Thursday, July 19, 2012
Just like his mother, Harlan doesn't particularly care for crowds. Unlike his mother, he does enjoy observing crowds, being the quasi-sociologist/scientist that he is. The more he watches this group though, the more he just wants to leave. Although different from his own methods, their way of coping with loneliness still hits far too close to home.
Not wanting to spoil Henri and Dafne's night with his morbid company, he tells them to go do whatever. "I'll be fine once I get a few drinks in my system." He assures them - and eventually they reluctantly do just and leave Harlan alone at the bar.
Harlan feels a light touch on his arm, bringing him out of his mild stupor. "You look awfully sullen." The woman says, tracing her fingers across his forearm and moving closer so her face is visible in the dank light. "A man like you shouldn't be here alone."
Harlan places his hand gently over hers in an attempt to remove her hand politely, but she takes this gesture as something else entirely. "We can go somewhere private." She whispers seductively. "I don't live too far from here."
Harlan tenses at her brazen proposition. It would be so easy to go to her place, fuck, and pretend like he's forgetting about Cadence and finally moving on, but that isn't him. No. He'll just let it fester until he can ignore the hurt completely, as usual. "I'm not good company. Trust me."
"Why don't you let me be the judge of that?" Her fingers continue to circle gently on his forearm.
"No." This time Harlan grabs her hand and removes it from his arm. He doesn't mean to appear so callous, but the actions does what he wants. The woman finally walks away, throwing him a dirty look before pawing at some other man on the opposite side of the bar.
"Babe, I'm leaving with Heather." She says, throwing a backward glance toward her dance partner.
Dafne shrugs, trying to look unconcerned by the development. "Be safe."
"I will. See you both tomorrow."
Dafne doesn't respond beyond a nod, but Henri is clearly waiting for some sort of verbal goodbye. Harlan glances between the two, uncomfortable in their silence, and decides to take one for the team. "Uh... yeah." He smiles awkwardly. "See ya', Henri."
Henri appears to be as confused as Harlan for a moment. "Dafne..."
"I'm fine. Have fun." Dafne interrupts with a placating smile. She watches as Henri nods confusedly and then walks out of the club with other woman hand-in-hand.
Once they're gone, Dafne visibly relaxes. "This place blows." She smirks. "Wanna leave?"
Her smile is hollow. Harlan knows that look all too well. He had the same one when he attempted to assure his family that he was moving to Redwood for job opportunities, not because he's a coward. "Are you okay?" He asks, his voice laced with concern.
"I just want to leave." Dafne sounds defeated.
"All right." Harlan frowns as he gingerly helps a slightly drunk Dafne up from the couch. "Let's go."
Dafne heads straight for her room as soon as they step through the door. Harlan figures she doesn't wish to talk, but just as he's getting into bed, he hears her fiddling around in the kitchen.
"Dafne?" He asks confusedly. "I'm not sure a drunk person should be messing around with a stove. I would much rather not be killed via house explosion."
"I'm sober. Believe me, I wish I was drunk." She frowns. "I'm making some macaroni and cheese. Are you hungry?"
"It's four in the morning." Dafne shrugs in response and continues cooking. Harlan sighs - it's clear she's still bothered by whatever happened at the club. It would be really shitty of him to leave her alone like this. "I can eat." He amends.
Harlan offers a sympathetic smile in response when she looks at him briefly. "I don't think I can do this anymore. I still love Henri, but this relationship we have... it's getting toxic. I get jealous, she confronts me about it, we fight, we make-up - over and over."
"Not yet. I'm just... not ready, I guess. Henri is the longest relationship I've ever had and I care about her. I don't think I'm completely prepared for what might happen when I tell her all of this."
Harlan rubs the back of his neck, feeling completely out of his element. "You think she'll break up with you?"
"What about me?" Harlan averts his gaze.
"I just spilled my guts - it's your turn. You've been a sad-sack since you arrived here, so Harlan Harris... what are you hiding?"
Harlan contemplates just getting up and leaving the conversation, he knows Dafne won't push him again for answers if he does, but maybe it will help to talk about it for once. Maybe. "I had a bad break-up recently." He admits. "My ex-fiancee cheated on me with a co-worker and I caught her in the act. Instead of dealing with it head on, I ran to Redwood."
"No and I don't care to know." His statement is aggressive, much more than he anticipated, and Dafne throws her hands up dramatically in feigned offense.
Harlan stutters an apology, but she stops him. "Don't worry about it. I've been in the same situation as you before and I can tell you with complete confidence that you will get over it eventually. If it makes you feel any better, I am glad that you moved here." She grins as she punches him lightly on the shoulder.
Harlan laughs. "Yeah. Me too."
"Same." Harlan mutters. His cheeks flush at the sudden and unexpected intimate contact. It's a friendly hug, of course, but the fact that she's in her underwear turns Harlan's thoughts to other things that he would much rather not be thinking after the conversation they just had.
Harlan can feel the blood rushing to his cheeks again and coughs to hide his embarrassment that this will be the umpteenth time since moving here that she's managed to make him blush. "Thanks... for the advice. Can I return the favor?"
She nods, looking mildly uncomfortable. "If things aren't working, then you need to say so."
"I know." She relents. "Easier said than done, right?"
Harlan smirks. "I'm with you on that."
Maybe Dafne is right. Perhaps he will find someone else someday.
He sighs in frustration when his mind decides that, that someone is the woman with impossibly pink hair... and a girlfriend.
"Or maybe I'm just destined to be alone." He mutters.
The download link for Henrietta has been added to the RL uploads blog (she's in the side characters section) and I also linked to the creator of Dafne Muller. I highly suggest checking out strawberrysims'/simsiverse's tumblr - she has some wonderful sims available.
In other news - I'm not happy with this chapter. Like at all. I had to replay a large portion of it and didn't feel like recreating some of the club scenes I had planned. Oh well. The point is it's finished and the story can move on from here (because I'm all caught up now - yuuuusssss).