Three double espressos and two jelly donuts later, Briar finally arrives home, exhausted.
Today the boss had asked her to stay till closing time, to help out with a mountain of paperwork in exchange for a raise. She had agreed, but now regrets it. Jeez… her aching fingers remind her of the boring old days in the police office. It’s past dinner time, too, so her tummy is grumbling rather loudly despite the donuts. What can she say… Christopher’s cooking is good.
Planning to have a good hot bath to ease the soreness, Briar walks into her house with nothing but grape-scented bubbles and microwave triple cheese pizza on her mind. As a result, the excited babble that greets her doesn’t quite comprehend at first. It’s only when she walks past Anastasia when she realises what’s different.
“Briar, meet your niece, Ashley Kingston.” Anastasia says, with a big smile on her face. Briar skids to a stop and stares at the little blonde girl in Anastasia’s arms. The first thing she notices is the colour of her eyes. A light cinnamon brown. The exact same shade as Ash’s.
“She looks…” “She looks like Ash, yes.” Anastasia finishes the sentence sadly. Yet her blue eyes are sparkling with a new light as she gazes down at her daughter. Ashley gurgles, clutching her mother’s dress tightly. “Say hello to Auntie Briar, darling.” “Lo, Bree.” The little girl waves a chubby hand and Briar can’t resist the urge to smile. Okay, so she might dislike kids, but this one is kinda cute. Besides… herself being called an aunt stirs a warm fuzzy feeling, which surprises Briar.
“Hi, Ashley.” Briar replies, yet again shocked by the warmth in her voice. It’s so different from the cold, lifeless tone she has been speaking in all year. Ashley blinks and giggles as her mother tickles her in the tummy. “Are you hungry, darling?” Anastasia asks, smiling at her little daughter. “Uh huh. Food now.”
Briar follows her, forgetting all about her previous plans, intrigued with the child. There’s a pink high chair by the dining table, which Anastasia carefully settles her baby into.
Ashley kicks her legs in protest and reaches up, shaking her blonde curls, until her mother gives her a bottle. Her unhappy pout turns instantly into a smile, which surprises Briar. What a dramatic change. She hopes that it won’t translate into a diva attitude when Ashley grows up.
Anastasia doesn’t seem to notice, however, and watches her daughter with a loving smile. It is kind of understandable. Any flaws, for now, will be overlooked by the sheer joy of Ashley’s arrival, especially in such circumstances. Briar realises with a pang that Ashley will never meet her father. Ever. Despite her own pain, she does feel sorry for the kid. At least she herself knew Ash.
Ashley happily drinks for a moment before letting her mother take the empty bottle. She then simply sits there, cooing and sucking on her thumb. Briar and Anastasia wait patiently, and that gives Briar time to notice the similarities between her twin and his daughter. The expressive chocolate eyes, yes, but the fair skin as well. Other than that, the child seems to have inherited everything else from her mother.
“Bree.” Ashley suddenly pipes up, waving her arms. “Um…” Briar looks at Anastasia for help, who nods her head. “I think she wants you to pick her up.” That sends a ripple of nervousness through Briar. Yeah… the kid might seem cute, but she doesn’t want to get that close. What if she pukes or soils her diaper suddenly? That would be GROSS.
“She won’t bite you… I think.” Anastasia laughs, which is not helpful. “Fine.” Briar grumbles. She tentatively picks Ashley up, who chortles and wriggles around. Okay… let’s try not to drop her. Briar tries to hold her at a distance in which she will not lose grip on the kid, but still far away enough so she quickly hand Ashley to her mother if needed.
However, all Ashley does is giggle quietly to herself, seeming quite content. “Bree!” She pats Briar’s shoulder, gazing up at her with sparkling eyes. It sends a surge of warmth through Briar and once again she cannot help smiling. What the heck is wrong with her?
A wave of sadness sweeps over Briar as she imagines her brother teaching Ashley how to walk, talk, with a laugh on his face. Looking into her niece’s cheerful face, she is reminded of Ash’s last words again. “Tell her hello from me… in a few… months.” And Briar suddenly understands. Somehow, her twin must have known.
Briar ruffles Ashley’s curls and the child giggles in delight. “Welcome to the Kingstons, Ashley.” She whispers. “Your father says hello.”
Sorry about that boring chapter, but I’m happy to announce our first kid for this generation, Ashley Kingston! Her traits are Athletic and Grumpy, and she inherited Ash’s eyes which I find really sweet. I know that she’s supposed to be a newborn but I couldn’t resist ageing her up (besides, it’s Sims. Anything is possible).
Anastasia is a great mother and it’s so adorable seeing her taking care of Ashley in such a loving manner. Let’s hope Briar is like that too… fingers crossed! Spoiler: in the next chapter we should see Max again! 😉
I also am 99% sure I am buying Seasons tomorrow! I am insanely excited for this expansion pack since I have been wanting it for so looooong. I’m going to take loads of pretty pictures so prepare yourselves for spam! Hopefully by 2.19 I will have it installed and ready to take on the summer festival for Isla’s birthday!
And that’s it for now. Have a good day, awesome readers! 🙂