The Modest Maiden

“Good evening, Miss Brayton.”

The light from the chandelier glinted off the partially bald head of the butler as he welcomed Cecily into the resplendence of Haddaway Hall. The young lady entered with an apprehensive smile and paused, momentarily overwhelmed, as her beaded satin dress swished to a halt. Instinctively she scanned the room for James, whom she had just seen through the drawing room window walking towards the foyer. Unfortunately she saw only a maid in a crisp black dress carrying a tray laden with hors d’oeuvres.

The butler brushed past Cecily and made for the back of the house, then turned when he realized Cecily wasn’t following him. He came back to her, arching a curious brow.

“Everyone is gathered in the ballroom,” he said politely, with the mildest tinge of impatience.

“Everyone?” Cecily asked, stalling for time. Through her immaculate white gloves, her fingers clutched at her skirt. She was suddenly more nervous than ever, imagining the whole Haddaway clan waiting in the ballroom, glancing up as she entered, leaning over to each other and whispering…except for James, who blithely pretended she didn’t exist…

“Miss Brayton? Are you quite well?” asked the butler.

Cecily’s breath wavered, but she recovered it.

The butler greets Cecily

“Yes, I’m fine. Thank you.” She presented him with her most placid smile.

The butler, one brow still arched in doubt, turned on his heel and led Cecily through the foyer.

As they moved past the grand double-staircase and through two sets of doors, Cecily was conscious of a troublesome weakness in her legs, but she kept her posture as well as she possibly could. From the room ahead, she could hear music – the soaring strain of a violin – and a murmur of voices. Suddenly she was standing in the midst of it, gazing upon the Haddaways and their rather small number of guests. Having dispatched her thusly, the butler disappeared, and Cecily stood alone.

Cecily surveys the ballroom

She saw Sophie and Henry Haddaway, now middle-aged and silver-haired, sitting at a table with Percy and Regina Lloyd. Beyond them she thought she glimpsed her cousin Josephine Lloyd talking to a well-dressed young man. As he turned slightly, revealing a familiar profile, Cecily realized it was Samuel, to whom she had not spoken since their sour exchange outside her house so long ago.

For a moment Cecily pondered walking across the room to greet him, but a sudden knot in her stomach kept her from moving in that direction. She wasn’t sure she was ready to talk to Samuel yet. His haughty attitude at their last meeting had bothered her tremendously, and though she wasn’t sure she didn’t deserve harsh words from him, she was still angry about it.

Cecily turned away from her view of Samuel just in time to see Dorothy Haddaway striding towards her. Her face was radiant, as befitted the recipient of such a lavish party, and she immediately embraced Cecily as though she were a long lost relative. Cecily returned the affection, though she was somewhat taken aback by Dorothy’s generosity.

“My goodness, Cecily!” Dorothy said. “You do look lovely! And so grown up, too! Has it been so long since I’ve seen you? When was the last time? I do believe I saw you in town at least once over the spring. But then I’m always in such a daze whenever I’m out and about, I hardly remember what I see and don’t see. But isn’t this a dazzling party? Mama has really outdone herself, though I wish she would have invited more people…this ballroom can hold so many more!”

Dorothy greets Cecily

“And I’m sure all of them would enjoy the Haddaway hospitality,” Cecily said with a sort of detached courtesy. Dorothy had never been this kind to her, and it put her on her guard somewhat.

Dorothy kept talking, her eyes large with excitement. “And have you seen Mama and Papa yet? They said they rarely see you anymore. It’s a pity you stopped visiting us. Grandmother always missed your playing the piano for her.”

Cecily tried not to look surprised at this view of things. I didn’t stop visiting, Cecily wanted to shout, you stopped inviting me! Was this what the whole family thought? She felt her color rise.

“And how is your grandmother?” Cecily asked, hoping to shift the conversation.

“Oh, she has been well since she went to Baden-Baden. I got a letter from her just last week. She said she has found some wonderful lace for my bridal gown, and I wrote back to her, saying, ‘But grandmother, I don’t even have a beau yet!’” At this, Dorothy released a ladylike laugh. “Though I do have my eye on someone, I must confess — have you met Archie Kempe? His family is from Sakima Falls, and he’s rather handsome, if I may say so, and Mama invited them tonight, though I’m not sure they’ll show – oh, but there are the Nystroms! I must greet them; do make yourself comfortable, Cecily.”

Dorothy spies the Nystroms

Dorothy sped off to greet the Nystroms, leaving Cecily alone again. Dorothy’s stream of chatter had done little to calm her nerves, and she glanced about the room looking for a friendly face, or at least a corner in which she could seclude herself. A couch at the back of the room looked rather promising, but as she made her way towards it, she was cut off by the sight of James crossing the room.

Cecily’s stomach knotted up again, but this time it was different. Instead of dread and anger, she felt a fluttering excitement and a return of her old girlish hopefulness. He was certainly as handsome as he had ever been, and just as dashing, but now added to the mix was an air of gentlemanly maturity – she had noticed it in the way he was leaning against the mantle when she saw him through the window, and she noticed it now as he intercepted Josephine and struck up a conversation with her.

Cecily stood rooted to the spot, watching them from afar. She was entranced by James’s cool air and charming smile, and wondered if her cousin was entranced, too. But though Josephine spoke to James with an easy familiarity, she did not seem overly taken with him, and she kept glancing past him towards Samuel, who seemed to be waiting for an opportunity to step in.

James talks with Josephine

Taking that opportunity, Samuel clapped a hand on James’s shoulder, spoke a few words to Josephine, who nodded, and then the two brothers were off, heading in the general vicinity of the food. Josephine turned to watch them appreciatively, and Cecily saw this as her chance to join the happy company.

“Cousin Josephine!” she said, crossing the room. “How wonderful you look!” As her elegant cousin turned to greet her, Cecily was conscious of sounding a bit too much like Dorothy Haddaway, and tried to calm her enthusiasm. “I haven’t seen you in ages. How have you been?”

Josephine, who was the epitome of calm, shook Cecily’s hand. “Cecily,” she said serenely. “I’ve been well, thank you. Mother and Father have been dragging me all over the place, but I’ve begged them to stay in May Green for a good year, and they’ve reluctantly agreed. So you may see more of me now.”

She said this last as if bestowing a gift. Cecily smiled. Josephine was proud, but how could she help it, having Regina for a mother? At least she had her father Percy, a surprisingly humble man, to balance things out.

“I’m glad to hear that,” Cecily said, not sure if she really meant it or not. She remembered Regina bragging about Josephine’s many suitors, including “one of the Haddaway boys.” Cecily was sure it had to be Samuel, but she couldn’t count James out of the running now that he was back from college.

(continued on Page 2)

36 thoughts on “The Modest Maiden

  1. Yes, yes! Yes! Even though I sometimes don’t like suspence this was a wonderful update. I hope she makes up her mind. At least then I’d know who she loved.

  2. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    Jen, you should write books. Seriously. I know I’d read them! Such a cool update! :D

  3. Now I’ve got the excited comments out of my system I’d like to take an opportunity to ask if you’ll ever come back to the Shaneys. I’m definetly not saying you should because I like story-mode. I’d just like to know if there’s anyway it could still be fun for you and that is all.

  4. Oh boy! Whoa buddy…im so …at a lost for words..i..i am just so overjoyed that i fear that i might cry. Haha. I dont even know anymore you are just so wonderful. I hate the supsense but i love the story. I bet Samuel still likes Cecily right? Right? And and and um James and Samuel will have a sibling rivalry over her right? Right? haha im just going off because of the wonderfulness of the update. I have to calm down. Thanks for another update.
    Good night
    – Eva

  5. Wow, what suspense! And well done, of course. Your writing style is so amazing, I agree with Kay. You should definitely write books. You would be my favorite author, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to read your next update! You’re doing so well with this story!
    As for everyone else, I’ve finally updated Serendipity Sims! I had a long hiatus, but I’m back to writing now and I’m starting a new story called Destiny at Heart. The first part of it should be posted by tomorrow or the next day. Keep checking!
    Anyways, good job, Jen! You’re a wonderful writer!

  6. Curiousity has gotten the best of me, what aspirations are Cecily, James, and Samuel? I LOVE the story btw, it’s great!

  7. Arrrgh!!! You always leave us hanging! :)

    I have to say though, I’m rooting for Samuel and have been ever since he first gave us a hint of his true feelings. James doesn’t deserve Cecily.

  8. I think Cecily should find someone completely different! Leave both James (obviously a rogue, hmph) and Samuel to hang in the wind. :D

  9. Jen great update, oh i knew she loved Samuel!!!
    Oh but she is oh so pretty!!!

    Guys I have been having a bit of trouble!!! You see my sims 2 clean pack installer is acting up and has not been sending the objects and clothes and stuff to the game!!!!
    Can somebody help me?????? I am totally lost, and just download some wicked clothes!!!!!

    Jen you rock, and I agree with kay and jessica, you should totally write books!!!!!!

  10. That girl better make up her mind soon, or she’ll lose both guys’ respect!!

    It’s a wonderfull update Jen, as always! I can hardly wait for the next one!!

  11. Yup another fantastic post, and I agree she better make up her mind or just plain forget about them and find somebody else. Haste makes waste.

  12. ChooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel chooseSamuel!!!!

    Great post, looking forward to next one! :D

    P.S. Choose Samuel!

  13. Wow! I think Helen’s right – Cecily should choose Samuel. Anyway, the Shanleys – I’ve think I’ve found a way of making them more exciting! Those Sims at…I can’t remember the house’s name, sorry…wherever they were, with Cleo the alien and all of the other Sims still alive at the end of the Legacy challenge, they could have a kind of family reunion. I miss Cleo. Yes, I’m sad. Anyway, great update, Cecily looked wonderful as always.
    E-Liz xxx

  14. I shall continue the cry of the general populous…Choose Samuel..Choose Samuel..Choose Samuel. And, I hope you make Josephine behave “poorly” with James, so that Samuel’s heart will be broken, and he wil run into Cecily’s waiting arms!!!! Yay! I love the clothes btw.

  15. Ok i have had time to calm down. Again i would like to compliment you on your story. Cecily has grown to be quite beautiful and stuff but i find myself wondering what her mother must think. We have not see her in a while, but i cannot say that i must complain. The story is still going perfectly perfect. Oh and where did you find pescado’s clothing hack? Thanks.

  16. Wowsers, thanks for all of the feedback! You guys truly rock. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to write these stories and get such a great reaction.

    So you guys think she should choose Samuel? Hmm…

    To answer a few questions:

    Marcie: You asked about their aspirations…Cecily is a Family Sim (which I rolled randomly, believe it or not!), James is Romance (mwahaha), and Samuel is…Romance! But the way I’ve written his character, he doesn’t really fit that, so…what do you guys think he should be instead? Any thoughts? :-)

    Jessic@: Hi there! I don’t use Sims2Pack Clean Installer, so I don’t know much about it, but you could try posting on the thread at MTS2 if no one here can help you.

    E-Liz: That’s a cool suggestion — I’ll definitely give it some thought! I miss Cleo and that generation, too. The Shanleys were so fun back then.

    Eva: Interesting that you mention Cecily’s mother — I was just thinking myself that it’s time for her to make an appearance…

    As for Pescado’s awesome clothing hack, I downloaded it from the VariousSimmers forum (thanks to Chatty Kathy for posting about it!).

  17. Hmm. Samuel.. Popularity, perhaps? Or Knowledge. Or another Family! I still vote that she find herself a third guy, though. Someone who’s poor but sweet. :D

  18. I think knowledge for Samuel. He just seems that kind of slightly geeky, sweet and friendly guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and gets slapped down every time (always the friend, never the boy). Or am I stereotyping?

    I’d never thought about the tall dark stranger option for Cecily. Now that I think about it, it could be interesting.

    On second thoughts, I still vote Samuel!

  19. Well, Jen I just wanted to let you know that your blog is the only one I have been keeping up to date with. I know I haven’t left any messages or comments but I have read every update you post. This story has been getting better and better as it goes along. I really can’t wait until the next update and I always find myself wishing they were longer. :)

    Anyway, I hope to be starting my blog once again after quite a long pause in play/blogging because of computer problems. So I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of me in the future.

    Have a nice day.

  20. Yay. Ok thanks for the tip. I’m kinda confused but i am sure i will work it out. And as for aspiration should be something that reflects his personality, and who better to know his personality than you! So i would say that whatever you pick is definately what he should be.

  21. Hmm maybe like Fortune. Oh and where did you get the hair for Cecily it is absoulety beautiful!

  22. Hi Jen. I’m been gone for a while now and finally read all your updates. I love the direction you are taking with the story. I sense that James is just stringing Cecily around cuz he wants what his brother wants. Maybe he is just taunting him with the possibility of having anyone he wants. BUt that’s just a theory i have.
    I would like to see Samuel and Cecily together.

    I’m truely looking forward to your next update. I just love how you are keeping all of us in suspense. If you did write a book i would be one of the 1st in line to buy it. ^_^
    You truely have a great talent.
    Thanks for a great story and a great update.
    Happy Simming

  23. It’s great to hear how you guys want the story you go (or how you hope it’s going) — even though I’ve been heading a certain direction for some time now, it’s certainly not set in stone, and I do love complications! ;-)

    Amanda – Hey! And hooray! I’ve been checking your blog on a regular basis since February hoping you’d return — and you have! *does happy dance* Welcome back!

    Eva – Yeah, that hack can be confusing just from reading the forum, but it’s really easy to use — it’s just a pile of clothes under Miscellaneous. Select your Sim, then click on the clothes and “Pick New Outfits”. It’ll cycle through Everyday, Formal, Pajamas, etc., and you can purchase and change into them all in one fell swoop! It ends with the “Change Appearance” screen so you can set their hair/makeup, too. It’s VERY handy!

    Marcie – I downloaded Cecily’s hair from Pronupsims, which is one of my favorite sites for hair, especially since there are a lot of updos!

    Mary – Hi there, it’s always great to hear from you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the stories, and I hope you’re doing well. :-)

  24. I was wondering what Cecily’s hair was, too! *goes to see the site* It’s so pretty.
    The Haddaway’s garden is lovely.
    And, man. Two cliffhangers, one after another? Curse you (in the nicest way possible)!

  25. Dagnabbed enter key. Anyway… I’m really liking how it’s all going. I keep thinking about Cecily, like “mann. So indecisive! *falls over*” I hope she doesn’t get too indecisive, and end up with no one. That would really stink. *sigh*
    But, anyway, yeah. I love settings like this. I sometimes half-think it’d be so nice, living in a time period like that. Wow. I really kind of wonder what’ll happen with the next generation of the Shanleys.
    Anyway, like I said, it’s going really nicely. :D

  26. Maybe Cecily should be the heir after all. It isn’t an official legacy anymore and Arthur and Fredric are clones and it would take too long getting Paula to be old enough. Since it isn’t an official legacy you wouldn’t even have to have her marry an NPC. If Samuel is who she’s in love with then maybe it would be best if he was a family sim like her. I also agree with Kay. You should write books. Even though it would take forever to finish the process.

  27. Are you gonna send Cecily to University, Jen? (‘Sim States Education For Proper Young Women’ or similar) If so, you could always have her meet someone there. =)

  28. Oh, and I’ve updated my site again. :) Two huge updates, one has 50+ pictures, the other about 20. It’s in two parts, I did my best to make it creepy!

  29. I know I always have to point this out but “Greetings from Mount Geneva…which is being terribly neglected in favor of May Green…” Hmm…

  30. Haha, I noticed that about a day ago. Poor Mt. Geneva! Are you ever going to go back to your Mt. Geneva families again, Jen?

  31. I’m doing great. Thanks for asking Jen. Just working too many long hours and i just came back from a 9 day vacation to florida so that kept me from coming to see your site.
    Now i’m looking into buying a house and that’s going to take a lot of my free time too. BTW how is your new home? Are you finally all settled in?? :D
    Anyways i’m so so looking forward to your stories. I’m sorry you haven’t had much fun with your other families but we are all having so much fun with your Brayton family.

    Anyways thanks for all the time you put into these stories and happy simming

  32. Blu – Heya! It’s good to see you around again! :-)

    Nita – Your comment made me laugh out loud — you’re absolutely right, it would take me forever to write a book, because even without the Sims, I am a slowpoke. I’ve tried it before and just can’t seem to stick with it. The Brayton story is probably the most I’ve written in years! You guys are a huge part of that because, well, it’s just more fun when you can share it with people right away.

    – Cecily’s already too old to go to University, but that’s a cool idea! I am definitely toying with the idea of throwing a third guy into the mix…just not sure who yet. ;-) And I’m off to read your update right after this!

    Jessica – I finally went back to one of my Mt. Geneva families tonight – the Shanleys. At least, I finally finished my update on them. I haven’t played them in ages! I plan on writing stories about them — maybe they’ll end up being as fun as the Braytons.

    Mary – Wow, you’re looking for a house? That’s awesome! I wish you the best of luck! I’m settling in nicely at the new house — feels like I’ve been here forever. I’m sure in no time you’ll be settled in, too. :-)

  33. Hey Jen! I actually have another thought as to why James, not Samuel, could be Cecily’s one true love/husband/father-type (for her children). First of all, he was her first love. Second, when confronting Samuel she still said that she loved James. If someone is about to kiss you and you think of their brother…well, maybe its not meant to be. Thirdly, it’s obvious that James is attracted to her. This could work out nicely as long as James is faithful.

    However, that was just an idea. I will be perfectly happy with Samuel, or mystery man!
    And a great update. They just get better and better! I await the next one!

  34. Jessic@ – I use the Sims 2 File Maid to install all of my downloads. It’s not supported by the creator of the program but it’s very easy to use! It doesn’t allow you to remove hacks and custom objects on downloaded lots, however, so if that’s what you want to do, you might want to keep trying with the Clean Installer. I download very few lots, and the ones I do download claim to be “clean”, so I don’t use the Clean Installer.

    Vivi – Hi Vivi! Hmm, very interesting idea! I love to hear suggestions — they let me know if I’m on the right track or not. ;-) And sometimes I do incorporate the suggestions into my story. So thanks!