08 March 2011

Cutting to the Chase

By the time Chase got home that evening, he was upset, tired, and exceedingly irritated with the entire Pesce family. It hadn't been his idea for his daughter to go home from school with them, and if he'd been able to say no to Lucy he would have done so. But she had always gotten exactly what she wanted, and she'd wanted to play with Sophie and Ethan. 
He was a pushover, especially since he was so new at parenting. If he'd had his way, Lucy wouldn't have anything to do with Sophie or Ethan Pesce. Contrary to what Moe Pesce may have believed, it was not revenge or anger that had brought him back to Twinbrook. No, like most things with Chase Cruz, it had been about a girl.

It had always been about a girl. 

Chase Cruz had not grown up in Barnacle Bay. Instead, he'd been born and raised a few towns away in Twinbrook. He'd moved when he was 20, and hadn't been back since. 

Until now.
He'd met Amy Jenkins in high school, but it had taken him months to get her to agree to go out with him. He'd had a reputation as a bit of a womanizer, even at that age, and she'd been wary to give him a chance. In the end, of course, she'd been right; but while their relationship had lasted, it had been perfect and sweet. 
Amy had been vibrant, lovely, and intelligent, and Chase had been head over heels. After a few years, Chase had taken a step he'd never thought he'd take- he'd proposed. After she accepted, their lives began revolving around wedding plans, shopping for houses, and spending time together. And surprisingly, Chase hadn't minded. 
Everything had been perfect. 
But Chase was, well, Chase. He was human, and therefore, flawed. For Chase, his flaw was women. Women, women, and more women- and in this particular instance, Jenni Jones-Brown. 
But the tables were turned when Jenni revealed that she was also cheating- on Chase. While he may have been a cheater himself, infidelity in his partner was something Chase couldn't bear. Despite his hypocrisy, he was heartbroken and angry.  
Their argument had been loud, drawn-out, and incredibly public. By the end of it, Chase's misdeeds had been made known to Amy, who dumped him without batting an eyelash. Disgraced, ashamed, and humiliated, Chase left Twinbrook with his tail between his legs, vowing never to return again. 

But fate often has other plans.

"Mr. Cruz, this is Annabelle Roberts, Amy Jenkins' estate attorney... I regret to inform you that Ms. Jenkins passed away last Thursday, and it is my duty to dispose of her estate accordingly. There are a few things I'll need to discuss with you, so hopefully we can schedule a time for you to come and meet with me in Twinbrook..." 
"Wait, what do you mean, 'passed away'? What happened?" It was hard to believe that someone as vibrant and alive as Amy could be dead, and Chase couldn't fully wrap his mind around the idea. 
"I'm afraid Ms. Jenkins was found dead at Hollowlog Springs late Thursday evening... The police don't know much about what happened, but it appears that she was the victim of a mugging. I'm very sorry to have to give you this news, Mr. Cruz." 

Chase shook his head in disbelief, unable to process the lawyer's words. "So she's... dead? Why would she have been mugged in the middle of the woods?" 

"I'm very sorry for your loss, I truly am... but I'm afraid we just don't know any more details. Now, she left a few things to you... I'm not quite sure how to say this, Mr. Cruz, but she named you her daughter's guardian should she pass away."

"... What?

"She's about eight years old, and ideally you'd have to move to Twinbrook to take care of her... I'm not sure that relocating her is the best idea at this point. But at any rate, you are the father, so you're the closest kin she has, even without Amy's wil."

"You must be mistaken, Miss Roberts... I'm not a dad." 

"Well, you are listed as the father on the birth certificate," the lawyer noted helpfully. 

"Yes, but... I didn't know anything about this," Chase insisted in exasperation. "And besides, I have a job here. I have a life. I can't just drop everything to take care of a kid I didn't even know I had." 
"Well, you are within your legal rights to say no," the lawyer admitted. "But I really think you should at least meet with her. You've also inherited the house, so there will be paperwork to fill out and formalities to go over..." 

"All right." Chase sighed in frustration as the lawyer made arrangements for him to come meet with both her and Lucy the following Saturday. He didn't know what good it would do, but there was no way that kid could be his. 
Except that she was, according to the paternity test.

It took a few weeks for him to warm up to the strange redheaded girl he'd inherited. By the time he finished relocating to Twinbrook, however, they'd formed a tentative friendship. She called him Chase, and he was more than happy to let her. Hearing the word "Dad" would have been far too awkward for him. 
He still didn't feel like a father. He cooked breakfast- and burned it- every morning, took her to school, and picked her up every afternoon. He helped her with her homework and drove her where she needed to go. But as much as he wanted things to be different, he just couldn't think of her as his child. Instead, he thought of her as a tiny friend who happened to live with him. His rather impersonal fathering wasn't ideal, but it was all he could muster. It was unlikely and improbable, but it worked. 
He only visited Amy's grave once after moving to Twinbrook. It was much harder than he'd imagined it would be, saying goodbye to the girl he'd once loved. It was made even worse as he realized that the last time he'd seen her, she'd been yelling at him for breaking her heart. 
But he tried not to dwell on the past. Instead, he focused on building a new life in Twinbrook. The Pesces were a complication, but one that he hoped wouldn't prove too difficult. He'd be lying if he said he didn't still have feelings for Jane, but at the moment his efforts were focused on Lucy.

But there was one question that remained and haunted him every day since moving to Twinbrook, the one thing that he hadn't been able to figure out.

Who killed Amy Jenkins?


Run tun tuuuuuun!

I had a feeling that it would be a girl from a past relationship, but I didn't expect that it was his ex-fiance--or that she would be dead! My gosh!

I definitely can't help but feel a bit for Chase, but he did get himself into that position. Hopefully he's able to make the best of it all, despite the circumstances... At least Lucy seems to be coping well--so far as we know, at least.

And, who *did* kill Amy? Hmmmm... We don't know much yet, so I can't make any assumptions--but I'm definitely quite captivated, now!

Also, I wanted to let you know: I'm having some issues getting the Pesces to install properly, for some reason. It might be because the file is so large (20GB), it says it installs but they aren't showing up anywhere. My suggestion would be to remove and store content/CC they have on them and then try re-uploading them--if you've got the time. I'd super appreciate it if you did!

In any case, awesome pose Amelia. I'm on the edge of my seat, now! (I always like me a good murder mystery! ^^)

Er, any store content, OLS content, or CC. It might actually upload to the EA Exchange that way.. But who knows. Took me a couple different tries to get Brad/Alesha/Baby up there.

Nice backstory for Chase and a great reason for him to be in town. It's nice that he's trying to get used to his daughter, even if he has to think of her as a little friend.

Hopefully the fact that his daughter likes the Pesces children might bring the families together.

Now, who killed Amy and why? :)

20 GB??? I hope you mean MB! I'll go ahead and reupload them without store content or cc. I think the issue might be Jane's pregnancy (I had it paused so I could get more storytelling done, but I might have forgotten to un-pause it).

As for the rest of your comments:

Yeahhh I feel like the backstory might be a bit overboard, but it's part of the overhaul I did yesterday. The original plan was to kill Chase off, but due to my friends' love for him, I gave him a bit of a reprieve and made it Lucy's mother instead. But the rest will still be intact, moohahaha. Let's just say, I had a lot of fun with Dexter the bear.

(roughly forty-five minutes later): Okay sooo apparently you can't edit a sim's outfit while she's pregnant, so I opened a new world, put the Pesces there, killed her pregnancy, edited her, and then made her pregnant again. Yes, Amelia has issues. And yes, Amelia feels bad for killing a baby.

Oh my gosh, I never realized how much custom content I use... I tried to retain most of their look, and you can put them in whatever you'd like, of course! Hope it works this time.


Aw, thank you PiB! Yeah, that was one of the problems with Chase. He actually got likeable when I gave him a daughter.

I think there might be hope for the Cruzes and Pesces yet, but I'm keeping mum!

As for the mystery of who killed Amy- well, that's a mystery that'll have to be solved over the span of the chapter! ;)

I did mean MB! Gah! Brain fart. ;D I'll give them a try now and see if my game cooperates. (I totally understand CC--at least when it comes to patterns! I'm a pattern hog, but sometimes even the most trivial thing makes it hard for stuff to install. The game is sooo temperamental.)

Hahaahah!! Trust me, I've done the same or worse in my time... sometimes sims must die in order to get things to work. ;D Gonna say that's 'working as intended' on EA's part. :P

Anywhosits: I don't think the backstory is overboard. I'm a glutton for flashbacks and learning more about individual sims. It builds the connection. :D

Also: Dexter the bear is seriously one of the most hilariously awesome mods, ever.

Isn't he though?? I was toying around with how to kill off Amy (I was going to go for fire or drowning) but I saw that mod and had to snag it. Let's just say, I've got some GREAT screenshots for later.

Thanks for the feedback- I love drama but there's a fine line between cheesy/cliche and good storytelling. I kind of wanted an overarching storyline now that I'm getting into it, and her murder seemed like a good plan, haha.

True enough. Always have to be careful not to dip too far into cliches, but, I think you're safe. That and, all stories have cliches if you look hard enough. ;)

So, the Pesce's are still being pesky and not wanting to install. If you're willing to give it another try I'd be appreciative, and if you want to you can wait til the baby is born to see if that's the issue.

I have a feeling it's an issue with the game, though. I've been having issues with exporting/uploading stuff all day. It's giving me a headache. :P

Curiouser and curiouser! Well, I've uploaded the Pesces from before the second pregnancy (when Ethan and Sophie are toddlers), all OLS, store content, and CC stripped. Third time's a charm? EA just hates me sometimes, man.

Just a note though, I installed them into my game and it worked, so I'm not sure where it's going wrong. If it IS your game perhaps give it another try tomorrow?


Oh oh oh! I finally got it to go to the exchange:


This looks promising! Especially with the cut in the file size (down to 2MB from 7)... That's usually a good sign.

Aaand, that did it! HOORAY! Thank you thank you thank you. They're now happy residents of Kaleeko's Twinbrook. ^^

I downloaded but I have to finish with Shrimpy before I can install. The Exchange version downloaded fine...

Awesome, guys! PiB, I'll find you and friend you. You can tell from my dusty profile how often I use it... moohahaha. I'm glad it finally worked! Sounds like it must have been the pregnancy then.

on the exchange and the forums - look for Nicarra60


But just to be confusing, I follow as Nicarra60 and comment as PiB

Probably. No idea why that'd be, since usually they work fine, but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth. I'm just happy it finally worked. :)

I can take care of the impregnanting in my game, anyhow. >:D Mwahha hahaha.

Found ya, PiB- but fair warning, I am almost never ever on the site. (Maybe I will be now though? Idk!)

Haha, go Kaleeko! FYI, your sims are already up to crazy hijinks in my game. I moved them down the road from the Pesces, and every so often I get popups about them. Bradley got in trouble for detonating something, and Travis already has a girlfriend. Sadly, he also fell in with the town Thug and stole from his family.

Kanes are fun to have

Let me know if you ever adopt any of mine. :)

Contemplating which of yours to add!

*dies laughing!!* Good golly! That's hilarious... Did you download them all as adults, then? (The Brad/Alesha/Baby fam was only uploaded earlier today, so not sure if you're using them.) Well, at least your SP is following the trend of making the Kanes live loud. :P

Sounds like your Story Progression is working overtime with them. ^^ That's a lot of antics to happen within such a short span of time.

No, I downloaded season 2, that's what's so funny! Silly Kanes.

That's about how fast the story progression mod has been working since I installed it, to tell you the truth! I get like 50 notifications an hour. I don't particularly mind, but it's quite funny to see.

Hahaha!! Niiiice. That's hilarious. ^^

I used to get notifications like that too, but I turned the speed way down and the types of notifications I get because otherwise I'd go bonkers. I commend your tolerance level to have that many notes popping in on you--but I have to say, I do miss knowing every detail about what's going on, and the humor in the popups for the Personality types. ^^

I had no idea you COULD turn down the speed/type of notifications... hrrm hrrm! I'll have to look into that.

Actually, I looked back on Bradley's popup, and I'm not sure that it was detonating. He did something inventory involving scrap that got him in trouble, that's for sure, but as he's not a young adult I'm fairly sure it can't have been detonating.

Yeah, that's why I was a bit confused--little Bradley already blowing things up would be impressive, though. ;)

There's all sorts of ways to customize Twallan's SP so you can only get pop-ups from friends or relatives, set the speed to "Slow" or "Fast", etc etc. It's pretty complicated when you get down-and-dirty with it, and takes a bit to figure out, but I'm sure you'll manage after some experimenting--if the need arises. Sounds like you're pretty content with how it is atm. :)

Content with some parts! But I really don't need to know if Gwayne Bayless has decided to take up writing, or if Bill Racket is now Rich Wheloff's boss, etc. I'll have to tinker with it tomorrow. :) I have no idea how to even go about that though, so I shall perhaps read the thread over at NRaas.

I've actually left almost all stories on for Twallan's SP except I'm starting to shut down the personality ones.

But with the number of games I play, the stories help remind me of where I am and who is a key player in town. And in the World Adventure blog, now the descendants of Sam and Rachel are no longer closely enough related to be part of the stories unless I do all.

But yeah, almost ever part of SP has a speed setting so you can slow down how often your town checks/reports on x.

That's precisely what I like about it, PiB! I'll go ahead and check that out tomorrow. Thanks for the tips guys!

Update: I changed the settings and it is so much better! Thank you!!

I know im kinda just NOW reading up on all this but so far this story has proved to be awesome! Im so intrigued!! You are a great writer and I love all the twists and turns. I cant wait to see what happens next!

I love how you added their personality into the story.They felt so human. Wow, this story turned out to be a mystery!

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