Interlude: Warm

As yet another deep rumble of thunder echoed through the air, Jocelyne reached into her pocket and pulled out her cellphone. “Ugh.” She muttered under her breath. It was only 4:13. But hadn’t it been 4:10 an hour ago?

08-12-16_11-37-18 PM

Her eyes roved around the deserted library. There was no one there – literally no one. I can’t really blame them either… Jocelyne thought. Who would want to walk or drive through these torrential downpours just to check out a book?

She glanced sideways at her coworker, who was busy playing some kind of stupid puzzle game on her phone. How is she not dying of boredom right now?

08-12-16_11-38-17 PM

Jocelyne wished she had something – anything – she could be doing right now. But she’d finished everything that Mark has asked her to do already. I can’t just sit here doing nothing. Jocelyne knew that if she sat around for much longer, her mind would start to wander. And if her mind started wandering, there was one thing she knew it would turn to right now…

Clara.

08-13-16_12-55-33 AM

After the night they’d laughed and baked cookies together in the wee hours of the morning, Jocelyne had begun to hope that things were going to get better. But they didn’t. Clara rarely seemed to leave her room anymore. And what was even worse – she was ignoring Florian.

He’d even texted Jocelyne a few times over the past week, asking if Clara was okay. And that’s when Jocelyne knew that something HAD to be very wrong. She felt awful lying to Florian, but she didn’t want him to worry, so she just said Clara had been really overwhelmed with school work. But honestly, Jocelyne was pretty sure Clara had been skipping most of her classes lately…

08-13-16_12-52-47 AM

I just wish I could talk to someone about this. She thought miserably. The only one she’d been able to confide in about her fears had been her journal. And as nice as it felt to get her feelings down on paper, there wasn’t very much the little blue book could do to help her.

She’d tried talking to Elliot about it, but he always just gave her one of those sexy little smiles and said “Babe, you worry too much.”

08-13-16_12-50-11 AM

But how could she not worry?

“Hey Theresa?” Jocelyne’s voice broke through the silence. “Do you mind covering the desk for a bit? I need to go find Mark and ask him something.” The lie came out so easily. In reality, she was just desperate to get away and find something to do. Anything to take her mind off Clara.

“Sure, whatever.” The other girl shrugged, then went back to her phone.

08-12-16_11-40-45 PM

About twenty minutes before, Mark had said something about rearranging some books, then disappeared up one of the tall wooden staircases. Maybe he could use a hand.

The old wooden stairs creaked with every step as Jocelyne headed to the next floor, relishing in the smell of old books that seemed to fill the air around her. Hardly anyone ever visited the second floor – the titles up there were so outdated, and almost every copy was so ratty and worn from years of use. But it was Jocelyne’s favorite section of the whole library. And, as he’d once told her, it was Mark’s too.

08-12-16_11-43-30 PM

She found him surrounded by piles of books, down in the philosophy section. Jocelyne stood silently and watched how carefully and almost tenderly he held each book as he rearranged them on the shelf in front of him.

08-12-16_11-51-42 PM

He really loves this. She smiled softly to herself and watched for a few more moments as he ran his large hands over the cover of each tome. The sight sent a strange rush of warmth through her.

At last, she cleared her throat and made her presence known.

“Oh, Jocelyne!” Mark smiled brightly at her. “You snuck up on me.”

08-12-16_11-52-31 PM

“I’ve been brushing up on my ninja training.” She teased, returning his smile and drawing closer to him. “Need any help up here?”

“Sure! If you’re willing, I could always use an extra pair of hands.” He nodded toward one of the piles of books behind him. “Why don’t you start down there and we can meet in the middle?”

A feeling of relief washed over Jocelyne at his words. She couldn’t bear another minute downstairs with Theresa. “Sounds good.”

08-12-16_11-53-46 PM 08-13-16_12-08-38 AM 08-12-16_11-58-37 PM 08-13-16_12-00-59 AM

Jocelyne traced her fingers gently over a worn copy of Plato’s Republic before returning it to its rightful spot on the shelf. Being with Mark was nice, but the silence was starting to get to her. Not because it was uncomfortable (it was quite the opposite, actually). But because it had allowed some of her worried thoughts to return.

“So…” She said at last, her voice cutting through the steady pouring of the rain on the library roof. “What did you think of the new Moonlight Massacre trailer I sent you last night?” Of course, she knew he’d enjoyed it – he’d written back telling her as much. But it was the first topic that came to mind when trying to find something to talk about.

08-13-16_12-12-39 AM

Her boss laughed. “It looks much better than I expected, but I still can’t believe they’re remaking it so soon! Didn’t they already try to reboot the series with those godawful sequels a few years back?”

Jocelyne nodded. “Moonlight Massacre III… My friend Joel loves that one!”

“Seriously?” He shook his head in disbelief. “As if it could ever hold a candle to the original…” Mark chuckled and appeared almost wistful for a moment. “Y’know, I was about your age when it came out, actually… God, I must’ve watched it a dozen times.”

08-13-16_12-13-31 AM

“That wouldn’t happen to be the slasher flick you took that girl to, would it? The one that puked all over you?”

“Actually… It was!”

08-13-16_12-18-32 AM

“Clearly her taste in men was much better than her taste in movies.” He continued, smirking slightly. “Wow, I just can’t believe they’re trying to remake it already. It just seems… wrong.

Jocelyne chuckled. “You know who you should talk to about lame remakes? My Tante, Clara.” The words came out before she even realized what she was saying. “She could go on for hours about how pointless movie remakes are…” Her voice trailed off slightly. So much for not thinking about Clara.

08-13-16_12-19-02 AM

She hoped Mark wouldn’t notice her sudden discomfort.

But, of course, he did.

“Jocelyne, I don’t mean to pry. I really don’t.” He said seriously. “But I can’t help but notice that you’ve been a little… distracted lately.” Mark paused. “Is everything alright?”

08-13-16_12-20-14 AM

Jocelyne knew she didn’t even have to answer his question. Of course it wasn’t okay. And he knew it, too. Mark had always known her so well…  You said you wanted someone to talk to. She told herself. Here’s your chance.

She took a slow, deep breath. “I guess it’s just… I’ve been really worried lately. About Clara.”

“Why? What happened?”

“She just hasn’t really been herself lately, I guess?” Jocelyne’s voice was uncertain. “I mean, she’s been really moody, and sleeping a lot, and getting sick all the time…” The girl hesitated for a moment. “She used to smoke almost a pack a day, but all of a sudden she hasn’t touched a cigarette in weeks! And she’s been gaining weight too, I think…” She bit her lip. It was almost embarrassing to talk about. “At first I thought she was just sad about her fiancé being so far away. But the more I think about it, I really think that maybe… There’s a chance she might be… Pregnant.”

08-13-16_12-21-53 AM

Mark’s eyes widened. “Well, shit.”

“Yeah, I know.” She sighed softly. “Her fiancé’s away traveling until Christmas… And I know she hasn’t told him. I don’t think she’s told anyone. But I’m almost positive she really is…”

“Then you have to talk to her.” He replied gently.

The girl shook her head. “How the hell can I even begin that conversation?! Clara flies off the handle so easily. I know she’d FLIP if I said anything to her…” Jocelyne paused for a moment. “I just don’t understand why she would keep this from me.” There was a sudden bitter edge to her voice that surprised even herself. “Doesn’t she trust me?! I’ve always been there for her, ever since we were little kids! The least she can do is trust me with something like this!”

08-13-16_12-28-01 AM

Her boss nodded in understanding, but said nothing for a few moments. And slowly, Jocelyne felt her unexpected anger begin to fade away.

“You know the funny thing about secrets?” Mark said at last. “I’ve found that they have very little to do with trust… And everything to do with fear.

Fear? Jocelyne raised an eyebrow curiously at him. “What do you mean?”

08-13-16_12-29-47 AM

“How much you trust someone has nothing to do with whether you’ll keep a secret from them.” He explained. “If you’re scared enough, you’ll keep a secret from anybody. Even the people closest to you. And I can’t exactly speak from experience on this one…” For a moment, he smiled softly. “But the situation Clara might be in sounds pretty damn scary if you ask me.”

She nodded slowly as she took in his words. How had she never thought of that before?

“So don’t think of it as her not trusting you…” Mark stepped closer to her as he spoke. “Just remember that she’s probably scared shitless right now. And that alone is reason enough for you to talk to her, Jocelyne. I’m sure she needs you right now.”

08-13-16_12-33-18 AM

It was so simple, so obvious… But it was exactly what Jocelyne needed to hear. He’s right. She needs me. I can’t keep quiet about this anymore. “Mark… You are, without question, the smartest person I know.” Jocelyne meant every word. “Except maybe my Onkel Stefan.” She added quickly, smiling as she looked into his deep brown eyes. “You’re incredible.”

08-13-16_12-34-17 AM

“And so are you.” Mark smiled warmly at her. He held her gaze for a long time, and Jocelyne found herself unable to look away.

“But, uh, I’m not sure I’m all that smart.” He continued, his jovial tone suddenly returning. “Maybe… wise, I guess?” The man shrugged his shoulders slightly. “Comes with age. You’ll understand someday.” Mark winked at her.

Jocelyne rolled her eyes, amused. Is he seriously pulling the ‘You’ll understand when you’re older’ thing? “Uh-huh… Thanks, grandpa.” She teased.

To her surprise, Mark did not smile at her playful jab. In fact, for one wild moment, he almost looked… Hurt? Upset? Jocelyne wasn’t sure of the right word for it.

08-13-16_12-38-30 AM

“I was just kidding!” Jocelyne said hastily, hoping he’d forgive her. “You’re not that old, Mark.” She smiled. “I promise.”

To her relief, Mark’s bright smile slowly found its way back onto his face. “Not old enough to take a joke, apparently.” He replied, shaking his head at his own foolishness. “Know what? It’s dead as a doornail in here… More than enough for Theresa and I to handle on our own. Why don’t you head home a little early?” Mark offered kindly. “I think there might be someone you need to have a talk with…”

08-13-16_12-40-49 AM

Jocelyne smiled, so grateful for his understanding. No one she’d ever met had a bigger heart than his. She was sure of it.  “You’re the best, Mark. Seriously.” Jocelyne hesitated for a moment, then reached forward and wrapped her arms around him.

08-13-16_12-42-37 AM

The girl closed her eyes as he returned the gesture, pulling her close to him. It was so warm, so safe in his arms. In that moment, she truly felt like everything was going to be okay.

08-13-16_12-42-16 AM

And even as Jocelyne walked to the bus stop in the cold and pouring rain, the memory of Mark’s embrace was enough to keep her warm.

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87 Responses to Interlude: Warm

  1. AHHHHHHHHHH ❤ true though – good man for pointing that out, Mark. Clara is scared. (And I'm sorry Elliot, but 'you worry too much' is hardly going to help anyone, even when it's true =p)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. octopocket says:

    Say no more, Mark’s the one for Joce. 😌

    Liked by 4 people

  3. XSimMimX says:

    Oh god, Jocelyn why? Stop falling for so many guys dammit! Either that or go polyamorous… doubt that would work though.

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha this is only the second guy! Though we have to wait and see what her deeper feelings are. We don’t know a whole lot yet 🙂

      Like

  4. EddieSims says:

    #Marklyne for the win! LOL. I’m flip-flopping when it comes to this one. I like Elliot but I also like Mark. BTW Elliot kinda resembles Paolo Rocca. Any relation?

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha I had a feeling #Marklyne fans would like this one 😛 And actually no 🙂 Elliot is my own original CAS creation, actually ^_^ It’s probably the hair and facial hair though 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Mumei No says:

    Ahh! Is Nice that she has a father-friend that she can trust, because you can’t talk too much about this things with family, so is Nice someone not-family related to talk about this! And help Clara to “hold” her problems, as she is making It All alone, It gets “havier” and with a friend, It will get easy, because just like Joce, she will *crack* mentaly if she keeps It too much to herself ,and I think Clara will not feel anger, but instead, crash crying on Joce’s shoulder.

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes, she has someone to confide in for sure 🙂 and yes, it will be good for Clara to open up! Holding things inside is never good!

      Like

  6. witchazard says:

    I thought Mark was married. Then again it might be one of those she might be dead but he still talks about her in present tense when it’s brought up situations in that case I’m all for it. I hope she doesn’t start developing feelings and Mark is just being a super nice guy. So is he with Tobi and Stefan or is he younger than that cause if he is the same age as her father I don’t have a problem with it but I’m sure some Tobi and Collete might.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. CitizenErased14 says:

    Lmao I had a feeling you’d like this one 😛

    Like

  8. maladi777 says:

    This chapter made me soo happy! I’m in love with Mark!
    I rarely make any sound when I read, but this time I caught myself squealing with joy and almost jumping up and down in my chair. That never happens!!!! You wrote him so well. He’s totally my type, bookworm, geek, wise. *swoon* 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  9. crstasse says:

    Mark is the one! Well if I was Jocelyn then he’d be my pick. Nothing against current boyfriend only that he lacks maturity (despite being gorgeous looking) and as Jocelyn is a smart and mature girl I think she’s better suited to Mark. Plus Mark has personality and I just love him and Joce together. I think you need to be with someone who can make you laugh and Mark does that for her. Not only that but Mark is very perceptive and that’s a rare trait in a guy, I guess because he’s lived a bit. The fact that he noticed something was wrong with her where as Elliot tells her she worries too much is pretty indicative that Mark cares on a much deeper level than Elliot. He offered support and advice too, and insightful advice at that! Plus I don’t think age matters that much. Ultimately at the end it is who makes you feel happy and complete 🙂
    Wow, you really had me thinking on this one, which is what I love about this Sim family of yours!
    I think Clara will be VERY relieved in the end to share her fears and insecurities with someone.
    Great chapter as always!

    Liked by 3 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I love this comment! It’s very thoughtful and insightful 🙂 I think you’re definitely right that there is a bit of a spark between Maek and Jocelyne, and that Elliot’s reaction to Joce’s worries was not the ideal reaction… Mark’s was much better!

      And hopefully talking to Jocelyne will help poor Clara! We’ll see…

      I’m so glad my story makes you think and that you’re able to connect with my characters. Thank you for reading!

      Like

  10. Jes2G says:

    Excellent advice, Mark. I’m watching you, miss author lady.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kaffepigen says:

    Uh oh… Jocelyne is developing a crush on the hot older librarian! This is dangerous territory, but i can’t say i’m too surprised.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Simslover163 says:

    This chapter got me excited!! I think the S.S Marklyne should set sail because now I think Mark and Joce look cute together! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. sonniejj says:

    Hmmmm…. Even though I never had anything against Eliott, Mark may have earned some broenie points after this chapter 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. NoaLyn says:

    I knew it! I KNEW IT! The way she’s always defending him… Pleeeaase keep going there, I would love to see a love story with these two!! 😀

    Like

  15. CitizenErased14 says:

    Another member of the Marklyne! Haha Elliot’s reaction to Joce was definitely not exactly compassionate, and Mark and Joce have a lot in common 🙂 but we’ll see what happens haha

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha I don’t 100% “get” it either, but I have so much fun rolling with it 😛

      And I always love torture 😉 Um wait, I mean, what? I never tortute! 😇

      Like

  16. azzywoods says:

    Srsly, Elliot? You’re basically telling your gf that her worries aren’t really worth listening to. SMH. If you pull shit like this again I’m jumping off the ship. Mark was way better at helping her…now I’m super conflicted.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. theplumbob says:

    Ok, I think this has swayed me towards Marklyne.. The thing is, Joce’s relationship with Elliot has never really surpassed the stage when he was just eye-candy in the library. She thinks he’s hot, and he gives her butterflies…and that’s it. She can’t really have an actual deeper conversation with him, whether it’s about the things that are bothering her or her interests. Their relationship has never moved from a surface level, because he just doesn’t seem to have what she needs.

    Mark would be a much better life partner for her, since he’s always there when she needs someone to talk to, he pays attention to little things and actually tries to help. Naturally, a lot of this does come with age, so it’s not necessarily Elliot’s fault he can’t give Joce that, but it’s the depth she needs nonetheless.

    Clara is such a wimp. I think this is why it always bothered me when she teased Joce about being innocent and whatnot – Clara always likes to pretend she’s super badass and experienced and whatnot, but in reality, Joce has more balls than Clara does, IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Lots of truths in this comment (including a harsh one about Clara :P) Jocelyne’s relationship with Mark is definitely deeper than her relationship with Elliot! She connects with Mark in a totally different way… But will it lead anywhere? 😉

      And as for Clara, I hate agreeing with you because Clara is my current favorite character haha but she has a lot of her mother’s faults — especially cowardice and immaturity. She puts on a tough girl act, but she is very much a scared young girl haha. But I still love her haha and I understand where the fear comes from, and j feel for her!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Mark. Mark. Mark. MARK. He’s PERFECT! ❤ Books, MORE. BOOKS. I love libraries.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. SpurklyNinja says:

    FUCK YES! Oh, um… I mean.. yayyyyyyy! The Marklyne ship can sail! 😉

    Clara, come on now. I’ve said it so many times now. TALK TO OTHERS! It’s only going to hurt you if you keep being this much of a coward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      HA!!!!!! “FUCK YES!” is my favorite reaction to this chapter so far. I’m laughing so hard!

      And yes, Clara needs to grow a pair. But… she probably won’t. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • SpurklyNinja says:

        You write so well that I’m sucked into the lives of these sims, especially emotionally! ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          That is so kind of you to say. I love my characters like they’re real people, so the highest compliment I can get is finding out that my readers care about them too! Thank you!!! ❤

          Like

  20. O'jenn says:

    That is an embrace, and also the feeling I have when my fiance hugs me. I am so glad that Joce is FINALLY going to talk to Clara.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. NessyRosy says:

    I’m proud of Joce for mentioning her worries out loud (like she did with Luc and Tobi last time). It’s good to see her gaining more confidence and asking for advice. That doesn’t mean writing things down isn’t helpful, it’s a great way of also getting stuff out of your system 😉

    Even though Elliot saying Joce worried too much is true to an extent, he wasn’t being a very supportive boyfriend in that moment. This is a really worrying issue for Joce – she loves her family dearly. Maybe his conditioning and family life growing up made him believe that it isn’t her business and things should happen of their own accord. However, I personally believe that he should have been much more supportive if he truly cared for her!

    Mmmmm…I totally agree Joce! Nothing beats the smell of a good book! Old or new 😀

    I love how well Mark and Joce get along. They have such a wonderful friendship 🙂 Mark was so wonderful to be concerned for Joce and asking her if everything was ok ❤

    Yay! for Joce voicing her concerns to Mark, and I'm so pleased with his response *thumbs up*. He had the perfect advice and did a great job in letting her understand that fear plays a large part in not telling someone you a secret even if you trust them. Trust me, fear plays a very large part in a lot of cases! 🙂

    What's going on here: "He held her gaze for a long time, Jocelyne found herself unable to look away" and not going along with the 'grandpa' joke….There's certainly something going on here. I think Mark may wish he was a bit younger 😛 Even that 'warm' embrace 😉

    Question: I'm trying to grasp just how much older Mark is than Joce. I'm thinking around the 20yr stage maybe…? That's a big age difference, but I do have some family that are together and have a 20yr age gap and are perfectly happy together. I still see Mark as being a really wonderful friend of which Joce and Mark understand each other completely. I'm not sure about shipping them just yet, but I'm not opposed to it either 😛 Let's just see what happens 😉

    Right now I'm looking forward to the conversation Joce is going to have with Clara. It's about time! I see Clara being upset at first, but gradually feeling better that someone knows 🙂

    This was such a great chapter. You never manage to amaze me with your creativity and the love you have for your creations ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes, it was great for Joce to confide in someone, and Elliot definitely wasn’t being as supportive as he could have been!

      And Joce and Mark definitely have a very special relationship 🙂 he is a very kind man! And wise too!

      They definitely had a bit of a “moment” going on there… And as for the age gap, He is 22 years older than her… Exactly double her age XD (he’s 44)

      But yes, a convo with Clara is finally going to happen! 🙂 I’m glad you liked this chapter, and I really appreciate your lovely compliment. I do have a lot of love for these characters! (And the people who read about them <3)

      I think that covered most of it, thank you for your awesome comment!

      Like

      • NessyRosy says:

        Interesting! Thanks for answering my question ❤ I think there may be a bit of longing on Mark's part for her 😛 As for Joce, I think she really wants to try and make her relationship with Elliot work, but time will tell 😉

        Like

  22. peacesign101 says:

    I was totally waiting for a kissing screenshot 😂 I’m curious to know if Mark has a little bit of a crush on Joce. I honestly can’t think of another reason why he would be so sad to hear Joce joke around and call him a grandpa, other than if he thought that was her confirmation that he was too old for her. I suppose it could be family problems too, but I wouldn’t think he had a son/daughter let alone a grandchild. Or theory 3, Mark is actually very self conscious about his appearance 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Lmao no kiss, sorry to disappoint! 😛 And yes, that grandpa joke definitely rubbed him the wrong way for some reason. That’s all I’ll say for now 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  23. shamanarza says:

    See! I knew it! #Jelliotisonlygoodasapokemonname

    Liked by 2 people

  24. #Marcelyne! #Marcelyne! #Marcelyne!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. silentwolfy101 says:

    #Marklyne #marcelyne #ShippingSoHardRightNow…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. lisabeesims says:

    Are you teasing us??

    Liked by 1 person

  27. raerei says:

    Mark is so right – secrets are about fear…unless it’s a secret birthday party – those are usually not about fear. But I’m glad you were able to help Joce out – she needed a sympathetic ear. Such a cute couple – er um…not couple. But Joce had better start opening her eyes soon to what her heart already knows.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Virtualee says:

    Weeeeeeeeeee #Marklyne #Marklyne ya ya ya #Marklyne #Marklyne he’s the ONE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. theceltygirly says:

    gave her one of those sexy little smiles and said “Babe, you worry too much.”
    I really don’t think I like him that much. I officially have jumped on the Mark Jocelyne ship train.

    “I’ve found that they have very little to do with trust… And everything to do with fear.”
    See, he’s perfect! He’s so smart, and kind, and perfect for her.

    Also, it was taking too long to find out about Clara’s babies that I had to go and make myself a salad. Now I’m ready to tackle this family.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. kaycee39 says:

    Hmmmm……Do I smell a bit of low key crush feelings going on for her boss? He is a cutie but how big of an age gap is there? But she has a man….I’m watching you 👀 Jocelyne. Anyway, she really does need to try and talk to Clara because she is scared to death and she could benefit knowing that Jocelyne is their for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha there might be something of a crush there… we’ll see 😉

      And you’re so right that Clara could probably use Joce right now!

      (By the way, I know I keep saying it haha but seriously thank you for reading! I’m amazed by how quickly you’re making it through and I seriously appreciate it! ❤️)

      Liked by 1 person

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