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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 2:14 AM
Default Raven's Hollow: Part 16 (Updated 10/27/08)
The sharp, herbal scent of the pines tickled her nose as she made her way. A fine drizzle had started, and misty tendrils dragged chill fingers across her bare arms.

Finally! Aleydis thought to herself. All these years and I'm finally here.

Her shoes made little noise, even on the fallen leaves. The ruins rose around her, stark and beautiful.

Wyndham Hall... my heritage lives in these walls, she mused. Father may have lost sight of his origins but I will not.

Her great-great-great-many-times-great-grandfather had been Baron Wyndham of Raven's Hollow. Aleydis' father had regaled her with stories of his prowess at the hunt, mastery of arms, and strict stoicism. He had been harsh but fair, respected rather than loved by those who worked his land. But something had happened, something that drove the Wyndham family from their magnificent castle. They had not returned.

Aleydis shook her head. Time for mysteries later. Father never told me what happened, if he even knew. Not that he had any interest in this place, wife #4 prefers Malibu and modern. But she had been entranced by the stories. Her life-long dream was finally coming true, the castle once again belonged to the Wyndham family. Realizing dusk was quickly approaching, she continued her tour of the ruins.

A soft noise caught her attention. What the heck is that? No one lives anywhere near here, the village is down the other side of that cliff... She trod quietly towards the source of the noise.

He's beautiful! Oh the poor thing, trapped out here in the rain with these pathetic ruins for shelter! Aleydis cautiously approached the cat and reached out a hand. The cat head-butted her hand and immediately started purring. Beneath his matted fur, she could tell he was malnourished.

“Well, kitty, you seem friendly enough. And I certainly can't leave you out here waterlogged and starving. You're coming with me.” The cat allowed her to pick him up and in a perfect display of feline contentment, snuggled himself next to her chin, purring all the while.

“Now what to name you?”

Lab Assistant
#2 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 3:48 AM
This looks interesting so far...can't wait to read more:D
#3 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 3:57 AM
Hmm, me likies. An interesting beginning. Do continue.
Test Subject
#4 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 4:34 AM
Oooh this is an awesome start! I love your set!
#5 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 6:27 AM
Very nice start! Update soon!
#6 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 6:38 AM
very nice beginning. i'm looking forward to reading more
#7 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 10:54 AM
excellent pictures! And finally, a story with a cat >:3
#8 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 11:43 AM
Cute start , looking forward to reading more.
#9 Old 19th Mar 2008 at 5:20 PM
Great beginning - just the right amount of intrigue to keep us coming back for more. Thumbs up!!
Test Subject
#10 Old 20th Mar 2008 at 1:48 AM
Oooo, this is so intrueging! Aleydis is so pretty and unique and the cat is cute too, although that first pic with the cat kinda freaked me out a little...lol...it's the eyes I tell you! THE EYES! In an awsome freaky eyes way... Can't wait to find out more now...
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#11 Old 20th Mar 2008 at 8:45 PM
I'm glad you guys are liking it so far Comments/feedback definitely appreciated! I'm planning an update tonight.
#12 Old 21st Mar 2008 at 1:14 AM
It is a lovely set... Since this is a legacy, is she going to live there? I wonder how that might work out. Yay, update soon!
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#13 Old 21st Mar 2008 at 6:56 AM
Default Raven's Hollow: A Legacy (Part 2)
annachibi: all will become clear :D

I apologize for the crappiness of this update, my game crashed right when I started taking pics so I got a little frustrated with it. As it is a legacy, the story isn't written in stone except for the main plot so it sort of writes itself as I go. And don't worry, there will be moar kitty next time


The following day dawned clear and bright, with autumn's tingling nip playfully reminding all that summer was at an end. The rain had stirred up the leaves and everything smelled green and earthy. It was a beautiful day. Aleydis barely noticed any of it, though. The small house she had rented in town was positively brimming with all of her college hoard. She looked at the boxes in dismay, unsure where to start. You'd think after dealing with living with mom and summer vacations with dad, I'd be used to unpacking. I think I've gotten worse. I'm a packrat, she thought in mock disgust.

The house itself had been boarded up, the last renters years ago. It was wholly depressing. Aleydis desperately wanted to start digging through the ruins of Wyndham Hall but had yet to contract any labor. That reminds me, I have to head down to the Courthouse and sign some papers and then I'm supposed to meet that architect for lunch... he has a stellar reputation, I'm surprised someone like that is working around here. I'd be lucky to convince him to work for me. Work... yeah I need to find a job too. My savings account isn't going to last long. She took a last look at the heap of boxes, heaved a sigh, and went to change.

With a last check in the mirror, Aleydis headed out. Stop worrying so much you ninny! This last contract is just a formality legalizing your ownership of the Hall. It's a done deal. Then a nice lunch with Mr. London and you can return to that rat's nest you're going to make a home, she admonished herself sternly.

Nervously wringing her hands, she walked up the steps to the Courthouse, her heels beating out a sharp tattoo that matched her racing heartbeat. To her everlasting surprise, everything went smoothly. The City Planner had the contracts ready, all she had to do was sign. I'm signing my life away, she thought absurdly. Giddy with success, Aleydis practically skipped next door to Frannie's, a cozy diner, for her lunch with Mr. London.

“So Mr. London...”

“Please call me Tucker, Mrs. Wyndham.”

“Tucker. And it's Miss. But you can call me Aleydis.” She gave him a shy smile. He was really quite attractive. And he was flirting with her! “About your qualifications, they're really quite exemplary. I'm surprised you're not working with a firm in Sim City.”

“Well I considered it. I majored in Art at Sim State Sim City. But to be honest, I love archaeology and restoring old buildings. If I stayed in Sim City it'd be all new modern glass skyscrapers.” He gave her a winning grin.

“Art? Really? I majored in Art at La Fiesta Tech...”

“Well Mr. London... I mean Tucker... I'd be honored if you'd consider joining the Wyndham Hall restoration project. Leading it really.” Aleydis hiccuped. Tucker sure does like champagne, wonder how he knew it was my favorite?

With a suave smirk, he clinked her glass. “I wouldn't dream of saying no.”

Several glasses later, dusk was falling. So was Aleydis. She knew she couldn't drive home.

“Allow me to escort you home.” All she could see was the molten chocolate of his eyes. He caressed her hand and she winked saucily at him. “Shall we go?”

Aleydis barely remembered getting her key in the lock. Rorschach meowed plaintively at her but hissed and ran when he realized she wasn't alone. Her head was swimming and black spots flashed at the edge of her vision.

“Don't worry, I'll take care of you.”

Lab Assistant
#14 Old 21st Mar 2008 at 10:27 AM
I totally LOVE this! Great pictures and I love the storyline. At least you have a story, not just comment. Like me, LOL. Can't wait for more. :D
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 21st Mar 2008 at 12:20 PM
This is so great :D

I love it!!
#16 Old 21st Mar 2008 at 5:24 PM
Rorschach! Is he psychotic, then? Can't wait for the next part! :D
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 21st Mar 2008 at 9:40 PM
oh no! great update......
#18 Old 21st Mar 2008 at 11:45 PM
This is so good. The pictures are really good to
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#19 Old 23rd Mar 2008 at 8:48 PM
Default Raven's Hollow: A Legacy (Part 3)
Sunlight filtered through the sheer curtain, piercing Aleydis' closed eyelids to what felt like the center of her brain. She groaned and tried to burrow under the covers.

“I told you I'd take care of you.”

With a gasp, she sat up, clutching the blankets to her chest. “What the hell?” A sudden burst of pain had her doubled over, head in hands.

“Tucker? What... what happened?” She stumbled out of bed and dressed in a daze. “The last thing I remember was walking home...”

He looked uncomfortable. “You had a lot to drink so I brought you home and um...” He gestured at the pile of clothes on the floor. A slow flush crawled up his neck and he grinned at her.

“You took advantage of me while I was drunk?!”

Tucker looked flustered. “Hey hey hey, it wasn't like that!”

“What the hell was it like then? You said yourself I was drunk. I remember lunch, you kept ordering more and more champagne. I don't have any idea how I got home, or into bed. What did you do to me?!”

“I would... NEVER... take advantage of ANYONE. Especially someone who had so much to drink! You were throwing yourself on me, pawing at me, flirting with me. I tried to resist but it's not so easy when a gorgeous girl is tearing your clothes off.” He glared at her. “I had no idea you were that far gone or I would have stopped you and slept on the couch. You were quite insistent.”

“Tucker... I... I'm sorry. I guess you're right. I can't remember!”

Oh gods no, not again, this is just like college all over again. Memories flooded her, whirlwinds of strobing lights, booze, different men every weekend. I had blackouts then, too. She struggled not to cry.

“Look, it's ok. Just... oh please don't be upset. It's as much my fault as yours. I shouldn't have ordered so much champagne, I was just excited. Your restoration is my dream job. I was expecting some dried-up old lady wanting to redo the castle but you're young and beautiful. No, please don't cry!” Tucker knelt beside her as the tears flowed down her cheeks.

“I'm sorry. I know we just met.” Aleydis sniffled. Should I take a chance and trust him? “I like you too... but this has happened to me before. Being taken advantage of, I mean. In college. I, um. I drank. A lot. So I woke up with strange guys. Half the time I didn't remember leaving the bar.” She took a deep, shuddering breath, her tears under control for now. “I guess I was just afraid this was like that. I try not to drink much anymore but I was nervous yesterday.”

Tucker pulled her up from the floor and hugged her, briefly, a friendly hug. “It's ok. I should have known better when I saw how much you were drinking. Let me make it up to you. I'm a great cook, I'll make you breakfast. Can I use your kitchen?”

Aleydis pointed through the doorway. “Right through there. There's not much in the fridge, I haven't been shopping. Pots and pans are in the cabinets, utensils in the drawers. It's a bit of a mess, I hope you don't mind,” she added self-consciously. “I've been upacking and decorating but I left the kitchen for last.”

He was already burrowing through the cabinets and pawing through the fridge. “No worries, I can whip something up with what you have.”

Rorschach, much improved with a bath and regular meals after his rescue from the ruins, padded into the room and snuggled against her leg. Aleydis wiped her eyes and absent-mindedly patted him.

Cuddling him always cheered her up. He was really a sweet cat, she was so glad they had found each other. “Good boy Ror. Yes, I'll fill your dish.” She headed into the kitchen with the cat on her heels when he froze. “Ror? Come on baby, breakfast!” Aleydis shook the dish enticingly. Rorschach ignored her, staring fixedly at Tucker. When he turned with a full plate of breakfast, the cat let out a feral hiss and bolted from the room.

#20 Old 23rd Mar 2008 at 8:55 PM
Does Ror know something she doesn't? Hmm...
#21 Old 23rd Mar 2008 at 9:01 PM
Really interesting so far! And the cat is pretty! Can't wait to read more.
#22 Old 25th Mar 2008 at 2:57 AM
My thoughts exactly, romy. Or he's just psychotic, as his name suggests.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#23 Old 27th Mar 2008 at 8:24 AM
Default Raven's Hollow: A Legacy (Part 4)
Aleydis ushered Tucker out shortly after breakfast with promises to call him. She just needed solitude, time to think and create and work out all the pain from the morning. Ror had come back inside after Tucker was gone, sniffing everywhere the man had been. She could have sworn the cat was pouting. Like all cats, though, his mood was ever-changing and soon he laid down for a nap in the sun. Aleydis sighed, trying to let the tension drain out of her. She poured everything out onto the blank canvas. The symphony of the crickets singing in the night finally roused her and she put the brush down, exhausted.

When she awoke in the morning, Aleydis checked her bank account and was dismayed to discover how little of her savings was left. “Time to get a job,” she told Ror, who cocked his head and yawned. She poked him. “While I'm sure it's boring to you, if I don't have money you won't have any more food.” He twitched his tail and stalked over to her chair, twining himself around her legs. “You're a big help, kitty boy.” A thorough search of both the newspaper and the job listings on the computer left her depressed. “You know, I didn't expect to get a grand job painting for kings and queens after art school but come on... gas station attendant? Hostess? Playground monitor?! Ugh, the best job here is as a wedding photographer. That might have possibilities. If I can find my camera and tripod...” Aleydis scribbled down the phone number and address.

Three hours later, she was helping a blushing bride fix her smudged makeup and entreating ring bearers and flower girls to smile. Her heart ached a bit, watching the happy couples and their families. They look happy now but what about in six months or a year, she thought maliciously, and immediately felt guilty. Just because your parents' marriage failed and you're lonely... she berated herself. Maybe I'll call mom and invite her for a visit. I miss her but she's always so busy. Plastering what she hoped was an endearing grin on her face, she yelled “SMILE!”

Good grief, I thought that last reception was never going to end, Aleydis thought as she trudged to her door. A loud CLANG made her jump. “What the...?” Her heart in her throat, she went to investigate. “My garbage can!” Refuse was strewn everywhere, rotting and stinking. “Oh great, just great. My feet ache, I'm tired as a dog, and now I have to clean up trash!”


“Oh no you don't you weaselly little cretin! Ror you get out of there right now! I am NOT giving you a bath on top of everything else...” She stomped over to the garbage can. “You're not Ror.” Good job Captain Obvious. The poor little cat cowered in the garbage, the remains of Aleydis' breakfast twitching in her whiskers. “It's ok, I won't hurt you.” She reached out a hand and let the cat sniff it. “I was working up to a fine rage there kitty but it's ok.” What is with all the starving strays around here? “Come on, let's get you some food. I already have a cat but we'll find a home for you later.”

Ror sniffed the new arrival, apparently pronounced her fit company, and immediately started purring. Aleydis watched the two cats play for a moment and went to get some food. The little spotted cat ate ravenously and the two cats curled up to sleep, noses to tails. Yin and Yang, she giggled.

As she was getting ready for bed, she noticed the answering machine blinking. “Hey Aly, it's Tucker. I got the permits you need for the castle. We can start construction anytime. I... um, I miss you. Talk to you soon I hope.” She punched the numbers on the handset, nervousness and excitement fluttering in her belly.

"Hi, it's me. Yeah, I got your message. That's fantastic, I can't believe you got them so quick! I want to head up there tomorrow and show you around. There's a lot to be done and we need to figure out where to start. Sure, 10 is fine with me. I'll see you then. Bye.”

I have no idea what to do about Tucker but at least I get to spend time at the castle. She fell asleep creating lists and drawing plans in her head.

#24 Old 27th Mar 2008 at 6:35 PM
Excellent update and great pictures :D
Lab Assistant
#25 Old 27th Mar 2008 at 6:52 PM
If she keeps finding strays, she's going to become the cat lady. Can't wait for the next update, Brilliantcat!
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