Entry 3 – My Dad, His Husband, His Boyfriend, and Their Daughter

Dear Diary,

I gave what Karly said some serious thought. I know she hadn’t been serious when she suggested it, but I began to seriously think maybe I should move in with Dad, for Orla’s benefit. There simply wouldn’t be enough room for us all, there’s barely enough room for Mom, Orla, and me as it is. And I do understand that Karly can’t afford to live on her own. She really needs help looking after the twins, too, particularly at such a crucial time in her career. I know I definitely wouldn’t have been able to care for Orla and keep the Cupcake Cafe going without her and Mom’s support. And I love Dad, and living with Calvin and Antoine would give me a chance to get to know them better – Adalaide, too! (It feels so weird to say I have a baby sister at my age). Plus his home is on the opposite side of town – closer to Magnolia Promenade, which would shave time off my commute. So once I’d convinced myself that this was the best plan, I gave dad a call.

When London called her father, it hadn’t been particularly early in the morning. Of course, London hadn’t slept past 6 o’clock since Orla had been born. So London was a bit surprised when at 8 in the morning, her father answered the phone with a yawn.

London on the phone

“Hello,” he asked sleepily.

“Dad! Hi! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you! Errr, I thought you’d be up with Adalaide.”

“She’ll be up about now, actually.” London felt a twinge of jealousy at the thought of having a baby that slept in until 8 in the morning. “But the morning get up routine falls to Calvin while he’s getting ready for work.” Well, maybe that was the trade-off for having a baby that sleeps in. London couldn’t imagine getting a baby ready for daycare and herself ready for work, all while her husband and boyfriend slept in.

London’s father yawned again. “I’m sorry Lulu. I was up late with Antoine.”

“Oh!” London felt her face turn bright red. “I – uh…”

“No! No! Not like that!” London could hear her father sitting up and scrambling out of bed. Despite his reassurances, London heard muffled complaining in the background. This was not helping abate any of her concerns about moving in.

“I know, I’m sorry darling boy. Go back to sleep.” London heard a door close. She knew her father and his partners each had their own room, but apparently there had been a sleepover the night before. Oh boy.

“Dad, I can call back if this is a bad time.”

“No, it’s fine. I’m up now. Antoine had a project due today and he needed some advice for the creative aspect of his project. And since I’m the arty one in the family, that left it up to me.” Since coming out of the closet, London’s father had found modest success as a gay romance writer.

“So,” he continued. “What was so urgent that you need to call at… 8 in the morning?” London heard him move the phone away to check the time.

“I’m sorry Dad! Orla never sleeps this late and I just assumed you’d be up with Adalaide.”

“She’s still not sleeping through the night?”

London sighed, exasperated. It would never not be weird comparing parenting techniques for her baby sister and own daughter.

“She is, Dad. She just doesn’t need as much sleep as Adalaide.”

“It just doesn’t seem healthy is all I’m saying. We take Adalaide to a fantastic pediatrician – Dr. Crane? You’ve probably heard of her. She technically not taking on any new patients, but she is looking for a publisher for her book, so maybe if I had a word with my publisher, she might be able to sneak you in and figure out what’s wrong.”

London decided to ignore the faulty logic of an LGBT publishing group printing a pediatrics book.

“Dad, there’s nothing wrong with Orla.”

“Oh no, Lulu! I’m not implying anything’s wrong -”

London cut him off. “Orla is older than Adalaide, so she needs less sleep. So back to why I called you in the first place.” The very limited window in which London could get anything done before she had to be at the Cupcake Cafe was closing quickly and London didn’t want to waste another minute of it. “Can I come over? I need to talk to you.”

“What! Why? Are you up the duff again? Did that no-good prince do this to you?!” London’s father was still holding a grudge against Stellan for breaking his daughter’s heart.

“Dad, no. I’m not pregnant.” London’s voice wobbled slightly as she thought of the genetics composite that showed what her and Stellan’s children would have looked like. She took a deep breath before she continued. “Think about it, I’d be pretty far along at this point. And you’ve seen me, did I have a bump?”

“Well, no. I guess not.” Only slightly mollified, he pressed her. “But then what is it? Is something the matter?”

“Kind of. But it would be easier to talk to you in person. Can I swing by before work?”

“Well, sure Lulu.”

“Ok. Orla and I will see you in a little bit.”

 

“Hey Mama.” London found her mother on the front porch, sipping a Ridgeport.

“Good morning! Are my girls headed off for the day already?” Lyndsy looked at wrist and simultaneously realized she wasn’t wearing at watch and she had spilled some of her Ridgeport in her lap.

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“Shit! I mean, shoot!” She frantically brushed the liquid off her pants.

“No, it’s not time to go yet.”

And hopefully by the time it is, you’ll have sobered up a little, London silently hoped. Mom doesn’t usually drink too much before work, I wonder what’s going on.

“I’m going to go talk to Dad and then swing back to get you,” she said out loud. “Unless you want to come with me?”

“No, London, I do not.”

London sighed and set Orla down, then sat down next to her mother.

“Mom, don’t you think it’s time you buried the hatchet?”

“I just don’t want to visit his little love nest, is that so much to ask?”

“I don’t understand how you can be angry at Dad, though. You really never realized he’s gay?”

“Twenty-five years, London. For twenty-five years, you father looked me straight in the eye and lied to me. Even though I was knocked up with your sister on our wedding day, I asked him ‘Are you sure you want to get married? I don’t really seem like your type.’ And he called me crazy for ever doubting him. And I guess in a way, I was crazy. Crazy for ever believing I was anything more than his beard.”

“You were more than that Mom. Dad loved you. Loves you still, even.”

“And I love him, too, London. Of course I do. But I am still bitter, still resentful. Do you know how silly I feel? And pathetic. I’m alone and he’s off building a new family. With two gorgeous partners, I might add. And I’m just another divorced 40 something who is going to die alone because she can’t get a date.”

“That’s not true Mom. You’ll always have me and Karly.”

London’s mother stared at her. “London, I get that you’re trying to comfort me, but that’s probably the last thing I want to hear right now. I want you and your sister to lead your own lives.”

“I’m sorry mom. But don’t give up on dating just yet. Look at me, I’m a divorcee, too, and I’ve dated two incredible guys.”

“London, I think the dating landscape at your age is a bit different than mine. Who wants some balding divorced guy with a paunch?”

“So date someone my age! You could be a cougar.”

“Aw, thanks London,” Lyndsy chuckled. “But I just don’t have the pert little ass for it, like you do.”

“Mom!”

“Hey, it’s true. These things matter.”

“I don’t know about that. But just don’t give up yet. And maybe work on forgiving Dad. It’s not just his fault, you know.”

Lyndsy shrugged as London knelt to pick up Orla. “I’ll see you later, London. Bye-bye Orla!”

As London helped Orla out of her car seat, she couldn’t help feeling self-conscious of the giant house sprawled out in front of her. As, she shut the door of the rattletrap she and her mother shared, the creak boomed through the neighborhood, signaling a warning to the residents of Skyward Palms that a Bedrock Straits girl was there and they best stay inside. London could have sworn she saw someone shut their drapes, though maybe she was just being paranoid.

Orla, too young to be embarrassed, gave a joyful whoop and toddled up the stairs.

“Papa! Papa,” she chanted, bouncing up and down trying to reach the doorbell. London lifted her up to reach it, its chime tolling somewhere deep within the house.

The wait for her father to answer the door felt like the longest of her life. And maybe it was, considering how large the house was. When one of the giant double doors finally opened, Orla launched herself at her grandpa.

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“Papa! Papa!”

“Lala!” He covered with kisses and tickled her under chin. Orla squealed in delight.

Great, now she’s going to be all riled up, thought London. But before she could say anything, Orla pushed her grandpa’s hand away.

“No moar, Papa. Where Addie?”

Calvin grinned at her. Right from the start, Orla had loved babies, even though she was still pretty much one herself.

“Adalaide and Grandpa Calvin are in the kitchen. Why don’t you go see what they’re up to. Maybe Grandpa will give you a doughnut.”

Orla’s face lit up and she scooted off, a toddler on a mission.

“Grandpa! Grandpa,” Orla called. London laughed out loud; she knew if there was one thing the 30 something hated, it was being called Grandpa.

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“All right Lulu, what is it you wanted to talk about?” London caught him glancing at her belly, doubly confirming that she was, in fact, not pregnant again.

“Where can we talk that’s private?”

“Well, we could go outside and sit in the courtyard.”

“Ok, but I think we’ll have to sit on the veranda. It’s already too hot out to sit in the sun.”

“Great, so it’s going to be one of those days,” muttered her father.

After they’d settled on the veranda, London couldn’t quite bring herself to ask her father what needed to be asked. London stared off into the distance. As a child, she had heard countless stories of the Lost Mine of Ortega in the Sierra Abuelo mountain range. She imagined running off and living in the mountains, eating cactus and bathing in rivers until she found the mine. Then she would move her whole family into a big house, not unlike the one her father lived in now, and would buy a herd of beautiful Andalusian horses and become a famous bareback rider. The dream had changed slightly, but London found herself again wishing she could find that mine and fix her life’s problems.

“Lulu, what’s going on?”

“Everything’s gone wrong Dad. I thought things were finally looking up, between meeting Allegro, and then you and I found that perfect place for me to relocate the bakery. Part of the deal was I can’t live there, because it’s not zoned for residency. But I can’t afford to rent the bakery and an apartment and buy a car, so I was going to move in with Mom. Except now Karly’s divorcing Ket and saying she’s moving in with Mom. And we can’t all six of us live in that tiny little townhouse. So Karly is saying since I lived with Mom after Trevor and I got a divorce, it’s her turn to live with her. But I don’t think that place is big enough for the four of them – it really isn’t even big enough for Mom, me, an’ Orla. And Mom won’t say who she wants to live with her, even though everybody knows I’m a better cook – even if I do have to come home late sometimes cuza the bakery. But Mom’s good with Orla and Orla loves her. Karly has no problem leaving the twins alone – did I tell you she yelled at me about it the other day? Anyway, I think if she’s ok leaving the twins home alone then she shouldn’t say she needs to move in with Mom. She could find a cheap place, one bedroom if she has to. But then if it’s cheap, it’s probably because it’s in a bad area, although I can hardly believe you could find a worse off area than where Mom lives now – don’t tell her I said that – And so obviously that makes me worried for the twins, they can’t be left alone in a place down the road from a meth house. So maybe Karly should move in with Mom, except now that leaves me with no where to go. So I was thinking…maybe you could talk to Antoine and Calvin, and with Antoine’s permission, maybe Orla and I can move in with you guys?”

The words tumbled out of London, completely scattered. When she finally looked at him, he was rubbing his nose, brow furrowed. She knew what was coming next.

“I could cook for you and help with Adalaide,” she added lamely.

“London, look. I love you and Orla more than I could ever possibly say. You know that. But I just don’t think that’s a good idea. The house isn’t mine and I don’t want to have to put Antoine in the position of having to be the bad guy. That wouldn’t be fair. And I know you still aren’t entirely comfortable with our arrangement.”

“No, Dad, I can…” London interrupted. Her father held up his hand for silence, then continued.

“I can understand that, it’s a big change for everyone, and not something everyone accepts. But I don’t want to feel like I have to hide who I love in my own home. And Adalaide is nearly a year now, so she’ll be moving into her own room, and there’s only one other little room and it wouldn’t be fair to cram you and Orla in it. Plus, Calvin has been talking about having another baby, with Antoine this time.”

“Already?”

“I know it seems soon, but the process of creating an egg out of Calvin’s DNA, then find a surrogate to carry it, and getting all of the legal stuff in order takes a while. But it just isn’t a good time for you to move in London.”

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London blinked furiously as her eyes welled up and let out a shaky breath.

“Sure, ok!”

“London, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean -” As her father reached over to comfort her, London pushed his hand away.

“No, I get it Dad. Um, I have to go.” London jumped up from her chair. “I have a couple coming in for a cake tasting and I wouldn’t want them to have to deal with Karly and her current views on the institution of marriage.” She laughed at her own joke, but the words came out ragged.

On the drive back to her mom’s, London blared Orla’s Tots’ Tunes CD, so Orla wouldn’t hear her cursing the whole way. What was she going to do? Where would she live? Was it too soon to move in with Allegro? He didn’t live on his own anyway. How wrong would it be to pretend to get back with Trevor so she and Orla had somewhere to live? She was his daughter, too, after all.

As she pulled up to the curb next to the townhouse with a screech, Lyndsy was nowhere to be seen. However, there was a young woman in their front yard. She squinted at a piece of paper, then looked up at her mother’s home, seeming to compare addresses. London hopped out of the car.

“Can I help you?”

The young woman turned and a grin spread across her face. She was across the yard and through the gate in a couple of wide strides.

“Oh my gosh, are you London Caliente? From the Royal Bachelor?”

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“Oh,” London chuckled. “ Yes, that’s me.” She scrubbed the tears from her eyes as the young woman reached her.

“You’ve been served.” She thrust a manila envelope at London.

“What? What is this,” London called after her, but she was already across the street and halfway down the block.

Confused, London tore open the envelope. Lyndsy finally emerged from the townhouse and started down the stairs.

“London, who was that? What did she want?”

London ignored her as she skimmed the letter. Suddenly, she tilted forward and came crashing to her knees.

“NOOOOOO!” London’s wail echoed through the neighborhood. At the sound of her mother’s scream, Orla began crying. Mrs. Parker, from the townhouse next to theirs looked out the window, concerned. Lyndsy sprinted over to her daughter.

“London! What’s wrong?!” London made no move to tell her, but simply sat hugging herself, as her body shuttered with each sob. Lyndsy crouched down and collected the sheaf of papers that lay scattered on the ground.

From the Law Office of Chase, Harper, and Weiss, read the letterhead.

Lyndsy felt her heart pounding in her chest. As she scanned the letter, the words jumped out at her.

“SUMMONS”

“FULL CUSTODY”

“TREVOR DAVENPORT”

“Shit,” muttered Lyndsy.

London leaned over and puked into the gutter.

 

I HATE HIM!

Love, London

Entry 2 – Hurricane Karly

Dear Diary,

I was so excited to look for a new place to rent for the Cupcake Cafe yesterday with Dad. The realtor had sent over a few potential listings and I immediately fell in love with one, even before we saw it. Dad tried to talk me out of even going to look at it; it’s a bit of commute. But I just had to see it. Maybe I should have listened to him, because when I saw it in person, I just had to to have. Of course, the other problem was this rental is not zoned to be lived in as well. No matter, I thought. Orla and I will just move back in with mom. I hated to move Orla back out of apartment in the current Cupcake Cafe so soon after moving in, but I hadn’t envisioned things taking off the way they did and needing to change locations so soon. But the new location was so perfect, I could just imagine the soft pastels, the rainbow curtains. So with a little bit of begging, I got dad to agree to co-sign with me for it. He’s always spoiled me – since I’m the baby I guess. So, I have a legally binding contract I can’t back out off and no where to live. So I have to move back in with mom, right? Seemed pretty cut and dry. But things kicked off when Karly came over this morning.

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When Karly stormed into her mother’s townhouse, slamming the door behind her, her mother could practically see the thunder clouds swarming above her head.

“That’s IT! Ket and I are officially getting a divorce!”

Lyndsy calmly stirred her first mimosa of the day.

“What seems to be the problem this time, darling?” It was a common refrain Lyndsy and London had heard over the months since the fateful family visit during the Royal Bachelor and were more or less immune to Karly’s rantings at this point.

“Karly, where are the twins,” London trooped down the stairs with Orla in her arms. Karly huffed and rolled her eyes.

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“I left them at the rental.”

“By themselves?”

“Yes London – by themselves.” Karly’s voice was drenched in malice, so London could tell she was spoiling for a fight. Unsurprising, considering her announcement. Still, London hated to argue with her sister and if there was one thing that made the Caliente sisters different from each other, it was their tempers.

“Karly, their my nieces, I’m just worried about them. I don’t think it’s safe.”

“It’s just while they finish breakfast! They’ll be getting on the bus any minute now. Besides, I had to leave them so we can open your bakery on time. Why did you stay at mom’s last night anyway?”

“Because Orla was sick and fell asleep early while dad and I were finishing up at the realtor’s office. I didn’t want to risk waking her and I couldn’t ask mom to take her while she was sick when she’s got work today, too.”

“Ooo, did you find a place?” Karly’s bad mood momentarily abated.

“I did! It’s the one that I wanted!” London’s stomach felt like it was full of butterflies just thinking about it.

“Show me,” Karly demanded.

London placed Orla in her high chair, then pulled out her phone, happy to oblige. Karly swiped through the listing pointedly. She pursed her lips and cocked her head, and as each minute passed, London could feel the tension mounting in the room again. Hurricane Karly was ready to blow again.

“So where are you going to live? Is there an apartment that’s not pictured,” she asked finally as she passed the phone back to London.

“Actually, it’s not zoned for residency.”

“So what, you’re going to rent an apartment, too,” Karly was shaking her head as said this, so London knew Karly knew what she was going to say next.

“No, I’m going to have to move back with mom…”

“Bull shit! That’s BULL SHIT,” Karly shrieked.

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“Hey, language,” cautioned Lyndsy, gesturing to Orla. Orla screwed up her face pre-wail, so London swooped over to her daughter to comfort her.

“It’s ok, babycakes. Auntie’s just in a bad mood.”

“Cuza Unca Ket?”

London sighed. It couldn’t possibly be good for Orla to be exposed to so much drama in regards to her Aunt’s crumbling marriage that she knew that was what was making her Aunt angry.

“Yes. The big doo-doo head.” Karly blew a raspberry for good measure. Orla giggled and began blowing raspberries herself.

“Unca Doo-Doo Head! Unca Doo-Doo Head,” Orla chanted. London glared daggers at her sister.

“Babycakes, finish your applesauce. We need to hustle home so mommy and Auntie can open the bakery on time. It’s going to be a busy day today, we have lots of people coming to pick up their cupcakes for parties this weekend.”

“Huskle! Huskle,” Orla had punctuated the first “huskle” by slapping her hand in some spilled applesauce, but London grabbed her hand and wiped it clean before she could do it again. Orla whined and wrenched her hand from her mother’s.

“You’re going to be able to handle the cupcakes for the Parker baby shower and the Klein wedding this afternoon, right?”

“What? No! I have a meeting this afternoon! I told you this!” Since going back to work after the twins had been born, Karly had only been able to work part time at Desert Bloom Publishing Group. But a full time position was opening up since Mandy Conners had found herself pregnant and Karly was working overtime in the hope that she would be promoted. Of course, this meant she was neglecting her work at the bakery, at a time when London needed her most.

“Karly, no! You have to ask them to reschedule! We have to have these cupcakes ready for pick up this evening! Your promised you could do them!”

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“What?! No way, you’re on drugs! There is no way I can ask them to reschedule a company wide meeting for my benefit!”

“Karly, the agreement was you could live in the apartment above the Cupcake Cafe in exchange for helping me in the bakery.”

“Yeah, and in case you forgot, I’m not living the apartment anymore. It was too cramped for the four of us, tempers were running high and I thought having more space would alleviate some of the stress on my marriage.”

“Has it?”

“Obviously not,” Karly replied snottily. “Which is why I’m moving in with mom. You’ve mooched off her long enough!”

“Karly, I can’t afford to rent an apartment on top of making the payments for the Cupcake Cafe’s new location! Plus, with the new location being in Magnolia Promenade, I’m going to have to get my own car, too!”

“About damn time,” Karly muttered. More loudly, she said, “Tough tuchus! Ket and I are getting a divorce and I can’t afford to continue paying for the rental on my own.”

London rolled her eyes. “Karly, how many times have you stomped in here, saying the exact same thing, only to text mom and me later saying you’ve decided to try and work things out.”

“Yeah, well I mean in this time. I’m done with his crap. So find a different place to move the bakery. Or! You could move in with dad.”

“You move in with dad,” shot back London. The girls loved their father dearly, and had known for a long time that he was gay – even before he had come out. They had even made peace with the fact that he was now in a polyamorous relationship. But what still made them slightly uncomfortable was Antoine, who was young enough to be their brother. A professional gamer and tech prodigy, the house in Skyward Palms he and his boyfriends lived in was technically his. This made the prospect of asking to move in with their father all the more uncomfortable.

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“Girls! Enough! Please,” Lyndsy was sick of their bickering. Her girls were her world, but in all honesty, if she had things her way, neither of them would need to live with her. But a mother’s job was never done and unfortunately, both of her girls needed her now. They would have to come up with a plan. But not right now. Not in front of the baby.

“London, I’ll take Orla to daycare today.” There was a definite edge to Lyndsy’s voice.

“Oh, gosh! No, it’s ok mom, I’ll take her.” London suddenly came to her senses and scooped up her daughter. But Orla was still upset over the fighting and pushed away from London, reaching for Lyndsy instead.

“No, London. I’ll take her.”

London felt her heart breaking as she handed her daughter to her mother.

“Come on London, we’re late, thanks to your scene.” Karly was already half out the door as she called over her should to London.

“My what?! Excuse me, but -” London choked down her words as she saw her mother glaring at her. And she knew arguing with fruitless; once Karly was in a mood, she would never back down.

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So on what should have be such a happy day for me, Karly managed to rain on my parade – yet again. It’s funny how no matter how old you get, sibling dynamics seem to never change. We are both grown women with children of our own, but if we disagree or something, suddenly it’s like we’re kids again, fighting over our Void Critter cards. I do love Karly, but I love Orla more. And I think maybe being around Karly and her bad temper wouldn’t be good for Orla. Maybe I should ask Dad (or rather, Antoine) about moving in? I guess it’s something to at least think about.

Love, London

Entry 1 – Mama Bear

Dear Diary,

When I signed up to be on the Bachelor, I never expected to get as far as I did. Sure, I had my heart broken.

London paused, then vigorously scratched out the sentence, until the paper ripped. She sighed, but continued on.

I may have not won the competition in the conventional sense, but I won in other ways. I made several new friends, and so did Orla. Business at the Cupcake Cafe has never been better. And best of all, I have an amazing new boyfriend.

London Diary

London thought back to all those months ago, at Lyric and Stellan’s wedding. Lyric’s brother Allegro had been instantly smitten with her. But London was unsure if she was ready to start dating again so soon and she had heard stories of his womanizing ways from Lyric during their late night gossip sessions, when Simcess had thought they were all in bed. But as Allegro was smitten with her, so were Orla and Capella smitten with each other. They pleaded to see each other constantly, and when business at the Cupcake Cafe began to pick up and it became too difficult for London to accept Royal Invitations for play dates with Capella, Allegro seized the opportunity to visit Oasis Springs with his baby sister. It became harder and harder to resist his charms – but London knew she needed stability in a relationship, for Orla’s sake. So she went to see her best friend, the Queen.

“Honestly London, I’ve never seen him act the way he does around you.”

London gnawed on her thumbnail, unsure.

“And London, if anyone could tame his wild heart, it’s you.”

London couldn’t help but smile at this.

“Ok, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to go on one date with him.”

“Perfect!” Lyric clapped her hands together. “You can go tonight, Stellan and I watch Orla with Capella!”

“To-tonight,” London stammered.

“No time like the present,” Lyric winked.

“But I’m not dressed for it! And it’s so late already, maybe we should go on a lunch date first. I don’t want Orla acting up from being overly tired.”

“Nonsense! You’ll borrow something out of my closet and Orla and Capella will have their first little sleep over together! We’ll tell them fairy tales and play dress up. Tomorrow morning, they can take turns riding the chubby little pony that the boys rode as children and I heard the chef can make these adorable pancakes in the shape of animals…”

As Lyric grabbed her hand and began pulling her to her chambers, London’s heart squeezed, thinking about Stellan as a little boy. She imagined him with hair shaggy and straw colored, glinting in the sun, long gangly legs, and a wide gap toothed grin.

And here is his beautiful wife and you friend, who has generously given her blessing for you to go out with her brother, and you’re dreaming about her husband, London chided herself.

London Lyric

She shook her head, trying to clear it of the shameful thoughts.

“What’s the matter London,” Lyric paused, peering at her. “You’re awfully quiet.”

“Hm? Oh, nothing. I was just thinking…” London was suddenly stymied, realizing she could NOT tell Lyric what she was thinking.

“Um, that… this is… just what I needed,” she finished lamely.

Lyric scrunched up her face in thought. London couldn’t help but think how adorable she looked.

Finally, Lyric smiled. “London, I couldn’t agree more. You seem to be suffering from a bad case of mommy brain, and time speaking with an adult about something other than nap schedules and chicken nuggets is just what the doctor ordered.”

London’s date couldn’t have gone more perfectly. Allegro already knew her big secret, and when she described the rest of her family, he just smiled and nodded.

“I didn’t watch the show myself, but people were talking about your family visit for days afterward. At least your family’s never boring?”

He made her laugh, asked just the right amount of questions about Orla, and as he was giving her a history lesson music, London found herself thinking about letting him kiss her.

“…And that’s why some people attribute the birth of modern Hip Hop to the 1977 NYC blackout…Oh.”

London’s phone began ringing with a sense of urgency that she wouldn’t have thought possible with a canned ringtone. She answered, her heart racing. Before she could even get out a “Hello”, she heard howling in the background.

London Allegro dinner

“London, you better get back here. Quick.” The line went dead.

She got up shakily, knocking over her chair. Lyric’s words were pounding in her head.

“I, uh… Oh, I’m sorry.”

“London, it’s fine. Go to your daughter. I’ve got the bill, I’ll be right behind you.”

As she rushed out of the restaurant, London felt her head clear in the cool night air. She began frantically waving for a taxi.

“Come on! COME ON!”

Like a cruel joke, the usually busy street was suddenly devoid of taxis. Unable to wait a minute longer, London yanked off her high heels and stepped into the road.

“London,” shouted Allegro, grabbing her hand and pulling her back on to the sidewalk, narrowly missing a car she had somehow failed to notice coming around the corner. He wrapped an arm around her protectively.

“London, I’m pretty sure taking my car would be faster than running.”

She looked down, staring dumbly at her shoes and nodded mutely. What had she been thinking?

As they slid into his car, he turned to her.

“London, Stellan and Lyric know how to handle an emergency. I’m sure your mind is racing with thoughts of the worst, but I’m sure it isn’t that bad.”

On a deeper level, London knew he was right. But she was a mama bear who needed to protect her cub.

“You heard my daughter screaming, right? It is that bad. I don’t care why she is, I need to make it better. But – you’re – not – a – parent – so – you -wouldn’t – under – stand.” She bit out the words between gritted teeth. “So just go.”

London heard Orla’s cries before she was actually in the palace. As she rushed through the doors, she was greeted by the sight of Lyric pacing in the foyer, trying to hold a trashing, red faced Orla, and Stellan sitting with Capella, rubbing her back and plying her with cookies.

“Mama!” Orla lunged toward her, half falling from Lyric’s arms. London caught her, wrapping her tightly in her arms.

“It’s ok Orla. Mama’s here. Mama’s here,” London crooned, rocking her. Before London had completed a circuit around the foyer, Orla’s shuddering sobs had subsided and turned into the whispery sighs of a toddler dreaming.

Lyric looked relieved. “She must have tired herself out. That doesn’t surprise me, she’d be like that for longer than I would have thought humanly possible.”

London made her way over to one of the many ottomans that lined the foyer. As she sat down, she kicked off her heels.

“What happened?”

“Well, we were getting them ready for bed. We’d given them a bath, helped them brush their teeth, put on their pajamas, and even put them in bed and had told them a story. But when it was time to actually say good night and you weren’t here, she lost it.”

“Of course. I’m an idiot.” London stroked her daughter’s wild curls.

“It’s my fault.” Lyric looked apologetic. “I pressured you into going on a date and having her stay with us. Capella is so flexible, whether she’s at home or staying with me and Stellan, she always falls straight to sleep, as long as she has her security blanket.” Lyric gestured to the slightly tattered square of fabric patterned with music notes that lay discarded between Capella and Stellan, as she washed down her cookies with a sippy cup of milk.

At that moment, Allegro finally strolled in.

“Legro,” squealed Capella, as she pushed off the ottoman and toddled over to him.

“Hello, princess!”

“I nawt a pwincess! Sissy is,” giggled Capella.

“Actually little cricket,” Allergro waggled his finger in mock seriousness. “Sissy is a Queen!”

“Shuuuush,” intoned Lyric, looking exasperated. “Orla just calmed down. Don’t wake her up!”

“Actually, it’s ok. I’m pretty sure she’s conked out for the night.”

At the mention of her friend, Capella glanced over at her nervously, eyes welling up with tears.

“Legro, what wong wif Lala?”

“Aw, Capell-a, Capell-a,” Allegro crooned as he scooped up his sister. “Nothing’s wrong little cricket. She just wanted to say good night to her mama. But everything’s ok now. Isn’t it? Isn’t it?”

Allegro Capella

At the second “Isn’t it” Allegro began tickling Capella. She squirmed in his arms, her peels of laughter ringing through the foyer. Orla sighed and rolled over, under disturbed by the ruckus.

Lyric lifted Capella out of Allegro’s arms and twirled her around. “Cookies and tickling? How on Earth am I going to get you to go to sleep now?” As Lyric started up the stairs, Capella squirmed around so she could see everyone left in the foyer.

“Nigh-night,” she called loudly, waving her hand and blowing kisses. Allegro pretended to catch one and applied it to his cheek.

“Well, I should get this one to bed, too.” London hoisted herself of the ottoman, her legs slightly stiff.

“Of course,” Stellan smiled. “You’re old room has been made up for you.” He picked up the empty sippy cup and headed to the kitchen.

After London had put Orla to bed, she found Allegro sitting outside. Shadows played across his face as moths danced around a porch light. She pulled up a chair to sit next to him.

“Careful, it’s wet.”

“Oh, I didn’t realized it had rained.” She inhaled deeply, finally noticing the familiar smell of damped Earth. “I love that smell…”

“Petrichor.”

“Huh?”

“The smell of damped Earth after a dry smell; it’s called petrichor.”

“Oh.” London smiled. She liked the way Allegro was full of little facts, something she never would have guessed about him before. And the way he had been with Capella. London found herself wanting to kiss him again.

“Allegro, why did it take you so long to come into the palace when we got back?”

“Well, Orla was upset. I wanted to give you uninterrupted time to help her calm down. And I didn’t want to confuse her and potentially upset her more with both of us coming in at the same time.”

She stared down at the ground, shocked by his revelation. Maybe he was better with kids than she gave him credit for. Maybe a lot better.

“Allegro, I have to apologize.”

“What? Because you had to end our date so abruptly? Orla didn’t give you much of a choice, I can’t exactly blame you.”

“No, it’s not that. I kind of bit your head off earlier, when you were just trying to help me. I know you’re not a parent, but you were amazing with Capella. I can tell you love her very much.”

“I do, of course I do. But it’s nothing compared to a mother’s love.”

“That’s true,” London conceded. “But, I don’t know if Lyric told you this or not, but part of the reason I’ve hesitated in agreeing to go out with you was because I wanted to protect Orla.”

He nodded. “I completely understand.”

“But seeing you with Capella, you totally different than I expected. I guess what I’m trying to say is – well, if you wanted a do-over, I wouldn’t say no.”

He smiled and nodded again.

“Ok.”

London Allegro chat

His face was a smooth mask, hiding his emotions. Meanwhile, London was afraid her heart might beat out of her chest. When he made no move to kiss her, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed.

“Well, I should probably be getting back. I wouldn’t want a repeat of what happened earlier if Orla woke up and I wasn’t next to her.”

“Sure, absolutely.” Still, he made no move to kiss her.

London got up slowly and deliberately. Nothing still. She turned sadly to head into the palace. Then she whirled back.

“Allegro?”

Before he could reply, she leaned down and kissed him. She caressed her hands across his cheeks as he melted into her. Not wanting to go too far, London broke off the kiss.

“Good night Allegro.”

“Good night London.” She could practically hear the grin in his voice.

The next day, the drama of the night before was completely forgotten and the animal shaped pancakes and pony rides were a hit. Allegro held her hand all day. And a few weeks and several dates later, when he asked her to be his girlfriend, she said yes.

Allegro is smart and kind and he makes me laugh. He is terrific with Orla, better than I ever could have imagined. He’s not the playboy that he used to be – something Lyric credits entirely to me. I don’t know. Maybe he just had to find the right girl to help him grow up. In this case, I think that was Orla. But that’s all from me tonight. I have to get up early tomorrow because Dad and I are going to meet with a realtor. As I mentioned before, business is booming at the Cupcake Cafe. In fact, it’s doing so well, I’m going to be moving to a larger location. Wish me luck!

Love, London

First blog post

Hello! Welcome to my corner of the internet. I am MintyCupcake -perhaps you’ve heard of me before, seen me lurking on the Sims forum, or maybe you’ve stumbled here completely by accident. However you got here, I hope you pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while.

This is the first time I have tried my hand at Simslit, but I have been telling stories from a very young age. I’ve begun pursuing writing seriously more recently.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to pose them here or on the forums.