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Eleanor stares down at the proofsheets strewn across her desk, pictures from a celebrity party. Paris Hilton leers drunkenly into the camera, breast exposed. This was not exactly, not at all what Eleanor wanted to be doing with her life...The receptionist pages in a call, "Your mother, line 3." Her mother...Eleanor picks it up with a sigh, focusing now on the proofsheets to avoid listening to her mother's bitching. But Eleanor grows alert at Justin's name, "He says you want a wedding fit for a princess...such notions, child! Of course you'll have the finest of everything, but we don't engage in the kind of excess you find in that gauche city you live in. I won't see you behaving like that disgusting Hilton girl, flaunting yourself like some actress: I'm going to set your wedding budget at 1 million dollars & that is firm: to spend more would be excessive & outrageous. We don't need to show ourselves off in public, we are quality." Eleanor looks down again at the proofsheets on her desk, not sure which of the surprising annoucements her mother has just made she should respond to. That Helen would phone Justin while Eleanor is at work angers her, the bit about the wedding fit for a princess is completely confusing, though it has Justin's stamp on it, and the comparison to Paris Hilton nauseates her. The celebrity heiress is the last thing Eleanor wants to be, or do, or be associated with, but here she is making a career of selecting the best photos of her for a stupid magazine article about some inane party in Beverly Hills. "Mother, I'm at work, I don't have time for this. I'll call you later," Eleanor says decisively, and hangs up the phone. What did Justin say to her mother that would make her think they were planning any kind of wedding, let alone some monstrous affair? Eleanor wonders.

Later that afternoon, after several meetings, Eleanor returns to her office, and her receptionist tells her Justin called & and he left her an important email message. Eleanor assumes it will explain why her mother was going on about some extravagant wedding that she & Justin had not been planning...they hadn't even broached the topic of marriage since he turned her down for fear of ruining her reputation. But Justin's email, full of tender caressing love, only tells her that her mother called, and that they will be having company for dinner: Alison, the woman they ran into at the gallery, Gavin's director's assistant, who knew Justin in NY. It shouldn't bother her that he had a life before he met her, that there are people out there who know him & don't automatically associate his name with her shouldn't bother her, but it does.

When Eleanor arrives home, their company is already seated at the table. But if Eleanor had any worry that she was going to be an outsider at this get together, it is dispelled immediately: as soon as she walks in Justin's attention is all on her, and through the dinner he turns he keeps his guest busy by having her tell stories about him to Eleanor. Sometimes Eleanor wonders if he does it consciously, or if his way of manipulating every situation is just innate. He does it so quietly & unobviously, people just seem to naturally behave around him the way he wants them to behave.

Only after Alison is gone can Eleanor broach the topic of the mysterious wedding plans her mother alluded to. "Justin, did you tell my mother we're engaged?" Eleanor asks, simple & direct. "Not exactly," he answers. Eleanor decides to quit the Q&A and get straight to it, telling Justin that her mother set her wedding budget at one million dollars, "Justin, what did you say to her? She thinks we're planning some fantastically huge wedding...." His green eyes soften with gold flecks as he leans in to kiss her neck & whisper in her ear, "I told her you deserved a wedding fit for a princess, that's all." He meant well, Eleanor is sure, but thought of him calling her 'princess' in front of her mother makes her stomach knot up. "I don't want a 'princess' wedding, Justin, I don't even want to wear dress or have my mother anywhere near us," she moans quietly. "I know," Justin whispers, "I thought we'd string your mother along for a few months, get her to agree to all kinds of ridiculous conditions. Then we'd just elope & not tell anyone until after we'd done it. That would really go up her ass, I bet. It's what I'm counting on, anyway." Eleanor looks up to see his face. "You want to go through all that...just to piss off my mother?" she asks. Eleanor has herself come up with elaborate schemes designed purely with the intent of 'going up her mother's ass' as Justin would put it, though she never carries through with any of them. Justin tells her having a mother in a law is liking having an arch enemy, and that's he's only just getting warmed up. Of course, Eleanor thinks, to have a mother in law, you first need to have a wife...."And that's why you've changed your mind about getting married?" she asks. Justin shakes his head, "I haven't changed my mind: I still don't care about your money or legal arrangements about it, I only care about you. What's changed is the situation, I'm acceptable now, to your mother & her kind, and being connected to me won't do you any damage. If you still want to get married, then I will, Eleanor. If you'd rather piss your mother off even more by never getting married, we could do that too," he answers, looking her square in the face. Eleanor takes it in, considers. The situation has changed, quite a lot: before, when they pissed off her mother Eleanor was cut off & made to live on her own. Now that she's proved herself more than capable of that, and made herself independent of her mother's wealth at the same time, pissing off her mother is nothing more than a game she can play to amuse herself. Even better, it's game she can play with Justin...."I love you," Eleanor squeals, throwing herself in his arms.


Meet the Characters & Read the Stories. Stories are for Mature readers, and may contain content not suitable to children under 16 or more sensitive readers. Tour Sim L.A.: visit the lot screenshot galleries, get links to objects sites. (Lots available for download at calisims yahoo group) All the Misc. stuff: Out-takes section, Links, Calisims award, Contact info