Chapter 1

A Bit of a Make-Out Session

Screenshot-30“Cauthon!

Would you kindly stop drumming your pencil? It’s disrupting the entire class.”

Screenshot-23Rory Cauthon jumped.

The pencil fell from between her fingers and rolled onto the floor with a clink.

Screenshot-50The noise seemed foreign within the sterile boundaries of Mr. Oda’s classroom. The white-wash walls glowed under the harsh gaze of the fluorescent lights overhead; the windows were barred with blinds to keep distractions of the outside world in their proper place.

Screenshot-10“I was telling you about your project, yes?”

The teacher continued.

“I want it in by the 23rd. I will not take it late—even with excused absences.”

Screenshot-20Huh?”

Rory interjected as she sat up suddenly.

“What project?”

Screenshot-26Mr. Oda’s eyes flashed irritably as they slowly turned to rest on her face.

“The project I was discussing with the rest of the class while you were off in your own world, Cauthon.”

Screenshot-36A soft snickering fluttered through the air hesitantly– for any sort of merriment such as laughter felt inherently forbidden in Mr. Oda’s classroom. The buzz of the florescent lights soon regained its dominance, playing like a soundtrack in the background.

Screenshot-7“Really, Cauthon. I thought this year was going to be the year you finally passed a science class,” The teacher abruptly smirked. His thin, white lips appearing like slices of paper folded precisely into sharp corners. “Or do you really enjoy the remedial summer school course that much?”

Screenshot-16“You can’t very well pass, stare out the window, and play your bothersome little drum solo all at the same time, can you?”

Rory squirmed under the sharpness of his gaze. Suddenly she began to regret ever speaking out at all.

Screenshot-13She didn’t usually mind being singled out, she could certainly handle being scolded – it was unusual if it didn’t happen at least once a day, but Mr. Oda’s scolding was more pointed and slick. It burrowed to the deepest part of her and made her cold all over.

Screenshot-31“Because your defective mind cannot absorb anything I say, and Lord knows I don’t want to teach you again in summer school, I’ll repeat myself for your benefit. You are each going to be assigned a biological process necessary for life; cellular respiration, glycolysis, aging…”

Screenshot-51“What I want to know is everything about their cycles – everything down to the precise enzyme that drives the—”

And like a light parched for watts, Rory was out.

Screenshot-62_zpsf756d170Rory Cauthon had always known she was just a little bit different. No memory stuck out as painfully as the day she’d first started Bridgeport High.  All laughter and happy chat had ceased as every eye turned and abruptly landed on her.  It had taken several moments for the numb silence to be overturned, and that was just the start of a long line of similar days.

Screenshot-18It wasn’t as if she had a weird disposition; she’d always worn completely normal clothing and her IQ was average (with only a couple of failing grades). There was nothing wrong with her, and nothing particularly special about her, either. Rory was absolutely stumped as to why it seemed there was an imaginary barrier erected between her and other people.

Screenshot-14She only had one friend, Asa, but even he did not cross the line.

He knew everything about Rory, but she knew virtually nothing about him.

Screenshot-37Actually, if there was one thing she did know about Asa, it was that he typically slept throughout class. Yet despite this, he was always able to answer any question thrown at him. How he managed to do that, Rory had no idea.

Screenshot-42Of course, his selective narcolepsy was aggravating because that meant there was no one that she could copy notes from. Rory didn’t have much of an aptitude for academics, especially when it came to science. Failing the baneful subject had become somewhat of a ritual for her, so this semester she was determined to pass.

Screenshot-47Keeping her head out of the clouds was so difficult, though. Sometimes she had to just move something to make sure she wasn’t totally paralyzed with boredom, but drumming your pencil could only be done for so long before your hand cramped or the teacher snapped.

Screenshot-152“So, are you coming to the library to research your project?”

There were not many people on the walk home. Rory didn’t have money for the subway and she figured Asa didn’t either.

“What’s the point?”

“I’m pretty sure I already know enough about aging to write a crappy little paper. I mean, I made it all the way to 16!”

“Rory, do you even know any old people?”

“How about the man who runs the coffee shop?”

“He’s middle-aged, Rory. I mean old.”

“Hey, old is old! He’s got grey hairs!”

Asa heaved a heavy sigh. “Yes, but do you know why his hair is grey?”

“Erm, because that’s what old people do? They just get skinny and grey.”

“But why do they get grey and skinny now that they’re old?”

“Jeez, I dunno— maybe because their hair got bored with being the same colour all those years and it’s too much of a hassle for them to walk to the kitchen or something!”

“All I need to do is just write a bit about puberty, then shift to getting old and having to wear nappies whenever you leave the house.”

“There is always a process in doing things, Rory— nothing just magically appears without energy being spent.”

“So what?!” Rory snapped.

“Why does everything have to have a damn reason? Why can’t some things just be because they are?!”

Her companion crossed his arms over his chest. It was an action Asa only partook in when he was particularly annoyed.

“This is exactly why you are failing science, Rory.”

Screenshot-151The library was the physical embodiment of everything in this world Rory despised: learning and silence. Ironically, although she hated to read (her limited attention span simply would not warrant it), she had always found the thick, coarse scent of books comforting.

Screenshot-21_zpsmigpcncqShe remembered her mother had liked books—

Sometimes, Rory could imagine herself as a toddler, crawling carefully in between stacks of vivid books, piled like haphazard skyscrapers puncturing the air.

Screenshot-20_zpspiuj6mj3In her mind’s eye, she could almost witness her mother reading a book, a look of intense focus icing her eyes over.

Screenshot-29_zpszgf3lk4kThen, she would notice Rory’s stare and look up, vibrant tendrils of hair swinging wildly, and smile pleasantly down at her. Not a beautiful smile – just an ordinary, kind one. Of course, Rory had no idea if this memory was fictitious or not.

Screenshot-14_zpsomrkkywhIn truth, she wasn’t even sure what her mother looked like.  Rory had only ever seen one picture of her real family. It had been a black and white wedding photo and in it her mother had not been smiling at all.

Screenshot-152A thunderous crash sounded on the table. Rory jumped up-right out of her seat abruptly, with a cry of despair.

For me?”

Screenshot-156Asa only smiled.

“For me. I have a project to do too, you know. Besides, even though it’s a pain, I need to set a good example for you to follow.”

Screenshot-166Rory heaved a sigh and took a seat again. “Aw, come on, Asa! Let’s go to the computer cafe or get some food or, um, we could just sleep, right? I know how much you like sleeping—!”

Screenshot-158“Rory,” Asa interjected irately, “when else would you do this?”

“Tomorrow!”

“That’s what you said about last week’s Simlish paper.”

Screenshot-161“Yeah, and I did it, didn’t I?” She huffed.

“No. You didn’t. All you did was write some lame excuse about a radioactive sumo wrestler breathing fire on your paper and eating all your pencils.”

Screenshot-167“I know.”

Rory sniggered.

“She totally bought it.”

Screenshot-170“Yeah, that’s why she totally failed you.” Asa replied sardonically, logging onto a computer.

Rory tossed a rather heated scowl at her companion, which went distinctly unheeded.

Screenshot-171Seeing as Asa was so adamantly set on studying, it was too cold outside and there was simply nothing else to do, Rory began to venture aimlessly through the sea of books on either side of her, refusing to use the library as its founders had intended.

Screenshot-157She waded for at least ten minutes, only half heartedly searching for her topic.

All libraries should be burned to the ground.

Screenshot-163She paused when she realised she had wondered further into the library than she had originally intended. She glanced around, noticing the decoration had changed quite significantly. It seemed… older somehow, like the sort of thing one might see in those period dramas on tv.

Screenshot-136She walked around a little longer trying to spy a door or the reception desk, but after several more desperate searches she only came across a seemingly endless sea of books.  At first she didn’t panic— the library wasn’t that big.

This was was only the third largest library in Simerica, after all.

Screenshot-178Suddenly, she recalled a story in the newspaper that a hobo had once lived here for an entire 3 months before being plucked out by irate librarians; and just two weeks ago, a boy had been reported missing only to be found hours later, wandering fruitlessly through the shelves.

Screenshot-184She paused, looking at the bookshelf to distinguish what section she was currently in.

That was when she read some of the titles.

Screenshot-185A Cure to Aging: Is Immortality a Fantasy or Future Fact?

Halting Cell Death.

Then, on the fading, red spine of the next book:

Aging: A process.

Screenshot-182Her eyes widened. Sometimes the world was a frighteningly convenient place, but Rory Cauthon was not complaining in the least. Her key to passing science and finally breaking that dastardly tradition was mere inches from her finger tips….!

Screenshot-187Reaching as far as her arm would stretch, she slowly inched her way towards the book getting closer—

Closer—closer until

Screenshot-140—a pallid hand suddenly appeared in Rory’s line of view and scooped up the book with ease.

Her hand fell limply as she watched a pair of black converse begin to stalk carelessly away.

Screenshot-194Seeing as Rory had never withheld her colourful comments, or even reviewed them in her head before they were ushered out of her mouth, she had an aggravated response on her tongue within seconds.

“Hey, you asshole, that’s my damn book!”

Screenshot-190The sneakers faltered, as if the wearer had stumbled for a moment.

The black shoes then turned around cautiously.

Screenshot-148“Yeah, that’s right!” Rory sneered, trying to edge her head to get a better look at the book thief. “I’m talking to you.”

Screenshot-145 Her eyes had just caught a quick glimpse of the back of a boy with thick, black hair—

—when the bandit bolted.

Screenshot-192“Hey!” She called angrily, for some reason fully expecting the other to turn around and wait. “Hey! I’m talking to you!”

Screenshot-155Her body moved forward before she could even think. Rory took off after the individual before she could lose sight of him.

A long string of curses rowdily sang out through the quiet, stillness of the library in her wake.

Screenshot-147Darting left and right, past row after row, Rory chased the ass relentlessly.  From what she could tell, the boy was probably around her age. He had black hair and very pale skin

—the type of skin one only develops from never going outside, or employing too much suncream.

Screenshot-152Rory smirked as he disappeared around another corner.

Obviously the elusive boy was a geek who couldn’t handle confrontations without peeing in his pants.

Screenshot-161Slowly, she crept like a stalking predator to a white door labeled ‘storage’. A devilish smile curled her lips.

Somehow, she knew that boy was in there. It was like instinct. He’s in there.

Screenshot-174Slowly, Rory put her hand on the doorknob and then threw open the door with all her might.

“Okay! The jig is up! I’ve got you now, you little geek, so hand it over right—“

Screenshot-212Leave.

Even though it was Rory’s first time ever meeting this boy she could tell that his voice was pained – constricted.

Screenshot-142The intensity of that mere word was enough to lapse Rory into a bout of silence. She simply stood there dumbly, staring at the quivering back of the formerly-known-ass. Rory was struck by the sudden realisation that he was not ‘little’ by any means—or even a boy for that matter.

Screenshot-146Even though he appeared to be about the same age as herself, his elegant, mature stance was that of an old professor who’d seen the world. It demanded a certain… respect.

It seemed to command the very essence of time.

Screenshot-143For the first time ever in all her sixteen years, she was wordless next to this–

—This…

… person.

Screenshot-169

Glancing down at the floor, she found her book lying there pointlessly, as if warning her to run.

Screenshot-173The boy obviously noticed the lack of movement. This time he spoke with a stronger, haughtier voice that rumbled deeply inside the small closet.

“Didn’t you just hear me, idiot? I said leave.”

Screenshot-211There were only two things in this world that made Rory truly enraged, and cracks against her level of intelligence was one.

“Like hell! You stole my book and made me get lost in this damn library again! I demand an apology—a really freaking good one, too!”

Screenshot-165The boy groaned and clutched his shoulder tighter. His entire body was shaking now, as if he were battling to stay on his feet.

“I don’t owe you—haaa—anythin—mmm.”

Screenshot-151The fury inside of Rory ebbed away as she realised this boy was in serious pain, then she grew alarmed as the boy suddenly dropped to the ground. She could even make out the stark blue veins beneath his skin.

“Hey— are you okay?”

Screenshot-150Don’t!” 

The boy choked.  

“Don’t come any closer—!”

Screenshot-206_zpse5aa3155In those next few moments something very strange and unordinary occurred. Rory was drawn to his boy, her legs no longer her’s to control. They followed a path entirely of their own accord. It was like her limbs were guided by tiny, invisible strings—

Screenshot-216_zps3c1cad3cDamn it, why now?

The boy’s words made no sense as they collected ineffectively in Rory’s ears. She only half noted that the boy had stood up to face her. She couldn’t for the life of her focus on the boy’s face; she sensed it was sharp and pale but—

Screenshot-231_zps47052908They were abruptly very close, but nothing seemed to stick. All her thoughts and feelings seemed to slide off her mind like butter.

She was repulsed by the fact that she didn’t possess any control over herself.

Screenshot-227_zps0d5566b9—then he kissed her.

Pale hands assertively grabbed her cheeks, slamming their faces together with what seemed to be another force entirely.

Screenshot-228_zpsc30fa82eHer legs, now two vindictive columns of jelly, stumbled backward. She was nothing more than a lump of fleshy putty that could not so much as even murmur a weak protest against the mouth that was overwhelming her, as if to consume her completely.

Why couldn’t she bite the offending appendage in her mouth? Why couldn’t she move, damn it?

Screenshot-229The lips finally drew away.

A chorus of panting filled the small, silent closet.

Screenshot-188Feeling began to snake itself back into Rory’s body. She scowled faintly— she knew she would be very, very, very aggravated when this weird… numbing sensation faded away.

Who—” She wheezed, almost flinching at the frailty of her voice. “—what—why?”

Screenshot-183“I’m Hiroto Yui. As for what—well, that is what they call a ‘kiss’.

I believe we’ve just engaged in a bit of a make-out session.”

Screenshot-190“As for why… well, that’s a bit more difficult to explain. If you are as simple minded as you appear to be, then I can’t get too complicated without completely losing you… so I’ll just say this:

I’m cursed and now so are you.

Screenshot-185“See you around.”

And, with another mordant smirk, the boy simply exited the closet with nothing more then a flimsy wave.

Screenshot-219Simple-minded?!

Rory was absolutely elated to feel a rush of anger sweep through her veins. She attempted to chase after him, but found her legs were just too wobbly to do anything.

Screenshot-158_zpsd39cc418Suddenly a ghastly ache seized her entire body. Every time she moved, a terrible pain raced through her limbs. It was unbearable.  Rory had never in her life experienced anything so incredibly painful.

Screenshot-217She slid back down the wall and sat still for a long while, sulking beneath the weight of her bewilderment and fury. She had been made fun of, drugged, kissed, called stupid, and then brushed off…

And to top it all off…!

Screenshot-213Rory opened the door, ignoring the horrible, sudden pain that cried through her. With all her might, she howled at the receding figure:

“You bastard! You took my book!!!”

A/N:  … yeah, despite the fact that this is a sequel to Suitor -which is still not finished!- I decided to publish the first chapter of Cursed ;P Whatever, right?

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7 comments

    1. I’m glad you like it – it’s a bit of a change from writing something like ‘Suitor’, but a welcome one! Thanks 😀 I wanted my sims to look quite distinctive from one another this time!

  1. Eeeep! Your story is off to a great start, with wonderful writing and beautiful pics, as I’ve come to expect from you. Hiro is such a cutie! ♥ And, I love Rory’s character as well. I’m anxious to read more. Of course, you know I want — no, NEED — to know how the Suitor is going to end. You tease me so! 😉

    1. Lovely feedback from you as usual, Lily! I’m glad you like Hiro’s look – I wanted something quite different from Vaughn, so I was trying for an ethereal, almost feminine look.

      Actually, the next chapter of Suitor was more than halfway done before I even started this, so I’ll probably have that done by tomorrow. Suitor still has a few chapters to go yet!

  2. The pictures and writing, are as usual super beautiful. The editing with the red filter looks lovely. i can’t wait to see how it progresses 🙂

    And I love Rory’s character, she seems like a tough chick. And if she doesn’t like something, I bet she’d let you know.

    1. Hey, thanks for reading! I know it’s quite a bit different from Suitor, but it’s nice to know this works too ^^

      Yeah, Rory is a loud-mouthed tomboy – and she’ll definitely be letting people know when she’s got a problem in coming chapters!

  3. Oh my goodness! Rory is a hoot! I laughed out loud several times at her reactions to things, especially that last panel. Of course the thing that would stick out to her the most would be that darn book. Not that she’d been assaulted and told she was cursed, no, not at all. Bahahaha!

    I loved everything about this chapter. Too awesome!

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