Chapter 2.20 – Making it home

Outside the mysterious grotto, Marley gets his phone out to check the time, he’s famished! As soon as Marley sees his phone showing his brother’s missed calls, he realizes he should get in touch with Abel first thing. It’ll have to wait, though, for Marley heads to the Desert Bloom Park, while still in Oasis Springs, for a piece of grilled food before doing anything else to satisfy his hunger.

When enjoying a reviving grilled meal at Desert Bloom not much later, Marley thinks of the past week and his meeting with Ruby. He still can’t believe she is a troll too! Even tho nobody back home considers him a troll, because sims around the world seem to think trolls don’t exist, he’s never really fit in either with skin as green as his.

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Josias and Abel wouldn’t know the first thing about it, for they both inherited the fair-colored skin of their birth mothers, Marley ponders. He, however, like Equinus did, has to work harder to get recognized, although, on the other hand, it seems to give him an advantage in his music career for being perceived edgier than the average musician.

On the phone with his brother, Marley convinces Abel to come up with an excuse for him for a late arrival at the Manor. He’s too far into writing new material and will suffer a blow in creativity having to face his responsibilities back home straight away.

As honest as possible, Marley asks his brother to cover his back. Marley promises he’ll be back home before their brother Josias’ birthday the following week.

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After speaking to Abel, Marley knows he’s needed back at the Manor. Going there would be the right thing to do but he can’t put his mind to it just yet. He’s happy with the news of course yet the only woman on Marley’s mind now is not there. There are so many questions still unanswered to Marley.

Too hyped to find any sleep that night, Marley spends his time contemplating the news delivered by Abel of not one but two pregnancies and the past day he’s spent with Ruby. His head is buzzing, he’s thrilled to hear of the pregnancies. This news will get the Council of his back hopefully and would make his late father proud too!

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Marley misses his dad, the only one around him until recently that shared his green skin, who’s understood what it means to be a troll. But did his dad know what it is to be a troll? Will Marley’s son Levi, and perhaps later, more green nooboos know what being a troll means?

Ruby seems to know so much more about her past life as a troll than Marley or his dad Equinus ever have. Is this the reason Marley feels so drawn to Ruby because even tho trolls are a no-go to the Council, Marley’s drawn to Ruby like a moth to a flame.

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It feels so natural being around Ruby as if Marley gets a taste of feeling freedom for the first time.  Why would or could it be harmful to spend time with your own kind, he asks himself.  Is there more to being a troll than having green skin and being considered foul and ugly by the likes of Councilmembers and their lackeys?

Meeting another troll far from her birthplace like Marley has triggered a snowball effect. Marley now seems to want to know all about his past… their past.

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During the night, Marley decides he’ll drop by the library in Oasis Springs first thing in the morning to see if he can find anything useful on trolls there that may help him find Ruby again swiftly. He desperately wants to talk to her again, ask his questions, touching her beautiful green skin, be it on the cold side, and sensing the vibrations her body seems to magically radiate.

When morning has arrived, the birds in the park are already singing their usual chants. Marley feels last night brought him many insights and deliverance and so after a quick bite from a vending machine, Marley’s on his way to the library.

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At the library, Marley starts a search for information on trolls and their background. Alas, other than folklore stories which portray trolls as greedy and evil, Marley finds no books explaining the origin of his kin. As if they don’t exist outside of fairy tales, films, and bedtime stories! What to do then, he wonders? He decides to head back to the park, he’s more comfortable thinking of his next steps there.

When at the park that afternoon, Marley strolls the area and bends over here and there to see a bush’s yield and maybe have a taste of its bounties. In the late afternoon, after some fishing, when at the far back of the park and it’s surrounding grounds, Marley spots a boarded cave much like the one he saw before meeting Ruby again. Could he be so lucky?

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Marley runs over to the cave’s entrance and excitedly starts breaking every board in his path to head in. After clearing the opening, and a path through another dreary and dark cave’s tunnel, Marley enters a crevasse that seems to lead him directly to the mysterious grotto again! He’s over the moon to spot his one and only Ruby there.

“Ruby!” he shouts from the top of his lungs. Ruby turns around and comes running toward Marley.

“Oh Marley, you found me again,” Ruby says with a big smile, “I’m so happy.”

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Let me gather everything I need from here while I explain to you what I’ve come up with for us to spend time together,” she says while they’re entangled in a warm embrace. Then, she looks directly at Marley. With a serious though excited tone in her voice, Ruby continues: “I think I’ve found a way.”

Ruby starts explaining that she recently climbed in regards in her master Vladislaus Straud’s ranks due to her ongoing compliance. She is now able to do research previously unattainable to her. “It has been a very long time ago that I was taken from my family. Taking you as my victim, by master Vlad, could be seen as the ultimate rite of passage into his world for you are like me, a troll to him. It would give me more freedom to go where I please to find what I’m looking for,” says Ruby.

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Vlad, she explains further, is still unaware of her spylike behavior and her search for an antidote and therefore she might easily be able to pose Marley of as a feeding slave for her. “So maybe you wanna come with me to have a drink and bite to eat at my place now?” she asks with a careful yet naughty wink.

Not really knowing what this explanation entails or what he’s getting himself into by agreeing but very interested to find out more, Marley accepts Ruby’s offer. Soon they disappear from the grotto once again through Ruby’s magical door.

Meanwhile, Abel is left to grab the hot potatoes from the fire once again at the Manor but poetically finds himself a way out explaining the pregnant women that Marley asked Abel to convey that he feels they deserve all his attention and will be at the Mezilkree Manor as soon as he wraps up his work. “He’s eager to devote time to your growing bellies, as he should,” Abel concludes.

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Both Immelda and Rylie seem not to mind this delay, they understand their idol needs to be able to venture out. They are eager to hear his latest work and have all the room he needs for the creative journey he’s on to create this new album.

Though dumbfounded, Abel is happy these groupies are so mad about his brother and all he does. He’ll need them to have that attitude in future too, most likely, and with that thought, Abel greets them and leaves the ladies be by the pool and retires to the living.

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From the far corner of the gym, at the bottom of the stairs to the music lounge, Rita’s overheard Abel and the groupies talking. Rita is far from happy with all the latest developments, though she knows there’s nothing she can do to stop this from happening. No, things aren’t sitting well with her at all. She realizes more and more that she’ll have to find some other way to come out victorious, she’s sure she will.


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