Another newcomer

The Hurt (Jeffries) Family

For quite some time no new neighbours had come to Pleasantview and nearby Bluewater. Then out of the blue Marlon Jeffries arrived.

The first thing you noticed about Marlon was that he was bigger than most other men. When he was a teenager he already looked different, but not much. When he turned into an adult, he became broader and a lot more muscular though. His mother would not have known if it was a burden or an advantage had she not fully trusted her son to have good judgement and enough intelligence to be aware of sims who could not see beyond his appearance.
Marlon's father had died when he was a teenager and afterwards he had lived with his mother until she had died too. They had passed away far too early (being older already when he was born), but until then he received much love and care from them.

The second thing you noticed about Marlon was that he was a really nice guy. Florence, Peter and Wanda had come to his house to greet him and were immediately invited in.
His body together with his kindness often gave people the impression initially, that he might be a little bit dumb, but that was part of the burden of his appearance and not true. Marlon did not get the chance to go to college, helping his mother after his father died. His grades had never been exceptional and the pain of loosing his father had further decreased his performance in school. He was interested in many diverse topics though and when other sims discovered that what they may have thought to be stupidity was really sincerity and openness, they found the conversation with him very enjoyable.

He talked mostly to Florence who became his first friend in Bluewater. Peter he liked very much too and he gained him as a friend soon after.

Even Katie, who like most romance sims did not think much of family orientation, could not help admitting that Marlon was rather cute.
Joselyn, Marlon's mother had seen this partly as a burden as well. Already when he was a teen and only slightly more athletic than other boys, the girls began to have an interest in him. Marlon was very much the family type and wanted a girl for life. She was worried that he could be lured into a relationship with a woman who was not his true love. Fortunately, both Joselyn and Hugo - his father - were very reasonable and understanding sims and they believed that a good upbringing that enabled Marlon to make his own decisions was a better preparation for life than a restrictive parental leash.

 

On his first visit to Pleasantview Main Street, Marlon met a few more people. Aemon had been in college with Katie and he and Marlon soon became friends. Marlon thought that Aemon was a bit strange, but he liked him nevertheless.

Aemon had recently fallen in love with Angel Hurt, who had lived in the dormer with them, but he knew that he and Angel were not really compatible (he was easy about it, because there were others apart from her). When he became friends with Marlon he thought that he would be someone Angel would like to meet and a few days later he invited them both to his house.

Actually, Marlon and Angel did not get on as well as he had thought. Marlon seemed to find more common interests with Nina, who had walked past and was invited also.
In the late afternoon Aemon had to leave for work, but his friends stayed on until late at night.

Although he got on better with Nina, she was a married sim and Angel was not. She was very beautiful, but that was not what mattered to Marlon most. She was clever and interesting to talk to. The only thing he regretted was that they had disagreed on so many topics because like Aemon he felt that they had all the prerequisites for getting on well.
The weekend after meeting her at Aemon's house he invited her over. Angel arrived in the company of some friends and he did not get to talk to her at first. Then, later, when they were in the living room he approached her and told her how much he enjoyed meeting her and what a beautiful pale skin she had. Marlon was a shy person and he had to overcome it to charm her.

Angel immediately got a crush on him. She didn't know what had annoyed her about him on their first meeting and she was glad she had disregarded it and accepted his invitation.

Maurice was playing darts with Willow and Marlon asked Angel if she would like to dance. He explained that he was a terrible dancer and probably needed some instruction. 'I'm not a good dancer myself, but I try', Angel replied. On this he hugged her which resulted in a crush on his side.

As the evening continued they were dancing close, but when Marlon was trying to get closer, Angel pushed him away and asked him not to squeeze her so much.

'I'm sorry, do you want to stop?'
'No, I didn't say that. Just move away a little bit, alright?' She smiled at him. She did not really want to let go of him, already when they were in the hot tub, where sitting next to him their legs had touched, Angel had wondered what it was like to hold him.

Marlon was glad that he had not offended Angel. He liked her, but usually it was easier for him to get along with people. Either she was sending the wrong signals or he kept misunderstanding them.
Jocelyn could rest in her grave in peace. As much as he dreamed of a family and was hoping to fall in love, he was waiting to find the right sim first.

He had a notion that it could possibly be Angel, but he did not know for sure yet.

Marlon's life in his new home town was going well. He had come there more or less by chance, when the old house of the Strattons was up for sale, but within a week he had already found his first close friend in Florence.

He got a job with the police force and was promoted twice within a very short time. Marlon was not certain if this was the career he wanted, but it paid well and he could already begin to save some money.

The house was small and it was unnecessary to hire a cleaner. Marlon had also been taught well in this respect and even if he was not the tidiest person in the world he was keeping his place in order.

When he invited Angel the next time she asked again if she could bring a friend. Marlon was pleased to see Maurice who was friendly and entertaining, but he wondered if Angel avoided seeing him alone.

She did not act like it. Instead she looked at him tenderly and gave him a romantic hug. 'It's good to see you again', she whispered into his ear while she stroked his back.

That day they kissed for the first time. It was not a great romantic kiss, just a peck, but they both enjoyed it. It was not only because of his shyness, that Marlon wasn't more straight forward. He was growing fond of Angel, although he had only met her a short time ago. Yet, it was not love at first sight between them and Marlon was not sure if she really was the girl to get serious with. He did not want a temporary girlfriend and he did not want to make promises to Angel too quickly, afraid that he might end up meeting the woman of his dreams when he had already made a commitment.

Marlon did not speculate on it, but most women would not have rejected him. He caused quite a stir in the female community and some of them could not resist having a closer look at him.

'I'm sorry, I did not want to embarrass you with my stare', Jennifer said. 'But I have to admit that I've never seen anyone with a build like yours.'
'Never mind. You're Peter's wife aren't you? He talked about you, I'm glad to finally meet you.'
'Yes, I'm Jennifer. Actually, it was Peter talking about you that made me coming over. I'm sorry I didn't welcome you in the community earlier. I hope you come and see us at our home one of these days.'
Jennifer still found it hard to take her eyes off his body, but she was trying her best.

Apart from Jennifer, Marlon had met a few more women from the neighbourhood on his occasional visits to town, but although he still had doubts whether he and Angel were meant to be together, he was thinking about her a lot. It was one of those evenings, when the house seemed very empty and quiet and Marlon was missing Angel.
'Hi, Angel. I know it's a bit late, but would you like to come over? No, don't worry about a bus, get a taxi. Yes? Yes, that's great I see you soon, I show you the whirlpool I bought. Yes, I got it only yesterday. Ok, let's end this call, I see you.'

About an hour later Angel arrived. Marlon went outside to pay for the taxi and then greeted her.
'Hi, I'm so glad you could make it. Would you like a dip into the whirlpool?'

When they were in the hot tub, Marlon moved closer and put his arm round her.
'In the beginning I thought that we didn't get on so well, but I really like you Angel. I missed you tonight, I wasn't sure if I should call you, because you must have a lot of work at the moment with your final exams approaching, but I wanted to see you so much.'
'I'm glad you did, I like being with you too, more than with anybody else.'

She had moved onto his lap and he kissed her. She pressed her forehead against his and sighed. 'I love you', she added silently in her thoughts.
Marlon was thinking the same. He realised that despite his cautious approach he felt more than fondness for Angel.

Marlon had wished to find someone to love since he was a teenager, but he had always imagined it to be different. Although he had been thinking about Angel so much lately, he had fallen in love with her almost by accident, because after reflecting on it he had decided that their relationship still needed time.

It was not Angel's first romantic experience. She and Aemon had been flirting and fallen in love, and there were a few other students who had fancied her before. Her feelings for Marlon were different though. When she met him at Aemon's house she thought that he was nice, friendly and good looking (too much of all maybe to excite her). But it wasn't until he invited her over for the first time that she had started to feel attracted to him and since then she had become aware that he was exactly the type of guy she wanted.

Marlon was determined not to hasten matters, but had been tempted to ask her to stay over night. Throwing a look under the blanket he noticed that his body was aching for her too.

Maybe under different circumstances Marlon and Kaylynn would have come together. He had met her in town previously and they liked each other straight away. There was an immediate understanding between them and when he saw her walking past the house one day, he stopped her and invited her in. After a few hours talking in the hot tub they were friends already.

Kaylynn was more shy than Marlon even, but with him she felt relaxed and her attraction to him was visible. She soon told him that she was living with Enrique and that they had a child together though.

Since he had fallen in love with Angel, Marlon felt commited too and while they were both aware that there was a strong chemistry between them, they tacitly agreed that they would only be friends. It was enjoyable too, because they were getting on so well that they soon felt comfortable enough to talk about very personal topics.
'Of course I would like to know what it's like to woohoo with someone', Marlon said, 'I just want to be sure it's with the right person, one I will always love. I do not judge others, a romance sim might think differently, but that's the way I feel.'
'I think you're so right, don't change your mind. I used to be the same and I wish I would have stayed true to it. At the time I really thought me and Don had a future, but when I think about it now it hurts me. It meant so much to me and for him it was only another conquest.'

Around 8 o'clock Kaylynn told Marlon that she had to leave. Enrique was alone with their daughter and he might be worried about her, because she had told him she would only go out for a walk.
'You have to come and see my daughter Annika. She is so cute and such a clever little girl too.'
'I'm looking forward to it. I give you a call soon.'
Then they said goodbye and without thinking about it, their hug ended with a small kiss. They both got a bit embarrassed and Marlon realised that it would not be so easy to keep romance out of their relationship.

In the coming weeks he went out to town more often. When he talked to Kaylynn he had become aware that the heart could lie to you and even if he was becoming more and more convinced that Angel was the sim he wanted to live with, he wanted to look around more, mainly to test his heart and see if it would be drawn towards someone else.

There was no shortage of nice women and some of them, like Christy Stratton, he found rather appealing.

But his feelings for Angel did not change and when he returned home he was thinking about her and not the others. He had repeatedly wondered whether he should ask her to move in with him once she finished college and sometimes he became quiet because it was on his mind when he was looking at her.

'You tell me, when I'm squeezing you to much', Marlon said referring to their first dance. 'No, it's just fine', Angel replied and giggled because he had lowered his hands and was gently rubbing her bum.

His build provoked enough respect in the criminals to stop them from getting into any quarrels with him and this enabled him to have the same nice and friendly attitude at his job as he did in his private life. He was promoted so often that he had to leave some jobs he had only just started. He had already made considerable savings, enough to support a family.

Every time he invited Angel over it was partly with the intention to ask her to move in, but something always hindered him. Sometimes his doubts returned and he was not sure if it was a good idea, more often the time passed too quickly and Angel had to return to college.
Despite being a knowledge sim, Angel was usually light hearted and cheerful, but lately she had been quieter and more serious. Marlon would have liked to ask her about her final exams, which should have taken place already, but it seemed that Angel did not want to talk about university. Asking her to move in would have brought up the topic of her graduation and it made it more difficult to propose it.

He was thinking about it the next morning when he was taking the trash out.

But his thoughts were interrupted when he turned round and found his true love standing in front of his house. Her name was Fluffly Feline and she had soft grey fur and a white belly. She left no doubt that she intended to move in and share her life with him.
'Hi there, where are you suddenly coming from?' Marlon bent down and stroked Fluffly who immediately began to purr.

When Marlon went back inside Fluffly followed him, at first a bit wary and cautious about her new surroundings.

But then she gained confidence and walked through the door into the house claiming it as hers. Marlon was the last sim who had moved into the Pleasantview neighbourhood, but the first who became the proud owner of a pet.

Shortly after, his carpool arrived and before he left for work he forgot to put out some food for Fluffly. She complained loudly about it when he returned and from then on it was clear who was the mistress of the house.

Everyone who passed by was inspected and greeted like Moonbelly, another stray cat. Nobody knew where these pets were coming from, but suddenly they were everywhere.

Marlon had thought about the cat the whole day and in the afternoon he rushed home to start a friendship. When she greeted him with a moan, he apologised and filled some cat food in a bowl, both of which he had bought on his way back.
After Fluffly had eaten he picked her up and hugged her. 'I'm so sorry, I hope you can forgive me.' Fluffly had forgiven him as soon as she wasn't hungry anymore and she was purring and rubbing her head against his cheek.

Marlon had called Angel on his mobile before he came home and invited her over. He was really excited to tell her about his cat and she duly appreciated her, but the whole time she was looking sad and eventually Marlon asked her what was up.
'It's about university', she said, 'but I don't really want to talk about it today, it will only spoil the evening. I rather want to know how you got your cat.'

Marlon respected her wish and they did not talk about it anymore, but it stayed on his mind and the next day he invited her over again.
The day before Fluffly had slept most of the evening, but today she was awake and ready for some fun. After she said hello to Marlon, Angel turned to her and started playing with her. Marlon watched them while he was cleaning the food bowl. Although she had only arrived the day before, being nice to Fluffly was already a good way to win his heart.

He cleaned the cat box too and then walked up to Angel. 'Now tell me, what has happened? What is troubling you?'
Tears started to form in Angel's eyes and she looked down. 'I failed my exams. I was informed I have to leave the campus within the next days.'
'Oh no! I'm so sorry. This is all my fault, I should not have asked you to come over all the time, I kept you from your studies.'
'No. I was well prepared and I passed, but then they accused me of tinkering with my grades and expelled me. It's not true, but I can't prove it. There was a mix up with the papers and I can understand why they think that I changed my grades.'
'Oh Angel! I'm so sorry. Come here, come into my arms.'

He hugged and kissed her. 'Look, I've been thinking about it for some time anyway. Do you want to move in with me? You don't have to feel under pressure, you can decide if you want to live here temporarly until you've found a place for yourself or if you want to stay. It's up to you.'
'Marlon, thank you! I was afraid to ask. Yes, I would be very happy if I could move in. I get a call from the university administration every day, asking me if I found a new place already. I was really worried about it.'

Then she stepped back. 'What's happening? I feel all funny.'

The next moment she swirled around amid a cloud of sparkles. 'Wow, I nearly forgotten about this!'
she laughed when she transformed into a full grown adult.

The sparkles faded and behind them Angel reappeared with a radiant smile on her face.
To Marlon she looked more beautiful than ever. Like many sims before him, he understood that sometimes it was only after a decision was made that you found out that it was the right one.

The Hurt (Jeffries) Family pt. 2

While Angel was making some phone calls to arrange for her belongings to be brought over, Marlon relaxed in the hot tub. Then he walked into the house and asked her if she felt like taking a trip to town. 'Let's go shopping. I feel like buying you some clothes.'

They went downtown and when Marlon got out of the taxi, Angel looked lovingly at him. She was extremly happy about her move-in.

They went into the clothes shop and picked a few things for Angel to try on. It would have been a great evening, but it was slightly spoiled by one of the female sims from the neighbourhood. Sierra had set her eyes on Marlon as soon as he entered the shop. He had met her a few times before and so they started talking while Angel was trying on clothes.
Maybe Sierra had misunderstood his intentions, however, she became very competitive and when Marlon wasn't looking she quickly turned round to Angel and said some very mean things to her. Marlon was shocked to see that Angel was crying when he looked at her again.

'Hey, what's up? Are you still sad about your exams? Don't worry, I know you're clever and you will make it without a college degree.'
She sniffed and leaned on his chest. Sierra watched them with a grim face. She did not like this turn of events. Marlon looked worth some trouble.

A moment later she approached Angel again and started to argue, poking her hard on the chest. 'What's wrong with you!? What have I done?' More than by the insults Angel was hurt about the fact that a sim she never met before had such a strong dislike for her.
Meanwhile Sierra realised that her behaviour did not let her appear in a good light. Marlon did not interfere with the argument, but it was obvious that he was siding with Angel.

After Sierra walked out Marlon hugged Angel and told her not to worry about that stupid woman. She pressed herself against him. Being in his arms she always felt safe. She was a confident and independent young woman, but some part of her was longing for a man like Marlon, someone she could lean on.

They trusted Fluffly to stay around and had taken her downtown with them. While they were shopping she entertained herself watching some of the neighbourhood strays who tried to destroy a park bench. Some other sims were doing the same and only the two guys sitting on it did not seem to notice that everyone expected them to crash together with the bench at any moment.

Fluffly received a lot of attention too and she went straight into her basket when they returned home, exhausted from playing.

Angel put on some of her new clothes and went into the bathroom to have a look at herself. Looking into the mirror she decided that it was time for a new style. When she was finished with her hair and make-up she almost looked younger than she had as a student. The bun was practical, but it always made her look very mature.
'Goodness, I hardly recognise myself', she said. 'I hope Marlon likes this'.

He did. 'You look very beautiful. This haircut really suits you', he said when she came to the dinner table.
'Yes, you think so?' Angel was very hungry, but she found it hard to get a bite down. In the last hours her life had taken a sudden turn, she had left university, grown up and was now beginning her life with a man she loved more every minute. She wondered if Marlon was feeling the same excitement.

Marlon found it hard to take his eyes off her the whole night. It was very late already, but they were still playing a game of chess and he nearly forgot to make his moves sometimes, because he was looking into her face. Her lips were inviting him to kiss them and her eyes were large and filled with love. He thought that she did indeed look like an angel.

Angel had not really concentrated on the game either. She had been pondering about the changes in her life and her relationship with Marlon. Some time during the late evening a van with her stuff had arrived and among it was a machine that she had originally acquired only for examination.
While Marlon was in the bathroom getting ready to go to bed, she set it up in the living room, hoping that he would not come in. Reprogramming herself was a very personal decision and she would have rather kept it a secret. It was a way to finish with everything that happened previously, her dreams of scientific achievement and academic success. She did not want it anymore. She wanted a new life, a home and a family and she wanted to be the perfect match for Marlon, although this part slightly embarrassed her and was one of the reasons why she did not want to tell.

The machine was buzzing and pictures of married couples, babies and the like were flickering on a screen above it.

Her head was spinning a bit, when she joined Marlon who was already in bed and curled up to him for their first night together.

The next morning they had the first chance to find out how they worked together as a couple, when the shower broke down. While Marlon was trying to repair it, Angel was mopping up the puddles that were forming around his feet.

Eventually Marlon managed to stop it from leaking and then left to go to work. Angel was cleaning the tiles which were covered with drops from the water cascading from the shower. She was still the same person and at the same time she already felt the effect of reprogramming herself.

Marlon returned home from work early and asked her if she would like to go on a date. When he asked Angel to move in the day before, he had still been determined to take it step by step. One reason was to give her time to make up her mind about him and not being forced into a long term relationship, another, to determine for himself if he was really absolutely sure about her.
One night together, feeling her body close to his own, was enough though to change his mind and he was hoping the day would end with their first woohoo.
When they arrived downtown and got out of the taxi he looked at her and his last doubts disappeared. He did not care anymore if there might be another woman who would be more suitable for him. Angel appeared the most wonderful and perfect creature he ever met and he loved her with all his heart.

As if she had known what went through his mind she lept into his arms and put her arms round him. 'I love you', she said. It was all he needed to hear.

The sun was beginning to disappear behind the buildings on the other side of the street as he grabbed her hand and kissed it.
'Angel, do you want to marry me?'
He had not planned to propose to her, but as soon as they got out of the taxi, the idea had come to his mind. He had said yes, before he asked her, yes, to her being the one, yes, to a life with her.

Angel needed a moment to grasp the situation. While Marlon looked at her expectantly she slowly began to understand that he had proposed engagement.

'So, what do you say? Do you want to marry me?'

Angel closed her eyes. Her brain had processed the information, but as a result she was so overcome with emotion that she still had to recollect herself for a moment before she was able to speak. 'Yes, I want to marry you', she finally replied.

'Oh Angel, I love you. Let's get married as soon as possible.' He meant it. He would have been willing to marry her straight away.

They kissed passionately and desire and longing began to mix into their happiness.

They wanted to woohoo with each other, but they had been out for less than an hour and they were both hungry too.

They went upstairs to the restaurant and ordered a meal. Angel only wanted a salad. Like the day before she was too excited to eat and it took her a long time to finish her plate. Marlon watched her. She looked very different with her new haircut and clothes, but it was not her appearance that had led to his certainty regarding her. It was every single moment since she had moved in the day before. Waking up next to her in the morning, repairing the shower together, going out to the shops.

After the meal they returned back home. Marlon went into the bathroom and when he came out Angel was in the bedroom sitting on the bed. Marlon entered the room and sat next to her. Due to the fact that he had been forced to act like a grown-up so early, it was easy to forget that he was still a very young man. But he was and as such he was filled with needs and desires, which - slumbering inside him for a long time - were now demanding satisfaction.

'I want to woohoo with you', he whispered, hardly able to repress his excitement any longer.

Instead of a reply Angel bent over and kissed him. Of course she had not chosen to wait for him in the bedroom without reason.

When she got up to have a shower Marlon followed her. He had a preference for underwear, but Angel not wearing anything was a very pleasant sight as well. He looked at her admiringly, before he joined her.

Then Marlon checked if Fluffly had everything she needed and Angel prepared a quick meal in the meantime. But before long they were back into the bedroom. Marlon did not have to ask if she wanted to woohoo with him again, because her pose and her seductive smile could not be misunderstood.

They did not sleep much that night.

When Marlon got up the next morning he felt brilliant, although it was very early and he had gotten two hours sleep at the maximum. He picked up Fluffly and hugged her.

'And how are you this morning, my dear? I hope we haven't neglected you'. Fluffly enjoyed the attention, but she could not keep it for long because through the open door Marlon spotted Angel who looked very sexy in her underwear even while she was filling the dishwasher.

He put Fluffly down who began to complain with loud mewing. 'I would like to spend more time with you too, but I have to go to work', he explained to the cat, who was not willing to accept this.

Then he went into the kitchen and greeted Angel with a kiss. 'And how are you?'

'Hungry', she replied. 'I know it's a bit early, but there is only cereal for breakfast, so I made some spaghetti instead.'

While she was rinsing the pot Marlon watched her. 'What a lovely sim she is', he thought.

After Marlon had left, Angel went to bed for a few more hours. Then she got up again, dressed, picked up Fluffly and went to town to look for a wedding dress. At the shop she met her old housemate Vassily and they chatted for a while.
Angel had always thought that he was quite attractive although he could not match Marlon. He talked about Ninou and his children and Angel could see that he was very happy in his marriage.

Meanwhile Fluffly was making friends again. She was friendly and everyone thought that she was a very cute cat.

When Angel had chosen a dress, she picked her up and they drove to the pet shop that had opened in Bluewater. 'I'm going to find you a pet friend to keep you company', she told Fluffly.

She had to look around for some time, but eventually Angel found a cat, who was just the right one to become a member of their household. As soon as she picked him up, she knew that he belonged to them.

He must have been starving because when they arrived back home he immediately went for the cat food. Fluffly watched him for a moment, but she was rather indifferent towards him and preferred playing with Angel.

When she talked to Vassily, Angel realised that she had not spoken to Ninou for a long time and so she called her later in the afternoon. Angel had a lot to tell and she was glad to have a friend to discuss her recent experiences.

Marlon returned in the meantime and they spent the rest of the day with each other or playing with the cats. Marlon thought that it was a great idea to get a companion for Fluffly and that she had made a good choice too.

Benji liked his new family and soon picked a place on a kitchen counter where he could have a good look at everyone.

Fluffly continued to be reserved towards him but Angel and Marlon quickly became friends with him.

Their first woohoo did by no means remain their last. Some mornings Angel found it hard to separate from Marlon and made sure they would at least have one last embrace before he got dressed and left for work.

Sometimes they had friends over. Marlon wanted Kaylynn to meet Angel. He knew he did not need to worry about jealousy, with him and Kaylynn both accepting that they belonged to someone else. Both Angel and Kaylynn got on very well with Ryan Delarosa too.

The morning usually started with a romantic hug. Benji was once again more than satisfied with his favourite spot; it was perfect to get a close look at those two sims.

Then it was time for him and Fluffly to be greeted.

Through all those moments of living together their love grew. Angel still liked knowledge and since she didn't have a job yet, she spent most of the time while Marlon was away studying all sorts of useful skills. But a lot of her thoughts circled around him and how she had almost by chance got engaged to the most wonderful sim that ever walked their universe.

What was more was that being a young couple in love they were probably among the ones most affected by a change in their world that happened soon after the first pets had appeared in their neighbourhood. The two events were not related, but they both affected their life in a great way.
Other than the pets the second change was more a matter of the mind.
Suddenly a sense of liberty swept the Pleasantview neighbourhood. They found it hard to explain, though most of them would have said that they felt more independent, as if some inhibitions were removed from them that had stopped them from always acting the way they wanted before.
Amongst other things it gave a new quality to cuddling on the sofa and it became an activity Angel and Marlon liked to engage in, when Marlon returned from work in the afternoon.

Their love life was getting quite exciting and was another source of satisfaction with their relationship.

'You know, it really is time to get married', Marlon said one of these afternoons, after they had been making out on the sofa for hours.

Angel agreed. Neither of them saw a reason to wait any longer.
On her wedding day Angel looked at herself in the mirror thinking about Marlon and whether she had chosen the right dress.

Her doubts about it were dispersed when she went outside and Marlon told her how beautiful she looked. 'You made me think of Snow White before, but today you definitely look like a fairytale princess.'

He continued his praise of Angel when he talked to Peter, who was the first guest to arrive.

Shortly after the other guests followed. Angel had invited her friends from university and Marlon his best friends, Peter, Florence and Kaylynn.

When everyone had a drink and got seated in the garden afterwards, the wedding began. It was the moment Marlon had been dreaming of ever since he was a teenager.

Suddenly, after they had spoken their vows and kissed, Marlon started to worry about Kaylynn. How had she taken his wedding, was their friendship strong enough to control their fancy (which was undeniably there) or was there some bitterness?

But he was reassured when Kaylynn smiled happily at him while she was cheering and applauding together with the other guests.

Thinking no more about Kaylynn he turned to his wife and kissed her.

They had set up a bar outside and hired a barkeeper. They cut the wedding cake together and then Angel was feeding Marlon the first bite of it.

Then they had some fun with the wedding cake.

Later, when it was too dark outside (they noticed they had forgotten to buy garden candles) the party continued in the living room. In the meantime some more guests had arrived. Jerome inquired if he could ask Cassandra to come over and they apologised that he had not understood their invitation to be for both of them. Lilian Gardener walked by and was invited in as well.

Their friends were sitting and chatting at the table and Angel and Marlon got up for a dance. They were a lot better at it now because they often danced in the evening when they were at home.

The other sims did not pay much attention to the couple, but since there were two cats in the house, they usually had at least one of them as an observer.

As usual the party ended when the limousine arrived to take them on a ride.

When they came back and got out of the car, Angel lept into Marlon's arms. 'This is the happiest day of my life!'

They danced some more until it turned into kissing. Then they looked at each other and headed for the bedroom.

Looking at Marlon when she came into the bedroom Angel considered herself a very lucky woman. He was surely one of the most desirable men in the neighbourhood and he was her husband now.

She curled up in his arms and he caressed her before he untied the laces at the back of her dress.

After their woohoo they were still looking and smiling at each other for a long time before they turned round to sleep. Marlon ran his fingers over her shoulder and down the back, until his arm rested on her waist.

Marlon did not only want marriage, he was dreaming of a family too and shortly after the wedding he started looking around for a new house. When he found one he liked, he and Angel went there one weekend and he asked her what she was thinking about it.
'It's fantastic! Marlon, you are incredible, first this wonderful wedding party and now this! But it is very big, are you sure we can afford it?'
'No, not really', Marlon replied, 'we can afford the house, but we won't have the money to furnish it properly. I would like to buy it though. If you tell me that it is okay for you, we could sign the contract next week.'

Marlon had a good job and his income would enable them to buy more furniture within a reasonable time. Angel liked it as much as him and they bought it and moved in.
Even though they had brought a lot of their old furniture, the new house was much larger and it looked indeed very bare in the beginning.

Apart from their bedroom they did not use the rooms upstairs much (which were to become the rooms of future children) and most of their furniture was found on the ground floor. But even there it looked empty since they had restricted themselves to the most basic furnishings and fittings. The hot tub in the garden was the only luxury they did not want to miss.

After looking around Benji found a spot on one of the kitchen counters which was almost as good as the old one. They did not mind the cats being on the furniture, but Marlon found an interest in teaching them other commands. They also kept a watchful eye on how they behaved towards the other. It had taken some time before they stopped ignoring each other and their friendship was still volatile.

Money was short in the beginning, but it did not impair their happiness. They were young and only just got married. Being with each other was all they needed.
Marlon knew that it would not be sensible to have a baby this early, but he was often tempted to suggest it to Angel.

There were still so many things they needed and they could not really afford a child at the moment, although Angel had started with the police force recently. Even if the house being bare was no big deal to them, a few things would be absolutely necessary if they had a baby.

The other household members weren't bothered by the lack of furniture either. After some more testing Benji had decided that the new kitchen counter was even better than the old one and he preferred it for sleeping over the basket and the pet house.

One day Marlon came back from work and when he walked into the living room he stopped at the door for a moment to look at the scene before him. Angel was sleeping on the sofa and both cats had joined her and were lying in synchronous positions on the living room floor.
It was a moment of perfect harmony. Angel's pale figure was bathed in a golden afternoon light and she looked very beautiful.

He felt almost guilty to disturb her, but could not resist. She woke up when he sat down next to her and smiled at him. Angel was only wearing a swimsuit and Marlon took it off her and then got rid of his uniform. Soon they were both naked and Angel sat on his lap and put his arms round him.
'Hi', she said, still sounding a bit sleepy.

Marlon threw all his reason overboard. If there ever was a perfect time to have a baby with Angel this was it.

They were making love like never before that afternoon.

Afterwards he kissed her and whispered: 'You know what I was doing, don't you?'
'Yes. But I want it too.'

Without their knowledge the cats chose to follow their example shortly after.

One early afternoon when they were both at work Fluffly disappeared into the pet house and Benji followed her.

When they reappeared they had already turned into watchful parents. When a wolf came down the street and got near the pet house, Benji approached it suspiciously. Fluffly stood by and watched them, but in the end Benji's role had only been to distract the wolf, because Fluffly was making a move from the side and and started a fight. What she lacked in size she made up with fierceness and the wolf decided to take a leave.

In the time that followed Angel felt more tired and exhausted, but she did not throw up and still had the same slim figure. After their lovemaking on the sofa that afternoon Marlon had been sure that their try for a baby was a success and he was beginning to doubt this feeling only when Angel showed no signs of being pregnant.

He did not need to worry. Despite the lack of morning sickness a child was growing inside her and eventually it did show.

As soon as she was pregnant Angel's wish to have a baby was a strong as his.

When he touched her belly for the first time it was almost with awe, as if he could not believe that a son or a daughter of his was inside there.

But then he turned up and held her. 'Oh, Angel this is wonderful. I was beginning to think that we did not succeed, I'm so glad we did.'
'Yes, I know, I worried about it too. It's going to be great.'

Marlon could not stop looking at her. Everytime he saw her rounded body it made him think about the child they were going to have.

The Hurt Family pt. 3

If anything her pregnancy increased Marlon's desire for his wife.

They spent even more time on the sofa now, much to the annoyance of the cats, who claimed it to be theirs.

As much as he tried, Benji's reproachful looks could not disturb Marlon and Angel, who seemed to spent an awful lot of time not wearing any clothes these days.

Marlon liked holding Angel afterwards almost as much as their woohoo.

Apart from the sims she had lived with at college, Angel did not have many friends and although Marlon enjoyed being alone with her, he knew that she was a sociable person and would like to meet more of their neighbours.
Angel warmly welcomed Brandi and told her that she was very glad to meet her after hearing so much about her. Brandi thought this to be a reference to Marlon, who she had become friends with when he was over at their house one day. It would have never occurred to her that she had gained a certain status in Pleasantview, not only because she belonged to the 'original' families who had lived there from the beginning but also for overcoming hard times remaining the same cheerful sim she had always been and her achievements along the way.

Marlon had invited Maurice as well and while they chatted in the hot tub, Angel continued her conversation with Brandi. Brandi was very proud about Dustin's recent graduation and she was talking about it when she noticed that this was apparently a sensitive topic for Angel. When she heard about her misfortune she reassured her that you could get very far without a college degree, herself and the other more mature sims being the best example.
'Yes, my main ambition is to get to the top of my career in the police force and you don't need a graduation for this', Angel replied. 'And you will have another task coming up shortly', Brandi said. She was surprised when Angel told her that she was still in the early stage of her pregnancy. 'You are very big already', she remarked.

Angel liked Brandi very much and they became friends. She also wanted to keep the friends she already had though and so a few days later she invited Katie and Ninou over. She got to talk to both of them, but they had not seen for a long time either and ended up spending more of it with each other than with her. Angel still enjoyed their company. Despite the cats making it lively, the house felt very empty sometimes when Marlon was out working and if she did not have friends around she missed him.

One evening, Fluffly began to moan, before walking out of the house and disappearing into the furthest corner of the lot. Marlon followed her and could soon welcome three kittens to the household.

He carried them to the house and put them on the pillows they had already set out for them, but he could not keep his hands off them for long. They were so incredibly cute.

It was one indication that Angel was soon to give birth as well. 'I can not imagine that you can grow any bigger', Marlon said to her, 'it must be any day now'.
Benji, who was sitting in his usual spot, joined in the inspection but kept his opinion to himself.

They had another visitor that evening, a colleague that had come home with Marlon earlier. Angel talked about work with him for a short time, but then she was exhausted and went to bed. Afterwards Marlon had a conversation with him before he apologised for saying goodbye so early. He did not have to explain to Adrian that he was nervous about Angel giving birth soon. She looked like it was going to happen any minute.

There were still some hours before the birth was taking place though. It was early morning when Angel was giving Marlon a push and woke him up before she got out of the bed herself. 'Quick, call for an ambulance, it's starting', she moaned holding her belly.
Marlon would have liked to do as he was told but like any other sim in this situation he was panicking too much to react.

Finally Marlon called a taxi and despite her pains Angel still managed to put on her clothes (contrary to Marlon who had completely forgotten that it was a sensible idea if he was to accompany her), but she did not get very far. After a few steps towards the staircase she was holding her belly again. 'It's too late, it's coming right now'.

On top of this confusion there was a surprise for them. After Angel had given birth to a baby boy, she was holding her belly again and then another one was born. One of them, who they named Arden, came after Marlon, the other, named Asten, probably would have his features too, but looked at them with the bright eyes of his mother.

They needed the money, but even more important was that the children would get proper care and it was too much for one parent alone, so Marlon called work and asked for some unpaid holiday. When his superiors heard about the twins they spontaneously decided to give Marlon some extra days (paid) and told him to stay at home and look after his children and his wife. They soon realised that it was absolutely necessary because despite both of them taking a share they could have done with some more hands to help. The babies received full care and attention, but the house soon turned into a mess. Marlon felt that there was at least one clogged toilet or broken shower and baby bottles were lying around everywhere.
It was useful to have both parents at home when one baby was born, with two babies it was sufficient if both of them gave up sleeping for a while.

Outside in the garden there was another family and their life was comparitively quiet. Since Angel and Marlon also had to take care for them, they had a lot more time for fun and playing.

The two families did not mix often, which both sims regretted. They were grateful for every minute sleep and it was simply too valuable to spent it playing with the kittens. Whenever they looked at them they were sad though that they would miss seeing them grow up.

It did not diminish the joy over their own children of course. Even if it took all their energy (neither of the babies ever seemed to sleep more than two hours in a row) they loved being with them.

Marlon would have liked to wait longer, but after some thinking he decided that they would have to give at least one of the kittens away and he was relieved when Peter told him that he was looking for a pet to give to his daughter as a birthday present. At least it would go to a good friend and not some stranger.
He invited Peter to come to his house and showed the kittens to him. Peter didn't need much time to make a decision. 'This one over here', he said and pointed to the one he had just put down, 'they are all cute, but this is the right one'.

'That's Catalina', Marlon said and picked her up. He really felt bad about giving her away and almost regretted that he had said that Peter could have one.

But he knew they couldn't keep them and when he saw how fond Peter seemed to be of her, he started to feel better.

It was autumn and this would have not been spectacular if it hadn't been the first autumn ever. Like some of the other major changes in their life, sims accepted the seasons as a normality and after some initial surprise when it rained for the first time one soon got the impression that they believed that there had always been changes in the weather.
Around the same time the women that had a baby in the house (and there were a few) discovered that it was possible to nurse them instead of feeding them with a bottle. It was taking a lot longer, but Angel liked the peaceful atmosphere when she was feeding one of her boys while the rain was falling in slow heavy drops onto the roof.

Nursing the babies also had the advantage of much less rubbish and there was less chaos in the house now. Since Marlon could not help feeding them anymore, he took over with the other tasks. Like Angel he experienced the same peacefulness when the fall came. Maybe it was partly exhaustion because neither of them could remember when they had slept the last time.
The kittens were in the house now because it was raining a lot in these days.

Like his neighbours Marlon realised that new clothes were needed since it would certainly get colder still. One afternoon when they were lucky and both children were asleep at the same time he felt that it would be okay to leave Angel alone for a short while and go shopping downtown. He had been afraid that he would not be able to find anything in his size but soon found some rather smart coat. Afterwards he picked some clothes for Angel (who would have liked to do it herself but trusted him to get something nice) and then went over to the pool room.

There he met Brandi who proudly presented her belly and the pregnancy it showed.
'Hello!', Marlon greeted the child that was growing inside before he turned to Brandi. 'Congratulations! But to be honest I didn't expect you wanted another child'. He looked at her inquiringly.
'It was an accident really', Brandi replied (with only the tiniest of a wink), 'but I'm very happy. I only feel a bit sorry for Dustin. He and Charlene will have to get used to another strangeness in their family with their child having an aunt or an uncle that is the same age.'

Soon after Kaylynn came in and he immediately put his arms around her and hugged her. It was impossible to keep in contact with their friends at the moment and it was fortunate to meet two of them at the same time. Marlon was very fond of Kaylynn, but Brandi who was watching them could see that it was not a romantic embrace.

Marlon thought that both, Kaylynn as well as Brandi, were lovely and attractive, but he only wanted to be with Angel. He could not imagine a more beautiful sight than when he returned home and found her upstairs nursing one of their sons in the dim afternoon light.

Each of their sons had a slight preference for one parent - Arden for Angel and Asten for Marlon - but the difference was small. They were already very close to both of them which wasn't surprising considering the amount of time they spent in their arms. Marlon wondered if it was normal that they slept so little and if they would remain this active when they grew up.

He would soon find out because the next day it was time for their first age transition.