Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis jumped from her seat when her father slumped to the fresh concrete deck, and gasped in horror when she realized they were not alone in the backyard.
The d’Angers twins and their mother tumbled out into the yard in response to Olivia’s cry.
“Olivia! What the –?” Katelynn started to say before she saw the Grim Reaper looming implacably before her.
“Oh! Olivia! I’m so sorry,” Katelynn said as Olivia pleaded futilely with Death.
“This must be why Bella was so Angry last night,” Annette said.
“Bella? Angry?” her mother asked. “About what?”
“Maybe about how quickly it can all slip away,” Olivia suggested as she joined them.
“That,” Annette said, “and how I was using my time before … before this.”
Oh, Annette,”: Katelynn said consolingly. “You couldn’t have known.”
“His life bar has been twinkling for three days! How could I not know?” Annette asked, breaking down into tears.
“Could someone tell me what in the plum is going on?” Dimenche demanded as he stalked out of the spare bathroom.
“Just properly disposing of an old character file, Dimenche,” Grim Reaper said. “Now, whose next? Ooh, The Sim Life Advancement Center is crawling with Elders! I should remember to take my toothbrush and a change of robes.”
“Hold it right there, monsieur!” Dimenche snarled as he stalked up on Grim.
“Dimenche! I wasn’t expecting to see you – “
“Return my steward immediately!” Dimenche interrupted.
“I’m sorry, but his daughter already blew that roll,” Grim said. “Was there something else?”
There was. Dimenche pounced on Grim as his youngest daughter, Olivia, came outside.
At first, she was thrilled by animation …
… but she became alarmed as the dust settled and she saw the shrouded, otherWorldly figure her father had beaten up.
“I’ve bested you in combat, Death! Now release my steward!” Dimenche demanded.
“It doesn’t work that way, Dimenche,” Grim said. “And I’m not sure Eric Lewis even wants to come back.”
“That’s preposterous,” Dimenche retorted.
“I’ve no reason to lie; he’s mine either way,” Grim said, “but ask around if you don’t believe me.”
“Dad, he’s right,” OIivia said as they set at the dining table.
“How can that be?” Dimenche asked, containing his rage.
“Because I’m always right,” Death said. “but this was an unusual pick-up.”
“He had his affairs in order,” Grim said. “He was ready to come with me.”
“I guess I didn’t realize how much he hated it here, to prefer to go with you,” Dimenche muttered, glancing away.
“But he loved it here,” Grim said. “That he still did but could give it up; that’s what was so unusual,”
“I tire of your riddles, Hades. Begone!” Dimenche commanded halfheartedly.
“Hades?” Grim asked. “I’m no god, Dimenche; just a humble public servant.”
“Well, your services are no longer required.”
“No, but I think I’ll stick around a bit,” Grim said. “This is my first time here. I need to scout around, familiarize myself with the local landmarks … for when I come back … for … one of you.”
Dimenche stormed off, wondering what happened to the thrill of victory he’d felt moments earlier.
He took refuge in the spare bathroom, where his wife was occupying herself with the dishes.
“Wright knows I hate that son of a glitch,” Dimenche muttered as he stared out the window. “He’s out there right now, chatting it up with our children. I should charge back out there an –“
“You should stay here before you make matters worse,” Katelynn said.
Dimenche spun around on her.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean you just made enemies with the Lord of the Underworld, Dimenche,” Katelynn said., “Maybe you should let our kids Introduce themselves. They’ll be meeting him again before you know it.”
“Oh, he’s not a lord,” Dimenche grumbled. “He said himself –“
“That’s right! I forgot! Self-Assured means you’re always right!” Katelynn snapped, briskly walking out of the bathroom.
Dimenche rushed to head her off.
“My duchesse! I’m sorry!” he said. “You’re right! My Hot-Headed Trait served me well in battle today, but not at diplomacy. Yet, I am sure I can defeat this wraith in combat again, and the Fight interaction is still contextually appropriate.”
“Damn it, Dimenche! Hasn’t this family been through enough today!” Katelynn pleaded, pushing her husband away. “You will not pick another Fight interaction with Grim Reaper; he’s just a service NPC with a particularly difficult job.”
Dimenche drew back even further.
“Need I remind you –“ he started to say.
Katelynn stood straight and cut him off.
“Need I remind you that you married me because you wanted a spouse who could stand up to you,” she said. “And I’m standing up to you. Now.”
Dimenche drew back, drew a deep breath, and x’d out a Throw Drink Whim.
“My love. Of course,” he said. “Perhaps, if there is an opportunity, I should Apologize to our guest.”
“Maybe you should leave me to do the talking?” Katelynn suggested.
“I should,” Dimenche agreed uncomfortably. “Maybe … maybe I should leave you to do everything.”
“You could; I could handle it,” Katelynn said, “but promise me you won’t.”
Dimenche bowed with some difficulty over his ample waist and took Katelynn’s hand gently from below.
“But madame,” he said, “need I remind you that I have already made that promise?”
“Oh, Dimenche,” Katelynn said. “And I promised you an heir, and a spare, and a spare-spare, and maybe a spare-spare-spare.”
“And maybe a spare-spare-spare-spare!” Dimenche said. “With the household reduced to six Sims, we might conceivably have twins again!”
“Huh huh!” Dimenche II chuckled as he gathered dirty plates. “You said ‘conceivably’.”
“Maybe you could tidy up somewhere else?” Katelynn suggested.
“Maybe you two should retire to your chambers,” Dimenche II said.
“There is no time!” Dimenche said. “Everyone get ready; we are going to the library to Manage Worlds.”
“Yes, son,” Dimenche said. “It’s time I begin your instruction in governance.”
“Don’t you think we should wait for Olivia to get home?” Katelynn asked.
“Oh, no, mother,” Dimenche II. “She needs time to Mourn, and I need to learn to rule.”