Chapter 9.7 – Retribution

Author’s note: This post depicts situations and imagery that some readers may find unsettling. Please read at your discretion.
 
Makayla has been keeping a little secret.
 
Actually, it hasn’t really be that much of a secret at all. Evidently, everybody except Adam had already figured it out weeks ago; even his girlfriend, Flora. They all enjoy a good laugh when the dumbstruck expression of awareness first appears on Adam’s face. Then his cheeks turn bright red after he grasps how, exactly, Makayla came to be pregnant.
 
Makayla mercifully ends his discomfort with a maternal hug, then invites him to say hello to his sisters. The plural usage of that noun causes Adam’s eyebrow to jerk upward. And it elicits another round of laughter from his family. Twins have been relatively common in the Barimen bloodline; so again, it’s not much of a surprise.
 
With the mystery behind Amber and Wendell’s surprise visit solved, Adam is able to relax a bit. Evidently, Luke and Makayla had been waiting to announce the pregnancy before exchanging their marriage vows in a private ceremony. With Adam having finally caught up to speed, they waste no time, and set the big day for the upcoming weekend.
 
Luke had been an only child, so his extended family consists only of Amber and Wendell. But Makayla’s family is a different story entirely. With her parents, sisters and brother, and all their children present at the estate (plus Flora and her parents), it feels like half the sims in Sunset Valley are in attendance. Makayla’s mother, Lisa, had been best friends with Amber growing up. Technically, Amber is Lisa’s niece. They’re only hours apart in age, and they’ve always acted like sisters (see Chapter 6.20).
 
Makayla visited the estate often as a child, and had played with Luke many times. She’d even danced with him at his teen birthday party. They have always been close friends, and would inevitably end up hiding out together at parties, away from the larger group of revelers. Oddly, she’s helped Luke navigate his romantic relationships on more than one occasion. She is Luke’s best friend, the mother of his unborn daughters, and now the woman he will happily grow old beside.
 
 —
 
 —
 
The wedding party carries on throughout the evening, with Adam enjoying a rare gathering of family and friends. He has always been a very outgoing sim, so he spends a lot of time socializing with Makayla’s numerous nieces and nephews.
 
It was never his intention to ignore Flora. Regardless of his intention, Flora becomes very upset with Adam for not registering her not-so-subtle hints to go outside and make out with her. Eventually, Adam takes Flora’s hand, somewhat impatiently, and they sit together at a table near the buffet.
 
Noah gleefully watches this drama unfold. The lovebirds have not been the same since their tropical vacation together. The music blaring inside the estate’s lounge is far too loud for Noah to hear what is being said. Thanks to a few neat tricks he’s learned recently, he does not need to hear. Adam is telling her that he wants to just be friends with her. She is his best friend, and doesn’t want to complicate that with all the physical stuff (Noah finds this particularly interesting).
 
He is quick to act when Flora storms off, red-faced and humiliated. It is exactly the opportunity he has been waiting for. Noah intercepts her before she is able to locate her parents to convince them that it is time to leave.  Flora’s father had been carefully watching him throughout the party. But after a few hours, and a few cocktails, and some very close dancing with Mrs. Flaumel, he has become sufficiently distracted.
 
Some weeks ago, Noah had stumbled upon a very startling discovery regarding Adam’s origins. As it turns out, his silver-haired freak of a brother is incredibly valuable. He’d realized this information after making the acquaintance of a rather impressive monstrosity. It had promised a reward beyond anything Noah had ever thought could be possible. There is one slight problem, however. Collecting his reward will require delivering his brother’s corpse alongside that of the only other creature in the universe like him. But first, she must be found. And for that to happen, Adam must be properly focused. It just so happens, that he’d recently earned a few fancy tricks to assist in that endeavor.
 
Noah slides slyly up beside Flora and slips his arm around her waist. She levels a warning glance toward him; which conveys the ultimatum that either he removes his hand, or she will remove it for him. He steps back and raises the offending extremities innocently into the air. Noah smiles; wickedly flashing hypnotic green eyes
 
Flora pauses for a moment, seemingly entranced, then reaches out to move the hair away from Noah’s face. A smug smile appears on his lips. Even this small taste of power is intoxicating.
 
Noah nods, then replaces his arm around her waist.  He carefully leads Flora into the courtyard, where they slip unnoticed through the back gate, then down the bluff to the rocky beach below.
 
Noah returns a short while later, alone. He mingles with the guests in the same manner he had done all night; creeping out the old men, and ogling inappropriately at the beautiful women. For all practical purposes, it’s as though he had never left.
 
Police and volunteers scour the area for weeks before the search for Flora is finally abandoned.
 
Mack and Evelyn Flaumel have come to grieve, and break the news to Adam. The Flaumels have grown very close to Luke and Makayla during this time. The Barimen estate had poured nearly limitless funds and resources into the unprecedented search effort. But it’s as though Flora has completely vanished. They’d even expended their search to nearby towns and cities, to no avail. Noah, of course, understands that no body will ever be found.
 
Not wanting to seem rude, Noah offers his condolences to Flora’s parents. And then to Adam. It really is a shame that his girlfriend’s disappearance had spoiled Makayla’s honeymoon. Perhaps Adam should pay closer attention the next time a hottie wants to get funky with him.
 
It is all Luke and Mrs. Falumel can do to restrain Mack from causing grievous bodily harm to Noah. A furious, and very pregnant Makayla snaps an order at Noah to apologize. He responds with a vulgar, two-word directive and begins to walk away, chuckling quietly to himself.
 
The adults do not have the same success restraining Adam. A burst of blazing, golden light erupts from him; and he descends upon Noah with supernatural retribution. The stunned adults can do nothing but watch.
 
Michael is not stopping this time.
 
Broken bones grind together with every slight movement, causing Adam to double over in agony. Hope cannot do this alone. Michael will kill her. They must push through the pain together; and escape (see Chapter 4.19)
 
Adam gingerly lifts Hope to her feet. Michael has already started moving in for his next strike; possibly a killing one. Michael is fast and unbelievably strong, but it does not matter. Adam meets him half-way and deflects the drug-fueled assault with his own unnatural strength, countering with a crushing blow to Michael’s midsection. Michael roars in rage as he circles back to bear down on the frail, teenage girl. A straight-leg kick to the jaw hurts Hope more than it does Michael. But it gives them the few moments needed to escape.
 
Hope is out. Adam takes control and directs her broken and naked body down the stairs, where he ploughs into Michael’s brother. Richard is trembling with fear, but is somehow still functional.
 
He haphazardly covers Hope with one if his jogging suits while Michael quickly recovers. Richard instructs her to run while he does is his best to provide a distraction. Richard will be beaten to a pulp, but Adam does not argue. He slams the back door open, then sprints; with every agonizing stride sending searing pain throughout Hope’s body.
 
He runs for a long time, until finally, he is exhausted. Hope’s pain is his own. And there is something more… Hope is pregnant. The tiny sim had only just been conceived days ago. He must decide whether it is safe enough to make the transition. There is no telling what damage Michael has done; and no telling if the child will survive …or if Hope will even live through the night.
 
It is too dangerous to move Hope’s body any farther. But if he does not, she will very likely die here. In a final act of desperation, Adam cries out for help.
 
He sits alone, attempting to subdue the pain; for how long , he is not sure. The fight to stay awake against nausea and fatigue is not going well. It is a fight he will eventually lose. Fortunately, somebody arrives. Is it Michael? His recognition of shining, silvery hair and glowing blues eyes is instantaneous. He reaches out to Kacey in an effort to thank her, but he cannot speak.
 
 —
 
He must make the transition now, before it’s too late…
 
Adam breathes heavily and looks upward toward the four adults standing awestruck and horrified around him.
 
His hands are wet, and he feels the weight of something heavy in his off-hand. The smell of blood is unmistakable. He releases Noah’s shirt collar, and deposits an unconscious Noah onto the floor with a dull thud. Adam frowns. He’d been kneeling over his prone brother. Blood is dripping from his knuckles, and flowing out of Noah’s mouth and nose.
 
Adam falters as he stands, his wobbly knees nearly giving out from under his weight. He doesn’t remember anything. His throat closes when he tries to speak. And it generates only a sick, choking sound. After swallowing nervously, he calls for an adult; any one of them, to do something.
 
Noah needs an ambulance.
 
Sometimes, when the moon is just right, the sound of Flora’s aroused exhalations may still be heard; rising softly from among the rocks and waves below the bluff.
 
And if the wind is blowing in from the sea, an observer might distinguish them steadily intensifying to a gentle, yet stirring pinnacle.
But then the rhythmic beat of the waves upon the rocks abruptly stops, and the wind from the sea falters, then ceases; so all that remains is a completely still and dead silence.
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One thought on “Chapter 9.7 – Retribution

  1. :O Ohhh! So Adam was the one who helped Hope that night! Aww, I love how all the storylines are merging together now. Arghh, but Noah, gosh. Okay, it’s mostly Flora’s fault too for trusting the guy. Hn.

    Like

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