Chapter 7.13 – Comforting

Amber watches in disbelief as workers remove everything of value from the Barimen estate.
If the building itself were able to be sold and moved off the land, they would do it. She had hidden the portrait of Julian under a floorboard in the now-empty wine cellar just in time. It remains hidden with the box of old newspaper clippings and journals for now. Other than the property itself, the painting is the only thing of value she has remaining.
The family is broke. Paul, her younger brother, does not handle the realization well. He shouts at Ben, who seems defeated and detached. And he grimaces at Lisa, demanding to know how they let this happen. Lisa attempts to calm him and explain that it was out of their control. They had spent millions on legal defense. At the same time, all rights and royalties to their music had been stripped from them. Even their business investments were targeted and the assets from them frozen.
Whoever is behind the attack knew how to quickly cripple their income and drain their finances. Any counter-suit they attempted, failed. And the bleeding still continues now; with lawsuits being filed from all manner of sims, organizations, corporations, and businesses. Paul storms off, still unconvinced that the problem was unavoidable. Normally, he would have driven away in his sleek performance racer. But today he is forced to call a taxi.
Amber hugs and kisses her parents, but cannot hide the welling tears. She tells them each she loves them and thanks them for being such perfect parents. Lisa hugs Amber as the teen asks her mother’s permission to go see Billy, adding that she cannot bear to watch any more. Lisa hesitates, hugs Amber close again, then nods but says nothing.
The taxi ride gives her a short moment of quiet. The glut of information has started to become a problem. So much has happened, and there are so many clues and leads to sort through, that she finds herself unable to think clearly. If she can just get a chance to process it all, her mental log jam might just clear up. It should all make sense, but it doesn’t. The information just keeps flowing in, leaving her wishing she could take a break and “turn off” her senses for a while so she can sort things out.
The taxi pulls up to the Jones’ mansion just as somebody climbs into a waiting limo. It appears as though Mrs. Jones is eager to have the sim leave before Amber arrives. Amber attempts to peer through the tinted windows as the limo passes the taxi, but cannot make out any details. It is probably nothing, but all the same, she makes a mental note to “forget” to call ahead next time she visits.
Billy is there also, waiting for her to arrive, and he greets her the instant she steps out of the car. Mrs. Jones can barely contain her amusement, and stares down at Amber over her hawkish nose. Amber learns where Billy gets his cruel side when Mrs. Jones spins on her heel and comments that it is a pity, what happened to her family. The snide remark is followed by a scoffing laugh as she leaves the two teens to be alone.
Billy says nothing after the awkward jab. The smile he tries to conceal does not help her to feel any better about the situation. After his mother is out of earshot, Amber asks Billy who the limousine was for. He only shrugs and tells her it was probably one of his mother’s boyfriends. Amber again falls silent after the weird comment, and decides not to push any farther for details. She debates telling him about her encounter with Brand, but decides not to do that either. Maybe this visit wasn’t such a great idea after all. Amber finds herself wondering if Tina’s shoulder might have been a better choice to cry on.
She feels a tugging at her consciousness, as though some detail is wanting her to notice it. Was it something about the limo? Was it something about his mother? She knows she is missing some critical piece of information, but her senses are just too overstimulated for her to focus. It feels a lot like drinking from a fire hose, and it will only get worse unless she can figure out a way to filter out some of the information being fed into her brain.
Amber smiles at Billy, aware he had been saying something to her. But she had been completely gone. He scoops her up in another amazing kiss, and she returns it, pressing herself against him with a vice-grip hug. She knows he is not a big fan of the hug, but she needs to be comforted. He wriggles like a caught fish, but she hangs on tight. Finally, she lets him go and begins to speak. But he interrupts, telling her that she should come inside with him.
He shows her around the Monticello style mansion, and she marvels at the riches inside. She had no idea the Jones’ were so incredibly wealthy. But theirs is not like the Barimen fortune, which was earned through generations worth of paychecks and skilled business moves. Rather, the Jones family wealth is the result of theft, extortion, and ripping off other sims’ hard work. Amber feels suddenly kind of sick, and finds herself wanting to leave. But Billy senses the change and whispers that the stuff she sees will be theirs some day.
He kisses her repeatedly as he leads her room by room through the impressive mansion. She is nearly absent as the tour takes them to his bedroom, and she finds herself kissing him more passionately than ever before. She is like a rag-doll in his arms, and Billy enjoys her sudden lack of resistance. Stepping back, he regards her with his devilish grin and asks why she is here.
Amber can barely think as the impulses from her body begin to take charge of her actions. She shouldn’t do this. She’d promised herself she would wait. But his kisses… They’re so… incredible. Unable to catch her breath, or take her eyes off of his lips, she can barely speak. But she finally manages to say that she just needed some comforting.
Billy’s mouth curls into a treacherous smile as he leads her willingly to his bed; which she finds to be very, very comforting.

3 thoughts on “Chapter 7.13 – Comforting

  1. oh no! I can’t believe poor Amber let her emotions rule her judgement so easily. I understand how it feels to be overwhelmed but that’s still no excuse for this! I do hope nothing bad comes of it…


    1. Aye, Amber came to Billy in need of friendship during a moment of weakness, and he used the situation to his advantage. This post was more about him and his motives than about Amber and her temptation. It was pivotal for Amber, however, because the experience will help her to come to an important conclusion later on.


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