Interlude: Not Bad

Zayne smiled warmly as he watched the little girl dig her fingers into the pink frosting. “Yum!” She cried, lifting a handful of frosting to her lips.

“Isn’t that delicious?” Charlie beamed at her daughter as she spoke. “Onkel Zayne made a special cupcake just for you!”

Dahlia giggled happily. “Onke’ Zay’ yum!”

“I’ll take that as a ‘thank you’.” Zayne laughed as he took another bite of the full-sized birthday cake he’d made for the rest of the family. “You’re very welcome, peanut. Happy Birthday!”

It was hard to believe that Charlie and Ben’s daughter was already turning two years old. He could still remember their wedding like it was only yesterday. Dahlia was born only about a year later… And now she was two! Talking! Walking! It almost made him feel old… He couldn’t even imagine how Charlie and Ben must have felt. Zayne chuckled to himself at the thought.

“How come I don’t get a cupcake?” A small voice cried from the couch across from him.

“Because it’s not your birthday, Leo.” Remi replied firmly.

The six-year-old simply whined. “But it’s not fair.

“You will eat your cake and stop complaining or we’re going straight home.” Layla did not raise her voice, but Zayne noted that she’d seemed to have perfected the terrifying “Mama-glare”.

Leo looked like he wanted to say more, but seemed to think better of it. He continued pouting in silence.

“That was delicious, Zayne.” Mari slowly rose from her seat. “But I’m stuffed… I think I’m gonna fiddle around on the piano a little while I digest.” She laughed. “Leo, would you like to come too?” She drew closer to him as she spoke.

The little boy leapt to his feet eagerly. “Yeah! I wanna play music!”

“Moozik!” Dahlia cried out, clapping her hands. “’Yano! Yano!”

“You want to help play piano too?” Mari asked her great-great granddaughter warmly. Her eyes flicked toward Leo for a moment. “Do you mind if she joins us?”

Out of the corner of his eye, Zayne caught Remi giving his son a slight nod.

“Okay. I guess so.” The little boy replied at last.

With a smile, Mari scooped up Dahlia from her high chair and brought the two children into the music room.

“Thank God for Ur-Oma.” Charlie laughed. “I love that little thing to death, but she can be such a handful.” She shook her head.

Layla joined in her laughter. “Well, you saw Leo… So trust me, we understand. Kids are always a handful.”

“So of course, like idiots we’re having another one.” Remi teased.

“How many weeks left again, Layla?” Ben asked. “No offense, but… You already look about ready to pop!”

Charlie smacked her husband’s arm. “Ben! Be nice!”

He simply laughed harder in reply.

“Oh, I hear worse from Remi all the time, don’t worry.” She smiled. “About twelve more weeks. It’s coming up quick!”

“I’m assuming your parents plan on being around for when the baby’s born?” Charlie asked Remi.

He nodded. “Are you kidding? Mama would rather die than miss the birth of a grandchild.” Remi laughed softly. “They’ve been doing some crazy hippie meditation stuff in Shang Simla for like a month now. Mama claims they’re loving it, but I think Papa’s getting bored, to be honest… I doubt they’ll be there much longer.”

“Where are they off to next?” Zayne finally chimed in on the conversation. He was extremely grateful for the shift from parenting and baby talk.

Remi just laughed. “Who knows? Probably back here for a while to see the baby, then it could be anywhere. They’re even less predictable than Riv and Coleen!”

“Kind of makes you feel boring, doesn’t it?” Charlie asked, her voice teasing. “Your parents, River, Rory, Alex, Tony… It feels like half of our family’s always off having some sort of adventure.”

“And we’re the lame ones who stayed behind.” Remi chuckled and nodded in agreement.

Ben’s eyes suddenly turned toward Zayne. “Hey, speaking of adventure, what’s Hope up to this weekend?” He asked. “We were sorry she couldn’t make it.”

“I saw her spread in Vogue magazine last week.” Charlie chimed in. “She was stunning.”

Zayne laughed a bit uncomfortably. Even after all this time, it still felt strange when people he knew mentioned seeing Hope’s work. “Off on another shoot… In Paris!” He explained, smiling proudly. Ever since her cover shoot for Elle a few months ago, things had really been taking off.

“Incredible.” Layla shook her head in amazement.

“She promised to bring back something cute for Dahlia, of course.” Zayne added. “She really wished she could be here.”

“We understand.” Charlie assured him. “Her career’s important.”

Ben smirked playfully. “Though when given the choice between a fancy photoshoot in Paris and a 2-year-old’s birthday party… Well, I say free cake should always win.”

“Especially if you made it, Zayne.” Remi added as his laughter finally began to die away. “That was seriously amazing.”

“Nah, Hope gets spoiled with my cooking enough.” Zayne replied with a smile. “But thanks! Desserts are fun… I don’t get to play around with sugary stuff enough at work.”

“Speaking of which… How are things going, Mr. Sous-Chef?” Charlie asked.

Zayne rolled his eyes, but his smile never left his face. He’d gotten his promotion more than six months ago, and his family still made such a big deal about it. And while the title may sound fancy on paper, working as Denise’s second-in-command wasn’t much better than when he’d been a lowly line cook. In fact, in some ways, it was even worse. But he’d never let on to his family how unhappy he was.

“Not bad. But actually…” He reached into his pocket, retrieving his phone to check the time. “If I don’t leave now, they won’t be going so great anymore.” Zayne laughed. “Dinner shift starts in less than an hour… Denise will have my neck if I’m late again.”

“No worries. It was great seeing you, Zayne!” His cousin smiled warmly at him.

“You too!” Zayne rose to his feet. “Hope should be back the day after tomorrow… Maybe we can grab lunch later this week?” He turned toward Layla and Remi. “All of us, I mean.” He clarified, smiling.

Remi exchanged a brief look with his wife, who nodded. “As long as we can get a sitter, sure!”

“And Dahlia’s got three sets of grandparents dying to take her off our hands, so I think we’ll be covered too.” Ben laughed.

Zayne breathed an internal sigh of relief. As much as he loved Leo and Dahlia, it was nice being able to go out with his cousins without having to worry about entertaining the kids too.

“Sounds great. See you guys later then!”

“Bye, Zayne!”

56 thoughts on “Interlude: Not Bad

  1. Nooboos WitcHazard: Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos Nooboos!💗 I knew it Dahlia is so cute! And another Remi Nooboos yes yes yes! Oh Leo don’t pout cutie I’m sure you’ll be a great big brother!

    Shipper WitcHazard: What is it four or five years of Hozay and their still going strong😆 I smell proposal!

    Anti-Shipper WitcHazard: Well I smell dirty diapers! And now that Hope’s career is taking off I don’t see her wanting to slow down anytime soon! Especially with some whose is 5 seconds away from quitting his job or getting fired!

    S WitcHazard: Maybe it’ll bring them closer together and she can help him discover his own dream!

    Anti S WitcHazard: Or all that time together will make her feel smothered and push into the arms of young handsome photographer!

    S WitcHazard: Well we just have to wait and see won’t we!

    Anti S WitcHazard: Yes Let’s!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Love your analysis! And I had a feeling Nooboo WitchHazard would like this one 😉 (btw, Hope and Zayne have been together for about 3.5 years at this point 🙂 ) Thanks for reading! 😀


  2. Wait, time skip? Last arc had to be the most peaceful and nice arc since Alex’s generation. Shame that Zayne still isn’t satisfied, though I’m glad HoZay are still going strong. Dahlia is cute! How old is Mari now? Is she going to be immortal like Yenn Bloomer?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hahaha yes it was a nice peaceful arc to give us all a break ^_^

      And Mari will not be immortal 😦 She’s 88 now… 😥 I don’t wanna talk about it 😂


            1. I have aging off in my game 🙂 I just go by their age in years for the story to decide when their time comes.


  3. Zayne looks so pretty when he’s pouting. ❤
    Em, but about that suspicions about the way Ben looked at Hope… I totally get that he's just a nice person, genuinely interested in potential sister-in-law and her career. But him bringing up Hope a few times kind of ruffles my most cynical side.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He rubs me wrong as well for the same reason. Part of me is terrified with the ideas I have about where this could lead, the drama loving part of me wants bad things to happen. It’s hard to be a reader when you’re a writer too. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Zayne, sweetie, if you’re that unhappy, you should look for a different job… or start your own restaurant. As they say, life’s too short.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well it took me a few days but I’m here! Haha. (If you don’t remember, I just finished D2D this week.) I’m kind of embarrasingly excited to be able to participate in the conversation now, but I’m sad I have nothing left to binge-read!

    I noticed the whole Ben/Hope thing too… I’m not sure whether or not to trust you, but I guess I’m finally at the point where I can’t just keep going… I have to “wait and see!” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course I remember! You’re quick! And I’m so glad you’re all caught up!!!! Awesome. Thank you for taking the time to read!

      I swear to God you guys are gonna be let down with the Ben thing and I’m genuinely trying to get people to not focus on that so the real drama that’s coming isn’t overshadowed 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Zayne hasn’t changed much after all. He is letting on things are great when they aren’t. Ugh! Stupid Rosebrook genes. – Well, we knew it couldn’t be sugar and spice and everything nice forever. He really hates having Hope away and is beginning to be jealous. Ugh again.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Toddlers! Toddlers! I don’t know why, but my favorite moments are when this family gets together for small celebrations, like this 2 year old’s birthday party. They’re just chilling in jeans, laughing about nothing. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm I knew it. We’ve had a few perfectly happy chapters, but not everything is rainbows and Sunshine all the time. It’s sad that even after so many years Zayne’s boss is still giving him a though time.

    I love Dahlia ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Zayne is having such a rough time with work 😦 Things are definitely a bit less rainbow and sunshine for sure haha


  9. *Please update the family tree. Rory’s a child, Layla, Ben, and Colleen(I’m assuming she and River are married by now), and Leo and Dahlia aren’t there either. Also I really want to see Stefan’s family. I get confused when he talks about them and when there are just random sims at some family reunions.
    Also, how do you kill your sims without aging on?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really liked Mari in this chapter 🙂 she’s become a great grandma (literally lol). Also come one Zayne, own restaurant! 😀 Or maybe Denise can be conveniently relocated?


  11. I enjoyed the story but sadly years is the second block today that I’m not getting the pictures from … I got the ones from before but this one didn’t show up I will have to go view those on my PC later today


  12. Awww. what a cute child – can we switch over to Remi’s life – we can make him the heir and then play with all the children. Looks like Zayne is doing fine enough with Hope. Sucks that he hates his job – but there’s only one cure for that. QUIT. There’s LOTS of restaurants in the world and now you have working at one on your resume. Surely you can find something. Sigh- it’s so hard to break inertia and do the next scary step.


  13. Honey I know how incredibly hard it is to do this, I speak from experience, but you need to quit if your job makes you unhappy. There will always be another option. Even without the traditional chef education. And your family, as crazy as they are, will be behind you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sheesh, I needed some catching up. I’m so glad I could finally read more Rosebrook shenanigans. School can be so unfair sometimes, but I guess I need a degree if I want to eat in the future.

    Zayne needs to get a move on, like yesterday. Being in a job you hate is the same as being in a toxic relationship. It needs to be scraped off. We all know what happens when negative feelings are kept in for a long time. He’s going to snap. Knowing Rosebrook blood as I do, Zayne will snap when the situation can provoke the most conflict for him. It may not be tomorrow, or the week after that, but it will happen. You better move it Zayne!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw yay, I’m so glad you caught up, Sara! ^_^ And you are so right comparing Zayne’s job situation to a toxic relationship. This is not doing him any good (and honestly, is he doing the restaurant good by being so miserable? Hmmm). Hopefully he does something soon! We’ll see 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha we’ll see! It definitely sounds like a solution that might work for him! (If he can handle all the work involved!)


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