It was good to be home. Edelweiss had some stuff to deal with. The house. The garden. Money. The rest of her life. An extensive remodel of all of the above was in order. Lots to think about, and more to actually do.
God help her, she was about to ask her mother for advice.
“Mom, do you believe in Soulmates?”
Coop flashed her a quizzical look. “I do.”
Ede chewed on that for a bit. If her mother, with all her badassery and her intimate knowledge of the darker side of sim nature, could believe in something more storybook, surely it wasn’t all fluff and nonsense.
“Do you?” Coop asked.
Ede considered. “I never used to. But, I don’t know anymore. I mean, in the sense that there is the potential for feeling a certain way that is only possible with a certain person.. yeah, sure, that makes sense. But a really intense, deep, lasting thing like that? That’s scary.”
Coop smiled. “It can be, yes.”
“I don’t doubt my feelings for this person. It’s just making me question my nature, you know? I can’t tell if I’m evolving into something else or just having some kind of stupid sideways mutation brought on by extreme fondness and mindblowing plum.”
Coop laughed out loud. “Well, I can certainly relate to that part.”
Talking with your parents about their own mindblowing plum.. that’s not awkward.
“I mean seriously,” Ede hopped back in, “I have to be losing my mind here. Bears don’t mate for life!”
“No,” Coop smiled, pushing away a stray hair from her daughter’s face. “But wolves do.”
Alright, time to focus, Ede. The idea that her nature could be tuned created a tiny spark of hope that was holding its own against all the other stuff going on in her head. It somehow kept her in a good mood despite being more than a little freaked out about her feelings and her future. As she jogged around the perimeter of the family property — now her responsibility — she let some pieces of the puzzle fit into place in her mind, without protest or doubt. And the emerging picture was so damned beautiful she was afraid to look directly at it.
“I just really don’t want to mess this up,” she thought aloud.
“I’m sure you’ll do fine,” said a familiar voice.
“Holy plum, Malcolm,” Ede cursed. “You materialized straight out of my head again. How do you do that?”
Malcolm laughed. “I’m sorry. Should I go back in?”
Ede shook her head. “I wouldn’t. It’s dangerous in there right now.”
“Can I see you tonight?” he asked. “I miss you.”
“I miss you too. Come over? But, it’s mom’s birthday — she’s been pretty good lately, but I can’t guarantee it won’t be another awkward gathering at the estate.”
“I’ll wear a raincoat,” he grinned, leaning in for a peck on the cheek.
It wasn’t enough. These brief touches were never enough. But she had things to do!
Ede decided she would make some appetizers for the party. After chatting with Malcolm, who showed up early to help, she chose a nice cocktail shrimp. Ede whipped up a test batch; they tried it and found it to be satisfactory.
Seeing the two of them together, Coop had to come and give her input.
Unfortunately, Cooper only had three things on her mind: wedding rings, bassinets, and tombstones.
“I see you two are openly dating now,” Coop said bluntly. “How long are you going to wait for the rest of it?”
“There isn’t a lot of time left, you know,” Coop informed Malcolm. “It passes quicker than you think!”
As Cooper continued to drill Malcolm, crossing off the time on her fingers, Edelweiss felt her blood start to boil and got up from the table. No fights on her birthday, Ede.
“I respect your opinion, Mrs. Wolff,” said Malcolm, “but we’re not in any rush to skip to the ending.”
Malcolm and Ede thought it was a fine time to take a little breather, so they stepped outside for a bit.
“Thanks for being my champion in there.” Ede said.
“I’m going to pop over and make sure Jarrett and Easter actually attend this time,” he smiled.
“Thanks!” Ede said. “I’ll get started on the cake while you’re gone.”
She channeled what was left of her rage into baking and made a very lovely gourmet cake for her mom, & had just enough time left to change into party clothes before guests arrived.
It was the usual gang + a few new faces. Ede, making a rare appearance in something-other-than-pants, stole the spotlight without meaning to.
“You clean up nice,” Malcolm teased.
“You mean the skirt?” Ede shot back, “You can borrow it sometime if you like.”
As strangely compelling as the idea of Malcolm in drag was/is, we had a birthday to conduct. Cooper wasted no time in stepping up to the plate.
I’m sure she wished for something obnoxious, but thankfully we didn’t have to hear about it. ;D
Cooper Nolan-Wolff — mother, grandmother, Shadow Agent, occasional bar-brawling bear — you look fabulous!
Cooper is one logic point and a day of work away from a promotion to the top of the Secret Agent career, so she’ll stay employed for now. Being a Perfectionist, she seems to enjoy having a successful career anyway. And it’s not like you-know-who has given her any grandbabies to dote on, so she’d be bored staying at home! Hmph.
At least Easter could be relied on for that. She was expecting again!
The appetizers were a hit and the cake was well-liked too! It was nice for folks to sit down and catch up. Cousin Adalynn and Coop were finally getting to know one another, while you-know-who’s mind was elsewhere entirely.
Folks finished eating and got to mingling, and Ede went looking for her beau.
“Hello, Edelweiss,” Malcolm smirked.
Ede was obviously at risk of leaving her flesh again, her yearning exceeding its carrying space. Malcolm seemed to delight in seeing her squirm this way, but only for a moment or two. He wasn’t completely terrible.
“Meet me by the river in an hour,” he whispered.
While this silliness was going on, Coop had slipped away to dance upstairs. When I finally noticed, she was mid petal-toss at the poor neighbor boy.
Coop flirty danced with Landon until he was convinced she had the hots for him (this took about a minute) – he tried a couple flirty moves of his own and she shut him down, hard.
Oof, this wilty flower just never learns.
The party was wrapping up, and Ede made her way out to the river to meet Malcolm.
It was a gorgeous night, as always. The moon was up and the crickets were out. Ede’s slender form cast a long shadow on the grass behind her as she looked out over the water, recharging her core.
It wasn’t long before Malcolm arrived.
“Come to tease me some more?” Ede asked.
“No,” he smiled, producing a flower from behind his back.
“I wish you’d stay,” she said, breaking the long embrace. “Despite what my mom thinks, I really am ready for whatever.”
“Are you sure?” he asked seriously.
“Yeah,” she smiled, “I am.”
She was being honest. Every day since they began courting, Ede’s had this deep dark secret wish taking up space in her heart and head.
She wasn’t about to tell him this, mind you. But she’d stopped fighting it at least. It didn’t seem to be going anywhere.
“It’s you who needs to decide readiness, besides,” Ede said earnestly. “Are you ready to deal with this family and this house and all that goes with it? I mean, we’re not exactly low maintenance over here.”
He laughed. “I think I’ve been handling it okay so far.”
“You’ve been incredible,” she smiled.
“I don’t know what to think when you’re all agreeable like this.”
Ede shrugged. She was too tired and too content for pretending.
“I’m tired of thinking, and of talking,” she said. “And it’s chilly out here.”
“I’ve got something for that,” Malcolm grinned. “C’mon.”
They walked a short distance to where the tent Ede had bought but not had a chance to use on their trip was set up.
“Oohh!!” Ede squealed excitedly. “If you’re consenting to be my living heater while we sleep outside, I’m all over this plum!”
“You got it,” Malcolm chuckled.
They piled into the tent..
.. and eventually managed to get warm.