The Caliente Family pt. 3

A few days after they had moved into the new house, Manuel was sitting on the potty looking at his father. His father looked as if he wanted something of him and he wondered what.

And then he grasped it. His father did not have to carry him there and stand by him while he was doing his business. He could just go and do it all by himself.

He was little, but still he understood what a fantastic discovery this was. Sometimes it was quite hard to wait until someone picked him up and carried him into the bathroom.

Manuel was growing up and close to becoming a school child, but he was such an exceptionally cute little boy that they simply could not bring themselves to let it happen.

Nina sold the shop and was staying at home. She had not opened it since she got pregnant, but for a while she had still planned to run it again at a later date. She had no inclination to do it though and eventually it just seemed stupid to keep it closed, when somebody else could run it.

They went out sometimes too (the girl from the clothes shop only rolled her eyes, when she was asked about Matthew and Nina), and so there was nothing they were missing while Manuel was a toddler.

But they felt it would be very hard not to have him wander around the house anymore.

It just seemed so natural to have this little boy around at all times.

It was hard to walk past him and not pick him up and snuggle him. No, they could not bring themselves to let him grow up just yet. They knew they could not avoid it for ever and it would have been unfair to Manuel even if it was possible, but they wanted to have him for just a little bit longer.

One day Nina met Florence, who was walking past their house, and Florence told her about her recent wedding.

'I did not even think much about marriage until I met Ryan, but it was the best day of my life. Imagine though, I sneaked away from my wedding night, just to get my garden gnome back. I tell you another time. What about you? You are engaged, aren't you? Are you not thinking of getting married?'

'No, not really, to be honest. I'm happy as it is. You have to meet my little son, you just have to love him and Matthew, well Matthew, hmm, he does things, when we are in bed..'
Nina went on to explain her woohoo with Matthew in more detail, and Florence listened, slightly embarrassed by so much intimacy, but nevertheless curious.
'He is a really good father too, of course', she added in the end, 'you see, I can't think how getting married would make a difference.'

It was true that their sex was an outstanding experience for both of them and they liked to do it as often as they could.

Matthew had other reasons apart from being horny to woohoo with Nina on a regular basis, and when he noticed that she was beginning to feel sick in the morning he smiled quietly to himself.

Nina had not really considered another child, although she was happy when she understood that she was expecting one. But Matthew had been trying, partly because he found it so difficult to let his son part from the toddler stage of his life, and partly because it was a way of tying Nina to him. This was reasonable more than selfish, since the closeness between them since the birth of Manuel was making her happy as well, and as long as this was so she would not get too occupied with the idea of others. Even if she chose to be unfaithful, she would regret it and suffer afterwards, he was sure about that.

Matthew had other plans regarding Nina, of which she was not aware. It would have probably not made a difference if she had, because she felt a contentment she did not get from her life before. She would get up in the morning, dress and feed Manuel, play with him, then she would clean the house (which was spotless since Nina loved cleaning) when he was asleep, maybe sleep a bit too, before he woke up again. If Matthew was at work, he would come home by that time and they would eat, both play with Manuel some more, or she would watch Matthew with their son. Before going to sleep they woohoo'd with each other. This was a usual day and it was so simple, yet Nina, even when she was trying to think about a more adventurous life style, could not imagine it to be better.
Matthew wanted to make sure though that she would not get low, especially now that she was pregnant again and would have even less chance to get out of the house.

He asked her out on a date and they hired a nanny to look after Manuel while they were away. They went out early, because it was the time when the toddler usually was asleep. The time with their son was precious to them and like most sim parents they were also highly suspicious about the competence of the nannies that were available in Pleasantview.
When Matthew asked her out, Nina became aware that some diversion was actually not such a bad thing. They both dressed up and when she hugged Matthew, she noticed that he was using perfume. She thought that this was really sweet, because he knew that she liked a man to smell nice, and being himself not very bothered about it, he had only done it for her.
The nanny looked at them when they kissed, thinking that despite Matthew being quite ugly, they made a rather sweet couple.

Downtown at the Lulu Lounge, Matthew met his brother Kennedy and talked to him for a while, telling him about the happiness of family life. They had lost sight of each other for a long time and only recently had gotten closer again. Kennedy did not know how much the experience of Matthew could be adapted to his relationship with Gabriella - he had recently moved in with her - they both had romance sims as girlfriends, but apart from that the two women were very different.
'I know that Nina is not outstanding', Matthew said, 'not that she is not good looking, but - don't ever tell her - I can't say that I liked talking to her much in the beginning. But since then.., when I come home and she is in the hall with Manuel on her arm, life has never been better. I think I can say that I love her for who she is and the way she is. And the sex with her is amazing too.'

'What did you talk about?', Nina asked him, after Kennedy had left for the dancefloor.
'I told him how good our life is', Matthew said. 'Do you want to get back into the hot tub, or shall we go home? It's getting late and I begin to worry about Manuel.'

Manuel was still asleep when they got back. There was no restaurant at the Lulu Lounge and Nina was very hungry, so she cooked some spaghetti before going to bed.
Their date had been short but great and the whole time when they were downtown she was well and did not feel any sickness. But after she had eaten, it started again.
They were often awake until late into the night because of Manuel, but tonight Matthew would have to look after him on his own.

Soon her pregnancy was beginning to show. Although Nina was looking forward to another baby, it did not make it any easier to let Manuel grow up.

Nina was not known to reflect upon herself or be very conscious of her wishes and fears. She only knew that she was happy and as a result she began to see Matthew differently. There had been a strange attraction to each other from the start, but by now she thought that Matthew was actually quite handsome, and a lovely person too. They transferred their feelings onto Manuel, who never saw his parents other than cheerful and content and to him they were the most wonderful people who ever existed.

Her pregnancy increased the attention Nina was getting from Matthew. Maybe this was one of the reasons, why, contrary to many sim women who as much as they liked to have a child, were glad when this period was over, she enjoyed being pregnant.
Many sim women would have also found it hard to comprehend that Nina thought that Matthew was sweet (although when they got to know him, they agreed that he was not such a bad guy). She was glad to have a second child with him.

One day, while she was still in an early stage of her pregnancy, Nina was in the bedroom when she heard someone coming up the stairs and her sister Dina appeared through the door. They had not seen each other much since Dina had moved in with Malcolm, but it was only through circumstance and Nina was very pleased to see her.
'What do I see here? You're pregnant again and I have not even met my first nephew yet.'
'It was not planned, but Matthew and I are really looking forward to another baby. You should see him. He is around me all the time, asking how I am and feeling the baby.'

Shortly after Matthew came in. He walked up to Nina and kissed her tenderly. Dina smiled, because it was obvious that to some extent it was meant to prove how much affection he felt for her sister. Then he turned round to her and said: 'Would you mind leaving us alone for a minute, Dina? I would like to introduce you to Manuel, but there is something important I have to talk about with Nina, so maybe you could go downstairs and introduce yourself?'

'You know, Nina, I really want this child of us to become a Cox. I think in the time we've been living together, we have found out that it works out really well with us. We belong together and I want you to be my wife.'

'So what do you say? Will you marry me, right now, today? Everything is arranged, you only have to say yes.'
'What?! Yes, of course, yes.'
Even while they were already engaged Nina had still proclaimed that she was not interested in marriage, but this was all forgotten now. It was just another example, which showed that she had no clue what she really wanted until she was getting it.

While Nina was dressing up, Matthew went downstairs and talked to Dina who told him that she had never expected to see her sister getting married and having children.
Matthew liked to hear that because it meant that Nina had not been seriously involved with another man before him. He was in a splendid mood anyway. To get married to Nina had been his secret wish for some time.

He had bought a wedding dress for her, but miscalculated her current size. Although it was wider, it was still impossible for Nina to close it at the back and in the end she had to revert to a rather plain evening dress. She did not care.
Matthew looked very smart in his wedding suit, he smelled really good and ..she realised she really loved him and when it happened she could not think of anything that could make her happier than getting married to him.

After they exchanged the rings, Matthew looked deep into her eyes and gently pulled her towards him.

Then he kissed her passionately.

That as a romance sim she should have a natural aversion against marriage passed through her mind for a split second, but she was too happy to notice much.

Dina had picked up Manuel, so he could watch the wedding and she was now playing with her nephew. She had thought it was only mother's pride, which made Nina think that he was the cutest child of all, but when she met him she could understand why her sister wanted another baby. This little guy was really something special and she grew fond of him immediately.

Nina stayed until the evening and then left the couple to themselves. Matthew talked about her sister very nicely and she became almost a bit jealous. Her sister's new husband had become very rich and was not that unattractive (especially if only compared to Malcolm) and they looked so completely satisfied with their life.

After Dina had left, Matthew picked up Manuel and put him into his crib. The day had been very exciting for him and Matthew was sure he would sleep through the night.

Afterwards he went into the kitchen, where Nina was cleaning up the dishes. 'Manuel fell asleep as soon as I put him in the crib. It was a very long day for him', he told her. Then he kissed her. 'Don't you think we should go upstairs too, and celebrate our wedding night?', he asked.

Nina had no objections against this idea. A few minutes later they were in the bedroom making love to each other. Matthew tried to show more reserve since Nina was pregnant, but as usual they got carried away. Nina thought that if she was to have sex with only one sim from now on there could have been no better choice than Matthew.

They did not have as much time as Matthew had hoped and after a few hours, they were just about to doze off still holding each other, Manuel woke up again and was crying in his crib.

'I'll get him', Matthew whispered and jumped out of the bed. His thoughts were still lingering on the previous woohoo with Nina for a moment, before they turned towards his son, who had stopped crying as soon as he was picked up and was smiling happily at his father.
Nina drifted off to sleep thinking about something that Matthew had told her earlier in the evening. It was the first time he had talked about his family and even then he did not tell her much. Apparently he and Kennedy had grown up in the care of their mother and the only thing he knew about his father, was that he was a university professor. He had refused to recognise his children and marry their mother. He said that although he did not miss his father, it was one of the reasons why he wanted to get married and have a proper family.

Matthew snuggled his son and said: 'You are some active little fellow, aren't you? Come, I get you dressed and then we go downstairs and let your Mom have some rest.'

Nina's pregnancy was progressing, but apart from that there were no changes in their life which was in a harmonious flow. Matthew, like most sim men, did not find Nina in the least less attractive, despite her large belly and especially if they had woohoo'd with each other before, he enjoyed looking at his wife.
Nina was very neat and in a certain way this made her a perfectionist too. She would get completely absorbed in the most simple task and appeared fulfilled by her life at home. This was even more so when she was pregnant, and Matthew wondered if they should stop after the second child.

So nothing spectacular happened (apart from their attendance at Dina's wedding) until one morning. Matthew had his day off and was bathing Manuel.

Afterwards he dressed him and brought him downstairs to feed him.

After he had eaten and was taken out of his high chair by his father Manuel walked into the front room, where his toys were.

He was going to play with his bunny toy, which was his favourite, but before he could drop down next to it, something began to happen to his body. His limbs began to move all on their own and the next moment he was swirled up into the air.

He could feel his body stretching and growing and when he landed on the floor again, he had grown into a school child.

To explain why Manuel took so much longer to grow up it would be necessary to delve deeply into sim time theory, which is a complicated and tiring subject. Fact is, that Manuel was a toddler for almost twice as long as other children in the neighbourhood, which was very much in accordance with the wishes of his parents, but eventually his age transition was inevitable.
Due to the length of his toddler stage and being clever on top of it Manuel grew into a remarkably skilled boy. He had been as content as his parents to be a small child, but now he was looking forward to the new experiences school age would bring.

He ran into the kitchen to show himself to his mother. For a moment Nina was shocked that her baby had grown up, but this quickly passed, and she congratulated her son on his age transition. She was very big by now and expected to give birth any day.

After he had grown up, Manuel became curious about the belly of his mother and Nina thought that there was no reason not to give him a full explanation of the facts of life. Matthew listened thinking that Nina had a very nice and simple way to explain it to their son.
Of course it did not in the least reflect what he and Nina were actually doing when they were in bed together, but the details of woohoo were something that Manuel would discover for himself one day.

Matthew had not continued his shopping sprees after he moved in with Nina, but sometimes he still liked going to shops just to browse (and maybe buy one or two small things). One day he went into Malcolm's electronic store and they were chatting for a bit. Dina had become pregnant soon after the marriage and Malcolm inquired how the life of Nina and Matthew had changed since their first child. Matthew was hoping for Malcolm that he would experience the same happiness with Dina, but he doubted it. During the wedding he had watched her and it looked to him that while she was fond of Malcolm, having a family was of less interest to her than living in leisure. The sisters were very different from each other.

But when he came home, he stopped thinking about Malcolm's family because an important event was taking place in his own. Late at night Nina gave birth to another son.
Manuel woke up and stormed into their bedroom to see the new baby and his father celebrated the birth with him.

Then he walked up to Nina and asked: 'Can I hold him now?' and she carefully placed the baby into his arms. 'I would like to call him Marco', she said. 'Yes, fine, it's a good name, Marco Cox.'

Manuel got dressed and then returned to the bedroom. Matthew was playing with the baby and Nina hugged her older son and told him how happy she was.

Then Matthew turned to Manuel and he could finally greet his baby brother.

Manuel had no reason to regret the birth of Marco, because he still received the same attention from his parents. He was very good in expressing himself, but despite that he needed support to do well in school.

Matthew had a general knowledge of various subjects, which did not go in depth for any particular one. He was really concerned about the good-upbringing of his son though and he was trying his best to teach him to study.

Whatever faults they had in their personalities, Manuel never experienced his parents other than good-natured and happy and he loved them dearly.

In fact as much as they both were not very likeable on their own, together they made a great couple. The neighbours noticed that they were much more pleasant to be with and at home the satisfaction with their life kept them in the happy mood, that Manuel considered normal for his parents.

Their woohoo continued to be a regular and gratifying experience even while Marco was a baby. Matthew only worked three days a week and then he did not start until late in the morning. He liked to have sex with Nina before he had to leave and saw it as a good start to a successful day.

Either because they had gained experience or because their new house offered more comfort, the care for Marco did not require Matthew to help out much. Nina didn't mind because looking after the baby kept her busy until Matthew and Manuel returned home in the afternoon.

When Manuel came home from school she would talk to him for a while or help him with his homework. Then at five Matthew returned from work and Manuel would run out to greet his father. For Matthew coming home was the best part of the day.

After he had greeted Manuel, Nina came out carrying little Marco (unless he was asleep).

She would pass the baby to him and kiss him. Looking at his two sons he felt very proud.

He was so happy at that time that it made his face shine and he almost looked beautiful.

The Landgraab Family pt. 2

They had some discussions regarding a marriage contract, but eventually Dina - putting on a bit of pressure - could convince Malcolm that they should share his wealth when they shared their life. When this was resolved, Dina saw no reason to wait any longer and told Malcolm that she wanted to get married as soon as possible. There was a very fashionable clothes shop downtown and they went there to pick a wedding dress. In the shop Malcolm met his friend Jennifer and he told her about their upcoming wedding. David, who overheard this, turned to Louise and whispered that according to the town gossip Malcolm had told everyone that Dina was a cheating liar not that long ago.

Malcolm had forgotten all about their argument. He was very happy with Dina and tried to make the best figure for his future wife. He still liked to go out for an hour or two after he closed the shop and often had a meal when he was in town. As a result he was prone to put on weight.

The wedding day approached. They had chosen to start the party early and around 11 o' clock the guests arrived. Malcolm had invited his employees on top of his friends and Dina naturally her sister and her husband. Nina was expecting her second child at that time and arrived still wearing her maternity clothes. 'I had to pick that dress I got married in', she told her sister 'it was impossible to fit myself into anything else. I am too big already'. Although it was worded like an apology, Dina could hear the pride in her sister. Apparently she was very happy to be pregnant again.

Matthew was not much different from Nina when it came to letting people in on the details of their family life. Their woohoo was such a source of satisfaction for them that they felt the need to share this with others occasionally. He told Malcolm that if the sisters were similar in that respect he was looking forward to a happy marriage.

Nina went upstairs to get dressed and then the celebration could begin.

Dina was happy. She had given Malcolm a few directions with regard to his style (she was really glad when he finally shaved off his sideburns) and when he stood there under the wedding arch, combed, dressed up and gleaming, she found she had made a good pick.

They spoke their marriage vows and the guests cheered when they sealed them with a kiss. Matthew and Nina had chosen to watch the wedding from the terrace, Nina because she wanted to be close to a bathroom and Matthew because he wanted another drink when the ceremony was over.

For both a long time wish was satisfied with the wedding. Dina did love Malcolm, but without his wealth she would have never agreed to the marriage. Ever since Michael had died she had been seeking another target, who was both rich and single. Malcolm was the perfect man in that regard.
Malcolm had more traditional ideas. He combined the marriage with the continuation of the family name and a heir to pass on his fortune one day.

She looked like an angel in her wedding dress and he bent over and kissed her very romantically.

The guests were still cheering. Apart from Nina, who knew what her sister was dreaming about, the others would have never assumed that anything but true love had brought those two sims together.

How would they have been able to guess that the happy smile of the bride stemmed partly from the thought about her husband's money?

Later some of the guests went into the whirlpool and the others sat in the living room. Dina was talking to Florence, who she only knew as a customer from the shop. Apart from money, Dina liked to have a good time and a conversation with Florence was always entertaining.

Malcolm looked up from the chessboard and over to his wife. It was hard to take his eyes off her, she looked so lovely in that wedding dress. She really had an amazing body.

When the party was over and the guests were leaving, Nina stayed on for a moment to talk to her sister. She congratulated her again and suggested that she and Malcolm should have a baby too. Dina was not sure a pregnancy would make her as happy as her sister, but she did not say. She could understand why Nina was seeing it that way, especially since she had met her nephew Manuel.
Anyway, she had her own reasons why she would try to get pregnant. A marriage could be ended with a divorce, but she would never stop being the mother of Malcolm's heir.

Like it was the tradition they had booked a limousine which was taking them on a romantic honeymoon ride.

Unfortunately the ride ended too soon and just when they were getting excited (they wondered if the driver had shortened it intentionally to stop them from going too far). When they arrived back home they continued where they were stopped in Malcolm's car.

The bed would have been more comfortable, but Malcolm was quite an impatient lover. He was also thrilled by the idea to woohoo in the car for some reason, despite the limited space and the obstruction from the steering wheel.
Dina was unaware that her fertility was at its peak.

It had gotten dark by the time they went inside. Most of the buffet had been cleared, but there was still some dessert to finish. Dina told Malcolm that she would like to take stock of his business to see if there was room for improvement and he listened and nodded. The material mattered to him too, which was why he had come up with the idea of a marriage contract, but Dina made it clear that it was out of the question because it would have left all of the fortune in his hands. To underline her words she had even moved out for two days, telling him to think it over. Instead of getting suspicious whether she really loved him, he appreciated her good sense.

They danced in the living room and then went upstairs, woohooing once again before falling asleep. The next morning Dina got up and immediately felt sick.

She threw up several times and still did not feel much better.

Eventually she managed to get away from the toilet to have a shower and breakfast, but as soon as she finished it she got sick again.
She did not doubt for a minute that she was pregnant. To feel the signs of it very early was usual among sim women, but it rarely took less than 12 hours and Dina concluded that it must have happened in the car.

Malcolm was very happy when she shared her thoughts with him.

Dina would have liked to enjoy his tenderness but already she was sick again.

She was glad when this period passed. She had not expected Malcolm wanting a child so much, but he was ecstatic and showered her and the baby inside her with attention.

For Dina the best thing about the pregnancy was that she had a good excuse to spend most of the day lounging on the bed and watching tv.

They had a maid and the cooking was done by Malcolm. He was very concerned about her. Dina generally tired easily and while she was pregnant she was only up long enough to eat and take care of some other basic needs.

Occasionally, when she had enough energy left, she was taking care of his basic needs since they correspondend quite nicely to hers.
Michael's age had had the advantage of him passing away after a short time, leaving all his wealth to her, but Dina often thought that it was overall better to have a younger man who she liked having in her bed.

He could have been a bit gentler and more subtle, but he had his romantic moments too and when he looked at her in a certain way she found her husband very attractive indeed. She liked his clear blue eyes.

After an uneventful pregnancy Dina went into labour in the early morning hours.

Like she had hoped it was a son and he was called Malcolm (jr.) after his father.

Malcolm jr. had immediately turned to him and Malcolm was overwhelmed with love. His son became the most important sim in his life, more important even than his wife.

He kept the shop open, but found it hard to separate from his family.

Seeing how much he loved his son, Dina was glad to leave a large share of the care to him.

She loved her son too, but she preferred the playing over the other tasks.

While Malcolm was working she had to take over of course and she did not neglect her baby. She did not receive much gratification from it though and her love did not compare to Malcolm's or that of her sister Nina, who had given birth to a second son shortly before Dina.

It was probably Dina's biggest advantage that she did not need to put her heart into something to appear that way. She silently pursued her own goals and because she was successful at it, she was happy, content and relaxed.
Malcolm had no reason to doubt that she was just as happy being a mother as he was being a father.

Malcolm jr.'s first age transition was due and Malcolm picked him up when he awoke and carried him downstairs to his birthday cake.

Dina had looked forward to her son growing into a toddler and had cheered and whistled when Malcolm swirled him into the air. After catching him again, he hugged and cuddled Malcolm jr. and did not see that Dina was grabbing for a chair and that the smile had dropped from her face.
She felt terrible. She was a calculating, but not generally a bad person and she was aware that the thoughts that went through her head were everything but nice. She wished she would have thought differently, but her immediate reaction upon seeing her son was that he was the ugliest child she had ever seen.
She did not even have to look at the face of her husband (who had the loving blindness of a father) to understand that this would have to be forever buried inside her.

It was a pity for Malcolm jr. that personality and appearance don't always match, because he was a very nice and friendly child and would have deserved to be a beauty. Dina did not feel any better for knowing this. She was glad that Malcolm had taken care over their son and she had time to regain her composure and make sure her face would betray none of her thoughts.

The Caliente Family pt. 4

There were some men in the neighbourhood which were tempting, but Manuel did not have to worry about his mother causing a rift in her marriage. Aemon, although he found Nina attractive, had affairs with two women at that time and posed no real danger anyway.
If anyone would have tried hard to talk Nina into unfaithfulness, she would have probably given in to it against better knowledge since she did not possess much of that. But even romance sims are not without morals and and it would have seemed wrong to disturb the life of this family. Like Matthew they sensed that Nina would end up very unhappy and that it would have been unfair to her as well as her children.

On his first birthday Marco slept long into the afternoon and it was already dark when Matthew carried him to the birthday cake where he was swirled into a new chapter of his life.

Marco was not quite as cute as his brother had been, but he was an exceptionally nice child.

Matthew tried to teach him his first steps and Marco was willing to do whatever it was that his father wanted of him.

Only he did not know exactly what it was.

In the end he learned walking from Nina, who had turned into supermom.

 

She also taught Marco to talk and he learned quickly with her help (and some additional smart milk).

And she was there, when Manuel came home with his first A+ report card.

Cheering and encouraging him.

Only the potty training she left mainly to Matthew.

He had a very practical approach to it and after being patient for a while, he was determined to make his son understand that he could use the potty on his own. 'I know you can do it', he said 'you're a bright boy, aren't you? Look it's down here, you can climb on it. All you have to know is when it's time to do it.'

Marco giggled and Matthew was wondering if the main problem was that Marco liked being picked up and carried around.

'I knew it! You learn as quickly as your brother.'

He picked Marco up and snuggled him. 'Isn't that much better? Aren't you proud to be such a clever little boy?'

One reason, why the shops weren't so popular anymore when Nina was running them on her own were Nina's attempts to be entertaining, which often caused offense rather than amusement. More than one customer had left the shop angrily after one of her practical jokes.
Therefore, the ease when she played and had fun with her children was quite amazing.

Maybe it was due to Manuel's prolonged toddler stage, but nobody would have expected that she would turn in such a great mother.

Matthew was as great a father. Once it was possible he thought that there was no better present for his son than a dog.
'Come over here, Manuel, there is someone who wants to meet you.'

Manuel looked at the dog that had arrived with the gardener's truck. Carlo (that was the dog's name) looked back at him all alert and expectant. Officially Matthew, who had talked to Nina about it first, had bought it as a family dog, but it became Manuel's dog at this moment.

That's how Manuel saw it anyway and it had been Matthew's intention when he introduced Carlo to him first. Once they started playing it was only a matter of minutes before they became friends.

Carlo was a very likeable dog though and the other family members immediately grew fond of him too.

Including Marco, who probably saw Carlo as a big cuddly toy that moved.

Maybe Carlo didn't know what was up for him when he looked expectantly at Marco walking towards him.

The next moment he was grabbed by Marco and he did not let go of him for some time. Carlo was bearing it patiently although he would have liked to have a go at his chew toy.

One evening a few days later a wolf came to their house and although Manuel tried to prove that it was not so, he was a bit frightened by this large black creature with the fiery eyes.

Not Marco. To him the wolf was just another even bigger cuddly toy and when the wolf went inside (none of the family had the courage to shoo it) it soon found itself in the tight grip of a toddler which it could not escape.
The other family members watched the scene with worry, but the wolf seemed far too confused to even consider doing any harm to Marco.

It was only released when Marco was about to fall asleep on the floor and was carried upstairs by Matthew.

After Carlo arrived Manuel spend more time at home but he already had a lot of friends and the other children liked to invite him after school. It gave his parents another reason to be proud of him especially Nina, who noticed that almost all of his friends were female. To her it was a good sign that he was popular with the girls already.

Manuel became Carlo's master, but the dog also showed a lot of interest for their other son and would often watch him or sleep or play nearby.

The day of Marco's age transition was started by giving Carlo a bath.

Then Marco was bathed and dressed. He looked unusually thoughtful as if he knew that something special was going to happen.

As usual this could quickly be changed with a snuggle.

Then the guests arrived. Matthew had invited Kennedy with his girlfriend and their son Felipe. Just as Nina wished that Manuel would become friends with his cousin Malcolm jr., Matthew would have liked to see Manuel and Felipe getting to know each other better. Felipe had only recently grown up and could not bring friends home often because the house was full of children already.

The adults talked, while Manuel and Felipe played with each other. When the sun set Matthew picked up Marco and carried him into the front room.

The others followed him, ready to cheer Marco into his age transition.

Later Marco would always say that his first thought after growing up was: 'Why am I wearing a pirate costume?'

The second thing that came into his mind was to grab a piece of cake while he slowly became aware that he had a very good childhood so far.

Then the children played some more while the adults continued their conversation. When he talked to Gabriella, Matthew couldn't help noticing that she was a very good looking woman. You got to see quite a lot of her too, but his brother did not seem to mind.

Later Enrique came over to the house and picked up Felipe. After he left Marco and Manuel talked a bit to their adult relatives.

But most of the evening until they had to go to bed they played with each other. Manuel had played with Marco when he was still a toddler and they were already good friends, but he liked it that he now had a brother of his own age.
Carlo was watching them the whole time. He couldn't understand why he was getting so little attention tonight.

Now that both their sons were school children it seemed like a good time for another date and once again Mathew and Nina couldn't resist a visit to the photo booth, although they knew by now that they were even less solid than a changing booth and usually would cause some public attention.

They couldn't care less. Even if Nina had suggested it the first time, it had become a very satisfying experience for both of them.

When they came home Nina gave an extra big tip to the nanny. She never had to do much because as toddlers they had usually been asleep and now Nina trusted her sons to look after themselves but at least that nanny had never been a nuisance like some others, who just left the toddlers in their crib even if they weren't tired or stuffed the children with huge slices of creamy cake (which either made them sick or fat).

When Enrique came over one day Matthew wasn't sure he liked to have him visiting. Nina had admitted to him that she used to have an affair with Enrique and to Matthew this guy was a strong competition. He and his sister had managed to keep it quiet for a long time but after one incident downtown it was revealed that Enrique had affairs with several women in the neighbourhood.

He stopped worrying when Enrique immediately began to talk about his daughter. It was apparent that he was very happy in his new role as a father (although there was also a rumour that it wasn't his first child).

He actually talked about his child most of the time and Matthew thought that he was very family orientated for a romance sim. They didn't become friends, but after relaxing in the whirlpool with him for some hours Matthew quite liked Enrique. Since his brother was part of that household it was interesting enough for him to hear about Enrique's life at home.

Matthew remarked how sad it was that they grew into school children so fast. Enrique agreed, but added that it kept all of them busy to have so many toddlers in the house.

Because Manuel had remained a toddler for so long, they were a bit unsure to which age group he belonged, having friends among the older children as well as the younger ones. Like Felipe, Violet Delarosa had only grown up a short time ago, but Manuel liked her straight away and left his brother no chance to talk or play with her.

He tried his best to impress her and being a great pretender he was doing quite well. Manuel was clever and probably wise beyond his age, but sometimes he was putting it up too much, acting as if he was a grown up. The other children didn't mind because he was funny while he was doing it and overall good company.

Despite being so young Violet was already hard to beat because she was playing a lot of chess with her father. Manuel admired her smartness.

This time Nina was the one who taught their son to study. She had never aspired for it, but over time she gained knowledge from experience and while she had no creative talent and reacted to mechanical problems by calling a repair service, she could instruct her son how you could learn through practice.

Matthew had not given up the idea of having more children, but they had put it off for the time being and decided to talk about it again, when their sons were a bit older. So the biggest change in the constant flow of their family life was Nina getting a new haircut.

Even if they didn't want to have any more children at the moment they thought it was a good time to add a member to the household. When they arrived at the petshop one saturday evening, Carlo got all excited as if he knew that he was going to get a pet friend.

Manuel and Marco walked around the shop to have a look at the smaller pets.

Meanwhile Nina was choosing their new dog. She had a short look at the bigger dogs, but without talking much about it the whole family had already decided to get another Colloso terrier. Pepita looked very similar to Carlo. She had darker fur with some black patches and a slightly different head with even bigger ears than Carlo.

She picked her place at Carlo's side immediately.

Not that many families had pets yet, but those usually had two and from what they heard it was normal that they needed some time to become friendly with each other. With Pepita and Carlo it was different, they seemed to move in the same rhythm.

They didn't need any encouragement to play with each other.

But Pepita soon made it clear to Carlo that playing was not enough for her.

For a moment he seemed to be unsure if she really wanted him to follow her into the pet house, but he was a clever dog and soon understood her hint.

They did most of their shopping in Pleasantview, but one day Nina decided to go downtown instead. She had not known that Melissa was pregnant from Gilbert.
Gilbert had kissed her when they had met in Pleasantview Main Street some time ago. It had happened before he and Melissa got together and although it had stirred some romantic feelings in her, Nina had quickly forgotten it afterwards. But lately Gilbert had been seen in a certain downtown area a lot and apparently because it had become his favourite place to chat up women. Nina had no particular dislike for Melissa, she hardly knew her, and she mainly wanted to see Melissa's reaction, when she found out that Gilbert was cheating on her while she was most likely too exhausted from her pregnancy to go out much.
Melissa was unimpressed at least on the outside.

When Nina looked at her later though, she seemed to be engaged in serious thought and Nina was convinced that her words had an effect on her.

Maybe all this talk about Gilbert had put the wrong thoughts into her head, because when the opportunity arose to have a quick woohoo in her favourite place, she did not think twice. Not even being attacked by Ms Crumplebottom afterwards could spoil the fun for her. Corbin meant nothing to her and there was no risk of a serious affair that might endanger her marriage. Actually, when a new liberalism and autonomy came over Pleasantview and affected sims of many other aspirations, Nina and most of the other romance sims with the exception of Gilbert, remained so remarkably faithful that they were about to lose their reputation. After it had happened she didn't think about her public woohoo with Corbin for long, although she met him again later when she had a quick stop at the High Fashion clothes shop.

There was only one sim she really cared about and that was the one she found when she returned home.

Maybe it was part of the character of those terriers, but Pepita was as keen as Carlo to make friends with the rest of the family and she didn't like it when two of them disappeared into the school bus.

When they returned in the afternoon Marco brought back his first A+ and a new friend, Yuri Shulkov, another child that had grown up recently.

Matthew came home from work later feeling terrible. He refused to touch any of the others, saying that he had caught a flu and didn't want to pass it on to them.
He then went upstairs and spent most of the evening reading.

Having a rest cured him and when the children were about to go to bed, he went downstairs to watch tv for a while. Apart from Marco's A+ it would have been an uneventful day if Pepita had not suddenly been surrounded by a circle of sparkles and while she barked and yowled in the garden one puppy after the other appeared next to her.

In the end there were four and as soon as she was finished giving birth Pepita checked on them.

Manuel was the first who noticed the event and he ran out to have a look at Pepita's litter. In his opinion Carlo was the greatest dog in the world, but he had always wished to have a puppy and now he had four.

He was dead tired, but it was very hard to let go of them to go to bed.

When the children were asleep, Matthew went outside to have a look at the puppies himself. You did not have to be a little boy to find them cute and it was easy to forget the time when you watched them.

When Marco got up the next morning he quickly got a shower and then ran outside to play with the dogs.

Neither him nor Manuel were seeing much of their friends in the period that followed. At least two of the puppies were awake at any time and there was always one to cuddle and play with. Manuel even neglected Carlo a bit, although he was still the dog he liked best (since it was the one that belonged to him).

'Looks like the children are happy', Matthew remarked and moved closer to Nina. Actually he was very happy too. They had a life without worries. He was rich and had a wonderful home with a wonderful family in it. He wasn't completely faithful to Nina (and guessed that she probably had succumbed to the changed atmosphere a few times), but it was limited to the occasional flirt with another sim. Their love life had always been good and he did not feel the need to cheat on his wife.
'I've been thinking, Nina. How would you feel about another child? Not now, but when Manuel grows into a teen.'
'I don't know, maybe.' Actually Nina had been thinking about it a few times and quite liked the idea.

The Landgraab Family pt. 3

In the time that followed Dina tried to ignore his features but sometimes (when Malcolm was away and could not see it) she could not help giving her son a closer inspection. It always ended with the conclusion that her son looked weird. He was going to resemble Malcolm one day, but his nose sometimes made her wonder if the stories surrounding the birth of her father were true. Apparently in some other places in the sims world alien abductions were more common and the children resulting from it were often known to have strange facial features.

It was mainly his profile that disturbed her and she learned not to look at her son from the side. From the front Malcolm jr. was almost as cute as any other toddler.

Nothing could have been further from Malcolm's mind than those reflections. Dina had convinced him to sell Club Dante and re-open it when Malcolm jr. was a bit older. It filled their bank account and made it even more unnecessary to run the electronics store.
Seeing his son grow up was too tempting for Malcolm, despite his fondness for selling and earning money, and he often closed the shop early when Malcolm jr. was a toddler.

There was a close bond between father and son right from the beginning.

When he taught Malcolm jr. to walk he could not think about anything else the entire day.

Actually he thought about his son most of the time on the other days too.

After some internal struggle Dina managed to accept her son the way he was and she began to spend more time with him.

She potty trained him and when she wasn't talking on the phone (something she liked to do when Malcolm was at work although she did not have many friends), she played with him until he got tired in the afternoons.

Still, all her actions were governed more by a sense of duty than wanting to do it. She was playful, but she preferred adult company. When Malcolm was at home she left their son to him and reduced her role to watching them from time to time.

All this did not stop Malcolm jr. from liking his mother as much as his father and when he was fed up playing with his toys he often followed her around the house trying to get her attention.

Even if his looks were not, his attitude was endearing and Dina warmed up to her son over time.

One day she invited Nina and Manuel over and as happy as she was to see them, it lowered her mood as well. She realised that she was a bit jealous of her sister and it annoyed her, because one of the reasons behind seeking wealth and luxury was to make others envy her.
Without searching for it, Nina had married a man who was almost as rich as Malcolm and their house, though smaller, was more stylish than the Landgraab mansion. Yet, mainly it was because of Manuel, who had grown into a school child by now, but still possessed the same charm he had as a toddler.

Dina felt like she was the only one in the world who placed so much importance on the looks of her son, because Nina and Manuel did not seem to think that he was ugly or strange. Nina sat down to play with him and asked Manuel to join her. Malcolm, enjoying the attention, smiled happily at them and they kindly smiled back (actually, Nina did make a comparison between her son and Malcolm jr. and the result pleased her immensely; his features did not surprise her though, given that he was the son of Malcolm).

After Nina and Manuel left, Dina put Malcolm jr. in his crib and then went to bed too to have a nap. When she got up she felt better again. She might never become a doting mother, but her son was a sweet boy and she loved him despite his lack of beauty.

She was a bit wary when his next age transition approached though. It seemed like a good idea to buy a new dress for the occasion in case she needed something to lift her spirits.

Jennifer was visiting that day and they all cheered Malcolm jr. as he opened a new chapter of his life.

Dina had prepared herself for another disappointment, but Malcolm jr.'s looks improved when he grew older and she gained hope that this development would continue.

Being nice and clever he found it easy to make friends in the neighbourhood and they liked to come home with him after school. One of his first friends was Felipe Martinez, who was almost a relative being Manuel's cousin and Manuel being a cousin of him.

His father taught him to study (and did surprisingly well considering the quality of his own education), which saved him time doing his homework and left more of it for his friends.

It was around this time that Dina began to develop an interest in other men apart from her husband. After Malcolm jr. had turned into a school child some other changes had taken place. Malcolm had one day hinted that he would like to move into a different branch of business, asking her if she would run the shop in the meantime. He hesitated when she asked him what exactly he was planning, but then admitted that the more sinister side of business had always interested him, and that he yearned for the mixture of risk and financial gain that you could find in the illegal. Dina was concerned about the possibilities of Malcolm going to prison or their money getting confiscated, but had no moral objections.
Malcolm started making contacts with the syndicate and was soon offered a job with the opportunity to climb to the upper ranks.
He was working at night and for long hours, which meant that Dina was alone more often. He also brought some of his new friends back from work and one of them was Abijheet.

She had met him briefly in town before and thought that he was very attractive. They became friends when he visited this one evening and when Dina invited him shortly after, he started flirting with her.
She did not stop him and probably more would have developed out of it, had he not received a call which forced him to leave early.

Dina was used to have a reason for her actions, but it was not clear to her why she was risking her marriage. She was happy with their life and felt close to her husband, loved him. And yet she was tempted to flirt with others and cheat on Malcolm.
Some sims wish to have experiences with others before they marry the sim they want to spend their life with. She wondered if she had merely chosen to do it the other way round. Now that she had realised one of her biggest dreams, she was beginning to look for some fun. She also justified it with losing some of her best years to Michael, even if it had been her choice to marry him.

To add to it, Don Lothario had returned to Pleasantview not so long ago. After some initial failures he tried hard to regain his old status as the town lover and was already making progress with some of the girls.

He did not forget his old friends though and after some visits at his house their friendship was quickly renewed.
There were some rumours regarding Don and Dina leaving Pleasantview at the same time and they had in fact met a few times while they were away. That their affair did not continue was mainly by chance, but one night when she was over at his place there was nothing to stop them. Malcolm would be away for most of the night and would not notice her not being at home.

She did feel guilty towards him after her woohoo with Don, but she also enjoyed it.

She slept for an hour but then got up again, because she started to worry about Malcolm jr. Before she left, Don kissed her for a last time and said that he hoped to see her again soon. 'If you start missing me, just give me a call', he added with a smile.

Dina started missing him quite soon and a few days later, when Malcolm was working, she called him and invited him over.

She thought to herself how she had always enjoyed being with Don and that apart from the sex being great, she liked him as a friend.

But good friend or not, they headed for the bedroom without words almost immediately after his arrival.

Malcolm jr. was asleep, having been very tired after school, and there was no danger of getting disturbed in their lovemaking.

Before, her feelings towards Don had not been very serious, but they changed when they were at it the second time.

Don kept his visit short and left soon afterwards, although it was still some time before Malcolm would return. Dina would have liked him to stay on for a bit longer, but in a way it was not so bad, because Malcolm jr., who was awake now, was not even aware that there had been a visitor. Dina spent the evening with her son until Malcolm came back home.

After a while Dina found a reason to have an affair. She liked to woohoo with Malcolm, but lately she had noticed that he seemed to be planning the times for it and there were other signs that he was trying for another baby. It worried her. Malcolm had made no secret of his wish for another child, but she had hoped that she could defer this further into the future. She was not sure if she wanted more children from Malcolm. She had learned to live with the looks of her son, but Malcolm had made the mistake of showing her the family album one day, which made Dina wonder if the genes of the Landgraab family should really be passed on to next generations. Once the family was rich enough to make choices (a large amount of the initial capital had come from marrying those members of rich families whose worth had to be supplemented with a generous wedding gift), some of the males had wedded reasonabe looking women, but it had not led to any improvement. Compared to the rest of his family Malcolm was stunningly beautiful.

Even her son was good looking compared to the endless row of mean and miserable Landgraabs she had flicked through.
He was nice and clever too, soon bringing home very good school results, but Dina began to wonder if he was actually a positive exception.

Sometimes when she was tucking him in at night, she felt otherwise and was close to give in to Malcolm's wish for a second child.
But then she recaptured the photographs she had seen in the album and combined them with some of the stories she had heard about the Landgraabs in Bluewater. If personality was also inherited, there was a great risk that she could give birth to a sim who on top of being ugly was destined to become cold hearted and mean.

It was not easy to keep Malcolm away from her and she did not really want to either. On top of that Dina had several reasons why she did not want to speak out that she did not want more children. For a start it was only partly true. She was not strictly against it, she only did not want him as the father. Then there was the fear that it would bring up the topic why she did not want more. Malcolm was blind with regard to his family and proud to be a Landgraab. And - most importantly - she was convinced that there was no better way to tie Malcolm to her than children. She was not willing to give up having affairs, not yet, but it was him she wanted to live with.

She decided that the only solution was to get pregnant by somebody else. Eventually Malcolm would begin to wonder why they did not succeed, he was looking very hopeful already and not without reason. She had gotten pregnant, but noticed early enough and had terminated it without telling him. It was not something she could do often.

Fortunately Malcolm was working nights again and Don visited frequently when Malcolm jr. had gone to bed.

To raise the chances (and because she expected it to be really good) she also tried to seduce Abijheet, but while he had enjoyed flirting with her, he rejected what she offered him later.

He was a romance sim and she was a bit surprised when he explained that he respected her marriage. On the other hand it was probably not such a bad thing. Contrary to Don, who looked in many ways similar to her, Abijheet had some very distinct features as well as a darker complexion and she would have to explain them if they appeared in a future child.

The Caliente Family pt. 5

Nina and Matthew had as much fun watching the puppies as their children, but they noticed that they were growing and would soon be old enough to find a new home.
They weren't the only ones. Some children had recently grown into teens and the generations were in motion.

'Shall we go to town, when I get back from work later?', Matthew asked, joining Nina who was lying on the bed, 'I noticed that it's getting colder and we should buy some warmer clothes for the children and ourselves.'
He would have to get ready soon, but Nina looked like she wanted to give him some loving before he was leaving and he could rush in the bathroom when he had a shower later.

In the afternoon the whole family including Carlo and Pepita got into the car and went to the shops downtown.
'Do you take a picture with me?' They had bought some winter clothes and afterwards Nina had gotten into the photobooth to take a photograph with Marco, Manuel now wanted one with his father.

'They turned out really well. If you want we can put them up in your room later.' Mattew thought that the photographs would be a very nice memory when Manuel grew up. There was still some time to go but not as much as he would have liked.
Manuel liked being in town. It was lively and he didn't care that the sims around him were all adults. If they did not have children of his age or were friends of his parents there was very little chance to meet them. He began to talk to Ben Jenkins and really liked him. He did not treat him with less respect because he was a child, and seemed to enjoy their conversation.

Afterwards he went outside where the rest of the family played with the dogs. Matthew had found a puppy and looked like he wanted to take it home to the others.
Manuel started playing with Pepita and finally she became friendly to him as much as Carlo. Pepita was Nina's dog, which meant that Pepita had chosen who would be her master.

She did not like to be separated from her puppies though and when they came back home, all of them were inspected and nuzzled. They did not want to think about the fact that she would have to part from them soon.

Carlo did his part as well and when the little dogs weren't playing with each other (or the children), they were usually to be found next to him or Pepita, watching their parents and learning that way.

They fed the dogs and then the family sat down for dinner. Neither of the children ever got the impression that one of their parents had a preference for one of them. Marco was quieter than his brother and did not have as many friends, but they were equally fond of him.

Only a few days later they had the first opportunity to wear their new clothes. It was only the beginning of autumn, but it had become very cold in the evening.

'What are you doing out here? Don't you want to come upstairs?', Matthew had put on his new coat and joined her outside.
'I was only checking if the dogs had enough food. It will be so sad when we give them away tomorrow.'

The next day it was nice and sunny again. It was Saturday and after they had breakfast they invited the sims, who were going to get one of the dogs.
'You always have to clean the bowl before you feed them', Manuel explained, 'they don't like it when it's dirty. Pepita and Carlo are fussy, they don't eat out of a dirty bowl.'
Ben did listen to him, but mainly he was watching one of the puppies that was out in the garden.

'I think I found the one I want', he said to Manuel, 'what's his name?'
'That's Bodo. Can I come and visit him one day?'
'Yes of course. But maybe not at the moment. We have two babies at home and my girlfriend will have another one soon. The puppy is a present for her.'

Inside Matthew was making arrangements with Florence. Manuel felt that Ben was his friend and he would have a chance to see him and Bodo despite the age difference. That Florence was getting one of their dogs for Violet made him even happier though. She was his best friend. To see it at her house was not the only reason why he was glad that she got a puppy. Apparently her parents were not getting on well at the moment and she was very sad about it. Manuel hoped that the dog would cheer her up.

'Dustin that's too much money!', Matthew said but could not hide his pleasure when he looked at the crispy bank notes in his hand.

Dustin thought that the dogs were worth it though, especially the little female which he had picked.

Florence had chosen the other female called Sherry. When they saw how fond their new owners already were of the puppies, it became a bit easier for the family to give them away.

They all stayed on for some time so that they could play with each other for a last time.
'Violet wants a puppy so much, I can't wait to show it to her', Florence said.
Like most neighbours Matthew knew about her recent troubles with Ryan and he was impressed that Florence was taking it so well. They had become good friends and he hoped that they would not break up. He knew that she loved Ryan and although he had seen him with other women, he believed that Ryan loved her too.

Dustin would have liked to get back to Charlene and the baby, but it was hard to separate the little dogs from each other and after watching them for a bit, he decided to give them another hour.

It was like they guessed that something was going on though and eventually they looked like they were ready for new adventures.
However, only three of them had found a home and when Matthew sadly reflected that his sons would not like it if it went to a stranger, Ben and Dustin told him that they had a friend who they were sure would like to take the remaining one.
'Orlando and Gretchen are very nice and warm hearted sims and even if you don't know them, I can tell Manuel how his dog is doing', Ben said.

When the police woman arrived to pick up Buster and take him to the adoption centre, she was informed that there would be someone inquiring about the dog soon. Orlando did in fact pick him up shortly afterwards and Buster went home to him and Gretchen.

Ben thought that it would not be very polite not to talk to Manuel's parents and joined Nina in the living room. There were so many sims who had lived in the neighbourhood for a long time and he still had never gotten to know them. When they were teens they had not been very interested in the adults around.

Like the others he was happy about their new puppy, but Manuel had watched him earlier and he had looked very sad. He wasn't sure if it was the stench from the cereal that was left from their breakfast and which had gone off in the meantime, but it looked like he had tears in his eyes. Manuel wondered what was wrong with him.

When everyone had left he turned to Carlo, who did not mind the departure of the puppies so much when he understood that he would have his master all to himself again.

The next weekend Matthew invited Kennedy to come over with the children.
'I would have liked to bring Emilio too, but he hardly knows his cousins and I think I rather come with him alone one of these days, so he can spend more time with them', Kennedy explained.

When Nina came outside the children were looking at her expectantly.
'What's wrong with your bunch? Don't expect anything from me, go play with each other', she said smiling at them.

The children did as they were told and went into the garden to play. Marco told Stella about the puppies and promised that she would get one if they ever had another litter.

Manuel and Felipe had a water balloon fight in the meantime.

Although it had taken some time, Manuel was friends with his cousins from both sides, e.g. Felipe and Malcolm jr., now. They were younger, but their parents expected that they would grow up around the same time. Manuel had a good time as a schoolchild and a lot of friends (mainly girls). He was looking forward to becoming a teenager though, he was sure that it was very exciting.

Nina stayed with Matthew and Kennedy and watched them playing catch. She knew how much it meant to Matthew that he and his brother were close. They looked completely different (even if Matthew had kept his original hair colour) and differed in almost every other aspect too. It was meaningless for their relationship though, because they respected each other. Matthew knew that what was right for him was not necessarly right for Kennedy, while Kennedy felt that it was still worth to listen to the advice of his older brother even if he made a different choice.

'I liked it here, can we come back another day?', Stella asked when she was sitting at the table with her father.
'Yes, and the next time we bring Emilio with us, but today it is getting late and we should go back home soon.'

As far as Matthew and Nina were concerned they had the best life possible and it affected the way they appeared to others. Matthew had really disliked Don when he met him for the first time, but after meeting him again through work on a few occasions he warmed up to him. Nina showed no interest to see him and there would be no risk inviting him to their house one day.

Matthew liked to stay at home with his family, but he also liked to visit friends or go to town from time to time. Nina didn't mind that he went out on his own. It didn't happen too often and she didn't see why her husband shouldn't have some fun without his family occasionally.
That evening he had decided to go to the Lulu Lounge and it proved a great idea. He met Don again - they had actually become friends - and almost everyone else from his team with the exception of Maurice Layton. It was a really good evening.

It had started to rain when he and some neighbours were sitting in the hot tub, but it was quite nice to feel the cool drops while they were soaking in the hot water. They heard a roaring thunder and the next moment there was a blinding light. Matthew didn't get what had happened, but he suddenly felt very hot and very ill.
He climbed out of the hot tub. 'What was that?!'

There was another bright light flashing up before him and then Matthew did not notice anything anymore.

He did not hear the shouting of the other sims and he was not aware that Don pleaded for his life and lost it to the grim reaper. Matthew was dead.

There was a faint echo of him which resisted when the grim reaper was taking him away, but it was not in his power to change his fate.