Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chapter 5-3: Hell On Heels

               Before the young woman got too far out of sight, Camille hailed a cab. She felt rather silly telling the driver to ‘follow that car’ but, what can you do? She needed to find out who this person was. As the battered car pulled into a small facility, Camille directed her cabbie to pull into the motel parking lot across the street to drop her off. Safely behind a parked car, Camille watched the dark haired woman walk from her car to the front of the building. Another young woman in scrubs came out of the double doors and greeted her.

               The meeting didn’t last long. The two women spoke for a few minutes before the first went back to her car and drove way. Though she hadn’t been too close, Camille hadn’t seen any exchange between the women and didn’t think it was a drug deal. She was starting to doubt her judgment. If someone had asked her when she first spotted the woman, Camille would have sworn that it looked just like Becks. She had been far away though. “Maybe I need glasses.” She decided that she should go see what the girl had been doing there, if just to make herself feel like it hadn’t been a trip wasted.

               “Oh, hi. I don’t recognize you. Are you a relative of one of our patients,” the blonde in scrubs met Camille at the door as well.
               “I was following my cousin over here. I got stuck in traffic on the bridge though and I don’t see her,” Camille feigned looking for her ‘cousin’ for the benefit of the nurse.
               “April was here but she left. Ms. Esther wasn’t feeling up for visitors today.”
               “That’s such a shame. I haven’t her in ages!”
               “Well, perhaps I could convince her to see you, just for a little while.”

               “Esther dear, another niece is here to see you. Aren’t you excited?”
               “Dear me. My poor memory, I don’t remember this one. With hair the color of a fire engine, you’d think that’d be the one to stand out,” the woman proclaimed. “Ah, well, let me get a look at you.”
               Camille shook her ‘aunt’s’ hand, being scrutinized by both the young nurse and a few of the other patients. As she had come inside, the plaque on the wall had read Fairview Nursing Home. She hoped that the woman wasn’t too delusional to give her some information.

                “Ah yes. You look just like that jezebel that seduced my poor Thomas. I should have known not to let him go with her to the Sadie Simkins dance. Lilac, you imbecile. She’s my granddaughter, not niece. Now be a dear and go get us some banana pudding.” Camille smiled, hiding her dismay. The woman was nuttier than a fruit basket if she recognized her as a granddaughter. The potential of getting any kind of information from Esther had greatly diminished.

               Esther guided Camille to the couch where she proceeded to remind her of the olden days with her brothers and the fun they had on the farm. How she missed it, growing up in the country, milking the family cows, while her brothers helped tend the fields. Camille had no clue what to talk to the woman about and just sat and listened. It appeared that Esther hadn’t had company in a while with the amount of talking she did. She then regaled Camille with stories of her mother, the jezebel, and Thomas.

               “After the Sadie Simkins dance, your father was just so smitten with that woman. I tried telling him that she was no good for him but he wouldn’t listen. I’ve always suspected she teased him mercilessly to get him stuck on her hook.”
               “Your birth my dear, it was just not a pleasant day. It was right before graduation and your mother wanted Thomas to bring all of her friends’ senior yearbooks so she could sign them while she was stuck in bed. He forgot because he was just so excited you were coming. She kicked the poor man out of the room and would not let him see you for three days!”
               “My goodness. If I could find that harlot now; what an earful she’d get. Leaving a young daughter alone with her father. Last he had heard she was in Lucky Palms, looking for a richer man to ensnare with her honey pot.”

               Camille laughed and nodded along with the stories. Whoever Esther’s real granddaughter was, Camille felt sympathy for her. Something in Esther tugged at Camille’s heartstrings because, as she was saying her goodbyes, she promised to visit again and really meant it.

               The months dwindled by and, as life went on around her, Camille became more and more engrossed in her work. Sylie announced that she and Danny were expecting their first child together. Yet Camille found less time to go out each night and more time to sift through tons of tips and reports, looking for something, anything really, to help catch ‘the bad guys’. Though their meeting had not gotten off to a great start, Camille was relieved and impressed to discover that Pearl was just as dedicated to her job as Camille and, as time went on, they discovered that they actually made a good team. The perky, sunny Pearl was the perfect antidote to the brooding, serious Camille and they each brought out the best in each other. Then, one day she realized how much time had passed and that she needed to visit Storybrook in the next few weeks. She immediately put in a vacation request to the chief and waited anxiously for his reply.

               With her leave approval from Chief Randall in her inbox, Camille quickly made plans to get away for the weekend. She had told Dahlia before she left Storybrook that she would visit again for her birthday. In just two days, Dahlia would be a teenager and, falling out or not, Camille planned on being there to celebrate with her little sister. She rushed around after work, packing a suitcase and heading to the airport to narrowly catch her red eye flight.

               “Camille, it’s so good to see you!” Brielyn wrapped her little sister in a hug as they met at the motel where she was staying. Camille hadn’t bothered to ask her mother’s permission to come home, much less stay at the house and Brielyn lived in a studio. With her recent promotion at work, she could afford a hotel for two nights anyway.

               After Brielyn headed off to work, Camille lounged by the motel pool for a little while. She needed to relax before going home to see her mother and Lyric again. There were a few hours to kill before Dahlia got out of school anyway. She had talked to Dahlia on the phone quite a few times but the communication between herself and Yalena was frosty at best. Most times it was just “how are you,” “fine, and you” and then the phone was passed to Dahlia. She wasn’t ready for the reunion with them yet but she would do just about anything for her sister and Camille knew how much this would mean to her.

               At 4pm, Camille took a taxi over to her old home. She told the doorman that her visit was a surprise to Dahlia so, when he buzzed up to the important, he just announced it as a delivery.

               “Oh my watcher, oh my watcher, sissy, you’re here!” The little girl flung herself into her sister’s arms and Camille knew that, regardless of how Lyric and Yalena took her visit, this moment had made it all worth it.

               Dahlia grabbed her by the hand and pulled her up the stairs. “Mommy, look who came to visit! Okay, I have to do my homework now. I wanna be valedictorian just like you,” she exclaimed before bouncing back out to the living room. It was obvious that having Camille home made Yalena uncomfortable but she at least had the decency to fake it and make everything as smooth as possible.

               After her homework was done, Camille and Dahlia took a trip to visit Uncle Zane and Aunt Jeanie and all of their cousins. While Camille sat and chatted with the adults, Dahlia played with the babies. Neither Zane nor Jeanie really approved of the way Yalena had handled the ‘situation’ but neither wanted to comment either so they kept the conversation to small talk; work, weather, and friends. There was even talk of coming to visit St. Claire though Camille was pretty sure it was just idle chitchat.

                Not only did Camille’s trip occur over Dahlia’s birthday; it also happened to coincide with the twins’ birthday as well. The two toddlers, Aries and Laia, were absolutely adorable. In coloring, Aries looked to take after Abrielle, whom Camille had only heard about and seen pictures of while Laia had Jeanie’s coloring. Other than that, the two appeared to be practically identical blends of the Fierces and the Avendales.

               The night after the twins’ party, it was Dahlia’s turn for her birthday when she would finally become a teen. For the first time since Camille was home Lyric, Yalena, Camille, and Dahlia were all under the same roof once again. Though he smiled and treated her kindly, Camille knew that Lyric was less than thrilled about her coming home for the birthday. Regardless of how much progress she had made and how well she was doing in St. Claire, he still viewed her as a bad influence for his perfect daughter.

                Then, just like that, her weekend was over. Camille had to be at work bright and early Monday morning and she couldn’t linger in Storybrook any longer. Her family came to see her off to the airport, even Lyric. She hugged everyone goodbye, glad that she had been able to come home but partly relieved to be getting back to her own life. She had enjoyed seeing her sisters but felt that she had missed a lot in her absence. Of course, the same weekend that she went away on vacation was the weekend that Sylie gave birth to not one, but two babies; a boy, Reno and girl, Rena.

               Dahlia rode with her to the airport. She wasn’t happy to see her sister go. She had really enjoyed Camille being back and, if she were being honest with herself, she had been hoping that Camille would change her mind about living far away and come back to stay permanently.

               “You’ll be back again, right,” she asked as Camille gathered her stuff together for the flight home.
               “I’m not sure when I can get away again.”
               “Maybe I can come visit you,” she asked pleadingly.
               “We’ll see.” One last hug and Camille was air bound for St. Claire once more.

                Her first day back was busy. First, there was the gnome incident. Apparently, there was an underground group selling gnomes on the black market. Camille thought she would be brought in undercover but no, Chief Randall put her on a computer to see if she could track down where they were being shipped so he could use Pearl undercover. Camille had come all the way to St. Claire to work in computer forensics and, now that she was, she wanted nothing more than to be out there, doing the actual work.

               Then, after work, she headed over to Sylie and Danny’s home for the introduction of the twins. Because it was so hot, Sylie had decided to make it a pool party. Camille felt a little weird to be wandering around in a swimsuit with no pool or beach in sight but she would admit that it was definitely cooler.

               “Camille, you made it. I wasn’t sure if you’d come after spending all that time traveling. This is Reno,” she cooed down to the little blue bundle.
               “He’s cute,” Camille attempted to gush. She was lucky Sylie was preoccupied. It wasn’t that she didn’t like babies. She just didn’t want to be like her mother, bouncing from man to man, and since Camille didn’t have plans to fall in love, that put babies off the table.
               “Rena is in the bedroom if you want to go see her.” Camille headed that way.

               “Joshua,” she inquired, seeing him with a pink infant.
               “Hi, Camille, right?”
               “You remembered. How do you know Sylie?”
               “Actually, Danny and I work together. He’s a sub and has helped out around the high school. He’s a good guy.” He cradled Rena and the three of them went back to the living room to socialize with the other adults.     

                Sylie appeared to make a fantastic mom. She was constantly checking on both her children, talking to them and passing them around with a huge smile on her face. Camille figured if anyone would be the perfect parents, it would likely be Sylie and Danny.
               “You like kids,” Joshua asked her, looking down at Rena.
               “I’m on the fence. They’re cute, but probably not for me. You?”
               “I love them. I grew up an only child but I had lots of cousins who have kids of their own now. I want a big family. Maybe 5 kids or so.”
               “Better you than me,” she semi-joked. Sylie finally announced that it was time to put the twins down for bed and everyone proceeded home.

               The following evening, Camille decided to go see Ms. Esther. Being home for the weekend and missing the old family dynamic made her yearn, just a little, for someone to treat her like family and actually want to spend time with her, even if it was the result of dementia.

               “Why hello dear. How are you today,” she asked when Camille arrived.
               “I’m fine. How about we sit and play some dominoes today?”
               They sat and played for an hour or so. Esther was a feisty lady who loved her dominoes but she knew when Camille was letting her win. “Ah, ah, I want to win on my own you silly goose. Don’t make it so easy.” Camille won, once Esther called her out on throwing the game, and they got some dinner in the cafeteria. 

               “Why don’t you walk me to my room? It’s just down the hall.” They walked, arm in arm to the sterile room that was dressed up to look like home. She indicated to the tea pot on the table. “Have a seat. We can have tea and biscuits.”

               “I really need to be going. It’s late.” Camille turned to head back to the front.
               “I know you’re not my granddaughter,” Esther blurted out.
               “Excuse me?”
               “I have two children, both around your age. No grandchildren. You’ve been nice to me. It’s been nice having someone to talk to. I want to know though, why did you come?”
               Camille paused, unsure of what to say. Finally she settled on vague honesty. “I followed your niece, April, here. She reminds me of someone.”
               “Ah, yes, April. We’re not on speaking turns. Funny thing about that, I have no siblings.”
               “Knock, knock,” Lilac called out in a singsong voice from the door. “I’m sorry, but visiting hours are over. You’ll have to come back later.” Camille gaped at Esther, and quickly caught herself.
               “Yes, thank you Lilac. I was just leaving.” She glanced back over her shoulder at Esther but the woman was paying her no mind at all as she sat doing her crossword puzzle.

               The next day, after work, Camille decided to take a jog. She had a lot to think about and digest regarding the information Esther had given her. What could it possibly mean? If she has no siblings, then April can’t possibly be her niece. And she’s a lot more in control of her facilities than I thought. Has she been stringing me along all this time? What could she want from me?

               She saw Pearl walking along the beach and jogged over to her.
               “I need your help with something,” she cut straight to the chase.
               “Isn’t that what partners are for? Although, I seem to remember you not wanting one.”
               “I know. I’m sorry, I was wrong. You're never going to let that go, are you?”
               “Will you help me?” Camille sighed, though with a smile, at her partner's dramatics.
               “Of course.”
               Camille explained her plan to Pearl and how she needed someone to cover as she followed up a few leads that she had. Pearl was less than enthused about the idea.
               “Are you sure about this? If Chief Randall finds out, we’ll both be back to working the streets again.”

               “Just trust me, okay?”
               “Fine, but you owe me. We’re going out tonight.” Camille sighed but agreed and rushed home to shower and change.

               “Oh my Watcher, that guy is hot,” Pearl exclaimed.  Camille looked in that direction and realized who Pearl was looking at.
               “Give us a minute,” she said, heading over to Ian.
               “You got him first? No fair,” Pearl nursed her drink as her only consolation prize.

               “Ian, I told you, I’m not interested in a relationship,” she reminded him harshly.

                “Wow, you sure think mighty high of yourself to assume I’m here to meet you.” He winked and then sauntered away from her to wrap his arm around another woman. Camille frowned, realizing that she was the slightest bit jealous.

               After a long day at work, Camille decided to take a walk to the park. There had been a lot of calls regardinging some suspicious activity. Some concerned parents had reported strangers approaching their children. Luckily, no one had been hurt or abducted and Camille wanted to keep it that way. Even though the detectives were on top of it, she figured it wouldn’t help to get a fresh set of eyes in on it.
               “Hey there, I haven’t seen you around in a while,” Joshua smiled at her.
               “I’ve been here and there. What are you doing out here?”
               “The police department sent out some notices about people lingering at the park. The teachers have been taking turns watching the kids. My question is what are you doing here?”
               She looked at him with one eyebrow raised and then realized that she had yet to explain what she did. She had kept it quiet when they first met for fear of spoiling her cover but now that she was on patrol duty, was it really necessary to keep things under wraps?
               “Just taking a walk. The weather was too nice to pass up.” Now wasn’t the time to divulge her job, not when she was in the middle of something big. Besides, she was realizing that she might be able to enlist his help. “Do you want to come over for drinks?”
               “That would be great. The parents will be here in a few minutes to pick up the kids anyway.”

               Once they got back to her apartment, Camille made them a few drinks.
               “We keep running in to each other,” Joshua noted.

               “We do. It must be fate,” she smiled coyly at him. She was pleasantly surprised when he blushed. “So tell me all about your job. The things you love about being a teacher, the things that make it hard. I’ve been contemplating a career in teaching myself and I’d love to get some advice from someone like you. Do you mind if I take notes?”
               It was clear that he had a passion for teaching. He really was enthusiastic about being able to help the kids and mentor them. She did her best to appear attentive and even leaned in, touching his arms a few times. She knew a thing or two about attentive listening.
               “So, tell me. Did you ever teach April Burns? She’s my cousin and I’m pretty sure she went to school out here,” Camille was fishing. She had gotten April’s last name from Lilac’s visitor book which Pearl had filched when she went to ‘inspect the quarters on behalf of the SSPCEP’. 

               “Oh, April. Yes, I had her in a history class. She was a bright student, though she didn’t really put forth much effort. I’m sorry about your aunt.”
               “Yes, the fire. It was really tragic. At least April had her older brother to take care of her until she graduated. Chris seemed to really watch out for her.”
               “Oh right. We try not to talk about it,” Camille frowned, trying to hide her confusion. “I’m so sorry but it’s getting late. Maybe we can pick this up another night?”
               He leaned in and kissed her lightly. “I’d really like that. Maybe a proper date next time?”

               Could April and this Chris really be Becks and Chad? And how did Esther play into it?

Chapter 5.2                                                                                                                                      Chapter 5.4
The SSPCEP is the Simlish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Elderly People; totally made up by me. I want to really thank SilentPsycho who helped me populate St. Claire. Without her, my town would be quite a bit more empty!

Camille's generation is so fun to write. I am enjoying this one and, for once, am not in a rush to start popping out heirs to move the story along. I think this is, for sure, my favorite generation yet!


  1. I am so intrigued by who the mysterious April is, and I love Esther and the way she played along with all this. I'm dying to see wht it's all about and who April really is and how she knows Esther!
    I got a laugh when Ian showed up with another woman, lol. That's the risk you take when you don't snap up the hot ones yourself. Josh is cute of course, but the fact tha he wants 5 kids should be setting off some serious alarms for Camille...

    Great chapter!

    1. Yes, it's probably safe to say that Joshua is not the one for Camille. She has never rolled a romantic interest wish for herself with him. She always is wishing to tell him to go kiss someone else. Which makes me laugh.

  2. That old lady looks a lot like Becks, I must say! ;D

  3. I agree with Becky, but your stories never go the way I think they will so I'm keeping my beliefs to myself this time around and just enjoying the ride.

    I was sooo happy to see Pearl these last two chapters, even if I wanted her to smack Camille the first time they met. <3 They really are good partners, and I can't wait to see how Camille's story unfolds.

  4. I'm hoping we get to know more about Esther! She seems really interesting

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  6. Aww, Joshua seems so sweet :) but I think Camille would break his heart :(

    I *loved* the scene with Ian. He’s such a bad ass and so sure of himself it just makes me want him more...*cough* I mean, er...makes me want to see him with Camille more. :p

    Also, loving how involved this chapter is. It feels more like an episode of a detective series rather than a story about family life (not that family stories are bad, this is just a nice change of pace) :) For some reason I had it in my head that maybe Esther really is related to Esther somehow and it's gonna be a big shock when she finds out but I keep going over her ancestor in my head and it doesn't fit, lol. Well, Camille's mum is a bit of a ho but she didn't dump Camille on Ace. So maybe it’s not *that* but I can’t wait to see what the old biddy’s hiding! *puts her conspiracy theories back in their box*

    PS I deleted the previous comment because I missed a vital sentence (derp) :p

  7. I love Ester, she has to be my favourite character introduced in this generation so far. I have to admit when the legacy poll went out I didn't vote for Camille, and then when she won I thought oh not that stuck up bitch, but as always you have surprised me and Camille is an awesome character and I'm glad she won the heir vote. I have a feeling that you're leading us on with Ian and Joshua and that you have someone else planned to sweep Camille off of her feet. Plus I want to see her boss I think he would be a good match for her, you have shown in this chapter and the previous chapter that he is warming up to her and he sent her to make friends and that he likes her, plus they are both work for the police so they share near enough the same goals. Can't wait for the next chapter, keep 'em coming :)


  9. Awesome chapter! Camille is probably my favorite of your heirs so far, and I love this plot. Missroxor is right- It flows so well that it feels like a movie or TV show.

    Also, I really enjoyed your explanation for the "pool" party, with swim suits and all. I hate those random get togethers, especially when they have a random, unexplained dress code. I usually use mastercontroller to switch everyone into their everyday clothes, but your party was much funnier this way. =)

    1. Camille is probably definitely my favorite. I'm glad that it's flowing so well. When I first thought up her story direction, I was concerned that I wasn't going to be able to pull it off quite like I wanted.

      And yes, damn those weird parties. A pool party? With no pool? At night? Silly sims.

  10. Interesting changes and lots of things to research.
    She has to be my favourite heir so far. :)

    1. I am so glad that you are enjoying reading along. I've loved seeing all your comments as you made the adventure and hope you stick with me, even between the infrequent updates.

  11. And the plot thickens! There is so much I, NEED to know. Also, I love Ester. She's a feisty ole' lady and I like that she let's people assume she's senile, it gives her an advantage. I'm curious as to what her part in all of this is. April and Chris....hmmmm. Are they Becks and Chad, or are you trying to throw us off the trail? I love Camille. She is probably my favorite heir so far too.