Carmen was taking advantage of Liz Holloway being in the bathroom to find out what Luca was really up to. However, he still seemed interested in hiding his true motives. “What? I can’t visit a friend?”
“Of course you can,” said Carmen, “and I’m really happy you stopped by. You and I never really get to hang out outside of club gatherings, so this is nice. But answer the question.”
“Okay, you got me,” said Luca. “How are things with Hugo going? I can only assume you still want him in your life if you two keep making babies.”
“I’m gonna pretend that what you said said sounded less crass,” said Carmen, “and just answer your question. To be honest, both pregnancies were an accident.”
Luca nodded, “the version of you that I know wouldn’t purposely expand a family with a married man.”
“I’m glad you know that,” said Carmen. “It’s just like.. my mind goes to mush when he’s around, you know? Everything that is normal and logical and right goes out the window when he kisses me–hey, are you sure you want to hear this? Isn’t this a little too Girl Talk for your tastes?”
“Maybe,” said Luca, “but I think of you as one of my people. And I like to do everything I can to make my people happy. I can tell you really love him.”
“Watcher knows I do.”
“Everyone knows you do,” said Luca with a small chuckle. “So my question is, what are you gonna do about it?”
“It’s not that simple.”
“It could be,” said Luca.
“I know you’re not suggesting what I think you’re suggesting,” said Carmen. “He’s married! I have made some crazy mistakes and I have three wonderful boys to show for it, but I’m not about to try and steal someone’s husband. Right now I’m trying to focus more on just being co-parents with him. He’s finally agreed to stop pursuing me romantically, and I think that’s for the best.”
“You know he’d come if you just asked,” said Luca.
“I don’t know that,” said Carmen. “And besides, I’m not crazy enough to try that. Even if he did leave her for me, I’m not trying to aggravate the wrath of a vampire.”
Luca’s head snapped towards Carmen fast enough to break his neck. “She’s a vampire?!”
“It’s not what you think,” said Carmen. “She’s never attacked Hugo, and she’s never threatened my sons. He didn’t even know she was a vampire until after their daughter was born.”
“Well, why the hell didn’t you tell me she was a vampire? There’s a way to deal with vampires,” said Luca.
“We are dealing with the vampires,” said Carmen. “The garlic I grew that Laurel wove into wreaths are doing their jobs quite well, thank you.”
“That’s not what I meant,” said Luca. “In other parts of the world, they don’t stand for these types of Sims to walk among the people, integrating in where soon you don’t even know who’s who anymore!”
“I’m not at all comfortable with that line of thinking,” said Carmen getting up from her seat and going to grab some food from the fridge.
Luca regretted his choice of words, but didn’t give up. He spoke to Rodrigo, who was still on the couch. “You get me, little man, don’t you? Wouldn’t you love to have your daddy here all the time with you?”
“My Papi is here?” Rodrigo smiled then looked around as if Hugo was hiding behind the couch.
“He’s not here,” said Luca, “but what if I could make it so he was here?”
“Yeah! Papi! Papi! I love my Papi,” said Rodrigo.
“Mmm-hmm, that’s what I know,” said Luca. “I’m going to make this happen for you and your mommy. Don’t you worry.”
“Okay,” said Rodrigo as he got up to go watch his brothers.
Liz, finally done in the bathroom, came back to the couch, “what were you talking to Rodrigo about?”
“Guy stuff,” said Luca.
“Oh, you are too cute,” said Liz. She turned toward Carmen, who’d finally decided on a piece of cake from the fridge. “Aren’t they cute?”
“Yup,” said Carmen, rejoining them on the couch,” they’re a full basket of kittens.”
The rest of the visit went pleasantly. Luca didn’t bring up vampires again or ask anymore questions about Hugo. Carmen was happy he’d dropped his questions, but was still a bit concerned about what he would do with the knowledge that Hugo’s wife was a vampire.
When Luca and Liz finally headed home, Carmen was able to think for a bit. She felt like she had made such a mess of her life. She considered herself emotionally mature, compassionate, and strong. But a lot of decisions she’d made recently really undermined her self-image.
If she was honest with herself, she just really needed a hug. She got great hugs from her babies. They made her feel like the best momma in the world. But she needed her momma. She picked up her phone and made a couple of calls and a couple of plans.
The next day, a knock at her door announced the arrival of the very hug Carmen needed. She scooped up Rodrigo and headed for the front door.
“Hush now,” said Genevieve Butler, “no need for all that. We’re here now. Jeff, take our bags to the bedroom so I can meet my grandbabies.”