Chapter 17

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Writer Notes: Happy (late) Valentines’ Day! I really wanted to get this out yesterday, but time was against me.  It seemed WordPress was against me too when I uploaded all 239 pictures ten at a time because it wouldn’t load all of them at the same time.

Warnings: butt, romance sims, M for Mature, NSFW, suggestive content, lots of different scenes, captionless photos, pixelated nudity, half-nakedness, awkwardness, “awww” moments, and cheesy is still cheesy.

1

“Wake up sleepy head.” Cassandra purred in Don’s ear. “You’ve got to get ready for work.”

2

Don grumbled something she couldn’t quite make out.

“Come on. You need to take a shower so I can take a shower.”

3

Just the mention of her undressing brought him to life.  “Or we could take a shower together.” he grinned.

“Don!” she yelped as he pulled her on top of him. “That may have been an option if you woke up thirty minutes ago when the alarm went off.”

4

“I didn’t hear a no.” He said.

5

Sunlight sliced through the window.  He was already late for work.  Even if he rushed out the door now, half-naked, he would still be late.  Time wasn’t going to wait.

6

And he hadn’t gotten to spend time with his fiancee. She had needs, so did he and they weren’t being met.  He knew a lot of it was his fault.

7

“OK,” Cassandra smiled at him. “As long as we’re being productive and getting ready for work.”

8

“Bathroom?”

“Bathroom.”

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***

14

Nina thought Sandy’s name sounded familiar.  So she looked her up and found her to be a celebrity chef.  When she arrived at Sandy’s house, Nina began to feel a little frazzled.  She really wanted to mingle with some new people, people like her, but she was nervous.

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“You came!” Sandy exclaimed when she opened the door.

18

“Would you like some pancakes?” she asked.

“Um, no thanks.” Nina replied.

“Most of everyone is still sleeping.” Sandy snorted. “We had a pretty wild night.”

19

Nina nodded, looking around the house.  “Your place is amazing.”

“I didn’t really buy it for live-in purposes, but more like…like a club house, really.”

20

“Except a club house for romantics like us.” Sandy continued.  “That project quickly bloomed into something more.  Some sims have started referring to this place as the House of Pleasure.”

21

“Do a lot of sims come here?” Nina eyed the love letters.

22

“A few.” Sandy replied. “Some come and go, some occasionally stop by, some practically live here. There’s no official membership to be apart of Romance Sims United. Heck, some sims that come here aren’t even romantics. I’ve got set ups for all types of sims to blow off steam, hang out, and enjoy themselves.”

23

“What do you mean?” Nina had to ask.

“Well, it’s easier if I show you.” Sandy snorted.

24

“The house has three floors.” Sandy went on to say.  “The middle floor is the domestics: kitchen, living room, dining room…the common areas for basic needs and socializing. The top floor has a spare bedroom/study for knowledge seekers…”

25

“…a gym for you athletic types.” Sandy giggled.

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“Hey girl.” Jessica Ebadi smiled. “Got yourself a new one, huh?”

“Just showing her the place.”

27

Nina’s eyes lingered on the other lady in the room.

“You’re going to love it here.” Chasity Gere said. “Although my roommate, Gabriel, totally doesn’t get it, I have never been happier. We’re like a giant family. It’s all about the LOVE.”

28

The next room they visited was the pleasure seekers’ room, or the game room.

29

“Gilbert is one of our long time members.” Sandy pointed out.  Nina knew him.  He was one of Don’s oldest friends.  At first she was flushed to see him.  She hadn’t seen or talked to Don since that morning.  She wanted to ask him if he’d heard from Don, but she bit her tongue.

“We know each other.” He winked at Nina.  “You missed one awesome party last night.”

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She was glad that Gilbert didn’t hold any resentment towards her for what happened when Don and her originally broke up.  Gilbert was a nice guy and natural comedian, but he had a certain innocence about him. Once upon a time, she’d actually thought about asking him out before she met Don.  She was glad she didn’t corrupt him.

34

Once they made it to the bottom floor, Sandy explained it was the haven for romance sims.  “You can mingle how you want. No judging. A lot of couples come here, some even married. We have poly groups and just a few stragglers. Again, we don’t judge. Love is love. That’s what we’re about.”

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“This place is amazing, Sandy.”

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“I’m glad you like it. There’s just one more room to show you…”

38

A loud banging noise interrupted Sandy’s thought.

“What was that?” Nina asked.

39

“Do you want me to talk to him again?” Goopy Gilscarbo separated from the others sleeping.  “He knows not to be working on anything loud this early in the morning.”

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“I’ll handle it this time.” Sandy said.  “Don’t you worry, Goopy-bear.”

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“I know you’ll take care of me, my main mama.” Goopy turned to Nina.  “Haven’t seen you since senior year.” he began. “Funny, I ran into Don the other day. It’s like old times again.”

42

“I didn’t know you and Don were friends.”

“We’re not really.” Goopy shrugged. “We have history though, I guess.”

43

“But not like us.” he smiled. “It’s good to see you. I hope you join RSU. I think it would be great for you. It has for me and a lot of sims. And we could catch up. I’d like that.”

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“Me too.” she replied and meant it.

45

Nina felt absolutely giggly walking into the garage.  She liked RSU so far. The house was perfect.  She could see a future for her here.

46

“The noise was unexpected. I apologize.”

47

“Christopher Bui.” Sandy sighed. “I think I see new equipment that I didn’t approve. You forget this isn’t Shiny Things Lab. I know that they rejected you to be apart of their science projects, but you have to remember this is my house.”

48

“You’ve got so much potential to just be cooped up in this garage.” Sandy continued. “You practically lived here. And that’s fine, I don’t mind you being here and doing what you love, but…you’ve got to get back out there. Science needs a sim like you to invent new things and explore vast places far from SimValley…far from this garage.”

49

“Hey,” Nina called.  “This place is pretty cool. My friend, Mortimer Goth, would love to see your research. I could probably hook you up with him.”

50

“Hear that?” Sandy squeeled. “Mortimer Goth! Your hero! Wouldn’t that be amazing to work side-by-side with him?”

51

“I know what you’re trying to do.” Chris said. “You’re like a big sister to me. You took me in when no one would and I appreciate it. But I’m this close to…”

52

“You’ve been ‘this close’ for two years!” Sandy frowned.

“What does this do?” Nina asked afar. “It, like, scanned me. I can see my body dimensions on the screen. Is it a cloning machine?”

53

“Don’t touch anything!”

“Oops.”

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“I’m OK. I’m…what in the world!”

57

“It worked!” Christopher beamed. “I told you it would!”

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“Is he a…a robot?”

“An android.” Christopher corrected. “Servos and bots are old news. This is the future!”

60

“I shall call you C.A.M.”

“What does that stand for?” Sandy asked.

“Christopher’s Android Man, of course!”

61

“So he’s a guy. I’m not.”

“I had the configurations set to make male.” Chris answered. “Facial structure-wise, he has similarities to you.”

62

“Now I must conduct a hundred tests. I must find out his capabilities. How fast he can run, how much he can lift, what his intelligence level is.”

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“Geez, he was just born.” Nina groaned. “Give him a moment.”

“Nina’s right. Let’s clean up and get you two some clothes.”

***

64

“Chasity found you some clothes.” Sandy said. “She’s the closest one to your build.”

“Thank you and thanks for the shower. I appreciate it.”

“No problem, let me know if you need anything else.”

65

 

“They’re waiting for you downstairs for breakfast.” Goopy said.

“Oh, I completely forgot!”

“I’ll keep Nina company for you, Mama.”

“Thanks Goopy-bear.”

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“Hi.”

“Hey.”

67

“Well, you had the most dramatic introduction to this place.” he snickered. “Nothing like going up in smoke and helping create a new race.”

68

“It was an accident.” Nina confessed. “But I do like it here. It’s fantastic what Sandy’s accomplished with the place.”

“Everyone has a part in helping out, but what’s most important…”

69

“Is the love?” Nina intervened.

“And giving lots of it.” Goopy smiled.

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***

72

“Oh. My. SimGod. Is that what I think it is?!”

73

“I know right.” Jessica said. “This man can build a robot, but he obviously knows nothing about style.”

“Android!”

74

The burglar turned back to C.A.M. “What you need, sugar, is a sick hairdo.”

“I think I still have some old weaves.” Chasity claimed. “I’ll be right back!”

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“I think we have a winner.”

80

“That hair looks ridiculous.” Christopher rolled his eyes.

Jessica ignored him. “I did good by you, C.A.M. The shaved speckles even look real. Maybe I should be a hairdresser instead of a burglar? Anyway, happy birthday, my man.”

***

81

“So you’re going to come back?” Goopy asked.

“I don’t know.”

82

“Nina, this place is perfect for you.” he said. “Just remember all those times you’ve felt misplaced, like you don’t belong, like you’ve been searching for something, but you can’t seem to find it. That place, that feeling, it’s all here.”

“I’ll think about it.”

83

“Hey, Nina, right?” Jan Tellerman rushed from the dining table. “Christopher wants to see you before you leave.”

84

“He doesn’t look too shabby.” Nina said. “What did you want to talk to me about, Chris?”

85

“Just a simple wave of your rights on C.A.M. so I can sell him.”

86

“What are you talking about?” Nina inquired. “You can’t sell him! He’s not an object.”

“It’s not like that.” Chris claimed. “I give him to science and they welcome me to the top research and development teams. We could improve on my work and mass produce even more, better C.A.M.s.”

87

“And you need my rights waved because without me he wouldn’t exist.” Nina said. “Forget it! I will not allow him to be sold like some…slave!”

88

“I have been working on this project for over two years!” Christopher exclaimed. “No bimbo, who’s decided to suddenly have a conscious, is going to stop my progress! I deserve to run Shiny Things Lab!”

89

“No, I agree with Nina.” Sandy interrupted. “C.A.M. is not an object. You will not sell him.”

90

“What?! You can’t be serious!” Christopher growled. “You want me out of the garage! This is the only way!”

“Don’t be dramatic, Christopher!” Sandy snapped. “If I wanted you out, all I’d have to do is call the repoman! Now go to your room and calm down!”

91

He mumbled something under his breath and marched away.

“I’m sorry about that.” Sandy said. “But, even more sorry that C.A.M. can’t stay here. I can’t let him be in danger if Christopher decides to sneak him out without my knowledge. Someone’s going to have to keep him at their house.”

92

“Sure, no problem.” Gilbert smiled. “I’m sure my mom won’t mind.”

93

“Thanks, Gilbert, but I don’t think you are mature enough to handle this. C.A.M. is new to the world. He’s like a baby. He needs to be taken care of. You won’t take care of him. You’ll just want to play with him. So Nina…”

94

“Me?” Nina cringed. “I don’t know the first thing about robotics, or even kids!”

“He was made from you though.” Sandy said. “I think it’s best he stays with one of his creators and since we can’t trust Christopher…You know Mortimer Goth, right? Perhaps he can help with C.A.M. or at least help you understand a little robotics?”

95

“I’d like to stay with Nina.” C.A.M. sheepishly said in a metallic voice.

“You would?” Nina smiled at him. “All right, but be warned, my sister is a little crazy.”

***

96

No one noticed that Don was late for work.  The Chief of Staff was out of town at a convention.  Most of everyone probably just arrived when he did for second shift.

97

But unlike most of everyone, Don volunteered overtime. He’d kept himself impossibly busy since the night with Nina and Kaylynn. He didn’t want to face Cassandra.  He was afraid he’d screw up again.

98

Circe Beaker was left in charge of the hospital. She knew the Chief would be retiring in a few years so she was already taking most of his responsibilities to prove herself worthy to replace him.

99

“All right, any moment now the waiting room going to be full, people. Let’s get a move on!”

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Don looked at Beau with wide eyes. “You are growing like a weed.” he chuckled.

104

Don didn’t usually work down in the clinic, but he’d volunteered his time. They were short handed as it was.

105

“Everything looks great, Brandi.” he said. “Is there anything you wanted to ask me? Any discomforts, or changes…”

106

“No, I just want this damn baby out of me.” she huffed. “It feels like I’ve been pregnant for years!”

“Well, nothing we can do about that until the baby comes so…” Don shifted on his feet. “Let me finish this paper work and you can go.”

107

There was another reason why he picked the clinic that afternoon. He knew Brandi had an appointment.  And there was something he wanted to ask her.

108

“So have you heard from Nina?”

109

“Not really since the last time we hung out.” Brandi shrugged. “We’ve talked a few times over the phone. It seems her friend, Kaylynn, won’t return any of her calls. They had a falling out I guess.”

110

“Well, that’s too bad.” Don replied. He was a little relieved that Nina hadn’t broken her promise not to tell anyone.

“Get off the floor!” he heard Circe through the wall. “You’re a doctor. Act like it!”

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***

113

Cassandra had been looking forward to this lunch for awhile.

114

Jodie Larson was one of her good friends from college.  They talked over the phone, but they hadn’t seen each other since graduation.

115

“So tell me about this Donna Cove character.” Jodie said. “Have you met her yet?”

116

“No,” Cassie shook her head. “And I don’t want to. She’s just some actress. Even Dad knows that. He’s just interested in her right now because she, evidently, looks like Mom.”

117

“That must be pretty trippy.” Jodie said. “And maybe a little confusing for your dad.”

“He’s OK.” Cassandra nodded. “He’s actually going to dinner with her tonight. But Aunt Dina will be there too.”

118

“I thought him and Dina were going to get together?” Jodie asked.

“They…I don’t think they ever talked about it.” Cassandra replied. “I don’t think Dina’s quite ready yet.”

119

“But anyways, I wanted to talk to you about the fact I’m getting married.”

“You’re getting married!”

120

Cassandra laughed. “Yes and I want you to be one of my bridesmaids.”

“Like gosh, is Mary-Sue holding the maid-of-honor for herself?”

“With a grip strong as steel.”

121

“I would like for you to come dress shopping with us though.” Cassandra said. “This weekend, if that would be all right?”

122

“Totally!” Jodie beamed. “I would love to!”

123

“Shopping is her addiction.” Kristen Loste laughed.

“I’m sorry?” Cassandra looked inquiring at the other woman.

124

“This is my girlfriend, Kristen.” Jodie announced.

“Kristen…” the name sounded familiar to her. “Oh, that’s right! You’re apart of Daniel’s team.”

125

“It’s nice to meet you.” Kristen said. “Jodie talks about you all the time. You two were some crazy girls in college.”

“She may be exaggerating.” Cassie laughed.

126

“I would really like to meet your fiance, Cass.” Jodie said. “Maybe we can have dinner some time.”

“Yeah, I’d like that too.”

***

127

“How is she crazy?”

“You’ll see.”

128

Dina didn’t feel like getting glammed up and sitting through another awkward dinner. She rather sit at home and shove chocolate down her throat and stream whatever soap opera was on.

129

Still, it was an important night…for Mortimer and her too.

130

If Mortimer stayed delusional that Donna was Bella, Dina decided they would split ways.

131

She couldn’t rely on hope anymore.  It was too painful.

132

“Hey, Dina…”

133

“So I went to Sandy’s house and it’s great, like fantastic great, a dream and everything.”

“What did you do?” Dina asked suspiciously.

“Well, I may have stumbled into a machine and pushed one button that I wasn’t supposed to because it created a new race for all simkind.”

134

“Uh huh.”

“Is it OK if he stays with us?”

“Sure, I don’t care.”

135

Dina went to the mirror. “You can do this.” The sound of a horn let her know the car had arrived.  “You can do this.” She reminded herself once more.

***

136

“Are you all right, my dear?” Mortimer asked. “You were terribly quiet in the car.”

“I’m just…nervous about this dinner.” she honestly replied.  “I don’t want us to get our hopes up. Donna’s just an actress.”

Mortimer just nodded, like he heard her, but not necessarily as if he agreed.

137

“I’m right beside you every step of the way.”

“Thank you, Mortimer.”

138

She knew that wouldn’t be true.

139

If anything in the past was true, was that Bella was Mortimer’s world and vice versa.

140

Dina was long forgotten when they were around each other.

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But Donna wasn’t exactly Bella. She looked like her, dressed like her, but there was tiny differences.

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Her hope was that Mortimer would notice these differences.

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***

154

The night was going well, it seemed from the outside.  Inside, Dina wanted to scream.  It was going too well.  Mortimer looked at Donna in the same light he did Bella.  It didn’t help she could pass for her twin.

155

It was upsetting.  Dina could tell the differences.  Her speech being one of the big ones.  Her mannerisms.  Bella was supremely proper.  It was elegance natural to her, plus etiquette her parents had pounded into her head for decades.  Donna was just an act.

156

“Dina.”

157

“I’m glad I have you alone.” Donna said. “I want to ask you something. Why haven’t you made a move on Mortimer?”

158

“He’s rich, very successful. I’m told his manor is absolutely marvelous.” she continued. “He’s not terribly old, or too young. He’s not bad to look at either. So why are you both still single?”

“We’re friends.” Dina squeaked.

159

“Just friends?” Donna rolled her eyes. “Then you wouldn’t object to anyone making a move on him?”

160

“You want to…” Dina’s breath was caught in her throat.

“I see an opportunity.” Donna said. “He looks at me with puppy dog eyes. I know he’ll do anything for me, give me anything I want. It was the same with Malcolm Landgraab. There’s something to this Bella-gig. She could have anything she wanted. Men threw it at her. Why shouldn’t I take advantage of that?”

161

“You are not Bella!”

Donna shrugged. “But confused men seem to think I am. Why not take everything they want to offer me?”

162

“Mortimer is not a bank account!” Dina had never been so angry in her life. “He is a sweet man who misses the love of his life! How dare you aim to capitalize on his heartbreak.”

163

“I thought you were…”

“A gold digger?” Dina huffed. “I’m glad to disappoint you. Mortimer is my friend. I love him. If you hurt him, I will find you and I will make you suffer.”

164

***

165

“She won’t let me in.”

166

“I have no idea what happened at the dinner.”

167

“Just give her some time.” Katrina said. “When she’s ready, she’ll come around.”

168

Nina nodded and then remember Katrina couldn’t see her. “Yeah, OK.”

169

“How are you, dear?” Katrina was Flamenco’s second wife.  After the death of her mother, Nighat, Flamenco had gone into a deep depression and then a middle-age crisis.  He married Katrina in SimVegas when the girls finished high school and Katrina had graduated college.  Their marriage hadn’t lasted very long, but the girls, especially Nina, had grown found of her and kept in contact.

170

“I’m OK.” Nina replied. “I’m joining a new…club.”

171

“That sounds interesting.” Katrina answered. “What does the club do?”

172

“It’s like a place to hang out and stuff.” Nina cringed. She didn’t want to tell her ex-stepmother about Romance Sims United.  She wasn’t embarrassed.  She just didn’t want Katrina to think to join too.

173

“That’s vague.” Katrina replied.  Nina chose to change the subject.

174

“I’m looking at the most adorable robot ever.” she said.

175

“Cuter than the one I sent for your birthday?” Katrina laughed. “Somehow I doubt that.”

176

“He’s life-sized.” Nina said.  Katrina was one of the few that knew about Nina’s robot fetish.  Even as a small girl, she was more interested in robotics than dolls.

177

“So do I need to come down there?” Katrina asked. “For Dina.”

178

Nina sighed. “Yes, please. I don’t know what to do with her.”

179

“I’m in Twikki Island at  Casa Caliente, but I’ll book a flight out.”

“Thank you, Katrina. I’ll make it up to you.”

180

“Everything’s just been crazy over here.” Nina said. “First this whole Donna Cove thing…and…”

181

Not Don, she reminded herself.  No one needed to know about that.  “…and now evidently she’s one of my neighbors. Chloe moved with her though. I really need to go over there and say hi. But Dina…and the anniversary of Michael’s death and Bella…Skip Broke…and…now Cassandra and Don are engaged.”

182

“Don? As in Don Lothario?”

183

“I know right.” Nina sighed.

184

“I’m sorry, dear. I didn’t know you still had feelings for him.”

185

“Oh, no, I don’t. I just…” her brain worked overtime to think of something to say. “It’s weird.”

186

“Don’t get me wrong. Was I completely surprised when Cassandra and him announced it? Yeah, but I’m just…worried for Cass.”

187

“Because Don’s not trustworthy?”

“Well, he’s shown that in the past.”

188

“I don’t remember how he’s not trustworthy, dear.” Katrina said. “You were the one that broke up with him originally.  He was acquitted of the charges brought up against him for Bella’s disappearance.”

189

“I know, but I know how he thinks.” Nina answered. “So I can’t trust him. Cassandra’s like my niece, I guess. As I said, the whole thing is just weird.”

190

“Perhaps I can help clean it up.” Katrina said.

“Yes, thank you. Let me know when your flight comes in.”

191

***

192

“So you’re going back to SimValley?” Malcolm Landgraab acquired.

“Family business.” Katrina replied.

193

“No doubt you want me to get intel on Donna Cove while I’m there?” Katrina smirked. “She’s the girls’ neighbor now.”

194

“Is she?” Malcolm chuckled. “Well, this is just too easy.”

“Well, we better enjoy this time while we have it.” she purred. “I’m leaving tomorrow morning.”

195

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***

197

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“You’re home?”

199

“Sorry I started without you.” Cassandra hugged him tightly and wrinkled her nose at the smell of his man sweat. “Smells like you had a rough day.”

200

“Yeah, it was really long.” He said. “Circe’s in charge so we’re all scattered. And then we’re short handed in the nurse department. Jenny took off.”

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“So the Curious-Smiths welcomed another baby into the family?”

“Yeah, but that wasn’t the most exciting part of the day.”

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“In broad daylight!”

“Circe was pissed.”

208

He left out a lot. Cassandra didn’t need to know about his conversation with Brandi or why he was working the clinic. Or the constant flirting from nurse Marisa.

209

“And what did you do today?” he instead asked.

“I met with Jodie for lunch.” Cassandra said.

210

“You remember me talking about her, right?” Cassandra inquired. “She’s my friend from college.”

211

“Oh, your friend, huh?” he grinned. “So can I imagine innocent Cassandra Goth in a typical college setting.”

“Shopping, braiding each other’s hair, or gossiping?”

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213

“Don’t play coy with me, babe.”

215

“Make my dreams come true.” he squeaked.

“OK.”

“So it is true then!”

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Cassandra shrugged. “It was college.”

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“I’ve got to meet this Jodie.” Don grinned.

223

“Well, I will set a date for dinner then.”

224

“And I’m just going to ignore the fact you’re not sharing who your college boy crush was.” Cassandra got up and moved toward the living room.

“You don’t want to know.” Don teased.

225

It was probably for the best.  They didn’t need anything weirder to come between them.

226

Early freshman year, Don met Michael Bachelor, one of his professors.  He was charming, cunning, and admirable.

227

Don wasn’t the only one who noticed.

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No one needed to know.  Not even Dina, Nina, Kaylynn, Cassandra, or even his therapist.

230

Dina caught Michael.

231

And that made enough waves. Don didn’t add to them.

232

But it was strange to think he had been attracted to his fiancee’s uncle, and her mother for that matter.

233

“You haven’t progressed very far.”

234

“I didn’t know I was supposed to hurry.” he looked Cassandra head-to-toe. “Damn.”

235

“Oh, stop it.” she giggled.

“I can’t help it.” he shrugged. “I’m engaged to the most beautiful lady in all SimWorld.”

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“And we’re both doctors, different fields, but still doctors.” he smiled. “It’s like the start of a beautiful porno.”

238

“Well, Doctor Don, I’m tingly all over. I think I need a thorough examination.”

“Yes, ma’m.”

********

Additional: In each chapter, I will try to feature a career that Pat Newbie is working on to keep with the Bustin’ Out theme.  In this chapter her featured career was Gangster.  You can find information about Bustin’ Out and the main story’s careers HERE.

Thanks holleyberry for being there and listening to my complaints. Thank you mikosimz for your story to keep me inspired while shooting scenes for this chapter.  And dunne-ias for leading the way for Katrina Caliente to be in Sims 2. And all you other wonderful readers for patiently waiting. You are all awesome!

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