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?!”

What?!”

“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 😉

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62 Responses to Interlude: Calm Down

  1. Trip says:

    Carly becomes a lusting fangirl on the Fangs for the Memories thread and then life is never the same for them. Tragic. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Trip says:

    Also: he listened to and respect Eun! We all know there’s something he can cook that will sell fantastically. 😉

    Hmmm…without knowing much of the background behind Hope’s modeling career, surely it wasn’t something she could do 100% on her own. I wonder if an inspiring tale of the agent who would never give up will knock some sense into our brat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Senna says:




    YA BLEW IT, ZAYNE.
    (In all seriousness, he’s going to have to do a hell of a lot of making up to Hope now, for blowing up at her like that.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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

  4. LadyLobster says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely shout-out to Fangs for the Memories! Like Hope’s mom, I’m a fan of the butler too. 😉

    And I’m sorry, but I couldn’t resist:

    Liked by 8 people

  5. 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.

    Like

    • Oh! I DO have something positive! Freaking Carly & Ralph!!!!! They look so great. I love her hair! I miss them… Okay, now I definitely need a hug.

      Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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

  6. sourocha1 says:

    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

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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.

      Like

  7. maladi777 says:

    He’s going to lose her. Maybe that’s the wake up call he needs. To be all alone to man up and crawl back up from the bottom. Do his best to win her back.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Me(Who Else?) says:

    Paging Dr. Imaginary Friend Bruce… Help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahahaha I dunno, if Bruce showed up now, it’d probably mean our poor friend Zayne has truly gone off the deep end 😂

      Like

  9. witchazard says:

    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

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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

  10. DanaColourful says:

    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

  11. Tizy says:

    Antishipper witchazard if you need help to shoot cannonballs I am here. At this point I am just thorn because I know that the only positive thing in a next noboo would be to be Hope’s kid or hopefully Zayne doesnt have any and the legacy goes back where it belongs: to Jocelyn daughters.

    This being said Citizen your work is amazing. Like someone said before what you created among your readers is powerful. It’s not just another simlit, you light us with passion and strong feelings, thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      The legacy does not belong to Jocelyne’s daughters, it belongs to Zayne. 🙂 He is the heir and he is going to (eventually) have a child who will be the gen 6 heir. Zayne has many flaws but he is not a monster, and he is our heir who will be continuing on the Rosebrook line.

      I appreciate that you say my story is amazing, thank you for that. It’s nice to hear. 🙂

      Like

      • Tizy says:

        I never said he is a monster.
        And never said I hate him.
        Sometimes you add words to my comments that I never said or thought.

        My opinions of course are just personal and story related.
        They are never pointed to you or your work which I always praise.

        If my bitter comments make you upset I can be back being silent reader, I dont mind =)

        Hugs

        Like

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          I do realize that you never said you hate him (and actually, in my comment I didn’t say that you said you hated him either!). However, I did make my “monster” comment because it feels like you have always viewed him in a very negative light (even when he was an innocent child who didn’t even have a chance to screw up yet! Haha 😛 ) simply because he is not Jocelyne’s biological child.

          I don’t want you to feel like your opinions aren’t welcome here — they are! 🙂 Sometimes your comments are just worded very strongly and it’s a bit much for me.

          Like

          • Tizy says:

            It was in last week.comment where the word hate came up and I replied back. But maybe with all the comments you get daily it slipped out your eye =)

            It’s true I never liked zayne or his parents for so many reasons which is useless list.
            It’s not because he is not Joce’s biological child. It’s because his parents.screwed up joce and mark life in so many ways and even if I acknowledge it’s not zayne’s fault he grew up so spoiled and entitled and ungrateful.
            Maybe so much of the storyline happens behind our eyes, but actually I cant see a reason for someone like hope to be with someone like him that always made many mistakes towards her.

            I am usually all up for helping and understanding who needs therapy like zayne does. But he is just so ungrateful and cant see all his blessings.
            Sadly there are way too many people like him and his character triggers in me strong feelings, because I can totally relate. I actually know people like him in my life, sadly.

            In any meaning or intention my comments are harsh or negative towards you. I think you are gifted and I can see there is a lot of research to describe certain situations and behaviors.
            How I word my comments may also be influenced by non being an english native speaker so my vocabulary is not full and complete like my mother tongue one.
            Anyway ill try to be more soft or avoid commenting when I cant be.

            If you remember I was very bitter also with Mary because she triggered too my life experiences but at the end I learned to love her and saw her growth. Maybe it will happen with zayne too?

            Like

            • CitizenErased14 says:

              I appreciate you explaining your thoughts in more detail. I appreciate that you are so passionate and feel so strongly about my story (even though I don’t always agree haha 😛 ). I want you to feel comfortable sharing your honest thoughts with me, so I’m glad you shared this comment.

              I know that we have not always seen eye-to-eye about my characters (I do remember how you felt about Mari too! Haha) but I do want you to know that it means a lot to have you reading, no matter what (even if I get very defensive sometimes). Thank you for being such a loyal reader who has followed my story for so long! I appreciate you very much, Tizy! 🙂 ❤

              Like

  12. raerei says:

    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

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yup, Zayne is the pure embodiment of hot-headed right now… it’s very hard to overcome! I am in Zayne’s shoes often haha

      Liked by 1 person

    • Arrowleaf says:

      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

  13. audreyfld says:

    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

  14. julyvee94 says:

    sigh… zayne’s actually angry at himself, I can tell. He needs to stop taking this out on hope. This is putting serious strain on their relationship….

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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

  15. sonniejj says:

    Zayn, sit your pretty butt down and calm yourself. You’re the only one standing in your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Brass Buckles says:

    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

  17. SpurklyNinja says:

    Oh boy….

    This hot-headed trait is really kicking him the butt here, ain’t it?
    Hang in there, Zayne!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jes2G says:

    (sigh) Somebody call this boy’s nanny. He needs a nap.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. As I read, all I can hear are the cannons being fired, and I am just ducking and running for cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 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

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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)

      Like

  21. peaoorko says:

    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 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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

  22. lisabeesims says:

    Uhhhhh wow … smh … grow up Zayne. Time to get your superhero training pants off and get big boy undies on

    Liked by 2 people

  23. SilentWolf101 says:

    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.

    GET RID OF THE ROSEBROOK TRAIT OF NOT TALKING TO PEOPLE!

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      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

      • SilentWolf101 says:

        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

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