Violet's favorite subject is Lyle.
Oregon and her daughter have never had a close relationship; the fact that Violet was born from the unwanted seduction by a vampire stood in the way of any closeness the mother and daughter might have shared. But they share a common talent and hobby, and have found the painting room as a place where they can relate to each other.
Violet's best friend from high school, Annmarie Kindle, has gotten pregnant from her fling with Willard Carlton, Lyle's younger, insane brother. Annmarie has moved into the Carlton house, but Willard has given no signs he intends to marry her, or to stop seeing other women.
Lyle and Violet visit her one evening while both Willard and his parents are out.
"I dated Beau Merrick a little before I got involved with Willard," Annmarie says, "You should be happy you got cured, Violet. The feeding was so gross!"
Violet's smile at this point is quite forced.
While Violet coos over he friend's growing belly, Lyle sneaks off to the basement to indulge his urge to steal.
Beneath the Carlton house lies an underground kitchen bunker that belonged to Chanel's mother, Julienne Knack-Racket. She had been a renowned chef, but no one knew why she needed an industrial kitchen underground, and no one in the family ever used it after she died. So Lyle figures he can pilfer a few items here without anyone ever noticing their absence. But when Chanel gets home and sees Violet talking with Annmaries, she makes a beeline for the basement as though she knows her son must be there and what he must be doing.
"How dare you steal from my house!" Chanel shouts at him, "Ungrateful brat! If you are going to be a criminal, why don't you work for your father like your brother Willard? Petty burglary is not a proper career!"
"You're comparing me to Willard? He's insane. And irresponsible!" Lyle protests.
"Willard's a good boy. And he has a real career working for his father. You are just a lazy lay-about."
"You've always like Willard best," Lyle shouts.
"And why shouldn't I? Nicholas is a stupid jock who married a Drudge. And you, you're nothing! You're a criminal who can't even do that properly. Petty thieving is not a career!"
"I'm not a criminal!"
"You certainly aren't a professional criminal, but I if I wanted I could have you arrested for stealing from me, now couldn't I? And what does that make you? A filthy no account criminal, that's what."
Lyle's father is a master thief by profession, as was his father Sinbad Rotter, before him. Lyle has been stealing things for as long as he can remember, but never considered himself a criminal. Is his mother right?
"Stay out of my house, boy, until you get a proper career. I won't have your kind here," Chanel speaks her final words to her son.
Hunter grows up, gets a job at the hospital and moves in with his girlfriend, Megan Wolf-Bayless.
As she gets closer to retirement, Oregon takes fewer styling jobs in favor of staying home to work on her paintings. But she cannot refuse the call from Lea Greenwood, Jeromy's niece. Lea has recently married Beau Merrick, moving into his swamp lair with him. Pity moved Oregon to come out to the swamp shack and see the girl, who is just out of high school, as Oregon had been when the vampire seduced her.
"I want a sexy new look for Beau," Lea tells her.
"You have to get out of here," Oregon answers, "He's not capable of love. He's using you for his feeding, nothing more."
Lea turns up her nose, "That's not true. Beau loves me. You're just jealous because you're all old and he doesn't want you anymore."
Oregon knows the words of a distant aunt won't be enough to overcome the hold the vampire has on her, but she had to try. So, she gives the girl the requested makeover. The spiked collar she wraps around Lea's neck will do nothing to prevent Beau's feeding, but Oregon does it anyway, hoping to at least annoy him.
Beau comes home at that moment, and waves at Oregon like an old friend. Is he really that oblivious? Oregon wonders.
The catty look Beau casts at her as he walks by says, "I'm still young and beautiful, while you are getting old. I have a hot young wife. Are you jealous?"
He's not oblivious, Oregon decides, he's just a complete bitch.
While Lyle is out prowling, stealing from porches a night, his mother's words haunt him. He's not a professional thief, never wanted to be one. But does his compulsion to steal make him a criminal?
While messing around on the family computer, Lyle discovers some heavily encrypted files. Decoding them, he discovers Ewan McDermott's memoirs, obviously never intended to be read, let alone published. They detail Ewan's time as an adventurer in foreign lands, breaking into tombs and people's houses to steal relics and treasures. Like Lyle, he expresses doubts about what he's done, concerns that he's no more than a common criminal.
Lyle wastes some time playing in the empty nursery with a toy he's crafted on his work bench. His mother ordered him to get a proper career, to work for his father's criminal organization, but Lyle knows himself too well for that. He;s never been able to play by the rules, he can't even play games without modding them to suit himself, and school was a constant battle between himself and authority. Organized crime may be against the rules of society, but is laden with its own rules that Lyle knows he could never bend himself to.
But the petty thieving, the constant urge to steal, that is something he needs to get control of. It was one thing when he was a juvenile, now it's serious. It is criminal, as his mother said, and it makes him, and his family, the subject of scorn and gossip. Ithas to stop, but how?
The counselor at school always told him that he stole to fill a void inside him. Even as a child Lyle knew that void was created by his parents', his mother's lack of affection, and he believed that marrying Violet would finally fill it. But since he still steals compulsively, he clearly needs something more. Maybe, he thinks, if he became the parent he never had, he could become whole.
As Violet leaves work that night she spots Sommer Merrick, Bree's daughter, glowing in the candlelight, enjoying lobster thermidor. It won't be much longer before the young vampire will have to give up such delicacies for plasma; she's at the same age Violet was at when she got herself cured of vampirism.
Back then, it seemed like such an obvious choice, to be normal rather than a freak, to eat food rather than have to get used to sucking the blood from her lover's veins. Giving up the long lifespan seemed like nothing to a teenager, who saw life as going on forver no matter what she was. But now that she's older, she feels the quick pace of this life and sees the road to age and death is not very long at all. If she had stayed a vampire, her youth would stretch out ahead of her instead of the constant creeping of age she traded it for. She feels a pang of regret for the loss of all that extra time, but then remembers if she were a vampire, she would outlive Lyle, outlive whoever took his place, and outlive the next. Life is good, she thinks, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Lyle and Violet are night owls who rarely go to bed before the early dawn hours, and they sleep into the day. As Violet wakes to start her day, Lyle pulls her back into the bed. "I want to talk," he says.
"Are you sure it's talk you want?" Violet teases.
Lyle smiles, "Ideally what I have to say will lead to more. But, yes, I do want to talk. We've never discussed children."
"I'd always we'd have some, someday," Violet answers, "You do want children, don't you?"
"I do, Violet. I want to be a father. I want to do it now."
"I think now would be a perfect time," Violet answers. Having concluded the discussion, the couple puts their new plan for a family into action.
Oregon and Jeromy become elders. Jeromy had often thought about quitting his part time job at the grocery store, but always stuck with it out of habit. Now that he's reached retirement age, he finds he likes having something to do outside the house for a few hours a day, and decides to carry on working. Oregon, however, retires immediately. Despite her efforts to beautify he neighbors, they've learned nothing from her work. The children and grandchildren of those she's made over continue to dress abysmally and the town will continue to be inhabited by walking nightmares long after she's gone. She's given up on them and decided to focus on painting, creating beauty that will endure over the generations.
After retiring, Oregon turns her office over to Lyle completely. He gives the walls a good papering, gets himself a desk and some cabinets to display his inventions. Only Oregon's styling trophies and awards are left behind.
Safety goggles? Bah, the goggles do nothing!
Goggles are completely useless when you set your ass on fire.
Ewan's old shower-in-cans come in handy for handling inventing mishaps. Being on fire is a total rush. Lyle looks forward to setting his ass on fire again in the near future.
Violet becomes pregnant as they planned.
Always wanting to be informed, Lyle studies "Totally Preggers" before his child is born.
Violet wakes in the early morning with labor pains. Lyle rushes her to the hospital.
They have a daughter, Briar Rose.
Beau Merrick has the audacity to call and enquire after his new granddaughter, wanting to know if she shows any sign of vampirism. Though Violet was cured of the trait, it was not known if she could still produce a vampire child. Oregon assures him that Briar is a normal, human child, and that he should butt out of their lives.
"And," Oregon adds,"You might want to think about the fact that two of your three children, including one you raised yourself, have sought cures for vampirism, and all three of them have rejected you. Now that you've married again, you might want to keep that in mind before you have more children."
"I thank you for your concern, Oregon, it is much appreciated," Beau answers, "It is indeed a matter for deep consideration." Oregon meant her words as a dig, not as advice, but with Beau's monotone, it's hard to tell if his response is sincere or sarcastic.
Lyle isn't entirely cured of his kleptomania, but he has been staying in at night instead of out prowling. He does still hack funds into his account, which is technically thieving, criminal behavior. But he's not preying on his neighbors, and as such is sparing his family the gossip and attention. And, he's come up with a great way to dispose of the goods he's already taken. Detonation!
Being exploded is such a rush!
Briar becomes a toddler. She's not a vampire, but she does have Beau Merrick's hair.
Most importantly, she's finally old enough to play dolls with her father. He was so tired of playing by himself all the time.
At first I was stoked to have Lyle's LTW to have 50k of stolen goods. But after a week of nightly stealing, taking the max amount of swipes, we only had 5k worth of goods. Including a car and computer. It might be possible to achieve the LTW before he dies, but it would take dedication. And since thieving can only happen at night, and two of Lyle's allowed professional activities, stargazing and hacking, are also only available at night, I decided something had to go. As my generation goal is Perfect Careers, I figured Lyle should devote himself more to that than his klepto hobby. So, he used 10k happiness points to change his LTW to Tinkerer, to max Logic and Handiness. While his 'career' has no levels to max, I've decided he needs to max Logic, Handiness and Inventing to achieve the generation goal.
Lyle is a daredevil, so he gets good moodlets from setting his ass on fire. I love Lyle.
Violet has achieved her LTW of Culinary Librarian, before she maxed cooking skill or read the top level recipe books. Foreign recipes aren't added to the total required, so learning them means you achieve the LTW before reading all the base game recipes. She has since maxed cooking and is level 8 in cooking career. I'm going to make her learn all the base game recipes before I will consider the generation goal complete. She's only got 3 left to read.
They've got the first of their two required children. They started their family a bit later than previous generations. Lyle and Violet are just days away from being adult.
The roll for generation 8 is: Couple, two children, (Again!) Journalism career and author as secondary. Goal is again Perfect Careers and the Misc. Fun is tattoo addict. I rolled 1st child as heir, so Briar is heir. When she was born, she was given the artistic trait by the game and I was allowed to chose the second. I gave her genius, like her father.