The Modest Maiden

Without thinking, Cecily nodded, and James led her out the side door and around the back of house, through gardens fragrant with roses, to the other side of the ballroom. The sound of the violins drifted out into the nearly cloudless night, and a sweet summery breeze sent the trees rippling. James stopped near the fountain, nearly under the shadow of a great willow, and turned to Cecily.

“I must know,” he said with a sudden eagerness. “Is it true, what my sister said? I don’t mean to startle you, but…I should really like to know.”

James confronts Cecily

“Is what true?” Cecily asked, feeling like her knees might buckle at any moment. Standing in such a setting, with James looking at her so earnestly, had been the most prominent scene in her girlish fantasies for years, and now that it had come true, she felt unequal to the intensity of it. She suddenly longed for the warm quiet of her room, and Carol’s soothing voice saying good night.

“Were you in love with me?” James asked boldly, with no sign of nervousness. “Are you in love with me?”

Dumbstruck, Cecily glanced down at the smooth stone of the patio. Her heart thumped so violently beneath her beaded satin she was sure the whole neighborhood could hear it. She saw James’s hand reach for her arm then; his fingers brushed her lightly, almost tentatively, and though she was wearing gloves, she thrilled to his touch.

James reaches for Cecily

“I…I don’t know,” Cecily half-whispered, her voice not working properly. “That was a long time ago.”

His fingers drifted down to her hand, which he clasped with an airy firmness. “Forget that time then,” he said in an almost mesmerizing tone. “How do you feel now?”

“Confused,” she said, meeting his eyes again. “A little frightened.” A pause, then — “Nervous.”

James seemed pleased with that response. “Ah, Cecily Brayton,” he said in a wistful tone. “You aren’t like the other girls. You’re…modest. And it’s not that contrived modesty that so many girls put on, as if they were powdering their faces with it.”

Cecily glanced down involuntarily, as if to illustrate his point. When she glanced up again, he was smiling almost boyishly.

James holds Cecily’s hand

“So how do you feel about Samuel?” he asked, his eyes hinting of mischief.

“But…you promised not to mention him,” Cecily said, glancing anywhere but at James. He grasped her other hand and squeezed it reassuringly.

“Yes, I know,” he said, laughing impatiently. “But can’t you see, if I’m to continue with this, I must know how you feel about him.”

“Continue with this?” Cecily repeated. “What is this exactly?”

James laughed again, somewhat recklessly. “This,” he said, bringing one of her hands up and planting the lightest of kisses upon it. Cecily felt faint. “You see?” he continued, drawing closer.

Cecily took a deep breath, searching for her voice. “I don’t know how I feel about Samuel,” she heard herself saying. “He’s…very dear to me.”

Cecily speaks to James

James nodded, lost in thought for a moment, as Cecily became aware of quiet voices in the garden. Without knowing why, she let go of James’s hands and backed away from him half a step.

“It’s no one,” James smirked. “Are you worried that Samuel will see us? Does it matter so much?” Moving closer once more, he reached up to touch Cecily’s face. She raised her hand quickly to brush him away, but he caught it playfully and stroked his thumb against her wrist.

Cecily evades

The intimacy of the caress made Cecily shiver, and she pushed his hand away again, this time more forcefully. “We can’t do this,” she said, feeling more confused than ever. “I don’t know why, but we can’t. Not right now.”

“But Cecily –“ James lunged towards her again to grab her arm as she turned, but Cecily shook it off and strode briskly towards the almost comforting clamor of the ballroom.

Halfway there, she paused, feeling conspicuous, and slowed her step. She wasn’t going to cause a scene at Dorothy’s birthday party by bursting into the ballroom with a guilty countenance. Instead, she relaxed her face into her most tranquil expression and continued walking towards the house.

Cecily leaves James behind

After thanking Dorothy and saying farewell, Cecily left Haddaway Hall. She stood on the front step a moment, looking around for her father, but it was only half past ten, and he had said he would pick her up at eleven. Not wishing to wait for him, Cecily gathered up her skirt and nearly ran down the street to Brayton Hill. As she neared the promising warmth of home, it suddenly struck her that she hadn’t spoken to Samuel once the entire night.

Why she was thinking of him — and not James — she couldn’t say.

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!