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The Dowager Viscountess du Beaumont arrived just before sunset, on an early Autumn evening, to take charge of her villa. She was met by Lady Elizabeth Chevalier, who had overseen the preparations of the house and the gardens.
Lady Chevalier had hired Marilla Gardiner to run the house and cook. Marilla hired extra daily help as needed.
Marilla’s brother, Matthew, would oversee the grounds, which included exquisite gardens full of herbs, flowers, exotic fruit trees, and a maze of hedges. The grounds also hosted a hot spring, a cold spring, and a dovecote. His job included gardening, maintenance, answering the door, and watching over the safety of the Viscountess.
As soon as the Viscountess arrived, she began to make sure preparations were properly made for the Lord Stirwuard’s visit. He had graciously restored her title and her villa, and as her lover, would expect to visit soon.
Alban Stirwuard arrived the next evening, and he and Adele enjoyed a quiet dinner in the great hall.
Then they retired to the upper floor, to Adele’s balcony and boudoir.
The next morning, after breakfast, the Lord Stirwuard kissed her goodbye, and left. As the Steward of the whole kingdom of Ayre, he couldn’t stay long.
The Viscountess was happy with this arrangement. As a widow, now with her own household, she had a measure of freedom that she intended to enjoy thoroughly.
The Viscountess had asked her son-in-law, the Baronet du Bois, to allow his sister, Liselle to come and stay with her, but he would not allow it. He did not trust his mother-in-law to watch over her as he would like. So Adele lounged in her gallery, missing Liselle and her granddaughter, Cateline. Soon her thoughts turned to her lovers, and she began wondering which she should invite first to the villa.
Before she could make up her mind, Matthew informed her that James Fitz, who had lost the sword event at the Summer tournament, was at the door. She told him to send James to the garden, in a few minutes.
She could see that James was nervous, and she charmed him to put him at ease. He wrung his hands.
Then he explained that he was about to marry Daralis Gothard, who he loved, and leave the men-at-arms. She soon she realized he was in love with his fiance. She congratulated him on his upcoming marriage, wished him well, and sent him on his way.
As she ate alone, she resolved to have Matthew send a message to Brice, the tournament champion and her favorite lover.
Matthew was trimming the hedge when his sister came to get him. She brushed the greenery off his tunic, and told him that the viscountess needed him to run an errand.
Later, when Brice arrived, Matthew greeted him and showed him to the garden.
Brice and Adele were very happy to see each other. The Viscountess had a bath drawn for her lover, so he could wash off all the grime and cares of the outside world.
Marilla had a brace of squab from the dovecote, but the Viscountess told her to prepare a larger fowl from the market.
After dinner, they happily read together before retiring.
Matthew made sure the bedchamber fire was burning well and candles were lit.
Adele and Brice spent two days thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. Since the tournament he had stolen a goat and needed a place to lay low.
As he kissed Adele goodbye, he planned to escape under the protection of night to Killshaw Heath. He told her he may not return for a while, and they said a bittersweet goodbye.
Except for her love for her brother, Matthew, Marilla had little joy in her life. She longed to have a family of her own, and cooking and cleaning for the Viscountess seemed so empty. So Matthew decided a night out at the Hefty Hedgehog may help lift her spirits. It would be good for her to begin to meet some of the townspeople, as well.
Marilla played chess with Millicent Wise, while Matthew sat at the bar. He met Brodie McGobhan, the blacksmith, and the Stirwuard’s nephew, Edwuard.
Marilla climbed into the gatehouse loft to sleep, much more happy than she had been for a while.
Matthew resolved to take his sister with him to market tomorrow.
After the market, on the way home, they went by the Forrester’s woodyard, and Marilla met Gertrude Porter and Haylan Wise. Matthew ordered wood to be delivered to the villa.
Matthew thought that Eva Forrester was quite alluring, but she seemed pretty bored with his attempt at conversation.
Marilla, on the other hand, was weak in the knees when she talked with James Fitz.
While the weather was still milder, and the foliage was beautiful, Adele wanted to have a garden party for the ladies of Ayre, and her relatives from the Vale. She sent word to Lorraine, her son-in-law’s mother, to ask if they would attend. They agreed, and arrangements were made for the event. Matthew made sure the gardens were in beautiful condition. Fruit, cheese, and warm ale were ready to be served.
On the morning of the party, Rosalind Chevalier, and the Squire arrived, along with the Squire’s mother, Lady du Bois, Liselle, and Cateline, Adele’s granddaughter.
When the Viscountess gave her granddaughter a hug, she wriggled out and made a face.
She went to the other part of the garden. There were so many flowers that Cateline had never seen before.
Lady Eithne, who was betrothed to her son-in-law, also attended. As the Viscountess chatted with Cateline’s future step-mother, the child drew near, interested.
Even though Liselle was not allowed to live with the Viscountess, she listened as the Viscountess encouraged her to speak up for herself.
Before the end of the party, Cateline happily chatted to her grandmother about her father’s new horses.
Through the rest of the season, the Viscountess enjoyed having guests in her home. Rob, one of the knights, visited for dinner one evening. Rob was young, passionate, and Adele didn’t have to exert much energy to entertain or seduce him.
He stayed late into the night.
One evening just before winter, Matthew came upstairs to light the Viscountess’ fire. She stopped him, when he got ready to leave, and jumped into his arms.
She asked him to bathe with her in the hot springs, and he agreed.
It’s too bad the Baronet wouldn’t trust Adele to have Liselle come live with her, because Adele would be able to teach her a lot, especially about music. But I can’t imagine him allowing his sister to go live with his mother-in-law knowing she might have lovers there at her villa. Adele was working on her lifetime want of having 20 simultaneous lovers and she achieved five, so she was able to get the Smooth Talk interaction.
I was trying to prevent Adele and Matthew from having any ACR interactions but on the fourth day of the round, I caught them in the hot springs. I friend zoned them but should have gone ahead and done that from the beginning, I guess.
Adele tried for a while to seduce James, but he turned down some of her advances, so I had her say goodbye. From a game perspective, since he is a family sim, I think he would be easy for her to get him to fall in love with her, but since it was the first day of Fall, which is the day he married Daralis, I wouldn’t allow it. I kept open the possibility she would see him again at the end of Fall, after Daralis died, but it did not happen.
I forgot to figure and pay taxes so next time I go in the game I will do that and add it to the treasury. The next household is the Baronet du Bois, and I am so excited to go back to the Vale. I made the mill on the river a sawmill where sims can buy wood, and added Sun & Moon’s Great Grains to the corner of the wheat fields, for the Baronet to buy as a side business (which he will hire for in the spring). I also placed the lot where the windmill is, to be the Miller’s. They will be a yeoman family with a home business to grind grain to flour, as well as having a tidy little farm of their own with some livestock and crops.