The heat in the Napoletanis’ drawing room was already stifling less than an hour into the event. Enzo tugged at his tie, trying to loosen it discreetly. If he could only get a little more air, it would ease his nerves. He glanced at his sister and wondered if she could tell he was worried.
Agreeing to have Gina here was terrible. His sister hadn’t met Carlotta, but if she saw the ‘criminal girl’, as she persisted in calling her, she wouldn’t be pleased. Fortunately, he found his sister completely occupied with staring stiffly at something at the other end of the room. It was Lorenzo, dancing. Crucially, he was doing it with someone else.
“Who’s the girl with Lorenzo?” Lia asked, her voice cool.
“Lia…” Enzo said with a sigh.
“I’m only curious. I don’t think I’ve seen her before.”
He tightened his jaw. By the time this evening was over, he would have a headache. Lia didn’t look like she would dive at the woman with her claws out, but he was afraid that someone would notice. Her jealousy wasn’t subtle. Forcing himself to stay neutral, he replied:
“I believe that’s your fiancé’s cousin, Costanza.”
Lia said: “Oh, that makes sense. She’s rather plain, isn’t she? I don’t think Lorenzo’s parents would approve of a match like that.”
“Because she’s plain?”
“Because she’s a nobody. He can do much better.”
“I don’t think his parents care,” Enzo said. “They’re more… laissez-faire on such matters.”
She snorted. “Well they should care. She’s a plain nobody and he could do much better…”
“Lia, stop that and smile,” he said, nudging her in the ribs, because just then Fabrizio turned and came over.
“I thought I heard my lovely Rosalia.”
Fabrizio Aiello was a small man, around the same height as Lia, though he had a way of taking up more space than you would think possible: Big arm movements, big smile, big voice, all of it combining to form one of the most revolting people Enzo had ever met. Fabrizio kissed his fiancée’s hand, though thankfully Lia’s face revealed nothing but a beautiful smile.
Good girl, Lia, Enzo thought, proud of her. Any hint of jealousy was gone.
“I was hoping you would dance with me,” he said.
“Oh, I would love to, darling,” she said. “Let’s—”
“You waltz out onto the floor and wait for me then,” he said. “I need a word with your brother.”
Lia smiled and did as told, and Enzo would wager that nobody but he saw the spark of anger in her eyes at being sent away like a child. Even their father, who looked over to check on them, didn’t notice. He wasn’t sure he fared so well himself, facing Fabrizio.
“She’s a sweet thing,” Fabrizio said.
My sister isn’t a thing, he thought, but he didn’t say it out loud, instead taking a leaf out of his sister’s book.
He said: “We’re both looking forward to the engagement party.”
“As am I. As a matter of fact, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. That painting….”
Enzo’s stomach dropped. Fabrizio didn’t have to lower his voice or scowl to get the threat across. It was enough to mention the painting. The popular painting that was turning out to be more difficult to get a hold of than he had ever imagined.
Enzo said, in a lowered voice: “It’s all sorted.”
“Great, great. It’s so good of you to get it for me. I hope you know I appreciate it.” Before Enzo could reply, he continued: “But I confess I’m worried, because I heard that the Napoletanis have it right now. Surely, that’s not true, since you assured me you do.”
“O-of course I have it.”
The nasty little man patted Enzo’s shoulder, either not noticing or ignoring his nervous stutter. “Nice, nice, very nice. I know it would break Lia’s heart if she couldn’t present it to me when we get engaged. It’s all she ever talks about, the sweet dear. But I’m sure if there are any problems you’ll have them solved in no time. You’re a good brother to her.”
“Well, I’d better go dance with her. I can tell she’s excited. Talk to you later, Vinny.”
Enzo took deep breaths and tugged at the stupid tie again. The curses Regina had taught him came in handy, as he imagined letting them rain over Fabrizio’s head… ending with telling him not to call him ‘Vinny’. Only Lia called him that, and he even hated it a little when she used it.
His poor sister was currently being dragged across the floor, smiling politely as she could while in the arms of the hateful man. Even though it was an extra stressor, it was still a relief to look out the window and see that Regina was there. If nothing else then because it gave him an excuse not to watch the uncomfortable dance taking place.
He went outside to greet the two women, preparing a remark about them being fashionably late, but then all words escaped him when he could take in all of Regina’s form.
He had been going crazy, thinking of all the reasons he didn’t want her at this party: His sister and Lorenzo would be upset; his dad might find out he hired her; somebody may recognise her and it could cause a scandal… Somehow, it hadn’t even occurred to him that she was already distractingly attractive, and that seeing her like this would make it worse.
Her tattoos had been covered up somehow, and her hair was down, styled into big, soft curls. The dress she wore flattered her waistline extremely well—so well, he had to force himself not to look at her body so as to keep his composure. Despite this being nothing like her usual attire, she moved so gracefully he could have almost been fooled into thinking she belonged here.
Of course, then she spoke:
“Hey, rich boy. Enjoying the party?”
Enzo shrugged. “These functions aren’t exactly meant to entertain. What’s the plan?”
“Find the painting,” she said.
He rolled his eyes.
“Okay, yes, but besides that. How do you intend to find the painting?”
“Don’t worry about that. Leave it to us.”
“Basically,” Carlotta said, sending Gina a warning look, “I’m going to be chatting up all the guests, and Gina’s going to search the house. She can pick locks and I have social skills, so that’s how we usually do things.”
“Okay, then I probably have to go with Gina.”
Dark green eyes fixed on him. There was anger in her voice, but he could tell she was holding it back.
“Why would that be necessary?”
“It’s a big house. You might get lost.”
“I think I can find my way around a house on my own.”
“Look,” he said. “I’ve been visiting this house since I was a kid. I know it like the back of my hand.”
“It’s a house, Cavalcante. I don’t need help, and it’s much better that I do this on my own anyway. You’ll probably be missed at the party.”
“Fine, then I’ll leave it to you.”
“Good,” she said and she barely looked at him before walking off.
That was an improvement, he supposed. It wasn’t that she was cordial to him, exactly, but she was at least coolly civil. With that kind of attitude, she really would fit right into the wealthy circles.
“It kind of shocked her that you apologised.”
He started, having nearly forgotten that Carlotta was there.
“Oh?” he said.
“Gina has very strong ideas about what you’re like, since you dumped her and all. And she has some bad experiences with other guys like you.”
“Oh, so she was with someone else who’s wealthy?”
Lotta laughed. “Oh yeah, and he was pretty bad—even worse than you.”
“Do you know who?”
The blonde wagged a finger at him. “I’m not going to gossip about my best friend. I can get away with a lot, but I think she might shoot me if I tell you that story.”
“I think you’re right,” he said.
“Since she won’t let you help her, perhaps you’ll introduce me. I need to find a husband, after all.”
Enzo smiled and offered her an arm.
“Certainly, Ms. Voltorini. This way, if you please.”
Author’s note: Hi guyssssssss, it’s that time of week again. Not going to lie, I’m freakishly excited about this and the next two chapters. I can’t wait! Thankfully, the next ones are nearly done, giving me a nice bit of buffer for a few weeks. I just started school, and this week was the introductory week. It’s been a pretty positive experience all around, but also draining because of meeting tons of new people. Writing is a welcome retreat from it all 🙂
Anyway, I don’t actually have that much to say about this chapter. I’m super excited to hear your guys’ thoughts, though probably especially for the next two. This is a shorter, not very eventful one. So all I’ll say is: Thank you so much for reading if you’ve made it this far, aaand I’ll see you for the next one.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that the very lovely-looking build I’m using for the next couple of chapters is (obviously) not my work. It’s this one from MTS – all credits to the great builder who made it 🙂
(Look, I made a signature! This took about as much time as getting the chapter ready for posting and was a great use of my time).
amyqueen · September 1, 2018 at 9:17 am
Ooh~ I was looking forward to seeing the girls all dolled up for the party and was certainly not disappointed. They look gorgeous! Especially Regina 😍 I thought that teal blue often in her sweaters was her color, but this green suits her extremely well too. I was wondering if she was going to wear a dress with a sleeve or something, since there’s no way those tattoos wouldn’t draw some eyes, but covering them up was smart. Enzo checking her out was cute, it’s only a matter of time before those two come together 😏 Lia being jealous was amusing, her dress is actually my favorite of the three. And now that I’ve fawned over the fashion, I must comment on the plot, haha I’m actually quite confused, I expected Aiello to at least be extremely tall, dark, and handsome if his personality was going to be a miss, but it’s clear that Lia isn’t with him for either of those attributes, so what exactly is it? Is he super wealthy? But so are Enzo and his family, which begs the question: what exactly does this union bring for them? Right now, it’s looking like a lose-lose situation because the Cavalcantes are clearly is hiding their distaste for Fabrizio and they have to procure and offer up the painting as well… So whatever the reasoning behind this engagement is, I look forward to seeing it revealed as I’m out of theories at the moment. This went by super quick, I’m looking forward to next week 😀 Great chapter! <3
NotJustaBook · September 1, 2018 at 9:55 am
He, he, I had a lot of fun dressing up the girls for this, if that wasn’t obvious 😀 Any chance to go on a CC spree for evening dresses, am I right?
I tend to dress Gina in colours ranging from light blue to this kind of dark blueish-green 🙂 She has more colours in her colour scheme than usual for my sims 😛 Lia is honestly my favourite sim to dress right now, even more than Gina. I definitely agree her dress is the nicest here. I figured that as a hip socialite she’d dress very nicely for this kind of thing.
… Oh and I guess there’s a plot here besides the nice dresses hahaha 😀
I can’t help but be glad that you’re still wondering what’s going on. I thought it would be super obvious what was happening, but thankfully not. Won’t be long until it will be revealed! Within these two chapters that I’m looking so much forward to :3
Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Amy. It means a lot <3
Jowita · September 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm
I also really appreciated all the dresses and also the make-up of the girls. They’re all super stunning! Dark green definitely suits Gina, it perfectly matches her eyes. And those pretty earrings, too!
Fabrizio is creepy, I wonder why he is such a threat to Enzo. I really can’t wait for this case to be resolved. I am not good at solving mysteries and riddles, so I guess what I have left is to wait patiently for the big reveal.
“With that kind of attitude, she really would fit right into the wealthy circles.” Gina would totally feel offended if he said it out loud. And I’m glad Lotta didn’t spoil too much to Enzo, it’s not right to gossip about your best-friend. I really do wonder what happened with Rico, though…
It was a great chapter and the visuals were stunning, as always! ♥
NotJustaBook · September 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm
So glad you appreciated the dresses 🙂 I feel like this little gathering of mine is pretty shabby compared to the elaborate wedding party you set up, but with this amount of Sims it already took way too long to open build/buy when I needed to move Sims around. I have 24 sims in that family and I didn’t use all for the party (because some of them are Carlo, Vittoria, and so on…) 😛
Some of it at least will be revealed before long. Can’t wait for you guys to learn what’s going on 🙂
Pahahaha, yes! 😛 There would be a minimum of angry glares if he said she was like a rich person, for sure! Lotta is definitely a good friend even if she likes to poke the bear a bit, she’s very loyal 🙂
More stuff will becoming up about a bunch of Gina’s exes… because there are quite a few of them 😛
Thank you so much, Jowita. I’m really glad you liked it <3
audreyfld · September 1, 2018 at 3:44 pm
I spent as much time taking in the pictures as I did reading. The scenes are all so beautiful and perfectly set. Bravo! Parties are hard. I too am not too surprised at Fabrizio. It’s been clear that Lia isn’t getting married for love. She is in love with Lorenzo. And Enzo has it bad for Gina..Maybe Lotta will,put in a good word for him.
NotJustaBook · September 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm
Thank you so much, Audrey <3 🙂 It means a lot to hear it. Parties are total pain to do, and I'm not even entirely happy with this one - so few guests and a rather small room 😛
Yeah, Lia definitely isn't getting married because she loves the guy. The reason for it will become clear before long, though.
He's definitely attracted to her 😀
Thanks so much for reading and for your nice comment 🙂 <3
socallucyfan · September 2, 2018 at 12:02 am
Those two look stunning, green is definitely Gina’s color!! Those pictures are absolutely stunning. Everything is set so beautifully. Loved it all!!!
I also enjoyed seeing more of Enzo and his family dynamic, even as messed up as it is. He really cares for his sister. I hope she is able to dump that jerk Fabrizo soon.
I am so excited for the next few chapters. I have a feeling that Gina will find more than just a painting in that house!!
NotJustaBook · September 2, 2018 at 6:18 am
Thank you so much, friend 🙂 It was so much fun dressing everybody up! Took me ages to find the right dresses to download :’)
Oh yes, it’s a very messed up family, but he’s at least always there for his sister.
I’m so excited, too! Can’t wait to share. Thanks so much for reading this and for leaving a comment. It means a lot <3 :)
socallucyfan · September 2, 2018 at 8:16 pm
Well, your hard work definitely paid off. Everyone look exquisite.
And you know, if the excitement gets to be too much, you can always just tell me what happens (wink, wink)
NotJustaBook · September 3, 2018 at 10:11 am
Well, you did reveal your fairy tale to me before anyone else… buuuuut, where’s the fun in knowing how all of this pans out? 😀 The anticipation is the fun part, eh?
socallucyfan · September 3, 2018 at 8:45 pm
That is true. You have me there. Darn you and your logic!!
sempreviva · September 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm
Oooh, I’m so late again – I’m so sorry!!
First of all, I have to say that like Enzo, I was also staring at Giba for quite a while – she looked gorgeous! 😍 No wonder Enzo almost lost his composure, hehe. I can clearly see their chemistry, and maybe that’s why they both keep bickering when they’re around each other (although that “sorry” threw Gina off balance)!
Hmmm that fiancé is obnoxious! I hate the way he talks to Lia and Enzo, almost in a… menacing way? I wonder what he’s got on them, to be able to talk to them this way… And from the looks of it, he doesn’t really love Lia and it’s obvious that Lia couldn’t care less about him… so why are they getting married at all? Is it just a deal among their parents? And what does the painting have to do with all this??!
Finally… Carlotta!! I live her! <3 You go find that wealthy husband girl, lmaooo!!
Things are getting really exciting and I can't wait! 😀 Great chapter! <3 <3
sempreviva · September 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm
Ooops, I meant I love Carlotta, I don’t live her… how would that even work? Lmao 😂😂
NotJustaBook · September 3, 2018 at 10:10 am
He, he, don’t worry, I knew what you meant. I also figured that ‘Giba’ referred to Gina, hehehhe 😛
sempreviva · September 3, 2018 at 10:13 am
Oh man, see I hadn’t even noticed that! 😂😂 (I always make those kind of mistakes when I use my phone to comment – but I have to if I want to use all those cool emojis, haha!)
NotJustaBook · September 3, 2018 at 10:16 am
Ha, ha, it’s okay 😛 That’s understandable. Phone keyboards are not the best. I generally don’t use my phone… I miss the emojis a little bit but eh 😛
NotJustaBook · September 3, 2018 at 10:09 am
No worries – there’s no rush. The chapter will stay up 😉
I’m glad you think so – I thought she looked pretty great 🙂 They definitely have chemistry, though I don’t think Gina would admit it 😛
The reason for their engagement will become clear in time. He’s a real piece of work, for sure!
Ha, ha, Lotta seems to be pretty popular. What is it with me and writing blonde side characters that are really popular (looking at Celeste as well!) 😛
Thanks so much for reading and commenting <3
twinsimskeletons · September 2, 2018 at 9:04 pm
I liked the contrast of Fabrizio being a small man with big actions. I think that gives us a lot of clues about his personality… Overcompensation man!
I am getting more and more curious about Fabrizio and his (non) relationship with Enzo’s sister. I presume their parents set up the wedding but why is he being threatening over a painting? Is he that desperate or is there a deeper reason, hmmm.
I really liked seeing this more from Enzo’s point of view, by the way. It was cool to be inside his head, especially when he saw our lovely heiress!
NotJustaBook · September 3, 2018 at 10:14 am
Ha, ha, yup, that’s Fabrizio! Has to make himself known. Enzo and his sister are definitely not humouring him out of the kindness of their hearts.
There’s definitely going to be more from his point of view moving forward, so I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Thanks so much for reading and for your comment! 😀
Lila Remonn · September 5, 2018 at 3:27 am
LOVE the fashion in this chapter! Gina and Carlotta look lovely, of course, but my favourite look was definitely Lia’s. She’s super pretty.
Ew, I get such yuck vibes from Fabrizio. He doesn’t look evil or anything but the way he talked about Lia made me want to punch his stupid, dumb face. I really wonder why this obviously unwanted engagement is happening, right now I’m thinking Fabrizio is super rich and is asking for a ‘favour’ in return for agreeing to marry Lia. Maybe the Cavalcantes owe him something. Ughhhh I just want her to go with nice, sweet Lorenzo instead!
Nice chapter <3
NotJustaBook · September 5, 2018 at 4:06 pm
Thank you <3 It was great to have an excuse to go on a CC spree for dresses and jewellery 😀 I definitely think Lia's is the greatest as well - she's very fun to dress up 🙂
Yup, he's pretty nasty :/ It's not wonder neither her nor Enzo are fond of the guy.
Thanks again for reading and commenting <3
Kymber · September 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm
Wow! That party is so gorgeous! I think Gina should wear that color a lot because it looks really good on her. 🙂 I love Carlotta so much. And I’m so enjoying the chemistry between Enzo and Gina. I love the tension; it’s delicious. 😀
NotJustaBook · September 5, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Thank you so much, Kym <3 I always find parties are a complete hassle, so I'm glad that it paid off to do all that :') Thanks for all your kind words. I'm generally enjoying this generation a lot so far - the characters are so much fun 🙂
Thank you for the comment and for reading 🙂
Kater Creation · September 26, 2018 at 11:10 pm
Your story is really good. I am hooked.. 🙂
NotJustaBook · September 27, 2018 at 5:42 am
Aw, thank you <3 I'm glad you enjoy it! :)
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