Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter Liliana learned more about her “Grandpa” than she cared to learn about and Sinbad and Wolfgang had a discussion about why they live in Moonlight Falls. Wolfgang has also decided what he’s going to do when he grows up. And now, on with the story.
The Rands soon got into a rhythm that made raising the twins and Obi easier. But with time came aging and soon Sinbad and Mira were old. And Obi was a kid. And Liliana had grown into a fine young teenager. And Sion was a young adult. And Bailey’s dog Mochi died of old age. Obi, like his Aunt Kreia seemed to crave perfection. Liliana became a bit of a daredevil, pushing boundaries of safety. Sion yearned for a family as good his father’s and his brother’s.
Wolfgang spent several afternoons using the pull up bar his mother and grandfather used. He figured he needed to work out if he was going to join law enforcement when he grew up.
“Wolfgang, I didn’t realize you were into strength training?” Bailey said one evening when she got home from work.
“I just got into it. I’ve decided I’m going to go into law enforcement like you. I’m going to try for the SNBI and deal with crime over the entire nation as opposed to just local crime like you.”
“Your talk with Grandpa influenced this didn’t it?”
“Yea, it did. Someone needs to stop Darius. I don’t like seeing Grandpa so scared when he thinks about what us kids are going to want to do when we grow up.”
“Darius? Who’s Darius?”
Wolfgang mentally swore but said, “Darius is a criminal who operates in Bridgeport and Twinbrook. Grandpa did something that really pissed Darius off or got his attention and now Darius wants Grandpa’s family dead. He didn’t say what he did though.” Wolfgang just hoped that his mother bought the lie. He didn’t want to be the one who exposed the lie of omission.
Bailey believed her son when he said Sinbad didn’t tell him what he had done to piss Darius off. However, Bailey knew the timeline and figured her husband would probably know. So she called him into the bedroom.
“What did you want to discuss that we can’t discuss out there?” Atton asked.
“Why was I, your wife, not told about Darius?”
“I didn’t want to scare you before we got super serious and then the right moment never came up. I didn’t want you to worry about someone who might not even try for us again.”
“Fair enough, I suppose. What did your father do to bring down Darius’s wrath on his family?”
Atton thought for a moment. This was the question everyone had been dreading. The what did Sinbad do for a living question or one similar to that. “He had his boss arrested.”
“Boss? As in your father is a criminal?” Bailey said, starting to get angry.
“Your father is a criminal and you didn’t even think to tell me? Just what kind of criminal is he?”
“I didn’t want to lose you. And I never asked what type of criminal he is.”
Bailey fumed. “So you lied to me?!”
“I… I didn’t lie.”
“Not directly. It’s called a lie of omission. You’ve probably known you should tell me about your father for some time now but chose not to. Does your mother even know he’s a criminal?”
“Sorry,” Atton muttered, “She knows. He actually lied to her about it and got caught knee deep in it. It almost ended their relationship.”
“And after knowing of that, you still chose not to tell me about your father’s career? And this Darius, just how dangerous is he?”
Atton just looked at the ground knowing no answer was going to help, “He’s very dangerous. His right hand man, if you can call her that, almost killed me and he scares my father and he’s hard to scare.”
Bailey threw her hands in the air, “Not only did you not tell me about your father, you didn’t tell me about Darius! The first I heard of him was from Wolfgang. Didn’t I have the right to know about him?! Is he why you moved to Moonlight Falls? Did your father piss Darius off so much he put a hit your family?! And if so, didn’t I have the right to know about that before I married you? Before I had kids with you? At the time, it wouldn’t have changed my opinion of you. I loved you. But I like to know what I’m getting myself into!”
“Darius is too scared of the Immortal Council to venture into Moonlight Falls. I didn’t think there was a reason to mention him and yes, he’s the reason my family moved to Moonlight Falls. And yes, he put a hit out on my family.”
“If he’s so scared of Moonlight Falls, how did his right hand woman almost kill you? Or did that happen before you moved here?”
“The Immortal Council lured him in in order to try to get rid of Darius once and for all. It failed.”
“Due to you.”
“If it wasn’t for what I did Alistair wouldn’t be here. And if he wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have gotten the music job. I wouldn’t have met Pip or you. Yes, it sucks that Darius and Rosalind got away, but I would do what I did again!”
“So you’re selfish on top of being a liar!”
“I am not selfish! I did what I did to save Alistair’s life. The job and meeting Pip is just icing on the cake!”
“You’ve lied to me once, how do I know you aren’t lying to me now?! I’m leaving the house for a while, do not try to follow me.”
Atton took a few steps backwards and fell onto his bed. He wrapped his arms around his knees and cried, heartbroken. He had done the right thing, right? If so, why did Bailey have to hurt him so? Why did it hurt so much?
Thirty minutes later, Atton heard the door open and shut. He glanced up enough to know it was his father. “Go way, Dad.”
“I heard the argument.”
“I don’t want to talk about it!”
Sinbad didn’t leave. He just sat down next to Atton and said, “Just do whatever you can to show her you’re honest. That you’re trustworthy. She’ll come around.”
“But what if she doesn’t, Dad? What if… what if she wants a divorce?”
“That’s a bridge you should cross if it comes to that. Don’t give up on your relationship with Bailey before you even begin to try to fix it. If I had done that with Mira, who knows where we’d all be. But you wouldn’t have your five wonderful kids and I probably wouldn’t have or have kept Sion.”
Months went by.
Soon Canderous joined his uncle in being a young adult and the two discussed where they wanted to go to college. Canderous had picked up some discipline and determination from his talks with Nicholas. Canderous and Sion had discussed going to college in Moonlight Falls, but the University in Bridgeport had the best program for both veterinary medicine and computer science, the majors the pair wanted to enroll in. They were unsure of how to bring that up without adding to the stress the house was already under.
Bailey had taken to going to the bar every night after work. She claimed it was a stress reliever. Truth was, she went there to talk with a vampire friend she had met the night she learned about Darius. The guy wasn’t all that bad looking and some nights she wouldn’t mind if they got carried away. But her phone would always ring before they could get carried away. The twins were always wanting their mother as was Obi. Sometimes she knew it was just a ploy to get her home, other nights it was true.
Atton took his wife’s distant behavior hard. He leaned on Pip some, who had admitted to letting Bailey lean on him as well. But vowed to stay neutral. Bailey and Atton, in an act of civility towards each other having both arrived at Pip’s house at the same time to lean on him, decided it was unfair to put Pip in such a position where he clearly had a side but couldn’t voice it for fear of losing a friend. So he leaned on Alistair for support and distraction.
Soon the twins were children as well. Mission loved the outdoors and it took ages of yelling to get her to come home. So the twins and Obi got phones early. Just so Mission could have a means of communication on her. Mission loved the outdoors, sure, but she only spent so much time outside due to her parents fighting. She didn’t like not seeing them happy together. Parents were supposed to love each other. If she wasn’t at home all day, she could pretend everything was perfect.
Leia had a different escape mechanism. She buried her nose into books. Fairy tales to be precise. Where the guy gets the girl and they live happily ever after.
Leia took to schooling easier than Mission. Atton and Bailey being as stressed as they were, praised Leia’s high marks but didn’t think of praising Mission. Their minds were elsewhere. Mira and Sinbad tried to pick up Mission’s self-esteem when they noticed it needing a helping hand. Of course, the pair had different means to it.
Obi coped with the stress by throwing himself into his hobbies. He loved playing chess and he loved anything that got him active. He also started to question things a lot more than he used to. He didn’t take things at face value. Wolfgang threw himself into preparing for his future career as law enforcement. No way was Darius going to get away with destroying his parents’ happy marriage. Atton and Bailey used to smile and light up the room when they were together. Now, it just tended to end in arguments. Mostly about how Bailey was never home anymore and leaving others to raise the kids. Not that Atton stayed home all the time. However, he was out working. Bailey was out drinking.
Not that Atton didn’t drink. He did. He just didn’t do it at bars. He had promised Alistair to not do it at bars. To try not to fall into another depression. So Atton drank at Alistair’s house under his supervision. Just to make sure Atton didn’t do anything stupid while drunk.
Bailey loved Friday nights. Friday nights were when Hugh showed up. Hugh was the friend she had met the night she found out about Darius. He had helped her by listening and being on her side. He totally got why she was pissed at Atton. He didn’t get why she didn’t just divorce him. Bailey wasn’t sure. She didn’t want to make a rash decision, but could she really trust Atton? And wasn’t a marriage all about trust?
“Hey there Bailey, glad to see you came,” Hugh said.
“Wouldn’t miss a Friday night. Have to make it an early one, though.”
“Double birthday. My half-brother is turning eighteen and my youngest boy is turning thirteen. Two milestone birthdays that I do not want to miss.”
Bailey took a sip of her drink and missed the disappointed look in Hugh’s eye. The two talked for ages, Hugh buying countless rounds. Soon Bailey’s phone went off. She glanced at it, it was Sion.
“What?” Bailey said answering the phone.
“You’re drunk. Tonight of all nights, Bailey? Dominique’s getting impatient and Obi’s looking pretty depressed. Come home,” Sion said and hung up.
“I best be off. Got the birthdays to attend to,” Bailey said to Hugh.
“Oh just one more drink,” Hugh said.
“One more drink won’t hurt,” Bailey said.
And that’s where the chapter ends. What is Hugh’s angle? Will Bailey make it home in time for the birthdays? Will she ever forgive Atton or are they doomed to divorce? Find out in chapters to come.
Progress towards Atton’s goals:
- Master an instrument – Achieved Chapter 2.10 behind the scenes
- Get married – Achieved Chapter 2.6 when Atton married Bailey
- Join Music Career – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job
- Learn all songs – He knows all his skill level gives him
- Become Hit Movie Composer – He’s level 9 – Conductor
- Know all co-workers – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job (a mod from Twallan)
- Befriend 1 co-worker – Achieved Chapter 2.0. Pip Goodfellow and Atton are already Best Friends
- Level 5 Logic – Achieved in the background of Chapter 2.11.
Progress toward’s Mira’s goals:
- Grow a garden with every plant from the store – She’s gotten everything from the store except what requires 7 or higher gardening skill, it’s winter so progress is slow. It’s still winter. My seasons are 7 days.
- Master gardening skill – She mastered gardening behind the scenes of Chapter 2.8
- Get married – Accomplished Chapter 1.0 when Mira married Sinbad
- No woohoo until married – Accomplished Chapter 1.0 as Mira never woohooed before marrying Sinbad
- Have a boy and a girl – Accomplished Chapter 1.1 as they have 2 boys and 1 girl as of that chapter
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Mira – Illustrious Author: Level 2 Painting, Level 7 Writing
- Sinbad – Master Thief: Master Thief – Level 10 – MET Chapter 2.7
- Atton – Hit Movie Composer: Composer – Level 9
- Bailey – Alchemy Artisan – 2 potions thrown, Level 7 Alchemy
Author’s Note: The last chapter and this chapter take place in a span of like 5 Sim days. The house is incredibly hectic. Chances are I will have a number of staged shots the next couple chapters just due to aging issues. Mainly, I let Atton and Alexandra be together in game too long for the time span I wanted in the story.
And I currently do not know what the end result of the Atton/Bailey subplot will be. But it does serve as a reason for things yet to pass.