“Is anyone even here?” Benson thought to himself as he waited outside of the legacy house, letting his mind drift. Beth had called him and invited him over, which he wasn’t about to pass up, but now no one was coming to the door.
He wasn’t the most patient of sims, though, and felt his face morphing into an unpleasant scowl. “This house is so big they probably just can’t even hear the plumming doorbell…” he thought as he continued to wait.
The youngest member of the Waite family lineage was in the backyard with his mom and Aunt Sasha. Emil was getting pretty great at playing pirate and Sasha and Lou were enjoying watching him play while they talked about their jobs.
“I wonder if I am going to keep being a secret agent after Reggie and I get married,” Lou mentioned to Sasha.
Sasha was shocked, “But you love your career! You should keep doing it.”
Lou sighed, “But I want to be able to spend plenty of time with Emil. He’s used to so much attention already, having grown up in this house with everyone… but when we move out Belinda will be an adult and possibly find a house of her own. Plus Reggie and I would be working, and Emil would be alone so much.”
“He is always welcome to come over here in the afternoons. It is right across the street and someone will most likely be here to spend time with him.” Sasha pointed out.
Lou smiled, “Thanks, Sash,” she said with a renewed chuckle. “I really don’t want to give up my job.”
“And you shouldn’t have to! Being a mom and a wife doesn’t mean you quit being yourself.”
Emil slid down the slide and walked over to his mom. “I think I have a splinter, mommy,” he whined, trying to keep from crying. He sniffled and Lou leaned down to give him a kiss on the cheek.
“We’ll make this better,” she soothed him.
“Should I go get the first aid kit so you can use tweezers?” Sasha asked.
“We can go get it together, right Emil?” Lou said to Sasha, and asked her son.
Emil stood proudly and beamed. “Of course we can! We can do ANYTHING!” Ignoring the annoying pain of the splinter they walked into the house together, with Sasha walking behind them.
Julius found Benson at the door when he went outside to meet Leah and Roxana, and let him in. But Benson was grumpy by that time and expressed that by saying, “It took long enough,” in a hissing voice as he brushed roughly past Julius’s shoulder.
Being with friends helped Julius to stay calm though, and he was particularly happy when Roxana showed up.
The three of them were talking and looking at memes for a few minutes when Lizbeth walked over. “Is Ben here?” She asked Julius.
“Yeah, and he’s in a foul mood, too,” Julius said.
Leah, who was lost in her phone looked up. “He probably wouldn’t be in such a bad mood if someone had let him in when he got here.” She was defending her brother, which honestly most siblings would do. But she went too far where Julius is concerned when she gave dagger eyes to Lizbeth. “Lizzy shouldn’t have invited him if she wasn’t going to be back in time.”
“Hey! I can’t help it that I had to stay after class to get some math help from my teacher and missed the bus. Besides, I’m going by Beth now.”
Julius was feeling anger bubble up inside of him and when Leah rolled her eyes at his older sister he lost it. “I think it’s time for you to leave, Leah,” he growled and then turned away to stomp angrily into the house.
Lizbeth stood in shock and watched her brother go inside without stopping to look back, and then remembered that Ben was already inside.
It was about this time that the backyard fire alarm started screaming out it’s angry wail that something was wrong and Lizbeth and Julius ran outside to find Lou putting out a fire in the grill. Belinda had been making dinner and it caught fire, freaking her out enough that she ran into the kitchen to get away from it while her mom bravely put it out.
She passed Julius and Lizbeth when she did.
No one noticed that she managed to have a small flame still on her shirt, until she herself noticed in the kitchen rather quickly. Panic filled her heart and her eyes grew several sizes. She was on fire.
Lou and Beth heard the scream and ran inside to help.
Belinda, in her mind-dizzying panic tried to blow the fire out but obviously that was not very effective. Luckily there were two fire extinguishers in the large kitchen and her family was there to help out.
“I am taking a shower. No one disturb me. Thank you for saving my life.” She said bitterly as she left the kitchen and walked toward the bathroom once the fire was extinguished.
In the backyard Roxana was comforting Julius as they watched the clouds float through the sky. The sky was crisp and blue and the clouds were so fluffy it was as if you could reach out and hug them, each one taking a distinct shape. They weren’t thin and misty like they often are.
“You did the right thing,” Roxana said. “Sticking up for your sister, I mean.”
“Thanks,” Julius said with a gloomy smile. “I think so too.”
“Family is really important.”
Beth found Benson in the office, checking out her dad’s science equipment. “I am so sorry,” she said as she walked over closer to him. “This day has not gone as I expected it to.”
“It’s alright, hon,” Ben said in a slithering and syrupy sweet voice. “I’ve been perfectly happy waiting for you.” He lied with a smile.
Beth frowned. “Julius said that you were in a bad mood.”
Julius laughed. “And you listened to him? That gloomy kid sees the bad in everything.” He looked deeply into her eyes. “I couldn’t be in a better mood. Well, I could be,” he said with a wink. “But let’s take things slow.” This was another lie. Benson knew all the lines.
She showed him the meme that Ross had showed her and they both laughed.
“How about you give me a hug for waiting so long, huh, princess?”
Beth started to feel sick to her stomach, but she thought it was butterflies. “Okay,” she chuckled nervously as she approached him for a hug.
“But I’m warning you mister, don’t get used to being rewarded for so-called good behavior. I’m an independent woman and I do what I want. I have boundaries.” She scolded him sternly with a bit of play.
“Of course, doll,” He acknowledged to try to prove he would actually take that to heart, and he closed the distance, wrapping her body up close to his. She felt warm and soft in his arms, and he didn’t want to resist her so he pressed up closer and lowered his hands.
Lizbeth took a sharp breath and whispered into his ear, “This is close enough. Boundaries, remember?”
He lifted his hands from her in a shrug, “Of course, of course,” he smiled a slimy smile that she took for genuine. “You’re just so irresistible.” His faux apology hit Beth’s ears and she faltered in a moment of self-doubt.
“Well, okay.”After all, she thought, I’ve known him since we were kids. He won’t do anything. She wrapped her arms around him and breathed in the scent of his perfect hair. She would give so much to hear him say that he loved her. Maybe someday he would.
Belinda, who was freshly showered, was letting off steam in the yard with a round of practice in horseshoes. She felt personally defeated by messing up so badly with the grill and needed to prove that she could still do things. Her perfectionism was really deeply rooted in her personality.
She tossed the horseshoe and it landed perfectly around the stick poking up from the ground, a satisfying clang just before it spun around once and softly met the mulch.
“YES!” She exclaimed proudly to herself. “I still have it!”
Emil was walking with his new friend, Serena, and he could still smell the burnt smell and the smoke from the fire that Belinda had accidentally set earlier. His nose wrinkled and a frown settled into his brow, though he was happy to have someone to play with, and that his splinter was removed earlier.
Roxana and Julius were still on the back deck having a wonderful time now that things had settled down around the legacy house. Roxana challenged Julius to a round of foosball to pull him out of his gloomy spell.
It didn’t quite work. Julius was doubting just kicking Leah out like that. After all, she was defending her brother the way that Julius was defending his sister. Maybe he should have been more understanding. “I should have talked to her,” he sighed. “You know, been more mature about all of it…”
Roxana smiled at Julius. She knew what would work.
“Remember when we were kids?” She asked Julius, he smiled and nodded. “I have some pretty funny pictures of us running around at the park on my phone. My mom sent some to me once I got a phone for my birthday.”
“We should definitely look at those!” Julius said excitedly, and Roxana pulled her phone from her pocket and handed it to him.
The two smiled and laughed at old photos for several minutes before Roxana finally decided to ride her bike home for the night. “Thanks for having me over, Jules.”
“Of course, Rox! Text me when you get home safely. It’s late.”
“As always!” She called back to him with a wave.
Dexter was having a very late dinner when Julius walked into the kitchen to find a late-night snack. He started thinking about the day all over again and a cloud seemed to be hanging over Julius’s head.
Dexter, ever the observant one, always noticed everything and quickly picked up on his son’s mood. “What’s going on, pal?” He asked, trying to mask his own concern with a smile.
“I’m afraid I may have ruined a friendship today.” He said with a frown, his lower lip sticking out in a pout. Julius explained the events from earlier to his dad, who listened patiently until he was finished.
Dex absorbed everything for a few minutes before he began to speak again. “Well, son,” he cleared his throat. “I’m proud of you for sticking up for your sister. I know she can take care of herself, she’s strong like all of the women in this family, but family is important and it’s a good thing you want to keep the family safe. It’s possible you were a little heated and reacted too strongly, but this is all a part of learning and growing up. I rarely had intense and fast rage, because I’ve always been more of an over-analyzer, but your Aunt Lou, she had her outbursts for sure. And made people upset a lot. She’s grown a lot, and maybe you could talk to her about this stuff, to get an opinion from someone who understands really strong and fast emotions.”
He paused to give his son time to think.
“As for your friend, Leah,” he noticed that Julius started to hang his head. “She’ll probably calm down too. And it is uncool the way she behaved toward Lizbeth, but she is also growing and if you can both talk about it later I’m sure you will work it out and hang out together again soon. Leslie and Leah have been coming over since Lizz- I mean, Beth- started school.”
Julius sighed. “Everyone has bad days, huh?”
“We sure do, son.”