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27 April 2015 @ 02:43 pm
BaCC in Widespot: Round 3 - Beech  




Now for more Part Two.







After work, and that handy-dandy promotion, Daytona popped over to see Penny.
She never liked to squander momentum.


Daytona nodded at Penny and milled about but Penny didn't keep her waiting long, she came to check on her the first free moment she got.
Daytona was a valued customer and friend. And she hadn't seen her since that last naked afternoon with Ham.

"Glad to see you got your shirt back," Daytona said.

But Penny wasn't thrown off for more than a second. "My tights, too," she pointed out and laughed, "I was feeling the draft when I left that day, let me tell ya!"


On the whole, Daytona was pleased to see she wasn't embarrassed. Penny had a head on her shoulders, she wasn't about to get
all missish about a roll in the hay, so that was good because Daytona was determined on getting down to brass tacks. One way or another.

"When you have some time, I'd like to have a little chat. Today," Daytona said.

Um, ok.


*Le sigh.*

Daytona found a more appealing accent piece to look over while she was waiting than anything of Woody's.
She knew he worked for Rich, of course. But a woman can look, can't she?


Nelson had been doing his fair share of furtive ogling, too, and when Daytona sashayed by he made sure to catch her eye.

"Lookin' good, Judge," he said for her ears only.

"I beg your pardon."

"You're Daytona Beech."

"I am."

"Good to see the old boys finally found a worthy 'seat' to grace the bench."

What a nerve. Not that he was wrong on that score, hmph!

"Pardon me," he touched her arm to make room for him to pass, though the floorspace was wide open.


Daytona wouldn't put much of anything past Rich, but still, she liked a man with nerve.
She could do a lot with nerve, if only there was enough of it...but she was interrupted in that train of thought.

"Judge Beech? Excuse the intrusion. I'm Winifred Johns," the woman began, "I know your son. Only casually, of course, but..."



Penny had a weird feeling.
It was pretty obvious Daytona didn't want to talk shop, about the business or town politics. Not to her anyway.
But she had agreed, and it was not like there was any saying no to Daytona.


If it was about Hamilton, though, why talk to her at all? Why not talk to him?
Because she probably had already, that's why. Was she his ambassador?
Dumped by the mother?
Now that was a new one.



"Isn't this cosy? I told Valentine, a nook where folks can come and eat, and chat," Daytona emphasised, "that's a necessity in a town like ours."



It wasn't gourmet but it sufficed. Now on to brass tacks.

"Penny, let me ask you, woman to woman—"

"Uh-huh?"

"—where do you see this thing going with you and Hamilton? Be honest."

"I don't know. Is it going somewhere? Does it have to go somewhere?"

"No. It doesn't have to go anywhere at all," Daytona told her. "But if that's so y'all need to make
discretion a priority. When you come by the house, best to be leaving wearing all your clothes."

"Daytona, wait.  Wait, lemme get this straight. So, I can woohoo Hamilton all the livelong day, as Dora would say, and that's cool.
But what? If it's more than that, what? You don't approve? Us trying to make this a relationship, that's what you won't approve?"

"Hamilton's a grown man, Penny, he doesn't need his mother's approval for anything*. Certainly not when he's assured of my endorsement.
And he always will be. No need to get emotional. That won't do at all. His career does depend on the approval of all these other folks
out here, though. And if you're thinking about getting involved, that's something you need to start being mindful of, not emotional."

Frankly, Daytona was far from sold. It might've been better to scare her off because she sure couldn't buy Penny off but she was
the one being emotional, Daytona loved the girl. She was practically perfect for what she was. But she wasn't groomable. No sir.

And what in hell was he gonna do with all that wild-card on his arms?



*The lies you tell, Daytona! Shame on you.


"There you are."

"Here I am. Didn't see you come in."


"Maybe you didn't recognise me."

"I don't think that's possible, Day. You musta sneaked by while I was busy tryna get rid of that lush, came in early and
just stayed, all day, throwin' 'em back and gettin' loud. But never mind all that. Look at you, hun. Mm-mm-mm. Now turn around."

"You cut that out."

"Come on, do a l'il spin for me."

"Valentine, quit."


"Don't worry, I'm-a get you to do it before the night's over. You mark my word."

"Not tonight, Valentine. I'll be fast asleep by the time you close up."

"You come by lookin' so fine and then you blow me off? That ain't right."

"I have to get up early," she said, "I'm a judge now, can't be late to court."

"Since when were you ever late? Oh, wait, hun, you got the nod! Sounds like somethin' we should celebrate."

"And we will. Another time."

"Daytona."

"I promise."

"Day?"

"Go on now, you've got customers. Call me tomorrow."


Hamilton was having his own party but...yeah.


"Virgie?"


At least at The Dugout the people talked back so Ham went there to resume what he was doing.
Ran smack into a fellow guzzler.


Penny was still hanging around.

She didn't know what to think about what Daytona said. She didn't see how she could be compromising Ham's position in any kinda way
that was bad, not here in Widespot. (Penny knew people loved her, that wasn't entirely by accident.) But out there in the cold, cruel world?
Yeah, it would come up. And then what?

Back. Burner. It wasn't even anything to start worrying about.
"Still couldn't talk Mary into coming out, huh Junior?"

"Nah, she's a homebody. I'm waitin' on Rhett."
Ugh. The ex. Not today, ok. He was more than she wanted to deal with.


Ham looked too happy, (ok, it was the booze, but she thought it looked
cute on him) Penny didn't wanna ruin it by telling him Rhett was 'in the building'.


Rhett made his way down to the bar for a shot of liquid courage.

Penny was on her guard, watching him. He didn't have any reason to be jealous about Hamilton.
Even if he knew he'd have no right. But they had a grudge. One that wasn't even about her.
Penny kept an eye out for Rhett the Unpredictable.

Rhett didn't bother about Penny, though. She kept undercuttin' him all the time now and that ain't what he needed, not tonight, so he
didn't even stop to ask her to come up for his show even though there were way too many dudes when he started collecting an audience.
She'd probably just be starin' him down with those eyes. If she was gonna support, cool, but if not she could stay where she was.


The dude ratio was all outta whack but it made Rhett less nervous about his debut.


Valentine topped off the few of his customers still lingering at the bar and then headed up to be supportive.

He asked Penny if she was coming, so why not, she could go check out Rhett's act, even though she was familiar with the 'magic hands'.

"Hey. Got some live music tonight, I was gonna go up for a minute. You wanna?"


No. Hamilton had other ideas in mind.
Then once they migrated over to the bar and helped themselves he became a veritable wellspring of fresh ideas.

"In there?"


"Sure, come on, Penny. Hop in. And hop on!"

"You want us to...? Ham. I can't."

"No pictures, please? Ah, ha-ha, come on, Penny," he slurred.

"I really can't. Not here."


"You never didn't like doin' it in public before. It's him."

"It's...no, it's disrespectful. It's his father's place of business."

"Still in love with the dumbfuck, huh, Penny? Maybe that's what you miss."

"Why don't you shut up, Ham, cuz you're pissing me off."

"That, uh, that makes two of us. Didn't think it was so disrespectful when you
whipped 'em off on the roof that night and all of a sudden he shows up and—"

"I'm going home. I don't hafta listen to this."

"I don't have to listen to it either," Hamilton muttered to himself and kept muttering long after he was left standing there alone.
Of course, he could've done himself a favour and shut up, like Penny told him.



Daytona encouraged Valentine to take the night off, as it were. He'd been spending more and more nights here with her, which is what she wanted, but all
the same she couldn't let herself get too foolish about that man. There was nothing cute about an old fool with a broken heart. Nothing cute at all and certainly
nothing classy. What would she even look like, setting herself up like that, letting young girl feelings get the best of her just because he had that mojo? Oh no.

So she told him to go on home after he closed up at The Dugout last night, even though she knew it meant he probably wouldn't go alone.

That was, well, that was just gonna have to be all right.

All the same, Daytona didn't actually like it.


But she had other cares and also causes for celebration. Judge Beech in the house! Woo, child! Watch how she do that dance!


"Guess you made it home ok."

"Who is it, Dad?"

"Don't be so nosy, Rocky. Don't you have some homework to be doing?"



Ham wasn't ready to talk to Penny.
He liked it better when he couldn't remember what happened those nights he had a drop too much.


Nothing to do but keep his body distracted.

It had been a long time since Hamilton thought of himself as a man of appetites, hell, marriage had
all but starved them out of existence but here they were, back with a vengeance. A messy vengeance.


"Virgie, get off that phone," Hamilton said as he proceeded to drag his exhausted body upstairs.

"Huh?"

"You heard me. No phone."

"But...it rang."

"Virginia."

"Fine."

She waited until he was out of sight and then buried herself in the nook under the stairs to finish whispering out her conversation.


Every now and again Daytona would show off those cooking skills and break out a new old recipe,
usually when she was feeling her roots, but sometimes it just meant she was in a mood.

"I don't think Dad's going to make it to dinner tonight. Ooh, smells great, Grandma," Virgie said as she looked on.

"He goin' out?"

"Going to sleep, I think. He looked ready to pass out."

"Oh. Well, go on and set the table."

"It's just us tonight? Or—?"

"Just us."



Devious Virgie. Oh, she had plans.



Grounded shmounded. Dad was distracted and knocked off early. Grandma, too. So Virgie executed a jailbreak.

She got the word out to her crew, told the guys to collect stuff for a bonfire and
get it set up, she'd meet up with them at the Makeout Spot as soon as she could.

Virgie had halfway learned her lesson. Nothing about obedience or respect or anything like that but
she was convinced that too much skin sent the wrong signal and jammed up the wiring in guys' brains.
So she threw on a jacket, like she was always gonna until Grandma made her mad about it.

Anyway, it kinda depended on context, though, didn't it? And expectations.
A two-piece when swimming didn't automatically turn boys into touchy-grabby horndogs so it wasn't
only what you wore, it was when and what everybody else was wearing and what they were expecting.
And Virgie would bet none of her friends were expecting her to look like this!


She was right about that. She commanded plenty of attention.

River whistled at her (in jest).

"Knock it off," Scot told him but River only switched to hooting. "I said quit messing."


"But do you see that?" River said. "All of that? That's your girl, big bro. Why are you even still over here?"


Ginger eased over, looked sly at Virgie and then at Gavin. Her work here was done.
Oh, and Gavin, this time you're welcome! Ginger mentally stuck out her tongue at him.




"Well?"

"You...look like Ginger dressed you."

"Um, yeah kinda."

"It's, uh, it's different."

"You don't like it?"

"Nah, it's cool. But anything you wore..."

"Yeah?"

"But you, I don't know, you look better lookin' like you, that's all."

"Well, we like it." Virgie got defensive.

"No doubt. But, um...Ginger used to bite the heads off all her dolls. You might wanna not let her turn you into one. Jus' sayin'."


Safe to say that was not the response Virginia was expecting. And it was his reaction she was looking forward to the most!


"I wanna talk to you."

"No worries, I already thanked me for you," Ginger told him.

"Yeah, no, that ain't what I got to say, kid."

"Scot!" Virgie squealed. "We're in public!"

"Now, Ginger. Over there."


"Look, why you lookin' at me like that? If you wanted your own handful o' booty you shoulda grabbed on while the grabbin' was good."

"You know what? Don't talk to me. I changed my mind, I ain't got nothin' to say."

"Gavin? Oh come on! Big baby."



In Widespot teen shenanigan fashion, it wasn't long before somebody broke out the hooch Scot and River had sneaked from home.

Everybody grabbed a tankard, except Ginger cuz that wasn't her thing, like she said, and Woody
who was waylaid while everyone else was busy throwing back by her pretty, pretty face.

Not that Woody needed any particular buzz to get into the swing of things when
Goldie's pretty, pretty face came over and she grabbed him for the dance o' the bonfires.


"This is some corny shit. Y'all are some country bumpkins, fo'real, you know that," Ginger told River when he pulled her over.

"Come on, even Gavin's willing to try it. Look. Now shut up and kick your legs up in the air. I know you know how to do that!"

"Asshole. I'm-a be kickin' you in a minute for that one. Now how it go again?"


All Ginger had to do was watch Goldie!

Either bonfire dancing was srs bzns to her or Homer's extra special homemade hooch had gone straight to her head.


David figured he may as well take advantage of that serious buzz and interrupt all that stompy-stomp dancing.
Goldie didn't mind. It was the Makeout Spot. Their title around these parts was unchallenged. But not for long, perhaps.

Scot pulled Virgie aside, way aside, for some privacy.

"You look so sexy," he whispered in her ear.

"I do?"

"Baby, that dress is talking to me!"

"Oh yeah?"

"Oh yeah," Scot said,"It's telling me it's time!"


"Time? Uh, no. This dress was lying to you if that's what you heard. Now come on, we should—"

"Virgie, wait. Don't you think...?"

"No."


"But then...when?"

"Where's all this comin' from? When? Scot, I don't know. Not tonight!"

"Gimme some credit. I wasn't gonna throw you down in the bushes or anything."

"That sounds like it's something you thought about," she said. Boys.

"Virgie, come on." It's like he was on trial or something, for not being blind or, or gay or what have you. She was his girlfriend!
More than that, she was The One. "But what if I have been thinking about...us. Is that so wrong?"

"I didn't say that." Virgie sighed. "Look, I'm just not ready. That all right with you?"

"Um, of course, I—"

"Good. So we can go back to the group now?"

"Whatever you say, Virginia." Scot started trailing behind her back toward their friends and the bonfire.

Virgie turned around, reached out a hand to him, and said, "Words to live by. Remember them."

~


Been here, done this, but doing it again.

At least Penny was located conveniently across the street when he was ready to go make amends.


It also helped that she had already forgiven him.


Nothing to do now but...make up! Right?

So, ok, she was dickmatized*. Penny would freely admit it; stand up, 'my name
is Penny' and the whole rigmarole because...whoa. She just wasn't ready to let go.



*I really did try to come up with another word. But not very hard. Oops. And oops again. Seriously, sorry folks!


In that sentiment she was not alone.


~



Daytona had been so preoccupied that she nearly forgot that she'd been planning for the spring garden party and still didn't have a proper garden!
Couldn't end up with that same situation as last year, being shown up so easily by the Lands and their down-home cookouts. Uh-uh. Not this time.

Matter of fact, it was Beulah who suggested Mary to give her a hand. (She likely heard how generously Dixie had been compensated.)
It wasn't a bad idea at that. Beulah volunteered to look after the twins herself so Mary, as ever, did as she was told.

"Oh good, Mary, there you are. Thanks for coming. Got you all set up with all the flowers you'll need. I want those, no,
see over there, I want those by this wall here but the rest I leave entirely up to you. Have fun with it. I trust your taste."

"You, you do?"

"Yes, child. Now, I got to run. Anything you think you'll need before I go?"

"No ma'am."

"Good. But if you do, I think Hamilton's in the house somewhere. Or if you have to, you can ask Virgie."


Hamilton wasn't sure what to do with Penny, except, well, what he had just done.
But it was complicated now, which is exactly what he didn't want.
She didn't see what he saw, he made sure of that, but he went to fix one mess and landed smack in the midst of another.

He came back across the street and was heading in by the back way when he heard somebody rustling around.
Mary?


"Mary, what are you doing?"

"Oh, Hamilton, hi. I'm, I'm fixin' up the garden for your mama."

"For the party?"

"Mm-hmm."

"You got time to be playing gardener? With your babies and the store and all?"

"My mama and your mama made sure I did. So here I am. I don't mind.
I kinda missed workin' the dirt." Mary laughed at herself.


Hamilton ran in to change and came back to help Mary but she was already moving right along.

"Wow. Was I gone that long?"


But he meant to help, couldn't leave her to do the job for them all by herself.
So Ham and Mary got down and dirty planting poppies together.



"I'm very happy to meet with you, Ms. Johns."

"Winifred, please."

"Now, tell me, what is it that I can do for you?"


After her meeting, Daytona found Peter skulking around.

"Come on," she said, "since you're here you can help me put these chairs back."

Peter laughed. "You really need me for that?"

"Wouldn't want to break a nail. Just had 'em retouched. And who said I needed you?
I don't even know what you're doing here myself. You don't work weekends."

"I do when you want me to. Anyway, I was at my Ma's and saw you through the window
and couldn't help worrying about how much that manicure of yours could use a retouch up job."


Peter wasn't ready to turn the chairs around just yet.

"My turn!" he suggested.



The garden team had moved along to the front of the house.


Hamilton ran inside briefly to get the phone.
Daytona wasn't back yet.


There was still more work to be done to get the garden party ready but both he and Mary were enjoying taking a bit of a breather.

She didn't know how they got onto the subject but Mary found herself asking, "you ever think about gettin' away from Widespot?"

"Eh. I kinda like it here."

"Oh, it ain't that I don't like it. Only, only I don't know nothin' else. You get to go to the city everyday
for work so it's pro'bly extra nice to come home to, I ain't sayin' nothin' against it. But I ain't never
been nowhere else. I woulda liked to go some other places, see other people, other things."

"Would have? Mary, young as you are you shouldn't be talking woulda-coulda-shoulda.
Your whole life is ahead of you. You should be talking about what you're going to do."

She gave him a weak smile. She wasn't convinced.

"Making plans, not counting up regrets. What's to regret? You haven't even lived yet."

'Course he thought that. Everybody did. Innocent l'il Mary, who nothin' ever happens to. Maybe, maybe it was true.
"There is one thing I can't redo. Can't go to no faraway paradise-like place for a honeymoon. Can't have a big wedding.
Where my daddy'd smile and walk me down the aisle. Maybe another Mrs. Mann, maybe all of 'em get that. But not me."



Lost in conversation, they hardly noticed when Daytona got home.
"Lookin' good! Good choice, Mary. Love the purple roses."

"How you know that wasn't my doing, Mama?" Hamilton teased.

"Oh hush, Hamilton. What did you ever know about pretty things?"
Daytona couldn't resist getting in her little digs.

But Ham didn't mind. He wasn't exactly on Sandy's side.
"Oh, Mama, hang on; almost forgot, Valentine called for you."

~



Grandma asked and Virgie was more than happy to oblige taking over at the post office the next day.

What's this? Getting suckered in by second-best? Not on her watch.


"Aren't you on the clock?" Virgie interrupted, "Tick tock."


"Damn, BossLady. You don't play, huh?"

"Nope. Head Beech in Charge, that's me when Grandma's away."


Virgie nodded for Gavin to follow her.

She headed through the bathroom and led him on to the side door.
Apart from being the bathroom, it was a little too private. But she had Gavin wondering just what she was up to.

Virgie didn't really know.
She just...if he kissed her, or something, then how could she help it?
But then she hurried on, not giving it a chance to happen, like she lost her nerve. That wasn't like her.

It's...it wasn't like with Scot, or even David—ssh, that's all forgotten, remember—Gavin was...whatever, he'd have to make a move first, that's all.

"So, whassup. Look like we took the long way around only to come outside."


"It wasn't the long way."

"Ok. But why?"

"I don't know," Virgie said. She leaned back on the wall and gazed up at him.
"I just wanted to..." she didn't know how to finish that sentence, so she left it, "I just wanted to."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. We didn't really get a chance to, like, talk the other night. At least, not after
you accused me of being your sister's puppet, like I would ever. Never."

"That's not exactly what I said. But, so, uh, what are we talking about?"

Gavin took a step forward and leaned in toward Virgie and she flattened herself against the bricks.
"Anything," she said.

"Anything? We gonna, uh, talk about how you be sendin' mixed signals?"


"I do not!"

"Ok, killer. I'm not gonna push it."

Damn. That's what she wanted him to do.
"You know what I've been meaning to ask you?" Virgie lowered her voice because she was
a little embarrassed but she didn't think he would laugh or anything, "what does 'yolo' mean?"

"You Only Live Once."

"Oh. Right. I guess those are also words to live by."

Gavin snorted. "Only if you're Ginger and can keep forgetting that every choice you make got consequences.
Some are worth it," he said. "Some ain't. And you don't look anything like Ginger today so no need to start soundin' like her."

"This dress meets with your approval then?"

"You look good in anything, let's be real. I'm just bein' selfish cuz I'd rather see you lookin' sexy like you. And not like my damn sister."


When they sat down Virgie pulled her chair closer. A lot closer. Gavin didn't say anything.

Under the table she moved his hand to her leg. "Does that...feel like a mixed signal?"

"Feels like a knee."


While they were going around the back way they had just missed Scot coming into the post office, or he had missed them.

Sadie saw them sneaking off to the bathroom, the sneaks, and she was of the (slowly) growing faction
that figured it was high time Virgie stopped getting what she wanted all the time. She was too greedy.

Sadie had 'dared' to leave her post when she thought they'd been gone too long, since her 'boss' wasn't doin'
her job either, and she even peeked under and then into the stalls, satisfying her curiosity about what goes on.

Not that she blamed her, Gavin was hot, but Virgie couldn't have them all.

"How's it goin', Sadie?"

"Not bad. You saw Virgie?"

"She's here?"

"Yep. I think she's out back."


"Yo..." Gavin shook his head and looked out at the sidewalk and at the trees and the coupla houses he could see.
Shit was crazy. Like how he even ended up in this kinda place. And her? She was defintely crazy.

"Yo what?"

"Just...yo. Sometimes I just gotta 'yo', a'right. It's, like, a part o' me. And you, yo..."

"Yeah?"

"...you're a tease."

"How can you say that?" Virgie asked, bouncing the leg he had cupped in his hands.
There couldn't be anything mixed about her signals today and there wasn't any mistaking their chemistry.

"Girls like you..."

"Yeah? You know a lotta girls like me?"

"Um, nah, you got me there."

"A'right then." Virgie laughed.

Gavin did, too, but it came out a lot huskier than usual, and his voice dropped.
"Your skirt, did you...I mean, it suits you and all, but, um, it's still kinda...short."

"I know."


"Oh. Ay, whassup, Scot," Gavin said, slowly slipping his hand from Virgie's thigh. Girl didn't even flinch.
That's what proved it, though, she was trouble. She could get him in a whole hell o' trouble, too, if he let her.


Scot was pretty literal-minded. When Sadie said out back, he assumed she meant back so he went around
that way first, looking for Virginia behind the post office, and then realised Sadie really meant out by the side.

Gavin discreetly propped his hands on the table in plain sight.


Scot was cool, Gavin had no problems with the dude. But all was fair in love and war.

He ain't mind takin' his girl. If that's what it was, that's what it was.
But Gavin wasn't tryna share her.


"So you guys are coming to the garden party?"

Gavin looked confused.

"The spring garden party. At my house. It's a thing we do. The whole neighbourhood's invited, kids, everybody. You gotta come. Tell him, Scot. Scot? Tell him."

"Look, I'll see what Ginger says. Maybe. Um, hey, my sister's still in there, right?"

"I didn't see her—oh, the little one, yeah, she was over by the postcard racks."


"Ok, cool. I, uh, I better go get Gabby before she tries to buy up the whole stock for her collage. I'll check y'all later."

Scot immediately relaxed when Gavin got up and left. Not that he would admit to feeling tense or,
or intimidated or anything; Virgie always liked to have her friends around her, that's when she was in her
element, in a crowd. But sometimes three's too much crowd, more so even than, like, ten, or a hundred.

"So no more grounded, huh? Out in the daylight. How about a kiss to celebrate?"

"Well, Grandma needed me to come look after the post office today."
Virgie leaned in for Scot to plant a peck on her.
"But maybe. Dad seems kinda distracted so he'll probably just go with it."

That's what he should've done when he first came over, Scot figured. Kissing her would've cleared that awkward feeling right away. She was his girl.
"This what you call looking after things? Out here?"

"Uh yeah. It's called a break. Employees take 'em so why shouldn't I? Trust me, I've got this place running like clockwork."


(That's actually true. Virgie single-handedly took the post office from Rank 0 to 5
in this one afternoon. She didn't even do sales beyond 'may I help'. She's just got it like that.)






"Mama? Who was that?"

"You don't have any plans for tonight, do you?"

"No." Hamilton didn't like the sound of that, that better not have been Sandy.

He didn't know what she was even doing at Penny's, looking for some kinda reconciliation with her that wasn't about to happen probably.
She couldn't have been looking for him. But she definitely saw more than she was expecting, that's for sure. Got more than an eye-full.
But then so did he, just catching sight of her walking away from the window right at the moment he had Penny in a very compromised position.

What he didn't know was if she knew he knew she knew. :-}
And if Sandy had the nerve to be calling, thinking she could use that as some sort of leverage?
Or if Mama thought he would even entertain that nonsense?

"You don't sound too sure. But if you do have plans, see if you can break 'em. There's an associate of mine I'd like you to show around tonight."

"I'm quite sure, Mama," Ham said, sidestepping the Penny talk because
they just weren't gonna have one and that was that. "Wait, what? Who?"



"Hi there, Mary. Garden looks prettier than I ever hoped. You did a fabulous job."

"Thank you, Ms. Daytona, I'm glad you like it, but I had a lot o' help from Hamilton. He, um, he around?"

"Sorry, Mary, you just missed him."

"Oh. Oh, that's all right, it ain't nothin'."

"We'll see you tomorrow."

"Um, right." But that's actually the main reason Mary had come by this way on her way home, she wasn't no how sure
she should be at that party, with, with everybody. But maybe a friendly face? An ally on the inside, plus havin' Penny and
Dixie, that might make it all right? And, and Junior, too. (Can't forget him.) And Mama and Daddy, and, and everybody...

Runnin' into Ms. Daytona 'stead of Hamilton, that felt like a sign.
(And not an encouraging one.)



Ham didn't know how she'd ingratiated herself with his mother.
He had half a mind to stand her up, felt like too much of a setup.


But after they went and checked out the property she was supposedly interested in investing in, Ham suggested they stop in at The Dugout.

She got ahead of herself and he told her to back off but Hamilton had bad memories of the last time he was there being rude.
To smooth it over, he suggested they pop down to the bar, a proposition to which Winifred readily acceded.



"Seems the wrong way around for you to be seein' me home," Hamilton said when they ended up back at his house.

"I'm a modern woman," she told him, "but maybe I was hoping you'd...invite me in."

That wasn't any part of his plans, his kids were home, he didn't even really know her.
Just that she was some contact his mother wanted to keep happy.


But before he knew it she had kissed him and, well, hell.



Ham had never considered bringing any woman around with his kids there, or his mama, but yet here they were.
What was her name again? "If, uh, if this is, uh, going too fast for you, we can..." Hamilton slipped backwards.

She giggled.

"SSHH!!" He commanded. "Ssh."

She nodded obedience. "Don't you worry, Senator Beech. I will take good care of you tonight, I promise. Winnie's on top of it."

~







So. Sim aging is kind of random, and is definitely so in my game, I don't really have a system. The Widespot teens are edging toward adulthood, all roughly 17 and 18, except for River and Ginger.

Ah yes, and throw stones if you like but there is yet another subdivision: 'Garden Party!', coming soon. (Well, sooner than it, or this, would had I tried to fit it all together). But it's quite the neighbourhood affair so I'm considering it a bit of an intermezzo. Why, yes, there will be music.

Happy Simming! And thanks for reading!



 
 
 

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Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on April 27th, 2015 08:28 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I want to slap Hamilton - and Daytona! Sandy fit into that family a lot better than the ones still living there want to admit!

Yeah, I think this garden party's going to be worth the wait. But I don't look forward to seeing Penny hurt, and I think it's inevitable. Everybody else will be reaping what they sow.

I think Sadie should go after Scot! She's a little low on nice points, but he's a little oversupplied with them, so it could balance out. I've seen that pairing work well, though I've also seen it crash and burn - a lot depends on playstyle. In any case, even with the pressuring, he deserves something better than Virgie's handing him right now. Their role models are so different, this'll completely blindside him. But it's good to get the reality checks out of the way early.

Zero to five in an afternoon, though? Dang. That's some strong business chops there! Maybe Virgie should be a Fortune sim! Of course some of that's bound to be down to Sadie's awesome register skills. And I expect Gavin was throwing a few stars there, even as dubious as he felt.

Oh, Mary! Did she get paid well, at least? That is a lot of work to get through in an afternoon. And you can bet she doesn't come home to find the house clean and dinner on the stove.
quinndominionquinndominion on April 28th, 2015 04:56 am (UTC)
Hey, a hat trick! Junior, Hamilton, and Daytona, too! There certainly is a lot of 'not on his/her best behaviour' going on. Sandy hasn't admitted defeat yet for working her way back into that family, but we'll see if she was really able to summon the nerve to show her face at the garden party. Penny does have Rhett-lessons to fall back on to re-evaluate her position and her priorities so there is some wiggle room for her. Of course, she'd have to put them into effect and stop excusing bad behaviour in the balance against the good feelings she gets when they (and I'll say 'they') aren't in jerk mode.

I first read that as 'Sadie should go after Gavin' (which put a whole different spin on that paragraph for me) and was about to say, oh, she fully intends to, but Scot? Interesting. Mostly because while I don't think I've seen her swoon over anyone but Gavin, Scot does his fair share of heart-farting Sadie. In fact, instinctively I guess, she's the only girl around whom Virgie gets territorial about Scot. Virgie checked her, or called herself doing so, about Gavin, too, but Sadie is determined that she can't have them both!

Virgie may have been misbehaving on her break but I was quite proud of her when she whipped the post office into shape so quickly. I was beginning to think I'd never unlock the business career at this rate and might have to alter the rules to fit my altered rotations and then she did this! The post office, in particular, was the one I was considering selling or giving back to "the town" because I wasn't sure it would function as a viable business.

Mary was well compensated, there was even more work done than was yet shown because, well: Garden Party. But still, she's got to find a new role for herself in this town. But Junior and Lana, attending to their own house? I highly doubt it. They weren't even watching the babies.
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on May 5th, 2015 06:36 pm (UTC)
It's no wonder Mary dreams of getting away! Being Mrs. Mann isn't like being on vacation anymore, not with the twins and The Lana Situation. It's sad that she's already given up on ever having anything more, and I hope she gets to a place where she can imagine getting what she actually wants again. Once she can imagine it, she can probably do it. Mary has a lot of reserves she doesn't feel entitled to draw on, on her own behalf; strength that can be used up in passive endurance or put to active use forging ahead. Letting other people eat her alive (and not in the good way) is just so unnecessary! When will she realize that she'd have partisans if she let them know she needed them? I think the prospect of having friends around may actually make the prospect of the garden party a little more dreadful to her - so many people to hide her reaction to seeing Val from.

I trust we'll get a better look at Rhett's musical debut later. A lot of the flaws which impede his living comfortably in a small town should work to his advantage as a performer.
quinndominionquinndominion on May 6th, 2015 10:45 pm (UTC)
The Mann rounds feel very far off when I'm still here futzing around with the Beeches but let's just say the honeymoon is over. Mary's got her husband and her babies (and his mother, lord help her; and Dixie is easily as much trouble as she is a help) but the reality isn't much like the dream. She's even still beholden to her own mama! Being sent off, like she had nothing better to do, to help Ms. Daytona out - not that she minded much. It was a lot of work but also something of a respite. Mary can't help realising that being Mrs. Mann is such a different experience for the others, the ones who married Rich and almost certainly for anyone who married Junior if he hadn't been disowned. And if he hadn't, how likely is it he'd have married her? Mary wonders. While Junior likes manning the store and he's cool with the babies and all, a lifetime of old habits don't break themselves. She's as much proof of that as he is.

Hamilton isn't the worst ally for Mary to have sought. She's become comfortable with him, they're friendly, but not that close. He's someone she could hide behind, or more like hide beside, with little chance that he'd realise what was amiss. (While his mama openly took possession of Valentine. Or the reverse...)

Not a lot of fuss was made about Rhett's debut and his audience turned out to be way too dude-infused for his liking, but now that he got Pop to agree (to letting him perform once a week or so, he's still bound to working for Daytona) Rhett isn't about to miss his moment. So there will be future scenes, just not of that night.

Circling back to Mary for a second, I will say that I "foresee" Mary tapping into some of her strength (I won't even say soonish because who knows when I'll get to it) although it may be in unexpected ways. Unexpected, certainly, to herself and...I can't say who else.
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on May 20th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
I can't think of anybody who wouldn't be surprised at a show of strength from Mary; maybe Valentine, who presumably wouldn't have ever been attracted to her if he hadn't sensed some of what she was hiding, but even he could be surprised at what she eventually does with it. I look forward to this a great deal, and hope it's Lana and Junior who get surprised, and that they profit from it.

You know if you do a little bit every day at the same time you get through the story faster...just thought I'd mention it...
quinndominionquinndominion on May 21st, 2015 04:24 am (UTC)
Yes, Val has at least been on the other side of the odd flash of fury from Mary even if she reins it in right away, like when she went to tell him about Candy and instead of paying attention to the fact that she must've had something very important to say he starts in about how her husband doesn't deserve her. (When she married Junior largely because he wouldn't come up to scratch!) She needs to be able to sustain some of that and more often.

It's never occurred to me to really build sim time into my schedule; downtime usually leads to simming, provided there's enough of it because my game has traditionally taken embarrassingly long to load, 16GB of RAM in the new build go a long way to fixing that, but I still haven't actually played in what seems like an age. Months, at least. Putting the story together is an accessible way for me to play with smaller blocks of time at my disposal...but I'm not sure about actually pencilling it in. In any case, I like the marathon sessions and I got home early so I'm about to embark on another one now :-)
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on May 21st, 2015 12:28 pm (UTC)
I think Val is often exasperating to his lovers on purpose. No friction, no spark! He's an odd mixture of good and bad for Mary.

A lot depends on how badly you want to tell the story. You've got an audience out here (and you'd do well to remind yourself that a large part of any audience is invisible), if you need to justify doing it to yourself; but even if all that results is the satisfaction of doing it, that's a legitimate use of time. Creativity is a core human attribute. Possibly, THE core human attribute. I don't know what other outlets you've got, or what else you have going on, but we have time for what we make time for, and we cheat ourselves of a lot of what makes life worth bothering with if we don't make time to create and to tell stories in whatever way works best for us.

I'm a little evangelical about this. Also, I want more story.
quinndominionquinndominion on May 21st, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
That is very true but Val may soon (re)discover that there's a limit to just how much tension he can tolerate. Depends on the lover.

Fiction isn't my thing but I've still got deadlines! Of course, that's not really the point and certainly I could squeeze more efficiency out of my days but, funnily enough, I actually think I over-prioritise the sims. There are some pretty prolific updaters in the community; I've been looking at my habitually slow-moving friends feed lately like: really, another one!? But, all told, I still think I update more frequently than most other simstories as involved or just plain long as my chapters turn out to be.

Faster would be great. The fact that I (obviously) already know what happened (and that the in-game story function is how I've played for so long) can lead to procrastination. I personally need a little something more than straight reportage for me to want to fiddle with story posts. So maybe my pace means I lose some of the audience, possibly others will take their place, maybe not, but I am still invested in telling it.

In any case, provided I don't start swapping pics again, in short order: more story!
Peni GriffinPeni Griffin on May 21st, 2015 07:08 pm (UTC)
Your life, so you know best. There's certainly plenty of things that can take priority over a sim story. Just remember that some of us don't know what happened and really want to find out!

It wouldn't surprise me to find Daytona pushing the limits of Val's tension-tolerance. And I wouldn't even classify Lana as a lover! I expect he likes friction best when he's the source of it.

And now I'll go sit on my hands and be patient.
quinndominionquinndominion on May 23rd, 2015 03:42 am (UTC)
The character limit war rages on but I've finally got to the other side of this particular battle so no further need for patience. Just sleep, for me. And I've just been reminded it's Memorial Day weekend so I may have to be patient myself to find out what you think!

I try to be somewhat circumspect about how much I reveal so you don't go guessing everything that's coming before I get around to writing it but I will say that that wouldn't surprise me either...

Enjoy your holiday!
Katekatee412 on April 29th, 2015 10:09 am (UTC)
Okay, I'm super behind in commenting but as always I love your updates. You always provide these glimpses into each character's motivation that makes it difficult not to be on their side!
quinndominionquinndominion on April 30th, 2015 12:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading along, I'm always happy to know that they're entertaining! The decision-making is often flawed, to say the least, for these folks - and this chapter left Peni wanting to slap a few of them! - but they do make their decisions, sometimes with the perfect conviction of the heat of the moment. Whether they're as bold about standing by those choices when the consequences fall is altogether another matter :-)
Sunnyhellosunnydai on May 3rd, 2015 03:58 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh Virgie what are you up too?! she is a tease and i dont see things ending up well if she continues like this! but i do like her new look.
quinndominionquinndominion on May 4th, 2015 03:30 am (UTC)
Thanks, she finally found a look that she likes :-) Virgie's probably the last sim I'd have expected to end up re-meshing and re-texturing stuff for, with all the cc I hoard, but she's, uh, exploring her options. And Miss Virgie's a little too used to getting what she wants...
braxenbraxen on May 16th, 2015 03:06 pm (UTC)
Helloo Daytona! That makeover really suits her. Besides the genetics, I think fooling around with different looks is one of my favourite parts of the game. The same features can make so very different people. Virgie really found her style too.

Lots of interesting things happening in this chapter. Being faithful doesn't seem to be very high on anyone's list though. My advice to Virgie would be that she is a bit young to decide yet. She _obviously_ needs to play the field a Little, preferably though without hurting anyone. As for Hamilton, hm... ?

As per usual i love your funny and detailed pictures, and your choice of cc to give just the right details.
quinndominionquinndominion on May 19th, 2015 10:02 pm (UTC)
Me too. The looks are so integral to characterisation, too, which helps me for differentiating familiar sims like the premades. The Newsons here, for instance, are quite different from other times I've played them and I was rather invested in their look overall and the minor changes signifying time lapses. Same for the next new family coming up - can't say that I've ever seen them quite like they are/will be here before. And while everyone in Widespot doesn't get a makeover for spring, the Beeches were an 'of course', and that includes Sandy. I'm pretty pleased with everybody but Daytona's is still my favourite!

Monogamy isn't really something the Widespot folks do well and I can promise more sexual tensions, shenanigans, jealousies, and revelations to come, that's for sure. It's spring and it's Widespot. Hm, the pics for the garden party have been assembled and ready practically since I posted the last part, maybe sometime in the next few days I can throw a couple of captions together before even I lose interest.

Thanks for commenting :-D