Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Tipping Point

8:45am Monacco Desert Cottage - Vista Hills

Ep. 22_Sc. 02_01

Her hand slid from underneath the warmth of her pillow and began methodically rubbing up and down the length her legs that, at some point, had been tucked up against her chest. The raised goose bumps dotting her skin began to recede as the chill ran down to her feet. She used her other hand to blindly pull the tightly made bed covers down until she was able to tuck herself underneath of them, pulled them up high, bunching them up to her neck to keep out the cool breeze that had wafted into the room. It wasn’t until the sun peaked out from behind a cloud and flashed through her window, that she realized it was morning.

Ep. 22_Sc. 02_02

She kept her eyes shut and without even looking, she knew he wasn’t there; it wouldn’t be this cold if he was. But she needed confirmation, so she allowed her disbelieving hand to shoot out from around her body and go on a fruitless search of the left side of her bed. Nothing but cold stiff sheets and a large void were Nico was supposed to be. Her hand retreated back to its duty of warming her skin, but this time it registered that there was a barrier she hadn’t noticed before: nylon stockings. She lifted the cover and, finally opening her eyes, looked down to see that she was still wearing her clothes from the night before. She let the blanket fall back over her and lay still for a few moments before propping herself up on her arm and leaning over to the nightstand to check her phone. Just as she suspected there were no missed calls and no messages.
Ep. 22_Sc. 02_03

Her fingers began to dial his number again, but she thought better of it, and slammed the phone back down. Throwing the covers off of her in one fluid motion, she swung her half-warm legs out, letting them dangle over the edge of the mattress. She sat there for a moment, adjusting her eyes to the sunlight beaming in her face. Anger began to bubble up inside of her as she realized that the cycle that she had been in for the past few days was starting up again: calling him, getting no answer, not hearing from him, worrying about him, calling again, and again, and again. Things had looked like they were on the road to normalcy when she had finally spoken to him the day before, but now, as she sat on the edge of her empty bed, stood up and alone, she realized that she couldn’t have been more wrong. As of last night he was alive and well with nothing stopping him from fulfilling his promise to come over. If he didn’t want to see her that was his choice; she wasn’t going to chase him anymore.
Ep. 22_Sc. 02_04
Ep. 22_Sc. 02_05

She stripped off her clothes, threw on a robe, and went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee, as if she needed to be anymore on edge than she was already. She held the mug tightly, letting the heated porcelain warm her hands, and turned to leave as she took her first sip. The sight of the phantom package, supposedly sent by her dead mother, turned that sip into a startled and burning gulp when she noticed it on the counter. She put the mug down and approached it cautiously as if it might sprout teeth and bite her. Her preoccupation with Nico had allowed her to temporarily file away any curiosity she had, but now that she was face to face with it again it couldn’t be ignored.
Ep. 22_Sc. 02_06

Lexie had begun investigating its origins the moment she saw the return address, which was nothing more than a fake P.O. box registered in Glasgow, England, her mother’s home town. She had checked with the courier company both locally and overseas to get any information she could: credit card numbers, a description of the person who had dropped it off, names of anyone who had handled it before it got to the destination. She had gotten every piece of information she could except for what was contained inside; that, Isabella would have to investigate personally.

She pulled the package closer to her and brushed her hand lightly across her mother’s name before ripping off the wrapping and removing the box top. Inside, underneath of a mound of tissue paper, was a silk scarf, identical to the one her mother wore, inscribed with the word LIAR written in blood red lipstick. She yanked it out of the box and threw it on the counter; fear, anger, and a million questions filling her mind. Who would want to do something like this and what animal would use her mother’s memory to do it?
Ep. 22_Sc. 02_07

“Oh my God!” Lexie shrieked, causing Isabella to nearly jump out of her skin. She had been so distracted by the offending gift she hadn’t heard her walk up from behind. “Put this in a plastic bag, call Reese and ask him to have the forensics lab take a look at this; take the wrapping paper too. Tell him to put a rush on it please,” Isabella said pushing the package away from her. “Are you okay?” Lexie asked. “I’m fine, for now. Thank you.” Lexie gave her boss a concerned pat on the shoulder before taking the box away. Isabella took a deep breath, picked up her coffee mug again, now very tempted to add a shot of liquid courage to it, and took a sip. What the hell does this mean, she thought to herself.

9:00am Las Vistas Police Dept. – Downtown Las Vistas
Ep. 22_Sc. 01_01

The clock on the wall had to be broken. It was 9 o’clock when he first looked at it and it read the same time now. He’d lost track of how long he’d been sitting there in that chair, his butt had numbed and thawed several times over and at one point he’d even fallen asleep at the table. Hours had obviously passed, but if that clock was right, it meant that he had been here for twelve of them, trapped between four ashy grey walls; saying nothing, going nowhere and late as hell to where he had been headed in the first place.
Ep. 22_Sc. 01_02

He let out a sigh as he thought about Isabella and how worried she must have been. She was probably even pissed at this point and she had every right to be. Even though this situation wasn’t his fault, shutting her out all this time had laid the ground work for the argument he knew was coming. He would take everything she dished out; he had to. After all, he was the one who had doubted the love and loyalty that she had gone beyond proving, and right now all he wanted, besides his freedom, was to make things right with her and enjoy the make-up sex that would be the reward for his groveling.

What the hell is taking so long, he thought to himself as he shifted his position in the chair. By now he should’ve called his attorney, had his paperwork processed, and he should’ve been walking out the door; but he wasn’t. He was sitting here, neck and back stiff, dog tired, mad as a hornet, waiting for another round of questioning to begin.Ep. 22_Sc. 01_03
Ep. 22_Sc. 01_04

And so it did as Officer Luke Barrett burst through the door again. Unmoved, Nico returned the challenging stare he was given and remained silent. Luke let out a frustrated sigh and began his next attempt to crack the unbreakable man. “It’s late—well, early at this point—and I’m tired. You’re tired. You say you don’t know anything and I know that’s a crock of shit. I think you know exactly what happened and you probably did it yourself, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say that you didn’t’ pull the trigger. Let’s say you didn’t have someone else do it. How do you explain the fact that we have evidence that you were in that room when Lorenzo St. James died?” Nico sat silently, giving nothing more than an angry smirk before leaning back in his seat, maintaining his blank stare.
Ep. 22_Sc. 01_05

“Okay, fine!” Luke shouted as he hopped up from his seat, sending the chair crashing to the ground. “If this is how you want things to go, that’s fine. I’ll just send this evidence over to the DA’s office and let them take it from there. I don’t have to time for this shit.” A sadistic smile crossed Nico’s face as he stood up from the table as well.

“You know what I’m tired of? I’m tired of you acting like I’m a fucking idiot. You and I have done this dance more than once and just because it’s been a while doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly become retarded. You don’t have shit on me. No evidence, no witnesses, you might have a motive but then so do half a dozen other people he screwed over. Lorenzo was begging to get popped and I wish I could say I did it, but it wasn’t me. I didn’t know anything last night, I don’t know anything now, and I’m not going to know anything later. I don’t need this shit and that’s the last time I’m going to say it. Give me a fucking phone so I can call my lawyer and get the hell out of here. NOW!!!

12:05 pm Carlyle Residence - Azura Beach
Ep. 22_Sc. 03_01

In local news today, shipping heiress Isabella Monacco has come under fire once again. Allegations of an illegal drug operation within Monacco Shipping International were made by an MSI employee while he was being detained for possession of an illegal substance. According to police, the employee, whose identity has not been revealed, stated that he was one of many “delivery men” that smuggled drugs into and out of the MSI shipping yard between cargo drops, a practice that he says began several months ago, shortly after Isabella Monacco took over the role of CEO.
Ep. 22_Sc. 03_02


De Santos Bros. Auto Body - Downtown Las Vistas
Ep. 22_Sc. 05_01
Ep. 22_Sc. 05_02
Ep. 22_Sc. 05_03

This revelation comes about just as a series of photos have emerged, capturing Ms. Monacco in compromising positions with Nico De Santos, alleged leader of the city’s most notorious drug trafficking gang and person of interest in the murder of Lorenzo St. James. Ms. Monacco vehemently denied any connection to De Santos when rumors of a romantic relationship were reported upon her return to Las Vistas, but these photos, that show the two convening at her home and his place of business on numerous occasions, in most cases in the middle of the night, prove otherwise.
Ep. 22_Sc. 05_04
Ep. 22_Sc. 05_05

Stevens Public Relations - Downtown Las Vistas
Ep. 22_Sc. 04_01

The implications of this relationship along with the drug ring allegations have MSI shareholders, as well as officials at both the SEC and the Department of Justice, on high alert. While no official investigation into the business dealings of Monacco Shipping International has been announced, Jonathan Van Cleef, Director of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the DOJ issued this warning: “Our office has been contacted about this matter and any criminal connections or impropriety in this situation will be handled swiftly and appropriately.” Representatives for Ms. Monacco and her company could not be immediately reached for comment. We will continue to bring you up to the minute coverage as this breaking story unfolds.
Ep. 22_Sc. 04_02


Monacco Desert Cottage - Vista Glenn
Ep. 22_Sc. 06_01

“Boss, I think you need to see this.”
Ep. 22_Sc. 06_02

“That bastard!”


Author's Note: Not that I expect anyone to notice this, but I changed the box that Isabella's "gift" came in. In the previous episode there was a big, awful looking red box on the counter and here the box is smaller and blue. This is in no way pivotal to the plot and honestly isn't worth mentioning but it bothered the hell out of me so I figured I would address it. That is all.


  1. OH MY GOD!!! *gasp!!* So this is what you've been leading up to; it's breathtakingly evil and perfectly plotted. Damn! Poor Isabella. She's definitely in it up to her eyebrows now, poor girl.

    This was so wonderfully paced and framed and shot, I am in total awe! I love the detail with the scarf and the word Liar written across it. I love the way you run through everyone's reactions, and you don't need a single word of text.


  2. I'm not going to lie, before she opened that box, my heart was pounding!!!

    As fate would have it, everyone is watching to news to see that report! Ain't that some shit!

    I feel so bad for Isabella! If it's not one thing it's another!

  3. Oh, Thank you Beth. I appreciate that so much. Yes, this is (finally) what I was leading up to and it is only the begining of this run away train. I hate to say it but things get worse from here.
    I'm very glad that the pics without words work, though I don't now if I got Sloane's reaction quite right.

    Thank you so much again.

  4. Hey Qui. Yeah, that box was a teaser. Nothing too serious right now, but definately not a nice surprise, nor was that news story This is only the begining.

  5. I love how you captured each person's emotions as the news broke! Sometimes you just don't need words to convey the feelings and reactions and this was well done!

    Poor Issy...I hope she knows it wasn't Nico that used her and that it was Thad or at least hope she suspects him.

    The suspense behind opening the box was crazy! I had so many things going through my head...

    Wonderful wonderful job!

  6. Ah, Gayl...I'm late again responding. Thank you very much, I'm glad that the multiple reactions worked. I don't think Issy knows exactly what to think right now. I don't completely know what she's thinking at this point. She does have Thad in mind, but it easy to see how she could question Nico's involvement as well. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

    Thank you again.

  7. I agree with SB what a perfect and evil plan! Everything is against Issy... and Nico...

    I wonder what her father's reaction is going to be!!!!

    so the present was from Sloane and sims like Thad decided to send out his present at the same time...oh poor Issy everything hit her at the same time...not to mention that Nico didn't make it to their date!! oh oh...

    Wonderful writing! Awesome pictures, and the story line just keeps getting better and better! I really do hope you will fix your computer problems soon, because I am dying to see what happens after this episode!!!

  8. I meant "seems" instead of 'sims'

  9. Thank you S@ndy! It is so great to hear from you again and I appreciatae all of your comments. Yes, everything is hitting Issy at once and as brave as she's trying to be it is becoming unbearable for her. Nico is a target as well by more than one person, so this hit on her has just as much to do with him. It's going to be very hard for the two of them to get through it together let alone individually.

    Thank you so much S@ndy. So happy to have you back in the sim world :)