Thursday, 25 August 2011

CHAPTER 6.6: The tangled web we weave

Morgan's child minding service had taken off after her first client had spread the word that she was such a natural with kids, and soon she found a queue of parents lining her front lawn each day.

Her most recent client was Mrs Hemlock who's daughter Bellisima was a real handful.  It was obvious to Morgan that the family were vampires, their tell tale eyes shone advertising the fact to all and sundry.  Not that it mattered to Morgan, she was well aware that most vampires were friendly and subsisted on a diet of plasma juice rather than the real stuff

Yet Oscar and Olivia avoided Bellisima at all costs, apparently afraid of her rather fierce temper and scary outward appearance.
The best part of working from home was that Morgan could keep an eye on Odd and could devote more time to helping her youngest learn to speak.  She had made some small improvements, Odette could now say "Ga" and "Jo", not exactly fully formed words but a start never the less.

Odd, unlike her brother and sister didn't show any fear when faced with Bellisima.
As the vampire child angrily forced a square peg into a round hole, Morgan watched as Odd toddled over to her and plonked herself down.  Bellisima regarded her warily, the child obviously wasn't used to being approached, no doubt a downfall of her scary disposition.  Odd picked up a rectangle and slotted it into the correct hole as Bellisima watched with interest, taking the square and placing it in the correct gap.

Morgan watched on in awe of her tiny daughter, although her fears remained over her inability to speak she realised in that moment that Odd had many other qualities her other two children did not yet possess.

When Declan arrived home that evening Morgan told him all about Odds day and the partial words she had almost uttered.  Swooping her up from the floor he began tickling her, "Who's my clever girl?"

"See i told you, she's just taking her time that's all."  Declan told Morgan, "Can you say Dada?"  He asked Odette.
Odd opened her mouth and an expression of concentration passed across her face.  Morgan and Declan held their breath in unison as their baby tried to form her first word.

Odd let out a breath of air and said "George".  Declan frowned and looked at Morgan mouthing "Who's George?" to which she shrugged in response.  "Say Mama"  Declan tried, but Odd had seemingly had enough of speaking for one day and instead just pointed to the floor and giggled.  "Well George is a good start i suppose."  Declan laughed, kissing Odds forehead and putting her to bed.

"I think she'll be just fine."  Morgan smiled as Declan nestled close to her that night, "So what if she hasn't picked it up just yet!  You know Odd's kinda fearless and i love that about her."

"Me too."  Declan replied placing a kiss on Morgans cheek.

One week later.........................

Morgan waited on the porch step for the parents to show up.  Impatiently she checked her watch, it was already a quarter after nine and not a single one had shown.  It just didn't make sense, she had gotten nothing but positive feedback from them, why would they not show up now?

Sighing she paced the front porch for another twenty minutes before giving up and heading back to the nursery.  She checked her phone but not one single parent had called to cancel.

As she was about to put the phone back in her pocket the caller ID flashed up showing that Howie was calling her, strange since his work at the lab usually began early.

"Hey?"  She answered, worry tinging her voice from his unexpected call.

"Hi."  His voice came, soft and calm revealing no panic whatsoever, "Are you alright?"

"Yeah, except none of my kids showed up today.  Can you believe not one parent called to let me know?"  She grumbled.

"I guess they all saw it then."  Howie replied.

"Saw what?"

"Oh Morgan, I'm sorry i just assumed you'd read it."  Howie apologised.

"Read what Howie, will you tell me what's going on!"  She demanded, her patience wearing thin.

"There's a story about Robson on the front page of today's newspaper.  I think you should go and read it."  Howie said quietly.

Morgan snapped the phone shut and rushed to the front porch snatching up the paper and taking in the front page story.

There it was in bold print;

Robson Colt eligible for parole!

Murderer Robson Colt has now served his minimum sentence and will apply to the parole board for release as soon as next month.  His case will no doubt be supported by his daughter Morgan Traytor who was spotted visiting her killer dad just last week.  A source tells us that she has become a regular at Bridgeport Penitentiary and that she plans to speak on his behalf in the hope that her testimony will secure his release.  If they get their way this despicable Sim could be walking the streets of our fair City by Christmas.

Morgan tossed the paper aside, unable to read more.  How could they print such lies?  She had no intention of helping her father gain his freedom, in fact she had been toying with the idea of speaking against his release at the parole hearing instead.  But how did the reporter get this information?  How did he know she had visited Robson at all?

And then it struck her the woman who blackmailed her!  She had been there when Morgan visited and she would have heard about Robson's parole from her jail bird boyfriend.  She had warned Morgan that she would be sorry if she didn't pay up but Morgan never imagined she meant this and now her fledgling business was ruined because of the article.

Morgan felt the sting of bitter tears prick her eyes, things had just began to get on track, the families head was just above water with the extra money coming in and now it was ruined.

The next call to flash up on her cell was from Declan,  "Honey I just saw the front page, how are you holding up?"  He asked, his voice laced with fear and worry.

"How can they print these lies?"  She sobbed.

Declan remained silent, apparently conflicted between his devotion to the press and his wife, "Morgan don't worry, we can get a retraction printed if we make enough noise, actually....."  He fell silent again and Morgan could hear him tapping his pen rapidly on the side of the phone evidently forming a plan, "I have an idea, but let's talk later okay?"

"Okay."  She agreed, dejectedly.

Declan's plan was that he would write an article, refuting the claim that Morgan would support her fathers bid for freedom and telling her story of how growing up with Robson for a father had been.

"Do you really think it's a good idea?"  She asked, biting her lip in concern, "What if it makes things worse?"

"It won't."  He dismissed her concerns off hand, "This is a great opportunity Morgan.  You can finally tell your side of the story and everyone will see that you are not your father."

"It may be a great story Declan, but it's still my life."  She replied.

"And who better to write it than me?  Your husband who loves you and knows you better than anyone?"  he cajoled.  "I promise you won't regret this.  We'll have all your customers back soon."

Morgan smiled at his words of encouragement, but she couldn't shake the feeling that Declan was rather more excited over how writing this story may boost his career not reinstate hers.  She soon put these thoughts from her mind when she realised that not only had her customers read the story but her family had too, she needed to make a phone call to her Mom pronto.

The phone call had been tense to say the least, however Morgan had convinced Kaya, Jackson, Howie and Noah to attend a family dinner where she would set them straight on her relationship with Robson and get their opinion on the article which Declan had already begun writing.
The first to arrive was Noah, fresh from his graduation ceremony at the military academy he was just about to commence his four year stint in the army but before that he had four weeks R&R back at home.

"Hey what's with the hair little bro'"  Morgan teased lightly, greeting him with a great big hug.

"It's standard army issue."  he grinned, "You like it?"

"I'm sure you'd be gorgeous no matter what."  She laughed playfully brushing his cropped mane.

"So you think i could stay here while I'm at home?"  He asked awkwardly, "I really don't want to stay with Mom and Dad."

Morgan furrowed her brow, she had assumed that their little feud was behind them since Noah had seemingly loved his time at the academy according to the letters he sent her.  "It's kinda crazy around here what with the babies and all."  She replied.

"Believe me I'd take three babies over bunking with twenty sweaty grunts any day."  He joked, "I'd be no trouble if that's what you were thinking."

"Of course i wasn't.  It's okay with me if you want to stay but I'm afraid i had to sell your bed so it'll have to be the couch."  She said.

"Hey no worries i always travel prepared."  He winked nodding to the sleeping bag that was strapped to his army kit bag, "This baby goes everywhere i go."

At that point Kaya breezed into the house and made a bee-line for Noah, enveloping him in a big hug, "Sweetheart it's so lovely to see you."  She exclaimed, "How long will you be home for?"

"Um, four weeks but if it's okay with you and Dad I'm gonna stay with Morgan."  He admitted.

"He wants to get to know his nieces and nephew better, don't you Noah?"  Morgan prompted, not wishing to antagonise her mother more than necessary.

"That's a wonderful idea."  Kaya replied, sweeping Morgan into a hug. 

As she made her way to the dining room Noah whispered, "Think she's been drinking?" before breaking into a laugh.  Morgan nudged him in warning but the smile on her face told Noah that she found him funny.

"I think this story is an excellent idea."  Jackson said, after Declan had talked up the piece he was writing.

"I have to agree with him."  Kaya nodded, "You shouldn't have to pay for what some hack has written."

"It's not necessarily the writers fault."  Declan cut in, "Apparently he had a well placed source."  Morgan shot him a look, she had not told anyone about the woman's threats or of her suspicions that she had sold the information to the paper, so how had Declan found out about her?  He seemed to have read Morgan's body language and said nothing further about it.

"Well i suppose if it's what you all think is best then I'll tell my story."  Morgan submitted.  She realised that what her family were saying was true, the article would put the fears about her involvement with her Dad to bed and hopefully restore the parents faith in her, but she disliked the idea of turning the article into a full blown story on her life.  She didn't really want the whole City to know her deepest, darkest shame that she still loved Robson despite his crimes, he was her father how could she not? 

Yet the love she bore him did not erase the fact that he belonged in jail, of this she was certain.  In the brief times that she had visited him his intense stare and emotionless voice had convinced her that no good would come from his release.

As she cleared the plates while the rest of the family cooed over the triplets Howie caught Morgan alone, "Are you sure this is what you want?"  He asked her.  It was typical of Howie to know her true thoughts, he always had been a mind reader as far as Morgan was concerned.

"It's the right time i suppose."  She answered him, avoiding his question.

"If you don't want Declan to publish the story then tell him, he will understand."  Howie replied.  Morgan smiled but didn't reply, she didn't want to reveal to Howie that she suspected Declan would be anything but understanding, he had made it clear that this story was his big break and Morgan knew that he would be angry if she took it away.

"Hey i don't suppose you kept any of my old files when you sold my desk did you?"  Howie asked, changing the subject expertly, "It's just i was working on something yesterday when i realised i had already outlined a formula back in my school days."  he chuckled.

"Yeah i kept a bunch of papers and notepads, they're upstairs in the desk drawers in my bedroom."  She replied, "You'll have to go look yourself Howie, my hands are kinda full."  She sighed gesturing to the stack of plates she was carrying.

Howie rifled through the desk drawers searching for his notepads when something else caught his eye.  He fished it out from it's hiding place and began to peruse it.  It looked like someone had been compiling information on Robson Colt for a very long time as the journal was filled with clippings from back as far as the time of his arrest and to well before hand when he had been a famous actor. 

Howie knew that the writing in the journal did not belong to Morgan, he would recognise her girlish scrawl anywhere.  He could only assume that the research belonged to Declan.

"Did you find what you were looking for?"  Morgan asked, popping her head around the door.

"Have you seen this?"  Howie asked, gesturing to the journal on the desk, "It's a bunch of information on your father."

"Well it's probably Declan's research for his article."  She replied, dismissing his concerns.

"It can't be.  Some of this stuff looks old, like it was written years ago."  Howie replied.

"So what are you saying Howie?"  Morgan snapped.

"Just that it seems strange that he has all of this information."  Howie replied, unwilling to back down.

"So what?  You shouldn't be snooping through his things."  She yelled.

"I wasn't snooping you told me to come up here."  he pointed out, "Look it was Declan's idea to do this story right?  Well what if that was his plan all along, before this article came out."  Howie added.

"So what he orchestrated the whole thing huh?"  She snapped, angry now, "I suppose he told the woman to threaten me too?"

"What woman?  What aren't you telling me?"  Howie asked, concern shadowing his pale blue eyes.

"A woman, a visitor at the prison she tried to get money out of me.  She said if i didn't pay her I'd be sorry."  Morgan explained, "Don't you see it was her who gave the reporter the information on me.  Declan is just trying to help me."

"What makes you think it was this woman who talked to the reporter?  You said she wanted money not to humiliate you."  Howie pointed out.

"So i guess she got paid for her information."  Morgan replied.

"Maybe."  Howie agreed, "Or maybe she had nothing to do with it.  Think about it Morgan, Declan works for the Tribune why didn't he know about the story sooner?  And why didn't the reporter contact you to get a quote before the story was published it doesn't make sense."

"That's enough Howie!"  Morgan yelled, "All of this has been hard enough without you trying to create another problem."

"Morgan i....."

"No!  Just leave Howie."  Morgan ordered, folding her arms across her chest.

"I'm sorry i......i just thought you should know about this."  Howie gestured to the journal which he placed back in the drawer before leaving Morgan alone.

Morgan flopped onto the bed and pulled a pillow over her face trying to block out Howie's words.  He had never liked Declan, she had always known that.  Not that he ever spoke his feelings but she could see the way he tensed up whenever Declan was with her, if he held her hand or brushed her cheek Howie seemed to cringe as though Declan was somehow not good enough for her.  But his accusations were ridiculous, it had to of been the woman she was behind the story, Morgan just knew it.

Noah woke up and stretched out his back from his nights sleep on the floor.  His first thoughts were of Shay.  It had been months since he had seen her last but the attraction he felt towards her hadn't dampened whatsoever.  Flipping open his cell phone he dialled her number, she answered swiftly sounding pleased to hear his voice and agreed to come right over.
When he first clapped eyes on the young adult version of Shay his breath was almost taken completely away.  She had always been pretty but now she was simply stunning as she stood in the doorway giving him her trade mark flirty look.

"Hey handsome."  She purred, "Nice hair cut."

Noah's hand flew instantly to his cropped do rubbing it self consciously as he walked over to her.  Just as he was about to reach out and stroke her cheek the door opened and his cousin Travis walked in.
"Whoa, what's up with your hair man?"  He exclaimed, reaching to Noah and scruffing his hair roughly, "So i guess you're a proper soldier boy now huh?"  Travis laughed.

"Hey man."  Noah replied, confused at his sudden arrival, "My Mom tell you i was back?"

"Nah, Shay told me you called her up, so i figured I'd come see ya."  It was then that Noah realised that Travis had his hand pressed against Shay's hip.
Then he noticed the way Travis was staring at her, the familiar look of a couple in a relationship.  They were here together!

"Hey can i go check out the triplets?"  Travis asked, "Last time i saw 'em they were just babies."

"Sure go on up, Morgan should be up there with them."  Noah managed to reply.
As soon as Travis was out of ear shot Noah turned on Shay, "What the hell are you playing at?"  He hissed.

"Oh Noah relax."  Shay said, acting as though turning up with one of his friends was no big deal.

"Relax!"  He yelled, "What are you doing with Travis?"

"I'm seeing him."  Shay replied flippantly.
"Come on Noah, don't be mad.  You didn't expect me to just amuse myself while you were gone did you?"

"What about the last time i was home, were you with him too?"  Noah demanded.  Shay shrugged her reply indicating that she may have been with Travis, maybe with someone else.  "I can't believe you!"  He yelled.

"It's not a big deal unless you make it one."  She purred, siding up closer to him.
"I thought you liked to live dangerously."  She whispered in his ear seductively.

"This isn't some kind of game Shay!"  Noah replied, "You're supposed to be my girl."

"I'll still be yours."  She soothed, "I came right over didn't I?  Next time I'll make sure Travis doesn't tag along."  She began running her finger across his chest, "You look so sexy in that shirt."  She purred.

Noah ground his teeth and set his jaw, this girl was so infuriating.  On the one hand he wanted to slap her face for the way she was treating both him and Travis, keeping them both on her lure.  But on the other her playful seductive hints were intoxicating, goading the danger loving junkie within, and he found that this was the side that won out.

Shay leaned in to kiss him and he didn't turn away.  Noah kissed her with the fierce passion that brewed inside him, he knew it was wrong but he could not resist her.

While Declan was holed up working for hours on end perfecting his article Morgan tried to keep herself busy.  Any time she let her hands become idle she found that Howie's comments would play unbearably on her mind making her doubt everything.  She busied herself in the kitchen clearing the dishes and scrubbing the worktops until an overwhelming feeling that she was being watched came over her.
Looking up she dropped her dish cloth in horror as she spied the woman who had threatened her standing right outside on her porch.

Furiously Morgan stormed to the door and stepped into the crisp night air.
"What the hell are you doing here?"  She demanded, seething, "Haven't you caused enough damage?"

"Huh?  Look i want my money."  The woman replied, she seemed on edge and Morgan noticed that her clothes were thread bare and filthy.

"Well you're not getting a penny from me.  Why don't you go spend the money you made selling your lies."  She countered.
"You better pay up!"  The woman shouted, her hands balled into fists.  Morgan flinched expecting the woman to take a swing at her but when she looked again the woman had started to sob, "I gotta have that money."  She wept.

Morgan regarded her warily, what kind of stunt was she trying to pull?  "What about the money from the story?"  She asked, swallowing hard as she anticipated the woman's reply.

"What story?  I don't know what you're talking 'bout." 

Morgan realised instantly that this woman had nothing to do with the article that had been printed, looking at her here and now it was obvious that she wouldn't have had the foresight to plan something like that.  Her demand for money had been born from desperation at her own situation.
"Look i know i was outta line the other day but you don't know how it is trying to raise a baby all by myself.  An' i tried ya know?  I moved in with my friend but Garcia found out and made me leave, he gets jealous ya know?"

"Look slow down."  Morgan replied, "Just tell me why you asked me for money?"

"I jus' figured you had a rich daddy an' you live in this swanky place."  She gestured to the house.

"And you didn't talk to the reporter from the paper?"  Morgan clarified.

"It's got nuttin' ta do with me."  The woman confirmed.
It was then that Morgan heard a baby crying, instinctively she turned toward the house thinking it was one of the triplets but then she realised the sound was coming from the porch.  Rounding the corner she spotted the toddler, unsuitably dressed for a cool evening and sitting on the cold wood floor.  "Is this your son?"  She asked.

"Uh huh, little Rocco."  The woman answered, scooping the boy up, "You see i can't get no money of my own, i got ta take care of him all day."  She whined.

"That doesn't give you the right to threaten me."  Morgan pointed out.

"I'm sorry."  The woman replied, "I just got desperate."
Morgans heart went out to the woman and her poor child.  She couldn't imagine how she would cope with a baby all alone if Declan was in prison.  It couldn't be easy for her.

"I suppose i could help you out."  Morgan offered.

"Really?  Just a couple a hundred to tide me over."  The woman perked up.

"That's not what i meant."  Morgan shook her head, "I run, well i did run a child minding service.  I could take little Rocco here for you if you think you could find some work."

"Oh i can get a job over at the diner, I know the bus boy over there."  She answered, "But it don't pay much."

"That's OK, you don't have to pay me."  Morgan replied, "I'll take Rocco free of charge until you get back on your feet."
"You'd really do that for me?"  The woman exclaimed, "Why?"

"Looks to me like you just need a helping hand.  Look I'm a mother too i understand how tough it gets."  Morgan replied.

"T-Thanks."  The woman replied seeming unsure.  Morgan figured it must have been a while since someone did something just out of kindness for her, probably because the hardened exterior she showed the rest of the world scared them off!  Morgan couldn't help but think of Bellisima and Odd and the unlikely friendship they had formed and was once again touched by the sweet nature of her youngest child.  Who knew that a toddler's actions could be an inspiration to her mother?
When the woman had finally left, agreeing to return with Rocco once she had her job in place Morgan remained on the porch allowing the implications of her visit to sink in.  If she hadn't been the reporters informant then that left the number of suspects at just one.  Declan. 

But how could she believe that her own husband would betray her in such a way?  Could it all have been a means to an end for him?  Having the negative story published had meant that he could force his own article into the paper, boosting his career by exposing Morgan.

She couldn't believe it was true, but no other alternative came to mind and the evidence had begun to stack up.  She stayed out on the porch until the chilly air caused goose bumps to appear on her skin, shivering she went back into the warmth of the kitchen, yet the chill remained.  It would stay with her until she got to the truth.


HappyMintChocolate said...

...... D: no DECLAN NOOO!!! I had high hopes for you and Howie but now you've ruined it ):

Oh my Noah looks like Robson i think. When i saw the first frame he was in i was sure Robson was out of prison D:

Anonymous said...

:D yep Howie is never gonna forgive him now! I think it's just coz Noah has the same hair style as Robson.

jazen said...

I always had a bad feeling about Declan. I hope for Morgan's sake Howie is wrong but it's not looking good. :(

scones said...

" D: no DECLAN NOOO!!! I had high hopes for you and Howie but now you've ruined it ):" Minty you crack me up!:)!!

This was a great update - I did NOT see those twists and turns coming! I guess I should have been suspicious when Declan was so anxious to have her go visit her dad in the first place.

Anonymous said...

@ Jazen ~ Looks as though your suspicions were correct!

@ Scones ~ Thanks! Yep i have dropped some subtle clues as to Declan's real intentions including him talking her into the visit, next chapter will reveal why he did it!

HappyMintChocolate said...

hmmm after some thought i think it wasn't declan who did this it was Howie, Howie has become soo jealous of Declan and Morgan's relationship that he is trying to break them up :O, although i hope im wrong because i like howie :)

Anonymous said...

Oh no, he didn't do that!? I suspected something might be up with him - being all good all the time - but this? That was low Declan!

Anonymous said...

@ Minty ~ Again with the theories! That would be a double twist if you're right!

@ Fruhurricane ~ I guess nobody's perfect!

HappyMintChocolate said...

lol i always come up with the most elaborate ideas and i really try hard to guess what happens but you always surprise me :)

Anonymous said...

@ Minty ~ I think your ideas are better than mine :)

heaven said...

Hmm...Declan can't be as perfect as he has been portrayed previously and, honestly, I think some imperfection and faults helps make the characters more human. I look forward to finding out the truth behind his actions though.

Taylor said...


Mint Kiss said...

Oh my the drama! (I love it ;p) Can't wait to see how this turns out :]

Anonymous said...

@ Heaven - Yes he's definately been too good to be true!

@ Taylor - Sorry!

@ Mintkiss - Thankyou :)

iTova said...

Oh my, poor Morgan!

I love love love love love Odette!
And the legacy too, of course :)

Taylor said...


(I still likes it though ;D)

PiB said...

Poor Morgan. Her loving husband may have just been out all along for the celebrity scoop of a lifetime.

Still loving Howie - I know one place he's going to appear in my game too.

Anonymous said...

@ Itova ~ Thanks i have a soft spot for Odd too!

@ Taylor ~ LOL! As long as you still like it!

@ PIB ~ Ooo it's like Howie's a celeb or something!

Taylor said...

Do you think you'd be interested in doing a Dramacy collab. with me and another person?

Anonymous said...

@ Taylor ~ Sorry but I'm working full time and studying for my accountancy finals over the next 12 months and i'm spending most of my spare time writing the Traytors so i really don't have time! But thanks so much for asking me and maybe when my life is a little less crazy we could co a collab ;)

heaven said...

Rather off topic but I was wondering where you found all of your wedding dresses. Eliza's, by far, has been my favorite yet. It's always hard to find a classic, well made, wedding dress for my sims.

Taylor said...

Thats fine :)
Im starting to really think about it and maybe it wont happen.Iv just started up school and every thing is unorganized and crazy!

Anonymous said...

@ Heaven ~ All of the wedding dresses i use are from TS3 store this one is Eliza's

Anonymous said...

@ Taylor ~ I know RL really gets in the way of fun stuff like simming!

heaven said...

First off, I'm kinda surprised. The clothes I got from them never look as good in game. Well, I suppose even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again. :P

Secondly, thanks for the link. :)

Anonymous said...

@ Heaven ~ No probs ;)