Chapter 2: Parentheses

Tony walked out of the Administration building and hailed a cab. He’d walked to school today since he lived so close. Even after four years, he couldn’t get over the awe of the uGenex Campus. It was beautiful. Everything was glass and white stone and chrome with neat, clean lines. Dr. Gates was a genius and Tony was grateful that he’d been chosen to attend school here.

His phone rang and he picked up, knowing who it was without having to look. “Hey, I’m on my way.”

“Cool,” his twin said. “I’m bored here all by myself. Ouch! Alright, so Riley’s here too. But still, hurry man!”

Tony laughed. Dre was always so impatient. “See you soon, Dre.”

“How do you know you’re gay if you’ve never been with a guy?”

Anthony just stared at Riley. He’d met up with his brother and best friend at the bar in town and was surprised to see some of his classmates there. He’d expected only a couple people to show up and was pleased that several had accepted his invitation. He wasn’t a very sociable person, he lacked the people skills Dre seemed to have. Most of his classmates were probably here for his brother…

He started to say something to Riley, but changed his mind. He looked behind him to where Dre stood, leaning against the wall, talking to some girl. How did anyone know his or her sexual orientation?

Finally turning back to Riley, he shrugged. “Same way you know you’re straight.”

Riley tilted his head, giving him an odd look, and then thumped Tony on the shoulder and went to order a drink. Anthony watched him, wondering what that had been about. Riley had been acting differently since he started college. Tony made a mental note to talk to his friend later.

Suddenly, he was being hugged; looking back, he saw Eva grinning and returned the smile. “You’re here.”

Laughing she said, “Don’t look so excited.”

Just then, Dre shouted, “Eva! You’re here. Finally!”

She waved at him and turned to Anthony. “See? Excitement.”

She winked at him and ran to give Dre a hug. The girl Dre had been talking to frowned at the two and when Dre didn’t turn back to her, she walked away in a huff. Anthony was surprised that Eva had made it out for his birthday. He’d expected Dre; his twin wouldn’t celebrate turning 21 without him but Eva had Alistair to think about. Looking around, he was pleased to see his siblings mingling with his classmates.

Anthony made his way to the bar. He couldn’t drink because of the medication he took so Dre was drinking enough for the both of them. He wasn’t worried though, it took a lot to get his brother intoxicated.

“Can I have a Guinness and a vodka red bull, please?” He put his siblings’ orders in with the bartender and turned around to stare out at the crowd.


Tony looked over to find a man leaning against the bar, looking at him and smiling.

“Hello,” He studied the stranger. When the man didn’t say anything else, Tony turned to grab his drinks the bartender placed in front of him and return to the group.

The guy glanced at the drinks in Anthony’s hands and asked, “You here with friends?”

Tony shrugged and nodded to the small group making a ruckus. With the exception of Dre, Riley and Eva, he wouldn’t call the rest of them friends. They were people he had classes with and they’d tagged along when he’d said it was his birthday. Eva spotted him looking and blew him a kiss.

“That your girlfriend?”

“No, she’s my sister.” Tony turned his attention back to the stranger.

“Nice. I’m Franco.” He held his hand out but laughed when Tony lifted his, both filled with drinks.

Anthony opened his mouth to respond, but Dre showed up just then and did it for him.

“Tony, man, I’m dying of thirst here!” Dre grabbed the beer from his hand and took a long drink. He then looked at Franco and asked, “Who’s your friend?”

Anthony shrugged. “Franco, meet Dre. Dre, this is Franco.”

Dre nodded and glanced between the two. “So Franco, you here with friends?”

Franco grinned and looked at Tony. “No. I was hoping to make one though.”

Anthony was only half-paying attention. He was watching Eva flirt with Riley. How did one know they were gay?

Dre nudged him but continued to talk to Franco. “Well, you’re welcome to join us if you’d like. The more the merrier.”

He took Eva’s drink from Tony’s hand and walked away.

“That’s your…” Franco let the question hang between them.

Anthony turned back to face him. “He’s my brother.”

They started to walk toward the back of the bar. “Are you related to all of them?”

“No. Just the two.”

Franco made a face and said, “That was a joke…never mind.”

Tony sat down next Eva and put his arm around her. “Really, thanks for coming,” he said in her ear.

She beamed, “Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Are you doing okay? Dr. Gates treating you alright?”

“Yeah. I’m good. I’m working on my final project.”

“Hey! No talk about the compound. Shit’s depressing as hell. Franco doesn’t want to hear about that, right Frank?” Dre asked drunkenly.

“It’s Franco. And I don’t mind. What’s the compound?”

Tony looked at Franco. He’d almost forgotten he was there, even though they were sitting right next to each other. “It’s not a compound. He’s talking about uGenex. I’m in a program there.”

“I see. What do you do there?” Franco leaned in closer and Anthony felt his thigh brush against his.

“Don’t ask man. It’s like top-secret or something. Place is sealed up tighter than Fort Knox.” Dre waved down a passing server and said, “Next round on me.” And promptly lost interest in the conversation.

“It’s not really top-secret. I’m working on an important project. I just don’t like talking about it before it’s done.” It was suddenly so very warm in the booth and Tony wanted to move his leg away from Franco’s. But he couldn’t get his body to obey.

“Sounds fascinating. Are you some kind of scientist?” Franco leaned in closer, his breath lightly falling against Tony cheeks and lips. How did one know…?

Tony shrugged, determined not to think about the sensations his body was going through but his voice sounded breathless anyway. “I’d like to be, someday. Right now I’m just a student.”

He and Franco spent the next few hours talking about Tony’s project, his time at uGenex, what Franco did for a living, and a variety of other things. By last call, Dre was drunk and just sitting quietly talking to Eva; most of Tony’s classmates had left; and Riley was sitting at the bar, nursing a beer.

“I think it’s time to head back. It was very nice meeting you.”

Franco studied him for a minute and said, “I’d like to see you again if that’s possible.”

Tony blinked and then frowned. He searched Franco’s eyes to see if he was being serious. He was serious. He suddenly felt nervous. “Umm, I don’t know.”

Franco leaned back, a look of confusion on his face. “I’m sorry; I thought you were…my bad man. It was nice talking to you anyway.”

He started to stand up, but Anthony stopped him. He liked Franco, and if he was…gay, then this was a good thing, right? “Wait. I – I would like to see you again too?”

Franco smiled. “You don’t sound very sure.”

“I’m not – I mean, I am. I’m just not sure how this works.” His frown grew deeper. For some reason, he was babbling. Like a complete idiot.

“How about I give you my number and you give me a call when you can?”

That would work. “Alright.”

They both stood up and Franco grabbed a napkin to write his number down. Tony took that opportunity to study him a bit. He was very nice looking – cute even. He had mocha skin and looked to be in very good physical condition. Close cropped hair, liquid brown eyes and a deep baritone voice. Tony’s eyes traveled down Franco’s body and glanced off his butt. He was in very good condition.

Tony glanced up from checking Franco out and saw Riley watching him. His eyes swung away quickly though. Tony looked over at his brother and sister and found that they were watching him too. Dre smiled and started to say something, but Eva placed her hand on his arm, stopping him with a shake of her head.

Chapter One | Chapter Three

28 thoughts on “Chapter 2: Parentheses

  1. Adriana - artdefinessimmer says:

    Ach – it’s always frustrating when I go to click the next chapter and nothing happens lol. Do you stagger the stories on purpose, or just write about whoever inspires you at that moment? Do you have all these characters as separate saves in separate houses?


    • Taina says:

      lol, I know that feeling. I wish I could write for a living, but alas, I must work to pay the bills!

      I try to write in bunches. Although, who I’m writing about and how many chapters are in a bunch varies. Currently, all their stories intermix at a certain point in their lives. Their father becomes ill, so in order to not to spoil one story, I have to leave off and play catch up with the other two. That’s why I’m so focused on Tony right now, even though Eva and Dre and screaming for my attention. I can’t write about Dre until I write about Tony. Once that section is done though, it’s all up in the air.

      Each character’s story has its own separate save. So I have three versions of all of them. I’ll have to be very careful to make sure facial features match up lol. And hairstyles. Lord, these Sims and their hairs!


  2. Late Knight Simmer says:

    Aww cute, Anthony has his first potential crush, maybe? Haha. 😀 I thought it was adorable when he kept thinking “How does one do this?” It’s all in the feeling Anthony, like when you felt his thigh against you, and it makes you warm? Yes. LOL. Checking out his butt? Definite yes. 😀 It’ll be fun to see if anything happens with Anthony and Franco. 🙂 So far I think I like Anthony’s story the best out of all your generation 3 people. ❤


    • Taina says:

      Anthony definitely has his first crush. Poor thing, romance isn’t exactly abundant in the London household. He doesn’t have a lot of experience (by which I mean, none).

      I’m glad you like his story, he’s tougher to write because he is so different from my typical male characters. He’s not confident, or selfless or domineering. He’s just Tony.


  3. amandralynn says:

    I liked Anthony’s answer when asked how does he know he’s gay if he’s never been with a guy. “Same reason you know you are straight.” That’s a really good answer. 🙂 It was cute how awkward he was around Franco, yes you definitely like him! Hopefully things will work out with Anthony and Franco. 🙂 Great chapter!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taina says:

      lol it was pretty obvious wasn’t it?! Thank goodness for Eva. Andrei is not subtle and if he’d said the wrong thing, there would have been NO CHANCE for Tony and Franco. Sometimes, there’s too much encouragement, you know?

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. iamciane says:

    I like Franco, but he’s a bit too smooth. And, I’d rather not have Riley’s feelings hurt. We both know Riley and Tony are meant to get together. Right? Great writing. I loved it.


    • Taina says:

      lol ciane! You should be a detective. Franco’s very charismatic. And Tony has no experience with men, let alone men like him. And Riley…do you think he and Tony will be together? Riley would have to like boys for that to happen and I don’t think Riley thinks he’s gay.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. You are always so perceptive! Keeps me on my toes!


  5. LilyParker says:

    Anthony reminds me of Rae in this chapter; they’re both a bit socially awkward. It’s just that much more noticeable when he’s with Dre. It was interesting watching Franco (cute, BTW) interact with Anthony, and I’m glad the ball’s in Anthony’s court instead of Franco’s.

    After reading Ciane’s comments, I went back and re-read the parts with Riley in it, and I think she’s onto something. You dropped several subtle hints, and I didn’t pick them up. Shame on me. Now that would be a very interesting storyline! Love your response to Ciane — you don’t think Riley thinks he’s gay. That doesn’t mean he isn’t. 😉


    • Taina says:

      Tony is very much like his mother and Dre takes after their dad. I think Eva is as outgoing as Connor but as distrustful as her mom. (A good mix, no? lol)

      Ah, Franco Franco Franco…he’s good for Tony and bad all at the same time.

      As for Riley, everyone seems to be under the impression that I write what I want about these characters, when in fact, I write what they want! lol We will just have to wait and seeeeeee…


  6. sandybeachgirl2 says:

    So I kind of agree with caine that Franco seems too smooth or polished. It will be interesting to see what happens there. . .

    Writing what the characters want is fun and frustrating! Jeff is frustrating me right now in his story because I want him to do one thing when he has other ideas. I’m learning the character is pretty much right though but it can be a pain when it requires rewriting. I’m glad you’re having an easy time writing though!


    • Taina says:


      I know exactly what you mean about the characters. When I wrote my plot outline, I knew what I wanted to happen, but then I started playing them and letting them interact with each other. Sometimes, I find my greatest eye-opening realizations in CAS. Fixing their appearance does something to my sense of who they are. Would Tony wear this? Well, why not? What kind of sense of style does he have, what kind of personality. What are his favorite colors, why? Would he be okay with long hair, or does he like it cropped short? Is he patient enough to gel it back everyday, or does he just wake up and go? What does it say about him that although he wears a lot of black clothing, his favorite color is actually aqua? What is he hiding from and can he ever get back to that bright outlook on life?

      …see what I mean? lol


      • sandybeachgirl2 says:

        Haha! I do the same thing! I will literally stare at a picture of them and try to get in their head. I’ve been doing a lot of that with George this past week (which I have to admit hasn’t been so bad with his pretty blue eyes. . . Lol!). I guess that’s why we get attached to these characters; we spend so much time getting into their heads that they actually become real.


  7. rebornmonster says:

    Uhh. I know how that goes…. How do you know, especially when you’ve been tought your whole childhood that girls and guys get together…

    :sigh: no need for sob stories though. What I’m trying to say is I think Riley is realizing he likes Tony as more than just a friend and doesn’t know how to deal with it.


    • Taina says:

      Riley has a unique look take on life and he sort of grew up with the London boys and has two different versions of what family is like. His parents and his brothers love and support him. Tony’s family loves and supports Tony. But not in the same way.

      Anyway, Riley learned early on that most things are relative to people and he’s just trying to navigate the world and still remain true to himself.


  8. dandylion240 says:

    I couldn’t help but get the feeling that Riley is trying to figure out a few things about himself. Why ask the question, if it wasn’t already in his thoughts? I don’t have a good feeling about Franco. Not sure why but I don’t like him.


      • thepartysim says:

        Haha, I was going to say the same thing about Franco, but I think it’s because of how nervous Anthony is around him. Though, he’s nervous because of something else entirely, it still makes Franco seem off. But, I should have read it this way first to avoid the obvious spoiler xD


        • Taina says:

          LOL I probably should have navigated it this way. I’ve yet to find a reader who hasn’t read all three. Hmmm… maybe it’s time for an edit…


  9. livinasimminlife says:

    Franco is cute. I love mocha skinned Sims. They’re so pretty and/or handsome. He seems experienced, I guess, for lack of a better word… smooth, like he’s done this before. Interesting. Inserting himself in the party. I’m curious how it’ll work out. Glad Tony’s siblings showed up for his party. Eva was adorable.


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