Reilly rang the doorbell, and waited nervously.
He listened for sounds of activity inside the house, but didn't hear any. He pulled the paper out of his pocket and checked the address again. Yeah, he was at the right place. Where could she be?
He walked down the steps, and started to look around outside. "Elly?" he called her name out, but she didn't answer back.
"Boo!" a voice came from behind him, and startled him out of his skin. He swung around, ready to fight, but realized it was Elly behind him, giggling, and not any Nephilium henchmen. "Did I get you?" Her eyes sparkled with glee.
He forced himself to relax, "You did startle me, yes."
"I am sorry Reilly! I meant no harm, I just thought that..."
Reilly smiled at her. "Why do I have the feeling that you love pranks?"
She laughed. "They are great fun! But," she said on a more serious note, "I forgot that a lot of humans do not find our pranks very funny. I am truly sorry."
"It isn't that, Rhys and I play pranks on each other all the time. I just wasn't expecting it from you, but forewarned is forearmed."
Elly clasped her hands together. "Oooh! A challenge!" She danced around. "You are fun for a human, Reilly!"
"That is a compliment, I think." He watched her fluttering and dancing around, "The way you said human, have you had troubles with people before?"
Elly stopped dancing, and regarded him seriously, for just a twinkle in time. "Yes, the humans I have met, did not care much for our ways." Then without missing a beat, "Tag, you're it!" She tagged him with her hand, and with a flurry of pink sparkles, seemed to disappear before his eyes.
"Hey, wait a..." he paused, when he noticed the small pink speck that floated around his head. He heard tinkling laughter coming from the speck. "Elly?" The speck danced in front of his face, and circled around his body at a dizzying speed. "That is an unfair advantage!"
After playing chase a fairy for a while, Reilly finally gave in. "You win!" he said breathlessly. "I am no match for you!"
She materialized in front of him, giggling. "That was fun!" she said, and her eyes shined.
"I need a break." Reilly told her. He had noticed her little plot of plants earlier, and decided to ask her about it. "You like to garden?"
"Do I?" she exclaimed. "I am a Garden Sprite, it is what I do, make things grow. See, that plant over there," she pointed, "it is called a Mandrake. Did you know that Mandrakes help increase your fertility? If you grind it up and eat it with your meals, it will help you have lots of babies!"
Reilly blushed, and looked everywhere but at her. "Really?" He stammered, and then he blushed some more. "Uh, do Fairies, er, Sprites, have need of such plants?"
Elly nodded sadly. "Indeed we do, it is in high demand, for it is hard for us fae to procreate, we are not as prolific as you humans are. So our numbers dwindle, it is the most debated subject in our Councils."
"You have meetings about," Reilly paused, then rushed on, "fertility?"
"Yes, it is very important to us. We are dying off, as a race, and we are searching for ways to stop our demise. If we had short lifespans, we would have already been a blip in your history books, as it is now, there are not very many of us left, who are of breeding age. Something must be done, and soon."
"Is that...why..." Reilly hesitated, what was the best way to ask the question he was dying to know the answer to?
Elly seemed to know what he was asking though, and gave him the answer. "This place, has some sort of a special, magical essence, over it, and the Mandrakes that we have found here, have been especially potent. Unfortunately, they take a long time to grow, and there are not very many of them in the wild woods to harvest. All attempts to grow them at home, have failed. There is something about this town, that causes things to grow so well. So I was given the task of harvesting and growing the Mandrakes for my people. And, if, while I am here, I find a mate to have children with, well, so much the better." She smiled at Reilly.
Reilly cleared his throat. "Oh." was all he could think to say.
Ethan followed Kei out onto the front porch. "I have something for you." he told her.
She turned around towards him, saying as she did so, "I came out here for some quiet Ethan, not to be pestered by..." she stared at the bouquet of red roses that he was holding out to her. She loved red roses, and Ethan, the rat, knew it. It was so hard to fight against someone who knew you so well. She reached for them, and breathed the scent in. "Thank you." she said quietly.
"Enjoy your peace, Kei." Ethan said, and he walked back inside, mission accomplished.
The next morning brought bad news. Kei held the phone in her hands, but she wasn't really listening to the words that were coming from the phone, she was too absorbed in memories. "....he was just fine last night, we were all sitting around, and your Dad, he was up to his usual little magic tricks that the twins love, but this morning..." more sobs came from the phone, "...he wouldn't wake up! I called 911, but it was too late...he was gone..."
Kei couldn't believe it, her father couldn't be gone. He had always been there for her, even when she had been an angry and hurting teen, that had lashed out at him. The memories flowed from her, almost as fast as the tears that poured down her cheeks.
"I love you Daddy." she whispered.
Kit was tasked with telling the rest of the family the news, since his mother was in no condition to do so. Rylan, Chaine, and the boys took the news stoically, but Nira broke down in noisy sobs.
He hugged her and comforted her the best that he could, but he was relieved when Tristan came home from work, and was able to take over. Kit still had to tell Maya, who had stayed overnight at a friend's place.
Kei grabbed her keys, and headed for the door. "Where are you going?" Ethan asked her, he grabbed her arm to keep her from leaving.
"None of your bus..."
"I'm coming with you."
"You are not!" Kei argued. "I am in no mood for company, and I am not up to arguing with you."
"Excellent, " Ethan said, "then let's go, while you are not in the arguing mood." Kei frowned but followed him out to the car. He was sitting in the driver's seat, waiting patiently for her.
"I'm driving." Kei said stubbornly.
Ethan shook his head. "Get in Kei, you're not arguing with me, remember? You're in no condition to drive to your father's grave."
"I never said I wasn't arguing with you Ethan, I said, " she stopped, then frowned at him again. "How do you know where I am going."
"I'm a smart guy, now get in the car Kei." She grumbled, but got into the passenger seat, in the back. She slammed the car door, crossed her arms, and glared at Ethan from the backseat. Ethan didn't say anything, he just put the car in gear, and headed for the graveyard.
Kei's tough facade faded as soon as she was standing in front of her father's grave. Looking at the cold grey stone that marked where her father lie, her father's death ceased to be surreal, and instead became very real. The tears came, and her shoulders heaved with her sobs.
Ethan reached for her. "Kei."
Kei let herself be drawn into his arms, and she cried all over his shirt. "I cannot believe he is gone!"
Ethan didn't say anything, for there were no words he could use that would comfort her. Instead he pulled her closer, and just let her cry.
"Good by Daddy."
Elly felt the drops of water fall on her from the sky, she looked up in amazement. Where she came from, there was only endless sunshine. But it seemed the clouds cried in this world, she found the thought fascinating. Maybe Reilly could tell her more about these tears from the sky.
She smiled at the thought of Reilly. He was so young, and yet he was so... She couldn't think of a good enough word to describe him. While she longed to have children, to help keep her family line going, she had found no one else that she really liked, or admired, let alone someone that she could imagine kissing, or having children with, as much as Reilly. Humans had shorter life spans, suppose she just waited for him?
She heard footsteps behind her, she turned around to see Reilly. "What a pleasant surprise!" she said in delight. Then she got a good look at his face. "Reilly, what is wrong."
"My Grandpa died." he said sadly. "I just needed some air, I hope you don't mind that I walked over here?"
"Goodness, no! Let's go inside, and get out of these tears! How precious that the very clouds in this amazing town cries with you!"
Reilly cracked a small smile. "Tears? No, that is just rain. It happens quite a lot, especially in the Spring and Fall."
"Really?" Elly said, as she guided him into her house. "Please tell me more of this Rain."
Which is how Reilly found himself talking to Elly about weather.
Ethan had enough, it was time to step in. Kei had been moping about for weeks, she rarely spoke, she barely ate, and would only shower when pushed into it. He had to return to Camulodunum, soon. His Generals could not be expected to fight the war with his father without their Prince's aid. They had been very gracious with his need to spend time with his family and reconnect, before returning home. Ethan had hopes that Kit and Reilly would be with him when he returned. He had even spoken to Kit, about he and Reilly moving to Camulodunum, and taking their rightful place in Camulodunum society.
Kit had dashed those hopes, and had declined, for now. "Dad, it is not the right timing for either Reilly or I, to move to Camulodunum. Someday, things may change, but for now, I think we'll stay here."
Chaine had been eager at the thought of returning home, back to a place that he did remember. Ethan just needed to talk to Kei about it now. She was starting to shut herself off again, and Ethan was determined to keep that from happening.
He found her, laying on her bed, channel surfing the shopping networks. He grabbed the remote from her, ignored her protests, and shut the tv off. He pulled her off the bed. "Come on Kei, we are going to go to the Festival. You have stagnated inside long enough."
"I don't want to go..." Ethan kissed her to shut her up. While she was still shocked silent, he managed to get her out the door and into the car. She stayed silent through the whole car drive, just stealing side glances at him from underneath her lashes.
She stayed silent, all the way to the dance floor, until Ethan pulled her into his arms, and began to sway slowly with the music. Then she spoke. "You are an aggravating man, Ethan."
Ethan twirled her around, and then pulled her close again.
Ethan chuckled. "Face it Kei, you love me, and you are never more alive than when we are together."
"You are so full of yourself Ethan!"
Ethan dipped her down, and pulled her back up smoothly, close to his body. Breathless, Kei stared into Ethan's eyes, her cheeks were flushed with color, and her eyes sparkled.
"You are my heart's desire, Kei, and you always have been from the very moment we met. I want to marry you again, and this time, we will do things differently."
"Really?" Kei raised her eyebrow. "what will you do that will be so different this time around Ethan?"
"Well, for starters, how about you come with me to Camulodunum, and I'll train you how to fight. Then you can fight beside me."
Kei stopped dancing. She stared at Ethan intently. "You mean it?"
"I do." he affirmed.
Kei squealed and hugged him tightly. "Yes!"
"To be clear, Kei, what are you saying yes to?"
Kei lightly smacked him with her hand, then kissed him. "All of the above. Are the kids coming with us?"
"Kit and Reilly are not, they are staying here. As is Rhys, he was very quick to tell me that he was not interested in leaving if Reilly was not going as well. I am not sure about your daughter Nira and her husband. Layla won't speak to me, apparently she is a lot like you." Kei smacked him again, he grinned at her. "She will know where to find me, when she is ready. Chaine said that Rylan and Maya will join us, after she graduates. She wants to graduate with her friends."
"I am glad that some of our kids are coming, I am going to miss the ones that stay behind terribly."
"We will visit Kei, I need to stay in contact with Kit, he is my heir after all."
"Ethan, before we go home to celebrate, there is one thing I want to try out."
"What's that?" Kei led him over to a bright blue machine with lots of lights, and a big gaudy heart on top.
"Seriously Kei?" Ethan groaned.
"Be a good sport Ethan!" Kei chided him. He grimaced, but placed his hand over hers and watched all the lights zip up and down, before the big red heart glowed bright red.
It spit a little paper out at the bottom, and Ethan reached down and grabbed it. "Well, what does it say?" Kei asked impatiently. Ethan grinned at her, and held the slip of paper up, so that she could read it for herself.
Kei grinned back at him. "Let's go home."
Notes: So I am thinking that I am a genius, lol. :P I have this little place called Camulodunum, that I can *send* all my spares to. It is so convenient and handy! Someday, if I ever feel like fleshing it out more (translated:if I ever get good enough at making worlds to where I can make what I see Camulodunum looking like--- in CAW, then I will get into it a little more!), then I can do so, but for now, this is a handy tool! Where is Grandma---she's in Camulodunum fighting bad guys! lol (I have a lot of kids for this next generation, so I needed to move some of my beloved heirs and help out of the house, to make way for babies! :D)
Ethan and Kei are back to how they were. He is the only one that she actually has a 100% positive relationship with. Most of her relationships are in the negative, as she persists in calling names and scaring people. Even Kit and her are in the red. But she and Ethan---they love to talk about their rebelling days!
Ethan and Kei, after they got that little paper, also got this little moodlet---
That was the happy part---the not so happy, I did almost cry when I finally got the notice that Kona had died. :( He was a fun founder sim. RIP Kona.
Next chapter, generation 4 takes over. Woot!