The Tea Party

It didn’t help that Samuel and Josephine made such a lovely couple. They seemed so happy, so well-suited to each other, that Cecily felt her love for Samuel growing more dim and irrelevant by the minute. It pained her to look on the blissful pair for too long, but the pain was almost welcome, as it scoured away any last hope she had held of Samuel changing his mind.

No, she was resolved: she would love James now, and let Samuel be a fond memory. Samuel didn’t love her, but James did, or at least he said he did, and she had believed him up until the mention of this frilly letter…

“More tea?” Cecily asked brightly, trying to hide her dismay. Samuel was about to answer when Dorothy suddenly rose and stretched her arms, yawning in her most ladylike manner.

“Oh, I’m so terribly stiff!” she exclaimed, tilting her neck. “I think I’ll take a short walk if you don’t mind. Do you still have that wonderful strawberry patch at the edge of your property? Oh, I’d love to pick a strawberry or two. Won’t you come with me?” She directed this last to Samuel and Josephine, who agreed it would be delightful to pick strawberries.

Samuel glances at Cecily

Before standing, Samuel glanced at Cecily, who nodded encouragingly, then at James, who was staring at the teapot. Then he was gone, following Josephine and Dorothy across the lawn and into the foliage beyond.

Cecily turned to James and smiled. “Don’t you want to pick strawberries?” she asked.

James smiled boyishly. “I think Dorothy wanted us to be alone,” he said.

“But why?” she asked, sincerely curious. “What does it matter to her?”

Cecily questions James

James sighed, leaning back in his chair. “Who knows. Girls always have ulterior motives, don’t they?”

Cecily didn’t understand. If Dorothy wanted them to be alone, then presumably she knew something of James’s affection for Cecily. But if that were the case, then why had she brought up the perfumed envelopes? Was it to make Cecily jealous? Or just to provoke James?

“I don’t know, “Cecily said, standing up. “I’m so confused.”

Cecily spoke the truth: she was terribly confused. But even in the midst of her bewilderment she knew she had to take advantage of this opportunity. Turning away from James, she wandered listlessly towards the statue of Cupid that Mayhew had insisted they put in the garden. Offering up a prayer to the odd little cherub, she stood and waited.

It wasn’t long before James’s voice sounded softly behind her. “Cecily,” he said, and she felt compelled to turn around. He took a step closer.

James takes a step closer

He said her name again, almost whispering it, but he made no move to take her hand or otherwise touch her. “You know I don’t care about those letters,” he said, smiling.

“But just last week…” Cecily murmured.

“It really bothers you, doesn’t it?” he asked, his eyes lighting up.

Cecily blushed to the roots of her hair, but she had the presence of mind to recognize an opening when she saw one. “Perhaps,” she said, knowing that her downcast eyes betrayed her true feelings.

Cecily blushes

“I will admit, I did sigh longingly over a letter once,” he replied, “But that was before I saw you at Dorothy’s party. The girl who wrote those letters has nothing on you, Cecily. Besides,” he added intently, “she’s far away, and you’re…right here.”

He still refrained from touching her, but his gaze was making her toes tingle. He seemed to be waiting for some sign from her, something to reassure him that she did care for him, that she wasn’t going to turn away from him like before. Realizing this, Cecily made the smallest of gestures: she reached one hand out to his, barely brushing her fingertips against his skin.

It was all the assurance he needed. In one smooth motion he caught her up in his arms, and Cecily was reminded of their encounter in her father’s study, when she had leaned sighing against him for the briefest of moments. Only now she didn’t lean – she held her head back and looked straight into his eyes, which seemed to have bound her in a kind of spell.

James holds Cecily in his arms

All of Cecily’s old childish fantasies about James suddenly crowded into her thoughts. How many times had she imagined this scenario, his arms around her, that adoring look in his eyes? For how long had she dreamed of being James Haddaway’s girl, the girl for whom he would toss aside perfumed envelopes and frilly letters forever, unless they were signed by her?

James’s expression grew suddenly grave, though his eyes remained luminous. Cecily felt as though all the world had stopped, and though she had felt that way one other time before, when Samuel Haddaway had kissed her under the trees so long ago, Samuel was the absolute last thing on her mind as James Haddaway swept her forward and pressed his lips against hers.

The kiss

(to be continued…)

(NOTE: I’m sorry this update is so short – it’s about a third of the update I had planned for tonight. It took me longer to write than I thought it would, so I decided to split it up into parts. I know you guys wanted a long one, but sleep won out. ;-) I’m hoping to have Part II done by Wednesday night, so stay tuned!)

17 thoughts on “The Tea Party

  1. Oh, I love it! Gave me butterflies, if you can believe it. =) Can’t wait for the rest!

  2. OMG i was expecting for the 300 pictures update :-D but this is ok is not long or short is really good, and i’m as confused as cecily, i still can’t see who she really loves! can’t wait till the next post!!

  3. thomas, you just reminded me of something — when I was taking Brayton pics the other night, I noticed that Cecily has the aspiration to get engaged to Samuel AND the aspiration to get engaged to James. So even the Sim Cecily is confused! LOL.

  4. Oh wow! Poor Cecily!!! Great update, as always. I’m waiting with baited breath for the rest of this!!

    Where’d you get those gorgeous chairs and the table btw?

  5. Wonderful update. :D Can’t wait for the rest. Cecily looks absolutely gorgeous in that first picture of her after she is alone with James.

  6. OMG, oh, oh,oh!!! I have a feel Ceily is in love!!!!!!!
    James is pretty cute, and ceily looks great in that dress, I love it!!!!
    I think Samuel has feelings towards her!!!!! We’ll have too wait and see!!!!!!

    Great UPDATE, Love it!!!!!!! PS: Can’t wait for part 2!!!!!!!

    Jess =)

  7. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*gasppantgasp*EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
    So cool! So cool! No words! :D

  8. Jen, this is a super update. It was so captivating and inspiring. You really bring the characters to life with your words and the pictures you chose are so perfect for the scene. I have a feeling though that James isn’t done being the playboy. I just hope Cecily doesn’t get hurt. I can’t wait to see what else happens.

  9. Thanks for providing another update. I have my sister in denver hooked on your stories now. Your writing is going around the world, and that’s good! I really can’t wait to find out what happens, but I guess I must. To the amusement park I go!!!……

  10. Wow, Jen, great update (as usual!!), I can hardly wait to read the rest, this Cecily-confusion thing really got me hoocked!

  11. I love it! Jen, the update was the perfect length with just the right amount of suspense. I think we can wait a few days in order to preserve your sanity, I know how hard it is to get good updates together.

    I have to ask where you got that outdoor table set though…I love the umbrellas!

  12. Ha funny that cecily has aspirations to get engaged with both brothers what a hoot!

    Nice chairs btw, looking forward to reading more. :)

  13. Hi Jen.
    OMG OMG OMG… that was a great update. I’m very confused. I also think Samuel has feeling for her still. I want her to be with Samuel but that ship has sail and i love that you put great effort into showing us that Cecily didn’t want to make James look like second choice. Very well done. It’s all so believable. Your story truely is coming to life. It’s my soap opera. My Sim soaps, “This is the days of our sims.”
    I’m more and more hooked.
    Jen thanks for giving me my sim soaps. I’ll be counting the hours till your next update.

    Oh i had an idea, once you finish… er kinda have enough … you may want to do kinda bookish style to it. YEa i know more work for you.. i’m sorry to make you work. Just was sharing an idea. I have a feeling you are gaining more popularity with you sims stories but more with the Braytons.

  14. Wow, you really leave us all in suspense right now. Does James love Cecily? Does Cecily love James? Will he propose to her or will she run away again, still unsure about her feelings and emotions?

    OMG, it’s already thursday afternoon (Western Europe), I hope we all don’t have to wait much longer ;)

  15. I’m sorry, Catootje! You’re going to have to wait a little longer! :-) I wrote about half of the next update last night and hope to finish the rest tonight, which means I probably won’t post it until about midnight Central time at the latest.

    I also have to apologize for being behind on everyone else’s blogs. Hopefully this weekend (with an extra day off for the holiday!) I’ll get a chance to catch up.