Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chapter 25 Lost

The pot of food simmers in front of me and I give it a stir. Brandon didn’t do much talking to me today even though he was the one who invited me along. He didn’t even pick me up, instead letting Maria do it. It’s almost like there’s some part of him that is afraid of how I’m going to react as he starts showing me more. Or maybe he’s just certain that I’m going to react badly and he’s giving me my space to do just that.

But he invited me along because he did want me to see it. He even let me see him and Alex fighting. Both of them move in ways I didn’t expect. They’re both faster than I’d imagined they would be. If I ever had to fight anyone like them, I wouldn’t be able to no matter how much training Maria gave me.

There’s a knock at the door that makes me lift my head. At first I’m not sure I heard it, but I still walk over towards the door listening hard. Henri, Jimmy, or Brandon wouldn’t knock. They’d just walk right in. It is possible that it’s Alex though.

I call out even though I worry that I’ll feel stupid when I get no answer. “Who is it?”

A deep voice responds. “Aaron. Henri asked me to come.”

My hand darts to the back of the chair nearest me as my body starts shaking. The shaking alone terrifies me. In my old life, that wouldn’t be a reasonable reaction to someone announcing themselves. My head spins. Where’s Alex? Did he let this guy up? He’d been so disturbed by Aaron earlier, that I almost read it as fear, and if Alex is that scared, then I’m multiple times more scared. My body can’t hold that much fright.

Henri hasn’t miraculously shown up by the time my thoughts clear. Aaron is still out there and I’m just standing here quietly. Maria’s warning is in the forefront of my mind. She said not to be near him without Brandon.

Clearly I’ve been quiet for too long. The door opens, and he walks in, his suspicious looking eyes landing right on me and seeing through my skin straight to my fear.

“Henri isn’t in yet, then.”

“He’ll be here soon.” I say it as I take a step back.

Aaron shuts the door and steps over to me with something in his hand. I’m stuck to my spot, and my hand reaches out automatically to receive the thing he’s handing me until I see it’s a couple of skinned animals or some sort that need to be prepared. My hand stops short still in the air between us.

He smiles. He’s a handsome man which only makes the creepiness that much worse. “Never prepared one before I see.”

“Mom didn’t really eat meat.”

His sharp eyes on me catch me like a small rodent. “I can prepare it.”

I just nod, unable to say no to him. That’s nothing like cooking bacon. It doesn’t seem the sort of thing you can guess at.

He steps past me, and I press myself to the wall to let him through. Aaron moves smoothly just like Alex, but he has Henri’s height and muscle mass. He would definitely stand out from a crowd and draw the eye, but people might be too busy staring at him to actually talk about him.

I hop back over to the stove where my pan is still simmering away. The spot Aaron chooses is directly behind me on the small kitchen island. Henri didn’t say anything about company for dinner which worries me considering our current company is now standing behind me cutting raw meat up much too expertly.

We’re both agonizingly quiet and I stir the pot more than I need to. I glance back at him and see him cutting in smooth swift motions that make me sick to see. He catches me glancing at him and probably looking a little sick before I turn away.

“So who is your mother?” He asks as he lays down the knife and steps over to the sink to wash his hands.

“Cheryl Roberts,” I say as I remove my pot from the heat and turn off the stovetop. I have no idea if he knows who she is, but he’s dressed in clothes that might come from home and I know Henri and Jimmy travel to that side.

He eyes me, the corners of his mouth naturally curving up and his eyes squinting at me as if focusing on something that can’t be seen normally. I try to stand my ground the way Maria said I should though my blood rushes in my ears.

The opening front door catches my attention and so I turn my head and see Jimmy enter, his gray eyes falling on me.

“You creepy bastard,” he says with a smile.

Brandon follows in right behind him and slips over to me. He puts a hand on my shoulder and smiles as he peeks over the stove at the pan I had been cooking. If they all stay, there won’t be enough food for us.

Aaron steps over to Jimmy with a scoff. “I'm creepy? You're one to talk.”

“I'm not the one cutting up a body.” Jimmy smiles at Aaron, completely relaxed, the same as he is with Brandon or even Henri, and for a very weird second I feel like he’s doing me a favor by distracting Aaron. He’s not afraid of Aaron. But then I realize that he’s not afraid of Aaron because he’s Aaron’s best friend and he’s just as creepy and dangerous.

The front door opens again and we all turn our attention to Henri who stops at the door taking in the sight of all four of us standing around in the small kitchen.

We can hear his sigh, or maybe I’m just imagining it. “Aaron, didn’t I ask you to wait downstairs?”

“With the Lost Lander?” That surprises me. I look up at Brandon who’s already watching me. By the look on his face, I’m pretty sure I know exactly who Aaron is talking about. Who else could it be?

Henri glances from Brandon to Jimmy. “Something tells me you wouldn’t have been alone long.”

Next Chapter -->


  1. I read this a few hours ago, but I had to step away to gather my thoughts!

    So...Alex is a Lost Lander?! Or am I missing something? If he is, then wow. That would mean that Henri has been trying to recruit people from that area to help keep their more dangerous members out of the Wildlands...

    I wonder if Jimmy really was trying to distract Aaron. I'm not surprised that Brandon showed up, but I am kinda surprised that Jimmy showed up. It's like having Paula in Henri's house makes them more likely to visit...

    I can't believe Alex let Aaron go up, unless he really is that afraid and won't challenge him. Did he get word to Brandon and Jimmy so that they could go check on Paula? At the very least, I'm surprised Alex didn't accompany him. Weird.

    This chapter just raised so many more questions! Wonderful!

  2. Going off what Rachel has said, I don't find it hard to believe that Alex let Aaron go up on his own. When they were all at the fights, Alex left with Paula pretty soon after Aaron arrived. Perhaps that was as much to protect himself as it was to protect Paula? Maybe Alex didn't want to hang around close to Aaron either. So much to think about!

    I like to think Jimmy was distracting Aaron from Paula. He has shown before that he can be protective of her. Or at least, he's done things that can be interpreted that way, even if Paula herself didn't see it like that.

    Interesting that Paula thinks Jimmy is just as creepy and dangerous as Aaron is. We have more information than she does, obviously, with the flashback story. I wonder if I would have thought the same thing without that background. My instinct is to say that I wouldn't, but I can't really say for sure.

  3. Wow, bit of a head spin. I had to go back and re-read all the chapters with Alex in them to see if I'd missed something, only to discover that you were very careful not to ever actually mention where Alex was from ... until now. This new information about Alex's origins puts a new spin on some of his "10 facts", particularly the learning to wear shoes and the fact that his favourite food is what he can catch.

    Considering Alex pulled Paula away from the sparring as soon as Aaron appeared, I'm surprised he would have voluntarily allowed Aaron to go up into the apartment alone - but perhaps Aaron tried to slip by him and as soon as Alex realised what had happened he called in Brandon and Jimmy, knowing that they would be able to distract Aaron?

    I swear I have at least a dozen more questions from this new piece to the puzzle - loved it!

  4. So a bit more of the puzzle that is Alex gets revealed, how very interesting... *strokes goatee*

    Great chapter mate :)

  5. cutting up a body. Tell me Aaron didn't do that deliberately. Maybe he didn't but that felt like a challenge or a test.

    Whether or not Alex is the Lost Lander, Paula's reaction is telling. A woman who has started to know she has a man, and she has begun to depend on him for protection.

  6. Rachel, you present one possibility. Alex hasn't really gone into why he's here in the story. Was he invited/recruited?

    Also, oh good. Yes, that's what I wanted. Brandon showing up was to be expected, but Jimmy showing... lol, I think Paula being at Henri's house does make them more likely to visit.

    I have to agree that Alex's behavior is odd here. But it feels right. I think Aaron disturbs Alex greatly, and I think it is a fear. Still, my mind just keeps going, "Why?" I only wrote it, and yet it seems murky here. But then I am distracted at the moment. XD

    Carla, oh I'm glad to hear you say that. Actually, you make an interesting observation. Alex didn't stick around very long when Aaron showed up. And he did drag Paula off, but that doesn't mean he was protecting himself as well.

    You also bring up a good point here. I sometimes wonder if it was a good idea to reveal Jimmy's past so early, but then I think it is. He has done things that can be interpreted as being protective of her, though she wouldn't see that at all. The question is always "just how damaged is Jimmy?"

    Illandrya, no one ever asked either. That sort of surprised me! There's a lot that people will let go it seems as they're reading to latch onto the more obvious details, lol.

    I admit that I felt the same way, but at the same time I think it's an important clue to Alex. He's a man who knows his limits; he's also low man on the totem pole rank wise and experience-wise, plus now we also know he's out of his element.

    So being off balance, I think he did the only thing he could think to do that would make sense to him. So you'd be right. Never explicitly said, but we'll get to that.

    poida, lol, thanks.

    SB, probably not deliberately, the whole subliminal cutting up raw meat. But subconsciously, I'm sure he knew what he was doing. I think Aaron is very much the type of guy to test people. I think he did it with Mary that one night.

    Unfortunately, you're right. She has begun to depend on Alex for protection, but he failed her here in the more obvious way. Even if we can assume that she was in no real danger, and that Alex ran and got Brandon, Alex himself didn't come up.

    Besides depending on anyone for protection is a dangerous thing.

  7. Just letting you know that I'm reading here as well - came here from Lakeside Heights.

    Wow! This is way cool - a story like this in Sims3.

    And the story is very, very interesting!

    (BTW - Asimov ftw!)

  8. I think I may finally be caught up!

    I know Aaron is dangerous and I doubt he is predictable but I have a feeling he isn't a danger to Paula. I can see him testing Paula's limits and mettle a bit and he did defy Henri by not waiting however Henri doesn't seem terribly upset by that so again I feel like he isn't a threat to her at present. Curious definitely but not a threat.

    I love how "normal" this scene feels, the interactions between everyone have that everyday feel. I can picture them being a normal family doing routine normal things and yet...they are anything but.

    And Alex is a Lost Lander...well, well.

  9. Welcome Kiri! It's always nice to hear that others are enjoying this story. Also, yay Asimov fan! :D

    Gayl, insightful as always. Yes, Aaron likes to push, but I don't imagine he'd be a true threat to Paula. So then is it possible Alex had other motives for dragging her off? >:)

    Also, thank you. That's exactly what it felt like in my head, so I'm glad it came across that way.

  10. I just wanted to ask if you have ever the tv show The Prisoner (the 1960's one not the new one)

    I ask this because Aaron looks a lot like "The Kid" from the episode Living in Harmony who is played by Alexis Kanner.

    They have some other things in common too. They both dress oddly for where they are and they both give off a creepy vibe.

    Here's an image of The Kid here and let me know what you think.

    Keep continuing to write these great stories.

  11. Hi there! Oh that's interesting. I've heard of the show but never seen it before. Isn't that weird!

    Thank you. :)

  12. Yes, indeed, Alex seems to have dropped the ball here, lol!

    Aaron might be terrible, but I'm also wondering what could he really do to her, as protected as she is? She'd have about five people ready to come after him? (I mean, I do assume that at least a couple/few of them actually genuinely care about her at this point.) I suppose he could find a way to do something so that no one would know it was him? Still, I think I'm more afraid of her running into Killer!

    I took Jimmy's "you creepy bastard" line as distracting Aaron from her as well. But then, I'm in love with Jimmy, so maybe I would, lol! ;)

  13. It's a good question. It's a very rational question. Even for me at this point, the story is a bit murky to be honest. I don't imagine he would harm her, but he is pretty creepy, lol.

    Also, I'm glad someone loves Jimmy, lol. I mean I do, but I'm biased and all anyway.