Interlude: Grand Opening

Zayne closed his eyes.

For a moment, all the sounds around him seemed to fade away. The crackling of the stoves’ flames, the clanging of pots and pans, the chatter among the kitchen workers… All of it was gone. He took a slow, deep breath and willed the frantic pounding in his heart to subside.

But it didn’t.

“Earth to Zayne…” Victoria’s familiar voice broke through the silence, calling Zayne abruptly back from his moment of near-peace. “Dude, are you okay?”

“Y-yeah.” He stammered nervously, opening his eyes. Victoria stood at the stove beside him, stirring a pot of noodles. “Sorry. I’m just… Having a moment.” He admitted with a small laugh.

Zayne had foolishly assumed that opening day would be a piece of cake. After all, he’d done this all before, hadn’t he? But last time was so different. He didn’t own 80% of the business that time. He wasn’t the sole person in charge of the entire restaurant. The entire fate of the business wasn’t resting on his shoulders.

It was like he’d been pedaling down the street with a set of training wheels last time.  It was fun and exciting, but safe.

Today, the training wheels were off and he was coasting downhill. At top speed. Without a helmet.

He swallowed nervously. Christ, calm down! You can do this.

“Relax.” Victoria seemed to echo his thoughts. “You’ve got this. We’ve been doing great so far, haven’t we?” She reached over as she spoke, adjusting the heat on one of the burners.

Zayne nodded. She was right. They had been doing great… For the two hours they’d been open. They wouldn’t close until 10 that night. Eight more hours. Zayne tried his best not to think of all the things that could go wrong between now and then, but it was hard not to. This was his baby. His dream. And he couldn’t mess it up.

“Look, why don’t you let me take the reigns in here for a while?” Victoria continued. “And you can go check on the dining room and patio until you’re done with your ‘moment’.” She suggested kindly. “The customers would probably like to meet the owner anyway. Good for business, right?”

“Yeah… If you don’t mind, sure.” He replied, grateful. “Thanks, Victoria. I just need a breather, I guess.” Zayne had been going nearly non-stop since very early that morning, getting everything ready for their grand opening. He hadn’t sat down or even left the kitchen in hours.

“No worries, I get it.” She smiled at him. “Aw, shit…” Her attention quickly turned back to the pot she’d been stirring, which now appeared to be boiling a bit too aggressively.

Zayne quickly slipped away, eager to go see how his customers were doing.

“Welcome to LuzLicht.” He smiled warmly at an older couple he found seated on the patio. “I’m the owner, Zayne Rosebrook. Are you enjoying your meals this afternoon?”

“Oh, most definitely!” The woman beamed as she spoke. “This is delicious.”

The man, whom Zayne assumed was her husband, nodded in agreement. His mouth appeared to be too full of food to form a proper reply.

Zayne gave the man a kind nod of acknowledgement. “I’m so glad. If you need anything, please let one of our servers know. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.”

“You too!”

“Excuse me.” A familiar voice called from over his shoulder. “Did you say you’re the owner? I’d like to file a complaint, please.”

His lips curled into a smile as he turned around. “Of course, miss.” Zayne’s voice was teasing. “What seems to be the problem?”

“This food is much too delicious. I can’t stop eating it.” She seemed to be struggling to keep a straight face. “I can’t afford to get fat in my line of work, you know.”

“My apologies. In that case, I suggest trying out the Corner Kitchen. I hear it’s run by some asshole named Greg who doesn’t know shit about decent food.”

Hope burst into hysterics, finally dropping the act. Zayne smiled as he took a seat across from her.

“I’m glad you could make it.” He said seriously.

“Of course! You think I’d miss your opening day?” She smiled. “The only reason I couldn’t be there last time was that big shoot for Elle in Champs Les Sims.”

Zayne shrugged. “Wouldn’t have been worth it anyway…”

“True.” Hope paused to take another bite from her plate. “This place is so much better… And I’m not just saying that.” Her tone was suddenly serious. “This is the type of place you always talked about. This is your dream. I’m so happy for you!”

“Thanks! I really feel good about this. It really feels like it’s mine this time, y’know?”

Hope nodded. “I do. And I seriously love everything about this place. It’s just what you always wanted. Modern mixed with traditional, right?”

He nodded. “Exactly.”

“It’s so perfect. Especially the name… It’s for your parents, isn’t it?”

“Yeah… I went with the whole ‘light’ thing.” He explained. “And ‘Luz’ kinda sounds like their names too… It all worked out really well.”

“I love it! I think they would too.” She replied seriously. “And I saw your aunt and grandfather leaving while I was walking in. They didn’t notice me, and I kinda overheard them talking about you.” Hope smiled. “They’re so proud of you, Zayne. It was really sweet.”

He felt a sudden warmth in his cheeks, but not an entirely unpleasant one. He opened his mouth to speak once more, but before he could reply, he heard musical voice calling out to him.

“There he is, the man himself!”

Zayne smiled as he rose to his feet and turned to face her. “Hey, stranger. I didn’t think you were gonna make it.”  He leaned down to give Abigail a soft kiss on her cheek, drawing a soft giggle from her lips.

“My boss is still being a jerk about time off.” She confessed. “But I’m on my lunch break, so… What better place to grab a bite to eat?”

“Are you gonna have enough time?” He asked.

“Um… I will if the owner can pull a few strings for me?” Abigail teased. The way she smiled sent a flurry of butterflies through Zayne’s stomach.

“For you? Of course.” He gave her a little wink.

Out of the corner of his eye, he could have sworn he caught a glimpse of Hope rolling her eyes. Zayne glanced down at her. The smile had completely vanished from her face. What the hell?  He did his best to hide his confusion.

“Oh, um… I should probably introduce you guys, huh?” Zayne continued, suddenly nervous.  “Abigail, this is Hope. Hope, Abigail.”

He noticed Abigail’s smile flicker for just a moment. “Nice to meet you.” Zayne did not miss the slight discomfort in her voice.

“Yeah. You too.” Hope’s smile seemed so forced.

Abigail’s, though hesitant, at least felt somewhat genuine. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

“Oh, really?” The other woman replied stiffly. Her eyes flicked toward Zayne for a moment. “I wish I could say the same.”

What is her problem?! “So… Wanna find a seat, Abigail? And I’ll go whip something up for you?” He suggested. “What would you like?”

“Hm… You can surprise me.” She smiled sweetly at him as she spoke.

“Great!”

Zayne watched as she headed back downstairs to find a table.

He turned back toward Hope as soon as Abigail was out of earshot. “Are you okay?” He asked, half concerned, half annoyed. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. I’m fine.” She shrugged, taking another bite of her food. For some reason, Hope seemed unable to meet his gaze. “It was great to see you, Zayne.” The cheerfulness in her voice did not seem to match her expression. “But I should let you get back to work.”

“Uh, okay.” He replied helplessly. “See you later, I guess.”

“Later.”

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55 Responses to Interlude: Grand Opening

  1. Senna says:

    The words for his restaurant are just the same word in two different languages. Luz (Spanish) and Licht (German). They’re both the word for ‘Light’.

    Zayne named his restaurant “LightLight”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes, I know and he knows haha

      The name has a special meaning for him, calls a bit back to his family heritage (Luz is light in Portuguese as well), and also fits with his theme of mixing two different things together (modern with traditional, in the case of the food and decor. Two languages in the case of the restaurant name) 🙂 It also sounds cool 😛 What better name would there be?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Trip says:

      Shhh he didn’t pass his language classes either. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        You guys are so mean 😂 It took me literally months to think of that restaurant name (and probably even longer for poor Zayne! Haha)

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Trip says:

    [what could have been an insightful comment but is actually me saying “OMG is that everyone’s favorite City Living pre-made Salim Benali enjoying lunch???”]

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Bugsie2016 says:

    I sense some jealousy. I spotted Hope’s face when Zayne kissed Abbie. 😉 I think she’s gonna a ‘totally not be ok with it’ type of girl.

    Why didn’t Zayne tell Abbie about Hope? If he’s serious about their relationship, she should know about their friendship.

    I think Hope found herself a bit uncomfortable there. She didn’t say much about it afterwards.

    I’m expecting either an arguing Zabigail or an upset Hope next chapter or a fight between Hope and Abbie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Actually Zayne DID tell Abigail about Hope 🙂 That’s why Abigail says she’s heard a lot about her. He DIDN’T tell Hope about Abigail though, which might help explain her reaction 😉 haha

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bugsie2016 says:

        I thought it was Abbie telling Hope she hadn’t heard anything about her. I must have got a little confused. Well he should have warned Hope about the possibility she might show up.

        So know we’ve seen her angry, happy and jealous. Jealousy definitely doesn’t suit her. I feel she’d had the proud conversation before though. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. shamanarza says:

    Now it’s Hope’s turn to get hated on! You left him, Hope. You don’t get to skip your lunch reservation and expect to get a table as dessert is being served.

    Liked by 6 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Zayne approves of this food metaphor 😂 The tables definitely seem to have turned a bit for Zayne and Hope, huh? 😛 Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. addbratlove225 says:

    Aww. Poor Hope. Sorry, Abigail, but Hozay forever.

    I was reading the other comments and you’ll be happy to know that I like the restaurant name! It sounds really cool. And, um…Zayne is growing on me? I still think he should’ve told Hope about her though.

    Liked by 4 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Glad you like the name, and that Zayne is growing on you again! 😉

      He probably should have told Hope about Abigail though, you’re right! That will come up a bit in Zayne’s journal tomorrow hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  6. audreyfld says:

    Zayne…you didn’t tell Hope about Abigail? What’s up with that? You want to have your cake and eat it too!

    Well here’s my take: Telling Abigail wasn’t a risk as he isn’t thatvinvested in her yet. Telling Hope was. He wants Abigail because she’s safe – so far and scratches an itch he can’t get scratched with Hope because he’s afraid it would destroy their fragile relationship which he needs. Hope was obviously jealous and hurt. Bad boy Zayne. What is it you really want?

    Liked by 3 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha well, on a conscious level, I’m not sure if those were his reasons. Subconsciously though, anything is possible! Haha And as for what he really wants… Guess we will see? 😉

      Thank you for reading 🙂

      Like

  7. witchazard says:

    Anti Shipper: (Grabs large bowl of popcorn and soda hat!) Lets get ready to rumble!

    Shipper: In the left corner we have to hometown favorite long on again off again relationship with the heir, modeling career is in the toilet but still has curves for days Hope! In the other corner we have the fresh blood rookie who came out of nowhere career choice average! Who also has them curves that just keep going and going Abigail!

    Nooboos: Okay look here girls I don’t want a clean fight I want a messy brawl! This is for the one thing a all want to know who will have Zayne’s nooboos! I want that cat fight on steroids!
    The whole saying they’re just friendly outings when they’re dates trying to help you steal back your man!
    Deleting his exes texts and contact info out of his phone!
    Having that akward standoff behind the dudes back that leaves you both scarred!
    Sending the ex the sex afterglow selfie!#Bet you wish this was you!
    Inviting yourself over for dinner then banging her man while she still in the house!
    Go all out in that disrespect! Cause in the end there can only be one Mrs. Zayne whatever his middle name is Rosebrook! FIGHT!

    Liked by 7 people

  8. I am glad he finally has his own restaurant. Honestly, I am probably in the minority but I prefer him with Abby. He and Hope had their time. I love that Abby gives him butterflies. That is super cute. I think he and Hope had each other to learn about themselves and love and life. They learned about the loss of first loves. It is good that they can be friends, I mean after all, they are bonded through their lessons and memories. She is his best friend. No one knows him better because they spent so much of their lives together BUT there is space for him to create a new life for the New Zayne with Abby (or anyone else he would love). Hope needs to move on too. I hope she came back to Windenburg because it felt like home and not because of Zayne.

    Liked by 5 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Wings! There is a lot of truth to what you’ve said here about the lessons these two learned together and moving on.

      As for why Hope moved back to Windenburg, it was definitely because it felt like home. But then, Zayne is a big reason why it felt like home in the first place too.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. julyvee94 says:

    Yay for Restaurant opening! Zayne finally made it 🙂 and unless he messes up the mayors food or some other disaster happens he’s gonna do great. Speaking of disaster, I totally saw this Hope-Abigail-Situation coming xD so awkward. And Zayne is completely oblivious. Oh dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OnyxRaven says:

    Hope’s face… Oh boy…. This is great, just great.😞 Downhill goes the friendship… 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jes2G says:

    I loved all the sounds in the beginning, and this: “It was like he’d been pedaling down the street with a set of training wheels last time.  It was fun and exciting, but safe.”

    Love the name, and the place is beautiful!

    I totally love how he completely stopped his conversation with Hope to address Abigail before introducing them. I also love this scene because it reminds me of a similar scene in my gen 8 I told you about last chapter. This scenario never gets old lol. Can’t wait to see how it plays out in this story.

    Liked by 3 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks, Jess! ^_^ I liked that bike metaphor too. Hopefully poor Zayne knows how to steer this time 😂

      Also glad you liked the name! I had fun coming up with it 🙂 The restaurant was so perfect too, I was so glad when I found that build! It’s on the gallery called “Windenburg Restaurant”. I don’t remember who made it, but it’s really nice!

      And yes, it was like poor Hope disappeared for a second there hehe This situation is definitely a fun one to write about. Gotta love jealousy and suppressed feelings and how messy they can be 😛 Thanks ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  12. nichole1011 says:

    UGGGGHHHHHHH. IT IS SO OBVIOUS ZAYNEEEEEEEEE!!! But it’s okay. It’s not the right time for him. He needs this time to make himself the best version of himself.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. raerei says:

    Yay! The restaurant of his dreams has opened. Agreeing with jes here, awesome description at the top of the chapter.

    And the interaction between Hope and Abigail. Priceless. I don’t know which ship I should be rooting for! Although I think I agree with WitchHazel Nooboo… Whichever gives us kids?

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      LMAO! I love that deciding factor — Nooboos! 😛 Glad you enjoyed this one! We will have to see which girl reigns victorious (unless neither of them do…? 😮 )

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Spirashun says:

    Zayne, it’s not a healthy relationship with your ex when you say your life isn’t complete without them yet proceed not to tell them about your relationship. I’m a huge proponent of treating your exes with respect but there are some exes that just work better as friendly acquaintances rather than close friends.

    Hope, if you’re mad because your friend didn’t tell you about an important person in his life (especially since she told him about Sean so dating is a topic they discuss) then I think it’s fine to be a bit miffed. If you’re mad that Zayne is dating someone that’s not you, then you’re kind of an awful friend since you juuuust were dating someone else yourself.

    I’m beginning to think they need to give each other a rest since after all this time there’s clearly still a lot of conflicting emotions. If a year long break isn’t enough to bury the hatchet and be totally open about things (and let’s be honest they’re totally hiding that they still are into each other among other stuff) then I don’t think this is a relationship that can ever work out. Does this mean I’m like the only person on Team Abigail?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Spirashun says:

      The whole reason they broke up in the first place is they weren’t being honest with each other and wouldn’t just say what they felt. And they’re already falling into that spiral again but this time as ‘friends’. How is that healthy, and how could that ever potentially be a good foundation for restarting a romantic relationship?

      Liked by 2 people

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Hi Spirashun! I haven’t seen you around in a while 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

        Zayne and Hope have both matured quite a bit since they were a couple, but they both still are not 100% “there” yet for sure. Like you said, there are a lot of conflicting emotions going on on both sides right now that could cause issues for the future.

        I think you are right that they both need to be more open with each other if they want to have any kind of successful friendship. Hopefully they can reach that point eventually. 🙂

        And you are not the only Team Abigail person! Some don’t post here (they comment on the sims forums) but I definitely know you are not alone haha

        Thanks for reading. It was nice to see you comment 🙂

        Like

  15. Erin says:

    Gah! Abigail walking up while he was talking to Hope totally gave me the stress toots! I’m so proud and happy for the restaurant though! I love the look and the name 😍😢❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha yes a very stressful and awkward situation! I’m really glad you loved he restaurant 🙂 I feel like a proud mama to Zayne right now! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Brass Buckles says:

    It used to be I didn’t like Hope and Zayne together because of Zayne. Now I don’t want them together because of Hope. You’d think they would both have learned things, but it seems Hope can’t accept Zayne moving on even though they both agreed to be just friends and to see other people. Jealousy is Zayne’s purview, not Hope’s–so how is it he has worked past it and Hope hasn’t?

    So now I’m hoping Zayne works out with Abby and that they both end up still friendly with Hope. Because jealousy is super ugly and I’m suspicious Hope is going to cause sooo many problems along the way, even if she and Zayne ever end up together again…

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      The tables have definitely turned a bit for these two right now. As for Hope, (this is all stuff that never came up in the story haha but it’s things I’ve talked about with ThePlumbob about Hope as a character) she is an extremely impulsive girl, and she is used to getting exactly what she wants. She’s been very spoiled since childhood, and her personality makes her the person where if she wants to do something, she does it. If she wants to her something, she gets it. So… now she wants Zayne. But she can’t get it. And that is definitely not sitting well with her!

      Zayne has had years of therapy at this point to help him move past his jealousy issues. But unfortunately, Hope hasn’t.

      Right now all we can do is hope that Hope (ok that sounds weird haha) doesn’t stir up trouble and is able to move past her own jealousy too… we will see.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. kaffepigen says:

    Hope is so jealous. I feel bad for her, but she was actually quite rude to Abilgail. Hope and Zayne agreed to see other people. She shouldn’t be too surprised that he would find someone else. She did so herself once, right?

    Anyway, i love the restaurant. It’s beautiful and i love the name. It’s so Zayne! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I’m really glad you love the restaurant! ^_^

      As for Hope… she’s definitely being a bit hypocritical here. She was not expecting to see that Zayne is seeing someone new, and now that she has, it’s really set off this jealous side to her that we normally don’t get to see. I think this is one of those things where SEEING him dating someone else is ten times worse than just hearing about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I think my gifs on the forums speak for my opinions on what you are doing to my ship… I just
    I can’t right now. I am peddling out the water, trying to keep it afloat even as the crew patches it up. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME!?!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I was so happy to see Zayne happy with his restaurant. Or rather, relatively happy because he was so nervous.

    Me: Oooh, he didn’t tell Hope about Abigail! I have my fingers crossed that this doesn’t count as a red flag for Abigail and end their relationship before it really gets started. Dang Hope, why’d you have to tell her that he is keeping her a secret?

    Also Me: throw that shade Hope! Bahaha, Zayne isn’t being a good friend by hiding his relationship right now. He deserved all of that crappy reaction you gave him.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. sonniejj says:

    Oh no no no no no, Hope. Don’t start with this, girl. You decided not to be with Zayne aynmore, you decided to move back, you’ve been dating all kinds of model guys and you agreed to a mature, strictly friends-relationship with him. Being jealous is one thing, but being a complete bitch to a girl who did NOTHING wrong is not okay. Hope is losing some serious points with me for this. If she sabotages Zayne and Abigail.. Well…. I’ll kick her pretty, skinny butt.

    That said, Zayne’s place looks AMAZING and I think he and Abigail are adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha you do make a really good point about Hope here. She definitely overreacted/was a little bitchy here. I think she was so shocked to see he was dating someone. Wasn’t expecting that! Haha Hopefully it won’t lead to outright sabotage though! 😮

      Glad you like Zayne’s restaurant! (And Zabigail 😛 They’re more popular than I thought they’d be!)

      Like

  21. lisabeesims says:

    Uh oh … drama ensues

    Liked by 1 person

  22. sourocha1 says:

    Oh, Hope, I guess you were planning to…I dunno, try to get back to him? Because to have a reaction like that, you certanily weren’t there only because of friendship….And Zayne, I hope you just didn’t have time to tell hope about Abigail.If you feel the need to hide her, then, that’s a hooooole new story…

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yeah, something tells me Hope had more than friendship on her mind 😉 Whoops… And as for Zayne, *consciously*, I don’t think he was trying to hide Abigail. Subconsciously though, who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

  23. kaffepigen says:

    Who build the restaurant? It’s gorgeous 😀

    Like

  24. kaycee39 says:

    OK so why didn’t he tell Hope about Abigail? I’ll tell you why, because he still loves her. But he needs to really decide if they are only going to be friends or something more. Because if he really does want her as his future then he needs to let Abigail go. But if he seriously is over Hope (not likely) he needs to be straight up with her. *Hope, Dear, jealousy doesn’t look good on you. So speak up about making it work again or fix your face my sweet girl.

    Liked by 1 person

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