May 7, 2015

Haley: Week Twenty-Five, Day Three

Living Green Tip #8:  While attic storage can be useful, there are changes in temperature and humidity in an attic that could cause damage to items stored.  If you are storing holiday decorations, remove candles and store them somewhere else. Plastics like dolls and children’s toys may also be damaged by high and low temperatures and humidity. Be particularly careful with antiques from prior generations!

"Thanks for helping me grab the crib, Rach," Haley said.  "I should've set up the nursery before going into labor."  She'd just struggled to get excited about her pregnancy since she'd been dealing with so much baggage.

Rachel shrugged, "No problem.  The attic creeps me out, though."

Haley suppressed a shudder. She couldn't get the thought out of her head that she'd heard someone up there the night she'd gone into labor.
They crossed the attic until Haley stopped with a gasp.

Rachel barreled into her. "What? What is it?" She quickly looked around. "Is it a rat?!" she asked with alarm.
"No. The painting's gone. Someone was in here!" she said shakily.

***

Maritza stroked Haley's arm.  "It'll be okay," she said calmly.

Haley buried her head in her hands.  "That night... I heard something... someone was in our house."

Rachel paced nearby.  "And I bet I know who! That lying, two-timing, braying jackass!" she fumed.  "He's the only person that would've wanted that picture."

Maritza looked over her shoulder, "Rachel, I think it's best if we all stay calm..."

"I am calm!" Rachel snapped back, resuming her pacing. 

Haley tuned her bickering roommates out. She couldn't believe Gage had snuck into her house.  He was supposed to be a police officer!

Everyone turned towards the door when the doorbell rang. 

"Who could it be?" Haley asked, jumping up.

Rachel rushed to the door.
"JOHNNY! Thank you for coming!" Rachel said, hugging her half-brother tightly.   She felt like a bundle of nerves and just seeing him made her feel safer.  "I'm so glad you came!"
"Alright, so what was so important that I had to drive all the way from Bridgeport?" he asked, getting down to business.

Rachel shook her head, "I'll let Haley tell you."
Leading him inside, Rachel smiled widely at Haley.  "Johnny's here. He'll take care of everything," she assured them.

Johnny trailed behind his sister and rolled his eyes.  How could he fix a situation when he didn't even know what the problem was?  "Alright, will someone tell me what the heck is going on?"
Haley took a calming breath before diving into her explanation.  She told him about their whirlwind relationship, discovering his other family, the arguments and threats that had followed, and then finally the little boy she'd recently delivered.
"Why would he break in to get some painting?" Johnny asked, trying to understand the mess Haley had found herself in. It didn't seem likely that a cop would stoop to breaking and entering just to get a portrait.  Although, it didn't sound like Officer Solomon was operating with a great moral compass.
His shy, little Haley blushed to her roots, piquing his interest.   This outta be good, he thought.

"He's practically naked!" Rachel informed him with glee when it was obvious Haley was having trouble spitting it out. 

Johnny shook his head against the images that flashed through his head. "Okay," he said in a gravelly voice, then taking a moment to clear his throat and shove a lid on his runaway imagination.  "That makes a little more sense.  Leave it to me. I'll take care of it." 

***

Johnny asked around and found out where he was likely to find Officer Solomon. He slammed through the doors to confront the bastard.
Gage jumped up from the bench. "Hey! You can't just come in here!" he shouted. "This is restricted for police officer use only!"

Johnny cocked his brow, "Oh yeah? Well, looks like I'm in here anyways."

"I'll have you arrested!" Gage threatened.
Johnny quickly jumped the bench and shoved Gage against the lockers, pressing his forearm against his throat.  "I don't like  being threatened," he said in a hard, unforgiving tone.

"I'm sorry! I.. Don't hurt me..." Gage pleaded, "I've got a family!"

Johnny's eyes flashed with anger at his words. "What I like even less is when my loved ones are threatened.  And Haley Black-Wolff is my family. You get it?" 

"Haley?" Gage asked with surprise.
Johnny pulled back his fist and slugged Gage in the face.  "That's for getting her pregnant and abandoning her," he said through gritted teeth.
"Ooof," Gage grunted as his head whipped back. 
He slumped to the floor, holding his cheek.  Stunned, he glanced up at Johnny.  "She's pregnant?"

Johnny ignored him.  "What'd you do with the painting?"

Gage's mind reeled.  "What painting?" he asked.

"The one with you butt-naked?" Johnny snapped.
Gage surged to his feet. "She told you about the painting?" he demanded. "She said she'd hide it in the attic unless I gave her $1000! That damn bitch!"

Johnny balled his fist and raised it.
Gage immediately backed off.  "Okay, okay! I didn't mean it," he said, trying to calm the thug down. He rubbed his cheek that still smarted from the first hit.  "She said she hid it in the attic."

Johnny was getting a bad feeling.  "You didn't sneak in and take it?"
"What do you take me for? A thief? You'd do well to remember I'm an officer of law!" Gage said, his voice tinged with affront.
Johnny glared the jerk down.  "I take you for the kind of guy that takes advantage of women hiding behind your metal police badge."
With one last shove, Johnny turned and headed away.  "Oh? And I've had a chat with your commanding officer.  You're being demoted to a meter cop," he said casually over his shoulder.  "A complaint against you has been formally filed."

Gage sputtered, "Who the hell do you think you are?"

Johnny just laughed as he pushed the door open and strolled from the locker room.
Shit, what am I going to tell my wife? Gage thought, trying to think of ways to spin this...

***
 
"I know! I want to go out and look for wildlife, too! But, we can't, Mr. Mittens," Maritza said, snuggling her cat, "It's raining cats and dogs outside."

Mittens meowed loudly. 

"Haley said she'd start on the illustrations today. Do you want to go check on it? Come on, let's go!"  Maritza headed from her room with Mittens close on her heels.
"Oh, Haley! That looks great!" Maritza beamed.  "I'm so glad you agreed to help me with this!"

Haley smiled. "I'm happy, too.  Truth be told, I haven't been able to paint anything for months now! I'm glad to have brush in hand again!"

Maritza patted her friend's shoulder.  "You'll paint again. And when you do, it will be amazing as always!"

Haley nibbled her lip.  "I hope so," she said doubtfully. 
Haley worked another hour or so and finished painting her subject, the Emerald Tree Boa Snake.  
 Looks pretty good, she said approvingly.

 ***

Johnny made it back to Haley's house and rang the doorbell.  They were back at square one. He knew in his gut that Gage didn't have anything to do with the break-in.  His surprise had been too genuine.  Damn, but it had felt good laying one on him, though!
"Did you find him?" Rachel asked anxiously.

Johnny shook his head. "It wasn't him."

"Damn," Rachel cursed under her breath.

"I wanted to talk to Haley and see if she had any other ideas."

Rachel checked her watch and made a face. "I have to get to work. But, Haley's upstairs in her room.  Go on up."
Johnny headed through the living-room and his gaze strayed to the family photos. There was a lot of history on those walls.  In some ways he was a little jealous he'd never be on that wall.

Shaking his head at the ridiculous thought, he took the steps two at a time.
Seeing her door open, he stood in the threshold and watched as she snuggled her newborn against her.  Lucky baby, he thought.  His gaze skirted over the bed with determination, trailing to the easel, bare with no canvas.  Swallowing heavily, he knocked on the frame, "Knock, knock," he said before stepping in.
Haley let out a startled gasp, whirling towards the door.  "Oh, Johnny!" she gasped. "You startled me!"

"Sorry, Rachel said to come on up," he said apologetically.

Haley blushed, "No! It's okay. Did you talk to Gage?" she asked.

Johnny nodded. "It wasn't him," he said firmly. 
 Haley blinked. "But if it wasn't him, then who could it have been?"

"To my way of thinking, someone doesn't just break in for a painting," Johnny said.  "They left a whole bunch of other stuff untouched in the attic."

"But why? It was just an embarrassing picture I'd painted!"
"Has anyone expressed an interest in your painting?"
Haley's mouth dropped. "Armando!"

 ***

 Johnny didn't need to talk to anyone to find out exactly where Armando would be.
He strode through the doors to Slick Willie's.  Sure enough, there was Armando, dancing with some chick.
Armando glanced up and saw him.
Johnny smiled to himself when Armando took off at a dead run. 

"Hey! Watch it!" Penelope Landgrabb shouted when Armando shoved her out of the way. "Jerk!"
Johnny broke into a run...
 ...hot on his heels.
 Armando ran to the chain link fence and jumped up, trying to pull himself over.
 "Where the hell do you think you're going?" Johnny demanded, tugging on his legs.
Armando dropped to the ground and backed up, holding his hands up.  "Johnny!" he said. "Long time no see!"

"We're going to have a little chat," Johnny told him.  "Again."

 ***

Haley met Johnny at the door after he'd called to tell her he got her a present.  "Oh my God! You got it!"
Johnny flicked her a smile.  "You had doubts?" he asked jokingly. 
"No! Not at all!" Haley said as she threw herself into her arms. "Thank you so much, Johnny!" Relief made her giddy.  "I'm so happy I could just kiss you!" she laughed.

Johnny's gaze dipped to her lips.
Haley nervously wet her lips, stepping away, embarrassed beyond belief.  She'd just thrown herself at her best friend's brother. At Johnny!  "Not that I would," she assured him awkwardly, "You know, kiss you," she added for clarification purposes.

Johnny swallowed thickly, nodding slowly, at a loss for words.  "Well, I got your painting back," he told her in a gravelly voice.  "Looks like my job is done."
Haley watched him trot down the steps and head to the street, kicking herself for not having the nerve to speak up. 

Besides, it was impossible. He lived in Bridgeport and she lived in Sunset Valley.  He was a... what did he do for a living anyway? she wondered. Maybe it was better if she didn't know...

10 comments:

  1. I KNEW it! I had a feeling it was Armando, but I don't know why he would want that painting... or why he was stalking Haley in the first place. I mean, I guess he could use it as blackmail against Gage, but he was creepin' around way before Gage was even in the picture...

    Heh, I've always liked Johnny. He and Haley would be sweet together, I think. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was worried I was too obvious!

      Really, Armando being a creepy stalker was a story polot so that Haley could call the police & meet a handy-dandy police officer with a nice hidden trait. It was so funny that her place was broken into that night! Saved me the fake meeting!

      Let's just go with he's obsessed with her and her art. After all, in-game he always seemed to appear where she was and come over and talk to her with long awkward pauses!

      Haley & Johnny have a number of hurdles to get through. #1 factor being that he lives in an entirely different town! #2 factor being that neither one of them are speaking up about their mutual attraction.

      Delete
  2. Wow. I'm shocked Gage wasn't the one to take that painting, first of all. And it's quite pathetic he hadn't even heard through the grape vine or anything that Haley was pregnant... Or have realized when he went to confront her about the love letter. Gah. Good riddance. He deserves that demotion.

    But Armando? Creepy! Geez! What did he want with that particular painting anyhow?

    Oh Johnny. Just move back home and do your job there. And visit your sister *very* often. xD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gage isn't the most observant guy in the world. Also, he's an adult now while Haley is just a young adult. Maybe it's a matter of completely different crowds. Good riddance! Or is it?

      Armando IS creepy! I don't think he cared about the subject matter. He just wanted a picture that Haley did. Who knows the thought processes of a creepy stalker? :) I bet he was surprised when he saw the picture, though! Lol. Hopefully that's the last Haley has to deal with Armando!

      Seriously, though! I was thinking after I uploaded the update that he didn't even get to meet his nephew. I guess he'll just have to go back for that! :P

      Delete
  3. No Johnny! You're job is not done! Haley needs more hugs!

    Armando was the stalker outside all along? That actually surprises me, I guess I didn't think he'd take it that far. And stealing the painting, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forget about the hugs - he needs to KISS her! :) I'm waiting for the day they finally get together!

      Armando is a weasel! He's pretty scared of Johnny, though (for reasons yet to be revealed!)

      Thanks for reading!! :)

      Delete
  4. Johnny. <3

    I knew I liked him, lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE Johnny! He's one of my top 10 favorite Sims in this legacy. :)

      Delete
  5. Johnny, the hero that saved the day (and the butt-naked Gage!)
    Come on Haley, he does deserve a kiss for that ;)

    I wonder what Johnny is doing in Bridgeport - private investigator? Or something even more clandestine...? He's so cute though. I hope he gets 'his' Haley in the end <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay Johnny!

      What is Johnny doing in Bridgeport? That's something even his family isn't sure about!

      Delete