Chapter 7.12 – Anger

Billy fails every sparring match with Amber the afternoon he finally decides to visit the estate.
Amber shouts at him out of frustration over his lack of effort. But Billy just stares at her with an unimpressed expression, and states he did not come over for any flower-power training. But if she can show him how to break a sim’s neck, then he’ll be impressed. Amber grimaces at the morbid comment; and frets over the smile he wears on his face as he makes it.
Exasperated, Amber takes him on a walk around the estate. She shows him the now empty rooms which, at one time, contained amazing artifacts from all around the world. They pause to kiss on the western breezeway, which causes Amber to immediately to forget about Billy’s troubling statement from earlier. She rubs his chest and shoulder where he had been shot. Even over his shirt, she can tell he has been working out pretty intensely.
She complements his quick recovery and tries to keep things from advancing any farther by stepping away. He moves to prevent her from escaping his embrace, but remembers the episode with his broken fingers and gingerly steps back from her. Amber’s frustration chooses this moment to peak, and she unloads on Billy. With tears in her eyes, Amber demands to know, other than the obvious reason, why he bothers with her when any of his other girlfriends would gladly satiate his needs. Somewhat shocked that she knows about the other girls, Billy begins to explain.
To her amazement, his twisted logic sounds almost plausible. He tells her that nobody understands him like she does, not even his mother; and certainly not those other girls. He admires that she looks past his flaws and accepts him for who he is, no matter how bad that might be. He does not feel like he has to become a “better sim” to be with her. He can be his own wild and rampaging self without worrying about losing her, and he loves her because of it.
Amber wonders why she is not disturbed by this revelation. His use of the word love reminds her of the kind of love a guy might have for his fancy watch or favorite sports car. If she knew what was good for her, she’d dump him on the spot. But before she has a chance to speak,  Billy grabs her again, and sends her swooning with another amazing kiss. In the silence that follows, he states glibly that he knows she’s the kind of girl who wants to wait for marriage. He walks away with the upper-hand, commenting that it had better be worth the waiting.
Amber burns off her frustration by jogging around town while contemplating how much of a jerk her boyfriend is. He’s crazy if he thinks he can toss around the “M” word like that. He’s exactly the kind of creep that would tie the knot to get what he wants, then split. Amber digs in, and pushes herself at a sprint to work out the anger, frustration, and anxiety that has been building up.
She reaches the park with plenty of energy remaining to burn off, but with no means to rid herself of it. She tries meditation, but she cannot clear her mind. So, while sitting lotus style on the ground, she gives in to a good, long, and cleansing cry.
Tentative footfalls in the grass alert her, and bring her back to her senses. She wipes the tears from her eyes and controls her breathing, then stands to greet the approaching sim. She turns to face whoever it is coming to check on her, and nearly falls over in panic when she sees Brand standing only a few paces away. He recognizes the panic in her eyes, and shows his hands while smiling a disarming smile.
He speaks first, saying how he has been waiting for her to come here. He used to see her here every day, but now this is the first time in weeks. Amber eyes Brand suspiciously, readying herself to make a run for it. Brand shakes his head and tsk’s his disappointment at her distrust.
Amber lets her defiance get the best of her. She growls through her teeth, asking what he expects after nearly killing off her boyfriend, then actually succeeding in killing off her former teacher. Brand’s eyebrow raises in amusement. He tells her with a half-chuckle, that her information could not be farther from the truth. Her boyfriend was found planting damning evidence into his office; evidence that would have ended more than just his career. As for Mr. Dworkin, she could not be more wrong.
Mr. Dworkin had been working for him since the cheating scandal, and he was on the verge of a major breakthrough against the Jones’. His death was quite untimely, and coincided with the Jones family wresting control of the warehouse back from him. Brand shrugs his shoulders and admits that he finds himself suddenly out of a job, and was hoping that he might convince her to assist him.
Amber does not have a chance to process the new information, before Brand speaks again. He has seen the anger and confusion in her expression and stance, and also noticed that she had been attempting to mediate. He asks if, perhaps, a friendly sparring match might help her to work through some of it. After all, anger that goes unharnessed, is anger gone to waste. Amber knows she’s taking the bait, but she agrees nonetheless.
After changing, they meet at the center of the park and face off. Amber smiles when she sees that Brand is quite skilled in a form she is not familiar with. She finds the challenge to be exhilarating. She is forced to tune her senses to his every breath, every muscle contraction, and eye movement. She absorbs his form and style, and in a matter of only a few minutes, she is demonstrating them with the skill of a sim who had been practicing for years.
Amber brushes the side of Brand’s cheek with the heel of her foot and takes the victory. Brand did not throw this match. He may not have shown her everything he knows, but he fought hard and tried to win. She stands erect after bowing to her opponent and finds it impossible to hide the broad smile that forces its way to her face.
Brand returns the smile and comments, with a hint of sarcasm, that this appears to be the beginning of what could turn into a beautiful friendship.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 7.12 – Anger

    1. I think she’s more fascinated by the mystery than by the men themselves. Some women are drawn to money. Amber is drawn to information. In her mind, these guys represent answers to her burning questions, and so she keeps them very close. Heh, I may actually have to use that bit in a post! 😉


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