places hand on her stomach and gasps) Cool! I had no idea so many writers were into my story. And Between 2 Worlds is awesome!

Lizzie: (smiles) I know how much you like crime stories.

Kass: Are you kidding? I have a huge collection back at the house. I don’t have enough bookcases.

Lizzie: Tell me about it.  I think I need a whole room devoted to my behemoth library.

We both laugh lightly, completely at ease with one another. I couldn’t imagine a better person to carry out this story near and dear to my heart.

Lizzie: Actually whoops! Didn’t read my notes correctly.  Sorry about that.  Duvelina asks,  “Do you know what you want to study in college already?”

Kass: (cracks her knuckles) Heh… you’d think I would’ve made up my mind by now, right? I’m a down-to-the-wire kinda girl, you know.

Lizzie: Yes, I do. (points to self) Fatal flaw.

Kass: Yeah. I thought about business like Nonno.  Though flipping houses isn’t exactly what I’m thinking. Maybe something like business… law? I don’t know. (bites lower lip) Is that too ambitious?

Lizzie: Not at all. If you put your mind to it.

Kass: Thanks. I also thought about communications like you, or writing. I think I did pretty good at writing for the school paper. And I guess I could always teach.

Lizzie: Duvelina also asks… wow! I really didn’t read that right. Must not have had enough coffee this morning. Not a morning person.

Kass: Go by the Jolt later. Granny Jade will fix you up.

Lizzie: Thanks. Okay.  Duvelina’s question – “Where do you see yourself in  5 to 10 years? How do you feel about moving away from Sunset Valley for college?”

Kass: (smiles and scrunches her nose) Yeah, everyone’s kinda asking me that now days.  Standard adult question I guess.

Lizzie: Something like that.

Kass: I can definitely answer that last one. I am excited, but also nervous. I’ve wanted to go to Edgewater for the last four years of my life. Nonno is an alumnus and so is Davis. (flushes again) A lot of important people have graduated from there, and the town is home to my favorite Sim National football team.

Lizzie: (pumps fist in the air) Go Saints!

Kass:   I’m a little worried I’ll miss my friends… and my sisters… (expression sobers) Especially my sisters. I know how much they… uh… need me. But um… (rubs head) Five to ten years. That’s a long way out. I don’t know what I’m gonna have for dinner tomorrow night or where I might be crashing on the weekend. A lot’s going on around here. I don’t know if I can… answer that.   I mean, did you know what you wanted when you were my age?

Lizzie: (stops and thinks for a minute) I had ideas… I  planned on studying communications. I bounced around for a bit in college and came back to communications. No. I guess I didn’t know where I saw myself in five to ten years after college. Sure didn’t expect to be where I am now, but I’m blessed.

Lizzie: I can give you some advice. Don’t be afraid to experiment. To try new things and different things. Find a mentor. Someone who can help you talk through what you want, your interests, the future. Don’t worry too much about the people you leave behind. This is your time. Enjoy your uni years. They go by quick. Sometimes it takes awhile to know what you want.  You’ll figure it out, Kass. I believe in you.

Kass: Thank you.

Lizzie: I couldn’t ask for a better leading lady.

Kass: (puts hand to heart) I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

Next I headed to Papyrus Memorial Library. Andi was there, studying. She pulled out her earbuds when I arrived.

Lizzie: What are you listening to?

Andi:  Tchaikovsky’s  Waltz of Flowers from The Nutcracker.  (smiles) It helps me concentrate. It’s early, but I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures.

Lizzie: Hey, no judging here. Today’s pretty nice though.

Andi: Really? (looks out the window) I’ve been cooped up in here for awhile. I saved up simos to get a laptop, but our internet at home is snail’s pace so I came here.

Lizzie: You can’t be studying, can you? School’s out.

Andi: Summer school. I’m taking Calc I and II just to get them over with.

Lizzie: (clicks her tongue) Ah. Math!

Andi: It’s not so bad. It’s actually kinda fun.

Lizzie: (laughs) Says you… that’s cool you saved up for a laptop.

Andi: Yeah, the next thing I want to do is save up to visit Liz Ridley’s restaurant in Brindleton Bay. That’ll be a good chunk of moula.

Lizzie:  Oh, she and I share the same name. And yes, I’ve heard her food is to die for!  Okay, hey, the reason I’m here is  your fans have asked some questions.

Andi: You mean someone likes my music?

Lizzie: Sort of. It’s from ajmkv: “What’s it like to be so wise? Tell me your secrets, queen!”

Andi: (throws hands in the air) Uh…. what? I’m not… wise… (blushes deeply) not like… wait… really? Someone said that about me?

Lizzie: (smiles and nods)

Andi: (gasps and gulps) Uh my secrets? I dunno… I’m just me…

Andi: (stands up abruptly and looks at her naked wrist) Uh… (forces a laugh) Would you look at the time? I just remembered I have brunch plans.

Lizzie: What about the question?

Andi: I don’t even know how to answer that.  (quickly gathers her personal items and makes an exit)

Next I managed to catch Ayesha walking out of Sharma Day Spa.

Lizzie: Hey girl!

Ayesha: (turns and grins) Hey Liz, what’s up?

Lizzie: Oh not too much. Staying busy. Working a lot. Trying to keep up with the fans.

Ayesha: Sounds rough. What can I do you for?

Lizzie: Ajmkv would like to know: “WHERE ARE YOU, GIRL? I miss you!” (arches her brows) Ooo… I hope I did that right. I think I was practically screaming.

Ayesha:  (smiles and scrunches her face) Aww I miss you too… wait… who are you?

Lizzie: Ajmkv. He’s one of your fans.

I gave Ayesha a lip piercing in the second story. Honestly, I forgot all about it until I had to transfer over my saved Sims from my old game and I noticed it.

Ayesha: Right…  (strikes a pose)  oh I’ve got so many fans. It’s hard to keep track. And where have I been? (runs hand through her hair)  I just got a lip piercing. What do ya think?

Lizzie: Uh…

Ayesha: So did I like forget to give him my digits or something?

Lizzie: I think he means since Kass is busy with Davis and family drama, and then the  break-in that happened the other night.

Ayesha: Oh my gawd! What break-in? I gotta go call Kass.  Seriously, you holding out on me, Liz?

Lizzie: (winces) Not intentionally.

Ayesha: Oh and if you see my Mama… you never saw (points at her mouth) This! Or my… uh… (looks down) crop top… or ripped jeans… actually… (lifts finger) better say you didn’t see me.

Lizzie: (pretends to zip lips) Your secret is safe with me.  And it looks fab!

Ayesha: (runs away and waves) Thanks, girl! Oh and feel free to give ajmkv my digits. He can call anytime.

I have no idea what my Simself was doing here. And here’s the unedited Molly, River, and Sandi.

Since it was lunchtime, I headed across the street to load up on the greasy goodness of Hogan’s Deep-Fried Diner. Two words. Mozzarella balls. Take it from me. Try the Ranch. Not the marinara.

As I approach Gage, I recognize the two ladies he’s talking to as Molly French and River McIrish. The teen is carrying sweet baby Sandi.

Gage: Yes, and I just got accepted to Northwestern in Windy City.

This version of Gage is wearing glasses. Okay… I learned something new. He usually wears contacts, I guess. 😉

Lizzie: (pumps fist in the air and jumps up and down) Whoo! Whoo! Go  Wiley Wildcats!

Gage: (arches a brow) Uh yeah! Wildcats!

Lizzie: Sorry I’m in a school spirit mood today.

Molly: And you are?

Gage: This is Lizzie. We go way back. She gave me a chance in The Krazy Crazy Life

Lizzie: Yeah, Gage was the first character to crash my story. And  I let him.

Molly and River laugh awkwardly. They say goodbye. Now’s my chance to ask Gage some questions.

I have no idea why my Simself always looks gigantic. I’m not that tall. Haha.

Gage sneezes.

Lizzie: Ah, bless you. Someone is thinking of you.  Which is perfect… I have questions for you from fans.

Gage:  Sure.

Lizzie: First up from MercuryFoam – “You were determined to get to know your roots better, but when you confessed to Kass, you told her you were alright with staying put and not pursuing your studies in… was it Riverview?”

Gage: (interrupts) No, Windy City! How could you forget?  I’ve only wanted to go to Northwestern my whole life!

Lizzie: Uh… I’m not finished. (continues reading)  “Anyway, what made you suddenly realise your feelings for Kass and I must say it’s surprisingly strong if you could make that comment. So I’d like if you could explain that part too.”

Gage: (blushes) Oh yeah, well, I’ve known Kass for a really long time. She was my first friend in Sunset Valley, and the only kid who was kind to me at church and school. Kid… haha. We’re adults now.

Gage: (lifts hand) I think it was when we went to homecoming together last October. I don’t know. I’d never looked at her that way before, but she was beautiful. And well… (scratches back of head) I think I’ve always cared about her. I just didn’t really realize it until I knew we were both gonna be apart. I do want to meet my family and stuff, but I’d like to have some nice memories with Kass before she leaves and I leave. You know… and I think, we could be really good together. And sometimes people can make long distance work, right?

Lizzie: Next question from ajmkv – “What do you think of Madison? Or you at all interested in her? Or could you be if Kass said no to your advances?”

Gage: (waves arms) Wait… Kass said no?

Lizzie: I didn’t say that. Uh… she hasn’t answered you yet.

Gage: Why would she say no?

Lizzie: Gage, did you miss the question?

Gage: She isn’t going to say no is she?

Lizzie: (sighs and puts hands toward her chest) Gage, focus. The question. Madison???

Ah vanilla Sunset Valley! What wild patterns on that wall at the gym! And the room is so bare and empty.

Unfortunately, Gage wandered off muttering under his breath about calling Kass. Uh oh! I may have lit a fuse too early. It didn’t matter. After that deep-fried lunch, I was in the mood to work off some calories. I headed to 28-Hour Wellness Gym and ran into none other than Davis. He shyly told me he didn’t feel comfortable swimming in the Riviera’s pool so he worked out here at the public gym.

Davis: Hi Lizzie. It’s good to see you.

Kass: Yeah, good to see you too. I have a question for you from ajmkv.

Davis: Is that one of the guys who hangs out in the coffee shop?

Kass: A virtual reading circle actually.

Davis: Okay. Shoot.

Kass: Ajmkv asks – “What about Kass do you like the most so far? We’ve all noticed you staring at her in her swimsuit, at her luscious red hair, and her pretty face, but what would you pick as her best attribute?”

I was so mad! Hearts appeared around Lizzie and Davis. GAH! NO! Not cool. I even have a retuned attraction mod so I know when Sims hearts appear, they “really” like each other. Oh… well… I guess I have a type.  😳 This is even pre-Davis makeover. Haha.

Davis: Oh a gentleman never kisses and tells.

Lizzie: This isn’t about kissing. (suddenly a little flustered***) Who said anything about kissing?

Davis: I think it’s a bit personal,  but I’ll say this… Kass is more than her beauty. She’s a kind and intelligent woman who goes above and beyond for the people she cares about. I really like and admire her for that. And she’s close with her family. It’s really beautiful to watch. I’m not sure about her mom though. She’s… it’s not my place to judge actually.

Lizzie: So her best… attribute? (wondering if it’s hot in here all the sudden – all that pool humidity)

Davis: Definitely the way she takes care of others.

Note the danger! 🤭

I made a quick exit, suddenly feeling weird about shapes randomly appearing above my head. What next? Thought bubbles!

Before heading to the Fullbright-Riviera home, I had one more spot in downtown – Community School for the Gifted. Maybe I could take take a cool dip in the school pool. But before that, I poked my head into the janitor’s closet. Just to take a quick look around.

Lizzie: Ah ha!  Found you!

Clark: (startled, drops hands in lap) Don’t sneak up on a person like that, Liz.

Lizzie: Sorry. Uh hey… ajmkv would like to know – “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU SNEAKY SAUSAGE?” (rubs throat) Oh, that’s hard on the voicebox.  Do you have any water?

Clark: (looks confused) Sneaky? Sau-sage? (crosses arms and spins around on his stool)  No, I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer.

I head over to the Fullbright-Riviera residence. Carina is just getting home from her afternoon shift at the movies. She picked up a second summer job at Wilsonoff Community Theater, saving money for some concert tickets that she and her bestie want to attend.  She motions to the adjacent lounge chair. As I sit down, I notice Cari was kind enough to bring us snacks.

Cari: Andi said you were in town.

Lizzie: Thanks for the soda.

Cari: What? No popcorn!

Lizzie: No… yuck!  No offense. But I hate butter popcorn.

Cari: (sighs) You and Kass both.

Carina took a phone call. How rude, right? A Sim wouldn’t stay where she was supposed to. *face palm*

Lizzie:  Carina, will you get off the phone so I can ask you a question?

Cari: And you’re not gonna believe it, Lisa! We had an INTRUDER! Twice. I thought I would lose my mind, but Kass like tore off after the guy like a mamma bear protecting cubs. I thought she’d break her ankle running down that hill. Oh and Kass’ new guy is really cool. He stayed and made sure we were all okay.

Lizzie: Cari!

Cari: Wait, omg! I didn’t tell you. Yeah, Kass is dating this dish. He’s super hot and…

Lizzie: (clears throat) CARINA!

Cari: (turns around and glares) Oh, gotta go Lisa. Somebody’s in need of something… I know… again.

Lizzie: (shakes head)

Cari: What is it? Make it snappy. I’m in demand.

Lizzie: Do you mind answering a question from a reader?

Cari: Make it quick. I got things to do. Namely like have you heard the dish on the Villareals lately?  It may be a work of fiction, but I don’t care. This is juicy stuff.  I, for one, want to know if Hugo is ever going to find out what’s going on with Nelson.

Lizzie: (giggles) I wonder that too, but Cari, focus, girl. Okay… ajmkv would like to know… “Are you upset that you’ve had to take a caretaking role in your household? Buying the groceries and things like that, I mean. Do you wish Kass and/or Andi should help out a little bit more or do you not mind doing these things?”

Cari: (rolls eyes)  Like for reals? I am invaluable around here and I put in soooooo much effort and do I ever get thanked for it? Like no… like never!

Lizzie: Cari that wasn’t the question.

So I asked my real-life sister, whom Carina is based on, which of the Too Good at Goodbye characters she found attractive. I just showed her pictures and she picked Hugo.

Cari: I know, right? So I wish my sisters wouldn’t be so obsessed with their boy toys, but whachagonnado? They’re at that age. (looks at her nails)

Lizzie: (beneath her breath) You’re at that age!

Cari: I guess I have to live vicariously through my magazines. Hugo. He’s got a lot of loving, but man, is he nice to look at!

Lizzie: (looks away thinking about her “weird” connection earlier) Uh….

Cari: Okay, I’ll say this. (straightens in seat) Kass isn’t half bad and she does do stuff… sometimes. (glares) But don’t tell her I said that!

The day and my questions are drawing to a close. Cari told me that her mamma was most likely sleeping all day again, even though it was nearly four in the afternoon.  I hesitated when I heard sniffling.

Lizzie: Amy?

Amy: (muffled) What? Who is it? Go away?

Lizzie: Amy, it’s me. Lizzie. I have some questions from readers for you.

Amy: (gasps) Readers? Is that like some cult thing? Palm readers? Mind readers? Not interested.

Lizzie: No… not a cult. A club. Or a circle. That is…  uh readers… like people who read stories, you know?

Amy: Not now, Lizzie. I’m not decent. Um… and why are they reading about me?

Lizzie: Are you willing to answer their questions?

Amy: Like what?

Lizzie: Let’s start with something light and fun. Mercuryfoam asks: “Sorry for super personal and intrusive question, but am I right to assume Clark the first man you’ve been with since Howard?”

Amy: (straightens immediately)  That is very personal. Yes. He’s the first man I’ve dated since my ex.

Lizzie: Okay, continuing… “Why do you find him attractive? (Besides his accent and guitar playing ofc).”

Amy: What accent? (sighs and rubs her face) I’m getting a headache. Can you hurry this up?

Lizzie: But you didn’t answer the question.

Amy: I don’t know why this is important. I’m tired. I need to get some things done today. Okay uh…  (shakes head) Clark takes good care of me. And my girls. They don’t see that yet, but he does and he will. He’s a good man. They just need to give him a chance.

Lizzie: Not exactly the answer I was looking for, but that’s better than nothing. Okay, next question. ajmkv asks: “What was running through your mind after THAT confrontation with Andi? Was it like your body took over?”

Amy: (softly starts crying)

Lizzie: (sighs and silently leans into the wall) Amy, are you okay?

Amy: (snaps)  I don’t have to justify myself to you! Or to anyone! Oh! (covers her face)

Lizzie: Amy, will you let me in?

Forgive my laziness. I didn’t reset up the Amy’s room like it was before. Nor did I add curtains everywhere. Eek!

After what feels like eternity, Amy opens the door and lets me walk into the bedroom. She explains that it’s very plain right now because she’s redecorating. A minimalist. I guess I hit the set later on in the story. I don’t really pay any attention to the surroundings. I’m more concerned about the woman who is obviously in pain.

Amy: I’m so ashamed. I hit my own daughter. Now they all hate me and they’ll probably never come back. Oh what have I done?

Lizzie: Hey now… it’s okay. Cari is actually out on the porch.

Amy: She is? Oh… don’t let her see me. I’m a terrible mother.

Lizzie: (sighs) I’m not a mother unless you count four cats.

Amy: (peeks out from behind her hand) You have four cats?

No clue what happened to her nightgown there. 😅

Lizzie: (half-smiles and sits on the bed) Yeah, but the point is, I’m not a mother so I don’t fully understand the pressure you’re under, but I know it’s a lot. And I think you’re trying and maybe someone like Clark is…try-ing… to help ease the burden, hmm?

Amy: Yeah, he is pretty helpful. The girls don’t know it yet, but he’s really good with kids. Kind. Patient. A good provider. I… miss… that around here. I feel like I’ve slowly lost myself over the years and he’s helping me come back. And now I just lost it last night when someone violated our home, and I was scared. I wasn’t thinking.

Lizzie: You were concerned and scared last night. I get it.

Amy: (buries her face in her hands) That’s no excuse for violence. My mamma never hit me.

Lizzie: I’m sure the girls will forgive you.

Amy: (whispers) I hope so.

Again… towering Lizzie for the win! Don’t worry. I fixed it after this scene.

Lizzie: It’s gonna be okay, Amy. You’ll work things out with them in time.

Amy: Isn’t that a spoiler?

Lizzie: (smirks and looks at her shoes) Yeah, maybe it is. I don’t care. I think it’s okay to give the readers some hope.

Amy: (hugs herself) Yeah, alright. Hey, you wanna stay for dinner?

Lizzie: What’s for dinner?

Amy: Waffles.

Lizzie: (laughs) Sure, I’ve heard all about Amy’s famous burnt waffles.


Author Notes: That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading. Feel free to send more questions if you like.   What other things would you like to see? Would you like to see more interviews? More of my TS3 Simselfie running around? A sneak peek at my character and townie makeovers? Shorts in the KCLKF world? I’m enjoying messing around in my game.  

1.102, Pt. 2: Tenacity (KCLKF)

Wednesday, July 4, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Valverde

A gaggle of giggly teenagers flooded into the diner. Kass gathered her things and moved to a quieter end of the counter. She visited Landgrabb Financial’s  website. Nothing too suspicious. All the right phrases. Long-term growth. Securing your funds for the future. Be ready for the big moments in life and trust us with your financial success. She absently clicked through a few more pages and landed on the board of directors page. As she scrolled through, her eyes landed on a familiar name. She leaned back in shock. Albert C. Alto. 

That can’t be a coincidence. She rubbed her face. Why was an Alto on the board of directors for a Langrabb bank? This information was left for me for some reason. Madison trusted me to find the links. But how? What am I missing? She plucked the business card Mrs. Andrews gave her from her purse – Delores Miller. Kass bit her lower lip and called the number. The woman answered on the third ring. After Kass explained who she was and how she made the contact, Delores agreed to meet with her in thirty minutes at the diner.

That was fast, Kass shrugged. And convenient. While she waited, she decided to type up the list of numbers and letters, including the ones she hadn’t deciphered yet. It would be easier than explaining the “invisible ink” and decoding she had to do in order to find this information.

Opening a new Netquest browser window, Kass searched for the name Delores Miller as well as forensic accounting so she wouldn’t be caught incompetent. The woman was linked to a number of high profile cases in Sim City, Starlight Shores, and Bridgeport. She was called for expert counsel on behalf of the Sims National Intelligence Agency. She published a book on her area of expertise – Yay Tax Shelters! She even consulted on the set of Roaring Vice in Roaring Heights, Sultona and was credited with a small appearance in season nine, episode seventeen – Strangled in Simoleons.

Forensic accountant sounded expensive, so Kass began determining the possible ways she could convince Jennifer to pay for the help, or how she would come up with the money on her own. Maybe her grandparents would float her a small loan so she could cover Delores’ costs.

Before she could call Jennifer, Kass spotted Delores Miller, wearing a gray blazer, loose black tie, white collared shirt, and jeans entered the restaurant and immediately began looking around for her contact. Too late. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, Kass supposed. She gulped and closed the laptop  lid, and waved timidly. Get it together, Kass! she chided. Just cuz the woman did an episode of your favorite crime show… 

“I see you’re doing your research,” the tall woman said upon approach and stuck out her hand.

Kass blinked rapidly. The woman looked familiar. “Ms. Miller, I presume? I’m Kass Fullbright.”

“Don’t let me stop you,” the woman shook her head, sliding onto the adjacent barstool. “I did my research on you too.”

“What?” Kass paled. “Um?”

“Salutatorian. Four point oh grade point average from Community School for the Gifted. Law clerk intern for Jennifer Martinez at the Legal Aid Office in Sunset Valley,” Delores Miller rattled off. “Expected to attend Edgewater Global Business University next semester. Daughter of Amy Riviera and Howard Fullbright. Overachieving perfectionist with borderline obsessive tendencies,” she stopped and smiled. “Am I close? It’s my job to know my clients.”

Except for the daughter of Howard Fullbright thing. Kass flinched, the relationship a sore spot. She still hadn’t chatted with her dad… or whatever he was… about the awkward discovery.

“You sure… do your research…” Kass remarked, slowly.

“No need to be nervous,” Delores continued. “I know your boss. She’s cool.”

“Everyone says that,” Kass replied, a little too quickly.

The heat rushed to her cheeks. I’m like a stupid little kid. 

“Uh…” she shoved her laptop in her side bag. “I mean…”

“Relax kid,” Delores chuckled lightly. “I actually called Jennifer before I came here.”

“You did?” Kass’s eyes widened.

“Yes, and she’s impressed with your doggedness, Kass. Working a case on your off time… it’s tenacity like that that got me noticed and helped me move up the chain, but… there is such a thing as overworking,” she winked. “Your boss sends you home for the night and you pour over bank numbers and call a forensic accountant instead.”

Kass winced. “I just want to see justice for… my friend.”

“That is admirable,” Delores nodded. “Jennifer called me just yesterday. We were going to meet in the office tomorrow, but…” she waved her hand.

Kass turned to see her boss through the door. She didn’t look happy. She gulped, realizing she was probably in trouble. And what were the odds? Calling the one forensic accountant who happened to be friends with Jennifer Martinez, Attorney at Law, and Victoria Andrews, private investigator?

“Jennifer,” she laughed uncomfortably as the woman settled on the barstool at the adjacent counter. “I was going to call you.”

“I thought I sent you home for the night,” Jennifer lifted her bag off her shoulder and flagged the waitress. “And here you are still working. Hiring people on my dime?”

“Oh… uh… I was going to… cover it… I mean, figure out a way to pay for it,” Kass rushed the words. “I mean… I planned to call you… tonight… to tell you what I found.”

“Really?” Jennifer quirked a brow, skeptically, and ordered the hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and brown gravy. “And just when were you planning to call me?”

“Um…” Kass swallowed hard. “I found something… and Tori Andrews suggested I ask an accountant… a forensic accountant… like Ms. Miller here…” she nodded toward Delores. “And… I know sometimes you consult with Tori… I mean… Ms. Andrews… and um… I didn’t know, Jennifer. I swear… I didn’t know we were going to meet Ms. Miller tomorrow at the office.”

Jennifer frowned, and requested a pot of coffee for the group. She pressed her fingers against her forehead.

“Kass, you have good intentions, I know, but sometimes you get ahead of yourself,” Jennifer sighed. “This is why I wanted you to walk away from the case.”

“I know…” Kass hung her head. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t sweat it, kid,” Delores piped up. “And don’t be so hard on her, Jennifer. She’s doing what you pay her to and then some. I wish I had ten more like her with the guts to call an expert in to confirm some information for me. Her boldness shows imitative and passion. I seem to recall someone else like that…” her brown eyes twinkled mischievously. “…in law school.”

“You’re supposed to be a filing intern, Kass, not a private detective,” Jennifer waved her hands. “…but we’re in this together. No more cutting out the big boss, okay?”

“You got it,” Kass grinned, and breathed a sigh of relief.

Over the next hour, Jennifer explained she confirmed the DNA results at an independent lab and combed through Madison’s financial records, discovering additional details that flagged her suspicions. She also revealed she had hired Victoria Andrews discreetly to follow up on some leads regarding the Madison case like discreetly questioning the people listed on the police report the night of Madison’s death and attempting to locate the witness – the lady in red from Big Box Superstore.

Tori discovered the woman was also seen at the Landgrabb Sell n’ Swap on July eleventh. Kass gasped. She was the same woman in the store when she first approached Horace Horner regarding her bisnonna’s brooch? Then it wasn’t Bella Goth, but she did recall something about the woman was familiar. Her heart sank. She had hoped. But there wasn’t any way she wouldn’t recognize her idol… even all those years after her infamous disappearance right?

So does that mean the Bella lookalike came back to Horace’s shop recently? Which might mean… her heart pounded in excitement. She slowed her breathing, trying to calm down. Two different cases, Kass. Two different, but related cases? And did that negate the whole bizarre Madison – push pins – poster – travel agency – law firm – Bella Goth connection? While Delores cross referenced Jennifer’s information with Kass’s data, Kass filled the ladies in on her attempts to find the brooch. When she mentioned Detectives Hunter and Goddard, she could see the recognition dawn in Delores’ eyes if only for a fleeting second as she glanced up from the notes.

“The same detectives working the Madison case?” Jennifer inquired as Delores handed the papers back to her clients.

“Uh, yes,” Kass frowned. “All done? That was fast.”

“Cursory stuff really,” Delores replied. “I can do more tomorrow.”

“Did you find anything?” Kass asked.

“Well, yes,” Delores smiled. “I found the WBAN numbers.”

“In Madison’s financial records?” Jennifer said, excitedly.

“What is a WBAN number?” Kass asked.

“World Bank Account Number,” Delores replied. “An alphanumeric code used to identify banking information, usually a country identifying code, transaction number, sorting code, etcetera. They are useful for determining the exact location of funds at any one given time.”

“Great! How does that help us?” Kass inquired.

Jennifer’s eyes lit up. “You can tell us the exact bank and account where these transactions took place? And we have the dates from Kass’ information.”

Kass beamed, glad to feel useful.

“Yes, and I can tell you exactly who withdrew money and where it went and to whom,” Delores said, glancing around and lowering her voice. “But not here… tomorrow. Jennifer, you can get a court order in the morning?”

“Yes,” Jennifer bobbed her head.

“For what?” Kass interjected.

“I have half a mind,” Jennifer said, quietly. “To pull the entire department’s financial records.”

“If the judge lets you, do it,” Delores replied. “This kind of scheme is exactly the kind of case I consult on. Consider me hired. And I’m expensive. The Sandcastle Resort good for you?” she smirked.

Jennifer laughed. “You wish. You’ve been in town for over a month.”

“Yeah,” Delores stretched. “But the Sandpiper Motel isn’t the same.”

“Over a month?” Kass puzzled, and then gasped. “The clinic! You were at the clinic?”

“Yes, so?” Delores tilted her head.

“Looking for Hunter?” Kass probed, and tucked a hair behind her ear. “A Detective Hunter, perhaps?”

“At the Sun Valley Clinic?” Delores squinted her eyes. “Oh yes, but it’s classified.”

“Classified?” Kass sputtered. “Wait… what department? Are we talking the police department? Jennifer…” she whipped her gaze to her boss. “What’s going on?”

Jennifer sighed. “Kass, I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

“But!”

“But…” Jennifer lifted her hand. “For now…go home.”


Author Notes: Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed the never-before-published images.  I’ve been waiting to use them for awhile. I really do love that Kass is surrounded by strong, independent, successful career women in these last few chapters. Woot! Delores Miller is actually a social worker in game from Roaring Heights, but in my story, she’s a financial consultant and forensic accountant. Yay Tax Shelters! is actually a business book in TS3. You can learn more about forensic accounting here.

I’m sure I got some of the details wrong, but we’ll call it creative liberties. 🙂 WBAN is my Simworld version of IBAN (International Bank Account Number). We don’t use them in the US, but they do in other parts of the world. I thought it would be useful for story purposes to include it. Maybe I rushed some stuff and it’s a bit implausible how everything came together, but I feel like it’s time to get moving on resolving loose ends and solving the mysteries, and again, I’ll cite creative liberties. Hope you enjoyed. 

1.102, Pt. 1: Tenacity (KCLKF)

Wednesday, July 4, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Valverde

After she returned the package to Jennifer, Kass offered to stay and watch the results. Her boss shook her head and told Kass to go home. The shift was over, and she wanted her protege to rest up and return the Friday morning with fresh eyes. Kass dragged her heels, suggesting she make popcorn and they order in some takeout dinner, but Jennifer insisted. She needed to make her case, and she worked best alone. Kass reluctantly agreed and left for the evening.

She could even sort-of understand it, the compulsive desire to find the truth and the need to work theories in solitude. Kass had a few of her own side projects – like the empty notebook with a personal inscription to Kass and the travel poster with its obscure connection to a law office and Bella Goth. She wasn’t ready to head home yet, but her grumbling stomach indicated dinner was in order. She set up in a booth at Hogan’s Deep-Fried Diner, ordered a garden salad, plate of garlic fries, and a diet cola.

After applying the invisible ink cocktail on Sunday evening, she managed to pull lines of text out from the cotton blend pages. None of the numbers and words made sense. Most of it appeared to be unrelated and entered in a strange order. Kass flipped through the pages again today, hoping to draw meaning from the content. There had to be a reason Madison ditched this journal. There had to be a reason for leaving the words “If found, please return to Kassiopeia Fullbright,” in normal print and hiding the rest of the text. It couldn’t be a coincidence that the journal was found in the bathroom with the receipt from Big Box. Clarie Ursine confessed to kicking over the trash can when she angrily destroyed roses from Jared, which is what prompted Kass to go digging through the trash in the first place, which led to the superstore, which led to confirming Madison did purchase the items.

Kass plucked the crumpled receipt from the file folder in her side bag. She narrowed her eyes and looked at the figures, hoping to make sense of the objects. Maroon push pins. Cornflower blue nail polish. Baby rattlesnake skin jacket. Leather bound journal. All for the grand total of… her eyes widened as her gaze zeroed in on the total bill, particularly how the purchases were paid for. A partial credit card number… which most likely matched the card Madison used. But there was something about the sequential numbers that cued Kass into the meaning of the numbers and letters in the journal.

These are account numbers! she realized, excitedly. And the shorter numbers represent dates. Kass flipped through the pages hurriedly. 24150702 – February 7, 2415. 24150505 – May 5, 2415. 24152206 – June 22, 2415. All dates from this year, corresponding with twelve digit accounts, except for the last one. It was nine digits, three shy. Hmm… Kass frowned.

“Order up!” the chef shouted.

“Wait,” Kass lifted her hand, collecting her things, and relocating to the counter. “Thanks Tamara,” she nodded to the waitress as the other woman delivered her dinner.

She ate quickly, then pulled her laptop from her side bag. Opening a NetQuest browser, she searched for the top ten banks in the SimNation. Bank of the East. Sims National Bank. National Mutual Trust. Landgrabb Financial Services. Bank of Rongel. First National Corporation. Windham Financial. Countryside Group. Simciti Bank. Wright & Company Bank. 

Kass waved hello to Tori Andrews, who stopped in to order some dinner for her family. After they exchanged pleasantries, Kass began perusing each bank’s website for a list of common routing numbers. Fifty five minutes later, she found the one she was looking for – the last number was a routing number for Landgrabb Financial Services.

“Tamara, bring me another diet cola please,” she waved her hand and smiled at her discovery.

The routing number was assigned to the northern Valverde area, but it was a start. There was a branch right in Sunset Valley. She glanced at her watch. Daggumit! It was after closing. Kass couldn’t visit the bank until the morning. She sighed and dropped her head against her closed laptop lid. What would it solve going there tonight?

“Mrs. Andrews?” she flagged down the woman, grateful she was still there. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” Tori replied. “And please, call me Tori.

“Okay, Tori, I need your professional advice so if you can’t give it to me off the clock,” Kass began.

Tori placed her hand on her hip. “My professional opinion, huh? What’s the question?”

“Well, in your professional opinion,” Kass lowered her voice as Tori settled onto the next neon green barstool. “…why would someone keep a record of bank account numbers and dates?”

“Hmm… that’s a tough one,” Tori rubbed her chin. “Are you in some kind of trouble, Kass?”

Kass paled and shook her head vigorously. “Oh no… it’s not for me. Or about me… uh… it’s for work… with Jennifer.”

Tori grinned. “I heard you were working for Ms. Martinez. She’s a fine attorney,” she cracked her knuckles. “Well for the legal aid office… I’ll give you this one for free.”

“Thank you,” Kass sighed in relief.

“It could be a record of transactions, legal or illicit,” Tori began. “If you don’t have any other details, it could be anything really, deposits or withdrawals or transfers.”

“If it was for something illicit, in your experience, what would be the top reasons for keeping that kind of information?” Kass inquired.

Tori shrugged. “I don’t know. Embezzlement? Money laundering? Cheque kiting? Or it could just be deposits,” she reached over and grabbed the white paper to-go bag from the waitress. “This is dinner. Jordan will throw a fit if the hamburger isn’t hot.”

“I get it,” Kass nodded. “Sorry to bother you.”

“No worries,” Tori said, plucking a business card from her pocket. “Say I have a friend who’s a forensic accountant. She’s in town for the week and might be able to help you and Jennifer out.”

Kass sighed and tugged on her blazer.  “Thanks.”


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. Hogan’s Deep-fried Diner is a remodel of Itoole’s Happy’s Diner. Tamara Donner happened to be in the background here and so I included her as the waitress.Victoria ‘Tori’ Andrews also made a convenient appearance. The list of banks is totally fictional, with Bank of the East as a pun for Bank of the West and Countryside Group as a play on Citigroup. Finally some info on the mysterious notebook. More never-before-seen pics from my game. Hope you enjoyed. 

1.90 Pressure Points (KCLKF)

Wednesday, June 25, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Valverde

After a long, hard day of work at the legal aid office transcribing hours upon hours of courtroom tapes, the last thing Kass wanted to do was spend time with her family. After her awkward goodbye with Davis, her mother caught Kass at the door. She had been spying. Of course, Amy viewed this as defiance as she was still dating the pool boy and Kass viewed this as an invasion of privacy, and the two argued loudly in the entryway until Nonno came and told them both to pipe down since Nonna had a headache.

Kass stomped upstairs, not her finest most adult moment, which only served as further proof for her mother that she wasn’t mature enough and still needed parenting. Her only saving grace was a sobbing meltdown from Carina because Bebe Hart’s dad grounded her because she sneaked out to attend a tutoring session to get her composition class grade up in summer school and now they couldn’t go to the Life Boats for Animals indie band concert. Bebe’s dad was being so unfair, right? Cari whined. She had saved her precious spa salary for weeks, forgoing her usual mani-pedis to afford the tickets, and now who would go with her. Kass released an aggravated groan and slammed the door, wincing once as she thought of her poor Nonna, and then slid down the wall in frustration.

Tonight, she would rather stay in and work on her essay. She would rather stay in and work on new hairstyles with Cari to cheer her middle sister up, even though Carina had cut her hair boyish short six months ago and had no hair to do up. Kass sure did. She stood in front of the mirror, pulling her favorite green tee over her head, slipping out of heels and into flip flops, wondering if a new hairstyle was in order. Who am I kidding? Kass poked the glass. She liked her less than ten minute morning routine, and she sure didn’t want highlights. Most women would kill to get that hair and yours doesn’t come from a bottle, she could practically hear Carina’s voice in her head.

1

When Kass walked into Hogan’s Deep-Fried Diner, she realized her sisters hadn’t arrived yet. Her mamma sat at the table, the same disapproving thin-mouthed frown on her face as the night before, and Clark instantly stood as any proper gentleman to greet Kass. Too late now, she thought, and had the good sense to keep her sigh internal.

“Hi Kass, good to see you,” Clark said, a little too eagerly.

She had to give him chops for trying. “Hi Clark,” she nodded, forcing a smile. “Mamma.”

2

“Kassio,” her mother acknowledged, rubbing her neck, standing up as if it were an intensive activity.

As if sensing the pressure, Clark walked over to Kass to welcome her to the diner.

“How was work today?” he inquired.

“Uh fine,” Kass bobbed her head.

“You know,” he waved his hands. “An internship is a real smart thing to do before college. A right smart thing. Hades, I wish I had done an internship. Then maybe I would’ve gotten a scholarship or something,” he chuckled and snapped his fingers with an uncomfortable wince. “Oh… shoot!”

“Clark, honey, you shouldn’t swear,” Amy said. “Especially in front of my kids… or any kids for that matter.”

“Right… wouldn’t want the kids to hear anything too adult now, Mamma,” Kass said, pointedly.

3

Amy’s jaw hardened.

Kass resorted to deflection in place of death stares. “So how are your kids, Clark?”

“Kaden and Kasey are with their mom in Oakland tonight,” Clark replied. “Kasey had a baseball game up there.”

“Baseball,” Kass tried to sound more enthusiastic than she was. “How’s his team?”

Baseball. It was the reason Davis hadn’t called her today. Or called. He worked a shift at the Jolt, caught the ferry to Bay City, took a nap at the apartment she had yet to see, attended an afternoon class at St. Anne’s and planned to spend the evening catching up on missed Sliders and Asters games. Somehow watching repeat Goldibox Game View took precedence over resolving a conflict with his girlfriend. She was partly at fault.

Kass bit her tongue to prevent her from saying something mean to her mom after Amy suggested she hold a deeper appreciation for sports that didn’t involve kicking a ball around a field for the sake of the family. She almost laughed. Amy barely came out of her room before Clark, let alone watched anything but Pennant rom-coms. She couldn’t remember the last time her mother actually came to one of her sisters’ games. Kass knew more about baseball than her mother, surely.

4

Andi arrived with a genuine smile, greeting Clark respectfully and giving her mother an affectionate side hug. Cari, on the other hand, appeared bored, barely acknowledging their mamma, who had the “gall” to suggest her middle daughter return her tickets for a full refund and spend the evening doing something more productive like working on improving her Romian language classes so she could volunteer at the Romalian Culture Center in Bay City with Nonno. Yeah, cuz that sounds like fun, Carina had rolled her eyes. She was still super annoyed that high school required community service hours in order to graduate.  Welcome to my world,  Kass had smirked.

“What’s wrong?” Kass asked her sister, quietly.

“This whole thing is weird,” Cari sniffed, turning her head away. “I’m not on speaking terms with mamma, and I don’t know about him.”

Kass blinked a few times. She was surprised her sister stated her opinion so loudly in front of Clark. Then again, it’s Carina… maybe I’m not. 

“Cari,” Amy said, a hint of irritation in her tone. “Please… for my sake… try…”

5

“I guess,” Cari shrugged nonchalantly, then launched into a dramatic tirade. “So you’re not going to believe what happened when I was working at the store today. This customer came in and wanted gold polish for her mani/pedi. We’re all out because my boss is too cheap to restock regularly, and so of course, I tell her in my most polite tone…” Cari said, waving her arms.

Somehow Kass didn’t believe her sister was the most courteous to her customer.

“…that we can order more and it’ll be in on Monday. In the meantime, I could offer her a wide selection of options of other colors and discount the price. She looked at me like I grew three heads. And I know I’ve got a pretty face, but come on… three?”

Clark winced, shoving his hands in his pockets, his expression speaking volumes. Kass doubted he had much experience raising daughters. Amy rubbed her temples, but let her middle daughter continue.

“She asks if she can speak to another ‘older’ associate. I snapped my bubble gum loudly and said I was the only one in the spa that wasn’t occupied at the moment and I was the only one who could help her. She complains that my customer service is less than par. She wants to talk to my manager. Well, of course, Miranda is out on her break and so I tell her that and she huffs in my face and says she’ll never shop at our store again. Can you believe it? I offered to discount her price too!”

“Wow,” was all Kass could think to say.

“The discount was a nice idea,” Andi admitted meekly.

“Carina,” Amy huffed. “Aren’t you going to say hello to Mister Sauer?”

“Oh please call me Clark,” Clark insisted.

“Okay Clark,” Cari said, crossing her arms. “What are your intentions toward our mamma?”

Amy laughed nervously and Clark smiled at her knowingly. Andi pinched Cari’s arm.

“Well, I think that’s a conversation we save for when we’re seated and eating. Speaking of which, I’ll go order us something,” Clark replied, making a less-than-smooth exit.

6

“Ow! Why’d you pinch me?” Cari glared at Andi.

“Because that wasn’t nice,” Andi replied.

“Cari, please… please… try to be the angel child I know you are,” Am pleaded quietly.

“I don’t know Mamma, he seems shady,” Cari grunted.

“Seriously, you’ve been here for like what? Three minutes!?” Andi exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air. “And you’re monopolizing all the conversation, and you say he’s shady? Clark has been nice to us.”

“I think it’d be best if we save heavy topics for another time,” Kass recommended.

“Yes, thank you,” Amy exclaimed quietly, and it was the first thing Kass could agree on with her mother.

“What? I can’t ask him what his intentions are?” Cari howled, drawing the attention of a couple other customers.

“Shh!” Amy hushed.

7

Cari reluctantly closed her mouth, but she was most definitely sulking. Kass didn’t doubt that the relationship between her mother and Clark was different, but he didn’t outright seem like a terrible guy anymore. She actually trusted him a little more now that he told her the truth and was investigating on her behalf. She wasn’t exactly ready for all their relationship implied, but unlike Carina, she could keep her thoughts to herself.

“Seriously, this sucks,” Cari grunted.

Well that didn’t last long. 

“Quiet, Cari,” Andi snapped. “I’m going to go change in the bathroom and when I come back, I don’t want to hear a peep out of you!”

Kass smirked at the mothering tone her youngest sister had.

“Come on you two, calm down.  Let’s just enjoy this night, okay?” she said impatiently. “Why are you changing, Andi?”

Andromeda didn’t answer as she picked up her backpack and flounced away.

8Everyone ordered hamburgers, everyone except Andi. She returned from the bathroom and said she was meeting a friend at the beach for a party. When Cari pressed, Andi glared and ordered a glass of water. Kass figured she was meeting her “secret” boyfriend. Why can’t boyfriends just stay secret? At least until I’m thirty-five and Mamma thinks it’s appropriate to date! 

Amy wanted to move tables, claiming the other table wasn’t as clean. There hardly seemed more than two specks of dust, and the usual mustard stain that wouldn’t come out of the plastic no matter how many times the wait staff attempted. Kass sighed and returned her rare hamburger. She didn’t like anything too bloody and undercooked. Amy gingerly ate her burger with a knife and fork until Carina teased. This week Cari was vegetarian, probably just to tick off their mother, and be an annoyance to Clark. She ordered a salad and picked off the olives, cheese, and tomato. Kass didn’t want to be a pain, but they returned her hamburger medium-rare, while everyone else received their correct order. She went to speak to the chef directly and returned while Cari ordered a bean patty. Kass was impressed her sister ate it without complaining.

9

“So Kass, how goes your essay?” Clark began, trying to make small talk. “You’re gonna be an Edgewater Llama in a few weeks, huh? I’m a Trojan man myself.”

Kass nearly gagged on her water.

“Lone Star State Univeristy Trojans! Hoo-yah!” he said proudly, displaying his muscles. “I’ve got the tat right on my arm right here. Never finished though.”

“Hoo…yah…” Kass replied without enthusiasm. “It’s almost finished.”

“It’s a wonder,” Amy spoke up. “With all your free time lately, you could’ve finished it sooner.”

Kass narrowed her eyes at the jab.

“What are you planning to study again?” Clark asked, between bites of burger.

“I’m keeping my options open,” Kass replied.

“Business or law, like my father,” Amy said, swishing her hair out of her face as she attempted to pick up her dinner and eat with her hands. “Isn’t that right, Kass?”

Kass wished her dinner would hurry up and arrive, fidgeting uncomfortably in her chair. The pressure was palpable.

“Ambitious,” Clark acknowledged. “What about you ladies?”

10

“I’d like to be a concert pianist,” Andi piped up.

“Mmm… you should talk to my son, Kaden. He’s a musician too… Drums,” Clark replied. “What about you, Cari?”

“It’s Carina,” she grunted, folding her arms across her chest.

“Oh sorry, Carina,” Clark apologized.

Cari responded with deadening silence as she shoved her bean burger in her mouth.

“Cari is our resident actress and fashionista,” Amy spoke up after Cari refused to reply. “I think she’ll make a fabulous stage actress someday or fashion designer.”

Kass swallowed the lump of hurt in her throat. Why did Carina and Andromeda get to follow their art and passion, and she was forced to study economics or law like her family business? She was enjoying her internship at legal aid, but that wasn’t necessarily where she wanted to end up.

“Heading to Shakespeare Court?” Clark arched a brow. “Or are you going to be the next big Patrina?”

“Yeah, something like that,” Cari narrowed her eyes.

Kass was impressed that Clark even knew those names.

11

“Well Kaden wants to be a musician, but Kasey is thinking about sports. He’s a fabulous pitcher. He’s got such a great throwing arm I pitched a little ball back in college but I was better at hitting,” Clark bragged. “Have you girls been to any of the baseball games at Sun Valley High?”

“No, we go to Community… for smart and gifted people, remember?” Cari snipped.

“Oh,” Clark said, frowning as he sensed Cari’s hostility.

Amy practically choked on her food.

“I went to one of the last games of the season,” Andi said softly. “Yeah I remember seeing him pitch. He is really good.”

“We should all go to one of his games maybe,” Amy suggested.

“Well, now that the season’s over that sounds like a fabulous idea,” Cari said sarcastically. “Say Mamma, why didn’t you come to any of Andi’s and my games for…” she lifted her finger to her chin and scrunched her face. “…any of the last season?”

“Cari!” Andi and I exclaimed in unison.

Carina Nebula Fullbright! That’s enough,” Amy warned, narrowing her eyes.

12

“No, it’s okay,” Clark put his hands up. “Cari, I understand this is all very new for you and probably threatening.”

“You can say that again!” Cari rolled her eyes.

“I get it that you don’t like me,” Clark continued. “But I want you to know, Cari… and Kass and Andi…” he made eye contact before returning his gaze to Carina. “I really care about your Mamma and I have the best of intentions toward her. I don’t want to do anything to hurt her, so if this relationship of ours…” he reached for my mother’s hand. “…is going to cause tension among you girls, we can slow down and try to make this easier for you.”

Clark cleared his throat and wiped his mouth on his napkin. “Your Mamma is so important to me and I know you girls mean the world to her, and I would never, ever want anything to come between that special relationship.”

Sadness pooled in Kass’ heart. Her relationship with her mamma at best was on the rocks, at worst, at the bottom of the Orinda Bay. She wasn’t sure she would call anything between her mother and herself special anymore.

“I feel the same way about my boys. So I think it’s totally fair for you to add your input… all of you… and I actually want that,” Clark continued as he reached over and squeezed Amy’s hand. “Which is why…”

13

“Oh come out and tell us already,” Carina rolled he eyes and lifted the last remaining bite of salad into her mouth. “I know. We should all know about your impending engagement!”

Andi gasped. Startled, Kass’s eyes grew wide. Engagement? How long had they been dating? That was quick, wasn’t it? When did this happen? She wished she had been around more recently, and maybe she would’ve picked up on clues. Her mother engaged? After she said she hated men and she’d never go down that road again? After all her anxiety attacks and her inability to focus on anyone but herself during her bouts with depression? After chewing her daughter out time and time again over her poor dating choices, only to get engaged herself after a short amount of time? She was stunned, hurt even, but in seeing the way Clark looked at her mother, with affection and adoration, she couldn’t be upset. He looked over Luna, and her mamma flushed with at the attention.

“I, for one, think this relationship is great,” she spoke, putting her hand out. “And I want to… welcome you to the family, Clark. Mamma seems so happy.”

She emphasized the ‘so,’ hoping her mother would agree to her daughter’s choice of romantic partner. Cari huffed, but Andi nodded in agreement.

“I want Mamma to be happy and I want you to be comfortable with us,” she said maturely.

“Well, thank you, that means a lot to me,” Clark smiled brightly. “Cari?”

“I guess… I’m just not so sure…” she mumbled.

14

“That’s okay. Think about it. I’m going to take your Mamma for a spin on the dance floor,” Clark winked at his fiance.

“Now?” Amy gasped, her heart flying to her chest.

“This is a great song. Come on, Amy, don’t be shy,” Clark teased gently, offering her his hand.

“Okay,” she agreed, standing up with a smile.

The Fullbright sisters sat in stunned silence. It seemed just a short while before that Clark was introduced into their lives. They hadn’t met his sons but a few times. Kass wanted her mother to be happy. She really did. Yet it was hard to accept her mamma’s joy when her mother couldn’t accept her own.

15

“This is weird,” Cari said.

“I know, I think so too,” Andi wrinkled her nose. “But Mamma’s happy.”

“Do you think we’ll have to move? I am not giving up my shoe closet!” Carina crossed her arms.

“We already moved,” Andi sighed. “You didn’t think we could live with Nonna and Nonno forever, did you?”

“I don’t know. They have such a nice house. Maybe Mamma will let me live with them while she goes and shacks up with Clark,” Carina rolled her eyes.

“Cari!” Kass interjected. “If they are getting married, it won’t be…” she couldn’t say the word ‘shacking-up,’ and instead continued, “Clark seems like a decent guy. Just look at them. They seem to care about each other.”

“Yeah,” Cari conceded.

Yeah, Kass conceded internally. This will be just fine. 

“It’s so not fair,” Cari laid her elbow on the table and propped her chin up. “Mamma’s got Clark. Andi’s got VJ… even you have a new guy, Kass. What’s wrong with me?”

“Nothing’s wrong with you,” Andi replied. “It’s perfectly fine to be single.”

“Easy for you to say. You both have men,” Cari sighed, exasperated. “And you’re both in love…”

16

“In love?” Kass repeated with a funny smile. “I just started dating…”

She did love Davis. She had said as much. Then I need to do what’s right. 

“Yeah, she just started dating,” Andi smirked knowingly.

“Whatever, you two are full of it,” Cari tossed a napkin in our direction.

“Excuse me,” Kass said, standing up. “Tell Clark thanks for dinner please.”

“Where are you going?” Cari asked.

“Someplace I should’ve gone awhile ago.”


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. I know this was a longer than long chapter, but it felt necessary to contain in one chapter. I wanted to continue the family saga with Clark, and reintroduce the drama between mother and daughter, or in this case, daughters. The Goldibox game console is actually only available in Sims 4, but I wanted something like Playstation Vue so it sufficed. Oh the Sims not sitting at the same table, not eating at the same time, getting up too many times, and spontaneous outfit changes! I managed to make it all work… sort of. Enough for the story. Shakespeare Court is located in Avalon (my Simworld version of the British Isles) and is comparable to the West End of London or Broadway of New York. When trying to think up a name for a designer (other than the Valensima in the original version of this chapter), I thought of the real-world connection Valentino, which led me to Valentine, which led me to Catholic saints and holidays, and then St. Patrick, but that didn’t sound right and Patricia is the feminine version of Patrick, but that still didn’t sound right. Patrina it is! 🙂 Yes, this is how my brain works sometimes. xD Hope you enjoyed! 

1.2, Pt. 2: Surprises (KCLKF)

Saturday,  May 28, 2415 C.E. | Sunset Valley, Valverde 

“What’cha doin’ girlie!?”

Kass lifted her hand in apology as she crossed the road in front of an impatient driver. The man cussed from his blue-violet VFN Kompensator and honked his horn aggressively. She ducked her head, trying to ignore the stares from passerbyers on the sidewalk. It’s not like I’m walking at a glacial pace, she furrowed her brow. Still, she probably should have observed her surroundings before stepping out into the street.

After interacting with her dad for the first time in years, Kass wasn’t in the mood to head home just yet. Gage had offered to meet up after the graduation ceremony. She texted him, asking to skip the movie and go straight to the shake… preferably one with extra whipped cream. He replied with an “Uh Oh. I know what that means.” Of course, he did. He was her best friend.  When she wasn’t looking for judgment or conversation and wanted to act impulsively and down an entire chocolate milkshake before dinner with her family, she called Gage.

Slipping inside the diner, Kass crossed her arms over her chest while waiting to be seated. Glancing about, she noticed an eclectic group of patrons. A frazzled young man, wedding band on his left hand, sat alone at the closest booth, bent over his lukewarm coffee, though not drinking since his cup had probably claimed a tear or two. She twisted her lower lip. Marital problems? 

Two Valley cops, one of Hesperian descent and the other of Eutopian descent,  joked around about the ridiculous calls they received during their shift at the counter atop the bright red leather barstools,  enjoying the stereotypical cup of ‘joe’ with some of Hogan’s famous deep-fried doughnuts, served all day. Apparently Gus Hart was out  watering his lawn again today in his flamingo boxers and the poor Goth family maid called the police out of sheer embarrassment. 

To her right, a middle-aged businessman browsed through the Sun Valley Times, hardly touching his hamburger and fries. He was unaware of the conspicuous ketchup stain on what appeared to be a newly dry-cleaned suit and tie. Probably perusing the end of day stock market values. 

Straight ahead, two mothers, enjoying dinner out for a change,  wearing starched white tanks, matching green athletic jackets with goldenrod yellow stripes, and running shoes, clicked away on their Portable Muze players, more concerned with comparing the latest hit radio songs than they were ordering from the menu. Both wore an overabundance of makeup for appearing to have just arrived from the gym. Probably members of the country club, the PTA, and all those other domestic and maternal organizations, Kass sighed. Her own mother despised the PTA, but probably because she never had time to bake brownies or cookies or whatever else the group required.

To the left, a Sunset U student, dressed in slacks and a Uni teee, slurped down her second double espresso and drowned her pancakes in the fake maple syrup that the waitress just delivered to the table, while pouring over a five-hundred page textbook. Ugh! That could be me in months. Kass preferred not to let the concept of studying ruin her summer vacation.

In the back corner, four men, who appeared to be in their sixties, retired fishing types, out of place in Sunset Valley acquired their usual Friday night booth. Kass recalled several times she had been seated next to them. They would brag about their long lasting marriages, complain about the problems of today’s youth, discuss politics as long as everyone agreed… which never happened… share whose grandchildren were visiting next, and savor the memories of the cigars they smoked when their wives weren’t looking. Ugh! How could anyone smoke? Kass nearly gagged at the thought, and was grateful to see the hostess headed her way.

“Busy tonight, Madison,” she remarked as the young woman stacked menus in the host booth.

“Hey Kass, what are you doing here? Hey congratulations! You’re finally gonna be a Sun Valley moo cow with the rest of us,” the stout Lotharin coed flashed a goofy smile upon recognition. “Yeah, well, it is Friday night…” she shrugged. “Oh wait… you’re looking to be Team Gerbit.”

Kass sighed at the thought of the  university mascot.  Gerbits, less commonly known by their scientific name, llama, had not been seen in the wild for decades.

“Thanks, and I’m not banking on Edgewater yet.”

“I thought you got in?” Madison cocked her head to the side, flipping her bleached blonde ponytail over her shoulder.

“I did,” Kass swallowed, feeling the dryness of her throat. “But… I’ve got an essay I gotta finish.”

“Ah… the dreaded college essay,” Madison smirked. “You want a counter seat?”

“No, I’m uh…” Kass glanced about. “I’m waiting for Gage.”

“Righto!” Madison clicked her tongue. “My roomie joining you?”

“Nope, Ayesha is off at some party… probably Zelda Mae’s,” Kass glanced down at her newly manicured nails, feeling seriously overdressed for a “hang-out” with her best guy pal. “Just me and Gage.”

Maybe I should’ve gone home to change first? I’m wearing gobs of makeup and these white pants aren’t particularly suited for diner food if I’m clumsy and drop a blob of whipped cream. Well, she could just wipe it off her pants and bop it on his nose if that happened. Kass blushed just thinking about how silly that sounded… silly and flirty… not the message I’m trying to send. 

“Oh you just missed him,” Madison beamed. “He went to take a phone call from his dad or something.”

“Who?” Kass asked, bewildered, lost in her dreamland.

“Who else?” Madison rolled her hazel eyes. “He’s a cutie, you know. When are you going to finally make your move?”

“What?” Kass must have darkened to a shade of tomato. “We’re… uh… um… just friends.”

“Uh huh,” Madison replied, the disbelief evident on her face. “That’s not what Ayesha says.”

Oh gerbits! Ayesha is talking to her roommate about my love life. What love life? Gage and I don’t have one. I don’t have one period. Heck, we were just arguing earlier like cats and dogs. I couldn’t date him. I just… couldn’t. 

“Kassiopeia!”

A whistle interrupted her thoughts. She resisted the urge to grunt at the sight of the red-haired man, several years her senior, as he walked up, carrying several foam takeout boxes.

“You’re like a dream,” he said, leaning casually against the host booth, grinning like a moron. “Super hot.”

“Yeah, in your dreams,” Kass murmured.

“What was that, my red hot chili pepper?” he replied.

Who talks like this? 

“Looks like you’ve got a lot of takeout there,” she tried to steer the subject away from herself. “How many delivery customers do you have?”

“Just one. That Claire Ursine girl… the loner weirdo who lives next door to my bro and I. She called in six orders of our fried catfish again… and what’da’ya know, it’s all for her,” Jared’s smile morphed into a displeased frown. “And she’ll send it all back because it’s not right for her tasting.”

“Claire isn’t a weirdo,” Madison slapped Jared’s shoulder playfully. “She’s just new to town and not as outgoing as the rest of us.”

“Yeah?” Jared remarked as if this was news to him. “She fishes from her back porch at all hours of the day and night,” he paused for emphasis. “That’s weird.” He slipped the boxes into a large brown bag with the Hogan’s logo on it. “And she’s always wearing a fishing vest… not like Kassio here…” he eyed her up and down as if she was on display. “…who’s hot.”

Kass frowned, and placed her hands on her hips. “Didn’t anybody ever teach you that your leering will get you nowhere in life? So put those eyeballs back in your head and stop keeping Claire waiting.”

“Ouch! Cold!”

“Well, you’re the one whose last name is Frio. And you won’t skate by on good looks forever. No one finds ogling attractive.”

“Ooo…” Jared leaned back and grinned in surprise. “Icy, Ms. Fullbright,” he dangled the bag from his wrist. “You know… you did say I was good lookin’. So coffee later?”

“I’ve got dinner with the family.”

“You can’t say no to me forever.”

“You’re not my type.”

“Then who is?” Jared moved over as the door opened behind him, letting in a stream of warm summer night air.

Gage entered the restaurant, and Kass immediately smiled, unaware of her reaction.

“Bald… got it!” Jared exclaimed, making a sarcastic face. “Gotta shave my head.”

Madison upped her contact this time and gave her coworker a friendly arm punch. “Jared, quit screwing around and go make your deliveries,” she ordered. “And try asking out someone your own age.”

“It’s too bad, ladies,” Jared purposely popped the collar of his brown leather jacket. “You’re passing up on the opportunity of a lifetime…” he said dramatically as he slipped out the door. “Dag! Dag!

Madison laughed, and moved to seat the guests that entered the diner behind him. Kass shook her head, flustered.

“Hey,” Gage walked over, sliding his arm around her for a quick side-hug. “Sorry to make you wait.”

“No worries,” she shook her head, scrunching her shoulders.

“Sit wherever you want,” Madison waved as she snagged silverware for the other diner guests.

“So double the whipped cream, right?” Gage ushered Kass to a table. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Kass replied, shoving her hands awkwardly into her too-tiny pockets.

That’s the problem with women’s dress slacks.

They enjoyed their milkshakes. Gage insisted on paying, even though she wanted to treat him… to make up for their argument earlier. Something he said continued to bother her. It wasn’t about her dad. Not really… well… maybe a little. After all, he had showed up out of the blue and wanted to talk with her again. She wasn’t ready. Would she ever be ready? Still, reconnecting with her dad for all these years did sounds sort-of nice. Kind-of like Gage reconnecting with his family.  He did try to apologize earlier. She hadn’t exactly apologized in so many words. Still, that wasn’t what was occupying the majority of her brain space.

They walked in silence to the parking lot, two old friends… two old friends who knew how best to care for one another… and hurt one another. She felt like she was going to lose him. Who knows what kinds of adventures awaited him in Riverview and Windy City? They reached the parking spaces. Kass immediately recognized Pablo’s tomato soup orange Tofunda Wagon. His foster dad came to pick him up. She needed to say something.

Screenshot-593

“Gage?”

“Yes?”

“I’m not like everyone else.  I do believe in you.”

His arms were immediately around her, drawing into a deep bear hug, the kind of embrace she loved. He smelled of diner grease and Enchantélle fries but she didn’t care. He wore jeans to his graduation and his same old zip-up fake leather and cotton sweater, and she didn’t care. That’s what made him Gage… his casual approach to life and his simple tastes.

“Kassio,” he said in a soft voice. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said it. You’re still going to be my best friend, ya know?”

“I know,” she said, choking back the emotion.

Everything was changing. She was determined to avoid mascara streaks.

Screenshot-594

“You’re so important to me,” he added, his hand lingering on her neck as he stared into her eyes.

Kass knew he left it there for emphasis, but his touch sent shivers through her spine.  The good kind. She flushed, hoping he would assume her face was pink from the late May heat.

“What you think matters,” Gage smiled. “…but I’m moving to Riverview. This is what I’ve been wanting to do my whole life… be with my family.”

His hand dropped and she felt fleetingly disappointed. She wanted to protest ‘but I’m family,’ but refrained.

“I know,” she replied, hoarsely.

“Promise me you’ll support me and that you will still be my friend?”

She opened her mouth. “Can you promise me no more surprises?”

Now why did I say that? Is it cuz I don’t want things to change? Is it because I’m surprised with how I’m feeling. 

He looked like he was processing his thoughts for once, and she waited in anticipation of what he would say as her own mind raced a mile a minute.

I don’t know. Gage. I’m feeling things I’ve never felt before and I think it’s just the nerves of the day. Graduation. My dad. Your sudden desire to move all the way across country and away from me. I’m mixed up. I’m shut out. I don’t know. I want things to stay the same. Just the two of us. Here. There. In  Bayou at Uni together. Like we planned. Like we always planned. 

Screenshot-590

“You aren’t going to lose me, you silly gerbit,” she pulled him quickly back into a hug so he couldn’t read the emotion in her eyes. “I’ll always be here for you whether you’re on the other side of the country or the other side of the world.”

“Good, cuz you aren’t losing me either.”

Good, because surprise! Surprise! I think I like you. 


Author Notes: It took me days to get back to this chapter. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it or who I wanted to feature. I’m sticking to my promises and I’m not collecting any new screenshots, but I did have this diner scene written into the plot somewhere else and I decided to use it here instead. I hope you don’t mind the lack of screenshots at the beginning of the chapter. 

First off, I want to say I think this chapter illustrates Kass’ judgmental side, but it’s not so annoying or obnoxious as it has been before in previous iterations. I think I managed to soften her edges a bit while still emphasizing the aspect of her personality and highlighting an area for growth. Kass often makes snap black-and-white, cut-and-dried decisions about people, even though she’s good at reading expressions and people when she tries. Second, Kass is very much in her head and her mind is constantly chattering and I felt this is illustrated fairly early on in this chapter. 

Third, I wanted to add in some more town color so I had fun describing the patrons of the diner, plus the references to Gus Hart and the Goth family… even if it was just the maid. 🙂 

You might also recall Jared is a “spice runner” technically in game, but I figured, he could work for the diner and do deliveries. He also is the neighbor of Claire Ursine, though they haven’t started dating yet at this point. I enjoyed the bit of fun banter between Jared and Kass. In my mind, Kass doesn’t have an issue keeping up and holding to her principles if she’s not into someone, but she struggles to say what she thinks and means when it’s someone she is attracted to… and this was very much who I was when I graduated high school. 

My hometown police department has a lot of diversity so this was a bit of a shoutout to two cops I recall from my childhood, though they liked bagels, not doughnuts. 

I changed “llama” to the Simlish word “gerbit.” Also I had Jared say “Dag! Dag” instead of Arrivederchi since this is goodbye in Simlish. 

Eutopia seemed fitting for a country based on Atlantis, and off the coast of real-world Europe. Also New Francia Edit 1/16/2022 : Enchantélle is a descriptor word (my Simworld version of French). Enchantérre is the country. République  is the language of the Enchantais as the “language of the people” or “the public.” Louisimana was changed to Bayou, as this is fitting for the Simworld equivalent of the Bayou State, Louisiana. 

Recent Changes: 

I changed Madison’s ethnicity to Lotharin as in Lotharinga (the real-world parallel is the Lower Lorraine in the Middle Ages, a duchy in Medieval Germany encompassing most of modern-day Netherlands, Belgium, and other countries or regions).Madison’s last name VanWatson seems appropriately Dutch.  (As someone recently pointed out… no it’s not. Don’t know what I was thinking.) 😆 

New Name Former Name Real World Parallel Language People Descriptor
Eutopia Simithiopia Mediterranean coast of Africa/Middle East Taupe  Eutopians Eutope; Eutopian

Enchantérre

Championne / New Francia France and Monaco République Enchantais Enchantélle

Thanks for reading.