Writer Notes: This chapter started at 400 pictures before being scaled down. I had so many scenes and different plot points that I had to divide them into future chapters. Hopefully, this means the next couple of chapters will come out quicker.
Warnings: M for Mature, lots of nudity, sexual situations, stalker-ish behavior, college stuff, profanity, suggestive content, cheering, adult situations, arguing, using others as a cover-up, and brief conversations about plotty stuff.
They said most of college is spent in the library.
Johnny didn’t disagree, but he knew, if it wasn’t for Angela, some nerd would be writing his thesis.
But that wouldn’t impress Angela Pleasant. Johnny stuck to his plan. He had to implement himself in her life. He joined her study group, went to boring lectures, he even attended a chess tournament.
Still, it didn’t seem to be working. She was still dating Dustin, who never attended anything with Angela. He only went to the library to flirt with other women or goof around.
Johnny didn’t understand it. What was he missing?
Everything had been so easy with Ophelia. They just naturally came together. Why wasn’t it working with Angela?
What did he lack that Dustin had?
He couldn’t change course now. Lilith and Dirk were too tied up with each other. He would never be able to get in-between them.
What barrier kept them apart? He didn’t lack charisma or looks or brains for a brawny guy. Most girls saw him as exciting and undiscovered, yet Angela didn’t bat an eyelash his direction.
If he, a hybrid sim/alien, didn’t interest her, then who would?
He learned a hard lesson quickly. He could control brilliant plans and willing hands, but he couldn’t control what she felt.
What was he missing? Of course he was getting ahead of himself. She was still dating Dustin. Somehow, he needed to break them up.
He knew eventually Dustin would help him out.
“Shiny Things Lab founders came in today.” Angela said. “They were offering students the opportunity to work there.”
“Wouldn’t that be amazing?!”She beamed. “Just having them as a reference…you could be set, get any job you wanted. I wish I was a senior. They were the only ones the founders interviewed. Lucky, I would rather be in my career than having to take tests tomorrow.”
“Yeah, sure, sounds good.” Dustin rolled his eyes.
“But you know what else sounds good…” Dustin began. “There’s no parents here to walk-in on us anymore. How many times were we almost caught?”
“There was that time at the Burbs…or the night you babysitted so my mom could go hang out with Dina and her sister. We put the kids to bed early and…”
“Can you be any less subtle!” Angela shrieked. “I’m trying to study. I have an exam tomorrow that I have to pass.”
Dustin frowned. “You don’t have to be a bitch about it.”
“What is your problem?” Angela asked. “Nothing has changed. I’m still the same person I’ve always been. I’m still working toward my career. I always will be.”
“And so what? I’m always going to be second to your stupid childish dream!”
“Childish! At least I want to make something out of myself!” Angela huffed. “What do you want Dustin?”
“I don’t want to be in a relationship like your parents!”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“I’m not going to wait around forever while you may, or may not, make your big dream.”
“I’m not asking you to.”
“What does that mean? Am I just an amusement? When you lose interest, I’m gone?”
“No, Dustin, that’s not what I mean…”
“Whatever, Angela. I’m not going to stand here a be judged by you, Miss Better-than-Everyone-Else.”
“Well, well…what do we have here?”
“After that fight…sounds like you need to ‘work’ it out.” Ivy Copur grinned.
Yeah, maybe it all would work out.
Ophelia loved college thus far.
The atmosphere was electrifying and contagious.
She had grown fond of her classmates and college town.
She had already forgotten how miserable a month ago felt like. She’d moved on.
Although school and studying took up most of her time, she made time to hang out with friends.
At first, it was so hard to watch so many in love.
She had green envious eyes.
But that stage had passed, she didn’t feel a crushing weight on her chest.
Ophelia, instead, looked at the world free in all good fun.
That was the only way to be in college town. If she let her head rule, she’d only stay miserable and alone.
“You made it!” Matthew Hart beamed. Matt was everyone’s friend, thus, he had all the connections. He was publicly dating Sarah Love, head cheerleader of the Desert Kangaroos. Privately, they weren’t exclusive. Sarah was high into the “experimenting” phase of college so Matt had free reign to be with whom he desired too.
Ophelia had taken a liking of Matt from the moment they laid eyes on each other. She enjoyed his company when she needed the distraction, but lately Sarah wanted in the mix. Ophelia hadn’t given her an answer.
“Hey, guys.” Ophelia spied the usual subjects. “Anyone beat Guy’s high score?”
“Oh no! That way! William did.” Stella replied. “While he’s smooching on Jessie in the study, Guy’s coming back to take his crown! Shit! Run!”
“I’m running!” Guy exclaimed.
Usually Ophelia wouldn’t have minded a round of Attack of Social Bunnies, but she felt exhausted of late. The exciting atmosphere of college was wearing down on her. Sometimes she felt alone in a room full of sims. Perhaps she was just homesick. She missed her friends back in SimValley’s Strangetown.
“You know I hate parties.” Ellen Frost frowned.
Tank Grunt chuckled. “And how do you plan to succeed in economics if you don’t have good people skills?”
“Maybe, like this?”
“Fine, let’s go find Centowski and let him know we’re leaving.”
Perhaps she just missed the way things use to be.
“Hey, Ripp…It’s Ophelia.”
“Got your voicemail again.” she sighed. “Just saw your brother with a girl. He was laughing and stuff, it was pretty creepy. HAHAhaha…ha…”
“Anyway, just wanted to say…hi, I guess. I miss you! I hope everything’s good in your world and Gvaudoin hasn’t torn you to pieces yet. Call me back. Love you!”
Perhaps she was just pretending everything was all right. She knew it would happen eventually. Johnny was gone. Ripp was gone. She was alone. They were having the times of their lives. Why wasn’t she?
“There you are!” Matt laughed. “Sorry, I got pulled into a heavy discussion about Academy training with military guys. That Tank Grunt and Orlando Centowski. I’m glad they’re not salesmen or I’d be out thousands of dollars!”
“But thank SimGod I got free!” When Ophelia didn’t respond, Matt continued. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine. I just…”
“Is Sarah still a lesbian this week?” Ophelia asked.
“Does that really matter?”
She grinned. “No.”
“But the big question is: what are they going to do with it?” Puck Summerdream asked.
“How many dirty woohoo tapes does one get their hands on and not paste all over Simtube?”
“One that knows strategy.” Fricorith replied. “Grandmother has a powerful weapon in her possession. She’ll only use it in desperation or to make a dramatic impact.”
“I’d like to see it, Fry.” Puck admitted. “I’d jump at the chance to see Malcolm Landgraab in all his glory.”
“I didn’t know you had such strong feelings for the man.” Fricorith mused. “Perhaps roleplaying is in order. Shall I repossess all that I claim is mine while you watch helplessly as I take over your backyard?”
“Hey, Ripp…It’s Ophelia…”
“Anyway, just wanted to say…hi, I guess.”
“I miss you.”
“I hope everything’s good in your world…”
“…and Gvaudoin hasn’t torn you to pieces yet.”
“Ripp! Shit, shit! Stop!”
“Uh, what’s the matter?”
“Sorry for interrupting, but, darling, your phone keeps going off.”
“You better call Phi back this time. She seems pretty down.”
“You wanna join us?” Ripp asked. “I’m sure Roxie wouldn’t mind…”
Gvaudoin eyed the naked girl on her bed. “No, I wouldn’t want to break your little romance hearts. Call Ophelia.”
How many girls is he dating? Roxie Sharpe had to ask. She knew of Ripp for awhile and had purposely dodged that irresistible smoulder. Her relationship with her boyfriend, Jonah Powers, had been a little rocky since her little brother, Edwin, moved in with them. Roxie just wanted a night of not thinking and lots of “sorry-not-sorry.”
“Where were we?”
“Is…is your girlfriend really OK with this? I mean…I know her family’s strange and all, but is she really, really all right with us woohooing?”
“We’re polyamorous.” Ripp answered. “Gvauddy understands I have ‘needs’ that sometimes she doesn’t want to, or have to, fulfill. Don’t worry. You’re not going to have a jealous raving girlfriend on your hands.”
“I don’t even know how to reply to this.” Puck sighed at the open chat window. “Donna Cove is scandalous. Is she dating Mortimer Goth? Is she really Bella? Or does Mr. Goth just think she’s Bella? And what about the ‘date’ with Dina Caliente? Are they a three-way? The magazines are loving all of this.”
“All is scandal and backstabbing for fame.” Fricorith admired his reflection, especially his straight, flat teeth. “They’ll have to get over it.”
“Just think when the video is discovered.” Puck mused. “It’ll be chaos.”
Fricorith frowned. Although he loved the spectacle that had become Donna Cove, he disliked Puck’s obsession over her and Malcolm Landgraab. He teased and joked, but really Fry had become impatient and annoyed with Puck. He should have never said anything about the damn secret woohoo video.
But instead of groaning about it, Fry took the offensive. “Put that silly thing away.” he purred. “It’s wedging a divide between it and what’s in front of you.”
“You haven’t even notice that I filed down my fangs.”
“You’re right, of course. I’m sorry.” Puck turned over to look at Fry’s pearly whites. “And whom do I suppose you did this for?”
“I thought you were going to repossess the ‘backyard?'” Puck breathed.
Fricorith chuckled. “That can be arranged, but I didn’t go through so much pain for nothing.”
Perhaps it was terrible that Fricoirth led him on.
But he had promised. Puck was such a spoiled boy.
“It’s a huge opportunity.” Allegra Gorey said. “You can’t say no.”
“I’m not going to.” Castor Nova admitted. “But I’m just apprehensive. I don’t want to mess up. How many college students, even a senior like me, get invited to work at Shiny Things Lab?”
“You better say yes.”
“I will…just…I’m not going to be around after this.”
“You going to miss us?” Jimmy Phoenix teased.
“Not you.” Allegra snapped.
“Always.” Castor echoed.
“Come on, Angela, you promised.” Marla Biggs said. “You’re leaving that Dustin baggage at home and you’re going to enjoy yourself.”
“Yeah, and there’s a special guy waiting for you.” Jane Stacks added.
“She’s not going to be a part of Martin’s scam.” Marla frowned.
“Well, I told him…”
Angela tuned them out. She probably shouldn’t have. One, it was rude. They were her friends and they were just trying to help. Two, she had no clue what they were planning.
“Hey, I’m Martin Ruben, Jane’s roommate.”
“So, it’s so cool of you to help out.” He said. “Ashley and I…well, we can’t let my brother, Joshua, know…just yet. You know, he’d kill us both just for the embarrassment.”
“Uh…” Angela shook her head. “What?”
“Didn’t Jane tell you?” Martin questioned. “I need a cover-up lady.”
“Castor.” Brittany Upsnott wiggled her finger at him. “You promised me we’d look through the telescope tonight.”
“It’s not night.” Allegra groaned.
She ignored him. “Come on, Cas, you promised.”
Angela took a deep breath. “I think there’s been a misunderstanding.”
“Jealous much?” Jimmy teased. “If you love him so much, why don’t you stop her constantly using him?”
“He’s a grown man.” Allegra growled. “And I’m NOT jealous!”
“Could have fooled me.” Jimmy chuckled. “But I suppose if this night goes astray maybe we could hook up?”
“Not on your life, Phoenix.”
“Hey, from the ashes, a phoenix rises again.” he winked. Still Allegra wasn’t amused. “Fine. I don’t need you.”
“Good luck?” Allegra snorted. “You are certainly going to need it.”
“But it’s already been decided.” Martin whined. “If you don’t go with me, I’ll have to go alone and that doesn’t look very good!”
“Come on, put your pride away and help a guy out.”
“Sorry, Ruben, but didn’t you hear?” Jimmy slid in just as Angela was going to agree to Martin’s terms. “Jane got it mixed up. Marla’s helping you out tonight. Angela’s with me.”
“Oh, OK, sorry, Jimmy, I didn’t know.” Martin blushed. “Sorry, Angela.”
“And just like that, the unicorn skips away to find the golden treasure at the end of the rainbow.” Jimmy chuckled. “You OK? I know he plays big, but he’s completely harmless.”
“Yes, thank you.” Angela replied.
“Hey, you’re one of the newer kids at the dorm, huh?” he smirked. “Take it from a senior, things get a whole lot harder, stranger, and crazy the longer you’re here. At some point it makes or breaks you. About where are you?”
“I don’t know.” Angela blinked at him.
“Oh yeah? Well, that’s good…or really bad.” He shrugged. “You’re majoring in Biology, right? How’d exams go today?”
That seemed to peak her interest. “Good.” she answered. “I passed. I guess a whole night of no sleep came in handy.”
He smiled despite knowing the real reason she’d been awake all night.
“I’m Jimmy, by-the-way, Jimmy Phoenix.”
“Do you wanna hang with me tonight?” He asked. “Unless you’d rather play girlfriend for Martin?”
She stayed by Jimmy the whole night. It was easy because he was good company. She hadn’t laughed so hard in her life. She was smart enough to know that he was a good guy, but she wasn’t sure what his intentions were. He had them. All guys did.
But she enjoyed his company nonetheless. He was an inspiring musician. She heard his guitar sing in the dorms so she knew he had the talent. He played at local gigs and had a growing fan base in college town. He’d hope to land a performance at the amphitheater and sign with Club Rubb for a record.
It was refreshing to hear someone with a plan, a direction. All her frustrations with Dustin was because he had so much potential, but he chose to do nothing with any of it. It didn’t make sense to her. But Jimmy made sense.
“It’s getting late.” she announced. “We should head back.”
“To your place?” Jimmy teased. “Whatever will the neighbors think!”
For once Angela didn’t really care.
“I was hoping we could talk.”
Of course you do, Jimmy wanted to say aloud, but he bit his tongue. It wasn’t his place. Angela was a smart girl. She would make the decision on her own. If he tried to encourage or persuade her, he’d have ulterior motives. That wasn’t Jimmy. He let Fate and Karma sort their shit out.
“I’ll see you later.” Angela said to him.
“Yeah,” he yawned. “Goodnight. Thanks for hanging out with me.”
“My pleasure.” She smiled. “Thanks for saving me from the queens.”
In truth, it took a whole lot of strength for Jimmy to leave her with him. Dustin was a wild card. He didn’t know what he would do…to her. He’d hope that Dustin wasn’t that type of guy. They’d been high school sweethearts. Dustin had to have a tender side, or else she would have stayed with him so long.
It still wasn’t easy to walk away. The night had gone so well. Ending it like this felt…wrong.
“Hey, whatcha ya doing, bro?”
“Ummm…” Johnny had to think fast. “I’m just making sure.”
“Of what?” Jimmy asked.
“That…he doesn’t hurt her?”
“Huh, well, in that case…”
“Maybe you wouldn’t mind some back-up.”