Four Years Later
It looked like it would be a beautiful, sunny day. A good day for a wedding, Lotta reasoned. It was a long-expected day, though some were closer to being ready than others. She tilted her head and studied herself in the mirror, then let her eyes land on the half-naked man in the bed and he winked back at her. Lotta rolled her eyes. Through some sort of miracle, Marco had made it as far as to put on underwear.
“I take it you’re ready to go to my best friend’s wedding,” she said. “Your outfit, I will say, is a bit unorthodox, but then she is an unorthodox bride, so I think it’ll work out.”
“It’s too early to go.”
Lotta turned to him. “Oh really? She’s my best friend, Marco. I have to be there to make sure she doesn’t kill someone in a fit of rage while she’s getting ready.”
Marco raised an eyebrow.
“She’s that bad, huh?”
“Darling, have you met her?”
He sat up in bed, but instead of getting his ass in gear he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her into the bed. Lotta yelped in surprise and landed hard on his chest, knocking the wind out of him. She laughed incredulously while still lying on top of him but he only wheezed in pain. After a little while, he said in small voice:
“I regret that.”
“You should. Get dressed, dumbass.”
She tried to get up, but he put his arms around her and held her down. Lotta groaned.
“You’re not getting out of it. They reserved a seat for you.”
“Weddings are terrible,” he said, his voice muffled because he had hidden his face in her hair.
“They’re lovely and romantic.”
“I thought you didn’t care about that shit.”
“I don’t.” Lotta wrangled herself out of his arms so she could get on her feet, though he still had his hands on her. She adjusted her hair. “But Gina cares and I care about her, so this had better be the most romantic fucking wedding in the world. If so much as one little detail goes wrong, I’ll hunt down whoever ruined her perfect day and destroy them.”
He blinked. “I’m so turned on right now.”
“Get dressed.” She swatted his shoulder and he groaned.
“Fine, fine, I’ll do it. For you.”
“Then I’ll threaten you with bodily harm when we get back,” she said sweetly and gave him a quick kiss. “Just the way you like it.”
Marco grinned and got up, rummaging around her bedroom closet for the clothes she had helped him pick out. Most of his other things were in her closet as well—it just made sense. They spent most nights at hers because frankly, his was so freakishly disgusting she couldn’t stand to be there for more than ten minutes.
While he dressed, she corrected her make-up and hair, then sat on the bed to wait. He soon turned to her, half dressed with a sceptical look on his face.
“This wedding… it’s not going to make you go weird, is it?”
Lotta frowned. “Weird? How so?”
“I haven’t been at many weddings, but this one I went to, every single lady there was talking about how they wanted their weddings and when they wanted them and… Are you…?”
“It happens,” he said. “Your best friend’s getting married and her kids are there in their cute shoes or whatever and suddenly you want three babies and a wedding.”
Lotta looked at him and laughed, but when he didn’t laugh along, she frowned.
“If you’re proposing…”
“I’m trying to avoid having to propose, thank you very much.”
“Thank God.” Lotta stood up, walked over, and tugged on the collar of his shirt. “We’ve talked about this, Marco. I’m not marrying anyone and I definitely don’t want kids. Spoiling Gina’s kids and then handing them back when they need a diaper change is fine by me.”
“But if your biological clock…”
“Please, my biological clock isn’t even running. We’re not getting married, end of story.”
He let out a sigh of relief and gave her a quick kiss. “Just making sure.”
“You’d think you knew me after all this time.”
“Well yeah, it’s just…” He paused. “I’m pretty sure you said four years ago that you’re only into casual relationships and here we are.”
Lotta thought about it, tapping her lip. “And our relationship isn’t casual?”
“I practically live here.” He motioned to the wardrobe. “I don’t think either of us has been with anyone else since we got together, so…”
“So? It still feels pretty casual.”
“You don’t want to get with others, then?”
She shrugged. “Not really. I love you. Why would I be with someone else?”
“Well, I love you, too.”
He returned to buttoning his shirt, but Lotta stopped him, unbuttoning it all over again.
“Hey!” he said swatting her hands away. “You told me to get ready. It’s your best friend’s…”
She grabbed his shirt collar, kissed him hard, and his protests faded into a moan as he pulled her close. For a moment she drew her head back and looked at him with her head cocked.
“Maybe you should give up your apartment,” she said, “and move in here for real.”
“You mean casually taking our very casual relationship to the casual next level?”
Marco smiled. He lifted her up, laid her on her bed, and lowered himself down over her. Lotta was aware that she would need to do her hair again after they were done, so she didn’t even say a thing when he started picking out the pins so he could run his hands through her long, blonde hair. She loved it when he did that and he knew.
“So we’re basically roommates, right?” he said.
“Roommates, yes,” she said and kissed him. “Roommates who happen to fuck a lot.”
Rosalia didn’t ask her brother if she looked any good, because of course she did. That had never been her problem. If there was anything she was good at, it was going to a wedding and looking perfectly gorgeous. She had never imagined she would be good at anything else, honestly, but well… Her internship at the newspaper proved otherwise.
Amadeo stuck his head in the door and Lia turned to him with a smile, wrinkling her nose at the stubble and his hairstyle. She loved her brothers and she was happy they were comfortable as they were but really, the sloppiness was astounding.
“Almost, I just need to do my hair. Though I can tell you’re not done.”
“I’m not shaving,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Enzo isn’t shaving either.”
“Well he should. It’s his wedding.”
“You know Gina likes it on him and Rinaldo likes me this way, so…”
“And I’m not saying I don’t adore Gina and dear Rinaldo, but they’re objectively wrong.”
Amadeo snickered. “Sure, sis. Just tell me when you’re done. Natalia asked if you’ll do her hair.”
Lia knew that the smile that suddenly took her face was not a becoming one. It was a dopey grin, too wide to be pretty.
“Why didn’t you say so, dummy? I’ll do it right away.”
“But your hair…”
“Don’t be ridiculous. My little sunflower is more important.”
As though called by her words, her niece and brother-in-law came into the room. Natalia, the sweetest little girl in the world, was in her dress with fruit print and her black hair hung smooth and shiny down to her shoulders. She had blue eyes and she smiled so her red cheeks rounded in the most adorable way. Rinaldo looked relieved to see Lia.
“Auntie, will you do my hair?” Natalia asked.
“She won’t let me touch it.” Rinaldo looked pained.
“Of course she won’t, silly. I’ll do it. Now, my little darling. How do you want it?”
The girl bit her lip. “Uh, just… up?” She lifted her hands up in the air, waving her fingers. “Like you do.”
Rinaldo smiled and patted her on the shoulder before he and Amadeo left them alone. Lia smiled and got a stool for her niece to sit on. Then she picked up the brush. She smoothed out the tangles she bunched it up on her head and attached it with pins. Natalia was beaming all the while.
“Do you think aunt Gina’s going to be pretty?” she asked.
“I have no doubt she will be.”
“You’ll be prettiest, though, right?”
Lia chuckled. “Oh, I don’t think that would be appropriate, sunflower. The bride is supposed to be the prettiest of all. If we realise that I’m prettier than her, I’ll have to spill wine on my dress to even it out.”
She had to stop her niece from turning her head so she could continue putting in the pins.
“You can’t do that, auntie Lia. Your dress is so pretty!”
“It was a joke, sweetie.” Lia attached the last pin to her niece’s hair and took the hand mirror from the table to show off her handiwork. “What do you think?”
Natalia gasped and threw her little arms around Lia’s neck.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, auntie, you’re the best.”
Lia hugged her close. “No, sunflower. You are.”
“I have to show my daddies, okay?”
“Of course, run along.”
Natalia made to leave, but then she waved Lia’s face down to hers and whispers conspiratorially:
“I think you’ll be prettiest, but I won’t tell aunt Gina so that you don’t have to spill wine, okay?”
Lia laughed and kissed her hair. “Thank you, sunflower.”
The girl jumped off the chair and ran out of the room with her skirts swirling about her, while Lia looked after her with a full heart. The past four years of living with her brother and Rinaldo had been like nothing she could have ever imagined and the most important aspect of that was her closeness with Natalia.
Sometimes, she wanted to storm back to her father’s house and give him an earful for kicking out her brother and for causing her to nearly lose out on a relationship with her niece. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t have the desired effect. Their father had stubbornly ignored them since they left and at no point had she really felt the loss.
Lia walked back to her room and started on her own hair. Before she could do anything more, Amadeo was in her doorway again.
“You’ve made a little princess very happy. Thanks, sis.”
Again, Lia smiled that dumb smile that made her look foolish. “It’s no problem. You know I adore her.”
Amadeo came inside and took a seat on her bed. “She adores you. I think it’ll take a little time for her to adjust when you get your own place.”
Lia bit her lip. “Oh, you know about…”
He nodded. “Saw that you’ve been looking at listings. It’s really cool.”
“You know I don’t want to leave her, right?” she said. “I mean, I love living with you and I love being around here, but I do want my own place now that I can pay for it.”
Her big brother patted the bed next to him and she sat down.
“I’m proud of you. Big time. Doing this internship, looking for a flat… It’s awesome, Lia.”
She blushed. “Thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you and Naldo. Or Vinny, for that matter.”
“Sure you could.”
“It’s sweet of you to say, but…”
“I’m not just saying it, it’s true. Enzo gave you the push to leave dad’s house and we helped you find an education you liked. Everything beyond that—that was all you and it’s all awesome.”
He poked her shoulder and she waved his hand away with an eyeroll. Despite it, she smiled.
“You do speak strangely, brother.”
“I think you meant to say awesomely. I’ll let you do your hair.”
Lia did her hair while her brother looked on and as soon as she was done, he offered her an arm. Natalia and Rinaldo were already waiting at the door. Some chaotic minutes later, they were at their mother’s house and not long after, they were in the car, headed to the wedding.
Natalia babbled all the way, the sun shone brightly, and Lia’s heart was full.
Carlo had been staring out of the window for several minutes, only half dressed for the wedding, and Vittoria had noticed. He set his jaw and ignored her, but her smile was becoming insistent so he looked back over his shoulder.
“Are you amused, darling?”
She stood from her seat and walked over. “You’re going to cry so hard at the ceremony,” she said, nuzzling into his arms. “Like Giulio’s wedding, but even worse.”
Carlo brushed his hands over the fabric of the shirt she was wearing—his shirt, of course. His thieving wife never changed.
“You mock my tears?”
“No,” she said. “I wish I could cry like you.”
The statement, said so simply, made his breath catch for a moment. He’d seen his wife cry, but it was rare and only when things had been at their worst. It wasn’t that she didn’t feel or that she wasn’t happy to see her kids married—as she put it, the tears just wouldn’t come.
“You don’t have to. They know you love them.”
“I hope so. I’ve never been good at it. Can’t help but think I’m doing this whole mum thing wrong—I should have been the one crying.”
Carlo held her tighter. He moved a lock of caramel hair, brushed by strokes of grey, out of her eyes and kissed the top of her head.
“That’s a stereotype, darling. I’m happy to cry for both of us.”
She grinned. “I do think you’re crying for two.”
“Good.” He bent his head and kissed her neck. “We wouldn’t want there to be too few tears at the wedding.”
“I wouldn’t worry. Enzo’s going to cry, I bet.”
Carlo smiled. “You’re probably right. He’s a good kid.”
“Mm, a good ‘kid’ who’s thirty and has kids of his own. Speaking of which…” A loud wail cut through the house. “I think Adria’s up.”
He raised an eyebrow. “It could be Francesca.”
“Nope, that’s Adriana. She’s a drama queen, I can tell you that much.” Vittoria walked over to the stairs and took the steps quickly. She stopped halfway and looked down at him. “I’m a shitty mum, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be an awesome grandma.”
Carlo looked at her and smiled tenderly.
“Darling, if you were a bad mother, your daughter wouldn’t have turned out like she did. She’s smart, strong, and beautiful, just like you. I love you.”
Vittoria smiled one of the radiant, infectious smiles that made him fall for her back in the day.
“I love you, too.”
Georgette awoke several hours before her alarm, feeling an odd buzzing in her limbs. In her half-asleep state she wasn’t sure why at first, but then it hit her.
My son is getting married and I’m invited.
She leaned over to press a kiss to Bastien’s cheek, but he didn’t even stir. Georgette laughed, tucked the blanket up over his shoulders, and smoothed the hair away from his face. She used to have many sleepless nights after leaving her ex-husband and on those nights she had spent a lot of time looking at her new husband, loving every little detail about him. Nowadays, she rarely got the chance as she slept soundly through the night and woke up with him.
Because he still didn’t stir, Georgette got up herself and showered. By the time she got out, Bastien was awake, but barely. He was at the table, a cup of strong coffee in front of him and he stared into its depths, bleary-eyed and semi-conscious.
“Morning, love,” she said, pressing a kiss to his forehead.
Bastien awoke a little bit and smiled at his mug. “Are you happy, Gigi?”
Georgette put her arms around him and squeezed him hard. Just thinking about it made her tear up, so she didn’t reply and instead buried her face at his neck. Happy didn’t even properly express it, she thought. She had lost her children years ago and then she got them back. The one thing she had been sure would never happen miraculously came to be, and now her son was getting married. She was going to be at the wedding and she was going to be with her granddaughters.
Sobs racked her body and Bastien truly woke up to return her hug.
“Gigi…” he said, stroking her back.
“I never thought I’d see them again,” she bawled. “And now my little boy is getting married and it’s s-so beautiful. He and Gina love each other so much, I’m so happy for them.”
“Me, too,” Bastien conceded.
She pulled out of his embrace and grabbed a tissue from the box on the table to wipe her eyes. Ever since her divorce, she had been wildly emotional. She remembered sobbing while she held her first grandchild, not to mention at Amadeo’s wedding. Then when she got her children back, it started all over again, as though someone had opened the floodgates to all her feelings and they poured out.
“Maybe you should have coffee and get dressed,” Bastien said.
He stood from the table to pour her a cup of the coffee, but she stopped him. Her husband made it so strong, you could stand a spoon up in it.
“Gigi, I’ve boiled water,” he said, pointing at the kettle. “I’ll dilute it so that it’s drinkable by regular humans. You know I always do that.”
She smiled fondly at him. “Thank you. I thought you were too tired and I didn’t want to bother you.”
“Nonsense.” He poured the coffee, then the hot water, and set it in front of her. He sank into his seat again. “It never bothers me. You know that.”
Georgette wrapped her hands around the cup with a smile while a fresh deluge of tears sprang from the corners of her eyes. Bastien took a tissue and gently wiped her cheeks before kissing her deeply on the mouth.
He had kissed her one million times at least, she was sure, and it still felt the same. It was always fresh and familiar at the same time, equal parts comforting and exhilarating. When he drew back, she put a hand on the side of his face and smiled, letting her fingertips graze the freckles on his darling face. She knew all of them and never got tired of looking at him.
She hoped her son would always feel like this, too.
“My son is getting married,” she said.
Bastien nodded. “He is, my love.”
Author’s notes: Hi guys! I’m finally back with the second-to-last chapter. Oof, saying that it’s really hitting home how close we are to the end and how close I am to having to let go of my art thief and rich boy. This chapter was a bit of a different one, which came about basically because I wanted to write the Lotta and Rosalia segments. I considered having it as a side thing, but since it at the very least adds a little to Lia’s arc, it would be a nice one to have in here. If you’re on Tumblr, you may know that I’ve recently developed… a little bit of an obsession with Lia. Just a bit… or a lot, to be honest. Basically, there’s a good chance I’m not jumping straight to gen 3, so I can focus on exploring Lia and her life after this in more detail. 🙂 But more on that when I feel ready to say something more certain!
With that said, I think all I have to say is that… well, there’s just the wedding left. I’m already taking pictures for it which is a huuuuuge amount of work, but also very satisfying, since I’ve planned it for so long. For now, the plan is still to post the wedding chapter on the 28th of September, that is next Saturday, and I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that I can start posting some pictures of all the people at the wedding (41 sims, you guys – it’s madness) to Tumblr very soon. Ideally, I’d like to start posting a few a day on Monday. I’m saying this with some hesitation, as I also have other things going on – if I have to delay the chapter, I won’t make a post about it, but I’ll change the date on my front page, so keep an eye out. If my plans hold, you’ll get to see some pictures during the coming week. I’ll have a big old post with all the guests here as well, but if you want them earlier, you should head to my tumblr and follow me there.
Anyway, that’s about it for now. It’s still really weird to think this generation is almost over. Thank you to everyone who’s made it through this far. I hope everyone is having a great old time and I’ll see you in the next post.