After mourning her husband’s passing, Brianna is back to her flirtatious self. She misses Hector and does not intend to have a serious relationship at this point in her life, but she doesn’t see why she can’t have some fun.
“Hi there,” Brianna says, waving at a man who catches her eye at the bar.
“You?!” The man says surprised. “Why are you even talking to me?”
“What do you mean, handsome?” Brianna asks with a pout.
“You don’t remember tripping me while I was delivering mail? It was humiliating!” the man says angrily.
“Oh…” Brianna says taken aback. “I didn’t recognize you without the mailman’s outfit on…I was just having some fun.” she says with a girlish giggle.
“I’m Clyde,” he says, not sure why he is still talking to her but finding himself very attracted to her.
“I’m Brianna…You’re quite sexy when you’re not in that mailman’s outfit…” she purs. “Maybe I can see how sexy you are when you’re not wearing anything,” she whispers into his ear. Clyde looks shocked but then pleased. Brianna takes a pen and paper out of her purse and slips him her number. She winks at him and then leaves him standing there still partially in a state of shock.
Mama’s still got it! She thinks to herself proudly.
Brianna is not the only one having some fun! Jax and Sophie have become teenagers, and Sophie has inherited her mother’s knack for flirtation. Jax invites his new friend Warren Gustafson over to do homework together, but Sophie has other plans.
It isn’t long before Sophie is kissing Warren in the middle of the family graveyard. Most people would be perturbed by romantic interactions so near the dead, but Warren finds Sophie’s irreverence very sexy. Since Sophie is channeling a subtle gothic vibe, she finds that the graveyard really helps set the desired tone. Warren, on the other hand, has an evil streak, so the graveyard does not bother him in the least. Sophie and Warren flirt and make out for quite a while, and by the time they are done, Jax has already finished his homework. Jax is annoyed with his sister for stealing his new friend, but after seeing their displays of affection questions whether losing a friendship with Warren is really a loss.
“Good night,” Sophie says, pulling her lips off Warren’s.
“Can I see you again?” Warren asks.
“We’ll see,” Sophie says, making an effort to not seem too interested. With that, she gives him a quick kiss and sends him on his way. She hopes Warren doesn’t realize that while they were making out she pickpocketed him just for the fun of it…
Sophie is a lot like her mother both in her desire for romance and in her career goals. Sophie already knows she wants to pursue a career in crime. After all, she has had abundant practice swiping things as a child. Since she wants to eventually find a job in the criminal career track, she spends most of her free time reading books on mischief, trolling web forums, and practicing programming so she can learn how to hack into databases and cause trouble.
Jax has more wholesome pursuits such as exercise and writing. While sitting at a desk all day and typing away doesn’t appeal to his need to exert himself, he has always wanted to write great books, like his grandfather Landon. Jax is a rare combination of athleticism and intellectualism and wants to strive for greatness in both areas.
After a long life of enjoying nature’s tranquility by fishing, Edward passes away. Bet, who has always looked up to Edward both as her favorite uncle and as a fishing role model is very upset by his passing and calls to offer his condolences. Everyone mourns Edward, especially his twin brother Andrew who always appreciated that Edward was nice to him in spite of his peculiarities. Sadly, the family knows that Andrew’s time will also come soon.
Sadly, Andrew dies the very next day after enjoying a bowl of children’s cereal for breakfast. Brianna is at work, and Sophie is asleep, but Jax is unfortunate enough to witness the death. With Hector, Edward, and Andrew gone, the household is the smallest it has been in a very long time.
Meanwhile, Brianna’s relationship with Clyde is progressing. While Clyde is still confused by her change of attitude towards him, he finds her irresistible. Although offended by her past behavior, Clyde has a penchant for evil himself and can’t help but admire they way she treated him. In fact, it seems that their previous dislike for each other, coupled with Brianna’s desire to keep their relationship casual causes him to see her as hard to get.
“You taste like quinoa…” Brianna says, screwing up her face into a scowl after their first kiss.
“Well you’re breath isn’t any bargain either, you know!” Clyde retorts. Brianna giggles at his comeback and kisses him again.
“I’m bored. See you round,” Brianna says with a nonchalant wave. What a woman! Clyde thinks to himself, confused but aroused.
Although pretending to be uninterested half of the time, the other half of the time Brianna is all over Clyde. Since Brianna still regards their relationship as casual, every time he comes over they find themselves sneaking around. Brianna finds their secrecy exciting, but Clyde would rather make their relationship official.
Luckily, Jax and Sophie are too busy to notice their mother’s “house guest.” Jax works on his writing skill while Sophie practices programming. Jax is very determined and has already completed three books. He only breaks to go to school, do homework, sleep, and exercise. Sophie, on the other hand, is very diligent in her programming so that she can use her skill for nefarious purposes. She successfully hacks into a government account, but only gets 24 simoleons for her trouble.
It’s a start, she thinks, grumpily.
Brianna finds herself in deeper than she expected. Clyde is charming, and she loves his flair for evil. After having dated in secret for a month, Clyde confronts her.
“I want us to be serious.” Clyde says, taking Brianna’s hands.
“Clyde, you know I’m just having some fun,” Brianna says, not entirely truthfully.
“I’m tired of having to sneak out the door every morning!” Clyde says in frustration. “I don’t want this to be just a game anymore!” Brianna sighs.
“It’s not a game,” she admits. “After my husband died, I didn’t think I wanted a real relationship. But it isn’t that simple anymore, is it?”
“I love you,” Clyde says. “Don’t you want to get married someday? Or is there someone else?” he demands. Brianna laughs.
“Married? At this age?”
“You do have someone else, don’t you?!” Clyde yells angrily.
“No, no!” Brianna says. She is used to Clyde’s suspicions. Every time she so much as looks in another man’s direction he gets very jealous. “I just think we’re too old for this sort of thing!” she explains.
“Well, I’m tired of playing around.” Clyde says. “Either we get serious, or I’m done!” Brianna frowns.
“You’re right,” she says with a sigh. “I still don’t want to get married, but I want to be with you. No more playing around, I promise. Move in with me, and I promise, we’ll be a real couple…I hope Jax and Sophie take this well…I’ll tell them right after we go back to bed,” she says with a grin and a wink.
“I have something to confess to you kids,” Brianna says, when she finds them having lunch at the picnic table. “I’m seeing someone, and he’s going to move in with us,” she says dropping all pretense.
“Who is he?” Jax asks in surprise.
“His name is Clyde. I’m certain you two will like him,” Brianna says reassuringly.
“Aren’t you a little old for this sort of thing?” Sophie asks, wrinkling her nose. “He’s not going to try to be our father or anything, is he?”
“Promise me you’ll give him a chance, ok?” Brianna asks.
“Sure thing, Mom.” Jax replies.
“Fine,” grumbles Sophie, despite the fact that she has firmly resolved not to give Clyde a chance.
Dinner is awkward that night. Jax does his best to be friendly, but Sophie insists on keeping a seat between her and Clyde as a buffer and remains aloof.
“Clyde was just telling me how excited he was to meet you two,” Brianna prompts.
“It’s nice to meet you too, Clyde” Jax says pleasantly.
“Mmff” Sophie says, pretending that her mouth is too full for her to speak.
“Do you kids like video games?” Clyde asks, making his best effort to be friendly and relatable.
“Sure do, but I spend most of my time writing and exercising. Sophie does a lot of programming in her spare time,” he says, shooting Sophie a look to inform her that she should be more friendly.
Sophie simply walks away from the table.
Jax has done his best over the past couple of months to befriend Clyde, but knows that his efforts come off as half-hearted. No one can replace his father, and he is not ready to accept Clyde as a member of the family. Sophie, on the other hand, makes no effort to get to know Clyde.
“How was school?” is met with icy indifference at best and hostile stares at worst. Most of the time, Sophie pretends Clyde doesn’t exist, which he finds he much prefers.
Despite his rocky introduction to the family, Brianna and Clyde are closer than ever.
“Who says old people can’t have fun?” Brianna says winking and pulling him into a big kiss. Clyde smiles. He has accepted a compromise of sorts. While Brianna has made it clear that she does not want to remarry, she has allowed him to move in with her and grudgingly admits that they are in a relationship. Although she refuses to define it as “serious,” Clyde is content to know that their romance means something to her beyond the “fun” she so frequently alludes to.
“Mom, have you seen my other pair of black tights with hearts?” Sophie calls, entering the room without knocking. She finds her mother connected to Clyde by the lips and scowls.
“You’ll never replace my father!” she yells at Clyde.
“Sophie, sit down,” Brianna urges. Sophie obeys but continues to yell.
“Who do you think you are, trying to worm your way into this crappy family?!” Sophie demands angrily. “We were fine before you came along!” Finally, Clyde has had enough.
“Listen, you little brat, your daddy died, and now I’m here, so suck it up!” He yells, standing up in anger. Sophie is struck dumb.
Finally, she murmurs, “You’re going to die soon anyway…”
“I’ll see you there!” Clyde roars. Once again Sophie stares at Clyde in silence, taken aback that he can give as good as he gets.
“Sophie…” Brianna begins carefully. Sophie stands up and nods at Clyde.
“Welcome to this crappy family,” she mutters with bitter humor.