Season 3: A Synopsis

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Below lies the synopsis to Season Three; written so that those who wish to be caught up, but do not want to suffer through 40-odd previous posts, may do so. Warning: I may have forgotten certain things, so... Trust my summary at your own risk!

Season Three

At the end of Season Two, hints are dropped that Jebidiah finds a negotiating solution with the Bounty Hunter in order to make her go away... But no details are dropped, yet. But, the beginning of Season Three carries a bit of a different tune -- it begins with showing the current disgruntlement that each son has with their particular predicaments. For Travis, it's dealing with a very annoying, clingy girlfriend; for Bradley, it's the fact that, now that he must wear glasses like his father, he's not only becoming more and more like him, but that he's going to be an even bigger nerd at school.

Meanwhile, something's definitely awry with Jebidiah. He's getting numerous phone calls with various demands from someone, and is now taking some rather extra lengths to ensure a bigger income of cash, including blackmailing various people around Twinbrook. The first of which is a woman named Penny Peddler, who he discovers is pregnant with a child that isn't her husband's.

Well, Meredith quickly discovers this secret for herself, when she runs into Penny and her lover in the gardens -- turns out it's her sister's husband, Howard. Not far away, Jeb is seen taking care of a man named Marc Brandt, who turns out to be the scum that ratted him out to the bounty hunter. But, how did he discover this?

Later, Jeb's increase in stress causes him and Meredith to break out into an argument where not only does he blame her for their current problems -- "If you hadn't gotten involved..." -- but he reveals that they're being blackmailed into backruptcy, and he's had to borrow a large sum of cash from his mother in order to prevent them from going dry. Well, Meredith's had quite enough, and makes the incredibly stupid mistake of falling into bed with her best friend's husband, Shamus.

It quickly becomes apparent that the source of the blackmailing was Tatianna the Bounty Hunter (if it wasn't obvious enough). And, it turns out that not only is she greedy, but she's insaciably greedy -- despite the fact that Jeb brings her the amount of money she asked for, she asks for double, or she'll rat him out to Riverview. Desperate to keep his family together, he agrees to find the money, somehow.

Later, Travis finally has had quite enough of his own love life, and unceremoniously dumps Lolly. The peasants rejoiced.

Doesn't take long for Travis to move on, though; he quickly jumps into a relationship with Jade Greenwood, who has been crushing on him for some time. He's not the only one that flames are turning up for, though; Bradley, who recently aged up to a teenager, is now not only crushing on Emerald Greenwood (Jade's sister), but absolutely head over heels for her.

Well, guilt finally catches up with Meredith and she confesses to Jeb that she cheated on him with Shamus. Considering what he put her through -- and the terrible things he said to her beforehand -- he's incredibly forgiving. He believes it wasn't really her fault -- in fact, he mostly blames Shamus, who he quickly seeks out and demands never set foot near his family again, 'Or else'.

Back in the land of teenage hormones, Bradley is officially in love with Emerald... But, being the absolute coward socially he is, is totally unsure how to go about dealing with those emotions. Emerald takes the first steps and invites Brad out to go swimming... skinny dipping, to be precise. What first is awkward turns into the best night Brad has ever had -- and ends with Emerald giving him his first kiss. Despite the fact he can still barely put two coherent sentences together in her presence, he's convinced he's going to spend the rest of his life with her.

Things for Travis and Jade: going really well. Things for Meredith and Jeb: also doing well... But, Meredith gives in and tells Eva what happened between her and Shamus, since it's unlikely Shamus would do it himself. Eva is so unhappy she walks off without even another word. Yeah, can't blame her.

Well, things start to go sour between Brad and Emerald. Though Emerald has done everything she could to try and get Brad to step up to the plate and ask her out, he's failed; saying that they can't truly be together until he stops being so afraid of taking risks, Emerald tells him she's not going to wait for him any longer.

Soon after, Amelia ages up to a child, finally; and Meredith confronts Eva, only to discover that Eva was not upset with Meredith, but with her manipulative husband. Not wanting to let this get between their friendship, she forgives Mere. Eva: nicest person in the world, ever.

Things aren't looking so hot in Jade and Travis land, either; Travis throws a really big party while the rest of the family is out camping, and discovers Jade exchanging saliva with another boy in their class.

After promptly breaking up with her, he retreats into solitude where Emerald goes to comfort him. Well. Comforting turns to hugging which turns to kissing. They realize that they need each other for... some convoluted teenage reasoning.

Strangely enough, it seems things for Tatianna in Twinbrook have been rather rough -- particularly between her and her love interest -- so she decides to return some of Jeb's money out of the kindness of her heart before retreating with the rest to some tropical location or some such. It's not a very heartfelt goodbye. It seems the Kane family is rid of one problem.

But, another one is just beginning. Emerald, frustrated that Brad still hasn't had the courage to ask her out, decides to give in to Travis' pressure and ends up agreeing to date him instead. She decides that perhaps dating Bradley's brother will be a good way to make him jealous and finally prod him into action.

Well, Emerald's right about one thing -- Bradley is furious. He immediately attacks Travis for dating the only girl he ever cared about, but Travis has a rather good retort: if he liked her so much, why didn't he ask her out?

On a more happy note, with the Kane's now slowly coming out of debt, Meredith decides to start her own interior design business. Yaaayy.

Not so happy note: Travis and Bradley still aren't getting along. Emerald and Bradley are hardly even talking. And to top the cake off with a horrid cherry, Emerald is actually falling in love with Travis.

Travis, however, is still incredibly hung up over Jade. In fact, the only reason he's able to stand dating Emerald is the fact that she looks a lot like Jade. Shallow? Totally. But, that's not the only shallow thing... Bradley's finally decided to fight dirty. He discovers Jade is still hung up over Travis, too, so he convinces Jade to ask Travis to break it off with Emerald -- as softly as possible.

That way, Jade and Travis could be together happily ever after, and Bradley would be able to be there for Emerald once she realized how much better off she was without Travis. Everyone would be happy, right?

Wrong. Bradley decides to spy on Jade's talk with Travis, and overhears that Travis decides just to give Emerald the 'cold shoulder' for a few weeks to brush her off the easy way, meanwhile snogging Jade the whole while behind her back. Both Jade and Travis are rather happy with this solution.

Brad, however, is not. Knowing how much Emerald liked Travis, he didn't want things to be ended so coldly -- she deserved better.

Bradley decided it was time to take matters into his own hands. Mustering up his courage, he tells Emerald that Travis has been cheating on her with her sister. Absolutely outraged, Emerald takes Brad's car and drives off to the Kane house, where she finds Travis and confronts him.

Equally unhappy, Travis tells Emerald that he never loved her, and that they were over. Emerald is, to put it mildly, absolutely crushed... She flees the house in a fit of tears, disappearing down the road in Brad's car without saying where she's headed.

Unfortunately, no one will ever know where she was going, because her ride is sent very short: as seen in the first part of the Season finale, the Desperate Sim's first machinima, Emerald's car crashes and she is killed instantly.

To make matters worse, Emerald's funeral takes a steep turn downhill when Bradley and Travis break out into a fight, blaming each other for being the cause of Emerald's death. The final scene of the season is Jade comforting Travis, while Bradley leaves they graveyard full of rage.

With this dramatic ending, it doesn't bode of good things to come for the relationship between these brothers; however, at least on a positive note, it can't go much of anywhere but up from here.


Season 3 Wrap-Up

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here we are again, at the end of another chapter of the Kanes! This one was certainly the most dramatic so far, and was definitely a *lot* more scripted than the previous seasons, but I think it paid off in the end. There were still a lot of moments that were a total surprise to me, but everything surrounding Travis-Bradley-Emerald was leading up to this point. I'm pretty sure that if I hadn't planned it from the beginning, I never would've been able to do it. Was very hard. :(

However, next season won't be as dark! There'll be a lot to do with the fued between Travis and Brad, Brad coping, yada yada, but I'm pretty sure there's no way to get more depressing than the last few posts I did. No where to go but up from here, basically. :) And, I promise, it'll be a much, much happier ending.

Anyways, there's not much this Season to Wrap-Up persay, but here's the juice:

#1: LOL Guess Who:


#2: Machinima - Tips and Tools for the Curious

Firstly, if you want some solid tips on taking in-game footage, I highly highly recommend reading this here blog:

There's only a few posts, but it covers some really important stuff that will make your life a lot easier!

Now, Chrysame's questions about how I did certain things!

... the car on fire... - This actually wasn't a mod. The "fog emitter" in Ambitions has a craaazy amount of special effects, one of which is called 'firesim', which is the animation when a sim catches on fire. Nice big blaze, all I had to do was place umpteen fog emitters, set their animation, and boom, fire. What was more miraculous is that I was able to place a car on a community lot -- that was a bit more annoying, requiring a mod I installed for 2-seconds that allows buyable cars on community lots.

... placed the police cars ... - The police cars are hidden in buydebug mode (no idea why), and required a mod to unlock. It's the same mod I mentioned previously that unlocks the ability to place community lot picnic areas, as well:  It's called the 'Recategorizer'. To my glee, as soon as they're placed, they automatically have their lights flashing. I did a little dance when I saw, because there is no way to actually toggle it on-off.

... arranged her body on the ground ... - For this, I used a mod called Chaos Mod Painting ( It's a little confusing to understand at first, but you can set a sim to do any of numerous animations (not all, unforunately), and one of which is the animation to have a sim pass out from boredom. It has the option to 'pause' an animation as well, so once she collapsed, I paused it, and she was stuck laying down until I said otherwise. It's actually the same animation I used in the Meredith-Chandra murder scene to make them both lie down, as well. Another mod removes the 'zzzz's from the sleeping animation.

... certain emotions and reactions at the right time ... - This is also Chaos Mod Painting. Select an animation (in most of these cases, one of the various 'cry' animations that are available), and set it to loop infinitely. That way, I can wait until the right moment to hit record, make sure I have all my camera swivels set up properly, and have at. Still is a bit tricky, but makes it so, so much easier.

Other tidbits:
* I tried very, very hard to actually set the car on fire (to no avail) so I could have firefighters on the scene putting it out. I even had Sam and Ollie in firefighter gear at the scene, but... Without a fire, they couldn't do much. So they didn't make the final cut of the movie.
* Farah was also originally going to be there! Being doctorly and stuff. However, it just didn't fit. So she didn't make the cut.
* Since Emerald was not actually dead yet when this was filmed: when and how did she die? Well, to give a little closure... Here it is:

* And, for kicks and giggles while I'm on the topic of short clips:

It was a lot of experimentation, but it paid off in the end. I'm pretty confident that next time around, I'll be able to put together something much better. Still, I'm really proud of some of the moments in this video. :) My favorite especially is the last shot of Bradley yelling-roaring-raging-whatever in front of the burning vehicle... Such a huge display of emotion from a guy who usually is not very descript about how he feels.

So um, I think that's actually about it! If you have any other questions about this Season, the Machinima, what's to come, etc etc, feel free to ask! Now's the time to do it. :)

I am gonna take a bit of a break between now and the start of next Season, so I can get a bit caught up in my game, maybe do a small 'short', or just have some time to dink around on Guild Wars or Warhammer Online or whatever is striking my fancy. And, so I have more time to focus on spamming y'all's blogs with comments! Bwahahaha!

And now, onwards! :D


War and Peace

Oh, where oh where can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me
She's gone to heaven, so I got to be good
So I can see my baby when I leave this world.
-- Last Kiss, Pearl Jam --

A small section of the newspaper that sunny Sunday morning held a small, perhaps moving paragraph about the tragedy surrounding a hometown girl. Cold, hard details outlined the circumstances of her death -- a broken neck as the result of being thrown from a vehicular collision -- and recited the place of memorial, along with a list of accomplishments she'd achieved in her short life, and a list of friends and family that would fondly remember her.

But, all it was was black and white print, hard facts, cold truth. The reality was far more grim; between the lines, no words could comprehend the pain of a shell-shocked family nor the grief of close friends.

No letters could spell the heart-wrenching misery of regret in a teenage boy who would never have another chance.


No one, not even young Amelia, was exempt from the impact of Emerald's death. Long after the rest of Twinbrook had paid their respects and left, the Kanes and Greenwoods lingered, their eyes resting upon her grave in mourning.

Jebidiah took Meredith's hand in his; neither could comprehend the loss of the child... even Emerald's death hit too close to home.


Bradley, fragile Bradley, could do nothing more than sob; Travis's eyes remained fixed at the tomb, avoiding the awkward glances from Jade only feet away.


And, Oliver, Emerald's father, remained a stoic presence for his wife, but not a shred of good it did Holly; there was nothing, not even the strength of her husband, that could ease this pain.

This was all that was left of Emerald's solemn crowd, still suffering too much to turn and walk away. It was too painful, to walk away.


However, as Travis finally caved and began to sulk away, Bradley tore himself from Emerald's side and followed him.


Travis looked at his brother, shocked. "Brad?"


"This... This was ALL your fault!" Bradley continued to point his finger at Travis' chest.

"What are you talking about, Brad?" he asked, trying to remain respectfully quiet.

"How dare you feign ignorance, Travis! It's because of you that she was driving that car last night... Because of you that she was so upset she lost control of the car! It's because you cheated on her!"


"That's absurd!" Travis responded in a hoarse whisper. "It's not my fault she made that decision, Bradley! How can you pin random chance on being my fault?"

"What, so you're saying her death was a fluke, now?" Bradley growled. "That it was just a roll of the dice that decided she had to die?"


"Uuugh, Brad, of course that's not what I mean," Travis grumbled, clutching his face in frustration. "It's just lots of things added together, alright?"

Bradley snorted, rolling his eyes. "Yeah, 90% of which would not have been part of the equation of you would've done the right thing in the first place."


"Oh yeah?!" Travis guffahed. "Then who's the loser that dumped her in my lap in the first place, huh?! Who's the loser that led her straight into my arms? If you should be blaming anyone, it's yourself, for making me part of the equation in the first place!"

Bradley was taken aback by Travis's reverse accusation. "It wouldn'tve been an issue if you weren't such a miserable human being."


For a long moment, they exchanged glares, completely at a lost for words with each other.


But, the tension merely mounted as their glare intensified; it was either continue the bloodthirsty insults or walk away... And neither boy was ready to walk away.


"I can't believe you're pinning all of this on me, Bradley! I'm your brother, for Plumbbob's sakes! It's not like I intended for any of this to happen!"

"Yeah? Well, it did, and now the only person I ever loved is dead because of you!"

"Do you think I didn't love her at all?!" Travis suddenly exploded. "You're acting like I don't care at all, Brad! I'm devistated, can't you see that?"


"Don't even," Bradley said, wagging his finger at Travis' face. "Don't even dare belittle my love for her by saying you even cared about her. You treated her poorly from day one, you used her, pretended she was someone else the entire time, then broke her heart like it was some child's toy -- all because you decided to run off with her #@*!*#&! of a sister instead!"


That did it -- all it took was one sour word about Jade, and Travis let loose the big guns; not even bothering to restrain  his impulse, he smacked Brad upside the head.

After a moment, once Bradley recovered from the surprise of his brothers' attack, he decided to launch one of his own...


... and grabbed his brother by the shoulders as he tackled him to the ground.


Empowered by justice... deranged grief... or nerd revenge from all the world, Bradley's skinny frame somehow managed to get Travis-the-jock into a headlock, and bounced him around for a while...


.... before flinging him up into the air, and knocking him defeated to the ground.

For a moment, Bradley was exhilerated with triumph, feeling as if one small vendetta had been served on account of Emerald: but he was wrong.


"What are you doing?!" Meredith came up behind Brad and tapped him on the shoulder, whipping him around to face her to face her own wrath. "Have you no respect for your best friend?! Or how about her parents, still over there grieving?! You either shut up or leave, before I drag you by your ear out of here myself, so help me!"


Bradley tried to explain, but Meredith wouldn't have it. "I'm so tired of you two fighting, Bradley. You'd think that the death of the one thing you had in common would bring you two together, but... You are impossible. I'm so, so disappointed, in both of you."

Wiping a small tear from her cheek, Meredith turned back to the grave to round up Jebidiah and Amelia to leave; it was time to leave the family to their own private mourning... Luckily, they'd been so absorbed that neither Oliver nor Holly seemed to notice the two boys dueling in the background.


As Meredith turned away, Bradley and Travis gave each other one last stare-down. There was no words to describe the sudden hatred that each felt for the other... The bitter rivalry that had begun a feud that may never end.

Their friendship had always been testy, but now, it was no more: it was a friendship that had died along with Emerald that cold, painful night.


As Bradley turned to leave, Jade appeared at Travis's side, and held him in her arms; why Travis cried, we may never know... For the loss of a friendship, for the pain of Emerald's death, as a response to everything he said... Maybe it was it all.


It was a horrible day, at the end of a horrible week; it marked the end of many things, for many people. It was the end of an innocent life, an end of a parents' tender care, and the end of a tenuous friendship...


... but, for others, it marked the beginning of something beautiful, rising from the ashes.


But, as beautiful as it may be, some loves cannot be matched.
Some loves can never die.

I found the love that I knew I would miss
But now she's gone, even though I hold her tight
I lost my love, my life that night.


Into Dust

Monday, August 23, 2010

Instead of today's usual story post, I've opted to do the Season 'climax' as a (hopefully not too long) machinima, seen here:

(I advise to not read the below comments until *after* you've watched the video.)

Firstly, I'd like to say I was a bit nervous about doing this, because it was my first ever machinima... Actually, first ever video anything. I've never worked with a movie editing program before, so trying to put this together was a bit of a (well worth it) migraine.

Also, my computer, while being pretty nice quality for gaming, is not built for recording, so the video is not super high quality. For those reasons, I apologize if it's not the b3est-machinima-EVAhR!1!! I worked very hard to do the best I could, so I'd appreciate any criticism to remain helpful or non-existent.

Secondly, this was a really difficult decision to come to in the story because let's face it: I adore the socks off Emerald, so watching her die was kinda painful. I also adore the socks off Brad, and I hated doing this to him -- it was like the coldest punishment possible for a wonderful Sim. As we know, Travis didn't really care about Emerald the same way, but let's face it; if your girlfriend dies right after you break up with her, you're going to feel miserable.

There is still one more post in the Season (the finale's finale), so don't get too jumpy about the start of next season! I may use the rest of this week to do a quick short before I start the next one, I haven't quite decided.

I also wanna thank all you readers who've diligently stuck through my wordy OCD nonsense for the last few months -- you guys have made the effort of sticking with the story well worth it! I'd never have found the enthusiasm to keep going if it weren't for you. Writing for you guys (and myself) isn't just the icing on the cake, it's the whole darn thang. :D

Anyways! Enough sap! Time for more tragedy!

(Note - I'll probably post this up on the official forums tomorrow, I'll provide a link and stuff when it's up if you want to comment there for support. Aaaah /nervous!)


Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It was a horrible week.

It's worth repeating - you shouldn't forget. The sky was gray... The clouds, unforgiving. Beneath them, a storm was brewing: perhaps not one in the literal sense, but in the figurative? Oh yes.

Hell's fury was about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting victim; the hellish fury of a woman, of course. But who would be the victim? Who would be the one to suffer? The boyfriend with his heart elsewhere, or the friend who chose not to reveal his until it was too late?

Perhaps the victim is not someone we were expecting... but perhaps it's who we thought all along! Only once it's unleashed, will we know... only when all's said and done.

"I dunno, Alesha. Ever since my brother threw that party, my parents've been pretty strict on having anyone over to the house. Can't we just go over to yours?"


Alesha, Eva's daughter, had finally grown up. This fact had pleased Amelia to no end, because she finally had someone at school who was worth talking to, and who she knew. Sure, she'd only played dollhouse at the Drudge's as a toddler -- in fact, she hardly remembered it at all -- but even that connection had brought the two girls together. However, Alesha was pretty insistent on certain things.

"My parents are uh... remodeling... They don't want me to have any friends over. Plleeaasse? Can't you ask your Dad? You said he was way more easy going."

Amelia sighed, but she figured it was worth trying. "Alright, I'll ask him. Just don't get too excited, okay? He'll probably say no."


It was a big leap of faith, but when Amelia asked, her father actually seemed open to the idea. "Sweetheart, I don't know why you were so worried. Alesha's her mother's daughter, and I know for a fact that her mother is a wonderful person. Neither your Mom or myself would've said no."

"Really? So she can stay the night?"

"Of course, Mia. Just so long as Eva's alright with it, and you guys go to sleep at a reasonable hour."


"Oooooh, thanks daddy!!" Amelia leaped into Jebidiah's arms, squeezing him tight. "I'll call her right away and tell her to come over!"

Jebidiah laughed as he hugged back. "And for the record, Amelia, I'm pretty sure that you and Alesha couldn't manage to do half the damage that Travis and his friends did to the house..."

"Hehe, yeah, I know."


Though Amelia and Alesha didn't have much in common, they were two peas in a pod -- inseparable, from then on, at least. They'd hardly known each other for a few days ( at least really known each other ) but they were already the best of friends. Amelia the mood-swinging string bean, and Alesha, the kind-hearted not-so-string bean. Perhaps they were nothing alike, but, nothing says opposites can't attract.

So, when Alesha arrived, both girls were incredibly excited -- finally, some time together outside of school!


"So, you're really okay with me staying the night?" Alesha asked, even still looking a little bit worried.

"Of course! Dad was actually confused why I didn't just ask mom, since yer like, her best-friend's-daughter and stuff."

"Good, 'cause I really wanted to get out of the house... You know, away from the remodeling... and... stuff."


Amelia giggled, confused at why her friend was acting so strange. "Stop being so silly! I've been wanting to do something with you all week!" Amelia pounced Alesha with a hug, before saying, "Now let's start up the oven, I wanna bake some muffins!"


Outside, Jebidiah vacated the house for the girls, and decided to spend some time with Bradley, who'd been becoming abnormally anti-social as of late... and good on Jebidiah, he finally noticed.


"So, everything's alright, Brad?" Jeb asked as he comtemplated his next move.

"Everything's fine dad, I said to leave it alone, alright?" Brad said grumpily, eyeing his queen-side bishop so angrily that surely, in another dimension, it exploded.

Jebidiah smirked since he knew all too well what to take that as. "Bradley, I know you've been really upset ever since Emerald moved on, but that doesn't mean you had to abandon all of your other friends. Maybe it's time you moved on, too, you know?"

"Yeah, right, sure," Brad said with a sigh. "I was actually thinking of giving one a call later, if that'd make you happy."

"It'd make me happy if you did it right now, actually."


Grumbling a small 'fine', Bradley picked up his cell-phone, and walked off whilst dialing the first number that popped into his head. When the voice came on the line, his heart sank through his stomach:

"Hi, you've reached Emerald Greenwood! I'm sorry you weren't able to reach me, but if you leave me a message I'll be sure to call you back a-- haha, Travis, stop that!-- er, as soon as possible! Thanks!"

Once Bradley was able to regain his composure, he mumbled out a quick, "Hey Em, it's Brad, I wanted to talk... In person. Meet me at the Rendezvous at 5, okay? See ya."

He was a little worried that she wouldn't show, but in a way, he actually wished she wouldn't... It would almost makes things better if she didn't. But now, there was no turning back -- he had to talk to her, whether he liked it or not.


Since Travis had been swept away by June for the afternoon, Bradley got the car all for his own -- finally! When it came time to go down to the Rendezvous, his heart still couldn't stop beating fast, but his nervousness was quelled (slightly) when he saw her waiting outside the building as he pulled up.

"I didn't hear back from you, I was a bit worried you weren't going to come," Bradley said, now suddenly wishing that she hadn't shown up. "How are you?"

"I'm alright," Emerald responded with a small smile. "That the new car? It's nice... And yeah, I wasn't busy today, I figured I may as well come. Travis is off busy with June or something I guess, I haven't seen him much the past couple days..."

"Yeah, that's actually what I wanted to talk to you about," Brad said with a stiff upper lip. "Let's go inside so we can sit down and talk."

"You can't catch meeeeeee!"


Alesha may not be the string bean that Amelia is, but she still could run fast!


But... not for long enough. "Hahaha, slow-poke!" Amelia giggled as she tagged Alesha. "Yer it!"

"Am NOT!" Alesha laughed, and kept on running...


... and running...


... and running, until she suddenly turned around just as Amelia got close, and boom! Tagged!

"Haha! Fooled you! Yer it again!"

"Uuugggh Aleshaaaaaa," Amelia whined. "That's no fair!"

"Is too, you chased me! C'mon, catch me catch me!"

Ah, kids... If only it were those carefree days, again. If only...

Across town, Emerald and Bradley talked... But not about anything in particular. The weather, their social studies project at school, how things were going at Emerald's overly-eco-friendly household, how Travis's party had been handled by his parents... Things they both knew, but Bradley just couldn't get away from.


"So, what's going on?" Emerald finally asked, giving Bradley a very pointed, expressionless look.

"I... Can't it just wait a little? It's really nice to actually, you know... talk to you again."

Emerald rolled her eyes and stood up. "So that's it? You just lured me out here to have small talk and get me worked up over nothing? I'm sorry Brad, but... I'm outta here. Travis has probably been trying to get ahold of me and I--"


"Wait, Emerald, please." Bradley finally got the courage. He stood up from the table, and stood in Emerald's way so that she couldn't leave. "I was just scared to tell you the truth, because I know how you're gonna react, and... I just wanted us to talk about something nice for a while before... you know."

"Oh yeah?" Emerald raised one eyebrow quizzically. "What's going on?"

"Look, I didn't mean for this to happen, but... I told Jade to talk to Travis about your relationship, because I honestly didn't think he was as into you as he was acting. She's the only one who could get through to him, and... Well, she did. In fact, she got so through to him, she's... Well, she and Travis have been making out on the beach almost every night this week. I'm sorry, Em."


"What?!" Emerald was furious! "Why did you -- and why was he -- I can't believe him! I can't believe you! How could you do something like that, Bradley? My sister's seductive, of course she was gonna snake her way back into his arms! Why do you think she was all over Thomas at that party?! She has no concept of 'relationship'!

"And apparently neither does your brother!" Emerald yelled.


"I'm so, so sorry, Emerald, I didn't mean for that to happen... I just did it because--"

"I don't care why, Brad! I just simply don't care, anymore!"


"Please, Emerald... Please, just hear me out," Bradley begged. "It's important, because there's something I need to tell you, something you need to hear."

"What you have to say can wait, Brad," Emerald said angrily. "There's something else I need to take care of, first."

She turned to bolt out the door, and was too quick for Bradley to stop her. "Wait, waiit! Emerald!"


He rushed after her out the door, and... What was she doing? She was heading straight for his car?! But then how was he supposed to stop her?! Uugh, clever girl!

"Emerald, please, WAIT!"


As she disappeared into his car, and pulled off up the road, Bradley started running, praying that she would stop. "Please, Emerald.... I need to tell you...

"I need to tell you...


But she was already pulled off too far up the road, far beyond his reach, far beyond where she could hear. He was determined to catch her -- he was ready to tell her, and nothing could stop him now!


Nothing except her gas on the pedal, of course.

As Emerald chuckled to herself -- "Brad really needs to not leave his keys in the car, haha." -- she still couldn't void out the hard beating of her heart in her ears. She was so angry, her knuckles on the steering wheel were turning white every time she gripped it to turn a corner.


As she pulled up to the Kane household, she looked over her shoulder at the front door, grumbling at all the memories -- fake memories -- that she'd built with Travis there.

"He's gonna get it!" she grumbled to herself.


Emerald didn't even bother ringing the doorbell; the front door simply burst open, and she walked right into the living room, where Travis sat, reading a book.

"Oh, so this is what you're doing instead of spending time with me, huh? Saying you're off with June, when you're actually just here... Reading?! You don't even like reading!"

"What are you talking about, Emerald," Travis said, reacting slowly to her sudden and surprise attack. "What are you even doing here?"


"I'm here to tell you to a face what a LOSER you are! Been cheating on me, huh? With my sister?! How could you, Travis?"

"W... What? What are you--"

"Don't you even dare try to lie to me, Travis! I'm not an idiot, like you!"


"Oh, I'm the idiot? Who's the one who jumped into a relationship with me when you knew I still had feelings for Jade? You can't say you were oblivious to this, Emerald! All I did was get Jade back, which was the plan, right? The plan, to get Brad and Jade jealous?

"You're just angry because Brad's too much a chicken to ever come around!" Travis finished.


"H-How could you say that?" Emerald asked, her voice sheepish. "That has nothing to do with it, Travis. I'm angry because you're my boyfriend... I care about you... I thought you cared about me, too..."


"Is that really what you thought?" Travis asked, still over-the-top angry. "I'm sorry, I care about you as a friend, but that's it! That's all it's ever been! You want more, you're talking to the wrong guy!"

"Well I'm soh-rry that I actually trusted what you said, Travis!" Emerald yelled. "I went into this relationship expecting more than just a title, I expected some feelings! Some love!"


"Well, you're never going to get any of that from me, Emerald," Travis said, laying all his cards flat on the table for Emerald to see. "I'm sorry. I didn't want to end it like this, but... It's over."

Emerald couldn't believe what she was hearing. In less than one hour, her entire world had crumbled down at her feet, everything she trusted to be true had been turned to lies... There was only one person left who she knew she could trust, but even him... She was still angry.


There was nothing more to say, so with tears clogging her eyes and anger still swelling in her gut, Emerald ran out the door, and descended the front steps with a heavy heart. She had to get out of here...

She had to get away.


Running down to the car, she realized there was only one place left to go, one more score left to settle. Slamming her foot on the gas, she tried to get away from there as fast as possible...

She knew exactly where she was headed, but she couldn't get there fast enough. Not now, not ever.


Not long after Emerald pulled away, Bradley finished climbing the hill to Savannah Street, and his heart sank further when he saw that his car was gone.

Where had she gone? Why was she gone?

The only thing that was on Bradley's mind was Emerald... He had to find her, had to catch her, had to tell her how he felt: not just the truth, but the whole truth.

It was now, or never!


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