Interlude: Calm Down

“That smells delicious, Zayne.” Carly smiled sweetly at him as he returned to join Hope and her parents in the living room.

He’d just put a rack of lamb in the oven, complete with a brand-new rub he’d been experimenting with lately. Zayne loved spoiling Hope’s family with his best recipes whenever they came to visit, and he hoped this latest experiment would be no exception.

“Thanks!” Zayne returned the woman’s smile as he took a seat beside his girlfriend on the loveseat. “Let’s hope it tastes as good as it smells though.”

“It will.” Hope assured him. “It always does!”

He just shrugged. “Well, we’ll know in about an hour… ” Zayne’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Hey, this could finally be our chance to get your parents hooked on Fangs for the Memories!” He knew Hope had been trying for the past few weeks to convince them to start the first season.

She laughed brightly at his suggestion. “We do have plenty of time to squeeze in an episode or two…”

Ralph raised an eyebrow at his daughter for a moment. “Is this that vampire romance you keep bugging us about?” He laughed, shaking his head. “Your little sister already tricked me into watching that godawful Twilight movie a few years ago.” Ralph almost shuddered. “Never again.”

Carly simply laughed at her husband’s commentary. “I’ve seen a few commercials… It does look kinda cute.” She admitted.

“It’s hysterical!” Zayne smiled. “Even the lovey-dovey parts manage to crack me up.”

“You’d love it, dad.” Hope added seriously.

Ralph eyed the couple uncertainly for a moment. “Fine, let’s put on an episode.” He said at last. “As long as no one sparkles!”

“They don’t!”

Zayne furrowed his brow. “Well, technically the fa—”

Hope smacked his arm. “Shhh! Spoilers!”


“Okay… That was pretty darn good.” Ralph admitted as Zayne shut off the TV and headed to check on their food. “You weren’t kidding about how funny it is!”

“Told you, dad.” Hope teased. “It’s amazing, isn’t it?”

“I really love that butler.” Carly smiled. “And the actor who plays him is so handsome!” She added with a small wink.

Hope’s entire face lit up at her mother’s words. “Did you know I almost met him once?” She asked excitedly. “I was so mad… I found out he was doing a shoot for an interview with GQ at the same studio I was.” She explained. “But he left like half an hour before I got there.”

Zayne chuckled to himself as Hope retold the story. He could still remember how upset she was when she’d first told him about her near-brush with the famous actor.

“That’s amazing.” Carly marveled at her daughter’s story as they joined Zayne at the counter for dinner. “I’m sorry you missed the chance to meet him… But it’s incredible that you got so close.”

Ralph nodded. “And to think, just a few years ago you were settling for those godawful detergent commercials…” His wife shot him a look. “I mean, you did a great job with them.” He corrected himself hastily. “But –”

“I know what you mean.” Hope smiled. “I’ve definitely come a long way since then.”

“And we’re so proud of you, sweetie.” Her mother’s voice was warm. “All that hard work paid off.”

Ralph lifted a forkful of lamb to his lips before speaking. He closed his eyes for a moment, and Zayne couldn’t help but smile at the look of satisfaction that came to the man’s face. “I can tell someone else’s hard work is paying off too…” Ralph spoke at last. “This is perfect.”

“Thanks. This is one I first tried out out a few months ago… But I’m experimenting with a few new spices this time around. I’m still trying to figure out the right combination.”

“Well I wouldn’t change a thing.” Hope beamed at him. “Dad’s right… Perfection!”

Zayne smiled slightly as he finally took a bite of his own creation. And they were right — It was perfect, if he said so himself.

“So how much longer before you start charging us 20 euros a plate for this, Zayne?” Ralph laughed. “Not that we don’t appreciate the free meals, of course.”

“Any updates about the restaurant?” Carly asked kindly, nodding in agreement. “We’re so excited for you! How’s it coming along?”

Zayne felt the smile slowly vanish from his face. This was his aunt and grandparents all over again. Every time he visited, they asked the same sort of questions Hope was always nagging him with. And now her parents were starting on him too! Why couldn’t they leave it alone? Why couldn’t they let him take his time?

He hesitated before replying. Zayne knew that whatever answer he gave would not be what they wanted to hear. “It’s a lot of work.” He admitted at last, biting his lip. A slight warmth slowly found its way to his cheeks. “But I–”

“Y’know, Carly’s dad owned a restaurant for years.” Ralph interjected, smiling. “I’m sure he’d be happy to help if you give him a call!”

“Oh yeah, dad would love to help!” Carly agreed with her husband. “I know he understands how hard it can be to get things off the ground.”

The red in Zayne’s cheeks deepened. I don’t need help. He wanted to say. And I didn’t ask for any! Zayne opened his mouth uncertainly, his mind still struggling to form a response when Hope’s voice suddenly reached his ears.

“Zayne’s been working really hard.” She told her parents. “And he’s doing amazing… As you can probably tell.” Hope gestured toward their plates. “I don’t think I’ve ever had lamb this good in my entire life… Not even grandpa’s.”

Her mother laughed brightly. “Oh, now don’t tell him that!”


“We’ll call you tomorrow, honey.” Carly pulled her daughter into a quick hug. “Remind me again what time we’re supposed to be there?”

“I told Joce and Mark we’d head over around one.” Hope replied as she pulled away from her. “But they’re usually pretty flexible. Just let us know.”

“Thanks again for dinner, Zayne.” Ralph clapped the younger man on the back for a moment. “Be sure to let me know if that restaurant of yours does transatlantic deliveries someday.”

He forced a smile. “Will do.”

“See you tomorrow!”

Zayne’s calm mask vanished the moment the door closed.

Hope let out a heavy sigh at the sight. “What the Hell’s gotten into you?” She asked harshly, her own smile vanishing just as quickly as his had.

Her boyfriend just shrugged, feigning ignorance. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

It was clear her patience was wearing thin. “Oh, cut the crap, Zayne! You were in such a mood all during dinner… What gives?”

She isn’t gonna drop it, is she? Fine. “As if you don’t know.” He replied at last, scoffing at her.

“If I did, I wouldn’t be asking!”

Zayne could feel his anger slowly rising in his chest. “You made me look like an idiot in front of your parents.” He narrowed his eyes as he spoke. “That’s what gives!”

The girl’s eyes widened. “What the fuck?! Where is this coming from?!”

“Your parents started grilling me about the restaurant and you just had to butt in! Why couldn’t you leave it alone!” He cried. “I could have handled it! And you made it look like I couldn’t!”

“Are you for real right now?!” Hope shook her head as though in disbelief. “I could tell you were getting upset, so I tried to cover for you! I was trying to help!”

“Yeah, well I didn’t need it.” Zayne spat back at her. “Are you really that embarrassed of me?!”


“You are, aren’t you?”

“You’re being ridiculous, Zayne! And it sounds to me like you’re the one who’s embarrassed!”

“Are you fucking kidding me?!”

“Are you?! Listen to yourself!” Hope’s eyes narrowed. “I didn’t make you look like an idiot, Zayne. You’re doing a great job of that on your own right now. So don’t you dare take this out on me!” She turned and headed toward the door without another word.

“What the hell?! Where are you going!” Zayne cried.

Out.” She hissed over her shoulder. “I need to calm down… And so do you.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down!” He called after her.

But she’d already slammed the door in his face.


Shoutout to ThePlumbob for making over Ralph and Carly (Hope’s parents) from her legacy for me!

And another special shoutout to LadyLobster for letting me reference her amazing simlit, Fangs for the Memories! It’s hysterical, but also so deep and moving as well… and her characters are fantastic! I second Hope and Zayne’s endorsement 😉

64 thoughts on “Interlude: Calm Down

  1. Ha! Carly becomes obsessed with s Lysander… Ralph can’t deal with trying to live up to that standard and their marriage crumbles. TOTALLY what happens 😉 (Don’t tell ThePlumbob!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yeah, he’s gonna owe her a massive apology after this one (hopefully she’ll accept it :-/). He was totally out of line taking everything out on her (again! *sigh*)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea of an inspiring story for Zayne! Don’t know if it would be quite enough, but hey, at this point we are desperate for that boy to find some sense, so it’d be a good try! haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehehe you are so welcome! Hope and Zayne have great taste in entertainment 😉 (and OMG that clip WTF I’m dying HAHA)

      Okay, now shoo! 😛 No peeking at anything else until you catch up hehe ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay… I got nothing positive to say about this one. It’s like there’s the conversation everyone else is having. Then there’s the one Zayne is having. I just… Ugh, I don’t know why I emerged from Jes’s bomb shelter. Someone send me a message when this storm has passed. I kinda need a hug, and I never need hugs.


    1. Today’s a tricky one, since he was extra-irrational and bratty in this chapter. Zayne’s insecurity is at an all-time high, especially feeling like he’s been made to look bad in front of Hope’s parents. She was right — he IS embarrassed. And in his mind, he’s twisted it to believe that she must be embarrassed of him too. I also think everything was compounded by Carly and Ralph trying to offer unsolicited help/advice… And we KNOW how much our Zayne loves that… :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, dear, it looks like behind all the ”I’m a grow up man!”’ There’s still a little boy that just can’t ask other for help..ish..Zayne still has a lot to learn,..I think he’s the one turning his own life in hell, fighting with Hope, maybe needing help, but being too proud..And after all he generations with like multiple problems at the saem time, is different to focus on only one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh this is so true — He’s the one hurting himself right now. No one else! And yes, you’re right — this gen is so hyper-focused on Zayne! Haha it’s a little different.


  5. Anti- Shipper: Before I get into it can I say a few words?

    Shipper: I know what you’re going to say so the floor is yours!

    Anti-Shipper: Okay LadyLobster’s Fangs for the Memories is a epic romantic comedy! If you are not resting it there is clearly something wrong with!

    Shipper: Clearly you got to be Bonkers!

    Anti-Shipper: And of you are not laughing your ass off every time you read a Byron Blackwell chapter you’re basic!

    Shipper: Ya Basic!

    Anti Shipper: Now it it time! READY THE CANONS! LET’S BLOW THIS SHIP UP!!!!!

    Shipper: Not gonna happen this is just a minor hiccup! There emotions were running high, they’ll bounce back. Give a couple of days a week tops . then they’ll apologize to eachother and have some makeup sex!

    Lover: One of the top 5 most passionate variations of sex there is!

    Shipper: Not Now Lover!

    Anti Shipper: That’s because you saw that as a bye I’m going cool down door slam! When it really was a Bye you carrot top bastard try to fine somebody better than me door slam! So come on you dirt breeding dogs, fire those canons!

    Charmer and Dark look at eachother!

    Dark: Is he taking to us! Cause we the only ones here, so he must be talking to us! Slow your roll A-Ship!

    1. Hurtful!😔
    2. I’m only doing this because I want to blow things up! Let’s be clear!
    3. Call me a dog one more time and I show you whose the bigger biatch between us! Know that!

    Charmer: What she said expect the bitch part replace it with man. I mean I know I’m not physically bigger than you just from a moral stand point. Just wants to make it clear!😊

    Anti-Shipper: I miss my old crew!😔

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha I’m glad the Witchazards approved of the FftM shoutout! 😀 As for whether this turns out to truly be a little hiccup or something more… stay tuned! But Anti can put the cannons away for now 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This reminds me so much of when he needed money for rent and refused to ask for help or go back home because he “an adult and doesn’t need help”.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Again with the angry reaction without thinking about it. Like way too many people I know and care about. They twist what others are saying and see things negatively. And then regret their actions when the moment has passed.

    Honestly? If Zayne figures this out and how not to overreact, I hope he’ll tell me what worked. 🙂 I hate seeing him so upset.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is what I was going to say! I think the fact that it happened earlier in the night didn’t help, because if Zayne is like me (which, sadly, he kinda is) he STEWED in that annoyance all night long, which made the confrontation that much more bitter and volatile.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. So…hold on Zayne. The your rollrr coaster is now on a free fall and you are almost st the bottom. It’s gonna hurt more than you know – cause sweetie – this all on you!

    Well you and those stupid Rosebrook genes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha it’s very true. He’s hurting himself so much right now… but he’s blind to that fact and blaming others. *sigh*


    1. It’s so true. Hope was very correct when she said Zayne was the one who was truly embarrassed too. He’s turning his own frustrations toward himself outward :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ugh, Zayne. Seriously, get over yourself! And maybe, just maybe, if you’d listen to others and accept some help you’d actually get your restaurant started and off the ground!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is teenage Zayne all over again. Learn from the past, Z! Needing help doesn’t make you useless or weak! Waiting for consequences to punch you in the face just makes it more painful (both figuratively and literally).

    There’s a wake up call coming and he’s not gonna like it. My bet’s on him giving up hope because Hope gives up on him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so true — he really needs to learn from the past and not wait around for a “punch in the face” (maybe this time more figuratively than last time 😉 haha)


  11. I think HoZay’s problem are stemming not just from his insecurity, but also from the big difference in their personalities/ tempers. Hope is adventurous, self-assured, energetic and prone to take action. I mean, she realized it would make sense to move to Windenburg one moment and texted Zayne that she’ll do it right away. He would probably analyse the idea for a few weeks, make a SWOT, write a few entries in his journal, ask for her opinion etc. Just like Hope accepted the big photo session on the spot whereas Zayne thought they should have talked it over first. So now, with the restaurant Hope doesn’t get it why he’s taking so long and pushes him (in good faith) even though it proves to be counterproductive. The best solution might be for Zayne to let Hope read his journal. Or talk to her about what’s holding him back and for her to really listen.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aha! Here is your comment! And it’s so lovely and insightful!

      You are right — Zayne and Hope are almost total opposites. She is strong and confident and acts first, thinks later haha. Zayne is insecure, emotional, and likes to brood a lot before making any kind of big decision.

      There used to be a time where they actually balanced each other out. But now? Those differences are definitely causing some issues!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Zayne, baby, dear, stop this shit right fucking now. You’re going to ruin everything if you keep it up, kay? Don’t be a Mari. Be a fucking Jonas. I really, really don’t want to hate you, dear… But if you keep this up, you’ll give me no choice.



    1. Hahaha I like your advice that he should be a Jonas, but unfortunately that’s a bit easier said than done for him right now. He’s so stubborn and so crushed by the weight of all this stress and pressure right now.

      I hope you don’t end up hating him! But I guess we’ll see… Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. XD Isn’t it always easier said than done? Lol. But still, stress or not, he needs to talk to SOMEBODY before he blows it. You don’t want me to hate you… *cough cough* Mari *cough*

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Dang it Zayne, can you please get a grip and admit that you need a little help to get started. Why does he have to be so damn stubborn. Your not asking for a hand out, just a little guidance. And you better get it together soon because I’m not sure how much more of your procrastination, obstinance, and jealousy Hope can take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could not have said it any better myself, unfortunately :-/

      It’s the strange dichotomy of Zayne at work again haha He’s obsessed with doing things 100% on his own, yet also is terrified of failure (mild spoiler, i guess haha it’s touched upon later that part of the source of his procrastination comes from a fear of failure)

      This whole situation is eating away at him and bringing out the worst in him. And yes, it’s a lot for Hope to take! 😦

      (By the way, Zayne’s traits are good, jealous, and hot-headed haha and I do try to write my heirs’ traits (which I randomly roll! One of the only things left to chance hehe). So the poor guy was already dealt a very difficult hand with those traits of his!)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, his traits are fun but frustrating to write! LMAO (But the “good” trait means at least there’s a heart of gold in there somewhere? 😛 )

          Liked by 1 person

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