"Corine! This is such as surprise." He said enveloping her in a bear hug.
"Not a bad one i hope?" She asked.
"Not at all." Cody enthused before turning to Iris looking for her approval of his sentiment.
"Of course you're very welcome here." Iris managed.
"I'm visiting Leon and well i couldn't resist dropping in on you two." Corine explained.
Iris stood like a third wheel as Cody told Corine about his latest break through, "Can you believe it my oldest friend in the world Alex, and i couldn't even remember her." He gushed, "It's good to have her back in my life and it's good to see you too." He added.
Excusing himself to visit the bathroom, Cody left Corine and Iris alone.
"Iris you must excuse me just turning up like this, i know it must be strange to see me here in your home." Corine apologised.
"Probably no stranger than me turning up on your doorstep that day." Iris laughed nervously.
"I got your letter and well, i just wanted to see you again in person." Corine began, "I really appreciated you taking the time to write to me and, well for thanking me the way you did for helping Cody. It must of taken a lot for you to write that?"
"It did." Iris admitted, "My therapist thought it would be a good idea to tell you the way i was feeling and, well although i was jealous of the relationship you had with Cody, i guess I'm also grateful that you found him and that you helped him find his way back to me."
"You don't need to feel jealous, but i completely understand why you do." Corine sympathised, "I think Cody just needed a friend, someone who was on the outside of his life here. I hope you realise that i wasn't trying to come between the two of you?"
"Thank you Corine i appreciate you saying that, but i guess you understand the way i feel? I mean you must hate me for taking him away?" Iris asked.
"Yes i did, at first. I cursed the fact that my brother lived in Bridgeport and met you, i mean what are the odds?" Corine began, "But i treated it like any break up i ate a tonne of ice cream, cried myself to sleep for a few months and then i moved on."
"I'm glad to hear that." Iris said exhaling loudly, "So how long are you in town?"
"Not long, i fly back to Riverview tomorrow." Corine replied.
"Well I'll leave you and Cody alone to talk properly." Iris offered as Cody walked back in.
Later that night, after Corine had left, Cody crept into bed and spooned Iris.
"Are you awake?" He whispered.
"Mmm-huh." She murmured sleepily.
"Thank you for tonight, it means so much to me that you reached out to Corine." Cody said.
"You're welcome." Iris muttered.
"Have i told you lately how wonderful you are?" He said.
"Come on Lilah it's time for school." Lexie called to her twin sister.
"I'm not going to school today." Lilah replied quietly.
"What? Why not? Are you sick?" Lexie questioned.
"Well you have to go to school, Mom will be real mad if you skip." She lectured.
"Well I'm not going and you can't make me!" Lilah exploded suddenly.
"Whoa calm down!" Lexie cried, she had never seen her quiet sister so angry before, but as she looked closer she realised she wasn't angry at all, she was afraid.
"Lilah it's OK, you can tell me whatever it is." Lexie said softly.
"I-I c-can't t-tell." Lilah replied stammering her way through undisguised sobs.
"Lilah I'm your twin we share everything OK?" Lexie prompted.
"T-Tommy." Was all Lilah could manage.
"Tommy Fordan!" Lexie concluded, "Has he been picking on you?"
"He said if i told he would tell everyone that i still wet the bed." Lilah revealed.
"Well we'll just see about that." Lexie declared.
When the twins arrived at school they found Tommy already occupied with another victim.
"Poor Cooper, Tommy must be twice his size!" Lexie observed.
"What are you gonna do?" Lilah asked nervously.
"I'm gonna teach him a lesson." Lexie announced.
"No! You can't or he'll know i told you." Lilah pleaded.
"Well I'm not gonna let him bully you, there's no way he's getting away with this."
With that Lexie stalked off stealth like and crept up behind Tommy. Crouching down she let out an almighty roar as she jumped up right behind the boy.
Tommy jumped about three feet in the air and the entire playground stopped and looked on as he got served a dose of his own medicine.
"What the!" He cried as he turned and faced Lexie, aghast at the realisation that a girl had just humiliated him he unleashed his best retort, "You just made a big mistake Traytor." He spat, stomping his foot in protest.
"Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it?" Lexie challenged.
"Hand over your lunch money." Tommy demanded.
"No way!" Lexie laughed.
"Hand it over or else!" Tommy demanded.
"You don't scare me Tommy Fordan you're nothing but a big fat bully!"
The other kids began to snicker at the scene that was unfolding in front of them and Tommy turned bright red.
"You're gonna pay for this Lexie, you better watch your back." He threatened.
Tommy turned tail and like a true coward ran away.
Lilah raced over to hug her sister, "Oh my gosh Lexie you were amazing." She gushed, "Weren't you scared?"
"I guess a little." She admitted, "But no one bullies my sister."
"Thanks Lexie." Cooper added, "He's been taking my money all semester."
"Well if he bothers you again let me know, i won't let him pick on you guys anymore."
Josh sat alone at the end of the beach, as far away from the bustling bar as he could.
Although he was keeping his distance he could still feel the eyes of Kaya's friend burning into him from her position on the sun lounger. He didn't know why but for some reason she seemed to think he was interested in her, she had been dropping some serious hints about prom.
As if he was even going to prom! The whole concept of it made him shiver down to his bones.
It had been a couple of months now since he had his chance encounter with the girl at Dr Deign's office, every time he went for his weekly appointment he hoped she would be there, but she never was.
"Kaya, why does your brother always sit by himself?" Connie asked.
"Yeah, he could totally come and hang with us." Amy said pouting.
"I'm sure he has better things to do than listen to the super fascinating tale of your last manicure Amy." Kaya replied snarkily.
"He's like so totally cute, i wish he would ask me to prom already. Do you think i should ask him if he prefers a french polish or bright colour on my nails?" Amy continued, almost talking to herself.
"Urgh! Can we please change the subject!" Kaya sighed dramatically. She loved being queen bee and all but sometimes she felt like she needed a day off, or at least some intelligent conversation.
Poppy sat alone at the bar.
She stared intensely at the flame from the tiki light watching the bright orange embers dance in front of her eyes. The flames were like a drug, enticing her they seemed to be calling to her and pulling her in closer and closer with each spark.
"OMG! You are so like totally right!"
The sound of the girl exclaiming loudly distracted her from her trance and she glanced warily at the trio to her side.
She didn't know any of these girls personally, but she knew who they were well enough.
There had been plenty of them at her last school, taunting her. Once they found out about her illness they had taken great pleasure in passing around the information, trading the gossip like a stock market commodity.
She could still hear the nickname they had forced on her "Prozac Poppy" they called her.
She had shown them though!
The sound of the girls high pitched laughter screeched in her head like nails down a chalkboard and she shuddered. It was happening all over again she could feel it.
"Hey!" A small voice spoke out to her dragging her from the dark memories.
It was the boy from the waiting room.
"Hey." She returned.
"Read any good books lately?" He asked.
"A few." She replied cautiously.
Josh looked away unnerved by her curt answer, maybe he was bothering her with his intrusion.
"You wanna get out of here?" The girl asked.
Josh nodded slowly.
"Hey where's Josh going?" Amy whined.
"And who's that girl he's with?" Connie added.
"Will you two quit it! I've had it up to here with talk of my brother. Let's go to the boutique and try on prom dresses, i need to make sure the dresses you two put aside aren't as fabulous as mine." Kaya declared, finally losing patience with her gang.
"Yes this is definitely the one!" Kaya exclaimed confidently, admiring herself in the stylists mirror.
"You look amazing Kaya." Connie flattered.
"Yeah blue is like so your colour." Amy added.
"The prom is a couple of weeks away so everyone needs to start their cleanse now!" Kaya instructed, "Especially you Amy, only herbal tea and fruit."
"Oh i already started last week." Amy gushed, "I threw out the liquorice and the butterscotch flavour jellybeans and now I'm just on the orange and strawberry ones." She declared proudly.
"You are seriously blond." Kaya retorted, shaking her head.
"Thanks!" Amy smiled, taking it as a compliment.
"So Kaya, you still haven't told us who your date is." Connie stated, "You do have a date don't you?"
Kaya narrowed her eyes at the other girls thinly veiled insult, "I have plenty of options." She retorted.
"Ricky asked me last week, i told him I'd think about it." Connie bragged.
"Ricky Edwards?" Kaya asked, "Urgh he's such a jock!"
"He's the captain of the basketball team." Connie corrected.
"I'm so over the guys on the baseball team." Kaya scowled, reminding Connie exactly who Ricky's first choice had been, "I'm looking for more of a challenge." She revealed licking her lips.
"Maybe you should ask like the geekiest boy in school." Amy suggested.
"And why would i do that?" Kaya asked raising her eyebrow in derision.
"You could like give him a makeover and see if you can turn him popular." Amy explained.
"Amy this is prom not a bad 90's chick flick!" Kaya berated, "Besides that's not a challenge, as soon as people see someone with me they are popular by association, it's too easy."
"Then what's your plan?" Connie sniffed.
"You'll see." Kaya replied smiling broadly.
Lexie put the finishing touches to her homework and hit save. Her book report on Romeo and Juliet hadn't taken as long as she thought thanks to the extra handy web page giving her the complete rundown on it.
She had never been particularly studious and the "romantic" tale of two star crossed lovers wasn't about to spark her interest in learning.
Clicking open a new web page she typed in the address for SimSpace a popular social networking site with Sim children.
She noticed with excitement that she had a dozen friend requests waiting for her and clicked the tab to add them.
Although she didn't really know many of the Sims who had requested her she accepted them anyway, she guessed that after standing up to Tommy earlier the word had gotten around about her bravery.
After she had befriended all the Sims she hit the homepage for her site to see if she had any new messages.
As the screen popped up she noticed that there were a multitude of new messages but rather than being congratulatory they all seemed to be mocking her and referring to a new page that someone had created.
Clicking the link to the new page she looked in horror as it loaded in front of her.
The page was titled "Lexie Traytor Must Die!!!!" It had an awful school picture of her and the description read.
"Lexie Traytor is a bed wetting freak, i hear that she still wears a diaper!"
Tons of other Sims had commented on the page laughing at Lexie and leaving the most hurtful and vile comments that she had ever seen.
As she gaped at them in horror she felt her whole face turn bright red in embarrassment and she realised that the page must have been created by Tommy. He had threatened to make her sorry and it looked as though he had found an outlet for his revenge.
As the tears formed in her eyes she snapped the laptop shut and sobbed.
In case you were wondering the prom dresses Kaya and her clique were wearing can be found at All About Style! Prom_Dressses