Chapter 7.11 – Publisher

Confusion and fear win out over sadness and grief in the emotional gambit that plays out in Amber’s conscious after Mr. Dworkin’s unexpected death.
 
The timing of his death, coupled with the unusual circumstances of the accident that killed him, leave her with a dreadful feeling that Brand is somehow responsible. Mr. Dworkin’s chilling warning that night has left her feeling nervous and edgy.
 
He had mentioned that his role had been played out. Was it a foretelling of his own death? And what did he mean when he said that she was a prize?
 
Her second mystery novel ends with the sudden demise of the teacher from the first book. Her publisher, Wendell Colt, has invited her to a celebratory dinner at the bistro. She has spoken with Wendell countless times over the phone, but has never actually seen him. This fact alone is the only reason she decides to keep the appointment. She wishes she cold tell him that she has nothing to celebrate. But he is completely clueless that these stories are based largely in fact. He does not even suspect that she is grieving for the real sim behind her fictional, deceased teacher.
 
She does enjoy Billy’s reaction over the phone when she tells him that she has a date tonight. Their relationship has been strained somewhat by the fact that she is only allowed to see him at school or at the estate. Sure, there have been a few short walks through the park. But for the most part, their romance has stalled, since he refuses to comply with the “insane restrictions” her “overreacting” parents (or wardens, as he has become fond of calling them) have imposed.
 
Amber wants to make a good impression on her publisher. If he sees a young, professional author and not just some silly teenager, she may be able to work full-time as a writer when she finishes school. Considering how the family finances are being drained, she is not guaranteed the same easy life she had as a child. She promised Grandma Faith that she would carry the family legacy forward. But she may have to do it with little more than a plot of land. Having a publisher in her side pocket will definitely help.
 
Amber finds that she fits surprisingly well into one of her mother’s older dresses. She lets her hair down and lazily brushes through it, then finishes applying her makeup. She is completely finished and ready to go long before her appointment. Considering how long it always took Tina so long to get ready to go out, it leaves her wondering if she’d forgotten some crucial “getting ready” ritual. Amber shrugs, checks herself out in the mirror, and uses the remaining time to relax and clear the clutter out of her mind.
 
The stunned comments from both her parents and brother, cause her to blush and think twice about meeting an older man for dinner. She had told them she’s going on a date, and that it wasn’t Billy; but she omitted the detail about him being an adult.
 
 
Arriving by taxi at the bistro, she checks in with the host, who shows her to Wendell’s table. He is not at all what she expected. She had pictured a pudgy, balding, middle-aged man who might have looked like a young Mr. Dworkin. Rather, Wendell is thin, younger than she expected, and carries himself with a swagger that suggests there is more “Colt” than “Wendell” in his personality. He stands and takes a few steps toward her, attempting to hide a pronounced limp.
 
 —
 
She smiles, still somewhat unsure how to process this new information about her publisher. She apologizes, and states plainly that he is not at all what she expected to see. Wendell chuckles as he pushes in her chair, then sits across from her. He confesses that he gets a lot of that. For some reason, sims don’t generally see him as the “bookish” type. He raises his eyebrow and suggests that she is not exactly what he had pictured, either.
 
Dinner goes well, with Amber telling Wendell about her new book. He listens in awe and tells her that she’s got another best seller on her hands. Their conversation is easy and stimulating, like many of their prior phone conversations. The only uncomfortable patch comes when he expresses his disbelief about what is being said about her parents in the news, and how they are being dragged through the mud by the various media outlets. The tabloids have been particularly viscous. Amber quietly agrees, pondering his observation.
 
Many sims who have known Amber, sometimes forget that she is just simply a teen. She carries herself in conversation better than some adults. She has sharpened her observational skills to focus on interactions with other sims. Even the slightest change in body language speaks volumes to Amber. Most of the time she doesn’t even realize she is doing it. And it certainly catches Wendell off guard.
 
It takes a moment for him to comprehend when she announces she needs to get home before curfew. Wendell stands, ashamed for not doing better to respect the fact she is a minor. He walks her to the patio, overcompensating with a fatherly tone and keeping at least a full pace distance between them. Amber smiles with understanding, and reassures Wendell that she is not offended. The fact of the matter is that she has always been able to relate easily with sims older than her.
 
She hugs him, perhaps knowing that it will make him squirm some, and thanks him for dinner. She gives him a thumbs-up through the window and holds up three fingers; presumably to indicate that she’s moving on to her third book. Wendell nods, still feeling both an electric attraction and an awkward shame, and watches the tail lights to her taxi disappear around a corner. The meeting with his best-selling author was everything he expected it to be and at the same time, nothing. But it did leave one matter abundantly clear to Wendell.
 
He REALLY needs to get out more.
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4 thoughts on “Chapter 7.11 – Publisher

  1. Hehe, I like Wendell! He seems so shy, yet nice and kind. I have a feeling something will happen between him and Amber. Great chapter and I loved the dinner they spent together as well!

    Auburn Legacy
    New chapter on my blog, if you want to read?

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  2. Every time you post an update, there’s a new building, so now I have to ask…did you modify the bistro to actually make it viewable from the inside or was that just a spare building? 😮

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  3. Lolz…loved that last line. XD
    Im so paranoid that I was thinking that Wendall was going to be someone working for Brand..or Brand himself. But Im glad to see hes just an shy young publisher. I wonder if something will bud between him and Amber when she gets older. :}

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